Tag Archives: creativitiy

Really, This Is Dressed Up!

The other day I was walking through our grocery store, Fred Meyers.  If you aren’t familiar with the store, you can literally walk in one side and buy your produce and deli items….exit out the other side with your new firearm and ammo.

I would say “fresh” produce but that would be a big fat lie.  Due to the travel time to Juneau, Alaska nothing arrives fresh.   Recently I’ve started to use asparagus as bows on gift bags….bendy and decorative… yet can be recycled into the evening’s meal.  You mean peppers aren’t supposed to be wrinkled up?

Anyhow, I pass by a guy talking on his cell phone and hear him say:

“I’m tired of dating girls that dress like men.”

Welcome to life in Juneau, Alaska.

I smiled to myself and reflected on all the cute clothes I have in my closet.  Strike that.  Closets….multiple.  God bless Macy’s and my dear friend Ginny….who keep me looking cute.  Big relief to know I’m not in the, “dresses like a man” category.  Then I realized, I was wearing my Carhartt jacket.    Well hell.  It’s warm.  It’s purple.  At least I wasn’t wearing my Carhartt pants at the same time.

In Juneau, dressing up means wearing your freshest flannel shirt, cleanest Carhartt jeans and newest pair of Xtra Tuff boots.  By newest, I mean the ones without the duct tape.  You could walk into any wedding, funeral or religious service wearing a combination of the above and fit in perfectly.

Sometimes, I can’t help myself.  Just have to do it….be a normal local.  Please note, my humorous foot attire for a winter ball I attended a few years ago.  Don’t worry, I did bring my heels and changed into them after the photo.  Only in Alaska…  And yes, quite a few Alaskan brides have had their photos snapped wearing these oh so attractive boots.

Honestly, you could walk into the fanciest restaurant in town and nobody would blink an eye.  Actually, that’s a lie.  Some people would blink an eye and would be shocked.  Those would be…

Tourists.

They’d be wondering what the hell was wrong with you.

Certainly they came to dinner in their linen pants (because it’s summer and doesn’t Juneau have summers like everywhere else in the world….warm?) and breezy resort shirt while reviewing travel guides and local tour brochures.  Here you come with your lover and look like you just got off a fishing boat.  The tourists are dumbfounded while sitting there all prim and proper, looking down their noses at you…. saying under their breath: This is a linen table cloth restaurant and they let anyone in here – can you believe it?  Those people look like they just hiked in from the back woods.  Must be a homeless sympathy meal.

I’m serious.

Recently, I was talking with a friend who had visited Alaska for the first time this year.  They commented on all the reality shows featuring Alaska now.  You name it, there’s a show about it.  Yep, people still mine for gold, fish for crab, drive on ice, get arrested, mush dogs and survive on the bounty of Mother Nature.  My friend commented how apparently some of the people in Juneau were obviously living off the land.  Because they resembled the people in the reality show:

Tough.

Scary.

Hard-core.

Only in town to stock up on supplies before heading back out to their cabin hidden away inside the forest or out into the sea for the next big catch.

Hate to break it to you my friend, those are just the regular locals.  Scruffy around the edges.  Yes, it’s true, even the women are scruffy.

I didn’t think much about the attire of our locals until I overheard that guy’s phone conversation.  Then I began to seriously look around at the people near me.  For example the other evening we went to a concert in town.  “Break of Reality.”  They were exceptional by the way.  Before departing the house, we both changed into nicer attire.

He wore a nice sweater and jeans.  I had on a cute top with jeans and heels.  As we sat in our seats, enjoying our glasses of wine I took a moment to survey the fashion scene.

What color flannel did you need?  We’ve got it all covered.  It was a virtual sea of flannel shirts.  Red.  Green.  Blue.  Mustard.  Black.  Amazing.  Quite a few women were dressed in what you’d normally wear to participate in outdoor sports.  Fleece tops and black cotton exercise pants.  Really?

On the other hand, there are people that show up to business functions and you can’t make up what they’re wearing for professional attire.  Recently I attended a function where a lady, who I was unfamiliar with, arrived wearing:

Purple sparkly sweater.

Sparkly black stocking.

Mid-calf black boots.

>> drum roll please <<

Black spandex exercise shorts.

Crap, now we must have an Alaska reality show about “What the Hell NOT to Wear.”

Yes, I will take that glass of wine now, thank you.  Did she even pass a mirror on her way out of the house?  What magazine said that was the new look for the 2012 winter season?  That’s at the polar opposite of wearing your pajama pants out into public.  And by public, I’m saying you’re where other people can see you, not just on your front porch waiting for your dog to piddle in the morning.

Since we don’t have a mall – there are no make up counters.  The concept of enhancing your features is akin to suggesting you reuse toilet paper. WTF?  Luckily, the salon where I get my hair cut has a great make up line and my hair stylist did my make up on my last visit, while my hair was “processing.”

There was another lady getting her make up done next to me.  She was amazed at what a little eyebrow definition can do.  I told her, the one thing I never leave the house without are my eyebrows!  Thank you colored powder and pencils!

Note:  It is the one facial feature I can choose to create every day.  Angry eyes.  Crazy eyes.  Shocked eyes.  Thin, thick, inverted V shape….endless personalities to choose from every day.

At the salon, I bought new foundation, eye shadow, eye liner and lip gloss.  The lady next to me was paralyzed with fear about the idea of purchasing an eye brow pencil.  “It’s just so dramatic.”  No, it’s just enhancing what you’ve got already.  Just like if we lived in a warmer climate, I’d be wearing tank tops that show off my boobs.  Similar, but different.

I am a girlie girl.  I like to get manicures and pedicures.  I like my hair to be done.  I like the color pink, fluffy things, glittery things and sparkly things (which could also qualify me to be a magpie…)  I enjoy dressing up and was probably living back in the day when corsets were a regular fashion necessity and Marie Antoinette was eating too much cake.

I’d wear giant dresses with crinolines and trains, silk stockings, button boots, powdered wigs and painted lips every day if I could.  Ruffles, pleats, layers and layers….oh my.  I’d need a separate carriage just for my dress when going out on the town.  Which leads me to the Wearable Art Show.  It’s the biggest fundraiser for our local arts council, raising tens of thousands of dollars.  For the last 5 years I have designed and modeled an outfit on stage.

Each year, my outfit gets bigger and bigger.

And let’s not forget my love of huge fake eyelashes, wigs and the 6 inch acrylic hooker heels.  Yes, I did purchase my last pair in a porn shop in Vegas.  They’re perfect!

Needless to say, it is that time of year where I have to start creating my next fashion statement.  So many people want to know the who, what, how, why….about this process, I thought I’d share my process with you through my blog.

I have a few videos of my performance from the previous years on You Tube – hope you’ll check them out and see what a great treat is coming up this February!  I can’t wait.

http://www.youtube.com/user/littleminxyAlaska/videos?view=0

Currently, I’m pondering my design.  As always, it will be a dress.  As always, made from throw away items.  And I’m thinking Marie Antoinette will be making a come back this year.  As for the style, I’ve got my history of fashion books down and tabbed…ideas are swirling around in my head like a vodka and tonic……

Put on your seat belt….we’re ready for the countdown!

I Won…I Won…I Won….I Won!

It doesn’t take much to make me happy….

Tell me I’m “East Coast Beautiful” – whatever that means.
Let me be right about something for a change.
Write on my FB page that I never cease to “amaze you with my creativity.”

Or let me finally win a place in the annual Wearable Art Show!

Finally, my fourth year and I managed to eeek out a third place win on day two! Yahoo!

Yes, I’m from the east coast, so there’s always that competitive drive that rumbles from within, however it isn’t like a blaring siren for me. You know what I’m talking about.

There’s the women, who at a baby shower, will buzz in to answer the Baby Jeopardy questions faster than an Amway representative can ring your doorbell with desires to talk to you about how you too can make millions.

Or the women who nearly knock out front teeth trying to get the stupid bouquet at a wedding. Really, you want to get married that badly? Wow.

The east coast is filled with what I call the “one-uppers.” That’s one of the reasons I left. I was exhausted trying to keep up with the Mary’s, Lisa’s and Cindy’s…..let alone what would have happened if I stayed, got married and then had to compete with the Jone’s, Smith’s and Wilson’s!

In the cheetah race of life, I’m more like the silent fox who waits on the side to pounce when the moment of opportunity aligns with my emotional well being and sense of humor. If Mary bought a BMW, good for her…but I’m completely happy with Norman, my fire engine red, Toyota Yaris….he’s a bad ass in my eyes. I’m not planning on being identified by the car I drive….it’s a car!

My perfect house is a cute Cape Cod somewhere, near the water, with a deck overlooking a private backyard, with fire pit, lots of trees and birds. I’m more concerned with having room for wild rabbits, porcupines and deer or bears than I am with if my yard is bigger and better than Matt and Kate’s next door. I don’t need a 5 bath, 7 bedroom mansion with gated driveway. I really want peace, quiet and privacy. Besides I don’t have to dust and clean….peace, quiet and privacy…

What matters most is if I enjoy my little world. If my world is happy, then I am happy.

So for four years I have applied my creative talents to this fundraiser art show – because it makes me happy. My creations have taken upwards of six months to create. The art shows cause me to go through the 3 S Program. I know you’ve been through this program as well. The 3 S Program: Sweat, Swear and Stress. Amazingly enough I think the rate of hair fall out has dropped dramatically since the conclusion of the event.

2010 Wearable Art Show

It makes me happy to create a vision. What annoys the hell out of me is when everyone isn’t treated on a level playing field. Hence the competition drive kicks in and I start to yell like a banshee. You see, each year a design is entered by The Wood Man. His designs are fabulous. Fabulous to the point of winning INTERNATIONAL Wearable Art awards. Yes, first place in the INTERNATIONAL Wearable Art Show.

You’d think he’d be given a private spotlight in our local show – to showcase his masterpieces – because they are quite stunning. However, no….he’s just another artist in the show, along with the rest of us struggling peons. Somehow, that’s not right.

The struggling peons should show with the other struggling peons.
We shouldn’t have to be crushed by the INTERNATIONAL winner and flatted like a stick of gum under a paving truck on a hot summer day. We have no chance when lined up next to the Wood Man.

So again, this year, I take my most fantastic self and design to the show. All along thinking: what is Wood Man doing this year? Just once let me fly past him like a lioness on a hot pursuit of an antelope dinner.

2011 Wearable Art Show

2011 Wearable Art

The show was fantastic! We raised thousands of dollars for the local arts center. I was having a ball of a time. My outfit included confetti cannons being shot into the crowd. I had a headpiece that was worthy of a Vegas show and an starting outfit that could have walked along with the Philadelphia Mummers.

Finally, I spy the Wood Man’s creation. Really? That can’t be right. Where’s the wood? What happened? Is that wire? Huh.

You can imagine the mayhem in my house on Monday night….after learning I placed third for the Sunday show. Cat hair was flying, heels were kicking up, small pets were scurrying for cover and shots of chocolate vodka were on high demand in celebration as I ran around yelling, ” I WON I WON I WON I WON!”

Sadly, The Wood Man did not place – on either day.

Did I mention? I WON I WON I WON!