Blogging 101: How to Coordinate With Your Surroundings

Blogging 101: How to Coordinate With Your Surroundings, the artyologist, feature image

I really must be a blogger now.

Not only did I choose this outfit simply because I wanted to coordinate with the background of the fall colours, but I actually changed into this outfit, went out to take photos of it, came home and changed out of the outfit, and then wore it some days later. So, yeah, these photos are essentially staged.

But you have to take advantage of beautiful surroundings for photos when you can, right? If I had waited until the day I was going to actually wear this outfit, all the leaves would have fallen off of the trees, or it would have been snowing, or something . . . 🙂 I did wear this outfit, to a fall-time “corn roast” with my church. It was the perfect thing to wear as it is “outdoorsy” enough, and with the scarf, I was warm, but the shirt, trousers and boots give the look a “vintage lady explorer” feel. Or, at least that’s what I feel like when I wear it anyways. Do you ever feel as though you “put on” a mood or a character when you dress in a certain way?

I’ll add a note about the background for these photos. Though these photos are “staged”, my sister and I were already planning to go out hunting for some fall leaves to take pictures of, when we did these, and we stumbled across the Eighth Wonder of the World while we were doing so. These pictures seriously don’t do justice to the beauty that we found in this hidden little valley. It was spectacular, and it is only about five minutes away from where we live, down a little country lane! I didn’t even know that this little ravine was there, as you can barely see it from the road. I wanted to go down the hill and go exploring, but of course we didn’t, as we didn’t want to trespass, so we contented ourselves with the few photos we did get by the road, enjoyed the fall sun shine, the golden glowing leaves and the beautiful view. It was definitely an amazing place, and I can’t wait to go back later, to see how it has changed with the changing of the seasons.

Have you found any pretty hidden places recently that you didn’t know about? And, have you ever “staged” or coordinated outfit photos before? 🙂

Outfit Details:

Cream Wool Beret: Sears, from many years ago

Faux Leather Jacket: Hand-me-down from my Aunt

Yellow Cashmere Scarf: My brother brought back for me from Nepal

Navy Twill Trousers: Home sewn, Burda 7122

Floral Shirt: Thrifted

Boots: Thrifted

Owl Necklace: Gifted

Earrings: From years ago

Blogging 101: How to Colour Match your surroundings, entire outfit, the artyologist

How to Colour Match Your Surroundings, trees-and-outfit, the artyologist

How to Colour Match Your Surroundings, hidden valley, the artyologist

How to Colour Match Your Surroundings, among the trees the artyologist

Blogging 101: How to Colour Match Your Surroundings, no jacket outfit, the artyologist

How to Colour Match your Surroundings, the artyologist, necklace and trees

Please notice that not only does my outfit coordinate with my surroundings, but the necklace coordinates with the buttons on the shirt. How matchy-matchy!

How to Colour Match Your Surroundings,among the aspens, the artyologist

Hints to Help You Make Do and Mend

Hints To Help You Make Do and Mend, the artyologist

October is Slow Fashion and Fair Trade month, and although I haven’t taken part until now, I didn’t want to let the month pass without contributing my voice to the discussion going on around the internet. When I originally planned to write this post, I thought that this week’s prompt was “long worn”. Apparently I got my weeks mixed up though, as this week’s prompt is actually “handmade”. Oops. Well, I guess this post will not only be long worn, but long overdue as well. 😉 The term “long worn” refers to the clothes that are already in existence, here on our planet, and how we can make the most of them. I thought that this would be a great time to share some of the garment care tips that I have picked up over the years, that will help to increase the longevity of your clothing, as well as including a few tips from the reprinted copy of Make Do and Mend that I purchased last year while in England. (I’d been wanting to get my hands on one for ages!)

Taking care of the clothes that you already own is a great first step to creating a conscious wardrobe, and there are so many simple things you can do to increase the life of your clothing. It is really only in the last 10-20 years that our society has drifted into a more “throwaway” attitude towards what we wear. Mending, altering, maintaining and preserving your clothing is actually a rather “vintage” way of looking at your closet, which is evidenced by the ingenuity of people during the Great Depression, and the rationing years of the Second World War (which is when the pamphlet Make Do and Mend was published). So, without further ado, here are some helpful hints for caring for your clothes, and some excerpts from the book Make Do and Mend. (excerpts are indicated by “italics“)

Wearing:

  • Wearing scarves when you wear a coat keeps the collar off of your neck, to keep it clean longer. Instead of having to continually wash your coat, you can simply wash the scarf instead.
  • Wearing slips, undershirts and underarm shields can help to keep your clothes cleaner for longer. We tend to wash our clothes more than is actually necessary, and constant washing shortens the life of your clothing. By extending the period of time between washes, you can significantly increase the life of your garment. By keeping your skin away from direct contact with garments, especially delicate ones, they don’t soil so quickly. Just make sure to remove the shields before putting away your garments
  • It is best to wear clothes in turn, as a rest does them good. Shoes too are better for not being worn day after day.” This gives them a rest, and a chance to completely dry out. It is also better for your feet, as it prevents them from rubbing too much in one spot etc.
  • “Always change into old things, if you can, in the house, and give the clothes you have just taken off an airing before putting them away.” 

Hints to Help You Make Do and Mend, the artyologist, essential tools

Storing:

  • If you are going to be storing a garment for any length of time, such as off season coats, it is nice to cover them with a garment bag, so they don’t collect dust and dirt while in storage. That way, when it comes time to wear them again, you won’t need to clean them first.
  • Hang delicate garments on padded hangers to protect the shoulders from stretching out of shape. “A hanger that is too narrow will ruin the shape of the shoulder and may even make a hole.” It is also a good practice to store clothing off of hangers, as hanging garments long-term can distort them.
  • “Do up all fastenings before hanging clothes. This helps them to keep their shape. And see that the shoulders are even on the hangers and not falling off one side.”
  • “Put away clothes in the condition in which you will want to wear them when you take them out again. Make quite sure they are absolutely clean; dirt attracts clothes’ moths.” (And who wants to wash clothes first thing when you take them out again?)

Cleaning:

  • Deal with stains and spills right away. Taking a few moments to wash out a stain as soon after it happens as possible, is much better than waiting until you do laundry only to find that the stain won’t wash out.
  • If a garment is not dirty enough to need a washing, you can deodorize by using vodka. This is a practice that is still used today in theatre costumes (according to my friend who is an actress). For a garment such as a blazer or a delicate item, which is not easily washed, simply turn the garment inside out, spritz the inside (especially the underarms) with vodka, and then leave until dry. This neutralizes any odours, and keeps your garments smelling fresh without having to constantly wash them. (I suppose you could use rum instead of vodka, but then you might smell like a pirate! 🙂 Don’t worry, the vodka leaves no scent, so you won’t smell like alcohol.)
  • Washing your clothes in a delicate, cold wash, is easier on them than hot water. Also, air drying your clothes, rather than putting them through the dryer, extends their life. This is especially true for knits (such as t-shirts, sweaters, or jeans with Lycra in them.) Dryers are extremely hard on stretch fabrics.
  • It is better to hand wash your sweaters, so they don’t stretch out of shape. Use a gentle soap, rinse, and then lay them flat to dry. By hand washing your knits, you will help to avoid the dreaded pilled sweater! Putting your sweaters through the washing machine, even on a delicate cycle, leads to pilling. Although you can fix (some) pilling, it is easier to just avoid it in the first place.

Hints to Help You Make Do and Mend, the artyologist, tools for mending

Mending:

  • Fix places where seams or hems have come undone, or buttons are loose. It is so much easier to fix right away, than waiting until it turns into a much bigger problem. “Watch for thin places, especially in the elbows of dresses, seams of trousers, heels of socks and stockings. Reinforce a thin spot with a light patch on the inside. Choose material that is strong but rather lighter in weight than the original material. Scraps of net darned lightly inside thin heels of stockings make an excellent repair. If you have to patch or darn and have no matching material or thread, sacrifice a collar, belt or pocket if it is merely ornamental, or unravel a thread from the seam. You could unravel the pocket of a knitted garment to provide thread for a darn, and a patch made from a matching belt may save a frock from the bits and pieces bag. You can replace the belt with one of contrasting colour.”
  • “Always carry a needle and cotton and mending silk with you- this will save many a ladder in stockings or prevent the loss of buttons; your friends will thank you too. How many times have you heard someone say, “Has anyone got a needle and cotton?”
  • Take care of the pills on your knits with a sweater shaver. Nothing looks nastier, and cheaper, than a pilled sweater! It is amazing what a shaver can do for making things look fresh. One of the winter coats I got from a coworker came to me in terrible condition (it looked as though she had thrown it through the wash) and I wasn’t sure if it could be saved, but I used a sweater comb, and now the wool looks brand new!
  • Keeping your leather shoes and purses polished, and hydrated with a conditioner of some sort, will keep them from cracking and drying out. Also, they just look nicer. And, of course, if your shoes are past the point where you can do anything with them, take them to the cobbler. Those people work magic! I have had many a pair that I thought were gonners, and they have brought them back to life.

So, there are my tips and tricks for keeping your wardrobe spic-and-span! Would you like to hear more tips from the Make Do and Mend pamphlet? And do you have any garment care tips of your own? Do share!

How to Create a Modern 1920’s Makeup Look

Lipstick:  Mary Kay, True Dimensions (I was not happy with this product either, and have since returned the lipstick.)
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One other note: I was not sponsored in any way for the making of this post (although that would have been nice!) These are all products I have purchased myself, and use daily 🙂 Except for the ones that I didn’t like. 🙁 -Nicole

Helping the Cangiano’s

help the cangiano's

Sometimes you just hear things that make your heart hurt.

This past Saturday, I heard the terrible news that one of my friends, Jessica (of the blog Chronically Vintage, whom I have guest posted for before) lost her home and all of it’s contents in a fire last Thursday. They were only able to get out with a purse, their phones, the clothes on their backs, and their dog (sadly, their cat perished in the fire). I can’t even imagine the hurt that they must be feeling now. Even though we can tell ourselves, “It’s just stuff”, in reality it is so much more than “just stuff”. It is a lifetime that you have been building, and has suddenly been taken away from you. I know that it will be tremendously difficult time for them, as they face rebuilding their lives.

I know that many of my fellow vintage readers will have heard of the news already, but in case you haven’t, I wanted to let all of my readers know so we can keep the Cangiano’s in our prayers, and in our thoughts. There is a facebook page, and a youcaring page set up, in the event that you would like to help them in some way too. Let’s help the Cangiano’s rebuild!

Favourite Internet Finds Friday (How’s That for Alliteration?)

Favourite Internet Finds Friday, the artyologist

For your reading pleasure. . .

As much as I love the past, I would definitely not want to live in any era other than this one. For many reasons, but I would say the main reason is the internet. I could not live without the internet. Well, OK I guess I could. . . but I wouldn’t want to! I love seeing what other people are writing about on the internet, so I thought I would share some of my favourite internet finds I’ve read lately! I hope you enjoy!

  • This article from a while back made me sad, as it details how little has actually been done to improve worker safety in Bangladesh after the 2013 factory collapse, but it has renewed my commitment to doing my part and not slacking in my commitment to fair trade fashion!
  • On that note, this article by the same blog, has some good tips on how to start shopping consciously. Little steps is the key to making it manageable.
  • Emileigh from Flashback Summer has been sharing some excerpts of an interview with Christian Dior in a vintage issue of “Women’s Home Companion”. The articles are an excellent peek into the fashion of the era, and also offer invaluable advice about dressing for short ladies, large ladies, tall ladies and dressing within your budget. She has a couple more posts planned in the next weeks, as it is a six part series. I can’t wait to read the rest of them!
  • Did you know that it is Fair Trade Month, and Slow Fashion October? I must have been living under a rock, as I didn’t know that, until it was already October. . . and really, this sort of thing is right up my alley! Anyways, I found out about it now, and while I still haven’t participated (yet!), it is so encouraging to see so many other people thinking about slow fashion, and how to make it a part of their lives. I’ll probably get around to posting something on instagram one of these days too . . . Are you participating in the official “Slow Fashion” event?
  • These lovely outfits by fellow bloggers, Jessica of Chronically Vintage, Devinne of Mox and Socks, and Nora of Nora Finds are really putting me in the mood for Fall. Which is good, considering that it is Fall. And in fact, now that we have snow here, in good ol’ Alberta. I should be dressing for Winter I guess, rather than Fall. Time for the wool coats. . .
  • I have been listening to the soundtrack of “Far from the Madding Crowd” on repeat since sometime in. . . July? (Whenever it was that I watched the movie). It seriously never gets old. If you go and listen to it, you will have it on repeat too. . . don’t say I didn’t warn you!

So, have you found any good reads lately? And, could you easily live without the internet? Or is it a mainstay in your day to day life?