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).