The Little Black Jumpsuit

Jumpsuit: Bronx Diba Shoe Outlet; Necklace: Rung Boutique; Shoes: Goodwill
All photos c/o Elizabeth Wiseman Photography
You are cordially invited to a private tour and viewing of the Little Black Dress: From Mourning To Night exhibit at the Missouri History Museum. My eyes lit up as I read the details of the event. I had been invited to look at a collection of gorgeous dresses with some of my favorite local bloggers. Um, of course I was going! As I kept reading, I noticed the suggested dress code: "creative cocktail." No problem - until I read further. Each blogger was asked to wear her favorite little black dress. Easy enough and definitely apropos for the viewing. Assuming you're not 32 weeks pregnant. My smile started to fade. . .

I began majorly stressing about my outfit. (More than I normally do.) My top choice for "fave LBD" was not even a possibility. This black dress was cute a few months ago, but not so much now. And, I had an adorable black vintage maternity dress that was a bit too vintage, as it fell to pieces before the day was out. (Preggo gal tip: staples work wonders when you need to hold clothes together.) I finally decided that it was better to wear something that made me feel confident, rather than literally force myself into an ill-fitting garment. But, what exactly would that look like? I nixed a desperate trip to the mall's maternity store, not prepared to shell out 100 bucks for a dress I didn't like and would never wear again. Instead, I marched just a few steps from my work cubicle to the Bronx Diba Shoe Outlet and scooped up a simple black jumpsuit. With standout shoes, purse, and vintage necklace, it met the "creative cocktail" suggested attire for the evening. Whew! I made a joke about my "little black dress" conundrum on Twitter and proudly strutted my stuff at the museum. 

I got the clutch at a conference - one of those places with a slew of vendors, and I unfortunately lost their card. 
From this angle, the baby bump isn't really visible. . .
Oooh - there she is! It was really special sharing the evening with my little girl-to-be.
From left: Me, Emily and Danica of Fox & Gypsy, Julia of Oh, Julia Ann , Psyche of Economy of Style, and Elena from Cheetah Talk y Mas
What am I so intently focused on capturing? You'll have to visit the exhibit to find out!
Here is a pic of the lovely photographer, Elizabeth Wiseman herself. She made us all feel like glamour girls.
Have you ever had a fashion-emergency, especially if you've ever been pregnant? How did it turn out? 

Stay tuned for my recap of the Little Black Dress: From Mourning To Night exhibit at the Missouri History Museum in a future post. Until then, here is a great writeup. You can also follow the Missouri History Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for up-to-the-minute info. The private viewing doubled as a "Twitter Party," so enter the hashtag #LBDproject for some entertaining posts. We were even "trending" in St. Louis that night. Too cool! 

Electroforming At Craft Alliance - Week 3

For my final week as an electroforming goddess at Craft Alliance, I had every intention of going out with a bang. The instructor encouraged us to bring in whatever we chose for our last project, and my plan was to metallicize an origami dress or button-down shirt. (That would have been majorly cool, right?) Per usual since I’ve begun juggling full-time work and motherhood and pregnancy, my last minute planning was not conducive to any origami projects. Never fear – I had a Plan B: a mini umbrella, like one you put in a cocktail (or mocktail, as is the case for moi). Here are the before and after pics:
I drilled a tiny hole in the top of the umbrella so I can wear it on a necklace or hang it from somewhere.
When I arrived in class, I learned that my bottle and stork from week 1 were determined to float. This meant that only a portion of the items actually turned to metal. We ran it through the bath again, this time with strategically placed wires to weight them down. Here’s how they turned out. Not bad, huh?

After their first runs in the bath, the pinkish part turned to metal while the brown part did not on the bottle. Only the stork's feet got a good dose of metal.
See how it now looks fully covered? 2nd time was the charm!
This one came out much better the second time, too. Perfect? No. But interesting, conversation starter? Perhaps.
Project #2 was the calla lily hairpin. I was most excited about this one, since it’s not only ready-to-wear, it contains flowers from my bridal bouquet that I’m still obsessed with. (See pics from that day here.) It took several tries and magnifying goggles to coat every nook and cranny with copper paint, but the meticulous work was well worth it:

I would be happy to wear this on a headband or pin.
So, there you have it! It was a blast meeting the other artsy types in the class and seeing their clever projects. (One classmate used the plastic pieces that hold 45’ records. Another woman used tiny animal bones she collected from train tracks!) My future as an electroformer is uncertain, mainly because I don’t have the space for the necessary supplies (nor do I want tiny hands exploring the fun baths and machines). Yet, if I ever have access to a studio, it is a fun way to make unique jewelry and accessories. None of my projects turned out to perfection - as our instructor frequently reminded us, the electroforming process is unpredictable – but that doesn’t lessen the pride or enjoyment I experienced in making them.
Freshly painted projects waiting to go into the electrolyte bath.
Students carefully cleaning off their electroformed pieces.
Do you have any visions you have been wanting to bring to life? Don’t let fears of not being “creative enough” or not having prior experience stop you - get yourself signed up for a class! The folks at Craft Alliance maintain a supportive, down-to-earth environment. Have you ever learned a new artistic skill? How did it go?

Thanks again, Craft Alliance and ALIVE Influencer Network for giving me the tools to develop my delightful new artwork.  

Electroforming at Craft Alliance - Week 2

Craft Alliance is located at 6640 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63130; 314-725-1177
Photo credit here
About a half hour before this week’s class began, I went into a mini-panic. I’d raced home to have at least 30 minutes to spend with Ruby, had absolutely no idea which “porous” item to bring in to get electroformed, and was trying desperately to ignore the rumbling in my hungry belly (sorry, baby). I resigned myself to using whatever I could find in our front yard until I saw it: the adorable fake bouquet of calla lilies I bought years ago as part of a display in my office. Would this work? It definitely met my standards of quirky and pretty, but I wasn’t sure it was something that could be properly copperized. I threw it in my backpack, grabbed some cheddar goldfish, and made it to class with about 30 seconds to spare. (Just in case, I picked up a pine cone in the Craft Alliance parking lot.)

The class began with a look at last week’s projects. They looked amazing! We got a brief math lesson on how many amps we needed to course through the rectifier based on how much space our items took up in the bath. The instructor then placed each one carefully in the electrolyte bath, hooked up the necessary wires and anodes, and turned on the machine. My baby bottle and stork decided to float rather than immerse themselves in the bath, but Jen assured me that once the process started, they would start to fall into the bath.

Insects were a popular theme.
Electrolyte bath. Yes, that is a regular cooler. Whatever works, right?
This week, our task was to use something porous, which is a bit more difficult to work with. My creative classmates brought in everything from bones to pasta to dried flowers. I was delighted that my miniature calla lilies were perfect for electroforming, and one classmate had a brilliant idea: why not make a hairpin out of it? I plucked one of the million bobby pins hidden in my hair, attached it to the bouquet, and got to work. We first coated every nook and cranny of our piece with a protective sealant. Once that dried, we put on 2 coats of the copper paint. As you can see, my calla lilies looked pretty frickin’ cool:

How did it turn out after being electroformed? Stay tuned. . .I’ve got one recap left, and I’ll be live tweeting during the final class.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about my rumbling belly, the goldfish didn't cut it. I made a pit stop at White Castle on the way home. I got a veggie burger, so cut me some slack. (It was strange, but decent.) Baby #2 won't get any more White Castle again for several years. Right? We'll go with that. I mean, Pizza Hut is so much healthier anyway.

St. Louis friends, do you want to take a jewelry-making or some other incredibly crafty course? Check out the Craft Alliance web site and stay in the loop by following them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

P.S. Thanks, ALIVE Influencer Network and Craft Alliance for helping me realize my jewelry-designer dreams!