Friday, 23 March 2012

My Favourite time of year for shoes!

It's true I love autumn and winter, but spring and summer is my shoe time. I think I must have lived in warmer climes in a previous life, nearly all my shoes are spring/summer shoes to the point where I struggle for autumn/winter wear - ok I say struggle, my husband and friends would disagree, but I certainly don't have as many options!

I should love to be modelling my spring/summer shoes for you today, but I have 2 enormous blisters on my insteps from extended walking without wearing sports socks with my trainers whoops. So all I can bear to wear on my feet right now are slippers, I have just bought special blister plasters so hopefully it will sort itself soon!

I have many shoes, I can't deny it, but when I thought about spring/summer this year, 3 pairs sprung to mind!!

First up, when I was doing some work for Miss L Fire I was lucky enough to pick these up, I love them. I did want some of the cream ones, but by the time I could afford them they were all sold out, but I'm pretty happy with these. They look kind of blue in the photos, but actually they are a mint green so I'm on the look out for some mint green fabric to make something nice in now!

Next are one of my go to pair of summer shoes, I love these! I bought them in LA many years ago, they remind me of sunshine. I also like that they are pretty inside where your foot goes, no one else knows but you do! They are obviously repro not vintage but they look fabulous with hawaiian shirts & pedal pushers, or a cute summer dress.

Last but not least my walk of shame. I bought these many years ago and they have never been worn, I just have not brought myself round to wearing them, but this is so ridiculous as I'm writing this I'm thinking am I actually crazy!! So this year for the first time since they were made - I'm thinking late 40's - I'm going to wear these wedge sandals. Aren't they just fabulous?!!

And to prove they've never been worn!

My craziness about shoes IS improving though, both last year and this year I've parted with shoes I never wear even if I loved them. In fact only yesterday I mailed a pair of shoes off that I sold on ebay, I wanted them to fit, they never did, and of course never would, so I sold them. What do addicts say, one step at a time.....

Right I'm off to sit in the sun and have a coffee for my break, hey when you live in the UK you have to take the sun when you get it!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

It's the little things in life....

Well this week has gone so fast already I have no idea where my blogging routine went, totally out of the window clearly!

So to my blog title, what do I mean? Well Spring seems to have well and truly sprung here in the UK,  although to be fair one can never be sure there may be snow next week! However although with some changes I'm making in life and some changes that have happened anyway, I've been taking a little step back and trying to appreciate the little things in life.

I am not a gardener, never had been, but I like plants and flowers, there is one particular tree/bush I see every spring and I think, I'd quite like one of them, only this week did I find out it's a Magnolia! Oh please let it be a Magnolia and I'm not showing my gardening ignorance ha ha

How beautiful? There is nothing that quite shouts Spring to me like this, I think I'm going to get me one, although I imagine by the time I do, blossom season will be gone!

I also went for a long walk yesterday in  the sunshine, listening to the birds singing and the sun on my face. It was truly blissful. As someone who is self employed you so often get into the habit of thinking that you must work every hour of every day and every evening and weekend too. This is not good for the soul! I recently lost a contract which was quite a number of hours, so I am left a little adrift, not quite knowing what to do and not quite earning enough but trying to make a decision where to go next. I've realised decisions will only be arrived at by stepping away from working all the hours, getting some fresh air and making some changes! So that's where I am....

I'm back at the gym & swimming despite my ongoing knee problems, saw the consultant on Monday it will be 4-5 months until I have an operation and I'm not waiting that long to exercise again. I've only been back to it a couple of days and apart from an aching knee, I feel good!

I just took 10 minutes out to have a CafĂ© Cubano made by myself of course, the only way to drink espresso coffee!


So do you ever step back and take it all it and try to appreciate the little things in life? Does it help you to come to a decision? Or is it just something you do regularly anyway?

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Cleaning vintage costume jewellery

First up I want to say I am not an expert but I just wanted to share my experience of cleaning vintage costume jewellery.

I'm not someone who owns much - if any! - very expensive vintage jewellery but I have a lot of very cute stuff, some of which I've had for a very long time. There is a lot of advise out there on how to clean silver or gold, but what if you have a piece of costume jewellery that is just grubby? Whether it be because it's been stored away forever, has had hairspray on it or perfume, or in fact you have it from a time when smoking in clubs was still going on, all these things can make jewellery grubby.

On Saturday I decided to clean a few items.

I have a really cute 50s charm bracelet with all manner of musical items on it a real trinket type of bracelet but cute! I really wish I'd taken a before picture of this, it was grey, really really grubby, I just never wear it as every time I look at it I just think it doesn't look nice.

I filled a bowl with washing up liquid and warm water, I popped the bracelet in, and used a very cheap soft toothbrush to give it a gentle scrub.

And here it is!

I know I took a lot of photos, sorry but I cannot tell you about the difference that cleaning has made! This bracelet was so grey I thought it was silver coloured and it's not it definitely has a gold tint, holy moly. If you have a piece of very grubby costume jewellery I can highly recommend this method!!

I got out a few of my lovely jangly 50s bracelets for a clean too. I rarely wear them these days but I really must, they are so lovely, I guess you go through phases I used to wear them all the time. They have come up so lovely and clean!

They are all super jangly, especially the top one, yes they are little bells!!

Then I got out a couple of my favourite brooches and a lovely vintage hair clip which was definitely grubby and had hairspray residue on it.

Again they all came up great with the washing up liquid and warm water solution. I had to be less aggressive with the toothbrush on the hair clip as it's pretty delicate but still gave it a very gentle going over.

I wear the brooches quite often but not so much the hair clip, I must wear that more, it's so beautiful and looks great with my red hair!!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Fixing Vintage Saturday

I don't know what it's like where you are today but here it's dull, raining and pretty goddamn miserable. I had no desire to go out and about today, and no real energy to do much but definitely wanted to do something!

So I set about fixing some things I've been meaning to for ages. I'll cover a couple here and some more in another blog post!

First up was a pair of gorgeous shoes that the buckle had come off. Because they're fabric shoes, I just sewed the buckle back on. I'm not sure how well it will hold but I sewed it pretty firmly. These are a pair of my most favourite shoes, they are just gorgeous. I'm lucky I have small feet so can often score big time when it comes to shoes! When I got these they were in their original box, I know, and what did I do, I didn't keep it, stupid!

Next up is a project I have been meaning to do for years, yes I'm ashamed! I have these beautiful shoes, green satin with rhinestone heels, however many of the rhinestones are now missing. The shoes are pretty worn and I'm thinking of dying the satin but I'm not quite sure how, I adore the green but some of it is too worn at the side of the shoes. Any ideas let me know!

I haven't quite finished these yet, I've done one heel, but I need to know it's going to work before I spend time doing the second one. I'll let you see the end project when it's finally finished!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Just popping by....

It's been quite a week so far in this household, first I got the stomach bug from hell, now my OH is pretty sick. He rarely gets sick as he's on lifetime penicillin due to having had his spleen removed, so it protects him from most stuff but this has struck him down big time. He never gets sick, never stays in bed, never ever doesn't eat so to see him, sleeping loads and not eating is weird.

Anyway he now has extra antibiotics so hopefully he'll be on the mend soon.

I haven't had much time for anything other than, me recovering, then looking after him!

However today something arrived in the post that I bought on Etsy recently. I needed a new day to day bag, my regular one was really starting to fall to pieces and despite not really wanting to admit it, I knew it was time for a replacement. I have very strict criteria when it comes to day to day bags, it doesn't want to be too small - that's obvious - but also not too big I will easily fill it with stuff I don't need to carry around, so in between is just right.

I found what I was after, with some style too. Here it is

It's bigger that it appears in the pictures but it's not too big! Cute eh? So despite all that's been going on here at least this arrival was a bright spot of the day!

Ok off to the post office. Regular blogging will resume very very soon!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

A brief pause in transmission...

As you know I've been blogging very regularly recently but yesterday I came down with the stomach bug from hell, I had the worst feverish night and today don't feel great so the blog will have to wait. Apparently it's going around, this doesn't amuse me or make me feel any better about it though!

Saddest of all I bought all the ingredients to make a fabulous curry and all I've eaten for the last 24 hours is 2 pieces of dry toast

I'll be back soon....

Friday, 9 March 2012

Beautiful Advertising

When I was clearing out my office at the beginning of the year I discovered lots of old mags that I'd totally forgotten I owned. I love looking through old magazines, particularly American ones!

One of the things I love are the adverts, it's just a little glimpse into life at that time and the adverts are so blumming stylish!

Sadly I don't have an A3 scanner so they're all a little cut off but here's a sample of just a few.

Isn't she dreamy?

I always love a vintage car advert, it's all about lifestyle and look at those colours!

This is a beautiful Jantzen advert, again such gorgeous colours!

I can never get enough shoe adverts, especially wedges. I'm going to say again, look at the colour, there just isn't enough colour in clothing these days!

I have the shoes on the top at the left, it always thrills me to find an advert from the 40s/50s of something I actually own, I don't know why but it does!

And last but not least it's the weekend so cheers!! Although I'm still teetotal cos of meds, so it's a grape juice for me! I could just do with a Daiquiri right now

Or a nice cold beer yum!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mid Week Love - All that glitters

As you'll have gathered by now I like to do a bit of mid week love to cheer us all up!

Up to now I've featured blogs, or websites, but this week I want to give a little love to one of my vintage obsessions, Confetti Lucite! I've talked about it before, but honestly I can't talk about it enough, so here are a few things to delight you from my collection.

I didn't even want to list examples from ebay and etsy all far too tempting for my liking! So excuse my laziness in using my things as an example, but it has saved my cash flow situation!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Trousers Made by Me!

A couple of weeks ago I decided it was about time I got round to making myself some more trousers. Usually I just rattle a pair up, they don't look pretty inside but they're functional and look good on the outside.

However, since I got my overlocker I have got a bit more incentive to make things properly, previously I have always felt things were a little unfinished on the inside of garments. So with a renewed vigour I decided to do an entirely new pattern to me.

Ok well I tell a lie, I have made this pattern but I changed it this time, I also cut corners last time and didn't include the pocket.

So I embarked on my trouser making adventure. I widened the legs when I cut them out, I didn't have to make the legs longer as I'm really short so cutting them to normal length left me with plenty for the turn up but if you want to do this and you're a more normal height, add extra length for a turn up (cuff).

I'll be honest the journey wasn't easy, for some unknown reason, I put the pocket and zip on the opposite sides to where they should have been, I was tempted to leave them but thought nope I said I was going to do it properly. Then I put the turn ups in and the bloody legs were different lengths, I measured them before I did them but they were clearly not the same, so I took the turn ups down and did them again, same problem, took apart, did again, I was determined to get them right. The final time I did them I can still see a difference albeit a teeny one and I can only surmise that I actually must be cockeyed myself ha ha!

Anyway, here is a real rarity, an outfit post, I'm not very confident in how I look right now, but I'm working on it, so I thought dammit I will show off my trousers. Unfortunately as they are black you can't really see any detail at all!! I am also awful at posing AND this was the first time I'd used a timer, it doesn't bode well.....

And no I wasn't wearing sandals out but as I work from home, I can wear what I jolly well please.

I'm also wearing  a sweater my mum knit for me, I love the neckline, I must get her to make me some more of this style, so easy to wear, dressed up or down!

I've also been trying to wear a brooch a day, I want to quote whose blog I got the idea from but I can't remember I'm such a dunce sometimes.

Anyway my brooch of choice today is my Rhinestone poodle, she has a couple of teeny rhinestones missing, but who cares, she's gorgeous.

So there you have it my new trousers, they are super comfy but much wider than I'm used to and I'm not used to them flapping about yet but I'm so pleased with them I'm going to start on another pair shortly, whilst I can still remember all the stupid mistakes I made on these!!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Filling a Vintage Compact

Today's post comes thanks to Solanah at Vixen Vintage who did a tutorial on how to fill a vintage compact which I thought I would try and show you. If you don't follow Solanah, why not? Her blog is just gorgeous and quite frankly so is she!

I've been meaning to try this for a while I have one vintage compact that still has the mesh so you can fill it with loose powder and that's great but I have a couple of other compacts that are not complete and I just haven't been able to use them.

Anyway here's my little tutorial, or you can follow Solanah's, she does have prettier pictures!!

First thing you need is loose powder (my choice is Coty Airspun but I've had to import from the US you can't get this in the UK, any loose powder will do) and surgical spirit. Solanah states rubbing alcohol, I assume this is the US equivalent. You will need something to mix it in.

Then of course you'll need a compact to fill! I have two that I wanted to fill. You will need to make sure they are very clean before you start. The one on the right I've had for ages, my husband bought it for me and I've never wanted to part with it but couldn't use it, so it's so nice for this to have new life!

Next start mixing powder with surgical spirit, you will be able to tell the correct consistency, it needs to be firm enough to be binding together, if it's too liquid then add more powder, too thick add more surgical spirit. Sorry I didn't take a picture of the mixing together, just the bowl afterwards but you can see the remainder of the mixture so you can see the texture from there.

Once you've filled the compacts, level the powder with a knife or a piece of fabric. Solanah used a piece of textured fabric but I didn't think ahead of time and so just levelled with a knife.

I did neaten it up a bit after this picture was taken!!

Then leave overnight, depending on the depth of the compact, one was dried after a couple of hours, one took longer.

This is the end result.

Really impressive eh? I was so bowled over when I first saw the tutorial, such a great idea and as Solanah said, if it breaks up in your bag as powder often does, just repeat the stages again! Genius, sadly not my genius but I'm passing it on!
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