Thursday 28 June 2012

Weird weather, Mary Poppins, and the Perfect Man

Hot and sunny yesterday; humid, thundery and wet today.

The British summer continues on its unpredictable course, making the decision of what to wear each day just a little more challenging.

There's a short sleeve maxi dress under there, and I started out with my trusty denim jacket on top, but I found this little Gap jacket on a stall at Chesterfield flea market this morning, and rather liked the Victorian riding outfit vibe.

I have been on the lookout for ever for a vintage carpet bag I could afford. Today was the day!

Love! Handmade carpet deliciousness with a gold frame, cute clasp, and bamboo handle. 
At £15, it was more than I usually pay for anything, but the stall holder reduced it from £20, and it's less than I have seen them for elsewhere. 

These photos were taken at around 11.30am. You'd never know it, it looks so dark and dingy.

I feel a bit like Mary Poppins today, with my umbrella and carpet bag.

I love the original Mary Shepard illustations. And the books are so much better than the Disney film.

I was out last night at our local pub quiz, doing badly as usual.
I've mentioned before that we bring our own prizes to share among our team, since we are clearly never going to win the jackpot...

I won...

... this fabulous 1970s cocktails book, just the thing to inspire me to fill my 1970s glasses.

I donated, but managed to win back (the rules are complex, I won't bore you)... 

If any of you single gals out there would like an Instant Inflatable Perfect Man, just let me know! I've got to warn you though, he's a little on the short side...

I love the Please keep packaging for future reference instruction. 

So if it turns out he does go to the pub and plans stuff without you, and gets drunk, and he stops cuddling and understanding you, you can presumably get a divorce refund.

Other scores of the week (to add further credence to Vix's assertion in her recent post that there are still bargains and vintage goodies to be found in British charity shops;

1950s Peggy Page polka dot dress (£5) and Liberty print cotton tiered gypsy skirt (£3.25)

And one other find...

The lovely Vintage Bird Girl featured her collection of these plastic-covered card sewn boxes (what a thoroughly inelegant description, she calls them hanky boxes) in this post, and I commented at the time that I had never seen one before. Then what do you know, I stumbled across this in a charity shop. 

It's so true, you never know what you're going to find next, just keep looking and prepare to be surprised. 

A motto for life perhaps!

Now the sun is shining again, the hem of my dress is drying, and Four Seasons in One Day is playing on my internal jukebox.


Tuesday 26 June 2012

Call me Contessa

Birthdays are good. Another year older? Yeah, so?

(48, if you're asking.)

Another year ahead to make more friends, laugh loads, and play dress up. Nothing wrong with that!

I gave you a sneak preview of my gift from my buddy Sue, but I thought you might appreciate seeing it in all its glory.

It's a 1960s Contesa nightie and peignoir set. It's gorgeous!

It was crying out to be worn with my Sassy Vamps headress. 

I usually feel a bit washed out in soft pastel shades, but for some reason this lovely lilac is fine. Desiree, clever woman that she is, said she made chose the headband because she thought the colour would work with my hair. And I think she may be spot on!

Now I've been calling this set Contessa (as in Italian Countess). But when I thought about it, the spelling is different. So being nerdy (but not having any Italian) I looked up contesa, and found that it means a quarrel, argument or dispute.

Did the lingerie/nightwear brand anticipate bedroom dramas in their frothy bri-nylon creations?

Surely not! It was probably just a 1960s spelling mistake...

According to the Urban Dictionary, a contessa is a supreme goddess, and wonderful woman. I'll take that.

I mean you wouldn't argue with anyone wearing this, would you?

Especially if she's offering you a drink!

I'm not sure what it says about me that I was given 4 bottles of Champagne/Cava/Prosecco by various friends. Actually, it's perfectly clear what it says...

And though I wasn't going to do a look what I got for my birthday kind of post, I had to show you these. Top Honey Joanne gave me a mint still-got-the-stickers-on set of groovy 1970s German glasses, still in their original box . Well, I'm assuming they are German by the text on the box, but I guess they could be Swiss or Austrian. Anyone know?

Wherever they originated, I love them muchly.

So come on over for an contesa with the Barefoot Contessa. As long as we only argue over whose drinking out of which glass, it'll be fine.

(The Urban Dictionary again - there are alternative meanings for Barefoot Contessa here. 

There was me, merely thinking of the Ava Gardner film, and now I realise there is so much I don't know, and only the next 48 years to fill in the gaps!

Now that's what I call good wrapping!


Sunday 24 June 2012

A festival and a girls' night out

I have had a lovely weekend, hope you did too.

Heeley Festival was fun, we always see lots of people we know, and the rain didn't dampen our enthusiam too much.

A cream tea requires deep concentration, whether spreading...

... or eating.

I bought these sweet little 1950s glasses from the mini car boot sale, 10p each.

OH likes his chutney.

Toffees, fudge and caramels made by our ex-next door neighbour Zander. That's him, looking like Gene Vincent in the top photo. He has just started his own sweet-making business called Sweet Delights. The apple and cinnamon caramels are my favourite. 

So that was the daytime entertainment, which was followed by Barbara arriving to have a rifle through my vintage collection. Sadly, although she did try on my blue frilly bloomers, and all my wigs, I was too hopeless to take photos. So I will show you how beautiful my dear friend is in a Goth-inspired photo from a while back!

She chose a lovely 1960s psychedelic shirt dress and some rose print leggings for our night out, looked amazing, and has packed them in her rucksack to take back to NZ with her.

Barbara, Claire, Karen, me, the Blog Hog twins, and Joanne, having a swift Pimms before hitting the pub. (The kids made do with squash, just in case you were thinking of ringing Social Services.)

I decided the jumpsuit needed an outing. The Sheaf View isn't quite Studio 54, but never mind.

Our night in the pub was great, I had such a good laugh with my lovely friends, and received some fabulous gifts.

Claire and Sally.

Diana and Sue.

Trace, looking a tad unhinged.

Joanne and me.

Unfortunately, I failed to get a photo of my other friend Sue, who gave me the most wonderful present. Have a sneaky peek - ooh la la!

Nights out with friends when you never stop chatting and laughing are just the best!

So I'm feeling a little flat today, Barbara left Sheffield this afternoon and after waving her off, I was a wee bit teary, and then couldn't really be arsed doing very much. Saving the air fares to New Zealand is going to be a long job!

 But Littlest is determined that we should go, since she is besotted with Barbara and is most concerned to renew her acquaintance with Barbara's youngest daughter. This photo of our girls was taken 4 years ago, the last time they were together.

We're going to get these girls Skyping soon! 

Friday 22 June 2012

Purple Phase

So I seem to be having a bit of a thing for purple and florals at the moment.

Here's that old purple cardigan again, this time worn with the fabulous 1980s skirt which the lovely Sacramento sent me in her Jubilee swap parcel.

And purple sparkly tights to brighten up a very dull wet day. 

The joys of British summertime...

1980s skirt (swap treasure), vest, cardigan, tights and necklace (charity shopped), boots (Ebay)

This was yesterday's outfit, in which I trolled off to Chesterfield flea market with a car load of lovely women, and where the unheard-of happened. I didn't buy anything. I know. How unlike me.

And this was today's ensemble. It had just started raining again.

I bought this Pied a Terre frock for £3.99 in a charity shop recently, intending to put it on Ebay. But as so often happens, I tried it on and changed my mind! It's got that 80s slouchy batwing thing going on, which I rather like, as long as I add some shape with a belt to guard against the sack-of-spuds look. 

I do actually have a pair of Pied a Terre shoes (bought way back when I was working full time, had no kids, lived on my own and my money was mine to do with as I wanted!) I didn't realise they also do a clothing range now, and on checking it out, they have some delightful dresses (take a look) but the cheapest are around the £90 mark, going up to £190. Obviously way out of my league, so I'm pleased with my bargain charity shop buy!

Pied a Terre dress, vintage beads, bangle (charity shopped), floral leggings and boots (Ebay), bead bracelet (dearest Sacramento), belt (retail, sale), huge foxgloves (Nature's bounty)

It's been a quiet night in tonight before tomorrow's shenanigans. Our local Heeley Festival is on in the afternoon, and unless the rain is absolutely torrential, we will go. It's an annual community event and we always support it.

Then Barbara is coming round for a rummage through my vintage rail, she's showing an unhealthy interest in my wig collection and my frilly bloomers, and has demanded to appear on the blog, so who am I to refuse?

After playing dress-up and having some tea, we are off to the pub with a load of raucous women to celebrate my birthday in style (it's actually on Monday.)

I hope I don't end up pulling this face on Sunday, as I recall the previous night's ridiculous drunken behaviour... It has been known. My bet is that I'll just get sloppy-drunk and tell everyone I love them!

Now - whatever shall I wear?

Have a great weekend, my dears!

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Old friends, new friends, fairs and swaps

I am terribly, horribly, despicably behind with blogging!

I feel like there's a party going on without me, so I will try my hardest to catch up with all your posts which I have missed as soon as I can.

Last week was taken up with preparations for the school summer fair and then the event itself. It went well, I think, despite the rain.

Then my dear friend Barbara arrived back in Sheffield, which she and her delightful family left 4 years ago for a new life in New Zealand.  We have been catching up, including a whole day of charity shopping and much chat today.

So absorbed was I in having a lovely time, I was never going to make it to school on time to fetch the kids, and had to ring a friend to get them for me... Priorities, huh!

These pictures are a bit of a cheat, they are from a week or so ago.

I really like this Warehouse maxi but it is so low cut, I have to put a vest underneath or I'll have someone's eye out with my frontage.

Twirly whirly girlies.

Eldest has had a much needed hair cut since these pics were taken, she looks great with her sharp new bob. Pics will follow...

So, I love them and everything, but they don't half hog the camera.

Another delicious event has been receiving my Jubilee swap parcel from Style Queen Sacramento.

Ooh, looks good, doesn't it? 

I'll show you properly when I have more time.

Thank you so much, darling Sacramento, you have been so generous and thoughtful. 

And thanks to lovely Lakota for organising the swap again, it's such a great idea.

Warehouse maxi dress, cardigan, bangles (charity shopped), vest (flea market), turquoise pendant (gift), hair flower (Boots sale), blog-hogging girls (home made)

I haven't forgotten you all, I've missed you, and I'll be dropping by to add my two penn'orth to your blogs soon, I promise!