Saturday, 20 December 2014

Say hello to Planet Blog

Last week I experienced a startling big bang on the constellation known as my Ass - the appearance of a new spongy planet, which I have affectionately named "Blog." I welcome and cherish this bundle of joy in its celestial cradle. How better to commemorate a gorgefest on calamari, fries, a three-cheese frittata, and cheesecake while lunching with two stellar blogger friends, Sue of A Colourful Canvas: Stitch, Style, Smile and Suzanne of Suzanne Carillo: Style, Smiles and Stories? (Send me 20 bucks and I'll name an Ass planet after you and send you an official certificate. Makes a perfect Christmas gift.)
Suzanne is puckering up to kiss my planet! The change room in this shop is an old bank vault. Sue and I decided not to lock Suzanne in. Lady Madonna Thrift Shop on Homer near Pender.
We spent a whirlwind afternoon/early evening of feasting, laughing, shopping, chatting, sipping, and scheming, with me trying to hog the limelight the whole time, and guest appearances by Miz Bagg. Overall I suppose I came across as Brenda Blethyn playing the obnoxious mother in the movie Little Voice, which would make Suzanne the suave strip bar owner, Ray Say, played by Michael Caine, and Sue the schtar herself, Little Voice, in the scenes of her belting out show tunes on the classed-up stripper stage. I was in a snap happy mood, whipping my camera about like a rude gesture, each flash like a little slap.
Suzanne and I had to talk Sue out of this dress.  We had to rip it from her hands. Poor dear. (You know I'm kidding, right? In fact, I ordered her to hold it up for the photo. ) See her polka-dot pants? Love.
There was so much eyeball-rolling and violent laughter I'm surprised we didn't sprain our heads, although I certainly had a mighty social hangover the next day. Meeting a blogger in person is like meeting a celebrity, as you may know, and I was struck immediately when I met Sue how her face seemed to shine with light. When I met Suzanne I was transfixed by her dramatic hair and contralto voice. And while they were both dressed fabulously, their wit, smarts, and generous hearts reduced their bodily wrappings to mere bits of fabric. The looks hook but the personality sustains.
Check out those pearly whites, blue/green eyes, and those amazeballs eyelashes, not to mention the fiery hair. This is Community Thrift Store on Carrall St. I also took Jean of Dross into Gold here and Sheila of Ephemera and L. 
We exchanged prezzies, which included a super-fun hand-made T-shirt, hand-made pin/clip, and card from Suzanne. And, well, Sue, she gave me a brilliant card and the landing site for the next deep space explorer mentioned earlier. I'll wear both your gifts with pride and love long into the future. (To be fair, 10% of all Ass planet certificate sales will go to Sue, okay 15%.)
I love this photo! Sue holding her gift from Suzanne and wearing a scarf I gave her. See what I mean about the light?
We didn't have much luck thrifting – price and selection at the shops within walking distance in downtown Vancouver can usually be beat elsewhere. I only manage what I get through perseverance and an eagle eye on the sale racks. I did, however, snafu a beautiful greenie maxi vest thing I'd had my eye on in Lady Madonna for two years now (yes, that kind of determination). As we were leaving, the owner said, Make me an offer, and with Sue and Suzanne enveloping the shop in a cloud of love and "you better give the dame a deal if ya' knows what's good for ya'" vibe, it was mine for almost half price. 
The gang! I was smiling for sure but my smiles always look forced in group photos. We shut down this cafe, last ones out. Jean, we came here during your visit too.
I usually don't do Christmas, but this year I had a hankering for a party, and I got one with these two amazing women. I conveniently left my Cindy Lou Who self at home to take full advantage. Thank you so much, Sue and Suzanne, for including me in your plans.
T-shirt hand-made for me special by Suzanne, based on my earlier post, Do I dress to piss them off? Suzanne sells lots of cool original stuff. Her wildly popular Badass Blogger T-shirt is HERE. She also has great cards HERE.
I hope you're all well, taking care of yourselves and letting stuff that doesn't really matter float off to where it belongs, just not on my Ass. Mwah. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

She stole his heart

   It's not often I see two people in love – I mean sparking and crackling with love, the kind where even if an army of biting red ants were devouring the coffee shop and people around them, they wouldn't budge, so lost are they in each other's laughter. The bugs could just as well be unicorns and fairy dust. That kind of love. I saw it the other day between a road construction sign woman and a man in a hard hat, both over 50 I'm guessing, during my morning café break. I floated in that slipstream of positive energy for, oh, at least an hour.
   I did the painting sketches below some years ago:"She stole his heart," which I thought fit nicely with the love theme, and Shoe Store Madonna which fits with the SHOP NOW! theme this time of year. The businesswoman shields her face with her briefcase as she walks by the shoe emporium sale and the vision of the Madonna left by washing liquid residue on the window. Are you resisting?!!! I know most of you are not. Well done. Carry on. 
I'm linking up to Patti at Visible Monday on her blog Not Dead Yet Style. Save me a place. I'm running late. I'm wearing nothing vintage, but lots of thrifted loot. I'll show you how I style that zebra coat properly in a future post, but on this particular day I was feeling prim and prissy and delightfully flip. The coiled fist says it all. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

My first LinkUp Party

I just swallowed a bird.
If I speak, little yellow feathers might float out of my mouth. If I were polite, I'd wear a mask. (hiccup)

Split, splat, split splat. the sound. of boots. on wet. sidewalks. Halt! 
Excuse me, sir, which way to the Left Bank? "What? Madame, why you just turn left. But you cannot go to zee Left Bank like zat. Although you are wearing a jolie beret, you must wear all black to go there." Oh. Which way to the Right Bank then? "Oh, non, non, non! You turn right here, but you cannot go there. Are you fou? You must wear black there aussi!" Okay, how about straight ahead? "Oh, grande imbecile, Madame! Why, that is the Seine river. No turning. But there is no shopping or cafes there, only leetle fishes." Fine. 
I turned into the wind, positioned my umbrella just right and flew to London for lunch with Vivienne Westwood instead. Such a jaunty petite outfit. Perfect for zee rain yesterday. Next time I'll wear black. 
Originally I was going to post only photos of Miz Bagg showcasing every conceivable angle of her outfit and her magnificent self - nose holes, ear lobes, elbows, knees, toe hair(!) - and then breathlessly proclaim how Miz Bagg, that biatch, had scandalously hijacked my first LinkUp Party!! Unbelievable! And Shelley of Forest City Fashionista was going to send me a photo of herself as it would appear in the last linkup window, the only blogger to break through Miz Bagg's stronghold before the LinkUp Party closed.

Yes, that would have been a great sight gag, but it felt too easy, too trite for the mood I was in once I started the project, so I ended up with these photos, which include two intentional Bagg characters, but mostly different states of me that reflect how I'm feeling, the weather, what leapt out at me from the closet, something I've made, an experiment, a critique, a letting go through clothes and imagination that makes life bearable.

The dialogue was just filler I typed up to check the layout and was never intended for final use, but then I decided I liked that raw quality after all. (The original was much more raw than what's here, influenced by other projects I'm working on.) I like the juxtaposition of the colourful sense of myself I feel in these images in the context of a catty Fashion Police-type commentary, both somewhat unreal and real at the same time.

I like the top middle photo, the pink electric-head-girl cycling socks that I used to wear cycling, now worn with my granny shoes. And below, what I wore today, Sunday.
Caught in the headlights of Santa's sleigh. The parade was today - I wouldn't have known it if it were not for the really weird vibe on the street and the thousands of people everywhere, and, well, the parade itself. The weather was fine, 11C (52F), so there was a great turnout. Wearing: DIY scribble jacket and DIY embroidered-eye jeans, merino wool turtleneck that I wore to the Hamptons, with underlayering as well.

Have you recently read about the man swallowed by an anaconda for reality TV? Frankly, I don't know what the kerfuffle is all about. As you read in VOGOFF in December 2012, here, Miz Bagg ordered that her assistant be partially swallowed by the Mighty Python to research the magical skin rejuvenating effects of its digestive juices. Of course, she was retracted just in time. No word on the juice. Or that assistant.

How are you, lovelies? Having a good December? Brace, brace, brace, there's more to come. Ho ho ho. Mwah. [Edit: I'm linking up to Anne's SpyGirl: 52 Pick-me-up, Crazy Legs, and Mis Papelicos, Share-in-Style.]

Word Verification...
PS - Pao just asked in the comments, what's up with all the auto-robot thing on comments lately? I've noticed this too. My word verification is definitely OFF, but Blogger has decided to turn it on. I think I encounter it on everyone's blog lately.

Does anyone know what's up with this? I thought it might be a gentle "push" from Google to join Google Plus....? Whatever it is, it's annoying. I'm not a verified human?! Okay, well, sometimes I do feel like a robot, but I still run on chocolate, coffee, and fresh bakery buns.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Who is that masked woman?!

Mask up, my friends!! 
If only one single, solitary post in Bag and a Beret 
were to go viral (hehe), 
I would hope it's this one.

10 Reasons to Wear a Face Mask When You Feel Like Crap
  1. Wearing a mask conceals a red chapped nose.
  2. Wearing a mask provides a shield you can hide behind when you're not feeling your best, like a little face blankie.
  3. Wearing a mask means you don't have to bother with makeup on the bottom half of your face. Men, you don't have to shave.
  4. Wearing a mask can be stylish, sort of, if you customize it (see below).
  5. Wearing a mask masks bad breath so you can eat lots of super-stinky food without worry.
  6. Wearing a mask will help keep your hands away from your nose and mouth, which may reduce the spread of germs on surfaces like doorknobs and stair rails. 
  7. Wearing a mask will free your hands up for other vital tasks such as playing with the remote control or pushing the button for room service or (if you're really sick) blogging.
  8. Wearing a mask will reduce your exposure to new germy airborne bits that might make your condition even more miserable.
  9. Wearing a mask warns others that you are not feeling your best so please be gentle and don't be surprised if you bite their heads off or fall asleep at your desk if that's not something you normally do.
  10. Wearing a mask is cool - it shows you care about the people around you. 
I'm hooking up to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style because a mask is pretty visible. I've worn all these clothes this week except the mask because I don't, touch wood, have a cold at the moment. See you there. I don't mind at all if you want to swipe the sidebar image.

Also, thank you, Sally of Already Pretty, for the mention in your Lovely Links on Friday. It's a great honour to be included in your eclectic lineup, which also includes a very funny video of west coasters eating Minnesotan food.

[Edit] Aha, I knew I was forgetting something - Sacramento's Share-in-Style: Black and White at Mis Papelicos. And this time I almost fit the theme.

Below explains in part why I put up this post: 
[I posted this then took it down and now I'm posting it again, only because I can.]
Hack hack hack. The whole café seemed to peek and wince at Ms. Hacker every time she coughed with violence, except her friend who was oblivious to the direct wet hits on her face. When I realized with mild alarm that I was seated directly downwind and there were no more free tables indoors, I gathered up my coffee and journal with exaggerated calm, like a child in a school fire drill, and relocated to the patio, no big deal – it was only about 5C (41F), and although my coffee was no longer hot, if I sketched faster than usual with grand flourishes the exertions might help keep me warm.

I had just settled in when Ms. Hacker and her friend stumbled outside too. As they brushed past my table, she sniffled and smiled at me. I smiled back – I knew she was suffering. She had a kind face. And then she coughed straight into my naked eyes with gale force. I felt the rush of wind and light spray, which is lovely at the seaside but not as foul weather from her infectious phlegmy inner shores. She didn't even blink; I did, furiously.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Do I dress to piss them off?

Yes, DEFINITELY, I sometimes dress not to rejoice in the unbearable beauty of a blue sky, fluffy clouds, pwitty flowers, blah, blah...drooling now, belch, fart, but merely to piss people off. YES! Shameful. Sinful! How can I write such blasphemy in a forum that CELEBRATES style? Take this example: If I'm forced to go to Banker Town, I'll violently yank my tutu and orange platforms outta' the closet damned quick for a little Piss Off Therapy. The verklemptitude I feel in that environment, I can't help but want to smack everyone I meet with tulle. Of course this is not about them, it's about me, and of course I don't piss anybody off - I give myself too much credit.

So, as weapons go, a tutu carries as much punch as, well, tulle, but being double-bound, double-loud in my style does makes me feel protected. It's my childish scream into the clockwork street - I AM NOT YOU! DON'T MAKE ME!! And ironically, while I may dress in a flurrious grumble, I usually wind up smiling and having as good a time in Banker Town as I do anywhere else, just don't make me hang out there unless I'm meeting my investment adviser over champers to discuss my new billion-dollar contract. That's sure to bring on quadruple tulle action with new triple-high platforms, mm-hmm.
This is not an outfit of anger. This is just an outfit. Full-on regular. But I feel like a rock and roll photographer with my camera and shoulder-slung bag. I wore this on my inspiration walk. Temperatures are dropping so I broke out the muppet roadkill coat, thrifted. My hair is light violet now too, due to the shampoo I'm using.

"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you." 
Stuck In the Middle by Stealers Wheel. I'm the guy eating spaghetti. Groovtastic!!! You gotta' watch. (Actually, I'm stuck in the middle with me.)
Do you ever start to feel an Invasion of the Body Snatchers moment when you're the odd style out? Do you ever dress to piss someone off? It's stupid of me to do it but the childishness pleases me immensely. I don't have to grow up ever anyway. Have a great week, everyone! Keep on freaking out (in a good way, of course).

I missed Patti's Visible Monday this week at Not Dead Yet Style, but I still see you. And if you haven't yet, check out Linda's incredible styling of the Freakish Yellow Skirt and her photo gallery at Op Shop Mama. Can't. Miss. It. That's all.

PS - Okay, I'm linking up to Share-in-Style: Shoes at Mis Papelicos. You can't see my thrifted crackle leather Miu Miu boots very well in that outfit shot but there are some AWESOME shoes in the YouTube clip.

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