Monday 9 January 2012

Tune In, Turn On, Check Out

The bags are packed, we've checked-in on-line and the skirt's as old as I am so, rather than blather about my outfit or what I've been up to, I thought I'd bore you with some old travel photos from the last time we visited Kerala.

Here's a close-up of the skirt, just in case you haven't seen me in it before.

Back in 2007 we paid a local to navigate us around the backwaters in a traditional canoe rather than by the more traditional tourist rice boat. This was a cheap and far greener option and we even got taken to the boatman's home to share lunch with his family. 

Last time we flew to Thiruvananthapuram, departing six weeks and 950 miles later in Mumbai. Nothing was pre-planned or booked in advance. We travelled up along the west coast of India by train, boat, rickshaw, Ambassador taxi & bus, stopping off at anywhere that looked interesting. This time we've only got three weeks and are flying to and from the same airport but still aren't any more organised. 

Bring it on!

Bayeaux Tapestry maxi (£5, local vintage shop) worn with a metallic gold tee (£2, British Heart Foundation) and a heap of second-hand brass jewellery

Thanks for visiting me and the lovely comments you leave. 

See you in February!

Sunday 8 January 2012

Jean Genie

A laid-back Sunday calls for suitably lazy clobber. 

I love this catsuit as much now as I did when I bought it five years ago but, let's face it, when you're confronted with a wardrobe bursting at the seams with lurex, velvet, crimplene and psychedelic printed nylon denim ain't that exciting an option in the grand scheme of things.

Huge brown shell bangle on left hand side courtesy of Lakota, the rest are second-hand discoveries

I can't deny that it crops up with alarming frequency in my outfits. Along with second-hand battered leather, vintage suede and fake fur it makes my clothes feel less dressy and far more me.

Here's some previous outings in denim:

My favourite item of clothing ever:

Bought for 99p in 1992, it's been to North Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and travelled extensively around Europe. I don't know what I'll do when it inevitably falls apart.

Denim catsuit worn with 1970's St Michael tee shirt and tooled leather belt with horse head buckle (both car boot sale buys), River Island leather boots (Salvation army), vintage fringed shawl (Acorns Hospice)

Did you have a good weekend? Last evening was spent with the crazy gang and went well, no-one ended up in tears, paralytically drunk or disgracing themselves over dinner and, despite it being a late one, we were up bright and early this morning.

My hands were steady enough to apply my eyelash extensions earlier and I've just got my feet and my roots to sort out.

See you soon.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Travelling Light(ish)

Here's my travel wardrobe for Kerala. 

Clockwise from top left:  Original 1980s pirate boots (25p, car boot sale) , psychedelic flares (seen HERE), handmade (by me) tote bag, Topshop maxi dress (seen HERE) , psychedelic crop top (seen HERE), 1970s hippy-tastic tie-dye sun dress (£4.99, YMCA), Bespoke leather sandals, hand-made in Tamil Nadu, three vintage scarves, Ghost silk tunic (seen HERE), TopShop fringed suede sandals (£4, eBay in 2008), two Indian-bought sarongs, Oasis maxi skirt (20p, jumble sale), 1970s hand-painted kaftan top (£1, car boot sale), 1970s maxi (seen HERE), vintage fringed poncho (seen HERE), Silk bolero (India), Selection of bikinis, denim waistcoat, 1970s batik print maxi (seen HERE), de-constructed laddered vest (India),  TopShop ribbed vests, 1970s embroidered leather bag (£1, car boot sale)

Underwear? Not a fan, especially when I'm on holiday.

The jewellery:

A few necklaces and pendants

Ganesh choker made by Krista's fair hands, African tribal choker (inherited), everything else picked up abroad

Two pairs of vintage sunglasses.

Pink pair courtesy of the fabulous Sarah, White Ted Lapidus originals from a charity shop

A handful of pairs of earrings

Shark's tooth earrings courtesy of Sandy , peacock feathers and bronze festival hoops from the divine Helga

A few bangles, armlets and anklets

A coin belt

Free from a car boot sale

Hair accessories (I've also packed hair grips and bands, far too dull to show you)

A handful of rings and toe rings

Silver dragon & carnelian rings both from Krista

The toiletries are more or less the same as usual so here's what we took on our last trip:

My make-up bag consists of kohl, eyelash curlers, tweezers and a pencil sharpener, not worthy of a picture.

It's times like these that I almost wish I had a Kindle:

The bags are locked so no chance of me sneaking in any last minute things.

I'm off to a dinner party with friends, I'll see you tomorrow, hangover permitting.

Have a happy Saturday.

Thursday 5 January 2012

Free People Style For (Almost) Free

Like most of the contents of their hippy-chic website I love these Free People lace flares but the day I spend almost £130 on a pair of trousers will be the day I'm certified insane.

I spotted these black sequin & lace evening pants by vintage British label Country Casuals going cheap in a charity shop yesterday and I thought I'd have a bash at making my own version.

 An episode of Poirot later......... 

I unpicked the polyester liner from the lace outer, hacked it off to mid-thigh and hemmed it. The side seams were taken in by a inch on either side from the waist downwards, gently tapering out at the knee to keep the original trouser width. The excess fabric was cut away and I zig-zagged the seams for extra strength.

Not a bad interpretation for £3.30 and perfect with my trusty denim waistcoat & the paisley halter vest Nelly sent me.

Ganesh and skull choker handmade by the gorgeous Krista.

Peacock feather earrings from Queen Helga.

Antiqued Rupee coin belt worn as a necklace.

I know, I know, I should be packing rather than messing around with the sewing machine. Oh well, there's always tomorrow.

Wednesday 4 January 2012

Blown Away

Over the past two days Britain's been lashed by storms and I've had to wear a headband to walk into town to avoid being whipped and temporarily blinded by my hair.

The postman couldn't get to us yesterday as the road was closed due to flooding so he turned up early this morning with a parcel from the fabulous Nelly which amongst other treasures included this glorious lurex jacquard print maxi dress by Courtaulds which I had to wear immediately.

Kitsch Australian face cloths, vintage covered buttons, a scary kid picture for the Wall Of Misery, some crazy poodles for my collection, a crochet lavender bag and some gorgeous retro needles.

A hand made Scrabble ring and a pretty resin heart.


Jon loves his 1970s kipper tie complete with kangaroo tie pin so much he's planning to wear it for dinner on Saturday night.

Handmade steam punk spats and fingerless mitts.

Gold satin flared pants and a groovy paisley halterneck

and an AWESOME hand made bikini! I might be brave and post of photo of me wearing it, once I've got a tan.

Thanks, Nelly! I'm blown away by your generosity.

1970s maxi worn with denim waistcoat worn inside out  (seen HERE and HERE), Babyliss gold headband (99p, Boots)

The finer details:

Faux tortoiseshell & zig-zag coral bangle (courtesy of Rachel), plastic cocktail ring (from Dee) , Run Forest Run nail polish (from Elizabeth), all other jewellery bought second-hand

Another piece from my crazy jewellery collection:

Native American pendant (50p, car boot sale)

Six days to go and counting. I still haven't finished packing but I promise to share the final selection before Jon locks the bags.

Monday 2 January 2012

Packing My Bags

I was so quiet yesterday afternoon sorting through my clothes, happily planning and trying on suitable Kerala outfits, that Jon thought I'd relapsed and gone back to bed. I'm nowhere near finished packing yet, I'll leave everything laid out on the spare bed and reconsider for a few days before making my final decision. A good travel wardrobe can't be rushed.

When I find cool second-hand clobber I think'll be ideal for holidays I wash it and pack it away in the vintage case on top of my wardrobe in readiness for our next adventure. It's like discovering it all over again when I open the suitcase months later.This black maxi dress was a jumble sale buy back in the summer. It's strappy, tube-shaped and pretty boring but keeps it's shape well, won't crease and is perfect for layering underneath hippy caftans and waistcoats by day or blinged up with heaps of tribal jewellery in the evening. I'm hoping it won't disintegrate after a couple of wears like my last Topshop dress did.

I found this silver Alpaca choker in amongst my Mum's huge jewellery collection, I've no idea where she got it from but it was probably from a charity shop.

Clockwise from top: Alpaca choker, Lamani gypsy coin choker (Mysore) on a silver snake chain (Goa),  Tibetan amulet (Goa), carnelian pendant (£1, car boot sale), agate and silver choker (50p, car boot sale), tribal thumb ring (Tamil Nadu)

I cleaned some of my silver jewellery today.

I line a baking dish with foil, add a couple of teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (baking powder) and cover with boiling water. After 30 minutes I rinse the jewellery and polish with a soft dry cloth.

It works a treat.

I just need to decide which pieces to pack. Decisions, decisions....

Cotton jersey maxi (20p, jumble sale), 1960s Shubette fringed waistcoat (previously seen HERE), Alexis ankle boots (£20, Topshop sale, 2009)
See you soon.