Monday, 30 May 2016

A half hearted attempt... a blogging comeback.

Work continues to gather pace at the soon-to-be rental in Brum, upstairs totally decorated and carpeted, workman has finished downstairs wall repairs and tiling, gas man contacted to do boiler service and issue landlord safety certificate, fingers crossed that isn't too expensive.

We've visited some lovely places in the past few weeks and bought a few bargains.  I have been quite productive on eBay and the facebook local selling pages, which have been brilliant in covering my share of the bills, phew!

 I won't bore you with all the photos from our days out this past month, as there are too many to share in one post, so I'll just focus on the charity shop stuff and other bargains until I get back to speed with regular blogging.

OH picked up these two shirts, both were £2.50.

   The top shirt is a linen mix one from Sainsbury's, and a very nice fit.  The bottom one was an open waffle weave Cotton Traders one, which proved to be a no-no when we got it home.  I managed to sell it on ebay and we recouped the money, thankfully.

I have bought more of the ASDA boy's socks, still going through the till at £2,

and this lovely top, bought on a whim at £2.49 and the labels had been cut out, something I hate.  When I got it home I noticed the name sewn into the hem and on the buttons, it is a Fat Face top, and fits really well, phew.

Oh, and if you look closely you will see the dreaded sleeve turn up bits, I'm leaving them on this top as it fits fine with them and looks better!

High street bargains next, and a lovely violet nail polish from Bodycare (love that shop) just 99p, and just to match, 5 packs of Parma violet sweets for £1 from ASDA

Next up, a plentiful haul for Mr pennypincher, two shirts and two pairs of cool linen trousers for the Summer.

Both shirts are M&S and both were £3.50 each

Both pairs of linen trousers are by Next and both pairs were £3 each

I picked up a couple of toiletry bargains, Pixi glow tonic and Josh Wood travel sized shampoo, both were 20p.

I was quite shocked when I saw the RRP of the Pixi glow stuff, so much so that I sold it on ebay, I was happy to try it if it was cheap stuff but it isn't, so the profit will happily go towards petrol money!  The shampoo (M&S but highly sought after) is for coloured hair so rather than use it myself (as I don't colour my hair) I will pop it in a friend's birthday bag.

I also had a lovely bargain on ebay, this fabulous Next crocheted cardi, just £7.05 and that includes postage!

Isn't it fab?!  

Another ebay purchase for me, these Eddie Bauer leather slip on sandals, had to pay £9.50 (that includes postage) for them but at least no-one bid against me.  

Excuse the chipped nail polish and lillywhite winter feet!

These sandals are so comfy, the soles are the same as the Cotton Traders clogs.

Another charity shop bargain next, a great pair of linen mix Per Una trousers for 50p

They look a bit short in the leg, but so am I so they fit!  There is a teeny bit of hem allowance if I need to let them down a touch, not sure I will bother though.

Another great bargain for OH, I picked up these Levi 506 for just £3.99

The label says they are 38 waist, OH is a 36 but I measured them in the shop and they only measure 38 exactly, no extra for a comfy fit, so when I got them home I measured them against his other jeans and they are the same size. He has since tried them on and they fit comfortably.

I found this 3/4 sleeve t shirt for myself, at the strange price of £1.38 as the chazza had a sale on.

  It is only a George at ASDA top, but I like it, I am looking for more green for my wardrobe, so the flash of green dragon is welcome.

Lastly, on a day trip out we happened to stop off in a small town and I found this Custo Barcelona top for £2.

 I'm not entirely happy with the pastelly colourway, but I like Custo stuff and it was a thrill getting hold of one of their tops for £2!

I did find a stain on the front as I took the photo, so just rubbed a Vanish bar on it and gave it a gentle rub, it came right out in the wash, phew.

As well as the final push on the rental, I have secured a business unit near OH's studio and will be setting up a small business shortly.  I have a name and will be building a website rather than trading through Folksy or eBay.  Until I register with the Inland Revenue I will be keeping it all under wraps, and after everything that has been going on these past months, I'm sure the start up will be slow, as I'm completely cream crackered at the mo.

Just a reminder that if you are UK based, you can still enter my vintage dress giveaway on Facebook, or if you are not on Facebook just mention in the comments below if you would like your name to go in the hat, closing time is midnight on 31st May, good luck!    

Monday, 25 April 2016


I am giving away this charity shop find on my facebook page, pop over if you want your name in the hat, link on the right of this post.  If you are not on facebook, just comment below if you want to enter in the draw, you have until the end of May.

UK size 10 dress, approx 43 inches long and bust measures 36 inches, matching fabric belt and pussy bow tie at neckline.  In excellent condition!

UK entries only please though.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Riders on the storm

Waking up on Saturday morning to this view was a bit of a shocker;

The view from the lounge was equally disturbing... for April

Thankfully (I hate saying that about snow, I love snow!) it was all gone in two hours

Since then, we have had much warmer weather, much more Spring-like.

So much so, that painting in the soon-to-be rental was almost enjoyable. Today I managed to paint a whole room including the ceiling in three hours, and after arriving home also managed to clear a lot of the rubble that the builders left on our drive (despite them saying it was like that before they started, no, it was not!).

I've treated myself this week, to a beauty box I saw advertised in mum's daily paper.

  I wanted to buy myself a treat, and OH will use some of the things.  There are a couple of items I'm never going to use so they will go on ebay and hopefully I will recoup most of the cost of the box.  The nail varnish was going to go in the present drawer, but the colour I've received is different to the one on the advert, it is much nicer, so I'm keeping that too!

Yesterday, I picked up some new socks from the supermarket.  As I'm usually in boots or trainers, I like sports socks, and as I have small feet (a size 4) I buy boys socks.  They seem to be better quality and are cheaper than ladies socks.  

These boys socks from ASDA have reinforced toe and heel and went through the till at just £2.

No charity shop bargains this past 7 days, I was due to visit some last week but when I went to get in the car the immobiliser decided I was a thief and refused to open up for me, all lights flashing and horn blaring!  I was locked out of my own car for two hours until OH managed to open the door and start the car. He pressed the fob button whilst the key was in the ignition and this disabled the immobiliser, meaning I could drive it at last.  I had enough time to get some shopping in before phoning a specialist car electricals company, who managed to sort it all out quickly, and surprisingly cheaply considering they come out to you.  Turns out the fuse had blown for the immobiliser and I had a short in the tailgate.

All sorted now so there may or may not be bargains to be seen next time!

Our Friday outings continued last week with our first visit of the year to the beautiful Coughton Court in Warwickshire

This is the back view, the private apartments of the Throckmortons are on the right, the rest is accessible to the public.

Inside the door there is a fabulous looking ceiling

Amazing, considering it isn't stone, but plaster.

As it was wet underfoot, we had to don the very attractive blue plastic foot coverings, modelled here by OH on the stairwell

The family silver is on view in the panelled dining room, where the dining table was laid out for members of the household serving in world war 1.  That flower display is made up of documents relating to the officers of the household who were serving in the great war, so clever.

 Seems it not just me who has trouble keeping silver clean, look at the state of that cutlery, but the glassware sparkles

  I do love the stone mullion windows, the tiny panes of glass in different levels of clear, and the close up view of the upper floors of the wing.

A previously Catholic family, Coughton has many close associations with brutal historical acts, including the Gunpowder Plot and the death of Mary, Queen of Scots.  This chemise is allegedly the one she was wearing when beheaded.


As the weather was OK, we spent a good part of the day wandering around the grounds, part of which were not open due to the previous weeks of wet weather.

At Coughton,(pronounced coat-on) there are two family churches in the grounds, the older Catholic church

 which has a beautiful old porch on the side

and the more modern Anglican one, which is also nearer to the main house

So much so, that it pops up on another shot of the gardens!

My favourite part of the garden has to be this bit, complete with the most over the top regal looking bench

A greylag goose casually dried itself after a good bath in the lake, and wasn't bothered by us approaching

As there was a chance of rain, I took the opportunity to wear my ebay Seasalt raincoat again, which I absolutely love

Yes, it's a rubbish photo! 

We are trying to decide where to go this week, so much more needs doing on the rental I hope we have time to go out, it is a welcome respite from all the work, and the madness of this past week. I also hope to browse some chazzas soon!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Sew in love

After weeks of chucking out, I'm finally getting round to thinking about sorting out those items of clothing that need a tweak to make them wearable. 

Altering those pesky £1 Jane Norman turn up jeans the other week has given me my sewing mojo back and I set to on a pair of Levi 501's bought on ebay for the OH.

He virtually refuses to wear any other jeans, and as you know, they are anything from £55 to £70 brand new.  We (well, just me actually) trawl ebay periodically, searching for the elusive button fly red labels to keep him stocked up, usually at around £20 for a lightly worn pair, if you are lucky.  It appears to be worth the cost as Levi's last for eons, and the pocket linings are the strongest I've come across.

Anyway, a recent purchase provided a conundrum, they were too long. Way too long!  OH has a 34 inch inside leg and these were at least 36 inches.  Label said they should have been 34 but...

After a quick trawl of the internet, I came across several tutorials showing how to keep the original hem whilst removing length, and chose to follow this one from Snapguide 


Bit more detail for you

I had to cut the excess off as it was longer than the hem and quite bulky.

Another project I'm just mulling over is this pretty home made dress that mum came back with when she went to help the local village hall clear their loft out.  It appears they had a sewing club there many years ago and they left an awful lot of half finished projects, fabric and shop bought clothing to cut up, in the loft when they disbanded.

We donated the other items she rescued to the local chazza, but I was rather taken with this dress.  The fabric is a little vintage looking, it reminds me of the Magic Roundabout!

It is a lovely thick glazed cotton, I can't find a selvedge to find a printer's mark though, so am in blissful ignorance of its origin.

I'm not into pink, but love this print, and am hoping to get a summer maxi skirt and maybe squeeze a fitted top out of it too.  I dropped the hand stitched hem and found a further three inches of fabric and the dress was already too long on me so fingers crossed!

Only one purchase this week, since the epic Ercol find the other Friday I'm not sure anything will live up to that.  I bought this pretty wool cardi from ebay, at a cost of £7.94.  A trifle more expensive than I like to pay but I can never find nice cardigans in the charity shops, and they are so expensive brand new.

Pity the seller didn't notice the oversized top buttonhole that the button wouldn't stay in, or the stain on the front, something I didn't notice either until after I had given it a quick wash.

The buttonhole was hand stitched with a matching thread to tighten it up and is now good as new.

I'm still on the lookout for another cardi though.

This past week we had a flying visit from OH's dad, who now lives across the water in his native Ireland.  We decided to take him out for the day and popped over to Witley Court via the Dog Inn at Dunley

We visited the Dog on my birthday, and it was quite empty then.  I was really surprised to see hardly anyone in the place again, as the food is beautiful and very reasonably priced, and the French Maitre d' is attentive (and a rugby fan!)

We arrived at about 12.30 and were the only ones there for quite a while.  I had the ranch burger and OH and his dad had the Cumberland sausage with mustard mash, which looked amazing.  With drinks, the bill was £36 and we were very full. (apologies, totally forgot to take a photo of the food!).

Onwards to Witley, to walk it all off.

A trio of trouble!

Wearing: new-to-me Seasalt raincoat £29 ebay, Grey leather Fat face boots (possibly £35 on ebay but can't remember) and H&M teenage jeans, £2 chazza find.  One of my more expensive outfits.

I love all the moss on the fountain, bet English Heritage don't though

Witley is huge, you can only imagine how amazing it was when lived in

The fire damage is most evident in the ballroom

The building is still beautiful though

The front porch is bigger than our cottage

The back portico is probably the largest in England on a country house

Plaster still on the walls

Beautiful window surrounds 

Walls without floors

Witley Court is maintained by English Heritage, and well worth a visit if you are in the area.  It is very atmospheric and was featured in the video for A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procol Harum, in the late sixties.

OH has kindly offered my limited sewing services to a friend who has wrecked the zip on his expensive rugby stadium coat, I've been sitting looking at if for a fortnight now and haven't plucked up the courage to attack it.  Good job I googled around as I've found a super quick way of replacing the zip and the friend is happy to let me do it, so much less faff, will update next time!