Friday, June 29, 2012

She's Got The Blues...

Great mix of patterns, shapes and shades of blue - summer casual done right!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shape-Shifting

I really liked this outfit - it was comfortable to wear outside in the heat, and in the air-conditioned office, and there was a bit of a Samurai Warrior vibe to the pants and belt.  If only my wrist guards shot laser beams, I would have been prepared for anything.  I bought the pants at The Sentimentalist; they had originally been purchased in Paris, and I liked the unusual shape that blurs the line between skirt and pants.  Confusing people with your clothing is fun, as is clothing that allows you to change it's shape, like my vest....

The vest has drawstrings along the side that allow you to raise or lower it, just like blinds.  It even has drawstrings in the hood, although I have yet to figure out what purpose they serve

vest - consignment store in Toronto
vintage glasses, belt and pants - The Sentimentalist
necklace - Mallory Knox (whom I posted about a little while ago)
wrist and elbow supports - physio supply store

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer's Here And The Time is Right...

....for dressing to beat the heat

Shorts, a barely-there top, head scarf and green hi-tops - Classic cool

crinkly cotton dress in a pretty colour, cool sunnies and cute sandals - Boho chic

Hope you enjoyed the longest (and one of the hottest!) day of the year - Welcome Summer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hey Sailor!

I found this blouse at The Sentimentalist and as much as I liked the polka dots and the shape, I was having difficulty figuring out how to style it.  I've been wearing a lot of black to work lately, so the other morning I dug out the blouse and paired with a black skirt, patterned stockings, and a beaded choker, and suddenly had the urge to utter the phrase, "Hey Sailor"
I'm sure it was the sassy stockings, but at least I wore them with low-heeled lace-up ankle boots and not 6 inch stiletto heels.   In addition to my Coreflex arm support, I'm wearing:
Polka dot blouse - The Sentimentalist
Joe Fresh skirt - Value Village
Beaded choker - Value Village
Ankle Boots - Neosens, purchased at From Mars

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lounging Around on a Saturday Night...

This past weekend, in addition to seeing some plays in the Fringe Festival, I spent some time wandering downtown during Nuit Blanche and had my photo taken as part of Edward Jackman's "Red Couch Diaries" photo project.   Participants sat (lounged, perched, etc.) on a red vinyl couch that he had set up in the back of a cube van in the middle of the street and were photographed by Jackman using Instagram.  I was rather pleased with my photo, which you can see using the link below:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/holgalomaniac/7383736146/in/photostream

The rest of the photos taken that night are also on Jackman's Flickr photostream.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Style is in the Details

We had a reception after work the other day for two of our faculty who were retiring.  This man was a guest, and after admiring his shirt from across the room,  I nabbed him for a photo.  He got it in Montreal, and the double-buttons and super-fab print inside the collar and on the cuffs turned a classic white shirt into something special.  A piece of clothing can have a very simple, classic cut, but add some standout details like this, and you've gone from "nice shirt" to "Wow!!"

Such a cool pattern!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Go Play In The Street....

Saturday, June 9th was this summer's first Car Free Day in downtown London.   For those of you not familiar with the Car Free Festival, it started in 2010, and is an outdoor festival with the purpose of  promoting the environment, health, culture, and community.  On select weekends throughout the summer, three blocks of Dundas Street are closed to traffic, and taken over by pedestrians, bicycles, games, musicians, and information booths.  The displays and activities were divided into three categories:  Health and Wellness, Arts and Culture, and Environment.  The Health and Wellness area had games for the kids, an outdoor Spin Class, and yoga classes and bellydance demonstrations.

You could participate in an oversize Scrabble game
and Chess
A new addition to the festival were signs that told you how long it would take to walk to various downtown locations
Bright colours and a big smile on this woman, who was manning (or wo-manning) the display from Hot Dog Musique and Cinema
More bright colours and a wonderful smile on this street performer

One of the "Environment" themed displays was from the Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Centre and featured a falcon named Shakar who was very calm despite the number of people who were crowded around him.  I learned that falcons can fly at speeds up to 200 miles (km?) per hour and have amazing eyesight.
Isn't he gorgeous?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Never Say Never

 If someone had said to me when I was a teenager, that someday I'd be wearing a pair of knickers (and not what the word means in Britain), I would have declared it would never happen.  Yet, here I am - and in brown ones, no less.  My teenage self would be making gagging noises right now.  However,  my adult self is oddly enamoured with this outfit.  The knickers, found at Lovesick, have pockets adorned with brass-coloured studs, and make me feel a bit like a naughty schoolboy.  The purple and pink floral pattern of the cardigan and the zipper necklace added the necessary feminine counterpoint.
Knickers - Lovesick
Cardigan - My Closet (that's the name of the store)
Zipper necklace - Frilly Lizard
Neosens Boots - From Mars

Saturday, June 9, 2012

BealArt 2012 - Part Two

I will kick off Part Two of my BealArt show post with this stunning photo by Beal student Sarah Lund.  The photo, entitled "Nicolle", is an example of a very successful collaboration between photographer and model, whose intense gaze is incredibly haunting.  This was one of my very favourite pieces in the show.

I couldn't resist a quick shot of this woman in her pink and black as she was looking at the photographs

Mother and daughter (who is a Beal Student)
 
I loved the rubenesque ballerinas in this print by Yasemin Yalcin, titled "Exponential Success"

This drawing, titled "Retrospective", was created by Ali Louwagie.   I've added a detail photo below so you can see the skill evident in the line and shading
Detail of "Retrospective"

Red x 3

I liked this metal sculpture, titled "Beaver 2", because of the way the artist, Rachelle Potier, used triangle-shaped pieces of metal used to create the body. 

Another piece in the show by Rachelle Potier titled "Pea Brain Ostrich"

Friday, June 8, 2012

BealArt Show 2012

Last weekend was the annual showcase of the work of the students in the BealArt program at H.B. Beal Secondary School.  BealArt provides an excellent foundation of training for students, with the opportunity to learn from talented and well-respected artists - many of Canada's renowned artists have graduated from the program.  Each year, students exhibit their creations in the mediums of sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, textiles and pottery.  There are always a few students whose work displays a talent and maturity beyond their years, and I like to walk around the exhibit making mental notes of my favourites. 
As I was taking a photo of the beautiful blue, beige and white stoneware in the background, a young man asked if I would like a photo with the artist (I love coincidences like that).  It was even cooler that Beal student Devin Geroux was dressed to match the colours of his work.
"Morphing Bench" constructed of copper wire by Manar Shams.  I loved this piece, which was approximately a foot high, and priced at only $40, but it had already sold.
Manar Shams also created this piece in the show, titled "The Dragon Warrior" from paper, cardboard and fabric.
Painting by Carson Teal
Another piece in the show by Carson Teal, "Reokkur", done in pencil crayon and ink
This stylish young woman had some of her drawings in the show. 
She was wearing the most awesome ring, which she said was from Budapest

I had more photos from the show than I originally thought, so I will post a "Part Two" this weekend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Floral Inspiration

There is a house a block away from me that has the most beautiful garden in front, and the owner spends hours each spring and summer planting, pruning and weeding.  There are lovely rose bushes, and I was admiring them the other day when the owner came out with some snips and cut me some to take home.  I put them in my favourite vase and although they only lasted a couple of days, I stopped to smell them every time I walked by - the orange ones had the most delicious "rose" scent, unlike the ones you get from the florist.  I was loving the combination of the orange and purple-red, and lo and behold....inspiration struck!
I had purchased the orange linen shirt at Winners because I fell in love with the colour but then I got home and realized that other than navy, I really didn't have much to wear it with as my closet is overrun with primarily black pants and skirts.  Then I remembered these purple/pink skinny pants I'd had for several years
I even managed to work some green in there with my favourite (and very comfortable) ankle strap heels.  The striped socks didn't really go with the rest of the outfit, but stripes make me happy.
To push the colour-meter over the edge, I added a brooch that my friend refers to as a "Yarn Barf".

I don't have a photo of the whole outfit because of my pathetic inability to take an in-focus full length shot with my camera on a tripod, so I had to make do with bits and pieces.  You get the idea.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Man Eaters, Beads, & Johnny Cash - Mallory Knox Loves' Em All

I know it's been ages (in blogosphere time) since I posted, and all I have to say for myself is that a) I am coping with Carpel Tunnel that has forced me to spend less time on my computer and wear ugly things on my arm and wrists while at work and b) my outfits (and it seems, everyone else's) have been less than inspiring this week.  However, I discovered THE MOST FREAKTASTIC jewellery last week and have to tell you about it and the awesome dame that makes it:
Behold, dear reader, the "Maneater" necklace, created by Tammy Brown (aka Mallory Knox in her jewellery making life).  Lovesick is carrying her jewellery, and when I saw this - beads, a skeleton, and a raven-haired dame with an animal claw dripping blood - I nearly swooned over the sheer crazy-coolness of it all (and took it home, of course).  Her jewellery combines pop culture references, rockabilly themes, and aboriginal beadwork techniques.  Other necklaces have featured Cyndi Lauper, Danny and Sandy from Grease, Johnny Cash (my personal fave), Lily Munster, Dolly Parton, and Marilyn Monroe.  Lovesick is also carrying some of Knox's adorable heart and flower earrings, and an ultra-fab owl pin that she transformed with some gorgeous beadwork.  I emailed Knox to find out more about her, and her jewellery and as we couldn't get together she sent me a photo of herself:
If her jewellery wasn't enough to inspire a girl crush, her "I Love Lucy"- inspired look just sealed it.

Knox started making jewellery about 8 years ago, using wire and beads, and after a few years, her mother-in-law suggested she try her hand at aboriginal style beadwork.  Knox is non-aboriginal, but her youngest daughter, and extended family, are Ojibwe, and their positive support helped her overcome her initial hesitation at trying the art form.  In the last few years she has developed her own style and mixes traditional beadwork with pop culture, all with a vintage flair.   

Knox loves old jewellery, especially the colours from the 40's & 50's like mint green, pinks, buttery yellows and teal.  The glamour of dressing up in the 1940's, even just to go to the grocery store, and the rebelliousness of the 50's, with the bad boys and fast cars, are inspirations for her creations, which are not for the faint of heart.  Wear a necklace featuring bold beadwork and Johnny Cash flipping the bird, and you're going to get noticed.   

Prices for necklaces start around $30 and up for more elaborate pieces.  You can see more of her jewellery on her facebook page here, and on her website createbeautifulbeads.com which she shares with another crafty dame, Mrs. P, who works in fabric and fibre under the moniker of Sew Phat, and also has some of her work for sale at Lovesick.