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.


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.



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.


Vintage Value


“Shopping vintage” is a glamorous way of referring to old fashioned thrift shop bargain hunting. These days second hand clothing stores are not necessarily the most cost effective places to buy wardrobe staples like tee shirts or jeans. To be a savvy shopper look through thrift stores’ vast and diverse array of merchandise for unique and unusual items.


Like this fabulous hand made raku pottery cat face pendant with perfect, adorable tiny mouse. I found this gem at Value Village in Nanaimo, along with the copper washed jeans and Italian wool sweater. Jacket is Suzie Shier.


A perfect outfit for garden rambling, as September weather turns a bit cooler. Lovely zinnias are still eye catching! Another jacket option is a classic leather bomber like this one below.


Here I am with canine friend hanging out at Colliery Dam Park. Black vegan leather jacket was found at Value Village along with a completely beautiful printed silk scarf.


Luxury fabrics like pure silk are hard to find new these days. dsc00340-4

When shopping thrift stores I always look for silk, wool especially 100% cashmere, good quality leather items like belts and unusual, often hand crafted jewelry.


Pug strikes a pose! Taking a break lounging in some late summer sun. My little buddy looks debonair in his snappy red coat. I’m wearing charcoal capris jeggings and white tank  from RW&CO.


Plum Pretty


Plum is a great AUTUMN colour. Brings to mind harvesting fruit and savory aromas as damson jam bubbles on the stove. Beautiful Granny Falls provides a scenic backdrop for PLUM maxi skirt and rose embellished cold shoulder sweatshirt from Ardene.


Checking out a wooden foot bridge at Colliery Dam Park in Nanaimo.


Sweatshirt hoodie adds a layer of warmth.


Looking haute in plum skirt layered with garnet and grey tank tops.


Hand crafted ceramic beads have painted rose decoration. Vintage find from Value Village.


Hoodie comes in handy in a rain forest!


Sampling few late season blackberries.


September sunflowers add a patch of GLOWING brilliance to brighten the walk home.