Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Gotta Be Me

and unfortunately, the me that I am currently is living in a rather dark and negative place for seemingly no obvious reason.  This could either mean I am in need of a serious attitude adjustment, or that my anti-depressants are not doing their job, and until it's determined whether it's my attitude, or my medication that needs adjusting, things are just, well, kind of shitty.   Now is not the best time for documenting outfits, because nothing looks right (at least in my head), and am tired most of the time, which shows in my face.  Thank God for Tilda Swinton, fun accessories, and gorgeous weather, or I'd have nothing to post.

The weather was lovely this past weekend, with highs in the mid-twenties, sunshine, and blue, blue skies.   Flowers were blooming, patios were open, and puppies were soaking up some rays.

My friend's daughter Maya has very cool personal style, and was rocking a fabulously co-ordinated outfit when I ran into her and her Dad at the Western Fair Farmers' and Artisans' Market on Saturday.  While I love her modern mixing of shapes and colours, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for a nice vintage dress, like the orange, red and green print one on display at Jackpot Vintage.
If the outfits haven't felt inspired, at least I've managed to work in a "bastard massive" (to use one of Vix's fave phrases) piece of jewellery.  Clockwise from left: 1970's bead and mother of pearl necklace from Jackpot Vintage; giant orange beads from the Gadsden's Toronto Vintage Clothing Show; giant hand beaded tribal neckpiece purchased from Debra Rapoport in New York last year.

The cruel irony of having survived this past winter from hell with my mental health relatively intact, only to have it fall apart just as summer weather finally arrives is not lost on me. 

Monday, May 19, 2014


So, my friend Heather and I went to see Jim Jarmusch's latest film, Only Lovers Left Alive,  this weekend.....

The film stars Tilda Swinton, whom I have had a huge girl crush on since I saw the film Orlando.  I am mesmerized by her elegant, pale androgyny, cutting edge style and her ability to completely inhabit every character she plays.  She was perfect in the role of the White Witch in the Narnia series and brought a depth and pathos to the role of the tormented mother in We Need To Talk About Kevin.  

 I purchased the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of the expensive AnOther Magazine strictly for the Swinton fashion spread

Only Lovers Left Alive is a typical Jim Jarmusch film (others include Dead Man, Broken Flowers, Ghost Dog, and Down By Law) in that nothing much happens; the film moves at a languid pace, and viewers are free to focus on the gorgeous visuals and hypnotic soundtrack.  The two main characters, played by Swinton and Tom Hiddleston are vampire husband and wife, Adam and Eve, who are romantic collectors of art and culture of times past.  Eve is a stunning wraith clothed in cream-coloured leather and suede, or elaborately embroidered robes.  She lives in a luxurious book-filled apartment in Tangier where she hangs out with fellow vampire, Christopher "Kit" Marlowe, played by John Hurt.

Adam, a reclusive rock musician, is a study in black, in wardrobe and mood. He spends his time acquiring beautiful vintage guitars via a"zombie"(his word for humans) lackey and uses them to create dirge-like music in his huge, dark, mess of house in Detroit.  These are not the vampires of True Blood, or any of the other recent film creations  - Jarmusch plays with the vampire genre and creates elegant, world-weary creatures who form allegiances with "zombies" who provide them with "pure" blood that is sipped from tiny crystal glasses.   At one point Eve notes that biting a human is "so fifteenth century".   Swinton is one year older than I am, and I was delighted to see her paired with an actor 20 years younger as her romantic lead.

The character of Eve was my inspiration for a photo shoot today with my friend Mark, whom you may remember as my toga-clad slave in the last issue of Vogoff.  Mark has not only become a very talented photographer, but he is also willing to perch at the top of a ladder holding a very heavy camera at arm's length while attempting to get the shot below....

Many thanks to Mark, my patient and talented photographer, and to the Fabulous Swinton for her continuing inspiration.  Velvet embroidered robe, which is usually hanging on my wall, found at The Sentimentalist.  To see more of Mark's photography, check out his Facebook page.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Spring is Busting (Hatching) Out All Over

This week, it's all about the furry and the feathered critters.  I have been too preoccupied with the condition of "the Bun" (aka Fred) to document any of my outfits.  However, I was sufficiently captivated by the appearance of the first batch of goslings that have hatched near the building I work in on campus that I had to get out the camera first thing this morning and shoot some baby pics with my little zoom lens.

Father Goose stands watch while the kids look around
Someday, son, you will be as big and cranky as your old man!
Sooooo, we're supposed to eat this green stuff???
 Welcome to the world little ones - Good Luck!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bleak House

Fred is sick (pneumonia and possible ear infection), and in addition to the guilt I'm feeling for not taking her to the vet sooner, I felt even more when I was admonished by the vet for a number of things I've been doing that I didn't know were bad for her.   It's been a bit of rough week here, and my brain is occupied with trying to find creative ways to get medication into a little creature that refuses to cooperate.  Trying to get a dose of liquid medicine into her mouth with a syringe may work if there's one person holding the rat, and the other the syringe, but not if there's just one of you.   She licked it off my finger the first day, but that was a short-lived success.  I have also put a few drops on a cheerio and that sort of works.  If anyone has had any experience with medicating small creatures, suggestions are welcome - we've still got 11 days worth of meds to go. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bits and Pieces.....and Curls!!

I hope all you Moms out there had a nice Mother's Day.  A random guy on the street wished me a Happy Mother's Day on Friday, which took me by surprise, because it was two days early, and he was  a complete stranger who had no idea whether I was a mother or not.

I guess there  isn't a "Happy Rat Mom Day".   Photo of Fred taken by Heather

And in other random bits from the past week.....

We welcomed two new groups of students to our graduate programs last week and this is what I wore to greet them.  Really, how could they not feel welcomed with Hello Kitty?  I found them on the sale rack at Forever 21 when I was in Toronto earlier in the week, and couldn't resist.

We've had some Spring-like weather lately, so inspired by flowers and budding trees I got out the purple and green.  Clockwise from top left:  silver bling from various sources, and bracelet purchased from Debra Rapoport;  the summer madras plaid converse; my beautiful copper lady necklace found at Lovesick Vintage a couple of years ago.

It was even knee socks weather - ooooh, the delight of a warm breeze on bare knees!  
candy-coloured docs - Doc Marten Store (Toronto)
T-Rex socks - Uber Cool Stuff

I always look forward to getting a fresh 'do and last week my cool hair gal Melanie and I decided that dark pink and orange would be the summer colour combo (it matches my Krista necklace!)    Then, on a whim, out came the curling iron and well, you can see from the photo above what happened.   I have had straight hair all my life (except for that one terrible perm in Grade 13), so to suddenly have a tangle of pink and orange curls on my head made me so freaking happy - it doesn't take much, I tell ya.  And yes, I bought my own curling iron this weekend.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

You Say Goodbye, And I Say Hello

It's sad when one has to bid farewell to an item of clothing that has become a favourite piece, especially when it hasn't had a chance to explore its full potential....

The item in question is this pair of leather-look cropped pants.  I purchased them over a year ago at Mesh Consignment Boutique, and they languished in my closet for a few months before I figured out how to wear them.   They became great cold-weather pants because of the soft, cotton-like lining, and the zippers and stud detail added a punk vibe to whatever outfit they became a part of.   Upon returning home after their most recent wearing, I discovered that the pvc coating had begun to peel off in a placed that was both embarassingly obvious, and impossible to patch or repair.  I wracked my brain trying to figure out a way to save them, but alas, once the coating had started to come off, there was no going back, and they went in the trash.  RIP, punk rock pedal pushers.

At least they got to party with this amazing Italian-made 1960's sweater and checked socks.  The  attached scarf and black stripe detail on the INSIDE of the sweater are delightful details that you just don't see anymore in mass produced clothing.  The sweater also came from Mesh Consignment Boutique.

Remember this blue leather dress?


I was planning to say goodbye to it too, but I was rather in love with the colour, and the ginormous, football pad shoulders.

So I got out my sewing scissors and did this...

I followed the shape of the stitching that joined the skirt to the top of the dress, and didn't do anything fancy like hem the lining, although when it starts to fray I may regret that decision.  This was the outfit I wore to the Vintage Show in Toronto at the end of March.  The photo was taken by blogger Erica Chapman.  I'm going to use this photo to link up with The Style Crone's Hat Attack.

leather jacket (formerly dress) - Lovesick Vintage
Skants - Studio Gang by Deborah Korosec
Boots - Housing Works Thrift Store
Hat - Ophelie hats, purchased at From Mars

And on a completely unrelated note....

Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka wore their own twisted version of white tie and tails to the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute Gala on Monday night, and I would bet money that's the first instance of argyle being worn on a red carpet.  I didn't think it was possible for me to love NPH even more.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Tribute to a London Cartoonist - The Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival

Last weekend I attended the launch party for the Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival at The Arts Project.  The festival was organized by local graphic artist Diana Tamblyn as a tribute to Merle Tingley, better known as "Ting", whose editorial cartoons appeared in the London Free Press from 1948 - 1986.  The Arts Project exhibit included work by 14 other Southwestern Ontario comic and graphic artists, many of whom were influenced by Tingley.  The opening provided an opportunity for them to meet Tingley, and for him to meet some of the artists who were inspired by his work.

Tingley, now 92, was the guest of honour at the opening party, and many fans of his work asked him to autograph copies of his cartoons.

The exhibit of cartoon art included a section devoted to Ting's work that included pieces from Western University's "Ting" archive.  The cartoon above was done at the time of the May 1987 garbage strike.  Ting always incorporated his mascot, "Luke Worm" into his cartoons.

The above cartoon commented on the government's 1968 anti-smoking crusade 

The above piece, titled "Thinking/Speaking"  is by Mark Laliberte

A piece by Jeff Lemire, an award-winning cartoonist and writer, author of The Nobody, Sweet Tooth (from which the above image is taken), and The Essex County Trilogy, and more.

 London printmaker Jessica Desparois had two lino-cut prints in the show which I loved: (l) the retro-inspired All In the Hair  (r) Timeless Beauty

The cover of Scott Chantler's graphic memoir Two Generals, based on his grandfather's experiences in WWII.

I ran into Linda, the woman with the fabulous clock purse from my Museum MakerBus Event post, and she was carrying yet another cool purse, this one featuring one of my favourite Country musicians.

I was excited to meet cartoonist Seth and his wife Tania Van Spyk.  Seth's work is characterized by an affection for the past, particularly the early to middle 20th Century, and lonely characters searching for meaning in their lives. Van Spyk is a barber, and owner of the Crown Barber Shop in Guelph, which was designed by her husband.  You can read about the barber shop (and see photos) here.   I love their personal style, which in Seth's case, is inspired by the era he feels most connected to.  They were easily the coolest couple in the room.

One of the panels of Seth's story of the Jocko gumball machine

One of the reasons I enjoy Seth's work is the feeling of nostalgia that permeates his stories.  Seth was quoted in an interview as saying, "The modern world is very ugly...and the pop culture so mind-numbingly dumb that you have to make an effort to shut it out....I just like things from the past better.   I don't want to live in 1932, but I sure wish that some of the elements of that time survived into this time."   I would have to say that I share many of those feelings.  You can read the full interview here.

The cover image from Seth's story, featuring Jocko, the Scotsman

The festival, which ran for two weeks and finished on Saturday (which was also Free Comic Book Day), included other events such as workshops, talks and panel discussions.