Thursday, 31 December 2015

'Old Lady' is a Matter of Perspective

Once, while I was in a shop looking at some scented soaps I ended up in discussion about them with the shop owner who told me that the floral scents were very popular with the young women and I expressed surprise as to me florals have a bit of an old lady association.  But it's all relative and there are young women now who associate oriental scents or the smell of patchouli and sandalwood with their mothers or grandmothers.

I have a few associations of my own that are not typical apparently.  Those hipster glasses, sometimes known as Buddy Holly glasses, look just like the kind both of my grandfathers wore.   My great aunt and uncle were somewhat modern for their time and their home was filled with what we now call Mid-Century Modern furniture and decor.  My grandparents had some too. So to me it is old people decor and I've never liked it.  It just looks outdated, although I think it is also not to my taste regardless of what date it belongs to.

My grandmother carried a handbag like this one except always navy blue and with silver toned not brass hardware.


Grandma did not totter around in heels and short shorts though and she did not wear red lipstick or any makeup except powder.

My great aunt did the red lip with no other makeup.  She also wore berets.  Her red lip was matte and almost a coral red.   It suited her well and she always wore red, green or brown, whereas Grandma was always navy, powder blue and sometimes light pink, though not as often. A white blouse and navy skirt was typical for every day.  But I digress with my reminiscing.

It's not unusual for me to go into a vintage, collectibles or antiques shop and see items that are very familiar from my childhood which means I see things all the time that others are willing to pay lots of money for and which I do not value very highly.  Either I never liked them to begin with or they seem commonplace to me.  There have been mid-century modern pieces I inherited which I could not give away fast enough but I have clearly inherited a fondness for navy blue.  That one, I am convinced, is truly in my family genetics.

So I have been looking at handbags, considering something more classic looking, something a bit more grown up looking, as I have been vaguely considering the idea of growing up.  I figured I should probably test drive a new-to-me style by shopping at the thrift store, though a non-vinyl/PVC/PU bag that isn't tacky or ratty looking is a rare thing to be found at the thrift shop. 

I am particular in what I like, though will sacrifice that in a second hand bag if I am just testing a different style.  I like silver toned hardware, not brass.  I want a blue, grey or taupe bag, harder colours to find.  I want simple lines without excess hardware, fringes or rivets, but not too plain and square either.

If I had a bazillion dollars I might want this, the Mulberry Bayswater.  I"m not sure which this one is, but I'd want the small sized one.


                                       Source: John Lewis no link

It comes in many delicious colours but I have a thing for taupe and one has to be practical if spending a bazillion dollars.  After that I'd get purple and sea blue and green.

Of course, I've never seen a Mulberry bag for sale here and I cannot even afford ebay prices on the Mulberry mini bags.  So back to reality.

I went to the local discount department store where the pickings are pretty slim after Christmas, hoping there might be a sale.  Some items were on sale but not all.  The majority of bags there were black or slightly odd colours, though I found myself repeatedly drawn to bags by Kate Spade.  If I were a basic black bag person there was even a black KS bag there, but black bags are not for me.  The other choices were a blush pink and a neon fuchsia.  No to neon but I really considered the blush pink.  However, I loathed the neon lining inside and for $200 I do not want to loathe any part of a handbag.

So then I went to the thrift shop that would have the biggest selection.  The chances of finding something I loved would be slim but I could pay $10 for something I liked.  And I did.  I have a tendency to love totes and large satchels but I have those.  I want a medium sized handbag.

So I came home with this.  It's larger than I was aiming for but it's a lovely dusty navy blue.  I have my basics in it but could fit a novel and a notebook if I wanted to.  It's a little squishier and less structured than I was aiming for also.  Squishy bags are my default so I was trying to give a more structured bag a try. The problem with the size is that I will fill it and it gets a bit heavy.

                                      half the size would be better

It's in good condition and comes from a shop in Vancouver called CNKW.  It sounds like a radio station.  A Google search told me that they make mediocre quality leather bags that vaguely resemble designer bags but are not attempting to be knock offs.  I saw comments that labelled it a trashy store full of knock-offs and comments saying it was a place your mother or aunt might shop.  Well I am a mother and an aunt.   On one site I read a discussion between two young women on the possibility of this store selling Harajuku fakes and some other trendy Japanese name I am not familiar with.    As far as I can tell the bag I bought is not a fake anything and is just a very basic bag.  There is no logo, which I like and which I see as the down side to a Kate Spade bag.

So now I am experimenting with a bag I have to carry around by the handles.  I can manage to put it on my shoulder but it's certainly not a cross body bag like I usually carry.  It's much better to spend $10.00 on such an experiment than $200.00 as well as get a colour I am happy to carry around and no shiny brass hardware.  I also get constant memories of Grandma while I carry it and that is never a bad thing.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Ink-But Not the Tattoo Kind

Subtitle:    A Post In Which I Ramble A Bit With a Vague Ink Theme

I love ink blue, though having said that when it comes to the actual ink in pens I always choose black.  Amongst blues though, it is anything that looks inky, indigo or denim that really appeals to me, rivaled perhaps by anything in the greyed aqua range. 

In addition to the fact that I always receive books for Christmas and have happily had my nose buried in some for the past few days (ink=books, get it?), ink blue is one of my favourite colours, from the darkest ink, to a medium indigo and a faded denim blue, and as a Christmas gift I also received a beautiful pashmina in these colours.  I wrap myself up in it while reading.  I am tired from the Christmas events but I look significantly better (and thus less tired) in these inky tones than I would in black (Blue is my new Black).  They are soft and muted.  This looks rather like someone doodled designs in blue ink, shading some spots more heavily and thus darker. (It's looking slightly more teal on my screen at the moment but I've got a post sunset dimming feature on my screen which gives everything a yellowish-greenish tint so that could be why.  It's definitely blue like pen ink, and indigo dye)

Some more ink I received for Christmas, admittedly it is black:

Source               Fifteen Dogs (Just finished this last night and loved it)

Source               The Heart Goes Last

Source               Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Decoded

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Bright LIghts Small Town

In my colour testing mood, and grabbing any moments when the lighting is decent, I have tested some of my brighter items.  (All two of them)

I have to admit I am aware that I look rather amazing in this pink.  The right colours clear your complexion and brighten your eyes like no makeup can.  It's very bright on me, and looks duller off me.  It's a strange phenomenon.  On a hanger it's dark dusty rose and on me it's fuchsia.

And my other brightly coloured garment (Notice they are all soft, lightweight sweaters with no shine.  I have a strong preference for that.) is a bright blue.  A close look shows the individual threads are different colours, mauve and aqua blue.  I love that sort of effect. 

I find that texture matters to me a great deal, not just for the comfort of wearing it but for the effect it gives to colour.  Some colours do not appeal to me if they seem too opaque and solid.  I like a heathered quality, or silvery, crushed velvet or some sort of matte linen often appeals but with a colour that I really want in a silvery tone, such as aqua, I find it appealing in satin.  Perhaps this is because I find aqua it's most beautiful with a sort of translucence like water or glass and somehow the satin or taffeta gives that look. 

I have a confession to make.  It's probably not the big secret I think it is.  I have been running away from certain aspects of myself for a long time.  Look at me.  I am all ivory and pinkness.  I like sweet fragrances.  Roses, peonies, pearls, yup I love them.  And soft fluffy kittens, cashmere sweaters and lop eared bunnies.  I was afraid of the message pastels might send and confused about colours that I see as bright.  Bright is a somewhat subjective term, and some colour brightness is overwhelming to me, both emotionally and on my body.  But there are softer brights, slightly lighter but on me they stool look bright.  I have begun to find them  I had no idea I looked this pretty.

I had no idea my skin was all this porcelain bisque and roses.  I did not know my eyes were this light or that they could sparkle.  Heck I didn't even know they were this colour.  I think I'm quite used to seeing myself with enlarged pupils.  I thought I was a bit mousey and that I had to present myself as stronger, darker, tougher in order to survive in this world.  I'm not what you might call girly but I am very classically feminine.  I am soft and gentle and generally not loud and I was ashamed of that.  It's not really cool to be that way right now and when I was younger I thought that I had to put that aside in order to be grown up.  Then I got stuck there in dark colours, the dark version of any colour I like.  If I ventured towards a pastel I took a greyed version because I did not want to remind anyone of cotton candy.

Clearly my colouring is very cool, slightly soft, and mostly light though my hair is dark in comparison.  I am almost a winter if you are into seasonal colour analysis but I am a bit too delicate for winter.  Black and white are too harsh on me.  I am a summer.  And I am ready to embrace the colours of summer.  I don't have a lot of them in my closet but it's a new goal.  I have a few sweaters and a few scarves.  It's a start.  I am visible even though I am not loud.  I am amazed.

I love this colour.  It's probably technically a pastel and yet it feels strong to me.  Strong but in a good way.  It balances me.

Squinting into sunlight here.  This colour feels very strong to me but I think it is working.  I've had this scarf for two years and not worn it.  It might be a little too intense for me but it's definitely not bad.   I'm less sure about it though.

Maybe not as good as the other pink but I think this is a keeper too.  It's better than darkness.  I didn't drape the silver scarf below quite as carefully but you can still see that it works well.  I would not have guessed that such a pale silver grey would be good and I would have bought a medium grey but this time I asked the opinions of a few people in the store and the light one was the unanimous choice.

I'm wearing a bit of mascara and some hastily dabbed on under eye concealer in these photos but these colours make me look like I've applied pink blusher.  I am a bit distracted by how much lighter my eyebrows are than my hair but colours that do this much good for my face should be colours I wear regularly.  Maybe I'll have to start doing eyebrows but I think I can skip the blusher.

Obligatory Digression:  Isn't it weird how much hair colour changes with the lighting?  In the first picture I almost look salt and pepper and in the second last one I have auburn highlights.  My hair has darkened with age, but I'm not actually salt and pepper just yet.

So, it is my goal to lighten up.  The Pantone colours of Spring 2016 will be useful in that goal.  I've already lightened up my neutrals, favouring mid greys and taupes though I still have a lot of navy.  Handbags and footwear are always a challenge as I would ideally like grey or taupe or even a greyed blue but it's rare.  I only carry one style handbag and I only buy leather so I've yet to see the right bag in grey, taupe or a mid-blue but I'm always looking.  Brown does the job for now.  It's a bit softer than black and I've always loved it.

Breakdown of the ultimate goals for colour in my wardrobe....

Cool tones, slightly softened, medium colour value with some lights and darks making outfits always a medium value contrast.

Medium grey, grey-blue or medium taupe for classic shoes and bags.  Brown is easier to find than grey but it's still a challenge to get cool browns.   A dark charcoal or very soft and faded black will work, especially for formal shoes.  A matte texture makes black look softer.



Not that I can't and won't wear dark colours.  The darks in the chart above also suit me well but they are familiar and I tend to rely on them too often.  The second darkest are also in my comfort zone.  It's going lighter or brighter that I am eager to pursue.

This is the enforced stopping line.  Not for you dear reader but for me.  I must now shut up about colour.  At least until next time.

I will allow myself to say something about my other obsession though.  Fragrance!  I finally found The One in a local shop and bought myself a bottle.  Now I am in scented and coloured bliss and to link up with Patti and the gang at Visible Monday.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Fragrance Is in the Nose of the Besniffer

I love fragrance.  I adore it.  I am perhaps obsessed with it second only to colour and maybe this is why I loved gardening so much.  In my garden you found fragrance and colour in abundance.  These days it's a bit socially unacceptable to wear fragrance and so many places, offices, schools, health care facilities, are fragrance free zones because people have allergies and fragrances can be very irritating.

What makes a nice fragrance is quite subjective too.  There are plenty which I don't like, some which give me a headache and there is that smell I call department store cosmetics counter which I don't really care for.  Not only will the same fragrance smell differently on different people, but not everyone the wearer encounters will like the fragrance.  I am more sensitive to non-perfume scents, like the chemical smells in off gassing furniture, carpets or paint, than I am to perfumes.  Disliking a smell is not the same as feeling ill or getting a headache when you smell it, though I would venture to guess that feeling ill causes a dislike.  I have no idea what particular fragrance ingredients set off my headache other than that a very strong oriental blend does.  It might be a particular ingredient or two or it might be strength.

I wear fragrance for my own pleasure and can do that since I am mostly at home.  Although I really like many orientals, I find that they can be too overpowering and give me a headache.  I also like florientals in general, some florals and have a guilty pleasure in the scent of vanilla and musk, two scents which seem a bit cliché.

I am a frequent reader of the website where people even more in love with fragrance than I am list, discuss and analyse every fragrance you've ever heard of and many you haven't, just like wine or scotch connoisseurs do.  There are base notes and top notes and middle notes and people talk of plum or chocolate or peppery notes.  The vanilla scented fragrances belong to a category called the gourmands, which is fancy talk for food smell.  The drawback, I have found, to wearing a vanilla scent, is that it conflicts a bit with the food you are eating.  Vanilla and pizza are not a good match, for example.

The current trend is for very sweet fragrances, candy-like, generally this is considered appealing to the youth market and thus to many people such a fragrant smells young, or in a negative connotation smells juvenile.  It's all subjective though and we put fragrances into contexts that we have experienced, so whatever your grandmother or mother smelled like will seem like an old lady smell to you.  It may be comforting but you may not be able to wear the same fragrance.  To a new generation of fragrance wearers the orientals have an old lady connotation whereas to me florals do.  I have also seen the same fragrance negatively reviewed as both 'a young girl's scent' and an old lady fragrance.  Interestingly that is the same phenomenon that happens with pastel colours and how they are stereotyped and this rouses the feminist in me. 

My own mother only wore fragrance on special occasions and she wore Chanel No 5.  She couldn't afford it, or would not normally spend so much on herself, but her parents bought her some every couple of years for as long as they lived.  To me it smells like elegance because it means my mother dressed up, earrings and lipstick and a lovely carmine pink maxi-dress, going out to dinner with my Dad and another couple.   I would not wear it, not because I don't like it, but because it is her and would feel like copying.

Most of my favourites over the years have had a definite degree of sweetness to them, though more in a floral and powdery way, not like candy.  I have noticed that while I like some degree of citrus, I am not attracted to the green fragrances, which feature mainly citrus and woodsy scents.  I like white flowers, roses peonies, musk, vanilla, amber, patchouli and something just a little bit leathery, but just how those scents might be combined seems to be highly varied.  Not that there aren't fragrances that are very similar or nearly duplicates.

I've noticed, when studying the list of top, middle and base notes in various fragrances, that there is some degree of formula that is typical.  Most often there is a citrus top note, followed by florals and then the amber, musky, or woodsy scents.  My understanding is limited but I think it has something to do with how long these particular categories of scent last and the base notes, or the scent that you get to after half an hour to an hour and that lingers longest is called the dry down.  Sometimes you don't like a scent when you initially apply it and then a bit later you do.  For me that is actually rather typical and liking the top notes seems to be rare.  I am always seeking that fragrance where I just like it more and more as time goes on.

I definitely don't want to leave a scent trail or kill people in the elevator.  I prefer a fragrance that you have to get close to me to detect.  This is something called a skin scent, which sounds delightfully intimate.  The trail you leave is called sillage and some people rate a fragrance poorly if there isn't much sillage.  Then there's the fact that our own nose gets accustomed to our  favourite scent and we don't detect it as readily.  It becomes easy to overdose then and wear too much of it.

Some scents are complex and change as they are worn, others smell mainly the same from the moment they go on.  My current vanilla scent is like that.  It is supposedly a floral and vanilla combination but I mostly smell the vanilla.  It was a blind buy from a sale bin, packaged so I didn't get to smell it in advance.  It has been described as everything from sublime to baby wipes, creamy and like cold cream or soap.  It's not a sophisticated scent but it's very feminine and I don't need to be sophisticated 24/7.  Sometimes I love it and other times I find it too strongly sweet.  I will probably not buy it again but it would not surprise me if I make a spontaneous purchase of something similar in the future.  I like vanilla and that won't change. It smells quite similar to Lush Vanillary, which I bought once before as well and had the same mixed feelings about.  Essentially it makes me smell like a waffle cone but I do swoon at the smell of waffle cones and I can't eat them (gluten) so may as well smell like one.

This is not my photo but it is the very same vanilla perfume and this blogger I borrowed the picture from happens to love it.


Some people are fragrance snobs, just as with wine or scotch and fragrances come at all levels of quality, complexity and price and just as with other things price is not always a reflection of quality.  In the end, fragrance is a personal choice and if you don't reveal what you wear, nobody can judge you for your drugstore staple, but people do tend to ask what it is if they like it.  

My current favourite is Rose The One, which I bought because I love The One and it cannot be found anywhere in my town.  One of the discount stores gets Rose The One every Christmas and I grab a bottle.  I'd still like to get a bottle of original The One and apparently will have to leave town or buy it online.  When I asked for it at the drugstore the cosmetic counter woman said, "Oh that one.  Everyone was wearing that one a few years ago. Here try this.." and she offered me something I did not want.  So apparently my taste is pedestrian and outdated.  I don't care and I get compliments every time I wear Rose The One.  Some would classify it as a summer fragrance, and being lighter it is certainly a bit stronger in warm weather.  In winter you probably have to hug me to smell it.  That's fine with me.  I like hugs!

Note:  I have to admit that waffle cone and wet wool (I just washed a sweater) are not a good combination.  You already knew that, didn't you?  But in case you didn't, I'm just letting you know.   Don't eat waffle cones in the rain while hanging out with the sheep.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Around My Home

Jazzy Jack asked where I'd put the big aluminum washtub.  Fear not, JJ, I would never abandon it.  I dove head first into a dumpster to get it and I love it no matter what strange looks people give me over it.

Here it is, gloriously leaning against a wall, still in the living room.

JJ also asked for a photo of my latest selection of branches.  Here they are atop the bookshelf, just as branches should be.

I am not a gregarious Christmas decorator and limit myself to what nature provides and my collection of folk art Santas.  Every year Mum provides me with greenery from her bounteous garden and makes a swag for my door with a lovely assortment.  She tends to also buy me poinsettias and scented white carnations to add to the greenery.

                                   Here is the swag for this year.

And I thought I would leave you with my new friend Chester the sheep.  I don't usually fall victim to cute things but I'm happily a fashion victim with a sheep on my chest.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Sun Pierces Through the Clouds

Despite feeling overwhelmed, I persevere.  That's something I'm good at.  Though I am sad to say that cooking more and washing dishes is replacing blog reading and writing.  Still, for me there is a sense of satisfaction in being able to successfully tackle the chores of daily living.  For some reason I have really retreated from people lately, just needing to regroup as they say, to hunker down and breathe and eat and sleep and do a bit of Christmas shopping.  For awhile it was busy with appointments and jobs that needed doing, and having two electricians in my home for a few hours caused the need for at least two days of twelve hour sleep.  I need to call a plumber but am thankful it's not an emergency as I will have to summon up some energy for that now too.

I'm not much good with newsy updates but as my camera is sort of working now (that is it takes clear, focused pictures but now I can't get the timer to work) I will share the new bookshelf and the new haircut.  Posing is limited when you have to stretch your arm out to reach the button.  Lighting is good so colours are accurate.  This is my natural hair colour (no dyes in it) my naturally pale face and my under-eye luggage.  Behind me is the bookshelf I am going to show more of next.

After taking this picture I added a lovely bunch of curly willow branches to the top of the shelf.  Mum brought them from her garden, knowing I have a bit of a branch fetish and that there are branches all over my home.

Now I am going to read blogs and see how my blogger friends are doing.  I miss you all when I retreat to my cave, but as you can see, it's a rather cosy cave and it has books!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Soft, Cosy, Low Key-That's Me

Lately I have been knitting while I listen to the sounds of the storm outside.  As much as I love hats, I am often too hot headed to tolerate really thick, warm hats and winters here don't get that cold.  On the other hand, having exposed ears with my short hair, and the fact that winter does often bring wind, means I need something on my ears.

I had some scrap yarn, it was already rolled in a ball but clearly not a full skein, not enough for a hat or a scarf, so I decided to knit a headband that would go over my ears for warmth but not cover my whole head.

I used 6.5mm needles and cast on 60 stitches.  Using a knit1/purl1 stitch I made four rows.  Then I knit a stocking stitch for five rows, which just seemed like the right width for my own head and preference.  I returned to the rib stitch and knit four more rows of K1/P1 and then bound off, leaving a long tail when I cut the wool.  With a large darning needle I used the tail to stitch together the ends and close the headband.

Easy and quick!  I could churn out lots of these.  I will put the no makeup picture of myself as far away as I can from the beautiful celebrities and models at the bottom of this post.

If you know me, you know I am obsessed with colour.  I love colour, I love colour theory, I think about, study and play with colour constantly.  I certainly have favourites, but they outnumber the colours I don't really like and I find that even colours I don't care for on their own can suddenly look stunning to me in the right combinations.  I see undertones, I see warmth and coolness, I know that if you are choosing a paint for your walls there are more variations on off white than any other colour and that getting just the right off white (lighting and surrounding colours will influence it) takes time and careful consideration.

If you read my blog you might be absolutely OVER my obsession with colour.  If you can tolerate it, a large quantity of images and words occur below.


For me, colour is a very situation specific sort of thing.  For instance, colours that appeal to me in flowers may not appeal as a colour for my bathroom walls.  Colours that look great on my friend are appealing when she wears them but do not work for me.  There are many colours I find breathtakingly beautiful and yet they are too overwhelming, too stimulating, too intense for me to live with constantly, either wearing them or surrounded by them.  I am also currently working on a long term knitting project, making a very colourful blanket.  I am enjoying it while I work on it but need to take frequent breaks from it and I won't be able to live with it when it's finished.  I will need to give it away.

Ever since I began this blog I have written about my love of rich saturated jewel tones as well as my ceaseless passion for mud-colours.  Within this seeming contradiction I set out to figure out which colours I wanted to wear, which would suit me and flatter me best and some of the things I learned about myself are that  I like analagous and monochromatic colour schemes best in low to medium contrast combinations.  While there are patterns I like, I rarely find them in a clothing item that combines them with the fabric, style and colours of my preference so most of my clothing is in solids.  I like texture and prefer the subtle variation of textures to a riot of colours.

Increasingly I am falling in love with neutrals.  For me, this means soft, muted, cool toned neutrals and I cannot deny that I am crazy about grey and taupe.  I cannot get enough of them and it's all I want to wear.  I will combine them with denim, and since I have to wear something and I happen to own pants in both black and navy, I will combine them with those.  I also like brown, cooler browns, with a grey or even rose tone to them are best.  Tans and cognacs sneak in a little, particularly in bags and shoes.  I keep black to a minimum but have one pair of pants, a pair of shoes, boots and a bag in black.

The colours of myself are the colours I like to wear, and the colours of me are soft rose-mauve, greyed blue, greyed, green, grey, cool brown, ivory and taupe.  If you think of those colours and then impose a bright pure hue on them you might be able to imagine how it does not really work.  I was worried about being boring.  I took to heart when people said things like life is to short to wear beige.  I understand that is a reactionary statement made by people who feel defensive about wearing bright colours.  Women are used to being criticised for how they look, told they are too loud, too bold, but also, sometimes, they are told they are too mousey, too boring.  We must be ourselves unashamedly and support each other in doing so.  I know I am not boring, but I no longer care if someone else thinks I am.  It would be rather exhausting to have a long lineup of people who find me interesting.  I might have to entertain and amuse them all.

I have not got digital collage making skills or software, so I will simply put a sequence of images here.  I collect many images on my Pinterest Boards, some publicly and some privately.  My private self has gathered many taupe and grey images.  My public self shows off the jewel tones.  The psychology of that intrigues me somewhat so I recently made one of my neutral tones Pinterest Boards a public one.  I am coming out of the clothes closet and saying hey everybody I like grey and taupe! And nobody notices, and nobody cares, and that's how I like it.

These images literally make me catch my breath, stare, return to look.  To me they feel safe, soft, familiar and comforting.  They feel like me.  To you they may be boring.  Or they may not.  It doesn't matter.  Sophie, whom I miss greatly but hope deeply is much happier somewhere else, and Matty, who is a dear companion and happy and healthy now living with me, are both perfect examples of my grey and taupe passion.  Sophie, a tabby, combines various tones of grey, with some taupe that shows up in sunlight and soft blue-grey eyes. Matty is a subtle and more blended mix of grey tones, with soft gold eyes, and also in the sunlight, has taupe tones in her fur.  I find both cats stunningly beautiful.

                                    Sophie as a Kitten


I might not wear these clothing items exactly, though jeans and sweaters are a favourite daily uniform, but these colours are the ones I cannot get enough of.
Grey, taupe, smokey brown, ivory, denim blue and especially so in winter.  When the summer sun is more intense, I move towards more colour.



      This vanished from my Pinterest just as I was looking up the source.  That generally means it's a suspicious link so I cannot find the source credit for it.


I just have to google search the word "taupe" and I'm in visual heaven. Although this is mainly about my obsession with taupe and grey, there is that particular greyed blue I love-often it's a denim blue and I've seen it called petrol.


Consistent with my attraction to these soft tones, it is not only clothing images I pin.  Here are some others that are on my  soft, cool neutrals inspiration board.



                                         Source: Flckr

And finally, images of models and celebrities which strike me as beautiful also fit this theme.  Not only am I drawn to black and white and sepia toned photos, i am drawn to images of women with a colouring not unlike my own, wearing these soft, cool neutrals I love.  Perhaps I have been trying to convince myself that this is beautiful and not boring.  While I cannot honestly say I think that I have the beauty of these women, I see something familiar there and none of them look boring to me. 



                                                      Source: Vogue Australia


I usually provide links to my image sources.  All of these images, except of myself and of my two cats, were found on Pinterest and I have attempted to credit the source from which I pinned them though at the time Pinterest was behaving badly and I could not create links. 

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Unorthodox Buddhist

 A Very Limited Explanation
 I am Buddhist, although I am neither religious nor spiritual.  The teachings of Buddhism allow for a secular form, an embracing of the philosophy without the religion.  If considering philosophy alone, I could also wear the label Existentialist and Epicurean, for a start and probably end up like an old time suitcase covered in stickers from every place it has been.  I am no friend of religion but philosophy is a passion.  To illustrate how my secular Buddhism differs from a religion I can offer this comparison.  In order to be a Christian one must believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ.  It is assumed that if one does so, one also follows his teaching though just how to interpret that teaching can be problematic.  Buddhism was originally a teaching without a divine teacher.  It grew out of and alongside Hinduism so some of the religious assumptions flowed from there, but the teaching of Buddhism was how to free oneself from the endless cycle of death and rebirth and instead finally reach the state of nirvana which is not near the state of California though some might think so.  The path to freeing oneself, to living a life that would allow for enlightenment, was what the Buddha taught.  It turns out that the way to do this allows for a world view, a philosophy of living, a practice, that suits me.  I particularly like the word practice, as it implies that I am not likely to get it right so readily, but that the practice, or the journey, is what matters. 

You could find many a Buddhist monk who would tell you that I am doing it wrong.  This is where being secular comes in handy.  I am not interested in their more orthodox opinions. Buddhims,  as it became a religion, had to branch off into different schools of thought, different ways of doing, just as most other religions have.   Ways of living are always entwined in their situations, the culture and the habits of the people who are doing the living.  Buddhism made it's way west and adapted, sometimes with the insistence that certain ways of doing things were still required and other times with more flexibility.  Buddhism also became popular as an add on.  People remained Christian but tacked on or borrowed from Buddhism.  It mingled a bit with yoga, which also became popular in the west, and allowed for a God who could be better understood or communicated with by the addition of eastern practices and beliefs.  I'm looking at you chakras.

Wherever religions and philosophies go they are adapted by the people they encounter.  Some, like myself who prefer philosophy, found something of interest and practical application in a secular form of Buddhism.  I have no interest in rituals, idols, pantheons of gods or one god, no interest or belief in an afterlife.  I am interested in this life.  It's the only one I have empirical evidence that I am ever going to experience so I want to do it well.  Having said that, Buddhist philosophy will definitely take you down a road where you must question whether or not there really is a self at all to experience this life, and thus it is sometimes accused of being a nihilist perspective.  I think that is to misunderstand it.  The point of discovering no-self, is to realise that we can get attached to things that are less permanent or solid than we think they are.  Who are you right now?  Is that the same you that you were yesterday, a week ago, three years ago?  Consider this at a cellular level as well as one focused on your character and personality. 

Meditation: How Not to Do It
So when people think of Buddhism or yoga they think of meditation.  Yes, I do practice that but I have to admit I do not do it well.  I like to mentally challenge the Buddhas and point out that perhaps this is because I am not attached to meditating.  They are probably not paying any attention to me, being busy with bliss in Nirvana.  I am not good at doing what I am told or doing something the way I am told to do it.  This is a large part of why I am not in the military.  You do not want your country's safety dependent on me.  I will ponder, I will question, I will do it my way. I am also not terribly interested in teachers and gurus.  Tell me you are an expert in something and I will immediately doubt you.  I was one of those children who lived to please authority and adults.  I grew up to be someone who questions most authority.  (There are some exceptions.  My doctor knows more than I do about medicine in general, though I know more than he does about M.E. and he has told me so)  The Buddhist experts, insist on regular meditation, done a certain way.  I do very few things regularly.  Off the top of my head, I'd say you can predict that on a daily basis I will empty my bladder, brush my teeth and drink some coffee. It is hard to say exactly when I will do those things. 

Away from my bladder and back to meditating....

 The goal of meditation is to push aside all the thinking and quiet the brain.  There are only two things that have ever done that for me easily and one was gardening which I can no longer pursue.  The other one is painting.  When I am painting I am inside it and I am no longer in my own body.  It's this very experience of being inside the painting as I create it which causes me to eventually have to stop at some point, step away from it and set it up some where so I can look at it for awhile and decide what it needs next.  When you are inside something it is difficult to separate yourself from it; you are being it.  This is why we do not see ourselves the way others do.  We are too busy being ourselves.  I write to work with, control, play with or simply release all of the thoughts in my head.  I paint to escape them.

I keep attempting sitting meditation but getting up early and meditating every morning while sitting on a cushion before I do anything else just has not happened in my life in any way that could be called regular.  I keep telling myself it's a goal to meditate every morning but then I keep asking myself why.  Meditation practitioners swear it changes you, and I suspect it's a bit like that runner high that dedicated joggers get and about which I also ask, why should I chase that.   If I had a meditation teacher I'd want to spend our sessions arguing whether or not it is a form of attachment to do things one's own way or to follow the teachings of another.  The teacher would say I am attached to my own opinions and desires and I would say he is attached to his one way of meditating.  This is why I am a bad Buddhist.

As a writer, I rely on my busy brain.  When lying or sitting still and letting my mind relax the best ideas come to me and the whole point of the practice of meditation is to let them go.  Overcoming the urge to jump up and make notes is very difficult.  I am not even certain that I find the benefits of meditation substantial enough to compensate for the loss of these thoughts I want to save.  Ah, attachment.  The cause of all suffering, according to Buddha.  In this case, I'd say my attachment is not a problem but the damn meditating is.  You can see why I make an irritating student.

Sometimes it Goes Like This
I sit struggling to relax my body and empty my mind, to not be distracted by a cat who wants attention, a plant I know that needs watering, or hangnail I want to clip off; I remember that I am practicing compassion. Compassion for myself as a non-perfect being is just as important as compassion for others.  I've heard it said that we cannot love others until we love ourselves and I'm skeptical about that.  I think many of us find it harder to be kind to ourselves and are much harder on ourselves than we are on others. I certainly know I am.  Sitting on my cushion I am observing myself being quite humanly imperfect and I remind myself to accept that.  I wiggle a bit and scratch my nose and catch myself thinking about something I want to write.  Then follows the thought that I am not supposed to do any of those things.  I take a deep breath and sink back into the meditation.  I do this as frequently as I need to.  This is why meditation is often called a practice.  

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Navel Gazing and Other Things

I am probably a highly sensitive person.  That should really be put in capitals it is now a way of describing someone who is, well, highly sensitive and while it's not particularly a scientific diagnoses because mental health is as much art as it is science, and diagnosing someone with a condition involves some subjectiveness as opposed to saying yes, this blood test and this cell count show that you have X.  When I was a teacher I was always very interested in personality traits, in finding how to best meet the needs of different types or to work with types different from your own.  I found this interesting as a parent too, having the task of raising a child who had some unique challenges.  Now, I mainly have only myself and my cat to ponder.  While she is thriving now, Matty was suffering in her previous situation and had lost a drastic amount of weight and fur.  That seems pretty sensitive to me.

Digression: It's somewhat contentious but the oft used Myers-Briggs personality test, based on the work of Carl Jung, organises people into sixteen  Introvert/Extrovert types and I have consistently tested as INFJ over the years.   HSPs are more likely to be introverts but not all introverts are HSPs.

My own weight is stable and hair intact, thankfully, but I am one of those people inclined to gain weight when under stress.  I am a stress eater and I believe it is because I find I can sort of numb myself with food, both my body and my mind.  I am prone to generalised anxiety which is fortunately not as debilitating as it is for some people though I do take medication for it to allow me to function.  I also meditate and use lots of self talk strategies.  I was born this way, anxious my whole life as my mother clearly describes, in my responses to the world as a baby and a child.  The world is a very stimulating place and I am easily overstimulated in many ways.  Sometimes I didn't realise it, because there were situations that were considered normal, which I  just had to get on with and I found ways of coping.  Also, although I score highly on a test for HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) not every option on the list is a trigger for me and some are more so than others. All HSPs are their own personal mix.  I do not mind crowds most of the time and as most of you know, I can get up on a stage and perform.  I find I can feel lost in a crowd and I like that, but I dislike a crowd that I am expected to interact with, such as a large gathering of people or party.   If I am on a stage I can somehow mentally turn the audience into one person and in some situations the darkness and lighting are such that the audience is close to invisible.

 I dislike noise and even music I really enjoy can be too much at some times.  On the other hand I might turn it up loudly and dance around the room and the noise of children busily playing has never bothered me.  I have no tolerance for screaming randomly though.   Sudden loud noises such as an accelerating motorcycle or the Snowbirds (Canada's air demonstration squadron) who come to the Comox Valley a few times each year to practice, can make me want to curl up in a ball or make me fighting angry.  They literally trigger the fight or flight response in me.  Bright colours in abundance, while I may enjoy them periodically, make me feel tired after awhile.  That is a newer discovery which was difficult to figure out because I do like colour.  There are many qualifiers to my love of colour, as any of my blog readers know by now and I have an increasing passion for taupe and grey.  I always did like mud.

I am also very sensitive to the emotions of others and have always described myself as a sponge.  The nastiest thing I ever said to my ex husband when we were approaching divorce was that he was like a Dementor from Harry Potter and he sucked all the joy out of a room.  It could be argued that he did, but I was also definitely extremely sensitive to his moods. 

The flip side of all this sensitivity is that I have a very rich inner life, a strong response and connection to artistic and creative things, and I am very empathetic.  I prefer to define myself by these positives but understanding that being extra sensitive is just a way that some people are and I am one of those people, that is is just another way to be and not wrong or defective, is part of my journey of healing after a toxic relationship.

Just like any introvert, I am doing most of this healing alone, in a quiet place, me and my highly sensitive cat.  Somewhat anxiously but coping, I face a couple of weeks of appointments, obligations and the need to call a plumber.  I hate making phone calls.  Much deep breathing is required here, but I will do it all and cross it all off the list.  Already I am looking forward to it all being over.

                                       Matty in the Morning Sun

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Mediocrity Is Elevated With Lipstick

Since I am a glass half full sort of person, and tend to annoy people by looking on the bright side, I like to believe that two thirds of the time I am doing okay.  Okay is defined as not totally crashed.  Previously I described my days as either good, bad or mediocre, nicely organising my life in thirds.  Being the Pollyanna that I am, I have decided to consign mediocre into the realm of good or at least not bad.

The state of my bed, the dishes and whether or not I had the energy to shower are all consistently tied to how where the day falls on the good-mediocre-bad scale.  What always helps is a good hair day and a dab of lipstick.

Lipstick is my new toy.  I am now the proud owner of five different shades from the Revlon Super Lustrous bullet line, three of which I purchased all for the sale price of one due to a fortuitous coupon.  I used to avoid lipstick or stick to plae shades because I never liked my lips and didn't think them a feature I wanted to enhance.  Now, I don't care.  Sure they are not going to win the Ideal Lips of the Year award, but once I stopped caring about that I noticed that I liked that little bit of colour on my face and what it did to make me look healthy, awake and make me feel pretty. 

While part of me likes the idea of one signature lip colour, I am currently having fun with these ones and would not be able to choose only one.  If you can survive you poor quality photos (still struggling with the camera even after resetting it) I will inflict upon you an excess of selfies to demonstrate the different lip colours.

Rose and Shine is nearly a nude on me.  I can apply it straight from the tube and liberally like a lip balm.

                                          Rose and Shine

Mauvy Nights and Plumalicious are nearly identical, with the latter being just slightly deeper.  It's a colour that has been my go to for decades when in it's lightest form.  They are each applied straight from the tube in these photos below.

                                               Mauvy Nights


Rum Raisin was my first attempt at finding my red.  It's a bit warm but I think it still works for me and the warmth makes it more subtle than a cool red is.  I apply this one straight from the tube as well.

                                                 Rum Raisin

My most recent experiment, stepping out of my comfort zone is Wine With Everything which reads a a very true red on me. It's the only one of the bunch that requires lip liner.  I use a clear wax liner called No Bleeding Lip, given to me by my mother who thought the name of it was cheekily hilarious.

Wine With Everything

I find I like this true red best when I am wearing blue or grey, which I generally am quite often.  Being so intensely pigmented it is the one that stays on longest too and there are still traces of it after I eat or drink.  In the above photo I blotted it with tissue after applying.

Do you have a favourite?  I took all of these photos within a few minutes of each other and am wearing one coat of mascara and a bit of chocolate brown eye pencil.   Lately I really love the minimal eye, focus on the lip look.

More than anything, I find that a good haircut and a bit of makeup goes a long way to making me feel good about myself even on the plethora of mediocre days.   This is what I look like even if I am sitting on the sofa writing all day and nobody will see me.  I do it for myself and it makes a difference.

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Nothing new here, I've just been struggling lately with a pretty equal division of good days, bad days and mediocre days and not being able to do much on either the mediocre or the bad ones.  This means the good days tend to require much of me in the way of shopping, cooking, dishes, laundry, paper work and assorted business in which I am usually behind, and a once a week lunch with my parents.  Toss in a couple of birthday celebrations, appointments and the hiring of  new cleaning help and that's pretty much been my life for the past month.  It feels quite overwhelming but if I'm good at anything it's just plugging along.  I'm not quite as good at dealing with guilt and anything which is not getting my full attention or whatever degree of attention I believe it should tends to weigh on me.  Learning not to let this happen is a work in progress.  I'm getting there but it's probably two steps forward and one back.   What fun would life be if it weren't a journey, a learning process, an experience of discovery?  In all honesty, I like who I am, but I will never ever live up to all of my own expectations.  I've got the bar set too high.   I know this, but that doesn't make it something I can instantly internalise and act on. 

Not only am I not getting all the 'shoulds' dealt with, I'm not getting all the 'wants' done either.  I try to remind myself that it's a journey without a destination.  I just keep going, do my best with each step and consider each place I arrive at the place I want to be. 

Being the muller-over that I am, (if there is a better word for that I have lost it) I tend to arrive at epiphanies which seem like I just woke up one morning and understood.  Although I know it's not actually true, it seems as though I just woke up one morning and realised I was in a bad marriage and needed out.  That was five years ago and in those five years I've been on an extensive personal journey (I am cringing at the clichés here) trying to find myself again.  Of course I was never really lost and yesterday I woke up knowing exactly who I am.  Or maybe it was the day before.  In reality it has of course been a process and this blog has only been part of that process for the past year and a half. 

It's a bit of an odd concept to think that there are people reading this.  A blog audience is mainly invisible and I don't think I have fully grasped that this is as public a space as it is.  Or rather, I imagine it as an empty public space, as though I am standing in the middle of the town square talking but everyone is at home.  The people who take the time to leave me comments and whose blogs I also try to read, give me some sense of an audience but it never feels totally solid and I think I have failed at what I set out to do.  I started this blog wondering if I could write for a specific audience but without any sort of monetary incentive I don't think I can.  It doesn't seem to be in me to have an actual theme to this blog or to remain with it consistently.  If it's other purpose was to help me on my journey, what am I to do now that I feel I've mainly arrived?

Having just woken up and understood who I am, or found myself, or reclaimed myself or whatever we want to call it (I am as yet quite undecided) I now feel immensely satisfied and incredibly dull.  I love my life but it is a quiet one, looking much the same from day to day and I have little inclination to document it.  If I can fit it in, if I have the mental and/or physical stamina, my main desire is to spend my time painting, reading or writing.  Sometimes I want to share what I am working on and sometimes I do not.  The frequency at which that might happen is probably not high, and I am doubtful about the interest of what appears to be a group of followers/readers numbering anywhere from 25-100.  Yes, it's a small-time blog that's certain.

My interest in clothing has waned significantly and although the idea of anyone following me for style guidance is laughable, I believe a good portion of my readers were here to watch that journey.  I am happy to post pictures of my mistakes, terrible poses and smirking or grimacing face.  Ironically, I have finally figured out what was wrong with my camera and gotten the settings sorted out but have really lost the desire to photograph what I am wearing.  Not only that, I've lost any desire to wear something that might interest anyone.

Yes, that's what I said.  The games are over.  I played, I learned, and I went full circle.  At one time I thought that I had to represent who I am with my clothes, that I had to get it right, that I had to present myself to others accurately so that they would know me.  Of course that's not easy if you've lost track of who you are anyhow or if, like me, you are a mixed bag of tricks.  Am I artsy or bookish?  Am I outgoing or reclusive?  Do I like colours or neutrals?  Skirts or jeans?  I am a mixture of all of those things but I don't feel that I have any obligation to represent them in what I wear.   I also do not have to impress anyone in order to get a job, keep a job, maintain a reputation or attract a mate.  None of those things are relevant to my life. 

Here are the things I've found crucial to my personal style and if you'd been asked to describe my style looking at me twenty-five years ago it would be nearly identical.

Muted colours in small doses-esp in the purple-burgundy, blue and green range
A good haircut
Say yes to lipstick
Mostly neutral colours -almost no black
Natural fibres
Low-mid heels, granny boots, combat boots, mary-janes, brogues
Light weight sweaters, long sleeved tees, very soft buttoned blouses
Earrings, watch, two rings
Body skimming, no cinched waist, waist suggested
Skirts/dresses are loved but not worn daily
Hats-did I mention hats?
Scarves-no jumbo blankets

Are you curious to know what was different twenty-five years ago?  Mainly it was that I wore pencil skirts where I now prefer flared skirts and I had more black and bright colours in my wardrobe.  I suppose, there were probably also a few shoulder pads given the time period.  I was also more likely to tuck shirts in and belt my waist.  It was smaller then and I was comfortable like that.  Yes, I wore scarves then.  Nobody else did.  Or at least nobody I knew other than my mother.  I still have one that I bought in 1980-something.  It's just cotton, navy blue, and I still wear it.

Full circle.  That's great right?  Good news, that I've got it all figured out!  The only problem is, I am no longer sure what this blog is about.  I doubt that will stop me from continuing to post, but it doesn't really bring me any closer to audience awareness.  In those moments when I do remember you are there, dear reader, I am not really sure who you are, but I am quite sure who I am.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Smiles in the Mail

One of the loveliest things that ever happened to me was becoming friends with a mermaid.  I am a loyal friend, but I do tend to drop out of sight frequently.  I think mermaids know how to handle that.  They too sometimes spend their time in the depths of the ocean as opposed to combing their long beautiful hair while sitting on a rock.  Mermaids are iridescent, shimmering in the light but they are shy too.

My mermaid friend sends cards in the mail, which make me feel loved.  It's nice to feel loved, to be remembered.  Some of my friends don't really know how best to deal with my illness and my retreating.  They are afraid of disturbing me, interrupting my sleep, bothering me in some way so they leave it up to me to make contact when I feel okay.  But it's nice to be interrupted sometimes.  I need it actually.  I need people to check on me because I tend not to ask for help and sometimes, often actually, I would happily be woken up just to be reminded that I am loved.

I am probably not a perfect friend, probably not getting it right.  I have high standards which I cannot meet myself so I don't hold anyone else to them.  I'm too busy worrying that I am not a good enough friend to be criticising anyone's way of being friends with me.  But, I do want to thank my mermaid friend for sending cards in the mail.  It's such a treat to get anything in the mail that isn't junk or a bank statement.  I only check my mailbox once a week because that is how uninteresting my mail usually is.  What a joy, a novelty, a long forgotten thing it is to find something in the mail that is there simply to tell me that my friendship is appreciated.  I am old enough to remember when that kind of thing used to happen more often. Now, it is the kind of thing that makes me smile to myself, a small tear forming in one eye.  Salt water.  Reminding me of a mermaid.

                                             Isn't she beautiful?

Monday, 26 October 2015

Blue Goes With.....Me

There is lots of blue in my closet.  (Gripping opening sentence, isn't it?) I consider it a neutral and in fact blue is my black whereas brown, grey and even touches of black are my bits of colour.  When in doubt buy it in blue.  Nearly everything is offered in at least one shade of blue, typically navy, and that is often what I will buy, especially if it's a wardrobe basic.  If I don't like any of the other colours offered I usually like the blue.

                                      Sometimes my blues are cobalt.
I managed to smile for this photo.  If I can just remember to do that more often you'd be seeing something truer to the real me.  I am either very self conscious in front of a camera or I am concentrating so hard on getting the photo I forget that I am in it.  This photo was taken in a rare moment of really good lighting where the true colours are actually showing.  In photos below, darker blues turn to black and I suddenly have a sun tan.

Denim, navy and teal blues are also typical in my wardrobe.  The vest is navy but the pants are black and in real life, quite distinguishable from each other, unlike in this photo.  The boots are also blue.

And I wear blue with black, blue with brown, blue with purple, red and navy is exhilarating, blue and white is fresh.....I wear blue with everything.  Wearing it with grey or brown is a definite comfort zone.

Digression:  I keep going into the local shoe store looking for blue shoes.  Is it too much to ask that somebody make a comfortable T strap or Mary Jane shoe with a stacked heel somewhere around 2.5 inches and make it in a nice bright navy or denim blue colour?  Apparently it is too much to ask.  And don't get me started on my attempts to buy a good quality oxford shoe in brown.   I can't even get a poor quality one.  The joys of small town  living!

                 But back to the blues.....I really do like blue with brown. 

The solution to a bad hair day is to cut off my head.    I do like the soft taupe and denim blue together though.

This is a man's silk shirt .  Since it's a rather loose and slouchy top I like it with a skirt that skims over me.  Something with a bit of flare at the bottom seems to be more flattering than a straight skirt. This skirt is a lovely dark chocolate brown.  I do love chocolate and I have always, ALWAYS loved the colour brown.

I cannot think of any colour I would typically wear that I do not love to pair with blue  and I can think of some I don't wear (any sort of yellow) that also look great with it.  I happen to really love blue with brown, black or gray and it's probably what I am wearing right now.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Mostly Sleeping and Taking Some Dark Photos

 Well, there has been more crashing and sleeping and resting and not doing much than there has been anything creative or productive going on here.  I may have to concede and hire cleaning help again as other than that one day where I managed to vacuum, I have not actually been able to tackle the cleaning.  A few good days have happened though, and I've been able to dress for pleasure and go to the grocery store or have lunch with my parents.  Earlier this week was election day and getting out to vote was tiring.  I had dinner with my parents that night and then rested all week so I could go out again on Friday and meet them for lunch at a café.  I slept twelve hours and woke 20 minutes before I was due to meet them.  Such an event is a reminder of the advantage to having  my closet full of things which mainly all go together and of very short hair.  Later in the day there was a lipstick event which remarkably involved my skirt and not this white sweater.

The skirt is denim blue coloured heavy-weight linen and the sweater is winter white, though as usual the photos are not particularly accurate.  Considering that in 20 minutes I showered, dressed, did hair and a very quick dab of makeup then was out the door, I think I did rather well.  I would have carried a different bag (not shown here) but there was not time for changing it.  I don't usually pair such contrasting tones as this sweater and skirt but nobody can say it doesn't go.

Last weekend I shortened and hemmed a dress, a very old dress which I've had at least 15 years. It's what we call a jumper here, and needs a layer underneath it or a jacket over it to cover the arms.  It wouldn't if it were a summer dress but since it's dark plum corduroy it does.  I wore this on election day. I have a charcoal grey thin mohair sweater under it (or a jumper under my jumper to get confusing) and a cerise-red mohair cardigan over it.  The tights are navy blue so I have four different colours but the photo makes it all look mainly black.  The boots I wore out to vote this morning are the only actual black here.  I might win an award for worst personal style blogger photos but fortunately I don't call myself a personal style blogger.

I kept trying, determined to show some colours somehow......

Later in the day I had put on different boots and had the brilliant idea to stand in the tiny sunbeam by the sliding glass door and get some close up photos.  Of course they are a bit blurry.

            The velvet beret and my jumper are the same dark plum colour.

And here I am showing off not only my grey sweater and cerise cardigan(which is not quite as bright in reality as in this photo-can't win with the colours), but also a necklace I assembled with two gold circles from inside a gold locket I inherited but don't wear.  The circles are the removable bits that clamp down the photo inside the locket.  I like the delicate shape and the combination of the gold with a silver chain .  It looks like one thicker circle here but it is actually two thin ones.

 By late afternoon there was a snag in the tights made by Miss Matty's claws.  Guess I should have left the dress as a long one for leg protection.  Or I could just spray paint my legs instead.