Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Badly Behaved Blog Has a Sister

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have a New Blog.
I'm not usually in favour of having more than one blog, although I wouldn't care if you, O Gentle Reader, had a whole wardrobe of them. It's just that I can barely handle one rather Badly Behaved Blog that seems to have a mind of it's own which is strange because a blog isn't supposed to have a Mind.
And anyway, I don't want to create the impression that I'm Empire Building or anything, do I?

The New Blog is called Doll Hotel. I was desperate to call it Doll Hospital but sadly, that Name was taken.
But upon reflection, I think that 'Hotel' is perhaps a little cheerier than 'Hospital'. I definitely don't want anyone to associate my Artwork - for that is what Doll Hotel is about,  with being sick.
Quelle Horreur!

Please come & take a look. I'm just going to upload a small little show of photographs of my beloved action figures doing what they do best - having complicated relationships with themselves & others.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Back on the Hamster Wheel

 Well, I'm desperately trying to eeke (is there such a word, I wonder?) out the last little dregs of my v. long holiday which began so long ago.
And then, as I type, I see this cheery ad on TV for something called an Apia Funeral Plan which is set in a zoo & features smiling grandparents talking matter-of-factly about how they don't want their loved ones to be worried about money 'at a time like that' while their cute grandson looks on & smiles & nods.
OMG, I'd better start getting the most out life before it's too late.....
You can see from the photo above of MBFF Marge & me that we're desperately trying to to do so except for the fact that we look a little bit like we're in Prison which of course is by no means a reflection of our combined Mental State.
Certainly Not.
Note that Marge is wearing a bright pink, nay, Magenta Jacket which is one of her many Signature Looks that I shamelessly stole from her when I seized upon a similar jacket at the Salvation Army Depot.
 Luckily, we'll both be wearing her Signature Look in different hemispheres.

You can see I'm pointing to My Magenta Jacket just like I'm a game show hostess on The Price is Right or Whatever.
 With only a matter of hours to go before I boarded the plane  home, I'm proudly showing off all my USA spoils which include two 'Coach' bags fresh from the Factory Shoppe in Santa Barbara, a King's Ransom in Jewels from Forever 21 in the Mall, stacks of clothes for daughter, Maeflower from H&M, makeup from Sephora & loads of thrifted clothes.
It took a helluva lot of pushing & shoving & squeezing to get all this stuff as well as a little cache of LP Records again for Maeflower & a set of decorative plates I got on sale at Anthropologie & a heavy book on Diana Vreeland & a whole lot of dirty underwear into my bag.
Sadly, when I finally plopped the bag onto the scales at the check-in counter at LAX, the Virgin Australia Person shook her head & said that if I wanted to take the bag home I would have to remove nine kilos & pay an extra $100. I stood there meekly, too catatonic to cry while the ever-resourceful-fab-in-a-emergency Marge unzipped the bag, found the plates that were hidden in the underwear, removed a big heavy stash of candy & calmly placed the bag back on the scales where it miraculously had lost the requisite weight.
I wish I could lose weight that easily.

 Back home, I was thrilled that signs were up around the place instructing me to breathe.

 Of course as soon as I got home, one of the first things I was desperate to do was to shake the shackles of winter behind me & head to the beach.
That is, if only it would stop raining. Or blowing a gale. Or having a heat wave.
Last friday, Sydney had the hottest day on record. It was over 45 degrees centigrade.
After listening to a spokesperson from the Ambulance Services advise that Elderly People should be v. careful, I wisely drew the blinds & went to bed.
But when it cooled down, I eventually headed down to Sydney's most famous beach, Bondi for a gruelling walk from Bondi to Bronte Beach.
I grew up in Bondi & spent the first 21 years of my life there, although it now feels like it happened to a different person. I couldn't help photographing this little group of female Bondi Lifesavers above, a far cry from the Burly Male Lifesavers of my youth.

What the Hell just happened?
Have I  fallen into some dark existential rabbit hole?
 Or maybe a Hamster Hole? That sounds cozier. But perhaps they don't  have Holes, just Wheels.
Oh God. I'm on a Hamster Wheel.

Still, it Could be Worse.
Here I am on the promenade at Bondi desperately trying to avoid any further sun damage by wearing this effective sunshade generously provided by Dobbo, one of my Boot Camp Compatriots who accompanied me on the gruelling walk.
As I loathe Exercise Outfits or looking like I'm exercising, I'm wearing a whole stash of sparkly necklaces including a pendant featuring a be-jewelled tiger in order to create the impression that I'm actually on my way to a Cocktail Party instead of a Exercise Session.
Sadly, I think I look more like I'm about to read someone's Tarot.

Meanwhile, Back at Bednobs & Broomsticks, my favourite Charity Shoppe, things don't look as Magically Fab as they usually do after The Jewish Women's League Thrift Store in Santa Monica & the cavernous Salvation Army Depot in Thousand Oaks.
I'm forlornly holding up a costume that a waitress in a German Beer Hall would wear.
It was a steal at five bucks.
Sadly, it didn't fit.
But a few days later, things began to brighten up.
I got this black dress that back in the sixties, or maybe even the seventies would have been called a 'Shirtmaker'.
 And then a Real Armani Jacket. And a Diane von Furstenberg silk wrap dress. And also a DVF silk top. Oh, & a DVF pair of genuine plastic sandals.
And today a Real not Toy Marc by Marc Jacobs bag.
Back on that Hamster Wheel.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Off Again

I'm going home today. Or more accurately this evening.
My mind is full of Slight Little Worries that I ache to list now but I won't because I think it would test the limits of even the most Eager Reader.
So instead, why don't I distract myself by walking you through A Pictorial History of Sightseeing in Los Angeles & Ventura County?
Look above at this Ungainly Portrait of MBFF Marge desperately trying to squeeze into an old woolen dress straight out of the early eighties or even earlier at The Salvation Army Depot at Newbury Park. Both of us were seduced by it's label - I. Magnin,which was a High-End luxury  Department Store in Southern California. Marge & I are suckers for luxury. You only have to look at us to know that.

Sadly, Marge couldn't fit into it. We had quite a time wrenching it out of her.

Then it was my turn.
Although I was thrilled that unlike Marge I could actually get the dress over my head, I was not so thrilled that the buttons were a little tight. Too many In-&-Out-Burgers and Gingerbread Lattes from Starbucks over the Holiday Season as they call it here.
And, and ... how Matronly am I willing to go in the service of Age Appropriate Dressing?
We turfed it back on the rack & moved on to Fresh Fields.

Talking of Age Appropriate Dressing, Marge couldn't resist trying on this completely reversible Jean Jacket that was lined in what looked like real Fur. We couldn't exactly place what type it was. Perhaps Fox. Or maybe Hamster.

Even though it doesn't look like it, we did manage to make a few purchases. But crazed with the adrenalin that only Thrift Shopping can create, we moved on to our next Shoppe - The Jewish Women's League Thrift Store in Santa Monica.
Here's Marge, below, again demonstrating the Powerful Effects that Hat Wearing can have on the Middleaged.

I, of course kept well away from Hats & confined my relentless search to tastefully Age Appropriate Dresses that sadly I couldn't manage to zip up. You can see me discreetly trying to do this in the middle picture above in a darkened corner of the vast store.
Note that I never bother with actually taking my clothes off in a change room. I just put everything on over whatever it is that I'm wearing. If it's tight even with layers on clothes on underneath, I know that it will be tight without them. I know it sounds strange, but it's kind of true.
But words almost, but not quite, fail me when I wish to describe The Jewish Women's League Shoppe. Why don't I just simply list the brands: Ferragamo, YSL, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen sprinkled amongst the usual Coldwater Creek, Merona, Target & my personal favourite, Sag Harbour. What a name? I know it's got zhooshy Patrician East Coast overtones, but who wants to buy anything with the word 'Sag' on the label? It's too close to home.
But the Big Coup of the day was the Suede & Snake bag that Marge is gleefully holding up like it's a Huge Marlin she's just freshly caught off the coast of Maine. Or perhaps Nassau.
I was the one who actually spied it hiding in a mess of the usual sadly discarded bags of Questionable Provenance. I liked the classy gold hardware & it looked like Real Suede & sadly, Real Snake. But I'd never heard of the brand. Onna Ehrlich.
We inquired the price.
Six bucks.
We thought about for awhile like we were weighing up whether or not to buy a computer or a Marc Jacobs bag, but decided in the end, what the hell, throw it in the basket with all the other stuff.
Much later at home whilst I was resting, Marge burst into my room & informed me that after a little consultation with her iPad, she had discovered that Onna Ehrlich bags sell for like, $700.
We were shocked.
Who knew?

Here's Marge above Without a Hat. We took this picture outside a Starbucks mainly because we wanted to capture the gentlemen in the v. old Mercedes just behind her that of course you can hardly see. He was wearing a cravat & smoking a white tipped cigarette. We were kind of intrigued by his Oldey Worldey Charm.
Note Marge is wearing her usual Matching Cuffs & old Handbag that I've been urging her to turf out in favour of using a Small Posse of Different Handbags to suit Different Looks, even though style guru, Simon Doonan doesn't approve of that. He thinks stick to one bag. How could someone who was the Style Director for Barney's who are choc-a-block with Designer Bags say that, I wonder?

Next we went on an excursion to Downtown Los Angeles that I totally loved. I'll now have to switch to Numbered Points, my favourite text type because I've just realised the time - 11.45 & I must start packing because we're going out to have my Final Mexican Meal of the trip followed by a session looking at photos of us when we were young.
1. Downtown - mixture of old 150 high buildings straight out of Raymond Chandler & high glassy skyscrapers.
2. Marge outside entrance to Biltmore Hotel, downtown LA.
3. Biltmore site of eight Academy Awards including first one.
4. Stayed for hours.
5. Me looking like an Old Aunt who's been wheeled out for the day for a special treat sitting up having Afternoon Tea in the Rendezvous Court of the Biltmore. Only we decided to have lunch - soup & Caesar Salad & Diet Coke (my usual LA lunch).

6. Me in the lift.
7. We loved the lifts & played in them for some minutes.
8. Thought about Bette Davis getting into this lift.
9. Look a little like v. old Airline Stewardess.

10. Marvelling at large picture of Prohibition-Era banquet held at the Hotel. Glasses of water at every table.

10. Then off to Coach Factory Outlet at Santa Barbara.
11. I saved $430.
12. Dinner at the Chase Restaurant & Bar in Main Street of Santa Barbara. 
13. Loved Christmas Lights. Very kind to our faces.

14. Took photos of each other at dinner.
15. Realised that turning the flash on makes us look years younger.
16. Must pack.
17. Must go back.
18. V. Sad.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Ear

As I type, I note that the date on my computer tell me that it's 1 January 2013.
But where I am in California, it's still 2012.
Clearly, I'm caught between Two Worlds like in my own episode of The Twilight Zone.

Anyway, Happy New Ear whatever Time Zone you are in.
I hope you like my little Holiday Ornament above which I spied in the Gift Shoppe at The Huntington Library.
Look above at the photo.
You would hardly believe that it's the same person. Or if you did think it was, you would hardly believe that the two photos were taken within days of each other. Maybe only even one day.
It's MBFF Marge showcasing the Devastating Effects of Wearing a Hat in Middleage.
And perhaps not smiling when being photographed.

Next is a Rather Smug Me at the Historical Santa Barbara Mission in front of a little posse of  Tiny Dogs in Holiday Frocks. Note I'm wearing a hugely o'ersized Gloria Vanderbilt cozy shirt that I recently thrifted at the Salvation Army Depot in Thousand Oaks. I only bought it because of the name & also because I had some half-baked idea that I might look like a 60s Beatnik in it.
 Sadly, no.
Also of some note is the Real Not Toy Chloe Paddington Bag that I thrifted from BednobsEtc recently. I was jumping up & down with joy at My Good Fortune at snaring such a find until I discovered that  a pivotal part of the Paddington is a Prominently Featured Lock which of course didn't come with the bag.
That's probably why it was donated in the first place. But of course I'm wearing it anyway.
 After all, it's not as if The Paddington Bag Police are going to come after me & confiscate the bag because it doesn't have a lock.

Talk about a Quintessential Christmas Scene.
Maeflower & Me positioned in front of a blazing Artificial Fire amid a sea of beautifully wrapped Christmas Gifts that we were up until 1am the previous nite wrapping.
They took two hours to unwrap.

Maeflower got a couple of books & plenty of other things like v.v. dark nail polish.

Naetitia got a year's subscription to an Italian Cooking Magazine.
You can see that she was thrilled.

Marge was initially thrilled with what appeared in the Salvation Army Depot to be a Real Not Toy Kate Spade Bag. She had only recently been trawling through a catalogue of these bags & had set her heart on almost this exact same bag except that it was in Shocking Pink. For a brief moment, Marge thought that she had finally sharpened up her Manifesting Powers.
Sadly, she hadn't.
Once we got it home & were able to inspect it closely under Huge Arc Lamps, we realised it was a Fake.
There's a lesson in there somewhere but I'm not quite sure where.

Lastly, My Message to You, Dear Reader: Feel Good.
Happy New Ear.