Friday, 25 July 2014

Lavender's blue

Ahhh, what a lovely first week of the school holidays; the delight of waking up naturally, rather than at the beep of an alarm, cannot be underestimated.

Small pleasures.

Several bags of clothes have been donated to the nearest charity shop; the kids took a bag each, I was laden with three, and we tottered along the road in a line like Mother Duck with her ducklings, with varying degrees of complaint.

I was too hot, so I complained the most.

I find myself accepting all offers of kids' clothes, and as a result rarely have to buy anything for Owen and Nina (although I do for Claudia, as sadly we don't have a handy teenager passing things on to her).

This is great, of course, but it does mean I end up with far too much, more than they could possibly wear, so a judicious edit was overdue.
I really appreciate the circuit of children's clothes which goes on amongst my friends, and the fact that my kids have no problems at all with wearing secondhand clothing. I can't imagine the prohibitive cost of dressing three kids at normal retail prices.

It's always a risk to stop and have a look around the charity shop to which you have just donated...

Especially this particular Barnardo's, where everything is priced at £1.49.

Couldn't resist!

I assumed they were new (there is no label), but underneath they are stamped Made in England
Nothing cheap and cheerful is made in England these days, so could they be vintage? It doesn't much matter, I just love them - can't walk far in them, but who cares?

The darker patch on the platform is because I had just sponged off a patch of pink glitter. If that doesn't say 1970s glam rock, I don't know what does.

1970s Debroyal maxi skirt - vintage fair
Top, shoes, bangles, flower, and blue beaded necklace - charity shopped
Turquoise heart necklace - gift
Floral reversible tote bag - made by me

I can't claim that I thought very carefully about the combination of this new-to-me top (yes, also £1.49) and the 1970s maxi skirt, but in the event, I find I like the dainty floral of the top against the bold splashy print of the skirt. 

Same colours too.

The cats are loving the warm weather, and have become real outdoor creatures. Jess always was, she roams far and wide (look at her trotting along, so purposeful) but Min and Willow are homebodies and usually like to be in the house. Not any more, they are all out enjoying the sunshine. Charlie likes to stretch out on the table, doing his Dead Cat impression.


Tomorrow, I'll be having a browse around the Sheffield Vintage Fair, and I'm also participating in a focus group run by the University of Sheffield and the University of the Arts London about shopping for fashion and purchasing energy

Apparently alternative viewpoints are welcome, which is just as well; I know nothing about current fashion, and my purchasing energy is limited, and directed at vintage sellers and charity shops. But I'll let you know how the discussion goes!

Have a great weekend!

Edited to add - I'm taking my hair flower over to Judith's Hat Attack!


Miss Magpie said...

I am beyond words I love your shoes so much. I'm glad I'm not the only person who buys shoes they can't actually walk/stand up in just because they are too beautiful to leave behind.

You make me miss having a cat seeing yours enjoying the sun, damn landlady's no pet rule :(

Miss Magpie said...

First!!!! never done that before....maybe I should buy a lottery ticket.

Kezzie said...

And I thought I was first, sigh....
Loving the gorgeous combo of big floral on skirt and small florals on top. My friend returned to Canada today so we took about 5 bags of stuff to charity shops yesterday in a sumilar long line to you.

Ripple Dandelion said...

Those shoes are just TOO good! The colors! Glad to hear you are enjoying a bit of a break from the grind of the school schedule.

Patti said...

Your new shoes are the bees' knees, great find! Love your two prints together too.
My sister has a 12 year old girl, and yesterday they set to going through the closet to pull donations. All Kara could manage was to hold the bag open, that's how bored she was! Good lessons you and my sis are teaching your kids, though. It all goes around. xox

Amber of Butane Anvil said...

I love the combo of blues and purples, you have the best collection of bangles, and the blue sandals you've got on are awesome as are those - holy smokes! - amazing new platform clompers! Can't wait for your report back from the focus group, really glad you're adding your voice!

Olga Rani said...

I love this mixture of small and big floral prints and the colours are just lovely. Those sandals are really pretty, can understand you couldn't resist to buy them. Ahhh, cats enjoying life, adorable creatures. Always like it when you put their photos in your posts.

silvergirl said...

how can you not have a great day with that many florals
floral = happy
have a great weekend

beate grigutsch said...

fabulous shoes!!!
looking at the insole material i think they are vintage 70´s...
the mix of blouse & skirt is gorgeous in my book - would do it like this too. people think i´m brave at pattern mixing. but no, i love unusual mixed patterns and colors :-)
and i have to work on the skill to fit the flowers of my garden - you are a master in that!
give your cats cuddles from me and greetings to the cool kids! how long will this nice time last in which you wake up without alarm?

Forest City Fashionista said...

Hmmm, that focus group sounds interesting - am looking forward to hearing about your experience.

Yes, the joy of waking up naturally is to be savored whenever possible. I would love to have seen a photo of all of you tottering down the road laden with bags of donations. You've been a good influence on your children with regard to wearing used clothing. When I was a kid, I hated wearing hand me downs from my cousins, but now most of my wardrobe was previously worn by someone else.

Bobbi said...

Great new shoes! They're gorgeous - I wouldn't have left them behind, either.
Love the combination of prints.
My daughter recently cleaned out her closet - four bags to take in.
Enjoy your holiday!

Val S said...

I was just saying to Mr. S that I don't mind waking up early when it's my choice and not an alarm clock telling me I have to do it. And no rushing to get out the door in the morning. Ah! I know you'll have a lovely summer with your beautiful children and gorgeous pussies (!). And those shoes!!!!!! Oh my gawd - they are divine!!! I bet Donna Summers had some just like them, if not these very ones! You hit chazza nirvana!

Sheila said...

That focus group sounds fascinating!

I love your new blue sandals - what a score!

Fiona said...

Those shoes are bloody fantastic, I cannot believe they were £1.49!!!
Good luck with the focus group it sounds really interesting. In haste, je traverse La Manche ce soir. xxx

Mrs Bertimus said...

Those shoes! That skirt! X

Mother of Reinvention said...

School hols are great. They seem to stretch out in a line of sunny days, or at least that is how I like to remember them. Considering I went to school in Scotland this may be stretching the imagination somewhat. Isn't it good to have a clear out? I am sure that the shop was very grateful to get some donations. How cool to have a shop that sells everything or £1.49. I think your shoes are a thing(s) of beauty, walkability is not in the running with shoes that nice. Have a great time. Xxxx

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Well finally your sweet little kidlets are on holiday!

Kids, cats...ah, the lazy days of summertime. My cat is my thermometer. I can tell what the weather is like depending on if he wants to sit outside or remain inside.

Anonymous said...

I'd say those shoes are vintage just because of the look of the suede. They look higher quality than much of the suede shoes I see new these days. They're gorgeous!
Secondly, wow, those bracelets with the colorful fabrics is striking!

I just love life without an alarm clock, don't you? But I tend to still wake up pretty early anyway. But there's so much more leisure time during this season. My last one will start 11th grade in September. Almost an empty nest. At 56 I will have waited for this most of my life!

If we lived closer and shipping wasn't so darn expensive my oldest daughter could donate to your oldest!

kobieta niewidzialna said...

Super look Dear. This summer I prefer dark blue, is amazing colour.:)

Anonymous said...

Oh to wake up in the morning of ones accord, I'll have to live vicariously through you, until those days arrive for me again. We are very fortunate as you are to receive a lot of hand me downs for the kids. Each season I do buy two maybe three new outfits for the kids and everything else is hand me downs and op shop buys. I adore your skirt and the floral on floral, I've played around with the floral on floral combo a few times before. Interested to hear about the focus group and what is asked.

Shawna McComber said...

Oh where to start! I love those shoes and would have scooped them up too. I love the pairing of the small florals with the large ones, tied together by colour and those bangles are gorgeous!

Your cats are gorgeous too. When I was a child we had a black and white cat named Minnie. I love watching cats enjoy the summer outdoors and yours look like they are very happy.

Northern mum down South said...

One pound forty nine !! Bargain and lovely. Great pattern mixing.

I don't think I had worked out you had four cats, so lovely to see them all in a photo collage.

Mmmm, waking up naturally is soooo nice. Enjoy.

Goody said...

Beeping alarms-horrible things. Horrible.

Whenever the shoes are from, they're beautiful-I'd have fought you for them if I'd been in the shop.

I really don't know how we would have managed when Danny was small were it not for people giving us clothes and toys. He's still wearing things people gave us years ago for him to, "Grow into." A few years ago we had a law passed prohibiting the re-sale of children's clothes, toys and books before some date in the 80's due to worries over lead. As a result, secondhand shops are afraid to get hit with fines for selling old items, and the pickings are not what they used to be for children's items. Some stores are willfully ignoring the regulations, but it does make it difficult if you can't afford new toys for a child. We were lucky that the regulations came into place after Danny was at the point of needing a million things to play with. Still, it breaks my heart to think of all those old children's books being dumped for fear they might chew on the binding.

Ariane Lasalle said...

You are very lucky that your kids don't mind second hand clothes, here the kids like to buy new- i like the way you mixed the blouse and skirt, very pretty!
Yes i would like to hear about your focus group, i went to one in June, it was pretty interesting to hear everybodies point of view - my focus group was on about an online newspaper - we got all $100 and a free lunch
Are you getting paid for this focus group?

Have a great weekend


Angels have Red Hair said...

WOW … those shoes!

Melanie said...

I love your little flowers with the big flowers combo, and I'm glad you went with the shoes. Likely you'd have had to make a second trip back if you walked away the first time. When you're in shoes like that people serve you so there's no need to walk much.
And your kids are fortunate to get thrifted and hand-me-over clothes, not falling-apart clothing clones purchased new.
I always love your photo mosaics.

Pennyblossoms said...

Dilly, dilly.
Fab new clompers and love the ones you are wearing too.
Is that focus group with Pearl/Natalie? We did a shoe museum one with her...brilliant!
Ooo, cats! I love clothes and shoes, but cats get me everytime.
Tabs is still sofa lovin' but Rene is in the garden on a bit of cardboard that was put on side to be recycled. Can't get rid of it now...

peaches mcginty said...

sandals with additional glitter! can they be anymore fabulous? yes they can! when you are wearing them of course! your floral outfit is beautiful, it's sooooo hot isn't it? my lot are cool with second hand clothes too, it gets mixed with retail though, it is eye-meltingly expensive at times, especially when they decide to grow so much haha - I hope your browsing went well and the focus group, it's going to be a great day - have an excellent weekend too! x x x

thorne garnet said...

I can't believe the cost of children's clothing! I was walking through the kids department of a nice department store(on the way to the bathroom) and saw the prices on girls clothes: printed t-shirt $75, jeans $50. That's more than the cost of those items in the woman department! And I'm not going to out grow them in 6 months. Let's hear to for second hand!

Love your print matching

Kelly Roy said...

The combination of skirt and top is great so don't fret about it. It makes outfit more special as does the flower in your hair. Shoes are a fabulous find!!!!!!!
My kids shared a lot of clothes between them and with friends but now in teenage frenzy they are all new clothes.

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

I love the print of your maxi skirt. My daughter doesn't have anything new apart from underwear, it's all chazzed or car booted and stored til it fits. When the seasons change and she goes up a size, we dig it all out and it's like Christmas morning for her. Although she recently discovered H&M so things may

PinkCheetahVintage said...

So jealous of your major shoe score!!!!!! Shoes are where I have the worst luck thrifting. I get gifted a lot of second hand clothes for my kids, too. I have to admit, with kids clothes, there is def such a thing as too much. It becomes hard to manage.

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Oooooh I can't WAIT to see how the focus group goes, I would love to be involved in such a lively discussion! I adore your new shoes and your beautiful summery splash of colour. I too have been blessed with generous friends and Bella passes on her outgrown stuff to her bestie who loves them too. Couldn't bear it any other way and certainly couldn't afford it! It's funny but the boys are more fussy. Enjoy those lie-ins! Tea and toast in bed with a cracking book or trashy mag will be well-deserved! xoxoxoxxox

Sue said...

Your cats are beautiful, dear Charlie doing his dead impression, or is that yoga for cats, as in the corpse pose? I used to get given hand me downs for the lads when they were small and it was great, both of them didn't mind one bit and still don't mind the odd find via mum from an op shop now. I giggled at the vision of you and your ducklings loaded up with stuff to drop off at a charity shop, must have been very sweet. Yay for glorious weather and school holidays, go forth and ENJOY!!

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Those shoes! Killlah!

I love the tiny flowers next to the big bold ones in your ensemble.

The cat montage is fun.


Laurie Duncan said...

Another gorgeous outfit, and I do love those shoe! But I wouldn't be able to walk across the room in those with my old feet! But I would just sit and look at their beauty! :)

Trees said...

That skirt is amazing, thanks for sharing your kitties with us and I am still insanely jealous of your sunshine!

Veshoevius said...

Great shoes! We lived in hand me downs as kids and it never bothered us - kids grow so fast that I think it makes sense for parents to go the second hand route for clothing. I can't stand the whole dressing kids up in labels that goes on with some parents like they've got something to prove through their kids wardrobes.
Be interested to hear how the forum goes!

Kelly Jackson said...

Awesome shoes! There's a Barnardo's in St Annes where everything is a pound - needless to say I pop in often, though it's rare to find a real gem like those shoes.

Aside from gifts, his going home from hospital outfit and the odd outfit we've bought, Adam's clothes are all second-hand. Found great stuff in Annecy thrift shops and at Barnardo's, you get four kids' pieces for a pound! I won't have him being ashamed of it - he will be proud of it. And I'm with you: we'd be in the poorhouse if we bought him new duds, esp in Annecy where baby sandals are 100 euro. I guess the only exception to the used rule would be shoes, now that I mention it.

Love the purple hues. Enjoy your summer break, and let's hope this glorious weather holds! Xoxo

Vintage Bird Girl said...

Squee those platform shoes are DIVOON!!!! LOVE them!!! So Helga & Vix! I wouldn't be able to walk in them but they make great sit down shoes, or ornamental shoes as I like to call them. That maxi skirt is so vibrant & simply gorgeous. Loving the print on print too. Xx

señora Allnut said...

really fabulous skirt, lovely print!!, and love how your outfit has matching colors and mixed prints, such a beautiful and summery floral theme!
And lovely cats indeed!

freckleface said...

Oh my days, look at them there shoes! I would give them a Vix on the glamour scale (that's 1 above 10; 10 being the highest score). Gorgeous, can't wait to see what you team them up with. They're the kind of thing to wear to a party where you don't have to walk, just lounge fabulously. Those puddy cats are so sweet, didn't realise you had four!! Great summery floral look you are going for here, like the unusual teaming of bright with pale, it works by Jove! Love the image of you with your ducklings beefing and moaning! That's what I do in the heat. Xxxxxxx

Vix said...

Those shoes! I die! I love them. Who cares if they are totally impossible to walk in, they are a work of art in themselves.
Your maxi is a stunner, love it with the ditsy top and all your fabulous jewellery.
You've brought those kids up right, no clamouring for named clothes and branded sportswear. If I'd have had children I would probably have spawned a horrendous sweatpants wearing chav.
Bless those kitties. Our latest stray has just had his third bowl of Felix much to the disgust of the other two.
Love you! xxx

The Style Crone said...

Your colors are glorious! The shoes divine. And your hair flower is the perfect addition to your summer ensemble.

Thank you so much for sharing with Hat Attack. Using a previous post is more than alright. I was so happy to see your radiant self appear amidst the beauties!