Wednesday, 27 February 2013

DIY Tutorial: Red Toe-Capped Bling Heels

DIY nude courts
In my last post I wore my DIYed "red carpet heels" and promised I'd follow it up with a tutorial - this is my first DIY post so I hope it's easy to follow! I may not have photographed every stage as much as I should have, so apologies for that... as it was the first DIY I've properly documented I did tend to forget to photograph every stage as I went along. I'll fill in the gaps with instructions as best I can! 

Materials used:

1. I used masking tape to tape off the toes and heels. I've never read a colour-block shoes DIY post that explains how to get the two masked-off areas even: I measured the same distance from the centre of the round part of the shoe at the front and started the tape there. The tape will automatically follow the natural curve of the shoe if you do it slowly and without stretching the tape - I held the two shoes together and could see by eye that they were even.

2. I taped up the edges of the soles - most DIYs I've seen leave the soles exposed at the front so they get painted too. However, I'm a perfectionist and couldn't bear to have the visible edge of the sole in the painted colour at the front, only for it to stop halfway round the shoe! On the very curvy parts (around the curve of the heel, for example) I used smaller pieces of tape, and made sure the edges were well pressed down so as not to leave any gaps. I used the edge of a dried-up ballpen to press the edges right into the gap. Oh and make sure you cover the soles too!

3. I covered the rest of the shoe with newspaper to leave just the parts to be painted exposed. I used neon spray on the toes and heels; unlike paint it took several thin coats - and used up the whole can. I thought about adding an "undercoat" of white so the colour would be much brighter and a truer neon, but decided to see what it was like without the white in the end... plus I'm impatient. Luckily it was a happy accident and it dulled to a perfect red - though you'd need that undercoat of white if you wanted a proper neon colour.

Tip: If you want to use a spray can make sure you buy enough so as not to run out halfway through. I used a whole can for just the outside of the heel and the toe, so painting may be a better way to go.

4. Once completely dry, I very carefully and slowly removed all the masking tape. To add a little more interest, and hide the "join" between the painted and unpainted parts, I stuck craft cord ribbon around the edges of the sole and along the edge of the spray on the toes. Using a control gel superglue would stop it running anywhere and give you a precise tip for accuracy - I, however, used an industrial glue that required a fine stick to apply it, but next time I'd use the superglue which I used for the crystals (see point 5).

Tip: Use (preferably) dressmaking scissors to cut the ends precisely - they have to be scissors that are super-sharp right at the tips of the blades, otherwise you won't be able to cut the cord to exactly the right length.

Tip: Use a lighter to very carefully singe the ends of the ribbon to seal the end - you only need to barely show the flame to the end.

5. I arranged the crystals on the shoe until I found a pattern I liked. Then, using the superglue gel, I added tiny dots of glue and stuck the crystals to the toe. I used a pick-up pencil tool to pick up and stick the crystals onto the glue dots - an absolutely essential item with such tiny crafty bits.

6. After working out the design I wanted on the back, I did the same to the back of the shoes with more crystals. I then tried them on only when I was sure they were completely dry.

And here's the finished shoes!

DIY nude courts
So I'm really pleased with the makeover, and although I was hesitant about "ruining" a perfectly good pair of nude courts, I love them much more now (and I could easily find more nude heels to buy if I wanted some). Don't forget to check out my outfit post where you'll see them being worn with my red patterned ASOS dress.

I hope it's given you a little inspiration - if you have any questions about the process at all don't hesitate to comment below, email me: notdressedaslamb(at)gmail(dot)com or tweet me: @notlamb.

Happy Hump day to you all, and when my next post is up on Friday it'll be officially (i.e. in my world) springtime. Bliss...!
Catherine x

Monday, 25 February 2013

A Bold Dress & DIY Red Carpet Heels

Red hair and red & blue dress
Red and blue dress
Red and blue dress
Red and blue animal print midi dress
Red and nude heels
Red hair and red & blue dress
Red and blue dress
DIY nude heels with Swarovski crystals
DIY nude courts
DIY nude heels with Swarovski crystals
I am loving my new dress from ASOS - I wore it to dinner with my newly DIYed heels at The Llawnroc Hotel in Cornwall this weekend* where we had the most amazing stay... It was the perfect excuse to get dressed up because I was invited to take part in a shoes DIY challenge and I had to show them off too! 

I was sent a pack of bling crafting items including Swarovski crystals to turn a simple pair of shoes into an award ceremony worthy pair. I had this pair of completely plain nude courts that were just screaming out for a makeover – we've had the Golden Globes and BAFTA awards and of course the Oscars were last night, so it was the perfect time of year to treat my feet!

I decided to go easy on the crystals, but I think that the simple design I used sets off the the two-tone effect beautifully with the plum coloured trim. I'm really pleased with the colours I used - nude courts are exceptionally flattering but can be a bit dull, so that pop of red at the toe and heel adds some much needed colour. If you wanted to see how I gave them a makeover I will show the shoes DIY in full in my next post.

Happy post-Oscars Monday everyone!

Catherine x
Dress: ASOS, Magenta clutch: American Apparel, Heels: DIY nude courts (old), Spike bracelet: ASOS, Mixed metal bracelet: Debenhams, Gold ring: ASOS, Nails: Models Own Purple Grey

*I'll be writing a little review of our stay on Facebook this week if you want to read more about The Llawnroc Hotel.

Linking up to: 'What I Love' Linky PartyVisible MondayMonday MingleMy Style MondayWardrobe WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayStyle Link Up

I have been compensated for this feature by Ladbrokes.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Masculine Meets Feminine: A Bow Tie & A Girly Skirt

Orange checks and red hair
Orange checks
Blue manicure & three watches
Orange checks and red hair
Just a quick scheduled post today - we're spending a weekend in Cornwall at a luxury hotel after I won a competition for a free night at The Llawnroc Hotel in Gorran Haven... I'm so excited! 

This is an outfit from a couple of weeks ago incorporating my bright chiffon shirt from Asos (sold out, sadly) and a big bow neck tie - it's a little hard to see as my hair covers most of it. I like the contrast of masculine and feminine as I am generally a wearer of trousers, but then a skirt feels like a bit of a 'day out' for my legs so it's a special treat for them ;)

Hope you're all having a fabulous weekend!
Catherine x
Shirt: ASOS, Bow neck tie: ASOS, SkiRrt: Mango, Heels: Debenhams, Watch (mixed metal): Debenhams*, Nails: Barry M Cobalt Blue*

Shop my look! Items marked* are the actual items, if still available:

Linking up to:

Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style
Yolo Mondays at Still Being Molly
Monday Mingle at Momtrends


Friday, 22 February 2013

New Feature: Shop My Look

Want to buy stuff that I wear? I've created some new pages on Not Dressed As Lamb where I've made it really easy for you guys to buy the same things I've bought - if they're still available. Everything I've included is the real deal, or a near identical product (not just similar suggestions or things I like).

So if it's online and I wear it/use it, you'll find it here! At the top of the page, underneath my blog header, you will see a button that says new! shopmylook... click there. You'll be given a choice of three sections on separate pages:

1. SHOP MY WARDROBE, where you can buy the actual clothes and shoes I wear
2. SHOP MY ACCESSORIES, where you can buy the actual bags, jewellery and other accessories I own
3. SHOP MY BEAUTY BOX, where you can buy the actual beauty products, make up and nail polish I use

You'll see lovely clear thumbnails for direct links to the retailers' sites where you can follow through and buy the items if you wish. I'll keep them regularly updated, and if there's anything you don't recognise as something I've worn, it'll be because I've just bought it (so you'd be getting a mini preview)! So look out on the blog for that item to appear for the first time.

If you don't want to click on that button, you can see your choices below in a little preview of the ShopMyLook page:

A little wardrobe taster:

Click here to SHOP MY WARDROBE in full

A little accessories taster:

Click here to SHOP MY ACCESSORIES in full

A little beauty box taster:

Click here to SHOP MY BEAUTY BOX in full

I thought rather than posts where I give you links of what I like, I thought I'd simply create a page that you can choose to visit whenever you fancy... or not at all. It's entirely up to you - I just hope it's helpful to have everything in one place!

Let me know your thoughts on this idea and if you find it at all useful.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend... a new outfit post will be up on the blog tomorrow - see you back here then :)
Catherine x

Please note this post contains affiliate links.


Audrey Hepburn Inspired Wedding Guest Outfit

Breakfast At Tiffany's inspired wedding guest outfit
I'm not normally one for making outfit collages for posts, but after seeing this gorgeous black and white dress on Phase Eight's website when I was invited to enter their Blogger Wedding Guest Outfit Competition, I had an Audrey moment and couldn't resist...! 

Admittedly the dress is a similar style to the one I wore on Christmas Day, but that's probably why I rather liked it. I also chose it because black and white is the trend for 2013, but decided to soften it with the shell necklace and clutch - I just love those muted colours and textures (plus I thought they made a change from the usual pearls and a satin clutch so often paired with this kind of dress). I'd wear the shrug in the evening for a little warmth - usually needed for a British wedding - and it would also look great with the right kind of maxi dress, so it'd be quite a versatile item.

The prize? A £250 Phase Eight gift card. More than enough to buy a complete wedding outfit, which would be rather wonderful ;)

Come back later today for news of a great new feature on the blog, plus I'll have a new outfit post tomorrow. Happy Friday everyone!


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Springtime Colours In Winter

Shades of green
Brown Western boots
Apple green and yellow
So when I wore this outfit, the comments I got from my family ranged from You look like Peter Pan, to I was going to say an Irish... [er, leprechaun?], to Ooh you're blending into the background. When I put the outfit together I hadn't thought any of those things - but okay... I'm now thinking Robin Hood, myself ;)

Please hurry up Springtime - I'm wearing greens and yellow to urge you to get a move on. I'd like to wear less than three pairs of socks a day, and two t-shirts under a thick sweater, and sometimes two scarves. I need a bit more room in my handbag as at the moment I have so many gloves in there, but rarely can I find an actual pair that match. In the meantime I shall prance about in my new "what a bargain" Western boots from New Look and steal from the rich to feed the poor. Or something.
Catherine x
Beanie: Zalando*, Sweater: Thrifted, Snood: H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams, Jeans: ASOS*, Boots: New Look at ASOS*

Shop my look! All items marked* are the actual items, if still available:

P.S. Wanna follow me? Here's what you need to click on!

Linking up to:

What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy
Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style


Monday, 18 February 2013

Jewel Colours

Jewel colours
Jewel colours
Jewel colours
Jewel colours
I like happy accidents (for want of a better phrase!) when it comes to getting dressed in the morning - quite often I am so bleary-eyed, I surprise myself that I look even half coordinated when I register what I'm wearing later in the day. So I think I was just about awake enough to purposely put together the blues and reds for this outfit, but the purple coat was the nearest coat to hand as I was rushing out the door. And I love the purple with the blue and red: all lovely, yummy rich jewel colours. As I said - a happy accident.

I've had a lot of comments about the boots on previous posts - they're still available to buy in a few sizes, and at a reduced price! Go get 'em while you still can, people!

Wishing you all a very happy week :)
Catherine x
Snood: ASOS, Coat: New Look, Sweater: Debenhams (old), Jeans: ASOS, Boots: Dune at House of Fraser, Striped top: Primark, Watch:, Beanie: Unknown

Linking up to:

Monday Mingle at Glamamom, 
Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Sunday Style at Plane Pretty, Yolo Mondays at Still Being Molly, Wardrobe Wednesday at Kiwi Womens Style, What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Minimalist Monochrome, Worn Backwards

Black and white sweater and denim
Black and white sweater and denim
Skinny jeans and multicoloured heels
Black and white sweater
I've said "worn backwards", but I now think this sweater is actually designed to be worn both ways. I thought at the time I was being really clever and creative to wear it round the other way (compared to the picture online of it, see below) - but the front and back panels are exactly the same.

So yes, very minimalist for me, almost to an extreme! Just a simple thrown-on sweater, skinnies and wow heels was my outfit the other weekend.

LAST COUPLE OF DAYS LEFT TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY!!! Click here to win a £20 voucher to spend on jewellery or accessories from!

Enjoy your weekends, everyone :)
Catherine x
Sweater: ASOS*, Jeans: Zalando*, Heels: ASOS*, Watch: ASOS*

Shop my look! All items are the real deal:

P.S. Wanna follow me? Here's what you need to click on!

Linking up to:

Trend of the Month: Black & White at Marionberry Style


Friday, 15 February 2013

Easy Ways to Give Your Blog a DIY Design Makeover (Part 1)

Easy Ways to Give Your Blog a DIY Design Makeover (Part 1): Test blogs, Layout, About page
Since I gave my own blog a design makeover in September last year, a few people have asked whether I got a designer to do it for me or whether I did it myself. Well, it's all my own work, and I've also been asked to share any practical tips that may help if you're thinking about doing your own redesign. 

So here's heads up: I am not a graphic designer, or a designer by trade. However, I have always been artistic and have "dabbled" in lots of areas of design - ending up with a Bachelor of Arts in photography - so I guess I do "have an eye" for design. But I'm convinced you don't need an artistic background to be able to do this for your blog!

I have included this post as part of my Photo Tips series even though yes, I know the design of your blog isn't really photography, but in my opinion it all falls under the same umbrella. You want better photos on your blog? Read these tips. You want a better design for your blog? It makes sense to go to the same place.

As with my Photo Tips I have tried to give all my tips in layman's terms, and have assumed that none of you are designers by trade or otherwise, or that you have access to Photoshop or other software that cost an arm and a leg. Plus, this post has now become Part 1 of Give Your Blog A DIY Design Makeover - as usual I started writing too much, so in true Tarantino/Kill Bill style I have split the post up rather than shortening it. At the moment I have no idea how many posts there'll be in the end, so keep checking on Fridays or follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page for updates.

So without further ado... here's the first post.

If I could only give you one piece of advice, this would be it. I couldn't possibly have redesigned my blog without doing this:

1. Create a TEST BLOG

  • Choose an unexciting name that no-one will want to visit - e.g. myowntestblog, testblog123456 (you get the idea).
  • Make sure it isn't visible to search engines* and can't be found through your profile, then play around with the design to your heart's content.
  • Do NOT try and do this with your actual blog.
  • Having a test blog will give you time to come up with a design over the course of a week, a few weeks - however long you need. There's no rush.

This will help you in two ways: 1. You won't make a mess on your actual blog or confuse your visitors, and 2. It's good to start with a totally blank canvas, and helps you think more creatively.

Once you've got that sorted - you're under way!

*on Blogger: Go to Settings > Privacy > Edit > Select 'No' to both questions.

2. Sort out a great header

The header is the best place to start. There's no one piece of advice I can give on how to redesign your header - it's probably the most personal yet most important part of your blog. If you're completely stuck and have no idea where to start, I'd say simply redesign your header using a simple, black font on a plain white background - basically you can't go wrong with this. Play around with upper or lower case, or a mixture of both. For example...
Aminta Online
Blonde Bedhead
Lella Victoria
A Pair & a Spare
Use or any similar free online website where you can add text to images. So you could use one of your own images to lay text over, or go minimal and upload a plain white image and add text over the top. I've created a blank white JPEG that you can download to get you started to lay text over the top - it's W1000 x H250 pixels but you can crop to resize it first:

To prove how easy it is to create something chic and simple, I created the one below on Picmonkey in less than 5 minutes... think what you could do with a spare hour or two.
my test blog header

3. Decide on your layout

Play with the different options of having one column or two either side of your main body - if in doubt, go for the simpler option of one: it's less work and easier to make it look balanced. Maximise your layout width - I'd say a ratio of main body to column as 3:1 or 4:1 - without making it completely fill the screen widthways.

Make sure the font for the main body posts is large enough for everyone to read. If you see a font you like on another blog and you're not sure what the font is, drop the blogger an email and they hopefully will let you know. Or this is what I find often works: copy and paste some of their text into an email on Outlook, or into a Microsoft Word Document or similar. Nine times out of ten the font will be recognised if you click on the text and see what it is called. Then set yours to the same.

Once you've got the basics of a header and the layout, create some test posts using your own images and some text and be daring enough to publish them. (If you've set the test blog so it can't be seen you can publish posts left right and centre.) Upload widgets for your side column to work out the best order - it'll be easier to see how they look if you already have posts up.

4. Create an interesting About page

Sort yourself a creative but informative 'About' page. It's one of the first things I go to when visiting a new blog, so make it memorable (i.e. no long-winded paragraphs of just text). Include at least your first name (so many bloggers don't!) and roughly where you're located (at least a country) so you become a real person. The following About pages may give you some inspiration to try something different that isn't simply a paragraph of text:

Kendi Everyday (one pic and simple bullet points)
Man Repeller (more abstract - a dictionary definition of the name)
The Blonde Salad (features a video as well as a lot of text)
Wearing It On My Sleeves (a mini biog made up of photos and a caption for each)

Mine? It's always work in progress. I think I will always keep updating it because either I change, my interests or attitudes change or I want to try a new design. Once you've redesigned it/created one don't just forget about it - keep the facts up-to-date.


So that's Part 1 done with - let me know how you get on! It will also give you time to get this part under way so you may even have these elements sorted by the time I publish Part 2 (probably in two week's time).

As always I really appreciate any feedback you have for me - and if you want to add anything to the points I've covered so far, please, please share them in the comments. If there's a particular part of redesigning your blog that you'd like me to cover/do a tutorial for, I'll see what I can do. I can't promise I'll know how, but I'll do my best!

Hope you all have a great weekend - come back tomorrow for another outfit post!
Catherine x 
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