Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pretty in Pink Wisdom: on kissing

Iona: Does he have strong lips?
Andy: How do you tell?
Iona: Did you feel it in your knees?
Andy: I felt it everywhere.
Iona: Strong lips.

Happy New Year, all! Hope you get your kiss! ;)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I've been learning more about photos and photoshop lately.  Today was finally sunny, so I re-took pictures for most of my headbands.  Then I decided to mess with the colors...
Interestingly, I have a few color ideas as a result.  So there's a fun tip: change the colors on your photos to get an idea of what colors will work for your piece!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Treasury Fun, part three

I got a treasury today - this one is based on the most stylish of shows, Gossip Girl:
xoxo, M

Button, button

My mom's grandma was a tailor for many years, on top of being an award-winning quilter, excellent cook, and general industrious maker of many things. She taught my mom to sew and my mom taught me. When great-grandma passed away several years ago, Mom inherited all of her sewing supplies, including grandma's button collection:
I'm totally in love with every single button: I love the square coat buttons, the clear sparkly buttons, the minty pearl buttons, the black faceted buttons, the brown flower buttons, the thick blue buttons...

It's such a diverse collection that I hardly know where to start! I've got a few ideas, no worries, I just hope my designs do justice to the awesome lady who provided the materials.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Flashback: Disneyland 1997

Flashback is a feature in which I dig through my memory box and re-discover my make-and-do past.  The flux capacitator is fluxing and we're going back to 1997...

In seventh grade, a pop-top necklace was a badge of honor: one saved the tops off their soda cans, strung them on a string, and proudly displayed the amount of Mountain Dew one had consumed.  This trend extended to both sexes, although it was slightly more popular among the boys.  

I think it started when the school removed the Surge vending machine after installing it the day before (please remember, I've lived in Utah my whole life).  After losing the status-symbol Surge can, the cool kids needed a way to showcase their rebellious consumption of caffeinated beverages and the pop-top necklace found its way to Cedar Ridge Middle School.
As ever, I wanted to participate in the trend, but in my own way.  Uninterested in bragging about my soda-drinking ways, I wanted to put a creative, feminine spin on the popular pop-top necklace.  So I got out my sparkly nail polish and got a-painting.  I added a few white beads and I had the necklace I wore nearly every day in seventh grade:

If you're wondering why Mickey found his way into these pictures, seventh grade was the year I finally got to go to Disneyland.  Being twelve, I knew that it was important to look my best while I wandered the streets of Tomorrowland, so I made sure to bring my necklace with me.  

Saturday designs...

I had a Top Chef marathon to clear off the DVR, so it was a good day to make a few new things. I bought a "variety pack" of Scunci headbands awhile ago and fell in love with the stretchy lace band - it's really simple and girly. I decided to continue the simple/girly theme with an ivory rosette:

Like most people, I love black and white, so I continued the theme with a black rosette and ivory tulle. I want the flower to be larger, so I'll probably re-do this before I sell it. Plus, it's hard to get a good pic of all black:
That was my Saturday: black and white felt, served up with a side of Season 4 Top Chef!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Every Christmas, my family gets a new game. Last year, we got Carcassonne, which is a great game that causes loads of contention in our house (my sister, especially, gets very competitive when we play it). This year, I was hoping we'd get Ticket to Ride, a game we played with my aunts and uncles at Thanksgiving this year.

We didn't. Instead we got Qwirkle! Qwirkle! One more time, Qwirkle!
What a great name. It's really easy to learn - you match up colors and shapes and get points. It's easy enough for a young child to play, but it can be complicated enough for the Mensa Society. Plus, the colorful tiles are really fun! Here's some pictures of the game I won:
Maren: 154
Dad: 121
Amy: 98

Marley & Me

My family and I went to the matinee of Marley & Me on Christmas Day.  My dad and I have both read the book it's based on, so we thought we were prepared for the sadsadsad final scene.  
We weren't.  My entire family (Dad included) was sobbing when dear old Marley had to be put down.  We weren't alone, though: nearly ever person in the audience was crying, no exaggeration.  I've never heard that much sniffling in a theatre.  

The movie is exactly what the book was: a tribute to a beloved misbehaved dog.  If you're a dog person, make sure you bring tissues when you see it.
**This is my dear, dear childhood dog Toffee.  She had to go to the duck pond in the sky last summer and we all miss her very much.  She was the most special dog in all the world.

Stuff I Like: Christmas Movie Edition

1. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas: Nothing beats this movie - it's got humor and heart and Whos, as well as "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (if you ever need a creative insult, google the lyrics to this song). It never fails to warm my heart when the Grinch's heart grows three sizes and he gains the strength of ten grinches, plus two!
2. White Christmas: Bing Crosby + Rosemary Clooney + "Let's put on a show!" = GOLD

3. The Muppet Christmas Carol: I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I adore the muppets. Anything they've ever done, I love. There's just such a sweet, optimistic sense of humor about the muppets that completely melts my heart. Also, this version of Tiny Tim is the sweetest take on the character ever - the mini-Kermit Tim will totally break your heart.

4. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: I saw this on UEN's Sci-Fi Friday a couple years ago and it's my new favorite thing. It's exactly what you'd expect of a movie with such a title: Martian children are sad, so their Martian parents invade the North Pole and kidnap Santa, so he will cheer up the depressed kids. Eventually, Santa teaches the Martians the true meaning of Christmas, a goofy Martian volunteers to be the Martian Santa, and the real Santa Claus returns to Earth. There's an MST3K version of this movie that's hilarious, of course, but the movie is great with or without Tom Servo.

5. A Christmas Story: There's a reason TNT plays this movie for 24 hours straight.

Honorary Mentions: Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter - not necessarily Christmas movies, but they were released at Christmastime and are replayed in December.

**This is a post from my personal blog, I Like Stuff/Stuff I Like - check it out!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

It's a major award!

I logged in to Etsy today, not expecting many more views or hearts since it's Christmas Eve, and discovered that my neon Wallflower headband had over double the views it had yesterday. Qua? Scanned through the treasuries . . . not featured. Checked the gift guide and nothing. Maybe people are feeling charitable towards my little newly shop?

I credited good Christmas luck and decided to check the new featured seller on the front page. As I scrolled down the page, a flash of neon caught my eye - a Storque article by Featured Buyer ayatk, with her favorite neon-colored Etsy picks AND my little Wallflower headband was right on the side!
ayatk, alias Aya T. Kanai, is the senior fashion editor at Teen Vogue so I am hugely humbled by her comments: "Also would love to use this for a shoot. Such a great piece!"

You could probably knock me over with a neon-colored feather right now! I'm pretty happy - it's a huge compliment to be featured, especially as a new shop. Thank you thank you thank you to ayatk!

You can view my now-hearted shop at and see a few of my non-neon items, including the natural version of the Wallflower headband.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Treasury Fun, part two

I love this idea from Michelle in the Etsy forums: for Christmas day, create a treasury that showcases "your highest ideals, your greatest hope, a wish you have, for yourself, for the world anything!"

It took me a little while to decide on my theme - I searched for concepts (happiness, contentment), but that proved a little too . . . conceptual? While I was searching, I found a picture of the Eiffel Tower and I decided to do a little dreaming about the backpacking trip I want to take so much.

Update: My treasury was featured on the front page of Etsy, as part of the Christmas community project. Hooray!

Treasury Fun!

My very first Treasury feature!

Bottom left corner - my very special vintage party dress! A good friend gave this dress to me as a going-away present - it was her fancy grandma's from the fifties. I love this dress so much, but sadly, I don't have a 24" waist. . . whether you do or not, you should take a peek at the dress here. It's a work of art.

Thanks, chebang! (BTW, check out chebang's shop - she has loads of cute magnets and necklaces made from vintage ephemera.)

Pretty in Pink Wisdom: on being stood up

Iona: Andy, hon, it's after seven. Don't waste good lip gloss.
Andy: I don't know what I'm doing, Iona.
Iona: Wishful make-upping.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Inspiration Wall: Art Deco

And a few Etsy shops with some great Art Deco-style items:
Lulu Splender - beautiful vintage jewelry
Octavine Illustration - colorful prints in the spirit of an old Vogue cover
House of Telsa - really gorgeous flapper-style headpieces

Flashback: Christmas 1988

Flashback is a feature wherein I dig through my memory box and re-discover my make-and-do past.  The flux capacitator is fluxing and we're going back to 1988!

Many people remember salt dough from third-grade geography lessons: slap a big blob down through the Western states, paint it with green and brown watercolors, and you just created the Rocky Mountains.  It was also useful when forming the Hawaiian islands.  

What most people don't know is that salt dough is an excellent material for three-year-olds making a nativity scene.  Specifically, salt dough, toothpicks, and googly eyes.  My Nursery class made these little nativity sets - our teacher made Mary and Joseph and we got to create the manger and any animals we saw fit.  I believe mine is a cow.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas, Mom!

I'm basically broke this year, so I decided to make presents for my family.  I'm working on a special sister-style hair clip, which I hope will turn out!  But I was having a hard time coming up with ideas for my parents (always the most difficult when it comes to gifts!).

Anyway, while I was looking for something in the Christmas closet (yes, my mom has one of those), I found this:

And I knew what I had to do.

It's the Christmas book my mom made back when I was a wee tot.  Back when my dad was finishing school, my mom made these books as Christmas presents.  The book contains the Christmas story, complete with song, quotes from the Bible, and pictures:  

Everything is written with a typewriter, including a detailed Table of Contents:

We've read from this book every Christmas Eve that I can remember.  It's a tradition that's really important to my family and this book is really important for us, too.  

A few years ago, my mom started mentioning her desire to re-do the book and "get rid of the ruffly 80s crap" on the front.  She's not had the time to makeover the Christmas book - she's got a lot of things going!  So, when I pulled this beloved pastel purple book out of the Christmas closet, I knew what my gift to my parents would be: a Christmas book makeover!

I went upstairs to the craft room (my mom has one of those, too) and dug through the supplies, searching for anything Christmas related.  Here's what I found:
Add Image
I had a general idea of where I wanted to go (cover the book with the muslin, make some sort of picture frame with the shiny red stuff), so I got to tearing off the "ruffly 80s crap":

When I pulled the picture frame off the front, I discovered the original directions to this project:

I thought that was pretty great.

I re-typed all of the text in an old-timey font and printed out new copies of the songs.  I replaced a few of the pictures, too:

Then I got glue-gunnin' and covered the book in the creamy muslin.  I decided to use some black fabric for the frame and accent it with the red shiny stuff.  Once that was on, it didn't feel finished, so I added some grosgrain ribbon along the top and bottom.  It gave it a bound-book feel, which I really liked.
All in all, I'm really happy about how it turned out.  I hope my parents love it!  Merry Christmas, Mommy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

First post - my continuing adventures in creativity

I've had a creativity bug for awhile and have been crafting up a storm. I'm pretty excited about my little Etsy shop,, and decided to start writing about my adventures in creativity (I was an English major, after all).

A good starting place is probably my blog/shop's name - Iona's Closet. It's a name I've held dear since high school, when I decided I wanted to open a vintage store on the beach and name it after Iona from Pretty in Pink, my all-time favorite movie.

Although Andy's style is pretty great, too, I picked Iona because she has such a range of gorgeous vintage clothes. One day she's punky and the next, she's classic 40s. She's a little mod and then she's vintage-sweet. She never commits to a consistent style, but she fully commits to her look of the day.
The scene where Andy digs through Iona's closet and finds a prom dress is great, because it shows how extensive and kooky Iona's collection is - you can find a black rubber dress and a sweet 50s polka-dot dress in the same space!