Have you ever stopped to think about how many of the words we use daily are actually military terms that have sifted down into everyday use? Words such as ‘khaki”, which now means a dull greenish tan colour, but originated from the Persian word for “dust” that was used to describe the uniforms of the soldiers stationed in the Middle East. Or the word “alarm” which originally came from the Italian phrase “all’ arme!” meaning “to arms!” The phrase “top brass” refers to a person of authority. There is debate about where the term came from, but it most likely originated because of the brass insignias officers wear to denote rank. Or even the term “navy blue”, which again hearkens back to the colour of the uniforms worn by the British Navy.
This all may seem rather unrelated to anything, but I started thinking about this when I wrote a note to myself to remember this outfit. I wrote: “Navy Dress/ Red Coat” which immediately called to mind, of course, the Navy and the Red Coats, (a slang term for the British Army). Completely by accident, this outfit I wore last week is even rather military inspired. The buttoned red velvet jacket, the fluffy navy blue hat, and even the touches of brass jewellery. I’ve got a bit of both the Army and the Navy showing through in this outfit, so of course a military/exploration inspired photo shoot was in order. There’s nothing I love better than a good theme. 😉 I wish I’d had a flag I could have posed with, to mark the territory I conquered, but as I didn’t, you’ll have to make believe with the walking stick I grabbed off of an obliging dead tree, the binoculars I used to spy out enemy territory, and this decrepit old bunker I have claimed as mine. All done while being fashionably attired of course. 😉
‘Tis the season to . . . organize! I don’t know what it is about a new year, but I just get the itch to organize and declutter and get rid of everything. I’ve never really bothered with “Spring Cleaning”, but New Year’s cleaning? Oh yes! Maybe it’s because we are pulling all the Christmas decorations down already, and if you are going to the effort of cleaning up after the holidays, it isn’t that far of a stretch to start cleaning up other areas too. I was a bit late this year to get to my regular organizing habits, as I was traveling the first week of the New Year, but last week I was able to finally get around to doing some much neglected organizing.
I was originally going to do a wardrobe declutter, but as I went through my entire closet and found only two sweaters that I no longer needed, I thought that would not be a very exciting blog post! Thus, I turned my attention to my jewellery collection. One of my “style resolutions” this year, is to wear all of the things that I own, and never seem to get around to wearing. One of the major things on that list is my jewellery collection. I have necklaces and bracelets given to me for Christmas last year (as in 2015), that I have never worn. 🙁 This is obviously ridiculous, and I decided that I needed to do something about that. One of the main reasons why I don’t wear much of my jewellery is because it was such a mess. If I can’t see things at a glance, I forget that I have them when I go to choose accessories, and I always end up grabbing the same old things over and over again. Am I lazy when it comes to getting dressed? Yes. Yes I am.
Thus, the first step to start wearing more of my pieces, was to do some jewellery organizing in order to make it easier to see what I have. I also remembered to take pictures, so you can see what I unearthed along the way. . .
About 10 years ago, I made this jewelry organizer with an old picture frame, some cotton fabric and a glue gun. Over the years it has proved invaluable as an organizing solution for my ever growing collection of jewellery. Back when I first made it, I sewed 3 pretty buttons across the top (to hold 3 necklaces) and pinned a few brooches along the sides. Well, since then, my jewellery collection hoard has more than doubled in size and this organizer has gotten quite unorganized. What a mess. (This is not all of what I have. I also have two small jewellery boxes for pieces that cannot hang on this frame, and one large one for all of the sparkly special occasion jewellery I don’t wear very often.) As you can see, there are so many items overlapping each other, and all jumbled together that it was nearly impossible to take them off and wear them, let alone find them in the first place!
The first step was to take all of the items off of the board, and then sort through each piece to evaluate whether it needed to go back onto the frame, or whether it was time to pass it on, fix it or store it somewhere else. I decided that this frame is where I want to put my “everyday” jewellery, and the special occasion items can be stored elsewhere.
For some, these would classify as “special occasion” earrings, but I love to wear these sparkly earrings everyday. I’ve only owned them for a little over a year, but they have already proven to be invaluable accessories. I wear them all the time, as they give a nice bit of bling to an outfit. Thus, they were all given permission to go back on the frame.
My collection of brooches has grown quite a bit lately. I love brooches, but seldom wear them as I am often afraid of them putting holes in my clothes. (I’ve had blouses ruined before from brooches). However, recently I have started wearing them more on my berets, as well as pinning them to my wool coats, so they are definitely getting more wear. I like all of these- some of them are gifts, like the artist’s palette, which was given to me by Jessica. Some, like the goose, I’ve had since I was a child. Others, like the pink basket, are passed down from my Great Grandma. The buckle, I would like to try wearing as a scarf slide, and the stick pins, I would like to try as hat pins once my hair gets a bit longer. Thus, I like each of these pieces and am willing to give them a place on my frame.
One of my favourite things to wear, are pendants on long chains, and I have a lot of them. However, I was not wearing many of these, mainly because the chains were all jumbled on the frame, so I always grabbed whichever one was on the top. Also, some of the pendants didn’t have proper loops, so it was difficult to put them on the chains and I always passed them by. I have now added proper loops to all of the pendants, and have given each chain and pendant their own place on the frame. This way all I have to do is grab and go.
These are my “statement” earrings. I used to wear big earrings 90% of the time, but for some reason I have started to gravitate away from them. I never reach for these more “earthy” pieces, even though I do still really like them. I have placed them on the frame, and have made a note to try to reach for these pieces first, when planning an outfit. Hopefully I will get more wear out of the them now, but if I find, after a while, that I don’t wear them anymore, I will pass them on. It’s OK to change your style over time.
These are all pieces that were on the frame, but really didn’t need to have such a prominent place. I only wear the Christmas pieces . . . well at Christmas! So, they don’t need to be on display year round. The necklaces and earrings I’ve had since I was probably 10, and I never wear them anymore. However, they hold memories, so I want to keep them. The lion pin I bought at a theatre production of “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe”. It is more of a souvenir than an accessory. So, all of these pieces are going to go into my little jewellery box, where they will be safe, but not taking up valuable display space. And, come next Christmas, I’ll know where to find them. 🙂
These are all pieces that I don’t wear, because they are broken. Leaving them in my room is obviously not the right place for them to be, as some of them have been broken forever, and I always forget to fix them. The earrings needed cleaning. The ring needed to be glued back together. The gold chain needed to be re-looped as it hung crookedly. The butterfly’s antenna needed to be straightened etc. I took all of the pieces and have since fixed them, (or am going to bring them to the jeweller’s for repair) and I am now able to wear them again. Fancy that!
And here are the jewellery pieces, and other interesting things I found, that are not going back onto the display. A random blue flower, (I have no idea why this was on there) some coins and a key. These are not jewellery, and do not need to be on display here. The pink flower and feathers are hair accessories, so they can go elsewhere. The owl is adorable, but not a colour scheme I ever wear, so I gave him to my sister (who loves owls). An earring that has no pair (and makes me cry every time I see it, as those were my favourite earrings!) The rest of the pieces are just not my style anymore, so I also passed them on.
After sorting through and deciding which pieces were keepers and which I was giving away, I put each of the items back on the frame (or into the other assorted jewellery boxes). I have now organized the jewellery by type (all the brooches together, chains together, earrings etc.) Each piece has it’s own place, and hopefully now will not turn into a messy disaster within the week!
I am so much happier with how this looks, and how neat and tidy it is. Already I have been purposefully grabbing pieces to wear for my “style resolution”, and I think that I am going to be much better this year about wearing the things I have. Being able to see the majority of my jewellery at a glance is so invaluable to my dressing routine. Now I can be as lazy as I want to with choosing accessories, because it is all right there at my fingertips 😉
So, have you made any “style resolutions” for 2017? How do you store your jewellery, and what are your jewellery organizing tips? Do you find yourself wearing the same old pieces all the time, or are you pretty good at branching out and wearing everything you have?
Christmas Day, we woke up to a fresh new coating of powdery white snow. I had been hoping for fresh snow for the holidays- as there is just nothing like a White Christmas, is there? We did already have snow on the ground, but the dead grass was poking through in areas, creating an effect that was not as picturesque as Christmas should be. 😉 Thus, I was very glad to wake up to snowflakes floating softly down; the world fresh and white, and quiet with the muffled softness that comes with a fresh snowfall. It was most definitely Christmas card worthy.
Of course, with snow comes colder temperatures as well, but it is a worthwhile tradeoff, I think. It’s going to be cold anyways, come winter, so we might as well get a pretty snowfall out it, right? Last winter was so mild, that I hardly had a chance to wear my winter coats, so even though I haven’t been exactly enthusiastic about the colder temperatures, at least I am able to give my winter coats several outings. Like most people, I used to have one winter coat, one summer coat, and one in between coat. Then one day, I decided that sometimes one coat doesn’t work with every outfit, and that when you live in a cold climate, it is perfectly OK to own multiple coats, if you’d like to. So, I currently now own three winter coats, am in the process of sewing another, and am constantly on the look out for a 40’s/50’s fit and flare style wool coat. And I borrow this coat of my mom’s whenever I can. My mom bought this gorgeous leather coat years ago, and though it doesn’t get much wear, it is so beautiful that I love to borrow it when the occasion permits. The collar is silver fox and is also detachable- but I always wear it with the fur, as it is so much more elegant that way. It was the perfect thing to wear for Christmas day- as I was already going with a black and grey colour scheme, as shown in my last outfit post. Apparently, whenever I pair black and grey I somehow end up with a completely monochromatic outfit?
You may notice, (if you are looking that closely at this outfit!) that I am wearing different tights in this post, than I was in the last. I decided last minute to wear these fun polka dot tights instead of my white ones, and I think they add just the perfect amount of whimsy to an otherwise plain outfit, that could’ve easily turned into a rather boring one. I think the beetle brooch also keeps things fun. I don’t particularly like insects or arachnids, but I do own a spider brooch and now this beetle brooch. I prefer my bugs to have rhinestones on them, I guess 😉 I saw this brooch a couple of weeks before Christmas, and pointed it out to my family as a “great gift idea”. I didn’t think that anyone would get it for me, but when I opened my gift on Christmas morning, lo and behold, there was the beetle brooch! I couldn’t wait to wear it, so I pinned it on my beret, and it was the perfect finishing touch to my Christmas day outerwear.
Did you have a White Christmas where you live, or do you have snow on the ground now? Do you like to borrow clothing from family or friends? What do you think about the beetle brooch (or other insect jewelry)? Would you wear insect related jewelry like this, or does that thought gross you out?
When you decide to throw snow, make sure you take note of which way the wind is blowing and throw accordingly. Otherwise, you might end up coating yourself in a lovely cold frosting, see picture left. The second try, see picture right, I made sure to toss the snow out, not up.
Remember that rime frost that I posted back in November? Well, these pictures were taken the very next day. One day the cold fog blew in and froze the world into a beautiful sparkling white wonderland, and the next, the sun came out from behind the clouds and melted it all away.
Rarely have I seen as beautiful sight as a bright sky blue backdrop behind frosty white trees glittering in the sunlight. I was glad when I noticed that the sun was peeking out that day, because by the end of the day, the frost had completely melted off, and we were left with bare branches again. But we didn’t have the bare branches for long, as the area I live in is very foggy, so we are always guaranteed some good winter frosts. In fact, the frost blew in a couple of days ago and the world is encased in sparkling diamonds again. I don’t think the frost will melt off for quite a while either, as we are currently in very cold temperatures (-30 degrees Celsius right now!) so unless there is a strong wind, it’s going to last for a while. In weather like this, I’m happy to look out my window and enjoy the view, without feeling the need to brave the cold in order to get some photographs! Photos would be nice but. . . 😉