Friday, April 29, 2011

Over the rainbow with 70s dress

I can't believe I didn't buy this 1970s striped polyester cowl neck dress at first. It was $6.99 at my local thrift store, Stretch Thrift, and then it was 50 percent off that! I loved the colours but wasn't sure if I had the guts to pull off, well, a 1970s striped polyester cowl neck dress!

But reader, I went back the same day and tried it on. It was a bit loose but I figured I could cinch it in with a belt (as I have here, with a vintage velvet elasticized belt I found for about $10 in a vintage shop). So I bagged it for $3.49!

I'm wearing it here with a pair of Stuart Weitzman platforms I thrifted in mint condition for under $10 at Goodwill.

Cost of total outfit: under $20! Chic can, indeed, be cheap!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Crochet & vintage 70s necklace to match

Remember these crochet sweaters? Crochet was big in the 70s, of course, but I remember having a bunch of crochet cardis in the 90s. Well they're back. This glittery turquoise bolero style cardi was sort of granny-anny crossed with a boho vibe, so I picked it up on sale.

It goes perfectly with my new bling, a 1970s pendant and necklace.

I love the shape, the heavy chain, the colour - its semi rough hewn look. It reminds me a bit of the 70s jewellery designer Raphael. Perfect for Spring-a-ding-ding!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Corner nook

I'm showing you the rest of my apartment redo. Like I said a few posts ago, I split the room into chunks and rejigged each area (like this corner) as a little room unto itself - if you're intimidated by the process of redecorating or even refreshing a bit, this strategy can make that process less daunting. 

I relocated these huge thrifted glass lamp (with ruby red shade bought for a song at Consumers Lighting in Toronto) to the large teak hutch (thrifted over a decade ago for $80) as it was so large and the scale looked off in its former home, on the dining room table. I added some vintage bags to the end of the hutch and piled other books in a haphazard way.

A red pilllow case hides a stain on the teak and defines the lamp.

I like having a sense of humour when I decorate. This painting, by my very talented sister, features the profile of a man on a beach as he stares off into the distance. I positioned the black statuette beside it (thrifted for a few dollars) so that she was looking the same way too. The Star Trek-type decanter was given to me by my best friend and was in her family when she was growing up.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thrift style a la spring

More pretty spring-inspired tableaus from my apartment ....

Think purple as a unifying colour, and a bit of whimsy in a teddy bear piggy bank.

Toss in a lovely hand-painted velvet picture made in England (thrifted for 99 cents), a thrifted flower pot and fresh new purple tulips, and a heavy gold mirror (thrifted for $3.99), propped up on a heavy wooden dresser found in the trash.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Funny? Psycho? Bunny cake home made by Mom

Ok, he didn't look like much to start. But my Mom had high hopes for the bunny cake. She started off with two circular cake pans. Dad - the engineer - was able to cut the head from one of the circles (Mom and I could never have managed that). The ears, legs and arms were made from the scraps.

Here's the boiled icing my mother boiled over the stove for, like, 20 hours. Ok. Maybe not that long. Who has ever heard of boiled icing? Apparently it was the only kind for Mr. Bunny as we (Mom) wanted it to spread smoothly over the parts of the cake that had been cut to make the head etc. Gotcha.

Then there was the arduous task of icing the bunny - not easy with boiled icing, let me tell you. The thing with boiled icing is it doesn't stay very liquid-y for long. Plus it's sticky as hell. So you need to spread fast before it solidifies into one big mass of sugary goop.

Kitty was pretty freaked out too. Or awe-inspired? Hard to tell!

Yes, the bunny looked pretty damn strange - let's admit it: scary - with all the white shiny icing on it. Like it had been dropped in a huge vat of Vaseline - or worse, boiled icing.

Thank God! Bunny is looking, well, more bunny-ish, thanks to some pink ears, jelly eyes and nose, and liquorice whiskers and claws!

Whew. The bunny's not funny or psycho. Just a cute big white bunny made with boiled icing, liqcorice and jelly tots! Love the home made thing; sorry I doubted you Mom! (not that I really did).

BTW, Mom tells me her mother used to make cakes "on the farm" with boiled icing as boiled icing could be made with all the ingredients you'd have on hand (ie: did not require icing sugar). Too bad the old-fashioned way took so long, but I guess they always do, no?

Happy Easter every one! In case you're wondering, the bunny was yummy, boiled icing and all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

More 'Easter' bling

Picked up for a song at Canadian Thrift. I thought this brass pendant was just so boho!

It didn't come with a chain but I just fixed it up on one I had. My philosophy with bling is the same with all my other accessories, including lamps and pillows: just change things up! Alternate chains and pendants as you would lampshades with different lamp bases!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't give me eggs, just rings

Well, the centre of this 1970s style ring does sort of look like an egg, no?

This ring is so my style. Actually the round green piece in the middle is shaped like a marble. I love the textured gold-tone detail around the ring. Bought it at the hair cutting place that sells the vintage bling!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sexy 70s necklace by Avon

OMG, I still have more pretty spring decorating to show you but I can't go without showing you more bling! I am like a junkie: I need my fix! Just look at the sturdy pendant with turq 'stone' (plastic) on this Avon necklace pendant.

Take a peep at the back. I love well-made sturdiness and weight in costume jewellery. It tells me it's old-ish.

The coolest feature: you can wear it the semi ho-hum way, with the chain doubled.

Or you can sex it up and wear it comme ca. J'adore this look. I really should be wearing some glammed up disco outfit set for partying, but such is not my life.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to do pretty: light & whimsy

Want to do pretty in your pad as spring approaches? Simply do what I did when I re-jigged my apartment this past weekend: change up the accessories. Away went the deep jewel-toned pillows and out came my pretty pillow ditties.

They lightened up the dark sofa, as you can see. Blue velvet, you may know, is a bit of a thing for me. And when the months turn warmer I need to inject a bit of light n' bright, just so it doesn't look like some dreary 18th century novel!

A wee bit of whimsy helps in a case such as this worn blue velvet chair found curbside. This handmade floral pillow thrifted for a few bucks perfectly balanced out the - shall we say austerity? - of this piece.

There was a general theme to my redo that kept the entire place looking somewhat cohesive: I created little vignettes by separating the room into areas and then incorporated the elements that inspired me in the original vignette I showed you yesterday: florals, soft, muted colours, basically anything in my closet or stashed away that said "pretty" or whimsy. (Like this Liberty of London scarf tossed over a pedestal table).

Or these jewellery baubles (recently thrifted - but that's another post) in this pretty pedestal bowl.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pretty spring makeover: start with one tableau

Spring has come to my apartment even though there were flurries for most of the day in Toronto, eeps.

I haven't posted on decor in so long as, truth be told, I have been uninspired in my space and haven't re-jigged it for months. Then, with a gal pal coming over for dinner last night, I looked around at all the (dust) and Persian carpets on the floor and dark colours and thought, "UG. I simply cannot make dinner until this palce has a fresh new look."

A whirlwindish afternoon of vacuuming and cleaning and tweaking set in. The final look is pretty. My inspiration: I tossed this piece of Ralph Lauren fabric that I've had (and meant to do something with) for years over the table and voila, there was my new spring tablecloth!

Then I added pretty bric-a-brac like a white cornucopia vase, a crystal tealight holder (both thrifted), a bamboo vase with bamboo in it (a gift) and a lovely chintz jug by  Lord Nelson Ware of England (given to me when my best friend's mother moved out of her home to an apartment).

Of course, tossing some of my fave flowers, orangy roses (that smell: do you know most roses these days don't?) into a thrifted silver vase was the ultimate way to create a pretty springtime look.

I kept the lamp base (which I thrifted at Sally Ann for under $10) the same but changed up the shade (thrifted for a few dollars and in mint condition) to a deep blue one, for contrast. The dark wood lacquer mirror was relocated from my desk and also provided a bit of grounded-ness to this pretty vignette.

This dark floral cushion, thrifted for $3.99 and actually from an old and now defunct Toronto store, is pretty yet provides important contrast too against the distressed silver wrought iron chair (found as a set of four for $20 years ago in a thrift shop and spray painted silver, by moi, years ago as well - like how the silver is getting that chipped beat-up look now).

This older tableau was fine for the winter, but I'm loving my new spring look.

This table area was actually the inspiration for re-jigging the rest of my apartment into a prettier look more akin to lighter spring weather. This week I'll show you how I did it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

1970s polyester + great styles

The 70s style influences are back in a big way - but sometimes the **originals** are even more stylish than the cheapie contemporary knock-offs in the malls. Take these hyper-flammable wide leg  pants (mix of nylon and polyester) in wild colours. On the rack they may have looked ridiculous but I saw their style potential. Aren't they swish?? Fab with a halter style top and 70s-inspired wedgie sandals.

The handkerchief skirt or dress is also back with a vengeance this season. I picked up an authentic one last summer in Toronto, seen here in Niagara Falls, Canada. You know, many of today's fast fashions are made with polyester, so I have absolutely no problems wearing the retro stuff.

Maybe the older fabric is even nicer? It's thicker and has weight to it and won't snag like the disposable type fabrics out there these days. What do you think? Regardless, in terms of style, sometimes the authentic 70s styles rock way more than the contemporary retakes of them - at least in the case of this dress. Just look at that back, those teeny spaghetti straps and low back.

Another 70s dress found in West Palm Beach, US, my most recent acquisition. Just love the style. My sweetheart beau bought it for me. Again, it's a thick polyester and the style is just fab. Long flowy wide skirt and an almost halter style bodice with darts that accentuate my barely there bust. They sure were teeny in the 70s - the waists on both of these dresses are wee wee. Then again, it's nice to be able to wear a dress that isn't bagging out in the boob area!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Yellow on steroids

I have been a yellow fiend this past week, donning the hue I rarely wear in an effort to jumpstart Spring in my head and of course in this grey, black-coat ridden place we call Toronto. Some items, like this tight sporty hooded jacket, are new. (But tee and necklace: thrifted).

Others were purchased new too, like this more golden-hued stretch turleneck - except as you can see I'm wearing it with my $2 Escada jacket (my fave spring acquisition, and my most versatile) and thrifted jeans.

The booties were thrifted as well and the Art Deco style bracelet (with a bit of a rock n' roll vibe, me thinks) is vintage. Fab statement piece necklace was given to me. Good thing as I would never have paid $200 retail for it, as much as I love it.

This scarf: cheap n cheerful and yes, thrifted. I love wearing yellow with blue. It's the only way I can get away with it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silver Mexican bracelet: the obsession continues

These days I'm attracted to colours I haven't been attracted to historically - like green. This silver bracelet made in Mexico, with this big square thing in the middle holding all these sparkly green bits, well, it just called out to me. I found it at Creative Cuts in Toronto on Coxwell at Danforth Ave.

Owner Petra cuts hair and sells second-hand bling out of her front window. Her prices aren't always thrift, but they're not bad. I thought about this one for two weeks before going back and finding it still there. It's tres tiny - perfect for my wee bony wrist!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'70s sistas

Yesterday's post on the 1970s necklace MY SISTER, not me, thinks is fugly, generated a lot of comments!

So in the spirit of the the '70s, fugly, and sisters, here's another old pic of me (left), my twin and older sis in some pretty happening polyester.

See, I'm practising poses for my blog way back then!

I remember that dress. Liked it. So short, though. Think my twin and I were outgrowing them. And how about that burgundy outfit? Love the mini. The top, not so much.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

'Fugly'--sentimental 1970s pendant

When I showed this gold-tone mosaic 1970s style pendant to my sis (which I ended up thrifting for 50 percent off), she told me it reminded her of the ugly necklaces and pendants our Mom used to wear in the 1970s when we were growing up.

Gee, I always loved those necklaces. And this one does remind me of them, too. I can see why my sis called them/it ugly - they're not beautiful, after all. Perhaps it's just the sentimental nut in me that makes me gravitate towards pieces like this. This one reminds me of my childhood and suits my 70s-ish style, so it's a definite keeper.

This is the only pic I have of my Mom wearing one of those 'ugly' 1970s necklaces - with me (right), my twin and older sis in the mid-1970s. Don't you just love my Mom's style? I remember this necklace lovingly! You can't see it that well, but it was a string of multi-coloured polished stones in earthy hues. I loved it then. I should ask Mom if she hung onto it.

Dig the crazy glasses, eh? I think those were more 1960s than '70s, though. My twin sis and I look like mini versions of Mom, with our turtlenecks and pants! And our older sis, so cheeky in her mini skirt and colour-coordinated tights and - you guessed it - another turtleneck!