Tuesday, 21 March 2023

It's A Stitch Up!

Nothing new to see here, just more old favourites from my not-so-compact capsule wardrobe. 

On Sunday I wore my vintage Mayur Indian cotton gauze midi dress with a vintage suede waistcoat, my second-hand The Jacksons suede boots - and my varifocals! - for a morning of shopping and an afternoon of eBay listing, hair-dying and stitching.

On Monday it was the turn of a vintage Phool midi skirt, Levi's denim blouse and my great-great grandma's monogrammed silver brooch.

I also wore my exotic snakeskin Gohill's boots, custom made in Camden in 1966 (a good year that!)

After spending the morning listing stock on eBay I visited the wonderful woman who gave me her boots (story HERE). Born in Walsall, she lived in London during the Swinging Sixties and was an artist's muse before returning to her home town to become a school teacher and, after retirement, as a hugely respected Labour councillor. With a passion for travel, Socialism, the Pre-Raphaelites, swimming, art house cinema, ethnic clothing and junk shops I can sit and listen to her all day long. There's a lot to be said for still living in the town in which you were born.

Tuesday started, as it has done for the last twelve months, with an early morning swim followed by breakfast in 'Spoons. I wore a 1970s Oasis Trading Indian cotton gauze blouse, 1980s Le Bon high waisted English-made jeans and one of my many vintage silk screen printed Indian scarves.Back at home, with the laundry pegged out and eBay parcels wrapped and dispatched it was time to put the finishing touches to the stitching project I'd teased you with in my last post...

My lovely friend Jayne, currently on a blog break, encouraged me to have a bash at embroidery, sending me lots of helpful tips and links so I hope she won't be appalled by my "make it up as you go along" approach. I can't draw for the life of me and the only embroidery I did at school was chain stitching "Mummy"on an apron at junior school half a century ago.

After buying that bargain box of embroidery thread in a charity shop last week I had a lightbulb moment in the car on the way home. I grabbed a khaki army jacket from the stockroom, scribbled on the back of it and, still wearing my coat and hat, threaded my needle and got stitching.

Needless to say, I was inspired by Becoming Frida Kahlo, the three-part BBC documentary I enjoyed so much last weekend that I watched it twice!

I've lost hours doing this over the last few days but what a wonderful, mindful activity it's been.

I really ought to watch a YouTube tutorial and learn how to do it properly but where's the fun in that? Instructions have their place, just not in my life.

Between stitching I read two books over the weekend.....

The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood's superb reimagining of the story of Penelope, Odysseus's wife (the wily hero of The Odyssey) and Lawrence Durrell's masterpiece Prospero's Cell, the memoir of his life in 1930s Corfu. Needless to say that within a couple of hours of opening it I'd booked a flight to our favourite Greek Island for later in the year. 

Another holiday? In the words of Frida Kahlo: Keep joy alive, live life!

I'm off on an adventure with Nikki tomorrow, I'll be back soon with tales of culture, curry and, no doubt, random conversations with strangers.