Saturday, 26 February 2011

She Who Gives Shall Also Receive or A Visit to the Charity Shop.

Firstly Thank you to all of you who commented on my elephant planters, they actually came from 2 different charity shops in town and I have no idea how old they are, 50's I suspect. I bought Baby first and then blow me if  I didn't spot Mama about 6 months later, I believe I did actually shriek out loud with excitment when I saw her! Poor Himself, he doesn't like charity shops at the best of times and then I do things like that to embarrass him hehe.

Here they are happily back where they should be. The domed dish infront of them was given to me by my Nan because it has strawberries on it. It was a wedding present to her and my Granddad in 1935 from a relative in America and bizarrely it arrived with the dome intact but the dish broken.

So to the meaning of the title of my post!   
 I woke up early for some reason which is not the greatest of starts to the day it has to be said. Still feeling the effects of my cold in that I'm very listless and everything is an effort. So rather than cracking on with all the stuff that needs doing I'm fiddling here, then sitting down and fiddling there, then making a cup of tea and not really getting anything done.
As I already had a full bag of bits for charity I decided to get some fresh air and drop them into The Shaw Trust shop, as I've said before I like to support diferent charities rather than just go to the same shop over and over. I got there and on my way out had a quick gander at the £1 rack, if nothing else I have bought many a cotton shirt for cutting up for patchwork from this rail. I looked on the shelf above and nearly had heart failure. There infromt of me was THE Butler and Wilson bag I have coveted for about 3 years now. I have never been able to justify the price, even on Ebay where they go for about half price. It was clearly used but not wrecked and as it has a tiny hole in the corner it was £3.50, £3.50 I could have wept with joy, I practically ran to the till!

Behold my new bag. I know it's probably not to everyones taste but it makes me smile just looking at it.
The heavens opened in monsoon style so I chatted to the lady behind the till and another customer for 15 minutes until it eased enough to risk heading out. I scooted into the Cancer Research shop next door and found this little dish for my sisters glass cabinet

It was still pouring so I dived into Peacocks two doors down to browse until it stopped and struck gold again. I only went in there because of Porcelina's post yesterday about Peacocks.

Not only did I find a cute leopard print frock with a peter pan collar.

I also found this Pearl Lowe lace dress reduced to £10!! I can only imagine someone bought it elsewhere and returned it to this store because it is quite a small shop and has never had Pearl Lowe's dresses in before. 

Here is her daughter Daisy showing it off so much better. Not bad for just popping out for some fresh air? Oh and yes I know I've broken the no spending rule AGAIN.

Friday, 25 February 2011

What a Week That Was Part 2: Shopping! New Sofa! Cake! & more Cake!

So here it is hot of the press the rest of my action packed week.Actually feel free to skim over this post as it's nowhere near as exciting as the first half of the week.

Wednesday = Charity Shopping!

My half day. I met an old work colleague for coffee, well tea in my case, and a catch up. He had to go after an hour so I headed home via the local charity shops and here is my modest haul.

Two non vintage jumpers. The cream one is for work, I loved the button-up neckline. The black lacy one is perfect to wear with dresses where otherwise the bingo wings are on show!


A glasses case for my sister and a few sewing bits for the bargain price of £1.50. Great Result.

Thursday = Illness and Furniture!

So today to compensate for my afternoon off I work late boo. I wasn't feeling so great when I got up. Very sore dry throat. I did wonder if I had been lying on my back and snoring all night, which has been known to happen (oh the shame of it!!) but apparently not, and Himself is horribly honest about these things!
The throat stayed put all day and then the nose started to run. Great, another bloody cold. *Le Sigh*

When I got home at 8pm I was feeling decidedly under par, all weak and pathetic. This was despite having had the most delicious brownie at afternoon teabreak from my dear friend Soo.
 All I wanted to do was eat dinner and go to bed but I had to help move most of our living room furniture for the arrival of the new sofabed on Friday afternoon. This including getting the old one out the front door and having to vacuum the swathes of dust left in it's wake, where the hell does it all come from? I only did under the sofa the other day.
Though they weren't exactly in the delivery mens route my precious elephant planters got moved too just in case!
 Here's mama elephant looking as fraught as I felt.

Baby elephnant in the midst of the chaos that is my dining room table right now. Finally crawled into bed at 11.45pm *weeps*

Friday = Best Friends and more cake.
TGIF. Himself was convinced I would be off work sick today as I had not had the greatest of nights sleep  due to the cold. However I had afternoon tea with my best friends Soo and Jenny planned so I dosed myself up, grabbed a box of tissues and headed off to work. Thankfully I was doing some shelf checking so nothing too strenuous. Still it was lovely to knock off at 3.30pm and enjoy lots of tea, girlie gossip and the most obscenely huge slab of coffee and walnut cake you are ever likely to see! Seriously I haven't had anything to eat since, I'm still full. (Though thankfully no longer queasy, that was from my own sheer greed mind!)
Today was also Payday Pub Friday. 3 more people from my department leave today so no more excuse was needed for one and all to head to the pub. Soo and I saw Jenny on her bus home and strolled to The Turf Tavern. It is one of the oldest, and sadly also the most expensive, pubs in Oxford, with possibly the rudest landlord you will ever have the misfortune to meet.
 It was pouring with rain at this point, so we arrived to find you actually couldn't even see the beer garden due to all the thick white smoke billowing from the coal braziers. Burning coal and rain obviously don't mix!
Typically this was where everyone had chosen to sit, they were under the huge canopy which protected from the rain but sadly also trapped the smoke.We lasted about 20 minutes until my poor throat couldn't stand any more and both left with streaming eyes. Not the end to the night I had had planned.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

What a Week That was Part One. Film! Music! Hair Drama!

Well this week certainly had it all.Here is an unusual week in the life of Miss Magpie:

Sunday = Film!
We finally got to see Paul on Sunday and loved it.

I'm a big Simon Pegg/Nick Frost fan, though not as big as Himself who was guffawing away next to me throughout. The scene with the Star Wars T-shirt was Himself to a T! I plumped for the 4.45pm showing so we could get back and have some dinner before I could settle down in front of Antiques Roadshow and South Riding. Huzzah, thoroughly enjoyed both.

For some reason I did not sleep at all well Sunday night and crawled out of bed all weak and pathetic with the Monday alarm.

Monday = Music!
Monday we had tickets to see Europe. That's Europe as in the 80's, Final Countdown, all hail Joey Tempest's huge perm etc. I know frightening right?

  I must point out I have never been a fan. When you bear in mind I was a huge fan of similar bands back in the day, Europe just never did it for me and dear lord that above mentioned song *shudder*
However last year they got back together to make an album just for the hell of it, and it started to get serious critical aclaim.
Himself checked it out and was amazed to really like it. They were playig our local O2 Academy so what the heck? and you know what? they were bloody brilliant!
 To give Joey his well deserved due he certainly has whatever that 'X' ingredient is that makes a front man. I can appreciate that in any good charismatic front person irrespective of the music or whether I like it and he had it in spades.His voice has somehow matured as well.

Here I am, in not only a dress I bought from Charlotte   

 (as you can tell I do HATE having my picture taken and am always stiff and awkward!)

but also the lovely necklace I bought from Buttoned up Betsy

We had a great night out and I even sang along to The FC with everyone else, it seemed rude not too.

Got home late, didn't get much sleep so weak, pathetic and helpless on tuesday morn.

Tuesday = Hair Drama!
For a little background to set the scene:
All we vintage film/fashion fans know the gloriously gorgeous Veronica Lake right?

Legend has it that she was asked to cut her famous peek-a-boo fringe because there had been some terrible disfiguring injuries caused to female munitions workers getting their copycat haircuts caught in the heavy machinery they use.

So on tuesday I decidedon an early night being still weak, pathetic etc and had a lovely hot shower before turning in. As a rule I blow dry my fringe and leave the rest to dry naturally but as I wanted to go straight to bed I decided to blow dry the whole lot.This is where it all went terribly wrong......

I have quite an old hairdryer and the sponge bit that covers the air intake as long since gone. I'm drying away, mind in neutral thinking of my lovely bed and Wham! A chunk of my hair gets sucked into the back of the hairdryer!!?!
 Dear lord above it hurt! I'm shrieking and cursing and Himslef is trying to help and not laugh. You can picture the scene. I managed to tease some of my hair out but the rest was just too well wrapped around the dryers innards and so was lost. *weep*

Next installment to follow if you can possibly stand the strain.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

The 'Raindrops on Roses' challenge.

Thank you to Lauren for the tag in  her latest post and what a great idea for a post it is :-)

I'm actually in a much better frame of mind, though tireder than the tiredest of tired things (more on that later..) So I've been thinking of things for this post whilst making dinner and got a bit carried away, I fear I may struggle to keep it at 6 and most of those seem to be food based! Probably something to do with being hungry and making dinner lol.

1. Getting into a freshly made bed.

Just blissful. I'm afraid I am very selfish and always make myself a fresh nest when Himself is away, like this coming weekend for example, can't wait!

2.Comfort Food.

I'm going to cheat and label all my food joys under one heading. Potatoes in all their potatoey goodness, especially chips and cheesy mash. Cake glorious cake with cheesecake and carrot cake top choice. Ice cream = happy smile. Strawberries and Cherries for fruity joy. The list goes on....

3. Curling up with a good book.

I don't seem to get the time these days, so it is always wonderful when I can just switch off and indulge.


The minute I step outside the back door and dive into a flowerbed the stress just falls away. I can loose myself completely out there and I swear it has saved my sanity on occassions.

5. Being beside the seaside.

It can be the dullest most grey of days and I still feel the lift when I see, hear and smell the sea.

6. Fressias.

I just love the smell of Fressias so it's always a lift to bury my nose and breath deep.


Saturday, 19 February 2011

Some Vintage Freebies from the 30's and 50's to Brighten My Day.

Well it is amazing what a good nights sleep and some surprise gifts can do to cheer a girls heart.
The first one was rescued from a skip at work so I didn't actually get it today but in the week, kind of forgot about it until I was cleaning round today.
Isn't it fab? This came out of one of the janitors cupboards at work. Even the janitors were expected to come to work in a hat, hence this rack for their hats and coats.
The building I currently work in was built in 1939 and all the fixtures and fittings in the main building were top notch, the best quality available at the time. Heartbreakingly over the years much has been dumped. They refurbished the cloakrooms a few years ago and told the workment to throw everything away. Now usually that would mean the green light for a wrecking spree right? but we are talking savvy workmen here.
 It took the 3 days longer than schedule and I'm sure you can guess why! We watched as every ornate sink and it's taps, every piece of sanitary ware, even as many wall tiles as possible were carefully removed and loaded into a van. Carried off to the nearest reclaimation yard I don't wonder.

The other thing was from one of the ladies my Mum helps at Age Concern. She has been clearing out her sewing projects and decided she was probably never going to get around to doing these.

They were a special offer from Woman magazine in the 1950's and she has been 'getting around' to making them ever since! You had the choice of 4 'Glowing colours that harmonize with the scheme of your sitting room'. These are the primrose yellow ones. I plan to buy some silks to make them up, at the moment they are added to my 'to do' sewing pile. lol

Oh and I had to share these two pictures I took at work with my phone. One night a week I invigilate a reading room and I spotted these books on the returns pile.

They are from the 1920's and are all 'true accounts from Daily News readers'. The wonderful and terribly proper style of writting kept me highly entertained all evening!

Finally I just had to take a picture of this chap. He was on the cover of a book about Darwin.

Friday, 18 February 2011

What's in my Drawers at the End of a Very Long Week.

I don't think I have ever felt so TGIF as I do today. This week work has just been total shit. This afternoon  was  the last straw, my camel's back was well and truely broken.I came home completely fed-up, you know it's bad when even wine and chips don't do the trick!

So to give myself something else to blog about I decided to follow in the footsteps of Brittany and Charlotte and do a drawer post. Obviously the undies are most definatly not going online but here are:

my jewellery overspill drawer! The clear and paisley jewellery boxes are full of earrings and the black fabric one you can just see on the left has yet more bracelets in it.

My make-up drawer.

This was my drawer for scarves, gloves and sunglasses.
but I have *SO* many scarves now my hair is long again, that I also have a bag full of them too.......hmm could be the time for a clearout of this particular drawer.

On the subject of jewellery I didn't come up with my blogging name of 'Miss Magpie' from nowhere. I have always loved shiny things right from a small child. Infact my answer once on a quiz question 'what bait would someone have to use to catch you with in a trap?' was 'put something shiny in the bottom along with cake'!
For those of you who may not know, magpies are a brightly coloured members of the crow family and they are attracted to sparkley or shiny things.

Their nests often have candy wrappers and aluminium foil woven into them. Due to this, one fairytale around them is that they steal jewels because of their sparkle. So as you can see from the picture below the name is well deserved in my case. 
This is the top of my chest of drawers. It's very full of sparkle as you can see, I must point out that this is the result of years and years of collecting. I think I bought myself my first necklace when I was 8 and I still have it, it was a little orange bear in dungerees. If it wasn't all so beautiful I might be ashamed to have so much but it is so I'm not.:-)
I really struggle to clear out my jewellery. I can have a damn good sort through of everything else but this is my one struggling point. If it's something I don't wear anymore and a friend has admired it I can give things away but otherwise no. I have a secret fear of me getting worse, of ending my days in one of those houses where there is a small pathway through the piles and they will find me crushed under a fallen pile of possesions.

To change the subject conmpletely from that horrible thought to that of me reigning in my terrible spending habits. Only a week of  February left and I have done pretty damn good this month. Mostly it must be said because I've been in non-stop headless chicken mode at work which means by lunchtime I'm good for nothing except to collapse in a heap until it's time to leap into action again. I have bought a few make-up bits in Boots and I did buy some hair accessories whilst shopping for birthday bits for my sister but that is it. I have decided not to count the charity shop shopping unless it is a big purchase, they are my rules and I will bend them if I like lol. Long may I keep it up!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Happy Monday !

So yes yesterday was Valentine's Day and as it turned out it most definitely went from very bad to very good.
Like many others on here we don't celebrate in any great fashion. Our only tradition is that we always buy each other 2 cards (it's a long story!) and as a woman who loves her fizz, it's always an excuse to pop a cork!

Yesterday work was hellish, it's been getting worse slowly but steadily. Good days seem rare now sadly. It kills me because I have always loved my job, but enough because this isn't about me wallowing, it's just to show. that I was feeling very flat when I got to the station last night. Himself had already texted to say he would be finishing at the same time and would meet me there, and sure enough there he was with a lovely bunch of roses. Just the thing to cheer a girls heart, valentine's day or not.  

We got home and feasted in fine fashion on fishfingers and chips, again what better way to cure all ills than eating chips? Ok cake runs a close second :-)

To digress for a moment we have a Cineworld cinema about 10 minutes walk from our house which is ace. Himself LOVES going to the cinema and has one of their Unlimited Cards which means for £14 a month you get to go as often as you like. He will pretty much go and see anything because after you have been twice, it's free.
Anyway we decided to go and see a film and he said I should pick what we saw . Top choice was 'Paul' but at the moment it is only on at 9pm which is way too late for me to be out on a school night. So my second choice was 'True Grit' which I really wanted to see. Not sure where my love of horse operas comes from, possibly my Granddad who was a huge fan. I don't share his love of John Wayne I must say Clint Eastwood or James Stewart is more my idea of a western!
Anyway I loved it and my day ended on a high. Unfortunatly Himself didn't, I'm just so used to him going to see whatever, that I had managed to completely forget that he hates westerns :-( 
I did feel bad that he didn't have the same enjoyment I did, I mean valetine's day is meant to be for both of you really isn't it *guilt*.

On the subject of the film we both agreed, love or hate westerns, young Hailee Steinfeld was just jaw droppingly good, she simply acted everyone else off the screen. What a talent! The Oscar nomination is very, very well deserved.


Sunday, 13 February 2011

Gardening, Spring Cleaning and Lovely Surprises

So I'm sitting here watching the Baftas full to bursting with roast dinner. It's been a busy weekend but I have achieved things so I'm feeling tired but pleased.

Yesterday it was sunny so I finally got out in the garden and dug the veggie patch. I borrowed my neighbours wheelbarrow and emptied one of our compost bins to dig in before planting anything. It was in there, about halfway down, that I had my first surprise.

The kitchen knife I lost about 3 years ago! Obviously I must have thrown it out with the peelings at some point. It was in amazingly good condition and after a thorough clean it's as good as new.
By the time I had done the digging, planted out onions and potatoes and weeded the rockery I was freezing. It was not as warm as the sun made it feel that's for sure.
Thankfully my brother arrived so I had the good excuse to quit and head into the warm and drink tea and lots of it.
The next surprise came in the post from Jenny at The Life and Times of a Vintage Obsessive. whose give away I won.
Isn't he gorgeous? He's going on my work coat before I leave tomorrow morning. :-)

I also openned my Bloggy Love package from Cheri.. If you are back from Austria and reading this, Thank you I love it all x x. The minute I openned the outer wrapper the gorgeous smell of soaps was just divine!
Oh I should point out there were also some chocolates in said package but they only lasted about 30 seconds!
Today it was pouring with rain so I decided to hoof Himself out of bed, where he was lounging quite happily and blitz the boudoir. It took me most of the day but was very satisfying. Lets hope I can keep up the momentum and continue the good work. I already have another filled bag for the charity shop and some stuff to list on Ebay at some point.

Before I go, talking of the Baftas....... I'm not suposed to say but....... I know what Stephen Fry got in his goodie bag! Only because I got to have a good nosey through it yesterday hehe.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Books and More Books.

So I know I said I was going to spring clean the bookcases in my house,well I lied. I just keep putting it off. The below pictures are from only one bookcase! I have 4..........

It's a bit like one of those houses with a small pathway through piles and piles of stuff. I kind of don't know where to start.Oh and of course there is the pile under the bed too. Help

Blog Award!

Thank you to Wendy at The Butterfly Balcony for a Stylish Blogger Award.

I feel very flattered. :-)

I know the rules are:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

but I hope you will forgive me if I only do the first two.

1. Despite the impression I may have given on this blog. My favourite alcoholic drink is actually Champagne! probably as a Kir Royale. As I can't afford it at the best of times, it tends to be white wine ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) or Bitter/Ale. I don't like spirits.

2.On the subject of drinks my favourite is actually tea. I prefer Yorkshire Tea and take teabags with me when I travel! How sad am I?

3. According to friends and work collegues my catchphrase is 'I read this article in a magazine'
I do seem to read an extrodinary amount of magazines. I have a couple on subscription, to 'Home & Antiques' and 'She'. I also buy 'Look' every week, must have my fix of scurrilous gossip!
The rest come from my Mum who helps at Age Concern and brings me loads of other ones as the ladies  have this whole swap thing going on.

4.I love ghost stories but I hate horror films, except for old black and white ones.

5. I have almost 100 nail polishes. You name the colour I have it.

6. I have always wished I could dance but I have two left feet. I actually got asked to leave ballet classes when I was little!

7.I love potatoes in all their wonderous cooked forms.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Those Glorious Glamour Years!

What a lovely way to end what has been a trying day (and that is putting it mildly!) I came home to not one, but two parcels.
The first was this fabulous book. I have been after this book for ages. It is out of print and usually STUPID expensive secondhand. One of the perks of my current job is that I can call up our copy and drool over it when the need overcomes me.

Just after Christmas I finally managed to find it secondhand in America for a halfway decent price and decided to spend some Christmas money on it, even though I didn't actually have any Christmas money left at the time!
I was begining to dispair of it ever arriving but today it finally did and how happy I am to see it.
There is a chapter on 'Glamour at Home'.

Glamour in the Bedroom.

Work suits.

Subchapter on backless evening dresses.

The list goes on. Glorious is indeed the word.................

The second parcel was my Bloggy Love gift from the lovely Cheri at Cwtch Corner