Sunday, 31 January 2010

Stepford Wife

Refashioned vintage nightdress and pinny (Jumble sale), TopShop pumps (Charity shop), Felt flower grip (Hand made)

Every so often even the most liberated girl just has to don a frilly pinny and get baking.
Banana, cinnamon and yogurt muffins:

1/2 cup unrefined sugar
2 cups unbleached plain flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup low fat natural yogurt
1 medium free range egg
2 tablespoons skimmed milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 ripe bananas (chopped)

  • Combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients (minus bananas). 
  • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently.
  • Stir in the bananas.
  • Spoon into a greased muffin tin and bake at 180 degrees Centigrade for 20-25 minutes.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Bathroom Suit(e)

The "experts" will always tell you to make a bee-line for charity shops in well-to-do areas but in my opinion that's misguided, do so and expect stiff competition and higher prices as the well-heeled volunteers know their labels. It's better to head for more down-at-heel, less trendy areas where the locals buy second-hand from need rather than style, where practicality is prized over glamour so prices are low and pickings rich.

Earlier today I picked up this 1950's "Emgee, London" suit for £4 and the TopShop t-bar shoes for £2.95.

Never worry about sizing in charity shops, pick out what you like and try it on. Items are often incorrectly labelled and due to our ever-expanding waistlines a vintage size 12 is the equivalent of our modern UK size 8. My suit was marked by the volunteer as a Size 6, but fits like a glove and as the shoes are leather and pre-worn I got away with a size smaller than usual.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Retail Therapy

Vintage Wetherall of Bond Street cape and 1960's cap (Charity Shop), Celia Birtwell shopper (Car Boot), Gloves (Present), Purple platforms (Local market stall)

There's nothing to beat some retail therapy for brightening up a cold, dull January day. The mere sight of a charity shop never fails to get my pulse racing and on entering the hallowed ground my heart is all of a flutter. No clothes rail is left overlooked whilst boxes of bric-a-brac, tangles of beads, bangles and conjoined belts, shelves of books and baskets of underwear are rifled through in the hope of uncovering a hidden gem.

Today's finds in the British Heart Foundation included a TopShop ditsy print ruffled blouse for £2.99 and some TopShop suede pom-pom pumps for 1.99


These vintage glass decanters were 10p each from the Salvation Army and perfect for filling with brightly coloured bubble bath. 

The cute 1950's tooled leather handbag was a snip at £1.99 in Acorns Hospice charity shop.

Despite today's weather, Jacob, my 34 year old tortoise decided to make an early appearance from his winter hibernation. 

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Pants To The Tax Man!

Coat (Jumble Sale), Blouse (Ebay), Shoes and reworked shorts (Charity shop), Gloves (Car Boot Sale)

Needing to look business-like to visit my accountant this morning I quickly knocked up these city shorts from a pair of vintage dress pants I'd snaffled from the 50p rail at my favourite charity shop.

Fancy making a pair?

  • Get down to your local thrift shop and sift through the rails for a pair of men's slacks that fit you well.
  • Stand in front of a mirror and decide how long you'd like the finished shorts to be, add an extra three and a half inches and chop off the legs. 
  • Iron under a 2inch hem  and then fold 1.5inches of the hem back on itself (wrong side to right side), pin and hand stitch into place.
 Voila! City shorts in less time than it takes to watch a re-run of Sex And The City.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

It's Vintage, Darling!

This was the dress I wore on Saturday night, you might be mistaken for thinking it was vintage but it's actually a £5 Peacock's sales bargain. I love it! The quality, style and vibrant colour all shout sixties Go-Go dancer. 

I kept the accessories to a minimum with black opaques and patent platform heels (ex-Faith, local market £5) and dug out some of my stash of sixties perspex and plastic costume jewellery. The huge orange ring was worn by my Mum when she was expecting me, almost an antiquee!

On the theme of pink, I have to say I'm tickled pink by the award the lovely Kel at Silver Peacock sent me:

I've got to list seven weird and wonderful things about myself that you might not already know, so here goes:
  • I'm a natural blonde but reinvented myself as a raven-headed girl four years ago. I even had my eyebrows tattooed on in black to match.
  • I've had a total hip replacement and opted to stay awake during the operation - a bizzare experience. 
  • I've had my pet tortoise, Jacob, since the long hot summer of 1976.
  • Even though I've been a vegetarian most of my life I'm also a qualified chef and ran several restaurants during my 10 year career in the hospitality business.
  • I've ridden across the Sahara desert on a camel.
  • My boyfriend was the original lead guitarist for Madchester band, The Charlatans - suppose that makes me a real live groupie.
  • I've posed nude for art students.
I'm tagging the following beautiful bloggers:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

In The Bedroom....

Take a peek at our bedroom. The bed and antique Indian rug were eBay bargains, the Edwardian dressing table, Lloyd Loom ottoman and 1950's lampshades were charity shop finds and the snake's head brass wall sconces and vintage "Tina" print both car boot buys. The Lloyd Loom bedside table is one of a pair salvaged from a local skip scrubbed and spray painted.

The black crystal chandelier was a birthday present. The feature wall is covered in Laura Ashley's Kimono paper and the remainder painted in Farrow and Ball's charcoal grey "Down Pipe".

Today's outfit is a TopShop tapestry detail smock (£5 sale purchase) worn over a vintage Jeff Banks "W1 Boutique" blouse (50p Car Boot Sale).

Finer points:

The shoe boots were found in the British Heart Foundation, unworn and with the store labels still attached. The opaques are grey.

No outfit really feels my own without my trademark tribal jewellery.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Maximum Chill Out

Regular readers of my blog may remember my Bayeux tapestry print skirt from a previous post.

After unearthing the skirt in a local vintage store I was instantly hit by a wave of nostalgia and memories of my 1970's childhood. My Mum's friend had a trouser suit in the same groovy fabric which I considered the epitome of glamour. 
Priced at a mere £5 I snapped it up without a second thought - luckily it was a perfect fit.

There's nothing more decadent than slipping on a glamorous number after an long, indulgent soak in the bath and uncorking a bottle of wine, especially on a school night.

The 5p vintage schoolgirl leotard was another of Saturday's jumble sale purchases -the smooth lines make for perfection under a high waisted skirt.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Saturday Morning Jumble

It wasn't a great jumble sale this morning but we managed to find a few bargains in amongst the tat.

This sweet 1930's bentwood armchair reminded me of a similiar chair I'd admired in Laura Ashley. I'm not sure whether to recover it or leave the shabby chic fabric as it is.
I loved these kitsch rose print placemats, still in their original box. An unwanted 1950's wedding gift, perhaps?

Still on the kitsch theme I couldn't resist this pretty glazed Italian print:
This atomic-era sputnik heater still works perfectly.......
.....and the vintage enamel bread bin is a perfect addition to our growing collection of retro kitchenalia:
Total morning's spend - £5. Not bad, eh?

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rock 'n' Roll Woman

Vintage tee shirt and skinny scarf (Jumble sale), Skirt (River Island), Ankle Boots (Miss Selfridge), Jewellery (India)

It's a great time of year for us thrifty girls - the sales leftovers have now been marked down to peanuts and there's more bargains to be had on the high street than in our favourite charity shops.

My River Island skirt started life at £24.99 but snaffled for £3.75......

...........and these leather boots were reduced from £70 to £20.