Monday, February 17, 2014

"Give Me Whimsy!"

This is a long weekend for me because of "Family Day" here in Canada, and I'm trying to balance fun with productivity.  Friday night I attended the opening of two new shows at Strand Fine Art - work by Bill Stelpstra, co-owner of the gallery, and by ceramic artist Susan Day.  Stelptra's work was a collection of brightly coloured sculptures/furniture, meticulously painted with polka dots in contrasting colours.

It was suggested by someone who was also planning to attend the show that I should wear polka dots, because as every good gallery-goer knows, it's important to coordinate with the art.  A trip to Forever 21 added the dinosaur print top and polka dot leggings ($6!) to my wardrobe, and paired with my polka dot mini skirt, it made the perfect eyeball-searing outfit.  I liked the colour combination, patterned swirl of dots, and the serve-no-purpose balls on the side of this bench so I asked another guest to immortalize the dots on dots action.  It's too bad the bench wouldn't work in my apartment, where every piece of furniture must also serve as a container in which to store/hide the magazines/books/papers/random stuff.  I suggested that Stelpstra might want to incorporate drawers and shelves into future creations.

Stelpstra, wearing a tie made by artist Vicki Easton McClung

There was a large crowd at the show, which was also a birthday celebration for Stelpstra.  His collection of work was called Stippeltjes, which roughly translated means "small dots".  It was cool to see the gallery space filled with so much colour.

There were groupings of small painted squares on the walls, and I was rather inspired by some of the colour combinations for future outfits.  The orange and wine/purple combination was one of my favourites.

The other artist whose work is on display is Susan Day.  Her  collection of ceramic plates and platters titled "Crazy Birds" echoed the whimsical, quirky vibe of Stelpstra's polka dots.

More of Day's quirky birds

Andrew Smyth, co-owner of Strand Fine Art, looked very dapper in a custom-made jacket with contrasting lining.

There is always at least one person wearing cool footwear at every art exhibit (remember the embroidered boots from Turkey from Rosemary Sloot's show?).   These strap-wrapped ones are a Portugese brand I was unfamiliar with.

The show runs until March 8th, 2014

And The Whimsy Continued...

I liked the polka dots so much that I incorporated them into my Saturday outfit.  It was sunny, and  not ridiculously cold, so I was able to swap out my down-filled coat for faux fur.

My ever-patient photographer, Heather, noted that my outfit deserved more "oomph" than I was conveying in my photos and promptly switching to Director mode, shouted "Give Me Whimsy!!"
I think I'm giving more crazy than whimsy, but she seemed satisfied.
faux fur - Lovesick
skirt - thrifted
dotty leggings - Forever 21 (a good deal at $6)
Ray Ban sunglasses - courtesy of SmartBuyGlasses

We proceeded to have a few hours of fun that included yummy treats from the Western Fair Farmers' and Artisans' Market,  Starbuck's beverages, and a visit to Sephora, where I gave myself a quick surreptitious manicure with the Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer that claims to be a "superior polish with an unprecedented finish and the shine of 30 coats of lacquer".   I used "Desire" on my fingers and "Glinda" on my thumb.  Given that I only used one coat, it gave amazing coverage, and dried pretty fast.   I rarely wear nail polish because my nails split and peel, especially when I use them as tools (screwdrivers, etc.) so it was nice to have pretty nails for a few days.

I took an extra day off this week in order to have four days at home in a row and now that I've had the fun (that also included naps, The Walking Dead, and chocolate hazelnut brioche), I'm attempting to make good on the "productivity" part of the plan.  Hope you are enjoying your long weekend, if you're lucky enough to have one.


  1. Look at you, you rock star! Loving both outfits especially that fake fur and that sexy red lippy! Your dino jumper's rather like Susan's ceramics and the polka dots are brilliant. I'd rather like one of those benches, too.
    LOVE those clogs. xxx

  2. so fabulous that you worn your outfit to coordinate with the art, that's Cool!!, and polka dots are always appealing!, love your leggings and cute dino jumper, and also love how you rock your faux fur!! pretty fabulous wearing red sunnies!
    And I'm delighted by that crazy birds ceramics, it makes me remind of some very old ceramics I saw at museums, love them!, they're really whimsical!

  3. Love the polka dotted benches/cubes/boxes, etc, but the quirky birds are my favourites.
    And YOU look pretty damn amazing too, you whimsical woman! Those dotty leggings look fab with the faiux fur and wonderful sunglasses. That's how to do warm and cool at the same time!
    Sounds like a fun weekend, Shelley - hope today has been productive, as planned. xxx

  4. "faiux"? I just invented a new word... xx

  5. You're leaping out of my phone with your wonderful dots and colors. You look fab and like a work of art yourself. Xxxooo

  6. Dots da right way to do whimsy! I love all the dots on benches, ties, scarves, leggings - so simple and so vibrant. And I'm kind of enamored with the Glinda nail polish. Of course, it would look great with some ruby slippers.

  7. Our Family Day (in BC) was a week earlier - goofy holiday. I adore your polka dot gallery outfit (and yes, of COURSE we dress to match the art!), and am amazed and in love with those polka-dotted columns. Wow.

  8. I love the whimsy.

    That outfit of you on the bench is brilliant. Also I love the birds on the pottery.

    Happy long weekend.


  9. You are so rocking that outfit !

  10. What wonderful ceramics! I do love it when bloggers take us along with them to art galleries and opening events! (I lead a quiet life. Sort of!)

    Cheers from England,
    Rosemary from

  11. A fun filled post! You are a master at pattern mixing, and the first photo should be framed as art. Looks like a spectacular show, accessorized by a pair of cool shoes, and you, of course.

    Happy to see that it was warm enough to bring out that stunning faux fur coat!

  12. very cool! I love ist!!!

  13. Hahaaa, loopy, more like! Looking way gorgeous in those fantastic leggings, and I'm pleased to see the coat making another appearance!!!
    Ooo, I am loving all the dotty art and the ceramics!!! I'd love one of those big plates.
    You have such a great eye for interesting people and things when you're out!

  14. l you are out and about Girl! always doing interesting stuff - I need a good art exhibition, i should make the effort or try at least! Love your leggings Shelley, i have couple of pairs that i rarely wear, i should after looking at yours! The dino sweater is so adorable, i want one! i wonder if they sell it here, probably hey?

    Your hair is fantastic Shelley- the front is longer?
    I shaved my head this weekend, très, très short!

    Take care


  15. We like Heather's advice so much, we've decided to order "Give us more whimsy" when we rule the planet. Love your pairing of polka dots with dinosaurs! Rock on!
    Jean & Valerie

  16. GURLLLLLLL this second outfit with your gray furry jacket has to be one of my all time favs! The polka dot inspiration and exhibit did ya good because I am feeling the fun! I think you get out to more exhibits than anyone I know and I think that makes you pretty stinkin' cool!

  17. I think you're rather strong and striking for mere whimsy here. The art pales in comparison. They should pay you to attend gallery openings!

  18. We think dinosaurs are an under-represented motif, and should not be the province solely of little boy pajamas. Witness the wonderful Betsey Johnson pterodactyl print top that we all swooned over about a year ago. Now - what about a DRESS in a dinosaur print? And to combine today's themes (dinos and whimsy), could Forever 21 make leggings speckled with dinos instead of dots?

  19. I absolutely adore your style! So funky and fresh to the eyes! That's so fun that you matched with the exhibit :)