Oh rummaging, I'll never quit you. Even on the rainiest of days, the busiest of days, the saddest of days, I'll always have the time and patience for you and your surprises.

Nothing brightens up my day more than a fruitful thrifting session and our mini-trip to Rye last weekend gave me lots to smile about. The shops were mostly along the lines of specialist antique rather than junk or vintage but I found a couple of right gems.

Glass Etc is run by Andy McConnell, a familiar face to anyone who loves a bit of Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday evening (diehard fan right here). It's a huge, beautifully laid out shop full of (funnily enough) glassware with a few ceramics and other ephemera thrown in for good measure. I've been looking for swan planters for a while now and wither find them in appalling condition or way out of my price range.
I found this cute little guy for £15, so not car-boot cheap, but I was happy to bring him home on the train with me.

Outside the Rye Museum, they'd set up a book stall predominantly made up of old mechanic journals and DIY manuals. Underneath all the boring books, I spied the illustrated cover for Robert Louis Stevensons A Child's Garden of Verses. After coughing up my £2 for it, I further inspected it. The book is a 1914 edition, with illustations by Jessie Wilcox Smith, two very pretty old bookplates and, after doing a little internet search, possibily worth quite alot more than the two pounds I paid. Not my aim, but certainly a bonus!

Found anything worthy of note recently?

Project Take 10: Sugarhill Boutique

I loved this shirt when I first saw it on offer for our new Take 10 project, it's just my sort of kitsch. Courtesy of Sugarhill Boutique, we went for a casino-themed project this month with die and decks of cards featuring on all three pieces.

The shirt is lovely, a great shape and I'm sure really wearable on anyone under a size 14, but unfortunately it just didn't fit comfortably unless I tied it up like I've done above. Luckily, I quite like it this way but it's a shame that a size marked as XL doesn't seem to fit above a 34" bust. All is not lost as Olivia looks beautiful in it, as does Harriet. I teamed it with a pair of vintage-style jeans simple sandals, my favourite red leather drawstring duffle and my never-more-apt Welcome to Las Vegas necklace!

We also said a very sad goodbye to long-time member of Take 10, Jen, this month. In her place, we've been joined by the lovely Mel so do stop by and wish her welcome!

A birthday dress.

This is just a short post to thank you for all the birthday wishes on Twitter and Instagram! I turned 26 today and gosh, it's scary!

I've had a wonderful couple of days, going for a mexican and cocktails last night and a huge lunch today with long-time friends. I was lucky to receive some very meaningful presents and I bought myself a little treat in the form of this dress, from Topshop, and the little dolly platforms shoes from a random shop called Deichmann in Westfield White City.

26 is going to be the year I marry, the year I make big decisions, the year I change my life and the year I have a blast doing it. Thank you for all your support over the last year, however long you've been reading and commenting. I still appreciate everything you've done and keep doing. Here's to 26!

Rain on, Rye.

We took a day trip to Rye yesterday because I'd heard good things about their vintage and antique shops and, seeing as it's my birthday on Monday, Ed acquiesced and paid for the train tickets as an early present. It only takes about an hour and fifteen minutes from London, with one change at Ashford, so it's a great contender for a day trip destination.

We stepped of the train at Rye station and were greeted with sheets of rain and a relentless wind which I hadn't expected when putting on a new vintage dress complete with short, very flippy skirt- I think most of Rye was privy to a glimpse of my pants yesterday. It was pretty hard to look at everything with such horrendous weather so we holed up for a bit and waited for the worst to subside.

Firstly, it's beautiful. Genuine old, very uneven, cobblestones and old tudor housing with a handful of top notch vintage and curiosity shops (more on these and what I bought in another post).

We ate at The Ship Inn, a pub/B&B which has been decorated with beautiful fifties and sixties furniture (see the Ercol style sofa above!), atomic prints everywhere and kitsch circus oddities (see the top photo for 'without parallel, the most obese man in the world'). I ordered sardines on toast, simple and delicious and we shared a banana split for dessert. 

We found the Rope Walk shopping centre, an arcade full of empty shop-fronts, lost in time, with a mostly-abandoned upper level. In a charity shop called Animal Charities the volunteer broke my heart, whilst she boxed up her stock, with stories of weeks without customers, her inability to carry on anymore and that she just wanted to help the animals. Ed had to practically carry me out of there.

Downstairs I nearly choked when we stumbled on the old arcade games, still priced at only 20p a go, just left languishing. 

Get me back here soonish please, preferably with better weather, bigger shopping bags and somewhere to stay the night. 

The detail in things.

I love a wander in my little area of London at twilight and looking after our friends pooch gives us even more of a reason to get out of the flat after work. I'm starting to resent those evenings we sit in front of our computers, absorbing information, not going out. It's a very modern ailment I suppose, an affection for technology, forgetting that a drink in a pub is more social than a conversation on Twitter.

It's nice to see the sky sometimes though, to see the smaller details I usually ignore. Symmetry in a garden square, aging signage, the charms on my new bracelet, a pair of shoes that have stayed buried since I bought them. I must not forget. There is life outside, waiting.

Dress: French Connection
Jacket: DIY-ed Primark
Boots: Car boot sale
Charm bracelet: c/o Your Fashion Jewellery

The Making of Mr Potter

If you have zero interest in Harry Potter, then look away now. Similarly, if you don't want any spoilers from the Studio tour, then I would advise you to also skip this post!

I bought my Mum two tickets for the Warner Bros Studio Tour at Leavesden for her birthday back in May because, like me, she is a hardcore Potter fan. The earliest date I could secure for a Saturday at a normal hour was the 11th August- I'm not sure if it's still that booked up but be warned! 

In short, the tour was done very, very well. Ticket numbers are capped for each time slot. We had a 3.30pm slot and queued for about twenty minutes to enter, but this was the only queuing we did all afternoon whilst there. Pretty impressive for a large tourist attraction! The fact that it's called a tour is slightly misleading as, apart from a short talk at the beginning, you're left to wonder about the two vast warehouses and outside area at your leisure. We were slightly limited on time, so spent two instead of the recommended 3 hours seeing everything.

The attention to detail shown in the sets, props, outfits, architecture and special effects is overwhelming and a bit bewildering. I never truly appreciated how much work went in to these films, and probably many others. 

Even the jewellery is specially designed and commissioned. If anyone fancies making me a silver kitty brooch like the one made for Dolores Umbridge, you'd have an admirer for life!

I think my favourite part overall was the graphic design section. It was all hosed in just two enormous glass cabinets, but everything in them was beautifully designed and instantly recognisable.

I had such a wonderful afternoon with my Mum, we both loved it, both drank the super-sweet Butterbeer concoction and both want to go back again soon. I didn't feel like a silly adult there either, which I was slightly worried about! Most of the people in our slot were groups of adult fans and a few families dotted around, so it wasn't kiddy-overload. For £28 a ticket, it was definitely worth it for me. 

Let me know if there's anything you wanted to know about the tour and I'll try my best to answer any queries!