Friday, 3 October 2014

Practically perfect

A busy week has come and gone.

I can tick off another solid week of Ebay sales, parents' evenings for two out of three kids, a night out with friends in the pub, and my yearly blood tests (the fasting kind - never does a cup of tea taste as good as the one I can finally enjoy after those bloods are safely in the vacutainers.)

Oh, and an interview to be a volunteer in a charity shop, but I'll tell you about that when I start. 

Looking blue, but not feeling it at all.

I was having a small tidy up around the house (a rare occurrence), and chuckling to myself at the state of my very disordered and not-at-all blogworthy home, in comparison with the oh-so-stylish and beautifully presented houses of many bloggers I know. 

I don't really have the art of display; my treasured objects are just slung on shelves, gathering dust as often as not, and the rest of the family don't even notice them.

But shall I show you a few of the bits and bobs around the place?

That's my old teddy bear giving you the side-eye. She (yes, she) is called Sally, she's about the same age as me, and she and the cat collection, the OBDs, and Mary Poppins and her giant bottle all jostle for space on the crammed bookshelves. 

Em gave me the tall and elegant blue cat on the right; my mate Jo gave me Mary Poppins, because she says Mary reminds her of me. Practically perfect in every way, obviously. Or maybe it's because the Mary of  P. L. Travers' books is rather strict and waspish... 
(I think Mary keeps her rum punch in that bottle.)

This 1950s piggy bank has somehow ended up with me; I used it as a child, but it's older than me, it must have belonged to my eldest sister originally.

It has no opening underneath, so to retrieve your pennies, you either have to break it, or hold it upside down, insert a knife in the slit on the top and jiggle it about in the hopes that a coin or two will fall out. 

Does anyone else remember doing that as a kid?

Another childhood treasure - look, you can see I wrote my name on it (Curtis - no "e").

It was a gift from my aunt and uncle, and the wooden box and cubes have a very particular smell; just opening it up transports me back in time to the 1960s. Olfactory memories are the most powerful and evocative, I find.

I adored those illustrations as a child, and still do.

Beate, they make me think of you and your gorgeous home.
That's my Uncle Robin and Auntie Leni on the left, who gave me the Goldilocks picture cubes. Leni (Helen) was German, I wonder if that's why she was drawn to those pictures? My uncle called her Lenchen, she was very stylish. 

There's my Grandma and Grandad on the right, and my cousin Charles, middle sister Sabena, and me.
It was 1966, and we were at a cousin's wedding. 
Same year - me (aged 2), Sabena (6) and Belinda (11). Sab's flashing her boobs, and Belinda's unimpressed. And there's my dad lurking in the background. Families, eh...

Although I don't really think of myself as a collector (hmm, a wardrobe bursting with vintage dresses might tell a different story), perhaps this shelf of pomanders is starting to resemble a collection!

Fiona kindly gave me the one shaped like a birdcage after I admired it on her blog, and Claudia gave me the small pink one in the middle.

Jacket, t-shirt, sandals, belt, sunglasses and bangles - charity shopped
1970s Debroyal maxi skirt - vintage fair
Miracle pendant - car boot

This weekend will be a quiet one, I think, although we are out for tea tonight as a Friday treat.

And the sun is still shining, we're having a beautiful autumn, so like Baby Bear's porridge, chair and bed, everything feels just right!

Have a great weekend, folks.

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday gathering as usual. 


Asparagus Pea said...

Ahaaa - the mysterious world of the charity shop volunteer! Can't wait to get the inside track on that - Curtis style. Did you have to declare a conflict of interests at the interview? They won't know what's hit em xxx

Asparagus Pea said...

First - Boom!

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

Aw, happy post. I LOVEd the sneaky peak inside your home! Show us more! Yes, I'm a nosey parker.
Working in a charity shop is great and you'll love it so long as you like the manager and co workers. Think of the treasures you'll find! We had a donation of urine collection bags with catheters in today! Very thoughtful.
Have a splendid weekend. xxxx

Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

Well, I think your non-collections are perfectly lovely and well-displayed to boot. Great outfit. My favorite bits are the purple belt and the pendant with dangly pieces.

One collection I keep meaning to sell on eBay is my son's box of Playmobil figures. I find it so difficult somehow. I just love those little people. Maybe I shouldn't sell them after all, but just buy my own Mary Poppins and play with them myself!

Kezzie said...

I honestly don't know what pomanders ate for. I've heard the word but never thought to investigate!! X
How nice is your maxi????? I love it.
You know that blue edition of the Famous Five? That was the first one I ever owned!!! My grandparents bought it for me! X

Vix said...

Loving that cheery turquoise maxi and the boob-enhancing tee shirt. How fab is it to still be baring our arms in October? Very! that pendant is a stunner.
Loving the sneak peek at your shelves. Lego Mary is adorable, loving the cats and the demented deer and yes, I did that with the pig, too (probably with my brother's as I hated spending my own savings!)
How cute is the photo of the three of you on the rocking horse? There's till one of those in Walsall Arboretum, maybe we could recreate that picture - we'll toss to see who gets to be Sab?
I'm liking Grandma's cats eye specs and bow trimmed hat.
Have a fab tea out. I'm saving myself for a Wetherspoons lunch tomorrow!
Love you! xxxx

Fiona said...

How lovely to see your knick knacks Curtise, what a fine cat collection and I'm pleased to see my pomander nestled with your others on the shelf. Ooh how exciting, a new venture volunteering. Can't wait to hear Tales of a Charity Shop Worker, it all goes on you know.
When mum managed the local Red Cross chazza they found a perv in the changinging room having a wank! The 80yr old lady who discovered him gave him the sharp edge of her tongue and wasn't at all fazed by it. And just think, first dibs at all the best donations.
Loving today's maxi and the gorgeous pendant. Have a great weekend.

bahnwärterin said...

that bright blue ensemble is wonderful on you! the lilac belt is the cherry on top! great proportions!
thank you for complimenting my little house in the woods. i do what i can to create "gemütlichkeit" with almost zero budget....
i had such cubes too, with Grimm´s fairy tales on it. no idea were´r they now.
great family pics. and a german aunt "lenchen" :-) and all look so stylish! there was a time when nobody bat an eye if someone without boobs - i.e. a child - was running around topless. i often shake my head about bikinis for 3y-o´s.....
that pomander collection is beautiful, love the cute pig with black eyelashes!
often i thought about how your house look inside, outside the material is the same as here - brick and sandstone. please show us more!

Natalia Lialina said...

Curtise, I love seeing little tiny corners of your home! Just as your childhood photos, they are a true treasure. Love your spontaneous collections - cats and pomanders (I did not know what those things are! I am such a barbarian/dinosaur sometimes with my Soviet background; I did know about very similar things in Japanese culture though - the paper balls of flowers which are traditionally used for aromatherapy, kusudama - I adore learning those cultural overlaps of ideas)... Your Sally Bear is so precious! I wish I still had my big white bear which was about my age. I only have one of my old beloved dolls.

We did it with my brother - we had to shake a piggy bank (it was not in a shape of a pig though - it was a beautiful barrel with folk motifs on it, that was more of a Russian thing).

You look wonderful in your maxi skirt and your waist is soooo amazing, you are just a stunner, Curtise!

I think working in a charity shop will bring you tons of positive emotions, and of course some special finds too!

Glad to see sunshine in your part of the world - it is still very warm and sunny here too. :)

Goody said...

I like your dear old teddy. She's adorable. I never had a proper piggy bank, I had a gigantic brandy bottle instead (really). It had a slot that I suppose was meant to pour from, but coins fit through just fine. Like a piggy bank, the only way to get the money out was to tilt and shake it. "Raiding the bottle" just sounds so much worse than, "raiding the piggy bank."

You'll make a great charity shop worker, you're good with people and you like the stuff you'll be that great skirt you're wearing today. Better be careful wearing the good stuff to work, someone might try to buy them off you.

Sue said...

Where do I start!! Your skirt, OMG bloody gorgeous!!! THe inside of my home is not blog worthy, I am no house keeper and I have been called Queen of nik naks by one of my sons friends of late. I am a collector what can I say? I remember jabbing a knife inside my post office savings book shaped piggy bank to retrieve lolly purchasing coins!! Cannot wait to hear about your volunteer job, good for the soul giving some more of your time for free. Pay it forward - the best feeling.

Patti said...

Thank you - I love peeking inside your home. And the cats collection is wonderful - I have one too. I remember the knife and the piggy bank too! So noisy, an adult would always be alerted when I tried it. And I love the pic of you flashing your boobs, so nonchalant! xox

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

I'm feeling all "awwwwwwww" after that lovely post Curtise ... your girls look so much like you, especially Nina, the lil darlin'. Thank you for sharing some special treasures around your home, the bird cage pomander is amazing, I've never seen anything like it before. OK so apart from red, and green, blue is your colour. Utterly, utterly gorgeous!! Damn you look fine in a floral maxi love!! Your pendant is spectacular, I think it's casting a spell on me and I love the arm candy. It's been a busy week for you so I hope you're enjoying dinner out and I've got everything crossed for the voly job ... who wouldn't want you gracing their shop anyway? xoxoxoxoxoox

silvergirl said...

Loving this blue outfit
I used to play with blocks like that way back in the day

Suzanne said...

I think one of my Grandma's had that same Goldilocks set at their house for us to play with! How fun that you have such a piece of personal memorabilia.

This whole outfit is brilliant. The blues and purples are so perfect with your hair. Really I think this whole outfit perfect for me...whoops...for you of course ; )

You are a little collector. Little bit and bobs tell so much about a person I find.

I'm trying to keep my collecting restricted to my closet. Wish me luck.

Have a great weekend!


Connie said...

Oh yes! You are so very Mary Poppins-y. I inhaled those books as a child. I've always believed that Mary SEEMED very tidy and organized but there was something wild and secret in her past. Does that describe you? And those blocks! I had those, too and I know that smell. That dusty wood smell. Gosh you were so cute with your sisters. Good times:-)

Unknown said...

Blue is my favorite color, so of course I adore you outfit! And I love your bits and bobs, especially the cats! Who care how they are displayed! :)

Mother of Reinvention said...

Lovely cats, frocks and Angela Carter books! You're
Looking fab as usual. Love the photo of you with your sisters. The three of you are very alike in it. You have hardly changed. Lovely memories shared. Xxxx

thorne garnet said...

3 of anything makes a collection, I just read that in a book, so it's true.

I had one of those puzzles boxes,can't remember what the story was.

Beth Waltz said...

This combination of blues and textures is delicious -- and that geometrical pendant is the perfect topping!

Olfactory memories are indeed intensely evocative: cinamon recalls my grandmother's baking cabinet; motor grease, my father's shop; and lavender, a wicker work pomander acquired as a child at a fair. I do admire your beautiful pomanders, Curtise, and would consider them among the most useful of beautiful, scented collectibles!

hippyatheart said...

PENDANT IS AMAZING and I love the blue combo!!

freckleface said...

I agree with Connie about Mary Poppins, underneath she's a right little minx. Look at how enthusiastically Bert greeted her! Yeah, Clementine Le Derriere, that's you! Love the blue outfit, looking very shapely in all the right places. Oh those wooden building blocks, i loved those pictures, well, like you, still do. I'd like to live in a house like that. I might need a better view, but i have a suspicion Sally is my bear Angelina's long lost twin! Wouldn't that be funny? Last but very definitely not least, those photos are adorable. Such a little cutie! Love the idea of the photo reconstruction, I reckon Vix should be Sab, since it was her idea!! Haha! Xxxxxxx p.s. Thanks for a bit of a peak at Monk's House, i've been dying for a shufti!

freckleface said...

*peek* , although it has been a bit of a highlight... Xxxx

Angels have Red Hair said...

Loving the old pictures … and the peek onto your shelves. I think I spy Enid Blyton books … which I just loved as a kid. Give us a tour of the whole house … I'll bet it's totally blog worthy :0)

Kylie said...

I LOVE those photos of little you and your family Curtise. What's that your holding in the second one? Is it a sausage on a stick?
I love your Picture Cubes too - I have a farmyard animal set. Not mine - I picked them up in an oppy - but I still love them.
Smells do evoke all sorts of memories. Nice and hideous ones. I heard on the radio just yesterday that there is research that indicates when elderly people lose their sense of smell it is a sign they are soon to drop off the perch?!
Love your skirt and I'd love to have a sticky at your ebay shop but I can't find any

Bobbi said...

Love the blue on you!
Your collection of cats and pomanders are pretty. I'm sure that when I see them anywhere from now on I will think of you.
The pictures of you and your family when you were young are adorable.

Forest City Fashionista said...

I seem to remember being told once that "more than three is a collection". I display a lot of my little bits and bobs in with my books too. That is an impressive cat collection, and the pomanders are so pretty!

I think your outfit is the quintessential "You" outfit. The full, flower print maxi skirt, your trusty denim jacket, and cool jewelery is your signature, and suits you so well.

Val said...

Beautiful outfit and photos, as always. Blue is a good color for you (as are orange, black, red, purple, etc.). I think the charity shop needs to keep an eye on you if you volunteer there. The racks will be empty every time you walk out the door! Then again, maybe you can rotate your clothes through and their sales will go up and up!

The piggy bank is so cute. I remember my brother had one without a hole in the bottom. I bet he still has it. The Goldilocks blocks are wonderful!!!

kobieta niewidzialna said...

You look fantastic ! this stylization is beautiful, very nice colours.Best :)

mondoagogo said...

I love seeing all the nicknacks (it's funny because the other day I was looking at some of the things on my shelves and thinking of blogging about them) and I love all the old family photos (I remember those rocking horse rides!). Who needs that many pomanders? That's definitely a collection you've got going there.

I met PL Travers when I was a little girl, she signed one of my Mary Poppins books. I still have it (of course I still have it!) She was a pretty interesting lady, actually, I read up about her online a while back.

bonsaimum said...

Great pics. Especially the 1960's photos. All dressed beautifully.

Vintage Bird Girl said...

You're a vision in blue! That skirt is just stunning. I love having a glimpse into your home too. Aren't other peoples treasures just fascinating! I have the bird pomander thing too. I hope you've had a lovely weekend. Xx

Unknown said...

That's a charactertistically good look for you that you do so well... Curtise Classic; neat skirt and top, sleek looking on your nice figure and a great pairing with your denim jacket. Always a pretty picture.
Lovely to appreciate a good week. So often that consists of just no little disasters ... life! Happy to hear you and yours are all doing well.

Jayne H said...

Lovely to take a peek inside your home. Great outfit as always and that pendant is just beautiful. Hope you had a good weekend and are ready for the week ahead xx

Shawna McComber said...

What a fun peek into your home! As far as I am concerned 'styling' a home is overrated and one should have it how one likes it, which could very well be just plonking down your treasures wherever they seem to want plonking. I don't do any deliberate styling to my home but just put things where I like the look of them. The only reason I change my mantle twice a year is because I have more decorative items than shelves so I do a seasonal rotation there.

No, you are not at all a collector, cough cough, because you don't have a collection of cats or pomanders or vintage clothing or funky jewelery or hats, no collection of books I suspect either. However, if you wish to keep your collections a secret then when someone asks if you collect anything just tell them you collect dust.

Love those colours on you and those bangles are divoon!

Sheila said...

I love seeing some of your collections! I used to have one of those wooden cube games when I was a kid.

You look lovely in blue!

Helga said...

O, my eyes are watery over those gloriarse old pics!!!! LOVE the one on the horsey thingy most of all! I flashed my non boobs a lot at that age.
You are looking SO splendid in that lovely blue outfit, the skirt is amazing, and I am reminded how frustrated I am at not being able to find a perfect DJ like yours! ARGH!
Oooo, volunteer in a chazza shop you say?! Hopefully that is as fun as it sounds!!!

Anonymous said...

That is such a precious photo when you were a little squirt!

I bet you'll love volunteering at your charity shop!

diaryofapennypincher said...

Your blue outfit is so vibrant, great colours! I have an accidental collection of pomanders too, what is it with them! Hope you enjoy the charity shop job, I love it, even if it is expensive at times(sort it then buy it!).

Miss Magpie said...

I most definitely had some of those bricks! Mine were little red riding hood,they are probably still in my parents loft......

mispapelicos said...

Victor is the one who loves, love bits and bobs, me if i cannot wear it I don´t see it, lol
Gorgeous in blue no wonder the sun has come out just for you

Krista said...

This skirt Curtise I know you could never be blue in it even if you were, me loves! The nosey lil lady in me is so pleased to have a look at some of your beloved stuff,lord knows I have tons of my own. The kitties are most loving displayed but I do think they all have a lil bit of mischief in their eyes.

Seeing you as a sweet munchkin ah it just makes me love you more. That face it's was inquisitive even back then! The pomanders are really pretty, I'm sure now I will notice them when thrifting and think of you.

The Vintage Knitter said...

I love the blue flowery maxi, such a great outfit. Hopefully, you'll be first in line for all those charity shop bargains then? :-)

Becky said...

I used to be obsessed with my mom's old wooden cube puzzle!!

Aya said...

I love seeing the bits and bobs of blogging friends' homes. :D I can't wait to hear your stories about the charity shop, and to see what awesome treasures you bring home when you have first pick!

Trees said...

First up that blue skirt is devine! Queen of the maxi strikes again. Also thanks for sharing some of your family history with us, your uncle does look like a snappy dresser! My house is very unlike all those fabulous blogs filled with treasures, I tell myself I will make more effort when we own a house of our own - I know I can make all kinds of cool stuff. But in all likelihood - the perfect blogger house is never going to happen :P