Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wishlist: Vintage Wicker "Figural" Handbag

I'm trying not to shop. I should really stay away from Etsy right now...seriously.

This past weekend while I tortured myself with online browsing I decided my purse collection isn't complete without at least one of these vintage sculptural handbags. And I don't want a fish or a horse head. I want something kooky, like these guys! (ok, fine, let's be honest...I'd be cool with a fish...)

buy it here!

My new holy grail. These bags are retailing for $400-600 online, but hopefully I can snag one for under $ never know...Winnipeg vintage is priced strangely...if one crossed my path at the right price this spring I may have to break my no shopping rule. damn.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Shop Your Closet: Take Inventory

So far I've avoided shopping. It's not that hard when I'm at home for weeks on end, but I start work downtown a short walk from some of my favourite vintage shops next week, so that will be a game changer.

To help battle the urge to fill my closet and empty my wallet simutaniously I've decided to take inventory of all my recent purchases. How recent? Anything I've bought recently enough for it to feel new. Anything with tags still attached (thrift store tags count). Timeline will change from person to person.

If you're following along at home you don't need to photograph all your purchases like I did (I'm doing it for blog posterity), make a list, or lay them all out together on your bed and admire them. Try them on if you'd like. Whatever floats your boat.

I bought this gauzy summer dress for a song (less than $30 with shipping!!) trolling through Etsy this winter (I may or may not have been in the middle of calling I show when I bought it!). For all of my frivolous vintage purchasing (and there's a lot of it!), summer dresses will never be in that lot. I live in them in the hotter months and I predict this dress will be worth every penny spent. 

Speaking of frivolous vintage spending! I bought this pretty late 40's/early 50's taffeta party dress from a local antique dealer for $20 while I was prop shopping for Ivanov. The colour is not so day-glow in person, I had a really difficult time getting a good picture of it. In person it's much more deep pinky-red. Really pretty. I just couldn't resist the pretty beading - all intact! The fact that it has its original belt and IT HAS POCKETS! 

Bought this LBD for $14 at a Value Village at Halloween. I was looking for a sweater for The Boy's costume and snapped this up (literally. It was hanging in the end of a rack as I walked by - I barely stopped as I grabbed it). I'm dying to wear it out somewhere. It's stunning in person and fits me like a glove.

This summer dress was one of my most recent purchases. I bought it from the Osborne Antique Market while out with Daphne from Vixage. I am so excited about this dress. Polka Dots!! Seriously. Oh, and it has pockets. Noticing a trend yet?

This Scottish kilt jacket was a gift from a friend. I fell in love with it at Vintage Glory, but couldn't afford it, so he bought it for me. Isn't that amazing! I'm excited to wear it with jeans and heels. I think it's gonna look so freakin cool. 

This dress is also from Vintage Glory. Looks like a bag on the hanger, it's stunning on. I'll be wearing it when it gets a bit warmer out, before it gets too warm for sleeves.  I'll try and remember to photograph it so you can see how beautiful it is. 

A hat from Vintage Glory. Love the feathers. Looks amazing on. 

50's taffeta, flocked striped midi skirt from Vintage Glory. $25 and was worth every penny. I've worn it at least half a dozen times since I bought it in November. I dread the day when internet prices for vintage invade this city. 

I've also bought a small collection of t-shirts I've bought second hand in the past few weeks. Some of mine bit the dust and I needed some "new" ones. The grey one has become a staple already - the stripes are sparkly!!

And this pretty pink cardigan. $3 on sale at Goodwill. It's incredibly soft and I love the pattern. 

Vintage rhinestone bedazzled sweater I picked up at Value Village for $5. It's very cute on with a skirt or high waisted jeans. 

More clutches and a purse for the collection (is there a Vintage Purses Anonymous I can join?).

Picked up these cute wedges second hand this winter too. 

And some brooches I've picked up second hand and on Etsy recently as well (not the ones in the tray).

And I've also picked up these things new from the dreaded mall in the last few months. A peplum top bought on sale ($19) from Le Chateau, a green polka dot sweater from Ricki's and new black skinny jeans from Forever 21. This post is actually a pretty good representation of how much new to second hand clothing I buy. It's staggering really how much of my wardrobe comes from the thrift store. 

I wanted this list to be pretty exhaustive, I didn't really want to leave anything out (and I think I have). I had convinced myself that I hadn't done much shopping this winter, when in fact I've added a lot of things to my wardrobe and I didn't really realize how much until I started photographing everything. 

This exercise had done two things for me 
1. Reminded me that I have A LOT of new things in my closet - many of which can be worn now and into the summer months 
2. Was another wake up call as to why I am taking on this "Shop at Home" project - to curb my spending. Yikes. I did a lot. 

I'm really glad I did this before I start work downtown next week. Spending time looking through my closet for newer items has cemented in my brain further that I do not need to buy more clothes. I'll try and remember that when I'm tempted to stop into the vintage shops on my lunch break. Wish me luck!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Link Love #10

  • The 30% Theory from The Man Repeller reminded me why we keep around the clothes we rarely wear (the other 70%).
  • Another great post from The Man Repeller emphasizing the importance of a personal Uniform -  it reminded me of my outfit post from last week.
  • This blog just ran by my radar last week: Flower Patch Farmgirl. I was smitten with her kitchen reno (being in the midst of one myself)...well actually her whole house, as well as her writing (sample some of it in this beautifully written post). Let's just say I'm following her blog now.

  • What's not to love about this look from Keiko Lynn? Nothin. that's what.

  • Ruin is a Gift. Wise words posted about hitting rock bottom and personal transformation from Elizabeth Gilbert via MaryDeluxe. 
  • This amazing refashion from Vintage Follies. Click the link to see what she did with this sun dress! 


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shop Your Closet: Getting Inspired

As a long time shopaholic I know how easy it is to talk yourself into buying new clothes because you're missing something for that "perfect outfit".

But, as a long time shopaholic with a closet stuffed, I also know (deep, deep down, much to my dismay) that my closet is fully stocked and ready to tackle any inspirational outfit.

So for this week's post on shopping your own closet I've compiled some amazing looks I've been coveting on Pintrest and replicated them from items in my own closet - the key is interpretation.

The first look is all about the hat for me. I love my raccoon fur hat and have been on the lookout for ways to keep wearing it this spring.

My interpretation is similar. I've duplicated all of the major elements to the best of my ability: the black jacket, the burgundy pants(in my case, red) and black and gold accessories. The biggest liberty I've taken with my interpretation is in the scarf. I opted for a vintage floral scarf instead of black to give my outfit some more interest. 

 * Vintage Raccoon Fur Hat: Canadian Costume Museum Gift Shop * Vintage Floral Scarf: was my Grandma Cotton's * Black Blazer: Ricki's * Black Stretch Belt with Gold Buckle: was my Grandma Nelson's * Red Corduroy Skinnies: Forever 21 * Black Suede Boots: Ragpickers * Vintage Persian Purse: thrifted *

The next outfit is from Nora Finds. This is a great look for spring. I love the green and red colour combination - it feels fresh without looking christmas-y. 

I opted for a dark teal cardigan instead of green. None of my green cardigans looked quite as good as Nora's. I rarely ever wear scarves as headbands this way and I forget how cute they can look. I also threw on two co-ordinating bracelets - once I had everything on I felt I was lacking some jewelry. I also felt a bit strange not wearing a belt (I wear one every day), but am surprised how nice this look still is without one. Proof that interpreting outfits can stretch your comfort zone and get you thinking about your wardrobe in different ways. 

* Vintage Silk Scarf: Ragpickers * Dark Teal Beaded Cardigan: Reitmans, thrifted * Red Embroidered Bustier: Suzy Shier * High Waisted Jeans: Forever 21 * Bracelets: thrifted * Hot Pink Ballet Flats: thrifted * Vintage Bamboo Purse: thrifted *

You know I love a casual outfit. I don't know why, but this next look speaks to me. So I knew I had to add it to this list. 

unsourced via Pintrest

My biggest dilemma in replicating this outfit was that I don't own a 'Coke' t-shirt or anything else with a logo on it. So I took some inspiration from the colour and went with this striped tee that I own. Again, the look felt a little sparse without some accessories, so I added a large red flower brooch and a leather braided belt to make this look my own. I usually wear this tee with red flats, but I love how it looks with my black and white brogues. This look is a definite keeper. 

I've saved the best for last. I've coveted this outfit for quite some time now. I have several shots of it from different angles pinned on Pintrest. This stylish lady was part of the Tweed Run in London. This look is all about the pattern mixing and bold colour combination. 

I decided to make my outfit more monochromatic due to the selection in my wardrobe. I focused my interpretation on texture and pattern play. I'm eagerly awaiting the opportunity to wear this outfit out before it warms up too much. 
* 60's Faux Croc Hat: Ragpickers * Vintage Fox Stole: gift from Kim * Velvet Blazer: thrifted * Pink Cardigan: thrifted * Vintage Lace Camisole: thrifted * Vintage Leather Belt: thrifted * Black Skinny Jeans: Forever 21 * Vintage Burgundy Snakeskin Clutch: gift from Jen * Purple Booties: Steve Madden *

I had fun examining my wardrobe, comparing it to these inspiring images and playing dress up in my closet. As you can see, inspiration photos can be a great way to help you see your closet with fresh eyes. The trick is to avoid the trap of wanting to replicate an outfit to the letter and instead let the colours, the patterns or the silhouette help you when you construct your own version.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Shopping at Home

The sun is out today and I felt the shop. For all the things I think my wardrobe is in desperate need of. I always go on a little shopping spree in the spring. It's never planned, one purchase leads to another, leads to another...then I find myself browsing online. "Oooo! That's a cute top. I could use that. And shoes...I probably need more shoes.."

Yikes! In reality, I have so many clothes that all of my racks and closets are packed. I am running out of room to store almost everything.

Conclusion: I have enough clothes.

So I'm going to shop my own closet this spring. Stick around as I post weekly about shopping my own closet. Or join me! Shop your own closet this spring and let me know how you're doing!

I predict more of this in my future

The game plan:
Mend and alter a few things I've had sitting around (a blouse and two dresses come to mind at the moment).
I also need to do some spot cleaning on a few items. (I've got a tutorial planned to share with you).
And a small pile to go to the dry cleaners.

And now that I've said all that I will throw in one caveat. I, in fact, have 2 holes in my current wardrobe that I will try and fill this spring. Two items on the shopping list only:

  1. a cute pair of navy or black high waisted sailor shorts. I've always wanted a pair and every summer I wish I had remembered and bought some when I had cash.
  2. navy flats. mine died when I went to Israel and I haven't replaced them since. 
These will be the only two things I am allowed to buy (except socks and underwear). And only if I find the right ones. 

I think this is going to be a tough challenge for me. I've already decided in the last two minutes that "this will be easy" then immediately after thought "no, this is going to be hard", as I thought about a cute pair of patterned flats I saw at Joe Fresh a week and a half, they weren't navy...damn.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Outfits: Uniform

Do you ever find yourself wearing a kind of "you" uniform? You know, that certain silhouette or combination of garments that makes you feel really comfortable in your own skin? The one that you instinctually gravitate towards? Perhaps almost daily?
Well this has been mine.

It's been such a frigid winter. I haven't worn a skirt since the fall and I'm still not quite ready. I've also been forgoing heels for these converse (I have an all black pair too) or my ankle boots since the sidewalks have become dry. My outfits have been some version of this for months now. Sometimes a bit more dressed up, but never more dressed down than this. 

You gotta wear what feels right. Not what you think everyone else expects you to wear. 

Black Beret: thrifted
Leopard Print Scarf: Ricki's
Vintage Leather Jacket: Vintage Glory
Teal Beaded Cardigan: thrifted
Black and White Polka Dot Tee: thrifted
Black Skinny Jeans: Forever 21
Vintage Floral Purse: thrifted
Converse High Tops:


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Friday Link Love #9

Another mixed bag for this long overdue edition of Link Love. 

  • It's the Pintrest of home decor pictures. And you can search any random thing that comes to your mind. Like "Tile Flooring meets Hardwood Flooring" (I might have done that...and it worked!) Plus they have an incredible app. So you can search while you're on the go. 
  • 10 Tips Every Blogspot Blogger Should Know from Driven by Decor  I employ all of these tips except the last two, until I read that post. I've switched to Google+ storage (and yes, I might be adding Adsense to the blog...anyone have any advice about it?)
  • I'm totally lost sifting through the blog Emily A. Clark. It's a...surprise! Interior decorating blog and I love her eclectic relaxed style. 

  • And it may be a bit weird to link back to old posts on my own blog, but it's Easter weekend and Easter now makes me think of being in Israel with a show two years ago. 
at the Dead Sea. Me and the two actors, Graham and Arne. 

Thankfully, it was safe to be there two years ago. Unfortunately, things are not so good there now. My heart goes out to everyone affected by the conflict. Israel is an incredible place, in many ways. 

Happy Easter Weekend!


Another Kitchen Update - Just the Beginning...

If you've been stalking following me on Instagram you will already know my Kitchen is mostly back together. By mostly I mean that we still have to install shelf liner in the cupboards and drawers (the liner I liked on Amazon takes 3 weeks to get so we put almost everything back in the meantime for some normalcy), replace the switches and instal the new light we bought above the sink.

Here's what it looks like this morning (we're not sure about all of the stuff above the cupboards yet - might change, might get vitto'd completely).

Just to remind you, here's the before.

It really is amazing what some sweat equity and 4 gallons of paint will do for a space. It's like a whole new kitchen. I, for one, couldn't be happier! I love to cook and the old kitchen made me depressed. 

So now we're on to phase two of the kitchen remodel. We're replacing the countertops, the flooring, knocking down a wall, moving some electrical and building an island. I know it seems a bit ass backwards to paint and then remove the countertops, but I didn't really have The Boy on board when I started painting, I just did it expecting it would stay the way it is right now for another 5 years. I didn't expect him to get really excited and start picking out flooring and light fixtures with me...not that I'm complaining! ;)

Most of you who've been hanging around for a number of years might remember how our living room and dining room look and when I redecorated those rooms a few years ago. 

more living room posts and pictures here

more dining room posts and pictures here 

These two rooms pretty much look like those photos today - even my still unpainted dining room table and chairs...this is what happens when I leave stuff up to The

So, to give you some geography of our space - when you sit in the floral chair in our living room you face a dividing wall between the kitchen and these two spaces. It's hideous - because we've never painted it due to the fact that we have planned all along to knock it down, so I've never posted it on the blog.
Until now!!! Complete with my pile of donations from the kitchen and my painting supplies piled right there.

Yup. Right behind that ugly wall - The Boy likes to call that colour 'Dirty Old Bra', our entire house was painted that colour when we moved in - is my pretty kitchen. And that walls days are numbered my friends.

I'll be sure you keep you all updated as the kitchen progresses. I'll be busy in the next week painting another room in our house that the fish tank will be going to live in. We figured it would be better to paint it now rather than have to move it twice, moving a fish tank is A LOT of work.

Then, wall knocking down time. hehe...I can't wait.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kitchen Update

Four years ago I posted this picture of my kitchen, along with my plans for a light reno involving paint, some new hardware, light fixtures and flooring.

Things happen slowly in this house and it's taken that long for me to get around to putting those plans into action. Last Monday I finally started emptying out the cupboards and on Tuesday night I started to paint. 

It's not finished yet. It's not even half finished, but I thought I'd stop in and let you know what I've been up to this week...and probably most of next week. It's a big job! I won't bore you with the details, but basically everything needs a coat of paint from top to bottom. 

So here are a few pics to tide you over. Follow me on Instagram for daily updates on the reno! I'm posting pics there while I work. 

Our house was built in 1976 and this kitchen is original and as you can imagine needs some love. This is a before of one of the cupboard interiors.

Here is how my kitchen looks as I write this post. Two coats of primer on the cupboards (a painter friend told me two coats of primer instead of one would help my actual paint go on better) and ready for paint. 

I'll be sure to post some after pictures when I'm finished!

Have a great weekend!

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