Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just a quote

Be The CHANGE you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you enjoy your day with family and friends!

I am taking a break from the blog and until next week  - see you then!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Handmade Christmas - crocheting projects

I have been on a made dash to start and finish the crocheting Christmas gifts! Most everyone this year is receiving a handmade gift - because some of the recipients read my blog I have to keep them under wraps. But if you are looking for some last minute projects check these out...

If you are new to crocheting and want to make something handmade in this medium... Start with an easy peasy pattern for a scarf that isn't plain jane - Rebecca has free patterns here. The Ruffle Scarf is fun and try to use a multicolor yarn. I have even customized it to have a different edging. (photo courtesy of her blog)

Who has cold hands and wrists in the winter?? I do! I am constantly trying to get my long sleeve shirts to go over the tops of my hands to keep warm. Well I think I found a solution...thanks to Alicia, her blog directed me to crocheted wrist warmers here.The funny thing is I remember seeing these in the Boden catalog and loving the colors of stripes. BUT wait until you check out Lucy's projects and the COLOR combos' she uses. Her flickr site will suck you in and she has some great tutorials. Be forewarned here site is going to inspire you to pick up your crochet needle or start! (photo courtesy of her blog)

Another great resource for patterns/ideas is Ravelry - I have a been a member for some time. I am not sure if you have to wait for approval anymore? In the past it took a few months - it's a free site that is loaded up and you can also keep track of your projects and see other people that are doing the same project!

I also use YouTube for when I need help crocheting - just search for the stitch that you are needing help with and I guarantee that a video tutorial will pop up!

Enjoy life!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blogging & Scrapbooking - Mundane

I am really behind posting for this class but enjoying all the crafty goodness that is happening in the house! Prompt Four was about the mundane - I feel like I have a lot of mundane things in my life, at least mundane to me. One of them happens to be Airport Pickup. Because Kirk and I travel extensively we have the airport pickup down to a science.

First - as soon as you land and you can turn on your phone, you make the call home. "hey, I'm here. Just making our way to the gate." The person at home then gets in the car...

It takes about 15 minutes from our house to baggage claim

This particular day we were having a storm - my poor Mini was barely making it through all the standing water! By the time the pick up person arrives down at baggage claim the traveling person has collected their luggage is waiting under cover

Our system is our system and it works for us!

Patterned paper and letter stickers by American Crafts, Journaling sticker by Luxe, Travel sticker by 7 Gypsies

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blogging & Scrapbooking - Target

Who doesn't LOVE Target?!!

  • Great deals and fun finds - like sparkly converse shoes
  • Almost all in one shopping (I don't have a super Target close by)
  • Great pet section
  • Seasonal product section is always fun
  • The $1 section
  • Scrapbooking and paper goods - always something unique there!
  • Organizational products
Stickers & patterned paper Luxe, foam letters & felt heart American Crafts

I really love that Target it partnering with top name designers. I miss Issac Mizarahi's Target line - I feel pretty lucky that I have two of his blue and white seer sucker suits. I wear these in the summer and get compliments all the time - when I tell them it's a Target suit they are amazed!

Merona has come out with some great basics and dress pieces for the fall. I may need to go back and get that lace skirt that will be great for some holiday dinners this year. And who wouldn't love a elastic waist band during the holidays?? Hello! I have the perfect gold silk top that will go with this along with some kick ass gold heels...

These pictures were taken with my iPhone using the Polarize app - it's addicting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scrapbooking & Blogging - Trendy

Trendy and chic fashion is hard - at least that is my opinion. You can either pull it off or you can't - there is really no in between. Plus you run the risk of dressing to young. Yes, I think there is a time where you need to give up the belly button shirts, big hair and/or striped hair - don't live back in the days, remember those 'days' as fond memories.

I try to do urban chic in statement pieces. My rule is one statement piece in each outfit - pick out the basics and look for the wow piece or the other way around. For my taste and body type I can only handle one statement piece. I know some other friends  and my husband that can work it from head to toe and look great. Most of the time its all in the attitude. If you love it and feel confident in it then you will be able to carry it off.

Some of my favorite urban chic brands are:
  • Juicy Couture - not their hard goods or handbags, love their winter coats. Edgy mixed in with traditional style 
  • Guess - Wonderful brightly colored winter coats. I have looking at this one but really need to try it on. The flaps right under the shoulders concern me, but because they are cut on a angle it might work and the double breasted style is not good for me. But the skirt at the bottom adds the bulk to right place for me!
  • Leifsdotter - love, love, love... I could be wearing this one right now with this cold weather! I have tried it on and it's very chunky & bulky. Not good for my 'thick' frame.
  • Sweetpeas - I like their tops to go under conservative suit jackets just to add a pop
  • Harajuku - tshirts and flats
  • Spanx - not that you ever see Spanx on the outside, but I find that when I wear trendy or chic clothes I need to wear SPANX. They are your best friends.

The 4x6 square of patterned paper and the gal with dog is from Nordstrom marketing materials that I cut out. Other patterned paper is from Basic Grey, Houndstooth is October Afternoon, Notepaper is MM, trimming?? All letters are from American Crafts

I had fun with this layout! I love using all of the marketing materials that I have collected over the years - in fact I just received the Nordstrom catalog and they have the cutest gift tags with birdhouse art work on them. And if you love the birdhouses you can go here to print out 2d or 3d paper birdhouse! They have a download of the gift tags too.

Enjoy life!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Scrapbooking & Blogging - classics

Here is my classic list - my go to pieces in my closet every single time. They are like your trusted friends!

The purple/blue patterned paper is a marketing piece from Nordstrom that I cut apart. Patterned paper in middle is Basic Grey Marrakech. White rub ons American Crafts, Black rub ons Luxe. White gel pen Uni-ball Signo (love this pen) and clothing tags.

Classic pieces in my closet:
  • Black  - suits, dress pants, tops, skirts, shorts, tshirts and dresses
  • White - suits, dress pants, tops, skirts, shorts, tshirts, pair of jeans and summer dresses

My favorite designers/lines for these classics:
  • Caslon
  • Semantiks
  • Valette
  • Classiques

Happy Sunday - enjoy life!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Scrapbooking & Blogging - Denim

This class continues to inspire me - yesterdays post was about lists and I am on a roll this weekend! Trying to work through my collection of clothing hang tags I noticed that I had categories of clothes: Investment (yesterday's page) and today the denim that I love.

Finding the right jeans is difficult and when you do find the perfect pair you better buy at least two pairs. One to hem long (high heels) and one to hem short (flip flops). Then remember the designer and style name or number. What I find frustrating is when companies like the GAP discontinue styles every season!

I think every woman should have a basic collection of denim:
  • Dark denim trousers - trouser means a little dressier, may be a lighter weight denim. Mine are hemmed long and I wear with heels. My favorites are made by Theory. Definitely an investment and I have found them on sale online. These go to the cleaners because I am afraid that something like bleach may get on them while in my laundry area!
  • Regular wash jeans - thicker denim weight in blue wash, maybe some distressing. I am not a big fan of distressing, it has to be in the right place. Remember where the distressing is it is going to accentuate! I have seen some jeans with distressing/lightening in the back...well if you have larger backside this is going call it out. Pocket flaps (which are very popular) do the exact same thing. I have no butt so I am always looking for jeans that have these types of features. But I don't want any distressing on the middle of my thighs unless it is a vertical line. Make sense?
  • Denim skirt - I have several in different washes and styles. Make sure you buy skirts at the right length/style for your body type. I need to keep mine knee length or above and like I have said before this is where I can create 'bulk'.
  • Denim jacket - this piece can always finish off an outfit very easily! Be careful though...denim jackets can make you look VERY square. I have broad shoulders and large chest...traditional denim jacket (think levis, like this one). Do you see the stitching line that it about 2 to 3 inches below the shoulders going horizontally? That creates WIDTH. See the pockets on the chest and distressing? All in the areas that I do not want to accentuate. I think this is the wrong denim jacket for a plus size woman, for the same reasons I just explained.

Tip fit for jeans:
  • Make sure the width of the jean (at the bottom) is balancing out the rest of your body. If you have wide hips - pegged (do they make this style anymore) or skinny down by the ankle will probably not be your best choice. Look for a boot cut or a wider leg. I can pull off a wider leg because of the broad shoulders...but because of my height (5'2") and lack of hips I have this style longer and with very high heels.
  • Make sure the type of denim (the actually material) looks good on you. Some of the denims that are on the market now have a lot of lycra or stretchy fibers in careful - you need to buy a smaller size because they will stretch, but if you buy them to tight you will be sharing way too much information with the public. If you know what I mean! ;)
  • Just because it's in style doesn't mean that you have to have a pair. I would love to wear skinny jeans - but they are not the right style for me. Look at this way - you just saved some $$$. Or you may need to make a sacrifice...example, cropped jeans - I love them. But because of my height and larger calves...these are the worst kind of pants for me. UNLESS...I wear close to 3 inch heels. When I create height I can draw the eye farther down so my legs don't look stumpy. But wearing 3 inch heels is a sacrifice! On a side note...there are not very many women that can pull off cropped pants, if you do wear them make sure the bottom is hitting you at the skinniest part of your leg - not the middle of your calf.
  • Try everything on, even if it's the same style and designer.
  • You have to try on a lot of jeans before finding what fits you best. Don't get discouraged, the perfect pair are out there for you!
All patterned paper and stickers Basic Grey Marrakech, chipboard heart HS, border punch fiskars. Actual jean material and clothing tags
My favorite denim designers:
  • GAP
  • 7 for all mankind
  • Hudson
  • Theory
  • Banana Republic
  • JCrew
Happy Saturday - enjoy life!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Blogging & Scrapbooking - Fun Friday Finds

The third prompt of this class was perfect for this weeks Fun Friday Finds! I have quite a collection of clothes hang tags - as new items come into my closet I take the tags off and slip them into a small plastic bag in my closet. Most of the time I am saving things like this because they have buttons or thread for mending. I also started to notice that designers started to get very creative with their hang tags and I knew someday I would use them for scrapbooking. I just didn't know how...

I also integrated marketing pieces that Nordstrom sends in the mail. Have you seen these? Gorgeous colors and art work. The only supplies I used from traditional scrapbooking was the cardstock! The rest of the supplies were tags and cutting up the pieces from Nordstrom.

My grandmothers was a huge fashion inspiration - she taught me the value o buying good quality, well made clothing. "investment" pieces is what she called them. Today I am fortunate enough to have the help of a stylist. She helped me find the best designer for my body type. It's more important to have clothes that fit right over having the 'label' in your closet. Even if it's a Chanel suit it's not going to make you look 20 pounds skinnier - it could potentially do the exact opposite! (layout will go in my 'me' album)
I will be posting some more fashion layouts over the weekend! Remember you can use these designers for color inspiration - you don't have to be into haute couture, to be inspired.

Happy Friday - enjoy life!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sneak Peek just for you

This is a sneak peek for all of my loyal blog readers! I have been talking about change and re-inventing myself... well here it is

The GRAND opening of my new business, Doxzen Pet Photos will be announced tomorrow morning! You can subscribe to the email notifications/newsletter here. is my main pet photography site and all things photography and pet related will be on there. My portfolio site is and can always be accessed through the main site.

This has been an exciting time for me! Extremely busy learning new things (CSS programming), learning all about my camera, meeting new people and doing something good. I am going to continue my personal blog All Apart of Life's Rich Pageant and have no plans to discontinue it. However, I do have plans to move it over to before the summer.

Friday, November 20 is the online launch party! .You are invited, whether or not you have a pet. To make sure that you receive the invite please subscribe to the email notification/newsletter here. There will be contests linked through Twitter and Facebook so be sure to follow us and become a fan.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Preventing Swine Flu TIPS

Here at the Wessells house we have been pretty healthy - allergies always tend to plague us more than anything. I am concerned for Kirk because of his asthma he is a high risk for H1N1. My friend Becky sent this to me the other day and it had some pretty good information and advice.

The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1 infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
 1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).
 2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
 3. *Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you don't trust salt). *H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful preventative method.
4. Similar to 3 above, *clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. *Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but *blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.*
5. *Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). *If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
6. *Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can. *Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
Share this with your friends and family!