Wednesday, May 12, 2021

My Secondhand Summer Capsule Wardrobe (Practical and Sensory-Friendly)

Hello! We're getting into the hot and humid months here in North Carolina, and I've put away my winter clothes and pulled out my t-shirts and shorts. I've also been shopping at our local thrift store since I've been vaccinated, and it's been so much fun after almost a year of not not thrifting. 

If you've been following this sporadic blog for awhile, you may have noticed that my style has changed a lot over the years. This is mostly because of changes in my lifestyle. I'm very focused on my art, my hobbies are becoming more out-door focused. It's also important to me to shop second-hand when possible. (If my wardrobe looks too casual and grungy for your taste, please don't let that scare you from shopping second-hand. That's just the style I seek out these days). 

Another big factor in my style choice is that my life-long sensory issues have become more pronounced in recent years. I really need soft clothes. While I love the look of high-waisted shorts and pants, I often find them uncomfortable on my waist. My clothes can be a little tight or fitted as long as they're very soft, otherwise I prefer loose pieces. I also have a tough time with the heat and humidity in the summer, as well as the intense air conditioning indoors, so my current wardrobe reflects this with short sleeves and layers. 

I wanted to document my current wardrobe because most examples of small-ish wardrobes and capsule wardrobes online are new and perfect looking, I wanted to show my utilitarian, used, nothing-special wardrobe with the fading and wrinkles. This is my every day wardrobe, so not pictured are some separate clothes to wear to weddings and nice events, which I keep in a box in the top shelf of my closet because they rarely get worn.

Everything pictured is secondhand except my prescription glasses and the Sketchers sandals and sneakers.

Anyway this is what my spring and summer wardrobe looks like right now, but I'm always changing things around. Do you have any tips on how to make it better? I think I could lose some of outer layers and shoes for practicality, but I like them all so I keep them around. I'm also looking to add some more personality to this utilitarian capsule. Maybe a crop top to balance out all these t-shirts? I'm not sure If I'm brave enough for that.

How does your wardrobe reflect your current needs?

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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Catching Up

Hello! I hope you are okay. I just wanted to share some photos from earlier this year. I haven't been taking many photos because I've been busy making watercolors (see last post). I can really only focus on one big thing in my life at a time - which is a truth I've come to accept in the past year. 

Because of jobs/age/location, my family members have all been vaccinated and that's a huge source of anxiety relief. I got the first shot of Moderna last week at our local health department; as a result I have some swollen lymph nodes, but I'm thankful and know it's only temporary discomfort. 

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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Handmade Watercolors

I've been making watercolor paints. I started out with a recipe using gum arabic powder dissolved in distilled water, vegetable glycerin, honey, and pigment, but I've switched over to a honey-free recipe. I'm using mostly earth colors and oxides, with some other inorganic pigments like vine black and lamp black, thrown in. I was inspired to make my own watercolors to go with my drawings after having some trouble finding very muted colors in half pans. The first set - which actually is not a muted set, but a trio of secondary colors - is already in my shop. I hope to list more palettes soon, but the half pans take a long time to cure.

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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween 2020 - Cybersix and Lucas Amato

Happy Halloween! I hope you find fun ways to celebrate today despite the pandemic.

Since parties and in-person hangouts are pretty much out, we put more effort into our costumes this year. It's the one time a year we give ourselves an excuse to cosplay. (But do we need an excuse? Maybe it should be a year-round hobby)!

It was Steven's idea to be Cybersix and Lucas Amato this year. Cybersix (1999) is my favorite animated series, but I was hesitant because I wasn't sure I could make a superhero costume---or wear one. I decided I could wear black jeans and a fitted top instead of a full spandex (or leather) suit. Also, I wanted to be Adrian Seidelman, Cybersix's literature teacher alter-ego, too. I had the most fun with this costume, as I've always wanted to incorporate my own glasses into a Halloween costume. Besides, there's something precious about the belt with suspenders. Adrian is trying his best to be human.

We tried to be eco-friendly as much as possible this year---my cape is made from an old nightgown and a thrifted curtain panel. Everything was second-hand (except for the black hairspray), and we recycled pieces from our old costumes. My trench coat was part of our Anastasia costumes from Halloween 2018, where I did my best to make a thrift store trench coat look like a winter coat. For this project I needed to reverse the alterations and make it look like a trench coat again, which was definitely more difficult! Steven's shirt was also repurposed from 2018. The braces I'm wearing as Adrian were from Steven's Over the Garden Wall costume. The hat is composed of two old hats cut apart and stitched together. I needed the crown from one hat and the wide brim from the other. 

I was concerned that Steven's costume wasn't elaborate enough, but he was enthusiastic about it, and I think he looks fantastic. His vintage trench coat was a lucky find on eBay, as was his tie. Lucas Amato is such a warm and interesting character, and I love that---like Steven---he's a public school teacher. We had a lot of fun this year, and I would love to find an opportunity to wear these costumes again. The trench coats, shirts, and trousers are going into our regular wardrobes after Halloween is over. 

I recommend giving Cybersix a watch---there are only 13 episodes, but each one is beautifully animated and voice-acted. Not an ad, but Discotek Media produced a good DVD release.

Have a spooky and safe Halloween - and don't forget to vote, U.S. friends!

Although he lives a few hours away, Jupiter still makes a great Data-7

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Shelfies and Selfies

Here's some selfies and shelfies. Its been a long time since I documented an outfit. I think my summer style is very bland. I'm so happy to pull out my sweaters, and I'm glad to be wearing some pleated wool pants I thrifted a few weeks ago. 

The photos of my shelf are older - note the spring flowers - but I wanted to show them off because they make me very happy. My shelf is equally functional and aesthetic. I keep my books, sewing supplies, some office supplies, mementos, and more here. 

I've been trying to find the joy in these small things - putting together outfits, arranging me space, because I'm going batty over everything else happening in the world. I'm sure you know the feeling. We're lucky to be in a safe position right now, but that doesn't stop the anxiety. I hope you are doing well and finding small things to help you relax.

If you're in the US, please remember to vote Biden/Harris.

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