Tuesday, March 24, 2015

spring capsule wardrobe

This spring, I am trying out a capsule wardrobe for the first time.  It's a new-ish idea to me and if it's new to you too, here are the basics:

-Choose a number of clothing items to wear for the season and stick with it.  Clothing items include pants, tops, dresses, shoes, and outerwear.  Clothing items do not include socks, pajamas, or yard work clothes.  For reference, my number is 40.

-Once you have completed your capsule for the season, do not shop for clothes again until roughly two weeks before the next season begins.  This part is extra exciting for me because I feel like I'm always "on the lookout" for one piece or another and now I can just not be.  In fact, there were a couple of pieces I was hoping to find for my spring capsule, but I did not find them before my self-imposed deadline (the first day of spring), so I'm going to do without them.  

-Make sure the items in your capsule are really versatile and also work well together.  This is key because I always end up with a shirt that I love, but that somehow doesn't go with any of my pants/shorts/skirts.  No more!  When building my capsule, if I was considering a shirt, I could easily check my list and see what bottom pieces I'd have to pair it with and then decide accordingly.

Now depending on what type of person you are, this probably either sounds awesome or like torture. To me, it's awesome.  I don't like to own a lot of things and I don't mind wearing the same type of clothing over and over, provided that I love it.  I also really like neutral colors for clothing, but sometimes try to force myself to buy bright colors because it seems like I should.  No more!  My capsule has at least 4 gray shirts!  (I really do have a few colored pieces in there too, the majority are just neutrals.)

It's so weird for me to write about clothing or fashion, because I don't consider myself at all fashionable.  In fact, sometimes I'll have to give an interview for some online magazine or blog about trends in men's fashion and although I do research trends in men's fashion, I still don't necessarily feel qualified to speak on their behalf.  You know, the trends.  

But, it has been really good for me to spend some time thinking about what I feel good wearing.  In fact, I noticed a few things that were totally surprising to me-

1. I love shirts that are not 100% cotton.  I always thought cotton shirts were my favorite, but then I got a couple of shirts made with viscose (semi-synthetic) and they are perfect!  The perfect drape!  Not too clingy!  Look great even after washing!

2. I love high waisted pants.  This makes me feel totally old and I don't even care anymore because I'm so darn comfortable in my own pants.  I realized I was old when I finally tried on a pair of high waisted jeans and thought "these aren't high at all!"  I can crawl around on the floor and play cars all day in these pants and they stay right where they should.  

Just so you know, I am not turning into a fashion blogger.  You will probably never see pictures on this blog of me wearing the outfits in my spring capsule.  But, it is something I've been thinking about and working on a great deal and I find minimalism very interesting, so I may report back towards the end of the season on how things went and if I plan to do it again.  I also really like to plan ahead, so it was fun for me to think about things like "how many dresses will I need over the next three months?"  and "can I wear these shoes when it's still chilly out in the mornings, but also when it's 80 degrees by noon?"  

If you enjoy things like fashion bloggers though, you should check out Caroline at Un-Fancy.  I love her style and it is a lot of fun to see the outfits she puts together with just a few pieces to work with.  

*The photos in this post are examples of some of the pieces in my spring capsule and were taken from the manufactures websites*

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

winter things

I'm checking winter things off my list and feel perfectly ready for spring to begin any day now.  We ate Valentine's day dinner by the fire.  We've salted the driveway, made a mini snowman, and warmed up with hot cocoa.

We've played Scrabble.  You know it's winter if we're playing Scrabble.

And then there's the clothing situation.  Arthur's pants are all getting to be too short and his winter shoes are barely hanging in there, but we're certainly not replacing any of that now.  

I don't like to rush through anything, but the last few weeks of a season always seem extra long. However, I'd like to share one of the true joys of my winter season, a little thing that has made a huge difference.  

It's these socks.  No, I'm not joking.  

It is so difficult for me to find socks that I like.  The top is too tight, the toe seam bothers me, perhaps they feel itchy or rough.  I truly dislike wearing socks.  

But I also have feet that are constantly cold, so, in the winter, I must wear the socks.  Now, it's a long story about how I came to own one pair of these Jonathan Adler socks at full price, but I loved them so much that I was wearing them as often as they were clean, about 3 times a week.  And then I found them on sale!  And bought 4 more pairs!  Every day, the perfect sock!  

I feel like this is weird, so I'm going to stop raving about socks now, but seriously.  You may want some.  

In other news, Arthur was wearing his hood last week and I thought he looked exactly like Casper the Friendly Ghost.  

Uncanny, right? 

Happy March, friends.  I'm sure spring is right around the corner.  

Sunday, March 01, 2015

it's a bag sale! *updated*

(Bags are sold out!!)

It seems like every winter we find ourselves cleaning out the closets.  I guess when you're stuck inside for months on end, you've got to come up with something.

This year, I'm feeling especially minimalist.  I'm working on my first ever capsule wardrobe (more on this soon!).  I'm sending bags and bags of toys and kitchen items to the attic for a spring garage sale. It has always been pretty easy for me to get rid of things.

Except when it comes to things I've made.  I think about the time and effort and cost and how excited I was when I finished the project.  I try to think of a good home for the item, someone who might love it as much as I do.  I get bogged down in all this thinking and then I just.... keep it.

But I've been making things for years now and I think I'm finally ready to part with some of them. Mainly, my stash of bags.

Many of these bags were for sale in my shop or a local store at one point, but no longer fit with my "menswear" aesthetic.  I choose the ones I hold dearest to keep, but am offering the rest at a super discounted price to anyone who might want to pick up a few gifts, or who just happens to need a new bag.  A few have been gently used, by me, and I've noted that in the description.  Unless noted, there is only one of each bag, so be sure to grab your favorites fast!

If you need me to ship your bag, it's a flat $5 charge that I can send you a separate invoice for.  If you purchase more than one item, I'll throw in shipping for free!  AND the first person to purchase a bag will also get a free gift thrown in.  Maybe some other people will get free gifts too!  I'm feeling generous!  Tell your friends!  The "add to cart" button is in the upper left hand corner of the sidebar. And here are the bags....

Vintage Text tote ($5):(SOLD OUT!) gray wool handles with 9" drop, unlined.  Great for the library, running errands, or a small diaper bag.  

Davidson NC tote ($3): 2 available, pink webbing handles with 9" drop, unlined.  You may not live in Davidson, but you can't beat the price for a sturdy tote! 

Davidson, NC tote ($3): 2 available, same as above, but with gray wool handles. 
Gray Wool and Leather bag ($8): SOLD! leather handles with 8" drop, lined with red flannel, gently used.  Use as a small purse or to keep your knitting supplies handy.  

Boat Tote ($12): lined with fusible fleece, gray wool handles with 4" drop, embroidered with a sailboat drawn by yours truly.  Pack your lunch in it or use it as you would a canvas bin to corral toys and such.  

Navy Pear Day Bag ($15): SOLD! large sling style bag in navy linen with a hot pink pear embroidered on the front. A day bag is just what it sounds like- big enough to carry everything you need for the day!  Also makes a great travel bag or diaper bag.   
Patchwork Purse ($12): fan shaped purse with short, braided handles.  Lined with blue and khaki stripe.  
Sparkle Zipper Pouch ($7): SOLD! 9" x 6" size, perfect for travel or to throw in your purse.  Perhaps your Patchwork Purse?  
Green Zipper Pouch ($6): green canvas outer with pink embroidered pear, lined with navy and pink polka dots, great for travel. 

Yellow Boat Day Bag ($8): SOLD! large sling style bag in yellow linen with a navy blue sailboat embroidered on the front.  Gently used.  One interior divider and a snap closure.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

a big year

Oh!  Hello, there.  Just stopping in to see if someone else is magically updating my blog....

No?  Hmmm... I guess I'd better get back to it then.

We're only six weeks into the year, yet somehow it feels like six months.  We've traveled to Virginia and Georgia.  We've had a couple rounds of house guests.  Arthur has learned to write his name.  I've made what feels like 100 bow ties (it may actually be 100 bow ties- I just don't have time to count them all).

There are entire years when it seems like nothing notable happens.  I vaguely remember those years, but we sure haven't had one in a while and I don't think there's any way 2015 will fall into that category.  It's going to be a big year.  

Some things I'm excited about in February-

Valentine's Day is this weekend!  If you're a regular around here, you know that I love Valentine's Day.  We've got big plans for a morning coffee date and our usual family dinner by the fireplace. In a burst of precious-ness, Arthur asked me to sew a heart onto his red shirt for his class party today. I know- just when I think I can't love that kid any more, he goes and requests a heart shirt.

I'm showing off my new spring bow ties in the Vintage Charlotte Wedding show on the 23rd!  The newest ties are all listed in the shop and I'll continue to post pictures of them here on the blog as well. 

Also- Downton Abbey.  What a treat to have something fun to watch every cold Sunday night, cuddled up with Steve under our red plaid blanket.  

It has felt especially cold here this week and I've been craving super hot food.  If you're looking for something tasty to whip up for your Valentine, may I suggest Creamy Tomato Chicken Chowder or Cranberry Pot Roast over Cheesy Grits?   These are two of our absolute favorite winter meals and I'm trying to squeeze them both in again before spring!

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


Today is my first regular work day in three weeks.  As a result, the mailbox is crammed full of packages, my outstanding order list is so small that it fits on one page, and I've dreamed up at least eight new projects.  

Oh, the danger of too much time.  

I will admit that I felt a twinge of separation anxiety when I dropped Arthur off at school this morning.  He just looks so small there.  I think that I'm not used to seeing him untethered like that. At home, he's always attached to some truck or bike, or my legs.  In public, we have him by the hand or he's in the shopping cart.  But he's shy in the mornings at school, so he stands exactly in the middle of the classroom while his teacher tries to converse with him.  He stares at the floor and he's a little island and I have to leave without looking back or else I'd gather him up for another goodbye kiss. By the end of the day, he's running and shrieking on the playground, so happy to be there.  And I, of course, am happy I left him.  The time apart is good for us both and these ties won't sew themselves.  

Christmas Morning.  The first and only time the new bike will be in our house.  And yes, we do have traffic cones inside- thank you for asking.  

My thoughts have been all over the place about this new year we're in, but I keep coming back to one thought, one word, really.  


Move forward, look forward, lean forward.  Steve and I have kind of a running joke about leaning forward because one time when I was very sick, I mentioned that I had to lean forward to give myself enough momentum to get up the stairs.  But it's not a bad analogy for many spots in life- things get rough, just lean forward.  

I'm excited to look ahead and not behind.  Whatever last year was or wasn't, this new year will be something completely different.  

Speaking of completely different... I found this picture on the camera today and feel like it really sums up a lot of what I love about Arthur and Steve- that one of them was vacuuming shirtless and the other was snapping pictures of it.  Brilliant.  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

the last few moments

Hi friends!  I'm just checking in once more before the end of the year.  We have had lots of visitors (and are expecting my brother tonight!), but enjoyed a quiet Christmas day at home.  One of my favorite parts of Christmas morning was that Arthur wanted to read each book he opened before opening any other presents.  It made the few gifts we had stretch out throughout the morning and I loved that he was interested in appreciating each one before dashing on to the next.  

This afternoon, I'm finishing up a few orders and enjoying the smell of the Cranberry Pot Roast I have going in the oven.  It's chilly outside and I'm wishing for snow.  I hope that you enjoy the last few moments of the year- meet you back here in January!

Friday, December 19, 2014

we celebrate

In the midst of all the Christmas hubbub, Arthur turned four this week.  We celebrated at his school, we celebrated at home with a few friends, we celebrated just the three of us.  

His favorite part, hands down, was the cake.  He helped make it, which I think may have been more exciting than actually eating it.  

This week, we also celebrate ten years since that night at the tree where Steve asked me to be his wife.  Every time I think of it, I'm just so glad he asked.  

The holidays are a tricky time of year.  Every joy seems greater, but so too does every sorrow.  Some of the disappointments of the year that I thought I had shaken have come back to hit me full force and I find myself grieving all over again.  We lost Steve's grandmother this week, one of our very favorite people.  We have alternated between remembering her with stories, and sitting in disbelief that there won't be any more.  The troubles of family and friends weigh on me and I wonder about why it seems that some people are given more than their fair share.  

And yet, we celebrate.  Life moves forward, and there are still so many things to find joy in.  

                       He did not wait
                       till hearts were pure.  In joy he came
                       to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
                       To a world like ours of anguished shame
                       he came, and his Light would not go out.

                                            -Madeleine L'Engle


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