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.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Look at this Beauty!

This a a post to say thank you to Liza at The Vintage Kniter I noticed the other day that she has another blog Buttoned up Betsy so I went to have a look and fell instantly in love with this gorgeous, gorgeous bracelet.

It arrived yesterday, beautifully packaged and as I was going out last night I put it straight on and kept it on until I went to bed. I am thrilled with it, so thank you again. x

Collecting Part 1. or You can never have too many elephants.

So huzzah Himself has finally put the computer back together! In my pictureless post I mentioned the arrival of some jewellery bargains which I was desperate to post about. As two of them are of things I collect I decided to write some posts about some of my (many) collections......

I have a thing for Elephants and Monkeys. I love them and I collect them, but in a selective way. I have to say there are some pretty hideous examples of both out there so I don't just buy anything that has an elephant on it. Sadly the same cannot be said of some of my friends/relatives when buying me a gift! I know that sounds horribly ungrateful but I'm sure you all know what I mean.
So without further ado .....Here are my vintage elephant accessories.

The item that finally arrived last week is something I have been after for a long while.

I must point out it is a 70's/80's copy of the delicious Art Deco style bracelet I have been eyeing up. The real McCoy is well out of the range of my pocket sadly, but you know what I don't care .Once I have given it a clean I know I will enjoy wearing it.
Next up are a couple of brooches I bought on Ebay in the last year.

From very different eras I grant you, but I know I shall wear both.
As followers of my blog will know I have had a thing going on for headscarves recently. Possibly to do with my hair finally being long enough to wear them and lets face it it's another excuse for me to browse round the charity shops and the internet!

I was thrilled with both of these, and even though I hate pink with a passionate loathing, I do agree it has it's place and on this elephant scarf it is allowed. It has come out very dark in this picture for some reason and is actually a bright spring blossom shade.

Finally the bags. I know I have had two of them in a previous post but I don't need an excuse to show them again.
Oh and I did say I wanted to show the too cute for words fabric I bought on Ebay so here it is.

I don't know what I am going to use it for yet mind you.

Monday 22 November 2010

A Bit Slow on the Uptake!

So yes I have been very remiss. I must confess I only just noticed I have been awarded 2 Lovely Blog awards recently and therefore haven't done my bit to award some myself.

Aparently In order to accept this award, I must nominate 15 more blogs for the award and let them know they have received it. However as I don't follow that many as yet I have set my limit at 10. So in no particular order........

lady cherry loves


Ivy Black Chat

Tea and Crumpets

Yesterday Girl

Penelope Nightingale

The Fabric of my Life

World of Blackout

Dressing Mrs Exeter

Sunday 21 November 2010

A Non Pictoral Post.

It has been an interesting week one way and another. Illness, an exhibition, family visits, work, a training course and plumbing dramas!
It took 3 different plumbers but we finally have hot water again (huzzah!) Kitchen tap is still dripping, but quite frankly I'm just grateful to have water to drip out of it at all.

Friday I was on a coaching course. I was pretty unenthusiastic about going which is weird as I have been considering coaching/mentoring as a career move for a while now. Anyway thankfully I did bother to go because it was great and the lady who ran it gave me some wonderful advice and was very encouraging. My job is coming to an end in 6 months time so I have no idea what the future will hold. I try to be positive as I'm a great believer that negativity attracts negativity but with the economy the way it is it's hard not to be scared shitless! I have been job hunting for about 9 months now and have only found 3 things to apply for in that time, my problem is I am truly institutionalized. I have worked in the same university department for 22 years now and it is such a unique job it doesn't exactly give you transferable skills. Getting no support from your boss or employer doesn't help either.......but enough of that for now!

I had big plans for the weekend but plumbing issues and my brother put paid to yesterday, so instead I spent what was left of the day reading and watching t.v . Today I achieved a fair amount which is why I'm sitting here drinking wine and blogging rather than still beavering away!

I had planned to write a blog about jewelery showing my bargainous internet jewelery purchases which have finally arrived!...... but Himself suddenly decided to dismantle the computer this afternoon so that is why this is a non pictorial and non jewelry post written on his mac.
I'm also gutted I can't show you the too cute for words fabric I bought on Ebay. Providing the computer is up and running in the week I will post pictures forthwith!

Wednesday 17 November 2010

The Pre-Raphaelites and Italy.

Is a new exhibition on at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. My Dad really wanted to go so I took both parents to it today. It was a good excuse to have a snoop around the newly refurbished Ashmole as well.
Now my parents don't like to come into the city for some reason, too many people etc I guess. So it really is something for them to make their way into Oxford at all. We met at 12 and headed straight there. I was a bit shocked at the price of the exhibition but I guess they have to start paying for the refurb, or maybe the insurance on the pictures they had borrowed to exhibit!

First impressions were not good when the woman at the ticket desk who served us was less than helpful. Having checked the concessions board carefully, only the usual OAP, student etc applied. I jokingly said something about it not being right, there being no discount for university staff and she didn't even bother to reply so the woman next to her said 'but there is'
I said 'excuse me?'
and she said again'but there IS a staff discount'
so I said 'really?'
and the woman serving me then snapped 'of course, you should have asked'
When I pointed out that it is not written in the price concessions list she snapped 'it's here, on this side of the board' pointing at the back of the price chart which I can't see because it is fixed to the desk in front of her!!
She then sent us to the top floor at wrong end of the gallery so we had to pretty much come back down and start again to find our way to the exhibition.
Why oh why do people who clearly hate other people get jobs dealing with the public??

Once we finally got in to the exhibition it was well worth it. Back in the mists of time when I was a fresh faced young art student I had to study the Pre-Raphaelites for one term in Art History. I developed a love for the work of Edward Burne-Jones so it was just fantastic to see his sketches and preliminary pictures for the mosaics for the American Church in Rome.

I was also very taken with Ruskin's architectural drawings of Venice and Verona. I guess I always have him filed away as an art critic rather than a skilled artist in his own right. I loved that he drew like I do, intense detail in one bit and then you realise you have run out of time so the rest is quickly scribbled in! Ok well that is how I draw and some of his pictures had that feel.

There were a lot of pictures by lesser known artists who came slightly later and were in their turn influenced by the PRB, as the PRB had been influenced by Raphael et al.
Still can't warm to D. G Rossetti, just don't really like his style and there was a W. Holman Hunt that looked exactly like Rupert Everett in a frock, most disturbing!


A bit of Charity Shop Shopping and an Unusual Visitor

It's been a while since I last blogged, been a bit busy and a bit ill. Had the most corking migraine sunday through monday and was even off work for 2 days! Thankfully I don't get them very often, once or twice a year at most.
It turns out there is some manner of virus going round that seems to cause bad headaches or migraines in those who suffer them and then turns into the sniffles - nice!
Thankfully I am on the mend, back at work and back on the computer, mostly catching up on everyone elses blogs.

So last wednesday I had lunch with an old work colleague and as we had to finish up about 3pm I headed home via my local charity shops and the police station.
The police station bit is like something out of a t.v sitcom! Seriously you would not believe it if I told you all the ridiculous details. Surffice to say we have an abandoned car outside our house, they have managed to establish that much, it has been there over a month now.
Basically the police have been behaving in the manner of bungling t.v. comedy dectectives in their efforts to deal with said car. Apparently it was going to be moved on monday........it's still there......
but I digress.
The charity shops were sparse to say the least, (must be time for me to have another clearout lol) However I did get 2 bargains.

A lovely satiny effect blouse in black with little white stars. It has lovely little cap sleeves and a gathered effect on the shoulder.

Find of the day was two Alfred Meakin serving dishes, with this wonderful autumn/winter hedgerow design on them. Sorry picture has come out a bit yellow!

Anyway after a weekend of not much except not quite feeling right and then definitely not being at all right with the migraine, I finally started to feel a bit better yesterday afternoon and went outside to get some fresh air and refill all the bird feeders in my garden. I heard a Red Kite calling and look who was sitting in my neighbour's tree.

I can't quite believe I managed to get back in and get my camera before he took flight. I think it must have been about 15 years ago now that they released Red Kites back into this area and what a success story it has been. I was still living with my parents then and we were only a mile away from one of the secret breeding sites. It was wonderful to spot the first 2 or 3 birds and watch as they slowly became more and more. Now they are seen everywhere in Oxfordshire, mostly due to the high use of cars by modern man, they are carrion and happily live off all the roadkill!

Here are 7 that were circling above my garden yesterday, and I live in a town.

My mother likes to feed them, with raw chicken I hasten to add. You would make them extremely ill/ kill them if you gave them cooked meat. Cooked meat = an absolute no-no.
It takes your breath away to see a bird the size of a full grown male landing in your back garden I can tell you, we are talking 2ft tall.
She has one bird who roosts in the willow at the back of their house, it had a bad leg last year. She felt sorry for it, hence the feeding. Now it will pretty much take the chicken piece from her hand!
No joke, she goes out into the garden with the meat and the bird launches himself from the tree and catches it mid air as she throws it. I was toying with buying her one of those big leather gloves bird of prey owners have as a joke.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Discovering Reclaimed Treasures.

Yesterday was meant to be a day of cake, gossip and shopping with my two best friends.

My oldest and bestest friend Jenny has M.E. It has been horrible to watch her suffering from such a debilitating and still largely unaccepted illness. My bright, bouncy and energetic friend has been reduced to a pale & exhausted bedridden shell of her former self. She has battled with a variety of horrific symptoms for over 2 years now and yet rarely lost her good humour which has only made me love her even more. This year she has had some terrible weeks and yet she has been slowly improving after each relapse, enough for us to venture out and about into the little cotswold town she lives in.

Only a year ago it had a vibrant little high street but now the decline is sadly apparent. You know it's bad when even the charity shops have closed up and gone! Somewhat disappointed we were heading in the general direction of home when we spotted a shop saying 'Aston Antiques' with it's door invitingly open. It didn't look like your usual antique shop so we decided to take a look and here is what we found!

The most delightfully disorganised reclamation yard full of household objects from eras gone by.

The guy who ran the place was lovely and told us how it all started with a collection of Victorian fireplaces and their tiles,

These are the ones outside waiting to be restored.

He then got a thing for doors and door handles.
He kept them all at home until his wife mutinied and he had to find somewhere else to store them and the yard was born!

We had a lovely time poking round and discovering the weird and the wonderful.

Monday 1 November 2010

Too Many Clothes......

So this weekend was Halloween and Himself and mine's 13th anniversary. We met when the party I was meant to be going to was cancelled so I went to see his band play instead. We got chatting after the gig (he likes to tell everyone I picked him up in a bar!) and the rest as they say is history.
Just to show how the sparkle has worn off I was out without him on Saturday night and he went away to his sister's for a long weekend!

Actually these were long standing plans and I did come home to flowers and bubbly on Friday night :-)

I decided to make the most of Himself's absence and attack my 'full to bursting point' wardrobes. I had a schedule all planned out but Saturday got scuppered by my dear brother. I ended up spending all afternoon sorting his garden out.
This is how it works. He asks me over for 'garden advice' and then has 'just got to do something, won't be a moment' and disappears until I have finished. To be fair he did feed me and give me a lift to and from the O2 Academy in Oxford where we went to see Feeder. Who were AMAZING, though very, very loud. Ears still ringing now, guess who forgot the earplugs....
I wore my Laura Lees grey leopard print dress, recently re-discovered in the middle of one of the full to bursting wardrobes. *blushes with shame*

So Sunday it rained, perfect clothes sorting weather. I set too with a will, emptying one of my wardrobes, cleaning it, loading the washing machine and trying on frocks a gogo!

Here are most of the dresses from said wardrobe, getting an airing and waiting to be put back in it!

I then spent the evening answering the door to trick or treaters and listing items on Ebay.

The 3 shameful things I conclude about my day:

1. I found clothes still with price tags attached. *more shamefaced blushing*

2. Even though I sorted, re-hung and got rid of a load of dresses, I STILL can't close the wardrobe doors!

3. I haven't even started on the other wardrobe yet....

Reminds me of one of those lifestyle type programmes I saw on t.v once where the presenter said 'how can you say you love clothes when you treat them like that?' to a woman with cupboards like mine.