For those of you who question my Internet omnipotence, observe.
In my obsessive search for a German Dirndl to wear for my Oktoberfest trip this fall, I discovered that when buying a Dirndl, you have three real options:
Buy a fetishist Dirndl costume made from flame-retardant plastic and feathers for $19.99 at the Stag Shop.
Buy a new authentic Dirndl online for $300 +; or
BE NATALIE AND BE AWESOME
Option 3 above is obviously the one I decided to go with. I scoured craigslist for a few weeks waiting for my time to pounce on a vintage or used Dirndl, and my obsessiveness quickly paid off.
I managed to find an old German couple out in Mississauga selling TWO, count ‘em, TWO authentic German Dirndls in PERFECT condition. I negotiated them down to $110.00 for both, kept one and gave one to one of the other girls in my Oktoberfest crew.
She’s a couple of sizes too big, but I’m a whiz with the ol’ sewing machine. I’m also going to shorten it to be sluttier.
I celebrated my dominance over the world with a huge dinner composed exclusively of cheese, spicy meats, and salty things.
Incidentally, did you know that deviled eggs are fucking delicious? I totally forgot they existed and now I eat about 25 a day.
Couple-a new items for the house. Since my housewarming and holiday parties, I’ve started to loose a little steam. I mean I’m checking craigslist like, once a day instead of 58 times a day. But I still had the opportunity to pick up some sweet pieces last week.
First, I became totally and completely obsessed with purchasing a cow skull to mount in my loft. I mean, the decor it’s pretty western-y… I guess… but it lacked the full-on “crazy-person-accessory” to westernize it beyond all recognition.
Let me preamble this by mentioning that you can’t get a cow skull in a retail store in Toronto for less than like, $300.00. That equals bullshit, so I set a goal to buy a cowskull using my super developed search and negotiating skills like a bad-ass mutherfucka.
So first, I look on craigslist, of course, and I find some guy out in Etobicoke who is selling his cow skull for like $150.00. So I email him, fully planning to offer him around $100.00 or $120.00. Then he comes back to me and says there is a bidding war on his damn cowskull and the new asking price is $350.00. So I email him back and say “suck my choda” and decide to look elsewhere.
As mentioned on several previous occasions, I have been blessed the super-human ability to exploit the internet, and after days of scouring, I found a huge 3 foot cow skull for $50.00 from Texas. Shipping was $30.00. So that baby was $80.00 inclusive. Plus it was expertly modeled by a midriff-baring woman wearing a steer-wranglin’ hat. I mean, how could I say no to that??
You would think that a real cow skull with bones and DNA and possible bugs living in its eye-socket-holes and shit would have problems crossing the border, because when I order fucking pants from J Crew it takes the border officials 10 days to mull over whether or not I’m a terrorist. You know – a terrorist ordering poo-green pants from J Crew.
But no. The COW SKULL crossed the border in record time, and I had it in my paws within about 5 days of payment.
I was concerned that it was a fake because I got such a good deal. But hellz no. This bad boy is a real skull from a real cow, all bleached in the sun for weeks and weeks.
Only catch was that the horns were removed for shipping. I had to re-screw them and wrap the rope around them myself. But since I’m bad-ass hardcore, I screwed that shit in like an expert.
In addition to the crazy-person skull, I also managed to score this fantastic mid-century space-man chrome ball-light at the Public Butter:
Now crazy-ball space lamps from the 60s/70s are in surprisingly high demand, and I have been looking for one on and off for a little while. It’s hard to find one for less than a few hundred bones, so when I saw this down the street I got excited.
But not so excited when I saw the price tag:
I mean, fine. I was originally $350.00… and now it’s $175.00… but:
$175.00 is still way too much for me to buy an un-needed lamp on a whim; and
I’m pretty sure that when Public Butter has their 50% off sale, they just mark everything up, so I don’t think I was getting a huge deal.
Now, I have my ways when negotiating. (And no. It does not involve sexual favours, you pervert. Besides, any sexual favours I could provide would likely not amount to much value. Due to my extreme awkwardness. And now things are even more awkward because I said that… damn)
So I decided to be my wiley self and try and see if I could negotiate that bad boy down a few bucks. We tried out the lamp in a socket… and lo and behold, two of the sockets were defective and needed to be replaced. I hemmed and hawwed and hemmed and hawwed and pushed.
AND I GOT THE LAMP FOR $50.00. So hardcore.
Look at her, all spacey and chromey. She’s going to artify one of my rooms all up like crazy. Now I just have to figure out how to re-wire light sockets and I’ll be golden. Or chrome. As it were.
So I’ve been going nuts with decor items, etc. for my new place. I am so totally obsessed with mid-century antiquing that it’s a little scary. BUT, I’ve been able to score some AMAZING things. Most of them needed a bit of work, but that’s the BEST PART!
Arc Lamp Redux
Ok, first. Remember my arc lamp? It’s still everything that I hoped it would be, but I was becoming disillusioned with the drop shade. It has this little crack in it, and I didn’t like the white amateur plastic-y look to it, and there were small holes for this filter part that was missing and every time I looked at the light I saw the holes… did I mention I’m anal and I become obsessed with things until they are corrected?
Yeah, so I spent about 3 weeks obsessively looking for a replacement shade. FYI – it is almost impossible to find replacement shades for arc lamps that aren’t:
Sold separately from an actual lamp, making them expensive, and therefore, stupid;
So heavy that my arc lamp would droop to the ground like a flaccid wiener; or
Have an opening big enough for the light socket so that I don’t have to re-wire the whole friggen lamp.
After an arduous search, I thought that I would have to buy a whole light from West Elm, and just chuck everything but the shade. BUT THEN… because I’m such a good internetter, I found a smoked acrylic globe shade on craigs. I AM SO GOOD AT EVERYTHING.
Only problem was that the hole at the top of the shade was about the size of my pinky and I needed it to be about the girth of… well… you know… a light socket. So I had to buy a file, and FILE DOWN THE INSIDE OF THE HOLE for about 90 minutes to make it big enough.
But, because I am obsessive and always get what I want, it worked! Now I have a super-cool smoked 70′s shade! I also bought one of those half-mirror light bulbs to reflect the glare of the light. SO COOL AND INDUSTRIAL. I am the best.
Bathroom Towel Holder Thingie
My bathroom has all this brand new wainscotting (or however you spell it), and I needed a hand towel rack, but didn’t want to ruin the wainscotttininigng. So I decided to be brilliant.
In case you didn’t know, the Ikea “Grundtal” half-size towel holder is the exact length of the Ikea ”Hemnes” dresser side-frame. DOES ANYONE ELSE KNOW THIS? Probably not, due to my awesomeness.
So I mounted that shit onto the side of that shit.
IT IS EXACT.
Now I have a little multi-use dresser-towel-holder multi-purpose thing!!!!!!
Teak Mid-Century Chair Re-Upholstery
I LOVE TEAK. If I could live in a house made entirely of teak, mid-century furniture, I would die of orgasmic happiness.
Which is why I almost died of orgasmic happiness when I managed to score this teak armchair off craigs for about one third the price I saw it at an antique store last month.
I mean, HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THIS THING? The sappy, golden colour of the wood, the old tension strapping, the curved arms, the low, low, lowie nature of the seat? SIGH!
Only problem is it needed new cushions. PROJECT!
Since I was putting it in my office with my new neon chevron painting, I wanted something really loud and bright. I tried Designer Fabrics on Queen first, but then I realized that I wasn’t a millionaire, so I went to a discount fabric place and found some siiiiiick hot pink upholstery fabric, and managed to score some upholstery foam down the street.
First step – cut the foam to size…
Then cut the upholstery, leaving a 1/2 inch per side for seams… THEN SEW THAT SHIT.
Turn it inside out, stuff in the foam, and do an invisible stitch to close up the pillow, and it’ all BEAUTIFUL and perfect:
I haven’t decided if I’m going to do the back cushion, because I even like the look of the slatted teak in the back, but she already looks gorgeous with her bum pillow in place…
YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY! Do you like my “contrasting” poo-green throw? SO FANCY I TELLS YA!
Incidentally, Molly was NOT happy that I was sewing my cushion all night and she couldn’t sleep on my lap. She gave me the “zombie-face”, which is basically when she’s so tired that she stands really close to you (like, centimeters from your face) and looks at you intensely until you let her sleep on your lap. It’s pretty awesome.
Speaking of Molly and mid-century decor items, I recently picked up a shag rug for the office, and I discovered that she is totally and completely obsessed with shag. She had a gross snort-party on it and rubbed herself on it for about 45 minutes. She’s a little mid-century slut, just like me.
Now, the problem with this post, is that it’s probably not me, because the only secrets I have are of the “I ate the whole bag of halloween candy before halloween” variety. But still. A girl can dream.
Oh hi. What are those there? Those are my new super-amazing, ball-bustingly awesome vintage folding theatre seats in a russety solid wood.
I love them so much. Like more than someone should love an inanimate object. Well… not this much:
..because I’m not a crazy person…but I still love them a lot.
I have this weird landing area in the lobby of my place that has been housing my bike for the last few weeks, but it has led to increasingly awkward shoe removal, where I jump up and down in some kind of off-beat fat-chick dance, trying to take off my shoes before coming into the house, while simultaneously trying not to knock over my bike, and looking extremely stupid in the process. So I decided I needed a bench.
At first I was looking to get a church pew, but all the ones I found were like 11 feet and had big ol’ crosses on the side and that freaks the shit out of me, like “Rosemary’s Baby”-styles.
But then I found this ad on Kijiji where these people were selling vintage chairs and random thingies, and I busted over there the minute they opened. I thought my vintage Pendleton would be appropriate for my vintage hunting…
Good thing I used the flash in broad daylight, or you might not be able to see me.
The bench was still there and scored I scored it for FORTY FRIGGING DOLLARS…
This is probably in my top 5 of vintage finds. Orgasmic.
I also really liked this beat-up turquoise-blue set of theatre seating…
Being amazing people, they threw them in for twenty bucks!!
Hoooraaaayyy!!!! All in all, an EXTREMELY satisfying and exhausting day. Molly agrees. She had “scary possessed crazy dog tired eyes” that night.
I was sick on Tuesday. I felt like a bag of rotten dicks. Here is what I wore:
HOWEVER, it was a very satisfying day. First, I happened to be sick during one of the most beautiful fall days of the year so far (well, the morning at least), and I forced myself to walk around and enjoy it. Check out that “sun through power lines” arty photo shit below:
In the afternoon, it poured rain. So I got to hang will Molly and nap on the couch for a few hours. She has this new obsessive-compulsive thing lately, where all she wants to do is get rubbed between your feet. It’s totally weird:
I also got to hang out with some of my new vintage pieces, procured off craigslist last week…
My new credenza… it’s going to hold my vinyl and my record player (I still have to deal with all those wires and shizznat):
AND my new fabulous bent-wood chairs! Although they are not THE bent-wood chairs on my list, I love love love them and they were a fucking STEAL at $115.00 for all four:
In the evening I was starting to feel better, so I decided to make some chocolate chip banana bread. And drink some beer. This is going to be the hipsteryest banana bread EVER!
These bananas are completely INEDIBLE. But they are appropriate for banana bread.
I was also bidding on some poo-green pants on ebay while making my banana bread. I won them, because I am a ruthless ebay “last-second-bidding” mega bitch. Yey!
Right before putting the bread in the oven, I realized I forgot the chocolate chips.
Here is an easy solution:
It got all cooked up nice.
Then I put it on my elevated cake-display thingie that I never use because I wanted it to look fancy. It made me feel better, because I felt like an adult who bakes things and puts them on cake display thingies.
I hate hate hate hate hate living in a place that has no shit up on the walls, but I don’t want to put no shit on the walls until my shit is all put away, so it’s this endless struggle between the “putting away of shit” and “putting shit on the walls”. Toughest life, ever.
Anyways, there are a couple of “areas” in my place that seem ready to be “arted all up”. First, my Dave Murray print found a nice tidy home in my foyer. Makes me feel all Queen-West-Parkdale-y.
Second, one of my super-amazing Doublenaut prints finally got all framed up.
I had originally reserved this “Ghost Goat” print for my office at work, but then:
I realized that my super-conservative workplace (where everyone has paintings of fruit and landscapes from 1994 on their walls) would like balk at an image of a goat-with-one-eye-slash-two-people-blowing-a-simultaneous-bubble-slash-reverse-teardrop-brain-explosion.
I like it too much to put in my office. AND it matched my vintage mid-century table lamps – same teal and coral colours, same graphic lines. So it was a no-brainer.
I also put up some of my “I’m a super fancy and arty photographer” photos that I took years ago at school. They’re pretty awesome.
I still have SO MUCH ART to put up on the walls, including two pieces that I’m going to paint myself. We’ll see how that shit turns out.
In other news, I bought a steamer. Yes, exciting. I know.
But seriously, it’s totally exciting! I have always dreamed of getting one of those supa-sick steamers that you see in clothing stores that DEMOLISH wrinkles and look so easy to use. I bought a stupid Conair one a few years back and it sucked poo nuggets, so I’ve been researching clothing steamers like a super-cool dude, and discovered that the best clothing steamers in the world are “Jiffy” brand from like Tennessee or something.
So I found one on craigs, because I’m a ruthless maniac when it comes to craigs. It’s so serious-looking:
It’s a JIFFY, BABY!
Here is a “before” and “after”. Sorry about the pics. I need to get my blog-photography shit together…
And finally, my latest vintage score: Winklefords!
This last weekend sucked balls, for a variety of reasons.
But let’s start with my ONE positive experience. My friend Annie was having a birthday party, and since it was a milestone birthday, her friends decided to make it an over-the-top celebration of her many years in existence. They basically tried to re-enact the birthday parties she used to have as a kid.
The theme of the birthday was “Northern Reflections circa 1989″, which is the most amazing idea of all time. Here are some of the interpretations of this theme:
What did I wear? I happen to have a wicked cool “horses riding in the plains” T-Shirt…
Yey! Wyld Stallyns.
A couple of important points here…
I actually bought this shirt for realsies off ebay because I wanted a “horses riding in the plains” shirt… this was not purchased as a “joke” like everyone else, which made me feel a bit like a loser;
The “Northern Reflections” theme is only slightly captured in my T-Shirt. It really should have been, like, some loons in a pond, or mallard ducks flying over some swamp reeds to truly be “Northern Reflections”-esque;
I’m pretty sure I’ve worn this exact outfit to the bar in the last year;
Anyways, I had a great time.
Now, let’s recap the horror that was the rest of my weekend.
First, Friday night, I was scheduled to pick up a craigslist item to pimp up my new pad. I’ve been looking for a vintage arc light for some time, and although I really really like the Castiglioni Arco Lamp by Flos, it’s like $2600.00, and I am not as rich as an astronaut. I was thinking of getting a replica complete with marble base and beautiful brushed chrome head, but it was still like $400.00, and I thought I could find something cheaper on craigs. I did.
Here it is… I paid $100.00, but I have to get a new shade, because the filter is missing…
It’s pretty awesome, I’m not going to lie. HOWEVER, being super excited and antsy to get it home, I STUFFED it into my Corolla like a high-strung squirrel, not realizing that the head of the lamp was squashed against the windshield.
I got into my car, happily driving down Yonge street, excited about the weekend, when I heard
Yeah. My fucking windshield cracked.
I freaked out and tried to re-position the lamp while I was weaving in and out of traffic, and heard another
Yeah, it cracked again. In a different place. I burst into tears and continued driving home.
Now, I don’t know if you know this, but cracking your windshield SUCKS SHIT. You have to go get it replaced virtually immediately, because it will keep getting bigger AND it reinforces the cage of your car, so if you get into an accident, it’s more likely that your roof will collapse on your head, causing head-damage.
Here is a picture of the cracks…
So I went the next morning to get the windshield fixed. It was not covered by my insurance. Here is a summary:
Cost of windshield replacement: $477.00
Cost of lamp: $100.00
Total Cost: $577.00
Cost of replica lamp that I didn’t want to get because it cost too much: $395.00
I hate myself.
In addition to the “idiot fee” that I had to pay for trying to get that monster lamp into my Corolla, I also had to spend 4 hours of my Saturday waiting for the windshield to get fixed. Despite the *multiple* adult video stores and discount Christian book stores in the area, I didn’t want to hang out at Dundas and Royal York, so I took the damn ass poo Go Train to visit my parents in Oakville.
Booooooooooooo. Go Train.
Although my mom and dad made me feel much better, and fed me chili and apple squares, and took me to buy a microwave for the new place, and actually DROVE ME BACK TO TORONTO so that I wouldn’t have to take the Go Train back, because they are awesome… I was feeling down.
Being an idiot, I decided to the rest of Saturday afternoon to run some errands in Etobicoke because I was in the neighbourhood, and am now an old suburban soccer mom for some reason.
First, I went to Costco to return something.
Costco on Saturday is the most ridiculous shit on Earth. If I were an alien, coming down to Earth to examine human behaviour, I would be fascinated at Costco on Saturday. There are SO MANY PEOPLE I can’t even fucking believe it.
I don’t really get why you would come out to this warehouse STUFFED with THOUSANDS of people, wait in line forever, and buy HUGE boxes of shit in order to save like, 5 dollars. I just don’t get it.
Also, I almost got into 17 accidents in the parking lot because as soon as you leave Toronto you have to drive at 20 km an hour and never look around you, as I soon learned from the other drivers in the Costco parking lot. It’s the suburban law.
It’s also a law in the suburbs that you have to TAKE UP AS MUCH ROOM AS POSSIBLE at all times. Like this guy in front of me in the “Returns” line. He was returning a pack of sheets, but obviously, he had to keep the sheets in a HUGE shopping cart so that AS MUCH ROOM AS POSSIBLE was taken up:
Boooooooooooooo. Man sucks.
I thought maybe he had a bad back or something, but no. As soon as it was his turn, he SHOVED the cart into a crowd of people, picked up the sheets, and CHUCKED it at the counter for his return.
Being an idiot, I then went to Ikea and Canadian Tire to return some other stuff, and buy some odds and ends for the place.
Boooooooo. Take a number and wait like a chump.
I left the house at 9:30 am that morning, and returned back at 7:30 pm.
WHAT A GREAT SATURDAY.
On Sunday, I had to go BACK to Ikea because the thing I wanted was coming in on Sunday for some reason.
And I had a $4.00 lunch in the cafeteria which was certainly dripping with fatness-generating molecules…
And then I had to go to Canadian Tire again, because the thing I bought the day before (blue roman blinds) looked shitty in my bedroom, and I had to return them.
Incidentally, did you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE to find white roman blinds? What the fuck? I went to Ikea, West Elm, Home Outfitters, Sears, The Bay, Pottery Barn, Pier One, Canadian Tire, Home Depot and Home Sense. NO ONE HAS WHITE ROMAN BLINDS. FUCK! I’ve been changing clothes crouching down on my knees in the only awkward corner of my room that is not visible through the front window for 3 weeks now because I can’t find a roman blind.
Anyways, after that, I went grocery shopping because I’ve been eating take-out for 3 weeks due to lack of time, and have gained 7 pounds.
As you can see, despite the weight gain, I chose to buy several different forms of cheese as well as bacon.
Grocery shopping on Saturday at 6 pm after a shitty weekend is really depressing and shitty:
Boooooooooo. Depressing grocery aisles.
I left the house on Sunday at 11:30 and got home at 7:00 pm.
Here is a summary of my weekend:
Hours spent running errands: 17.5
Hours spent at party: 5
Hours spent sleeping: 13
Hours spent relaxing and enjoying my life: 1
Tears shed over the allotment of hours above: 0
Amount of stress units generated by the allotment of hours above: a billion
Money spent unnecessarily due to idiotic packing of arc light into car: $477.00
Tears shed over said money: a billion