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Author: Val

Wardrobe Basics: The Midi Skirt 1 (Failure)

Toward my effort to make my own wardrobe basics, I tried my first sewing project on a sewing machine since middle school. My grandma bought me this sewing machine (affiliate) for Christmas 2017 (thanks, grandma!), and I was excited to make a black midi skirt to show off when I came back home to Columbus for Christmas. The TL;DR – it did not go well… but I think that’s only because of my body type. See, I’m a pear shape, which loosely translates to all about that bass.  via GIPHY But I still think the process that got me a useless scrap of...

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How to Find “Wardrobe Basics” Cheaply and Ethically

Ever heard of the capsule wardrobe? It’s an idea coined by Susie Faux in the 1970s during a surge of minimalism, and referred to a wardrobe containing between 12-30 items total—usually neutral pieces and essential layers. But now that Pinterest has got its hands on the Capsule, it’s become anywhere from 30-50 essential items per season.   I like a healthy dose of minimalism in my day, and I believe in the original concept of a capsule wardrobe. So I spent some time researching women’s wardrobe essentials and stumbled on this great* list by Elle. * I agree with the theory...

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What is “Reasonable Self-Sufficiency” And Why Does It Matter?

I get it. Homesteaders are a little bit crazy, right? We seem like we want to regress into feudal-era societies, or be better off moving to Thailand. Our interests can venture a little too close to homeopathy and the kind of survival skills you’d be likely to find in zombie-preppers. Those Tiny House shows are cool to watch, but why would anyone in the 21st century actually want to live like that? My unpopular opinion on the matter: no one should. I don’t want to fall into the trap of romanticizing the past. Life was not better overall under feudal lords;...

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Syllabus to the Knowledge of Everything (Updated 2018)

While I have a degree in English with a minor in history, I’m severely disappointed in my lack of knowledge of literature, language/linguistics, history, philosophy, religion, geography, astronomy… and basically everything else. I also have OCD tendencies and very ambitious educational goals (hint: these things are horrible together). So basically, I’m setting out to learn all the fucking things. Why am I doing this? — Well, to understand the modern horror genre, you have to understand Gothic fiction. To understand many works of gothic fiction, you have to have a thorough understanding of greek mythology, the Bible, and Shakespeare. To understand Shakespeare, you need the Bible and history. To understand the Bible, you need history, geography, mythology, astronomy, and language. Etc, etc, etc. Most people would be satisfied with looking up references they don’t understand, but uh… OCD+ambition. So basically, I’m going through a historical and cultural journey through time. To that end, I’ve created a Moodle site with courses that take a chronological & regional approach to humanities. It’s a curriculum that I adapt all the time as I go through it, so the Moodle course isn’t available right now… but if you’d be interested in that kind of thing, “like” this article so that I know you’re out there! Here’s the basic curriculum syllabus, subject to change often: Primary Texts New Penguin History of the World National Geographic’s Visual History...

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August 2017: A Semi-Monthly Update

In May, I wrote about how I’m “still cooking,” and how this applied to my move to Asheville, NC. I can now ecstatically report that hubby and I made it safely to our new apartment. I’ve been crafting my wee fingers off in order to decorate our new, bigger space; see my Instagram for proof of this. The morning after the Fourth of July, we woke up to a knock on the door. Our sweet neighbor informed us that our car had been hit the night before. Yup – welcome to your new home, friends – also a probably-drunk driver...

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