Friday 18 December 2015

We kissed on a corner, then danced through the night

Cards written and posted.
Presents (mostly) wrapped.
Shopping (mostly) done.
School terms ended.
Tree decorated.
Impromptu Christmas post-work piss-up enjoyed...

and the wearing of festive red is ensuring that I stay bright amid the fog and the drizzle. 

So I'll be joining up with Patti and co for pre-Christmas fun on Visible Monday. (Look at me, getting in early, that's a first.)

1970s Co-op maxi skirt, top, denim jacket, vintage scarf and bangles - charity shopped
1960s tapestry and vinyl bag - jumble sale
Boots - retail (sale)
I should also add that the first Baileys of the season has been drunk - this morning, at my friend Joanne's. 
Well, you've got to start somewhere.  

1970s Miss Mary of Sweden dress, and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - retail (sale)
Nina and I have also had out first Christmas sing-song, featuring a rousing rendition of Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody, followed by our favourite duet, Fairytale of New York.
 She loves this song; I heard her singing along to it in a very strange voice, and when I asked her why she was singing like that, she replied that she was trying to sound like the man on the record. 
(Tonight, Matthew, we're going to be Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl.)
After all, nothing says Christmas like a 9 year old belting out you're a bum, you're a punk, you're an old slut on junk.   
Her singing is better than her spelling... 
Fart Her Christmas indeed. 
Look what I got from Jenifer - I will enjoy making these Fuck Yeah Culottes. I just need some time - can one of you send me some more of that please?
Unlike the kids, I have yet to break up for Christmas - I'm working until December 23rd. But it's OK, things are under control, I think.
I don't hate this time of year, but I don't believe the hype. I know happiness doesn't lie in a big gift box with a fancy bow, or the perfectly decorated house/cake/tree. I am neither a Christian nor a pagan, so celebrations of the birth of Jesus or the winter solstice mean little to me. I have family and friends who enjoy the ritual of card- and present-giving, so I'm willing to participate; I like the food and drink, the parties, and the atmosphere of goodwill and bonhomie. I'll even sing a carol or two - they're only songs, and they are embedded in my consciousness just like Merry Christmas Everybody or Fairytale of New York. I like time off work, and time spent with loved ones. As for the rest - the commercial hard sell, the greed, the message that the measure of your love and care is found in the cost of your gift - well, I can do without all that. 

I'm unlikely to squeeze in another post before next Friday, given my schedule of work and social events, so whatever your take on ancient Palestinian myths or pagan fertility rites, I'm sending all of you a big Christmas kiss under the mistleoe - you lucky sods!

I've got a feeling this year's for me and you
So happy Christmas - I love you, baby
I can see a better time, when all our dreams come true.


Sunday 13 December 2015

Winter Blues

No no, I'm not at all miserable; just wearing blue and trying to keep warm and dry!
Life is very, very busy at the moment and any illusions I ever had about being in control and organised have all but disappeared. 

At least I've found the Christmas cards; I distinctly remembered buying a load dirt cheap in January and putting them away in a safe place. It's taken hours of ransacking cupboards, drawers and turning the bedroom upside down to find them. (They were on the attic landing. Obviously.) 

Better write in the buggers now, I suppose.

I found this 1960s Prova wool pinafore dress in a charity shop recently and have been wearing to death. Prova was British Home Stores in-house brand in the 1960s and 70s. 

The sheepskin jerkin isn't vintage, but I love its 1970s vibe, and it is proving a useful extra layer on chilly days. 
Apart from hunting for Christmas cards and going to work, I've been out for a Christmas meal with our shop's volunteers, enjoyed a much-needed chazzing-and-coffee jaunt to Doncaster with my mate Joanne, and celebrated my friend Sue's birthday.

And yesterday, we braved the rain and went to an event in the cathedral commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Sheffield Blitz
We had a version of that Tell Me quiz game in the 1970s, and it is still being produced now.
The parachute silk wedding dresses were lovely, and look at Sue's daughter rocking her Victory rolls.
There were even free mince pies from God. 
From the cathedral, we headed on to the Nichols Building for a browse.
We puzzled over that errant apostrophe in the Glamorene Carpet Shampoo'er, until Sue suggested it replaced a missing p
Of course.

While I have several friends who might appreciate a male torso complete with whip, it would be a challenge to wrap.
1960s Prova pinafore dress, 1970s shirt, sheepskin jerkin, top and velvet leggings- charity shopped
Boots - retail (sale)
Despite the fact that my blogging presence is barely visible at the moment, I'm linking to Patti's Visible Monday.  
And I'm hoping to come and visit everyone soon! 

Thursday 3 December 2015

Scarlet for me, scarlet for you

I do love wearing red.

It's an instant pick-me-up, and you certainly don't fade into the background wearing a bright pillar-box red vintage coat.  

So I had better get myself over (belatedly) to Patti's for Visible Monday, and the reappearance of my sequin beret means I can join Judith for this month's Hat Attack. These are the only link-ups I do, so I hate to miss them! 

I can't tell you how much I love this 1960s Jaeger coat; the shape, the fit, the buttons, the colour, the quality of the wool fabric, everything about it says quality. 

(The little micro-mosaic brooch is another charity shop find, the simple hook fastening would suggest it's quite old.)

I had a look on the Jaeger website; their cheapest wool coats cost £299...

and although this one is smart, I prefer mine. Since it came from a charity shop, it was considerably less expensive - just a tenner.

1970-80s St Michael skirt, cardigan, top, beret and bangles - charity shopped
Ankle boots - Ebay

It seemed fitting to wear my red coat to last night's performance of Little Red Riding Hood, the school pantomime. Claudia and Owen were in the cast, as were various of their friends. The audience booed and hissed the baddie, shouted behind you! when required, and clapped and cheered with gusto at the end. We know the drill.

 I'm working both days this weekend as there is another local farmers' market on Sunday. I don't mind, the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, and it's a good opportunity to make a bit more money for the hospice.

As for when my new shop will open... Well, your guess is as good as mine, but the manager should be recruited before Christmas, so hopefully we will be looking at an opening date in January. I'll keep you posted.

I'll be getting round to commenting on your blogs soon, I promise; hope you're all OK!


Friday 27 November 2015

Shorts story

I've had a day off today and have been extremely thankful for it. I'm tired, a bit run down, and slightly jaded. Tomorrow morning's lie-in will be a real treat.

Ooh, how's that for a moany opening statement? You can tell I need an early night.

This is the jacket I bought for 2 Euros at a flea market in Amsterdam.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I didn't buy the Breaks The Wind coat;

I just couldn't resist taking a photo of the label.

It's not exactly chill-proof, but I do like my smart little 1980s checked jacket, and at £1.45, it was a bargain. 

It's a funny thing, but while I wouldn't wear shorts or a mini dress with bare legs, I am quite happy to do so with opaque tights. What a difference that layer of lycra makes.

Google 1970s hot pants and you find some fantastic images.  

Such groovy girls!

I bought this 1970s knitted tank top on my day out with Vix and Tania, intending it as a Christmas gift for a friend.

His and hers Harold Ingram tops, 1972.

1970-80s blouse - gift from Tania 
1970s Harold Ingram tank top, shorts and ankle boots - charity shopped
1950-60s tapestry bag - gift from Emma

I haven't got the energy to chat, so I'll just leave you to ogle Sally Carr's fabulous legs in her hot pants in 1971.    


If you're old enough to remember it, do sing along!


Friday 20 November 2015

A brush with nylon

Certain fabrics get a very bad press. 
While natural fibres like silk and cotton are undeniably lovely to wear, I don't have any problem with synthetics, particularly in colder weather.

I bought this 1970s maxi dress last week on my day out with Vix and Tania. It's handmade (very nicely too, complete with purple lining) from brushed nylon, like my autumn-in-a-frock dress (seen here). 
Often used in the 1960-70s to make bedding and nightwear, brushed nylon is one of those fabrics which divide opinion, rather like Crimplene. 

I'm in the why not? camp. It washes easily, dries quickly, doesn't need ironing, and the Fuzzy Felt texture is perfect for days with a chill in the air. And that groovy psychedelic print makes me very happy.

The history of synthetic fibres is interesting. Early examples like rayon and viscose were organic, derived from cellulose, but with the invention of nylon in the 1930s, fabrics could be entirely man-made from petrochemicals. 

Acrylic and polyester followed in the 1940s and 50s. Whether you like to wear them or not, these fabrics had a revolutionary impact on fashion.
1970s maxi dress, jacket, vintage brooch, bangles and boots - all charity shopped
It's a good thing I wore something quick-drying today; it has been pouring with rain off and on, and I got caught out without an umbrella on my way home from Lidl. 
My life is all about the glamour. 

Speaking of which, I found this little piece of glamour in a charity shop this week.

Yes, I know it could do with a good going-over with a lint roller, but for a quid, it's a lovely little vintage velvet evening bag. And it's probably as close as I'll ever get to the Taj Mahal.
After a bit of googling, I discovered that this type of embroidery using metallic thread is called zardozi, a Persian technique which became popular in India. Designs use silver or gold thread, and can incorporate beads and pearls. This decoration is still produced today, but I think my bag is an old one since it has a internal pocket intended for a small mirror, not a feature you find in modern bags.  
And I found a suitably autumnal vintage copper brooch in the same shop, also £1.
I'm ridiculously easy to please; a nylon frock, a £2 spend in a charity shop, and the company of my cats in the garden. 

I'm really busy at the moment, so in an effort to plan ahead (like wearing a quick-dry frock on a rainy day), I'm linking in advance to Patti's Visible Monday.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Sunday 15 November 2015

Girls just want to have fun

It's always a delight to meet up with my lovely friends Vix and Tania. Busy schedules have meant it has been far too long since we had a day out. 

Last Thursday, we managed to rectify that situation, and thoroughly enjoyed making the most of our time together. We chatted, laughed, charity shopped and Wetherspooned like demons.

I was useless, I took hardly any photos, but you can check out Vix's account of the day and the treasures she found here.

What she didn't show you was this;

a stunning 1960s Jean Varon marabou-trimmed wedding dress which fitted her like the proverbial glove. Tania and I so wanted her to buy it, if for no other reason than to alarm her partner Jon.

(I love the fact that there are customers in the background taking absolutely no notice of a beautiful woman posing in a vintage wedding dress in the middle of the shop.)

The vintage was plentiful and of amazing quality, we came away with some great bargains and left plenty behind too. 

I bought:

a 1970s Harold Ingram knitted tank top, and a 1970s-does-Deco Tina Warren maxi dress.
(photo of me borrowed from Vix). There was another maxi, but I haven't taken a pic of it yet; I'll show you next time.

Tania gave me this 1970s handmade wrap top and skirt set - just look at that fabulous print - and a lavender bag she had made, which is now in my knicker drawer. 

And I also bought this 1980s velvet batwing dress, although when I tried it on in the charity shop and showed Tan and Vix, I managed to put it on back to front...

thereby flashing rather a lot of bra, as you can imagine when you see the deep V at the back. 

1980s dress and 1970s pendant - charity shopped
1970-80s faux fur (again) - Kinky Melon
Ankle boots - Ebay
Belt- retail (sale)  

The go-faster gold stripe makes me smile. I remember wearing batwing sleeves a lot in the Eighties, but I refuse to subscribe to the view that if you wore a style first time around, you shouldn't revisit it.

 Why ever not?

I'll take my Eighties-tastic dress to Patti's Visible Monday gathering.

Life is set to get even busier from now till Christmas, as I'm going to be working an extra day a week, helping out at another shop. But I'll get round to commenting on your blogs soon, I promise!