The Space Between My Peers: September 2006

The Space Between My Peers

From the bottom of the fashion food chain ...

Location: The Great Northwest

I'm a home-schooling, bible-believing SAHM with an annual clothing budget of about $500 American. The Space Between My Peers reveals my secret passion: analysis of the art and science of what to wear.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Bloggy Tour of Testimonies

As part of the Bloggy Tour of Testimonies, I wrote Why I Read the Whole Bible in a Little Over a Year, posted over at my titus 2 project.

Find other people's stories here.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Birthday Danielle!

Yes, September 30th is my bloggy friend Danielle's birthday. (She's also collecting opinions about what style glasses to get next.)

Why don't we all go over and wish her Happy Birthday?

What's For Dinner?

Local friends may recognize that question, as I used to write a column for our homeschool newsletter with that title.

It's Frugal Friday! Various thoughts and themes have been chasing around in my head since I woke up (over here on the West Coast, after a very late night), but when I visited our host blog it all became crystal clear (stealth pun. extra points for those!)

Okay, here's a short list of frugal alternatives to eating out:

  • Invite friends over. Serve them a lovely meal.
  • Invite friends over. Have a theme potluck.
  • Invite friends over. Have them bring whatever they were going to make for dinner and you have potluck with whatever you were going to have. (We did this once for Easter and it was a blast!)
  • Invite friends over. Serve them a simple meal.

Illustration: a frugal dinner party. In one instance when we had guests, choosing frugality as the theme took most of the hostess pressure off me. I made chicken and rice, avocado slices, cooked veggies, and I don't remember what else. Then I was free to enjoy my guests.

If you don't have the energy to have friends over:

  • Just serve something simple. Like fried egg sandwiches.
  • A family-sized portion of salmon, plus salad, costs the same as a Papa Murphy's pizza, cooks in the same amount of time, and is much healthier for you.

One more thing: I agree with Crystal that it's important to take your husband's preferences into account. And I've found that most men don't like breakfast for dinner.

Is anybody wondering what this has to do with dressing? Nothing. This post is pure turkey.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ask Me a Question

Yesterday I kind of leaked my own style personality blend: 49% functional, 51% contemporary. Which I think is why I make a decent sounding board or closet editor.

Ask me a question like "should I keep this or biff it?" or "should I keep these or return them?" and I will most likely be able to help you sort out:

a) whether you will like it because it FUNCTIONS and

b) whether or not it looks right NOW, and if it has any fashion future.

More challenging questions I still enjoy, they just aren't as easy for me.

And, as long as we're talking about questions, have you answered any lately?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What's Your Favorite Color?

As an ice breaker in a training some time ago, the trainer asked us to go around the room and share our favorite color. Imagine everyone's surprise when, a year later at that same event, I was able to repeat their favorite colors back to them (some of the people hadn't even been there the year before, and I still knew their favorite color)!

Well, it's not all that tricky. I'm not a mind-reader (I'm a clothes-reader! hehe).

By style personality, the most common favorite colors:

  • Functional aka Sporty: Red, green, and camo. Yes, camo is a color! (Insistence that camouflage is a color is indicative of a strong functional influence in the personal idiom.)

  • Nostalgic, comfortable, aka Romantic (or bohemian): Favorite is usually purple. Often says they love pink, as well. Since this style is usually pretty outdoorsy, green wouldn't surprise me either.

  • Timeless classic, aka traditional: Here in the Great Northwest, she most often chooses navy, or some other blue. I understand, however, that in Texas people like yellow (*heavy*temptation*to*shudder*). That's okay. I'm sure it has to do with the light. In any light, sometimes chooses peach.

  • Contemporary (classic): Uh, yeah, we don't want to be pinned down to a single favorite. Or we'll tell you the color of the month and say it's always been our favorite. In all honesty. Otherwise, perhaps a color that just looks really good on. Maybe pink?

  • Glamorous, aka Dramatic: Black, charcoal gray or white maybe, and red.

  • Alternative, the trendsetter: Either black or something very bright. Maybe purple or orange.

How to use this information? Just know that sometimes it's important to find a way to wear a certain color, even if it's not in your packet of 30 colors.

Can you tell I'm having vocabulary issues? It's up to you wonderful people to straighten me out!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Garlic When Sick: Works For Me

So I had this post in mind before I really clued in to this week's Works-for-me Wednesday being the Classics edition. Here's my first one, on year-round wardrobe planning, although right now, it is summer I am packing away, fall I am styling outfits for, winter I am actively filling in the gaps, and spring is stored and on the back burner.

Finally I concluded that it must have become a sinus infection. With every step I took, I could feel my teeth. And it wasn't a good feeling.

Well, I had already been doing everything: echinacea, goldenseal, yin chiao, tea tree oil, zinc; need I go on? It was time to pull out the big guns!

For lunch yesterday I pressed two cloves of garlic into about a quarter cup of sour cream, and ate it with Classic Lays. For dinner, we added several cloves of garlic to a Papa Murphy's pizza with garlic sauce. Today, myself, I have probably eaten the equivalent of at least 3 cloves of garlic. And it worked! My teeth no longer hurt when I walk.

My friend who owns the health food store recommends garlic smashed up in honey. Yummy! Dessert.

Update: Socksmith wondered if the garlic had to be raw. My understanding is that it doesn't, but that SMASHING (or pressing, chopping, whatever) increases the health benefits. In Chinese tradition, they just eat it. Like an apple.

Will the Real Trendsetter Please Stand Up

Back here I explained that the hallmark of a glamorous style personality is that she always looks FABULOUS, using fashion writer and blogger Kristopher Dukes as my example. In her It's Easy as Jacket on and Go, Susie Bubble of Style Bubble gives us a glimpse into the thinking of the true trendsetter: what I call "alternative", for lack of a better term, in my quiz.

(Tori Hartman calls this style "Trendy", which I think is nothing but confusing. "Trendy" calls to mind a person who is all about the trends. I'm talking about a person who is all about wearing what works for her, but has such style in doing it that she winds up SETTING the trends.)

The true trendsetter/alternative will wear a random signature piece or favorite item, like Susie's sequin jacket, with everything or whatever and look totally normal.

Yeah. Not everyone can do that.

Another indicator of the alternative style personality? The ability to wear other styles, but as a costume.

First Post in a Series on Personal Style

Simply because it amused me, I wanted to show you this outfit I wore to church this past Sunday. Why did it amuse me? Well, this is about the maximum number of "functional, aka sporty" accents I could possibly add to an outfit without feeling like a three-ring circus. hehe

From the bottom up

  • Shoes: I bought these a few years ago at a Nordstrom semi-annual sale. They were not over $30. I go back and forth about keeping them, because of the ubiquitous Mary Jane thing; but the bold off-white stitching is the "sporty" accent that makes them suit ME.

  • Hose: Last week, in a random moment, I stocked up on crazy tights. For me stocking up is about 4 pair, including these HEATHER GRAY ones. Yep, another "sporty" accent.

  • Skirt: In my ad for a personal chef (which position, btw, is still open), I first mentioned this skirt. The A-line cut and wool in a classic heathery color make this a piece that is current and highly functional. If it were not current, a person with a strictly "functional" idiom could certainly still wear it, as could a more timeless classic, but I will probably sell it before then.

  • Sweater: What could make a girl happier than a pink cashmere sweater? How about paying only $1 for it? Two things give this a "sporty" accent: the sweatshirt-like shape and the white crewneck t-shirt, which you probably can't see because of the light, showing at the neckline.

Never fear, I still have lots to say about color. I will get back to it. But, after our MOPS group went over style personality last week, I feel it's time to take a long-awaited turn down that path.

Especially since two of my friends guessed my style wrong after we took the quiz together. And they both had the same guess.

What's yours?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Two Days Only Free Shipping at Eddie Bauer

September 25 & 26th only: free shipping from Eddie Bauer.

Looking for a birthday gift?

I suggest this belt.

Friday, September 22, 2006

One More Thing

Corduroy dress from Eddie Bauer.
At least two people I know who read this blog have the coloring of the young lady pictured in this post about color value and contrast and this post about colors with some of the coolest links ever and they both would look good in this dress.

So would she in the pictures.

Just wondering, do you like it or not? Why or why not? Is it the idiom?

Frugal Friday: Pocket Color Wheel

Wondering where to get your own gray scale? For about $2 American, you can pick up one of these pocket color wheels at Discount Art, or at your local scrapbooking store.


  • Color Definitions (hue, tint, primary color, intensity, and so on)
  • Color Harmonies (mono-chromatic, analogous, split complement, etc.)
  • Gray Scale

A whole lot of color info packed into a 5 1/8 inch circle! Perfect for the homeschool mom or beginning scientific sartorialista.

Recommended weekend reading: Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood

The Value of Contrast

This handy-dandy little strip is called a gray scale and gives a tool for talking about how light or dark a color is.

Take the young lady pictured. If you were describing her to someone, wouldn't the first thing you mentioned be her dark hair? About a level 2, wouldn't you say?

Contrast can be achieved in any of the three color characteristics; hue, value, or saturation; but value (light or dark) is what I believe we notice first.

How that relates to getting dressed:
  • The hair is the basic frame for the face. The garment that completes the frame, as illustrated in my previous Focus on the Face, should be roughly the same color value as the hair.

  • Two colors worn near the face could repeat the color value of the hair and skin, especially in a high contrast combination such as is shown here.

  • Alternatively, when wearing just a color that approximates the skin tone, combine it with white or black.

From the archives, more on combining colors.

BTW, I think she has the perfect glasses. They enhance her eyes.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Eddie Bauer Outlet: Outlet Sale

Save an additional 30% on sale items at Eddie Bauer Outlet through September 24th.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Simplest Color Scheme for Your Wardrobe

From Frugal Homemaker Plus, this formula from Tightwad Gazette:

You need nine pieces. Two blazers, three tops, and four bottoms. Make sure that all these items will coordinate with each other! I generally choose basic solid colors for the blazers and pants, like black or khaki. By doing this, you create 24 possible combinations of things to wear!

What a great skeleton for me to hang my simple color ideas on!

Two blazers
1) Your hair color. Maybe you, like me, have multi-colored hair and this is enough, but if not ...
2) Your hair color's complement or your skin's complement, in a shade as dark as your hair.

Three tops
1) Choose from the color family that relates to your eyes:

  • brown eyes choose from the red family, as seen in this picture of Jennifer, who likes to wear red, orange, hot pink, and burgundy/plum.
  • blue eyes choose freely from all blues.
  • green eyes choose greens.

Be aware of saturation. Because Jennifer has strong coloring, she is not overwhelmed by the hot pink. I, on the other hand, wear the same colors, but in the tints (pastels) and shades (deep muted tones).
2) If for some reason #1 doesn't work, use black and/or white. Or a print.

Four bottoms
There's a reason the classics are.

1) Black. The classic option for dressy, professional and social.
2) Khaki. Originally developed for the military because it didn't show dirt. Now the classic "casual" pant. Or skirt.
3) Denim. Works with everything. For many, jeans are their everyday attire. Remember my friend who needed 12 pairs?
4) There are other options. Previously I posted how to avoid clashing.

Shoes, belts, and bag

You really only need one color, that of your hair.

You can thank Pro-blogger for motivating me with prizes to write this post. And Jennifer for donating her picture. And whoever I shook hands with last week, causing me to be sick and at home this evening.

New Riveting Question

If you haven't been over to my other blog for awhile, there's a new question for you to answer.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My House Has Gas

I don't mean radon.

Earlier in the week, it sounded like our house had gas. Whenever we ran water, it was followed by a funny little noise; the kind that makes you want to look around, say excuse me, and then giggle uncontrollably.

Thankfully, my husband is a mechanical genius. And we have a chemist friend who clued us into the fact that drain cleaner = chlorine bleach.

When I was a kid I always thought bleach laundry was something to be avoided, on an environmental basis. But when the environment outside, in the form of tree roots, began to encroach on essential household functions, such as indoor plumbing, my pre-conceived notions came up for re-examination.

What works for us? Occasionally running a gallon or so of cheap chlorine bleach through our out-going pipes. It beats calling a plumber.

So sorry. This post had nothing to do with the mission of this blog. I'll get back to it.

Color Matters

Admittedly, internet research is not my favorite part of this gig. If you want me to blog about something that requires more technical information than exists in my head at this moment, you must persist.

And please do. As I have been seeking a simple way to convey more about personal coloring, I have come across some fun things.

But first, consider the coloring of the young lady pictured:

  1. skin: line #4, light pink (range: #FFD7E3, #FFD7DE, #FFD7E7, #FFCFDB, #FFD0D4, #FFD0E2). If you used this interactive color wheel, you would have to get the wheel as white as possible and then click on a magenta to find the color you see in her lips and around the hairline.

  2. hair: line #14, very deep red (range: #460024, #48001D, #490016, #4D0026, #4F001E, #500016). It appears almost green in the picture, but note the green walls in the background.

  3. eyes: line #16, dark red (range: #6A3A43, #6B3A3E, #763240, #763238, #82263C, #822832). Both hair and eye color are found in the red zone on the interactive color wheel.

More on this topic from me later. Right now my brain is bushed.

In the meantime, there's lots to play with at Color Matters.

Oops! I forgot to give this post a title ...

In response to my post about wearing brown accessories with a black outfit, Maria Palma of The Runway Scoop says she mixes black and brown.

Then she goes on to say profoundly:
BTW - isn't leopard print, a supposed "trend" of the season, the play of black and brown?

Hey! She's on to a great concept. Creation inspiration. Right now, out my window, the Ponderosa Pines are silhouetted against a light gray sky. Dark green and light gray? Why not?

What others might you suggest?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Wearing a Black Outfit with Brown Accessories

Is wearing brown shoes with a black outfit, or vice versa, a big fashion don't?

I suggest it can be done if the shoe color is repeated again in the outfit and/or the personal coloring. (Did I mention my eyes are brown? And they are framed with these? So that's a triple: eyes, belt, shoes.)

In the comments on my recent Frugal Friday post, Simple Color Scheme, Jennifer asks some challenging questions, resulting in my resolve to wear this outfit today. Testing my hypothesis on myself seemed the honorable thing to do.

About the photo: the light is a little bit tricky here. My face, what little you can see of it, looks washed out because the light is coming over the fence behind me. I love how you can see the pattern on the jacket, though! It's my new favorite coat, feels like wearing a bedspread. And the color of the shirt is not right at all; it looks like hot pink when in fact it's a muted watermelon.

More on the length-balancing aspects of putting together an outfit like this can be found in my review of the cover of the book How to Be a Budget Fashionista by Kathryn Finney.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Frugal Friday: Simple Color Scheme

For this (second, I didn't play last week) edition of Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood, I'm killing two "I'll-try's" with one stone:

  1. I'll try to write a Frugal Friday post.

  2. I'll try to blog a picture of what I wore today.

How am I going to link those two, you ask? Check out my outfit. It's a perfect illustration of My Absolute Best Fashion and Frugal Tip: the personalized color palette.

Sweater = the color of (most of) my hair.

Design on sweater = resembles the reds/pinks in my coloring (cheeks, lips, palms, even gums, are where these colors are found).

Accents = brown, my eye color.

The style is different, but the colors are very similar to this one I thought I would wear today.

One more advantage to this sort of wardrobe planning: I am one fast shopper. Not to mention everything goes together. Which is probably what makes it so frugal.

Hey thanks Crystal for starting this new event!

    Things You May or May Not Want to Know

    No time for a real post, but here's some random stuff:

    • It was 35 degrees this morning!
    • My toe-nails are still long from summer, but I'm still going to wear my suede boots today.
    • I just picked a 4 inch long slug off my dining room floor. (Ugh! That's a first!)
    • Today is my first day as a MOPS Mentor. Here's a makeover article on their website.
    • About the sweater I am wearing, here's an old post: Elegance, on $1 a Day.

    I'll try to blog a picture of my outfit later. In the meantime, would you consider answering a question?

      Thursday, September 14, 2006

      One Year Ago Today

      One year ago today I had never seen a blog. I sort of knew the definition "on-line journal, or something like that", but that didn't mean anything to me.

      I was still getting used to checking my email everyday on my brand-new dial-up connection.

      I'd say I've come a long way. Baby. Hehe.

      Wednesday, September 13, 2006

      Click, Clique?

      Since I consider myself somewhat of a "clique-buster", I found Pro-Bloggers list of ways to make your blog more inclusive inspiring. Thought you might too.

      Currently I'm working on #4. Highlight Posts for First Timers, by filling in my "Basics" section in the sidebar. I perceive # 8. Leave Room for Other Experts as an "opportunity" (euphemism for weakness); how did I ever come to think I was an expert anyway?

      And #7. Encourage Participation and Interactivity, that's what I really want. Any suggestions? I'm wearing my thick skin.

      Tuesday, September 12, 2006

      Beating Blog Envy

      Hey ladies, as long as you're here, would you consider popping over to answer a riveting question?

      Since I read Crystal's Works-For-Me-Wednesday post last week, I've been considering the issue of blog envy, specifically in the area of traffic. You see, my particular personality type REALLY likes to be popular.

      But, then there's this little voice in my head asking me, "are you willing to stay small, in order to be personal?"

      Yes, I am.

      When I keep my focus on why I do this, the people I am meeting, and all the things about what to wear that I still want to say; well, I am quite content.

      Fashion Week

      Speaking of blogging Fashion Week (or Weak:), this outfit from Oscar De La Renta just about shoots down the idea that runway looks are never wearable, doesn't it? And, hehee, I found a blouse SO similar to this one yesterday, at Value Village, you guessed it, brand new with tags for only $1 American! Oh yeah!

      Many thanks to the Coutorture team for snagging photos for us bloggers to legally use. If it's thorough Fashion Week coverage you want, they have it.

      Since I'm kinda lazy, I plan on getting my distillation of Fashion Week via Style Bytes. Admittedly, Agathe wears her skirts shorter than I recommend, but I enjoy both her clothing style and her blogging style.

      My theory is that the artistic principles of good taste are universal, like the laws of gravity. Can I get an "Amen"?

      Modest Swimsuit Pictures

      Thanks to Mary for sharing this link. She says her friend has been sewing them with great results from patterns and fabric she bought at the site. She also has a fun post with style questions up today.

      Now, I know what some of you are probably thinking, so I challenge you: Look at at least 3 or 4 pictures before you totally turn your nose up. There was one of a little girl that was absolutely darling and would be very usable.

      And a word to you very traditional types: some of you are at risk for looking immodest next summer. If you think, like I did 5 years ago, that a one-piece suit with moderately high-cut legs is basic swimwear, you could be showing over a FOOT more skin just in the thigh area than the modest teens that I was in the water with a month ago!

      My advice: cover your thighs. Completely.

      Festival of Frugality #39

      Getting up on Tuesday mornings I look forward to. The Festival of Frugality is up! I don't always have time to read all the entries, but it does help me to stay focussed and encouraged. Pop on over to Get Rich Slowly and check it out.

      Monday, September 11, 2006

      What to Wear This Very Friday

      Speaking of things that have not sold on ebay, here's one I decided to keep.

      Have you been wondering why I haven't posted any event outfits lately? Well, when it rains, it pours; and it's supposed to rain this Friday.

      Here are the options I have to choose from and what I would wear:
      As sweet as it was for my husband to offer to take me to the dress-up event, and despite the fact that our very good friend is speaking at the potluck, we will undoubtedly choose the game night. We have missed meeting with our small group over the summer.

      I'm happy it's Fall!

      Sunday, September 10, 2006

      Bargains on Ebay

      Generally speaking, I shop thrift. Most of my clothes are $1 at Value Village, aka Savers. In my neck of the woods, thrifting is abundantly rich. Well, at least middle-class. I often find brand-new garments, tags still on them, from the current season, for a single dollar.

      But that is not true for many of you. Recently I have stumbled onto another option: ebay. (Should I tell you I am not being paid to promote ebay? I am not. I'm not even going to use this post to promote my own auctions. If you are curious, you will have to dig deeper in the blog.)

      Here's what I mean: many items go unsold every week; lots of them good, basic, low-priced items which never get a bid. I've heard it said that ebay is just above a garage sale, and in these cases it's true. Items priced at a dollar or two, with a $5 shipping charge, if they only get one bid, will sell for under $10.

      Just call it thrifting from your easy chair.

      My advice: go ahead and bid on an item that would work for you. Set the opening bid as your maximum. Who knows? You could be the winner.

      Friday, September 08, 2006

      Building a Personal Color Scheme

      Since we are talking about starting from scratch here, and I do not know Meg's coloring, I will illustrate building a wardrobe color plan based on personal coloring using my RLF with the many jeans. Clothing selections are taken from Eddie Bauer, because Meg mentioned nostalgic and comfortable as her style preferences and Eddie Bauer suits my friend as well.

      In my post on developing a uniform template I suggest working from the bottom up, but for this color thing I am going to suggest starting with the jacket. Is that being double-minded? Because the jacket frames the face, and I've posted prolifically on selecting jacket colors, it's the easier place to start.

      • Resembling my friend's hair in color, this printed corduroy jacket would also be great for her because her hair is CURLY. The shapes in the print accentuate curls.
      • Immediately next to the face, a blouse with some color, but in the same color value as the skin can be most flattering. Can you see this blouse on a tiny, fair-skinned, green-eyed, freckled young lady? (BTW, I prefer to call them "sparkles".)Of course, I realize that many of us wear t-shirts most days. In this previous post, I run through all the colors of t-shirts that I use and why.

      • While black pants are a basic that works for many, and my friend is no exception, charcoal gray twill pants would be my choice for someone with softer coloring. Shows less dirt, too!

      Links to many of my previous posts on color use.

      I Love Questions!

      It appears I am not the only one with alot of questions. Welcome to the blog Mrs. Meg Logan whose fine series of questions, which I will begin to attempt to answer can be seen here.

      Here's one:
      If I have to start from scratch what are some things I ought to start with?

      She goes on to say what her style personality type is, and that makes alot of difference, but in addition one must consider lifestyle. What do you do everyday? If you, like my friend with the little ones, want to wear jeans everyday, well, you had better start there. Why not do the uniform template project this weekend?

      (Last May, in Frugal Mom Wardrobe Basics, I described some items which would be first on my spring list. But I took so much flack for the leisure character of my suggestions that I followed up with the well-received Frugal Mom Classics. While these were written going into summer, they may inspire a few going into winter ideas.)

      For Fall, I try to work with a uniform template that just combines pieces from other seasons.

      So, Mrs Meg, do you like to wear jeans or skirts everyday? Regarding the fit problems you mentioned, some are probably eliminated by skirts. The fabulous Clinton Kelly and Stacy London are big on recommending tailors as well, but then I get the impression you have skills.

      More later!

      Thursday, September 07, 2006

      How Many Jeans Does One Mom Need?

      You may be thinking I accidentally posted this on the wrong blog.

      While helping a friend "biff through" her clothes last week, I had the opportunity to test-drive my original formula for figuring out how many of one type of garment a person needs. Watching her pull jean after jean out of the drawer, I think I said out loud, "How many pairs of jeans do you need?"

      "Well, I was going to ask you that."

      And then I realized I knew how to figure it out:

      • "How many times a day do you have to change ...?" (She actually finished my sentence for me, "... because of spit-up?"). Her answer: 3 times per day. A normal number for a mother of a six-month-old.

      • "And how long could something be in the laundry?" Her answer: She does laundry twice a week. Translation: 4 days.

      • The math: 3 x 4 = 12. If she doesn't have 12 pairs of jeans, she'll be wearing something else when she's doing laundry that last day.

      • Oh. And this assumes she wants to wear jeans everyday. She does.
      The fabulous Clinton Kelly and Stacy London recommend when you find a pair of jeans you like buying two and hemming one to wear with heels and one to wear with flats.

      Me? I have four pairs. Dark straight, for with my Converse, long dark "bootcut", for with heels, and a longer and a shorter pair of these, for my most leisurely days.

      Seems like alot to me.

      Tuesday, September 05, 2006

      Raising a Modest Girlchild

      This is a little bit embarrassing. You see, back when I was slow I couldn't get Everyday Mommy to come up fast enough, so I never got into the habit of visiting over there. So now, inspired by Rebecca's Barbie post, I'm blogging about modesty (a recurrent theme here) for WFMW, not even realizing there is this whole Moms For Modesty thing going on over there.

      Some thoughts on raising modest girls (I'm blessed to have two!):

      1. Exercise your parental authority. See this previous post.

      2. There's no better text for giving them the tools to be "artistically" beautiful than that book I push (and I do own the Instructor's Manual).

      3. Get rid of your TV.

      4. Don't buy foo-foo shoes. What kindergartener needs platform sandals?

      I wish I knew WHY that last one works, but it did for me. Perhaps a future Riveting Question?

      Coutorture Giveaways!

      This Week's Blog Events

      1) The Festival of Frugality is up and, ironically, has a fashion theme! I say ironically because I submitted my tile project. Who knew? On the subject of the Festival, if you don't have time to read them all, Jenn at Frugal Upstate typically posts highlights.

      2) Maria Palma of The Runway Scoop is working on the Carnivale of Couture, but you won't find me there and, if you look at the topic , it's probably obvious why. On my budget, I don't even have a favorite designer. Not too mention that I don't like to be committed to a single "favorite". It's like having a best friend, just makes everybody else feel bad.

      3) In preparation for this week's Works For Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer, I recommend reading Beck's entry from last week. Be back here later for the piece that post inspired.

      4) One last thing: I have started a new blog , although there's not much there yet. Oh, and another one is on the way.

      Monday, September 04, 2006

      Tile Vanity For Pocket Change

      Admittedly, this has nothing to do with what to wear. It does have to do with girly beautifying, colors, and frugality, though, and I trust, if you are still dialed in here, a little flexibility in topic is okay.

      Our Labor Day project: a built-in tile vanity top in basement teen girl room. With every known variety of heated hair manipulation device (3 sizes of curling iron, flattener - er, straightener, I mean - and, every hunter's favorite, the 3-barrel waver), this young lady needs a safe place to practice her craft!

      Enter the multi-talented, adventurous, and never-content-with-ordinary father, and his omni-talented, but faithful, sidekick. (Did I say "omni"? Of course, I meant "uni". Hehee. I have one talent, that is, picking out colors.)
      After searching high and low for something better-than-ordinary, we settled on the pictured tiles (or should I say stumbled on?) purchased for under $10:

      • Large marble-look ceramic tile: Habitat for Humanity Surplus Store, 40¢ each. We bought one spare just in case.
      • White 2 x 2 square: same store, 10¢ each. Who knew it was almost impossible to find 2 x 2s off the shelf anymore?
      • Gray 4¼ x ½: also Habitat, 5¢ each. Yay! Since we didn't think this through completely before building it, we were needing some not-standard sizes.
      • The glass 2 x 6's: Lowe's. We paid $2 for an $18 box of tile! They were the one lonely box on the shelf, and we had to promise not to return them, but these are what make the counter top special.

      For further savings on this project, we borrowed some of the needed tools from friends. Sometimes it's hard to ask, but most people really like to help. It's another way of lessening the space between your peers.

        Sunday, September 03, 2006

        A Fall Makeover

        Fall is a great time to simplify, re-order your life, get a haircut ...

        How do you like the blog's fall colors? I did the same thing to my t-shirt drawer today; all that's left is taupe, brown, muted deeper pinks, and so on. Bright, summery colors, candy pinks and such, are getting a few months off. Or mixed carefully with fall tones as an accent.

        Friday, September 01, 2006

        Avoiding The Clash

        You walk outside, look down ... aaaaghh! It "matched" in the house! Now what do I do? Unfortunately, not much. Maybe mutter under your breath that you'll never try to match beiges again.

        Pairing orange and purple, or chartreuse and teal, is not usually the source of the stealth clash. No, usually it's something like trying to put orange-brown with purple-brown, or wearing chartreuse-taupe with teal-taupe. They're neutrals, right? And neutrals go with everything, right? Uh, not exactly.

        In The Age of The Essay, Paul Graham writes:
        An essay is something you write to try to figure something out.
        People, I don't have this one figured out. But it's been on the front burner ever since my very practical daughter recently decided she wasn't going to buy green pants, because she likes to wear green shirts (and she should - she has green eyes). So here's my messy essay.

        Some thoughts on building a wardrobe without clash:

        • Start with the pieces near the face. For more on selecting these colors: the Salty Jacket series.

        • As previously mentioned in Frugal Mom Classics, always buy the coordinating piece if it's available.

        • Don't try to assemble a do-it-yourself suit. Instead, choose another color the contrasts or blends. (More posts on color and color harmony.)

        • Using a pattern with a small amount of the color you are trying to match allows being less precise. It's amazing! A small amount of pink, for example, can look magenta when paired with a magenta jacket.

        We're trying to figure this one out together, right? What thoughts would you add?

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