Monday, December 31, 2007

Honey... I'm Home...

Yep. I am back from my vacation aboard the lavish and luxurious Caribbean Princess Cruise ship. Wow!

I was always terrified to do one of these vacations. First off, as someone who is Sabbath observant and keeps strictly kosher, there just seemed to be way too many cans of worms that needed opening. Second, when you put together all the recent news about fat people on air planes being treated terribly with everything I had heard about how tiny staterooms on cruise ships were, I just did not think that I would "fit in" overly well.

Being as this vacation was a family thing and was decided on for me I just needed to suck it all up and make it work.

And wow did it work.

I had NOTHING to be nervous about. The seats in all waiting rooms at both airports were wide enough and then some. Even at my size I had no trouble with flight seats (although my travel agent insisted that I would, forced us to pay full fair for a 2nd seat, and then the airline did not even give it to us. Even the 3 we did get were seats A & C then D across the isle!)

I did get a belt extended, but I needed to ask for it. No one assumed that just cause I was bigger than "normal" I needed any extra help. It was actually a very pleasant experience, and now I know that airplanes are not the horror houses I thought they were.

Not only that, but on our flight home we had a fat (not chubby, not big boned, FAT) stewardess.

I would like to take just one second to thank Air Canada for a wonderful, fat friendly, courteous, and relaxing flight that was way beyond what I expected.

And now on to the rest of the trip.

The stateroom was enormous compared to what I was led to believe. I had no trouble with the shower, or other facilities at all. The beds were terrible, but as that was a common complaint I suspect that had nothing to do with me and everything to do with lousy beds.

As I am orthodox I do not swim in public without a long t shirt (I maintain my personal standards regardless of where I am, my knees are always covered as are my upper arms... it is a modesty thing... not an "I hate my arms thing" as my upper arms are not half bad as I spend most of my time working on those muscles while sawing, filing, etc!) but there were loads of people, my size and larger, swimming with no comments, dirty looks or discrimination that I could see.

Deck chairs were very (VERY!) roomy and comfortable. In fact, I never had a problem with ANY chair, including the arm chairs in the formal dining-rooms, throughout the entire cruise (Although I was asked at one point discreetly if I would prefer a chair with no arms and said no).
Even the robes were an okay fit! In fact, everything they sold in their ships stores went up to a 4x standard, and it was a large 4x.

So, to make short that which is already rather long. This entire trip turned out to be such an incredible, fat-friendly, self esteem boosting, comfortable trip that not only would I recommend the cruise line/air line and give them both a full 5 stars for comfort and courtesy, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The right shape for your face

Trying to figure out how to bring out your best features? Did you know that right shaped earrings can frame your face and help complete that stunning work of art you were born with?

A round chin can be complemented beautifully by long, tappered earrings, however, for those of us blessed with cheeks and chins to spare this is not always enough. The balance often looks a little off.

One of the solutions is an earing that only appears to taper, but actually has a little substance at the bottom. While the earrings posted look like they taper, they actually come to frame your face and pull emphasis from your chin and place it around your eyes.

Be the talk of the party with these beautiful 3 inch dangling earrings. The slight tinkle as you move will call all attention to exactly where you want it. The gorgeous op-art design will keep it there!

Don't forget to pay attention to the hardware in earrings as well. I have found that there are very few people out there who do not have incredibly long and thin necks with their ears set somewhat away from their heads who can comfortably wear standard fish hook earrings. Be aware that there are other shape alternatives that may be more comfortable as well as more secure. I prefer (and use almost exclusively) a rounder earwire that situates the "dangle" slightly away from the earlobe.

Not even all posts are created equal. "Industry Standards" set the standard to 8-10mm long and 0.8-1mm thick. I find I can not get 1mm posts into my holes, and have made posts for clients as long as 15mm so as not to squish earlobes.

Earrings are a "luxury item", so shouldn't they make you look at feel luxurious when you wear them?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gutsy Dame

Okay ladies, not only have I got a great review of another new Toronto seller, but she is currently having a sale and a contest!

Gusty Dame, a relatively new face in the world of plus size shopping in Toronto, is breaking into the scene in a big way. Although she has been "live" online for a while, this 1ast weekend marked her 2nd Toronto Clothing Show. She is showing the Toronto fashion community that fat does not mean frumpy.

How incredibly cute is this simple black strapless dress. Wear it plain as a cute little black dress, or dress it up into high fashion with some awesome accessories (ok, so here is a little plug for me... so sue me... I managed to go a couple weeks without it... I was due. I am drooling just thinking of all the accessories I have for which it would make an incredible backdrop!)

I also managed to find what might just be the perfect pair of jeans for my body shape. Bootcut, big butt and thighs, smallish waist. There is a god and apparently he is designing jeans for Gutsy Dame!

Although her clothing only goes up to a 4x, she actually gives the measurements for bust and waist (I hope hips and length will follow soon) so you can actually take a good guestimate if things are really going to fit. My favourite thing about her website is that you can input your own measurements and "browse by measurement". It is a great way to only bring up pieces that will actually work for you.

Another big plus (apart from really trendy clothing, reasonable shipping, no border crossing, and a growing list of resources) is the use of real plus size models. No, not size 12s who are strapped in to shapewear so tight their eyes are bulging out of their heads. Real, honest to goodness plus size women who can give you some idea of how this stuff is actually going to look on you.

All in all, a wonderful new addition to the Canadian plus sized market.


I am getting involved with a team on Etsy that is dedicated to bringing awsome Indie design to the plus size community. I have made it clear that I am willing to ork only with those who ship to Canada without robbing Canadian's blind.

If this works out it is going to be amazing... my wardrobe will look incredible... unfortunatly, I will also be dirt poor.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Attention those near Oakville Ontario

One last show this season. I met a guy at the CB show and he is hosting a show for his own products (amazing hand milled soaps... I bought one and adore it!) next Thursday night about 2/3 of the way between here and Hamilton. Both of our product lines will be available for sale. He is offering a whopping 20% off his stuff.

I would love if those nearby would come out and join us. I will email out directions to anyone available.

His stuff is all natural and smells amazing!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bon Bon - Only Beautiful Clothes for Everyone

I just came across the shop Bon Bon on Etsy. Oh my gosh! It has some of the most incredible handmade clothing, and the best part is, IT IS ALL AVAILABLE FOR ME TO WEAR! If you send her your measurements and she custom makes each item at no additional cost. She does a unique appliqué on many of the pieces.

I have never seen such awsomeness in detailing on plus sized clothing as in the wool jumper (left). That happens to be a cut that looks really good on me with a high waist and high bust, and it is one that I find exceptionally hard to find in ready made plus size designs.

I have not yet purchased anything from the site, but it certainly has promise and a whole heck of a lot of things going for it. On top of the points that I have already listed, she is Canadian and has shipping for the incredibly reasonable price of $8 for the first item and $5 for any additional ones. For warm heavy clothing that is a pretty great rate!

The lines in her work are stunning and much of it will look fantastic on me. Ok, in so far as I ever think anything looks fantastic on me anyway.

The wool fishtail applique skirt (right) just jumped to first place on my "Ohmygod I need that!" list. I do not even know where to begin on exactly how spectacular everything about this skirt really is.

I am looking forward to making enough sales of my own to be able to purchase some of her gorgeous work!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pay It Forward offer at my other site

I just wanted to let readers here know about an offer on my other blog at . I am running a "Pay it Forward" offer. This means, that the first 3 people to sign up over there and follow the rules will receive a totally FREE item from

No shipping charges, no hidden charges, nothing.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Big it up Massey Hall!

Tonight I was all excited as I was given tickets to go see a jazz concert at Massey Hall. The concert itself (Sofie Millman) was excellent. The opening act had one of the best piano players I have ever seen! The acoustics in Massey Hall are absolutely spectacular and it sounds like you are right in the middle of the band no matter where you are sitting. Every single note was crystal clear and perfectly reverberated. There is reason that the hundred plus year old hall is still in use.

That reason is assuredly NOT the gallery seats.

First, you have to schlepp up a million steps to get to the seats, but I knew that and frankly, I can manage. We got to the top with no trouble, and were ready to take our seats. I should mention that a better name for the "Gallery" might be the "Stratosphere" as they are at roughly the equivalent height.

Now, at my size being comfortable in seats can be a bit of an issue. I am slightly worried about when I fly in a couple weeks and how it is all going to work out. But I have NEVER had a situation in which I was so uncomfortable I could not bear it and had to leave.

That being said, it was not just me. My very, very tall and skinny husband was also incredibly uncomfortable. My average sized mother was in incredible amounts of pain. I was just the only one willing to do something rather than just sit there and take it.

In short, the gallery seats at Massey Hall are a abomination against all that is good in this world. Apart from the fact that they are wood and splintering, they are also packed on top of each other so the smell off the smoker next to my husband was killing about 5 of us in any direction. I am also fairly certain that only a prepubescent boy would have enough hip space. Those seats were certainly not meant for adults whose hips have birthed children!

My mother is by no means a tall woman guesstimating her height up to a whopping five foot four inches, but there was not enough room to accommodate her legs. She was forced to spend the entire duration of the concert sitting sideways with her legs in the isle. I got to spend part of the concert watching my six foot tall husband's knees become one with his chin!

As for me, forget it. After spending the first two thirds of the concert in the agony of being squashed between my husband, my mother, and the idiot in front of me bopping to the music and slamming his chair into knee every three seconds, I gave up and sat in the isle. As none of the ushers said a word to me I get the feeling this is a fairly standard occurrence.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

One of a Kind

So I spent Sunday afternoon at the One of a Kind craft show. As always it was full of stuff I wanted but did not need, and stuff I needed but for various reasons did not want (various reasons including too epensive, not the right colours, etc.)

I am pretty sure that this is not the first year they have had it divided into "villages" where there was an entire section for lothing, another for food, another for visual art, etc, but I can say that this is the first year I have actually noticed that these divisions worked fairly well.

Of the many lothing vendors there were 2 who carried clothing in larger sizes. A 3rd claimed to have "plus" sizes but those stopped at a size 12. Since when is size 12 a "plus? In any case.

The two who did have plus sizes had exquisite stuff.

Babs billed themselves as "Real sizes for real women" and I have to say they were pretty on the mark with their claim. Carrying from size 2 through 26 they had a large and varied selection of unique items. I *believe that all items are available in all sizes, but do not quote me on that. Bonus points for using some plus sized models on their website.

They did not have a huge selection but what they did have looked to be well made and reasonable priced for high end handmade clothing.

My personal favourite (if I had money to burn) is this gorgeous Wild Silk Opera Jacket. The silk was just amazing to touch and the colour is to die for! Every detail is perfect right down to the back pleat for ease of movement.

If anyone wants to buy me a holiday gift this just might be it!

Olga Saras Knit Gallery (no website, but the phone number provided is 647.436.6967) was another fantasti surprise. With prices about what I would expect for handmade custom knits (yes, we are talking some major money here) I was quite sorry to have not recently won the lottery. They had a knitted skirt that FLARED at the knee into a spiderweb sort of pattern that I just adored!

From what I could tell their standard sizeing went up to a 2X, but as knits are stretchy that was the equivilant of at least a 4-5X. I hung on to the skirt for a long time before willing myself ot leave the shop. On the way out the woman added that if I was unsure about size ANY of their patterns could be custom made to size at the same price.

I jumped for joy and took a card. If I ever win the lottery I will certainly go back!

Now, on to the other clothing vendors.

There were a few that had some, what I would consider, "one size" items. There were some lush, hand painted silk scarves that would have made a fantastic gift for my grandmother. I went over to take a look at the booth selling handpainted silk, and the woman gave me half a look and then ignored me completely. I even had one saleswoman say "I do not think I have anything you are looking for."

Excuse me? Even if that is true, how do you know who I am shopping for? Maybe I saw something I liked as a gift? In any case, I ertainly did not give any of them a second look.

Granted, this did not only happen at clothing booths (I actually found the vendors this year to be incredibly rude! If you do not acknowledge my presence chances are you are not going to make a sale... I would rather give it to someone who looks up from their book once in a while).

Monday, November 26, 2007

CBC Christmas Boutique

Hi everyone,

Phony Art will be participating in this years CBC Christmas Boutique to raise funds for breast cancer research. The sale is this Thursday, November 29th 2007 from 10am until 5 pm in lobby of the the CBC building at the corner of Front and John street in beautiful downtown Toronto in the heart of the Entertainment district.

We will be featuring our entire collection
of plus sized jewelery and accessories!!!

With jewelery and gift items for women, men, children, teens, and hostess gifts we have something for everyone on your holiday shopping list! Leave with your list complete and PhonyArt will even take care of the wrapping! Free gift with every purchase.

Don't forget PhonyArt is also available for home shows, appointments and online orders right up until December 20th for in stock items. Custom items are guaranteed for Christmas when ordered by December 5th 2007. Please stop by the new online shop at to see a sample of the new collections.

Happy Holidays to you and your families.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


In Flanders Field the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

--Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Monday, November 5, 2007

Know for whom the dress is donned.

So far as I can see it, there are essentially two ways to choose your wardrobe. There is dressing for others and there is dressing for yourself.

Dressing for others includes such looks as the enormous flowered tent with a giant bow in the front. It means dressing to fit what people see as a fat woman image. It means conforming to what "fashion" tells us we should wear rather than what we like.

If you look at what fat women are generally being given to wear it says one thing. Please hide my body! It is designed to shame and to cloak our "dirty" and not so little, secret. Society says "Fat is Bad" therefore fat needs to disappear. It does not matter if we look like king size pillows. As long as not a single role is visible the rest of the world can pretend that we are just big skinny people. It is the beginning of a slippery slope that pushes "Fat Girls" into the margins of society.
By minimizing who and what we are it makes it that much easier to minimize what we do and what we can accomplish. It is only a small step from "Fat Girls should not wear stripes" to "Fat girls should not wear flight attendant uniforms" to "Fat girls should not be allowed to fly".

Then there is dressing for yourself. How many of us truly love mumus for anything other than, um, ok, let's face it, I can not really think of any good uses for mumus. (Yes, yes, I have heard the arguments that they are comfortable, easy, great for sleeping in, etc. but there are a number of other options out there that can fill those roles and look a lot better doing it!)

Dressing for yourself is making your wardrobe a part of who you are and giving off a first impression that tells people you want to be recognized for who you are. It tells the world "I am not hiding behind my clothes, I am using my clothes to make a statement about who I am. I am not going to let fashion dictate that I should disappear.

So wear what makes you feel good and think of it as a statement for both Fat Activism and your own psyche.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shopping. Part 1

So the teacher in me has spent some time formulating the big question. "Do fat women get less pleasure out of shopping? Why or why not. Don't forget to give evidence to back up your answer." (Yep, that took 4 years of undergrad and a teacher's degree to come up with!)

Lets put aside for a moment the whole "stores are made for skinny people" thing and the frustration of never being able to find things that make us feel great. Lets take a trip into the land of make believe and imagine a store that carries every size from a 2 to a 52. It has every item in every size. Each piece of clothing is the same price as every other on just like it regardless of size.

The store is well advertized, well priced, easy to get to, and easy to navigate. Change rooms are large and functional with lots of mirrors, a chair, and a small table to hold your purse. The sales people are plesant, non pushy, and not paid on commission. They just want to see you happy, and have had sensagtivity training and really are just there to help. (See, we really are in fantasy land).

Antonio Banderes (in his Evita look) compliments every item of clothing personally and hands you a red rose with each purchase (hey, my fantasy land, my rules!)

I would be willing to bet that the store would still be mostly filled with women under a size 16.

Why is that?

Getting rid of all the other factors that we use as excuses to say we hate brick and morter shopping, we get right into the heart of the matter. Why is it that even in the setup I described, I would still feel people were staring at me and be embarrassed to reach in to the middle of the rack to find my size?

Even in stores that do cater to our needs we often still feel as if we are being judged.

It seems that we are conditioned to think of ourselves as somehow less worthy of having new things. Descartes is know to have said "I think, therefore I am". Are we taught to say "I eat, therefore I am not"?

Of course, up here in Toronto this is all a moot point. I can count the number of stores that service women like myself on one hand. I wonder if I am taking my life view from retailers who seem to be telling me that I am less worthy of having new things. "Sorry, we do not carry things for your kind here". Sure, that will make anyone feel great.

Fat women get less pleasure out of shopping because we feel like it is not something we are entitled to be doing based on the limited number of places that will actually cater to our needs.

OK, so we have now wandered the total length and breadth of the store and have actually managed to find a number of things that we want to try on. The friendly and helpful sales assistant helps get all the stuff the roomy, comfortable, well lit, mirrored fitting room.

Now comes the real fight. Does this skirt make me look "normal". Shit! You can still see that stupid bulge above my waist. Damn! This shirt make me look like that three breasted women from Star Wars (ok, that might make some men pant with envy, but it is never really the look I go for). Never mind what I hear of the search for the perfect jeans or pants!

Seems that one of the things people want from their clothes is that they hide their flaws. Guess what? Fat ain't hidable. You put on the most beautiful sweater in the known world and you are still just a fat chick in the sweater. We can not hide who we are and I think that is the final nail in the coffin. No matter what we wear or how we wear it, we are still just fat chicks in new clothes.

So the answer to the question I started with is "Yes fat women get less pleasure out of shopping." However, the caveat to that is that if we stop thinking of ourselves at "fat women" and start thinking of ourselves as plain old women who accept themselves for who and what they are (and who happen to be damn gorgeous women to boot!) most of our reasons for not shopping disappear.

So lets go out and celebrate the findings of this not so scientific study by shopping to our hearts content!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Interesting, if skewed, poll results

So based on my lovely, non-scientific poll that only 4 people answered, it seems no one shops in brick and mortar stores, and no one shops from paper catalogs. Also, no one shops in thrift stores. That does not surprise me as I always find it depressing to re-learn that apparently vintage people were all built like sticks. Really, what the poll did was open two questions for me.

1) Why it is that we, as a whole, seem to take less pleasure from shopping "for real"?

2) Why are we often comfortable shopping online, but worry when shopping from a paper catalog that it might not fit right?

Any thoughts to add before I actually try to come up with answers?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's official, CBC SHOW

PhonyArt will be on the new vendors at this years CBC gift show. Now in it's 10th year the CBC craft show is an annual fundraiser for Breast Cancer research. If you are in Toronto please come by and check us out!

Thursday November 29th, 2007

Christmas in the Heart of the Entertainment District

Canadian Broadcasting Centre (Front & John Streets)

Also, I have another show tentatively booked that night (crazy day!) for the Children's Wish Foundation at a night club but I am not sure I have the stock (or energy) for two shows in one day.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today I am wearing horizontal stripes.

Yes ladies. Today I am wearing black ribbed shirt with lots and lots of grey and ivory lines running across the front of it. Not only is it ribbed and striped, but it is also slightly chunky. I saw this shirt in a store and went, "No way. I don't wear horizontal stripes". But the price was really , really good, and I needed some new tops pretty badly.

So, against my better judgment (and pretty sure that I would get it home and stick it in a drawer never to see the light of day again) I bought the thing. I still can't tell you why, but I did. It sat in my drawer breaking every single rule I have been taught to live by. No stripes. Certainly no bold stripes. Absolutely no bold stripes across the chest. Never, ever, under any circumstances, let those stripes continue out onto the arms.

I wore it today (I am totally and completely out of clean shirts as I have been working like a lunatic the last few days and laundry has sort of taken a backseat to, well, pretty much everything).

I love this shirt! It looks fantastic. Whatever it is about this striped/ribbed combo, it has the stripes lying really nicely. I feel like a total rebel for breaking all the "rules", but that in itself feels sort of neat.

So, moral of my story. Toss the rules in the drawer never to see the light of day, and try on anything that catches your eye because you never know how it will look.

incidentally, as this is a Toronto based blog, I should mention that the shirt came from Zellers and I got it on sale for $15 :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Winter clothing show

So I think i am stuck in a little bit of a catch 22.

I am thinking of participating in the Winter clothing show. It is notoriously non-fat-friendly. To the best of my knowledge there is only one vendor who even carries any plus sized clothes.

Great right, go in, sell my stuff, have a bit of a captive audience.

The thing is, I think most of us plussies know that, and so we do not even bother going to the show.

So I might get there, hoping for a captive audience, only to find that there is no one there to whom I can sell anything!

I am curious. To those who are reading this. Do you bother going to this sort of thing? should I take that leap and be the big fish in the small pond?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tonight I saw something fantastic.

I was sitting in the Starbucks at Queen and Dovercourt enjoying a night out with a friend of mine and in walks the most stylish woman I have seen in a long time. She was dressed in this awesome black and white striped dress with bright red accents. Tall black boots, and a dark brown shawl completed her look. This was a woman who was dressed to be noticed, and it was working. She looked incredible.

She was also hands down the largest woman I have ever seen. And I have seen myself so it is not like I have nothing tom compare to!

She was accompanied by an average looking guy. Looked nice enough, nothing special. The two of them strode into the coffee shop and headed up to the counter. He ordered a coffee, she ordered a hot chocolate and a pastry.

One drunk idiot in the corner pipes up with "don't you think you should just get a water".

The cashier looks over his shoulder at the idiot, and says "You only wish you could look that good! Maybe if you have the hot chocolate and pastry you can be more like her".

It was awsome!

Three cheers for the counter guy at Starbucks!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So now being fat is is a "removable" fault?

Slimming photos with HP digital cameras

This is absolutely unbelievable. I was poking around HP's website this afternoon looking for some info on my printer that is giving me some trouble. I managed to come across this interesting headline and figured that I needed to take a look.

Apparently, there, hidden amongst the other "enhancements" on new HP digital cameras, right under "fix pet red eye" is their new "slimming" feature. According to the on-site demo, it sort of selectively narrows everything in the foreground. Yep.
Now, please do not get me wrong. I have no problem with the ability to get rid of real flaws... things that are not there in actuality but show up in pictures. Most of us do not go around wearing red contacts and would rather have the flash-glare removed.

What the !@#$%???

Ok, I get it. Society wants me to feel like I am less than nothing. That I should have no part of humanity. That I should be willing to sacrifice my very existence and livelihood so that others should not be forced to view my disgusting physique if they do not want to. But this is new. This goes beyond finding fault with me to actually being given the control to change this fault and make it as if my "faults" have never existed! Apparently now fat people can not even be remembered in photos for who we are.

I guess what has me so upset about this is that you would never see this as a "feature" if it pertained to any other physical attribute that was actually a part of the "subject". If there was a "feature" to turn black skin white, or blue eyes brown, or make short people taller, the public would be up in arms! They would scream racism, sexism, whatever had even the slightest connection to the case at hand.

Can you imagine how this new feature is going to effect all those preteens who want to live up to todays unrealistically "heroine chic" fashion model look? Now they can create photo's of themselves to pin to their mirrors. Wow, look how good I can look in that totally not real picture. I'll bet that I can do that in real life!"


Is there anyway to complain to such a huge conglomerate that this "feature" of theirs is positively revolting and actually have our complaints heard?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Apple? Pear? Bananas? Why do we think of ourselves as fruit?

"Reclining Produce" image from a fantastic sister blog to with the works of an artist who uses all sorts of every day items to create sculptures that are sure to put a smile on your face.

I think the title "peared" with the picture says it all.

Have you ever noticed that we seem to spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to fruit?

You may think that I am a little "nutty" but I like to think that there is more to me than seeds, skin and some natural sugars (although I like to think that I am pretty darn sweet!).

So I set my mind to it. Why am I using fruit to only describe my body type? Isn't only describing the external just as silly as what I am using to compare it to?

Maybe I should say my heart is like a persimmon. Hard on the outside and sort of gooey and mushy on the inside. My brain is like a kiwi. Covered with hair and full of lots of seeds, most of which will just be ignored.

We can continue to extend this analogy well outside of our own bodies. My relationship with my family can best be described as bananas. My best friend would say I am nuts. Loads of people who do not know me overly well would say I am berry, berry nice. My great grandmother used to call me a peach. There are some days I feel like passion fruit, ,and other days I want to hide under the blankets because it is more of an ugly fruit day.

There are days where I feel like a medlar, and others where I am a real prickly pear. Often I head out to look for plum bargains with my blackberry to keep "currant". My car is a total lemon. We blow rasberries at babies (I never understood that. Then we get mad at them when they spit at people!)

Of course, all of us were born with that little cherry and often feel like a bit of a horned melon.

So stop using fruit to try to figure out how to describe your external, and start working on the fruit salad of your life!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gee thanks

I was down at the Eatons Centre this afternoon. I was finally done with the errands I had to do while I was downtown. I bought a water and sat down on a bench to get my stuff sorted out and to get out a bus token. There was another guy sitting on the bench, but it was one of those huge, backless benches and so space was not an issue and we were not facing each other.

After sitting for a minute and getting myself in order and together, I realzie that through a pause in the music on my ipod I hear this really smooth voice (think midnight shift dj on a pillow talk radio show or something".

"Your HUUUUUGE. You are SOOOOOO FAT. Oh my gosh, you are just HUUUUUUUUUUGE."

Now, I gotta tell you, on most days I would have been humiliated and totally burst in to tears, but I happen to know I look good today. I am wearing a stylish outfit and my jewelery is to die for. For get just looking good for me, something about what I am seeing in mirrored elevator doors is saying "Damn you look good!".

So for whatever reason I looked right at him and replied.

"Your SUUUUUUUUUUUCH and IDIOT. You have ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERO social grace. Oh my gosh I'll bet that compensating for a TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINY penis by insulting random strangers must be a HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE strain."

Ok, so I think I came out the winner in this story, but it still begs the question. Why in the world would someoen think that sort of behavious is in any way appropriate? It was not a child who has not yet learned to know better. It did not look like it was someone who was not in proper control of their faculties (although clearly they had lost the reins to their brain and mouth). I have no way of really knowing, but I suspect that people would not up to somone with, say, a missing finger and say "whoah, your hand is soooooooooooo wierd". So what gives? Why is it okay to insult the way I look because for whatever reason it does not jive with your personal taste? You don't like the way I look? DON'T LOOK AT ME!!! Buddy, I know I am sort of hard to look around, but I am sure if you work hard at it you can mange it...

I am still dwelling on it (even though I know I shouldn't be and that damn! I look good today) but all in all I suspect my comeback was a bit to much of a shock for his little dingaling. He did stop being insulting and just sat there open-mouthed while I finished getting my bags and token in order calmly and got up and walked away.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Ladies, please, keep those girls high!

Lets talk boobs.

I think that we can all agree that they are certainly not "once size fits all". We all know there are all sort of boobs. There are the beach-ball boobs... those who seem to be overinflated and you wonder if they could be used as a flotation device. There are tiny little "boobettes" that you are not sure are really there. There are, what my sister calls "bullet tits" that look like they are trying to fly off women's chests to chase down those who dare look in their direction.

Now, I know for me this is one of the major clothing issues in my life. Nothing says "forgot to look in a mirror" louder than more than the girls looking in a different direction than you! Nothing will make you feel better, prettier, sexier, and more ready to face the world than getting those girls into the right spot with a good fitting bra. You will not believe the difference a properly fitting bra will make to the way your clothes fit and drape.

Now, I know that with our limited booty-licious stores here in Toronto this is easier said than done. However, there are now an abundance of online options for the "gifted" women amongst us, and yes, there are even a number of them that will ship to Canada.

So how do you know what size you need? A, B, D, GG, 42, 44, 62? What the heck do all those numbers mean? Seems like you need a PhD in math to buy properly fitting underwear nowadays! Well, I am going to attempt to explain some of the mystery behind bra shopping and some of the numbers, letters and features you should be looking for.

All you really need is 2 measurements and grade 1 math.

1. Get a soft tape measure. The longer, the better. It is a lot easier if you do this with a friend who you trust not to tickle you, but it can certainly be done on your own in front of a mirror.

2. Measure around your ribcage just under where your bra should end. You want to go around your back so that the tape is about an inch below your shoulder blades doing your best to keep the measuring tape level. Add 5 inches. Round up so that you have an even number. That is your bra size

ribcage measurement = 38 inches

3. Add 5 inches to the number from step 2

add 5 inches = 43 inches

4. If it is an odd number round up.

round up to an even number = 44 inches

5. This makes the band size needed a 44. Now lets find the cup size.

6. Measure around the fullest part of your bust and around the back doing your best to keep the tape level.
bust at fullest part = 48 inches

7. Subtract the number you got in step 4 from the number you got in step 6.

48 inches -44 inches =4 inches

8. Each inch is equal to one full cup size. So a 4 inch difference is equivalent to a DD/E cup size

If the difference is: 0" 1" 2" 3" 4" 5" 6" 7" 8" 9" 10"
your cup size is: A B C D DD/E DDD F FF G H I

9. Final bra size, 44DD/E

A couple of other things to look for.
  • A wide back strap with a number of hooks going across will help spread the weight of a heavy bust across your back. It may not look glamorous, but your back will thank you for it at the end of the day.
  • Good, solid shoulder straps will go along way to giving you that "perky" look. If you feel like you have particularly heavy breasts, go for a wide, cushioned strap. Keeping those straps comfortable and in the right place is key to making sure you get the silhouette you are looking for.
  • Colour counts! Think of what shirt you are planning to wear. Believe it or not, skin colour looks better under white than white does. Why not wear a brilliant red under a black shirt and really catch peoples attention by letting it show at the neckline?
Buying a bra the right size really will make an enormous difference in how you see yourself and how you present yourself to other people.

Please, I am begging you, for your own sake (not to mention your back, your shirts and your admirers) keep those girls where they belong!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Trying to buy online?

For those of us not in the US dealing with shipping from online shopping can be a nightmare and a half. If you manage find a place that has reasonable cross border shipping, and knows how to do the customs paper work, and is actually willing to do it there is still the issues of cross border returns to deal with.

As we are all very well aware there is absolutely no consistency in any clothing sizing (and I firmly believe that this is true across all size ranges as I know my tiny 3 year old has clothes ranging from 6-12 months to 5 years), so can we ever risk buying online knowing the headaches that a return risks?


It is very important to know your actual measurements and not just the size you like to wear. Most clothing manufacturers will have a sizing chart with the dimensions of their sizes clearly listed.

I know, I know. So what does that mean to me. There are those amongst us that have absolutely no idea what our measurements are. Why would we? What difference does it make? Either it fits, or it doesn't!

So is there an easy way to get the measurements that you need without trying to fumble with wrapping yourself up like a mummy or involving another party? Yep. And it starts with your favorite clothes.

Go to your closet and pick out your the blouse, shirt, skirt, and pants that fit you the best. The pieces that you put on when you want to feel great. Lie them out flat on your bed. Get the measurements of each one (for pants and skirts just get the width across the front and then double it). Don't forget to measure the length on skirts, sleeves, inseams, pants, etc. Write it all down somewhere you will be able to find it in the future (for me that is keeping a file on my computer that is up to date for each of my family members).

There you have it. An easy, no fuss, way to get measurements for clothes that will fit you the way you want them to.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Maximum Woman

Ok what really pushed me to start this blog was finding a gem of a store that I am reasonably certain none of my curvy friends know about. It is an absolute dream of a store, filled with stylish and modern clothing in a range of sizes for the vast majority of us.

I first found out about Maximum from a small add in the free paper that you can pick up at TTC stations. I figured that it would be more of the same fuddy-duddy clothing that I was seeing all over the place, but since it had a website listed I thought that it was worth at least looking at the website. I tore out the add, shoved it into my purse and promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks later I was looking for something in my purse and out fell the add. I was at my computer so I decided to take a look.

I was blown away by some of the clothes! This was not my grandmother's closet.

Fun and modern seems to be the name of the game in this small, privately owned store. They carry a large selection of fashionable clothing in sizes from 14 to 34 with brand names like just blu, b&lu, and other high styling labels. It gets even better in that they actually display their clothes on plus size models! I could actually get a reasonable idea of what these things would look like ON ME!

So after spending hours looking through their website a number of times, I finally dragged myself out there. I got there to find a hole in the wall store, dusty from construction, and crowded with racks and racks of clothing that I could pick from. The sales woman welcomed me warmly, asked if I had anything particular in mind, and then let me wander around to my heart's content taking clothes I picked up to set them aside in one of their, incredibly generously sized, fitting room.

I think I picked up 15 pieces of clothing, and each one was available in my size, right there on the rack, no questions asked. As I tried pieces on the sales woman was chatty and friendly and more than happy to either run for a different size or give me her feedback on what worked and what did not.

Wow wouldn't feel like a diva in their Diva Satin Gown?

I left with a new skirt a dress on order (I wanted it in a colour no longer in stock so they offered to try to gt it in for me) and a promise to return.

Maximum Woman is a well rounded (no pun intended) store and carries a huge line of bridal and prom wear, as well as lingerie, undergarments, workout, casual and work wear, swimsuits, and a beautiful selection of denim that is not currently displayed on their website. Add to this reasonable prices, reasonable shipping and the ability to pay by paypal as well as traditional methods and this store easily earns its 5 stars! immediately became a

Maximum Woman

3801 Dundas St.W
Toronto,ON, M6S 2T4

Phone: 416-767-7007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ok, now for a real hello.

Hi there,

Welcome to what will hopefully become a new home for those of us outside the standard "beauty" mold. I know there are a number of blogs that never really took off for plus size women in the GTA, but the plan is for this one to be different! I hope this will become a one stop shop for everything from where to shop for beautiful clothes and be treated to wonderful sales staff, to where to go in case of size discrimination and how to make our needs and wants heard amongst the voices of those who silence us.

Ok, well that is enough about the why's and what's, now how about the Who?

I am a daughter, a sister a wife and a mother. I am a teacher, a jeweler, an event planner and a secretary. I am now overly short and not overly tall. I have brown hair and green eyes. I like black and purple and blue. I also like pink. I do not like yellow. I am a university graduate. I am friendly and social. I love to wear funky clothes and jewelery, and if I can not find what I want I will make it myself. I like to travel. I have sisters and brothers and aunts and uncles and cousins. Lots of them. I am also fat.


Wow, I never really use that word. Chubby, fluffy, round, large, big, curvy... those are all really just other words for fat. So why does that single word carry such negative connotations?

Clearly I am not trying to hide who I am. You just look at me and you know. People do not meet me and think I am a tiny tinkerbell until I use the word and then go "OH MY GOSH!!! She is HUGE and I never would have noticed if she hadn't said anything!"

One of the thing I hope to explore in this blog is why that word scares so many people. Why is it that word freaks out both fat and thin people alike?

Well I guess I am sort of going to leave you hanging on that one because I have absolutely no idea. I guess you will just have to come back and read more :)

Hi All

Just getting up and running. If you are here, welcome! Please check back soon for updates!