Archives For advertising

The One

September 29, 2017 — 6 Comments

Friends! Family! I’m here! Blogging! What a twist, what a rush, what a revelation.

Just the other day on instagram, I mentioned that we were finally feeling settled in our new place, and, for the sake of my own personal accountability, teased that I might even blog about it. Some of you padded my ego just enough to make sure I followed through with that, so here we are!

First, a little background: for most of last year, Matt and I were looking for a house. 7 offers, 20 + showings, and who knows how many open houses later, we finally landed The One. I feel that phrase is appropriate because, while I’ve never online dated, I’ve concluded that scouring realtor.ca for house listings and swiping left and right on a dating app are pretty much EXACTLY THE SAME.

“…This is the one, I can feel it!”
“Oy. This one looked a lot better in the pictures.”
“I liked it. I just didn’t get that feeeeeling, y’know?”

And then, after looking at way too many, and losing all hope: “SURE. FINE. WHATEVER.”

Thankfully, ladies, I did not have to settle for whoever offered to pay for my overpriced cocktail (this is where the metaphor stops working), because I really love my house. I loved it the moment I stepped into it, to be honest. As we walked through it at the open house, I felt like I had to suppress the goofy grin on my face growing bigger with every room. On the way home, I tried to play it cool and casually asked Matt “…So, what did you think?” He said something akin to “It was fine.” And then I was all “HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT OUR FUTURE HOUSE THAT WAY”.

The thing is, Matt has on a very different set of goggles when looking for a house. He needs to let it sit for a bit. He needs to run some numbers. He needs to make sure that it’s sound investment. That it makes sense. It’s actually a very good thing he’s so objective, since I am…not. And, thankfully, after doing his Matt-thing, this house ended up scoring high on both the “feels” and the “facts” charts.

So, we put in an offer.

And we got it.

And we freaked out a bit, because we never get it! And blah blah blah, long story short: we moved!

The thing I like the most about this house it that it’s old, but it’s been so smartly updated. The previous owners pretty much had my exact tastes, and they managed to blend the classic with the modern perfectly. So, it’s perfectly suited to my decor style – which is…whatever! No, seriously: I’ve never been able to fully embrace one dominant decor style. Mid-century modern is a little too cold, boho is too hippy for Matt. Minimalist? Oh yeah right. This house, on the other hand, is a blank canvas for a little bit of everything.

And for a thrifter like me, that’s a dream come true.

A few highlights:

-> That wardrobe directly up top was a Kijiji find. $230. I love it. It gives us extra storage and is probably one the only piece that’s as old as the house: 1930s ish.

-> The big gray couch was our biggest splurge. It’s a Gus* couch, from a furniture dealer in Hamilton: Chaise Musicale. He sells mostly MCM furniture, but also carries some great current lines. This couch is perfect because the colour hides many’a toddler stain, and the microfibre texture isn’t nearly as enticing to Maggie’s claws as our previous couches. I intend to keep it forever and ever. Even if you’re not on the market for any furniture at the moment, you should pop in there sometime, because the owner is just a really cool guy and it’s awesome to chat with him about what he does!

-> Now, since we were a little spendy on the couch, I wanted to complete the living room seating with a more stringent budget. That was proving VERY HARD. Both Matt and I agreed that two chairs opposite the couch would be the best thing for space and function, but ya’ll: chairs are $$$. I looked at kijiji so much I started to dream about it. I was about ready to just start tossing money at IKEA when I spotted these two beauties at a tiny little thrift shop in Collingwood. Actually, I spotted six of them. And, were I not just there on vacation with limited trunk space, I would’ve been tempted to take home all 6. These CHAIRS, you guys: they’re so good! Brass and wood. Vintage Hauser. Newly rehapolsterd. $40 each. So comfortable! And on wheels! That means that whenever I need to get some work done (*cough*download TV shows*cough*) at my desk, I can just wheel one right over. Speaking of that desk…

-> This was another perfect fit for our space. (See below). It’s beautifully refinished by my mother in-law, and the drawer actually opens up and flattens to reveal the keyboard and mouse. So smart!

As for the other bits and bobs around our place, most of it is from the old house or the thrift store, or the mom-store. If you’re curious about any of the items, just ask!

 

Oh! This dining set was also one of my better finds: $250. In perfect condition. 6 chairs with two extra leaves so we can host lots of happy meals 🙂

 

The other work in progress is our basement. I thought it would be the perfect place to gather up a lot of the vintage ads I already had, and we’ve got wall space to keep that collection going. Also, please enjoy the shaggy rug you see here, because Maggie has destroyed it with her all-powerful-cat-pee and it’s currently rolled up in storage because I don’t want to admit I for sure have to throw it out:

I think that will be it for now. I didn’t show you any of the upstairs rooms, because truth be told they are all in varying states of Hot-Mess-dom. But thankfully, there’s a pretty hard deadline on getting those rooms in order: March 2018. 😉

 

See My Vest

November 19, 2012 — 22 Comments

Since I launched this blog over a year ago (Happy Anniversary, self!) I’ve enjoyed all sorts of blog-related benefits: I’ve made friends, I’ve had more fun shopping, I’ve developed a creative outlet. It’s been good, happy, fun times all around. But another benefit is all the simple fact that I get to share goofy things I find on the internet with more people than just Matt and my cat. And today, I have a real gem to share with you. Like, the best thing ever.

It starts with this vest. This vest came from Revolving Closet on Ottawa Street, from a sassy, awesome lady with white hair and ‘tude for days. I love her and want to be her apprentice, but I digress. Back to the vest: I found this vest on the lower level of her shop, where she houses all her vintage. It was $7 (and she let me have it for $5) so I left the store happy as a clam. As with all vintage I find, I later did some Googling on the label: Faded Glory. Sometimes these searches reveal really interesting stories, and sometimes they yield nothing. Upon first search, this one, unfortunately, seemed to yield the latter. Most results suggested that Faded Glory was and and is Wal Mart’s long-time in-house denim label. So, my vest  was more “old Wal Mart” than vintage. Sad face.

However, something about it all didn’t add up. My new sassy friend back at the shop would know her vintage from her Wal Mart. Right? Right. So, I refused to accept this as the end to my vest’s story. I Googled some more, and eventually learned what my gut was telling me all along: Faded Glory wasn’t always a Wal Mart brand. It’s actually been around since 1972, and was only bought out by the Happy Face in 1995. The label enjoyed over 20 corporate-free years of coolness before sellin’ out to The Man.

And thank goodness for that, because this is where it gets really good. This is where I get really really happy about having a blog because all of you can share in joyous discoveries this this. Not long after I confirmed Faded Glory’s independent past, I found this:

HAHAHAH! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?! I know I should be horrified by the blatant objectification of that woman’s behind, but the whole thing is just so hilarious. I kept waiting for Bill Hader to show up because I was convinced it couldn’t be real. But it is real, and it’s spectacular. Did this work for people in the 70s?

Apparently, it did, because not long after I found that ad, I found several others that confirmed this was the only way to get people to buy jeans. Check out this one by Sasson Denim:

That one also gets a pass because A) It, too, is hilarious, and B) Roy Orbison?!

The real winner in YouTube’s pile of denim delights is this music video by Dr. Hook (who get bonus points for their band name alone):

The whole video is just this girl walking while dudes creep on her! And why isn’t be she alarmed by the two guys stalking her with song? And what’s with the eye patch!? (Oh wait, that’s probably the Dr. Hook thing.)

Okay. Brief pause to enjoy the fellow with the boom box guy 2:24….and there’s a guy on roller skates….and, wait. Really? A blind man?! Oh man. This is too much!

I guess that’s just what advertising was in the post-Draper 70s and 80s. If these videos are any indication, people just sat around boardrooms continually having this conversation:

“Here’s the pitch: We’ll have this girl in tight jeans walk by, and a bunch of pervie guys will stare!”
“Yes! That’s it! And dogs! Dogs will also stare!”
“NAILED IT! Cheers to us and feather haired!”

To be fair, I did find a few other commercials that tried for a more original plot. I don’t know if they succeeded in selling more jeans, but they still packed an obscene amount of unintentional hilarity into a 30 second spot. Here’s a prize piece from Zena Jeans:

The first thing I gleaned from this commercial is that these jeans are right for you on the STRICT CONDITION you’re a woman. No boy jeans allowed. Then, even though the jingle clearly states these jeans are “the jeans to be seen in,” all three ladies end up on a boat with no other human beings in site. And then there is the obvious impracticality of wearing heavy denim bell bottoms on a boat. What if they fall into the water? Jeans get so heavy when wet! They’re going straight to the bottom. But, death-trap jeans aside, this commercial ends on a high note, and the babe in the middle breaks out something I didn’t know existed: a cell phone bigger than Zach Morris’s.

Just think, if I didn’t thrift shop, I never would have found this vest. If I never found this vest, I never would have found these amazing commercials. I’ve I didn’t blog, you never would have had said commercials forced upon you. You’d have gone on living your quiet little life, wearing your tight little jeans, completely unaware that people like this are standing outside the movie theatre, watching you:

My blog: Home of thrifted clothing, outrageous internet videos, and now this guy. I’ve never seen a more compelling reason to keep at it.

Happy Movember!

Seafoam Memories

June 18, 2012 — 40 Comments

When I was in Grade 7, I recieved my first and only “real” detention. Oh sure, I’d received plenty of lunchtime detentions for neglecting my math homework, but the real detentions – the Black Book Detentions – were handed out only when one did something really bad. The very name “Black Book” brought to mind a musty, multi-volume book, covered in cob webs and kept in a secret candlelit chamber. What egregious crime landed my name among the scrawls of my fellow delinquents? I cheated on my Memory Work.

Every week, students were tasked with committing a particular verse of the Bible to memory. I usually fared very well in these, but this week, I was hung up on the very first verse of the passage (I had already written out the rest!). In a rash and foolish move, I tried (unsuccessfully) to sneak a peak at the completed selection inside my desk. My teacher caught me. I was mortified, and choked back tears for the duration of the afternoon. I still remember the big ol’ zero he wrote at the top of the page – it had a sad face inside it.

My memory failed to work that day, and I so failed my memory work. However, I won’t go ahead and say I’ve got a bad memory. I’ve actually got a very good one, in certain contexts. But that’s the frustrating part: I couldn’t recall that verse when I needed to, I can never remember where I leave my keys, what bills to pay, and when the garbage has to go out, but when it comes to recalling the lyrics of 90s pop songs, the filmography of long-gone child stars, and the jingles of local furniture stores, I’ve got an encyclopedia up there. That’s likely why my blog so often ends up at back at nostalgia and reminiscing. These useless facts gotsa go somewhere!

And that, coincidentally, is where we come back to what I’ve got on today.

This skirt is a recently acquired thrift from my favourite Salvation Army. It’s pleated, it’s minty, and it’s pretty darn trendy considering it’s another 70’s find. The colour is insanely popular these days. I mean sheesh, It’s all over my blog! As soon as I put on this skirt, I went uber matchy-matchy and painted my fingers and toes in that colour, too. But while my memory may not have retained all of Psalm 29, it did dig up something random that puts this outfit – and that very trendy colour – in perspective. Before my seafoam manicure was dry, I remembered a Mastercard commercial from nearly 14 years ago. It was a foggy memory – about seafoam and bridesmaids.  I’ll I needed to Google was “seafoam mastercard” and there it was.

If you don’t feel like watching the clip, the premise is simple: It paints a little vignette of a pretty, sad little bridesmaid, forced to wear a most-ghastly shade of seafoam from head to toe, simply to appease a stereotypical bride. But then the two women share a lovely, moving embrace while the voiceover says “a friend wearing seafoam for: priceless”.

It’s quite funny, isn’t it? Something that was deemed a particular kind of torture (Seafoam nails! Horror!) is the same thing I willingly delight it not 15 years later. And look at her dress – it’s lacy, asymmetrical, and all kinds of pretty by today’s standards. I actually kind of love it. My memory might fail me on occasion, but I do appreciate when it provides little gems like this, simply because it keeps me humble.  It reminds me that it’s all been done before: everything that’s considered old and dated one year might be considered new and trendy the next. It’s a reminder of the fickleness of fashion. I’m obviously still privy to being swayed by colour trends and fads, but that shouldn’t be the defining factor in how I dress my blog, or by body. If I like the seafoam, I should be rock it whether it’s on trend or not. Remind me of that in a few years.

A closing word of advice: Trends aside, you can wear just about anything so long as it’s paired with a plain white tee, because that’s one thing that will never be out of style. That’s pretty easy to remember, eh?

Pleats and Fleets

May 16, 2012 — 22 Comments

Last week, I took a break from treasure-hunting at thrift stores, and allowed myself to splurge at the incredible White Elephant vintage dress sale. It was a beautiful collection of dresses from four different vintage boutiques. Racks were packed with tafetta, sparkles, and all the trimmings of old-school evening wear. Since I won’t be getting remarried or going to a ball any time soon, I opted for something simpler, but every bit as fun. I bought this uh-mazing 1960’s a-line shift. It’s so pink! And so mod! I want to wear it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

A good vintage dress almost begs for some kind of Mad Men tribute, but I’ve sort of done that already. While I love Joan, this isn’t her style, and I don’t have the, erm, assets to pay tribute to her (hint: assets = tatas). This dress doesn’t call out any of the fictional Mad Women, but rather one real-life Mad Woman by the name of Mary Wells Laurence. Who is Mary Wells? A badass, that’s who. Basically, she’s the real-life Peggy Olson and Donald Draper, without all the bitterness and infidelity.

I thought of Mary while watching one of my favourite flicks, Art & Copy, last week. Art & Copy is a fantastic documentary that examines advertising’s creative revolution in the 1960s, and goes on to explore some of the more memorable American ad campaigns of the last five decades. It’s fascinating stuff. It features Mary briefly, and honours the work she created in 60s and 70s. She dominated the male-driven ad industry as female copywriter, dreaming up some of the most iconic ad campaigns of our time (like “I Love New York”). She eventually founded her own successful agency. This dress is a tribute to Mary, and specifically is the work she did for Braniff Airlines in the 60s.

Mary came up with the “The End of the Plain Plane” campaign for Braniff. Elements of the campaign included painting all Baniff’s airplanes pink, orange, yellow, blue, and every other colour under the sun. Stewardesses were outfitted brightly-hued Emilio Pucci uniforms, Alexander Girard designed furniture and textiles for every plane, modern art adorned all the walls. Mary brought fun back to flying. These days, we get all excited about brightly-coloured iPhone cases, but this chick got them the paint a whole fleet of planes rainbow colours. Like I said: badass.

When I wear this dress, I feel like I’m embodying some of the fun and whimsy of Mary’s vision. Heck, I even feel a bit like a Braniff stewardess myself. While being a stewardess in the 60s was likely a life of harassment and objectification, they sure had the aesthetics done right. I’m grateful for trailblazers like Mary who recognize the power of adding some colour and sass once and a while. She brought it to a fleet of planes, I’m bringing it to my pleats of pink. Cheers to you, Mad Mary, and the end of the plain pleats!