Saturday, 22 April 2017

Monochrome with quirk, and ACTION!

The sun was blazing at 14C (57.2F) when I prepared to go for my inspiration walk. So what did I wear to celebrate? An austere black and white outfit. Hahaha!! Plus thick black tights and brown lace-up booties. I must be damaged - although I quite liked this.

Me: "Good morning, Madam. I'm applying for either of your posted positions: unsmiling high-fashion snob or strict matron of all sorts. I excel at the stupefaction pose and thrashings with gluten-free wet noodles." 

Vintage designer Pancaldi & B silk skirt, made in Italy.
I had to restitch the hem before I went out. It took forever!

Are you alarmed by this dour presentation? At least I've unwittingly maintained a semblance of quirk by mitten-clipping my collar into an erect position and carrying my favourite toolbox handbag, a gift from my partner O. We have the ideal relationship - he takes the tool; I take the case.
[Edit: A mitten clip is a band of elastic the size of a bandaid with a suspender (braces) clip at each end, one to clip to the mitten, one to the coat sleeve, although I use them for many applications. See here. Mine are a bit different.]
I've had strangers ask me if I carry poker chips in there. Or a gun. Well, the only chips you'd find would be BBQ or Sriracha, although I'd have to crush the bag to fit it in the case. I sometimes crushed chips as a child reasoning that it would prolong the chip-eating experience. It did - although it made for particularly crunchy sleeping bags during camp-outs with girlfriends in the backyard. Chips were special - seldom allowed in my home - and each crumb had to count.


I've done no gun-packing with this case (illegal in Canada), but I have elastics in there, which in the hands of O are pretty lethal for flies and mosquitoes when he employs his rapid-fire shooting technique. I have witnessed the carnage first-hand.

There's no question that I'd rather project the image of a gambler or hit woman than a fashion elite or humourless matron. I don't think I've ever met a hit man, although if I had I think the key would be not to know it. I saw a bloody gangster type once in Emergency, surrounded by police, waiting to have the tazer barb removed from his chest. He kept flirting with me, yelling, "Hey, blondie." I still wouldn't have answered if he yelled, "Hey, greylie." It was a surreal experience.

And the vintage graphic, double-breasted coat above really elevated the look too. It was a gift from my Fairy Thrift Sister Su. She's amazing. The coat is amazing!! Always my thanks fly out to her when I wear this. The lining is silky bright red.


A closeup of the toolbox handbag. What's inside? Let's have a look: my red journal/sketch book, reading glasses, special ceramic-tip roller-ball pen, change purse, face mask, three tissue packs, bandaids and crumpled wrappers, a whack-ton of safety pins (I've been looking for those!), a wood coffee stir stick that O sketched on, and old receipts. There are elastics in there too.

In other news...

I've made another video, an introduction to my YouTube channel, BagandaBeret. With 40(!) videos now I figured it was time for some tiny effort, so I created a header image and About section (there's a new fact in there about me). Now, in theory, new visitors and non-subscribers will see this video as the channel welcome.

People say video is the future. I'm not convinced with regards to bloggers, but I feel ready if it is.

WELCOME TO MY CHANNEL!

This assemblage of clips conveys the Bag and a Beret flavour, not BBQ - maybe Fully Dressed with a touch of Dill Pickle? I welcome all new subscribers of course! (Fully Dressed and Dill Pickle are chip flavours) [Edit: I just changed the video to make it shorter.]
I love making videos and asking friends to join in. In the one I did with Shelley, she came up with the choreography, heh; another was based on a blog post by Suzanne, and another on a story idea she had. Everyone involved chips in with good ideas, acting, and/or filming: Sue, Sheila, L, Vancouver Barbara...so many of you, and I tease out something coherent in the end, or try to. Of course it all started with Sandra of Standard Deviations and our style parkouring around the city some years ago.

Probably what I like most is producing, directing, and editing, if it can be called that at this stage. I'm comfortable "acting" when it's a friend or Dick (my tripod) behind the lens, but the greatest challenge is setting up and filming scenes on the fly, in public, ultra-quick, almost like guerrilla film-making, and then marrying them with my vision of how the finished piece should look/feel. It's raw and real, like VOGOFF magazine, a reaction to the highly-slick, highly-funded, highly-controlled, highly-manipulative advertising shoved in our faces every day. I'm grateful to have friends who help me play in this medium. Thank you!

Now I'm exhausted. Did you notice my hair? Slightly pouffed up on top with sculpted bangs and wisps on the side. I like it. And my almost-black Poe lipstick.


That's all for this week.

Naturally I'll link up to party-gal Patti at Visible Monday on her blog Not Dead Yet Style and Catherine at #iwillwearwhatilike on her blog Not Dressed as Lamb. And congrats to Catherine for her big UK Blogger of the Year Award. Three cheers for over-40 bloggers!

Have you ever made videos? Moving images with sound have opened up new realms of creative expression - I sense an immediate connection with the grassroots enthusiasm that comes from bloggers, especially women over 40. Do you believe that videos are the future? Thoughts?

PS. I didn't get a callback to the audition, as expected, but I'm raring to go to another audition next year. Hahaha!! Thank you all for your best wishes on that though.


47 comments:

  1. Your "welcome" video is perfect! Such a wild ride. It reminded me of those photo collages from Margarita Dittborn. A snap shot into the mind of a creative soul.

    I agree that you are excellent at video. It requires so many creative talents, all of which you possess. Yes...you can pay me when you see me next. I'll take two packs of chips Sea Salt & Sweet Chilli but please, please...do not crush them! Oh...and a million dollars. No elastic bands or face masks.

    Is that face mask for when you rob the bank with your elastics? "Nobody move or someone'll get an elastic in the eye!"

    The best thing about you? You are always full of surprises and never ever boring. No chip payment required.

    bisous
    Suzanne


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    1. No, Suzanne, I didn't say I was excellent at videos. You did. Hahaha. And I know you are just buttering me up for your million dollars. The best I can manage is the chips, if I don't eat them first.

      The face mask, heh, I'm not sure why that was in there. Maybe from when I went to the clinic last time during flu season...? There are no robberies on our schedule but I'm sure there will be a few insect take-downs.

      You are never boring either. That's why we get on so well. I won't crush your chips.

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  2. I love that coat, Melanie. And to answer your question...no, I've never tried video. Not as an alternative to blogging. I feel like I'm just beginning to be comfortable with the writing and photography for that. Video is beyond me at the moment. Well, except for taking short videos with my phone when my husband and I travel. Some of the roads we drove in Argentina this year were so crazy that I filmed short segments so we can watch them again and feel like we are still there. Posted a few on IG and included a couple in blog posts... but definitely not ready for anything more challenging than that. But... I'll bet it's a ton of fun (and work.)
    Btw...what is "mitten clipping??"

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    1. Yes, it's a mighty coat. Su surprised me with that one.

      I can see how filming by phone would be so easy and effective at capturing memories. I must have a look at your posted footage.

      You are right: the actual filming part is really nothing compared to the time I put into editing. My video style is not the future either - arty, surreal, fictional - but it's possible I'll add to my repertoire at some point.

      Mitten clips: They are a bandaid-sized piece of elastic with a suspender clip on each end; one end clips to the mitten, the other to your coat sleeve. I use them to hike long garments, create balloon effects around a hemline, hold up a collar, tighten an oversized jacket...etc. You get the idea.

      Thanks for your comment, Susan.

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  3. So oooooo many things to comment on came into my head as I watched this! I hope I remember them all!! Number 1, what is a mitten clip? Whatever it is, I want one!! Number 2, Su is fab!! What an ace coat!!
    3. YEEEEEES, I was the same with chips (crisps!)- my Mum would rarely allow them so I always crushed them for the maximum amount of time enjoying crisps. Also, if you had to offer the bag to someone, then the chances of them stealing the huge Alpha Crisp were more remote as it's harder to grab a pinch full of crumbs!!

    4. I've never tired dill pickle flavoured crisps-please remedy this fact!
    5. I LOVE your welcome video! It's so bloomin original, eccentric, fun and different. You don't take yourself too seriously and enjoy people thinking you're slightly loony which I adore!!
    6. Your hair looks lovely! I still think you are the female version of the current Dr Who!
    7. I've not made videos except once I recorded a video got BLOG every day in November and recorded ask my silly unusual talents such as being able to play tunes equine glasses or use a mug a musical instrument (I think i was taking Mick out way were asked blog!). sadly, I never uploaded it do the world is an emptier place!!!

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    1. I put a link to what a mitten clip is in the post. That will clear it up; basically, it's a clip to keep your mittens attached to your coat sleeve, in theory. Hahaha - the Alpha Chip! - I so know what you mean! Chips were like gold bullion. I can't believe you don't have dill pickle. I'm glad you like the video - it's an acquired taste. Heh. Too bad we missed your video debut. I like to see people in motion. Thanks, Kezzie, for all this amazing feedback!

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  4. Whack-ton is going to feature heavily in my vocabulary this week, what a fabularse expression!
    That mac is a dream, what a fantastic chazza hunting mate you've cultivated there. What lies beneath looks super cool with the goth lippie and pouffed hair but i don't envy you sewing that hem - that's a job for a staple gun.
    Years ago another blogger interviewed me on her You Tube channel and I've never watched it, I can't bear to see (and particularly hear myself) in action. xxx

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    1. Whack-ton just flew out of my mouth one day and it's one of my favourite expressions now too. Hahaha - staple gun. I have a industrial type one that will do the trick very well next time. I hate seeing myself in action too, but now I'm used to that queasy feeling. xox

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  5. You are absolutely refining your personal style into something truly special, Melanie. I adore that coat! And I truly envy your abilities in front of a camera and in the editing of your hilarious, surreal and inventive videos. Two thumbs up and very big hugs!

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    1. Oh, Louisa, thank you for this positive feedback! Very big hugs back to you. xo

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  6. If I didn't know you, and stumbled upon your YouTube Channel, I would subscribe lickety split! As much as I love your still photos (the dreamy one of you on the stairs is lovely), I do think there is something about videos that bring out ALL the amazingness of you. The only video I've ever made is the one with you, but it inspired me to want to do more.

    I've had a crush on that coat since Sue gifted it to you.

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    1. That's the best compliment, Shelley, that you would join my YouTube. Not so many people watch videos but they are the most challenging and rewarding thing to put together. I saw you in another video in your visit with Judith and Suzanne. Hahaha! I loved it. Please make more!!! xox

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  7. You are a brilliant videographer! They capture even more of your awesome-ness, and you've had terrific supporting players. Your tripod is named Dick, I die from happiness. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. I love making videos and I learn new stuff all the time. I don't care that they are glossy and perfect. I often puke at perfection, if you know what I mean. Heh. My tripod is Dick, but I'm not Jane. I'm more like Spot. Thanks, Patti! xox

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    2. Amendment: "...that they are NOT glossy and perfect." Hahaha. (slip of the Freud there)

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  8. I have a special fondness for black and white so the coat is a given-I love it. As far a video; i worked a bit with stop motion animation for my masters, but have never done anything that didn't involve clay characters. Your "introduction" was joy to watch.

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    1. That's so cool that you worked with claymation (is that a word?). I'm not surprised with your intensive art background. Thanks for visiting and your comment. xo

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  9. I have met that coat in person, and I should have ripped it off your shoulders when I had the chance! It's so fabulous. I have never made a video, unless you count my vertigo-inducing ones of my cats (before most of them died).

    In summary, you are awesome, as are dill pickle chips. I want some right now.

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    1. Never, never will you pry this coat from my cold, clammy hands. Hahaha! But you have quite a few pry-worthy ones yourself. I could go for my ham and egg chips right now. They don't make them. Why not? Martini chips? xo

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  10. I know you don't want it to usurp your hitman status, but you're so Gigi Hadid it hurts! You can't help being an off duty, street-seen supermodel - all you can do is embrace it. I can see you threatening the cane for grammar errors and the incorrect use of Oxford commas in this outfit though - until the coat! Everything, until the coat. It's marvellous. I love your vids but I can't do one because then everyone will know that I can't walk in 83% of the shoes I own. Xx

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    1. I had to look up Gigi Hadid. I live under a rock, did I tell you that? I know - strict, strict!! LMAO about your inability to walk in your shoes. All you need to do really is sit there and waggle those super-shod feet! xo

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  11. I love your outfit, Mel and the coat is the is the icing on the cake! You look gorgeous, as always.

    Mitten clips sound like an absolutely wonderful idea. Where can I buy some? I lose gloves all the time...

    Well, I've just about got to grips with blogging and photos for the blogosphere; I'm certainly not ready for video and may never be. I think for those of us that like writing, video may not be something we like as much but never say never!

    The audition people don't know what they're missing - it's their loss.

    xxx

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    1. I got my mitten clips at a local fabric store called Dressew. I'm afraid I might start a run on them. Gaaa! But they are so very convenient for many things. I totally understand what you're saying about video. It's another deal altogether, unless you are doing makeup or how-to's. But you never know. I think I didn't get the part because they DO know what they're missing. Hahaha. Thanks, Veronica. xoxo

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  12. Ooh Mel, you do look a bit dominatrix/matron-scary, but in a very good way! Love the coat.
    The world doesn't need to hear me babbling on in a video, that's for sure... xx

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    1. Right? Scary!! And it was even sunny outside. I want to hear you babble! xoxo

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  13. You are light years ahead. Yes I think videos are the future. Yes I think I have to master it too and I don't know the first thing about it. Might have to come and stay with you for a couple of months while you teach me. When I am retired. You have two years to prepare yourself and crochet me a bed spread.
    You do realize I used to look like your top picture, don't you? Minus the hip boots. I had pumps on my feet. Of course I had.
    Still love the coat.
    Didn't learn anything new about you in the About section on YouTube, but did subscribe myself to your channel.
    You are sooo creative. I bow my head.
    Greetje

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    1. Probably arty videos are not the future but THEY say videos will take over the world. I don't think I could handle that. But please do come and stay - I'll be happy to teach you all the mistakes I have mastered so well. Crochet you a bedspread? Hahaha. If you like sleeping in a big tangled ball of crappity yard, yeah, okay. I'd like to see more of your previous photos like that. I didn't know people knew about the pop star thing. I keep forgetting. Time marches on. xox

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  14. Popping into blog-land to catch up.
    And say - hello darling Mel!!
    xo

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    1. Hello, Carol!! I must get out and refresh myself on the rounds as well. xo

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  15. I think this outfit is great!
    xo
    Lynn

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  16. I can't believe you didn't get a call back - did you let them see the video? Fools they are!
    The coat is adorable, and I like the variation of hair styling here too. Thanks for being you and spreading the joy x
    Anna

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    1. Hahaha, yeah. I'm not good at doing other people yet, I've just gotten the hang of doing myself. Thanks, Anna. What a great comment. xox

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  17. love your youtube channel. I showed the intro video to my student assistant the other day and she said "that's how I want to be when I'm old" (she's 23)

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    1. LMAO about your assistant's comment. Love it! I keep forgetting I'm not, like, 12. Glad you like my YouTube channel. Thanks! xox

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  18. I don't want to burst your bubble Melanie, but even with the nice(hemmed) pleated skirt and collar modestly done up, those wonderful overlong shirt sleeves probably don't fit either the snob position or the boring matron. Ditch the boots too and you may have a chance but I hope you continue to be a fabulous failure at these roles! And that coat! Wow! Congratulations on your own Channel, look forward to your ratings surpassing all the other rubbish channels around. xx

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    1. I shall try to live up to being a failure. Hahaha!! According to the terms here, at any rate. My videos are not in the Top 10, or Top 1,000,000 or Top 10 million yet. But I shall persevere. Thanks for this comment, Elizabeth. xox

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  19. ooo, you're scary cool now. like school dominmatrix. or first wave woman sufferajeti. and you can carry your ER sewing kit with. ubercool. stupid hollywood missed out, maybe next time they'll see the light. don't leave us totally for futurevideoworld, leave us snippetvids amoungst the blogtextural landscape. K? xoxox

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    1. Are you kidding? If I left you for futurevideoworld I'd be all alone. Hahaha. Many of my videos are, shall we say, not prime time. I'd need a whole personality makeover to make it there. But I'll have fun with what I've got. Thanks, Pao! xox

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  20. Oh wow, your videos are so much fun and I LOVE every single one! you are just too awesome... the one with you in the blue dress eating chips, and when you suddenly turn to look sideways at the camera? it still cracks me up, every single time I watch it! and of course you're killing it in the style stakes!

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    1. That's quite a compliment coming from you, Carolyn - you are a video SUPER STAR!! And you've only made a couple of them. I watched with rapt attention too. I hope you make more. Thanks so much for your positive feedback. I really appreciate it. xox

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  21. Love these looks so much. <333 That pleated skirt is everything and the monochromatic coat is what dreams are made of. Well done, as always!

    - Anna

    www.melodicthriftychic.com

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  22. I already commented on this post at least 3 times and to my total frustration none of them made it through the gorks and gonks of the bloggosphere. For some reason, freshening/updating my Google account has left me with an "unknown" designation. Hi Mel, it's me Jude Gramith.
    This is quite a post. Anyone who can run the gamet of subjects from crushed pickle chips, mitten clips and sketching on swizzle sticks while wearing black and white stylings that suggest matron dominatrix should be applauded for their Clockwork Orange moodiness. You made me forget that Donald Trump is the president for a minute. Thanks!!!!

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  23. All photos are fab!!!! I'm very excited about your video direction. I think this is perfect for you! I like the guerrilla approach, and look forward to more!

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  24. I don't know if videos are the wave of the future but I do enjoy yours thoroughly. In my youth I made some wacky videos with friends--those are the best, really. Combined with the memories being made, the creative energy of a group of gals being silly is almost enough to set off a nuclear reaction. But it has been SO LONG since I made any videos that I feel a bit lost at the thought of it. What do you use to edit your videos?

    - Sherry
    www.petiteover40.com

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  25. So excited to see you're doing more videos, Mel. I still can't get over that hilarious country chimpmunk thing. god that's funny. Jen (ex-Baxter Street, now girlandduck.com)

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  26. What was the country chipmunk thing???!! I want to see that!
    From Jude

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