From Chaos to Clarity

From Chaos to Clarity

I dream of clarity. Simplified focus on where I am going. But instead I often get interim chaos. Just like this closet.

There’s no clarity here (yet)

These transitional times are periods of growth. My hope is that there is such confusion at some times because you are about to make a huge leap forward. I know I am moving forward at least with my wardrobe and hopefully with my business. After three years of reading books, blogs and learning about different thoughts on the wardrobe process ( and Marie Kondo ) I think I have found a solution. And it is so much simpler than all the things I worked through in various color systems and ideas about how to look slimmer.which left me with mixed messages.

It is a free course (which also took a year and a half and a few mistakes along the way) called Dressing Your Truth. The premise was hokey to me at first but I feel better about it now that I have clarity. It claims that your colors, the structure and texture of your clothing should match your energy movement. There are only 4 choices (with some sub combinations of those choices) and once I found the right choice I feel relief. I am still putting those pieces together – hence the closet chaos but I am that much closer to that simplified wardrobe where all the colors go together and I can easily get dressed for any occasion.

The 4 types or energies are tied to colors that use either a tint, tone, shade or pure hue of any color. When you get it right purple goes with red and green and blue and it is like a lightening bolt to realize what options are available in color combinations.

If you have been reading this blog you know it has been a painful time consuming process for me to feel good about how I look and how to get dressed.

I look forward to sharing a picture of an organized closet and well dressed self in the VERY near future.

What systems have you used to try to figure out what looks good on you?

 

Are you putting yourself out there?

In January we went to a portion of the West Seattle Art Walk. We started a little late and only made it to three businesses. After the event I marveled at the way these small business owners, artists and musicians had put themselves out there, exposing themselves and bringing their gift out into the world.

Our first stop was Viscon Cellars https://www.visconcellars.com/. This small winemaker has been producing wine since 2004. I believe this tasting room on California Ave has been open since 2014. The tasting pours were presented by the owner himself. A very personable and talented wine maker Ben was enthusiastic and described in great detail the blends used to create the wines we were presented. The one I remember the most is the Rhyme/Reason Syrah which used co-fermented viognier 5% and Syrah 95%. It tasted fabulous but the reason I remember it is the fact that I had never heard of a white and a red blended together. It apparently is a technique used in France but not used elsewhere very often. I love learning something new. We went home with a bottle of viognier to go with our salmon dinner.We also bought it because of the very attractive label and the story behind it.

Artist Greta Musland http://www.gretamusland.com/ was displaying her work at Viscon. She is currently using acrylic paints on one side of the canvas and an encaustic (wax process) on the other. Her portraits of urban wild animals were delightful. She has been allowing herself to be an artist for about 10 years. I find it fascinating to consider what would happen if we all allowed ourselves to be what we want to be instead of what society, family etc thinks we should be. One CAN dare to dream.

Next stop was http://cannawestseattle.com. They were displaying beautiful photographs of a wandering traveler. The one that caught my eye was of a camel in front of a beautiful body of water with arid mountains on the other side. There was a horizantal stripe effect in the composition that was dramatic. Unfortunately I can’t tell you who the photographer was since there is no link on there website to the artist and my memory is not that good. A traveling photographer journeying to exotic locales and a cannabis company taking a chance in the current state of legal affairs are both putting themselves out there.

Final stop of the evening was at C and P Coffee where it was open mike night. We caught the last 4 performances of the evening – all guitar and vocal performances. The first one wrote their own songs and the other 3 played cover songs from a wide variety of known artists. I am so glad they shared their gift with us that night.

What is your gift? Are you sharing it and putting yourself out there or are you keeping it bottled up inside?

Focus

Focus

This post was started two hours ago and I am just now starting the first sentence. So not only am I having trouble figuring out what to focus on, I am having trouble focusing on what I choose. Since I started I decided to have lunch, manage my airbnb listing and put the laundry in. Now I am back and I promise myself to focus till I finish.

My original thought on focus was that I feel scattered in almost all areas. It is true I have created some priorities: Health through nutritious eating and exercise, learning and travel. It has become obvious to me that outside these priorities I am having trouble deciding what is most important and also how to integrate other interests into these main focuses. I want to do it all!

OR am I using my lack of focus as an excuse for lack of forward movement OR I am sabotaging myself so I don’t “succeed” – whatever that may mean to me OR I just need anxiety in my life.

I say that I want to learn and practice my sewing skills and share them through this blog and sewing meetups. In reality I am so busy traveling, trying to stay in shape and learning about how to share my skills that I am lucky if I find a day a week to sew. Plus now that I have free time I have not said no to many social opportunities.

Then there is the problem of what should I be making? There are so many things I want to try and then there is the looming reality of a trip coming up that involves hiking and biking. And wanting my slopers to be perfect before I use them to create new things for myself. I am back to some of my old habits that lead to less focus.

Spurred on by those distracting % off coupons from fabric stores I decided I needed to go out and get fabric to make a new hiking/biking skirt, two pair of outdoor pants that don’t look like outdoor pants and a couple t shirts that will dry quick and have pockets! And a bike bag to carry misc in on the trip.

My latest shiny objects

Here is my latest pile. 2 yards of fabric in each of 5 colors. Two meant for tops and 3 meant for skirts or pants appropriate for outdoor adventure travel.

I have limited time before the trip. Writing is helping me focus. I am going to make a hiking/biking skirt and a shirt with pockets and a small handlebar bag. Stay tuned. I already am getting unfocused by some more travel opportunities in my inbox.

How do you focus on priorities – or even decide what they are? If you are reading this blog is it helpful or another way to procrastinate?

The Honest Truth

My original intention for this site was to help teach others to find their colors and style. It has taken me 18 months to find my own so how can I help anyone else? I think the answer is to encourage you to experiment until you find the answer. A camera has really helped. Things I think look fabulous in the mirror are shown to be not so true from the camera’s objective eye. There are also some general “rules” which I will begin to share. But the “rules” can also hamper so don’t believe any of them are set in stone.

As you can tell this is also turning into a marvelous excuse to sew and experiment with fabrics, improve my skills and see what’s around me in a new way. It is also helping me see what my values are and how I want to spend my time. It is still a blog in the process of forming. As I am and as we all are. I am enjoying the journey. Because really all we have is the journey. The end is not the goal. It is everything that happens along the way. What you learn and discover are valuable.

Things that led me down the wrong path were “RULES”:

Tim Gunn’s recommendations. One was black and one was never wear shoes with rounded toes. I felt like a limping uncomfortable fraud. And when the camera showed me in black I can see why it is worn to funerals. Spanx. No comment needed.

Things that were difficult but that helped:

“Color your style”  book by David Zyla

“Looking Good every Day. Style Solutions for Real Women” by Nancy Nix Rice.

And a hundred little books, blog posts and photos.

Things that make sense

Tim Gunn’s rules of right silhouette, proportions and fit. (But figuring that out is hard work).

The other things that hampered me were internal.

Fighting against learning something new.

Recognizing habits and beliefs that were holding me back that I wasn’t aware of.

Fear of looking silly (and I’m sure I did a few times but everyone so far is polite enough not to say so).

Fear of spending time on myself.

Lack of desire to take and post pictures of myself.

What rules and excuses are holding you back? What has helped you? I look forward to your comments.

Back on Track

These last few months have been busy as I transition out of owning a plant business and into the new joyous style business (whatever form that ends up taking). As part of the transition I had to change the name of the business I owned. I pondered it for quite a few days. Here are some of the thoughts and ideas that passed through my head:

The retired plant lady
Liberte’
Free Woman (my daughter nixed that one thinking I might send the wrong message and there is already a free woman site) Metamorphosis (when my accountant wanted to know what I was going to call the metamorphosis)

Going back to my vision board I remembered my goal of freedom- freedom in time, freedom in thought, freedom in place and freedom in choice. That led to the new name “A Woman Liberated”. It speaks to me and will be a guiding light as I make choices about how to shape life after being the plant lady.

I am not free of the old business until January of next year and I could use that excuse as a reason to stop pursuing freedom right now but that would be another form of putting off life (which I have done for 31 years). Instead I have pulled out my 12 week year planner to remind me to take action every day towards my goals. I find that if I don’t take time to do this I will spend each day repeating what I have done in the past. Puttering around doing things that need to get done but that keep me stuck in the same place. And saying “I don’t have time to take on another thing” – which is an exhausting way to live. This planning forces me to prioritize each day to move forward and makes me to look at what I have done (or not done) each week. Putting me back on track to living the life of a Woman Liberated!

I picked up the planner again after a hiatus. The last time I had worked on it was for an August 9 completion. I discovered I had completed some of the goals.

  1. I sold my current business and completed the paperwork to get it done.
  2. Goal 2 to stay (or get) in shape to hike my 100 miles on the Pacific Crest trail at the end of the summer. I had accomplished most of the tasks but need to add in more hills and stick to the 1 drink a day strategy to really get it done. On the positive side the strength training was curing the plantar fasciatis and I was able to start running again after 18 months off. And I did complete my hundred miles (120 was the final tally).
  3. Work on this blog and an online color and style course are the items I have let slide. Looks like it is time to pick up the planner and figure out where this blog is going!

 

Finding the time

Finding the time

When I sit down to write a new post it is hard to not get distracted by all the interesting blogs about style and fashion for older women. It is empowering to see unfettered joy in dress and style that is apparent in their posts.

Today I got distracted by this wonderful blog I had forgotten about (I don’t always remember to look at my feeds to see what’s new). A Colourful Canvas. The author has on a wonderful sky blue coat with white polka dots that she made from a pattern by this pattern designer closet case.

That led me to look at closet case patterns and her wonderful ideas about sharing on her website – sew alongs and photos of beautiful women wearing her bombshell swimsuit.

Then I got distracted by a link on another site to a site where women buy and sell clothes from each others closets (although I haven’t investigated deeply enough to see if there are also manufacturers on there).

And then there’s polyvore and pintrest and facebook and……….

Now I have spent 45 minutes enriching my bookmarks page and don’t have time to experiment with the muslin I am trying to correct for my new jacket pattern. Let alone clean the house or put on makeup.

How do you manage to browse the web for ideas without drowning? How do you find time to work on your own projects or clean the house? How do you focus on getting the most out of each day in this fabulous world of information that we live in? How do you find the time to walk out the door looking put together?

I look forward to getting your ideas.