Friday, November 22, 2019

November Changes

November has been a month of self-improvement and changes. I started a part-time job at a home improvement store, but I've been working longer hours because I'm still training. It's been an adjustment - changing to a new schedule. Sometimes Steven and I need to get up before 6:00 so I can drop him off early at work to get to my job. The positive aspect of this is seeing the interesting morning fog and ground frost.

The aloe plant we had for years finally grew out of control, and we had to say goodbye. Fortunately, it had made some pups and I was able to put them in a vintage brass planter I thrifted. Steven called this whole process "the circle of life." Speaking of thifted home decor, since I recently painted our walls, I've been rethinking some of our organization and storage. I thrifted a little wooden tea box and gave it a coat of white paint - now it hold small camera accessories in my narrow cabinet. I feel that it goes with my "creepy romantic" aesthetic. I also found an old accordion peg rack at the thrift store. After some cleaning, it's a new place to put my hats and light accessories.

Although things have been so busy this month, and I've had to take a small break from painting (sigh), I've tried to step outdoors more, take my camera with me, and see what's going on with the changing season.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Halloween 2019: Fallen Kingdom

This year's Halloween costumes were inspired by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018).

Steven really wanted to do Jurassic World this year, and I liked the costumes from Fallen Kingdom - they were already really close to our every-day style. We bought Steven's vest on eBay, and everything else came from Goodwill, Thredup, and our own closets. Last year's costumes were really complex, so I wanted to scale things back this year. I didn't have to do any sewing for these, and I think that's a first! The hair was easy too - except in the humidity I couldn't get my curly hair anywhere near as straight as Bryce's. 

When we mentioned our Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom idea to my sister, Corrie, she saw her chance to get the cozy, inflatable animal costume she always wanted. Unfortunately, she was almost steamed alive because Halloween night turned out to be strangely warm and humid. Her costume was a huge hit during the festivities, though. 🦕🦖

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

October Hiking

Location: Boone Greenway, NC
Location: Rough Ridge, NC 
Location: Hanging Rock, NC

Here is a review of some sight-seeing this October. Western North Carolina is a great place to live in the fall - even though the leaves don't get really colorful until the end of the month. There are lots of places for great day trips, but be warned: parking can be a challenge at these trail heads during leaf season! 

In the middle of the month, Steven and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, and we went to Rough Ridge, near Grandfather Mountain. These are the only Nikon D3100 photos and the rest of these are from my Android. All of these hikes were easy to moderate.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

The Last Roll of Film - Kodak Tri-x400

Here are some highlights from our last roll of film. We used our 1980s Nikon l35af2, loaded with Kodak Tri-x400 film. We took these photos over a period of about a year.

I decided that this would be my last roll of film - at least for a very long time. I plan to sell the camera and give up the hobby because of expense and difficulty finding a reliable photo lab. Plus, I have so much to learn and enjoy with my digital camera. I'm realizing more and more that I have to choose my activities and hobbies carefully because there's just not enough time to devote to everything.

While film is not going to be a part of my life anymore, it was great fun getting this last roll of film printed. I actually completely forgot I was shooting in black and white!

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

My Comprehensive Wardrobe Framework

Vintage Leather Flight Jacket
I hope this personal list will be of help - or at least interest - to you.

I've spent a lot of time in the last year developing my style and organizing my wardrobe. Some of it happened naturally because of lifestyle changes, and some of it was careful planning. Since I started painting full-time, my style has changed in several ways. It's a little more casual, and more practical for my lifestyle. It's also leaned more androgynous. Also, While I don't get to travel great distances often, I do have occasional over-night trips to visit friends and family, and I currently like to keep my wardrobe somewhat travel-ready. I've found that a wardrobe that's practical for travel is also practical in my every-day life. 

I have gained so much inspiration from the minimalist movement. (I plan on sharing some of my favorite minimalists and their ideas in another post). It's helped in culling my wardrobe, organizing it, and giving me ideas about uniform dressing. However, I don't describe my own wardrobe as minimal. The reason is that I keep everything I need, plus a few extras that define my style. For example, I have a few more jackets than I actually need, but I love them and enjoy wearing them. 

However, I am determined to not over-shop and keep my wardrobe relatively small, so I created this list of the types of clothing I need in my wardrobe. It's helped to define what I actually wear and helps me keep track of my clothes so I have something to wear for every part of my life. All the different types of clothing I wear are listed below and I call it My Comprehensive Wardrobe Framework. This includes my summer and winter clothing items. After making this list, I determined how many of each I needed. For most of these, it's just one, but since I wear lots of t-shirts and jeans, I have a multiples of those. But this post isn't about the how many, it's about the what.

I included three categories in this list - clothing, shoes, and accessories.


  1. T-shirt (short sleeve)
  2. T-shirt (long sleeve)
  3. Thermal top
  4. Drapey blouse or shirt
  5. Sleeveless top / tank top
  6. Black turtleneck
  7. Flannel shirt
  8. Little Black Dress for weddings, parties, dates
  9. Joggers/lightweight pants 
  10. Cutoff shorts
  11. Black leggings
  12. Skinny or slim pants 
  13. Skinny or slim jeans 
  14. Short black skirt that can be casual or dressy
  15. Thin sweater
  16. Hoodie - black or gray
  17. Moto jacket
  18. Army jacket
  19. Bomber Jacket
  20. Wool coat
  21. Trench coat
Dr. Martens


  1. Combat boots
  2. Zip-up ankle boots 
  3. Casual sandals
  4. Canvas sneakers or boots
  5. Slip-on casual shoes 
  6. Nice event shoe (anything that looks good year round with the LBD)
The Flying Clubhouse: moon necklace


  1. Minimalist leather belt 
  2. Sun hat
  3. Beanie
  4. Square silk scarf
  5. Gloves
  6. Warm circle scarf
  7. Necklace (with small pendant, in general)
  8. Ear muffs
  9. Small backpack
  10. Standard-sized backpack
  11. Small black cross-body that can be worn casually or to nice events
  12. Sunglasses
  13. Large thin scarf (see pic below)
The Flying Clubhouse: Black Scarf / Shawl

Other important items:

Socks, underwear, pajamas, and painting clothes. My painting clothes are old or worn items that come from my main wardrobe. They are comfortable, and kind of like paint-stained lounge-wear.

Just for fun - and a reminder to myself - a few items not on my list:

These are some things that I've tried in the past and realized I don't need and don't fit with my personal style.
  1. Blazer - too structured, hard to find a good fit. I actually currently have a velvet one that I like, but it's soft and drapey and I think of it more as a fancy jacket. If I lost it, I wouldn't replace it.
  2. White collar shirt. Don't like how they feel, look, or gape at the bust.
  3. Chambray shirt. Same opinion as the white collar shirt.
  4. Dress trousers - just don't need.
  5. Denim jacket - prefer a leather jacket or nylon bomber.
  6. Chunky sweater - love how cozy these look on other people, but they look wrong on me. Also often feel too itchy and thick. I prefer removable layers like jackets and hoodies.
  7. Pumps - just no. I tried in the past for convention's sake, but I hate them. 
  8. Watch - I have a phone and don't like things on my wrist.
  9. A handbag. I like to go hands-free.

This list is a living document, and subject to change based on my life circumstances and preferences. Even now, I'm thinking I might not actually always need a flannel shirt in my wardrobe, but it's staying for now. The main thing is just to have a guideline to keep away the clutter and keep my wardrobe functional.

Do you find such a guideline helpful, or do you prefer to not overthink your wardrobe? Or do you have another way of managing your clothes?
The Flying Clubhouse: Black Scarf / Dress / Ankle Boots
By the way, I've changed the links at the end of my posts. No more links to Twitter or Tumblr - I haven't been very active there for ages. But I added a link to my Flickr photo stream, if anyone is interested. Also, are you on Flickr? Please let me know in the comments and I'd love check out your photo stream. ⇩