Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall is Here!

I am so excited fall is here! I love this time of year. As the leaves begin to change and it starts to get cold, I find myself spending a lot of time at the farmer's market. It is so important to support local farmers and businesses. Capturing all of the colors of fall is so much fun and especially at the market, it makes me so hungry! Here are some snapshots from my most recent trip:

As fall continues to arrive I'll be sharing more pictures of the market that captures everything fall! 

What is your favorite season?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Birthday Wrap Up

My birthday was this past Saturday but I feel like I've been celebrating since the week before and am still celebrating. It never seems to last for only one day. With all of the coupons and freebies I am still enjoying the fruits of my birthday month! I have to give a shout out to my big sister Eva for my Bella slow cooker. It's so fantastic and when I use it for the first time you guys will get to see it!

People always ask me how I am able to get all of this free stuff. I simply let them know they can have it too simply by signing up for emails and rewards programs. It's just that easy. Having to redeem a free birthday gift from both Sephora and Ulta, I decided to find a facial mask that would help exfoliate my skin. Here is what I ended up with:

|| L to R || Sephora Anti-Fatigue & Energizing Mask | CK One Mascara in Black | Makeup Set with Eyeliner, Lipstick and Mascara | Origins Charcoal Mask ||

The CK One was my free birthday gift from Ulta (it's a full size tube!) and the makeup set was my free gift from Sephora. You can never have enough mascara! I have tried out the CK One and it is perfect for daily wear. It goes on quick and easy, but my favorite element is you can adjust the mascara brush to maximize your look. 

I have also tried the Origins Charcoal Mask and it left my skin feeling so smooth. I instantly noticed a difference in my face. It felt moisturized but not oily. I used it Sunday and a few days later it still feels like I just used it yesterday. It is my new weekly mask. 

I look forward to trying to my other goodies. Of course I didn't just go on the hunt for beauty items, but I found some fun pieces for fall that I cannot wait to wear:

|| Cardigan, Jeans, & Sweaters - Forever 21 | T-Shirts - H&M | Traveling Sketch pad - Birthday gift from my friend Julia ||

|| Boots - Aldo "Serinna" | Necklace & Ring - Forever 21 |Scarf - Birthday gift | Michael Kors bag & key chain - Birthday gift from my other older sister De'Adra ||

There were a few other gifts I received but I think the best part of my birthday was being able to relax and be thankful for seeing another birthday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sew In Love: New Sewing Project! - Tapestry Coat

Sometime I can get a little too inspired and end up with so many ideas I have to chip at them one by one. Whenever I sew, I take particular interest in jackets and dress. I don't know what it is that draws me to both, but I'll put together a crazy jacket or a dress with tons of pieces before I will sew a pair of pants or shorts (leggings are my exception because they take less than an hour for me to make start to finish).  

Unique pieces can come from complex construction with simple fabrics or simple construction with a stand-out fabric. In this case my sewing project, a winter jacket, lies somewhere in between the two. The fabric is unconventional, but the jacket has elements that make it one-of-a-kind. Last fall/winter tapestry fabric was huge and in everything. Some of that trend is still lingering in different places. 

I started my hunt for the fabric first, hoping it would inspire the actual jacket, I went to a local fabric that sold all types of fabric hoping to find what I was looking for, only to come up empty. Even with all of the fabrics and looking in all sections of the store, nothing grabbed my attention. So I figured the only way I can find what I needed was to step outside the box and head to an upholstery store that had a wide variety of tapestry fabric. I found a lot of fabric choices there (and then some) and ended up settling with fabric below. 

The more I look at this fabric the more inspired I get. The process of designing a look for this fabric took some time. Although it looks very "old" the key is in the construction elements and how I make this fabric come to life. There were a few requirements I wanted to include with this jacket: 1) an over-sized hood, 2) a fitted waistline, 3) to feel modern, yet Victorian, and 4) some type of lacing, (like you see on a corset), either on the sides or back. Taking this into account, I sketched up a jacket and came up with this:

At some point I will add color to the final sketch, but this is a great starting point. For this style jacket, I will be creating my pattern from my slopers, so this will be completely custom.  Slopers for my non-sewers are basically patterns created from my measurements that are used to create everything from pants, coats, dresses, shirts, etc. These are the starting points I use for any home sewing that I do. Sometimes I'll manipulate an existing pattern if it is along the lines of what I'm creating. It's easier using that method sometimes because pattern creation can take awhile to develop. I'm not worried with this jacket because for me it is pretty straightforward. I'll spend most of my time adding buttons more than anything else.

I plan on documenting my progress to show you all my process for creating patterns. Being The Couture Butterfly I think it is important to share with you all my sewing adventures. Some are easier than others. Many take quite a bit of time. I hope you all will enjoy this journey with me as I sew and create another fantastic creation. 

Do you all have any projects you would like to accomplish?

Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY: 3-Tier Wall Sorter for Mail Storage

I have been on a fierce quest to get organized. It's not that I wasn't before, but it makes life so much easier the more organized things are. One of my bigger tasks was to redo my fabric area. The cube storage system I have by ClosetMaid has made all the difference in the world. Not only does my sewing room look neater, but I can efficiently find what I'm looking for without wasting time figuring out where I stored it in the first place. My other creative area I store the rest of my fabrics and paint supplies are in a bookshelf-turned-clothing-storage-turned-TV-shelf-turned-creative station - yes I know it had been many things. It is a very versatile and transformable piece of furniture.

Mail can be a pain when you get it but don't have time to look at it right away. I prefer to be able to have a place to keep my mail - like coupons and magazines. Sometimes there are not enough hours in the day to do everything and that includes reading mail. It started piling up on my dresser to the point where it was about to topple over. Instead of leaving it there to turn into a mountain of mail, the best way to keep it in line was to sort and stack.

I searched the Internet for ways to organize and I stumbled across this shelf storage from The Container Store. This 3-Tier Mesh Wall Sorter has been a huge help with maximizing some of my unused wall space and holding all of my mail. I headed to my local store to see how it looked and it fit perfectly for what I needed.

(The direct link to this item is here.)

White is a very polished look, but for me it is a little too polished and needs more color.  A lot more color. So what did I do? I grabbed my cans of spray paint and had a colorful time. 

My work space was outside - which is the best ventilation. There is an old bench in the backyard, so it has become my painting station. If you want to spray paint and don't have a spare bench, a large piece of cardboard is just as good.

I started with lavender, then neon yellow, black, and later I added pink. The color possibilities are endless. When involving color, it is completely up to you to determine what you want. I know most of are thinking why not add in teal to my shelf? You will see why I decided to switch it up.

So this is how it ended up. I love the pop of color all over. This sorter came with all the hardware required to mount it. I recommend using a power screwdriver to help. It makes a world of difference and will save your arms, (I speak from personal experience).  Here is the final result.

I mounted it right by the door, which is optimal so it won't find its way to any other part of my room without me moving it. The color combination compliments the wall very well and my coupons, letters, and magazine appreciate not being in a giant pile but organized for easy access.

How do you store you mail?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Birthday Wishlist!

Someone I know very well has a birthday coming up! It's me! So it's my favorite time of year and the best part about my birthday is the multitude of inspiring pieces for the new fall season. I enjoyed making this collage using PicMonkey. I didn't even have to create an account to use it!

This is such an easy site to use and create using collages. I admit PicMonkey was more efficient than using Photoshop. As much as I have used Adobe, there was too much fuss trying organize photos and rearrange items to fit how I wanted them too. There are so many different choices to give your collage a personalized feel including inserting your own creations. I am using PicMonkey from now on for all my collage needs. even if you are doing an inspiration board it is perfect and so simple to use!

Now onto the beautiful creation I made using PicMonkey:

1. Sweater || H&M || - I love this sweater! The diamond print on it, although large, it doesn't take away from the casual chic.

2. Serinna Boots || Aldo || - I have been stalking these boots since I saw them in a fashion magazine. Aldo makes really stylish, yet comfortable boots and I am eager to get these on my feet.

3. Purple Velvet Skirt || Sewing Project! || - Velvet fabric has been haunting my existence since the past season. I made a pair of leggings using crushed velvet but I've been wanting to create a skater skirt using regular stretch velvet. I can't wait to get the fabric.

4. Slow Cooker || Bella || - I was in Walmart a few days ago and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this cooker. Not only is it the best color in the world (and my favorite) but it has received great reviews and is under $40!

5. LIGHTS Little Machines (F) | Clean Bandit New Eyes (R) || Vinyl Records || - There is no greater way than to get the party started than with an upbeat record. I am a fan of LIGHTS and have recently become addicted to "Rather Be" by Clean Bandit. Both would be guaranteed to stay on my record player for the long hall.

6. Gummy Bear Studs || Vinca USA (Nylon) || - When I saw these I could not resist adding these to the list. They are a combination of two things I love teal and gummy bears! So adorable!

7. OtterBox Case for iPhone 5 || OtterBox || - I figured I'd eventually buy one of these since they protect your phone from literally everything, not to mention it would be hard to loose your phone with a case as bright as that!

8. "Cosby Sweater" || EBay || The one thing I look forward to when it gets cold is the ability to wear sweaters. I love all kinds of sweater, but I especially love bright sweaters that resemble ones that Bill Cosby used to wear on TV. The downside is they are usually men's sweaters and have to be tailored to fit, but I don't mind because the colors are undeniably fierce!

Do you have a  wishlist? This is mine!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Dark Horse

I always look forward to September for a number of reasons: 1) It is the beginning of the new fashion season! 2) It is the start of fall fashion - which is my favorite style season and 3) the most important - it's my birthday month! (Don't worry it hasn't happened yet!) Unfortunately where I live, the fantastic south, the weather will not be chilly here for a while. And because of that, I'll have to begin my fall shopping online. I was in a clothing store not too long ago and talked with one of managers. She was telling me depending on the region you live in, it can determine when certain styles of clothing will arrive in store. So since it is still toasty here, it may be a month or more until fall clothing will get here.

On a rare cool day, I decided to imagine if it were fall, how would I like to rock it. My American Apparel Disco Pants are a fall  (actually an all-season - they're so shiny!) staple that never go out of style. Here I paired them with a bodysuit and my rocking horse shoes.

|| Bodysuit: Forever 21 | Pants: American Apparel | Rocking Horse Shoes (from Hong Kong) | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters | Earrings: Island Passage ||

Are you ready for fall? I am!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Art Fun - Painted Mannequin

There are times that I get in a really artistic mood. I'll start sketching new ideas stuck in my head or clothing to make at some point. When I'm feeling really inspired I paint. I'll attack anything I can get my hands on and splash it with color. You guys have seen I've already done that with my boots here. So now I took this poor defenseless mannequin head and brought it some color.

Before I painted it, I use this head to store my hats that needed to stay shaped. Now I leave it uncovered because I don't want to cover up the design. This is a great way to create functional art. You can style it anyway you want. The limits are endless!

At some point I would like to paint my torso mannequin but I hadn't decided on the exact design concept. I may do a concept piece that tells a story or it may end up like my boots!

Here is what you need:

- Foam mannequin head ( I bought mine from here)
- Paint (here I used my acrylic paints with both matte and glossy finishes)
- 2 Paintbrushes ( 1 medium size brush for coloring, 1 smaller brush for outlining)
 - A cup of water
- Sealer (optional - I didn't use one but it's up to you if you want to protect the design)

Here is the final result!!

I enjoyed painting this during a relaxing evening. I left some of the mannequin white and it gave it more dynamic. I loved how it turned out I left the hat off of it. I took my time to be in the moment and now I'm ready to paint something else!