Ugly & Beautiful

Bringing Brooches Back

Audrey-audrey-hepburn-1360102-782-1000I’m going to go ahead and say (without much real knowledge of the fashion world at all) that brooches are coming back. Maybe they are back and I’m just out of the loop. They’re selling them at Banana Republic and they’re all over Etsy. They seem to me like the perfect accessory, especially with the popularity of clothing lines like Modcloth that deal in a more vintage aesthetic. While necklaces fall into necklines or get hidden by scarves, brooches stay firmly pinned in place.  Continue reading “Bringing Brooches Back”

Fun & Games

How to Make a Drinking Straw Fairy Wand


What does your little one want to be for Halloween?

I just listed this adorable fairy costume on Etsy, inspired by some prints my daughter has in her room of various flower fairies. I just thought that the shape of daisy petals lent itself to making wings, and it really does. See?


So I took some wire and some plastic and tulle and fabric and yarn and ribbon and made some wings.

But that’s a lot of materials and you might not want to go through the trouble considering how easily you can buy a pair of wings. But you know what I’ve noticed is missing from a lot of fairy costumes?

A wand. Continue reading “How to Make a Drinking Straw Fairy Wand”

Goals & Challenges

Polka Dots, Checks, and Stripes


You might remember (because it wasn’t that long ago) that I recently decided to start dressing for myself, meaning I’d wear what I wanted to wear and not was was expected/practical and a mommy. This decision sort of led me on a journey–a journey to my sewing machine, which led to the fabric store (quite a few times), and to the boxes of old clothes in my garage, and then to a realization:

I love clothing.

It seems like something I’d know about myself, right? But, never having had a model’s body, I’ve mostly considered beautiful clothes to be something for beautiful people, but not for me.

But my kids are beautiful. So I thought I’d make them a few things.

car shirtThe boy loved it. I mean LOVED it. He’s been so excited to see what Mommy can put together, and he’s wanted to wear it all (even the stuff meant for his sister). His sister, on the other hand, has been less than enthusiastic. I can’t even get her to wear a skirt I made out of Paw Patrol fabric, and Paw Patrol is her number one favorite thing in the world except maybe shoes or the color pink. I’m trying not to take it personally and chalking it up to her recent hatred of skirts.

Anyway, I learned that I love to sew, too. It’s like baking, but without the calories. And I took to it pretty quickly. So I went into production.

I started adding little pieces of clothing to my Etsy store, The Sensitive, Bookish Type, even though they seemed out of place with my books and drawings.

And then I went to the estate sale of a man who owned more clothing than a Men’s Wearhouse. Beautiful things. Well-kept things. Kitschy things. I was so tickled at the prospect of buying these clothes, either to sell them, wear them, or make something out o them, that I realized: I had to start a second Etsy shop. I wanted to start selling clothes.

So I’ve started an Etsy shop, and named it after my favorite song from the eighties/early nineties–my style icon since I was in elementary school. I’ve sewn a few things, purchased a few things, and painted a few things. I’m really enjoying it.

So here it is! I’d love to know what you think.

Ugly & Beautiful

Seven Days of Outfits: Finding My Non-Mommy Style

About a month ago, I drove to Portland for some personal business and spent almost an entire day without my children. It wasn’t even twelve hours, but it was probably the longest I’ve been separated from them, and definitely the longest I’ve been separated from Violet. That day, I visited Powell’s City of Books and snapped a picture of myself with Violet’s stuffed puppy, whom I’d brought along as a travel companion:


When I posted this photo on Facebook, a friend commented that I looked “so un-mom like!” This got me thinking about what is “mom-like” and what is “un-mom-like” and what I wear and why I wear it. It was quite an interesting internal conversation, filled with personal revelations. For example: I love jewelry. Not expensive things, not gems, but the cute plastic stuff you see me wearing in the picture. Costume jewelry, if you will. But most of my current friends had never seen me wear jewelry–friends I’ve had for up to four years! Nor had they seen me wear Converse All Stars, which I own in several colors and used to be my go-to shoes. The reasons: 1) People with kids expect you to take your shoes off in their houses, and so it’s easier to wear something you don’t have to lace and tie. 2) My feet grew and widened during pregnancy and so my sneakers are now uncomfortably tight.

I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you. The point is:

I used to enjoy getting dressed, putting on jewelry, and doing my makeup; after having kids, I mostly stopped doing these things.

So I decided, though I’m obviously still a mom and doing my mom things, to spend a week dressing for myself instead of my circumstances. I even pulled clothes out of the garage that I’d thought I might never wear again. Also, as you can see, I dyed my hair. Twice. Here’s how it looked: Continue reading “Seven Days of Outfits: Finding My Non-Mommy Style”