Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Easily Distracted

I know, I know, I know...I should be packing my bags for Goa but things keep getting in the way of the task in hand such as heavy snow, exciting parcels and friends dropping by.

These pretty packages arrived in a parcel

from the divine Calamity Jem this morning.

My oldest pal, Liz brought these round. It's giraffe print paper but it looks strangely like bacon in the photo.

We've been friends for thirty-nine years, how scary is that? Liz is in the middle.

The fabulous Christina phoned last night and I was literally shrieking with excitement. I don't think I stopped tittering the whole time we were on the phone. She's just as warm, witty and funny as I knew she'd be and I cannot wait to meet her in the New Year.

And I managed a virtual chat with my beloved twin Helga first thing this morning!

Christina's blog post today featuring beautiful green things and a photograph of Farrah Fawcett reminded me of this 1970's Devonshire Lady jumpsuit I bought in a charity shop recently. I was so excited to come across one of these, I owned a grey one with a Charlies' Angels motif when I was about 10. Well worth the £3 price tag for the nostalgia value alone.

Don't worry I've got thermal undies, woollen tights and thick knitted socks on underneath and of course, my favourite hat in the entire world.

 This is what the bed's currently looking like except there's now a couple of contented cats curled up in amongst it all. 

Vintage jumpsuit (Sue Ryder charity shop), Leather boots (TopShop sale 2005), Sheepskin hat (Courtesy of the wonderful Christina)
I'm only in Goa for three weeks this time but hopefully staying for longer in March. If I'd known the weather would be so bad I wouldn't be coming back half as soon.

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Big Chill

The UK's in the grip of the coldest November for years and it's un-freaking-believably vile, some parts of our area went down to -17 last night. We've only had a dusting of snow so far but if the BBC is to be believed it's set to reach us Midlanders tomorrow. Nothing but nothing's going to stop me getting to the airport on Friday even if it means hiring a team of huskies and a sledge to drag us up the M6.

This is the only kind of Big Chill I like:

The blissed out arts festival held in the Herefordshire countryside every August. Twenty-four hour drinking, dancing, hedonism and frivolity is far more my style.

Vintage Richard Draper of Glastonbury coat (£9.99), Shift dress (Made by me out of a 1950's jumble sale curtain), Tods' python boots (car boot sale £7), Vintage hat (jumble sale 20p)

Never mind, I got to open some early birthday presents at the weekend. It's my birthday a week today and as I've only got a 15kg baggage allowance I haven't enough room to take them with me.

My lovely friend Cheryl bought me this gorgeous bird print dress and a yellow leather bag she had custom made in Tunisia.

Turquoise Lancome eyeshadow and some deliciously blingy TopShop jewellery. I'm so spoilt.

I bought this vintage sheepskin coat from Banardos a couple of weeks ago. My home town is known for having the highest number of overweight adults in the UK, not good news for the NHS but great for little old me who has hardly any competition for smaller sizes in the local charity shops.

Four days and counting. I really have to go and pack my bag.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Be My Guest

I'm much too hungover to put any photos of myself up today so I thought you might like a little peek around our house. The hippies enamel sign on the wall outside the front door was from a boot sale but there's loads of them on eBay.

I never thought any house of mine would have boring old white walls but this "Aged White" makes a perfect backdrop for the gypsy chandelier and the retro prints.

I made the cushion covers from vintage silk scarves.

The coffee table is made from a Rajasthani antique door

The hallway. I can't resist a Union Jack if I spot one at a car boot sale.

An Ikea-free zone.

I love Portmerion's 1960's Greek Key printed ceramics, some of these were my parent's. The oak shelf was a boot sale find.

We're restoring an ancient Rayburn to fit in this gap.

When we've found the perfect table this will be the dining room one day.

My haven

Have I mentioned both the bathroom and the soon-to-be dining room are haunted? We've both seen a black cat that vanishes into thin air and several items have flown across the room and hit me. A young man took his own life in the house back in the 1920's.

My beloved Cole and Son flamingo wallpaper (eBay, naturally).

Isn't our 1960's ceramic towel holder a cutie?

My jewellery archive dressing table.

I've spent most of today in here. When will I ever learn?

One of my sewing shelves, with added kitsch.

The wall of misery.

What a beauty! Some of our friends think she's awful, how dare they?

Our wallpapered staircase. Have I mentioned my obsession with wallpaper? 

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow, strictly no alcohol for me tonight.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Hand In Glove

As usual, I braved the extreme weather to go swimming this morning. Before you go thinking I'm dead hardcore I'd better point out that our public baths have a brine pool which at the moment is a balmy 33 degrees Centigrade, if that's not a good enough reason to strip off and bare your bikini body to the general public then I don't know what is.

On the way back from my swim I thought I'd better start my Christmas shopping as this time next week I should be half way to India. As usual I ended up buying things for me rather than deal with the task in hand.

Armwarmers (TopShop 2005 £1), Vintage wool beret (Salvation Army 50p), Sycamore brooch ( Jumble sale 5p)

This sycamore-print 1970's maxi dress was £7 in our town centre vintage shop. With the roll neck and long sleeves I can get away with a long sleeved top, leggings and thigh-high socks underneath to keep me extra toasty.

The vintage Devoré coat with the fake fur collar and cuffs was a birthday present from my lovely friend, Janne. She emailed me ages ago telling me she was a regular reader of my blog and we've since exchanged regular emails and love to gossip about our jumble sale exploits, exotic travels and I'm A Celebrity. I knew she sold vintage but she never told me her shop name but I tracked her down using my witch-like powers and it's fab.

Here's what else Janne sent me - a fabulous satin jewellery box, some pretty ethnic earrings and a delicious Blue Orchid pefume stick.

I was lucky enough to win this amazing handmade necklace in Stephanie's blog giveaway. Isn't it adorable. If you haven't visited beautiful Stephanie's blog, you really should.

What did I create today?

 I removed the plastic bits from a Poundland crysanthemum and hand-sewed the fabric to a hair clip.

Voilà! A fascinator for a friend's Christmas stocking.

I can't be bothered leaving the house tonight, I'm out for the next two nights so I'm conserving my energy. It's cheap wine and a takeaway tonight and of course, I'm a Celebrity.  Feel free to pop round and join us, the fire's lit and the curtains are drawn.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Wall Flower

Like my wardrobe, our home is filled with an ecclectic mish-mash of second hand, rescued, handmade and inherited pieces. 

No real thought goes into how we hang pictures, we just put them all together and hope for the best. There's no theme, we own them because we love them and that's good enough for us.

All these are car boot sale buys. There's an unknown lady in 1950's era evening dress, an 1920's advert from a hair salon and a Boots' The Chemist framed print.

Vernon Ward's "An Enchanted Glade" was 69p from the British Heart Foundation, there's a framed black and white photo of Raquel Welch as a saloon girl in The Virginian (one of my favourite TV shows when I was a child) just above it.

These cute kitsch plaster poodle heads from the 1950's were £1 from a car boot sale last year. One of my friends says that poodles and peacocks sum me up perfectly, it's the kitsch and the exotic rolled into one.

1940's china Larry The Lamb of Toytown (Inherited from Mum)

1970's hippy chick wood plaques (My dearest Helga)

Naive family portrait dated 1821 (Inherited)

Travel photos (taken in Madras 2006) in jumble sale frames
Great Auntie Maud's long service certificate

And have I done anything creative today? Yes, I've pimped up my brass chandelier (liberated from a skip) with millinery feathers (50p from a charity shop) and some junk jewellery strung on to fishing wire (borrowed from Jon's tool kit).

What am I wearing?

Vintage nylon midi dress (Courtesy of my dear Helga), a lace basque (hoisery stall on the market), Bib necklace and ethnic earrings (Courtesy of the fabulous Kelly)

Underwear as outerwear? The postman had a bit of a turn when he delivered two more parcels earlier but it's keeping me warm (and this house is a cardi-free zone)