Monday, March 21, 2022

Cord Co-ords and Menagerie Top; Plus Badass Bag Art Project Reveal

I have both an outfit and my latest finished art project to share with you on this soggy Monday. The outfit features two of my Vancouver purchases - although technically L bought me the shoes as an anniversary gift. 
I thought the pink tones in this new-to-me blouse went well with the shoes. And I wanted to wear this corduroy suit - or as the cool kids call suits these days, "co-ords" - one more time before it goes away for 6 months. It's cord co-ords! 

  • Suit - LL Bennett for ASL, vintage 90s, thrifted; last worn here in October 2021
  • Blouse - no label, vintage shop, Vancouver; purchased here for $25.00
  • Shoes - Luisa Truths, Fluevog; purchased here for $399.00 (gift from L)
  • Coat (below) - River Island, consignment; last seen here a couple of weeks ago

Compared to the muddy brown-green crushed velvet blazer that I purchased/wore last week (here), I think y'all will agree that this jacket is far better. The velvet blazer has been relegated to the giveaway pile.
It fits, it's well-shaped, good quality, and of course, it has a matching skirt! 

It does have bigass shoulders on it, but these are the mid-90s shoulders, as opposed to the massive shoulder-pad-upon-shoulder-pad madness that occurred in the late 80s/early 90s. 
I remember suiting like this evolving into the more minimal shoulder pads and teeny skirts of the late 90s/early 00s - the "Ally McBeal" look. 

Without the jacket. I was rather warm after my brisk walk to work.
I think this blouse is silk or a silk/viscose blend - it's neither sweat-inducing nor sticky-feeling like polyesters can be.

It's beautifully sewn - all of the seams are bound. 
Enjoy the menagerie on it! Front and back, I see: 
  • Elephant
  • Butterflies
  • Squid
  • Flamingo
  • Monkey
  • Hummingbird
  • Lion
  • Owls
  • Otter
  • Horse
  • Turtle
That's a lot of animals.

Masked up - more pink. 
Buttoned up jacket, and functional pockets.

I tucked my hair fully into my cashmere beret for the walk to work in the rain. 

I thought the silk butterfly scarf looked really pretty with all of this pink. 

  • Scarf - no label, vintage, consignment; purchased here for $12.00
  • Beret - Club Monaco, thrifted
  • Gloves - consignment
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
I was not surprised that these shoes were comfy - as I noted when I got them, I already have 3 other pairs of Fluevogs with this same last (general foot/toe shape and heel). 

Buggy bling: 
I did a cluster of pins and brooches on one lapel of my blazer. The snake and bug brooches went with the menagerie on the blouse, and the tentacles on the Cthulhu pin echoed the squid that's right in the centre of the pattern. 

  • Snake pin - vintage 1986, gift from Mom & Dad
  • Bug brooch - Le Chateau, c. 1998
  • Cthulhu pin - gift from Cat/Ross
  • Silver/amethyst ring - vintage mall
  • Gold/amethyst ring - Frances Jewelers, c. 1965, Dad's
  • Earrings - consignment, Vancouver

And now...

Art Project: Badass Bag: The Big Reveal

When I last did an update (here), I'd finished all of the black-works on the front of the Badass Bag. Since then, I decided to proceed with decorating the back of the bag. 

And what did I choose to put where no one will see it? 
My heart! 

I found a bunch of clip-art pictures and very basic anatomical hearts for easy shapes, shading and colouring. I do not copy other people's art.
I liked the idea of a banner over the heart that I saw in some of the tattoo designs, although it took me a while to figure out what to say on it. Due to the size of the banner, it only holds a few words. I settled on "Carry Love in Your Heart."

Using a grey felt-tip pen that wipes off with water, I sketched out the basic shapes. 
Made sure it was all centred, and I could fit the lettering on the banners. 

Then, it's the moment of truth (I always hear RuPaul's voice in my head: "And don't...f**k it up!").
Very basic lines, and dots for the centres of the roses. 

Once those first black marks are on, I wiped off all the sketchy lines. 
I never worry too much about mistakes here - the finished design will be so visually complex that you won't notice any errors (I tell myself). 

The heart was hard! I added a few lines to give myself guides for contouring the heart.
Any biologists or cardiac specialist, look away! I am not an anatomist.

As always, the black felt pen thickening and detail work is where all of the hours are spent. 
Fast-forward a couple of weeks and the back is ready for colour. Doing all of this was about 8 hours. 

Some details. 
I like the wee "IN" - that pleases me immensely. The spacing on the letters, less so, but eh, I'm letting it go and reminding myself that this is the back of the purse. 

Both Mom and my dear friend Linda bought me gift cards to local art supply store Island Blue - I treated myself to a bunch more of the very expensive Tombow alcohol-based paint-pen markers (they are $7.00 each!), including some pastels, which can be used to lighten or blend the colours. 
Look how nice this looks! I like the smooth, blended texture. 

I used a pastel blue to blend the grey on the banners and add a faint touch of colour around the letters. 
I also did a test run of using a pastel pink on the roses - you can see the different from the left side and the right side. 

Another picture in natural light (on Vizzini's scratching post).
You can see that pastel blue better there. 

A detail shot of a rose with the extra blending. 
In addition to the blend on the rose petals, I also did an extra step on the leaves to do more detail. You can't get away with sloppy work on this bone grey shade.

But I really like how polished the bag looks with those extra steps. 
Both sides of the bag done. 
So pretty. 

A shot of the finished back before I did the sides. I did the back last weekend, and the front and sides were finished just yesterday.
There are things I would change, but again, this is the part that sits against the body - no one will see it unless I show them (but you know I will!). 

And here's the front all finished. 
I spent about 4.5 hours on Sunday afternoon, doing all of the roses and leaves, and the grey banners on the front and under the flap. 

The flap! Ah yes, remember this? 
I also signed it: "Badass Bag - Sheila [last name]. Finished Mar 20, 2022. 

As with all of the pieces I've worked on, I'm thoroughly sick of this now, ha ha! I'm eager to move onto the next piece, which will be the spider web jacket I'd conceived of for my hairdresser; however, I decided to offer it to someone I thought would enjoy and appreciate it more, who I'll reveal once I start it. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest Art Project! I plan to wear this as a shopping purse or when I'm in a social mood, so that I can show it off. 


  1. Absolutely gob-smackingly gorgeous, Sheila. I am in awe of your skills. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Sheila, you are so very talented! Keep up the good work. I admire all your patience and attention to detail as you make these items. I don't have a crafty bone in my body, so it always blows my mind to see people like you who can make beautiful things like this.

    1. Thank you so much! It's actually not that difficult once you have a basic pattern - it's just repetitive, which is where it helps my mental health.

  3. That's a beautiful blouse and the suit looks lovely on you. Love what you did with the bag!

  4. That bag! I think it's your best creation yet, it's utterly brilliant, I've scrolled down three times just to admire it once again. I love the motto!
    Get you, down with the kids with your co-ord. I do love a bit of cord and I'm relieved that last week's velvet has been assigned to the giveaway pile. The print on the shirt is fabulous and the bug accessories are such fun. There's a look of an 18th Century dandy with those shoes! xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Vix!

      Ha ha, I am hep to the cool kids. ;-P Yup, that jacket is gone - I am not sure why I bought it, aside from it being a couture brand. Sigh. I never learn 100%. Yes, love that dandy observation - very much!

  5. Wowsers kadowsers! Carry Love in your Heart (imagine a heart emoji inserted here, or better yet, an emoji of a human heart [is there an emoji like that?]) Your choice of words has me smiling and feeling hopeful. There is something uplifting about the idea of holding love in one's heart that can set the tone for the day, especially on days when there might not be something as positive on which to focus. A philosophical response to your bag!

    As for the bag overall, see the first two words of this comment. :-)

    Agreed with Vix regarding the farewell to the velvet blazer. And agreed with you that the blazer in today's outfit is far more flattering, plus it matches the skirt as a suit, always a win! The shoes look quite comfortable (as you noted) yet the style has yet to grab me. ;-) I appreciate the heel, not so high but enough of a lift to add some height.

    Now I'm off to comment on the past two or three posts when, admittedly, I was too comfortably ensconced in an armchair to relocate to my laptop!

    1. I am really happy with how the bag turned out overall. I may have to do another bag with the heart/banner on the front, as I really liked how it turned out here.

      Yes, I had already reached the pinnacle of Perfect Brown Blazer (and I also have another brown velvet one!), and should never have bought that Ferre one. It's okay that the shoes don't appeal to you - if we all liked the same things, how boring that would be!

      Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments, my dear friend!

  6. The weather must be improving, nice to see your legs again, xxx,

  7. Great suit, top, shoes and earrings. My kinda style.
    The work you did on the bag is incredible. You have the talent of your mum (I think). Absolutely splendid. Haven't you had offers to come and work as creative in the fashion industry?

    1. Yes, this is much more your style, isn't it?

      Thank you! Ha, no offers yet!

    2. I don't know whether it is my style anymore. It used to be, but I have changed as well. Not that corporate anymore. I can still appreciate such looks though. And I do miss my corporate clothes, the dresses with high heels, the suits (we wear different suits than the rest of the world, I think; still suits but not too stiff).

    3. I get that - not much need for suits when you're retired, right?

  8. Amazing. I can't even draw a stickman right. Now I can look at an academy award dress, draw the pattern, and duplicate it, but a flat surface I am stumped. I love, love, love the shoes. I am in olive green Danskos, purchased via poshmark, came in unworn, for $35.00. But sigh the pink shoes.... heavy sigh...

    1. Thanks so much, Kim - and you raise a great point! You're artistic in your own way, which is wonderful.

      That's a fabulous deal on your Danskos! I'm glad you can experience my shoes vicariously. :)

  9. I love a suit, and have several in my wardrobe, but I wouldn't say no if a cord one came may way. The top and shoes are indeed perfect together. Those shoes are seriously swoon-worthy, and I think the top does look much better on you than on the hanger. I'm glad to hear it wasn't in any way sweat-inducing, and also that the velvet blazer has been consigned to the giveaway pile.
    As for your latest art project: I think my jaw just hit the floor when I saw the finished bag. I have to agree with Vix that it is your best creation yet. Absolutely stunning, and I'm so in awe of your talent! xxx

    1. Me too, Ann! I have a few suits, but this one's a keeper. Thank you so much - I really like the top, especially the unusual print.

      Oh, that is so sweet of you, thank you. :)

  10. I really like your outfit but I'm blown away with the bag Sheila! I'm always impressed with your creativity and that does look like such a badass bag! I love it and I can't wait to see how you rock it!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Mica! If you have a bag that bores you or has marks or scuffs on it, I would love to decorate it for you.

  11. I really like the print on the blouse, it has a Vintage flora and fauna illustration feel to it! I like the double breasted jacket too!

    That bag really is a work of art!

    1. Yes, that's it - I always look for interesting patterns. Thank you!

      Aw, thank you so much!

  12. I have always liked the combo of pink and brown so those shoes are a great choice with the cord suit.

    Your work on the bag is fantastic - I've been sooo impressed with your embellishments you've been doing. One question - will the side of the bag that is against your body start to fade or rub off fairly quickly because of the friction? That would be such a shame as you've done such a beautiful job on the heart.

    1. Same, I have been looking for a pair in this colour to replace the very high heels I used to have. It's a very useful colour!

      Aw, thank you so much. Nope, the ink doesn't rub off - it's permanent. I wore it for hours on Sat and not even a scratch.

  13. Hand on my heart (very aptly), this bag is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. From the poignant message to the extraordinarily lovely art, it is a thing of magnificent beauty, talent, and inspiration.

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life


Comments are so incredibly special, and I love them and hug them and treasure them forever. Please feel free to tell me what you think!

I'm not currently able to respond to comments, but I will make every effort to answer questions. I do read every single one, and appreciate your comments.

Please note that comments containing affiliate links spam-y sites, spam comments and anything I deem inappropriate will be deleted.