Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dress Like an Icon Part Two- Days 5-7

This week I am winding up the Dress like an Icon Challenge from Eyenie Schultz on Facebook.

Day 5 " Using Intuitive Dressing, tap into your Iconic Visionary Dream Self and wear something that scares the dickens out of you! Maybe it's a skirt that you love that's shorter than usual. Maybe it's an extra blingy piece of jewelry or a razzle-dazzle sparkly dress. Perhaps it's something involving studs or leather or feathers or bright-ass colors, or that hugs your curves in all the right places! Have fun and get risky!!! Own it!" 

We were supposed to do a video- but I could not manage it, so I took extra pictures. I received this gorgeous tiara for my birthday in April and I have worn it only once before and even then just for photos.  Next time I wear it I plan to actually have people see me in it- not just in photos. This Challenge is giving me growing pains!

  I LOVE tiaras! The more sparkle the better!  I LOVE pink sandals! I LOVE crystal necklaces! I LOVE long dresses!  Especially when they tie in back! I am going to wear what I love from now on and not care if people think I am crazy. I can be Crazy-Beautiful !

Day 6 Here is my Day 6 outfit.  A Vintage dress- never worn by me hanging in my sewing room ( for more years!! than I want to count). I also excavated some vintage satin lace trimmed full slips!! This Challenge is so much fun, Eyenie Schultz-thank you!
  My Iconic art is taking vintage pieces and giving them another chance to be seen. This dress was my step mother's.It is difficult to see, but it is embroidered cotton gauze from Germany- it was vintage 50 years ago when she acquired it. It is really too big and my plan is to make a tunic -cutting away the plain gauze and keeping every bit of embroidery!

 Day 7 OMG! I made it! I hate taking photos of myself- but I have grown into it a bit. I really enjoyed excavating unworn clothes that I LOVE, but have never worn. Today I wore this vintage 50s dress-complete with appropriate "foundation garments" - not a crinoline (too hot!) but a lovely vintage cotton buckram petticoat to make the skirt stand out! I am surprised at how many nice comments and compliments I have received this week as I dressed just for me! This has been an enlightening challenge. Thank you, Eyenie Schultz for creating this growth experience. I do not plan to look back (except by dressing my way- vintage /retro!). From now on I am dressing to feel good, to feel beautiful and to please myself! 

How about YOU? Do you dress to be the person you aspire to be? Do you dress to please yourself? Sometimes even with work uniforms we can add an accessory or two to make a statement. I would love to read comments  about how you respond to this challenge. Please leave a comment below or email me  or comment on Facebook. I love the comments on these blogs! Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A New Challenge : Dress Like An Icon (quite a challenge!) Part One Days1-4

I LOVE Facebook challenges. This one is called Dress Like An Icon hosted by Eyenie Schultz on the Facebook Group The NEON Parlor (she is a creative genius).
I am doing this because I believe that the way we dress  shows ourselves and others how we feel about our bodies. Do we just put on any old things that are comfortable? Comfort IS important- no doubt about it. The body wants to feel good and be comfortable! However I think we can be comfortable and still  dress and adorn ourselves in self-expressive ways. I have been so impressed by the diversity of ways that the participants have dressed during this challenge. I LOVE the variety of styles and creativity expressed. I would love to see everyone dress self-expressively everyday! It is such a pleasure to see others dressed and adorned in their own special ways.
 Day 1 we cleaned out clothes, personal care items, jewelry, etc. that no longer serves us. This part was easy for me because I have done it so often. The next part was not so easy. We were to choose an outfit we have never worn before, intuitively - by how we want to feel. I was surprised because I chose all white-including a pair of brand new white jeans that have been hanging in my closet unworn and a white lace top I crocheted this spring, but also never worn. The hardest part was posting a photo and describing how we feel.
I felt cool, light, bright, summery and especially dancey. Maybe the shoes make me feel like dancing?

Day 2 OMG - adorn ourselves to express the belief that we are more than enough and :
"Bring in something fancy, over-the-top, exciting, extra vibrant, funky or usually reserved for special occasions to seal the deal. Own the frick frack out of it!"

I love this little tiara with the golden Swarovski stars
The dress is made from a vintage pattern. The photos do not do justice to the fabric which is a lovely embossed cotton with gold thread embellishing the flowers.  I am wearing gold sandals-and I even painted my toenails gold!

Yikes! If this goes on , how will I make it through Day 7? It is FUN to play dress up! I always loved dressing up and I do dress most days. This challenge is going to get me into EVERY DAY. I will have to see about some glam work clothes.... I am thinking plain shirts and pants  impressionistically painted with swirls of my favorite colours...

Day 3 Own a truth about how we really want to dress-I am unabashedly Retro! The Laura Ashley fabric is from the early 80s, the dress pattern is from the early 60s- the pearl necklace and earrings are heirloom and the shoes are vintage! I am learning that I feel most like myself when I wear elegant Retro clothes -despite the current fashion for a more casual look.

Day 4 The Dream You- dress intuitively to be the woman you aspire to be. This took me all day! I have the dress (it's been hanging in my closet unworn for 2 years) and the shoes (any one of 3 pair of gold sandals)- I have not been ready to step into the woman I aspire to be yet. What is holding me back ? Well for one thing I have braces and 4 rubber bands in my teeth that keep me from smiling at the moment. If I break into my usual spontaneous smile the rubber bands pop loose or break. Not conducive to taking photos. This too shall pass and at least I have the dress, the shoes and the jewelry. 

 I love everything about this dress! The style, the colour, the lovely soft feel of the fabric, the gold sparkling design that does not show up in the photos. At least I am on my way! This challenge is GROWING me !

What is your favorite way to dress self -expressively? What are your favourite colours/ articles of clothing? jewelry? What  makes you feel wonderful and most like YOU? Do you make any of your own things? Do you have a favourite place to shop?  How would you describe your style? Do you adorn beautiful you with even just a little something special every day?
Please leave a comment below and answer some of these questions! I love comments and I really appreciate that you are reading my blog. You can comment below or pm me on Facebook or email me
Also you might want to peek at my Pinterest boards


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

San Lorenzo - Make a Wish on a Shooting Star!

Tonight is the Night of San Lorenzo! Those of us who read Italian can see many accounts on the net. Here is one

There are also accounts in English

Some accounts say that San Lorenzo is the patron saint of booksellers-and since I was a bookseller for many years, I feel certain that I can wish tonight:

Where I live it is forecast to be mostly clear from about 1am- 4am so maybe by some miracle I will be able to see the Perseid shower this year on the actual Night of San Lorenzo. It is usually too cloudy or actually raining. The peak time is tomorrow night- but I plan to be out there tonight as well to make my wish. When I was a child I would stand out under the stars or look out my window and make a wish because I always felt that the stars were shooting above me whether or not I could actually see them -and I might as well make a wish! I have better luck seeing the shooting stars in winter when the skies are generally clear here.

 Here are some of my favorite pictures from old children's books depicting stars falling and making wishes. It is never too late to begin making wishes and believing that they will come true!

Do you stargaze? Are you going out this week to see the shooting stars? I hope your wishes come true!
Please leave a comment below or email me or pm me on Facebook. I Love comments. Also see my Pinterest boards

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Creative Energy Optimizing - Crochet and Dressing

It has been stormy, wet,hot, muggy and buggy! No gardening - no playing outside. Instead, I have been crocheting!
 Ever since I was a little girl watching my grandmother and my aunts crochet I have wanted to learn. Alas, I never was able to stay with them long enough for them to teach me. It is never too late! A few years ago a friend sat me down and taught me how. Whenever I start a new project I think about her and I am so happy that she is such a good teacher. I have always admired crochet lace and the lovely garments that can be made. My friend set me on an adventure in creativity! I now have quite a collection of patterns and ideas for adding embellishments to existing garments, as well as many completed projects that I love to wear.
To cheer myself up in the Summer Doldrums I  bought this book:
I am working on the pattern shown on the cover. It is fun learning a new technique for making a fitted garment! I have just begun as you can see:
 I use giant pins as markers because counting is not my strong point! This pattern and the thread I chose make a lovely stretchy fabric. I will keep you posted when I finish....
 Meanwhile here are some things I have made successfully. I love this tunic! It looks very nice with leggings or skinny jeans.  ( My mouth is wide open because I am singing)

Here is an Italian scarf pattern I made. It was a challenge to learn the terms in Italian and some of the stitches! Again, it is a very soft, stretchy fabric and I love the colors!

Finally - a real challenge! These slippers require shaping and careful counting so that they fit properly. I made them to wear to Ecstatic Dance. I do not like to dance barefoot and since nearly everyone else does, I did not want to wear dance shoes in case I inadvertently stepped on someone's toes! These colorful soft slippers are perfect. They have been much admired.
I love crafting unique garments to wear. It is fun to imagine them and then to find the patterns and materials to make them. I have learned to sew and I struggle with knitting (I drop stitches!) but crochet remains my favourite -especially since I can create multicoloured things in exactly the combinations I like.

Do you create any of your own clothing?  I would love to inspire you to make something uniquely lovely just for you! Is there a craft or a skill you have learned or one that you would like to learn so that you can enjoy creating something special?
Please leave a comment here or email me or on Facebook! I love to be inspired by you. Also have a peek at my Pinterest boards  and leave me a link to yours! I am a Pinterest junkie.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Beauty

I loved the comments from last week. I have decided to just enjoy the beauty that is now and not fret about the weeds winning right now. As soon as I decided to adopt this attitude I began to enjoy the summer a bit more. I am enjoying the colors, the fragrances, and the grace of the butterflies, the dragonflies, and at night- the fireflies.
 This is Joe Pye- it's 6 feet tall this year!  There are so many Tiger Swallowtail butterflies right now.
 This is a favorite from childhood. I cannot walk past this phlox without inhaling its intoxicating fragrance. I have to be careful early in the morning - there are usually bumblebees still asleep on the flowers!
I have fields of Queen Anne's Lace right now. I allow it everywhere - even in the flower borders and the vegetable garden because so many insects love it. Also I love the way it turns the fields into flowery meadows!
What beauty are you appreciating this summer? The beach and the ocean? Perhaps a lake or river? The mountains? Your own garden? Perhaps you are travelling to places you have always wanted to see. If you are in a hammock or a chaise-longue reading a book you can enjoy the beauty around you. Perhaps you only have time to enjoy a meal outdoors. I would love to read your comments! You may leave them here or pm me on Facebook or email me at colleen412@gmail .com. You might also take a peek at my Pinterest boards

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Attack of the Summer Doldrums

Here we are in mid-July . The heat has really turned up , along with thick humid air and even more varieties of biting insects. Last week I worked valiantly in the garden, but I became overheated with a headache and general queasy feeling. I am giving in to the Summer Doldrums! I am conceding that the weeds are winning yet another summer. The days are hot and often gloomy this time of year (at least we have had rain- but it does not cool the temperatures). My lovely landscape is looking like a jungle!

It is very lush and extremely untidy! I tried to keep up my Secret Garden.  For now,though, 
 work has come to a stand still.  It is too hot even to divide and move the daylilies!
I know from past experience that if I wait for more temperate weather I will be able to catch up. It took me a long time to learn when to desist and not fight uphill battles- especially in the garden! I am aware now of my tendency to burn out when I push myself.
I am learning to accept and be present with "what is". And "what is" now is hot, muggy, buggy weather- for me , the Summer Doldrums!
I am giving myself permission to let the garden  go ( maintaining reasonable access, watering when necessary, harvesting vegetables and any blueberries the wild life leaves for me ). So I have begun to go out very early most mornings for no more than an hour to work or survey what is going on. I am enjoying sunbathing  on mornings when the humidity is not  unbearable.
I am focusing on other areas of my life- my work and my creativity. I am enjoying catching up on some of my projects. I am enjoying doing this in the air conditioning!
When the days are a bit cooler and drier I will enjoy working in my gardens again. Meanwhile I can enjoy the colorful flowers that shine through  the weeds as well as the butterflies, dragonflies, humming birds, all the other birds, the bees , and at night the lovely light dances of the fireflies from my bedroom windows. I am learning to appreciate the beauty everyday in the Summer Doldrums. It has been another steep learning curve...
At least the plantings on the terrace and at the front door are not wilting or overgrown with weeds!

Thank you for stopping by! I would love to know if you experience the Summer Doldrums and how you cope with them! Please leave a comment below or if you are my friend on Facebook pm me or email me
I also love exchanging pins on Pinterest

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Influenced, Inspired, and Empowered by Friends

This week several times I have been in conversations about friendship and how we are influenced, inspired and empowered by friends. The people we spend time with - especially those we share more than superficial life experiences with - can have a profound effect on our character and our outlook on life.

This week a friend I have known for most of my life is celebrating a landmark birthday. I have been reflecting on how he has influenced and inspired me through the years  to develop new interests ( or revive longstanding ones!) to learn new skills, and to become acquainted with a variety of people  who excel in these interests and/or skills. My life has been so much richer by his presence.

I can think of so many friends who have inspired (and continue to inspire) me to grow. Some of them have been in my life for many years, some of them have come into my life relatively recently. There are a select number of friends whom I  only see on Skype, Facebook, and/or their blogs. What all of my friends have in common are various qualities that I admire and aspire to develop in myself. They inspire me to continue to grow into the best possible version of myself. Every one of them has influenced me to keep my heart and mind open to possibilities and challenges.

My friends and I also empower each other. There is reciprocal give and take. One is not the "helper"and the other the "helped"nor the "advisor and the other the "advised". I was reminded yesterday of a friend who knows my ineptness with mechanical things. Very patiently she has shown me how some of my tools are best used and how to assemble them . I needed to use one yesterday and I was reminded of her patient instruction. Then I slowly ( with a couple of mistakes!) managed to assemble and use the tool all by myself. I also took it apart and stored it properly afterwards. I was proud of myself and I was appreciating my friend for empowering me.

It has taken me some time to be aware of the friendships I keep and the ones I let go. I am more aware of who I am becoming as a result of the company I keep. I truly appreciate the give and take of  inspiring friendships.

Have you reflected on the friends you choose to spend time with? How do they influence, inspire and empower you? How do you influence, inspire, and empower them to be the best version of themselves?
Please share your reflections on friends! I would love to read comments here on the blog or you can e-mail me at or pm me on Facebook. You might also enjoy my Pinterest boards
Thank you for stopping by!