What an awfully big trunk you have!

So, for some time now I have been contemplating saving for a big adventure- one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ trips.

I’ve always been a little bit venomous about the whole ‘rite-of-passage’ travelling experience. The thought of a load of posh kids from Bath, or wherever, trampling through a village in nowheresville and taking photos of the ‘natives’ to upload to their facebooks as soon as the plane lands home just turns me right off. Then again, I’m probably just jealous that I couldn’t afford to do it haha!
And then there’s the issue of what to take. The thought of trying to predict outfits weeks in advance, and not having a vast amount of accessories to choose from makes me feel uncomfortable.

I’d much rather have a big old trunk that I can just pile everything into. I already have the perfect one too, used by my granddad when he emigrated to Australia in the 60’s.

I rescued this old, cumbersome piece of history from my dad’s tool shed. Somewhat un-lovingly, he had filled it with jigsaws and drills and all other sorts of dad-things along with a inch-thick layer of sawdust that took an eternity to clean out. I bought the repro travel labels from here and think they look perfect!

All I would need are some big sturdy locks like these from Saddler

But this wins, hands down! Antique skull padlock, which I will now be scouring eBay for on a weekly basis!

So after packing my trunk and boarding the QM2, my dream for the not-too-distant future is to travel around America and Canada by train, plane and Oldsmobile.
I’ve actually been to California/Nevada and New York already and loved them both but they welcome most newcomers with car horns and mouthful of smog.

I crave something a bit more dreamy and dusty, the Deep South, the Pacific North West, some of the mountains, the desert and lots cheap motels along the way.

I’m saving, and planning it as I go along so expect some random posts about the weird places I want to go! Suggestions welcome!

Lula uh oh oh oh Lula

So Lula plopped onto my doormat yesterday morning! Karen Elson as their guest editior, pieces on Miranda July and Catinca Untaru and a water-colour fairytale, another beautiful offering from (my girl-crush) Leith Clark.

I hope these aren't spoilers, but teasers. I couldn't resist posting some of my favourite pages!

There was a whole article on red-heads! Amazing. I think I'm going to red for autumn/winter. I've had black hair forever, but maybe I can take a little vacation? Hmmm best to get it done professionally though- wonder if I can afford it. Sounds like a mini project- see how cheaply I can professionally revamp my hair. Any ideas on where to start??


Friday and I'm in love!

Just a quick update with a few things going on in London this weekend!

Jumble Sale- Saturday 26th Sept ’09 12.30-2.30pm
30p admission
Blackfriars Hall, St Dominic’s Priory, Southampton Road, NW5 4LB
(Who knows what this will be like, but I’m going anyway!)

Arts & Crafts Fair- Sunday 27th Sept '09- Free
Lauderdale House, Highgate Hill, Waterlow Park, London (Highgate tube)
(No other details for this including what time it’s on :/ but lunchtime is always a safe bet. I’ll take a little trip there and check it out!)

Autumn Equinox Music Fair- Sunday 27th Sept ’09
£12 (ok, not free but divided by the number of bands- that’s pretty cheap!)

Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Rd, London, NW1 7AY (Camden Town tube)
She Keeps Bees + Gemma Ray + Circulus + Lulu And The Lampshades + Sam Lee + more
Timeout says- All day folky affair where live bands including She Keeps Bees + Gemma Ray + Circulus play around craft activities, morris dancing, apple bobbing, folk bingo round and cutesy food stalls.

The HungaMunga Festival- Sat 26th/Sun 27th September ’09
2pm- midnight

The Gallery Cafe, 21 Old Ford Rd, E2 9PL (Bethnal Green tube)
£18 for a weekend ticket/£12 one day ticket (ok again, not free, but the cheapest festival ticket I’ve ever heard of)
Timeout says- Our favourite arty crafty cabaret party goes for two days of cutting, sticking, painting and, well, just bonkers fun, with live music, comedy and interactive games too, this time outside in a café garden. Acts today include Tallulah Rendall, The Bobby McGees, Lail Arad, Tristram and Lulu and the Lampshades. Prepare to make the cardboard stationery holder/bottle rocket/pipe cleaner hair fascinator you never thought was possible.

Have a great weekend! x


I have a great car boot sale near me, which is just one short bus journey away, at Gospel Oak Junior School (Sundays 9.30am- check the Camden Journal for dates)

They always have great stuff!

Finds included-

vintage kitchenalia scales and enamel tin @ prettymuchpennilessGah! I was so excited when I saw the scales I gave the woman my whole kitchen obsession and finding the perfect items for my future dream house. She thought I was mad, gave me the scales for a £1 less than the £4 she wanted, and ushered me away from her table. Yesssss! Duck-egg blue 50's scales £3.
And the repro enamel biscuit tin, £1.

vintage pictures @ prettymuchpenniless2 little prints. Love the chubby little faces!

vintage sixties coat with peter pan collar @ prettymuchpenniless
red vintage peter pan collar @ prettymuchpenniless
pure laine vintage coatA 60's princess style pure wool coat with little pearlised flower buttons! A mere £3 for my new winter coat. Aces.

argyle alexa style cardi @ prettymuchpennilessI think this cardigan is about 2 inches thick! It's so heavy and when I tried it on when I got it home its massive but it's hand-knitted wool and it was only £4. All i keep thinking of is wearing it instead of a coat on freezing cold days with a belt and my brown brogues, middle-american librarian-chic style.

floral cardigan jacket @ prettymuchpennilessThis is weird. It's a bed jacket, but it's a biker jacket style haha. Hardcore sleep-wear. It's a teensy bit too small, but I couldn't leave it there for 50p.

vintage silver beaded clutch
These are a little older but the double clutch is one of my favourite finds. Amazing quality, beaded fully on both sides and bought for 50p
Mini plastic deer! She has many brothers and sisters all over the world which I've seen on other blogs and communities. I wish we could do some sort of mass deer meet. Imagine the photo ops. Dear god that would be awesome.

Anyway I fear it may be the end of the car boot season once again, so time to start hunting the ever-elusive indoor sales!

William Tempest

william tempest for london fashion week @ prettymuchpenniless
When Amy, my wonderful & talented friend fro Wolf Whistle, invited me to the William Tempest show last night for London Fashion Week, my train of thought went something like this: “No, I can’t go, WHAT WOULD I WEAR?! Do I have enough money to go and buy a new outfit? And get a haircut? And get my makeup done? No I do not. Not even close. It’s impossible. No. Not going”

And then I thought, “Actually…f**k it, let’s go”

I’ll explain my initial *ahem* apprehension.

Now, first up, I’m not ‘In Fashion’. You know, of the “What do you do for a living?”/“Oh, me? I’m In Fashion” conversation.

I love It and long to get lost in It’s swathes of tulle and leather but I’m just an outsider looking on through rose-tinted Luella glasses. I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand It. The inner workings, the cyclical shifts of colour and cut and the lust It leaves behind in Its wake.

So you can understand that attending something like this for the first time is intimidating as hell when you’re Faux Fashion.

In the end, I didn’t bother even bother trying. I just wore the out-of-season floral photo-print Topshop tee, some grey skinny jeans, a dark grey Toast blazer (hand-me-down from Mum), my 70’s men’s brown brogues and my Helpless Romantic looking glass necklace.

It was surreal but I’m so glad I went. We sat in the 3rd row and my photos are pretty crap but you get the idea!

The theme of the show was 'View to a Kill' and these dresses were definitely made for a Vesper, Jinx, Solitaire or Pussy.
william tempest for london fashion week @ prettymuchpenniless
william tempest for london fashion week @ prettymuchpenniless
william tempest for london fashion week @ prettymuchpennilesswilliam tempest for london fashion week @ prettymuchpenniless
At first I thought I hated it, but I have really come around to the copper-hued liquid lamé floor-length gown and the grey jumpsuit with the sculpted contours, but I really loved the people-print clingy jersey dress! Although it did look like some sort of wearable kama sutra in a certain light, it was wearable and fun.

william tempest for london fashion week @ prettymuchpennilessWhat an excellent start to the week!

Sweet charity

So I am ridiculously behind the times with this, but I couldn’t waste the photos I took of Oxfam’s revamped shop in Camden- a little charity promotion can never be a bad thing!

Considering the shop re-opened back in June, under the new moniker Oxfam DIY, it still looked remarkably fresh and bright when I visited on Saturday. With some excellent vintage and high-end high street sample pieces in stock, it was very exciting to browse though the whitewashed dressing table and armoire and rifle through the baskets of scarves and accessories.
Everything was designed and implemented by Mrs Jones of the DIY stylist hall of fame, and you got the feeling it must have been so much fun! The walls were plastered with sheet music, murals of owls and birds and vintage posters- do you think they’d let me move in on a permanent basis?!?

It seems as though a few shops have continued donating sample items, including ASOS, Claudette Chapeau and Whistles, however, the items donated by the public are of excellent quality too. There was a beautiful silk tea dress from Agnes B (that I wouldn’t have squeezed into in a million years) for a mere £12.99!

I found some lovely things, and although came with the intention of spending less than a fiver I couldn't pass up these beauties:

Vintage pink fan 69p; ASOS ruffled floral pants £1.99; Offcut of vintage lace 69p

Whistles sample silk-mix cardigan £15.99
This is so soft and quite structured- the back is shorter and a contrasting colour, perfect fit!

I lusted after- a large Taschen book on Tattoos that was a little out of my price range at £20; a leather satchel that at £30 was the same story, a load of floral pillowcases that I just couldn't justify, and the changing room curtains haha.

Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area, even if it’s just for the ultra-friendly staff and the interior inspiration.

Thanks to the Oxfam DIY staff who let me take photos and get in the way of their customers!

P.s Also check out Oxfams online second-hand shop, delivery is £3.50 flat rate and the best part? Free returns! So no more impulse-charity-shop-raid faux pas outfits!

Little wonderland.

Hidden, somewhat unbelievably, between St Pancras and Regents Canal in NW1 is Camley Street Natural Park. And I’ve just added it to one of my favourite places in London.

It’s free, which of course is always a big thumbs up from cheap little me, but that did not mean it was a bit council-botched-together. We spent an hour there and, although you can still hear the Eurostar and the hum of the cars, it was relaxing and- OK, this may sound trite- a bit magical. Now forget I said that. (The bath pond won me over!)

There was nobody there when we went along today, and I can imagine if it's busy it loses alot of its charm. We realised half way through that we should have bought food with us, maybe not a full blown picnic (too many wasps) but there were plenty of places to sit and enjoy some of the last good days of autumn, it was hot today and I'm so glad I found this place before the gloom sets in.

I have nothing apart from the standard lens that came with my Canon DSLR, but he didn't even dart away when I clumsily tried to creep up on him. A tame dragonfly? Odd.

They had branch-woven teepees with log benches and it was so warm that you could smell the earth and fallen leaves rotting. E said it really smelt of September and I didn't understand at first, but it's that dying heat. The heat no longer signaling green shoots and blossoms, but crispy amber leaves and bare branches.
My BFF Amy is championing an Indian Summer this year, but our weather system just can't seem to grasp the concept.

My ropey 50p camden stables basket looking particularly conspicuous amongst so much brown, but I love it none the less.

My nonchalant just-another-teepee face. Or possibly my crazy-lady-in-woods face.

And just when I thought it was over, and the thought of walking back through Camden seemed like a chore, we realised they had bunnies! After that, I was happy all the way home- even through the hoards of tourists.

So yes, you should go! It's not the Heath, but it's a surprise and all the more wonderful for it. It's free, next to the canal, full of wildlife, walkable from Camden/Kings Cross and will make you forget about everything you'd been worrying about before you stepped over its grassy threshold.