Stitch Fix Quick Pics: May

How long have I been using Stitch Fix now? I think it’s been about a year. At first, I went back and forth over keeping my service or cancelling it, but they’ve really been sending me some great stuff the past few months, and it’s become my primary way of buying clothes now since I don’t shop nearly as much as I used to (in stores, that is – let’s not kid ourselves I’ve stopped shopping completely).

While my room was set up for photos the other day when I took a bunch of macro florals (I’ll show those in a separate post later) I threw on some of the stuff I’ve gotten from them recently to share here. Keep in mind I didn’t edit these shots except to process them from RAW to JPEG, so they’re not up to my usual standard, but it seems fair to do them that way since it shows the clothes themselves in the closest representation to what they look IRL, rather than adding all my usual bells and whistles. My mug is also SOOC which bugs me a little, but hey, I am willing to suffer for you, people. Oh, and while I was at it, I put on some of my new wigs to change things up in the pics. So here we go.

First up is the Minna Crew Neck Top:

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Minna Crew Neck Top; Gap Authentic Boyfriend jeans; Seville by Noriko wig in Banana Split-LR

The shirt is more orange than it came out in the photo; it’s a true orange and white print, not red-orange. As with pretty much everything SF sends me, I took this out of the box and thought oh HAIL no and started to shove it back in there, but then remembered that I needed to try everything on since those nice people went to all the trouble of packing this stuff up for me and I should least put it on once before casting it off the island. Besides which, I never like anything SF sends me right out of the box, but usually find that I do once I get it on – and this top was another example of that phenomenon. The solid orange sleeves and shirttail are a stretchy jersey knit, which you know I am always a sucker for, and the printed front and back panel are some sort of silky polyester – which usually bugs me as I don’t find it comfortable, but it worked OK here since it was just the bodice and not the whole top. I got it in an extra small, so it was a touch tight in the armpit and chest areas, but not so much that it wasn’t wearable (just a little difficult to get off and on) and it looked great. Put this one down into my ever-growing pile of Stuff I Got From Stitch Fix That I Never Would Have Bought On My Own But Really Like Anyway, because I’ve already worn this top twice and I just got it five days ago. Moving on.

Next up is the Analisse Anorak Jacket:

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Analisse Anorak Jacket; Under Skies shell (also from a Fix I got it a long time ago); Destroyed Wash Straight Leg jeans from Ann Taylor Loft; necklace from Free People; Oprah Wig by Mica for Jessica Lin in Color 6

This jacket came from April’s shipment, but since it was clean and hanging in my closet I decided to show it anyway (I also got a really cute crochet sweater from April’s box that was in the dry clean hamper, so I didn’t show that one). This is a very light rayon jacket that is easy to carry around and throw on when needed; my only complaint is it has all these various ties and zippers and snaps that get annoying and aren’t particularly useful. I never see the point in this MacGuyver-style clothing that can be added to or taken away or converted at random. I get that camping and hiking-style wear has need for all that stuff; but when it’s a faux-outdoors jacket like this one I feel like we’d all be better off if the manufacturer didn’t play like we’re ever going to take this thing camping and leave all the shenanigans alone. I actually cut the waist tie from this one (which could  be used to cinch the waist but I would never wear a jacket that way and the ties were so long it would just come untied every five seconds anyway) and am considering cutting out the one at the bottom because it’s long also and is always banging around my knees – and again, why do I need to cinch the bottom of the jacket, exactly? Exactly. Aside from that ramble, this is nice and light and goes with everything. Love it.

Here’s two pieces put together – the Adam Crochet Detail Top and the Mea Lace Skirt:

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Adam Crochet Detail Top; Mea Lace Skirt; Lucky Brand Fairwayy Sandal (not a typo); Caitlyn wig by Rene of Paris in Coffee Latte

First of all, yes I am over-posing there which makes me look like I’ve twisted my body in some weird way, but whatever. The skirt may be lacy but it’s still casual in style and very comfortable, and an over-the-knee length which means I will actually wear it. I like to have at least a few items like this on-hand that can be dressed up on those very few occasions where I need to do so, but this can also be worn quite casually which is nice. The top was only kept because it goes nicely with the skirt; it’s cute enough but a bit fussy for me, and the cotton fabric isn’t soft or stretchy at all and requires (gasp) ironing, which to me is synonymous with dry-cleaning. It’s also pretty transparent, so although for the photos I didn’t require a cami underneath IRL I will – and there’s this lace panel in the back that hits right where my bra strap would show so that’s another reason a cami is needed. However, it is a cute top and it wasn’t too expensive, and I love me some white tops I can throw on with anything when in a hurry, so it stayed. The sleeves are also a nice touch with the elastic that gives a cute pouf to their 3/4 length.

Oooooh guys, I really love this next one – it’s the Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt:

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Char Geo Print Maxi Skirt; Sweater from Ann Taylor Loft; Braided Circle Scarf Necklace from Nordstrom; barely visible Dayna Point Flat from Free People; Amanda wig by Jon Renau

I got the skirt in my April shipment, and when I saw online that I was getting something called a “geo print” skirt I recoiled in horror. Not exactly my style. But the print is small, and the colors are lovely and spring-y (mint green, soft tangerine, navy blue and white) and it has enough of an A-line that I can actually wear this even though the material is clingy (jersey knit maxi skirts are usually a problem for me). I’ve worn the hell out of this since I got it, although when looking over my photos I realized that the point-toed flats I like to wear with it don’t look nearly as good as I thought they did, since the skirt’s so long all you see are these two little pointy witch feet poking out, and it’s odd. As Cher Horowitz says, always take a photo of your outfits, people, you’d be surprised what you find when you do.

Last but not least is a dress I almost didn’t keep, but my  husband commented that it was pretty, so I changed my mind. My face looked really goofy in this shot and I wasn’t willing to put out the effort it would have taken to photoshop a different head onto my body, so I just cut it off instead. Moving on – it’s the Briar Printed Maxi Dress:

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The color is also reading green here for some reason; the bodice is a true gray and the paisley print is far more green than the light blue it appears, sorryboutit.  The cut on this one is pretty narrow, but I guess my recent weight loss has been significant enough in the hip/thighs that I can actually pull this off. It is a jersey knit (score!) and super-comfortable, and this is another one I started wearing right away.

Now – here’s my one complaint about my recent shipments that I have to mention. Guess what else came in May’s box that I didn’t take photos of or keep? Say it with me people – FREAKING SKINNY JEANS. I have received a pair of skinny jeans at least three more times since begging Stitch Fix to quit sending them to me, and every time they do I have to send them back and miss out on the 25% discount. I am starting to think they are doing it on purpose just to mess with me. Once again I left comments online when checking out, repeating my request to stop receiving them, but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The ones they sent me were a color other than black at least, I’ll give them that after they sent black ones 2 or 3 shipments in a row, but the color was hardly unique – a light faded denim. Plus, they were $160, the most expensive item in my box by far. They fit nicely and were comfortable, but of course I sent those suckers back. So, once again no 25% discount for me since I couldn’t keep the entire Fix. Sigh.

All in all, though, a successful shipment. I continue to wear most of the pieces from SF regularly (except the fabulous jeans I got a year ago that are now way too big), and they’ve certainly been sending me fun boxes of stuff. So, the subscription continues. Now if I can just get them to STOP WITH THE SKINNY JEANS I’ll be all set.

Oh, and if you liked this review and want to sign up for the service, consider using this link so i get credit for it. Until next time!

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Stitch Fix Pics!

I got my latest Stitch Fix today and decided to take more detailed pics of the shipment so you could get an idea of what to expect if you ever sign up.

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It’s a box – YEP.

There’s something about getting these shipments that’s just fun, like getting a birthday present every month – even if you’re someone who already has enough clothes as it is. They do have a nice presentation:

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Your  box has five items, as I mentioned last time, and the items are geared to preferences you specify when you fill out a profile on the Stitch Fix website. Your selections are also made based on feedback you give the company after you receive a “fix” and tell them what you liked and didn’t like about what you received. Since this is my third shipment, the choices have gotten pretty decent.

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Since I also have a close friend with a Stitch Fix profile, we’ve noticed we get the same items in our packages from time to time, but paired with different wardrobe suggestions to better match our profiles (our styles are completely different). This is one way they get more mileage out of the idea of a “fix” consisting of only five items; they make suggestions about how to wear each piece. I pretty much ignore this part of the shipment, but again, it’s a great way to present the clothing:

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You try on the items, pick what you want to keep, then stick everything else into a prepaid shipping bag and drop it off at the nearest USPS mailbox; easy-peasy. If you keep everything, you get 25% off the entire order. There’s a $20 stylist fee for each fix, but you only get charged for that if you send the whole shipment back. If you keep even just one thing, you get to deduct the $20 from the total.

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I even took a pic of the shipping bag; I am nothing if not thorough

As I mentioned last time, you can choose a budget for your shipments so the prices are within a comfortable range for your pocketbook. I started out with a low range and didn’t care for the pieces I received, so I upped it and was much happier with the second batch of clothes. My second fix was around $375 if I kept the whole thing (which I didn’t), this one was considerably lower at $219 (that’s with the 25% discount for keeping it all). Not sure why there was such a difference,  but I get the feeling Stitch Fix’s stock isn’t all that varied (as I said my friend and I are getting a lot of the same stuff in our boxes, just presented with different outfit ideas and often in different colors) so I guess they just do the best they can when it’s time to send your box out (you can be on a set schedule or request fixes at random times – I choose to get them monthly).

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I’d actually requested no more jewelry after what I got in the first shipment (it was a really cheap-looking necklace), but as you can see, one showed up again. I chalk this up, again, to being a bit limited on what they can ship. I have no proof of that, it’s just my suspicion. Coming up with five things once a month can get difficult if you can’t throw a necklace in there every once in awhile. I ended up liking this one anyway, so I kept it.

I also kept the black pants they shipped me; they’re called the Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser, and they have a strange feel to them, almost like ski pants. But even though they’re basically a stretch pant or legging in a thicker material, they’re actually kind of flattering, and I like them. The silk shell here (called the Lydie Crochet Detail Split Neck Silk Blouse) is the one thing I didn’t care for, but if I sent it back I’d lose my 25% off and the total for the items I kept would come to $214; by keeping it and getting the 25% the total came to $219. For only $5 difference in price, I figured I’d go ahead and keep it, see if I ever end up wearing it, or if not just give it someone else. I’m actually not a fan of wearing silk, though, so probably it  will end up in someone else’s closet eventually (and yes, I know I’m making some silly poses here, but accentuating the positives and de-emphasizing the negatives of one’s body for full-length portraits is a bit of a silly art, one I’ve perfected to the best of my ability even if it is a bit ridiculous):

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The shoes are new too but are not from Stitch Fix. They don’t sell shoes.

Up next is a fabulous vest with an aztec print that I love. It’s called the Ashlie Graphic Knit Sleeveless Cardigan, and I admit I was excited about this item before I even opened the box. I’ve learned that as soon as your “fix” ships, you can go the website, check your profile, and see the receipt for all the items in the shipment. Then you can go to Google and type in the item names and find some of them. I found a lot of other bloggers who reported getting this piece in their shipments, so I knew what it was going to look like. But it’s even better in person. I’m also wearing the Adrianna Circle Bib Necklace here, and one of my own t-shirts. The shoes are the Hopewell moccasins I got from Free People a while back and mentioned in a previous post.

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Had to make this outfit twirl a little

OK I had to throw this next outfit in here even though only the pants & necklace are from Stitch Fix. I wanted to show my fabulous new moto jacket, which is from Ann Taylor Loft of all places. Also, if you like that t-shirt, it’s called the Lani California Tunic; it’s nice and long and A-line and has a hi-lo effect that keeps it from being boring. I got it at a little local boutique, then decided I wanted more of them and found a few places online to buy them – you can find it here or here.

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Pardon the goofy pose; who knows how I end up standing the way I do

As you can see, I’m going to get a lot of wear out of these pants even though I never would have tried them out on my own. I’ve mentioned it before, but that’s one of the things I like about Stitch Fix – that the process motivates me to try things I end up liking but never would have given a second glance in a store.

The shirt in this next one is from Stitch Fix; it’s called the Danes Ribbon Trim Tie Neck Top. The jeans were also from Ann Taylor Loft ( I can’t find them on their website anymore or I’d link them), and interestingly are some I normally would have ignored but tried on for the hell of it and ended up liking:

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I’d like the jeans better if they were a darker wash, but they only came in this color and white (I bought the white too). The top is fabulous, and pretty much made for me. I’m not thrilled with the fabric, which isn’t as soft as I’d like, but overall it’s cute as hell and I love it.

Since I was taking photos, I decided to throw a leap into the mix. And while I was at it, I added my new purse into the shot (it’s a Coach I got on sale at Dillard’s last week – yeah, I’ve been shopping a lot lately. I think it’s all the home-repair stress):

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I was too lazy to move furniture out of the way and roll out the backdrop, by the way, but hey, you can see the new carpet. It’s great to jump on. And yes, that’s a random dog toy or two at my feet. At least you know we keep them entertained.

Anyway, that’s the entire fix, and as I already said, I’m keeping the whole thing. I’ve got three days from receipt of the shipment to pay for it, and the opportunity to give more feedback when I do so the stylists can tailor my next shipment accordingly. Not sure why I felt the need to write about this process again, and am less sure why any of you should be interested in reading it, but here it is anyway!

Whee People

Warning: This is a frivolous post about shopping, so if that isn’t your bag you might want to bypass this post. Also, at the end of the post I put a link to every item I discuss here; since I stole Free People’s pictures I figure it’s only fair.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, my friend and I went to the Galleria Friday as a kick-off to summer vacation. She and I have been good friends for about ten years, even though there’s a 14-year difference between us and our lives are pretty different – she has two small children and I, of course, have none, and she keeps very busy and involved in her church and community while I, of course, like to hole up in the house by myself when not at work. But we have a love of shopping in common (among many other things) and we have a definite routine we follow: we like to get to the stores right at 10 AM, and usually break for lunch around 11:30. Then it’s a few more hours of bustling about before we head for home, timing our departure just as the Galleria starts to get crowded. We’ve followed the same pattern for years.

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Chicken pot pie at The Daily Grill, and yes, it is amazing

I’ve been on the prowl for wide-legged pants lately, as I am starting to see them re-appear in fashionable stores and I am quite over the skinny-leg trend at this point (with my pear shape, they’ve never been great on me, but as with all trends I have found ways to make it work). I am what you could call a clothing optimist: there are a lot of cuts and styles that I love even though they are terrible for my body type, and I will continue try those styles on anyway under the assumption that eventually I will find the one or two magical pieces that will look good on me. Pencil skirts are one such style; the cut in no way works on my body type, but after about two years of trying them on repeatedly I found one that actually worked, so I bought it in two colors and was happy. The same goes for maxi dresses and long flowy skirts – not what typically works on my frame, but if I try enough on I’ll eventually find some that work.

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Me in a rare pencil skirt that fits

But back to the wide-legged pant thing, and one of my favorite stores that rarely has anything that looks good on me, but I always try: Free People. I adore their clothes, but if you check out their website, you’ll get a good idea of the body type that works best in their designs – super-tall, cylinder-shaped twentysomethings. I pretty much love every single thing Free People sells, but 94% of it looks horrible on me. Everything is ruffled and pretty shapeless and overly embroidered, but fabulous in its own way. I hit up the Free People store every time we go to the Galleria and drool over everything, but usually only end up buying jackets and tops from them because the dresses and bottoms accentuate my lower half in a non-flattering manner. But again, I am an optimist, so I always try a ton of things on when I go in there. I’ve gotten over feeling ridiculous being a good 15 years older than everyone else in the dressing room, because I trust myself not to buy things that will make me look like a middle-aged woman shopping in a store geared towards teenagers even if that is what I’m doing (and interestingly, checking out the reviews on their website reveals that a lot of middle-aged women do love their clothes. So I’m not alone).

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I own this cardigan in four colors, and it’s amazing

So, in to Free People we go, and my friend sits in a chair while I browse because our tastes are completely different, and she probably wouldn’t be caught dead in anything from that store (I’m a boho kind of dresser, while she is very classic in style). I find several long flowy jacket/tops not too different from the cardigan I posted above, and on my way to the fitting room I spy some wide-legged rayon pants in a rust color with a pretty floral pattern. Both of us commented on how horrible they were going to look on me, but being me, I decided to try them on anyway.

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Lo and behold, they looked fab! When I walked out of the fitting room in them, we were both a little speechless; Candace even appeared afraid to actually say that the pants looked good on me, because it was so unbelievable, but the mirror didn’t lie – the pants looked great. They were baggy, yes, but in all the places I really needed them to be, concealing my flaws without accentuating them. They weren’t overly long, and even though they had slight pleating around the rather wide elastic waist, the pleats weren’t bulging out the hips and making me look larger than I am. And, even though they were in a drape-y fabric (I usually require a sturdier fabric on my lower half) they still looked marvelous. I was in love. Being Free People pants, though, they were not cheap, and neither was the amazing jacket the salesgirl found for me to wear with them, nor the other long flowy top I tried on that was also awesome, but I went ahead and said to hell with it and got everything.

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The jacket I got to match the pants is on the left (but I got it in a cream color), and on the right is the other top I splurged on. I blame Candace; she completely talked me out of putting anything back.

Then we went to lunch, and I did what I always do when I discover a long sought-after item of clothing that works on me – I realized that the pants were so fab I should look them up on the internet to see if they came in any other colors. They did, but they weren’t in stock at the Galleria store, so I ordered them to ship to me. They fit so perfectly that I figure when these wear out (and FP’s clothes do not generally wear out quickly) I can take them to a tailor and have more made, because they are just that awesome.

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The black pair that will be in my possession soon…

I really have no point here except to say that no matter your age, stores to which you are drawn can still have some amazing, unique pieces you can own. It’s well worth a look as long as you are willing to try everything on and be OK with the fact that a lot of it will make you look shapeless and terrible – it’s totally worth it to discover the awesome things that you’ll adore forever. I love the items I’ve bought from FP over the year or two that I’ve been shopping there, and the pieces have all become signature staples in my wardrobe.

Here are a few more pieces I’ve picked up there recently that have become favorites; the poncho was pretty cheap (for Free People anyway) at $48, and even though it was a risky purchase as it felt flimsy as hell and I was half convinced it wouldn’t last three wears, it is still going strong (and I wore it out one day when it was really windy and even Candace mentioned how great it would look in pictures); I’m not going to mention how much the tie-dyed tee-shirt was, because it was pretty ridiculous, but the colors were so unique I had to get it, plus it’s super-soft and I’m a sucker for soft comfy fabric.

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To finish this off, I’ll share one more collage of items I am currently lusting over from the website. If anyone wants to get on my good side, feel free to buy me any one of these things.

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OMG that printed duster! It has to be mine at some point.

And now, here’s a link to everything I posted a picture of in this post:

This Might Be The Most Boring Blog Post Ever

In spite of the predicted thunderstorms, there was no rain to be seen on Saturday; unfortunately by the time I realized I could have taken pictures I was already out shopping and had left the camera at home. So I didn’t get any pictures taken, but I did manage to do some damage to my checkbook.

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Nope, no rain here. This is where I had lunch, by the way.

I actually bought some pretty cool stuff while out and about, and I did try to take photos of some of my new clothes when I got home, but the pics weren’t in the least bit interesting to me, so I didn’t bother to process them. I was shooting in a rush as the sky was getting stormy by the time I got home around 3 PM, plus I tried to shoot in our little brick atrium which turned out to look too cramped and, in spite of using my ExpoDisc, terribly orange. I did process one jump shot before deciding to give up, so I’ll share that here, but even it isn’t all that thrilling:

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I’m wearing a dress I bought while out that afternoon; it was from one of those little boutique stores that carries odd designers you’ve never heard of and would never find anywhere else – mostly overpriced shiny stuff in strange prints and sheer fabrics with polyester linings. The sort of clothing store where broomstick skirts are always in style. But never let it be said that there is a clothing store in the universe in which I cannot find an outfit. This is actually a skirt and top ensemble, and the material is kinda cool and parachute-y and light, plus there’s this dip-dye effect to the skirt so it fades from khaki into a dark olive green.

I also hit up a boutique at the opposite end of the price spectrum and scored a load of cheap, loose-fitting t-shirts and some kelly green jeans, which I’d been desiring since seeing a pair over on Pinterest. I took pics of a pretty cool green-jeans-and-royal-blue-shirt outfit I put together, but was too bored with the shots to process them.

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Enjoy instead this picture of t-shirts.

While hitting up a handcrafted jewelry store next door to Cheap T-Shirt Central, I spied this clever idea for a birdcage decoration, and thought I’d share it with all of my blog readers who might have spare birdcages and strings of lightbulbs sitting around the house, waiting for this to happen:

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I totally know people who would do this.

I may have mentioned this before, but the salon where I get my nails done every two weeks is in a modern town square-like mixed-use facility that includes our city hall and a large Marriott hotel. The grounds in front of city hall hosts all kinds of events on weekends, including movie nights, a yearly American Idol-like singing competition, and Saturday gatherings and festivals. The hotel stays busy with different events which are held in the conference rooms – proms, conferences, and dance/cheer competitions are always going on, and the whole area overall is usually bustling with activity. The area also has a large Indian population, and it is not unusual to at all to see women in colorful saris and men in kurtas around the hotel; on this particular Saturday I managed to capture the tail end (no pun intended) of a baraat as it ended in front of the hotel’s entrance to the conference halls where a wedding was about to begin, which was pretty awesome (as usual, I forgot to hold my phone in landscape position, so the proportions of the video are wonky):

As that was going at the hotel, literally right across from it in front of city hall, this was happening:

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Yep – car show. Complete with blasted-out country-western music and roaring Corvette engines. Only in Texas?

Oh, and a friend of mine has been asking me to take a photo of my hair to see how much it had grown, so I finally got that done. Here you go:

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Glitterbug

I woke up this morning determined to take pics with my new black backdrop, but the truth is I felt inspired by nothing. I’m tired of my costumes, tired of doing my makeup, and tired of posing for portraits and jump shots and whatever else I might pose for. In short, I am tired of myself. Along with learning Photoshop for reals, it is most likely time for me to start working with other models, so I can actualize some of the photographic visions I have in my head that involve locations other than my little studio. I want to be solely behind the camera, and process shots of people other than myself for awhile (by the way, I had some sort of allergy explosion tonight and I am hopped up on Benadryl, so this won’t be the most well-written post I’ve ever created. Sorry).

I have no idea yet how to go about all of this, so this morning I dragged myself to the grocery store to get the week’s shopping done, fully intending to come back home, suit up, and show up for photos even if I was frustrated and bored by the whole prospect. I don’t mind telling you, I was pretty grouchy about all this. I’ve been through it with other art forms as well, but the truth is that trying to create when one is out of inspiration is the pits. But I was determined to keep on shooting.

Then, on the way to grocery store, my best friend called and asked if I wanted to go shopping, and I jumped at the opportunity. She’s my best shopping partner, and I knew going out with her for a day would be way more enjoyable than shooting yet more photos of myself (oh how times have changed, a year ago I would have blown off leaving the house to get more pictures). So, I turned the car around, told my husband I’d get the groceries later, and got dressed to meet her up at the Galleria. Turned out to be the right choice.

We shopped, we ate a fabulous lunch, I picked up some makeup and a few bits and pieces here and there – then on the way out of Nordstrom I spied this, and just had to try it on:

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It was a size medium and a bit too big, and it was wicked hot, but it was on sale for $43 and my friend talked me into buying it when I initially decided to put it back. I’m really glad she did, because it is kinda fabulous in a hideous sort of way (and no, there were no birds or other animals harmed during the making of this jacket – it’s fake). The jacket inspired me to take some photos when I got home, but it was about 3:30 before I got the chance to get started, so I quickly slapped on a ton of this white glitter pigment I bought at MAC years ago and barely ever wear, and slopped on a ton of sparkly eye shadow to complete the “look.”

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The end result of the makeup was weird, and the shoot was fairly frustrating. As I said, that jacket is ridiculously warm, and it was about 70 degrees today where I live, plus my husband in his middle-agedness has decided the house needs to be perpetually 80 degrees. And from what I could tell through my LCD screen, the shots weren’t coming out so hot anyway, but I played around with lighting to get a decent effect out of all that glitter. When processing, I realized a lot of them were pretty cool, but I tried to stick to just a few to process.

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I ended up using a silver reflector and a remote Speedlite off to the side to get a more glittery effect, and the result of that is a lot of shadows I am not used to for portraits, but I forced myself to live with it so I could get some good contrast in the shots.

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Usually that much shadow around the eyes would make me crazy, but I decided to go with it when processing. This hasn’t deterred me from my new plan of enlisting friends as models and venturing out of doors for shoots, but at least I got some use out of my new jacket, and some new photos for the week. Plus I got to test out the new black muslin, which was OK, but I found it shows wrinkles more than the white one I used for so long and finally took down (I edited them out the shots by darkening the background). At least I don’t have the white balance issues with this one, where the backdrop turns out a different tint in every shot. Black is pretty much going to be black every time, so that’s reliable. And I do think it gives shots a much more dramatic feel.

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I think my next backdrop should be gray, though, to get a happy medium. Black does some pretty harsh things to my lights, although adding silver reflectors, which I don’t normally use, probably messed with me some too.

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I wanted to try some black and whites with the makeup, since I thought all that glitter would make a B&W look really intense and grainy. It did, but in general taking out the color made the photo boring anyway. I think that’s because the black background and my reddish-brown wig together so exactly mimicked the colors in the jacket that it appealed to me. But here’s one I decided to go ahead and transform into black and white:

glitter4_Snapseed

Overall, not bad for shots I didn’t really want to take or enjoy taking. I think this last one is my favorite of the bunch:

glitter5_Snapseed

Errands!

I made a trip to Party City Friday to pick up a mask and a fake mustache or two for photoshoots (don’t ask), but I was also thinking it would be a great place to snap iPhone photos. I could not have been more wrong. It was way too practical and organized to generate any sort of interesting photo opportunities, which I should have expected of a place frequented by harried parents trying to plan last-minute festivities for huge groups of exuberant children on the cheap and in a big damn hurry. Except this one, which came out kinda cool:

favor city

This being a typical strip center for my area, it had the usual stores – PetSmart, WalMart, Party City, Marshalls, Best Buy, Famous Footwear…you get the idea. So of course, they also had an Ulta, which turned out to be no more photogenic than the PC. They always have way too many salespeople in that store lurking about, forcefully offering assistance and preventing any real picture-taking time. Or maybe they just do that to me. Come to think of it, most of the pics I shot today are quite blurry because I felt I was being watched everywhere I went. It must have been obvious to everyone that I wasn’t hanging around to spend money. Gotta brush up on my stealthy pic-snapping skills. Or maybe just bathe.

lips
Lips on sticks. Someone’s getting way too literal.

I sauntered into the store next door without really looking up at the sign to see what it was – turns out it was a Pier 1, which I admit I thought had gone out of business (I avoid strip centers like this to the utmost of my ability). I knew what it was, however, as soon as I opened the door because of the overpowering Yankee Candle smell and the abundance of throw pillows scattered onto every available surface.

fish
This reminded me of a joke: Why are fish so smart? Because they don’t buy shit like this.

Honestly, I would rather gouge out my eyes with over-priced black lacquer Pier 1 chopsticks than spend time in a shop like this. My interest in decorating anything is so far below zero it’s almost antagonistic. I just don’t understand why most of the items in these places exist, or how and when people decide they need these things. For example, I encountered these party dishes that had every dish’s purpose labeled in chalky cursive script right on the plate. I don’t get who sees this and thinks oh, I just have to have that. It’s kind of insulting, when you think about it, plus you’re buying plates that are going to order you around when really it should work the other way. I’d end up rebelling against those party dishes. I’d use them in all sorts of degrading ways for which they were not intended, just to show them who’s boss. The tray that says “a smattering of olives,” (yes one of them said smattering) would end up being a dustpan, and it would damn well like it, too, or else I’d put it in the dishwasher which I assume is exactly where one is NOT allowed to put such a fussy item, in spite of it’s being a dish and all.  And I’d correct the lack of capitalization too.

See what I mean? Antagonistic.

cheese
I’d hang this one on my front door, just because

Sorry I don’t have more to say, or if what I said here sounds lame. My carpal tunnel (or whatever it is I have) is killing me tonight – too much time clicking my mouse editing pics – and I can barely type at this point. Did I mention I am turning 44 this month?

Signing off for now, yours always & etc.,

A Chunk of Cheese