Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Future Has a Checkered Past

Ok, FINALLY feeling some holiday spirit! It could have been that eggnog latte I sipped at the Starbuck's kiosk in Target a couple of days ago, the  piped in holiday tunes at Fringe, or the dry chill that's been lacing the Sacramento night air as of late, but I am feeling a bit Xmas-y at last. This doesn't mean I've got a lick of ornaments dangling at the homestead, but I'm thinking maybe I find me some ugly Christmas sweater to parade around in and go a'caroling.  Whatever the reason this season, somehow a bit of Christmas cheered, and I'm now wanting to deck the halls and fa-la-la all the way to Bethlehem. Or the North Pole. Whichever one is closer. 

Happy Holidays, friends!

Monday, December 19, 2011

citizen VEGAN, now at Never Felt Better

Sacramento's Vegan lifestyle shop, Never Felt Better now carries Citizen Rosebud's line of vegan-friendly vintage

This weekend marked the launch of Citizen VEGAN, my new vegan-friendly line of vintage and pre-loved clothing. I am stoked to be doing this in collaboration with the fine folks at Never Felt Better, Sacramento's premier Vegan lifestyle shop in Midtown, California. Never Felt Better sells animal friendly products including clothing, and accessories, books, body care and a growing section of edibles. What I love about the Never Felt Better Vegan Shop is that it is more than a mere shop, 

Friday, December 16, 2011


Maxi, to the Max: This dress is the second of three that I now proudly possess, thanks to the generous nature of my dear amiga, Idalia. This robe/lounge dress/morsel of fabulousity is straight out of the 1960's and its is strangely very snuggly. The terry cloth top and quilted floral skirt were quite comfy and kept me warm on a biting December day. I think I'm definitely changing my mind about maxi dresses. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

outfit post: Double Pin-Striped & the LBD

"The part of me that never changes bears witness to the parts of me that do. Being true to myself means accepting the rhythm of the novelty + the obsolete,  and trusting that my true self  will bear out in every adventure and glacier of movement."   -Bella Q
The LBD: the basic little black dress in a classic silhouette can be the starting point to express your true individual style.
Classic styling doesn't have to be boring. I find that you can express your truest individual style when you forgo the trends and focus on classic clothing and design. Take the eternally chic LBD, or Little Black Dress. This classic staple is a must-have for any girl worth her fashion salt. In my recent love of pattern mixing, I feel that I've neglected this quiet closet jewel, but I am here to show that a classically cut LBD is guaranteed to make your star shine, day or night. 

In fact, if I were to showcase a look that represented the "real" Bella Q, this little number would top the list. This is something that I could have easily have worn in my early 20's,

Friday, December 9, 2011

outfit post: Maximum Rosebud

Sometimes it doesn't take much to feel like a million bucks.

A couple of months ago, my friend Idalia gave me a rack of vintage clothing. It was her way of showing her support in my venture; she was moving out of town, and said she'd rather me get some use out of her donations then pay for storage.   She gave me a great collection of mostly vintage 1960's and '70's polyester pieces, which I don't normally wear, but there were so many cute and charming shirts and dresses, some of them just found their way into my wardrobe. Without Idalia's gift, I NEVER would have considered wearing a maxi dress, and here I am, rocking it loud and proud in a bright floral number. In fact, I now have 3 long dresses to wear this winter, 3 adorable frocks that I wouldn't have considered wearing on my own.
This dress fit me perfectly. It's a late 1960's frock, and I love the back built in train. The fabric is quite breathable, and the dress is so comfortable. Making it even more endearing, is the fact that it reminds me of something dear Helga or Vix or Sarah might wear. So, Helga, Vix and Misfit Sarah: this 'bud's for YOU.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Heather Fonseca: Doll Designer vs Personal Style Blogger

 It was sometime last year that I first became aware of Heather Fonseca. She was doll designer from Los Angeles, and had a design blog but began frequenting and commenting on many of my favorite personal style blogs. Her blog was mostly about design, but soon she started posting street style pics and outfit posts.  Originally her self named blog was exclusively about design, particularly doll design but as she fell into the world of personal style bloggers she started sharing her own passion for fashion, and her own personal style. Last April, Heather decided to spin-off these interests into a blog of its own, and The Style Confessions was born. It started out strong with a clean blog design, and thoughtful, well written posts. The Style Confessions is most definitely on my must read list.

Heather and I posing together when we met for the first time last summer.
Since she has been a keen supporter of me in my endeavors, and is now one of my sponsors, I asked Heather to share the differences of her doll design website and blog, and her personal style blog. Since we all blog for different reasons, I was curious to hear about the motivations a blogger has when writing more than one blog. Heather explains the differences between her professional and her personal style blog:

Design Blog vs. Personal Style Blog promotes my freelance fashion doll design business by displaying my portfolio of designs to potential clients.  The blog on the site is meant to present me as a dynamic, creative designer with a great interest in fashion illustration and doll design. 
Heather shares her love of doll design on
According to just about everything I’ve read about blogging you should present yourself as an expert in your field.  To do this you write interesting, meaty articles about issues affecting your industry.  So last year I wrote an article for my design blog about a very cute new doll that had many of the same features as a competitor’s product.  I wondered out-loud if they might have copied the concept. Almost immediately I received a number of e-mails from friends in the toy industry begging me to take down the post before someone saw it. I altered the post, and now keep my articles on the positive and fluffy side.

The problem with writing fluff is that it’s boring.  After my attempt at addressing important topics failed I found myself facing a really bad case of blogger’s block. Although I still have a blog incorporated into my on-line portfolio I only post about once a month. I now focus on sharing new drawings when I have time to work on them. (Because the work I do for my clients is confidential I cannot post any of my current projects until they arrive on shelf.) Every so often I’ll write a light and positive article on the subject of dolls, toys or fashion illustration.
The early part of 2011 found me grappling with a design blog that still hadn’t found its voice. Meanwhile I was becoming more and more fascinated with fashion blogs, especially the one’s that showed off the author’s own style with outfit posts.  Pretty soon I started posting my own outfits on my design blog. I realized that this kind of personal expression needed it’s own home so in March of 2012 I created my first fashion blog.
"I view fashion as a designer, as a woman AND as a blogger." 
TheStyle Confessions™ started as a way for me to express my personal style, creativity and interest in fashion. But as I posted photographs of my outfits I realized that I wanted to do more than just show off my wardrobe, I wanted to inspire other women to feel beautiful and sexy and glamorous too.
Now as I’m creating new posts I think about how the photos or text might inspire my readers. My friends tell me they’re trying out clothing that they normally would never have considered because of something they saw on my blog, so perhaps it’s working.

Heather in an early Film Noir inspired outfit post from The Style Confessions
My favorite fashion blogs are the most personal ones.  I enjoy the glimpse into another person’s mind, closet and personal style. I know the author is only showing me an edited version of her life, but the feeling that I’m seeing how a real woman dresses and lives in her clothing gives me an appreciation for her styling choices and current fashion trends that I have never gotten out of a fashion magazine. Many fashion blogs are a lot like mainstream magazines as the models are very young women. I enjoy them regardless of the age of the blogger, but I still feel more mature women are in the minority. My goal is to create a really beautiful, elegant blog filled with gorgeous photography that will appeal to women of all ages. 

The work I do in fashion doll design requires a constant stream of new apparel ideas. I have to spot new trends and figure out how they can be worked into an outfit for a doll. The Style Confessions™, on the other hand, forces me to look at fashion as personal expression.  I look at new fashion trends and wonder how these shapes and styles will look on real women. How will we feel in this clothing? How will this style look on me? I view fashion as a designer, as a woman AND as a blogger. Seeing fashion from these different angles expands my mind and makes me a better designer. Writing a fashion blog inspires my work in a way that my design blog never did.  It truly is a creative outlet.

Heather's Design Blog:
Heather's Personal Style Blog:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Sunlight

I took these photos of my dear friend, the uber loverly Lindsay Rickman who is probably one of my favorite people ever. I love the look of the light in these photos and the way it contrasts with her dark velvet coat.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Tongues Waggin'

I think the wind brought with it, an intense push for change. And I'm not sure I like it. 

It's been an odd couple of days for me, a bit wonky, and I hope I land on my feet. To top it off, someone sent a link my way in which I discovered some not very nice things being said about me, which sort of wobbled my already awkward day. It is human nature to talk smack about people, places or things you don't like, and trust me, I am no innocent when it comes to shit talking. But man, the power of words can lynch your ego, let me tell you. Anyhoo, yesterday was full of strange stewings and unsettlings but the best thing is..... days end, and the next one always promises the possibility of better outcomes. 

Speaking of outcomes, the Karina Dress Give-Away winner is announced over at and you can find out the lucky winner of a Karina dress by clicking HERE

And if you want to help the outcome for a good cause, be sure to stop by Annimal's eBAY auction. She is selling a gorgeous vintage Zandra Rhodes gown for seed money to raise funds for her non-profit Annimal House Foundation. She posted about it (check it out, if only for her cute outfit) HERE. You can bid on the gown HERE

Have a GREAT weekend, Rosebuds!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Forget Matchy-Matchy, Just Wear What You Love

This is probably the last of my bare legs you'll be seeing for a while- it is now officially cooler Fall weather here in Sactown. I wore this outfit last week, just as the weather was losing its summer feel, but still had enough heat to run around sans tights, socks or leggings. But I am eagerly layering up. Silk snake print top (vintage Halston III) shopped from my own shop at Fringe. Over it is my weirdly charmingly tribal '70's sweater, and paired with my dark denim Ralph Lauren shorts. Nothing matches, and somehow, it all works. I think the key element was neutral on neutral and amped up prints in subtle tones. I'm loving my Freestyle leopard shooties, and the Iris Apfel styled yellow round sunglasses I recently scored at Cuff's.

There's still time to enter the Karina Dress give-away! Contest ends November 1st and the winner will be announced December 2nd. So...whatcha waiting for? Click HERE to enter for a chance to win.

Layered Looks: Jacket, Sweater and Silk Tee offer up layered warmth for a California November

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Style Made By Hand: 5 Quick Questions

Susan Tiner explores her style in her personal style blog, Style Made By Hand.

I'd like to introduce you to one of my November sponsors. Meet Susan, who blogs her personal style blog, Style Made By Hand. You'll find her on my +40 Blogroll, and most likely have seen her comments on many of your favorite blogs. She's a fellow Californian, and is currently exploring her style through various sewing projects and sharing her experiences with her readers.

5 Quick Questions

1) What's your name and what do you do? How would you describe yourself to a stranger?  

My name is Susan Tiner, and I'm a retired software engineer with a very part-time financial consulting business. As for what I'd say to a stranger, I might say that I sing in an Episcopal choir with my fiance Martin, voraciously read history, sew, blog, take care of our home (and our two tabby kitties named Brownie and Gray,) and visit with my adult son and daughter and their sweeties whenever possible. 
2) Your blog, Style Made By Hand, describes itself as a "minimalist exploring personal style through craft." By craft, I gather you mean sewing. How long have you been sewing, and how does this craft help you explore your personal style? 

I learned to sew while growing up. Family finances were constrained, limiting opportunities for new clothing purchases. Sewing provided a way to have more outfits. Once I had children, I stopped sewing for myself, and sewed exclusively for them- primarily every day clothing, but also clothes for special occastion, like ballerina and Halloween costumes. 
I stopped sewing regularly about 20 years ago, then started again this year, as part of my personal style quest. The style quest began as a self knowledge journey- I wanted to understand why I'd given up on fashion, and was dressing like an impoverished grad student.  Early on I learned that I do love clothes, but I'm frustrated with the ready-to-wear options, which often don't fit well and almost never express my style. Sewing lets me pick the pattern designs I want to work with, modify them to fit, select fabric that suits my preference for quality and design, and it's fun!

3) Has blogging had any impact on your personal life? If yes, how so? 

Most definitely. I've met so many wonderful people online, and have learned a lot from them. In writing the memoir posts on my old blog (,) I was able to write the past into perspective, and let previously painful memories stay at rest, to be at peace. As for the new blog, I don't think it would have been possible to find my style in such a short time if I hadn't had so much exposure to other bloggers writing about fashion and style. Seeing what other real women do, helps me classify information  a lot more efficiently than I could roaming through stores or reading fashion magazines. I hate shopping. And fashion magazines seem like nothing but ads with gorgeous photography. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Subtle Paisley + Small Business Saturday

SUBTLE PAISLEY. Let me ramble a bit, friends, please indulge me. I've work hard all year to tightly edit my posts, so you can read them under 2 minutes. Yeah, I'm a thoughtful gal, but today I sort of want to loosen up, + just go with it. Maybe it's to match the new scenery you see here. I've been using FRINGE as my own personal photo studio; I love the funky decor and think it fits in well with my own personal style

I think today's outfit is typical of what I would call "Rosebud Casual." I can't seem to steer away from the old timey look, and with my wool cloche hat collection now out of storage, you can expect to see more me looking like an extra from a silent movie starring Lillian Gish. NOT that any self-respecting lady of the 20's or 1930's would be traipsing about in cut-off shorts, but the thigh-high socks, the cut of the shirt and the hat, have a bit of "speak easy" to me. 

Brand new to moi, but got secondhand is this lovely like-new, vintage brown canvas "jean" jacket. I love its' paisley print! Paisley is a print I predict will be exploding on the fashion scene come spring. Bold, classic prints seem to be enjoying a trending renaissance, and I haven't seen paisley get any praise for quite some time.  So it's due. This jacket was a score from This N That Thrift & Gift, which is just down the street from Fringe; I've been stopping by there quite a bit. It's sort of dangerous for me, (you know, "shopping ban" + all.) It's an undiscovered gem here in Sacramento, so I feel like I get first pick on some great pieces.

The rose-colored glasses are part of the vast sunglasses collection available at Fringe. Sort of steam punk, doncha think? They look like they are from the turn of the last century, but are actually 1980 repro's of old timey glasses. The novelty aspect to these frames is that they completely fold up.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Namaste, Nakate

Taking Africa With Me: Bella models two pieces from the Nakate Project's new Fall Collection.
Their motto is a question: Where will you take Africa with you today? 

The Nakate Project is fashion meets philanthropy.
I've mentioned the Nakate Project before, here and in an article written for CBS Local. The people behind the Nakate Project believe that fashion is a powerful tool to change the world for the better. When you purchase and wear a Nakate piece of jewelry, you are providing funds and means for the women in the poorest villages of Africa to gain financial independence. 

So these little necklaces are doing more than just looking pretty around my neck.  Each bead, made by African women, earns them income to put food on their tables, buy medicine if needed, + pay for their children's schooling.  This Fall, the Nakate Project launched four collections, utilizing the Ugandan-made paper beads and incorporating them into fashionable, affordable jewelry pieces, many designed by local Californian + Oregonian artisans. 

To showcase the new Fall collections, Nakate teamed up with 8 bloggers for 8 weeks, each modeling different pieces from the 4 collections.   I was given two Nakate necklaces from their Fall collection, to incorporate into an outfit + share where I "take Africa with me."


Today I will take Africa with me on my early morning neighborhood stroll. Africa will come with me, when I meet some friends for coffee. Later in the afternoon, I'll take Africa with me to the market, as I pick out the locally grown produce, along with the rest of my groceries, I'll think how lucky I am to have access to fresh food and clean water. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Karina Chronicles + GIVEAWAY

I AM A WINNER! A few months ago, one of my sponsors, Karina Dresses, ran a contest on their Facebook page. They were looking to name their new blog. Lots of ladies turned in their ideas, and I did too. And you know what? My suggestion  won!

According to the blog editor, bloggeress extraordinaire Sarah Von B: if your Karina dress were a blog it would be The Karina Chronicles. Like the dresses, the blog is funny, smart, helpful + stylish.  The Karina Chronicles has a great series of interviews called women we love,  + gives you all sorts of helpful hints,  even providing piles of interesting links to help you avoid work on Fridays.  How considerate of them!  You can befriend the Karina Chronicles on Twitter or Facebook or even subscribe to the RSS feed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

outfit post: Mustard Cashmere

Looking for a good fashion investment? Think cashmere.
At last, cooler weather! While it's still sunny out, and fall weather is ridiculously mild in my part of Northern California, there is just enough chill in the air to merit a dragging out of sweaters, and donning them.  This knitted article of sunshine was a good investment over 4 years ago from J. Crew. It's a 2-ply cashmere cardigan, and it's so lightweight, soft + warm. Still in good shape I might add, for being nearly 5 years old. That doesn't surprise me as I've held on to cashmere sweaters for as long as 20 years, and they were still in decent shape. In fact a GREAT investment is VINTAGE CASHMERE: it's that old adage- "they don't make them like they used to." Vintage cashmere is better, oh yes. Something about the long belly fur on those rascally Kashmir goats. Read about the advantages HERE, HERE and HERE.
But my mustard yellow cashmere sweater is a minor character in this story.  I think the star of the show was the sweet babydoll rayon dress, which is probably a year or two old, and purchased on the cheap at gasp! Forever 21. I am NOT a big fan of F-21, and to be honest, I'm not sure I got the dress there, but it was purchased new at a fast fashion shop before I decided to ban those kind of shops. The dress is lovely, however, with its navy floral print and cut out lace back. You can see the back and  how I styled the dress last summer HERE

So I'm going to give you a little style tip. When it comes to mixing colors you can't go wrong with combining the colors of red, yellow and blue. Then throw in some secondary color:  green. Look at the outfit and see how it works? While the colors are not the bright primary hues of red, yellow and blue, the muted tone of navy, mustard yellow and bits of burgundy just "go." Then when you see how it pairs with my amazing 1950's corduroy olive green coat you will feel the magic. Go ahead, ooh and awe.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday Night's All Right for A Fight

Only there was no fight. Saturday was the opening night for the Cuff's Naked Canvas art show, and I wanted to go check it out. So I did. It was a a cold evening, and I was stoked to be able to pull out one of my wool capes and a wool sweater to wear on my bike ride to Cuffs. But the store was so warm inside, I immediately had to strip of all resemblance of cold weather wear. So this is NOT an outfit post- because the best parts of the outfit were draped over a chair most of the evening. But I WILL give you a teaser: Brown/Cream windowpane plaid CAPE, and Norwegian wool sweater. 

Let me tell you, it was cool to see my work on somebody else's walls! The show was an eclectic mix, showcasing the variety of sparkling talent living in Sacramento. Speaking of stellar, it was a most handsome crowd, and some of my favorite peeps came out. Like Kerry, Kara, my pal Mary and the most charming of creatures, Ann and Stan of Annimal House. Everyone looked deliciously lovely.
Bella in Brown (Photo credits: Kerry Dolan)
Self Portrait: Like No Place on Earth, part of the Naked Canvas show at Cuffs
Blogger Buddies! (Photo credit: Kerry Dolan)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Getting Naked

This Saturday marks the art opening for a special show at Cuffs. Cuffs, you may or may not know if arguably one of the sweetest boutiques in Sacramento, and lovely Lacadia, puts together monthly art shows for the walls of Cuffs. This month, she is curating an interesting show, featuring women of Sacramento, and I was honored to be asked to contribute. The theme was Naked Canvas, and we were to draw on clothing/textile inspiration and come up with a self portrait. So with my battery of self portraits in my pocket, I submitted one of my favorites for the exhibition. I am looking forward in seeing the other contributions as well.

Also this week is the Second Sunday Open Air Market at Fringe. I'll be selling some great stuff for $20 and under, along with some of my good blogger pals, so do stop by and shop! 
Lindsay Rickman models some great Fringe vintage. (Photo: Bella Q)
With these future events you can see I've been crazy busy all week but one of my highlights was styling and shooting a photo shoot for Fringe featuring one of my favorite models, my dear friend Lindsay. It was magical- out of 450 shots taken, only 3 or 4 were less than fantastic. I can't wait to show you some of them- in fact, there's a little sneak preview over on my Facebook page so if you want to see 'em, click HERE

And to add icing to my lovely cake, I am honored + pleased as punch to make it this week in IFB's Links Ala Mode. IFB is a great network and resource for fashion bloggers, so if you blog about fashion, click the link over on my side bar, + join!

Shorter Days of Winter

Edited by: Collette Osuna of Statements in Fashion
With shorter days of winter on their way, many of us will spend countless hours wrapped in a warm comfy robe, our hands nestled around a cup of hot cocoa, and stalking our favorite blogs and fashion sites. What could be better than online window shopping and thoughts of Santa’s arrival in our heads?
This weeks links showcase some awesome blog posts I’d love to read on a cold winter night.
Take some time to read about Eco friendly designers, tips for pursuing a career in fashion, jewelry tricks, DIY’s, fab bloggers over forty, and more.
Have a great weekend & stay warm!


Newly Arrived at Shopbop: Herve Leger, Nanette Lepore, Dion Lee, Twenty8Twelve, LeSportsac, Soft Joie, Gorjana, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Sonia Rykiel, Robert Rodriguez, Tory Burch, Ugg, & Halston Heritage.
If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE.