Sunday, December 6, 2020

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: McQ Mini Goal Shopping; Dress Detective; Christmas Shelf and Frame Displays

Hello, my friends! I'm feeling so festive and merry this weekend - and am permitting myself to let go and enjoy the holiday season in a more chill way. Grab a cup of your beverage of preference, as we have the debut of my McQ (as in Alexander McQueen, baby!) miniskirt, a vintage dress score and ensuing detective work, AND more of my Christmas decorations!

Saturday was sunny and crisp - you wouldn't know it was December to look at my outfit! 

Ahoy, what is that glowing ball in the sky? 

  • Jacket - Sarah Pacini, consignment; last seen here in July with some black and white
  • Sweater - Wanko, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) for Book Club in November, with all the layers
  • Skirt - McQ by Alexander McQueen, 2013; purchased here for $38.00
  • Boots - Matisse, consignment; last seen here in November with a fabulous jammy dress

'Tis the sun, and this is my magical liquid called coffee! Ah, coffee good...
I've been eyeing this skirt for the past week, wondering if it was getting close to fitting me, and when I tried it on Saturday morning, I was able to get the waistband button and both hooks, and the zipper done up. Woot! 

It's still a bit tight, but DON'T CARE. I'm wearing dark tights anyway.
These are my fleece-lined ones again. Although it was sunny, it got cold quickly once the sun started going down in the late afternoon. 
I'm very happy with the fit of the skirt, although it's not great for sitting!
Even though I knew I might be a bit chilly, I wore this unlined jacket over my wool sweater - the colour was so good! 
"You're leaving me home with all of your decorations? Snack time!"

Vizzini's been pretty good over the past couple of days. I found one gnawed metal icicle and he snagged a topiary shrubbery from the village and chased it down the hall.

Masked up. This is my pine cone one from Mom. 
"Just go ahead and leave. Everything will be totally safe..."

L and I went to Pluto's for lunch, then split up to do some Christmas shopping downtown - both of us shopping local! 
"Why don't you just go, then?"

I wished later that I'd worn a scarf - brrr! 

  • Gloves - Parkhurst
  • Purse - Roots, thrifted

The stuff: 
Good boots for standing and shopping - I finished up my gifts for Mom and my brother's four kids. I'm seeing Mom briefly on Thursday and I plan on handing over all their presents, wrapped and ready to go. 

Copper bling: 
Copper is such a warm and lovely metal. 

  • Necklace - Renoir, vintage 60s, vintage fair
  • Earrings - vintage fair

Vizzini generally made himself a pest while we were getting ready to head out, "helping" L with the laces on his Fluevog boots. 
"The Man could certainly use my help with those delicious shoelaces."

We've gotten better at consistently and gently discouraging him from eating our laces, but we still have to be ever-vigilant. 
"You're really no fun at all."

On my way home from town, I swung by Rich Rags and had a quick browse through, in case there was something really special that leapt out at me and lo and behold...!
Oh, my. It's a DRESS. It's black and silver!

It's definitely a 1970s vintage lurex/poly-blend dress. Look at that fabulous high cowl neck, with the stripes of silver lame (lah-MAY, darlings!). The body of it is all a-glitter too. 
The cuffs at the end of the slightly-full sleeves are also tipped in stripes of silver, and the skirt portion is long sections sewn in panels length-wise and off-set to create "stepped" stripes horizontally. There is no label on it, but by doing some detective work in my closet, I am attributing this to Ian Peters, same as my OTHER striped lurex dress. 

Here's what I see. The overall shapes of the dresses are very similar, with the waistband on each of them set at the natural waist. Below that, the knits of both dresses change in size, and both are puckered for fullness. 
The length of both dresses is identical. 

The zippers are very similar, both ending without a hook and eye. 
You can see that the black dress's knit is wider and becomes narrower at the waist here. That's a really nice detail. Both skirts are sewn to the top halves. They both would likely have had matching long ties for the waist, both of which have been lost.

The zipper on the black dress goes to the top of the cowl, giving it a bit of rigidity at the back of the neck. 
Both zippers go to the same spot at the natural waist. 

The zippers themselves are metal YKK zippers, but the teeth parts are plastic, with metal "stoppers" above the zip toggle. 
Identical on the Ian Peters dress, below. 
Sorry that's a bit blurry, but they are the same. Really! 

You know I love to turn my clothes inside out and see what I can find! More proof that the zippers are the same, but also looking for evidence of a label. 
The line shows the top of the back on both dresses, and how far below that the label is located. If there was an Ian Peters label on the black dress at one time, it might still have remains of thread, or a pull in those four circled potential areas. 

The designer label is sewn on loosely by hand with black thread. 
So I'd expect to see black thread on the new dress too. 

And what do we see on the black dress? 
In diagonal spots, right where we were hoping they'd be, there is a knot in the zipper edging, and a large piece of thread on the body of the dress (it's separate, not a pulled thread). 

Additionally, on the shoulder seam to the left of each zipper, I found traces of a tag.
This might have been a size tag, but either way, I think this all adds up to authentic Ian Peters. Do you concur? 

One thing I think we can all agree on, is that this is a fabulous dress! I might have to wear this for New Year's Eve - whatever we end up doing. I quickly threw on a stretchy elastic metal belt, and my silver boots to show it off (ignore my post-shopping hair). 
And I nearly forgot to tell you - it was $40.00 (Julia took $9 off the tag price for me, thank you!). I paid $28.00 for the striped one at a vintage fair in 2019. 

Christmas Decorations - Shelf and Frame Displays

Although we saw some of these decorations when I first unpacked them, I hadn't yet put them in their special spots. 

Here's my folksy elf display (the brand of all of them is House of Hatten), on top of one of L's CD shelves next to the smaller Christmas tree. 

We have this wonderful round mirror that I bought at a vintage fair many years ago (I think it was $40? because it was missing a bunch of the round knob doohickeys in the frame). 

We have it positioned to give a view of the hallway, living room and kitchen. I hung some more of my red and gold glass balls from the balls in the frame with ornament hooks. 
And hung the teddy bear from one as well. I like having some verticality - I'm giving this a thumbs up, see?

I added these flocked teddies to the display. I love the classic shape of them - they are heavy and solid in the hand.
I have a couple of smaller versions too. I think the big ones were $7.96 and the small ones were $3.95.

I added another one of the LED flickering tealights. 
And put a gold ball at the foot of the elf. Rock on, my friends!

This straw pinecone is one of my childhood decorations. My brother Dave and I used to get a Christmas ornament on top of our presents from my grandparents every year. I think we both got pinecones for whatever year this was (sometime in the 1970s or 80s), but we often got similar ornaments in different shapes or colours. I still have all my childhood ornaments and we will eventually get to those (I have never displayed them as an adult!).
The small bear here is a dark chocolate, compared to the lighter caramel colour of the other one. 

I also have a flocked velvet rocking horse on wooden runners. I think he was $5.95.
You can also see a length of star garland wound around the ornaments here - with the glass balls, it makes the display less static. 

I found a bag full of ribbons and pieces of garland, and I used this pouffy wired ribbon bow to jazz up my painting and other frames in the living room/dining room. 
I hung the large "Punch & Judy" style elf off the other side of the painting. 

When he unpacked this piece, L discovered that the reindeer's antlers were broken - oh no! 
Unfortunately, that does happen, but we keep a bottle of Zap-A-Gap handy for this. I used it when I worked in the Christmas store - many things came loose or broke, and my job was mending them if possible. 
I may have glued my fingers together a few times! 

But now my wooden Sidecar Santa decoration is ready to display. 
I needed whatever went on top of the speaker to be non-tempting, as that's right beside Vizzini's small scratching post. He's ignored it so far, although he's whacked at the curtain lights a few times. 

Over in the dining room/cuddle bench area, I put two of the music boxes I'd unpacked a couple of weeks ago, along with two large musical ornaments, which are too heavy to hang on the tree.
This ornament uses batteries to play "The Phantom of the Opera"'s main song, and reveal the Phantom in the mirror. This is from Mom - we saw the touring production together in Vancouver many years ago, probably around 2000, which is the date on this Carlton Cards ornament (this lists for up to $50 on eBay). 

These are all sitting on top of a revolving CD shelf beside the bookshelf, so I arranged all the pieces so that no matter which way you turned it, you'd see something. 
The "we've had too much coffee" music box. 

And I have the 2002 "The Sound of Music" ornament, also from Mom. 
Maria spins and you hear her singing "The Sound of Music" as the words behind her are lit up.

I put the rock & roll Santa and elf on the speaker on the other side of the TV, near the KISS ornaments. 
Seemed appropriate. 

And on top of the CD shelf near the TV, I arranged two of Jacqueline's porcelain Santas with my wooden gold candlesticks (made in India, I've had them since the 90s). 
I added a gold wire star tree, and another piece of star garland. Sparkly! 

In addition to the gold wired bow, I added some wired star garland to a few pictures. 
That's a photo taken by my dear friend Elaine (now in Hamilton, Ontario), during a rare snow day in Victoria a few years ago - doesn't it go well with the Pooh ornaments? 

I put some more star garland on another photo of hers, on the right. 
And added some red and green Mylar holly garland to my Grade 12 art class drawing from 1985.

This is one of Karen's photos, to which I added a swag of pearly ribbon. 
Below that, on the side table, I arranged this patchwork Santa that we saw earlier, as well as the hippo. 
There's a beaded red satin heart box behind the hippo, and a green wrapped box. The little book is Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales" (it sold for $7.95). 

I have a Victorian gentleman Santa paper doll. 
I've dressed him in his most dapper outfit. 

He comes in his red long underwear. 
What a wonderfully kind face he has. 

More of the holly garland around Mom's painting. 
I got that garland as part of the wrapping on a present decades ago, and it was so pretty that I kept it. 

Wired garland on this gold-on-black rubbing that Mom did in England for L for a birthday present years ago. 
That is accompanied by a framed print called, "Lochaber No More" that L and I got as a wedding present from some of our friends. 
To the left of that is another one of Karen's photos, of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland. 

I discovered this rope at the bottom of a bag. It's by Louis Nichole, which was a company that carried very high-end Victoriana home design (about him here, link 'cause I love). We carried a small line of his ornaments, including some very fancy doll-style decorations. 
We had a few of these ropes which never sold, as they were atrociously overpriced at $42.95 (in the late 80s!) each. We used them on a giant carousel horse on a store display for years, until the gold ends started unraveling (there is also a glue spot, which you can see near the bottom), and my boss said, "You want it? It's yours."

I used it to trim around our family photo gallery. I also put a sprig of holly on the spooky picture of my brother-in-law (not a noted Christmas fan - he would be horrified by my displays, ha ha!). 
I left the limited edition Santa on that end table, and put the polar bear figurine with him. 

I added a few decorations to our built-in bookshelf (aka. the Secret Door). 
The triangle banner says, "Be Merry" and was handmade by my coworker Emily for me, if memory serves. 
She handmade it, including stamping the letters. I love it. 

I put this little Victorian porcelain girl on her sled (metal runners) on the shelf with the dragon candlestick. 
She's also a counterpoint to the Vampire Coach racing through the woods there on the right. 

A Victorian Santa stands amongst some of my vintage glassware, including a blue and gold-leaf glass that belonged to my Grandma J, a set of green sherry glasses from Elaine, and a silver mug frame (the blue glass insert broke) from a vintage fair. The amber glasses are part of my Indiana Glass Company collection. 
Behind Santa is my WW award, and my office nameplate from my former job. 

Lastly is this elf who clings to this winged cat bookend (a wedding gift - we have a pair). 
The elf was also my Grandma J's, and I remember it clinging to the edge of a glass bowl (probably full of Hawkins Cheezies!) at Christmas time at her and my Grandpa's apartment in the 1970s. He is likely a knock-off from Japan of the ceramic Josef Originals version - this guy is rubber - and is likely from the 1950s or 1960s.

I still have another display area, our village, and two trees full of decorations to photograph - yes, there's more still to come! I hope you enjoyed these displays - do you have a favourite piece so far? 

As always, thank you so much for dropping by - I so appreciate each and every one of you. Stay safe, be calm, and be kind, my friends. 


  1. Love sharing your Christmas decorations -- so many lovely and memorable items. And I love your new lurex knit dress :)

    1. Thank you, Cynthia - so glad you are enjoying the Christmas things! Isn't that the most amazing dress? I'm thrilled with it.

  2. Your Christmas décor looks great! The jacket and skirt from the first look are wonderful!

  3. Hello sweetie! My, how very busy you've been this weekend! Your home is just bustin' at the seams with your wonderful decorations isn't it? I have a friend like you who embraces the home decorations too with every nook and cranny housing a small festive find, each with its own story - just the same as you do.
    I love your new maxi dress and also appreciate so much your detective work done to come the two frocks. I have to agree - they must be by the same designer.
    It's lovely to catch up again. Have a super week xxx

    1. Anna, how lovely to see you! I've been very busy with my decorations, and have been having fun taking pictures of everything and sharing them. I haven't embraced this much decorating in close to 20 years!

      Thank you! I love my new dress, and I'm sure it's an Ian Peters design.

  4. The first outfit is gorgeous! I love that skirt and it suits you so well. The picture with the cat wanting to play with the boots is hilarious. You have some lovely Christmas decorations too.

    1. Thank you, Anca! I'm looking forward to the skirt being a bit less snug, but I'm happy to have gotten into it, for now.

      Vizzini is so focused there. :) Thanks!

  5. I always forget how big Vizzini is, perhaps because he is usually lurking in the background, but when photographed from up close, you can really see he's quite a big cat.
    I love your outfit, the mini skirt is fabulous and I like the bold jacket you wore on top of it all. Great boots too. The maxi dresses you bought are beautiful! Such a great find.
    Your Christmas decor is really interesting. I can't wait to see other displays.

    1. He's only about 7 lbs, but he's solid muscle and yes, he's a pretty big cat.

      Thank you! It was fun wearing it, and I'm so excited about my new dress (the striped one is a year old).

      More coming this week! I still haven't taken pictures of all my tree decorations yet!

  6. You and I are so alike with our clothing investigations! That dress is fantastic on you and a splendid find. You already know I loved the one you bought last year!
    Well done for getting into that stupendous MCQ skirt. Love the copper jewellery and both yours and L's boots.
    I'm glad to hear that naughty Vizzini has restrained his antics with those Xmas treasures!
    I think I've got new favourite decoration every time I visit your blog, that cheeky elf is a sweetheart! xxx

    1. I was thinking of you when I did my digging into the dresses! I am sure that I'm right on them both being the same. Thanks, Vix!

      I'm proud of myself for cutting back, and loved wearing my McQ skirt. L's boots are stunning!

      Vizzini's been pretty good, but he does get up to mischief a lot! I'm sure it won't be all smooth sailing!

      Isn't that elf wonderful? He reminds me so much of my Grandma.

  7. You're looking fabulous in Saturday's outfit! That MCQ skirt is simply groovilicious, especially worn with those tights and tall boots. Isn't it a wonderful feeling that once-too-tight clothes fit you again. The same has been happening to me, and it's such a thrill. Totally worth curbing in that snacking for!
    We had a bit of a dismal weekend, so I'm really envying you that bright sunshine.
    Your new black and silver dress is a joy to behold, and I love all the detective work you did.
    Your Christmas decoration are such fun - the folksy elves and Sidecar Santa might be my favourites - although I mainly had eyes for that wonderful mirror. I love Dylan Thomas' "A Child's Christmas in Wales" and how utterly fabulous is the Victorian gentleman Santa paper doll? I just adore paper dolls! Still trying to get into some kind of festive mood myself. Perhaps I can be persuaded to put up the tree next weekend :-) xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Ann! It felt so good to get into it and I felt pretty badass as I strode amongst the shoppers on Saturday. Good for you!!

      Aw, I'm sorry to hear that. We're back to our grey and dreary days too, but I'm cheered by all the happy Christmas lights.

      I am so thrilled by my dress! I can't wait to actually wear it.

      I'm glad you like them - those are some of my favourites too! I know, when I spotted that mirror, I had to have it. I also adore paper dolls - I used to make them when I was a kid.

      Go on, put the tree up! I promise you will feel better. :)

  8. Good evening Sheila, You say you appreciate us reader, well we appreciate all the work in your posts! Goodness, great decetive work on that stunning dress, it suits you o well. Todyas outfit is great and I bet you are proud to get back into that skirt. I wonder if I will get into the dress I found a bit too tight last New Years Eve I promised myself I would wear it this year (I will even though we will be at home) I enjoyed your decorations update but was also admiring your wonderful glasses collection and your art. Just waiting on hubby to get the tree and then that will be decorated. I think we all want a bit of cheer this year and that's why we started early. one of my favourite pics is you with the coffee . Shazxx

    1. Hello, Shaz! Aw, thank you, my dear! I was rather proud of my detective work - look out, Nancy Drew! If you don't fit your dress, don't beat yourself up. It's okay - this year is one big pass, lol.

      Oh, thank you! I love my bits and bobs. Yes, I agree, so much early decorating going on! it does feel like a balm to the soul, though.

      I need my coffee! Ha!

  9. Fablous outfits as always and wonderful decorations with lots of memories. xx

  10. *sigh* I see your outfits, admire how terrific they are, wish I could duplicate them and then realize with a tinge of sadness that I'll never rival you. That's okay; my life's been good enough. But... you're living my dream!

    1. There's no rivalry here, Ally. Just keep TRYING, and you'll get more and more confident with your looks. Practice!

  11. That skirt is beautiful and I really like that jacket with it! As always I am in awe at your decorations! I was at the opshop yesterday looking for some little garlands to decorate photos like you had here - I had no luck but maybe I'll get some in the post Christmas sales - don't want something too large or too small, haha! Gotta get that balance so it looks good on all our photos, instead of being too big and thick for the smaller photos!

    1. Thanks so much, Mica! Good luck finding garlands! Wired ribbon can be found at the dollar stores, and keep an eye out for wrapping ribbons for other cool options.

  12. The skirt outfit is great! Love the colors all together. And your new dress is Devine! So elegant. And I think that L s shoes are so cool. The hole look is so cool. A man in black trousers, black tee and cool shoes is so attractive!

    1. Thanks so much, Nancy! L has a great collection of shoes, doesn't he?

  13. I didn't guess it was a blue sweater. I guessed red for some reason and I was wrong...but this blue sweater does look amazing with that gold brocade skirt. You look absolutely perfect dear! I very much enjoyed the fashion flashback...and the Christmas ornaments.

    1. Well, red is a good guess since I have so much of it, Ivana. :) Thank you so much! Glad you're enjoying the Flashbacks and the collection of decorations.

  14. Oh my goodness; so much to see in your living room. It would take hours to see every little detail. It's all fabulous; love the art works and I so admire your collection of Christmas related figures. Our living room decorations are very sparse and I plan to invest in some more - hopefully tomorrow afternoon. We have our tree up, although it's in another room...

    Loved the new dress - what a brilliant find and I concur with Detective Sheila; it must be an Ian Peters dress!

    Take care

    1. I have a lot, Vronni, there is no denying it! Thank you - I like having stuff on my walls, and I'm pretty much a maximalist when it comes to decor.

      Woot! I think so too - glad you like it!

  15. Looking fab in your miniskirt and boots and stunning copper jewellery!. And so amazing that you found this lurex dress that is so similar to the other one you've already own, and you do some great detective work, I totally agree that it's important to have a look at clothes inside out, zipppers, seams, buttons!, lots of information there!
    Your decoration is astonishing me more and more!, those bears are cute, and love particularly the santa paper doll!

    1. Thank you, Monica! I know, I can't believe I found another one by the same designer (I believe it is by Ian Peters). I do my research!

      Thanks so much, glad you are enjoying everything. :)

  16. Excellent detective work on the dress - I would agree that it looks like another Ian Peters design. Great score! That is definitely a dress for a festive season. I have a couple of 70's maxi dresses with some metallic accents but I can't fit into them at the moment :(

    1. Thanks, Shelley! That seems like pretty incontrovertible evidence to me, and I love how fun that dress is. I'm looking forward to wearing it for...something!

  17. Thank the twinkling stars above of snowy country for fleece lined tights. Save for when we're lounging at home (and sometimes even then...), I rarely get dressed without a pair between October/November and the return of spring's warmth.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Agree, Autumn, they are amazing - this is my first year with them, and how did I survive the winter before??

  18. What an amazing Christmas ornaments collection. Nobody has so many Christmas things than you have. The black dress got me drooling over the screen. Not that it would look anywhere nearly as good as it does on you, but the photo alone. Magazine worthy model and dress.

    1. I do have a lot of them, Greetje! I know there are people with way more Christmas stuff than me, but I definitely am in the top 10 percentile!

      Glad you liked the black dress! I love it, and can't wait to wear it properly. Aww, "magazine worthy"? You're so sweet, thank you!


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