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 Jewelry (9)

Sunday
Oct202013

HONK! and a cushy home for my rings

Last weekend was the HONK! Festival round here. As I wrote in last year's post, HONK! is an annual activist street band festival that spans 2 ½ days and includes a parade of the bands and various organizations.

Vintage hat from Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, Spitalfields, London. 1960s black velvet cape, thrifted, Goodwill. Barely seen scarf I've had since the 1970s. DKNY nylon bag purchased new decades ago and painted by me. Tights (?). Purple paratrooper boots, Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK.I met up with friends to watch the parade. Sorry, I neglected to identify each band/group. Predatory Loans were pretty scary and the mini-stiltwalkers did a good job of keeping up with everyone.

After the parade we had a delicious brunch at Red Lentil, a vegetarian and vegan restaurant.

1990s black dress, thrifted, Goodwill. Banana Republic-does-1970s dress underneath, thrifted, Goodwill. Blue stone pendant (?). Bangles, purchased in India.On the weekend, I also followed through on making a ring display box that I saw on Anna's blog, Mondo A-Go-Go. Having rings jumbled together in little boxes and tossed out each time I put them on probably wasn't very good for them.

I started with a wood and metal antique tray-like box with niello decoration that I've had since the 1970s. I think it originally fit into some sort of cabinet or slid into another box. I've always used it to hold jewelry. The fabric came from a pair of brown velvet trousers purchased at the thrift store 20 years ago and cut up for various projects since.

I tried my three pairs of cufflinks on the left side just to see if it would work for things other than rings. I don't currently have anything with French cuffs so the cufflinks will go back into deep storage. After I've tidied up a bit in my bedroom, I'll post a photo of the ring storage box in situ with rings in both compartments.

Those of you who commented that Tigro might have been anxious as he was not at his home got me thinking about the reason for his 4am wake-up calls. His dad Chris moved twice recently in the span of 6 months. Each time Chris was packing up and hauling his belongings to a new apartment, Tigro came to stay with me for a couple weeks. So that means Tigro went 'home' to a new location twice. He definitely wanted more attention on this visit and I think his recent moves probably made him a bit more anxious (when he stayed with me the first few times before the moves, he didn't wake me up so early, and when Tigro's at home, he's dead to the world until Chris wakes him up for breakfast).

Speaking of cats, check out Patti's cat t-shirt and the other non-cat-wearing participants at Visible Monday.

Thursday
Sep192013

Dressing for world peace: the U.N. challenge

You can tell the weather is getting cooler; I take outfit shots more frequently. There are a whopping three in this one post. In the summer, it is usually sweltering in my apartment, too hot to fuss about taking photos. The days have been gorgeous, cool air and lots of sunshine (sorry, people in not-sunny places).

When I saw that Spy Girl's 52-Pick-Me-Up challenge was 'United Nations' (wear items from different countries), I couldn't not participate. About a third of my clothes and accessories were purchased in India. Here's my India/Guatemala/Ethiopia/Pakistan/Kenya submission. How's that for diversity?

Vintage hat purchased from Frocktasia. Fab India printed cotton shirt purchased in India. Anokhi printed cotton vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Mayan Connections embroidered patchwork skirt, made in Guatemala, purchased at the Washington DC Green Festival. Vintage Pakistani embroidered velvet bag, purchased, eBay. Tights, thrifted, Goodwill. Embroidered and beaded scarf from Ethiopia, thrifted. Non-leather boots purchased on sale. Necklace and beaded bracelets, gifts brought back from Kenya.

I also have tons of thrifted clothes to show.

I love a striped menswear-looking shirt and I've been on a mission to acquire more vests.

1970s 'Catch Can' striped blouse, thrifted, Goodwill. Hand-crocheted vest, thrifted, Goodwill. Gap jeans, I recall getting these on sale ($7) at The Gap about 7 years ago. 1980S Fiorucci belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Indian brass necklace, Etsy. 1970S applique vinyl bag, Etsy. Boring black shoes, thrifted, Goodwill (worn to determine if they're comfortable enough to be worth painting). Mission accomplished.

This pattern has been in my collection for decades, but I don't yet possess the skills needed to alter it to fit. But, I've always wanted a 30's-inspired jacket with a large pointed collar and a nipped in waist.

1970s does 1930s knit top, no label, thrifted, Goodwill. Fedora from vintage/consignment shop Raspberry Beret. Michael Kors trousers purchased new 12 or so years ago Filene's Basement. 1940s or 50s metal bead necklace I've owned forever. Fabric flower from a hat. Bangles purchased in India. The thrift store gods again looked favorably upon me and I found one a few months back. 

Can't recall where this straw hat came from. 1970s does 1930s velvet and vinyl bag, purchased at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale. The chevron top stitching and insets in the pockets and sleeves are pretty cool. I most certainly don't have the 'dolly bird' shape of Biba's models, but I was reminded of this outfit from one of the Biba catalogues.

My wardrobe is so geared for fall weather: jackets, boots, tights, scarves, vests. Anyone else feel more inspired by cooler weather?

I drafted this post while sitting in a cafe earlier this evening and the guys at the table behind me were having a passionate conversation about meteorology, spewing out phrases like 'aerosol particles,' 'refractory material,' and 'invigorating convection.' I love Cambridge.

Wednesday
Jun192013

Waste neither time nor money

This post is a bit all over the place as I’ve been a bit all over the place in my last days in London.

I can’t resist the thrifting bug even though I’m in one of the most expensive cities in the world and have managed a few acquisitions, mostly books and jewelry.

Red dress 1970s polyester dress, thrifted, PDSA, Kentish Town, London. Striped vinyl belt, thrifted, Goodwill. Natural Comfort sandals, thrifted, Goodwill. 1970s vinyl bag, purchased on Etsy.This is the dress I picked up at PDSA. At £9.99, it was than I would have liked to for it, but seeing as how it was for an animal charity, I bought it.

1960s flower brooch, no idea where I got this. I’ve had it for decades.  I walk everywhere and the sidewalks in my neighborhood are quaint brickwork that trip me up even when I’m wearing the flattest of shoes. So anything that makes me feel even slightly unstable is out of the question.

‘Natural Comfort’ sandals, thrifted, Goodwill. However, I thought I'd give these sandals a try. They are well-padded and I really like the ‘70s look of them. I’ve worn them when I only had to walk a very short distance. Unfortunately, because the strap around the ankle is wide elastic, walking in them produces a loud flapping noise – which is probably why they ended up at the thrift store.

I didn’t have to go far from my boyfriend’s flat for this lot. The library that is about 3 minutes away has a wall of shelves with books for sale. I picked up the novels for 30p each. Those in the middle and on the right are both told from the perspective of a young girl in a dysfunctional family and are set in Wales in the 1960s. ‘Mary George of Allnorthover’ by Lavinia Greenlaw is about a young woman growing up in an English village in the 1970s. I don’t know if the library was having a clear-out of books with this theme or what, but I’ve enjoyed “The Hiding Place” and “Shake!” and the other was on my “to read’ list.

The museum members’ magazines were free. The one for the V & A has articles regarding their Hollywood Costume exhibition and the Tate magazine is all about the Pre-Raphaelite show I was lucky enough to see that last time I was in London.

The 1970s pewter and ceramic pendant on the right (£2) came from the car boot sale a few weekends ago. The ceramic pendant necklace (£1) on the left came from Age UK in Kentish Town. The abstract design and blue/green color reminded me of the pewter one.

The spiral design on the back of the pewter pendant makes it reversible. And the ceramic one has a maker’s stamp of a weird little stylized face. If anyone recognizes the mark, let me know.

I also scored some books at the Oxfam bookshop and Age UK in Kentish Town. I had flipped through the Twentieth-Century Fashion book in the library and was thrilled to see at Oxfam for £1.99. It has academic articles such as, “Dress and Culture in Greenwich Village” and “The Beat Generation: Subcultural Style.”Gyoza with a mojito and a smoothie; raw lasagna with cashew ‘cheese’ adorned with a decorative and delicious dehydrated tomato; berry cheesecake and English trifle.And since A. and I seek out bargains for dining out too, we I took advantage of an online voucher to go to Saf in Kensington, which serves vegan, mostly raw cuisine. In well-prepred raw cuisine, every morsel explodes with flavor.

I’m headed back to Saf tonight to dine with my friend from the States, and tomorrow, I’ll have another visit with Jennie of Frocktasia. Then the David Bowie exhibition at the V & A on Friday night. So much to do!

Tuesday
May282013

Let the sun shine

The weather gods that rule this country are a fickle lot. They were gracious enough to allow the sun to come out over the bank holiday weekend. But, lest anyone get spoiled, it’s gray and rainy once again.

Denim jacket, H & M, purchased new in the mid-1990s. Cotton and metallic thread scarf, purchased in India. 1970s D.L. Barron maxi dress, Mr. Bird’s Flea Market, Birmingham, UK. Vintage Pakistani velvet and applique bag, thrifted, Boomerang. Thrifted Dansko sandals painted by me, Goodwill. Socks with striped toes, thrifted, Goodwill. But, I thank them for the weekend respite. On Saturday, A. and I went to the Can’t Buy Me Love Market at The Bugaloo in Highgate. We had visited this market before, maybe a year or so ago. A. liked this market as it’s in a pub and one vendor was selling vegan cake. Beer and cake—he was happy. Vintage clothes—I was happy.

I finally wore the D. L. Barron floral maxi dress that I bought on my shopping expedition in Birmingham last year with Vix and Annie. The sandals were thrifted brown Danskos that I painted silver.

I met Jennie of Frocktasia, whose blog incites envy – for the stunning photography as well as the gorgeous frocks. Even before I recognized her, my eyes were drawn to her dress, a vibrant mod number with bands of vaguely Celtic designs. Her stall had clothes at crazy-low prices and adorable little bundles of fabric that I was drooling over.

I was thrilled when she gifted me with one little bundle. Once home and unwrapped I saw that it was a trippy foliage and floral print with a 1920s vibe in some sections. I can’t wait to make a maxi skirt out of it.

I also met Leslie, the dynamo who runs The Dandy Lion Market and chatted about shared interests (like me, I imagine she’s someone who can’t imagine ever being bored).

On Sunday, A. and I went to the Columbia Road Market to buy flowering plants for his window box, then home to clean, clean, clean. Monday morning there was more cleaning to be done. In the afternoon, I traipsed about the city, enjoying the weather. Feeling ‘vaguely medieval,’ I wore my trusty gray-green tunic with green tights. The only problem was deciding on accessories.

Shell and silver bangle purchased in India. Silver and hematite bead necklace purchased in Turkey. Bronze moon-faced pendant purchased in the 1970s. Carnelian drop earrings purchased at a yard sale. Various silver rings. First I pulled out all my ‘vaguely medieval’ jewelry. 

Do I wear it with the Indian silk scarf (that I also bought in Birmingham) as a belt and my Vegetarian Shoes red Fleur boots?

My vintage polyester green jacket (that has made numerous appearances on this blog), 1960s woven belt, and thrifted clogs (painted by me)?

The constant was the applique vinyl bag, purchased on Etsy, that I spent hours researching.

In the end, I went for the green jacket, wearing the scarf at my neck, a thrifted mod vinyl green, white and blue belt, and the green clogs.

Not a very exciting weekend. The sun being out was excitement enough!

I hope y’all had great weekends.

Sunday
Dec302012

Reading, baking and sewing

I’ve been hunkered down the past couple weeks, catching up on household chores, baking lots, and being crafty.

Even though temps have been below freezing this week and we’ve just come through a snowstorm, I made a pair of summer trousers with Indian striped cotton I got on sale ($6) and a pattern purchased in London (49p). Other than mistakenly putting the lapped zipper on the right side instead of the left (I really do need better lighting in my apartment), they came out pretty well.

Striped Indian cotton trousers, made by me. 1970s Indian calico peasant blouse, thrifted. Black tank top, purchased retail many years ago. 1970s braid and brass belt, thrifted. Indian brass disc earrings, I’ve owned for decades. Masai bean necklaces, purchased at Cultural Survival Bazaar. Bangles from India. Non-leather embroidered shoes by Chinese Laundry, purchased on sale 5 years ago.I purchased the two Masai necklaces made of beans at the Cultural Survival bazaar, where I had a booth with Indian wares a couple weekends ago. The Cultural Survival bazaars have been going on for decades and have a dedicated following. Most of the attendees are interested in supporting the mission of the organizing nonprofit, which works for the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. It seems as though every other person I spoke to had been in the Peace Corps, and most had traveled extensively. So, between the other vendors and the members of the public, there’s a non-stop parade of fascinating people to talk to.

Where I bought my necklaces. Jewelry sold to support The Warriors Organization, which helps Tanzania’s tribal communities. My vending neighbors were a Masai warrior from Tanzania and a man selling Ecuadorean folk paintings and silver jewelry. The latter vendor served in the Peace Corps in India in the 1970s, and prior to that witnessed the burgeoning hippie scene in London in 1966.

I bought a vintage Indian necklace at this booth. One of the dangling bits was missing so I found the brass tree pendant in my pile of stray jewelry bits and added it in the center.Fair-trade chocolate to sample and buy. I did both. A vendor selling Bolivian sweaters and hats also had this bizarre carnival-mask-inspired balaklava. I was told that they sold a number of them over the course of the weekend. I’ve also been reading. In the past couple years, in my never-ending -- and mostly Sisyphean -- effort to de-clutter, I’ve been doing my best to read books I own instead of popping over to the public library. Once I read a book, I pass it on if I don’t want it for reference or can’t imagine re-reading it.

In that vein, I just finished Only My Dreams: An English Girlhood by Hilda Ann Salusbury, published in 1990. It’s a memoir of a girl growing up in a Norfolk village and later, as a young woman, going out into the world, spanning the years 1913 to 1930. Written in a very matter-of-fact voice in spite of hardship (the author’s mother deserted her, her father, and 3 younger siblings early on) and disappointments (being forced to take care of the household instead of furthering her education).

I found the account of daily life of a working- class girl-- what she ate, how she did household chores, what she wore – fascinating. Later, when the author is training to be a nurse in London, she gives a vivid account of East London slums:

“One thing I discovered early in my course was that East Enders were allergic to soap and hot water. Their attitude to cleanliness was appalling; their knowledge of hygiene non-existent.”

Her romantic relationships with men aren’t too different from what you’d find in contemporary chick lit as most of them turn out to be cads (except for one, of course).

I’m lending the book to a friend, but will get it back and offer it as a give-away here at some point.

I’m off to read some blogs now with a cup of tea and an orange-walnut biscotti (or two). Recipe from Holy Cow!: A Vegan Recipe Blog.

Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's last Visible Monday of 2013.

Friday
Aug172012

A good day

Today was a good day. After a productive day of work, I went out to do errands and meet a friend.

Just up my street, I found these blue glass candleholders with etched stars on the sidewalk. I guess I’ll start a ‘trash finds’ tag. 

Then, I saw a cool bike – painted gold with a burgundy seat -- on my street.

I went to the thrift store and found one great item (more on that in a bit).

I then walked past the natural foods co-op and saw that, in preparation for a move to a location across the street, everything in the store was 50% off. Inside, it was a madhouse, teeming with shoppers frantically grabbing items they’ve never bought before off the near-empty shelves (I got laundry detergent, 3 boxes of graham crackers, some Lara bars, some cream of tartar, a chocolate bar, 2 packages of Liz Lovely cookies, and some pudding mix – not my usual assortment of purchases). Given the long waits and the general euphoria over such deals, the lines at the registers had a bit of a party atmosphere with folks comparing purchases and generally having a good time.

This diversion led to my being late to meet my friend Karen at Life Alive Urban Oasis & Organic Café, one of my favorite veggie places in the neighborhood.

I can't wait to check out the Peter Max fashions inside.After a long visit with Karen, I walked home to discover that my latest eBay purchase, the April 1970 issue of Seventeen magazine, had arrived in the post.

Sorry for the bad photos. It was dark and I had to use flash.I then tried on my thrift store purchase. I’ve confessed my fashion obsession -- scooped necklines combined with short puffy sleeves over long sleeves -- before. Add to that a wild print and this late 60s/early 70s ribbed knit top with a scoop neck and puffed sleeves at the top made of a vibrant print fabric proved itself to be the holy grail of thrift store finds.

Jordan Marsh top, $4.99. Antique Indian and stone pendant strung on a cord (had as long as I can remember). Lac bangles given to me by a friend's mother in Mumbai, 2004. H & M denim mini, purchased in mid 90s. Blue thrifted tights, 99 cents. Clogs painted by me.This top is 100% acrylic and was made in Italy for Jordan Marsh, a Boston department store. I can’t imagine an acrylic knit top nowadays lasting more than a few months. This top was very well-made. It’s obvious from some repairs in the seams that it was worn frequently, but yet it isn’t pilled or stretched out – after 40 years.

I hope you had a good day!

Thursday
Jul262012

The 16th-century via the 1970s

Mappin & Webb advertisement from 1972, via Velvet Cave Vintage's Facebook page

Inspired by a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger or Lucas Cranach the Elder, perhaps?

Wednesday
Jul112012

Sun, moon and stars

Do you find yourself drawn to the same motifs over and over?

I have always had a thing for sun, moon and star motifs (as witnessed here and here).

At a little antique show A. and I stumbled upon in Wanstead a couple weeks ago, I found an enamel moon brooch. When I unpacked it after returning to the States, and put it with the rest of my jewelry, I noticed that I had a number of other pieces of the sun, moon and star variety.

Top row, left to right: silver band with star cut-outs, purchased in the 1970s or 80s; enamel sun face brooch, found on the side walk here in Cambridge; metal moon face pendant, purchased in the 1970s; silver moon face pendant with amethyst and pearl beads, purchased in 1980 in Providence, Rhode Island. Bottom row: my new enamel crescent moon brooch, purchased in the U.K.; cut metal and enamel earrings from Turkey, purchased at a street fair in Washington, D.C. a couple years ago; Victorian crescent moon and star brooch set, have owned forever.

I purchased the cloth with the stars and stripes at a thrift store and use it to cover my turntable. Only later did I realize that it is the state flag of Arizona. I just like the design.

I noticed that I store things in boxes with stars on them, too.

Bottom to top: 1930s fabric covered box purchased at the antique fair at Alexandra Palace, London in the 1990s; a Christmas box pulled out of my neighbor’s trash a few years ago; and a 1950s box that contained a powder compact. I had some moon and star fabric that I used to make a tea cosy.

Nothing special about it, but it works well, and looks good with my recent thrift store find of brightly colored mugs. My favorite color combination is red, gold and purple—so that’s 3 out of the 4 mugs!

Linking to Ta-dah! Tuesday for the moon brooch and mugs finds and the made-by-me tea cosy. I’ll also throw in tonight’s dinner.

Brown rice with caramelized vegetables and ginger. The recipe calls for orzo, but I didn’t have any, so I substituted brown rice. The ginger and garlic give it a real kick. I’ve made this recipe several times and can safely say that you do not need to segregate the vegetables as you cook them; you can allow them to mingle in the pan. More inexpensive varieties of mushrooms work instead of shitake, too.

Sunday
Nov272011

Another day at the Bazaar and a surprise

The Bazaar of the past 2 days was fun; it's always nice to hang out with all the other vendors. Linda of Tribal Arts and I had a lot of laughs and only more so when she told me what her husband overheard from two young people leaving an earlier bazaar -- one said to the other, "This is where old hippies come to sell their stuff."

Uh, yup, that's about right.

I bought an amazing necklace with big red beads and round discs with Arabic script from Linda. And came home to find a bouquet of red and purple flowers outside the door of my apartment -- a birthday present from My Man in the U.K.