Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Color Me Coral

Did any of you ever read my interview with Niyah at Inexpensive Chic or with Jessica at Marvelous Things? Well, if you did, you would know that I have had trouble wearing bright colors ever since I came back from studying abroad in Paris in 2008. For some reason, living there changed me...in more ways than one, but sartorially speaking, I became drawn to neutral colors, and in particular, black. This article about what to wear in Paris says it best:

"Neutrals are key- If you're from a climate that sports a lot of florals and bright colors, aim for hte subdued approach. You can never go wrong wearing black in Paris. In fact, you'll notice that this is the color scheme that most of the locals live in. You've heard it all before- black is slimming, always in style, and versatile. A flattering black sweater or pants/skirt can be dressed down for daywear and easily spruced up for a night on the town."

Although I didn't do any fashion research prior to living in Paris, I realized pretty quickly that my fuzzy sheepskin boots, Hello Kitty tees, and colorful sweaters did not belong. I remember Parisians staring at me as I walked (okay, so I might have sprinted...I'm not exactly a morning person) to my 8 a.m. cours de Français à la Sorbonne in my American attire. I felt like a knockoff Louis Vuitton sur les Champs-Elysées  or la Tour d'Eiffel to Parisians: an embarrassing eyesore. I definitely grew quite accustomed and comfortable with my daily uniform of black pants/black blouse/black boots/black everything. When I returned to California, I automatically began to neglect and eventually purge away my floral tops, graphic tees, and colored jeans, items which I had frequently worn prior to my trip. Unbeknownst to me for a long time, I started to stock my wardrobe with neutral colors almost exclusively. Now that I've identified this bad habit of mine, I've been gradually trying to incorporate fun colors back into my daily wardrobe, and may even wear some obnoxious neons in the near future. And so, here is another step forward on my journey to finding my personal style. Cheers!

Clothing: Coral tank- Marshall's, $13 (similar here & here), Skinny jeans (the recurring pair of my fave)- Vigoss
Accessories: Aviators- Michael Kors ($20 @Ross!), Arrowhead Necklace- Charlotte Russe (on sale for $5!), Quatrefoil earrings- Francesca's, Charm bracelet- Tiffany & Co., Bangle & assorted bracelets- ?, Ceramic watch- MK5387 Michael Kors, Floral chain clutch/flap purse- Victoria's Secret (VERY old style)
Shoes: Braided wedge sandals- Steve Madden

Have you ever been influenced by local fashion while traveling? How so? How has your style changed over the years? 
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DIY: Origami Earrings!

Not to get too political here (Small PSA: CA elections are TODAY! Find your polling place here), but I have always been a lover of the environment and as a self-proclaimed shopaholic, have had a soft spot for eco-fashion too. Sure, there are pricey organic clothing lines selling all sorts of things like organic cotton tees and organic denim, but that's not what I'm talking about. Since it's *almost* impossible for me to stop shopping entirely, as a consumer, I am a lover of buying secondhand, thrift, vintage, and the like (and of course, byob, or bring your own bag). Buying something which was already produced leaves less of a carbon footprint than buying a brand-new item, and so I always try to thrift, borrow, or just dig around my closet before I hit the department stores.

In this post, I wanted to show you all a way to turn your TRASH into TREASURE! No, I'm not going to teach you how to make a mini guitar with tissue boxes and rubber bands, or something else you will probably end up NEVER using and ultimately throwing away.

Let's turn yogurt lids like this:

into these beauties:
I made the 2 pairs with the 3 larger beads below the crane. I bought the 3rd pair with the smaller beads from a fair in Paris in 2008 (I don't remember the name of the vendor, otherwise I would credit her!).

Let's Get Started!
permanent marker
stringing wire 
(26 gauge/30 yd, $1.49)
yogurt lid 
(1 lid makes 1 pair of cranes)
earring hooks 
(100 pc findings mix, $3.99)
beads of your choice 
(15 ceramic beads, $2.99; I had the crystal beads at home already)
prices above are from Michael's

Trying to find an affordable birthday gift for your girlfriend/friend/mother/aunt/grandmother? Want something unique to give to your lovely bridesmaids? Looking for a cool grad gift this month? These origami earrings are not only cute & extremely easy to make, but you can make them for less than $2 a pair, especially if you already have a few beads lying around the house!

SPECIAL THANKS go out to my little sister Cecilia who helped me fold my 2nd set of cranes because she can fold them perfectly AND in record speed (i.e. 1 minute vs me struggling for 1 hour). Okay, so it may seem like I was schooled by a 14-year-old, but she has...abnormally small fingers? Anywho, are any of you Tumblrs/Tumblr-ers? Check out her hilarious Tumblr, Inescapableness. I know she'd love that! :)

-If you use something other than a yogurt lid, try to use something that is sturdy and semi-waterproof. Using plain paper may make the crane too delicate and subject to being misshapen, wrinkled, flattened, or being ruined, so keep that in mind. I'd love to hear ideas on what other materials you try! Leave them in the comments below!
-Use lightweight beads on these earrings so that they don't cause stress to your earlobes!
-For overachieving craftinistas, try using Sterling Silver earring hooks and Swarovski beads for better quality and that diva sparkle!
-I used silver stringing wire, but you could also use gold, copper, or any other color if you aren't concerned with matching the silver cranes from the yogurt lids.

1. Use your permanent marker, preferably one with a fine tip, and measure two 1 inch x 1 inch squares on your yogurt lid. I used a Sharpie fine tip marker and a yogurt lid from Yoplait.

2. Cut each of the squares out.

3. Begin folding the crane with the silver facing outwards so that the crane will ultimately be silver. Never folded a crane before? Check out these helpful tutorials here and here!

4. Once you're done folding your pair of cranes, set them aside. Cut 2 pieces of 16-inch long wire (or your desired length). Each piece will be used for 1 earring.

5. String a piece of the wire through the circular loop in the earring hook. Make sure that the hook is in the center of the wire and fold the wire in half. 

6. Now this is where you can let your creativity flow! I twisted the wires together a few times and formed a heart with the wire, then added beads, and then the crane in one style, and in the other, I just added the crane immediately and then added the beads after. Play around with different styles until you get your desired combination.

7. To add the crane, I used a needle and poked the crane slowly and as straight as I could from the bottom up. BE CAREFUL! Don't make the hole too large because then it will be harder to keep it one place. 

8. Lastly, I twisted any extra wire back up and around the beads haphazardly around. Don't worry about making each one perfectly symmetrical with the other. This is what is unique about DIYs and handicrafts. Just have fun!
Why BUY when you can DIY? 
I hope you enjoyed this newest craft and I'd love to see photos of your little crane creations as well, so be sure to let me know in the comments below if you tried this tutorial!

Check out my last DIY project here.

Get sneak-peeks of upcoming posts, OOTDs, and a glimpse into my daily life via Instagram (@theShopaholic247) and I appreciate all of your continued support via GFC & Bloglovin!
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