Archives For illustration

Internet Exploring #1

August 18, 2016 — 6 Comments

Internet Exploring #1 // Julie Van Can

Huzzah! Here we are, the official inaugural issue of Internet Exploring. Fun! AND, it’s on time. That doesn’t happen often. Just ask any one of my college professors, or high school teachers, or grade school teachers, or sunday scho–ahh you get it. Since I talked more than I needed to in my first post explaining this whole deal, I’ll get right to the goods.

This week, Julie Van…

Can Read

Monstrous Births 
This essay. Man. It hit really close for me. I don’t consign on all of it, but if you’ve read or heard my birth story, you’ll get why some parts really jive with me. Even if you’re not a woman or a parent, this is just a really interesting read about the way we moralize experiences and attach narratives to certain life events. If you don’t want to read the whole thing, read the last few lines. You’ll want to put them on a bumper sticker, and then go back and read the rest.


Can Laugh At

1977 JC Penny Catalogue 
This needn’t an explanation. The clothing speaks for itself. It speaks for itself so loudly that if the clothing were sharing an apartment with you, it would wake you up in the middle of the night with its insane, maniacal cackle. And no matter how many times you politely ask them to keep it down, it would REFUSE to be silenced.


Can Follow

Mari Andrew

This week’s “I DEMAND YOU FOLLOW” comes from my sister Laura, who has started the not-at-all unwelcome practice of texting me screenshots of Mari Andrew’s Instagram on a near-daily basis. She’s funny and clever and draws things are the so so TRUE. Follow her.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 12.17.52 PM


Can Cook

Sweet Potato Hash

In case I didn’t make it clear in my intro, I am not culinarily inclined. I can follow a recipe, and I know what trendy foods to Instagram, but these recipes will best serve readers with a similar cooking ability – people just looking for simple, tasty weekday meals (because weekends are for delivery, and if you don’t believe that, we may not get along). And so! Here’s an easy favourite you can make tonight. It’s a hash. You literally just put everything together in a big messy pile, and it’s delicious. The real reason I like this one so much is because of the chorizo. A few years ago, I started making a cheesy onion dip with chorizo, and every time someone said “Yum! Is that bacon in there?” I’d get to smugly reply, “Oh no, that’s chorizo. It’s Mexican.” So, bring your messy-pile-game to a conceited new level with this recipe.


Can Stream

Reply All

Here’s another recommendation directly lifted from my Sisters’ K group text: Reply All. It’s a podcast about the Internet, but you’ll figure out pretty quickly that tagline does it no justice at all. It’s two very likable fellas talking through some seriously bizarre + interesting stories, and the common thread (or cable?) through every episode is technology. It’s insightful and engaging and sometimes a little silly. What more could you want! I’ve only listened to a small smattering of episodes, but I’ve got the On the Inside episodes queued up for tomorrow, and I can’t wait.


Can Buy

Eye Buy Direct

I bought glasses! Partly because I’ve finally accepted my eyes have aged out of the “contacts” bracket, and partly because of Kelly Oxford. It’s a little misleading to say I bought them this week, though. I bought them two weeks ago, and GOOFED UP MY PRESCRIPTION SO BADLY I LOOKED LIKE BUBBLES FROM TRAILER PARK BOYS. So, I returned them (for free!) and my proper frames + lenses arrived today  (if you wanna see what they actually look like, you’ll have to follow me on Snapchat, or see me in real life. Personally I think I’m funnier on Snapchat, but I’ll leave that up to YOU). So in conclusion, I made a really stupid mistake, and they footed the bill. All in all, an excellent experience in e-commerce and customer care.


Can Meme

Fav 7 Shows

Twitter is having a moment with these “Fave 7” lists. I love lists and I am OK with the number so this was obviously something I’d attempt. And I did attempt. And I failed. Because I simply watch TOO MUCH TV and love each show like its my child. I wrote an initial list, realized I forgot a bunch of favourites, revised it, revised it again, and gave up. But Coach Taylor wouldn’t be cool with that, and TV is the only sport I’ll ever play, so here is my FINAL TOP 7 LIST. With a bunch of honourable mentions because I cheat like that.

:
The Americans
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Mad Men
The Office
Parks and Recreation
Breaking Bad
Fringe

Honourable mentions: Fargo, Friday Night Lights, Enlightened, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend. I have AT LEAST five more but I’ve got to stop somewhere.

…OK I’LL SNEAK IN THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF.


And that’s it for the inaugural edition of Internet Exploring! Please go ahead and share your comments on anything you read or watched here. Writing about pop culture is fun, but talking about it is even better. 🙂

One edition down, a LIFETIME to go (or maybe like…40?).

 

The Gift of Thrift

July 25, 2013 — 17 Comments

Emerald vintage, citrus purse // We So Thrifty

Emerald vintage, citrus purse // We So Thrifty

Emerald vintage, citrus purse // We So Thrifty

Thrifting takes practice. Since I practice thrifting far more than I’ve ever practiced any sport, activity, or musical instrument, I’ve gotten pretty good at it (my guitar, meanwhile, sits stringless in my parents’ basement). As with any sport or practice, there should always be new challenges to try and and new levels to reach. For example, I someday hope to go to yoga and not laugh laugh like a loser when someone involuntarily passes gas (actually, that’s a life goal: don’t laugh at farts or fart jokes).

BACK to the point of the matter: If you’re a thrifter, there are several milestones on the way to masterful thriftdom: Thrift something high-end for the first time, learn to spot good vintage, work the sales days to your benefit, all that jazz. But perhaps the greatest example of a a truly seasoned thrifter is the ability to thrift for other people. I don’t just mean thrifting something intentionally awful for the staff party Christmas gift exchange, I mean thrifting something that you know the recipient with A) fit and B) love.

Well, lucky for me, I’m friends with one of the most accomplished thrifters this side of the border (and likely beyond it, too). Jentine thrifted this lovely, vintage, emerald dress for my birthday from Revolving Closet on Ottawa Street, and she totally nailed it. She thought about my style, she thought about my size, and she resisted the temptation to keep it for herself, even though she said she wanted to.

If you, too, love the idea of a thrifted gift, but are intimidated, you can always do what my sister Laura did, and just shadow me while I thrift, then offer to buy the first thing I really like. That’s just what happened with the citrus Aldo purse on my shoulder. I saw it on the mannequin, said “I LOVE THAT” and she said “Cool. It’s your birthday present.”

On the same trip my sister bought me that purse, I also took on the challenge of buying a gift for my husband. Matt and I don’t always agree on items of decor, but I took a chance this time around, and it paid off. As I was digging through the back shelves of the Sally Anne, I came upon a framed print entitled “The Art of Making Money Plenty.” I was nuts about the typography and adorable illustrations, and when I looked at the “translation” on the back, I thought it would be perfect for Matt’s office:

The Art of Making Money Plenty // We So Thrifty

The Art of Making Money Plenty // We So Thrifty

Translation:

At this time when the general complaint is that money is so scarce it must be an act of kindness to inform the moneyless how they can reinforce their pockets. I will acquaint all with the true secret of money catching, the certain way to fill empty purses and how to keep them always full. Two simple rules well observed will do the business:

1st. Let honesty and labor be thy constant companions;

2nd. Spend one penny every day less than thy clear gains.

Then shall thy pockets soon begin to thrive, thy creditors will never insult thee, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee. The whole hemisphere will shine brighter, and pleasure spring up in every corner of thy heart.

Now thereby embrace these rules and be happy.

So B. Frank suggests these basic tenets for business: Work hard, be honest, and don’t spend more than you have. I can tell you from monthly Mint meetings with Matt, that is his jam right there. He hung the print in his office that very afternoon.

This visual riddle was illustrated by Samuel S. Kilburn, Jr., and published in Gleason’s Pictorial, an illustrated magazine, in 1854. It’s rare to find something that Matt and I so equally appreciate: He loves the sentiment, I love the glimpse into the past this print gives us. Apparently, illustrated magazines were all the rage back then. Sure, people are doing pretty groovy things with iPad mags these days, but the description of the pictorial makes me yearn for days of yore just a bit:

The object of this paper is to present, in the most elegant and available form, a weekly literary melange of notable events of the day. Its columns are devoted to original tales, sketches, and poems, by the best American authors, and the cream of the domestic and foreign news; the whole well spiced with wit and humor.

That sounds like something worth paying for, right? I should mention that had I thrifted this engraving (Holy Dollar Signs Batman!) of the same illustration, Matt’s office walls would be empty, but we’d almost certainly have some really nice new couches.

Anyways, I suppose the real takeaway from this dress, purse, and print is that thrifting, like so many things in life, is something best appreciated when shared with people you love. Now everybody saw “awwwww.”

Dress: Revolving Closet | Gift
Purse: Salvation Army | Gift
Shoes: Salvation Army | $3.99
Bracelets: Cuba and Africa!

Contest Winner!

June 14, 2012 — 4 Comments

Well that was fun! First off, I have to express my gratitude to all of you who entered my custom portrait contest. Your creativity and enthusiasm has ensured that this contest won’t be the last of its kind. The variety of personalities, styles, and stories that came through were a delight to read. In fact, I’m going to publish all the entries and photos I recieved over the next few weeks, because all of you deserve generous accolades for your own first-hand tales of second-hand style.

And so, without further adieu, I present to you the winner of the Thrifty Custom Portrait Contest. Drum roll please!

Congratulations, Tara! I selected Tara for several reasons. Firstly, how adorable is that dress? She looks demure, yet sophisticated; classic yet quirky. A winning combination all around. The real highlight of Tara’s entry is the accompanying explantion she sent with her photo:

 Hi Julie,

Good morning from Vietnam. This is my submission to the custom portrait contest. My name is Truc Nguyen, but you can call me Tara. I have just started my blog since…yesterday, although I have thrifted for many years. This dress is one of my favorite finds during my thrifting adventures. In Vietnam, we don’t have nice thrift stores, with shelves and mirrors and fitting rooms. You have to go to the wet markets and literally dig into the mountain of clothes on the ground to find your luck. Imagine doing that in the heat of 30 Celsius degrees plus. And fitting them onto what you’re wearing, and using your best imagination to decide if it looks good on you. Anyway, I bought this dress from one of those markets. I like it because everything about it is cute. It has two cute pockets, a cute collar, and came at a cute price, only 50,000 VND (2.5 USD). The hem was originally longer, I shortened it a bit and it looked just fine.

I love this story. Who’d have thought I’d have a reader all the way in Vietnam? Tara cemented the universality of thrifting. It’s a world-wide lifestyle, and she wears it so well! I also commend her for sifting through mountains of clothes in sweaty temperatures and busy crowds. She’s patient, resourceful, and imaginative! Tara proves that persistence pays off – not only does she have a lovely dress, she’ll soon have custom portrait too.

To Tara: Thank your for your inspiring entry. Laura is working on your portrait as we speak!

To my fellow readers: Make sure you follow Tara’s adventures in the wet markets of Vietnam and beyond on her blog. Thanks again for entering!

Happy Monday you kings and vagabonds! I’m posting a friendly reminder about my on-going contest to win a custom portrait for your blog, (or anywhere else, really). As a further further kick in the pants to get your entry in, here are a few quick sample portraits from Laura:

My husband makes his first appearance on the blog! Granted, it’s in storybook-sketch form, but it still counts. Remember that outfit I’m wearing?

I’d say we all look pretty darn cute as watercoloured characters. If you’d like to win your own portrait, the rules are simple:

1) Tell me about your best thrifted find in 200 words or less. Where did you find it? Why do you love it? What did it cost you?

2) Attach a picture of yourself in that find.

3) Email all of it to WeSoThrifty@gmail.com

4) I’ll choose my favourite entry, and you’ll win a custom sketch by Laura based on your photo! You’ll get the high-resolution file to use as you please.

5) Submit your entry before June 11, 2012!

I’ve already received some great entries, but I want more! MORE! Spam my inbox with so much thrifty goodness I have to get a forklift to sift through it. That’s a mixed metaphor but I’m OK with it.

Here are a few more favourites from Laura to close out the entry.

Can’t wait to see more from you all of you!

…Yep. I drew the title of this entry from here. I apologize if I got your hopes up for a Dawson’s Creek tribute entry. There is much to say about those angsty teens with unrealistically-advanced vocabularies and libidos, but Capeside will (ironically) have to wait. I pulled out that title because this entry is a result of me throwing plans out the window and doing what I want instead. You having that song in your head all day is just an added bonus. You’re welcome.

The first thing I stopped waiting on is a reason to wear this dress. This Betsey Johnson dress was thrifted way back in February. I sang it’s praises here, wore it once on vacation here, and have left it dormant in my closet ever since. I love this dress. I would even say it’s my favourite thrift ever. The cut, the pattern, the fit, the fabric and the price make it the ultimate thrift trifecta (wait, a trifecta has three wins, this is a…polyfecta?). Either way, my blinding affection for this dress has gotten in the way of me actually wearing it. You see, I’ve been waiting for the perfect occasion to strut my stuff in it again. A wedding? An art show? A fabulous beach party in the Hamptons with the cast of Gossip Girl? Well, Penn Badgley isn’t returning my calls, and this dress deserves some love. On Saturday night, I met up with some friends for a drink, and I wore my Betsey. I concluded a simple Sangria Saturday is as good occasion as any to wear something I love. I dressed it down with flip flops and denim, and I felt fabulous (I don’t use the word “fabulous” often, because I bet Carrie Bradshaw had it trademarked, and I don’t like paperwork).

I stopped waiting for a special occasion to present itself, because wearing this dress makes any occasion feel special. Seizing the dress (Carpe Ornatus!) has inspired me to move forward with a few more plans that I’ve been delaying until the “right time” arrived. You see, I’ve got big plans for this blog. Firstly, I want to drop the “wordpress.com” from my domain name, I want to move to a self-hosted account, and I want to redesign the whole dang thing. Then I want to have a big contest to celebrate it. But until the days magically get longer, all of that stuff isn’t going to happen for at least another few months. So, instead of waiting for those ducks to get in a row, I’m celebrating Carpe Ornatus RIGHT NOW. You get what I’m saying yet? I’m saying….

*sirens/bells/whistles/confetti*

CONTEST!!!

*sirens/bells/whistles/confetti*

Once of the main features of my blog overhaul is a new banner design, featuring a sketch commissioned by my sister Laura Konyndyk. Laura is a phenomenal illustrator, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my sister. In a few short hours, she crafted this sketch for my new layout. Even though I won’t launch that new look for some time, I want to give you a peak:

SO CUTE RIGHT?! She based it off this outfit.

This contest is a chance for one lucky reader to win their own custom sketch from Laura. Here’s what you need to do:

1) Tell me about your best thrifted find in 200 words or less. What’s your “Betsey”? Where did you find it? Why do you love it? What did it cost you?

2) Attach a picture of yourself in that find.

3) Email all of it to WeSoThrifty@gmail.com

4) I’ll choose my favourite entry, and you’ll win a custom sketch by Laura based on your photo! You’ll get the high-resolution file to use as you please. Use it on your blog, your facebook, your screensaver, where ever! Or print off a giant copy and have it framed above your fireplace. Definitely the best idea.

5) Submit your entry before June 11, 2012!

Hop to it, readers! Stop waiting, get writing, and start winning!

…Oops, Charlie Sheen probably trademarked “winning” sometime last year. Start…to succeed by striving or effort! That works. Off you go!