Monday, 30 May 2011

Cat In A Hat

What a washout. Our Bank Holiday festival fun's been halted after water from today's torrential downpour got into the electrics and caused the sound system to blown up. Unless it's repaired in the next couple of hours it looks like I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go. Luckily we can hear proceedings from our garden so we can dash off the minute we hear a bhangra beat.

Vintage leopard coat (£3, Church sale), 1980's velvet shorts (60p, car boot sale with lace added by me), Wide brimmed felt hat (50p, car boot sale), 1960's lace blouse (40p, jumble sale), Suedette boots (£5, local boutique)
Despite leopard print becoming a bit commonplace of late my trusty Astraka coat continues to make a reappearance come the festival season. It's warm and cosy and I've even treated it with water-proofing tent spray to help keep me dry.

I bought these 1980's high-waisted velvet shorts from a car boot sale last week and pimped them up with some old lace. Jon reckons I've made them look like knickers but if underwear as outerwear is good enough for my style icon, Desiree, then it's good enough for me.

Here's the secret to Saturday night's curls, my Adee & Paul hot sticks which were a quid from a car boot sale last summer. I leave them to heat up whilst I'm having a bath and then wind them into my hair stopping at just below jaw level, removing them when they've cooled down (usually around 15 minutes). The same effect as sleeping in rags minus the passion-killing bedtime look.

Butler & Wilson cat brooch (courtesy of the gorgeous Sharon), Floral bangle (courtesy of the beautiful Sarah Misfit) and heart-shaped turquoise ring (my darling Helga), Blueberry Ice polish by Barry M.

Despite the rubbish weather I've still managed to have a brilliant weekend and there's sewing circle, a charity shop adventure and a pub lunch scheduled for the rest of the week. My eyebrows have completely healed too, hooray! 

Sunday, 29 May 2011



We got dressed up and went to our friends, Liz and Al's converted toll keeper's canalside cottage for dinner.

Check out that fabulous crimplene.

I wore a late 1960's crimplene maxi I picked up from Thursday's jumble sale. Aren't I sneaky not showing it you when I revealed my epic vintage dress haul?

Liz in a gorgeous Dollyrockers maxi

Al with just some of the empty bottles

Liz's handmade curtains.

Lizzy in a 1960's Nouvelle Vague fine knit mini dress

Adrian with Disco the cat.

I found Jon this 1970's Harris Tweed Baker boy cap from Thursday's jumble sale, he's been surgically attached to it ever since.

Delicious nettle soup, Liz made from nettles salvaged from the river bank served very stylishly in a South American pottery coffee pot.
We also had sweet potato and pumpkin lasagne, homemade spinach and ricotta quiche, tossed green salad with a lemon vinaigrette and vanilla cheesecake with home grown strawberries. As usual I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures.

We saw a jumble sale advertised in our free paper yesterday.

 Our purchases included a vintage chiffon maxi dress, a Nine West purple leather bag, 1970's embroidered slip dress, a leather skinny belt, a beautifully soft Scottish wool and mohair blanket, a fringed crochet shawl and two gorgeous peach 1960's hats.

Spinney crimplene maxi (40p, jumble sale), vintage Ravel of Bond Street platforms (£4.50, Cancer Research), vinyl handbag (75p, Salvation Army)
It was a bit of a late one last night and I'm not even dressed yet. I'd better get my act together as the free festival kicks off at 12.30. Slam poetry, Bhangra, rock and Indian pop music followed by a curry, I can't wait.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. x

Friday, 27 May 2011

Flower Power

I thought I'd give one of my latest jumble sale dresses an outing today. 
It went down so well that I got treated to a rendition of Scott Walker's  MacKenzie's (ooops thanks, Curtise) "San Francisco (Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair)" from the queue outside the swimming baths when I stepped out of Yootha, our 1969 Beetle. Pensioners, no shame, huh?

I'm feeling so overwhelmingly floral today that I'm even wearing Boots No 7 Gay Geranium lipstick. Well, if it's worth doing it's worth overdoing.

1960's floral shift (Jumble sale 40p), Alexis boots (TopShop £20), vintage yellow rose bag (Car boot sale 20p), Hair flower (Hand made)
It's the village Free Festival this weekend so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for dry weather and then maybe I can squeeze a car boot sale in, too.

Have a brilliant weekend whatever you get up to.

PS: Please check out the lovely Emma's blog today, I get a mention!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Tickled Pink

It's peeing it down here today and not a chance of a car boot sale but there's still plenty to smile about including the arrival of our Glastonbury tickets.

Time to start sorting out the festival wardrobe in readiness for the season of all day drinking and dancing till dawn. I've got enough Boots' Advantage card points saved up for a splurge on Barry M's neon pink lipstick and blue nail polish.

Vintage kid's maxi dress (eBay 2006, approx £10), Shelley's shoes (Jumble sale, 20p), Pink tote (Courtesy of the divine Sarah Misfit), Hair flower (made by me)

Continuing with the excitement, we're just back from the monthly jumble sale, the one where we get a pre-sale invite along with the priviledged few from the upper echelons of jumble sale society. My fellow rummagers call me "the Sixties lady" and if they spot anything psychedelic, crimplene or just plain crazy they'll chuck it in my direction and I, of course, return the favour, throwing Per Una and Next back at them.

Here's some of today's 40p apiece haul.

 A pile of vintage frocks, mostly handmade, ranging from the 1950's to the late 1960's. Some are in the washing machine already.

These wiggle dresses are rather splendid on especially the aqua and black crimplene ones with the huge collars.

This 1930's rayon wrap is handmade and has horsehair shoulder pads.

This rainbow of 1960's Bri-nylon slips are mostly from St Michael and Dorothy Perkins. You'll often see me queuing for the campsite portaloo first thing in the morning wearing one of these, a pair of wellies, false eyelashes and my trusty leopard skin coat.

 A typically 1950's glazed cotton floral frock and a 1960's crimplene orange leopard print kaftan. Guess which one I prefer?

Some pretty handmade cotton voille summer shifts. The paisley one buttons up at the back with the most gorgeous blue bakelite buttons.

Some floral frockery. The turquoise and black cotton shift on the left fits like a glove. The navy daisy print dress is by Peter Baron of London.

My top three picks are this fabulous 1960's scalloped silver lurex and black lace blouse, the tricel psychedelic shift (such a timeless cut and print that it almost looks like a contemporary piece) and the trumpet sleeved crimplene kaftan.

Have a fabulous Thursday, I think I'm going to be surgically attached to the washing machine for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Nice Day For A White Wedding

"A day without dressing up is a day wasted" - Vix

What on earth am I wearing? This 1960's wedding dress has been languishing in it's box since I bought it last year and it seemed a shame not to try it out whilst the sun is shining.
It's rather freaky that it fits perfectly, length and all. Maybe the car boot sale gods are trying to make me reconsider living in sin and repent my heathen ways before Judgement Day.

I was intending to wear this when I hosted our recent party but thought the ten foot train would hinder my dance moves and the veil might impede my drinking.

Vintage wedding dress & veil (car boot sale), vintage cocktail rings (Bring & buy 20p each), 1960's pearl chandelier earrings (Inherited), Barry M turquoise nails & neon pink lipstick
Eventually I'll chop it to mini length and dye it bubblegum pink but in the meantime it's a great outfit to wear to peg the washing out and to scare the neighbours.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Specs Appeal

I've lusted after Hip Hotels for ages so when I found a copy for 50p at a table top sale on Saturday I soon snapped it up and have been pouring over photographs the most divine heritage hotels and beach hideaways ever since. A confirmed backpacker I may be but a girl can dream.

I rarely buy a new book, when my friends and I find a great read we'll pass it on. My lovely pal Cheryl dropped this pile off before we hit the pub at the weekend, I'm already halfway through Jo Nesbo's The Snowman and it's a gripping read. I do love dark Scandinavian thrillers and this one's no exception.

Of course reading's a lot easier now I've got my new glasses.

When a recent eye test revealed I needed reading glasses there was no way I could justify splashing out over £100 on something I was only going to wear around the house.

After finding these vintage 1950's Mafline specs at the town centre flea market for 20p I did some research and found Glasses Complete who offered a complete re glazing service for £20. I was able to discuss my prescription with an extremely helpful optician over the phone, pay by Paypal and had my glasses returned by post within 10 days of sending them away.

Vintage nylon nightie (My dearest Helga), Marabou trimmed mules (British Heart Foundation £3.49)
The Mela was rather marvellous, the winning lifter was able to pick up a whopping 180kg stone. I've no idea how he managed to bring it with him, I'm assuming it wasn't by public transport. It was rather strange to be the only woman amongst over a thousand men, maybe my idea of Sunday afternoon fun isn't the same as your average Black Country woman.

Do check out the marvellous Mrs Bossa's blog today, there's some fantastic quotes and positive thinking from some of my favourite bloggers.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Getting Stoned

Today marks the start of our town's free festival and excitingly there's a sporting Mela taking place a short walk from our house. We're off to watch Kabbadi (a bit like a grown-up version of Tig), Beeni (arm wrestling) and Pantar (stone throwing) this afternoon. It's absolutely freezing here and blowing up a right old gale so there's a heap of layers going on under my dress including a schoolgirl's leotard and some thigh-high striped socks. Still, it's all good practice for the great British festival season.

The turban will hopefully stop me whipping my friends with my hair and prevent it adhering to my Vaseline-coated eyebrows. For those that asked, the tattooing process was no more than an annoying scratch and not at all painful (although coming from someone who walked round with a dislocated hip socket for 39 years may not be the best judge of pain).

Bizarrely anyone taking part in the stone lifting must bring their own stone (but it is weighed before the competition starts). I'd better go easy on the cider or I might find myself volunteering for the tug-of-war.

Vintage C&A maxi (£4.24 eBay), Levi's denim jacket (£4.50 Scope, 10 years ago), Turban (Jumble sale), Tooled leather bag (£1 car boot)
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, 20 May 2011


As you may already know I had my eyebrows tattooed yesterday. As it's unlike me to spend more than a tenner on myself you'll have to forgive me for going on about it! I'm a natural blonde with pathetically sparse brows and always loathed the look of myself without my eyebrows penciled on so when I met a technician several years ago offering semi-permanent make-up locally I leapt at the chance to get mine done. I can't tell you how good it feels not to be constantly checking your reflection for a missing eyebrow after being in a sweaty club, a rain-sodden festival, a humid holiday destination, after swimming or just being out and about. 

Over the past few months I noticed that they'd started to fade and I was again having to use an eyebrow pencil so I saved to get them redone. It sure beats faffing about with a make-up mirror and a pencil every few hours. On my dear friend, Christina's advice I've gone for slightly thicker eyebrows this time and I'm liking them a lot (or I will be when the crustiness subsides).

Me (left) & my friend, Liz (Knebworth, far too many years ago to remember)

If you want to find out more I've included a link here to the fabulous local salon I use. If, like me, you're forever drawing on your eyebrows I'd definitely recommend saving up and having it done.

Vintage midi dress (Jumble sale 40p), 1970's scarab pendant (Car boot sale £1.50), Suedette ankle boots (Local shop £5)
To avoid strangers focusing on my brows today I wore one of my loudest dresses so the attention was all on the frock and not face. It paid off and I was stopped by several older ladies in town who recalled wearing a similar dress back in the late 1960's. Sadly not one of my new friends had kept the clothes of their youth.

Right, it's Friday and a bottle of vino and a home-made pizza await. Have a wonderful weekend, one and all!