Friday 30 March 2012

Pimp My Jumble

I bought this handmade crochet cardi from yesterday's jumble sale. It may be beautifully made but I'd rather go naked than wear beige. Time for a bit of do-it-yourself.

My friend, Miss Rayne, sent a parcel of these Dylon dyes from a now defunct local craft shop. I've revived several of Jon's skanky tee shirts with great success so I thought I'd try revamping my latest find.

A vast improvement, even if I do say so myself.

By weird coincidence I spotted this on the Free People website, an almost identical cardi currently slashed in price down from £105.64 to a mere £62.85. 

Mine was a much more reasonable 40p, the £62.45 I saved pays for fourteen nights accommodation for the two of us in Goa.

Here's more of yesterday's jumble sale finds:
Clockwise from top left: M-1943 fishtail parka, English-made grosgrain and ribbon handbag, 1970s Aztec sweater, Indian pendant, ruffled vest with shop tags still attached, French Connection silk corset top, British-made maroon leather satchel.

There's a jumble sale tomorrow morning then that's it until May.

Jumble sale cardi worn with Van Allen maxi dress (£10 eBay, 2009), vintage platform boots(£4.99, PDSA), beaded peacock bag (50p, car boot sale) and a Krista-licious handmade pendant

We're having a quiet night in tonight with rum & coke and Jon's home-made pizza. We've got a month of madness to look forward to so best save our energy for India (or at least until tomorrow night).

Have a fabulous weekend and see you soon.

Thursday 29 March 2012

Packing A Punch

Just when I thought I'd got my packing sorted I go and find this cute little crochet number at a jumble sale this morning.

You'll have to wait and see what else I bought, most of it's in the wash.

In the meantime here's what I've packed for Goa and a few tips for a successful travel wardrobe:

From left: A denim waistcoat (obviously), lion motif vest (courtesy of the gorgeous Clare) , my new-to-me crochet top, Indian mirrored halter neck, hand-made Broderie Anglaise crop top and a fringed boob tube.

A fortnight or so before flying I'll get every item of summer clothing I own out of storage, take my make-up off, scrape my hair back and try everything on barefoot and jewellery free. If what I try on needs make-up, heels and bling then it's pretty much useless for a chilled-out trip and so gets put back in the cupboard.

I tie-dyed this ultra violet and old gold but you can't tell with my ancient old camera

A week before D-Day I'll take another look and usually end up taking something out. If I'm not 100% sure before it goes in my backpack I know it's pointless taking it and wasting valuable book space.

Detail from my boob tube. This was liberated from Jon's collection and pimped up by me. 

I pack outfits, not separate pieces. Time is too precious to spend dithering about what to wear each day. I test everything beforehand so I know it looks good together and can sling it on and get on with having fun.

Crimplene maxi, Indian cotton gypsy skirt (Again from Clare), hand-made maxi (see HERE) and 1970s Kittiwake play suit (Seen HERE)
I'll only pack clothing that requires the minimum of care, synthetics are perfect as they stay crease free.

Crochet bikini (Seen HERE), vintage bikini (Seen HERE), frilly bikini (dead stock from the Salvation Army)

To save precious water, I'll take my laundry into the shower with me and wash my clothes at the same time. Lush's Karma Komba solid shampoo bars are perfect for travel, they don't spill and wash hair, body and clothing leaving a gorgeous patchouli scent. The temperature and humidity in Goa in April means that if I hang any laundry up outside our room it's dry and ready to wear almost immediately.

My multi-tasking bag from last month's jumble sale.

I travel dressed in clothes I can wear when I'm away. This time I'll be wearing my handmade maxi, the lion tee shirt and something I got earlier at this morning's jumble sale which I've revamped. My hand luggage will be stowed in my straw basket which I'll use for the beach.

1960s African maxi dress (Seen HERE),  Nylon beach dress (Seen HERE), 1960s psychedelic  jumpsuit (Seen HERE)
The African maxi will be my "best dress" for sight-seeing or visiting Goan friends. I always carry a shawl for modesty in case I stray off the tourist track or visit a temple, family home or city.

Paisley print maxi skirt (75p, Cats Protection charity stall), Crochet top (40p, jumble sale), scarab pendant (car boot sale), earrings (the fabulous Sandy)
Where we stay is known as the alternative resort of Goa, there's no hotels, major development or package tourism and accommodation is in family run guest houses or bamboo shacks on the beach. The main road in the village is known as Glastonbury Street because of the large population of long-stay hippies. 

If you like 5 Star luxury then it won't be for you but for us it's perfection.

Here's a typical party night at Fellini's, which serves better pizza than any I've tasted in Italy. I can't wait to get over there and join them.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Out Of Africa.....

...and on to me!
How gorgeous is this 1960s maxi dress which my fabulous friend Curtise found on her explorations of Chesterfield flea market?

It's an exceptionally well-travelled frock, starting life in Africa, moving to Europe, briefly taking in Sheffield before settling in Walsall and very soon to be whisked off to India and back.


I thought I'd sorted what to pack but it would be a crime not to take this beauty with me, the colours work so well under a tropical sun, it's the perfect length with bare feet and it fits like it was tailor-made.

Barry M Turquoise nails, brass bangles (mostly inherited), Indian turquoise & gilt ring (£1, Cancer Research) and the huge pink and orange perspex ring from Biba was worn by my Mum when she was expecting me in 1966 - almost an antique!

It  looks damned fine with turquoise, too.

Curtise also slipped this cheesy romance in with the hilarious Elvis card.

Our friendly postman's been a busy boy, I won this fab blingy cuff in Denise Angela's glamorous giveaway,

Miss Rayne spotted this cute retro print in her local charity shop and it's one I haven't got in my collection. Check out the card, she knows how fond I am of a vintage hair-dryer, too.

Which of my holiday frocks will get the push to accommodate my well-travelled maxi in my backpack? I promise to let you know as soon as I've made my decision.

1960s cotton maxi worn with 1950s rose print parasol (£1, car boot sale), hand-made hair flower , beaded panda bag (£4.99, PDSA)
Think Nigeria is nothing more than a hot bed of Internet scam artists? Read Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimananda Ngozi Adichie for a fascinating insight into the history of this troubled African country, it blew me away.

Have fun in the sun and see you soon.

Monday 26 March 2012

My Thai

Last weekend in celebration of Jon and I's 20 year anniversary and Liz & Adrian's shared birthday (on 29th March) we headed off to The Barton's Arms in Birmingham. 

I've no idea what Liz and I were looking at
It's a Grade II listed building, a fifteen minute trip down the road by bus.

Built in 1901 and located directly opposite a theatre The Barton's Arms was once the hostelry of choice for such stars as Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. 

These "Snob Screens" were designed for middle classes drinkers to watch the working classes without being observed themselves.
It survived being shot at, set on fire and looted during last year's riots.  

That's my Tofu Prak King on the top right.

These days it's a thriving real ale pub with a spectacular Thai menu.

Me-made dress (Last seen HERE) , Perspex belt (Xmas present), platform boots (£4, car boot sale), crazed expression (from the lager)

The pub walls are covered in Minton tiles, made down the road in Staffordshire, which you'll find on hallway floors and fire surrounds of many Victorian terraced houses round these parts.  

Liz snaffled this 1970s Richard Shops sunset print dress from Acorns Hospice in Walsall, it would have been mine if I'd seen it first.

I had terrible trouble trying to find photos where at least one of us didn't look mad, drunk or deranged.

Jon calls this my demented owl face.

Birthday girl, Liz and I. She did ask me not to mention her vintage muff but I couldn't help myself.

Liz and birthday boy, Adrian. 

Jon and Tony and some very tasty Thai Singha beer.

More of those spectacular tiles.

Liz and Al

I'm dying to try this beer out, the logo is so cute.

Happy Anniversary, babe. 
What a fab night. I'd definitely recommend a trip if you're ever up in our part of the world.

See you soon.

Sunday 25 March 2012

Charlie's Angels Meets Woodstock

It's officially British summertime and warm enough to sport the 1970s chevron stripe play suit I bought from the "50p Lady" at last week's car boot sale.

It reminded me of something my childhood idol, Farrah Fawcett from Charlie's Angels would have worn along with her trademark main of flicked out hair and a pistol but, after a night on the tiles, it was easier to rock it up with bed hair and a vintage gillet.

Spring has sprung, the Magnolia has bloomed and the Forsythia is looking gorgeous.

1970s Kittiwake play suit worn with Astraka fake fur gillet (found by a friend at a car boot sale), River Island boots (£2, Salvation Army), Aztec belt (20p, jumble sale), Suede duffel bag (Courtesy of the fabulous Mrs That's Not My Age), 1970s sunglasses (20p, car boot sale), headband (made by me using 1960s braid found in a charity shop for 5p) 

We couldn't resist the lure of a morning's charity shopping yesterday. I'll be cold turkey for a month a week from tomorrow.

St Michael tab collar emerald blouse/ Indian blouse with matching headband/ Custo, Barcelona retro sweater(I've lusted after this label for years, it's the first time I've ever found it second-hand)/ Purple velvet and cerise silk lined bolero

It was a well-timed visit, there were sales on in several chazzas so three of the four purchases were a £1 each. The velvet bolero was a little more but it does have a fancy label:

Not too shabby for £2.49

Off to catch up on all I've missed in Blogland and crack on with packing for Goa.

I'll try and upload our antics from last night if I can find any flattering pictures, at least one of us looks mental on every photo I've taken.

Hope you've had/are having fabulous weekends. 

Friday 23 March 2012

Boot Sale Buys & Charity Shop Chat

"See her over there" one lady say to another in a charity shop, pointing at me, "Every week she comes in here, buys the kind of crap nobody in their right mind would look at, wears it to town a week later and looks so good in it that I feel bleeding stupid for not buying it myself".  You've got to love a straight talking Black Country woman.

Our favourite car boot sale restarted yesterday. I was beside myself with excitement to get there and stuck in, rummaging like a woman possessed, but it's still very early in the season and my favourite house clearance dealers or the 20p man weren't there. Despite the plethora of teens offloading last year's fashion and mums with mountains of faded baby clothes & stuffed bears there were a handful of interesting finds to be had.

Here's what I got: 
Indian elephant embroidered bed canopy (for Gilbert's dashboard), 1970s chevron striped playsuit by Kittiwake, framed kitsch print, 1980s Gina Bacconi for Frank Usher sequinned bolero, 1970s revival  platform boots and a Rajasthani mirrored mobile, all for a grand total of £7.50 (including the 50p parking fee).

We've just had a phone call inviting us to next Thursday's jumble sale preview so they'll be no car booting for us next week. Hopefully the season will be firing on all cylinders when we get back from India in May.

Cheesecloth tunic (£3.30, Cancer Research), 1960s patent belt (50p, Bridging The Gap), denim waistcoat (40p, jumble sale), African beads (£1.99, British Heart Foundation), Tooled Leather bag (£3.99, British Heart Foundation), Psychedelic maxi skirt (made by me using vintage fabric sent courtesy of Jennie)
It's a night in with rum and home made pizza for us.
Have a fabulous weekend whatever you decide to get up to.
See you soon.