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