Wednesday, 31 October 2012

My Month in Retro Specs: October

First of all, HAPPY HALLOWE'EN!!
I can't believe October is just about over.  October marked 1 year since I moved away from Toronto, and what a great month it was! Here are a few of my favourite posts from this past month!

Afternoon Tea at the Chateau Frontenac
Ottawa: Architecture
O.O.T.D: Polka Dots and Brown Leather Booties
O.O.T.D: His and Hers - En Francais.  Special location shoot!
A Walk Down Autumn Lane
D.I.Y: Painted Canvas Photo Transfer
October also saw the largest growth in this blog since it began in June.  Welcome aboard, to those of you who have joined us this month

In November, I look forward to:
  • cooler weather
  • lots of model building
  • making more soups at home
  • getting holiday shopping and crafting underway
  • a shiny new blog layout
  • connecting more one on one in the blogosphere.  Maybe some collaboration? Hmm!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Quebec P5: Painted Pumpkin Patch

Just around the corner from our hotel, there was this super cute little pumpkin patch.  There were 3 witches associated with it; one at the bar, one on the bottle, and another in a little square across the street.  I'm not sure why they appear to be brewing pumpkin ale in wine bottles, this may be some kind of tradition?? I just thought the painted pumpkins were so cute, and the flowers and corn stalks made for some nice pictures.  
I just loved seeing everything so decorated for autumn, I think that's one of the things I enjoyed most about the trip.  Here in town, the fall marks the end of the theatre season and most of the shops close early or aren't open on weekdays altogether, so businesses don't tend to decorate much for this time of year.  It's too bad, since the changing leaves on the Niagara Parkway are so pretty!! You'd think main street would be so charming.  Damn. 

I'm kind of bummed that Halloween is already tomorrow, I wish the weeks before would just last forever! It's my favourite time of year.  And I'm not ready for the world to shift into Christmas mode yet!!!


Monday, 29 October 2012

Quebec P4: Details of the Old Port (Vieux-Port)

We stayed in the Old part of Quebec city, within the ramparts, but the really really quaint cobblestone old part is down by the water, the old port.  It's unfortunately got quite a few souvenir shops (and stores excluseively selling maple syrup.  I always thought that was quite a thing to base an entire career and business around.) but there's also a fair share of restaurants, including where we stopped for lunch (which I'll get into next week some time). Anyhow, everthing is beautiful to begin with, and then there was some fall decoration and changing colours, and thus my camera was plastered to my face. 
One of the highlights of the old port is the view of the Chateau Frontenac, looming above.  It's such a beautiful building! There's also this little lift you can take up the side of the hill from the port, to get to the chateau. 


Friday, 26 October 2012

O.O.T.D: Polka dots and Brown Leather Booties

I wore this little outfit to work last week.  As we go into fall, I'm looking for more ways to layer pieces to make them last.  Tights are always a good choice, and I need the opaque ones here because all topshop dresses seem to be very short.  Hence pairing it with a nice long cardigan, so I still looked very "covered up". 
I love these boots so much.  I ended up going back for them toward the end of the day at the Toronto Clothing Show a few years back; the soles were in bad shape and the price was pretty high, so I came back later to see if she'd budge on the price a bit.  I still haven't taken them in to get fixed, but they are needing a bit of TLC. One of the cute buttons popped off, but I think I may be able to make my own replacement microsuede covered button.  I'll get around to that...sometime.  
The Deets:
Polka dot dress and tights: Topshop
Cardigan: Macy's, unknown brand
Bomber Jacket: thrifted
Booties: Toronto Clothing Show

All these photos were taken by Ephraim.  He's getting pretty good with the camera!! We were both totally excited about this background, too.  It's the barn of an abandoned house down the street from me.  There's also the full brick house, and a shut well.  Supposedly it has caught fire several times.  Creepy!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Quebec P3: Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

I believe I mentioned in one of my Ottawa posts that I tend to take photos of weird things on vacation... and yes, that includes signs! Signs and storefronts are so interesting, and one thing I loed about the old town and the old port in particular, is how fond they are of hanging sings like these for businesses and especially restaurants! I just think it has such old world charm, and love the bold graphics, often with high contrast and bright colours or metallics used to catch your eye.
I love the pig sign!! It reminds me of the movie Delicatessen, my favourite film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeaunet.  You may find his name familliar, as he also directed cult hit Amelie, also known as the most charming love story ever.  Until you see Delicatessen, that is. You could probably make that argument for just about any of his movies, but the post-apocalyptic setting of this love story is pretty unique.  It takes place at a post-apocalyptic butcher shop with upstairs apartments for rent. It deals with cannibalism and yet, it's really funny.  This is why Jean-Pierre Jeunet is one of my favourite contemporary filmmakers.

One of the things Ephraim and I were s amused with was the different signage for fast food restaurants, most notably McDonalds.  I guess due to signage bylaws, McDonalds has to have a deep green and low-lustre brass painted sign.  It almost looked classy.  Almost.  I didn't get a photo because I felt super weird about photographing people eating their burgers, and they were on busy streets! 
Have you ever traveled somewhere that familiar things were just a little bit different like that?


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Quebec City P2: Paillard Patisserrie

I know that the photos I have posted thus far indicate otherwise, but I promise that my trip to Quebec wasn't ONLY filled with hot caffeinated beverages and sweets! In fact, I saved those macarons till I got home.  And I even shared some.  Brownie points (can those be exchanged for real brownies??).  Wow, I am seriously sugar obsessing right now. MOVING ON!
Paillard is a bakery and cafe that was located just a few doors down the street from our hotel, in the old city.  The place is gorgeous, but also incredibly casual.  There's a small number of individual tables (many of which were occupied by travelers FaceTimeing their mothers) and the majority of seating is at long galley style wooden tables.  The place basically encourages you to chit chat with your neighbour, or read the paper, but generally take it easy.  Coffee and tea are of course offered, but so are a selection of beers (on tap!), soft drinks, and juices of all kinds.  If sweet things aren't your thing, they serve up sandwiches (I just mistyped that sandWISHES.  I'm hungry), and soups.  I wish we had gone in earlier, instead of the last day there while we waited for our cab! No bother, I'll be sure to head over for an afternoon tea and nibble next time I visit :). Oh, and the macarons were totally as good as they look.  A just barely crispy shell, and then nothing but moist cookie and filling.  Yum.
I'm off to Toronto today to visit my Alma mater, York University.  I'm participating in a panel of recent graduates asked to talk to the first year Theatre students and answer their questions about our time at York, and our lives after graduation.  I still find it totally weird that I'm being used as an example of "success" after graduation.  Dudes, I live in a tiny ass town and I can't afford a car.  Although to be fair, success in theatre tends to mean you're still over the poverty line.  Alright, it could be worse, I'll quit my bellyaching.  I love my job, and I hope I can motivate some little 18 year old to haul ass and make something of themselves.  Kids these days...


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Embracing my Retro Kitchen

Value Village was very good to me this weekend.  Not only did I get what I needed for my halloween costume, but I also picked up 4 place settings worth of the greatest dishes! Even better, there are cups and saucers to match.  But even better than that, I also found a metal kettle that looks charming with the set.  My house is very dated, and there's not a lot I can do about the decor.  So I've tried to embrace the 70's nature of the house, despite normally being more of a 50's or 60's girl.  The print on these plates has colours that can fit into either era, so they work in this kitchen and will hopefully work in one I have more design control over too! 

Speaking of design, as you can see I tried out a couple new fonts in this post.  I have been toying around with some design changes, including the fonts.  What do you think? Yay or nay?


Monday, 22 October 2012

O.O.T.D: His and Hers - En Francais

Of course when we went out for afternoon tea to the Chateau Frontenac, we knew outfit photos would have to immediately follow.  Lucky for us, there was this gorgeous street just a short walk from our hotel (if we're being honest, there were MANY beautiful streets, but I really loved the slope so that you could see the buildings! Too charming), so we had a little jaunt over to take a couple snaps.  I learned that I will never not find it awkward to have people watch as someone takes photos of you.  Weeeeird!
Despite wearing such a loud print, I wasn't the most outrageously person dressed at the Chateau! There were a few tour groups passing through, decked out in ski jackets and an assortment of weird hats.  I'm talking sombreros and Mickey Mouse ears.  It was truly bizarre to see people dressed like that walking through the gorgeous lobby of the hotel! 
Again, if we're being honest (we are), I didn't wear these shoes all day.  Actually, I wore moccasins and had these in my purse to change into, but failed to make my way to a key entry  bathroom before tea and figured since I was already sitting sipping a cuppa, I might as well stay! I changed into these afterward, so do forgive me for photographing the ideal I had intended on.  But here's some pictures of me freezing my butt off to make us even. 
The Deets:
Jacket: Mango
Gloves: Simon's
Purse: Michael Kors
Dress: Vintage
Tights: HUE
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Ephraim layered like a champ.  When he told me what he brought to wear if we went out someplace reasonably nice, I figured the mix of patterns and textures would be kind of awful, but it really does work.  I love the knit jacket he's sporting, the colours and pattern are just amazing.  Even better, his mother made the jacket by hand for Ephraim's grandfather, whose wife would not let him wear it lest he ruin it, because it was "too good for him".  It really is stunning, too stunning to keep boxed up though!!
The Deets:
Sweater: Handmade
Hat: Vintage Borsalino
Scarf: Vintage
Sportcoat, Shirt and Tie: Topman
Vest: J Crew
Jeans: Levis
Cowboy boots: Hand-me-downs