About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)

 

 

“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin

 

 

 

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Entries in Cat Stevens (4)

Monday
Dec292014

Groupie (sort of)

I showed a "Groupie" poster in my last post and, in November, I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of following one of my favorite artists (and object of my teenage obsession) across Europe.

For my birthday, my thoughtful boyfriend planned a trip to Europe to see Yusuf/Cat Stevens (he goes by both or either name now) in concert twice (Paris and Berlin) and Morrissey once (Antwerp). Through my pleading Somehow, we ended up seeing Cat Stevens a third time in Dusseldorf and Morrissey again in London.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Berlin, November 2014I saw Cat Stevens in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1976, and again in Brussels in 2010. He’s released a new blues and R & B album, and I admire him for going back to his roots and recording tunes that got him into music in the 1960s, since so many musical artists who were big in that period are now doing ‘safe’ pop music.

There were only slight variations in the playlists of the three concerts—all combined his older music (going back to 1966 with “I Love My Dog”) with a good number of his new songs. Cat was out of the limelight, not touring or recording (or smoking) for decades, and I think his voice and performance were all the better for it. He looked like he was having a blast, more so than in the 70s. His voice is unchanged (which you can’t say for others of his generation, such as Bob Dylan). It still has that deep caramel-y quality with those lovely growls (I'm thinking of my favorite song “Sitting”). Alun Davies, his talented, long-time guitarist accompanied him for the entire European and North American tour. The rest of the band were very tight and seemed to be having a good time, too.

Yusuf/Cat Stevens concert stage set, Berlin, November 2014 The stage set at each venue looked like an abandoned train station (i.e. waiting for the Peace Train).

1970s handkerchief dress and new-ish hat purchased at Goodwill. 1970s moon face, 1930s faceted glass, and metal Indian necklaces. The seed bead necklace and wooden bead bracelet I made in the early 1970s. Vintage and Indian bangles. 1970s Pakistani bag, purchased on eBay. I had bought this dress at my local charity shop a couple years ago in spite of the fact that I couldn’t zip it up and still breathe with ease. When my boyfriend bought our concert tickets on September 5, I vowed that in the ensuing 9 weeks, I’d lose enough weight to fit into it for the Paris concert. And I did.

Tea after the concertDetail of rayon handkerchief dressHere's a nearly identical one (for substantially more than what I paid).

There's that hat, bag and 1970s moon face pendant again. 1970s The Villager vest from Goodwill. Tunic and leggings from Goodwill. Vintage star pin purchased on eBay.Vintage star pin with colored glass cabochons, purchased on eBay.

Another 1970s velvet Pakistani bag that I’ve added to my collection.

In addition to hearing the song “Sitting” live three times, a highlight was a second encore in Paris in which Cat performed the heart-felt song, “Trouble.”

Here's an odd coincidence--I only found out a couple years after we met that my boyfriend, according to his mother, is distantly related to Cat Stevens’ spouse.

Linking up to Visible Monday, hosted by the lovely Patti of Not Dead Yet Style, and to Judith's Hat Attack #18.

Sunday
Nov172013

Everyone jump upon the peace train

The two biggest categories of clothing in my wardrobe are 'things I've bought in India' and 'vintage 1970s'. So what do I do when MarketPlace: Handwork of India, which offers high-quality clothing made in India, asks me to collaborate by styling one of their garments on my blog? I take it through the 'way-back' machine.

First with an early 1970s, Teaser-and-the-Firecat sort of vibe.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic DressAs anyone who's been reading my blog knows, my interest in India has focused on textiles and animal issues. I spent much of my travels there visiting and buying from artisans and connecting with animal welfare organizations. I've always been keen on supporting artisans and the preservation of traditional crafts. So, when MarketPlace contacted me, I jumped at the chance to collaborate.

MarketPlace is a non-profit, fair trade organization that has provided economic opportunities for low-income women in India since 1986. I used to get their print catalog and enjoyed reading about and seeing the faces of some of the 480 artisans whose work was represented. The artisans are organized into 14 independent cooperatives. These cooperatives create an empowered space where women can develop leadership skills and acquire the tools and confidence to advocate for social change in their communities. They have tackled a number of public health and social issues, and are more committed to keeping their daughters in school to get a better education than many of them did as girls. Please do read more about MarketPlace's mission here.

I love the combination of the ikat print with the block-printed floral print on the Manipur Tunic Dress. The floral print is embellished with hand-worked embroidery and sequins. And you'all know, I'm a sucker for fabric-covered buttons. MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Hat purchased at a street market in Toronto in the 1990s. 1960s Indian scarf. Assortment of metal pins I've had since the 1970s. Bangles purchased in India. Le Fleur boots by Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. At barely 5 ft. 3 inches tall, I often have a problem with clothes being made for someone taller. But many of MarketPlace's styles come in petite sizes, so the length of this dress is perfect.

The Manipur Tunic Dress nudged me into the mid-1970s as well.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Israeli Tichel scarf, purchased new. Embroidered velvet bag, gift from Vix. Churidar (pants) purchased in India. Bangles purchased in India. Clogs, thrifted and painted metallic blue by me. Just last night, after I had already taken the photo above, I was browsing some vintage Vogue magazines online and came across this.

Editorial from Vogue U.K. September 1975Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, where Patti has her MarketPlace jacket beautifully styled. Also check out the stunning MarketPlace tunic dress on Val's blog, Late Blooming Sparkle.

I was given an item of clothing by MarketPlace: Handwork of India for free, but my review is entirely my own opinion. Sponsored posts are not my thing, but I was already a fan of this organization, so am happy to lend my support.

Oh, and thanks for the book recommendations from my last post.

Sunday
Jul212013

Christmas in July

I recently drafted a pattern for an A-line skirt and when I went to the fabric store to get muslin, I found that the cheapest cottons they had were Christmas prints on sale. (What, me buy something new? My local thrift store rarely has fabric or cotton sheets). So I decided to make the muslin for my skirt out of green cotton with gold stars.

‘Christmas’ print cotton skirt, made by me. 1970s blouse by Nutmeg, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s green plastic bead necklace, thrifted, Goodwill. 1980s star pin, thrifted, Boomerang. 1960s striped belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Bangles purchased in India. Dansko clogs, thrifted, Goodwill. Thai silk handbag, thrifted, Goodwill.I then broke two of my own rules (Rule #1- Never tuck anything in. Rule #2 - Never wear yellow since it makes me look jaundiced) by tucking a mid-1970s blouse in yellow with black stripes and piping into my ‘Christmas’ skirt.

It was also like Christmas this weekend because I received a little package in the mail from Cardiff, Wales. I had sent Sian--who blogs about crafting, vegan cooking, books, and more-- a couple of the novels I acquired and read when I was in London. Both were set in 1960s Wales and I thought she would appreciate them.

She did, and sent me this sweet bluebird pin (packaged in a Leone pastilles box that matched the blouse I was wearing). I love it and planned to wear right away.

Like Saturday’s outfit, Sunday’s was in the category of “things I never wear.” I don’t normally wear pastel colors or lace or self-belts that tie. But, I was attracted to the butterfly sleeves of this 1970s home-sewn, ice-blue polyester dress at the thrift store.

I was put off by the large coffee stain (that’s the story I gave it and I’m sticking to it) on the back of the skirt. I've had good luck getting stains out of polyester, so I bought it, washed it and it was as good as new. Except for a couple pulls at the waist where the thrift store had pinned the belt that came with it. Aargh!

I wore it to trek over to the Davis Flea, a weekly flea market that started last year but which I hadn’t visited yet. Unfortunately, the market wasn’t very big and I didn’t see much worth reporting on.

1970s polyester dress, thrifted, Goodwill. Hat, no idea, as before. Bluebird pin, gift from Sian. Silver necklace, Cultural Survival Bazarr. Bangles, purchased in India. Late 1960s/early 1970s Pakistani velvet bag, purchased at a yard sale years ago (the first bag of what would become a collection!). Sandals, purchased new at Moo Shoes, NY.I’m thinking that I’ll shorten this dress to just above the knee. What do you think?

On my way to the Flea, I cut through the campus of Harvard University. And was dismayed to see that the tree where Winnie the Pooh has had his pied-à-terre for nearly 30 years (no one knows for sure how long) had been cut down.  Thankfully, a stump had been left and a new roof was built for it.

Happy 65th birthday, Yusuf (a.k.a. Cat Stevens)!

 

I wasn't invited to Yusuf's birthday party, so I'll head over to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday shindig. And, join '70s flashback get-together on Spy Girl's blog.

Wednesday
May232012

With stars on my shoes

The options for comfortable, reasonably priced vegan footwear, though growing every day, still isn’t enough for my tastes. I have leather shoes from my pre-vegan days that I have been wearing until they fall apart. I still have a couple pairs that have seen better days but aren’t ready to be tossed. So, I decided to reinvigorate them with paint.

I did some online research and found that Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paints work well on leather shoes. I bought two “Exciter” packs of paint, one with small bottles of seven colors and one with nine colors. I painted one pair of shoes. Then, a pair of sandals. Since the sampler assortment were all metallic (the Lumiere line), I then to buy some bottles of Neopaque (non-metallic) colors. I then painted two more pairs of shoes. I now have a shoe painting addiction.

I painted a comfy pair of BØRN clogs with Pearlescent Blue, straight from the bottle. The color was more metallic than pearlescent. And it was very electric. So I did a second coat with Pearlescent Blue to which I’d added a touch of Neopaque Black. I had painted the insole Metallic Olive Green and it was too bright. So I did a second coat, adding Neopaque Black to darken the color, giving it an antique feel.

I was listening to the Cat Steven’s album, Catch Bull at Four and the song, Boy with a Moon and a Star on His Head was playing. It occurred to me that I could paint anything I wanted (or was capable of painting) on my shoes, so I decided on stars. The star motif -- used a lot in the 1970s -- is one of my favorite motifs. I experimented with freehand Metallic Gold stars on the insole. They came out alright, so I took a deep breath and painted stars on the upper band of the clog.

Somehow the surfaces lacked definition, so I painted a Sunset Gold and Pearlescent Violet band around the insole and on the edge of the top part of the shoe. The two colors got a bit lost on the upper band so I painted over it with just the Sunset Gold. I also painted the band along the lower edge in Sunset Gold.

The cream-colored stitching in the platform didn’t look right, so it got touched up with Pearlescent Violet. One of the websites had recommended putting an acrylic sealer on the paint.

After a few days, I put two coats of sealer on the upper part of the clog and the insole. It gave it a shiny appearance that I didn’t particularly like. But is also made the insole a bit slippery. So I stripped the sealer off with some ammonia and decided not to seal the three other pairs of shoes I painted.

Soon after painting my clogs, I found a never-worn pair of electric blue tights for 99 cents at the thrift store.