Friday, April 27, 2012

Pottery Barn Knock-Off - Faux Spring Flowers

Spring has been in the air since February here in Southern California. That's when the cherry blossoms came and went, and when my seasonal allergies started. But even someone like me who has a love-hate relationship with the first seasonal blooms can appreciate their beauty. What better way to enjoy seemingly perpetual spring than to bring a little of it indoors?

I mentioned in the last post how I work near a shopping district that is full of fashion temptation. Well, that goes for home fashions as well. Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn are all within lunch-break walking distance. And what a temptress Pottery Barn is. There's even a "Friends" episode about it ("The One with the Apothecary Table").

Since February I've been admiring Pottery Barn's faux foliage display. Healthy bunches of blossoms and bright green leaves, simply bursting out of the most adorable vintage French milk pails or what-have-you. The white cherry and the white dogwood were my favorites.

And if I could only take them home with me they'd brighten my home without making me drippy and sneezy. They even showed up in a little catalog mailer at the office to tempt me more. Also featured in the little catalog was the price: about $50 per branch! Even cheaper versions at the craft store were $9, which was steep if I wanted more than one.

Obviously, this blog is about a girl on a budget, so I had to find a way to get my flowers for cheap. Time for an adventure in Pottery Barn knock-off DIY.

Finding the bare branches was easy. I simply walked outside with an old pair of scissors and lopped some nicely shaped branches off the hibiscus bush in the front yard and the oak tree out back.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIY Dye: Bootcut Mint Green Jeans

I work in a dangerous area. I don't mean hardhats and power tools dangerous, I mean spending-grocery-money-on-clothes dangerous. That's right, I work in a shopping district. Within two blocks of my office there are Banana Republic, Zara, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and H&M, just to name a few. Lunch breaks can be a time of great temptation.

I'm proud of myself that I usually come back empty-handed. I manage this by using shopping excursions not to buy, but to gather ideas and inspiration. A spring trend that I've seen in many stores (and all over Pinterest) is bright colored jeans. My favorite color I've seen is a very spring-like mint color. Looking at it just makes me think of big deep swimming pools and spoonfuls of mint-chip ice cream. Oh so yummy.

There's only one problem. All these bright minty jeans only seem to come in skinny cut. I love skinny cut, but it isn't the most flattering style on me (wide hips) so I try to avoid it. Also, most of them are pretty pricey.

Here are some examples:

Hudson Collin Mint Jeans an Neiman Marcus $165

Mint Green Insight Beanpole Skinny Jeans at Urban Outfitters $89

GUESS? Brittney Skinny Aqua Wash at Macy's $67

But as I always say, if they don't make it the way you want it, make it yourself. (I totally always say that...I swear.) So I decided to dye my own mint green jeans.

I was off to the thrift store again, this time in search of white jeans to dye. I tried on a few pairs until I found two that fit. I had intended to only buy one, but one pair was 50% off. Usually I try not to be a sucker for a deal, but at the thrift store this means I got a pair of Tommy Hilfiger carpris for $3! A pair of Express bootcut jeans set me back about $6.