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 stars (18)


Ruffle Monday

I’ve been thumbing through fashion magazines from the late 1960s and early 1970s lately and seeing lots of ruffles and some lace-up bodice mini dresses, like these:

Young Edwardian by Arpeja ad. Seventeen magazine, June 1968. “She’s into the action!”Shirt Sprouts by Morgan of London ad. Seventeen magazine, June 1968. “The new Shirt Sprouts are frilled and fancy.”The “Romantic Midi” fashion editorial. Seventeen magazine, April, 1968.So, I unearthed a vintage ruffled lilac blouse from the back of my closet. The lace-up bodice dress, I already wear quite often. I also resurrected some of my old jewelry, items I’ve had for decades, but haven’t worn since my heavily-accessorized days in the ‘80s.

Channeling my 7-year-old self from 1968. 1990s Funhouse NYC stretch ultrasuede dress, Goodwill, $6.99. Late 1960s Cindy Collins Dacron polyester ruffle blouse, Goodwill, $4.99. Purple tights from Sainsbury’s. Vintage brooch I’ve had for decades. BP Mary Janes painted by me, Goodwill, $5.25.Here is an old favorite – a 1940s celluloid rose brooch with a purple-y luster finish.

The shoes are thrifted and recently painted by me; they’ll get their own post tomorrow.

Linking to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday. Please check out all the other visible women there.


All I need is a small aubergine

I hate buying anything new (for environmental and financial reasons), so I use trash free things, or stuff I have (and I have a lot because I rarely throw anything out). This means that I do need to take the time to make things usefu, hence, lots of 'projects.'

In my last post, I was bemoaning the lack of time to work on projects. I agree with those who commented that having a blog does help motivate. So I decided to tackle a bunch of little projects over the weekend. My little projects are nothing amazing and since I’m linking to Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping’s Ta-Dah! Tuesday, I’ll call these Ta-Dahlets. 

No, not these.

Ta-Dahlet #1 – Patched my ‘work’ jeans

I fell down and ripped the knee of the jeans I use for messy chores. Not having suitable scraps of heavy- duty fabric, I made a patch out of a 1950s tablecloth, stenciling it first. Since I couldn’t just throw out the paint I mixed, I made a moon patch for when I rip the other knee. Oh, and stenciled a t-shirt.

Jeans thrifted many years ago. Water cup - empty soy yogurt container/trash. Paint cup - fruit cup (taken out of a friend’s recycling bin). Paint stirrer - plastic stick from an Edible Arrangement/trash. Stencil – free premium sent with invite to subscribe to Martha Stewart’s magazine (about 10 years ago). Foam rubber – trash. Vinyl used under my stenciled fabric - old photo sleeves/trash. Rag – friend’s discarded t-shirt/trash. Drop cloth - cut-off from too long shower curtain/trash. Patch – from tablecloth. Paint was purchased new.

Ta-Dahlet #2 - Stenciled work t-shirt

T-shirt thrifted many, many years ago.Ta-Dahlet #3 – Mended thrifted 1970s top

Someone had chopped off the sleeves of this slinky shirt right above the elbow and left them un-hemmed. I shortened and hemmed them and repaired a hole in the front (covered by the belt). And wore this out today.

1970s Alex Coleman of California shirt. 1970s red bag and olive corduroy skirt I’ve had for decades, Mexican woven belt purchased at Cultural Survival bazaar. Vintage Liberty of London scarf thrifted last week. Silver bracelets made by me in 1979.

Ta-Dahlet #4 – Datebook salvage

Some dubious charity sent me this datebook with a donation appeal (I don’t want to promote that charity, so I’ve blurred the name and logo). Using handmade paper from a pile of scraps I found, I cut one and glued it to the front of the datebook.

Ta-Dahlet #5 – Making pressed powder

Loose face powder that I got for free proved too messy to use. I mixed it up with some rubbing alcohol and put it into an empty compact.
So what's with the 'small aubergine' reference? My boyfriend says that I'm like the Indian mother from the BBC comedy series "Good Gracious Me." I couldn't find a video of that episode but her schtick was that she complains about making purchases, saying that she can make whatever it is at home "for nothing." All she needs is a small aubergine.


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.


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.

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