How To Make a Festive Critter Tee

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Take the unloved clothes in your closet and refashion them into 
sparkling holiday pieces that are a little less (yawn...) and a lot more (yes, please!). 

how to make a festive critter tee tutorial via Kristina J blog

Every winter, I get sucked in by the adorable critter tee's in the window displays at my favorite stores. When I decided it was high time I tried to make one myself, I was pleasantly surprised at the large selection of iron-on transfers at Jo-Ann's. There were lions, tigers, bears...oh, my! And even the occasional panda. I chose the fox because I though the red would look great against my striped J.Crew turtleneck that I've owned for years but not worn once because the neck was too loose.

Rather than spending $5 for a package of sequins, I stock up on sequined tops or skirts from the girl's clearance section at Target. You get way more for less money and the product is generally more on point than what's being offered at the craft store.

Wearing: Rugby Layers

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dress:  Kristina J. 
Cardi, belt:  Target
Jacket:  Aeropostale
Watch:  AE

Generally, November is nothing but dark skies and rain so I'm blown away with how beautiful it still is in my part of the world. It almost makes me sad to leave my (sometimes) beloved Midwest for Hawaii next week...almost--but not really. 
I'm going to help a girlfriend move to army base housing before her husband returns next month from a tour in the Middle East. We're gonna transform that house into a perfect little love nest for the two of them and their awesome baby. 
I've got some cool guest posts going live while I'm away, so I hope you enjoy! 

Wearing: Shine Through

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Skirt and headband:  J.Crew
Sweater:  Target
Shirt:  Anthro Shine Through
Boots:  Nicole Miller

The first thing I do when I snag a new book is skip to the last page to read the's like a personal peek into the life of the author and well-written ones always make me feel like I've been invited to understand the complexities of their lives. 
My Thanksgiving Day acknowledgement of the fabulous in my life:

First things first. I thank God for words...Words are so yummy and I'm glad I don't have to rely on pictures alone to communicate my emotions.
Studhubs. Thanks for the challenges and support and being generally awesome. 
Loads of love to mom and dad who are such incredible cheerleaders and always encourage me to be strange (because anything else would be boring). 
To anyone in uniform willing to walk into danger so I don't have to--I salute you. Rock on.
Thanks to my friends who sweep into my crazy life at the most opportune times to rescue me from myself. 
To Mumford & Sons--One word: Hello.
My kiddos. Between the three of you I am engulfed in excitement and wonder. I think you're awesome! For realzies. 
If you made it all the way through this, thank YOU! Some of you have been with me since I published my first post. You are the humbling ground, mah dears.

How To Make Glitter Cap-Toe Flats

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Take the unloved clothes in your closet and refashion them into 
sparkling holiday pieces that are a little less (yawn...) and a lot more (yes, please!). 

Ballet flats are addictively comfortable and cap-toe shoes are a trend worth trying if you haven't got around to it yet. So why not combine the two and add some glitter to your favorite pair for the holidays? I used my $3 pair from Target to create the pop of color I need for my holiday outfits.

If you don't want to invest in Mod Podge you can water down a bit of Elmer's Glue to get the same results.

Wearing: Primaries

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Skirt and Tee:  J.Crew
Cardi:  LOFT
Clutch:  H/M
Pumps:  Nine West
Watch:  AE

Who takes the pictures for your blog?  --question from reader comments 

Really, the better question is, who doesn't? HA. This is a homegrown operation around here. No tripods. No clickers. Just people (and sometimes very little people) who are willing to help a girl out. So lets meet the photographers of Kristina J., shall we?

(left to right)
1.  Studhubs, aka His Royal Hotness -- all around awesome guy, swell husband and father, and yet with all these admirable qualities--quite a pitiful photographer. He's willing to try though, and because he's so available he gets roped into taking the pictures more times than he wants. What he lacks in photog knowledge he makes up for in sheer enthusiasm for what I'm doing around here AND he loves me. Ain't that grand?

2.  Konrad, serious, oh-so-driven first born son -- has been taking pictures for the blog since I started two years ago. It's been easy to teach him since he already has an eye for detail and loves to learn anything new. I guess it doesn't hurt that he knows he can earn extra Wii time to learn a bit more about the camera.

3.  Reagan, highly stylized, creative second born son -- loves to draw robots and fish and whatever else he can imagine. He also has a great affinity for anything gross, so he'd rather be taking pictures of the road kill than me and of course, the fish he draws are always eating people. HA. He's on his way to becoming a great photographer and prefers to earn candy bars in exchange for snapping a few pictures.

4.  Julie, sweetheart and a kindred spirit kind of friend -- she's totally not afraid to boss me around or say, "Don't do that with your hands. It looks dumb." Julie also has a great eye for the unexpected, so when I call her up to take a pic, I know it'll look better than me just standing there with a blank look on my face. She draws it all out of me...the trust, the friendship and the confident-looking poses (trust me, the confidence is totally rehearsed).

5.  Janelle, up-and-coming photog professional -- A couple years ago when we were both starting out, Janelle and I would meet up for practice photography sessions. She'd play around with lighting and lenses while I learned how to stand in front of a camera without squirming and feeling self-conscious. Now she's gone profesh at Janelle's Pics and it's still amazing to work with her from time to time.

6.  Makenzie, loosy-goosy baby daughter, -- loves to take pictures even though I'm pretty sure my camera weighs half as much as she does. As the only child left with stay-at-home momma (that's me), the opportunity for taking pictures has grown exponentially for her. Though anything more than a close-up detail shot is still beyond her.

There they are. The people who make the visual aspect of the blog possible.
Life is a series of learning moments, which is why I'm not always so concerned about the occasional blurry picture or awkward composition. While I want everything I do to be as excellent as possible, I also didn't want the blog to exclude my family, which is why I decided early on to use the photography as an opportunity to teach them a new skill. I can handle a certain lack of professionalism for that...all great photographers got their start because someone gave them a chance.

I love that they're involved, however, it's always amazing to step in front of the camera without having to ask, "Can you see all of me or just my feet?"
That's reality. See the problem. Find a solution. Adjust accordingly.

How to Make a Tulle Bow Tank

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Take the unloved clothes in your closet and refashion them into 
sparkling holiday pieces that are a little less (yawn...) and a lot more (yes, please!). 

how to make a tulle bow tank tutorial via Kristina J blog

I know the basic tank is the sartorial equivalent of comfort food, but for whatever reason, I always have more basics than I need, so here's a project I came up with when I opened my dresser and realized how many plain, white tanks kept falling out. Just a sprinkling of DIY fairy dust will help your tank bring sparkle and pizzaz to your holiday outfits, unless you style it with orange...then it becomes the creepy spider tank. HA.

Twelve Years

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"Love is a single word. 
A wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge.
That's what it is: an edge; a razor.
It draws up through the center of your life,
cutting everything in two, before and after.
The rest of the world falls away on either side."
 --Lauren Oliver

Twelve years.
624 weeks.
4,368 days.
A single moment in time and an eternity. 
On her wedding day, a girl whispers "I do" and has no idea in that moment what she's actually agreed to.
There's just the commitment of soul to this man, the prayer of courage for uncertain times and the bubble of joy for the best times. 

I've slept with my eyes open, afraid to miss something and yet, it's twelve years on wings...a life built in that space from what has been given and what has been taken away.
I try to reconcile the girl who married with the woman now reflected in the mirror and think that everything is glass, fragile...except this--the warmth and energy passing between me and these four people.
It is a stretching, a striving across the years to claim a life unbound by walls and uninhibited by fear...
This is ours to forge. 

                                          (Reagan, Makenzie + Konrad)

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