Friday, October 31, 2008

Casual Friday - "Where's Your Zombie?" Outfit

"Where's your zombie? You're always a zombie for Hallowe'en!" It's true. For the first time in many years, I did not dress up for Hallowe'en during the day. I just wasn't into it this year. Maybe it's because it's on the weekend, and it's usually during the week and then you also have Hallowe'en stuff on the weekend, and that longness of it just didn't happen.

Maybe Hallowe'en is becoming like Christmas for me, and I'll only get into it every other year? Maybe I need a Festivus for Hallowe'en?

Anyway, the only thing scary about this outfit is that I look REALLY sleepy. Which I was.
Standard Casual Friday for me: denim pencil skirt, colourful top and a funky shoe. Didn't do the jewelry so much because of the big belt.

Wore it with a jacket all day, since, yes, it is freezing in my office.
Love the brown leather boots - a total classic - although my dogs are now howling, especially after trekking through the mall at lunch. I'm switching to my black motorcyle boots for dinner out tonight - we're going for Jamaican with my bro and his lady.
Have a great weekend!
Jacket (Gap, consignment), sweater vest (Esprit), blouse (Mexx), red cami (not visible, Plum), skirt (Smart Set), boots (Roberto Vianni), belt (Plum), gold hoop earrings.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh My, Those Are High

I used to be one of those women who kept 2 pairs of shoes in her desk. I just wore them every day, until they wore out and then I bought new ones, same type, same colour: black. I have to credit Ruth for breaking me out of that habit! She asked me - after I'd told her for the tenth time about all the amazing shoes I had - why I never actually wore any of them.

She had a point. What was I saving them for, anyway?

I would never have worn these to work back then - too much of a going out shoe, I'd have said. But keeping my bottom half black, wearing a skirt just past the knee and making the top half interesting, I think I made it work.

This also marks the second wearing of the corset top with belt over a blouse. I wore this with pants and a necklace last time - I was tempted to do the necklace again, but I wanted to wear the bracelet I got at the silent auction last week:

Sorry, a little dark. For you crafty types, this is just a stretch elastic - I bet it would be easy to make. I love all the different shapes and textures on it.

Blouse (Esprit), corset top (Le Chateau, consignment), pencil skirt (Kensie), tights (Hue), belt (gift shop, NYC), shoes (JLo), bracelet (from a consignment shop), silver filigree oval hoops.

Black and Blue

My toe was still pretty painful after my encounter with the door frame on Wednesday night, so I had to kibosh the plan for high heels yesterday and wear something sensible...for me.
The first wearing of the Winter Dress, my lovely midnight blue sweater dress. I am actually wearing another new item here, but since I'm not going to model the black satin slip, you'll have to take my word for it.

Boots (and sport socks underneath for warmth, a snuggly fuzzy cardi and a simple belt and earrings, and I was set for another cold day in my office.

Went out last night - Happy Birthday to my oldest and dearest friend, Janet! Through sick and sin, babe. Drank a bit too much wine...

Dress (Vero Moda), cardigan (Jacob, consignment), boots (Expressions), belt (Plum), black wood double hoop earrings.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Green and Citrine

More new acquisitions: the sweater and the shoes. Yes, I am a shoe junkie. I fully admit it.
If I look slightly pained in the photo, it's because mere moments before I was shouting a Very Bad Word and writhing in pain on the floor, having "pulled a Sheila" and stubbed my toes while chasing the cat. Damn, those doors!

Wearing my favourite tweed skirt again to show off my lovely grass-green sweater. I like the bell sleeves on the sweater and the ribbed texture on the top half of it. It would look good belted, but since I was doing some nice jewelry, I didn't want to detract from that.

The shoes. I was looking specifically for a pair of brown pumps, but you really can't get get boring brown pumps - they have to have something special, and these fit the bill:
Patent faux croc with a nice low, sexy vamp! Yes! Thank you, Jessica Simpson (I never thought I would write those words).

I got this necklace for my...32nd? birthday from L. He was told it was antique and probably Art Deco. My research leads me to think it's citrine, and I know each stone is hand-cut since the facets are quite irregular. Each stone has a metal frame on the back of it and the linking is very delicate. I think the metal is sterling silver, but it is quite dark with age. The backs of the stones have a slight glimmer of metallic, like they were once coated to make them more sparkly (like the earrings).
A close-up:
Isn't it pretty? No markings, unfortunately. The earrings don't really go, except for the colour - I bought them at an antique and collectibles fair to match the necklace. They're probably from the 50s/early 60s.

Sweater (Max Studio), cami (Esprit), skirt (Kensie), nude fishnet tights (Hue), shoes (Jessica Simpson), necklace (antique, gift from L), earrings (vintage).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Call Me Ron(da) Burgundy!

Today's outfit features two of my new acquisitions from our trip to Winners on Friday night: the shoes and the blouse.

I am always on the lookout for nice blouses, and this one had everything I like: neutral colours (but in a pattern for interest), good details (the neck bow and the pretty buttons) and good cut with superb drape to it. Too bad it's viscose; however, I see from searching around online that viscose rayon IS actually washable, if you're really careful with it, but since it has a low "wet strength" it could shrink up to 10%. Damn, this is fascinating stuff, man!

Oh, right, the outfit:
Rocking the 70s look today. I didn't dare mention the Ron Burgundy ("Anchorman") resemblance, or my coworkers would have ribbed me mercilessly. A shot without the blazer (although I had it on all day):
The new shoes:
On sale for $24! And they're even real leather! I'm looking forward to trying these out with a skirt too, although when I tried these on for L and Andrew on Friday night, both said they would look better with pants. Bah, what do men know? Ha!

Jacket (Nygaard Collection), blouse (Louben), cami (Esprit), pants (Mac & Jac), belt (Plum), shoes (Luichiny), faux wood/gold necklace, gold hoop earrings.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Party - Chris' 40th Birthday!

Elaine and I went shopping at Winners on Friday night after work - I wanted to spend my $100 gift card that my Winesday Women gave me for my birthday. I bought 3 pairs of shoes, a blouse, a sweater, a dress and a slip.

This is the dress:
It was in the clearance section for only $20. I love the deep blue and black pattern and the bands of pattern at the hem, edges of the sleeves and at the waist.

The shoes are the real star here:
Yeah, baby, that's 5 inches of pure sex! The platform made these very comfortable to wear (they also have a ton of padding under the ball of the foot). I was hesitant to even try them on, but they were surprisingly comfy all night. My feet don't hurt at all today.

Dress (OC by Oleg Cassini - yes! Oleg Cassini! I know! $20! Get out!), shoes (JLo), crystal drop earrings, crystal cocktail ring, nylons (Hue).

Casual Friday - OMG, Are Those Leather Pants?

The answer is no, they are actually PVC/pleather, but that was pretty much the reaction to these bad boys when I wore them to work on Friday!

These are one of the lots that I won at the silent auction on Thursday night. The retail value on these was $157.00 (donated by a very chi-chi boutique in town that specializes in European high-end designer wear), and I got them for $25.
I kept the rest of the look understated (denim blazer, sweater and wedge heels) so that I didn't look skanky. The pants are a little big, though, so I'll probably get them tailored through the hips and waist.
With the gorgeous red/yellow/black pashmina that Mom got me in London:

Yep, it's Friday - I look sleepy and vaguely pissed off. Ha!

Blazer (Bisou Bisou), sweater (Tobias), pants (Vivre by Priess), shoes (Unlisted), scarf (gift from Mom), gold hoop earrings.

Yellow and Grey Secretary

I went to a charity silent auction on Thursday night, so wanted to wear something fashionable. The charity is one of those ones that outfits women who are re-entering the workplace: they give them work clothes, accessories, make-overs, and hair and dental work is done for free. It's a wonderful thing to do for disadvantaged women, and I've donated a lot of clothing and jewelry to their cause. I adore silent auctions too! My nude photo shoot (see post below) was a lot that I won at a breast cancer charity silent auction years ago.

The event featured a retrospective of lingerie through the ages and they had models wearing some of it, including some burlesque girls. I went with Mom and Elaine and we all won at least one lot!I fell in love with this cardigan as soon as I tried it on - what a perfect fit and the colour is great on me (ha, I'm so full of myself!).

The scarf and the brooch are from my fat era - I have so few things from then since I had to replace all of my clothing when I lost weight.

Cardigan (?, consignment), skirt (Le Chateau), scarf (Fairweather), belt (Plum), shoes (Wild Diva), brooch (The Bay), crystal stud earrings.

10 Honest Things About Me

Whew! It's been a really busy weekend - now I finally have the time to get some posts up and sincerely thank Jane at and Lady Di at for tagging me for the Honest Blogger thingy.

Without further ado, here's 10 things about me that you probably don't know.

10. I have a degree in Linguistics, which is the study of language and how it works. I am absolutely in love with words, how they work, their history and even how they sound. I'm fascinated by how interconnected so many cultures are through a common thread of language, and I'm always listening and looking for new ways that language is being used.

9. I am a published poet (i.e. not self-published), in a real book, that was sold in Chapters bookstores across Canada. This was one of the life goals I set for myself and have completed.

8. I am terribly clumsy. I am always walking into walls and doors, tripping and falling (I do a mean face-plant), and whacking my head on things. My friends call this "pulling a Sheila".

7. I posed for nude photos about 6 years ago. They are very tasteful and artistic: a "bodyscape" of light and shadow, and were done by a professional studio. One of my photos in in their gallery on their webside - I'm proud of that. I have both of my photos framed and up in my home - everyone from the plumber to my mom has admired them. I was terrified to do them, but it helped me so much with my body image at the time.

6. I read voraciously, pretty much anything I can get my hands on, but mostly graphic novels and fiction (lit, sf, horror). My favourite authors are Dan Simmons, Robert A. Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Lawrence Block and Chuck Palahniuk. I also am not afraid to admit I read trashy magazines in the checkout line!

5. I hate cooking. Loathe it. I tend to eat things in a whole state (cottage cheese out of the container, steamed veggies, plain fruit), but grudgingly cook spaghetti, stir-fry, lasagna, soup, and simple things like steak and burgers. My wonderful husband is my sous-chef and chops all the veggies for me.

4. I'm a night owl. I'm so glassy-eyed in the mornings that my coworkers know to avoid me until at least 10 am. My ideal hours would be 2 am bedtime and 10 am wake-up time. Whenever I'm off for a substantial amount of time, I always revert to this.

3. I did a marathon 3 days before I turned 40. I race-walked/powerwalked it in 5:52. It was a life goal - my dad was a marathoner, who died at age 55. It was also a tribute to him and I cried when I crossed the finish line, and my mom was there to put my medal around my neck.

2. I was extremely shy growing up, until I was about 16, when I figured out that I could change how people see me by changing how I presented myself. Thus was born my love of fashion. It has given me the self-confidence to change myself from the outside and learn to love who I am on the inside.

1. Two years ago, I looked like this:
I weighed nearly 200 pounds and was heading down the road to Heart Attack City. Two years ago, I joined Weight Watchers to work towards my goal of doing the marathon. My plan was just to get fit, but it changed my life. I now eat better and exercise and in general, I look after myself - I've changed my lifestyle. I lost 60 pounds and have now maintained my weight for almost 18 months. I went from a size 16-18 to a size 4.

Every day is hard.

I keep that picture above on my fridge to remind me where I've been.

I never want to go back.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blue Suit - Return of the Very Short Skirt

I had the skirt in my giveaway pile after wearing it in May, here: It was just too short with bare legs, especially for work. But you know, with tights, it felt just fine.
I love this suit - I bought the skirt first (knowing the sizes would go), then picked up the jacket a month or so later when it went on sale. The paint is wearing off the buttons (they are big black domes) and I've been touching them up with a black Sharpie, so eventually I'll have to replace them.

Check out the nice peplum back:
I love that. And I'm all about the details: such a nice collar, and it has bright blue satin lining!

I felt very chic in this all day with my funky shoes and my mile-long (looking) legs. I had planned to wear my new consignment belt over the jacket but it didn't look right when I changed at work this morning, so I left it off.

Blue wool blend suit (Le Chateau), sleeveless T (Lady Dutch), tights (Hue), shoes (BCBGirls), earrings (birthday gift from L).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Should It Stay or Should It Go? Doris Day Pink - 200th Post Extravaganza

Okay, there isn't really an extravaganza, but it is my 200th post. Yay, me!

However, this is going to be the first installation of "Should It Stay or Should It Go?" where I am going to wear wardrobe items I am feeling dubious about. YOU tell me: Stay or Go.

Featuring the bright pink jacket below:
Dubbed "Doris Day" by my co-workers, I am not sure that I want to keep this jacket. I love the upright collar (but it limits how I can wear it, since it looks weird open), but I'm not so big on the colour (ugh, pink...BUT another co-worker loved it on me).

Tell me: Should it stay or should it go?

Also featured: my black lace dress (it has little spaghetti straps). I'm thinking of getting it altered, as it's a size 8 and the straps are way too long. I like the mix of the lace and the rock 'n' roll accessories with this outfit (once again: the BBB combo of boots, belt and buckles).

The boots still stink. How do you get PVC to stop smelling?

And just because I haven't showcased this other old favourite jewelry set, here it again:
Jacket (Cleo), dress (Kensie), boots (something cheap, I've already forgotten), belt (Jacob), silver/black bracelet, black stone/silver earrings.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Purple Ruth Shoes

First of all, no comment on the hair. It poured rain all the way to work this morning - that's 40 minutes in the driving tropical downpour - and I have a severe case of "hood head".

I went to the consignment store yesterday, to take a break from napping and football-watching (oh, it's a tough life!), and I picked up this silky 100% cashmere sweater for only $34! I am a recent cashmere convert - it is the warmest, softest wool I have ever owned.
I love these cropped herringbone pants - a great consignment find last year (under $30 for lined wool Club Monaco? Get out!). But the star is the shoes. Ruth has these same shoes and she wore them on Friday so I knew I'd be safe wearing them today. You just have to love purple shoes.

Sweater (Expression, consignment), pants (Club Monaco, consignment), shoes (Bronx), purple stone/silver earrings, silver loop necklace (one of my summer holiday gift shop finds).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Special Occasion and Special Guest - Theatre with Mom

I bought season tickets for Mom and I to go to the local theatre, so Friday night we headed down for the first show.

Theatre for Mom and I has been a special thing since I was about 14 years old. We had our tickets and even though we were probably fighting back then, we'd get dressed up and go out for a night. I have fond memories of all the plays and musicals we've seen over the years. It's a tradition I'm glad we're still doing.

This is my new dress from my shopping trip with Ruth:
I love the draping on the bodice. We walked to the local pub for dinner pre-show, so got to wear somewhat practical shoes. Yes, I can actually walk about a mile in my Fluevogs!

A close-up of my accessories for the evening:

L bought me that purse last year for Christmas. It is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. The back is solid of the fabric on the ends. And check out the inside:
If you look up Spencer & Rutherford ( they are designers from Australia who make the most fabulous bags I've ever seen. How L found one of their bags in this sleepy town (and he got it half price - and I know it was still over $100!), I'll never know. The details on this bag are just amazing: the metal frame and handle has etched flowers on it. The strips of fabric on the front have hand-sewn sequins and beads on them. And that lining!

As noted in the title, I have a special guest in this entry: my mom! Looking fab in her finery!

Mom: silver knit top (Melanie Lynne, Christmas gift from me last year!), skirt (Chloe), shoes (Mantles, used to be mine), necklace (Melanie Lynne, Christmas gift from me).

Me: dress (Banana Republic), tights (Hue), shoes (Fluevog), gold necklace and bracelet (Jones New York).

Casual Friday - Burgundy & Skinnies

Time to start hauling out the sweaters - it's getting colder in the mornings. This is one of my favourites: it's a wool mix, and is nice and long. I usually wear it belted but was having one of those "the less I emphasize my stomach the better" days.
Hard to tell, but I'm wearing my burgundy Oxford pumps with the skinny jeans.

First wear for my new long winter coat! It's a thin wool blend, with big buttons all the way down, and no slit at the back, so it gives me full leg coverage. I'm going to have to tighten up some of the buttons. Very goth. Perfect for a Friday.

Long coat (Kenzie), sweater (jana), jeans (Jacob), knee-high fishnets (?, old), shoes (Bleka), bag (KGB Studio), gold hoop earrings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The World's Noisiest Suit

I have only worn this suit once and after today, I recall why I don't wear it more. I keep checking the composition list to see if "paper" is listed as one of the fabric components, but no. It is just 95% cotton (with a bit of polyester and spandex to keep it from being a wrinkle-fest). I'm so conscious of it when I move though: scritch scritch scritch. Good thing my thighs don't rub like they used to!

A shot without the jacket:
I wanted to wear my gladiator Fluevogs to work, so a suit is the best way to take those sex-on-a-stick shoes into "okay for work" territory. Put a pretty yellow blouse with it to girly it up and I'm rockin'.

I didn't take the jacket off all day (as I would freeze and my fingernails would turn blue - damned air conditioning), so this is what I really looked like.

All professional...only WE know what was really going on:
Woo! I love those shoes! Naturally, I was hiking up my pantleg to show them to everyone, so it's not like I was hiding them or anything. Elaine gave me the cool drop bead earrings for my birthday - yay! Thanks, Elaine. And this is the necklace Cat gave me for my birthday last year - all handmade.

Suit (Esprit), blouse (Do & Be), cami (Plum), shoes (Fluevog), earrings (H&M, gift from Elaine), necklace (Cat, handmade).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Burgundy Schoolgirl

I knew I'd be tired after staying up late to watch the election coverage (for you non-Canucks, we had our major election last night - see, we do these things FAST). Anyway, good ol' fall-back: the dress.
I love this plain cut dress. The dark grey, the pinstripe, the cut - it's all good. Throw on a little blouse, some tights (because it's cold and I'm getting lazy about shaving my legs), a comfy pump, and I'm good to go. Doesn't get much easier than this.

However, despite my intent for simplicity, I had a major issue all day: the tights. I usually love tights (they suck everything in, hide the hairy legs, allow you to tuck your blouse into them for a nice sleek line, etc. etc.). BUT - I forgot I had a pair of "hipster" tights for wearing with low-waisted skirts. And these are they. Oh man, I was pulling at them all day! They gave me muffin-top mid-hip, my blouse got all bulgy in the middle, and I kept plucking at myself. So annoying.

Please ignore my hair, which looks like ass. Got caught in the rain on the way home and have "hood-head".

Dress (Mac & Jac), blouse (Nygaard Collection), tights (Hue), shoes (Aerosoles), black stone/silver earrings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blue Satin & Birthday Jewelry

*Sigh* I hate going back to work after a long weekend. I'm so dozy. However, I knew I would be, so I planned all my outfits out (except for Friday).

I got this top in Vancouver, at Tristan. I wish I'd bought a couple, since Ruth and I didn't really have time to do many of the stores. They had this in black and brown, as well as matching camisoles. Why I didn't buy a camisole, I do not know. They were only $10.50 and this top was only $24.50 (I do love the 1/2 price rack - every store has one!).
Of course, I'd freeze to death if I walked around all day with no jacket, so I added a jacket.
I lose my shape a bit when I don't wear jackets done up, but it's too pretty of a top not to show off.

I was pleased when I realized that the top matched the jewelry that L got me for my birthday (oh, he got me other stuff too: 3 CDs, a book and a board game):
Very pretty! I love the sapphire-coloured stones. I'm so lucky.

Jacket (Max Studio), blouse (Tristan), black sequined cami (Esprit), skirt (consignment, Jacob), shoes (Unisa), bracelet & earrings (Plum).

Sheila Figs - Wizard Chick with Book Stand

It's been a couple of months since I did any painting - doesn't help that it's football season, which kind of takes away some of my Sunday recreational/hobby time.
I was so happy to get this figure; I really like painting women figures, and I wanted to do something really cool with her cloak. I decided to do a "disco" theme for her, so went flashy with the colours and ornamentation on her.

Here she is, ready to primer, all the flash and edges filed down. Primered! Now I can really see the detail and start thinking about colours.
Skin has been done, as well as the base colour for the book's pages.
The first colour. Originally, I was going to do a more silvery cloak, but I found the grey just too dull, so I painted over it later.
Getting the darker colours in the creases and lightening up for highlights.
Disco cloak! I really like how this turned out. As you can see by her arm, I'm not really very careful about the other colours - it's easy to just paint over and clean up - until I start working on the highlights and lowlights.The cloak is done, now for the rest of the colours. Hair, base metal colour.
Lots of work on the book and stand. Yes, the stand is made of skulls. Ooh, scary!
And after a few hours' work yesterday, voila! Details done: eyes, skin shading, silver highlights on the metal, bases, blacklining and words on the books pages. The intent is that her dagger is causing this book's page (obviously it's some evil magic book) to blacken.
A shot of the back.

I'm pleased with this figure, but it's not one of my best. I like the cloak the best - it's very "Fantasia" and was fun to experiment with.

L Figure - Pope of the Rose

So nice to have a long weekend...we get to relax and finish up a few figures! L finished the "Pope of the Rose":
Great colour scheme and attention to detail. I particularly like the "writing" on the scroll and the shading of the white sections.

A shot of the back: Although I think the cloak could use more shading/highlighting, this is still an excellent piece.

Well done!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthday Week - Party!

My birthday is over for another year - the party was on Saturday night. It was great - lots of people showed (although many people who said they would be coming didn't show, which is always somewhat disconcerting).

I didn't buy this dress in Vancouver (I did buy a dress at Banana Republic, and a top at Tristan, and some shoes, though) - I got it over a month ago at the Bay. I just felt like wearing something a little more glitzy, and I love the texture on this dress.
It's got a great vintage-y vibe to it, I think, and Ilove the plum colour. The cut is also fabulous and totally flattering.

I accessorized with a mix of good quality costume (Christmas gift from L a few years back), and vintage. This bracelet is one of Gram S's. I have taken 2 links out of the bracelet part to make it fit. I have no idea how old it is, but I'd guess 1950s.
The necklace and earrings are by Myka, a Vancouver duo: They use Swarovski crystals and semi-precious jewels, and all of their stuff is hand-made.
The necklace (I love the thick chain).
And these are the shoes I got in Vancouver - Fluevog again! These are from the "Listen Up" collection (for the scalloped heel - 3 of my 4 dressy 'Vogs are "Listen Up"), and are called "Ivanna".
Totally fab! And so comfy!

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Canucks!

Dress (Maggy London), shoes (Fluevog), bracelet (vintage, Gram S.), necklace and earrings (Myka).