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 hat (6)

Tuesday
Oct012013

Hat Attack #3 and a testimonial

I have no idea if Home Economics classes have survived in U.S. junior high and high schools. I remember the first Home Economics class I had in 7th grade, which covered sewing for a whole year. The following year was cooking and the year after that was something like family relationships or child development or something. Boys took 'shop' to learn woodworking, car mechanics, and mechanical drawing. By the time I got to high school, these classes were no longer segregated by gender and I was able to take an architectural drawing class.

Click pic for source.This was my first sewing project in Home Ec.

My second project was a bit more ambitious-- a lined jacket made of blue and beige batik-patterned cotton with wooden toggle buttons. I loved that jacket and wish I had held onto it.

Recently, I found a black quilted velveteen jacket that reminded be of that 7th grade project. In anticipation of colder weather I created an outfit for the Style Crone's latest Hat Attack #3 challenge with my new jacket.

Wool beret I purchased in 1978 at Faces of Earth, Amherst, MA. 1970s F.A. Chatta black velveteen quilted jacket, thrifted, Boomerang. 1990s Jean Paul Gaultier wool trousers purchased new, Filene's Basement. Madden Girl non-leather brogues, thrifted. Bamboo-cotton long-sleeved t-shirt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1920s celluloid rose brooch I've had for decades. Amber beads I've had for decades. 1970s red belt, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s bucket handbag I've had for decades.This brooch has had a broken leaf for as long as I've owned it (40+ years), but I wear it anyway.Although I've been wearing trousers the past couple weeks, I spent the summer in skirts and dresses, a fairly recent phenomenon for me. Prior to this past summer, I bared my legs reluctantly.

For the past 20 or so years, I’ve had a skin condition I dubbed “itchy-leg syndrome.” I don’t know why but my legs itched all the time, especially at night. I would consciously and unconsciously (sometimes in my sleep) scratch them. This happened year round, at home, in the U.K., in India, everywhere. Doctors were of little help, suggesting that it might be a low-level allergy to something very common, like dust. I was told to use steroid cream or take an antihistamine daily. I wanted to determine the cause and not be reliant on medicines to just treat the symptoms--and did nothing.

So, I've spent decades looking like I’d been attacked by a pack of wolverines. Long red scratches criss-crossed my legs (and sometimes arms), which after years, built up into a patchwork of scars. When I did expose my legs, people would recoil in horror.

About six months ago, after watching this video by Dr. Michael Greger, I started taking a teaspoon of flax seed oil every day. I have it 'neat', on salad, or in smoothies. Now, my legs don't itch and the scars are slowly fading. It's a miracle, I tell you.

If you have any issues with sensitive skin, give flax seeds or flax seed oil a try and let me know how it goes.

Sunday
Sep012013

Dog was my co-pilot

 

With two of my favorite charges at the hurricane relief center. 'Red dog' just wanted cuddle all the time. From his scars, it appears he was a 'bait dog' used in dogfighting.I started this blog on December 23, 2005 and two days later, on Christmas Day, I flew to New Orleans to take care of dogs rescued from Hurricane Katrina. In February, 2006, I went back for a second volunteer stint. This blog was intended to be about the plight of the rescued dogs, but then came to be about all animals and particularly animals in India (how’s that for a niche?)

Looking back at old posts, I see that I even managed to work in my craft endeavors.

Embroidered and painted quilt square inspired by images from aftermath of Hurricane Katrina For decades I collected vintage dog photos (unfortunately, still packed away since my move back into my apartment 3 years ago) and all manner of dog tchotchkes.

Vignettes from my living room:

1950s Phil-Mar Corporation ceramic TV lamp. The company called this the TV 110 Wolfhounds lamp. Click pic for more info on Phil-Mar TV lamps.

One of my favorite vintage photos, of a woman and her German Shepherd. The cookie tins store my postcard collection. And in my kitchen:

Contemporary and vintage dog mugs.Glass dog-shaped containers and glass dogs. Vintage "my best friend's biscuit" tin, 1930s framed tile and 1930s painted tray. And, of course, there were a dozen years with the love-of-my-life, Rudy, who’s been gone for 10 years, but I still think of her nearly every day.

Me and Rudy when she was quite young, 1991.As you can see in the photo that accompanies this post memorializing her, Rudy liked to ride shotgun with my friend Chris (who I co-parented her with). So, I created some low-budget bumper stickers for his truck.

Rudy poses with bumper sticker with her likeness.After neglecting my blog for a couple years, it was reincarnated in 2010 as a ‘whatever-strikes-my-fancy’ blog (which usually means vintage clothing, thrifting, sewing, shoe painting, vegan food, books, and travel).

So back to the present, which, unfortunately, is not so dog-focused --

My local thrift stores aren’t as cheap as I would like, and I’m always jealous of bloggers who find treasures for pennies. A couple weeks ago, I took a bus over to the next town, to a giant thrift store I had never been to before. Wednesdays are ‘senior’ (to them, anyone over age 50) discount days. The place is huge, and it took some digging, but I ended up with 2 dresses, 4 blouses, 2 scarves, some hair accessories and a pair of curtains. In the check-out line I was pleased that I was going to get the senior discount, which I assumed was 20-25%. Imagine my delight to find out it was 50% (but just on clothes and accessories). My total came to $21.00!

My favorite purchase was this late 1960s-early 1970s peacock blue, paisley/ikat patterned, low-cut, empire waist maxi dress (I think I just typed all of my favorite dress descriptors). It cost all of $3!

Hair flower taken from a hat purchased in the 1980s. 1970s pewter and ceramic pendant, purchased at a car boot sale in London. Embroidered corduroy and velvet Pakistani bag, purchased at Boomerang’s.There is no Visible Monday this week, so I’m joining Judith at Style Crone’s Hat Attack. For all manner of vintage and contemporary headwear, have a look!

It seems like most of the bloggers I know live with cats and not so many with dogs. More dogs on blogs, please.

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.

Monday
Jul082013

Independence Day weekend

After my last post, I got a bit carried away with red, white and blue.

Red, White, and Blue Cowgirl

I found these T.U.K. cowboy boots (and they're non-leather!) at the thrift store last week and raided my Etsy store for the 1970s cowgirl dress.The denim vest was another recent thrift-store find and I know it's going to become a mainstay of my wardrobe.

The Indian print scarf I've had since the 1970s and the Indian embroidered bag (which you can’t really see) just got a new lease on life after I refurbished it with a new zipper, lining, and strap. The beaded bracelet may have been something A.’s mother brought back from Kenya (where she grew up), but he can’t remember.

Red, White, and Blue California Girl

Straw hat, thrifted with hat band added by me. 1970s Graf Californiawear blouse. 1990s H & M denim mini-skirt. Bloomingdale’s b-line stockings, thrifted. Clogs, thifted and painted by me. Beaded necklace, thrifted. 1970s woven belt – no idea.I might have to reclaim this 1970s Graf Californiawear polyester blouse from my Etsy shop.

Last week saw some good thrifting. Imagine my delight at finding this pair of star-patterned knee-high stockings--what with my star mini-obsession (yes, those are stars that I painted on my clogs).

Sporty Red, White, and Blue

1970s DR (Design Research) t-shirt, yard sale. Metal peace sign pin I’ve had since the 1970s. People used to dream about the future (an experimental design collective in the 1990s) red pants, purchased in the 1990s at Filene’s Basement. Linking up with Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday and Spy Girl's 52 Pick-Me-Up: 70s Flashback.

Wednesday
May082013

Silents at the seaside

Greetings from the U.K.!

After a hectic few days of giving my apartment a good scrubbing in preparation for the house-sitter and trying on all of my clothes in order to figure out what to pack, I flew to London.

My luggage containing all the clothes I’ll need for the changeable weather of the U.K. and enough accessories to keep me from getting bored for two months.

The day after I arrived and before I really knew where I was, my boyfriend A. whisked me off to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast for a silent film festival. As I’ve reported in previous posts, A. is quite a silent film buff and I’m learning to be one too.

The cinema there was built in 1919, screening many a silent film in its first decade.

We saw quintessentially English, sea-side themed films based on the early 20th-century stories by W.W. Jacobs. Of course, they were accompanied by live music.

© 1928 Collection George Eastman House The highlight of the weekend was a screening of the American film, Beggars of Life (1928), “a rollicking saga of hobos on the lam” starring the captivating Louise Brooks. In keeping with the era and location, the music was provided by silent film accompanist par excellence Neil Brand and the U.K. skiffle band, The Dodge Brothers (which includes Mark Kermode, a film critic and TV presenter). I had doubts about Americana music played by a group of Brits (although one member is an American now living in the U.K.), but their performance was amazing and their music ranged from soulful to exciting (to accompany the chase and train crash scenes). If you haven’t seen silent films -- the musicians pretty much make up the score as they watch the film. So Brandt’s piano playing set the tone and The Dodge Brothers had to follow along.

After the screening A. and I -- being the only attendees who had specially come to Aldeburgh for the festival -- were invited to a small after-party for the band and festival organizers.

Graves of Benjamin Britten and his partner Peter Pears. Aldeburgh is best known as the home of the composer Benjamin Britten and it hosts numerous music festivals, including one founded by Britten himself. Other than the festival, it didn't seem like there’s a lot going on there, which it turns out is its appeal for those with holiday homes. It’s also incredibly expensive and does not have a train station, which helps keep the riff-raff out. On Sundays and bank holidays, we found out that there isn’t even bus service in or out of the town, so we ended up having to take a taxi to the nearest train station, then changing three times to get back to London.

Shingle beach, self-catering cottages, 16th Moot Hall, ’Snooks,’ a memorial to a veterinarian couple. Me in my element at a car boot sale, our B & B, a wicker fence lining the footpath, my boot finds.We did enjoy the picturesque views and the laid-back atmosphere. Our B & B was on the top floor of a 19th c. former convent. We took a walk along a footpath that led us through a churchyard and cemetery. Other than the films and the after party, a high point was getting to a car boot sale on Sunday morning (the charity shops in town were crazy-expensive), where I scored 1965 and 1969 issues of Queen magazine.

1940s frock coat, thrifted, Goodwill, Cambridge. Clogs, thrifted, Goodwill, Cambridge, and painted by me. Hat, thrifted, Goodwill, Cambridge, embellished by me. 1960s sunglasses, purchased at Dollar-A-Pound, Cambridge 20+ years ago. 1930s Bakelite brooch I’ve had for decades. 1960s scarf, purchased at Mr. Bird Vintage Fair, Birmingham. Bangles purchased in India.  I spent the weekend looking out-of-place amidst all the tourists in their t-shirts, shorts and sandals. Yeah, it was sunny but there was a nippy breeze. My boyfriend commented that I looked like I had an aversion to the sun. My one concession to summer was the straw hat and sunglasses. It’s not like I was following the tradition of older women wearing street clothes at the seaside, I just feel cold more than others. And we spent four or more hours each day inside a dark theater and not romping on the beach.

1970s does 1940s dress, purchased at Spitalfields Market, London. Tights, retail. Clogs, thrifted and painted by me. 1940s necklace I’ve owned for decades.As above with thrifted straw hat with new ribbon and made-by-me fabric flower. I also made a red herringbone hatband that I wore the previous day. You can watch The Dodge Brothers and Neil Brand do a sound check for Beggars of Life.

After the film, The Dodge Brothers played this song, "No. 9." Here they perform it at The Royal Albert Hall.

Do go see Beggars of Life if the opportunity arises.

Tuesday
Mar122013

Austere tea party, anyone?

In honor of Woman’s History Month, a local vegan café held a Ladies Tea Brunch this past Sunday. When I read that hats and tea party attire were mandatory, I reserved a spot right away. Seeing as we just had a few feet of snow (and I had just watched two episodes of Land Girls on Hulu), I opted for the sober colors and warm fabrics of the 1940s.

First I had to revive this red velvet cap that I used to wear all the time in the 1980s. I removed the ratty netting and the ornamental buttons that were missing rhinestones. I then steamed and pressed it on to a mannequin head to get its shape back.

That accomplished, it was time to check on the dress, a donkey-brown wool number from the early 40s, again something I bought in the 80s and haven’t worn since.

I love the details: the gathers on the top and the pin tucks in the lower part of the sleeve, the tiny gold studs on the shoulders and triangular pockets, the gathered bodice and flared skirt.

And, ta-dah!

The dress, hat, brooch on hat, necklace, gloves, and shoes are original 1940s. I've owned all of them for decades, except for the shoes, which are a recent acquistion.

The bag was made in India and purchased on the street in New York in the 1990s. I just tucked the handle inside to use it as a clutch. The stockings are the wrong color, but I was relying on what I already owned. The eyeglasses are new prescription ones, for which the jury is still out. They did work well with this outfit though.

I had worn this 1940s coat to the point of near disintegration in the 1980s and have been on the verge of throwing it out many times. I’m glad I hadn’t. It needed a few repairs to make it wearable for an afternoon, though. I teamed it with a scarf bought new in the 1980s.

The 1940s shoes were recently thrifted from Goodwill.

The label inside reads “Wilbur Coon.”

Wilbur Barry Coon (1870-1926) and a partner began making baby shoes in 1891 in Rochester, New York. By 1912, Coon had struck out on his own and founded what was to be a phenomenally successful company manufacturing babies, children’s and women’s shoes. After his death, his son Wilbur Levis Coon took over the business. The company sold shoes under their own label to more than 6,000 retailers. An online search has turned up ads for Wilbur Coon shoes from the 1920s to 1940s, but I haven’t found any information that would indicate when the company went out of business.

I have a hard time finding shoes that are comfortable. Turns out that comfort and fit were the two major selling points of Wilbur Coon shoes. One of their slogans was “A Made-to-Measure Fit in Ready-to-Wear Shoes. Sizes 1 to 11. Widths AAA to EEE.” According to a newspaper ad from 1935, there were special in-store fitting days (probably with a traveling rep from the company) and 149 sizes were available.

As you see from all the numbers inside the fit measurements were fairly complicated.

from The Pittsburgh Press, October 30, 1930  The baby’s foot is a perfect foot. And you don’t find foot troubles in adults in tribes that live barefooted. Foot troubles come from shoes that don’t fit.

The fault is only partly yours. Most shoes are made to fit the foot at two points only – length and ball. That method is as old as shoe-making. But, why keep on wearing a two-point shoe on a five-point foot? Wilbur Coon Shoes are made to fit all five points – length, ball, instep, waist, heel?

Another sizing innovation (although I don’t know if it originated with Wilbur Coon shoes) is that samples in children’s sizes were made in clear vinyl so one could actually see if the shoe fit properlyt.  A pair sold on Etsy recently.

There are a number of advertising postcards for the company here.

I wish shoe companies offered a similar level of customization in sizing. With 149 different sizes, I was lucky to find a pair that fits as well as they do. The Wilbur Coon shoes I see currently for sale online are listed at anywhere from $40 to $169, so I was even more fortunate to find mine for 10 bucks.

The shoes alone deserve to be linked to Ta-dah! Tuesday.