Friday, 18 June 2021

The Distancing Diaries - 17th & 18th June, 2021

It had rained overnight and Thursday morning was grey, chilly and overcast. I picked a few strawberries on my meanderings around the garden, checked into my Wii Fit and caught up with Blogland. After breakfast, I swept the rugs in the middle room and Jon set off for the dentist returning 40 minutes later with a temporary filling and arrangements in place to have an implant fitted.

By 10am the sun had broken through the clouds. I wore a 1970s block printed cotton midi dress by Ritu Kumar for Monsoon, some vintage deadstock sunnies and my Lotta from Stockholm clogs.

We drove to our favourite Black Country town for a rummage around the chazzas. It was warm, it was market day and it was as busy as it used to be in the olden days (before Covid). We had to queue outside several of the chazzas. We'd managed to find the last parking space in the free car park and spotted this rather wonderful Art Deco signage on a substation tucked up the corner (MEC - Midlands Electricity Company).

What did we find? For the stockroom - a couple of waistcoats (one vintage 1970s, the other from pricy British gents outfitters, Moss Bros); a rather snazzy 1960s wool and cashmere gents overcoat; a 1980s Indian cotton sundress; some 1970s K leather sandals (made in Czechoslovakia); a gents tweed equestrian jacket (with a highly cut back vent for sitting on a horse) and a pretty block-printed Indian cotton off-the-shoulder top which I haven't tried on and am wondering whether I should.


Naturally, there were a few bits for us. Jon bought a Diesel western shirt for £7 (currently retailing online at £125) and I snaffled this vintage mixed metal bangle for 50p. Nestling on the rail amongst the clapped-out synthetics and bland high street cast-offs the braiding on this dress caught my eye. I pulled it out and discovered this....be still my beating heart!


It still had the remains of the original store label attached. Back at home I did some research and discovered that Pitusa - meaning funny little girl in Spanish - was established in 2010, uses the finest Pima cotton in their garments and that the colourful Inca trim is the label's signature feature. Pitusa employs women-owned ateliers in Peru, India and Bali and all their garments are produced under ethical & fair-trade working conditions. Their flagship store is in Miami - a long way from the Black Country. This dress retails at £154.99 although there's one currently on eBay for £95. I think £3 was a bit of a bargain!

Back at home I chucked our washable purchases in the machine & pegged them out on the line 15 minutes later. We had noodles, changed into our gardening gear and pottered around the garden with the radio tuned to North Macedonia Vs Ukraine. 


Our Dusky Maidens delphinium has finally bloomed and is just as beautiful as it was last year, isn't it a gorgeous colour? The Yukka continues to delight us with its flowers and intoxicate us with the scent. I'm anxiously awaiting this flower spike on the bear's britches.

Jon planted some more exotic bulbs, I tidied up the border outside the house, stripping the leaves from the now-defunct Oriental poppies (they didn't last long!) thinning out the feral fennel and pulling up more bastard bamboo. 

After a coffee break we planted some grasses alongside the ferns in the bed outside the gates and watered the pots, the ground had got a good soaking after the overnight rain so we had a day off. We retreated back indoors for Denmark vs Belgium and had pizza for tea. Late, after catching up with the rest of the series finale of Scotland's Home of the Year, we watched the Netherlands play (and beat) Austria.

On Friday morning I managed to book the last two slots for next week's National Trust expedition. My replacement Wii Fit disc had arrived the previous day, and I could have a proper workout session. We were due our annual boiler service and luckily were first on the list with the mechanic arriving at just after 7.30am, I left Jon to deal with him whilst I wrapped my eBay sales. 

After breakfast and, like most of the population of England and Scotland, I was too giddy with excitement over the match to concentrate on anything sensible so dressed up in yesterday's top chazza find and flounced around the garden in the pouring rain. Did I mention that we're set to have a month's average rainfall in the next 24 hours? 


On Pitusa's website, they describe their clothes being high quality, comfortable beachwear but when I spotted it in Barnardos my first thought was Frida Kahlo so I plaited my hair, added a floral headband, a stack of plastic bangles, my yellow Lottas, my beloved copal beads and some Frida earrings from my collection.


These are from our dear friends and festival neighbours, Shilpa Silver who trade as Silver Bubble. Buy them HERE (or put them on your birthday list!)






 I might try this dress with the huge straw hat I wore to Chastleton House along with the recently chazza-shopped Pierre Cardin snake sandals & pom-pom trimmed beach bag when the sun makes a comeback.


Leaving Jon to the post office run and a supermarket top-up shop I changed into something more sensible and cleaned the bedroom.


I'm loving our Anokhi bedcover and matching pillowcase/cushion cover set - the seller bought them on her Indian adventures in the noughties and never got around to using them - it's easy to get carried away shopping in Anokhi! We've dispensed with the duvet and have just been sleeping beneath its crisp cotton loveliness for the last couple of nights. 

With the rain still lashing it down, it was an afternoon spent watching Sweden Vs Slovakia followed by the last instalment of The Great Photography Challenge. In her recent blog post, Claire had talked about perfecting her French plaits (aka boxer braids or Dutch braids) HERE.  Bizarrely, although I often do them for friends and customers at festivals, I've never worn them myself so, inspired by her, I had a bash. I'm now wondering why it's taken me 54 years to get round to it!


Tea was salad and quiche with a beer whilst watching Croatia vs the Czech Republic. We've already got the jitters about tonight's game but I've got my lucky red bikini on and the rum is ready & waiting.

Come on England!!!!!


40 comments:

  1. Lucky red bikini I love it! Happy Fri night vix, so much to comment on tonight firstly wow!!!that dress is gorgous and I cant wait to see it with the beautiful big hat!! I love black with coloured embroidery and own several tops with it. That dress is such a steal!! at £3. You look great with the braids by the way. Oh yeah meant tosay the Frida earrings are the perfect pair for that dress. I as always loved your flower montage. We have loads of poppys this year. the rain has caused the more delicate peonies to shower the front path with petals - looks kinda nice. The new bedding looks fab. Great post the footy will be an excuse to have a ginger beer! Enjoy and thank as always for a being a bright spot in the day. You really are special lady. Shazxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so lovely, Shaz! Even though we've never met I think you're pretty special yourself and I know that if we ever do meet we'd get along like we'd known each other all our lives! Hope you're bearing up after your sad loss.
      I was so excited about that dress, I love colourful embroidery, I'm like a moth to a flame when I spot any.
      You'll have to rescue a few of those peony petals and press them. Such lovely flowers, I wish they lasted longer.
      Have a fantastic evening, enjoy that ginger beer. Jon's shouting that the rum's ready. Cheers, lovely lady! xxx

      Delete
  2. The Pitusa dress is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love that you have a lucky red bikini! I get subjected to L's "lucky" hockey and football jerseys, nothing as exciting as a bikini!

    Ooh, I am in LOVE with your ruffle-licious new dress, Vix! It looks amazing on you and before I even read it, I thought "Frida Kahlo"! How cool that it's fair trade too, and NWT (new w/tags)!! What a score that was! I think you should try on that off-the-shoulder top - the colour is so fabulous, and the semi-detached sleeves are wonderful.

    Good luck with the rain - we have had a really dry spring here, so it's likely we'll see a very bad wildfire season again this year. :(

    Have a fantastic weekend, my dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a shame my lucky garment isn't a more practical one, I had to wear a cardi over the top on Friday night!
      I thought you might like the ruffle-tastic dress! That braiding just shouts Frida, doesn't it? Now you've encouraged me I've stolen that top from the stockroom and shall give it a try in the week - providing the weather warms up a bit.
      Hope your weekend was wonderful, Sheila! xxx

      Delete
  4. We could sure use your rain here in the many parts of the US. We have droughts in th emidwest, and dangerously low water levels in the west. But thenm hrricane waitin gin the gulf. That dress was an absolute steal! I hope you enjoy it for manyyears to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd be most welcome to some of that rain, I think we've got more on the way tomorrow, as if we didn't have enough last month! xxx

      Delete
  5. What an unusually special dress your Petusa is, I like that you always research the label/manufacture and also whether it's been produced in an eco friendly way :) Would love to see it with lots of gold - black lends itself to anything but I always think it is an excuse for massive bling :) Your garden is looking wonderful and I am a little bit envious :) Your bed covers look very fresh and pretty - you can't go wrong with Anokhi can you! I paid final holiday on Bulgaria today and am still optimistic that come Autumn we will be able to go - if we do I am stocking up on throws/rugs - anything I can cram into my suitcase!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't look at the website, it's full of the most fabulous kaftans, floaty tops and sundresses for glamorous beach holidays! I love getting home from the charity shops and researching labels, I always buy what I like so it's lovely when it's made by a company with bang-on ethics.
      Liking the idea of gold jewellery, always good with a tan.
      I'm feeling optimistic about September especially with this talk of the double-vaccinated not having to isolate and do daily tests instead. Hopefully they'll have sorted the prices out by then.
      Can you imagine how gorgeous the embroidery and textiles are going to be in Bulgaria? You'll need to take an empty case! xxx

      Delete
  6. I have to say that Pitusa dress really stole the show today. It's gorgeous and it looks so fantastic on you! Glad you were able to get back to your Wii Fit workouts. Sounds like the next 24 hours might be time indoors, at least unless you happen to be in the mood to go out and play in the rain. Have a great weekend Vix. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Martha! All the way from Miami, too - I wonder how it ended up in the British Midlands unworn and as far away as it's possible to be from the sea! xxx

      Delete
  7. Ooh I immediately thought Frida Kahlo as soon as I saw that dress and you have got the look bang on. It’ll take on a different feel altogether with your lovely hat.
    The garden colours are stunning. I like the delphinium colour. It’s full on with the footie here. Philip is very vocal when he’s watching it.
    Not much to report at Chez Holland this week. It’s a lot quieter than last week.
    Have a good weekend you two. Much love from us two xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's that braid, isn't it? I wouldn't mind a few metres of that to fancy some stuff up! I can't wait to play dress-up with that dress again. If it hadn't been so chilly today I would have been tempted to wear it to the charity shop!
      Only one footie match today so we finally got round to watching the rest of Time. A fantastic watch but wasn't it harrowing? Apparently Sean Bean's passionate about gardening, maybe he could do a video for Gardeners' World?
      Hope you had a good weekend and Philip kept his cool with the footie, Jon was a nervous wreck! xxx

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Fabulous to hear from you, Carol! xxx

      Delete
  9. Love that dress. Off two visit twinny today in leeds and I am going to pop into blue rinse as he is one of our contacts he did send us rubbish last year so I need to have a chat with him about that. But sis doesn’t mind as she works for M&S and she knows my pain.
    We went back to another ex mining town and found lots of gems. I didn’t feel safe leaving the car so I Paul kept a look out for me. Still not into the football I have tried but no not for me rugby or baseball yeah now you have my attention. But sorry they get paid far to much. Not like the good old days.
    I managed to get my yaken shoumei renewed but I am still longing for home. See how I feel on Wednesday. Willow can even write kanji now that made me cry too. Love and huggs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Allie! I was very excited to find that dress and even more so when I read up about the label.
      Hope you had a fantastic day in Leeds with your sister. Back in the 1980s most of Walsall went to Leeds Uni and I spent many a drunken weekend up in Headingly & Hyde Park. I'm not saying a word about BRV, us vintage traders all know one another!
      Hope you're okay and not feeling too homesick. xxx

      Delete
  10. the new black dress is fabulous - and a stunner on you!!
    i better not show the tweeds to the BW - its very hard to get some decent stuff here this days......
    the braids look gorgeous - i really have to learn to do them this way. but the frida-hair-do is my everyday (without flowers) now that it´s so very hot - a nice way to get the hair out of the way without to much tension on the head.
    your yucca is beautiful with all the blooms!!
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beate! I was really thrilled to find that dress!
      Jon seems to do really well with tweeds, I'm not sure why there's so many around here, we're hardly the country set!
      I can't believe it took me so long to plait my own hair that way, it stays put really well, it was still exactly the same when I got up the next morning. xxx

      Delete
  11. That Art Deco signage is gorgeous, I love finding unexpected gems like that!
    Great finds at the chazzas, the Pitusa dress, of course, in particular. Like many of the othe commentors, I immediately thought Frida Kahlo too! The Frida outfit you created with it is absolutely magnificent. I love those braids on you!
    Isn't it a pity Oriental poppies do not last longer than a couple of days? Ours came and went within the week. I'm quite envious of the flower spike in your flower spike on the bear's britches. I seriously doubt mine will come to anything. Hope the rain hasn't caused too much damage at yours. I had to rescue and stake some flattened specimen! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that so much care and attention was paid to even the most mundane of buildings back in the olden days. I'm amazed we've never noticed before.
      That braiding and butterfly sleeves just scream Frida, don't they? Jon loved my hair like that, too.
      I'm sure the Oriental poppies had an even shorter season than normal, they were glorious but so fleeting. That Bear's Britches plant has been in the garden for years, I moved it last year and it's only just developed a flower spike. apparently once they establish themselves you're stuck with them - I'm happy about that!
      The rain battered our poor delphinium, so much for the rain being good for the gardens! xxx

      Delete
  12. AHHHHHHHH!!!... THAT PITUSA DRESS IS AMAZING!!!!! What an absolute find Vix. I would be high as a kite after finding that. Now it's a very close contender, along with your tomato dress (which again is very Frida Kahlo-esque) for my absolute favourite. You look gorgeous wearing it. Lulu xXx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was squealing like a toddler! It did remind me of the tomato dress - I do love a black frock with some fancy pants detailing! xxx

      Delete
  13. Oh Frida you are truly fabulous in that outfit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You look fantastic with your hair braided that way. I don't know why you haven't tried this style before, it suits you so well. I'm not sure what term I use for these braid these days, I tend to switch between Dutch braids and Boxer braids. I often do them for myself. I'm quite fond of them as they are a part of my city's folklore dress&wear. My home city has some great foklore attires (they differ from city to city and village to village in Croatia) and the braids are a big part of it. I sometimes pin them up and sometimes left them hang. My husband also likes them and he is familiar with different braiding styles because he used to do foklore dances himself.


    I love your purchases. The waistcoats are fabulous! The vintage wool and cashmere overcoat looks amazing as well. The Indian cotton sundress is lovely and I'm sure the leather sandals are quite nice. You should definitely try on the pretty block-printed Indian cotton off-the-shoulder top!

    That black ruffled maxi is a dream. What a lucky find...and only 3 pounds. I'm beyond impressed. Plus, it does look like it was made for you. I love that you styled it with Frida earrings. I've been a fan of Frida Kahlo since I was a little girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ivana! I always love your hair braided and am intruiged about them being part of your country's traditional dress. I 'd love you to do a post about your national costumes and traditions, you know how much I love to see your folklore blouses!
      I've rescued that blouse from the stockroom to give it a try - you and Sheila are naughty encouraging me!
      I was so excited to find that dress, as soon as I spotted the braiding I knew it was something good! xxx

      Delete
  15. That Pitusa dress! Your Frida Kahlo look is stunning and those beads, did I mention (on more than one occasion!)how much I love them? I love folk style and this is folk with flounce, just love it.
    The weather change is taking a bit of getting used to, the garden loves it but my hair just fizzes. How lovely to be able to wander in the rain with no fear of frizz.
    Hope you're having a good weekend. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a label to search for on eBay! As soon as I grabbed it I knew it was something good, that braid had me hooked!
      You need to French plait your hair. I'm amazed mine were still in place the following morning! xxx

      Delete
  16. That dress looks fabulous on you. What a find! And I love your hair. I plaited Lily's hair just like that for her school photo the other day. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jules! I bet Lily's hair looked fantastic in French plaits! xxx

      Delete
  17. You look so dramatic in the black flouncy dress and then so delicate and young in the pale blue, you are a true ... and very stylish ... chameleon.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh how fabulous was your Frida look. I loved it. The dress was a superb find (I recognise the Barnardo's tag) and your beads seem to go with everything. I am definitely having a pair of those Frida earrings one way or another (it's a while till Christmas though).

    The delphinium is beautiful and I had no idea Yuccas had flowers or even that they had a scent; everyday's a school day!

    Glad you're enjoying the football.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was so excited to spy that lovely braiding, I knew it would be attached to something good! I love my Frida earrings, worth every penny!
      I was amazed when that yukka flowered for the first time last year, the smell is incredible! xxx

      Delete
  19. Lovely to see your garden in Bloom and so many colours!
    And totally in love with your Pitusa dress (even its name is cute!) and with your fab styling inspired by Frida!, You Rock It!. Your copal beads are so Fabulous!.
    Looking forward to see you wearing this dress with the massive hat too!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Pitusa dress is a marvelous find. I love the Frida Kahlo styling you did with it. If I had long hair, I would be experimenting with different kinds of braids, otherwise, what's the point of having all that hair if you don't have fun with it? Perhaps I think that way because my hair looks the same all the time ;)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have a blog I'll pop over and return the favour.

Lots of love, Vix