Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Very Derby Easter

A beautifully decorated, and rather delicious, Easter egg cookie made by one of the students in our  Library Science program for a fundraising bake sale

For the most part it was a pretty quiet Easter weekend for me - time spent at home trying to make my apartment look less like the setting for a rummage sale, and quality time with my roommate....

Yes, that would be Fred (or, "The Bun", as she is now referred to)

No snow, so I was able to wear shoes!!! I put on my fave Converse (now made even cooler with shoelaces from Bella at the Citizen Rosebud) and some bright colours on Saturday to get outside and enjoy the great weather.  

I stopped by The Sentimentalist, and snapped a shot of Melinda in her early '50's bowling shirt and vintage sunnies.  The shirt has the name "Howie" embroidered on the front....

...and the name of the sponsor on the back.  Cocktails and bowling go together, don't they?

Saturday night was Roller Derby night at The Western Fair Agriplex.  Our own Luscious Lunch Ladies and Thames Fatales faced off in the first bout of the evening, and then London's travel team, the Timber Rollers, went up against Toronto's Death Track Dolls

The Luscious Lunch Ladies (yellow) and The Thames Fatales (black)

I don't use a flash when I shoot at the Derby Games, so it's a challenge to get any sharp photos of players in motion.  However, this time, because of the longer days, there was actually sun streaming in through the windows of the game venue, which resulted in some interesting photo effects.  "Sad Panda" (in foreground) and the other Fatales Blockers attempt to stop the Lunch Ladies' jammer.

Thames Fatales' jammer, "Kindree Surprise", followed by what seem to be shadow versions of the other players

At Roller Derby, there is often cool stuff to look at besides the game, like these colourful sparkly shoes on one of the little girls playing with the hula hoops during half time.

The merchandise tables have derby gear, including tights, t-shirts, knee socks, and colourful skate laces like the ones in the photo above

Some of the adults are just as good as the kids when it comes to the art of "hula-hooping"

Derby fan in funky pink and black - I wonder where she got her striped arm warmers, as I've been looking for a pair that are nice and long like those

The Lunch Ladies put up a tough fight but in the end The Thames Fatales triumphed

Toronto's Death Track Dolls warm up during the first match.  I couldn't resist taking this shot because of the gorgeous light, which reflected quite nicely off of the red shiny tights!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Here, There Be Dragons

Inspired by a hat, gifted to me by a guest at the Style Crone's birthday party, and the upcoming Season Three of Game of Thrones

One of the guests at Judith's birthday party generously gifted me with this glorious felt hat, made in Nepal.  I wasn't sure how to style it, as it was A LOT OF HAT, but I thought that if I could carry off the one I wore to the party, I could manage this one too.   It's the closest that I'll ever come to having long hair, and more than once I found myself tossing the felt "dreadlocks" over my shoulder.  The outfit suggested I should be ruling my own tribe of strong, sexy and super cool Amazon women (who would all have their own blogs, of course).

Every Warrior Queen needs a spear, or some other sharp pointy thing with which to threaten her enemies.  I definitely need to get Sarah Misfit to give me some photoshop lessons.  At least I had what I thought was a good threatening outfit that incorporated some leather, fur (faux) and skull patterned knee socks. 

...and speaking of Warrior Queens, I'm really hoping that the producers of Game of Thrones decide that Daenerys (see photo above) needs an older sidekick, as I think I would be perfect for the role.  After all, any woman who can survive being married to Khal Drogo, is immune to flames, and has three pet dragons is more than ok in my book, and I think we could learn a thing or two from each other.

I think we should all have our own little dragon, don't you?  Especially one that coordinates with our outfit.

I'm wearing:
felt hat - gift 
leather dress from Mesh Consignment boutique
skull patterned socks - London Rock Shop
Neosens Ankle boots - From Mars
faux fur coat ("the Chinchilla") - Lovesick

Are any of you watching Game of Thrones?  Who is your favourite character?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

46 Hours in Denver, Colorado - Part Two

 The Party.....

Judith, aka The Style Crone, knows how to throw a fabulous party.  All the right elements came together - perfect weather, an interesting mix of people of different ages, delicious food and beverage, music for dancing, crowd-pleasing entertainment, and a hostess who was dressed to the nines, and having a wonderful time.

Who wouldn't want to attend a party hosted by this woman?

Not this woman!   I had brought a fancy dress to wear, but the 75 degree temperatures (that's 22 to us Canadians) prompted a change in wardrobe plans.  A loose dress, comfy shoes, and a spectacular hat borrowed from the Judith collection, and I was party ready.

Melinda, a local artist and friend of Judith's, created this funky sculpture that was installed in the foyer of the house for the party.  The wire form is covered with colour film negative strips of photos of Judith and her friends.

I met a number of creative women that night who were working their own cool style - case in point,  MaryAnn, pictured above.  We ran into each other coming around a corner and both started talking at once about how we loved each other's look.

I was in awe of her fiery fauxhawk

leather, lace and a fedora = fierce party style

Rachel (left) and Brittni, who had assisted Judith in organizing her home, greeted guests in the Vintage Studio in the basement.  The Studio offered a large selection of vintage clothing and accessories culled from Judith's wardrobe at great prices.  Needless to say, I came home with more in my suitcase than what I arrived with, including the hat I was wearing.

These woman paused their browsing long enough for a photo.  The woman on the right designed the skirt she's wearing - you can see her line of organic yoga clothing here

A number of women were wearing Asian-inspired jackets and tunics - this grey and gold one was my favourite

The man on the right made the shirt he's wearing, and the "Dream" coat worn by his partner

Oozing with sass and style in front of the scarf wall

Judith and her lovely daughter Camille

This woman's vest and pantaloons are made from vintage fabric

no, I had not had anything to drink....

It was a wonderful night, and one of the most enjoyable parties I had ever attended.  Everyone, including the birthday girl, seemed to be having a great time, no one got stupid, and nothing got broken.  Definitely a 46-hour adventure to remember!

My heartfelt thanks to my lovely hostess, who despite having to deal with a million and one details involved in organizing a party, still found the time to make me feel welcome.  Judith will be posting more about the party on her blog in the days to come.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rocky Mountain High - 46 Hours in Denver, Colorado, Part One

and what, or who, is in Denver, you ask?   Only this uber-elegant, inspired, and inspiring woman  who just happened to be celebrating her 70th (I know, WTF???) birthday this past weekend.

When I learned that Judith was planning a party to celebrate her birthday, and the recent re-decoration of her house, I deciding that it was an excellent opportunity for an adventure, and that it was.  Despite flight and border delays, I managed to arrive in Denver on Thursday evening in more or less one piece, and was picked up at the airport by Judith's friend Colleen, her daughter Grace and son Tristan, and their adorable dog Jack, who decided that my lap was the best place to sit for the drive.  It was the best airport pickup ever!

It was my first time in Denver, which is situated in a valley, surrounded by the Colorado Rockies.  I was able to catch a few glimpses of the mountains on the way from the airport to Judith's house, and they were rather breathtaking (apologies for lack of photos, as there was no place to stop the car).  Judith's house was located very close to Denver's City Park, which covers 330 acres, and is home to the Denver Zoo, two lakes, a boathouse, and the Denver Museum of Science and Nature.  Friday morning was warm and sunny - a perfect day for a bit of exploration before party preparations kicked in.

This photo shows the Spanish-style pavillion in the park, originally built in 1896, and re-built twice since that time.  Denver has had very little snow this winter which has resulted in a drought.  When I was walking through the park, firemen were hosing down the dried-out grass

The park is home to a ridiculous number of Canada geese, who, according to the locals I chatted with, never leave, and consequently, the park is minefield of goose droppings.  For some reason, they decided it was time for a parade just as I was approaching.

After a visit to the park, I headed over to Colfax Avenue, known for its live music venues, ethnic restaurants, and home to the famous Tattered Cover bookstore.  I found Annie's Cafe and Bar where I had the largest, and most delicious, breakfast burrito I had ever set eyes on.  I should have taken a photo, but I didn't want to be one of those people who are always taking photos of their food.

I really wanted to get my hair cut at the bad kittie salon, but I'd just had it cut before the trip

.... and in case I happened to forget I was in the United States

the work of some of Denver's talented graffiti artists

This sad-eyed, adorable hound lives next door to Judith, and spends his days alone in his owner's front yard begging for attention.  I wanted to scoop him, but there was no point in getting arrested or in a fight when I was only there for 2 days.  I did get many hand licks though.

Once back at Judith's house, I had time for a little exploring before it was time to get to work.  Her house is warm, and elegant, like Judith herself, and filled with bold, colourful art.  One of my favourite rooms was her downstairs bathroom.

Judith has spent several months turning the home she once shared with her beloved husband Nelson into a place where she could feel comforted, and surrounded by objects that inspire and delight her.  Art is everywhere, as are pieces of her astonishing collection of vintage clothing and accessories.

One of the many gorgeous hats that are on display in the house

The guest room where I camped for two nights was beautifully decorated in warm colours, but the piece de resistance was the scarf wall, an installation designed by Judith and executed by two young women that Judith hired to help her with the organization of her home.  The scarves that Judith has been collecting her entire life were used to create a rich tapestry of multi-coloured silk that was a joy to wake up to in the morning.  Tiny blue lights placed amongst the scarves made the wall into a starry night sky when the room was dark.

Tomorrow... Part Two - The Party, and the answer to the question on everyone's mind "what did you wear?"  You can see the birthday girl's glamorous gown and hat on her blog here

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Can See For Miles and Miles

Remember the "Miss Style.....of Course" label I showed you in my last post?  Well, here's what it's from....

The most screamingly bright peachy pink/orange coat I've ever seen - I have not tested it out, but I would not be surprised if it glows in the dark

It fits perfectly, and is a wool blend, so it will be good for these Winter/Spring days we've been having, and the colour means I will be easily seen by drivers, other pedestrians, and just about anyone within a radius of about 5 miles.  I hope I'm not mistaken for a traffic cone.
I like the seaming in the back and the little half belt with button accents, and the fact that it cost $13

Dayglo coat found at Talize, worn over vintage jumpsuit from The Sentimentalist,  accessorized with Neosens boots from From Mars and scarf from Frilly Lizard

In addition to thrifted joy, I was also gifted with a parcel from the divine maxi-dress queen herself,  Curtise, which contained, amongst other treats, this lovely painted metal necklace, which I immediately put on with the thrifted velvet top I was wearing that day.  I was honoured to be the recipient of two items of clothing that I had admired her wearing on her blog, which I will show you when they are incorporated into an outfit.  The thrill that comes with receiving packages of joy from other bloggers - priceless!

This is my last post for the week as I am heading off on a secret blogger adventure from which I will report back next week.  Y'all have a good week now, y'hear?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Day Amber Came to Town

One of the best, and most meaningful, fringe benefits that has come from creating my blog are the friendships I've developed with other women bloggers.  Unfortunately, some of them are very far away, geographically, so we can't just plan a coffee date, but there are some who are only a few hours travel time away, and one who was so close we just had to plan an afternoon together....

I was thrilled to find this awesome dame on my doorstep yesterday - Amber, of Butane Anvil, came to London for a blogger meet up!

and of course the first thing I noticed was her marvelous hat with its delightful feather sculpture

 Don't we look like happy?  Good company does that to you...

As it was Saturday, I took her to the Western Fair Farmers' Market where we were lucky enough to run into Melinda, from The Sentimentalist, and my friend Heather, who was kind enough to take photos of us to document the occasion.   Of course, with two bloggers, and two cameras, it took a bit longer than anticipated, so my sincere apologies to those people whose trip to the coffee counter was delayed because of our posing. 

Two very shiny bloggers - where are those blotting papers when you need them?

Our respective outfit choices contrasted nicely, I think.  I thought that Amber's visit was a perfect excuse to break out the vintage black and red jumpsuit I found at The Sentimentalist.  It has long pieces of black fabric that hang off the shoulders at the back - you'll have to take my word for it as we didn't think to photograph them.

After a coffee and a visit, we headed to Organic Works Bakery, one of the few places in town where you can get a tasty variety of gluten and dairy free baked goods, and vegetarian meals.   Two yummy roast turkey sandwiches and soup later,  (neither of us are vegetarian) we decided to make a a visit Talize, but swore that as both of us have closets that are jam-packed, we would only look, and not buy.

We split up in order to cover more ground, and while I was browsing through the coats, I met this very cool young man, and we had a moment of mutual admiration of each other's outfits.   I assumed that he was not from here, and I was right, sort of.  He had been living in San Francisco, but is back in London, where he was born, to visit family.

I loved his spiked hat and cuff, and his bold print jacket, which he told me was by Givenchy.
I would really, really like to know where he got his leather pants, as they are the perfect cut, neither too loose or too tight.   Maybe if he sees this, he'll tell me in the comments?

Despite our best intentions, we both ended up taking something new (to us) home.  As a teaser, here's a photo of the label that was in the item that came home with me.  It will get its own post later.

You can find Amber's account of our adventures together here