Sunday, October 31, 2021

Bigass Hallowe'en Wrap-Up: Brunch Zombie, Seasonal D├ęcor and Gold Wing Dress Pt III

Happy Hallowe'en, ghouls and fiends! I hope you've had a fun weekend, regardless of whether or not Hallowe'en is a thing in your country. I've enjoyed it my whole life and always get a kick out of dressing up in a ghastly outfit to celebrate. 
"I want no part of this. Down, Woman!"


L and I dressed up for brunch with Nick. "Did you warn him?" I asked. "Nah, he knows us," said L. 

L is wearing his classic Vampire On the Town look - he got loads of compliments from people as we wandered through town. Everything is assembled from his closet, including that vintage Christian Dior tux jacket (which I thrifted!). 

I'm a scary zombie! 
I have done zombie make-up as a quick go-to off an on for decades, going back to when I was a teen. 

Don't be scared, it's just me. See? Rock on! 
I have my contacts in - glasses are a pain with spooky make-up. My favourite part of this was the smeared-up lipstick, since I could retouch it without looking. The rest is just a bit of white make-up on the base, with grey contours smudged in black eyeliner, and some grey eyeshadow. 

But let's get to the clothes, shall we? 
I stayed in character - BRAAAIIIINS!!

  • Dress - vintage, handmade, thrifted; last worn here last Hallowe'en, in October 2020
  • Shoes - Half Truth Veda, Fluevog; last seen here in August with a stellar vintage skirt
  • Leather coat (below) - Baez Leather, consignment; last worn here a couple of weeks ago

I amused myself by groaning, "Braiiiins" at people and then backing away - you have no brains, get it? 
Rar! 

I wear this dress once a year, around Hallowe'en. Enjoy a Flashback of all my Hallowe'en costumes and outfits here
I bought it decades ago, in the late 90s at Value Village, probably for under $20.00. It's all very vague - that was so long ago. 

It was cold and crisp, so I wore a vintage slip underneath.
I also wore a floofy black underskirt for extra ruffles and volume. 

The dress zips up the side with a metal zipper. 
"I don't like all this nonsense."


It's so pretty. All this copper lame (lah-MAY, darlings!) lace! 
It has a few small tears in the lace, but otherwise it's still in really good condition - it's likely from the late 50s to early 60s. 

It was sunny out, so I wore sunglasses. 
Brains?

How about badass rock & roll zombie? 
I love this coat - it worked so well over the dress. 
Masked up - I got a few looks in the grocery store in this, as we ran errands after brunch. 
Keep in mind that L was also dressed up.

We were even more distinct than usual.
I do enjoy pushing the envelope. 

Accoutrements: 
Now that October is over, my mode will switch away from the spooky - I plan to bring out lots of autumn colourful outfits to lift my (and your!) spirits as the days get ever shorter. 

  • Mask - Lazy Susan's
  • Scarf - MetroWear, San Francisco, 2006
  • Gloves - Danier 
  • Sunglasses - The Patch

The stuff: 
These poor shoes are thrashed - they've been worn close to 70 times! 

Spooky bling: 
My leather obi was a great thrift find over a decade ago for under $10.00. 

  • Obi - thrifted
  • Snake brooch - c. 1986, gift from Mom & Dad
  • Spider ring - c. 1986, gift from Mom & Dad
  • Snake ring - c. 1986, BC Museum Gift Shop
  • Spider earrings - don't remember

L headed back to town to meet up with a friend in from Vancouver in the afternoon, and I decided to decorate for Scary Movie Night that evening. Like my Christmas decorations, I haven't actually put my Hallowe'en stuff up for well over a decade. 
I usually pack it up and take it to work where I can look at it and enjoy it. But I haven't decorated at work for a couple of years either, and on impulse, I decided to quickly put it up. I'll take it down again in a day or two.

You'll forgive my indulgence as I show it off. Someone else was quite interested in all of this...see him?
"Is this a kitty skull?"


He sniffed at everything - I'm very careful not to react too much, as then he'll know it's fair game to get my attention. Cats! 

I still have a ton of crepe paper left over from a party c. 1996 (some very old pics here, scroll down), so I twisted some black along the valance and lightly secured it with tape.
The black roses are from my Beetlejuice costume (post here), but were originally bought for a pre-blog Vampire Bride costume. The vase was a wedding gift (1997) from apartment neighbours Dave and Jess, hand-painted by Jess. 

I can't remember where the glitter skull came from, but it's more recent, as is the black cat bag. 
The enameled white metal skeleton (~$5.95) is from my old job at Christmas House, which did a big business in Hallowe'en decorations during the season. It fell off when we turned the CD carousel player on so I had to tape it to the side of the cabinet.

I love that green glitter. 
The cat has a nice mischievous look. 

The two ceramic ghosts on the PS player are from Christmas House too - I think they were around $2.95 each. 
I added a strip of orange crepe paper across the front of the TV stand/fireplace. The gravestones are styrofoam, bought at the Dollar Store about 7 years ago. 

The spider and web are bendy metal covered with black glitter. 
It's very light, so I just hung it off the hand of one of the LOTR bookends. It's Shelob! 

I have two of the small ceramic skull candleholders like the one on the left. The bigger candleholder with the red glass eyes came with L - he had it when I met him. 
The little rubber lizards are mine - I used to have a collection of them (it was a thing I was into in the 90s). 

The bat candleholder is from Midwest Importers of Canon Falls, and I bought it wholesale while on a buying trip with my old Christmas House bosses, Jo and Ev. They were so sweet to let me order one-offs for myself - this was around $50 (a lot in the late 90s!) - it's wrought iron, very heavy. 
The black skull is handmade pottery from Mexico - Mom and Dad brought this back for me in the late 90s, but it broke in transit. 

I glued it back together with some Zap-a-Gap glue. You can see the repair lines - fortunately, it broke into large pieces, and I am good at repairing things. 
You can also see the nice metal web detail on the candelabra and the cute little spider hanging down.  

This little 12"  tree is made of the same stuff as the big web: sparkly black bendy metal. We sold tons of these in our store - I believe they were around $11.95.
It has one 24" strand of pumpkin garland (~8.95) wound around its branches. 

There is a set of ghosts and a set of purple cloaked witches. I think I picked those up at a drug store a few years back. 
The other mini decorations were a set that I bought at the store for around $6.95. 

This massive cemetery gate candleholder is the same make as the wrought iron candelabra, and it's even heavier - it's between 10-15 lbs. It was $75.00 wholesale (would have retailed for $150). The gate doors do not open, they just sit ajar. 
The little skeleton in the top hat was a separately sold ornament ($5.95). Lock, Shock and Barrel in the tub are a movie tie-in decoration purchased for me as a gift from a Disney shop (this in the pre-Internet days) by my bosses, as I love "The Nightmare Before Christmas" movie. The bugs (there are more under the TV) are from L's Beetlejuice costume. 

I put one black rose with our permanent vampire display. I lit all the mini flicker tea lights in the evening, and we made it spooky for Nick.
We watched three scary movies: "His House" (Nick's pick - a superbly tense and scary movie), "Night Teeth" (L's pick - we described it as "a scary movie for 8-year-olds"), and my pick, classic 80s vampire movie with the late great Bill Paxton, "Near Dark." I also served homemade chili for dinner and Nick brought over some candy - it was a delightful evening. 

But before all that, I sat out on the deck in the afternoon while the chili burbled away on the stove, enjoying the sunny day and working on my Gold Wing Dress. 


Art Project: Gold Wing Dress, Part III

This project doesn't have the excitement and drama of the evolution of my Tattoo Jacket. Look, more feathers! 
I have learned to work from left to right - this is the secret to not smudging. I did a row, and started to evolve the look of the feather from more abstract to more detailed. 

Someone was trying to get my attention. 
"Woman! It's time for food!"


Time does fly when I'm working on these projects. This second row of feathers had to be my last, as I'd been working for close to three hours, and my hands were cramping. 
It's starting to look so cool! I have maybe two more sessions on this before it's done, I think. The rows of feathers are getting smaller. 

Vizzini kept pestering me - he really wanted to sit on me, but the dress can't be bunched around like the leather jacket could, as the liquid ink can stick to itself if it's not fully dry. 
"Feed me, or this wall gets it!"


He hid from the scary movies all night! What a little chicken-cat! 
Wishing you all a Happy Hallowe'en! 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Spooky Friday: Purples and Gold Claws, and a Found Ring

Happy Friday, my friends! Like I do most years, I add spooky elements to my daily outfits around Hallowe'en - today it was my gold claw jewelry. Claws, rar! So scary! 

I also wore a purple jammy dress but the colour photographs poorly. It's a deep rich eggplant violet. 

  • Dress - Michael Kors, consignment; last worn here in November 2020
  • Shoes - Room 502 Entrance, Fluevog; last seen here (3rd outfit) in March with the lily dress
  • Coat (below) - Sisley, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in September


I love a sweater dress, especially when they are slightly loose. I have a camisole on under this (purple, of course). 
You can see the rubbery snakeskin texture of my tights in the stair picture. 

I often do purple legs with these shoes but did black because...spooky snakeskin! It's thematic! 
Today was a busy desk day, not a lot of walking around. 

I saw a few people in person.
Coincidentally, I wore this dress on this same weekend last Hallowe'en - I hope I'll get another wear out of it this season, but so many dresses, so little time! 

Masked up. 
It's the same purple colour - such a difficult tone. 

Outerwear - our torrential downpour is over (for now). 
No brolly needed - my purple beret will do. 

Snapped up. 
It amuses me that this jacket looks somewhat mangy, with its patches of hair and plain leather. It's a zombie coat! 

Accoutrements: 
I have two pairs of purple gloves - these ones are warmer, and are vintage. 

  • Beret - consignment
  • Scarf - MetroWear, San Francisco, 2006
  • Mask - Lazy Susan's
  • Suede gloves - vintage, thrifted

Skull scarf and mask. 

The stuff: 
I've loved these shoes since the minute I tried them on - they are shockingly comfy. It's still a bit of a heel.

Claw bling: 
I love my swanky designer jewelry - 18K gold-plated sterling silver and leather. Also, it's probably the most pointy of all the jewelry I own. 

  • Claw cuff and necklace - Ambush "Holy Mountain" collection, 2012, consignment, Vancouver, gift from L
  • Earrings - Biko, consignment
  • Chain bracelet - thrifted

I didn't wear any rings today (the gloves are snug) but weirdly, I found one. 
It was on the sidewalk, so I picked it up. 

The flowers are open in the centre. 
And it's sterling silver. Who did it belong to? How did it come to be lost? Does it have magic powers? Is it...my preciousssss? 


Have a spooky and fun-filled Hallowe'en weekend if you're into that thing! I'll be back on Sunday with tales of adventure (and my Hallowe'en outfit!) - thanks so much for stopping by. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Rainy Foray in Florals; Gold Wing Dress, Part II

My Thursdays off are to be treasured - Mom and I didn't meet up today as she got over-enthusiastic with putting up her Hallowe'en decorations (I want pictures!) and needed to rest. I treated myself to a quiet day of catching up on comments, working on my Gold Wing Dress for my mental health, and then meeting up with my colleague/mentor/friend/budding fashionista Simona for coffee. 
I had to dress for the weather, first and foremost, as we are experiencing an "atmospheric river" pattern of 30+ cm of rain. Good times! However, practical doesn't have to be boring! 

  • Tuxedo blouse - thrifted; last worn here in November 2020 under pink mohair
  • Dress - InWear; last seen here (and Flashbacked) in February with paisley
  • Boots - Doc Martens, consignment; last worn here (3rd outfit) in February 2020 to meet up with an old friend
  • Coat (below) - Avoca; last seen here in April


I had a lovely view of the Castle this afternoon.
The Garry oak leaves are all rusty-coloured. 

I had to match everything to my floral Doc Martens - aside from my white floral Docs, these are the best shoes I own for Major Weather. I also like to travel in these - they've been to Italy!
I alternate my Docs walking to and from work in the fall/winter/early spring, so these get worn 2-3 times a week, even though you never see them. I last wear wore them on the blog in March 2020, but I actually last wore them on Monday. 

The dress is actually leather - you can enjoy a Flashback of it at the link above. 
The stretch silk blouse was just right as it doesn't cling to the lining of my coat. I also have a camisole on underneath. 

Outerwear and masked up briefly. My coat of choice was this waterproof raincoat that I've had for several years. 
I don't wear it that often, but when I want a cool raincoat I have it. The pattern is rainy pansies! 

I love that shape, and the elastic high up on the back. 
It gives me movement without completely concealing my shape. 

Hood up! 
And a hands-free bag. 

I didn't deploy the hood, though. 
I have a fantastic new umbrella! If there had been wind, I would have had to skip the brolly. Phew!

Accoutrements: 
I am not really a bag person - I tend to use one bag over and over and over - but I do have a small collection. 

  • Purse - Roots, thrifted
  • Silk/cashmere scarf - gift from Mom, Italy
  • Gloves - Parkhurst
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
No boots in the picture - Vizzini is a monster about the laces, so I have to stash them in a closet immediately. 

  • Belt - thrifted; purchased here for $6.95
  • Poe cuffs - Jezebel Charms, gifts from L
  • Anatomical heart locket - Defy, gift from L
  • Amber ring - c. 1996
  • Feather ring - Fossil, thrifted
  • Earrings - thrifted

First wearing of this new-to-me belt - loved it. 

Simona and I chatted and caught up on the past 20 months for two hours. So lovely to see her! 


Art Project: Gold Wings Dress, Part II

Before I met up with her, I sat on the couch with Hallowe'en baking shows on (great background) and Vizzini sleeping on my lap under a blanket, while I worked some more on my dress. 
I started adding some detail to the feathers, using a fine-tip liquid gold pen. I am working on the same layers straight across, although I learned to work left to right so that my fingers wouldn't pick up the still-sticky gold ink as much. 

Drawing on a dark background with a "light" colour forced me to look at the negative space. I'm drawing everything that isn't a feather. Tricky! 
This looks better from a distance - I got better and more consistent as I went along and worked out a pattern. It's not about being perfect, she reminded herself. 

See? It looks much lacier and delicate. I'm excited and happy with how it's progressing. 
I can only do a couple of rows at a time before I start smudging the gold ink. This is about two hours of work. 

How's your week going?