Monday, November 26, 2012

Green Bally Bag & Green Beret

The gloriously sunny days and 12 degree C temps that have had me going on two-to-three-hour walks these past few weeks left us yesterday, and, though still warm, the greyness has set in. I bought a few dresses last week on Etsy so no Cyber Monday for me. Friday I was busy running around looking for Birthday fixings for the hubby. Who knew that balloons and birthday streamers are impossible to find in Annecy? I had to improvise with a Christmas garland and a home-made Happy Birthday banner - and I am so not showing you the pics but hubby was definitely touched by my DIY project!

Thought I'd show you another way I've worn my $10 cashmere dress bought at the market in Annecy this fall (see post below). This pic was snapped about a month ago, when my hair was super long and I had to hide it under a beret. I'm standing on a walkway that leads up to the Chateau overlooking Annecy. Poor hubby has to park his car in the carpark here as there are no other spots available. Good thing for us as we get our exercise walking up that steep hill!

I feel like a bit of a 1920s girl here - maybe because the vest makes the outfit a bit shapeless.

Aside from the dress and the tights, the entire outfit is thrifted:

Navy wool trench, thrifted in Toronto, Canada.
Blue leather gloves: bought in a charity shop in St. Annes, UK.
Blue suede Italian boots: my absolute fave, found for $14.99 in a Toronto thrift shop.
Amazing plastic colour block necklace: $2.99 at a Toronto, Canada thrift shop!
Vintage Kangol angora beret: gift from a fellow vintage pal.
Orange Benetton wool vest: thrifted for a few Euros in an Annecy thrift shop.

I am super thrilled with this green leather purse I found at the local thrift shop. It was only a few Euros and it's by Bally, a Swiss maker whose bags go for several hundred Euros. It's in mint condition and unlike anything else I have.

It is been a really long time since I've participated in Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style. I am happy to do so again. I am off to go wander in the rain and later work up the nerve to call a French school to see about French lessons (talking on the phone, in French, can be very intimidating when your language skills are not that advanced). The French don't really seem to let the rain hinder them - cafes and patios are still open, and throngs of people tend to be milling about (except on Monday, when many stores are closed). So I will have a quiet walk in the rain. Have a great day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My cheapie-deapie cashmere dress, and amazing Lancel handbag

Annecy continues to be beautiful this Fall, as this recent pic of the canal attests, snapped by my hubby. Just beyond the bridge at the far end of the photo is the lake and the mountains. I just love the light and the colours here -  the photo could almost be a postcard!

I'd like to thank all my fabulous blogging buddies for their kind words and comments the last few posts. It hasn't been an easy time and I still miss Dink like hell and grieve for her, but life has a way of taking over, and sadly, or happily, the pain has slowly subsided so that little things make me smile now. I'm still not in a major fashion frame of mind, but I have been snapping the odd photo of my get-ups (or rather, hubby has). Here's a an outfit from the end of September:

This pic was taken on the very bridge you see off in the distance in the first photo, called the Pont des Amours (Bridge of Lovers). It's normally swamped with tourists and since it connects people from one side of the lake to the other, it's quite busy. I'm not sure how romantic crowds make it, but I love it anyway.

I'm wearing a stretchy cashmere blend dress I picked up at the weekly market for 10 Euros, from the same guy that sold me my 3 Euros dresses in the summer.

The 80s-esque scarf was thrifted for three bucks CAD at Goodwill in Toronto.

And the leather bag? Goodness I've been meaning to show you this for ages. I found it for 4 Euros at the second-hand place I told you about months ago, Bazar sans Frontiere.

The French, as you may know, are very into their bags, and this is a high-end French label called Lancel - there's a shop in the old town where a mere wallet will run you 500 Euros, so I think I got a major deal on my huge bag! It was a bit beat up so I cleaned it well, and a black Sharpie marker filled in the edges where the corner tubing detail was starting to wear away.

The logo has changed and I couldn't find this one in an Internet search, so hopefully the bag isn't a fake. Apparently there are a lot of fake Lancels out there, but this bag says Made in France, and you can tell it's well-made ... and besideswhich I somehow doubt that the knock-off market would do a booming business here. The French, as I have joyfully discovered, are very much into items made in France, and rather obsessed with quality. I'm sure a French woman would rather jump in the lake in the middle of winter than be seen with a fake bag. Even in Annecy, which is fashionable but not the fashion capital of France, it's not uncommon to see Celine handbags draped over the arms of girls in their early 20s!

So now, hopefully, I look like a true French woman!!

The cute studded lace-ups were new and not cheap, but hey, nothing's cheap if you buy new in Annecy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Annecy in the Fall

Thank you all again for your kind comments about dear Dinky. I have not responded personally to each comment as I usually do, but please know that each and every one means a lot to me, and I appreciate your personal stories and remarks. It's still rather sad days for me so I hope you'll bear with me as I show you the lovely Annecy in recent weeks - the pictures reflect the many quiet walks I've had of late. My heart is just not into fashion at the mo. The above shot is from a stone perch overlooking the canal (really a river that was paved in to look like a canal) that flows from Lac Annecy, leads to the Rhone river and eventually feeds into the sea (the Mediterranean). You can just see the famous Chateau in the distance.

This was taken in September around the lake, again from a little stone wall. I am continually amazed at the clarity of the water. The lake is both mountain and spring fed, and the water is so pure it's used as drinking water in Annecy. The lake is well protected - no sewage, no salt in the winter, and not full of huge boats in the summer. It has special zones where certain water activities are allowed and others aren't. A bike path that circles most of the lake rests on an old railway bed.

Annecy is nestled in a valley surrounded by the French Alps, so mists are common here and add another layer of beauty to the lake, which as you can tell is one of my favorite places to wander and daydream, especially when my hubby is away and I'm feeling lonely.

This was taken in September as well, when many of the boats were covered but still in the water. Now there are fewer, though many still berth alongside the lake and canal for the winter. The water doesn't freeze and averages a temperature of 4 degrees C in the colder months. 

We had friends visiting last week and were lucky enough to jump in the only tour boat still open during the day (not pictured here), which closes this week. It took us for an hour tour around the lake, and it was heavenly.

This is a wee man-made island, the only one on Lac Annecy, which serves as a sanctuary for the many swans, ducks and water birds that populate the lake. You can see clusters of red leaves here but this is rare - I am loving that many leaves are still on the trees this late in the game, but I am so missing the brilliant reds and oranges of Canadian autumns. 

A more recent pic, at dusk, with the sun reflecting off snow-capped mountains, and skeletons of moored boats settling in for a quiet winter's sleep.

I love walking at dusk and watching the sun set over the distant mountains. The light changes all the time.

Here's a blurry shot from  different location, but you get the idea.

This is one of my favourite haunts, along the northern tip of the lake, which is often very quiet and is near to the special spot where Dinky rests. I try to go here as often as I can. I love the huge trees and the view of the lake looking east (here) and south (below).

I'm sure that many have sat on this wall and let their imaginations float away ....

I hope you've enjoyed a lovely fall. I have been checking in from time to time with your blogs but have not left comments. I will be my 'ole self again soon. Have a great weekend. :)