Monday, 11 December 2017

Fifteen Feet Of Pure White Snow



The discovery of this Welsh wool cape in a charity shop on Friday couldn't have come at a better time. The temperatures were icy, we'd already had a few inches of snow overnight and weather warnings had been issued for the mother of all snowstorms, expected to hit the West Midlands early on Sunday morning.



It had been over a fortnight since we'd dedicated a whole morning to charity shopping so, as you can imagine, I was itching to get rummaging. Our first stop was the overpriced and quite frankly, pretty rubbish chazza where we hardly ever find anything and, guess what? I found something. My cape! It was labelled at an insanely low £8 (I've seen Primarni shoes with trashed down heels in there for more). I'm pretty sure it's been hand-made as there's no labels inside. I loved that the person who sewed it opted to line it in red satin and chose big, bold and in-your-face emerald green buttons as opposed to playing it safe with boring neutrals. My kind of dressmaker!

WEARING: Vintage Welsh wool cape with me-made mini dress made from vintage psych fabric; Nuclear green tights & 1960s nylon gloves (both car boot sales); Vintage sheepskin hat (present); 1970s high heeled French-made wellies (Jumble sale)

For once, the weather people got it right. The snow started in the early hours of Sunday morning and continued all day. By 6pm we'd had over 20cms and, despite being told that it would stop today, there's been more snow this morning.

I made this cardi last week - another old blanket (from a charity shop ages ago), I deconstructed and sewed back together. It's cosy!

After a day spent indoors yesterday, this morning we layered up, swept the step, broke up the ice in the bird bath & replenished it with fresh water and topped up all the bird feeders. After looking a bit forlorn yesterday, our feathered friends are having a right old party now.


I'm not a practical dresser, I've never owned a fleece, a quilted jacket or a waterproof pair of trousers and even my (vintage) wellies have got high heels. The snow's pretty but it doesn't half play havoc with my wardrobe. Maxis are pretty much useless when the snow reaches past your knees so it looks like minis will be featuring strongly in my outfit choices for the rest of the week. Fortunately for me, the amount of shorter clobber in my wardrobe increased slightly when I snaffled this repro '70s patchwork number from the charity clearance shop within minutes of finding my cape.

WEARING: Fake 1970s suedette mini with a 1960s suede coat (Second To None); Big sleeved top & Aldo hat (both charity shopped); Dents cyclamen leather gloves and 1960s snakeskin & Stainless Steel choker (car boot sale); Original Biba boots (belonged to my mum): Tights - bought 11 years ago from Topshop sale & still going strong!

I wasn't sure if the skirt looked a bit cheap so I asked Jon. It is cheap, he said, It's £1 and told me to get it 'cos the colours were amazing. He wasn't wrong. I was so preoccupied with the weird feel of the fake suede that I hadn't really noticed the colour. It wasn't until after I'd posted this photo on Instagram and a friend had commented, No chance of getting mown down by a snow plough in that outfit, Vix, until I realised just how bright it was.

Here's almost everything we found - there were a few bits of menswear but they're still drying. I'd stick them in the tumble drier but that would involve me having to leave the window open and it's far too cold for that! 
Clockwise from top left: Welsh wool cape; 1970s handmade jumper; Suedette patchwork mini skirt; Julien MacDonald tote; Handmade shawl; 1970s Salisbury's basket; Zara choker; Biba suede platforms (reserved); 1970s acrylic midi dress; 1970s leaf green slinky midi dress; Burn-out velvet scarf by Nadia Mahmood - a Birmingham-based textile designer who incorporates Islamic & British motifs into her work.

The council gritters can only reach the main roads so not a single vehicle has driven past the house this morning, the school around the corner is closed and even public transport has been cancelled. Birmingham airport was shut for most of yesterday and it felt odd not to hear a plane fly overhead. I'm rather enjoying the silence although I expect the novelty will wear off after a couple of days and I'll be pacing the house like a caged tiger.



I'm linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday then I'm off upstairs to pack my India bag. I can dream of dusty villages, fiery sunsets and baking heat even if it's less than zero degrees outside.

68 comments:

  1. Just being up the road from you we had the same amount of snow , I took to the kitchen i baked the christmas cakes, raspberry buns and a pie for tea , I am already itching to get out and am hoping i can go to the market this week as that will be three weeks now for one reason or another , Loving that cape its beautiful , You are lucky What a lucky find , It just proves what i say though not to pass a charity shop by as circumstances alter the stock in the shops especially if the manager is off lol xxx

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    1. It certainly sounds like you're making the most of your snowed-in time! It's definitely thawing today, I can see grass again, hooray!
      I feel so sorry for that charity shop, we've donated quite a lot and are amazed at the daft prices they've stuck on our old things. x

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  2. It's snowing here but it's still wet so it's all melting away. I guess it means we get the prettiness of falling snow without the inconvenience.
    What a fabulous cape, I love the buttons.
    I'm itching for a charity shop rummage too, I might have to squeeze one in this week. I picked up a fab skirt in Kezzie's Instagram sale and now I'm feeling spendy!
    Hope the snow doesn't become bothersome.
    xx

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    1. It does get inconvenient after a bit. Even emptying the bin involves having to change into wellies, gloves and a hat. It's a balmy 4 degrees today - almost tropical!
      Was it Kezzie's rainbow skirt? I loved that! x

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    2. Practically summer again already :)
      It was a tapestry mini skirt I got from Kezzie, one I'd admired when she wore it for a Tardis Tuesday outfit - expect an outfit post when it arrives!
      xx

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    3. Oh yes, that was a lovely skirt, too! Can't wait to see you wearing it...maybe with the burgundy boots!

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  3. Dazzling! The cape over the bright lime was a public service event, but when you opened it up to display the lining...! What a wonderful, warming antidote to the browns and greys not covered by 15' of snow.

    Snow we have got, and cold. A friend and I have the day off for special holiday projects that just happen to take us quite close to certain charity shops -- and you have inspired me to haul out an ancient red corduroy duster (housecoat) to warm up the landscape. (Me and the cardinals.)

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    1. Red looks wonderful against the snow, good plan, Beth!
      It's finally thawing here, thank goodness. The peace and quiet has been lovely but I'm longing for civilisation now. xxx

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  4. hey - you got my snow!
    :-D
    and you look wonderful - in both outfits!
    that cape is a total stunner!!! and its so perfect for you and your colorful style. thanx to jon for talking you into the skirt, such a cool color combination. adding cyclamen and bright red is genius (i think i have tights in exactly the same color and age!)
    school closed? haha - we had to go at -25°C and 1,5m of snow - every winter :-)
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Beate! Not being able to wear maxis is a bit of a challenge!
      We don't get much snow - the last time we had any of much consequence was 6 years ago. No point in the already cash-strapped council investing in snow ploughs when they're only used once every ten years, I suppose.
      I do remember having to walk to school in knee deep snow - our school was ancient and had no heating - but it certainly didn't kill us! xxx

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  5. LOVE the big fur hat and cape!

    There is no way I'm going outside with only tights to cover my legs. You are a far stronger woman than I. Today it feels like -16 C with the windchill apparently. The weather changed overnight it seems. We are expecting the same amount of snow as you today. Blah! I hate winter! I'm happy that my neighbour shovels my driveway so at least I can still leave my house. (Not that I want to go out in this!)

    I'm like you, if I haven't been thrifting in a couple of weeks I'm Jonesing for the thrill.

    Suzanne

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    1. I've got a thermal vest, a crimplene dress, a sheepskin hat, two pairs of gloves, sicks, tights, thermal insoles and alpaca legwarmers under that wool cape, it took me an age to pile it all on!!
      Hope your snow isn't going to be as heavy as expected. It's melting here today but a bit more expected later - getting a bit tired of it now! x

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  6. Love the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds title. :)

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  7. I'm always awed by the fabulous stuff you find when thrifting. And don't you just love it when you find something great in a place you almost don't want to go in? Your post makes we wish it would snow here in Florida so I can put together some snazzy vintage winter outfits. You definitely have the coolest snow storm ensembles I've ever seen. But then, I'm not surprised :)

    Theresa
    www.vintagestylefiles.com

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    1. You'll have to do some Polyvore sets, Theresa - I wouldn't wish this on you. I'm longing to get the maxis and proper boots back on now!

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  8. no snow here, but Atlanta got a couple of inches. And closed the airport. Capes? I finished 2 last week we cut out for summer and ended up not using. Love the red lining and green buttons.

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    1. I love making capes, I'm always on the look out for a snazzy fabric I can use! x

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  9. What a timely find that was and loving the psych. mini! It snowed here for about 90 minutes yesterday after several hours of rain, so it didn't lay - fine by me as I had to leave for work at 6am today and its no fun shovelling snow at that time of day. xx

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    1. Trying to get to work in the snow is just horrid. It's beginning to melt now, thank goodness. Hope that's it till we escape to India now!

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  10. I love it and John is right about the skirt - the colours are great. I don't think I have ever seen another snow shot on your blog. It's nice when you don't have to go anywhere in it, another time to be happy you are self employed with no lost monies from the weather

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    1. It's been six years since we had snow as deep as this - and hopefully another six years until it comes back! xxx

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  11. I always get a child-like excitement if it snows here. BUT. Please help me if it lasts for more than a couple of days. I go squirrel-ly. I do not have much choice when it comes to snow weather garb. Rain I can cope with.

    That being said, that white winter wonderland of yours is the perfect backdrop for your vivid cape. I don't know what I love more, the cape or the fact that you love and appreciate the craftsmanship of it. I'm happy it found you!

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    1. Yes, that's me, too. I had to walk into town yesterday just to get out although it was pretty perilous underfoot!
      I love finding something handmade and vintage especially when it seems to reflect the personality of the maker, makes it even more precious! xxx

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  12. What a smashing cape. The lining is super. You don't half look freezing in those photos though. I love your minidress underneath and fake or not that suede skirt is very you. Your cardie looks very toasty. All the fabulous colours are such an antidote to the misery outside. I am going to be on the look out for granny squares now. It is bloody freezing here and really slippy. Snow is pretty but I am over it now. I had fun fish-tailing the car back home and am not looking forward to driving to work in the morning, forecast for minus 6 so it will be icy as hell. I haven't seen a gritter yet. They are out if it clouds over back home. :) You have great taste in music. Xx

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    1. My face was starting to freeze, the only exposed bit of me. Glad to scuttle back into the warmth of the house and take all the layers off.
      I hate it when it's slippy. the last thing I want to do if fall and break my un-operated hip! xxx

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  13. The snow is a perfect backdrop for your colourful outfits! That Welsh wool cape made me squeel in delight. That, and the fact that I was wearing tights in exactly the same colour today. Love the psychedelic mini dress and I think I need a pair of high heeled wellies! How cute is that suedette mini skirt? I love how your tights and gloves match in that outfit. We had snow yesterday and today and commuting in the vile stuff is just horrible. Especially as I'm not a practical dresser either, preferring style over comfort ... xxx

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    1. Fancy us having the same colour tights! I think mine were from a lady selling fancy dress stuff at a car boot sale, I'm treating them super carefully in case I never find another pair!
      I used to loathe commuting in the snow, everything took twenty times as long! xxx

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  14. That cape is gorgeous, and such a stunning lining! I wonder at the story behind it (who made it, who inherited it, who gave it away?).

    Only a few inches of snow in Cambridge yesterday morning, and all melted to slush now. My legs are cold just from seeing you in minis and tights though! ;-)

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    1. I always think about the person who donated something vintage to a charity shop - are they downsizing, have they died or just decided they were never going to wear it again despite talking so much care in making it. A bit sad really.
      You escaped the snow, then! That's the trouble with snow, when you don't wear jeans and the only thermal leggings you own are deadly dull black ones, what on earth do you put on your legs? xxx

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  15. You are glorious in the snow! I didn't know it snowed that much in your part of the world. The cape is fabulous, as are the heeled Wellies. You're a top-rate shopper, and always look original and brilliant. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. We don't get this much snow very often, it was six years since we last had a heavy snowfall and hopefully that long again till the next one. I'm so over it now! xxx

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  16. We got snow, too!!!!! Love the mini----can't go wrong for $1!!!!!

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    1. Have you?!!! I didn't think it ever got that cold in your part of the world! xxx

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  17. Your new cape is certainly a show stopper, how exciting to find some quality amongst the Primani. Love the buttons and the flame coloured lining, together with your 'Dr. Zhivago' hat you look set to brave the British weather. The psychedelic mini is cosmic and looks ace with the green gloves and tights.
    We had a little snow down here today but it's nearly gone now. All this cold weather means more time staying at home in front of the fire catching up with Les Témoins...I'm absolutely gripped. xxxx

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    1. I tell you, the quality pieces stand out a mile amongst the dross - it certainly makes charity shopping easy!
      Les Témoins is utterly gripping, love it! We're also enjoying the series on Mexican art on BBC4 and Hand Made in Mexico is wonderful, too. xxx

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  18. I'm so pleased to see your Welsh cape! We've had lots of snow in The Valleys, and I've been wearing a tapestry cape too. Xx

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    1. I think we've both had most of the snow, haven't we? Hooray for Welsh wool! xxx

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  19. Love the leotards, the green look so much fun.
    Coffee is on

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  20. So much goodness here! Vix, that hat is just delicious, the green tights/gloves are perfection, that maxi-in-the-window-seat makes me think of "Yellow Submarine", and oh, such lovely snow! The Biba shoes and that pleather skirt are my favourites of your purchases.

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! The Biba shoes are off to a small footed friend - no chance of cramming my hooves in them! xxx

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  21. Wow, Vix, the snow looks amazing. Who says outfits that keep you warm have to be drab? Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jess! It was certainly pretty! xxx

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  22. Stunning shots of of you in the snow Vix. The cape was quite the find , so beautifully made by someone with a creative mind. Enjoyed seeing that skirt and Biba boots (how clever to have kept them). Enjoy your packing. Hope the weather improves soon.

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    1. Thanks, Jill. I love finding things that someone has toiled over, it makes them even more special. xxx

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  23. Snow makes everything so pretty and peaceful! But I'm with you, the novelty wears off too quick. :) Love the cape, the bright dress and newly made cardi! Your home looks especially cozy with snow outside your window. <3

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    1. I bet you've seen more than your fair share of snow to last a lifetime. I'm looking out of the window and watching it slowly start to melt, I want to go out in something other than wellies tomorrow! xxx

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  24. I love capes and yours is a very fine specimen....especially with that gorgeous red lining. I have rather a hankering for a Scottish Widows type cape although heaven knows where I would wear it....lol.
    We've managed about five inches of snow which for our part of Staffordshire is quite a lot.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Wear it to Tesco! Go on, I know you want to! xxx

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  25. Mwhaha, you look like a fabulous vision of joy and color in the middle of that white stuff!, so awesome cape, I love the lining and buttons, and how they match your gloves! and also love your psychedelic dress! and your Fabulous Attitude!
    And I do love your mini skirt, You Rock!,and those cyclamen gloves and tights, such an amazing color combo! love it!
    And your new cardi is a beauty!, and it's other inspiring piece!. Now I'm looking for some wool leftovers to create a long cardi or something!
    besos

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    1. Thank you! That white stuff lends itself to a great backdrop for photos even if it is a little inconvenient!! xxx

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  26. It looks beautiful but after looking at it for a while I always start wishing it would go away.
    Not so with your outfits though! I love the short skirts and bright tights. The cape is fantastic, the red lining is wonderful.
    Hope the weather's a bit better today. xxx

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    1. Yes, it is starting to get a bit tedious now!!
      Thank you! I was thrilled with that cape but trust me to find the biggest, heaviest thing in the first shop we visited and then have to lug it around for the rest of the morning! x

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  27. I know it's a real miserable pain, but I am a bit jealous of your snow! We've just had black ice which is a lot less fun and picturesque! I love your outfit, your self made psych dress is incredible!

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    1. It was really pretty and it was rather lovely to have some enforced peace and quiet for a few days. Walking into an almost ghost town yesterday was lovely, no jostling and pushing by rude Xmas shoppers! xxx

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  28. That cape is so you, fabulous. We were in Devon this weekend so the snow was a bit of a shock when we got home!

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    1. I bet it was! We didn't believe the forecast, we just thought we'd get a light sprinkling not a heavy blanket! xxx

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  29. It is a truly stupendous cape and you look fab (and cozy)in it! I have green gloves the same colour but mine are elbow length and not warm enough for this cold snap we're having. I love your mini dress and clever you to make it. What is the secret of 11 year old tights?

    I remember those suede mini skirts so well!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! These gloves are nylon but they're lined so surprisingly warm.
      My clothes last for ever, it's pretty rare for anything to disintegrate although I once found a yellow cotton maxi dress from Primarni in a charity shop and after a week of backpacking around Kerala had to put it in the bin! xxx

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  30. OMG Girl you got it going on. I really love the room where you sit with so many bright colors. I had an old chaise like that, unfortunately, it was filled with straw and hay for packing and the mice ruined it, it's sitting in storage. I never once thought of getting it recovered, but now I'm considering it. I am just curious if yours had the same kind of filler and any solutions. I really love your blog and I hope you will visit mine vintage chalet but no where near as cool as yours.

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    1. Lovely to meet you, Cindy.
      The chaise is Victorian and stuffed with horsehair. It was my parents' and very tatty when I inherited it. We stripped off the 1970s velour upholstery, took out the stuffing, nailed ply board underneath the chaise as the springs were starting to sag and then carefully replaced the horsehair, redistributing it so it was no longer uneven.
      I made the cover from scraps of 1960s psychedelic fabric I'd been collecting for years and we nailed it to the frame using gimp pins and then antiqued brass upholstery tacks - took around a day to do and we love the result.
      Here's what it used to look like: https://vintagevixon.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/a-twentieth-century-makeover-victoriana.html

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  31. And now we have your snow! It's pretty to look at when you are inside, on the couch snuggled with a cat, a blanket and a book, but not so much when you have to bundle up to go to work. That cape is definitely a winner - the maker chose well with the lining and the buttons. The colourful mini is the perfect thing to banish any winter blahs!

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    1. I don't envy you commuting in all that white stuff one little bit! x

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  32. You had a LOT of snow - that cape must have been very welcome indeed.

    We had no snow, but I'm quite grateful for that.

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  33. We had snow in London as well which is very rare! Not as much a you though luckily, I don't have a practical wardrobe either! x

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