Monday 30 November 2009

I love the smell of face balm in the morning...

For years I thought I had the worst skin in the world, I dreaded facing the mirror each morning as I knew I'd be confronted by yet more spots, lumps and bumps. It created havoc with my self-esteem and confidence. I must have spent a fortune on expensive salon facials, high-end products and skin-improving supplements and all to no avail. No amount of water, healthy eating or careful cleansing made any difference. I've only ever worn lippy and eye make-up so I couldn't even blame pore-blocking foundation.
In the end I stopped worrying, cut my products down to a bare minimum and just got on with it. Guess what? My skin flourished with the lack of fuss. I still get the occasional spot but I can live with that.
My favourite range was Boots' Botanics until I discovered that Poundland did a line called "Pure" -identically packaged products with the same ingredients at a fraction of the price. 
Johnson's Baby Oil is an essential for removing make-up, hydrating the delicate eye area and as an all-over body moisturiser combined with a couple of drops of essential oil.

Essential oils are amazing. Lavender and tea tree can be applied directly to spots and acne. 
For a weekly facial sauna combine a couple of drops of essential oil in a bowl with half a litre of steaming water, cover your whole head with a towel and put it over the steaming bowl so the towel forms a tent to hold the steam. Stay inside for five minutes and finish by slashing your face with cold water. 
Good choices for facial oils are Patchouli (reduces puffiness), Lavender (normal skin), Chamomile (Dry skin, acne and sensitive skin if combined with 50% lavender) and Geranium (Combination and oily skin).

Sunday 29 November 2009

Everyone's Got the Blues On Sunday

With yet another wet and miserable sunday threatening, a thumping head and no chance of a car boot sale something had to be done to brighten my mood. I decided to rifle through my fabric stash and set to work on revamping a couple of ugly pieces of furniture liberated from a skip.

The office chair started life in that depressingly corporate shade of blue but took on a whole new and funky persona with the addition of a 1950's curtain and a pillowcase my parents received as a part of bedding set for a wedding present in 1966. The excess curtain fabric fitted the 1970's dressing table stool perfectly.

The result? Two cheerful pieces of furniture, an improved mood and no spend required.

Saturday 28 November 2009

My First Award!

A big belated thank you to the lovely daisychaindream , virtual friend and blogger extraordinaire, who very kindly sent me my very first blog award and tagged me.

1.Where is your mobile phone right now? Under a cushion disguising the pesistent voicemail bleep.

2.Your hair? Ebony, courtesy of Boots.

3.Your father: Once attempted to sail single-handedly around the world but got shipwrecked off the Cape of Good Hope.

4.Favourite Food: South Indian Vegetarian.

5.Last night: Was cold enough to light a real fire.

6.Favourite drink: Havana Club rum with cola, ice and a slice of lime.

7.What room are you in? My work room.

8.Hobby: Yoga, Pilates, travel, socialising, reading, searching for the old and bizzare in second-hand shops, jumble sales and car boots.

9.Fear: Spiders

10.Where were you last night? At home.

11.Something that you aren’t: Ordinary.

12.Muffins: Feta, olive and thyme.

13.Wish List item: An end to poverty, ignorance and prejudice, peacock eyelashes and an original Ossie Clarke dress.

14.Where did you grow up? In the same town as Meera Syal, Noddy Holder, Robert Plant and Jerome K Jerome.
15.What are you wearing? A vintage swallow print wrap.

16.Your pets: Three cats and a tortoise.

17.Friends: Essential.

18.Sometimes you’re not wearing: Anything appropriate.

19.Favorite Shop: Second-hand shops and TopShop

20. Favourite Colour: Turquoise

21.Last time you laughed: I'm always laughing.

22.Your best friend: My partner of 18 years, Jon.

23.Place you go over and over: Arambol, Goa

24.Person who emails you regularly: An American trying to sell me Viagra.

25.Favorite place to eat: The beach.


PS: Fellow make-up lovers please check out the  christmas-holidays-giveaway

Chaos and Disorder

Dressing table (Charity shop)  Wire mannequin (Au Naturelle)  Cake stand (Jumble sale)  Ebony hand mirror (Church fair)  Polystyrene head (Rescued from a skip) Crystal lamps (Present)

My dressing table may look a mess but I know exactly where everything is and don't they say that a tidy home is the sign of an empty mind?

Plush "HMS Queen Mary" sailor (Jumble sale)  Silver mannequin hand (Present) Etched glass jar and pink glass sundae dish (Jumble sale)

I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me. I know some people are terrified of the bomb. But then some people are terrified to be seen carrying a modern screen magazine. Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.......................... Bob Dylan

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star......... Nietzsche

Friday 27 November 2009

Friday I'm In Love

Oh, I do love friday mornings. Starting the day with a swim in the warm water brine baths, catching up with my mother over a glass of chilled house white in Yates' followed by a trawl of the local charity shops and historic town centre market.
Suede 1960's jerkin (car boot) Denim leggings (local market) Faith tan leather ankle boots (local market) Refashioned biker tee (jumble Sale) Silver bangles & rings (India) Fringed Urban Outfitters necklace (Car Boot) H&M tassel earrings (car boot)  Victorian Rifleman's jacket (Family heirloom)  

Today's find was these Renata "Designer Collection" unworn Italian leather shoes and matching clutch priced at £9.95 for the set. Not only were they my favourite colour but the shoes are a perfect size 39.5 so you could say they were made for me. 
The books set me back 20p each.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Heavy Metal

This morning's car boot sale resembled a miserable monday after the Glastonbury Festival, thick mud where grass used to be and spaced-out folks shivering from the cold and wandering about aimlessly. There was a wintery nip in the air and I was thankful I'd donned my trusty wellies, angora beret and favourite faux fur coat. Even though the counterfeit tat and dodgy dvd sellers far outnumbered the genuine booters there were still bargains to be had if you looked carefully enough.
Inspired by the truly amazing blogger CalamityJem I picked up a couple of horse brasses for 50p each and spent the afternoon creating some rather groovy new neck wear. At a bargainous £1 I also couldn't resist the leather bridle, it adds a quirky touch to an ordinary outfit and I'm sure the generous four-legged beastie who donated it won't mind me borrowing his style.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

The Grand Entrance

Our hallway is tiny but as the first stop for any visitors it has to look inviting.

The floor was tiled using recycled glass mosaics and the walls papered in textured flock found in a DIY store clearance bin for 99p a roll. The door curtain is a pair of jumble sale raw silk curtains sewn together and the chandelier was a car boot bargain at 50p. The vintage umbrella and parasol collection are jumble sale and car boot buys and the Edwardian stand was found in an outbuilding. The red telephone was salvaged from a skip years ago, it does work but it takes an age to dial.

When we moved in we removed the ply board from the doors and were thrilled to discover the Victorian four-panel doors beneath. We stripped them ourselves and found the ceramic knobs and finger plates on eBay. The louvered door hides the cloakroom - a great hideaway for our huge assortment of coats and wellies.

Union Jack is a truly iconic image, we're no patriots but the antique flag draped over the mannequin, the coronation flags in the umbrella stand and the door mat just looked right.

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Feelin' Good

A while ago I worked with a guy who greeted me each morning with "Talk me through today's outfit, where and why?" He was intrigued with the way I put my clothes together and liked to know the reason behind my daily choice as well as it's origins.

There's no set formula behind my style of dressing, I buy what catches my eye, I don't worry about it matching or going together, every item is something I've fallen in love with and makes me feel good and that's the common denominator.

The reasoning behind today's outfit:

Shoes: Vintage loafers, sensible option as I walked into town - 25p jumble sale
Dress: The length & fabric contrasted with the sensible shoes - Monsoon sale £9
Tights: A bright choice for a dull day. Found in underwear drawer.
Vintage Trilby: Snaffled from Boyfriend's wardrobe. An alternative to an umbrella.
Aubergine leather Coat: Showerproof and warm. Charity shop £3
Leather satchel: Today's market day so valuables need to be kept close. Car Boot 30p
Rupee Coin Choker: An Indian market find to remind me my holiday is close. Mysore £6

Monday 23 November 2009

Groove Is In The Art - Retro Prints

I can't resist a retro print! I suppose the reason is that they evoke such fond memories of my childhood. JH Lynch's "Tina" used to gaze down flirtatiously from my best friend's parents' dining room wall and a wild horses print took pride of place above my auntie and uncle's fireplace.

Millions of these prints were produced during the 1950's and 1960's but being so cheap they were considered disposable and it's quite rare to come across them at boot sales and jumble sales. Demand has pushed the prices so high it's rare to find a framed Tretchikoff for under £50 on eBay.

My finds take pride of place throughout the house. From the top, here's a few of my favourites:
Horses In Red - H Faust (Jumble Sale 20p)
Caroline - Unknown (Car boot Sale £3)
Girl With Mandolin - S Nizert (Charity Shop £5)
Burmese Pearl - Sir Gerald Kelly (Car Boot Sale £5)
Autumn Leaves - JH Lynch (eBay £17)

Sunday 22 November 2009

All this and change from £1

Faux fur duck down filled hat.......50p

"Aldo Collection" black suede wedges.........15p

Vintage British-made ostrich skin clutch.........30p

Who says £1 buys you nothing these days? Three of this week's purchases proves that a quid goes a long way. Bargain-tastic!

Saturday 21 November 2009

Oh, the rain falls down on a humdrum town...

....this town will drag you down (William, It was really nothing). I've loved The Smiths since hearing "Hand in Glove" on the John Peel show back in 1983. As a fellow vegetarian with a shared love of 1960's gloomy kitchen sink novels I lived in the vain hope that one day I'd meet Morrissey and we'd share a terraced house in Salford. Alas, my dream remained a fantasy but I've never tired of listening to his dulcet tones and marvelling at his perfectly sculpted cheekbones.

What a miserable day it's turned out to be, only the prospect of a night on the town lifts my gloom (and now my roots have been retouched I can again face the public). I've been to two jumble sales today, the proceeds of which are still in a huge pile on the floor.
Some of today's finds include some vintage advertising tins and a fringed Bohemian silk shawl.

Friday 20 November 2009

Ever Fallen In Love?

Have you ever fallen in love with something you never should have? I have when I spied this vintage coat in a charity shop earlier today. I've got far too many coats but this baby was just begging to be given a good home. (I'm also in love with Tamoula, our '68 Beetle, but my beloved says she simply has to go as we already share our home with three VW camper vans.)

I must have had a sixth sense this morning as I found the coat in a charity shop I rarely visit. Okay, it's raising money for a worthy cause (a local children's hospice) but the prices are just insane. I'm very happy to pay a fair price for high-end or vintage labels but when they charge £25 for Next boots and £15 for a washed-out Primark dress I'm afraid I just tut loudly, turn on my heels and flounce out. However the coat was priced at a very reasonable £9.95, LostProphets were playing in the background and the sun was shining so I handed over my tenner and told the lady to keep the change.

PS- My roots are horrendous. I promise to re-dye them this afternoon!

Thursday 19 November 2009

Hot Legs!

Browsing the TopShop website earlier this week I was quite taken by these sequined little beauties but at a ludicrously jaw-dropping £50 it was a definite no-no.
Not one to be defeated easily I rifled through my fabric stash and unearthed a length of 1960's lurex I'd snaffled from a jumble sale earlier this year. Armed with dressmaking pins, sharp scissors, a length of elastic and my trusty sewing machine I cut round an old pair of leggings and created these in less than an hour.
Not bad for 25p, huh?

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet?

Okay, I have a confession to make, I'm a shoe addict. I've a major obsession with shoes, the more outrageous and decadent the better which is pretty crazy as I had a total hip replacement almost four years ago and am supposed to wear "appropriate footwear" but, hell, I'm sure my Orthopaedic surgeon's not reading this so I think I'm safe.

TopShop is my first love for footwear - good quality, reliable sizing and just so gorgeous. The black "Russo" platforms cost me £8 in the January sales and the turquoise "Samba" shoes were bought with gift vouchers (so technically free).

I'm lucky enough to live in a market town with a stall that sells chain store returns , I've known the trader for years and he gives me a generous discount, I rarely pay more than a tenner for the current season's beauties. The fringed "Zinc" shoes from Dune retail at £120 and cost me £7 and the Faith patent brogues were a quid.

I'm always on the lookout for second-hand shoes and boots and have picked up many over the years. The original 1980's pirate boots cost 25p at a boot sale a couple of years ago and are my festival favourites - as you can see from the mud. The turquoise python Tod's boots have got to be one of my best-ever boot sale finds, I shudder to think how much those babies cost when originally purchased.