Poly Star

Because you were all I listened to for a year when I was 19, because you were brave and beautiful, because you wrote my favourite song, because you screamed the loudest and because you made me happy to be a girl. I prayed you would get through it. I'm so sad you're gone.

"You remember that song Que Sera Sera, whatever will be, will be,
the future's not ours to see? I've always felt that.
It's been a roller coaster ride,
but I wouldn't change a thing"

Poly Styrene 1957-2011

Fabric, remade

Something I can never resist, whenever I'm out rummaging amongst the piles of everyday junk at car boots, is fabric ephemera. Old printed tea towels, scarves, embroidered napkins, tablecloths and other remnants of a bygone era. Then, unfortunately, the inevitable happens. Two very large drawers of fabric scraps later and the man in my life has taken a stand against my penchant for pretty picnic cloth and silk hand-painted neckerchiefs. Instead of folding them all away into storage under my bed for no one to see, I've decided to get crafting for the following projects:

1) Cushion covers. The above is one I knocked up quickly today with one of the vintage (and ever-so-slightly sexist) tea towels I bought last year and some gingham fabric I had left over from another project. I have ALOT of cushions in my very small flat, so these may have to be rotated on a monthly/weekly basis to preserve Ed's sanity.

2) Bunting, bunting and more bunting. For my wedding, which I've been thinking more and more about recently, I want bunting everywhere. Literally, all over whatever venue we eventually decide on. So, even if the wedding is one or two years away, it's never too early to start the do-it-yourself aspects right?

3) Wedding favours. No idea what yet, but inspired by the eco-favours on blogs like Ruffled, I'm planning on giving all our guests something handmade. I've been trying to think of ways to incorporate the vintage fabrics and so far have covers for individual homemade jams or little monogrammed lavender bags, which both seem a little old-school, so any suggestions would be very welcomed!

What I need your help with are more suggestions! Whether it's for everyday use or a wedding idea, what would you do with copious amounts of kitsch and floral cottons? I know you lot will have some fantastic ideas, so challenge me- I need your craft-spiration!

The Loved One

Hannah and Landon has always been one of my favourite blogs and not just because I think Hannah is one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen- I could seriously write a book on how much I love her hair. She is also a hugely talented lingerie designer for her line The Loved One. All vintage bullet bras, sheer knickers and delicate lace suspenders, it's a retro girls idea of the perfect underwear drawer-filler.

The Slumber Party video is just dreamy and the lookbook shots are some of the most amazing photos. The one of the girls in front of the mirror above is now my desktop picture, which has strangely enraptured Ed!

I've swanned off to Hampshire this weekend to see Ed's parents and spend some time in the countryside, so it'll be a bit quiet here for a few days. I hope everyone has an equally as relaxing long weekend, happy Easter!

A Right Royal Knees Up

There are two types of people in this world: the ones who like any excuse to party and the ones who like any excuse to moan. To be perfectly frank, I usually fall into the latter category; I’m a professional, seasoned moaner. It came as a bit of a surprise then, to feel a flutter of excitement when reading the schedule of events for Friday the 29th April. Much more than the media circus, the memorabilia, the romance or the patriotism, the compelling part of Bonny Prince Billy and Kate’s committal is, for me, the huge wave of nostalgia I’m feeling. Odd though, since I’m too young to have ever experienced such a public fever, complete with its side effects of disdain and nonchalance, before.
I know we are divided. I know the endless press releases for everything from teabags to face creams, leeching off the back of these sovereign nuptials, are wearing very thin indeed. The blanket media coverage is dreaded and welcomed in equal measure but the cynical always end up shouting louder. For 12 hours, in exchange for a day off work, I’ll gladly offer up my regular viewing schedule. I won’t be sat in front of the telly anyway; the whole point of this nostalgia is to share it. I’ll be having a party, with friends and cake and games. Even if you don’t agree with it, for I know there are numerous valid reasons, it’s happening, so why not celebrate something, anything.

Out of all the events happening on Friday 29th, these, I hope, will be the least parma-violet (my code word for heave-inducing)

The Leonard Street Royal Wedding Street Party with The Book Club
Friday 29th April
10.30am – 5pm
FREE wristbands available from The Book Club, Pure Evil and The Griffin
With easily the best party in the East, Leonard street promises six and a half hours of fancy dress, cocktails, bunting and flags; bands, balloons, party games and bbq. With a Chas ‘n’ Dave tribute, a brass band, a lindy-hop and swing group, a pop-up gallery, roaming vintage from Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair and Rag & Bow and, my personal favourite, the perfect victory rolls in under 15-minutes promised and performed by the stylists from High Roller.
I’m not sure I can go on, I’m getting more and more jealous that I can’t go…a live screening, fish ‘n’ chips, royal wedding boozy punch and maybe an appearance from the Pearly Kings and Queens of London, seriously it cannot get better than this. There’s even a party-after-party at The Book Club in Shoreditch. Check out the Facebook for more information.

I Do
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Friday 29th April
18:30- 22:00
Another brilliant Friday Late from the clever bods at the V&A, this night will feature a Victorian-themed street party in the style of Edward VII and Alexandra’s 1863 wedding. You’ll have the chance to make commemorative bunting and Victorian-style keepsake handkerchiefs, have a sing song and some trifle, throw some plates and pose for wedding photos. All attendee’s are encouraged to wear bridesmaid dresses and morning suits and fashion designer Louise Gray will be there to award the best dressed.

Wills and Kates go Free
London Zoo- Regents Park
Friday 29th April- 1st May
The reason I’m the most annoyed I’ve ever been ay my mum not passing down her name to me.
To celebrate the long weekend of the royal wedding, London Zoo is offering free entry to anyone whose name is Will (or William) or Kate (or Catherine); you'll need to bring proof of your name in the form of photo ID such as a passport or driving licence. Genius.

Royal Wedding Celebration
Harewood House, Leeds
Friday 29th April
Entry fee applies
One for those further north, Harewood House looks beautiful in the photos and their huge grounds are the perfect place for a royal celebration. The courtyard will be strewn with bunting and will host a fantastic selection on cakes and other treats. Plasma screens will show the wedding but if you get bored when the camera starts rolling, there will also be a vintage clothing and wedding fair to wander round!

And finally, Tatty Devine’s Bank Holiday Pop Up Shop
Friday 29th April- Monday 2nd May
11am- 7pm
Happy Shack, Stables Market, Chalk Farm.
To coincide with the yearly Camden staple that is the Camden Crawl festival, Tatty have set up shop in the Stables a bank holiday bonanza! There will be bargain boxes, giveaways, royal wedding memorabilia, record jewellery, styling and more and thank god it’s only down the road from me because I’ll be there bright and early on Friday morning!

Two on a Tuesday

I found this dress in one of the charity shops in Eastbourne. It's barely sewn together, with the basic darts and waist seams in place but with an open back and sleeves. Someone's half finished project said the shop lady and I'd have to agree. Never one to shy away from a craft-based challenge, for £1 I bought it and hoped desperately that it was vaguely my size.

When I got home and looked at it properly, the fabric is silk and the print is beautiful. Can you see it? Trees and branches, foliage and bushes. It think it's screen-printed as the print is so blocked. And the best bit? It could have been made for me. The fit is perfect and once the seams are sewn I think it might become a wardrobe favourite.

And the hat? Bought for 50p from a car boot sale for purely decorative purposes! I look like a crazy lady in it but couldn't resist the vintage silk flowers!

Spring Trinkets

Above are just a few photos of my favourite pieces of Gogo Philip jewellery from their new stand in Westfield last week. I visited after work with my friend Natalie (pictured above with one of the moustache necklaces and Fiona and her A-Ok necklace) and we hung out with Amy, Jazmine, Fi and Tory and snapped happily away at the rows and rows of shiny treasures. The perfume bottles were my absolute favourite- I'd been looking for the perfect simple bottle necklace and Gogo have them in lots of different shapes and sizes for a mere £13. Think I'll definitely be back to snap up the whole lot- even more incentive to do so is the Gogo Westfield loyalty card they've launched, I think after you've bought 10 pieces from their range you get a fiver off. When most of the collection is under a tenner, it's just one of those inevitables in life.

Project Take 10: Peacocks By Design

So another month, another new Take 10 challenge and this is probably my favourite yet! a gorgeous Spotty dress from the new By Design range at Peacocks.

It reminds me of a delightful debutante, hence why I paired it with the only other piece of beige clothing I own, an oversized cardi perched on my shoulders. The dress itself is beautiful, a pleated skirt, a fitted waist ribbon and a centered bow with a vintage style brooch. Firstly, it doesn't look like Peacocks' usual fare and secondly, it's totally out of my comfort zone- I would have never chosen a beige dress for fear of it looking mummsy in this sort of shape, but paired with the right shoes- see Harriet and Vicki's gorgeous ones- it can look (sorry for the pun) spot on.

See how the other lovelies styled it here:

Sabine- Psynopsis
MJ- Dreaming Spires
Sherin- Hi Fashion

Harriet- Where is Harriet?
Vicki- Magpie Girl
Jen- A Little Bird Told Me
Paula- PinkBow

And special guest Take Tenner this month is the beautiful Susie from Take Out in Couture! Genius of her to have worn the dress backwards and that pop of colour from the clutch looks great.

Till next time!

East is Eden

Dress: New Look
Pink basket: Camden market
Agate necklace: RubyRaeLove

To hopefully brighten your (and my) start to the colder week ahead, here's a jumble of photos from my weekend in Eastbourne. In no particular order: we checked in to a beautiful guesthouse on the seafront, posed in front of the LA-style palms, ate cheapo fish & chips, marvelled at the giant seagulls, were the oldest kids to ride a miniature steam train, remembered why I loved Sylvanian Families so much and wore orange whilst pretending it didn't clash hideously with my hair and my bag.

The charity shopping was epic, Ed was most displeased. He spends 1/5th of the time I do in them and that's always in the book section! Whilst he spent most of his time waiting for me on a bench in the sun, I came to the sad conclusion that most charity shops are trying too hard to be trendy and cool and that, unfortunately, this is why they rarely sell anything of interest to me. They seem to organise and sort the stock to a clinical degree and offload anything slightly odd/without a high street label to the recycling bins. This makes me sad, but I did find a couple of sweet things to show later on in the week.

Hope everyone's having a happy start to the week!

The kindness of strangers

This little package came in the post today and Donna, I hope you are reading! Thank you so much! I've never received anything so unexpected and considered and I've never had a reader of this little blog send me anything out of the blue before. It really just proves that people can be absolutely wonderful sometimes. And my open reply: I love the hair band we traded Donna, it happens to be featuring in an outfit post very soon!

As you read this, thanks to the wonder of scheduled posting, I'm in Eastbourne this weekend for a mini getaway with Ed. His lovely parents bought us a hotel voucher for Christmas so we're off to spend what will hopefully be a very sunny weekend on the beach, in some charity shops and eating ice creams. I've done my research and apparently there are approx. 10 charity shops within a mile radius of our hotel so Ed is going to be positively thrilled! I'm sure I'll find a nearby pub to park him in. Whatever you're up to this weekend, have fun soaking up the sun!

Sew up my heart

One weekend, a few months ago, I was at a church jumble sale- the one which always proves fruitful. Early into the scrum I spotted a perfect 1960's foldout accordion sewing box. It had legs and a handle and would have made a perfect mini coffee table-cum-craft store. I paid £3 for it and asked the lady to hold it for me whilst I had a rummage through the rest of the sale. I bet you can see it coming can't you? The inevitable downfall of a girl who often tends to get a little too overexcited about junk. Yes, I left without it. With my ten carrier bags of ancient lace tablecloths, old penquin books and random knick-knacks, I walked out without a second thought for it.

I've been pining after something to store my pins and needles and threads and pinking shears in ever since and found some amazing examples on Etsy. Now, all that's left to do is weigh up the probability of me finding another sewing box at a car boot sale this summer vs. the convenience of that perfect pretty in pink number above...