Wednesday 31 December 2014

Best foot forward

So here we go then, heading into 2015.

I like the symbolism of a new year stretching ahead of us like freshly fallen snow waiting for our footprints.

I will try to stride out purposefully. 
But of course I know there will be detours, obstacles and distractions along the way.

'Twas ever thus.

Now where's that lovely big present from my old friend Sal?
 Oh.... I'll open that later then.

Table all set for Christmas dinner. 
 Plus impromptu cat decorations. 
I wonder if I should try harder with hygiene in 2015?
A festive game of Creationary.
Willow only wanted to help...
Let's have some nice Christmas photos then, kids.
Alternatively, practice your Deranged Faces. 
But that's life, isn't it? You can plan and organise and have all the goals and resolutions you like, but sometimes you have to give in to the random flow of existence, and just see what happens.

And if you can laugh and enjoy it, so much the better. 

The big snowfall we had on Boxing Day was unexpected and disruptive for many, but it certainly provided a beautiful backdrop for my beloved Queen Jessamine.
And the kids enjoyed it.

Ahem, that's my posing spot, Nina!

1970s Co-op maxi skirt and top - charity shopped
Boots and C&A Clockhouse suede jacket - Ebay
Pendant - gift
Belt - retail
(I'll pop over to Patti's to say hi to everyone at Visible Monday. Better horribly late than never.)
So whether you are a Jess, embracing challenges and opportunities with an adventurous spirit...

or like Charlie and Minnie, seeking out a safe spot from which to sniff the air and consider the future...
or a Wills, gingerly and somewhat reluctantly facing new conditions... 
we all make our way through life's vagaries in our own unique way, don't we?

Most things can be tackled with plenty of good will, a sprinkle of grit, and a shovel.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year!


Tuesday 23 December 2014

It's coming on Christmas

Work is finished for the year, the cupboards are full, and I believe I am ready to party!

How to style a pair of your daughter's leopard ears. 
Pinch them; then put 'em on. Simple.

Our friends Diana and Jim always throw a winter party featuring a brazier and outdoor seating. I thought a sleeveless frock was fine for the indoor parts of the do, then I can throw the leopard fur back on for the outdoorsy bits. 
We're off round to theirs a bit later on today, and look, I'm ready to go!
1970s C&A maxi dress and ankle boots - Ebay
1970s Wallis faux fur jacket - Kinky Melon's Retro Boutique
Bangles - charity shopped
Ears - nicked off Claudia
There are more festivities tomorrow, at Sal and Terry's annual Christmas Eve gathering. 

Hmm, what shall I wear?

This was yesterday's final supermarket shop outfit.

Actually, it was all quite civilised at Morrisons, busy but good-natured, and I managed to talk Simon out of buying the entire cheese counter this year... Believe me, that's quite a feat of negotiation.

1970s Decosse Scottish tweed coat - flea market
Flares - made by me from 1970s fabric and pattern
Top, ankle boots, necklace and bangles - charity shopped
Belt - retail (sale) 
And that's me ready for the festive season. I hope you are doing (or not doing) Christmas in whatever way suits you best, with a minimum of stress and maximum enjoyment. 

Wishing you happy times, my friends!

Friday 19 December 2014

Busy being fabulous

Busy week.
That old chestnut.

I've been...

getting dressed. Obviously.

1950-60s Kashmoor wool jacket, 1970s St Michael pussy-bow blouse, knit top, sequin beret, ankle boots and bangles - charity shopped
1950s brooch - flea market
1970s Dereta velvet maxi skirt - Ebay

Spending a lot of time here...

Browsing round town to finish off the Christmas shopping...

and listening to Nina and lots of other kids belt out Christmas songs in Sheffield cathedral.

 Had a haircut...

which looks better when it hasn't been squashed under a beret while out in the rain. Oh well.

Rescued more 1950s-60s-70s clothing from the rag bag in the charity shop...

as well as some amazing fabrics...

and plenty of unused linens.

Been pretty successful with the Ebay selling on behalf of the charity too. Someone give me a halo.
The kids have been partying...

including a little cross-dressing.
Cool dude Claud and blonde bombshell Owen. 
 Well, it is panto season, after all.

Christmas; a time which incorporates both the sublime and the ridiculous...

from Jess' extra winter fluffiness, and a new-to-me 1970s C&A maxi... 

to Nina's Christmas jumper off the market. Classy.

The kids have finished school for the holidays, the cards and parcels are posted, just a final food shop and bit of gift-wrapping to do, and the job is, as they say, a good 'un.

Now bring on the mulled cider, I feel like celebrating (and then I'll catch with your blogs, I promise!)


Saturday 13 December 2014

I've got the brains, you've got the looks - let's make lots of money

Brrr, it's cold. My coats and hats are on rotation, and you may not see a denim jacket again on this blog till Spring. 

I know winter has truly arrived when it's too chilly for a denim jacket. 

I'm road-testing this 1960s coat, but it may not be destined to stay in my wardrobe.

As much as I like it, there is something off about the proportions.

Perhaps it's that halfway house/car coat length; I look as though I'm wearing a child's coat. In fact, the whole outfit feels like something I would have worn when I started school on 1968. 

And I'm not sure what I think about that.

Wonderful label though!

1960s Horrockses wool coat, 1960s St Michael skirt, 1950s mohair scarf, 1980s Japelle bag, and everything else apart from the boots - charity shopped

Wednesdays are fast becoming my favourite day.  

The couple who donated the vintage fabrics and clothes last week came back with an epic load of clothing and linens. I persuaded the manager to let me price some up and put them out in the shop, and two 1960s jackets sold within minutes. Everything looked a bit smarter after a going over with the steaming machine, and I deliberately priced the stock very reasonably in the hope that it would sell and therefore prove the point that there is a market for vintage. (And then I tipped off a friend to go and look, and she bought several pieces.)

So I am optimistic that all this manoeuvring means that the shop will develop a vintage rail, and if I can be in charge of it, so much the better.

In addition, look what will be heading for Ebay this week;

Early/mid 1960s jackets, coats, dresses and a suit...

1970s tweed waistcoats, dresses, and a maxi skirt with tags...

early 1960s lace and knitwear.

And a late 1970s panne velvet dress by Mary Quant. I assume it is from a range she did for a catalogue, so sadly it doesn't have the value of her earlier designs. And it's something of an oddity amongst the more classic styles of the other donations, but maybe the lady who collected all these treasures had a disco moment. Good for her.

The couple are coming back next week with more. The manager specifically requested they bring their donations on Wednesday as I will be there to sort them (no one else wants to) and I am overjoyed. I know the volunteers are amused by all of this, and by me, but there is a business point to be made here; vintage sells. The charity is missing out on much-needed revenue if they overlook this. 

So - my plan is to sell the above stock on Ebay and give the proceeds to the shop (minus my fees). It's for the greater good. And of course I will have the opportunity to buy for myself along the way. 

Like the red Horrockses coat. Although I think I've changed my mind and that can be sold too.

If you are interested in any of the pieces here, email me and I'll give you the details and my Ebay seller ID. I'll be listing this little lot either today or tomorrow, but if anyone is keen to buy, get in early for a price and I'll happily sell direct to keep the fees down. Everything is a wee bit musty and needs a good airing, but I've washed what I can, and there are some great labels.

What were the chances that I would start to volunteer at the charity shop just as this lady's house was being cleared by her relatives? If they had brought in all these donations before I started, or on another day, everything would have ended up in the rag bag. 

Sometimes the universe moves in wonderfully fitting ways. 

Classic 1960s English-made heritage label wool coat for sale - make me an offer. It's all for charidee, folks!

I'll be showing my wares over at Patti's for Visible Monday.

Have a great weekend. xxx

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Oops, I did it again

My name's Curtise... 

and I have a faux fur addiction.

When I spotted this 1970s St Michael fake fur jacket in a charity shop, my first thought was ooh, I don't have one that colour, quickly followed by a glance at the price tag, a try on, and a brisk walk to the till.
(In my defense, I've just sold one I rarely wore, which clearly created a vacuum. And I intend to sell the mid-length black coat, once I've repaired the lining. Do I protest too much?)
This is the 1970s shirtwaister from my charity shop haul last week.

I'm hoping I remind dear Beate of her chic Granny.

And this dress caught my eye at Sunday's local vintage market. 
Of course it did.

It's good to see the Abbeydale Picture House being used; the event was bigger and busier than last year. 

Look what Nina persuaded me to buy. An aged one-eared donkey. 
She felt sorry for him, and to tell the truth, so did I. Honestly, this will ruin my hard-faced reputation; don't tell anyone. 
1970s Jersey Masters dress - charity shopped
1980s boots - Second to None, Walsall 
That print and the lovely buttons are clearly Art Deco-inspired, which is so typical of much early/mid 1970s fashion.

1970s English Lady dress - vintage market
Boots - retail

1950s carpet bag and 1960s copper leaf brooch - flea market
Bangles and 1970s stainless steel pendant - charity shopped (although I think Vix might have given me the black and gold bangle... Oh no, I can't remember!)
Leather gloves - retail (sale)
I love all the textures and warm colours; the dress is a fuzzy brushed nylon, it's like wearing a 1970s highly flammable blanket.

Do you think I should shorten it? I'm thinking I will. If I get round to it...
What's next? 
Charity shop day tomorrow (thank you for all your thoughtful comments on my last post), celebrating my mate Sue's birthday with a curry and a quiz, a PTA meeting, my usual stint in school, finishing off the Christmas shopping and knuckling down to writing the cards. 

Steady on, I almost sound organised!