The vision vs. the reality.

Most recent discovery/ aha! moment: the equation of elements combined to create an ideal blogging lifestyle is not a part of my natural order. I have yet to figure out how to corral the thoughts running off of my mind in an organized fashion. My mind goes over whatever the speed limit is at all times. I know I have some good ideas, but when it comes to executing them…that’s a different story. In conclusion, I can dream up a wondrous, sometimes way too involved plan, but making it come together for show is another story.

This current blog post shows a more realistic view of my life. I didn’t plan to document this. I simply acted on an idea within ten minutes of pondering it. No organization, no thought-out wordage to accompany my pictures. This is off the cusp of my brain without any filters.

Since starting ‘a blogging lifestyle’ in late 2016, I’ve learned a lot; learned that starting something is always the hardest part. My life has changed drastically in ways too good to describe. Raise your hand if you’ve sifted through your daily activities trying to make some sort of sense, or organization, out of them. Add to that ambitions too large for one day’s worth of work. (Good things take time, sometimes, a lot of time!)

Once upon a time, there was a day in which I finally got my hour. My ‘hour’ was my time to do whatever I wanted. It was a long time coming-as far back as figuring out my teenage self as a high school junior. Between college and jobs and moving and life, I hadn’t had my ‘hour.’ I’d come up with a plan to start a blog. So, I did it. And it is a far cry from what I imagined. Because I’m a complex individual and can’t make things easy for myself, I’ve struggled to hone in on what it is my blog is really accomplishing. Or, rather, what I’d envisioned for it; has it come to fruition?

In lieu of posts that’ve paved the way of my blog since the beginning, here’s a new kind! A new one to start blogging as a lifestyle. Unhinged, unrestrained and honestly unorganized to the naked eye.

Here we go: On a whim, a hope and a prayer! Nah, just kidding. On a whim is pretty accurate though. I’m working on Project Life. Check it out here if you’re not familiar. I waited until the right time to do with it what I thought would be the best way to represent my life. Well, that never happened. One important thing I’ve learned is to just stop waiting. Stop talking about doing things and just do them. Really, there’s not enough time in the day, or a lifetime, to wait for the right moment for everything.

I’ve taken what I’ve discovered about myself throughout my life, my skills, my likes, my favorites and began the journey of showcasing my gathered bits and pieces.

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I’m the type of person that needs tools laid out in front of me or I’ll forget they’re there. The same thing goes for jewelry, except my rings. Ironically, my wedding ring hasn’t fit since I was pregnant during the summertime (last year). I have yet to get it resized.

College was a tease because the work spaces I was blessed with were amazing. Trying to recreate a semi-similar version of those in real life is laughable. Maybe unless you picked the right place at the right time and got lucky. I got lucky, but not in the sense of studio space. That’s still a work in progress.

-Kalli

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Did I say I’d try to keep it up?

I believe I did! I said I’d try to keep up a blogging pace. Not a bi-weekly pace, just a pace. Well, that did not happen. I think the trick is is to implement a routine for blogging into my daily life. I just haven’t figured that out yet. It’s a lifestyle, that’s what I keep telling myself. I’m working towards it. With a child, each day is not like the last; there’s always something new or a bit different happening.

-Kalli

Life is full of surprises.

A year ago I never would have imagined where I’m at today and how my blogging plans took a different course. About a year ago exactly, I launched this blog. Diligently, I posted about three times per week, if not four, an important rule of thumb in the blogging world, consistency and frequency. The blog was my project and my only concern, other than work and general life activities.

My husband and I had been planning on taking on a puppy, something we’d talked about for some time. We thought that’d be a great way to start a family. Our gorgeous Goldendoodle Dottie joined us at home in December. Little did I know how much work a puppy required of me. I had never owned a dog before, just a cute chinchilla. Well, it turns out that Goldendoodles are extremely friendly and energetic, but also high energy and require quite a bit of attention and training! I suppose that’s true for many dog breeds, but it sure seems like it really applies to the cute Poodle/ Golden Retriever mix. Before Dottie came home, we thought it’d be fun to make a website with photos and stories about her. We even thought about making tee shirts with her face on them. I was able to keep that up for a few months. An integral part of this story though is that two weeks after Dottie arrived, we discovered we were expecting another addition, a cute lil’ baby! No, not a baby dog, an actual baby! Wow, what did I get myself into?

Morning sickness didn’t wait long to grace me with its presence everyday for the next 3 months. Needless to say, this is about where my working projects online, and offline, came to a halt. Once the first trimester ended, I got some energy and motivation back, but it still didn’t compare to my pre pregnancy stamina.

Today, my child is finally asleep, after about five hours of on and off fussing. So, I’ve managed to fit in this quick post. Maybe I’ll be able to keep it up!

Kalli

Ribbons, beads & a lampshade.

Instead of resuming the 30 day project, I switched gears to creating a project for the nursery (among many others to come, I’m sure).

Last year I stumbled upon a wonderful vintage lamp. The lampshade fabric was in need of an overhaul, but the lamp base was really cool. Unfortunately, the lamp was knocked over and the beautiful base broke! I knew I could find a use for the shade, so I kept it. Low and behold, I’ve found a use for it! I must admit, Pinterest is one website I truly enjoy. Thus, the idea for this project was inspired by a few different things I found while pin surfing.

These are the steps I took to create this whimsical decoration:

  • I spray painted the frame with Rustoleum. After I removed the rust-stained fabric, I cleaned it up with a wire brush and then painted it.      
  • To gather supplies, I found vintage beads at a local antique store. Then I gathered fabric from shirts at a thrift store. Finally, the ribbon I chose came from Michael’s.

          

  • The first step from this point was prepping the fabric. I ripped the shirts into strips. Then, I covered each lamp frame ‘prong’ with the fabric strips by wrapping them. A hot glue gun was used to fasten the hold (and for everything else to0-the ribbon and beads).
  • From here, I began to string and wrap ribbon around the frame. This was a trial and error process. I eventually removed the original ribbon and restrung it around the frame for a better hold and a cleaner look.    
  • Using the vintage bead strands, I restrung combinations of them on stretchy jewelry string I have on hand and tied the strands to the frame.
  • Then, I embellished the corners with buttons and beads and draped some fabric over some of the sides of the frame to alter the look.  
  • Finally, I finished with tying the leftover beads in the center of the frame so that when it hangs like a mobile, it’ll have dangly fun colors and shapes to show off.
  • The very last step is to string the lampshade to the ceiling, which I have yet to do. I’ll post a grand finale picture when the rest of the nursery is set up.
  • There are no pictures of applying the ribbon because that process is entirely up to you and the particular look you’re going for. I didn’t want an entirely ‘shabby chic’ look, so I mixed it up with ripped fabric, but polished ties of ribbon. The colors used create some uniformity, but otherwise, the repetition of the ribbon is primarily random. So are the beads, buttons and draped fabric!   

Thanks for reading! I’m getting my groove back as my puppy becomes more behaved and my body returns to normal (except for a growing middle)!

-Kalli

What pregnancy feels like.

It’s time to stare down the elephant in the room and explain what has gone on around here.

When I started this blogging thing back in October, I thought I had established a pretty good posting schedule. The content was evolving, and has taken on a new direction. This seems like a natural course as you discover what it really is you’d like to share with others. I’m brand new to blogging. There’s a lot more I need to learn to polish up what I’ve shared as well as to keep improving.

Once our puppy Dottie arrived, things got a bit hectic. I was still able to post regularly, but completing my projects for the challenge I assigned myself (the 30 day project) became trickier. About a week into Dottie’s arrival, I noticed I was very tired. Assuming the fatigue was a result of this new puppy, I didn’t think too much of it.

Well, things were about to change again. Pregnancy greeted us just as our new puppy had two or three weeks earlier. Wow! Little did I know, the effects of pregnancy would hit me like a ton of bricks. Literally.

Pregnancy is like nothing I’ve experienced before. It’s an odd thing that can give you feelings of accomplishment and excitement, yet loneliness and frustration at the same time. For weeks I beat myself up for not being able to accomplish hardly anything I used to on a daily basis. Forget posting on the blog, updating DottietheDoodle.com, in addition to babysitting the pup, doing chores and going to work…and everything else in between. I couldn’t even make it to the gym anymore. My routine slowly unraveled until I had no routine anymore. It’s not just that my routine had disappeared, I felt so sick that some days it was a triumph to move off the couch and take Dottie for walk.

Although I know at the end of this arduous string of 9 months (oh my gosh, that’s scary) we’ll have another spectacular addition to our family, it is hard to get through each day at this point. Some days are better than others, but it is never easy. I think adding a puppy to the mix makes things extra difficult. In fact, I know it does. Again, there is light at the end of the tunnel, however, in the present it is still the trickiest situation I’ve ever had to deal with.

There are probably many things people don’t tell you about being pregnant. Just know, you aren’t alone and there are fellow pregnant women that feel the same way you do. Not all pregnancies are difficult. It depends on the person. Let’s sum up some pros and cons, from this pregnancy in particular:

Cons:

  • fatigue
  • sickness, for sake of clarification, morning sickness is non-existent, it’s ALL DAY sickness
  • depleted energy levels
  • painful breasts
  • ligament pain from the stretching of the uterus & other inside changes
  • hormone fluctuations
  • acne due to hormone fluctuations
  • …mood & attitude changes due to hormone fluctuations! Need I say more about hormones?
  • difficulty doing & completing regular activities you’d normally not have issues with
  • the desire to exercise isn’t there
  • food aversions & cravings
  • loss of appetite, especially with nausea & vomiting
  • catching a killer cold; creates more mucus & makes you feel more sick
  • inability to take most medications
  • inability to swallow pills due to an increased gag reflex

Pros:

  • creating & growing a person is a pretty neat thing!
  • adding a new addition to the family
  • planning your future & growing with your family
  • feelings of excitement for what awaits
  • the ability to get ample rest really helps
  • people who see you everyday are very understanding and helpful
  • some people can’t get pregnant, it’s good to be thankful
  • people all around you have done the same thing, ask for help if you need it
  • they say, typically after the first trimester, things get better
  • this list doesn’t catch up to the con list, but I bet after pregnancy is all said and done, the pros are infinite!

I expect that within the next few months I might be able to make it back to a somewhat regular schedule. I hope to resume my projects as well. I included a picture of my supplies, not getting any use. Sometimes life gets in the way. Isn’t that the beauty in it though?

-Kalli

Whoa, it’s been awhile!

It kills me to not have posted in so long. It’s about time to get back to it.

The last place I left off was beginning to work on project #3. My timeline is off by quite a bit. I projected that by March I would have completed my 30 day project. It’s probably time to push that back. My pace is slower these days, so we’ll just work one project at a time. Maybe I’ll be done by August! Good heavens, I hope before then though!

Project #3 incorporates a snazzy vintage blazer & belt.

Sketch Vintage blazer + belt

Stay tuned for steps on placing everything together.

-Kalli

January is not such a fun month.

Feeling ill? Me too.

I’ve fallen off the wagon the past week and a half. I haven’t felt good at all. I have a feeling there are plenty of people who haven’t been feeling good. I know some people I work with haven’t. This is the best excuse I’ve got: no energy, feeling sick and the sniffles. This concoction = not a very productive me. I’m working on the ideation for project #3, but have yet to put it into action; hope I’m feeling better soon.

Pinterest remedies for illness

-Kalli

Jewelry vignette with a twist.

So, project 2 varies a little from the previous vignettes (clothing collages) I’ve made. This one incorporates materials that aren’t strictly clothing or accessories. It’s more like what you see when you think of the word collage.

One big goal I have is to always try to eventually incorporate my digital work into things I make, if they aren’t already digital. With this project, I’ve added some other elements, such as digital aspects and items & pieces that aren’t clothing or accessory related.

This time around, the photographs don’t depict step by step. This is what I did and the items & supplies I used:

Supplies:

  • large doily
  • lace trim
  • vintage, fake costume jewelry*
  • needle & thread
  • thumbtacks
  • drawer pull
  • digital image
  • Modge Podge
  • E6000 Industrial Strength Adhesive
  • frame
  • black acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • Q-tip
  • canvas backing

Steps:

  1. Fit the doily and lace trim to the frame backing, decide on a layout for every element in the collage
  2. Adhere canvas backing to the frame backing
  3. Paint the frame w/ black paint
  4. Glue down all pieces with E6000
  5. Print and slice up the digital image to fit the collage, adhere & cover w/ Modge Podge
  6. Place thumbtacks and thread, use a Q-tip to fasten thumbtacks with glue if needed
  7. Pop into the frame and wha-lah!

*I did some research about costume jewelry to try to place the necklace in this piece to an era. I gathered that it was most likely made in the 60s as part of a revival of Victorian style (most likely revived from the 1910s). The Victorian Revival jewelry is typically in the form of plastic, resin or engraved & antiqued metalwork and other hardware. Now, when I mention fake costume jewelry this is what I mean. You’ve got cream of the crop jewelry such as diamonds, gold and silver. Then you’ve got costume jewelry, very upscale-looking replicas that are highly collectible. However, many costume jewelry movements stemmed from other jewelry types such as plastics, color, cameos & figures. Lastly, there is jewelry made very cheaply and falls below the class of real costume jewelry. This jewelry is probably the most common kind, found in department stores (outside of the glass case) or mall shops.

Some information about costume jewelry courtesy of a book titled, “vintage jewelry design: classics to collect & wear,” by Caroline Cox (2010).

Doily & lace trim Stapled canvas to frame backing Digital imageJewelry vignette/ collage

-Kalli

Slowly, but surely.

Project #2 of 30 is underway.

Stay tuned for the reveal, which will hopefully be on Tuesday! I do apologize for the pace I’m running at the past few weeks, I’ve felt a bit under the weather. I suppose freezing winter temperatures and lack of sleep due to puppy sitting can do that to you pretty easily.

Anyhow, slow and steady wind the race, right? Have a good start to the week and don’t forget to look at the day with an open mind.

-Kalli

Retro tie on the wall.

The retro tie piece is finished.

Although, I’m not as pleased with the execution of this piece compared to the others I’ve done. This is the result:

Retro tie on the wall

The issues with this piece include:

  • the fabric backing isn’t taut enough
  • the frame didn’t take well to the staple gun & staples

I tacked the fabric backing to the frame itself. I have done this before with the very first clothing collage I made, but the frame it’s in is rock solid. The frame for this snazzy retro tie is smaller, thinner and not as hefty (cheaper). The staples sort of bit through the frame. I have a feeling that had I stapled the fabric to the very outer edge of the frame instead of the inner edge (where the glass sits), it would have taken better. We’ll try it different next time, after all, I’ve got 29 more to go!

I borrowed one of my husbands vintage tie clips to complete the look.

Retro tie & vintage tie clip

After all is said and done, this piece doesn’t have many elements to it, is simple, the colors pop, but it’s not quite ready for display because of the problems encountered during the process.

Psst, this is a picture of my favorite piece yet.

Belt & tie

Take a peek at some of the research I’ve done. A goal of mine during this project is to accurately represent vintage pieces with other elements from the same time period & trend period. I know fashion, but not really anything this deep yet!

Pieces & parts Vogue

-Kalli