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i have been searching for the perfect placemats for our dining room table ever since i hosted thanksgiving at my house and realized i didn’t have any! today we will be making some dip dyed linen placemats that i just LOVE. this would be a great DIY project for a wedding reception or your next outdoor event. the texture of the linen looks really great, and each placemat has it’s own unique look.

what you’ll need:

• Heavy weight linen fabric (one placemat = 13×18”)
• Fabric dye (we used Fiber Reactive Procion dye in Bubble Gum and Elephant Grey from .)
• Soda Ash and salt (for Procion dye; for Rit Dye follow instructions on packaging)
• Plastic tub
• Two plastic cups
• Two wood craft sticks
• Plastic spoon
• Measuring spoon (do not use utensils also used for cooking with dye)

how to make them:

• To start, rip your pre-washed linen into 13 x 18 inch pieces, leaving a raw edge. To rip linen, make a small 1/4-inch cut on the edge of the fabric with a scissors and then tear so that the linen rips along the grain of the weave.

• Combine 2 teaspoons of dye and a small amount of water in plastic cup. Stir with wood stick to create a paste and completely dissolve dye (this step prevents “freckles” of undissolved dye on finished piece.)

• Combine dye mix with about 8 cups of water, ½ cup salt, and 2 tablespoons of soda ash in the plastic tub.  (Or follow more precise dyeing instructions on the  site.)  Stir with plastic spoon until everything is completely dissolved.

• Hold placemat above plastic tray and lower one end into dye bath, keeping as straight as possible. Submerge about 2-3 inches and let dye penetrate for a minute.

• Remove fabric and set on a piece of plastic to dry. The dye will continue creeping up the fabric a bit while drying.

• Repeat previous steps with second dye color and dip dye opposite edge of placemat.

• Rinse each end in cold water and then wash the whole placemat in warm water with detergent. Hang to dry.

So, will you be trying these out? Experiment with a bunch of colors and send me pics!

project by:  for designlovefest
styled by: bri emeryphotos by: 
more DIY projects here 



there are many times when i will be dressed in a casual daytime look and be too lazy to change the whole thing for an evening out to dinner. what i usually do is just switch out the shoes and accessories but keep the base items the same. something as simple as throwing on heels and pulling your hair back can completely transform your outfit to look more dressy. i picked up a few of these items at for a really good price. here’s an example…


during the day, i wore a pair of with a simple and super comfortable . i added a black beanie, my vans moccasins and i’m carrying my computer in my


this is a look i would wear to the office or for a casual coffee meeting in the afternoon.

shop the daytime look:

 white t-shirt, black jeans, Vans moccasins from , beanie, orange backpack.


now let’s say i was going to meet someone for cocktails or for a dinner date…


i would keep the white tee and black jeans, pull my hair in a ponytail or bun, and switch to heels. also, this joie sequin blazer and darker lipstick immediately gives it a nighttime feel.


so there you have it. a day to night outfit without a huge hassle.

shop the evening look:

white t-shirt, black paris jeans, Calvin Klein heels from , Joie sequin blazer from , and a vintage necklace.


photos by: styled by: joanie cusackhair by: 
makeup by: 

(see more style posts here. this post is brought to you by . embark on your fall style hunt and discover the season’s fashions for less.) 




today i thought i would show you the salon that i get my hair done in LA. is in echo park, it’s a pretty small space but has a ton of character. i’ve been seeing there for about 2 years now. she’s actually the one that talked me into cutting bangs and also styled my hair for the benefit cosmetics posts. i’m gonna pass the post over to , who’s going to walk through a couple of the products & styling tips she does on my hair when i visit …


“I see Bri about every 6 weeks. I love to lighten her up and refresh her color making her cool blond locks glow. I usually give her bangs a quick trim using point cutting in order to soften the edge. For Bri’s hair I keep the products simple for her blow dry. I use at the roots for weightless volume,  and on the ends for strength and shine.”


“I blow dry her bangs by brushing the hair in both directions to help with any cowlicks while giving a little volume at the same time. I finish them off when they are almost totally dry with a small to medium round brush for shape. Another tip for drying hair is to rough dry it a bit before placing product in it.”


“Then rough dry again until it is almost completely dry before using your round brush for smoothing or curling. Your hair responds better to round brush manipulation that way, and your arm doesn’t fall off from all that unnecessary work!” – 


if you are looking for a great LA salon, you should definitely check out lucas!


hair by: salon: |  (find them on )photos by: 



today we are talking about mixing some great fall patterns into your wardrobe…

i love this look because it’s very comfortable and casual, but at the same time comes off very chic. the buttoned up silk shirt tucked into a pair of patterned shorts is the perfect outfit for fall in los angeles. (you could always do a patterned pant for the colder climates out there.) A cateye liner, an orange lip and soft curls add a sophisticated touch and also brings in some femininity to balance out the more masculine prints.

ps, a little tip about these curtains. see how heather transformed her loft space with these . doesn’t it look great? (full pic on )


to throw one more print into the mix, i added these leopard loafers with a metallic cap toe. i got them for $50 at  i always seem to score when it comes to shoes there. i’ve sandwiched the larger print on the shirt & the shoes, keeping the smaller scale pattern on the shorts in the center. this scale change breaks up the outfit and allows me to mix three different prints together.

if you wanted to bring in some color, you can add a bright sweater that compliments the tones of your patterns. i rolled up the sleeves so you could still see the stripes peeking out. the sweater gives the look a much more laid-back vibe as well.


shop this look:

striped silk shirt, Vintage houndstooth shorts, Vintage purple sweater, 14th and Union leopard loafers from

photos by: styled by: joanie cusackhair by: 
makeup by: 

(see more style posts here. this post is brought to you by . embark on your fall style hunt and discover the season’s fashions for less.) 



i’ve always loved reading the real facts under the  caps. it’s fun learning new facts you wouldn’t necessarily ever learn on your own. this is where this project comes in.

gave us a real fact that we could showcase in a photographic way, in our style. which i thought was great. real fact 823: sailors once thought wearing gold earrings improved eyesight” …immediately i wanted to art direct a nautical inspired style shoot.

we hired the crew: the model, photographer, makeup, hair, and stylists and we were ready to make this real fact come to life. i definitely didn’t want it to be too traditional as far as the nautical theme so we updated the look to feel a bit more fresh. (her sweater looks like little life savers, doesn’t it?)

i started by creating an inspiration () to get the ideas started.

it turns out, sailors are pretty superstitious and really believed that wearing gold earrings would cure their eyesight. they thought the metal on their earlobes had magical healing powers for their nearsightedness. so i definitely wanted to go over the top with earrings on this shoot.

our stylists, built this wild gold earring made from all sorts of vintage jewelry and charms. it was awesome!

we imitated the feeling of waves by using blue mylar cut into strips. i loved the look of it.

and how about that gorgeous hair? kristine was rocking the perfect retro look.

and i thought it would be interesting to show you guys a little bit of the behind the scenes on this shoot, so you could see the process!

we set up in my friend heather’s live/work studio. we wanted to keep the backdrop very simple but add something unexpected. we rolled out the pink seamless at an angle to give that great line in the photos above.


i brought on sunshine & sarah (the two lovely ladies that styled our benefit shoot as well!) to give us a cool take on sailor style. we spent the morning going over their pull and choosing the two looks we loved the most. they brought all of these sunglasses as a nod to the sailor’s eyesight. check out the pearl detail on these…


there is always so many wonderful options, making this part difficult. (look at all those shoes!) i always have to keep in mind, just because i’d like to wear it, does not mean it works for the shoot.


the day before we went to a prop house in LA to source all sorts of nautical pieces. it’s always important to pick way more than you think you should… options are vital in shoots like these. what looks good on the sidelines may not read in the photo and it’s a huge bummer if you don’t have enough to choose from.


so there you have it! we thought the nautical theme fit well for this eye-opening fact and we were happy to put our designlovefest twist on it.


partnership:  and designlovefest
photography by:
art direction by: bri emerystyling by: hair by: 
makeup by: 
location:  studios
behind the scenes by:
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