Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Little Shop Update

Well, well, blogger. It looks like we meet again!

This time to update you about some shop changes and to tell you where you can find me on social media if you ever get to wondering where I disappear to!

Etsy // Ebay // Storenvy
So for a while I toyed with the idea of closing my Etsy store and switching to a Storenvy shop. Unfortunately, Storenvy changed their policies right as I made the switch and I didn't like the new platform as much as Etsy. So I switched back. I'm still keeping the Storenvy open because I might sometimes list non-vintage resale items (kind of like a 'shop my closet').

I also have a few items listed in my ebay account! I'm cleaning out size ten boots because I CLEARLY have a problem. So if you happen to be a 9-10 (or 10-11) check out my listings and see if we can't cut a deal.


In the mean time, I am working on one last special thing that I hope will be listed in my Etsy shop soon (gotta work the kinks out!). It's a special tutorial for the dresses I make. Here's a sneak preview:


I had a few people interested in how I make my clothes, so I'm going to start listing reasonably priced PDF tutorials in my shops! I'm pretty excited about this because it combines the two things I'm most passionate about in life - sewing and writing - and even if it bombs I've had a blast making them and worked really hard. Sometimes working hard on a project is a reward in itself.

Anyway, I'm going to go play with my friends for a while. I hope everyone is well and I will be back with an actual update soon. I miss blogging.

Maybe I'll make blogging a New Year's Resolution. ;-)

If you're missing more regular posts from me, I can be found on Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, all with the name cirquedufrock. Until next time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Project Post: New York, New York

In a more coherent post, I thought I'd like to show you some recent projects! I realized, unfortunately, that I didn't end up getting any pictures of my outfits over the weekend and I was super excited for them. So, even though I'm not wearing them in these pictures, here are some recent projects of mine that all involve my recent New York trip.




The above dress was actually a gift to the birthday girl, Ally, that I made and mailed to her prior to actually visiting her. I went thrifting specifically with her in mind when I picked out the pieces that became this dress, which is a rare thing for me to do. I don't usually shop for other people. I picked pink ruffles and leopard print because Ally loves all things girly and fun, but I wanted a tough black background because she's also a tough biker chic. I got that patch at the Punk Rock Flea Market and for some reason I just thought it'd be perfect to cover up an embroidery on the shirt top. The studded collar look is something I loved so much I actually just studded one for myself. And am looking for more polo shirts so I can make more.




This adorable little black and red number is my new favorite. It's an XL black gathered shirt top with a tee shirt and vintage red tourist shirt for the bottom. For the first time ever, I had a person compliment me on my dress! I wore this up to NYC because it was very comfy and I knew would still look good by dinner time, and while Ally and I were being super chic shopping ladies one of the boutique people said they loved my dress! I was stunned! But I have a witness, y'all, it really happened!

I wish it weren't dirty, I want to wear it to work tomorrow.



The above dress is a new favorite of mine, too. It's got a vintage table cloth and concert tee bottom with a soft gap tee on top. This was me trying to make a bad memory better- I got the tee shirt at a Lindsay Stirling concert. I was very excited to see the show, but it was horrible. Miss Stirling herself sounded amazing and played very well, but the venue was waaaaay oversold and they turned off the big screen, so if you were under 6 foot and didn't arrive SUPER early to fight towards the front, you didn't see any of the performance. I spent the evening in tears that I paid that much money and still haven't actually 'seen' her in concert.

Still, I bought the shirt, and I do still love her music. Even though the concert was heartbreakingly disappointing. So I tried to make the memory a little better and make a dress! I wore this on the way home because it's very comfy and loose, so I was cozy for the train ride from New York to Philly. I love the floaty colors and blue/purple scheme.



Finally, because it's been getting cooler here, I've been WAY into sweater recons. This sweater was a men's purple crewneck from Philly Aids. I took the bottom and used it to re-trim the neck and make a band for a hem. I also sewed on some snaps for closure. It's supposed to be a loose, cropped, lagenlook-inspired sweater and it's also super warm. I loved the contrast of it with the red in the first dress, and then how it complimented the purple in the second dress, so I wore it all weekend.

I know I've been quiet on the blog. It's because sometimes the things I do IRL don't translate well to the internet so I've not had much to write about. I'm working on it, though. I've been sewing up a storm but most of the things I've been making were for myself or for friends lately. I've been concentrating hard on my writing and I really hope that I can reveal some of that to you soon. ;-) Until next time!

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Long Island Girl

I thought this was a pretty view.
On a beautiful, rainy, cold morning of the very best kind, I woke early for an adventure. Winter had descended on us over night, bringing with it a downpour that made everything shiny and slick and cold. With a large coffee in hand, and a breakfast of raspberry and cheese croissant devoured, I boarded an Amtrak train on my way to New York. A city that makes my nerves jitter and jangle, my heart beating fast. I'd had no sleep, laying awake hoping I would make my train (I did manage to miss the first regional). The excitement was enough that I got no sleep on my train, either, watching out the window as New Jersey passed by in a bleary autumn-colored collage of scenes.

I was greeted with a smile and a hug, and bustled up and down staircases, learning. Observing. Too many faces passing to keep anything straight, just remember one way is up and the other is down. On another regional, this time to a friend's house, the conversation worth the long trip, I glance around at the travel-worn seats, the faces of the other passengers. Realizing that maybe Philadelphia and New York aren't as different as I thought when it came to trains.

Whisked.

I felt whisked around in a flurry of beautiful activity. Meeting new people, making eyes at the deep-voiced waiter where I ate huevos rancheros, delighting in the detailed beauty of a small town within a big city (there is no 'small town' but the streets echoed that sense of community, that idea of somewhere everyone knows your name). Good conversations, excellent conversations. Talks of worry and advice, love and hate, the words, the words, the words, on repetition even now as I mull them over in my brain. Same subjects resurfacing while two friends caught up with each other.

The wind whipped my hair in a frenzy.

 Alex and Ani Bangle
Alex and Ani Phoenix Bangle
A present for the non-birthday girl from the birthday girl. A talisman. A gift that reminds me to be strong, to rise from the ashes of my life and be reborn anew, to continue to struggle and fight for my dreams and my friendships, while reminding me that one day we all will learn to fly. Strength in a little reminder that jingles on my wrist every day.

My fictional character in my ear, reminding me that we are one. I will never escape her ambitions to become reality.

Long car rides with good friends seem shorted. More talking. Talking over the GPS until I am hoarse and my throat is raw from laughing and questions. Meeting new people who have my name, bonding over silly jokes and female ritual over dinner inside a champagne bottle. Bubbles are everywhere.

Dessert - Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Desserts are meant to be savored.

Desserts that have pink sugared sculptures calling at you, the art of the things we eat, begging to be crunched. Chomped. Chewed. Berries and whipped cream should be a sin.

It's a worthwhile sin.

Flying through the damp wintery night, a memory to be treasured. The trees lit with holiday lights, their brightness reaching up to shatter the pitch black sky. Magical. Magical in the way an upside-down lamp hanging from a ceiling is somehow magical.

An early morning train ride alone reveals letters you never know you wrote to a twelve year-old version of yourself. The version of yourself that was scared but somehow now, doing this trip alone, you feel the need to reassure. You are overcoming anxieties, behaving the way most people behave (they take their own bravery for granted; there are people like you that cannot board a commuter rail alone). To celebrate these small triumphs made (while listening to a new favorite song) I devour a fresh, cakey blueberry doughnut. Coffee in hand, smile on my lips, I bury my nose in someone else's adventure. The view from the fancier train car looks the same as it does from coach.



(On Saturday I went to visit my friend Ally for her birthday. We ate at a fancy, delicious restaurant and I made a new friend also named Megan. I'm currently obsessed with this song called "Cecilia and the Satellite". Instead of writing a typical blog post, especially since I've written about visiting Ally before, I thought it might be interesting to share with you how I actually view the things that I do. Welcome to my writing.) 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Find Me Somewhere Else - On Aimee's Blog!

Hey guys!!



My friend Aimee is doing an awesome Dress-A-Day month in honor of National Sewing Month (in the US), and she asked me to do a guest post! I'm talking about (what else?) tee shirt dresses and lagenlook clothes on her blog, Grave Robber Girl. She's also having a super cool steampunk apron giveaway. GO ENTER!


I mean, not only did she sew that dress, she designed the fabric herself. Pretty amazing. Go say hi.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cookin' With Meghan: Noodles and Company Mushrom Mac

A few months ago I visited my mom, and we went to this amazing chain restaurant in Lancaster (I know they're all over now) called Noodles and Company. One of the cool things other than it being a restaurant entirely dedicated to noodles was that it let you add stuff to some of the dishes. So I got this amazing cheddar mac n' cheese with mushrooms added.

Fast forward to last month when I would at random just get a craving for this mac n' cheese. Finally today, I decided that my mister could have leftovers (another recipe I will probably share with you in the future - sausage and beef mushroom spaghetti) and I was making myself some heart attack worthy pasta.

I texted this pic to my mom, who requested a tutorial! So this is for her. Love ya, mom!

Sorry for the Instagram photo, it was all I had!
I am not good at making recipes, so this is more of a loose guide. I grew up making fettucini alfredo with my mom, so I basically used that theory only subbing my parmesan with cheddar.

You'll need:

1 box of spiral noodles (they might be called rotini but I might be making them up. Is that the brand?)
1 large brick of sharp cheddar cheese SHARP SHARP SHARP
1 package of portobello mushrooms
4-5 cloves of garlic, grated with a zester into a paste
1 large carton of heavy cream (you won't use all of it, but you will use most of it)
A stick of butter. YES THE WHOLE STICK.

OK. So start a pot of water boiling and cook your pasta. I like mine to be a little al dente, and that works well with this recipe since you will cook them part of the time in the sauce. Basically, just follow the directions on the box because someone already wrote those for you and I don't have time to teach you to boil water.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt half a stick of butter and then add your garlic paste to that. I use a paste because I like a smooth consistency but if you just want to chop your garlic into little pieces you can do that as well. After a few minutes, when the butter and the garlic (maybe some salt and pepper in there to, to taste) have become friends, add your mushrooms and cook them until they are sort of soft. Put them to the side once cooked because this is a topping to your mac.

While the noodles are boiling away, shred your brick of cheddar. I won't lie, I like the Giant brand generic bricks. I used a big one- but two of the smaller ones would probably work. Once you've drained your pasta, put it back on the burner. Set the heat to low, and then add your other half stick of butter. While the butter is melting into your hot noodles, also add (slowly) your heavy cream. Use about 50% of the large carton, and then judge. I like saucy noodles so I ended up using closer to 80% of the carton, but if you like drier noodles you might not need as much. Stir the butter, noodles and cream together and then start adding your cheese. I go slowly and use handfuls. I start with two handfuls, and stir while cooking over low heat. I used the whole brick, but I recognize that might not be the healthiest option (look, it wasn't turning yellow and I thought I had to have yellow mac). It's also about how cheesy you want your mac to be!

As soon as the cream, cheese and butter have all become one with your noodles, kill the heat and grab a bowl because you're done. Put your garlic mushrooms on top and maybe a little pepper (because I like things spicy).

That's it! That's my recipe for the most delicious mac n' cheese I've ever had.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

OOTD: Jeans and a Tee Shirt

holding

That's how I start draft posts.

holding

holding

holding

and then between the posts, I put pictures so later I can go back and add captions or whatever commentary I want. In an ootd post like today, it would read holding (photo) holding (photo) holding (photo) because sometimes the goal is just to get the pictures in and then write when I have the time. I used to just upload the pics but a few glitchy blog posts and several frustrated sighs later, I learned that just a word between the pics would 'hold' me until I was ready to talk.

I've just not really felt much like talking lately, thus, radio silence on the blog.

My life is kind of in a holding pattern right now, even at work where certain things are preventing me from doing my job properly. For someone like me, someone who prides themselves on working hard, that is difficult. Even my coworker yesterday said it - "So, you're like in a holding pattern right now". Yes, I really am.

I'm just sort of stuck. And haven't been very nice to be around.

Every minute of spare time has been spend dealing with a never ending string of dentist appointments which will probably continue well into the fall, as well as a lot of pain or being too drugged/tired from the dentist to even do anything productive with my spare time. It's been difficult.

But I know it will get better, and eventually I'll resume blogging like I never quit and I'll pick back up with writing (because I'm sooooooo close to finishing sooooo many things). I've even taken teeny steps towards my dreams of an online store (cirquedufrock.etsy.com - it's pitifully small but it's going to get bigger). I've started making things that make me really feel like an artist again, and that's been kind of important because I lost that feeling for a long, long time.

Anyway, enough whinging. On to the outfit post.

Shirt: Recon/Me, Shoes: Target, Jeans: DIY/Me/American Eagle, Necklace: Target/Recon/Me
I got this cool as hell Cape Cod Whale Watching tee shirt from the 5 for 20$ bin that Captain Vintage always has at the Punk Rock Flea Market. I LOVE it, and it fits my travel tee collection. It was a little boring, though, so I made it into a skirty bottomed tee. I also reconstructed my gold-tone deer skull necklace from Target, putting it on a contrasting gunmetal chain.


It was a perfect outfit for one of the few Saturdays I've had lately without a dental appointment. Seriously, who knew one tooth could be so much trouble? And now, even with the root taken out, I'm still in pain. It's so strange. Hopefully a permanent crown will be the end of my misery and booked-up weekends.


I almost didn't put this picture in the post, but I feel like it sums up my mood so well. Sort of disenchanted, entirely uncomfortable and generally pessimistic. ;-) I'm a charmer, as my spouse would say.

I do really, really love this outfit and I have already started chopping up ALL of my tee shirts. I could also see this being a good layering piece in the fall, which can't get here soon enough in my opinion. I'm always miserable in the summer but happy in the winter. Come on, fall, I'm waiting for you.

Until next time. <3

Monday, August 4, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

Hi guys! It's been a while, hasn't it? Needless to say, lots of stuff has been going on and it's been super busy over in Meghan-Land (what kind of monster invented the root canal!). 


Anyway, my very good friend Trees from Adventures of a Girl from the Naki tagged me in a blog hop! I've never done a blog hop before, really, but this one is pretty special - it's all about the writing process! Now you know how important writing is to me, so I jumped at the chance to answer these questions (also I just really like questions). 



1. What are you working on?


Right now I'm working on several things. I'm trying to get myself inspired to start back with this website- I don't know if you noticed, but I've even purchased www.cirquedufrock.com now. I miss blogging, but at the same time I've lost my voice a little. I don't know if I have much to say, but I'm trying.

In addition to that, one of my close friends and I are discussing/toying with the idea of opening our own 'publisher' where we share free e-books we've written. I am very proud of our writing, and I really hope one day I can share that with you. We write together nearly everyday and are constantly coming up with new ideas. 

In addition to both of those things, I'm still working on my series of books as well as a few short story compilation novellas. I have decided to release these as digital books on my own, without a publisher, despite some negative feedback I've had from authors on publishing without representation. I don't feel this makes me less professional or serious about my writing than any other author, and I hope that I have the passion to continue writing fiction. It's hard, though. You have to learn computer coding to do the CSS on epub files, you have to design or have someone design book covers, you have to learn all these rules for uploading and reviews- and then promote your book. All while being both the writer AND the editor. It's a lot of work, but I feel I could become invested in this. 

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

As far as my blog goes, I feel I'm different than other blogs because I'm theme-less. I don't want to call my blog a fashion blog, because I don't wear anything in fashion. It can't be a lifestyle blog, because I have no life to style. Right now it's random, and I do hope to streamline that into something more productive. When I had my blog so strongly tied up in my last job, I felt stifled. Like, because customers of the store read my personal blog I couldn't say things I wanted to because they would read them and ask me about it. In that same way, right now I have nothing to say because I deal with depression and many of my thoughts and words are unpleasant, and I don't want to vent that and have readers deal with that. Blogging is a hard balancing act to manage. 

My own fiction writing is very intense and often involves fantasy or paranormal elements. Fairy tales, I really like fairy tales. I can't say that my work differs from other authors in the urban fantasy genre except that I write the same way I speak, I write from my perspective, and because my perspective might be different from someone else, that sets me apart. You can ask three people to tell you the same story but you'll never hear it the same way. My perspective sets me apart, and my mission sets me apart.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I don't know.

No, that's true.

Writing for me is a lot like sewing- I have been writing stories since I was very young. Probably too young to even really know that I was writing. I think my first 'fan fiction' was a multi-chapter book I wrote in the sixth grade or so, and I started (and finished but never shared) my first complete novel in early high school. I've been writing short stories and making up stories all my life. I don't know why I write, I just know that I do write. 

I like stories. I like to tell stories. That's the bottom line, really. 

4. How does my writing process work?

My writing process varies depending on what I'm writing. If I'm composing a blog post, I like it to be quiet (or at least somewhere I can't be distracted) and I like to focus entirely on what I'm writing, because a blog post it like an article. It's a short, concentrated look into what's going on, usually in my life. 

When I'm writing with my friend, there are often gaps in between 'my turn' and 'her turn'. So I can sew, paint, write other things if I'm feeling focused, or make jewelry as we plan and write our dialogue. I really like to have music on, or TV for background noise, because sometimes I watch shows and write with her at the same time. It's amazing, kind of like playing a really complicated game of chess. 

When I write my personal novels, I like music and no interruptions, which is hard to get. But hey, it's what I like. I have specific playlists for specific pieces that I write and music influences me a lot. I usually outline in a notebook on my lunch break and come home to write full scenes and do editing/rewrites. 

No matter what I'm writing, I really like to have coffee while I do it. Coffee is my ultimate comfort drink and I rely on it. 

Now its time to continue the blog hop: 



I am supposed to tag three people, but I only asked one. I love Ally, she's one of my closest friends and I really find her perspective on her blog to be entirely unique. She's original and funny and insightful- I don't know, I just admire her writing and presentation so much. So I asked my pal to continue this hop and she said she would! I can't wait to read her answers. 

(Isn't she beautiful?) 

Find her blog here.