Scenes from Vancouver

Two weeks ago Rob and I went to Vancouver for a family wedding. I love the Pacific Northwest as it is, but this sealed the deal. Now I'm plotting my transcontinental migration...

all is dust


room with a view

Regal Place


and the raven brought the light into the world

Chopin Theatre

chopin theatre

chopin theater

chopin theater

at the theater

A gem of a theater located near Ashland, Division and Milwaukee.

my top hat

my top hat, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

means something more to me than just an accessory. To me, it represents triumph over all the bullshit, poverty, prejudice and hardship my ancestors went though to pave the way for the good life I have today.

I can wear whatever, do whatever and be whomever I wish. What a gift!


may9, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

I spent some quality time with Mother Earth today and went for a refreshing bike ride along the lakefront. Incidentally, I got a lot of comments about the hat, 100% of them positive. I hope all the mothers enjoyed their day as much as I enjoyed mine!

leather-covered top hat, customized by me.
thrifted butterfly print scarf worn as headwrap.
thrifted vintage sunglasses, skirts and clarks flats.
swirly faux tapers purchased on etsy.
lace-trimmed motorcycle jacket from hot topic (ohmagah!) and customized by me with appliques, pins and whatnot.
skeleton gloves purchased on ebay.
floral socks from some dollar store someplace.

may9 back, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

An accidental (but fortunate) shot of the back detail of the jacket. They're iron-on wings; I love this jacket so much more with them.

bijoux vs buckingham

bijoux vs buckingham, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

I'm taller, I'm taller!


may5, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

may5, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

It was a gorgeous May day today, the kind I've been waiting for for months. The preschoolers made a pinata for Cinco de Mayo, and while hanging it up in the playground I stole a snap.

thrifted straw boater hat and black buckle shoes. i trimmed the hat with some random leaves i found in my craft basket.
antique hatpin purchased on ebay.
striped headwrap scarf i've had forever...
bone wing faux tapers purchased online.
ruched-sleeve tee from H & M.
retroscope skirt purchased online.
emily temple cute socks purchased on egl_comm_sales.

dracula vs frankenstein

dracula vs frankenstein, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

it's a tie!


may4, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

May the Fourth be with you, hehe

Jerry Butler

Jerry Butler - Ice on Ice by dereck von.

Jerry Butler by loungelistener.

Ain't understanding mellow?

Now this is a man who has led a successful life. A soul singer for more than fifty years who didn't rest on his laurels-- he's also a county commissioner. I've had the pleasure to meet him in an informal setting and he is truly an inspiration. I hope to use my talents and skills as effectively as he.

same difference

same difference, originally uploaded by George Morton Clark.

Aren't they all just so darling?

Summer Series 3 finger ring

Summer Series 3 finger ring, originally uploaded by ColleenBaran.


apr10 day

apr10 day, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

Not only is today my birthday; it also happens to be an epically spectacular day in Chicago. Everything is blooming, the sun is shining, a warm breeze is blowing...what more can you ask?
This is my "day look" for brunch and a stroll around the neighborhood. I'm wearing a steampunk blouse with a lolita skirt. I like the way they combined. Tonight I'm going to a poetry reading. Should be fun....

gray vintage betmar fedora, trimmed with gray silk flower and antique hat pin.
black round frame sunglasses.
copper link earrings and mermaid pearl earrings, both pairs made by me.
lip service blouse, rococo print skirt, petticoats and jane marple tote bag purchased online.
thrifted vintage flower, swag and medallion brooches.
fishnet stockings dyed by me.
thrifted ankle strap shoes.

Muslim punk

Muslim punk, originally uploaded by Hanjosan.

Some people might be horrified by this for any of a thousand reasons, but I love it. We all live within social restrictions and limitations, but it doesn't mean we're excused from pushing at them. Defying expectations causes others to question and wonder.


Fordite: Detail, originally uploaded by nebulagirl.

Fordite for some reason has really captured my interest lately. Maybe the idea that something so beautifully timeless, and yes even organic, could come from abandoned car manufacturing plants. It was created over time from layers upon layers of automotive paint in a process similar to that of sedimentary rock, except it only took a few decades for this to form, as opposed to millennia.


maia, originally uploaded by Deriana.

Deriana has some amazing dollmaking skills, on par with veik11 and his Lady Gaga Barbies. This is my favorite, based on a costume from Apocalypto.


mar30-4, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

This morning I read an article on about a recent steampunk convention, so it inspired me to wear a steampunk look today. I am wearing four (!) skirts, which sounds warm but I was quite comfortable. The top skirt is bustled in the back and held together with one of my son's mitten clips :o)

mudcloth hat by lucille graham, a local artisan, pinned with antique black glass hatpin & terminus.
wood/brass earrings from baraka (this israeli guy who works festivals in the summertime)
evil eye amulet earrings from valarie.
pendants and necklaces (labradorite, ankh, magen david, catholic medallion, petrified wood, clockwork) some made by me.
thrifted leather and woven belts and belt pouch.
thrifted skirts and military jacket.
blue net gloves from maxwell street.
silver ring from an aunt.
fluevog boots from crossroads trading.




mar28, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

My oh my, but it has been a while since my last outfit post. I just haven't felt motivated to document my outfits lately, though I've liked them on the whole. However, I really liked today's outfit & it was a good day, so I thought I'd steal a snap while I had a free moment.

sky blue beret from thrift store on 79th street.
infinity carved shell earrings from last summer's african festival.
thrifted white scarf tied into bow.
thrifted purple velvet jacket, tapestry bag, sequined skirt and underskirt.
purple bitten heart socks from claire's.
suede loafers from church sale.


I'd walk the plank for those boots.

The skirt is the closest I would ever come to wearing sweet lolita.

And spade stud earrings are just so damn hard to find! Why is this? I'm hoping the Alice in Wonderland trend will make them materialize so I can claim them.

More Polyvore

It's that time of winter just before spring, when your winter clothing feels itchier than usual and you realize it's almost time to break out the warm-weather clothes. Oh, how I do miss my lovely parasols...until spring I have Polyvore to hone my style.

I try not to focus on what's popular at the moment and wear what stirs me, but experience has shown me that it's impossible not to be affected by trends if one is to consider themselves generally knowledgeable about what's happening in the larger world. This is not saying that trendiness equals being informed, hell no! Only that if one is looking at the world, seeing other people, thinking about what's going on in the world and asking themselves questions, all of that is inevitably reflected in the creative process, be it fashion, music or other art forms.

These days, I'm inspired by rebels of all stripes and time periods (19th century gang members, Confederate soldiers, juke joint singers and crackheaded bohemians). In terms of music, I'm lately influenced by classic rock and the early metal period of the early 70s...again with the whole blues people thing, I know. What can I say, I'm admittedly obsessed. I'm also inspired by tight color palettes and the simplicity of black; I spent half the 00s in colorful experiments, so these days I want to paint it all black and white and bring a little more control to my mad science.

Here, have some Polyvore sets.

touchable gloves

touchable gloves

sometimes you need your fingertips. not all of them, just a couple.

Back to School

These would have to be the coolest socks I've seen in quite some time.


jan31, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

It was as good a Sunday as a Sunday can be: good food, beautiful weather, fun with family, and a spot of thrifting!
I'm feeling very content with my life these days; though I have so many goals yet to reach, I truly am enjoying where I am right now in my life.

houndstooth beret from ebay, pinned with two vintage hatpins.
thrifted foldup wayfarers.
doorknocker earrings from the dollar store, painted gray by me.
secondhand black/white long scarf.
red overcoat from a church rummage sale this summer.
plaid skirt purchased on ebay.
thrifted union jack doc martens.


jan30, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

There was an anime convention at the university today; I was asked to speak on a panel about elegant gothic aristocrat style. It was nice to meet some new people and check out anime films and art!

I really loved the way this came together, though you can't see all the details here.

black sequin/mesh trimmed church hat from a church sale this summer.
vintage net veil.
thrifted vintage rabbit fur stole and white gloves.
silver/onyx earrings from ebay, mermaid earrings made myself.
thrifted velveteen jacket.
cynthia rowley purse swapped years ago on the wardrobe swap shop.
diagonal ruffle skirt from the empty bottle swap. (underneath that are two petticoats.)
thrifted buckled wedge boots (because i have to be at least a little bit practical).


jan29, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

It's bitterly cold here in Chicago, do not be fooled by the sunshine. But for some reason this winter, the cold is not really getting to me.

faux fur hat and matching collar from swaporama last summer.
thrifted white wayfarers.
black trench coat thrifted in portland.
thrifted brown vintage gloves and black suede skirt.
same old hunter wellies.


jan26, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

I like the fact that what I'm wearing here acutally matches the surroundings.

print scarf from annette worn as a headwrap.
a merino wool skirt turned into a muffler.
some old, old tweed jacket from years ago, originally from old navy.
thrifted vintage brown leather gloves and monet print umbrella.
thrifted black skirt, camouflage skirt and leopard print boots.

hyde park records

hyde park records, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

is great for vinyl lovers.

Fantasy is Reality

It's a teardripping shame that Parliament and Funkadelic have been reduced to clips of a crackheaded Muppet coughing up "Atomic Dog". George Clinton (aforesaid Muppet) was (is?) a genius of the mad scientist variety, concocting his psychoneurobiomusicological experiments with instruments of musicality. Personally, I've found his experiments rather intriguing.


Why?, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

Why? Just why? Why do some people hate themselves, their community and their world so much that they feel the need to actively destroy it? Where did this illness come from? How can it be cured?

54th and Ashland, Chicago

Kids with Snowman

Kids with Snowman, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

Here is a photo of some of the kids that lived in my apartment complex when I lived in Korea. I was really impressed with their snowman, it's perfect!


jan17, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

In Chicago during the winter, above freezing means warm. Hence short skirt and tights. I spent the afternoon watching "The Heiress" with my grandmother, and was reminded that hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned.

thrifted blue bonnet with chiffon scarf tied in a bow.
silver/onyx earrings from ebay, blue rose studs from claire's on state street.
thrifted faux fur collar and velveteen jacket.
can't remember where the rhinestone brooch is from.
flower cameo ring from ebay.
black tiered skirt from crossroads trading, with three underskirts beneath.
two-toned tights from claire's.
thrifted ankle boots.


jan15, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

Went downtown today to meet a friend for an interview. I really wanted to wear my vintage nurse's cape today, and built everything else around that.
Hans totally melted down in the Chicago Cultural Center, so if you were there and heard a toddler screaming bloody murder it was most likely mine! :oP

vintage cap pinned with two hatpins.
cypriot boat earrings, new from the Peabody Essex Museum shop. these replaced a well-loved pair i lost back in college...
japanese print kerchief from a church sale.
vintage nurse's cape scored from last year's clothing swap at the empty bottle.
brown military style jacket.
various beaded bracelets, some gifted, some thrifted.
thrifted black/brown leather gloves.
thrifted pendleton wool skirt.
black leggings from H & M last year.
brown back lace-up boots from a neighborhood church sale a few years ago.

Sing A Message To You: A Meme

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's harder than you think.

Your Artist: Earth, Wind and Fire

Are you male or female: Sun Goddess

Describe yourself: Mighty Mighty

How do you feel about yourself: Yearnin', Learnin'

Describe where you currently live: Zanzibar

The first thing you think of when you wake up: Getaway

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Boogie Wonderland

Your favorite form of transportation: Runnin'

Your best friend is: Lady Sun

Your favorite color is: Evolution Orange

What's the weather like: Sunshine

If your life were a TV show, what would it be called: Reasons

What is life to you: Celebrate

What is the best advice you have to give: That's the Way of the World

If you could change your name, what would it be: Jupiter

Your favorite food is: Serpentine Fire

How I would like to die: See The Light

My soul's present condition: Shining Star

The faults I can bear: Can't Hide Love

How would you describe your love life: Devotion

What are you going to post this as: Sing a Message to You

Wow, this is tough! But so fun. Try it!

neuro necklace

neuro necklace, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

My most recent etsy purchase from; I adore it. It's beautiful, thought-provoking and a little bit creepy.

The Old Plantation

If you can manage to look past the idiom of the time and the flaming hot stereotypes, you will see a very powerful metaphor for the Black experience in America. Unfairly handicapped and unfairly burdened with the legwork, Black people have basically had to invent rocket boots out of coat hangers in order to catch up with the rest of the world, only to have someone else pop up to take credit for it all.

Race Fail

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Imitation of Life

Every now and then I revisit this old film I watch with my grandmother. It's been like a tradition between us; whenever it was on television we'd stop whatever we were doing and watch it all the way through. Perhaps inspired by a myriad of things, I've been thinking lately about measures of "blackness", whatever that may mean, in relation to the question "how much should a person's race or ethnicity determine how fully she can live her life?"

In Sarah Jane's time it mattered a lot.

And yet, in the end she found her ill-gotten freedom wasn't worth the cost. Thank G-d I live in a time in which I can be myself and be Black, without having to choose.


jan11, originally uploaded by bijouxdejais.

I needed to go downtown today and run some errands, so this is what I wore. I made the bonnet I'm wearing just this morning, I like the way it turned out!

bonnet made this morning from a cloche hat and some jersey ribbon cut from an old t-shirt.
garnet earrings from valarie, and gold drop earrings from a coworker.
maroon/silver and maroon/gold scarves, one thrifted and one from H & M, wound together and tied in a bow.
flower print double breasted coat thrifted last year.
patchwork leather bag thrifted last month.
merino wool gloves thrifted a few years ago at hadassah.
tripp grommeted skirt purchased on ebay (not wearing the clangy straps today; not very practical for running around).
maroon ankle boots thrifted years ago.