Lately things have felt so...medium, meh, blah. I don’t know any other way to describe it, but usually my thoughts on fashion and shopping and other breezy things in life just flow. I’ve picked up and put down my digital pen for months, but no words came out. I’ve felt completely drained. The state of the world has been so horrendous that more important things like social injustice, systemic racism, and stopping this global pandemic have been, to simply put it, more important to think about and writing about anything else felt pretty trivial. And then RBG died. I’m not usually a total Debbie Downer, but come on 2020!
Now here we are seven months into this quarantine and I’ve truly tried to take breaks from this depressing reality and create joy by making things, because let’s be honest--I’ll take joy wherever I can find it.
I’ve found myself taking pictures of stunning flowers that I’ve never noticed before on my walks with Doug and it makes me a little bit happier. I was going to say something like...it makes me think about how even nature goes on and blooms into something beautiful even as the world continues to devolve into chaos, but it really wasn’t that deep. The flowers were bright and beautiful and that made me smile. The numinous petals actually did make me want to create things that were bright and beautiful too.
I’ve got a sign in my home office that says, “She believed she could and so she did.” I realize I’m supposed to look at this quote and feel inspired to do the impossible, but it wasn’t that kind of day. It was the kind of day where I wanted to do something accomplishable, so I got out my glue gun and made a knotted headband. You know, the kind that they sell on Anthropologie that can cost up to $150. I used to see these while browsing in the store and think to myself, “I can totally make that.” I believed I could...and so I did. I made headband after headband, even though I look terrible in headbands. They are bright and beautiful and I love how they turned out. When I finished my first bunch I fanned them out lovingly like a bouquet of colorful fabrics and textures. I was amazed at how leftover sleeves and trimmings transformed into headpieces worthy of Blair Waldorf herself.
My absolute favorite was made from the scraps of a vintage Ferragamo set--one of my very first and favorite upcycles. The sleeves of the original blouse were billowy and overwhelming, so I just had to amputate them along with the neck bow. These spare parts turned into the perfect fabric for my first headband. This was so different from the second headband I made. I made that beauty from Levi’s we upcycled into cut-off shorts. I began to think about the different personalities of these headbands--the Ferragamo was so chic like a Parisian woman on vacation in Monaco, and the denim one was like a cool California girl, effortless but still stylish. You know, the kind of girl who would put it on with a sun kissed messy bun and suddenly look put together. I wanted to be friends with both these girls. And then I realized, I really missed my friends, and human contact, and other people because I was sitting there giving personalities and backstories to headbands. It was strange and amusing and kind of sad all rolled into one. Kind of like this quarantine.
Bonus content without any coherent transition:
I’ve ceased to be able to think in complete sentences, but I was determined to get back on the writing horse, so here goes a couple of short thoughts on other things I’ve DIYed during the longest year ever. Hoping this gets your creative juices flowing again if you also happen to be stuck.
Biker shorts - Yes it is a thing now. Yes I used to wear them in 4th grade. Black ones were sold out for months on Lululemon and Outdoor Voices, so I dug up my very first pair of Lululemon, flair pants that I’ve had for over a decade (insert gasp here), and turned them into biker shorts because desperate times call for desperate measures.
Candles - A very generous friend of mine gave me an awesome piece of artwork by Meenal Patel. Not only did I love the print and immediately hang it in my home office--I also treasured the tissue paper that lovingly wrapped the package since it was designed by Meenal as well. I couldn’t possibly throw it away, so I decided to use it to decoupage a candle...which meant I had to learn how to make a candle. This of course sent me down the rabbit hole of buying wax, wicks, essential oils and upcycling an old peanut butter jar for the votive. Fast forward to me and Sam, sitting in her kitchen making lots of candles--because that is what happens when you buy five pounds of wax. We even found a “candle making playlist” on spotify. We used to do cool things like go to bars and drink designer cocktails. Thanks 2020.
Also, I really do want to know what you guys have been making, baking, creating while at home. It makes me feel less alone to know we are alone, but together crafting.