Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: bloggers
Showing posts with label bloggers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bloggers. Show all posts

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe Woes

Hi friends,

This week has been a busy one for me.  And maybe it's just the season, but it seems like I've got more on my plate and mostly that's great.  I'm finding myself able to deal with more stress and getting better organized too.  I finally found a planner to carry with me that I really love too!  I heard of it though Scruffy-Little Nerdherder's Blog and I can't wait to get it in the mail from Ruskerville's Etsy shop!  This is the planner I went with:

I love it because not only is it awesomely Harry Potter themed, with quotes and lovely details put into it, (and Ravenclaw!!) but it also consists of just monthly calendar pages and notes (he makes other kinds with days too).  I find that looking at a whole month is much easier for me than trying to do things day by day.  Which might sound a little funny, but I think it's because I'm detail oriented enough that it makes me crazy to try planning every second of my day.  Plus all the times I've tried to plan out my days I feel discouraged because they never go as planned anyway and I feel doomed to fail before I even start if it feels too busy.

Capsule Wardrobe Woes

Anyway, I wanted to start off this post with something more positive because I can't help but feel like I'm going to be more negative than I'd like as I assess the failings for my fall capsule wardrobe.   (Which you can take a peek at here!)  Maybe it will turn out to be in your advantage that things haven't worked as well.  So, the biggest problem I've had is with my tops.  I feel like I don't have enough variety or perhaps enough flexibility with them.  I think going forward than means I need to have a couple more basic pieces, which is something I managed to do much better in my summer capsule wardrobe.  Here's a quick comparison:

                                              Tops                 Layering                   Bottoms
Summer                                14                      3                               11
Fall                                        16                      3                               10

As you can see things look pretty good if we're going by the numbers.  But let's break this down some more and see if we can make sense of it.  Of the 16 tops 3 can only be worn in colder weather.  So that puts me at 13 tops the can be worn and layered.  I've found that this layering piece from Forever21 really only works with 4 of my tops, and it's not very useful.

So it will be one of my first pieces to go up on Poshmark! (an app/site for buying and selling new and gently used clothing)  I'll be replacing it with this Old Navy Perfect Henley:

My other problem, which doesn't feel so bad, but is still in need of change is that I added these corduroy Toms to my capsule wardrobe without first checking to see if they fit properly.  *facepalm*  They don't fit me, they're a half size too small and will be finding a new home via Poshmark!

So I'm left without a sneaker or other warm shoe other than boots.  And boots aren't for as much as I now love my boots I don't want to wear them out too fast.  I think I'll be replacing the Toms with some Converse Chuck Taylors in purple as my first Purchase on Poshmark.

I'm hoping the one new top will make all the difference, but I think in some ways my problem is simply the wild weather here in North Carolina.  I may reconsider this later, but right now I feel like I could-

  1. Have smaller summer and winter capsules, and larger fall and spring ones, rather than the typical capsule.
  2. Try my changeovers at a different time, so that summer might be July-September, fall October-December, winter January-March, and spring April-June.
  3. Have two main capsules and two mini transitional ones.  Summer would be in use April-September, and winter October-March.  The mini wardrobes would be laying pieces and pants in fall, and tanks and shorts in spring.
For now I'll still be planning my winter capsule wardrobe to start in December, and I may do a whole year before trying to change my methods.  My problem may be that I have too many unique pieces less suitable for laying.  If so spending a whole year on this project will help me cull them at least.  I'm really not sure what I'll end up doing, but writing down my options allows you all to give feedback if you have any ideas.  So please feel free to send any tips my way!


Friday, September 25, 2015

Fashion Inspiration

Hi friends,

So today I wanted to talk about some of the fashionable folks I'm inspired by and soon I'll also examine some of the recent frustration I've had with my fall capsule wardrobe, but that's enough for a whole post of it's own.

Fashion Inspiration

I know she's got the whole manic pixie dream girl thing going on in most of the acting she does, but her style is just great!  She rocks the retro inspired looks hard and stays adorable while she makes music, helps run the website she cofounded, and acts.  The link above goes to her site Hello Giggles!


Ms Monae writes brilliant music that crosses genres forming a commentary on society as well as singing about love, and even science fiction.  Bryan and I both really enjoy her music and her style draws from retro and menswear styles, though these days she's doing more feminine looks too.

Liz is a blogger like me who has a fun and girly sense of style that I love!  I used smaller images here because I really think you should stop by her site and check out more pictures and her own writing as well.  I've been taking some cues from her blog and will soon have an option for folks to shop my closet as I try out Poshmark! (A site you can buy/sell new or gently used clothing)

Felicia is kind of nerd famous, and I love her.  She's written a book and been in numerous TV shows and such.  Along the way she's great at finding ways of staying true to herself.  Her style is the most casual and in many ways the most like my own.

Who inspires your sense of fashion?  I'd love to hear more and be inspired by you too!


Friday, September 11, 2015

First Fall Outfits

Hi again friends!

This week I'm highlighting some of my first outfits from fall as I start getting used to my new capsule wardrobe.  Ready?  Let's go!

Shirt - Target, Shorts Levis/Amazon, Flip Flips - Old Navy
Day one of my fall wardrobe had me dealing with temperatures over 90F.  Most of the past two weeks have been like that with a couple days in the 80s.  I'm looking forward to next week when it'll be in the 70s and I can wear jeans a bit more.  I miss the cool weather here in North Carolina, I think the climate in Columbus, Ohio where I attended college was just right.  But I'm here and I'm learning to love summer clothes and light layers most of the year.  It's no Florida, but I'm pretty sure I'd be dead fast in Florida between the heat and all the sunburn I'd end up with after 15 minutes outside.

Oh look it's that Thred Up bag!  Stuffed full as I could get it, I'll soon know what they took and what they didn't.

Top - Forever 21, Shorts - Levis/Amazon, Boots - Trendsetter/Hushpuppies
I'm officially in love with these boots!  I'm pretty sure they can be worn with almost everything I own and dressed up or down accordingly.  Plus Bryan likes them too, so that makes me happy.

Top - Target, Necklace - Pick Your Plum, Skirt Target, Boots - Trendsetter/Hushpuppies

This is my outfit from this past Sunday when we went to hear Michael speak about his time in Jerusalem.
Top - T. La/Anthropologie, Necklace - Fossil/Macy's, Shorts - Levis/Amazon, Sandals - HG Bass/Modcloth

My hair had finally faded enough that it was time to give it some new color, so I did!  I bleached the roots and used Manic Panic After Midnight Blue (my favorite shade!), Arctic Fox Purple Dream, and some Manic Panic Purple Haze (not around the face, so it's less visible in these shots).  I was trying out the Arctic Fox for the first time and really liked the color, it's a nice grape shade of purple and the dye even smelled like grapes.  If it lasts well enough I may keep using it for purple, since I'm not as big a fan if the Manic Panic shades I've tried (Purple Haze, and Mystic Heather).

Shirt - Switchfoot, Scarf - a Keffiyeh from Palestine, Jeans - Torrid, Flip flops - Old Navy
So Michael brought us back some fantastic gifts from his time abroad and I'm very excited to share this Palestinian Keffiyeh with you readers.  The Keffiyeh (pronounced kuh-fee-yuh, and spelled many other ways) is a symbol of the Palestinian Nationalism movement.  (You can go here to learn more about the keffiyeh or here if you want to buy one from Hirbawi, the only manufacturer left in Palestine!)  It's been associated with the long history of the Middle East in general as what farmers and everyday people would wear to cover their heads as they worked and went about their day.  It's also linked to the Palestinian Liberation Organizer Yasser Arafat, and more recently has been appropriated in western culture as something that just looks cool or is linked with terrorism.  It's kind of funny since the patterns on the scarf are thought to have come from fishing nets or heads of grain.  So I wear the Keffiyeh as a statement of solidarity for the many Palestinians who have lived peaceful lives in refugee camps for over 50 years, just hoping to have a place they can see their children grow up freely, and one day have a country of their own.  I also think the Israelis have it tough too, with terrorist bombers on their doorstep, but neither side is necessarily good or bad.  Peace and renewed hope are my prayer for them all.

Top - Old Navy, Bracelet - Cornerstone Festival 2004, Shorts - Levis/Amazon, Shoes - Toms
 And finally I'm playing around with the camera a bit for today's look.  I work from home most days, so I've been trying to change up where I take my photos if I can remember to/aren't too busy.

So those are my outfits, otherwise I've been busy this week adding to the features of my blog:

  1. New contact page
  2. More listings for Ethical Plus Size Retailers (Now the BIGGEST online!)
  3. A new banner
  4. Better right sidebar tools
  5. I'm now a member of The Rising Tide Society!
The Rising Tide Society is a great group of small business owners (bloggers, photographers, shop owners, and more) whose core principles are:
- Community Building over Self-Promotion
- Compassion for your fellow Creatives
- Purpose over Popularity, Quality over Quantity
- Camaraderie over Divisiveness

I'm loving getting to know them all and be a part of the community there.  They even have a monthly event called Tuesdays Together to meet and discuss different subjects.  Hopefully I'll make it out to next months!  That's all for this week, I'll see you all again soon.


Friday, July 10, 2015

More on My Capsule Wardrobe

Hi folks,

So first off I realized I wasn't totally clear about some things in my post about my capsule wardrobe.  I want to clarify how a capsule wardrobe works and what I'm doing with mine, then I'll highlight some of the struggles I've had in making it work thus far.

What's a capsule wardrobe?

The concept of a capsule wardrobe springs from the idea that if you look at what's in your closet after years of compiling more stuff you start to realize you hold on to things you don't need.  In some cases it's things that don't suit you as a person anymore, or that aren't work appropriate, things you have too many of, items that don't fit you right, or items that are worn or in need of repairs that might take too much effort.  Everyone has a little bit of these things in the closet in some way or other unless of course they're already some sort of minimalist.  If so you don't need to create a capsule, you're already doing it and just didn't know!

Once you start to condense your closet to just the "good stuff" you start to see more clearly what your sense of style is like, the types of clothes you enjoy wearing, what works well for your body, and a whole lot more.  It allows you to see what items you actually need so you spend less and also get more bang for your buck because you're being mindful about the buying process.  It places priority on only buying items you love that are of better quality instead of spending on a whim.  It also lets you relax since you know most items are mix and match ready with other pieces in your closet.  So it helps de-stress your daily routine, while opening the way for creativity in how you pair items.

I happened on the concept of the capsule wardrobe while browsing for new fashion blogs back in February.  While perhaps I don't seem like the type to care about it all from the point of designers and brand names I find that I really enjoy the aesthetic fun of creating new looks for myself, and viewing what other normal people have done as well.  I mulled over the idea and knowing our move would give me the perfect chance to enact a big change I started planning things out during April and May.  The sites I drew inspiration from were Unfancy and Project 333 for the basics of how to put the capsule together.  Then blogs like Crafty Minx (who makes some of her own clothes and is also a plus sized lady!) and Kendra's Closet Confections (I loooove her way of combining bright colors and classic cuts) for ideas on what kinds of items might work well for my style, since I like their looks.  These days I'm looking for new ways to style what I've chosen from blogs like my friend Rachel's (where she pairs long sleeves with shorts, totally on my to try list!) and some of the other new plus size capsule creators like Little Raven Ink (she's also an artist, so her blog is extra fun).

Most capsule wardrobes are created to cover a 3 month period and use about 30-37 pieces.  My first one landed at 35 pieces, but I'm already starting to see I should have made a few changes now that I'm a month and a half in to my June-August cycle.  A lot of people have different rules for what pieces they include and don't too, some count purses, jewelry, and other accessories, and some don't.  Mine includes tops, bottoms, dresses and shoes for now.  I also kind of added my purse, so you could say it's 36 pieces now.  I'm not too picky this time around.  To recap here are the images of all the clothes I've included.

For more information about the individual pieces please check out my last post.

So, you're probably wondering what kind of issues could I have had?  These clothes look pretty good.  (At least I hope that's what you're thinking!) Well, my problem is I want to layer more and add things like scarves to my repertoire.  My struggle there is it's really been hot here in North Carolina.  To an extent it is every summer, but for the past month & a half the highs have been above 90F the vast majority of days (average is supposed to be mid 80s).  I get hot way too easily for being fancy most days since I'm more the fall and winter loving type of person.  I think I've only managed to wear jeans 5-6 times since the start of June, though the olive khakis should fare a bit better since they roll up.

That's really been the biggest issue I've had.  Also I feel like I don't have need for skirts as much as I hoped during summer.  And though having 2 dresses available is nice I'm not sure I'll wear the second one by the end of summer unless I start making opportunities to.  I'm more comfortable wearing skirts and dresses in fall when I can throw on some leggings and not have to deal with heat rash on my poor bare legs.

My goals for the next month and a half are to:
1. Start photographing my favorite combinations
2. Plan my fall wardrobe with as few new items as possible
3. Connect with other bloggers
4. Be more creative with the pieces and accessories I've got

That's all for this Fashionyface Friday.  Next week I'll try to share some of my outfits with you all and talk about my experiences with the clothing rental company Gwynnie Bee.  Till next time!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Days, Oh the Days...57-78

I'm sorry, dear readers, that most of a month has flown by without a peep.  The past few weeks I've been kept busy looking for jobs, and even showing up for a couple of interviews.  I get pretty absorbed when I'm working on that kind of thing.  However, nothing has come of it so far except two great interview experiences.  One with Anthropologie, a lovely women's clothing and home goods brand, and the other with Gann Memorials, a fantastic little family company that makes plush toys for people like - Nintendo, My Little Pony, and the giant bunny featured in Iron Man 3.  I would be happy to work for either company, though I'm no longer a candidate for one of them.  And I'm still looking and applying to places too, though I'm leaning towards not worrying about it as much as I have the past few weeks.

Other news:

We've had ice storms at least every other week, though at least it's given me a little relief from spring allergies.  haha  It's also kept us from trying out the fire pit we were given for Christmas.  I'm hoping we'll have a break in the weather soon so we can invite some people over to enjoy it with us.

We went to PA for my grandfather's funeral two weekends ago.  While I wanted a little trip for a change of routine it was sad that it was for an event like this.  He had dementia for the past few years, and really couldn't remember any of his family anymore.  After a recent fall he had stopped eating and within a short time passed away in his sleep.  He lived into his mid-90s and was fairly healthy right up to the end.  I think we all feel peaceful about how it all happened, and it was nice to see so many of the relatives I see so seldom.

Twitter, it's just been an awesome way to find out what's going on in the art world.  I've probably sunk some of the time I should've been writing here into that lately, but I'm trying to get things more balanced, so you all will see me here more consistently, twice a week minimum!

Speaking if posting more I'm exploring way of making this blog part of my work.  There were some interesting ideas Here at the blog Just Between Friends in regards to a lot of the areas I was curious about.  If you have a blog that you want to develop more I suggest you check it out!

In addition, I've been thinking I'll start doing a Pinterest experiment each week as part of my blog features (that would probably give me a third posting each week!).  I've got a ton of great ideas to try out from art techniques, recipes, DIY projects, and home cleaning fixes to photography challenges.  I've got over 4000 just waiting to be tried out.  And you can take a peek at my pin boards here at

In tomorrow's post stay tuned for an art update with plenty of pictures!

Love, Lydia

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Day 24

Welcome to my blog,

So today I've been thinking about goals.  I happened to read a post by a guy named Mike Hyatt who owns a publishing house and blogs about writing, among other things.  The post he wrote is about mistakes people make when setting goals.  You can read the article here.  It's got me thinking about some of my big goals for this year and I thought I'd share them with you all.

Most of you who read this already know about my Kickstarter and the goals that go with it.  If I meet the low goal I'll be able to create a piece of art every week this year and end up with 52 pieces.  The larger goal is making a piece every day and ending up with a full 365 pieces.  The more I work on these goals, sending out messages via Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and the like the more determined I am to at least get the 52 pieces made, whether or not I have the funding.  If I have to I'll make paintings on whatever scraps of paper I have left if I can't afford to buy more supplies.  I've at least got the watercolor paint to make it through a year of that, though collages and other art forms wouldn't have the same luck.  And so far I'm right on track with that, having finished 3 pieces at just over 3 weeks in.  I've got another 8 pieces in progress and ideas for lots more written down.  I think half my trouble comes from finding what to get started on first!

I have some other goals too though.  Some more personal ones like finding a good church to go to here in Raleigh.  Sometimes I feel like that's hard because Bryan and I grew up in really different styles of churches, though our personal beliefs are really similar.  I'm not going to go into the spiritual parts of it all, because this isn't the place for that.  However, I really look forward to finding a place with good community because I miss having friends here.  I have lots of family that so far has filled in very well, but I know I need to have friends outside of relatives.  I think of all of this as things that will feed my emotional stability and improve my mental health.

I also want to get my art established better here in the Raleigh area, and I would really love to participate in a couple of shows my the end of the year.  I've also thought about showing my work in other areas too, and would like to be able to that.  And I would like to join some artist associations so I can get to know other artists. network, and just get in the loop about things.  All of that is a little more dependent on money, which brings me to the next big goal.

Working on tackling our finances.  I've got student loans, we had our car get totaled a couple months back and had a huge rise in car insurance simply for living somewhere there's a risk of being rear-ended, plus the costs of a "new" car.  However, it's taught me how to be a couponer, and we're now masters of making and sticking to budgets.  We also eat out a lot less than we used to.  Recently I switched to an Obamacare plan, in my case it cut my insurance costs in half compared to my husband's employee insurance!  Next month things will start looking up as we've finally caught up to all the things that were setting us back so much the past few months.  We're buying a fantastic photograph from Matthew Alexander, a fellow CCAD alum as a way of celebrating making this goal!

For mental stimulation I've vowed to read at least one new book each month, which if you know me isn't a huge goal.  I was the 10 year old kid who read over 100 books one summer, because a kind library patron saw that the summer reading program wasn't enough challenge for me.  She asked me to make it to 50 instead, and then gave me a gift card for a local bookstore.  I kept going and hit 100 books before school started that fall.  However, I read a lot less when I was at CCAD, and making art in high gear cuts down on my reading time.  Since it's also some of my best mental fuel I'm making a point of keeping it around!

Lastly I've also been making more effort than ever to be healthy.  Simply getting in more fruit and veggies and less junk, eating more organic and local, and putting more exercise into my daily routine.  I'd been doing dance workouts about twice a week for most of the last year, but now I'm also adding in yoga 1-2 times a week, some weight training, walking, plus other routines too.  And last year I gave up keeping soda in the house, so these days I drink a lot more water.

So, all this is what's going on in the background each day, and what keeps me going.  Sometimes I feel like it's not a big enough deal to talk about on here, but really, all the little details are important to my story.  I'm guessing you all feel the same way about your lives, some of those details are what make us feel ourselves.  Hopefully you all have made it through all this, and I hope even more that it's been interesting, showing you more about who I am.  Until Monday.

Love, Lydia