Q & A with Femme De Bloom’s Melanie!

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Get ready for cuteness overload because today you’ll meet darling Melanie, the quirky mind behind Femme De Bloom!  This Psychology Doctoral student spends a lot of her time designing and creating unique accessories.  Her handmade designs range from polka-dotted  earrings to flower crown headbands.

femmedebloom

Melanie takes custom orders as well.  If you can think it, she can make it.  So whether you’re a retro, vintage-loving gal like me, a Disney junkie or a sports fan, Femme De Bloom is the place to go!   This Etsy shop is chock-full of options.  Oh!  And Melanie also makes custom plugs for you modified beauties.  Doesn’t matter what gauge size you need.  I think I learned about the Etsy shop through Instagram.  I purchased the Snow White inspired earring set and the Betty Button set.  Shipping was way fast, considering I don’t live in the continental US.

snowwhiteset       BettyButton

Now let’s get to know the cute crafter, Melanie.

When did you start Femme De Bloom and why?

I started FemmeDeBloom exactly a year ago (November 4, 2013!). It started with an idea I had to sell some Minnie and Mickey inspired ornaments I had created for friends and family the year before. After seeing how much my friends loved them, I thought I would give it a try to start a shop, list them, and see how it went. To my surprise, I ended up selling over 500 ornaments last year! I had so much fun making the ornaments and connecting with customers that I wanted to continue the shop beyond the holidays. That is when I started looking into making jewelry and accessories and the ideas just kept flowing from there! I chose the name FemmeDeBloom because it’s a crossover between English and French (my two favorite languages) and it means “Woman in Bloom.” As a woman, I aspire to grow and expand my knowledge and experience of the world on a daily basis! So in a sense, I always consider myself a “woman in bloom.”

 

MelanieFemme


Have you always been a crafty person?  If not, at what age did you start crafting?

I was taught to be a crafty person at a very young age by my beautiful, wonderful mother, who is also my best friend. My first memory of crafting was painting shirts and sneakers with puffy paint with my mom. We would have “Mom and Mel” days where we would go to the craft store and get supplies and spend the whole day making things! I’ll admit though, some of the things I painted on my shirts and shoes were ridiculous. One of my favorites is a pair of sneakers that I drew a dozen hammerhead sharks on. To this day it’s an inside joke between me and mom and I have absolutely NO idea why I chose to draw hammerhead sharks, ha ha! So the answer is, yes, I’ve definitely always been a crafty person and I have my mom to thank for that!


Out of all your Femme De Bloom pieces, which one is your favorite and why?

This is a tough question! I truly love every single piece I’ve made for the shop, including customs. However, I think it is a tie between the Princess Belle inspired necklace/earring set (because she’s my favorite Disney princess) and the “Pink Tea Party” fabric earring set because it combines polka dots, pink, and floral print which are all my favorites!

BelleFemme   PinkTeaParty


What is the most challenging part of hand making cute accessories?

I definitely think the most challenging part for me is making mistakes. People who know me have to remind me to stop over-analyzing my designs because I always want everything to look and present itself perfectly! Especially with the clay work, I have had to learn to cut myself some slack when I make a mistake (like when I burned an entire batch of clay Minnie donuts in the oven!) and not beat myself up over it!


Have you had any funny or scary incidents while getting crafty?

Yes, and Yes! As far as funny, I often have pieces of glue or paint stuck in my hair, on my clothes, or on my arms and hands and people are always pointing it out thinking I have a bruise or dandruff in my hair with the white paint (embarrassing!!!). But that’s the sacrifice I make for FemmeDeBloom!! 🙂 And as far as scary, I’ve burned myself several times pretty badly with glue gun glue and an iron and it’s pretty painful! 

Do you believe accessories really pull an outfit together?

Absolutely! I don’t leave the house without some type of accessory! I think that accessories are a great, cost-effective way to spruce up an outfit! Sometimes buying or making a new accessory has helped me revamp some articles of clothing that I haven’t worn in years. It’s also super fun to coordinate outfits with specific accessories, which I do the most when I visit Disneyland or I’m dressing for a holiday, hence the reason I tend to go overboard with themes in my shop and with giveaways!

MickeyNecklace


What is your go to accessory? 

Hmm…this one is another tough one! I seriously love all accessories, but on a daily basis I would have to say that it’s either earrings or necklaces. But headbands and bows are also great for bad or lazy hair days!


What does a day in your shoes look like?   

A day in my shoes honestly depends on the day of the week! During the week, I am also a clinical psychology doctoral student, a tutor, an intern, and I occasionally teach undergraduate psychology courses, so it very much depends! During the week I am mostly fulfilling those roles and shipping out orders and on the weekends I spend time with my boyfriend, friends and family and do the most crafting!

 

“You can always tell what kind of a person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he gives you.” – Audrey Hepburn.  Do you think this is true and why?

Ooo, I haven’t heard this quote from her before and I love it! Audrey is one of the greats! I definitely think this is true because if a man knows you, he will get you earrings (or any jewelry for that matter) that reflects your personal style. If he gets it right, then he’s a keeper because he has taken the time to observe who you are and what your personal style is!

Headband

 

What inspires you?

Inspiration is such a wonderful thing, and I’ll have to say that I get inspiration from everyone and everything that I can. I am inspired by my loved ones and people that are a positive influence in my life. However, I am also inspired by so many of the other crafters I’ve met on Instagram AND my customers! Some of the most popular pieces in the shop were inspired by custom orders! I am also inspired by Disney movies (obviously) and the things I love! Every single piece in my shop is a reflection of something I love and my own personal style. As you can see, if you go through the shop, it’s a bit random because I love so many different types of characters and styles. But I created this shop so that I can make people happy with what I love and hopefully what they love also!

 

What is your definition of true beauty?

To me, true beauty is a person being their authentic self and not apologizing for it. We have so much pressure in society to fit in and to follow certain rules and regulations regarding our actions and our outward appearance. I think that it takes courage and represents true beauty when a person is comfortable in their own skin, has taken the time to figure out who they are, and isn’t afraid to BE it! I also think true beauty encompasses vulnerability, openness, and a non-judgmental spirit.

For more Melanie and Femme De Bloom, follow the shop on Instagram.  It’s the shop’s one year anniversary today!

Melanie loves doing giveaways and  she’s going  to do one for you guys!  Stay tuned for rules on how to enter.

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Life: An Update

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 Where we left off

My last blog post was about my Urban Decay Giveaway.  You have until October 31st at 7 PM (Atlantic Standard Time) to enter.  This might help you if you’re like me when it comes to time zones.  I’ll do my best to get home before midnight to announce the winner.  If I can’t make it on time, I’ll let you guys know via Facebook.  If you’re interested in participating, click here for entry rules.

Activities and Fashion

I recently went to an antique car show in San Juan and met up with some of my friends.  Getting there was a hassle, especially after working until 4 AM the night before.  It was worth it, because we were able to take awesome pictures like these:

Ford

Ford1

oolalaoolalala

freecandy

While we were there, a couple of little girls said I looked like Katy Perry.  They made my day!

What I wore

I wore my favorite high waisted shorts from Forever 21.  I got them almost a year ago, so they’re not selling them anymore.  Mine are really beat up and in need of a replacement.  I didn’t want to let them go, so I did what I always do:  hunt them down in Google Images.  After looking at dozens and dozens of pictures, I finally found them.  I discovered Poshmark, a place to sell and buy clothing.  Unfortunately, it isn’t Paypal friendly.  If you’re interesting in something, try negotiating with the seller.  I was able to pay mine for the shorts through Paypal and am now a happy camper.  Just because I found a replacement, doesn’t mean I will actually replace them.  I’ll now use the beat up pair for school and save the nicer looking one for other ocassions.

I got the retro car crop top on eBay and it was the very last one in my size!  (Am I the only one that feels like celebrating when this is accomplished?)  I first learned this perfect top existed a few months ago thanks to Ashley Marie Rosas.

As for shoes, I wore simple black ballet flats which can be found almost anywhere.  Mine are from Sears and are breaking down on me.  They’ve attained a weird shape.

This past Saturday, one of my bosses asked me to dress up for work.  There was going to be a halloween party, although it did not look like it.  I’ve noticed that people in my hometown, Ponce, aren’t very fun.  They let themselves be controlled by the thought “Oh, but what will they think of me?”  Only a handful of people went dressed up.  I saw a cat, some guy with a hat (yup, just a hat), and a minion.  My co-workers simpy took their shirts off and put on a bow tie and when asked what they were, they said “strippers.”  So creative.

I, on the other hand, didn’t really have a costume ready and went throught my closet.  I found everything I needed to dress as Daria (please tell me I’m not the only one that remembers that show), but realized I would be sweating buckets while working.  So me as Daria, was a no-no.

daria
 The blazer / jacket is from Forever 21 and I got it a couple of years ago when blazers were really on trend.  I stole the  oreange tank top from my mom’s closet and the skirt is from Hot Topic.  I got it for $5 and  think that’s the only reason why I got it because it’s almost four years old and I’ve only worn it for about five minutes, the five minutes it took me to complete the look and get my phone to take this picture.

Those boots are Bongo.  My former housemate, Mariela, had a pair and she let me borrow them a couple of times.  I liked them so much I just had to get them and I did it though eBay.  I’ve been told they look like they were made for a wrestler.  They think this bothers me, when in reality it just makes the boots even more awesome.

After realizing Puerto Rico is too hot to wear a wannabe blazer jacket, I figured I should go with plan B, which didn’t exist at the time.  I looked in of my closets and found many fun things: full, red polkadotted skirts, a Pink Ladies jacket and my old Mario and Luigi caps.  The only outfit I could complete would’ve been a Super Mario homemade costume.  I thought about being dressed as Mario at the bar, but I wasn’t too fond of the idea of clients calling me Mario.

“Yo, Mario, can I get a vodka cranberry?  I got coins.”

I remembered I got a couple of playsuits from Sourpuss Clothing and one of them is sailor-inspired.  During the summer, I bought a mini sailor hat thinking I would be able to get a couple of pictures taken.  I even had the location and props thought-out.  The photoshoot never happened and I never got to wear the fun playsuit… Until this weekend.

sailor     sailor1   insta

I felt so confident, I even took my first instagram video!

School

Midterms, group projects and Double D’s!  Oh my!

After getting excited because I should be able to graduate in May, the excitement vanished when I got a D in Literary Theory and another after that… In the same course.  For the first time ever, I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to pass a class.  It’s frustrating because I feel myself trying too hard to understand whatever comes out of the professor’s mouth and reading and re-reading whatever was assigned… Only to get Ds or D+s followed by a little note saying “For effort.”  I don’t know what makes me feel worse.  A plain old D or a D+ with pity.

The Likes

Two months ago, ipsy sent me a Jesse’s Girl liquid eyeliner.  I knew I would love it just by the name of the brand.  Who hasn’t heard the fun song?   I love this eyeliner because it goes on super duper smoothly and it won’t dry out so quickly like Cover Girl’s felt tip liquid eyeliner.  Keep in mind that it says it’s waterproof, but it really isn’t.  I guess Jesse’s Girl lies sometimes.

Also, The Carrie Diaries season two started!!!  You don’t know how happy I am!  I love this show so much!  The fashion, the music, the location… I just wish I could somehow be transported through my laptop to such a fun environment.  If you’re a fan of the show, keep an eye out for Carrie’s clothes.  If you’re interesting in something, be sure to check out Worn on TV.  I constantly find myself searching for Carrie’s and Jessica Day’s outfits there.

I think that’s all for now!  Sorry for the long wait, but midterms, two jobs and 18 credits aren’t easy!

Have a Happy Halloween!

Overalls are back!

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Back to talking about fashion!

A few months back I saw a girl in one of my classes wearing overalls.  I thought: “Well, she’s trying really hard to be hipster,” but as time went by, I noticed more and more guys and girls wearing them.  The last time I remember overalls being on trend was in the 1990s.  Twenty-something years have already passed, so it’s about time they’re back.  Overalls are comfortable because you don’t have to think so much about what to pair them with.  They’re an easy piece of clothing to wear.  I’ve noticed that, like all trends, it came back with a twist.  Trends never come back exactly the same, just with the original idea.

Although some overalls are showing up with the same concept but with bold prints, they are also popping up as dresses.  Yes, overall-dresses.  Forever 21 has a variety of them on their website for a good price.  (I already ordered a pair and can’t wait to get home to try them on!)

OV3MediumOV5    OV6medium

L’histoire!

(That was me practicing my French)

Up for a little history lesson?

Overalls emerged centuries ago and were meant for workers to protect their clothing.  Here are the different definitions it was given at different eras:

  • 1792 “overalls” or “overall trousers” = “trousers worn outside the normal trousers to protect them.”
  • 1815 “overall” = “any outermost coat or cloak.”

It is said they arrived to the US sometime between 1890s-1990s and were worn by mechanics during the first decade of the century.  Women also wore them during World War I in factories in England.

They became fashionable during the late 1960s-1970s and made a comeback during the 1990s.  (I remember).

For those ladies wanting to look as retro or vintage-y as possible, these are a great option for you:

retroOV           retroOV2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Not in your budget?  I find that these are the most versatile and pretty inexpensive.  Add a red bandana or some heels to look like your retro loving self!

ziper   life   sleek

I remember wearing jeans with suspenders during my junior high days and being looked at as a total freak of nature.  I’m always ahead of time 😉

As always, all pictures will redirect you to the product page.

Throwback Wednesday

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Let’s forget about throwback Thursday for a few minutes because Wednesday is my favorite day of the week.  Say hello to Throwback Wednesday.

Almost a year ago, my friends and I did a little dance to a mix of Peggy Lee’s “Fever” and Si Cranstoun’s “50’s Pin Up” at a fashion show / birthday party as a way to introduce our group, The Sunny Island PinUps.  The birthday boy was a photographer.  I think that explains the fashion show part.

It was hard to rehearse together due to our different work schedules.  In the end, there were a few bloopers here and there, but we had tons of fun.  Most of the dresses were custom made and I got lots of help with my make-up and hair (I didn’t know how to manage it back then).  The lovely Carla Lune did my hair.

SIPU5

Fancy looking, isn’t it?  I miss having red hair.

I really wanted an excuse to share these pictures because they remind me of a fun, great night I had during a time of sadness.  It was nice to forget about the negative stuff for a tiny while.

SIPU

SIPU3    Marielle.  She did my make-up.  She made me feel so pretty that night!
SIPU8

  Denisse AKA Denixa.  I wish I had her confidence!


SIPU2

Singing happy birthday.

SIPU6

Johnelly.  The comedienne.

SIPU9

    Geraldine.  The lady boss.

Sadly, there’s not a close-up picture of Michelle.  She’s like a mommy to us, because she’s a real life mommy!

SIPU99

Michelle is the one in the light blue dress.  Look at that proud mommy stance!

SIPU7

Carla Lune.  Our favorite Pin Up.

SIPU1
A fun smile inspired by a fun night.

Thanks for enjoying this trip down memory lane with me!

SIPU4

Curves & Swimsuits

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Summer is here, at least for those in the US (since it’s always summer in Puerto Rico.)  If you’re swimsuit shy, like me, you may find this helpful.

I’ve dreaded swimsuits since I was 9 years old.  I started to gain weight at that age and began to wear one pieces when going to the beach with my family.  I was easier to socialize with back then and I remember meeting a boy once during vacation.  We would play volleyball in pools and had cannonball competitions.  He would always say I won because I was “husky.”  Yes, he actually said that.  I tried forgetting about it and pretended I was ok, but I still remember it.  I also remember the swimsuit that got me called “husky.”  It was a hot pink one piece with some beading around the waist.

I didn’t go to the beach for years after that and simply watched TV while my family had all the fun during summer.  Around ages 13-14 I lost a significant amount of weigh and got to a size 3, but I still thought I was that husky girl.  I gained weight again and forced myself to go have fun in a pool just a few years ago.  Everyone was in a bikini and I was too, but I wore a skirt to hide a bit of my cellulite and my post-baby pooch (although I haven’t had a baby.)  Needless to say, I didn’t like the way I looked in pictures and wondered why swimsuits in malls are always the same: itty bitty bikinis—Yeah, screw the curvy girls with a few extra pounds.  Don’t get me wrong, some of us curvy gals can confidently rock a bikini, but I can’t.  I would feel self conscious and wouldn’t be able to have fun at all.

Just a couple of years ago I started to embrace my curves because they’re here to stay and I can’t waste time hating them.  This is probably why I’m very into the Pin Up era.  Curves were considered beautiful and the curvy girl was always picked over the skinny one.  I have nothing against skinny girls, but it’s usually easier for them to find a swimsuit they feel comfortable in.

I purchased my first vintage-inspired swimsuit two years ago from a lady who was about to close her Pin Up boutique here in PR.  I was sad but at the same time, I scored a $102 bathing suit for $50.  Not bad.  She only had it in Medium, but I didn’t care, it was a steal.  I’m not really into the color, but I love the shape.  It has rouching that helps conceal belly pooches and love handles.  It also keeps boobies up high.  It comes in several beautiful colors and you can find it on www.pinupgirlclothing.com

SW1

If you just want to hide the pooch and nothing more, www.unique-vintage.com has many options for you.  I got this two piece baby and it fits great!  It comes in black as well!  If you’re short like me, you can pull the bottoms down a bit to hide some cellulite.

SW2

If you want to hide it completely, longer, cute-looking suits are available.

SW3

Or, you could get a removable swim skirt from Pin Up Girl Clothing:

SW4

Now that’s a skirt I wouldn’t mind wearing!

If you’re just curvy and don’t want to hide anything but still want to look retro, try a suit like this one:

SW5

You can also get it at Modcloth.  [http://www.modcloth.com/shop/twopiece-swimwear/cutie-pie-picnic-two-piece]
I hope you’re enjoying your summer and remember, there’s a suit for every BODY.

These are some of my favorite websites for vintage-inspired swimsuits:

unique

pinupgirl

mod

Retro, Vintage & TV Shows!

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Today I had an epiphany!  Where’s my imaginary lightbulb?  Just when I was wondering why I’m obsessed with shows most of my peers consider crappy, I realized they all style at least one character in a retro-esque or vintage-y way.  Before I start defending The Carrie Diaries and Glee, I must explain the difference between vintage and retro.  No, they’re not the same, boys.

So what exactly is vintage?

A vintage item is one that was made at least 20 years ago.  It should fully represent and speak of the era in which it was made.

Your mom wants you to wear her late 1980s wedding dress with the big, poufy sleeves?  Congrats!  Not only are you getting married, but you have the opportunity of showing off a vintage garment—if you’re not intimidated by the cotton candy on your shoulders, that is.

A place to get great vintage dresses is Xtabay Vintage Clothing Boutique on Etsy.  Check out thrift shops as well!

Vintage

1950’s dress, Xtabay Vintage

Can I get a holey moly?

What about retro?

A retro piece is a modern item that revives a style from the past when accessorized correctly.  An example of a retro item would be a neon green (first day with a cold, booger color) swing dress.  Neon green, of course, wasn’t “in” when swing dresses were, making it retro, not vintage.

Warning:  Retro can turn costume-y or look outdated when it’s not accessorized referencing the era you and your piece are trying to revive.

Retro

 Tile and Tile Again Dress, Modcloth

Now that you know the difference between these two, I can now start talking about my favorite shows. 

Glee, other than being awesome, mainly focuses on Rachel Berry, who is probably the most annoying character.  If you’ve watched the show since the first season, you may have noticed that her style has changed—extremely.

                    loser                                       byada

They used to dress her in a preppy, yet retro way referencing the 1950s-60s and sometimes the Mod era.  They rarely do so now that she’s in college.

                                                  loser 2

Her style consists of sweaters and A-line skirts, mostly in a pastel palette.  It’s perfect for teachers looking for vintage-inspired outfits that are also comfortable.  Forever 21 sells many A-line skirts and button down cardigans for those girls on a budget, like me.  If you have some extra bucks, aim for New Girl’s Jessica Day.  As a matter of fact, you can be inspired by Zooey Deschanel’s everyday outfits.  She screams Modcloth!  Most of her pieces can be found there.

             jessica                    zooey
                      Jessica Day, New Girl                                         Zooey Deschanel, true life

If you’re going for a fun, bright look, focus on Tina, who is now dressed in a very Mod way.  Lots of go go boots, short skirts, bright colors and geometric patterns.  It’s pretty odd because she used to be the goth one of the group.  Maybe her style changed because she’s wanting to get those Rachel Berry solos?

               tina             tina2

Great for partying or tone it down a little to go shopping!

Want to look “muted” sexy?  Just look at Miss Pillsbury (hopefully soon-to-be Mrs. Shue) for inspiration.  She’s always covered up but is often dressed and / or accessorized to make her assets get attention.  She’s sometimes seen with a bulky necklace or with a shirt that has an elaborate collar, making her chest the focal point or with a pencil skirt, drawing attention to her curves.

pillsbury

Her style is absolutely perfect for a first date.  When having dinner, your date’s eyes will be on your face, but most definitely be on another body part when you walk away to powder your nose.  Tone it down a bit and wear something like this for a job interview.  Want her look?  Modcloth is the place to go.  You can also check eBay!

Love the 1980s?  Congrats, VH1 might contact you pretty soon.  It’s time for a remake of those “I Love…”  marathons.   After answering VH1’s call, you might want to check out The Carrie Diaries.  For those living under a rock, it’s a prequel to Sex and The City.  Viewers get to see young Carrie Bradshaw transitioning from high school student to fashion oriented woman.

If you want to dress with an 80s feel, go for bold prints, bright colors and tutu-like skirts.  Don’t be afraid to mix certain prints.

Carrie’s look is a bit expensive.  She’s sometimes dressed in actual vintage dresses.  When she’s not, they almost always dress her in Modcloth, J. Crew and Nordstrom, but some of her looks can be emulated with Forever 21.  Again, be sure to check eBay.  You never know what you might find.

           bold prints                        mix

Too “in your face” for you?  Want to go darker?  Dorrit Bradshaw might be sporting the look you want—at least in the first half of the season.

dorrit

A pretty helpful website for gals inspired by the fashion seen on TV is Worn on TV (wornontv.net).  I found it hunting down a matryoshka print dress worn by Zooey as Jess in New Girl.  Sadly, it’s almost $300, since it’s an Eva Franco.  Early xmas present, anyone?  Please?

matry

Go ahead, have fun creating new outfits with pieces you already have in your closet and make a list of things you want to add to your collection… But please, put away the Giza Pyramids when you’re done.

mountain of clothes