Friday, 31 January 2014

What I wore: Orla Kiely

I loved the Orla Kiely x Clarks collaboration as soon as I saw it, with the wonderful 60s and 70s inspired styles how could I not? I imagined the shoes would far exceed my budget and they'd have to remain a dream, but luck was with me and I've recently sold a lot of things in my big declutter, so I was able to splurge and treat myself.

Orla Kiely Milly shoesOrla Kiely Milly shoes
Orla Kiely Milly shoes

I got the yellow "Milly" shoe which I instantly fell in love with, and I felt the yellow colour would go nicely with so much of my wardrobe which is mostly made up of reds, oranges and greens. Unfortunately they turned out to be much darker than I expected, certainly much darker than the official images (even my own photographs don't capture the true colour). They're certainly not going to be matching as much of my clothing as I originally hoped, but they're such lovely shoes I'm going to be keeping hold of them anyway and hope I can think of more outfits to pair them with.

Orla Kiely Milly shoes
Orla Kiely Milly shoes

What do you think of the Orla Kiely x Clarks collaboration?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Thrifty finds

I recently made the journey up to my favourite second hand store. It's a funny little shop in that it's kind of half junk shop, half antiques. Everything is squeezed into tiny areas and piled high above your head requiring you to really dig around as treasure could be hidden anywhere, and you're just as likely to find someone's old trainers as you are a priceless Victorian antique. You really never know what you're going to find, and because the shop is so disorganised many people simply can't be bothered so things are often discounted.

1960s vintage

This was my recent haul which I'm absolutely smitten with. I can't help but collect homewares for my new home I hope to have this year, and these orange flowered curtains were just too perfect to pass up. They looked a little tatty in the shop so I bought them for next to nothing, and you can see all they needed was a spin in the washing machine and an iron and they're as good as new. The scarf was something I grabbed absently on the way to the counter, liking the design and knowing the colours would suit a large portion of my wardrobe. It wasn't until I got it home and looked up the brand I realised it was a 60s original, which was a nice surprise as I expected it to be a modern reproduction. The little vase I couldn't pass up for only 50p (and it matches my curtains so well!).

Thrifting

I've been on the lookout for the perfect white handbag for a long time, and I finally found it! It was incredibly dirty when I found it, I wasn't even sure if it was indeed white or perhaps a cream but decided to take a chance. I bought it home and gave it a good clean and it came up so nice! It still has a few scuffs around the edges, but nothing terribly noticeable and it doesn't bother me a bit, I like my things to look as if they've had a life. When I was cleaning it, I opened the clasp and turned it upside down and this old penny and little sewing kit fell into my lap. It was quite a shock: currency changed in 1971, is it really possible I'm it's first proper owner in so long? I decided to keep both items in the inner pocket of the bag, it seems a shame to part them after so long, and maybe the penny will bring me luck!

I also felt very lucky when I visited a local secondhand store. I don't collect cassettes, I hadn't even looked at one in about 15 years, but for some reason I felt drawn to have a little look through them and ended up striking gold:

Ringo Starr

Anything of Ringo's solo work is incredibly hard for me to find locally so I really flipped finding this! It also filled me with a sense of nostalgia, I always preferred cassettes to CDs when I was growing up and clung on to buying them until the record companies no longer made them. I have no idea what happened to my collection from so long ago, but I feel inspired to perhaps start a new one. Nothing as extensive as my vinyl collection, but just a few of my most favourite albums. I could also do with finding something to play them on of course!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Postcards from the past

Snail mail is always something I've been passionate about, as I was growing up I was always on the hunt for new pen pals and loved sending postcards to everyone back home when ever I went anywhere. It's really saddens me that snail mail is on the decline, it's such a wonderful thing to receive a handwritten letter. So when I was told about Postcrossing last year I knew I had to sign up! But I immediately hit an unexpected problem: it's actually become really quite difficult to buy a variety of different postcards locally. I was lamenting this problem to my mother, and she gifted me an unexpected treasure:


This is my aunt's postcard collection, something I didn't even know existed. She was my aunt through marriage and an absolutely fascinating woman whom I've always wished I could of known better (unfortunately she died when I was young). She was American and her father's job took her family all over the globe when she was growing up (she fluently spoke 12 languages as a result). It seems she collected postcards of everywhere she travelled between 1965 - 1974.




The postcards are mostly of art prints from various museums and galleries as well as local views and landmarks. There are postcards from the far corners of Europe, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Singapore, Japan, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, to name just a few. Almost all of the postcards are dated of when she bought them, it provided a wonderful little peak into her life.



It seems these postcards have been tucked away in this paper bag since 1974.



A very small selection were sent to her from friends and family, but most of the postcards are blank except for the dates.





This was all alone in the bottom of the box, I wonder where it's of?

I'm certainly not going to be using these postcards for Postcrossing, they're much too personally valuable to be thrown away in such a manner. But I shall be using a couple to send to others I feel would enjoy and appreciate them, it would be far too selfish to hide them away for only myself and I feel it would be a wonderful way of remembering her.

I also feel inspired to create my own personal postcard collection. A postcard to commemorate each adventure feels like a very simple thing to do, and I love the idea of building up a collection as wonderful as this one for perhaps my own future children to pour over one day.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Film Favourites: The Godfather

Al Pacino and Marlon Brando in The Godfather

When I first saw The Godfather I had absolutely no interest in it's subject matter, but I was studying film at the time and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about as it's considered such a cinematic classic. After all, you can't have an opinion on something you haven't seen. And honestly it deserves every single bit of praise that is heaped onto the franchise, it was love at first watch and a movie that still takes my breath away with just how absolutely flawless it is (the book is also splendid, I literally read my paperback until the spine fell off. If you're also a fan of the film, it's an absolute must.)

Al Pacino and Robert Duvall in The Godfather
Al Pacino and Diane Keaton and John Cazale in The Godfather

It's really hard to try and condense the epic storyline into a few short sentences but I shall do my best. The film essentially tells the story of the ageing Don Vito Corleone, one of the heads of the Mafia families in New York. After an attempt is made on his life, it's up to his sons to step up to the plate: hot headed and impulsive Sonny who has trouble thinking without his fists, reasonable lawyer Tom Hagen who struggles for acceptance due to being adopted and not Sicilian, meek and incompetent Fredo who it seems won't amount to anything, and war veteran Michael who has only ever wanted to distance himself from his family's activities (but ends up becoming the most ruthless Mafia boss of all)

Unfortunately when a film becomes as successful as The Godfather people become far too happy to judge it by it's cover and the type of person they imagine it's fan base to consist of. The video games don't help. This movie is about so much more than the Mafia and shoot outs. It's a beautiful film about family and loyalty, love and honour, and the shift in attitudes and traditions between the generations. I never, ever expected to like The Godfather but it touched me and made me think in ways no other film has before. Not to mention opening my mind up to a whole new genre.

Al Pacino in The Godfather
Al Pacino and James Caan in The Godfather
Al Pacino in The Godfather as Michael Corleone
Al Pacino and Diane Keaton in The Godfather
Al Pacino and Diane Keaton in The Godfather
Al Pacino in The Godfather
(screencaps from screenmusings.org)

Monday, 6 January 2014

Lose themselves in other times

Today I went to what promised to be "the biggest antiques centre in Europe." Err, it wasn't, not even close, but it was a pretty enjoyable day out. Due to it being hugely commercialised, everything on sale had a hugely inflated price tag to go with it (for example, an ornament that I bought a few years ago for £8 was being sold at this place for £55!) but it was fun to look around and fantasize about what my future forever home might look like.

I have to admit, because I'm generally such a klutz I do find visiting these types of places a little stressful. I can't help but constantly worry I'll back into something priceless and send it crashing, and due to everything being crammed into various rooms I'm always paranoid that I'm wandering into somewhere I shouldn't be. I carry around an Eeyore type attitude of if it's going to happen, it'll happen to me...

Antiques and vintage fair

Gramophones everywhere, I quickly lost count of them all. Not a single record player though, I think people are snapping them up straight away with the current vinyl resurgence.

Mary Quant headboard and 1960s chair

This Mary Quant headboard makes me wish I had a single bed!

The Beatles ceramic tile

This Beatles tile was the first thing that alerted me to the hiked up pricing. It's £48, my own identical one in mint condition cost £20. I did a quick eBay search when I got home and they're not even that much on there. I think unless you're buying big things like furniture, you should always know your research when visiting places like this.

Seeing this tile did make me go and dig my own one out when I got home though. A lot of my collectables are in storage at the moment due to my moving around state, it's nice to remember the things you own that you cherish when you haven't seen them in a while.

Antiques and vintage fair

Who doesn't want a giant copper parrot in their living room? (in all seriousness, I'd totally buy it if I had the room. It's so absurd it's perfect)

Antiques and vintage fair

I don't drink but still badly wanted this drinks cabinet, it's flawless. If I had a proper home to take it back to, it'd be mine right now.

Antiques and vintage fair

This was the extent of the promised vintage clothing, along with a thousand mink coats. I was really hoping to snap up a few extras for my wardrobe but it wasn't to be (so I came home scoured Etsy instead!)

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Film Favourites: Rosemary's Baby

I ummed and ahhed over whether I wanted to do this feature, but I love movies a lot and figured why not? Personally I always love to hear about peoples favourite anything, I think it's a great way to get to know someone. I don't claim to be any sort of expert so please don't expect serious reviews and me to start recommending films you've never heard of, this is literally just a feature to gush about the movies I enjoy, whatever they may be (and I pre-warn you, some may seem a little unexpected!). So to start here's my #1 favourite film that most people have probably seen:

Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

When I first saw Rosemary's Baby, I must confess I was rather disappointed. I didn't know much about it beforehand, just that it was a horror film about a woman giving birth to the child of Satan, and so I kind of expected it to be like 1976's The Omen. So when it turned out not to be that I wasn't sure what to think, it felt like a very pretty film where not a lot happened and I just didn't get it. It didn't feel like a horror film to me and I couldn't get past that (I'm a Stephen King fan, I'm used to horror being blindingly obvious! Oh this is the thing I'm supposed to be scared of...). However the film lingered on my mind long after the closing credits and it wasn't long before I felt the need for a re-watch. And it was on that viewing that it all clicked.

Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby
Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are a young couple who move into an apartment where the previous occupant has died of seemingly natural causes. Next door live the Castevets, a nosy old eccentric couple who seem mostly harmless, who Guy befriends despite Rosemary's reservations. After Rosemary falls pregnant things quickly become even more peculiar and it isn't long before she's feeling isolated and paranoid. As the film reaches it's climax you realise just how stifled Rosemary is. Are all of these elderly people really a Satanic coven? Has her husband really joined them? Or is she just going completely nuts? I love how ambiguous the film is and how so much can be left up to interpretation. On the surface everything seems normal, it's only when you look a little deeper and begin to question things that you really start to feel for Rosemary's completely hopeless situation. For me personally, that's always been the most disturbing part, how completely powerless Rosemary is despite her best efforts.

I must also confess to loving the film for more superficial reasons. I mean, who wouldn't love to own Rosemary's entire wardrobe, not to even mention her beautiful apartment. It's a visual treat.

Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary's Baby
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