Tuesday, 7 October 2014

On books, business, and a broken heart

An unplugged weekend was good, although I subsequently had a lot of catching up to do; all your blog posts, plus Strictly, X Factor and Downton, phew! 

But I'm up to date now, and it was great to spend lots of time with my nose in a book instead of being in front of a screen (although truthfully I find pleasure in both activities.)

Books are wonderful things, I am steadfastly a paper-based reader, and our house is overflowing with them. I understand the appeal (and space-saving virtues) of a Kindle, but nothing beats the tactile experience of a book. 

You can't write an inscription on a Kindle, can you? 

 I rarely buy my books new or full price; this little selection were either bought from charity shops (St Vincent's sell paperbacks for 50p each, Barnardo's have an offer of four for £1.49), and a couple were picked up for free from a box left outside a house on the way to school. 

In the light of my ongoing wardrobe review, this dress has presented me with a dilemma.

Angela Holmes' designs for her Droopy and Browns label, launched in 1971, are increasingly sought after and command high prices on Ebay. I found this dress in a charity shop (of course); although it represents something of a departure from Holmes' typically flamboyant and feminine styles in colourful printed cotton or velvet, I don't doubt it would sell well if I put it on Ebay.

I don't wear it often, yet whenever I do, I fall in love with it all over again; with its sheer, floaty, angel sleeve-y disco-tastic goodness. With its pockets. With its matching tie belt, still in place.

So just this once, I'll let my heart rule my business head. 

I'm keeping it!

1970s Droopy and Browns dress, velvet jacket, bangles and ankle boots - charity shopped
Necklace - vintage market
Brooch - car boot
Tights - retail (sale)

This 1970s lurex knit dress didn't make the cut; it's nice enough on me, but not fantastic, so off to Ebay she goes. 

The tan leather bucket bag, however, is staying. For now, at least.

We're in a bit of a state of anxiety here at the moment; our Minnie is missing, we haven't seen her for over 48 hours. The neighbours haven't spotted her either.

We're all hoping like mad that she reappears safe and sound, and I'll do a leaflet drop along the road tomorrow asking everyone to check their outbuildings, but I have a very bad feeling... She's never, ever strayed far before. 

We miss her very much.


Mother of Reinvention said...

Hope Minnie turns up soon. Mittens once cleared off for three weeks and I was frantic. Love your dress. Charity shops are great for books. I buy too many. Here's to many catty returns. Xxxx

Rose&Bird said...

Sorry to hear about Minnie, hope she comes home soon. The dress is lovely, if it makes you apply, I say keep it - EBay can wait!

Rose&Bird said...


Laurie Duncan said...

I couldn't give up that dress either! You look so stunning in it!
Hope Minnie shows up soon! :)

Natalia Lialina said...

I too hope very much that Minnie is back soon! They become relatives, our cats, don't they? Wishing upon a star she is safe and sound and happy.

Lovely dress, Curtise! It has pockets it seems - I love pockets in dresses and skirts. I wondered how it would look with a wide belt and a statement necklace. Maybe you already have showed in the blog how you styled it differently, I'd love to see. Falling in love again is such a great feeling, I totally know what you mean by that.

Happy reading and ebaying! xxxx

beate grigutsch said...

please, minnie come home!!!! you´r missed so much!

wonderful dress! especially on you! it´s chic and cool and timeless. and you have matching tights!
i prefer an actual book for reading too, the paper, the letters - they´r different and a book in which the high quality content matches with beautiful material is a joy for me. i read a lot of paperbacks, but a linen cover with some gold..... :-)
and you´r right - i got my love for gardening and outdoor life from the grandparents!

Hippy At Heart said...

Hope your little one will be with you as soon as possible!!

The dress is a killer, keep it!

Asparagus Pea said...

Imagine pitching Droopy and Browns as a fashion label at a meeting! Hope the kitty comes home soon xxx

Kezzie said...

My Sophie went missing for a month once. She got locked in a garage we think. Hope Minnie comes home.
You look lovely in this. I do like the dress although if I owned it, I'd probably feel the ums and ahs you do- it's lovely though!x

Patti said...

Oh come home right away, Minnie! When ours were in/outdoor cats they'd often disappear for a day and I would worry myself sick. Then they'd come strolling around the corner with a look of casual indifference. xoxo

Elizabeth Rebecca said...

I love those dresses and I completely agree with you on books.

Lizzie's Daily Blog

Northern mum down South said...

Hope Minnie comes home soon, it's such a worry when they don't follow their usual routine. xx

Ripple Dandelion said...

Hurry home, little Minnie!

Although I think you are strictly speaking right about the superiority of books, I have diversified in that area: printed books (found, thrifted or borrowed) and digital ones coexist. I don't have the budget to be anything but cheap, but occasionally I'll spring for a book on Kindle.

You are definitely killing it in that navy dress. I can see why you wouldn't want to let her go. I also love the earthy knit one, though! Best of luck with your eBaying; I've been doing quite a bit of it myself these last weeks and I'm endlessly thrilled when something sells. It seems so magical. For example, I had bought two folk art molas from Panama, framed badly, from Goodwill (major charity shop here) for, I think, five dollars each. Had them for several years; my son hated them, thought they were "scary." So I finally unmounted them and listed them on eBay, where they just sold for over $60 for the two. Amazing!

Angels have Red Hair said...

Oh no Minnie ... check all your cupboards ... just in case.
I'm glad you kept the dress ... sometimes we have to treat ourselves ... and it looks stunning on you :0)

Debberoo said...

So sorry about Minnie, I hope she returns soon, safe and sound.

Love the dress def one to keep.

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

Oh dear. I do hope Minnie is okay. Sending good vibes your way in hopes that she is found quickly safe and sound.

I do love that purple blazer. I had to double check you didn't take it straight out of my closet since I have one that looks exactly like that.

I'm glad you kept the dress. It looks so fabulously 1940s.


Goody said...

Our missing cat always turned up sitting atop the hot water heater (as we scoured the neighbourhood calling for him)so hopefully Minnie has found herself a nice warm spot, and she'll come out soon.

Don't sell the clothes you love-they'll prove impossible to replace. Besides, it looks great on you (and I adore the jacket you paired it with)and makes you happy to wear. You deserve to be happy in your clothes...and look great. Hell yeah, keep it.

Kylie said...

That 'droopy' dress looks anything but on you Curtise. I'm so glad you kept it. I would've insisted you do so. Wear it more often okay, it deserves it and it really does look beautiful on you.
I hope your dear pussy cat turns up soon - she's probably in the midst of a wonderful adventure...or some nice old dear is feeding her bowlfulls of cream and she can't tear herself away. Just yet.
Fingers crossed x

Shawna McComber said...

OH Minne please come home! When I was a little girl we had a Minnie too. She was coloured just like yours but had a flatter face.

All the way through this post I was almost holding my breath and thinking keep the dress! I'm glad you did and that bag. Both are great!
I hope to open your blog tomorrow and see that Minnie is home.

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Oh Curtise....my heart is in my throat as I type...sending positive thoughts that Minnie returns home safe and with a story to tell. I do animal communication, but missing animals are the absolute most difficult to get a clear message on. I hope that the notices get a good result, or that she turns up on her own accord!!!

Love Sue

Vix said...

Oh no, where could Minnie be? I'm hoping she comes back soon. I'd be beside myself with worry, too. Quite a few missing cats are reunited through Facebook, have a look if there's a local cat group on there who can share your photo.
On a brighter note, that a gorgeous dress. I'm delighted your keeping it. The print might not be typically Droopy and Brown but the flamboyant sleeves are. You look stunning.
If the lurex ain't right it's got to go.
Great score on the books. Our Banardos are 4 for £1.99 and I've got some gems. Can't beat snuggling up in bed with a good book.
Love you! xxxxxx

Winter Moon said...

I do hope Minnie is found, safe and sound, and soon too. Bless her.

I do use a kindle occasionally, but much prefer printed pages, there's nothing quite like it!

I'm so glad you kept that dress, it's fantastic, and really suits you.

Good luck with your Minnie search x

Porcelina said...

Keep the dress! It's gorgeous. You could layer a poloneck underneath for cold days.

Fingers crossed for Minnie turning up soon x

señora Allnut said...

oh yes, it's a floaty-disco-fabulous dress with Pockets!!, love its shape and love you wearing it with usual style!, and also love your purple jacket and all those flowers in your garden!!
wish your kitty come back soon!!

Sue said...

Glad you are keeping the dress, it looks amazing with and without the jacket, which is a gorgeous colour by the way. I too love a paper back book, and like you buy them second hand. I have a huge book case full of good reads that have been read and more to be delved into. Of course I love the bucket bag, I own one myself. Really hope darling Minnie comes back.

Miss Magpie said...

Fingers crossed about Minnie. Try Animal Search UK it's one of the best websites for posting up lost and found pets. I just put our stray up on there.

Love the dress and the bucket bag.x

Beth Waltz said...

The jewel tones, plums and purples, suit you, Curtise. The dress and jacket are keepers! So is your current hairdresser!

It's true that books are visually comforting in a way that kindles cannot match, rather like a well-stocked pantry for the spirit.

And I can empathize with your wounded spirit as you fret over little Minnie. My big toms have given me many anxious hours when they've gone adventurin'. I hope she finds her way home soon.

Daisy Jones said...

oh no I do hope Minnie returns soon the waiting and not knowing is the worst!
Contact your vets and the council too...sending you love and the bestest of luck...
Ps the dress is adorable I'm happy to see you kept it!

Forest City Fashionista said...

Oh, I hope that Minnie is just having a little adventure and forgotten the time! My fingers are crossed that she will come home soon, safe and sound.

That is such a pretty dress, and I think it's a wise decision to keep it for now. I can't imagine what would inspired someone to use the word "droopy" for a clothing label.

My apartment has books everywhere although I've become better at letting them go to new homes after I've read them. I get most of mine from thrift stores too, although they are $3 or $4 here.

Krista Gassib said...

This dress is totally a keeper and I'm glad you are attached, it's lovely on you honey. I have an affinity for large picture books and love to spend hours looking through them.
Now you know I talk a lot a crap about my cats but I do love them. It breaks my heart to hear Minnie is missing. I do hope she comes home so your family can be ok again, it must have everyone worried.
Sending you lots of love

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Oh no! I hope Minnie comes back soon. Hopefully some mad cat lady is feeding her and fussing over her. (Do you live near Vix?!?)
I'm praying for Minnie.
Like you I have a huge pile of chazzed books and I'm appalled at the new price of them. Kindles? Don't make me laugh.
Love the Droopy & Browns dress. They had a shop in York, way back when...


freckleface said...

Oh no, Minnie cat, come back home soon, they loves ya in that house with the beautiful garden...
In other news, she's keeping it everybody. The lovely dress which looks great on. There was a Droopy and Browns frock, which I was very taken with in a chazza in Yarm last Xmas until i saw the price. Ninety five whole pounds. A joke in the worst possible taste if you ask me. I'm about ready to take to my bed with a book, it's the weather. When I travel the world, I'm going to buy a kindle. In the meantime it's 50p chazza specials like you.
Come back Minnie... Xxxxxxxx

Ivy Black said...

Oh I hope Minnie comes home soon. She will wander back and wonder why you were worried about her.
I agree with Vix, get her picture on Facebook and people will spot her.
I do love the Droopy and Brown frock. Winchester types are mad for D&B, but your is especially gorgeous and beautifully cut.
I can't be doing with a Kindle. books every time and chazzed ones at that.
Loads of love.

Mrs Bertimus said...

I'm sure Minnie will be back.
I am keeping everything crossed x

Fiona said...

Oh Curtise, I know how I'd feel if it was my cat. Hopefully Minnie is just mooching somewhere. The thing is, we know our cats don't we... and their normal behaviour? Keeping everything crossed that she returns soon. Personally I wouldn't give a Kindle houseroom, suitcase room maybe...if I was on a long trip, otherwise it's paperbacks all the way, preferably from the Scouts jumble at 20p each.
Lovely frock, fab jacket (love that colour) and that bag is deffo a keeper.

Connie said...

Oh damn. I so hope your Minnie is home by now. Just when I think green is your color you toss on some berry colors and now I think those are my favorites. I once bought a box of second hand children's books for my kids and scrawled in crayon on the front page of one of the books was "This is the BEST Book" and you know what? It was!!

Val S said...

I'm thinking positive thoughts that Minnie will return in good condition (she's gorgeous) and that I'll find an outfit every bit as cool as the one you're wearing.

Pam in Texas said...

Wondering about Minnie, do you have any news?
Just love your outfits, congrats on the ebay sales, keep going, peak selling time coming up.
Love from Pam in Texas.

Beckerman Girls said...

I hope you find your cat soon! Sending lots of love to find her! Love your velvet blazer! SOOOO COOOL!
xoThe Beckerman Girls


Kelly Jackson said...

Oh no, I hope Minnie is just out having an adventure and returns very very soon. Sometimes cats do that. Keep us posted.

You are a wise woman to keep that dress. It is not only gorgeous, but it's also extremely lovely on you! The bucket bag: email me your ebay handle if you ever list it. :)

It's nice to be unplugged sometimes. I'm taking advantage of a (very rare) moment where my toddler is actually sleeping in to catch up on blog and emails - I may even get part of a blog post in!


Kim said...

Oh I hope Minnie turns up soon - hopefully she's somewhere safe completely oblivious to the anxiety she's caused. Cats are so independent.

Sarah Jane said...

Oh come on am I the only one who did a mini snigger at that book title by Lesley Glaister?! I have read a couple of other Maggie O'Farrell books and theyve been quite good. I took to using my iPhone to read on while the baby was in our room but I prefer the real thing if at all possible.

Really hope Minnie comes home soon/has returned already. Sometimes its the not knowing that's the worst xxx

diaryofapennypincher said...

Any news on Minnie yet? You must be beside yourselves.

I'm so glad you decided to keep that dress, it is beautiful, and goes so well with that absolutely gorgeous jacket!

silvergirl said...

I am a fan of a book-book.
Love our great used book store here in town!! Don't know if I will ever make the complete switch over to a tablet for reading
BTW- love that 1970's dress!
Have a great weekend

Aya in Couturgatory said...

All of my hugs from overseas that Minnie returns safe and sound and gives you a slow blink at all the fuss.

Also an excellent choice, keeping this dress. Its unusual cut really flatters you in different ways; you look fantastic!

Jazzy Jack said...

Whenever I hear of a cat going missing, I am reaffirmed in our decision to keep ours indoors. Easier when you have window screens! (We have a neighbourhood cat poisoner and he nearly died.)
Sending Minnie happy returns! (Sorry pun)
My detail eye was frustrated about finding your brooch...until you put on the jacket...ahh there it is!
Love a floaty dress, and a dark floaty one is seductive.
You are looking all Autumny with your velvet jacket (gorgeous!) and ankle boots. We are up to 27degrees today. Summer here we come!
Love, JJ

Olga Rani said...

Sad to hear about your cat. I hope you will find her. One time my home-loving cat was absent for 11 days. Needless to say I was desperate and lost all the hope to see her again. But she did come.
As to your dress - it is fantastic! I am in love with it: the design, the fabric, the way it looks on you.

Catherine said...

oh gosh i hope she turns up!!

And im an so glad you kept that dress. its looks awesome on you!

The Vintage Knitter said...

I hope Minnie has turned up by now and that you'll have good news to share in your next post.

I reckon that dress is a keeper too; as it looks fantastic on you - and its got pockets: bonus!

Diane said...

I hope she has turned up - There is a lot of cat sadness amongst my blog pals at the mo! LOVE the frock - quiter rightly a keeper!! We buy all our books from Chazza shops now - then return them when we have read them xx (PS The Peddlar Event was fabulous - hope you can make the next one) xx

Melanie said...

Here it is, already Oct 13, and I desperately hope Minnie has wandered back home. Such anxiety.

As for the dress, I'm glad you're keeping her. Letting the heart rule is paramount. The style looks gorgeous on you and the bangles are a perfect complement.

And I also agree about books. I've given away and consigned boxes and boxes and boxes of books with moves and living downtown. Now I just have a very small collection and a Kubo. I looove the paper-turning so I think I'll try the one in/one out policy.

Jean at www.drossintogold.com said...

Oh Curtise!! I hope your kitty returns home soon!!

I'm glad you're keeping that beautiful dress. As soon as I scrolled down to the picture I was instantly in love with it. You're looking fabulous.

Sending love to you and yours. XXOO

Anonymous said...

You're dressed perfectly for your next adventure! How about heading over to my place and join me on an "Around the World in 20 Blogs" flight? You've been included in my list of course!

Jan Graham-McMillen said...

Again, working backwards and writing after the triumphant location and rescue of Minnie! Yeay!!!
Oh, yes ... real books or e-versions, can't live without them. Lovely that it doesn't have to be one or the other only, and it's the writing that counts. There are some advantages that ought to be left to paper books, and the elegance of a signed copy is one of them!
That dress. It's a dream of a dress and you are right to hang on to it, considering it suits you to a T. Pretty styling with your velvet blazer. Day or night with only a change of shoes, yes? Be aware that when you carry the bucket bag, you will be in danger of looking fabulously trendy! Seriously, it's a classic beauty.

Trees said...

I hope your darling Minnie has now returned. I can see why you don't want to say bye bye to that discotastic frock! Who knows, maybe you will feel like you want to part ways with it in the future (and sell it for even more $$$)

Sheila said...

All these good vibes for Minnie must have helped, as I see in the next post you found her! Phew, so relieved!

I am glad you kept that frock - the ones that we really LOVE should always stay.