Monday, October 31, 2011

“Nightmare” by Dawn Braun

To celebrate Halloween, we asked all creative writers to submit a spooky story. Congratulations, Dawn! You gave us chills and goosebumps. Enjoy, everyone!


She awoke with a gasp; her heart pounding inside her chest, so loudly, she was sure someone else would hear it too. The darkness enveloped her and she couldn’t make out her hands as she passed them in front of her face. She could hear the sound of running water to her right and the cool air was damp and heavy, making her clothes stick to her skin. A snap of a twig, to her left made her suck in her breath and lay stone still. She felt around on the ground, moss covered rocks, dirt and leaves rustled at her touch. Where was she?? She pushed herself up, quietly, to a sitting position and kept peering through the dark, only to have darkness stare back at her.

Another sharp snap of a twig and she was up running blindly, hands in front of her body. Her long red hair, normally kept in a neat ponytail was wildly flying behind her. She ran towards the sound of the water, tripping over felled logs and twigs. Her feet hit the icy water with a splash as she stumbled forward, the cold stung as it drenched her clothes. She picked herself up and quickly waded through the water to the other side. The only thing she knew is she must get away. Whatever was out there was coming for her. Hands outstretched, she continued to find her way through the thick brush, her arms burned from the scratches thorns and branches dug into her young pale skin.

She stopped suddenly next to what felt like a stone structure. She felt around for an opening, running her hands along the cool large boulders. She felt glass and could tell that the window had been broken. Finally her hands felt the rugged grit of an old door; she grabbed hold of the handle and quickly slipped inside.

Her back against the old door, she paused to catch her breath and listened for any noise that would alarm her to move on. In that same moment, a smell so foul enveloped her lungs. Her face wrinkled in disgust as she moved inward to find something, although she wasn’t sure exactly what she was looking for. Thoughts of her cozy warm bed filled her head as she groped through the darkness for something to wrap around her shivering body, but the smell seemed to get worse as she slowly moved though the building. Her fingers touched a scratchy wool blanket and she gave it a tug to set it free for her own use. It didn’t move. Running her fingers along the edge of the blanket, she reached out and touched something cold, hard, slimy and wet. She drew her hand back quickly. Whatever was occupying the blanket at this moment wasn’t about to give it up. The smell grew stronger as did her curiosity. She turned sharply in the room and felt around for a heat source or a lantern. Her thigh bumped into a table and it jumped with a groan. She grazed her hand along the table and found a lamp near the middle. Now how would she light it? Slowly shuffling her feet along the ground, she came upon a bookshelf, which was caked with dust and cobwebs. A quick hunt on the shelves and her hand nudged a book of matches enough to make them shake. She grabbed the matches and then taking a huge breath, struck one to the side of the box. The match burst into flame before settling into a nice hot glow. She held the match higher and as her eyes adjusted to the light, her mouth fell open into a silent scream. There on the bed lay a body. The eyes, nose and mouth were filled with slimy flesh eating maggots.

The match burned too close to her fingers and as she dropped it, it went out, causing her to be enveloped again in darkness. She knelt down and then using all the strength and bravery she could find struck another match against the side of the box. She took a deep breath and this time stepped forward just enough to retrieve the lamp on the table. Lighting the wick inside, a soft glow settled over the room and as her eyes came into focus, she began to take in her surroundings. A wooden rocking chair sat next to a small fireplace in the corner of the room. There was the table where the lantern had been sitting and a lone wooden bench off to one side. The bookshelf held a few dusty cans of food and a brown bag. She knew she couldn’t stay here, especially with the rotting body on the bed, but she also knew if she went back out into the darkness, whatever was out there would do unthinkable things to her… She cocked her head to one side and a scream ripped through the darkness outside. Her trembling hands dropped the lantern, making it shatter onto the floor. Alone in the darkness once again, she was unsure of what to do next. She felt a warm breeze and the hairs on the back of her neck prickled. She felt a hand grab her shoulder, causing her to scream and jerk forward. Another cold hand pressed over her mouth, silencing her screams…

She awoke, the sun streamed through her windows and creating playful shadows on her comforter through the leaves in the tree outside her window. She was home! A sigh of relief escaped her mouth, as she nestled back into her down pillow. She closed her eyes and smiled and a cold hand once again rested over her mouth. Her eyes flew open but her jerks were of no comparison to what held her down. Her worst nightmare had come true and she wouldn’t live to tell about it.

Dawn Braun

Picture This: How to turn a photo into text

Guest Post by Key & Bones

I love words, but sometimes they look better in a hot outfit. Don't we all? Here's how to get from lovely to

Step 1. Start with an image you love. Broad gradients tend to work best, but never be afraid to experiment.

Step 2. Open the image in Photoshop and type your words. Thick fonts work well. If you’re bored with your font selection, check out (and get comfortable ‘cuz you’ll be there for awhile).
Ok, should look something like this:

Step 3. Make a copy of your background layer: Layer > New > Layer from Background. If it doesn’t go on top of the text layer automatically, put it there. It should look like your text disappeared and you’re back to the original image. But really, we’re almost there.

Step 4. Go to Layer > Create Clipping Mask. It should make the letters appear where the photo was. Don't see it? Click the eye icon on your Background Layer to make it invisible.

Step 5. Play around! Move the text (or the background copy). Add a new, visible background image for juxtaposition. Change the hue, saturation or lighness of your original. Once you’ve mastered the basics, variations are endless — good luck!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Style File: Blogger Style


We simply love Maria in our "lynnhaven floral print dress".

We hope everyone is having a great weekend! We promise the site will be back soon. :)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Mood Board

 (Sources: Pinterest, We Heart It, Tumblr)

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Ruche is Under Construction!

From October 28 (3 PM PST) to Nov 1 (12 PM PST), we will be making changes and renovating the site. A new and improved shopping experience will be here soon! 

Be sure to browse the selection before Ruche closes for the weekend! Affordable knits? We swoon. ♥

Have a lovely weekend! We'll see you soon.


Spooky Story Halloween Contest

  (Source: We Heart it)
Calling all of our creative writing ladies! Submit us your spooky stories! We will pick our favorite story to feature on our blog for Halloween and we'll even throw in $25 gift cards for the winner.
Email your stories to

Love Stories: The Strongest Person

After reading the touching story written by Toki on the ShopRuche blog, I wanted to share my story of my best friend’s battle with cancer.
Grandmas. Most people only have sporadic visits with grandparents, and deal with the loss of a grandparent at an early age. I’m different. My grandma is my best friend.

Name: Granny
Age: 65
Occupation: Small Business Owner
Quirks: Can’t cook, can’t sew, loves to drive around in a motor home.

Granny is young, sprite, beautiful, and a slightly goofy. OK, really goofy. Growing up, Granny was the strongest person I knew. I didn’t think anything could break through that skin. She water-skied with the best of them, looked fantastic in a swim suit, made everyone around her laugh, and owned her own business. On top of all that, she was helping my mom raise me. She taught me that I can do whatever I want, and I was the smartest, most beautiful person in every room I entered. (In reality, I knew I’d never be as smart and beautiful as her.)

Then, I received the call. Granny had been in surgery on a Wednesday morning to remove a cyst on an ovary.  I was waiting on a call letting me know that she was awake so I could talk to her when she was still goofy on meds (I think it’s hilarious!). Instead, my mom said “Can you talk?” My stomach dropped, and my heart jumped to my throat in the same instant. She proceeded to tell me that the surgeons found cancer while removing the cyst. They were 99% sure they removed it all since they caught it early, but she would have to undergo chemotherapy, just to be sure. I did not panic. I did not cry. Through many teary phone calls from cousins, my mom, and other relatives, I remained calm and assured them that she would be fine. I had no doubt in my mind.

About four days after finding out the news, I went shopping. I had been shopping for about an hour and was perfectly fine. Out of nowhere, I burst into tears. I had to leave the mall immediately. I cried in my car for a long time. Why did she have to go through this? Why did she have to lose her hair? Why did she have to poison her body with this treatment? She didn’t deserve this, and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I do not get emotional, and tend to always stay calm in all situations. This was a time when I couldn’t be the calm one. My Granny was sick.

Defining moments of Granny’s battle:
-        The day every employee at her business wore hats to work so she would feel more comfortable.
-        The Hat Party my aunt threw for her, and the next morning when she shaved her head. (She rocked the bald look, by the way.)
-        The day my cousin and I drove her to chemo and sat with her throughout the treatment, cracking jokes.
-        The several times that I called to talk to her and she was so tired and nauseous that she couldn’t speak.
-        The day she told us that if she had to go through this again, she’d rather let herself die.
-        The relief in her voice when she called after her last chemo treatment.
-        Rubbing her head on Mother’s day when her hair had started growing back.
As horrible as this ordeal was, it was only part one.

Granny was cancer free. All of her blood work was great. During her treatment, her doctor had tested her for any genetic issues that would make her more susceptible to cancer. This is standard practice with ovarian and/or breast cancer patients.

Part Two:
Granny tested positive for the BRCA2 gene. From Wikipedia: “Certain variations of the BRCA2 gene cause an increased risk for breast cancer as part of a hereditary breast-ovarian cancer syndrome.”

This meant that Granny had a 75% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 70.
It was a terrible blow. Granny had just grown in a cute pixie do and started feeling like her normal self. In a few weeks, she would have to undergo a double mastectomy, and proceed with reconstruction, which is a very slow and painful process. My mother and aunt were tested for the gene. Mom was negative, Aunt Bennie was positive. Aunt Bennie went through the same reconstruction as my granny. I will have to have the same test in a few years, as will my sister and female cousins.

The Finale:
Granny has finished the reconstruction process after many months. She still has pain. Her recent blood work is free and clear of any signs of cancer. She’s back at work, traveling, and having family get togethers again. Her hair is the same length as it was before chemo. She is still inspiring me every day. She is still the most caring person I know. She is still my best friend.

A recent text from Granny: “you can do anything you want—ask, pray, seek”

The effect that this ordeal had on me was profound. The strongest person I knew was so weak, so sick, in so much pain. I wanted to be there for her and take all of that pain away, just like she did for me so many times. I couldn’t do anything to help her. Then when it was done, she was immediately hit again. As a family, we remained positive and knew that we could get through anything together. I’ve learned to love life and make sure that I’m always happy. I’ve learned to cherish time with my family. I am now thankful and optimistic. While there are always uncontrollable aspects in life, I believe that life is what you make it. Happiness can be found in almost any situation; life is too short to waste on negativity. 

Magen from Crumpled Fantasies

See the previous Love Stories here! If you would like to submit your story, please send an e-mail to You may attach up to 5 photos. Please try to keep your stories to a 1200 word limit. You will receive an e-mail when your story is selected.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Project DIY: Fancy Pumpkins

Instead of carving spooky lanterns, why not paint your pumpkins for a fancy center piece?

(Source: Alisa Burke)

Project DIY: Godiva Cold Brew Iced Pumpkin Latte

Guest Post by She Runs, She Eats
Godiva Cold Brew Iced Pumpkin Latte
Recipe by Christina Provo

Serves 4-5


2/3 cup Godiva Pumpkin Spice coffee
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
5 1/4 cups room temperature water
sugar syrup
milk foam or whipped cream


Step 1. Pour coffee into a pitcher or large glass jar. Stir in brown sugar, spices, and salt. Mix pumpkin puree with water and pour into pitcher. Stir to combine the coffee grounds and water. Cover and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature.

Step 2. Before straining, stir concentrate once. Place a fine mesh sieve lined with two coffee filters over a bowl and pour a little of the liquid at a time through the sieve. Gather the ends of the coffee filters and gently squeeze liquid through, tossing out any coffee grinds between batches.

Step 3. To serve, pour 1/2 or 3/4 cup coffee concentrate into a glass. Add 1/2 or 1/4 cup milk, and 1 tablespoon of sugar syrup if desired. Stir. Top with milk foam or whipped cream.

Step 4. For a hot latte, heat the coffee concentrate, milk, and a tablespoon of pumpkin puree and sugar syrup on the stove until desired hotness. Top with whipped cream or milk foam.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Jenny Packham Wedding Dresses

We found the wedding dress of our dreams in Jenny Packham's latest bridal collection. Which one is your favorite?

Wedding Wednesday: Young Love

Wedding Thank You Cards

Show your wedding party and guests your gratitude with these adorable thank you cards from Briggle Sticks. The artist creates custom drawings and prints them on recycled paper in hopes of "promoting kindness, generosity and appreciation." ♥


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fashion Overload: Inside the Rachel Zoe Empire

Her show is one of our guiltiest pleasures, and we just couldn't help but fall in love with Rachel Zoe's styling offices. It's fashion overload at it's finest!

(Source: The Coveteur)

Cozy coats, boots, hats and more.

As the cooler months become colder, let's stay warm and cuddle up with a collection of cozy essentials. Wool hats and dresses, luxurious scarves, cozy coats and sweaters, knit tights, warm boots... Which pieces will create your cold-weather wardrobe? ♥


Monday, October 24, 2011

Picture This: How to make a GIF in Photoshop

Guest post by GrowlingSteph

Hi! My name is Stephanie and I blog over at I am currently new to Denver, CO and a jobless, ranting blogger who spends most of my time at home with a cat in my lap. I like to share tech tips and tricks along with music I’m loving at the moment, my favorite TV shows and movies, and personal adventures.

Today, I am going to teach you something that I could not do for a long time but when I discovered how easy it was, I started making gifs for every blog. Haha!

Step 1. Take a few pictures to create your gif. To make it easy, I took only 3 pictures I will turn into a gif.

Step 2. Open Photoshop and create a document with each of your images as different layers. You can do this a couple different ways, but the easiest way to do this is: for each image, select all (crtl+a) and copy (ctrl+c) then paste (ctrl+v) onto the first one. After you’ve done this, you should have three layers. (Note: Make sure to have your layers window visible by pressing F7 or going to the Windows menu and selecting Layers.

Step 3.Go to the Windows menu and select Animation. You will see a window appear on the bottom. At first, you will only see one frame. At top right corner of the animation window, there is a small menu button. Click on the menu and select Make frames from layers. You should see 3 frames now.

Step 4. Click on the first animation frame. In your layers, there is a small eye (treat this as a check box) to the left of the image meaning that layer is visible. Toggle these eye icons on your images so only the image you want to show first has an eye next to it. Click on the second frame and only make one image visible. Ditto for the third frame.

Step 5. In the animation window, just below each frame, you can see a time with a drop down menu. I usually have each frame on 1 second but if you want it to be longer or shorter, that’s okay. Play the animation by clicking on the play button in the bottom row of the animation window.

Step 6. Save the image by going to the File menu, select Save for Web & Devices. A new window will pop up. On the top right, for the Preset drop down menu, select Gif 128 No Dither, change Color to 256, and uncheck Transparency. (Note: After you do this, you’ll see the preset is now call [unnamed]. If you want to save these new settings, click on the menu at the top right and save the preset.) On the bottom right, adjust the image size. My blog posts are 420 pixels wide so I use this size but I would suggest making it even smaller. Lastly, click Save on the very bottom.

 Step 7. Enjoy! 

If Ruche were a ballerina...

sources: one and two

...we would look like this. Have a beautiful Monday!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Style File: Blogger Roundup

Happy weekend, everyone! Take a moment and swoon with us over a few Ruche outfits. You ladies are simply lovely! ♥

Cara, from A Fashion Love Affair, in a charming Ruche dress.

Laura, also known as Violet Bella, in our "changing seasons corduroy pants".

Keira, from A Pretty Penny, in our "windy city trench " coat.

If you would like to submit your Style File photos, see our Ruche Blogger Family program for details!