Wednesday, 6 March 2019

What's Happening In My World - Reading, Making, Watching, Buying & Doing



In my last post I mentioned hunting for vintage treasures and while we've found some pretty fab stock for our rails, I've also found some rather good stuff for me.


A 1960s Mexican cotton dress adorned with hand embroidered tomatoes? ¡De puta madre! 
It's like something Frida Kahlo would have worn, which gets a big thumbs up from me. The only tomato themed item of clothing I've ever seen before was here on Goody's blog the other day. Who knew such madness existed? 


Here's another hand-embroidered maxi dress I probably didn't need but couldn't live without. It's green velvet, circa 1960s and made in India by Suresh. The mustard suede 1960s fringed shoulder bag hasn't been off my shoulder since I found it. I'd been after some Western-style cowboy boots for a while but the ones within my budget were all nasty looking fake suede. I spotted these in a charity shop and loved the iridescent snake effect finish. I'd never heard of the brand, Mjus, but Googled them when I got home and discovered that they're made in Italy from quality leather, hand finished and this style currently retails at £139. £5 well spent.


I wore this outfit to the pub on Sunday but storm Freya wasn't conducive to outside photos so here's the top bit of the dress and a couple of new pieces of jewellery I bought in India, the earrings came from FabIndia and the ribbed silver bracelet from a roadside stall in Goa. 


I found a poison green gel eyeliner and brush kit (Kate Moss for Rimmel) in Poundland before I went away. It makes my eyes look really blue and lasts all day without smudging. My friend Betty commented on my lipstick the other day. It was an emergency purchase, I'd gone into Superdrug the day before I flew to Greece to buy my usual Barry M lip paint and discovered it had been discontinued so I grabbed this bright orange matte liquid lip colour by Maybelline instead. It's the best lipstick I've worn in my entire life - no, I'm not being paid to say that - I love it. 


After weeks of searching eBay I've finally managed to find an eight foot by ten foot vintage wool rug within budget. This was listed as a "nice rug" and the auction finished during the day. It arrived on Monday and getting it in situ nearly killed the pair of us. Neither cat has ragged it...yet!


So enough of the shopping. How about a bit of culture?

This is what I've read so far this year. 

  • America's First Daughter: A Novel            Stephanie Dray
  • The Boy With The Patang                           Zarina Bonass  
  • Chronicler of the Winds                             Henning Mankell
  • Perlmann's Silence                                     Pascal Mercier  
  • The Golden Son                                         Shilpi Somaya Gowda    
  • A Treacherous Paradise                             Henning Mankell
  • The Illumination of Ursula Flight               Anne-Marie Crowhurst
  • The Beauty of the Humanity Movement     Camilla Gibb
  • America Is Not The Heart                          Elaine Castillo
  • Chowringhee                                              Mani Sankar Mukherji
  • I Am Pilgrim                                              Terry Hayes
  • The Man Who Wasn't There                       Hjorth & Rosenfeldt
  • Death In Florence                                       Marco Vichi
  • The Wire In The Blood                              Val McDermid

I was recommended gripping spy thriller I am Pilgrim by a Facebook friend and loved it. While I'm sure most of you are familiar with Wallander, you might not be aware of the author, Henning Mankell's, passion for Africa, I think I love these books even more than I do those of the grumpy Swedish detective. The Man Who Wasn't There is written by the creators of The Bridge so if you're a fan of the BBC4 Scandi Noir series then you'll enjoy this.
I never watched Wire In The Blood and after reading the book the series was based on I bought the boxed set and we've been gripped ever since.
I also enjoyed Chowringhee, set in a hotel in post-war Calcutta and a hit Bengali film in the 1960s and The Illumination Of Ursula Flight, a thoroughly enjoyable romp around Restoration England.
America's First Daughter was a fascinating novel, telling the life story of Thomas Jefferson's eldest daughter, Martha Patsy Jefferson Randolph, drawn from thousands of letters and original sources.

Viewing wise, in between watching Wire In The Blood DVDs, I'm loving Baptiste, the second series of Icelandic crime thriller, Trapped and The Great British Sewing Bee - especially last week's theme, the 1970s. I'm very excited that Deutschland 86, the sequel to the amazing award-winning cold war thriller, Deutschland 83 starts on Friday night. The plot's brilliant and the soundtrack, interior design and fashion is bang on.

Yeah, I know it's got a review by The Sun but don't let that put you off.

On the creative front most of the time I've been mending or replacing buttons and zips on the clothes we've found in the charity shops but in between I'm back into my crochet, making a few granny squares each evening. I've no idea what it's going to be yet.



Did I mention applying for festivals? Oh yes! I have news on that front, too. After I failed to secure Glastonbury tickets when they went on general sale last year in desperation I applied to trade there never in my wildest dreams expecting to hear anything from them. Guess what? They've only gone and said yes!  Little old Kinky Melon does the world's biggest (and most famous) festival, I'm excited and scared to death!

It's all secondhand apart from the clogs!

See you soon!

56 comments:

  1. I thought of you when watching Sewing Bee 70s last week, you should be on there by the way :) That rug is a real piece of treasure, it goes very well with your décor. The black dress is fun and of course the lipstick sets off those tomatos well!

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    1. I'd never cope with the pressure, it's bad enough watching the poor contestants! xxx

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  2. So happy for you regarding the festival. Definitely a bit scary and totally exciting! Boy, you sure have been reading up a storm. Last year I read 34 but this year I just don't feel like reading. I will definitely look for the Wallander author's books, loved that series

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    1. Having time on the beach in Goa helped with the reading, I'm solar powered!
      Henning Mankell was a wonderful writer and prolific, too. I'm sure you'll find a few of his on your thrifting adventures! x

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  3. And there I was thinking Goody's tomato themed dress was a one-off ;-) The embroidery on yours is absolutely stunning. The green Suresh dress is gorgeous too, and the Western style boots sound like a incredible deal. Glad to hear you've found a replacement for your usual Barry M lippy. That colour is gorgeous! I'm hopelessly behind with my reading, as I'm only on my third book this year. Will have to do better! Oh, and congratulations on getting the Glastonbury pitch! xxx

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    1. A lot of the books were devoured in Goa, I'm a lot slower at home, I keep nodding off!
      Who'd have thought that there were two tomato dresses in the world? xxx

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  4. What a riot! Two tomato dresses! Now I feel like my wardrobe isn't complete ; P

    I'm in the mood for a new lipstick. Do you find this dries out your lips? That is my #1 problem with every lipstick I've tried.

    I'm so excited you will be exhibiting at that festival. I'm sure you will slay it.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. I think you need a fruit (or veg) themed dress to join in the fun!
      As I commented on your blog, that lipstick isn't drying at all, I'm absolutely amazed. Our journey back from India took 22 hours and my lipstick stayed looking fresh even if the rest of me didn't! xxx

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  5. Oh Vix,

    How exciting for you about Glastonbury! I hope you make a fortune...

    The things you've bought are just wonderful. I love the crazy tomato dress and the green velvet id beautiful. I love the cowboy boots; I'm not usually a fan because they're often mid calf which looks awful me with my stumpy legs; but these yours a lovely length. Love the fringed bag and the new jewellery.

    I've been having a break from crocheting but need to pick it up again ready for Ireland. Your granny squares are very neat and of course the possibilities of what to make with them are endless! A throw? A poncho? A cardigan? A cushion cover? A cat blanket? A bed blanket? A skirt?

    PS. Please make sure to read my next post as I have nominated you for something...

    Have a fab weekend
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Vronni!
      I was excited by those boots, they're really comfy and not too pointy (I loathe pointy shoes!) and obviously I couldn't say no to more maxis - I'm the reverse of what Lent should be, I'm acquiring more by the day!
      A friend posted a picture of a dress she'd made with granny squares on Facebook, I'm quite inspired although hers was a mini so I've got a long way to go.
      My response to the award is on today's blog. Hope you like it.
      Happy Birthday! xxx

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  6. Excellent news about Glasto. Kinky will go down a storm there. I loved The Illumination of Ursula Flight and I'm all over Wire in the Blood. I forgot how good Robson Green is in it. Between reading about death and research methodology, I've read The Land of Decoration by Grace Mc Cleen...totally wonderful. The tomato dress is fantastic, Looks stunning on.
    Loves ya!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Right - that's another book to add to my charity shop list, ta very much!
      I can't quite believe Glasto, I'm sure I've imagined it.
      Love ya! xxx

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  7. I love Scandi noire almost as much as tartan noire.

    Deutchland 83 was good. Kind of my life as I lived on a NATO base during that time.

    Keep producing those Granny Squares!

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    1. I'm a big fan of Ian Rankin - Rebus rocks!!
      How interesting about your connection to Deutschland 83, counting the hours till 9pm.
      I'm trying to make 4 granny squares per evening, might have enough for a dress by next winter! xxx

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  8. Tomato twins! I wish there were more veg themed clothes. Congrats about Glast-that's incredibly lucky. I know you'll knock the festival goers dead with your fab stock.

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    1. I know, I couldn't believe it when i spotted that dress. What theme shall we go for next? Maybe we should go to that Tomatina Festival in Spain together and get snapped by the press! xx

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  9. A tomato dress? What a fun piece! I have never heard of any of those books or authors, but I like how much you read. I give up on any furniture, accepting that the cat will claw it. It's just a thing.

    Glastonbury! I've heard of that - well done! You will be a huge hit!

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    1. You can't have nice things when you have cats, it's impossible! Stephen Squirrel seems quite keen on the rug, he was fast asleep on it this morning, belly up and snoring like a hog!
      Henning Mankell was an amazing writer. The Wallander series (both the Swedish one and the British version with Kenneth Brannagh) was delightfully dark and gory! xxx

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  10. Congratulations on the Glastonbury spot!

    I'd never watched Sewing Bee before but I am really enjoying this series, lots of fun. I am so excited about Deutschland 86 too.

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    1. Thanks so much!
      The Sewing Bee is such great viewing but hideously stressful. I cannot wait till Deutschland 86, roll on 9pm! x

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  11. Woohoo- you're trading at Glastonbury, how exciting.

    Your tomato dress and velvet dress outfits are SO gorgeous!

    And the green eyeliner does make your look so, so blue- magical! X

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    1. I know - Glastonbury! I'll have to behave!
      I got lucky this week with dresses! xxx

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  12. What fab dresses Vix and the rug is beautiful.
    Congratulations on getting in to trade at Glastonbury. I'm over the moon for you.
    Hugs-x-

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  13. that tomato dress - how fab!!! - esp. short after goody found hers! i can see a trend ;-DDD
    as i never come around mexican patio dresses i sewed me one lately - its embroidered too but only little flowers.....will show it when the weather warms up here.
    love your bright makeup! <3
    green velvet dress is a beauty too and the western style boots in italian quality are a great find.
    congrats to the glasto pitch! wahoo!
    xxxxx

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    1. Oh, I'm so looking forward to your self-sewn Mexican dress! Roll on the warmer weather (it's hideous here!) xxx

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  14. You will rock Glastonbury, congrats.
    I love the dresses beautiful.
    You're taste and mine are so in alignment, many of the books but also I'm loving Baptiste and Deutschland 83 was my favourite series just about ever, can't wait for '86.
    The crotchet is looking good. xxx

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    1. Your not you're!, predictive unpredictability, my new tablet catches me out constantly.

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    2. Thanks so much, Sally! I'm so relieved that Tom Hollander isn't a baddie after all, I much prefer him as a nice guy like in Rev!
      I think I've watched everything on Walter Presents but Deutschland 83 was the best of the lot. Can't wait till 9pm! xxx

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    3. PS My tablet has defeated me, it's been in a drawer since December! xxx

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  15. I love that green velvet dress ,and the bag , I have a favourite lipstick i bought from poundland about a year ago its bright pink cant remember the make at the moment , I am loving Shetland at the moment .The sewing be was a bit of a let down for me this week , Dogs clothes out of tents lol , Hope it gets better , That crochet is stunning , I really must have another go at watching youtube xxx

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    1. One of my friends got a lovely lipstick from Poundland the other day, I can't remember the make but it was something that normally costs over £10. It's a nightmare going through their makeup, it inevitably ends up all over the floor!
      I didn't like this week's Bee either - silly animal outfits and hideous shell suits. I shed a tear when Alexei went, considering he'd only been sewing for 2 years he was amazing! xxx

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  16. Such amazing news about Glastonbury! I started watch the Sewing Bee this year purely for Joe Lycett and am amazed by how gripping it is and how clever they are to be able knock up a pair of flares in a few hours - I'm converted! x

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    1. Thanks, Rosie!
      I love Joe Lycett, he cracks me up. Sewing Bee is such fun, I'd be a wreck if I was on it! xxx

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  17. That tomato dress is so beautiful. Not only the print (how gorgeous are those embroidered tomatoes) but the length and the cut. Super pretty! I also like the other maxi dress you wore with cowboy boots.

    I don't know how to crochet. I tried to learn once but I think I'll need more than one try. I heard that knitting is like that too, sometimes it takes a bit of time. I assumed that I'll slip right into because I've always been good with embroidery but it seems these are different skills.

    I haven't read any of these books...I picked some new books today in the library, after I go through them I might look for these as well. Great to hear about that festival you haven't applied to before and didn't expected to get, but got right in. Yaay!

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    1. Thanks Ivana, I did well with dresses this week!
      It took me years to master crochet. I found a really good Y Tube tutorial in the end and sat in front of my PC with my hook and wool and kept stopping and starting the demo until I'd worked it out. If you can embroider you must have plenty of skill anyway. xxx

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    2. I might try it that way, with the help of Youtube. It is amazing what one can learn with a bit of online help, for example I found a lot of useful painting tutorials on Youtube, and it will be fun to look for some chochet ones.

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  18. I love the liner & lippy!!! The dresses, purse, boots are so fun. I'm so excited about the festival for you!!!!

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    1. Thanks, Becky!! I was looking for a blue eyeliner like yours and happened upon the green one, I love it! xxx

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  19. Not only are you well-dressed, you are well-read! If anyone deserves to ply their goods at Glastonbury, it's Kinky Melon!

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    1. Thanks so much!! I do love a book or two! xxx

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  20. Well that was a cracking read Vix. Who needs a book when we can read your blog heehee. I love how much you’ve covered in this post. As for the rug and outfits - all gorgeous.
    I need to take a leaf out of your book and get focused and stop procrastinating. You’re on my list of inspirational women missus and even better than that are a lovely friend too xxx

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    1. Thanks, Lynn! It was a bit of an epic catch-up, wasn't it?
      I'm so easily distracted, I think I need to turn the PC off in a bit and leave it off till Sunday. I need to crack on with Stacy's book!
      You're up there with my favourite fabulous women, too! xxx

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  21. The tomato dress is AMAZING! I love it and bloody hell Vix Glastonbury!?! Does it get any better than that??

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    1. Thanks, G!! I can't get over Glasto, I'm scared to death! x

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  22. You are going to do brilliantly at Glastonbury - make sure you take time to sneak off and see some bands tho. Be a change for you to sell there instead of gathering wellies :-D

    I've been enjoying Sewing Bee too. So far my favourite garment made was Juliet's jumpsuit in the first week, which was just perfect.

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    1. I hope we manage to see a few bands - I want to be busy but it would be such a shame not to see anyone, that'd be like proper work!
      Juliet's jumpsuit was so beautiful, she's got a wonderful eye for pattern mixing. I hated the challenge last week - track suits for goodness sake! xxx

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  23. Tomato dress is wonderful! I love it and yes, very Frida Kahlo!!! Your velvet dress was a must have! Your books sound good- I love noseying over what everyone else reads!

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! That dress had to come home with me.
      I'm hopeless at remembering what I've read and often re-buying books in charity shops. Blogging my reads may prevent future errors! xxx

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    2. Oh I’m so excited for you to trade at Glastonbury! How absolutely amazing and fantastic! Loving your tomato print dress, what an awesome find. I’m always in the look out for Mexican dresses in black as they are a rarity even here in Arizona. I can find the traditional white dresses however I have only seen two black dresses and neither were my size. Did buy them for resale years ago. Swooning over that rug! It’s simply divine and really pulls the room together.

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    3. Thanks, Audra! I can hardly believe the news about Glastonbury!
      I get really excited when I find Mexican and Hawaiian dresses. Have you tried dyeing the white ones you come across? They're usually pure cotton so I imagine they'd dye well. xxx

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  24. wowwww, you're trading at Glastonbury! I totally understand that you're equally excited and scared! You're going to rock it for sure!!
    I'm in love with the embroidered dress and laughing hard on the 'de puta madre' comment (tsk, such a bad language for a lady! ;DDD). And the velvet dress is Amazing! and those boots rock! lovely!
    Gorgeous!
    besos

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    1. It's so exciting but really, really scary! xxx

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  25. Congratulations on Glastonbury - the music fans will love your stock!! I am totally in love with that tomato-embroidered dress (it might be because it's black with pops of red, but the style is great too). You look ravishing in the first photo.

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    1. I hope Glastonbury like us! I'm scared to death! xxx

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  26. Tomato prints are rather unusual, but how beautiful!
    Your rug is stunning, I’m hoping to find something similar for our bedroom. I hadn’t thought of eBay for rugs.
    Lots of those books sound really good, and I heard Wire in the Blood was good when it was on TV. Another to add to my must-watch list!
    I’m sure you’ll do Glastonbury proud, you’ve got the experience, you’ll nail it I’m certain of it.
    xx

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Love from Vix
xxx