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Sophisticated Craft

The Manifesto of Style as set out in Style Statement: Live By Your Own Design resonates with me. Its prime directive, "Communicate who you are in all you do," is well-aligned with my desires and goals, and a Style Statement seemed like a great lens through which to focus "who I am" in "all I do".

But despite twenty hours of engrossed effort answering the Style Statement</a> workbook questions, I wasn't getting it. I just couldn't seem to distill my style into two words that felt right. And your Style Statement, above all, is supposed to feel right.

So yesterday I called for help, and in less than an hour my sister, with prompts from [personal profile] ravurian and owzers, cleared it all up.

A Style Statement is made of two words. The Foundation Word captures your essence, the 80% majority of you. It's implicit--which, as I found out, probably means that others in your life can see it and articulate it more easily than you can.

The Creative Edge Word describes your outer image and expression--how you do what you do. It's your wings, the 20% flash of contrasting color, your booster fuel.

My answers to the exercise questions had landed me in the general neighborhood of "restrained, refined, structured, constructed", but none of those really hit the Foundation Word bullseye. And I was completely stuck for my second word.

The problem was comfort. "Comfort" and "comfortable" and "easy" and "warm" appear a dozen times in my workbook answers. "At home" and "secure" and "safe" also figure heavily. I got really hung up on the apparent opposition between this all-important feeling and the "restrained/refined/structured" idea.

It finally dawned on me that "comfort" is entirely relative: everyone likes it, but we each define it according to our nature.

"Look at your sofa," the book advises. So I did. And so did my sister, who pointed out that her couch is very much more obviously comfortable than mine. I mean, I like sitting on my couch. But it's not a lying-down, lounging-around couch. It's a metropolitan couch.

An outfit of jeans and a leather jacket, posed like a person on a small sofa

The art on my walls tends toward the abstract, which I find peaceful though I know that many people find it cold.
Meditation, an abstract ink and watercolor painting by David Lochtie, 1990

I imagine that the plain lines and gray-black-white scheme of my bedroom might seem severe to some people, but I'm always feel safe and cozy there.

Low black bedroom furniture

My clothes, particularly since I've lost weight, are fitted and belted. It's the Lycra that makes them comfortable. (God, I love Lycra.)

Anne Klein black trouser suit

"Sophisticated" was the word that my sister (and owzers) chose for me, and that was all the permission I needed. One doesn't like to be boastful, so I kept mucking around in Foundation Words I liked less, and feeling dissatisfied. But if people who know me said "sophisticated," then Sophisticated it suddenly, obviously, was.

Once my Foundation word was clear, the Creative Edge word came into focus pretty quickly. I just reviewed my slide show of favorite possessions, and "craft/crafted/craftsmanship" applied to most of them (including "craft" in its sense of magical practice).

So there we have it: Sophisticated Craft. The Style Statement of DarkEmeralds.

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