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Beauty & Style

Alternative Black Friday Sales

Alternative Black Friday Sales

[list updated 11/29]

If you’re shopping the Black Friday sales this year consider supporting smaller business and purchasing from independents and artisans such as those found in this Alternative Black Friday sales roundup.

I’ll be adding to this list as things pop up, but below are a few quite fantastic darkly inclined small businesses running sales over the course of the weekend.

And if you know of any I might have missed that would be fitting for this list, please comment as I’d love to know! 🙂

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Beauty & Style Musings & Life

Less Is More: Tales From a Recovering Clothes Horse

Less is More - Minimalist Fashion

It’s been a few years now since I wore the same little black dress everyday for a month as part of the LBDD Challenge. As someone that tends to overshop it was a pretty eye opening experiment that helped me a lot in parring back what I was buying.

My goal after the challenge to try and shift where I spent my money, from fast-fashion giants to independent businesses has been successful for the most part.

However I do have a bad habit of holding onto things, and though I’ve drastically changed how I shop, I’m still hauling around a ton of stuff that though pretty, is rather impractical for me now.

Impractical BeautyIt makes me think about what my brother once said:

“It’s a sunk cost”.

Meaning – ‘a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs should not affect the rational decision-maker’s best choice‘.

The context for this comment was that we had met up to see a concert together that we’d bought tickets for months ago (ohGr for the curious). However on the day, the weather was so humid it triggered migraines for both of us. We felt clammy, nauseated and like knitting needles were being poked into our brains with any little sound.

I remember holding an ice cold pop-can to my head trying to will myself better, he looked at me in this state and suggested we should really forget the concert.

Yes we had spent money on concert tickets, but why force ourselves to go when we were sick and wouldn’t enjoy it? The best choice was to go home and hide in dark rooms until we felt better.

Searching for styleHis words have stuck with me since. Applied to the situation of an overflowing closet, rationally the clothes are a sunk cost. Why hold onto them when I won’t wear them, they’re taking up space, creating a mess and making it difficult to cut through the clutter to get to what I’ll actually use.

Enter a minimal wardrobe.

I’ve followed along with Xandra Burn’s adventures in minimalism on her blog. Delighted by her commitment and creativity in expressing her personal style with interesting outfits, all the while liberated by leading a minimalist lifestyle.

She proves a limited wardrobe is far from boring.

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a minimal wardrobe for some time, but never thought I could manage it. It’s funny how much emotional weight physical possessions take on. I always had a romantic notion of having an incredible wardrobe of costumes to pull from at a moments notice, but in reality I was just building a collection of things doomed to hang like museum pieces in my closet for the rest of eternity.

Dark desert styleMy subsequent lazy go-to became black jeans & band tees, a long way from my once upon time spooky thrift shop & vintage style.

So, I finally started the process of really decluttering and creating a capsule wardrobe with what I currently have as a way to dip my toes into the minimal world. This was 3 months ago now.

Dressing from a capsule wardrobe the past three months has been pretty awesome (of course not without some challenges but I’m still figuring it out). My style has been evolving over the past while and it’s felt so refreshing overhauling everything. Don’t worry though, I’ll always be a weirdo no matter what. Weirdos forever right?

Weirdos Forever(Off topic, but how awesome are these enamel pins from Louise Androlia? Love, love, love them!)  

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where I’ll wind up with this and just how ‘minimal’ I can go, but it’s a positive start in becoming recovering clothes horse. I’ll be posting a bit in future about the experience and things I’ve found useful in building a smaller alternative wardrobe.

If you’re interested as well, the following posts are immensely helpful:

Minimalist Wardrobe FAQ: Common Pitfalls + How To Get Started

How To Pare Down Your Wardrobe ~ Getting Started

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe

And in particular this is a great piece from The Minimal Closet about how to be realistic with all the capsule wardrobe hype, and some tips on how to effectively work with a capsule wardrobe – What’s Wrong with Capsule Wardrobes?

Do you dress with a minimalist approach? Or are you considering doing so to combat a shopping hangover? I’d love to know what works well for you!

Image Credit: Edie Campbell by David Sims for Vogue March 2014, Weirdos Forever by Louise Androlia

Beauty & Style

Ovate FW15 Poèmes Oubliés

Ovate Poemes Oublies

Ovate FW15  Poèmes OubliésOvate  Poèmes Oubliés FW15If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know of my love for Ovate.

Their Fall 2015 collection – Poèmes Oubliés, launched today and is now available for purchase online.

Above are a few of the absolutely breathtaking editorial shots by Ellen Jane Rogers. You can view these in full here.

And a few of my favourites from Poèmes Oubliés below, though quite frankly I’m coveting the whole collection!

Ovate FW15Ovate FW15  Poèmes Oubliés Pieces

Image Credit: Ellen Rogers for Ovate

Beauty & Style

Fade Into You – Desert Dreaming

hold the hand inside you

My mind has been in the West lately. Desert dreaming – romance & road trips, just hurtling across the highway watching the dry and dusty landscapes go by. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You’, both the song and the video (the version shot in the Mojave Desert & Joshua Tree). I was born in Western Canada but we left for the east coast when I was 3, so my memories of the desert and prairies are fleeting. I wonder if that’s why I’ve always been fascinated by those areas – like something inside of me is calling me back.

And though I’m no longer a 14 year old fantasizing of escape from suburban wastelands, ‘Fade Into You’ still evokes that feeling of dreamy wanderlust in me. It’s an absolutely hypnotic and beautiful song.

Twenty years after the release of So Tonight That I Might See (the album Fade Into You is on), the band reformed and put out Seasons of Your Day in 2013.

The first single? California. Hope Sandoval’s voice as ethereal and magic as ever, the first line “I think I’m going back to California…”, strikes such a chord in my heart. It’s so far away.

Stills from Mazzy Star's 'Fade Into You' music video.

I’ll be westward bound again soon, till then this album is on heavy rotation. Below are a few haus & fashion finds for fellow desert dreamers, whether you’re headed there yourself or like to have something reminiscent of those wild lands close by.

Fade Into You - Desert Dreaming Style InspireFADE INTO YOU: DESERT DREAMING STYLE & HAUS INSPIRE

[TOP TO BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT ]

1st COLUMN: 1. Marlowe Carryall 2. Handmade Wooden Sunglasses 3. Bronze Solstice Cage Ring 4. Handmade Boot Straps
2nd COLUMN: 1. Succulent Seeds 2. Ceramic Hands Planter 3. Plaid Flannel Shirt 4. Vegan Lipstick – SIREN
3rd COLUMN: 1. Vintage Floral Skirt 2. Desert Smoke Perfume Oil 3. Cactaceae Boyfriend Tee
4th COLUMN 1. Joshua Tree Print 2. Brass Chevron Necklace 3. Joshua Tree Pouch 4. Mojave Soy Candle

Beauty & Style

Call On the Sky: Elemental Child

Sign of Fire Elemental Child

I’ve been rather obsessed with the beautiful crowns made by Gillian Chadwick of Elemental Child for awhile now, especially more so after since stumbling across a photo of Lewes Castle on her Instagram account.

That’s a bit left of field I know. But, I used to live in Lewes, East Sussex – behind that very castle for years. As glad as I am to be back in Canada and in a much better place in my life now, not a day goes by that I don’t miss that beautiful little town nestled in the heart of the Sussex Downs. So to see it randomly pop up (and on the account of one whose work I respect)  made me smile, in the knowledge that the beauty & magic of my old home was recognized by another.

Elemental Child in LewesStarting today – Monday, June 15th at Noon EST and ending Wednesday, June 17th at 11pm EST, Elemental Child will be holding their first ever sale. Most of the larger crowns won’t be included in their Homeward Bound Sale, but many other favourites will be, so it’s the perfect time to pick one up if you’ve been longing to.

elemental-childCrowns by Elemental ChildChadwick states she’s forever influenced by science fiction, fantasy, magic, and 70’s rock and roll. Think Led Zeppelin writing songs about Tolkien and you’re on the right page. I absolutely love this description, and you can certainly see these influences in her work – both in the incredible headpieces she creates, and in her music Ex Reverie.
Elemental Child LookbookAs well, my music geek self loves that Elemental Child takes it name from a Tyrannosaurus Rex song. Hell yeah, so much awesome. I’ll definitely be picking up one of these bewitching crystal crowns during the sale – the perfect adornment for an alternative bride or for those looking to channel a little magic into their everyday look!

Image Credits: Elemental Child & Courtney Brooke.

Beauty & Style

Review: Likely General, Toronto

Likely General haul

I’ve been dying to check out Likely General in Toronto for some time now.

That feeling of missing out on something always hits me when I move away from a somewhere. Like everything going on in the world I once inhabited suddenly takes on a glossier sheen than before. I somehow magically forget how much I hated commuting and being wedged under someones armpit on the street car or the sweltering humidity in the summer or any number of things that would grind me down daily.

The grass is always greener and all that yes, BUT, having moved to a small town, I’ve realized one is afforded a lot more opportunities to experience and do cool things if they live in an urban center. And I miss that element of city living a lot. An abundance of interesting new independent shops such as Likely General, really makes me feel torn as to where my heart should call home.

Likely General in Roncesvalles, TorontoAnyway! Enough on that, I want to talk about how awesome Likely General is. Situated in one of my favourite areas of Toronto – Roncesvalles in the west end of the city, Brooke Manning’s Likely General is a bright, large shop that also doubles as a space to showcase creative work by up-and-coming artists.

Likely General states that their “main objective is to promote contemporary makers and artists who create in small batches while keeping integrity in mind.”

And they do this beautifully in my opinion. I was delighted to find a wonderful selection of curated goods from some of my favourite independent businesses in stock when I visited.

Likely General TorontoIn addition for being a go-to for beautiful, handmade goods they also host a variety of events and workshops as well as an ongoing Feminist Film night. (Ok, can you see why I’m bemoaning not being remotely near the city anymore?)

I’m glad I was finally able to pop by the shop when last in Toronto. I picked up a few things while there, including Dark Wave by OLO Fragrance which smells absolutely incredible. Hell, any of the below goodies I’d highly recommend. My house smells amazing with the Campfire Incense or White Sage Mini’s burning, and I’ve found a new favourite for my face skincare routine with Herbivore Botanicals Bamboo Charcoal soap (this stuff is so good and has seriously cleared my skin up). Below are descriptions of each.

bespoke-incense-soap-perfume

Bespoke ScentsOLO FRAGRANCE Dark Wave – Cardamom – Indonesian Vetivert – Wood. Each fragrance continues to be hand blended and bottled to order. OLO Fragrance blends contain fractionated coconut oil, essential oils, key accords and absolutes.

JUNIPER RIDGE White Sage Mini Smudge Sticks. “Beautiful leaf clusters and enormous flowering stalks burst forth in the spring, painting streaks of white against the rusty green hillsides.”

HERBIVORE BOTANICALS Bamboo Charcoal Soap – Tea Tree + Bergamot. 100% natural and vegan soap handcrafted in Seattle, Washington.

JUNIPER RIDGE Campfire Incense – Sweetgrass. Made only from wildcrafted plants, tree sap, wood and bark found hiking the backcountry. No hidden fragrances, charcoal or perfume.

Likely General TorontoSo if you find yourself in Toronto, besides checking out a lovely part of the city (Top Tip: there’s a great Polish Bar down the street from Likely General called the Inter Steer Tavern. I have a serious soft spot for it, and they make great pierogies!), it’s well worth the jaunt to the west end just to visit Likely General.

WHERE: 389 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, Ontario, M6R 2N1, Canada.

LIKELY GENERAL HOURS: Monday – Friday, 12-7 | Saturday 11-7 | Sunday 12-6

LIKELY GENERAL ONLINE: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr.

Disclaimer: Not a sponsored post, all items purchased with my own money and review/opinion fully my own 🙂

Additional Store Image Credits: Likely General’s Instagram.

Beauty & Style

Morph Knitwear – Infinite Abyss – SS15 Collection

Infinite Abyss Morph Knitwear

Morph Knitwear have just launched their new collection for SS15 – Infinite Abyss, and it’s stunning! Each piece is hand made to order in Portland, OR, USA. And if you knit yourself, Morph Knitwear also sells patterns for their popular Nix Vest and Rib Knit Half Gloves. I’m still slowly, slowly working away at knitting my own Nix Vest!

About Infinite Abyss from Morph Knitwear:

Many of the designs in this collection are un-gendered, exploring the use of texture and silhouette to create garments that are versatile and flattering on bodies of all types.

Morph Knitwear Khaos Sweater DressInfinite Abyss Net SkirtInfinite Abyss Net TankMorph Knitwear Infinite Abyss Silk Wool VestView the full collection at Morph Knitwear.

IMAGE CREDIT: Morph Knitwear

Beauty & Style

Bloodmilk Jewels – Death & Taxes

Bloodmilk

I ❤ LOVE ❤ Bloodmilk. The tagline “Supernatural jewels for Surrealist Darlings” is spot on. Original and beautifully crafted, Bloodmilk creates the kind of jewellery I’ve been searching for my entire life but never thought possible. With a love for Max Ernst, Joan of Arc, Greek Mythology and a further array of influences, Bloodmilk Jewels produces dark, thoughtful pieces which are absolutely timeless.

My collection is slowly growing with these treasured jewels, items to invest in, to adore, and for all time. Bloodmilk is breathtaking and I’ll happily save up for their quality work instead of throw away fast-fashion-facsimiles.

And happening now till April 21st is the annual Bloodmilk Death & Taxes sale, with everything marked down 20%, including for the first time ever the Belonging to the Darkness ring, as well as its companion, the Endless Night ring.

If you’re a Bloodmilk fan or new to them, it’s the perfect time to start or add to your collection, obtaining lovelies for yourself while also supporting a wonderful small business!

Bloodmilk JewelsBloodmilk Death & Taxes SaleBloodmilk Necklace

Beauty & Style

Splashing the Wine With all the Rain Dogs

Rain Dogs Style

1// Black Wool Hat 2// Of the Earth Crystal Necklace 3// Jet Black Mast Jeans
4// Witching Hour Fringe Cloak with Ram Print 5// Dr.Martens Jadon Boots 6// Noctex Long T-Shirt

Spring has finally come to the North, and with it rain, helping to wash away the last dregs of muddied snow. I thought I’d chronicle my attempts to shake off the dust in my wardrobe now that winter and I have parted ways, but I’ve discovered the art of fashion blogging photography eludes me. That, and my iPhone isn’t quite up to snuff for the job. So, instead a style inspire of pieces I’m donning for riverwalks on grey spring days. The Witching Hour Fringe Cloak by SOVRIN is a current favourite, sold out at the moment, their other pieces are just as lovely!

Beauty & Style

See Your Sunrise Loves To Go Down

Rock on Gold Dust Woman

1. Velvet Burnout Kimono 2. Sophie Glitter Headband 3. What Would Stevie Do Shredder 4. Cocoon Necklace 5. La Trappistine Leggings

I don’t know about you, but I periodically go through little phases of obsession. Right now, it’s for everything golden. Music often fuels or accompanies these fixations, and the soundtrack to this is Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman, though I have to admit to having first been introduced to the song via Hole’s cover (which is totally bad-ass) for The Crow: City of Angels soundtrack. Could it be an actual colour is breaking through my practically all black & grey wardrobe palette? Rock on gold dust woman!