Butterfly Migration Onto My Head

Hi folksssssssssss! πŸ’•

I realized this past month I have been wearing mainly neutral tones, WHICH IS GREAT, TOO. But I feel like I really needed a color splash into my outfits. And thus you have THIS LOOK with an array of colors! Yeah!

I also feel like I haven’t been utilizing all the hair clips I own, which is a lot. So I doubled it up with butterflies! I actually am really happy I did this, because I didn’t realize how awesome it would turn out. πŸ˜„

I’m not sure how I slipped out of wearing brighter colors, but I’m happy I’m back at it. It just felt GOOD to be wearing brighter colors again! Sometimes I slip into habits and look back and realize, wait, when did I stop wearing bright colors? Then I lasso myself back into it again.

Once again, Mikhail Gorbachev, the host with the most glasnost, graces my blog post! I finished reading Perestroika and then discovered he wrote a new book this year! (Did you know he’s 89 years old!?) This one is really cool because it deals with current international affairs. So I’m learning a lot about the “state of the world”.

I love Gorbachev’s writing style. He provides that informative guidance; he’s like a father figure, but rather than guiding me through life choices, he’s guiding me on why nuclear weapons are bad.

Know the social/political commentary comic, Doonesbury? That was mainly all I read during my childhood years! My earliest memory of Doonesbury was reading commentary on the Gulf War. Kinda dark stuff for a kid. Imagine me reading that in Beauty and the Beast pajamas as I downed a pouch of Capri Sun. The visual is accurate.

But, looping it back to my outfit in this post, regardless of my heavy reading choices, I’m still all about the rainbows and butterflies when it comes right down to it! πŸ’– And on an ending note, here’s a cool photo I took of my car with lots of pretty colors:

Bye-bye for now!!! πŸ“š

My Vintage Dress That’s Actually a Soviet School Uniform

Woohooo!!! The dress I’ve been waiting so long for finally arrived in the mail! 😍

It came from one of my favorite Etsy shops based in Ukraine that specializes in vintage USSR items, that I mentioned in my last post. When I first saw this lovely dress (I’ve been wanting a brown dress for a really long time, especially for fall), I was amazed to find out it was a 1980’s-era school uniform. All that was missing from it was the white apron and collar/cuffs, but the foundation of the uniform dress remained! And it’s in great shape, to boot!!! ❀️

I’ve always thought Soviet school uniforms were so cute! I found a great photo on Google for reference:

I’ve been fascinated (okay, obsessed) with The Cold War/US and USSR relations/the Eastern Bloc/the collapse of the Soviet Union since I was really young. I have no idea how or when it started; it’s just always been an interest of mine, it seems! So the dress is an absolute gem in my eyes, since it encapsulates both my passion for fashion and history.

Check out the old tags on the inside of the dress, written in Ukrainian:

It makes me wonder what student(s) previously owned this 30+ years ago. If only a dress could talk! And then I think of how awe-inspiring it is that it made its way to me from so far away. I’ll definitely take good care of it and I’m so happy it found a new home with me! ❀️

Lastly, my current read (because it goes sooooooo well with the content of this post and you already know I’m a history nerd), Perestroika by Mikhail Gorbachev (the former president of the Soviet Union).

I’ve been wanting to read this book, written in 1987 (the year I was born, haha), to see how Gorbachev intended to restructure and reform the USSR, which ultimately collapsed in 1991. Had the Soviet Union not fallen apart, would his reform policies have worked in the long run? We’ll never know…but now I have a piece of this collapsed, now non-existent part of history, in the form of a dress. In a lot of ways, I think the dress found me.

See ya!!! ❀️

Letterman Style

Hello folks!! ❀️ I’ve always liked the whole old-school letterman style cardigans from way back in the day. I decided to pick up my sewing needle while I was watching NASCAR last Sunday (I was so happy Joey Logano won!!!) and attempt to make my own kind of letterman-style cardigan equipped with the letter of my first name (Samantha) and elbow patches (made from scraps of fabric I had lying around!).

Overall I totally love it and it’s definitely a garment I’ll be wearing frequently during the chillier fall months ahead! It’s fun and can easily go with anything.

The scarf is vintage from the 1980’s, made in the USSR. I bought it from an Etsy seller who lives in Ukraine, and her shop specializes in vintage items from the former Soviet Union. I have one more garment I’m waiting so badly to blog about, which also came from her shop, but it hasn’t arrived in the mail just yet. πŸ˜“

BUT IN THE MEANTIME ENJOY SOME MORE PHOTOS AND CHECK OUT MY NEW KITTY SHOES…

MEOW MEOW MEOWWWWWW

I have finally broke into these shoes. It took many a blister and pain to do so, but I did it. I was like, SHOES, YOU ARE GOING TO FIT COMFORTABLY AND BECOME GOOD WALKING SHOES. Eventually, they listened to me and now I can walk a long ways in them with no pain! 🐱

See ya next time!!

Red Lace Trim for the Win

Hey there!! ❀️ I am quite ecstatic about this dress I re-vamped; it’s an old lace dress I had crammed in my closet, not being worn in like a year, and I decided to give it a makeover. In walks in, the red lace trim!

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

I am so happy with this dress, I can’t even express it enough. It was a roll-of-the-dice when I was sewing the lace onto it; I didn’t know how it would look once I had it on, but I went with it. I DID NOT THINK IT WOULD TURN OUT THIS COOL!!!!!! ❀️❀️❀️ I always feel a little boost of confidence when I’m wearing an original design of my own doing. ☺️

I went and got myself some delicious Yellow Mug Coffee and went for a long walk. The weather was just too beautiful not to be out enjoying it. I spotted some early signs of fall foliage and a very intricately-spun spider web…

SERIOUSLY, LOOK AT THAT WEB!!! πŸ•·

Ahhhh…I love my nature walks. I feel they are only going to get better as the season transitions gradually into fall. Yaaaaaaaay!πŸ’•

See ya!!

Pumpkin Dress

Hi yaaaaaaa’ll!

September is the month that makes me begin to think about pumpkins, whether actual pumpkins or pumpkin-flavored things. I modified this lovely dress a few weeks ago, but wanted to wait for the right time to wear it. Why not the first day of September? Perfect!

I’ve become a champ at sewing lace trim sleeves now. A champ, I tell you!!! I love how this dress now has a 1960’s-nod-to-the-Victorian-era look, especially with the cameo brooch. πŸ’œβœ¨

So yes, I looooooooooooooooooove how this dress turned out. Very, very happy with it! Fittingly, I went to have my first Pumpkin Spice Frappucino and Pumpkin Scone while wearing this dress:

As you can see, Gene was salivating blood over my food and drink. But too bad bud, these are for me!!! I wish my bag was musical and you could press a button, in which he serenades me with a little Christine Sixteen or Goin’ Blind.

As you can also see from the sun rays in the above photo, the smoky skies have returned. Everything looks orange! 😜

See ya next time!! Wishing you a happy start of the new month. πŸ’œβœ¨

60’s Mod…-ifications

Howdy, all! πŸ’ž

Well I knew it would happen once I learned some sewing basics; this week, I’ve gotten much better at hand-sewing, and I had the epiphany: “Bleep it…let’s modify any dormant clothing item in my closest and make it look totally different!!!”

And that’s what I did this past week (aside from working and binge-reading my two favorite books about The Berlin Wall). It was record-breaking hot (more on that later) so I hardly went on any walks, which left me with an infinite amount of time to sew lace trim to some dresses and blouses (this is just one outfit, I did way more but I’ll feature ’em in future posts!)

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we’ve had record-breaking heat here in California. In Central California where I live, we hit 112 degrees one day!!! And even worse, there are many wildfires going on throughout the state (the closest one being 60 miles away) and the smoke has made the air quality pretty awful.

But to beat the heat, I’ve become quite the barista. 😎 I’ve been making these mocha frappucinos that are super easy to make and they are amaazing. This is Gevalia Mocha Frappe Mix (it runs out of stock frequently since many people are making their own coffee drinks at home with the pandemic). Highly recommend it for all of you coffee lovers out there! πŸ’•

I captured the very essence of how it looks outside this past week. The sun has been a blazing red with the landscape a glowing orange. Also, how’s that for a weather report on your phone?!?!? I just had to screenshot it!

See ya next time!! πŸ’•

If Only I Could Be Sew Cool

Hi! πŸ˜„

I’ve recently started going back to my old stomping grounds once a week now, enjoying a Saturday chill session on the patio of my favorite Starbucks. It’s pretty empty these days with the pandemic, so I feel safe to do so. Along with my laptop, I brought my mom’s sewing book from 1969, which was such a gem to flip through.

Now, I always have this GRAND IDEA that I will make my own A-line skirts. The way I visualize it in my head looks fantastic. However, when I read/watch actual instructions, I’m left totally confused at everything I was just told.

Then I got online to look for retro fabrics and nearly spit out my iced mocha across my laptop screen seeing how expensive the fabric alone was. What the heck!!!!

This has happened countless times. I get the idea that I’ll try sewing a skirt, I get frustrated, and then that’s where Etsy conveniently walks through the door to save the day. Which leads me to this lovely handmade skirt I purchased recently on Etsy!

I stop to admire my beautiful new skirt and realize, hey…the seller was able to sew it herself! I can too…right? A question which feels like I’m standing near a canyon shouting it, only hearing a rolling echo which fades with no response.

I still won’t write off the idea of trying to make a skirt. Anytime someone asks me if I make my own clothes (which is a lot), I smile and inwardly recoil into a shame spiral, while painfully forming the words, “I don’t, actually.” I’ve only done minor, sew-free modifications. And then I daydream of a kitschy 70’s fabric being sewn together into the perfect A-line skirt, looking fashionably out-of-date and fabulous, like a Brady Bunch set relic, specially made by moi.

The girl on the cover of Simplicity smiles, taunting me while speaking with her eyes, “Sewing is so easy and fun!” Anyone can do it, right?! Right? Right!

I gaze into the horizon, my eyes squinting and staring at nothing in particular. Truth is, it’s a match. Me vs. a sewing machine. Could I manage such a match? Will I get knocked down by the sewing machine, slump into the ropes, wipe the sweat from my brow and then determinedly get back on my feet, already swinging?

Who knows. Maybe eventually I’ll give it a try. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed how dramatic I made this post intentionally for laughs! πŸ˜ƒ

See ya!!

Quarantine Time Snapshots

Hey hey!! I hope y’all have been doing well during these quarantine days. πŸ’œ Life has been really quiet for the most part but I managed to collect some snapshots of what I’ve been up to. πŸ˜€

First off, I keep forgetting to blog about this (I don’t know how I forgot???) but I have really exciting news! Last month, I was notified that a logo I designed for a restaurant called Seafood Station in San Francisco was up on display and I was sent a photo of it!!!

This is definitely my happiest moment as a graphic designer!!!!!!! To see a logo I designed hanging up is so exciting. Creating it took a lot of hard work and hours to complete, but all of that hard work paid off seeing the final result. So a piece of me is in San Francisco!

The cool thing is that I have more logo design work coming up (the clients are all in the Bay Area). I’m used to designing graphics for Instagram business pages, so logo design is a challenging yet overall rewarding new experience! πŸ‘

My backyard office space, which is perfect next to the little rose bush! I spotted a tiny bee-looking-fly hanging out on a leaf (photos below). Also, that hot pink rose on my planner is a paper weight I painted (it was quite windy when I took this photo).

I’ve been going for walks a few times a week with my friend Sarah, as I mentioned in my last blog post! It’s refreshing and I love looking at all the houses in the neighborhood. One of my favorite houses on our route is one that looks nearly identical to The Brady Bunch house (as a result, I’ve been watching several episodes of The Brady Bunch lately!)

I ended up going to the farmer’s market at a shopping center I frequent, which I hadn’t been to since the quarantine began. It was so crazy to see the parking lot empty, and also seeing my favorite Starbucks in this shopping center devoid of patio furniture and human beings:

Going to the farmer’s market was great because it felt familiar (I used to go sit with my friend at her vendor booth at farmer’s market nearly every Tuesday evening last spring/summer!). So it was really nice to go again; I got myself a Dalgona coffee and some sweets to take home. πŸ’• YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS…

My outfit for the outing. 😁 Pattern mixing is so fun and for that extra flower power vibe, I sported my daisy hair clips (I’ll be making more of these soon!!! I ordered more daisy patches to make hair clips but in different colors. They will make any outfit I wear look ultra groovy).

🌸 See ya next time!! 🌸

Full of Secrets

Recently, a fellow blogger named Giada (go check out her blog, she takes beautiful pictures and has great style!) suggested I do a blog post about my hair. I thought that was a really good idea and one I should have thought of sooner!

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A lot of people ask how I get my hair so big. Truth is, it’s just full of secrets. I wake up and it naturally looks this way…get out of the shower, and boom…it’s huge and full of volume.

I wish. πŸ™‚

While my secrets do contribute to my hair volume πŸ˜‰ , it actually takes strong hairspray, tools, and time to complete. Getting dressed, doing my hair and makeup combined takes about an hour and a half to do.

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Clearly I wear extensions (for length), but all the teased portion of my hair is my own. I wear two of the large-sized Bumpits (one on the top of my head, another further back behind it):

Bumpits

Teasing my hair is still a big part of it, as the Bumpits themselves serve to keep my hair from falling flat. Also, there is another way to create the volume:

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The hair donut! What I did was take one that corresponds with my hair color (so, brown for me) and I cut one side up to the hole, and it then creates one long, squishy tool to put volume in my hair. It holds in place on my head underneath my hair by putting a bobby pin on each end! Just make sure to tease your hair to cover it.

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Lastly, I keep it all in place by using Aussie Instant Freeze. This is the best hairspray I’ve ever used and nothing else holds as well as this does, in my opinion! I’ve sat on many windy beaches and my hair kept its shape because of this glorious hairspray. You don’t have to be heavy-handed when spraying this because it really is an instant freeze. A little goes a long way!

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So, there ya go! There are various ways to get volume, and these are my go-to’s that work for me. I know this is an extreme hairstyle and not everyone wants so much volume, so you can tone it down by using smaller Bumpits of course or a smaller hair donut. Same result, just more subtle. πŸ™‚

Happy Saturday!