Thursday, April 30, 2020

Bigass Mid-Week Wrap-Up: Kimono and Best Red; Library Second-Chance Shop; Art Corner; Spring Walk

Hello, my friends! I've had a busy few days, and this is a bigass post with lots to look at, so let's get started. 

This is today's at-home outfit that I would have worn to work in the pre-pandemic days. 
Instead, I am wearing it for the afternoon, until I change for dinner after L gets home. 

  • Kimono - vintage, Portland, vintage store; last worn here (4th outfit) in September 2019 for Winesday
  • Sweater - Twik, thrifted; last seen here in February layered under a jammy dress
  • Trousers - Zara, thrifted; purchased here for $29.99
  • Shoes - Wonders, consignment; last worn here in September 2019 for brunch in black and cream

I knew when I bought this vintage kimono in Portland last September that I would be belting it with this leather obi. Finally! The outfit I was dreaming of!
I'm just as agog over the trousers as you are! Aren't they marvelous? They are very swooshy and fun to walk in.

They are a linen/viscose blend, made in Spain, and they have big front seam pockets.
They are about an inch too long - I didn't get them hemmed before the lock-down, unfortunately. I'm considering hem-binding tape or sewing the cuffs up myself. I can sew! I got a badge in it when I was in Brownies (proof).
They're good enough for wearing around the house for a few hours, though. No sewing today.

Instead, I made some tea!
I saw a box of bags on a fellow blogger's table (sorry, I can't remember who it was!), and recalled that my grocery store sells Yorkshire Tea! I'd been looking for an authentic British black tea - I made myself a cup and enjoyed it.

Kimono open. When I bought this piece, I couldn't figure out what fabric it's made of. I'm still not sure. I think it's silk, but it's a weave that resists wrinkling on the black/cream parts.
The inside lining wrinkled in storage, but I gave the whole thing a good steaming (same with the trousers - I steam most of my clothes every time I wear them).

Kimono off and the thin sweater tucked in so that you can see the high waist of these pants.
 Aren't they amazing?
I felt that $29.99 was a bit much for Zara trousers at the time I bought them, but it was the incredible cut and fit that sold me. They are quality and easily the best red pants I've ever had.

The stuff:
I love these ultra-comfy shoes - they are so squishy and soft, and I get a bit of height without the pitch of a high heel.

Gold bling:
 I like bold pieces with detail.

  • Earrings - Biko, consignment
  • Ball bracelet - Butler Fifth Avenue Collection, consignment
  • Bar cuff - vintage 70s, Mom's
  • Klimt wooden ring - consignment
  • Silver/crystal ring - Uffizi Gallery gift shop, Florence, Italy

And my leather bling too!
The "headband" is a leather strip with a snap and heavy gold chain sewn on it - it's locally-made, and it's meant to be worn on the wrist. I've had the black leather obi for probably a decade - I recall it was under $20. That slit is for threading the other end through, keeping it flat at the waist.


Library Clean-Out

On Tuesday, I decided that if I can't go shopping, I can do the next best thing: shop my giveaway pile. L and I currently use our library to store our things ready for giveaway/donation, as well as most of our book collection. It's right here, see?
See that bookcase? Nice, isn't it? It's solid cherry wood, and the cupboards on the bottom hold our DVD collection. You've seen this a bunch of times in backgrounds, I'm sure.

But did you know we have another room behind it? It's a secret door! We had it custom-made in 2014 (link here, lots of pictures). Go here (FB link) to see it in action!
We had this built to provide us with storage, and to baffle sound from our parties for our condo neighbour whose bedroom butts up against the library. Also, duh, it's a secret door! It's the coolest thing ever!

I didn't take any "before" pictures because it was a bit of a nightmare! Imagine this (here) times 10, with clothes and books everywhere. This is the left side of the room, just inside the bookcase door. 
Two bookcases there - L and I are due to do a big book cull, but nothing can be donated right now, so we're holding off a bit.

This is the right corner - another two bookcases.
Those boxes are full of donation-ready items, as is the white garbage bag of clothes on the lower right.

The inside right - that case is full of painted Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. L and I both painted them for decades. Our best ones are displayed around the house - this contains the ones that aren't as nice.
Yes, the pictures are me - they are from about 15 years ago.

Bags of stuff for swap, and some stuff for future clear-out.

This is the inside left, looking back at the "cat play area" (aka dining room). Another bookcase, and you can see some of our books stacked up for donation.
My gargoyle Smaug is wearing all of my race-walking medals.

I pulled out all the loose clothes and sorted and folded them all up, and then bagged them. I've accumulated a ton of plastic bags from pandemic grocery shopping.
"Something's changed here. I can't quite put my finger on it."

I labeled the bags so that I'll remember what everything is! It will help me sort it all for a massive giveaway when I'm able to do that again.

Vizzini was very excited about all the commotion. 
"I'm a seething ball of excitement."

As I sorted all my clothes for giveaway, I really took a good look at everything, and a few things leapt out at me as not quite being ready to leave my closet. Or maybe they are? But I'm giving all of the below items a second chance.
I originally removed these Sorel sandal-boot hybrid shoes because they felt too chunky.
But now that I look at them, and I kind of like them again. They are really comfy.

These Marc shoes felt way too high six months ago, but I wore them for a while and they felt fine.
Let's give them another go, shall we?
 They are a fabulous shoe - that's about a 2-inch heel. Maybe I just needed a rest from them.

This stretchy pink velvet jammy dress by Ichi said, "Hello!"
 And I said, "Yeah, I think you deserve another shot."

I remember this Nanette Lepore dress felt a little snug last year.
It's a gorgeous bright blue, and really pretty. Maybe it will feel better this year.

I went, "Oh!" when I saw this silk Catherine Malandrino blouse.
I only wore it once - I need to give it another try.

I go back and forth on this skirt every year or two.
But it came back again. It's got pockets, it's a versatile pattern (black and blue), and very swooshy. What's not to love?

I also had a soft spot for this gorgeous silk Ports skirt.
Paperbag waist? Pockets? Silk? Skirts like this don't come along every day.

I have been thinking about these Lady Dutch baggy satin joggers for a few weeks.
They are comfy (pockets!), funky and a good neutral colour. I want you back!

And I completely and utterly love this Kenzie bubble-hemmed brocade skirt.
Even if I don't wear it much, I think it is a long-term keeper.

I also reconsidered two silk scarves.
 This one never got a chance - I love the pattern! It's SO 80s, isn't it?

This is a lovely butter yellow.
 Both of these have handrolled edges - good quality. I always have room for a couple of nice scarves.


Art Corner

Well, that was fun! But I had to remove some furniture to get the library empty enough to store our donations/giveaways, so I did what I've been wanting to do since I made the Book Nook: I made an Art Corner on the other end of our deck!

The chair, rug/blanket, marble table and lamp had all been in the library, unused.
That gold chair has been with L and I for 25 years - it's good quality (actual brass tacks and solid wood). We "rescued" it from the hallway of our first apartment - it was in a donate pile. The seat and underside are thoroughly thrashed (it's been recovered a few times prior to us nabbing it), and Vizzini always tries to eat the exposed horsehair stuffing. I took an old sheet and staple-gunned it over the bottom, sealing it from our little monster.

I draped the chair's seat with the thick woven blanket that we were using as a rug in the library, and moved this little footstool out here.
It doubles as storage for my Zentangle drawing supplies!

I pulled my portable easel out of a closet and tucked it under the marble table.
 Ready to set up on the footstool or on the table.

I tucked our set of weights behind the chair, as well as some canvases, in progress paintings, and my bag of paints/brushes.
All out of sight, but there when I need them.

On my walk today, I twisted a piece of lilac off a tree, and put it on the table in a vintage Indiana Glass Company creamer. My D&D mug is filled with my paint-pens, and a couple of brushes.
The lamp is old - it was in our house when I grew up, and I think it was one that Mom and Dad were given? It still has the original wiring and harp, but this shade is a replacement for the original "tube" style one.

So that's what I did on Tuesday. Today/Thursday, I was up early to go for my Mental Health Walk followed by my weekly grocery shop.
"You're leaving me?" 

Only for a couple of hours, bud.


Mental Health Walk 

I took the camera along today, so here are some pictures of my 'hood.
I would live in this house in a heartbeat...if it wasn't on a major road. I love the whole look of it and that's my kind of yard (low maintenance).

Our Hydro (electric company) boxes are covered with scenes from "old Victoria" - this one is right where my mom lived when she was a girl (1940s-50s).
 Mom, do you remember this house?
She grew up in one just like it.

In fact, the large rock in the centre of this picture was in her front yard.
 So was the holly tree to the right of it - I bet it wasn't that high then, though!

I liked this little sign.
There are so many cracks and bumps in the sidewalks, so this is kind of funny. Look out for this one in particular!

My favourite house is decorated to show support for the Nova Scotia citizens (there was a horrific killing spree there recently).
 I love all the eggs in the garden with pictures of first responders and essential services workers.

A purple iris.
 So pretty.

Looking south at Dallas Road - hello, Port Angeles, Washington!
Although it was before 10am, it was still quite busy down here.

Looking east - I'm going down there, all the way to the other side.
 It was a lovely morning, with a mix of clouds and blue skies.
I think that's Trial Island in the distance. I would like to live in a lighthouse...although I guess that's kind of what we're all doing right now, isn't it? Only metaphorical instead of literal lighthouses.

I saw two black blobs in the water.
It's either seals or otters...

And it's otters!
The one on the left is looking south and the one on the right is carrying something in its mouth (maybe a baby?). They swam across Ross Bay quickly with their heads up most of the way.

Here's a big red heart for you.
People have been decorating the driftwood.

Just a pretty shot with the sun glinting off the water.
The beach is different every time I go by here - the logs get tossed around with the weather and the tides going in and out.

Deer in the graveyard.
Not surprised to see them. We have a lot of deer here.

A family with their dog was playing on the rocks.
No sand on this beach.

The chestnut trees are starting to bloom.
 I loved the feeling of walking under the canopies of leaves.

When I got home, Vizzini was ready for some attention.
"This is more like it."

And now, my friends, I'm going to leave you until Sunday. I love y'all this much!
Have a fantastic weekend!