valentine's day

It's that time of year, not Christmas (although we have some lovely Christmas decorations up for testing in the store right now, which is confusing some patrons): Valentine's Day! That most romantic and Hallmark-y of holidays, devoted to exchanging sweet things with your sweetheart.

chocolate conversation hearts
Conversation Heart cookies! too cute, right? Photo & cookies by thedecoratedcookie

...but what about those of us who are lacking a sweetheart? (I wanted to put a picture here, but have you ever Googled "broken heart" images? That is scary stuff!) It's easy to be bitter about Valentine's Day...heaven knows I've spent my fair share of years being resentful of "Singles Awareness Day." But being bitter can get tiring, and why should those darn couples have all the fun?

I say, fight the power in a positive way: make Valentine's Day about all kinds of love. There are all sorts of people in my life that I love, and I think a day when I can celebrate them and eat candy sounds pretty great. Bust out the construction paper and glitter and show your family/friends/classmates/neighbors how much you love them! Just like I love all of you, my beloved blog buddies ♥

Happy Valentine's Day!

operation update: delusions of gallerie

I want a gallery wall. They're trendy right now, and I know there's some backlash against them, but I don't care! It's a great option for people (like me!) who don't have/can't currently afford a big piece of art. This way, you can show off a lot of little pieces. And even if you do have big art, there's no reason not to also have a gallery to show a few other pieces off. It lets you support a variety of artists, which is always a great thing to do! Plus, look how pretty:

There's so many ways to rock the gallery wall, from museum quality cleanness to the funky clipped on art above. You can mix and match your frames or keep it classic...the choices are endless! Personally, I think I'd like to mix and match a bit, but keep it mostly in the same color family. I have two black frames already; one already has art in it, just waiting for me to decide where I to start my collection.

Kim and Scott of Yellow Brick Home just did a great post about how to layout a gallery wall, especially when you're working with limited space. It's all been really inspiring to me, and it makes me want to Buy Art Now! I would really love to have a wall full of prints from artists whose work I admire! I started a pinboard of prints that I would love to buy. There's some (okay, mostly) dorky TV and movie inspired art, but I'm a dorky media inspired kind of person, so I think it works out okay!

Do you have a collection of prints you'd like on your wall? I'd love to see them! Alternately, maybe you're a steadfast original art or bust kind of person -- what's your favorite piece you own?

commitment issues

Sometimes, it feels like "committed" is in the same family "interesting" or "distinct" often fall into when describing style; even if you don't like what someone is doing/wearing, you can at least applaud them for "committing" to their look! I don't totally agree, though. I think that committing to a style is something that should be applauded! It takes a lot of guts and a lot of effort to maintain what I would consider an "intense" style; to be honest, I'm a little jealous of those people! I adore the aesthetics of a lot of these subcultures (like lolita, Goth, rockabilly, etc) but I definitely do not have either the guts or the dedication to really commit to the look...I want to visit, but I don't think I could live there!

I suspect many of you have the same dilemma, which is the reason for my new series: "Commitment Issues." I'll be taking inspiration from fabulous styles that require some serious commitment to make them work, and showing you pieces that let you bring elements of that style into your own everyday look!

Up first: Lolita. Lolita started as Japanese street fashion; there are a ton of subcultures and substyles that I won't even pretend to be informed enough to speak about. But the bare bones essential (and what most people think of when you mention Lolita fashion) is looking like a Victorian doll. What I'm inspired by today is the "Sweet Lolita" style: lots of deliciously fussy girly details!

Photo from a great source for girly inspiration, ALB in Wonderland

If I had to sum up the best way to put the over-the-top frothy confection of Lolita style into every day in one word, that would would be ruffles. (The second word would be pink.)

ladylike ruffles

I would wear every single one of these pieces, and I wouldn't even consider my style to be that girly! Seeing them all together is a little bit of a pink/pastel ruffled explosion, but consider pairing one of those fussy tops with a black pencil skirt or some wide-legged trousers and you've got the right idea. Those comfy shorts seem a little far out from Lolita, but this is about making it work for your everyday...I think they kind of look like bloomers, which definitely fit with the Victorian doll idea. Next up, accessories!

sweet accessories

I took the "sweet" part pretty literally here; bows, more pink, cupcakes, flowers, all great ways to add a girly touch to any outfit. One of the things I love most about Lolita style is the dedication to a theme in an outfit--there's a reason they call them "coordinates"!

If you need more inspiration for making Lolita style work, I highly recommend checking out Cupcake's Clothes. Georgina has some great full-out Lolita fashion, but also works the same ultra-feminine aesthetic into all her outfits (and looks super cute!)

Could you pull a little bit of Lolita-inspired flair into your outfits now? What style have you always secretly loved but aren't willing to commit to full-time?


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