2011-08-31

Another Weather Report

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Skirt? Thrifted Shirt? h&m Vest? Thrifted Belt? Roots, thrifted Shoes? Frye, Winners Bracelets? Thrifted and the Crazy lady at The Ex Purse? Thrifted

We've been in the Netherlands for a week now, and so far it's almost my dream country. The streets are cobbled. Picturesque canals run through most towns. There is rush hour... for bike traffic. I can buy droppies everywhere! Dutch girls wear colours, prints and layers even when they don't have a fashion blog. Yogourt comes in easy pour cartons.

I told you... Holland is magical. A sweet dutch man even took in my camera when I left it after setting it down on the street as I unlocked my bike and returned it to me, when I came back to the location half an hour later, practically in tears. That's a lie, I don't do anything 'practically in tears', I just skip right to the full-on tears part...

If there is anything that stops Holland from being perfect, it is the weather and the tiny bathrooms. It's been cold and rainy with 5 minute increments of sunshine for the time that we have been here and legend has it, that it has been so this whole summer. I get to practice my autumn wardrobe in this chilly weather and I feel all inspired with the seasonal change; that's the good news. There is no good news concerning the small bathrooms though... I just need to get used to my knees touching the door. Weird.

2011-08-28

Dorothy Blogs

Remember when I wore yellow shorts and my friend asked me if I felt like I was humping sunshine? Yeahhh... that special friend is Dorothy and she's putting on her blog girl panties and posting for me today.


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Skirt? Thrifted Belt? Thrifted Tee? Joe Fresh Sandals? Joe Fresh Bag? Winners Bangles? Thrifted


Six years ago I needed a dress for a New Years Eve party/wedding reception, all rolled in one. I had a few meters of terrible turquoise satin and heard through a friend of someone who could make me a dress. The rest is a bit fuzzy, but I ended up on Jentine's doorstep, with a blot of satin and a boyfriend in tow. Jentine took my measurements and the next thing you know, my boyfriend was telling her a story about his childhood cat they named Pussy. Apparently it was embarrassing to call for this kitty when he escaped outside…



A few weeks later, I came for a fitting and was ambushed with, “Can I make it a bit shorter? It would look really cute if it was shorter! Just a few more inches off?”

I tried that dress on again a while ago ago and laughed out loud in my closet. At the time I had thought it was short enough, and I had worn it well (WELL) below my knees. After six years of friendship with Jentine; her influence, inspiration and off-colour conversations, I realize, yeah, it could lose a few inches.



I’ll give her this: she was honest enough to tell me my dress needed to be shorter, nice enough to keep to herself that the material was ugly (at the time, I might have cried) and inappropriate enough to realize that a cat named Pussy, is really funny. And that’s why I love her.

2011-08-25

5 Years

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Today is Matt and my (edit: thanks for the heads up on the grammar mistake) five year anniversary!!! I'm pretty sure the first thing I said to him that day at the end of the aisle, 5 years ago, was 'you friggen cut your hair!'. Indeed, his sister-in-law had got a hold of him that morning and whipped his cute scruffy style into business shape. And I hate business hair; cut so short at the sides that you can see scalp.

5 years later, despite the fcat that he still sometimes gets the business cut, despite the fact that we butt heads over politics and despite the fact that he always lets me know that he is the only skilled driver on the road, I'm glad I ended up with the sweetest guy I know. Sometimes he drops by my job site with a drink and a kiss and I can't think of a better sight in the world, than his truck coming up the driveway. This is love.

2011-08-23

My Mother's Daughter

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Dress? Winners Shoes? Mea Shadow, Winners


If they had try-outs for a blonde sister to be added to the Kardashian gaggle, this is what I would wear.
It's funny that I almost feel a bit of guilt for not wearing much of anything that was thrifted in my last two posts. It is not only a huge part of my identity as a blogger but it's a big part of my history as well. Picture this. Little Jentine, 6 years old with a white blonde bowl cut, wearing a pair of high waisted jeans with big exposed black elastics at the side, proudly telling a friend's mom (in my Dutch accent, I just moved to Canada a year earlier) that I got those awesome jeans at Goodwill. It seems not much has changed since then; well, besides my bowl cut and accent. If my mom had played it right, she could have started me as a fashion blogger from a very young age but my mom is not Kris Jenner and instead of perfume deals, I got her thrift skills. But I also got her smile, the penchant to cry over any sad animal story and her love for horticulture. If I end up having even half as much patience and resilience as my mother, I would eternally regret even thinking of going to a fictional audition for the Kardashian family.



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I never meant for this post to turn into a mini gush fest over my Mama, it was originally about thrifting and elastic denim but I got carried away... it's kind of ironic actually because I'm pretty sure of all my posts, she would dislike this dress the most. That's ok, we don't have to agree on clothes... we can just agree on cats and thrifting.

2011-08-21

Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

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Shirt? Joe Fresh Pants? Zara Shoes? Coach, Winners Clutch? Winners Cuffs? Auction

The dark skies and impending rain this weekend made me nervous for both selfish and unselfish reasons.
On the selfish side, the overcast sky made it hard to get clear photos with our mediocre camera. And that would have been sad because I really loved this outfit and without photographic proof, did this outfit happen at all? You know what they say, 'pictures or it didn't happen.' But it did happen and we have the evidence as I used the only photography trick I know. If the light is low, pose by a white wall. It's a good thing I don't write a blog on photography or I would be out of material really fast...
For unselfish reasons I didn't want it to rain because my friend and I saw a backyard wedding as I was taking pictures of her in an alleyway (and... that sounds awkward) earlier in the day. We tried to act casual as our creeper nature took over and we snuck peeks into the backyard. If I could re-do our wedding, it would definitely be just family, close friends and adopted cats in our backyard with some good food, fancy drinks and sparkly lights. Not like we'll re-do our wedding though, so maybe we'll just include all those elements and call it a party.
The good news for the nearby backyard wedding was that it only ended up raining for 3 minutes that evening. 3 minutes of rain can ruin a hair style but it would take a lot more than that to ruin a good party.


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2011-08-20

This Week I Thrifted...

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Shirt? J. Crew, thrifted Sweater? Gap Necklaces? Banana Republic and The Last Hurrah


What? J. Crew cotton button-up
Where? Talize (again... of course)
How much? $8 minus 10% with discount card. I think this is a little expensive but I was feeling sorry for myself.
Why? I love the royal blue/purple colour. It's an unusual colour that really contrasts nicely. It's also an easy-going button up, which I seem to wear a lot lately; roll up the sleeves, undo a few buttons at the neck, hopefully remember to put on a pair of pants and I'm ready!
The truth is, this shirt was my consolation prize. I've been in a bit of a thrift rut; life has been overwhelming and uninspiring lately and it's been messing with my thrift luck. I found a tie front Miu Miu blouse last time and I thought that it would be my comeback kid. It was the same great purpley colour and because I felt like I was back in the game, I grabbed the J. Crew blouse beside it that was the exact colour. Because two is better than one? Sadly, the Miu Miu blouse gaped at the buttonholes over my chest. What's even sadder is that for one brief second I considered wearing two sports bras to bind my chest down and make the shirt fit. Sometimes I think stupid things. Actually, often I think stupid things but I cover it up by spouting knowledge about plants. I distract with botany; it's a true story.
Anyways, I left the tie front blouse and I took home the J. Crew blouse. And styled like it is with the apple green v-neck and a glob of necklaces, I'm OK with the fact that I paid $7 for it. No new cat toys this week, I guess.


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What did you thrift this week?

2011-08-16

Cats and Threads

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Vest? Thrifted Shirt? Gap Cords? Joe Fresh Shoes? Derek Lam, Holt's Last Call Necklaces? Cuba and garage sales Purse? Thrifted

Here's a slightly gross story for you. I was holding (possibly physically restraining?) Kyle, the cat and he startled from a noise and put little holes in my cords as he jumped off my lap with his claws extended. I'm just going to keep wearing the cords until the holes shred open because I paid an extra $8 to get the legs fitted. What's gross isn't that Kyle almost wasted the cost of tailoring, but that I pulled an inch long red thread from these cords out of my knee a few weeks later.

Kyle's lucky I believe in commitment to pets and I allowed him to stay in the house. My co-worker is not so lucky I believe in such commitment. A simple conversation this morning at work turned into me ranting wildly at her across the job site about responsible pet ownership. It had nothing to do with her; I just get so passionate about the subject that my voice raises an octave and my arms flail wildly. She stayed out of arm range and kept her ear plugs nearby. They give us ear plugs at work to protect against the roar of machinery but it turns out, they muffle my rants pretty well too...


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2011-08-14

Rebellion

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Skirt? Thrifted Silk Shirt? Thrifted Shoes? Frye, Winners I think this might be a fanny pack? Winners Bangles? Thrifted and gift from Mexico

This is the skirt from my last post. I just put my years of being a Catholic school girl into practice and raised the hem by rolling the waistband a few times. I'm kidding, I was never a Catholic school girl. Some of my childhood friends were though and I remember them getting their new school kilts hemmed every August under the watchful eye of their mothers. And then, on the first day of school, they would round the corner away from home and roll their skirt waistband 3 times. I never, ever wore skirts in high school and my mother never had to put up with secret hem battles. I do, however, remember having particularly strict rules about make-up. I rebelled in Grade 9 when I would sneakily apply my favourite sassy green eyeshadow on the way to school in the back of the bumpy school bus... with no mirror.


In a month I'm having my 10 year high school reunion. Some classmates have travelled the world, some classmates (most, actually) have kids and some classmates are working their dream job. I, on the other hand, have learned to apply eyeshadow properly. Using a mirror is recommended.

2011-08-12

This Week I Thrifted...

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Skirt? Thrifted Shirt? F21 Necklaces? Thrifted and stolen from my Mama


This week I thrifted a handmade, chevron printed, pleated skirt. Say that 10 times fast! Never mind... don't waste your breathe, I can't hear you over the sound of the Spice Girls singing in the background.


Where? Talize, Hamilton
How much? $6 minus student discount and coupon so about $4.
Why? The skirt is cute and can be styled a lot of ways. Blah, blah, blah... Mostly, I just like the fact that it is homemade. Sewing in a chiffon fabric and putting in pleats is no walk in the park, unless you are walking through the park in high heels and trying to eat a shwarma at the same time; basically, it takes focus. And even though the skirt is well made and the pockets lie nice and flat, I am charmed by the fact that the sewer screwed up on the button holes and put in two button holes with no corresponding buttons... and then gave up and just added a hook and eye. I am betting that this skirt waistband has heard a lot of bad words and seen some tears. Whoever you are Mystery Sewer, I shall thoroughly enjoy this skirt... double button holes and all.

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What did you thrift this week?

2011-08-11

Drape

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Skirt? MaxMara, Holt's Last Call Shirt? Noa, Winners Clutch? Thrifted Shoes? French Connection warehouse sale Bracelets? Crazy lady at The Ex Ring? gift from my parents


I couldn't believe my luck when I found this skirt years ago at Holt Renfrew Last Call. It had survived about 13 markdowns to make it down from several hundred dollars to $30. How had so many people let such a genius skirt go? Pockets, draping, a clever khaki waistband and a tiny touch of neon yellow...
Turns out the skirt is freaking hard to wear. Gathers on the hips are a battle in and of themselves. Then there is that fact that the button placement on the closure of the skirt just doesn't fit right on my body, so I just make do with a pretty pin and some good old safety pins. Standing in front of the mirror trying to manhandle the skirt into place reminds me of draping class in second year university, except for I am fitting a skirt on a real body, not some dress form with no butt and impossibly high breasts. I'm glad my education was useful for something because when I can wrangle this skirt on properly, I quite like it.

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2011-08-09

Design Life

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Yesterday I was searching through my archives (thousands of pictures of myself... sickening really) for a particular family picture and I came across this shot. It's one of the bridesmaids dresses I made last year. It's funny that I can look at it now and think 'that's pretty freaking cute'. Ok, maybe it's not funny, maybe it's conceited or maybe it's just interesting. Last year I remember just being so frustrated with the dress that by the time it was done, I didn't think there was anything cute about it. I spent hours hand sewing (and cutting) those flowers... I got about 1/3 of the way and I decided I didn't like the size of the flowers, took them all out and did it all over again.
That's why last October I took a year long leave from sewing. It had gotten to the point where sewing wasn't fun anymore because I was losing sleep and stressing myself out over every detail. And even if it looked good (even great), I would still think of ways that it could have been better. It didn't help that last year was crazy busy; I was working fulltime, I made 2 wedding dresses and 6 bridesmaids dresses, we bought a house and put our old house on the market...twice (the first time it all fell apart), I was in night school and I was trying to be a decent wife, daughter, friend and cat mother. I remember feeling like I was going to shatter into pieces. Something had to give and that something was sewing.
Matt loves the sewing sabbatical and has put forward a recommendation to extend it indefinitely. The non-sewing Jentine is... much nicer.
It was kind of nice to see this picture again and to have some joy in my handiwork. Even if it takes me a year to enjoy what I've made... I'm confident when I landscape, when I get dressed, when I write a post about nothing but when I make a dress, I turn into a pile of insecurities. But a year after that fact, I can confidently say this dress is cute... and that its cousin is pretty sweet too. Seeing these pictures almost makes me want to go through the whole creative process of designing dresses again... but not quite yet. I'm rather enjoying this break. Matt is probably enjoying it even more.

2011-08-07

Movie Date?

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Silk kimono-ish top? Thrifted Tank? Splendid, Winners Jeans? Primark Necklace? Last Hurrah Vintage Shoes? Jeffrey Campbell Purse? Thrifted Hat? Banana Republic

Matt and I tried to go watch a movie at the theatre this Saturday. We hardly go to the theatre because Matt always falls asleep and then it's like we end up paying $13 for Matt to take a nap. Whether the theatre is an expensive nap or a good source of mindless entertainment (our movie choice was low brow), it didn't matter because the movie was sold out. So instead we did some groceries and rented a movie. My little brother ended up coming over too and we watched Just Go With It. Matt fell asleep in his old man chair and Gerard and I giggled way too hard over a sheep resuscitating joke. They called it Sheep PR.
This weekend is proof that I am getting old. We stayed home on a Saturday night and laughed over puns. I also like prunes and sparkly visors.


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2011-08-06

This Week I Thrifted...

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This week I thrifted a leopard print (yes, I am a nerd and I just googled to make sure that this is, indeed, a leopard print), cowhide belt.

Where? Talize, Hamilton
How much? $5 minus student discount and a donation coupon... so, about $3.50
Why? Because I wear belts a lot. Because I wear my other leopard print belt a lot (here and here). Because a leopard print belt is the easiest way to be a fashion super starrrrr! and mix prints. And because no matter what happens, there will be a magazine out there that'll tell you that this fall's hottest trends are tweed, lace and leopard print... just like last year. So, you might as well join the trend for $3.50 instead of $80...


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What did you thrift this week?

2011-08-03

I Tried

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Jacket? Armani, antique store Pants? Zara Shoes? Ralph Lauren, DSW Clutch? Thrifted

The conclusion to my post from yesterday is as follows. I bought the Armani sheer jacket even though my honest attempts at raising the money for said jacket by selling stuff to Plato's Closet was a big waste of time. Instead I waited for a few days and when I was still dreaming about the delightful striped chiffon, I went back to the antique store and asked what we could work out price wise. Without dickering (your assignment this week is to use the word dicker in a sentence), the owner immediately dropped the price from $90 to $60. We had ourselves a deal and the jacket came home with me.
And now I must rationalize the purchase.

I deserve the jacket because if I put my regular wage on the amount of time it took me to get the clothes organized and on the drive time to Plato's Closet, then I could buy myself the jacket and some fancy boxed wine.

I deserve the jacket because if I put a resale value on all those clothes that I was going to sell but I am now swapping/donating, I would have been able to afford the jacket at full price.

I deserve the jacket because Matt spends a lot of money on Tim Horton's coffee.

I need a nap... guilt mathematics is tiring work.


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