Friday, 1 December 2017

Some crafting, reorganisation and other bits and bobs

Hello everyone. I hope you are keeping warm in this freezing cold weather!

I had my hair cut last Monday. I did the school run and took the youngest grandson to football training after school. I also managed to get to Lidl's and Tesco and out for a 6 mile walk...

This was last Tuesday's outfit. M&S sweater dress; Red Cross shop - 1.99. Velvet loafers from Primarrni; 5.00 in the sale. The scarf is from Zara and was a 60th birthday present from my brother Julian.

Bangles charity shopped; the brooch is silver and I bought it from the 3:16 charity shop last week for 5.00. It has a raised pattern of flowers on it, but it's quite old and the pattern is wearing away. I like that. The earrings are from Sainsbury's and the ring, below, is one of the 50p bargains from the Salvation Army shop in Rushden.

I had a major sort out last Tuesday afternoon of my accessories. I have so many bangles that the 3 miniature cardboard suitcases where I keep them became too full and too heavy. I put all my bangles together in a wicker picnic basket Hilary gave me ages ago.  I cleared out two hat boxes and managed to put 6 of my hats in them. The last hat sits on Norma; a wig stand - decorated by my friend Natalie and she gave me the hat, too.

Meet Snooty Norma!
The last hatbox was big enough to put all my headscarves in (which previously lived in the picnic basket) and the scarves that belonged to my mum, as well. The 3 miniature suitcases now contain: all my purses in one; all my toiletries/make up bags in another and the third one contains hair accessories and sunglasses.  I had a 4th bangle box, which was a fake ostrich leather bag, that had previously contained toiletries bought at a car boot for 1.00.  I put all my brooches in it. I got rid of a wooden box where I used to keep all my silver earrings and moved them to the box that used to house my brooches...are you keeping up there at the back? 

Anyway, in brief all my jewellery is together in one place - on my chest of drawers and all my scarves, hats and hair accessories and sunglasses are together on top of my cupboard. Now, if only I could organise storage of my tights in one place. I have a small drawer full of tights and a small wicker basket underneath the bed with more. Ideally I'd like to have them in one place and organised so I can see all the colours at once...I can but dream!

Hilary made this lovely bolster for my bed.  I love the chintz pattern and the lace trim. Now I can read in bed in comfort! I have been reading in bed every evening and I have never been so comfortable. Tempted not to get up on a couple of really cold days and just stay in bed and read...


This was the start of putting together the hexagon blanket. 100 hexagons - not in equal numbers of colours. That's what you get when you buy your wool from charity shops! I did have to buy two extra balls of wool in Donegal in the summer as I hadn't brought enough with me. 
After planning them out I then pinned them together in rows of 10. I labelled each row and then I started sewing them together.

5 rows completed - only 5 left to do!

I must stop clashing with the curtains...

Everything is charity shopped. Kimono; H&M bought in Galway charity shop in the summer for 4 euros; boots BNWT from New Look in the Willen Hospice shop, Newport Pagnell for 6.00; top by Monsoon; RSPCA in Bedford for 4.00.  I can't remember where I got the trousers from.The kimono makes me look enormous but I love it; it's so swooshy!

I got up too late on Wednesday to go walking so I decided to get on with my hexagon blanket instead. It was a very windy day and I enjoyed staying in. Youngest grandson came for a visit and stayed for dinner - he took these photos. I always make the grandsons work for their dinner!

All jewellery charity shopped.

On Thursday I walked with Ramblers and we walked from Ridgemont to Woburn Safari Park just a short walk of 4.5 miles. There are several public footpaths through the park and you often get to see the animals without having to pay the 32.99 entrance fee!





This what I changed into.  I thought I only had one sweater dress but I'd forgotten about this green one. I think I bought it at the Red Cross for 1.99. The shirt is from there but from the 1.00 rail and is a 90s does 70s one with the very pointy collar. It was a really chilly day so warm clothing was required. I wore my yellow duffel as outerwear and was very snug as I did the food shopping in the afternoon.

All jewellery charity shopped including the second of my 50p rings from the Salvation Army in Rushden. Tights from John Lewis but charity shopped for 1.00. Boots - Christmas present from my daughter.

Scarf charity shopped. It started off around my neck on the walk but I quickly wrapped it round my head as my ears were cold and I left it on all day.

On Friday I walked with the group again - another bus walk but this time from Marston Moretaine and around the country park - 6 miles. This is the church in Marston Moretaine; unusual because the tower is detached from the rest apparently as a refuge from the Vikings!  It also has a medieval dooms day painting - see below. A dooms day painting is one where Christ is assigning souls to either heaven or hell.

It was a chilly but very bright day with no cold wind so ideal for walking.

Saturday was my youngest brother, Tony's, 60th birthday meal. It was held in Burton Latimer which is near Kettering and  attended by his four children and five grandchildren; one son in law; ex- partner and her husband, ex mother in law, one brother (Mark), sister and OH (me and himself); best friend, his wife and daughter. If you remember we went out in October for an early birthday meal with the birthday boy, my two other brothers and me and OH as Julian would be on tour in November.

I wore my turquoise blue charity shopped evening coat; jumpsuit from M&S - it has only one shoulder hence the lopsided look. Shoes; charity shopped 99p in Barnardo's in Ampthill.  One of the waitresses; a very young girl, asked me as we were leaving where I got my evening coat as she loved it! Of course I told her the truth.

The black plastic bag is full of charity shop donations which I'll drop off next week; probably in Kempston.

I picked up this bag in the week for 2.00 at the  Children's Society; I love the embroidery on it and I'm using it as my current handbag. It had a corded drawstring which I didn't like so I cut it off...

All jewellery charity shopped except turquoise ring which was a present.

And here's himself...

And here's the birthday boy - a great 'Only Fools and Horses' fan. For non UK readers that's a British comedy series from the 80s, I think it was.

Eldest grandson returned on Monday to stay with us until he finds some more affordable accommodation in London. Meanwhile he's commuting...

On Tuesday I was at the food bank in the morning and the library in the afternoon. I was outside a local Tesco's on Friday afternoon from 1 - 2 pm handing out lists of required items for the food bank to shoppers. People were so generous. By the time I left we had a total of 20 crates of food donated and there were still 3 hours to go.

This is what I wore on Tuesday. All clothes charity shopped. Skirt, Top Shop; can't remember which charity shop I got this from; denim shirt underneath charity shopped in Cambridge some years ago; jumper B&M, 1.00 rail Barnardo's in Ampthill. Boots: Sainsbury's retail.
All jewellery charity shopped.

I've been out walking twice this week; one a 7 .5 mile walk and another of 5 miles with my daughter. I took the bag of donations to a charity shop on Thursday and had a rummage around the charity shops in Kempston. I am very naughty, as this weekend OH and I are going to Leeds to stay with his best friend from his army days and we will certainly have a rummage while we're there. I'm also hoping we'll get out for a walk. The last time we were in Leeds we walked on Ilkley Moor.

I found a pair of dressy trousers from MC &Co; 3.50 in the Keech Hospice shop and a ring 1.25;  a skirt and matching top; 2.99  in the Cat's Protection League and in the Day Hospice shop I bought a brooch for 1.00, so I  think I was quite restrained.

Thursday's outerwear

I bought this 100% wool cape coat by 'First Avenue' in the good old British Red Cross shop for 1.99 last winter.  I do miss the shop for wonderful bargains! The brooch is the one I bought in the Day Hospice Shop for 1.00. Animal print gloves and scarf both charity shopped. We went for dinner at my daughter's on Thursday evening hence the unfamiliar background in the photos below.

Everything charity shopped except the OTK boots which were online retail and the brown leggings from M&S. Can't  remember where I got either the tunic or the waistcoat but the waistcoat was needed as it was bloody cold on Thursday!

Necklace bought in the 3:16 shop for 1.50 at the same time as the silver brooch in the first photos. Earrings from Sainsbury's. Brooch, bangles and ring charity shopped.

I know some of you escape from all the Christmas stuff by going away but I'm stuck here and have all the family on Christmas Day. I've started the dreaded shopping as I have bought a couple of Christmas presents online already but intend to do the bulk of it next week. Luckily, most of the family want hard cash!! How's your Christmas shaping up?


  1. Lovely post Vronni. Firstly, your crochet! How impressive, (I hate sewing squares together, I find it so laborious) your hexagon blanket will be fabulous when finished and even better for having been created with chazza yarn.
    Some great outfits as usual...loving Tuesday's look and your turquoise coat is magnificent. That wool cape was an absolute steal for £1.99, I'm betting it's sooo cosy. xxx

    1. Thank you! It is Fiona - so cosy, I mean - but because it's wool it rubs under my chin so I need to wear a soft scarf inside it! I'm on the 7th row of the blanket currently so the end is in sight...

  2. Lovely to see you!
    Your crochet is wonderful, the colours are brilliant. How fortunate to find all the wool second hand, too.
    Loving the turquoise coat, it's utterly wonderful. The 1990s does 1970s shirt is great too - Diesel?
    Love the last necklace and how cosy you look in that cape. What a bargain! xxx

    1. Thank you, Vix. No, the shirt's not Diesel the label had been cut out so I don't know what it was but I liked the colours.

      I went on a wool finding mission about 18 months ago and found too much. I still have a stash of 3 containers full of wool but I have plans for it all.

  3. Love your hair, it's looking quite sparkly! Quite a few fabulous outfits too, my favourites being the M&S sweater dress, the stunning turquoise evening coat and oh, that cape! I'm swooning!
    Your crochet blanket is a work of art, the colours are fabulous.
    Have a lovely weekend! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann.

      It's the probably the light on my hair but I do use Argan oil to give it a shine. £1.00 from our 'Poundland' shops or a cheap chain called 'Savers'.

  4. Oh my, bang on trend, Vronni, ruffles, OTKs and not one but TWO sweater dresses. You look absolutely gorgeous in everything and I love that coat. But then we get to the jade evening coat ... so stylish, so pretty, so amazing, a total Wow!!!
    You've blown me away with these outfits. Is that beautiful hat stand decoupage, BTW?
    I'm getting there with pressies and my Christmas cards are on order. Turkey needs sorting out. A busy month!
    Happy weekend, keep warm in Leeds. Hugs, x.

    1. Thank you, Mary. Yes, the hat stand is decoupaged.Good luck with the Christmas shopping. I only send cards to relatives in Ireland about 3 in total. We've all agreed not to bother for the past few years.

  5. Good lord if I knew I could see elephants whilst out on a walk I would be there everyday stalking them!

    Love the turquoise coat, it's gorgeous.

    1. Yes, they are wonderful creatures but I really don't like Zoos or Safari Parks in general.

  6. Your crochet is beautiful. I absolutely love the look of the round pieces-and the colours are so nice together. You are staying stylish in the cold. The brown otk boots are very chic.

    I haven't done much shopping for Christmas as my son is more interested in taking trips than having presents. We've promised him a holiday to the baseball hall of fame in New York this spring, but I suppose I ought to buy him a packet of socks or something so he has something to open!

    1. Well that boy of your's goes even further up in my estimation! Not interested in presents? He must be one of the very few. I hope you get to make New York in the Spring with him.

  7. So many great looks here, Veronica! I absolutely adore that turquoise jacket on you - what a stunner you are!

  8. Your haircut is lovely and I love you in that turquoise coat. It suits you perfectly. What a fabulous find. I like your hexagons. The colours are really lovely together and I am sure that it will be nice and warm. It has been absolutely baltic hasn't it? I think that you have been very brave going out walking in this weather. I don't know what the elephants and zebras will be making of it. Trying not to think about the "c-word". I hate Christmas with a passion so will probably be doing a last minute rush as usual. Xx

    1. Thank you. Oh Kelly, it's such a pain last minute rushing. I find I can never find what I want...I learned to stagger it over a few weeks and nearest and dearest provide lists which helps greatly.

  9. I just discovered you, Veronica! Oh my lord!! You're my kind of woman! I'm fascinated with your headscarves! I have a whole collection as well and in the ongoing reinventions of the saga of my hair, I can sometimes wear them and sometimes not! Right now I'm sadly in a "not". Do you cover the back of your head or are they tied like a hairband? I love the look! I live in Vancouver and am thinking we should trade houses for a week or two! I have collections of everything also so we wouldn't bring any clothing, just wear each other's stuff and see the other side of the world. Just be warned.... if I was ever in your house you would never see that turquoise evening coat again. But don't let me dissuade you from the plan. Keep going girl. You're beyond fabulous! xxoo

    1. Hi Karen! Thank you for your very kind comments.

      I do the headscarf thing for two reasons; one short hair can be very boring as it's difficult to style, so using headscarves helps with a slightly different look. Two, they can keep my ears warm in winter! I think I tie them them like a headband and I followed this blogger's video here: to learn how to tie them. I'd like to learn how to cover the back of the head too. There will undoubtedly be a video on Youtube...

      I love Vancouver I have a brother in law who lives there and we last visited in 2000. It was fabulous.

  10. The black and orange trousers that you had forgotten where from are the same as some I got in Tesco, so that's where they started from. Just had a thought I gave mine to a Charity Shop!!! Actually not all that long ago so shouldn't think mine, but now Ive seen you in them and they look good wished I hadn't(do you do that).By the way I know Burton Latimer very well, just down the road to me,my granddaughter used to work in one of the Italian restaurants in the evening until she went to uni.

    1. Good old Tesco eh? It's the charity shop where I picked them up from that I can't remember. We had a Tesco outlet here next to one of the Tesco's but I believe it is no longer there.

      I have given stuff to the charity shop and then wished I hadn't. It's very annoying!

      My OH has a niece who recently moved to Burton Latimer from London, and she loves it.

  11. You sure are keeping busy.

    Your crocheted blanket is wonderful. What patience you have!

    I'm loving your fancy turquoise outfit. It is gorgeous on you.

    We don't do much here for Christmas. I should probably decorate but haven't started yet. It is so much work I find. The husband is coming home from Hong Kong for almost 3 weeks so we are both looking forward to that and spending time together.


    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Yes, crochet does require patience!

      I hope you have a fab time getting ready for Christmas with your husband and that cute pug!

  12. Your blanket looks pretty amazing, such a great job!
    And I love every outfit and your fabulous accessorizing!, all those bangles and brooches and necklaces, so I'm glad that you could organise them, I would do it too!
    I love particularly your evening coat and that last outfit with the wool cape and those earthy shades, gorgeous!!
    We don't do a lot of shopping for Christmas: no presents as we're all adults, and no overwhelming amount of food!. We cut it some years ago and everybody looks more relaxed and happy!

    1. Thank you, Monica.

      Your Christmas strategy sounds like a good plan but we do it all for the two younger grandchildren and my daughter still loves the whole thing!

  13. Your charity shops are amazing, Veronica. I bought a scarf the other day in one of our local ones and it was £10; nice but nothing special. I love those two coats.

    1. Thank you, Mary.

      Yes, the price difference between charity shops in London and outside of London is huge!

  14. You got me at your bed. It's so sumptuously laid. I have a wool bolster shaped cushion which I use to prop against and have morning tea. You'll love that new addition. I'm a big fan of charity shops. Much of my work clothes are BHF

  15. Your blanket is super! And probably most welcome in this weather.

    It's fun telling people when stuff's from charity shops and seeing the amazement cross their face. So many people don't realise what good stuff they could find if they looked.

    1. It is such fun. Mim!

      I feel like doing the same when I'm in Sainsbury's; I want to tap people on the shoulder and say 'do you realise you can buy that exact same thing in Lidl but at half the price?"


Lost earrings, birthday and some sad news.

Hello!  This was me in my walking outfit on Wednesday; plus waterproof coat, scarf and gloves. It was both a wet and cold day.  I'd put ...