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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wacky Wednesday #83—Peacock

I’m bucking tradition and dressing as a male peacock. Female peafowl are much less colorful—and child, please—do you think I want to dress as the less colorful half? No.

My intention with today’s outfit was not to replicate every feather in a peacock’s train. That would require 200 feathers, which would be some serious work. No, instead I am suggesting a peacock using a few feathers I created, a few real feathers I bought at a thrift store years ago, and a few decorations (also thrifted) that gave a peacock vibe.

Last year at the Goodwill store I found some decorations (approximately 100 of them) that grabbed my eye. The shape reminded me of peacock feathers and at $1.99, the price was right. 

My peacock outfit simmered in the back of my mind for quite a while, but recently everything came together. I liked the idea of a poncho that I could wear not only today but on other winter days—one that had personality and color and was unlike any I’d ever seen. Clearly, I’d have to make one. So I grabbed this navy blue fleece while it was on sale at the fabric store and planned to embroider some feathers onto. Welllllll, embroidering a peacock feather is easier said than done. I’m sure it can be done but my first attempt at it wasn’t quite how I wanted it to be. It looked like a bunch of confused pine needles. So I opted instead to make feathers from fabric and to stitch them onto the poncho. I ended up using some beautiful fabric that my fashion designer friend Frana gave me a few years ago. It’s copper and gold mesh with sequins here and there, and although I hadn’t planned on it for this project, I’m delighted with the shimmery results. I’ve abstracted the feather shape but I think it still reads as a peacock feather. 

Today’s statement necklace incorporates some of the same feather decorations I thrifted, along with some fringe, real peacock feathers and rhinestone. My two head pieces use the small feather decorations, a few real peacock feathers and rhinestones. It was breezy today but my headdresses (mostly) stayed put. One woman I saw today said my outfit had a Mardi Gras feel, and although that wasn’t my intention, I agree. And she’s from New Orleans, so she’d know. 

These gorgeous birds really put on a show when all their feathers are on display. Did you know that after mating season, they shed their train? The feathers are gathered and new ones grow back. If only I shed peacock feathers instead of tumbleweeds of brown hair—the bathtub drain would look much more glamorous.

But hey, you can’t have everything.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wacky Wednesday #82—Rain + Sun = Rainbow

Rainbows are easy to like. (I double dare you not to like them!) They’re so beautiful and colorful, and not something you see every day (unless you live in Hawai’i). Today’s outfit celebrates rain and sun and what they create when they work together: a rainbow.

My shirt is one I’m reusing from my hot air balloon Wacky Wednesday (more than a year ago). But everything else I’m wearing is something I created this week from supplies I had already. My hat shows the sun and a puffy cloud with rain falling. The rainbow is a necklace.  

The raindrops have a fun back story. Fifteen years ago I was obsessed with beading and making jewelry. Eventually that hobby made way for others, but a few times a year I dig out the beads to use them in a project. Some of the beads are from that collection. Others (the pearl raindrops) are from my friend Frana, who gave them to me a few years ago. Frana is an artist and fashion designer who did costumes for the musicals I did a teenager. We’ve been friends ever since.

The rainbow has a back story, too. I love buttons, and I have a collection that has grown over the years. My creative friend Sam gave me a huge stash of buttons last year (you rock, Sam!), and some of them are on this rainbow. Others are from garage sales or from my own collection. Throw in a few rhinestones and you have a sparkly, Vegas-worthy rainbow.
May your umbrellas not flip inside out, and may all your rainy days end in rainbows.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wacky Wednesday #81—Dominoes


Do dominoes make you think of necklaces? Me, too! Months ago I imagined a funny outfit themed around the classic game of dominoes. The contrast between the black and white appealed to me. The silliness of wearing a game on my head and body (obviously) appealed to me, too. Plus, most people recognize dominoes (and probably played with them at some point), which adds nostalgia to this theme. Did you know that this beloved game dates back to Italy during the 18th century? Chinese dominoes may have been around since 1120 CE.


Some of the dominoes I’m wearing are not real. I made them from foam core and paint. The dominoes on my head piece are real—but they are smaller than the usual size—a travel set? The tiny dominoes I made for my sunglasses are made from flexible, lightweight foam and paint. Because I had most of my supplies already, my only cost for this costume was for the real dominoes (bought gently used): $ 2.


Game night, anyone?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wacky Wednesday #80—Shiny Stuff

Hello, folks. Once again I’m mixing fashion and trash to make trashion. (I draw the line at wearing slimy banana peels and moldy artichokes covered in ants. But clean trash not covered with insects? Bring it!)

I’m dressed in shiny stuff (some of which I’ve been saving for more than a year until all the other outfits I’d planned had their turn at the plate). Here is a list of the shiny trash/recycled material I used:

      ·         Part of a broken red piñata (from Ky’s party a year ago)

·         Turquoise Yoplait lids from sixteen yogurt cups

·         Shiny bags, repurposed

·         Mylar balloons

·         Twirly party decoration, saved

·         Cellophane saved from the summer

With its shine and color-changing ways, the iridescent cellophane reminds me of rainbows and bubbles and abalone shells. My logical conclusion was to turn it into a cape.

The cape shows up well in this shadow photo.

I’m thinking of starting my own confetti business with the hundreds of leftover shreds of shiny plastic on my floor. But I still have loads of material left over so if anyone needs some…

Last year I did a costume in which I was wearing a mylar balloon, but I think there’s room for a different costume made partly from balloons. And a piñata hat always changes the vibe. (The hat isn’t the easiest thing to wear, I’ll admit. It doesn’t hurt—it’s just a little awkward. Still, one must grab chances when they come and who knows when I’ll have another chance to turn half a piñata into a hat?)

With that, I’m off to share the shine with the rest of the world. Shine on, y’all!