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Rain Blanken

Rain's DIY Fashion Blog

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Stitch a Tarot Card Bag

Saturday May 31, 2014
THe first unofficial days of summer are upon us, and it's a good time to see what lies ahead for you in the balmy days to come. If you own a set of tarot cards for fun or spiritual enlightenment, it's a good idea to keep them contained in a bag that shows off either your fun or mystical side.

My fellow About.com Guide, Patti Wigington, has created this great tutorial for a drawstring bag that will keep your cards clean, safe, and ready to tell you when you've won the million.

Click "Comments" below to share your thoughts.


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Protecting Your Skin in Style

Saturday May 31, 2014
DIY Fashion- Crochet a Beach Wrap If you are heading to the lake, pool or beach this 4th of July weekend, don't forget to plan for Old You. What am I talking about?

Well, not too long ago, I was Teenage Mutant Ninja Rain, who neglected to plan for Twenty's Corporate Stooge Rain. Consequentially, I acquired a tattoo on my arm that needs to be covered to fit a business-casual dress code, which cuts into my fashion choices at the office. I just wasn't thinking ahead.

With some luck, I'll be Old Wise Rain one day, and I'll have to be her just as much as I'll soon have to be Thirty's Can't I Retire Yet Rain. While I'm not getting anymore tattoo's, I do need to start paying special attention to the skin on my face, neck and shoulders.

Saving your skin from the sun has more to do with future planning than trying not to turn red and crusty for a week. Do yourself a favor and wear stylish beach wraps and enough sunscreen so that Future You doesn't have to invest in a jug of wrinkle cream. She'll thank you for it in twenty years.

Here are some great ways to stay sun safe without looking like a dork at the beach:

  • Crochet a Beach Wrap - These short capes are in and can be made out of a yarn that matches your suit or sandals.

  • Wear Sunblock Every Day - If you wear a light sunblock on your face everyday of the year, an occasional burn at the beach won't have too much impact. Work it into your makeup routine.

  • Go Kitschy Vintage with a Floppy Hat - Audrey Hepburn had it right. Wearing a glamorous floppy hat will instantly transform a bikini and sandals into a crafted style. Make your own to perfectly coordinate.

Recycle New Style this Summer

Saturday May 31, 2014
recycled projects
Green your fashion
It seems like these days we are all looking for new ways to go green. From the packaging on our eggs to the kind of car we drive, helping out the environment has gotten a lot of attention. One very easy way that you can help ensure the future of the planet is to try these methods of recycling items in to clothes, jewelry and accessories.

Patriotic Mosaic Quilting

Saturday May 31, 2014
Mosaic Quilting

I am loving this beautiful quilted work submitted by Blue Desert Roses, for not only the patriotic theme (my mind is already lingering somewhere around Memorial Day), but also for the beautiful mosaic pieces. The tiny bits of fabric were actually placed with Steam a Seam, eliminating a good deal of time and work. What a great idea, I can't wait to apply this method to make some tropical mosaic bags for the summer. I can just see a lot of fish and octopi assembled in Caribbean tones.

Get more tips from Blue Desert Roses on creating these mosaic hangings, and see her other work on Artfire. I'm going to get started on my beach bags... what would you make with this mosaic method?


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Sunny Handmade Style

Saturday May 31, 2014
Sunny Storms
Crisp beams of sunshine flickered of their own accord. The crunch of a summer storm signaled excitement in the suburbs. We left our toys out on the lawn. It was gray and yellow.

Sunny Storms
I've always loved yellow and gray together. It is one of those delightfully unlikely combinations that are often discovered after the purple/pink and teal/black obsessions subside after childhood.

Sunny Storms
To me, gray and yellow are a friendly sort. Gray, somewhere between white and black, is a healthy symbol of compromise and sometimes uncertainty. Paired with yellow, gray emerges as calm and soothing instead of cold.

Sunny Storms
What are some of your favorite color combos?


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Make it Better than Rain Did: Ash's Reversible Cape

Saturday May 31, 2014


For each tutorial I publish, I add our 'Upload a Photo' link so that readers like you can post the results. It helps me to know if a tutorial works, and offers first-person experience for the next reader who tries the instructions.

To the reader, apparently this translates to, 'I CHALLENGE THEE TO A DUEL'. It's like I took off my glove and slapped ya across the face with it. You guys are always outdoing me! I feel like you didn't even want a pop tab bracelet last summer. You just wanted to blow me out of the water.

Well, ya got me again. After following my simple hooded cape tutorial, DIY Fashion reader Ash decided to put me in my place by making her cape reversible. This is another one of those moments when I look at your submissions and go 'Doh! Why didn't I think of that!'. Yes, behold, a reversible, shimmering, huge hooded cape. Then look at my brown one.
Rain's Cape:
Yeah.

To get some tips from Ash (clearly I needed 'em) check out photos of her reversible cape and read about her project experience. See, I'm on to you, now. I'm steppin it up a notch. I might even buy special lights to photograph my craftiness. It's on like Donkey Kong, readers.

Think you made it better than me? Upload a photo of your DIY Fashion creation, and tell us all about it. I'll post your photo on the tutorial so that you can properly shame me in front of the next reader.

Easy Summer Style

Saturday May 31, 2014
This year, my summer is all about easy. Easy to put on, easy to wear and even easy to make. I'm creating some summer styles this year that won't cut into my pool time. They're all fast projects with results that will last you till September.

Get DIY help from Rain:

Are You a DIY Geek?
TARDIS Phone Case Tutorial . Paint Star Wars Heels  . Zombie Makeup Tips and Tricks . Make a Pair of Ruby Slippers . Dress like Joan from Mad MenMelt a Record Album Tray

Unbelievable DIY Fashion Makeovers:
10 Upcycled T-Shirt Tutorials . 5 Ways to Turn Jeans into a Skirt . Cassette Tape Wallet .10 Clothing Repairs You Should Know . 5 Ways to Make Placemat Purses

Easy DIY Jewelry:
7 Paper Jewelry Projects - Junk Drawer Jewelry . Disney World Penny Bracelet . Safety Pin Bracelet . Pop Tab Bracelet . Credit Card Earrings

Who is Marc Jacobs?

Monday February 3, 2014

In the fashion lexicon, Marc Jacobs is a legend. Even if you're not busy drafting your own patterns with runway aspirations, it's good to know who this guy is. He conquered the fashion world at a very young age, and continues to influence what you see on department store racks. Check out my Crafty Fashion Encyclopedia entry on Marc Jacobs to learn more. And yeah, I had my pick of about 50 images of Jacobs, but I just couldn't resist this pose he struck for his latest Diet Coke campaign.

Photo by Getty Images

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Best of Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014 Color

Saturday February 1, 2014
Last time, we looked at some of Ralph Lauren's best black and white for the 2014 spring/summer season. But on that same runway, these splashes of color broke up the monotone looks. Here are my top picks for Ralph Lauren's colorful styles.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
Very 60's very simple, no bustline to speak of. I've made a dress in this same style and it proved to be a very easy project. However, I wouldn't go for the matchy-matchy bag and shoes.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
Easily my favorite look of this collection. It's bright and beautiful! You can get this bang of yellow at your local craft store. Let me know if you have any questions about dying various materials.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Have these Ralph Lauren color punches inspired your own new designs for 2014? Let's swap ideas!

More from 2014 Spring Fashion Week...

Photos by Getty Images

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Best of Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014 - Black and White

Saturday January 25, 2014
The Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014 collection played with men's wear-inspired looks for the ladies in black and white. This show switched it up with ultra-feminine and flowing bursts of color. The results was a lot of contrasting looks with a sophisticated overtone. I had to split this into two posts, because there was just too many looks to cover! First, let's see how the black & white structured looks fared:

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
It's that come-hither Harry Potter look.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
Though I love the exposed shoulder here, my least favorite were the intricate patterns. Since these looks have a a lot of 60's inspiration, I really enjoyed the flat colors more.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
Unlike a lot of wacky fashion parading down the runways last fall, these spring looks are very much ready-to-wear.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
These suits make me wish I had about 4 hours to get ready for work in the morning.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
Very 60's here... Napolean Dynamite was hit by a bus and turned into this here angel.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014
Did I mention these have a 60's influence?! This one seemed a divisive way to pull the show back toward the 60's after a lot of more modern looks took the stage.

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

Ralph Lauren Spring/Summer 2014

More from 2014 Spring Fashion Week...

Photos by Getty Images

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