Category Archives: Personal Style

Uniform

A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box.

My wardrobe became really practical over the pandemic. My habits and hobbies changed and my clothing slowly evolved to reflect that. I didn’t have much use for party dresses when all I did was work, garden, walk the dog, play my drums, and skate outdoors. As I let go of old dresses, skirts and blouses in cheap fabrics and bad fits, I gradually replaced them with sturdy denim jumpers, warm wool sweaters, and shorts and t-shirts I could move in.

I now needed things that could go from screen printing, to walking the dog, to going out into the garden to dig something up for dinner. I had very little use for a delicate dress I couldn’t get dirty in or a skirt that would rip if I took a full stride on my skateboard.

My wardrobe shrank quite a bit, as I seemed to be donating three to four things for every one I brought home. Around this time, I also started to really focus on only buying things that I thought were a 10/10 for quality, usefulness, eco consciousness, and fitting my style. I have a lot of empty space in my closet and dresser now, but I love everything I see and get a lot of wear out of everything I own. When I do need a party dress these days, it’s so easy to choose one that I will look and feel great in, because the few I have now are all winners.

A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box.A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box.

Jumper Angry Rabbit

Wool Tights Rachel

A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box. A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box. A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box. A woman wearing a denim jumper screen prints a logo on a box.

Spooktober

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster

There is a nature area here, just off the busy highway and nestled neatly between the two larger cities, that the local schools use routinely for field trips. The children learn about nature, conservation and basic bushcrafting. As a result of these regular field trips, small areas of the forest become covered in these eerie, abandoned lean-tos. The effect of coming across them unexpectedly is startling, confusing and a little creepy. Every time I see them, I make a note to come back in October to take some spooky photos.

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster

Thanks to the pandemic, this is the first time in many years that I haven’t had a busy fall full of markets or taken a short break to go up to the family cottage for Thanksgiving – actually giving me time to execute this plan. However, also thanks to the pandemic, the school children haven’t come out to the conservation area since last fall and only one small lean-to hadn’t been blown over into a scattered pile of branches.

I’ve been trying not to get bogged down by all the what-ifs when it comes to thinking about how different this year could have been and felt lucky that one structure had survived and that I was in the right place, at the right time to photograph it.

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster Spooktober | Sophster-ToasterSpooktober | Sophster-Toaster

Top Sophster-Toaster
Skirt Steady Clothing
Shoes Keds
Glasses Warby Parker

Spooktober | Sophster-Toaster

Photos by me and Matt Harrison.

Staying Safe and Active

Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster

This wasn’t a typical summer, so I suppose I’m less sad that it’s ending this year. After being stuck at home in the city all summer without air conditioning, I’m looking forward to getting cozied up indoors during snuggle season.

Of course, I’m still worried about what the changing seasons will mean for life during a pandemic. As Canadians, we aren’t usually ones to shy away from the cold, but it’s so much easier to pop outside to exercise, relax or grab takeout when the weather is warm and welcoming. Staying active during the summer comes naturally when there are so many options. Then the days get shorter, the wind gets colder and the bikes, skates and bathing suits get put away and it can be hard to resist the urge to hibernate.

I’ve found that staying active and being outdoors during this extra stressful time has been vital for maintaining my mental health. Therefore, my goal for the coming season is to continue engaging in my favourite all-season outdoor activities like daily long walks with the dog, playing fetch in the yard and morning hikes on the weekend (before the crowds get there). Soon, the rewarding work of gardening will become the satisfying sweat of snow shovelling and long distance skating will have to become practising fancy footwork in the basement. Maybe the added limitations of this year will be inspiring and I’ll get to try something new, like snowshoeing, before coming home and cuddling up on the couch with some hot chocolate and a movie for a long winter night.

Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster Staying Safe and Active | Sophster-Toaster

T-shirt Sophster-Toaster
Shorts Camp Collection
Glasses Warby Parker
Mask Camp Collection
Safety Gear Impala Rollerskates

All photos by Matt Harrison.

Heat Wave

Being stuck at home several months into a pandemic and multiple weeks into summer heat wave, I’m finding photography to be my only real outlet for achieving some sort of emotional equilibrium. It’s too hot now to exercise outdoors,¬†too hot to work on the house, too hot to make candles and have them cure correctly. Work has been slow but steady with unique challenges and constant adjustments. I’m connecting with some of my social group and only sporadically. I feel like the one thing I have to fall back on right now is my love for experimenting with cameras.

Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster

On a sweltering midsummer evening, after waiting all day for the sun to crawl across the sky and filter through the climbing hydrangea just the way I wanted to play with, I dressed up in colours that matched the flowers, poured an equally paired cocktail and started taking pictures. I had fun moving around in the sinking light, listening to neighbours catch up with good friends and occasionally spilling my sticky drink down my arm because I wasn’t paying close enough attention to it. I don’t normally present my pictures like this, but it felt right. Here they are in the order that I took them.

Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster Heat Wave | Sophster-Toaster

Glasses Warby Parker

All photos by me.