We craft to live!

Month: July 2018

Fashion Challenge: Bahama Mama

Fashion Challenge: Bahama Mama

There’s something about summer that makes wearing crazy prints and bright colors totally acceptable. Maybe it’s the heat affecting our fashion sense. Maybe it’s our inner kid going crazy for summer fun. Maybe we wish we were in Hawaii. Whatever the reason, I’m fully on board and am taking every opportunity to embrace my wanna-be-traveler-hippy-artist-Bahama-Mama side! Thrift stores have been my source for breezy, albeit kitschy, tropical wear. Vintage pieces are my new favorites and have accompanied me on many summer adventures. Gotta work this style while I’m still on island time…



These pictures were taken at the beautiful Lone Pine Garden in Sebastopol, California (check out their site here). They specialize in cacti, succulents, and Bonsai! I went crazy photographing the textures and colors around me!


Not to be outshone, my vintage mumu had both punchy colors and cool, comfy fabric. My accessories included a modern hat and belt, with vintage earrings. Everything except my shoes were thrifted!

















My next stop was at the Sundial Bridge in Redding, California (link here) to spend time with friends. This is one of our favorite places to walk, especially in the cooler evenings! The bridge is stunning, but don’t miss the beautiful botanical garden and walking paths!


















My outfit, excluding shoes and bag, were thrift store finds. Those crazy pants and some of my forever faves!










My next stop was not at all tropical but was very delicious! I’ve been going with my family to the Marin French Cheese factory (found here) since I was a little kid! Just as I did then, I love the beautiful grounds and picnic areas as much as I love the cheese!


This vintage dress (from Hawaii!) is one of my favorites, since it is cute and super breezy! My belt, necklace, and hat were also thrift store finds.


















I didn’t want to leave! Just look at that view!



One of the best and most obvious choices for a summery experience is the pool!



My perfectly pool-colored dress was a gift from the fabulous Mrs. Smauley, while the crazy cool bracelets were my grandmothers!



Ready for  a swim, Anyone?



1950’s “Whimsy” Hat DIY

1950’s “Whimsy” Hat DIY

One week before a friend’s wedding, I discovered a fabulous 1950’s- style dress at the thrift store! While I had the perfect shoes, belt, and necklace to coordinate, I was lacking a hat! Gasp!! Should I devote hours to madly searching antique stores, resign myself to going hatless, or DIY myself a hat? The later option won…

I was inspired by the headband-like “whimsy” hats from the late 1950’s. More hair accessory than hat, these cuties were often built on wire frames and positioned on the head like a headband. Check out this post, “1950’s Womens Hats” from Vintagedancer.com for inspiration! After thoroughly reading that blog post, I gathered my supplies: a headband, vintage scarf, lace, and silk flowers. I also had a needle and thread, glue gun, and felt remnant at the ready.

My goal was to cover the headband with the scarf and then decorate the headband with the lace and flowers. I began by folding the scarf into a thin roll and then tying the scarf to one end of the headband.

Next, I began wrapping the scarf around the headband. In retrospect, I could have wrapped the scarf looser to create more volume around the headband. I knotted the end of the scarf at the other side of the headband.

With help from a needle and thread, I tucked the ends of the scarf around the ends of the headband and stitched them in place. I also made small stitches around the crown of the headband to insure that the scarf didn’t slip.

Next, it was time to decorate! I experimented with placement options for the lace before pinning and stitching that in place.

Time for some flowers!

Before I could create my flower arrangement, I had to dissect the pink carnation. (Insert evil laugh- mwah ha ha!) Silk flowers often have hard plastic bases as well as plastic stems that run up the center of the blooms. These plastic pieces make the flowers too tall and stiff to work with. Time to dissect…


After removing the plastic base, I unstacked the petals in size order and removed the center stem. I then glued the petals back together, layer by layer, using hot glue. The resulting flower had shape but much less stiffness.

I cut out an oval-shaped piece of felt that would become the base for my flower arrangement. The width of the oval was slightly less than the width of my wrapped headband. I experimented with placement for the foliage before glueing the pieces down in layers. I loved how the stems of white flowers and the two leaves had wire stems! This allowed me to shape them as needed!

Finally, it was time to stitch the felt base of the flower arrangement onto the headband!

I was pretty pleased with how well my “Whimsey” hat turned out! In fact, I am tempted to make more, after seeing how simple it is to make a hat that perfectly matches an outfit! I would love to try this with other vintage scarves and perhaps brooches and/or feathers!

The hat perfectly coordinated with my mostly-thrifted outfit! I felt fabulous at our friends’ wedding celebration! I couldn’t help taking copious photos in the orchards overlooking Mt Hood in Oregon!

I also couldn’t help taking a twirl.

What day! What a place!!

Jelly Beans and “Jresses”

Jelly Beans and “Jresses”

When friends come to visit, we love to take them to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA. With free tours and a jam packed gift shop, you inevitably learn a lot about and eat a lot of… jelly beans! For this trip, I wore a favorite thrifted “jress,” or jean dress! I loved wearing this dress in our Fashion Challenge: “Jresses” post (found here)! This time, I’m pairing it with bright vintage accessories, perfect for our colorful, sugarful adventure!




Check out my dream car!




Ok, time for the factory tour! Bright colors and delicious smells are everywhere! Fabulous headgear is mandatory.











There’s candy EVERYWHERE! Even on the walls! And the artwork!




No trip to the Jelly Belly factory could possibly be complete without a trip to the gift shop… It’s the pot of gold at the end of the literal jelly bean rainbow!










With a mounting sugar high, I drove home, proud owner of many jelly beans. I may possibly have a new truck as well… 😉


DIY 1940’s “Snood” Hair Net

DIY 1940’s “Snood” Hair Net

After finishing my 1940’s dress (check out that post here!), I definitely needed a hat! Fashionable 1940’s gals would never consider an outfit complete without one! I found a wealth of inspiration on one of my favorite historical fashion blogs, vintagedancer.com! Their in-depth article on 1940’s hats (found here) gave me the idea of creating a hair net, or snood. Snoods were a chic way for ladies to keep their hair in check while minimizing the need for styling. I was particularly drawn to this idea, because my hair is shorter than most women would have worn in the 1940’s. I also had a cheating way create this snood…

The knitters and crocheters out there can find real, vintage patterns for making snoods! (Check Etsy!) Since I am not skilled in those arts, I turned to a “Knifty Knitter” or “Circle Loom,” such as this set of several looms from Amazon (found here). I gathered some thin, slightly fluffy yarn, my loom, loom hook, and a little over a yard of coordinating ribbon.

I will walk you through the steps for creating the “brim” and body of the snood, closing the snood, and tying off the yarn. Most of these steps are identical to making a hat and should be clearly pictured on the instruction booklet included with your loom! Once the snood is made, we will insert ribbon into the brim to allow the hairnet to be fitted to ones head. Let’s get started by wrapping our yarn around the side peg, leaving a little tail. Then, wrap each peg with yarn one time. (The yarn in the next several pictures looks a bit different, as I had to change yarns mid-project. My first yarn choice ripped easily! The steps are the same, though, regardless of the yarn type!)

Once all the pegs are wrapped once, continue wrapping around the circle until you have two loops on each peg.

You can loop the end of your yarn around the side peg to keep the yarn from un-looping.

It’s time to start “knitting”! Using the loom hook, lift the first loop up over the second loop and right off the peg. This creates your knitted stitch.

That’s how the loom works! Lift the bottom loops over the top loops and off the pegs until you have gone around the whole circle. Wrap the pegs with more yarn and repeat the process. Do this until you have knitted a bit more than twice the width of your ribbon.

This knitted length is now going to become our “brim” for the snood. We will fold it over on itself to create to create a thicker tube, just like the brim of a knitted hat. At the bottom of the knitted section, find the lowest loop. Lift this loop up and slip it over the closest peg. Make this new loop the top loop. Now there are two loops on the peg and the brim is beginning to be folded over on itself.

Continue putting the loops from the bottom edge of the knitted section onto the corresponding pegs until all pegs have two loops. At this point, the knitted section is folded in half and is attached that way to the pegs. You now simply continue knitting as before! The bottom loop is pulled over the top one and off the pegs. The brim will be secured in place as you do this!

With the brim in place, it’s time to add length to your snood! Keep wrapping the pegs with more yarn, lifting the bottom loops up over the top ones, and lifting the loops off the pegs! Keep doing this until you have the length that you want. Since my hair is short, I don’t need a long snood. I knit until I had a length that resembled a slouchy beanie hat.

Now it’s time to tie off the yarn. We are going to put those last loops on the pegs to work! I cut off my yarn, leaving AT LEAST 10 inches of extra. This extra yarn will be threaded through each loop as the loop is lifted off the peg. I did this with my fingers, but you can also use a yarn needle to speed up the process!

Each time I lifted a loop off the peg, I threaded my extra yarn through the loop. You continue with this process until all the loops have been removed from the pegs and strung on the yarn. Now you have what looks like a small cowl scarf.

Pull on that extra yarn that was threaded through the loops and watch as the opening is drawn closed! This creates the back of the snood! Tie off the extra yarn securely before trimming. (I also tied off the little tail left on the brim.)

Time for the finishing touch- threading ribbon into the brim of the snood! The ribbon helps scinch the brim to fit the wearer’s head and will be tied in a cute bow near the hairline. I used about a yard of ribbon, but would allow more for a larger head or bigger bow. Although my ribbon was 5/8 inch wide, wider ribbon can be used if you make a wider brim!

I attached a safety pin at one end of my ribbon. I used the safety pin like a needle, helping me push and pull the ribbon through the brim. I later trimmed the ends of the ribbon and coated the edges with Fray Check.

All that’s left to do is try it on! First, put on the snood just like a hat. (Folks with very long or thick hair may wish to pin up their hair at the base of the neck.) Then, tuck your hair into the snood and align the brim as if it were a headband. Tie the ribbon in a bow, scinching the brim to your head. Secure with bobby pins if needed. Ta-da!

Of course, the addition of vintage jewelry, or possibly a daisy, never hurts!

My fabulous friend Katherine joined me for a fun-fill 1940’s photoshoot! 🙂

You can check out my dress tutorial in our previous post (found here)! I’m loving this look and will definitely create more outfits WITH coordinating snoods! We love the 1940’s!!!