DIY Footwear Facelift

My friend Smashin Beauty posted on her site the other day a cool video from the Chriselle Factor on how to get some trendy cap-toe shoes by giving your existing footwear a french-tip facelift.

Check out the vid here:

While I don’t have the balls to actually use acrylic paint  on my leather goods (my lack of precision guarantees disaster), I did get inspired to bring a bit of pizazz to a pair of black oxford flats.

Here’s how I transformed my shoes from plain to insane for just 25 cents (with no permanent damage).

Nine West, Vintage America Collection, Oxfords in Black

Iron-on Clothing Patches (25 cents at Dressew).

Simply insert the clothing patches in between the tongue of the shoes and the laces and over the flap…

Et voila! You’re ready to hit the town in a fab new pair of fashionable flats! Feel free to experiment with colours, patterns and fabrics…

My sister Klaudija will be pretty proud that I finally made use of our craft purchases at Dressew months ago AND have one less pair of “plain black” shoes on my shelves!

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Culture Crawling

I’ve been known (on occasion) to whine about the lackluster art and culture offering in Vancouver. Well the Eastside Culture Crawl was a “Say whaaat?!” aimed directly at my moan. On Sunday my sister and I spent the afternoon exploring the works of over 50 artists (and their studio spaces) at the Mergatroid Building as a part of the Eastside Culture Crawl. And that was just a drop in the bucket of what the annual 3-day artistic extravaganza had to offer. Now in it’s 15th year, the 2011 Eastside Culture Crawl featured over 350 artists opening their doors to an estimated 10,000 visitors. From sculptures to paintings to furniture and jewelry, there really was something for everyone. But there was one artist who for me was an absolute standout: M.A. Tateishi.

Walking through a maze of studios, I was immediately drawn to a large glossy display featuring splashes of bright colours in one of the hallways. After a bit of meandering we finally stumbled upon Tateishi’s studio where we were welcomed by some of the most vibrant pieces of multi-media artwork and the vivacious artist herself.  She explained to us how colour helps her bring things to life, and a true lust for life (and fluorescent pink!) comes out in her work.

If I could, I would buy them all. But since I can’t, I’ll post as many pictures as I can here, and dream of what my wall (and my wardrobe!) would look like bearing these fabulous prints.

Pink is the Navy Blue of India

Beautiful Wall

A Game of Chess

Oriented

All images (and more of Tateishi’s artwork) can be found at: http://www.matart.ca/gallery.htm


Adventures in Bungee Jumping

I finally had a chance to get away with my boy, my sister and some friends this weekend for much needed trip to Whistler.

What I was expecting: some hiking during the day, followed by hour-long soaks in our private hottub finished with a taste of Cornucopia and some nights out on the town.

What I did: Got drunk the first night while staying in playing Taboo and spent the following two days hung over, eating junk food and watching a marathon of horrible, horrible TV (it’s so bad I can’t even say the name of the show but let’s just say its starts with Jersey and ends with licious). Our broken private  hottub broke my heart (it was kind of the whole purpose of the trip), but using the communal one had 1 perk: seeing a real live black bear stroll right by our tub from like 6 feet away. A moment I will never forget.

Another unforgettable moment was our sudden decision to plunge into a canyon from 160 feet up in the air. Although my photos aren’t exactly Tyra-esque, the experience sure was fierce (and fearless).

 


Northern Exposure

Big thanks to Ms Zovko for taking care of Superfora fans while I’ve been swamped with work for the past month. Last week was particularly interesting as I was “jet setting” through Northern BC – getting to know the region along with the opportunities and challenges entrepreneurs face. While I was stunned to find out that Tim Horton’s pays staff $25/hr  – I was equally surprised by the sound of my own footsteps echoing through the streets (I’ve been to some pretty small towns in my time and have never experienced such silence in the middle of the day). The picture below perfectly captures the feeling (taken with my iPhone in downtown Prince George, cca 5pm).

 

The rest of my phone shots came out a bit too dark to post, so below are a few highlights:

  • Riding on a 15 seater plane from Fort St John to Prince George (equally exciting and frightening)
  • Checking out the stunning UNBC campus (including a special guided tour of Nexterra’s Biomass Gasification System. Yes, I just said Biomass Gasification System).
  • Not having to wait in line for….ah anything really.
  • Copious amounts of Britpop being played at every restaurant/bar/café we went to (and I’m pretty sure we hit all of them)
  • Stumbling upon Croatian beer (Ozujsko pivo) at a random bar in PG.

Although it was one of the most different trips I’ve ever been on (and I pretty much felt like a character in a pseudo-documentary the whole time),  I found myself singing “Hello, hello, It’s good to be back, It’s good to be back” upon my return.


VIFF-ing

It’s that time of year again to shut down your browsers in search of bearable-quality free downloads and hit the gritty street of Granville for a foreign film fiesta. The Vancouver International Film festival! Staying true to my last-minute ways I decided to pop over for a Sunday showing, but unfortunately the film I wanted to see was sold out (and 10 minutes underway might I add). So I decided to take that as an opportunity to do a bit of research on this year’s flicks and share with you my top picks. With close to 400 films from 75 countries you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something for everyone.  I didn’t manage to go through all of them, but after a little over an hour of speed-reading through summaries, I did sort through about half. Focusing on the films you still have a chance to see (I may have missed a few gems that played last week, such as Pedro Almodóvar’s “The Skin I Live in”) here are my suggestions based on their smart synopses.

The Canadian contribution:

I realize that this is an “international” film festival but it’s also a rare opportunity to watch a Canadian film at a theatre. My pick is Sarah Polly’s “Take This Waltz”. Although the leading actress is Michelle Williams (playing a married woman struggling to choose between her husband and a man she’s just met), the film also features Seth Rogan and scenes of Toronto (so it’s like, mostly Canadian). Sarah Polly, the Road to Avonlea has certainly led you elsewhere.

Plays Thursday October 6 @ 4PM, Vogue Theatre

The Cannes favourite:

Cannes knows films and why mess with what works? This year’s Camera d’Or winner is Argentinian/Spanish film Las Acacias described by Variety as “a delicate yet rigorously executed road movie [that] touchingly unfolds a passing-ships encounter between a truck driver and a mother who hires him to get her from Paraguay to Buenos Aires”. I’ve been dying to travel through South America and now I can do so vicariously through the eyes of a truck driver. Or a mother.

Plays Wednesday October 5 @ 8:45 pm and Monday October 10 @ 11am, Empire Granville 7 Theatres

The Daring Documentary:

How to Die in Oregon” documents the state’s 1994 law to allow its terminally ill residents the opportunity to “die with dignity” through physician-assisted suicide while following the final days of a few of the program’s patients. The provocative doc is well-timed for the Supreme Court of B.C.’s November hearing regarding similar right for Canadians.

Plays Monday October 10 @ 2:50pm, Empire Granville 7 Theatres

The Controversial Cut:

My Little Princess (France). I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It’s so wrong I’m almost surprised at myself for listing it here but it definitely stood out. Although described as fictional, the film tells a tale that is very well known to writer/director/actress/youngest ever Playboy pin-up Eva Ionesco: the story of a mother who takes erotic photos of her under-aged daughter and sells them. Disturbing to say the least.

Plays Saturday October 8 @ 11:40am and Sunday October 9 @ 9PM, Empire Granville 7 Theatres

The Animated Asian:

Japanese flick Tatsumi is a tribute to the creator of gekiga (dark and realistic manga for adults), Tatsumi Yoshihiro. Although manga was never my thing, the film promises to be “thrilling, moving, and very, very beautiful” (Tony Rayns – VIFF).  Just don’t let the fact that it’s animated trick you into bringing along your kids/nieces/nephews. For adult eyes only.

Plays Tuesday October 4 @9:30PM, Empire Granville 7 Theatres

(All images from Vancouver International Film Festival website)

Check out VIFF’s film guide for the full list of films. VIFF plays now through October 14.


Keep it Surreal

I was pretty stoked when I heard that an exceptional surrealist exhibit was coming to Van. Finally, something worth seeing was coming to town! Plus, we had the privilege of having the Dawn Ades curated exhibit “The Colour of My Dreams: The Surrealist Revolution in Art” (aka the most comprehensive exhibition of Surrealist art ever to be shown in the country) shown exclusively at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Like many people, I promised myself I’d check out the exhibit as soon as it opened and spend the day admiring the Dalis, Miros, and Magrittes in a dream-like state.   However, by the time I finally decided to beat the crowds, the sun had bestowed itself upon us and I wasn’t about to take any chances doing indoor activities. Especially knowing that it was probably just a short spurt of luck and that it could VANish (yeah, I just did that) at any moment. And alas, so it did…

I finally had the chance to admire the exhibit a few weeks ago (with a slight buzz I might add courtesy of pre-drinks at the gorgeous Gallery Café patio), but if you haven’t gotten around to it, fear not. The exhibit has been extended to October 2nd.

Aside from the well-known artists mentioned above, you may be surprised to see First Nations art displayed – something I had not thought of in the same category as surrealism but after seeing it put into context it seemed like such an obvious point of reference. There was also a significant number of films displayed throughout the gallery including snippets from Nosferatu, Un Chien Andalou (including the unforgettable, stomach-churning scene of the eye-ball being slit with a razor), and bizarre Betty Boop cartoons.

I tried snapping some pics of the work but got reprimanded by the very alert gallery staff – so it looks like you’ll have to go check it out yourself. Don’t forget, Tuesdays after 5pm admission is by donation. The extra change will definitely come in handy at the gift shop.

Dali’s magnificent desk.


Driving Ms Divic

After 32 years of relying on others to drive me around, avoiding to ever be designated driver and sleeping comfortably in the back seat during road trips (or hey, even trips to the corner store, you all know how quickly I doze when in motion) the day has finally arrived. I GOT MY DRIVER’S LICENSE!

Despite living through the embarrassment of repeatedly reminding my employers that I was sans license for years (I’m sure that getting me a driver last minute wasn’t cheap, although I thoroughly enjoyed the VIP treatment) and pleading with kids I used to babysit to give me a ride to the beach (thanks Tat!) I was really in no rush to get behind the wheel. But I figured it was better to at least have the skill should I ever find myself in the situation of having to give Liam or Noel a lift (apparently neither Gallagher brother has a license).

Thanks to everyone who put up with driving Ms Divic over the years. I am well aware that it’s payback time. And I look forward to embarking upon my own License to Drive adventures ala Corey Haim (RIP my dear) and Feldman circa 1988!

PS Dear IMDB voters. What’s with the 5.7 rating? If memory serves me correctly that movie ruled. The cheesy 80’s lover in me is upset and you don’t want to make a new driver upset.