31 Jan 2011

eBay Queen

Yes, I feel it's time I confess; I am a total eBay whore. I love it. I buy all my shoes, clothes, technology (oh, lovely Blackberry, I can't wait for you to arrive!), and even my smalls on occasion, from eBay. I decided that if I waited until I finished sewing something I'd be going naked to work by Tuesday.

Zoe of So Zo' recently wrote a series of posts about consumerism and society today that I highly recommend. I've never been comfortable with the disposable mindset most products today are created with and much prefer to shop second hand. If an item already exists and is in a good condition I don't see the point in shopping for something brand spanking new. And since a good friend introduced me to eBay I appear to have taken that concept and run with it. This is a Good Thing as the charity shops and second hand stores in South Wales appear to be sadly lacking in anything that pre-dates 1980. Of course, my poor Postie doesn't feel the same way but so long as he keeps delivering my parcels I shall continue to be happy.

Just to give you an idea of how much I've bought on eBay in the last ... hhmmm, let's go with the last month because I've been rather prolific this January, here's a lovely recap in pictures. In fact, I've just noticed this will be my 100th post so why don't we make this a little competition in celebration of the fact that I appear to have enough to tell the world that I can write 100 posts and apparently not bore people.

The Rules:
Pick a picture and, in the comments, tell me how much you think it cost me. To make it easier, I'll cheat a little for you and I'll include/ not include the shipping to help you get as close as possible to a correct amount*.

Whoever guesses bang on for their chosen picture will be the winner. If more than one person guesses correctly it's to the random number generator I go. If no one guesses correctly then I'll go with whoever got the closest. Again, if several persons guess as closely as each other I shall assume you were cheating. No? Okay, to the random number generator I'll go.

I should probably mention I can't guarantee this will be an awesome prize, I'm saving that for the 100th follower. I mean, I have some 80's patterns that aren't to my taste so you're guaranteed something at least. I'll even craft you something, I'm just not sure what yet. And I'll ship to wherever in the world you happen to be, although I reserve the right to flag down a passing ship and ask them to drop it off on their way. Or post it the cheapest way possible, whichever strikes my fancy first.

Make sure you leave your email in the comments if it's not available in your profile or on your site so I can let you know you've won. Otherwise, y'know, you won't actually win because I won't be able to get an address for you.

Entries to be in by 11th February, is that fair?

On your marks. Get set. Go!

#1 1x5m Cotton Crochet Lace in Ecru

#2 Faith shoes in fabulous yellow

#3 Cream & Brown Striped Cardigan

#4 Vintage Vogue 2669

#5 3m Blue Twill Fabric

#6 Vintage 1970's Pinstripe Shorts

#7 Vintage 1960's Dress (I wore this today, it was fab)

#8 George Ditsy Print Shirt

#9 Multi-way bra in nude

#10 Blackberry 8700G (soooo shiny!)

#11 Blue Toolbox (with tray)

Good luck!

* For those that follow me on Twitter there's a clue in a recent tweet I made

Thanks for stopping by,

25 Jan 2011

Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus!

{ Source: D. C. Perkins,
Lovespoons from Wales (Swansea, 1989) }
Or, Happy St Dwynwen's Day!

Today is the Welsh equivalent of St Valentines Day, dedicated to Dwynwen (pronounced Doyn-win ... kinda), a woman who lived in the 5th Century and was reputed to be the most beautiful of Celtic King Brychan Brycheiniog's 25 daughters.

There are several different versions of the story, mainly due to the Bards preference for oral tradition, but they all agree that Dwynwen fell in love with a prince named Maelon Dafodrill. Some versions say her Father refused to consent to her marriage to Maelon because he had pledged her to another. Some say that when Maelon found out she was pledged to another he rejected her and/ or raped her. They all agree that the two lovers were parted and that Dwynwen begged God to make her forget him.

The stories say that she was visited by an Angel who granted her wish, but who also turned Maelon in to a block ice. Dwynwen was given three wishes and she asked that Maelon be thawed, that she never marry and that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers. As a mark of her thanks she gave her life to God and founded a Convent at Llanddwyn.The well located there was named after Dwynwen after her death and is believed to have prophetic fish (or eels) who can tell you if your relationship will be a happy one. It is still a place of pilgrimage to this day and it has become tradition to exchange Lovespoons with one's partner as a symbol of love.

Oh, and if you thought 25 daughters was a lot, Brychan was rumoured to have 11 sons as well. In fact, some stories place his number of children at around 50 (it's a wonder he got around to any Kinging)! 

Thanks for stopping by,

24 Jan 2011

Sod The Heidi

I'm sorry, I thought I was smiling when I took this

I've been wearing my hair styled after one of Gertie's tutorials, so much so that I've actually taken to calling it a Gertie rather than Heidi. It's quick, easy and keeps it out of the way all day. Better yet, it doesn't result in a mass of hair at the back of my head that then catches on my car seat or my office chair. I do love a win, win situation. Unfortunately, as this photo attests (taken at oh dark thirty this morning) even immediately after it's been braided my hair still manages to never look tidy. I'm not entirely certain if that's due to my nervousness in using hair products or the general waviness of my hair or both. I rather like it regardless, so thank you Gertie!

And I'm wearing my new (to me) favourite pair of wool trousers. My mum gave me two black bin bags full of her clothes and these trousers were amongst them. Other (standing) photos aren't quite so flattering but I'm telling myself that's because I'm taking pictures on my phone instead of with a camera (that I don't own) and not because they don't actually not suit me. They're a grey coloured wool with a thin black stripe, very comfortable, and completely not the style I usually wear. They go rather well with my t-bar Hush Puppies and have rather quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. Huzzah for free clothes!

* Why yes, that is a Roman Gladius next to my bed, why do you ask? ;)

Thanks for stopping by,

20 Jan 2011

Queensland Flood Appeal


Unashamedly stolen from Sarah, all in the name of a good cause (and my best friend's house which was under 30ft of water). 

Help those affected by the terrible flooding in Queensland

Display the above button on your website, blog, etc. Get it here.
Donate an items(s) to be auctioned.
Purchase beautiful items to raise money for QLD flooding.
Participate in Quilts for Queensland.

17 Jan 2011

Inspiration: Pastels & Photographs

Wow, we're barely in to 2011 and my attempts to post twice a week have already failed miserably. Thankfully, as I blog for pleasure and not money I have also decided not to beat myself up over this and just go with the flow, strike when inspiration, erm ... strikes and when TV boyfriends have better things to do than distract me with their siren calls.

When I first started pouring over magazines for decorating ideas for my house one of the many images I keep ripping out to keep were of rooms decorated in candy cane pastels. I love the colours, soft enough to be an impression rather than in your face. I love the timelessness of those colours and the hint of age they offer, perfect for a 19th century house. I keep forgetting those images in the face of so many other wonderful pictures portraying other things, right up until you get smacked in the face with them again and suddenly you're back on track.

Lola's Room on Etsy was that swift, open palmed smack that I can see now I was long overdue. And better yet, it's a British shop, the first I've managed to find on Etsy and a complete coincidence. I was searching for pictures of daffodils and wellington boots for a guest post I'm attempting to put together elsewhere on the interweb* and came across a blog that used photos from other sources to tell the story of their daily activities. As I scrolled down the page this photo caught my eye.

{ Source: Lola's Room }

I fell In Love. I immediately checked out the entire shop and have decided to purchase, well, everything. Once I've saved up, obviously. The above photo will go in my bedroom but I Have A Story To Tell would look great in my kitchen.

{ Source: Lola's Room }

I haven't decided what I'll put in my bathroom, but I'm definitely going to have to choose something. Possibly multiple somethings. For every room. Any suggestions or favourites?

* If it gets published I'll let you know

Thanks for stopping by,

9 Jan 2011

Style Isn't Just Fashion

Not only is there a personal ongoing quest for a fashion style happening, but my 100 year old plus house is also in need of renovation and I'm constantly on the look out for inspiration. I bought the house because I was heartily sick of magnolia painted walls in rented accommodation (and I wasn't allowed a wolf). Upon moving here just over two years ago, I have slowly begun work on the house starting with a new kitchen, and promptly painted the room neutral. This is obviously because I am a Moron.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like it but it's a very neutral room. In an attempt to liven up the kitchen with some additional colour and because I love the colour red, not to mention because I'm too poor to be able to afford tiles and too incompetent a grouter to tile myself, I hit up on a cheap plan to create a splash back. Wallpaper. And not that vinyl kitchen/ bathroom stuff that comes in only one or two decent prints and costs a fortune. Normal, everyday wallpaper. I know, genius, right?

I carefully picked out my wallpaper, ordered it and it arrived several months ago. Unfortunately, despite a number of people offering to help me put it up no one has actually followed through and the roll has been languishing on my window sill ever since. A broken finger, an attempted burglary, Christmas, a magic wand remote control and New Year have added extra distractions but, oh yes, yesterday was the day.

I carefully (okay, haphazardly) rolled out the wallpaper along each wall and marked a couple of inches more than I needed before returning to the dining room table to cut. Once all the pieces were cut I started clearing the work surfaces, removing lower shelves and taping along the edges of the surfaces to help protect the wood from the glue. I then covered my table with disposable tablecloths and got to glueing.

It transpires that I am as poor a wallpaperer as I am a grouter and choosing to wallpaper (by myself) for the first time since I was about 15 in an area fraught with plugs and screw holes was probably not the best plan. But so long as you don't look too carefully at the finished results then it's unnoticeable.

The original idea had been to mix up some PVA glue with water and waterproof the paper to ensure it would work as it was intended, as a splashback. And whilst I think the theory was sound I'm not sure the print I've chosen really works. It's possibly a little too busy. And old lady-ish. In fact, I'm beginning to think maybe I should have saved for some tiles instead, my grouting can only get better afterall. Thoughts, anyone?

And some accents I'd previously added to the kitchen, on the shelf above Gwenie.

Thanks for stopping by,

6 Jan 2011

What Came First ... ?

Is it me, or is there a higher percentage of fashion bloggers out there who are fringed brunettes (or is it just my blog roll)? I follow roughly 60 fashion and fashion sewing blogs en ce moment (I lost count a couple of times), 5 I don't remember seeing post a picture of themselves but 27 of them are brunette's with fringes. Coincidental? In no particular order (other than my reader and their posting habits), we have ...

Ayesha of A Little Brighter Vintage

Laura of The World Looks Red

Maria of Lulu Letty

Lauren of Blooming Leopold

Rhiannon of Liebmarlene Vintage

Mena of Sew Weekly (in my favourite outfit of hers)

Zoe of So Zo

Aya of Strawberry Koi

Len of Can't Say Strawberry

Joanna of La Mignonette

Kennedy of Lay Me In Some Tall Grass; Let Me Do My Thing

Nadia of Nadinoo doing her thing

Kristin of Quiet And Small Adventures

Tasia of Sewaholic

Wendy of The Butterfly Balcony

Twila Jean of The Mysterious Life Of The Metropolitan Housewife

The Stylish Wanderer

Tilly of Tilly And The Buttons

Brittany of Va-Voom Vintage

Let's not forget those lovely brunettes with fringes and short hair!

Sarah of Rhinestones & Telephones

Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Marie of A Sewing Odyssey

Quincy of Q's Daydream

Did I get everyone's names right? Did I miss anyone? Honourable mentions also go out to Gertie, Solannah, Casey and Marianne who, if I remember correctly, all used to have fringes and who are included in my count because ... well, because it's my blog and I say so ;)  That's almost 50% of my blogroll, if I reduced my criteria to just brunette I'd have a much higher percentage. But, still, it does beg the question, what came first, the haircut or the blog?

I don't know about you, but I choose blogs to follow because they're inspirational and make me feel better about my own choices. It stands to reason, when I think about it with more than my usual absenteeism, that the majority of the blogs I follow regarding fashion choice will be written by women who resemble my choices or the choices I want to make. I suppose even amongst vintage and fashion bloggers (or is it just me again?) there's a need to find others like yourself to help bolster your confidence?

I've had a fringe off and on for the last 15 years or so. I say off and on because I have a love/hate relationship with hairdressers so when I find one, regardless of how far away it is, I tend to stick with them. Usually that means a haircut twice a year, including fringe trims. As you can imagine that doesn't bode well for the fringe and it's usually only a matter of weeks before I'm pinning it back.

Fortunately, I've potentially found a hairdresser in Caerphilly who very nicely trimmed my fringe for me a couple of days ago and, as they're very easy to get to and trim fringes for free, I should hopefully be able to keep this one going for longer than three weeks. Win!

Thanks for stopping by,

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