Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Neon Bookends on Houndstooth; Writing in House Velvet Armour

Hello, my friends. It's a rainy day here on the wild west coast of Canada, and with the rain my mood dips down. 
When my old friend, depression, drops in for a visit, I have to put on my brightest colours. Neon orange, it is! Don't worry, I'm good with these bouts - I take care of myself (colour therapy!), and I know it will pass and the sun will shine again.

  • Blouse - Zoe & Sam, thrifted; last worn here (5th outfit, way down) in February with these same shoes
  • Skirt - Nygard, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) in December 2018
  • Shoes - Mellow Bossa Nova, Fluevog; last worn here (5th outfit), with this same blouse in February for brunch with L
  • Leather coat (below) - Jeno de Paris, vintage 70s, thrifted; last seen here in March

Clothes talk!

Since I first wore these two neon orange pieces together - they're bookends! - they've become firm friends and I predict they will often be worn together - it does make for an easy outfit formula. I could do this with all kinds of bottoms! The possibilities!
I did the front tuck on the blouse again - this is an easy way to feel casual but still pulled together.
This houndstooth pencil skirt is one of the oldest pieces in my wardrobe, at 12 years. I missed a year of wearing it - I picked up another houndstooth skirt and wore it for a season to decide if I needed two. I ended up putting this one in with my spring/summer stuff, as it's a lighter weave and a longer length. I like longer skirts with my bare legs, and in cold weather I like to wear tights with my minis.
 A few of my coworkers dropped into the office today, which was exciting! People!

Outerwear - rain, rain and more rain. I don't mind it, since I grew up here, but I would like more sun, please!
I prefer a hat if it's not too windy out. This coat is as awesome as my caramel leather trench for west coast weather.

  • Silk scarf - fake Louis (Lewis!) Vuitton, thrifted
  • Leather gloves - thrifted

The stuff:
These shoes are neon orange, very bright. I like feeling tall in them, but not actually wearing a heel. They are awesomely comfy.

Black bling:
A familiar "set".

  • Jet necklace - Grandma J', vintage 60s
  • Earrings - thrifted
  • Silver/crystal ring - Soul Flower
  • Onyx/silver ring - Tocarra

Mental Health talk!

On my day off yesterday, I sat out on the deck and wrote.

Some history: I have written poetry for most of my life, all through school. I did well in contests, won a scholarship, and I've been published several times. I used to run the Victoria Writers' Society poetry workshops. I haven't written in 15 years.

Why not? Because I am happy overall - I lead a full and joyful life and I treasure it. Writing takes me to a dark place. But I've been feeling the burblings...the world has brought dark places to our doorstep. And the need to write comes around again, so I sat down and just started writing. It was horrible and beautiful and ugly and light. I'm still feeling really knocked out by it. I am glad I went there, and please be assured, I take much better care of myself mentally than I did 15 years ago.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. I won't be sharing my poetry, as it's too raw for me.
"Come sit with me, Woman. Let the Purr Therapist knead it all out."

Vizzini slept flopped down my legs with his front legs stretched out (Super-kitty!). It helped. When I was done writing, I sat and read for a while - Hemingway - which was soothing.

House clothes!

Featuring two items that used to be in my "regular" wardrobe, but are not in my wear-around-the-house wardrobe. The silver sweater is soft, and gave me "Clothing as Armour".
My purple velvet jeans are super stretchy but still look nice. And of course, we all love the slippers!

I wear my collection of silly socks in the house too.

We had just a little sun in the afternoon, and I had to laugh at Vizzini flopped on the second floor of his post.
"What's so funny?"

His bum hanging off the back of the platform is hilarious. Don't fall off!
"While you're laughing, I'm napping."

Ah, to be a cat!


  1. I learned one thing during these last 6 weeks of pandemic and gray days. I think I have seasonal affective disorder, lack of sunlight. I need light! So while confined to home I turned on all the lights in each room to simulate daylight. It actually helped. Try
    it; see if it helps you.

    1. Thank you so much for the tip - I've been trying to get sun whenever I can, but yes, I have a touch of SAD too.

  2. Neon on a rainy day! Good idea! I love your idea of around the house wear; so elegant. The socks are just plain sassy!

    I have someone in my life, very close to me, who suffers bouts of serious depression and I know the toll it can take. I am very glad that you understand yours so well and take such care. Hugs.

    Cats have a reputation for being graceful, superior and always landing on their feet, but in my experience that's only about 50% true. Vizzini's hanging butt is a fine example to bolster my case. 50% graceful; 50% goofy. 100% adorable.

    I hope that tomorrow is a better day.

    Keep well.

    1. Thanks, Nana! I try to stay looking nice, both for me and for L. I have a collection of silly socks that I like to rotate.

      I am so sorry for your someone - it can be so hard to deal with, to know that the light at the end of the tunnel will really come. I have learned a lot about how to (and how not to) cope in the past decade.

      Yes, they are funny creatures, aren't they? I love cats. Thank you so much for the support, my dear.

  3. I love that you tackle those horrible bouts of depression by doing something positive, wearing colour or writing poetry. You're an inspiration, Sheila.
    Orange and turquoise are one of my favourite colour combinations, the Tibetans use it a lot in jewellery. The shoes that don't feel high to wear are fab with my favourite turquoise leather coat. Your stay at home socks say it all!
    Vizzini looks so happy to have his Mum at home. Ours are getting really naughty lately, Frank's just chased a very pretty cat across the road before I got a chance to pet her.
    Stay safe, stay sane, keep being fabulous! xxx

    1. I'm trying, Vix, and I've learned that sharing it helps.

      I adore that combo; it's the Miami Dolphins team colours, so I'm contractually obligated to love it, as it's L's team.

      Oh, those naughty boys. Vizzini varies - I wonder how he'll be when/if we are both back at work and going out more?

      Thanks, dear Vix!

  4. These neon brights are just the thing to chase the blues away. Good for you that you have an easy antidote to help with the black dog of depression - bright clothes are amongst my armour too. I totally adore those shoes and can just imagine how comfy that must be.
    Writing during these dark times would be too much for me and I so admire you for putting the words down.
    Take care,
    Anna x

    1. They are! Colour therapy is real, as is Clothing as Armour!

      It's been hard, but necessary - I can't not write when I'm feeling this way. Hugs to you, my dear.

  5. Aw the weather of life, Sheila ! Sometimes grey clouds... Your neon orange is popping out today, so uplifting and positive. Keep the poetry going. I always think that it's good to have a whole suite of expressive artistic outlets for dealing with the dark hours. Stay well and thank you for showing us the socks. They made me smile. Hugs to you.

    1. Thank you, Juliana! Yes, I'll have to get to my drawing/Zentangle again soon - that's in the works. It really helps to have a lot of outlets - from fashion to writing to art - to help work through the blues.

      Hugs back!

  6. Oh Sheila ... lots and lots of hugs on their way! I do understand, as I suffer from these bouts too. Writing about it all is the best therapy there is, even if it initially takes you to dark places. Although I was never published nor even did anything with it, I used to write poetry too, and later switched to what I call my ramblings with poetic undertones. A couple of weeks ago, I started a journal, in which I'm writing down my feelings about these strange times, and note what I've been doing on particular days, as I tend to forget. I didn't record what I did on Sunday, and now I can't remember! But let's talk clothes: I love your book-ended first outfit. It's really extraordinary how your blouse and shoes match, and your houndstooth skirt is the perfect "go-between". And that trench, sigh, you know I admire it immensely. I'm loving your "house clothes" too, those velvet jeans look so stroke-able. And I think I need a pair of those socks! Hoping the sun will return to you soon, both physically and mentally! xxx

    1. I knew you'd get it, Ann - I think we are kindred spirits that way. Your writing is one of my favourite things about your blog - I could tell that you have a poetic streak. I am glad you are journalling to help yourself through this - that's partly what my blog is to me.

      Thank you - this was a fun outfit that didn't take much effort and looked good. My "armour" at home is also completely comfortable. The sun is out today!

  7. Lovely that you wore your neon orange fabulous bookending to cheer the day up. I'm loving these shoes everytime I see them, they're so cool and Orange!. And the turquoise leather jacket totally rocks!
    Glad that you're managing these episodes well and taking care of yourself. I think that writting can take us to darker places, but it's also useful. And sunny days are coming!

    1. It worked - it cheered me immensely. Thank you - they are fabulously comfortable and easy to walk in. I love the coat too. It's a classic.

      I've learned better how to recognize them and start putting actions into play that help me get through. As I said to Vix, it helps me to share it - and if that helps others, that feels even better.

  8. The only dark thing in your house should be Vizzini! Life is too precious Sheila, even in hard times. Giving you a big hug!

    1. You're so sweet, thank you, Nancy. Depression doesn't always equal suicidal thoughts - it never has for me in a real way - so please don't worry. I'm just sharing the ebb and flow of my mental health. Hugs to you!

  9. What a fun bright top, and the shoes do go so well with it, the skirt is the perfect middle piece to add a bit of print too! :)

    I think in these strange times whatever makes us feel better is something we should do more of! My mum has been calling me a lot - she's an essential worker, I'm stuck at home, with the kids, so our experiences are very different but it's good to vent a little and get advice from the other perspective!

    1. Thank you so much, Mica! I love this "formula" for getting dressed.

      I agree! Talking to others and sharing how we're feeling, and seeing the different perspectives helps to make us grateful and empathetic. Hugs to you, my dear.

  10. That is a coincidence, I wrote a poem for the first time in my life. In English no less. It is a short one and like you said, it is light and it is very dark. I put it on Instagram and it didn't get very many likes haha. I suppose it is terrible but hey, I did it.

    1. Yes, exactly, Greetje - sometimes we need to get that darkness out. Good for you for delving into that. I wouldn't worry about it on IG - most people aren't reading there.

  11. Rain on end for weeks and weeks aside, I might be the odd (wo)man out here, but I tend to find rain elevates and perks my mood right up. That said, I 100% understand why it's not for everyone and how easily it can bring one down.

    Hopefully things will shift into summer sunshine mode on the Island asap for you, my sweet friend (and fellow longtime poet).

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life

    1. I like rain, but this past week, it did not sit right for me. Thank you, Autumn, it was a hard week.

  12. I have had some dark days since the COVID-19 shutdown started, and I find that a creative distraction is often good for me. I'm glad that writing helped you - just the process of creation is beneficial, and I don't find I need to share the results either. Your outfit is definitely a "spirit lifter".

    1. Yes, it's been rough here and there for me, as I know it's been for many others. Writing is so good for me, as is drawing, so I took steps today to make that happen.

      When all else fails, I'm happy to dig around in my wardrobe for some colour.


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