Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Travelling Clothes

I received sad news last night that my step-Dad passed away.  Yayo as we called him - I think Yayo is Valenciano for Grandpa, was at times gruff but was very generous and like most Europeans was always elegantly dressed.

He and my mom had only been retired for about 10 years, and had been looking forward to spending their twilight years enjoying the Spanish sunshine.  At least Big J and my younger son were able to spend some time last summer with Yayo.

Today was spent fielding calls, getting Euros, packing and tonight I am off to Spain to be with my Mom for a couple of weeks.  I was afraid they wouldn't give me time off work since I'd already taken a week for Spring Break, but my manager said not to worry.

I'm not at all sure if I will be able to do any posts, so my apologies now.

In the meantime, here is what the security-conscious me wears on a trip.  I don't usually carry a purse in Spain so when on a plane, "wear" all my purse-content-type of items.

I am wearing tons of clothes, since it is always so cold on the plane: a tank top, the taupe t-shirt from Costco, another long-sleeved shirt, a Danskin jacket, a sparkly scarf, jeans and my 8-hole Docs, unlaced for easy on-off.  Plus, I'll have a short coat overtop - it's supposed to be thundery and lightning-ish in Spain, and my sister-in-law says it's getting colder.

Why do I look so bulgy and lumpy?

It's that bulky passport holder.

I will try to post ...

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Sunday, 18 March 2012

Restaurant Revisit

So we decided to go back to the restaurant from the Chinese New Year dinner. This time though, I did have a camera.  Here is a general pic of some of the dishes.  Chinese banquets are usually eaten at a round table with a lazy susan so that everyone is equi-distant from the food.  And, you can all face each other and chat.
Pink Calico: Chinese Dinner

This dish is originally done with beef, but we got it with fish.  It is a soupy dish, comes with noodles on the bottom and red chili peppers.  Quite yummy.

Pink Calico: Chinese Dinner

We also ordered crab which came cooked 2 ways: just plain and fried in batter (not shown but extremely healthy, LOL)

Pink Calico: Chinese Dinner

We also had lobster.  The chinese way to eat lobster is to steam and then cook it up in a sauce:

Pink Calico: Chinese Dinner

We had other stuff like a chicken and spinach dish, yang-chow fried rice and "meat cookie" which is a pork dish which the restaurant made with salt cod.  I love salt cod, but must admit that I prefer my grandmother's version of the meat cookie which she made with water chestnuts and ginger.

The highlight, since it was Big J's birthday, was a chocolate truffle cream puff cake.

Pink Calico: Birthday Cake

Look's like the weight-loss goes out the door this week.

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Saturday, 17 March 2012

St Patrick's Day with Curious George

There is a huge business in clothing for Teddy Bears. When our kids were younger, we took them to a workshop where they could make their own bear (or dog, monkey, lamb or other stuffie). It was fun, you chose a bear, put in the stuffing, added a heart and named it.

Then, you got to browse the shop for clothing. The clothing was super expensive. It could set you back $30 or $40 for an outfit. Needless to say, I tried to convince the kids that newborn baby clothing was just as good.

Some years later, imagine my surprise when I saw similar teddy bear clothing, albeit all sweaters, in the dollar store. I have a Curious George doll which we got from one of those machines with a claw (the Claw!) and ever since I've been buying "holiday sweaters" for it. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a St Patrick's Day sweater.

And so to today's refashion:

Using a little bit of felt and leftover T-shirt fabric,
Pink Calico: Green Felt

Pink Calico: Green Fabric
I cut out clover shapes, and glued them together.  This is the same shape and glue as from the Swag Bag project:
Pink Calico: Green Felt, Glued

Pink Calico: Green Felt, Glued
Then, I sewed a button to the front and a safety pin to the back:
Pink Calico: Green Felt, Backing
attached it to Curious George's sweater, et voila!:
Pink Calico: Curious George Sweater
I used a safety pin so that when the time comes for the next holiday, the giant brooch can be removed.

My younger son asked why Curious George doesn't wear pants, so that might be another project.

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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Padded Hangers

Most of us thrifty diy types know how to make a padded hanger from a wire one using old t-shirts cut into strips. But, did you know that you can also use all those bits of fabric scraps from sewing and craft projects?

Just cut the scraps into strips; you don't need to worry about fraying.  If the scraps aren't long enough, just knot together.

When you have several strips, just braid around the hanger.  You can keep knotting additional strips until your hanger is wrapped.  The knots just add to the padding.

You need to keep pushing the braid towards the "done" part of the hanger.

Here is a done one:
And a closeup:

For a cleaner, more finished look, you could substitute ribbon or cord, but then it wouldn't be quite as thrifty.  I do have one or two made with stretchy fabric tubing, but I actually prefer the wacky, sticky-outy put-together look of fabric scraps.

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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Merci Monsieur

Do you know what these are? They look like alien worms don't they? But no, have you heard of George de Mestral?

He is a Swiss engineer and is the inventor of Velcro. I should really say thank-you to him.  As you know, I am quite security conscious, and I swear by Velcro. It is sooo useful.

This purse for instance:
Pink Calico: Tapestry Bag
It reminds me of Mary Poppins' bag:
Unfortunately, when it's stuffed to the gills, the flap pops open.  It's because there is only the one handle at the top which tugs on the magnetic clasp.

There is a shoulder strap, but I'm more of a hand-bag or messenger bag person.

So Velcro to the rescue:
Pink Calico: Tapestry Bag

Pink Calico: Tapestry Bag

Now, even when it's stuffed, I can shake it up and down and it still won't flap open.  All thanks to M. de Mestral.

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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Is it a Green or White Day?

Green is a natural colour; it reminds me of nature: grass, clover, trees.  It's also a magical mystical colour: Think leprechauns, elves and jade. I've always liked green and here is my green outfit for today's everybody | everywear post.
Pink Calico: everybody everywhere: green
It's a pale green turtleneck, topped by a greeny-blue cardigan (dark teal?) and tied together with a green and blue scarf.  Here is the bigger picture for eb|ew, but you still can't really tell that the stuff is green:
Pink Calico: everybody everywhere: green

This one is a bit better, if you look closely, you can see that the scarf has random sequins allover it.  Those are the sparkly bits in the photo.
Pink Calico: everybody everywhere: green
I think the colours would be way better with outside photos, but guess what it's doing today?  SNOWING !

Pink Calico: Snow
Hard to imagine sitting under the grapes in the shade with a cool beverage!

Green | Everybody, Everywear

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Monday, 12 March 2012

Infinity Scarf from Skirt

Finally, it is Spring Break and I have a few days off work. So I thought I'd whip up a refashion.  I have an old-old broom skirt which is not only dated but the elastic is all stretched out and starting to make that cracking noise.

Pink Calico: Infinity Scarf from Skirt

Here is the top where the elastic is, you can't really tell, but it is all stretchy:
Pink Calico: Infinity Scarf from Skirt

But, the bottom of the skirt had a nice goldy-yellowy print which I thought might be nice in a scarf:
Pink Calico: Infinity Scarf from Skirt

The skirt is quite sheer and is lined (you can see a bit of the lining in the pic above), so I flipped the lining up and bunched it together to cut:
Pink Calico: Infinity Scarf from Skirt
Pink Calico: Infinity Scarf from Skirt
Now comes the hard part.  I'm going to hand-sew the edge so it doesn't fray or leave bits of fabric everywhere.  This will take hours, so I leave you with this.

Although it's not quite done, I tried it on to see how the finished result would look:
Pink Calico: Infinity Scarf from Skirt
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Friday, 9 March 2012

Zip it Up

Are you one of those people who are always security conscious?  I am.  I try to stand near the buttons in an elevator, and always stand well back from the train tracks on the platform. This post is about a security refashion.

So I got a purse years ago and it always bothered me that it has a flap closure, but no zipper.
It is also a fabric purse which is worse because when you toss it somewhere, it just flops, loses it shape and the contents could easily tumble out.

I checked at my favourite notions store but couldn't find the right zipper; they had plastic ones that were the right length or metal ones that were too long.  I bought both, but decided metal would be better.
I was going to cut the zipper and so marked it up, then started hand-sewing it to the bag, but changed my mind after one side was done. 
So then I ripped it all out and started again.
I decided to leave a bit hanging out so that there would be something to grip when I tugged on the zipper.
I'm glad I went with the metal because it matches quite well.  I think it looks okay.  What d'you think?

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Thursday, 8 March 2012

International Women's Day

Today being International Women's Day I got thinking about the role of women in today's world.  Most of us live in the "free world" where women are relatively free to live, work and dress as we choose. 

We can choose to be homemakers or career women, to be couch potatoes or on-the-go fitness buffs.  We can dress modestly or shamelessly.  We can read what we want and express our opinions without fear of reprisals.  We can generally go about living our lives as we choose.

But, it's not like that everywhere.  In other parts of the world women are restricted.  Some cannot go to school or must brave hazards to get to school.  Other women are limited in the types of work they can do or the places they can go. Still others are forced into marriages or sold into servitude by their families.

These are the women that we should remember today; we need to empower the women and girls who live their lives suffering in poverty, wartorn and dire circumstances.

They say that if a charity gives money to the male head of the household, it is spent on drink and entertainment, but if the charity gives money to the woman of the house, it is spent on food and other necessities.  Empower women.

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Pink Calico: Purple Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Lattice Lacing

I don't wear them very often but do have some skate shoes.  In summer when Big J and I go for long walks they are the perfect walking shoe: comfy, slightly more presentable than runners and a lot more stable - I'm constantly turning my ankle.

A great way to liven up your skate shoes or runners is to do a fancy lacing.  If you also buy a coordinating (or contrasting) shoe lace then your shoes can sport a cute look for little effort.

These are my skate shoes:
Pink Calico: Lattice Laced Skate Shoe

They originally came with white laces which I switched out for pink.  Then I laced them up lattice style et voila!

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Monday, 5 March 2012

Easter Egg ?!?

Did you ever make Easter Eggs when you were small?  or draw them?  I did.  And they always had those multi-coloured zig-zag stripes.

Pink Calico: Easter Egg
Today was one of those i-just-don't-want-to-get-up Mondays, so it was a cords day for me.  A colleague commented that I looked very Easter-y and I thought he meant my spring-like pastel coloured scarf.
Pink Calico: Pastel Scarf

But then, when I got home, it hit me, it must've been the zig-zags on my cardigan!
Pink Calico: what i wore

It is just a tiny bit lurex-y:
Pink Calico: lurex zig-zag

What do you think? Does it remind you of an Easter Egg?

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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Super Savings

It's Sunday, so a savings post. As some of you know, I shop Costco for wardrobe basics: t-shirts, yoga wear, smallclothes etc. The quality is good and there is usually a selection of colours and patterns.

We need thick flannel pjs up here and Costco usually has quite a good selection every winter from the Jasmine Rose brand. This winter they had a 3pc set which normally costs about $26, and I was pleasantly surprised to get it for $6.97 !

Here is a pic:
Pink Calico: Jasmine Rose PJs

It is a dark grey with a little scottie dogs print.  I might swap out the tank with a t-shirt for sleep though.  I usually need at least a t-shirt under the PJ top in winter and would like the tank for use under a sheer or low-neck blouse. But what a great deal !

The other savings item is a jacket.  Both kids have been pestering us for a "Leonard" jacket, you know, those jackets with pockets that Leonard from the Big Bang Theory wears.  All the school kids want one.  We found one on sale for $4.94 at a local store:
Pink Calico: Leonard Jacket

So quite the good deals!
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Friday, 2 March 2012

Crochet Dresses

Just had the newbiest thing happen. I was trying to follow someone else's blog and ended up following my own! LOL. Couldn't figure out how to unfollow either. Must be something to do with the GFC not being around anymore.

I hear rumblings that crochet is coming into its own again. Being a closet little-old-lady since about age 15, I can only say hurray! I think it's just a natural flow from lace which has been popular to crochet - all that holey-ness in both looks.

Here are some crochet looks I like:  These ones are from Net-a-Porter


 These are cute too, and are a slightly different style.

It's times like these when I wish I could crochet.

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