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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog: August 2006

What I've been up to lately...more handmade jewelry
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 30, 2006 1:33 PM (Eastern)

I think...I am finally producing final pieces that are more than just your string o' beads.

It's harder than it looks. Not the technical part, because that requires only practice. It's more the notion of being able to step into a bead store with hundreds of kinds of beads and materials, and from there produce a finished piece.

The earrings on the left are labradorite paired with quartz crystals. The necklace and the other earrings are jade, paired with, respectively, quartz crystals and freshwater pearls.

I still need to make a third pair of earrings, conforming to my theory that each necklace needs three pairs of earrings to go with it. The third pair will have to be simpler but I haven't decided yet which style.

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Oscar Wilde knew it all along...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 8:18 PM (Eastern)

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months."



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Socks at Target
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 24, 2006 2:00 AM (Eastern)

Interesting. I bought some socks at Target on August 26, 2003 (yep, our fashion blog goes back to 2003). And only recently--last week really--did I weed out some pairs that had begun to pill; one sock had a worn toe. Three years!

The tragedy here is that I had bought a few more pairs of the same kind of socks...they're pima cotton...a little over a month ago. And these socks started to pill right away, after a paltry couple of washes.

I feel disillusioned.

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The Three Piece Rule
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 18, 2006 8:45 PM (Eastern)

"In general, if you wear 3 pieces you'll look most polished. For example, a nice skirt, a cute professional top and a blazer/jacket/cardigan."

--Dawn Miller,

This is something that would have never occurred to me, given, say, a million years or so. Yet when I stumbled across this sage advice, it stuck inside my head and I began to observe. It's true. (And not just for lawyers. :) )

In any given professional situation, it is simply better to wear three pieces.

Extending this works for casual situations too. Somehow the three pieces make you appear "more dressed" rather than the same old "pants and tee" or "skirt and tank." Adding a cotton cardigan, or even a vest...I don't do scarves much but a substantial scarf would be an interesting element...makes it more of an outfit, rather than "I gotta wear something."

I've even begun to think of my jewelry-making in the same thread, with three distinct components--for example, jade rondelles, jade diamond-shaped faceted beads, and quartz crystal rondelles...and I'm making a new one (ran out of wire) with small carnelian beads, medium carnelian beads, and a fairly heavy component of gold fill. Two or fewer distinct elements are not as good unless you are making a classic string of pearls or something like that...three elements give the piece more depth.


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Handmade jewelry ramblings...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 09, 2006 11:49 AM (Eastern)

I haven't rambled much here about my jewelry-making expedition lately, since it fits so much more neatly here. Yet it does figure largely into what I wear these days, so I don't mind venturing a post or two over here now and again.

Mind you this is Phase One of jewelry fabrication; it's a case of "Darling, I have no money." I've not been able to invest in classes, nor (yet) in metal work or making your own beads out of glass (which has got to be the height of coolness). It's okay. There is a fairly stunning array of effects you can get working with wire, and even Softflex and stretch cord. There will come a point when I've exhausted the techniques I have now, I know it, it doesn't bother me. By then who knows?

Today it's hot again. The climate here is next to bizarre anyway, it'll start out "leather jacket cold" and somehow morph into "tank top hot" sometime during the day. At night again it's freezing. But today, as I say, it's going to be hot. The morning already breathes differently and I'm planning on wearing something tank-top-ish.

It's the ideal outfit for handmade jewelry, since you're talking minimal cloth and a swooping neckline. In fact, a semi-precious stone necklace (provided it has sufficient stones) can make a tank top appear more modest; I've done that.

What to wear? I have a small set of necklaces I actually consider finished, and about ten times as many that I don't. Hum. On second thought (after putting on a deep grey tank top and pale sea blue "boybeater" over that), sometimes you don't need a necklace. Depends on the earrings.

I have some on now my daughter designed; she has a more acute sense of color than I do. She put together cobalt-blue cloisonne beads...with a pattern of pinky orange flowers and green leaves on a brown bough on them...with teal green glass flower beads. Sounds horrible on paper, but it works, down to the teal green "popping" my green eyes and the large, fan-shaped cloisonne beads providing an intense burst of blue, tempered by the salmon-pink flowers...and cloisonne is an excellent choice for earrings btw, because it's lightweight. You can make sizable cloisonne earrings and the earrings float on your lobes all day.

Oh well that's enough rambling...carry on, fashionistas!

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School uniforms and sundry ramblings
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 1:56 AM (Eastern)

Just a brief rambling here, since our school district has gone to a uniform policy. How the policy is interpreted is down to the individual school; ours is pretty lax actually, it's closer to a strict dress code than an actual uniform. But it got me to thinking, because, as all parents know, nothing is ever quite as lucid to you, as it becomes once you have to explain it to your kids.

What to tell them? Public schools never had uniforms while I was still attending them; only private schools did. Two girls from the local Catholic school, Sacred Heart, used to take some classes at our school, and I remember lusting over their cool Catholic school uniforms: a white blouse and a skirt that was primarily white with a blue and green plaid...but again that was from the perspective of someone who never had to wear a uniform to school.

The first thing out of my mouth was, "It's not the uniform, it's how you wear it." Because already I could see how sharp a school uniform could be. Perhaps it's an irony but while I shopped for the uniforms, I spent more time, effort and money, ultimately than I would have shopping for ordinary school clothes. Once the clothes have to conform, it's the details that begin to jump out at you. Details cost money.

I suppose the analogy would be a business suit. Again there is the conformity, but that is why you have to spend more on such. You can't fake it the way you can (and should) with casual clothes. I make my own jewelry, but for corporate situations I wear the expensive stuff.

Speaking of handmade jewelry, I've come to believe that each necklace you make needs at least three pairs of earrings that go with it. Mind you, the earrings can overlap necklaces (you don't need six pairs of earrings for two necklaces, necessarily). It's just a way of expanding the wear of the necklaces, breathing new life into them.

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