Category Archives: Lifestyle

DIY: Paper Mache Mannequin

I bought this fashion form awhile back because I thought it would be a useful photography prop to use when I’m styling. And for only $6.95, the torso would be; but I sort of hate the way the semitransparent plastic neck & décolletage appears in photos. (Note: this is the stock photo from the website which appears to be white. To get actual idea of the appearance look at my other images)

Store Suppy Fashion Form

Yes, a strong opinion, but it really did bother me! And you know when something bugs you you can never get past it. I just thought the foggy finish  killed the aesthetic of the clothes hanging from it. I tried my best to alter the appearance of the prop in Photoshop – I tried making it disappear, blending it in, changing the color of it…but everything I did just ended up looking dumb.

Frosted Fashion Form

So for the last few months the torso has just been hanging out (literally) behind my door. Until this past weekend, when all of the sudden it donned on me – why don’t I just give my mannequin a makeover? Duhhh!

My first thought was to cover the tacky plastic with white lace, that way my mannequin would at least be white and not a murky in between color. I liked the idea of my mannequin having a “vintagy vibe” with a textured effect. I knew it would probably pose a little bit of a problem when photographing white garments on it – with little color variation between the garment and the lace making it difficult to differentiate. But I figured that was a minor tradeoff for having an overall more visually pleasing fashion form.

But then, when I got down my tote of random textiles from my closet (1 of 5 total) I came across a couple packages of sewing patterns. Perfect! Even better than my original plan! The paper would be much easier than the fabric to adhere. And the pigment of the tissue paper looked well – like tissue. The flesh-colored flimsy paper similar to skin tone would contrast with both black & white garments.

So I had a DIY day and went to work paper macheing my mannequin. (Note: not the real paper mache process, but my rendition of it)

What You Need:

– The object you want to cover
– What you’re going to cover it with (fabric, decorative paper)
– Spray Adhesive
– Scissors

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin Start

What to Do:

1. First I put down something to protect the floor. I learned my lesson the last time I did a similar project involving spray adhesive. It felt like I scrubbed the sticky residue off my floor for for-ev-er – and I swear I still feel it in some spots.

2. Then I cut the patterns into pieces (doesn’t have to be perfect because they all end up blending together in the end. I made sure to get a variety of the different design details & cutting lines on the sections.

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin Step 2

3. After that I simply sprayed my mannequin with the aerosol adhesive and stuck on the slips of paper.

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin Step 3

DIY Paper Mache Mannequin (1)

Wah-lah! It’s as easy as that!

DIY Paper Mache Manequin Finished

Well……..I did put a little thought into it. I had to make sure all of the words written on the pattern paper were facing in the right direction. Call it my sharp eye for the fine details…..or perfectionism – but it would’ve bothered me if the writing would’ve been backwards. I love the way my mannequin looks now! It turned out just as I had envisioned – actually, even better! (than the first plan)

Before After Styling Pic

And, now that my plastic person has a bit more personality, I thought it only seemed appropriate that she should have a name. Everyone, meet Skipper! :)

What do you think of the makeover I did on my mannequin? Do you think it made an impact on its appearance? Or do you think I’m crazy cuz you can’t really recognize the difference?

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New Year, New Endeavor

I hope you all had a Happy Holiday and rang in the New Year safe & sound! As we begin a brand new year, I thought it seemed fitting for me to share with all of you, the new business endeavor I’ve recently begun :)

And so, it is with my great pleasure, to introduce to you…………………………………………drum roll please…………………………………………….

underground + BOUND Handmade Bohemian Jewelry on Etsy

underground + BOUND is an eclectic collection of hand-made jewelry inspired by Mother Earth and the unique rock formations created naturally at her core. Bound together by leather, stones & bones, minerals & metals, feathers & found objects are cleverly combined to create this artsy assortment of accessories that is mystical, meaningful, & undoubtedly unmistakable!

handmade bohemian jewelry

Each piece in this diverse collection of one-of-a-kind designs is a unique representation of the earth, its abundant offerings, and the creatures that inhabit it. Minerals & crystals magically created when all of the necessary conditions combine in a particular way, at a particular time. Rocks that make-up Earth’s crust; those that comprise our mountain ranges & canyons, that were once liquid molten lava that have cooled & compressed over millions of years. Fossils & bones from plant particles & animal life; the trace evidence preserving the remains of what once roamed & flourished from the land, long before our time.

Just as no two stones are the same, each design is distinctive in its very own way. Completely hand-crafted; hand-cut premium hides are tied together to secure stones & bones; while metals & other off-beat materials add an eclectic touch to these traditionally boho-inspired baubles.

Paying homage to Mother Earth, native cultures, and the unconventional ethos of nomadic lifestyle; underground + BOUND boasts earth elements, unlikely pairings, tribal adornments, folkloric patterns, & intricate designs. u + B accessories are meant to emulate the natural beauty & great spirits of the materials they are made of and accentuate the beauty & spirit of those who wear them. They are meant to be adorned, admired & appreciated.

underground + BOUND embodies the bohemian fundamentals of fashion; encouraging the importance of individuality – inspiring one to embrace their own personality and express it through the unique way they dress. Whether you prefer the bold necklaces made of bone or the more subtle studded pieces, the not-so-average knotted necklaces or the styles made with stones, u + B offers something for every brazen bohemian, prairie princess, free-spirited fashionista, hippy-at-heart, & gypsy soul.

Highlighting the exquisiteness of Earth’s bounty and the spirit of the beings that dwell upon her, underground + BOUND is a manifestation of the precision, perfection, and creative beauty that’s been around since the very beginning of time.

handmade bohemian jewelry

I sort of started underground + BOUND on a whim. Contagiously creative & rather crafty, I began making a couple pieces of jewelry for my personal collection after I couldn’t seem to find exactly what I was looking for in any retail stores. I never originally intended for it to be more than just a pleasurable pastime, but after countless compliments I received while wearing my creations & requests from friends, family & complete strangers for items of their own, I decided to turn the leisure activity I loved into a legitimate business.

Thus, underground + BOUND was born – my artistic imagination coming to life.

Similar to watching a circus act, creating my collection has been both terrifying & exciting at the same time. The balancing act of building a new business while juggling my normal day-to-day responsibilities has been challenging at times; but seeing it all come together and introducing my work for the first time has been met with equal feelings of relief & exhilaration!

Always curious, passionate & in-motion, not a minute goes by that I’m not brainstorming something for the business. From conception to distribution, I relish in the entire creative process that goes into making each & every piece in my collection. From initiating a design in my mind to picking out the perfect materials to make it, the many hours spent cutting leather, manipulating metals, intricately knotting, stitching stones & bones – seeing my pieces evolve from what was once just a drawing on paper to a product ready for someone to purchase is such a satisfying feeling. I pride myself in offering unique designs made of quality materials & strive to create authentic connections with my customers. Whether it’s creating compelling marketing materials or collaborating with customers on custom pieces, shipping merchandise or sharing inspirational photos on social media, I truly enjoy being a one-woman operation.

Click on the photos below to see these item, and others, listed on Etsy!

handmade black fringe brass studded bull boho necklaceAntique Brass Studded Bull Skull Black Genuine Deerskin Leather Fringe Statement Necklace

clear quartz crystal black leather open collar necklaceClear Quartz Crystal Genuine Deerskin Black Leather Wrapped Open Collar Necklace

Black Deerskin Leather Studded Fringe NecklaceBlack Genuine Deerskin Leather Hand-Cut Fringe Antique Brass Studded Statement Necklace

Black Leather Macrame & Deer Antler Fringe NecklaceGenuine Deer Antler Black Leather Diamond Macramé Statement Fringe Necklace/Wall Hanging

Agate Stone & Cognac Leather Braided Tassel NecklaceGenuine Buckskin & Saddle Brown Deerskin Leather Natural Banded Agate Stone Braided Lariat Tassel Necklace

If you like what you see, be sure to stay connected with my brand new brand via the social media links below…
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Underground-Bound/1454969688115232
Instagram: undergroundandbound
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/undrgroundbound/

And as always, I love feedback, so leave a comment & let me know what you think of my designs!

New Year Quote

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

I know I cannot wait to see what this New Year brings for me & my new business. May your coming year be filled with health, happiness, magic & lots of new dreams!!!

My Magical Halloween

I hope you all had a spook-tacular Halloween! I wanted to touch base to see if any of you donned costumes during the spirited time of year known for dressing up! I realize I’m a little late in posting this – after all, All Hallows’ Eve was almost a week ago. But, I had a busy weekend with visitors in town and didn’t get around to publishing a post; so even though it’s a little late, I’m still going to share it with you. Better late than never right? :)

I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in a couple years, but decided this year I was going to transform myself into a mystical unicorn for our annual Halloween event at work. However, I didn’t want to just go to the costume store to get my playful pony gear, so instead I came up with this unique unicorn uniform…

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I bought a bright blue long-sleeved Latex bodysuit, tied a long blonde wig to my backside for a tail, and got a little crafty in making my own satin & sequin horn to put atop my head. After teasing my hair into a hot pink mohawk for a mane and framing my face with sparkly paint, I think I actually pulled off the mystical creature quite well! And with clunky black booties acting as ‘hooves’, you can rest assure, I galloped wherever I went while wearing this get-up :)

I'm a Unicorn

What do you think? Can you tell I’m a unicorn?

unicorn 1

Here’s a quick look at how I made my horn…

Step 1: Cut fabric in the shape of a cone and stitch it along the side seam.

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Step 2: Flip it inside out.

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Step 3: Fill it with fluff so it stays up.

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Step 4: Sew it shut and secure it to a headband.

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Step 5: Decorate it however you desire!

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Did you get creative with your costume? Or did you simply stop at a pop-up shop for a polyester prototype? Send me a comment…better yet, a photo, and let me know!!!

Turning Over a New Fashion Leaf this Fall!

As the days get shorter & shorter, the temperature continues to cool, and leaves begin to change colors, the sunny days of seem as though they were soooo long ago! Now that we’ve got these first few weeks of fall under our belts, I’m taking time during this transitional time, to refocus on my fashion blog.

I was really bad about blogging this summer for a number of reasons: 1) I spent as much time outside as I could soaking up the sun – summer is so short in Chicago the way it is, so it’s important to enjoy the beautiful weather while you can. Because before you know it, it’s over and we’re reaching for our winter coats once again (much like I did weeks ago!) 2) I was busy working on a couple of other little projects, like my embroidery project (that gets more & more elaborate each time I work on it) and some geode stone jewelry. 3) I had a mental block. I just couldn’t seem to find the right words to say when trying to write about what I wore. And 4) I started a new styling position with a small image consulting firm – now putting me back up to juggling 3 jobs (in turn, leaving me with even less free time); but I really can’t complain – because I’m loving it so far!

But that’s all about to change! Because fall is my favorite season when it comes to fashion! I love styling for this season for many reasons: 1) I love the warm, muted hues & rich, spicy earth tones associated with autumn. 2) I love cuddling up in thick cozy knits and the other soft, heavier-hand fabrics distinctive during this time of year. And 3) I love adding on the additional layers (for styling purposes…not necessarily the need to stay warm!) More clothing means more options to work with – a chance to play around with different patterns, form unique color combinations, and add interesting textures to my outfits.

I’m reinvigorated, re-inspired, and no longer at a loss for words when it comes to talking about my wardrobe. So as the leaves begin to fall this Fall, I’m turning over a new fashion leaf!

While the warm days of summer whittle away in our minds & we move closer to winter, what motivates you during the bleak months ahead?

Oh…and here’s a peak at those projects I was talking about :)

IMAG9951Playing around with some stones, leather & animal bones!

Remember when my embroidery project was just a blank canvas?…

embroidery-portfolio-project

Look how far I’ve come! And to think…I’m almost done!

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Second Full Moon Fire Jam was a Special One!

Tuesday night I went to my 2nd Full Moon Fire Jam and it was a special one! Not only was it special because it was a rare Blue Moon, but it was also special because a got to share it with a couple of my friends! Once my friends found out how much fun I had at my first full moon jam they wanted to join me for the next one. So with my beach blanket & hula hoops in hand, we headed up to Foster Beach at sunset for a beautiful night of fresh air, fire spinning, and having fun with friends.

I receive moon updates on a monthly basis and found the most recent message to be quite compelling; so I figured I’d share a short excerpt from the astrological notes with you, written by Patricia Liles…

“Once in a ‘Blue Moon’ we have four full moons in a season instead of three, and that’s what we have this month with our second Full Moon in Aquarius. The Leo-Aquarius axis allows us to align to our own true heart and from there dream the future. Recognizing our personal vision that lies within our sacred heart space and then carrying it into our community, our tribe, fueling our expression with all the heat and passion that the Leo Sun is able to provide is the opportunity with this Full Moon. Loving our selves so radically that we know beyond a doubt that we are magnificent creations of the Divine (Leo) is what will allow us to create that Divine presence here in this reality. Only through that faith and trust will we shift our planet from fear, dominance, and scarcity into a culture of connection, support and abundance.”

To read the full menu, click here.

Full Moon Jam (12)

Full Moon Jam (11)

Full Moon Jam (8)

Full Moon Jam (9)

Full Moon Jam (7)

Full Moon Fire Jam (5)

Full Moon Fire Jam (1)

Full Moon Jam (10)

I had so much fun sharing my Full Moon Fire Jam experience with my friends; goofing off in the grass and hoop-dancing to the beat of the drum while watching the fire burn beneath the glowing full moon. I have a feeling our group will grow again next month; a couple of our coworkers were jealous they couldn’t join us and insisted an invite to the next jam. The way I see it – the more of us under the moon light…the merrier!

Mark your calendars – the next Full Moon: September 19, 2013, the next Blue Moon: not til 2015.

 “Throw open your heart and will to the force of creativity under the mystery of this Full Moon”