Thursday 28 November 2013

The sun shines brighter on the other side

Given that I am someone who rather enjoys inactivity and sometimes struggles to walk and chew gum at the same time, the increased demands on my time and energy are proving a challenge.

What did I say? It's only moss? Who knew moss could be so tricky to manage?


I seem to be in a green mood this week - in keeping with that armful of moss, I guess.

Work is fine really, it's only a handful of hours, but I've found it tiring.

And this week is especially busy because of all the school Christmas fair prep too.

This 1970s dress is one of my Baklash purchases from Nottingham. To think I nearly left it behind! The girls encouraged me to include it in my fill-a-bag-for-a-tenner deal, and I'm so glad I did.

It's a perfect fit, it sparkles with lurex-y goodness, and has a mysterious painterly landscape print. And it cost £2.50.

1970s Mackerness dress - Baklash
1960s faux fur jacket and boots - Ebay
Hat, scarf, most of the bangles - charity shopped
1970s apple necklace - vintage flea market

I'm at one with my garden - russet and green.

And look, fluttery angel sleeves, lovely!

Angels are on my mind;
I found myself offering to make 10 angel costumes for the Year 1/2 Christmas concert at school (they had some, but can't find them.) The teacher I am working with this year has a big old armful of moss of her own to deal with at the moment, and I wanted to reduce the load for her a little. 
So despite not being the best seamstress in the world, I will be attempting to create a heavenly host of white angel-sleeved tunics. By Monday. And I'm working tomorrow and Saturday. Hmmmm....
Venus in furs. 
This Venus needs a damn good haircut, and soon.

1970s maxi skirt - flea market
Top, suede waistcoat and bangles -  charity shopped
Boots - Ebay
Windsmoor faux fur coat  - vintage fair (told you I couldn't wait till Christmas...)
Green leather gloves - gift

Another Venus in fur.
Rainwater flavoured with leaves, mmmm.

I've been guilty of moaning a little this week.

I'm tired. Work is hard. I've got loads to do. I'm studiously ignoring the fact I've got a cold. My back aches. I'm missing a much-anticipated blogger meet-up tomorrow.

Poor poor me, blah blah blah.

I heard this song by Petula Clarke on the radio this evening; it's perfect for celebrating Thanksgiving with all my friends in the US.

And I really have nothing at all to complain about, and plenty for which to be grateful.



Sunday 24 November 2013

Vintage shopping at Cutlers' Hall

Making the most of what might be my last free Saturday until the new year, I went to a vintage fair yesterday.

Not with any intentions of buying really, but mainly because it was in Cutlers' Hall, a building I have never been in before, despite living in Sheffield for over 30 years.

But wouldn't you know it, even though I had my I'm only browsing head on, I stumbled across this mid-1960s mod style two piece suit, and couldn't resist.

The coat with its detachable hood looks remarkably contemporary, I think.

Wearing the pieces together is a little too much, but if I separate them...

...I think they're groovy!

Gorgeous mid-60s chicks.

1960s Tricoville knit dress suit - vintage fair
1980s boots - Second to None, Walsall
Pendant - gift from bostin bird Vix
Bangles and tights - charity shopped
1950s tapestry bag - vintage shop, Birmingham 

This is my kind of shopping centre;

  an historic building (built 1832) of great significance in this city...

...with Master Cutlers of the past gazing down from the walls...

...a fine staircase, beautiful examples of Sheffield's industrial heritage, and a stunning Victorian tiled floor.

The vintage stalls contained the usual eclectic mix of eras, styles and prices on their tables and rails.

I adored this lurex maxi dress, and the Victorian style blouse was bought from Biba by the stall holder's mother in 1973.

(The photo of the label is just for you, Melanie, for future reference!)

And I also found my Christmas present from Simon, a beautiful vintage Windsmoor faux fur coat.
It came in under our allocated budget for gifts, so I pounced.
But I can't wait till Christmas to wear it!

Hope your weekend has been full of the things you love.


Friday 22 November 2013

Dolly Day Dreaming

Busy busy busy this morning; shopping for the food for the school Christmas fair next week, and finalising volunteer lists.

Now, I must confess I didn't wear this to Lidl and B&M Bargains (affectionately known round these parts as Bum Bargains). 

I spotted this fabulous 1970s dress in a charity shop on Monday for a mere fiver, and a quick underarm to underarm measurement with Mrs M McCalman's tape measure indicated that despite being labelled a size 14 (that's about a 10 in today's money), it might be OK.


It's more than OK, it's discotastic!

I am pleased as punch that it fits, it's going to be my Christmas party frock.

I just need to be invited to some parties now.

And be able to attend (work is already interfering with my social life; that's no good, is it?)

But for the purposes of trying on and showing off, I swanned about in the garden in a disco Dolly Day dream, with added feathers and sequins.
1970s Dolly Day maxi dress, most of the bangles, hairband, shoe boots and feather boa - charity shopped
Rings - had them years
Sequin clutch bag - gift from the divinely inappropriate Helga 

I know, I know - I was all grumpy about wearing black for work.

But it's amazing the difference a chiffon frill and some diamante can make. I feel love!

Flower? Starburst? Dandelion clock?

Thank you for being so supportive and encouraging while I moaned on about about my new girl angst. I know I'll get the hang of it and feel more competent at work soon. I'll stop whining now and just get on with it!

So what disco classic might be the soundtrack to your weekend?

Staying Alive?
Boogie Nights?
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now?
More More More?
Car Wash? 

Whatever you're dancing to, I hope you have Good Times!


Tuesday 19 November 2013


Man, I'm tired!

I've just got home from a five hour induction session, following on from yesterday's first shift at work.
It's late, I need to go to bed, but my head's buzzing so I'm having a cup of tea and doing a blog post, in the hope that I will unwind!

Thanks so much to all of you who have asked how it went; it's fine really, if you don't mind not having much of a clue what you're doing...

But I find that I do mind.

I have been thinking about the discomfort I am experiencing, and I have come to the conclusion that I am just not used to feeling so incompetent.

I know how to perform my usual roles; I can run the house, shop and cook, I can parent (to a variable standard, admittedly), I know how to source and date vintage clothes, edit photos and list items on Ebay. I have been writing this blog for over two years, and been a volunteer in school for four. I can organise a jumble sale, and turn my hand to any of the fundraising tasks required in the PTA.

My previous work role was one I had had for many years, and I was a senior team member. I knew what I was doing.

And everything I currently do is well within my capabiltity and experience.

But not so working in a shop, especially one as big and as busy as Debenhams. There is so much I need to learn, and I am slightly worried that I will just be getting to grips with it before I have to leave. Just finding my way round the warren of staff offices and store rooms, never mind remembering the shop layout and the stock, will be a challenge.

But I am telling myself repeatedly that if all the other staff who work there can do it, then so can I.

And I can fold jumpers, many many jumpers (I did it for an hour and a half yesterday!)

In honour of my new employer, I am wearing my Debroyal dress.

I have a maxi skirt from the 1960-70s with a Debroyal label, but didn't make the connection with Debenhams until I found this dress, of a similar vintage.

I had no idea it was their brand.

Needless to say, I couldn't wear this to work.  We are not required to wear a uniform, but there seems to be an unwritten rule that sales assistants wear black, black and more black. This, of course, is a problem for me.

I wore my interview dress...

...but needed a cardigan for warmth and flat shoes for comfort. I really don't want to buy anything just for work, so I might try and sneak in some pattern and/or vintage once I'm sure I won't get in trouble for doing so...

Remove the brightly coloured accessories and these might be OK.

(These pics also demonstrate how badly I need a haircut!)

1960-70s Debroyal maxi dress (sadly shortened a little too much for me) - charity vintage sale
Tie-front cardigan - charity shopped
1980s boots - Second to None
1970s apple pendant - flea market

I read a blog post last week in which the writer said she had worn fuchsia in the past, but concluded that she felt happier toning down the bright colours, as she was worried about looking a bit menopausal.

I don't seem to have received that memo. I am indeed increasingly (peri) menopausal, but while I may have to tone down for work, I reserve the right to let loose with bright shades and beautiful bold prints on my own time.

So there's something else I can add to my list of competencies - the unashamed and contented wearing of strong colours and pattern.
That much, I can manage very well! 



Sunday 17 November 2013

Playing with prints

Another busy week has flown by, with plenty of random things in it to enjoy.
Always a joy to wear this favourite dress again...
...and my favourite sparkly beret too!

I know, I know - I've worn the dress and cardigan together before.
Who cares? I like the combination!
Chesterfield flea market came up trumps with a large Gresley mixing bowl; I've been after one for ages but they are always so expensive, so I was pleased to find this one for a fiver.  Didn't everyone's gran and mum have one of these? Mine did.
And I can't resist funky 1960s ceramics, especially when a big serving plate like this one was only a quid on Joe's stall!
I always carry a tape measure in my bag. I can usually tell by measuring if something will fit me so I don't have to worry about trying on.
 I managed to drop my little measure the other week, and the metal tape sprung out of the casing like a Jack in the box, so I was pleased to find this rather elegant engine-turned replacement, complete with inscription.

I wonder what Mrs M McCalman thought about being presented with a tape measure to mark her membership of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in 1973?
I hope it wasn't a sexist gesture, intended to remind a professional woman of her housewifely duties...
What else has been happening?
Littlest and I met up with my friend Sue and her delightful kids yesterday.
After some playground fun...
...we all headed to a Print Fair at St. Mary's church, organised by a local artist, James Green
There was beautiful work on display, most of which I would happily have taken home with me, but I just bought some cards.

James is one of our school parents who sells his brilliant work here , if you fancy a peek.

I hope he won't mind me showing you the lino cut he has done of our school; it's lovely.
Town was busy, lots of Christmas shoppers. 
We have been debating how to do Christmas this year, and talked to the kids about trying to cut down on the commercialism and consumption. Much to my surprise (and pride), they agreed! When asked what they liked best about Christmas, they said spending time together as a family and having a traditional Christmas dinner, and they thought that putting a limit on the cost of presents was OK. 

So that's all good.

1960s Davisella maxi dress, boots, and 1970s beaded bag - Ebay
Denim jacket, tie cardigan, beret, pendant and bangles - charity shopped
Hair flower - gift from Sarah
I am always highly visible when I wear this dress, so it seems perfectly suited to Patti's fortnightly gathering.

See you soon!