Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Someone stole MY couch

Wah! Someone stole my couch! I spied it from my balcony in the trash on Saturday night and was certain it was red velvet (and you know by now my near-obsession with velvet). When it was still there the next morning on my way to coffee with a pal (and I affirmed that it was, in fact, red velvet, and gorgeous at that), I felt quite sure in my bones that it was mine, that the trashing Gods had deemed it mine, that it would still be there upon my return from coffee.

Well, the very moment I was mentally rearranging my apartment coming back from coffee, the garbage Gods struck me down for my presumption! I rounded the corner expecting to see my sofa waiting for me (I knew I could work my charm and get some helpful soul to carry it up to my apartment with me) --- and it was gone.

Alas, the red velvet, the good bones, the lovely shape - all these wondrous traits obviously did not go unnoticed by some fellow style diva or duke in my 'hood. I have learned, alas, never to be too smug in my trash karma. May red velvety (there is a story behind this verbiage, just you wait as I redeemed myself the next night) rest in peace in its new abode.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday morning and a new cuppa

I love Japanese stoneware - its simplicity yet elegance of design. Recently I found a trio of retro Mikasa cups, plus creamer, at my local thrift shop, Stretch Thrift, for 99 cents each. Way nicer than the cheap dollar store mugs I have that are now going in the 'donate' pile.

They complement the bronze ironstone cups by Primastone that I thrifted a few years ago - similar in shape and the colours work. Now I'll just have to have a cappuccino party!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Yesterday, Phoebe; today, Mad Men

Ok, so I am a blogger who's just discovered that her camera has an auto shoot. I prop it against a planter on my balcony table and hit the button ... and you can see the mediocre results. But that's beside the point: here's the story on my outfit:

Mad men with a twist, is what I say. Another look I have never really done: a short tight skirt, like this 1980s yellow acetate skirt, found at Goodwill at a 50 percent off sale (I love it how thrifting can lead you to a place of exploration, a wardrobe adventure, if you will). Ditto for the sweater (Goodwill find) - isn't it cute? The skinny belt was a gift. I love the wacky Day Glo colour combo -- maybe the wackiness is more a tribute to Phoebe after all!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My 1990s Phoebe from "Friends" look

I can't believe I like this outfit - but I really do! The look, 100 % thrifted, is tres 1990s a la Phoebe from the sitcom "Friends" (the character would wear this type of dress, which was big in the 1990s). Key to the look is the drop-waist jumper-style dress (made in Canada) that I thrifted for less than four bucks (Stretch Thrift).

I'm wearing it with a thrifted white crop tee - again, so retro 1980s and 90s! (Stretch Thrift), a thrifted jean jacket (a few bucks at Canadian Thrift), and a thrifted costume jewellery pendant (by Miracle, an England maker) found at Goodwill last summer for six bucks.

Is it creepy I am so digging a look that I typically hate? I'm not a big fan of 1990s tent-dress style. But I felt good in this garb, and it was so - gasp - COMFY. Jeepers this is a sign I'm getting old! But I don't care - a colleague gave me such a compliment the day I wore it (you're so stylish, she said) that it can't be a complete fashion disaster!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Babushka, Babushka

Don't you love her? My sister had a Babushka, a set of Russian nesting dolls, when we were growing up in the 1970s. I always loved them.

I have a gal pal, a close friend and reader of this blog, who I call "Babushka" - not because she's an old Russian lady, the meaning of the word! It's def a term of endearment. When I saw these in (you know where!) I knew she had to have them!

OMG, bottom tag says USSR, pretty wild eh? There's a piece of history for ya.

My pal loves them, as I knew she would. Who says you can't find a meaningful gift in the thrift shop? Heck, can you even find these things new these days? Certainly not with the USSR tag!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cocktail party at my fave vintage shop

Ah, who has cocktail parties any more - real, live cocktail parties where you actually dress? My gal pal Daina, who owns Continuum Modern Vintage - that's who. 

Daina was celebrating her shop's year-and-a-half anniversary. She dressed the part, and more, in this gorg emerald green silk taffeta cocktail dress from the 1950s.

Not having a proper cocktail dress (other than one that looks good on me only when I have a tan), I decided to wear this royal blue Lauren, by Ralph Lauren microfibre drop-waist frock I thrifted for $24.99 at Value Village - pricey in my books but the dress was brand new and would have retailed at several hundred bucks. And I do look rather smashing in this shade of blue.

I wore the dress with gold-tone strappy wedgies (thrifted of course!) and my Trifari necklace found in London's Portobello Market. Just look at the way the dress swishes when I twirl - je love!

Any one out there gone to a cocktail party lately? What did you wear?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thrifting adventures this week

It's been super busy, so here are some highlights from this past week's thrifting adventures!

Here's my gal pal and fellow thrift/vintage style maven, Nadia, at the 50 percent off Stretch Thrift sale yesterday (sale continues today). Nadia struck an oh-so-chic pose in this crazy hat with basket to match! We laughed so hard ... Nadia and I always seem to go crazy in that store. I think we provide comic relief to the customers!

I picked up this little guy - a lama "piggy" bank, of all things, for 99 cents at the sale. Every time I look at it, I smile. What personality! I saw it a week ago and had a pal hid it under piles of stuff so no one would buy it and also so I could get it at the 50-off sale.

It wasn't that I didn't want to pay full price for it - I'm thrifty, not a cheapskate! - but I was in the shop with Nadia, and we were in such a silly mood that we thought it'd be a hoot to hide the little guy and come back for it later. I think our partner in crime, the person who did the hiding (who shall not be named) had fun too, so the shenanigan was def worth a good chuckle.

Last night after snapping the pic of Nadia and picking up the lama, we left the shop and saw this across the street - a retro 1970s car (I'm a chick, so don't ask me what make), replete with faux wood paneling and semi-grotesque 1970s colour! Love it!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Know anything about Vendome costume jewellery?

I can't figure out this piece I thrifted for a song recently. It is signed "Vendome", which I know to be a highly collectible line of costume bling that replaced Corocraft, Coro's high-end line, in the mid-1940s. But Vendome is known for its rhinestones and glass beads and lovely designs, not this 1980s-esque look.

So is this a fake Vendome, or am I missing something about Vendome? Any one know?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In love with Liberty

Mmm. Not the best pic to showcase my Liberty of London silk scarf collection, but you get the idea. Liberty is famous for its lovely prints, and though I have never found, say, a Liberty dress (my twin sis had one in high school that we lost track of over the years, for shame, as it was gorg), I have always been able to dig up the lovely (hand-rolled, I am quite sure) 100% silk scarves in the thrift shops.

I love the pretty colours and pattern on this one. I can't recall where I found it but it wasn't expensive. When I wore it one day at my former job, a colleague told me she had one just like it that she had acquired in maybe the 1970s, go figure!

The red one that was the first in the lineup was a gift from my sis, and it bears a cloth tag with the Liberty name on it. But more often than not, the ones I have found have the Liberty mark printed right on them - I am not sure if that indicates they are older or more contemporary, but I suspect the latter - anyone know? This one was a gift - in fact it used to belong to dear Minnie, who I have told you about in this little blog.

I found this one, a fave with gorgeous peacocks and flowers all over it - for maybe a buck at a junk store. It's in mint condtion though it lacks the registered copyright symbol - so is it a fake, I wonder? It doesn't have the same hand-rolled look to the edges, which makes me wonder ... but still, I love it.

I haven't washed or pressed this one as it's a recent buy, and it is the most costly Liberty scarf to date - $19.99 - but I loved the colours so much that I couldn't resist. Truly, it's not in the best shape as my others, but I have never seen a Liberty pattern quite like this (except recently, after I bought this one, on a fellow blogger's site, I did see some shorts in the same pattern!). I don't wear my Liberty scarves that often but I can see myself donning this one often as I AM a bit of a purple queen, doncha know ....

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Rock

... or is it an ice cube? What do you think?

Whatever it is, it's my fave new piece of 1970s bling and I have been wearing it every day for a two weeks. Apt ring for the hot summer we've been having!

I snagged it practically before it had the chance to get on the selling floor at Continuum Modern Vintage on Pape at Danforth in Greektown.

Je love it! Rock on!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Caught on camera ... latest thrilling finds

My beau snapped this pic of me on Skype the other day (which explains why it's a bit blurry). What IS that rock hanging off my finger? A most delightful chunk of 1970s costume bling that I'll show you this weekend, when I have recovered from a busy week and snapped a decent pic of it!

Who's that girl in the spanky jacket? And is that jacket 'new'? What about the skirt? Looks like raw silk.

Both are thrifted gems ... stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Upcycled ring: glam

Isn't this the neatest ring? I bought it from a gal who upcycles old jewellery with various bits and bobs from jewellery castoffs. The original setting is the lavender-hued glass piece in the middle. You can't see it here, but the setting is very traditional on the side. But the creator has jazzed it up with stones (garnet on the upper right) and other wee bobs from various jewellery pieces.

You can find the creator at Eco Finery. I'm pretty sure she sells on the weekends at a new artisan market in Leslieville, Toronto. Some of her pendants are pretty cool - many are too busy for my style but I did see the neatest one with a large hoop earring as the centre piece, with pretty doo-dads hanging in the centre of the hoop.

I wish I had this talent for re-mixing old bling as I am so attracted to those jewellery-piece grab-bags at Value Village that cost a few bucks and you never know what you're getting inside! But this gal does it!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pretty mystery pendant

Here I am sporting my new summer do - I've decided to go shorter again as it's so hot and besides, I think it looks better on me. Hopefully my beau doesn't think I look like an alien (that's what the cheeky-pants said when he saw a pic of me from a few years ago with quite short hair). Anyway that's not the subject of this post: this thrifted silver-tone pendant and chain is!

I thought it was so pretty, almost like a medal, but with a feminine twist. The chain has three tiny chains entwined, to give it extra girl-power oomph. Not surprisingly, I found it at my friendly neighbourhood thrift shop where I dig up a lot of my jewellery, Canadian Thrift.

It's stamped "NR" on the back, which would be so fab if it stood for Nina Ricci. But my guess is it's an Avon piece. Apparently some such pieces were stamped "NR" to signal one of the manufacturers that produced for the company. Whatever it is, I love the piece and as usual I got it for a steal!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1980s High Fashion

I just love the shape of this bag I dug up for under five bucks at Stretch Thrift. It's a 1980s or 90s shape for sure, made in Canada by Toronto company High Fashion, which I'm pretty sure is still around and still has annual sales, so I've heard.

You know I'm a fan of neat hardware on bags. Just look at the clasp in this baby!

Love the triangle motif attached to each zipper!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Remember this fancy little lady?

I had a smaller version while a kid in the late 1970s, except she had a pink dress (of course, this one has an ORANGE one - orange seems to be confronting me at every thrifting turn these days). Hopefully my little gal didn't end up in a landfill. If my memory serves, I'm pretty sure Mom donated our plaything castoffs to school sales and whatnot.

I didn't buy her. Sometimes the thrift shop can be the place of sweet memories. Oh how I loved my little doll like this, in the hot pink dress and hat (I can still remember the pattern!).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sondra Roberts bags, thrifted vs. sample sale

When I saw this bag at the thrift shop, I fell in love. The hardware, the leather, the ruching down the front: divine. Especially when the price tag was under 5 bucks. The bag is by Sondra Roberts
New York, an affordable luxury brand - which seems like a bit of a paradox to me, but that's what the website says and hey, I'll buy that - even better when thrifted!.

SR bags range in price from $100 or so (USD) to $500, depending on what they're made of. I'm guessing this one, being leather, would have retailed for $400+.
The olive greenish colour makes it a neutral in my books, and game for pairing with just about anything. I just have to figure out how to clean the black dirt off the strap. I'm assuming a leather cream cleaner will do the trick.

After my thrift buy, I realized that I had another SR bag, under the SR Squared label, which I bought last summer at a sample sale for 50% off (about $60). It's a reversible thick (weather-proofed?) canvas tote. Note the amazing hardware, just like my thrifted bag. This is my go-everywhere-summer-bag. The other borders on all-season.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes the thrifting and the not-quite-retail worlds intersect!

P.S.: These bags rock. I don't want this to sound like an ad, but I've had the blue one for over a year and it hasn't worn A WHIT. Quality matters to a thrifting grunger like me!