Our false Spring's over and the trusty sheepskin hat is back out of hibernation although, to be fair, it's the first time either my chocolate brown or the cream one have made an appearance since last year when the UK was mauled by the Beast from the East.
I've worn my Anokhi riding coat almost constantly since I returned from India. It's one of the most expensive garments I've ever bought but if I got paid each time someone on the street admired it I'd probably be owed money by now.
Beneath the coat I'm wearing the dress I also bought from the Anokhi shop in Jaipur (last seen on the fateful day when we visited the monkey temple).
I'm not used to buying clothes from a proper shop so having fancy cardboard labels attached to a garment are a real novelty. I've kept them in my travel journal for posterity. The shop tag says:
This textile has been created with traditional recipes and techniques used in India for centuries.
Natural black comes from a mixture of scrap iron, molasses and water. Rust is from printed alum. Both are developed in an alizarin dye bath.
Gold and silver printing as a decorative finish was a common feature in Indian textiles and is still a very popular way to embellish both printed and dyed fabrics. Using a brass stencil & plunger, the motif is hand printed onto the cloth with a gum paste and dusted over with a cotton pouch. The powder adhers to the fabric wherever the paste is present.
|An early Twentieth century Peshwaz, on permanent display in the National Museum of India in New Delhi. I wish it was in my wardrobe!|
The Anokhi tag describes this dress as a Cotton Peshwaz, which was said to be one of the most opulent forms of Moghul clothing for women. Originating in Persia, it was introduced to India during Babur's reign (1483 - 1530) and comprises of a fitted bodice with a full skirt which fastened at the waist (mine has a side zip). Due to the way the dress was cut at the front, women were required to wear a choli (blouse) underneath, my modern version came with a black cotton camisole top.
I've certainly been getting my £5 worth from last week's charity shopped Mjus boots. I can understand why they're so expensive to buy new, according to the website the interior has cold padding, providing both cushioning and warmth so they're so cosy and comfy (and there's bargain pairs to be had on eBay).
Vronni, the headscarf rockin', avid readin', charity shoppin', ramblin' superstar who blogs at Vronni's Style Meanderings nominated me for a Sunshine Award. Those of us who've been blogging for a while (it'll be ten years this year!) will be familiar with the blogging awards that used to do the rounds way back then - the rules are that you accept your award, link back to the person who nominated you, answer the questions, nominate four more bloggers and ask them to answer your questions.
Here's Vronni's questions and my answers:
1) Why did you start blogging? A girl I used to chat to on a forum asked if I blogged. At first I thought What a ridiculous idea, who wants to look at photos of me or read my ramblings? Then I thought, Why not? The only blogs I ever came across were 20-something kids showing off their Primark hauls or posting wish lists or bossy women my age telling the over-40s to cut off their long hair, cover their knees and/or arms whilst promoting ludicrously overpriced clothing that turned everyone into a sad clone. Even if everyone laughed at my blog at least I was offering an alternative.
2) Has your blog changed since you started it? Not a lot. The content's pretty much the same (vintage finds, trips to festivals, our travels in India, stuff I've made, our house and garden) but I only post a couple of times a week these days as opposed to every day. Hopefully my photography has improved.
3) Blogging is time-consuming - what are the challenges you find in finding the time? When I started blogging there were a lot of blogs out there and I'd only be happy publishing a new post once I'd caught up and commented on all my virtual friends' blogs (ever the polite Brit!) which made the process extremely time-consuming. Sometimes I'd be up at 6am just to play catch up. These days a lot of the bloggers I used to follow have defected to IG so it doesn't take half as long to read and comment on those in my blog list. Over the years I've learnt not to beat myself up if I don't comment on every single post especially if it's someone who posts every day or if it's a blog about a subject that doesn't resonate. It's not because I don't like the blogger, it's just that I have nothing noteworthy to contribute to the discussion.
Writing a blog post doesn't take too long - probably around an hour - unless it's one of my travel posts which can take an age to whittle down the photos and to recall the fascinating facts I've scrawled in my travel journal!
4) When do you write a post - in the morning or the evening? Usually in the afternoon, after I've done all my tasks and before it's too dark for photos (a nightmare in the depths of the British Winter).
5) What is your favourite topic? India! Not only does it help prolong my trip but the feedback I get via social media and email is amazing. One of the best things ever was bumping into a lady in the Indian Visa office in Birmingham who told me she'd been inspired to achieve her lifelong dream of visiting India after reading my blog.
6) What's the thing you love most about blogging? Connecting with like-minded women from all over the world. I'm always staggered when people recognise me in real life and bowled over when people make a special effort to visit our stall at festivals or vintage fairs just to say hello.
7) What's the thing you like least? I don't think there's a negative other than the inevitable pervy messages (which always get deleted!)
8) Where do you see yourself and your blog in five years time? Most of the time I don't know where I'll be next week, let alone in five years...hopefully alive and still having the time of my life!
I'm a bit of a rule breaker so I'm not going to nominate anyone in particular (anyone who reads my blog adds sunshine to my life) but if you fancy answering my women-centric questions ('cos it's International Woman's Day) please feel free to do so either on your blog or if you don't have a blog either on Facebook or in the comments below.
1. Five well-known women (alive or dead) you'd invite over for dinner (or just meet in the pub).
2. Woman you'd most like to swap places with for one day and why?
3. Which female actor would you pick to play you in a film about your life?
4. Is there a particular woman who influenced your style or inspired you somehow, and who is she? (Sheila wrote a wonderful piece HERE about her Aunt Ann)
5. Whose wardrobe would you most like to steal?
|WEARING: Anokhi dress & Anokhi quilted cotton riding coat, Banjara necklace (India), vintage Tuscan lamb hat & snakeskin effect Western boots (charity shopped)|
Have a fantastic weekend & see you soon!
Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.