Friday, 27 August 2021

Labelled With Love

 


Despite only being halfway through pricing the festival stock, on Wednesday we decided we needed to treat ourselves to a couple of hours of charity shopping in our second favourite Black Country town so, after breakfast, we took a four-mile trip up the road. It's not an affluent town by any means and most of the stock is terrible, over-washed, low-end high street tat, but there's always a few hidden gems if you look carefully.


We found a 1960s Harry Fenton of Shaftesbury Avenue cashmere & wool overcoat, a 1980s Renate of Italy pewter leather shoulder bag, a paisley printed tunic from H&M's 2019 collaboration with celebrated 1960s scarf designer Richard Allen, a vintage Spanish hand-blown glass vase, a 1970s jumbo cord gilet with fake fur lining, a gorgeous print of Edith A Andrews' The Blue Butterfly (the label says it was framed by Boots' picture framing department, which closed down in 1963), a 1980s Medici, Italy fine knit batwing jumper and an Aquascutum leather belt


A 1980s purple jumpsuit by Michael Phillips, a pair of British-made merino wool Burberry socks which, I was stunned to discover, retail at £90! (who, in their right mind, spends almost a hundred quid on socks?), a 1980s elasticated belt with copper and beaded buckle, another vintage hand-blown glass vase, some 1980s St Michael printed cotton culottes and a selection of paperbacks.


I wore the 1970s Ayesha Davar embroidered cheesecloth dress I bought the other day, topped with a vintage Indian woolwork waistcoat Cheryl gave me (it's reversible if you didn't recognise it from the photo in my last post). Yes, the weather was so Autumnal that I needed long sleeves and a wool waistcoat!


Jon wore the teeshirt I spotted when I met up with Annie on Monday with a charity-shopped camo jacket by hip Mumbai streetwear label, Breakbounce. The cheese plant leaf print shorts and desert boots are also chazza finds.

After lunch (noodles!), I washed the new finds and pegged them out on the line before settling down in the festival tent for a couple of hours of pricing. Jon whizzed up to Pets at Home to stock up on cat food and litter for when we're away, gave me a hand in the shop and then made tea, halloumi with roasted vegetables (which included homegrown patty pans, courgettes and beetroot). The evening was spent watching three episodes of series 4 of The Man in The High Castle and drinking rum.

On Thursday morning I did a load of washing and pegged it on the line before doing my Wii Fit workout. Whilst tea was brewing I emptied the bins and realised I'd thrown the recycling into the garden waste bin so leant over to get it out ending up head first in the bin, it took me ages to get out as I was laughing so much. After breakfast, Jon touched up my roots as I'd made a complete hash of the job last time. We walked around the corner to the chemist to pick up some lateral flow tests to take with us to the End of the Road festival. Everyone attending has to prove their vaccination status (or a negative Covid test) upon arrival and is then required to take a test 72 hours later. 


Although it wasn't all that warm (19°C), I threw caution to the wind and dressed like I was on holiday in The Med. I'd spotted this 1970s Monsoon Indian crinkle cotton sundress on eBay the other day. They usually command crazy prices but, luckily for me, the seller hadn't listed it as vintage and it got lost amongst the hundreds of listings for contemporary Monsoon dresses and I won it for a song.

My hair had started to develop a bit of a red tinge so I've swapped to an ash-toned dark brown as opposed to my usual dark chocolate shade. Since January 2019 I've only dyed my roots, the rest of my hair hasn't been touched, I love my sun-lightened ends.

 Jon and I spent the rest of the morning pricing stock and after a break for some noodles, continued until Liz popped round for a coffee and a sneak peek (leaving with a couple of cheeky, pre-festival purchases).


Tea was veggie sausages with sweet potato wedges, poached eggs and peas accompanied with a glass of wine. Afterwards, I needed to sort something out online. I was number 283 in the queue and had to wait for an hour and a half for my turn to come which pretty much put paid to any evening TV!


On Friday morning after my final Wii Fit workout of the week, I did a bit more pricing in the festival tent before breakfast. On the way to the composting bin, I harvested some of the rhubarb and made a crumble for later.


With a distinctly chilly nip to the air, I thought I'd try out the Autumnal toned Richard Allen for H&M tunic (although it's a dress on a short arse like me) which I bought on Wednesday morning's charity shopping expedition. Long time blog readers will remember that I used to wear mini dresses a lot, particularly when I was a festival goer (as opposed to a trader). They're a lot more practical when it's pissing it down. 


After collaborating and producing scarves for brands such as Schiaparelli and Yves Saint LaurentRichard Allan launched his own namesake brand in 1962 and quickly became renowned for his bold approach to colours and prints. In his first year of trading, Richard Allan sold over 50,000 scarves. His company moved to 87 Duke Street in Mayfair, where it flourished for the next twenty years.  Throughout the years, scarves were screen-printed and hand-finished in the UK, a tradition upheld by his daughter Cate, who now runs the company.

SOURCE

Scarves were sold initially to London’s most iconic stores, Fenwick, Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Liberty and Selfridges.  Over time a global reputation was established and scarves were sold to Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York and in all the major stores throughout the USA. 


SOURCE


Richard Allen also developed a bespoke market for corporate commissions with clients that included Alfred Dunhill and Harper’s Bazaar and also collaborated with Schiaparelli and Yves St Laurent, who licensed several designs.  Richard Allan scarves were frequently seen in film and television productions such as those famously worn by the late Dame Diana Rigg in The Avengers.

Richard Allen for H&M tunic worn with Toast leather boots (eBay), vintage woolwork waistcoat (from Cheryl) and an orange felt fedora (retail buy 2018)

I've never set foot in a branch of H&M and only ever owned one item of clothing by them, the William Morris Pimpernel print blouse bought from the clearance chazza last year (but I ended up selling it as I couldn't bear the fabric). I've sold many Richard Allen scarves over the years and although I'm pleased with my £2 find I can't help wondering how the late Richard Allan would have felt about his designs being mass produced in China using synthetic fabrics and semi-synthetics, like my 100% viscose tunic. (Excuse Stephen's bald patch - his cone came off this morning and he's healing nicely.)


When Jon returned from the supermarket run we got stuck into the pricing. We were taking a lunch break when Richard arrived with the post. A couple of weeks ago Jon had decided that we should upgrade the rusting enamel pot we use to drain our utensils and, after an internet search, found the perfect thing, a ceramic cutlery drainer in a beautiful shade of blue, handmade by Trevor Pictor for the White Horse Pottery in Wiltshire. Lord Jon couldn't resist ordering a small colander to match - it's far better looking than the dented stainless steel monstrosity I bought from a jumble sale in the 1980s.


 Aren't they gorgeous? HERE'S the link if you fancy a kitchen upgrade, too!


After admiring our purchases we went back into the festival shop and finished the pricing.


That's it - all 750 items are priced, ironed and double-checked for any issues (anything that isn't 100% perfect has a note on the label highlighting the fault). The fun bit will be trying to squeeze it all into the van on Monday!


Tonight we'll be watching more of The Man in the High Castle, we've got seven episodes to squeeze in before our free Amazon Prime trial comes to an end. Needless to say, rum will be consumed although Jon's had to buy branded cola as there was nothing else left on the supermarket shelves and there have been no fresh limes for over a fortnight.

Cheers and see you soon!



49 comments:

  1. Hi Vix glad to see you are taking faux fur coats to the festival - they will sell well and you might need to pop one on yourself if it gets chilly! I like the ceramic drainer set, Jon chose well. Both your new dresses look great on you. Hair looks great, sometimes you need to change the colour around to keep the tone, ends look lovely. I think the reason you get such great bargains in chazza's and online is that you are so incredibly knowledgeable about the labels, their era and manufacture - you are a mine of information and it's generous that you share it - the Richard Allan scarf history was interesting :) I laughed at the price of those socks you found - how ridiculous indeed! I hope that long wait online has sorted things and that you can now relax. I am totally green with envy of your friend Liz's silk duster coat - she looks amazing! Have a wonderful weekend. Betty x

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    1. Hi Betty! In the past we save all the fake fur coats we find throughout the year and take them to End of the Road, it gets ridiculously cold at night no matter how warm it is during the day. I've packed my thermals and no doubt will be borrowing a few bits over the week (I can't help myself!)
      I love researching labels and designers, it used to take months before the internet was invented!
      Liz's coat is vintage St Michael, hard to get your head around how fabulous their clothes used to be! xxx

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  2. You look like you are tall i nyour pictures-probalby becasu eof the flow of your clothes, The mini-tunic/dress is so cool. You really find some interesting things. Now that I ahve a little thrift shop fiend for a daughter, we will enjoy that on future outings and I'd like ot find some things for our outdoors.

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    1. I'm a shortarse to my eternal shame, I'd liove to be tall like my mum - I take after my dad! xxx

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  3. I am so excited for you - a real festival to attend after 2 years! You look lovely as always in your mini. Liz's dress is pretty fabulous too! I hope you have a fantastic time at the festival and sell out, I have a feeling people will be in the money spending mood :)

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    1. I do hope so! We're so out of practice it's a bit daunting but now the van's packed I'm wild with excitement! xxx

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  4. I think I have a couple of Richard Allan scarves in my collection that used to belong to my Mum. You look fab in your 'mini-dress'. Knock 'em bandy (as we say up here - another way of saying Good Luck!) at the festival. That's a lot of packing you have to do! I know a local potter who makes fabulous stuff but she charges 58 quid for a mug.As beautiful as they are, I just couldn't justify the expense. Most of her sales go to USA - her dinner sets are spectacular. Talking of expensive, I had a look on the Ian Snow site the other day and they're charging 300 quid for a crocheted blanket - I'd like to think the lovely people who make them get a stonking share of the profit of each one. Stay safe and have a blast. xxx

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    1. You'll have to have a rummage and see if your collection includes any Richard Allen scarves, they used to sell really well and now H&M have made his name more recognisible they're probably even more desirable!
      That West Country pottery was really reasonable, we'll definitely treat ourselves to something else.
      Ian Snow are absolutely brilliant, they're really respected by artisans in India and they really do pay a fair price - we always buy each other's presents from there. xxx

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  5. I hope the weather is brilliant and you sell at least three quarters of your stock.. It's been a long time coming hasn't it.

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  6. What a funny bin incident Vix :0 !!! I often get into the brown bin to squash things down but I've never got stuck head first ! :) Looks like you have a festival set up on your lawn. How super organised of you both. Look at them legs too! You can 100% pull off mini skirts. Loving the new Wiltshire Pottery and sending you a squeeze of lime to go with your rum and coke. Lulu xXx

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    1. I'm such an embarrasment, thank goddness I get up so early that there was nobody else to witness my mishap! xxx

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  7. I would never have guessed that the two blue ceramic items were a cutlery drainer and a colander! They are lovely. I don't think they would last long in our house; OH and I are both very clumsy...

    Your hair looks fab and I forgot to say the other day how nice the soft waves were that you made with a hair gadget.

    Have a fab weekend!
    xxx

    More amazing finds at the chazzas. I loved the tunic/mini dress and I had never heard of Richard Allan. I must check my collection of head squares in case I have one of his. Loved your dresses and the waistcoat is gorgeous. The Kinky Melon stock looks like an Aladdin's Cave of wonders. I'd love to check it out one day!

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    1. Oops - don't know what happened here, the last paragraph should have been the 2nd but I'm sure you get what I'm saying...

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    2. I'm amazed Jon hasn't broke either of them yet - he managed to smash the butter dish last week - luckily we found a fabulous replacemnet for £1 so he's forgiven! xxx

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  8. Hi Vix, Hubby and I will be there (staying in Nessie our campervan) - so looking forward to it, we should have been at WOMAD this year, but that was cancelled - will come and say hello - best wishes - Jill x

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    1. Hello Jill! You'll love End of the Road, we used to go as punters before we started trading there, it's utterly magical! Have a safe journey in Nessie and do come and say hello when you're all set up, it'll be lovely to meet you! xxx

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  9. I do remember you wearing mini dresses at festivals, and that Richard Allan dress looks fabulous.
    I also adore the Monsoon dress, another brilliant find.
    Glad to see Lord Jon likes that t-shirt. I thought it was a really cool, clean graphic.
    You tent looks amazing. I know it was a huge amount of work getting it all ready, but as someone else has said, it looks like a proper Aladdin's cave. You'll do really well.
    I'm having serious duster coat envy of Liz! How gorgeous does she look.
    I've also been wearing a waistcoat as an extra layer the last couple of days. Fingers crossed for a bit of last minute sunshine xxx

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    1. Thanks, Annie! In most of my Glastonbury photos I'm in uber short dresses, bare legs dry a lot faster than fabric.
      Lord Jon loves his tee shirt, he's been wearing it all week, I wouldn't be surprised if he's packed it for End of the Road!
      Liz's coat is vintage St Michael, isn't it a beauty?
      Hope you had a wonderful time camping. I can't believe it's already been a week since we met up! xxx

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  10. Brava and bravo on getting all the stock tagged and checked - that's a lot of work (I spy an Iron Maiden tee!). I'd be like Liz - let me at that stuff, take my money!

    That's a beautiful steely blue on you, Vix, and I love that short tunic as well, although I feel ya on the gross fabrics. I find viscose is good (it's plant-based, although goes through so much processing). As always, I'm eyeing your finds, and very much enjoying your research.

    Good to hear that Stephen is on the mend, and photobombing again! That blue pottery is gorgeous.

    Have a great weekend! Enjoy the rum!

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    1. Now we've managed to cram it all in the van it feels like it's all real and not a dream!
      Jon can't resist a rock tee - the male mannequin is resplendent in a Motley Cru one!
      Stephen is much better and driving Frank mad! xxx

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  11. Such a great read.I love your sun-lightened ends on your hair and the blue maxi dress you wore on that picture.Tea and veggie sausages with sweet potato wedges, poached eggs and peas looks so delicious.Lot's of great experiences.

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  12. That might be the most beautiful colander ever.

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  13. i´m overwhelmed by the contents of your festival tent!
    clever liz used her "VIP card" and had an early browse - love the coat she´s wearing....
    the azur blue sundress you found yourself is lovely - and even H&M looks gorgeous on you. why design houses work with the sweat shop label is a mystery to me though.
    the household ceramics are fab - but i´m way to clumsy for such easy to break materials in the daily use......
    xxxxx
    ps: here is fall too since a week! cold, dark and very wet. grrr.

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    1. I'm glad you like the look of the festival tent, I'm hypercritical and needed Liz's opinion as I wasn't sure if it was up to scratch, I'm so out of practice!
      Isn't her coat lovely?
      It sounds like we're sharing weather, it feels far too Autumnal for my liking! xxx

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  14. Well you deserve lots of sales after all your hard work. Hope you have a brilliant and successful time.
    Love the pottery, and it comes just down the rad from where I was born! Really tempted with the cutlery drainer x

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    1. Thanks so much, Emma!
      What a lovely part of the world to be born, it really does feel magical down there! xxx

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  15. It’s all getting very exciting now festival weekend is approaching. You’ve done a brilliant job on the shop and stock, folk are going to love it.
    I like your new kitchen addition, might have to spend a bit more of the pension pot now haha.
    The mini outfit is a great look with the boots and hat. You wear it well lovely friend.
    Have a good weekend you two. We are off to the pub with friends for lunch (another birthday outing)
    Lots of love from us two xxx

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    1. I think you need to treat yourelf to a few ceramic bits and pieces, he does a gorgeous shade of green which would be perfect with your ideas for a makeover!
      I loved the sound of the pub you visited! xxx

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  16. I have the same tunic of H&M, and I bought it with the silk blouse version too....I found them at a local little Outlet that H&M had (they closed that section 😕)....And you knoe, I never used the tunic version....this year for sure. I paid 3 euros each!
    They are stunning!🥰 Kisses from Madrid (here, we're with 38 degrees yet) Have a nice weekend!

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    1. Hello Mariel! That shop sounded like a great place to shop, what bargains! I saw the blouse version on ebay and thought it was lovely.
      Very envious of your 38°C, it's been 14°C today! xxx

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  17. Evening there Vix, I love the blue "upgrades" by Lord Jon. I have a vase and utensil holder in similar blues I brought at a fair in Aus many decades ago that survived the journey over here. I love it when I am thinking of something then you come to read about Vix world and there is what you are thinking of. Hair! I at 57 have just started getting some silver wisdom strands otherwise known as grey. what to do yeah I could get hubster to do it ha ha hmm not quite decided what to do yet. Age gracefully?? hmm anyway enough of that nonsense. I am so excited for you and I am sure you will sell loads!! loved you in the mini and the boots go perfectly. The old Aunt has a collection of scarves from Liberty but not sure if any Richard Allan? Liz is one lucky lady having a pre fesitival rummage. She looks lovely too. Big fat juicy post as always Vix. You take care and have fun! Shazxx

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    1. Hello Shaz! Fancy your vase and utensil drainer surving the big move, you must be a good packer!
      I think if I was naturally dark haired (as opposed to blonde) I might be tempted to leave the silver highlights - they can look absolutely brilliant!
      You'll have to have a rummage through Auntie's scarf collection to see if she's got any Richard Allen scarves lurking in her collection! xxx

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  18. Your festival shop is looking magnificent! How I wish I could browse those rails! Pricing it all must be one hell of a job, though! I'm sure you must be very excited by now, and I'm keeping my fingers and everything else crossed that all goes well.
    You're looking fantastic in the Richard Allen for H&M tunic worn as a dress - the perks of being tiny - and the ceramic cutlery drainer and colander are gorgeous!
    Glad to hear Stephen's on the mend, and I bet he'll be glad of getting rid of that cone of shame. xxx P.S. I hope the weather gods are on their best behaviour for you!

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh yes, the pricing is the worst, I try and write a bit of a description of the garment on the tag too, I'm a glutton for punishment!
      Stephen is so pleased to be rid of the cone, he's more hyperactive than ever!
      There's some lovely bits in that Richard Allen collection, keep your eyes peeled in the charity shops.
      I think we've skipped into October, the forecast is for gloom, colder than normal temperatures and rain...argh! xxx

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  19. Your booth looks wonderful, and I'm sure you'll sell lots of stuff. I had never heard of Richard Allen, so thank you for the fashion history lesson. I think the tunic looks great on you, especially as you have the perfect boots and hat to wear with it.
    The floaty blue Monsoon dress would get worn a lot here, as we have been enduring temperatures in the mid-to-high 30's for a few weeks now. You can send some of your fall-like weather over here. Kudos to Jon for selecting the beautiful ceramic colander and utensil drainer.

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    1. Thank you! I don't think Richard Allen is as well known as many of the previous H&M collaborations -there's some really cheap stuff on eBay!
      I had to squeeze a wearing of that Monsoon dress in even though it wasn't all that warm. In my head I live in Greece! xxx

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  20. Yet more signs of hope: Vix in a mini, Liz shopping in kimono, and Jon shopping for the kitchen! It's also good to see Stephen Squirrel has shed the cone -- his expression of disgust at being thus confined was worthy of being posted with some pithy feline remark.

    750 items into Gilbert, you say? Plus the tent, carpets and new dressing cabinet? Methinks you are doing well to experiment with puzzle box options! (Will Gilbert carry those hard case totes on his roof?) Hope all goes smoothly at the festival!

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    1. Stephen Squirrel's loving the freedom from the cone and he's been a good boy and not nibbling at his bald patch, hopefully he behaves for our lovely cat sitter!
      Gilbert got relegated from our festival mode of transport three years ago, we've got a bigger VW van for long distance journeys now - but it was a squeeze to fit all those goodies within! xxx

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  21. I imagine that pricing so many items must take quite a bit of time, so it's good you two took a break and went for some second hand shopping. You always do find lovely things. It's nice that Stephen is free of its cone and healing nicely, I imagine he is relieved. I love the embroidered cheesecloth dress! It looks great paired with that reversible embroidered waistcoat. The other dress is lovely as well. Stylish outfits all of them, possibly the last one is my fav. You look fabulous in that mini dress paired with boots and finished with that gorgeous hat. I can see how a mini dress would be a more convenient festival choice when it's raining. We had some rainy days lately and I was relieved that the temperature went down finally.

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    1. Thanks you! We're usually that frazzled by festival preparation that we're exhausted when we get there, it's been lovely to take our time, have a few trips out and come back to the work refreshed and ready! xxx

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  22. Hope everything went well for Kinky Melon - your tent looks beautiful, your stock amazing and if the weather was anything like it was here - you had blissful days and chilly-enough-for-a-jacket evenings.

    Your White Horse Pottery pieces are gorgeous - Jon has a great eye.

    I go into H+M and Zara just to freak them out - that old portly lady looking through our rails? Quelle horreur!! But wait - she's LAUGHING - darlings, I have so much better at home lol.

    Scarves forever - my favourite accessory - I love a good textile/print.

    Speaking of things being out of stock - our washing machine karked-it last week - it'll be 2 weeks before a replacement arrives - the eccentric outfit concoctions that have ensued have upped my sartorial game entirely!

    Big love, jam and cream scones to Maryland and everyone else xxxx

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    1. Hello Elaine! It's this coming weekend we're trading at End of the Road - when the schools are back (it's a proper grown-up festival, that's why we love it!) It's always Baltic at night as its in the middle of nowhere, I've packed thermals, alpaca gloves and my trust sheepskin hat for when we escape the shop and go dancing in the forest late at night.
      What a shame about your washing machine but you're right, it's the perfect opportunity to wear everything! xxx

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    2. Doh - oh well - happy trading anyway lol!! There's a distinct whiff of Autumn in the mornings this week and I'm actually wearing a jumper right now - eek!

      As to the washing machine - I really don't need the comes-as-standard 20 - odd programmes. I thought we'd cracked it with the one we chose - simple, energy efficient etc - until my Mister pointed out that you can operate it with your mobile phone. FFS lol!

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    3. We bought the cheapest (and most simple) one we could find, Bush from Argos. Its 15°C cycle is just brilliant! x

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  23. So amazing finds!, love particularly the glass and love the cool tunic you wore as a dress, it's great to see you rocking a minidress!, looking lovely in these earthy colours and your beautiful fedora!. And also lovely maxi dress and embroidered waistcoat, such a fab piece! and it's reversible!!. loving it!
    The Monsoon sundress is so delightfully summery and you rock it with your fab jewellery and sunníes!, so beautiful photos in the mirrors corner!
    Glad you've managed to have all the stock labelled, it's a lot of work but your stall looks really Fabulous and totally mesmerizing!. I really envy Liz for having a vip pass before the opening! (and she wear such a fab coat!, she rocks!).
    Loving the upgraded pottery, its distinctive colour is so beautiful!.
    besos

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  24. Ahrgh, the trouble is, by the time I get to the comments box, there are just TOO many things to comment on and I forget what I wanted to say!
    Firstly, YES I DO WANT THAT LOVELY UTENSIL DRAINER AND COLANDER! They are gorgeous!!! I am off to take a look- potential Christmas presents here! It's so worth paying a bit more for artisan items- people have got SOO used to spending virtually nothing on things that they forget the price of handmade items (and indeed many items).
    I love your Monsoon sundress- it is so wafty and nice. I would wear that in a heartbeat!
    I like your lighter ends- they really suit you.
    I am glad the cone of shame is gone! Hurrah for healing!
    I spy the Mr Man dress for sale! Goodness, are you saying goodbye to it!?
    I agree about the Richard Curtis dress- I am not sure how he would have felt having his designs on such shoddy materials, William Morris neither (it's also the reason why I didn't end up with any William Morris- horrid synthetics!). I picked up a lovely cotton jacket in a charity shop from an English brand with the Strawberry thief design on and it was SO superior in terms of material quality to anything else.
    That dress does look lovely on you though, regardless of what material it is made out of. I like the big sleeves. I do remember you used to wear lots of mini-dresses.
    Well done on getting the stock labelled and everything ready! Good show.x

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Lots of love, Vix