Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Foxy Blues and Velvet Chatterbox Flashback, a Furious Cat, and Half a Bookshelf

Can you believe it's December already? And you know what that means: Sparkle! 
I'll be stepping up the Sparkle Quotient in my outfits all month, either by wearing bright colour, shiny, velvety and glittery fabrics, or through adding sparkly accessories. 

  • Sweater - Gap, thrifted; last seen here in January with more blues
  • Skirt - J. Crew, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) in November 2019 with my blue cape
  • Boots - Ishshoes Chatterbox, Fluevog; last seen here in March with a kaleidoscope dress
  • Coat (below) - Sfizio, consignment; last worn here in February

I'm adding texture to this outfit in a bunch of those ways (as is my wont). 
The dark grey of the fox is a sparkly thread. 
The luxe tie fabric of this skirt is very shiny and pretty. 
I'm a fan of royal blue too. 

Masked up - a black and white patterned one. 
The boots are also a deep midnight blue velvet, and we'll be having a small Flashback on them shortly.

Outerwear - we're having crisp, clear weather and brrr, that means it's cold. 
Bundled up with my wool beret, wool-lined leather gloves and my grey fur boa scarf. 

  • Beret - consignment
  • Fur boa - thrifted
  • Gloves - Danier Leather

The stuff: 
Dang, these boots photograph poorly! Someone please aim a sunbeam right at me - it's dark when I leave in the morning, and it's dark by the time I get home. 

Blue bling: 
My vintage Sherman set sparkled! I had a few comments on it from people in my building. 

  • Necklace/earrings - Sherman, 1960s, thrifted
  • Lapis lazuli ring/Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Chain bracelet - thrifted

Flashback: Ishshoes Chatterbox Fluevog Blue Velvet Boots

Not-so-secret fact: I love getting gift cards from Fluevog from my friends, coworkers and L for birthdays and holidays. I picked up these gorgeous deep blue velvet sock-style boots here in December 2017 in a post-Christmas flurry of gift-card-spending at the local Fluevog store. 

This shoe family is called "Ishshoes" and they say, "Iron out your Ishshoes" on the bottom - note that the sole is sort of shaped like an iron. 
If that heel shape looks familiar, it's because I also have the Ishshoes Zoomies (these here). These boots were in the clearance section, marked down to $199.99, and I technically didn't pay any money of my own for them, but we'll use that number for Flashback Mathy purposes. 

I wore them a few days later, for New Year's Eve, December 2017. 
I've worn them twice with this Desigual dress - showing the back of it here, and the front a little further down. 

Of course, I had to wear them to work shortly after, in January 2018.
Autumn camo! I need to wear this dress again soon. We saw the belt in Flashback here.

I met up with Erin, a blog reader, in February 2018 - I ducked out of the office for half an hour to meet her for coffee. 
I still have that lavender skirt, but nothing else.

I kept the boots out for the "shoulder" seasons (early spring and late summer) that year, and wore them in May 2018 with my long blue wool cardigan (Flashbacked here). 
They go so well with other blues - I know the colour doesn't really show very well in the indoor shots, but it's gloriously vibrant in the right light. Just keep that colour there in your mind! 

I paired them with my zingy Etro dress (Flashback here) in September 2018 for a Winesday. 
I also wore the blue cardi over this. 

This outfit is from December 2018 - that coat is amazing, all thickly embroidered and due a Flashback. 
The plain sweater is a little too plain - this outfit needed a necklace. 

I'm a huge fan of this amazing Romeo Gigli grey wool dress, worn in January 2019. 
Yes, the arms are supposed to be that long! The belt is a vintage 80s leather one with an elastic back - I always forget I have it. 

I like how this November 2019 outfit goes from light on top to dark at the bottom. I spy L getting ready to leave for work.
That Ted Baker skirt was packed away for winter this year (it was a little snug, but I'm almost back at my goal). We saw that Armani blazer in Flashback here

Here's the front of my Desigual dress - I really need to wear that again! I've had it for over 10 years. 
This was in March 2020 - I wore the same sheer blue tights today.

And this is the last time I wore the boots, with this fabulous kaleidoscope print dress, just as we were going into full pandemic lockdown in March 2020.
The boots are "comfort food" for me - the colour is soothing, the stretchy velvet is so soft, and they are very comfortable. 

Mathy stuff: I'm on my 12th wearing, so I'm at $16.67 per wear right now. These are still what I'd consider "new" in my closet, though, so expect many more outfits with them! 

I finished unpacking all of the Christmas decorations on Tuesday, and took pictures of a bunch of things. There are so many that I won't overwhelm y'all with them all at once, so I'll be doling out my pictures in small batches.

As I was doing pictures, Vizzini was lurking around, hoping I'd give him some tuna (he's ever-hopeful as L sometimes makes tuna sandwiches on the weekend), and generally being a pest. He disappeared for a bit and then I noticed the lights on the big tree flickering. 
"I see you care about this. Allow me to destroy it."

I had to scooch myself under the tree on my stomach and wrestle him out of there - he was chewing on one of the LED lights, and had broken the bulb. I quickly stuffed a large box back there. 
"Wha--How DARE you, Woman!"

That is one seething cat of fury, there! He tried to get in on each side, but he's been stymied. For now. 
"I am full of outrage!" 

It's hard not to yell at him, but I gently shoved his face back away from the tree several times and he seems to have gotten the message - let's hope so! 

Christmas Decorations: Half of the Bookshelf/Victoriana

Here's the top of one of our bookshelves, all decorated. I'm only going to cover the left side of it in this post - the tree and decorations around it are my Winnie the Pooh collection, and we'll cover those next time. 
There is a lit pine garland loosely draped around the back of the shelf, and a small lit tree. The garland is anchoring the tree (which is also sitting in a sturdy mug) to keep it from tipping over, as it's front-heavy. 

On either end of the pine garland are my two Santa holders - they are meant to have a bead garland draped through their arms. 
The red frosted glass ball is from Poland - I bought two of these very early on in my Elf career, probably in the late 80s. My original Christmas tree was a small 4.5' one and my theme was red and white, with a very Victorian bent to it. I bought a lot of "filler" decorations then, and mostly cleared them out by the late 90s when I got married to L.

We used to sell a variety of these felt birds with all different colours of beading on them. They were made here in Victoria. I think this one was $1.95.
I don't really have any sentimental attachment to it, but it reminds me so much of my 20s. 

You can see a bit of the star garland here, which is loosely draped along the pine garland for extra sparkle. One year, probably around 1994-ish, I bought two packs of this garland, and cut all the stars of it, and sewed them by hand to a long-sleeved black body-con dress (those dresses were very much the fashion at the time). The sewing didn't hold well, so I ended up glue-gunning them to the dress. I was a galaxy for Hallowe'en! I kept that star dress for many years...I wonder if it's still around somewhere...


This is another porcelain ornament by Jacqueline. She didn't make very many, as they were a lot of work and not very big. 
I think they sold for $24.95, which is a lot for a small ornament. People are willing to pay that for something physically larger, but not a small item with just as much work in it. 

I know what year this is from, though! 

Another ornament by her.
That's all hand-painted. Again, these were expensive, around $24.95 (pouring porcelain into a ball mould is difficult and a lot of them broke) due to all the work involved, and we didn't carry them for very long. 

I discovered this little wool fellow when I pulled all the stuff out of the hall closet. I have a "thing" for animal decorations, and this is not the only sea otter I have! 
He's about 4.5" long and he's holding a snowball and wearing blue earmuffs. I have no idea where he came from! 

Country Victorian was a HUGE trend in Christmas decorating in the 90s - so much ecru, cream, and pastels! We carried a small line of these angels, most of them tree toppers. 
She has a large bead for a face, real wool hair, a thick satin dress and a custom tatted lace dress. The bouquet she's holding contains real dried flowers. 

This was the only hanging angel we carried, and I grabbed her. She has legs! 
As with good quality clothing, I appreciate all the detail and work that goes into a creation like this. I think she was around $49.99. 

This is the left side of the top of the bookshelf. 
I've moved Jacqueline's Santa and goose over here, and added a battery-operated tea light (it flickers! I found a pack of 12 at the drugstore for $6.95).

Our gold clock has stopped working - it's not the battery - so I moved it on top of the Treasure Box of Wonder, which is a wood and brass 9-drawered box that I bought wholesale on one of our buying trips to Seattle in the mid-90s. My bosses were so nice, letting me add things to our order for myself. 
I thought I'd continue the clock theme with my clock ornaments! I've added another tealight up here too for extra ambiance. 

When we went on buying trips, the wholesale companies' showrooms were set up by theme - we often only ordered a few ornaments from each theme (usually based on price, what we thought would sell). 
This is the "Tea Time" porcelain white clock/teapot with red ribbon - these were $5.95. 

I added some of my tiny red and gold glass balls that didn't have hangers around some of the displays. This makes the displays look fuller and more interesting to the eye. Former Vogue editor Diana Vreeland famously said, "The eye has to travel," (link here to info about the 2012 movie of that name 'cause I love - I recommend it!) and that goes for Christmas decorating too! 
Do you see me in the ball? 

This 3D cup and saucer hangs by its red ribbon. The saucer has a clock on it, and one side of the cup says, "Time for Coffee."

And the other side says "Time for Tea."
I think this was a bit more, around $7.95. The mini glass balls were $5.95 for 12 (I bought a pack of gold and a pack of red in the late 80s).

Here's the coffee pot/clock. 
Coffee time! Yes, please! 

In front of the Treasure Box of Wonder, I placed these two sledding figures. They're called "Testing the Toys" and they were $24.95. 
They are by Department 56, a company that does very high-end porcelain Christmas village (light up houses and churches and things). We carried the Christmas Village buildings, plus a huge assortment of the Dickens Village series. I also remember the ginormous Victoria Station (this one, link 'cause I love!). I always loved doing our store's display windows with the new houses and shops. I have a bunch of Dept 56 ornaments and village accessories - they made very high-quality decorations. 

Right behind those two is my snowman roly-poly.
I like his sweet face. 
He's...fine. I liked him enough to buy him 25+ years ago! I think he was around $11.95.

And here's the other end of the shelf with my other Santa holder and glass ball. 
We'll look at the Winne the Pooh decorations next time! I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into my collection.  

And lastly, one more picture of Vizzini.
"It's like you've forgotten I'm a cat."

It's a little terrifying leaving him alone in the house with all my decorations, but it all seemed to be fine today!


  1. I always love your outfits but I can't help gush over all your Christmas decorations Sheila! As we have spent more time in the house (we've been in it a year and a half now) we have made a few changes and it's meant we have our Christmas tree in a different corner and it's not the first thing you see when you walk into the room any more - so I've been trying to think of ways to add a bit more Christmas cheer around the house without overstepping with hubby who thinks one tree is perfectly fine and you don't need anything else (but to his credit he did let me buy the kids their own tree the other year, haha!). So far I've covered the windows with tinsel and it's feeling a lot more festive! :) Nothing as beautiful as this though!

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying my decorations, Mica! How fun to figure out where you can put your tree(s) and where you can decorate for the season! It makes me feel so festive! Thank you!

  2. I love th elong blue sweater with the dark blue boots. What an interesting heel.

    1. Thank you, Sam! I like that one too. Fluevog are known for their unusual heels.

  3. Sparkle! Love it. The boots are special. How can I get people to give me Fluevog gift-cards?!

    1. I love them too - and I'll be loading on the sparkle!

      You have to drop subtle hints, like sending them a link to the site for the gift cards. :) Works every time!

  4. Afternoon there Sheila, and another great outfit! You have convinced me to get a skirt I have of that length out of my givaway pile! But I must just woon over those Beautiful boots what a colour!! Just glorious! to hear they are comfort food is great because beaty and comfort win win. we have just adopted a little black cat. Vizzini would have like our lunch today tuna sandwiches! I tinkered with my dining room decorations this morning and am much happier with them. I may go play some more inspired by you. Keep being fab Shazxx

    1. Hi, Shaz! Thank you so much - get that skirt out of the giveaway, girlfriend! Aren't the boots amazing? I can't help stroking them when I wear them. Beauty and comfort are the best kind of Venn diagram. :)

      Aw, you have a new kitten? Yes, Vizzini would be very vocal in his request for tuna, ha ha!

      Play with them as much as you like - I get a lot of pleasure from creating beautiful displays, myself. :)

  5. So many beautiful outfits with that gorgeous velvet pair of boots. All of these outfits are very much to my liking and the boots are simply amazing. I love how the soles invoke ironing. Such an unique pair, well worth the price. I'm assuming that the fact they were a gift makes them more special.
    Your outfit of the day is wonderful, the Gap sweater with the fox is a fantastic match with that blue shiny skirt. I also love the coat and the mask- and obviously the boots. From your fashion flashback/recap my fav look is with the Ted Baker skirt. I love how it matches with the blue tones in the skirt. The whole colour scheme of white, pink and blue is so pretty in that outfit. I also like the outfit with the printed dress.

    1. Thanks, Ivana, glad you enjoyed the parade of outfits! Eh, spending gift cards just feels like money, ha ha. I always forget which pairs were gifts anyway.

      Thank you! That Ted Baker skirt is a beauty, although it was too tight when I did my seasonal closet swap, so I'm looking forward to next spring and getting it out again.

  6. Bring on the sparkle! I might dig out some of mine as well. Loving the "foxy" jumper and the skirt, with its lovely blue colour and shine. The vintage Sherman set gets my full approval too. Oh and those boots. How deliciously stroke-able they look, and the colour is just amazing. That iron shaped sole really is something else! Swooning over that embroidered coat: yes, please, wear it again soon and treat us to a flashback!
    Oh no, naughty Vizzini! Phoebe is generally well behaved when it comes to Christmas stuff. She "helps" assembling the tree and checks out the boxes of ornaments, but once it's up, she doesn't give it a second glance. My mind keeps boggling at the amount of Christmas stuff you've got, and you mentioned there's more to come? Your place must be looking like Santa's grotto by now. Even Mr. V. does look like an ornament in that last photo :-) xxx

    1. Amen, Ann! I love wearing as much bling as possible at this time of year! Thank you - I do love my Sherman pieces. I often stroke the boots (and invite others to do so) when I wear them. I promise, I will wear that coat soon.

      He is pushing to see what gets a reaction from us, so it's tricky not to react by yelling or making a fuss, as that only encourages him. He completely ignores it all when we're at work - it's just when we're home that he starts getting at it again. Funny how that works - he's so smart!

      Oh, yes, much more, and I'll be photographing all of my ornaments, so it's going to be a LOT of things to look at!

  7. Those boots are such a gorgeous warm color! And I love those heels. What a decorations! Beautiful, so cozy. Now you need to decorate Vizzini!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Ha, I tried decorating Vizzini last year with a unicorn horn, and he still hasn't forgiven me.

  8. Hi Sheila,
    I appreciate every single outfit you have worn with those wonderful boots! Your collection of dresses gets my spirits jazzed and made me think how nice it would be to have a collection as colorful and interesting. Truly the easiest items to style.

    As for your curious cat, Mr Vizzini is simply needing his own tree to decorate and a few mousy ornaments. ;)

    Cheers, Laurie

    1. Aw, thank you, Laurie! I love dresses - they're so easy to wear!

      You know if we gave him his own tree, he would just ignore it. CATS. Take care, my dear!

  9. Foxy lady! Love the first outfit with that super sparkly skirt and ah-mazing boots! No wonder that jewellery gets compliments, it's super blingy!
    Look at Vizzini all inquisitive around the Xmas tree and that last photo when he looks like butter wouldn't met! As a treat last week Jon poached some white fish fillets for the boys and guess what? Now they refuse to eat anything else! Such spoilt beasts!
    Have a fab weekend in your amazing Xmas grotto! xxx

    1. Hee hee! Thanks, Vix! I do love my bling.

      Vizzini is usually plotting something. Oh dear! That's why we barely give Vizzini any human food - he only gets his wet food and 6 kitty treats, we are very strict.

      Thank you, my dear!

  10. Ooohh, I can't decide which one I adore more - your fabulously fun wolf design sweater of those mind-blowingly awesome dark blue boots. Why choose? They're both a-m-a-z-i-n-g and, as always, you've styled these pieces with panache and oodles of inspiration for us all.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life

    1. No need whatsoever to choose! They are both such cool things! Thank you, Autumn!

  11. This foxy outfit is indeed very festive and looking good. I also like those pretty blue boots with your Romeo Gigli grey wool dress. Consider me a fan as well.
    So many more beautiful Christmas decorations. You can shove Vizzini's face away as many times as you like, but no, he does not get the message. He is just waiting for you to be out of sight haha.
    My cat jumped on the kitchen counter where Ron had layed out 6 pieces of fish haha. Well... one of them got half eaten. We divided the other half between cat and dog.

    1. I like the boots with the Gigli too, Greetje - that was a favourite look of mine, for sure.

      He does actually get the message! He leaves them alone when we are not around - it's only when we are home that he messes with them. Oh dear - we couldn't leave fish out at all!

  12. I love the tea time bauble.
    I absolutely adore the lavender skirt outfit- it is gorgeous and I would wear that in a heart beat! So pretty!
    Vizzini so naughty! He could have electrocuted himself. We used to have a chinchilla and his cage was on a shelf below the microwave. We discovered it wasn't working one day and discovered he'd somehow pulled in and chewed the cable- he had burns round his mouth! It was a shocking!
    Bring on the sparkkle! I can't wait to see more!
    The velvet boots arrrrr maaaaaaaaaaaaarvelous!

    1. I like those too. Thanks, Kezzie! I need to wear that skirt again soon!

      Yeah, I was a little worried about him giving himself a jolt! Yikes, chinchilla! I had guinea pigs and hamsters when I was a kid and they chewed EVERYTHING.

      More sparkle coming up!

  13. The Velvet boots are luxuriously chic! The little felt otter is so cute - it's obvious that my favourite ornaments are animal related. Good thing Vizzini didn't shock himself by chewing those lights (can that happen with LED lights?).

    1. They really are, Shelley, thanks! I LOVE animal ornaments - you are going to enjoy seeing some of the amazing ones I have!

      I think so, they still use electricity to light them. He wouldn't get much - but enough to teach him a lesson (that I'd rather he didn't learn the hard way!).

  14. woww, love these boots, their shape and velvety texture and fab colour!. You rock in them!. Lovely sparkly skirt and cute fox sweater!
    And lovely flashback, as usual!, I'm enjoying so many interesting outfits, love the desigual and the camo dresses, love your blue cardi and the embroidered jacket and the kaleidoscope dress too!, wow!
    Hope Vizzini manages to keep himself away those lights!. Everything looks so fabulous!

    1. They are a delight to wear too! Thanks so much, Monica!


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