Saturday, 30 April 2011

A Bit Of A Do

With a public holiday and Mateus Rose on special offer at Asda we thought we may as well throw a little party.

Although we didn't watch the Royal wedding our concession to the big day was a jumble sale bought Union flag as a table cloth and my Alexander McQueen leather bra as a centrepiece.

Retro nibbles included Ritz crackers spread with cream cheese and garnished with hard-boiled eggs, radishes, pimento stuffed olives, cucumber and cornichons, Double Gloucester and pineapple on sticks, pickled silverskin onions, baby beets and spicy sweetcorn kernels. 

For the carnivores we offered cubes of spam, prawns, cocktail sausages and Ritz crackers with cream cheese, anchovies and cucumber.

Any excuse to dust off the retro buffet ware.

My beautiful Czech friend, Pavlina and ten-week old Max made a splendid effort to dress in red, white and blue and I held a baby for the first time in my life.

Gorgeous Liz wearing a vintage royal blue rhinestone-trimmed cocktail dress.

Liz's husband Adrian knocked-up Jamaican curried goat with rice and peas and a special curried okra alternative for me along with rum-soaked griddled pineapple for dessert...yum!

The boys can't resist raiding my cupboards for dressing-up clothes. I bought these two 1960's real hair wigs from the car boot sale on Thursday, it's weird to see them both with hair.

 I wore an early 1960's draped-back chartreuse crepe cocktail dress with a jewel-encrusted neckline (£7 Etsy) with vintage silver platforms (Cancer Research £4.50)

 How sozzled do I look? I'd been drinking for 9 hours by this point but still managed to do the washing up and table dance till 2am.

Have I ever told you how appalling my singing voice is? Here's me early this warned, it's not for the faint hearted and that's not the ghost of Sid James in the background, it's Jon's dirty laugh.

..and if that didn't scare you, here's Jon and I reliving our Mad-chester raving days.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Flying The Flag

Unless it's the World Cup I'm not patriotic in the slightest, in fact I love it when I go abroad and people don't believe I'm British. When we moved into our house it already had a flagpole and we regularly hoist an assortment of flags to annoy our posh neighbours.

The last time I celebrated a royal occasion was the Queen's Silver Jubilee when we were allowed to go to school in non-uniform as long as we wore red, white and blue so I thought I'd recreate those heady days of 1977 by dressing in the colours of the flag. I spent Charlie and Di's wedding day skulking in a grotty back street pub sending my then boyfriend up to the bar for Babycham and Smiths' Salt & Shake crisps as I was underage. We're planning a party tomorrow but I doubt the TV will be on, I'm not keen on weddings at the best of times but we never need an excuse for a party.

Did I mention I was going jumble sale-ing and car booting today? Here's a few purchases.

How fantastic is this 1960's MABU Swiss Hand Made leather fashion doll? She was £1.50 at the car boot sale.

With her long legs, flowing blonde locks and huge doe eyes I've christened her Christina in honour of my gorgeous friend.

This trashy 1980's bleached denim jacket is ideal for throwing on over a maxi dress when there's a nip in the air. 35p

This navy and white striped 1960's St Michael nylon swimsuit was 25p. I picked up one of these from last month's jumble, I bet the same lady donated this one, too.

Our male friends are always asking us to look out for vintage Harris Tweed jackets. They used to be ten a penny at the jumble sales of my youth but as rare as hen's teeth these days. I reckon I'll have a fight on my hands when I show them this leather buttoned beauty. 35p 

This suedette American Indian fringed dress is ideal for harnessing my inner Cher, perfect for karaoke silliness and festival fun. 25p

A set of gaudy 1950's coasters complete and in their original box. I have two sets of place mats to match these in my retro buffet collection. So hideous they are almost attractive. 50p

I could have wept when I spotted this huge make-up mirror. I grew up with the very same Danish designed piece as a child and even stored my Sindy dolls in the box. My parents had theirs as a wedding present in 1966. This knocked me back £1.50 but it's worth it for nostalgia value alone.

This peach satin bridesmaid's dress is boned with a huge bow at the back. I've never been a bridesmaid and I don't plan on ever being one but this fits beautifully and looks rather like something Cyndi Lauper would have worn back in the day. I might wear it tomorrow if I'm feeling the wedding vibe and I can be bothered to get the iron out. 35p.

Good old Jon spotted this 1950's Scottish mohair cape at the jumble sale in amongst the curtains and bedding. It's in smashing condition and a snip at 35p. Knowing our British summers I'll probably be wearing it at Glastonbury.

1970's dagger collar shirt (20p jumble sale), high-waisted vintage brushed denim shorts (today's jumble 25p), 1960's red and white vinyl belt (Acorn's Hospice 75p), 1960's white leather disc bag (£1 car boot sale), silk Union flag hankerchief (family heirloom)
Whatever you get up to tomorrow make sure it's a right royal knees-up.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Goan Goodies & Antipodean Amazement

The postman was laughing to himself when he knocked the door this morning and before I'd even looked I knew my parcels had to be from the Land Down-under. Despite me being the other side of the world my darlings Helga and Sarah hadn't forgotten me on their op-shopping adventures in Sydney.

Here's just a peek at the amazing assortment of vintage frocks and maxi skirts, psychedelia, pearls, velvet, lace, bangles, rings, hair adornments, tights and poodles.

The weather's been chilly and overcast here for most of today and the sun's only just broken through the clouds, so obviously I had to test-run this fabulous vintage ethnic print maxi dress the beautiful Sarah found for me.

It fits like it was made to measure.

Here's some stuff I bought in Goa,

a movie still featuring my idol, legendary Bollywood vamp, Helen (she of my blog header).

I always stock up on Ayurvedic soap, kajal and toothpaste when I'm in India and as you know, I can't resist a bit of handmade Lamani gypsy jewellery (made from old coins and scrap metal).

After sixteen trips to India I rarely do much shopping, just replacing worn out leather chappals, sarongs and harem pants.

Vintage maxi (courtesy of Sarah Misfit), leather chappals, brass choker made by a hill tribe in Orissa, bindi (all from India), vintage bangles, wooden rings and cuffs (inherited)
Mega excitement - tomorrow is the monthly jumble sale preview followed by my beloved Thursday morning car boot sale. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

From The Sublime To The Ridiculous

This groovy 1970's frock is my very first Etsy purchase. 

With a lime green Crimplene bodice, blingy rhinestone buttons and a midi length clashing bark cloth skirt it had my name written all over it and at £7 it would have been rude not to have snapped it up. The seller had some amazing stuff and there's a couple more insane pieces I couldn't help but buy which I'll show you soon.

We're still in the throes of jet lag, being wide awake at 4am and good for nothing by 9pm. We made the most of being up early yesterday and squeezed in not one but three boot sales (although they were all a bit rubbish). Sometimes the heaps of barely worn, few week old high street clothing leaves me feeling very depressed at people's fickle natures and sheer wastefulness.  

We did manage to spot one or two treasures amongst the dross, burger vans and market traders.

1960's boxed Lazy Susan, perfect for our retro-themed cocktail parties - 50p

Four 1950's acetate hand-rolled Italian scarves - 40p each

Vintage chiffon scarf celebrating Jamaican Independence and a satin Gibraltar souvenir scarf - 50p each

Hand-made felt Blue Tit and Coal Tit going cheep (sorry, couldn't help myself) at 5p each

 Antik Batik mesh vest for £1. I wish I'd found this before I went to Goa, it's perfect.

1970's Wallis gypsy dress (£1), Richard Shops sequin trimmed maxi dress with matching scarf (£2) and a 1970's crimplene sun dress by Langden Design of London (£1.50)

Huge Pablo Picasso wooden pendant for 20p - I'll change the chain to a silver one.

Three pieces of 1950's kitsch - a knitted poodle (not as demonic as the last one), a Toreador bottle and a donkey cruet set. The elderly lady selling them told me I was "very lucky to be allowed to buy such things" as her husband "wouldn't let her". Obeying a man? Sounds like she was still trapped in the fifties. Still I can't be too harsh on the silly old bat as she let me have the lot for 50p.

I'll try and get our holiday pictures up this week and show you what madness we bought back. 
I'm off to eat crusty bread with a huge salad, olives and cheese washed down with Rose wine. 

Have a fabulous evening.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Tuned In And Chilled Out

I'm back! Normal blogging service will be resumed as soon as I've shaken off the jetlag.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Leaving On A Jet Plane

The bags are packed and we're off shortly. Jon and I celebrate our anniversary today, 19 years of fun, frolics and adventures. We'll be raising a glass once we check our bags in and get a seat in Manchester Airport's branch of Wetherspoons.

What are we up to for the next three weeks?

You'll find us here most days

With a few cultural diversions

and getting reaquainted with the local wildlife

Scouring the many flea markets for silk dresses, chappals and tribal jewellery

Clubbing in downtown Mumbai

and just enjoying each other's company.

Thanks for your friendship, support and fabulous comments. 
You guys rock.