Home     About     Contact     Press     Yellow Skirt     SKETCHES

Saturday 28 December 2013

Capelet-under-cape capers

This is for Anne's 52-Pick-me-up: Holiday Ornaments and Mixed Metals at Spy Girl.

A demure school girl, I clutch my little lunchbox packed with airline drinkie bottles and leftover canapes (and nippies) squished in plastic wrap. Today on my way to class, Pole Dancing for Clergy 101, I had the above photo taken for my License To Wear (LTW) Class IV Pointed Collar Permit, having graduated from the compulsory one-month national intensive training course. Still in the learner category, I must avoid high winds and sudden spinning action for a year. 

  • thrifted vintage midi wool knit cape with Class IV pointed collar
  • awesome black lurex capelet, gift from the magnificent Curtise
  • thrifted blue lurex dress
  • retail bronze/black glitter tights
  • retail black glitter booties with vintage kimono laces (gift)
  • thrifted indigo beret
  • tool box handbag from O
  • magic loupe from O
  • thrifted long-sleeved black under-T

Did I pick you up? I picked me up! Good prompt, Anne; good timing too. I was feeling particularly shiny today with daydreams of popping nippies and cracking open baby champers under a dance hall glitter ball. Do you have an LTW or ever been caught without one?! 

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Thinking in the forest in the box

It was late and the woods woke her up. They were calling her - the elves, the gnomes, the fiery sprites.
She tiptoed through the brambles into a moonlit clearing (as much as one can tiptoe in glitter platform shoes). And dang those picker weeds, snagging her Vegas sparkle onesie all to heck.
"Okay, ya wise guys, you've got me here, now what the heck do you want?" she called into the darkness. "Don'cha know it's Christmas?" Soon critterly giggles filled the green air as her motley crew of geeks and ghouls joined her on a rotting log for eggnog toasts to another holiday got through. "I'm glad all the stores are closed," she sighed. They sighed with her as they helped pick those pickers off her divine palazzoed legs.

Now that it seems everyone is thinking outside the box, I decided to go back in, where the quiet and solitude of the vacated space set my dreams in motion. There's far too much commotion outside and I'm not convinced that the change of scenery will have the major impact those hopeful migrants counted on. I'm just glad they took the clutter with them when they left.

It's best to keep the lid open. But a lid on your head will help keep your ideas fresh. Maybe instead of moving in and out of boxes, we should all simply wear fabulous hats.

I'm a cardboard-backed cut-out, oh so two-dimensional, about 8cm (4in) tall, of my post for Mis Papelicos' Share-in-Style Christmas link-up. Other than resizing or desaturating or blurring, the camera did all the work. As it turned out, one of the pieces of scrap paper I grabbed for lining my box was dialogue ideas about colour, imagination, and freedom for warm-up exercises at one of my Painting Big workshops. 

In the first images I used printouts of shots I had taken of trees at a local park as the box lining. Spooky. The shadow cast by the cut-out creates an illusion of three dimensions in the surroundings. Uh-oh, I think O's small work is contagious!

And then below is the turtleneck I chopped off and showed you in a previous post but now with a little sausage kitty embroidered on it. Much better. 

In the box, out of the box, straddling the box?! In or out of your sphere or your mind? One thing I am sure of is that our paths usually seem to intersect at different points like a crazy spirograph life. This box project is fun but maybe I'll have a quick peek to see what's going on outside - rain no doubt. 

Make sure you get the proper amount of hydration and solids in the days to come. For those of you who had holidays from work, I hope you are enjoying them. Suit up (armour up) for BOXING DAY BLOWOUT GATECRASHER MADNESS!!!! I think I'll stay at home and play more with cardboard and paper. 

Friday 20 December 2013

Yellow Skirt Freak Show Update!! and more...

To expaond on the empaowering paowow of the 
renewal, rebellion!, reunion
reinvigorate, reconstitute, reconcile, rejoice 
reeth of life, family tree
days, oh days, of intense skirting around with 
targeted paower with 

 PAO of 

hand-shaking, skirt chasing, sketch-making, 
you must see the
magic in action
G O!   G O   N O W!!!

Pao was open for a little magic, and I think FYS, radiating with the love and creativity of all the incredible women who support the spirit of this travelling project, picked up as much new sparkle from Pao as it left behind over the few days she spent wearing the skirt among family, friends, and colleagues. Thanks, Pao, for joining the project. Pao has several wonderful posts on FYS, including some original art - make sure you see them all.

In other news...
The Middle-aged Kitteh T-shirt 
Giveaway Winner:

DRUMROLL Please: The winner is List Addict at Fur Earwig in Australia! Thanks everyone who joined. Your entry comments were priceless; I had a big laugh re-reading them while I was preparing those irritating little strips of paper for the draw. 

Speaking of giveaways...
Not long ago I won 50% off a pair of Firmoo glasses from a draw at Ariane's Style Sud-Est. They came in the mail just over a week ago and I LOVE them! Firmoo was true to their word - I got half price off everything. Living in Canada I'm always nervous that the shipping company will slam me with a $50 brokerage fee at the door. I added a slightly higher-index lens to slim the profile, but it was worth it. These are style F016.

And below, a peek at what I was wearing today. Maybe you have a good caption for it...?

Layers upon layers upon layers...all thrifted except the jeggings and socks.
  • denim jeggings with TWO pairs of socks on top 
  • insulated black booties 
  • white crocheted dress 
  • vintage lacy red slip showing through 
  • long-sleeved pink shirt under the slip 
  • DIY hacked up and embroidered white sweater 
  • on top, a chopped off turtleneck done just before I went out the door because my neck was going to be cold. There was a little hole in the turtleneck anyway. Now I will "embroider" it. 
  • shaggy green monster coat (not shown) 

It's been snowing like mad. While the snow is beautiful, I hope my favourite part of the water cycle - sublimation, the transformation of a solid directly into a gas - will kick in. Not likely. At some curbs this morning my whole foot was submerged in icy grey mush-water. But no leaks in my thrifted booties. Bwa-ha-ha! I am thankful for the little things, by golly.

Happy holidays. Happy non-holidays, too. In fact, happy normalcy. Well, maybe not REALLY normal, but whatever your particular resting smile-state happens to be: normally normal, freakishly normal, normally freakish... Time for caffeine. 

Also, thanks for the feedback about my banner-fiddling question. Good to know. 

Monday 16 December 2013

Camo wear with winter sandals

Had I known that socks with sandals were on trend I never would have worn them. I certainly wasn't going to stumble across this breathless bit of hot sandal/sock style guidance in VOGOFF, the only unfashion magazine I read which says I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. Now that I DO know, as they say, I find I don't give a flying f*ck.

I love these geta-ish sandals and today was like spring so I didn't need the bootie covers; my black knee socks sufficed. The only sandals you're likely to see in the winter in these parts are padded bedroom slippers, not to be on trend but simply because that's what one rolled out of bed in. Not judging. Not judging. But wait - gasp - bedtime onesies and sleepwear are also apparently very on trend. Oh no! I'm wearing pyjama bottoms. Have I been hitnotized?

Can you find the Melanie in this photo? This is my urban camo wear. I blend seamlessly with my environment, such as with this typical office building exterior and sidewalk in downtown Vancouver. Much like the hare turns white in winter, I start to resemble buildings. But wait! Isn't camo wear also on trend? Gaa! GAAA! Time to put on my tin foil hat. 

I know I'm invisible in this outfit, especially considering how on trend I am, but that won't stop me linking up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

satiny Oriental-style pyjama bottoms, thrifted, TREND ALERT
geta-ish sandals, retail, dirt cheap, WITH socks, TREND ALERT
camo styling, TREND ALERT
peace T-shirt, thrifted
white undershirt, retail
Sesame Street massacre coat, thrifted
pink scarf, hand-me-over
magic loupe

Mini rant: 
Do you get emails like this?: 
"You are invited to our opening of Designer X Boutique blah blah in New York City (Toronto, Omaha...)" 
For the latter, somehow they always recklessly forget to add the airline voucher that would get me there. I don't understand it because they think my blog is very unique and informative and a perfect match for their products. I understand how they would think that, considering how on trend I am. All I can say is, TRY HARDER, you guys. Next time, don't forget the tickets, okay?

Stay tuned: Next post, Freakish Yellow Skirt Update.

Friday 13 December 2013

I wore this for Mis Papelicos

Of course, I wore it for myself too. Share-in-Style: Christmas.

Nothing says Christmas more to me than glitter and sparkle.

This is what I wore in the little sketch I recently posted - my vintage red wool cape with my vintage '70s sleeveless crepe wool onesie with palazzo legs featuring side slits edged with diamond rhinestones. The slit goes as high as the metallic silver applique. My concrete stairway has never felt so glamorous. Those are also little rhinestone details at the neckline. One is missing. I don't care. I should have taken a closeup - next time. The red cape reminds me of Santa's elves.

The normals gave me a wide berth in this outfit. 

thrifted vintage '70s (maybe '60s?) evening onesie, sleeveless, with rhinestones
thrifted black wool turtleneck under the onesie
black tights with black knee socks
black glitter booties
thrifted black beret
thrifted vintage red wool cape with faux fur trim
toolbox hand bag (not shown)
magic loupe AND magic ring

While I was downtown today I bought some imagination at Sephora, a cosmetics store. Of course I walked out with a product but my fantasy is what compelled me to wait and wait and wait in an impossibly long checkout line when normally I would just leave. Most of the women in line were dressed for the Canadian outdoors in dark serviceable clothing and wore little or no makeup. I had exaggeratedly-defined brows today and red red lipstick on, and this outfit, but that's all. A little cloud of electricity buzzed overhead from our collective anticipation/exhaustion/stress. I wondered for how many of us our purchases will materialize our dreams. Personally, there's no question that the opaque eye shadow kit I bought will make me dazzling, more talented, rich, famous, and smarter.

And finally, taking a VERY short walk in this outfit. I couldn't resist showing you - it flows so wonderfully. The soundtrack is not very Christmasy, but I like it.

That's all. Hope you're not too frazzled by the holidays - they pass over me like warm chocolate syrup on ice cream. With a brief(?) stop on my hips and buttoxil area.  Cheers!

Question: I have been playing around with my banner, etc., lately, and I am wondering - when I update something like that, do you get a long list of new post notices in your readers? I hope not! Please let me know. 

Wednesday 11 December 2013

DIY summer sandals into winter booties

I realized today that imagination and frivolity are often the mother of invention.

Two weeks ago, this was my mantra: "I gotta' get some geta!" Geta are Japanese traditional footwear which look a bit like a hunk of wood with little foot-sized platforms stuck on top. Of course I didn't want REAL geta; anything high and flat would do. (Pao brilliantly calls this style of footwear flatforms.) And the next day, there they were at a retailer marked down to $20 from $120. They were mine, and I stowed them away for spring.

Meanwhile, I had been planning a DIY to make little bootie slipcovers for my summer shoes so I can wear them in the winter. Why buy new boots if I can winterize what I already have? But this DIY has been lingering on my To Do list for over a year now. 

Then today [Monday] it snowed. As I was bundling up to go out, lamenting my lack of excellence in winter bootwear and my DIY slackness, I had an epiphany: I already have booties! - the kind you slip over cleats for road biking in the winter. They are battered but why not at least try them? In a couple of minutes my problem was solved. The booties fit perfectly over my sandals and, presto!, new winter boots. Or shoots? - shoe/boots.

Felt-lined, wind-proof, and waterproof, these booties kept my tootsies nice and warm, and the elevation of the shoes kept my feet out of puddles. Made by Sugoi, the covers have little velcro tabs that fasten together on the bottom of your cleats, but in this case, the tabs were perfectly aligned to nest between the heel and the step of my sandals. The fabric has a slight stretch and there is a rear zip, edged with reflective material, to conform to the shape of your shoes, although you can see that the booties stick out at the toe from my cycling shoes - the shape reminds me of a freighter. And who doesn't want feet like freighters?

I think this look, as is, black with yellow bits, is cool/urban/post-modern ironic?, but now that I know this method works and my feet will in fact stay warm, I'll paint these booties, or at the very least use them as patterns to continue my original DIY project, now wonderfully revived. Some thigh-highs are definitely in order. While I'm at it, maybe I'll colour my boring pants as well.

Of course I'm linking these up with Bella's Shoe Shine. These are my new LOVE shoe/boot/things. They are not very glittery but they do put a spring (in this case, a clop sound, rather like a horse) in my step, plus, my previous post already had sparkly shoe action. I look forward to seeing what the rest of you are wearing. You never know when frivolity and imagination will strike.


Pao at Project Minima has been having her way with the Freakish Yellow Skirt. She is doing a multiple-wear challenge, which is still in progress, but already there has been a Sewing Rebellion! This is just an update - a proper post will appear after The Artist has realized her Magical Vision. Check out her story as it unfolds.

Monday 9 December 2013

Stardust memory shoes and socks

The torso part of this outfit is something I might wear to The Office if I had to go to such a place - but I don't, at least not today. My head and legs are celebrating with a colourful fringed shawl, my black beret, and stardust memory feet. And of course I'm carrying my tool box handbag.

There's an accurate photo of these shoes here. The sparkle reminds me of a Christmas tree.

thrifted taupe/ivory midi cardigan, love the collar and big buttons
thrifted black wool knit skirt with silky lining
thrifted fringed shawl, deal at about $5
tool box handbag, from O
studded platform shoes, retail, sale
rusty brown cable knit leggings, retail sale
black knee socks under leggings, retail
glittery gold ankle socks, retail, about 30 years ago
various layers of long-sleeve tops under the cardigan, thrifted and retail

I like switching out my backgrounds with flat graphic spaces lately, as you've seen. But nothing beats my journal sketches for instant recall of the feel of fabric against my skin and the kind of day I was having when I was wearing a particular outfit. For me, no other medium can truly compete with ink on paper.

Those are some of the journal sketches that I've done during my inspiration walks this past month; usually I colour them at home - me as the Turnip Head. 

The bottom right sketch is what I wore today. The kitty often wears things I'd wear if I had the means, especially that snowball jacket, top left. The bottom left photo is me in my red cape but some day I'll photograph what's underneath - a sleeveless black crepe wool one-piece with palazzo trouser legs slit to just above the knee and tiny diamond rhinestones edging the slits. Vintage '70s. I wore a black turtleneck, black tights, and my black platform glitter shoes with it.

This is a ring O gave me yesterday. I had no idea he was making it! Stainless steel. I think it's the perfect blend of form and materials. I'll photograph it on my hand later so you can get an idea of proportion.

Also, in case you missed it, if you want to enter my T-shirt giveaway, "middle aged kitteh," just leave a comment on my previous post letting me know you're interested. Your comments have made me laugh. Thanks, everyone. Bwa-ha-ha! You don't have to make me laugh though; just a little how-do-you-do-please-enter-me, will suffice. And please, no more offerings of children. I'll have so many I won't know what to do, I'll have to buy a giant shoe (now there's a thought...)

("Today" in this post means Sunday.)

Friday 6 December 2013

Triple flutzing, champagne swilling, and a giveaway!

My name is Vanya. I'm a champagne-swillin' figure skater from Boroslavia in the Far West. You should see my Besti squat and Biellmann spin, only on ice, and after a coupla' bottles I'm real good at the swizzle and twizzle. I slept with all the judges so I'm not worried about my scores, plus I'm the only entrant in the +50 category. Gold! I did my routine to a mix of Swan Lake and Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Lewis, and Dentabone* has already signed on as sponsor for the TV premiere of my performance. *dog treats for healthy teeth and gums

Her powerful triple Flutz takeoff launched her violently into the wintry upper atmosphere of
pre-birth snowflakes and frozen dewdrops of spent jet fuel. She knew she had won Gold.
All this without even putting on her skates. 

The vintage coat, a Robert Meshekoff Original (never heard of him before), is beyond divine and I bought it "as is," which meant there was a big flaw somewhere, in this case, a few small dark splats on the belt and front panel, which accounted for the affordable price. Imagine my happiness when I got home and the stains disappeared within seconds of delicate dabbing with water.

Cursory online investigation revealed an expired Etsy listing of a similar coat described as Russian princess-style, dated as early '60s, although this looks a bit earlier than that. I like the label: Clean by fur method only/Do not brush, press or steam. The trim is faux fur and the body is faux curly lamb, dreamy soft.

thrifted faux fur swing-style vintage winter coat in champagne
thrifted granny shoes (you can see them closeup, in action, in my Man Robe video)
black tights with thigh-high brown socks on top
thrifted houndstooth brown/ivory wool skirt with suede hem trim and waistband
thrifted putrid-green neck-bow blouse
thrifted fuzzy faux fur hat (should have worn this for Hat Attack but I didn't have this coat yet)
leather gloves, magic loupe

I had a chocolate-dipped shortbread cookie on the way home from my inspiration walk, only for fortification mind you, since scientific studies have proven that cold weather (-2C, 28.4F) burns calories at 3.8 times the normal speed, a fact which four out of five doctors will agree with if they are actors getting paid the big bucks.

AND a giveaway!

I pimped this T-shirt Wednesday night (the "AND" was too long so I tried a plus sign that just looks like a "t"). Leave me a comment saying if you would like to enter and your email address and I'll draw a name around Dec. 20. You also have to advertise and "Like" me or "Swear Undying Devotion to Me" at the Elk Lodge, the PTA, Buttbook, the Girl Guides, and in a guest appearance on Conan O'Brien (or similar comic late-night TV talk show). Send evidence.

I'll ship anywhere with an address. The shirt is 100% cotton, cap sleeves, XL, from the Gap, flat width 22", flat length 27". One size fits all I hope.

Cheers everyone. A flubbed Lutz is called a Flutz (true). A klutz is just a klutz (true). And I didn't really sleep with the judges. I didn't have to - schtellar talent schpeaks for itschelf. Oof.
I do not figure skate. I have never figure skated. I shall not figure skate. One does not need to when one has granny shoes.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Seized by layering

It's like wearing a heavily-padded cotton snowmobile suit so thick you can only walk Frankenstein-style, arms and legs like popsicle sticks, and pray you don't drop anything. I was seized up with layers. All that was missing was the pointy cone parka hood with a tassel on the tip.  It was 2C (about 35F) when I went out. Naturally I had to wear my short shorts which I had foolishly neglected to wear all summer.

These are the layers. PAY ATTENTION. You'll be tested on this later.

Of course I also had on my magic loupe and leather gloves. 
I bought the shorts extra big because I knew I'd be wearing them over pants. I got the Fiorucci capris in Tokyo more than 20 years ago, very high-waisted. The Betsey Johnson coat was almost a bargain, purchased on a whim. I shall try to avoid such weakness in the future because the quality is not very good and I know I can do better thrifting....WHICH I DID! Today. Can't wait to show you my new nicotine-coloured coat, actually, she tastes more of champagne on figure skates. 

Surely I can throw some more metaphors and similes in this post. Help me out!

I'm linking this outfit with Anne's 52 Pick-me-up: Get Layered over at Spy Girl. 
Keep cool, whether it's hot or cold. But I don't have to tell you that, do I?

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Just say no to flaccid hats

Floppy, lifeless, deflated. This hat needed help fast. Miz Bagg knew what to do.

I stuffed another soft hat in the crown to make it pop tart and regal. Thaaaat's better. Sigh.

Yes, it's been building all week, my fifth Hat Attack. Thanks, Judith, at Style Crone, for this lovely get together. I know that many of you are wearing hats designed for style first, warmth second. This one is made for warmth first, style second, but I tried to reverse the order. Why have a flat hat when you can have a towering wobbly jello hat like the kind worn in Dr. Seuss stories, especially with this lovely coat? I should be balancing wibbly skyscraping stacks of china teacups and plates in this outfit while dashing madly through the park.

Those are my thrifted Steve Madden houndstooth, ankle zip, stovepipe pants. 

This is the hat worn in my profile photo and many of you have seen it already, but I still love it. I'm wearing it inside out as well because I like the nubbly on the top.

That's all.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Yellow Skirt Freak Show Update!! and more...

NO ONE can resist playing with SNOW
the fairy Goddess who lights the way through
the woods with the Freakish Yellow Skirt
and her magic yellow lantern.
Stepping through pixie doors
sprinkling sparkles.
who knows where

Sue of

will lead us?
Spellbinding enchantment
whispered well-wishing
You must see.
G O!   G O   N O W !!!!

Magic. Sue stuns with her enchanted interpretation of the yellow skirt. Seriously you guys, I do think there is some power in this piece of yellow fabric. I can't believe how amazingly everyone is styling her. Check out her addition to the skirt too. Awesome!

And more news:

I told you I was going to get my hair decoloured, right? So if the salon gives you yellow hair, do you make lemonade? NO!!! You have a hissy fit that threatens to split the Earth wide open, spewing magma across every hemisphere in a fury so powerful that while you're at it, you create a whole new galaxy AND a black hole. Whew. (You do this at home of course, quietly, privately, in the bathroom)

I was at the hair salon for seven hours (day one 3.5 hr, day two 3.5 hr). And STILL my hair looks like straight-up dog pee and water, leaving me shaken and stirred, despite the boutique's lighting that magically erases yellow tones and the team of three professional stylists whose enthusiast trills of "Faaabulous! Perrrfect! Amaaazing!!" even started to wilt after Hour 5, which is when I began to avert my gaze from the mirror for each new reveal. On my way home, I left a sad little trail of fried hair brittle on the sidewalk in my wake. All I kept hearing in my head was rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, is that burning your head yet? (Yes)

And look, now I'm a happy woman again! Yay!  Would that be the wonky lemonade I've been drinking? Line up, ladies and gents, you'll want to try some. So long pink - hello yellow skirt, yellow hair, yellow drinks! And another emergency haircut after the colouring also helped. 

Above are photos of what I wore yesterday, after euthanizing my distressed ends. My hair has never been so damaged, it's the texture of mud pies when it's wet. You can't see the yellow in my hair much here because the green monster coat absorbs it. Those are my reading glasses purchased at the Vancouver Art Gallery Gift Store. 

Next time I'll DIY my hair, if I can't track down my former colourist (who used to do my hair perfectly at that same salon). I've never enjoyed salons anyway. Just because a salon is expensive, it doesn't mean they're good. SO, if you live in Vancouver, if you want white hair, avoid C:EHKO right now. Beige, dirty mushroom, dust colour? No problem. Their staff is friendly and they were terribly apologetic, but seven hours for colour? Even if they didn't charge me? I. Don't. Think. So!!! Call the UN!

Groggy green shag coat, thrifted
Geisha sock legwarmers, retail
DIY "Super Model" T-shirt with googly eyes that make noise when you walk
Hue brand fuzzy jeggings, retail bargain bin
and other stuff, including magic loupe from O
stretch black boots, extravagant retail purchase a few years back

I bought two pairs of Geisha socks and cut one pair at the toe end so I could wear them like this or as arm warmers.

Below, what I wore today, my Groggy coat again with real glasses, oversized cotton sweater bargain bin, wool wraparound skirt thrifted, caramel-coloured jeggings and thigh-high socks bargain bin, D&G shoes thrifted. Magic loupe from O.

Okay, I admit, I love how the yellow hair looks with this outer wear, that anime vibe. My hair also matches my pastel nicotine coat. But necessity does strange things to the mind, so does wonky lemonade. Like white balance on a camera, the yellow is really visible in certain lighting. 

I'm looking for a hat for Judith's Hat Attack. I'm glad I have a little more time left. My mad work schedule is easing ever so slightly. 

I hope bloggers in the States are having a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. I'll see you at Patti's Visible Monday. More lemonade anyone? I enjoyed our manhole party.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...