Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Reader Request: Bullfighter/Picador Skirt

Thanks so much to reader Maureen for suggesting this skirt again - great request, Maureen. 

Gentle readers, feel free to drop me a comment and let me know what spring/summer thing you'd like to see me wear again!
This skirt's been one of my favourites over the 8 years that I've owned it.

  • Top - Grey by Jason Wu, thrifted; first seen here in June with my rainbow skirt 
  • Skirt - vintage 50s, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit) in August for a vintage fair and shopping day with Cat
  • Shoes - Marc; last seen here in August with the Murder Mystery dress
  • Poncho (below) - Welsh, vintage 60s, thrifted; last seen here in May

This is the 15th outfit it's been in.
I decided to go with a fairly plain top this time. 

But even my black top is special. No boring stuff allowed! 
It's silk with a high-low hem, and a classy designer, Jason Wu! 

Oh, you wanna see the skirt. Very well.
There's the picador. He's preparing the bull for the matador by poking it with his pic (stick). If you look closely, you can see the blood on the bull! So Hemingway! 

Masked up.
I met a couple of new coworkers today and they were fans of my reds.

Poncho! I felt very comforted in this.

The usual. 

  • Silk scarf - Halston, vintage 70s, thrifted
  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The stuff: 
I've been waffling on these shoes more than once for the past 5 years, even pulling them out of the giveaway pile (twice!), and today they just hurt too much. Off to the giveaway pile for the third and final time! I'm adding red dressy shoes to my "want" list. 

Silver bling: 
Yes, that all seems to be in order.

  • Malachite/silver bangle - Mexican, thrifted, Sidney
  • Enamel cuff - consignment
  • Silver/aventurine ring - consignment
  • Silver/malachite ring - consignment
  • Balls ring - Sidney
  • Earrings - gift from Petra

I caught Vizzini surveying the neighbourhood this morning from his scratching post in the bedroom. 
"Officer Vizzini may be retired, but he still watches his 'hood."

He's doing really well with his medication and his sight is stabilizing, although not what it was - he's been chasing shoelaces, meowing at us, sleeping with us and yowling for his treats. So, pretty much normal.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Acid Wash Denim, and New Art Project: L's Blue Oyster Cult Jacket

Another week closer to the end of my closet season, and a reminder to drop a comment with your request for "Last Call." What's that? It's something in my spring/summer wardrobe that you'd like to see again. It can be a specific garment, a colour, or even an accessory (or pair of shoes). I'll pick and choose and wear the suggestions over the next two weeks, until I do my closet swap-over.

For today's outfit, I'm squeezing in a wearing of my vintage 80s acid wash denim dress.
I thought I'd wear it in the early "shoulder season" (aka March), but here we are in the other shoulder season (aka September). 

  • Dress - Santana, vintage 80s, consignment; last worn here (2nd outfit) in February for a long-weekend gathering
  • Boots - Donald J. Pliner, vintage 00s, consignment, Sidney; last seen here in June for a birthday lunch and shopping spree

My Purolator guy was mightily impressed with this (we're around the same age).
He remembered his own high-waisted acid was jeans from the 80s! 

This dress is a lot of fun, totally the best for waggling my massive shoulder pads at coworkers.
It's also a pain to wear all day, as every time I used the washroom...

...I had to take the whole thing off. 
That's a snug pencil skirt! My grad ceremony dress had a similarly long and skinny pencil bottom, and they are not meant for striding about. 

Masked up. 
Turquoise for the match! 

I got a lot of side-eye on the walk home. Maybe people are not quite ready for this much acid wash? 

Didn't need the scarf, but I wore it anyway. 

  • Scarf - Fluevog
  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The stuff: 
I love these boots, but may pack them away for the wet season. That burlap fabric is not waterproof. 

Turquoise bling: 
All the turquoise! 

  • Belt - Brave Belts, thrifted
  • Bronze/turquoise/pearl cuff - Myka, consignment
  • Steel cuff - consignment, Powell River
  • Pendant - Karen's
  • Turquoise ring - Karen's
  • Pivot ring - consignment
  • Earrings - consignment, Powell River

I was sufficiently armoured up! 

Art Project: L's Blue Oyster Cult Jacket

My brain's been in a snarl lately, which usually means it's time for me to do some art. L's been watching me do all these projects and giving them away (most recently, the Mica Bag and Eternally Autumn Jacket), and has been hankering for one of his own. 

I suggested that we keep an eye out for a light-coloured leather jacket for me to create a Blue Oyster Cult jacket for him...and we found one here in June for $249.00 on consignment at House of Savoy. It's by former Canadian chain The Leather Ranch, which I remember from every mall when I was a teen (you could smell the leather) - I couldn't afford anything in that store, but I wistfully eyed all the beautiful jackets.

Blue Oyster Cult is a band, by the way (Wiki link here). You've probably heard "Don't Fear the Reaper", "Godzilla" or "Burnin' For You" - if you check any of those songs on YouTube, you'll immediately recognize them. 
This is a lovely slate blue colour and it's likely early 80s, before jackets became oversized and shoulder-padded. It fits L perfectly.

It's light enough for black ink and some colours to show up on it, and L really wants something completely badass...
So I plan on covering this with BOC stuff! 

I asked L to put together lyrics, either full songs or snippets that have meaning for him, and then I went through them and highlighted lines I thought would be easy/cool to illustrate. 
Then I mapped out all the areas of the jacket - the collar (showing and hiding), the top of the back, the "back-patch", the sleeves, the pockets and flaps, the front areas and even the cuffs. Planning is essential - I would never start working on a piece without all the planning.

The tricky part is finding motifs I can actually draw (or use clip-art images for copying/inspiration) and matching them to the lyrics. 
As the lyrics are important to L, I want to be able to include them all over the jacket. I had to trim them down a lot as I worked through each section, and I'm sure I'll have to adjust things as I go.

I did all that a month or so ago, when I needed a rest from Mica's Bag, and also took pictures of all of L's BOC albums (i.e. all of them) for art/images I could include. 
This past Sunday, I put all my pens together (having already tested them on an inside piece of the jacket), along with the printed images and my "maps" of where everything's going to go. I also grabbed a ruler as I used to free-hand a lot of signs at my old retail job in the 90s and I wanted to make sure that my words are fairly even. 

Materials: Black "S" fine-point permanent Staedtler markers, "M" medium-point permanent black Staedtler markers, Tombow alcohol-based ink "paint" pens.

The Q-Tips and bowl of water are for removing the sketching pen marks, but I quickly discovered that the pen I'm using to sketch with disappears as the ink dries!
I had drawn in "Blue Oyster..." to match the font I'd printed and got up to grab a drink and when I came back, it had all disappeared! 

Well, CRAP. I was going to have to do it one letter at a time! No pressure! This ink cannot be erased - it's permanent.
Okay, this is not too bad...phew. I did guidelines for the top and bottom of the biggest letters, plus a midway guideline for the lower case letters. 

The first time I touch that black pen to the leather is the absolute worst. "Don't f**k it up!" my head screams. 
Fortunately, I'm fairly confident in my Old English fonts. I did the single outline of each letter, then gave each one an extra outline to make it more substantial. The BOC symbol at the bottom will be all over the jacket - it's very much identifiable with the band. 

All the outlines done - it's looking pretty cool! 
But this is the "back-patch" so it really has to stand out. More work is needed! 

When I tested my blues, I wrote down all the colours that went together (they look very different on leather than they do on paper), so that I would remember them.  
Creating depth with two shades of blue.

Then I used another shade of blue on the letters to create "shine".
All done - I used one of my pastel pens to blur the edges of the "shine" and make it look more like polished steel. 

Vizzini helped. 
"Feed me or I'll chew your pens."

In the above image, I used one of my medium-point black pens to outline all of the letters again, to really make them pop. I've done up to the "C" in "Cult."

Here's the back-patch all done. L was happy with this, but having my "customer" watching everything I do is intimidating! I might have to hide this from him until I'm done. 
I will probably leave this section as is, so that it really has an impact.

I couldn't resist adding to the upper back and playing with some scroll-y tattoo font.
"Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars" is a BOC song. I might include some sort of design around this - it looks a little bare to me - so we'll consider this section unfinished for now. 

That was about 2.5 hours of work in the sun...and my brain is feeling so much better today! 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up: Fancy Friday in Grey; Party Post-Its; Funky Legs and Leather Mini Flashback

Welcome back, my friends! The start of my weekend was very busy, but we ended on a quiet and chill stretch. It was just the right mix of social and quiet to satisfy L (an extrovert) and me (an introvert).

I have three outfits to share, plus a wee Flashback on a plain ol' black leather miniskirt, so grab a cup of your favourite beverage and settle in.

Here's my Fancy Friday outfit - so much grey! 
I do enjoy a good all-neutrals outfit once in a while. This fit my mood also, as it was an overcast day.

  • Jacket - Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, consignment; last worn here in July for a Mental Health Shop
  • Dress - Kenzo, consignment; last seen here in September 2021 for a Mom-Day Adventure at Hatley Castle
  • Boots - Aldo, consignment; last worn here in February for another Mom-Day Adventure (at Willows Beach)

Getting in my annual wearing of this amazing Kenzo dress. 
It's 100% cotton with a built-in white lining, top and bottom. 

The grey jacket is Dame Vivienne Westwood.
I liked how well they went together. See the golden lion on my shoulder? I had a bit of a cat theme going on. 

Oops, my slip is showing!
I wore a full peachy-coloured vintage slip underneath it all for a bit of extra warmth. 

It's officially fall now! 
I never took the jacket off, but here's the dress without it. 

I spent a bit of time searching the interwebz for this dress - check out what I found on 1stdibs.com (link to listing here, 'cause I love). This simple top is listed at $248.00 CAD - I paid $68.00 for my dress a few years ago.
The top is obviously from the same collection as my dress - same fabric! I went through all the older Vogue runway slideshows, but I suspect this is from a pre-internet collection, so late 90s, maybe early 00s. 

Masked up: 
The office was dead, though. 

Incognito - will it rain? 
It did not, but it was so cloudy on the way home I had to forgo my shades. 

Time to start breaking out my bigger outerwear scarves. 

  • Pashmina - gift from Mom, Italy
  • Mask - Lazy Susan's

The stuff: 
I walked to and from work in these shoes - they have to be laced on (no zips), although I do wrap all the extra laces around my ankles instead of lacing to the top. 

Feline bling: 
Rar! I have the strength of a lion! Or maybe just the stubbornness of a house cat...

  • Belt - Leather World
  • Lion shoulder brooch - consignment
  • Belt buckle - Zara, thrifted
  • Black bangle - Alexis Bittar, consignment, Sidney
  • Open bangle - Alexis Bittar, consignment, gift from L
  • Pivot ring - consignment
  • Smoky topaz/silver ring - Anneli Neuman, Sweden, vintage mall
  • Amber thumb ring - antique shop, Sidney
  • Cat earrings - Winnie Tam

Here's my little stubborn monster - give me some love, Vizzini! 
"Give me dinner first, Woman."

After a quick dinner, L and I got dressed for a party on Friday evening! Caro and Ron threw one last bash at their old house, the scene of SO many parties, Book Clubs and Winesdays, not to mention a couple of Crafternoons. 

I had to wear one of my favourite dresses - let's get some colourful armour going! 
This is how I looked all evening. It was dark out by the time I took these pics, so no Stair Photo.

  • Dress - Tangerine Jill, consignment; last worn here in August 2019 for my last day with WW
  • Boots - Original Sabado, Fluevog; last seen here (3rd outfit) last weekend for Book Club
  • Coat (below) - Club Monaco, thrifted; last worn here earlier this month

My coworkers dubbed this my Post-It Note dress when I wore it to work years ago. 
The party-goers were very enthusiastically in favour of this amazing dress. 

All the individual silk tags flutter as I move. 
I cut a rug to Tina Turner's "Rollin' On the River" in this - there was much dancing later in the evening. 

I look like I've spotted the monster spider that's been terrorizing us lately.
Don't worry, L found it and disposed of the unwelcome intruder. 

Masked up for the cab. 
I only talked to our close group of friends - we are loud and raucous and drove everyone else out of the dancing area. 

A little bit of armour, a bit more colour. 

  • Purse - Rebecca Minkoff Linear Studded Rocker Bag, 2009, consignment
  • Scarf - Marc Rosier, vintage, consignment
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
I briefly considered "real" shoes, but I was already tired from a long work-day, so comfy boots won the day. 

Orange bling: 
The dress doesn't need much else, but I armoured up anyway. 

  • Bangle - consignment, Sidney
  • Bracelet/ring - Italian, vintage 60s, vintage mall
  • Wooden earrings - vintage 60s, vintage expo
  • Steel/acrylic ring - Calvin Klein, thrifted

L and I both slept in a bit on Saturday morning. We decided to just get groceries and save some money by skipping brunch. We did enjoy some tacos from La Taquisa (via pick-up and eat at home) for lunch, yum. 
I hadn't worn these funky tights yet since I bought them, and I was overdue for wearing my leather miniskirt. 

  • Sweater - Nor, consignment; last seen here in December 2021 with swirly suede for brunch
  • Cami - gift from Ruth, not tracked
  • Skirt - Danier Leather, vintage, thrifted, Powell River; last seen here in March for a Mental Health Shop
  • Booties- Go Groovy Huysmans, Fluevog; last worn here in June with ORANGE LEATHER SHORTS

I also haven't worn this loosely-knit sweater yet this season.
Although I'm due for my seasonal closet swap-over next weekend, I'll be holding off an extra week until our Thanksgiving long weekend, just to give myself time. 

I'll be taking requests for any spring/summer repeats of any clothing items you'd like to see again over the next two weeks.
So go ahead! Tell me what you'd like to see again...or any other clothing request for an early autumn ensemble. 

I can't guarantee I'll fulfill every one of them (I'm the one who has to wear the outfits). 
But if I can, I will.

Masked up. 
A quick restock of our grocery items, and then home we went. 

Must I face the public? No, we can eat our tacos at home. 

My purse was still out from when I'd dumped it at 1am. 

  • Purse - Rebecca Minkoff Linear Studded Rocker Bag, 2009, consignment
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
Comfort booties. 

Rose bling: 
My wee fur brooch was pinned to my sweater. 

  • Bangle - vintage 80s, mine, donated and re-thrifted
  • Fur brooch - vintage; purchased here for $12.00
  • Earrings - Betsey Johnson, swap from Cat
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

Flashback: Vintage Danier Leather Miniskirt

I picked up this skirt on our August 2016 trip to Powell River, to visit L's mom, here. I found it at the same shop where I discovered this year's PR treasure, that butterfly/zebra blazer - it was even the same price! Only $15.00, for a lined leather skirt. 
I love the detail of the two-way zipper - you get it on by unzipping it, and you adjust the slit at the front by unzipping the other way. It has no labels, but the gold/green tag fragments tell me this was Danier Leather, likely from the late 90s. The slit hits on the front of the thigh which was very trendy in the Ally McBeal years (interesting articles here, an ode to the miniskirts; and here, looking back at the body-shaming the actresses on the show were subject to in 1997-2002; both links 'cause I love).

I have no qualms with miniskirts - I'll wear whatever I damned well please. This is my first look with this skirt, in August 2016.
I matched my shoes (long-gone Fluevogs) and sweater (also gone to the great giveaway in the sky). Cat not included. 

It's a great skirt for shopping, as that zip allows me to step in and out of it in a jiffy. 
This is from November 2016...

...and this nearly identical outfit is from December 2016.
I still have both pairs of boots, although these silver ones are my take-out-the-recycling booties in inclement weather. 

Another shopping outfit from March 2017.
I still have the tights! But nothing else. 

This was the one and only wearing of this crazy 80s blazer, in April 2017. I kind of wish I'd kept it - I'd wear it now! 
This was the last wearing of these lavender booties, which were too high. 

This was worn to our friend Greg's birthday party, in October 2017 - I was about to turn 50. 
The top is suede, also Danier - I gave it to Caro ages ago. The boots recently had a Flashback (here), and I missed this outfit, so I've actually worn them 6 times!

Another shopping outfit, this time in December 2017.
It's just after Christmas and that was the first wearing of my Robert Larin Brutalist necklace, a gift from L. 

A casual look from January 2018.
I didn't keep that top or those Michael Kors shoes for long. 

Again in January 2018 - I called this a secret Star Trek suit at the time.
Those are some space-age booties! I still have everything in this outfit. 

One of my best teal tops, seen here in May 2018.
A basic work outfit. 

A shopping outfit again, from August 2018.
I just let go of that long denim duster. I just didn't wear it that much. 

I also didn't keep this oversized 90s silk blouse for long, and this may have been its only outing, here in September 2019.
I replaced those blue suede shoes with a pair of better blue Fluevogs. Always be upgrading! 

A Hallowe'en look for our [company name] Red Shirts group costume, in October 2018.
I'm an alien in Starfleet. 

Rockin' on with this work-to-concert outfit in June 2019, from when Ali and I went to see Glass Tiger and Corey Hart. 
I added the acid-wash studded denim vest after work. 

Another shopping outfit from October 2019.
It's all about the outerwear and accoutrements. 

And then the pandemic hit! This was my "before Disco" look from L and I doing one of our crazy weekend photoshoots in March 2020.
Enjoy our "Let's Disco" dance party here

A weekend brunch outfit from December 2020.
The leather mini is a good neutral in an otherwise colourful and patterned outfit.

Same formula here in December 2021 - apparently I didn't wear my skirt for a full year (I likely didn't keep it out for spring/summer 2021).
Today's boots, and some pretty gold-patterned tights. Just right for brunch.

And this is the final outfit - yet another brunch look! - from this past March 2022.
Again, it's all about the outerwear - I love that blue leather jacket. 

Mathy stuff: I hadn't realized how long ago I bought this (how the years fly by!), and I'm impressed with the number of wearings - today's outfit makes 20! That's 75 cents per wear - not bad for a 20+ year-old skirt! 

Do you still wear miniskirts? (I prefer them with tights/nylons, myself) What's your favourite look here? 

Well, now I am off to spend some time with this little monster. 
"Woe is me, I'm a poor blind kitty. You should give me extra treats."

His vision comes and goes, but he's his happy, rambunctious and affectionate self. 

I hope your weekend has been full of happiness, rambunction-ness and affection, my friends! Thanks again for stopping by, and I so appreciate all of you comments and kind words. 

Remember to drop your requests in the comments for "last call for early fall"!