Thursday, December 8, 2022

Mom-Day Adventure: Winter Garden at the HCP, Bits of Gold and Sweetums, and Treasures Found (a Wee Shop)

Hello, my friends! We are nearly at the weekend, and I hope it finds you safe and sound. Shout-outs to reader and friend (met them!) Laurie and her husband Fred, who could use some good vibes right now. I know you love our Mom-Day Adventures, Laurie! 
Mom and I laughed when I arrived downstairs - we're both wearing our plaid wool jackets. Great minds think alike! 

We revisited the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific (we've previously been there in May 2002 here, and September 2021 here - I enjoy comparing the seasons, as I take similar pics) on this mercurial late fall/early winter day, followed by lunch at Floyd's Diner. I bused to town from there and did a bit of holiday shopping (I may have found a few things for myself...). Anyway, loads of pics ahead, so grab a mug of something tasty and settle in. 

Outfit time! In addition to being prepared for the Mom-Day Adventure in whatever terrain Mom chose, it was also very chilly out, with chances of rain. 
AND I did some Christmas shopping on the way home, so I had to be ready for that too.

  • Sparkly turtleneck - Jacob, thrifted; last worn here (2nd outfit), layered under a Kenzo dress, in November
  • Popcorn top - Zara, consignment; first seen here in May with triple Rykiel
  • Skirt - TKStyle, thrifted; last seen here in the first outfit of 2022, in January, with my roadkill top
  • Boots - Original Sabado, Fluevog; last worn here (2nd outfit) to the theatre last week
  • Sweetums cape (below) - vintage 70s, consignment; last seen here over my PANK dress in November

Getting dressed this time of year is full of challenges. Layers is always the best way to go!
I have a sparkly black viscose turtleneck top under this fun purple "popcorn" texture top. 

And I'm wearing fleece-lined tights. 
Both the top and the thick cotton rib-knit skirt are very warm. 

I love the "fin" on the side of the skirt.
It is actually one swath of fabric - there's a slit on the fin side, but no other side seams. 

Masked up. I have to layer my purse under the cape - capes are very tricky with bags. 
"Lunch for two, please!" Mom and I went to Floyd's Diner for lunch, "our" spot. 

I know, bare arms, right? But I can retract them into the cape to stay warm in my cone of plush woven wool. I was sweating by the time I walked home with my shopping - like I said, changeable weather! 

I often tucked my hands into the pockets. Sweetums is a lovely cape for this time of year. 
I loved the gold toque and having my two little tree brooches on the cape as a nod to the season. "A stylish dresser," muttered a construction guy as I slogged home. Hey, maybe it was the same guy who shouted out to me here!

I also did bits of gold on the gloves and gold stars on my mask. I do love a theme! 

  • Purse - Danier Leather, thrifted
  • Gloves - vintage, thrifted
  • Toque - Zara, consignment; purchased here for $10.00
  • Silk velvet scarf - thrifted
  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
Excellent boots for rain and loads of walking. 

Bronzy bling: 
The two pins were on the cape. 

  • Studded leather wrist-wrap - Kipling, thrifted
  • Chain/leather wrist-wrap - local
  • Small tree pin - Avon, can't remember
  • Large tree pin - Kesey, gift from Ev, c. 1995
  • Feather ring - Fossil, thrifted
  • Brutalist ring - vintage 70s, vintage mall
  • Earrings - thrifted

Mom, looking lovely in her snuggly coat. 
I'm liking those swooshy black knit Boss Lady Pants, Mom! 

Mom-daughter selfie! 
Mom also wore a seasonal pin, this pretty star brooch, a gift from her mother/my gram many years ago. 

We arrived at the HPC to drizzle and overcast skies. 
We pretty much had the place to ourselves, only seeing a few people as we were finishing our stroll. 

It was so different to see the flora so sparsely leaved. 
Looking at the giant eucalyptus through the arches. 

These gardens have such beauty, even in the rain in December. 
Red berries, dripping with water.

We very much enjoyed the Winter Garden.
It's deliberately planted to be beautiful at this time of year. Spring/summer have it easy - it's much harder to have the same kind of impact in winter. 

Looking down into the valley and the flats, where trumpeter swans have stopped on their migration. 
I zoomed in.
They were all diving underwater to get food. Bottoms up, boys! 

It grows abundantly in this region. 

I love this staircase in the background. 
Gorgeous plump red berries. 

This tree had blooms of moss on it, along with a few lingering orange leaves. 
One of the gardeners had hung crystals here and there. 

We saw so much sculpture that wasn't visible in more lush seasons. 
I loved this maple - it had peeling bark. 

Entering the Takata Japanese Garden.
We could hear the stream gurgling. 

Mom remembered a flautist playing here the first time she visited. 
Very appropriate for the surroundings. 
We crossed here. 

A stunning bridge. 
We have needed the rain. It's good to see it being soaked into the ground.

This Japanese red maple is very low to the ground. 
It reminds me of some sort of sea creature, like a sea-star. 

The sun was trying to break through. 
It all smelled so rich and clean - we kept taking deep breaths. 

"Mom, take my picture!"
I like the cone (look out, it's slippery!). I kind of resemble a cone here. 

This is a bonsai tree. 
So deliciously twisty! 

A lovely gathering area to look down on the lake below. 
This is the view of the lower lake with the fields and flats beyond. 
It was raining at this point. 

I look forward to the mermaid. 
Do you see her?

I am fond of this couple. 
They make me smile. 

Look at these incredible heathers.
Pink, orange, yellow - such vivid colours. 

These succulents are very holiday-ish. 
The fallen red leaves add an extra punch of colour. 

Spiky yellow! 
What a cool plant. 

This red tree took my breath away. 

I love these funny ball things. 
I think they are alliums? 

Here's a fellow I've never noticed before. 
I love a garden with a monkey. 

A towering eucalyptus with its peeling bark. 
There were two guys having a smoke at the base. 

Mom and I headed to Floyds, where she had chicken tacos and a salad and I had jalapeno mac and cheese and a side salad. 
You look lovely, Mom! 

And look at that! Sunshine for our last selfie, before I caught the bus to town. 
Thank you so much for such a lovely time, Mom - I really needed that. I love you! 

I had to take a picture of this gloriously purple truck. 
So cool! 

I stopped in at the WIN (Women In Need) on Pandora and had a look around. I bought a few stocking stuffers, and found a few things for myself. 
I had nearly bought nylons at the drugstore - they've gone up to $9.95 or more a pair! 

The DIM sheer black tights are handy and at $3.95 are a huge savings over buying new. 
And I see I'll be "gomme" (rubber), "remonte" (traced back? I think shaped is more accurate) and "affine" (refined).

The pack of three nylons were also $3.95 - this would cost over $25 new. 
And I'll have "sensational silky sheer legs" - hooray! 

I paid less than $7.00 for half a dozen books, including these two for me. 
I don't see too many Patricia Highsmith books around, and I know some of you are fans of Jo Nesbo. 

I found this real fur collar, which I think has been removed from its original coat. 
I suspect it is fox (I did some self-educating by digging around online). 

The backing of it is a wide grosgrain ribbon so it lays flat around the neck (it also works on my head). 
There are two balls of fur on each end, which I can use to tie it closes. 

I've been on the lookout for a replacement for my old grey fur scarf that I gave away, as it got a bit ratty (I wore it a lot). 
$19.95 felt high, but I'll wear this a ton. 

I also had good luck and found this awesome Western-inspired belt. 
The metal parts are covered with crystals and seed pearls. I checked it very carefully and there was only one pearl missing (the blue arrow). 

Isn't it pretty? 
So sparkly! 
The belt itself is all leather, with a metallic finish on embossed crocodile texture. 

Ooh, I love stamps! 
Those say "Abel" and "made in Italy." Cool. 

But the belt itself is by a name I know: Suzi Roher. 
I spied one on eBay for $170.00, so you know this was not cheap to begin with. 

I was happy with $8.95.
Into my cart you go! 

Okay, I may have bought A FULL-LENGTH MINK COAT. *ahem*
I totally did! 

It has arm-straps for wearing it securely on your shoulders. 
And there's two ties inside for holding it shut. 

Gorgeous tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl and gold buttons. 
The loop is a thick elastic, which doesn't feel super-vintage-y. 

The lining is a rich brown with woven tulips. 
So pretty! 

At the bottom on the right, I found this short strip sewn on, with a large snap.
What is it for?? There is nothing for this to snap onto! 

I found a handkerchief pocket just inside the upper chest, near the lapel. 
Pretty detail! There are ZERO tags and labels on this, which is very mysterious.

Another small button up at the neck. 
See? That elastic doesn't look that old. 

The wide cuffs have a pretty folded over detail. 
But I LOVED that inside the wide sleeves, there is a built-in partial sleeve, with elasticated cuff, to keep wind from blowing up your arm. 
Wow. I have never seen that in a coat, other than sub-zero sporty ones. 

I would never have bought this if it wasn't in A+ condition and also fit me. 
It is a perfect fit - and although it weighs a ton, it doesn't feel heavy on. I spy a kitty in the background. 

And here it is all done up.
So pretty! 

Those are a lot of little minks. 
Real fur doesn't bother me as long as it's second-hand and vintage. 

This is the stunner:
That's what lack of label gets you - a full-length mink coat for $45.95. New mink coats sell for $5,000 and more. I can't wait to wear this, although I will be saving it for special occasions vs. wearing it in public (maybe if it gets really cold!). 

When L and I popped into Vanity Fair Antique Mall last weekend to do some Christmas shopping, I spotted these amazing earrings, examined them, tried them on and PUT THEM BACK. 
I've been having regrets all week, so I had to pop in and buy them. They are hand-made and those are crystal and some sort of green stone. 

I think this might be a type of jade.
Are the crystals real? They look like smoky topaz. 

I love the way the spiky part is made. 
It's three plates of this gold stamped shape. Look at the centre - it's not round or perfectly symmetrical. This tells me it was made by an artist, not mass-produced. 

The stones at the clip are different on each earring and are rough, rather than polished. 
You can see how the "arm" on the right has to bend further to secure its stone. 

I spotted this mark on them when I was in on Saturday. That's a V in an oval. 
And yes, these are vintage Valentino - real Valentino! This blog post (here, link 'cause I love) notes that this more oval shape was used between 1960 and 1979. So they are probably gold-plated, and would have retailed over $1,000. I paid $45.00. 

The reason I didn't buy them the first time is that they are HEAVY. 
But as a clip-on, I can wear them securely - the squishy white padding totally keeps them from pinching my earlobes. They do feel weird, 'cause my earlobes really swing when I have them on! 

And now, flush with my shopping treasures found, I would like to share some pictures of today's kitty hiding spot. 
"Oh, good, you found me."

He rarely sleeps in his house, preferring the warmth and comfort of the bedroom.
"Mousie and I are having a chat, do you mind, Woman."

Sorry, bud, just one more...
"Leave or the mink coat gets it!"

I didn't buy that coat for it to be used as a cat-bed! 

And now, my friends, it's time for me to sign off for the weekend. Wishing you all things merry and bright. 


  1. My dad had a truck like that when I was a kid. His was more blue than purple though.

  2. Oh my gosh, a bunch of smiles for me and for Fred! Thank you Sheila. ❤️ Fred looked over my shoulder and enjoyed your pictures of the gardens. I explained that this wasn’t my first “visit” having enjoyed previous vicarious visits. :) The Japanese Gardens are among my favorites because of the serenity I feel in simply looking at your photos. The heathers are so spring-like! Fred initially wondered if this was the botanical garden you suggested we visit but once I told him the name he realized this is a different garden.
    At one point Fred asked who the person was standing next to you. With a big smile I said “That’s Helen, Sheila’s Mom.” He chuckled that I was on a first name basis. :)

    Hi Helen! No surprise to me that you and Sheila both had on plaid outerwear. I stand by my comment many posts ago that you two have a mother-daughter sartorial symbiosis!

    Here’s to Mom-Sheila selfies, the coming holidays, and hugging the people you love.

    Fondly, Laurie & Fred too!

  3. Love seeing the garden pictures from the HCP and your lunch at Floyd’s sounds yummy. The earrings are gorgeous but that mink is stunning and luxe! Well done on your WIN shopping…I must venture back it’s been ages…happy holidays Sheila!
    Hostess of the Humble Bungalow

  4. Those earrings are sooooo good. I can understand you didn't buy them the first time because of the weight, but boy oh boy are they good.
    I also very much like your mother's brooch (being a brooch lover).
    The mink coat is an unbelievable bargain. I wouldn't be able to wear such a coat in the Netherlands as someone would spray paint on it for protest.

  5. My god that coat. It was custom made and stored properly to be in such great shape. What a great score. So beautiful.

  6. Ah, that cape is divine, Sheila, and what fun that both you and your Mom were wearing plaid! I'm also loving your "popcorn" jumper, which actually makes me think of bubble wrap :-)
    Gorgeous photos of the Winter garden. I love to compare places in different seasons too, and this time of year is just perfect to show a garden's backbone, without all the frills and exuberance of Spring and Summer. Love the photo of you on the bridge and the mysterious one of the mermaid!
    Your mink coat is a stunner, and what a bargain too. I don't have problems with real fur when it's vintage either, although if I wore one to work I'd be having the same problem as Greetje in the Netherlands.
    I totally get why you went back for the earrings, they are absolutely fabulous! xxx

  7. Fabulous mink!!! Strange that it has no markings or labels. I wonderif it was custim made??

  8. Wow, your fur coat looks incredible on you! A perfect fit!

    Also, I love how you are twinning in plaid with your mum. I love seeing your days out with her. X

  9. You and your mom look lovely and cozy in your wool checked coats. The mink is beautiful - I am always entranced by the linings and buttons on good quality fur coats. I have owned a couple in my time and like you, I am okay with owning vintage fur, but the past few winters here it hasn't got cold enough to wear it. I have a vintage mink stole/cape which I wear occasionally, layered over a lighter coat. The earrings are stunning - excellent score!

  10. Love reading about your days out and I really like the idea of hanging crystals in a garden. The maple is beautiful too.

    I am in love with your boots and those earrings are divine! Good job you decided to go back for them. As for the mink, well, that will certainly keep you warm and cosy and I agree, if it's vintage, it might as well be put to good use. You look fabulous! xxx

  11. You and your mum look so good in your matching coats! Nice to see you both had the same idea to be cosy and stylish for your walk. I liked seeing the eucalypt too! We are obsessed with eucalypt spotting as it's the preferred leaf of some of our stick insects, so we are always on the hunt for some whenever we are passing by eucalypt trees, haha!

    Love those earrings and that coat is insanely cosy looking, what a bargain price!


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