Sunday, 20 July 2014

Dual Action

Thank you so much for the kind comments on my last post - we sure do miss our Old Glo. Today, no seriousness - just another couple of comfortable work outfits of the printed dress + sweater + scarf type and a chat about weather and shopping. 

I'm enjoying Ontario's cooler-than-usual July, but my year-round indoor weather conditions at work are typically coldest-dampest-April with periodic gale-force winds. That atmosphere allows for more temperate conditions in the glass-walled areas of the building, and fortunately I'd rather be a bit chilled than gross and overheated. 

green scarf: Lupita's (Harlingen, TX), worn here
silver necklace: a gift from my mother, detail here
dark blue cardigan: Old Navy
geometric-print dress: Leota, ebay

navy shoes: Karl Lagerfeld + Melissa, Bloomingdales

A single Ugly Office Sweater isn't enough for the temperature variability, so I keep two wool wraps (one large, one small) at my desk and over the course of most days will use all of the layering options in any outfit.

I have no complaints about these shoes, though - wish I could have every colour! One of the best things about blogging again is a chance to link up with Sheila's Shoe Shine at Ephemera.

In context of few local options for quality second-hand / thrift / consignment shopping (inside an hour's drive, standard fare has been $5 for thoroughly-pilled mall-brand T-shirts and lots of worn WalM*rt clothing at original price), I occasionally drink the new-clothes Kool-Aid and see what people mean about the ubiquity of things made you-know-where. Fortunately Melissa is a socially and environmentally conscious shoemaker, and Leota dresses are made in New York - the above was $9.99 via ebay.

blue paisley scarf: a gift from my mother
navy cardigan: MAK, ModCloth
chocolate milk coloured dress: Effie's Heart, ModCloth

My admiration to bloggers with serious second-hand style ethics like Sheila, Curtise, Megan Mae and Bella, and those with holy smokes incredible refashioning skills besides, like Jean, Helga, Vix, and Pao. Unlike at least a noticeable proportion of stuff I wear, the two cardigans in this post are standard in-stock-online items, so here are my reviews - 

Old Navy: soft lightweight cotton, more navy / less electric than it photographed; fit is even larger than the generous size chart measurements. Time will tell how well it wears. What's your bet on whether putting it in the dryer will shrink it in only undesirable ways? 

ModCloth: a heavier knit, dark navy colour, I like the shape and fit; pill-happy synthetic mix needs frequent washing but does not stand up to frequent washing. :(

To end on a positive note, though I still miss the beloved Netty Vintage storefront, three brand-new shops - two consignment and a charity thrift store - have opened in the nearest city, where I have lately satisfied my abiding affection for gauchos and Giant Pants (as previously expressed here, here, and here). 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Roots and Rain

An 11th-hour addition to Literary Stylings at Fashion for Giants, inspired by a book that sang along my Ukrainian-Canadian prairie roots through to present-day connections and beyond, of lung-squeezing losses - personal and cultural and environmental - in verse of what gets told and what doesn't. 

vintage cotton day dress: Cotton City, Bitter Root Vintage
black wrap belt: thrifted at The Kitty Cat Store, worn here with cowboy boots of legend
green scarf: Lupita's (Harlingen, TX), worn here
blue ankle-strap wedges: Melissa Toffee Apple, ebay, worn here

Rove by Laurie D. Graham
nominated for the 2014 Gerald Lampert Award

Saskatchewan ancestors, the chair that travelled from the photograph to my Ontario home

I learned about Rove via Michael Dennis's poetry review blog where he has shared some excerpts (and regularly adds to my burst-at-the-seams poetry book wish list). I was then lucky enough to win a drawn-by-lottery spot in a poetry workshop with Don McKay, where I met Laurie Graham as a co-participant. 

memento from among my paternal grandmother's belongings

This outfit was from last week; I read Rove last month as I hung out with Old Glo in her last days. The little buffalo herd specks on the book's cover were Of Interest to the hens. 

After Gloria's original flockmate Big Henrietta died earlier this year, young Heidi Hunter the Turkey Lurkey was often seen having a sit-down with Glo in their favourite spot through good days and bad. To have warmth and comfort, visitors coming 'round to check in, and such a friend to sit by you when you're ailing, well, that's pretty good. 

As happens with many laying hens as they age, Glo's abdomen filled with fluid. Chickens can cling to life so fiercely that they linger well beyond what is fair or kind - we kept a careful eye to whether she was eating, drinking, and breathing well, retaining her spot in the pecking order, and able to get where she needed to go. 

Rain-spotted details of the most comfortable dress: scalloped and piped wide collar and triangular pockets, swirly buttons
vintage stylized fish skeleton necklace: a gift from my mother, worn here
bracelets and watch: worn here on another rainy day

Back to treasured people-connections, my friend and fellow chicken-keeper Jean will be 93 next month. I had given her some homemade applesauce at Christmas, and she returned the jar to me this spring filled with her homemade wild leek pesto. The leeks grow along the creek in the woods on Jean's farm, and the pesto was transcendently delicious. We used the last bit of it to make stuffed mushrooms.  

At right is the applesauce label image: pre-digital camera, I captured an early-morning deer visit
on expired b+w SLR film. In an aerial photo from the 1970s, my apple tree was already about this size.
One ambitious year it yielded 76 jars of sauce. 

Glo sending good thoughts to Jean's last "old girl," Cecile, who is going through similar. 

Wishing you all have someone that you like to go and sit beside, and someone to come and sit beside you. If you are so lucky, do also squeeze them every chance you get. After a long time away, I'll be sitting a while among the Visible Monday bloggers at Not Dead Yet Style. More of Gloria below the jump. 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Soiled Rotten

Oh man, it has been a while. I have so appreciated the messages and kind comments checking in and staying in touch. I haven't forgotten about you either! One of the most frustrating things about chronic health crud is impact on consistency, the times of being unable to plan ahead, commit, sustain - drives this Virgo right around the bend. But enough seriousness, I also want to say hi to new visitors from Ravelry, hi! Thanks for the really nice things you say about Sheila and Megan too! 

faux coral necklace: a gift from my mother, Lupita's (Harlingen, TX), worn here
cropped cardigan: Old Navy
red belt: Brave Beltworks + DIY, now-defunct local shop ~2004
floral dress: Ellen Tracy, My Habit
red clogs: Swedish Hasbeens Strong Lady, worn here

blue glass bead bracelet: Gaabi's (Progreso, TX), worn here
also with antique amber ring, a gift from my mother
watch, usual black & silver bracelets: details here

I loved everything about this belt (by an excellent Canadian maker, even) except how it said "SPOILED ROTTEN" on it. That was mitigated by the sale price, then I took away the letter "P"and now it's good. There's still plenty of scope for mysterious messages before it goes silent: it could say SOIL or OIL or SLED or OLD or OI and ROT, TEN, RON, or ROE, or ON. What would you do?

Because it's been so long (and the pics above are from May), here's more of the same dress, worn yesterday with different accessories. 

red plastic earrings and bracelet: Zenzii, Stein Mart
blue scarf: Netty Vintageworn here
black wrap belt: thrifted at the Kitty Cat Store, worn here
green shoes: Chocolate negro (made in Portugal)

This dress has many happy factors that aren't always a such nice surprise when ordering online: pattern placement, comfy stretchy fabric, full lining, gathered neckline, waist in the right place, and good pockets. 

It also did well to help keep me awake while recovering from an updated sleep study, which was mostly fun.

Except the very first thing that happens in the morning is a tech comes in and rips all the tape off. Ow! Welts! I won't get to go over the results for a bit yet, but my favourite is the sleep staging print-out with its outlines of sleep architecture in cityscapes, complete with dreams. 

mary-jane-ballet-flat-mule-sneaker-thingys: Fornarina, a shop on the Danforth ~2003

The green heels were fine for a day at the office, but running around afterwards called for being low to the ground. I hope everyone is resting well! Thanks for dropping by.