Sunday, July 31, 2011

Welcome to the Faire

Today I went to the Renaissance Fair with my friend Mariah and her mother.  It was a ton of fun!  I'd never been to the RennFair before, although I've always wanted to go.  We didn't really see many of the shows, but we wandered around all of the shops and people watched.  There are some very interesting people, from the actors dressed in full regalia to women barely wearing anything; people with half costumes over street clothes and one very cute little boy in a batman costume.

The fairgrounds were really nice.  All of the buildings were just worn enough to look "authentic" without being rundown.  Each little sector had its own theme, but nothing was too disconnected to take away from the overall effect.  I'm considering decorating my room like this one..

I loved dressing up.  I don't think I would have had as much fun had I been in street clothes.  Lucky for me my friend and her mother have quite the costume collection, and I was able to borrow most of my duds to make a pretty convincing ensemble.  One store worker even thought that I worked in another shop!  All those clothes were pretty warm, but it was worth it.  Hasn't everyone always wanted to spend a day in another world?  The make believe is more keenly felt in costume.

Aside from dressing up, my favorite part of the fair was near the end, when the drummers and piper did their last show of the day.  The drummers kept a steady beat and the pipes droned on in a never ending song.   A crowd of people danced and shouted around them.  Mariah and I joined in, dancing until the sweat was dripping off of us.  I love to dance, but I've never danced a jig in peasant skirts to live pipes before.  Hello, life dream.  I can't wait to go again next year!

Friday, July 29, 2011

June Challenge #3

Slowly but Surely, I'm getting around to this.

I had great plans for this dress, but it didn't turn out exactly as I'd planned.

I wanted a simple white sundress that I could wear all summer long.  Instead, I had this, which is too boobish for my mother's approval, and therefore it won't leave the house while I'm living under her roof. Whether or not it comes out at college is a different story.

Originally the boob cups didn't touch in the middle, which looked terribly skanky.  I added a v shaped piece in between them to connect the two sides and give a bit more coverage.  All the seams give it a more structured look, too.  That, combined with the open back, make me feel a bit like Nicole Richie.

Also, I lined this with polyester lining, which sticks to my legs like crazy, making this a less than ideal summer dress.  Next time I do a summer dress I'm using jersey.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

This week has been very busy and full of awesome friends! I've got a pretty decent list of great things from this weeks:

Sleeping for 8 hours feels wonderful.  Everyone should make an effort to do this more often.  I feel so good when I'm awake!

Widening my musical world.  The family desktop crashed, and my brother lost all of his music.  His friends lent him a ton of cds full of music that I've heard of but never really listened to.  I will never like Metallica, but some of my brother's other favorites are starting to grow on me.  Also, spending time with my brother and listening to music together is a lot of fun.  I love my brother.

Disney movies and the friends who watch them.  A friend and I have been on an extended disney kick.  So far we've watched 5 princess movies in the last 2 days, with more to come.

Friends who help.  My basement flooded, and my best friend came over with a mop bucket and made me mac'n'cheese and helped me clean.  What a sweetheart!

Work friends.  Summer jobs aren't meant to be fun.  They are, though, when you work with awesome people who reenact movie scenes and generally are hilarious.

Finished projects.  I love when projects get done, and turn out well.  More on this later!

Organized living spaces.  No clutter.  Everything in it's place.  It is possible, it just takes a lot of guts and a few trash bags, plus a goodwill.  And time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Errand Running and Running

Today has been very nice and cool compared to the past week's soaring temperatures.  I'm taking advantage of the slightly cooler weather by covering up summer's second sunburn with a tshirt.  I spent my day driving all over town, picking up an exciting package from the post office, getting medicine, and taking my favorite boots to the shoe repair shop to get the 3 inch crack in the sole repaired.  Unfortunately, it will cost upward of $70.  The shoe repair man said I'd be better off just getting new boots.  I can save my favorites for sunny days and buy a new pair for traipsing around in the snow in.  Hopefully I can find some that are just as comfortable and cute.  The really sad thing is that I only bought those boots last december.  What a shame.  I am too hard on my shoes.

I had a lot of fun taking pictures for an outfit post today.  I've been dancing around to styx and rush and some other old music that I stole from my brother earlier this week.  Younger brothers with questionable taste in music really are a godsend, I must admit.  Slowly but surely, I'm learning that not all my brother likes is bad.

Outfit Details
Shirt: discarded by my mother
Skirt: originally forever 21, thrifted for $3
Shoes: H&M, another favorite pair that I've worn nearly to death
Collar: self made
Bracelet: thrifted

More Collars

Earlier this week I spent some time trying to make more removable collars.  This time they didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped.
This first one is too tight.  It sits up too high for most shirts.  Maybe someday I'll channel a little extra man repeller and wear it with a lower cut shirt.  Or maybe I'll just accept that it sits higher than the other one.  The points were hard to do.  The first try had them meeting in parallel.  I'm plotting out how to turn that version into a hat or hairpiece of some sort.

This collar was only partly made by me.  I cut it off of an old shirt of my godparent's son.  Next time I cut up a guy's shirt, I'll look for one with a smaller neck.  This one is the complete opposite of the first collar in that it is too big!  But I like it anyways, and it might work with some shirts with slightly larger neck holes.

I'm trying to enjoy my hair while I have it.  Part of me is anxious to be rid of it, and the other half is sad to lose the protection that it lends me.  I've nearly always had the ability to hide in my hair.  It protects my neck from the sun, and gives me somewhere to retreat to when I feel uncomfortable.  I think getting rid of it will force me to be more confident.  We shall see.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Company Of Thieves

I almost forgot it was Monday!

This week's music monday post will be a little bit different.  Instead of picking one song that I like and building an outfit inspired by the music, I just want to post a bit about the lead singer.

One rainy April afternoon a few years back, a friend and I went downtown to Chicago for a Save Darfur rally.  We went to wave signs and have fun and raise awareness.

There was a band there.  They were called Company of Thieves.  The singer had amazing hair.  And the music was pretty awesome.  As is the case with live shows, it is usually more enjoyable when you know the songs ahead of time, enough to sing along.  I did not.  However, the music was catchy, and so when I went home that evening I did some research and added them to my 'listen to' list.

Two and a half years later, I still love the music, and her hair.  I'm contemplating drastic hair changes, and her hair is on my mind for all of them.  The problem is that her hair has changed a lot in that time, and I love all the different styles.

I have ridiculously thick hair, and I've nearly always had it long.  Once, 5 years ago, I cut it to an inch above shoulder length to donate.  I broke the hairdresser's scissors.  I love my long hair, and the things I can do with it.  I also hate how easily it gets tangled, and the trouble that stuffing it under a marching helmet is.  For nearly 3 years I've envied her short hair.  Sure, I'll have plenty of time for short hair later in life, but the same goes for long hair.  I worry that if I don't cut it short ever, I won't do it until ageism forces me to, and I will always regret that I didn't cut it short while I was younger; that I never had the balls to try short hair.

I also worry that I don't have the face shape to pull off short hair.  I'm curious what my hair would do short.  Will it curl, or just puff?

Genevieve, who is the lovely lady in front of the band, is such a strong woman.  In addition to having great hair and being enviably stylish (and having an amazing voice), she seems like such a cool person!  Her song lyrics are wonderfully intelligent, and I love her stage presence and her tattoo.  I've been reading interviews with her for the last hour, and my favorite is here.  I'm adding her to my icon list, now.  Unfortunately, I can't find that they'll be in Chicago any time soon to see them again, and they'll be in Indiana the day before I head back down for school.

This is closer to her hair as I'm thinking of cutting mine.
Here too.
I love this music!

How to Pick the Perfect Boyfriend Blazer

I have a blazer problem.  Maybe it was all the 80’s movies that I watched growing up, but I love nothing more than a good, strong shoulder courtesy of a sharp blazer.  I love the transformative power of the blazer.  Take a skimpy sundress, or a t-shirt and jeans, throw on a blazer, and you’r ready to take on anything.  A blazer adds instant polish, making you look more pulled together.  There are many styles of blazers and an infinite variety of fits, and this is part of what makes finding the perfect one such a challenge.  In my opinion, the boyfriend blazer is the most versatile of styles.

There are 5 important areas to consider when searching for the perfect blazer: Length, waist, shoulders, sleeves, and overall fit.

The ideal blazer hits right at the hip bone, or within 2 to 3 inches below.  A shorter blazer isn’t really a boyfriend blazer at all, and anything too long won’t be as sharp looking.
This one is too short to be a a boyfriend blazer.  It's more suited for business dress.

If you plan on buttoning your jacket at all you’ll need to make sure that the waist of the blazer matches your own.  If the blazer’s waist isn’t right, then the jacket will bunch up strangely when you button it.
The waist on this blazer is too low for me, and so when I button it it rides up to my waist.  It fits fine as long as I don't button it, but looks silly closed.  

This may be the most important fit feature of the blazer.  if the shoulders are too narrow then the jacket will pull across the back and it will be difficult to move your arms.  If the shoulders are too wide then it will look irreparably frumpy.  Too big shoulders are hard to alter and really are not worth the trouble.  Sometimes shoulder pads can be removed, but this may leave saggy shoulders, so beware planning on shoulder surgery.
This is borrowed from my mother.  Nothing that I could do would ever make this fit; I could take the sides in theoretically, but the shoulders will always be too wide.

Theoretically jacket sleeves should hit just before your first thumb knuckle; I prefer to roll my sleeves up, so this really isn’t that important to me.  Check that the sleeves are comfortably loose, but not too baggy.  Usually this corresponds to shoulder width, but some jackets just have absurdly narrow sleeves.

A “boyfriend blazer” typically is not the same one worn by someone’s boyfriend.  The women’s “boyfriend blazer” is fitted in a different way than a man’s blazer is.  The woman’s blazer has narrow darts that loosely resemble a woman’s figure, with a higher waist, while the man’s waist is narrower and lower.

The ideal boyfriend blazer isn’t skin tight, but instead has a few inches of give to it.  Very fitted blazers are sometimes sold more with business attire, and are too short and form fitting to be used for anything other than that.

This is my favorite blazer.  It fits perfectly and I wear it constantly.

Extras: Buttons, Lapels, and Colors
Aside from fit, there are more variables that add to the attraction of blazers.  They come in every color imaginable.  Different types and numbers of buttons also differentiate between styles.  Decorative buttons on sleeves also add to the variety of blazers available.  The same can be said for the thickness and length of lapels.  Personally I prefer lapels that go down to around navel level.

Regardless of the style of blazer that you want, keep in mind these fit principles when shopping to ensure that you’ll be happy with it for a long time!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

photo: doesn't this look fun?

It is currently 100 degrees out, and I work in a room with no air conditioning and several ovens.  It's been a bit of a sucky day; however, I can pull good things from the week to come up with some mood boosters:

Fabric Shopping is my favorite way to spend a day.  Two beautiful ladies and I went downtown yesterday to the Textile Discount Outlet to get some new threads.  I didn't go shopping with anything specific in mind, and came out with 11 yards of beautiful and a mind full of ideas.  I think fabric shopping is the perfect pick me up.  It's like normal shopping, only you don't have to try anything on.  In addition to what my friends picked out, I got material for shorts, harem pants, 2 skirts, and a dress. So stay tuned.

Air Conditioning is great.  On the news last night the weatherman said that there were head waves similar to this one in the 30's and 40's.  I'll bet technology has improved enough that we are much more comfortable than they were.  Note to self: stop complaining.

Frozen Yogurt is my favorite summer treat.  I'm getting some tonight.  Unfortunately, it really is a treat, since there's at least a 15 minute drive to anywhere that sells it.  I've never seen it sold in grocery stores, either.  If it's not commonly available by the time I'm retired, I'll probably have to buy a frozen yogurt machine for my house.

Sewing Things.  I just can't stop thinking about it.  Every once in a while I get bitten by the sewing bug, and instead of just wanting to sew things, I want to sew lots of things NOW.  I'm almost done with one project that I started yesterday.  Then I can do another! And another!

Nighttime Swimming.  My friend's aunt has a pool in her backyard that we swam in last night, and it was wonderful.  After a day of walking around Chicago when the heat index was 110, swimming was great. The water was warm, and since the sun was down we didn't need sunscreen!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

June Challenge #2

I'm finally getting around to taking pictures of my June Challenge dresses, and hopefully will have them all up by the end of the week.

The math to make the pattern was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  It only took about an hour to calculate and draw out all of the pieces.  I put the skirt together first, and put in my usual amount of effort.  Then, I decided to actually try to make something nice for the top, so I lined it and finished all of the seams.

When I was in the middle of this the power went out for a few days, so I spent some time experimenting with cord bound button holes.  I decided to use them for this dress.  They turned out all right.  They look good from the front, and sloppy on the inside.  Maybe I just need more practice.

I had my brother pin where the buttons and button holes should go, which was a bit of a mistake.  The buttonholes ended up being too high, so the back flaps gaped a bit on the sides.  I tried to take them in, but since I decided to experiment with french seams on this dress, so I folded some of the flap into the french seam and hand sewed it closed again, but it didn't really do much to help.  Then I decided that it wasn't as big of a problem as I thought it was, and I was tired of fusing with the dress.

I tried to under stitch the top of the bodice, and it came out really lumpy and weird.  I really aught to redo it, but I'm done with the dress.  No one else will know, and there were some many things to fix that I really was ready to move on.

Also, there's no zipper to get into the dress.  The skirt expands with the pockets, then has a tab button closure in the front.  However, there is some gaping at the sides where the pockets slide down.  

As much as I love the idea of this dress, I'm not sure that it really works for me.  The waistband of the skirt seems to emphasize my short-waistedness.  We will have to see if I can get over that or if the dress will rot in the back of my closet.
Also, thanks Mariah for taking the pictures.  I would put up a picture of us together, but they all were pretty iffy, and I don't know if you wanted a picture of you climbing my fence up online.. but thanks, dear.  That last picture is for you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Breaking the Pattern Ban

My best friend got me a stack of vintage sewing patterns for my birthday last year, right as I was getting into not using sewing patterns.  Some of them are really cute, but I was hesitant to give up on making my own patterns so soon.  However, over vacation earlier this month, I bought some pink brocade fabric at a resale shop, and I think that one of the patterns would be perfect for it.
I'm working on view A, which is the patterned one in the front.  I also really like the blue one, though.  If this works out, maybe I'll make that one too.

The pattern is from the 60's, and has classic measurements- which means it won't fit me as is.  Going by bust, the pattern that I have is the right size, but I have to add a few inches around for it to fit around my stomach and hips.  The pattern is already cut out, so I'll have to tape some paper onto the sides to widen it.  I thought the benefit of using patterns was that there was less math involved.  Guess not.

Since the fabric that I'm hoping to use is a lot of scraps, I'm thinking that I might have to channel a little Mokosha.

This is actually the reason that I remembered that I had this pattern in my closet; I fell in love with her dress.  I like the colorblocking.  I think I may use some left over fabric from some of my last projects for the contrasting upper part, and possibly a bottom striped too if fabric is short.

Back to School Shopping

Every year as the end of summer draws nearer and the magazines begin publishing their back to school shoots, I get all dreamy eyed over thoughts of clothes shopping.  Starting in middle school, my mother would take us to Kohl's or Penny's, and we would pick out a few new items of clothes.  Even as a kid I would go armed with a list of what I needed for the year and what I wanted.  Previous to middle school I lived in elasticized hand-me-downs and my Catholic School uniform.  Once I transfered to public school in sixth grade I had to build my wardrobe into something more suitable to wearing in public.  Thus, the lists of what I thought would help me transition from one year to the next.  Each year I grew more bold, and began shopping for clothes that I liked and the suited me, instead of clothes that would allow me to blend in.  Towards the end of high school my ideas of suitable clothes started to noticeably vary from my mother's ideals; however since she was paying she made the decisions.  I could study the fashion magazine's editorials all I wanted, but if my mother didn't like something that I liked, it stayed in the store.  

Now, I hold the reins when it comes to what clothes I buy.  I have a job, and I haven't been shopping with my mother for a while.  It's getting to be close to that time when normally I would be flipping through magazines and making my shopping list.  However, since I've been back from college I've been shopping quite a bit, and my shopping list for back to school is the shortest that it's ever been.  

Above is the plunder of my summer's shopping trips, all of which I am counting towards my back to school list.  There's the striped dress, earrings, and belt, all from H&M for a total of $35; a large, grey cashmere sweater from my godfather's garage sale, free; silk geometric print blouse, $2.50 from a resale shop; a navy wool pencil skirt and grey tweet blazer from Goodwill for $8 together, and a chambray shirt from Sears on clearance for $10.  Overall, I'm very happy with all of this.  Each piece averages around $8 altogether, which is not bad for nice clothes.  I also have all of the clothes that I've been sewing all summer long.  I can't wait for the weather to get cool enough to wear all this!  It's so hot out right now, I can't even imagine putting on long sleeves, even for a moment. 

What remains of my list is all practical; I need new boots, since the ones that I bought last year I wore to death.  There's a 3 inch crack across the sole of the left shoe that lets water right in.  I don't want to think about what tramping around in snow would be like with holey boots.  Also, I need a medium weight coat.  Who would have thought, there's a whole season in between summer and winter, and sometimes heavy winter coats are just too much for the nippy days when cardigans won't cut it.  I'm looking for something that hits just at my hip bone, that's pretty but also practical enough for marching band practice.  I've been looking for one since last fall, and so far, no luck.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marching On

This week's Music Monday song is by One Republic.  It's the same song as one of the Harry Potter videos from earlier this week.  I can't get it out of my head!  I love the message, and the song itself is beautiful.

Here's an outfit that's a little marching inspired, a little trekking through the woods like Hermione.  God, I love those boots!
Marchin On

shirtjacket, jeans, boots

This morning I joined bloglovin.  I spent ten minutes adding all of my favorites to my list of blogs to follow.  It's surprising convenient.  I don't know why I didn't do this ages ago!  Also, now you can Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

5 Ways to Dress like a Lifeguard

I've seen a few of these shirts around town lately.  During the summer it seems to be a cool thing to do, to wear shirts with Lifeguard thrown around on it.  I have a problem with that.  I concider that to be false advertising.  What if someone is dying near a teenager wearing a fake lifeguard shirt?  Lifeguards are trained to react to emergencies, thus the name life guard.  

There are better ways to emulate lifeguards than spending money on clothes that bear that name.  As a pool employee, I've spent my fair share of time observing the common Lifeguard.  Thus, 

5 Ways to Dress Like a Lifeguard
1.  White and/or bugeye sunglasses
2.  Hair in a bun impossibly high on your head
3.  Whistle on a string.  Use obnoxiously.
4.  Fanny pack.  Whether you want to fill it with plastic gloves and sanitizer pads is up to you.
5.  One piece swim suit.

If you're really tempted to buy the shirt that says Lifeguard on it, remember this little fact: 
Lifeguards don't wear clothes.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

20 Tips for College Packing: The Dorm Room Edition

This is part 2 of my college packing series.  Part 1 can be found here.  

Some large retailers such as target make really nice checklists for college shopping.  The thing to keep in mind with these is that before all these stores are looking to make money, and they do so by convincing you that you need more than you really do.  These are my suggestions for someone living in a college dorm.  Most dorms come equipped with a bed, desk, and some form of dresser and closet.  Most also have access to bathrooms and some sort of communal kitchen.

Here's what to bring:

1. Bedding
You'll need a pillow, sheets, and comforter, at the bare minimum.  I would recommend an extra set of sheets, because it makes it easier to wash them.  Personally, I tend to do laundry at night, and nothing's worse than coming back with clean sheets to a sleeping roommate, and having to put them back on in the dark.  It's much easier just to have 2 sets.  I would also recommend avoiding throw pillows.  Dorms are small, and unless you make your bed every single morning, they just get in the way.

2.  Laundry Basket
There is a possibility that you'll have to take your laundry down several flights of stairs, or across the building.  Choose a basket that's easy to carry.  Don't get cheep drawstring bags, because then you'll feel like santa while struggling under the weight of the dirty clothes that you waited too long to wash.

3.  Laundry Supplies
Eventually you'll need detergent and dryer sheets, but that can usually be bought pretty easily around campus.  If you're a neat freak like me, an iron is nice to have. but an ironing board is overkill.  Lay a towel on the ground for an instant ironing board.  

4.  Hangers
Closets exist for a reason.  Hang stuff up!  

5.  Refrigerator and Microwave
Talk to your roommate about each getting one, or renting them together.  They take up precious space, but they're worth it.  

6.  Dishes
You don't need a lot of dishes.  One, maybe two sets of plates, bowls, and cups.  More silverware is useful.  

7.  Dish soap and sponge
You have to wash dishes.  Please don't leave them sitting out for days.  Your roommate will thank you.  

8.  Medicine
I'm not talking drugs here.  Tylenol, tums, allergy medicines.   Mommy won't be there to make you chicken soup in college.  Taking care of yourself means being prepared to deal with minor illnesses and aches.  

9.  Bathroom caddy
If you live in dorm with community bathrooms, you'll have to carry your shower supplies with you each time you go.  A basket of some sort makes this easier.  If you have private bathrooms, some sort of organizational device is useful.  Wait until you know what you need before investing in anything nice, but be prepared with plastic bags until then.  

10.  Towels
You'll need enough towels to make it through a week, but not so many that you have nowhere to put them all.  I think 3 to 4 is a good amount to have.  Contrary to what Better Homes and Gardens says, you don't need a full set, either.  If you don't use hand towels, then don't buy them.

11.  Flip flops
I hate flip flops.  Just saying.  However, unless you want some pretty foot fungi, they're necessary for bathroom visits and showers.  

12.  Bathrobe
Having a bathrobe or sweatshirt handy is a good for throwing over pajamas for nighttime bathroom runs and fire drills.  It's fine to walk around your own home braless and in pj's, but in a dorm you never know who you'll run into.  

13. Computer
There really is no way to do all of your homework on library computers.  Homework, tests, appointments, and registering for classes are all more easily done on a laptop in a dorm room than in a lab that closes at an unfortunately early time.

14. Extension Cord
Dorm rooms are small, and often outlets are often placed inconveniently.  Extension cords allow for important appliances to be plugged in. 

15. Movie Case
Instead of bringing cases for dvds, stick all your movies into a cd case.  It's much more convenient for movie marathons, and for storage purposes.

16. Jewelry Case
The main thing here is to have some sort of organization for accessories.  They're easily lost and tangled, so having a compartmented box or hanging case is essential for storage.  

17. Lamps
Don't turn your light on if the roommate is sleeping.  Lamps are good alternatives for late night studying. I use a desk lamp, and one with a clamp for a base that I can attach to my bed or to the closet.  When choosing the number and type of lamp you want, it's helpful to know your roommate's habits and schedule, to know when and where in the room you'll need light when they're sleeping.

18. Decor 
Dorms are usually white or an awful beige color.  Posters and pictures from home are an easy way to brighten up a dreary room.

19. Bins
Wait until getting settled in school to buy organizational bins.  They're very useful, however, you won't know until you get there what sort of space you will have.  

20. Alarm Clock Abilities
No one in college will wake you up for class.  That responsibility is all yours.  A phone with an alarm or a real alarm clock is necessary.  However, be wary of too annoying alarms, because your roommate won't be too appreciative of being woken up by jarring noises.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

The movie was amazing last night.  I'd never been to a premier before, and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had.  We took lots of pictures with people in costume and watched tons on reenactments while waiting in line.  There was a malfoy-harry duel in the theater while waiting for the show to start, and a all theater singalong of harry potter puppet pals.  Everyone was respectful and quiet during the movie, except for when something epic happened; then we all cheered.  

The movie was really good.  There were a few deviations from the book, but overall it was very well done.  I wish it had been longer, though.  It was nonstop action all the way through, which is how the book is.  I didn't want it to end, though, and wished they might have slowed it down a bit, at least in the beginning.  

A friend and I made these earlier this week.  We cut stencils out of cardboard and spray painted the shirts.  I'm still trying to get paint off of my hands.  Oops.  I'm very pleased with how they turned out, although the paint parts are kind of scratchy.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday: Hrry Patrtr

The final Harry Potter movie comes out tonight.  I can't wait!  A lot of my friends are getting worked up over tonight marking the "end of an era", since now the media will be off Harry Potter and no new things will come out, other than pottermore.   I don't really feel like it is an end of an era.  Then again, I was never really into the movies.  For me, it was always the books.  If there was an ending to this, then it came the night that I finished reading the seventh book.  Harry Potter won't ever end.  We can always go back and reread and have day long movie marathons.  True, no one else will be able to anticipate the next installment the way we have, and there won't be as many opportunities to dress up in robes and carry sticks around, but Harry Potter isn't over. There won't ever be a bookstore without Harry Potter.

Instead of whining over this being the end of my childhood, I'm looking forward to dressing up with my friends tonight and making cracks about Hugrad and creepy hand shots.

Other happy thoughts for this week are brownies, crazy family parties, and spraypaint.  But mostly Harry Potter.

Wizard Rock, anyone?  I already said that I don't necessarily agree with this being the end, but these videos are too beautiful.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

After coming home from vacation, I was all prepared to get this blog cracking again.  Then, a tiny little storm rolled in and we lost power again for 2 days.  However, I didn't sit around moaning about the need for electricity.  I've been a busy bee, and I've got a few ideas in the works.

In the meantime, the clothes horse did a post on Carven's resort collection.  I'd never heard of Carven before, but I think I may be in love.  Here's some older stuff of theirs that I've been drooling over this morning.

It's all so clean and pretty!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy Thoughts for Thursday

Waking up to bird songs.  Organization.  While thrifting on vacation I came across some new organizational tools for my dresser, which I will theoretically post pictures of sometime soon, since I think it's adorable.  Cousins and other family members that I haven't seen in a while but that are really amazing people that I love having in my life.  I'm so glad I got to spend some time with you!  Early morning runs. I decided to start running in the mornings during July in order to get ready for band camp.  I thought it would be terrible, but I'm loving it so far.  I'm a terrible runner and am doing about a 15 minute mile, but once I've cooled down I'm not even tired!  I think it's actually a nice way to start the day.  Theoretically I'd like to get my mile time back down to around ten minutes so that I could still run this fall at school and not be paranoid about being late for class.  Online window shopping.  I love it.  This week I fell in love with these and these.  Playing.  I've been busy working and sewing this summer and haven't been practicing as much as I'd like to.  I've played trombone a bit, and flute not at all.  Yesterday my cousin and I began preparing music for a surprise party this weekend, and I was reminded all over again why I love my flute.  I can be a flautist and a tromboner.  I don't have to pick one or the other, because they're both great.  Sugar snap peas and humus, which is my new favorite snack.  Yum!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vacation from it all

I have a phrase that I use often, and that is “I don’t believe in sweatpants”.  A common sight on college campuses and in high schools around the country is of young people wearing old sweatpants and the type of free tshirts given out at events and to children’s sports teams, looking and acting like they’ve just recently rolled out of bed.  While I may accept this behavior in my friends, I will not sink to it myself.  I only own one pair of actual sweatpants, and those I reserve for cold winter nights and working out.  Unless I am ill or working, I make an effort to wear “real people clothes”, to have on at least one thing that makes me happy.  

Usually I agree with Gala’s well known view as expressed in this post; however, sometimes life doesn’t agree.  I have marching band practice, which restricts what I can wear: no skirts, no nice shoes, nothing that restricts my arms, nothing that I won’t mind getting spit on.  Or, everything that I want to wear is in the laundry pile.  Sometimes my friends pull me down.  They make fun of my scarf addiction, or question why I’m so dressed up for band practice, when I’m only wearing jeans and a tshirt, with a blazer and cute earrings thrown on to make me feel better about having to wear a practical jeans and t.  Sometimes I just run out of ideas.  

Sometimes I’m tired of trying.  You’d never know it by the blog, since my motivation for finishing outfit posts is sadly low for a would-be fashion blogger, but I don’t even wear bummy clothes for staying at home.  If anything, I dress nicer when I’m staying in all day.  Every morning I do my best to put together a real outfit, before having to change into my work uniform.  

This weekend I went on vacation with my family.  I took a vacation from everything.  No internet, no friends (a few short phone calls excluded), no style.  I spent a few days wearing shorts and ratty tshirts, gyms shoes and my lone baseball cap, pigtails and no makeup, and it felt good.  I didn’t have to worry if I matched enough, or if everything was tucked in place, or if I was practical enough.  By taking a break from trying, I gave myself the freedom to chase my sister up Wisconsin hils, to douse myself in sunscreen, bugspray, and campfire smoke, and to curl up and read like I haven’t had time to in too long.  

I’m glad I did it.  But now I’m ready to get back to real people clothes that make me feel like more than an overgrown kid.  Taking a break from trying was just that, a break.  It wasn’t a confession that I secretly hate clothes, or a test of character, to see if my dressing ideals could stay strong in a trailer park.  It was a vacation.  And now I’m back.