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On Sunday afternoon Todmorden Mills was the site of a precarious convergence of history, nature and thrifting.

The Northern Hemisphere’s cooler temperatures and vivid fall foliage induces people to get outside and, optionally, take photos. I really needed a nature fix. The Don Valley is the closest nature oasis to me. I had scored at the thrift shop on Saturday and also wanted an outfit of the day venue. My humble little Nikon Coolpix is such a sad camera but I put it to the task at Todmorden Mills.

Todmorden Mills currently functions as a museum, art centre and wildflower preserve. The site has experienced several adaptations. In 1795 two brothers were granted land to build the mill. A brewery was built in 1820. The mill was converted to a riding stable in the 1920s. It served as a German prisoner of war camp in the early 1940s. The site was modified and lost direct river access with the construction of the Don Valley Parkway. Jean Gertrude “True” Davidson, former mayor of East York, proposed it as a centennial project and it became a historical site in 1967.

I checked out the Watercolour Society’s art show in the Papermill Theatre and Gallery space. As often happens when I visit a smaller gallery I think back to how I assumed creating would be an essential part of my life and wonder why it isn’t. Flux. A poster reminded me that this space houses a community theatre group. Years ago I had been a member of a community theatre club in York Region and a few members were also involved with this club, The East Side Players.

I was meandering the grounds in several new to me pieces. I had purchased three items at the thrift store the day before. My eye was drawn to a rust and gray tones Sandwich print blouse. It’s somewhat too big but the fabric is lightweight and semi-sheer so I can deal with it. I also spotted a black and white houndstooth scarf. I was also quite pleased to take a black Tignanello clutch with removable strap home with me. In general, I find this brand to is quite good in terms of quality and design.

Also new are my black leggings. I picked these up a couple weeks ago at Winners (TJX Max). This is actually the first time I’ve worn leggings as pants. Yes, I’m late to the party. And, yes, I’m aware that there are very impassioned arguments for and against. I’ve worn them for yoga and fitness and with dress length tunics and skirts before but never with just a blouse. This is a long length blouse and I’m short so it’s more tunic length; nonetheless, I’d be comfortable wearing these leggings as pants with a shorter top. They also work with my old riding boots. Change is a constant; flux is the norm!

In hindsight, I should have removed my jacket while taking at least some of photos.

I’m linking up with Patti’s Visible Monday party over at Not Dead Yet Style.

The striped tee

A striped tee. An extraordinarily versatile garment that goes with everything. A ubiquitous wardrobe basic.

The original marinière was worn by French sailors so they’d be easier to spot in the waves. It had 21 stripes – one for each of Napoleon’s victories. It inspired Coco Chanel and she introduced it to the fashion world in 1917. It’s gender neutral and has longevity!

Here are a few of the ways I wear my black and cream variation.

Do you wear stripes?

Postscript – I’m taking this post to the party at Not Dead Yet Style.

A sense of self

Being This, 2012

Being This, 2012

I was at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) on Wednesday evening. Liz Magor’s exhibition, Surrender, engaged me and is still on my mind. Her works explore our dependence on domestic objects and fabrications to create a sense of self.

Being This, detail

Being This, detail

Everything I own fits into a van and I’m still downsizing. I’ve tossed most things and started over a few times and, as a result, I’m not particularly attached to objects nor do I accumulate much stuff. Yet, I’m not a strict minimalist either. Or perhaps I’m a minimalist in training, still refining and building.

I wanted my own greenhouse and studio and, by extension, house. Up until a few years ago I still assumed I would at least have my own home. As my expectations, aspirations and general worldview have shifted I’ve developed an interest in fashion and personal style. In this sense, Magor’s work resonates with me. A relationship with things – a personal style – is part of a sense of self.

2009?

Part of Liz Magor’s Surrender exhibit

On Sunday I briefly poked around the St Lawrence Antiques and Collectibles Market to see what others were looking for or had discarded in their creations of self.

004crHere’s a fun quiz from Sylvia over at 40plusStyle if you want to check your style. I get casual eclectic, which, while not always expressed, does correspond with my sense of self.

I’m linking up with Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday.

I’m wearing a blue-gray shirt (J Crew, old, thrifted), black tank top (The Loft), gray slightly asymmetrical skirt (Fresh Produce, old), and black/cream pony hair slip-ons (Campers, old).

Fishers

Fishers

I noticed a number of tweets highlighting fall walks for this Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend. I decided to head over to Tommy Thompson Park to take advantage of one of the volunteer guided walks. We went for a leisurely and informative walk over to the Bird Research Station. Along the way we met a few birders who were kind enough to share their binoculars with us. At the station we chatted a bit with the conservation staff person. He and the volunteers were busy banding birds. Our guide, I didn’t catch his name but he’s originally an oceanographer from Uruguay who met a Canadian woman and is now an environmental student here, mentioned that the cormorants in the park nest in the cottonwood trees. It’s unusual as cormorants normally nest on the ground and it’s killing the trees.

Bird banding at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Bird banding at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

Cormorant nests in Cottonwood trees

Cormorant nests in Cottonwood trees

As I was already at the park and it was such a lovely day I decided to continue walking on my own after the guided excursion. I made it over to the lighthouse and had meant to look for the turtles at the pond on the way back but forgot about it.

Lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park

Lighthouse at Tommy Thompson Park

When I left home this morning it was a chilly 6 degrees Celsius but by afternoon it had definitely reached the anticipated 15 degrees, or more likely warmer as I no longer needed to wear my jacket. I’m loving this weather!

Have you been out enjoying nature this holiday weekend?

On the Waterfront, 1st weekend of autumn

I had an interview earlier in the week. I actually didn’t make it to the interview. An hour and a half into the commute I called and cancelled. An hour and half and I still wasn’t there and this was in excellent weather with no transit mishaps. It was for a part-time research coordinator job at a college. I’ve applied for a number of jobs at the college and universities that are in walking distance of where I live but never anything. On my way back I got a call for another interview. It’s for a campaign manager at a small company about a 10-minute walk away. The interview’s on Monday.

Today’s photos are once again about just being out and about. I went for a walk along the waterfront and took in the Word On the Street Festival. I took advantage of the free admission at the Bata Shoe Museum as part of the Culture Days Festival. I made a return visit to the green roof podium at City Hall. I enjoyed the end of summer/early fall light while running errands.

Joining the Visible’s over at Patti’s Not Dead Yet Style link up.

Poetry Slam

Poetry Slam

Men in Heels exhibition

Men in Heels exhibition

Couple on the green podium

Alleyway with awesome light and a place to put my camera

It’s been a beautiful late summer week with morning temperatures in the low 20s and afternoons around 30C. Septembers are often about new beginnings and I love this time of year. On Monday I headed out to take a few photos for another outfit of the day post while capturing images from my street before the seasonal changes are too apparent. I made my way over to the Distillery for a coffee as well.

I picked up a striped Henley tunic/dress earlier in the summer. It turned out to be too warm for most of the summer but is perfect for the late summer and presumably spring period. A pair of leggings and casual jacket could take it into October. I don’t wear jewelry very often but it’s something I’d like to start incorporating into my wardrobe more consciously. The necklace I’m wearing is a one-of-a-kind piece that I purchased at a gallery in Tobermory twenty-one years ago.

Sarah, a young colleague at the time, had recently split up with her long time boyfriend and wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. We headed up to Manitoulin Island for a long weekend after the September labour day weekend. We didn’t make it to Manitoulin Island, and I recall likening Highway 6 to the Twilight Zone, but we had an amazing time exploring Tobermory. The Georgian Bay landscape is stark and beautiful and quite a contrast to my current high density, yet well-designed, downtown neighbourhood. We spent time caving, horseback riding, checking out Flower Pot Island, viewing sunken ships from the glass bottom boat, scaling cliffs and visiting the local shops and restaurants. In the weeks following our getaway, I encountered others who had also set out for and failed to reach Manitoulin Island.  Soon after, Sarah  joined her sister in Japan to teach English.

Do you have something that brings back a fond memory? Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style’s Visible Monday.

Flowerpot Island, photo from Bluewater Tourism

Flowerpot Island, photo from Bluewater Tourism

015crOn Saturday I made my way through the Distillery District and along Cherry Street to Cherry Beach continuing along the Martin Goodman Trail and then heading over to Tommy Thompson Park. The park is an urban wilderness on a man-made peninsula and is a popular destination for birding, fishing, cycling and hiking activities. I’ve only been here once before, about 10 years ago. Today I was just out for a walk in another direction so I’ll save the lighthouse for another day, when I start earlier and bring water.

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