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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Grey Gap Sweatshirt, Navy Zatchels Saddle Bag and Photo Bombing. Oh Yes and Scarves!



This is my new favourite thing to wear. This rather plain unassuming Gap grey sweatshirt. My favourite thing to wear is different from say a new favourite garment which appeals to me for it's aesthetics and gives me palpitations. 

This new favourite sweatshirt has the classic v stitched detail at the neck, is a relaxed fit and the sleeves are not overly long. I only had to fold them over the once and they were designed so they could be folded over with no ugly internal seams showing. Full marks to the designer who remembered the people with short arms. 

Gap Sunkissed Grey Sweatshirt, H&M (not very) Low Skinny Jeans


I've kind of lived in it since I got it - it's just one of those basic wardrobe staples that you find indispensable and that you should have got years back instead of messing around with weird tiger striped ones. But it's not very exciting is it? But real life is a bit like that - come on tell me - do you honestly walk round in 4" high heels every day and a silk blouse whilst cleaning the toilet? You do - I bow to your amazingness.

Anyway, can I introduce you to my navy Zatchels saddle bag? To celebrate their second birthday last weekend, Zatchels ran a 50% off promotion on their bags. Which meant there were no more excuses for just looking and not buying. 

Zatchels Small Navy Saddle Bag


All very grey and blue - yes? A bit neither here nor there? Let's remedy that with a bit of colour? How about two colourful Power Rangers photo bombing my shoot then?

Small People - Not Available in store or online.

Shoo! Go away!


Anyway, back to business and another accessory to liven up the old sweatshirt - a crinkled cotton scarf from the H&M men's section. 



My taste in scarves has changed somewhat over the last couple of years. I seem to have been moving away from the prettier floral/birds/butterfly type scarves and been moving to "plainer"and less feminine styles. I like the fact that the pattern is reminiscent of a traditional Japanese fan print. 



I'm also liking this one (this might be in a wish basket somewhere :o) 



I was particularly pleased to see some similar scarf designs by Kiriko which were mentioned on the Tomboy Style blog a few days ago. If I was particularly flush in the pennies department I would have one of their beautiful Boro (Japanese indigo) one of a kind scarves which uses vintage boro fabrics and are all hand stitched. 



Have a look but they are selling out fast and though not a UK based company, they do ship internationally if you are looking for something different.

And then I thought, which jacket? The old marmite floral quilted granny number  .....

Jack Wills Floral Quilted Jacket (old)


or something a little more subdued? Told you I was moving away from the pretty stuff. But both work.

Swirly whirly Japanese fan print close up

Next Knitted Bomber (old)


I was having an online discussion the other day with a few other bloggers about Zatchels and who had bought one in the promotion. Someone said they had a zingy apple green one and and I said I'd gone for lovely corporate navy. I toyed with the tan one for a while and even considered the pewter one but in the end, I went with the navy. I know what I'm doing - honest.

Oh and I was trying to do a close up of my bag when George insisted on Upchuck being included in the photo.

Hi.

Kids. They can't leave you alone can they?


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Last Note :

  • The Gap sweatshirt is currently £14.99 in store in the sale but £24.95 online. Why?
  • The navy blue one is good too :o)   Not saying anything more except it would be rude not to get one right?






Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fluoro Stripes, Hair Dye and Waiting for Trains



Pardon me I have been a bit lax with the blog these last couple of days. I have been silly busy. I have been silly busy making jewellery and getting back in to the swing of all things trinkety. My workshop/cum dining room is a bomb site - but it's okay - that's how it should be instead of all neatly packed up and redundant.

And what have I been wearing? I've been wearing fluoro stripes. As my friend L2 said when she saw me on the school run - "my, that is rather bright isn't it? .... but it looks nice". You know when people add that extra remark on the end ... you know they are actually thinking "wouldn't wear it myself though". The top last featured here too (it's not all about new things you know).



Maison Scotch Fluro Stripe Top, H&M (not very) Low Skinny Jeans
Converse & Susie Ho Wrap Necklace/Bracelet


Anyway, I lasted about one hour in this outfit in the morning before I changed in to dodgy looking house cleaning clothes fit for my eyes only. One day, I might treat you to the spectacle. One day.

And because I only spent an hour in the top - I wore it again the next day in to Leeds.

Gap Boyfriend Jeans, New Look pumps, Gap Trench


I had an appointment at the hairdressers for a "trim". Two days have passed and the Grumps still hasn't noticed that I've had my hair done. Infact no one's noticed. Hmmmm - maybe I should have had more than an inch off? I had a young trainee washing my hair and my ears. Yup. Ears. The young girl seemed very intent on filling my ears with suds. When she asked if I would like a head massage, I politely declined. 

Hair done, I went to do a return to Zara and maybe try on a few new things which had landed in store. :o) That's when I noticed that the back of my top was rather damp and there was a stain on it. A stain which looked suspiciously like hair dye. So I headed back to the hairdressers. Do you know what they did? They put hairspray on it. The manager said it didn't look like the dye was permanent and that the hairspray would stop the stain from setting in. Do you know what - she was right. But it did have me worried. Back home, a bit of a soak and the stain's all gone. 

Might not be much but it's still hair dye on my top.


So that was my little bit of excitement for the morning. And because I was scared of missing the train (did that last time - whoops) that meant that I was twenty minutes early for a train that was leaving twenty minutes later than I thought and arrived twenty minutes later than intended. Mrs Grumpy - me. Yeah. Anyway, want to see what I had for lunch?

You have lunches like this too don't you?


And that's me waiting for the train, taking pictures of myself and my feet like most bloggy people do.


Just waiting .... and waiting .... and waiting 


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Last note :

  • Another good tip for stain removal is to use washing up liquid or handwash on the stain and to give it a bit of a rub. Not too vigorously as you don't want to rough up the fibres too much. Has been known to remove stubborn orange coloured baby food stains from bibs (tried and tested by me).

  • Another tip is to hang your clothes outside in direct sunshine. The sunshine bleaches stains out of your clothing. Has been known to remove all manner of "stuff" (don't ask) from the kids clothes (tried and tested by me).

  • Any good clothes maintenance tips you have? I love stuff like this. I have books on it. Seriously.

  • If you like fluoro stripes, you can pick one up here.







Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hyacinths, Susie Ho, Sally Smart and the W.I.



This is what I would wear normally. Jumper, jeans and some kind of footwear. Outfit finished. The end.

H&M Cotton Jumper, New Look Jeans, Primark Sandals


But yesterday was a little out of the norm. Yesterday I was doing the W.I. (Womens Institute) Village fair. I was getting stuck in with the Jam & Jerusalem girls. I was kindly invited to do the fair and I do have a fiscal target to meet this year so I got my act together and set up my stall. Hence the addition of neck candy to the outfit. I find that when things are set on a table, they can seem a bit static and people need that little extra visual help to see how a jewellery piece works. 

I was debating between the beachcomber necklace ......

Susie Ho Beachcomber Necklace


..... and the tumbled moonstone lariat.


Susie Ho Tumbled Moonstone Lariat


The beachcomber is my personal favourite but I went with the lariat because when the lariat is flat on a table - it looks like nothing and it's not till you wear it, do people notice it. People need to see things on to see how pieces work.

My white cotton jumper was half price (£6.50) in a recent H&M flash sale but has gone back to £12.99 now. It's a little long in the body but works well tucked in to jeans and loosened up a little. Good for all you tall girls out there and is a good light weight for the summer. This is a size 8 and it's roomy - you need to size down in this one but it does depend on the fit you are going for. And the sandals are last year's Primarni and the predecessors to my Krimbles. They are comfortable - three hours on my feet and no swear words.

I actually had a really enjoyable day. The sun was shining and the people I met were lovely. Especially Sally the florist who I met last year at the same do who gave me a bunch of narcissi at the end of day to send me on my way. She gets a special mention as I got another bunch this year as well :o)

This is Sally's stall. She always does well but how can she fail with a display like this? 



Very Country Living Magazine, don't you think?


I had a look on Sally's Facebook page and she runs flower workshops! I think this would make for a fun day with a couple of like minded friends. I did a one day workshop at Jane Packer's in Marylebone about 10 years ago. I was terrified sat amongst all the rather intense Japanese florists who had flown over especially to take the course but she (Jane) said I seemed a natural (my head swelled to the size of the bouquet I was putting together that day which was pretty big). 

And of course I didn't manage to take any good clear ones of my stall but here's a couple of pictures of the hyacinths I bought and a shot of the best seller of the day.



My best seller at this particular fair,


I never set out to do fairs when I first started - they can be hard work and I am not a natural sales person. But I have to say, you get excellent first hand feedback and you get to meet some lovely like minded people. I also found I had some repeat customers. Last year, I had a lady who really liked the jewellery but didn't have enough cash on her so she borrowed what she could from her friends there to buy a necklace. When her other half turned up, she got him to drive her to the cashpoint in the next village and came back to buy some earrings too. She was back this year and yes she purchased again - like she said "well I didn't buy a bracelet last year did I?". That's the kind of thing which makes my day :o)

But now I really must crack on with my own little web shop .... it's slowly getting there. Technophobe snails are faster admittedly. Besides, I hate it when I get set a challenge - I will meet that target!


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Last note :

  • Any enquiries about any of the pieces seen today - drop me an email (see - I'm trying).
  • Any good advice you want to leave me about setting up businesses but not via a comment, drop me an email - I don't bite and I would welcome any help. 
  • This post is not a sponsored post for Sally. I just like her and thought I'd show you some nice flowers.
  • It's not a sponsored post if it's for your own stuff, is it :o?





Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Feeling Foxy but not in Raw Denim Jeans.



On Tuesday, the sun was shining. There was no rain. The temperatures were in double figures and it was blowing a gale. Huh. As I stood in the school playground clutching my trench to me, a fellow mum stood there in her cardigan muttering about how it was "not actually that warm". I know.

Tuesday - that's my running around day. My returns were housed in my Primark Fox Tote bag. I love this cheapy bag because it's roomy and cheap and ... foxy. And it makes me smile because it's kind of cool ... in a quirky Aubin & Wills, Etsy, Primark kind of way (for £1.50).


Gap Trench(old), Zara Blouse(old), H&M Low (not very) Skinny Low jeans, Primark Sneakers


What was I returning? Well, I'd found some raw denim jeans in Zara for an unbeatable price of £25.99. They were a perfect fit bar the length (only 3 inches too long this time). I had this wonderful notion that I was going to do the raw denim mullarkey where you have to sit in the bath with them and let them dry on you and let them mould to your shape. And that's the last time they encounter water for another 6 months. During that time you wear them every day and gradually the jeans will bear the battlescars and creases of your everyday to'ing and fro'ings. Honest. 

Realistically, I don't want to sit in a bath of water and let my jeans drip dye everywhere and turn my lower regions blue. I also don't think I could manage to let them go 6 months before washing (though it has been said that you can wash them before then if it all gets too much and too smelly for you but do try and hold off). But there is a part of me that likes the idea of raw denim bearing the true markings of life rather than the specially bleached, faded and sanded scars of the production process. 

Picture Credit : www.highsnobiety.com


And then I put on my H&M low skinny (mock raw denim after 1 months wear effect) jeans and I thought to myself - what's wrong with these then? Nothing. And so I made my way to Zara with the raw denim jeans. I have to be honest, I had a pootle in Zara and I walked out and I didn't do the returns. I had to argue myself in to returning them and it took another hour and a half before I found myself back in Zara handing over the said jeans. Man ... it was hard but I was sensible. My reasoning was that I have too many pairs of jeans which would be lying idle for the sake of one pair of jeans. And I know I would have days where I wanted to wear faded jeans, boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, coloured jeans and all manner of other jeans .. and if I had all those to wear, when would I get chance to wear the raw denim ones to fade them? I wouldn't and life's too short to spend it in one pair of jeans. Crikey - I can hardly believe I can think so rationally at times.

So I was just thinking - would you be able to do this exercise or have you done it? I have actually done  it when I was about ten and I only had one pair of jeans anyway (didn't do the sitting in bath bit but wore them just about every day). But I guess it doesn't really count - the circumstances were somewhat different.

But what kind of jeans person are you now and what do you like for fits, finishes and washes? Do you have a couple of pairs in heavy rotation or enough jeans to stock Donna Aida? And what is your oldest pair of jeans in your wardrobe currently? And do you still wear them? Questions, questions. Answers?


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Last Note : 
  • Raw denim or dry denim as it is also known is just denim which has not been washed after being dyed. 
  • For more interesting reading on raw denim, or for those thinking of having a go, have a nosey here.
  • Anyone remember this? 







Monday, 15 April 2013

Saint James Meridien Top Update



Ahhh. The Saint James Meridien II.



The colour is actually persian red and ecru. How could you not love a colour combination like that? The top is lovely and is a thick heavy weight cotton - almost a little coarse. It's a good well made top though - solid and well finished ..... and an oversized fit which is why I had to team it with skinny jeans or I would look like little Orphan Sue.

Fresh from the box complete with tags and tramlines down the front.

Worn with Topshop Jamie Jeans and Carvela Krimble Sandals


It doesn't look too bad on the above two pics but I did have to jiggle and wiggle it to get it to look like that because it's actually 

HUGE!


Did I mention previously that I thought the sleeves were going to be a bit long?


Err ...  as you may have guessed, I am not keeping it. Infact I've already returned it. The top basically was in my house all of four hours from delivery to exit. Sometimes it's just not right - no matter how hard you try to make it right and you want it to be right.

However, I still really like the top so I think I'm going to hunt one down in a smaller size :o)  What's that infamous saying (from Space Quest) - never give up, never surrender!

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Last Note :


  • For anyone interested, I ordered the top from the Atterley Road site in a size 10 as there were no size 8's left but I took a gamble. This equates with a size medium on the label which I didn't know about and an european size 38. 

  • Love the free delivery and returns service from Atterley Road. I opted for free standard delivery - ordered on Thursday late afternoon. Arrived this morning (Monday). That's pretty good as I don't count weekends. Easy drop off to Post Office with pre-paid label for returns. Big love.