Showing posts with label 1940's style. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1940's style. Show all posts

Friday, March 30, 2012

DIY: Conquering the Dynasty Dress

At the Hollywood Drive-In Golf at Universal Studios. I loved their putt putt courses which were based on 1950's B-movies. This one was called The Haunting of Ghostly Green.
While in Memphis last weekend, I was taken to a gem of a place called Park Avenue Thrift. And while it was far from being even remotely Park Avenue-esque, we did make a new friend (one whom attempted to try on her size 20 bathing suit over her clothes, asked us what we thought and paid the cashier with a wad of wet cash brandished from her bra). I also found this lovely floral dress.
Before hacking into the dress, I thought I'd give it one last hurrah in all of it's shoulder-pad, big-hair-with-bow, blue-eye-shadow, and-pointy-shoe glory.
As soon as I slipped the dress on, I immediately had images of Dynasty pop into my head. The shoulder pads were mammoth. It's no wonder we did our hair up so big in the eighties. If we didn't, we'd look like a shrunken head between those pillow-sized pads.
As a kid, my cousin, my aunt and I used to watch Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Dallas curled up with my grandma in her bed. The plot was over our heads so we usually had our noses stuck in some Sweet Valley High book.

More pictures from the putt putt. I've not putt putted in ages and we had so much fun. If you've not been lately, I say go.
So, here's a breakdown of how I conquered the Dynasty Dress:
  • Removal of shoulder pads. But I didn't trash them. They'll come back in style someday, right?
  • Removal of 8" from the hemline. I mean really. It was like a floral parachute.
  • Addition of yellow scalloped collar. Seen best in the final photo.
  • Removal of belt. I love it, but you can't see it. So I am wearing my bow belt instead.
  • Addition of matching sandals. I used the excess fabric to create the straps for my Sseko sandals. If you are not familiar with Sseko, you might want to check them out.
Another show we watched with grandma as kids. I always thought of my grandma as being like Dixie Carter's Julie Sugarbaker. Doesn't Charlene look like she's wearing my floral dress?
It's not the biggest dress overhaul but this one didn't really need it. I was sold on the full skirt, the floral and the pockets. It just needed some de-eighties-izing.

Dynasty Dress, consider yourself conquered, bwahaha.
When I asked hubs what he thought of the end result, he said, "It's nice. It looks like an Easter dress. That's the look you were going for, right?"

Erm, yeah. And that's the last time I let him win at putt putt. Enjoy your weekend!

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Friday, February 24, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #7

Workin'-on-Prez-Day Monday: sunflower sweater: Anthropologie picked up for cheap at Buffalo Exchange; skirt: Anthropologie; tights:  Target; shoes; Anthropologie. Holy cow! I'm head-to-toe anthro!
Well, hello there! This week's wacky is-it-winter?-is-it-spring? wardrobe is a reflection of the weather. One day it was a summery 78 degrees and the next there was a 30 degree temperature drop and a sky full of spooky clouds. As Lauren put it, "I'm waiting for the sky to turn green or purple or something."

In other news, since we did have school on a holiday, one of my favorite coworkers and I dressed as ole Abe and George for the school-wide morning announcements. We have more fun hamming it up than should be allowed. A word to the wise: Abe hats and bumpits do not mix.

Well, here's hoping the weather where you are is a little less wackadoodle, Yankeedoodle.
George and Abe: This is right before my friend George looked at me and made me lose it to a case of the giggles. On George: shirt: I know you can't see it, but she's wearing one of my wannabe goth shirts from high school; wig: handcrafted by Lauren from fake fur and toilet paper tubes. On Abe: beard and hat: Party City; jacket and shirt: thrifted
You know you're meant to be an art teacher when you look this happy on a Monday! I believe both Lauren's shirt and skirt are thrifted. She created her own bow. She's holding her example for the fourth grade lesson on sculpting heroes and standing in front of her lesson on Kandinsky's circles.
Cowgirl Tuesday: I just realized that annoying neighbor who walks her dog through our yard saw me snapping pictures of myself...and then tripped over her dog. Tee-hee. jacket and belt: thrifted; dress: Target, embroidered by me; tights: Target; boots: Frye, ebay
Well, I know she snagged that sweater at Goodwill...I was with her when we were doing a little pre-Valentine's Day wardrobe shopping. I love her pencil skirt, don't you? Target, people.
Wainy and Wet Wednesday: I've been waiting for a good spring day to wear this jacket and my new rain boots. However, wearing rain boots with no ventilation makes for janky feet syndrome. jacket: Anthro; boots: Hunter, ebay
Under the jacket: sweater and dress: thrifted; bow belt: made by me
Look at this outfit! Love...
Spring Chicken Thursday: I'm proud to say that with the exception of the belt and undergarments (like, ew), this outfit is head-to-toe thrifted! I've never worn this dress before as it's knitted and a little warm. Perfect for spring.
Totally diggin' the burnt orange. I've got to get some in my closet -- she's totally rockin' it with the green and navy.
Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh, Friday!: sweater: thrifted; tiger striped dress: BCBG; lion buckle: gift from a friend; fishnets: Marshall's; shoes: Dolls by Nina
Look at that Kandinsky-esque scarf she scored! I love how it matches the project she did with the third graders...and so did they. And check out those splatter paint shoes she made. Awesomeness.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

DIY: Turn Him Loose, Jill!

Oh, you know. Just another day of wranglin' those wild and wacky children in the art room.
Well, howdy thar, partner! It's yer Cowgirl of Suburbia here to show off my latest embroidered ensemble. I finished 'er off with a lick and a promise. Wanna hear how? Well then saddle up, 'cuz yer in for a hog-killin time. This weekend, I decided to quit beatin' the devil around the stump and finally finish the dang thang. Now lemme stop shootin' my mouth off and tell ya how I did it.

(So you too can annoy your friends by speaking in cowboy slang, visit here: )
Turn Him Loose, Bill by Frederic Remington, late 1800s
This latest embroidered venture began with a rather ho-hum dress I picked up a Target several years ago. It had been sitting in my Give-to-Goodwill-or-Restyle pile for quite some time. After my embroidered pin-up girl sailor dress (seen here: ), I was inspired to create another stitched look. With it's raw-hide tan color and collared style, I thought this dress could easily be cowboy-ized.
My Sweethearts of the Rodeo.
With that in mind, I began pinteresting and googling  "pin-up cowgirls". Which produced nothing. So I tried "vintage cowgirls". Nada. Then "cowboy rodeo"...and this amazing painting by Frederic Remington popped up. I loved it and I knew I wanted that same image across the bottom of the skirt. But with cowgirls.

So I began sketching out the scene replacing the gents with the ladies. Once I'd settled on a design I was happy with, I traced my drawing with sharpie. Using my light table, I redrew my design in pencil onto the dress. A big embroidery no-no. I think you are supposed to pin a tissue paper drawing to the fabric, embroider through that and then, once finished, remove tissue paper with tweezers. All that sounds entirely too pro for this cowgirl.
My spin on Remington's painting which I've titled Turn Him Loose, Jill.
I usually only embroider when I'm traveling. I like to have something to do while sitting for long periods of time. But this weekend, I experienced a craft fail (more on that in a later post) and needed something to keep me from finding solace in a tub of Blue Bell. So I pulled out my cowgirls and decided to finish them off.
One thing I did differently with these girls is I used one strand of embroidery thread to create the eyebrows and eyes. This gave me the ability to really capture their expression. I also added a tiny stitch of white for the reflection in their eyes. I think this girl's my fave.
During my embroidery breaks, I decided to do a little research on the cowgirl. These women were so strong physically and mentally. After reading about several of them, I choose my favorite three and christened my cowgirls in their honor. Without further ado, lemme introduce to you Lucille Mulhall. This cowgirl was once described in a 1900 New York article as "only 90 pounds, can break a bronc, lasso and brand a steer, and shoot a coyote at 500 yards. She can also play Chopin, quote Browning and make mayonnaise." Wow. I didn't even know  you could make mayo.
Okay, this gal has a bit of a nose on her, doncha think? She's my Barbara Steisand Cowgirl.
Cowgirl Bertha Kaelpernick (aka "Jill") was most famous for entering a horse race after all the menfolk refused due to the muddy track. This amazing cowgirl managed to remain in her saddle despite the conditions and put the men to shame. Later she went on to compete and often beat legendary cowboys of her time.
I've decided I need three items added to my wardrobe: spurs, a pair of cowboy boots (these Frye one's I snagged off ebay are too big), a vintage cowgirl dress. With fringe, of course.
Following in Bertha’s footsteps was Prairie Rose Henderson. She had to force cowboys to allow her to ride and compete with them. She's actually my favorite cowgirl as she's most famous for her affinity for all things tacky-tastic. Her faves were dressing in bright colors, sequins, and ostrich plumes over her bloomers.
Best compliment of the day: "You look like a Cowgirl Art Teacher!" Sounds good to me!
Can you believe these incredible cowgirls?

Well, little doggies, I'm about played out. Guess it's time for me to skedaddle or I'll be paying through the nose tomorrow! See ya's at the ranch.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DIY: Glitter & Leopard Print

I have settled upon a new life mantra: All things are better covered in leopard print and pink glitter. It's true. I sprinkled some glitter on the dirty dishes in the sink and, for once, they sparkled! I'm heading to the bathroom with my gallon o' glitter next.
Well, hello there! If you are reading this here blog on Valentine's Day, I thank you! It means you are not unlike this girl. I love the decorations, the candy, the flowers (I hear people give flowers on this that true? Would you mind letting my husband know?) but I think the whole idea is kinda silly. We all know it's just a big fat hairy way for Hallmark to make a couple extra bucks. But I'll take any ole excuse to get tacky and girly, thank you very much.
You don't have to say it. I know what you're thinking: daaaaang does that girl have big feets! Yes, I do. Thanks for noticing. Jerk.
 I began with these shoes. I've had these thrifted Nine West shoes in my closet for a couple of years and, while I love the wing-tipped retro look, I could never seem to find a way to make them work. The weird silly-putty tan just never appealed to me. So in my closet they sat.
The idea for covering the shoe in fabric came from this fab website:
Until this weekend. I took a little trip to the craft store and picked up some hot pink glitter dust, an Exacto knife, Modge Podge (for whom I should totally be an endorser) and Aleene's Tacky Glue. I painted the glue on to the shoe and covered it in some leopard print from my stash.
Silly Putty Tan, goodbye. Me-Yeow, Leopard Print!
 After the glued dried, I used an Exacto knife to cut off the excess fabric. I was really nervous about this as I thought it might be tricky, but it was a piece of cake. To prevent the fabric from fraying, I used a little brush and scrubbed some matte Modge Podge along the edge of the fabric. The extra fabric along the top was trimmed down, folded under and Modge-Podged. See, I even verbified their product name. I should so totally be an endorser!
Not all glitter is created equally. You must use glitter dust for this. Now I feel just like Edward, sparkling in the sunlight...
 Next came the glitterization of the shoes. In a small throw-away dish, I mixed a small amount of glossy Modge Podge with a ton of glitter. I painted a thick coat of said concoction onto the shoes. Once that was dry, I sealed it again with another coat of Modge Podge.
What's better than glitter shoes? Why, glitter fishnets, of course!
 And my shoes were complete! When I was making them, I actually thought I should stop after just covering them in leopard print. "Show a little restraint for once, Cassie. For the sake of all things non-tacky and civilized." Ha! Thankfully that was just a fleeting thought. Me, civilized? I don't think so.
My completed Valentine's Day look.
After completing the shoes I realized I had no other plans for my Valentine's Day outfit. So yesterday, Lauren (the cute girl you see featured in the weekly outfit posts) and I went to Goodwill after school in search of Valentine's Day attire. She spotted this leopard print skirt. What luck! And then I started noticing a ton of leopard print and I said, "Oh...maybe this is too in style right now...?" I pride myself on being very out-of-style, you see. However, as soon as I said those words, I realized my silliness: I was shopping at the place where people sent their unwanted wares! Whew! No worries, I'm wearing the most unwanted of clothing. Perfect!
Oh those bangs. Some days they just look so Squiggy (of Lenny and Squiggy Laverne and Shirley fans know what I'm talking about). And that crooked collar/bib. Oui.
The collar is one I made based off of the same idea I used for this outfit post... 
I happened to have a bit of pink glitter leftover from my shoes. So I cut out some cardboard hearts, glittered them and glued them to a barrette. And, viola! Happy Valentine's Day all. Now, if you'll pardon me, hubs just walked in with a ton of chocolates and trashy magazines. Oh, forget those flowers. This man knows me too well!
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

DIY: You're Such a (Soda) Jerk!

I went and did something I promised myself I wouldn't do. I painted this here Valentine's Day canvas. I knew it would take me forever and that I'd just barely finish it in time to enjoy it...and...yet... I managed to convince myself to do it anyway. Here's how the conversation between Delusional Cassie and Sane-ish Cassie went down:

D.C. : Aw, look at all of these cute vintage Valentine's that keep popping up on pinterest! I should so totally paint one for the house.

S.C. : Absolutely not. You take forever to paint anything. Besides, it's kinda cheesy. Aren't you like thirty-seven or something?

D.C. : It's not cheesy, it's cute! And I swear, it won't take me that long, I'll just sketch it out and block it in. Piece of cake for this, ahem, thirty-six year old.

S.C.: You say so, Crazy.
After perusing pinterest for the perfect vintage valentine, I found this one. I absolutely love the girl (the hair! the red bow shoes! the heart shirt!) and the fact that she's chillin' at a soda fountain...but the rest of it was kind of lacking. I mean, I had to read the bit about being a working girl a couple of times before I got it (did I mention there is a Slow Cassie as well?). She just seemed too lonely and sad for a Valentine.
So I started sketching out some ideas. Instead of a poor working girl, I wanted a man-eatin' go-getter. Hence the fishnets and box of chocolates. And I wanted the object of her affection to be some cute -n- clueless soda jerk.
So I did some google-image-searching and found a plethora of soda jerks. After I created a sketch that I was happy with, I decided to tint and texture my canvas. I mixed up a warm yellow ochre and slathered it onto the canvas. Once dry, I sketched out my scene in pencil and started blocking in the colors.
Sadly for this dude, his flesh is a little multi-colored. Too much time in the tanning booth will do that to you, I hear. By the time I noticed his flesh inconsistencies, I was too tired of working on the painting to care.
Once I had the colors blocked in, I started going detail crazy. I decided I wanted the counter top to have a formica pattern so I attempted to paint tiny boomerangs with a one-haired brush. They ended up looking like hearts...which I kind of liked. I just had to add the fishnets as they are my favorite thing to wear. And what's a diner without a checkerboard floor? All of the outlining and lettering was done with a black paintbrush pen.
I have a small collection of vintage Valentine's that I picked up from an etsy shop last month. One thing I noticed about them is that they all have a play on words. As I was plotting and planning, I came up with the "So-da one you love is me?" My only regret is that I don't actually have him making a soda but what looks to be an strawberry shake. Oh well, hopefully the idea for that and the "fountain" reference at the bottom is still clear.
One of my favorite discoveries while soda-jerk-searching online was rediscovering this Norman Rockwell painting. When I became interested in creating art in high school, I found these sweet images so repulsive. I was just entirely too cool for nostalgic Rockwell paintings. Now, having the love for all things vintage that I do, I just adore his work. Especially when I discovered a collection of photographs that he snapped to create his paintings.
This makes me smile. Great, isn't it?
Well, would ya look at that, Sane-ish Cassie? It's finished! And hung right at the foot of my stairs for me to admire...for the next two days. Oh well. It did take much longer than expected but it was pretty fun regardless. Happy Valentine's Day!

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #5

Hands-On-Hips = Don't-Mess-With-Me Monday: You know you're getting a little heavy handed with the cat-eye eye-liner when one of your students says, "Are you wearing your King Tut makeup today?" (click here to see me as Tut: ) sweater and dress: thrifted; belt: gift from a friend; fishnets over mustard tights: Target; long-lost shoes: Sofft
Hey kids! It was a good week in Art Teacher Land. Weeks ago I lost a bag full of my favorite things: the shoes I'm wearing in the photo above, my gallon can of Big Sexy Hair hairspray and my makeup bag full of lipsticks. I'd given them up as gone-for-good when I just happened to be in our school's communal kitchen when what do I see? My bag o' stuff! I couldn't believe my luck...then I couldn't believe no one returned the bag to me. I mean, I know it didn't have my name on it or anything but who else in the school wears a honkin' size 10 in Funky Shoes, requires a jug of hairspray to maintain bumpit perfection and would have that many lipsticks?! Oh well. I'm just glad it's all back in the right hands. 

In other news, here's what Lauren and I wore this week. Check out her handmade belt and splatter paint shirt. Adorable! Enjoy your weekend, all.

Student Teacher Lauren perfecting her Hands-On-Hips look: she told me that she gets most of her cute clothes from Target. I love how she puts things together, don't you? Her color combos are very clever. Mint green and deep purple? Yes please and thank you!

Soldier of Love and Killer Boots Tuesday: And by killer, I mean they just about killed me. tights: Marshall's; boots: Buffalo Exchange; belt: made by me; dress: thrifted, altered by can read more about that alteration here:

Could-She-Get-Any-Cuter Tuesday: Not only is Lauren modeling an adorable dress on loan from her sis but she's also wearing lipstick she was gifted from a student! We were both given tubes of red lipstick this nice to have miniature stylists.

Evaluation Wednesday: My big day...I was being observed to make sure that I was actually educating children and not just letting them huff sharpies and roll around in finger paint. Thankfully the kids were their usual awesome selves and all went swimmingly. sweater: has the sweetest label inside that says "Made With Love by Ester"; dress: BCBG, a rare new-item purchase; tights: Target; shoes: John Fluevog

Look at that bow belt! Aren't you in love? Lauren whipped it up that morning with sweet little train fabric she thrifted in Holland. Gah!

Crayon Shoes Thursday: All week one of my kindergarteners asked me if I'd wear my crayon shoes on her art day. So I got all crayola-ified from head to toe only to have her say upon walking in, "No, I said I wanted you to wear your pencil shoes!" shirt and sweater: Gap and Ann Taylor, thrifted; skirt: etsy; tights: Target; shoes and crayon hair clip: made by me

Look at that shirt! Lauren made it the night before using the secondary colors so that it would aid in the color lesson she's doing with the third graders. Genius.

It's Friday, Let's do an Irish jig: When all else fails, just pose like The Lord of the Dance. dress and belt: made by me with the help of a very good friend, blogged about a couple of years ago here:; red fishnets over blue tights: Target; shoes; Dolls by Nina

Lauren can rock a pencil shirt. She said she snagged this one at Target. And her shirt was made by her boyfriend. Happy Friday from the Art Room!

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