Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Tattoo Etiquette Part 2

Remember my first post on tattoo etiquette? Well, I’m back with another one, this time covering things that a first-time tattoo-ee (erm. recipient of a tattoo?) should know!

  • To start, try searching for local tattoo shops on Yelp, if your residence is in a big enough city. That should immediately help you weed out the icky places first. Or just ask around for recommendations from well-tattooed people - and while asking for the great places, also ask for places you should avoid at all costs.
  • Once you get down to two or three options, go check them out in person. A tattoo parlor should be spotless - think of a doctor’s office. There should be no smoking inside, no animals inside, no stains on the floor, etc. Go look in the bathroom - if the bathroom is filthy, you don’t want to get tattooed or pierced there. The importance of this cannot be understated - I believe tattoos are totally worth getting, but you are letting someone stick a needle in you. If a tattoo parlor is dirty, you can pick up such lovelies as hepatitis B or staph. Ask them if they use an autoclave (answer should be yes). Watch them tattoo or pierce someone - they should be wearing gloves, a mask, and be taking the needles out of sterilized packets. If the needle gets dropped, they should throw it away and take out a new one. These are just the basics as far as cleanliness goes - check out this FAQ at BMEzine for more.
  • Talk to the artist(s) at the shop. If the artist is a stuck-up prick (and unfortunately I’ve ran into my fair share), leave the shop. Some people will argue, but I refuse to pay someone a decent chunk of money when they’re being an asshole to me - whether they do good work or not. It’s not worth being more tense than you have to be while getting tattooed. Please, don’t get super upset with how they treat you! The first time I spoke to a tattoo artist over the phone, he was so rude to me he made me cry. Turns out, the guy’s just a jerk to everyone. Go figure.
  • Look at the portfolio(s) that should be near the front desk. Don’t get a tattoo at any place that doesn’t have a portfolio. Look for healed photos of tattoos - is the linework fuzzy? How’s the shading? Some tattoo artists have a speciality - Japanese style tattoos, old school Sailor Jerry style, etc. If someone has a strong speciality and you want a tattoo that’s at the opposite end of the spectrum, you might consider going to a different artist. A true artist should be able to do any style and do it well, but that’s doesn’t always work in practice.

  • It’s up to you, of course, but I wouldn’t get anything off the walls. The designs on the walls are referred to as “flash” and are basically designs bought out of a catalog. They’re something that a lot of other people have. Like I said - up to you! A flash tattoo can be very well done technically, but if I’m going to have permanent art I prefer to have something more unique.
  • In sort of the same vein, getting a tattoo in a foreign language is generally a bad idea unless you know the language. Check out this blog for reasons why.
  • Do not, I repeat, DO NOT print out someone elses’ tattoo and have a tattoo artist copy it. This is the height of rudeness. Any tattoo artist worth his/her salt should know better than to do this, but still. Tattoos are usually very personal works of art that the client and the artist worked together to come up with, and copying that is just plain tacky. Bringing in a few examples for inspiration is a different matter entirely.

  • Do not get a tattoo while drunk! Not only does being drunk lead to impaired decision making skills, but according to Cory (my former tattoo artist), being drunk in and of itself can affect the quality of the tattoo. Something about the blood being thin and that not helping the skin retain ink well.
  • Please, please do not be a cheapskate. Yes - it is possible to have an overpriced tattoo (meaning - sometimes you’ll run into shops with similar levels of talent/cleanliness/etc., but one is higher priced than the other), but they are few and far between. This is going to be on your body the rest of your life. My hip tattoo cost $200, the skull tattoo was $200 (I think? If it was more than that, it wasn’t by much), and the sewing machine was like, $160. All of these are without the tip included - tipping is important! The artists at a tattoo shop usually have to pay for booth rent, and almost always, all of their supplies/tools. I always calculate in 20% for a tip. Another thing to remember is that if you stick with an artist long enough and you’re a good customer, there’s a good chance they’ll give you lower-than-normal prices - because they know you’ll tip that 20%.
  • And of course, you’ll want to think long and hard about the design. Gala Darling has more on that here.

The day of, you’ll want to eat a hearty breakfast and another meal before getting tattooed. The adrenaline rush can do funny things to your blood sugar, so that’s important (and I always bring along something to eat and drink during breaks, just in case). Bringing a hoodie is a good idea too, I always get too cold while being tattooed for some reason (see above!). I also take 2-3 ibuprofen before we start to help with the swelling, as I swell like mad after a tattoo. If you want to take pain killers ahead of time, just make sure they aren’t blood thinners!

Afterwards:

  • If you went to a reputable shop, they probably explained aftercare with you thoroughly and gave you a sheet. It varies slightly from artist to artist, but the general gist is: keep the area moisturized (with a non-scented moisturizer!) and clean (non-scented soap also!) for the first two weeks. No swimming in public pools or anything like that. And for the love of fluffy kittens, it will itch like the dickens sometimes, but don’t scratch it! Try slapping it instead. Don’t pick at any scabs that come up (which may or may not happen - I’ve never scabbed, but lots of people do). Leaking ink, for lack of a better term, is perfectly normal. I called my artist all freaked out because after my first tattoo, I woke up with an imprint of it on my sheets, and he assured me it’s very common.
  • You’ll want to make sure to put sunscreen on it, to keep the colors from fading. But you wear sunscreen already, right? A lot of times, when people see the old “sailor” tattoos that make them so biased, they don’t take into account that those tattoos have been through years of sun exposure and were probably done with subpar skills/tools in the first place. So slather it on, ladies and gents! Keep your tattoo bright!

After the healing process, which isn’t so bad, you’ve got your spankin’ new, itch-free tattoo. Enjoy it! They’re addictive!

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Daily Outfit 9/7/09

Like I said, we went to the Botanical Gardens today. So I tried to pick something out that was semi-practical:

The practical comes in because I wore these boots instead of my heeled Bronx ones. It was still a little impractical because, you know, it was 95 degrees outside, but hey! Secondhand necklace, Fluevog engineer boots, ruffled Target skirt, and DIY’d tank. The tank has been shown before, but I’ve only worn it a time or two. I sat down to ponder why I never wear it, and decided that maybe it had too much going on around the necklace. Since I’ve been loving ruffly-shouldered stuff for fall, I decided to take everything off but the white ruffled ribbon and I think it’ll be much more wearable this way. My eyes have been prone to being super-irritated lately, so I’ve been going very light on eye makeup. Just some mascara (the L’Oreal tubes kind is very good about not getting in my eyes) and that’s it. It’s a little annoying, though, especially since I just received some Stila SmudgePot from BeautyCrunch ($13 for three colors!) a week or two ago  and haven’t got to use it yet.

The garden was gorgeous. I’m honestly in awe that they managed to get that many varieties of plants to not only grow, but stay green.

These koi were seriously two or three feet long. HUGE FISHIES.

I’m a total sucker for lotuses. Lotii?

We didn’t see all of it because I’m a wuss and got tired of walking around when it was that hot out. Also, I forgot to eat much of anything beforehand. Silly! We just went around the Oriental Gardens and then went by the dinosaur section. There were butterflies everywhere, I was just waiting for one to land on my hair! We’ll definitely come back on a slightly cooler day to explore the rest.

I snagged some postcards at the gift shop for the postcard swap Denise at Dream Sequins organized, and then we were off.

After that we hit a thrift store or two, didn’t find much of anything except for lots of crowds. There was a cute pair of Giorgio Armani wedges for $15, but they were a size six. Sigh. Then I stopped in B&N to grab the Z!NK. I kept trying to find Bust and then realized that I already have the most recent issue. D’oh. Also, this Barnes and Noble, unlike the Books A Million in Joplin, was thoughtful enough to have a footstool so that us shorties can reach the top shelf. Awesome! (Yes. The little things excite me.)

We realized we were both craving pizza and decided to get some at Conan’s. The guy at the counter was very funny, apparently while I was getting my drink he said something like “Yeah, the Dairy Queen next door? They have chili dogs. Leave it to Americans to turn meat into a condiment!”.

Also, guess who won the Maghound giveaway at IFB?! Super psyched! It was a pretty good Labor Day all ’round, I’d say! How was your’s?

PS - I joined Weardrobe in an attempt to motivate myself to do more daily outfit photos/posts. My goal is to do at least one a week, maybe two. They’ll be posted on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Anyways, check out my profile here. They must have changed things around, because I joined it a while ago only to become so confused and annoyed with the set-up that I deleted my account roughly 24 hours later. But I’m finding it easy to navigate so far! If you’re on there, let me know - I’d love to take a look :)

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Tattoo Etiquette: A Public Service Announcement

Yup, those are two of mine.

Yup, those are two of mine.

Thankfully, this post wasn’t spurred by comments towards me - not recent ones, anyways. I got my fair share living in small-town Missouri, but tattooed people are much more common in Austin and less likely to be regarded as circus freaks. No, these comments were read on the bastion of rudeness: the Internet. Sigh. And really, the following applies to anything from funky colored hair to piercings, and a multitude of others. But the comments I’ve seen were about tattoos, and about tattoos this post shall be!

My dearest readers, I’m sure that you would never commit any of the following offenses. At least, I hope not. Obviously, being on this blog means that you have exquisite taste and you are, in fact, probably a very cultured individual. (Riiiight? *wink wink nudge nudge*) Joking aside, I seriously doubt this is necessary for regular readers, but I’ve been seeing a lot of rudeness on the subject of tattoos lately and feel like some education is called for.

Non tattooed individuals:

  • It is not, under any circumstances, okay to grab, poke, pinch, prod, slap, grope, or otherwise touch a tattooed person without their express permission. Having public art available to view on their body does not make any of these okay, and if you do so, be prepared for any consequences that may come your way - whether that’s a verbal lashing or a physical one. And oddly enough, tattooed skin feels just like regular skin. I promise. Sometimes it’s a little raised, and that’s it.
  • Asking polite questions is a-okay. Some tattooed folk find this tiresome, I personally don’t mind it at all. I love talking about my tattoos! Examples of questions that are okay to ask: “Where did you get that done?” “How long did it take?” “Did it hurt?” Although, in fairness, that might warrant a sarcastic answer. Yes, tattoos hurt. Generally they’re not agonizingly painful.
  • Questions that are iffy but might be all right if you know the person you’re speaking to: “How much did that cost?” “What does it mean?” Some people get tattoos simply because they find them beautiful. Some people get them because they have some deep meaning to them - and often times, that meaning is something very personal that they don’t want to share with anyone else. If someone politely declines to share the meaning of the tattoo with you, please do not get offended. If you think the meaning of their tattoo is stupid, it’s not polite to say so.

Statements that are never, ever okay:

  • “That looks cute now, but it’s going to look terrible when you’re 80.” And if you do say this out loud, in public, please do not be surprised when you get a snarky response of “Duh. Everything looks terrible when you’re eighty.”
  • “You’ll never get a husband like that!”
  • “Only bikers, sailors, and trashy people get tattoos, you know.” Variations include: “What are you, a biker? Hurr hurr hurr.”
  • “How do you expect to find a job?” (Note: this is something that should definitely be thought about before getting highly visible tattoos. But to say this to a stranger is extremely insulting.)
  • “Why would you do that to yourself? You’re such a pretty girl!”

That last one, in particular, makes me want to projectile vomit every time I hear it. There’s this disturbing trend in our society to treat womens’ bodies as public property. They are, in fact, emphatically not. Let’s deconstruct that comment: what this person is saying is “Hey. Because you’re pretty, I think you shouldn’t do anything to your body that will ruin that, in my or others’ eyes. Nevermind the fact that it’s your body!”. F’n creepy much?

As usual, the old standby of “if you can’t say anything nice, keep your mouth shut” will do you well here. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize the above statements are, in fact, rude, and instead think they’re paying the receiver some sort of twisted compliment. After all, everyone loves to hear things like: “If my daughter came home with hair like that, I’d beat her with a belt!”. (no shit - 100% true story. not tattoos, but you know, still applicable here.)

I had an addenendum about etiquette when going to get a tattoo, but it became so long I’m going to do a separate post. And like I said - I don’t really think any of this should be groundbreaking. I’m not saying everyone has to love tattoos, I’m just saying - treat your fellow human beings with respect. And really, isn’t that something we should do anyways?

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There Will Always Be Something

Something what, you ask? Something bad, something icky, something to worry and obsess and nitpick over.

I’m not sure how other peoples’ body insecurities manifest, but me? I tend to pick one annoying detail and obsess over it. To no end. A few months ago it was my stomach, I was absolutely I was getting a poochy stomach and was terribly upset by it. Then it was the red bump on my nose piercing (face problems are the worst - I constantly thought people were staring at it while talking to me), then I had a short period of maybe two weeks where I didn’t hear that niggling voice in my head. And what’s really messed up is that I honestly consider myself someone with a minimum of body issues! Since I’m happy with my body overall, I generally feel pretty confident about it - except for that one thing, whatever it may be.

So, two weeks or so ago, I’m sitting on the floor playing with Wesley, sans pants (as I’m wont to do when home and not going out again for the day…we all have our quirks, ok?) and I notice something odd on my thigh. I contort myself to the point where I can see it, and  I happen to have a relatively large series of stretch marks on my inner thigh. I immediately start freaking out about it, and wail to Matt, who attempts to calm me down by saying he’s never noticed them - this doesn’t help much, as they’re still there! In the midst of my overdramatic wailing, I cried “I’ve got ugly disgusting stretch marks on my legs!”.

And this is when Matt says, “Michelle. How are they disgusting? They’re not festering, or unhealthy, or covered in germs or dirt. They’re just marks on your skin. Calm down, babe.”

Which actually struck a chord and made me stop and think for a second. After I calmed down, I realized that the very first thing I’d thought when I saw the stretch marks was “Well. I have to take sailor shorts off my wishlist now, dammit!”. All summer (yes - I know it’s August, but I hear it won’t cool down here until October!) I’ve been desperately trying in vain to find a pair of sailor-style shorts, and I’ve found a few close pairs, but nothing perfect. I’ve been searching after these shorts for two months at least and I was ready to give up on wearing them, even though I have at least two outfits planned around sailor shorts floating in my head, because of a set of stretch marks. That I hadn’t noticed until I was in a yoga-esque position without pants on, and Matt hadn’t ever noticed either (and not to be lascivious or anything, but he would be in a position to notice if anyone would!). How silly is that?!

I would never tell anyone else to do that, proving yet again that we’re our own worst critics. Friends, there will always be something to nitpick at if you wanted to! And once the habit is built of nitpicking, it is a really hard cycle to break. So no more! I will now be trying my hardest to not single out any one feature, not stretch marks or zits or poochy stomach - if I can fix it, I’ll try my best, and if I can’t, I’ll ignore it and move on. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to stick to this goal, at least at first - but I don’t think it’s too lofty of one, and it’s definitely a healthy goal. Next time you catch yourself criticising something, or thinking “Oh I can’t wear that because of this” - think to yourself: Would I say that to a friend who was worried about the same thing? Within reason, you’ll find the answer is usually no. Exceptions are possible. One that springs to mind is a busty lady going braless and fancy free while wearing a tube top, as that usually doesn’t end well and I speak from experience. But that’s within reasonable concerns (”I don’t want to have a wardrobe malfunction”) as opposed to body image issues (”These shorts expose my pasty legs”); and so a different barrel of monkeys.

Have you ever had a body image issue that kept you from wanting to wear certain items? How’d you overcome it?

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Daily Outfits + Photo Recaps

Yup, that’s me and my little sister. As you can see, “little” is purely referring to age here. The only reason I’m the same height as her is that I’m wearing my new JUMP boots with a bit of a heel.

They’re uber cute, although my expression is a little…off here, haha. I was telling Matt to turn the camera the other way, and then he took the picture. And never took another one. Oh well!

Target skirt, secondhand top, vintage necklace, JUMP Triptic boots. The boots are really comfy, although not quite walk-5-hours-in-first-wear comfy, which is what I did. We just really did a LOT of walking and now I’m letting my poor feet rest for a few days.

And they brought me down a surprise!

It was my mom’s when she was younger, I guess they found it in my grandma’s garage. It’s a Schwinn, I think she said it was 1963? It is a wee bit big for me, but I can still ride it and will do so with glee and abandon!

Sunday they got in town around one or two, and we went out to eat at Garcia’s, a Mexican restauarant down the road. After that, us wimminz went shopping - we hit Buffalo Exchange, which I’d only previously been to once, and I didn’t stay for very long then.  I wasn’t very impressed with it honestly, especially after hearing Cheap JAP’s tales of the NYC Buffalo Exchange. The pricing was REALLY weird - a pair of F21 shorts for $13.50 (so, you know, all of a dollar less than buying them new) and a pair of Miu Miu flats for $25. What?! Anyways, we also hit Cream Vintage, where I got a black slip skirt for a whopping $4.95. Awesome. After that and hitting a few thrift stores (and getting rained on pretty hardcore in the process, I might add), we called it a day.

Monday, we hit a few more shops and then went to Barton Springs with the intent of swimming. We changed our minds after we got there, though, and just walked around a bit.

There were lots of pigeons.

You remember my mom’s King Cavalier Spaniel, George? I spent a lot of the weekend referring to him as Georgie Porgie. He’s SO CUTE. It was hilarious though, because despite the fact that Giles is nearly as big as George (he is a pretty big cat!), he was terrified of the dog and spent a lot of time hiding behind the washer. What a scaredy cat. *rimshot*

There’s two sides to Barton Springs, separated by a fence; one side is $3 for admission, the other one has signs posted saying no swimmin allowed, but that didn’t stop anyone!

I snapped this picture of the skyline in the car, at some point during that day. It looked great outside, it was just HOT!

Then yesterday, we went to Goodbye Hello Consigment on Manchaca, where I found a pair of slightly wide-legged bermuda shorts from the Limited for $7 and got a Nine West purse for $10. She’s having a half off sale all this week and it culminates on Saturday with a $5 sale for all of the leftovers - I’ll definitely be going back, because she wasn’t done putting out the sale items by the time we left. Then we hit Atomic City, where Ashley found the Nightmare Before Christmas purse she’d been searching for ALL weekend, and I discovered a store that will be very bad for my budget - he has a great selection of Fluevogs, including several that are sold out/nearly impossible to find online, sans eBay (including some black Haights in my size, that are muchmuchmuch cuter in person than in photos). There’s a lot of other cute shoes too and the owner is super nice. Then we got ready to go to Schlitterbahn, a water park in New Braunfels…

Not the most flattering shot, but hey. I found the vintage swimsuit at Buffalo Exchange, I think it was $12, and I also found Ashley’s cute little retro number at Ross (or Marshalls, I forget) for $13, down from $115 (!!!). I did not wear the high heels to the water park, I just thought they went well with the swimsuit! My mother and Ashley were convinced that I was just trying to fix the height ratio some. Pff. I did wear the red lipstick though, ha!

The waterpark was okay, I mean…it was a waterpark, you know? Long lines, hot sun, blistering hot concrete (I’m surprised it didn’t do lasting damage to the bottoms of my feet!), wet rides. I went down one ride and nearly lost my contact + bumped my head pretty good, so I didn’t do a whole lot after that. Although it was pretty funny, because as I was sitting and waiting for everyone else to get off a ride, I saw someone pointing at me out of the corner of my eye. I turned and looked and there was a group of 2 or 3 girls, probably around 13-14, one of them was pointing and one of the other ones had purple hair with pink bangs! I laughed and waved, it was pretty cute. I need to touch up my hair, in between the swimming and all of the sun exposure (one more reason I need a parasol!) it’s faded pretty badly. Will probably be doing that tonight.

My family left this morning and came by to say hi, and I won’t lie - I got a little sniffy after they left. But I’ll be seeing them again in early October (this time, we’re driving up there!), so it won’t be all that long. Not to mention I’ll be picking up a webcam soon, so I can try this newfangled Skype invention out.

Anyways - that was the end of my weekend/beginning of my week. I hope you guys are having a good week too!

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A few days with the fam!

I’m so excited, my family is about three hours from being here. :) They’ve come to visit us for a few days, so I might be a bit AWOL - there will be a Marvelous Monday post tomorrow, but the Wednesday post might get pushed back to Thursday, and I might not respond to comments/emails/etc as fast, or be commenting on others’ blogs as much. I will be back in a few days, though, so I hope you all had great weekends and have an even better week!

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The Cycle Chic Debate

Not a big surprise here: I think the idea of “cycle chic” is awesome. I love the look of vintage and vintage inspired bikes, and will hopefully have one of my own soon. I have one that’s a work in progress, but it doesn’t appear to be progressing much…as someone was supposed to be painting it and that’s not happening. Cough, cough, pointed stare. I could really use one with gears and hand brakes, anyways, so it’s probably just as well! Ahem, so not the point. The point is, you can imagine my excitement when I saw that BUST magazine did an online mention of cycle chic a few months ago, and that the editorial in their latest issue (which, by the way, is totally awesome!) would feature it as well. When I saw the online article, I eagerly skimmed it and the links included, and then glanced at the comments, only to see a few comments along these lines:

This is so ridiculous it makes me sick. I am so glad ‘bicyclette chic’ has come to the states! Have fun riding in your heels ladies! Thanks Bust for for further marginalizing women in this already male dominated activity and perpetuating the idea that in order for women to do ANYTHING they have to look cute/sexy.
YUCK BUST!!

I was kind of shocked to hear this viewpoint, honestly. I hadn’t even thought of it that way, and as someone who self-indentifies as a feminist, the thought that I was perpetuating sexism by loving the cycle chic look was not a happy one! And honestly…I think the viewpoint that I am is a little simplistic. Why?

Well, for several reasons. First and foremost, nobody ever said that women HAVE to look cute to ride a bike, or that if a woman is riding a bike, she should definitely, absolutely, no-bending-the-rules-allowed be dressed to the nines. Ride a bike wearing whatever you want, people! Jeans and a t-shirt, or athletic shorts and a tank, or a cute froofy 50’s dress. As long as you’re riding a bike, I think that’s awesome, whether your outfit is aesthetically pleasing or not.

Second off, I think we can all agree that more people cycling would be a good thing (as long as they’re doing so safely and are educated about road laws, etc.!). It’s better for the environment, and it’s better for you. Part of the reason more people don’t cycle in the US, and that “cycle chic” is a new thing here, is because people view it as a sport or athletic activity rather than a mode of transporation. Showing people (who, yes, might care about how they look) that it’s not necessary to wear spandex to cycle makes it seem like a more normal and desirable transportation option. I’m not saying that someone who’s never ridden a bike before should immediately start while wearing a pair of four inch heels, but there’s no reason that a seasoned bike rider has to switch to flats to ride if they don’t want to. That makes cycling to a destination more convenient, which makes people more likely to do so!

Oh, and as far as finding vintage bikes, I’m finding that the same methods I used while shopping for vintage sewing machines tend to work well - check garage sales and Craigslist thoroughly, as well as small shops. I have no idea how we’d have found this place if we hadn’t stopped by the temp agency across the street for Matt, but last week we discovered a tiny little shop that had all kinds of vintage bikes - I even found a folding Yusi bike - most starting at $60. They might require a little TLC, though. And my mother, lucky duck that she is, found an awesome vintage red and white Schwinn on Craigslist for free - it just needed new tires. In a bigger city, that isn’t anywhere near as likely to happen, but it can’t hurt to check!

This is, of course, just my viewpoint, and I’m not entirely sure how much its worth as I haven’t started cycling on a regular basis yet. I do think it’s an interesting thing to think about, though!

PS - Re: Helmets. I gather that these are quite the source of contention in the cycling community/subculture, as several people feel that accidents are usually the fault of automobile drivers/poorly designed streets/etc, and so the responsibility shouldn’t fall on the cyclist to have to wear a helmet. I don’t feel qualified to contribute to that debate, but I’m linking to a few sources for decent-looking helmets anyways. And the reason that helmets are so rare on places like Copenhagen Cycle Chic is that biking is such a normal mode of transportation there, the chances of accidents are very small and helmets aren’t considered necessary. So don’t fret about the Scandinavian fashionistas in the photos!

Suggested reading:

Let’s Go Ride a Bike - for someone who wants more than just photos. I’ve linked there before, it’s a great blog, and if either of its authors have anything to add in the comments I would absolutely love to hear it!  They’ve covered fab bike bags and the best skirts to cycle in, among many many other things, and I would definitely recommend the blog to anyone who wants the insight of two intelligent ladies who regularly use cycling as a mode of transportation.

List of helmet laws by state

Bikelaws.org has given a grade to several different states and their bike laws. I would highly recommend checking with local officials or literature to see what the laws are before going out, as it can vary from city to city.

How Not to Get Hit by Cars

How to Ride Your Bike in Style - a cute little Instructable

Places to get cute helmets:

Bern helmets have a minimalist, almost equestrian feel and come in a variety of colors.

Yakkay helmets look just like a hat with a chin strap, and there’s several variations!

Nutcase helmets are a standard shape, but have TONS of different prints and colors.

And, of course, cycle chic eye candy!

Copenhagen Cycle Chic

Velo Vogue

London Cycle Chic

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Reasons Why This Week is Awesome:

  • New shoes.
Fluevog Sigourney

Fluevog Sigourney

I love them so so so ridiculously much. I haven’t even worn them out yet, just taken them out of the box and stared in pure awe. Please excuse my beat-up feet, the bugs here have not been kind to them!

  • Coraline came out this week! Oh yeah, you know I bought it on Tuesday, haha. And watched it while sewing, which brings me to…
  • Finished my first job as a freelancer! (aka the tarp job) Sweet action.

  • I started setting up shop at Market Publique. Artfire obviously isn’t working out so well for me, so I think I might take everything out of there, and sell the vintage locally and at MP, and sell the handmade things on consignment somewhere. You can see the first few listings here; I’m starting out small to get some positive feedback built up.
  • I got my serger back from the repair shop! So I can start working on the fun jobs, as well as some new clothing for me I’ve had brewing inside my head.

This isn’t a regular feature or anything, I just thought I’d gush about some awesomeness!

Oh and of course, the contest ends tonight at midnight, so get any last minute entries in! I’ll announce the winners tomorrow afternoon!

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As you may have recalled, I mentioned a big job on Saturday that I’m working on right now - and unfortunately it’s just consuming too much of my time this week! I’m aiming to have it done by Friday or Saturday, so next week posting will resume as normal; but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with some fun photos. These were taken before I left Missouri, with one of my friends who happens to be a talented photographer.

This is the outfit I was wearing when I was informed I looked like Mary Poppins (by a drunk homeless man no less! I took it as a compliment, haha). So we decided to play it up a little bit…

And those are the heels I almost broke my ankle in!

Looking at the photos, my makeup didn’t turn out QUITE the way I wanted it too. And obvs, my collar was being obnoxious. But I like how bright my eyes are in this photo!

There’s a few more photos, if you’d like to see them, here’s the set on Flickr. Oh, and you should definitely look at the 80%20 lookbook for fall, because it is DROOL. WORTHY. Those cobalt blue shoe-buckle-wedge-things? They will be mine!

I’ll see you all next Monday, for sure! Don’t have too much fun without me!

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A taste of things to come!

Hmm. That sounds vaguely pervy now that I think of it; but I can’t think of a better title so oh well!

I don’t usually do much life posting here, but I thought you might want a little update. As most of you know, Matt and I moved to Buda (just south of Austin) from southwestern Missouri, about a month ago. I like it MUCH better here and am already finding lots of confirmation that it’s a much better place for creatives, full of opportunity! As you might also know, I decided to become self-employed after the move. I’m not sure if I mentioned it on the blog, but I know I mentioned it on Twitter. That’s going really well, I’m finishing up a very hectic job right now - sewing 250 6′x6′ tarps, which is mind-numbing work indeed, but it pays the bills. I have been SO busy with it that I’ve even been neglecting my writing a little bit and I apologize! After it’s done, I get to start on the fun stuff! I’m designing and sewing production samples for a clothing line/store that will be debuting soon and I am SO excited about this project! I unfortunately can’t say a lot more right now but believe you me, I’ll keep you updated. I also might be doing some collaborations with a local artist. And, I don’t want to say a whole lot about it because it’s not 100% concrete yet, but the owner of the store I was working for in Missouri is looking into opening a store here and I might end up being in a sort of co-owner managerial position. This is all, obviously, fabulous, and it might mean some changes here.

Which brings me to the point of this post! I want to know how YOU - yes you! - feel about Decline Designs and the types of posts here, now and in the future. As I venture out into the freelancing/self-employed/business world, do you want to hear chronicles of it so that you can learn from my (hopefully small and not many!) mistakes or adventures? I don’t want to alienate any readers; but as it becomes a bigger part of my life it’s a good chance there will be posts on it. There might also be some posts on personal development, although fear not! this will not turn into a New Agey crystals and incense blog, I promise. So! I created a reader survey, for you to let me know how you feel about how things are now and what you would change, and so I can learn some more about you. I would greatly appreciate any input you have, so much more than I can express! It’s pretty short (technically six questions, although one question is a rating system for the different kinds of posts here), so it should only take five minutes or so. Thank you! for your input and have a fabbbbulous weekend!!

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