Wednesday 31 October 2012

Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead

I am not one for the imported ritual of trick or treating but the kids wanted to dress up... and you know I'm not averse to a bit of dressing up myself.

So we reached a compromise;

dress up and go out for a Halloween tea, thereby avoiding the hoards of kids coming to our door expecting sweets.

Clever, no?


 I managed to avoid the ubiquitous Slutty Witch/Vampire look this year...

...preferring Steam Punk Governess chic.

Hammy Horrors.

Can't think where they get it from...

Oops, the skirt has swizzled round a bit (it's slightly too big) so the rose is off centre, but you get the idea. Does my bum look suitably stern and scary? I do hope so.

Method acting at its finest.

You know what they say about never working with children or animals?

It's all true.

1980s silk leg o' mutton sleeved blouse - vintage shop
Skirt (don't laugh, it's Per Una), Ann Summers corset and bowler hat - charity shopped
Boots - Ebay

We had a really good laugh getting decked out and taking the photos, we enjoyed our tea out, and I haven't contributed to the future development of diabetes in my children or anyone else's.


Spot the odd one out.

Joining Lakota's Halloween link up today.



Tuesday 30 October 2012

Follow that camel

So you want to know another pet peeve of mine? 
Sure you do!

All those lists of so-called essential items which every woman's wardrobe is apparently supposed to contain.
They are blithely promulgated as A Truth Universally Acknowledged, but I never feel that the choices have anything to do with me or my lifestyle.

Typical items? 
You know.

White shirt
Black smart/dress trousers
Wrap day dress
Little Black Dress
Classic trench or winter coat
Blazer/smart jacket
Ballerina flats
...or similar. 

So here I am, trying to Obey The Rules, for once.

I do actually have a pair of black trousers and a white shirt, retained from my old working wardrobe. They are probably about 15 years old.
I had to add a bit of colour with the shoes. For my sanity, you understand.

I always swore I would never own a Classic Camel Coat. Never. Not ever.

But then I spotted this 1970s Alexon pure wool and faux fur number in St. Luke's charity shop on Saturday, and with Lucy and Ben's encouragement, I bought it, for £12. 

I have to say I do like it. It's a fabulously well-made coat, in brilliant condition, and I reckon the faux furriness lifts it out of the beige zone.

These fabulous ladies have managed to work a bit of beige/camel/tan/ecru/whatever-the-hell-we're-supposed-to-call-it, and look wonderful.

From top left, clockwise - Sarah, Dawn, Vix, Tine, Clare, Melanie and Judith.

Aren't they beautiful?

In Sheffield, we would say mardy arse. Look at the gob on that.

This next photo really made me chuckle. Not because I think I look that bad, just because the look is so un-me!

I felt more uncomfortable and conspicuous dressed like this that I ever do in all my colourful vintage clobber.
 Is that weird?

 1970s Alexon coat and red Mary Jane shoes - charity shopped
Gap white shirt and Kookai black trousers - from a previous existence
Jeans - Jasper Conran at Debenhams, at least 10 years old
Boots - Ebay

I suppose those annoying lists aren't intended for the likes of me. I'm a stay-at-home mum, I don't shop on the high street, and I have a penchant for vintage. 

And anyone who possesses a sense of fun, individuality, and a love of self-expression and colour doesn't need a list.

A top-and-tail-only version of camel was easy.

M&S wool hat, Hennes (pre-H&M rebrand) crochet dress and leopard print bangle - also charity shopped on Saturday with Luce
1970s scarf - jumble sale
Tights - can't remember
Leopard print T-bars - Ebay

Is there something you never thought you would wear but you'll give it a go for the sake of the blogging sisterhood? Can you show us? Go on, consider it a challenge!

And do you have your own list of essentials?

Mine would include maxis, boots, faux fur and colour/print!

Yeah, I'm wearing a camel coat and hat and I am not ashamed!


Sunday 28 October 2012

My palpable, lithe otter of memory

The kids broke up for half term on Thursday, so we were all able to go out and about on Friday when my sister and mum came to visit.

Well, naturally one wears vintage for a trip into rural Derbyshire.

1960s Kenrose dress - £3, Chesterfield flea market
Kenneth Cole New York suede boots - £7.50, Ebay
Faux fur stole - gift from suitcase rummaging Sarah

We headed off to Hathersage for lunch, then on to the Chestnut Centre at Chapel-en-le-frith, an otter haven and owl sanctuary.

In my book of favourite animals, you can't get much better than that. 
Unless there were tigers as well.

The elusive otters made their appearance at feeding time.
Fish supper!

I couldn't get any decent photos of the owls in their enclosures, but there is a fabulous variety at the centre. And pine martins and a Scottish wild cat too.

Here are some other wild and untamed creatures frolicking in the autumn leaves.

The colours were stunning.

I had nothing much planned for Saturday, so imagine my delight when I received a text from my lovely friend Lucy, who happened to be in town.
 Impromptu blogger meet-up, yay!

It is testament to my huge affection for Lucy, and my ability to quash the grumblings of my ego, that I am posting this photo of us. She looks stunning. I look like I have forgotten to brush my hair, put make-up on, or otherwise smarten myself up. 

I blame the charity shopping (there are 7 on Ecclesall Road, as well as a couple of vintage shops in the area) and my hat trying-on activities.
And I may have had a drink or two by this stage...

Lucy and Ben are the most delightful, funny, interesting couple. It was really generous of them to let me gatecrash their time together, and I could happily have stayed in the pub getting steadily more drunk, and talking an increasing amount of bollocks about the Trade Union movement, kids, relationships, blogging, writing, Wales, Sheffield, and following wherever the conversational gods led us.

Till next time, Luce and Ben - cheers!

(I bought a few things too.
They will get their own post later.)
Brooch - another gift from the divine Ms. Misfit
Is it really bad that I bought these Kenneth Cole boots on Ebay at the start of the summer for a bargain price - then completely forgot I had them? 
It is naughty, I know, and a sign I have too many boots...

For the literary-minded among you, the post title comes from this beautiful poem. I love it.

So now I need to catch up with all your blogs, as I am woefully behind, and have no wish to fall foul of my own pet peeve, bloggers who post but don't comment! (I have others, I may confess them at some stage...)

Hope you have had a great weekend in your neck of the woods!


Wednesday 24 October 2012

Metal Guru

I have been inspired by this wonderful 1980s skirt which my awesome friend Sarah gave me, and by gorgeous Joni's post here.

Mix those metals!

Belt - retail (sale)
Charlie (free) and Pillsy (RSPCA)
Brass choker - gift from fabulous Vix
All other necklaces, rings, bracelets, bangles - gifts or charity shopped
Top - charity shop
Boots - Ebay
 Skirt, hair flower and gold tone stone ring - gifts from Aunty Sarah

I used to have A Rule about not wearing silver and gold together, but in the spirit of adventure, I've chucked that one out. 

Yeah, cos I'm crazy like that.

Got a little petticoat action going on!

These sweet little gold buttons caused me some trouble when I wore this top for the first time.
They all came undone.
Cleavage alert!

Thankfully, I was only round at my mate Tracey's for a coffee, so I borrowed a needle and thread, sat in my cardigan, and stitched up the button holes. The top is stretchy enough to get it on without undoing the buttons, and further unscheduled boob display has been averted.

I think this skirt is amazing. I would have twirled if the paving and leaves weren't wet and slippery, and my sense of balance rather limited.

So I swished instead.

Raindrops on cobwebs...

...and whiskers on kittens.

I know, Charlie's already been featured, but look, he's so cute!
(Guinea pigs disagree.)

You might have noticed that I like boots.

There's a line in a Stevie Nicks song that goes cause I wear boots all summer long.

 In this country, that can often be true.

And because I wear them a lot, and because my incipient bunion is hurting and I can't always manage heels, and because other similarly foot-defect-afflicted bloggers have recommended them, and because they were only £18, I bought these from Ebay.

(Btw , I have no idea why Blogger has changed the font on this last section and won't let me do anything about it. Weird.)


Is it really childish of me that the brand name makes me giggle?

And reminds me of this? 

(The clip is a similar vintage to the skirt, I reckon.)


Sunday 21 October 2012

Red, white and blue at a jumble near you

Let's talk about Saturday.

You couldn't resist buying some old tat high quality merchandise from this excessively co-ordinated woman, could you?

Of course you couldn't. 

And that'll be 20p to you, love. 

Because I like you.

We just ooze glamour!

Tracey, Joanne and Karen.
My Jumble Sale Dream Team.

Clothing mountain, books and bric-a-brac.

The cafe detail, Andrea, Diana and Sue.

Vintage tablecloths on my washing line, all loaned to the cafe by moi.

All the scarves and pinnies were mine too.

I should set up a rental service.

Does this skirt look vaguely familiar?

Darling Sarah was given this vintage St Michael skirt by Dee.

Is it stalkerish that I bought the exact same skirt (albeit a slightly shorter version) when I saw it in a charity shop a while back? 

And then nicked her styling of it with a stripey top and red shoes?

I prefer to call it a homage. Don't worry, Sarah, I won't go all Single White Female, promise!

Ballet's loss is the PTA's gain.

The jumble sale went well, it was nowhere near as busy as the last one in February so we didn't make as much money, but £760 for 2 hours' trading isn't too shabby.

Cashmere cardigan - jumble sale
1970s skirt, top, tights, shoes, belt bangles - charity shopped
Blue beads - gift from Liz

I bought various bits and pieces, mostly books and clothes for the kids, and snaffled possibly the only vintage items there...

... 5 Cherry B goblet glasses.

It was a set of 6, but one didn't make it home in one piece... Oops.

So now my back is aching from all the table-shifting and box/bag-carrying, but I am pleased the jumble was successful. I like doing them. No one haggled this time, no fights broke out, and the only irritant were the volunteers who didn't want to do the job they were allocated.

One said she didn't feel comfortable working in the cafe. 
The first "reason" she gave was that she wasn't "dressed up." (I offered her the loan of a scarf and apron, as I had to everyone else who wanted them.) Next she said it tricky for her to make hot drinks for other people when she doesn't take milk in tea or coffee herself...

Customers poured their own milk, but never mind.

I have no problem with people expressing a preference, but 10 minutes before we start? For ridiculous pretend reasons? And leaving me to reshuffle other more amenable volunteers? 
Yeah, thanks for that.

Moany? Me? 

Might be.

It's the pressure of responsibility. And having to deal with idiots. And donations of baggy old men's underpants. It's taken its toll.

How was your weekend?