About Joyatri

Avid thrifter and vintage clothes wearer. Love 1960s and early 1970s styles. Partial to Art Nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite, Victorian, Renaissance and Medieval art. Former art historian. Current packrat. On a continual quest for good-looking, comfortable vegan shoes. Bhangra dancer since 2002. Fascinated by all things Indian. Vegan and animal advocate. 

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Words I like:

"She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people." 

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (1913-1980)



“I said "Somebody should do something about that." Then I realized I am somebody.”

 Lily Tomlin




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Entries in bangles (5)


Everyone jump upon the peace train

The two biggest categories of clothing in my wardrobe are 'things I've bought in India' and 'vintage 1970s'. So what do I do when MarketPlace: Handwork of India, which offers high-quality clothing made in India, asks me to collaborate by styling one of their garments on my blog? I take it through the 'way-back' machine.

First with an early 1970s, Teaser-and-the-Firecat sort of vibe.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic DressAs anyone who's been reading my blog knows, my interest in India has focused on textiles and animal issues. I spent much of my travels there visiting and buying from artisans and connecting with animal welfare organizations. I've always been keen on supporting artisans and the preservation of traditional crafts. So, when MarketPlace contacted me, I jumped at the chance to collaborate.

MarketPlace is a non-profit, fair trade organization that has provided economic opportunities for low-income women in India since 1986. I used to get their print catalog and enjoyed reading about and seeing the faces of some of the 480 artisans whose work was represented. The artisans are organized into 14 independent cooperatives. These cooperatives create an empowered space where women can develop leadership skills and acquire the tools and confidence to advocate for social change in their communities. They have tackled a number of public health and social issues, and are more committed to keeping their daughters in school to get a better education than many of them did as girls. Please do read more about MarketPlace's mission here.

I love the combination of the ikat print with the block-printed floral print on the Manipur Tunic Dress. The floral print is embellished with hand-worked embroidery and sequins. And you'all know, I'm a sucker for fabric-covered buttons. MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Hat purchased at a street market in Toronto in the 1990s. 1960s Indian scarf. Assortment of metal pins I've had since the 1970s. Bangles purchased in India. Le Fleur boots by Vegetarian Shoes, Brighton, UK. At barely 5 ft. 3 inches tall, I often have a problem with clothes being made for someone taller. But many of MarketPlace's styles come in petite sizes, so the length of this dress is perfect.

The Manipur Tunic Dress nudged me into the mid-1970s as well.

MarketPlace Manipur Tunic Dress. Israeli Tichel scarf, purchased new. Embroidered velvet bag, gift from Vix. Churidar (pants) purchased in India. Bangles purchased in India. Clogs, thrifted and painted metallic blue by me. Just last night, after I had already taken the photo above, I was browsing some vintage Vogue magazines online and came across this.

Editorial from Vogue U.K. September 1975Linking up to Not Dead Yet Style's Visible Monday, where Patti has her MarketPlace jacket beautifully styled. Also check out the stunning MarketPlace tunic dress on Val's blog, Late Blooming Sparkle.

I was given an item of clothing by MarketPlace: Handwork of India for free, but my review is entirely my own opinion. Sponsored posts are not my thing, but I was already a fan of this organization, so am happy to lend my support.

Oh, and thanks for the book recommendations from my last post.


V.I.C.E in the park

After a strenuous 1 ½-hour bhangra rehearsal today, I got to make up for any burned-off calories by gorging myself at an annual vegan ice cream event (known as “V.I.C.E.”).

It seemed like a good occasion to wear my newly thrifted 1970s patchwork maxi skirt.

1970s patchwork skirt, thrifted. Another 1970s DR (Design Research) t-shirt (I bought a bag of them at a yard sale 20 years ago). Rajasthani wedding bangles purchased in India. Purple tagua nut ring purchased at a charity shop in Walsall. Carnelian and silver ring, present from A. Silver band with star cut outs, I’ve had since the 1970s.Trio of metal pins I acquired in the 1970s. I don’t know if ice cream socials are just an American thing. This one was potluck, where everybody brought some vegan ice cream--store-bought, from the local vegan ice cream parlor, or homemade--plus a variety of toppings. I was short on time and just made some healthy blueberry topping. Ice cream flavors available were pomegranate chocolate chip, rosewater saffron, peanut butter chocolate, strawberry, mint chocolate chip, and some that I didn’t get to try. Non-dairy ice cream can be made with a nut-, coconut-, or soy-milk base. I was never big on dairy ice cream (it felt “mucuosy” to me). Vegan ice creams are rich without being heavy, if that makes sense.

It was a rather messy, chaotic event, but a cooler kept the ice cream from melting too much.Hello, little guy. Jasper put the “social” in “ice cream social.”I was having flashbacks to Jennie’s recent pocket puppy incident in the park.

He’s like a dog and a kitten rolled into one! Total non-sequitur: When I returned to Cambridge (U.S.) from London, my neighborhood was green and lush due to the copious amount of rainfall of the past couple months. The overpowering smell of the honeysuckle trees permeated the hot, humid air no matter where I walked. This has faded, but one of my neighbors has lilies around their house and now I get accosted by an equally intense floral scent.

I had a friend from New York staying in my apartment while I was away and the one thing he gushed about was how pretty my neighborhood is. I do have to agree.

I hope your weekend is filled with ice cream and puppies, too.


How to avoid getting pudding on your sleeves

I tend to wear long sleeves, even in summer. Most of my summer tops were purchased in India and are made of very lightweight cotton -- far more lightweight than the cotton of any tops I find in the U.S. In India, long sleeves offer much-needed protection from the sun. Here, they also keep me from getting chilled if I go somewhere that has air conditioning blasting.

However, the hazard of favoring bell sleeves or sleeves with ties is that I usually end up dragging them through water or food during the course of the day. After finding that the ties on the sleeves on one of my blouses had become coated with butterscotch pudding, I decided to make them ¾ length. This length is my second favorite – all of the advantages of long sleeves but short enough to show off my bangles (which I wear most every day).

Yeah, this blouse is a bit twee, but it’s one of my go-to summer tops when the temperature is in the 90s. So, how to make them ¾-lenghth?

I recently got a ton of books out of storage. One that I had forgotten about is The Yestermorrow Clothes Book: How to Remodel Secondhand Clothes by Diana Funaro, published in 1976.

In it are instructions for shortening sleeves by stitching elastic lengthwise. This sounded like a good idea as I was too lazy to cut and hem them and thought that elasticizing would add some visual interest to otherwise boring sleeves.

My sloppy sewing job.

I kind of like them. I think this would work better on a shorter sleeve, but I am pleased with the results (being lazy and all).

Here are the instructions from the book.

This book has all kinds of wonderful ideas -- remodeling dresses, refitting and redesigning sweaters, altering jeans, and more

Linking to Lakota’s Ta-Dah! Tuesday. I can't wait to try all the other "ta-dahs" that The Yestermorrow Clothes Book has to offer!


Meme'd: 8 random facts

Mary of Animal Person tagged me with a meme (what that heck is a meme?). Although I am up to my eyeballs in stuff I need to do, I thought it would at least be a good way to update my blog, since I haven’t in eons.

There are rules to this meme and here they are:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are 8 random facts about me:

sconehenge.jpg1. I am a human barometer. I get nasty sinus headaches whenever it is going to precipitate. One of these days I want to keep a chart on severity of pain compared to inches of rain/snow to see if there is any correlation.

2. I have been making oatmeal-raisin scones every week for the past 20+ years. I put them in the freezer and take one out each morning for breakfast. The recipe came from a Quaker Oats recipe booklet. An early variation on that recipe was using applesauce for half the butter required in order to make them lower in fat. Now, I substitute vegan margarine for butter, egg replacer for the egg, and soy or rice milk for cow’s milk to make them vegan. Photo above shows “Sconehenge,” as created for breakfast on the winter (or was it summer?) solstice many years ago when I worked at the MFA, Boston. The figures are plastic cowboys wrapped in brown paper toweling; they were meant to portray druids.

3. I read the meme responses of Deb, who tagged Mary, who tagged me. As one of her facts she had that she has a slight degree of face blindness. I have been reading a lot about face blindness lately, it seems to be in the news. Funnily, at Harvard, I was a research subject, participating in the psych studies examining face blindness. But my fact is that I have the opposite of face blindness. I guess it would be a photographic memory for faces. I few years ago I recognized a guy on the street in Cambridge; he was my TA for German class at UMASS Amherst in 1980. I am surprised when people I’ve eaten a meal with don’t recognize me. I am always saying “hello” to people on the street who I’ve met, and I know they haven’t the foggiest idea who I am.

4. If there were such a thing as a “former life,” I would have been a Punjabi. Doing bhangra seems to be in my blood. See here and here.

5. I am a hoarder packrat.

6. I am more turned off by food textures than food tastes. I have a hard time with: carbonated drinks; peaches (I prefer fuzz-less nectarines); raw spinach and that metallic feeling your teeth get from it; custard-like (or “mucus-y,” as I call them) desserts; and meat (good thing I’m vegan).

ahimsa1.jpg7. I have a tattoo that reads “Ahimsa” in memory of my dog Rudy. Or would read if my skin hadn’t rejected the ink (it is the color of a henna tattoo). So it looks like a mess. Just today, a guy asked me if it was a burn. Ouch! Here is a photo of what it should look like.

8. It’s a rare day that I’m not wearing bangles.

I don’t know many other bloggers and the few whose blogs I do read have already been tagged. So, I am only tagging 5 others. They are Desi in Boston, Vegan Heart Doc, The Lifelong Activist, and to expand internationally, Straying Around and anakbrunei.


Greetings from Chennai

bangles.JPGI am in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, India, right now. I'm here to attend the Asia for Animals conference, which starts in a few days. The weather is gorgeous, not too hot or humid and people are very helpful.

I know that I won't have regular internet access for the next three weeks, so I will write up a separate India Trip 2007 blog after I return.