Tribal Necklaces for YOU (or ME)

My clothing choices tend to be in the black, white and denim palette. But my jewelry tends to be large colorful statement pieces. I've always loved the adornment traditions of the Masai, Ukrainian folk jewelry, rural Tibet, India, Native American and other tribal communities.  Etsy is the best place to find amazing pieces, so I did a little "shopping" this weekend - on the hunt for the perfect tribal-ethnic-statement necklace. Here are some of my favorites intermingled with inspiration photos! Enjoy.

Find it HERE

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE.

Find it HERE.

Linen Clothing for a Hot Summer

A little sewing inspiration as I sit down this week to make myself a few linen tunics and possibly a dress. Nothing I make will look as cute as these, but a girl can dream, right? Wish me luck!

Kantha Clothing

Last summer, I found a marvelous Kantha cloth at Tuesday Morning. I thought I would use it on the end of my bed or as a curtain, but instead, I think I'd like to make a coat or a vest. Take a look at the beautiful designs below. I love statement pieces like these!


Alicia Vikander in 'The Danish Girl'

Last weekend, I had an opportunity to see Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl. The film is gorgeous and I think the performances are stellar. I wish the script dove a little deeper, but I can absolutely appreciate the intent of the author and director. The Danish Girl is an exquisitely crafted film - the stark Copenhagen apartment location, the Art Nouveau Parisian set decorating, costumes and era-specific details are astonishing to see on the big screen. Alicia Vikander, who plays Gerda Wegener, has the most incredible wardrobe. I think I'm ready to transition my entire closet to turn-of-the-century European attire. Take a look...

And here is the Paris apartment:

Hogarth + Doc Martens = Fun

The favorite rebel shoe of punks past and present is the Doc Marten combat boot. I myself, have owned a few pair. This month, Doc Martens has released a new series in collaboration with Sir John Soane's Museum on Hogarth's most famous art series, "A Rakes Progress". I love the satchel, but I think I might need the boots! You can see it all HERE.

Hogarth Pascal Boots by Doc Martens

"The Levee" by Hogarth

Hogarth Pascal Boots by Doc Martens

"The Heir" by Hogarth

Hogarth Leather Satchel by Doc Martens

"The Orgy" by Hogarth

Hogarth Collection by Doc Martens

"The Arrest" by Hogarth

This is not a sponsored post. I just love these shoes.

Summer Shift

I'll start by saying this: Dallas in August is uncomfortable. This week, we'll hit 108 degrees and the humidity is off the charts. It makes a girl want to crawl into an air conditioned closet and wait it out. This is most keenly felt when it comes to fashion. So here are my summer dress picks for August in Texas. (I guess it's time to start sewing!)

What do I really want to wear?

I'm not interested in wearing anything in my closet. When I wake up in the morning, my first thought is, "Great! Which ill fitting, awkward outfit do I want to wear today?" Well, no more! I'm tired of looking at my weird mix of clothing, agonizing over what to wear and then wearing the same old jeans and cardigan.

This weekend, I'm having a closet sale for my neighborhood. I have some really lovely stuff, but it's just not for me. As part of my capsule wardrobe project and my sewing aspirations, I'm getting rid of everything I don't love, wear or fit into right now. That means most everything in my closet is going to go. There's nothing like a clean slate to get your inspirational juices flowing. Selling my entire wardrobe is step one. Step two is answering the following question: What do I really want to wear?

Well, it goes a little something like this...

Trying a "Capsule Wardrobe"

While I was at the Texas Style Council Retreat in Austin last month, I met minimalist fashion blogger and fellow journaler, Caroline Rector. Caroline is the brains behind Un-Fancy, a blog which grew out of a desire and need to simplify her life. Every three months, she creates a capsule wardrobe consisting of 37 pieces. She wears only these 37 pieces of clothing for the entire season. Want to learn more about what, exactly, a capsule wardrobe entails? Read HERE.

Caroline's fashion philosophy really speaks to a girl like me. I'm walking the Radical Homemaking path, which of course values simplicity and waste reduction. But I also have a small closet, which is currently full of clothing I don't wear. So today, inspired by Caroline's initiative, I'm going to pare down my wardrobe. It will be easier to decide what to wear and I'll have more breathing space in my closet. The clothing that doesn't make it into this season's capsule will either be stored away for another season or donated. Wish me luck! I'll report back when I'm done.

Clea Pipe Clothes Rack from Cost Plus World Market

Favorite Necklace of All Time

For the past three months, I've been wearing one necklace non-stop. It has truly become a part of me. It was a gift from the ever talented Rachel Anderson of One Man's Trash. Rachel is based in Austin, TX and while I have many of her pieces - most of them lush, layered statement necklaces - her PatchworkTassel Necklaces are my new favorite.

The photos below were taken by Chelsea Laine Francis, the effervescent photographer who covered the Texas Style Council CAMP retreat last weekend in Austin. She snapped these as we arrived at our cabins. I was wearing my Tassel Necklace with a silk cowl scarf I knit for myself last year. Thanks to Chelsea for getting such great shots!

Rachel has a few more of these beauties left in her shop, so get on it! 
Visit her Etsy shop HERE.

Moody Blues

Whenever I'm feeling moody and a little on edge, I have this enormous urge to dye my hair blue. I thought as I grew older, had children, bought a house, and stopped living moment to moment, this compulsion for blue hair would go away. But it hasn't. Granted, I've never done it. But I think about it more than I care to admit.

Kind of badass, yes?

Live the Life You Love by Hooked Productions

Hello readers! Today I'd like to introduce you to our newest sponsor, Cari from Hooked Productions. She and her partner, Brenden, run a sustainable clothing company from Upstate New York. They created Live the Life you Love as a means of inspiring everyone to live deeply and enjoy all life’s moments. They hope their work serves as a gentle reminder to live happier, active, and healthier lives, to chase your dreams, blaze the path, and joyfully explore the glorious world at your feet or across the ocean.

I'm thrilled to have Live the Life You Love as a sponsor this month - and just in time for the Christmas gift giving season. Visit their website for beautiful skirts, leggings, tee-shirts, hoodies, jewelry and more.

An interview with Cari of Hooked Productions:

1) What does your perfect day look like? Sleeping late, drinking great coffee, eating organic whole food meals, going on an outdoor adventure, and seeing some great live music.

 2) What is your go-to garment from your line of clothing - that piece that you just cannot live without? My go-to is the Folded Leaf skirt in Black/Charcoal. I can wear it year round. In the summer I wear it a lot with the Vibrating Lotus Scoop and flip flops, and in the Fall/Winter I pair it with our new Shining Star Leggings, any of our bamboo long sleeves and boots. However, I am currently obsessed with our Shadow of the Moon Organic Cotton Hoody, which we just put out, and which I could live in.

 3) What do you love about being a small business owner? Creating our own reality. We are a husband and wife team (with 2 amazing, very active kids) so it is great to be able to run our own ship, have flexibility, be involved in every aspect of our business and our kids lives and be able to create things on a constant basis. It has its challenges, self employment is not for the weak at heart, but it works well for us. I wouldn't do it any other way, I don't think I could.

 4) Talk to me a bit more about your company's green efforts in terms of materials, sustainability and social integrity. We have always tried to use the best practices we can. We use a lot of bamboo and organic cotton. Our bamboo is sustainable and uses the most eco friendly process available. We are starting to use recycled polyester (mostly in blends) which is made from recycled water and soda bottles. I think this so cool and great at so many different levels. Our printing process is environmentally friendly, using non phlalate inks and using soy based washouts. We are a small business so we have limits as to what we can do but we are constantly searching/striving for better. We are currently manufacturing as much as we can in the US and always looking to be able to do more here, as importing from elsewhere leaves a large mark on our environment and economy.

Vibrating Lotus Tee

Folded Leaf Skirt

Lotus Circle Tee

Here is a photo of Cari and Brenden living the life they love!
You can learn more about them and their clothing company HERE.

Cross Back Apron Dress

I would love something like this for my work in the kitchen and garden.
When I return home to my sewing machine in September, I'll get right to work!
Of course, THESE are still on my to-do list as well.



Final Dress | Sense & Sensibility

Tonight is our final dress rehearsal for Sense & Sensibility at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. We begin preview performances for paying audiences at the beginning of next week! Here's a look at my costumes for the show:

I cannot tell you how much fun it is to have a beautiful period costume, created from the ground up, just for me. Even my wedding dress didn't fit this well! The designers, artisans and crafts-people in the costume shop at USF are mind-bogglingly talented. This show is going to be so beautiful. Wish us luck!

And here is a production shot from last night's rehearsal:

Pictured with me are Bri Sudia (center) and Cassandra Bissell.

A Straw Hat for Gardening

Last night I dreamt I was weeding in a beautiful potager garden. The soil was moist and dark, the plants strong and green. I had a little belt type apron with shears and a ball of string. As I weeded, I noticed stalks that needed staking. I'm not a dream interpreter, but perhaps I'm just missing my garden this summer. I have left my garden in the hands of capable friends, but I long to get my hands dirty. 

The best part of my dream was that I was wearing a fabulous straw gardening hat. It had a nice structure that kept the brim stiff and wide, but the straw was soft and gave way around my head. I don't have a gardening hat. My only real garden hat is too floppy to sufficiently protect my neck and shoulders from the Texas sun. I would, however, take any of the following garden hats.




Regency Era Fashion

I'm currently in rehearsals for a staged adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Yesterday, I had a fitting in the costume shop and had an opportunity to see the shape and feel of the dresses I'll be wearing in this production. I haven't had a dress built for me in decades. It's a luxury to stand in front of a skilled designer and a team of talented craftspeople who are creating a dress perfectly suited to your own size and shape. Dreamy.

For all of you Austen buffs out there, I am playing Lady Middleton - a small role largely unregarded by readers. She is the wife of Sir John and the daughter to the more lively Mrs. Jennings. While she wasn't a large enough presence to make it into the Ang Lee film version (1995), she is nevertheless, an important part of establishing the story's social order. I love her. And mostly, I can't wait to wear her dresses! The following regency era fashion plates are French rather than English, but you get the idea.

"Know your own happiness.
Want for nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name:
call it hope."

-Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility

Summer Dresses

It's really hard for me to find a short dress that works for my body shape. I'm six feet tall and round through the hips, which means that most dresses are too short and the proportions are off. But instead of mourning my inability to wear something breezy and stylish, I think I'll just make my own. I've got a sewing machine and there is no reason I shouldn't at least give it a try. Here are some styles I want to model my patterns after.

All of these can by found HERE.

Rings | LuxDivine

Before I had kids, I used to wear a fistful of chunky rings on each hand. Why did I stop? I can't remember. Perhaps they got caught on hair or got in the way of a fast diaper change. Whatever the reason, I think its time to reinstate my oversized ring wearing habits. I'm in love with these gorgeous pieces from LuxDivine. Oh my oh my. I want them all!

And their arm wraps are gorgeous as well!