Category Archives: Personal Style

Team No Fun

Team No Fun | Sophster-Toaster

My newest hand silk screened t-shirt is the Team No Fun tee! A sporty baseball tee in black and heather charcoal, this new shirt is inspired by roller derby NSO’s (non-skating officials), who wear dark colours and aren’t allowed to cheer or “have fun” while performing the essential tasks that run our games.

Having performed just some of the many things these officials do, I know how hard it is. They track players, penalties and stats, run the penalty box, time jams and periods, keep score, and keep everyone organized, all while blending into the background. We couldn’t skate without them; it’s a very important job and, in our league, these people are all volunteers! They are so crucial to our sport and community, that they form their own team: Team No Fun.

Team No Fun | Sophster-Toaster Team No Fun | Sophster-Toaster Team No Fun | Sophster-Toaster

Tee Sophster-Toaster
Glasses Warby Parker
Shoes Keds

Team No Fun | Sophster-Toaster

All photos by me.

Want to see what it takes to be an NSO, or just catch one of our bouts? Find our schedule here.

Playing Cameras

Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster

Sometime, over last spring and summer, we started referring to what I do when I grab a camera and start messing around with it as “playing cameras”. When I’m feeling bored or restless, I have a habit of picking up a camera and wandering around; I bother pets, play with the different settings on my cameras, annoy unwitting models, try to sneak up on new angles, painstakingly craft composition, shoot from the hip, and generally experiment to see if I get anything interesting. I started doing it so much, and with so little warning to the people around me, that it got a name.

Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster

I used to think, when I first started taking self portraits, that what I was doing wasn’t real, or legitimate, or of any value unless I did it a certain way. I thought I had to set up my tripod, ready my timer or remote shutter release, and stand on my mark to be a photographer. I convinced myself that if I had any skill, I could do it blind; that using the “live view” feature on my DSLR was cheating. I don’t think I could explain that clearly to myself now if I tried all day.

Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster

Now, I set up my camera, dial in the settings that I want, flip the screen around and switch it on – so I can actually see what I’m doing – pick up my remote shutter release and start messing around. On this frigid, windy, ice-encased, day after a storm in January, I played cameras indoors in the winter sunshine and learned more about light and shadow.

Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster Playing Cameras | Sophster-Toaster

Sweater ModCloth (different colour)
Glasses Warby Parker 
Dainty Ring Blue Ridge Notions

All photos by me.

New Year

New Year | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I’m not quite sure if I needed a break from blogging to recharge my creativity or just to work on other projects. Perhaps one achieved the other. I missed photographing the most beautiful season, but I found a lot of time to explore and build other hobbies, interests and skills.

I read books about kalsarikännit, photography and a good chunk of a Russian novel, learned how to be more eco-friendly, studied another language, watched movies, hiked, skated, worked on the house and started developing a whole new product for my shop. I tried to figure out where I want to go personally, professionally, physically in 2020: a year that sounds so futuristic child-me thought I’d never get here.

I don’t often take breaks, but I think this one really did me some good. I’m ready to work hard, rest when I need to, and take on whatever the new year has in store for me.

New Year | Sophster-Toaster Blog New Year | Sophster-Toaster Blog New Year | Sophster-Toaster Blog New Year | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Sweater thrifted
Jeans Angry Rabbit
Glasses Warby Parker
Earrings Just A Little This That (other colours)
Socks Roots

New Year | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

Spooky Pinup

Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster

My brother and I shared a laugh early this week over how one would think that my skills and hobbies would make me good at making Halloween costumes, but they don’t: I’m actually kind of bad at it.

For about a decade, I didn’t even dress up. I spent Halloween at home watching scary movies in the dark, so there wasn’t really any reason to dress up. Then we bought a house with a front door that kids could actually come trick-or-treating to. We bought pumpkins, decorations and candy! We developed a tradition of making a festive meal, putting on the early episodes of The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, drinking pumpkin beer, giving out candy… and dressing up.

This year, I decided to abuse the freedom Halloween provides and dress up – in my own clothes – as who I wish I were brave enough to be everyday: a spooky pinup.

Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster

Dress Capsule Vintage
Stockings What Katie Did

Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster Spooky Pinup | Sophster-Toaster

Photos by me & Matt Harrison.