Friday, July 27, 2012

Doilies and Antiques and K-Cups, Oh My!

The past couple weeks have been busy as always, but still wonderful. I enjoyed some time at my mom's house and traveled out of town for a day - it was nice to get out and see everyone in the main office where I work. Naturally, I brought cookies.

I have been busy crocheting lately - I completed not one, but two doilies! The yellow one took some time (probably 10+ hours), and the teal one took me 5-6 hours. Not bad. Both of the patterns were from old crochet magazines - I just love browsing thrift stores for magazines/patterns.

And let's see...last weekend I attended Bike Time in Muskegon, and I decided to enter their tattoo contest. I entered my Sigmund Freud portrait in 2 categories (best realistic, best black and white) and won them both!!  It was very exciting. 

I talked to a lot of nice people there, too. There even was an article about the contest on and they put my picture in the paper...I was hoping my grandparents wouldn't see! There were a lot of negative commenters (most people comment on articles to complain, I think), but oh well. I respect people's opinions and I understand not everyone likes tattoos - you can't please them all!

Last but not least, I got this really cool set of antique pharmaceutical equipment from a new thrift store by my house. I spotted it on their opening day and went back to buy a bunch. It was sold by piece and not as a set, so I bought what I could and will likely return for more. It's so cool! Some of the bottles are even from Detroit and Grand Rapids.

I hope to finish more craft projects soon! I will update as I do.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My First Betsey Johnson and GoJane Experience!

So, I had the pleasure of receiving not one, but TWO pairs of shoes in the mail this week! I was especially excited because I have never owned a pair of Betsey Johnson or GoJane shoes. I know Betsey Johnson makes quality items, but I had never even heard of GoJane until recently, and the shoes on their site almost seemed too good to be true for the prices listed!

I decided to document my experience with opening the shoes. Both pairs were ordered off of Amazon.

1. Betsey Johnson

I have had the Brritt wedge on my wishlist in red and purple for what seems like ages. The style really caught my eye, especially the beautiful roses coupled with the metallic backing. They are quite high at 5.5 inches, but with a 2 inch platform they aren't that bad.

When I ripped open the shipping envelope, I was delighted to see a bright pink box. I also LOVED the tissue paper! I definitely will be reusing both these items.

After pulling back the paper and unwrapping the shoes, I have to say they might be the most beautiful pair of shoes I have ever seen. The colors and design are so gorgeous, and they seem to be very quality shoes. Also - they fit perfectly! That is always a worry of mine. The shoe bottom isn't too wide so they take a bit of balancing, but overall the comfort isn't a major issue.

I LOVED the bottoms, even though you never see them!

The bows on the clasp were another cute and subtle touch.

The only thing I do not like about these shoes are the non-adjustable straps that go across the top of each foot - my feet/ankles are skinny and it doesn't fit snug to them when the adjustable strap is tightened and buckled. It isn't the end of the world, though, and they still stay on my feet regardless. Overall, I LOVE LOVE LOVE them and can't wait to wear them out somewhere nice.

2. GoJane

I found out about GoJane while browsing teal wedges on Amazon. I took a look at their website and the first thing I noticed were all the Jeffrey Campbell-style shoes for about 1/3 of the price. I dig bargains, but I also dig quality shoes. 

Upon looking at their website, I noticed they had a ton of cute styles for great prices. A lot of styles were out in my size, so I took that to mean people must be buying them. I fell in love with the suede wedge booties I found on Amazon, so I decided to give them a shot.

The only thing that initially irked me about GoJane is how they include "suede" in the names of shoes that aren't made of real suede - only faux. I have my fair share of fake suede shoes and real suede/leather mostly always holds up better. Although I was a bit disappointed at first, I am happy they were honest about the "faux" part first thing in the description.

The packaging was pretty nice. No fancy tissue paper for these, but that is okay. They still were individually wrapped, and that impressed me. I was happy to open the box and see the beautiful teal color of the wedges.

The first two things I noticed about these were the weight and the smell. They SMELL like suede, interestingly enough. They also are EXTREMELY light, and some may think that's cheap, but I don't mind so much. They are such a lovely color.

All the spikes seem to be well intact, so i am hoping they hold up. One thing that always impressed me about Sam Edelman was that I received extra jewels with applicable shoes in case some came off. I wish other shoe brands did this, but I suppose when the shoes are $50 instead of $200+, you can't complain (not that I paid that much for my Sam's, but they were that much originally). I should look into their return policies/warranty info in case a spike or two should fall off.

Another thing I discovered was that the zipper runs all the way down the shoe but only unzips to that point. I actually really like that design.

One thing I was not happy about was the little mark near the toe of the shoe. I don't know if it's a scuff or a stain or what, but rubbing my finger on it didn't get rid of it.

I was extremely pleased with how comfy these shoes were to walk in. These definitely could be everyday sort of wedges. I will have to test them out, but I think I could walk quite a ways in them without blisters or my feet hurting (well, in temperatures cooler than what they have been lately).

Overall, I am impressed and can't wait to test out the durability. I really want this brand to work because I like their shoe styles and I want to buy more in the future. I'll definitely update on this in the future. If they don't work out, at least I have my trusty Simply Vera shoe collection.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Long Weekend!

I carpool with my mom to work, and since she was out of town last Thursday and Friday, I had a nice 4-day weekend. Over said weekend I realized my license plate tag/registration was expired (I had to switch the title and it goofed everything up), so my weekend has been extended to 5 days and I am heading to the Secretary of State office shortly.

I did have the loveliest weekend, however, which I really needed. Between going to yard sales, thrift shopping, a family reunion, and going out for lunch with both sets of grandparents, I stayed pretty busy! My brother and I visited one set of grandparents up at the campground they live/work at during the summer. It was extremely hot and humid, but the area is so beautiful. Naturally we spent a lot of time in their air-conditioned camper (my kind of camping).

I had much success a yard sale - my mom and I found tons of yarn (pictured below) for super cheap! The elderly lady selling it only wanted .25 apiece - what a deal! My mom and I took the yarn we wanted and picked out some to donate to my great grandma's church quilting group. I immediately snagged that mint color - so pretty. For all this yarn (and more not pictured), a couple bags, cross stitch pattern books and floss, a brand new wok, and a puzzle for my grandma, I paid $10. Not bad at all.

We also visited a church rummage sale, which, in my opinion, is the best kind of sale, especially for craft supplies. I was delighted to find more cross stitch supplies and fabric for my picture frame matting project. They had a "fill a bag for $4" sale, so my mom and I got a bunch of clothes, craft supplies, and odds n' ends for $8! I tend to pick up cross-stitch kits when I see them for cheap, because even if I don't like the picture, I can still save the fabric, floss, and needle for later use.

I was so happy to find the cross stitch mini books - I like making the little pictures! Below is the fabric I found - not a ton, but still perfect for my use.

I also got this Ed Hardy perfume for $10, brand new (the house it was at had a lot of nice stuff, so I do believe it is the real deal). The lady at the sale also assured me it was real, and I believed her. I'm glad I did - I wore it yesterday and the scent lasted all day.

Although the picture frame on the right is from the rummage sale, I found the little frame on the left and the shoes at a cute little sale shop by my mom's house in Whitehall. I needed a new pair of shoes to replace a pair of mine that I've had for years and although they have not quite fallen apart, they are getting there. I paid $19 for the shoes (more than I would usually spend), but they are sturdy and cute and comfy. The little frame was only $2! I am going to see what cross stitch projects will fit in there, and perhaps buy more in the future.

As for projects, I have been hard at work on my cross stitch, doily, and picture frame matting. I have about 5 rounds to go on the doily and 3 cross stitch projects to finish. One is almost done, and the other two won't take long. I love giving gifts, and now I know a cute boy I can give crafts to. :)

My last purchase for the weekend was this pair of Simply Vera wedges (I LOVE this brand. I have them in black and they are SO comfy. I happened to see about 5 pairs of size 8 for 70% off at Kohl's! My other pair is 8.5, so I looked on the kiosk to see if any were available online. I discovered they were more expensive online! I tried on the 8s and was delighted to find they fit. Not that I NEED more shoes, but I couldn't pass them up! They only ended up being about $16. Plus, adding them onto my dad's purchase got him Kohl's cash. I can't wait to wear them out!

Speaking of, the other day my dad said "you have so many shoes but never wear them." Sadly, this is true. I have no place to wear them, really (at least not yet)! No one dresses up around here very often and I don't want to wear down a good pair of shoes just to run to Meijer. I don't have to dress up for work, and I have loved simply relaxing so much I haven't gone out a lot of places! When I move next month and actually spend time downtown and out with my friends, I plan on making use of my extensive shoe collection!

Lastly, I organized all my yarn, and boy, I have a lot of it. Sadly, all that's shown isn't even my whole collection! It makes me want to crochet forever. I love taking a pretty skein and turning it into a nice gift. I sorted through it and gave some of it to my great grandma. I will have more to look through once I get the rest of my supplies from my uncle's house. You can never have too much yarn, though...sometimes you only need a little bit of a certain color and it makes all the difference!

I look forward to finishing my projects this week. I will update when I do!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Every time I go to update this blog, the first thing I think to say is "Wow, I haven't updated in a while..."

So many things have changed since I last wrote, and believe me, they have been for the better. I finally officially graduated (With Honor, at that) and moved out of East Lansing for good! I wouldn't even say it was bitter fact, I was long ready to go. I didn't really have anyone to say goodbye to except my coworkers and my mentor.

It feels so good to be home. I never thought I would be so excited to be in Muskegon. Work keeps me busy (I transferred my job location, so now I work in Grand Rapids),  and because I commute for 40 minutes each way, it makes the day long! I can't complain though - I love my job and there are always plenty of things to keep me busy. Other than that, I've had lots of time to declutter and relax.
As far as crochet goes, I haven't started a lot of new projects. I have my hooks, but my supplies and yarn are between my dad's, mom's and uncle's. I did begin a bright yellow doily, and I am hoping to make quite a bit of progress on that next time I visit my mom (I left it there).

BUT I did start a new craft - cross stitching!! I have been working on an embroidery website for work, and knowing nothing about embroidery at the start (yes, I know how that sounds, but long story) I decided I should learn how to do it! My mom used to cross stitch, so she was a great resource. It was so incredibly easy to learn and I found more than half the supplies I needed at the Goodwill for SUPER cheap.

For my first project, I naturally chose a more difficult pattern that I found on Etsy. Still, it was easy to do, just time consuming. I LOVE the way it turned out and I LOVE the frame I found for it at the thrift store - the frame was only $1 and just happened to be the right size! The little things make me so happy.

I did purchase a magnet board at JoAnns with a 40% off coupon, and it was well worth the money. It makes it really easy to keep track of the areas you've completed.

My wonderful mother also found me a TON of floss at a yard sale for $1.50!! I categorized it all by number (and thankfully whoever owned it before I kept track of the numbers), and now I have this pretty little box full of all sorts of lovely colors.

My last completion was this cute little Boba Fett - I found a pixel picture which was easy to follow as a cross stitch pattern and I added the ground and heart (that's hard to see). I found this frame thrifting as well, and it was worth the $1.50 I paid. It is now sitting on my work desk.

My current project is a girl in a rain jacket holding an umbrella. I went thrifting for pattern books and hit the jackpot (especially when the sticker colors on them made them 50% off that day). The pattern for her was in one of those books. The great thing about cross stitch, like crochet, is that the patterns and supplies are easy to find at thrift stores. I've found hoops, thread, needles, TONS of books, fabric, and more for next to nothing.

Now that I don't have classes, I want to get into the habit of updating more often! Hope all is well with the rest of you!