Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Festival of the Op Shop Outfit

Facts About Me That I've Never Before Revealed on the Blog:
1. I love love love routine.
2. I'm not v. organised.
3. I am not a leader.
4. I lack School Spirit.
5. I am not good at planning.
6. I am easily confused & rattled.

So it was with Some Surprise that I found myself Organising & Executing a Festival of Outfits which began yesterday & carries over into Monday. It would have been so much more comforting to have My Normal Friday: Bath, Dressing, Porridge, Latte, Lessons, Egg & Lettuce Sandwich, More Lessons, Second Latte, Perhaps Lunch, Staffroom Hi Jinks, Still More Lessons, Gym, Home.
Here's what happened instead:
1. Students were allowed to wear what we rather quaintly call Mufti. Except there was to be no Trakky Daks or Ugg Boots. They had to wear An Outfit. And they had to pay a Gold Coin for the privilege. You have no idea how excited they were about not wearing the school uniform & the possibility of make up, even though there was some tedious whining about modesty & having to wear shoes that were covered over for Health & Safety Reasons.
2. At recess, my Hand Picked Team of Fashion Police assembled a Large Gaggle of Outfits which they whittled down to a manageable group of Six Finalists. The Fashion Police are pictured above with me in the middle. I especially purchased shiny plastic caps for them to wear on the day. Sadly, only Evangelina wore hers. I was v. disappointed. I am wearing one because I didn't want them to go to waste.

And here's Obedient Evangelina wearing her cap & whipping up the crowd into a frenzy. The Prospective Finalists are standing excitedly in the background.

Cleo, the School Captain is wearing a donated jacket & scarf. She is also modelling one of the six One-of-a-Kind Medals made by me for the finalists. I went to the $2 Shop & bought badges that said things like 'World's Greatest Mum' & covered them with buttons & rhinestones & other stuff & then finished them off by sticking tiny coloured pegs around them.

3. The Op Shop Parade at Lunchtime. Here's a couple of models wearing donated clothes that will be sold on monday at the Op Shop Stall.
4. Here's models rehearsing five minutes before the show began. They are wearing coke cans in their hair which I believe is all the rage. Talk about a Generation Gap. I decreed that they would model or walk or whatever you call it to the tune of 'Gimme Shelter', my favourite Rolling Stones song. They all thought it was a yawn & wanted Rihanna singing something like 'Superstar' or Good Charlotte. I said Absolutely No, citing the unsuitable swearing lyrics as the reason. They all pouted but went along with me anyway.

5. After the parade, massive sorting of donated clothes took place. My Senior Class
took to the task with a zeal & a dedication that I'd never seen before in them. Usually they are exhausted after lunch.
They were Harsh Judges, quickly dispatching clothes into 'Bad' piles & 'Good' piles.
Cleo counted all the Gold Coins. Perhaps a thou. All for charity.

By 3.20 most of the sorting was done. The money was dispatched to the Office. I trudged home & got into bed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Discovering My Inner Karl Lagerfeld

Op Shop Parade & Stall.
The story so far:
In a rare moment of largesse, Middleagedteacher decided to hold a fundraising Op Shop Parade & Stall at her school. All proceeds would go to local charities.
She half-heartedly asked the school community of adolescent schoolgirls & their middleaged mothers as well as fellow teachers to donate their unwanted clothes. Imagine her surprise when they actually Did do as she asked?
Some donations included dresses with the store tags on them. Other donations suffered badly from mould. Perhaps they were a mistake. Still other donations included large fluffy dressing gowns with cloud & clown motifs.
It was Middleagedteacher's job to sift through all this & find Outfits for girls to wear in the Parade. If only Little Karl Lagerfeld were there to help her!

The Parade is on tomorrow. She is feeling a little sick in the stomach & a Junior Migraine is threatening. That's a migraine without the vomiting. But of course Middleagedteacher is Never One to Complain, even though she's a Half-Empty-Glass kind of gal.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Bleeding Obvious

Here's what I said about My Outfit on Flickr:
One of the beauties of having a daily wardrobe photo is you get to see how you look. Talk about the Bleeding Obvious.
So, when I looked at the photo, my inner Trinny & Susannah immediately jumped up at me & told me that it Cut Me Off at the Waist. Or something or other. AND.... the slightly aubergine colour of the thrifted wrap dress didn't really go with the Wild Animal jacket. AND.... the also thrifted tan booties.......? Not that I'm being critical or anything. Just giving myself some Feedback.
Every time anyone offers to give me 'feedback', particularly if they put the word 'honest' in front of it, a little part of me dies.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Get Metaphysical

It is nite. Winter is barely holding on by a thread. Can it last until the end of the month, I wonder? Fat Chance. I'll be lucky to get another week out of it.
Why is she so keen to hang on to winter, you may ponder?
The answer is simple: Ugg Boots made from Toy Sheepskin.
Since donning The Ugg, my feet have never felt so Smugly Cozy in their lives. And I can totally understand why women through the ages have been willing to wear something that make their feet look like Giant Cow's Hooves. Or are they called Feet? I never know the technical terms for anything.
Clearly I'm not wearing them in the photos above which is a Shame. But you see, My Uggs are more of a Private Indulgence than for Public Display.
The top photo is me on the weekend standing next to a rather nattily tied bag of garbage. I've carried the nattiness across to the natty tying of the scarf which features Picasso's 'Weeping Woman', or at least one of them. Didn't he make a whole truckload of women weep?
The next photo was taken today of course beside the whiteboard.
Both outfits were designed to show off a Newly Thrifted from 'BednobsEtc' Item. Can you see what Both Outfits Share?
Yes, its the belt. I'm totally obsessed with it. It ticks all the right boxes- heavy fake gold chain , pearls & love hearts. Its the sort of thing that Sharon Stone would have worn in 'Casino', not that I've ever seen it. But I imagine she might have worn it.
I'm going to try & wear the belt every day for the rest of the week. And its only Tuesday.
What a challenge! But can I rise to it? Stay tuned to find out.

Yesterday afternoon I found a notice in my letter box informing me that I had something to pick up from the Post Office. As usual, I immediately became gripped with fear as my first impulse is to always imagine the worst. Perhaps a registered letter informing me of imminent legal proceedings over an unpaid bill? Or a dead parrot sent by a Disgruntled Friend?
By the time I reached the end of the line at the Post Office I was a mess.
Imagine my glee when I discovered that it was a parcel full of jewels from Thousand Oaks California sent not by a Disgruntled Friend, but a Caring Friend. Marge. And I'd never seen brightly coloured Bubble Wrap before!
The jewels all came from 'Diva', my totally favourite shop in the world, which now has branches in the US.
Marge knows my penchant for wearing what I like to call 'Cuffs', one on each wrist, which is the only way to wear them in my view. What a shame she didn't manage to get two of the bright pink one at the front.
You may also note some extraordinarily long dangly earrings. I'm not sure about them because I don't want people to laugh at me behind my back, although I've always said that I don't care a toss what people say about me as long as they're nice to my face.
Perhaps I'll be brave & wear them tomorrow along with my Sharon Stone belt.

Now to Home Decoration.
I do so love finding furniture & other household items in the street. Sadly, it doesn't happen often enough for my liking. But perhaps I'm greedy.
So, it was with no small degree of delight that I recently discovered this smart little padded chair outside my apartment building . It only had three legs but luckily I discovered the missing one only metres away. But its not exactly like the other three. Can you notice?
Anyway, I glued it on with white glue that goes clear when dry. And then I placed a pair of 'Ferragamo' stilettos that I recently purchased for fifteen bucks at 'BednobsEtc' on the seat. I'm not sure if shoes can be considered an appropriate decorative item. But its the only way I'm going to get my money's worth out of them because they're just too high to wear. Again, I don't want people to be pointing & sneering at me as I totter down the hill to school.

And here's another new Decorative Touch in the entrance hallway. Or perhaps I could call it a Foyer. Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Gucci & Paul Smith carry bags. A Givenchy shoe box. Most of them came out of the Recycled Bin in my building. Gosh, people must be loaded.
I'm not a bit jealous because I'm sure I wouldn't have liked anything of things that were originally inside the bags/boxes anyway.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Candid in the Classroom

What a nite its been.
A complete rollercoaster. Every emotion from A to B & everything in between. Let me walk you through it in Numbered Points:
1. I started out with yet another Sumptuously Steaming Bowl of Organic Chicken Thigh Soup. Talk about Chicken Thighs for the Soul!
And as a final touch before serving, I sliced a half an avocado into it. Talk about Innovation. Who would have thought that Avocados & Chicken Thigh Soup would wind up in the same Venn Diagram? But perhaps people have been throwing avocadoes or even hurling them into soup for decades, nay, centuries, & I never noticed?
2. While slurping soup, I watched the last 50 minutes or so of 'The Proposal' with Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds. There was Absolutely No Need to watch the first part of the film, in fact there was Absolutely No Need to watch any of it, although I did find myself crying when Sandra said after being smothered by Ryan's wacky granny, Betty White, how she had forgotten what it meant to be part of a family.
2(b) I do love a Good Cry, particularly if I'm crying about something that hasn't happened to me, or in fact hasn't happened to anybody. Like a movie or a TV show. e.g 'Doc Martin', my Show of Shows. I burst into tears every time 'The Doc' calls Louisa, 'Louisa'.
NO, I'm not menopausal.

3. After 'The Proposal' finished, which by the way I thought was a Triumph of Incongruous Casting - was Mary Steenbergen really old enough to be Sandra Bullock's Mother? Maybe it was a teenage pregnancy.....& Ryan Reynolds looked a little young for Sandra. But perhaps I'm stuck in Old Rigid Concepts, heaven forbid. Haven't I heard of The Cougar?
Anyway, After it finished, I watched 'Bednobs & Broomsticks' with Angela Lansbury & some Cockney Children. I totally loved the concept of sitting on a Brass Bed & then turning one of its knobs & going places like Fake London & was slightly peeved that I was no longer a child because I would enjoy it more, although as soon as they started to talk to cartoon characters like a monocled bird, I yawned & had to turn it off.

4. I then v. briefly tuned into a documentary about Elvis' Hangeroners. I'm not sure if that's the correct terminology. Perhaps Cronies would be be better. They were these rather unsavoury looking older gentlemen who were interviewed lined up at a bar drinking beer & doing a whole lot of nudge nudge wink wink stuff to each other about how much action they all got when they were with Elvis. I had to quickly turn it off. It was too awful.

What a nite. I now must hop into bed. But not before Bottom Lining you about these photos:

i. My official photographer has been unavailable for two weeks because she has been doing her HSC Trial Examinations. I have been forced to use Angelica, an enthusiastic Year 7 student who specialises in candid action shots. She thinks she's hilarious. And she'd be right.

ii. I'd so love to walk you through each outfit but I can't be bothered. Let me summarize: Mostly From 'Bednobs', the thrift shop not the movie. Two things were bought this week. They appear to be vintage. Like from a decade long ago. Like when slight batwing sleeves were popular. I can't remember when. Toy Golden Necklaces from a dead aviatrix from Thousand Oaks California who had a garage sale after she died & my Best Friend Marge bought them for me. Genuine Hermes scarf that I bought at 'Harrods' in London on sale for seventeen pounds when I briefly worked there as a clerical assistant in 1974. Genuine 'Ungaro' Diffusion Line horsy skirt bought at a market for five bucks. Coat camouflagesque. One other Golden Necklace that I made myself. Oh, I soo love being crafty!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Make Popular Our Love at the Four Corners

Food Update.
I've just eaten some superb chicken soup that I quickly made using tender little free range chicken thighs. I feel full but virtuous because I didn't shovel in a whole gigantic wedge of brie or a swag of raw mixed nuts as well. Those two things are my almost favourite snacks.
But of course I'm not here to Walk You Through my Dietary Habits. I'm here to talk about Outfits. That's what I decided The Topic de Jour would be.
Sadly, Della has decided otherwise. She now wants to tell you that she made another superb soup on sunday nite for her Non-Mad Men dinner. It was soo quick 'n easy & Everyone Drooled. Tyler, my stepson willingly took home the leftovers to eat for lunch the next day.
Here is the recipe. Skip this section if you are a Non-Cook.
Frozen Green Pea Soup.
1 large packet of frozen peas.
1. large container of chicken stock. Or perhaps you make your own. I know Barbra Streisand did in at least one of her movies. Not 'Yentl'. Maybe 'What's Up Doc'. That doesn't seem right, though.
1 brown onion chopped roughly. Chopping onions always makes me weep! If only I could be more like Meryl Streep when she was Julia Child in 'Julia & Julia'. Meryl chopped hundreds of them without shedding a single tear. No wonder she's won all those Oscars.
Handfuls of Mint.
Handfuls of coriander.
Gently fry onions in extra virgin olive oil under they become transparent. That's what all recipes say. Pour in chicken stock. Pour in frozen peas. Throw in herbs. Cook until peas turn a slight olive green colour. Blend in blender until smooth. Add pepper & salt. I am addicted to salt & could happily eat a Salt Sandwich for lunch every day.
Serve with sour cream if you like. I was planning to but I didn't bother in the end because the soup was believe it or not, creamy enough as it was. Perhaps sprinkle with mint.
Now to outfits.
Scroll back to the first photo. It was taken last week at 'BednobsEtc' fabulous new premises in an old computer shop. I just love the writing on the dress which sadly I didn't purchase: 'The Day After. Make Popular Our Love at the Four Corners'. It's almost, but not quite, Haiku.

The Human Zebra.
Here I am today in the staff room standing with the Chocolate prizes that we gave for our annual Oratory Competition.
In case you're wondering, I'm wearing a rather unfortunate looking zebra who looks like he's about to be burnt at the stake or something. It's one of my favourite pieces.

Naf Then. Naf Now.
And here I am, some hours later, marvelling at the Senior Sewing Classes handiwork that was on display in the School Library. I wasn't sure of the theme. Perhaps, Bordello. Surely not?
Certainly not 'Mary Poppins' which I was watching earlier this evening. Last time I saw it was when it came out at the movies when I was eleven. I thought it was Naf then & I think its Naf now. Double Naf. Goody goody two shoes Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dick who played Cyril, the cloying chimneysweep, had Absolutely No Chemistry. It was like they were both gay. And the songs went on forever. What kid could possibly like 'Its a Jolly Holiday with Mary' being sung over & over while the two stars clumped around a cartoon garden with animated penguin waiters?

Has This Bleeding Heart Got Barbed Wire Around It?
I totally love the Slightly Gothic nature of my School Environment. Last week, I had a lesson in the Keyboard Lab. It has stained glass windows. When the girls need some creative impetus to finish butchering the last chorus of 'Memories' on their Soundless Keyboards, all they need to do is stare at the heart.

Trolley Dolly.
Me at 'Zinc', my favourite cafe, 100 metres from school & 250 metres from home. I have a tab there. I'm wearing a genuine vintage coatdress made of crepe, a material that is rarely seen nowadays. When was the last time you saw crepe? Like Never.
I'm sure its from the forties & its got these pointy shoulders that are So On Trend Right Now.

Little Black Dress Dolls Under a Glass Dome.
These dolls, in fact there's a whole row of them, have been causing quite a stir in the main street of Potts Point over the past week. I trudge, or should I say, truck, past them every morning on my way to school.
The shop is called 'Cube'. I absolutely cannot decide whether I want one or not. Help.

Majorette at' BednobsEtc'
I never know what I'm going to find there.

This post is getting me down a little bit. Its just going on & on. I hope you've managed to stay with me. This is a close up of my necklace & forties coat dress.
I always think that keys make marvellous adornments.

Last photo. I'm exhausted. Maths classroom. Black dress. Black flower necklace intertwined with black scarf. Holding jacket. Glad I'm not a Maths teacher.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Its Not My Wardrobe That's Looking Tired

Its not my wardrobe that's tired. Its me.
Let me walk you through My Day & then you'll understand:
1. Woke up like a Startled Fawn & then, remembering my age, staggered out of bed.
2 .Put on Ugh Boots & padded to bathroom. Drew bath.
3. Padded to kitchen & put kettle on. Made a cup of Twinings 'Afternoon Tea' even though it was morning.
4. Mentally wrestled with the idea that I am again about to eat another 'Uncle Toby's Oat Temptations' Porridge Sachet, Maple Syrup flavour. If a nutritionist was evaluating my diet, they would be horrified I'm sure.
5. Drank tea in bath. Tentatively decided what to wear.
6. Reluctantly got out of bath. Hastily dried myself.

7. Approached Wardrobe with a Quietly Confident, nay, Cocky Air. I KNOW what I'm going to put on.
8. Put clothes on. Wrong. Cocky Air quickly dissipates.
9. Put more clothes on. Still wrong. Mild panic sets in.
10 Put still more clothes on. A spotted velour skirt bought a few weeks back from 'Bednobs' but never worn suddenly discovered languishing in back of wardrobe. Brief moment of recognition & Slight Short Lived Euphoria.

11. Empty 'Oat Temptations' sachet into bowl & microwave. Ninety seconds spent wondering about validity of claims in Sunday Newspaper that canned foods, non-stick cookware, particularly if scratched, & standing less than a metre away from microwave when activated, are slowly poisoning me & kitchen. Slightly moved away from microwave.
12. Ate Oats. Loved every mouthful.
13. Applied new 'Minerals' powder makeup newly purchased at discount pharmacy. Marvelled at frown lines. Cleaned teeth while hoping that front left hand tooth won't get any blacker.
12. Left home. Trawled down street.
13. Picked up takeaway latte from 'Zinc'.
14. Entered classroom with latte. Tried to channel The Queen Mother.
15. Too tired to go on.

PS: Hope you like my posters I made for our Op Shop Fashion Parade & Stall.