Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peace Out, 2013!

Last day of the year, yo! And yes, I was at work - a full 8-hour day. It was super dead, so I took down the Christmas decorations and attended to some much-needed annual maintenance of my desk (a good cleaning, plus some filing) in preparation for some long days working on the newsletter this and next week.
Grrr...crappy morning light...
But let's not get ahead of ourselves! It's New Year's Eve, and as soon as I am done talking about this outfit, I am having a nap in preparation for dinner out (at 8:30pm! Heavens!) with 11 of our closest friends, followed by a party at our friends' place till the wee hours. You know, my usual.

So, outfit. This is my new-to-me brown angora sweater and my new booties, both purchased on the weekend (here, down at the bottom).
Because the booties have blue and brown leather in them, I used that as my colour palette: blue blouse under the sweater (for extra warmth and protection from the dastardly pokey Christmas tree), and a blue belt (to hang my keys from).

The blouse is sheer, and was last worn here (hey, that rhymed) in November under a strapless dress.
My much-loved steampunk skirt was last seen here (way down at the bottom) in October for dinner out with L and Mom.

The stuff:
I ended up taking the booties off around 1:30pm and putting my runners on. I had spent most of the morning on my feet wrangling large boxes, decorations and such, and my feet were sore. The heels are 3", which is now my top limit for a work shoe.

I will be wearing heels (not sure which ones yet) tonight, and we'll be walking to the restaurant, to our friends' place, and home in the same shoes, so I need to baby my feet. Also: note to self, Sheila, wear comfy shoes tonight!

I love this thrifted necklace. Such a cool design.

My clock hands are set at 5:00 and 9:00pm: when I got home from work and when I'll be finally eating dinner!

Blouse (Expression, consignment), sweater (Limited, consignment), skirt (Orwell, thrifted), booties (Gold Button), necklace (thrifted), earrings (Foxy).

And now...time to nap.

Wishing my friends - near and far - all the best for the coming year. May 2014 bring you happiness, joy and good clothes!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Purple and Olive and Lacy Legs

One more day of the year to go! How exciting! I wonder what 2014 will bring?
Colours are not quite true here - still dark out!
I do like to wear my new and new-to-me stuff as soon as I get it. Let's get that jacket into an outfit, stat!

This is the first outfit with my thrifted olive jacket (purchased here on the weekend). I really liked how it fit, and the great cut. I found two little buttons under the points of the collar, so I think this once had a detachable faux-fur collar. That would have been awesome.
"I don't want you to go! Stay home with me!"
Trust me, bub, I didn't want to get up at 6am either.

I layered the jacket over my purple lace dress, which was last seen way back in July here, with leopard legs.
The tights are pretty cool, aren't they? I do love a fun tight.

The stuff:
New shoes! Also purchased in the last week.

My Myka set:
So gorgeous. It's always worth it to have high-quality costume jewelry, in my opinion.

Jacket (Ron Leal, thrifted), dress (Jacob, thrifted), shoes (Gold Button), jewelry (Myka).

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!