Monthly Archives: December 2013

Golden Tote Review December

Due to my recent dissatisfaction with Stitch Fix, I decided to try a new subscription service I had heard about called Golden Tote.  With Golden Tote, you have two options.  You can pay $49 to select one item from several options, and they will send you an additional 1-2 items as a surprise, or you can pay $149 to pick 2 items and they will send you an additional 3-5 items.  You don’t get to select which ones you keep or send back, so it’s more of an all or nothing service.  I decided to go with the $149 option since I felt I’d have a better chance of getting more items I wanted to keep.

The Goods

Golden Tote

Golden Tote
What I ordered
Golden Tote
The Extras
Golden Tote
Black Lace Dress
Golden Tote
Ikat blouse
Golden Tote
stripey tee
Golden Tote
Cream lace blouse
Golden Tote
Owl Sweater
Golden Tote

They even sent a little bracelet as a bonus.  Overall, I was really pleased with the selections.  The fabrics were nice and soft, and the fit was perfect on all of the items.  I found that even though I didn’t fill out a profile for this one, they seemed to be right on with my style and preferences.  I’m sure it was just pure coincidence, but if this is any indication of the quality of items they send, I’ll be doing this again.

I’m considering cancelling my January Stitch Fix and just doing another Golden Tote since I’m much happier with the items here.

I already wore the owl sweater to work today.  🙂

Golden Tote

Adventures in Candlemaking

Over Thanksgiving, I began learning how to make candles with the intention of making them as gifts for the women in my family at Christmas.  I was using a soy/parrafin wax blend and some 8oz hexagon jars with silver screw on lids.  I purchased 3 wintery fragrance oils from Brambleberry, one of my favorite soap making supply sites.  The first scent was called “Fresh Snow” and gave off a somewhat soapy or Downy fabric softener smell so I decided to use light blue dye for those ones.

The second scent was “Santa’s Spruce” which was supposed to be Christmas Tree scented, but had a hint of berry and was making me feel ill when the whole house was filled with the smell.  The third scent was another Christmas Tree scent that I liked a little better but was also overwhelming when my whole house was filled with it.  I used a bayberry dye chip for each of those.

The thing that gave me the most trouble was sink holes next to the wick.  The first two turned out perfectly, then the next few batches all had this problem.  I first tried to re-melt them in a pot of water on the stove, but when they cooled I had the same issue.  Then I re-heated some of the extra wax and poured it in the giant space left next to the wick, and that worked okay.

After doing some research online, I realized that the problem was likely how high I was pouring the wax.  The suggestion was to not pour past the point where the shape of the jar changes.  For the last four I made, this solved the problem.  I wish I had discovered that earlier in the process, because re-melting and re-pouring everything was a pain and took way more time that it should have.

In the end, I think they turned out pretty well.  (I purchased custom labels online and used a photo that I had taken.)  I hope everyone enjoys them!

Homemade Candles

December Stitch Fix Review

After last months total disappointment, December was a bit better.  The card acknowledged that they missed my correction comment about not wanting tops that hit mid-thigh but rather mid-hip.  I have been insanely busy with work and trying to get ready for the holidays so didn’t have time to take pictures of me trying everything on, but here is what they sent.

Stitch Fix December

Item #1 – Sweet Rain: Roger Asymetrical Zipper Jacket $78

Stitch Fix DecemberThis looked pretty cute on.  The fabric was a stretchy ponte knit, and I liked the color.  It fit like an athletic jacket with the hemline dipping a bit lower in the back which works well with my figure.  I felt it was a bit pricey for a moto style athletic jacket, but since it was flattering and I could see myself wearing it the very next day I decided to keep this.

Item #2 – Mystree: Nadira Sequin Striped Long Sleeve Shirt $48

Stitch Fix DecemberThis was a stretchy cotton top that fit nicely and had just a touch of sparkle.  No objections.  The card that came with it suggested pairing it with an olive military style jacket which I think I will do next week.  I kept this too.

Item #3 – Under Skies: Lawton Abstract Print Split Neck Blouse $58

Stitch Fix DecemberThe print on this was nice, but I’ve already gotten several navy print blouses from Stitch Fix.  When I tried it on, the fit was all wrong.  It stuck out oddly in the front and back making me look like a weird tent.  Because the hemline curved up at the hips, it accentuated my hips again and was not at all flattering.  This one went back.

Item #4 – Oxmo: Clora Dot & Colorblocked Cotton Sweater $78

Stitch Fix DecemberLoved the pattern and weight of this sweater, but why did they make it with such a low scoop neck?  When I tried it on, it was practically showing clevage and I don’t understand why you’d make a sweater which is meant to be worn in cold weather with such a low neckline that is just drafty and cold.  It was unflattering and way too cold.  This one went back as well.

Item #5 – Rikka: Danielle Long Knot Necklace $32

Stitch Fix DecemberThe necklace was simple and since it was plain gold, will go with anything.  It’s super long so you loop it for a double layer effect.  I had no objections to the necklace and decided to keep it, but the price was a bit high for the quality of the necklace.  Had I been keeping all 5 items and gotten the 25% discount I think I would have been okay with the price of the items, but without the discount they just seem like a bad deal.

Overall Impressions

Overall, I was glad that a few of the pieces worked out, but am confused as to why they are only sending me navy and burgundy clothes.  I have repeatedly asked for more colors and patterns and stated that my favorite color was mustard but haven’t gotten a single item in that color.  I have to wonder what in my profile or comments has screamed “Only send burgundy and navy!”  Since I’m keeping 3 items this time I decided to sign up for the January box.  I’m still not sure if I want to continue doing stitch fix since it doesn’t feel like a good deal for what I’m getting if I don’t keep all 5 items.  Maybe January will surprise me.

Paper Pumpkin Introductory Box

I had recently been searching for gift subscriptions to see what other box subscriptions were out there, and stumbled upon this stamping subscription called Paper Pumpkin.  I wasn’t sure if I’d like the projects since I’ve already been into stamping and have tons of supplies already, but thought I’d give it a try since I haven’t had many inspirations lately for projects.

Here was my experience with the trial kit.

paper pumpkinIt arrives nicely packaged with a cute little card.  I opened it up and these were the contents:

paper pumpkin1 Ink pad,  butterfly stickers, bakers twine, a stamping block, a pre-made journal, two stamps. instruction card.

I have never used a stamping block like this before and was a bit confused.  The instructions weren’t very detailed or clear, so I went to YouTube and watched a quick tutorial on how to use the block and how to attach the label when done.

The steps were basic and extremely simple, and I finished the whole project in under 5 minutes, not counting the time it took me to figure out the stamping block.

paper pumpkin

Overall, it was nice to have a project with all the supplies, but it really only took 5 minutes of my time and did not seem worth it.  The instructions were very light and I felt they could have given more tips.  In the picture the butterflies were lifting off of the cover, but I couldn’t get them to stay that way and just stuck them on flat.

You can purchase the trial kit here:

I’m considering signing up for the subscription with the hope that the later projects will be a little more involved but I’m not sure.  Does anybody have experience with them or have a recommendation?  I found this code for 50% off for the first two months, so I think I’ll give it a try: NovHouseParty.

You can visit their site for more information if you’re interested:

Winter Jewelry

With some extra time on my hands this holiday weekend, I made another pair of earrings and a bracelet.  Both turned out pretty well with minor modifications needed to the bracelet.

Snowflake Earrings


Laurel Bracelet

Lotus BraceletFor the bracelet, the finished size was supposed to be 7.5 inches, but mine was closer to 8.  It was way too big for my wrist, so I re-did each side removing 7 beads in the process.  After that the size was just right.