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?

Changes

Changes

If you have been reading this you know that this blog is like the impromptu speeches I have given at Toastmasters. A challenge to myself that I don’t always succeed at, that meanders all over the place with no point. It’s purpose has been to explore my style and figure out what to do when I grow up.

Along the way I wondered if I wanted to be a personal stylist (I know pretty odd considering all those awkward photos of awkward outfits). I wondered if I could teach classes on finding your style (but that has already been done in a much better way than I could do it). Could I be a blogger that links to items I like and gets a small return? (Now we’re back to the awkward photos). For a while I experimented with a sewing blog thought. With patterns and instruction. Then I asked myself could I design women’s clothes and or patterns? Maybe but there is still a lot of learning that needs to happen there.
Then there is the question of the guilt over adding to the mounds of products we already produce and consume. I really couldn’t bring myself to add to it. Or else it was that secret fear that always lingers in the back of our heads of “I’m not good enough”.

I decided to go with the guilt. At last after a year plus of awkward writing and exploring I have decided to launch a line of up cycled and refashioned bike bags that are pretty enough to use everyday even if you don’t ride a bike. They would also work on a stroller handle or walker handle if life has taken you there. They can carry your bike equipment or your life equipment. They are designed to be easy on and easy off and bring joy to your life.

Most items are made from pound store purchases (rejects from even the thrift store) on their way to be turned into rags. I LOVE the challenge of looking at something that was once something else and turning it into a useful well loved item again. Everything gets thrown in the washer and dryer and put in a stack for future creations. It is a slow process that provides unique items.

What isn’t a pound store rescue is a remnant from a project in my life or someone else’s life. Buckles and webbing are new and I am exploring which options are most eco friendly. I recently purchased some past their prime leather coats that may provide handles or other bag pieces.

With this launch I am officially changing my blog page name to The Weekly Ride. Yet another way to walk my talk.
I’ve finally found my joy. I hope it brings you some as well.
What have you found to bring joy?

Dad’s Closet

Dad’s Closet

Who would guess at 59 I would still raid my dad’s closet. He is 92 and has kept everything he ever owned even though he admits he is overwhelmed by it. He is of the generation that kept everything. Even things his dad had kept and things other people gave him even though it didn’t fit him. I asked him if he wanted me to give items to the thrift store and he was pretty adamant that “no all the relatives need to be asked if they want things first.” So I dug in to see what I could find. Unfortunately I had already raided all the bowling shirts when I was a 20 something.

I did manage to find this vintage cotton bomber jacket and this spiffy vintage nylon shirt both in pretty good condition and sizes and colors that fit me. I also took an old hunting suit he wore 60 years ago and a lovely black wool overcoat that were both in sad shape. I ran them through the washer and dryer and am in the process of re purposing them into bike bags. Photos of that project next time.

Vintage shirt from dad’s closet

Vintage blue bomber jacket

I guess I am lucky to still have a dad’s closet to raid at my age.

Did you ever raid your parent’s closets when you were younger (or today)?

Shawl collar shirt

Shawl collar shirt

I continue to test new ideas and patterns. This shawl collar shirt is my latest.

Latest pattern

It is my test run for a more flattering bicycle shirt. I love it! I disappointed myself by not adding pockets. At one point I swore everything I made should work for bicycling and have pockets. Future trials will include hidden side in seam pockets, back pockets like a traditional cycle shirt and patch pockets on the front. I am also going to try a 3/4 sleeve version and some different prints.

Need to figure out swayback adjustments

It is hard to see in the photo and with dark fabric but I need to make a swayback adjustment (ten months ago I had never heard of such a thing). This was the most understandable discussion I could find on it and I look forward to trying it next time (and on my fitting bodice that is still a work in progress.)

What sorts of adjustments have you made to eliminate wrinkles? This is a lot easier than trying to make my body perfect.

Hike? Skirt? Update

To update my hike in a skirt post I wanted to add these pictures of the skirt I decided not to use. Problems – waistband too tall so it doesn’t fit my waist well (although it fit better after the hike). Skirt too long to provide needed cooling.

The skirt I did choose was also too long but had some advantages I would recommend in a hiking skirt – elastic waistband that made it easy to slide on and off before and after those clothing changes to either warm up or cool down. It had no pockets so that was a deduct.

I now have a personal verdict on hiking in a skirt and that is No for me. The chafing would have created another potential problem to deal with that I did not need. I did like having a lightweight skirt along at camp though. It was like a portable changing tent for the above mentioned changes.

Here are the pictures I forgot to include in the last post.