Friday, December 18, 2020

Fancy Friday: Silver Belle, Ginormous Pants and T-Strap Flashback, Plus the Big Tree - European Glass

Hello, my friends, and happy Friday! I'm pulling out all the stops for my finals outfits of the year, and that means this amazing vintage top gets worn immediately. I've paired it with Trousers of Unusual Size, and the most Classy t-strap shoe ever. Additionally, I have all of my European blown glass ornaments to share with you, so get settled and enjoy. 

Friday's outfit. I was up and down in the elevator all day, dealing with couriers, picking up things from coworkers, and walking around with the person testing all our smoke alarms. My shiny outfit was much appreciated. 

No stair picture - it was dark out. 

  • Top - handmade, vintage 70s, thrifted; purchased here for $5.95
  • Pants - Linda Lundstrom, swap from Caro; last seen here in December 2019 with a giant vest
  • Shoes - Amante, thrifted; last worn here in March with a suede slip dress and ruffles
  • Coat (below) - Danier Leather; last worn here in November

This top needs a name so that I can search for it (I'm an avid user of the search function for finding my "last worn"s and "last seen"s). I'm thinking the Silver Belle. 
She falls into my once-a-year category of clothes, like my Hallowe'en dress, and yesterday's frilly silver skirt. 

The pants are ginormous - they are high-waisted (zip up the front) and slim-fitting to the upper hip where they flare out to a deep curve mid-leg, and then taper back down to a narrow cuff. 
They have pockets, as you can see in the first picture, and they're a stretchy poly-cotton blend. 

Masked up - this is my black mask with silver glitter snowflakes, made by Mom. 
I had a "happy hour" Teams chat with some of my wonderful colleagues in the afternoon - it was so good to see them. They appreciated all my sparkle. 

Outerwear - 80% chance of rain but it's not cold. Leather weather! 
Better wear my hat for the rain! 
It poured on the way home - my hat and coat are drying out. 

  • Hat - Edward Mann, vintage 60s, thrifted
  • Fur boa - thrifted
  • Gloves - Betsey Johnson, thrifted NWT here for $7.95

Flashback - Amante T-Strap Shoes

I bought these shoes here in October 2016, at the now-closed St. Vincent de Paul store downtown. It was an amazingly great store for finding vintage and gems - on this same shop, I found my vintage Etro dress for $6.00 AND my olive green "fin" skirt for $8.00. 
These are classic shoes in every sense. It's a very 1920s-30s vibe, but the little platform is more current. Love that snakeskin print on the leather. 
They are by Amante, and were made in Spain. Those wee buckles are fiddly, but they do the job of keeping these securely on my feet. 
They were barely worn when I got them - the soles do not look like that now! Yes, they really were $10.00. 

I wore them in October 2016 right away with these amazing vintage velvet trousers. I was heartbroken when they were irrevocably stained on the front from a jam spill. Note that I am way ahead of the current trend of wide-legged pants - four years early! 
I also miss my collection of vintage 80s pussy-bow blouses, but I do have an upgraded red blouse from this one. 

This was a pretty standard office look from February 2017. I wore that grey cowl-neck sweater to death. 
Skirt Flashback here

The shoes filled a grey shoe void in my closet, and I often wore greys and blacks plus a punch of colour, as here in April 2017.
That ruffled blouse was so fun, but it had a habit of bursting open. Skirt Flashback here

The shoes work well with vintage-y vibing outfits, as here in August 2017. 
I gave that tunic to Yvonne, who rocks it. Skirt Flashback here

This is the only time I paired them with snakeskin, in October 2018.
Belt Flashback here

This January 2019 outfit had challenging proportions. I ended up getting rid of the jacket, and the blouse is long-gone. 
I kept the ginormous pants, though! These are the same ones I'm wearing today.

I was sick here in March 2019. I gave that wacky leather/suede shirt to Caro - it's fabulous on her! 
Skirt Flashback here

I relied on the classy vibe of the shoes to help ground this outrageous Casual Friday work outfit from March 2019. I don't really do casual like other people!
We'll see that skirt again - I love my leather peplum. 

Another wearing with this grey pleated skirt in October 2019 for my birthday week. 
I love all the textures in this. 

I ended up giving up both this cardigan (to Yvonne) and skirt (to Vero, I think). They just weren't quite right for me. 
Still a cute outfit - this was in January 2020. 

And here's the last time I wore it - with my paisley blouse (Flashback here). 
Again, the shoes are keeping everything grounded. I need to wear that dress again.

Mathy stuff: Well, this should be good, and...yes, with 12 outfits to their credit, the shoes are at a mere 83 cents per wear. Good stuff. 

Cat Interlude

This morning, I was awakened at 5am by the skittering of claws and the sound of something small and glass being whacked down the hallway. Uh-oh. 

I had a quick look around while I was getting ready for work, and yup, I found this. 
"Someone" has pulled a glass bulb right out of its housing! 

When I got home from work, I found the empty socket, but no housing, so I dug in my box of spare bulbs and found the right one for these lights (always keep spares!). 
I fed the bulb's wires through those two holes, bent them over...
Voila! the bulb is good to go, and the string is relit (I tucked that particular tasty light behind a branch to make it less tempting). 

And then I went looking for Vizzini. 

Buddy, 5am is not food time! You have to wait till 6am. 
"It's okay, I had a snack off your tree."

I didn't find the housing for the bulb, so he probably ate it. He'll be fine - he seems to have a cast-iron stomach - he's been eating our possessions for 10 years. He goes looking for things to destroy when he feels we're late feeding him. Vizzini, you are a Grinch!

The Big Tree: European Blown Glass Ornaments

We carried a big selection of these at Christmas House, and had many customers who came to us specifically looking for European blown glass. We mostly had very traditional designs (you can get all kinds of weird and wonderful novelty ones), and I loved them and bought one of everything. They remind me of my childhood, even though we didn't have any this fancy.

These were all between $11.95 and 19.95 - they were not cheap! Again, my hand is in there for scale. 

I have fruit on my tree. Of course I do! 
Would you care for a slice of lemon? This one has a few seeds. 

It has a lovely rind. 

If you have blown glass in your own collection, take a look at the metal hanger on the top - if it's made in Europe (most of them are from Germany, Poland and there is also quite a bit of Czech glass out there), it will be stamped on the metal. 
See? Made in...Germany. 

I love this shiny cluster of grapes. 
That is a luscious purple. 

I'm not a fan of big beefsteak tomatoes, but I have one on my tree! 
This is a big one! 

I like my bananas like this - lots of yellow, a bit of green. 
L likes them spotty (ugh, so gross), so it all works out. 

It's a sugar-plum! 
I like the frosted glittery "sugar" surface and the wired fabric leaf. 

I like spicy food! 
I put one of these in every batch of chili I make. 

I love strawberries. 

The colouring on this pear is sublime. 
The way it tones from yellow to the reddish peach is perfect. It also has a fabric leaf. 

European glass is blown by mouth into moulds, silvered inside, and then hand-painted on the outside. This one is a free-form design, not using a mould, so every one was slightly different. 
I love that satin finish. 

Oh, yes, I would like this golden pear. 
These both have holes (deliberately) in the bottom as part of the glass-blowing process. 

By the way, there's a cool reality competition show on Netflix about glass-blowing, called Blown Away, that is really amazing (link here, 'cause I love). The art they make is stunning and there is no overdone drama with the artists. I learned a lot!

Moving along! 

I've been known to be a Drama Queen. 
It's only appropriate I have crowns! 
Especially purple and blue GLITTER crowns, right? 

Wee Polish glass hearts. 
These are from the older side of my collecting range, from the late 80s. 
Such traditional seasonal colours. 

And now an acorn. 
We have Gary Oak trees here, so yes, I needed an acorn. 

And a frog. I actually have many frog ornaments.
I like his Kermit eyes. 
And he's spotted. 

Oh, there's that Celestial again. 
Astronomically speaking, you can't have stars clustered like that next to a crescent moon. The moon is always a full circle - the crescent is the part the sun is shining on, and the Earth is the shadow, as we're between the sun and the moon. SCIENCE, people! 

I don't have any of my original childhood glass ornaments - those are Mom's and she still puts them up. 
My brother and I broke a lot of them, sticking our fingers into the centers. 
It's like an optical illusion - how far deep it is? We must know...*poke poke poke*
These are so sparkly. 
And I bought them in every colour: red, blue, green and gold. 

A simple red heart. 
My tree is full of love. 

I have only one of these clip-on birds - a lot of you will recognize it, I bet. 
This one has a fishing line tail - really old ones are spun glass and very delicate (my mom had some like those), and many come with real feathers too. 

Do you know about the pickle on the Christmas tree? The version I came to know was that whoever finds the pickle gets to open the first present on Christmas morning, but apparently there are many theories about where this originated (Wiki link here).

Whoa, this is jaw-dropping:
a Victorian era tale of St. Nicholas saving two Spanish children who were trapped in a barrel of pickles by an innkeeper, which actually derives from a much more gruesome medieval legend involving a cannibalistic butcher butchering and storing a group of boys in a barrel and St. Nicholas miraculously restoring and resurrecting them

Cannibalistic butchers!? A pickle barrel full of pickles seems like an...odd place to trap children. Oh, those blood-thirsty Victorians! 
Wait, that's a Highland coo (cow)! Oh, hang on...what's hiding back there?

There it is! 
Pickle found. L likes to go hunting for this as soon as I finish decorating. You get to open the first present, my love! 

Well, that was fun! I hope those brought back some memories for you too - do you have any of these same decorations? Do you have a pickle??

I'll be back on Sunday with tales of adventure, my friends. Thank you so much for stopping by! Tidings of comfort and joy to you all. 


  1. Would luv too see you in your black leather pants, again.

  2. Whoa! morning Sheila, you look fabulous in silver belle! Such class. I think t bar shoes always scream class an a vintage vibe.Yes you MUST wear that dress again the colour is beautiful!! Now onto Christmas decorations - Only on Sheila's blog could you have Science lessons and lessons on folklore whilst looking at ornaments. I love it! I loved that L has to look for the pickle. I have birds on my tree. I have hearts I have a small wooden doll from a ~German restaurant in Australia that I have had for decades . Ornaments from friends and family you name it BUT no pickle! hmm as always your post puts me in a good mood. Have a great week end Shazxx

    1. Shaz, thank you so much! I agree, t-straps do have a very vintage vibe about them. I know, I need to wear that dress again, but I have so many clothes and only limited opportunities to get dressed!

      Ha ha, glad you enjoyed the decorations and learning a little bit too! L gets very excited about finding the pickle, silly man. I love birds, and I have a TON of them, so you can look forward to that! Oh, how lovely that you have some old ones and things that are so special to you. I think you need a pickle, ha ha! Take care, dear!

  3. Goodness, do I adore that wildly sophisticated (not to mention ultra glamorous) black and silver ensemble. Silver Belle is a beautiful name for this special piece. My "blink" name was "Lady Mercury".

    Autumn Zenith šŸ§” Witchcrafted Life

    1. Thanks, Autumn! I don't know what "blink" is...but I like "Lady Mercury"!

  4. Marvellous outfit. Love every item: the silver jacket, the trousers, the red leather coat, the shoes and the hat. A+ from me.
    PS I finally have gone through all your posts. Gosh you keep me busy.

    1. Thanks, Greetje! I like that outfit of me in my hat.

      Sorry, I know I post a lot! I have loads of content this year with the decorations and the Flashbacks too.

  5. I swear to God when my Bitcoin ship comes in, I want to hire you as my personal stylist. And before you say no, I'll offer you SO MUCH MONEY you can't say no. :)

    1. Pfft, you don't need a stylist - you have plenty of good instincts. I would however, train you and taking you shopping and help you build a proper closet! :)

  6. you look gorgeous in "miss silver belle" and the cool trousers and very chic shoes!!
    because i´m european - haha! - i own many of the mouth blown glass onaments, some new, some inherited vintage ones......and a pink frog! but we have no place for a tree at the moment. thankfully glass onaments only get better bey age!
    love your glass fruits! so pretty!

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I bet you have a lot of them. Ooh, I want a pink frog! I'm jealous! :)

  7. Of course you had to wear Silver Belle immediately, and isn't she looking a treat with those massive trousers! The shoes were an absolute bargain at $ 10, and they're a classic yet quirky at the same time.
    Mr. V. has been a naughty boy, although his face looks like butter wouldn't melt :-) As far as I know, Phoebe hasn't been eating any hardware, but who knows! Glad you are keeping spares though.
    Another parade of exquisite baubles here. A lot of ours are vintage ones, both heirlooms from Jos's family and flea market finds. My favourites are those "optical illusion" ones, which we have several of. We also have some of those fishing line tailed birds!
    I'd never heard the pickle story and those cannibalistic butchers sound truly horrific! I do hope this doesn't keep me awake at night ;-) xxx

    1. Yes, she needed to be seen in all her glory! I love the shoes.

      Vizzini is a challenging cat - he has gotten better in the past few years, but he's still a handful.

      I love those optical illusion ones, how cool that you have a bunch of birds!

      I get a kick out of horrific folk tales. :) Thanks, Ann!

  8. This Christmas tour really took me down memory lane, thank you! My mom absolutely loves blown glass ornaments and has an outrageous collection of them. She now just displays all her Christopher Radko ones (she's been collecting them for ages) but I specifically remember her having one just like your grape one but it had velvety leaves, which I particularly liked as a child (I've always been a sucker for velvet I guess). I've been starting my own blown glass collection, I think the latest edition being a bacon and eggs one, and I have a mini flock of birds perch on the top of my tree that I'm pretty pleased with. :)

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Ashley! I remember the Radko ones (we didn't carry those - too expensive!). Funny how our preferences make themselves known so early through Christmas decorations! I love the idea of a bacon and eggs one - so fun. Aw, groupings always look cool. Post a picture of your tree!

  9. Oh that bird with the fishing line tale brings back memories to my grandparents tree. Why is it a one year outfit. The top is gorgeous. It deserves more outings! Love that grey pleated skirt outfit. I'm a sucker for pleated skirts. Have a great Sunday Sheila!

    1. I knew these ornaments would bring back memories from childhood! Thanks, Nancy!

      It's once a year because a) it's shiny silver so VERY festive and b) I only have so many opportunities to wear my full wardrobe and once I've done an outfit with these seasonal things, then I need to move it along so that I can wear everything else I own! Too many clothes, too little time.

      Thanks, honey!

  10. What a fabulous outfit! The Silver Belle would be a great name for that hand made vintage top. Such a unique piece! I like shiny clothes, they can be so much fun. I love how you styled this gorgeous silver piece with elegant pants and pretty shoes. You were certainly dressed to impress. The red leather coat is gorgeous!
    Those shoes of yours make me think of professional dancing shoes, very pretty and it was great seeing how you wore them in so many lovely outfits. Great flash back.
    You really have a lot of Christmas ornaments. Today I decorated my balcony, it was fun and it was sunny so that made it even more enjoyable. I still have to put up my Christmas tree, I think I'll wait until Christmas Eve.

    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! I also am a big fan of shiny, and I was really happy with this outfit.

      Yes, they are very much like dancing shoes.

      Yup, I really do! And I'm not event through them all yet. Oh, I'd love to do our deck, but it's not insulated so...nope. I couldn't wait till Christmas Eve with all the stuff I have! It needs a long season, just so I can look at it all.

  11. Got coat envy over your red leather coat!
    The baubles are gorgeous. I love the slices of lemon.

    Take Care,
    Jane X

    1. Isn't it a beauty? I've had it for years. Thanks, Jane!

  12. You are certainly the belle of the office in that beautiful silver top! When I was living at home we had a few blown glass ornaments just like your mother's that were hung on the tree every year. Few survived over the years and I don't know if I still have any of them, but they were my favourite.

    1. The belle...of my empty office! Thanks, Shelley! Yes, the blown glass doesn't last long - they don't stand up well to temperature fluctuations, and many people store their ornaments either in their attics or crawlspaces, where they aren't at a stable temperature for the rest of the year.

  13. Aww, your decorations are so cool!
    Vizzini is such a bad boy! We had a chinchilla called George who chewed through our microwave cable..
    Love your amazing silver top- it is so cool! By the way, last Saturday, before I had to quarantine, I bought a Sheila skirt! I can't wait to wear it and share with you! I am a huge fan of big trousers- they are the best!

    1. Thanks, Kezzie! Yes, he's a very naughty boy. Yikes, rodents are difficult - we had guinea pigs when I was a kid who chewed everything in sight. I thought I was done with that with a cat...

      Oh, I'm so excited to see your Sheila Skirt! Thank you!

  14. lovely silver jacket and lovely red coat! (wow, it's Red!) and so amazing classic shoes, and they're made in Spain (mwhaha!). Love the retro vibe and how cool they look with your pleated skirts!
    I'm more and more amazed by the quality and fabulousness of your decoration!. The story about the children in the pickles barrel sounds morbidly victorian! very Sweeny Todd! ;DD
    Glad that Vizzini is ok and has not destroyed anything Big!

    1. Isn't it a gorgeous coat? It's really RED and I've had it for ages. I thought of you - made in Spain! Thanks so much, Monica!

      Aw, thank you, that's so sweet. Isn't that awesome? Yes, very much Sweeny Todd! Those gruesome Victorians.

      No, he's fine. We just have to watch him all the time.

  15. Silver belle is the perfect description and it looks so good on you! You really do have so many different types of decorations, the fruits are so fun! :) I really like the pickle tradition too although I have never heard of it before, that's a new one for me! Christmas day is kind of a free for all here, we grab pressies from the tree and hand them out to whoever they belong gets messy, no waiting for the first present, haha!

    So glad Vizzini survived the light eating attempt!

    1. Thanks so much, Mica! I love these shiny and bright fruit ornaments. The pickle was only something I heard of because I worked in that store - I'd never heard of it before then.

      We do that too - no queueing.

      He did survive! That cat...

  16. The music to Jaws is playing in my head as I see Vizzini peeping round the corner and heading towards the tree!
    The silver jacket is such a perfect fit. I've sold very similar jackets with matching jackets in the past, I'm still got one in the stockroom but sadly it's a big 'un.
    I can't get my head around how many decorations you have, you should start your own museum of Xmas! The fruit ornaments are fantastic. We had Victorian glass versions of those passed down from Mum's dad's family when I lived at home. Sadly when my Dad developed dementia he threw them all in the bin and it was too late to recover them. xxx

    1. Yes, that's very apt, Vix! He's such a monster!

      I'm so happy with the silver jacket/top; even if I don't wear it again until next year, it was worth it.

      I know, it's a LOT. I love the blown glass ones too - they are so beautiful. Oh, no, I'm so sorry to hear that your dad tossed yours. That is so sad.

  17. Hooray to see the Silver Belle getting an outing. It is lovely.

    That frog bauble is brilliant.


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