Friday, March 30, 2012

My stuff & me

I had an emotional reunion with my clothing, jewellery and small bric-a-brac yesterday as my boxes arrived from Canada - yay!! I have been living without all my stuff for months now, and even though I got rid of 80 percent of my stash when I left Toronto, I still have a substantial bling collection, as you can see. And this pic represents only part of it! Maybe I should consider selling some, perhaps on Etsy, or having a big 'ole garage sale in the front yard (wouldn't hubby die). It's amazing how such baubles define us. I've been living sans music, sans cell phone, sans "my" fashion, with only a few sweaters and jeans, for months now, and memories of my former life in TO came flooding back as I sifted through everything ... in a way, I have ME back!

The sad thing is, because I'm not working, I don't really have much need to wear all these pretty dresses and bling-bling - that is, unless hubby takes me to dinner at The Grand Hotel in St Annes every night there's an idea! I bought some super sexy sandles at a local pop-up shop recently, which I will model with some of my new dresses (charity and from pop-up shop) once my toe heals and I can get hubby to snap some artful pics of moi. Alas, busted my foot for the umpteenth time the other day so I can't even really exert much effort unpacking my boxes. So I'll just sit on my butt for a while longer and let my man wait on me, hand and foot, tee hee.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I heart Avon hearts these days, and Etsy too

I used to have a heart pendant, years ago, but in recent years I've thought of them as too cutsie. Then in February, while waiting to emigrate to the UK to be with the new hubby, all of a sudden, hearts had all kinds of appeal. Guess love was on the brain., a fab online selling site for vintage and handmade items, yielded this vintage Avon heart necklace for less than $20 including shipping. It's not the style I typically favour, being small and sweet, but I really rather liked it, and I've worn it quite a bit in the UK. I also picked up a filigre ball pendant for my Mom for her B-day from the same seller, which she loved. Yah Etsy!!

I also found this larger Avon pendant that I reacted to emotionally, loving it on sight - don't get me wrong: it's lovely. But it's hard to dind things to wear with as I don't really wear red, and I'm not into wearing it over black as I think it would look silly. A statement piece like this merits just the perfect outfit to go with it.

A word of caution about Etsy: shop around for the same piece to see if you can get it for a lower price. The day I searched (and reacted emotionally, buying quickly), this was the only piece of its kind. Two days later there were two more, priced at substantially less. Vintage Avon pieces are common enough on Etsy, and I've seen many necklace pendants that I already own for prices ranging from $10-$50 for the same piece! So do your comparison shopping, and buy quickly only if you suspect the piece is one-of-a-kind or hard to find. Have fun - and while you're at it grab a glass of vino and take your time - before you know it, I betcha you'll have spent a good chunk of time sifting through all the vintage goodies!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I found a vintage bag in a castle

Only in the UK could I have found a vintage bag in a castle - make that in Blackpool, to be precise, in the Nobre Cas hotel, a semi-cheesy castle-like structure across from the sea. There are heaps of old Art Deco hotels along the seaside of Blackpool and St. Annes, which must have been thriving when the Flyde coast was the hotspot for Brit vacationers ... but today they're somewhat derelict. Nevertheless, it was in one such hotel that an antiques fair was held a few Sundays ago - and there, among heaps of not-so-collectible pieces, I met a dealer with some quite lovely vintage handbags.

Did I pay too much for this delectable suede purse? Undoubtably. I'm still making the mistake of thinking British pounds and Canuck bucks are interchangeable. But the suede was is magnificent shape and not at all smelly. Ditto for the sumptuous chocolate leather lining. The craftsmanship was good, but oh - as usual - it was the shape and the hard elements - like the gathering at the bottom, and that darling Lucite buckle - that had me at hello. My dear, sweet husband had better take me out for dinner one night so I can don a pretty frock (like the Clements Ribeiro wrap dress I nabbed today in a charity shop that I will show you soon) and tack this little bag onto the outfit. I forsee a romantic night out at some local resto that we have yet to discover. Ah, I may not be working and I may, to fill the time, be a domestic machine when my hubby's away, but I am so learning to love and appreciate these little things in life: spare time; a walk in the dunes; dinner with my hubby - and of course, as always - a designer dress bought for a fraction of the rack price and a not-so-cheap vintage purse!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Purple bling-bling: large & small

My thrifting Achilles heel: anything purple and blingy, like this brooch I picked up in a charity shop in Lytham for a few pounds last week. The style is a bit too Victorian pour moi, and it is a brooch after all, meaning it's not as wardrobe-worthy as, say, a pendant. But I loved its sheeny sparkle and sheer size. Generally I'm not one for the wallflower look, preferring large statement pieces - though my look has modified slightly since immigrating here (see below). Perhaps I can string this up on a thick retro gold chain and wear it as a pendant, or affix to a scarf styled around my neck like some glam-pot hippie girl ....

I found this pendant in a grab bag for two pounds - quelle deal! - at an antique market in Blackpool this past Sunday. The pendant isn't as large as is my usual wont, but the chain is long and the purple is deep and I couldn't leave it there. Since moving to the UK, my look has toned down slightly and I find I'm not wearing some of my larger costume pieces - perhaps because most of my clothing and accessories are still en route; perhaps because I'm still getting used to all the social and cultural differences and it is taking a while for the 'real' Kelly to shine through. So this little baby will do for my subdued look, for now. But watch out: I'll soon be bashing out in all my hyper-large, statement piece costume jewellery glory, and then, my dear vintage pals, North-west England may just experience a style swoon of epic proportions!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My High Street look, a la charity shops

Most of my clothing is still en route to the UK, so when we were invited to a party the other night I found myself with nary a frock to wear - people would be checking out the new wifie, after all, so I figured I best look the part.

Enter one of the many charity shops in the charming seaside town in which I live. I found this second-hand, mass market dress for the equivalent of about $15 Canuck bucks - not cheap by Canadian thrifting standards, but charity shops here aren't the grungy affairs they are in Canada. As I've said before, they're clean, well-organized and not stinky at all. But they stock mostly contemporary mass market/High Street brands as opposed to the retro or vintage wear I'm so accustomed to finding.

Yeeps: I don't think I've worn a dress this short since I was in my 20s. Thankfully I dug up some blue opaque tights to tone down the tart factor - but my thrifted black designer platform shoes, which you have seen before, added a bit of an irreverant zip to the look (or so I'd like to think). The fitted trench, again not vintage, was found for about 12 pounds at another charity shop. So were the fabric and leather gloves (2 pounds). A vintage Danish pewter pendant given to me by a vintage seller and collector extrordinaire in Toronto finished off my party outfit. Verdict: one of our first social outings as a newly married couple was a fashion success (on my part at least, ha ha ... actually my hubby was just as hunky looking as ever). A fun time was had by all.