Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Get Up, Stand Up: Don't Give Up The Fight!


Tuesday, already! It's a sign I'm knocking on a bit, where does the time go? Since I last posted my sewing frenzy has continued. Towards the end of last week Emma Kate sent me a length of 1960s psychedelic bri-nylon which was crying out to be made into a big sleeved mini dress which I promptly did. 


You probably can't tell from my photos but we've had a housework blitz which ain't no regular occurrence, I can assure you. I'd rather clean when the house really needs it so you can see a difference. We use an old school feather duster to dust, polish the glass & mirrors with white vinegar applied to a old pair of knickers and, after sweeping the floors with a yard brush, we mop them with a solution of 3/4 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of lemon juice and a gallon of hot water. This conditions the wood floors and makes the house smell amazing (I hate the artificial stink of shop-bought cleaning products).

Photo courtesy of Richard Roberts

Yesterday we took part in a peaceful demonstration against the proposed closure of Walsall Leather Museum (join us on a tour HERE). Along with the museum, the New Art Gallery is also under threat. While everyone is aware that the council needs to make massive cuts, sacrificing our culture and heritage (of which we're immensely proud) will make life in Walsall very bleak. You can read the full report (and watch a short video) HERE.

Yay! We made the front page of the paper - there's me and my hat!

If you'd like to help please sign the on-line petitions HERE and HERE and save us poor Black Country folk from an existence which offers little more than pound shops, fast food outlets and Primark.

If you want to visit either the Leather Museum or the New Art Gallery do get in touch, if we're free we'd love to join you.



On a more cheery note we made a welcome return to Stockport on Sunday. It was lovely to catch up with the other traders and regular customers we hadn't seen for months. I've mentioned before that Vintage Village is the most incredible place to shop and I got a bit carried away at The Vintage 78 DJs stall as they were having a massive sale but there was no way I could have left this mother load of American psychedelia behind! My winter wardrobe needs it.


Other than a quick look around the chazzas on the way to the pub last Monday, we didn't purposely go out hunting last week so today we did. Our finds included a 1960s deadstock gold lamé pencil skirt a woman nearly beat me up for, a Walsall-made 1960s pea coat (from the days when the town had a thriving garment manufacturing industry) and a ridiculous rhinestone encrusted American cowboy shirt (how did that end up in the Black Country?)


My favourite find was a bag of Indian decorations which included six of these colourful hand hangy-up thingys along with some purple paper rosettes for 99p. I couldn't be less interested in Xmas decorations but I love these. They'll be up all year (no doubt with added cobwebs as the months pass.)

WEARING: Handmade psychedelic mini dress (made using a 1971 pattern), Murano glass and beaten brass pendant (Walsall's very own jewellery maker, Jolene Smith ), Luminous green opaques (car boot sale, I think), 1960s lace-up boots (original Biba, inherited from my Mum)

 Who knows what madness we'll find tomorrow? I can hardly wait!

See you soon.


87 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your tour of the leather factory when you first posted it. I hope the protests do some for keeping it. You have such talent, I like seeing all the things you repurpose.

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! Lovely to hear from you. x

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  2. I have a ridiculous rhinestone encrusted cowgirl shirt. In fact I have an entire rhinestone cowgirl suit & 2 pairs of Tony Lama boots that match. Someday someone will wonder how they ended up in Nepal I'm sure. HAH!
    Loving all that polyester psychedelia! Far out!
    xox

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    1. They sound wonderful. I bet the Nepalis have never seen the like! Have you ever worn them there?
      Synthetics are the best during the British winter, no need for thermal undies! xxx

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  3. Such an amazing array of colour. You've brightened up my Tuesday evening as I sit waiting for the train. Great finds too... I'm ordinarily not fussed with Christmas decs either but this year I've gone bonkers on them. X

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    1. What's brought on the Xmas decoration madness, I wonder? I've seen loads of vintage trees and baubles in the chazzas recently. xxx

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  4. I will most certainly sign the petitions!

    We're not far from Northants which also had a big leather industry; some of the villages close to the Northants border also had tanning and leather making as their local industries. There is a museum of shoes in Northampton town.

    The council cuts are really swingeing ones. We've just gone to fortnightly bin collections as a result of council cuts but by doing so some front line services were saved.


    The psychedelic tunic/dress is fabulous and the I love the green tights. You do like a bit of patchwork don't you? The Indian hands are lovely and so unusual. I also love your bargains from Stockport - fabulous! Are they yours or stock, I wonder? Your other finds sound brilliant - a gold lame pencil skirt indeed!

    I'm interested in your floor cleaning solution. I have varnished, stripped floorboards downstairs but I only use a steam mop on them. I have to say that ours could do with a revarnish but it's such a mammoth task to move all the furniture around, revarnish, move it back, do the other half of the room - just writing about it makes me feel knackered!

    Would you believe I find a party dress today in the chazzas? £3.75...

    Hope you have a great week

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks for signing, Veronica!
      We've just gone over to fortnightly collections, it hardly affects us as we don't chuck much out but loads of residents are outraged. A small sacrifice compared to losing 16 libraries and our gallery and museum.
      The new additions are mine and I've already swapped some dresses and skirts from my wardrobe to make room.
      Excited about your new dress! xxx

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  5. I'd already signed the Leather Museum petition. I know times are hard, but Walsall is losing so much of its cultural services, it's ridiculous. I was shocked at the scale of the proposed library closures.

    My local Arts Centre is raising money through LocalGiving and I plan to sign up (https://localgiving.org/charity/town-hall-arts/). Perhaps the Leather Museum could try something similar. There must be people in the town who could spare a couple of quid a month.

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    1. Thanks for signing, Mim! Great idea about Local Giving, if the Leather Museum staff who read my blog haven't already read your comment then I'll pass it on.
      Matthew Wright (of The Wright Stuff) commented on the show that having 16 libraries was rather excessive for a town & Jon felt compelled to text in to inform him that, with a population of 270,000 Walsall's a pretty big place. xxx

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  6. It was so lovely to see you both on Sunday and thanks again for the gift of my Elsie Tanner gold blouse and the mad tights. I've had some great comments about them.
    I'm with you on the cleaning, it only gets done when we are having visitors. We don't have loads of the commercial cleaning products, opting for white vinegar and hot water. My pet hate is air freshners and plug in ones. I don't get it. Open windows is our air freshener.
    I hope the demo and petition works for you all.
    Big splashes of colour are my mood lifter this winter. The darker the day the louder the clothes. I love your mini, the pattern is just fantastic as oh my those tights 💚 Xxx

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    1. Lovely to catch up with the pair of you, too! Glad you liked the blouse and the tights.
      Air fresheners are the work of the devil and Febreeze is even worse, a sure sign that a vintage sellers doesn't wash their stock first! xxx

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  7. love your new dress!!!!
    here in germany the culture gets cut small and smaller too. everything has to made big profit - otherwise its getting closed.
    i have to try your floor cleaning solution for our old wooden floors! for the one wet cleaning every year :-) wood floors are so practical!
    cute indian deco! xxxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate!
      Wood floors are brilliant, so low maintenance. A stiff brush is loads cheaper than a vacuum cleaner, too. xxx

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  8. great use of that fabric...I can almost smell the floor cleaning solution! (and I like it!)

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    1. Thanks, Rebecca! The fruity smell of olive oil is hard to beat! xxx

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  9. I love that dress, I need more bell sleeves in my life!! Also you haul of vintage dresses and skirts is amazing!!

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    1. Everyone needs bell sleeves in their life. A great excuse not to wash up! x

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  10. Awesome new dress! Psychedelic prints were made for you.

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  11. A fight over a pencil skirt - my money's on you! All these cuts are such a shame, we've been on fortnightly bin collections for a few years now and our street lights go off at night. Rather than close the libraries, they reduced their opening hours - but how long that can last is a worry. x

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    1. And your money would have been safe, too!
      We've gone over to fortnightly bin collections, too. I'm surprised our council haven't looked into the street lighting, it's a better option than losing libraries, surely? xxx

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  12. It's ALWAYS the arts that go first and once they have gone, that's it!!! I will sign on my home computer. Love that patchwork skirt you purchased-brilliant colours!!
    I'm glad your style of housework is similar to mine although my house really IS a tip!!x

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    1. Thanks for signing, Kezzie!
      I was spoilt for choice with those skirts so I bought all of them....tut tut!
      What is it they say? Dull people have tidy houses? That's my mantra! xxx

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  13. EK's come up trumps with that groovy fabric and you've transformed it wonderfully with your Singer skills. Super scores at Stockport... what an absolute delight to see so much colour on a drab day and who doesn't clean with a pair of old knickers?
    I signed. xxx

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    1. Old knickers, tee shirts and tea towels make the best dusters. What kind of fool buys purpose made ones?
      Thanks for signing! xx

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  14. city councils always seem to want to cut the things that make people enjoy a town. Makes no sense. I'd sign the petition, but I probably wouldn't count.

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    1. I know, it beggars belief.
      A few ex-pat friends living in Canada, Australia and The States have managed to sign, every vote counts. xxx

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  15. Would love to hear more about the story with the lamé skirt. Glad you won out : ) She should have known better than to mess with a thrifting Queen.

    I signed that petition. I hate it when proper heritage sites are destroyed. It seemed like such an interested spot when you posted on it.

    I need to try your natural wood floor cleaning trick.

    That patchwork maxi is wonderful, but all of the pieces are great.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Have you ever noticed how much more attractive something becomes when another person is holding it? That woman had been in the shop ages before me, she only wanted it because I had it. There's nothing that makes you keener to buy something than another customer telling you that they want something you saw first.
      Thanks for signing! xxx

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  16. I signed the petition and managed to get a few family and friends to also.

    I am pleased that you use my method to housework, must be something in the name LOL

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    1. Thanks to you and your family & friends, Vicky!
      Vicky must be Latin for not very domesticated! xxx

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  17. You can never have to much psychodelia Vix! Looking good as usual! :)

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! I have to grab it when I can. It's getting rarer! xxx

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  18. I like the hand-thingeys - I have stuff like that hanging up all over my walls and occasionally I give them a good shaking to get the dust and cobwebs off ;)

    Arts and Culture are the things to go first when a town's budget gets tight, which is sad, because it's those things that make life interesting.

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    1. Arts and culture give us a unique identity. Of course they cost money but they make life worth living. xxx

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  19. In the face of all the financial hardships you'd think museums and libraries would get priority being things for the common good. I hope your community is able to save the museum.

    I like your new mini dress (and the Martian tights are great). You're making me want patchwork curtains.

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  20. In the face of all the financial hardships you'd think museums and libraries would get priority being things for the common good. I hope your community is able to save the museum.

    I like your new mini dress (and the Martian tights are great). You're making me want patchwork curtains.

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    1. Martian tights! Love that.
      Sadly I think our council thinks all our townsfolk want is cheap clothes and junk food. Never mind "let them eat cake", in Walsall it's "let them eat burgers!" xxx

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  21. Fantastic painting. Very Marchesa Luisa Casata!

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    1. Thanks for introducing me to Marchesa Luisa Casata! It's by Bernard Buffet. Coincidentally Walsall owns one of his original paintings, we might not be able to see it for much longer. xxx

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  22. Good for you with your protest! I love that you do not talk about it, totally proactive person, yay!!! I hate housework, and I dust with a wet cloth when I HAVE TO!! Good old white vinegar, so many uses.

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    1. Thanks, Sue! I don't like armchair activism. Actions speak louder than social media moaning! xxx

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  23. I signed the petition for you, Vix,I have loved reading about the Leather Museum in your past posts. Your handmade mini dress looks fab! Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jess! Glad you enjoyed the previous Leather Museum post. xxx

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  24. Oh, I do hope the Leather Museum and Art gallery stay open - why is always culture that takes a hit?
    I love your take on housework - I'm the same, I'd love to be on top of it all the time but most of the time I shrug and say 'it's not looking that bad'. I'm looking into more natural cleaning products. Most artificial stuff makes me sneeze (another excuse not to clean!), I'll definitely remember the white vinegar for windows, old knickers are optional though, right? ;)

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    1. I know. It's not like culture or art are elitist, they belong to us all and its insulting to think that museums, libraries and galleries can be closed and the public are too dim to care.
      With your allergies I bet standard cleaning products are a nightmare. Stick to only cleaning when you feel like it (old knickers optional!) xxx

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  25. I like your collection of bold color pantyhose.I own about 50 in the most bright,pattern ,roses,tiger,orange etc.I got them most at very,very reduced price about $2 .You are never predictable and boring and just adore your blog.

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    1. Hello, Hope! I'm drooling at the sound of your tights collection. If you've got to wear the things they need to be as bright & zany as possible. xxx

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  26. Keep up the pressure. Thrift Deluxe just did a vacation post on Walsall museums. VanvI day I love that dress pattern! I would wear it year round in different weight fabrics and colors adding leggings in cold weather. Love your choice this time.

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    1. Thanks, Sam! I was thrilled to read Thrift Deluxe's blog post, our art gallery is world famous. The people of Walsall were bequeathed the Garman Ryan collection in 1973, consisting of 375 paintings and sculptures by the likes of Van Gogh, Augustus John, Jacob Epstein & Picasso. Most of us have seen these pieces so often they've become interwoven with our lives, the thought of not being able to access them is utterly heartbreaking. xxx

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    2. My suspicious side thinks they'll close the gallery, then realise they have all these valuable things that aren't on display and so flog the lot off... and Walsall will have lost some of its unique treasures.

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    3. That thought had crossed my mind, too. xxx

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  28. Wow that's some mad colour you picked up! I love it. Council cuts are enough to make your blood boil they waste so much on stupid stuff and then sell of our heritage! On a similar note I'm fuming about the M.O.D cuts announced this week, they are closing pretty much all the RAF and Army bases in Oxfordshire which is bad enough but far worse they are just callously selling off for housing one of the oldest and most historically important RAF bases in the history of the service. Bloody bloody politicians.

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    1. Bloody bastards! Is there a petition regarding the M.O.D cuts we can sign? One day we'll wake up and all that's left in the UK will be a massive Asda and a drive though McDonalds.
      Thank god for psychedelic vintage to brighten the gloom. xxx

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  29. I am blown away by your psychedelic mini dress which is enhanced by the mega-colorful background of your home decor. It's only morning here and you've already made my day. I hope that the museum and art gallery will be saved and I'm so sorry to hear that they are at risk.

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    1. Thanks, Judith! I have to be careful standing in front of my patchwork, some of it contains bits of dresses I still wear! xxx

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  30. I love the mini dress you made and the fabulous finds from Stockport. Maybe our wood floors would benefit from your tip, so I (or rather: Jos) will give it a go. Oh, and I signed the petition too! xxx

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    1. Thanks for signing, Ann!
      Synthetics and psychedelia are the only way to go in the Winter, warm and cheery.
      Is Jos the domestic one in your house? We're both equally lazy! xxx

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  31. That is so depressing. It's happening everywhere unfortunately. Where I live the town council allowed someone to tear down a beautiful historic building to allow them to put in a cheezy chain restaurant. It's horrible and the place never has customers in it. So was a total waste. Makes me sooooo mad! I really hope the petition helps to keep your museum open.

    On a happier note, that mini dress and colorful haul of yours brightened my day! And I love the curtains and fainting couch. Everything in that shot goes together brilliantly :)

    Theresa



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    1. Hello, Theresa! Isn't it grim? I'm sad to hear about the chain restaurant in your town. That's what seems to be the norm here, knock something down and replace it with an ugly breeze block structure selling inferior food at inflated prices.
      I love the term "Fainting Couch", less pretentious that our Chaise Longue! xxx

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  32. I love the psychedelia, your dress is great, amazing material.
    I signed the petitions, I hate it when heritage and art venues are lost and it happens too often, good luck.
    Sally xx

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    1. Thanks for signing, Sally! I was thrilled with the fabric, they was no way I was going to let it sit in the fabric box, it needed to be made into something on arrival. xxx

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  33. Signed. I am really saddened by this Government's withdrawal of funding from art/historical/cultural things. Come to think of it they are always a bit low on the priorities list and they are so important for us to encourage and for us to learn from. Less grumpily, I am loving all your sewing output. That dress is fab. I am also a bit overcome by your beautiful purchases. All those lovely clothes. That fabric is just fabulous. Lovely decs too. Your house is amazing. Xx

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    1. Thanks for signing, Kelly!
      I'm glad you like the dress, you're such a brilliant sewer so it's a huge compliment.
      I can't believe all that crazy psychedelia was reduced to clear, even if it didn't fit surely people would have bought it for the fabric alone? xxx

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  34. Vix,you're one gorgeous sassy woman.Love everything about you, Rock on!!!P.S What usvthe secret to your energy?

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    1. Wow! Thanks, Jennifer! I never sit still, I drive my friends mad! xxx

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  35. Why do councils always want to close the things which make a town interesting and different? I shall certainly sign the petition, England needs more art galleries and museums not less! Love all of your latest finds, those clothes will certainly brighten up the winter months xx

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    1. I know! Surely by attracting visitors to the town the town makes money.
      Winter is so dreary, colour is vital for my sanity!
      Thanks for signing. x

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  36. That's such a shame about the leather museum being under threat, I remember your post about it and thought it sounded like a really interesting place. I've signed the petition! People power!!
    And flower power, blimey there's some bright fabric in your latest haul!
    x

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    1. Thanks for signing! Power to the people as Citizen Smith used to say.
      It is a bright haul of vintage, isn't it? The Americans made some wonderful stuff. xxx

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  37. First, I love this song and now I'm going to sing it all day long!. And second, you're gorgeous in your beautiful minidress, those sleeves are fabulous!.
    I'm a huge fan of White vinegar to clean anything!, sodium bicarbonate work nicely on our kitchen and oven, so much better than usual oven cleaners and it doesn't suffocate you!
    I'm glad you're going to fight against those cuts in museums and culture, as they just make our lives more boring and dull (and ignorant!). Signed!
    besos

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    1. Me, too. It was playing on the radio when I got up on Monday morning!
      I'll have to try sodium bicarbonate on our oven, it's filthy.
      Thanks for signing! xxx

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  38. Best of luck on saving the museum in its current location, Vix. As the lady said, "The building is part of the experience."

    The Indian hand thingy's are fun and fascinating! Now I'm wondering what could be done with tattered toy boxes and ratty gilt cord -- cutting out holiday shapes and linking them for garlands? My home is small and my closets are full, so Christmas crafts need to fit on the wall and in a box under the bed.

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    1. Thanks, Beth. Indeed it is all about the location. The old leather factory the leather museum currently occupies is wonderfully cosy and charismatic and used to be really popular to hire out for corporate events.
      You could make a wonderfully Xmas-y decoration inspired by the Indian one. Great way to recycle old Christmas cards, too. xxx

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  39. Sorry to hear about your museum closures. I worked in the museums sector from 2005-2014 and worked for a local authority museums service affected by cuts (though weren't they all?). It was a terrible stressful time for staff and a truly depressing time for the area - so many museums are already run on a shoestring and to have them cut altogether is devastating. It's not easy to justify culture vs things like healthcare at times of cuts but in one way or another, culture makes life worth living doesn't it?

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    1. It certainly does make life worth living. The staff who work in both our museum and gallery are really worried about their futures, its not like there'll be any similar establishments that they can relocate to. xxx

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  40. You look spectacular in that amazing self-made mini dress! Never seen bri-nylon like it!
    Your house is looking beautiful. I'm rather intrigued by the olive oil/ lemon juice combo - are your floors varnished or not?
    It's shocking, all these cuts. I really think there are hard times ahead, but it's all so short-sighted. I'm going to sign (if it's not too late).
    Glad you're back at Stockport, bet they missed you. Look at that haul!!!
    I went to an awards ceremony the other night for work thrown by the council. The theme was BollyWood. You'd have loved it! Xxxx

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    1. I was so excited when I received that fabric from Emma Kate. The colours are just amazing.
      Woo! I'd have loved your night out, what a fab theme!
      The floorboards were varnished 10 years ago, so probably need redoing but the olive oil mix works a treat and restores their glossy finish. xxx

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  41. Always a joy to look at your colorful home! Love new Indian decorations, and this dress is fab! Such a pretty fabric!

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  42. I loved the story of Edna's factory - and how she treated the women. Your museum must stay! So pleased you didn't get beaten up for the lame skirt! Obviously Karma prevailed and you were rewarded. Thanks for lots of colour again. xx

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  43. I love the story of Edna's factory and how she treated her women. Your museum must stay! Thanks for the recipe for floor wash. I use clove oil and water in the summer when it's damp to get rid of mould, otherwise vinegar and water. My floors are oiled wood too so I'll give the olive oil mix a try, I presume it will give it a nice sheen? xx

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    1. Wasn't she a forward thinking woman? A true inspiration.
      Yes, the olive oil gives the wood a nice sheen (and a lovely fresh smell!) xxx

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