New Year, New Items, New Website!

January 6, 2009 Tess Aquarium

Hello everyone, and happy New Year!! Mine was pretty awesome all around and I’m glad to start 2009 fresh and cheerful. 2008 was at the same time the best and worst year of my life, so I’m hoping this year is all the good things and none of the bad things.

Moving on, last week I changed my website around just a little bit. Check it out! It’s much simpler than it was before, it was becoming too time consuming to be constantly updating and maintaining shopping carts especially when it’s so easy to use etsy. I resisted this move for a long time since there is so much competition on etsy for handmade goods I was worried that my stuff wouldn’t do very well. Then I realized that if I just used etsy mini I could still have my own site but not have to mess around with code all the time. Easier, and hopefully as effective as it was before!!

If you go over to my handmade shop, you’ll notice that a lot of stuff is on SALE! I’m going to be switching around what I make and sell over the next few months. I’ve slowly been making the transition to using mostly re purposed and recycled fabrics and now I’m going to be putting an even bigger emphasis on that. I’m also going to be offering more clothing items, so stay tuned! I have some great winter dresses in the works which will keep you chic and warm during the winter months. So to make room for new stuff (my room is very small!) I’m going to be selling off my old goods at a steep discount so if you’ve ever wanted one of my scalloped aprons or knitters totes this is the perfect time to get one!

I’m pretty happy with how my vintage etsy shop is doing so I’m just going to keep working on it! Winter is hard for me to shop for because I’m still not quite “getting” it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a real winter and I’m only now (2 months into it) learning the secrets of how to dress. I’m going on a shopping expedition to a thrift store that I’ve never been to before in Cambridge later today so hopefully that is fruitful and exciting!

I did just add 2 new items to the shop, so check them out!

The first item is the best dress of all time. I nearly fainted when I saw it, it is so intricate and amazing! The bodice pattern is formed by metallic gold ribbon sewn down onto a mesh background is swirls and loops. The trim is formed the same way but much tighter and intricate. Sadly it is too small (the pic is deceiving, curse my chest) so I’m going to pass it off to a loving home.

The most amazing dress, ever

(link to the listing!)

The good news is that my other recent find, these black leather gloves from the 50’s fit just fine! I love the length and the intricate cut work on the wrist and edges. I’m trying to dress a little more lady-like which is hard considering my hair sticks out all over the place and I’m unwilling to use hair products on it. We’ll see how this goes.

This is definitely not lady like, but it’s so cheerful, fun and warm! If you are like me and you’ve been hiding inside your house, wearing too much black and cursing the latest blizzard, you should consider getting this sweater. It’s made from a wool/acrylic/bunny/nylon yarn so not only is it warm it’s also washable!

52 weeks, week 1. A great day

(here’s the listing!)

This photo also doubles as the first of my 52 weeks portraits! Instead of the 365 project I did from November of 07 to Oct of 08, this is a little less rigid. Since moving to boston and going back to working outside the house I just don’t have as much time to do a creative and interesting photography. This is something that is still very important to me and gives me lots of creative satisfaction so I figured that the 52 weeks project would be a good compromise! For some reason this blue rusty truck is parked behind my building so I thought it would make a nice backdrop.  The way that the buildings are arranged makes this spot a giant wind tunnel! A FREEZING wind tunnel, but this sweater kept me from getting hypothermia while my hair and skirt whipped all over the place.

In case you haven’t been able to tell with all my complaining, it’s been COLD COLD COLD! I am finally getting the hang of this dressing for the winter thing and I’ve been a much happier person!  I heard the saying “layers layers layers” enough times to kill me (I work in a clothing shop after all) but the advice didn’t really explain what layers and where! My basic daily uniform involves the follow as my under layers:  smart wool socks (my flickr friends collectively known as hen power recommend these whole heartedly and finally I took their advice!), thick leggings or if those aren’t cleaning two pairs of thin leggings, and a tank top or slip as a bottom layer. I then add a summer dress and cardigan over the top and I’m warm and comfy! If I get too hot I just pull the leg warmers down around my ankles (I normally wear them above my knee) and take the cardigan off.  If I’m cold, the legwarmers get pulled back up and I’ve discovered that if I belt my cardigans they make me even warmer! This is a good inside outfit, then all I need to do to go outside is my big ugly ear-flap cap and down parka and I’m gold.

This is probably very tedious to most of you (especially my readers in southern california!) but considering how often I think about new techniques then try them (often failing and getting cold) this 2 minute rant is pretty short. Hopefully now that I have a routine I can move onto thinking about something else!

Here is an example of my winter plan in action:

Wardrobe Remix

Pretty simple, comfortable and most of all warm! I’m loving this horrible oversized cardigan. I’ve never been one much for over sized things (maybe this a a backlash to all the modesty I was taught to have growing up in UT?) but this cardigan was too cool to resist! I usually wear it belted but I think I’m feeling more comfortable with this silhouette and I hope it will bring new and interesting ways to wear my cloths!

I guess I’ll wrap up my post with a few goals for the new year since that seems the sort of thing to do, and it’s nice to have a record of things so I can be held accountable. So in no particular order, here we go!

Blog more frequently! At least once a week, possibly even 2 or 3!
Go back to working full time on creative things. Working at a clothing store is fun but I’m happiest being my own boss!!
Work on making my wardrobe more compact, versatile and interesting. This means purging and buying new, classic items (with a twist! I can’t have BORING things!). I’ve gotten really good at purging so that’s a good start!
Finish my bedroom/studio. I have a lofted bed now which make it easier to work in here. I still need to finished the walls and floors, build steps to my bed for the dog, build in more storage and figure out a good closet solution and keeping as much free space as possible. This is going to be difficult, but I’m up for the challenge and I know it will be amazing when it’s all done! Did I mention I’m going to have glitter floors? which brings us to….
When my room is done have an open studio shin-dig during the day and at night transform into the party I’ve been dreaming up: The Disco Ball! I want to fill my house with as many disco balls as possible, every will dress is sparkly cloths and we’ll dance til the break of dawn! No loose glitter allowed, sorry!
Get and art grant for the Firefly Arts Festival again this year to do another costuming workshop! Last years tutu making was a BIG BIG hit and I want to do something just as big this year! (check out the flickr set here)
Start teaching classes and hosting wardrobe swap and chops!

I have many more goals that I’m determined to work on, but these are the most pertinent to this blog! I want to share more with the world, make more tutorials and spread happiness, color and joy around the internet (and the world!) It’s time for me to get started, one again..HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Entry Filed under: Life,Made by Tess,photography,Worn

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. midorigreen  |  January 19, 2009 at 8:36 am

    just came across your blog following on from your posts at wardrobe refashion. I love it. It’s going straight onto my favourites list.

    • 2. madebytess  |  January 20, 2009 at 1:25 am

      I’m so glad, welcome!

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