Dressed for a decision made

Well thanks for all your comments folks, after great deliberation I’m going for ….. peach (or honeysuckle as CSC call it). I reckon if I’m going to dye my hair peach, sorry honeysuckle, I may as well get the bag to match! After all I’m never knowingly under co-ordinated ;-)

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This morning I donned a skirt I had bought from Oxfam Original on Oldham St yesterday for £8.99. Again I was inspired by thoughts of Spring and thought the flowers and colours would go with the new hair colour too….
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…..however as there was no sign of Spring in the air today I wore it with a black polo-neck and boots.

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Black Poloneck - Marks and Spencer

Black Leather Biker Jacket - Mango

Skirt - Oxfam Original

Boots - ALDO

Bag - Vivienne Westwood

Wired Head Scarf - Lost But Never Forgotten @Vintage Village

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To Satchel or Zatchel….

…that is the question! Mothers Day is a mere two weeks away and in an attempt to make it a little more bearable than last year I’m planning my present to myself. I’ve been fancying a satchel from the Cambridge Satchel Company for a while but then around Valentines Day this caught my eye from Zatchels.

red-and-white-hearts_recolouredSo now it’s started off a full scale research project into which to purchase and I need some help making my decision. Of course the leopard print Zatchels have caught my eye…

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but then again so have the pastel shades in the Cambridge Satchel range and given that I’m planning peach for my Spring/Summer hair colour they would go perfectly!

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Last but not least I’m not sure I can resist this for a certain Hello Kitty fan in my life.

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Hello Kitty Barrel Bag – Zatchels

So help me out folks….which should it be? xx

 

 

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Two down….thirty four to go

In my The Gift of Giving post before Christmas I shared with you one of four Hermès Scarves I inherited from my Mum. I also promised to show you thirty six ways to tie a scarf, as detailed in the lovely Hermès book! So here’s the number two scarf and the number two method of tying it….

Hermés scarf pink copy

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Whenever I saw Mum wearing this scarf she had always teamed it with a pink and grey outfit so today I wore it with her grey jumper.

IMG_0547I really like this method of tying the scarf and it was really simple to do, check out the diagram below.

IMG_0543Do you know any nifty ways to tie your scarf? Do share them if you do xx

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A vintage haul

Yesterday I had a lovely time meeting up with friends and perusing the wares at Stockport’s Vintage Village. I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since I last went, but even though it had been so long they hadn’t forgotten about me and I got a lovely warm welcome from Sarah and my favourite stall holders. The day was made even better by the haul I came back with, allow me talk you through it…

My first stop was at the cake genius Stuart Thornley’s stall to pick up my mini cupcakes. At this point I’ll let Isla demonstrate the four stages of cake consumption…

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I then completed the fifth stage later in the evening. Whoops!!

 

 

 

 

 

After a coffee with Dotty aka Michelle we joined forces and went spotting vintage beauties together. We found this lovely jacket on Lost But Never Forgotten’s stall. One of my favourite parts of any visit to VV is calling in for a chat with Emma from LBNF – she’s a real cutie! Emma and her pals also run Show Us Your Threads on ASOS market place.

Lost but not forgotten jacket copy

We then strolled across to Room At The Top to visit All Mod Cons as I wanted to purchase a vintage phone. It’s the same kind of phone that we had at Mum and Dad’s and they make me feel all nostalgic. They had all different colours but not exactly what I was looking for so I’m popping back to choose between a two tone green phone or pink and cream when they’re ready. I’m leaning towards the pink one at the moment. Just click here to see how the phones are restored by Mr Mod Cons and check out the orange and cream one below…what do you think?

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100Another coffee with Paula and Terry warmed me up a treat and off I went again finding a lovely tan saddle bag  for £10 and a Christmas plate which will be part of this year’s displays.

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Last but certainly not least was the find of the day, a pair of the most luxurious maroon velvet trousers from Biba, they cost me…..wait for it…..a mere £10, I couldn’t believe it. They zip up, just, it’s a tight squeeze at the moment however they will provide me with the perfect incentive to carry on my healthier eating and exercise.

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Roll on next month :-) xx

NB Amendment to price of plate – £5 rather than £10.

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National Libraries Day

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I’ve just found out it’s National Library’s Day today and I couldn’t let it go unmarked. Both my Mum and Dad were librarians, in fact they met on their library course in their late teens/early twenties. Mum went back to her career as a librarian after she had brought up me and Alex, and became the School Librarian at Our Lady’s in Royton. She stayed there for twenty five years until she retired in December 2010 and the above photo was taken by me on her last day. Mum loved a good display and Christmas provided her with no end of literary inspiration. Check out a couple of 2010′s displays below….

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In my opinion Mum was an excellent school librarian, fostering a love of books and a thirst for knowledge in the students. Her library also provided a safe haven for young people who didn’t always feel part of school life.

Mum didn’t drive so one of my favourite things to do was to turn up at her library and surprise her with a lift home. I can still see her face as she spotted me and the delight on her face at the thought of not having to get the bus!! Ah the simple things.

If you or your children aren’t members of a library, I’d encourage you to rectify this immediately! Especially if you live in Oldham as we have an excellent library, life long learning centre and gallery with lot of free activities.

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Make a splash…vintage style

Looking for a good swimming costume is a little bit like the search for the perfect pair of jeans; much sought after but not often found. That was until a couple of years ago when I stumbled across For Luna swimwear. For Luna “are specialists in retro swimwear. Our aim is to bring glamour, sophistication and femininity to the beach. We take inspiration from a time when ladies carried themselves with a grace and poise which seems to have been largely lost in a culture where almost nothing is left to the imagination!”

This combination of vintage glamour and the desire not to show off a tummy that wasn’t great before Isla, never mind after, is what made me opt for one of their gorgeous costumes. Oh yeah and can you guess what else appealed to me?

The cherry design was my first purchase and then I followed it up with a leopard print one last year. Well it would have been rude not to ;-)

Retailing at £59.95 they are not cheap but the quality is commensurate with the price you pay. These are the reasons I think they are worth the price tag….

For those of you who like to flash a little more flesh than me, For Luna also have a range of bikinis. Here are two of my favourites….

What do you think ladies? Are you tempted??

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She’s back!!

Anyone who knows me or has followed my blog will know that 2012 was a difficult year for me. As my friend Ellie put it, “If there was a grief Olympics you’d definitely get a Gold!” Looking back I would say that 2012 was more about survival and I found the only way of getting through was to give in to the down times and make the most of the up…as ever in life there was a mixture of both.

What I have found out about grief is that one day I could be perfectly rational about the death of my parents, thinking “these things are natural” and “it’s the cycle of life”. Yet the next day an aching emptiness would descend and I couldn’t stop thinking that I would never see these two people again who were so wonderful and special to me. Often it wasn’t big things that upset me but something small that would set me off – a bad day at work or turning up to a B&B a day early! Basically I’m just not as resilient as I was and I have to remember this and take care of myself.

However there were also good times in 2012; time spent with friends and loved ones laughing and joking, holidays to places I hadn’t been before and, as ever, Isla was a constant delight and distraction.

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So here I am in 2013; determined to move forward and live a happy life, just like Mum and Dad would wish for me and so far I’m doing pretty well. I don’t want to call them resolutions as they never get past January but these are my plans for 2013….

Run more…. last year I think I ran about three times so this year I’m signing up for the Leeds Half Marathon in May. I’ve done it three times now and it always gets me into some good habits early on in the year.

Don’t drink in the house…. this one’s caused quite a bit of amusement, comments like “won’t it be a bit cold on the decking?” or “wow you’re going to have to spend a lot of time at other people’s houses!” My reason for this is that I got in the habit of drinking regularly and I don’t think this was doing my waistline or my head any favours! I’ve only drank once in January and managed to stick to three glasses of wine so I’m off to a pretty good start.

Continue not to smoke…. I quit smoking on Sunday 15th July 2012 and although I had two lapses on nights out in 2012, I am determined that in 2013 I will be completely smoke free.

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I feel I must clarify at this point that I am not going to turn into some clean living nut case who is tee total and obsessed with diet and exercise, my Dad would be very disappointed in me if I did ;-)

Wear false eyelashes more…. obviously this is a very serious one and I’m pleased to say it’s going really well. I’ve found the key is the glue, so instead of using the one that comes with the pack I use Duo glue – much more secure and makes the lashes easier to apply.

Do up the house…. I love my house but it is looking distinctly uncared for and there are several things that have needed doing since I moved in for example changing the avocado green bathroom suite. (Can you believe I’ve never had a white bathroom suite, my last one was royal blue!) I also have big plans for a sewing room in the attic :-) which brings me on to my next plan.

Return to my sewing…. I hardly sewed at all over 2012, partly because I was living at my Mum’s but also because I didn’t really have much energy or motivation. From September I have been working part time and I now have Mondays and Fridays off. A couple of years ago I dreamt of working part time and making more use of my sewing and craft skills so I really want to make the most of my new working pattern. My first project of the year was altering Mum’s vintage Martini dress, check it out here. Watch this space as there will be plenty more to come.

So here’s to a healthier and happier year with more ups than downs xxx

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Mum’s Martini Dress

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A couple of years ago Mum and I went to a great Vintage Fair at The Armitage Centre in Fallowfield and I encouraged Mum to buy this amazing dress on an impulse. I’m not sure what decade it originates from but it is definitely handmade. When we got it home Mum tried it on but wasn’t totally happy with the style of the dress and found it a little unflattering. There were two main problems with it….

1) The dress has a drop waist, as you can see from the picture below the belt loop is where the waist should be but the skirt part falls a little lower. This did not look good on Mum or me!

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2) We both felt the neck line was neither one thing or the other and it didn’t do anything to enhance the dress or the woman inside it.

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For a couple of years it languished in my wardrobe waiting for me to make the necessary alterations and it’s only now that I’ve finally got round to paying it the attention it deserves.
I started by detaching the skirt from the top of the dress and then attached it to a thick piece of black elastic. I then removed the belt loops and opened up the neck to a V rather than a slash. Hey presto one beautiful full skirt….

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….and a funky little top with a more flattering neck line. The best thing is that I can wear the two together and it still looks like a dress – the best of both worlds :-)

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The Gift of Giving

With Christmas on its way I’ve been giving gifts a lot of thought, picking some up for friends, family and of course a few for me ;-) Today I’ve been thinking about gifts in their widest sense and that what you inherit is a gift, both the material and the less tangible things like memories and qualities. So instead of focusing on the absence of Christmas presents and more importantly presence from my Mum and Dad, I’m choosing to use these weeks to make the most of the gifts they gave me.

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One of the material things I inherited from Mum was her collection of Hermès scarves. Dad liked to treat Mum at Christmas and she was often the last one to finish opening her presents. This was one of six that he bought her (he never did anything by halves!) I have four of them and she gave me strict instructions to give the other two to Ruby and her cousin Pamela. When it comes to scarves it is undeniable that Hermès are the don of the silk scarf. You could almost be tempted to frame them they’re that beautiful.

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What I love about scarves is their versatility and I was lucky enough to also inherit Mum’s accompanying book which gives you no less than thirty seven different ways to use your scarf including shrug, sling and bum bag!! This is the one I chose today so brace yourself for the other thirty six coming your way ;-)

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PS If you’re ever passing along King Street in Manchester it’s always worth a glance in Hermès window to see what the scarf of the month is x

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Dressed for being King of the Castle

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I’ve spent a lovely weekend with my Scottish relatives and having spent the afternoon in the park being the king of the castle and an evening at the Panto shouting “He’s behind you!” I feel like a big kid again. As we wended our way home down the M6 Isla and I sang along to Glee and Disney doing Christmas and it was at this point that I decided I’m going to embrace Christmas in a big way this year. I had been feeling a little nervous about it but not anymore folks….watch out Christmas I’m coming to get you!!!!

In the playground I’m wearing Bertie boots, H&M skirt, Kookai top and Mango leather jacket. My hat from Toast was a pressie from Mum and my snood is a new Long Neck Scarves purchase.

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