Monday 28 May 2012

Fruits, flowers and frock love

          I probably say this about a lot of my clothes, especially maxis, but I think this one really is my favourite.

I bought it from a little community centre fair last year, which I had seen advertised as having a vintage clothes stall. Now I've been fooled by this before - you rock up to find not a single vintage item, and leave disappointed and empty-handed. This one was different, there were a couple of vintage stalls with some really interesting things, and nothing cost more than £3.

At the time, I was following vintage-loving blogs but not blogging myself, and buying vintage to sell but not wearing much.

                                                This dress changed all that. Thank you, Favourite Dress!

It fitted. Perfectly. It was a maxi. With angel sleeves. And a beautiful print. It was love. Is it wrong to love a frock? Nah, I knew you guys would understand!

                                                                         Look - raspberries!

                                              My favourite strawberry brooch adds to the general fruitiness.

I bought this brooch from a lady at a car boot sale who was selling a lot of her late mother's costume jewellery. She had lots and lots of brooches, her mum had worn one every day, along with earrings and a necklace, even when she got very elderly and ill, the lady told me sadly. I assured her I would keep wearing this lovely piece, along with the other two I bought. I think she felt a little guilty for selling her mother's things, but I hope she realised I would continue to wear and treasure them.

                                                                   Heaven must be missing an angel...

My garden does have other colours in it apart from pink, honest! My yellow rose bush is under attack from greenfly, so the poor buds looked a bit scruffy. (Oh Helga, I can hear you tittering!)

                                            Does anyone know what these priapic little beauties are called?

As I was pottering about taking photos in the garden accompanied by the cats, another little creature came to find me.

       Feel free to add your own caption. Just don't call him a priapic little beauty. Not yet, please not yet!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Light the corners of my mind

I have had this dress for 15 years. I bought it when I visited America in 1997, and have pretty much worn it every summer since then.

              It has navigated a path through weight fluctuations, style changes, pregnancies and wardrobe clear-outs.

                                It's light, bright, and the colours and funky floral print always say summer to me.

So the frock led me back to the photos of my time in the US, which I loved. I stayed with my darling friend Debberoo, who I have known since we were 16. She and her husband had settled in New Jersey at the time, and were kind enough to welcome lovely Patsy and me, let us stay with them, and show us around. We explored the many delights of New York, and have such fond memories of a wonderful trip.


The hair had the remains of a perm in it, I was thinner, and I seem to have had a thing for black and orange, but otherwise, it's recognisably me. I am wearing that brown leather/suede Sweeney jacket, I see, which like the frock, still gets an outing even now.

True story (a la Misfit): we were on the boat going to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands, along with numerous other tourists. One tall, rather handsome man appeared to be looking over at us. A lot. Patsy nudged me, whispering "He's looking at you!"  I protested, of course, but kept taking sneaky peeks, and he did indeed seem to be looking over at me. Then he raised his camera, and I may have preened slightly, and stared moodily across the bay, displaying my best side...

"Go and say something!" Patsy hissed. No! I couldn't possibly. Could I...? Just as I thought, what the hell, maybe I will just saunter over, we finally noticed a woman behind us, waving to him. He smiled, raised his camera, clicking away as his wife/girlfriend posed for photos.

I do hope she didn't hear. If she did, she probably pissed herself laughing. As did we. We still chuckle about it now.

And also about the bar we ambled past in Greenwich Village, where Patsy practically had her nose pressed to the window as she eyed all the hot young men. She was desperate to go in and mingle (flirt) until I suggested that possibly, since there were no women to be seen, we might not be their type... She always loved a gay-looking man.

                                                                          Those were the days....

                                                         Still, plenty to enjoy about the here and now too.

                                                            Blue nails and charity shop tranklements.

                                                              Forget-me-nots a-plenty in the garden.

                                                      Charles Jourdan espadrilles, £2.99 (Oxfam)

And this lot. Taking the kids out for tea used to be an experience to be borne with gritted teeth, but these days it's a pleasure. Especially since they are prepared to go for a curry now!

              Have a wonderful weekend, whatever you're up to. Paddling pool. barbeque and beers for us!

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Fair enough

Oh my dear friends, I have had a trying time of it! Our internet connection has been up and down like a bride's nightie, the kids have been poorly, and then I developed a sore throat and once again lost my voice. Is this the universe's way of telling me to shut my pie hole? Surely not!

So apologies if I've been slow to comment on your blogs, I will get round to everyone as soon as possible.

                      The good news is - here comes the sun! And that means my maxi dresses get an outing.

Given my slackness on the personal summer-ready grooming front, my legs have yet to be sufficiently deforested and fake tanned for public viewing. So maxis are a godsend, and this is one of my favourites.

                I like my frocks to make a contribution to the riot of colour and general floweriness in the garden.

Now, Saturday's Craft and Vintage fair was not that great really. Tracey and I had a pleasant enough day, if a very long one, but it was a very quiet event so we weren't rushed off our feet... I sold some bits, the "£3-an-item or 2 for a fiver" rummage suitcases were popular, but none of the items I showed you last week sold (I decided to put them all on the rail and see what happened).

     We had a narrow space, with my vintage finery on one side and Tracey's cakestands and crockery on the other.

           Lurex, faux fur, silk, lace, prints, short, long, tops, skirts, frocks - who wouldn't want a rummage?

 I thought my stock was varied, good quality, reasonably priced and with a good range of styles and sizes. However, if there aren't many people there, and then you factor out those who just came to browse, those who were interested in the craft side rather than vintage clothing, those who didn't like my stock, those who liked items but they were in the wrong size, or not the right price... The pool of potential buyers just gets smaller and smaller.

Still, I covered my costs and made a bit of money and chatted to some friendly people, the customers and other stall holders were lovely. And a day spent in the company of darling Trace is never wasted!

                                                                      Tracey's precious things!

We were next to lovely Julie and Charlie's stall. I was coveting various of their items, but remained strong, and didn't immediately spend what I'd earned...

                                                             Oh but 1950s glassware is so hard to resist!

                                                           So was the trunk and the teak-effect serving tray.

                    That little rectangular table with the 4 fold-out tables slotted underneath was pretty nifty too.

                                            What do you mean, my selling style may have been off-putting?

So - we were a wee bit downhearted but have resolved to try again, and hopefully a pitch at a future St. Mary's fair, which is well-established and always popular, might prove more successful.

And in the meantime, I can still enjoy wearing my vintage wardrobe, even if no one wants to buy anything from it!

          1960s maxi dress (vintage fair), necklaces and bangles (charity shopped), 1980s sunglasses (vintage shop)

              It's nice to be back blogging, I cannot believe how much I missed everyone during my brief internet hiatus!

Thursday 17 May 2012

A funky and lowdown feeling

                                              Love 'em. But they don't half mess with your schedule.

I had all sorts of things organised this week, but one by one, the kids have succumbed to a 24 hour sickness virus, and had to be off school. Which curtails my activities too, of course. It's a good thing I didn't take that job, I'd be sacked for being so unreliable. Oh well, they are all better and will all back at school tomorrow, hurray!

So when one is confined to quarters, what else is there to do but dress up in homage to Soul Train from the early 1970s. Thank God for Youtube!

I found this C&A Clockhouse suede patchwork/faux fur jacket on Ebay. Judging by the label and condition, it must be a 1990s version of a 1970s style, but no matter, I love it!

                                                        I have a confession. Judge not, Vintage Sisters.

This jumpsuit is from Primark. There, I've said it. Not that I bought it from there, obviously I found it in a charity shop, but given that I moan on about crappy fast fashion being offloaded on charity shops and filling their rails with poorly-made mediocrity, I now feel a little hypocritical.

                       But I feel fabulous in it, so there. It makes me want to wear hats and get my groove on.

                                                Step 'n' move your hips with a feelin' from side to side...                                 

Clockhouse jacket and leopard print hat (Ebay), 1970s green felt hat and pendant (flea market), jumpsuit, belt, bangles, hoop earrings, shoe boots and scarf (charity shops)

    I defy anyone not to move their hips to this. Sing it, Aretha. What it is, what it is.

Monday 14 May 2012

Taking stock

I've been sorting out my vintage stock for Saturday, making labels, and pricing like a woman possessed. It's been fun!

                                           Ironically enough I haven't been wearing anything vintage today.

I don't know what it is with me and Wallis frocks. Wallis isn't a shop I would even look in, never mind buy from (not that I ever shop on the high street these days). But yet again I was drawn to the print, and the fit is flattering. And it was £3.99 in a charity shop. It would have been rude not to buy it.

After my Big Tits Top in my last post, this is the Dress of the Mysteriously Disappearing Boobs. Look - they've vanished! Just shows the power of clothing to alter perception of your shape.

I'm asking you lovelies for help again. I have a few items which I am unsure whether to sell or not. So please join in with a game of "Should it stay or should it go now?" I haven't styled anything up much, I'm just wearing black tights with everything because I'm too lazy to spend all day changing and accessorising.

                                                                                  Here we go...

1) 1970s black and white cape dress. It fits (I thought it would be too small) but I have bra strap trouble with it. It cost 35p at a jumble sale, so the profit margin would be good if I sold it.

                                                                     Cape of Good Hope or Cape Fear?

2) 1970s red disco sequined dress, another jumble sale bargain, slightly small on the boobs (they have reappeared) and still having unwanted bra strap display issues.

                                                          Disco Inferno or I don't feel like dancing?

3) 1960s flower power shift dress, bought from Ebay. It's a bit too big for me but OK with a belt. Love the print but not sure about the shape and fit.

                                                                 Mellow Yellow or Yellow Submarine?

4) 1960s stretch towelling zip-front sports dress, bought from Ebay ages ago and worn, but it's really too short for comfort. Cute though.

                                                                 Anyone for Tennis or a Red Card?

5) 1980-90s pleated colour block skirt, bought from Ebay recently, it's a wee bit too small really. I love the whole pleated/floaty/granny skirt look on other people but I'm just not sure on me, think I've got too much in the hip department. Colours are great though.

                                                               Pleats Please Me or Pleats Release Me?

     6) 1980-90s Windsmoor pleated polka dot skirt, bought cheap from a charity shop, same issues as above.

                                                                    Mr Blue Sky or Singing the Blues?

7) Modern leopard print high-waist pedal pushers. I love the idea of these, but the high waist looks awful on me, and I fear they don't flatter the Thighs of Thunder... I do so want them to work!

                                                                             Miaow or Meh?

                                                                                 And finally....

8) 1960s Norman Young black lace cocktail dress. I do adore this dress, which I found months ago in a charity shop. It's stunning, and in lovely condition. But I have never worn it, apart from on the blog here. So is it time to sell?

                                                                 Belle de Jour or For Whom the Bell Tolls?

                                    Be honest but be gentle, and suggest a price if you think I should sell sell sell!

This sketch is especially for Desiree, Loo and for all of you who are amused by pubes! I'll probably get all manner of undesirables dropping by now I've gone and put that word in a post title, but they won't find what they're after here... Well, they might in this clip!

Friday 11 May 2012

Parcels, prints, prices, pubes

I seem to have been really busy this week without actually achieving very much. Do you ever have weeks like that?

It can't be considered an achievement, I know, but I did receive 2 lovely parcels in the post which made me smile. A lot.

Oh Mrs Coconut, you spoiled me! A gorgeous frock, a fabulous tapestry bag, vintage hair flower, scarf, London tea towel, beads, mirror compact, cute cat book, mini owl vase, AND sweeties for the kids. Now that's what I call a Parcel of Joy! Thank you so much, Melanie.

Littlest has her beady eye on this oh-so-cute vase, she loves owls. We think she may be part human, part owl. Screech, that is.

                                                             And look what Lovely Lucy sent me.

     It's lip balm. It's organic. It's in a shell. With a mirror. And its own drawstring bag. I Love It!
                                                                  Thank you Luce!

The photos of what I wore today are really shit, I do apologise. I meant to take them outside earlier in the day, but forgot, then had stuff to do, and didn't take them till the light had faded and they are all blurry.  Such a professional, that's me.

I love this frock. It's from Wallis, via a charity shop, of course, and it's super-flattering, easy-to-wear, with a great print and doesn't need ironing. My kind of dress.

Dress (£4.50), necklace (50p), bangles (£1 each) - charity shopped; cardigan (Topshop, 14 years ago!); suede ankle boots (£7) - Ebay; tights (retail, ancient).

                                                                 I have had a lovely day today.

After the school drop-off, I pinned some bunting with my 2 delightful buddies Joanne and Trace, accompanied by coffee and much chat.

Then I went into town to meet another friend and her gorgeous baby; it's been a while since I cuddled a 3 month old baby, I had forgotten how delicious a thing that is. C's mum and I put the world to rights, and agreed that if only everyone was like us, life would be great.... We have a highly developed sense of irony.

Then I did some shopping (food and charity), came home, packed up some dresses for Littlest's teacher (I am on commission to find her some nice frocks from charity shops, she hates shopping but likes what I wear, so I said I'd source her some stuff), and headed to school.

The older LBs do basketball after school on Fridays, so after I'd collected them, and dropped off a couple of bags of jumble (local JS tomorrow morning, yay!) I took a birthday present round to my friend Claire who lives 4 doors down. Naturally, I stayed for a cup of tea and a slice of her birthday cake, and a discussion of sex education* (she's a teacher), before heading home to make tortillas for tea. Littlest tried a bit of Jalapeno - that's my girl!

                                                Welcome to my world.... Don't yawn. That's my life.

Now I need some advice from you lovely ladies. I am... Drum roll... sharing a stall at a craft and vintage fair next Saturday! Woo hoo! Trace (she of the cakestands of distinction, seen here) is selling her gorgeous creations, and I am selling vintage clothes and accessories. Hopefully.

I can't help worrying that I might sit there with a fixed grin all day long, then have to cart every single thing back home again, having paid for the privilege. But if you don't try, you'll never know.

I need your help with pricing. I want to be competitive and sell, so there is no point pricing too high. But I need to make some money, obviously. And I need some wiggle room for hagglers. So what do you reckon?  £15-20 for a vintage frock? £5-10 for a blouse or skirt? £3 for a scarf or pair of earrings? Help! All my stock is genuine vintage, not ersatz "retro", and in good condition. Let me know what you think, I'd be grateful.

I'm going to be selling this 1980s St. Michael navy polka dot (but you can't see them) pencil skirt. I like it, but it doesn't make me feel fabulous. Vix's Law says that means it has to go.

                  But look at how big my tits look in that top!

                                                                    (Karen, I think I hear you hooting from here...)

*How extremely depressing it is to hear that a class of 13 year olds couldn't name any other part of female sexual anatomy other than vagina. And when shown a line drawing of a vulva, they said "Ewwww". And they appear to be unaware that having pubic hair is a normal state of affairs.

                                                  On that note - have a most splendid weekend, lovely ladies!