Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Thrift Finds and A New Dress

Marie Howitt dress - 1960s vintage // boots - Topshop // necklace - vintage via Oxfam

I picked up this maxi dress just before I went home for Christmas and I just love it, it's quickly become my most favourite piece. I've worn it so many times already, so expect to see it lots!

I wanted to share a little collective haul of all the things I bought when I was home for Christmas. I know I've said this many times, but vintage hunting is so abysmal where I live that it's always a relief to go home and visit all of my favourite haunts. And it didn't let me down, I found so many wonderful things!

I've been after a '70s suede matching suit for quite some time, but they always sell for an absolute fortune. I have many suede vests and suede skirts, but none of them a matching set which is what I truly wanted. I very nearly didn't go into the vintage shop nearest to home as it specialises in pre-1950s and is generally very expensive, so I nearly flipped in my shoes when I spotted this! It's a terrible picture as I couldn't get my camera to cooperate, but it's a wonderful vivid forest green. It fits me so well it felt like fate.

After I bought the suit I was musing what top would go best with it. Most of my tops are block colours and I was pouting that I didn't have anything more psychedelic when in another shop I found this perfect St Michael's pussybow blouse with swirls of pink. It was an absolute steal as it has a little burn hole at the end of the bow (I can imagine it got caught on a cigarette at some point!) but it's barely noticeable against the pattern and doesn't matter to me. Even my mum couldn't help but admire the quality of this blouse, "not like Marks and Spencer nowadays!"

The coat was really quite exciting to me as I've had my eye on it for quite literally years. But it was expensively marked at £45, and I'm fairly certain I'd tried it on before and it didn't fit so I dismissed it. It had since been placed way out of reach hanging from a hook in the ceiling with a bunch of other clothes, so high up I could only touch the hems. I was trying to flick through them as a flash of hot pink and orange had caught my eye, when suddenly the whole lot came down on top of me! The hook in the ceiling had given up, and I was suddenly standing with my arms full of psychedelic clothing and broken lamps at my feet that had been knocked off the shelves. I was mortified! In all my years of vintage shopping I've never had any accidents! I could hear the sales assistant coming up the stairs to see what the crashing was. I was still trying to process what had happened as it was all so sudden, but thankfully the assistant was very kind and thought it funny and told me not to worry about it.

I thought I may as well make the most of having the clothing at easy reach and take a good look, and decided to try the much coveted coat on. And it fit! I couldn't believe it! I felt so guilty about the breakages and so happy it fit, I decided I should treat myself as I'd wanted it so long anyway, only to then be given £10 off at the till. I literally trashed the place and still got a discount, not bad going!

It's definitely a spring/summer coat as it's just lined corduroy, I can't wait until it warms up so I can wear it!

You may have seen me mention in my post about going to York that I'd found a maxi dress in the window of a charity shop. It reminds me almost of a Japanese kimono with it's flared sleeves and cherry blossom-esque pattern, don't you think? It's a little too big so I'll need to make some adjustments before I can wear it.

Other knick knacks purchased from various shops. I love the length of swirly blue crimplene, and I really lucked out with the deadstock. I've wanted a pair of tights like that for years, to finally find them for £1 in the charity shop. The two floral blocks is a pair of tea towels that I just couldn't resist (I may have to create something more interesting with them!) and I'd been needing some pillowcases anyway. The deadstock striped top I'd initially bought purely to sell on as it was such a steal, but after getting it out of the packet I decided it's too perfect and will be keeping it for myself!

I do love a bit of kitchenware, and all of these were picked up for £1 a piece in the charity shop. I'd needed a tea jar so I was particularly pleased with that! The Salter scales were in their original packaging and don't seem to have ever been used. They seem to sell for a small fortune on eBay and the like so I'm very pleased. I especially like them as my mum had a similar set of compact Salter scales when I was growing up, although hers were a rather boring cream colour and more '80s in design.

And the records! I actually bought these when I went to London. I can never resist a trip to the record shop, and managed to pick up these two. Pink Floyd In The Beechwoods is a bootleg record released last year, and has the same Syd era recordings that featured on the Early Years boxset, but as the boxset was CD I like having the option to listen to it on vinyl. And to be honest I can never resist any record with Syd on, even if I already have the tracks!

And can you believe it’s taken me until now to own Yellow Submarine on vinyl?? I’ve never made any secret of the fact it’s my favourite Beatles film and I just adore the soundtrack, but I’ve never found it in the flesh before and I stubbornly refused to buy it off eBay for an inflated price. Finally owning this album actually completes my Beatles studio album collection! How exciting!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Lose themselves in other times

A few days ago just before New Year I decided venture out to the huge antiques centre about an hour away. Between Christmas and New Year is always a funny time of year, and it seemed many other people had the same idea as me to get out of the house! I was there for a browse more than anything, but as always I just couldn't resist picking up a few lovely things.

I always enjoy taking some photos whilst I'm there, I've posted about it a few times on my blog and I love seeing how the displays change with each visit. This section full of taxidermy, medical models, and old fairground equipment always piques my morbid interests.

I'm often using my Winsor & Newton watercolour palette as I blogged about here, so I loved seeing this Winsor & Newton watercolour set from 1850. It's a bit different from my plastic one! Especially with it's cut glass water pot and ceramic mixing tray. I'd of loved to have taken it home with me, but unfortunately it was £500!

I tried to capture the scale of this miniature satellite chair, but I'm not sure if I succeeded. You've probably seen my '60s satellite chair in the background of all of my outfit photos, and you can see that this one is exactly the same as mine, but child sized. It's adorable! It almost makes me wish I had a child just so we could have matching groovy chairs.

Now on to the goodies I bought!

I've been after a vintage sweater for the longest time as unfortunately all of mine are sleeveless which won't do for British winters! This photo doesn't do it much justice, but I could never have asked for a better one that this! I'ts orange and purple, and just my size. It was on the mannequin with this '70s felt hat, and they paired so well together I just had to get them both. There was a sign pinned to the mannequin strictly informing that clothing only be removed by the sales assistant, but as I knew I wanted it I couldn't see any point in dragging someone upstairs to do what would take me 30 seconds. I was scared I might have been seen on CCTV and would get told off when I went to the till, I must have looked ever so shifty! Haha!

I love my vintage knick-knacks, and couldn't resist these egg cups for £3 the pair. They look ceramic, but they're actually plastic which I think is much better. Behind them is a thing to serve sauces for your dining table, it was only £3 again so I couldn't leave it behind. I'm not one for sauces, but I'm sure I can find an alternative use!

I've always adored this style of '60s teak shelves, and it was already a bargain to begin with but then had an additional 25% off. Lucky me! I don't have anywhere to put it yet, but I couldn't leave without it. Once I've got it all set up I think it'll look just fab with my collection of raw healing crystals on.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

This will be our year, took a long time to come

And so 2017 finally comes to a close. It's been a funny old year with it's highs and lows, but thankfully nothing too eventful has happened and so I'm going to remember this year for all the good things.

Remember A Day // And What Exactly Is A Dream // 'Neath The Gay Illuminations
Recent Vintage Finds // Museum of Witchcraft // Floating Down, The Sound Resounds

2017 marked 50 years since 1967, a momentous year for enthusiasts of the 1960s, and as such many anniversaries were held relevant to my interests which certainly helped to make this year fun. It was a very Pink Floyd filled year in particular for me, with Their Mortal Remains opening in London to mark their 50th year which I was lucky enough to visit three times, as well as splurging on their Early Years Box Set which is something I'll cherish owning forever. It's felt really wonderful to be able to indulge myself in my favourite band all year. It's also been the year I finally started seeing my favourite bands live, and was fortunate enough to see The Killers twice as well as scoring tickets to see Roger Waters for my birthday next year.

Such Is Silence O'er Royal Camelot // Recent Vintage Finds // Sewing A New Dress

I began my final year of university, a milestone I thought I wouldn't be able to achieve when I began my course, and finally got a clear idea of the direction I'd like to go in, both professionally and personally. I'm definitely leaving 2017 with a much clearer image of myself than I started the year with, which is a wonderful feeling to have. Because even if things don't go according to plan, having a clear sense of self is all that really matters and will help me move forward from anything with confidence.

Early Years // Wonderful Wonderful // Lying On An Eiderdown
I'd Like To Be Under The Sea // A Day In The Life // Summer's Almost Gone

I found some really wonderful vintage treasures, completed gaps in my vinyl collection, and have taken little trips here and there to see new and interesting places further away from home than I usually go; I got my car this year and I can definitely say that I've made he most of having it. I've kept up with my personal drawing alongside my uni work, and have made quite a few lovely dresses. I've also really fallen back in love with blogging again, I'm proud of this little space I've created and have met some really wonderful, unique and interesting people through social media which brings me a lot of happiness.

This was also the year that I began journalling, both in 'bullet' form and using the Happiness Planner. I use my bullet journal as part scrapbook, part art journal and have really loved having a space for memories and personal reflection. Being a terrible over-thinker, it really helps to have a personal space to organise my thoughts at the end of each day. I was skeptical of the Happiness Planner when I bought it, but really wanted to try and change my mindset into less of a pessimist. I used it consistently for the first part of the year and really felt it made a difference, but then I stopped as I felt I didn't need it anymore and so fell straight back into old negative habits and couldn't get motivated to use it every day again. However I felt it worked so well when I did use it properly that I've bought the 100 Day version for 2018. I think I'll be able to stick with 100 Days better than a whole year, and can then incorporate the positive reinforcements into my bullet journal afterwards.

Here's to a happy 2018!
January 1st is the start of a fresh week as well as being a fresh year, and also happens to fall on a full moon which is also a super moon. There couldn’t be a more powerful time to start over. Let's make it brilliant ♥

Title: The Zombies - This Will Be Our Year

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Here comes Santa in his sleigh, those silver bells they sound so gay

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, or Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or whichever festivity you enjoy at this time of year, and got some lovely presents and ate lots of yummy food. It's always a very relaxed occasion in my family as there isn't many of us, but as I received some lovely things this year I thought I'd share. It's rare for me to be gifted things relevant to my interests, so I really appreciated the effort my loved ones went to for me this year.

A Pink Floyd calendar, a few goodies from Lush, and some vintage bits and bobs. The '70s colander is shaped like a flower and will look just perfect in my kitchen with all of my '70s floral patterned trays and crockery. I mentioned before that I've recently gotten back into knitting, and my mum really took it to heart with a vintage knitting pattern file, and a box filled with vintage needles.

I also got given a Fitbit Blaze which is the most exciting thing for me. It's a smart watch as well as a fitness tracker. I used to have an Apple watch but I wasn't keen on it, mostly as it wasn't very good at tracking exercise. My Fitbit will not only track my every day movements, but can even tell by itself whether I'm exercising or not without being set. It's working fabulously so far and I couldn't be happier with it! I think it's a nice looking watch too, which is rare for this kind of gadget.

I hope the season was everything you wanted it to be ♥

Title: Pink Floyd - Merry Xmas Song

Saturday, 23 December 2017

The time is with the month of winter solstice

The tree is up, the lights are on, and Christmas is well and truly underway. I've been home for most of December and enjoying the break and wanted to share the photos I've been taking throughout the month. The day itself is often underwhelming as most of my relatives are long gone and the holiday doesn't hold much significance, but I still like to make what I can of the season and enjoy being home. I love a bit of kitsch, so I do enjoy reveling in all of the tacky decorations! Especially as many of my mothers date back to my great grandmother.

Friday, 22 December 2017

She was a day tripper

It's become a bit of a festive tradition to visit York at Christmas. If all goes to plan I might not be in the UK next Christmas, so I wanted to make the most of this feasive season and so a trip there was a must. It's possibly my favourite city in the UK, it's absolutely beautiful full of ancient architecture and rich history. Also most of the shops are local small businesses, which are my favourite to shop in. After all, high street shops are identical all over the country so why bother? I never spend much, this visit being no different. I left with just a single vintage psychedelic maxi dress which was hanging in the window of the Sue Ryder charity shop. It's perfect, I can't wait to show you in a future post.

The Shambles is my favourite area, it's the oldest street in York dating back 900 years and is full of 15th century Tudor buildings leaning slightly higgledy-piggledy over the narrow cobbled streets. Hidden in amongst the shops and cafes are gems like the tiny shrine to Margaret Clitherow, a Catholic woman from the 1500s who was martyred for hiding priests and holding Mass in her home when Catholicism was considered treason.

There's even architecture dating as far back as the Roman Empire, when York was the main fort in northern England. It was the Romans who created York, only they called it Eboracum. This statue of Emperor Constantine the Great sits outside York Cathedral.

I can never resist the teddy bear shop!

For lunch we visited Bettys tea room which is always a real treat! It's exclusive to Yorkshire and serves traditional afternoon tea and English Swiss meals. I had the Alpine Macaroni with my favourite Christmas spiced tea - it raised some eyebrows when I asked for milk with it, but it makes it taste a little more like chai (and I can't abide not having milk in black tea!). All in all, a lovely day out indeed!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Dream yourself away

I made this dress a couple of weeks ago, taking some time for myself between university projects. It was a sizable length of crimplene I'd picked up on eBay for next to nothing, along with a few different vintage patterns frankensteined together. I had a clear image of the dress I wanted in my minds eye, and a few different patterns with each element and it came out quite well I think! I do love the colours in the floral design.

dress - handmade // brooch - 1960s vintage, local vintage shop // shoes - 1960s vintage, etsy

Last month I took a little trip to London to visit the House of Illustration as they’re holding an exhibition of Gerald Scarfe’s work. I’m currently writing my dissertation on Gerald Scarfe, as I’m very interested in how illustration and music are used together and obviously never have the two mediums come together so seamlessly as with Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Scarfe’s style has become synonymous with the band despite only being used for just one album out of fifteen, and I find it so interesting how his artwork has given such a concrete visual narrative to the very non-visual medium of music. He’s illustrated Roger Waters’ ideas and autobiography to an extent, and yet added his own narrative and perspective into the mix. I could geek out about it for hours! So you can see why the exhibition was a must for me.

I hadn’t been to the House of Illustration before, and photos aren’t allowed so unfortunately I have nothing to show you, but it’s well worth a visit. It’s very small, and the Scarfe exhibition filled most of the gallery. It covered a fairly wide selection of his art, with sections on The Magic Flute, his costumes and design for The Nutcracker, The Wall, his short animation The Long Drawn-Out Trip, and his concept work for Disney’s Hercules which I found the most interesting. Being a huge fan of Disney, I loved seeing the notes back and forth between Scarfe and the animators of how the characters should be designed and move without losing Scarfe’s distinctive style, and how the animators translated that style to be Disney appropriate. I’m currently trying to change my own art style up from a less Disney inspired style as it’s what I grew up trying to draw like, so I made sure to take some of their notes to heart and took joy in seeing how they had to unlearn some of the same habits I’ve gotten myself into. I also loved seeing so many of Scarfe’s original artworks, nothing can compare to seeing an artists work you admire in the flesh. To see that things aren’t as perfectly cropped and bordered like they appear in a book or a screen, to see the lines he rubbed out and how his designs changed. I’m sure all of this sounds terribly geeky, but for an illustrator like me I was in my element!

Their Mortal Remains
Their Mortal Remains

These photos of his works are from Their Mortal Remains, but you can see some those details here too. Not many of his pieces from The Wall were featured in this exhibition, but they were different from the ones I’d already seen which I appreciated. I know Scarfe had a lot of his original artworks stolen by Floyd fans in the ‘80s, so I believe what’s left is quite limited.

Title: Pink Floyd - Remember A Day
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