Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coming Up Roses...

At least on my head, if not yet on the ground.  I was heading out to the Farmers' Market when I asked my friend to take a photo of my outfit, which I rather liked.  The flowered headband was a last minute addition, inspired by fellow bloggers Sarah, of Misfits Vintage, and Desiree of Pull Your Sox Up. I was glad I wore them as a number of people commented that they liked my flowers.  Just doing my bit to hurry Spring along!
I'm wearing:  flowered headpiece - some tween-accessory store,  Gap turtleneck, necklace from the University Hospital gift shop, dress/vest by European clothing label Akela Key purchased at the From Mars winter sale, over black jeans and my trusty Doc Martens.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Sports & Rec Show Part 2: Cowboys, Dragonboat Racers and J-Lo

This guy in his cowboy gear was working at the booth for the Texas Longhorn Ranch.
This is the ranch.  Funny, I thought that being from Texas, it would be bigger...
These awesome women are members of the Rowbust Dragonboat Racing Team.  Founded in 2000, the team now has close to 50 members, all breast cancer survivors, and promotes physical and mental well-being for those living with breast cancer.  For more information, go to their website.
This is J-Lo, a 13 year old quarter horse, who was the most lovely, patient horse I've ever met (not that I've met a lot of horses).  She's done the show circuit a lot (like her namesake) which accounts for her tranquil nature, given the amount of noise that was going on around her, including the sounds of paintball guns.  
J-Lo's equally lovely and informative handler gave us a demonstration of the horse's fancy footwork.  Apparently, it is very difficult for a horse to keep it's body facing front while sidestepping, and it is only after a lot of patient training is it able to do so.
I also learned a surprising amount about horse's teeth, and that the set at the front (so winningly modeled by J-Lo above--yikes, talk about tartar buildup!) are for pulling grass into their mouth, and then the teeth at the back of their mouth is used for chewing.  There is a sizeable space between the two sets of teeth, which allows for the placement of a bit in their mouth without hurting their teeth.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ziplining, Horses & Derby Girls...

And the answer to where you would find all three of these items this weekend is:  The annual Sports and Recreation Show at the Agriplex at the Western Fairgrounds.  "But", you say, "you are the least interested in sports of any person I know", and I would reply, "true, dat" (I've been watching season two of Treme).  However, I purchased a ticket to support the Forest City Derby Girls, who have a booth at the show, and along with my pal Heather, we thought we'd see what kind of fun we could have for our $5.  The thing we were both excited to try was the Zip-line.  For the uninitiated, a Zip-line is a pulley, mounted on a cable that is on an incline, and allows the user to get from one place to another using gravity.  I am not a big fan of heights, but I thought the zip-line at the Show would be a good place to start before trying one that is strung over a gorge full of raging rapids.  So, first you have to suit up:
Harness, check, Helmet, check, gloves, check
I was getting into the gear while Heather zipped, so I missed it.  This is another woman who went later.
and of course, the adventure would not be complete without a souvenir photo.  Yes, that is me, giddy from the adrenaline rush.   Later in the day, it got quite busy and there were a lot of kids trying it (you have to be 8 and over).  For me, it was the most bang for my buck (it's free!)
As to be expected at a such a show, there was a LOT of golf stuff - including a mini driving range
I could not figure out what was up with this guy's hair.  He was working at one of the golf booths, and then I saw another guy with the same look and realized it was some sort of furry wig-attachment to his golf visor.  
Goodlife Fitness has some demo fitness classes going on, and to my delight, there was local musician Pete Tangredi, (The Cool Mothers) sweating in a spin class

Part two of this post will be up tomorrow, featuring the nicest horse ever, and some very Row-bust women.   In the meantime, the Sports and Recreation Show continues tomorrow, from 9 am - 5 pm at the Western Fairgrounds.  Admission is $5.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Therapeutic Dressing

I found this gorgeous scarf and checked skirt (with pockets!) at Mesh the other day, and knew there was an outfit in the making.  These days it seems like I've abandoned all other colours save for red, black and a bit of white.  To me they are strong, no-nonsense colours, and this time of year I'll take any kind of positive energy I can get, even if it's from a scarf and a sweater (although I still look a bit "pinched", but that seems to be my go-to expression these days).
red cardigan - Holt Renfrew via consignment store in Toronto, skirt and scarf - Mesh, men's vintage lace-ups - the Manhattan Vintage Show

Monday, February 20, 2012


Paul is always extremely well-dressed, and is one of the few men I know who will fearlessly mix patterns in shirts and ties.  I thought he looked incredibly sharp this particular day, in his combination of stripes, solids and plaid (see detail below).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Miscellaneous Stuff That Caught My Eye...

I really liked this guy's hair cut.  He had thick bangs that curved upwards slightly, and the rest of his outfit was very cool (dogtag necklace, 60's style "Beatle boots"), but I couldn't get a clear shot of him because his girlfriend was in the way.
Adorable "Owl" purse in the window of A Gift of Art on Richmond Street.
From Mars is starting to get in their new shoes for spring, and the colours are sooooo pretty.  These metallic blue ones are from Fly London.
Bubble gum pink sandals from Fly London.  Love the criss-cross straps, wish I could wear shoes like these, but alas, the bunions on my feet have other ideas (my 20 year old self would have been appalled to know that I would some day I would have to say that).
The setting sun turned the ice on the rink at Covent Garden Market to gold as a lone skater took advantage of the freezing temperatures.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fending Off the Winter Blues in Red & Black, Pt. 2

Even though we have had a very mild winter, I have found myself lamenting the lack of sunlight, and making a more concerted effort to put together outfits that give my spirit a lift.  Again, red and black is my go-to colour combination when I'm feeling a bit low, and what could be more smile-inducing than stripes and a flirty, swirly circle skirt?  I found the hand knit skirt at Mesh; the puffed sleeve jacket came from a vintage store in Toronto, and the ceramic and metal necklace from The Sentimentalist.
I'm a huge fan of clothing that moves with your body, and this skirt just begs for a twirl!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Personalized Colour Palette

As it was Valentine's Day, I thought it appropriate to post a photo with someone wearing something red.  This man has no fear of colour and patterns, and his usual outfit consists of a pair of pants in a saturated colour, topped with a shirt in an bold and bright print.  He dyes the pants himself in order to get the rich saturated hue he prefers, and is teaching himself to sew in order to make his own shirts; an admirable commitment to creating a personal style!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Afternoon at the Roller Rink

I decided to go roller skating on Sunday afternoon as there are not as many people as there are on Wednesdays, and us "inexperienced" skaters have less chance of being taken out by some daredevil on four wheels.  Aside from a dorky expression, I'm wearing a dress from Mesh with a belt from The Sentimentalist over a t-shirt and striped leggings, accessorized with knee pads and wrist guards.  There were some other noteworthy outfits on the rink today:
How adorable is this little girl in her polka dots with orange and pink!  I'm sure she is inspired by  the outfits her Mom wears when she plays on the Thames Fatales Roller Derby team
The young lady in the yellow tights was celebrating her 13th birthday with an 80's themed roller-skating party, and she and her friends piled on the bright colours and the leg-warmers for the occasion.  I thought their outfits were so cool, I had to get a group photo.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Feather in Her Cap

I had asked my friend Heather to take a couple of photos of my outfit for my blog, and she caught this one, in which I look rather blissed out (which is definitely not my usual state), and I rather liked it.  I was happy to have taken the new hat out for its debut.  I saw this little wool felt cap complete with velvet bows and curly feathers at Mesh, and it obviously needed a good home.
vintage hat and dress - Mesh, scarf - Winners, sweater - From Mars,
leggings - H&M, boots - From Mars

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Anchors Aweigh!

I found these flowy gaucho pants (split skirt, cullottes, whatever you choose to call them) made by the German company Mondi at Value Village.  From the label and style it's most likely they're from the 80's.  I fell in love with the sailor-style placket and gold button closure, and the multiple pleats that make them swish every which way when I walk.  When paired with a striped shirt and a ceramic, metal and silk cord necklace from The Sentimentalist they created an outfit that made me feel rather nautical.
It's a skirt!  It's a pair of pants!
 thanks to Karen for her patience and photography skills

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Artist and Her Tribe

After a long week of dealing with students, faculty and staff, the last thing I want to do on a Friday night is go out and mingle with crowds of people, but Andrew at Strand Fine Art had told me about an exhibit that was opening at their gallery this past Friday, and my curiousity got the better of me.  I'm so glad it did, as both the art, and the artist, were great fun.
Vickie Easton McClung (seen in the photo above, with one of her doll sculptures) is a Port Dover-based artist who works in various mediums including collage, painting, drawing, and sewn sculpture.  For the past three years she has been creating art that was inspired by the acquisition of a broken antique doll from her mother-in-law's vast doll collection. Easton McClung created an entire narrative based on this doll, and created a body of work that is infused with a sharp wit, and blends elements of folk art and popular culture.  
"Toy Boy"
Included in the exhibit were mixed media drawings that used her original antique doll as a model.

"The Snatcher"
Easton McClung's collages, mounted on rough board, incorporate images from old Eaton's catalogues, photos of antique doll heads, pencil drawing and doll body parts, all set in backgrounds of 1950's domesticity.
 "The Offering"
Easton McClung moved from two-dimensional works to sculpture, creating new dolls using parts of 30 neglected and well-used dolls from the 50's and 60's.  In addition to cut up parts of dolls, the sculptures include found objects, fabrics, and gourds. 
"Get Your Motor Running"
The exhibition catalogue mentions that Easton MClung was not a doll lover as a child; she found the lack of anatomical correctness or unusual facial features too dull for her liking.  My favourite works in the exhibit were what the artist refers to as her "tribal dolls" - colourful, quirky sculptures of male and female figures (with obvious and colourful genitalia sewn on) infused with humour and a lot of attitude.  Her "tribe" was created by a combination of hand-sewing and the use of a toy sewing machine given to her by her daughter.  Easton McClung told me she would love to be able to make clothes, and if they had the same sensibility as her soft sculptured figures, I would definitely wear them! 
"Hoochie Coochie Girls"
This figure, titled "So What", was my personal favourite for her sassy hand-on-hip attitude and jingle-bell adorned breasts, but alas, she was already sold by the time I got to the show, as were many of the other sculptures.
I did stake my claim on these two, titled, "The Confidant"
Of course, I had to get an outfit photo in here somewhere....these two sisters, friends of the artist, were wearing ultra-soft and very pretty jackets made by Paula Lishman, who creates beautiful garments knit or woven from fur.  I had a wonderful conversation with the woman in the red jacket about Paula, whom I had not heard of, and Paula's husband Bill Lishman, an inventor, artist and ultralight aircraft enthusiast who was featured in the film "Fly Away Home". 

 The Exhibit "My Tribe" by Vicki Easton McClung continues at Strand Fine Art Services, located at 1161 Florence Street, Unit 4, until February 25th.  The Gallery is open Tuesday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Knit Wit

This young woman's sense of humour is evident in the quirky and cute details of her outfit - heart-shaped buttons, the articulated owl necklace, coloured shoelaces and knit beret.