Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sophistique Noir November Theme - Sweaters!

Yeah sweaters! Living in the Pacific Northwest, one does accumulate sweaters. Here are three of my current favrourites.
First up is this sweater from ASOS. This just arrived 2 days before Halloween. It has the strangest short, boxy fit. The first larger one I ordered could have fit 2 of me in it. I still love it though, I have several skeleton shirts, but they are all printed and this is woven.
 I've had this 80's cat sweater for ages. It is unflattering on me, but I still wear it. To me is says "Let's to to Sears and get our portrait done".
Last is my skull sweater from Modcloth. I try to limit my wearing of it so those around me do not get sick of it. The skirt I'm wearing with it just arrived from Modcloth as well.  Nowhere is the description said it was a knit fabric - and it is super form fitting, even though I went one size up. I think I look like a sausage about to burst, but my boyfriend gave it thumbs up.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Hope your Halloween is going great & you're getting lots of candy! I dressed up and brought my pumpkin to work today. I have an appointment later on do to a walk though of a house, I wonder what the lady will think when I walk in...
This is a costume from 3 years ago. I didn't have a plan when I started out. I was always in love with orange and black 1920's ready made costumes like these:
It's cute and it's cheery and I've never seen another like it!
Close up of the painted kitty. It's hard to see, but every dot, stripe and edge of this costume is covered in sequins and beads.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

RIP Grandma Thompson 1927-2013

My grandma passed away last Wednesday night. I got a call at work saying she had 24 hours to live, but she only had 9. It was so sudden. Saturday night we called each other and chatted about the Canucks game like usual. Tuesday night I called her and we argued about where to go for dinner on my birthday. My mum and I rushed up to see her and she was lucid and normal. At 11PM I went home alone to her house and my mum was to stay the night in hospital with her. I woke up in the middle of the night hearing someone call my name from upstairs and I was so scared. Just then my mum called me and said she was in the driveway and would I let her in? I opened the door, look at my mum, aunt and uncle and fainted. What a horrible night. At least she was not in hospital long. My aunt and I had to tear the house apart the next day to find her will and her final wishes. Thank goodness she wrote down what she wanted because we were in to state to decide anything and the funeral home wanted to know immediately what was do be done. Note to self: Pre-plan your own funeral. When my boyfriend and I met, we had 4 grandparents between us and now we have none. I feel so old.
This was taken by Vancouver's Foncie's photos. Probably mid 1940's. 
My grandfather and grandmother. Weren't they cute?
My grandmother's birthday was Halloween and she loved to dress up, wear masks and be goofy. On the left she's wearing a 1940's maid dress with her creepy mask last year. In the middle as a 1950's "girl".
 This is the last photo I took of her. She was matching the display of Lake Louise blankets at Hudson's Bay. She said her friends would be so envious because of her jaunt downtown. We went to the Spaghetti Factory, drove over the Burrard Street bridge and tooled around Kits.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2nd Costume - Corpse Bride

I made this costume several years ago for my mum's Halloween party. My boss gave me a size 26 wedding dress she had, which gave me quite a lot of fabric & lace to cut up and play with. I couldn't bear to paint it, so I painted the shredded lace trim instead. The top is a steel boned corset with little fimo ribs. My veil is a curtain I painted out on the lawn. The wig is the "official" Rubies one & it was a nightmare. I itched all day and night with that damn thing on. 
My boyfriend was Charlie Chaplin that year. He said the corpse bride was his favourite costume on me - probably because my cleavage was on view...
My mum was a clown - do you like the big red lips I painted on her?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1st Costume - Revolutionary War Dress

I recently completed this dress - I've been working on it for 3 months or so. It is for my step mother who is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She will be wearing it in a parade and to veteran's events in November. She lives in California, so I only had one opportunity to try a partially made bodice on her in June. Fortunately she and I are of a similar height and size. 
I bought the main fabric for $6, the hat trim fabric for $3 and the petticoat fabric for $4 at the Goodwill. The hat was $1, but I uncoiled it and re did it into a flat crown. The corset is made from leftover upholstery fabric from a job I did and the panniers and pantaloons are from free sheets I got at a rummage sale. I know everything is not totally historically accurate - but it's tons better than a ready made costume bought off the net. It is a mix of old and new sewing patterns. The panniers are from Norah Waugh's  Corsets and Crinolines, although much smaller.

I really must thank American Duchess for all the inspiration for this costume. I endlessly poured over the details of her dresses and hats. Especially the idea for the covered buttons up the front, this solved a huge headache for me!

 My step mum is not a costume person, so I took a series of photos of the proper order to get dressed.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Wedding In Los Angeles

My friends Caesareo & Erich were married August 30th. They have been together 18 years - since high school! They got hitched at the LA courthouse, much to my dismay. I had a whole 1920's themed wedding at the Biltmore Hotel planned out in my head for them!

Caesareo is super talented. It's a wonder he had time to get married, seeing he just completed making the dress Lady Gaga wore at the VMAs. He also made her origami dress too. 

This photo is of the 2 of us while we worked at a theme park I can't mention. We had so much fun there. One night I pushed him around the park in a lost & found baby stroller at 1am. Finally the wheels splayed out & we parked it beside a very famous car that was used in parades. Much to my horror that damn stroller stayed there for months!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Outfit Post - Striped Shrug

I bought this striped shrug last night at a store called Fred Meyer. It's a half grocery/half household goods and I almost never find anything there. They had 70% off clearance, so this shrug turned out to be $6.00!
I love the way it goes up the neck so high, its already giving me ideas for a new dress. 
My hair is finally long enough I can put it up into to braided buns. I haven't been able to do this since high school. In a little over a year I went from short hair to long and it is so much more fun!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Skipped Work & Went To The PNE!

Wednesday I skipped work and my mum, aunt and I went to the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver. It is a large yearly fair that has been going on since 1910. 
 Even though I am trying to be on a diet I had poutine with grilled chicken on it for dinner. You're supposed to eat naughty at a fair, aren't you? If you have never head of poutine - it is French Canadian and consists of french fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. Hardy low cal.
There was an ABBA tribute bank playing in the park. They were excellent, but what was even a better show was watching one guy who was sure they were singing only for him. Blowing kisses, holding his lighter and spinning - awesome!
The main reason we went to the fair was to see The Proclaimers. I've wanted to see them since the late 80's. Finally it worked out and they were wonderful. They sang all the songs I wanted to hear, they were funny and they were excellent musicians. PLUS - there were a number of men in kilts attending, which certainly wasn't hard on the eye!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What Do You Wear To A Funeral?

My great aunt Nora died at the end of July. She lived in Cupertino, CA, but her funeral was some place north and east of Mission BC - by Stave Lake & Golden Ears. Reeeeeally far out there from the lower mainland. On the way back we drove home through Burnaby and East Vancouver. I guess I haven't been through these places much, because it was like a whole new city. Businesses that had only Filipino writing on the front, strange apartment complexes, funky old house tucked away between industrial buildings - it was like being in another city!

My beautiful cousins Heidi and Christie and I - a thorn between two roses. It seems a bit unfeeling taking smiling photos at a funeral, but I hadn't seen them in quite some time and was really happy to visit.
They we dressed, as was I in an modest black dress, which we thought appropriate for a funeral. I was shocked at the attire some of the attendees wore - capris, shorts, tee shirt, a bright red dress so low cut I could almost see nipples. ITS A FUNERAL! Can't you dress up for a few hours? Am I the only one who thinks this?
It was my grandmother's sister who died. At 85, she still has 4 brothers and sisters alive, so she is luckier than most. But - Nora was her best friend . Auntie Nora was always nice to me, always wanting me to visit. Just until a few years ago, she sent me a cheque in the amount of my age for my birthday!

My cousin Chuck works for Yahoo! in Cupertino. They not only gave him a paid week off to attend the funeral, the offer of more time if he needed it, they sent this bouquet of lilies to my grandmother! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lunch & Presents With Insomniac's Attic

On June 9th I won Insomniac's Attic $100 giveaway at her online store! I was travelling to my dad's in California at the time, and did not realize this until a few days later. I felt horrible because it looked like I couldn't even bother to respond, but I had no idea I'd won! Anyway... Insomniac herself was planning a visit to Vancouver in July, so we met up for lunch at Granville Island, and she brought my winnings!. The ONE photo I took of us ended up being corrupted on my camera :( 
It was such a lovely day at Granville Island, my mum, Insomniac, her daughter and I had lunch in the main part of the public market. Even though I hadn't been there in like 6 years, I was so happy they still had pierogies. We went tooling around shopping and Insomniac bought me an espresso ice cream at Rogers Chocolates! It was so awesome meeting someone whom I had so much in common with and she was SO nice! I wish Calgary wasn't so far away!

This is what I chose from her shop:
Silver Austrian Spider - It is so delicate and lovely, I'm going to convert it into a brooch. 
Bela Lugosi Mug - I used this immediately, as you can see it is filled with brownies and ice cream.
Edward Gorey Mysterious Messages Cards - My best friend just got engaged, so I sent him one congratulating him. These are so lovely I think I'm going to frame a few.
Gothic Metal Wall Plaque - I hung this up right away, but I need to find a way to secure it more soundly, I don't want anyone to steal it!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

True Crime Cake & California

I visited my dad in California for 2 weeks and the moment I came back I started making this cake. My aunt loves true crime novels and I needed to top her previous birthday cakes. I designed the "cover" and had it printed on an edible sheet. Only $8! This was my first time working with rolled fondant, and although it was messy and scary it went pretty easy. My aunt loved the cake and is freezing the top part.

 These are two of her past birthday cakes. The scrabble tiles were was made with gum paste. The cake on the right is 10 layers of ice cream flavours. I was so scared it was going to fall over!
 I was at my dad's for 2 weeks and only managed to take pictures of his cats. Not even one of him on Father's day. Minnie on the left is a devil with a porcelain doll's face. She was glued to my side and sat at my feet every night. Midget in the middle is not all there and scared of every visitor ever, save me. Mikey on the right is wearing a toupee of Midget's hair!
On another note, my friends Willie and Alex, who have been separated by years worth of government bureaucracy were finally both together in Canada for the first time! They've been married for 4 years and have done everything by the book, but Alex could not cross the border. I'm so happy for them!