Speakeasy Style in Vancouver with Friends

Nearly two weeks have passed since I boarded a train heading from Seattle to Vancouver. It was early in the morning–far earlier than I’m used to–but I had enough butterflies in my stomach and excited buzzing in my brain that I couldn’t sleep once the train got rolling.

Rolling into the Vancouver Pacific Central Station on Amtrak Cascades.

I headed north that day to meet up with three favorite bloggers: Melanie from Bag and a Beret, Sue from A Colourful Canvas, and Suzanne from SuzanneCarillo.com. If you’re not yet familiar with these women and their blogs, you have to check them out. They are fantastic, creative, and heart-generous women.

From left to right: Suzanne, Sue, me, and Mel.

Allow Me to Introduce You…

Melanie from Bag and a Beret has a knack for taking bold-patterned, oversized pieces she paid five bucks for at the thrift store and turning them into outfits that feel right at home in the high-fashion crowd. Her style has been featured in Marie Claire Brazil as well as Elle Brazil. Her blog is a wonder–both artistically and as a statement about what fashion really should be about. Be sure to check out her tongue-in-cheek Vogoff magazine, as well as her very cool videos on Youtube.

In addition, Melanie’s husband is an artist in his own right. O, as she calls him, just opened an Etsy store to sell his stunning metal jewelry. I’ll be writing more about the magic magnifying loupe I bought from him, but if you want a sneak preview, head over to his store and check out his product line. Below is a photo of one of his sleek rings.

Susan from A Colourful Canvas inspires me with her skill at sewing her own fashions from scratch. Plus, she’s an excellent writer, using words to take me into her sewing room or along on her travels. Having the kind of talent she has means she can take on any style she wants–and even create her own–and it’ll always fit perfectly. I wish she could upload all that knowledge and skill to my brain so I could do what she does.

A recent creation a la Sue.

If you read my blog then you already know who Suzanne Carillo is. I reference her Etsy store a lot because I purchase a lot from her Etsy store. In fact, whenever I start to type “Etsy” into my browser, Google automatically fills in the rest with her store’s web address. That’s how often I visit.

For those who don’t know her, Suzanne is the vintage mavin babe from Toronto. I have witnessed firsthand her prowess at discovering the high-quality pieces she sells in her store and it is impressive. Once on the hunt for a vintage piece, she rejects poor quality and takes no prisoners.

Suzanne is also an artist. Sometimes she puts that talent to work on vintage pieces she shares on her blog, SuzanneCarillo.com. Take, for instance, her most recent post about the embroidery she added to a pleather dress. See the photo below for the end result.

Pretty cool, right???
It’s even cooler in person.

When I see this dress I can’t help but say, RAWR!!!

The Speakeasy Password is “1920s-Style”

All that to introduce you to the incredible women whose energy, enthusiasm, and bold spirits touched my heart during my visit in Vancouver. They also buoy my own creative process by being exactly who they are. If it wasn’t for Mel, Sue, and Suzanne, I wouldn’t have gone to Vancouver last weekend and dressed in 1920s-inspired outfits to gallivant around town and take tons of video and photos. And if I hadn’t done all that, I wouldn’t have rediscovered an old love — making videos.

Be sure to turn up the volume when you watch the video!

A long time ago I created videos for school projects and fun. I also worked as a camera operator for a nightly news show in Texas for a short time. But I got away from all that when I left the communications field 20+ years ago. In between then and now, a lot has changed for both media and the tools used to edit it. How happy I am to rediscover this joy of creating silly videos and discover the relative ease of editing them compared to times gone by.

Outfit Details

But enough about videos. Let’s talk outfits.

When I set out for Vancouver, I hadn’t quite decided upon the outfit I would wear for the speakeasy photos. I posted this on Instagram as one idea:

My seersucker suit is something I purchased on eBay not long ago. I paired it in the photo above with a top I bought at Nordstrom last summer.

When the time came for getting ready for our evening out a seersucker suit felt too casual for evening fun, so I went with something a little dressier–a dress I actually purchased from Suzanne last fall. You may recognize it, or at least half of it, because it was featured in my grunge post.

The dress is not actually 1920s-era, but it has an art deco print that speaks to that time period. Plus, as you can see from the photo below, it is super stretchy, which makes it super comfy.

Most commenters on Instagram have zoomed in on my shoes. They are vintage Salvatore Ferragamo and I got them on eBay. My feet hurt dreadfully by the end of our frolicking around Vancouver, but keep in mind we were on our feet for about four hours straight taking all these photos. That’s not too shabby for a pair of heels.

You may also notice my ombre tights. They are hand-dyed by BZR in Seattle. They come in all kinds of cool colors. I got mine at Sassafras here in Seattle but you can also get them on Etsy! Click here to see the entire selection.

The hats I wore were both from Goorin Bros. The necklaces are vintage or modern costume jewelry I’ve had for a while. The black beads and cameo were my grandmother’s. The bracelet is from Anthropologie.

Did you catch what I said about spending four hours running around in heels to fancy schmanzy locales in Vancouver? Melanie, Suzanne, and I did that for the love of what we do here. It’s all about creating and living as fully as possible for as long as we can. Plus, it was fun to get stopped by people who asked us where the party was. (Couldn’t they see that we were the party? ha ha.)

Maybe you can see how these relationships make this journey worth taking and, while I may disappear from this blog from time to time as life takes me hither and yon, I’ll always return if for no other reason than to meet and maintain the friendships I’ve made because of it.

May your journey include heart-generous friends.

If you are feeling lonely, however, may you find the courage to seek out camaraderie in a place where you can feel safe, connected, and buoyed.

If blogging or social media don’t suit you for meeting friends, take a look at Meetup.com. It may look like a virtual community but the whole purpose for its existence is to connect real people to real communities. I don’t get paid to say that. I say it because it actually worked for me once–I met some of my best friends through a book club I started through Meetup. In other words, if the group you want to join doesn’t exist, create it on Meetup and start your own safe place to discover new friends.

Blessings for Peace of Heart and Acceptance.

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  • Oh how I loved this post!

    Reading and watching your brilliant video again brought back all the fun memories.

    I really feel so lucky to have met you, Sue and Mel all because of this silly thing called blogging. Who knew?

    Truly you need a special award for your fantastic editing and storyline on the video. You made a bunch of goofing around look like it was planned ; )

    Miss you my friend!


    • I miss you too, Suzanne! This was such a fun weekend with all of you. My heart feels very full and rich.

      The video was such a hoot to put together, too. I laughed the whole time I was working on it. My two fav videos are still the one of you exer-smoking and the one of Mel and I where Mel is lifting weights and I’m just standing there because I didn’t realize you were rolling. Every time I rewatch the video I snort-laugh at those parts. Oh–and you walking down the hall “Where’s my rum? Where’s my rum?” It cracks me up.

      Hugs to you!

      – Sherry

  • The video was quite a delightful adventure in melodramatic mayhem ! I’m sure it was tons of fun to create ( not to mention the choreography!) the stills, the moving parts, lavish costumes and the musical score. Clearly the 4 of you have a dynamic chemistry that burned up the celluloid!! You simply MUST make a sequel!!!! Perhaps in Seattle this fall?
    All kidding aside Sherry, this post was very entertaining and a truly perfect way to capture the moments in a very compelling fashion. I loved it!

  • Glad you had fun! Great outfits — very creative and playful. Lucky you meeting up with the delightful Suzanne; I’m visiting her next month in Toronto.

    • Suzanne is delightful! I wish we lived closer together so I could see her more often. I’d love to meet you as well! She speaks as kindly of you as you do of her. Enjoy your time together!

      – Sherry

  • Everything Suzanne said. Hahaha.

    Your phrase heart-generous is exactly right for describing you and Suzanne and Sue. I’m so happy you came up here to Vancouver for this adventure – we were prepared with all the praise Suzanne had already heaped upon you. Your kind words in this post confirm that again.

    And seriously, you are madly gifted with video editing when given a bunch of incoherent footage. I laugh out loud at so many parts, especially you riding the bike and Suzanne’s exertions in the exercise room. Bwahahaha!!! The location scouting you two did is unparalleled.

    The real-life ties I’ve made through blogging are priceless. I look forward to more adventures with you in the future, Sherry. The way that creativity and positive energy spark more and more of the same is a wonderful mystery we must explore more. xo

    • I so agree, Mel — creativity feeds on more creativity. I came away so full and happy from our weekend meet up. Let’s do it again as soon as possible. 🙂

      – Sherry

  • You guys are the party—that is for sure!! And what a fabulous video that you put together! Of course the starlets were superb in their acting skills…but I was just sure it was Mel who stole off little, ole, Susan!! Ha ha!!
    And of course, your feet were tired….that’s a ton of work!!

    • Ha ha! You picked up on the subtext of the video, Jodie! My original plan was to make Mel a villain–or make you think she was the villain–and then, one by one we’d go missing: me next, then Mel, then Suzanne. Each person that went missing would leave another suspect. At the end, I was going to try to bring it all back around to Sue, who would end up being the villain after all! But when I started sewing it all together, I couldn’t quite get the footage to work out the way I wanted so I went another way. Plus, the version I put together was more in line with how I really felt–we all played a part in the fun and silliness. So–well done for reading between the lines and catching that one part where Mel does indeed seem to be a bit villainous! 😀


  • Vancouver will always feel a little bit brighter…it’s like a little bit of Sherry is here to stay!

    I”m so happy we got to spend precious time together; I feel we all locked into a pretty unique, and not often found, connection. And lucky us…we really aren’t that far away from each other.

    The video is da bomb and it’s so neat to learn that cinematography was a previous gig. You are a natural and we all hope to see more. {PS Totally wishing I had asked more about YOU when we visited. Next visit?}

    • Aw, Sue! You just made my heart swell two more sizes. Thank you for your kind words and for being a part of “the Vancouver gang.” I really can’t wait for the next time we can get together!

      Hugs, Hugs, Hugs!
      – Sherry