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Friday 26 April 2019

The giant Vancouver mind-meld with friends

It's no longer a blogger meetup; it's a gathering of friends who happen to blog. That's what happens when you start to know women as well as I have come to know Suzanne Carillo, Patti, and Sherry. Sue was of course also included in our weekend, and although she is not in these photos at her request, she was part of our group, twice joining us for the day.

photo by @vancouverbarbara
Below, the excitement as my friends started arriving at Blue Horizon Hotel on Robson Street, who sponsored our stay (see previous post). Sherry and Patti came in the same taxi. How serendipitous that the bus in the background says Vancouver Community College, VCC, because I had to run down there that morning to pick up some awesome outfits that their Fashion Design & Production students had custom-made me during a collaboration. I thought they might be fun for our shoot - and they were!

Sherry wears a blue-cord overall dress that she made herself. So good!
This year we went a bit more "pro" for our photo shoot. My friend Suzy Thomas, @thasooze (IG), a career makeup artist, came to our room at Blue Horizon and did our faces. What a master! As Suzanne said, it was like a face lift with makeup. Too bad it had to wash off, but like the old samurai saying, we must appreciate the beauty of falling cherry blossoms. Or, did I just make that up?

Suzy working her magic on the already-magical Sherry.

In hindsight, we all seemed to have signature poses for the weekend. Clockwise from top-left: Suzanne, the kiss face; Mel, constantly trying to perfect my Zoolander face and FAILING - you open your mouth to simulate stupefaction, then suck in your cheeks for a high-fashion model look; Sherry, Godspell meadow sprite; Patti, '20s Broadway doyenne. 

Once our makeup was done, @vancouverbarbara (IG) joined as a photographer at the hotel, which offered a range of great locations. The newly-renovated pool and fitness area were our primary stages.

Below we are rehearsing for our new movie Pose Hard, a gripping suspense about middle-aged women on a chocolate-fueled selfie rampage through Vancouver. Madam Goochie, a friend of Sherry, was the costume designer.

photo by @vancouverbarbara
Patti is wearing an iridescent stretchy vinyl top designed and made by VCC students Armita Azadmanesh,Victoria Stephenson, and Kiera West @kierawest. The Elizabethan thick vinyl ruff collar and skirt were made by Nataly Kingsley, Cayce Vanderzalm @caycescustoms, and Shadi Arastehmanesh @shadi.arastehmanesh.arts. I'm preparing a separate post about these pieces.

More rehearsal. I'm terribly disappointed that Suzanne and Sherry aren't posing harder, harder!! Twirl, ladies! Twirl HARDER!! Feel the burn!

photo by @vancouverbarbara
I look pensive because I am riding for a cause. Invisible thought bubble: apple rhubard crisp, apple rhubard crisp, apple rhubard crisp. Yeah, Abode restaurant off the hotel lobby area had great food, especially dessert. I should have been riding that bike for real!

photo by Suzy via Sherry, I think
Suzanne fake-testing the water. The pool area was wonderful! We didn't bring our suits and weren't ready to pose in our scanties, nor was the public ready for that, so this is what you get. So very ultra-high-fashion, right? Doing something totally wrong yet so right.

Patti does a Broadway number poolside. Standing ovations from everyone, heaps of bouquets, and sworn allegiances. This is a great shot of the outfit too, but it only came to life because Patti wore it so divinely and with disciplined fortitude. She was definitely hot under the collar. (groan, heh)

photo by @vancouverbarbara
Next, me, pre-shoot, hair in clips for extra sproing. And you can see the makeup job Suzy did. Another failed Zoolander face. I'll call it Melander. 

photo by Sherry
Lounging by the poolside, as one does.

photo by @vancouverbarbara
In this next photo, Suzanne misbehaved. Some may mistakenly think she is trying to steal my shoes. No! She is trying to steal my thunder by hauling me off the deck so she can hog the spotlight! Typical. Hahaha. And I was right in the middle of my Burt Reynolds tribute medley!

photo by @vancouverbarbara

But I got my revenge on them all! Bwahahaha!!! Heh.

And secrets revealed: Patti and Sherry are royals. Shhhhh. Yes. They really don't want anyone to know, so their secret is safe here. This lobby chair was their substitute throne for the weekend. I love how they can pretend to be commoners while maintaining their blue-blood dignity and hauteur.

Sherry was highly displeased upon discovering that the shop had just painted her '63 Ferrari GTO in gumdrop green rather than the paisley print she had ordered. Patti, her royal sister (and Broadway doyenne), is tired of dealing with her whims, so bought her a helicopter coated in unpaintable 24K gold.

The Royal Portrait

My grandmother hand-made me the collar Sherry is wearing over 40 years ago, I think. This is probably only the second time it's been worn, the first time maybe for rollerskating. Definitely it will be worn more now.

And some random shots from our time together.

Many thanks to: 
  • @vancouverbarbara for her photography;
  • @thasooze Suzy for her dazzling makeup skills and photo-taking; 
  • Blue Horizon Hotel for the room they generously sponsored; 
  • Sam, Manager of My Sister's Closet eco thrift boutique for her hospitality during a thrifting expedition there; 
  • VCC for creating such amazing clothing; and 
  • my friends for coming all the way to Vancouver. 
I feel like this is an acceptance speech. Hahaha. Yeah, acceptance of how awesome everyone is and the power of positive energy. For more coverage, check out Suzanne's post here, Patti's post here, and Sherry's post here, complete with video

Have a great week, everyone. If you're one of many starting to wonder why you keep blogging, this weekend is one reason I'm still here. The connections I've made with like-minded cool people on this platform and in real life are irreplaceable. 

I'll link something up with Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday

photo by Sam, Manager at My Sister's Closet @msc_bwss (IG)


  1. Having viewed, read, delighted in, and pondered each participant's blog reflections on this recent meet up in Vancouver I have concluded that it was more than just your typical gathering of blogging buddies. It's pretty evident that this band of buddies is a bit more creative,inspired, and alive when they are together. I'm guessing that the warm reception of the Blue Horizon Hotel fueled that by adding uber comfort,freedom and appreciation.
    It's wonderful to see you having so much fun while sharing love and genuine validation of each other. That there was good dessert makes it breathtaking!! Love, Jude.

  2. It must have been like spending time with paparazzi with itchy trigger fingers, the number of shots you have!
    Such a fun creative time to play with friends...and you do it all with such glamour. Who knew a pool room would be such a great backdrop. Reflected lighting anyone?
    Thanks for this glimpse into the lives of the sumptuous and fabulous!
    xo Jazzy Jack

  3. You all look like movie stars, models, rockers, you name IT ,you all are! The fun is splashing from my screen! And I am loving it! I really wish you would like to link a photo up on my Fancy Friday linkup party!

  4. Such a great get-together. Great photos too. Barbara did a splendid job. Must have been ever so nice having a professional make-up artist do your make-up.
    Would have loved to join you.

  5. What a fabulous and fun get-together! Love the photos and the amazing make-up. And the outfits, obviously. Friends, fashion and food: what more can a girl want? xxx

  6. You were doing Burt Reynolds tunes? Oh man, I hate myself for missing that part. What a glorious write-up of an unforgettable weekend. All the glam was divine, and the best part was the friendships that deepen every time. xox


  7. Looks like a whole bunch of fun was had; great digs, good company, swell outfits and cool makeup (and fruit crisp). The first photo is my favourite of the bunch, and I've enjoyed reading everyone else's perspective on the get-together.

  8. I've been enjoying these all over the other blogs too - what a blast you guys had!

  9. Aren't you guys part of that wild roller derby team out of Canada?! Wowza, I don't think I could've survived this meet-up. No way. I would've been tossed at the make-up stage. I know, only the strongest survive and you all did so fabulously. I can still hear the beat. Kudos to you kids.

  10. I'm with Pao!! My heart is racing from just reading this post. Gotta get back to the gym. I love all the glam looks, and clearly, hilarity was the order of the day. XOXOXO!!!!!


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