Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ode To The LBD...a fashion show poem

Twas the week before the LBD Show,
Excitement was building with those 'in the know'.
The fitting area a buzz with models in clothes,
"This will be great on the runway," as anticipation continually rose.

The committee was working, intent on the details,
Me thinks it's time to find the Black Tie and Tails!
Me with my laptop, others with an IPad,
Our brains on overload with stripes, polka dots and plaid.

When out in the plant there rose such a clatter,
"A model with no handbag", that's what was the matter!
 Away from the racks I flew like a bird
"A runway look, no purse?" well, that is absurd!

Florescent lights fell on a barrel of totes,
And what is that over there? A rack of new coats?
When what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But Radiant Orchid clutch! Away goes my fear!

"Now Mara, and Maxin, Mandy and Fran,
let's put this show together! Time to finalize the plan!"
Scampering, running and steaming the clothes,
Models perfecting their runway pose.

Designer looks, styled to perfection,
The shoppers will have a super selection!
Sequins, satin and even a little lace,
"Attention to details girls, let's pick up the pace!"

Then in a moment, I heard the rev on a motor,
The Goodwill truck was waiting, the event is getting closer.
I fretted over the finishing touch,
I believe this will be the best show yet, I believe it very much!

I packed up my car, with shoes, pants and racks,
The show will be amazing, sharing some Goodwill facts.
Tickets are going fast, call now to reserve your spot,
The best fashion show in town, miss it you should not!

Yes, seating is now limited, only a few chairs to go,
Get your ticket now if you want to see the show!
The luncheon will be grand, shopping the highlight,
See you on Thursday, get your ticket on the website. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Style Your Bookshelves

The art of styling bookshelves had never really been important to me until I started perusing pictures on Pinterest and saw the carefully curated collections and beauty in the organized book spines. Of course, I don't have an unlimited budget where I can add decorative books in one carefully choreographed color or an unlimited budget for fantastic looking odds-and-ends to update my bookshelves. That is why I am excited to share with you some easy ideas for updating your bookshelves with Goodwill items and a few budget-friendly craft materials.

Cover Books With Paper

If you have an eclectic collection of books or you want to pick up a collection of books at Goodwill to stock your shelves, one frugal way you can add order and beauty to your bookshelf is to simply wrap each book in paper. These beautiful bookshelves from Chloe Moore Photography have beautifully hand-stamped spines that add a unique detail to them. I also love how she has weaved in her photography equipment, adding her own personal nods to her favorite interests.

Spray Paint Items to Create a Cohesive Collection

Instead of trying to find items of a similar color for your bookshelves to add those unique details, consider creating your own collection of groupings with an inexpensive bottle of spray paint.

My own bookshelves were cluttered with items that did not mean anything to me and did not showcase my personality. I took a day to declutter my shelves, added a fabric back to my bookshelf and then found items that I loved and spray painted them with a little gold spray paint. It created just the look I was going for, and cost $15 to update my shelves.

Stack Your Books In a New Way

Sometimes we get into a rut with our styling. I thought there were only two ways to style my books- vertically or horizontally. The Art of Doing Stuff though has me rethinking my book stacks and groupings because there are actually 7 ways you can stack your books. The names are even fun- the Sandwich Stack, On the Bias, and the Spiral Stack...just to name a few.

Consider regrouping your stacks in new ways and adding to your stacks with items you can find at your store to round out your collection.

Add an Eye-Catching Design to Your Bookcase

Even inexpensive laminate bookcases or Goodwill finds can be transformed with a little paint and thoughtful styling into true things of beauty. One thing I love to see on bookcases, is an interesting color on the inside of the bookshelves. This can be added with a pop of color from a brightly colored paint, a pretty fabric, scrapbook paper, or even stenciling. I love this fantastic idea from Salvage Savvy to use inexpensive wall decals to add a decorative touch that is both frugal and fast.

Add Your Own Personality 

One thing that I have been trying to do is to weed out the clutter in my life and make room for the good stuff. The same tactic can be applied towards our bookshelves and what we place on them.

My shelves have yarn and knitting books, a shelf dedicated to my favorite classics, and I have a cookbook shelf that not only holds my cookbooks, but also holds the biscuit cutter that my great-grandma used to make biscuits for me when I was a little girl.

Consider creating a bookcase or shelf towards your own personal hobbies and collections. I love this beautiful cookbook collection from The Inspired Room that celebrates her love for beautiful cookbooks. This would also be a great spot to find some pretty vintage cookbooks or vintage kitchen items that you could weave into your shelves.

What's one of your favorite things on your bookshelves? What is one styling trick you like to use when styling your bookshelves? Feel free to share here! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Goodwill Success Story - meet Brent Biddle

Goodwill Industries of Michiana is a place where client successes are celebrated.  It is a place where the notion of turning lemons into lemonade is part of every-day operations. That mantra is exactly what Goodwill client Brent Biddle has done. 

 Brent was unemployed for 4 years after suffering a heart attack. In 2013 he decided it was time to return to work.  Despite significant physical limitations, he was determined to re-enter the work force. He applied to Vocational Rehabilitation and was referred to Goodwill for employment services.

Brent worked closely with the Goodwill staff and his Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to develop a career goal that met his needs.  He knew he would thrive in a position that allowed him to work with people and accommodate his limitations.  Through career assessment, he determined a position in the customer service field would be perfect for him. 

After meeting weekly with his employment specialist, Brent developed a resume and began his job search.  He applied for a variety of positions in several industries.   During one of his weekly meetings, he learned of a floor supervisor opening at the Goodwill Store in Elkhart. He submitted an application and was interviewed a few days later. 

Brent began working at the Goodwill Store in Elkhart as a floor supervisor.  He has been a valued member of the team at that store for over 6-months. His current career goals include working hard and moving forward within the Goodwill family, perhaps applying for a management position. He is very happy to be working at Goodwill and proud to be a part of the Goodwill mission!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

8 Fun Sweater Craft Ideas from Goodwill

Although those warmer temperatures seem like they are just around the corner, here in Indiana it is still sweater weather season for awhile. Whether you are looking to switch-up your winter wardrobe staple or looking for an easy craft to beat those last-days-of-cold-weather blues, Goodwill has you covered with these fun sweater crafts you can create for a fun pick-me-up! 

Sweater crafts are the types of crafts that anyone can do and the possibilities are endless. I had the best time demoing some of these fun crafts at the grand opening of our Warsaw location and now I am sharing eight more ideas with you, for fun crafts you can try with items from your own store! 

Make a Cute Cowl

I love to knit up cowls for the cooler months, but I know not everyone loves to knit. That is why I love this cowl made from a sweater that you can create with just some simple stitches on your sewing knitting required. Check out this fun and easy tutorial from Madigan Made

This would also be a fun one to create with light and Spring-y prints and lacier knits to create a beautiful scarf or cowl for Spring!

Make a Sweater Bag

One of my favorite gifts that I ever got was an adorable sweater bag that my best friend found for me at a boutique. You don't need to pay boutique prices though to create a cute sweater bag. Look for sweater prints in fresh Spring colors and follow this adorable tutorial for by Lana Red Studio to create a cute sweater bag of your own! 

Cozy Up a Pot

Indoor plants and terrariums are a fun trend that I am seeing pop up in all of my favorite catalogs like Pottery Barn & West Elm. Even though I lack a green thumb, I have found myself picking up pretty indoor plants for my home as I await seeing our grass buried under the snow.

Consider visiting Goodwill to find a sweater that matches your home decor to dress up a pot. Not only would this be a cute addition to your own home, but it would also make an adorable housewarming present! Check out A Cultivated Nest for this easy tutorial. 

Make a Sweet Plushy

Does your child have a favorite sweater that the just can't bear to part with? Consider transforming their most-loved clothing item into a sweet plushy that they can sleep with at night. I love this idea for creating a toy by Leigh Laurel Studios and she even includes a PDF that you can use to create your own toy. 

Consider saving this sweet item for your child's Easter basket this year! Wouldn't that be a fun surprise?

Embrace the Fox Trend

Foxes are a fun woodland animal trend that is happening both in clothing and in home decor. Not only do I have an adorable fox locket from one of my sweet blogging friends, but we also found a beautiful fox print for our home. 

Add a nod to this adorable trend by dressing up a Goodwill sweater with fox elbow patches. Check out this fun tutorial from Adventures in Crafting and add a cute fox embellishment to your favorite sweater today!

Make Some Cozy Sweater Boots

It does not matter if it is the dead of winter or the dead of summer, I always have cold feet. That is why I absolutely love this fun tutorial for creating cozy DIY Slipper Boots from a sweater. 

Head to Goodwill and find a sweater that offers lots of warmth, but is not itchy against your skin. Use this sweater as material to create your own slipper boots using this easy tutorial from Drawings Under the Table

Add a Feminine Detail to a Spring Sweater

When I was a child, my mom always stressed that things should be just as pretty from the front as from behind on our clothing. You would always find our Easter dresses with an unexpected buttons or a beautiful bow in satin or a contrasting fabric in the back.

As an adult, this philosophy towards clothing still applies and I love beautiful sweaters with feminine backs and details. Look for a lightweight and delicate Spring sweater and add a satin bow detail using this tutorial from love maegan

Sew a Sweater Skirt

Last, but not least, consider transforming your sweater into a skirt to dress up your wardrobe as we await the warmer months. Look for a sweater that you love in a great basic color with cabling and use this easy tutorial from My Poppet to transform that sweater into a new skirt for your wardrobe. Pairing these with leggings, a short sleeve basic-t-shirt, and a pair of ballet flats, would be absolutely adorable! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Little Black Dress Model Search starts...NOW

This time every year, we start our intense search for a group of models for the Goodwill Industries of Michiana Little Black Dress.

This year, our search will begin on Wednesday, March 19th! 

This is an open call which means all that are interested are invited to come and express their interest.  Kathy Friend, our fashion guru and producer of this event, will be on-hand to answer your questions and tell you all that is involved with being a Goodwill Model.

Those will be seen by Kathy on a first come-first served basis.  Each interview will take about 10-15 minutes. During your interview, you can expect:
  • Learn about what the team from the Style and Image Institute will be looking for in a group of models for the show
  • What you can expect from the fitting process
  • What to prepare for if you are chosen to be one of the models
  • You will be asked to sign a release document
  • Your photo will be taken 
Everyone interested in being a model must attend one of our Open Call events.  There will be one more Open Call on Wednesday, March 25 from 2pm - 4om.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

What is Goodwill?

Normally you see information here about fashion on a budget or how to decorate your home by repurposing items from Goodwill. However, for this post, I would like to take time to tell you Goodwill’s story.

Many know us as a great place to shop or a great place to donate your gently used merchandise. But did you know that when you shop and when you donate, you are changing a life? Each year we have thousands of individuals who come to Goodwill in need of more than just a job. They need hope!  Most are unemployed with barriers that are keeping them from actively achieving their hopes and dreams. It may be an individual with a disability. It may be a parent who has been trapped in the welfare rolls and is looking to break free of that cycle. It may be others whose choices took them behind prison walls, but now they would like to turn their lives around. Or, it could be a woman who is unemployed or underemployed and is looking to get her career on the right path.

No matter what brings an individual to Goodwill, the barriers we most often have to work through are desperation and self-doubt. Many do not realize the potential they have hidden inside. Through life skills training, job readiness classes, work experience opportunities, job search and job retention services, we are able to help individuals start realizing their potential and what they can achieve through hard work and dedication.

Last year, thanks to you, we helped over 1,000 individuals go to work. They are now taking care of their families, paying taxes and seeing their dreams come true.

Without your support – shopping, donating gently used goods and making monetary contributions, we would not be able to make dreams come true.  

On behalf of the men and women that we serve – thank you!  


Monday, March 3, 2014

Get Your Home Organized With Goodwill

At the beginning of the year, I get the strong urge to donate everything in my house and start fresh. I am also always on the hunt to find new strategies for organization in my home that don't cost a lot. Thankfully at Goodwill, you can organize your home and declutter it all at one store!

Today I am featuring some great ideas for organization from commonly found items at their store. I am so inspired by these bloggers that I have a trip to Goodwill planned for myself this week to try to snag a few of these items.

Get Your Desk Organized

This last month I spent the month organizing my office and craft space. One thing I really hate is desk clutter and I have been using a thrift store mug to organize all my writing and cutting tools. I love this fresh idea for using a broom head as an office caddy for organizing these item in a fun nod to  industrial-style  and to add a little whimsy to your desk. Grab the inspiration for this project from merry thought.

Get Your Bathroom Organized

One area I always struggle with organization is our bathroom. You can always find an abundance of white dishes at Goodwill though and this painting tutorial from Fruetcake shows how to turn plain white dishes into copper vanity bowls with just a little spray paint. This would be a fantastic way to organize things like bobby pins, cotton balls, or even as a small jewelry holder. 

Organize Your Photos

One thing I have vowed to do this year is to print more photos. Of course the dilemma always is where to hang and display these items. Luckily for me, I found this adorable cabinet door photo display that you can create with just a few items for decorating the top of your dresser. If you are an Instagram-addict like me, this is a must-do project for displaying your favorite pictures. Check out the tutorial to create your photo display on Making Home Base.

Organize Your Jewelry Collection

Vintage plates and china can be adorned or just allowed to show their original vintage beauty in this adorable jewelry display that you could create from plates at Goodwill.  I love that this organizing project not only organizes, but it also doubles as a cute way to decorate a wall or the interior of a walk-in closet.

To round out this display, check Goodwill's sheets, linens, and kitchen towels for fabric to add to these embroidery hoops. If you are a woman that isn't as fully accessorized (pity the thought!) you can even add to your jewels with items found in their jewelry department. You can find the tutorial for this vintage plate jewelry display on Craft a Doodle Doo

Organize the Bookcase

Bookcases can become untidy quickly especially in my kid's rooms. Consider whittling down the book collection into a more manageable size and then create these adorable bookends from your child's old action figures and toys. With a quick mount and a little spray paint, you have a unique bookend that can tidy those stacks. Grab the tutorial for these easy DIY Bookends from Canadian Family today! 

Organize Your Menu Plan

If one of your goals this year is to save money, the one place I always recommend starting is with your grocery shopping and menu planning. I am a visual person, so I love my chalkboard in my kitchen as a reminder of what we have in store for the week and to prompt me to prep and thaw ingredients for the days ahead. 

If you don't have a chalkboard in your kitchen, making one is very easy thanks to chalkboard paint. Check your Goodwill Store for a frame, canvas, or serving tray that you can use to get your menu plan visual. Grab the tutorial to make your own vintage chalkboard tray on by wilma.

Organize the Paper Clutter

We talk a lot about book page crafts on the Goodwill Tips Blog because this is an item you can always find at your local Goodwill Store. Did you know that you can transform a donated book into an organizer? On the 3 R's Blog you can find an easy folding technique for creating your own business card organizer. As someone who frequently has a pile of cards and tiny notes to myself, I love this thoughtful storage idea for these items! 

Organize the Toys

After the holidays, the toy clutter always seems to get out of control at our house. Thankfully, you can find lots of jars at your local Goodwill Store that can be transformed into adorable containers to house those smaller toys in. With a little spray paint and a figurine, car or train, you can create an adorable accent to your child's bookshelves or to tuck away in your toy storage closet. You can get the scoop on making these adorable toy corrals on Simplicity in the South

What are your favorite things to use to organize your home from Goodwill? Have you upcycled anything into the perfect storage solution? Feel free to share it here!