Home     About     Contact     Press     Yellow Skirt     SKETCHES

Saturday 25 April 2015

Going yin-yang in the alley

Of course I look serious - look where I am: stench alley! Would you look all comfy-cozy, ooo, why-don't-you-come-for-tea, if you were in stench alley? I think not. On top of that, I had to keep one eye on my stuff (five bars of nutritious soap made from goat dairy and grains, and new socks), one eye on traffic (although my shirt was a good substitute cone), and my third eye of loving-goodness-toward-the-universe focused serenely above this quagmire of shite (in all fairness, the alley was relatively clean).
Clearly, my style palate has been cleansed by my previous bout of minimalism. I embraced this assemblage of vitamin D whose yang-y bursts of colour found syncopated harmony in the alley's yin-y concrete squalor. This precision silhouette stance shows you the, uh, silhouette.
I fired the photographer, the traffic coning specialist*, the stylist, the garbage wrangler, and the location scout. I kept the gaffer - I'm really good at gaffes. *that's a real movie biz job, union wages
What on earth am I wearing?
  • flagrantly floral thrifted Versace pants
  • platform runners on super discount from Topshop (they don't offer so many huge discounts at my local store anymore; yup, they suck you in and then leave you high and dry, high and dry, my friends)
  • ruffled twisted citrus thrifted satiny blouse
  • magic loupe
  • thrifted shaggy green coat
  • my serious shady-day cycling sunglasses no longer used for cycling
The sun was like thin gruel off and on today, weak, beige, runny, lacking in nutrients, "Please, sir, can I have some more?" He said, "Eat your soap." Freak.

Thursday 23 April 2015

Polyvore, not to be confused with omnivore or cat

I admit it - I look a bit like a cat poised to tear around the room for no apparent reason, then bite your leg. Unlike a cat, when I tear around a room my reason is usually screamingly obvious. And forget about legs - it's your head I'd bite off.

Wearing neutrals: thrifted made-in-Italy dreamy-soft charcoal top, $5, Clarks black ballet flats, like new, $24, black crepe wool, lined Anne Klein palazzo trousers, a gift from dear and talented friend Jean of IG here and blog Dross Into Gold, and magic loupe and vintage mechanical Tissot watch from O. And a new haircut from O as well. 
Here I am running with wolves in an awkward emu style.
In these new flats, I feel like running across the veld. Instead, I loped around downtown, apron points and pant-legs flapping, startling wildlife at their watering holes. This outfit may be neutrals, but it is ineffective as stealth wear. Occasional minimalism helps me cleanse and refresh my style palate. 

A little journal sketch.

Some things I found crossing the urban veld. It's Earth Day as I write this, and I am happy (sort of)  to report that two-thirds of these found objects are organic. Obviously, any clicks on the images will yield nothing for you and me both.

Passersby often wondered what I was photographing on the sidewalk, and when I left a scene they often furtively stooped down for a closer look, like how if you look up at the sky everyone else looks up. Trying to explain what a fake Polyvore is would not have eased their confusion. I'll leave the real Polyvores to the pros who often provide inspiration for thrifting safaris.

And I'll wrap up with another tidy ensemble of: thrifted bright red shoes shown in stealth grey; thrifted black executive skirt and tuxedo blouse; gifted tie; magic loupe; retail tights. There will be no cavorting on the veld in this outfit, but you might find me later in the lodge doing bad Marlene Dietrich impressions.
That's all. Has anything in your life been making you feel cat rang-y lately? Been to any good watering holes? Bitten anyone's head off perhaps? Eating garbage...?

Sunday 19 April 2015

Big hair, big coat, little tape

I'll just throw on a little more coral lipstick and blue eye shadow before I pop down to the grocery store in my new AMC Pacer*. And shut up about the bag boy in the parking lot, will you? Can I help it if he has a crush on me? I'll have to get a move-on to get that Cheez Whiz and Ritz cracker casserole in the oven before the new Charlie's Angels comes on. (*it's a car, see end of post for details)
My "100% textured Fortrel polyester" vintage coat by Marty Gutmacher. Its hugeness almost put me off, but five bucks? For all that zig-zaggy, almost-crunchy '70s wonder? You bet! Without a lining, I also knew it would be less difficult to resize and I could wear it in the spring. These are the "after" shots, still slightly roomy but much, much better.
Meet me in the deli aisle
I'm wearing The Marty here with my wide-leg Grey Ant jeans, old black dickie (fake turtleneck), thrifted lace-up Miu Miu boots (with cheating side zips), gifted Chanel sunglasses, and magic loupe of course. This coat cried out for enormous brown hair. Luckily I have my "Tina Turner" wig for such emergencies. 

To bring this coat down to size, I redid the shoulders to sit one inch closer to the neckline on each side, and took in the body width almost six inches. I hardly cursed at all in the process. Is it because I have attained a state of sewing nirvana? No! But...

I often work on a carpeted floor where using chalk is futile, so I finally came up with the idea of using narrow painter's tape instead. WOW! I love this stuff: 
  • easily I can mark out any shape, including curves; 
  • it is highly visible, even in poor lighting; 
  • it is an excellent stitching guideline;
  • it anchors filmy fabric making it easier to make smooth cuts (at least for a non-pro); 
  • it sticks when you need it but removes easily when you're done, and;
  • the used grungy tape ball removes thread bits stuck on the floor.
Tape in action. See that 100% textured Fortrel polyester?
I also tried painter's tape when I shortened some trousers made of very lightweight crepey stretch rayon. The tape anchored the rambunctious fabric edge brilliantly for a crisp smooth cut. No freaking out! And in the future, if I want to copy an existing garment, I'll use tape to mark out the pattern. O is happy that I don't shriek so much too.
Worn with ivory silk blouse. Meh.
The bust area of the coat is still roomy (when is that not the case?) and I'd take the whole thing in even more if it didn't require time and, uh, major skills. As long as I remain a blur, no one will notice. I'd like to shorten the coat too but I think I've reached my time-investment quota.

Speaking of tape, did you know that Hugo Boss "fuses" it's ready-made men's suits together, as in hot glue? Yuck! Would you pay $800 for a fused suit? I should hope not! I would demand thread at the very least. And I hope the day is not coming when all clothing is glued together, when home sewists become home glue-ists. Or fuse-ists!
No man of mine would ever wear a glued suit
How dull life would be without dressing up and time travel. And how satisfying it is that I can wear this entire outfit for real, done so far without the wig. I'll link this up with Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. If we're lucky, the bag boy will tag along. Hehe.
I found this ad by Jean-Charles which appeared in Europe for the American Motors' Pacer. To my unsophisticated eye it appears that the woman is about to do a royal evacuation on this little American vehicle; however, the curvy derriere is supposed to mirror the revolutionary curvy design of the car. Rrright.

If you like browsing magazines but don't want to buy them, you can view countless magazines from around the world online for FREE in their original format. You name it - it's there. Go to:
issuu (
There is a search bar to find specific titles. Probably I am the last one to hear about it since I'm not on social media, but better late than never, right?

AND, SHOPPING ALERT for Vancouverites:
If you're a fan of Vancouver-based designers Obakki or JNBY, they have generously donated many of their sample and/or new old stock to My Sister's Closet (IG here) charity thrift store. Prices for these pieces are a steal, starting at around $40(!), but the shop has a wide variety of donated clothing, from newer high-end labels to vintage, with proceeds going to Battered Women's Support Services. I've found many spectacular pieces there, including this coat. 
That's all. See you next time!

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Through the looking glass

I wore this today. And below are the places it took me. Like Alice, I fell through the looking glass, or the modern day equivalent - the selfie camera lens. 
Outfit for my adventure in wonderland
My adventure started in the cafe when the barista handed me a cup of coffee, and said, "Drink it." That's odd, I thought, and when I sipped the brew it tasted freakishly like fruit and flowers, not coffee beans at all. To work off the foul taste I visited several thrift shops where I exhausted myself trying on clothes. When I got home I felt very sleepy, as though I had been drugged by a shopping and caffeine high. Then, as I was taking my outfit selfie, I fell into a deep nap.
Journal sketch of Turnip Head
When I woke up I discovered I had grown into a 6-inch-high two-dimensional card person, and was now in a strange land of artwork populated by turnip-headed people and other bizarre creatures. I realized with a fright that my frump shoes were not the least bit appropriate to navigate a terrain of muppets and sequins.
Oil pastel/acrylic, 31" x 30", "Camping at Square Fish Lake" (sequins as top and turf)
Suddenly a woman rushed past shrieking, "Off with her head! Off with her head!" I think her name was Miz Bagg, Queen of Tarts, so-named for her sleazy behaviour, predilection for stealing pastries, and making her minions pucker up. I ran into her again later at a fantastical fashion court where she pronounced that everyone has to dress the same! Everything became curiouser and curiouser.
Acrylic, 40" x 59", "Waiter, there's a lily pond in my soup."
There were Middle-aged Kittehs who lounged in trees. Their beguiling grins and colourful claws were camouflaged by acrylic and oil pastel leaves, but I sensed their whiskers twitching and their tails flicking when I stumbled past, as if we knew each other. I also encountered a stylish wise crone called the Hatter on her way to a wedding, wearing a pink flamingo-feathered cap.
Acrylic, 59" x 59", 004
Other flat creatures, all dressed the same in fear of fashion court, were feverishly rushing around in circles muttering, I'm late, I'm late, for very important dates, whilst peering down into lighted devices clutched in their hands. Sometimes they smooshed these devices against their ears and then started talking into the air!
When the crowd caught sight of my sequins, they began dragging me toward the volcano of doom. "Guilty, guilty, guilty," they chanted. But the sound of "guilty" was simply the insistent low-battery beep of my camera, and there I was, still at home, wearing what I had put on that morning: an old sample sale stretch skirt, gorgeous black sequin top with periwinkle stripes from Shelley of Forest City Fashionista (thank you!!), black tights, frumpy mended shoes, DIY broken-wristwatch choker with velvet ribbon, gifted lava pendant, magic loupe from O. To my relief, fashion court is just a bad dream.

For this mini project, I made a 6-inch-tall T-stand cut-out of myself from a photo printed on cardstock, then positioned it on piles of clothes in front of my artwork on a computer monitor. Except for very minor edits, these photos appear as they were taken. I used a similar photo technique in shoots here and here. Ironically, these photos of the mini me provide a snapshot of the bigger me, which includes my artwork and vision. I hope you enjoyed this little adventure.
In other news...
The wee flurry of fame I had is calming down, and I'm relieved that there are no stretch marks left on my head as it begins to deflate. What a great ride. Hehe. Thanks for bearing with me.

Sunday 12 April 2015

The old grey meres...

...they ain't what they used to be, that's for sure. I ain't no mere, but I am grey and better than I used to be, or so I like to think.
I had to get my '70s groove on today so I went exploring and cracked open a Space Bag in my catacomb of clothing. Look what I found - my thrifted vintage denim jumpsuit! And just in time. I couldn't, just couldn't, go out in public without dressing on trend. Fortuitously, as a one-piece and denim, this was a double-wham trend slam, and this grey non-mere felt like kicking some serious ass (donkeys) with these lucky DIY horseshoes.*
(*Mere is French for mother. The Old Gray Mare is an American folk song about an old female horse, with the opening line "The old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." No, I would never kick a donkey or a buttocks.)
Aaah, clearing my mind of worldly detritus, noxious pollution of the body and spirit (if this fecking photo doesn't turn out I'm not fecking getting down on the floor again!), and guiding my thoughts towards endless bright plains of warmth, wonder, and generosity (and what the feck? I have my reading glasses in my hand?! for feck's sake!). Breathing in, breathing out, all glory and joy.
Wearing: old thrifted jumpsuit recently excavated, DIY-scribbled thrifted platform ankle boots, thrifted vintage embroidered wide suede belt, thrifted polyester top, thrifted lucky charm bag, magic loupe from O (not seen here). For warmth I wore my thrifted green shag coat as seen in the previous post. 
Note how wide those belt loops are, and the trompe-l'oeil effect on the boot heels make them look higher than they really are. I'm back to point, shoot, and run photography again. The first photo reminds me of a California '70s surfer, not sure why.

Today I checked out Prado, a new cafe at the corner of Hastings and Abbott. Clean. Trendy. An intimate atmosphere of upscale rusticity. Most of the hipsters there, sipping latte-'cino-whatzits in front of their pad-tablet-lapzits, were attired in their best 21st century normcore. Prices were in line with similar new, clean, trendy cafes in that neighbourhood, and my coffee, 49th Parallel grind, was satisfyingly coffee-beany. My friend Sandra joined me and we caught up on life and bolstered each other's creative pursuits. Her blog is Lens is More

Have you ever been so on trend that you're off? 
And big thank you's to:

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Almost famous, maybe. It's astounding.

Are you lookin' at me? - said in a De Niro voice from Taxi Driver
This is what I wore on Tuesday, but what I wore MONDAY was waaay more fun and high impact, and while I didn't get it on my camera (oops), it involved a vintage fringed leather vest, my DIY rockstar pants, and Miu Miu thrifted boots. Outta' my way! Where's my driver!? Where's my studio!? Who said lard!?

A man actually chased me down the block wondering who I am (really). No, he wasn't a police officer or from animal control. At least he wasn't wondering who he was either. Eyes popped, jaws dropped, children dropped their lollies and I picked them up and took them. But no photos. 

I need to think of a few snappy film noir come-back lines: "Yeah, mister, ain't cha' never seen no starry-eyed doe with tic-tac-toe painted on her fanny before?" here

Back to Tuesday. That turquoise top up there is Bob Mackie, 100% silk, $12 "as is" because the person pricing it in the thrift shop mistook the random white streaks (barely visible) for a botched wash job. Worn with: thrifted navy side-zip capris, frump shoes, colourful socks, gifted lava pendant (close up here), DIY preying mantis pendant (close-up here), vintage sunglasses, magic loupe from O. Thrifted coat.
This is MY CiTY
April 7, 2015. Vancouver, BC: The view on my daily patrol through the streets. Georgia St. heading eastbound near Burrard St. Roger that big buddy, everything A-OK. If you're coming to the July blogger meetup, you'll see this view too, although the cherry blossoms will be gone. The stately building is Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, one of the old architectural gems left standing downtown.

Below, the painted lines on the road and even the shadows seemed to point to these two beautiful women chatting quietly at the intersection of Robson/Burrard. A second later they were swallowed up by a hoard of pedestrians. The Blue Horizon Hotel is on Robson St., just a couple of blocks from here.
That's all. Thanks for the freakish yellow skirt suggestions! 
And now, guess what? It's official:
Bag and a Beret 
is one of the 
At least Nicole Kliest at WhoWhatWear thinks so. So hurrah! Party time. Where's my fermented apple juice...? I thank Nicole here because I needed to be on Facebook, which I'm not, to comment on the actual post.
The article is called: 
STYLE TIPS | 04.06.15 by Nicole Kliest 

The others on the list are: Accidental Icon, Le Lettre d'Ines, Not Dead Yet Style, Not Dressed as Lamb, Style Crone, Une Femme D'Un Certain Age. Gulp. What a huge honour it is to be included among these formidable women. If you're a new follower, hello! And thanks, Patti (Not Dead Yet Style), for including a photo of me taken by Nalidsa Sukprasent on your Facebook page. 
Today's outfit, Wednesday: thrifted maxi robe, which I drastically downsized, but it still has 90 buttons! Previously worn here unresized. I had a wonderful chat with a man who commented on my style today. Hi! in case you stop by. He has worn black pants and a white shirt for years and years, today as well, but he certainly has an arresting personality.
(If I smile, it will spoil the bad-assery of the shades.)

Hoping you're all having a stellar week!

Sunday 5 April 2015

Rain. Big shoes. Umbrella. Blur.

Day 1, above: Light rain. Big wind. Coffee. Hot cross bun. Umbrella. And shoes high enough to keep my feet out of the water - although there were no puddles yet. This is exactly how I looked when I got home, complete with the dregs of real coffee in my cup, satisfyingly non-fruity. 
Except for the flash-frozen shot, these are stills from a video clip. Wind is motion, clothing in chaos. With rain it brings on a Mr. Bean jig with juggling and swearing. There was no way I could hold still for a self-timer beep beep beep and static snap after that slapstick trip home. The robe is reversible and flaps brilliantly, which is a treat when it's sunny and breezy. In rain and high wind? Not so much. Still, it was worth the wear.
Day 2, above: More video stills. The blur of the mood I'm in spits on photo quality. 
This is me on the runway. I suppose it's called a runway because if anyone gets in the way they get run over. Mine is in the garbage room atelier, and with no traffic I won't be making sudden stops, although my brake pads are in top shape; my hydraulics, on the other hand, could use a top-up, and minor body work wouldn't hurt either.
A while ago I took in the waist of these palazzo pants about three sizes for a smart fit, then this morning I ripped the new seam out. Feck smart; hip-slung style gives me 'tude. That black and white photo is looking slightly Nosferatu-ish. Good thing I had my hot cross bun on Friday. 

I heading over to Patti's Not Dead Yet Style, Visible Monday. I'll probably see you there.

PS I have the Freakish Yellow Skirt. I've had her for a while now and have been wondering what's next other than an Official Update post. Any ideas? I think I'll probably send her out again. She is magnificent!!

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Fake life imitates art in a fake life, and Hat Attack! Second try...

Oops, I deleted my whole post by mistake. So... 
Wearing thrifted mustard muppet coat, thrifted hard-worn tie-dyed cotton top, thrifted stretch tartan skinny jeans, black glitter platform shoes, thrifted silk scarf. Kitty is wearing whatever he likes. I don't remember what caused the disruption (yeah, because I have a new one) - probably a screaming child - but I do remember tearing down the highway in Kitty's red Bugatti before we hightailed it back to Carnegie Hall for his concert. Good times, friends.
Hello harlots - Today I unveil the newest trend which I, moi, have created in my genius-infected brain. Since my fired incompetent assistant Enid is locked in VOGOFF's closet, she pathetically failed to escape and restock my hair products. What choice did I have but to hang upside-down for this photo to achieve hair volume? The Boys are on their way over with the inversion harness on wheels, a hoist, and a truck to take me shopping. I call this "Eco Hair" - volume without the mess. When I think of all nature's precious and usually cute creatures I am saving by hanging upside-down and not using nasty, vile hair products I shudder and a tear escapes my eye and rolls into my eyebrow. My processional route is sterilized in advance but you unfortunates can use Eco Hair to sweep your floors and those little pennies that get stuck in your tangles may help you with the groceries. Poor dears. Ba-bye! Miz Bagg, Your Bagness.
I thought it would be fun to imitate Anne's awesome sketch of Miz Bagg that she posted at Spy Girl so I hung upside down off the table because, seriously, I didn't want to put product in my hair. Not comfortable - product or pose! I had to run and fling on a 10-sec timer. My sunglasses, the biggest pair I have, kept falling up over my forehead - not a usual problem. The dress, though, is divine, a thrifted maxi, made in France, wool/mohair blend with sparkly gold-thread serging and an elegant hoodie hanging up by my ear. I am using the hoodie as a poor excuse to join Judith's Hat Attack 21 at Style Crone. Thanks, Judith!
The view from my coffee shop, one of Vancouver's most upscale clothing department stores, Holt Renfrew:
"ARE YOU AN CON: Legendary moments await." I thought, what an interesting campaign, even though they got the "an" wrong, until I realized that the "I" was concealed by the light post. Boring after all.
So my upside-down photo is life imitating my fake life imitating art imitating Anne's fake life in her fake journal. I love the fake journal project Anne does, and how thrilled I was to see that she had incorporated Her Supreme Betchness in her story of Enid. Thank you, Anne. You have revived Miz Bagg! I look forward to more of Enid's adventures. Tee hee.
And - "What? More jeans? Stop! Stop already!" Blame it on the runners. I have been enjoying the fleet-footed freedom of these shoes, the knowledge that I could bolt at the drop of a chocolate - to catch it before it hits the ground. The words alone - sneakers, runners - conjure up dusty playgrounds, monkey bars and squeaks on gym floors.

These are my thrifted black jeans, $5, thrifted black blazer that fits like a glove, $5, thrifted man's shirt, more than $5, scribbled-on thrifted sneakers, colourful Harlequin socks, retail, and of course my magic loupe from O. A neighbour said I looked boyish in this. Coltish is good too. Not to be confused with the old grey mare. Or mutton. Or any other farm animal. Although I am good at bull.

Thanks for all your comments in my last post about IG. Lots to think about. Also, I'm not ready to give up on blogging.

PS If you have published and then accidentally lost a post, search for it online and you will find the cache that you can copy. Whew!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...