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Monday 25 June 2012

Neutrals in overdrive (or my Clint Eastwood impression)

You know how much I love pattern mixing and loud florals lately... Well on Friday I needed something calmer, something quiet but with a big stick, er, handbag. This is what I chose and what I am including in Patti's wonderful Visible Monday get together.

My expression in this photo reminds me of Clint Eastwood - "Make my day, punk," she coos as she catwalks the city streets, swinging her oversized vinyl handbag menacingly at her side. This face is close to the rocker bad-girl face I was striving for with comic results the other day. To achieve it, all I had to do was "think chic." What does that mean?!...

I had forgotten the power of this hat. It is a light-knit cotton hat, very flimsy in fact, but the brim has stiff ribbing in the brim that maintains the strict shape. It was still cool outside so I had to wear my wool wrap too. 

Details of the outfit:
  • side zip Capris, thrifted, Value Village years ago
  • wool wrap, Eatons closing sale(?), years ago
  • stretch shoe with wicked kitten heels, new several summers ago
  • large black vinyl handbag, hand-me-over
  • black oversized short-sleeved T by American Apparel, Winners years ago
  • Hermes leather wrist wrap, hand-me-over (yes, a fabulous piece)
  • black hat, I think it was new from The Bay years ago

Other News

The action painting workshop I led at Baron Gallery on Saturday was very satisfying. Everyone who joined made spectacular paintings and I am so pleased with how the day went! I returned home exhausted but with a big grin on my face. 

This is a photo of me with participant Jane Appleby and the magnificent piece she created in the workshop. You can still see signs of activity around the floor. Jane is a professional artist in Vancouver who had an urge to GO BIG. Did she ever! You can check her work here. I wanted the participants to paint my pants during the workshop as well but I forgot - next time. By the way, the talk last week went very well too, backed up by Grushenka, my magic wand, and the PowerPoint cartoons I had drawn.

Thursday 21 June 2012

My bloomin' floral dress

Summer is here! Really - today is the first day that I could go on my inspiration walk without a jacket or cardigan, although tights are still comfortable at 18C (64.4F). I wore this cheongsam-style light cotton dress on May 25 and posted the sketch here. Today I opted for my dove-blue tights instead of the mustard tights in the sketch. I also think my black beret would have grounded this look better, but I didn't care - I was craving bright red on my head. I also like the analogous smack-down between the red beret and the pink top.

Details of the outfit:
  • cheongsam-style cotton dress, Wildlife Thrift Store
  • Dorothy shoes, Hush Puppies, Value Village
  • dove-blue tights, sample sale
  • red beret, Community Thrift Store
  • pink top, sample sale
And below is what I wore to my artist talk at Baron Gallery last Saturday, minus the vest and the ankle boots, taken from my post of January 27. The day was rainy so I changed into my thrifted Dolce and Gabanna leopard-print shoes when I got indoors. While the severe pencil skirt and Grushenka, my magic wand, projected the image of a strict school teacher, my voice was much too twee to pull off that persona. Maybe next time, July 8...

My action painting workshop is on Saturday and I am fluttering around to prepare, so this is my last post till next week. See you soon!

Monday 18 June 2012

Floral pants to summon summer

When a man passing me on the sidewalk said, "Wild pants!" I should have said, "Yeah, baby, they match my wild heart," and winked. Instead I shyly laughed, "Yeah." When another guy yelled, "Great pants!" I SHOULD have shot my imaginary finger pistol and twirled it around before reholstering it with a grin and a wink and a couple of clucks like the sound you use for horses to giddy-up. Instead I quietly said, "Oh, thanks." Why, oh why, do these saucy come-backs materialize AFTER the fact?

I thrifted these gems (pants) the day I was coming home from taking photos at orchestra rehearsal in late April. I was still recovering from my cold at the time and I thought they would be good medicine. Indeed. The saleswoman in the shop assured me that they were REAL Versace - but it wasn't until she raised the point that I questioned their authenticity. Frankly, I didn't care who made them - I was in love.

This fantastic Cirque du Soleil tank has all the colours in it and my satin blouse provides a perfect neon pink ground. I tried to look like a punk in some of my photos but my expressions looked angry and bewildered. My friend also gave me a little sample jar of Product for my hair the other day which helped me achieve this case of bed head. It's an amazing substance, powder blue and stringy like candy. Instead of my hair feeling like soft grass blowing in the wind, my hair felt like gyrating stalks of broccoli. 

Details of the outfit
  • floral pants by Versace (or not), $29, a new thrift shop, forget the name
  • Cirque du Soleil tank, hand-me-over
  • pink satin blouse by Jacqueline Conoir, Wildlife Thrift Store
  • crackle brown Miu Miu boots, Wildlife Thrift Store

My main inspiration for buying these pants came from Debbi over at She Accessorizes Well. I had seen her in floral pants a while ago and they were great! I'd never worn floral pants before, so when I saw these I thought of her and bought them. Thanks, Debbi!

I am wearing this visible outfit over to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. See you all there.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Sequined maxi gown worn as day wear

Again, it was dark and dreary outside today, time for some serious sparkle therapy. I thrifted this sequined maxi dress a couple of weeks ago with the challenge of transforming it into nonchalant day wear.

The dress is comprised of a lacy sheath with filigree-like embroidery and sequin embellishments, and a matching maxi white polyester slip, both with back slits. The effect is very pretty and feminine, and in fact the dress could have been worn at one time as a wedding dress, but I needed something slightly more grounded for my inspiration walk.... Here's what I came up with, a la Mary Pickford.

To fill in the white-out and urbanize the delicacy of this dress, I decided to wear a black satin slip over the white slip. I also wore a white half-slip further down the layering hierarchy for additional coverage. And I wore a black long-sleeved boat-neck top under the slips to add more solidity and provide warmth. To finish off my outfit I wore my crackle brown Miu Miu boots. They lace up the front but cleverly have side zips. And then a denim jacket on top. The boots with the lace and black added a pinch of Goth to my look, which exactly mirrored by mood today. Grrr. I brought my wrap on my walk too in case I got too cold.

In the above photo maybe you can make out some of the sequins.

Details of the outfit:
  • stretch white sequined maxi dress with matching slip, thrifted, Wildlife Thrift Store, $15
  • black satin slip, a shop in Korea, new a long time ago
  • black tights
  • crackle brown Miu Miu boots, Wildlife Thrift Store, $10
  • black long-sleeved boat-neck top, thrifted, Value Village
  • denim jacket with glitter bits, thrifted, Value Village

The back slit above, and worn with my jacket below.


In other news...


I have been very busy these past two weeks preparing for an artist talk at Baron Gallery, where my work is being exhibited in a group show. I didn't post it before because the reserved seating was fully booked soon after the event was publicized. I would like to think it's because I'm talking that the session filled up so quickly, but the other speaker at the event is Dr. Paul Swingle, a world-renowned psychologist, former professor at Harvard and University of Ottawa, and former psychology expert at McLean Hospital in Boston. He specializes in in biofeedback and neurotherapy at his Vancouver clinic.

There will be a repeat talk on Sunday, July 8, if you will be in the Vancouver area. Again, it's by reservation only and I'm afraid it will fill quickly. 

The name of my talk is: "Unlearning How to Paint: Matters of the Heart and Mind." Dr. Swingle's talk is called "Art and the Brain." I think I'm going to wear my opera gown and my Munster shoes. I already have a magic wand; her name is Grushenka.

I'm going to speak first so I wonder what all the brains in the room will think of my work...?! I'm looking forward to it. Wish me luck. 

I am also giving a workshop called "My Big Action Painting" Workshop on June 23 at the gallery if any of you are around. You can check out the details at Baron Gallery


Monday 11 June 2012

Dizzy is the new neutral

It's Patti's Visible Monday again over at Not Dead Yet Style, her 50th Visible Monday. Congratulations, Patti! Great forum. Today's outfit, to celebrate, had me seeing double, triple, quipple.

Am I dancing or riding an imaginary scooter in that photo up there? I had a lot of positive feedback from people on the street in this Soul Train meets Spirograph apparel. Everyone's head was turned...and turned and turned until none of us could see straight - which was a refreshing way of viewing the world.

Oh no! I put my top on wrong - thank goodness. Wearing this top as a skirt is the ONLY way you'll get me in it. The cut-out on the front, or back if I twirl the top around, is cool, and the armholes are tucked up out or sight or I can wear them lower as pockets. This skirt, formerly top, also can be worn inside out.

I could have sworn I had a couple of hundred dollars in my pocket!

Details of the outfit:
  • groovy stretch turtleneck, thrifted, Wildlife Thrift Store, $8
  • skirt (originally a top), sample sale, Metallicus, $10
  • stretch ankle boots, new years ago
  • fingerless gloves, Canadian Tire, new (but with fingers when I bought them)

I also cut the foot part off a couple of black knee-socks and wore the tops of them over the tops of my ankle boots. I like the ankle knit with the knit of the fingerless gloves together.

That's all. I hope you have a fantastic week! See you at Patti's place.

Friday 8 June 2012

Outfits on the turnip head

I haven't been down to do any photography since my last post so I thought I'd share some of my journal sketches of my outfits.

I do a sketch every single day, with the very rare exception, as part of my inspiration walk. The sketches are drawn in black ink and coloured in with pencil crayons. I used to airbrush my drawings in Photoshop but now I prefer having the coloured originals in hard copy. Having to concentrate when I'm drawing and the meditative movement of colouring helps me remember the circumstances of a day better than anything else.

Outfit June 1: I did a post of myself in the above outfit here.

Outfit May 22: I'm wearing a thrifted pink-patterned skirt from Banana Republic, which is satiny soft and floaty, with my very bright teal tights and frump shoes. I will post a photo of me in the outfit sometime when it gets warmer again.

Outfit May 25: I wore this outfit when it was warm and sunny and did this sketch sitting on the patio of a favourite coffee shop. That's a cheongsam-style light cotton summer dress with bright flowers on it, worn with my mustard tights and shiny red Dorothy shoes.

Outfit May 28: This was just a little sketch but I like my animal pal - I almost always draw animals in my sketches if you hadn't noticed. I'm wearing my red satin Oriental button-closure top with a stretch black skirt and an assortment of other layers in browns and slate grey. I'm wearing my red beret here too.

Outfit May 29: This is an unusual sketch for me, no colour. I was wearing a bright gold satin boat-neck top with an off-the-shoulder shoulder seam (very cool) over a black T-shirt with a conservative slate-grey skirt, black tights, and my frump heels. I liked the outfit but the vibe in the coffee shop was monochrome. Find the animals in this one.

I just realized today that I think I have about a year's worth of sketches now. Time flies. 

Tuesday 5 June 2012

A dress for drinking moonbeams

My steps are confident as I cross the moors, my way through the mist lighted by the flickering candle in my lantern. I hear rustling in the brambles behind me. What care I? I have no time to stop, much to the fortune of those who would deter me in my mission... This is my bewitching outfit. I thrifted this tatty-black maxi muslin dress a couple of weeks ago. Today I wore it with a black poly-blend shawl I haven't worn in ages and ages, and my Ghost-on-a-Swing pendant made by a friend, last seen here. If I had gone with a more colourful accessory, this outfit would not look quite so spooky, but I like it spooky.

I must stop to drink in the inverse frequencies of colour beaming from the moon and wild heather.

Details of this outfit:
  • black maxi muslin dress, thrifted, Community Thrift Shop, $10
  • men's black leather belt, buttery soft, thrifted, Value Village
  • black boat-neck long-sleeve T under the dress, thrifted, Value Village
  • hot pink tights (you can't see them but I know they're there!)
  • stretch zip ankle boots, new years ago
  • Ghost-on-a-Swing pendant, handmade by friend (her Etsy shop is Little Lamp)
  • black shawl, I don't remember where I got it
Again, the rustling. "Identify yourself forthwith or I shall transfix you with my hypnotic beam and transmogrify you into lilies of the valley for all eternity!" Oo, scary.

And below is my journal drawing of this outfit from this morning's inspiration outing. It's not very spooky, I know, but at that particular moment I was revelling in the tattered glory of this dress and the secret pink tights underneath. I don't usually wear this kind of flouncy/frilly clothing but I enjoyed this piece. Of course, the wind made it doubly fun to wear. The great spinnaker of fabric carried me to places that I'd only dreamt of - like that coffee and muffin deal for $1.99 before 11 a.m. Sigh. Moored in reality.

I hope you are all having a great week! It's cold here.

Sunday 3 June 2012

My hot pink peignoir takes me for a walk

Wooo, I was feeling psychedelic today. Can you tell? I was on the cusp of culling this vintage Karen Millen green dress with the "England" label, but I won't now having discovered how groovy it feels paired it with this hot pink peignoir - I felt like doing the twist. There is excessive amplitude in the upper reaches of the dress and with the flare of the skirt I consider it slightly too short to wear just tights with, so I paired the dress with these riding-pant jeggings and threw on a hot pink silk top to colour block the green field. I was also hoping there would be a greater clash of pinks between the peignoir and the top, but you can't have everything.

It was windy today so the peignoir billowed and fluttered brilliantly with the lightest, feathery  swish of my hands. That feeling brings back memories of sheer curtains wafting in my bedroom on a summer evening, crickets singing, and the passing of the distant night train. 

Can you see the pink satin ribbons? This was the peignoir's inaugural outing; I'm glad it took me along. The top part of it is shirred and stretchy and has three little pink buttons.

Details of the outfit
  • vintage Karen Millen green dress, thrifted, True Value Vintage end-of-business sale, $5 (?)
  • bright pink peignoir, thrifted, Salvation Army, $10
  • bright pink silk top, hand-me-over
  • caramel riding-pant jeggings, new, Hue brand, The Bay

Here are some close-ups of the dress. I love the label. The dry-cleaner said when I brought it in, "That's a really old dress," but I don't know if he thought that was a good thing or a bad thing. I think this dress is made of lightweight wool crepe, and it has a light-green satin lining. Perhaps I subconsciously chose this "England" dress with the Empire waist to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.

I'm tired of hearing my hangers scape hard over the bar when I dig for a piece of clothing - my closet is packed. There was a time when the aubergine outfit in the previous post felt the edge of scandal. How things have changed, the result of hanging around with so many fabulous bloggers. So it's time to do a serious weeding of my wardrobe according to my new standards, which sometimes include opera gowns and peignoirs as daywear. There are too many as-yet undiscovered "favourite" pieces in the shops and not enough hours in a day to devote to "meh" clothing. Wish me luck in The Big Clean! 

Of course I'm heading over to Patti's Visible Monday. I sure felt visible in this dreamy, lava-lamp outfit. I hope I'll see you over there!

P.S. Playing squash like a worm is like playing with a racquet made from silly putty and running with noodle legs, all wibbly and ineffective. 

Friday 1 June 2012

Swinging in my '60s eggplant dress

This is not a genuine '60s dress, merely something I picked up at Winners that makes me feel very swingy Twiggy. I realized when I put this on today how seldom I buy new any more, and while this dress was about 60 percent off, if I saw it again today I probably wouldn't buy it. I love it, but I would rather spend the money at a local thrift shop.

This dress is a bit short, but when I wear it with tights I am more confident. Sometimes I wear this with my mustard tights and an aqua T underneath, but I wanted a leg colour that was a bit more subdued today. 

Next is my impression of an extra terrestrial with a ginormous head. My head is actually tiny, but I was leaning forward so you could get a better view of my fierce jewels and the detailing on the top of the dress. DON'T BE SCARED!

Details of the outfit:
  • knit dress, new on sale at Winners a few years ago
  • pink under-T worn backwards, sample sale, Metallicus
  • blue-grey tights, sample sale, Metallicus
  • pendant, $2 (?) at Wildlife Thrift Store
  • Dorothy red shoes, Hush Puppies, thrifted, Value Village (a wardrobe staple)

I am not including any standing up photos today. I like the change with the ladder.
Okay, that's all. This is my frock on a Friday. I played squash today like a worm.
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