Monday, January 31, 2011

Rosy Red Monday

I think things are looking up, but, being a bit of the MopeyGoth, I don't want to jinx it. So let's just say today has been decent for a Monday. Had a lovely weekend hanging out with my peeps in costume, & I feel both mentally & physically rejuvenated. Let's hope it lasts!

What I'm wearing:
Red turtleneck sweater, unknown brand
Black straight skirt, Gap, trimmed by me (details here, my first outfit on the blog)
Black tights, unknown brand
Red ankle boots, Aerosoles
Black leather belt with black velvet ribbon, made by me
Black beaded necklace, Target
Onyx & silver dangle earrings, bought in India
Red lipstick, Urban Decay "Gash"

I wanted this belt to work better, but the closure is hokey (there's a string tie hidden behind the bow), & the bow is not as stiff & flat as I'd wanted (kept flopping up on the left). Ah well, I was just trying to recycle random materials cluttering up my sewing room.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday - 01.28.11

FBFF Questions for 01.28.11 - We're talking blogger mechanics this week, courtesy of ModlyChic. 

1. What technology do you use in blogging? (computer, camera, video camera, tripod, etc...)
Ours is a solidly Macintosh household! Always has been, always will be. I use a MacBook for blogging because that's where I have PhotoShop loaded (due to an OS upgrade, I lost PhotoShop on my desktop Mac *sadness*).

My camera is a Canon G9, which can be either an extremely fancy point-&-shoot or you can totally customize the settings & it's almost an DSLR. I bought it when it first came out & have taken a ton of fantastic landscape & architecture photos with it, but I still haven't gotten the hang of portraits :-/ 

2. What computer and online technology do you use? (blogging system, photo storage, photo editing tools, etc..)
I use Blogger -- it was easy to set up & I really like the "following" with the sense of community that creates. The templates were also simple to customize.

I edit photos in PhotoShop & store them on my personal website via Yahoo! Web Hosting (less than $10 a month for massive storage & services!).

I tend to write up my blog post during the day during breaks at work. Then, when I get home from work, I offload the photos from the camera, edit them, upload the photos, & assemble the whole blog post & publish.

3. What is your process for taking pictures?
Hope for the best? I'm usually dressed by 7:30am, & I go outside to find a spot around my house. I set up the tripod (which is a pretty wimpy one & sometimes takes very tilted photos that I have to fix later) with the camera. I set the timer, run in front, preen a little bit if there's time, & there ya go.

If I get outside on time (which is *not* every day), I take 6 to 8 photos, including some closeups as the outfit warrants, which yields 2 to 3 that I can bear putting out in public.

4. When it comes to backdrops for your photos what do you consider? Do you scout locations or shoot the same spot daily?
Due to time constraint, I'm stuck with what's right around my house. I used the porch for a while (especially because it was rainy when I started in fall), & that sucked for the lighting.

The driveway has ever-so-slightly better lighting & a diversity of three -- count 'em, three! -- thrilling backgrounds (LOL). Inside my house is a dark batcave with dark walls & heavy curtains, so I'm unlikely to get decent photos in there.

5. If you could splurge and get one new piece of equipment what would you be buying?
An assistant to take photos of me! Hahahaha. I should look around & see if there's a remote control for my camera. Some bloggers have mentioned using those & it helps with timing & focus.

And maybe I could beg my husband to let me borrow one of his better tripods (he's a professional videographer). This cheap one I bought ages ago for travel irritates me, especially since I use it so often now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week From Heck

No, I'm not bowlderizing myself, because I've had Weeks From Hell. This one was bad, but not quite that bad. Our boy tabby cat has been ill & needs a pill every morning, which has made it really hard to squeeze in time for a photo. And then I've had cluster migraines every day since last Friday, & I've had to miss work because nothing is touching the pain. Just today, I started a new medication, so fingers are crossed that this may help.

Due to these stressors, I've had precious little energy & time to blog my outfits, &, well, most of my outfits have kind of sucked too. Hence, here are the only two that made it on camera...

What I wore Tuesday:
Burgundy velvet Victorian jacket, made by my friend Donna
Black long-sleeve T-shirt, Old Navy
Black jeans, Levis
Pointy black boots with buckles & kitten heels, Baker's
Two pearl & silvertone necklaces, Aldo
Black w/pink gem Victorian-esque earrings, random accessory store
Dark burgundy lipstick, Chanel Vamp

The jacket goes with the Victorian tea outfit that the blouse I wore last week is also part of. The velvet was leftover from making my wedding gown (yes, I save every scrap). I bought the pearls thinking they'd be ideal with an Elizabethan gown, but I've yet to make one with silver trim, so I keep wearing these necklaces in my everyday wardrobe.

And the jeans were a successful result of my quest for black jeans. Levis 512 petites. A little bit of stretch, the perfect length for this 5'2" gal, & the sizes fit my curves. There's even sparkly black beading on the back pockets (we likes the bling).

What I wore Thursday:
Burgundy corduroy blazer, Kohl's (previously worn here)
Black silk sheath dress, Target (previously worn here)
Grey patterned tights, Calvin Klein
Black Indigo pumps, Clarks
Silver chunky bead necklace, Target
Pewter key earrings, made by me
Dark burgundy lipstick, Chanel Vamp

I was interviewed by a university journalism student for a project on digital media today, so I wanted to wear something professional yet comfortable (because I've felt like crap all week). A jacket & a dress is a classic combo. This specific dress is particularly great because it's sleek & simple, & it's made an elegant sueded silk (lined too). The jacket is soft & a little slouchy, but it's still a jacket which always reads "professional." I like to make a good impression.

Then I went for a slightly less-traditional color combo (for a CorpGoth ;-) by adding the grey tights. Black would be obvious, but I really need to do laundry & am out of all my fave. CK black tights! But I forgot that I'd bought some patterned & textured CK tights during that Black Friday sale; they were lurking in the back of my tights drawer (yes, I have a whole drawer full of nothing but tights & 3/4ths of them are black). Instead of the tone-on-tone black pinstripe, I gave the grey a try. What a rebel, I know.

The brain, that's where the pain is.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cats 'n Stuff

I'm kind of hating the fuzziness of my daily photos recently. Been tweaking w/the camera settings to no avail -- the early morning light around my house is just flat & grey. Normally, I love that (hello, goth here, I really do want to live in a dark cave! the inside of my house is dark, dark, dark, & to have a little dark could sitting over my house is like heaven). But it kinda blows for getting crisp photos that show what I'm really wearing. Well, at some point, 7:30am in Silicon Valley will be blazes bright, & I'll be hating it, but the pictures will look gorgeous. Just you wait...

What I'm wearing:
Black ribbed turtleneck top, Style & Co.
White & black cat-print skirt, Phlirt on Etsy (previously worn here, with close-up of the fabric)
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black pointy double-buckle flat not-quite-boots, Aldo
Silver book locket on chunky chain, Forever 21
Silver filigree earrings, Target

Gothic elf boots!
By the end of the week (this is the end of my "dressing up for work week" since I work from home on Fridays), the makeup pocket of my purse is full of a half-dozen different lipstick tubes. It usually includes a few from the weekend & maybe one leftover from the previous week. But I know that the end of the week is nigh when I can count 5 or 6 lipsticks in there.

What's the end of your week like?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Not feeling colorful today, & I wanted to embrace my gothiness! Oddly coincidental that, when I got to work & logged onto the computer, I saw that Already Pretty posted about "being intentional with black." Hee. Some of us are always intentional with black! Us goth gals have to work to be intentional with color (see: Gothic Color Theory).

What I'm wearing today:
Black cotton Victorian blouse, custom-made by my friend Donna
Grey corduroy straight skirt, Newport News
Black & grey printed silk scarf, Libertine for Target
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black leather knee-high boots, Clarks
Pearl, cameo, & silver charm necklace, made by me
Sparkly dangly earrings, random accessory store
Black & grey flower hair pins, random accessory store

This blouse was originally made as part of a Victorian tea outfit, but I see no reason to relegate it to my costume closet. I'd wear the velvet jacket from that outfit on an everyday basis too, except it requires corseting for the front to close. Tho' I could wear it open, & that might look snazzy with black jeans... hmm... should try it.

I love this scarf but hardly ever wear it because it's one of those skinny little ones that seems hard to style. Plus, being light silk, it flutters around & can be annoying. Glad I finally thought of using it as a belt, even tho' that means you can't see the awesome print of skulls, crows, books, & hardware as well. It's an impression, I guess.

And finally, the Clarks boots, still fantastic. Now worn with socks for even better super wonderfulness. I *will* walk miles in these.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seemed Like a Good Idea

I've had this shawl for a dozen years, I think. My mom got it from a friend who went to India (probably someone visiting family). It's in my favorite color combination. It's a lightweight wool & very soft. But don't wear scarves very often, plus this one is huge -- very wide & long.

I often thought it would make a great shawl with a Regency costume, except that's my least-favorite historical era (though I have read all of Jane Austen's books & seen most every film adaption). Empire-waist dresses are just so unflattering on me.

What to do with this beautiful shawl then? It's been languishing in a drawer, & I've worn it perhaps twice. Then I saw all these great belted scarf looks on fashion blogs, like A. on Academichic, who has made it her signature style. Maybe that would make this shawl thing work ... & it did, at least for photos!

But all day, the shawl slipped around out of the belt as I moved my arms (& I sit at a computer, it's not like I'm doing jumping-jacks). It was just too fussy. This might be fine for, say, an evening out or a party -- basically, a few hours of an event where I won't be annoyed by it very long (or I'd have a cocktail to distract me). Not great for workdays.

What I'm wearing:
Black knit long-sleeve dress, Newport News
Black & burgundy wool Indian shawl, gift from my mom
Black elastic belt with leather ruffle detail, NY & Co.
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black Indigo pumps, Clarks
Silver filigree pendant necklace, vintage Avon
Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store
Cabernet lipstick, Tarte
Raving Egotist eyeshadow (named after me! but discontinued), Amphigory

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mad for Plaid

I really do not have enough plaid in my wardrobe, despite my adoration for it. Plaid & stripes are the only prints I truly enjoy. Florals are iffy -- I like a few of them, but others make me want to puke due to their teeny-weeny grandma-ness or "hello, I'm a large Victorian couch"-ness*. I love brocades & jacquards, but those are borderline textures than true prints. Indian prints float my boat, but then, I was raised by hippies.

Anyway, back to plaids. I used to have a ton of plaid skirts (including a boatload of wool plaid from Scotland; not the most practical wearing for Northern California's mild climate), & somehow right now, this skirt is the only plaid in my closet. *sniff*  And if it weren't for the fear of being repeat-y in the blog, I'd have worn it every other week already since fall began! Alas, you'll just have to make do with seeing it again today & probably once more before spring.

What I'm wearing:
Black lace jacket, Macy's
Black long-sleeve T-shirt, Old Navy
Black & white plaid dirndl skirt, H&M
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Red ankle boots, Aeropostale
Chunky silver bead necklace, Target
Pewter key earrings, made by me
Black & white flower hair pin, Claire's
Gash lipstick, Urban Decay

*Our couch has a horrible large floral print on it. The couch is a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law (who other than this couch, seems to have good taste). I slipcovered it in burgundy velveteen, but after 10 years, the slipcover is starting to fall apart. Heck, the couch cushions are starting to fall apart! I dream of owning a properly upholstered couch in a color I love & never, ever seeing such a wretched floral again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Land of the Living

But just barely. I don't intend to talk about my personal life on this blog (I have other online outlets for that), but the last few days have been crazy, hence no posting here, not keeping up with comments, & no commenting on anyone else's blogs. Sorry!

Soon after my last post, I got a raging migraine & didn't go to work on Thursday. One of our cats had been vomiting all week, so we took him to the vet on Friday, & it looked like he'd need surgery to remove a blockage. So we cleared all our weekend plans (I was going to go out of town, my husband had hockey game tickets). Then Saturday's cat X-rays showed he was a lot better, but needed pills & special food all weekend. On Sunday night, my husband had to go to the ER, & I missed work Monday morning to help him out. Oh, & all weekend, our Internet connection at home was spotty & slow so I could barely load webpages. Ugh! Everyone is much better now, but it was a hell of a few days.

I'm back at work today, caught up on what I missed here & online. I was inspired to wear this sweater by Vanessa at Big Girl. Small Budget. Tiny Town, who wore the pink version of it last week. I've had the black version for ages & always worn it with black trousers or jeans & was never much impressed by it. But I like it a lot better with a belt & a skirt! (Just maybe not this skirt, which is a proof that knits *do* wrinkle, feh.)

What I'm wearing:
Black with white bird sweater, Old Navy
Purple knit skirt, unknown
Black studded belt, Macy's
Black tights, Calvin Klein
Black leather T-strap wedges, Kenneth Cole, thrifted
Grey headband with lace flowers, Forever 21
Silver skull choker, random accessory store
Silver hoop earrings, random accessory store
Silver skull stud earrings, random accessory store
Black suede swing coat, vintage '80s, owned since the '80s

Also while I was out, I received a Major Award from Sheila at Ephemera who said my blog shows "Goth in the Workplace Can Be Awesome." Awwwww, thanks!!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Last Train to Clarksville

Or maybe second train -- this outfit was planned around my second pair of Clarks! I went for a retro feel. The shoes have a 1940s flair, and this dress has a 1950s style. Close enough for me.

What I'm wearing:
Black cotton dress, Modcloth
Black & white stripey cardigan, Chadwicks
Purple tights, unknown
Black Indigo pumps with ribbon ties, Clarks
Black elastic belt with silver flower, NY & Co.
Pearl necklace, Aldo
Pearl stud earrings, random accessory store
Black & white flower hair pin, Claire's
Raisin Rage lipstick, Revlon

I had to wear colored tights to better show off the cut of the shoes. Ordinarily, I'd wear this outfit with black tights for a more classically gothic look.

Of course, once I saw the pix in PhotoShop, I realized that all the full-length ones were either blurry or cut off the shoes! Ugh. Just when I thought I was getting the hang of taking these photos...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

We All Have Off Days, Right?

Just wasn't feeling it this morning. Sleep poorly (I'm a lifelong insomniac), woke up headachy. Had deadlines at work, so no choice but to suck it up & get out there. So I took a picture for the blog, even tho' this is a pretty blah outfit. It's serviceable, it's a step up from jeans & a sweater, but it's nothing to shout about from the rooftops.

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy corduroy blazer, Kohl's (vintage black glass buttons added by me)
Black long-sleeve T-shirt, Old Navy
Black trousers, Target
Black pumps with silver buckles across the instep, Kenneth Cole
Black scarf with grey skulls, gift from my husband
Dangly glittery earrings, random accessory store
Black & grey flower hair pins, Forever 21 or maybe H&M
Dark cherry lipstick, Sephora

I had different outfits in my mind for today, but this was not the morning to bother with them. Didn't want to fuss with tights & a skirt, didn't want extra layers, couldn't be arsed to figure out further accessories.

I tend to fall back on an outfit with black pants & a jewel-tone top of some type (usually a sweater, but this jacket was new). It's basic & not insanely boring. But still, not much creativity (& I'm annoyed that I wore the same combo -- black bottom, burgundy top -- two days in a row! nobody notices at work, but it's obvious on a blog).

Do you have days like this? What kind of outfit do you fall back on?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

New year, vacation's over, time to set the alarm & dress for work again. Ho-hum. I really do like my job, but I could do without getting up early every morning & going into the office. Too bad I can only telecommute one day a week! Then again, going into the office means I wear more than yoga pants & T-shirts ;-)

What I'm wearing:
Burgundy sweater with silk insets, Anthropologie, gift from Sarah
Black knit V-neck top, NY & Co.
Black knit straight skirt, Target
Black elastic belt, NY & Co.
Burgundy-ish & black stripey tights, We Love Colors
Black leather knee-high boots, Clarks
Black beaded necklace with cameo, random accessory store
Silver cameo earrings, vintage
Dark cherry lipstick, Sephora

Digging these boots -- walking in Clarks is like walking on little clouds! However, they are a skosh big in the foot (had to be or the calves wouldn't fit, even with the elastic gusset in the back; hello, why don't tall boots come in more calf-widths???). So by the end of the day, the boots had sagged a little at the ankles, & I had a mild hot spot on my right foot. Should have worn socks with them, but ya never know on the first wearing.

But the sole is soooooo comfy! I kept checking to see if there's any heel on these boots at all or they were totally flat, bec. each step was so soft & light. With a little more stretching in the calf, these could be "walk a million mile" type boots. I'll definitely wear those vintagey-style Clarks pumps sometime this week too!