about me

photo by Katrin Braga @katrinbraga

(2018 update) All the same as below except now I do public speaking and style boost consulting, and I have modeling gigs and am in commercials once in a while. Anything to keep life interesting, please. 

(2016 update) Whoa - all that talk of tingling sensations, dizzy euphoria, and belching in my previous bio (see below), I could be a fainty wench in a too-tight corset in Victorian England. Heh. 

I'm solidly in my 50s (56 at last count). I'm used to it now, at least enough to know there's no normal anymore. BAM!! - that's the sound of my rulebook hitting the trash can.

I'm Canadian. I grew up Rural but from earliest memory I longed to run away to the city - I did. Vancouver is my latest landing pad. I was weened on Motown sound, opera on CBC Radio, and the Farm Market Report. My partner O is dealing with it.

This blog is my Great Big Show and Tell. I try to mix it up - a little personal style with photos of what I wear, some humour, and some art, mostly sketches of "Turnip Head," which is a little cartoon me with kitties. 

For certain, I never let a lack of expertise block my adventures, from making videos, magazines (VOGOFF run by my outrageous alter ego Miz Bagg), and upcycled clothing, to giving off-the-wall advice. 

"Perfection comes in many levels of quality." 
(Mel Kobayashi)

And there is a Freakish Yellow Skirt launched from Vancouver flying around somewhere out there. You can follow her journey here, The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show, made possible through the many brilliant women who have fed her on the road.

I hope you have as much fun during your visit as I do mucking about with words, images, and your minds - heh. 

(I'm keeping this previous entry written in 2012 as a little diary type of thing.)

The tingling sensation of hearing a piano played like abstract expressionism, the dizzy euphoria of belching a new painting, and the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee at the start and end of each adventure - these are some of the things that make my heart sing.

Virginia Woolf wrote: "There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking." Like my art, clothes reflect (and shape) who I am, and that is what you see in Bag and a Beret. 

I often wonder what life would have been like if I had worn my hair long, had regular manicures, worn more make-up, dressed more on trend, and or had cosmetic surgery. Now in my 50s, these issues are cropping up more frequently in my work. How odd is it that it has taken all these years to wake up to the worlds of possibilities lost and still ahead. 

I live in Vancouver, Canada, with my husband, whom I refer to as "O" on Bag and a Beret.

Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you. You can contact me directly at: act like a diva (no spaces) then gmail dot com.



  1. Melanie I so enjoy your site...it is my artistic fix to visit...and then you throw fashion in the mix...the two together...bliss.

  2. Tamera, such kind words from a fashion maven. Your spreads are amazing. Thank you for that kind remark!

  3. Hi Melanie! I am happy to discover your blog by chance! It's really inspiring and beautifully written.

  4. Lady. You Rock. Can't wait to read more.

  5. Just found your blog today! Love your photos!!

  6. Found your blog today and Love it! Adore the idea of the yellow skirt freak show. Will keep on following on the wonderful idea and your blog!

  7. Waking up to opportunities -- that's what I'm noticing more and more as I move along through the decades. Its the confidence of age and I'm finding it wonderfully exciting!

  8. Hello Melanie, I just discovered your site. I LOVE your unapologetic and fun loving attitude!!! If you ever visit Montreal - I would like to invite you for coffee. You are so INTERESTING!

  9. I would like to use some of your photos in my blog -is ot possible ? Off course, if you agree. Your stylizations are amazing, Greetings

  10. Melanie. I just happened upon your blog by chance. Rarely has anything made me laugh out loud in utter delight. Thank you for sharing your humour and style. I will certainly become a regular here!

  11. First time visitor to your site via 40plusstyle. You are a delight. Fearless and I love it. Thanks and I'll be back again.

  12. Oh, I love to see what you are up to, each time I stop by to visit your site. Please read this in an affectionate tone, as it is truly meant that way. "Honey, you are not put together right." In the southern United States, we reserve that high accolade for those who are courageous enough to expose their true selves to the world, and not hide behind either a mountain of big hair or the ubiquitous blue blazer and khaki trousers.

  13. I am stealing that! "Perfection comes in many levels of quality" hahahahahahaha! Of course I'll put your name beside it.


  14. Yes, this reflects the Melanie of 2016 - a little more wackadaisical and an possessor of CARDS.

  15. I'm not sure how your blog has eluded me for so long, but I'm oh-so-happy I stumbled upon it. #goals in every way. Kudos!


  16. This is so much fun to follow your evolution from your first "about me" post to this more recent one. You've got the chops and the style to be where you are, and it is a thing I admire greatly. Your eloquence is clearly spelled out in what you wear, how you turn a phrase, and your lively self-effacing humor that gives your blog it's sizzle!

    As I am solidly leaving my 50's, I can relate to how you grew up. I am a midwestern girl who knew at age 8 that I would live and thrive in NYC.

    I also love your quote about perfection ! TIpping my beret to you.
    Elle @



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