Monday, December 28, 2009

An Uncommon Dilemma

I've been having a shopping dilemma lately. A few times this months I've been downtown with a little money to spend on a Christmas present for myself, but I've come home empty handed. There are certainly clothes that I like, I just haven't been inspired to buy any of them. It seems like everything that I am attracted to looks too much like something I think I could find in a thrift store, or I should make for myself.

Of course, I'm not shopping at high end stores. We're talking spending fifty to a hundred dollars at Zara, H&M, something like that. If I had the money to browse Holt Renfrew I might be wooed by something amazingly designed and beautifully made. But nothing mall-level has drawn me in and it's kind of a letdown when I allow myself to potentially buy some cute little thing that I don't really need. I immediately think - oh, I'll just look for something like that at Value Village - or - hmm, I should really just make it. Does it seem to anyone else that what's "in" right now looked thrifted or home-made?

I shouldn't complain about not spending money frivolously. Save it for RRSPs. For renovations. For frigging property tax next month. For charity. For traveling. For a puppy. For more sessions with the trainer. For healthier food. For... OK, strangely that eliminated the disappointment of not dropping any money at the mall!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Inspired by actual events

Some bloggers are so vigilant about recreating their outfits if they miss photographing a good one, but I've never been that disciplined. However, we had house guests staying with us all week, and I didn't know them well enough to go taking pictures of myself before Karl and I went out to my friends Christmas party. So instead I go re-dressed and took pictures in my yard in the middle of the morning because I really don't care what my neighbors think.

Love this velvet French Connection dress I found at Value Village, and bright pink tights seemed festive. And the Fergie (ick) shoes needed to be worked into the winter wardrobe.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Most Important Celebration In December

Is the birth of our savior, Mary Little. Oops, don't mean to be sacrilegious, just don't want it to get overlooked. Happy Birthday Mary, may all your cats enjoy wearing sweaters, and may the last year of your 20's be the best!!! And don't forget to be QUEEN FOR A DAY.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Subliminal Osmosis

I'm a big fan of Le Blog de Betty. She's got amazing taste, she lives in Paris, has a wardrobe that makes me drool, and is stunning. I'm a little jealous of her ability to work the sequins, cuffs, bangs and boots, always with her own twist.

So the other day I glanced in the mirror at work and thought my outfit was a little bit Betty. OK, I'm not delusional - it was just a hint of a feeling. Something about the mix of sequins, the silver and black... I've got a bit of a ways to go on the rest of her assets.

I liked it with the silver and black platforms as well as the boots.

I guess one of the fun things about reading fashion blogs whenever I've got a free moment at work or the Canucks are losing a hockey game is that all of these creative influences sneak in to my brain. I'd never consciously work at recreating someones style, but I love seeing how all these amazing women express themselves, and I guess it makes me a little more confident to try a more diverse range of looks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I don't know if everyone has already seen these, but they are shoes by a German artist named Iris Schieferstein. She works with parts of dead animals and gives "a new face to death". The hoof shoes in particular seem to be popping up on blogs lately, and of course people mention that they are macabre, or creepy, but I haven't read any comments on the fact that any pair of leather shoes isn't too far away from this. Most of us wear dead animals on our bodies often, we just disguise it better. It reminds me of when people who eat meat are horrified if they see any connection to a real animal on their plate. Or, God forbid, see an animal being slaughtered or butchered before it gets turned into a safe little chicken finger.

But back to the shoes. The porcupine ones are kind of beautiful, and there's something Margiela-esque about the last hoof pair. I don't know if it is possible to really wear them, assuming you wanted to, but it kind of looks like you can. Lady Gaga?

Art? Wearable art? Freakshow? Any opinions?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Decked Part 2: Martha meets MacGyver

I lost my Christmas mojo for a while there, but I brought it back today. I've always liked making wreaths, but I was kind of lazy this year because I couldn't find the wire frame I usually use, and our yard has no traditional evergreen wreath materials. Other years we've borrowed some from nature and the nearby lanes, but this year I decided to do a non-traditional wreath of bamboo. I wrapped it around with weed vines from the front yard and decorated it with some dried out hops buds, which are totally beautiful with their little dusting of yellow pollen.

Monday, December 14, 2009


We had our first pretty little snowfall yesterday so I was sufficiently motivated to do some Christmas-y stuff. We got a tree, a real one for the smell, and decorated it, listening to Christmas music. If you need some new Christmas tunes, check out Ultimate Motown Christmas. It's pretty cool. Today I did most of my gift shopping; just a couple more things to check off the list. I always start out thinking I'm only going to buy the barest minimum of gift, but then I get overcome with generosity and the desire to see lots of packages piled up under the tree, all wrapped in the beautiful Scandinavian-looking paper we got at Ikea. Maybe I'll just find some empty boxes to wrap.

The Christmas tree has annoyed the cat as we had to move her pedestal. Everything annoys her though. As you can see from the picture, our decorating theme is Traditional Hodgepodge. I do admire the colour coordinated stylish trees so people do, but we kind of just toss up all the home made ornaments with the ones we've received as gifts with the dollar store ones. I think this low standard will make for an easier adjustment when we have kids and they start bringing home bells made of tinfoil covered egg cartons and candy cane reindeer.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Took these pictures after Mary's party, and it was cold. And late. But the point is: sequins, lace, patterned hose, leopard print. I just throw it all on and let them fight it out. Oh yeah, I got my hair cut too. Love it. Why did I go so long without bangs?

I don't know why my favorite picture is the blurry one. Or maybe I do.

Party time, excellent

Last night was Mary's early birthday party. It was so great to hang out with all the girls. Boys are OK too. Ingredients for fun: food and drink, hangman, awesome Dame Edna glasses. Now, this was a birthday party, not a Christmas party, but somehow it put me in the holiday spirit a little bit. Must have been the sequins.


Friday, December 11, 2009


What made us laugh before the internet? Television sitcoms? Vice magazine? The witty banter of our peers? I forget.

Last night Karl and I spent over an hour laughing our asses off on Finally someone has broken the taboo of mocking the handicrafts of others. It is awesome.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I don't hate...

Well, believe it or not, this Lady Gaga character is growing on me. Actually, I read about her a couple of years ago, before I had heard any of her music, and thought she might be kind of cool. Then the world became so saturated with Just Dance and Pokerface that even as a non-video, non-radio person, I was a little sick of her. Then there was the whole pantslessness bashing free-for-all.

But here's the thing: despite all the facts, she doesn't bother me. I rather like her. I imagine her as a Liza Minelli/Isabella Blow hybrid. I like her wonky face. My strict bedtime and policy of not sacrificing sleep for television means that I didn't watch the Barbara Walters show, but I did see the interview with Lady Gaga on Youtube, and she was kind of cute and not obnoxious. Though obviously one would go out of one's way not to come off like an asshole to Barbara Walters. She says that she's a performance artist and that she's passionate about art. I'd like to believe her.

Doesn't the world need more people to wear ridiculous couture? I think so. And bizarre makeup and towering shoes? Yes. It raises the bar for everyone. If Lady Gaga can wear these incredibly intricate and immobilizing getups, can't some of us make a little more of an effort, even some of the time? Heck yeah. And I know people say that she just does it for attention or as a gimmick, but so what? No one else is doing it to that extreme, and it's kind of cool that the greater world is being exposed to some seriously genius fashion, instead of just fashion geeks who troll the internet for pictures of the bejewelled Alexander McQueen armadillo platforms.

Her music is decent too. It seems like she can actually sing. I don't notice an overload of auto-tune (hello Rhianna), and I can tell her songs apart, and she's not a jailbait pre-teen singing about sex. She's a complete character and she's always in character. You don't read about her private life much, you don't see pictures of her in Uggs at the 7-11 in tabloids. Let's keep it that way. And I like that she's not "pretty". I think she's pretty, but it obvious that she didn't sell herself as the next Britney to get a record deal. I like to think that she might even be kind of smart.

OK, that almost verged on gushing, but it wasn't. Just a few observations about something I don't hate and something that doesn't annoy me. These things are few and far between in pop culture! And now that I've stated my approval publicly, she will turn around tomorrow and do something so idiotic/shameful/cheezy that I will have to eat my words. Just like when I told my boss that I though Jon and Kate Plus 8 was a cute show and that they were a genuinely nice family about a week before they got shamed.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Photo Envy

I came across the work of a photographer named Cedric Bihr on a blog and I LOVE this picture. Lots of his other work features beautiful frosty landscapes, but there was something about this shot that made me pause. I love the nailpolish and the lipstick, but it's more than that. Some people are just so talented.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Sunshine

Isn't it wonderful when the sun shines in December - especially after the November we had. Every extra moment of vitamin D is precious. I wore a dress on a Sunday which is pretty unheard of. I started off with a black sequined mini-dress, but Karl raised his eyebrows, and he's pretty tolerant. I like the outfit I settled on, but I felt like I could have blended right in with the old ladies filing home after church at the Croatian church up the street.

Speaking of sequins, my trainer at the gym was telling me about this sequined dress she got and asking what kinds of accessories to wear with it. I told her that I think sequins are a neutral, which might sound kind of funny, but my idea is that they are so far from being basic that they come full circle to being neutral again, so you can wear anything with them. Right?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Today is the first day of my perfume switch, from Rosamor by Oscar de la Renta to Hermes Kelly Caleche. The former is very light, floral, and pretty generic. My co-worker gave it to me; she was complaining that she and her sisters-in-law always exchange perfume as gifts, but who can really use that much perfume? It takes forever to use up a bottle, at least for me. And it's usually pretty expensive stuff, I wouldn't want to use it for a month then toss it.

So I like the Rosamor, but it's kind of summery and boring. A couple of years ago I bought myself Hermes Kelly Caleche, because I LOVE if, but I haven't worn it regularly for some reason. I find it a little challenging - it's strong and spicy and leathery, and it doesn't fade out over the course of the day. But I'm going to try to get into wearing it. I'm just don't want it to bother anyone; I try to be sensitive to people who don't like strong perfumes.

Speaking of scents, I heard a great description the other day. I was watching that semi-lame show on Food Network, Food Jammers, where they make ludicrous food using ridiculous contraptions. A guy described some herbal concoction as having a "saddle-blanket cat-lady" odor. Isn't that good? I wish I could find something to use that for. Nothing I had to smell for very long though!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Un-Mother's Day

If every day that is not our birthday is our un-birthday, it stands to reason that every day that is not mother's day is, in fact, un-mother's day. So in celebration, you should probably check out My Mom, The Style Icon. It's a sweet website where readers send in pictures of their moms looking super foxy. It made me think of all the pictures I've seen of my mom and been like, What ever happened to that dress you're wearing????

These were just a couple of the ones I liked from the website.

Have you ever tried to recreate your mom's enviable style? Or laughed at big misses of the eighties? Like, why did my mom ever have a perm?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Party like it's 1997

Seems like every nineties supe is now worth her weight in gold, so it's no surprise that Helena and Laetitia and popping up everywhere. And they are looking amazing; I guess that's what good genes will do. Ahem, ladies, I wonder if a certain friend of ours has noticed these gals back on the fashion radar..

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's heading this way...

All three pictures from Mr. Newton. Taken on the same day at the same flea market in Brooklyn. There was actually another picture of a girl in a coat like these, but I didn't love it. They have to be right or they are so wrong.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Funny Pants

Got these amazing leather pants a couple of weeks ago and I finally busted them tonight for a friend's birthday. The leather is all worn in and the high waist fits perfectly. I think I giggled with glee when I saw them. Observers may laugh for another reason, but whatevs.

I can't believe that it's almost December. I'll need to block out Christmas stuff for at least another ten days. I have a limited amount of spirit and it just gets way too diluted if I start spending it too early. I'm good for two weeks of cheer and I pack all the good stuff - decorating, baking, shopping into that time and it's fun. If I let it start in November I'm bitter and cranky long before the big day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Black Shineys

When I was little I always wanted "black shineys" - you know, the black patent Mary Janes that little girls wear for Christmas? I got a grown-up version at Value Village on the weekend. And yes, sometimes I feel my week is incomplete without a new pair of shoes.

A new computer configuration has curbed my blogging, but hopefully I'll get over it. Also, my nails are too long to type easily. Snip snip tonight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One step up from PJs

Yeah, I know this outfit resembles sleepwear. That's pretty much the point. I drew the line at slippers though. Just not professional. I got the leopard print wedges at the thrift store. I'm liking animal print in small, bite-sized portions. And the necklace is from Forever 21. I couldn't believe how cheap their jewelry was!

Monday, November 16, 2009

November is the Suckiest Month*

I'm lazy again today, but this post made me work up the energy to laugh.

And this picture reminded me of summer, and renewed my faith in the fact that November can't last forever.

*One year when Krista and I lived together we made the pronouncement that November is the suckiest month, and truly, that particular November lasted forever. At least this one is already half over.