Posted in Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: Loving Myself Just The Way I Am Special Addition*

*No, that isn’t a typo, dear readers!  It’s more like a pun, I guess.  I mean, it is a special EDition, but at the same time, it’s a special ADDition to my usual Friday clothing inventory posts, which I will post soon after this one.

Many things cause me to jump up and down and restore my faith in my humanity.  (What can I say?  I’m easily entertained.  That also makes me a cheap date.)  But when my dear friend Ms. Sequins showed me this wonderful link at nearsightedowl.com, my heart grew a couple sizes, I think.  That’s major.  As I told her, I just wanted to reach through the computer screen and give Rachele a big, squishy hug (I mean, in the non-creepy sense) for starting this movement.  In an age where so many people suffer from eating disorders and body image issues and think that the key to their self-worth is how perfect their body is, it is incredibly refreshing to see someone embrace who they are, exactly as they are.  It’s even more incredibly refreshing for this same person to encourage others to do the same.

In this linkup, awesomely called “I Am Proud of My Size”, Rachele invites others in the blogosphere to get gussied up and take a full-body shot of themselves while revealing their clothing size either in the picture itself or somewhere in the blog post.

More fantastically, she stresses that should you choose to participate, “No diet talk, weight loss talk, negativity or any type of body shaming [is] allowed. This is about being happy with your size and shape, not because it is socially acceptable, healthy or better than others.”

That’s the hard part of this for me, but I’m willing to accept the challenge.  I’ve noticed many who have participated in the challenge found it somewhat difficult, and I’m no different.  I feel as if revealing clothing size is just one of those things women never do, like kissing and telling, revealing their true height, or revealing their true age (you know, once they turn 29 again).  But in a previous post I so very bravely revealed my bra size, so I just figure this is another step into the journey of bravery.

So here it is!  I finally got the luck of getting the hubby to be my photographer, so I went a little overboard with the pictures because I got excited that the background wasn’t my pantry.  LoL.  I thought it was the perfect way to fully embrace the challenge and take shots of my body in angles that women are usually uncomfortable taking (i.e., the back, from the side, etc.)  Enjoy!  😀

To Being Proud of Your Own Body, No Matter Your Size!!!  (and, if you so choose, I implore you to participate in this challenge too!  It’s so liberating!)

(For some reason I’ve always wanted to take a picture by a lamppost.  🙂  Also, notice the pair of wedge flip flops by me?  Well, the boots are actually super-comfy, but I had the unfortunate luck of getting my ankles bitten by bugs the last few days, and the boots rubbed in just the right spot that I couldn’t take it.  So while we walked from venue to venue, I donned the flip flops.)

Shout out to one of my very favorite authors, Jen Lancaster!  I thought this book was super-appropriate for this shoot.  🙂

Me trying to wink seductively, but failing horribly.  I just ended up looking like either a female, Asian Popeye or someone with too much sun in one of her eyes.  Haha.

My favorite poolside shot.

Wait.  Don’t take a picture yet.  My forehead’s itchy.

My freakishly, amazingly awesome cowboy boots!  I’ve been wanting cowboy boots for quite some time now, and on a recent camping trip, hubby and I happened upon a fabulous yard sale while walking around the small town we were staying at.  It was getting to shutdown time at the yard sale, and the people running the yard sale  just said to take whatever we wanted FOR FREE, because it was just going to be thrown into a donation truck anyway.  You better believe I snatched up these bad boys when she said that!  I tried to give her money for them (I felt bad taking these beauties without paying), but she absolutely refused.  Oh my goodness I love them so much!!!!

Accessory closeup!  🙂  Blue & brown feather necklace, gold & silver dolphin clasp bracelet (LOOOOOVE!), brown & tan grommet belt:  all gifted.
Diamond wedding band (Fred Meyer Jewelers) and star sapphire engagement ring (Kay Jewelers):  from the hubby (of course). 

Blue, brown, and tan bag:  another score from abovementioned yard sale!  🙂


This my crazy “I-just found-out-about-something-amazing” face.

Brown skirt (worn here as a dress): JohnPaulRichard (gifted).

Twirling with delight!  Navy cardigan:  Christopher & Banks (or CJ Banks?  one of them)

Look!  A leaf!

My “think about something scholarly” pose.  Gold and faux cat-eye topaz earrings:  gifted.

Things are getting crazy!  Stuff is coming off!  (Including my glasses)  😉


In my comfy PJs after the shoot & non-glam.  Still love the way I look!  😀

Posted in Hey look! I'm blogging!

Tying Up Loose Ends

Maintain Blog
Since we are coming up on the end of spring, I thought it would be appropriate to do a little bit of blog spring cleaning of sorts.  These are updates, pictures I’ve been meaning to post, and various other miscellany.  Enjoy!  🙂

1) Since posting my first two Fashion Friday posts, I’ve acquired some clothing to fill in the gaps that I had.  I’ll also update the actual posts, but I’ve had several requests to actually see the clothing on me because they’re curious about my style, especially after my posts on my DIY yellow shoes and shirt-to-skirt.  So I put together some outfits with my new additions.  Much fun was had!  😀  Here are the results:

T-shirts:

2 more tees in unpredictable colors (preferably navy blue & yellow)

Navy blue t-shirt: Mossimo (bought at Target in 2012).  Khaki shorts:  Eddie Bauer (gifted).
Belt & feather necklace: ???
(gifted).
*Author’s Note:  Coincidentally, I got my hair cut a couple weeks ago, and this is the first
official picture that I have of it.  Mostly because this is the very first day that I didn’t loathe
the way my hair looked.  🙂

Yellow t-shirt:  Merona (bought at Target in 2012).  Jeans:  Avenue (bought 2012).
Earrings: Target (bought 2012).  Scarf:  ??? (gifted).  Owl pin: handmade by Sequins–check out her & her friend’s awesome fashion blog!!  🙂 
 (gifted).
1 cream or white long-sleeved tee

White long-sleeved t-shirt:  Herman Geist (thrifted).  Dark purple pinstriped skirt (part of a skirt suit): J.B.S. Limited (thrifted).
Gray fedora: Charming Charlie (on loan indefinitely 🙂  )  Gray belt (shown here tied around neck as a necklace):  ??? (gifted).
*Author’s note:  I had fun putting together the styling on this one.  I know the typical, classic styling of a white
tee is with jeans and perhaps a scarf, but I wanted to show the versatility of this classic piece, so I pushed my
fashion boundaries a bit.  I love the result!

 
Skirts:
1 all-season work skirt

Gray & black colorblocked skirt: H&M (thrifted!  score!!!).  Black sweater: Charter Club (thrifted).
Earrings: ??? (gifted).  Necklace (shown here tied around waist as a belt): ??? (gifted).  Cream flower pin/clip: booth from an expo (bought 2012).

2)  Confession time:  Even though my Memorial Day experience was indeed memorable and I said it was enough to not make me worry about the fact that I didn’t finish my May pictures to take list, my strong dislike for leaving things unfinished took over.  So here are the missing pictures from the list, no longer missing.  😀

BBQs

From the pool-opening party at our complex.
Prom happenings
I was unable to actually take a picture of prom happenings since a) I am no longer prom-going age and b) I don’t have a child who is prom-going age.  There were some missed opportunities as hubby and I were driving around these last two weekends, but alas, I forgot to bring my camera.  (One highlight I especially regret missing:  dressed up teens getting into a white with black flames Hummer limousine.  White with black flames!!  Epic, I’m telling you.  Epic.)
So instead, here is the picture I have for you:

Violet’s Senior Prom, 2000.  I thought the gloves were tres elegant, and I custom-made
the shoes by hot-gluing red roses onto them to match the rose pins in my hair (both of
which are hard to see in this picture).  Um, Senior Prom was awful.  But that’s another story
for another time.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations
As noted, my Cinco de Mayo celebration was…interesting, to say the least.  If you didn’t read that particular post, the Reader’s Digest version is that we ended
up celebrating it with a Taco Bell Doritos locos taco by the lake.  Here is the picture I promised:

“Derby de Mayo”, 5/5/2012.
Students moving out of the college dorm
I’d like to go on record to say I don’t just randomly stalk college dorm rooms to see if I could snap a picture of a complete stranger coming out of their dorm rooms.  🙂  That said, here is the last picture I took of the view of the very last dorm room I stayed in my final year of college, right before I locked it up and drove away:

As an added bonus for you, Dear Readers, is a snapshot of the rarely-seen Pointerfingerness Monster.  😉
But seriously…that’s what gives this picture so much charm for me.

People drinking mint juleps or wearing hats for Derby Day
Again, you need to reference the “Derby de Mayo” post to fully understand this picture, but basically we didn’t have mint juleps.

Pie shake combining sour cream lemon pie and vanilla ice cream.  Yummy!

Fabulous Derby hats:

These are pictures from the TV when we watched the Kentucky Derby.  I love the blue hats!  They’re fabulous!

The actual hat I wore on Derby de Mayo (forgot to take a picture of me wearing it); late Derby hat donning with a friend while at the mall (substituted coffee for mint julep).

I know your minds probably have some great comments developing, but just in the off chance that you don’t, here are some questions:

Which of the above outfits is your favorite on me?  Any styling tips?  Any fun Derby de Mayo (and subsequent Super Moon) stories of your own that you’d like to share?  Any stories of tying up your own loose ends?  How was your senior prom?  Tried any new fabulous drinks lately?  What’s your favorite BBQ food item?  Any great moving out of college stories?  I’m all ears!  😀

 

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Skirting the Issue

I’ve been wanting to make my own skirt for awhile now.  The problem is that I’m quite the amateur seamstress.  I’m amused and a little ashamed that my husband taught me to sew, not the other way around.  Well, I did learn how to sew in the eighth grade, but if you count making a pair of boxer shorts with twisted elastic and uneven legs learning how to sew, then…well, no.  If you think that’s learning how to sew, then I need to sell stuff to you!  😀  Kidding.  Anyhow, my husband taught me to sew originally because I wanted to eventually make a quilt.  Then Pinterest came into my life, and I found many, many other reasons to want to learn how how to sew.  I started with a ruffle shirt (to be featured in the future), and crossed that off my Pinterest list of things to do.  Then, on my own volition, I decided to make a cute wine bag in which to place my mother-in-law’s birthday present.  I wanted to work my way up slowly to a skirt, then perhaps a dress, and then a quilt.  Baby steps and all.

Oh, but then!  Then I ran across this gorgeous fabric at JoAnn Fabrics:

Floral Fabric:  Keepsake Calico #10793065, “Invigorate Oro”.

      It was one of those instances where I saw it and loved it, but I’m so picky about what I spend my money on that I left it there and decided I needed to sleep on it.  The very next day, I decided I NEEDED it and went to the store to buy it, and lo and behold, they didn’t have the fabric.  Of course, that made me want it even more.  So I did research and after finding that many of the stores in the area were sold out of it (FYI, if you want the fabric for yourself, take my wild goose chase as a memo that it’ll probably be hard to find.  They don’t have any in the warehouse either, so that means they probably won’t get in anymore.), there was one store about a half-hour away that only had 6 yards left!   So of course I put it on hold and got it.  Which makes me love this fabric infinitely more than when I originally set eyes on it.  So when I actually make a skirt out of this fabric, I want it to be impeccable.  Therefore, in the traditional Violet way of thinking, I needed to make several test skirts to perfect the skirt-making craft before I moved on to the real thing.
(Short version:  In reference to a Gilmore Girls episode, I need to make a couple of “first pancakes.”)  In other words, an unbelievably awesome skirt made out of that above fabric is to come.  But until then, I bring you this!

I was looking through my “to-donate” pile of clothes to see if there was anything I could cut up and use for “test skirt” fabric, then ran across this shirt:

Shirt:  a.n.a. (gifted).

I’ve never worn it because the style didn’t look good on me as a shirt, but I did love the colors.  So I thought I could turn it into a skirt.  Somehow, as I was looking at it, I folded in the sleeves and realized that it looked like pockets.  And that’s where my idea was born:  upcycle a long-sleeved shirt into a pocketed skirt!  It’s relatively easy, and you don’t have to hem the bottom because it’s already hemmed!  Genius!

How-To:
1) Trim sleeves to be roughly as long as your hand, and cut off collar so the top is straight (you don’t have to be perfect about this because you’re going to hem it later).

2) Turn shirt inside-out, then cut the sleeves, shaping them to resemble pockets (you’ll round the sleeves off).

3) Sew sleeves together around the open edges.  These will become your skirt’s pockets.

4) Keeping your shirt/skirt inside-out, fold down the top part (previously the collar).  Iron this down if you wish, and hem it so that the top of your skirt doesn’t have an unfinished edge.
(Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this part because it was getting to be about 2 AM at this point.  I’m lucky I even remembered how to sew at that point!)

5) Turn your skirt right-side-out, tuck pockets in, and voila!  You’ve got a skirt!  😀

*Note:  I made this skirt with a stretchy fabric so you don’t have to be so perfect in its execution.  My next move will be to make this with a stiffer/crisper fabric, and I’m pretty sure it’ll work out the same way, but I’ll have to be more precise.  If you are a sewing diva, by all means feel free to try this out with another type of fabric.  Or, you know, just make your own skirt without having to upcycle a shirt because you know how to make clothes already and don’t need to make “practice” articles of clothing.  😉

To Your Own Small Successes Via (not-so) Baby Steps!  🙂

Posted in Fashion Fridays

Fashion Friday: Not-so-unlucky 13! (Skirt inventory)

 Organize skirt inventory, complete with pictures.

I have to start by saying that Fashion Friday was the one day out of the week that I’ve been looking forward to the most.  No thinking, just picture taking and captioning.  Just a “get ‘er done” type of thing.  That is, until I started.  Though it was quite rewarding (and I get a checkmark, which I haven’t had in a few days!), it was also more time consuming than I thought it would be.  It also showed me that I am in really bad need of a spring cleaning.  Usually, my clothes are much more organized than they are now.  So, another thing to add to the checklist, I suppose.

Did anyone have anything weird happen today, since it’s Friday the 13th?  Nothing weird with me, except for the coincidence that I own 13 skirts.  I don’t really consider 13 unlucky anymore, especially since it’s Taylor Swift’s lucky number (Yes, I know.  She’s my not-so-secret guilty pleasure.).

Before I go through with the fashion edition of my blog, I must give a shout out to some people who have been doing fashion blogging longer than I have, and quite well, I might add.  In fact, I suggest you probably check out their blog before mine, as theirs is much more entertaining than an inventory of clothes.  That, and they have a cool name:  mooseinchartreuse.wordpress.com.  Please enjoy both of their wonderful styles (and their current 30 in 30 adventure)!

So here is my skirt inventory, again using the Lucky Shopping Manual 2003’s “you’re covered if you have this in your closet” list:

__2 all-season work skirts (tropical wool)

Gray suede skirt: dressbarn (gifted).

*Okay, I admit I have no idea what tropical wool is.  This is more like a suede material and I count it as

an all-season work skirt for sure.

*Own 1, need 1 more

1 day-to-night skirt (dress it up or down)

White skirt with black & silver flowers: JKLA California (gifted).

1 denim skirt

Short denim skirt: Passports (gifted). **I swear I’m not spoiled.  My mother just keeps giving me clothes without me asking for them, sometimes even after I turn her down.

2 summer work skirts (crisp and structured)

Black and white floral skirt: Jones|Wear (gifted).


Cream skirt with brown floral stitching: Ann Taylor Loft (thrifted).  Tufts of black fur (even though I vacuum once a day):  My shedding dog.

 2 summer weekend skirts (dress them up or down)

Brown waterproof cargo skirt: Mountain Hardwear (bought from REI 2010).

Purple, green, and black floral skirt–my very favorite skirt! : dressbarn (bought 2009).

Extras (skirts I own that are in addition to those on the “you’re covered if…” list):

Brown long, stretchy, tiered skirt: JohnPaulRichard (gifted).

Black & white polka dotted skirt: Charter Club (bought from Macy’s 2008…I think)

Khaki corduroy cargo skirt–say that 3 times fast! : American Eagle Outfitters (thrifted).

Purple/dark blue/black/turquoise tie-dyed skirt: RQT (gifted).


Gray/white seersucker-patterned denim skort (yes, skort!): Christopher & Banks (bought 2012)

Brown button-embellished wraparound skirt: CATO (gifted).

Skirt I ended up donating:

Purple skirt with black embroidery: liz&co (gifted).  I haven’t worn this skirt

in almost 3 years and only ever wore it with one specific black shirt, which

breaks one of my cardinal rules where everything I own must go with at least

three things in my wardrobe.

My ruined favorite skirt:

Cream corduroy skirt with gold embroidery & beading: Faded Glory (thrifted).
My dear hubby, trying to be helpful after I had a long day of work, decided to take over laundry duty for the day but failed to separate my dark blue jeans from this light cream skirt.  While I was extremely grateful for it, and by no means did I get angry at him, it is sad to see my favorite skirt ruined.

What I’ve learned:

*My skirt style is much more structured, mature, and classic than I thought it would be.  I guess my style is leaning towards something more grown up.

*I have somehow, without my knowledge (until today), managed to collect three solid brown skirts, yet I don’t have many shirts that go with the color brown.  Contemplating whether I should get rid of brown skirts or buy more compatible shirts.

Skirts I haven’t worn yet:

Cream & brown Ann Taylor Loft, grey and white seersucker skort, & multicolored tie-dyed.  First two I don’t mind a bit, because I just bought one today and the other yesterday so they’re both brand-new.  I actually plan to wear both in the next week or so.  As for the multicolored one, I received it as a Christmas present and am planning to wear it in the summer (I didn’t really think the colors fit in with either winter or spring).

Final skirt shopping list:

__1 all-season work skirt

For all you fashionistas/fashion-interested out there, some questions:

1)  What is your favorite skirt out of the above?  Your least favorite?  (As in, do you have any “what was she thinking?!?” impressions of any of the above?)

2) Aside from what is noted above that I need to add to a shopping list, is there anything glaringly missing from my collection?  Is there anything you would suggest to round out/compliment what I already have?
3) After seeing the pictures, do you think I’ve miscategorized anything? 

4) What exactly IS tropical wool?  Does it go by a different name?  Because I’ve never heard of it.

5) Do you think any of these skirts are out of place in my wardrobe (i.e., does one or more skirt(s) not fit the fashion profile/personality of the others)?

6) Do you have any suggestions at all for getting the blue dye stain out of my favorite skirt?  I feel as if I’ve tried everything (hairspray, stain remover, bleach, multiple washings), but I can’t bring myself to give up on it.  There may even be a prize involved if your suggestion successfully takes the stain out.  I would very much appreciate it!