Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bigass Wrap Up: Travel, Christmas, Kitties and Shopping

Hey! I'm back! It's been a bit of a break, but no fear, back to our regularly scheduled programming (and back to work tomorrow for me - boo!). 

Warning: this is a bigass post. A lot of pictures!

First up: a very Happy Holidays to all of you from my fam.
Me, L and Vizzini (who is batting at my earring and not posing properly).

On Monday night (way back, last week), L and I went out for dinner. I tend to let the fridge get empty before we travel, so we wandered down to the pub for some grub.
I'm so lazy that I'm wearing my around-the-house-only Smoking Lily long-sleeved t-shirt under this.

The black suede shirt was last seen here (2nd outfit, after Vizzini) in November.
The pinstriped skirt was last seen here (last outfit, with green sweater) in October.

Wore my red Fluevog boots for a bit of colour. They were last seen here (2nd outfit) a couple of weekends ago for a stroll to get groceries.
"Hey, what's with all the packs? Are you going somewhere?"
I wore them without the harness pieces, and added the red coral earrings and red leather belt.

The usual accompaniments:
Toque, fluffy scarf, gloves and red leather coat.

Jacket (Danier Leather), suede shirt (True Character, thrifted), skirt (Planet, thrifted), tee (Smoking Lily), boots (Adrian Agnes, Fluevog), earrings (local), belt (Plum).

Vizzini gets friendly with my scarf.
He's quite happy to be picked up...on his terms.

This year, we spent Christmas in Powell River. This calls for travel clothes: simple, warm and layers.
Crazy pink snowflake sweater, last seen here a little over a week ago, embellished with horrid Christmas decorations.

Add one giant black suede skirt (with pockets):
 Last wore it here (second outfit) a couple of weeks ago.

My floral Doc Martens are perfect for travel. They are getting more comfortable with each wear.
I last wore them here (2nd outfit) last weekend, to walk to Nick and Karen's place.

Someone was definitely suspicious that Something Was Up.
"Wait a minute, these are travel bags!" 
Travel coat (good for sleeping under), fluffy scarf and bright purple gloves.
I wore my Christmas tree pin - this was a gift from my former boss, Evelyn, at the Christmas store where I worked for 11 years.
I like the simple shape.

Sweater (Dale of Norway, thrifted), skirt (Danier Leather, thrifted), boots (Doc Martens, consignment).

Upon further thought, Vizzini was unconcerned about us leaving.
"Eh, Uncle Nick will feed me."
We rented an SUV for the drive up - our little car isn't good in winter weather, so better to be safe. The Malahat Drive can be nasty if it's raining or snowing.
Fortunately, it was neither - blue skies!

Gorgeous skies, in fact.
Looking across Salmon Arm to Sidney and Brentwood Bay.
That's all Pacific Ocean. We are pretty high up the side of the island.

I like seeing all the farms on the way up-island.
That's a dairy farm - our milk is local!

L and I always make fun of this road, just north of Nanaimo: Jingle Pot Road.
We always sing, "Jingle Pot, Jingle Pot, Jingle Pot...Road" to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock."

Big fluffy clouds for the last long stretch of highway.
Yes, there are elk on those warning signs. It would be a bad thing (for the car and the elk) if we hit one.

Uh-oh! We have a new - and much smaller! - ferry on the Powell River route.
Because we were concerned about missing the ferry on Christmas Eve (another thing that wouldn't be optimal), we got to the terminal really early.

Enough time for a beach walk for me! Yay!
This is a typical West Coast beach: logs/driftwood, grasses, some coarse sand, and lots of shells, kelp and other washed up detritus.

Another million years and this sand will be nice and soft.
 Pretty shell. I'm a bit of a shell and rock junkie.

A big clamshell.
The biggest one I saw was about the size of my hand.
I only saw one other person out for a walk.

Pink kelp/seaweed and an empty crab shell.
 I'm amazed at the variety of kelp and seaweed.
A big piece of bull kelp. We called these "whips" when I was a kid and my brother and I used to try to hit each other with them. Ah, siblings.

Look at the gorgeous purple inside this shell.
And at least 3 different kinds of seaweed there.

A long tide-line twisted rope of kelp.
 I love the shushing sounds as you walk on the pebbles.
 A big next of seaweed and kelp.

I liked how all these houses (all the same) looked against the chaotic nature of the beach.
Most of the logs have drifted away from log-booms from the coast.

Ooh, look at that piece of quartz!
So white! I had to keep it.

I had to keep this piece of green quartz mix as well.
It's a heart!

This critter gave me a start - I find the sections of the back carapace on the beach all the time, but have never found one intact.
And that's because he was still alive! The underside was his big pink fleshy foot (for gripping on rocks). I threw him back into the water - it's better than being chomped by a seagull!

Some more seaweed.
So neat.

Speaking of seagulls, they are always lurking.
You can see the far mainland in the background, behind the ferry pilings. That smoke coming off the water is actually from the pulp and paper mill in Powell River.

I always look back to where I've been.
Remnants of the past.

Boots on a log!
I'm very good at walking on logs. Many years of experience. I should put that on my resume, heh.

It was definitely a smaller ferry! The car section isn't even enclosed!
Zoiks, you want us to go up on that ramp to the left?

Objects in mirror are closer than they appear...
Yup, that would be me I captured in the side mirror.

This ferry only holds about 40 cars.
It's quite a down-size from the old ferry.

On the plus side, it's a much newer ferry (the old ones were from the 60s).
 Pulling out from the docks - I went outside and checked it all out very thoroughly.

This sun-deck area is going to be sweet in the summer.
At this time of year, everyone was crammed inside. At least there were lots of seats.
Ahoy! Anyone driving this thing?

We arrived in PR just as it got dark, and shortly after, we finally got to L's mom's place.
Her tree looked lovely - and look at all those presents!

L and I had a nice quiet Christmas Eve with Louise. L and I did stockings in bed together in the morning. I got spoiled as usual.
I also spoil him! I got:

  • Lots of books: the new Neil Gaiman, the new Walking Dead, "Hyperbole and a Half" (finished already), a couple of Iain Banks (I'm nearly done "The Wasp Factory"), the new Dan Simmons, the most recent Kim Harrison, and a Stephen Kind Hard Case novel.
  • Bust Magazine.
  • Ting Tings CD.
  • Two pairs of stockings.
  • Fox socks and a pair of workout socks.
  • Two kinds of loose tea.
  • Baileys (for my coffee, consumed), espresso vodka (consumed), and an Irn Bru (consumed).
  • Lots of locally-made and fair trade chocolate (all consumed); violette candies (consumed).
  • A necklace (picture below).

My Christmas Day outfit:
Red/white striped asymmetrical blouse (last seen here in August), same skirt, black and white snowflake tights, and my red leather obi.
I'm in front of the painting I did for my in-laws of their old property in 2008 (picture here).

This is the necklace L gave me - the other side is a picture of a Victorian room, but I like the Titanic and roses on this side.
Locally-made, thank you!

The nice thing about the SUV (besides the heated seats!) was that L could bring up his guitar to play.
He's been taking lessons for a year, and is getting really good!

I liked this tie-clip and cufflink set (in its original box) that L got from his mom.
Yep, may have to "borrow" that.

More stuff from L and his mom and brother under the tree.
The puzzle is from Louise, as is the red envelope (full of gift money, yay!), and the cat toy; the DVD is from L's brother. A lovely bottle of Ardbeg (single malt whisky) and the "X'ed Out" graphic novel by Charles Burns, plus this cool frog tin are from L.
And inside the tin: a new orange power-line belt buckle! Cool! L always gets me good stuff.

We were up at 6am on Boxing Day for the return ferry home.

Driving on the loading dock.
Man, that is a small ferry.
I like this shot of the inside.

We were on the side with a view of the Powell River terminal. Bye!
I'm used to the old ferry being covered in rust - it's nice to see new parts! However, this little ferry is going to be really tippy in high winds. I bet there will be sailing cancellations in our future at some point.

We had drizzly weather and rain on the drive down-island.
Nanaimo in the distance.

I was ready for the gnome!
That large hand is really...large.

Extra bonus shot!
That is a really large gnome. It's an oxymoron!

Nearly home!
At the top of the Malahat.

As soon as we got home we showered, had a nap and then got ready to head over to my Mom's place to do dinner with my brother and his extended family.
Woo, sunny!

My studded sweatshirt (last seen here in November, 2nd outfit).
Leather skirt (last seen here on my birthday week in October), patterned tights, and leather cuffs. The boots were last worn a week ago (here).
"You're home! Hang out with me!"
 Vizzini was very happy to see us, but as it was a really short trip, he was much more nonchalant this time.

Sweatshirt (Silence + Noise, consignment), skirt (Hemingway, consignment, vintage 80s), boots (Aerosoles, consignment).

I took a few pictures of Mom's kitty Harlequin.
She is 17 years old and is still hanging in there. Likes to be near the fireplace, of course.
"Can I nap in peace?"
We had a nice dinner - it's always good to see my nieces and my brother, and of course, his ex-wife and his current girlfriend. Families are so...interesting.

On Friday, L and I went out for brunch, then ventured to the mall (for him) and to a few stores to spend some of our gifted Christmas money.
An easy outfit. My plaid dress was last seen here for a plaid attack in early October.
I'm wearing my black cashmere sweater under it, with plain black tights. I last wore the sweater while out shopping with the Hostess here (with my plum skirt, here).
Simple black boots for lots of walking.

My Vassali coat and creamy-white accents.
A good winter-y outfit!

I also wore this charm that Mom gave me for Christmas.
It's a deconstructed watch with a US stamp stuck over the face, then the cogs and gears from inside the watch stuck on the front. Very cool.

Dress (Plum), sweater (Expression, consignment), belt (Leather World), buckle (local), boots (Aldo, consignment), necklace (gift from Mom).

Mom also gave me this awesome pendant.
It's a distressed metal piece, with a painting/stamp of a bug on one side...
And trees on the other. Mom always finds me good stuff.

I did treat myself to a couple of pairs of shoes with my Christmas money. They're both by the same brand - Gold Button - and I found them on deep discount (but still pricey) at the Cobbler, one of the best shoe stores in town.
This pair is olive and purple suede. I love the purple scoop heel, the little purple it at the back of the heel, and the wee gold button on the side.
Another little purple suede flare at the instep. These are ultra-comfy!

I couldn't resist these booties.
It was late afternoon by the time I got home, so the light is not the best. The colours are brown, blue (the lacing area) and caramel (the heel).

I love the lacing.
Bow on the toe!

And the gold button on the inside.
Both pairs of shoes were designed and handmade in Spain of soft leather, and are comfortable!

On Saturday, we headed down to our favourite diner, then I went for a tour through some of my favourite thrift stores.
I loved how this outfit turned out. I've been considering getting rid of this skull cardigan (not great quality, and I'm iffy on the shape), but I liked it so much with this, it's earned a reprieve. For now!

I'm linking up this outfit to Patti's "Visible Monday" over at Not Dead Yet Style - get yourself there!

I haven't worn this cardi since the September 2012 capsule (recap here), where I wore it once (here).
The grey skirt is a basic one from Plum. No distinguishing characteristics, which makes me think I should replace it with a nicer (wool?) one. I really want every item in my wardrobe to be fabulous, not just "meh". This skirt: not fabulous.
The tights are pretty awesome, aren't they? I loved how the spotty pattern went with the skulls. I actually had a customer in a thrift shop bring me a polka-dotted shirt because she saw my tights. Aw, what a nice thing to do. I didn't like the shirt, though.

The shoes are my awesome Fluevogs - very good for walking! I last wore them here in November with my snowflake skirt.

Sweater (Kersh), skirt/belt (Plum), tights (Hue), shoes (Presence Impel, Fluevog).

I actually bought these Look from London tights on Friday, but forgot they were in my purse. I like the wine-colour.
And L got the notification from the post office that my last Christmas present had arrived, so he picked it up for me on Saturday. It's the awesome mug from Anne of Spygirl, featuring all the amazing fashion bloggers that you are/know and love!

I'm right in the middle there (this is my original digital drawing here, based on this outfit here).
Do you have yourself on a mug? You need one! Go here! Or maybe you need the art print of the Digital Catwalk participants?

I'm to the right of Ally, who is just above Lynn and under Judith. I love seeing some of my very favourite bloggers here. This is going to be my new work mug, and will be proudly shown off at my desk to everyone! Best present ever!

I did have some good luck while out shopping - last shopping of 2014! I've been mulling over another year-long challenge (like no shopping at all, ulp!), but I've decided to just be status quo and carry on. Life is crazy enough.

I found this marvelous metal belt at the Women in Need (WIN) boutique. I always have good luck there.
It's really heavy, and I love the woven texture.
Pretty sure it cost more than $6.50 originally. No marks on it, but it reeks of good quality.

Yes, it's another leather skirt. Another black leather skirt, at that.
But it has white stitching! That's different, right?

It's by Danier Leather.
And only $29.50 - such a bargain for leather!

I snatched this chartreuse green faux fur stole off a display.
I love the brown satin lining.
Also Danier, but what a great price. $10.50 is great - I'm sure this would have been over $40 new.

I bought this blazer for the fit and the quality.
It's olive green and will replace my junkier cotton blazer that's packed away with the summer stuff. I love the rounded full collar and the hidden buttons. It also has this crazy leopard/camo lining.

It was on the half-price rack (possibly because the other piece of the 2-piece was missing) for $15.25.
I've never heard of Ron Leal, but it's nearly 100% wool and was made in Vancouver. After a bit of digging around on the interwebs, I found out that Ron Leal was the former head designer for Jax clothing (a Canadian brand that was very big in the 80s), and that he studied in Milan. I also found this listing on eBay of this exact same jacket with the original price tags on it. The original price was $960.00. Wow.

I love how a little research can reveal a wealth of history on a designer - and it's so gratifying to really find a good score! This jacket is a beautiful fit and a real deal!

I also stopped in at a little consignment store for a poke around, and found this gorgeous angora sweater. The brand is Limited.
It's dark chocolate brown and was $35.00. It has no pilling (a big turn-off for me), so it looks like it's been hardly ever worn. I love angora, but have had issues with it shedding and getting little wisps in my eyes. Hopefully, this sweater will work out, because it looks amazing on!

Last item: this wonderful cotton Spring-weight coat:
I'm all about the quality and the fit - I don't really care about the label, but I want the cut to fit me really well, and the fabric to be natural (wool, cotton, cashmere, leather, silk, etc.).

I couldn't find anything on the brand (there is a Lily Bleu brand that makes children's clothing - this is not that brand), but it's handmade in Canada and it's 100% cotton.
And only $14.00. Crazy. I love the pinwheel plaid pattern of it. I'm excited to wear this when spring gets here! For now, it's off to the closet for it.

I am always on the lookout for slips and half-slips for layering, and was lucky to find another cream one, and a black one. They are both by Linda, and are made in Canada. These were $2.00 and $5.00.
Vizzini made his presence felt! Roly-poly kitty!

Well, back to the grind tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to a rockin' New Year's Eve! We will be going out for dinner (a group of 13 of us), then going to Cat/Ross' place to party on afterwards.

Hope your holiday was merry, bright and stress-free!

15 comments:

  1. Seems liked such a lovely Christmas! You got lots of nice presents (I got that hyperbole and a half book too!) and spent some of your Christmas money well :)

    Really like your Christmas day outfit - looks so comfortable yet still put together :)

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  2. Great post! Lots and lots to enjoy. And I'm honored to stand next to you on Anne's mug. (I bought five of 'em.) Now I just need to find out where I can get purple polka-dotted tights...

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  3. I am completely with you about wanting everything in your wardrobe to be fabulous. You made out well with your new shoes.

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  4. Okay Sheila! You were right!! Sooo much here to comment on and enjoy. I really love the pics of your journey. I lived in Vermont for several years and miss the northern skies and trees. I miss the Pacific NorthWest too. I loved your pics of the countryside and the ferry. I could smell the ocean and beach. Wonderful.

    I was also delighted with your various outfit pics. Last but not least, I NEED (!!!!) those fabulous boots. I'm going to have to search the internet for that company.

    Have a glorious New Year !! XXOO

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  5. Looks like you had a fabulous holiday! I always love seeing your shots from your island travels--seeing the same places through someone else's eyes. Looking forward to seeing what you pull together for new years!!

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  6. You scored some great clothes on your thrift shopping trip!
    Just goes to show what a great eye you have for quality pieces.

    I hope you kept that heart shaped rock. I know I would have snatched it up.
    Your cat reminds me of Chester with his antics. Did he like the cat toy?

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  7. We sing:

    Jingle Pot!
    Jingle Pot!
    Jingle all the way!

    Happy New Year!

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  8. Great trip pics, you know I live to see the Gnome. And I love your family pic, with you , L. and V. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday!

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  9. As always you look fabulous! I am drinking in the seaside pictures- I love the sea- and sand esp West Coast seaside, and your pics bring me a bit of oceanic peacefullness. You look like you had a lovely Xmas and holiday visit- wishing you a very glorious 2014!

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  10. Every frame better than the previous one! Love you in leather, always my favorites! BTW, if that is your hand pointing at the big clam shell, we have identical wedding rings! Dan had one, too, just bigger but it's long lost.
    Excellent taste you have!
    Happy New Year to you kids, and please give Vizzini a pet or two for me!

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  11. Wow, there's so much to look at and like here!

    You look fabulous in every outfit as always. I am especially partial to the gorgeous handkerchief style hem on the pinstripe skirt. I love that you took photos of your trip and shared your presents with us! It was fun discovering what you got. I can't wait to see your new items styled on you, especially that faux fur collar. :D

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  12. What a lovely and newsy post! I've been on the smaller ferries when going to the Gulf Islands...in fair weather, LOL. I was set to get the mug with everyone on it...I'm right under you...then the option of just my mug on the mug led me towards indecision. Now, seeing your mug makes me certain that the group one is the way to go! Thanks for that!

    Your finds are absolutely your colours and style! Good, good finds! Oh, and your Mom really did buy the neatest gifts for you!

    Okay, can't stop thinking about those booties! They are fabulous!

    Happy New Year and we'll see you in 2014!

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  13. At least, on the bright side, there is still a ferry at all... Gaaa. Soon they'll be throwing us life preservers and saying how we like it because it's good exercise. Bwa-haha.
    So much candy here. Looks like a great holiday full of variety, which is important, and warmth, also important, in terms of temperature and relations. That tiniest detail about the sound of the seaside under foot made the scene instantly come alive. Great writing. I can't decide which outfit I like best, but I'm pretty much agog at the green faux fur stole.

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  14. So much stuff to love here - the cool winter beach scenes, your marvelous outfits, books and chocolate (I purchased Hyperbole and a Half for myself just before Christmas), new shoes, kitty pics, beautiful pendants, etc. I'm glad you had a good holiday (I'm back to work tomorrow), and I'm looking forward to seeing more spectacular Sheila-styling in 2014!

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  15. I always enjoy taking "nature walks" and i also like it when you take the ferry !
    Your plaid dress is a winner and the gold tone mesh like belt was a great find.

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I appreciate every comment, thank you so much! Please feel free to tell me what you think! I will respond to questions.

Cheers,
Sheila