Wednesday, 30 March 2011

To Dye or not to Dye your help please!

Ok so I finally got around to trying on the cream lace dress I mentioned in a previous post.

The fit is pretty good and I like the length but as I suspected the colour is an issue.Despite being fair haired/skinned I just can't do white, cream or pastels.
Apologies for the mirror pictures Himself came in after a bad day at work, roared a bit then stomped off to the computer so no chance of him taking pictures for me! I really must take the time to figure out how to set the timer on this camera.

Anyway his comment when I twirled in front of him was that it is too close to my own skin tone and I do agree. So I'm thinking

either a rich purple
 or a mid blue. 
What do you think? votes please!
Next up is a frock I bought on Ebay because I liked the colours and thought it would be a keep me cool on a hot day summer dress.
Again apologies for the mirror picture and the fact it desperately needs ironing to make the pleats nice and crisp and FLAT, I do look about 6 months gone in this picture !?!

Himself isn't sure he doesn't think the colours suit. I like it, what do you think? Resell or keep?

Finally another project that has been languishing in my work basket for months and months and months and etc.... is finally FINALLY finished. I bought this dress in the sale at Tesco. It was much too big but I loved it and it was in the sale so I figured I could do *something* with it. I put it on inside out at the weekend pinned it then tacked it, before I retried it on. As I'm sure the sewers amoung you will know pining a frock to your shape whilst wearing it is not an easy task!

I'm very happy with the result :-)  Please excuse the delightful gardening shoes! (the patio was wet, I had bare feet and these shoes are always next to the back door good to go) Coincidentally the very same dress features in the lovely Gem's blog, if you don't already follow her do go and see.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

This week seems to be all about accessories

I know it's only Tuesday but it does seem to be shaping up to be an accessory kind of week.Work has been somewhat worrisome and my way of dealing with things like that is to either comfort eat or shop. Neither thing is good I know and both are things I am trying to avoid at the moment *Le Sigh*
So I compromised I indulged in one Strawberry Frappe Dessert from Marks, if you haven't tried one they are heaven! and allowed a wee browse around a couple of shops. We did need new pillows but somehow pillows didn't quite quench the urge to shop. My shopping compromise was to get some accessories at either £1 or £2 each in the sales rather than a big purchase.
 Very mad ring!

The above were from Miss Selfridge.
I then had to go to Boots to get some conditioner and spotted this faux pearl necklace reduced to £4. I have been looking for a short pearl necklace with larger stones for a while and this is perfect :-)
I did manage to get the pillows on sale in BHS and also found these earrings. Both were half price but it was time to call a halt to the spending as I had gone over £10. See I really am being tough on myself! lol.

 Aren't the little hummingbirds above lovely though?
It has to be said, hand on heart  I have always known I would fail the 'no shopping' policy but it has been an intersting and sobering experiment. Firstly to see just how much money I did fritter away on things, especially clothes but also to really think before buying means that when I have bought something it's been with careful thought and not mad impulse. This has meant lovely things I am really enjoying having and actually wearing rather than languishing unloved in a ram packed wardrobe.
I shall finish with this rather lovely bangle I found on Ebay for £2.50.

If I've said it once I shall say it again 'one can never too many elephants.'

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Trousers, Gardening and Magnolia.

What a glorious week it has been weatherwise, sod's law I was back at work and spent most of it buried in the bowels of the library. I did go to a local garden centre on my afternoon off and had a blissful time browsing about. I have also been outside most of today and am now soothing my aches in places I didn't know I had with a large glass of Pinot Grigio *BLISS*
The magnolia in my garden has burst into bloom.

This is not the magnolia in my garden, but the amazing ones in the garden at Worcester College in Oxford. Another thing that brightens my walk to work each day at the moment.
I did say there was a story behind the magnolia in my garden didn't I? My lovely neighbour Doug (84) told me that it was planted by the owner of this chemists shop in town who was the first person to live in this house when it was first built in the 1930's

It was a huge tree which had to be cut down before we moved in. Previous tenants had tried to put a swing in it and broken a big branch which let rot set in. Poor Doug was heartbroken to see such a glorious big tree cut down.
As you can see from the stump it must have been a pretty impressive tree. Anyway when we moved in we had many many MANY issues to sort out with the house due to the previous tenant. (Who I think I would still have to slap incessantly if I ever had the misfortune to meet her in the street, even now, 5 years down the line.) So the garden didn't get my attention for a while. By the time I started to tackle the jungle the magnolia had started to shot from the bottom of the trunk, as you can see from the above picture. I thought they were probably suckers and was going to cut them off but my Dad persuaded me to leave them. Wise man that he is, he thought they could be trained into a decent shrub with a load of TLC. So that is what I did, and 4 years down the line I was rewarded with half a dozen flowers. I don't know who was more thrilled Doug next door or me.

This year it's a sight to behold!   
It also smells delicious outside thanks to these bargainous, end of season hyacinths I got last year.

I garden by my Nan's philosophy 'never give up too soon on anything' and thought I'd risk buying them and they have most certainly rewarded me :-)

So to the trousers mentioned in the title. I bought the first pair for £2. They were too big but I loved the style and the button feature at the front.
As a rule I look like a sack of lard in wide legged trousers. Basically I don't have a waist, so I just look WIDE all the way down, but I have found a couple of pairs whose cut just seems to work for me and these are one of those pairs so something had to be done to make them fit! It was a damn fiddly job, even my Mother (a seamstress by trade) thought I was nuts but here are the results.

I'm not going to show you the inside of the waistband because it's not very pretty but who but me is going to see that? Of course I washed and ironed them before I started working on them DOH. Obviously they now need to be ironed again.

This is the other pair. I bought them for 99p on Ebay. When they arrived, to be blunt they smelt. Turns out they were labelled 'dry clean only' which the seller hadn't listed or I must confess, I wouldn't have bothered to buy them. However on checking the material (polyester/viscose) I decided to risk them on a cool wash and they came out absolutely fine and smelling fresh and lovely. Result! Haven't tried them on yet so they could be sack of lard trousers for all I know. We shall see.
I did pick up a lovely lace dress yesterday but it is cream. I think I shall see what the cut is like and if it fits well I may post a picture on here and get the concensus on colour. My skin tone doesn't do pastels/pale colours so if I love it I may try dyeing it. I'll let you know.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Spring has Sprung and a Saturday Swapshop.

Today I decided to take my camera with me on my walk down to the station. It was such a beautiful day at my favourite time of the year. First up is a lovely tree just around the corner from my house.

I love the blossom on this tree, it always flowers a week or so before any others.

 These tulips are outside the Fire Station. Someone there always plants up the raised beds outside with seasonal flowers.
On the hill down to the station there is a gorgeous 1930's house with a lovely old fashioned garden.
 I love that they have let these primroses self seed themselves. Primroses and violets just mean 'Here's Spring' don't you think?
How can anyone fail to have their heart lifted?

Forgot to say before Himself and I went to a Saturday Swapshop a while ago. You bring items you no longer want along to a local hall and browse round everyone elses items. If you find something you like you can just take it home. The only thing you have to do is have whatever you are taking weighed on the way out so they can show how much material they have stopped going into landfill sites. Himself wanted to go to take some videos and then just leave but I insisted on looking round.

I found this cute little chicken ans well as this lovely spotty jug with just a tiny chip on the lip. Finally a Midwinter jug in perfect condition. Himself found a 12 inch Star Wars figurine of Luke Skywalker so he left happy too!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Putting the Kitsch into Kitchen.


I am a fully signed up lover of kitsch, it has been a long battle in my life but I have finally given in and embraced it wholeheartedly! I have always loved Art Deco and other classic pieces but my inner kitsch queen refused to lie down and be tamed. I work on the theory that life is too short and there is a lot to be sad about so what harm in having things that make you smile and lighten your day just by looking at them?
I think that comes to the fore most in my kitchen. Odd really as I am no domestic goddess. My brother was front of the queue when they handed out the cooking gene in our family. Having said that I'm not a bad cook, just not a confident one. The only things I like cooking are cakes, no coincidence there as they are one of my favourite things to eat lol.
So with this and Amy's wonderful posts in mind behold my Kitschen!
 The sign on the door, very important to establish what people can expect from a room!

My pinboard. This started life as a useful place to put things like appointment cards etc. It has ended up covered in pictures and headlines clipped out of newspapers/magazines with no room left for important things like appointment cards etc. *cough*
Now as we are renting the kitchen decor is not my choice by any means. The only thing I was allowed to do was paint the room yellow ' as long as it wasn't too bright' To that end I have covered alot of the horrible manky old cupborad fronts.

Here is a collection of postcards we have been sent and again ones that make me laugh.

Horrible cracked white tile splashback hidden by bright colourful plates.

Every good kitchen needs love and elephants. Well did you really think there would be a room in my house without elephants?  Oh and my Snoopy storage (sweet) jar that I have had since I was 7.

Silly pictures and you can just made out my tin collection on top of the units in the background. This is the beam I plan to hang my snowman bunting off.........when I ever get round to making it!

This strawberries sign was a christmas present from my dear friend Soo. It rests on top of my cookery books.
 There is a definite egg theme to my kitchen, it's an in joke between Himself and me. I think that is enough, seriously there is more ! But I dare not overload your poor eyes with too much in one go, and besides my brunch is ready. Dippy boiled egss and soldiers! What else?

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Enjoying the Sun or a Week off Work.

It is just SO nice not to be at work. It's when you stop that you realise just how tired and stressed you actually are. The weekend went by without me achieving any of the things I had planned too. In truth I spent pretty much all of Sunday in bed reading, or watching Marple on TV when I wasn't buried in a book. I can't remember the last time I have done that and it was blissful.

I did have a plan for my week off, oh yes no aimless lounging around for me *cough*

On Monday I had to do the post office and the bank. Boo.
To make up for that horror I browsed the charity shops.

I bought myself this lovely headscarf and a couple of things for my Etsy shop. I actually wasn't expecting to find anything as I had only been in them all a few days before so I came home a happy bunny. So much so I felt purposeful enough to tackle the worst of my wardrobes when I got in.
I was brutal!
Well for me anyway lol. I have already listed stuff on Ebay and given a bag full of things to my Mum for her Age Concern nearly new sale, I have to do that or things just migrate back.
Anyway I can now close the wardrobe doors. Hmm wonder how long that will last.......
 Tuesday was all about the garden, and bleeding knackered I was too I can tell you! I'm kind of horrified at how tired I have been. I had to force myself to keep going after about an hour out there which is unknown. I knew we have been frantic busy at work but I wasn't really aware of how much it's been taking it out of me, gardening has always been my escape so it's hard to not have the energy or inclination to get out there. Having said that I did manage to get done most of what I had planned to do. It's a miracle the lawn still looks green the amount of moss I raked out of it. Of course just as I had finished my neighbour announces he has an electric scarifier I could have borrowed! Oh well, my waistline could do with the exercise (scoffs a handful of Mars Planets as she types)

Wednesday the plan was to get my CV in order and start refreshing on my cataloguing training. I did manage to read about 10 pages of the 150 page book on cataloguing I had been given and that was it. I was yawning so much I thought a break and a cup of tea were in order.

So I went in the kitchen and made a cake.

Peach upside down cake. It was meant to be a sandwich cake but I couldn't find my tins so I improvised with a brownie tray! Himself said it smelt funny but he's mental like that. It tasted lovely especially with whipped cream. YUM!

I put up my flying ducks. Himself finally admitted he was never going to do it (I have been waiting since November) So I bought picture hooks in town and did it myself.
Oh that's right, I went into town again. I thought a bit of fresh air might help the brain cells and I had to post my sister's birthday card too. There were quite a few sales on and before I knew it about 2 hours had passed,

I got this very lovely red bag for £3.99 from a charity shop. It was in the window I swear, I don't have a daily charity shop habit!

I also got this very cute sweater in New Look. I mooched, I bought a new concealer, some packing tape, some bird food and 2 for the price of 1 Battenburg cakes for Himself. It truely is amazing the things you can find to buy and the time you can waste when you put your mind to it.
I was back in the house about 20 minutes all ready to knuckle down to some work when my parents arrived. By the time they left, I needed to make dinner and then by the time we had eaten etc.
Oh well I thought, I'll do it tomorrow.
I'm sure you have guessed that the fact I am blogging here and not beavering away at the table means I haven't got anything done today either. I did read a few more pages of  the cataloguing workbook. It made more sense but I realise I'm going to have to do it in short bursts, I also realise what made me decide not to pursue that career option in the first place. However as workwise I'm up the proverbial creek with no paddle I'm going to have to persevere, it's a useful string to the bow and all that.

So today I have sorted out my paperwork, credit card & bank statements, sorted out all my 'stuff' in the front bedroom, dusted, hoovered, sorted out my fabric, listed some more things on Ebay and cleaned a stained handbag. I'm pleased I've been so productive but I'm aware it's all been avoidance tactics.
I DID check out the university job pages and I did see something quite interesting, but as I can't access that page from home it will have to wait until Monday. So maybe I will leave the CV until then, 2 birds with one stone and all that.....

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Charity Shopping? Don't mind if I do.

Usually I have plans for my half day but today I didn't, so I decided to head home from the station via the charity shops in town. I have to say I'm glad that I did
I ended up buying something in each of the shops I went into!
First up this unusual black necklace, it's a bit dirty but it will clean easily enough.

Next this cute little wicker basket. I think I will line it and put my hair accessories in it.

I then found this black velvet dress. It's probably too short for me to wear as a dress  but it was a bit grubby and looked like it had lost a fight with a feather boa so I decied to de-fluff it and wash it before trying it on!
I have been trying to get away from wearing so much black, old rock chick habits die hard! However it was a great bargain and I loved the gathered bust, very flattering for those of us not so well graced in the bossom department.

In complete contrast I then found this cute summer dress. Sadly I'm pretty sure I won't be the one wearing it, yellow is not a great colour on me. I bought it with my sister in mind because yellow looks fabulous with her colouring. :-)

On top of  these my Mum brought more goodies for me. A load more buttons,

some very dirty like this cutie, how I wish there were more than one of him.

A carrier bag of vintage patterns and just look at the bag! How excited was I?
but best was this little packet among the buttons, genuine kirby grips in thier original wrapper!!