Thursday, 29 September 2011

port dover

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I shudder to think what a golden glow might be

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Last post from Canada! (tear). My last week there, my dad and one of my sisters and I went to Port Dover, a fishing village on Lake Erie. There's not much to do there, but we did what there was... wander around and enjoy the atmosphere, and ponder the eternal strangeness that is small towns, the terminally ten years out of date music blaring from the shops, the decision as to which fish restaurant to eat at. It's an interesting thing being part of a blog community that loves vintage and nostalgia and fifties. When I hang around with my family, my parents, who were children in the fifties, aren't the least bit nostalgic. "The restaurant we went to last time reminded me of the fifties," my dad said. "Four types of salad and not a green leaf amongst them!"

Hmmm, in retrospect I'm being a bit mean to Port Dover. I was pretty excited to see Lake Erie for the first time, and it was nice to walk in the sand and watch the sun dipping in the sky to a cacaphony of shrieking seagulls. Plus, we ate perch and then got chocolate peanut butter ice cream on the way home.

I wanted to do an outfit shoot for this outfit because I loved it, but there wasn't time. The dress is the one from this post, just to show that although sometimes things don't crop up too often on the blog, I still wear them. Also, that no white after Labour Day rule is pure nonsense!

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a mural of Port Dover back in the day

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Photo of me by my dad, others by me

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

brick-a-brac

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First off, the winner of the $200 value Kranich's giveaway is Leilani of Thriftaholic! Congratulations Leilani and thank you to everyone who entered.

On to this look: I spent my last few days in Canada religiously wearing things I wasn't taking with me... I kind of love having a small closet most of the time but man I hate saying goodbye to my dresses. However, I felt that I could do with a mini break from this, one of my favourites ever. The heels also stayed behind (because they are damn uncomfortable) and so did the scarf, which has been my partner in crime these many years. I look forward to seeing them all again when I'm next in town.

This was a fairly ridiculous photoshoot attempt, between the fading light, the lack of a tripod again, and my ridiculous dog running around getting underfoot and generally behaving like the world was ending because my dad had gone out for a few hours.... the last photo is pretty typical of the faces she makes in these situations. Poor Bon-bon. That picture was also taken with my new camera (eeeeeee, so excited)... there'll be more coming on that in the near future... also I have a tripod again now, phew! Aaaaand after five days without I have internet again, thank god I was going insane on my own...

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Ha, I also just realized that the only part of this outfit I actually paid for was the shoes!

dress: Pepe Jeans (gift), shoes: KG by Kurt Geiger (sale), orange silk scarf: gift, jacket: Smart Set (gift), necklace: (gift), bracelet: made by me.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

parasols and street festivals

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This was originally a guest post over at Streets and Stripes. I'm reposting it here because I'm kind of OCD about keeping all my blog content together!

My family live in Hamilton, Ontario these days, and on a month-long visit this August I had fun being a tourist in my home country. The day these photos were taken, there was a street fair near to our house. There was live music, stalls selling many different items, and, judging by the atmosphere, free-flowing beer. My sister and I had a wander through it. I loved this outfit, but in retrospect the parasol probably wasn’t the best idea for such a crowded event: I lived in fear of taking somebody’s eye out. ; p

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Photos by my sister and I

dress: See by Chloe via ebay, parasol: bought in Venice years ago, necklace: gift from my mother, shoes: Urban Outfitters, sunglasses: H&M

Also, for those of you living in the US or Canada, last chance to enter the $200 Kranich's Jewelry giveaway. It's dead easy, you've just got to choose your favourite piece from their website and leave a comment on my blog post. I'll be drawing the winner tomorrow night (or, more realistically, Tuesday morning). So get to it!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

whitehern

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In Canada this summer my family was based in a city called Hamilton, where we're kind of in the process of moving to (complicated, like everything involving location with my family). Anyway, it meant getting to do a bit of Canadian tourism in a place I'd never been before. One afternoon my mom, sisters and I went to Whitehern, a grand house from the 19th century where they hold musical afternoons during the summer. We sat in the tranquil gardens, listening to celtic harp and drinking a "bottomless" cup of tea from a china cup (there was a maid in uniform dishing it out for $1 a cup). Afterwards we took a tour of the house.

I've been to A LOT of grand houses in my time (architecturally obsessed mother, and we're all quite into the 19th century), and I have to say, this was the best tour I'd ever been on. Normally you wander around and ooh and awww over the Victorian furniture a bit, but this time, the man leading the tour sat us all down upstairs and proceeded to tell us the history of three generations of the family that had lived in the house. It was fascinating. There was a domineering patriarch, an evil step-mother, an extremely high infant mortality rate, a wealth to poverty fall-from-grace, a high mortality rate among fiancées of the children, and successive generations of young men swearing they would remain bachelors forever after being disappointed in love, and then doing so! As our excellent and understated guide stated, "I like to tell the dirt and gossip version of the family history." It didn't hurt that all the children of the final generation to live in the house were absolutely gorgeous... like 19th century movie stars. And not one of them married, for a variety of tragic or self-inflicted reasons. Later, walking through the rooms, everything meant so much more knowing the story of the previous inhabitants. I'm sure not many people reading live near Hamilton, but if you do, and you like a bit of 19th century drama, I highly recommend Whitehern. My family has already decided to return at Christmas, when they decorate the house accordingly and when hopefully I'll get some decent pictures.

And for anyone extra-interested, the archives of the house are available here where you can read the family letters including references to "kissing for a full half and hour in the carriage," haha, and hearn about the artist daughter Ruby, who was sadly had to sacrifice her career to teach so as to support her younger brother through university (he was the family's sole economic hope at the time).

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Here's a picture of Shona! (I was slouching like a humpback in all of mine, grrr). ; D

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Last of the summer stories: guest post from Resplendent Tranquility!

It's definitely time this fun little summer series was wrapped up. Perhaps I've been hanging onto it as I hang on to summer. In any case, this entry, from my friend Emily of Resplendent Tranquility, is all about the end-of-summer nostalgia. I'm always left thumbing or clicking through photos of all the best times in my life again again... but how to capture them perfectly to begin with? I love Emily's blog because it is a truly resplendent and tranquil place, and it focuses on the little details to tell a whole bigger story. Much like these delightful film-captured snippets of summer she sent me. I think I can feel the sun and instinctively know the air temperature in every one of them...

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Hello! This is Emily from Resplendent Tranquility happy to be participating in the Summer Stories series here at Ruby Slipper Journeys. When Emily asked me to share a few film photos with all of you I set out to capture some of the serene and idyllic moments that perhaps are summer at its best. The moments you're happy to witness whether you have a camera on you or not. The moments you wish would last just a bit longer - full of enveloping heat and unmistakeable summer colors. A multi-hued umbrella against a rain-saturated sky. Vibrant and delicate wildflowers reaching toward and reflecting the sun. A foggy-pink sky at dawn. Dry grasses rolled into hay bales. It's the little things that often bring out the best in each season. Take a look around you and soak them in. With that said, please enjoy some scenes from a countryside summer.

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Sunday, 18 September 2011

beautiful and damned

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Hmm, I don't look the least bit happy in these pictures! I always forget to smile when taking my own pictures--especially as I didn't have a tripod on this occasion, and kept looking at my camera suspiciously thinking "are you going to fall off that gravestone?"

So, here I am in a rather grand cemetery. Unlike a lot of bloggers, I don't find cemeteries very romantic, just sad, but this one was sufficiently old that it was interesting to walk around reading the stones, seeing how people expressed themselves a hundred years ago, how many children they had, and how many didn't seem to make it into adulthood. Yikes, I would never have survived in the Victorian era!

I decided to take my vaguely flapper-esque dress for a spin, and had F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned in mind. Not that there's a cemetery scene in that, but I thought it fitted in with the theme of the heroine and her transition from beauty personified to Shock! Horror! 29 years old and with a few lines on her face! Ha, one of the reasons that book depressed me maybe; no one wants to feel their attractiveness is over as soon as they get a wrinkle or two!

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dress: gift from my mom (old), parasol: from Venice (old) shoes: Fly London, clutch: my mom's via a box ; ), bracelet: made by me, necklace, gift.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

sunny disposition...

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Sometimes the backdrop makes the outfit...this was just something I wore to a waffles brunch at my house, but I was determined to get some pictures with those sunflowers before they died!

Do feel free to enter the giveaway below!

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Photos by Shona

top: gift (old), shorts: Oysho, shoes: Dorothy Perkins (old), bag: vintage via mom, necklace: made by me

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Win $200 worth of jewelry from Kranich’s Jewelers! (Closed)

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Now, I’m not a huge giveaway person, but I couldn’t resist offering you this one from Kranich’s Jewelers. Kranich’s are offering one reader a gift or gift card up to the value of $200. Kranich’s stock a range of luxury and costume jewelry, including diamond-encrusted engagement rings from Verragio, and intricate pieces from Simon G. (I’m drooling over a certain flower-motif bracelet).

Perhaps my favourite pieces are from the Belle √©toile collection… The Art Nouveau lover in me is a sucker for enamel anything, and the rubber statement rings with coloured stones are pretty damn cool. They also have some sweet and whimsical Hershey’s kisses necklaces. Or you can choose to have a gift card...

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To enter the giveaway (U.S and Canadian based readers only, I’m afraid, or at least, you need to be able to talk one of your American friends into forwarding it for you, haha).

Go to Kranich’s website and leave a comment here with:
-Your favourite piece and how you’d wear it
-A way to contact you


Extra/optional entries: (one each, please leave a separate comment for each)
-Follow Ruby Slipper Journeys via Google or Bloglovin'
-Like the Kranich’s Jeweler’s Facebook page.
-You can also tweet the giveaway, linking to this page, and referencing @rubyjourneys for an extra entry

I'll be drawing the winner on Monday, September 26th...

Best of luck everyone!

Monday, 12 September 2011

maxificent!

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You don't generally see me in a floral maxi dress (which won't be changing any time soon), but this one is special. My mom made it in the 70s! When she was around my age she lived in New Zealand for a few years, and she says she made this to go to a Christmas work event with her then-partner. Considering my total lack of sewing, or you could say, practical life skills, I'm beyond impressed. It's slightly too short for me, but I love the criss-crossed back, the pattern, and the heavy but cool fabric.

Things I've learned about maxi dresses:
1) They make you feel elegant while doing your homework or swishing to the bagel shop.
2) It's really difficult to walk upstairs carrying two cups of tea

I wore this to a BBQ filled with family, family friends, and folk music. As usual, I made our friend play Gone the Rainbow. A sad one but a good one. Except our friend Eric plays it even better than the video! I guess I'm going to miss family Thanksgiving again this year, so it was great to have a summer replacement.

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Photos by Shona

dress: handmade family vintage, necklace: hand-made on Granville Island, shoes: Urban Outfitters, ring: some market a long time ago, sunglasses: Lucky Brand

Friday, 9 September 2011

the gentle breeze that ruffles the leaves

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The sunshine has returned after two days of rain, my toenails are golden yellow, and I am in an implacably good mood! My sister Morna and I are going thrifting today, if we can manage to drag ourselves away from this full pot of tea... Since emailing my thesis in yesterday, life has consisted of: breakfast with Baileys, dog walks with my sister, my parents and I co-buying me a camera for my birthday, and perogies with copious amounts of wine for dinner! Morna and I watched The Wind that Shakes the Barley last night, which, while an excellent movie, kind of makes you want to go and slit your wrists afterwards. So some lighter fare is on the agenda tonight!

I rescued this bag from a box. I know some of you have been saying I find a lot of things in boxes... well, I come from a family of confirmed packrats, and we've also just moved across the country, so there are a lot of boxes around. The most exciting part of this look is actually the sandals, which my mom had hand-made in the seventies. Except the shoe-maker took a dislike to my mom, although he quite fancied her cousin. Accordingly, the cousin's shoes fit perfectly, but my mom's have always been too small on her. Forty-odd years later, they fit me perfectly, so all's well that end's well!

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My mom bought me this lovely Celtic-inspired peridot necklace for last year's birthday, but just gave it to me a few weeks ago, since we hadn't seen each other before.

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Enjoy your weekends, everyone!

Photos by Shona

dress: Killah (old), shoes: custom-made vintage, necklace: gift from my Mom, bag: stolen from a box, scarf: vintage, sunglasses: Lucky brand