Sunday, November 23, 2008


Oh my gosh I think I died and hit religious fat woman heaven!

I went to the store I had heard about. It is called black and white and it is located in someone's storage space here in Beit shemesh. Yes, yo uheard me right. A storage locker.

Needless to say I was not expecting much.

Lord was I in for a surprise!

The place was tiny, but it was, quite literally stuffed with loads of stuff, and for the first time ever I could wear all of it! Not only did it fit (lets face it, there were stores in the past that dealt in large sized clothing so a store of stuff that fit was, while nice, not totally novel), but it was all totally religiously acceptable to my level of modesty. Obviously there were some pieces in which I would not be caught dead (a stripped chifon sparkely thing comes to mind) but theoretically I could buy and wear every single piece in the store!

Ok, so what was there.

Basically, it was a line of clothing, designed and produced in Israel, for people like me. There is a chain of stores that carry the clothing, but this was an independant supplier. The name of the brand is "Discreet".

The clothign was classy and elegant but not so boring as to scream "Hi there I am a religious fanatic who wants to be sure that men are not tempted by my gorgeous curves". They obviously had chosen not to only carry items for the strictest of the stric,t but also for the rest of us who actually like people to notice that we exist once in a while. (Ok, so I am not beign 100% fair. can you tell I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder).

I tried on 7 skirts. I wanted them all. I tried on 2 shirts. I wanted them both.

Aha, now here is the rub. I could not take them all becuase prices were, well, pricey. I took 2 skirts. One a long lycra mermaid ish sort of cut skirts. It was 140 nis (roughly $35). The other was a very israeli skirt, 2 layers, one a wool and the under one more of a cotton with tulle edging. Shades of brown. It was 240 nis (roughly $60). The shirt I got was just a soft, stretchy, light pink, long sleeved t shirt and it was 80 nis ($20). The prices may not sound so bad, but when you compare the fact that salaries here are lower, and non-plus sized stuff can be had for 50 nis and up, well the prices are a little steep.

Not too steep that I would not go back.

they do not carry sleepware, underwear, tights/stockings or any other sort of lengerie (they are not that progressive) so I still have no idea where to get that sort of stuff other than to bring it in.

Oh, and she wants ot have dispaly of my work and some cards in the shop. As she is the only plus sized show in town, and I do plus sized work, it seems like a good "shidduch" (match).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ok, so I have heard of a store, now how to find it

I have been told of a store here in RBS that carries plus sizes and supposedly has really nice stuff. I have been told that although the prices are not exactly reasonable, they are also not as terrible as they could be (greeeeeeeeat...). I even saw an add for them in an English publication that we get (seemingly randomly as I have no idea how often we get it and never know when to expect it) last week that my husband tossed before I told him I actually needed it (thankfully, I got to read the section of short story they printed becuase I am enjoying the serial and do not want to miss a segment).

There is a local private phone book here in Beit Shemesh called, funny enough, the shemesh-phone. It is not there. At least not in the 2 year old version we got for free when we moved here from a friend of ours who has the more up to date version. We can nto get an up to date version as there seem to be none left. In any case, we asked and they do nto seem tobe in there.

So I have no idea where the store is (chances are it is in someone's basement. Most shops here are not in actual store fronts unles they are willing ot pay the big bucks as there is not a lot of commercial space in RBSA). I have no idea what sizes they carry- someone told me they think to European size 62. Anyone know what that is in the old contry?). I haven o idea how to reach them.

This is fun.

On the other hand, my mommy and a friend of mine sent me real, honest to goodness, Canadian tights. I am a much happier camper now when I need to go out at night.

Going into Tel Aviv tomorrow. There has to be a plus sized store in Tel Aviv right? Any idea how the heck I would find it?

Monday, November 10, 2008


Well I am no importing tights from Canada and the US becuase I have given up and my legs are freakin' freezing! Thank goodness I have some wonderful people back in the substantially colder (and clearly more plus sized friendly) north to help me out or I might be the first person in the Mediterranean to lose a leg or two to fristbite.

I am starting to think about opening a plus sized shop over here. It seems to be a nice that needs filling. The only problem is that I do not tihnk it would fly hwere I am. Too small town. I think if I am going to do it I need to do it in either Jerusalem ore Tel Aviv. Truthfully, I figure there has to be something, but there is probably a local colloquialism for "plus size" that I jsut do not know to look for.

Be that as it may my mom is sending a bunch of pairs, and my friend Andrea is sending over a whole bunch that are mroe colourful. I am also thinking of ordering a few pairs from "we love colors" but frankly they ar really expensive. The colors are awesome, but once you convert the price into shkalim it just kills me to think about actually doing it.

On the "plus" side, my studio is now back up and running again. I love my new studio here. I am so much light and space. I never imagined the difference that having a seperate, dedicated work space would make. It make me feel so much more professional, and I think it comes across when I am dealing with people as well. I can now actualy have clients into the studio and do not need to meet them at a local coffee shop (which is a good thing becuase there isn't one).

My Etsy shop is slowly getting back up on its feet after months of neglect. I have some local work in both custom work and repairs starting to come in. Other than the fact that having to go on a supply run is a 6 hour trek into Tel Aviv, from a business point of view things have never been better.

Well, except for the fact that I sliced my finger last week becuase I was doing something particularly stupid. Ruined the piece as well becuase my hand jumped and my saw took a huge gash out of the silver I was working on.


Oh well, such is life I guess.

Thursday, September 25, 2008



Went to an open air market in Tel Aviv this past week. Looked at a number of "one size fits all" skirts- some wrap-arounds, some broomstick like with elastic waists. On the other hand, only one stall guy was even remotely obnoxious about it.

Not one would have fit a leg, never mind both.

And I might add this is after introducing 40 minutes of quick walking a day into my life (we do not have a car here and I need to be a 20 minute walk away by 8:30 every morning and get home in the afternoon) that has none of my clothing staying up anymore and me starting to get desperate for a good seamstress!

In all seriousness, this not being able to get clothing in this country might be a problem much sooner than I expected.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shalom Y'all

Well, my family and I have been in Bet shemesh for 5 weeks now. A little nutty to think about how fast this all happened.

I have received a number of emails asking me where I was and asking that I keep writing, so I am going to. To those groaning and asking why I am back, well- why are you here exactly?

So being fat and friendly in Bet Shemesh is a whole different ballgame from being fat and friendly in Toronto. For starters, there are a lot more people here who do not fit the standard mold. For starters, it seems that almost everyone and their sister's are pregnant. That certainly gives one a more "well rounded" view of beauty.

There does seems to be an easier understanding here that people come in different shapes and sizes. I have NEVER had any trouble here with turnstyles, seats and even plastic furniture. I have never been harrased or teased for my size, and the one time a child did say something the mother responded "so, and you have brown hair" (as in, that is juts part of who she is just like you are who you are).

On the other hand, I should admit that it is hard to stay overweight in a country built into a mountainous desert. For some reason, no matter where you are going, it is always 30 minutes directly uphill. This is not to say that everyone is skinny minies, but I will say clothing I bought just before I left Toronto is desperatly seeking a good tailor.

The flip side though, is that there is absolutly NO plus sized shopping- and there are "processing fees (that seem rather randomly assesed) on ANYTHING brought into the country ON TOP OF CUSTOMS AND TAXES. Yeah, you read that right. It totally and comepletely sucks.

The other things is that the medical sustems seems to try to hide the fact they are incredibly fatist behind a screen of "we know what this is becuase we see it all the time. Yeah, we blame the fact you are fat for everything from a hangnail to a broken nose, but it is not becuase we assume it is, we have seen enough to know that black eye you got from walking into a door was really your fat@$$ flipping up and hitting you in the eye... Ok, so I guess they got me there... ;)

Our stuff finally got here this week so I have set up my studio and today started filling orders and what not. My new studio is twice the space my old one was, with loads of natural light and I love it! It is awesome to be working again.

This country is gorgeous. I can not get over the views. The view from my balcony is to die for. (You can go to to see the view from our mirpeset (balcony). Public transit is reasonably priced and fairly efficient. Our apartment is lovely.

So far, other than the clothing issue, I have no complaints.

Oh, I should also add that one would think chub rub would be a huge problem with the heat here, but for whatever reason it is mostly non existant. Seriously. Non-issue. I think it is so hot people are essentially (serious tmi here folks) self lubricating.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fat and Friendly in... Bet Shemesh????

Ok, so I have a confession to make. About a week ago I left Toronto for (what I think is) for good and moved across the planet to Bet Shemesh in Israel. For those who know anything about Israel's geography, Bet Shemesh is in the middle of the country about 2/3 of the way from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

I am loving it here. Ok so plus size stores may be few and far between (ok, I have not as of yet found any, but I have been told there is at least one) but the fat friendly culture is wonderful. The turnstyles are not designed for anorexics. Chairs are meant to be sat in. Busses meant to be relatively comfortable.

It is amazing!

So, I do plan to keep this blog up and running and just change it slightly to things of interest outside the us INCLUDING Canada.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Hiding...

Okay no not really. I know I haven't exactly been posting voraciously, But I do have an excuse. My family and I are less than a week away from making a move across the planet. To save them had that would be an understatement. My living room is so full of boxes That it looks like a shipping house!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bracelets- but will it fit?

I have heard from a number of women that buying bracelets online can be a real pain in the well rounded tushy. If your wrist is under 8 inches around, then any bracelet that says it is 8 inches long should fit right?

Well, in a word, No.

I am linking to a post that has information on why not all bracelets fit, and how to find out if the one you are looking at is a reasonable option for you.

Ask not "How long is the bracelet?", ask instead "What is the inner circumference of the bracelet?".

I present to you

"The Mystery of Bracelet Sizing" Courtesy of D L Pom LLC Handcrafted Expressions.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My vacation

Last week my mom, my sister and I went away for a 3 day "girls mid-week weekend to Montreal. We took the train in, stayed at a hotel, went out to eat, and shopped like mad. Ok, not exactly like mad as none of us really have too much money to blow, but certainly at least like somewhat-crazy.

Never having been on a train before I was a little nervous about the whole seating thing, but I needn't have thought twice about it. No seat belts, wide comfortable seats, and at least 3 times the legroom of an average airplane made it a very comfortable (although somewhat boring... trains are a lot more fun and romantic in movies!) 5 hours.

Funny how airlines are cutting back and cutting back and cutting back and the trains are still giving out free toys for kids (And me- I brought back some fold and assemble trains for my husband and daughter).

In fact, the whole weekend was rather liberating. I went shopping and got some gorgeous new stuff. Shopping with my sister always pushes my limits and makes me move out of my normal comfort zones clothing wise- not that I eve regret it after because she really does know what she is talking about. She convinced me into a green shirt (I never wear green) that gets compliments left right and centre.

I also got a neat dress (made out of bamboo!), a really funky black and white knee length print skirt, a few layering tanks in black and white and some headbands (and socks because I forgot to pack any).

It was not all peaches and roses though. The first store we went to only went up to an XL, and it was a fairly small XL. It fit my fairly average sized mom. I looked at accessories, but mostly felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb. My mom (or more likely my sister) saw how frustrated I was so we went to a store "just for me". We went to Addition-Elle.

Ok, first of all the service was better than I have ever had in any AE store here. I mean, there WAS customer service! It was great. I felt a little like a freak show at first with my mom and my sister just sitting around waiting for me, but by the time we had left they had found a bunch of pairs of pants between them that they were taking as well. With my sister guiding some of my choices it actually turned out to be more fun than I remember having shopping in a long time.

Then came the big step off the weekend. I chopped off my hair.

When I say chopped I mean it. I cut off almost 10 inches. It went from the middle of my back to the nape of my neck in the back and to my jaw bone in the front. I still cover the whole top so nothing much changed up there, but I think the rest of the change is actually rather dramatic. I was really nervous about the whole thing, but actually I really love it.

The whole thing was very "What not to Wear" -like, but it was a good thing. I was feeling so confident I actually went swimming in the hotel pool, by myself, without wearing a t shirt on top! Ok, that may not sound like much to you, but for me it was an adult first! Not sure if I would do it again here where people know me, but it was somewhat liberating in any case. No one said boo to me about it either. I shmoozed with people in the hot tub, played with a kid in the pool, and all in all felt totally and completely "normal". No one came to cart me off to the "ugly people assylum" or critisized me in any way. I was just another person there because it was insanely freaking hot outside (and I did not want to stay in the hotel room watching Dr. Phil with my other traveling companions!)

Other than that, we went to Old Montreal and went on a horse and buggy ride (seriously, if you are in Montreal go and do it. It was my favourite part of the trip. We went at sundown so we started it was still lights, but as we went on all the buildings started lighting up and it looked like something out of a fairytale! My sister and I got henna tattoos and all in all we had a really great time.

I have to add that we had some of the best food ever. El Moroco and Morty's were hands down two of the best places I have ever eaten. Seriously, steak to die for!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008


"Hey Mom, Look at that cow!"

"How dare y..." right. I am at a farm. I guess I still need to work on that over sensitivity thing.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Coupons, coupons, coupons

I just joined up with a new website where Etsy artists can offer coupons to their shops. It is quite small, but hopefully it will grow over time.

Etsy Secrets will have my first coupon up within a day or so.

As a sneak peak for readers here, I will tell you that for the next two weeks there will be free sterling silver pearls studs (available with long posts!) with purchase*... well, for those who have the coupon code anyway...

So yeah. go check it out. and if it is not there yet, please try again later.

*some restriction apply. Not valid for followers of the imperial dark lord or he who shall not be named. Limit one pair per customer unless you have two heads. Then I am happy to send to pairs. Not recommend for fetuses under 9 months. Do not use as a flotation device. In case of emergency, please do not expect your earrings to help you in any way.

My Entry to the Fat Experience Project

I will never be good enough for my family because I am fat. On the other hand I am learning to live with that.

It is not that anyone in my family is really a "skinny mini", it is just that they are mostly what they consider "normal" and always dieting to get closet to having the same profile as a stick. The fact that I am fat, and worse yes, not changing that fact, makes me an embarrassment.

I remember being six years old and my cousin and I got lollypop in the synagogue. My bubbie opened my cousin's for her then told me that "I really did not need that".

Their thinking coloured my own for a very long time. Growing up I thought it was okay to be a doormat- to be tormented by mean children in my school and I accepted that it was normal for other kids to hurt the fat ones. There was one boy in my class who would come up to me and grab my newly developing breasts and yell "squishi-boobs". I cried, but I told myself that I deserved it. Clearly my family thought it was okay because no matter how much I cried, no one stopped the torture.

In high school I made friends, but by then it was too late. I always tried to give 110%. I was the kid who invited everyone over. Who would organize everything. I figured if I stopped no one would have use for me anymore. I always felt like there was an invisible wall between us. I remember on our grad trip everyone standing with their arms around each other in a group hug and me standing on the side. I could not bring myself to break that wall and touch another person. They were "normal". I was fat. I always wondered what they said about me behind my back. I figured it did not matter so long as they pretended to like me when I was around.

I wore baggy clothes to try to hide as much as I could. No wait. I am lying. There were times where I tried something a little funkier. My parents told me it did not look good on someone my size and ridiculed me. They made me go change and "put on a sweater".

But I am learning.

Some of those people are still my friends and I have realized that it is not only because I organized the parties.

I have moved on with my life. I found a wonderful man who can see beyond the surface to what is in my soul. With him I am building a family and rebuilding a life with my family that has to do with who I am and not what I look like.

I look at my daughter and see the world in her face. I see undisguised love in her face when she kisses me goodnight. She knows I am fat. In her "my family" picture she made at school I am clearly twice the size of her father- but she loves me anyway.

2 years ago I went back to school. It is a school where merit and accomplishment mean a lot more than your Saturday night plans. I now have a business that I love. I have worked hard for it and it is growing nicely. At first I thought it was growing becuase people never needed to see me. You know what? I recently added a photo to my site and business did not stop short. In fact, if anything it has been better since I added the picture.

In fact I have found a bit of a niche market in designing for people like myself. Fat people who are tired of hiding in the shadows. Through their strength mine has continued to grow as well. I have moved from dark and drab to bright and vibrant in more areas than my wardrobe.

The invisible walls are crumbling and I am starting to walk away from the ruins. I can't get enough hugs from my husband or my daughter. I can walk arm and arm with a friend and not worry that everyone is staring at us. Ok, well, sometimes I do still worry, but I walk arm and arm and tell myself it is okay and I am not doing anything wrong.

It has taken a long, long time, but I am starting to learn that I am not the sum of the numbers on a scale. I deserve to be happy. To have friends, and a loving family, and nice clothes. I deserve to have dreams and to have them come true just like everyone else.

And those who are not going to be supportive can go to hell. I am sure there will be lots of "normal" people there to greet them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Fat Experience Projects

Good morning :)

I awoke this morning to find a notice and request in my inbox, and I am more than agreeable to share it with everyone here. I agree with the project, and if I a) had a video camera tat connected to my computer in some way, shape or form, b) feel way less comfortable speaking than I do writing, and c) were passed the "still working on it" stage of my "I am hideously ugly because I am fat" thing I would do it in a heartbeat.


Hi there -

I wanted to let you know, in hopes that you might let your audience know, that I've recently launched a new project that I'm very excited about!

The new project is called "The Fat Experience Project." and you can view it here:

The goal of the Fat Experience Project is to map the global experience of fat in a way that is human, has a face, a heart, a mind, a body and a voice. The Fat Experience Project is an oral, visual and written history project which seeks to be a humanizing force in body image activism. By collecting and sharing the many and varied stories of individuals of size, the Fat Experience Project seeks to engage with, educate, empower and enrich the lives of people of size, our allies and the world at large.

As the project grows, it will be filled with first-person, non-fiction narratives (in text, video or mp3 format) that speak to the many and varied aspects of the life lived large. Some of the content will come from interviews already gathered on an extensive 2-month road trip (with the lovely Val Garrison) in both audio and video format. Some content will come from trips on the horizon. Most content will be submitted via thewebsite by readers such as yourself.

It is my hope that the project will be a community tool to combat prejudice/stereotype/discrimination as well as to help externalize shame so it can discussed and dissipated. The things we keep silent about are the things that do us the most harm. Shared burden is lighter. I am hoping, as well, that the project may eventually be used as a humanizing resource for fat studies and social anthropology courses.

I am writing to ask for your help in both the promotion of and the participation in this project. It is my fondest hope that, ultimately, with time and resources, this project will grow beyond a specific and exclusive fat focus and move toward addressing the many intersections of shame.

In the meantime, I would love your help in the form of passing this along to your readers/mailing lists/friends/family/anyone you feel may benefit from hearing about this project.

I also welcome comments, constructive criticism and volunteers.

Thanks for your time and energy!
Big BIG love,

Stacy Bias

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bad Google Ads!

This does not fall under "stupid comments" so much as it falls under "stupid web programs", but as I do not want to create a new tag that I will likely never use again, this is where I am sticking it.

I keep a regular journal over at livejournal (not hiding anything, if anyone is a member there and wants to find me I am under the name happyduck1979). I have what they call a "plus" account. Basically, I get some of the perks that the paid members have, but in exchange I have to see a few adds on my page. It really does not bother me in the slightest because I use adblock (a firefox extension) so I never actually see them anyway.

On that journal I have a link to this blog.

Google adds are what's called "targeted advertizing" and brings up ads based on words and links on a page. For example, if you have an entry on toasters, you might get an add for a kitchen supply store. Have a link to the weather? you might get an add for umbrellas. you get the picture.

A friend just let me know that for those who do have to see the adds, because I have a link to this blog "Fat and Feminine in Toronto" that uses the word fat, I am getting adds for weight loss products and weight loss centres! So I logged in to my journal with another browser, and there was an add, right at the top of my own journal, telling me that I should eat better to lose weight!

Now I did what it told me to for objectionable adds and reported it, but I have my doubts that it is going to do anything.

Ok, logically I can certainly see the connection between the two things. I type "fat" I get "lose weight" as an add- but there has got to be a way to get my journal to stop insulting me behind my back!

If anyone knows how to get rid of a seriously unwanted add please let me know.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Me again

Another review :) Thanks!

Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market

Attention Ladies and Gentlemen in and around Toronto

Next week, on Sunday June 29th, I will be participating in Pedestrian Sunday at Kensington Market at the Anshei Minsk congregation. Pedestrian Sundays is a great event in a fun and historical area of Toronto, the original home to Toronto's Jewish community. In one of many attempts to revitalize the shul my cousin and her friends are trying to put "the Minsker" on the map with a sale, a family friendly kosher bbq, and some other fun stuff.

A percentage of all sales will go to the Anshei Minsk congregation.

Please come out to support a great cause and a nice, free event.

10 St. Andrew Street right at Spadina. Easy by bus, or parking available nearby.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

hats on for me

Ok, so although I have never actually gone in to it on this blog, I have mentioned a few times that I always wear a hat of scarf or something on my head. So someone finally called me on it. Why do I do it?

Have you ever seen Fiddler on the Roof? "We Jews have been kicked out of many, many places. Forced to leave with not'ing but the clothes on our backs. Maybe that's why we always wear our hats!" Ok, so thats not really the real reason, but it is a good a jumping point as any.

I am a Modern Orthodox Jew. This is a huge part of who I am and does effect a lot of what I wear and what I do. Through various biblical reference we learn that a married woman should cover her hair. When and how much are questions that people more learned than I have been struggling with for a very long time, but the base fact, that according to traditional Judaism married women wear something on their heads is not really arguable.

From a modesty point of view it is something that becomes private. One of the parts of us that are designated for our husbands. Just as we teach children that "what is under a bathing suit is yours and yours alone, so to does our hair take on this status when we get married. (Why our hair and not, say, our nose or our pinky? I have no idea.) In essence, we cover our hair as a sign both to ourselves and those around us that we are married, and therefore unavailable. In the religious world it is as common a sign of being married as a wedding ring is to the rest of society (Although thankfully for jewelers like myself we also have wedding rings!)

There are a number of ideas of how this should happen. The more traditional streams of Judaism say that it all must be covered all of the time and often use wigs, snoods, scarves etc, that will cover every last strand of hair at all times. Many even sleep in thair coverings of choice. Less traditional streams believe that you should wear a hat or other headcovering for religious rituals (prayer, ceremonies, etc. Along the ideas of wearing a hat connotes respect).

There are also those who have chosen to leave this idea behind all together.

And then are those like me who fall somewhere in the middle. I am a firm believer that there is a God and he did give us the Torah (Bible), but I believe that over the last 2 thousand years it has been interpreted and reinterpreted by human beings. I try to learn what I can and make my own way in this world according to the precept set down in the Torah in harmony with a modern lifestyle and rational thought.

I used to cover it all with a wig or whatever all of the time, but as I figured out more and more who I was, I realized that doing so was not exactly who I wanted to be. I now cover some of my hair most of the time.

I wear something on my head whenever I leave the house, and most of the time when we have men at our place (family, often close friends from before I was married, etc. not included). Most of the time it is a beret, baseball cap, bandana, or scarf. I do still occasionally wear wigs where a hat would look funny our out of place (formal affairs, etc.), but even then I try to avoid it as it makes me feel hypocritical as it is not something I generally do.

(There is a 2nd type of headcoverings in Judaism. A Kippa (Yarmulka) is traditionally worn by men only, but is now being taken up amongst less traditional streams for both genders during prayer or ceremony. It is now being seen more and more in the form of headbands and baseball caps for those who believe that a headcover is a reminder that God is above us. But as I am not associated directly with any of those groups I am going to leave it aside for now).

Ok, now if anyone has any questions on how I reconcile traditional religion with modernity and feminism feel free to ask and I will try to take on any questions posed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

comiing from my closet... (no, not like that)

So, it has been about 2 years now since I looked in my closet and realized it was darker than the biblical plague of darkness in there. It seemed that pretty much every piece of clothing I owwned was either black, navy or grey, with a couple of white shirts here and there to wear under other things.

It was depressing.

I realized that I was dressing mostly so that I would just fade into the darkness and no one would notice me. On the other hand, as my esteem was in the toilet and my head was only 2 inches above ground level most of the time, that seemed to fit.

As I slowly broke ground with my therapist, I realized that I had no reason to be hiding behind my clothes. Ok, I am fat. Ok, I am not going to win any modeling contests anytime soon, but I am a good person. I am a nice person. I am not some hideous monster who should never show her face in public... and certainly never look to have anyone notice her at all. I am good enough, I am smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!

Yes ladies and gentlemen. I am a person who deserves to enjoy my life just as much as the next person. Maybe more than some.

But then came the problem. I had always been told that "people my size" should wear baggy clothing. Try to cover our "flaws". Dark colours were more "slimming". Patterns were too "overwhelming" when used in such large pieces. I realized that I only knew how to dress according to how others saw me. I did not know the first thing about dressing myself the way I wanted to be seen.

I had always been into the whole artsy-romantic-historical look. Did people actually wear stuff like that?

Funnily enough, I found they did. Yes, even fat people. And these were people who wanted to be noticed.

I started by not going to far outside my comfort zone. I had always worn broom stick skirts in the summer. Comfy, roomy, available in black- what more could I have asked for. So I bought one in bright royal blue with a slightly darker embroidered trim at the bottom. Wore it a few times, got used to wearing it with a pale blue shirt! (Pale blue is a colour that had never even entered my home before, let alone my closet!) Before I knew it, I had bought an vibrant haloween orange broomstick skirt with orange sequins and hunter green embroidered trim! I bought a headscarf to match, added a white shirt, and had my first "a whole new me" ensemble.

And I love it and I wear it all summer long.

Because I am an Orthodox Jew pants, shorts, sleeveless, backless etc. is just not an option for me. Totally not up for discussion. In some ways this makes life easier... no need to fight the inner "should I should my upper arms even though I hate the way they continue to wave hello after the rest of my arm has stopped" battle. On the other hand, it does give me a little less to work with as finding skirts that are nice, funky, washable, weather appropriate, and available in plus sizes is a bit of a tall order. Add to that the fact that I always wear a hat or head scarf of some sort (I do own a couple of wigs but hate wearing them so they get a lot of shelf time).

Over time I have managed to build up a set of "funner" clothing. I have a skirts in violet with beads and sequins, brown with velvet, a red white and blue paisley print and even in tie dye! I have an awesome ruffled poet shirt with a ribbon corset going down the front, some nice t shirts of varying sleave length in a number of different colours, and some really funky sweaters that I love for in the winter. I even own two turtlenecks... something I was told was an absolute "no-no".

Recently I even went so far as to start buying dresses. I picked up this amazing black jumper that has a front corset tied with a hot pink ribbon that I wear with a hot pink shirt. I have a wrap dress (ok, so that is black, but it has burgandy trim). I even looked at a dress with this bold, mod square pattern on it in black white and red (I decided though that I just could nto afford it right then so I had to walk away.

Even my footwear has gotten a little more exciting thanks to my sister. No more loafers 7 days a week. Now I have heels, ballet flats, boots, even a pair of fairly strappy sandals.

And today I was chatting with someone about a shirt I saw that I want really, really badly. She commented that she loved it, but would never have the courage to wear it. I realized that a year ago neither would I.

I also realized that overhauling my wardrobe is a big part of what has been happening to my overall self esteem. Sure there are still some bad days, but on the whole I am moving out of the "I am a terrible person because I am fat and should love a life of shame" to "I am a good person and that is independent of how I look and I deserve to live my life in the sun like everyone else".

I am not entirely sure if I am pulling my wardrobe or if it is pulling me, but either way it seems to be working for us both.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Zenni Optical

I just wanted to be sure that EVERYONE knows about Zenni Optical. They offer good quality glasses, including lenses, starting from just $8. Shipping to Canada is $6 no matter how many pairs you get.

I wear a really high prescription and generally spend a fortune on my glasses. Even when I bought $49 walmart frames I still ended up paying over $500 for my glasses. Here, I chose 2 different frames, one $49 and one slightly less, got two complete pairs of glasses (including high index lenses, anti-scratch, glares and reflectives coatings) 2 cases, 2 cleaning cloths, and 2 sets of sunshades for each, for $131 including shipping. Not $8 (did not like the $8 frames) but for less than 1/4 of what Iwould generally pay for one pair, I got 2.

I have always had trouble finding glasses I liked as store optitions are a royal pita most of the time. Frankly, I knew what I wanted, they told me it could not be done in my script. Here I did not have any of the nonsense that my scripts was "to strong" for rimless frames. I got exactly what I wanted with no questions asked.

All I did was measure my owl frames so that I knew basically what size I was looking for. Zenni has detailed measurements listed for every set of glasses on its site. Yes, for those with large heads they had had plenty to choose from.

Ok, so they did take longer than lenscrafters. But even so for an internet purchase it was not to bad. I got them in just under two weeks fro mthe day I placed the order.

They do sunglasses as well, and at less that $20 including the tinting, even as just a pair for the car they are more than worth checking out!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Tables are turned

I was in a large plus sized shop the other day and I got the laugh of my life. A woman, clearly to small to belong in the store was browsing through the store and getting more and more frustrated as she could not find pieces in her size. She finally went up to the counter and asked if they carried smaller sizes. The woman behind the counter answered that their clothing only started at a size 14.

The woman through a fit! It was discrimination that they did not carry all sizes. IT was unfair that she should not be able to purchase the clothing in the shop in the size she wanted. The cuts were all too big on here and how was she supposed to take advantage of the sale going on when they had nothing that fit her.

Did they know that "average" (yes she used that word) sized people needed clothing at affordable clothing too...

Ok, so it never really happened... but could you imagine what would happen if it did? Think about what it would mean if every person, regardless of size, shape or gender had equal access to inexpensive and stylish clothing and was not regulated to needing to through a fit in order to have their needs met (all the while everyone else thinking they should just go else ware because they "do not belong").

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Caring for your silver jewellery

I often get asked how to maintain that fresh off the polishing wheel shine on sterling silver. The simple answer is that you can't. You can plate it in rhodium which will keep it really shiny a little longer, but the truth of the matter is that silver is an organic material and it is going to react to it's environment as you wear it. Silver is also an incredibly soft metal and even little things can scratch it.

In fact, sterling work is so susceptible to marks and scratches that once I take it from the polishing wheel I handle it, quite literally, with kid gloves. I clean of the polishing residue using dish-soap and an old piece of super-soft flannel. I try from then on to only handle it using gloves or soft cloths.

That being said, there are ways to keep your silver jewelery looking as good as possible.

The first thing to know is that tarnish, that black film that develops on sterling silver is perfectly normal and DOES NOT mean that you have lousy silver. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% pure silver, and 7.5% copper. Tarnish is the copper reacting with the air around it. The best thing you can do to protect your sterling it to keep it from air.

The best way to do this is to wear it often! The oils from your skin will actually help to coat and protect your jewelery from the air around it.

When you are not wearing your jewelery, keep it in an airtight container. I recommend small size ziplock bags, 1 piece per bag so they do not scratch each other.

Most anti tarnish devices, be they bags, strips, or waxs work by being impregnated with a chemical that essentially eats the air around them essentially creating a "safe" place for the sterling silver. I hand a strip in my jewelery box, and use cases for my more special pieces (then put those into ziplocks... I am all for extra protection).

So what do you do with pieces you have that are already tarnished? For mild tarnish I do like the jewelery dips although not all jewelers do. For smooth pieces without and nooks and cranies I recommend the Hagardies spray on polish. Bad for the environment? Yep. Good for silver? Oh yeah.

Wait according to the directions, then wipe off with a soft cloth. Wash well to remove all traces of the polish.

I am a BUM by choice

My standard "uniform" over the summer is a skirt and a white t-shirt. Boring I know, but it works really well for me. I know... how the heck am I trying to maintain a fashion blog!

For years I have been buying t-shirts, finding one or two, some cheap, some expensive, liking them well enough, but never finding something I really love. Soon enough, I stain them with something at my workbench and out they go.

This week, I went to Walmart and bought not 1, not even 2 or 3, but 4 shirts, exactly the same, even the same colour.

I LOVE the plus sized BUM v-neck tshirts. The sleeves are just long enough to not feel like I am exposing too much upper arm flab, the v is nice and low without being too revealing, and the slight bit of stretch in them are incredibly flattering. They also wash like a dream. I bought a few of he 2/4 length ones almost 2 years ago and dthey still look brand new.

Now I need to find the money to buy a couple in every colour!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ooooh, I got another write up :)

Anna Lee at SassyDLite has written a lovely write up about me, my blog, and my work. Thanks so much :) Feel free to go take a look at the review here, and do not miss the rest of her blog that has both her own work (some lovely jewelery in her own right!) and, gasp (!), Fashion finds available for Canadians!

Congratulations Canada!

Yesterday Canada took another step towards admitting that fat people deserve equal treatment! Federal courts upheld the "one person, one fare" law aimed at ensuring that all people get equal service on airlines regardless of their size. This has been the law on busses, trains and ferries for a number of years already, but has only recently been applied to Canadian airliners including Air Canada, West Jet and Jazz.

I can not even begin to tell you how frightened I was that I was going to be totally embarrassed when I went on vacation last December. Our travel agent insisted on buying me 2 seats "just in case". It was humiliating.

Turned out I only needed one anyway, but that is not the point. I have not been on a plane in years because I was afraid that I would be humiliated by a stewardess over my size.

Now, as a Canadian, I need no longer worry about this problem.

Granted there are still a number of problems with the law in that it leaves the airlines to decide who is "entitled" to that extra seat free of charge and "needs it" and those who are "merely uncomfortable" in a single seat and should be "encouraged" to pay for a second seat, but it is certainly a lot better than the situation south of the border where anyone not stick thin flies in fear of being harassed by fellow passengers and staff.

Link to the official press release.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Technical difficulties.

Sorry everyone. Had to reformat my computer. It is taking me a bit to get everything back to normal. I should be up and posting normally again by midweek.

If I know you, would you mind sending me an email as I lost my entire address book and am trying to recreate it.


Monday, May 5, 2008

And now, another note on happy bra moments

Ok, so after 5 or so years I finally decided it was time to get my various body parts in gear and find the money to get me some new bras. Figured I would just go online and order me up some new ones the same as the old ones, just substantially less stretched out of shape.

Went to my drawer to grab an old faithful so I could get the info from the tag. Um... ooops... the ones in my drawer were so old the tags had gone blank. Ok, so as I was going to be completely pulling numbers out of thin air, I should probably just go to a store to find one that fits, thne use that size.

I figured it would be pretty straightforward. Went in to the store, grabbed a couple right around my guesstimate of size. Headed for the change room. Now, I certainly knew pretty much what size I was. I knew what I wanted. I knew where to go. Right? Well, okay, how bad is 0/3 really...?

Store 1. Picked what I thought my size was. Discovered that I could fit a whole 'nother set of boobs in there! Went down a size. Nope. Still way too much room even when things were adjusted to their smallest.

You know what the problem is with bra shopping? If you pick up a whole pile that turn out to be no-goes, you need to get completely dressed again in order to leave the stupid little cubby-hole they call a dressing room!

Ok, so out I go again. Grab a bunch more in a substantially smaller size that I anticipated.

Turns out that I size I *thought* I needed were actually 2 cup sizes and 4 inches bigger than I needed. No wonder the old ones were doing diddly-squat!

Ok, so I finally settled on a size with no buckling, no gabs, no spillage, and of course, no underwire. I hate underwire. Right. Well, unfortunately something still did not look quite right. No matter how well the bra fit, it was still sort of giving me that "uni-boob" look once I put on a t-shirt.

Ok, so we are now 0/4. Funny, but did you know that underwire is actually there for a reason? Who knew?

Ok, so 4 stores and almost $50 later I finally have 1 grandma-beige, 2 sizes smaller than I thought, underwired bra.

But boy did the girls look great! It is amazing how much better your clothes look when your chest is on your chest instead of tucked into to your waistband! I was happy.

Well, happy-ish. 1 bra does not a lingerie wardrobe make.

So as soon as I got home I went online and ordered 6 more, same size, from an online vendor with a much better price. I got red, pink, black, white, granny beige (sometimes, you just need them) and turquoise.

So, in the interm I have been wearing the one new one (and one older one that looks great but cuts off circulation in my ribcage when I wear it... I need to do laundry sometime though!) I rediscovered something I had totally forgotten about. Boning.

Boning - that stupid piece of plastic on the side of a bra designed to "help it lay flat" which actually serves to stab you repeatedly in the armpit all day long while constantly rolling up into a snail-like position that eats into the side of your torso until you want to fix it in public and John Q. Public be damned... ooops sorry for that little rant. I really, really hate boning).

Ok, so now I was all worried about will the new ones I ordered off line have the same problem. Did I just spend a bunch of money that I can on really afford to spend on bras that will spend the next 5 years digging in to my ribcage.

They got here today and guess what? NO BONING!

It never ceases to amaze me how small a thing it takes to truly make me giddy with pleasure.

Ok, so I could just have removed the boning, but who want to go to all the trouble taking apart new things and making them feel used... loses something for me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gusty Dame

I just got an email from Gusty Dame saying that she would be at the Clothing Show this weekend, May 2-4th 2008) with her new spring/summer line. This season's line features

Empire waists, Grecian-inspired draping, open back detailing, and bold colours are all featured in our comfortable and easy to wear spring/summer clothing available in sizes 14 to 22. Featuring the designs of TOGS (Canada), MaiTai, Peony, Fashion Love, Cotton Candy and 1st Choice.

I took a look at her facebook group, and boy is there what to display! The clothing is fun, funky, and wonderfully colourful! Ladies out there who feel that plus sized fashion is too drab, our friends at Gutsy Dame are showing tangerine, coral, hot pink, shocking blue, and even a leopard print skirt (no animals were hurt in the making of the piece though so no worries).

I do have to say that based on the photos I have seen the only drawback to this seasons line seems to be in pants and shorts. I am hoping that it was just overlooked in the early promotional photos (and with Steph it is in actuality probably well covered) but all I saw was stanard black and white, fitted capris and a more swooshy pair of a cross between yoga pants and plazzo pants from the early 90's in a gorgette-like fabric.

Ok, now on to the good stuff.

First off, look at this adorable skirt. It comes in at least 2 colours that I know of (this shocking blue and a creamy white). It looks like it is just the perfect length and drape to be that flirty summer nights skirt that every fabulous fatshionista should have in her closet. I do hope this comes in a range of colours that includes... well... pretty much every colour in the rainbow and then some!

Ok, moving on.

In the perfectly dressed category isn't this just the perfect "Crud, I need to work today and it is such a gorgeous day outside" shirt? Certainly nice enough for any office, but with just a touch of "bite me, if it is this nice out I am going to enjoy it" to make you feel great all day. Oh my gosh do I hope it comes in white so I can wear it with the skirt in the other picture as well as every other skirt in my wardrobe.

One last image to leave you with is this gorgeous dress that I think is going to make an awesome bathing suit cover-up for by the pool, lake, or day when it is so hot you just need to find a fountain to splash in (for those in Toronto, the one in Riverdale Park is Awesome!).

Obviously it can be worn its own also, but lets just say I need a little bit more of a support network than that dress can comfortably care for.

It comes in at least one other set of colours. Bold blue with a bright pink band below the bust.

Toronto Spring Clothing show
Location: Booth 213, Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place
Hours: Friday 3-9 (Opening night party with Fashion shows, and live music), Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-7pm
Tickets: $8 Online
, $10 @ Door

Gutsy Dame will be accepting cash only at the show.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I just wanted a final update to the snowpants issue.

I indeed get a gift certificate in the mail to the store and I look orward to using it at a store that has shown that they clearly value good customer service.

Don't take this personally, but...

Ok, is it just me or does anything that starts off with some various of "Don't take this so personally (or the catchy alternative, "Why are you taking this so personally") is generally going to be both A) incredibly insulting and B) something I am going to take personally?

Yes I know there is a time and a place for emotionless debate, even over topics of a personal or sensitive nature, but when someone says/writes/implies something negative about me and the way I happen to life, can someoen eplain to me why I should not take it personally? Because it was directed at an entire group and not me personally? BUT I AM PART OF THAT GROUP!!!

Would it ever be okay to say "I have no idea what Canadians have that they think they should be proud of" to a Canadian and not expect them to take it personally? Hell no! So why is it okay to say it about fat people?

Not only that, but to then continue "I can say whatever I want and if it insulted you then you are just being a big fat (no joke intended) baby who takes everything way too personally."

I love when it is followed by "but some of my best friends/family/pets are... _____". So how exactly is that supposed to make it better? Because you are also insulting someone you know and like I should not be upset at being insulted? How does that work exactly?

Ok, sorry for the vent. This situation has just pissed me off more than it should. I am not a lover of internet drama so I have chosen to just let this die, but I am just still trying to figure out how not to take "The world would be a much better place without fat people" personally.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Someone on my friend's list on my regular life blog just put up a post based on an article on a MONEY site, about what if no one were fat and how we would all be much more financially secure. This is a person who has a number of medical conditions that many people do not recognize as "real" conditions (Although I do) so you would think to know better. I should add I have tried to be supportive of her when she needed it, even going so far as to send her medication available here and not there and putting my own business liscences at risk to do so.

Obviously it would be highly inappropriate for me to repost a private post here, but the gist of it, is.

She says that she does not "understand that whole "feminist fat pride" movement". She comments that "It just freaks me out that a group of people can be so determined to be unhealthy".

She goes on to compare being fat to smoking. Talks about how heaven forbid anyone should be allowed to say anything about a fat person encroaching on your space on an airplane. But it is okay... she finished with "some of my best friends/family/etc are..."

Well, surprise, surprise I could not keep myself from leaving a comment.

I have no idea why you decided to post on this, but it is similar to me saying in my journal that (her various issues) is all in people's heads without having ever lived through it. Lots of articles have been written about that too. If they would only stop making excuses for why they can not hold regular jobs...

Your comparison to smoking is is both insulting and wrong. Obesity affects me and how people see me. I am not forcing anything on you.
Being near a smoker affects everyone around them. There is no such thing as 2nd hand fat.

How is a person taking up more space on an airplane is something almost every single person on the flight does. Ever recline your seat? Well now you are in the space of the person behind you. Use an armrest? Fall asleep leaning to one side?

Since when is an airline, out to make money by craming as many people into a small space as possible, our arbiter of what is the right size for a human being? If tomorrow they decide that they should narrow the seats a little more so that women with hips of any sort no longer fit, would that just mean giving birth should disqualify you from flying without paying for a 2nd seat? How about a family member who is almost 7 feet tall? Should he be disqualified because of the lack of legroom? Forced to fly first lass? I'll tell you, I flew for the first time in ages in December after years of voices like the one you raise in this article scaring the shit out of me, and you want to know something? I sat by the window. I "fit" fine, and my tiny 4 year old was into the next seat as she fell asleep leaning over.

And people are not proud of the fat itself. We are proud of who they are and that we can love ourselves and accept ourselves regaurdless of size. Something many people overlook. I am learning slowly that I *AM* both fat and fabulous. I have spent a lifetime being told how I was no good because I am fat. Believing that I did not deserve nice clothes, or a boyfriend, or anything else. Guess what, neither you not my family are going to make me feel badly anymore for who I am and the shape God has made me.

Grrrrrrrrrr. Am I out of line or do I have a right to find this annoying?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sorry about the lack of posts. I was dealing with a death in the family.

I had to come on though just to mention that Lane Bryant now ships to Canada and has Canadian prices!

Ok, they are certainly not the be all and end all of fatshion, but they are a great place with semi reasonable prices for basics.

Seriously go check them out :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fat Lady here, and rather proud of it.

Today there was a carnival at my daughter's school, and parents were asked to attend. Since it started less than an hour after I dropped her off, and I do not have access to a car during the day, I decided the easiest thing to do would be to find myself an unused, out of the way corner, turn on my i-pod, and get some work done.

I found a nice little spot on the back stair case. I sat on the landing with my feet on the step below me. I knew it was not a problem because the director saw me and asked why I was "parking myself" there, but when I said it just did not make sense to go home. I passingly wondered if the "Parked" comment was a "size of a truck" joke, then remembered who I was dealing with and that she is one of the nicest women in the world and told myself to grow up. There is no way in hell that is what she meant.

Shortly thereafter, I start hearing "Hey, there's a fat lady on the stairs" coming from a bunch of kindergarten students on the 2nd floor (who are clearly out of class without permission and I hear their teacher ordering them back in). "You gotta come see this! It's a fat lady on the stairs".

I must have been bright red. I was both embarrassed and angry. How dare they!?!? I thought about the lovely thing I could say them. "Yeah, well, I could lose weight you will still be idiots" Um, hello? They are 5. What sort of bitch am I?

Ok, lets use this to teach a lesson. It is a religious school after all. I could remind them that "God made me just like God made you and are they making fun of something God created?" Yeah, I could say that. And then they could look at me like I am nuts. Remember, they are 5.

Well, maybe I should I just tell them it is not nice to make fun of people?

Then I realized something. What were they making fun of?

I am a fat lady. In fact, it is a fairly good descriptor of me. Am I fat? Clearly. Do I do my best to always act like a lady? Well, at least in public. These kids were not necessarily making fun of me, they were just commenting on what their eyes were showing them.

Would I prefer for people to look at me and say "Skinny Bitch" or "Gorgeous Loner"? I think not! Ok in my heart of hearts I might prefer Gorgeous Lady, but lets face it, to someone 3 feet tall my girth might be noticed before my "pretty face" (which incidentally is something else I hate hearing... well, not the pretty face bit -- it is that "but" that always goes with it!)

(So I never did say anything because I heard the teacher telling them off for being out of class and for yelling any "not nice names" at anyone, especially adults so I figured they already got told. Also, by the time I finished this whole little shenanigin in my head they were already gone. I either need to learn to think faster or speak without thinking. Of course, had I done that I would have just said "Oh yeah? Well I am rubber and your gluuuuuuuuuue...").

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sale at my place :)

This week only.


Yes the world does revolve around me dangle earrings

with any purchase over $30.
Available in jade, rose quartz, white agate, onyx, mother of pearl or hematite.

Just quote "fatshion" in the buyer notes.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Look at me! Look at me!

Someone liked my work enough to interview me for a blog with a nice sized readership. Not only that, but that someone is the someone who put together the Fatshion search engine.

Go check me (and Diana from FatChic) out here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Snow Pants follow up from Junonia; Score +1 for customer service!

Ok, so less than a week after posting my entry about how I was fooled by Junonia who had adversized having snow pants but when I got there I could not find them, I cam home to a surprise in my inbox.

I received a note from a Customer Service Supervisor and Operations Specialist at Junonia explaining that although they did have, they are now just sold out for the season. She offered me a gift certificate to use next year towards the purchase of a pair of waterproof pants.

She commented that she well understands the importance of warm and dry clothing and looked forward to further communication.

Score 1 for Junonia customer service!

Ego boost for me - someoen is actually reading my blog!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Winter Outer Wear

I spent this afternoon playing outside in the mountains of snow with my husband and my daughter. It was great fun, and for the most part we were all bundled up in a bunch of layers so we stayed warm enough.

My daughter has a great bright pink snowsuit. The snowsuits out for kids are great. Bright colours. Great fabrics.

My husband has a nice dark pair of waterproof pants. For some strange reason he chose not to wear them, but that was entirely his business. He also has a great ski jacket that he loves and keeps him snuggly warm.

As for me, I have a wonderful suede winter coat that I have had for almost 10 years now. I remember, I spent a couple hundred bucks on it when I first got it, and my mom made a big deal that I BETTER wear it for a number of years at that price. I figure amortized over the 10 years I have had it so far, even minus the cost of a new zipper two years ago, I have gotten my money's worth.

What do I not have? I do not have anything that could have, would have, or should have protected my legs from the cold and the wet. I wore a pair of leggings, under a pair of sweats, under a skirt, and I still came in soaking wet from the thigh down.

In a quick google search I was pleased to find that Junonia claimed to have plus sized snowpants. Of course, when I got to their website I found that there were none listed. Oh, they have one piar of " PerfecTemp™ Fleece Pant" but they are not in any way waterproof. Google could not turn up one single pair of waterprrof pants even of the non-warm variety that I could just use over sweats.

I live in CANADA people. It is cold and there is a lot of snow so that makes it cold and wet. Yes extra body weight helps keep mammals warm, but it does not keep us from getting soaked.

If anyone knows of anywhere that sell plus sized snowpants could you please let me know? I am tired of not getting to play in the snow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Plus sized search engine

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, please allow me to introduce the newest innovation in online fatshion,


Until now, if you needed a pair of purple leather pants, you would have to google "purple leather pants, then wade through the millions of hits that were meant for size 2 fashion models, and it would take 1000 hits before you might find even one meant for fatshionistas like ourselves. Diana over at Fat Chic has created a search engine designed to search only plus sized stores. This means that you will only get purple leather pants in stores that cater to plus sized women!

Now, I know this is still a pain for Canadians in that most of those stores still refuse to ship north of the border (silly people don't realize we have money to spend and like to look good), but it is still a great place to start. Just type your want into the box on the top right and away you go!

It is not perfect, and I know she is still working on it, but for now it is a GIANT first step towards making online shopping more fat friendly.

New Shop of Mine


I love working with bright colours, and, after some pushing from friends looking for rainbow wear that did not look as if it was created for preschoolers, have decided to open a 2nd shop to market this work.

Because of the ever present rainbows I am marketing towards the tblgay community, however this work is meant for everyone. It is bright and colourful without being too over the top for every day wear.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Breakthrough Moment

So yesterday I had a really busy day and it was 4 o'clock before I realized that I had not eaten all day and I was starving. I was at a subway station and facing 45 minutes on the subway before a 15 minute walk home.

I stopped at the Gateway shop at Warden station and bought, horror of horrors, an orange juice and a bag of potato chips (hey, when you keep strictly kosher and can not eat dairy there are not a whole lot of healthy subway station options).

Being a fat girl and not wanting anyone to decide to randomly tell me how awful I was for eating, especially junk food, in public I shoved the stuff into my purse.

I got on the subway (ok, Warden Station has to be the only place in the city where you need to go UP 2 flights of steps to get to the subway) and tried to open things as quietly as possible so no one would notice. Eating out of my purse.

I kept looking around as if waiting to see who would "catch" me.

Want to know something? No one was looking at me at all! No one cared what the hell anyone else was doing. We were all caught up in staring out into space and trying not to make eye contact with anyone.

Believe it or not I am not the centre of everyones world. I know! Who would have thunk it? No one, and I mean NO ONE was looking at me and thinking how awful I was. In fact no one was looking at me at all!

What a rush.

So if I combine this with the shmuck who insulted me at the Eaton's Centre a few months ago, we learn that apparently only lonely losers with nothing better to do go around staring at strangers and trying to figure out how to insult them.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Good afternoon Ladies and Jellyspoons

I come before you to stand behind you
And tell you something I know nothing about

Next Thursday,which is Good Friday,
there will be a Mothers meeting,for Fathers only.

Wear your best clothes if you haven't any,
and if you can come, please stay at home.

Admission's free pay at the door.
Take a seat and sit on the floor.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Plussize clothing Swap


Feb 24, say, 7? My place. Right near Lawrence West subway station. Please email a reply to so I can create an invite list.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Toronto plus-size clothing swap?

Would anyone be interested?
Some of my own past work. Mostly available on Etsy in my shop.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I got an email from maximum woman this morning about their "Come and get it" sale. Sales rack with tops for $10, bottoms for $15, and dresses for 50% off! There are also daily door crashers on their sale page. Winter jackets are also on sale.

For free shipping on online orders over $160 (before taxes) use coupon code FREE
Join their mailing list for a coupon for a free on sale top with in store purchase over $75.

Sale on from now until Valentines day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Look! Look! It's me!

How cool is this! I get to to be on someone else's blog!

Ok, I know, I know. I should not look to other people for my own vlaue, but this is neat!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ssssshhhhh... It's a secret

It looks like I am going to be joining a new fat focused web portal for online shopping as a seller. I will post way more information once their site is closer to being up and running, but in the meantime, um,

COOL! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wowsers! DIY formalwear

Raise your hand if you are above a size 10 and have ever had trouble finding the perfect formal dress. Do I see every single reader raising their hand emphatically and jumping up and down screaming "Me! Me! Me!"

Well have found an awesome solution.

Coco Myles Formal Wear is a DIY formalwear site for the non sewers amongst us. They have a selection of tops and bottoms in a number of styles, add-ons including everything bows to shawls to beading, a selection of fabrics, and best of all everything comes in every size from 2 to 32! The price difference in the larger sizes is so minimal (roughly $20) that you know it is just the cost of extra fabric.

They also include this caveat in their FAQ

"If you need a dress larger than size 32, or smaller than a size 2, then we can create it for you."

Yes ladies, they are willing to work with you to create a dress that will make you feel like a princess! They can do everything from a little black dress to celebrity look-a-likes straight from the red carpet.

I just sat and played with their dress maker thingy for half an hour in awe.

Their size chart and "how to measure" page are well laid out and easy to use. They even provide a printable measuring tape in case you do not have one.

They are also willing to shorten/lengthen their dresses for $10... less than I would pay my local seamstress.

Plus sized dresses ran around the $150 mark, but the most expensive one that I could put together was still under $220 (including assumed shortening as I am short). Well within one I would expect to pay for a custom dress... heck, within what I would expect to pay for a formal off the rack dress!

So shipping is what it really comes down to. I have to say that this is where the plan falls apart a little. $40 for shipping is a little steep. On the other hand, when you work it in to the price of the dress it is still not entirely unreasonable. They also have shipping deals if you are buying more than one item (say dresses for a bridal party, all available from one site, in matching fabrics, in every size).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A little of my own recent work. Plus sized rings

I don't know about everyone else, but finding fin and fashionable rings in larger sizes seems to be next to impossible! Rings are actually one of the first pieces of jewelery I made because I pretty much gave up on ever finding anything reasonable priced.

Please do not misunderstand me. I know that I can always have a ring resized to a larger size (and in fact do it frequently for my customers), but they always look like "regular" rings sized up, and not like they were designed to look right at their current size.

My rings are available custom made to a size 15. I actually use larger size stone, and create my patterns with graduated sized cutwork so my pieces never look like "little rings made bigger" and instead look balanced and harmonious.

Top right is sterling silver and amethyst. The centre stone is 10mm across and a gorgeous dark purple colour with no visible flaws. Bottom left is a hammered sterling silver band with a 5mm dark green emerald and no additional embellishments. It has a very rustic, almost viking-like look to it and never fails to get noticed. These items are no longer available in my etsy store, but can be remade to order in any size imaginable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A couple of shows

Ok, so The Fuller Woman's Expo and I are talking about a more reasonable price point for their show. I want to do it. I really want to do it both for the good of my business and to help grow the market segment that is basically being ignored up here north of the 49th parallel. It is really just a matter of if it will work out to the greater good of both sides.

I think (and hope) that it will work out.

In other news I am also trying to put together a group for Jewish Artisans here in the city and am looking at putting together a show where we can show our work without needing to compete against the cheap, machine-made stuff that fills so many craft shows lately. There are so many shows in which many of us not able to participate (be it that they are Saturday, holidays, or for causes we can not bring ourselves to support), that it will be nice to have one show that is catered around our own needs.

As of today it looks like we *might* even have a location down in Kensington for the show. Now there are a million other things to deal with, but if we can get enough artists, we may host a wine and cheese reception with 10% of all proceeds going to a charity still to be decided as a group. I would like to get a variety of people including perhaps a classical musician to really "glam it up" a little.

Please note, I will NOT turn away not Jewish artists, I just want to give the option first to those of us for whom many of the other shows are unaccessible.

I think I am in way over my head, but if it works it could be wonderful.

Anyone have any thoughts on the ideas? Anyone want to get involved?

Monday, January 7, 2008

So who is actually reading? CONTEST!!!

I know people are reading this blog because I see the numbers going up daily, but I am sooooo curious as to who is making those numbers take flight! I am not sure how to get people commenting here so that I can see who y'all are. Do you think a contest would work? Why not take a go.

Ok, so all you have to do is leave a comment, any comment. On Sunday I will take all the names, stick them into a random generator (also called a hat) and see which one comes up. The person whose name is the jumpiest and sticks to my fingers will receive an amethyst and sterling silver pendant (seen to the right) on a sterling silver chain (not shown).

Yes ladies (and gentlemen?) all you have to do is stroke my ego with one little comment and this lovely piece could be winging it's way to you via Canada Post so the two of you can begin long and happy lives together.

(Feel free to comment anonymously so long as it is nothing rude or inappropriate, but do be aware that if I do not know who you are I can not enter your name into the hat).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Fuller Woman Expo

When I opened my email last night I was pleasantly surprised to have received an email from a woman who was connected with a group running a new show called "The Fuller Woman Expo". She claimed to have come across this blog and seen some of my work and that I was exactly what they were looking for.

I went to check out their website and it does seem that they are genuinely trying to get something that sounds like it is a great idea off the ground. They want to try to change the way plus sized women are seen from "a problem that needs fixing" to "a market segment niche that should be filled". Subtle difference really I guess when it comes to semantics, world of difference when it comes to how people are treated in the marketplace.

I have no idea how much entrance will be as a visitor/shopper, but I do have to say that as a vendor, as much as I like the idea, there is no way I am willing or able to participate. They are charging over 5x per day what the one of a kind show does, and over double what I would spend to participate in the Toronto Clothing Show. I don't know any sellers on the home based market who would pay that much per day for a long running established show, let alone for a brand-spanken-new upstart.

I support fat friendly shows and sites 100%, but that does not mean that I can let myself, as a small business owner, get gouged in order to do so.

On the other hand, if admission as a shopper is not an arm and a leg you can but I am going to be there with plus sized bells on! A whole show of shopping catering to me where there is a prayer I can actually "shop" rather than "browse" excites the heck out of me!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Thank God for my health (and health are provider)

I want to take one sec here to thank the lord for health care providers who see beyond the fat and through to the real problem. I came home from our vacation (Capital S) SICK.

My joints were killing me, especially my hips, kneed and ankles. I could barely breathe and when I tried to suck in air it felt like my ribs were fighting by cramping and trying to suffocate me. When I coughed (which I did often as this lovely little nuisance also came with "cold-like symptoms") my head felt like it was being split in two across my forehead and behind my eyes with a hot vice.

My family doctor, who I loved, recently quit her practice, and even though she was part of a team with walk in accepted, now none of the team will see any of her patience... Left me stranded with no notice, and finding a new doctor here right now is next to impossible. Fortunately I had an in with someone who is great for day to day, but as he is the spouse of a friend I am not sure how comfortable I would be with anything big. Don't for one minute though think I am concerned about any impropriety or breech of confidentiality- merely awkwardness after. I would 100000% recommend him to anyone else, and do know some of my other friends use him as well.

I fell asleep watching the hockey game at a friend's house on the floor and when I woke up I was tempted to rip off my own head. Ok, so I called him New Years eve, at home. Yes, I was that miserable.

Not a single "loose weight and you will feel better" in site. I gave him 2 symptoms, he asked me about all the rest of them (as he hit the nail on the head on all of them I am pretty sure he was right). He told me what to do, how do deal with it, and what to look out for. The whole exchange took maybe 10 minutes.

All I can say is that I was thrilled not to have to worry about obnoxious comments when I felt like death. It is such a pleasure to have found a doctor that actually deals with the problem you bring to him rather than once the choose to take issue with that are not quite as pressing.