Friday, May 27, 2011

Coming in June....

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Coming in June... the Joyfolie Women's French flat pattern, a pattern that we promise will not look like a glorified slipper. We will also include tips, lots of style variations and step-by-step photos. Think of the possibilities!
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And in the spirit of Memorial Day, a similarly red striped headboard from Farrow&Ball Photographed by Edward Addeo. Originally found here.
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Have a lovely holiday weekend!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sweater Revival DIY

If you are like me, then you too have about a half dozen plain, cream-colored sweaters and cardigans sitting in your closet. They are versatile, yes, but boring. Lately, I have been reaching for my plain-jane sweater and wishing it was a bit more interesting or at least a better color. Everyone seemed to enjoy the last tutorial, so I have another one for you. It is very inexpensive and quick, too. I'll show you how for under 5 bucks and about 15 minutes, you can turn your boring little sweater into something a bit more fun.
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Here is what you need:

old light-weight sweater in cream or white
1-2 yards of ruffled trim
small pack of Rit dye in your color of choice
rhinestones
matching thread
washable glue

Here is what my sweater looked like when I stated. Cute but pretty plain.
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Next, fill your washing machine 1/4 full with hot water and add your Rit Dye. Stir it with a spoon to make sure the dye is evenly disbursed. Then add the sweater and trim, and let the machine run it's course.

A few notes on using Rit dye in your machine:
1. less is more (I used only 1 teaspoon of teal)
2. watch for clumps! (this can ruin your garment)
3. always run your machine empty and on hot immediately after

Okay, so here is my sweater and trim after a wash in teal dye.
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Next, pin your ruffle trim onto the sides of the sweater. Pin and sew on with coordinating thread.
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After all my ruffles are sewn on...
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Next, grab your rhinestones. Now, you could cut off all the buttons and sew on new ones. That would yield great results, but there are two reasons I didn't do that. One, buttons are actually pretty expensive, especially cute ones. Some of my vintage buttons are $8 each, which would make the buttons alone for this project cost $56. Second, I didn't have enough cute buttons nor did I want to take 30 minutes to sew them all on.

Instead, I decided to glue a sparkly rhinestone on top of the button. I have a bunch of these flower-looking rhinestones lying around. I think I got them in the bridal aisle of Hobby Lobby.
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Next, I used a washable bead glue to glue the rhinestone on top of each bottom, like this....
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So, $1.99 in dye, $1 in rhinestones, $2 in ruffled trim and.... cute little embellished sweater.
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Before/After
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And finally a {bad!} photo of it being worn. I hope this inspires you to revive something in your own wardrobe!
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Eden's Bouquet

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You may have read that Jennifer {of Eden's Bouquet} and I are friends. The other day Mia wore her Eden's vintage swimsuit {pictured above} and got so many compliments. I thought it would be nice to share our relationship with Joyfolie customers. So, Jen and I worked up a little promotion for you! Get 15% off of your total purchase at Eden's Bouquet with the code JOYFOLIE at checkout. Yay!

Here are some more photos of Mia in the Heirloom Lace Swimsuit, available here.
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You can see all the photos I took of Mia in the swimsuit in this post. If you are a photographer, this is a great piece to recommend for a photo shoot :)

Another one of my favorite pieces from EB is the Emma Blouse. Here is a photo of Mia in it:
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Here are a few more piece of Eden's Bouquet. Get 15% off with discount JOYFOLIE this week only!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Teacher Gift

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Isn't this an adorable teacher DIY idea? It's made out of an old paperback. I think it would look even cuter with the edges painted in red water color. Check out the tutorial from Cheeky Mag Pie here.

On a different note, I feel like the summer snuck up me! I was working so hard on the new product launch, that I can't believe there is only a week left of school! I have a blog post with some fun ideas we do with our family over the summer that I will put together soon. If you have any other great DIY teacher gift ideas, feel free to share!

Time is Running Out

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Pre-order sales on our new firm soled shoes are about to end! We are going to close sales in June until the product arrives. We also have some customer appreciation codes available via our newsletter that will also end in May. So, take advantage while there is still time!

Take me shopping. Take me to subscribe to the newsletter.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday is a Good Day to....

TUESDAY
is a
good day to......

...plan your perfect getaway...
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...hang a happy banner...
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...buy a flowered pillow...
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...hang a pretty print...
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...eat a slice of rainbow cake...
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TUESDAY
is a good day
to be inspired...

...by life

.......by color!

I have always been a fan of dreaming big on a Tuesday!
Sunday, May 15, 2011

For the Love of the Bean - Upcycling Part II

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You may have read the last blog post in which I wrote about how I took a plastic Target bag and turned it into a pair of shoes. I really enjoy using materials in unexpected ways. {In fact, the common refrain from our manufacturer is, "Shoes aren't usually made this way." I take that as being on the right track ;) } Because the first upcycle project was so much fun, I thought I would do a few more. Since I love coffee and all things caffeinated, I figured a Starbucks coffee bag would be perfect for a reused/repurposed project.

As many of you are probably familiar with them, Starbucks bags are pretty sturdy and thick. So, it makes for a durable little pair of shoes. I used a Verona blend bag, so there are sayings about the nuances of "cocoa, roasty sweet" and "BOLD" that you can read on the shoes, along with script on the toe that reads "Can this be love?" {he, he}

Here is a photo of them worn:
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Along with the reduce/reuse concept, I love these newspaper flowers, elegant and understated...
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And the theme for a wedding featured here on 100 Layer Cake.
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Here is one more photo of the Starbucks shoes being worn:
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I received several questions about the Starbucks shoes. They are not something I will reproduce; they are just a fun, create project to get people thinking about reusing and upcycling. I am offering the one pair, size 6, via the Paypal link below. If you are looking to purchase Joyfolie shoes, you can buy a pair from our new line in size 4-13 available here. Also, you can buy/sell/trade our old shoe designs on our facebook fan page, found here. Our shoes hold their resale value very well; in fact, I have been a little shocked at what some of them have sold for on fan pages and eBay--think 6x the cost of what I sold them for! All the more reason to purchase our debut line of firm-soled shoes!

I have one more post of a pair of upcycled shoes, coming soon! Happy Monday!

**Starbucks Shoes are SOLD**
Thursday, May 12, 2011

Reduce, Reuse - Right on Target

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The other day I found an interesting website called The Reuser's Guide to Green Living. They had a contest (which has since ended) for items created out of repurposed; a.k.a. "upcycled" materials. The cork letters pictured above are one of the items featured on their site. I love the cork idea, and the concept of reuse in general! Long before I was making shoes, I was dragging home odd pieces of furniture, hideous artwork, and horrible chandeliers {honestly, the uglier the piece the better the challenge} and turn them into something a little more au currant. I love the idea of taking something discarded and making it note-worthy, and I also like the idea of minimizing waste and being a good steward of the planet.

Additionally, I find these type of challenges a true test of human innovation; like on Project Runway, when they need to make a dress out of newspaper or trash bags or on Design Star where they have to decorate a room using only supplies from a pet store. Interesting indeed!

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Along those lines, I thought why not do my own version. While, yes, I could use reclaimed fabric, we do that all the time, so I don't consider that particularly innovative. But why not create something that everyone would recognize, something unexpected, that looks like it was reused... a not so subtle nod to the discarded source. And--voila--interesting and very different pair of shoes. As for my reused materials, not too hard to guess...
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These were made from a Target bag! Not a cotton canvas bag, the regular, old, how-do-you-do plastic bag your groceries come in. I lined it with a special technique, and they are actually very durable! The feel is like a laminated cotton.
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Here is a picture of them worn....
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I have another pair of shoes, similarly created out of uniquely repurposed materials. I will post those pair next week. I will probably sell them both at that time, too.

reduce * reuse * recycle

:)
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mia and the Phantom Kitty

I have a parenting dilemma. Roughly three months ago now, Mia woke up in the middle of the night, trembling and distraught, about a "white kitty cat" outside her room. She was shaking and genuinely afraid, crawled into our bed and slept with us. Now, for a little background, our home has a tile roof and the front of the house is flanked by a veranda. The roof of the veranda is right below Mia's window. There is a white cat in our neighborhood that lingers by the front door; so, it's possible, I suppose, that this white cat was on the roof of the house looking into Mia's bedroom. I could imagine, since we don't have a pet cat, that if she saw one staring into her room, eyes a green glow from the evening light--this would be a bit frightening. After all, who likes to wake up in the middle of the night to find something staring at them? Even if it was only the neighborhood cat. As interesting as that scenario is, the more likely option is that Mia just had a nightmare about a white cat.

Either way, since that particular night three months ago, Mia has had a hard time sleeping in her room. At first, she would wake up regularly in the middle of the night, saying she was afraid and getting in bed with us. Other times, I would wake up in the morning to find her pressed against me. Now, I love my children more than my own life, but I also love a little bit of separation. So, we put the kabash on that scenario. But her fear of kitty cats persisted. One night, when trying to put her in her own bed, she said "the big mean kitty cat with red eyes" was in her closet. So, Robert gave her a special stuffed dog and told her it would protect her from the kitty cats. You know what she said? "Don't be ridiculous, Daddy, that dog can't even open his mouth!" She is happy if we drag her toddler mattress into the toy room off of the kids' rooms. Even then, she has us shut the door to her bedroom so "the kitty cat can't see her." Essentially, for the past several months, bedtime has become a struggle. After crying for a half hour last night, Robert's tender daddy-heart caved and he moved her mattress into the toy room again. But, honestly, this is getting ridiculous!

My parents even tried glow sticks. They bought some special glow sticks {pink ones.} They cracked one a-light and waved it in front of one their three Burmese cats. Sure enough, the cat took off like a bolt of lighting, afraid of the pink glow stick, but even with it glowing and tightly clutched in her first, Mia's bedroom that night was still a no-go.

Robert and I have discussed redecorating her room. She is getting a bit big for her toddler bed anyway... maybe if we redid her room and made it special... added a canopy and made her feel safe, she will like her room again. I will feel extremely frustrated, though, if after all that time and effort, she still refuses to sleep there. I suppose we could just hold the hard line and force her to sleep in her own bed, but I do feel that her fears are genuine {not an act} and I would hate to have to do that.

Here are some canopy beds we are considering for Mia's room... Obviously this is an adult's room (found here), but I think the netting is magical and the room feels cozy. I think this would be easy to recreate for a child.
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This canopy bed is sweet, too...
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This canopy bed was fashioned from a curtain and a piece of drift wood. I like the addition of the twinkle lights...
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What about you? Have any of your children had a lingering fear? What did you do to help them adjust and conquer their fears?
Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

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My mother and I, 1978

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taken by Robert - Aidan and I, when he was 5 days old

***

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.
A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty


A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people,
promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan


The phrase "working mother" is redundant. ~Jane Sellman

With what price we pay for the glory of motherhood. ~Isadora Duncan

Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
My mother.
~Ann Taylor

***

Wishing you had a Happy Mother's Day!
XO
Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Itch

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You may know or have read that my husband is in the wine business. Pre-kiddos, we took some the time to travel through Italy and France, staying at various vineyards. Now that we have two small children, we don't travel like we used to. Every once and awhile, though, something will trigger a memory... a beautifully rich cup of coffee, the scent of fresh rosemary, a picture of a stony, rural hill top, or a photo of the azure of the salty Mediterranean, and the memories of those travels--so other worldly--suddenly and vibrantly return. I am certainly not an expert of all things European, but what made our travels there so notable is that their country lifestyle is so different from ours. The pace of life is slower, the work week shorter... I think of it as more of an Epicurian lifestyle. And when those memories return, I start to get the itch: the itch to travel, or better yet, the itch to stretch past the typical day-to-day.

I rarely have time to read any blogs lately, but this morning, for the first time in a long time, savored a cup of French press coffee and bounced around online a bit. I found Stephmoto's blog and read about her story of purchasing a home in rural France {pictured above} and renovating it. It's interesting, indeed! I don't know if I would want to purchase a vacation home in Europe, but I have often thought it would be interesting and not too far reaching considering Robert's career to live in Italy for a year.

I think so often we can become mired in convention that we see life as a series of typical steps: college, married, house, kids, work {work, work, more work} aside from the annual 2 weeks of vacation, and eventual retirement. But just because that's how most people do it, doesn't mean it's how it has to be done. Why not live in Europe for a year? Or do what Blue Lily Photo {who just recently took our family pictures} is doing and take 9 months to travel around the world--and, yes, they are doing it with two small children!

Owning a business has taught me many interesting things, but one of the most notable is that this life God gave us is saturated with possibility! I want to go out there and seize it: take a risk, travel, have fun... live beyond the conventional 9 to 5, or more realistically, 7-6:30. Robert and I work so much and so hard that right now that we often feel we live to work, rather than work to live. But, we've committed to discussing weekly how we can adjust the pace of our life and make time of our dreams... create the life we want to impart to our children. Maybe that won't be living abroad, maybe it's just slowing life down enough to breathe, rest, and play more!

What about you? What are your dreams? How would you break convention? Maybe it's take your family on a really long mission trip? Or own a cabin by the lake? Negotiate a month-long vacation? I would love to hear...
Friday, May 6, 2011

Mia's First Hair Cut

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Many of you saw this picture I posted on Facebook last week. My precious Mia, three and half years old, used to have hair that had never in her life been cut. She had soft, loose little curls a little shy of half-way down her back. She hated for me to brush them, and I usually had to threaten her that I would cut her hair like Dora {this horrified her} if she refused to let me.

So, you can imagine my surprise when she came running to me last week, with an impish little grin and half her hair missing! My sweet girl, at the tender age of three, is proficient enough with scissors to cut half her hair boy short. I must admit, in hindsight, I was a little dramatic about it... might have even let a sob escape. Mia said, "But it will grow now, right?" I told her it would, but it would take a long time. "Like a day?" and so she was a little beside herself {as shown in this picture} as I explained how long it takes for hair to grow.
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Her anxiety wore off quickly, and she was very excited about getting her hair cut... since she had watched Aidan and Daddy, but never gotten one herself. A lot of people asked me if I fixed it myself, but trust me when I say we needed professional help. So, in the midst of a hefty list of business to-do's, we made way for the salon. Mia was happy--even exultant--through her whole cut.
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She is so unlike her brother, who used to equate getting his hair cut to Chinese water torture or being strung up by his toes. He finally stopped crying during the ordeal around the age of five. I figured that while we were there, we might as well hit two birds with one stone. But {as you can see} Aidan is still quite somber about the experience and none too pleased...
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And so, when it was all said and done, Mia had a choppy little pixie:
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It's still pretty crocked and the beautician debated with me about cutting off all the curls, but I just couldn't do it! I think Mia looks a little like Audrey Tautou now. Robert thinks I should have gone with the hair dresser and had it cut like the Harry Potter girl, but the thought of cutting off all her curls was just too sad!

As for Mia, she seems very satisfied with herself! At first, she looked at it long and hard and said, "Well... it's not really what princesses wear and it's a little like a boy... But I like it!" Now, she goes everywhere saying, "I can't wait to show them my new hair cut." And then she leads in with, "Yeah, I did it myself and Mommy cried!" Ah! My girl!

When I posted the picture, right after Mia cut it, I got almost 150 comments, and I read all of them! It was so fun and interesting. One mom posted how she fell asleep and her daughter cut HER hair. I have to say, that would be pretty hard to recover from! Also, a hair dresser pointed out that many young girls are cutting their hair because of the movie Tangled. That was definitely the case with Mia, and she told me later, she was going for that look... which, she actually did a pretty good job of achieving!

I know, it's only hair, but it made for an interesting day indeed! I kept all her curls and tied them with a ribbon. I suppose, with little girls, it is to be expected! Here is one more photo of Mia in her new, pixie hair do:
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