Category Archives: Accessorize

For the Makers

Lauren and Justin’s Christmas gift to me was very in tune with my new year’s resolution.

I had never heard of For the Makers before, but it’s a great gift idea. A lot of my craft ideas don’t come to fruition because it takes a lot of time to gather all the supplies, which can also be part of the fun if you have time to spare. This is why For the Makers is appealing – everything is mailed to you in one small package. The crafts aren’t time consuming, but the end result is beautiful.

You do lose out on the freedom of coming up with your own project, and the creative process that accompanies that, but it’s refreshing to have everything at your fingertips when you do feel the crafting bug coming.

I was so excited about the January box that I made everything at once. It hardly took anytime, and soon I had four new trinkets to enjoy.



I can’t wait to see what’s in next month’s package!

Until next time,


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Happy New Year

I can’t believe it’s already 2013…and I definitely haven’t been keeping up with my blog.

But, my new year’s resolution should help with that. I decided that every gift I make will be hand made – or as close to hand made as possible. Oh to own a wood shop, pottery studio, and a glass blowing studio.

I started early by making a Christmas gift for my friend Max. He was using an old notebook and a rubber band as his iPhone case. It was pretty sad looking. I had some extra time at work (what with working Saturdays and Sundays), so I made him a new leather iPhone case.

I had only worked with leather once before, in college. The costume shop at school had a leather machine, so it was fairly easy to work with leather. I made a purse from scrap pieces of leather – I’m usually not a fan of patch-work anything, but leather isn’t cheap. I’ve actually only used the purse once, but I still like having it around as a reminder of days when I had more time to be creative.

leather purse

Making a phone case was very different. It’s much smaller, so while the project took considerably less time, I had to go at a slower pace while sewing. The first trial I made definitely looked “hand made,” and not in a good way. With some pointers from the sample hands at work, the second one looked much better. We don’t have leather machines at work, so it was interesting to learn what steps to take to make the machine workable for sewing leather. I liked the way the case turned out, but also have adjustments I would make if I were to continue making them.

leather phone case leather phone case

Here’s to a great 2013 – full of new crafts!


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Imitation Ann D Necklace

Before Gu Housekeeping, I had another blog, which I sorely neglected…but I want to take the time now to reintroduce one of my favorite creations during that time.

Meet the Ann Demeulemeester Epine Woven Leather Necklace (whoo, that’s a mouthful). Who wouldn’t want a black leather necklace that doubles as a headband? No one, you say? I’m glad we agree.

BUT…who doesn’t want to shell out $$ for a black leather necklace…that would be me.

Left to my own devices, I created my own version using leather scraps & metal closures.

I started with 3 strands of leather; I’ll call them strand A, B and C. I twisted strand A around strand B (from M&J Trimming). After that was complete, I twisted strand C for the finishing touch. I used metal clamps to finish the ends.

And tada! A new bracelet & necklace!

I still wear it to this day and am happy over the $ I saved.

Why spend when you can craft?


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Funny Face

While I was jewelry making, I decided to put on some favorite movies of mine. As I watched Funny Face, starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, I grew more and more enamored with the costumes. It made me sad that women don’t dress this way anymore. Unfortunately, Google didn’t have many images from the movie, so I actually paused the screen and took them myself. Dorky, yes, but I had to share these gorgeous compositions.

All the shots just led me to make a 1950s Funny Face inspired composition of Gu’s Goods:

1. Headscarf (Hermes $305)

2. Brooch (Ballyhoo Vintage $24)

3. Shimmering Trellis Heels (Anthropologie $168)

4. Travel Bag (Ebay $15.95)

5. Penny Loafers (Annie Madison $16.65)

6. Pencil Skirt (Jason Wu $770)

7. Yashica Mat TLR Camera (Etsy sold)

8. Colorful Duo Eyeshadow (Sephora $16)

9. Lots of Luxe Gloves (ModCloth $65)

10. Vintage Wicker Suitcase (Ebay $22.50)

11. Arci Sleeveless Shirt (ACNE $259)

12. Ballerina Dress (Lilli Ann sold)

13. Betmar Ethel Turban (VillageHatShop $21.95)



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Recycled Jewelry

I like to look for unconventional and sustainable objects for new jewelry pieces. I always save broken jewelry if I think it can be useful later.

Set #1:

Left to Right:

1. A street vendor in Soho had a beautiful pair of earrings made from small tusks and told me she got them from The Evolution Store around the corner. I went there directly and picked them up, along with the copper nugget next to it. Instead of earrings, I decided to make them into a delicate necklace.

2. Copper Nugget ($3) from The Evolution Store. Chain from Ebay ($6 for 3). I was able to make versatile necklaces with the rest of the chains (I bought 2 packs). Post coming soon.

3. I lost one earring, so it became a necklace.

4. Clock charm from China. I used the leftover chain from the Anthropologie Jewelry post.

Set #2

Left to Right

1. This was a bigger, statement necklace but the bottom section fell off. I still really like the simplicity of the fleur de lis bar.

2. Shell from The Evolution Store paired with a keychain from the Brooklyn Flea. Chain was leftover from Anthropologie Jewelry post.

3. Pendant from Garage Sale with recycled chain.

4. This was a watch, which I broke, so naturally it becomes a necklace.

None of these required any skill, but I think they are still unique pieces. What odd objects do you make jewelry out of? I’d love to hear!



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Repurposed Anthropologie Jewelry

Anthropologie is about 2 blocks from my office…very dangerous. Last week, I went 3 days out of 5…but it did lead me to find some jewelry pieces to take apart and redesign. Of course I scoured the sale section, because using full priced Anthropologie items for crafting is a bit ridiculous.


These beaded necklaces are so eye catching, but I’m not fond of the yellow tassels at the end and I don’t think the chain suits the clusters of jewels. With minimal labor and time, two necklaces became a pair of earrings.




I love chunky chains but the beads surrounding the chain looked dull. I decided to punch it up and looked to Tom Binns for inspiration.


INSPIRATION: I love the mixing of classic pearls, vintage rhinestones and misplaced safety pins. It goes to show, matching is not always the best answer.


I also scored my first Tom Binns creation in the form of his Madhatter necklace for Disney Couture. I love the unusual charms: thimbles, buttons, spools of thread, scissors and safety pins. It reminds me of my studio days of cutting, draping, sewing.









I’m going to start collecting more chains so I can make more of these beauties! Since you can customize them, they make great gifts!


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Happy (belated) (Chinese) New Year!


You will find posts about simple recipes, quick ways to update your wardrobe, diy decor, fashion tips, thrifting finds, “how to” answers, Feng Shui Fridays and so much more.  

A good friend of mine told me to just bite the bullet and start blogging already. So, this post is dedicated to you LP!

Well, in keeping with the spirit of a fresh start in the new year, there’s no time like the present. I never specified which “New Year”, and luckily I’m only 1 day behind.


It’s fitting that the first post will be the first installment of….drumroll please…


I’m going to bend the rules a bit since it’s my first post, and it’s my blog. Yeah, I do what I want.

Let’s lump this post under “Feng Shui Fridays…and unrelated Chinese superstitions.”

Since it’s the year of the Rabbit (insert rabbit sound here…have you ever heard a rabbit make a sound?), those of you born in the year of the Rabbit will need to beware. So sorry to be a downer on my first post, but I’m trying to save you from a year of EPIC DOOM. No joke. I do not joke about anything epic.

According to Chinese Superstition, when one’s zodiac rolls around (that’s every 12 years people), it’s likely to be an unfortunate year. And it doesn’t matter when your birthday is, your year of bad luck starts at the beginning of the Chinese New Year and ends on the following new year. Many of my friends and I have had THE WORST year to date in our zodiac year.

In order to dispel some of the bad luck, you should don anything in red…EVERY SINGLE DAY. I didn’t heed the advice of my mother…I should know by now that “mother knows best.” My friend said she doesn’t own red clothing, as it augments her “Asian flush,” but no worries. When I say “anything in red,” I mean it: unmentionables, accessories, shoelaces, etc. My friend promptly replied that she will dye her eyebrows red…unconventional, yes…but if it shields the wrath of the new year, nothing is too drastic.

If you still need further help wading through the red abyss, look no further! Today, we’ll be coveting all things red & rabbit in this edition of…


1. Nike Skinny Dunk Highs for Women with a black & red feather pattern inspired by French textile designer Paule Marrot (Nike $90)

2. Disney Couture Alice In Wonderland Rabbit Ring (Amazon $35)

3. Keyboard Laptop Sleeve (Kate Spade $60)

4. Malt Fedora by Molly Yestadt (Yestadt Millinery price upon request)

5. Vintage Bunny Brass Chain Necklace (Etsy $22)

6. Chinese Small Altar Table (Pearl River $195)

7. Red Plaid Wool Bow Tie (Fine and Dandy $49)

8. Chaukadi Red Scarf by Ijumni (Calypso St. Barth $250)

If you’ve found some awesome red & rabbit finds, please share!

Thanks for reading!


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