Thursday, December 24, 2020

Black Leather and Floral Coat Flashback; Plus the Big Tree: Animals

Hello, my friends! In this post, we have a funky leather lunch outfit, plus a Flashback on one of my favourite coats EVER, and my collection of assorted animal Christmas decorations from the Big Tree.

I'm just getting settled into having extra days off - it's been awesome having L around and enjoying some quality down-time together. On Tuesday, we had some errands to run (Christmas booze, groceries), so we decided to go to Christie's Carriage House Pub for lunch first. Of course, I had to dress snazzy! 
We had a lovely sunny and clear day - most of the snow was gone, and the sidewalks were relatively clear, although I clutched L the entire way because I have a tendency to fall down. 

  • Coat - Paparazzi, thrifted, Vancouver; last seen here in March for a vintage fair
  • Blouse - Talbots, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) in June with picnic plaids
  • Leather pants - Classique Entier, thrifted; last seen here in October 2019 with a spooky top
  • Booties - Prepare 2.0 Tracker, Fluevog; last worn here in November with a plaid jammy dress

I'm happy to report I did NOT fall down. Go, me!
My outfit was greeted with glee at the grocery store - a couple of employees raved over it. It's all about the coat, which is a spectacular piece of art - we will have a Flashback on it shortly.
A "hello!" to the lovely person at the grocery store checkout - I gave her one of my blog cards. 
I have waffled on this pink blouse in the past (it wrinkles if you look at it), but the colour is such a good match with this coat. 

The coat is perfect in every way but one...

Without the coat, so you can see everything. This blouse is viscose with a woven-in snakeskin pattern. 
There is a subset of readers who REALLY like it when I wear leather. This one's for you - remember, DBC!*
*don't be creepy

I was happy that I fit into my leather pants again and can even zip/button/hook them up comfortably.
It's good incentive to not eat chocolate constantly over the next two weeks. Because, I really WANT to eat All The Chocolate. All bets are off on Christmas Day, though; Santa knows I need chocolate in my stocking! 

Masked up - this is a multi-tone pink speckled one from Mom. 
I went with shades of red and pink for my accoutrements. 

Outerwear: All done up and ready to go - this is how most people saw me while we were out and about. 
I didn't need anything warmer - welcome to winter in Victoria! Winter one day, spring the next. 

  • Pashmina - Portolano, thrifted
  • Gloves - Parkhurst
  • Purse - Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac, thrifted

The stuff: 
I require shoes that have a bit of a heel with my leather pants - these are all about Platform Math! That's about a 1-inch heel, net. These are easy to walk in and the rubber soles were excellent on the wet/slushy sidewalks. 

Black bling: 
Nothing too fancy. 

  • Fang cuff - Alexis Bittar, consignment, Sidney
  • Chain bracelet - thrifted
  • Earrings - thrifted
  • Silver/crystal ring - Soul Flower
  • Silver/onyx ring - Toccara, vintage fair

It's a good day. I feel at peace. 
I'm happy just to be here, you know? 

Flashback: Paparazzi Embroidered Denim Coat

I bought this amazing coat here in March 2015 for $125.00, while on one of our annual jaunts over to the mainland (Vancouver) for our anniversary. 
It was on a mannequin at My Sister's Closet (a local Vancouver charity shop, not to be confused with the former consignment store in Victoria), one of the stores we always visit when we're over. 
It's 100% cotton denim, and it's fully embroidered. 
That's the central back section, but if you look at the full pics above, you'll see that the front and arms are completely symmetrical (a mark of high quality in a garment, as it uses more fabric). 

The brand is Paparazzi, which is an Anthropologie brand. I found one listed online for $200 second-hand. 
I'm sure this would have been about double that new, at least. $125.00 is a lot for something in a thrift store, but all proceeds go to help women in need. 
"Where there is love, there is life!" Thank you for the comma in the proper space! [/grammar nerd]

Bonus pic from that trip - Melanie tipped me off to this coat at the store (one of her regular haunts), so thank you, Mel! We met her for brunch and then went to Fluevog. 
We are such goofballs when we get together! I still have that coat.

I wore the coat right away, in April 2015. 
My polka dot pants didn't get worn this past spring/summer, but I stored them away - they'll fit in 2021! 

I wore it again a week or two later to go to the ballet with Elaine. 
Same shoes, and that's a yellow dress I no longer have. I have tucked a vintage fur collar into the lapeks to keep me extra warm. 

I love this outfit from January 2016, so much that I've copied this formula a few times! 
I still have that bow-tie, but I've upgraded my yellow skirt since. Shoe Flashback here

I wore it to Winesday in July 2016. 
The only thing left from this outfit is the coat. 

Trying out some wedge-heeled sneakers here in December 2016. 
That was the only wearing of that embroidered yellow top. 

I wore it shopping here in April 2017. 
Some basic clothes under it. I still have those boots. 

Here's that white + yellow + red mix again, this time in October 2017. 
I think I still have that yellow skirt?? How you know your wardrobe is getting too large...

I sometimes wear this coat like a blazer (keeping it on with the outfit) and sometimes I use it only as outerwear. It's the latter case here in April 2018. 
Origami shirt Flashback here; shoes Flashback here

Sometimes I keep the stuff underneath pretty simple, eschewing patterns in favour of blocks of colour - this lets the coat take centre stage. 
This is from December 2018. Velvet boots Flashback here

This outfit from February 2019 is the last time I did the yellow + red + white theme - the bow tie returns!
I could replicate this - I still have everything, including my Mr. T black chain necklace. Shoe Flashback here

Worn as a coat in April 2019. 
Top Flashback here; shoes Flashback here (although I let go of them this year).

I nearly wore these yellow cords today - this look is from September 2019. 
Jelly-deer sweater Flashback here; shoes Flashback here

I wore it as my main outfit piece here in December 2019, when L and I went to see Matt Patershuk in concert. It was a sitting-down gig with dinner first, so I went for ultra-comfort.
I see L is being a doofus - how unlike him! Hee hee! 

And here's the last time I wore it, to the last vintage fair in March 2020. 
I love the coat with the Big Lady Boss Pants! Fab! 

Mathy stuff: This coat wasn't cheap to begin with, so it's in my cost-per-wear interest to wear it more! I'm at 15 outfit so far which is a mere $8.33 per wear - very decent. 

The Big Tree: Animals

Although I've already shown you some of my animal decorations, I have even more! I can't resist a sweet animal face. 

We carried a big selection of animal ornaments by this line - I can't remember the name, but they came in fancy boxes and were $14.95 each. 
I loved this fox. 
Nice detail. 

You know how I love "Equestrian" as one of my go-to personal fashion themes? It started with Christmas decorations! 
The "hunting" theme of foxes, black boots, horses, and golden horns was very big in the mid-90s. 
I picked up this sweet little fox then for $5.95. 

I have no idea where this Highland coo (Scottish for "cow") came from. 
I've been to Scotland, but I didn't buy this. 

Oh, here's another ornament that would have been with the equestrian theme. 
A lovely golden stag. This was $7.95. 

These next animals joined my collection in the late 90s, just before I left Christmas House to go back to university and finish my degree. 
It's a grey bunny, stopping her fall with a couple of leaves. 

And she's got a is this a dead bunny? 
Maybe she fell from the lack of flying (leaves are useless, even for a small rabbit), died, came back to life, and then used the leaves to fly to heaven? My goodness, I'm seeing these ornaments in a whole new light! 

I also have a racoon who is doing the same thing! Dead animals everywhere! 

I like that she is holding a leaf with her tail. 
Such great detail. 
Look at that face! She's pretty happy for a dead racoon. These two above were $19.95 each. 

This one is from the same line and was so gorgeous that I bought one for Mom too. 
A mouse on a butterfly! This was the most expensive at $24.95. 
Amazing detail - the shiny eyes, the antennae, the fur and the wings. 
Her little tail wrapped across the butterfly's abdomen and gripping the wing. 
The colour on the wings is amazing. This is a big heavy ornament. 

I love this reindeer. 
He's got a beautiful blanket over his back, and some good detail. He was $11.95.
He's not quite 3D; more of a thick 2D. 

Another reindeer - this one's acrylic. 
It was $3.95.

Dear gawd, this is hideous. I vaguely recall buying this on after-Christmas clearance at the drugstore? 
Probably because I didn't have a monkey ornament. I can't look at it - nightmare fuel! 

I loved these little cats in teacups - we had them with ginger cats, grey tabbies and solid black cats, I think. 
It's porcelain and these were $5.95. I always wanted a cat, but didn't get one until L and I lived together (Othello kitty). 

This little mouse looks very hungry; she probably can't get into that walnut. "Please, kind lady, won't you open this for me?"
This is from the same set as the first fox and was $14.95. 

This ornament was unfamiliar to me when I unpacked this year. 
It was stuffed into the top of one of the bags. 

Someone obviously gave it to me. 
I have never been to Yellowstone. Who do I know who has been there?

L was marveling last night that I remember how much all these ornaments and things were. It's because for most of my 11 years working in the Christmas store, I HANDWROTE all the price tags. We sold hundreds of these otter ornaments. 
He was $2.99. I wrote that price hundreds of times, which is why I can't remember anyone's names now: no room in the hard-drive. But I'll remember the prices of these forever. Thank you, brain. 

I love this wooden lobster. 
We don't have lobsters on the west coast of Canada, but these were popular enough in our nautical section, along with sailboats, globes, lighthouses, anchors, that sort of thing. He was $5.95 and is hand-carved wood with metal accents (legs, antennae). 

I also bought this big-eyed turtle from that same fancy collection as the fox and the mouse on the walnut. 
I love the shell. 
The eyes are glass. It was $14.95 as well. 

These next two are from the big folk/cow trend in the late 80s. More Stockholm Syndrome, heh heh.
Something about the rough carving gets me. 
The funny faces. 
Funny pink pig face! 
I love the little curlicue tail. These were $4.95 each. 

This felt dove is actually really old - it's one of my childhood ornaments, and was probably from Grandma J in 1972-73?
Embroidery and sequins - you can draw a direct line from this ornament to my closet contents today. 

Same with this filigree white metal unicorn, a gift from my aunt Sheila, who I was named after her, a family friend type of aunt. 
She was a Mary Kay lady in the 80s, and I learned most of my make-up skillz from her. I had Mary Kay everything when I was in high school: eyeshadow and lip palettes, base, blush, perfume. 

I like this sweet little cat hanging out in a Santa hat. 
It was $5.95. I don't think Vizzini would chill in a Santa hat - he would freak the heck out and destroy something while he fought his way free. 

I love these two griffin. I know, they are not technically an real animal, but neither is the dragon or the unicorn. 
I didn't often buy two of anything, so you can tell I REALLY liked them. 
They were $5.95 each. 

These seahorses were so delicate. They were $7.95. 
They were actually made from moulds that were created from REAL seahorses, which is kind of horrifying. 
They often broke as people clattered them together - this bottom one was probably a "take it" as the tail is chipped. 

I remember when we got these wooden hand-carved animals in. As well as being an assistant buyer, tree decorator, window decorator, staff trainer, duster/vacuumer, and salesperson, I also unpacked all the stock and put it out in the store. My boss would open the giant shipping boxes when they came in, and divide up the stock for our two up-Island stores (one in Chemainus and one at Whippletree Junction, just south of Duncan), and jot the price per ornament on the top of the box of 6 or 12, however they came. 
She would sometimes leave me a note on where she wanted things displayed in the store, but I usually had autonomy on that. I spent my days between customers unpacking the boxes, discarding the extra packaging (most of it - we always kept "the good boxes") and pricing the ornaments. 
We displayed them on pegboard on hooks (like this here, link 'cause I love). I once stepped on a hook (always wear your shoes at work, kids!), popping a hole in the sole of my foot and bleeding all over the floor. My boss, Joanne, bandaged me up ("I'm a mom, I know what to do"). 
I was ecstatic when they finally got a pricing gun. My hands ache when I think of all the freaking price tags I wrote over 10 years. 

Yes, Vix, I do have an Unsafe Polar Bear! 
These wooden ornaments are hand-carved and are from India. 
They were $9.95 each. 

That's an Unsafe Hippo! 
Hippos are very dangerous. If you see a hippo, run away. 

I could not afford the other carousel ornaments in this collection. Look how huge this is - the whole length of the photo!
It is nearly 12 inches, top to bottom. 

Glitter rhino! 
We also had an elephant, a horse and a lion. I wanted them all, but at $24.95 each...nope. Not even with my discount.

This wonderful stag brings us back to the equestrian collection again. 
He has a fuzzy, flocked finish, with a metal bell and greenery. 
The antler racks are plastic. He was $7.95. 

I hope you enjoyed my animals. Do you have a favourite? It's hard to choose just one! 

I'm going to take a little break now until after Christmas, when I'll return with clothes, presents, and more Christmas tree decorations (yes, I'm still not done). From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all peace, and whatever and however you celebrate, I wish you joy and love.

Merry Christmas! 


  1. Yay! I'm so happy that you've posted before I turned my PC off so I can wish you, L and Mr Vizzini a very, very happy Xmas!
    I love that coat, it was worth every penny. It looks very much like the Kashmiri wool work ones which sell for ££££s so you got yourself a real bargain. That's another item to add to the Vix pile!
    Your legs look about a hundred feet long in those sexy leather trousers and of course I love the boots.
    I love the cute animal ornaments, my Xmas cards had Highland cattle on them this year as I love their shaggy faces. I kept thinking I had a favourite until I scrolled to the next photo, I think the bejazzled rhino might be it although the Unsafe Polar Bear comes a strong second.
    Thank you for the lovely comment you've just left on my blog, I feel the same way about you!
    Enjoy your break, have all the chocolate and hope you have a fantastic Xmas! xxxx

    1. Thanks, Vix! I hope you and your boys had a lovely Xmas too.

      It really was - the work in it is just stunning. Ha ha, hands off, you! ;-P

      Thank you! The boots are awesome. Aw, I love the Highland cows - we experienced them first-hand blocking the road in Scotland! I love the rhino too - he's amazing. Hugs to you, my dear!

  2. That coat is spectacular indeed, no wonder the grocery store employees raved over it. I would have too. And oh, you have blog cards, like me! But no pockets! I hate that in a coat, although it wouldn't have deterred me from buying it. I also love the contrast of the funky leather pants worn with the pink blouse. And those boots are magnificent too!
    I can't imagine going out to lunch, which has been an alien concept for us for months. I'm pleased to hear you're still able to do so.
    How delightful are those animal decorations - perhaps with the exception of the monkey :-) - and what an amazing variety. But wait, you've still got more? No way!
    Wishing you, L, and of course Mr. V. a most wonderful Christmas! xxx

    1. Isn't it lovely? I'm happy to have spread a little joy around in it. Thanks so much, Ann! I'm grateful we can still go out for lunch.

      Ha, agreed, except for the monkey! Way - I have more coming today! Happy Christmas, my dear friend!

  3. I always forget to give away my blog cards. Or don't dare too. That is a very special coat. I wish you and L a very Merry Christmas!!

    1. Eh, I'm sure most people never check me out, but I keep on giving them out, Nancy! Merry Christmas to you!

  4. Merry Christmas and all the best! I hope you're enjoying a happy and chocolate Christmas day. It's lovely you have had such nice sunny days. This is a beautiful outfit for sure. Those red platform heeled boots you look very comfy and they are simply fabulous in design. I always appreciate a rubber sole. My husband taught me to buy shoes with rubber soles. He taught me to check for all kinds of things in a shoe and with time I learned to spot and buy quality shoes. The leather pants are fantastic and I love the pink bow tie blouse. Such a pretty styling! The embroidered coat is gorgeous! The floral pattern is amazing and the embroidery looks so delicate. As someone who does embroidery, I can really appreciate the work that went into it. As someone who loves language (and grammar), I appreciate the comma as well. :) I very much enjoyed the fashion flash back. You wear that coat so well. The photo of you and Melanie is super cute. Your Christmas menagerie decorations are fabulous! So many beautiful animal ornaments. The painting detail on all of them is amazing. I think the mouse on the butterfly is my fav one.

    1. Thanks so much, Ivana, and a very Merry Christmas to you! We were lucky with the weather this year, for sure. I love rubber soles - they're the best. Thank you so much, glad you liked the outfit. Ha, yes, I appreciate a properly-placed comma! Thanks - I'm so glad Mel pointed this out to me - I think of her when I wear it.

      I'm happy you liked the decorations - one more load to go!

  5. You have THE COOLEST CLOTHES. Does that even need to be said? Merry Christmas, darlin'.

  6. I love your amazing embroidered coat! I've really been enjoying seeing all of your ornaments. Star Wars, animals, wizard Santas and everything! I wish I could make myself really small so I could hang out in your trees with all the ornaments. Is that kinda weird?...oh well, haha! Wishing you, L and Vizzini an Awesomely Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks so much, Cheryene! I'm really glad you have enjoyed them, and yeah, that's a little weird, but then so am I. :)

      Merry Christmas!

  7. Another fantastic coat! I do miss looking snazzy going out to eat. Have a terrifically telaxing days off.

    1. Thanks so much, Sam! Nothing wrong with being snazzy around the house!

  8. That coat/jacket is really fabulous. I would have bought it immediately as well. Good old Mel to point you in the right direction. The way you wore it at the top of this post and with the wide pink trousers are my favourite outfits.
    And more ornaments... wow. I am amazed your house can hold so many. The mouse on the butterfly is my favourite.

    1. Isn't it incredible? I'm so lucky to have gotten it. Thanks, Greetje! Yes, and they are only in the living room area too.

  9. I am just astounded at your ornament collection! I wonder if you qualify for an entry into the Guiness Book of Records? It was so hard to choose a favourite but I loved the raccoon with the leaf in its tail and the sea horse in particular...

    That is a truly marvellous coat; colourful, stylish and so versatile. I loved it with your leather pants and the platform red shoes but there were so many fabulous flashbacks.

    Enjoy your festive break and take care,

    1. Thanks so much, Vronni, but gosh, no, I don't have that many compared to some people - I have seen WAY more decorating in other people's houses. I like your picks!

      Thank you - it's a fun piece to wear! Happy Xmas to you!

  10. To call that coat a sartorial masterpiece would scarcely do it justice. Truly, it is as gorgeous as winter is chilly. What an incredible piece to own and get to wear.

    And speaking of awesome things, that is exactly what your animal ornament collection is as well. These are another group that really strike a chord with me as my own holiday decor style.

    Big hugs & joyful last weeknd of 2020 wishes!
    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thanks so much, Autumn! It's a lovely piece and I love wearing it.

      I do have a few, ha ha! I hope you like the final batch. Hugs to you - here's to 2021.

  11. That coat is one of the great jewels in your wardrobe! I love your animal ornaments - such an incredible collection. I'm surprised the giant carousel elephant doesn't pull the whole tree down.

    Wishing you, L, and Vizzini a Happy and Health new year.

    1. It really is, Shelley! Thanks so much - the carousel rhino is tucked into the tree and anchored with a couple of branches (and that's why I had to tie the tree to the wall!).

      Happy New Year to you, my dear friend!

  12. That coat is so beautiful on you and you are doing great with the cost per wear! :) Think I have a very similar pashmina scarf too - haven't worn it in a while though which is a shame, not sure if I even still have it!

    I really like the fox ornament - it reminds me so much of something we used to have that I don't recall seeing on my parent's tree this year so I'm going to have to ask my mum about it. (I used to be into foxes as a kid so maybe I've got confused with another non-Christmas ornament, but my mum would know, haha!).

    Hope that you had a wonderful Christmas! :)

    1. I'm really happy with my cost-per-wear so far on it, Mica, thanks! I love my soft pashmina (it's a cashmere one!).

      Oh, how cool that you used to have a similar fox. Did your mom remember it?

      I did, thank you! I hope you did too!

  13. That coat IS a work of art - someone really put in the hours embroidering it.

    To be honest, right now I'm most envious that you went out for lunch... that sounds like such a magical treat!

    1. I know, SO much work in it, Mim.

      Going out for lunch has been great - I'm glad that restaurants are still allowed to be open.

  14. WOWW, love your embroidered coat and love every colour combo you created around it!, it's such a fabulous piece!. And love this outfit, with the pink and red accessories and the leather trousers!, You Rock!
    And I love to see your coat in a flashback!. A huge fan of your yellow skirts and red shoes ensembles (with the red tie!), and love the polka dot trousers. This coat enhances every colour!
    Lovely animal ornaments, my favourite ones are that wood and pig, their faces are so cute and funny!. These posts are being such entertaining!

    1. Thanks so much, Monica! I loved this outfit and felt like a million bucks in it. It really does go with every colour, doesn't it?

      Thank you! I love those too - faces have to be right for me. I'm glad you are enjoying the posts with the decorations!

  15. I totally love that embroidered coat Sheila. It's one of those things I would have bought if I'd had a chance. The coat is a wellspring of creativity for you - thanks for the flashbacks.

    1. It is a gorgeous piece, even better in person. Glad you enjoyed it. :)


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