Craft Projects

Peacock Blue Dress

My sister and I make a dangerous pair when we go shopping together — we are both pros. We went out on Saturday to go shoe shopping, which turned into clothes shopping, which turned into shopping for the hubby, too.

I picked up this new dress from Old Navy on clearance for $11.99. 

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress Before

I loved the fit of it and the color, but there was a flaw in the fabric up front and center. For the price, I couldn’t let it slip away. So I bought it with the intentions of dressing up the top of the dress to hide the imperfection.

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress Spot

A while ago, I bought four packs of flat gems with the intention of using them to make a bib necklace. Instead, I pulled them out to jazz up my dress instead!

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress Gem

Each gem had two holes in it, so I double and triple stitched through each hole to secure the embellishments to my dress. I worked out a pattern along the top of the dress, and I would have stopped there but the imperfection was still showing. Then, I clustered the gems together in groups of two and three around the rest of the dress. This covered the flawed fabric perfectly. You wouldn’t even know it is there!

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress Beading

The dress took hours to jazz up. I “watched” half of an Indiana Jones movie and (begrudgingly) Game of Thrones before I was finished. 

My hard work paid off and the dress looks great. I’ll be interested to see how the gems hold up since there are only two holes to secure them. You can easily catch an edge and that might cause the thread to tear. Just hopefully not the fabric of the dress… that would suck.

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress After

I should apologize now for the crappy quality of these photos…. my iPhone usually does a much better job. 

Also, that picture doesn’t do this dress justice… so here I am modeling it for you (my favorite thing to do haha).

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress Complete

Yes, my phone case matches it almost perfectly. And yes, practically everything I won is some shade of blue, teal, mint green or aqua. It’s a life problem for me. 

{A Smith of All Trades} Blue Dress Complete Instagram

Cheesin’ it on Instagram. See, isn’t the dress cute? Love it!

I may have also bought this exact same dress in pink. I don’t know if I’ll embellish it or leave it be…. oh the possibilities!

Have a fabulous Monday!!


Turquoise necklace and craft night

{A Smith of All Trades} Turquoise Necklace

It had been four months since our last craft night, but last weekend my girlfriends and I finally got together again for some good food, yummy wine, fun crafting and much-needed girl time. We decided to keep it low-key and make jewelry. Since I have more beads than any one human being could possibly ever need or use, I happily hosted.

We made necklaces inspired by a Pinterest find; and although they took a while, they turned out great.

To make your own necklace you’ll need ribbon, two oversized jump rings, beads and eye pins. Simply string an individual bead onto an eye pin, then close the pin at the open end. Loop each new eye pin into the previous one, creating a chain as you go.

Once your chain is long enough, attach each end to an oversized jump rings. Do not connect your jump rings to one another.

If you want your necklace to have multiple chains, which I did, create and attach them to the existing jump rings as before. It helps to make each subsequent chain longer than the first so they hang nicely.

As a last step, add your ribbon. Loop both ends through the jump ring and back through itself on the other side (does that make any sense?).


{A Smith of All Trades} Turquoise Necklace

So pretty 🙂

In other news, if you can call it news, I am almost finished reading my Harry Potter books. I flew through the sixth book and am about 200 pages shy of the end of the seventh. They are seriously my favorite books ever and I am already planning on when I should reread the entire series again. The point is, as soon as I’m done reading this book, I’m free! I’ll actually stop being a book worm and do something crafty! Woo!

What do I have in the works?

  • Shutters for the house — purchased, but not installed
  • New lattice enclosure for our garbage cans because ours is hideous and falling apart
  • Ripping up the rocks along our driveway so I can lay weed barrier and make it look less atrocious (Thankfully, my dad already started on this for us.)
  • Maybe doing a weed treatment to our yard because it’s abhorrent… who knows about this though
  • I still want to make an ottoman for our family room, but I need pallets again
Craft Projects, Jewelry, Quick and Easy Crafts

Gunmetal and mint necklace

How was everyone’s Easter? My weekend was filled with three different dinners, a birthday brunch and simply way too much delicious food. Basically, it was awesome. My older sister came into town, and it was the first Easter and birthday we’ve celebrated with her in a decade (or so it seems). My mom, little sister and I took her to brunch in Baltimore at Cafe Hon to celebrate her birthday. It was a ton of fun.

{A Smith of All Trades} Easter Pic

Sunday was dinner at my dad’s house with my stepmom’s family and her brother’s partner’s family. I’ll give you a second to figure out that relationship 🙂 We only get to see them at Easter, which makes the holiday even more enjoyable.

My Easter craft was pretty simple, and I’m only just sharing it now because the weekend was SO busy and yesterday I had a killer headache. I even missed trivia, so you know it was crummy.

Anywho… I needed a new necklace for Easter. Yes, needed.

I had this old chain that I’d been hanging onto. I liked its chunkiness, but the length was awkward. You know what I mean…. long enough to occasionally disappear  under your shirt and just the right length to get stuck in cleavage… basically, the worst length for a necklace!

{A Smith of All Trades} Gunmental and Mint Necklace1

I cut the necklace in half using really strong pliers, then added a new section to the necklace of bright mint beads.

The beads were a gift from my bestie, and were a totally sweet thrift store find. To add them to the chain, I used beading wire and a crimp bead. I looped one end of wire around the end of the chain, then flattened and crimped the crimp bead so no beads would fall off.

{A Smith of All Trades} Gunmental and Mint Necklace2

Then, I strung the beads with gunmetal spacers in between, closing the wire at the other end with a crimp bead.

In about four minutes, my boring, awkward-lengthed necklace was transformed into the perfect necklace. My sister really liked the whole thing hanging asymmetrically, too.

{A Smith of All Trades} Gunmental and Mint Necklace

AND, it is also the perfect length to wrap around my wrist to become a chunky bracelet. #Winning.

{A Smith of All Trades} Gunmental and Mint Necklace3

I hope you all had a great Easter. The weather is finally getting warmer in Maryland, so hopefully I can start to tackle a few larger projects I’ve been wanting to do.

Oh, and our doors are supposedly in! Joyyyyyyyy 🙂 I’ll make sure to show you when they are all installed and beautiful!