From the archives: A Collection of Rejection

Originally published April 14, 2011

One of the best things about writing your own blog is that you really save a fortune on self addressed stamped envelopes.

But alas!

I had the honour of appearing on the late Gerry Gilbert's show.

My stolen clothes

I was warned about her. I even picked up bad vibes from her myself. She had her believers, her pawns that volunteered at her shop. I could see right through her Liberace-cum-Rasputin facade. Unfortunately, as all artists know, financial duress can sometimes win out over intuition. Needless to say, I brought a collection of my designs to her store to sell.

On and on she went, trying to make me believe she was taking my designs out of pity, 'They really won't sell here'. But she took them anyway. Two weeks later I dropped in to see if she'd put them out. I hated walking in to her Main St. shop with its stained carpet and stench of cheap incense, mildew and pot - even worse was her cackling about color and texture to every dahhhhliinnngg single person that walked in. Luckily she wasn't there, just one of her minions who was flagrantly gossiping to a hang around - hence the whole shop. I approached the counter to ask about my account as my designs weren't on the floor - alas, I stood unnoticed. There was an open black binder on the counter top and coincidentally enough it lay open to my account - which was marked with a huge slash through it with the number 86 written over top. If you've never had the joy of working in the food and beverage industry - 86 means sold out, finished, no more.

Panicked, I left the shop. Calling up the minion a few hours later he told me that my things had sold out and there would be a cheque for me the following week. Onwards to the next week. I went in to pick up my cheque first thing in the morning, wanting to make the whole ordeal as quick and painless as possible. Liberace-cum-Rasputin was cawing on the phone. It was just her and I in the shop. She gave me a snide, 'How are yooouuuuu...' and thank god she didn't try to touch me. I told her I was there to pick up my cheque. She went to the black binder and looked up my account - not opening the book in its entirety. 'Oh, didn't we call you last week?' she miffed. No, I called you and spoke to a guy that said my cheque would be ready today. 'Oh dahhhlliinnng, I'm sooooo sorrrry but your things were stolen.' WTF?

Onward two weeks.
I had been invited to one of Vancouver's most highly respected vintage clothing collector's home for a private sale. His private sales were noted as the end all be all and to be personally invited meant he thought you were worthy to view, and shop, his private collection. I was nervous to go, and almost didn't,  but grabbed a hold of my gumption and my bff and off we went. Once we arrived my jitters passed and I was in all my glory. Encompassing my thoughts was one thing, how I wanted to roll, naked like a dog in grass, amongst the mountains of vintage silk, velvet, and chiffon that lay strewn around his old Victorian home. And then there she was, carelessly planted, like an invasive species, on the pink velveteen sofa, cackling, as a not so stellar jay - decked head to toe in my 86'd designs.

My Random Thoughts During a Monday Meeting

  • Why did camel colored Dockers become the pant of choice for men in their 50s?
  • Has X lost weight? I hope he doesn't have that cancer that he keeps saying he's going to get and die from.
  • I really like those glasses on Y. Tortoise shell was a good choice. What would he look like with an 80s Simply Red hair cut?
  • How did she get so tan? Phoenix golf trip? She has nice legs that's for sure but that skirt is definitely way too short and the shoes look cheap. Isn't she freezing with bare legs? I like her necklace. She always accessorizes so well.
  • I hate this sweater I'm wearing. It's shedding what looks like pubic hair onto the notes I'm sharing with my colleague. Fantastic.
  • I bet that guy wears a spandex unitard and is part of a road bike pack on the weekend.
  • Where did Mr. IT get that bangle? It's a men's version of mine. Imagine if we were in this secret society whose members wore a single white gold bangle...
  • Are those suede creepers? That's hilarious that his other car is a 70s Fire Chicken.
  • Mr. Blue Shirt needs to simmer down. Agh, he's always so angry.
  • 98% of the people at this meeting are probably eligible for retirement. What are they doing here?
  • Good point whatever your name is. You always have good points. What is your job I wonder?
  • That a girl Z! Call his bluff! Did she color her hair again?
  • I can't believe Soul Patch beside me here is biting his nails - and making that sucking, biting sound while he's at it. So gross.
  • Shhh. I'm not having a panic attack. I shouldn't have had that double long espresso before the meeting that's all.
  • I like Mr. Spandex Unitard's leather bracelet. I wonder what the story is behind it. Doesn't match his Dockers and ugly shirt. He's quite handsome actually. I wonder if he has a wife and kids.
  • It's freezing in here. I can't believe I'm wearing jeans, boots, a tank top, wool long john shirt and a mohair sweater and I'm still freezing.
  • He's actually saying something that isn't a jumble of words that are trying to cover for the fact that he really has no clue.
  • I will not grab a muffin, for the ride home

A couple pics of my place and some of my vintage finds

I've been good lately, well sort of. Nothing can come into the apartment until something goes out. The top pic is the guest bedroom and it's pretty much complete (after a year). Everything I sourced via yard sales and thrift shops - minus the day bed and book shelf (IKEA). My bud Rachel found me an original David Lance Goines for $3 at a local thrift shop - thanks I'll take it. Remember I collect his art? The Indian block print bedspread is from Etsy and the driftwood wall hanging is from the beach at Ambleside. I'm thinking about doing another coat of white on the walls. Gross, here's a post from a year ago and the old color. I still have four more macrame plant hangers. Where should I put them?  I was thinking of putting one in the washroom. Do you think it would it be too dark for a plant?

Scandinavian Pain

When I first saw this image I thought it was a funky Scandinavian bread shop. That's what happens when you live in a bilingual country. Thanks to Moderna Museet for informing me that Scandinavian Pain is actually an exhibition running this summer at their museum in Malmö Sweden. Ragnar Kjartansson's eleven meter neon sign, Scandinavian Pain, will be installed on a barn housing works by Edvard Munch - cheeky Swedes.
image © Ragnar Kjartansson

Bad Companions...

So unrelated to fashion, design and architecture but hey, make a shirt out of it on Zazzle. In case you were ever wondering which plants to plant together, here's a vegetable companion planting guide from a great site I found via Tumblr. For the larger, clearer image go to their site

My Deck - A Preemptive

'Imagine if it was sunny now until November?' The Easter long weekend in Vancouver was gorgeous! The thing about Vancouver weather is, you can't trust it. As a kid growing up here it sucked. You'd leave your Barbies outside in their Barbie motor home on a hot summer night only to have them soaking wet in pissing rain the next morning. Camping - same thing. How many times have I woken up in a flooded tent?

We took advantage of our four days of nice weather and started our Spring planting on the deck. The plant collection has grown a lot since we moved in a year ago. This year we're trying a herb garden. My first one. I've had bountiful vegetable gardens before but I don't want to attempt one on my deck - I need room for lounging. My climbing rose bush survived its first winter. I cut all the leaves off it and it's come back nicely - and so have the aphids. I've planted peppermint around the bush but I don't think it's mature enough to keep them away yet. Any suggestions on how to get rid of these jerks?

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Thanks for your support! ~ Stacy

From the Archives - Did You Know...

Originally published February 3, 2010

The Sperry Top-Sider was inspired by a dog named Prince? Paul Sperry was intrigued by his cocker spaniel's ability to run nimbly over ice and snow. Upon turning Prince's paw over Sperry observed hundreds of tiny cracks and cuts in all directions. Sperry, in turn, was anxious to get back to his workshop to start his own experiments.

Grabbing a quarter inch thick piece of gum rubber he began cutting a herringbone shape into the material with his pen knife. The first pair of boat shoes were a worn out pair of sneakers with a quarter inch piece of herringbone patterned gum rubber glued to the bottom.

For more information on the involvement of Converse and Abercrombie & Fitch in the growth of the iconic boat shoe visit Sperry's site and download Paul Sperry's original story. It's a great read.

9 Tips to Survive The Flea Market of the Year

We wait all year for this and if you've been reading Bijou Living for awhile you may remember me writing about it before - The West Van Seniors' Flea Market. This Sunday at the West Van arena (behind the Community Centre) come on out! If you're looking for furniture this is the place - head right to the back.

Everything goes 50% off at 2pm so make it a day.

Heed my advice:
  1. do not bring anyone with you who doesn't like crowds
  2. bring a larger bag - like those blue Ikea ones, to put all the little bags you accumulate in
  3. there are certain people who will try to shove you out of the way - do not let them! Turn to them and: a) give them the crazy lady eyes until they stop or b) firmly say, 'Excuse me but I'm standing here'. Seriously - be firm
  4. there are lockers in the washrooms in the Community Centre if you want to stash your stuff until the 50% off sale at 2pm. Go and explore some West Van architecture, go to the Sally Ann on 16th and Marine, chill out at the beach in Dundarave - or perhaps find a new apartment to rent - there are tonnes in Ambleside and you'll be surprised by the price.
  5. bring water, snacks and ibuprofen (sometimes I bring ear plugs). There's a Bean Around the World coffee shop in the Community Centre, (have the vegan gluten free cookie)
  6. dress in layers or leave your coat in a locker
  7. remember the people working the market are volunteers - seniors from the West Van Seniors' Centre - respect them. If you witness someone disrespecting a senior tell them so, (or hope I'm nearby and I will). Some of these seniors are frail and certain people try to intimidate them to get what they want. Trust me, you'll see it, don't let it happen.
  8. do not let people shove you - stand firm. Politeness goes out the door with some people.
  9. Imagine yourself in one of those rolling sound proof plastic bubbles gliding around the market - it helps.
UPDATE: I have The Jewel Newsletter up and running again - after a four year hiatus! Sign up at the top of the page or by filling out this subscription form. The newsletter will contain different content than my blog and Facebook page and will be delivered monthly. Oh - and the Bijou Living Online Shop creation is well underway and will be opening soon! Think I'm going through a manic phase ;-)

    Mid-Century West Vancouver Home - Baker Residence

    Significant West Vancouver support building. F.G. Architectural and Planning Consultants, The West Vancouver Survey of Significant Architecture 1945-1975, (West Vancouver, BC, 1994), 88.
    Architect - Peter Faulkner-Smith
    Date - June 1, 1958
    Location - Altamont, West Vancouver, BC
    The home will be listed on the market soon.

    check check one

    Please come visit me on  Instagram , Facebook and  Etsy .  April 2016 - In French they say, 'Je suis fatigué'. Fatigué is a ...