Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Daily Outfit: Skirt Refashion, "Before"

Yesterday's outfit started with this long skirt, which I haven't worn in a while. The bright print caught my eye today, probably also because I'm still picking blue clothing to go with my toenail polish...


However, I'm not too thrilled with the final outfit. I think that I'm no longer really interested in long loose skirts. I used to wear those all the time in college, but I'm liking a somewhat more polished look these days. So I suspect this skirt may be about due for an immediate refashion (actually, its second refashion...it started life as a much-too-large skirt, which I took in at the front to create a deep pleat. I've also worn it as a strapless dress, but I have too many of those already...)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

ABC's About Me


I'd seen this meme going around blogs a few months ago, meant to do it then, and then just found the start in my draft posts...thought it'd be fun to finish up!  

A. Age: 26 going on either 15 or 35, depending on the day. (Would be interested to know if that's younger or older than you expected...)

B. Bed size: Queen.

C. Chore that you hate: taking out the trash.  Never mind that this basically only entails going from the apartment to the trash room on the same floor, it is OUTSIDE the door and therefore similar to carrying the trash to Siberia. 

D. Dogs: None, unfortunately. Never had any as a kid as my mother is allergic, and K. is allergic now. I do like them, though.

E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast! If I don't eat within half an hour of waking up or so, I'm starving (unless it's a workout day, in which case I'd better start running before that half hour runs out...)

F. Favorite color: This is a surprisingly challenging question for me. Probably forest green? That's definitely one of my favorite colors to wear, at least.

G. Gold or Silver: Generally I prefer silver for jewelry, gold in general.

H. Height: Just about 5'6".

I. Instruments you play: Mostly I sing (that's what I took lessons in during high school), though I also play a little bit of piano. A very, very little bit of piano.

J. Job title: Research Assistant (/doctoral student)

K. Kids: Some day when I no longer think of myself as one.

L. Live: in the Boston area.

M. Mother’s name: I generally just call her "mom".

N. Nicknames: Well, technically Elly is a nickname, even though that's what all my family and friends call me...my real name is Elena. Other than that...my mom calls me Jellybean, but only she is allowed to do that.

O. Overnight hospital stays: I got dehydrated when I was three and had to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. Not my favorite time.

P. Pet peeves: Incorrect use of apostrophes. I was trying to come up with a longer list, but really...this is the big one.

Q. Quote from a movie: The one coming to my mind is from The Princess Bride "Inconceivable!" "I do not think that word means what you think it means..." (Did anyone else read the book of The Princess Bride by the author of the screenplay? SO much detail!)

R. Right or left handed: Right handed.

S. Siblings: One younger brother.

T: Time you wake up: Generally 7-7:30 on weekdays (at least that's when the alarm is set for...sometimes I'm up earlier). Not much later than that on weekends unless I'm exhausted.

U. Underwear: Is typically necessary, yes.

V. Vegetable you hate: Probably my least favorite vegetable is bell peppers (more so when fresh...I'll eat them cooked in things).

W. What makes you run late: The Internet, waiting for K. to get ready to leave, forgetting things and having to run back to grab them.

X. X-Rays you’ve had: Just the standard dental x-rays, I think.

Y. Yummy food that you make: One of my favorite easy dinners is pasta with meat sauce...cook some ground beef in a pan, then put it in a pot with a jar of tomato sauce, maybe a splash of red wine and some frozen veggies. Serve over any kind of pasta (though I especially enjoy bowtie pasta with this).

Z. Zoo animal: I do really love to watch elephants.

If anyone else wants to do this survey, leave me a link! I'd love learning more about you all.

(On another note, I finally made a few visual changes around here, heading toward a simpler, cleaner design. What do you think?)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Daily Outfit: Zebra-Print Zebras


Yesterday's outfit centered around a top I'd picked up on sale last weekend at H&M.  The print was what sold me on it.  From a distance, it's basically an abstract black and white pattern...but then you look up close:


It's a zebra print with zebras hidden in it!  A little cheesy, but I love it.

Hoping to take this weekend fairly low-key...catch up on some of the sleep that I lost over the past week, just going to bed a little too late and then waking up before my alarm went off.  Anybody have exciting weekend plans?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Daily Outfit: Even More Black and Turquoise


Apparently, I'm now coordinating most of my outfits to my latest toenail polish, a pretty blue shade that I got in a box from Julep...got sucked in by an offer they'd had to get your first monthly box of polish for only a penny, then ended up getting the next monthly box as well. We'll see if the September box looks good enough for me to get it...but it's definitely great quality polish, and I've been enjoying the colors a lot so far.

My toes aren't quite this neon-bright in real life...

I'm trying to make a bit more of an effort to play with the nail polishes, makeup, and perfume samples I own... I like all of these pretty things, but I think I don't wear them often enough! In particular, I'm aware that my colleagues are used to my generally not wearing makeup or fingernail polish, so I feel like it would be very noticeable if I changed that too obviously. Granted, I went through this with my overall style a couple of years ago when I shifted from casual tops/jeans all the time to mostly wearing dresses and skirts...got a lot of comments asking if I had an interview scheduled, and then everyone eventually forgot how casually I used to dress. (Evidenced when a coworker said that he thought I never wear jeans. I still do, on occasion...)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Daily Outfit: Black and Turquoise


Monday's outfit started with the sleeveless black top.  Then I realized that this skirt, which I've had for years and years but rarely wear, would complement the turquoise trim on the top.  The tights were added once I got to work, as a matter of necessity (not shown: the also-necessary sweater).  It's funny that I wear this skirt so rarely and yet manage to spill something on it every time I do. Fortunately it seems to clean up easily enough with some water dabbed on it (and is full enough to cover any temporary water discoloration).


This week hasn't been keeping me especially busy, but for some reason I'd been really stressed out since around Saturday night through this morning.  I also haven't been able to sleep enough the last few nights.  I'm not sure if there's something in the air or what...my best friend was also dealing with emotional stress of no known cause over the weekend.  So yeah, I'd been spending a lot of time feeling my heart racing and stomach knotted and mind making everything into a very big deal.  It seems to have passed for now, though after a mini-breakdown this morning...weird weather?  Not enough sleep?  Mercury retrograde?  (Okay, that last one was a joke, but I just looked up the dates to see if we were even in a period like that and it appears the most recent period of Mercury in retrograde ends today.  Not that I'm going to give that credit for improving my mood.)  Has anyone else been experiencing a particularly stressed week so far?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Passing By

I'm still surprised that it's already August...somehow this summer has passed very quickly.  On that note, I wanted to share some of the things on my to-do-before-the-end-of-summer list.  That could mean early September, could be later in that month, depends on when the weather changes.  My schedule probably won't have any major differences, as I'm not currently planning on taking any courses this semester (just research and thesis prep work, as is the case this summer as well). I would love to...


Image via mattstafford on Flickr - Crane Beach, where I've been going this summer.  

-- Go to the beach several more times.  I can't believe I hadn't made it out to the beaches around MA until this summer...it's a really great, relaxing way to spend a weekend day. 

-- Make sure to wear as many of my summer dresses and sandals as I can... get a sense of what I'll actually wear, and what should be donated at the end of the summer because it's not comfortable or just not working well for me.


-- Eat more summer fruit.  Berries and peaches and melon especially.  Though we did get some peaches in the farm share last week that were so sweet and juicy I'm now completely spoiled for supermarket peaches...I may have to find some farmer's market peaches.


-- Ditto summer vegetables.  Lots of corn and tomatoes, please.  Even zucchini...I have a list of recipes, and we've really only gotten zucchini in the farm share a couple of times this year so far. 

What's on your list for things to do while it's still summer?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Closet Cleanout

So you know how I mentioned yesterday that I was needing a push to get into the next stage of decluttering?  Well, perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned that out loud...that's what causes the world to decide how to push you.  So late last night, my main closet shelf/hanging rod completely broke and collapsed from the weight of everything hanging from it (my shirts and blazers and sweaters, along with all of K's shirts and pants...my dresses and skirts are in a different closet) and everything piled on top of it (suitcases and a few handbags and a plastic bin full of hangers and a few other odds and ends).  Hopefully the apartment maintenance folks will get that fixed within the next few days, but meanwhile I took that as a sign that I really needed to trim down how much I had in that closet!  (And not just blame how heavy K's pants are...)


Piles of clothing removed from the closet

After my decluttering roundup...still a lot! And that's just my tops/sweaters!

So I sorted through everything out of the closet and took a few bags of stuff to the Goodwill this afternoon.  Hopefully the remainder will have a nicer time fitting in the closet when it gets repaired.  And yet, it was really challenging for me to figure out what I wanted to donate on this pass through my stuffed closet.  I think I must be in some strange transitional style period, where I'm not entirely sure what sort of look I want to have now, so I want to hold on to everything...while simultaneously having a significant focus on decluttering and getting rid of unnecessary things in my space.  It's strange to be hovering back and forth between "I still have way too much stuff!" and "I just gave up so much stuff!"  Eesh.  Hopefully the decluttering can progress on a slightly slower pace for the next while, and I can figure out what kind of style I'm headed toward.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Strapless Saturday


This outfit is the result of my trying to take advantage of a hot weekend day to wear something I normally don't get much use out of.  I've had the dress since last fall when I got it at the Goodwill, but hadn't worn it out yet...I'm not sure how comfortable I am in strapless dresses, though that's partly because I've never found a really great, easy-to-wear-all-day strapless bra. 


Today was mostly filled with errands and such.  Laundry day, grocery shopping, going over to my mother's to help her with a few chores (mostly involving the computer).  Trying to do some more cleaning and a bit more decluttering.  It feels like I'm at an interesting point in my decluttering work where I've already gotten through a lot of the low-hanging fruit...I've done a pass through my closet, a lot of the drawers, my filing cabinet, the stuff on top of various tables and desks, even my craft cabinet.  In order to start getting to the next stage of decluttering, I think I'm going to have to start making some harder decisions.  I'm continuing on with getting rid of at least one thing every day, but over the last week or so it's gotten harder to figure out something to put in the donation pile.  I know I still have a tremendous amount of things, so mostly this means I need to start making some harder choices about what I'm really going to use and wear and make, about what actually deserves a spot in my life and my apartment.  This is especially hard for me with books and craft supplies...books because I almost NEVER get rid of books (and I have a lot of older books my grandfather gave me while he was decluttering, which I'm definitely going to keep), and craft supplies because they represent huge potential (both in terms of what they could become and in terms of the joy I could have working with them).  But there are also some crafts that I've just gotten less interested in, and I perhaps should recognize that and whittle down my stash slowly to reflect that...

Friday, August 3, 2012

Black and Gold


This was yesterday's attempt to dress for the heat wave that's coming back into Boston.  I've been wearing long sleeveless dresses (not entirely sure if this counts as a maxi dress?) much more frequently this summer, partially because they help in the summer-heat-to-frigid-air-conditioning transition that I have to do every day.  They're generally light enough that I can make it to work (which involves some walking and public transportation), and then long enough to keep my legs covered and attempt to hold in some heat. 



Other techniques or combinations of garments I've been using to try to deal with the transitional temperatures include:
- Sweaters and blazers to layer on when I get to work
- Tights and leggings, not to be worn until I cool down at the Lab and taken off for the trip home
- Close-toed shoes...I feel that sometimes my feet lose the most heat!

Things I should also experiment with:
- Light summer scarves and wraps
- The turtleneck sweater poncho thing that I currently have in my office for desperate scenarios

What else would you all recommend for dealing with outdoor temperatures that can be 20-30 degrees warmer than indoor temperatures?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Back on the NaBloPoMo Bandwagon

Hope the summer has been treating everyone well!   I know I've been off enjoying summer (though that makes it sound like I haven't been on the internet; I've been on the internet plenty), and thought that doing another NaBloPoMo month of blogging would be a good kickstart to get me back on the blogging wagon.  So what have I been up to while not spending much time round these parts?

  • I took and passed all my Ph.D. General Exams (written and oral exams in three different fields...glad to be done with that!)  Basically, the general exams involved picking three areas of study, getting a committee of people who knew those areas, designing lengthy reading lists spanning those areas, and then several months later being tested in an oral exam, two written exams, and a journal-level paper about anything in those fields.   


    • I spent a vacation with the boyfriend and his family by a lake in Northern Wisconsin.  Lots of water-skiing and other water sports ensued.  I appear to have gotten better than I was last year.

    • I've been doing a fair amount of cooking to handle the various farm share vegetables (as we have a CSA again this year).  Fortunately, I've also found that I do enjoy roasted beets, especially with goat cheese, so I have something to do with the weekly influx of beets...

    • I weathered several heatwaves through Boston.  Normally we get a few sporadic days in the high 90's, one or two days that will hit 100, but this year has had weeks when it didn't get any cooler than that.  Very hard to deal with, especially since the air conditioning in my lab would then be 30+ degrees colder than it was outside.  

    • I've done a lot of housecleaning, decluttering, and reading back archives of the UFYH blog.  I think I'm slowly moving toward a cleaner and more organized apartment!  One of the things that has been helping a lot is the idea of getting rid of at least one thing every day...moving something to the Goodwill box, generally.  It shifts the focus from "should I get rid of this specific thing?" to "what do I own that I least want to keep owning?"

    • I read a number of books, including random fiction books, which is really exciting.  It's been a long time since I was regularly reading things that had nothing to do with work (perhaps because my general exams required me to read a ton of things for work, so that took up the majority of my reading time).

    Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer so far!  I can't believe it's August already...this month is going to go very, very fast, I suspect.

    Edit: clearly, it's now August 2.  Wrote the post yesterday, waited to add the waterskiing picture later, and ended up helping a friend move and completely forgetting that this still wasn't up!

    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Summer Days



    This outfit is back from a couple of weeks ago...it now seems unimaginable that we'd been having weather down in the 60's, given last week's Northeast heat wave.  Makes me warm just looking at this outfit.  Jeans and a blazer?  Granted, this would still be absolutely appropriately-warm clothing for inside my lab.  That's the challenge I have every summer...how to make it out of the house to the T to the Lab without overheating while still being able to be warm all day at the Lab.  Sweaters help some, but what do I do with my legs?  Bare legs and sandals are necessary during a week like last week, but not comfortable for long stretches of time in frigid air conditioning.  Maybe I need to bring a pair of leggings to put on once I get in.  Anybody have tips on how to handle major differences between outdoor heat and indoor cold?

    So I've been fairly busy, mostly with my General Exams for my Ph.D. program...a combination of a 3-hour oral exam on my planned dissertation area and three fields relevant to it that I'd chosen and studied (which I took and passed two weeks ago), two 24-hour written exam papers (which I took last week), and one journal-level article (have most of a draft done, planning to finish over the next week).  Other than that, I've been trying to spend more time cleaning the apartment, definitely inspired by reading old entries in UFYH -- take a look, if you like being pushed to clean things and don't mind some bad language and sparkly GIFs.

    I've also been crossing some things off the 101 in 1001 list, including a trip to a Cirque du Soleil show yesterday (amazing!) and trying a bunch of different variations on green smoothies (now that my community farm share has started for the summer).  Banana and apple and romaine lettuce is actually pretty good:


    Not so good?  The one I tried with grapefruit, lime, kale, and cilantro.  I'll take my smoothies with less bitterness and my cilantro at times other than breakfast...

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    101 in 1001



    I've been seeing a lot of bloggers creating lists of 101 things to do in 1001 days, and finally started a list for myself after reading Katy's list. The original challenge was inspired by the Day Zero website.

    One thing I hadn't anticipated was that the list was really hard for me to make! It's been sitting in a Google Doc for the last two months, gradually getting added to. I chose to have my start date as 4/05/2012, which takes me to an end date of 1/01/2015. I'm very excited about the idea of a list at this timescale. I'd made a 26 Before 26 list last year, but found the six-ish months I gave myself not really long enough for accomplishing a bunch of interesting things. On the other hand, it's thrilling to pick a few of my life-list goals (like visiting the Edinburgh theater festival) and saying, "Fine! I'll find a way to do that in the next two and a half years!"

    Something else I really enjoyed about making this list was searching through other bloggers' lists for ideas (both on Day Zero and through Google)! It's always fun to see what sorts of things people are imagining to do and making a priority in their lives, especially people at various different stages in their lives...lots of amazing goals that people are setting!


    Without further ado, my 101 in 1001. I'll try to blog about some of these things and keep the list somewhat up to date...maybe I'll make a static page on my blog with this.  Italics indicate completed items.

    Work/Studies
    1. Complete my General Exams
    2. Write my dissertation proposal and pass my defense
    3. Write my Ph.D. dissertation and pass my dissertation defense
    4. Graduate with my Ph.D.!
    5. Get my post-grad-school work started
    6. Publish at least three conference or journal papers
    7. Have a project featured on the MAKE blog
    8. Redesign my professional website
    9. Direct another show
    10. Costume design another show
    11. Work through The Artist’s Way
    12. Spend a month choreographing something every day

    Travel
    1. Visit at least 4 countries
    2. Attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
    3. Visit Washington DC
    4. Spend a day in Providence
    5. Go to Cape Cod
    6. Spend a day at the beach near Boston (Crane Beach, 5/26/12)
    7. Go to my college reunion in 2013
    8. Visit the Boston Harbor Islands
    9. See the Northern Lights
    10. Go on a road trip with K.

    Experiences/Education
    1. See the glass flowers exhibit at the Harvard Natural History Museum
    2. Attend at least 75 theater/dance/music performances, which seems like a lot, but averages to only 2 or 3 per month...So far:Yesterday Happened, Sleep No More
    3. See 5 movies in theaters
    4. Finish watching all the episodes of Star Trek Voyager
    5. Watch a Woody Allen movie
    6. Eat at 20 new-to-me restaurants in Boston/Cambridge
    7. Read at least 10 fiction books (So far: The Help, Call of the Go-Away Bird, Catching Fire, Mockingjay)
    8. Read at least 10 non-fiction books (not for work...)
    9. Read a book a week for a year (can be fiction, non-fiction, work-related, plays, random...)
    10. Go to 5 different museums (So far: Harvard Natural History Museum)
    11. Learn to ski again
    12. Learn at least one new programming language
    13. Take a class in something I’ve never done
    14. Go to a contact improv jam
    15. Learn a new song on the piano
    16. Go whale watching again
    17. Send a postcard to PostSecret
    18. See a show on Broadway again
    19. Go ice skating again
    20. Go fruit picking again
    21. Go to the ballet in Boston
    22. See a Cirque du Soleil show
    23. Do something big spontaneously
    24. Go to a festival of some kind
    25. Watch two TED talks every month
    26. See another meteor shower

    Creativity
    1. Write pages at 750 Words everyday for a month
    2. Do a NaBloPoMo again
    3. Participate in the 48 Hour Film Festival again
    4. Create something every day for a month
    5. Sew a dress from a 1950’s pattern
    6. Make at least 10 garments from scratch
    7. Cut my refashioning pile down by at least half
    8. Actually put some things in my Etsy shop
    9. Sell my jewelry/sewing work at a craft fair
    10. Redesign my blog

    Fashion/Style
    1. Complete at least one me-made challenge (So Zo blog) (May 2012)
    2. Wear every item in my closet/drawers (or donate those that just won’t get worn).  Possible exception: formal dresses.  
    3. Learn how to wear bright lipstick, and then do so at least once in public
    4. Get a noticeable haircut (5/28/2012)
    5. Cut down to <50 pairs of shoes (this number still seems quite high...)
    6. Get and wear a nice bikini
    7. Use up or get rid of all scented body lotions
    8. Wear makeup every day for a week

    Others
    1. Have a weekly “date” with K. for a year
    2. Donate at least 1001 items to charity (current total: 27, 79, 117)
    3. Complement 10 strangers
    4. Buy at least 5 things from Etsy vendors
    5. Send letters/emails to 5 people I’ve fallen out of touch with
    6. Donate to 3 Kickstarter campaigns
    7. Buy something from kids selling things at a stand
    8. Donate to my alma mater each year
    9. Send birthday cards to 10 friends
    10. Send 10 cards to people just for fun/thinking of them
    11. Comment on blogs every day for a month

    Life/Health
    1. Get a car
    2. Head towards a more minimal lifestyle- get rid of more things I don’t need!
    3. Get rid of A Thing A Day for a month
    4. Spend a full day without using the internet
    5. Make the bed every day for a month
    6. Have a clean kitchen sink at the end of every day for a month
    7. Start taking vitamins again - at least one month taking vitamins every day
    8. Go to at least 10 exercise classes (any type) (0/10)
    9. Get back to regular workout schedule of at least 3 times/week.  Maintain for a year (0/52)
    10. Return to (and maintain) my comfortable weight range
    11. Go 10 days without spending any money
    12. Research and start a retirement account

    Food
    1. Try green smoothies
    2. Spend at least one week without eating sugar
    3. Try 50 new recipes (So far: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2007/06/cinammon_rolls_/ 5/27/12, http://www.food.com/recipe/crock-pot-thai-chicken-thighs-106499 5/27/12, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tex-mex-burger-with-cajun-mayo/detail.aspx 6/01/12)
    4. Make the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls (5/27/12)
    5. Learn to make cheesecake
    6. Try Ethiopian food
    7. Try Afghan food
    8. Get bagels in Brookline
    9. Take lunch into work for a month
    10. Try 3 new fruits or vegetables
    11. Learn to make gnocchi

    Finally...
    1. Finish another 101 in 1001 list
    Things I'm aware I didn't focus on as much here as I'd like to, probably partly because I'm making this public - improving my relationships with family and K., and getting specific on more future-work-related goals. I also have attempted to avoid the feeling of a "stuff that has to be done" list in favor of "awesome/self-improving stuff I'd really like to do." Have you ever made a list like this? Would you? And what do you think about these sorts of timed goal lists? Motivating, or just a fad? I think I'm pretty pleased with the list, and looking forward to diving into more of these experiences! Will keep you all posted...

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

    Me-Made-May 29-31

    Suddenly, it's the last day of May! With that, I wanted to share my outfits from the last three days of Me-Made-May.

    May 29: Refashioned dress, Forever21 skirt, Payless shoes.

    May 30: Refashioned dress, thrifted belt, thrifted sandals.

    May 31: Refashioned top, Forever21 capris, thrifted sandals.

    A few reflections from my Me-Made-May experience...This was the second time I'd participated in a me-made month, though I set stricter rules for myself this time. Last time, I'd allowed refashioned or handmade jewelry or accessories to "count" as my me-made piece of an outfit, while this time I stuck to clothing items. This made it more of a challenge for me, and I'm glad that I generally fulfilled my goal! Though there was one day when I didn't end up wearing anything me-made, on the last day of my NYC trip when I'd basically run out of shirts and needed to wear pants for hauling everything out of the theater. Also, an evening fancy-dress party that we hadn't known about beforehand...I'd had a friend bring me down a dress, but completely spaced out that she should have brought me this dress.

    One thing I did learn was that I'd like to make a few more pieces that I really LOVE. I have enough things I've made to get through a month, but when part of that month had limited laundry ability I felt like I was having to go with outfits I wouldn't have necessarily chosen to wear otherwise. (Though part of that may also have been dressing for theater tech.) Also, my me-made and refashioned wardrobe trends toward dresses and skirts, which became problematic in situations where I really needed to be wearing pants more regularly than normal (since I chose not to bring my one pair of refashioned patchwork jeans...) Perhaps it'd be useful for my wardrobe in general to work in some more comfortable and easy-to-wear tops.

    Also, May can be a pretty crazy month, weather-wise! Nothing like a month that you start in long-sleeve velvet shirts and end in summer dresses. I do wish I'd been able to be more active in the Me-Made-May group (and photographing outfits and posting), but ah well. Next time I do one of these challenges I'll do it when I'm NOT going to be out of town most of the month.

    So. On to June (and the rest of my summer wardrobe)!

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Well, May's gone fast!

    Here I was thinking I'd post a lot this month...after all, I was participating in Me-Made-May, which would be a great reason to keep up regular posting. Oh right, except for that fact where I was traveling to NYC for three weeks this month to work on a show. Which was absolutely amazing! It was a fantastic, mind-blowing experience, and I can only hope I'll get to work again with the terrific team I worked with for this project. A number of us from the lab basically came into an (already spectacular) existing show, did an experimental week-long run of adding several new technological components, and then packed everything back up and headed back to Boston. I learned so, so much during the process...it wasn't a resounding success, by any means, but we did an amazing amount with the short time and few people we had. It's taken me a week just to recover from the experience. I did keep up with wearing my Me-Made-May outfits (almost every day...had a couple of slips when I started running out of clean clothing), but I barely had time to sleep, so didn't get pictures of what I was wearing! We had many days of getting back to the hotel at 3-4AM, back at the theater by 9AM (or, if we were back at the hotel by 9PM, we all stayed up writing code together past midnight). By my "must have 8+ hours of sleep per night," that's an amazingly brutal schedule. It was such a terrific experience, though. Probably some of the best weeks I've had in my life (though I could have used a touch more sleep).

    So! That's what you missed from me, this month -- living in the theater and writing thousands of lines of code! (I absolutely adore my work...) I also wore a number of outfits with self-made and refashioned things, and successfully managed to pack for two and a half weeks with me-made pieces in every outfit. The weather on the East Coast changed drastically, from cold and rainy a couple of weeks ago to a weekend in the 80's. And I randomly got a haircut today, basically because I'd been thinking a lot about it and was finally so overheated that I gave my boyfriend the scissors. I'm still not sure what I think about it; the last time I had hair this short was literally almost 20 years ago.


    My hair also seems to have gotten a lot curlier/wavier since the last time it was this short.


    Today's outfit is a refashioned dress and thrifted sandals...trying to dress up a bit after a couple of weeks of jeans and jean skirts and tops! (Parameters for my outfits in NYC included: need to be able to walk 30 minutes from hotel to theater, need to be able to deal with a range of weather conditions, need to work for tech work and sitting in our "control room" off the wood shop.)

    And here's another outfit, from a couple of days ago... I refashioned this dress a bit ago. It used to have long sleeves and a giant lace collar. With both of those gone, it became a great piece for a summer day.

    How has everyone's May been going so far? I hope it's been a good one!

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Me-Made-May, Days 1-3

    So it's apparently May, and thus the beginning of Me-Made-May, where I've taken up the challenge to wear at least one piece of refashioned or self-made clothing every day this month. It's going to be a challenge to make this happen, especially since I'm traveling for most of the month. We'll see how well my self-made wardrobe packs! The first three days of the month have been rather cold so far, and most of my me-made wardrobe is better for the summer. Here's most of the things I'll be pulling from this month:
    6 skirts, 6 tops, 8 dresses. I've got a couple more not-pictured items to choose from, and hope to make another couple of weather-appropriate pieces over the course of the month.
    Day 1: Me-made top, thrifted skirt and boots.
    Day 2: Me-made skirt, thrifted dress, Payless shoes.
    Day 3: Me-made dress, thrifted sweater and boots.

    Sunday, April 29, 2012

    FBFF: Outfit Planning

    For my post today linking up to Fashion Beauty Friend Friday (more like, Fashion Beauty Friend Sunday, but thus goes the weekend...) we're looking at outfit planning, discussing how we put together what we wear every day.

    1. How do you go about picking your outfit for the day? (Do you lay stuff out the night before? Do you plan a whole week's worth of looks Sunday night? Do you wing it every morning?)

    Generally I wing it, at least partway. Sometimes I'll have a dress or a skirt picked out to wear the night before, but first improvise with the shoes/accessories/layers in the morning. Other times, I'll completely change my mind when I try things on and see what works or doesn't work together.

    2. Do you try stuff on and then take pics to see how it looks, like Cher in Clueless?

    My mirror is fine for me when it comes to trying things on. Generally I don't care so much about what things look like in pictures -- if it works fine for me on my body as I'm looking at it, that's good enough for me. Though occasionally frustrating when I go to document an outfit and then find it doesn't photograph nearly as well as I'd like it to.

    3. And are you consistent in your planning or lack thereof, or is your planning limited to special events?

    I do step up the planning for special events, particularly in terms of thinking about what in my closet might give the sort of effect I want. I also plan more when I'm going to be traveling, not necessarily to the extent of planning out all my outfits but at least thinking about what sort of outfits I can make with different options.

    4. Do you have a way of keeping track of which outfits you wore when?

    If it's not something I documented on the blog, probably not. That's my best source so far. (which really makes me want to get back to posting more outfit photos...)

    5. How do you come up with new clothing combinations? (An app? Computer program? Trial and error?)

    Ah, don't phrase the question this way to a programmer. Now I am incredibly tempted to write a program to give me different clothing combinations. Hmm. Build a few simple rules of style into it (a shirt needs pants or a skirt), add options for weather-suitability...well, this would get complicated, even if we mostly leave out the aesthetic components. Though it might be interesting even to have an app that would just tell me something like, "The weather will be 50 and raining. Perhaps you should wear a top, skirt, tights, a sweater, and rain boots"...and then have me mix and match from those pieces. Or maybe randomly serving up combinations of colors, or images to inspire an outfit? What would you want in an outfit inspiration program?

    To answer this question realistically: trial and error, mostly. Sometimes seeing things together when doing laundry or hanging them up in the closet. Serendipity. Instinct when the skirt I was originally intending to go with that top ends up really not working together and I have to grab something out of the closet in a hurry.

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    On a related note to outfit planning: I've taken the pledge for Zoe's Me-Made-May challenge.

    I, Elly of Adventures in Refashioning, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade or refashioned garment (not just accessories) each day for the duration of May 2012.

    Granted, when I signed up I didn't really think through the fact that I'm going to be traveling for work for about 2 1/2 weeks in May. So my fairly sparse me-made wardrobe is going to have to deal with living out of a suitcase, working in the theater (including at least some labor cable-running and such), probably variable temperatures as it is going to be May on the east coast, and not getting to do laundry. Hmm. I think I need some more tops that aren't intended for winter. It'll be a challenge, certainly!

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