Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stay-cation, All I Ever Wanted

I decided not to make my annual pilgrimage to New York this year, for several reasons.  The prospect of not spending time with my friends, in the city I love, was very disappointing but I decided to make the best of it, and am taking a Stay-cation this week (vacation from work, but staying home).  It's not New York, and the weather has been crap, but it's been enjoyable nonetheless.

No fancy outfits here.  It's been cold, grey and rainy, so I've been wearing cozy, stay-at-home clothes.  Thrifted jeans and sweatshirt from Talize Thrift,  boots from Housing Works Thrift store in New York.

I haven't done anything exciting so far, but there is something very satisfying about curling up on the couch with your cat and a good book on a rainy afternoon, and if you happen to fall asleep, it's ok.  I've uploaded some new music to my iPod, taken a bunch of empty shopping bags to my local thrift store for them to re-use, started listening to a new podcast, and had lunch at two local restaurants that are only open when I am usually at work.  There was a visit to the gym, and my physiotherapist in there too, and some thrifting in my neighbourhood.  I'll save photos of what I found for the next post.

 He's so happy to have me home with him.  There has been lots of snuggles and playtime
 Lula - we've had some struggles, but I think we are on our way to being friends
I am also working on making friends with my new sewing machine.  I got it in early August, but was sufficiently intimidated that I chose to wait until I had a block of time when I could give it my full attention.  I had an old Singer sewing machine about 20 years ago, which I used to make curtains for my apartment, but haven't touched a machine since.  I had my first sewing lesson last week, during which I made most of a pair of boxer shorts, so I understand how the thing works, and am not terrible at sewing a straight seam.  I have more trouble getting the thing threaded, and figuring out what stitch to use for what purpose.  As with most new skills, practice makes perfect, so I'm looking forward to getting acquainted with Lula, as she has been christened.

As long as I'm going on about crafty stuff, now would be a good time to show you photos of the thrifted Doc Martens I customized during the summer....

Heather spied these 20-hole Doc Marten boots at Talize, and when they didn't fit her, she handed them over to me.  They were very cool, but also very WHITE.

I spent a lot of time deliberating what to do with them, and after a couple of visits to Michael's craft store, I decided to go with a grey and black theme.  After a thorough cleaning, I used a sponge to apply a light layer of grey leather paint all over the boots.

I also picked up some black leather paint and a stencil.  I spent the next week or so adding the gear and cog shapes to the boots, letting each one dry before adding another.  I can tell which ones I did first as they have more smears and drips, but I got less sloppy with practice and the last couple looked pretty good.  Overall, I was pleased with how they turned out, especially since this was the first time I had ever done anything like this.

All you DIY and sewing queens out there (you know who you are, Vix, Pao, Sue and Mel, to name a few) have nothing to fear from me as far as competition, but you have all inspired me to try my hand at making stuff, so thank you.

I still have 4 days of freedom left, so who knows what adventures await? 


  1. Wow! Those boots look like a zillion bucks. The difference is amazing. I didn't even know there was such a thing as leather paint! Oh, and your sewing machine too. Well, one good thing is, if it's not threaded right, you find out quickly because it doesn't sew a stitch at all, or not very well anyway. Can't wait to see those boxer shorts. You know, that'll lead to pants in no time. ooo, and cat naps are the best, especially on cold, rainy days. I like staycations.

  2. WHAT! I am so inspired by your boots - they look AH-mazing! I have a pair of cream Fluevogs that have gotten just horribly scuffy from the black soles (what where they thinking?). I have been wanting to paint them forever, but have been stuck. I love what you've done there - I am inspired! I also can't wait to see how you style these!

    Look at dat lovey kitty (sorry, I can't help it). I just want to cuddle him.

  3. I love what you did to those Docs! Not a fan of the pristine white ones (I've got a mate who insists on carrying a pack of wet wipes with her and cleans hers constantly - not very rock and roll) but I'd wear your Shelley-ed up ones in a heartbeat!
    So excited to follow your adventures with the sewing machine.
    Give Sylvester a big cuddle from his Auntie Vix, I love him. xxxx

  4. Cool boots! You did a great job on them.
    A staycation sounds like a wonderful way to relax. A nap with a kitty is always a good idea!

  5. your cozy clothes look perfectly comfy&cool, and it's so relaxing to stay at home reading a book when you usually are at work!
    Wish you luck in your sewing lessons, that's a good thing to do, I think you're going to enjoy it!
    And those boots look über-cool, really stunning!, love that greyish cloudy finish, such a great diy!

  6. So cool you’re learning to sew! Don’t forget to have patience with yourself. It’s a huge subject with many levels but so empowering as your skills improve. Those boots prove you have some great ideas!

  7. I know you and Lula will make sweet music together, or heavy metal, depending on your moods. So exciting!! Your boots project turned out great! I would have a need to scuff up white shoes as quickly as possible. I can't believe you thrifted them! And a staycation sounds super relaxing. I look forward to finding out what you do with the rest of your time...

  8. Just stumbled across your blog after google searching “le chateau 1980s”. Love your blog! Love your style, and those boots! Funny enough, I’m pretty sure I drove past you a couple of weeks ago as you were heading into Talize. I said to myself (out loud) “girlfriend has killer hair” Blog On! ✌��

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, and for the compliments! That probably was me heading into the Talize at Highbury and Huron, as I was there about two weeks ago.

  9. Love your writing and your boots! I think Carolyn Bruce, steampunk designer would also love these. Last trip to NYC I won, for the opening of Going in Style, Morgan Freeman, Ann Margret, et al, and enjoyed my 4 days there. Looking for more contests and more blogs.

  10. The boots look GREAT!!! I'm glad you're enjoying some relaxation time at home. Enjoy the rest of your time off!

  11. sweet looking sewing machine. Looks like it was some fancy stitches. If it didn't come with a manual, try looking for one online. You probably already knew that.

  12. WHOAH....Those boots are super cool! And man, you're neat...and patient also. I'd have tried to do the whole boot in one go, smearing pretty much everything as I went!

    I'm pretty excited to see you are behind a sewing machine too. And a Janome at that. My serger is a Janome and it's a workhorse...actually I have two because I upgraded to a 4 thread and couldn't part with the 3 three thread. Hoorah for Craigslist.

    I'm no expert on threading these newer machines, but if you ever have any sewing related woes you can call on me! If nothing else, misery loves company. xo Seriously though, I would try to help...

    1. Thanks for the offer of assistance - I managed to figure out what I was doing wrong in the threading, and it's working find right now. I took a couple of sewing lessons and made a pair of boxer shorts so I'm a bit more confident after that. I'd love to have a serger one day!