Monday 21 July 2014

Her face at first just ghostly

...turned the whiter shade of pale.

I am getting over my tendency to avoid wearing white. 
As long as I don't spill anything (which is a very big ask), I can handle it. 

I know the received wisdom is that pale skin looks washed out in white, but I'm taking a chance that a smattering of summer freckles and red hair will combat any anaemic pastiness.

I'm fair-skinned, burn easily, have freckles, and rarely tan; this, together with a family history of skin cancer, means I have given up on sunbathing and am much more likely to seek the shade than the sun. 
I always use sun screen, slap a bit of fake tan on my legs from time to time, and hope like mad that previous episodes of sunburn and over-exposure won't prove too damaging in the long run.

1970s St Michael cotton maxi skirt, blouse, belt, sunglasses, most of the bangles, and necklace - charity shopped
Striped bangle - gift from Fiona
Cream floral bangle - gift from Tania
Sandals - retail (sale)
 I've never had a great tolerance for high temperatures.
 I remember the hot summer of 1976, and how my class teacher (who had one of those extremely dark 1970s tans which you just don't see anymore) insisted we had our lessons outside on the playing field, presumably so she could sunbathe at the same time as teaching. I recall feeling beside myself with heat, my eyes hurt from the bright sunlight bouncing off the white pages of my books, we had neither sun screen nor water, and I was probably on the verge of heat stroke. 

Seems unbelievable now, doesn't it?

Needless to day, Nina is slathered in sunscreen when she plays outside! We have enough issues with her skin without adding sunburn to the mix.

She's been drawing eyes. I'm sure there is some significance to that, but who knows what?

 "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
       Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

She's done an Ancient Greek project at school, and this is her papier mache Grecian Urn.
 Walking home from school on Friday, I was carrying the vase by the neck, not realising it wasn't glued in place. Of course, the bottom fell off and went rolling down the road, with Owen and Nina giving chase. A van driver mercifully stopped before he ran over it, and allowed the kids to retrieve it; I could practically hear the Benny Hill music playing as accompaniment...
Robust quality papier mache though - it survived without a dint!

Unworn 1970s slip, complete with tag. 
If only all my white clothes were dirt resistant.
And crackle free? Bonus!

Linking to Sacramento's Share-in-Style; the theme is white.

Hope this week is going to be a grand one!



bahnwärterin said...

who says you should´t wear white?
you look very elegant and glamorous in your summery white attire!!!!!
the urne is a great peace of art for such a tiny girl! talented kid!
have to come to the UK for slip shopping.....

diaryofapennypincher said...

I think all those redhead clothing colour restrictions are a load of rubbish! You can wear any colour, and even ones which leave us boring brown haired and light skinned girls washed out will look great on you because of your hair colour. It was obviously dreamed up by a jealous blonde! So jealous of the new vintage slip, pickings are thin round here at the mo. You look elegant and cool in white, and that papier mache Grecian urn is brilliant! xxx

Goody said...

I can just imagine the urn bouncing down the street. Glad to hear it is sturdy-certainly is a beautiful work of art.

The sun is a bastard! I have a back covered in questionable spots and moles to show for youthful ignorance of sunscreen. Damn you, halter-tops.

You don't look washed out at all in white-not with that gorgeous hair. Do stay cool in the crazy heat.

Beth Waltz said...

A crackle-free slip is acceptable. However, a crackle-free crinoline is not acceptable! That was the fun in wearing one under a full skirt, and then sliding into a pew...

The white suits you, Curtise! Have you a white straw hat to top off the ensemble -- or even a parasol? No need to excuse your aversion to sun burn, make an enjoyable ritual of it, non-comedogenic goop, etc!

Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

I don't have many white clothes purely because I'm at expert at spilling foodstuffs and red wine all down me. I'm also good at splattering toothpaste all down my black tops *sigh*. Loving the Grecian urn. Clever girl. xx

Patti said...

Your red hair and fair skin are gorgeous in white, Curtise. I do share the concern about spilling, and only wear black or navy when we go out to eat Italian! The Grecian urn is sturdy and made with love, so sweet. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I completely do not agree! you look fab in white ;=) mari

Sheila said...

You look lovely in white! I call BS on anyone who says we can't wear X. My skin is super-sensitive to the sun as well. I'm always either physically covered or fully sunblocked.

Asparagus Pea said...

As a fair skinned child of pasty poms that spent my early childhood in pre sun aware NZ, I'm with you on the slip slop slap! My Dad is constantly having bits burned, scraped and frozen off as are most of his generation in Oz/NZ. Celebrate the pale I say - besides, I recall my mother always used to tell me I looked angelic in white. HAHAHA! xxx

Bobbi said...

You look great in white!
I remember those 70s tans and the ads in magazines for tanning lotion with no sunscreen. Ah, the "good old days!"
I love the urn. Your daughter is very talented. Will it be part of your home's décor? (I would display something like that - much to my kids' dismay)
Stay cool!

Miss Magpie said...

I wish I could wear white but I just can't, it really does make me look like a corpse risen. I can't do grey, silver or pastels for the same reason.

I avoid the sun for all the same reasons as you and also pray that all the times I got burnt to a frazzle as a kid won't come back to greet me as melanoma, which runs through my family too.

The main thing I remember from 1976 was my Mum coming and getting us out of bed when it did finally rain and letting us run round the garden.

Vix said...

You look wonderful in white with the fabulous St Michael polka dots embellishing the outfit to perfection.
Nina's urn is fantastic, thank goodness the van driver stopped in time and it was rescued and repaired. It looks a bit like a groovy German Fat Lava, always good in my book.
Got to love vintage with a label, we're not used to new clothes, are we?
I'm a shameless sunlovin' whore. I remember 1976 and summer spent on the beach at Tenby singing along to the Bay City Rollers on my Snoopy transistor radio whilst Mum fried in Bergasol.
Perfect weather for the school hols, dying to see where you'll take the kids.
Love you! xxxxxxx

thorne garnet said...

some of the teachers I had loved to take the class outside on the grass. Thought it made them groovy. I hated it. We had to wear skirts at the time, too.

Love Nina's eyes

Connie said...

A whiter shade of look beautiful in white. Probably because you are pure of heart and mind. I know it's not very practical but you really should wear it more often and hello! Let's hear it for freckles!! I think it is awesome that Nina is into drawing eyes. I think she may have psychic abilities. And really and truly. There is just not enough paper mâché in today's world!!!

Melancholy and Menace said...

I favour shade over sunshine too, my father's a red head (when he had hair) I've inherited its burning and freckling ability.

I've had some really bad sunburn over the years.

You look great in white, I don't think it washes you out at all.

Your daughter's urn is brilliant, I'm glad it was rescued! xx

Shawna McComber said...

You look lovely and fresh in white and I don't go in for that fair skin rule at all. I am fair and don't hesitate to wear white. Well I hesitate to wear it on the bottom as I am afraid of sitting in chocolate.
LOVE those eyes and the Greek urn! I can just imagine the music and the antics of chasing after it in the road, but so glad it was rescued!
Like you, I don't like heat and get heat stroke easily. This was something people generally rolled their eyes at in the seventies and eighties like I was some sort of wimp. I ran away from some summer activity day camp because we were out in the sun all day and I didn't like it. I was only five but the day camp was only just down the road from my house.

Did I mention you look great in white?

Krista said...

I always think white is the hardest to photograph too. This polka dot frock in white on you is beautiful very summery! I laid out far too much in my youth and have already had a few spots taken care of on my face, skin cancer is scary scary stuff. I find that I love the sunshine from a nice shady spot or in little bits under my hat.

Nina is having fun being creative, we all can learn from that!
XXOO Loveyou!

Unknown said...

You are making me crave something with polka dots now, so cute! I am also a member of the sunburning/heat hating club. Give me a day in the 70s (20s in Celsius I believe) with a light breeze and some shade and I'm happy. :)

Mother of Reinvention said...

That urn story still has me laughing. Glad it was rescued from certain squish. It really looks the biz. You look great in white, nice for this heat. Wouldn't last 2 minutes on me before it was all covered in stuff, 'specially the "curry catchers" on the front (stains in my house usually being dinner related). Being a stealth-ginger I don't like the sun either. Makes me feel all woozy. Stay cool (in all senses of the word). xxxx

Anonymous said...

You're definitely more of a colour Queen but you've made a statement with this outfit the way you've styled it. I wish I could wear it too but it washed me out. There is an all-white clothing shop in Annecy that I used to admire, from a distance. It would have suited the locals as they're all tan freaks.

What your teaches did would be inconceivable now, for sure. Heck, we used to run around with baby oil on in the sun, in the 1970s!

P.s. Thanks for kind words. And yes, people ARE friendly here! They smile or say hello to you on the street; open doors for you or let you go first when they see the stroller; provide helpful, friendly advice in stores etc - all the exact opposite to what we experienced in France!

Unknown said...

I like white on you! so pretty - That polka dot frock is fantastic, what a fantastic statement piece!
Got to love that label! I get excited so when get my hand on a vintage label !
TG for the little one papier mache project, it was saved!
You got to love kids art, I remember when my kids brought home school projects - I loved it, i kept them for so long, until the felt apart actually and then my heart was broken when i had to put it away -



Natalia Lialina said...

It's a little unusual to see you in (almost) all-white, Curtise, but you look lovely and fresh in your pretty peasant top and polka dot skirt! I have a somewhat similar coloring - lots of freckles, especially in summer, reddish hair and skin which burns fast. (So glad that Anya got her skin from the Asian part of the family - while mine I guess is from the Celtic. Like my Mom, she never burns!) I am happy that our heat is now gone, and it is mild again, I was even happy that it was raining. Weird, yes? :) Though I noticed that in the last few years I enjoy being in the sun on the beach, because after I sweat I can cool down quickly in the sea as our sea is always pretty cold. So it is practically the same as banya (spa) which I love. It melts all the stresses away. :)

I always admire your garden. It's mountain ash, isn't it? We have it here in abundance too. It's one of my favorite trees, so gracious. We have them in Siberia as well, though they don't grow as tall over there, and we usually see berries in Fall (here we see them in July already).

You have the most wonderful collection of bracelets! I imagine you can take a photo of all or almost all of your colorful bracelets and it will be as beautiful as art on the wall as it is art on your wrists. :)

I really enjoy Nina's art, fun ideas, fun explorations! I have eczema on my hands at times, it affect only my middle fingers. I think the symbolism is quite clear in my case. :)

Have a great week, dear! xxxxxx

Unknown said...

You look lovely in white, very fetching! Love the idea of a crackle free slip as well! x

Anonymous said...

What a lovely Grecian Urn. Don't drink out of it though, you will most likely get a stain on your blouse and extra spots on that spotted skirt.

I have the same skin tone and only end up getting a rash if I sit out for too long. I only remember one summer having a tan nearly as dark as an Islander. The scarey thing about the sun and our skin is that it accumulates and never forgets those times we burned and were out too long. Like you said about the 70's, we use to spend 2 hours at a time up on the roof of our house!

Kezzie said...

Wonder why this didn't turn up in my feed till now? You never cease to amaze me with your beautiful, elegant, ladylike outfits which are super fun! I love the urn!! If I didn't hate papier mache id give it a go. x

Helga said...

You look fecking AMAZING in white! That skirt is the BOMB. White is wonderful, and I don't think a tan is essential. Just judicious accessorising! Which you always do PERFECTLY!
How wonderful to have a budding artiste in the family! Papier mache is brilliant. Messy but fantastically versatile!

Kylie said...

You should try living in Australia Curtise! Crikey it's hot here in the Summer! I hate it (even though I'm born and bred) hate it!!!
I love your skirt (there's something lovely about spots) and I LOVE gorgeous Nina's eyes and her urn (any bumps from its little...mishap would've only added some ancient looking patina)
Tell Nina I have been busy making crabs, fish, jellyfish etc for our ocean theme at school - no paper mache (yet) but plenty of paint and glue and sparkles and MESS! x

Jean at said...

You look glorious, hands down. I love a summer maxi like this, and you wear that cinched-in waist like nobody's business!! Oh, that moment of her art coming apart!! My blood pressure jumped in empathy. Glad there wasn't any permanent damage. It's a beautiful piece and I hope she saves it!! I have pieces of Alex's art from elementary school, and it amazes me now. Eyes, hmmm?! I love it!!


The Style Crone said...

You are stunning in white and love the addition of polka dots. No "anaemic pastiness" Curtise. You are the picture of summer.

Looks like Nina has artistic qualities! Like her mother, no doubt!

Ivy Black said...

Allwhite, love? I think white looks lush on pale people and you rock it.
I'm with you on the sun...I've been indoors mostly and in the shade when I'm outside. I can't be doing with sunbathing. I got burned badly inthe Eighties and that was more. My mum and gran had that dark tan...they went the colour of chip shop sausages. Mind you, they used to baste themselves with coconut oil, so I guess that would do it!
That's the sign of a good papaer mache artist is that...nice and robust. I'm wading my way through a sculpture so perhaps Nina could come and give me a hand.
I've got the Benny Hill theme in my head now which is perfect for a day working in this place!
Loves yer white bits.

Sue said...

I avoid white for the same reasons, but mainly the I cannot keep it clean one!! I avoid the sun at its hottest part of the day, I don't like getting burnt anymore. Like you my tan comes in a bottle, legs and arms is all I do, no one sees the other bits!! OMG I always draw eyes, and stars, well I doodle but there are always eyes. Benny Hill was the very best!

Angels have Red Hair said...

Same skin here … I wear sunscreen every single day … rain, hail or shine … even when I intend to stay indoors all day long. I made the decision when I was 14 and I haven't missed a day yet. Started too late to avoid the freckles though ;0)

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

I am also a shade flower and a champion spiller and dropper of all manner of things! You are my people, and also gorgeous in this as in everything. I love Nina's art!!! Cheers to being crinkle-free! Except when crinkles are the best, around smiling eyes. xoxoxoxo

silvergirl said...

I am with you! Never had a tan in my entire life
I glow like a ghost, but that's okay.
I am so in love with this polka dot skirt.
Just adorable

Peaches McGinty said...

My parents love a mahogany tan! although my Mum due to certain meds has to stay out of it sometimes, they both adore the sun although you will find me in their garden under the umbrella - your teacher though!!! isn't is a shocker when we look back at some of their antics? and yes you were definitely on the verge of heatstroke, wasn't '76 the year of the heatwave? I think you look magnificent in white, very elegant! and it is so much better for the heat and for those unexpected moments when you have to leg it to rescue a very beautiful and precious urn (it's fabulous!) x x x

Forest City Fashionista said...

I had a good "inside laugh" (I'm reading this at work) at the thought of the runaway urn being chased by your kids. I'm glad it survived the adventure.

I used to lay in the sun for hours as a teenager, and would tan quite dark, never burn. Then as I approached my 30's I found I couldn't do it anymore as I would break out in blotches and burn. Alas, the damage was already done.

I can't wear white for stain reasons and because it doesn't look good on me. I have one white linen summer dress and every time I think I might wear it, I put it back in the closet. And yet I don't get rid of it...

Rachel said...

I now have Benny Hill's theme tune going round in my head lol! You do make me giggle Curtise.

You look so lovely and summery in your white. xx

Mrs Bertimus said...

You look fab!
Ace bleach works a great on white clothes by the way.....god! I sound like a right gran x

mispapelicos said...

You are majestic in white with a pop of gold, dear Curtise.
Thank you soooooooooooooo much for joining the family of Share-in-Style

freckleface said...

I'm with you, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun! Fake tan all the way I say, plus red hair and freckles make everything look wonderful. Love your white summer outfit, you look so tall and slim and cool as a cucumber. Nina is the cutest, she really is, with those big eyes and her indestructible Grecian urn. I'll let you in on a secret, I hear the Benny Hill theme tune quite often in my head. It always makes me smile. xxxxxxxx

Becky said...

I'm rather pale and I look terrible white. People ask me all day if I'm tired whenever I wear it. All about sunscreen and I think I'm ready to try some fake tan cream.

Veshoevius said...

I think everyone can wear white and I think you look great in white. I love this jolly maxi skirt - great colour combination of the yellow and blue polka dots.
I did enjoy imagining a paper maiche urn rolling down a hill with kids chasing to Benny Hill music!

Melanie said...

I was very anxious about your urn-chasing until you added the Benny Hill soundtrack. Thank you. I'm glad the urn survived - it is a beauty.
I like you in white. We don't hear brides complaining that white washes them out, do we?
I am pale, like you. I used to do the tanning thing, which was fine once I got past the bright red primer stage, but disliking sunscreen I try to cover up as much as possible.
You already know I love your crackle-free slip. Ha!

Trees said...

Oh I love that poka dot skirt - but now I just have Benny Hill music running through my head;)

Fiona said...

What a cool summer outfit and not the slightest bit ghostly! You look serene and unflappable even after losing the bottom of your urn.
I'm a sunlover like Vix but look where that left hospital having a bloody great lump cut out of my leg and a skin graft. Still I don't suppose a job that took me to the Caribbean every other week helped. These days I use self tan and a high factor. I remember my mum slathering on the Ambre Soleil wearing rubber gloves in 76 (she hated oily hands) and yes I remember having lessons outside in primary school too, unthinkable now. You dirt resistant?....I'm saying nothing. Bwhahah
a bientot. xxxxxx

Mimi and Tilly said...

I love you in white, fresh, flirty and fun. Thanks for your lovely words on my blog. It's always great to read your comments and know you've dropped by. Cracking myself (that's a technical term) that I've committed to total honesty on my blog... But now I've committed out loud, I'm all in! Gulp. Wish me luck, Curtis's! Big love your way. X

Mimi and Tilly said...

A pox on autocorrect! Cracking myself?! Meant to read "cacking myself". Gawd. X

Mimi and Tilly said...

Effing Nora. Curtise not Curtis's! X

Suzanne said...

Crackle free? LOL Now if only my face would follow suit.

You and I truly do sound like sisters from another mister. My skin freckles and burns like mad. Sadly I loved to tan when I was younger and now I am paying the price. Is it vain to call my new-found age spots simply freckles that have merged?

I do not wear white for all the reasons you listed. Every time I put it on it makes me think I look like a ghostly nurse. That maxi skirt is very cool though and far enough away from my face that I could make it work. Another item I would gladly lift from your closet.

That Benny Hill scene made me laugh.


Mrs. D said...

White suits you! I rarely wear it myself, not sure why? Maybe it's the same fear of stains LOL

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Hmmm...suspiciously similar skin's as though we're cousins. I had a laugh over the papier mache episode. And I'm a little surprised the kiddos are still in school. Ours are out mid to late June and return early September!

Love the white on skirt, especially the polka dot skirt. Funny, I'm the same way about white. Hadn't thought much about it until now, but I used to loathe wearing white because it made me look so WHITE....but now, I just don't really care so much. I think, in part, because people really are tanning much less than they did when I was a kid.

Caroline said...

We never had sun protection in the seventies, did we? I got really badly in 76. It was part of summer in those days.

Pennyblossoms said...

Crackle free is the way forward!Especially in this heat!