Wednesday, 27 November 2019

It's The Little Things



It's not just finding flamboyant frocks and rare vintage pieces that make secondhand shopping so thrilling, it's the everyday items that might not be exactly exciting but to prove to be hero pieces, the perfect thing to pull an outfit together or which tick off the must try and look for one of those list forever growing in my head.


This 1970s Alpnani number, which I wore yesterday, is pretty special already but the silver plated torque I found on eBay (£4.99 including postage) proved to be the perfect length for the kaftan's neckline and looks a damned sight better than the old leather shoelace I usually thread my Indian pendants through.


It's given my entire collection a whole new lease of life.


These are the second pair from Clarks' Orinoco range of boots I've scored in just over a month, absurdly comfy as the previous owner has gone to the trouble of wearing them in and, at less than a tenth of the current retail price, an irresistible bargain. 


I know I could get loads more in my wardrobe if I used velvet hangers but prefer pretty vintage padded coat hangers, they're kinder on delicate fabrics and they stop me trying to cram too much in my wardrobe allowing plenty of space between dresses, so my clothes don't get creased in between wears. These three, painstakingly sewn by hand, were £1 from the charity clearance shop.


Now, if like me, you're a fan of see-thru' gauzy cotton dresses, a flesh coloured slip is pretty much the Holy Grail of charity shop finds and what better than a vintage version to go under my vintage frocks? This 1960s nylon number is by St Michael (Marks and Spencer's in-house label, phased out in the 1990s) and not only does it fit perfectly but also eliminates the need for a bra - £1 well spent!


Here's what I wore today, one of a growing collection of vintage Afghan dresses, my 1960s Go-Go boots and the plum fedora I bought recently. Liz gave me the silver Hindu goddess belt buckle for my birthday a few years ago but I rarely wore it as I didn't have the right belt. Now I do! It was originally part of a Brownie uniform (the original owner's name is written inside) and is the perfect width to accommodate the buckle. 50p from the charity clearance shop.



Here's an item I ticked off the imaginary must try and look out for one those list, a butter dish.
 We've been using a cracked Melamine butter dish for years, no way would either of us contemplate going to a shop and buying something new knowing the right thing would turn up eventually. For £3 I couldn't leave this slightly ridiculous piece behind. It's by Beswick (formed in 1894 just up the road from us in Stoke-on-Trent) and from their 1950s Dancing Days collection. After a Google when I got home I discovered a cracked one listed on Etsy for sale at £35! While I'm not a fan of 1950s fashion I do have a weakness for the kitschy ceramics of the period.


I didn't really need another 1960s genie bottle but I've collected them for years and when they're under a fiver I never say no. I've found both the grey and the amber one in the last fortnight (£3.50 and £2 respectively).


 I didn't need a V&A Museum 1000 piece jigsaw featuring a Victorian doll's house either, but I bought it anyway!



Other small things making me happy this week...

The vet was pleased with Frank's progress when we took him for a check-up and yesterday, for the first time in a month, he was allowed a supervised trip into the garden.


As always, under the watchful eye of Stonecroft's alpha male, 15 year-old Stephen (aka Squirrel).


 Taking Frank into the garden was like introducing a kitten to the wonders of the outside world for the first time, he had to sniff everything and growled at Jon when he picked him up and brought him in after his allotted time.


Now he's had a taste for outdoors he's like a cat possessed. He's sitting next to me while I'm writing this blog post, staring at me and crying so pitifully I've had to play Michael Kiwanuka at full blast (no bad thing) to drown him out.


Not such a small thing either. After almost ten days of hand feeding his appetite's returned with avengeance and as well as a liberal sprinkling of prawns he's eating his way through cooked ham and three sachets of Felix a day. Already a big cat at 5.5kg, he'll be the size of a horse at this rate! 







They drive me daft when they insist on getting me up at 6am but I do love my boys!


Wednesday evenings are the best - rum, cola and The Apprentice. I think that Thomas might be my all-time favourite contestant. 

See you soon and Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!

51 comments:

  1. Good to see Frank looking so well again.

    Beswick goes for ridiculously silly money nowadays - I was given a number of the Beatrix Potter figures as a kid (still got them), and my nannie had loads of the animals. She got them when they were cheap, 'cos she liked them, and was always bewildered by how collectable they'd become.

    That slip was a great find! It'll be fun seeing how the pendants on the torc get worked in to your outfits in coming weeks.

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    1. He looks so much better although the way he's eating he'll be on one of those fat cat IG pages before too long!
      Some of those Beswick animals sell for megabucks, don't they? I loved the BP figurines as a child, how lovely that you've still got them.
      I was excited by the slip, it's such a useful thing! xxx

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  2. I love the butter dish - what a great find!

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  3. These little things are the big things though really aren't they...so glad to hear Frank is on the mend.
    Arilx

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  4. Not just weather twins, but synchronized posting as well! Little things can make one very happy indeed. I already have one of those torques but keep forgetting that I do. They are indeed the perfect length and so much better than a shoe lace, especially for those stunning Indian pendants. I'm always on the lookout for vintage slips, but they have become very elusive lately. Yours is gorgeous! As is that amazing butter dish which I love very much as it's just the right kind of kitsch. I'm also loving those genie bottles! But best thing of all is the good news about Frank. I can imagine him being well pleased with his outing into the garden! Bless him. xxx

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    1. I love it when that happens! I've just been reading one of your old posts for more information about where we're going on Friday - excited now!
      Slips are so hard to come by, I've got a few waist slips but the full length are so much better! xxx

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  5. Frank looks in the pink and very excited to be out in the garden. Are you giving him longer periods each day?

    Love your new dress with the bastard massive sleeves and well done with the silver torque for your beautiful pendants. Ditto the brownie belt, the buckle is amazing!

    The boots are fab; I've been looking for red boots in the chazzas for ages and may have to resort to ebay in desperation. Love the butter dish; such fun and so pretty. Good luck with the jigsaw! The genie bottles look fabulous; I remember them so well. We had a donation of 5 of these in one go when I volunteered in the Children's Society. They were snapped up by a Rastafarian guy within minutes of us putting them out!

    Lovely afghan dress and I love the fedora.

    I am gradually replacing all my plastic hangers with padded hangers courtesy of the charity shops...
    xxxx

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    1. I was treating Frank like I used to with my long term sick employees, offering them a phased return. He's back to normal now although he has to keep running back in to get warm!
      There's rarely good quality colourful boots in chazzas are there? I was excited when Jon spotted those Clarks' ones, mad to think someone spent £79 on them and donated them to charity. Frivolous fools!
      The lucky rasta and his genie bottles, bet he was thrilled to bits! xxx

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  6. The Alpnani 1970s maxi dress is gorgeous. The colour is so bright and pretty and I do like the print. You always find the best things! I do like that Alpnani number. Congrats on finding that the silver plated torque on eBay. How lovely that it proved to be the perfect length. I'm sure it will look lovely with all your Indian pendants and be a great alternative to the leather thread. Your second outfit is gorgeous as well. The butter dish looks lovely and so does the doll house you picked up.
    It's lovely to see how well Frank is doing! He seems very happy in the garden and it's good you brought him out for a while, I'm sure it will speed his recovery. It is a good sign that his appetite has returned so fully. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Ivana! I do love a kaftan, they're so versatile and useful all year round! xxx

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  7. Your recently acquired frocks and slips look beautiful, and the antique jewellery is a delight to look at. That silver plated torque looks fabulous and the antique jewellery is a delight to behold.
    I love that three-piece silver belt buckle
    Looking at the V+A Museum Victorian doll's house brought me a cheery smile, and the pics of Frank and Squirrel are delightful.

    https://full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/2018/10/last-minute-halloween-excuse-post-with.html

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    1. Thanks so much! Lovely to hear from you! x

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  8. I really like Thomas too. In the first week, I thought, "Who is this guy? He's going to be terrible!" but he's really grown on me and that chivalrous move he pulled last week for Marianne was so lovely!
    I love your beautiful dress- so comfy!!! Looks very pretty.
    I am glad Frank is doing ok. He's a sweetie! I also want a butter dish but haven't found one cheap enough in the chazzers that I actually like!

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    1. I'm disappointed he's gone although after last week's challenge it was inevitable. 50 per cent commission? Jon was going mad! I'm backing Scarlet now, Black Country girl for the win! xxx

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  9. I'm swooning over your slip! Those are so rare and fab to find. Especially one that eliminates the need for a bra.

    I'm delighted to see Frank up and getting into trouble.

    We've started a new tradition of doing a puzzle at Christmas after we got one last year as a gift. I become obsessed with it once we start.

    You look wonderful as usual. What a great mix of colours and I really love the layers.

    Should you ever come across similar boots again I'll gladly take them off you in a size 38 EU : )

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Slips are really hard to find. It's brilliant that it positions your boobs in exactly the correct position, too - modern bras aren't great with vintage dresses!
      I do love a jigsaw or a board game at Xmas. Jon and I love Scrabble! xxx
      PS I'll keep my eyes peeled for boots in your size!

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  10. How lovely to see Frank out and about and I'm so glad he has his appetite back.

    I have a copy of a glass butter dish my Grandma used to have but I'd swap it for your bobby dazzler any day....it's gorgeous.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! I'm a bit in love with my butter dish although I found a vintage mixing bowl today that made me just as excited! xxx

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  11. I love your pink dress in the first picture - it's stunning! I have a sterling silver flexible wire torc like yours and it's wonderful for hanging those bigass pendants on. Great find, Vix! I used to have a green glass genie bottle back in the 70s. I thought it was the coolest thing ever!

    Thank you so much for the update on Frank! He looks very happy to be out and about, and I laughed at him growling at Jon ("hell, I'm not done yet!"). Aw, Stephen Squirrel is such a good caretaker of his little bud. I miss having two cats, but Vizzini is SUCH a handful that we worry he will bully another cat (he bullied our old kitty Inigo). Please give both of them hugs (we call it "forced loving") from me.

    I've been wondering when you're going to get back into the dollhouses! That puzzle looks fun and will stoke those fires, I bet! Have a great weekend, Vix!

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    1. Stephen Squirrel is the world's worst cat if another feline dares enter the garden, he floofs up about ten times the sizes and runs snarling at the poor things like a bat out of hell but for some reason he accepted Frank from the moment he first saw him. Maybe he's just a great judge of character in a cat! xxx

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  12. Great slip! Glad Frank is doing better:)
    Prepping food tonight for Thanksgiving-- yayyyy!! I actually need a butter dish!!! That one is so cute!

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    1. Hope you had a brilliant Thanksgiving and you find a butter dish soon! xxx

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  13. looove the photos of stephan and frank! so happy that frank is back on his cute paws!
    a big YES to the little things - they really make the life. your pendants look like a million $$ with the new torque! very elegant....as is the new, flamboyant kaftan. the vintage slip is gorgeous - practical and cute!
    swooning over that outfit you created around the indian buckle!
    xxxxx

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    1. He's back and fluffier than ever! All those bald spots have healed - I might have to start eating prawns if it makes your hair grow! xxx

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  14. I love the way that you wear an armful of bangles. It makes me think of summer.

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  15. Hi Vix
    i'm so glad Frank is doing so well, it must be such a reeif for you both and Stephen!Your finds are great, your home looks so lovely XX

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    1. Thanks so much, Shelagh! He's running us ragged ! xxx

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  16. Congratulations on finding that sweet butter dish! Thoroughly enjoyed your description of a list labeled, "...must try and look out for one of those." Mine includes "small silver scissors to be attached by ribbon to the silver grape dish." The dish I inherited, the scissors disappeared. As a child I was fascinated by their teensy grapes. Went online to buy a replacement and nearly fainted when I saw the price, so now I inspect old sewing baskets very carefully indeed.

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    1. You know, I think I might be able to lay my hands on a pair - if I do, they're yours. Message me with your address : goanmad (at)hotmail(dot) com (apparently they're safe to send it the post providing they are very well wrapped!) xxx

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  17. lovely to see Frank exploring the garden and looking so adorable! great news!
    And I'm in love with that Alpnani dress, as its color, its sleeves, everything is fabulous and you look particularly gorgeous wearing it!. You're brilliant not only finding flamboyant dresses but also rocking in them!
    Also love your 50's butter dish, such a cute piece. Those dancing figures have put a smile on my face, the're so charming!. I also believe in 'knowing the right thing would turn up eventually', serendipity happens!
    Love your afghan dresses and love your plum hat, which is a fab color indeed!
    besos

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    1. He's so funny, he's forgotten what it looks like after a month indoors!
      I'm so happy with the Alpnani, I might have to take it to India (although I seem to say that about everything!!) xxx

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  18. Lovely photos of Stephen Squirrel and Frank and so good he's getting back to normal. It's all down to the gourmet cuisine I reckon!
    You have some really beautiful Afghan dresses, I love the embroidery. It's the little accessories that make an outfit isn't it. Jewellery, belts, bags. I love finding unusual things (and making them!). I really enjoyed reading of your finds, the butter dish is lovely, even though I hate butter I'm in a minority of one, so I would have snapped that up too. xxx

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    1. They are spoilt, they really are. Jon bought them cooked chicken today - they eat better than he does! xxx

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  19. It makes me happy to read Frank is improving all the time, although it's hardly surprising given how he is so well looked after. Mine is currently on a diet. 😃
    All those amazing finds and I'm constantly in awe of your ability to look so effortlessly stylish. X

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    1. Frank's such a naughty lad. We've started letting him out again and rewarding him when he returns with a few prawns so he keeps going outside, coming straight back in and running to the fridge - he'll be joining cat Weight watchers with yours at this rate! xxx

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  20. You look gorgeous in both your dresses. Love the sleeves on the first one. You look really good in hats too. Your silver plated torque will prove handy making it easy to change your look by simply threading on different pendants.

    What a great buy that flesh coloured slip was. I, too, love them and have quite a few which were given to me by my mum along with satin/lace nighties and robes. All of them date back to the 50's-60's as part of her glory box collection and I have stored them away for my girls. The quality if just sublime, nothing like the crap they make nowadays.

    Your butter dish looks cute too. The design is so quirky! I've had a few vintage ceramic ones over the years, but my lot are too rough and chip/break them too often. We've resorted to plastic Tupperware now and I hate it!

    So glad to see Frank up and about. Obviously the prawns did him good! He's very blessed to have you guys. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Like you, I'm a sucker for some vintage lingerie. I think it started when I went into hospital for my hip replacement and realised that I needed nightwear having spent my entire adult life sleeping naked - I had to rush out and buy a hideous jersey nightie and swore never again to be caught out!
      We had a huge pile of vintage Tupperware when we used to do VW shows, somebody told me that I needed an Australian customer as they were mad for the stuff. Guess what? Along came a lady on holiday from Canberra and bought loads! xxx

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  21. Thank goodness Frank is doing better! He's had wonderful care from his hooomins.
    I've never used a butter dish. I have a silver one from my mum but that seems like overkill for just us. Yours is adorable.

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    1. We're so relieved although he's really starting to take advantage now, we're scared to say no. We'd have been terrible parents!
      Maybe a butter dish is a British thing. I probably only have butter once a week but still need a dish! xxx

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  22. You're right, Vix, sometimes the seemingly small, mundane finds are the best because they're so useful. Your slip will come in handy, so many summer dresses I find always seem to be a bit see-through.
    I love the belt buckle from Liz and your dress.
    Glad Frank is feeling better. He's so cute (but why on earth is he waking you at 6am? I'd go mad). X

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    1. Thanks, Jess! For some reason only they know both cats think it's breakfast time at 6am - i try to reason with them but never win! x

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  23. Well I’ve stashed half my wardrobe in the suitcases we never use. It’s all the stuff I’ve grown out of and I’m going to revisit it in 12months and if it still doesn’t fit I will be offloading it. My Narnia wardrobe doesn’t even look like it’s had a massive clearout, it’s still stuffed to the gills.
    It’s lovely to see Frank out and about again. What a worry he has been. Xxx

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    1. That's very sensible, don;t part with your fabulous collection of clothing until you're absolutely sure you won't wear it again!
      Frank's back to normal, thank goodness. He worried us sick! xxx

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  24. How lovely that your and brownie belt have given a new lease of life to your accessories. That sort of thing is endlessly satisfying.
    I'm glad to see Frank up and about again, it does sound like he's on the mend - especially with that appetite!
    xx

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    1. I soon as I spotted that Brownie belt I knew I needed it - Jon thought I was mad!

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  25. I'm a firm believer in buying only what you really, really, like when it comes to china, otherwise it's easy to slide into being overflowing with things that don't get used. I had a big clear out of china stuff last month, but I would have been tempted by that butter dish, it is very sweet. One thing I did buy in the last few months was a beautiful blue and white teapot for £1, to replace one I broke, that turned out to be a modern Burleigh one that's worth £59! It's nice to have one's good taste confirmed xx

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Lots of love, Vix