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Your Wish Is My Command

Thursday, 31 March 2011

For those of you that wanted to see the new purchases, here you are! Vintage frock. It needs a teensy repair but that's easily done.

H&M stripy tops and shorts. It's a shame I had to take these pics at 11pm because the vividness of the red hasn't quite come out properly in the photos. Rest assured that they are glorious.

Anyway, these were an added bonus. The main point of today's post is to take part in the March Photo Scavenger Hunt. I saw a link to this on The Girl's blog last month and decided to have a go. I have a nice camera but I don't really make the effort to do much with it and that must change!

The things to track down were:

A lion. Part of a broken statue at the V&A. Doesn't he have a noble head?

A rainbow. It was always going to be hard to track down a real one.

Something green. Well it's not like I'm short of green things, but I chose a very cheerful bush in the garden. The colour and the arrival of spring cheers me up muchly.

An empty chair. Oh the shame of my horrendously messy desk.

Something sentimental. It's Lucky Ducky, my little glass lucky charm. He's seen me successfully through many an exam and interview.

Peeling paint. A detail on an antique clock.

A collection. My beloved Chalet School books. I have all 62 in paperback and a handful of my favourites in hardback, plus assorted spin offs and associated titles. Unfortunately they don't come cheap (some are upwards of £300) so the hardback part of the collection isn't likely to grow any time soon.

A ring. It's possibly my favourite piece of jewellery - rutilated quartz, bought from a craft fair at Chatsworth a few years ago.

A fancy gate. The entrance gates to St Lukes Church in Liverpool, aka the bombed-out church. As you may have guessed, it was bombed out during the war and is now kept as a rather wonderful sort of exhibition/gallery/outdoor cinema space.

A shadow. Hmm, not such a successful photo. I was trying to look like a caped crusader.

Something as old as you. Meet Pink Lion. If you work on the logic that toys are born on the day they're purchased, he is exactly as old as I am. On the day I was born my grandma took my big brother to buy me a present and Pink Lion was his choice.

A lamb. Oh such a cheat here. What can I say? I don't live near any sheep! It was either a soft toy or a lamb chop.

Unimpressed With The High Street

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I'm not sure what's going on with the shops at the moment. I've been down at Char's for the past couple of days, attempting to tackle her wardrobe room. I'm thinking of hiring myself out for life laundry work - we were super productive and got absolutely loads done! It meant we had yesterday to spend in the shops and even though I'm not usually a big shopper, I was quite looking forward to it. However there was only ONE High Street store that I actually made a purchase in and Char didn't buy anything at all! It wasn't as if we weren't putting the effort in either; we went into loads of places and tried quite a lot on.

Trusty old Dorothy Perkins is letting me down badly at the moment. The jeans are still very good (£10 a pair for their basic range till the end of the month, hurrah!) but everything else is just so shoddy. I liked this dress but the material is so thin and cheap looking. I was majorly lusting after this top on the website but not only was the fit awful in real life, the material was already all bobbly and nasty.

Everywhere else is similar. I don't think I'm majorly fussy but there were an awful lot of things that I touched and immediately discarded on the grounds of cheap/shiny/see-through fabric, poor construction or general tattiness. Prices everywhere have gone up and quality has really gone down. I know raw materials are more expensive now and I honestly don't have a problem with paying more for a better quality product, but I do strongly object to being ripped off in terms of both increased price AND reduced quality. Looks like I'll just have to make do with what's already in my wardrobe and try and hunt down decently made things second-hand instead.

And on that point, I found a delicious vintage frock in a charity shop (as well as many, many books) so that ensured I didn't go home entirely empty handed. Then we gave H&M another try. The first look round was unsuccessful - why do they have such a mania for things that make your hips look huge? - but one little stand that I hadn't noticed first time round produced a couple of cute stripy 3/4 sleeved tops and two versions of the same pair of shorts (one navy, one completely-in-your-face red) in very nice, "proper" fabric. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love shorts. Such a change from this time last year when I was loudly bemoaning the fact that I would never look good in them. And the best part is that the total H&M bill was pretty much the same price as that DP dress I mentioned above.

And just to squeeze in a quick outfit photo or two, because I'm going on holiday on Friday and consequently will be wearing the dregs of my wardrobe all this week:

Cardi - Gap sale Top - George @ Asda Skirt - vintage Tights - M&S Brogues - River Island sale Ring - Stolen Thunder Oddsocks necklace - Tatty Devine, Christmas present. Wish I'd taken a close up - it's amazing!

I'm dreadful at having my photo taken by an actual person! I'm either scowling or hopping around in most of them.

Larking About

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Today has been such a busy day! I've been zooming all over Liverpool on various errands - Post Office, library, taking stuff to the charity shop and tip, buying a new bookcase, supermarket shopping, getting the broadband, phone & tv switched over and even the rather vile task of cleaning out the shed, uck.

I did manage to carve out three hours of bliss in the middle of the day though. Ffion and I went to Lark Lane for lunch and a spot of shopping and it's the perfect place for both. I do love living so close to a big city but I quite often can't be doing with going to the city centre at the weekend - too busy, too noisy and altogether too stressful. I prefer the quieter, more interesting haunts of the suburbs.

Lunch was at the Moon & Pea, one of my very favourite places to eat. The food is always gorgeous, it's run by the nicest people and as it's in an old laundrette, there are all sorts of quirky retro laundrette style photos on the walls. Being a good Liverpool establishment, it also houses a couple of Superlambananas. And kitsch fans, do please note the glittery blue Virgin Mary statues by the till.

Did I mention that the food is utterly delish? Here's my posh BLT and Ffi's lamb and halloumi burger:

Suitably full, we wandered down to the farmer's market and then back up again via some of our favourite shops. Larks is such a fab place to browse - we spent ages ooh-ing and aah-ing over all the stuff on display. Downstairs is filled with jewellery, very tempting handbags and lots of Cath Kidston, Ladybird and Rob Ryan delights. Upstairs is vintage homeware. I was very good and bought nothing for myself, just a couple of presents for some lovely fellow bloggers.

Wouldn't some of these fit in perfectly on Vix's Wall of Misery?

And then onto my idea of heaven:

She's being amorous with the cat, obviously...

What better way to celebrate the end of the book buying ban than with these three beauties? It has been such a struggle not to buy any over the past month but I'm pleased to report that I managed it in the end and so I felt totally justified in treating myself to these. And join me in marvelling at the prices - £7 in total and they're all 1950's first editions! I am as happy as a pig in muck.

Spring Cleaning

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Spring is in the air and unusually for me, it's making me want to clean and tidy and generally act all domesticated. We moved house about 2 years ago and the storage unit has been heaving with stuff ever since. We're finally getting round to tackling it properly. The house is now full of boxes and my enormous collection of Sylvanian Families but we'll get it all sorted eventually, I'm sure. I keep getting distracted by random discoveries though:

This rather funky coffee pot. I can't find anything about this specific design online but it's by Ridgway and an identical shaped but differently patterned design (Homemaker) is dated to 1955-68. An example is held in the V&A - ain't that swanky?

One of my brother's old pieces of schoolwork. Apparently I was ferocious even at age 4.

A bunch of dresses that need altering. I really must get cracking with the sewing machine.

Oh, and a hilarious assortment of family photos. Some of my mum's old outfits really do deserve a post of their own. Need to find the scanner first though...I know it's in a box somewhere...

Floral Frenzy

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Clashety von clash clash. That's how I feel today. I don't usually do two floral patterns together at once. Today I've clearly lost my senses as I've got three on, if you count the madly patterned tapestry coat.

This top has a very odd drawstring waist. I like it more when it's tucked into things.

Blouse - ASOS via charity shop
Shorts - River Island sale
Belt - pinched from another pair of shorts
Boots - swapped
Coat - Kookai via car boot sale
Necklace - H&M
Bangle - pinched from Mum
Earrings - giveaway win, made by the lovely Sarah of SBV. You can buy them from her fab Etsy shop

Haha, I've just worked out that the necklace cost more than pretty much everything else put together. Even that wasn't terribly expensive: this is a cheap outfit!! The coat may be a strong contender for best purchase of 2010. Keep your eyes peeled in July for winter coats at car boot sales. That's my tip for today.

I came across something whilst idly blog-hopping the other day that suggested that anyone who wore shorts and was bigger than a size 10 and shorter than 5'8 needed to hang their head in shame. I can't tell you which blog it was on as I got very cross and shut it down immediately. Seriously, bollocks to that. Mock my chunky thighs if you are the sort of pathetic person who wishes to do so but you won't stop me wearing shorts. And really, it's far from important. I don't want to bang on about things on here too much as I feel like I've been very doom-and-gloom recently but there are much bigger things worrying me than the size of my thighs.

A Trip & A Tag

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Ooh what a lovely weekend it's been.

Despite having to get up at an ungodly time for a Saturday, I was in London by 10am and, feeling very girl about town (am very much enjoying feeling more confident navigating my way around London), headed off to meet Margaret of Penny Dreadful Vintage fame. We had a little charity shop mooch, wandered around in the sunshine and then had coffee in a tremendous little cafe. And I'm pleased to report that she's even funnier and lovelier than I expected. Enviably dressed too! Isn't blogging fab? I am always a proper wuss about meeting new people but find when I meet fellow bloggers that I'm much less shy. I suppose there's already that sense of friendship there from all the chatting and commenting.

The original point of the jaunt to London was for Lee and I to see In A Forest Dark And Deep starring Matthew Fox and Olivia Williams. We very much like to get tickets for plays that feature our favourite actors and they're both high up on his list. The play was, well, hmmm... not very good. The acting was great - no complaints whatsoever in that department - and we had 3rd row seats which meant we could appreciate them up close (close enough for Lee to get hit in the foot with a prop can of Bud that fell off the stage). I just thought the dialogue and characterisation, particularly in the female character, were really poor in parts. The plot was a bit all over the place as well with lots of little things suggested and then never followed up on, and I saw the big dramatic moment coming a MILE off. The lady sitting next to me did not and let out quite the overly dramatic gasp when it happened.

We'd planned to meet one of Lee's pals in the evening for drinks but she couldn't come and working on the assumption that we'd easily spend £20 each in the pub, we bought tickets to see Flare Path starring Sienna Miller, James Purefoy and Sheridan Smith instead. I am SO glad we did. Despite the fact that we were sitting right up in the heavens and obviously didn't get to see any of the subtleties, I absolutely loved it. Mind you, it would have had to have been pretty bad for me not to. I love fiction and drama set in WW2 and have a real soft spot for RAF centred things, especially those about Bomber Command. But this really was great. Very funny in parts, very sad in parts, full of jolly 40's slang, really enthralling and with fab costumes and set design. Sienna (who admittedly I don't like very much) was much better than any films I've seen her in but Sheridan Smith was the winner for me. Such a sweet, emotional subplot.

Oh and we stayed in an EasyHotel. The hilarity. The orangeness. The lack of anything except a bed (seriously, wouldn't have killed them to put up a shelf or something). The bathroom was quite nice though.

Self with the perfect late night accompaniments - wine straight from the bottle, fake Pringles, a vegan Mars Bar and some roasted broad beans. What a classy bird I am.

I was terribly cultured today though. Lee's coach left about 3 hours before mine so I took myself off to the V&A for a look round. Oh my. I could have spent days in the place. I restricted myself to one little section and didn't even have enough time to do that properly. I was in my element in the British Galleries 1500-1760, with a very short dash through the 1760-1900 section as I realised I was running very late and had to scamper to the exit. Bliss, especially all the 17th century clothing and the Elizabethan room. The Hilliard miniatures are just exquisite - I stood gawping at them for ages. I didn't go to the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition but there were pieces dotted all around the rest of the exhibition rooms which I thought was a very nice touch.

Then just to round the trip off nicely, by strategically selfish bag placement I had a double seat to myself on the coach on the way home. Hurrah.

And finally...the tag. It's The Handwriting Challenge which the ever-lovely Char posted about the other day. I adore looking at other people's handwriting so do have a go at this yourself if you want to. The rules are simple, write down the following:

1. Name and blog name
2. URL
3. Write 'a quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog'
4. Favourite quote
5. Favourite song
6. Favourite band(s), artist(s)
7. Anything else you wish to say..

So, using a scrap of paper from my brilliant Edward Monkton notebook:

Didn't realise that I made the word "crap" look so much like "oap"!

Wear It Red

Friday, 18 March 2011

I feel great today. The sun is shining, it's Friday, I lost another half a pound this week and I am off on a jaunt to London tomorrow. All is well in my world.

It's a shoe print dress. The label should say "made of pure win".

Dress - Uttam London @ Dorothy Perkins
Shoes - Irregular Choice
Cardi - Gap sale
Ring - Primark
Earrings - Dorothy Perkins sale
Necklace - Market stall in Dubrovnik
Lippy - Boots Natural Collection in Cherry Red

I need to wear red more often. It seems to instantly make me feel more sassy. And it may sound a bit vain to say this but I really love today's photos. Look, I'll even give you a slight close-up and that hardly ever happens (ignore the fact my shoes look hugely too big here please)

The frock was an entirely frivolous purchase earlier this week. I went into Dorothy Perkins solely to take advantage of their £10 jeans offer but Sharron found this tucked away at the back of a rail in the Uttam section and FORCED me to try it on ( it didn't take that much persuasion really). I think it's the first thing I've bought at full price in absolutely ages and I did feel mildly guilty, even though it was only £28. I'm very glad I did buy it though as I sense it will become a wardrobe favourite.

The main point of all this redness is to take part in Hazel's Wear It Red idea to raise a bit of extra dosh for Comic Relief. And to get in the silly mood, here I am larking around: