Friday, 25 July 2014

Lavender's blue

Ahhh, what a lovely first week of the school holidays; the delight of waking up naturally, rather than at the beep of an alarm, cannot be underestimated.

Small pleasures.

Several bags of clothes have been donated to the nearest charity shop; the kids took a bag each, I was laden with three, and we tottered along the road in a line like Mother Duck with her ducklings, with varying degrees of complaint. 
I was too hot, so I complained the most.

I find myself accepting all offers of kids' clothes, and as a result rarely have to buy anything for Owen and Nina (although I do for Claudia, as sadly we don't have a handy teenager passing things on to her). 
This is great, of course, but it does mean I end up with far too much, more than they could possibly wear, so a judicious edit was overdue.

I really appreciate the circuit of children's clothes which goes on amongst my friends, and the fact that my kids have no problems at all with wearing secondhand clothing. I can't imagine the prohibitive cost of dressing three kids at normal retail prices.

It's always a risk to stop and have a look around the charity shop to which you have just donated...
Especially this particular Barnardo's, where everything is priced at £1.49.
Couldn't resist!

I assumed they were new (there is no label), but underneath they are stamped Made in England
Nothing cheap and cheerful is made in England these days, so could they be vintage? It doesn't much matter, I just love them - can't walk far in them, but who cares?
The darker patch on the platform is because I had just sponged off a patch of pink glitter. If that doesn't say 1970s glam rock, I don't know what does.

1970s Debroyal maxi skirt - vintage fair
Top, shoes, bangles, flower, and blue beaded necklace - charity shopped
Turquoise heart necklace - gift
Floral reversible tote bag - made by me

I can't claim that I thought very carefully about the combination of this new-to-me top (yes, also £1.49) and the 1970s maxi skirt, but in the event, I find I like the dainty floral of the top against the bold splashy print of the skirt. 

Same colours too. 
The cats are loving the warm weather, and have become real outdoor creatures. Jess always was, she roams far and wide (look at her trotting along, so purposeful) but Min and Willow are homebodies and usually like to be in the house. Not any more, they are all out enjoying the sunshine. Charlie likes to stretch out on the table, doing his Dead Cat impression.


Tomorrow, I'll be having a browse around the Sheffield Vintage Fair, and I'm also participating in a focus group run by the University of Sheffield and the University of the Arts London about shopping for fashion and purchasing energy
Apparently alternative viewpoints are welcome, which is just as well; I know nothing about current fashion, and my purchasing energy is limited, and directed at vintage sellers and charity shops. But I'll let you know how the discussion goes!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, 21 July 2014

Her face at first just ghostly

...turned the whiter shade of pale.

I am getting over my tendency to avoid wearing white. 
As long as I don't spill anything (which is a very big ask), I can handle it. 

I know the received wisdom is that pale skin looks washed out in white, but I'm taking a chance that a smattering of summer freckles and red hair will combat any anaemic pastiness.

I'm fair-skinned, burn easily, have freckles, and rarely tan; this, together with a family history of skin cancer, means I have given up on sunbathing and am much more likely to seek the shade than the sun. 
I always use sun screen, slap a bit of fake tan on my legs from time to time, and hope like mad that previous episodes of sunburn and over-exposure won't prove too damaging in the long run.

1970s St Michael cotton maxi skirt, blouse, belt, sunglasses, most of the bangles, and necklace - charity shopped
Striped bangle - gift from Fiona
Cream floral bangle - gift from Tania
Sandals - retail (sale)
 I've never had a great tolerance for high temperatures.
 I remember the hot summer of 1976, and how my class teacher (who had one of those extremely dark 1970s tans which you just don't see anymore) insisted we had our lessons outside on the playing field, presumably so she could sunbathe at the same time as teaching. I recall feeling beside myself with heat, my eyes hurt from the bright sunlight bouncing off the white pages of my books, we had neither sun screen nor water, and I was probably on the verge of heat stroke. 

Seems unbelievable now, doesn't it?

Needless to day, Nina is slathered in sunscreen when she plays outside! We have enough issues with her skin without adding sunburn to the mix.

She's been drawing eyes. I'm sure there is some significance to that, but who knows what?

 "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
       Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

She's done an Ancient Greek project at school, and this is her papier mache Grecian Urn.
 Walking home from school on Friday, I was carrying the vase by the neck, not realising it wasn't glued in place. Of course, the bottom fell off and went rolling down the road, with Owen and Nina giving chase. A van driver mercifully stopped before he ran over it, and allowed the kids to retrieve it; I could practically hear the Benny Hill music playing as accompaniment...
Robust quality papier mache though - it survived without a dint!

Unworn 1970s slip, complete with tag. 
If only all my white clothes were dirt resistant.
And crackle free? Bonus!

Linking to Sacramento's Share-in-Style; the theme is white.

Hope this week is going to be a grand one!


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Hotter than Hawaii

Oh all right, it probably isn't, but the UK is basking in some high temperatures this week, and what better way to celebrate than with a vintage Hawaiian frock or two?

Colourful, cotton, and with prints bold enough to invite you in for coffee on a first date - what's not to love?

The green dress is 1950s, found on a three-items-for-£5 table at the flea market (which means it cost £1.666666666666667, according to my calculator).

The pink dress is 1960s, and I think it cost £5 on a sale rail at a vintage fair because it had a hole in it. Which I fixed.
Naturally, a frock with a loud print is just the thing to wear for the annual extravaganza which is Park Night.

Liz, Joanne, Karen, me, Sue and Chris.
Excuse the gurning - can't take them anywhere.

Respectable Ladies getting pissed up in the park. 


I had a lovely potter around the flea market in Chesterfield today; Jo and I haven't been for a while, so it was great to be back.

I bought a 1960s curtain for the fabric, and a 1970s crochet hippy top for the fabulous sleeves. It needs taking in to prevent anyone thinking I'm pregnant.
£3 and £1 respectively. 
Hey, Big Spender.

The kids break up from school for the summer holidays tomorrow, and I confess I am looking forward to it immensely. 

One last push though - I will be sticking labels on hundreds of books at school tomorrow. I rather like cutting and sticking, there is something oddly soothing about a repetitive menial task. And our Head Teacher is retiring, so I have to dash to the florist for a bouquet to add to the gifts we have already bought, ready for the presentation in assembly.
Don't worry - these are tasks I am undertaking happily and voluntarily!

Who knows what the summer will bring?

I am hoping for lie-ins, sunshine, sewing, clearing out the Cupboard of Doom, and some trips out and about.

Thank you for all your very encouraging and positive responses to my previous post. I do appreciate you comments very much!

Have a great weekend.


Monday, 14 July 2014

I don't know what this world is coming to...

I just can't rely on you.

So what do we think about reliability?

I love reliable clothes. My old faithfuls, the ones I always feel good in, and wear again and again.
Solid and sure, they yield the same result every time, and I like that.

This dress, which you have seen many times, is one of those perfect items; it cost £3, it fits and flatters, and I love the lightweight cotton fabric, print, neckline and angel sleeves.

I bought it to sell, but when I realised it fitted me, I refused to part with it. In a way, it was the dress that brought me back to wearing vintage after a twenty year hiatus. It represents the start of my blogging life too.

I owe that frock a lot.

1970s dress - community fair
Bangles and sunglasses - charity shopped
Sandals - Ebay

Reliable. Consistent. Dependable. Trustworthy. 

These are good qualities, yes? 

Of course they are, and I want to be those things myself. To be the opposite - unreliable, changeable, shaky and flaky, flighty - wouldn't sit well with me.

But you know, I am wondering if there is an irksome downside to reliability.

I'm not intending to be mysterious and cryptic here; the incidents which have me questioning the benefits of being a dependable person are school/PTA-related, and far too tedious to relate here. Really - you'd thank me for not boring you with the details.

I sometimes feel that being available, being able to fill in gaps and take up the slack, also means being taken for granted. I'm feeling the weight of expectation, laid on me without my agreement or permission, and I'm not sure I like it.

So, what to do?

Well, since I seem to be having an Outfit As Metaphor moment, perhaps this combination of an Old Faithful vintage skirt with a new-to-me folk-inspired blouse, represents the way forward.

 A bit of the old, a bit of the new. 

1970s skirt - Ebay
Blouse and belt - charity shopped
Sandals and flower - retail (sale) 

I've been saying no to a few tasks recently; it has caused some consternation, and possibly a little disapproval. But I feel better for putting a marker down that says I cannot always be available.

I'm mixing it up.

Look, I'm even standing in a different spot in the garden. Radical!

 Dependable? Mostly.
Pushover? Never!

(Rant over. Thanks for listening.)

Joining in with the lovely ladies at Visible Monday. Patti has this link-up thing just right - everyone's welcome just as they are, no pressure, and I really appreciate that!



Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Good Day Sunshine

I need to laugh, and when the sun is out,
I've got something I can laugh about.

It's been a delightfully sunny week, and a busy one.

Not with anything terribly onerous, I must admit; more a self-imposed regime of coffees, chatting, shopping, reading, faffing, and posing.

It's a hard life.

 1950s Linzi circle skirt - flea market
Vest, shirt, belt, bangles, necklace and sunglasses - charity shopped

So what's been making me smile this week?

Don't get too comfortable there, Charlie; that washing basket is now empty.
I've done ALL the ironing.
Yes, really.

Charlie and Pedro from down the road have a love/hate relationship.
I think they are in hate mode here, that's no love bite.

I adore Jess; she largely ignores me.
I allow it, because I love her, though I wouldn't take it from anyone else.

1970s dress - flea market
Cardigan, necklace and bangles - charity shopped
1950s tapestry bag - vintage shop in Birmingham
Belt, sunglasses and sandals - retail (sale) 

I haven't had much charity shopping joy lately, although I do love the sunny design on this 1960s Pyrosil dish...

and vintage slips make me happy. I have more than enough, but at 50p each and such lovely colours, it would have been rude not to bring a couple home.

Blog search terms are always good for a laugh.
Current corkers; mistress pants and luna amor big tits.
Naturally, my blog is the place to come for those.

Striped bangle (my new favourite) - a gift from Fiona.

Nina has been in the choir at school this year.

They have learnt to sing Livin' on a Prayer, which is a genius song choice.

I showed her the video on YouTube, and she asked are they girls?

 Loving my garden.


 And this, at a local bus stop...

Presumably you don't have to book because Jo will look at her tea leaves and know how many people are coming.

I'm predicting... not that many.


And that, my friends, is the week so far.

How is yours going? Hope you're walking on sunshine too!