Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Animal Print

I only began to wear animal print in the last few years. Why? I have no idea - it just never previously appealed.  Now, I love it. This animal print cardigan is from Studio Catalogue - yes,really!  And only £4.00. I also have several tops in animal print, a couple of scarves and a pair of earrings. What I really hanker for is an animal print faux fur coat, knee length and an animal print maxi skirt. I'll keep my eyes peeled when I'm out charity shopping!

Black skinnies from Primarni, denim tunic from charity shop and brogues from Tesco's current sale at 50% off. I also bought a black leather/black patent pair - a BOGOF if you like - 2 for the price of 1.

This necklace was bought from a charity shop for 2.99 and the earrings are from  Ebay, 99p. My bangle and watch both from charity shop as is the camisole I'm wearing under the denim tunic.

Ooops - I've popped a button here! Luckily, they are popper buttons....

I have bought quite a lot of stuff in the charity shops this week and last week. I am definitely going to reduce my trips in the New Year and limit them to once a fortnight and what I get at the Charity shop where I volunteer. So, here's what I've been buying:

This grey tunic with blue and yellow hands and a bit of blue lace trim. £1.99 at the British Red Cross Shop. All clothing is is currently £1.99 there and they have some really nice things. I haven't tried this on yet but I think it will look good over leggings or jeans or even with a top underneath it and tights...I'll see.

This  knitted  terracotta and navy blue fringed waistcoat is from Top Shop. I love waistcoats. This was £3.99 at the Children's Society.

This burgundy longer length cardigan is from Primarni and again I bought it at the Children's Society, for £2.99. I wore this  yesterday over a navy blue print tee shirt with burgundy leather and material leggings. Forgot to take a picture of that outfit.

A plain white long sleeved t shirt with button detail on sleeves and at the back of the neck from M & S. I like the longer length as I don't want any camel toe showing - thank you very much! I rescued this from the ragbag and got it for a £1.00.

Short sleeved longer length black and white striped tee shirt - same reason as above! Sorry for the blurry photo!

Tan and brown leather handbag £2.75 in the Keech Hospice shop. It has cut outs of little flying birds and it's real leather.

My bling haul! I can't resist a bit of costume jewellery. The three brooches on the right were 50 p each from the Willen Hospice Shop in Newport Pagnell. We went there last Friday as OH had started his Xmas hols and it's only about 8/9 miles from Bedford .The top brooch is a Cloisonne brooch, the middle one is made of tiny beads and the one that's almost cut out of the photo is painted metal and looks very Art Deco, I think. The gold and blue beaded brooch and the little ceramic flower brooch were £1.00 and £1.50 each from Save the Children. The earrings to the left were 99p from Age UK and the glass polo mints were from the Willen Hospice Shop in Newport Pagnell and were also 50p.

I bought these today for £2.50. Real leather boots,  (Enzo Angiolini anyone? No, nor me either); a cross between a grey and brown - taupe, maybe? I've polished them and will be giving them an airing quite soon! I bought them from the Re Use Centre which deals mainly in furniture and household items but has some clothes and footwear. I got lucky today. I also bought today but haven't pictured as they are in the wash; a pair of olive green skinnies and a grey knitted tunic, both £1.99 from the British Red Cross shop.

I don't think I'll be posting again until after Christmas now, so I hope you all have a peaceful and wonderful Christmas or just a bloody good rest from work! Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Favourite Colours

Today was a very relaxed day - school holidays have begun! Normally, I take the two youngest grandsons to and from school on Mondays and Fridays and the youngest stays with me until one of his parents pick him up. If they've all been round for dinner on a Sunday or if one of the grand kids are staying (usually the youngest on a Sunday night) I'm very conscious about getting them to bed on time etc because of school in the morning. Not today! 

We didn't even bother with the housework today - we're saving it until Wednesday. We went for a 5 mile walk around Bedford and I wore my favourite colours green and purple.

The skinny jeans are from a charity shop and are originally from Primarni; the purple draped top is a £1.00 rail bargain from last week's charity shop hauls. The cardigan is about 5 years old and bought from 'La Redoute' sale. Its got my two favourite colours in it ; green and purple, plus mulberry and camel. Here's a back view:

Look at those chunky legs! The walking is to blame (and genes of course) but I do have short legs and arms.....

The boots are from the Tesco outlet and cost £4.00 - so comfortable!

I wore a brownish lipstick today for a change but I much prefer my red lippie. The necklace was 50p at a car boot sale and the earrings with a purple stone were 99p from the Salvation Army charity shop.

Youngest grandson was allowed to watch a DVD in bed tonight as there is no school tomorrow; I can hear him chortling away upstairs as I type. I've got to get up earlyish as its my last day at the charity shop before the Christmas break; going to visit my son on Tuesday and then the madness begins. I hope you all have a lovely peaceful Christmas  - I'll be posting again before the New Year.

Joining in with Patti's Visible Monday - this week there's egg nog! Last week's fruitcake was rather delicious...

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Sunday routines

I suppose most of us live through our routines, after all it gives structure and meaning to our lives. Sunday is my most routine oriented day because it's the day I do the housework. I hate and loathe housework but it has to be done - at least once a week. Luckily, my OH does his share otherwise it might be a different story! 

He hoovers and cleans the bathroom and I dust, wipe and polish and mop. He also does the usual household DIY, the bin emptying, windows, garden , washes the clothes and mops the kitchen floor. I keep everywhere tidy (I'm a neat freak), clean the kitchen, do the household admin, wash all household linens, do the grocery shopping and shop for any other household items. We share the cooking; I hate cooking and he enjoys it but I do all the baking.  Whoever doesn't cook does the washing up. So, I think we have a pretty fair division of labour.

We also have all the family round for dinner on alternate Sundays so it can be pretty hectic! This is what I wore today to do the housework and cook the dinner:

Red skinny jeans bought this week for £2.99 in The Children's Society; grey striped top £1.00 rail bargain, hounds tooth checked cardigan £2.99 at Keech charity shop last year. The boots are from River Island and are my daughter's cast offs! The only size we share is our foot size and I frequently receive lovely shoes/boots/sandals which she no longer wants.

The necklace is from Primarni about 5 or 6 years ago and was about £2.50.  They used to do really nice pieces of jewellery, I think, but I haven't thought much of the more recent items.  The earrings are little red hearts and were 99p from Age Concern a few months back.

The other routine we have on a Sunday is to go for a nice long walk but we were too busy today to do it!

Saturday routine includes watching Scandi Noir on TV. At the moment 'The Bridge' has us gripped. Poor Saga, my heart goes out to her. She's a terrific actress, you can see every emotion crossing her face when confronted with something different - can't wait for next week's episodes.

Off to link up with Patti's Visible Monday
at Not Dead Yet Style - she's got fruitcake!

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Colourful Saturday

It was such a cold, wet, miserable day I had to dress to combat it. Dress/tunic is an old faithful; mainly grey but with yellow, blue, purple and a bit of orange in it, charity shopped about two years ago and I think it was a fiver. The cardigan, which looks a bit grey in this picture is a lovely sea foam colour and I picked it up at the Save the Children charity shop. Teal tights from my Wellingborough excursion a few weeks ago and were 99p. Cranberry coloured boots, Tesco Outlet shop £4.00.

The dress/tunic has pockets!! Bring on the pockets! Why are there so few pockets in women's clothes? Pockets that are usable?  A conspiracy by the handbag manufacturers according to my OH!

You can just about see my lovely little teal brooch with a swan  on it - 99p in my local Christian charity shop.

You can just see my yellow drop earrings - charity shopped too some time ago now but no more than £1.00.

I have gone totally mad this week and bought loads of clothes. I need to put the brakes on now but here's a summary and I'll post some pictures in later posts:

1) Cardigan above - charity shopped £2.00.
2) Clark's brown leather handbag £2.50.
3) Indian style long tunic in purple   (charity shopped £1.99) - I'm probably going to wear it on Christmas Day with leggings, as I already wore my black velvet dress when I went out for a birthday meal a few weeks ago.
4) A yellow draped top and a purple draped top, both with short sleeves unfortunately, but on the £1.00 rail so therefore irresistible!
5) A cream and navy striped long sleeve top -  charity shopped £2.99.
6) A navy and black tunic £3.99 - I thought it was an interesting colour combo and I have slim line trousers with the same colour.
7) A maroon patterned cardigan - £3.50.
8) An orangey/white/navy wool type waistcoat with fringing £3.99
9) Red skinny jeans £2.99
10) And then because I wanted some coloured leggings to go with my Indian style tunic I bought 3 pairs (purple, plum and red) on line for 14.00 including pp.

All in all I've spent 40.00 on clothes this week.  Bloody, fecking Nora!  That might be a record for me.Well, I won't be doing it next week I can tell you! I got paid this week so that's my excuse - I love pension day!! And it's nearly Christmas...

Tuesday, 8 December 2015


I seem to have lost my feet in this photo!
One of the best things about being retired from paid employment is being able to volunteer and give something back to my local community where I've lived now for almost 35 years. When I first retired I spent 4 months at CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) on their pilot scheme for telephone advice. The pilot was not successful so it was dropped, and as I didn't want to do the face to face thing I looked for something else to do. I did do some paid work for  about 12 months on and off; Home Carer, postal votes opening, poll clerk on election day and invigilation at the university I used to work for.

About 6 weeks ago I started at our local food bank run by the Trussell Trust. I volunteer in the warehouse where I've marked up the donations by use by date and made up food parcels for individuals, couples and families. It's wonderful to see how generous people are and of course the supermarkets donate regularly as do churches, schools and other organisations. It's only a few hours a week but I really enjoy it. I walk there and back so that's 45 minutes brisk walking in total - more exercise for me which is always good! Here's what I wore today:

The jeans, t shirt and kimono are charity shopped. The boots are from a Tesco's outlet and cost £4.00. I recently took them to be re heeled and was told it would £10.00! I'll just have to throw them away when the heels have had it. I don't want to live in a throw away society but when it costs more to repair than to replace you're forced into it - damn...

The necklace was a present from my daughter and the earrings are from Sainsbury's (again!) bought when they were 25% off.

My other volunteering started 4 weeks ago and I'm really loving it. Half a day at 'Save the Children' charity shop in town. The first two weeks we were short staffed so I stayed  in the shop; helping customers, taking in donations and trying to sort them and being on the till. For the past two weeks I've been out the back sorting donations, labelling, pricing and sometimes putting out in the shop. Honestly, its like Christmas every time you open a bag or box - you just don't know what you're going to find!

I have to say my least favourite things are men's clothes. On the whole they are so boring and dull..... I'm also a bit shocked at the tat some people donate - leggings with no crotch anyone? No, I'm not talking about sexy clothing here! That reminds me that earlier in the year several 'cash for clothes' shops sprung up. You took unwanted clothing items in - well I didn't - weighed them and got cash for them. They've disappeared now. Did you have them in your area? Are they still there? All a bit of mystery..

Anyhow, of course I haven't been coming home empty handed. We don't get staff discount and volunteering here is not helping my clothes buying habit at all, but what's a girl to do with all these lovely bargains? So far, I've bought:

Wool (!)
Pack of notelets
Plastic cereal container
Summer Palazzo pants (rescued from ragbag) for 50p
Brand new Robert Galbraith hardback book
Waistcoat ( featured here)

What will I get next week?

I'm off to link up with Patti's  Visbile Monday- at 
I'm a bit late so I hope she doesn't mind!

Friday, 4 December 2015

£1.00 bargains and other stuff

I cannot resist clothes that have spots. I have this  black spotted top plus several others, 3 spotted shirts, a pair of  spotted palazzo pants and I've recently got rid of a spotted jacket that too was too tight. This top was one of the £1.00 items I bought last Saturday in Wellingborough, along with this black maxi skirt for a £1.00 and my red brothel creepers for £4.00.

I bought the waistcoat last Monday in Save the Children for £3.00. I started volunteering there on Monday mornings and last week was my third week.

Everything I'm wearing including my watch and bracelet are from charity shops.  The little rose pin I bought in the Christian charity shop for 5p earlier today and liked it so much I put it on straight away. The earrings are from Sainsbury's and bought when 50% off. Cheap, moi? Never!

It is clear to see that I have abandoned my no buying clothes until 2016 vow.....

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Vintage coat (I think).

I have often dreamed of finding beautiful vintage clothing in the charity shops. I love clothes from the 30s, 40s and 50s. I was less keen on 60s and 70s fashions (having worn them first time around) but since reading fashion blogs and following some amazing bloggers, I have become more open minded regarding these decades. So, now I keep an eye open for vintage clothes whereas I never did before. I've never found anything from the 30s,  40s or 50s but I think I might have found a vintage velvet coat from the 70s. I bought this more than a year ago in a charity shop for £12.00, before I had read any fashion/style blogs and had not worn it until last Sunday night. 

This is me today wearing the coat with boots, I wore heels on Sunday night!
Last Sunday evening we went out for a birthday meal with my youngest and middle brothers; youngest brother was 58. We were going on from the meal to watch our oldest brother perform at the Derngate in Northampton. He plays with a band called Steeleye Span. You can see where they are touring in the UK here. After the performance - which was brilliant - we went backstage where my oldest brother admired my coat and asked me if it was vintage. I had to confess I didn't know and when I got home I looked at the labels.

The labels weren't in the usual place i.e. in the neck but on the left and the right at roughly at chest level. They don't look like modern clothes labels and the washing/dry cleaning instructions were sewn in along the  inside hem and did not use the symbols usually seen on wash/care labels, but had written instructions.

I went on the Vintage Fashion Guild website and found their label resource but no Bartson's or Tassa'nova. The words 'doublelure' are French for lining, as is 'futter' (German) and 'voering' (Dutch). Polyester was a material that became commercially available in the UK from 1955 and is referring to the lining. I looked up Diolen and found this on the VFG:  Diolen is a polyester based fibre, along similar lines to Kevlar which although not quite as strong in tensile strength as Kevlar, reasonably close in performance and considerably cheaper.  I'm not sure if Diolen is referring to the external material (which is like velvet) or the lining!

I googled Bartson's and came up with items for sale on ebay. One was a man's trench coat and another was a woman's raincoat but the label said something else. I found another woman's raincoat with the make Barston's, but no label was shown in the photo and it looked like a more recent coat. There is currently a company called Bartson's in Antwerp who make men and boys clothes but my coat is clearly a woman's coat. I then found a US trademark website which said that Bartson's was a US Federal Trademark registered in Antwerp in 1968 which expired in 2001. I found a Bartson Fabrics (note not Bartson's) which was established in 1917 in the US and from the 1940s imported and distributed fabrics to Europe and Asia.

My coat is a swing style coat which was fashionable in the 1960s (only we called them duster coats and they often had a matching dress) and in the 70s - I had a one when I was pregnant with my first child, so one could infer from the style and the sleeves (bell like), label etc that it is a coat from the 1970s and therefore vintage!!

What do you think? Any words of wisdom Vix, Curtise? Have I finally found and bought a vintage item?

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 ...