December 26, 2011

FFR: Merry Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas Day!

Ridiculously expensive camisole (Dynamite)
Ram's head torque (thrifted)
Polished glass pendant (thrifted)
DKNY mesh-band watch ($6 @ auction)
Black cuff watch (Ardene)
Silver hinged bangle (Ardene)

Basic face, eyelid contouring, Avon red lipstick

Salmon-pink tee (Garage)
"Fishing tackle" earrings (Ardene)
.925 silver and diamond swirl pendant (Peoples; gift)
DKNY mesh-band watch ($6 @ auction)
Silver hinged bangle (Ardene)

Basic face, eyelid contouring, hot pink lipstick

December 23, 2011

FFR: Red, Green, Sparkle, Bow

Green raglan tee (Garage)
Lime green headband (Dollarama) with gift bow earring (thrifted)
Basic face, eyelid contouring, Avon red lipstick

2 red plastic bangles, one octagonal, one round (thrifted)
Mermaid-inspired salvaged textile cuff (hand-made by me)

December 17, 2011

FFR: Sparkle, Spangle, Jangle

Carroll Reed gold lurex tee (thrifted; $2)
Unbranded vinyl pants (thrifted on bag day)
2 red plastic bangles, octagonal and round (thrifted)
Chinese brass bangle ($5 at an Asian shop)
Gold-tone cocktail ring with faux pearls (thrifted)

Single red gift bow clip-on earring (thrifted)
Basic face, eyelid contouring, Avon gold dust, Avon red lipstick

December 16, 2011

FFR: Wild Animals That I Dragged Away

Moose shirt (thrifted; hand-shredded by me)
Wood bangle (Ardene)
Vintage brown plastic bangle (thrifted)
Coyote tooth (yard sale; hole drilled by jeweller)

Basic face, Avon shadow in Bronze, Avon gold dust, unbranded blue dust.

December 15, 2011

Fashion For Real - 12/9&10/11

It seems my Friday's have become all about funky, experimental looks, and my Saturday's for the chic glamour. Tis the season for holiday parties, and those are always held on Saturday nights. Frankly, if my guests/clients/customers are going to be dressed nicely, they should expect their server to be dressed nicely as well. Case in point:


Aqua mesh "sweater" with knit collar and cuffs - free, bytches! (thanks, neighbour's friend!)
Aqua lace-trimmed camisole - Christmas 2010 (thanks, hunny's mom!)

Basic face (foundation, mascara, highlighter)
Crease: Avon Color Dazzlers glittering eyeshadow in Bronze (discontinued)
Lid and Brow: random Ardene shadow trio in gold
Accent: random shimmery blue powder from a make-up grab-bag

Just a little funky, no? I'd forgotten all about this sweater! It's completely random that the cami is almost a perfect colour-match.

Tagless black dress with hook-and-eye detail - Value Village in Sudbury (~2009)
Vintage coral-bead braided necklace - $2 @ Salvation Army in KL
One 80s black spike earring - VV in Sudbury (~2008)
My fave Ardene cuff watch

Basic face (foundation, liner, mascara, highlighter)
Eyeshadow is Avon Warm Knits Quad in Autumn Knits (disc.):
Bronze Wool in the crease, Fall Sun on the lid and brow,
Knit Brick dusting my upper cheekbone

So there ya have it: wacky Friday, classy Saturday. I actually kind of like the dichotomy of it! This weekend's outfits are going to be more of the same :D

December 4, 2011

Fashion For Real - 12/3/2011

It was definitely a night for some sparkle! There were at least 5 holiday parties going on around town, so I knew I needed to look as nice as our guests would. I wore some of my favourite pieces.

Vintage beaded/sequined tank - trhifted from Northern Bargains ($15)
Skinny-cut jeans - Dish Jeans - Jean Machine
Crazy faux-hair scrunchie thing - a random dollar store, years ago
Vintage silver and onyx fan necklace - bought in Mexico by my Grandmother
Black hinged cuff watch - Louis Arden - Ardene
Silver hinged bangle - Ardene
Black pleather pleated shoebooties - Fioni

My usual base products (face, lashes, liner)
Crease: Avon True Color monoshadow in turquoise
Lid: Ardene metallic-pastel palette in lavender
Outer corner: Ardene metallic-pastel palette in orange

December 3, 2011

Fashion For Real - 12/2/2011

I went on a very chic safari last night! If you can call the assortment of characters at a dance bar a "safari." I put this outfit together with almost entirely thrifted garments and accessories. Second-hand ROCKS! And second-hand DESIGNER pieces rock that much harder!!!! Also, I figured out how to lighten my photos in-camera.

Polyester-rayon khaki men's button-up - Pierre Cardin - thrifted 2 weeks ago ($2)
Skinny-cut jeans - Dish Jeans - Jean Machine (~2008)
Blood red suede boots - unknown brand - thrifted this summer ($4)

Brass torque - thrifted in late 90s
Brass bangle with Hindu theme - thrifted 4 or 5 years ago
Lion King Special Edition watch (What? I liked that movie...) - gift from Mumsie
Vintage double-stranded "pearls" cuff - thrifted ages ago
Elastic/leather belt with unique closure - Holt Renfrew - thifted in the late 90s

All my usual base products (face, lashes, liner, highlighter)
Eyeshadow is Avon Warm Knits Quad in Autumn Knits (loooong discontinued):
Bronze Wool in the crease, Fall Sun on the lid, Knit Brick at the outer corner

November 27, 2011

Fashion For Real - 11/26/11

I really need to change where I take my photos! The light in the kitchen is AWFUL! I dressed up all extra nice for what was supposed to be a super-busy night, and you can hardly tell how smexy I was. Doesn't matter too much, though, because despite multiple business parties going on that night, hardly anyone came to "my" bar for the after-party. It was a truly dismal turn-out. I actually did better on Friday, tips-wise.

Black/grey zebra and lace top - self-made
Black leatherette moto-pants - unknown brand - thrifted for $5
Pleated black leatherette shoe-booties - Fioni - $35 from Payless (2008)

Black cuff watch - Louis Arden @ Ardene's
DKNY mesh-band watch ($6 @ auction)
Silver bangle from Ardene's

Avon lipliner in True Red (discontinued)
Avon Beyond Colour lipstick in Chili (discontinued)

And my hair doodad just because it's cute! A Christmas gift from my hunny's parents.

November 26, 2011

Fashion For Real - 11/25/11

Well, it turns out that I'm flying solo at work, at least for awhile. My compatriot got on the wrong side of the Boss-Man one time too many and was told not to return. Good news for me, because then I'm not competing for sales! YAY! No idea how long this will last, however.

I've made a new outfit, which garnered compliments from both my handsome other half and several of my co-workers. Earlier this week, I picked up a paint-splattered Chaps by Ralph Lauren chambray button-down from the thrift store. FOR FREE!!! Once I was done gushing about how awesomely destroyed it is, the lady at the counter said "Oh, well if it's wrecked, just take it. Don't know why it's out on the floor." I saved a whole $2.

FYI, button-down shirts and button-up shirts are not necessarily the same thing. If you'll look closely, my fab new top has the collar points "buttoned down." I wanted a 40s-inspired look, so I paired it with the only trouser-jeans I own (which created unflattering crotch-shadows in the harsh light of the kitchen, regardless of how elegantly I stood...), and put the front of my hair in a twist. The make-up is very simple with some eyelid contouring and totally classic blue-tinged red lipstick. And no, I did not wear my slippers to work :P

Paint-splattered chambray button-down - Chaps (Ralph Lauren) - FREE, bytches!
Generic dark red long-line tee - Giant Tiger many, many moons ago
Trouser jeans with attachable suspender-straps - Foxy Jeans - $75 from Pantorama (2008)
Asics cross trainers (not shown)

Avon lipliner in True Red (discontinued)
Avon Beyond Colour lipstick in Chili (discontinued)

2 vintage red plastic bangles, one round, one octagonal
DKNY mesh-band watch ($6 @ auction)
Hinged bangle from Ardene

November 11, 2011

Oh, what strange paths I travel...

Have you ever just followed your Wikipedia nose?

From ancient whales to the Tethys sea and the Cimmerian continent and the Cimmerian Plate, to the mountains thrust up by it's impact with Laurasia. I got to wondering about the peoples who live along that boundary zone. Apparently, the Uighur khaganate historically controlled a large portion of it.

This graphic shows the division of peoples at the time, including the Khazar khaganate. Apparently they kicked some major Muslim ass in the Caucasus Mountains and then officially turned to Judaism. They were very tolerant, apparently, because you could practice Islam in their territory if you liked, and you'd be judged according to Sharia if you did something unlawful. Sviatoslav the First, a Varangian (viking!) Rus, was so impressed with their method of dual-king governance that he adopted it after taking over a portion of their lands in Ukraine. Heh, I knew there were vikings in my ethnic history somewhere!

This is exhausting. Why must learning about something so exciting be so exhausting!?!?! I want to keep reading, but I'm getting eyestrain...

October 28, 2011

Hallowe'en 2011 - Sexy Unicorn Costume (But Not How I Envisioned It!)

Ah, even the best laid plans can run afoul of reality! Due to a lack of cash and the necessary tools, I had to make some major changes to my plans for being a unicorn. I love dressing up for Hallowe'en, and I love making costumes. I DON'T love being too poor to realize my vision! So I had to get creative.

October 23, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/23/11

All the research I've been doing for my next DIY Distraction post has me all spangle-eyed! I couldn't help but wear the most sparkly top in my collection to work last night :D I really wish the lighting in the bathroom was less yellow, but being the cheapskate I am, I'll stick with lightbulbs from the Dollarama.

Handmade sequined/beaded top - vintage (unknown provenance) - $15 @ Northern Bargains in KL
Calvin Klein Jeans - thrifted (~1999)
Black leather Chuck Taylor style non-slip shoes - Shoes For Crews - $55 (2010)

Single brass hoop earring - found on a sidewalk in Sudbury
Chinese brass bangle - $5 at a shop in Sudbury
Black hinged watch - Louis Arden - 2/$10 deal at Ardene in Kirkland Lake

Avon True Color monoshadow in both citrine and turquoise
Avon In a Blink Liner Shadow Pencil in onyx
Sephora colorful mono eyeshadow in aspen summit no. 23

October 22, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/22/2001

I love my job! I dance around like an idiot all weekend and ply people with drinks! Plus, I have an excuse to pretty myself up. My nails are looking so nice lately, don't you think?

Hot pink keyhole-back dolman-sleeve tunic - Seduction - $25 @ Sirens (~2007)
Silver Jeans "Kyle" - ~$70 @ Pantorama in Sudbury (~2007)
Black leather Chuck Taylor style non-slip shoes - Shoes For Crews - $55 (2010)

Black/pink/purple stretch bracelet - vintage 80s - $2 @ Salvation Army in Kirkland Lake
Black hinged watch - Louis Arden - 2/$10 deal at Ardene in Kirkland Lake
Silver hinged bangle (minus the matching watch) - 2/$10 deal at Ardene in Sudbury (~2006)
Black wood circle earring (one of two) - 5/$10 deal at Ardene in Sudbury (~2006)
Black metal drop earring (one of two) - vintage 80s - $2 at Value Village in Sudbury (~2006)

Ardene eyeshadow pallette in pastel metallics
Avon In a Blink Liner Shadow Pencil in onyx
Sephora colorful mono eyeshadow in aspen summit no. 23

October 20, 2011


Vintage Sequin Collection - Plenty of Colour

Ooooh, I'm such a magpie! I love all things shiny, sparkly, metallic! Which is why I'm LOVING one of this coming year's big trends: sequins! Sequin embellishment has fallen in and out of fashion-favour since... Well, since sequins were invented. I learned in an anthropology class that many aboriginal peoples in North America used sturgeon and pike scales to decorate their clothing and possessions, and this usage was likely common around the world. There are a few fashion-fabricators that still use fish scales as sequins. Just look how pretty this trout is! Yes, yes, trout don't have proper scales, but they're amazingly iridescent and clearly illustrate the potential beauty of sequins.

Trout caught by my boyfriend's father last winter. It was stuffed with lemon-pepper rice and baked.
So why are sequins so awesome for FW'11 into SS'12? Well, for one, Dolce & Gabbana are among my heroes:

October 18, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/18/11

I had a job interview today! And if there's one thing you'll hear from job search advisers over and over, it's that you should always err on the side of OVER-dressing, rather than under-dressing. Sure, the job opening is for a sales rep at Hart (a discount department store), but still, I wanted to look like I was serious. Forgive my messed up hair, as I ran a bunch of errands afterwards.

Cotton crop-sleeve blazer - Cartise Sport - $80 at a boutique in Sudbury (~2003)
Cotton eyelet blouse - George - thrifted by Mom
Calvin Klein Jeans - thrifted (~1999)
Comfy running shoes for walking across town - Asics - $200 at SportCheck in Sudbury (~2004)
Seiko self-winding watch - vintage (inherited from maternal grandfather)
Mexican 950 silver and onyx fan-style necklace - vintage (inherited from paternal grandmother)

Sephora mascara lash plumper
Avon Healthy Makeup Lipstick SPF15 in Pink Light

October 13, 2011

Meta-Fashion: Black Zebra Victorian Top

Want to see what I've been working on? It's Victorian-inspired, involves lace, zebra print, and it's nice and stretchy! Here's my latest long-sleeve top in my workroom:

I LOVE this zebra fabric! This version is grey with black zebra print. The shoulder-to-shoulder yoke is made of black and silver floral lace fabric with a black lace trim. The full length sleeves are puffed at the shoulders with little pleats. All the hems are double-stitched. Size medium, to give a body-skimming fit for 34 to 36 inch bust. I'm almost done a short-sleeve version in the same size. Both will soon be available on Binary Catfish Meta-Fashion!

DIY Distraction: Sheer & Mesh & Lace, Oh My!

If there's one thing I love about the sheer/mesh/lace trend, it's when these materials are used as accents. Even better when you can see through to the luscious skin beneath! A sewing machine goes a long way towards facilitating all your DIY dreams, but as long as you own scissors and can hand-sew,  your dreams are within reach!

Laia of GeometricSleep doesn't know who owns this photo, but  it's a great example!

October 11, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/11/11

I went out with my hunny to run some errands and decided to spiffy up! No time to apply make-up or do my hair, so I just threw it in a chignon and wrapped a faux-hair scrunchie around it. Thanks for the photos, love!

Mid-90s rayon jacquard blazer - Michael K. & Company - thrifted on a $5-bag-day
Early- to mid-90s polyester pintucked blouse - Overnight - thrifted on a $5-bag-day
Silver Jeans "Monica Skinny" - ~$65 in 2007 from Pantorama
Fioni black pleather peeptoe shoebooties - ~$30 in 2009 from Payless Shoe Source

Yeah, I'm pretty cheap when it comes to my clothes! I tend to take reeeeeally good care of everything, though, so even mediocre quality items tend to last me a long time. I seriously prefer vintage clothing, as they've already withstood the test of time. Want to know why my 4 year old jeans still look great? I wash them on cold and hang to dry!!!!

DIY Distraction: Cut It Out!

The trick with baring skin is knowing when to stop. A glimpse of some sensual curve is a classy way to showcase your femininity. From there, you can go in a LOT of different directions! Heck, you don't even have to bare SKIN, just something underneath the outer layer, like an onion with a window in it. Effective layering (for fashion, not warmth!) relies on the ability to see the progressive layers, and cutouts are a great way to achieve this effect. Today's DIY compilation-of-inspiration:

The Shoulder Cut-Out

DIY Cutout Shoulder Shirt - A Pair and a Spare

October 10, 2011

Apocalyptic Swap: Sent!

Like usual, I "procraftinated" and did the most work during the last week of the swap! So what did I send my partner? Here's a sneak peek:

The largest item, and one of the medium items, was made from an old London Fog trench coat. This coat has a long history! It belonged to my boyfriend's favourite aunt who died of cancer many years ago. His brother adopted it and wore it until a tragic accident ripped it from hem to pocket on the front. It languished on the back side of the butler for who knows how long! When said brother finally decided to go through his old jackets, I adopted the worst damaged to take off the fasteners (buttons, zippers, etc). And now that worse-for-wear trench has a new life as TWO pieces of steampunk apparel!

As for the rest, the goodies include new and vintage lace, new and vintage buttons, a vintage zipper, wire, chain, suede leather, a feather, a rock, an acorn and a fluffy cloud of polyester yumminess.

DIY Distraction: Skull Cut-Out Tee

In an endeavor to blog daily, here's a cool and easy DIY that just takes patience and a boring old shirt!

Pleasure Principle - Laser Cut Skull - $115

October 9, 2011

Fashion For Real - 08/11/11

Let me introduce to you my first real "What I Wore" post! I chose Fashion For Real as the title because I want to show how easy it is to look chic in real life with very simple, small things.

I've been working as a shooter girl for a few weeks, and it's quite a lot of fun! I have an excuse to dress up, wear make-up and jewellery, and I dance all weekend! Here's what I wore to work today:

Generic beige v-neck shirt - $2 @ yard sale
DISH dark-wash skinny jeans - ~$65 in 2007 from Pantorama
Black and bronze running shoes - Top Tech - ~$55 in 2008 from POP Shoes

Brass Chinese bangle - $5
Vintage double-strand pearl bracelet - thrifted aaaages ago
DKNY mesh-band watch - $7 @ auction

Avon Color Dazzlers Glittering Eyeshadow in Bronze
Ardene eyeshadow in sparkly brown and gold
Avon In a Blink Liner Shadow Pencil in onyx
Sephora colorful mono eyeshadow in aspen summit no. 23

October 5, 2011

Assemblage; Statement Necklaces on the Cheap

After discovering arm parties and twisted multi-strand assemblage necklaces earlier this year, I stewed about the aesthetic for quite some time. Well, I finally did it! I've been wearing arm parties on a regular basis for almost 2 months (check out the arm parties on Bloggers Do It Better!), but here are the two (in my opinion) fabulous assemblage necklaces I've worn so far (and an arm party!), made from jewellery I already own. No tools or special jewellery-making stuff required!

Big red bead necklace (thrifted, '80s)
Black w/ red and gold paint splatter necklace (thrifted, '80s)
Chili pepper charm on twisted-link chain (thrifted, pre-'95)

Double-strand faux pearl necklace with rose-motif clasp (thrifted, '50s)
Four-strand faux pearls on "antique bronze" chain necklace (Ardene, <$5)
Sterling and ceramic Victorian-revival brooch (thrifted, provenance unknown)

Mexican brass open bangle, tourist piece (thrifted, provenance unknown)
Double-strand faux pearl open bangle (thrifted, provenance unknown)
Brass bangle made in China (<$5)

See what I meant by cheap? Each assemblage necklace cost less than $15! I was at the Hobby Shoppe downtown today and noticed that the lovely proprietress, Judy, carries strands of faux pearls! It's tempting to get some jewellery supplies (like crimp beads and clasps) and make a few proper assemblage necklaces.

I took a bunch of tutorial photos that turned out like crap, so without further ado, here's some tutorials from around the web:

Assemblage; "How to Build a Better Necklace"

The art of assemblage has seen a major resurgence over the last decade or so, particularly in the "crafty" community. If you frequent Craftster, you have surely seen some amazing multimedia work, particularly in the Papercrafts and More Art, Less Craft categories. My favourite iteration of this art style is definitely in jewellery! Specifically, necklaces. This style has been a mainstream trend since 2009, but I notice that the "affordable" versions from such vendors as Forever21 and Target are made of cheap, potentially toxic materials, and are actually pretty boring as far as assemblages go.

That's not to say that I don't own cheap, mass-produced, slightly-interesting neckwear. These cheap pieces have a place in my wardrobe, but it's so much more interesting to combine jewellery in unexpected ways! I've already shared the Monoxious tutorial for a Tom Binns style safety pin necklace, but here I'm going to focus more on how random elements put together can be chic and fresh, AND how to do a simple version on the cheap.

These are commercially available, inexpensive, and not particularly interesting iterations:

September 27, 2011

After the End-Times: Dirty Chic

The Apocalyptic Fashion Swap is in full swing, and everyone is crafting like mad! It is because of this swap that I discovered an amazing new tool. Whoever invented the online pinboard is a GENIUS! Thanks to Pinterest, I was able to create a fabulous collection of Apocalyptic fashions from ALLLL over the interwebz :D Here's a few beautiful pieces I've collected so far:

August 31, 2011

DIY Distraction: Safety Pin Couture (& A Wee Little Rant)

I know I promised my next post would be all about apocalyptic fashion, but Pinterest refuses to send me an invite. I love the functionality of pinboards, so I've been trying to get on it since last Thursday. I finally tried a different email address, and hopefully they'll actually let me create an account. That, however, is NOT my rant of the day. (Skip to the bottom for the DIY stuff)


NYFW DIY #1: Vena Cava Safety Pin DIY at Dirty Hems

No, no, not the DIY awesomeness brought to us by Katy of Dirty Hems. No, indeed. Gather 'round and let me tell you a story...

August 28, 2011

Anatomy of an Apocalypse

Craftster is my absolute favourite crafty haunt, and when the Apocalyptic Fashion Swap Round 2 popped up, I couldn't help myself, I HAD to sign up! I love possible-future movies and books, and though these are mostly sci-fi, they still lend themselves to the aesthetic. In this post, I'd like to talk about some of my favourite films and novels in the genre. Please note, zombies don't exist in my reality.

August 24, 2011

Hallowe'en 2011 - Footwear Fabulosity

So I just spent an HOUR looking for a particular page I'd seen on making hoof boots, because it lists a specific eBay seller in Germany who sells heel-less boots for waaaaaay cheaper than the North American sellers. Thank you, thank you, thank you, The Heels Commando for your Pony Boots Project! The seller is Ruby-Fashion, who offers heel-less boots starting at just 1.99 Euros. Commando mentions that the boots she bought were rather cheaply made (not surprising) and definitely recommends bidding, as opposed to Buy It Now. So that'll be $60 CAD including the shipping if no one bids against me for the boots I want.

Eich, white... BUT, they're polyvinyl, so I can literally get a can of Krylon in nude/beige/cream and spray paint them! Then it's just a matter of making the hoof portion and painting it gold. My biggest concern, however, is that Commando said the customer service from Ruby-Fashion was abysmal, and considering I'd like these here in say, 3 weeks after ordering so that I have time to customize them.... Yeah, it worries me a smidgeon.

I'm getting awfully frustrated by the lack of affordable fetish footwear out there! Once again, if anyone knows of or has a pair of pre-loved pony/heel-less shoes or boots in size 7.5 or 8, I'd love to know about them!

Keep Crafty :D