Friday, June 29, 2012

Pet Peeves and Tiny Smiles

 Tank - Newport News, thrifted
Reversible skirt - thrifted (this one!)
Star Sandals - Poetic License
Wrist corsages- MMD

So the internet has been on a rampage for various reasons. It feels like nothing happens - and then everything is so busy and crazy you can't hardly contain the information overload. So here's some of my pet peeves to get the rant going:

  1. The word decimate. It originated as a term meaning "to reduce by one tenth" in reference to Roman armies. Nowadays, people use it to mean "obliterate" or to destroy a lot of something. It's made it into the common vernacular as meaning "to destroy something in large numbers", and many people miss out on a whole vocabulary of words that could mean to destroy something.
  2. Alot
  3. "I'm so angry at [blank] - I'm moving to Canada" Good luck with that. Why not actually do something - like vote - to make your own country more palatable.
  4. Commercials that include blatant lies to consumers, example: HFCS "Sugar is sugar, your body doesn't know the difference" - Your body does know a difference. Remember - Vote with Your Wallet.
  5. It's 110F in my backyard. This isn't a pet peeve, just an annoying fact.

Wrist corsages
And now because I hate leaving a post full of negativity. Small things through-out the day that make me smile:

  1. Hubby (or anybody) doing something I need to do without me asking. It's like an unexpected weight falling off my shoulders.
  2. Companies who utilize twitter to the best advantage. Remember the @ is a powerful thing if you want something done. Emailing and tweeting may seem overrated, but I've had success with communicating my needs - negative and positive with a number of different companies.
  3.  PostSecret. No matter how rough a week may be, I start my Sunday with PostSecret. *Warning to those who aren't aware of the project, secrets may contain nudity, rude language, or adult concepts.
  4. Beautiful movie trailers for amazing movies. Seriously guys the Hobbit is going to be so freaking amazing.
  5. Breaking fashion rules. I like skirts that come to my knee or below. I like visually chopping my leg line with ankle details on shoes. I like wearing things I made. I like challenging my own sense of color perception.
What makes you smile? 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

In a Young Girl's Heart

Denim Dress - Old Navy, gift from Lynne
Black cuff - via Mom
Red star cuff - Target
Kitten heels - Fly London

I really couldn't wait to start styling up all the goodies Lynne sent me this week. Included in the box was this stretch denim dress. It's got a distinctly retro-futuristic feel, a kick back to the good old sci-fi shows. I love the shape of the sleeve, the darts, and the all the way down zipper. It's a bit short for my comfort so I may be only wearing it as a layering piece, it makes a great jacket/vest, or solely with tights in cooler weather. However this week is far from cool, so I at least gave it a go solo.

Actual colors are a neon-ish orange
and a mint green. I've also got some
steel grey that I might use.
In other news - I finally made some business cards! I decided to be resourceful, cheap,, creative! and made them myself. They're not mass-produced perfections, but I like the personal touch - and the ability to use the rest of the cardstock to make different cards for different needs. I just don't have a lot of need for 500 cards that are all the same.

Stop reading here if you aren't into video games.

Okay so, I got Team Fortress 2 back when Portal 1 came out, and played it a bit. I wasn't very good, I suck at FPS games most of the time due to the disorientation of camera angles and being a console gamer from a young age.. Valve came out with videos for the different classes, along with updates to the different classes in the way of new weapons, hats, and other gadgets to generally make the game hilarious and fun.

The debate on the Pyro's gender and personality has been long awaited for TF2 players. Of course Valve saved the Pyro for last, and I'm still not sure they answered the question. Pyro is the class I typically play because it's generally pretty easy. I've embedded the Meet the Pyro video in case someone is interested in this or games in general and has somehow missed it. Skip the video if you're squeamish about violence.

I've been really getting back into the kinect and playing TF2 for the past couple of days. It's been a good way to get a lot of my nervous energy out. It's been too long since I've really played any games, I am remembering why I love them in the first place! Hopefully I'll remember this in the future and won't let one of my many, many, many hobbies fall by the wayside again. Like my art. (Oops)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Uniformed

Tank - Banana Republic, gift from Lynne
Necklace - gift from Lynne
Star Trek Badge - Thinkgeek, birthday gift
Pearl Hart Pumps - John Fluevog

As someone who quite dislikes actual uniforms, I have an bizarre obsession with Star Trek uniforms. I love the color blocking, the very fitted, functional shapes. I even kind of like the weird split front pant legs. I got a wonderful care package from Lynne in the mail on Monday, and this freaking adorable tank was inside. Made me feel very Beverly Crusher. How could I not wear it with my Trek pin, 21st birthday gift.

The shoes weren't the best match, but simply put - I've gotten rid of a ton of shoes. I feel kindof sad over it, but I'm trying to make what I have work instead of feeling like "omg I need a basic black shoe" - because I don't! I hardly wear them when I do own them. Although I do miss those Sam and Libby flats in the fifth look below. They were perfect. (Sorry no links to past posts)

Obsession with blocked, Trek-inspired looks. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vote with Your Money

Dress - Carmen Marc Valvo, thrifted
Belt - MMD*
Flats - Trippen Army via PedShoes** (They're having a sale!)

No I'm not some kind of advice guru, but I did get some good advice once. I had a Wellness class as a part of my degree program. I hated my high school wellness class, but by the end of the college course I had learned not only to meditate, but lots of great info on bodies, exercise, food, and the importance of voting with your money. My teacher stressed this idea every single class period.

What she was talking about was spending your money on whole foods (whole grains, fresh vegetables), instead of on pre-packaged meals. And yes that's important. The closer your food is to the original food, the better it's going to be for you. Bonus if you're supporting local farms and local economy directly.

But the concept of voting with your dollars (or euros, or pounds, etc) is not limited to the grocery store or farmers market. Where you spend your money decides where corporations are going to support their products. There's a reason why "organic" food has led to "organic" cotton tees. People buy it. Stores want to sell you what you want.

I used to be a fan of fast-fashion stores and discount chains. I still like snooping around the occasional Ross, but almost all of my shopping for the past year or more has gone to thrift store like Goodwill and the Good Samaritan. I'm not saying everyone go out and thrift, but learn about where you're shopping, what your dollars are going to support.

Loved the bright cobalt and purple ties
A bright contrast with my bright green dress
Despite my thrifty clothing budget, I have spent ridiculous amounts on shoes. Even more ridiculous when I realize one pair of my shoes might have paid for about half of my wardrobe or more. I do this because cheaply made shoes hurt. They hurt your feet, they hurt the environment, and they hurt our wallets. If I can pay $100 for a single pair of shoes versus buying three pairs for that cost, I have usually put in a good investment for many years, not a season or two. My $25-30 range shoes have long bit the dust, but those investment shoes I've purchased? Still going strong with a quick buff of the leather conditioner, good as new. 

Not only does this save me money in the long run, improving my Price-Per-Wear, but I know my money has gone to support good companies and good brick-and-mortar stores when I can find them. PPW is especially important because I wear my shoes. I walk in them. A lot.

I know how much affordable, fashionable clothes mean to the world, the accessibility for many people to look professional on a dime is more important than ever. But what will be marketed and what will be available to us in the future is also important. Your money speaks to the corporations, the store owners, the grocery store owners, even my shopping at goodwill creates a demand for people to donate their goods so the stores can continue selling to me and other thrifters. 

Remember how important you are as a customer. Remember the strength of your buying power. 

*Links within my own site are items for sale by me. Not another company or endorsement.
**I make no money for linking to outside sites or companies. I link because I love. These shoes were purchased by me with my own money, not provided by the company.

Edited to add a link I got from Terri (@RagsMachine): The High Cost of Cheap Fashion Read it if you can. I highly support becoming educated about the world around you to make informed decisions on your own terms.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Straw to Gold

 Coral blouse - Alfani, gift from Sheila
Joe's Jeans - thrifted NWT
Flats - Frye, ebay
Bag - Target
Necklace, Bracelet - DIY

In the interest of transparency, I have had a rotten few weeks, coming to a head this weekend. Down right horrible. And I was fully prepared to come on here, whine a bit and then try to find some positivity.

However, my blog-sister, Lynne, manages to be serendipitous by sending the sweetest care package in the world. I opened my package to find the closest thing to packing Lynne into a box and finding her on my doorstep: Milano cookies (that actually survived the trip), starbucks, retro and sci-fi clothes, ties to make her belts, and even a little bug pin. 

I bawled. I sat here and cried over a starbucks giftcard and a bag of cookies. (and the clothes too, but the coffee did it).

Once I pulled myself together I went to my therapy appointment. It's been awhile since I last went. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I'm actually feeling somewhere normal again by the time I'm writing this post. Fwiw, it's okay to be a little bit crazy, but when things start to overwhelm you, it's okay to reach out.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sew Sunday Special Show-off

Welcome to Sew Sunday: Show-off! Where I show off how people are wearing my buttonflowers and belts. Check out past features by checking the buttonflower tag.

Beth fashions her own ribbon corsage to wear her flower.
Beth also showed off her gorgeous obi belt.
Want one of your own? Check out what I've got in stock! Or order one in your choice of colors.

Lynne decks out her skinny belts with different flowers for extra pop. Works with brights and neutrals!
She also took one and attached it to some stretchy bracelets for a wrist corsage.

LouiseOdyssey traveler extraordinaire, dons her summer hat with MMD buttonflowers.

Have you worn a MMD buttonflower or belt? Want to share how you wore it? Send a picture to me at ecc3ntriccynic[at]gmail[dot]com and I'd be happy to show off your photo in a Sew Sunday feature.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Tank - She-bible, thrifted
Sequin studded vest - Luxe, thrifted
Cut off One Star shorts - thrifted
Flats - Frye, ebay

Amazing how quickly life returns to normal. Today, I sweated through this outfit. D had to go to a rescheduled appointment this afternoon so I went along for the ride so I could browse Goodwill. I didn't have my lucky partner with me this time, so I only came home with a tee shirt. 

Both the tank and vest were thrifting during my meet-up with Lynne. I was unsure about this vest for a number of reasons, but I think I like it. The tank met with a pair of scissors and is now down one string. I dislike things putting too much pressure around my neck. The shorts also met with a pair of scissors. Mostly due to not wanting to fuss with hemming them, and because I am not fond of regular shorts. When it's nearly 100 degrees though, full pants don't fly.

Finally got this video of York uploaded. This is why I hardly get pictures or video of the boys these days. They're way too interested in attacking my camera.

Edit: Forgot to mention - the kitties turn 3 months old tomorrow!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

End of Life Issues

 Kitty dress (sleeves removed) - All Saints, gift from Megan
Logic Oxfords - Cydwoq
Wrist cuff - gift from Lynne

It's been a tough year of deaths. We lost two cats (one of the kittens and my elderly cat who lived with my grandparents), there was the unexpected death of a family friend, and this week we lost my husband's grandmother.

I've always been grateful for a long-lived small family. I got to meet almost every one of my great-grandparents. I'm the oldest grandchild/great-grandchild. My husband however is the youngest of four, and his grandmother, a sweet woman suffering from dementia, was 91. I did not know the real Nanny. Her disease had progressed many years by the time I first started dating my husband. However I've spent the past three years helping to watch her and give my in-laws some help whenever I could.

Aside from her mind, Nanny was a healthy lady. One of her last moments of clarity before she passed, she told my Mother-in-law that she was going to "fly over the housetops", and not too long later she was gone.

Hubs in a Calvin Klein suit
and shirt with thrifted Dior tie
As someone who has studied grief psychology and end of life issues, funerals still feel odd to me. Especially here in the South. People are smiling and laughing and crying. I have only been to a few actual funerals. I worried about what was appropriate in my own wardrobe with a distinct lack of basics. I finally settled on my only solid black dress (because at least it was cotton) and my Cydwoq oxfords because wearing heels to the cemetery is a no-no.

I was quite surprised at the sartorial choices of the people visiting the funeral home. Many people eschewed black in favor of Nanny's favorite color, purple, or wore spring florals.

I actually got a few genuine compliments on my dress, so I assumed what I chose was alright. I think in the end it's important just to be there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Holly go brightly

 Tee - NWT Loft, thrifted
Skirt - the Limited, thrifted
Sandals - vintage(?) Sacha London, thrifted
Buttonflowers - MMD

Fashion Challenges are amazing things. I meet so many new inspirational bloggers during the process of FCs, and even though they are a little extra work for a whole week, the end result is always awesome. You should go check out the Round Up over on Keely's blog to see how fabulous everyone looks.

Other than the round up, I get many fun ideas that I try to incorporate into my daily wear. Savvy Abbie wore this outfit during the challenge, and even though I don't own a similarly printed skirt - I DO own this dip dye skirt in similar color gradient. I could have sworn I had worn this tee with this skirt. Maybe I have, but according to my OOTD folder, I haven't. So thanks to Abbie for the inspiration! I might have missed out on a great pairing thinking I had worn it before.

Someone found MMD by googling
"what shoes with watermelon dress"
These. These shoes.
Also new to today's outfit, these awesome sandals! I want to say they're vintage, and after some googling and etsy searching they look to be from the 1980s. The tag is an old style Sacha London, a company still in business. I was so stoked to find them. I call them my 'citrus sandals'. Update: According to the amazing Sheila, the sandals are likely from the late 80s or early 90s. Thanks for the heads up!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sun, Stars, and Dragons

 Dress - gift
Dragon Obi - MMD
Star Boots - vintage, deadstock
Necklaces - gifts from Lynne

I spent almost all day at my sewing machine. Usually sewing is a love-hate relationship and it takes me a few days to actually look at what I made and feel happy, but this new batch of obi belts was a pleasure to make. They're up on the shop now. Last week's two obi belts were mailed out Monday to their new owner. This dragon tie has possibly been my favorite to come across. I had this black/silver belt leftover from filling an order and had no match for it. Serendipity brought the two together.

Also I just picked up a HUGE box of buttons my mom thrifted for me. Can't wait to dig through them tonight and start sewing up some beautiful new buttonflowers.

I always wanted a pair of cowboy boots to wear in summer. However, these boots make a great approximation. I don't care that it was 98 degrees today, I wanted to wear boots. 

Also on the bug report - there was a BEE in my car today. AAAAH frick. I noticed him buzzing in the car door pocket and looked down expecting a fly - NOPE. Nopenopenope. Hubs had to pull over, and thankfully he buzzed right out, but it was HUGE.

Sun necklace, Photo by Lynne
Dragon close up

Monday, June 18, 2012

Fly plaid

Fly print Tee - Smoking Lily, gift from Sheila
Buttonflower - MMD
Skirt - fei, thrifted, buttons changed
Vintage flats - etsy

I thought my new fly shirt would complement my new bug bites (kitties still have a minor case of fleas, we just treated - again). Bugs, bugs ,and more bugs is all I've been experiencing during this awful long summer. Usually we have a hard freeze in winter, which keeps the bug population under control, but I've been harassed by all manner of spider, beetle, flea and fruit fly since March. Most recently we had a big creepy brown spider chilling out on the wall above the tv. *shudder* For once I hope we have a cold winter. I only want my bugs in print.

Hubby picked out this outfit today. I just felt stumped after having a week full of pre-planned outfits and themes. I realized last minute I had a matching buttonflower for this skirt. Also I have no idea why I was making that face. This was the skirt I thrifted with Lynne. I loved the skirt - despised the buttons. A quick change to a mixed variety of brown buttons - much better.

In much more awesome news, here is Lynne, "Sherlock" and I going to see Frankenstein. Well part of us anyway. Head over the Lynne's blog by clicking the preview image to see the whole thing. Lynne commissioned this Fashion Doodle from me to show us off on the Red Carpet with our "date" for the play! It'll be a great memento for both of us, and was a really fun project for me.

Also I just got word yesterday that reader, Rachel, gave her husband and kids the commission I did for her back in May. She wanted a Steampunk Family Portrait to give her hubs for Father's day. It was met with rave reviews! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

FC: This or That: Pastel/Neon

Shirt - Ravel, thrifted
Scarf - thrifted
Shorts - St. John's Bay, thrifted
Logic oxfords - Cydwoq
Bag - Target

We have a local television ad that runs: "It's HOT! And you need a pool!" said by a girl, whom I assume is the business owner's daughter. She has a high pitched voice, but every time I say the words "I'm hot," I now want to follow it with "I need a pool." With the way this summer has gone, I am really regretting that I haven't hit the (indoor) pool since winter.

Of course today I could have done major neon. Eye-searing brights have wormed their way into my wardrobe faster than I could stop them, but pastels challenge me. And this is fashion challenge. Today I opted for yet another piece from my thrifting trip, this shirt. Crisp with a ton of almost-knife pleats, converging seams, and pastel blue shade, I brought this baby home with me asap. Baby blue is a great alternative to white shirts for pale girls, or really anybody, but I am a pale-girl.

I decided to try a boyish look with shorts and oxfords. Way preppier than I ever typically go, but this felt cool, funky, and challenging for me. Grey has quickly become my favorite neutral. I'm often digging for charcoals, silvers, and pewters. Grey can really enliven a wardrobe, kicking flat black basics to the curb. Needless to say most of the black in my wardrobe has been replaced by grey equivalents.

Also in my mailbox this afternoon - Aaaaa! A smoking lily shirt from Sheila! It's got flies on it! Fliiies. Also in the package was a beautiful coral blouse that fits me in the most perfect 40s-esque way. Sheila has always
picked me out the most amazing pieces to add to my wardrobe. Thanks, dear! You're the best. I can't wait to wear both shirts. (Also note: the shirts totally match what I'm wearing!)

As always, don't forget at the end of the week to send Keely [kkmkreations[at]live[dot]com] your favorite participating photo to be included in the round-up. Be sure to pop by the other participating FC members and give them some encouragement! We've had an amazing group this time around. I've been excited every day to see everyone's styled up looks. Thanks everyone for taking the Fashion Challenge.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

FC: This or That: Printed Pant

 Tank - She-bible, thrifted
Printed pants - Sandra King, thrifted, slimmed
Star stud sandals - Poetic License

Aaand we all knew Megan would be picking her pink printed pants today, didn't we? Seriously, if you had told me a year ago that I would not only own a pair of pink printed ankle pants, and not only wore them, but wore them about once a week since I got them? I'd give you a glare so hard your head would spin! But no really, I've really enjoyed the colorful bottom options that have flooded the markets in the past few seasons. I wore my red jeans yesterday (and got kitty fur all over them), so I opted for my printed pants today.

I paired these slimmed pants with a purple futuristic tank I picked up while thrifting with Lynne. I almost talked myself out of it since it was the only item either one of us had found at thrift store #2, but I made it through the long line and paid for it. It's hard finding items with futuristic elements in 1. real non-synthetic fibers and 2. my price range.

Buttonflowers go with everything!
My style has toed into the steam punk more often because it's easy to thrift stuff that will fit into that realm, but the closest I ever get to cyberpunk or futuristic or post-apocalyptic style is few and far between. I keep trying though!

This outfit was perfect for a post office run and having a row with a lady over carts in Aldi grocery. They have chains on their carts to prevent stealing - I stayed relatively calm while a lady decided to yell until she realized she was in the wrong and her husband had their cart, and the one she was holding was in fact the cashier's cart. She finally walked off sheepishly.

And since all I've done is babble today, here's some cats:

Bruce says, "No pictures, I will eat your camera strap!"
 These kitties have some freakishly dexterous paws.

 This turned into this!

York, my BB, says "Look, Ma, no paws!"
Mamma says "York you're such a weirdo!"

As always, don't forget at the end of the week to send Keely [kkmkreations[at]live[dot]com] your favorite participating photo to be included in the round-up. Also remember to pop by the other participating FC members and give them some encouragement! 

Also please read Sal's post today on Ethnic Ethics. She's got a great discussion going that some bloggers participating in yesterday's challenge were beginning to talk about. Contribute on Sal's page on your thoughts about being appropriate with cultural clothing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FC: This or That: Floral

 Tee - H&M, thrifted
Jeans - Divided, thrifted
Textile Flats - Cydwoq (Pedshoes)
Leaf earrings - Claire's (long time ago)

Ahh the ever internal struggle over prints. I am not a print girl. I much prefer tie-dye, interesting cuts, and solids. Prints I like: geometric/mod prints, plaid/stripes, odd prints (bugs, fish, etc). Prints I typically don't wear: floral, tribal/ikat, animal 'fur' print.

In the past I have made exceptions and bought pieces I loved because I liked them despite being a print I don't feel matches "me" or my style. I still barely have words to explain what I like, but I've learned a bit of a formula for what I DO like and what I will wear. Prints aren't usually on that list.

How ever today was a challenge day. And what better to challenge myself with than a floral shirt. I love this shirt. I've worn it a bunch. The weird neckline is comfortable and the cut, while it floats away from my body, still shows off my waist-line fairly well.

And I can't forget my favorite flower based thing - My buttonflowers! The brain children of my IRL friend, Michael, my blogger-buddy, Ally, and my own personal love of luxe fabrics. I puzzled out two different designs for these fabric flowers and have been pinning them to everything since I started. I still struggle to work them into my own wardrobe, but they've made excellent bows for presents, thank-you gifts, hat decorations, and more. Today I'm wearing a cluster of 3 minis to jazz up the neckline of this tee.

Also, I'll be a bit late in getting to everyone's post today. I'll be afk for most of the day. I can still be reached by email, but I'll probably be playing catch-up on my blogroll/challenge participants through to tomorrow.

As always, don't forget at the end of the week to send Keely [kkmkreations[at]live[dot]com] your favorite participating photo to be included in the round-up. Also remember to pop by the other participating FC members and give them some encouragement! We have 25 lovely participants so far. I hope everyone is getting some inspiration from this challenge.