Saturday, 31 December 2011

I resolve...

... to dress how I like and not care about the reactions of others.

This is a cheat resolution, of course, as it's something I already do. It's more of a reminder to keep doing it, brought on by an incident which happened today.

LBs and I are in town. I am wearing this;

                                                         Pretty unremarkable, wouldn't you say?

                                                      A 1970s pussy bow frock, 99p from Ebay.

With my favourite-of-the-moment faux fur, plus red tights, white T-bars and navy 1980s bucket bag (all charity shopped).

So back to town. LBs and I strolling along chatting.

Eldest LB: "Mum, that lady who just walked past did this to you." [Pulls a what-the-hell-do-you-look-like? appalled face.]

Me: "Did she? What did she look like?"

Eldest LB: [thinks] "Scruffy."

You ladies will appreciate the moral of that story without any assistance from me.

My resolution for 2011 was not to buy anything new for myself, I could only shop in charity shops, on Ebay or at markets or fairs.

And I've done it! I think it's going to continue, I can't imagine being a high street regular anymore. Too expensive, too much tat, too samey, no fun.  And I have had SO much fun charity shopping, and through rediscovering my old love of vintage, I've discovered all your wonderful blogs, and made some fabulous friends. Your support and encouragement and appreciation of my efforts have given me so much confidence, I can't tell you.
I owe you all - big time. 

 This is me in 1986, or thereabouts. I was about 22, wearing a 1960s black chiffon cocktail dress. Big permed 80s hair apart, I'm proud of how I looked. I wore vintage then, and wasn't scared to look different. And I'm wearing it now!

The 2011 (just) version; 1960s Shubette angel sleeve maxi dress (vintage fair), Mum's beaded necklace, bangle and flower (charity shopped)

Off to our friends' New Year's Eve party in an hour or so. Only 4 doors down the road, very handy for stumbling home!

Further resolutions may follow, probably involving reduction of alcohol intake and other notions of self-improvement. I'll let you know...

Happy New Year to you all.
Keep being you, you do it so well!

Curtise xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

All the colours of the carousel

Have you all had a delightful Christmas? I do hope it was at least peaceful, at best joyful.

No, I didn't leave home. That fabulous vintage suitcase was a gift from my brilliant friend Tracey, she of the cakestand expertise. Isn't it wonderful? And it matches my outfit! A 1980s floral frock, all of a quid from Ebay, and a vintage St. Michael pinny. Wine? Dunno, came out of the fridge.


                                                         Anyone pull a cracker on Christmas Day?

                                            Yep, drink was taken. Repeatedly. It was the only way.

                                        'Twas the night before Christmas - and butter wouldn't melt...
                              (I made those stockings last year. God, I swore. In a cheery festive kind of way.)

                          They're mini consumers at heart, and were delighted with their X Box.

After a couple of days of gaming (them, not me), eating and drinking (very much me), we all needed a change of scene and some fresh air, so we popped into town to spend a voucher or two, have a ride on the carousel, and take some photos. Get me - remembering I'm a blogger!

                                                                    It was rather glorious.

                                                       My LBs and me reeling around the fountain.

                                                   Carousel, fountain and Sheffield City Hall.

                                                           It would make a great album cover.

1970s faux fur jacket and green cardigan (charity shopped), 1970s goddess dress with belt used as a pussy bow (vintage fair), tan boots (Ebay), bag (Matchy Match Queen Helga)

I feel better for that. I like being back in colour. And I shall return to the wine with renewed vigour. Yippee!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Strictly monochrome

I used to wear a lot of black and white, but I have made a conscious decision to inject more colour into my wardrobe.

Perhaps it was a reaction against the sparkle required by Christmas, but by Boxing Day, I was in monochrome.

           I must have been feeling a bit stern and governessy. Kids were obviously getting on my wick...

I'm thinking Deborah Kerr as the crazed governess in the fabulously spooky film The Innocents. It's one of my all-time favourites.

                                     Or maybe I'm poor doomed Miss Jessel, lurking in the weeds? Hahaha!

           For light relief, I changed my hat. You know, like you do when you're bored. Bloody Christmas!

1960s Riddella maxi skirt (99p, Ebay), white shirt (old work wear, at least 15 years old), velvet waistcoat - or is it a jerkin? Vix will know! (£2.50, charity shop), Jones boots (worn to death, Ebay), leopard print trilby (£2.29, Ebay), tan leather bag (lovely Alex)

           Victorian governess? 1970s pimp? What's your fancy dress of choice this Christmas?!

The oh-so-stylish and delightful Ariane at Style Montreal Sud-Est has been kind enough to give me a Liebster award. Thank you, Ariane - now that's a Christmas gift I didn't expect, which cost nothing, and has brought a smile to my face!



Liebster means "dearest" in German, and this award is given to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. The stipulations of the award are as follows:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your 5 blogger picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you have sent the award to will forward it to their favorite bloggers.

So my choices to whom I am passing the award are;

Krista at Peetee's Palace
Melanie at Vintage Coconut

All gorgeous, funny, stylish and interesting ladies whose blogs I greatly enjoy. Check 'em out!

Friday, 23 December 2011

That'll be Christmas

So we're getting Christmassy in this house. 

 We have...

                                                                                   matching hats...


                                                                                snowy Jessie...


                                                                              festive LBs...

                                                                      top-hatted Top Cat Minnie...

                                                                              camera-shy Willow...

                                      Alex's beautiful snowflake from my swap parcel, in pride of place on my tree...

                                another faux fur. (I'm allowed, because it makes me feel like the Snow Queen)...

                             and the accessory du jour? Why, a Santa hat, of course. It is Christmas, after all!

                             Wishing all my newfound friends and the ones they love a peaceful Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

The post title is ironic, of course.

Learning to value personal style and individuality over being "in fashion" is probably the most important step I have taken in order to feel confident about what I wear.

Not that Eldest LB appreciates this at all, she reckons my clothes are just plain old fashioned and that's that. "No offence, Mum," she said. None taken. No notice taken either.

No, the dedication of the title refers to my efforts to sort out my new and rather fabulous 1970s faux fur coat.

I think I may have squealed when I spotted it in one of my regular charity shops. The lady at the counter said they had only just put it out - there's serendipity for you, I'd only just popped in on the off chance, with giddy holiday-mode kids in tow, so I wasn't expecting to have much chance to look properly.

However, on wearing it today with, I noticed a cascade of black "bits" appearing all over the place, getting horribly stuck on my suede skirt.

The facing and the underside of the collar were disintegrating, the coating was flaking badly, and where it rubbed against my clothes underneath, it was shedding a deluge of black... plastic, I suppose. Bugger!

                                So I set to with my nails and a suede brush (terribly high-tech, I know) ....

 ... et voila! After some considerable time, effort and swearing, all the loose flakes of sticky nastiness were gone. See? That's dedication to the faux fur love.

These photos are so bad, the light was dismal, the red-eye corrector gismo didn't work, but I'm trusting you to see past my rubbish photography to the 70s sartorial glory! Please try.

Yes, another hat to fit my big head. I was admiring a leopard print trilby in John Lewis while Christmas shopping, but at £30 it was too expensive for me, so I was really chuffed to win this one on Ebay for a mere £2.29.

 1970s Astraka faux fur, top and suede skirt (charity shopped), hat and tan boots (Ebay), tan leather bag (Christmas swap gift from Awesome Alex), scarf (flea market), face of a miserable cow (lack of light and a bad back).

I do love the Kinks, and I momentarily considered that song Roy Castle sang at the end of Record Breakers about needing dedication if you want to be the best, but in the end I plumped for the gorgeous Mamas and the Papas, which reminds me of my childhood. I have my eldest sister to thank for my love of 60s pop music.


Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday frocks and festivities

I had some lovely lady friends round for coffee and cake this morning, so I thought a frock was in order.

As you know, I think a frock is in order on most days.

Remember this beauty? It was £2 from Chesterfield flea market, what a bargain.

What I had forgotten is that although allegedly a maxi, it's not long enough on me. There's about an inch of hem I can let down but that still won't make it ankle-length on me, especially in heels.

So I wore it as it is, I rather like the midi length. The print is gorgeous, and the long sleeves make it warm enough without more layers.

                                       Though a faux fur is always useful on a chilly winter's day.

The kids finished school today, so our morning starts will be a bit later and a bit less frantic for the next couple of weeks.  It's been a really busy time at school - Christmas concerts/plays x 3, parties, discos. All for the kids, no playtime for mummy, something I intend to rectify next week!

Now you know this isn't a cutesy mummy blog. But at the risk of making the LBs hate me for ever, and making all the non-parents out there yawn, I thought I'd show you a glimpse of their Christmas plays.

                                                               Channelling the spirit of Eeyore.

                                                              Auditioning for the role of Dopey.


                                                         Homage to the perm, Aussie style.

While I have been known to get a little misty-eyed at seeing the kids perform (not just mine, anybody's kid will do), I have to admit I felt more like chuckling this year. Bad Mummy.

                                                     Have a superb weekend, you lovely ladies!