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 ta-dah tuesday (6)


Seeing stars (again)

Once again, I painted a pair of thrifted shoes using Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque paints. They were white.

And now they are gray with a touch of purple added (a color that my friend calls 'mouse scrotum' – I don’t want to know how she came up with this description). Since I can’t leave well enough alone and have an addiction to stars, each got a large purple star on them, bravely painted free-hand.

As with my other shoe-painting projects, I took inspiration from late 1960s-early 1970s shoes (previous projects include clogs, sandals, bowling shoes, and spectator shoes).

Of course the best star shoes, actually boots, are featured in the counter-culture ‘fashion’ magazine, Rags. Started by Baron Wolman, photo editor of Rolling Stone magazine in the late 1960s, it was published from June 1970 to July 1971 in San Francisco. It recognized that the coolest clothes were coming from the street and influencing designers and not the other way around.

Rags was a treasure trove of editorials and information on the latest boutiques (for example, where to get Moroccan caftans, antique military uniforms and the latest hippie fashion from London) as well as popular culture and do-it-yourself clothing and crafts. I was lucky enough to have access to all 13 issues recently and took lots of photos that I’d love to share, but can't without the publisher’s permission. Luckily, many of the articles are published on the Rags Lives! blog. This is the article on shoe-painting that got me started and it features the star-decorated boots. 

In a complete coincidence, I just happened upon an announcement of the opening of "The Groupies," an exhibition of Wolman’s photos, taking place at a gallery in London. My boyfriend A. and I will be at the private view on Thursday where Wolman will be in attendance.

Linking to Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping’s Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

I just got rid of the captcha on the comments. Sorry, I didn't realize it was 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.


Let's bungle in the jungle

I was at my local thrift store the other day when I saw two policemen walk to the men’s clothing section in the back. I heard one say, “Could you please show us some ID.” Then four more policemen came in and walked to the back of the store. They radioed in someone’s info, called for a “wagon” and then led the man out. Never a dull moment at the thrift store.

Not one to be put off by a criminal arrest, I picked up a couple items just for their fabric.

An Indian top made of decent-quality block-printed cotton embellished with sequins. It's too small so I'll cut it up for some other use.

Early 1980s Laura Ashley corduroy dress with enough fabric in the skirt to make a couple sturdy tote bags.

I also scored a bunch of fab 1960s and 70s scarves.

Let me sing you a tune about the one on the bottom right.

Walking through forests of palm tree apartments

Scoff at the monkeys who live in their dark tents

Down by the waterhole, drunk every Friday
Eating their nuts, saving their raisins for Sunday

Lions and tigers who wait in the shadows
They're fast but they're lazy, and sleep in green meadows
Well, let's bungle in the jungle
Well, that's all right by me, yes

Well, I'm a tiger when I want love
And I'm a snake if we disagree

The rivers are full of crocodile nasties
And he who made kittens put snakes in the grass, he's
A lover of life, but a player of pawns
Yes, the king on his sunset lies waiting for dawn

To light up his jungle as play is resumed
The monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune

I think the label is one of those that you can order with your name and that this is simply a homemade scarf. I am guessing from the happy lion with the curlicue mane that it’s 1970s. I think my discovery of this charming menagerie is worthy of Ta-Dah! Tuesday.

I do like a man in a doublet, so here's a video in honor of my scarf score. I couldn’t find decent concert footage of this song. The best is this mashup.



How to avoid getting pudding on your sleeves

I tend to wear long sleeves, even in summer. Most of my summer tops were purchased in India and are made of very lightweight cotton -- far more lightweight than the cotton of any tops I find in the U.S. In India, long sleeves offer much-needed protection from the sun. Here, they also keep me from getting chilled if I go somewhere that has air conditioning blasting.

However, the hazard of favoring bell sleeves or sleeves with ties is that I usually end up dragging them through water or food during the course of the day. After finding that the ties on the sleeves on one of my blouses had become coated with butterscotch pudding, I decided to make them ¾ length. This length is my second favorite – all of the advantages of long sleeves but short enough to show off my bangles (which I wear most every day).

Yeah, this blouse is a bit twee, but it’s one of my go-to summer tops when the temperature is in the 90s. So, how to make them ¾-lenghth?

I recently got a ton of books out of storage. One that I had forgotten about is The Yestermorrow Clothes Book: How to Remodel Secondhand Clothes by Diana Funaro, published in 1976.

In it are instructions for shortening sleeves by stitching elastic lengthwise. This sounded like a good idea as I was too lazy to cut and hem them and thought that elasticizing would add some visual interest to otherwise boring sleeves.

My sloppy sewing job.

I kind of like them. I think this would work better on a shorter sleeve, but I am pleased with the results (being lazy and all).

Here are the instructions from the book.

This book has all kinds of wonderful ideas -- remodeling dresses, refitting and redesigning sweaters, altering jeans, and more

Linking to Lakota’s Ta-Dah! Tuesday. I can't wait to try all the other "ta-dahs" that The Yestermorrow Clothes Book has to offer!


Adventures in shoe painting, part 4

This pair of scuffed-up, comfy shoes with bowling-shoe type styling were on their last leg. Even the inside of the shoes was pretty worn, but I knew I could get a few more wearings out of them and wanted them to go out with a bang.

Shoe ad from August, 1971 issue of Seventeen magazine I was again inspired by 1970s shoes (previous projects include clogs, sandals and spectator shoes). 

Using Jacquard Neopaque paints, I mixed my own colors and first painted the section closest to the sole an olive green color, I then painted the next section up hunter green. The topmost section was to be painted red. The above photo shows the first coat of red (when it was still too rust-colored. I later made it more red than orange). As with the yellow in the previous pair of shoes, I found that red colors required more coats to get good coverage.

I didn’t like the combination of olive green next to hunter green, so I added red to my olive green paint to make it more brown and painted a second coat. Here the stitched seams between the 2 top sections is unpainted. I was toying with the idea of painting them purple, but then decided to make them brown. The green and brown sections required two coats, the red need about five.

The finished shoes.

Not wanting to leave well enough alone, I thought about painting some embellishment on the red sections and used paper cut-outs to get an idea how they would look.

Two of my favorite motifs -- a moon and a star? (The red section doesn’t have its final coat in the this and the next few photos)

A faux-buckle?

A groovy flower?

Because the red section seems to elongate my feet, I’ve decided to fill in the toes with brown paint and do a large yellow star on each red section as in the mock-up above. I've been wearing the shoes for the past few weeks and will get around to finishing them this way soon.

Since I am linking this post to Lakota’s Ta-dah! Tuesday, I thought I’d throw in another ‘ta-dah.’

I usually make this quick and easy lasagna (from a recipe on FatFree Vegan Kitchen) with tofu as the recipe states. I was making it the other day and didn’t have tofu, so I substituted a tin of cannellini beans which I put in the food processor with sautéed garlic and some nutritional yeast. If you are avoiding soy for whatever reason, cannellini beans make an equally nutritious but more filling substitute. I made other substitutes based on what I had on hand, in this case, sautéed summer squash instead of mushrooms and Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds for the top. In the U.K., I'd use Vegusto No-Moo Melty. Both Daiya and Vegusto make non-dairy cheeses that are quite good.

Oh, and for another ta-dah, I made the two potholders in the photo from vintage 1970s fabric.

Check out the clever people on Ta-dah! Tuesday!


Adventures in shoe painting, part 3

I love the look of multi-tone, spectator-type shoes from the 1970s. And I wear a lot of purpley-brown (a color I call ‘raisin"). Inspired by the colors of the bag I had recently made and the following shoes I saw on Etsy, I transformed a pair of old black leather shoes that I no longer wear.

As with the previous pairs of shoes that I painted, I wiped them down with alcohol first to remove any coating. If shoes are non-leather, I’ve read that they should be wiped down with acetone (nail polish remover).

I then painted a couple sections with a gold color that I mixed from Jacquard Neopaque paints. I don’t know if yellows don’t cover as well as the metallic colors I had painted with before on the clogs and sandals, but it took about 6-7 coats to get fairly good coverage. The photos below show the shoes with one coat, then two coats, then about 5 coats.

Then I mixed red and green Neopaque (adding a bit more red) to make a raisin-brown and painted the remaining sections of the shoe. I tried to copy the rounded double-pointed shape of the red and blue shoes in the photo above. Since I was painting it free-hand, it had a sloppy camel-toe look.

I decided to just go with a straight line across the toe and added dots of gold around the front top of the shoe, and for fun, larger dots on the side.

The big band of gold around the back wasn’t appealing, so I painted a vertical stripe of the raisin color, and when that was dry, painted a row of gold dots on it.

Even the gold dots required 2-3 coats.

I was so eager to wear them, I didn’t wait long enough for the paint to cure. Given the many coats, I should have waited at least 4-5 days. The first time I wore them there was slight cracking in the gold section across the toe. I am not sure if the paint would have cracked even if I had waited, just because there were so many coats. Since I didn’t like the shiny effect of the sealer on the metallic blue clogs I painted earlier, I chose not to seal these.

Sorry for the very bad indoor photo (it has been raining), but this was what I wore for my new shoes' first outing. At least the shoes are in focus.

1970s polyester jacket, Goodwill, $6.49; 1970s peacock print blouse, Sue Ryder charity shop, $6.00; 1990s black jumper dress, Goodwill, $6.99; 1960s goldtone leaf brooch, 1990s shoes - painted. ,

I'm a day late, but am linking to Faith Hope and Charity Shopping's Ta-dah! Tuesday.