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Ok.  I’m being totally honest here.  I have cringed as I have watched the 80’s trends creeping back into fashion.  I was a little girl in the 80’s.  All I can think of when I see those styles are my older cousins and their BIG hair.  I mean, a little bit here and there has always been fun, but when I look around me and feel like I’ve gone through a time warp…yikes!

At least that’s what I used to think.  In shopping for my Etsy shop, I have found myself mysteriously drawn to 80’s things.  For example, this unicorn bracelet:

Isn’t it awesome?  It doesn’t get much cooler than that.  Still, even though I found myself liking items such as this, I thought, “I’m still not giving into it.  A little 80’s flair is one thing, but the entire look?  No way.”

Then, along came yesterday.  I had picked up a little sweater that I thought I might 8o something fun with…maybe cut it up and make something out of it…who knows?  Well, then I got the bright idea to just try it on and see.  Here’s what I came up with:

As a sit here writing this, I am still shocked.  It looks good.  It looks really good.  So, I guess I have officially given in to the 80’s trend.  When done correctly, 80’s fashion can look really, really good.

To celebrate, my Ode to the 80’s–Done Right:

Geometric Blouse from Zachary’s Smile

80’s Strapless Party Dress from Zachary’s Smile

Vintage Andy Warhol Paint Splatter Tunic from Regal Vintage

Vintage 80’s Purple Leather Pumps from Classic Girl Vintage

*Sweater coming soon to The Funky Lamp Etsy Shop!

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My husband and I begin our foster care training this evening.  We are so very excited about bringing a little one in need into our home.  I was reading an article this morning here: http://fostersurvivor.netfirms.com/statistics.shtml (I have no idea why the layout of the article is so messed up!) and found some disturbing statistics.  I won’t go into details…you can read the article for that… but here are a few of the more startling ones:

  • A recent study has found that 12-18 months after leaving foster care:
    27% of the males and 10% of the females had been incarcerated
    33% were receiving public assistance
    37% had not finished high school
    50% were unemployed
  • 80 percent of prison inmates have been through the foster care system.
  • Children are 11 times more likely to be abused in State care than they are in their own homes.
  • Children died as a result of abuse in foster care 5.25 times more often than children in the general population.

Something I found interesting was the fact that the article began, “A few pieces of information that really bring home the point that CPS is not taking care of their charges.”  Now, I’m not here to defend CPS.  I’m not here to make any sort of statement about CPS, but I don’t think we can lay the blame solely on their shoulders.  I think we all bear a portion of that blame.

I’m reminded of a famous quote from Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” I think that is certainly true here.  Where are all of the non-abusive families willing to take children in?  We know that abusive families are certainly a minority, so why do they account for the majority of foster families?  Because good people are doing nothing. Because good people aren’t taking these children in, so virtually all that’s left are the dysfunctional families who will do it for the reimbursement check.

Well, I’m determined to break the cycle. My family is going to do something.  We are going to take these children in.  Who’s with me?

All Things Lovely

Today will be a lovely day spent with my daughter and husband.  Ed has been on spring break all this week but we have been busy, busy, busy.  Today, we are taking time to enjoy our family.  In honor of this lovely Friday, I have collected some of the most lovely things on Etsy.  I hope you enjoy them.

Japanese Magnolia Wreath by sell Laurelbylaurie

Springtime Earrings by seller Rabamata

Rainbow Necklace by seller Kosmika

Watercolor Skirt by seller bethwhitcomb

Lace Eyelet Dress by seller jessjamesjake

Tourquoise Sun Hat by seller Katarinacouture


I came across this really fun and super quick project at Kelly Hicks’ blog.  She tells you how to turn this…

into this…

Isn’t it lovely?  It’s the perfect project for spring.  Although, I probably would have kept the dress (with a few alterations, of course)…you know me and grandma clothes.  I encourage everyone to give it a try.  You don’t need much sewing experience at all to do this one.  Then I can sit back and smile when I see all my friends walking around in pretty floral scarves…I love scarves!

This post is the first of what I hope will become a regular feature of my blog…the style feature.  In my style features, I hope to put a spotlight on elements of style that I think are hip, overlooked, classic, or are just plain cool.  I also hope to give you–the reader–the courage to try something that you’ve never tried before.  It should come as no surprise that I favor quirky fashions, but I’ve also been known to keep it simple and even be classy on occasion.  I’ve found that where fashion is concerned just about anything goes (I added the “just about” because I will never condone the hubcaps that rap stars hang around their necks) as long as you have confidence.  If you can put it on, look in the mirror and sincerely say, “I look good,” chances are that the look will work.  However if your conversation with the mirror goes something like this, “I think I look good.  Don’t I?” then take off the outfit and put something else on.  No look is complete without confidence.

It’s that kind of confidence that, through the years, has helped me to perfect my favorite look–the granny look.  I love to wear grandma clothes!  There.  I said it.  My name is Maranda and I wear old lady clothes, but before you judge me, have a look for yourself…

It looks awesome, right?  I took the 1970’s skirt and paired it with a simple t-shirt and a granny shawl (which I made myself…yes, I not only wear grandma clothes, but I actually MAKE them) and…voila…awesomeness.  I think the trick is to take the old lady pieces and make them slightly modern somehow.  In this case I paired them with a fitted tee.  I think it also helps if you have a tattoo but it is certainly not necessary… haha!

One simple way to “update” granny style clothing is to make it fitted.  If you’ve ever been shopping for vintage clothing, you know that a lot of the vintage items are a bit too baggy.  By simply tailoring the items so that they fit better, you create an amazingly stylish one-of-a-kind piece.

Another way to make the old lady look work is to pair the clothing with up-to-date jewelry or other accessories.  You can take a grandma dress and hang a strand or two of beads around your neck and perhaps a beautiful pendant on long a chain, put on some nice earrings and you’re ready to go.  Trust me.  Give it a try.  I bet people stop you on the street to tell you how great you look.

Tell me, what are some of your favorite looks?

A Quirky L’il Project

I’m working on a little project for my etsy store.  It’s my first full-fledged sewing project in years…we’ll see how long it takes me.  I can’t tell you what it is, but here’s a preview:

I know!  Isn’t it quirky and fun and PERFECT?!  Wait till you see what I have planned for it.

Determination

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do.  So throw off the bow lines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.
-Mark Twain

I came across this quote today in a book I was reading.  Man, I needed to hear that.  Isn’t it inspiring?  And so true.  I’ve always said that when I die I want to be able to say that I gave my all for what I believed in.  It’s the answer to all your doubts.  “I’m just gonna give my all to what I believe in.”  Stepping into a new venture in life is never easy, and I am attempting to step into several at once.

Sometimes I think I quit everything I try.  My husband was surprised when he heard me say that.  He was surprised because I am known as a person of strong convictions.  I know what I believe.  I know why I believe it and nothing is going to change that.  I have taken several leaps in life that seemed crazy to many.  However, those are deep passions of the heart and soul.  I’m afraid that on a superficial level–the level of day-to-day mundane things–I’m a quitter.  Sure, I’ve been able to maintain the most monotonous, boring, even stressful jobs, but on my own brain-children?  I give up.  The truth is, I’m an insecure visionary.  I’m full of ideas and I get really excited about the good ones when they come, but when it comes to implementing them, I’m not so faithful.  Worse than that, I’m afraid they won’t work out and I’ll feel like a failure.  But this time, I’m determined to stick with it.

If The Funky Lamp fails, it won’t be for lack of trying.  I’m going to give it my best shot and if it fails I’ll know it wasn’t because I gave up.  I figure that I have a bonus this time.  This time I’m combining the day-to-day mundane with the deep passions of my heart.  This is about adopting children.  Giving those who have no home, no family, a forever home and family.  It’s worth the risk.  The way I see it, it’s a win-win scenario.  I learn not to give up, and I get the kids.  Not bad at all.

Does anyone besides me struggle with fear of failure?
What is something you have always wanted to do, but have always been secretly afraid to do?