Thursday, December 30, 2010


I guess it's that time of year, when you're supposed to reflect on the last twelve months, in order to better appreciate the new year to come.  Blerg.  I'd rather continue to hide away on the couch, thank-you, and confront the truths and meaningful realizations only when forced (hmmm...can you tell I went back to work yesterday?).  I am also super sick, so no outfit shot today- though there was one, and it wasn't bad!

Anyway, I'm old and unchanging in my ways.  I'll never learn to be tidy- for every sock and shoe I remember to put away, I am blind to the piles of sweaters and dresses-to-be-tailored that dot the landscape.  sigh- much to my long-suffering neatnik man's chagrin.  I don't pick up a lot of new habits. So I will say that my 'real' 'accomplishment' last year was to embrace wearing heels like a real 'grown-up' 'lady' (another would be actually keeping a blog regular-ish for a year!).  I've just never been able to find the right shoes that didn't hurt or fall off.  Or I just felt too self-conscious clickety-clacking down the hall.

A couple of years into dressing primarily in remixed 50's and 60's dresses however, and I was ready for some glamour.  or at least those super cute old-lady booties from the 30's.  which is pretty much my shoe collection...!

Last christmas, Santa gave me a gorgeous pair of Camper low-heeled ankle boots (she wears a lot of Camper too. Thanks ma!) They actually say 'heels for beginners' on the sole...

Then I discovered that Camper ships to Canada for a mere $10, which is awesome, since Camper stores in Canada generally mark the price up about 30%.  So I ordered another pair in January during the sales...

This spring I really needed to find a similar workhorse to get me through the non-tights-wearing seasons. I keep meaning to find some fun coloured laces to replace the grey...

By then, I had also been doing this bloggy thing for a few months, and had discovered so many amazing style blogs, among them some folks with  excellent taste in shoes,  (as well as clothing) who introduced me to a lil' lady named Chie Mihara. These came to live with me via Ebay...

Plus a few other friends from around...
Fornarina Bow heels

Ash booties, courtesy of Wardrobe Resale

My summer shoes from Clarks were awesome, and migrated well into some early fall tights-wearing
Clarks Artisan Erda sandal

until 'Santa' gave me an early gift in October while out shoe shopping together.  These booties are amazing and go with everything in a funky kind of way, and I feel great in them
Indigo for Clarks Water Row boots

I've been keeping an eye out for the Water Row boots in black, since I figured they were likelier to go on sale.  Sure enough Softmoc had 'em for $62 with an online coupon code to help cover shipping costs.  That was good enough for me! (keep in mind that all the lovely options in the states like Endless, and etc won't ship their wares to Canadians...really should look into one of those mail-box forwarder things)

Ahem, and then today, well, I didn't mean to, but I was walking by Brown's and they had their big 70% off sale, and I knew I'd seen some cute Chie's there several weeks ago...and next thing you know these lovely babies are mine.  I think your footwear should always bring a smile to your face.  These certainly do!  What was I saying about old lady shoes?

edit: I just realized how misleading my babbling is- heh, I just bought the one pair, featured below!  The catalog shots are for comparison/inspiration! 
steel grey leather Luar but with round heel, 'exclusive' to Browns shoes in Canada
Chie Mihara Quentin Fall 2010
Chie Mihara Luar Fall 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

merry christmas!

 Wishing you all a cosy holiday with friends and family!
 with much festive cheer, which includes pre-gorging napping
 and post...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

trip around the tannenbaum!

snowflakes out the window

I love December- it's like we spend the whole month in some delightfully dark and magical place, watching movies by the light of the Christmas tree.  With cuddly cats curled up beside us.

I've been picking up ornaments from Value Village for several years now- I love finding kitschy vintage ornaments, that 'tell a tale of Christmas' past.'  Mostly it's old glass bulbs, many with the colour flaking off in attractive ways.  These have a tendency to incur grievous harm and break regularly, though mainly during the great tree collapse of 2004.  sigh.  Some of those were really pretty...  Actually, we had to stage a tricky manoeuvre last night.  The big cat has been really um..aggressively interested in the tree this year, so we had to gently slide it into the corner where at least he wasn't likely to jump into it!  And then tied it up again, just in case!

The plastic pine-cone girl was one of my early finds- I love how her outstretched arms become boughs, like a variant of the legend of Apollo and Daphne.

The cockeyed cat is a favourite- he's so simultaneously cute and creepy!
In the background is one of the 2 plastic reindeer- they just stand in among the inner branches, leering out cheerfully.

They also have real little bells around their necks!
The teddy bear is actually from a dollar store, but he's lovely- super soft and with  poseable limbs.
A friend was holding a fund-raiser craft fair a few years ago, so I made a bunch of ornaments from a set of galvanized animals from Value Village (I think they're originally from Ikea)  I added ribbons and a yellow glass bead to the heart=shaped ones, but the pigs demanded something special- pearls!  Most were like this, but I made one or 2 bow shaped pearl strands that were pretty awesome.  I think I should tart up this last remaining piggie!

And lastly, the flocked flock of twelve feathered swans.  They're pretty ancient and beat up, and they only really work when the tree is fresh (as the branches start to droop, the swans begin to look a little'lively'...) 

I think my adoration for these old plastic ornaments can be traced to the only ornament that has remained consistent on my family's tree over the years- we call him the ski-boy, as the red flocked figure has a knit tuque and plastic skis, but the skis are removable, and under the hat is a painted-on football helmet.  Then you have this (this listing is almost identical!  so I'm tempted to get my own football/ski-boy now...)
Ski-boy sans skiis...
 That was I need to get some carols on...Vince Guaraldi, anyone?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

schoolmarms and smarties

I went on a shopping trip with my sister last year for my birthday, but since it was spring this dress wasn't really appropriate until lately (and only after I scratched the 'autumnnal hues' itch somewhat). 

I felt fairly smart and chic all day, with a touch of 'marmy' in the ribbed tights.  

BB Dakota dress, H&M gingham shirt, J Crew mossy tights, grey Campers shoes

Then I got home to this delicious Marni-esque dress from Etsy- a totally accidental buy, I swear I must have been in a fugue state (this is why I avoid etsy when possible!).  I love the thin silky knit hang of it and the delicious muted candy tones...

Betty Jean Vintage dress (etsy)

For the same sister's birthday, in return, I promised her a pampering pedicure.  We finally went Monday (6 months later!) and had a lovely experience.  I never paint my nails, but was totally enamoured by this robin's egg colour (after staring at the bottle for an hour while my feet were massaged and shaped and my toes painted a deep fluorescent orange!)  Now I keep craving Smarties for some reason...

 heh, sorry to obscure the christmas tree, but well, the camera has to autofocus on something...I'm so sad that my local Value Village didn't stock ornaments this year.  I love picking up old kitschy randoms for my tree!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

coupla outfits...

There've been a few combinations and colour mixes I've been wanting to put together, but it kept not happening.  Howeversome recent relevant blog postings pushed these back up to the top of the list!

I raced into NY the week the culmination blouse went on sale at Anthropologie, dragging the man off to Rockefeller Centre in the rain to pick it up.  Then I haven't touched it since!  However I've been wanting to play with brown and cinnamon tones more lately, and at the beginning of last week there were a few blog posts here and here with similar tones and patterns that set me off! And then again the very day I wore it Roxy channelled a similar look here

I can't get enough of these pencil skirts- it's so fun to actually wear blouses and skirts again, there are so many possibilities...  Now what I should I pair with my new nightfall pencil skirt next week...
Anthropologie Culmination blouse, ancient Abercrombie sweater, J Crew Cinnamon pencil skirt, actually worn with ye olde Water Row boots from Indigo
I've been waiting forever to get this perfect mustard-cloured skirt- it has eluded me several times.  I actually found one this summer through the EA forum, but it got lost forever in the mail (grr...).  Then I acquired another one through the board that I finally received in November.  It's my usual size, but too big (meaning the lost one would have been perfect...sadness) so I'll have to take it in a bit someday.  I've been meaning to put these two items together since the summer, as a cuter way of channelling Anthropologie's Vappu dress (I`m not so into combination dresses), and was inspired to get it together now by this lovely casual street style posting here, with a touch of eggplant/ brown-eyed susan from Jess here.

Vintage lace blouse from Dear Golden on Etsy, Anthropologie Great Escape skirt, ancient cardigan from Urban Outfitters, thick brown tights, actually worn with Steve Madden oxfords

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

lace challenge this Friday is the proverbial "office christmas party", and unfortunately it will actually take place at work.  So we close up at 5 and then reconvene at 5:30 for cocktails and such.  All of the previous parties have at least taken place on days we don't work, of off-site, so I haven't decided whether to go with a transformable outfit or change fully into something else (not a very dressy office, not that I pay attention!).  One thing is clear- I'm into the lace.

So the options I'm thinking of are:
The transformer option-
Since I'm so into cinnamon tones this week, I was thinking of wearing this to work:
H&M dress with sleeves removed, ancient Abercrombie cardigan, UO belt

and then throwing a lace dress over to evening-ify it, with some amber accessories:
Bobi cotton lace shift, H&M dress, UO belt, would likely wear with these:

 But I think what I'm really hankering after is to just go for a full change and green dress-ify myself:
Vintage green lace dress, feather brooch from Anthropologie skirt, Fornarina green bow heels
um, well, I would appreciate your input but I might have already made my decision!  After all, this lil' green dress has actually hung in my closet for about 8 years waiting for the right moment, sometimes too tight, sometimes too prim, or even (unbelievably) too green?  And I do love the feathers with lace...

More contrasty shoes or tights maybe?  geez, what colour tights does one wear with emerald green?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

week in review...

J Crew catalog recreation!  Heathered raglan top, Ochre pencil skirt, UO belt, worn with Indigo Water Row booties

Anthropologie Elkanah jacket, Etsy vintage plaid dress, Aldo boots

vintage plaid dress, Gap oatmeal henley, vintage belt, fluffy beast #1
absolute favourite, my Marc Jacobs scarf dress c.2007
Vintage black chevron dress, Camper boots, fluffy beast #1
J Crew jackie cardigan, vintage grey wool dress, vintage belt, olive J Crew tights, Brown's mary-janes
I think I kept pretty well to my plan, to mix up the closet a bit.  Little bit of vintage, little bit of new, little bit of less shopping...  well, sort of.  I finally broke and ordered the Elkanah jacket from my wish list on line, and was super happy with it...that is, until the sale price dropped again to $29 this week, and Anthropologie doesn't honour price adjustments for international orders.  Garh...


I would so love to get a new pair of boots, but the winters are just brutal on them (or at least when you're lazy like me and forget to take care of the salt stains etc.)  For now, a third winter of these slip-on Frye-like Aldo should do it.  It's getting harder to put those outfit photos together now that all my shoes have migrated to the workplace for the season!

Oh, and the kitties seem to want to get in the act- all my outtakes this week are filled with tails and paws and half-battles over the window seat!
Fluffy beast #1 and #2, 11 pounds vs 24 pounds!