Thursday, 23 October 2014

She wore a raspberry beret

 ...the kind you find in a secondhand store.

And I did indeed find this slightly knackered old angora beret in a charity shop. 
50p? Oh, go on then.

Don't let the sunshine fool you - these October mornings are chilly.

1960s Arnel dress - Second to None (bought on a bloggers' day out to Walsall in 2013)
Denim jacket, tights, beret, bag, necklace and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - retail

How funny, I always assumed this dress was homemade, but I have just found a label lurking under the armpit. It's one of my favourite long sleeved frocks for cooler weather.

Now; look what lovely Yvonne sent in the post, as part of her All Hallows Read spooky book giveaway.

How kind of you to send a few extra goodies too; thanks, Yvonne!

It's been a bits'n'bobs sort of week. Featuring some jewellery, which is always good.

I'm sticking to my Spend Wisely pledge; during my perusal of the charity shops this week, I spent little, but found two vintage necklaces, a modern-but-cool ring, and a brooch which caught my eye because of the iridescent peacock blue background. Only £1 a piece.

I was curious about the brooch, because the fastening is quite unusual, and I could see there was something stamped on the back; without a magnifying glass, I couldn't make out what it said until I got it home.

Turns out it says Made in England, a patent number, and the setting is sterling silver. A bit of research revealed that this is an Art Deco butterfly wing brooch, made by Shipton and Co of Birmingham, awarded the patent for this kind of design in 1923. (The firm is still in business today.)

The Morpho butterfly wings were imported from South America; brooches, rings, pendants and compacts were produced with the wings providing the distinctive colour for the background, while a reverse painted image on glass was attached to the front. The best examples are set in silver. There are all sorts of designs, often tropical scenes, but also crinoline ladies, birds, flowers and fairies. 

I didn't know any of this until today; I just liked the colour and sheen! But I love learning about design, and I'm happy to have found a little piece of silver Deco jewellery for a quid.

 What else has been happening? 

I did my first full day at St Luke's, which was great. It's curiously satisfying to see items I selected from the stock room to fill the rails being snapped up immediately, and things which have only just been donated selling on the same day.

I managed to ring up a £1 sale on the till as £100, but we'll gloss over that... The manager laughed and said not to worry when I 'fessed up. Oops - Must Do Better, and concentrate.

And I've been to see my lovely hairdresser today, and talked her into a photo;

 Where the chat and the laughs are as good as the cut and colour.

Half term next week, and the kids are off to stay with my sis and her man for a long weekend before I go up to the north east to join them.

And while they're away? Well, the grown-up mice might play!

Have a great weekend, everyone.



Asparagus Pea said...

Yes definitely in through the out door - i got told off for taking my shoes off in an art gallery in Barcelona. Why are people so weird about (clean) bare feet? Mr A-P sloped off while I argued in my best Spanish and asked if they would like me to cover my hands with some gloves too? Cantankerous now I'm 50 see! xxx

Asparagus Pea said...

First - BOOM!!!

Mother of Reinvention said...

Looking fabulous as per usual. You will need the bunnet when you venture up here to the frozen North, it's been Baltic round these parts. I love your brooch, it is completely gorgeous. The colours are superb, what a find. Glad you are getting on at the shop. What a great thing to do. You have such an eye for garments. I bet they are so glad you are there. Xxxx

PinkCheetahVintage said...

Great hair!!! And I love the deco brooch!!

Diane said...

That frock is amazing - it looks so "now"! I love it. My aunty used to go mad for butterfly wing jewellry - I think she had quite a collection. It does have an amazing sheen to it. You got a bargain! Enjoy your freedom xxxx

mondoagogo said...

I've seen those deco butterfly brooches and compacts on Pinterest, so they're not completely new to me, but how lovely to find one. Probably not so lovely for the butterflies, though.

Loving your idea for a bloggers' beachcomb on the foreshore! Let's do it!

Angels have Red Hair said...

Well the brooch was a gem of a find then.
Your dress and blue stockings are a gorgeous combination and hurrah for the return of your brown boots ... they're a personal favourite of mine :0)

Natalia Lialina said...

I got all excited about your raspberry beret title - thinking you're referring to Pushkin! But you're referring to Prince! Funny, I heard that song many times of course, but never have bothered to listen to the words (oh the beauty of being a foreigner - I just don't listen to 88% of what's around me, and quite happy with that!). I wonder if Prince was referring to Pushkin then?! :)

Anyway, I enjoyed the design story, very unique, and you got of course the best deal in town (perhaps in the whole country). You look so wonderful and so happy on that photo with Kirsty! She always does a great job with your hairstyle and your mood, like Erica does with mine too; and she is adorable! Glad you had good time! xxxx

Pennyblossoms said...

That's one bargainous, and very pretty, find!
Love your dress...why wouldn't you look in an armpit for the labelling???

peaches mcginty said...

Hello there!!! good to see you!! shame I couldn't get to see you properly though anyhoo! love your rasberry beret, it's a beauty and 50p! flaming brilliant! your dress is gorgeous, and perfect with the denim, blue tights and brown boots, and hello Kirsty! your charity shop pieces are inspired, silver art deco for a quid though! I salute you! ps what was with the ladybird onslaught? we still have a couple flying around the house teasing the kittens and isn't Yvonne so lovely and generous! x x x

Ripple Dandelion said...

What an eye you have to spot that special brooch! Thanks for passing on the info about the technique; humans are endlessly inventive, that's for sure (especially when it comes to making stuff out of animals, I suppose...).

Great outfit and colors, per usual. Wish I could see your clever hair wizard (my mom cuts my hair, and I do appreciate it, but sometimes I rather long for a bit more dash, if not in the outcome, at least in the process).

Raspberry Beret will now be stuck in my head for at least a day!

Northern mum down South said...

Lovely beret and frock. When you have come in through the out door put your feet up and enjoy the peace and quiet with one of your new books . Enjoy half term xx

Patti said...

Now I've got a song in my head (a good one, to boot). I adore that beach-scene brooch; it looks like it could be Florida, yes? Your dress is fabulous too, and has the most happy print. xox

Laurie Duncan said...

Now we both have a raspberry beret! I actually walked right past Prince, back in the 80s when I went to 1st Avenue, which was my brush with fame! Love that dress, just adore it! :)

Connie said...


Connie said...

That raspberry color looks so beautiful with your hair. Soooo cute. It must be so fun working at St. Luke's. Do you get to sneak the better pieces behind the counter for yourself? Oh I do hope so!

Goody said...

I once lost one of those butterfly pieces (a small pendant) when the chain snapped and it flew into our gigantic, overgrown honeysuckle bush. As it was teeming with bees (summer) I didn't bother crawling in to search for it, figuring I'd find it in winter. I never did-bet it is still there some 40 years later. I do have the one pictured of the palm trees in the oval pendant that I picked up somewhere along the way. Thanks for the info about them-I knew they were butterflies, but beyond that I never thought about it.

Neat dress pattern, and have I mentioned how much I like your boots (cause I do)?

Those registers are possessed! I've had those terrible demons add extra zeroes to my totals as well. At least you didn't keep hitting total until it read 100,000. Did you?

thorne garnet said...

that brooch is a good example of why you should buy what you like, not because it's hot and trendy. It's beautiful.

ArgentGal said...

Gorgeous pin! What a lucky find. I think half the fun of shopping for vintage is doing the research when you get your treasures home. It's a chance to learn so much cool new stuff.

Shawna McComber said...

Love that song and love your outfit! I am convinced that your second hand shops have much lower prices than ours so I will be right over to go shopping with you! My mum has a pin that is butterfly wings like that only if I recall it doesn't have a scene it is just the beautiful blue wings. It was handed down to her from one of her great aunts I think but she never wears it. I'm not sure why, but I suspect the pin is prone to coming undone.

Are we going to get a book review when you have finished reading? I do hope so because I really need to buy more books. Okay, I don't but when has not needing more ever stopped me? Have fun going in the out door! Or was that out the in door? Try both and let us know which is best.

Fiona said...

You know I love a beret and this one's a beauty...and for just 50p!
It's perfect with last year's groovy StN frock. What a sweet little brooch and how lovely to have some provenance thanks to your research, I had no idea about butterfly wing jewellery. Love the shot of you and your hairdresser, she did a great job. Enjoy your week sans kids. xxx

Winter Moon said...

I had Prince's 'Raspberry Beret' running through my head, as I read this, now that's multi-tasking for you!

The beret looks great on you.

So many wonderful finds, I'm a sucker for brooches, and am hoping to come across one or two at tomorrow's car boot.

So glad the book arrived, happy All Hallows Reading! ♥ xx

Vix said...

That beret is a beaut! Love the colour and how cool you look in it. I adore that Second To None frock. Its a bit like that weirdly shaped one we both tried on last week.
If we were those navel gazing fashion types we'd call it a transitional piece!
The Brummie brooch was a great find. I've a few butterfly pieces in my jewellery box which I tend to forget about, stupid as that blue colour is sublime.
Sounds like you're a natural at the chazzing, selecting stuff that sells. A lot of vintage sellers can't even manage that!
Love the selfie in the hairdressers.
Have a bostin' adults only weekend. Love you! xxxxxxx

Beth Waltz said...

The beret is gorgeous with your new cut and color, Curtise. How kind of you to share a bow with your hairdresser!

And thanks for researching the Morpho art jewelry for us. I've a wall plate that has long mystified me: good grief, those ARE butterfly wings!

Sue said...

You always look fabulous in a beret and that colour is so nice on you. My fuchsia is flowering now too, same colours and all.

Olga Rani said...

What a lovely new dress and what a great find that brooch is! I've seen you in different berets and whatever the colour you always look great in them.

Miss Magpie said...

Oh my goodness that brooch is so pretty, who'd have thought. I can decide if I'm sad/slightly creeped by it being butterfly wings (that's just me being strange.

It is clearly the time to find amazing woolen hats!

Suzanne Carillo Style Files said...

I've always wanted to live that Prince dream and find a raspberry beret in a secondhand you complete the song and get on a motorbike wearing little else? We all already know you're the type that, "Knows how to get her kicks!" LOL

The brooch is lovely but butterfly wings? Eeek. Freaks me out a bit to be honest.


Krista Gassib said...

I love me some angora and a beret, this hats a winner! How nice to hear about the score you made of that brooch and all because you loved the blue, their work is stunning! I want that fairy one! I think the pattern on this second to none dress is crazy good, I can see why you had to have it!
Your haircut and color always look so rich it's cool to see you with your stylist, all smiles. Well I do hope what ever you and the Mr get up too it's whatever the heck you want!
Life's good at the moment ain't it!
Love youxxxxxxxxxxx

Lesley Extance said...

I love your hat the colour is fabulous and goes with your outfit so well !!!I love your outfit and the jewellery is divine, have a good half term hols Curtise xxx

beate grigutsch said...

love a pretty angora beret! especially in such great color! it looks very stylish with your hair!
wonderful pic of you and kirsty at the salon!!!
the butterfly brooch is stunning - and a bit creepy. killing butterflies for jewelry..... but then - i wear fur and such. and the poor beast did not die for nothing - it is now the cherry on the top of your outfits :-)
have fun up north with your family!

Porcelina said...

I loved learning about the jewellery, I didn't know anything about the company or even that they used butterfly wings in jewellery before! I love learning. Especially about anything vintage. Fab little beret on you, keep you cosy x

Mrs. D said...

Oh man! such a great find that butterfly brooch! The latest find I did at a charity shop was a Topshop scuba dress with the tag still on from Oxfam around Regent's Park for 20 quid. That's London prices for you. meh.
I did find some interesting stuff in Stamford a few weeks ago but I haven't been able to blog about it properly so now the momentum is kind lost...
I see you are still looking as good as always! Huggles xx

Kelly Jackson said...

Great find on the Deco brooch! You look fab and love the do and the sassy beret. Have a great week! Xo

Isabella M. said...

very interesting blog and I will look you :) :) :)

Melanie said...

What a delicious colour that beret is! I have a love of berets but I can't wear any of those natural fibre ones as they itch like the devil!
The blue of the brooch is very beautiful and I'm with Gisela, I can't get past the fact it's a butterfly wing :/

Elizabeth Rebecca said...

I love the bright pink of that beanie - a perfect colour for you.

Lizzie's Daily Blog

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Cute hat, perfect match for your lippy. That dress is gorgeous too. I've made that mistake with thinking things are homemade when they're not. I guess they just weren't mass produced so have the personal touch to their stitching.
Glad the chazzer is going so well. You're braver than me, I steer clear of the till. xxxx

Jazzy Jack said...

All the elements of this outfit work so well together.
I love your butterfly brooch, so shiny!
You will iridess as you walk along :-) xo JJ

Kelly Roy said...

Iwould wear this combo any day in winter.You surely enjoyed your brooch with the interesting story.I also think you found your profession. sell second hand clothes in those second hand years!!!

Veshoevius said...

Nice to see you fending off the October chill with some bright colourful prints and beret. Love your little jewellery find too. Definitely money wisely spent!

Mrs Bertimus said...

How spooky! I picked up a brooch this week and it turned out to be silver too! Must be our lucky week! X

diaryofapennypincher said...

Oh, you just reminded me, I also have a second hand raspberry beret! Think mine was a pound though. Love the dress, what a great pattern. What a find that brooch was, makes your heart leap when you find treasures like that. Have a great time further up north!

Kasia Poni said...

great look)kiss

The Style Crone said...

I adore your raspberry beret! It tops off your outfit with perfection, as headwear tends to do.

The brooch is quite the find and I enjoyed reading about its origin. How wonderful to find a piece of history and give it new life.

The Vintage Knitter said...

That brooch was an amazing buy for a quid; the bargains are still out there and I'm always glad to see a fellow blogger snaffle them up :-) Keep up with the good work!
P.S. Love the way your beret colour matches the lippie!

freckleface said...

Your 50p beret looks good enough to eat, so soft too. I love angora. Cor, you've been a right Miss Marple this week haven't you? Sniffing out labels in armpits (sounds rather unsavoury, but it's not) and discovering the provenance of that beautiful jewellery. But not satisfied with that, you've rediscovered your talent for rooting out the best stock to sell and charming the customers? I wonder if this may serve as an apprenticeship?! Your hairdresser looks lovely, no wonder you enjoy going so much. Xxxxx

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Helga said...

Well, I managed to miss this post....gah....loving the raspberry beret, and it's also a favourite song! I have a paler version with little toggles on the side! Raspberry is such a splendid word, I love to say it as it is spelt. Just to be annoying, usually.
The brooch is a winner! I would never have guessed that this type of jewellery had butterfly wings in them! OMG! So terribly pretty. What a score!

Trees said...

Now singing Raspberry Beret to myself! I love that wee cooler weather frock. You hair dresser sounds lovely, if the chats and laughs aren't as good as the hair cut then its time for a new hair dresser I say :)