October 27, 2015

5 Thrifting Tips: Halloween Costume Shopping

I  really LOVE Halloween. I love dressing up, I love planning my costume and finding exactly the right pieces for it. I love carving pumpkins and decorating the front yard/house for the night. I love going to parties and seeing other peoples' costumes and getting into character. I EVEN love social media the next day - to see what creative costumes people came up with the night before. It is such a fun time - how often do you get to dress up and look super silly and wild and be in public where no one cares? It's so freeing and fun.

I have all this love for Halloween yet my most favourite part is dressing up. Coming up with a costume is one of the best parts of my year, and I always try to go all-out! That being said, some pre-made cosutmes are just too repetitive and expensive for me. So I usually make my own out of DIY and thrifted goodies!

Here are my tried and true tips to thrifting for Halloween!

1. Know what you're looking for.
What is your costume? What items do you need for it? It will really help to know your costume beforehand. If you walk into a thrift store without knowing what you want to be, or without knowing what you need for your costume, it can get super overwhelming and you might get a new idea with every cool piece of clothing you pull off the rack. ("Oh! With this dress I could be a witch - but with this jacket I could be a lizard, or maybe a magical dragon? But maybe I still want to be a bumble bee....") Ask yourself what you're focusing on: texture? colour? structure? type of clothing? and start looking within those categories.

For example: This halloween, I ran through the thrift store looking for MINT coloured clothes. The only specific type I needed was a blazer. When it came to bottoms though? I just pulled out any and every mint thing I could find.

2. Use your creative thinking.
Can you pull off your costume in either pants, a skirt, or a dress, so long as it's the right colour? Can you layer tops to get your desired effect? Maybe there are accessories you can add (or make!) to add that extra touch if you've only been able to find half-appropriate costume pieces at the thrift store. Can that belt or scarf work as a headband or cross-body sash instead? Maybe that weird purse can be used as a hat, or that old flag can be used as a cape! On Halloween, nothing is as it seems! And by that I mean not every item has to be used as it was initially intended. ;)

3. Think with an 'editing' mind.
This really ties in with creative thinking! If you find a t-shirt that has the right colour but might need a stripe, you could add it yourself with fabric paint from the dollar store. Or maybe you find the perfect skirt but it is too long/big - Google how to do a basic alteration! It doesn't have to be perfect - since it's Halloween. I have always been big on DIY for Halloween and most often add alterations to the pieces I find. One year, I thrifted a giant pink sweater, spray painted cotton balls, glued them to the sweater, wore a pink afro wig (which I also spray painted) and BAM! I was cotton candy.

4. Try to buy what you would wear everyday, too.
I was very happy this year to buy pieces I will most likely wear on a day-to-day basis too! To be fair, it depends on the costume whether that's possible. But it is always really nice when you are buying something to know you'll get more than one night's wear out of it.

5. Go crazy!
This is your time to buy items you normally wouldn't! Buy that ridiculous faux fur coat you've always secretly wanted but never could justify to yourself. Make it part of your costume, and then make it part of your everyday wardrobe too. Halloween is a really good time for crazy, and it's always fun to shake things up and add a little bit of crazy to your life - isn't it? ;)

Are you a Halloween enthusiast too? What are you dressing up as this year?!


October 26, 2015

Art Fart: Eagle Woman

I've been focusing on trying to create landscapes and scenes in my collages. So here is my Eagle Woman in her natural habitat.

Happy Monday everyone!

October 19, 2015

NEW: Collage Print Shop!

Hello friends! Surely you've seen me post my collage work on the blog or on instagram. I'm really excited to finally have versions that I can put out there, that others can hold in their hands and put on their walls.

So I opened a little online shop! Right now it only has prints of 4 of my favourite collages, but it will be expanding in the future. There will one day be originals and all sorts of other goodies. Stay tuned, and take a peek at the shop when you have a minute - I'd really appreciate it :)

Which print is your favourite? 

Check out the shop here!

Window Shopping || 15

(Handwoven Scarf: Pidge Pidge | Black Heeled Loafers: Night After Night | Embroidered Button-Up Blouse: Windy Peak Vintage | Paint By Numbers Watch: 10North Creative)

Things are getting cold and subsequently cozy around here! This morning I woke up to frost outside and a super windy trek to an appointment. So of course my turtle neck and coziest sweater and biggest scarf came along for the day, and I braved this premature winter weather. Guh!

So logically, my instinct is to eyeball little booties and big scarves online.

This scarf by Pidge Pidge is so autumn-y, with its earthy warm colours and volume! Mmm! I'm a really big fan of all the scarves by Pidge Pidge; their colour combos are all really eye catching and fabulous.

Sometimes in the professional world or in interviews or other situations where pulling out your phone is a big ol' no-no, I find myself wishing for a watch to check the time. I have one that is super chunky and white and funky, and I think I'd be more likely to wear a watch if I also had one that was a little more discreet, but still cool, like this Paint by Numbers watch, or any of the 10North Creative watches, really.

What have you been lusting over lately?

October 9, 2015

Thrifty Outfit .o5

Jacket: Secondhand / Sweater: Secondhand | Black Tanktop: Secondhand | Tie-Dye Tanktop: Thrifted | Pants: Thrifted / Shoes: Winners | Necklace: Thrifted | Earrings: Forever 21

Total Thrift Tally: 6/8! 

Not a bad thrift tally this time, not bad at all!

My outfit posts at this point had might as well be once-a-season occurrences, but that's ok! It's just for fun, really, and serves almost as visual proof that I do in fact make most of my outfits out of my thrifted finds (though I guess you still have to take my word for it.)

This leather jacket is such a thrilling new addition to my closet! My fella's sister wasn't keen on it anymore so she handed it over to me - woah! So generous and kind, and I am really into it so, happy points all around. And then there's my little tiki-man necklace that I bought that at a flea market in Paris the last time I went! It's almost a staple in my wardrobe at this point; just the right mix of simple and small but weird and interesting nonetheless.

My mum took these pictures for me (thanks mumma, it's her birthday today so let's give her a nice big shout out for that too!) when we went to visit my grandmother up in the countryside. This is an under-explored part of her property for me, as there are no set trails made anymore. But I have fond memories from being a really small child and venturing through these trees towards a little clearing that had the most gorgeous white sand. It was our 'beach' and we would play in the sand and crawl under the trees the way little kids do. So it was a bit of a trip down memory lane, as well as a gorgeous backdrop for photos.

Happy Friday everyone!

October 6, 2015

Art Fart: She's a Dreamcatcher

I have a great interest in circles. They are probably my favourite shape - to use in art, to look at in art, to think about in terms of the various cycles our lives and worlds are made of. I definitely tend towards them in my art making, and I particularly enjoy doodling, designing, and making mandalas. My notebooks are covered in them, I have an entire pinterest board for mandalas, I teach classes at work about mandalas, I contemplate and believe in the meditative nature of mandalas, and circles in general. I think it's fantastic that so many cultures have their own versions of mandalas; circular motifs. There are medicine wheels, Aztec calendars, dream catchers, traditional Hindu mandalas, etc. Even nature has it's own mandalas! Anyway. I love mandalas. And circles.

So it's only natural that I should try and throw in some mandala making with my collage work. Here's the result!


October 4, 2015

A Thought or Two: Water and Rain

I experienced a nice moment this past week, and I thought I would share it.

I know this is far from universal - for some love the rain and grey.

But, there are those days where you wake up in the morning and the sky is so dark that you still have to switch on the lights in your home. Those days where the wind is blowing and the outdoors are basically howling "Stay away! Stay indoors, we do not want you out here today."
And you think about leaving your house, you think about walking to work and getting rained on and being droopy and wet and cold, and you want to listen to the outdoors; you want to stay inside as though your life depended on it! Life goes on, though. Society doesn't pause for a rainy day.

Well, I was experiencing one of those days, feeling a little glum. I had work at 10:30am and was thankful to see the rain had eased and I could probably make it to work without getting soaked through and through. So off I went!

It was a beautiful day after all. The rain drops on plants glistened in the peek-a-boo-ing sun and everything was a little bit sparkly and alive. I spent the entire walk to work admiring the life-giving powers of rain and water, and thinking about how hard I am on the outdoors when really, rain is their gift to the plants and the greenery that make this earth we share a beautiful place.

Surely I can give the plants a day or two of rain so that they may thrive too. The sun will be back for me soon - it's a compromise between the Outdoors, myself, and the plants, and I think I can wrap my head around it, be a little selfless, and stop complaining when the earth is getting what it needs.

I took this picture on my way to work and am so in love with it - and the memory I have associated with it. I can't promise to love the rain, but I can say after that walk and that realization, that I won't harbour such hard feelings for it anymore.

Do you enjoy rainy days? Or are you strictly a sunshine babe?

October 3, 2015

Weekly Photo Capsule 10.02.2015

I guess you know you've had an exciting week when the majority of the photos you've taken are of your dog being a weirdo and giving you attitude!

I've been quite busy writing grant applications for a project I am really hoping to get funded. It's an exciting prospect, but man is it ever not fun to live at opposite ends of the city as the many individuals you need signatures from, especially when you travel by city transit! I managed to get everything we needed and dropped off the application yesterday. Needless to say - I currently feel about 500 pounds lighter and will have my fingers crossed for the next... 4 months... while we wait for the results. Ha!

I broke out the loom again and am just tidying up the back of this piece shown here so that I can start a new one. I put weaving on the back burner a bit while on a real upswing in my collage work. It's nice to go back though, and take a little break from things. One of the many reasons I believe artists should never limit themselves to one media. Explore 4EVR y'know?

What have you gotten up to this week!?

ps. Happy October!

October 2, 2015

Window Shopping || 14

(Vintage Men's Ankle Boots: 86Vintage | Aurora Fringe Bag: Native Rainbow | Canyon Girl Mini Dress: Gypsan | Diamond Bend Cuff Bracelet: Diament Designs)

I've been trying to find more shops that actually focus on sustainability- not just 'vintage/second hand' fashion. Even though I'm all for that (obviously), it's really nice to find people that are making an EXTRA effort by selling their handmade goods and choosing their materials from sustainable, cruelty-free sources.

So I was happy to find Native Rainbow's Etsy shop this week. Their bags are beautiful, organic, made with materials sourced from the states, and I love what Lizzie, who runs the shop and makes the goods, has to say on her about page:

"As human beings, it is up to us to make a conscious effort to make positive changes in this world. I will stand up for animals for as long as I'm breathing.
I give a percentage of my yearly sales to various animal charities. My ultimate goal is to establish enough growth to fund a fully-functional non-profit animal sanctuary on my farm to give safe haven to any animal in need. " 

 I'd say that's a pretty sweet mission statement.

The dress in this also comes from a store I admire. Gypsan is a company that gives 5% of their net profits to charity as well, and are also trying to have all their clothing made in the United States. 

Though I don't personally live in the States, I understand that these companies are doing so because there is more assurance that the workplace they are sourcing from is following human rights and environmental laws and the fact that people care and are making conscious decisions to have their clothing created in ethical environments is something I can really get behind!

 Do you have a favourite ethical brand/company that is making great efforts to take care of our world?