Monday, 27 February 2012

Visible Monday - haircut

I haven't had a haircut since mid December and bits of hair were starting to bang into my eyes and drive me mad. Time for a trip to Jean's.
I have quite a long journey to get my haircut and need to set aside most of the day, or an entire day if I include a supermarket shop, as I did today. So it wasn't a day for dressing up, and, in truth, my Mondays rarely are.

I took a photo of my hair before leaving home to show the 'before' (and to demonstrate that my mirror needs a clean!)

I think a haircut that reflects how you feel about yourself (lopsided?!) is really important. If my hair is okay I can wear the scruffiest clothes and still feel fine. 
My journey to Jean's is worth it because I have complete confidence in her ability. "What do you want?" she asks.
"Whatever you think will look good." is my reply.

She has left the back quite a bit longer than usual.

I feel spoiled rotten; quite apart from great magazines, cups of coffee and biscuits, and a head massage, I get my face made up, something that I haven't got a clue about and therefore very rarely do. I'm a bit of a 60's relic and just put on some vague panda eyes if I'm going anywhere special. (They are vague because when I take my glasses off I can't see a thing.)

This is me 'done'!

It's Visible Monday at not dead yet style and a cold, wet day. I'm wearing some bright colours to counteract the weather, a Nicole Farhi linen shirt, a Whistles silk and cashmere sweater and some old M&S jeans and brown leather boots.

The jumper has sewn on patches , a detail that I love. I like fine rather than bulky knitwear and my elbows are always the first to go, so perhaps the patches will make this jumper last for longer.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Are you...?

Are you a tidy, sit in the chair sort of person? I'm not, I always seem to gravitate towards the floor. Rooms look wonderfully uncluttered when you are looking up at the ceiling!
A moment before this photo was taken Maisie was fast asleep with her head on my stomach, she thinks that it is her place to be stretched out in front of the stove. She is nosey, so when Himself came into the room with the camera she had to sit up and see what he was doing.
It was good to be lying down because I've had a busy weekend shoveling compost onto the flower borders. Perfect sunny weather and no cold wind, just a joy to be out in the garden at last and moving things forward.

Our house is stuffed with all manner of chairs and we have just had this old faithful, originally from my parents' home, reupholstered. I discovered that there isn't a very exciting range of fabrics to choose from unless you are prepared to pay a ridiculous amount of money. I picked this tartan tweed from a tiny sample and just hoped that it would look okay, so I was relieved to see how it had turned out when the upholsterer brought it round last week.

Maisie is a bit miffed, she was allowed to sit in the chair when it was in a dilapidated state, but not any more! 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Visible Monday - back to school.

Half -term is over and everyone is back at school. I left school over half a century ago. It was a private girls' school, not a million miles away in character from St Trinian's, created by the English cartoonist, Ronald Searle, who died last December.
My school uniform was extensive and during the autumn and winter months very similar to St Trinian's; white blouse and striped tie, house sash and navy gymslip. I wore it from the age of five until I left in the sixth form. 
You would think that I'd never want to wear a gymslip again. Not a bit of it! Why, I even bought a pattern so that I could make my own!
This striped navy version is made by the French label, Lilith. The fabric is a 50/50 mix of rayon and linen and it is such a comfortable thing to wear. 
Here are the details of today's outfit for Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style.

The silk/cotton cardigan, with small pockets, is by Nicole Farhi, a favourite designer.

The gymslip has capacious pockets and there are buttons all down the back. 
Dear me - get the iron out, woman! What a crumpled wreck!

The tie is an Austin Reed, 'borrowed' from Himself. 
The spotted linen blouse is from Hobbs, via a friend, via a charity shop. It is good that all friends know my favourite colours (lilac, mauve, purple) and fabrics (natural) so that they can make these inspired shopping purchases for a snip!

And my nail varnish is called, 'Euphoria'!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


It's Valentine's Day and the shops are awash with hearts of every description.
I've already got plenty and I suspect that most women have because it is an enduringly popular symbol.
Most of mine are pieces of jewellery, the enamel brooches were made by my friend, Janet Haigh. She is an embroiderer and a great believer in the strength of stitches, so you will understand the meaning of the mended heart below! Do take a look at her blog Janet Haigh her work

The button brooch on the right is by Alice Goldie.

She reuses bygone fabrics and details to make treasured handmade pieces. My brooch combines an old fabric button, gold kid and printed leather.
Inside the brooch box Alice has printed this story.

Fragments of Heritage.                

a button found                                       a treasure is found           
holds together pieces                           cherished                                     
of a garment, of a life                           belongs in a new life                                    
a life with many journeys                   performs its purpose                                              

a button lost                                          a keepsake passed down
tells a story                                            lost and then found
of that which is no longer                    stories and lives entwine
bound together                                     and so the cycle continues

Monday, 13 February 2012

Visible Monday

This necklace is made from brass and recycled bottle glass. I bought it from the Joliba Trust, a charity that works  to create sustainable development in the rural communities of Mali.
It is the most visible item that I am wearing for Not Dead Yet Style on Visible Monday. 

Everything else is rather subdued. The green shirt is an old Fenn Wright and Manson, a mixture of silk and viscose. It isn't an especially warm fabric, so underneath I'm wearing a Gap vest and a long sleeved tee. (Not visible!)
The black cropped trousers are fine wool and the lace-up boots from Clarks, over cozy socks, are fleece lined.

February in Britain is definitely dress for warmth month!

Bafta disgrace

We watched the Bafta's last night. 'The Artist' walked away with most of the awards. Jean Dujardin gave his dangerous, wolfish smile whenever the cameras were upon him. He was given the coveted best actor award. Maisie thought it was a disgrace, surely everyone knows that the real star of the film was Uggie the terrier, and he didn't even get a mention! He did all the running, the high drama, the saving of life, and did he get any thanks - it's no wonder that he's chosen to retire from the film industry.

Maisie is aware that he's left a bit of a gap in the market and so she presents her portfolio in the hope of finding some lucrative work. 

Maisie, 9 years old, pedigree smooth fox terrier, 
kennel name, 'Watteau Leading Lady.'

She can dance,
hold poses,
look cute

and snooze for Britain.

Maisie would like all casting directors to know that her speciality is in outdoor adventure roles, with skills in running, chasing, barking and digging.

Still from 'The Great Escape.' 
Any offers?

Friday, 10 February 2012

Pink pearls

Today at Monkey Grass Hill Julia has a give away of the most covetable pink pearl necklace - what a lovely thing to dream about as the snow turns grubby and grey and matches the sky and my mood.
I love pink jewellery. I don't have the happy combination of pink with pearl but I have a number of pieces made from rose quartz and also a pink opal necklace, bought by a daughter while on her travels. I have worn it so often that the other day the string broke and I had to grovel about on my hands and knees to be sure that I had safely found every stone.

I also love a crisp white blouse
and a small package arrived in the post this morning. Inside was a very pretty white cotton blouse from Boden, the mail order catalogue company.

I'm not going to embarrass myself by counting just how many white blouses I possess but I'll say in my defence that I  didn't have one with a Peter Pan collar and scallops until today. 

(Don't think that the above is the full collection, it's the tip of the iceberg!)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Big guns

Yesterday in London there was a sixty gun salute to celebrate the sixty year reign of Queen Elizabeth.  Sensibly she was out of town at Sandringham, well away from all the racket!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Ceramic Sunday, kitchen shelves.

It's the time of year when I'm confined to quarters by the weather and spend a lot of time looking out of my windows to see what's shaping up. There are four windows in the kitchen and their ledges are all full of  'stuff'. Some of it is useful, but by no means all.

The storage jars belonged to my mother. Dating from the thirties, they were probably wedding presents. I don't remember her ever using them, they were just stored on a high shelf in the pantry.

I'm just as bad a hoarder as she was.

Not to mention a demon biscuit eater - just look at those tins!