Sun, Sea and Sculpture

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Frank ‘n company. Hanging out at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island. A bronze statue of former Nanaimo Mayor, Frank Ney in his alter ego persona of “Black Frank” the pirate.

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Maffeo Sutton Park is located right on the city’s water front. To the left is a glimpse of Newcastle Island. On right is Protection Island. It’s clear to see why Nanaimo is called the “Harbor City”!


There’s lots to see and do from smelling the roses, to checking out incredible art sculptures positioned throughout the park.

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For a casual glam look, I’m wearing a classic jean jacket from Suzy Shier. Copper buttons add distinction and visually connect with this delightful rusted metal sculpture.

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Getting cozy with a crustacean wearing a red pencil skirt with navy floral tank top. Top, Ardene. Skirt from Suzy Shier.


Harbor viewing always fascinates.

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From seaplanes to ferries, yachts to kayaks, vibrant activity is all around.

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Not to mention sailboats of all sorts. Pontoon planes are a common and practical way reach the mainland, glimpsed here in a series of majestic mountains.

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Back to art. Actually the entire waterfront is designed as an interactive tidal sculpture. As the ocean recedes, man made pools are revealed. Great for checking out various creatures that call these shallow basins, home.

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Nanaimo’s famous Barred Owl. Wonderful wire sculpture shows off the banding that gives this owl species it’s name. Mousie crouches in peril!


Another fascinating art statement is “Hungry Bunny” by local artist, Dale Schulz.


The popular piece brings the ‘hammer’ down on roaming rabbits.


Oceanspray and sandstone. Nature’s art at the park.

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Rose for a rose. Nootka roses bloom on bluffs by the sea, as well as on a pretty top for me! Photos by Bob Tobin.


Hunting the Wild Lotus Pinnatus

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It’s June. I’ve been hunting the elusive Lotus pinnatus for months now. Today is gold…and white, as the pretty bi-toned flowers are finally spotted.

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What to wear for a ramble on Nanaimo’s famous Harewood Plains? Be casually romantic in destroyed jeans and rosy lace top from Urban Planet. Soft blue cashmere sweater sourced from Value Village.

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Lotus Pinatus Park is gloriously windswept and dotted with a treasure trove of wildflowers.

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Sitting pretty amid rock sculptures on the plains.

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Flowers are everywhere. Here Nodding Onions and Fool’s Onion team together in summery lavender and white.

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When flower hunting, go with it in flower embellished denim like these destroyed jeans from Urban Planet.

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Love this romantic lace top with velvet ribbon trim to team with jeans. Another great find from Urban Planet.

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OMG! Flower of the hour Lotus pinnatus or Bog Bird’s Foot Trefoil, growing en masse.

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Had some friends come by to check out the excitement too!

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Three bucks in the ‘hood simply add to the amazing experience of strolling through the park.

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Lotus Pinnatus Park is located on Harewood Plains in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, BC Canada.

Crushing On Highline Collective

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Just in for spring is this fabulous flower embroidered denim mini skirt from Highline Collective. A New York inspired line of clothing, it’s available at the Bay both in store and on line.

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The skirt can only be bought on line in Nanaimo. Here’s a closeup of the wonderful floral embellishment.

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Also offered are girlfriend jeans showing off the same pretty flowers. Jeans are available in store where they are are being snapped up quickly. Definitely a best seller!

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Wear either jeans or the skirt with this fresh styled off shoulder shirt. Exaggerated cuffs and a blue pinstripe add an edgy counterpoint to feminine Bardot styling.

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Another upstyled look is a cropped bomber jacket in an exciting brown smoke hue. Beautifully bold spring flowers embellish this versatile topper.

The bomber teams perfectly with a classic primrose blue, long sleeved hoodie tee shirt.

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Here’s a closeup of the pretty embroidery on the bomber jacket. This is a must-have layering piece.


Another dreamy find is a not so basic, black bodycon dress with an interestingly angled zippered slit at front hem for ease of movement.

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Throw on this completely versatile modern camo jacket over the dress. Front mock pocket is given a feminine touch with pretty posies. This might just be the first camo garment to catch my eye. Is also fabulous teamed with floral patterned jeans or jean skirt.

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Add a black tee or pair of black leggings. The camo topper is light weight enough to work as a dress as well. Total versatility. Adjustable gathering at the waist tailors to suit your silhouette.highline10.jpg

Pick a fresh bunch of flower infused fashion from Highline Collective to celebrate weather’s warm up. Instant wardrobe renewal.

Dreamin’ California Moonrise


“When the Moon rises in California, the Sun shines in Bohemia.” California Moonrise Clothing.

A fabulous new clothing line based out of Montreal is now available in Nanaimo’s Hudson Bay Store. Amazing detail, boho vibe and very affordable pricing combine to make an irresistible product.


So feminine! A blue duster coat with paisley pattern and lace inserts, teams beautifully with the embroidered peasant top above.


Here’s a back view of intricate mixed patterns creating a complex and fabulous garment, ideal to use as a light weight topper. There’s just something about shades and tones of blue. The more you mix, the richer the look.


The paisley topper works well with this lovely maxi dress, coloured like a cloudless summer sky. Smocking detail gathers the garment under bust line for a flattering silhouette.

Wardrobes get a spring freshening by adding a touch of white. California Moonrise offers a deceptively simple topper embellished with delicate crochet accents. I adore the lace up back detailing.


Perhaps the most feminine dress I’ve seen in years. Soft, yet dramatic maxi in lilac paisley is stunning. The fit is excellent with just the right amount of ease of movement. A flowy garment like this could easily overpower, but this dress has an intuitively flattering cut.


Back view is open to the waist in center and at sides. This allows for glimpses of a pretty demi camisole in perhaps lilac lace, for those who prefer showing a bit less skin.


Here’s to playing a new tune on the Island with moon power rising. Celebrating our feminine nature in perfectly affordable clothing by California Moonrise.







A Winter’s Journey


This winter has been unusually cold for Vancouver Island. Sub-zero temperatures have turned ordinary vistas to fantasies of ice crystal magic.


Let’s start out on Jinglepot Road. I’m dressed for a winter woodland ramble wearing soft shades of pink, lavender and orchid knits. They’re complimented by a three quarter length coat in nubby black and white boucle, ornamented with pearl buttons.


Snowy vistas create their own colour harmony. I find cold season light takes on a bluish tinge which compliments cool colours beautifully. Like this soft baby pink tam in angora wool.


Enhance your rosy glow with a touch of mauve blush and finish with rosy lipstick. Blue-grey shadow deepens blue tones in eye colour.


My stroll took me into Morrell Nature Sanctuary and up Rocky Knoll for one of the best mountain views in Nanaimo.


Making it to the top is definitely an achievement! Thank goodness for this conveniently place bench.

Snow ready boots in charcoal leather with good sole grip are stylish enough for city streets, as well as taking on back country.


The lacing gives boots a sure slip free  fit, important when traveling rough terrain. Other accessories include warm winter gloves in burgundy from Ardene. Slim fit jeans sourced from Value Village.


The scenery is utterly amazing, truly winter transformed.


A bejewelled winter landscape calls for a touch of elegant personal adornment.


Filigree silver pendant with pearl dogwood flower and faceted pink drop, peeks out from lilac cardigan.


Lots of dramatic sights to take in. This tree has split right in half. Wow!


A friendly crow is my walking companion. Look at him gobbling snow!


At the top of Rocky Knoll the air already seems warmer. Winter on the island is ephemeral. In just days, everything changes. Keep watch. Soon there’ll be hints of reawakening land.



A Rainbow of Sweaters for Winter


With coming of cold weather and it’s accompanying snow and ice, a change takes place in our environment. Winter light quality on Vancouver Island moves decidedly into the cool spectrum, with bluish tints very prevalent to the eye.


Clothing colours that work with cool tones suddenly take on new life. Also wearables that add layers of warmth are essential, like this lavender Angora sweater topped with wool cardigan in amethyst. Bone buttons add a quality touch.


Here’s the same stunning cardigan teamed with a lovely fuchsia cashmere pullover, just waiting to dress up a pair of classic jeans. I pretty much live in sweaters during cold months of December through February. Cashmere is my go to fiber. However retail cashmere sweaters are quite pricey. Fortunately local thrift stores often have these luxury woolens hiding among the more prosaic offerings.


All the sweaters featured here were sourced from thrift stores. The cashmere twosome above showcases well known labels. Warm pink ‘V’ neck pullover is ‘Kirkland’ brand, known for their cashmere, while the wonderful periwinkle cardigan is top of the line ‘Lord & Taylor’. Together they create a classic colour harmony which adds a rosy glow to winter pale skin.


Another winter must have is velvet. Black velvet midi skirt combines with every top adding a layer of warmth and richness. Here the skirt rocks a layered cashmere crew neck in cinnabar. It’s companion is spectacular cream cardi patterned with rich red roses and moss green leaves.


Both these knit beauties are ‘Lord & Taylor’. Red roses for winter are as completely season appropriate as green holly leaves accompanied  by red berries!


Another warm moss toned cashmere knit, this time in a lovely ‘V’ neck, is companioned with  a pop of surprising clear mango! As outside blurs itself into shades and tones of white, anything COLOUR is very welcome. Featured is a fabulous find from our local thrift store, a multicoloured fresh water pearl necklace.


From I.Pearl Importers, this is a lush combination of different shaped pearls in natural, moss green and ginger hues. Woven among the pearls are stones of polished carnelian. The luster of pearls is very flattering, adding light to dull winter complexions.


Do celebrate colour this winter with a cheery bouquet of cosy knits. Wear as many layers as needed to beat Jack Frost’s chill! No, four layers is not too many especially if using lightweight natural fibers like cashmere.


“How many cashmere sweaters does a person need?” askes my friend. The answer is “There’s always room for one more”, when they’re all as pretty as these!



Craving Autumn Colours


Preferring warm toned clothes can be a challenge in todays market. With black the go-to basic, cool colours such as shades of blue, emerald and purple are everywhere.


But what if you want softer shades that reflect a nature walk in the woods, as your main wardrobe focus? Here’s where vintage shopping really comes into it’s own. When thrift shopping I look for clothes from the warm end of the colour wheel, such as this terrific tweed jacket with bird and flower embroidered embellishment.


Coordinating with the jacket are rust pigmented corduroy jeans, a wonderful cashmere turtleneck sweater and statement scarf.


The scarf is a stunning mix of warm toned velvet layered over chiffon for terrific texture. Sweater, scarf and jacket are all Value Village, Nanaimo finds. Cords are Joe Fresh.


Finishing touches to the ensemble include brown alligator shoes with a fashionable blocky heel and brown leather purse from Dalmy. We’re all set to enjoy a sunny November Monday!

All Hallows Weekend – An Autumn Walk


Oak leaves turn shades of russet at Neck Point Park in Nanaimo. All the great photos are taken by Bob Tobin.


Dodging rain showers for an invigorating walk to celebrate the season.


Pumpkin orange tunic dress by Suzy Shier is snuggled up to a statement April Cornell sweater sourced from Value Village.


Rich autumnal colours are echoed in a striped alpaca scarf from in Peru.


Exotic Arbutus trees with signature cinnamon hued bark, are loaded down with brilliant orange berries. Perfect accent to showcase fiery Fall!


My favorite! Wonderful leather belt with antique brass leaf buckle.


Horsey ‘n me and heaps of golden leaves.


Pulling the Autumn season look together with these tan leather ankle boots, another find from Value Village Nanaimo.


The iconic Big Leaf Maple! “My wealth lies not in coin, but in fields of gold abounding.” Darragh Worledge





Not so Basic Black Dress


I’m still into that edgy vibe for pumping up excitement in our fall wardrobes. Here’s a manikin perfect, one bare shoulder style, very not basic black dress!


Yes we have fringe accent! Team this fabulous dress with black leather jacket for a tough meets siren look.


Fringe accents up one arm and down the side of this asymmetrical dress from Ardene. Vintage rhinestone starburst pin picks up sparkly shoe embellishment.


I love rhinestone pins! This one is especially lovely with warm highlights in the sparkle.


Check out these heels! Sitting pretty in early autumn sun.


One of the really fun things about exploring nook and cranny shops is finding hidden treasures like these black patent shoes with their statement heel design. Shoes from Vancouver Island Thrift Store.


“Let’s see the boats,” says Bob. Ummm…walking down that metal ramp in these shoes…I need a break! dsc00645-2

So where are we heading off to? #nanaimowaterfront.


All dressed up and ready to take in the sights #downtownnanaimo.



Autumn’s Edge


The last day of September. We’re heading into October at a rapid clip. To me this month always means pumpkins, corn fields and the first glittering glimpse of frost rimmed grass to come. There’s a decided coolness in the wind right now. Evenings drop down to double sweater or add a jacket for comfort, temperatures.


One way to transition summer wear into cooler temperatures is by layering a pair of tights under whatever we’ve chosen to wear. In this case, rip and repair walking shorts add an edgy vibe to this classic outfit of black vegan leather jacket and white lace emeblished top. The jacket is a personal favorite. It’s also featured in Vintage Value post.



Here’s a closeup of the intricate lace detailing on the top. Textures of smooth leather and rough lace contrast well, adding excitement to the ensemble. Black and white are also picked up in the shorts, strengthening overall colour harmony. Both the top and shorts are from Ardene.


I’ve added over the leather bomber, a fabulous Value Village find. Right off the men’s rack, a patchwork wool blazer with traditional tailoring. Throw on this second jacket for a little more warmth, plus a whole lot of street savvy vibe. Here’s a tip…those men’s jackets have large shoulder pads that can give you a ‘football player’ look. Simply open up the inside lining shoulder seam, and remove the pads.


Bundle on a contrasting scarf for even more warmth and visual excitement. Other accessories include an Italian leather belt in black, men’s wear again and great suede pumps with a chunky heel. The shoes are Hush Puppies. Very comfortable as well as a feminine alternative to a boot.


Add a gorgeous purse in olive leather to complete the perfect outfit for ‘tween season rambles. I tend to gravitate towards purses enriched with some colour. In this case, the olive tone really enhances random patches on the out sized jacket. Leather purses can be harder to find these days, especially at an affordable price. This hobo style is a perfect size. It was discovered at Salvation Army Thrift Store in Nanaimo.


All photos are by my good friend Bob Tobin. Check back for installment #2 of how to add some edgy impact to your autumn wardrobe.