Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Life Lately - Cats, Curtains and the Pony Awards



I'm back! 

After a somewhat fraught week we finally got the results from Frank's biopsy. It turned out to be a severe allergic reaction to something - possibly a plant - as there's no chance it would be a cleaning product in this house (we're all natural when we do bother). Anyway, whatever it was penetrated every layer of his skin, meaning now it's abating, poor Frank is bald in places. His medication finished today, he's almost back to his usual inquisitive self (although I'm keeping him indoors for the time being) and he's decided that cat food tastes a lot better when served with a generous helping of fresh prawns - we'll be bankrupt at this rate!  


His shaved tummy from the biopsy is gradually growing back and his face isn't looking so grubby now the abscess has cleared up. As you can see he's back to wrestling with his beloved catnip banana.

WEDNESDAY: Vintage Afghan coat, 1970s Indian-made embroidered crushed velvet maxi, tooled leather bag, Doc Marten "Darcie" boots (all eBay), Plum fedora (new, retail) 

We feel a lot happier leaving the house now Frank's on the mend. Today we popped out for our annual eye tests, which the NHS provide for free as I have a family history of glaucoma & Jon of diabetes. My prescription has stayed the same whilst Jon's has changed. He'll get his existing glasses reglazed in India but, as he didn't fancy waiting a couple of months and his opticians had a two for one offer on, he decided to splash out on a couple of new pairs. While he was getting measured up I spotted a pair of 1970s inspired sunglasses and decided to have a pair made up to my prescription - when I read on the beach I either use my E:reader set to the largest font size or wear a pair of sunglasses over the top of my reading glasses and look like a total loon. 


Here in the UK it's turned icy cold all of a sudden and, as you can see, my precious Afghan coat is being worn on repeat. My heart goes out to the young homeless man who's been sleeping in a tent on Lidl's car park for eighty-three nights. Although Jon & I (and others) are making sure he's warm, dry and not going hungry, what kind of country are we living in when this kind of situation is allowed to happen? 

MONDAY: Vintage Afghan and plum fedora worn with an early '70s maxi dress, original purple suede platforms and a 1960s suede shoulder bag (all charity shopped)

This photo was taken when we were off charity shopping on Monday. My vintage maxi was a charity shop find a few weeks ago. I thought I'd got a bargain at £5 but one of the regular customers told me that I should have haggled as nobody but me would wear a dress like that and I was doing the shop a favour taking it off their hands. Cheek!


Whilst nursing Frank I sat quietly and read, not wanting to disturb him. I finished three books, although can't say I was overly keen on Peter James' style of writing, Twilight was the first book I'd read by him and it was too melodramatic for my liking. 


Once Frank was starting to feel better, and no longer slumped on the landing, I felt like it was okay to start making some noise. On Sunday morning I decided my fabric stash needed decluttering and set about making some curtains for the spare bedroom. The previous pair were ivory with a black joie de toile print, for which I paid £5 from a rather posh lady at a car boot sale when we first moved into Stonecroft back in 2005. I liked them but always felt that they'd have worked far better in a chateau in the sunny South of France rather than a draughty Georgian house in the Black Country. 


Psychedelic patchwork is far more me!




 The cost of my "new" curtains? Absolutely nothing! 

The rectangles were cut from tatty 1970s curtains, stained tablecloths, leftover fabric scraps and vintage clothes too knackered to sell. The thread, dressmaking pins and sewing scissors were given to me and I found the sewing machine abandoned in the street. I even used the existing bedroom curtains as lining - zero waste, maximum impact.

If you fancy having a bash at making your own, you'll find my tutorial HERE.


As well as sorting out our leaky shower unit and redecorating the bathroom, Jon's installed lights in my wardrobe so I can admire my clothes on the dark Winter days.



Here's some exciting news - I've been shortlisted for both Vintage Gal and Vintage Blog in the Vintage Pony Awards, 2019 - what an honour!


I've got some stiff competition and to be honest, I'm thrilled just to get this far but, if you are on IG and want to vote, here are the rules... you'll find organiser, Wish Vintage, HERE.



Progress! This afternoon is the first time Frank's curled up on his favourite blanket (crocheted by me) in over a fortnight. 


Thanks for all your lovely comments and messages, you've helped keep me sane.

See you soon. xxx

58 comments:

  1. I’m so glad Frank is on the mend!! We also have a lot of homelessness in the States. It’s a sad situation.

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    1. Thanks, Tracie! Homelessness makes me so sad, I can't walk by and ignore people in such a sad situation. x

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  2. Poor Frank, he's still looking a bit fragile, doesn't he? Glad to hear he's on the mend, even if his prawn addiction will bankrupt you, you do everything for them, don't you? Lucky you getting that gorgeous dress at just £ 5. I'm sure it wouldn't even have entered your mind to haggle in a chazza. I'm always surprised when items like that haven't been snapped up yet, but I guess most people shy away from wearing anything that colourful. Well, it's their loss, isn't it. Love those patchwork curtains, which make the room look even more fabulous. And I'll be showing that picture of your wardrobe lights to Jos in a minute, hoping he'll take the hint! xxx

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    1. Frank's looking a lot fluffier and perkier in the last couple of days, those prawns must be doing him the power of good!
      You're right about vibrant things in chazzas, they scare the bejesus out of normal people! Thank goodness we're not normal! xxx

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  3. Frank looks so sweet curled up on your blanket, I'm so glad he's on the mend.
    Your £5 dress it fabulous, perhaps the woman you bought it from meant that there are just not enough stylish people around to wear it?!!
    The new patchwork curtains look so cosy, perfect warm colours for winter - and its suddenly got so cold hasn't it.
    Being nominated in two categories for an award is a bit of a result, is there a show or party, or is it all online. I need to go and find out how to vote. xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! It has got so cold all of a sudden, both boys have been camped out by the fire this week.
      The awards are just a bit of fun, I don't think I could do red carpet (unless it was Wetherspoons!) xxx

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  4. Frank on his blanket is a sight for sore eyes!

    Congrats on getting shortlisted; I'll be voting for you of course!

    Loved all your outfits and accessories and thank God for the Afghan coat; it has really turned icy. What a cheek that woman had. Some people have very little in the way of social skills...

    I loved your handmade curtains very vibrant and cheerful and the idea of lights in the wardrobe is novel and brilliant! Well done, Jon.

    Stay warm; I hope you have some thermal underthings in your drawers/cupboards.
    xxxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! Frank does look cute on his mermaid blanket, real men do like pink.
      My Afghan is so warm and gets loads of love from everyone, especially people who owned one the first time round. I don't know what I'd have done without it this week, yesterday (Thursday) was bitter! xxx

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  5. Hello vix , dave said have you read jon mills , he is a very good author and i love the red dress with the velvet xx

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    1. Thanks, Dave! I'm not familiar with Jon Mills but I've just Googled him and he sounds right up my street. xxx

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  6. Thank goodness Frank's on the mend! Now you've started with the prawns he'll never let you stop, will he???
    Those curtains just look so cosy for Winter. I need to be inspired by them.
    The dress is fab.
    Congrats on the noms; very well desrved. You work damned hard at your business and your outfits are always amazing. Well done lovely.
    We have so many pop-up tent villages, it is very sad. Not sure how it will ever be sorted. There are a few who seem to have chosen that lifestyle, but that in itself is surely something that needs to be addressed? The town has helped but then they get a reputation for that and the the numbers swell even more.
    I finally got my eyes checked after 4 years(!), one of te final things my support worker did with me. My eyes haven't changed in all that time. To say I was gob-smacked was an understatement!!
    Zxx

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    1. I think we've created a prawn monster - every time one of us opens the fridge he appears out of nowhere shouting for prawns!
      Patchwork is wonderfully therapeutic, I love cutting out the fabric and laying it out on the floor - the sewing not so much.
      Isn't it awful seeing people living in tents on the streets? I know there's a lot of homeless people who can't deal with conventional life but this poor lad is desperate for somewhere to live. It breaks your heart.
      Blimety, four years and no change in your eyesight! That's brilliant! xxx

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  7. I've been checking on here each day to hear how your Frank is.I'm so happy that he's now enjoying prawns xx

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    1. Thank you so very much, Flis! He's milking the recovery, I think! It'll be steak next week! xxx

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  8. I'm so happy that Frankie is back enjoying some shrimp!

    Congrats on the nomination. I'm off to vote for you if I can figure it out. I'm terrible on IG.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! He's so much better this week especially after a diet of fresh prawns and roast chicken!
      I'm useless at IG, too - it took months to work out what a DM was! xxx

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  9. Such good news! We are sooo happy he is on the way up again!!! It is amazing how much an allergic reaction can affect them. Congrats on your nomination too. You deserve to win -- but I'm also glad you listed the other blogs so I have more good on-line reading material.

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    1. Thank you so much! It's such a huge relief. I was really getting despondent last week. xxx

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  10. poor kitty. Good to hear he's on the mend.

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    1. He's so much better now, thank you! xxx

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  11. Oh my gosh, that is SUCH great news about Frank! He is definitely looking tired of being sick, but seeing him snoozing on "his" blanket is such a relief. I will let Vizzini know that our good vibes worked - we've been sending them daily.

    Love your outfits, always - that crushed velvet dress is so beautiful, Vix. I am in great admiration of your funkified curtains! What a fabulous mix of patterns, and so awesome to be reusing everything. What an ethical treat!

    Good luck on the voting! You're MY favourite vintage blog!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! Frank's been back to the vet today and she's really pleased with his progress. Big love to Vizzini for the cat vibes.
      That velvet dress was remarkably well behaved, no losing sleeves up my coat or twisting round and riding up! Hooray. xxx

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  12. Delighted to learn that Frank is on the mend. Having nursed some sick cats through the dark valley, I know that relief one feels when a fussy appetite reappears and the patient dives into deep slumber to recuperate.

    Meanwhile...those outfits! And those curtains! Luscious colors and textures! A wealth of textiles pleasure made affordable for those who have eyes to discover and energy to sew...

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    1. Thanks so much, Beth! I was dancing around the kitchen with glee when Frank followed me downstairs and demanded breakfast after weeks of lethargy and no appetite - long may it last!
      I didn't think I'd got that much fabric in my stash or how vibrant it was - the colours seem to intensify once sewn together! xxx

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  13. Glad to hear Frank's on the mend. You know he's going to recover very slowly given that you guys are feeding him prawns. He'll be milking this for as long as possible, he's not silly! Aww, he does look cute sleeping on his blanket.

    It's so unfortunate that there are so many homeless people on the streets. It's such a global problem and for so many reasons. Most people just keep walking by, pretending not to even notice. The gentle aid of people like yourselves is truly a miracle.

    Your curtains are marvellous! What a great way to use up fabrics. Also good on Jon for installing lights in your wardrobe.

    Got nothing nice to say about presciption glasses, sorry. They are the bane of my life. I hate them; if I read with them too long they give me a headache. That is when I can find the bloody things! Good luck with yours.

    Anyway, most importantly, you look splendid in your outfits. My fav is the floral blue maxi dress. You were obviously meant to find that dress. Cheek of that woman with those beady comments! Always shocks me when people haggle in op-shops.

    Congratulations on being shortlisted!!! How exciting. You're going to win - I feel it in my bones!

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    1. I think you could be right, Suzy! Frank's really going to milk the recovery process. It'll be lobster next.
      I can't look away when I see people in bad situations.The homeless situation here in the UK has escalated massively in the last few years and its not unusual for people to freeze to death in shop doorways. It's so sad.
      Thanks for your kind words about my curtains - and my charity shop dress. There's a lot of straight talkers in the Black Country, you need a skin like a rhino! xxx

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  14. This is wonderful news on all sides. I am especially happy to hear about Frank and have been waiting for this improvement. You must feel really great.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jan. It's a huge relief! xxx

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  15. Wonderful news that Frank is on the mend and enjoying those prawns.
    Great work with the patchwork curtains , recycling at its best. You will enjoy the lights showing your wonderful clothing collection.
    Many congratulations on being short listed - well deserved I say.xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Jill! I'd intended to take my time over those curtains but couldn't stop once I got stuck in. xxx

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  16. Lisbeth and i did a happy dance when wie read that Frank is on the mend!!
    But Now she wants fresh prawns too 😸
    Love both looks with the super cool afghan coat! And your patchwork curtains, they make for a very warm mood...
    Congrats to being on both short lists!!
    xxxxxx

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    1. Don't start Lisbeth on the prawns, they're worse than crack! This morning Frank woke me up at 6.15, made me follow him downstairs and sat crying at the fridge until I'd given him prawns! xxx

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  17. Glad to read that Frank is feeling better and looking more active!, she looks so cute playing with the banana toy!. And you made me remember those anecdotes about Dr. Johnson's cat, Hodge, who was fed with oysters!
    Love to see you wrapped in your fabulous coat, wearing magnificent maxi dresses with cool hats and taking advantage of your uniqueness when buying vintage. Having an (unconventional) love for color and print is something really advantageous and favorable when shopping!
    Love your patchwork curtains, they're absolutely gorgeous!, and I also love that Jon installed those lights into your wardrobe, such a fab detail!
    besos

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    1. I better not mention Hodge to Frank, he'll be expecting oysters to go with his prawns!!
      You're right, I get so much good stuff in chazzas and online as so many people are horrified by colour - their loss, our gain! xxx

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  18. See Marie Kondo's opened a shop! What's the point of getting rid of stuff that doesn't 'spark joy', only to go and buy more crud??I love your curtains, love your gold boots,love that you crochet and love that feisty Frank has rallied. Have a good weekend.ps never leave your prescription shades at the bottom of your handbag without protection, they'll only get scratched beyond repair!Ask me how I know?

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    1. No way! How ridiculous. that woman is the bane of my life and possibly a major factor in the developed world drowning in landfill!
      I do love a bit of crochet - I'm halfway through another blanket but the old fashioned shop where I get my cheap wool from has discontinued one of the colours - it looks like it'll be a cot blanket rather than a proper one!
      I shall guard those specs with my life! xxx

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  19. I'm so relieved to read Frank is on the mend. He's a very lucky cat to be cared for so well, and if there's a shortage of prawns this festive season, we know who to blame ;)
    Congratulations on your nominations. X

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    1. Thanks, Jules! I better keep Frank away from the telly, he'll be demanding one of those prawn rings they sell in Iceland! xxx

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  20. Oh I'm so glad Frank is on the mend he's so beautiful! He looks like a real softie😍Your curtains are fab! If only everyone could use stuff up like that the world would be much richer, happier and healthier! Xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Shelagh! Friends say he looks like the girl from Avatar. I've never seen the film but I've googled her and they've got almost identical green eyes.
      Those patchwork curtains are a bit of a mare to make but I love the end result. xxx

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  21. I've just been catching up on blogs and I'm so glad I could find out Frank was on the road to recovery straight after finding out he was so poorly. xx

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    1. Thanks so much, G! He's been a poorly boy. He's a lot better now though, the vet saw him earlier and is really pleased! x

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  22. So so glad you found out what was wrong with Frank and as long as he stays away from it he will be ok! He does look like he's been on a couple week bender :) Thankfully hair grows back and he has a warm cozy home to recuperate in. Yes, those curtains are definitely you. Congrats on your nominations - well deserved!

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    1. It's a huge relief! The poor lad does look like he's been through the wars what with bald patches. I wonder if prawns promote hair growth? At this rate he'll be looking like a yeti in no time! x

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  23. Hurrah to the good news that Frank is on the mend and big thumbs up to you winning both categories of the Pony Awards, I’ve added my votes.
    I’m chuckling about us all with our check ups, you two with your eyes and is two with our teeth. I ended up with a crown and Philip a filling.
    Loving the curtains. It was you who gave me the idea for our utility room ones.
    I’m having a go in the little gym where I do my Pilates classes at the physios. Gawd help me, it’s a first for me. The good thing is Jo the physio has set my programme and there is no one better knows the state of my back than her. Fingers crossed I take to it and don’t get bored witless haha xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Lynn - your blog is fabulous and I'm thrilled to see you on the short list!
      Good luck with the gym - it's got to be worth a go, xxx

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  24. It's such good news that Frank is on the mend. How cute does he look with his banana?!
    No matter what they said, your gorgeous maxi dress was a bargain.
    Loving your new curtains, I'm hatching a plan for a patchwork blind for my office in the new year, I haven't got time until after Christmas but I'm really looking forward to getting started!
    xx

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    1. We're both so relieved about Franks, thanks Hazel!
      A patchwork blind sounds fabulous. It takes me an age to get round to doing stuff but once inspiration strikes there's no stopping me. xxx

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  25. I was so happy to read the good news about Frank on your IG. That must have been an incredibly strong allergic reaction to leave him with bald patches! Poor guy, glad he's getting to nosh on some prawns while he's recovering.
    There are many homeless people in my neighbourhood, and we have heard that some have been sent here from other similar size cities - their welfare worker buys them a bus ticket and tells them they will have a better access to services here, which turns out not to be true. We have a middle-aged couple who have been sleeping out on the sidewalk in front of an empty storefront since the summer. It's incredibly sad.

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    1. The vets had never seen anything like it, at first they thought it was Cow Pox, a fairly rare disease that affects cats related to the smallpox virus, caused by a bite from a field mouse (of which there's plenty in our garden!) He's gradually being weaned from the prawns but it's hard to say no to him!
      That poor homeless couple, what a situation to be in, I hope they manage to find help. xxx

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  26. Love the Afghan coat and glad Frank is on the mend. It’s nice to hear that you, Jon and others are helping the young, homeless man. Over here, Australia is considered the “lucky country” and still homelessness occurs too.
    I ADORE the psychedelic patchwork curtains! X

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    1. Thanks so much, Jess! I keep being accosted by ladies of a certain age when I wear it, all either remembering and regretting getting rid of their's! xxx

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  27. So happy to hear that the biopsy went well and that Frank is recovering well from an allergic reaction. I'm sure he'll be back to his usual self soon enough. You did a great job of taking care of him and kept busy all the same. Thanks for sharing these book reviews. Those new curtains you made look amazing.
    Your Afghan coat looks incredible and I love that floral maxi you paired with it.
    So sad to hear about that homeless young man. These are hard times we live in. Nobody should live like that.

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    1. Thanks, Jess! He's a lot better now and the fur is gradually growing back - you can hardly tell his tummy was shaved now, his fur is really thick!
      We do live in hard times, the division of wealth seems to be getting more and more pronounced. So sad and so unjust. xxx

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  28. Re: Frank - you don't use disinfectant that goes white in water, do you? As that's poisonous to cats. Otherwise, I hope whatever caused his reaction is long gone, poor little chap.

    That poor man. :-( I've organised a collection for the food bank at work, and am trying to think of ways we as a company can work to help the local homeless shelter etc. (I'm on the office committee.) It's shocking how bad things have got for people at the least advantaged end of society.

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    1. We don't use any disinfectant but it might be worth asking the neighbour who Frank was in the habit of visiting.
      It's heartbreaking. He's such a lovely, articulate young man and absolutely desperate for a roof over his head. Since he's been there his tent has been set on fire twice. The local MP had promised to help him and has been petitioned many times by those concerned about him - has he been to see him? Has he b*llocks. xxx

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Lots of love, Vix