Tuesday 28 December 2010

Time to Change my Hoarding Ways.

Today it is cold, grey and pouring with rain. I seem to have found myself a streaming cold from somewhere so I'm feeling very 'meh' again. Definitely Bah Humbug!

I get a spring cleaning urge most januarys but this year it seems to be upon me very early. Today I feel trapped and hemmed in by mountains of stuff, and yet I am an instinctive hoarder by nature. I like to have my things around me, I like surface clutter and pictures on the walls.
Yet I find myself questioning more and more at the moment, why are you keeping this? you don't wear it/like it/read it etc.
Recently I had a 'big' birthday which sparked a wardrobe clearout, fear of being mutton or vintage bintage as my friend Murray would say was part of the motive. I was truely shocked at how many clothes I have, it was, in all honesty, obscene.
I sold nearly 200 items on Ebay/Etsy and took 15 FULL black sacks to charity and do you know what the worst, most shameful bit was? You would never have know that much had gone. It just meant things were hanging in the wardrobe and I could shut the doors. Of course I didn't stop shopping and now you can't close draws or doors again.

I love clothes and I love fashion, I always have and I always will. I get excited with every new season but the mindless spending has to stop. I have spent the last few of weeks really looking at things after the initial thrilled intake of breath. Do I REALLY need it, will I REALLY get wear out of it, can I afford it? It seems to be working......

I think another motivator is last January we had the sad task of clearing Himself's Grandma's house. It was a daunting task to say the least. She was, like me and Himself, a hoarder. We faced a house full of 50 plus years of collecting and it took a full week of solid hard graft to sort through. So when the christmas decorations come down the first area to be blitzed will be the bulging bookcases. There is much work to be done.......

Never fear I have no doubt whatsoever I will still be posting excitedly on here about finds and purchases in 2011. Hopefully it will be quality not quantity you will be seeing next year!

Sunday 26 December 2010

A Literary Christmas.

Hello all, I am back home from my parents and sitting here full of pasta and tea, hoping I can stay awake until Upstairs Downstairs starts!

We had a blissful, very quiet Christmas which was just what I needed. Having said that Christmas eve was a bit manic with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew over as well. My nephew has ADHD and hadn't taken his meds that day so he was a bit demented to say the least! Kept us all entertained mind you and Mum cooked us all a 3 bird roast which was delicious.

I got some wonderful pressies this year with a definite Agatha Christie theme.

As you can see.

Also another load of wonderful books to add to the never shrinking pile under the bed!

As you can see my family know me and my tea drinking well. I got both sizes of 'Where there is tea there is hope' cushion. Some cute knitted teapot tree decorations and my nephew also bought me the fab Mighty Boosh mug.

Finally Himself got me these cosy slippers.

Oh and here is my latest cheats sewing project. I boght this cat jumper a few months ago and it has done nothing but shed the most ridiculous amounts of fluff ever since. I even had to clean out the washing machine drum after I washed it because it left so much behind! I got heartly fed-up of defluffing everything the jumper touched so I turned it into a cushion cover.

I hope you all had a fabulous christmas where ever you were and whatever you were doing. x x

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas one and all.

I thought I would take a few minutes *cough* out of todays schedule to read up on blogs and add my own festive message before we head off to my folks for a few days of my Mums cooking *happy sigh*.
As I sit here with my cup of tea and brandy butter cupcake I am relieved to say my Christmas spirit seems to have finally arrived! This is despite the cold sore and mouth ulcers (grrr) A sure sign I am run down/stressed which might explain the distinct lack of festive glee that has plagued me the last few weeks. Work as been hellish it's as simple as that.

Yesterday was my last day at work until the 4th January *huzzah* and our last ever departmental christmas lunch. Foodwise it was an unmittigated disaster but peoplewise we had an absolute scream. I work with such an amazing bunch of people it's horrible to think in 6 months time we will be disbanded and in all likelihood I will never see some of them again, January the job hunting frenzy begins, but I'm not thinking about that right now.

Today the presents are under the tree and Himself is off having his hair cut by my sister in law.
Sadly the downside to having your hairdresser in the family is that you are NOT allowed to go elsewhere for a 'do' but she is so damn busy right now, timewise, a cut and colour for me is out of the question. So whilst Himself will be freshly coiffured for Christmas day I am still looking like a dogs dinner with split ends and roots a go-go. It's been hats of various descriptions for me for the last few weeks I can tell you.

Anyway the sun is shining, A Muppets Christmas Carol has been watched, cake eaten and tea drunk and I must be off to pack my bag and tidy the chaos that is my sitting room.
So I wish you all a very, very happy christmas and see you all in a few days. x

I leave you with what is being called the most photographed bike in Oxford.

It was chainned to a downpipe at work and that downpipe burst and leaked.

Sunday 19 December 2010

Finally the tree is up!

So we woke up to 4 inches of snow on saturday and after I got the food shop out of the way it seemed like the perfect time to finally put up the tree and decorate it.

First came the snowmen. I have metioned before I collect them, so the room becomes a bit of a minimalists nightmare!

Here are some on one unit. Above are some of my Grandad's flower cigerette cards that I got framed a few years ago.

yet more.....

No christmas is complete without a nativity scene!

Finally the tree. I bought some new lights this year. I love coloured lights rather than clear ones. We have such a mixture of decorations now and this year we have a handful of vintage ones we inherited from Himself's Grandma.

I also found time to do some baking! I fear a relapse tomorrow........

Thursday 16 December 2010

Wasting Time.

I should be finishing my Christmas cards but instead I'm browsing the internet and wondering if I am actually going to be able to get home when I finish at 7pm.
Apparently the trains are all up the spout because of a major power failure and have been since 2.30pm.
As it has been snowing on and off one can only imagine the wrong kind of snowflake fell on the points and shorted out the lot! Always the way when I'm expecting a phonecall at 8pm and I'm starving hungry. *sigh*

Today was the day of the christmas carol service they hold in the Divinity School. I go every year because it is just wonderful.

The building has such amazing accoustics and is such a lovely setting. I always feel very festive after I've been, which I need this year. For a self confessed Mrs Christmas I seem to be very lacking in the spirit of it all right now. The dedcorations have been out of the loft for a week now and I haven't even openned one box.

We were in Torquay at the weekend to do early Christmas with Himself's family. We were all there en masse for Nephew number two's first birthday.
Himself learnt the lesson that; you always have a change of clothes handy where babies are concerned, for them and you, the hard way. Nephew number two grabbed Himself's pint and tipped it straight into his lap, so the rest of the evening was spent in wet jeans until we could get back to his sister's and put them in the wash. He then sat around in his pyjamas until 2pm the next day until they had dried enough to wear! Lucky really becasue we had to leave to go home at 3pm. My favourite bit of the journey home is when you get to Dawlish and the train runs right next to the sea, it's beautiful

This is the view from the train window!

I managed to scoot into a couple of charity shops in Paignton but there was nothing to be had. Seems the same lack of lovely stuff isn't confined to my town alone.

I found the same on Monday when I had to go to the dentist in the next town and only managed to find a pottery elephant in all the shops I went into. I shall have to post a picture of him later.

Well I'd best go and start closing up and end this ramble.

Friday 10 December 2010

You know how it is.......

When you are out christmas shopping and you have SWORN you will NOT buy ANYTHING for yourself because;

1. you can't afford it this month.

2. When people ask you what you want you can't think of anything to tell them.

3. you are christmas shopping for other peoples gifts.

and then you spot it, this amazing gorgoeusly wonderful thing that you have to have......no matter what. You cannot wait for someone else to buy it, no you can't take the risk that it might be gone when they get around to going to buy it for you. So you run to the checkout with it and buy it and have just a tiny smidging of guilt for spending money on yourself when you aren't allowed to. Thankfully this is usually overwhelmed by the love you have for the item itself.

Here is my item. I am deeply in love, I feel warm and glowing and fuzzy inside. *happy sigh*. Oh and I did get a couple of gifts as well so that's alright isn't it?

Thursday 9 December 2010

Q&A. The As

Many thanks(I think!) to Tea and Crumpets for tagging me in this Q&A. Here are my answers, I am only being so obscenely fast in my responce because I am working late tonight invigilating a reading room so have time on my hands :-)

1. Why did you create the blog?
It started out that I was going to blog about the random things that I ponder about/get annoyed by as I go through my day but somehow it morphed into a blog about clothes and shopping.......but mostly shopping!

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
Mostly vintage fashion and handicraft blogs. I keep meaning to spend some time looking at what else is out there, but never seem to find it......
I must confess to the guilty habit of finding most of the blogs I follow by looking at the ones other people are following and just following the ones that appeal to me.

3.Favourite makeup brand?
As I am confessing guilty secrets I am a complete make-up whore. I have no solid allegiance to any one brand and am easily seduced by special offers and new ranges, a marketing mans dream no less! However it does mean I know what does and doesn't work for me.

I use Max Factor foundation because they do a lovely pale one that doesn't make me look either tangoed or dead, I like their eyeliners too.

I also keep going back to Bourjois Coup de Theatre mascara because it is fab.

4. Favourite clothing brand?
Definitely don't have a favourite brand as such. I love to shop and if i find something that fits well and looks great I'll buy it. I do go back to particular stores for example I know on the whole Dorothy Perkins jeans fit me as do Red Herring trousers so I will go to them first if it's jeans I'm after. Marks is always good for seperates too. Charity shops don't really count do they?

5. Your indispensable makeup product?

in a word, Lypsyl. I have had a serious addiction for over 20 years and can open the tube and apply one handed. My friend says it's like watching a gunslinger in action!
I always have a concealer on me and an eyeliner.

6. Your favourite colour?
Green. Purple is another favourite too.

7. Your perfume?
I don't wear any. I'm one of the however many percent of the population who has funny skin that makes perfume smell horrible so I stick with body lotions and body sprays.

I love Bath and Bodyworks Juniper Breeze

or Sheer Freesia.

Of course they don't sell them in the U.K anymore *weeps* so I stock up whenever I am in the U.S or get my lovely American friends to bring some over with them when they visit the U.K.

8. Your favourite film?
Couldn't possibly say there are so many..........
Nope my head is about to implode just sitting her thinking 'oh there's this one, or what about that one'.

My favourite book is Hound of the Baskervilles so that will have to do instead!

9. What country would you like to visit and why?

I want to see a moose in the flesh, it's been an ambition of mine for years and one day I shall, money permitting.

I'd like to visit the Amalfi Coast too. The film and book Enchanted April made it look stunning , if you haven't watched or read them, I would highly recommend them, I love both.

10. To be chosen by blogger.
I liked the 'What do you want to be when you grow up' question in Tea and Crumpets so I shall steal it!
I wanted to paint pub signs when I was little. I was a strange child on occassion!

Pass on the baton
I'll do this later as I have to shut the reading room up right now......

Wednesday 8 December 2010

A Day in The Cotswolds.

Today I had another day off work. I know I know part timer or what!
I had arranged to meet my two best friends Soo and Jenny for lunch and a little christmas shopping. At first I thought we would have to cancel, it was bitterly cold and snowing when I got up this morning. Thankfully by the time I got off the bus in Soo's village the snow had stopped.
Unfortunatly it did stay very VERY cold all day!
We decided upon the Cotswold town of Burford. We all love visiting there so it was an easy choice.

It has been a while since I have been and the high street seems to have evolved into a mix of mostly very expensive gift shops and a few antique shops. We worked our way up one side of the street, then crossed over, had lunch (delicious macaroni cheese) and worked our way back down again.

What I love is that you suddenly come upon all these little alleyways. Each one seems to be more beautiful than the last.

The very last place we found was this little junk shop. It has some lovely bits and pieces but my goodness the prices were crazy!

I loved this tiny little foo dog but he was in a terrible battered condition and they still wanted £12 for him!

This little kitty was way too pricey too :-(

so I just settled for photos of them both.

They had a few clothes but nothing outstanding apart from this glorious blue frock.

Finally we had a look around the churchyard before heading home, sadly the church itself was closed. Typically the sun decided to come out just as we were leaving!

Isn't this little angel adorable.

Monday 6 December 2010

Walking in a Frosty Wonderland.

Today I am off work HUZZAH!
I was meant to be going to Stratford Upon Avon for the day but plans had to be postponed, so I decided to keep the days leave booked, and do productive things like write christmas cards or wrap presents instead.

I was doing pretty well with cards but It was SO lovely and white outside and as I discovered when I went out to feed the birds, actually not that cold.
After another hour or so I was getting desperate to be distracted from the job. I had written my overseas cards so I decided to take them to the post office and go for a walk on the way back.

My usually black gate all sparkly and white.

I took the camera with me as I only got it in the summer and wanted to see what it was like with winter pictures. Sadly they have all come out a bit blue tinted hmm....

Here is a house that I would like to own. It's just around the corner from where we live and has such lovely original features like the front door and stained glass windows and a wrought iron veranda at the back *happy sigh*
I have told Himself if we ever have the money Kirsty and Phil are going to find us a house. (I love their show so much!) The criteria being 1900s to 1950s no later, large garden, original features but mod cons! Don't want much do I!

Tuesday 30 November 2010

It's Starting to Feel a bit like Christmas.

My god it's cold out there! Himself has headed off to the cinema so I have the computer to myself for once. I should be sewing or at the very least doing my ironing.......instead I'm browsing and blogging.

Last week was the street fair in our town to turn on the christmas lights, this years theme was 'steam' and my favourite is the old fashioned roundabout.

Lucky me didn't have to work until 7pm that night because some students had invaded and staged a sit-in at work. I was supporting them before that, but after, even more so.
I had had a great day up until that point anyway. I had bumped into one old friend and then had an unexpected phonecall to meet for coffee from another. They say these things come in threes and sure enough I bumped into the girl I used to get a lift to work with at the street fair!

The next day my sister and her new beau arrived, it's the first time he has met the rest of the family apart from me, he appears to have survived the ordeal!
Now my sister lives and breathes the 50's and is as much of charity shop nut as me so the three of us trawlled the town all afternoon.
Sadly there was very little to be had. I'm not sure if it's the time of year? but there have been very slim pickings for the last few weeks. I bought one vintage glass christmas bauble for 10p and a set of 6 orange buttons for 15p!
We came back here for a well earned cup of tea and my sister proceeded to take most of my etsy shop stock home with her! Of my handstitched things this is what she left me with......

I spent the rest of the weekend starting to make new bits

I just need to stitch them all up...

Sunday 28 November 2010

Collecting Part 2. Or you can never have enough snowmen.

So yes, as well as monkeys and elephants I also collect snowmen! I clear all the surfaces of their every day ornamentation (or clutter!) and get out my collection of snowmen ornaments in the weeks before christmas, I have so many now it takes quite some time but I don't care I love them. As they are not out to take pictures of yet I have taken pictures of the brooches I have collected over the years instead.

In all honesty I have no idea how old any of them are but they give me joy twofold, because they are bright and glittery and they are snowmen.