Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up: Team Spirit; Fringe, Friends and a Feast; and Shopping Karma

Happy weekend! I hope everyone's been having a good time. I'm off to make dinner and chill for the evening with L, so here' goes the wrap-up.

Beginning with Friday's outfit. It was Team Spirit day for the stair challenge - the teams will be judged on Monday for prizes. 
Guess what team I'm on! I'm linking up to "Visible Monday" over at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style! Thanks for hosting, Patti!

  • Dress - The Limited, thrifted; last worn here in December 2014 in elf mode
  • Boots - Adrian Agnes, Fluevog; last worn here (way down) in October 2014 with my bullfighter skirt

The grey top is one of my old layering t-shirts - that's not a style I really do anymore (graphic tee over long-sleeved tee) but I do have a few of them still for wearing around the house. They're just handy! I also knew I'd be doing a lot of stairs again and I don't like getting my good clothes all sweaty.
One of the directors asked me if I had my legs tattooed! Dude, these are tights! Seriously?

Outerwear? Outerthere!
We've been enjoying a very warm spell this week. I didn't even wear the scarf on the way home.

The stuff:
These are magnificent red boots - they are quite stiff and are still loosening up on me, even though I've had them for a couple of years now.

Red bling:
Some old favourites.

  • Cuff - Rimanchik
  • Spinner ring - consignment
  • Coral ring - Oscar & Libby's
  • Earrings - Plum

L and I cleaned the house on Friday night and then played Arkham Horror; then on Saturday, we got up early for breakfast.
I wore this all day, well in to the evening.

  • Sweater - Coldwater Creek, thrifted; last seen here in October 2014
  • Skirt - Animale, consignment; last seen here (3rd outfit) in November 2014 for some shopping
  • Shoes - Two Lips, thrifted; last worn here on Christmas Even 2014

A bunch of my Book Club girlfriends came over in the early afternoon on Saturday. I had PVR'd "Olive Kitteridge" when it aired and since we'd read it a few years ago as a Book Club selection, we had a watching marathon! Comfy clothes welcome (including animal slippers, jammies and blankies).
No one quite went that far! Everyone was in their comfy clothes but still very fashionable.

Of course, we did our watching in style, starting with some lovely spicy Caesars:
Yum! Spice those up!

We also had 3 kinds of hot chocolate with complimentary liquors.
Fireball whisky with chili hot chocolate is divine! The other liqueurs are chocolate with salted caramel and Sour Puss raspberry. I did forget to put the marshmallows out - darn!

I air-popped about 6 batches of popcorn, doing some with olive oil only, and some with butter and olive oil mixed - I put them into individual bags so that my gals could top them how they wanted.
I had Canadian Cheddar, dill pickle, Monsoon balti (an Indian curry type of mixed spices), engevita yeast and cracked white pepper.

I also made a delicious chicken jalapeno corn chowder!
Spicy and good for you!

Caro brought over a bag of clothes, so we did a poke through. I got this lovely blouse by Daniel Rainn.
I like the peachy polka dots on the marsala background. I'm not huge on drawstring waists, but I'll play with that a bit, I think.

Today, I went to get groceries - I had to get all the supplies for our Super Bowl party this weekend - and then went for a walk down to My Sister's Closet, my favourite consignment shop in town.
More marsala, and reds!

  • Sweater - Bandolino, thrifted; last seen here earlier this month with a cape worn as a skirt
  • Skirt - Cory Lyne Calter, consignment; last worn here in June 2014 with bright orange
  • Boots - 1883 Lucchesse, consignment; last seen here (2nd outfit) a couple of weeks ago

 I've worn this sweater and skirt together before (here, when I had blonde hair!).
 I wish I hadn't been lazy and worn these black tights. Brown would have been better.

I love this leather jacket. I wore it open all day, and barely needed the gloves.

The stuff:
These boots are wonderful. I love them so much!

  • Necklace - $10 grab bag, consignment

I was happy to see my favourite friendly saleslady back (she's been working on her Masters degree while teaching school), and we chatted here and there as I shopped. I take my time; I'm usually there for a couple of hours and have 2 or 3 try-on sessions.

Near the end, another customer was having problems finding an outfit, so the saleslady asked me to assist. First, I found a top and cardigan for her to try with a skirt she'd found, then when that didn't work, I found her a lovely deep blue dress that fit her just right. I also offered suggestions for accessorizing it in different ways. It felt so good to help someone who really needed it!

Anyway, my good deed paid off with good shopping karma!
This is a deep green wool blazer. It's by Talbots, and was on the sale rack for $15.00. It's a great fit and very cozy and warm.

This blouse was also on the sale rack, for $11.50.
It's by Peter Nygard, and it's sheer. It's quite likely never been worn, as there was a bag of shoulder pads for it still attached to the label inside. I like this for a breezy spring top - and I have shoes that will go perfectly with it.

This was a really pretty top that fit well. 
It was $19.98 and is by Ann Taylor. 

I really liked the fit of this skirt, by Melanie Lyne. 
It has the black "racing stripe" down both sides and is sewn with a "jeans" top and back pockets. It was $28.98 - it is new with tags still on it.

There were a whole bunch of high-end designer items in the skirts. I tried on a Zac Posen skirt (made on Manhattan Island!) and a vintage Yves St. Laurent leather skirt, but neither of them fit.

I am sure that this is a high-end designer skirt, as the quality is lovely. However, it's been taken in about 3 inches, right up the back, and the tailor has taken the label off. It still has an orange fabric content tag inside, but I can't tell what the brand is.
Dark brown leather - the front zips from the top and the bottom, with little leather pulls on the zipper.

And check it out, the front is pleated!
It's a really sweet skirt. I was given 25% off the regular price on this for my good karma shopping assistance - I didn't ask or expect that, but the saleslady insisted. Aw! Thank you! This was $42.98 less $10.75, so $30.23.

I also had good luck with this high-end designer skirt - it was on the clearance rack for $11.50!
It's 100% silk (even the lining) - the exterior is raw silk, with a lovely nubby woven texture, and the lining is shiny thin silk in a satin finish.

The front has slit pockets and two little flaps on the front, but the back has a big box pleat and dips down slightly.
It reminds me of my recently thrifted Dolce & Gabanna skirt in its construction; it's very different in feel and cut than your standard "off the rack".

Not surprising, since it's Chloe, and made in France.
Look at that gorgeous finishing inside!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's Equestrian, Really

Oh, I am tired and sore today. Another 30+ flights of stairs!
And I did it in heels again! My blurriness above reflected my state of mind today, though - everything felt very chaotic. Must be a full moon coming!

  • Jacket - Ralph Lauren, thrifted; last seen here (4th outfit) in October 2014 in a similar outfit
  • Skirt - Skott's Suede, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) earlier this month with reds
  • Boots - Indigo by Clark's; last worn here a couple of weeks ago to a hockey game that didn't happen
Before we proceed, I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone who reads, and who comments. I consider many of you good friends of mine. I'm not particularly chatty or responsive in the comment section of my posts, but I read every word and think about what you've said. So thank you.

I've decided I don't like this jacket. It's not lined and is a heavy stretchy cotton and it feels sloppy to me. If it were a nice light wool with a full lining, then we'd be talking. But since I thrifted it, I'm just going to put it in the giveaway pile and let it go. Buh-bye.
Love this skirt! It made a most excellent flapping noise while I galumphed up the stairs today. I dig this equestrian look, as a variation on my "cowgirl" look.

The stuff:
Did I mention I was blurry today? I left my boots at work. D'oh! They continue to be marvelous boots and were very good for stairs.

  • Belt - Plum
  • Choker - vintage 60s, Mom's
  • Cuff - SkinZnHydez
  • Ring - Twang & Pearl
L and I were going to go to the gym today, but I talked him out of it. I did enough stairs, plus walking to and from work today (and I worked close to an hour overtime), that I don't feel a wee bit guilty. I'm going to make stir-fry for dinner and watch all "my" PVR'd shows (the ones L doesn't watch, like "Biggest Loser", "Antiques Roadshow" and "Gotham"). Ah...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

All the Jewels, Plus Speckled Pink

Whew! I have done a lot of exercise today! 
And most of it in a pink leather skirt and heels, take that! I do have to exercise regularly (aside from this whole stair challenge thing) to help me keep my weight on track. You may or may not know that I lost 50 lbs seven years ago, and have maintained within a few pounds of my goal weight since then. I was lower than that 50 lbs down when I started this blog - I often look wistfully at that younger and skinnier me, but my body is pretty happy at my current weight. But it does take work - I know as a WW leader that it's a slippery slope back to being heavy and unhappy. I would like to be down about 5 lbs from where I am, but of course it's hard. So many good things to eat and drink!

I like to dress nice, because I feel good about how I look. When I feel good about how I look, I'm encouraged to keep dressing nice. That's the kind of happy feedback loop I like.

  • Jacket - Le Chateau, consignment; last worn here in November 2014 with dark florals
  • Velvet top - Bianca Nygard, consignment; last seen here layered under brocade in January 2013
  • Skirt - Evan Davies, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here with yesterday's shoes in December 2014
  • Shoes - Camper; purchased here a couple of weekends ago

I rarely wear this little velvet top (it's one of those semi-Ren Faire ones that were popular in the late 90s/early aughts), but it's a handy piece when my other black layering tops are in the wash. I variously wore my jacket fully buttoned (as in the top photo), unbuttoned, and completely off (while doing stairs). I need the temperature control. Thank you, peri-menopause for the sweatiness, much appreciated.
Glorious pink leather skirt! And look at those sweet heels. I told you they looked amazing on the foot.

The stuff:
When I set up the office in the morning, I make my rounds of each floor, see what's going on, see who wants something, show off my new whatevers. I have a bunch of fashionable coworkers so I waggled my feet at them today. The shoes received many oohs and ahhs. They were amazing to wear all day - very comfy, lots of padding and not too high a pitch in the heel angle. My feet feel just dandy.

Ba-da-boom bling:
One of our clients was very interested in all my jewelry. "I wear all the jewels," I said.

  • Necklace, bracelet and earrings - Myka, gifts from L several years ago
  • Poe "Nevermore" cuff - Jezebel Charms, gift from L
  • Brooch - The Bay
  • Crystal ring - Uffizi Gallery Gift Shop
  • Pink stone ring - vintage 60s, Dad's

And now, having walked to work, done about 20 flights of stairs, walked to our other office and back, walked home, and gone to the gym...I need dinner and a shower!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Black and White Leather, and Courreges

Wee! It's Tuesday! My team is in the caboose position (i.e. last) in the stair challenge at work, so I had to get motoring today so that we can catch up. I climbed over 30 flights over the day.
And I did it in heels! I tied this leather jacket around my waist, because I was huffin' and puffin' by the time I hit the 6th/top floor.

  • Jacket - Bianca Nygard, thrifted; purchased here a couple of weeks ago for $39.50
  • Skirt - Andre Courreges, vintage 80s, thrifted; last worn here (3rd outfit, past the cat pictures) in July 2014 with paisley ruffles
  • Shoes - Poetic License; last seen here in December 2014 with posh pink leather

I also wore a silky red cami underneath the jacket to show my team colours!

I absolutely loved this jacket - the white piping is just spectacular. Also, amazing fit.
My much-treasured $5.00 (yes, you read that right) thrifted Andre Courreges wool/cashmere pencil skirt. Five dollars! I still boggle - Courreges invented the mini skirt, fer goodness' sake!

The stuff:
Sweet, sweet dotted shoes! As comfy as ever, even for doing lots of stairs.

Round bling:
Black and white is quite a statement on its own, so minimal accessories.

  • Earrings - Plum
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sparkly Blue and an Uncommon Amount of Black

Silly me! After wearing all of my red items last week, in an informal theme week, here we are starting the Stair Challenge at work, and I'm on the red team!
Not the blue team. I'm going to have to skip my already-planned Friday outfit to pull out all the red stops for our Team Spirit contest.

  • Jacket - vintage 50s, Tricot d'Or, thrifted; scored here a couple of weeks ago for $15.50
  • Skirt - vintage 80s, Jones New York, thrifted; last seen here (4th outfit) in October 2014 with Ralph Lauren plaid  
  • Shoes - Guess; last worn here in December 2014 with paisley and mustard

I loved wearing this jacket today. Often I find that items with Lurex or lame (lah-may!) can be itchy, but all was well. I wasn't too hot in it either. Thumbs up!

Someone at work today commented on my plethora of black in this outfit. Hey, even us colour-loving gals like a little black sometimes!
I completely adore this wonderful 80s vintage-40s inspired skirt - it's not quite a circle skirt but it has that vibe. Also, pockets!

The stuff:
I am going to be very sad when these pumps die on me. They are so very classic.

Spaghetti monster bling:
Okay, that pin could also be a spiral galaxy, but the ring is definitely a Flying Spaghetti Monster (Wiki link if you don't know what that is).

  • Belt - Bianca Nygard
  • Bracelet - Mom's, vintage 60s
  • Pin - Sarah Coventry, vintage 80s, vintage fair
  • FSM ring - vintage fair
  • Crystal ring - Uffizi Gallery gift shop
  • Blue stone ring - Scotland, handmade
  • Drop earring - Jacob
  • Clip earring - vintage 60s, vintage fair

I'd better include some red tomorrow or my team will think I've defected!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up: Fruital, Leather and Zentangling

What a lovely weekend, following such an exhausting week! I feel recharged and ready to face another crazy week ahead.
Friday's armour, and a repeat combo of this outfit from October 2014.

I'm one of the organizers of the Stair Challenge in my office, and we extended it out to all of our BC offices this year. It's a lot of work behind the scenes - and in front of them! This was what I chose to do our breakfast launch on Friday morning. We announced the teams and the stair climbing starts on Monday.

  • Blouse - no label, thrifted; last seen here in October 2014 with this same skirt
  • Skirt -  Lui Jo; last seen per links above
  • Shoes - Half Truth Tanya, Fluevog; last worn here with grey lace in November 2014

"Not up to anything, nope, nothing to see here."
Until I looked up this skirt and blouse, I'd actually forgotten that I'd already worn this blouse and skirt together! I know no one noticed, though. I'm sure most of my clothes are just a big blur to my coworkers.
I layered a vintage half-slip (a pink one!) under the skirt for extra warmth, and a camisole (a blue one!) under the blouse for coverage.

I like my toque pulled down right over my hair and ears. It keeps my head warm and doesn't mess with my hair. That's a glorious vintage leather coat, thrifted about a year ago.

The stuff:
I'm kicking myself now for not buying these shoes in the purple as well as the green. The only size left is a 6, boo.

Bold bling:
Grommet belt, and the first wearing of these green vintage teardrop earrings.

  • Belt - gift from Ruth
  • Jade ring - 70s, liberated from Mom's jewelry box sometime in the mid-80s
  • Spinner ring - Twang & Pearl
  • Earrings - vintage 60s, vintage fair

On Saturday, L and I went for brunch at the diner, and then I walked over to work-friend K's house to hang out for the afternoon.
Yup, that's a leather dress. Pretty groovy, isn't it? It even has pockets!

  • Dress - Truly, Part Two; last seen here with the above fruital blouse in September 2014
  • Sweater - Max Studio; last seen here (2nd outfit) for a weekend hang-out with friends in March 2014
  • Boots - Doc Martens, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in November 2014

It's been a blustery weekend, full of wind and rain. Leather is awesome for blocking the wind.
And my boots were very practical for walking 30 minutes each way to K's house.

The stuff:
Rockin' Docs! I love these so much. The gals in the diner cooed over them (and my hair).

Odd bling:
That salamander earring is one of a pair; they were a gift (birthday?) from Mom and Dad back around 1986 or so (I was in University, I recall). I used to have the matching brooch, which was about 5 inches long; unfortunately, it was made of soft metal and the tail broke off after a couple of years. I'd forgotten all about the earrings until I found them recently when I was going through one of my jewelry boxes.

  • Belt - Plum
  • Choker - vintage 60s, Mom's
  • Salamander earring - gift from Mom & Dad, homegrown mid-80s vintage
  • Stud earring - local

K is into Zentangle drawing (comprehensive info about Zentangle here, linking 'cause I love); I didn't follow the formal process, but I do love the idea of purposefully building up an image stroke by stroke. I chose to play with felt pens.
The white blip in the bottom right is my name whited-out for privacy.
I drew a long swirl with curlicues off it in pencil (which I erased as I went), but other than that, I didn't plan out any of the drawing. I just went with what felt right and played with colour, creating the different elements on the spur of the moment.
When I finished all the curly pieces I wanted to tie it all in together so I did black swirls around every element and filled in some of the while with those.

A close-up of a couple of the swirls:
We listened to music and drank tea, chatted and sat in peaceful silence as we both worked on our drawings. I found it hugely relaxing and pleasurable; I might have to get myself a sketchbook and some felt pens to do this myself. It felt really good to be creative in a semi-structured way. Nearly 3 hours passed and it felt like no time. Thank you, K! Please invite me over again!

What's have you been creating lately? What's your art?