Monday, 28 February 2011


I found this photograph on Pinterest (my latest complete and utter addiction), and I can honestly say that it sums up everything I want in a lounge. I love everything about this picture - I'm tempted to print it out and pin it on my wardrobe door as a reminder to stop spending money on dresses and save for our future nest!

I'm working on a new series of illustrations, now I've found a gallery willing to try and sell them for me, and have been doing some research online to work from. I love the images so much, I thought I'd post them here as an inspiration-style post. Enjoy!


a birthday outing

For my birthday the other week, we decided to head off to the quirky part of town, where the artists and galleries, vintage stores and independent coffee shops are, for a little bit of buying and a lot of browsing. The day started on a bit of a high, when I rediscovered a forgotten bedspread (it looks vintage but is actually TK Maxx's finest - I love that it's double sided and is covered in my favourite colour of the moment, mustard yellow).

After much careful outfit planning (best floral tea dress, big vintage cardigan, battered flat lace-up boots), we were off. The sky was bright blue, and the sun was shining, and it felt like it could almost, almost, be Spring.

We started off with the vintage shops and my favourite gallery, and I came away with quite the haul - a red cardigan with the BEST buttons, a few scarves that will (eventually) end up as cushion covers, some china, a print for the wall and a little toy horse for the Boy.

We wandered up through to the harbour, and enjoyed a long walk by the beach, and explored the towers and hidey-holes. I love old buildings, and always wonder who walked there before - Southsea Castle was famously built by Henry VIII, so I had images of sailors running up and down the steps, desperate to restock the cannons, and looking nervously out to sea.


Friday, 25 February 2011

blouses galore

I'm not sure whether it's the thought of Spring approaching, but I seem to be completely obsessed by collared blouses lately. I'm not talking stiff, starchy shirts, but the loose, flowing, soft variety - I hanker after oversized fits and peter pan collars, anything that will tuck into a pair of trousers or skirt. Print, colour, style - none of it matters as long as there is a collar and a whole lot of room in there.

The Polyvore set above consists mostly of Topshop and Zara blouses, but I think the best one has to be from Paul Smith. Technically, this isn't a blouse but a shirt, as it's actually menswear - but I just adore it. The quirky little print (a cricket playing snooker!) and the lovely rounded collar made me fall in love with it a little bit. And let's not forget that the Husband and I can share it, which means we get value for money as well!


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

delightful finds: number one

When I shop in charity shops, I usually either buy retro homewares or clothes - very rarely do I ever buy any jewellery. This is for two reasons; firstly because I have absolutely loads of accessories that I hardly ever wear, and secondly because I just never see anything that I like. This changed yesterday when I wandered into the Rowans Hospice shop, and got immediately excited about what I found under the counter, sandwiched between two compact mirrors and a few strings of beads.

I'm not sure whether it's silver or not, but the lady behind the counter started rubbing it and it began to gleam - it was marked at £3, but I gave them £5 as it was for a good cause, and I thought it was worth the extra pennies.

The bird is hand painted onto a piece of silk, and then stretched into a silver (or silver plated) frame and threaded onto the chain. I've got absolutely no idea how old it is, but a quick search on google revealed nothing - I'd imagine it would be quite old, but the mystery is part of the attraction. What I really love about buying vintage and old items is wondering who made it and when, who it belonged to, and how it ended up in the shop where I bought it. More than anything, I'm curious to know who 'AM' is!

When I came to put it away with the rest of my treasures, I decided that I wanted some of my oldest things on show, and suddenly came up with the perfect place to keep them.

I bought the old hand-painted candlestick from a charity shop a while ago, and until now it has just sort of sat around on top of the shelves in our bedroom, not doing very much. I'm happy to report it's now earning it's keep, looking after my Grandmothers brooches and my newest charity shop find.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

happy birthday to me

Last week was my birthday, and we spread the jollies over a whole weekend. I'd like to be able to say that I went out for drinks and dinner in my best vintage dress, and then nipped off to Brighton or London for some lovely thrifting adventures, but sadly not. I did have a lovely time, nice and relaxing, which as the proud owner of a toddler, has become something of a rarity. The Husband, the Boy and I had a lovely day later that week exploring some local haunts, and visiting my favourite vintage shop (that's a whole other post!), but my actual birthday was spent at my parents house, eating nice things and chatting away. Which means this is something of a 'lookwhatIgotaren'tIluckyCathKidstonOoooohhhh' post, as I show off my lovely presents and gush about them quite a lot.

I was at a loss when people asked me what I wanted for my birthday, so in the end, I went out and chose everything, then the relevant people took the gifts home and wrapped them up, then gave them back to me on the day!

My Mum and Dad bought me some really lovely things.... (from top) a top from French Connection, which is made up of all of my favourite colours of the moment - olive green, mustard yellow and a variety of blues, the most beautiful little cardigan from White Stuff which looks like it really should be vintage, a teal velvet coat which has the BEST lining ever (also from White Stuff), and the most deliciously warm Fair Isle slippers, which I adore (and often find the Boy shuffling around the lounge in). The bottom photo shows all my Cath Kidston goodies from various people - the purse and butterfly hair clip were from my Mum and Dad, the tea towels and apron were from the In-Laws and the huuuuuge piece of fabric and travel sewing kit were from my lovely workmates.

The Husband really spoiled me as well.... (from top) a lovely Cath Kidston cardigan that I'd been secretly eyeing up since the shop opened, a gorgeous book by Orla Kiely on her career with huge amounts of amazing photos (there will be a post coming up on this - it really is the most incredible book), and some crafty bits including the softest, most delicious wool ever - an aran mix of cashmere and merino wool. I have no plans for it, other than to sit and stroke it a bit. Maybe a blanket?

I was thoroughly spoiled and had a marvelous day - hopefully this is some sort of omen for the year ahead!

new home

I'd been thinking about my blog and the direction it was going in for a while, and eventually came to the conclusion that I wanted to start over again. The blog version of the Big Spring Clean - the one you have in March which leaves you feeling totally organised and positive of the direction you're going in. I decided that since most of the posts were related to thrifting, charity shopping, vintage clothes and homewares and crafts with the odd bit of fashion thrown in, I needed something a little quirky that conjured up images of days gone by. I tried combining words randomly ('the rabbit and the teapot' was too odd, declared the Husband) and then thinking of things that would look good in images as a header at the top of the page ('the rabbit and the gramophone?' he questioned, 'like HMV with His Masters Voice?' Drat, I thought, he had a point). Eventually, I thought of 'The Owl and the Accordion', which combined a creature I love with an old-style instrument - representing my love of everything old, historical, quirky and creative. Perfect - and even the Husband declared it a winner. So here we are, welcome to my lovely new home.

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