Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Where the stars are?

Ha ha. I caught myself singing this to the tune of "Where the Boys Are," as I couldn't remember the actual title and lyrics to the song. It's all due to some commercial for a shopping center that changed the words to "Where the Stores Are" ("stores" and "stars" sound more alike than "stores" and "boys"). No wonder it came to mind while working with these stars from my February Eco Emi box.

Just like with the snowflakes from the January box, I decided to find a way to incorporate these stars into something I could wear, rather than just toss. I guess I could have put them in a gift to someone else, but this project was more fun.

Inspired by connected bracelet rings (I happen to think this one is really sweet) and old school friendship bracelets (an appropriate use for something that came out of an Eco Emi box, as Christine's intention is to present them like gifts from a friend), I tied together this star-embellished friendship bracelet with linked ring.

First of all, in case you don't know how to tie a basic double chain knot friendship bracelet, I'll talk you through the process with pictures.

Start by cutting two very long pieces of embroidery floss in the colors of your choice (one of each color). When folded in half, they should still be a few times longer the the length of your finished project (the measurement from your middle finger to the top of your wrist and wrapped around to the other side of your wrist). Fold the two pieces of floss in half and tie a loop in the center that will fit comfortably over your middle finger.

Use a piece of tape to secure the loop to a table or other surface where you plan to work. Divide the now four strands into groups of two of the same color. I separated mine into peach strands on the right and white strands on the left.

I actually made some of the knots before deciding to take pictures of the rest of the steps. Now, I'm going to show those of you who don't know how to make these knots a photo demonstration of how to make one knot of one color, followed by one knot of the other.

To make a peach knot, I started with the peach strands on the left and the white strands on the right. I crossed the white strands across the top of the peach strands, and from the bottom, looped the peach ones up over the white strands and then down through the loop (see why these pictures are necessary).

Making sure to keep the white strands pointing down, I pulled the peach strands upward to tighten the loop. The tightened peach strands should end up wrapped around the white strands.

Repeating the same steps one more time, I formed a peach colored knot, as shown.

Moving on to the white knot, I started with the white strands on the left and the peach strands on the right. I crossed the peach strands across the top of the white strands, and from the bottom, looped the white ones up over the peach strands and the down through the loop.

Making sure to keep the peach strands pointing down, I pulled the white strands upward to tighten the loop. The tightened white strands should end up wrapped around the peach strands.

Repeating the same steps one more time, I formed a white knot.

Okay, so I'm sounding very repetitive, like a broken record, but that's just how it goes. You'll need to keep repeating these steps, until you reach the length of your middle finger to your wrist (with enough slack to allow you to take your finished creation on and off when the time comes, as well as being able to move your hand freely with it on).

When you reach your desired length, it's time to add in more floss and more directions, specifically one going left and the other going right. Forming a "T" shape, keep the finished knots facing vertically, put one color floss all the way to the left and the other all the way to the right, so that they lay horizontally across your work surface.

Cut two more strands of floss (one of each color) to match the length of the entire line of horizontal floss. Lay it parallel, next to the horizontal floss. Now you are ready to change directions and incorporate it into your friendship jewelry design.

Remove the tape carefully and now use it to secure one of the unfinished groups of floss. Then, begin knotting the other loose strands until it is the length of half of your wrist width. Move the tape to secure these knotted strands, and repeat on the other side. You should end up with a "T" shape.

At this point, you can either attach a clasp, or a safety pin, which is what I used to hook the bracelet on my wrist. I tied the safety pin to one side and tied a loop on the other. You could also just knot the finished bracelet on to your wrist, but you would have to leave it on until you decide to cut it off. If that is the case, you'll want to do the next step before tying it on your wrist.

Here's where the stars come in; it's time to embellish your friendship jewelry. Just simply sew the stars on with a needle and thread, as you would with a button. It's easy to puncture the stars with the needle. Make a few loops to attach each one and make a knot to hold them in place. Add as many or as little as you'd like. Voila! You're done :-)


Oh, and since I was trying to find ways to reuse the festive Eco Emi packaging (there wasn't a lot, but I don't like to waste things), I also thought about making a green tissue paper corsage of some sort. I got kind of silly playing around with it, in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day coming up. Maybe I'll just use it to wrap a present for someone else.

P.S. I'm wearing that lovely lip gloss I got in
my Eco Emi box this month. Love it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Stiletto

I've always been impressed with chocolate fashions, like those showcased at this chocolate couture event. I'm also a huge fan of chocolate-covered strawberries, which I usually make for our Oscar celebrations. After posting my 24 Carrot Golden Cupcakes in high heel form, I just had to combine my love of fashion and chocolate-covered strawberries to create this Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Stiletto.

Strawberry Stiletto Cupcake

*Makes one chocolate strawberry high heel cupcake, perfect for the chocolate fashion runway, although not meant to wear on your feet
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp. date paste
  • generous drizzle of pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • *two fresh strawberries for filling and garnish (I used a chocolate-covered strawberry for the filling)
  • *chocolate bar cut in a "heel" shape (I used part of a Gnosis Chocolate Aphrodisia bar, which has a cool design printed on it)
  • *Butterdream icing (I used my vanilla bean and strawberry versions)
  • *quick and easy chocolate icing (cocoa powder mixed with pure maple syrup) for decorating
In a mini food processor or blender, grind the almonds, cashews, cocoa powder and freeze-dried strawberries into a flour-like consistency (you can also substitute some of the almonds for leftover nut pulp from making nutmilk to result in a lighter cake texture), and transfer the "flour" to a bowl.

Next, add the date paste, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Whisk to combine (a whisk helps keep the "batter" fluffier). The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire).

Form a third of the batter into narrow triangular shape, about the thickness of a Larabar (or you could probably use a Larabar for this part), and set aside. Then, using the rest of the batter, form a cupcake shape, leaving a melon ball size valley in the center and a small amount to the side to top it off. Fill the cupcake with a fresh strawberry (I actually used a chocolate-covered strawberry) and top it with the excess dough. Carefully blend in the seams.

Attach the triangular shaped batter to the side of the cupcake top and support the free end with the chocolate bar "heel." You'll need to press the bar slightly into the batter to help hold it in place. Allow to set in the fridge for a few minutes.

Frost the cupcake shoe "sole" (the triangular shaped batter) with Strawberry Butterdream Icing and the top of the cupcake with Vanilla Bean Butterdream Icing. Then, decorate with a fresh strawberry half cut to look like a heart and quick and easy chocolate icing designs. Delish!


And, BTW, we did have our usual Sunday dinner and Oscar viewing party last night (rather than going with the plan mentioned in my other high heel cupcake post). It just was in shifts (my sister, her hubby and kids came late, and my hubby and I had to get our kids home before the end, as it was a school night) and not as elaborate as in other years (not everyone dressed up, and those who did, toned it down a notch).

"The Hayster" (one of her many nicknames) and I did get gussied up a bit. Hayden tiptoed around in her pretty princess dress (that's what she calls fluffy dresses) and I took advantage of the opportunity to wear a lovely frock my hubby got me for Christmas.

Since my mom suggested incorporating an Oscar movie theme of some sort, I opted to add some vintage styling, in honor of my favorite flicks, "The Artist," (congrats on winning Best Picture, as I predicted), "My Week With Marilyn" (Michelle Williams looked stunning last night; she was one of my best dressed picks, along with Stacy Keibler and Gwyneth Paltrow) and "Hugo" (I took both kids to see it in 3-D. I would have included "The Help" in that list, but I haven't seen it ... yet).

I covered my bare shoulders with a classic cardigan, adorned my neck with an old beaded necklace that once belonged to my mother-in-law, drew some attention to my legs with these foxy fishnets (with the seam up the back; after seeing this photo taken by my hubby, I made sure to line them up better), yet sported a sensible pair of vintage-inspired wedges that I found buried in the back of my closet.

Hayden thought I should have worn some pointed toe stilettos, and even tried to put them on herself. She looked so cute that I snapped this pic for you.

Here are the rest of the photos from our shoot before walking out the door. It was fun to dress up and have our picture taken together ... even if I had to squat down to fit in the picture with my pretty princess.

Have a lovely day!


In case you missed it:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Eco Emi celebrates 1-year anniversary

Hi everyone. I'm extra excited to blog about this month's Eco Emi box, as it's also the service's 1-year anniversary. And to celebrate, Eco Emi's founder Christine was kind enough to participate in today's Q&A.

But, before we get to that, let me show you what's in this month's box. You can watch our initial reaction in the video above (here's the one from last month, if you missed it) and then check out our thoughts typed out below (we did the same thing for our January box and even followed up with a project using the fun snowflakes that came inside it).

The box, of course, contained the usual message from Christine. You can tell she's been paying special attention to everyone's suggestions. I just love how she treats her customers, like friends, as you'll also notice in the packaging. Her personal touches are so fun. Hayden was drawn to the sparkling stars and the Eco Emi sticker, while I'm a huge fan of the reusable drawstring bags.

The first items you'll notice are the bar soap, shampoo and conditioner in a sweet pastel pink sheer cloth bag. Here are the details, as printed on the enclosed card, followed by my thoughts:

OluvSuds Soap by Oluv Skin: "This moisturizing hand and body soap hydrates, nourishes and cleanses the skin. Created from naturally grown, estate-cold-pressed, 100% extra virgin olive oil, rosemary, citrus, sage and lemongrass, essential oils and salt. OluvSuds leaves your skin feeling clean, smooth and refreshed."

This is the perfect size for a trial soap. The ingredients are so clean and pure. Even the scent is light and refreshing. I don't know if I should use it now or pack it with me on a trip. "Luv" the name, too!

Organic Energy Shampoo & Conditioner by Greenbody Green Planet: "Energy Shampoo & Conditioner are one of the most pure and clean hair lines available for fine/normal hair. Your hair will achieve natural volume and vitality with weightless hydration and balanced nutrition."

I love trying new natural shampoos and conditioners, especially if they are cruelty-free and vegan. I can't wait to wash my hair with this tomorrow. Will let you know what I think. If I like it, I'll probably keep these bottles to refill for travel. Actually, the pink pouch with all three products would be nice to take on vacation.


Beneath the pink pouch were coupons and a sample pack of kid-friendly sunscreen.

Sunblock by Dr. Robin: "Dr. Robin all-natural chemical-free sunscreen with an SPF 30 was created by a Beverly Hills Dermatologist, using a formula featuring quinoa, oat and green tea extract, creating a unique but effective sunscreen that is clean and never tested on animals."

You know I was happy to receive this sample. I just wish it was bigger. Something tells me I'll be purchasing a full-size soon.

Next, Hayden and I checked out an item wrapped in green tissue paper. It felt like something from Pangea Organics (one my favorite lines), but it was something even more glamorous (and a full-size, too).

Freedom Lip Gloss by Revolution Organics: "For gorgeously healthy lips, this good-for-you gloss is rich in vitamins and antioxidants to leave lips beautifully moisturized and gorgeously glossy. Formulated with 85% certified organic ingredients and NO BAD STUFF!"

My lip gloss came in the shade "integrity," which I thought was a pretty cool name. It is a pink sparkly color, which looks great on me. I'm so modest. Ha ha :-) Oh, and it had a $26 value!


Moving on to our smaller box of goodies, here's what we found inside:

Herbal Chocolate Mint Truffle Tea by Mighty Leaf Tea: "Chocolate Mint Truffle rooibos tea is a yummy blend of chocolate cacao nibs, mint and rooibos leaves. Rooibos and chocolate are both great sources of antioxidants. Enjoy this guilt-free indulgence, great for kids and adults alike."

OMG! I've been wanting to try this tea ever since I saw it on another blog. Rooibos is my favorite and you know how much I love chocolate and mint. Should I drink it now, or save it for a special occasion? Either way, it won't last long :-)

Dagoba lip balm by Eco Lips: "Organic Dagoba lip balms are based on three flavors from Dagoba's chocolate bar collection, including mint, roseberry and lavender. Each customer will receive one surprise flavor. These lip balms are pleasing in taste and also contain moisturizing & soothing oils for healing protection."

Eco Lips and Dagoba are an amazing combination. One of my favorite lip balms teaming up with such a scrumptious chocolate is a match made in heaven. I received the lavender balm, which is just right for me (and Hayden, too, who tested it out in the video).

Body Butter by Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques: "I love body butters, especially Lauren's Sweet Chai made with incredibly rich and moisturizing organic butters & oils. This body butter will leave you smelling so yummy and your driest spots will feel soft and smooth!"

I'm so glad Christine introduced me to this line. I got a full-size eyeliner in my last box that I'm wearing in today's video (I'm also sporting the JR Watkins lip tint I got in my January box). This body body really does smell like chai. I'll probably order some more. I also plan on saving the sample container for a future project.

Lavender & White Tea Towelettes by Crystal Essence: "This Crystal-infused 100% biodegradable deodorant towelette offers all the great benefits in a grab and go packet. Pop some into your purse for a weekend trip, when camping and stay fresh all day long. Made with natural mineral salts, plus natural lavender, white tea extracts and essential oils."

I know it's TMI, but it's been a bit warmer around here lately. As a result, I was probably feeling less than fresh in the armpit area when I was filming today's video. I nearly blurted out exactly how anxious I was to try this and tested out when I was done with the video. I love the lavender scent, the easy application and how long it lasts. I actually cut my first towelette (there were four in the box) in half, to increase my number of uses.

Greener Loving Organic Soap Nuts: "I came across this product, tried it and immediately thought I MUST get this into my box for my customers to try, as well. Soap Nuts are small, berry-like fruits with a hard shell that grow in warm, tropical climates like India and other south Asian countries. A 100% certified organic laundry detergent that is so easy to use and simply fun!"

At first Hayden and I thought these were a snack, as they do look like berries ... then, we read the notecard :-) I've heard about these and have been so curious about them. I'll let you know how they work.


Anyway, I'm so please with this month's box and can't wait to see what's to come. And, now for the Q&A with Christine. She's so sweet and genuine. I think you'll agree. Oh, and I found the cute pic below on her site.

Q: How and why did you start Eco Emi? Who's Emi?

A: "I started Eco Emi for a number of reasons. I had made the decision to live a greener life, and it was very overwhelming, expensive and everything was a guessing game. I spent a huge amount of money constantly trying new items out, only to find that some I liked and some were awful. Many of the products did not have very clean ingredients that were disguised to look like good for you products; many items just did not work or tasted horrible. It's quite frustrating.

"After some time, I started to get to know the products and ingredients. Eventually, I was wasting less and less money and product, until finally I had made it through the grueling process and was living the total green life affordably and thoroughly enjoying everything I used. I do not miss the old non organic foods, non clean makeup, etc.

"I also had friends who really wanted to follow what I did, but every time they spent the extra (money) to get some green products, they never liked them and then wasted money. They would always say to me, "just take me shopping and show me what to get."

"It really made me realize that I think most people truly do want to live better green lives, but its too hard and discouraging when you start out and most people really can't afford to make the change. That is why Eco Emi is so helpful. I will never go back to that chemical filled, animal tested negative world of products.

"Emi was my dog "Emilia" and she was my best friend. At a very young age, she suddenly got very sick. It turns out dog food and all of the fillers, chemicals and over processed junk in dog food was killing her. By the time I figured everything out, she never had dog food again. I spent nearly $15,000.00 in six months between vets, medicines, foods and more. Finally I started to cook her real meals, vegetables, fish, etc., and she made almost a full recovery. But, the medicines the vets had put her on, that I had been trying to ween her off of, eventually got the best of her and she passed away.

"Our web site has the full story, but the whole situation was completely devastating and it made me realize what we put into and onto our bodies is the most important thing for our well being and an animals well being. I researched so much about dog food what was in it, a dogs health and then human food, health, etc. It was an eye opener and pretty scary."

Q: How does the service work?

A: "To join, it's $15.00 a month. The payment will automatically be taken out every 30 days, and you can cancel anytime. Every month you receive a gift box filled with 5-10 eco friendly, organic, all natural, fair trade, vegan and vegetarian products. The boxes always have fun and exciting items to sample, everything from food, to makeup, accessories to house cleaning products. We try to have a variety of items in every box to cover all areas of turning your life into a greener one.

"Also our packaging changes every month, giving you a new fresh unexpected look and feel every time you open our box. I hate commercial feeling programs or services. It was important that my packages felt like they were gifts friends of mine were getting every month from another friend. Girls tend to put that extra special touch into packaging a special gift to a friend, so it was important my packages had that personal feeling.

Q: How do you select the items featured in each month's box?

A: "Very carefully :) I am picky and do try everything out first; it must be something I really do like and use. I have actually had some companies angry at me for requesting samples first and one who was angry at me because I told them their ingredients were not clean enough for our box. I regularly get products from companies to try and I'm constantly shopping and bringing home loads of products to try. Its fun and its something I'm passionate about, but it's a lot of work.

"What can be very frustrating is seeing other sampling programs pop up that are not taking it seriously, but looking for a business to try and make money. I take what I do very seriously, and because I am so picky, it makes my job much harder. But, the end result I truly think is better, because I know 100% I am featuring the best products I can find that truly do work, taste good and are clean green products."

Q: Which month has had the most popular box so far, and what was in it? How and where can customers purchase those products?

A: "Hmmm, I think our May box was a big hit. The box had a full-sized bar soap from Pangea Organics that smelled amazing, and you could even plant the (Pangea Organics soap) box to grow a spruce tree. There were makeup items, food bars and more. This box also had my favorite packaging look to it.

"You can purchase all of the products from our boxes in the shop section of our web site. This section features all of our boxes and what was in them. If you click on any item, you will be directed to the companies web site to purchase the item. Inside our boxes, we often put in coupons or discount codes from the companies for future purchases. We also work with a number of wildlife organizations; I adore wildlife and spreading awareness about them is extremely important to me.

Q: As the company grows, what can we expect in the future from Eco Emi?

A: "A lot :) We have loads of plans in motion and one really fun new feature we are getting ready to launch very soon. We have really looked outside the box literally and are expanding in a number of ways that I know the customers will LOVE! This next year is going to prove very fun and exciting. I would say more, but we have to stay hush, hush right now just know we are doing things very different then the other programs. We want to stay as separate from the other commercialized programs as possible."


Thanks so much Christine for answering our questions today. Happy one-year anniversary :-)

*BTW, I just wanted to mention that I paid for this service.
I just happen to be a big fan.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cinderella might not make it to the ball

If you've been following my blog all along, you probably already know about my family's award show tradition. For the Academy Awards (and the Golden Globes and sometimes the Emmy's, too), we have our own private party, complete with ballots (we compete to see who comes up with the most accurate predictions), hors d'oeuvres (I love an excuse to make chocolate-dipped strawberries), dress-up clothes (we get dressed up for the occasion, usually in old prom or homecoming dresses) and a red carpet photo shoot (pics on a scrap of red fabric).

Unfortunately, the usual Sunday dinner crowd might not be complete this year. A third of the group has other plans (my nephew's big cub scout event is on the same night, and his parents and brother wouldn't miss it for the world). It just wouldn't be the same without them.

My father suggested we get together on Monday instead to watch a recording of the Oscars. We could just pretend it was Sunday night. But, to make it seem more realistic, we'd have to wait to view the awards or find out who won. That means we'd have to go a full 24-hours avoiding the radio, television and all social media. You can't even check the weather without finding out the Oscar results these days.

It reminds me of that episode of "How I Met Your Mother," when the cast decided to do the same thing with the Super Bowl. It didn't quite go as planned for them either.

In the end, I might just stay home and paint my nails this glittery gold "Oscar" color. Maybe I'll enjoy a yummy Rawdorable version of these high heel cupcakes. As usual, mine is nut-based, rather than the traditional baked variety. It's just fun to assemble food this way.

The "cake" flavor is based on the Ginger-Macadamia-Coconut-Carrot Cake from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Vegan With A Vengeance" cookbook, which perfectly compliments my cupcake shoe's carrot stick stiletto heel, coconut pineapple sparkles (coconut flakes and freeze-dried pineapple finely ground into a sparkle dust) and macadamia nut "pearls."

I shaped my cupcake (leaving room for some extra icing that doubles as a filling) and formed some of the excess "batter" like the sole/arch of a high heel shoe. I frosted it with my "Butterdream," although you could also use Punk Rawk Labs plain nutmilk cheese mixed with your favorite sweetener.

After decorating it with coconut pineapple sparkles, macadamia nut "pearls" and a golden raisin flower (I thought they shined like gemstones), I took a few pics of it to share with you, posing on its own red carpet. I even converted some of the photos to black and white in honor of "The Artist," my personal pick for Best Picture. Who do you think will win?

Oh, and if you are interested in how to make the base of this cupcake, here's the recipe. I named it 24 Carrot Golden Cupcake for the carrots, golden raisins and the possible 24 hours of waiting to find out the Oscar results. In true movie magic fashion, I've also transformed the black and white pics back to color (like in "The Wizard of Oz").

24 Carrot Golden Cupcake
*Makes one yummy Rawdorable cupcake, perfect for the red carpet
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 1/8 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. freeze-dried pineapple
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated carrot (I used a microplane to grate mine)
  • 1 Tbsp. macadamia nuts
  • 1 Tbsp. golden raisins
  • 1 Tbsp. date paste
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • dash of sea salt
  • cinnamon and ginger, to taste
  • *Butterdream icing (I used my vanilla bean version) or Punk Rawk Labs plain nutmilk cheese combined with your favorite sweetener, to taste
  • *coconut pineapple sparkles (coconut and freeze-dried pineapple ground into a sparkly dust), more macadamia nuts and golden raisins for decorating
In a mini food processor or blender, grind the almonds, coconut flakes and freeze-dried pineapple into a flour-like consistency (you can also substitute some of the almonds for leftover nut pulp from making nutmilk to result in a lighter cake texture). Add the finely grated carrot and process again to incorporate.

Then, add the macadamia nuts and process one more time to break them up a bit (you want them to still be recognizable as macadamia nut pieces throughout your "cake"). Transfer the "flour" to a bowl.

Next, add the golden raisins, date paste, vanilla, sea salt, cinnamon and ginger. Whisk to combine (a whisk helps keep the "batter" fluffier). The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire).

Form the batter into a cupcake shape, leaving a melon ball size valley in the center and a small amount to the side to top it off. Fill the cupcake with raw "butterdream" and top it with the excess dough. Carefully blend in the seams.

Frost the cupcake with more "Butterdream" Icing. Then, decorate with coconut pineapple sparkles, macadamia nut "pearls" and golden raisins positioned to look like a flower on top. Yum!

*This recipe can be made into a high heel cupcake by setting some of the batter aside to form the sole/arch of the cupcake shoe before forming the actual cupcake shape. Use this piece to connect the cupcake to a carrot stick heel. Then, decorate to look like an embellished shoe.


Have fun watching the awards!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My hat is now a purse ;-)

I'm a big fan of "Project Runway" and its spin-off shows ("Project Accessory" and "Project Runway All Stars"). Sometimes I catch myself using Tim Gunn's famous phrase, "make it work."

Well, when I say it, I mean it. I love to find ways to make items work for me, even if they didn't seem made for me in the first place.

For example, my hubby's uncle sent this hat my way (a store went out of business and he saved it from being tossed into the dumpster; wasn't that so sweet of him? I thought so), which doesn't quite look right on me, so I found another way to wear it.

First, I tried to "make it work" on my head, as intended. I took these self-portraits in my usual outstretched-handed fashion to get a better idea of how it looked on me. No matter how I wore it, my hubby just laughed and said I should only wear it when he's not around (definitely not a flattering indication).

I was determined to find a way to save the poor discarded head piece, so I decided to turn it into a purse. Here's how I did it, or as Tim Gunn would say, "made it work":

To line the "purse" and give it some shape, I inserted an old make up bag that I got for free from Nordstrom years ago. It was one of my "prizes" I received for donating my old jeans. I don't know why I kept it all these years, but I'm glad I did.

Speaking of make up bags, am I the only one who always seems to end up with way more of them than I need? They tend to come with everything. If you don't have one as structured as my freebie, you can try replicating this craft with a bag from a travel or trial-size kit, like this one I received for Christmas from my sister, Lori.

Okay, back to making the purse out of a hat. For the strap, I decided to compliment the vintage look of the hat with some old beads my mother-in-law sent my way (she gave me a bag of old jewelry that I use for upcycled jewelry and other projects). I used that trusty duck tape again to secure it to the make up bag before putting the bag inside the hat.

I made sure to adjust the makeup bag and beads to line up exactly how I wanted them before moving on to the next step, sewing the pieces in place.

I opted to use a ladder/hidden stitch to attach the makeup bag to the inside of the hat. It's the same stitch I used to make that t-shirt infinity scarf recently. There is a link within that scarf post which will show you how to do this stitch.

I stitched the hat to the zipper part of the makeup bag, making sure to stay as close to the bag and as far from the zipper as possible (you want the zipper to still be functional when you're finished stitching). When I got to the section where the bead straps were, I made sure to loop around them a couple times to secure them in place.

When you're done stitching all the way around the top of the bag, make sure your last stitch is inside the bag and finish it off with a knot. Now your bag is complete and ready to wear out and about with a cute and complimentary outfit.

Here's how it looks when I carry it on my shoulder:

The best part about this project is that none of the pieces were altered in the process. If I want to go back to using these items as a hat, necklace and makeup bag, all I need to do is remove the stitches and tape. Very cool :-)

Oh, and since I thought this bag had a vintage look (reminds me of some of the fashions on the Ruche website; maybe I should submit this post to their blog), I decided to "age" today's pics. I usually don't alter my photos, but I just discovered this option on my computer the other day. So fun. I love what it does to my rose pic; I'm so lucky to have received them for Valentine's Day from my hubby. They are still as beautiful as ever!

Hope you have a lovely day!


In case you missed it: