Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"Spring" Photo Challenge

Since I got my new, fancy used camera for Christmas, I've been trying to learn how to take better pictures. The best trick? Just taking a crap ton of pictures.

And because I tend to be uninspired when it comes to subject matter, I jumped on this Spring Photo Challenge.

Here's what spring in Tucson is:

This was the first White Winged Dove of the season. They migrate in late April/early May, usually right when the saguaro blossoms open. This little guy is a little too early, as you can see the buds below it are still green and closed. It's cooing a warble that wakes me up in the summer months. In the distance, the yellow buds of the palo verde trees are past their prime and flutter to the ground in the rare breezes.

Technically, spring is just a weekend in mid-March. That's long since come and gone. Summer's coming quick, all the signs are there.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Project House Update: Framing Darth Vader

After over a year and a half of being homeless and squatting in my closet, my Star Wars Japanese tea towels finally have a spot on the wall again!

When we first moved into our house, as a bit of a house warming gift for Dan (and myself), I ordered these awesome pieces of fabric. They hung above our bed for almost a year before we got around to painting the room.

We had hoped to find a bed quickly, find frames for the fabric, and hang them right back up. It took us another year to find a bed, but it had too tall of a headboard to hang them back up in their original location.

It took a while to find a wall that worked for them. Our house has two kinds of open walls: walls that are oddly narrow so you really only stack a couple of small pieces or giant blank walls where everything seems too small. That and these pale colors really don't go with the green of the living room (trust me, I'm already thinking about what color we'll be painting it next, and hopefully soon).

Eventually, I realized the only spot that made sense is above our weight-rack, where my butterfly kite lived.

It now lives in the den. {Sidenote: Yes, the den needs a lot of work. We'll get there, eventually, I hope...}

I'm so happy these are finally part of our home again. My favorite one is of the droids, but I love how contemplative Darth Vader looks.

And yes, I know the right one is a little higher than the others, but these frames are remarkably not all the same frame and hanging them was a giant pain in the ass.

So, this brings the Star Wars art count in the house up to three. And I've got an idea with something I want to do with my lightsaber...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Stitch Fix Review: The Possibility

Click here to read my first review of Stitch Fix and an overview of how the process works.

Click here to read my second review.

Click here to read my third recent review.

 Click here to read my fourth and most recent review.

If you read my last review, you will know that I was basically done with Stitch Fix. It has been six months since my last try and, again, if I didn't have a $25 off coupon, I wouldn't have given it another shot. I'm glad I did, though.

From my last couple of reviews, the bar was set low. Very low. Knowing that no matter what you set the costs at, you get things priced around $60, I requested classic wardrobe staples, hoping for high quality pieces I could use for a number of years.

Let's look at what they sent me!

While I don't know I would have classified the items they sent me as 'classics', the pieces included a lovely note explaining that the jeans are the same jeans sent in my second box, but in a larger size. And she called my 'feedback', which is really just me complaining on my blog, as actually helpful.

Johnny Skinny Jeans by Kensie Jeans, $88. Like I mentioned before, I already received these jeans once, just in the wrong size. They are so incredibly soft. They are definitely denim, not a jegging, but they almost feel like felt, but not in a weird way. After receiving them for a second time, I finally pulled the trigger and added some ridiculously expensive jeans to my wardrobe. And sang along with 'Let It Go' when it came on the radio.

Farah Fit & Flare Striped Dress by 41Hawthorne, $68. If you needed a nice, cocktail length dress for all sorts of occasions, this would probably be a nice dress for you, assuming you found one that was sewn properly at the waistline. However, if you are sewing two parallel pieces of fabric together with parallel stripes, any incorrect angling will stand out. Great in concept, poor in execution. Back in the box.

Carlita Jersey Maxi Dress by Loveappella, $78.I'm sure this dress would be lovely if you have a great tan. However, with my lack of skin pigment, anything pastel just looks like pajamas. And come on, it's a jersey maxi dress. I have one I bought at Walmart that cost me $15. Back in the box.

Selfridge Cowl Neck Long Sleeve Top by 41Hawthorn, $48.This is a nice top, which is why I own an almost identical top. Only my top was free, since my sister was getting rid of it, and it's not shear in the back. Back in the box.

Downing Striped Knit Shirt by Pomelo, $78. This shirt does not look good on the hanger. It's a big old box. And it's orange. I don't have anything orange. However, I really like it on me. It's definitely a casual shirt, but I think it has the potential to be styled up a bit more. Not that I've figured it out completely yet, but I definitely kept this one and I've worn it twice already.

This box was my favorite so far and the first box where I actually kept two things. And while I don't seem to have the same luck as most other reviewers, there have been some positives throughout my numerous boxes.
  1. I've found the brand Kensie. The jeans I kept are from Kensie. The sweater I loved from my last box, but didn't keep it because of the cost was Kensie. Actually, with the sweater, I tried to find it cheaper online and couldn't, but I did find my bird shirt, which I love and my mother-in-law got it for half-off, so it was actually reasonably priced.
  2. It's helped me realize that tops that look like ugly, tent boxes on the hanger can be great when on. Like judging a book by its cover, I judge shirts poorly when on a hanger. I need to try more things on that I don't love on the hanger.
  3. I've been forced to incorporate more high-waisted, jersey pencil skirts. The fastest way to make a top work appropriate is to tuck it into a skirt. It's also forced me to shave my legs more, since they aren't hidden by jeans.  
I am more optimistic now to try Stitch Fix again. Probably later in the summer for some fall staples, but it will definitely be less of an experiment and more of a treat.

*This post was not sponsored by Stitch Fix. All opinions are my own.*