Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Every picture tells a story

This season's must-have accessory? 

Why, an umbrella, of course.

Oh how it has rained. 

Thank goodness for my lovely 1950s umbrella, bought from Chesterfield flea market. For a slender little thing, it has turned out to be surprisingly sturdy.

There's that waistcoat again, the price-per-wear must be mere pennies by now...

Umbrella and cape - flea market
1970s pencil skirt, blouse, suede waistcoat, beret, tights and bangles - charity shopped
Shoes - jumble sale 
Vinyl/tapestry bag - gift from dearest Vix
Flower brooch - retail (sale) 

Dress, waistcoat, 1950s tweed jacket and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - retail (old)
Bag - jumble sale
Beads - gift from Brodie

I do struggle with them. Mine are so hit and miss, and I have no idea why they sometimes work and sometimes don't. 

I am in awe of bloggers who post amazing photographs, and I do wish mine were a little better, but I am too bone idle to learn to use my camera properly - it's automatic or nothing for me, I'm afraid. And if the light conditions are dodgy, then the photos are too.

An awful lot of my photos look like this.
(Most get deleted immediately.)

Blurry, eyes closed, obscured by foliage, distracted, caught mid-stomp with my neighbour's washing on show...

Britain's Next Crap Model, that's me.

And then there was the small matter of the collapsing tripod...

Professional blogger? Not even close.
  I'm strictly amateur, and that's the way I like it. This isn't a job, it's a hobby; it's like meeting up with my pals and having a chat and a catch-up.

So - there are inexpert photos, pets, kids, mess.

There is swearing and foolishness, and there are some opinions, though these are generally unrelated to this season's trends or how to wear... guidance.  There's the odd rant (like this), occasional seriousness, regular cheap-skatery and acting the fool, and maybe a laugh or two.

There are no ads, no sponsorship, I'm not promoting anything, I don't monetise (whatever the hell that means...)
 I'm not splashing my face all over a million and one link-ups, several pics at a time.
I'm not asking you to vote for me in blogger competitions, there are no reviews which begin When the lovely people at blah blah blah got in touch to give me a freebie, I said gimme gimme gimme.


I'm just singing and dancing in the rain for the sheer fun of it, and it is indeed a glorious feeling.

The relief of it - being highly unprofessional, imperfect, and not caring!

Hope everyone is having a good week so far, see you soon.



Unknown said...

Am I the first?
Well i'm not a professional blogger that's for sure! I struggle too with my pics, the poses are so hard to do!
The light, ma! sometimes it's ok, sometimes not- I use photoshop to fix - I blog when i feel like it, cause time is short these days -

But i admit it's nice to be paid sometimes, easy money, or get something free, but not for just any product - Got an offer for free glasses, that's is good- I could get progressive for less than 100$- That's excellent, will see, waiting for an answer -
But the most important thing, is to have fun -

The real perk is to meet nice Ladies like you -

Ariane x

Unknown said...

I love your Photos! Always so beatiful!
But im the same ... and i dont own a Camera , but i dont care - im not a pro!
Tis raining really hard in Sweden to .. boring!

freckleface said...

Oh now I've got tweed envy. That cape and that jacket. Just gorgeous. You have the perfect autumn look and that red Mary Poppins umbrella adds a lovely blast of colour.

Singing in the rain is most marvellous. So much better than cussing in the drizzle.

I am so pleased to see your photo rejects. I have so many, but always assumed you had got it cracked for some reason. Perception and reality eh? I rather like your outtakes, they sort of show how it all works behind the scenes at CM HQ. I like the one where you are hiding your lips behind a bushel. xxxxxxx

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Each to their own. I don't see any harm in accepting 20% off from a shop I have already raved about (before they even approached me) and if it means the readers get a discount too. Hopefully if people read my blog they like the same things as me.
How is that different to mentioning that you're selling something on eBay or having an online shop linked to your blog?
I always mention the products I use and find that people want to know about which products to use more than any other question on the other site I write on. I recieve no monetary gain in doing so. But I wouldn't mind if I did...
Fabulous cape! xxxx

Connie said...

OK. Every Picture Tells A Story is my favorite album of ALL TIME!!!!! So thank you for that! Mandolin Wind. Isn't that a beautiful song? Now. Why do you think I've done so few posts lately? Because I can't get the self portrait thing down. I was actually thinking, "I wish I could do photos like Curtise." So there you are! I find those "my perfect life" type blogs sooooooo boring. I much prefer the "my real life" type blogs. Love that you're keeping it real. The morning sun when it's in my face really shows my age.

Vix said...

I'm just loving that cape and tweed jacket and how they take those fabulous skirts to another level! The brolly is gorgeous,very ladylike and elegant, just like you.

I can't tell you how many times I have a tantrum and don't blog 'cos me face looks wrong or my outfit looks nothing like it did when I left the house earlier.

Love that stomping shot, that's real-life Curtise, striding with a purpose.

No adverts or "the lovely people" at for me either (although I'd be flogging me arse if Michael Eavis or Emirates offered me freebies!).
I do love you! xxxxxxx

Tami Von Zalez said...

Oh hon, you are not the only one - for every good picture, there are 20 or 30 others.

The last two pics at the end should have been your first two pics at the beginning - they are the best!

I didn't monetize until recently. Now the weird thing is I've doubled my page views. It is as if I've gained some cachet or something ...

Lusting after your red hair ~

Señora Allnut said...

dear lady, there's nothing more appropriate to dance in the rain than a red umbrella and lots of attitude and you've got both!, love your little cape and all that purple color combo, love your green tartan jacket and love that you're just enjoying your blog as a hobby!, that's the best!
Love your attitude. I'm another highly unprofessional photographer, and take some pics putting my camera on any street furniture (I have my favorite bank in a well illuminated corner!), hurrah for crazy hobbies!

Peaches McGinty said...

I have a hoot taking my photo's on my blag tripod (which are wonkyily perched books!)and darting around on a 2 second timer, most photo's are funny bad but I am having the most fun, and I love reading other people's blogs who are having a blast/life too, like yours Missus!
spectacular cape outfit and other wonderful clothes, and cavorting in the rain is always good, you do it well! I would have slipped headfirst on something x x

Sheila said...

Hear, hear! I'm same as you: no money, linking 'cause I love. But I'm lazyass with photos - I only take a few so there are some doozies. And the light - gah, I wish I had more natural lighting.

Love that cape! The belt on it is awesome.

Ivy Black said...

Oooh I love that cape and brolly combo...lush. Mind you, all your outfits are fab rain or not.
I'm with you sista. No adverts from me either though I do keep getting asked to plug very unlikely things. I don't mind bigging up my chums but not for dosh or freebies. I love the stomping shot...made me smile. Imperfect perfection.

Lucys Lounge said...

its great hearing of your escapades with the camera. i thought i was the only one to have those problems. seems i'm in good company.

i love your cape out fit very mary poppins.

and as for the rain. everyday for the last week i have had a flood in my shop!

rain rain go away.

Rosemary the Shopper said...

Whatta laugh! I've got a lot of the photos that you so kindly let us see. You know, the crap ones. We all have those, unless we have a really hot-shot friend or professional to take the pictures.

No further news on the Debenhams front? They're fools I tell you. Fools! I wonder if they spotted that you would be too honest?

Cheers from
Rosemary of

Unknown said...

Oh my God I struggle with my pics too! Ahhhhhh! it drives me batty because the light in my house is crap and there is no where nice around to take shots. I could go on. But, then I am no pro either. I just like to capture my pretty new frocks and my random going ons.
But I do often get pic envy from so many other blogs. Oh well! And the rain here is ticking me off too. C'mon Melbourne, it is Spring! Anyway, I got delightful little shivers looking at your gorgeous belted cape ensemble, rain or not. XXX

Unknown said...

Oh my God I struggle with my pics too! Ahhhhhh! it drives me batty because the light in my house is crap and there is no where nice around to take shots. I could go on. But, then I am no pro either. I just like to capture my pretty new frocks and my random going ons.
But I do often get pic envy from so many other blogs. Oh well! And the rain here is ticking me off too. C'mon Melbourne, it is Spring! Anyway, I got delightful little shivers looking at your gorgeous belted cape ensemble, rain or not. XXX

silvergirl said...

funny how a certain umbrella can be your favorite
we must have at least 8 around here, but i always reach for the same one.
love that plaid tweed blazer!!

Helga said...

O, gawd, tell me about it!!!
I'm pretty lazy with pix,and hate having to do my own! Luckily that isn't very often! I can only stand to pose for about 5 minutes, so use the best of the 10 or so I might get. Patience is not one of my virtues! We've discussed getting a decent camera, but neither of us know what to do with flash cameras, so the snappy it is! Light is a pain in certain seasons-too much in Summer, too little in Winter! Whatever, it is indeed about having FUN and meeting like minded people!
If I was offered something for free, that I was interested in, and all I had to do was mention it, I might. But there's always a stupid arse catch, so I can't be fecked with all that shite. I'd love to make a living out of blogging, as it is so enjoyable, but it ain't gonna happen!
You look splendid in each and every outfit here-sux about the rain!!

Fiona said...

Loved seeing your rejects Curtise especially next door's pants on the line which gave me a smile. I too think you look Mary Poppins-esque with your cape and brolly and I think I've said before that I love the tweed jacket.
Most of the blogs I read are like mine...not flashy, no promotions or monetising, just stuff about normal life, that's what I like to read.
Still no news from Debenhams... what are they playing at ? I wonder if a parcel has arrived yet, such a bugger if it hasn't as I have inadvertently chucked the proof of posting receipt. Silly arse. xxxxxxx

Angels have Red Hair said...

Now that's probably why I rarely do a fashion post ... because I haven't the foggiest how to take photos of myself. The kids can only be roped in to take pictures every so often. And I've never got off my lazy ass long enough to work out if my camera has a timer or how to use it.
Compared to me ... you are fully professional ;0)
By the way ... I adore those dancing shots ... they're the BEST!!!
PS Send some of the rain down our way

Patti said...

hee - I toss so many photos, it's a good thing "film" is free : > I adore your blog for all the reasons you stated: it's like a chat with a good friend, and totally real. Love your brolly and tweed jacket. xoxo

thorne garnet said...

I heard this rumor, something about "cropping" photo. Hmmm........

Who cares, right? I'm pretty happy with my photos if I'm in them and I haven't shot the wall or a chair.

It rained buckets here today and it was fun to watch the students slogging through it wearing flip flops.

Kylie said...

I love your singin in the rain pics
Curtise (you look like you belong on the stage)
The only thing I do to my (crappy) photos is crop them. I don't know how to do anything else (and I'm not interested in learning either)
And begging people for money this month is all the monetising I'll ever be doing.
I much prefer nice, friendly, funny blogs like yours than those fancy-schmancy ones. Don't change. Please x

(but if you can make loads of money from your hobby go for it!)

Fran said...

I do love that last photo where you are dancing with yourself. Lovely outits, espeecially that blue rain cloak.

Trees said...

Your photos are LOVELY and I love your blog - as soon as blogs become "those lovely people at ABC gave me this to try" I generally tune out! Advertising infiltrates every part of my life, I sure as heck don't want it in my blog reading as well.

Ulla-Marie said...

You should have workshops in classical literature in an antique bookstore. How inspiring it would be. You could start with Anton Thechov

Unknown said...

Stunning collection of outfits Curtis, I oh so love the tweedy jacket :) xxx

mondoagogo said...

I like your pics, it's nice to see the seasonal changes in the garden. And these ones have me lusting after a cape more than I already was... I don't even have a decent camera with a timer on it, all I have is my iPhone and it's an old one without the camera where you can flip the screen to face you, so it's very hit & miss.

I don't mind the blogs with the sponsorship/freebie posts too much, as long as they actually *review* the thing and it's not just "lovely company sent me X and here's a photo of me wearing it." That's so boring, and makes me less likely to pay attention to either the blogger *or* the company...!

Anonymous said...

The pictures you post are good I think. I had to smile at the mistakes - mine so often end up that way & I have to put them up because I don't have anything else. I hoping my Berlin pictures are going to look ok in the cool light of day but I'm not holding out any real hope.
Amateurs forever I say...Still, I think there may be ads appearing on my blog. Wordpress have changed their policies. I can't see them but I fear readers might.
I love your tweed jacket & what a great find that umbrella is.xxx

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I am a strictly point and shoot (from the tripod) girl too.
Can't be bothered learning all the camera stuff either.
I do like your green tweed jacket.

joyatri said...

I love the autumnal colors of both outfits and the paisley pattern of the 1970s skirt. I know it's hard work to get decent photos, but you do an admirable job. I wish I had an outdoor space and a photographer, or both.
I feel so much more in common with you and other 'amateur' bloggers that I don't give much time to the professionals. I've ignored every company that's contacted me -- until yesterday. A social enterprise I've admired for decades asked me to wear one of their products in an outfit shot and I agreed.

Krista said...

You will think this is weird but you last sentence reminds me of Ice T:). The sun has been keeping us happy in P town me at least so the rain you can have:). I think you take lovely photos, it's hard shooting yourself and you have done an excellent job! I do like that most of us are blogging to blog and connect with others, and it's nice to not have a motive, it just simply is!

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Absolutely adore that tweed jacket - you suit it! The cape is pretty wonderful too!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

MILEX said...

you're brilliant

Unknown said...

It's always good to have a bright a beautiful umbrella. Not to mention a wonderful tweed jacket, suede vest, skirts, cape, etc., etc.

I think your photos look great! I know what you mean, though, about deleting most of them. Thank god for digital cameras!

Camelia Crinoline said...

I'm crap at taking photos too. I just leave my camera on auto. I haven't quite got the hang of the light thing either. I always think your photos look great. I love the cape. Your singing in the rain photos are fabulous.

Diane said...

I love the "out takes" and that cape, and the red brolly - fantastic xx

mispapelicos said...

Your photos are lovely just like you.

Mrs. D said...

Great post, I like your rants. I agree that there should be room for spontaneity in blogs... I see a lot of blogs written by girls that are really nice and well photographed but portray a too much of a saccharine reality that I don't think exists in real life...
Currently I am exploring the more commercial side of blogging but mostly because it is an area I would like to work in professionally (I'm getting there yay) and frankly, what better way to learn than by doing it? I don't think there is anything wrong with monetizing a blog, it all depends on how you do it. I won't accept just anything as it may not be in the interest of everyone else reading the blog...
If you review products and you are honest, I find it is a good, because it will save us the trouble of making the mistake of buying something that is crap just because in the shop says it's nice...
Anyway, I love the cape, it's great and the next time I stop by Sheffield you better beware or I may well just steal it from you :D

daiseedeb said...

That lovely cape makes me want to dance, too!
You look absolutely fab!


Rachel said...

*LOVED* this post! And I love what you do. I liked seeing the outtakes, but really - the photos you pick are really good, and clear. I am striving to make mine like yours!

Yes, the UK blogger with the 3 x pictures on bi- weekly round ups and no comment thanking the blogger who does this tirelessly? Yes, pisses me off. Thinking of emailing them directly to point this out...

I am not worthy xxXx

bonsaimum said...

Keep doing what you do. I look forward to your blogs and the lovely wardrobe you possess. As for photo's, they always look good and I laughed at the 'outtakes'.

Veshoevius said...

LOVE the cape!!! Yeah I don't get the whole plaster blog with ads thing. I get a lot of requests to promote products which I think would just annoy people. So I don't bother. Glad you came out and said it - I thought I was the only one who finds bloggers who dominate other peoples link ups highly annoying. Some people take their blogs very seriously and that's fine but like you I'm happy to have mine as a hobby.

Unknown said...

All pretty dresses and combos ... you don't have anything boring, ever. GREAT cape ... such a cool article! I always love you in a hat, too, so you can do no wrong there.
Red so often fades quickly ... that's some great fabric in that little umbrella! I love a red one; easy to find in the back seat with the rest of the stuff we leave back there! Good stuff, absolutely.
I'm behind and late getting around ... how's your weather. We hear over here that you have had some bad stuff! Hope you are all well, dry and safe!

Melanie said...

Such a satisfying post. My camera has a cool function that takes 10 pics in a row - problem is, if I look idiotic in the first one, it's prolonged in slo-mo until the last. I've thought of hanging my camera on a fishing rod and dangling it in front of me - big dislike of tripods. I love your outtakes. I love that you don't slog anything. I love your humour, occasional rants... And I DO love your photos. Speaking of which, the last ones of you are worthy of your own movie. Gorgeous. I'm waiting for a sponsor to ask me to write up how much fun I had on my free trip to Rome. PS I already vote for you.

Forest City Fashionista said...

Highly unprofessional, imperfect and not caring - that's just why we love you ;) I think your photos are always quite good - we all shoot lots of photos in order to get good ones to post, that is the beauty of digital cameras! I can't take a good shot of myself with a tripod so you've got me beat there.

Love the last two photos of you doing your best Gene Kelly imitation.