Day two Tossed & Found – Always better to have shopping buddies

We met up at 8:45am  at Crystal City. Ann and Kanisa from the Thrift Score Society of DC were all set for a full day of rummaging. The line was out the door and down the hall to get into Tossed & Found. These people are serious about finding a bargain.


Finally it was time to go inside. With bags in tow they all filed in

We made a b-line to the “quality” room. Something told me I better make a quick stop through just in case some new items had been added or I missed something in all the chaos. And boy was I right. I snatched up another red party dress, some moccasins and a vintage leather bag. Pics to come.

I left out around 10am, Ann and Kanisa went to have lunch and stop by Joann Fabrics and we met back up at 2pm when everything was 25% off. Well that wasn’t good enough for us. We decided to wait it out until the very end when everything was half off and go for it. By four pm we were tired but happy with all our great purchases.

We worked from 9-4pm searching for bargains

4 suits! I’m set for next season

Ann found some unique t-shirts, jackets and other crafting supplies

$10 for a Cole Haan down jacket. $12 for a vintage leather jacket

Kanisa paid $5 for this brand new Brook Brothers Skirt with the tags on it. Retail $88 – Major score!


The mother of all rummage sales “Tossed and Found”

The long awaited Tossed & Found rummage sale weekend event has begun. This annual event sponsored by the Junior League of Washington is held down at Crystal City in Arlington, VA.

Last night was preview night which included a silent auction and sneak peek at all the goodies in the showrooms. Paying $45 not only is a great contribution to charity but it is also well worth every penny to get in early and be the first to see what they have to offer.

As most of you recall last year I scored big time in the high-end room they refer to as “quality”.  This year was no different. During preview night I found a full length cashmere coat, a pair of bandolino pumps, 2 calvin klien dresses, 1 J. Crew Dress, 1 Trina Turk dress, 1 tahari dress, a suit, an  embroidered skirt made in Italy, a dress from Barney’s NY, a rolling sewing machine bag, a bicycle messenger bag, a butterfly wall hanging.  All under $200. Yeah baby!!! Major score!

Below are a few pics from Preview night at T & F. Beginning with the furniture. I was amazed at the quality of the furniture and the variety

A wicker patio set

I sure wish I was in need of a couch because this would have gone home with me
Nice chair and ottoman
Books Galore!
More sweaters than the law allows
A pretty well stocked men's section
Plenty of shoes
Bags, bags, bags
Dresses in the "Quality" room
Lily found a cute summer dress

Me always thinking ahead and preparing for next season. I'm holding a floor length cashmere coat

Lily found a digital camera

My coworker picked up a Kate Spade bag


Some of the other labels in the “Quality” Room

It’s only 6 hours away!! Tossed & Found

You don’t want to miss DC’s largest rummage sale of the year held down at Crystal City in Alexandria, VA in the old Safeway. And just to let you know the room is completely filled along with another room across the hall with high-end items.

Tossed & Found has tens of thousands of valuable items at unbelievable prices.  Shop pre-owned quality designer items, fashions, jewelry, furniture, housewares, books, electronics, sporting goods – and more.


All goods sold at Tossed & Found are donated by generous members, friends, and community partners of the Junior League of Washington. Furthermore, the event committee recycles as much as possible, and donates unsold merchandise to local charities and people in need, rather than throwing it away.

Some of you remember last year I scored some fabulous finds at unbelievable prices. This year The Thrift Score Society has a Meet Up scheduled for Saturday. The group will meet at 8:30pm and I will be tweeting live from the event.

If you love thrift store shopping and finding a good deal you won’t want to miss this event. Don’t meet me there beat me there!

Tossed and Found


Basic Sewing Class Recap

One of my favorite things to do when it comes to the wonderful world of sewing is to teach beginning sewing classes. Those who have never sewn or who have little to no experience have the mind of a sponge just ready to soak up everything. They are open to new ideas and willing to try new things. The excitement that fills the room is like no other. I’m not sure who is more excited about class, me or the students 🙂

19 budding seamstresses arrived at the Sewing Society’s 1st beginning sewing class of the year held at Wheaton Public Library. 

Wide eyes, anxious stares, nervous looks, wringing of hands and intimidated looks at sewing machines……..All this was going on among the beginner seamstresses in our most recent class. But two hours later there were smiles, laughter and lots and lots of relief.

After introductions which included stories of taking sewing in home ec in high school, buying a machine on craigslist, being a crafty person, made a new years resolution and always been interested we began talking about the parts of the sewing machine and how it operates. Some actually feared they wouldn’t be able to sew a straight line others were just unsure of making the decision to even pick up a sewing machine. As class went on and we went step by step the more we worked away the anxieties. Each student learned to thread their sewing machine and the bobbin.

Two students shown here threading their machines giving one another some encouragement

Afterwards the class received step by step instructions on how to sew the flat seam, flat seam with zig zag edges and a flat felled seamed

The students then went back to their seats and worked on some samples.

A successfully sewn flat seam. Look at this happy face!

In our class students receive one on one instruction and ask questions about their machines and other sewing projects they are interested in working on

 Thanks to my two teachers aides: Ann P and Xtine H

The Basic Sewing Class of Silver Spring Sewing Society showing off their samples

If you would like to join us for our next Basic Sewing Class on April 1st please click the link:

See you in class. Happy Sewing!

Wilmer Wilson & Lady Blogger fashion and beauty social

With everything on my plate these days sometimes I’m amazed at how I do it all. Running from one event to another, changing clothes, grabbing cameras, grabbing sewing machines…………..whew it just makes me exhausted thinking about it. But the funny thing is it totally energizing and invigorating. Saturday after a full day with friends and running errands I stopped by an art gallery on Florida avenue which was featuring a young artist named Wilmer Wilson IV who transforms himself using everyday household items. See below a photo from his website: Recurring Man This piece titled Stone wall is essentially paper bags blown up and assembled. His pieces are amazing and he hasn’t even graduated undergrad. He’s currently a senior at Howard University and plans to go on to Graduate school at Columbia. Be sure to check him out!

After departing the gallery I headed over to the Lady bloggers and beauty social at It’s Vintage Darling one of my favorite vintage shops.  The social was hosted by Dana J and Mika or The Diary of FrankyJ and For the Average Girl. The place was buzzing with lady bloggers and the clothing was flying off the racks.

Elise checking out guest receiving 50% off their purchases!

There was plenty socializing along with food and drinks to go around

Many of the attendees were dressed in vintage clothing or otherwise stylish outfits

I just love the color and the styling on this dress

Since everything in the store was 50% the lady bloggers didn’t have any hesitation trying on some of the fabulous clothing

She's fancy

More mixing and mingling with the lady bloggers and I took a few minutes to snap some pictures of some of the great items that can be found at It’s vintage Darling.

Trunk of cuff links, tie clips and other men's accessories
This dress I thought was hot. I could envision an awesome refashioning project. You can't see them completely but there are a pair of vintage Minolo's over in the corner. I really hope they are still there when I go back.
I really liked this leather handbag

Sip & Stitch with DC Threads Recap

Last Friday night I was excited to attend an event at DC Threads in Adams Morgan. My friends and fellow lovers of all things creative, Allison Lince-Bentley and Laura Lee hosted  women business owners who discussed the challenges and rewards of starting your own business.

Laura and Allison

What and inspiring and enlightening discussion about how Crafty Entrepreneurs turned their Hobby into a Business. If you missed this event you truly missed a treat.

The panelist from left to right were as follows:

Evelyn Bandoh, writer, speaker, creative business strategist, trainer and coach through her business, EAB Creative Planning Services

Holly Slayton, founder of Artikal Millinery, owns a studio in New York city where she keeps the art of hat making alive with her beautiful designs and engaging classes.

Anne Smyers, owner of House to Home One-Day Redecorating, assists clients in making living spaces more beautiful, comfortable and functional using what they already own

Valerie Williams is the designer and owner of Holland Cox, a line of handcrafted fabric handbags and fashion accessories.

and of course the host for the event

Allison Lince-Bentley, co-founder DC Threads Sewing Lounge and the owner of the Bits of Thread Sewing Studio

Allison began the discussion with telling the story of how she first began by volunteering as a sewing teacher at various locations while still working her day job. Fortunately she worked a job that would allow her some flexibility and she could still get her work done and fullfill her passion. Unfortunately it wasn’t a job she was thrilled to be doing and she was quite anxious to move on. Once she decided to take the leap of faith and open up a sewing studio she had a sense of satisfaction and never looked back.

Valerie and her beautiful purses

Valerie who has worked with Allison on various projects throughout the years took a few sewing classes and soon found her passion in making purses. She too was working a job where she was not feeling much self-worth. She longed for the day to spend her days sewing. When her job had to make budget cuts her position was one of the first to go. Her colleagues knowing her passion said to her “congratulations”. She knew this was one of the best things that could have happened to her.


Anne who has taken a very interesting approach to interior design decided that she wanted to start her own business whereby she would help people use the items they already have in their homes and re-purpose and reuse them to make their space more livable on a tight budget. Having the support of her family she too took a leap and has explored and eco friendly way of redecorating

Holly and her fascinators

Holly a self taught knitter/crocheter currently lives in NYC  but lived in DC several years ago. While she was living here she bar-tended and made crocheted hats, shawls, scarves and ponchos for some friends which quickly caught on and suddenly there was a demand.  One day she was asked to take on another shift which would prevent her from working on her the one thing that was fulfilling and made her feel whole. She decided she would walk away from that job move to NYC and pursue her passion. She soon ventured into the hat making arena and now creates these beautiful fascinators. In addition she hosts parties and travels along the east coast teaching class.

Evelyn who was the last speaker spoke about getting yourself in the right mindset to make a decision on whether or not your hobby is a hobby or could potentially become a business. She refers to herself as a chief creator alchemist. She works with women who are considering taking th leap to make certain this is the right move to make. Essentially she is a business coach who helps people to build on their dreams. She too worked a great job but decided to put a stake in the sand and set a date for when she would depart. She determined she wasn’t being paid enough, the job was not all that it was cracked up to be and she knew she had a God given gift to marry common sense reasoning with the creative innovator and bring them to an organized thought.

These five women were such an inspiration and so encouraging to those who are longing to step out on their dreams. Listening to how they all shared a common theme which was do what you love and love what you do. They all started out a little afraid of what was to come before them but believed in their talents and remained determined to make it work.

I look forward to connecting with them in the near future and inviting them to come speak to the Sewing Society very soon.

Shecky’s GNO, Betsey J Pop Up and Mini Thrift Store outing in NYC

I spent this past weekend in the Big Apple with two of my good friends from my hometown Chicago to celebrate my birthday, belated style. Even though it was a month after the fact it meant a great deal to have my friends come all that way and hangout with me for the weekend.

After checking out a little comedy at Caroline’s Comedy Club on Friday night we slept late on Saturday morning and headed over to the SIR Stage37 for the first session of Shecky’s Girls Night Out. NYC had two Shecky’s sessions. One at 1pm and the other at 5pm. The 1pm session was jammed packed. The line to get in was down the street and we waited in the cold for about 20 minutes. Those who had season passes were bumped to the front of the line. Clearly I need to become a season pass holder.

Shecky’s is an event where accessories, clothing and jewelry designers showcase their goods at offer them at discounted prices. Tracey Lynn, GLS Jewelry, Reinvent My Wardrobe, Precious Delectibles and KeChic were just some of the vendors present during the event. There was a lot to see and chose from. Many of the vendors were selling clothing for $10-20. Jewelry was relatively inexpensive too.

GLS Jewelry
Precious Delectibles

When you first walked in the door they had an entire room off to the side where you could sign up to make your own Margarita. I don’t drink but that seems like something fun to do. I’ve attended to two Shecky’s Girls Night Out events at Constitution Hall and this event in NYC was the first Shecky’s where they served food and drink (on the house). Downstairs they were selling $4 cupcakes but upstairs had a nice spread which was included in the admission. At the first station there were yummy brand muffins with molasses cream cheese along with blueberry & nut muffins with other assorted cream cheeses. The next station had chocolate covered strawberry’s that were amazing and the third and final station served bread slices with spinach and mozzarella cheese. Chefs Diet promoting they specialize in helping brides prepare for their big day by offering these great tasting foods without all the calories. I must say the food was great.

Sorry I didn’t take any additional photos. My hands were full with the food and drinks. Mmmm Mmm Good!20120312-222007.jpg

On the way out we picked up our goody bags. Each bag was different and full of decent goodies. As you can see below. Since I’ve been to Shecky’s a couple times before I found many of the items repeated from the times I’ve attended before. But for $15 they were decently stocked.

1st Goodie bag included: Jergens body lotion, Vitamin Water Zero, Goody Hair ties (2sets), Cointreau Margarita Mixer, Aveeno Lotion, Lady Speed Stick, Lee Press-on nails, Softlips lip balm, Gold bond body wash (2 types), hand sanitizer and of course the reusable Shecky’s bag
2nd Goodie Bag had the same as above however the lotion seemed to be replaced by Vaclay & Lena a novel and the lady speed stick was replaced by the Crystal Body Deodorant Towelettes. They added the fcuk cologne.


After leaving Shecky’s we headed back towards Times Square and that’s when we ran across the Betsey Johnson Pop up shop over on 37th off of 7th Street. How exciting!. I just love Betsey Johnson’s bright colors and fun flirty designs.



Cute spring dresses

Some of these dresses I saw during last years All access Fashion at Tysons. They were going for $2-300

Being frugal I’m always looking for a good deal and Sunday was my lucky day. After leaving the Museum of Modern Art I headed to a few thrift stores. I first stopped by the Housing Works Thrift store in Hell’s kitchen and wouldn’t you know it was my lucky day??




One of my favorite brands
This store had some really nice furniture
If you know me you know how much I love love love butterflies. I just had to take a picture of these butterfly cowboy boots. Ridem'

I stopped by two more Housing work thrift stores, One on the West side and one on the East side. All had great set ups and great deals. Some were getting ready for their spring sale and were having half off sales this weekend. Whats a frugal girl to do?? Shop right? We’ll not this time. I just browsed. I’m preparing for Tossed and Found next weekend. More on this event coming later this week 🙂

See pics below from the two other stores on the West side and East side.

This was the line outside the Housing works store on the East Side
These stores have great furniture




Yes that's Gucci and Louis Vutton in the store window





Silver Spring Sewing Society Spring Road Trip to NYC

Hi everyone,

The Sewing Society is just about due for its quarterly field trip to the NYC Fashion District and we hope many of you will join us. Our last trip was in January and the one before that in October. Both were well attended and all who traveled with us had a blast. This time we are planning even more activities.

The last two trips we took the bus up for the day and after a full day of shopping turned around and came right back to DC later that evening. After the last trip we determined we need more time to browse the fabric stores and enjoy NYC. Therefore this time we will depart on Friday evening May 4th and return on Sunday May 6th.

Our official itinerary will begin Friday evening with dinner and a special sewing enthusiast surprise. Details coming soon as soon as its confirmed. On Saturday we will have a full morning of fabric shopping beginning with Mood, SIL Threads, B&J fabrics, Paron (one of our favorites)! East coast trimming and a few others. We will break for lunch at 1:00pm and we’ll shop until 5:30pm and for those who desire to head back to DC you can head to the buses. Everyone else can join us for dinner (tbd) and some much needed rest. Believe me you will be exhausted after a full day.

We will start the next morning off heading to three of the best thrift stores NYC has to offer. If you want you can also check out some other shopping areas in NYC before departing for the buses later that afternoon. You are welcomed to join us during any part of the itinerary. Please only RSVP on Meetup if you intend to travel with the group. We are planning some additional goodies and it is important to have an exact head count.

Please reserve your bus and or train tickets in advance. Bolt Bus, Mega Bus or Vamoose are the most popular with great prices. The ride is approximately 3-4 1/2 hours. You will be responsible for making your own hotel reservations. Check Expedia and Orbitz for some great rates and share with the group if you find a good deal. I recommend the Hampton inn. Two people to a room for less than $200 for the entire weekend is not bad. If you know friends or have family there even better. More details and a full itinerary will be forthcoming.

Zip and go Makeup Bags” – Who knew??

It’s always so funny to me when class doesn’t exactly turn out as you planned. A couple weeks ago we have a little mishap with the room then this week we are making these zip and go bags when half way through the project half the class decided they didn’t want a strap after all. Instead they wanted makeup bags. LOL!! It’s fine with me as long as they are happy and feel a sense of accomplishments. Whats even more hilarious. I decided I wanted a makeup bag too! I discarded the fabric I cut for the straps and sewed it up and was done with it.

We got started on time with a few instructions. Everyone was excited about inserting a zipper and since I am an unconventional seamstress I teach sewing in a zipper somewhat unconventionally. After receiving a few instructions the class went back to their seats and got started.

Yes that's me wearing my new refashioned sweater. And yes I sew standing up. Told you I was unconventional 🙂
Pretty intense faces huh? Easy goes it after this demo
Stephanie got right to it and was full steam ahead
Ericka working on her strap which she too tossed to the side
Here is Ann (AKA Speedy Gonzales Jr.) giving a little extra thought to the zipper placement
Kanisa had to leave early but she was able to get her zipper in and make it half way through the project before departing.
Sharaelle struggled a bit at the beginning but look at her smiling and with a great attitude the whole way through.
One last demo and the class is good to go

In the end 13 members of the Silver Spring Sewing Society made these great zipper bags turned make up bags

Stephanie with a big smile and totally cute bag
Xtine, did I mention she is "Speedy Gonzales"? She and Ann were neck and neck completing this project. You go gurls!!!
Andrea and her very snazzy Star Wars bag. Made from flannel Star Wars themed fabric.

Finished bags

SELECT: WPA Exhibition & Art Auction Gala in Review

Last week I attended a fashion or fashion related event in DC almost every night of the week. Modern Vintage: Shop & Social on Wednesday, Mila & Fire: Art and Photography Expo on Thursday, Fashion Law Week DC: Intelligent Design on Friday and last night I attended my 3rd Washington Project for the Arts: Auction and Gala……WHEW!!!!  Needless to say I am so very tired and would like to crawl back into bed however we have Sewing Class this afternoon and that always energizes me.

Granted this post is not exactly about fashion however it is about creativity and I wanted to share my experience with you all. Especially since last night the WPA represented more to me that just enjoying great art, great food and great friends. This year I had a personal vested interest in the auction part of the evening. My own friend Lily Valle who many of you have seen her signature on my photos, had a piece entered and yes I eavesdropped on the potential buyer conversations 🙂 I will discuss that later.

WPA is in its 31st year of the Auction and Gala. WPA has helped WPA raise funds and awareness to support contemporary artists in this area. The artists invited to participate in this exhibition were selected by a group of notable curators from some of the most important institutions in our region such as the Corcoran Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Wexner Center for the arts and a special Board of Directors selection along with many others. The works represent a variety of media and disciplines and truly provide the viewer with a wide range design and style.

Upon entering building on 18th and L which used to be Borders Bookstore attendees were greeted by a woman on stilts with a lighted hula hoop. She was nice enough to pose for me. Later I caught her on a break from the stilts viewing some of the art on display.

Although there weren’t any performances some of the artist came together to spread some art Cheer.

Art Cheerleaders
These Art Cheerleaders were having a great time doing the tootsie roll
Here is our performer checking out this piece that ended up in a bidding war going for $4800. Incredible. Although my background is in art I still thought it reminded me of Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham
Board members and attendees perusing the art work

After milling about for a few minutes I decided to head over to the Bruschetta Bar. My favorite! I just about lost it with the breads, olives and tomatoes. Thanks Chef Barton Seaver. Job well done!!

Bruschetta Bar with wonton crisps. crostini, artichoke, tuna tartar, shrimp ceviche, tomato basil, green and black tapenades
Champagne and Peach Glazed Chicken
Desserts - Berry Mascarpone Parfaits, Raspberry Napoleons, Baked Alaska Brownie Stix, Miniature Rustic Tarts

Now on to the main event: Below is Lily next to the piece she submitted to the auction. It’s titled “Trifecta”. The photograph was taken in DC of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial and Capitol. Such a unique set up and so perfect for the person who loves DC. You can see by the smile on her face she is very pleased with the outcome. In the end her piece went for $350 in a slight bidding war. I eavesdropped on a few of the bidders. All were very positive and thought what a unique shot. The back story is Lily and I sorting through her many photos of plants, trees, children, you name it. Trying to decide which one would be WPA worthy. In the end she settled on this photograph which clearly was an excellent choice. Lily is such a great photographer and has such a great eye and is a great friend. You can check out some of her other photos at . I wish her much success and look forward to seeing some of her other work in many of the DC galleries.

Lily withe her piece "Trifecta"
Me and Lily. I'm the proud friend
Lily and the woman who won the bid on her piece
The DJ kept the music going all night

2nd Annual Fashion Law Week DC – Intelligent Design Part 1

The Mansion on “O” was a beautiful backdrop for the designs displayed for the crowing event of Fashion Law week presented by Howard University School of Law.

The students of Hoard Law school created Fashion Law week to place more emphasis on Intellectual Property laws as the relate to the fashion industry. Their advisor Mariessa Terrell, seen below, explained the protection of fashion design rights beyond trademarks and patents has been common place in the international community but hasn’t really taken hold here in the US. Fashion Law Week included a keynote speaker from the Fordham Fashion Law Institute, roundtable panelist and much much more.

The evening started out with an installation of designs by Korto Momolu in the main sitting areas of the mansion. Born in Liberia, she left the country in 1990 due to civil war. She settled in Canada where she studied fashion design at L’academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa. She was the second runner-up from the 5th season of project runway. Her collection known as “Sankofa” is unique and the designs are full of life which tell a story. The collection presented this evening was initially shown in three parts to tell the story of Liberian women: Separation, Transformation and Celebration. There are 27 pieces in the collection which represent the 27 years the country has been in turmoil. See the designs presented during the installation below.

Feeling Youthful again confidence returning & Unraveling Shredded beauty
Finale Piece, bound hands, no voice covered mouth, skirt lifted illustrating violation
Restoration of Beauty & Feeling complete begin restoring total beauty

Past Exposure falling apart at the seams but still carrying the facade
Exposure revealing a sense of balance

More to come on Fashion Law Week……

Fun Times at Modern Vintage: Shop and Social

Wednesday night was a fun time at Nana’s where Lisa from Quarterlife 202 hosted Modern Vintage: Shop & Social. Lisa has some great vintage items and I love just looking through the shoes, skirts and dresses.  She assembled some great combinations on the mannequins and shoppers came by to socialize and browse through the vintage clothing.

I had the pleasure of running into an old friend, Kaarin Moore of Closet Caucus

Lisa and I had a chance to chat and catch up. Great event Lisa!

She served some healthy snacks and drinks to go along

There was even a photo booth set up for visitors to strike a pose

She is wearing a dress and coat from Trash Cat
This G. from Tulle and Combat Boots posing for the camera
Happy shoppers with Lisa
Shoppers milling around Nana's

But the best part of it all was of course the Cand Shoes

Laura from Bits of Threads browsing through a rack of clothes
Beautiful winter white coat with Royal blue sheer dress underneath

Looking forward to Lisa’s next Modern Vintage: Shop & Social

Mila & Fire: Art, Fashion, & Photography Expo

Last night Mila & Fire, who you see below, hosted: Art, Fashion, & Photography Expo at the Lotus Lounge on K Street in DC

Fire on the Right, Mila on the Left

The Art Fashion and Photography Expo organized specifically to place more emphasis on Art and the creators. There were 10 artists being highlighted and displaying their creations on Thursday evening. In addition, there were live performances, poetry and lots of networking. It was a little late for me being that I had to be up for work the early the next morning so I left a little early. But not before getting some photos of the artist and vendors at work. Enjoy!

J. Carmen - She carves these necklaces and earrings herself

Imani Shanklin Roberts - Paintings with fabrics and other textures
Artist Jai - Working hard on one of his original creations
Beads by Aree -Earrings and accessories
The crowd gathering and enjoying the music and art

Wearing something old and something new….well kinda new

As I begin to gear up for my April 30/30 challenge I’m sorting through my wardrobe for essential items. Especially accessories. For April’s 30/30 challenge I will choose 30 individual items from my wardrobe and wear only those 30 items for 30 days. Why this challenge? To demonstrate how versatile a wardrobe can be. Without spending a lot of money you can stretch the items you have and avoid appearing to wear the same clothes over and over again.

Last week I wore a vintage dress I picked up from Goodwill last year and the Infinity scarf  given to me by Ann from the Sewing Society. What a hit! I received so many complements. The dress is a grayish tan and really requires accessories to make it sing. this scarf was a great addition. The scarf is made from old tee shirts and trim. Thanks Ann!



Close up of the Infinity Scarf