Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Friends for Tea: Blogger Meet-Up (plus Hat Attack!) and Shopping

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! In direct contrast to pretty much everything in this post (hats, English tea, shopping), I've spent the last two days preparing for my house to be inundated with a bunch of drunken, swearing men (and a few unsuspecting wives, I'd wager). I made two kinds of chili (chicken/fake meat/mushroom and bison, chipotle beef and spicy pork), which has been simmering on the stove for 48 hours, and 3 batches of cheese biscuits (I may have eaten a few along the way). I'm hoping for a good game - go, Seahawks! I think most of us are rooting for Seattle, as it's the local team.

Anyway, like I said, in direct contrast to all of that "grunt grunt" sports, here is some major floofiness:
"Is that...sun? So...bright!"
I've met up with the Hostess of the Humble Bungalow (check out her post about our meet-up here) many times over the years, since we discovered we both lived here in Victoria, and she recently suggested that we get together with some other local bloggers, H of Ponside (about our meet-up here), and Lorrie of FabricPaperThread.

Funny moment: all of us (being bloggers) all snapping pictures of everyone and everything! The very kind waitress patiently took a picture with each of our cameras (4), which were all of varying degrees of technology.
Ultra-casual stair pose
So happy to see the sun out, even if it was only briefly. I agonized over what to wear, but ultimately I knew I'd be wearing a hat for Judith's "Hat Attack!" over at Style Crone (go see!).

Since both H and Lorrie were new-to-me in blogging terms, I wanted to give a good representation about what I'm all about as a blogger. I'm 45+, highly visible, and committed to ethical shopping and above all, wearing what you want!

I also knew I'd be walking at least one way to the White Heather Tea Room, so my shoes and hat would drive the rest of the outfit. Also, being the weekend, I didn't want to be in super-restrictive clothing (this turned out to be a good idea, with the very rich tea we had!).
L ended up driving me there, as it took a little longer than anticipated to get both batches of chili going, but I did walk home.

The jacket is my bargain silk and wool tweed, last worn here in December 2013 with shiny paisley. It demonstrated my rockin' thrifting skills (yo), since I paid only $2.50 for it. I shared many of my favourite thrift and consignment shops with my new friends!
The two-tier cotton skirt is so swooshy and fun! I wore it for the drama and comfort, and because it was a consignment purchase. I last wore it for a weekend shopping trip in September 2013 (here, after the monochromaniacs).

The boots are my wonderful Miz Mooz, last seen here a couple of weeks ago with my Etro blazer. A lady stopped me in a store on the way home to tell me they were "the most beautiful boots I've ever seen." Aw.

A better look at the side of the hat - it's quite an interesting shape. It sits naturally on my head (i.e. no elastic or anything holding it on) with the side folds over one ear. I like to wear a pin at that point, so opted for my gold leather Smoking Lily anatomical heart (it now being February).
And I see the old chick I will become...
This hat is vintage and was purchased well over 10 years ago in Value Village (I think) for a couple of dollars. This is the first time I've ever worn it as part of an outfit on the blog, although I did model it and post a picture of me wearing it pre-blog here in 2010 (it's down in the bottom half of the post).

I am so thankful for the encouragement of Hat Attack! and my fellow fashion bloggers for inspiring me to push my fashion limits and wear some of the more daring items I find in my shopping adventures!

My full outerwear ensemble:
Added my faux fur collar, elbow-length brown leather gloves (they fit well under the bell sleeves of the blazer), and my cross-body bag leather bag (another awesome thrift find).

The stuff:
A mix of store-bought, local, and gift stuff.

The hat's label:
That is the worst-looking deer I have ever seen.
The Variety Hat Co. was a Canadian company from the 40s - I found ads in the Winnipeg Free Press from 1949, looking for agents to carry their hats and salesmen to sell them.
My bigass bird bib necklace. I found another one of these for sale recently at the Patch, for around $25.

Jacket (David Findlay, thrifted), skirt (Lapis, consignment), boots (Miz Mooz), obi/key ring (local), necklace (gift from Mom), earrings (Plum), chain bracelet (Club Monaco), spinner ring (Twang & Pearl), cuff (SkinZnHydez).

And here we all are, at the White Heather Tea Room for an afternoon tea:
From left: L (the Hostess of the Humble Bungalow), me, H of Ponside and Lorrie of FabricPaperThread
I arrived first, then L:
I love that L wears her good pearls on a daily basis - don't save them for "special times" - wear 'em!
Such a lovely lady, inside and out! Congratulations on hitting your WW goal weight, L! I'm so proud of you!

H arrived next, and I was immediately struck by her beautiful luminous skin:
Isn't she elegant and classy? Her jacket was a gorgeous, vibrant textured wool, and it went perfectly with her two-tone blue and silver necklace and earrings. She also had on fabulous leopard-pattern fishnet stockings! Rar, a woman after my own heart!

Lorrie got a little lost, but she made it!
She was classic in black and white with pearls, and had a divine grey croc-finish clutch. We were all in deep admiration of her commitment to tea, as she's recovering from a dislocated jaw.

The White Heather does the best English afternoon tea. They have wonderful crisp white linens, and vintage teacups and saucers. This was mine:
It took my right back to having tea at my Grandma J's when I was a little girl. I had my own special teacup and saucer, and our tea was always Red Rose, mine with a bit of sugar (I liked how the sugar all settled into the bottom of the cup). When Grandma J died, I asked to have "my cup" - I still have it, and I should definitely dig it out! What am I saving it for?

L's teacup was one of the same ones that Grandma J had:
It reminds me of the springtime cherry blossoms, which will be appearing soon.

We all ordered the Wee Tea (trust me, it's still a lot of food!):
I had the "Mad Hatter" tea blend - I thought it was appropriate for the occasion and my chapeau. I enjoyed all of the little sandwiches (there are two pinwheels and the centre biscuit one), but resisted most of the poppyseed cake, shortbread and the divinely sweet bar. I think I may have horrified the other ladies when I mashed up 3/4 of each of the desserts with my fork, and sprinkled salt all over the ensuing mess. Old WW trick for resisting picking at leftovers on the plate. I did eat all my sliced fruit!

After a couple of hours of stimulating conversation and blogging comparables, we all headed next door to the House of Savoy, a high-end vintage and consignment store. I don't visit it too often, as it's usually on the pricey side, but if you want to find labels like Dior, Prada, Escada, you name it - that's the place.

Speaking of Dior, you should have seen the $1,700 full-length vintage fur coat they had! It had "Dior" watermarked silk lining, and was a gorgeous thick fur. Of course, I checked the pockets...and found a box of matches from a very posh Vancouver hotel, along with a receipt for three drinks (and the credit card manual slip), dated January 1999. I loved that little glimpse into the previous life of the coat. If I'd had the gumption, I would have tried it on!

We browsed for a while, then went our separate ways. Although I didn't find anything clothing for me, I did find a really nice red wool suit vest for L ($39), and a ring for myself. On the way home, I also stopped at Good Things (no website), an upscale thrift store that carries a little bit of everything. It's a wonderful place for a browse, and browse I did!

Here's what I found on my shopping travels:
Purple leather cuff: $10.00. I'm always on the lookout for leather cuffs, and this was a great colour and a great shape. Can't go wrong at $10.

This bracelet's tag said "signed" but I haven't been able to find the signature anywhere. I was drawn to the hand-cast metal (steel, I think) connector pieces. Those aren't ready-made from a bead shop.
It's composed of the steel rivets/closure loops, rubber strips (black and clear/coloured), irregularly-shaped glass beads and some common jump rings. I paid $15.00 for it, and I feel like I got a real work of art.

Here's how it looks on:
I really like the artiness of it. The colour mix is black, purple and yellow, which is one of my favourites. I'm excited to wear it!

A better shot of the cuff's colour and the split front:
 I like the tapered closure:
Two snaps for sizing (I have really small wrists, so I like that it does up small).

Both the cuff and the bracelet were from Good Things.

And at the House of Savoy, I could spend hours poring over the jewelry in their cases. I spotted this spinner ring and was thrilled when it fit:
My hands still have dough on them from making biscuits! Yikes!
It's marked sterling silver (.925) and the two spinner rings are copper and (likely) brass. There are two sets of the triple cluster of silver dots and the little red bead (coral?). I think it is a Twang & Pearl piece, as there are a few stores that sell their rings here, and the cluster and bead are motifs they use frequently. I paid $38.00 for this, which I think is a deal! I know their plain silver spinner rings sell for over $60 new.

Well, I'm off - the Super Bowl partiers will be arriving any moment for the pre-show, and I need to give the chilis a stir. Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!


  1. It was such a lovely afternoon and such a treat to meet you in person. Your photos are always great to study, but your readers should know that, as lovely as you look on the screen, you are fabulous in person!
    Have fun at your Super Bowl party!

  2. Wow, Sheila, the accessories in this post are making my mouth water! Great score on the purple leather cuff (I love leather cuffs too) and cool bracelet (definitely art!). The accessories from the first outfit are spectacular - the boots, the bird necklace, obi belt, "heart" pin....I would have so much fun playing in your closet! Hope your Superbowl party was fun!

  3. Hope you're having a good party. With the lead Seattle now has (4th quarter), they're sure to win.

  4. Looks like a lovely time! I'll have to go look at those blogs. And my favorite things are your ultra-casual pose, and those beyoootiful teacups!

  5. hair colour is gorgeous in these photos! Fabulous! For me, it was my Nana that served afternoon tea. I always remember choosing a teacup that was painted on the inside as well as the outside. I actually ended up with all of them, but sadly gave them to goodwill in one of my many belongings purges.

  6. I snapped a picture of you at the Tea Room and you are so gorgeous...inside and out. So happy that we have met and can share tea and clothes shopping adventures.

  7. Sounds and looks like such a lovely afternoon! :)

    Your outfit is beautiful - love the skirt and the red with the obi belt and boots! Hope you had a fun Superbowl party!

  8. O told me it's Superbowl and I thought of you. Ha! Great chili kickoff - 48 hr. is punting dedication. You look great in that huddle with your team. Your sideline view highlights that awesome red zone, especially with that helmet. Great tackle on your wrists and fingers. I like your stiff arm fend(!?) trick with your dessert too. Thanks for the instant replay. I mean no West Coast offence in this comment. (blame it all on the football glossary)

  9. This is my kinda outfit - belted in jacket, romantically voluminous long skirt and boots to die for! You have such an amazing shoe collection (been oggling the fluevog heeled brogues and ankle strap flowers in previous posts - simply divine!) and I love the variety you manage to work into your outfits daily. I tend to wear same old same old for work. Tea party looks like fun!

  10. That tea meet-up looks like such a wonderful time. And I love your hat - it has personality and charm, like its wearer. I stopped watching the Super Bowl in the 3rd quarter - I was cheering for the Broncos, and had nothing to cheer for! xox

  11. Great outfit, what a lovely tea , you all look wonderful . Best wishes Les x.

  12. Hello fellow BC blogger. I'm popping in via Pondside to say hi. Love your funky and fun outfit. I also love to buy vintage/thrift and wear it. Last year I bought a hand knitted sweater which was still on the website in a boutique in Whistler costing $350! Cost me $15 at the thrift store. Then my daughter examined it and said, "wait, it has pockets...pockets are $60 extra!" :D Anyway, lovely to meet you and I'm off to read some more of your posts. :)

  13. I love that second pic, I bloody LOVE your outfit, I love all your amazing accessories, and I love a good blogger meet up!!! Combust!!!
    I am very jealous of your otters. I figured you would have them up there, the little cuties! I just make the most of our myriad of ducks! XXX

  14. How exciting to meet other bloggers!! Y'all look fantastic and YUM to the tea!!
    I love the outfit--the skirt is so swooshy and the boots are amazing!
    Wow on the bracelets--I adore the mixed media one!

  15. It was fun to meet up for tea. You did a great job of representing your style - very smashing! I particularly love the skirt. Hope the Super Bowl party was fun.

  16. Blogger meet-ups are wonderful, and looks to me like this one was no exception. You look marvelous, as always. Every piece makes a statement. Your hat has interesting details, which vintage never fails to provide. Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!

  17. How fun to meet you here with other bloggers. I came for a visit from Lorrie's post.
    Love, love your commitment to fashion. Though I love fashion and have been involved
    in the fashion world I tend to forget it when it comes to myself. I can't even imagine
    where you would keep everything and how organized you must be to remember when
    you wore something. Loved your outfit.

  18. That sounds like such a lovely day! I adore your outfit - yay hats!

  19. Your new beaded bracelet looks to me like Anne Marie Chagnon.... Fifteen clams is a very good deal!

  20. Your new bracelet looks, to me, like an Anne Marie Chagnon.

    ...if I commented a million times, sorry. My internet connect keeps going to seed.

  21. This outfit and the venue both make me sigh in envy. You look marvelous and so does the tea! My favorite tea place moved twice, farther and farther away from home so I don't get out there anymore!

    Congrats on the great accessory find.

  22. Oh! Afternoon tea is one of my very favorite things.

    I think this is one of my very favorite outfits you've worn, too. The hat is to live for! The way your boots, tie belt, and hair go together is art. Your skirt! Your blazer! I love everything. :D


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