Monday, 31 May 2010

Bank Holiday Bargains

This morning's weather was kind to us so we were at the car boot sale for 8am. Here's just a few of today's boot sale bargains.

A pair of cheesecloth harem pants by "Just In at Debenhams". This was a trendy range back in the 1970's when I was a kid reluctantly being dragged around the town by my fashionista mother, a snip at £1.50.

Vintage suede lace-up ankle boots by Sacha, London. Another popular 1970's brand, still going strong today. These cost me 50p and despite only being marked as a "38" fit my hooves a treat.

Indian-made, quilted hippie-chic waistcoat in black cotton threaded with silver lurex thread and fastening with bell-trimmed ties. The seller was the proud owner of a yellow 1968 VW Beetle and bought this from a boutique in Brighton in the late '70's. Price: £1.50

I'm also wearing a jumble sale vest, assorted Indian bangles, rings and earrings and a 1970's Celtic bird pendant bought from last week's boot sale for £1.

The early start's definately taken it's toll on me, I had to have several photo sessions before I even resembled a human being.

Plans for this evening? A cheeky Bank Holiday Bacardi and coke and a re-run of Easy Rider.

R.I.P. Dennis Lee Hopper (May 17, 1936 – May 29, 2010)

Sunday, 30 May 2010


Apologies for my absence from the wonderful world of blogging. I didn't go really AWOL after my impromptu night out on Thursday, life just seemed to get in the way. What with funeral arrangements, Dad's 81st birthday and Jon and I moving my brother into his first house I've barely had a second spare.

The rain's finally stopped, the sun is shining but the wind is flipping freezing. We've been to the garden centre this morning in an attempt to find some pretty blooms for our windowboxes which are looking a little the worse for wear (bit like me after last night's boozefest). With a houseful expected on Thursday I've got to reinvent myself into a domestic goddess, whipping up tasty appetisers and serving refreshments with a smile, I might even have to ask Jon where we keep the vacuum cleaner.

Today's outfit is mostly vintage and all second-hand : Orange suede culottes found on a clearance rail at last years' Clothes Show Live's "Vintage Village", a charity-shopped tweed waistcoat, 1970's oversized "Googles" sunglasses from a 10p bucket at a car boot sale, a jumble sale vest and a charity shop belt..... my 1960's Finnish leather boots purchased earlier this week from the British Heart Foundation for £4.99. They have elasticated panels at the back which make them nicely close-fitting.

As always my jewellery is a mix of Indian buys, inherited pieces and vintage finds.

 Keep your fingers crossed for a dry day tomorrow. The lure of bank holiday boot sale is calling and I need my fix.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Naughty, Naughty, Very Naughty!

If I took any notice of the fashion experts I'd be sporting a nice bob, neutral makeup, discrete jewellery and a flattering wrap dress because that's what you're meant to do when you hit forty, but , as you've probably guessed I don't do rules and am quite happy to dye my long hair black, go heavy on the kohl and strut my stuff in revealing outfits. Hell, if Kylie and SJP can do it, why can't I?

Rules were made for breaking!

Today's naughty little number consists of:
Pink satin kaftan (Jumble Sale)
Customised vintage jeans (Charity shop)
Faux leather belt (Charity shop)
Vintage leather duffle bag (Handmade by my Late Grandma in the 1960's)
Scarab pendant (Car Boot Sale)

I picked up these fab Italian leather boots for £4.99 from the British Heart Foundation yesterday, they've got leather soles and rather groovy wooden stack heels. 
Summer's a great time to snaffle a bargain pair of boots or winter coat, nobody else is looking and the charity shops put them out for peanuts as they need the space. These beauts would be priced at £15 come the chillier months.

Just for my lovely friends Bollywood Style Diaries and Helga, here's a close-up of my Victorian carpet bag, inherited from Grandma.

I'm off for a very naughty curry and a few cheeky vinos this evening, and on a school night, too!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Cultural Outing

You might be forgiven for thinking that the West Midlands is a cultural wasteland with nothing more than Ozzy Osbourne, heavy metal music and our rubbish accents to set us apart from the rest of the UK but you'd be wrong. Walsall is home to probably the finest collection of publicly-owned art in the country, housed in the impressive National Lottery-funded £21million "New Art Gallery".

Walsall-born Katherine Garman was married to Jacob Epstein and on her death bequeathed their impressive private collection to the townsfolk. We have original Picasso, Matisse,Van Gogh, Epstein, Pissaro, Constable and Goyas by the bucketload and what's more, it's all free. 
A great way of spending a couple of hours.

One of the most unforgetable pieces has to be this 1882 sketch "Sorrow" by Vincent Van Gogh. It was of pregnant artist's model, Sien, who had just been abandoned by her lover.

Epstein's bronze of Rabindranath Tagore is extremely powerful and his intense wisdom seems to radiate through the sculpture. 

There's lots of modern installations, too....

...thought provoking!

Boozle-sozzled hedonists we may be but we do enjoy a bit of culture.

Anyway, enough of the high-brow stuff, what am I wearing today?

Vintage moss crepe frock found in a charity shop last year for £1.95 worn over hand-made ripped leggings, some high-heeled gladiator sandals, a 1960's suede waistcoat and my late Grandmother's Victorian carpet bag topped off with a heap of ethnic jewellery.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

How Bizarre!

You probably would never guess but I come from a long line of hoarders in particular four maiden great aunts with Victorian town houses stuffed to the gills with curiosities. I've inherited some very bizarre pieces from them, there's so much in fact that we've got four sheds in the garden full of strange and wonderful things that serve no useful purpose whatsoever. 

Here's some family pieces of mourning jewellery that I've inherited:

A Regency-era locket made from bog oak 

.......and filled with a lock of a loved one's hair.

A huge gold plated brooch (or can also be worn as a pendant) bearing the image of my dashing Great-Great-Grandfather.

Some Victorian brooches made from Whitby Jet.

Today's outfit:
Vintage pinafore dress (eBay), 1980's belt (Charity Shop), Clogs (Car boot sale)

Monday, 24 May 2010

Tea With The Vicar

When the vicar called round this morning to help me plan the funeral I was slightly nervous. Mum was a regular churchgoer and a practicing Christian and I'm not, but as my Dad and brother have passed all responsibility on to me I just had to give it my best shot.

I needn't have worried though, Colin is a cool vicar, he adored our house and it's retro interior, confessed to being a charity shop devotee, a hater of the high street and a fan of Joni Mitchell. Heck, he once owned a VW Campervan and we even share a love of Rabindranath Tagore, the Bengali Nobel-prize winning poet.

He was in awe of my jewellery, too.

This huge silver plated brass bangle was my Mum's favourite, she'd worn it since the 1970's.

My vintage maxi dress and matching frilly headscarf were a 99p eBay find awhile back. They were simply listed as "dress" and the photo was awful. The Portmerion "Greek Key" cups and Habitat coffee pot were both wedding presents bought for my parents in 1966 and passed to me a few years ago.

I think the Rev. Colin's quite enamoured with me. He kissed me goodbye and told me I was fabulous.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Sunshine, Cider and Vintage Frocks...

Excuse the dozy expression. We made the most of today's glorious sunshine and drove the Variant over to a quaint pub where we met friends and partook in light refreshments and home-made vegeburgers with chunky chips in the beer garden. Sadly as Jon was driving I had to quaff two bottles of iced Swedish Kopparberg on his behalf.

I've spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping in the shade.

When we pulled up at the car boot sale yesterday I told Jon that I wanted to find a pair of chunky wooden clogs as my last pair gave up the ghost a couple of years ago. Although they're the "in-thing" there's no way on earth I'm going to buy a high street pair, nice as they are, in my world that's just far too easy.

Lo and behold, the first stall we came across I spotted these beauties priced up at a mere 75p, I was so excited I gave the nice lady 80p and told her to keep the change.

I also spotted this rather cool vintage Egyptian scarab pendant and simply had to purchase it along with some other pieces of 1970's Stainless steel costume jewellery. Now I know I wrote on Friday's blog that I never needed to buy another piece of jewellery ever again...BUT the whole lot only came to £6 and it was in aid of Cat's Protection.

When I got up on Saturday morning the postman had left a surprise parcel on the doorstep from a rather fabulous person. These dresses are just so gorgeous they almost have me wishing for the temperature to drop a little so I need to wear sleeves again.

Today's outfit:
Rose print maxi (£5 Charity shop), Vintage straw hat (50p car boot sale), Clogs (75p car boot sale), Scarab pendant (£1.50 car boot sale), Silver jewellery (India and Mum's collection) 

I'm very excited about watching "The Stones In Exile" tonight. Time for another snooze to ensure I stay awake to drool over the beautiful Mick and Keef....