Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Grand Day Out*

*an affectionate homage to Wallace and Gromit (but without the cheese)

This weekend was the start of what we in London have come to refer to as "Fest" season.  The London Fringe Theatre Festival kicks it off, and over the next two months we have Sunfest, Festa Italiana, Rib Fest, Home County Music and Arts Festival, etc.  Saturday also featured what used to be called "Car Free Festival", now referred to as "Our Street" festival.  First step - pick the appropriate "Festing outfit"...

I'm not sure what I'm doing with my face, but I'm rather pleased with my outfit, all acquired secondhand, except for the shoes

ruffle-skirted dress - thrifted from a store in my neighbourhood for $4
T-shirt - Talize
jacket - purchased from The Style Crone
ceramic necklace - The Sentimentalist
 magical shoes - Doc Marten Store
hair flower - some cheap accessories store going out of business

It is a rule that when you wear a ruffled skirt, you must do a little closed-eye shimmy

Before hitting the street festival, there was some business to attend to...

After the regular Saturday morning visit to the Western Fair Farmers' Market, a road trip was in order.  A friend and I had arranged to take over a friend's vegetable share from a co-op farm while she was away at a conference, and not only did the farm have veggies, it had a gorgeous dog. 

The road trip was followed by a photo shoot for the Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show (results of which will appear later this week), and then it was off to the Our Street Festival.  The purpose of the festival, formerly known as Car Free Festival, is to inspire Londoners to lead healthier, more eco-friendly lives by walking, cycling, taking public transit, composting, supporting local artisans and independent businesses, etc.  Dundas Street was closed to traffic between Wellington and Talbot Streets, and for 5 hours, was crowded with vendor booths, activities, musicians, information tables and lots of pedestrians and cyclists enjoying the atmosphere.

Candice Sheriff, who sells her line of jewellery at Jackpot Vintage, demonstrated her skills with the hula hoop

You could draw on the street...

show off your strength....

create your own button/badge....

....and jump rope!  I was rather shocked to learn that some elementary schools have actually banned skipping ropes because of the possible chance of injury.  Skipping rope culture (rhymes, jumping patterns, etc.) was a large part of my childhood -  how did those of us who grew up in the 60's and 70's ever survive?

Some of the performers in the Theatre Fringe Festival took advantage of the crowds to advertise their shows.  Jamesy, one of the characters in 2 For Tea, carried a banner advertising his Fringe show. I saw the show that afternoon, which is silly and loads of fun.  The actors who play James and Jamesy are talented physical comedians, and there is a great deal of audience participation (don't say I didn't warn you).  I made my Fringe Festival debut as Jamesy's Mum.

There were lots of fun items for sale made by local artisans as part of the Rag Bag Bazaar.  I was crushing on these adorable crocheted creatures by Fred and Lila, especially the submarine, the sardines in a can, and...

..the most adorable squirrel!

Gord Moon and his wife make these super cool pillows, printed with movie magazine covers

The Sentimentalist cuddled with The Beatles

Rachel, from the Women's Community House store, Mine 101, had some pretty upcycled scarves at her table.  Women's Community House is celebrating its 35th anniversary and Rachel was handing out coupons that offered 35% off your next purchase at Mine 101

One of The Paper Girls with a display of their handmade cards

 I practiced excellent restraint - the only thing I purchased was these beaded ring from Vanessa Garcia

There were lots of information booths promoting organic gardening, composting, community car-sharing, and other ecologically-friendly activities 

The festival was an opportunity for bike enthusiasts to show off their cool wheels (literally)

There was some very cool personal style on display...

Melanie and Jagoda from Salon Cyan 

Jagoda was wearing super stylin' boots that she found on Ebay

cute guys in bow ties

Elzbieta Kurowska is an artist, photographer and biochemist, and uses her multiple talents to create abstract compositions that resemble primitive life forms.  We seem to run into each other at arts-related events and she and her husband were behind me in line to get our photos taken for Edward Jackman's Red Couch Diaries at Nuit Blanche last year.

Words fail me

Knitted mask head-piece thing, made by his friend.  Good thing for him the temperature was more spring-like than summer

I see this young woman everywhere, and she always looks adorable.  

MEEEOW!  I love the pattern on her caftan and how the cat makes a great accessory.  Seeing that toy gave me a weird flashback, as I had a cat toy like that when I was a child, only it was sitting on its hind legs, without the colours, but exactly the same face (with eyes that open and close), same material, with a squeaker inside. 

All in all, it was truly a Grand Day Out.  The Fringe Festival continues until June 16th.


  1. That looks so fun! I tend to avoid things with "Fest" in the title, as I'm anxious in big crowds, but your street fest looks like something I could handle.

    Love your outfit!

  2. No jump rope? Dang how did I survive my childhood. My Dad gave me a pogo stick that I damn near killed myself with. I was so much fun! Just like the street fair. You make an awesome cover girl

    1. Seriously! Did you have lawn darts too?

    2. I remember playing lawn darts with my cousins, and I am amazed that no one was seriously injured ;)

  3. What a tremendous day! Thanks for having us along. :) Especially digging the bow-tie boys, Jagoda's boots (!!!), Ms. cat-and-caftan, and your excellent ensemble. Super-excited for your Yellow Skirt post upcoming! I bet you were fabulous on stage.

  4. Oh, what a fun day! and you were, as always, the cutest one!

  5. Wow, London knows how to fest with the best! Your shoes are perfect for such a grand day.

    Congratulations on your cover girl spot - the picture was awesome! Worthy of a large framed poster, don't you think?

  6. WOW, so many amazing people, but I love that guy with the knitting on his face. Too cool. And the big bone! LOL. You are certainly dressed for the festing season. I can't wait to see what you do with the yellow skirt!

  7. Hey, cover girl! Don't you look adorable?
    What a fab round-up, so many cool, smiley faced people. I think I wasnt to emigrate! xxx

    1. Ackkk, that would be SO awesome if you were living here, but the folks in Walsall would miss you terribly, especially the guys in Weatherspoons!

  8. What a great post, i must come back with a cup of tea. for now, LOVE your outfit esp the sox, tights, SHOES omg took my breath away. Is it okay to speak so casually to a covergirl, I wonder? ;-)

  9. Very festive 'festing outfit' and so happy to see that you're giving the jacket a new and exciting life. Love the ruffle skirt and the shimmy and all of the photos of your Grand Day. I wonder what the Cover Girl will do with the traveling yellow skirt?

  10. Those shoes look like candy- delicious!
    You've captured some grand street style- I love the burgundy boots~ and your new beaded ring.

  11. You look marvelously FEST-ive!!! I love the shoes--like sherbert!!
    The festival looks amazing--so much diversity and goodies to partake of!

  12. Thanks for the tour, Ms Cover Girl! I just love the whole concept of taking back the streets! Our Car Free Day is coming up on Saturday in Vancouver and we have several areas with streets blocked off including one right near me. It gets bigger every year. (BTW those cute amigurumi animals are crocheted, not knit. And I totally covet your Docs.)

  13. I believe what you are doing with your face is popularly called "duck face". ;)

    Love all the Fest photos, especially those awesome ebay boots.

  14. that street festival looks like so much fun, but I adore your shoes, they are just absolutely bloody amazing!

  15. What a fab festival! As always, your photos capture the vibe and the folk and the fun. Your festival outfit is wonderful - oh those brogues are delightful, and the tights and ruffle-y dress are gorgeous. Of course you have to shimmy, it's The Law!
    Those crochet toys are so cute, and all the people you've featured look happy and interesting and just lovely. xxx

  16. I would be right at home at that festival. I love that everyone is happy at a place like that. The people looked cool and all the crafty bits are always inspiring. You did show great restraint and I think the ring is a perfect momento from the day! I adore your outfit and those Doc's are the coolest pair I've ever seen!

  17. Hi Shelley !

    That is a great event, we have something similar in my hood in the summer and as well in the Gay Village all summer - This is something we will have to see when you come - Love your festival wear!
    I love those events, you meet interesting people doing very original stuff
    The ring is so cute, i went on her Website, very interesting work she does


    Ariane xxxx

  18. Wow, that festival looks like crazy fun!

  19. YOU look GORGEOUS, Shelley! Love the ruffled skirt and the the SHOOOOOOES!!! The festival looks great fun - the Sentimentalist's crocheted cardigan catches my eye, I adore the gorgeous crocheted shawl on the everywhere girl and the caftan on the kitsch kitty woman is FABULARSE!

    Sarah xxx