Nothing new to see here, just more old favourites from my not-so-compact capsule wardrobe.
On Sunday I wore my vintage Mayur Indian cotton gauze midi dress with a vintage suede waistcoat, my second-hand The Jacksons suede boots - and my varifocals! - for a morning of shopping and an afternoon of eBay listing, hair-dying and stitching.
On Monday it was the turn of a vintage Phool midi skirt, Levi's denim blouse and my great-great grandma's monogrammed silver brooch.
I also wore my exotic snakeskin Gohill's boots, custom made in Camden in 1966 (a good year that!)
After spending the morning listing stock on eBay I visited the wonderful woman who gave me her boots (story HERE). Born in Walsall, she lived in London during the Swinging Sixties and was an artist's muse before returning to her home town to become a school teacher and, after retirement, as a hugely respected Labour councillor. With a passion for travel, Socialism, the Pre-Raphaelites, swimming, art house cinema, ethnic clothing and junk shops I can sit and listen to her all day long. There's a lot to be said for still living in the town in which you were born.
Tuesday started, as it has done for the last twelve months, with an early morning swim followed by breakfast in 'Spoons. I wore a 1970s Oasis Trading Indian cotton gauze blouse, 1980s Le Bon high waisted English-made jeans and one of my many vintage silk screen printed Indian scarves.Back at home, with the laundry pegged out and eBay parcels wrapped and dispatched it was time to put the finishing touches to the stitching project I'd teased you with in my last post...
My lovely friend Jayne, currently on a blog break, encouraged me to have a bash at embroidery, sending me lots of helpful tips and links so I hope she won't be appalled by my "make it up as you go along" approach. I can't draw for the life of me and the only embroidery I did at school was chain stitching "Mummy"on an apron at junior school half a century ago.
After buying that bargain box of embroidery thread in a charity shop last week I had a lightbulb moment in the car on the way home. I grabbed a khaki army jacket from the stockroom, scribbled on the back of it and, still wearing my coat and hat, threaded my needle and got stitching.
Needless to say, I was inspired by Becoming Frida Kahlo, the three-part BBC documentary I enjoyed so much last weekend that I watched it twice!
I've lost hours doing this over the last few days but what a wonderful, mindful activity it's been.
I really ought to watch a YouTube tutorial and learn how to do it properly but where's the fun in that? Instructions have their place, just not in my life.
Between stitching I read two books over the weekend.....
The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood's superb reimagining of the story of Penelope, Odysseus's wife (the wily hero of The Odyssey) and Lawrence Durrell's masterpiece Prospero's Cell, the memoir of his life in 1930s Corfu. Needless to say that within a couple of hours of opening it I'd booked a flight to our favourite Greek Island for later in the year.
Another holiday? In the words of Frida Kahlo: Keep joy alive, live life!
I'm off on an adventure with Nikki tomorrow, I'll be back soon with tales of culture, curry and, no doubt, random conversations with strangers.
Those boots are gorgeous and the lady who used to own them sounds absolutely fabulous.ReplyDelete
Loved your outfits as always!
The Frida embroidery on your jacket is fantastic. I love her art so much!
Thanks so much, Ivana! My former teacher is such an inspiring lady, I don't know anyone who doesn't admire her.Delete
I adore Frida Kahlo. I hope you get to see that documentary eventually, I adore everything about her, her art, her wisdom, her looks and her stoicism. xxx
I love your Frida embroidery you have done a grand job! I soy Paleokastritsa!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Carole! I had fun stitching it! As soon as Lawrence Durrell mentioned Paleokastritsa I knew we had to go back! xxxDelete
Your embroidery is wonderful. I would love to try something like that myself. XxReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Jules! xxDelete
Oh my darling, I am delighted, thrilled, impressed and so excited to see your embroidery.ReplyDelete
Your “Frida” is quite marvellous and I suspect if she was to see what you have done, the great lady would be pretty impressed herself :-).
Thanks so much, Jayne! I loved playing around with embroidery. No surface shall be safe from now on! xxxDelete
I want to be that lady, with people coming to talk to me as I give away my Fluevogs! I am thrilled for you for your embroidery art, Vix! It's wonderful! I am super-impressed that you just winged it (a woman after my own "fuck it!" heart!). Makes me want to embroider, but I've got to limit myself and get cracking on L's BOC jacket. I did finish my pink shoes, and will show them off on Friday's post.ReplyDelete
Jealous that you can just jet over to Corfu. Vancouver just does not compare!
She's the coolest lady! I love how everything in her house (and there's a lot) has a story attached - just like our stuff has. I think we'll both be like her when we grow up.Delete
I'm definitely with you on the "fuck it" school of craft, spend too much time deliberating and planning an dthe moment's gone. I'm dying to see your pink shoes!
We're lucky being within easy travelling distance of beautiful Greece! xxx
I don't believe I heard of this book by Margret Atwood. I once picked up a entire box of embroidery thread at thrift store, cost me under $5 dollars.ReplyDelete
Coffee is on and stay safe.
It was part of the Canongate Myth Series where a number of contemporary writers rewrote Greek Myths in 1999. I think it's her best ever work. xDelete
More absolutely fab outfits. It's not just the clothes, it's the way that you put them together. Keep going with embroidery... it is actually enjoyable and creative. When I was a young mum, I'd buy old clothes from the local, musty, op shop, take them home, do a few alterations - and add embroidery. It was the 1970s, after all.....ReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Ratnamurti! I don't think anything plain will be safe from my needles now! xxxDelete
We had lunch in Spoons yesterday and I thought of you. Funny what triggers a train of thought..ReplyDelete
That's funny! Maybe I ought to approach Tim Martin and ask for sponsorship?! xxxDelete
Or vouchers for your online buddies:-)Delete
Even better! xDelete
For a beginner,and someone who has just plunged in, your embroidery is lovely. No one could doubt that that is Frida on the back of your jacket. I hope you have a brilliant adventure. xxReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Sue! It turned out much better than I thought it would and i loved the process. xxxDelete
You are so on trend Vix! My daughter (a dedicated follower of recycled re-made fashion) has just sent me a link to a sustainable Irish company (feri.ie) who fashion clothes from gorgeous fabrics and add embroidery or granny squares to the sleeves or hems of blouses. They look fantastic. I think I am now too old to carry off this look but I can have fun recreating it for my daughter. Loved the Ruskin pottery brooch you wore the other day. I think a buttoned-up shirt with a pretty brooch at the neck is very flattering. I have a cameo brooch of the Three Graces which was a present from my mum and an oval moonstone set in silver which is a mourning brooch and looks fantastic worn to secure my grandma’s black velvet ‘Bridge’ jacket. She made it herself but sewed in a Harvey Nicks label which makes me smile. Have a fun day out with Nikki today and I hope it isn’t raining with you. When you go to Corfu maybe catch the boat to Paxos and visit Loggos, a little fishing village. I’m not sure what it’s like now but 30 years ago it was magical. Have received my new passport (thank you for the nudge to renew) so we’re planning a Grecian getaway. We always liked the Pelion peninsula too. Sarah xReplyDelete
Hello Sarah! Thanks so much for that link to Frei. Their RE-Made range is fantastic, I'm really inspired by the clever additions to those colourful clothes.Delete
I do like a buttoned-up blouse and a classy brooch finishes the look off (and it's a good excuse to wear more jewellery!) Your mum's Three Graces cameo sounds gorgeous and I do love mourning pieces. Your grandma sewing the harvey Nicks label in her handmade jacket made me smile.
I'm so pleased that you managed to get your passport renewed before the strike. I'd love to know if you've planned an adventure yet. We loved Pelion, staying in Agios Ionnis and Volos (incredible Art Deco architecture). I shall investigate ferries to Paxos, I've often sighed over photos of the island but have never been.
We were so lucky with the weather yesterday, very blustery but not a spot of rain, perfect for wandering around a beautiful Arts & Crafts-style garden. xxx
Love the stitchers. Keep working your natural way. It is perfect.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much! xxxDelete
I do love a bit of embroidery and yours is gorgeous. I bet you get stopped all the time when you where it out because it's so individual looking. I followed your story link about the boots too, sounds like your old teacher was stylish and cool. We certainly didn't have any teachers like that at my old school. You look amazing as always! xxxReplyDelete
I hit publish too soon, it's me, Louise :)Delete
Thanks, Louise! I nearly wore the jacket yesterday but changed to one of my quilted Indian ones instead, I was glad I did, that wind was cold!Delete
That lady is amazing, it's amazing how many people still say that she was their favourite teacher. xxx
Ah, those boots make me gasp every time I see them. I do remember that story well, as it's one of the first of your posts I commented on after starting my blog.ReplyDelete
Your great-grandma's silver brooch is a stunner and looks very much at home with your Levi's denim blouse and Phool midi skirt.
I'm in awe of your Frida embroidery and love that you are winging it instead of following proper instructions. I'm notoriously bad with instructions and always end up doing my own thing anyway! xxx
Thanks, Ann! They are incredible boots and such a great fit. The prices they command these days is mind boggling, not that they'll ever leave me!Delete
I didn't expect the embroidery to look any good and am quite excited that Frida at least looks recognisable! xxx
Welcome to the amazing world of drawing in thread - it is wonderful and you have joyfully leapt into the deep end and wow what a result! And as for the Frieda Kahlo series - absolutely fantastic, I studied her work for A level but not the woman, this programme has filled out and explained so much moreReplyDelete
Thank you so much, Kate, I've seen your beautiful stitching so that's really kind!Delete
Wasn't that documentary incredible? You are right and it answering a lot of questions. I've always pondered on the meaning behind The Two Fridas and I can look at it differently now. xxx
The embroidery turned out well! looks very artistic to me :) Lots of lovely outfits this week and your hair is looking very lovely. Have a good time with your friend :)ReplyDelete
Thanks so much, Betty! Hope you jet lag isn't causing you too much trouble. xxxDelete
Fabulous outfits as ever! Love the silver brooch and those snakeskin boots are amazing!ReplyDelete
However, I am in awe of your embroidery skills. That Frida jacket is a work of art...exquisite! xxx
Thanks, Claire! You should give it a try, if I can do it anyone can! xxxDelete
Fab outfits! I love the brooch; it looks almost Celtic in design. The embroidery project looks fantastic. Well done you. There'll be no stopping you now...ReplyDelete
Thanks, Vronni! xxxDelete
Your embroidery looks great!ReplyDelete
If you really get into it, an inexpensive source for line drawings that can be translated into patterns are children's colouring books. I'm serious!
Anonymous - you're an absolute genius! What a great idea. Thank you. xxxDelete
Love your stitching! Frida is gorgeous!ReplyDelete
Thank you! xxxDelete
I saw the play that was based on Margaret Atwood's book and it was very good. I've been a fan of Atwood's writing since my university days. I'm looking forward to getting a copy of her newest book "Old Babes in the Woods". Nice work on the embroidery (excellent theme). Your "winging it" philosophy is also my approach when I start to paint on a pair of jeans (I just finished a pair with black stripes and large pink polka dots). Sometimes it turns out not as good as you hoped, but other times it's a pleasant surprise!ReplyDelete
Funnily enough we saw the play on Friday and really enjoyed it, especially as the cast was an all-female one, those Ancient Greeks would have spinning in their graves! I find Atwood's work a bit hit and miss, I loved Alias Grace and The Penelopiad but wasn't struck on The Blind Assassin or The Handmaidens Tale but love her as a person, she DJed on 6Music a couple of years ago and her taste in music is impeccable.Delete
Loving the sound of those jeans! x
♥♥♥ Love Love LOVE your Frida embroidered jacket ♥♥♥ReplyDelete
Thanks, Lulu! I'm amazed it turned out actually resembling Frida! xxxDelete
Love the Frida Jacket you Created, it's perfect. I had the pleasure yesterday of seeing one of her Paintings at our Art Museum in Phoenix.ReplyDelete