Monday, 25 July 2016

A Week in the Life - Weapons of Mass Destruction, Voodoo Heads & An X Factor Encounter


What a week! Gardening, shopping, car booting, washing, mending, housework, tie-dyeing, shredding Levi's denim, waterproof bunting making, moving the stock into the new Kinky shed, reading in the sunshine (Laurie Lee's Red Sky At Sunrise, what a joy - why on earth did I wait until my 50th year to read him?), taming stray cats, finding vintage bargains on eBay, watching very little (but quality) TV (the BBC's gripping adaptation of Conrad's The Secret Agent and Beck, the latest in BBC 4's Scandi Noir) and socialising. Not exactly a restful seven days but definitely time well spent.


With our mini heatwave it's been cotton maxi weather all week long. I'd made this dress from some vintage fabric Em gave me (last seen here) but wasn't happy with the fit & after wearing it once chucked it in the bottom of a drawer and forgot about it. Three years later I finally found the time to unpick it, resew the seams, add some darts and replace the cheating press studs with proper buttonholes. 


Accessorised with some brass earrings I bought in India from a womens charity project years ago.


A heap of brass bangles, mostly inherited from my Mum.


And this fabulously blingy Freedom at Topshop neck piece featuring crosses & voodoo heads - unworn and still on the original card - retail price £18.99 but mine for £3 from Age UK.



Did I mention socialising? Sitting in 'Spoons on Saturday with some mates we spotted a crowd gathering in the street outside. When we realised it was Chico we abandoned our pints and we rushed out to say hello. For non-Brits or those too high brow to watch populist TV - he was Sharon Osborne's controversial quarter finalist from The X Factor back in 2005.


I've no idea what brought him to an obscure market town in Shropshire but he was so enamored of my outfit (me-made from a vintage curtain) that I couldn't get a word in edgewise to ask. Darling, you look beautiful. What do you do for a living? He asked. When I told him he told me that I was a fantastic ambassador for vintage clothes. The world would be a much better place if everyone dressed like you. What a sweetie.

We've found some gorgeous vintage clothing over the last week but that's work-related and, as I'm on a break, here's a couple of things we bought for us.


This vintage ironwork planter was from Wednesday morning's car boot sale and came from a florist's shop.


What started off as a bargain at £1 ended up costing us £13.95 after we'd bought potting compost and plants to pretty it up.


I've always hankered after a war rug and pounced on this one, priced at just £2 in the first charity shop we visited on Saturday which led to Jon being asked a million and one times if it was a magic carpet he was carrying as he walked around with it rolled up under his arm. This was a tourist piece made for NATO troops by Afghani craftsmen. I love it. Who needs girly floral motifs on your floor when you can have Kalashnikovs, rocket launchers, tanks and hand grenades?


That's me done. I'm off to spend the day in Wetherspoons. See you soon!

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.

103 comments:

  1. I have never seen war rugs before. Such a sad thing! But says so much.

    I've really been enjoying The Secret Agent. I'd seen Hitchcock's Sabotage before, but it's very different.

    Down a cider in the Spoons for me...

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    1. Cheers! I did!
      I must track down Sabotage, I haven't seen it and I'd be interested in seeing Hitchcock's interpretation. Great to see Vicky Mclure & Stephen Graham from This Is England, isn't it? xxx

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  2. Isn't it fantastic discovering brilliant authors when you're older? For me it was Conrad, Fitzgerald and Alec Waugh.
    On a more domestic note glad to see your Fennel plant is behaving sensibly, I plated one among the roses and it is currently 7 foot high and still growing! Can't see the roses at all.

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    1. It is. We probably wouldn't have appreciated them if we'd been force-fed them as kids.
      I've trimmed that fennel down twice this Summer, it grows so tall it's ridiculous! xxx

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  3. During recent decades returning veterans have brought home enough war rugs to stage a "history via native textiles" exhibit. I've also seen Navajo rugs that document their views of the pony soldiers. Sad, yes, but saving souvenirs of grandpapa's campaigns is universal among families. War rugs are no less evocative of an era than an elegant sword, and you've found a brilliantly graphic specimen!

    Acquiring plant stands is very like feeding stray cats. They fill every corner of your home and garden (and heart).

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    1. I've read that they're very popular in the States. I'd love to see one of the Navajo rugs, I'll have to have a Google!
      You're right about plant stands and cats. There's a very sweet (and shy) little boy currently peeping at me from under Gilbert. xxx

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  4. Is that the Cider with Rosie... beautiful!
    Looking good Vicky 😀

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    1. Hello, lovely! Cider with Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War, all equally enthralling. xxx

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  5. I caught up on Secret Agent last night and haven't a clue what on earth is going on!

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    1. The first half of episode one was a bit tricky but it gets easier! xxx

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  6. I take my TV series guidance from you (ahem, Peaky Blinders) so now I have two new shoes to check out. Gorgeous maxis as always, and what a fun meet-up with a celebrity! Keep living the life your way, my friend, xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Peaky Blinders is the best! xxx

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  7. I'm loving the heatwave-proof maxi (I definitely need to get more of them) and the planter wouldn't look amiss in Dove Cottage's garden. Being a non-Brit, I have to admit that I hadn't heard of Chico. He seems a nice guy. As for Laurie Lee, I've only read Cider with Rosie so far. xxx

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    1. That planter would look wonderful in your pretty garden. Its proving to be slug and snail proof, too - always a bonus.
      Definitely track down more Laurie Lee - with your love of walking I think you'd be gripped. xxx

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  8. My kids would adore your rug. Must show them. We have a gun obsessive and a tank obsessive here.
    Glad you are managing to eek some relaxation and enjoyment out of your week .:-)
    Sounds lovely. We are freezzzing! Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. I bet they would! Boys of all ages get excited about tanks, don't they?
      Oh no, I never imagine you being cold, I'm used to seeing you in sunshine! xxx

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  9. As always, you did a great job on that dress, beautiful! You are a graphic ambassador by the way! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! It took an age but it was worth it! xxx

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  10. I know that town very well haven't been for ages must do something about that , I really love the plant stand , What a bargain xxx

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    1. You must! Have you visited since they opened a Forces Support? There's some real bargains in there! xxx

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    2. No will do though , Thanks for the tip xxxx

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    3. A few of the chazzas are now the clearance ones, one is all under £3 and the other everything is 99p - obviously this means there's loads of Primark tat but there are a few gems amongst it all. x

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  11. Looking fabulous as ever, no wonder you got such gushing praise! Some great charity shop finds, do you think they'll ever run out of the good stuff? X

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    1. Thanks, S! While 1950s and earlier is getting harder to find I think we're safe for a few more years yet. I managed to find a few gems on the way to the pub yesterday! xxx

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  12. That war weapons rug is crazy! I don't know anything about Chico but he sounds like a real mensch!

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    1. Isn't it? I keep having to hoof the cats off it!
      He was a terrible singer but did so well in X Factor because of his charming personality. Sharon Osborne loved him. xxx

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  13. I love your blue maxi and the accessories are amazing. You have a smashing tan, too.

    The war rug is completely new to me but rather lovely in a twisted, macabre sort of way.

    How nice that you saw Chico and what a lovely compliment he paid you - both true and well deserved!

    I love the curvy plant stand - it's bit like my new bird feeding station - and the plant selection is really pretty.

    Hope your week is not too hectic!

    xxx

    veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. I like the sound of your new bird feeder, Vronni! Is it perplexing the squirrels!
      I was moaning about being paler than I usually am but these last few days have definitely topped up the tan! xxx

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  14. Oh how adorable that planter is!! I love that kind of thing in the garden - adds height and pizzazz!
    Glad to hear that you had some time off and were able to squeeze some fun and celebrity in there too! xox

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    1. Isn't it stylish? I was tempted to use it as an umbrella stand but fortunately for our garden our hall isn't big enough! xxx

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  15. Love your rug! Not everyone gets that sort of thing but I would love to discover one of those in my fleamarket travels. Very cool. I love obscure things like that. That rug is history.

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    1. You've got to admire the enterprise of people coming up with ideas like that when their country is under attack, haven't you? xxx

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  16. Suddenly I'm a Chico fan. He sounds like a charming man.
    Your flower pot holder is stunning and well worth the extra moolah! xxx

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    1. He's a charmer! I couldn't believe the man at the car boot only wanted a quid - it must be worth more than that in scrap value! xxx

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  17. I've wanted one of those rugs ever since I first saw one back in the 1980's (?). They tell quit a story.

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    1. They're fascinating, aren't they? You're right, they first appeared in the 1980s after the Soviet invasion. xxx

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  18. I'm chuckling about your encounter with Chico. Did you come over all girly when he was smooshing you. He's spot on with his observations about you. Who would have thought it was so long since he was on xfactor. Stop the clock someone.
    I've been clearing out the spare bedroom ready for your visit. Bet you won't see under anyone else's bed want you'll see under ours haha.
    Looking gorgeous in blue Vix
    Have a great week, if you can see this after a day in Spoons X X X

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    1. Now don't get going to any trouble for us, we'll be too excited to notice any heaps of clothes!!
      Luckily I didn't have to say much to Chico, he did all the talking! xxx

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  19. What a gorgeous frock Vix, I not only love the print but also the design with the crossover straps at the back.... and the big buttons(so very 70's). Great score on the planter, even if you did end up spending fifteen quid in total, the organic shape of it is perfect.
    Fancy meeting Chico, I have never watched X Factor (and you know that I am deffo not high brow!) but I know about him as he grew up in my home town. Must admit I have only ever heard what a nice bloke he is. Have a good week.xxxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Fiona! He was a lovely chap - thank goodness he's given up singing, that wasn't great!
      Hope work isn't too hectic for you. xxx

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  20. I am soooooooooooooooooooooo very glad that the sun is shining on you, my dear friend.
    You and your magic creations aout of just about anything.
    I wonder if you could advise on charies, jumbles, car boot sales and such round Milnthorpe . We will be staying 3 weeks. The plans are to walk, but Victor won´t be able to walk that much so we go to places like Carlile, butI thought of picking the brain to the best
    Mil besossssssssssss

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    1. Thanks, Sacramento! I'll ask my friend Lynn - she and her husband can't resist a bargain and live up North. xxx

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  21. "It's Chico time!" How lovely of him to chat with you, and pose for a photo.
    You look as fab as ever, hope you've had a great time in Spoons :) xx

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    1. Oh, and the rug is brilliant ♥

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    2. Thanks, Yvonne! It must take him ages to get anywhere being constantly followed around and asked for photos! xxx

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  22. A war rug? I don't even know what to say about that! LOL

    I really adore your redone maxi. The crossed straps are fabulous on your banging body. Speaking of banging bodies...I don't know the Chico guy, but he has quite the bod! Just sayin'....

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Yep, I noticed that, too! xxx

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  23. You pack so much into a week, busy busy lady. I sew things and then chuck them to one side only to re discover them a few years later and actually finish them, so glad I am in good company! I am finishing a blanket coat I started at least two years ago right now. Thanks for photos of you and your plants in SUNSHINE we are basking in RAIN and glumness.

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    1. These things take time, don't they Sue? No sense in rushing! Hahaha! xxx

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  24. What a beautiful dress with the cross cross back straps. I don't know if you used a vintage pattern to make it but it looks very much like the pattern I used for a dress that I made for myself around 1974. I made it in a cotton plaid in all shades of pink. Gawd. I loved that dress. I sometimes dream about it. You look like a dream yourself. A war rug? That's for real? Oh my...

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    1. It is a 1970s Maudella pattern, Connie - Curtise gave it me ages ago. It could have been the same one as you used. You need to make another! xxx

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  25. Love the fabric in the blue-nearly spit out my lemonade when I saw voodoo heads! You work and play better Thames anyone.

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    1. Thanks, Sam! That's why that dress needing fixing, the fabric is far to lovely to languish in a drawer unseen. xxx

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  26. I love both frocks and I am also so happy I'm not the only person who sews who leaves something in the bottom drawer only to realise all it needs is a minor change to work! That rug is all kinds of amazing xo

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    1. Thanks, Trees! Alterations are a bit daunting, aren't they? I find a bit of a tweak takes longer than starting from scratch! xxx

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  27. Darling Vix, you are shining more than ever! Love these beautiful dresses on you - and I so agree with Chico! How wonderful to have your Mum's bracelets in your amazing collection!
    I think we got your heat wave here now!
    Love

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    1. I'm glad you've got Summer back, Natalia! All the more reason to rock those shorts! xxx

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  28. Hi Vix, okay I'm exhausted after reading what you did for 7 days! You always look good and how do you keep your figure so nice? Anyway, my husband and are crazy about your war rug! it is super cool! He wanted to know where you got it. I said "she's in England"! lol We r here in California, wish I was there. :-)

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    1. You're too kind, Cherre. I usually spend 30 minutes a day on my Wii Fit but I've had to give myself a break because of fear of irritating my hip. xxx

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  29. You looks gorgeous as always, Vix! Beautiful dresses and I was glad to see close ups of your always so unique jewelry. And of course, I was impressed with the rug, what an amazing piece!

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    1. Hello Olga! Hope you've had a fab holiday. Thank you! xxx

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  30. Oh, Vix! You are right: the flowers are beautiful on the outside, in the wide world, in gardens and battlefields I would just like flowers but ... This carpet is great, absolutely! I would have immediately caught: Kalashnikovs, tanks, rocket launchers and hand grenades on my living room floor? Absolutely yes! You are too superior, great!
    I do not know but Chico, as well as cute, it seems also very nice !! ehehhe
    Your dress conveys freshness even in the picture, I love this fabric and the cut of the dress, as well as all your jewels, each with its own different story, but together they are really perfect!

    serena

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    1. Hello Serena! Yes, flowers are beautiful but, like you, what really makes my heart beat a little faster is the weird and the wonderful! the cats like it, too - always a bonus! xxx

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  31. I'm Australian and have no idea who Chico is, but of course he was in awe of you Vix, you ARE the ultimate vintage ambassador! Your brass bangle and curtain dress look amazing too. Your planter is a great find, hopefully I'll get around to planting some broad bean plants tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your week Xxx.

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    1. Thank you, Jess! Broad beans? Does that mean your weather is getting milder? I hope so. Enjoy your week! xxx

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  32. Greetings from the Dordoigne! Loving your cotton maxi! Perfect for the sun. The planter is really cute too! I'm hoping my veg aren't burning to a frazzle whilst I'm here!! The book sounds good, I shall look for it.
    Not surprised Chico loved you! He saw what we saw. Vintage genius!!!
    Hppe you have a good rest!x

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    1. Bonjour, jetsetter! Hope you're having a fab time! xxx

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  33. I'm glad that lovely dress got a second chance! It looks great on you. As does the one you were wearing during your celebrity meeting. Chico was right about the world.

    Funny about Jon and the magic carpet! xo

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    1. I'm happy, too! I can't believe it took me so long to alter it! xxx

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  34. Yes indeed-the world would be a better place with more like you in it. No idea who the fella is, but obviously, he's a smart one!

    Those old iron plant stands are wonderful (and trouble-making squirrels can't knock them over)and getting harder to find.

    Never saw a war rug-something to keep an eye out for.

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    1. Jon thought he'd only taken that plant stand to the car boot to display his wares, he was amazed that not only was it for sale but that it was a quid. It's proving to be slug and snail proof, too. Always a bonus with our damp British Summer. xxx

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  35. I've loved reading about your week. Those copper bangles! I'm drooling, just gorgeous and a nice story with them. You look fabulous in your maxi dresses and so beautiful visiting your patio with its new planter and plants. The war rug...I also have never heard of these...some serious clout on the floor. Have a beautiful week. xx

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! I loved your post about your superhero grandchildren. xxx

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  36. You look gorgeous!! And Chico seems so sweet!! Love the war rug!

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  37. Who isn't enamored by you? I am, everytime I visit your blog! Love your refashioned maxi dress and your new finds for the home and garden. Your life is always rich and full! xoxo

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    1. You are kind! Thanks, Judith. xxx

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  38. Chico time!! Not 'arf. No wonder he was knocked out by you. I do love that reworked dress...after a bit of time off from them, these sewing projects get a new life. That Topshop necklace is fabularse and what a bargain. .
    I love Laurie Lee so much. I fell in love after studying Cider with Rosie at school.
    Enjoy the sunshine.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxx

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    1. That's sunshine better make a comeback soon, we're off camping tomorrow! xxx

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  39. I love your dress, cross over straps make it something special. Plant stand is great for £1 in the winter you could plant it up with herbs and get some value back :D I always try and watch the same as you on telly as I am never disappointed by your tv choice! Betty x

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    1. That's a great idea, Betty! I could even have it in the kitchen if the weather outside was too harsh for the herbs to thrive. xxx

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  40. Look at you and Chico doing the mutual admiration society thing! I saw rugs like that in an exhibit of Afghani war-themed textiles at a museum in Toronto a few years back!

    I like the cross-over straps on your dress.

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    1. I know, we look almost besotted with each other, don't we?
      I wonder why the previous owner decided to donate that rug after all this time, makes you wonder! xxx

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  41. I suscribe that 'The world would be a much better place if everyone dressed like you', and that's one of my favorite comments ever (on anyone style). Glad for every nice compliment you receive, particularly if it comes from a cool boy!
    Love your maxi (fabulous back!) and your war rug (I've never seen one before!)
    Enjoy all that sunshine!!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! Someone once wrote to my boss a few years ago that "the world would be a better place if it was filled with people like Vix" - best compliment ever! xxx

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  42. LOVE that maxi and glad you've been having some R&R x

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    1. Thank you! The break did us both the world of good! x

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  43. wow - a war rug!!! i did read about but never saw one live! i´m totally fascinated!
    how cool was your meeting with chico - it seem he´s a man with style :-)
    wonderful home sewn maxis! love your brass jewelry!
    xxxxxx

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    1. I couldn't believe it when I spotted that rug and , less than an hour later..Chico! xxx

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  44. I love your handmade dresses! And the fact that not only were you in my little town, but Chico was as well!!!

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    1. No!!!! Fancy that, I love where you live, it's so friendly and full of good charity shops! xxx

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  45. Love your maxi dress, Vix. It is gorgeous, as is the one you had one when you met Chico. I have no idea who he is as I have never seen the X Factor (nothing high brow in MOR towers I can assure you) but he really is right in what he said. It would be fab if more people were as stylish as you. I love that war rug. I have never seen one before and they are fascinating things. I suppose that even during a war you have to earn a crust and they are very inventive, if a bit macabre (in a good way). Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! Don't watch the X Factor - we get sucked into it every year, moan about it constantly and lose hours! xxx

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  46. What an incredible compliment! And you know, the chap is spot on - the world really would be a better place if more people let their souls shine freely through their wardrobe choices, as you do, dear Vix.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

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  47. Love the maxi dress! I did a similar thing recently and have nearly finished a jacket that I started making about 18 months ago. I wasn't happy with the collar so it languished half finished for ages but I got around to sorting it out the other day and simply took the collar off - so simple!

    Also, what a lovely compliment Chico gave you! xx

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    1. I think it does us good to put something away and come back to it, rushing usually means a botched job and we're never happy. xxx

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  48. Ooh thanks Vix, I really need some reading inspiration. I've got completely out of the habit. They had a film of Cider with Rosie on last year as part of some BBC drama season and it was sublime. I've hardly watched any telly recently but I do like Beck. Maybe I'll give the secret agent another go too. Your blue dress looks fab so you must have got the fit just right second time around. Very satisfying! Well, I'm a Brit, so I must be too high brow!! :D however, I have to say this Chico looks very nice, not surprised you ran out to say hello!! :D xxxx

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    1. I never saw Cider With Rosie when it was on the TV, I wonder if I can find it online?
      I enjoyed The Secret Agent, it helped having two of my favourite actors from This Is England in the cast. xxx

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  49. Wow! You did pack a lot in
    Chico is so right - the world would be a better place if more people wore vintage

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    1. Wouldn't it be lovely if horrible cheap clothes shops closed down and charity shop rails were full of quality clothes like they used to be? I'd be very happy! xxx

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  50. Chico! Andy saw Mark Owen being trailed by women and girls in Waitrose, hehe! I swear I saw Ted Rogers there too, years ago, being chased up the dairy aisle!

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    1. Haha! Ted Rogers! What happened to him? xxx

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