Saturday, 20 April 2013

Holey Holey Holey

Oh my god, you guys. I can't remember the last time I've been so dramatically, wretchedly, miserably ill - just a cold, but an especially humbling one with a long, long valley more resembling an abyss.  

merino wool turtleneck: Italtempo, Winners, worn here
holey cropped bell-sleeved hoodie: Double Zero, passed along by a dear friend
skirt: Joe Fresh, worn here with similar "eh, just threw on black clothes" outfit
thermal leggings: Elita
shorty cowboy boots: WalM*rt men's section clearance, worn here

antique pin: a gift from my father, worn here

How is it that on single-task days, like Having Bath or Doing One Load Laundry (which is still sitting in the dryer from Wednesday), when preparing or otherwise acquiring food isn't an option because that's another task so it's dry taco shells and baby carrots for dinner, there are still so many dirty dishes? Why does everything have so many steps?

I'm coming around a little now but being even more desperately behind on life amplifies the general despair. I'm channelling Gary Oldman in Immortal Beloved when the carriage gets stuck in the mud. Bring me Kahlua chocolates.

These photos are from two weeks ago, well prior to onset of the plague. This ensemble would have greatly pleased 15-year-old-me, which is something at least, she sure didn't get much satisfaction at the time. It's even a spring outfit because there is a flower.

To spare you further details of my abject suffering, make up a little for my radio silence, and take me away from all the grotty phlegm, boogers, dishes, and paperwork, here is some enhanced content: 

I was stoked to be included in the Digital Catwalk series created by Anne of Spy Girl - what a generous gift! By which I mean Anne's super talent, her fantastic artwork, and also the stupendous legs she has so kindly bestowed upon me. Thanks, Anne! Check out her whole series here. 

Pictures of our new chicks, though the brooder heat lamp doesn't make for great photo conditions. Here on March 25 they were one day old, still small as eggs. My favourite is when they pass out sprawled, feet everywhere. And also when they run around peeping.

We have two each of Columbian Rock Cross, Black Sex Link, and Barred Rock. No names yet, but we really should stop calling one Barred Rock "String Bum" (because she arrived with a piece of lint really stuck to her) and the other "Poo Bum" (because you can guess why).

vintage handmade snakeskin-print rain cape: Black Market Clothing (Toronto, early '80s)
The Travelling Yellow Skirt: Joe Fresh with hand-customizations, from Melanie by way most recently of Tami
pointy buckle boots: shop on Queen West I can't recall (Toronto, early '80s)

Yesterday I managed to lurch outdoors to test a Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show idea. Related to a conversation last weekend and today's outfit post, it included actual artifacts of my 15-year-old self. 

What would your younger selves think of what you're wearing now? Of what you're doing with your life? How do you honour your past's promise, pain, or wishes, if those are things that hold meaning for you? 

I'll be joining up with Visible Monday over at Not Dead Yet Style, come and see us there!  


  1. Aww chicky chicks!! Hello new babies.

    I love the buckle boots you're wearing. How cool are those!

    I'm sorry you've been sick. If you're experiencing the weather like we have, I can definitely understand why your cold is sticking around.

    My past-self would be horrified. I hated the color brown. I hated dresses and skirts. I wanted to dress like one of the guys from the Strokes. Of course, I was being very narrow minded and felt my only other sartorial option was "preppy" stores.

    Of course the blog world has by and far taught me differently.

    I've learned to leave myself open. That my self-promises are good to hold, but also worth compromising on. My younger self is never as informed as I am in the future. I like to think that with new knowledge comes new possibilities and that I shouldn't limit myself based on my past restrictions.

  2. hi amber , i hope you get a full recovery soon. take care and take your time. the chicks are so cool.
    i love your outfit. one colour. perfect.
    love lucyx

  3. I'm so glad you explained the feet-sticking-out part! I was concerned for the little dears, although obviously you wouldn't have posted any morbid pictures. They are adorable and it will be fun to watch them grow. I'm glad your 15 yr old self is happy with this outfit. You look perfect, as far as I'm concerned. As a huge fan of early Commes Des Garcons, I love anything black and holey. I think I will forever. Plus the pin from your dad is gorgeous!!

    I'm currently in a style-tizzy, not feeling like myself at all. Perhaps it would be useful to ask my 15 year old self for advice. I knew I was an actress/artist and a rebel, at the very least. Right now I'm feeling very pedestrian/boring. Time to go back to the drawing board and shake it up a bit. Although color is enticing, your all-black ensemble makes me re-think it.

    When can I have the skirt?!!! I WANT IT. Is there a line (or queue as some might say)? Please advise. XXXOOO!!!!

  4. So sorry to hear you've been in the grip of the Cold From Hell. The chickies are so cute! Those buckle boots are fabulous, and I love your all-black Spring ensemble. My 15-year-old self was all about brown turtlenecks. So I don't consult her much about my current style. :-)

  5. My younger self would love my new clothing and sartorial choices. I wanted so badly to be a goth in my youth but my father wouldn't have any part of me looking like a "crow" so I opted for the preppy. I think that's why I've become such a fan of shoes with buckles and buttons in my older years - I'm making up for lost time.

    How do I get in on the traveling Yellow Skirt action?

  6. I hope you are feeling better now. I love your knitted bolero - it's cropped cut and voluminous sleeves make a wonderful silhouette. Wonderful floral brooch too. How exciting the arrival of new feathered friends must be!
    My fifteen year old self was always frustrated that she wasn't able to dance as much as she wanted to because her parents wouldn't support her interest. I think she'd be happy to know it didn't stop her adult self going hell for leather once she started earning her own money a couple of years later and continues to dance into her forties with no intention of stopping.

  7. Oh dear, you sound as though you have been proper poorly,and that's no fun at all. I hope you are on the mend. I can send chocolate, if that will help, but I think your new chickies and the Travelling Yellow Skirt will be very therapeutic.
    You look very you in the all black ensemble. Such great boots, and such a gorgeous brooch. Might your parents consider adopting me? They give SUCH good jewellery presents!
    My 15 year old self would doubtless be appalled at what I wear - not fashionable, raises an eyebrow or two, she wouldn't approve at all. She wanted desperately to have what everyone else had and blend in - silly girl! On the other hand, she would also be surprised and probably disappointed to know that her future self would spend a ton of time and effort getting educated, developing skills and a career, only to leave it all behind and be an unemployed slacker at home with the kids! I can imagine her disapproval (and share some of it) - it was never my intention to turn into my mother, but it has somehow come to pass... Funny, that.
    So glad to have you back, Amber, look after yourself (and those downy babies!) xxxx

  8. So sorry to hear you've been unwell - there have been some nasty bugs going around this year.

    You should also thank Anne for that amazingly thin waist! Her pictures are just wonderful - I love the looseness, yet I can still recognize your boots.

    I read a quote from Matt Damon saying that at 16 we're pretty much who we are going to be, and in some ways I think he's right. At that age I was a little conflicted between pretty clothes and cool clothes, and I still feel the same way! I guess that's my Libra flip-flopping.

  9. Sorry about your illness. Anne's portrait is terrific.

  10. Whoosh, as she sashays down that catwalk! Anne's sketch is awesome!! That should heal you. If not that, your hoody holiness is a benediction. And of course the yellow freak skirt comes with its own brand of healing as well. I was so happy to hear its weird sound again.
    I'm sorry you've been feeling poorly. Have you tried Kozy Shack rice pudding? Just pop the lid and inhale - no, use a spoon. Your effort to post is incredible. And while you may feel horrid, take comfort in the fact that you look awesome.
    Your chicks are too sweet for words.

  11. Eek, despite my loooong comment, I managed to forget to say that I LOVE Anne's sketch - doesn't she give us all fabulous legs?! xxx

  12. Argh, I hope you are feeling better by now. Colds are really annoying and can be really debilitating :(
    congratulations on making it to the digital catwalk, that's really cool.
    I have to say that I really loved this ensemble - maybe it appeals to the closet goth in me. I really like the details on the jumper - the holes add a lot of interest to the piece doesn't it?
    I also want to ask for more chick pics!!! Nothing like cute baby animals to brighten up one's day.
    Where is the yellow skirt going now? I'd love to jump in on that game too!
    Hugs and hot tea :)

  13. Oh no, I haven't had this cold/flu but my husband has it now. It truly is the worst. Hope it leaves you soon.

    First of all I adore the silver pin! The textured black is always stylish and I like the nod to the 80's with the full shorter skirt. And a appreciate your skill with cool and unusual shoes.

    I was just at a birthday party for the seventeen year old daughter of my friend last night. I sat with the older ladies watching the kid dance just as my Mom did. I don't know if me younger self could even imagine the 50 year old I am now?

    blue hue wonderland

  14. Amber, I hope your health will continue to strengthen with the lengthening of the spring days! What a bummer to be so sick so long. I hope your sweet, lively little chicks also bring a bit of new oomph to your healing process.

    I ADORE that sweater. I am a knitter myself, and for a while, my focus was on stuff with HOLES. I designed a Holey Tunic for myself a few years ago--you could see it here: . I would love to get up close and personal with your hoodie to see how it was done!

    My 15 year old self was just beginning to understand what she wanted to do with clothing. She would love that I still adore anything gray. She would be happy that I have found an eclectic style that has many elements of artistry, yet she would be shocked that I am as interested as I am in clothes and fashion. (My fifteen year old self was a focused, serious scholar, yet also found herself being drawn into the flowery, loose ways of the late hippie era, sartorially, where she definitely was by the last few years of high school.)

  15. Get well soon.

    You still look gorgeous.

    XO Arezu

  16. Oh rats to the dreaded cold/flu/plague that has brought you low. Hope today is better and tomorrow brings health. Your chicks are so precious, thanks for sharing them, and your coolblack outfit, with Vis. Monday.

  17. So you'll be the tease of the TYSFS? - hope we will see more of your modeling it.

    Get well kiddo!

  18. Ooo, that was quite titillating!
    O, darling, bummer you've been so sick! I have just had a head cold, really, and am starting to feel much better. Having some sweet little chicklets bopping around will bring a smile to your face!
    I suspect my 15 year old self would have been quite into the 46 year old self! I was just getting interested in experimenting with clothes about then. Mentally, however, I was such a dweeb! Two/three years later I had identical boots to what you are wearing with the yellow skirt!!!
    YAY, you got Spygirled! Anne is bloody clever!
    Big healthy squeezes to you, lovely! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  19. Amber--hope you feel better soon!!
    Ah-cute peep pctures!!
    My 15 year old self?? I was too busy trying to conform-shoving my square peg into the round hole!

  20. Sorry to hear you've been poorly, do hope you're able to recuperate and get well soon lovely Amber. Those cute little chicks are the epitome of hope in the face of adversity, may they precipitate your recovery. You look most existential and thoughtful in your outfit, with the flower as a symbol of spring.

  21. So sorry to hear you've been under the weather, Amber. But you have saved the day with pictures of your recent stylin' past. You do look lovely in your all black ensembles. My 15 year old self was totally into mod clothes and while she would be shocked at how big I am now, I think she'd get a kick out of my dressing up and all.

    So baby chicks are like kitties? They run around like crazy and then just fall over wherever they are and go to sleep. It did look alarming at first.

    And such a teaser with the yellow traveling skirt, like a movie preview. I want more! In fact, I still want to be a contestant on the traveling yellow skirt show, please.


    Ah, sorry. A few folks around me either want or have chickens, and I've clearly been infected by it. (But not in the same way you've been infected--I'm taking a drink of water for your health!)

    15-year-old me didn't care very much about style, having recently graduated from the idea that everything cool had to be silver miniskirts and tube tops, neither of which I ever dreamed of wearing. I think she would appreciate my love of color and the fun I have in using clothes as a creative outlet. She might be a little perplexed by my current willingness to embrace my femininity, though...I hadn't yet learned that being feminine isn't a bad thing. Oh, younger Mia.

  23. Oh, no, not THE PLAGUE! So hoping you're coming 'round. Taco shells and baby carrots as a meal makes me sad. I dunno why, it just does.

    Antique flower pin! Love! All black! Love! For a while I thought no respectable style blogger could wear all black. So glad not be respectable any more :o

    CHIX! I love baby pics. Although Poo Bum may suffer from low self-esteem if he(?) doesn't get a more lofty name. Padraic? Palladin? Paris? (I'm finding that I'm loving naming chickens and have to go get a life

    1. It was SO, SO SAD.

      Chicken-naming is fantastic consolation, however! Nice ones!

  24. You have the most interesting site and I'm always eager to see what you come up with each week! Gotta love those buckled boots - how cool that you still have them after all these years!

  25. Gah - not the Plague!! Fight it girl, fight it - you can do it! You have babies to look after ;) Those wee chicks look like they had a rough night of carousing and collapsed where they stood, legs akimbo! Cuteness abounds.

    I had buckled boots almost identical to those (mine had silver toe caps) when I was in my 20's and wore them everywhere (they made the most wonderful noise!). I am coveting your holey sweater.

  26. So sorry you feel like poo. Sending best thoughts in the hope you get over it very soon. Had similar last winter, and suddenly understood why some actually look forward to death! Better now, thanks!
    Love the outfit ... very gothic-spring. Silver flower says it all. My fifteen year old self would be shocked that I'm not wearing purple, blue hair and granny-glasses by this time. She would be pleased to know that I followed through on my education, but devastated that the world-travel passion has yet to be fulfilled. She would be surprised to know how wide my interests are at this great old age, and that there is aspirational life after 30.
    Stop by, please, for a visit when you feel better!
    Until then, drink lots of liquids and take care of the lovely new chicks! Babies are the best part of spring!

  27. So sorry that you've been sick, Dear Amber and hope that you're feeling better soon. Spy Girl's sketch captured you to perfection, in all of your glory, dancer like with scarf flowing. The antique pin from your father is a special embellishment to your amazing holey cropped hoodies.

    I grew up raising chicks myself in Minnesota, so your descriptions are familiar and nostalgic. My 15-year-old-self could not have imagined the life that I've lived and continue to enjoy. I feel very protective of her, sending her love across the decades.

  28. Hope you're feeling better now. You do look fantastic, I adore the cardigan and hurrah to being 'Spygirled'.xx

  29. Oh Amber! So sorry you've been so sick! I hope you are completely well SOON!! Like now!! Love those boots with all the buckles. And the little baby chickees! Here's to wellness.


  30. You seem like such a genuinely nice person. The sleeves are cozy so you will probably get well soon!


Thank you for your comments!
- Amber