maandag 27 februari 2017

How the leopard got his spots

The problem with weekends is that I'm always trying to cram too much into them.

There's never enough time for even half the things I want to do. Before I know it, it's Sunday night, and what have I done? Surely, someone has pulled a prank on me and fiddled with the hands of the clock?



My diary is quite full-on for the next couple of weeks, with two housewarming parties, a birthday party, several flea markets and a charity shopping event in the month of March only.

In fact, last Saturday was a one-off, the diary's page for the day blank, to be filled with spontaneity!









Time for some reading, perhaps?

Or at least browsing through some 1970s Country Life magazines found at my dad's.












Now, if the weather would have been fine, we might have used such a day to go for a walk.









But no, it turned out - again! - to be grey and rather cold, one of those days when it's up to me to provide some colour.













OK, the colour is almost all beneath the coat!

Ta-da! I don't think anyone can be grumpy for long wearing this coral polka-dotted Trevira dress!


I added a navy cardigan and tights as well as navy booties, and a shiny wide navy belt, which is part elasticated.

One of my favourite brooches, dating from the 1940s, and a string of red, white and blue plastic beads completed my outfit.


We did a quick round of the charity shops, but since there's a retro event coming up, there wasn't much to our liking.

We did, however, return with a pile of books.


Not that we need any more books, or indeed have the space for them, but since I've rekindled my passion for vintage paperbacks, I keep finding treasures. Apart from the Roald Dahl Penguin,which dates from 1963, they are all from the late 1940s, early 1950s.

They were € 0,25 each, including the April 1952 issue of Argosy magazine.

Speaking of books, we still have a boxful of my dad's to re-home. We've given the bulk of his books to charity, but still ended up with more than enough.



The Ellery Queen magazine, dating from 1953, fits in with my collection, while the one on the left, which was published in 1964, made me smile. Exercising without moving a muscle: now, that sounds right up my street!


This mottled old book, full of Christian advice for the family, is from the early 1900s. I was drawn by its fabulous Art Nouveau style cover design. Isn't it beautiful?

What else did I do? Being appointed the family photo archive keeper, I freed some cupboard space to store the boxes and folders full of photographs and assorted documents.


The sketchbook yielded a few surprises.

At first, we were mystified as to who could have done these wonderful fashion sketches, but then we spotted my dad's initials beside the date on some of them. Who would have thought? He was twenty years old at the time, and I guess he did them from magazine illustrations. I'm thinking of framing a couple of them.


On Sunday, while we continued our clearing of our dad's house, we came across a photo album which belonged to Great Aunt Josephine, my paternal grandmother's sister. She and her husband were quite well off, and I have several pieces of her jewellery, including a string of pearls.







I was admiring some photographs of her wearing a leopard fur coat, when my brother said he'd seen that coat in a wardrobe up in the attic.















Indeed, a couple of minutes later, he returned with a leopard fur coat but, although it had almost certainly belonged to her, it wasn't the actual coat she was wearing in the photos. I would have been surprised if it were, as the photos date from the late 1930s. There's no label to identify the coat's age or provenance, but as she died in 1983, it is surely older than that. Maybe late 1960s, early 1970s?


I'm not in favour of real fur coats, but this one, which fits me perfectly, and has a family connection to boot, I will keep and probably wear once in a while.

There, that's another weekend gone by ...

What did you do with yours?


26 opmerkingen:

  1. Those illustrations are wonderful! You should definitely frame them! I love that art nouveau design on the book too.

    The coat is real leopard?
    I should get my fake leopard out again, but the lining ripped and it bothers me more than it probably should, but it was pristine when I got it, which is why it irks me xxx

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    1. The coat is real fur, Melanie, but whether it's actually leopard remains to be seen. Beate put the notion into my head that the spots could be painted on ... Anyway, I would very much prefer it to be fake ... xxx

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  2. I love these glimpses into your charity shop adventures, and of the treasures under your own roof. Those illustrations are charming. What a fierce coat x

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    1. Thank you! My dad's sketches seem to be getting a lot of love. Fierce is indeed the exact description of the coat! xxx

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  3. That leopard fur coat suits you perfectly!
    The illustrations, what a delightful find by your own father's hand.

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  4. rummagging through old magazines and books is a fabulous activity for a cold Winter day! (I like a quiet weekend, but it's all walking and running errands for me these days!)
    Your dad's designs look amazing!. And obviously, that leopard coat is a fabulous piece, even more fabulous because it came from your own family's attic. That makes it very special!
    besos

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    1. I never seem to get around to a quiet weekend, either. Browsing through books and old magazine is indeed the perfect pastime on grey winter days! xxx

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  5. Hello Phoebe!
    Your Dad's sketches are beautiful and really should be framed. What a talent.
    What a fab collection of vintage paperbacks you found, the covers are so cool.
    Love the cheery polka dot frock especially the spoon collars!
    Your Great Aunt was such a glamour puss. Isn't it lucky you're the same size? xxx

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    1. I knew my dad had a talent for drawing, but these sketches really blew my mind. Thanks to you, I now know that they are called spoon collars. I guess Josephine would have loved to be called a glamour puss ;-) xxx

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  6. is it real leopard or is it an other animal with painted on spots? anyway - it is a glorious coat!! just wow!
    but i like the spots on your dress too :-) the swing-y skirt and the clear colors add to the cheery look!
    our weekend was sunny - ha! - and i enjoyed that by biking to the supermarket, starting the clean up of the garden, doing some washing to hang outside and sitting in the sun.........
    more sunshine to you! xxxxxx

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    1. Your remark got me thinking, Beate. You could very well be right. How lucky you were to have a sunny weekend. Our garden is just calling out for some TLC. Unfortunately the forecast is for yet more rain ... xxx

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  7. Awh what a wonderful blog post. Just whats needed on a miserable day like today. Your weather sounds as bad as ours.
    Wasn't your Dad talented and what a fabulous coat.
    Needless to say please add the coral frock to my pile please. You look gorgeous in it. The colour is perfect
    Lynn xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynn. I'd a feeling that frock would be up your street. I love the blue polka dot one from your last post too. xxx

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  8. Those drawings by your dad are amazing, what a lovely thing to find. All those old books look really interesting, especially the astronomy one. I'm with you on real fur but a family connection and an old piece, it's a keeper! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Claire. The astronomy book is a Mentor book, which was the equivalent of Pelican books in the US. So, that was quite a find, collection-wise, too. xxx

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  9. I know that feeling of trying to cram too much in, all too well Ann. However I am always pleased to hear about what you have been doing. Well done on scoring the bargain books...looks like you have a few racy ones there! Your dad's attic is a veritable treasure trove turning up his wonderful sketches, what a lovely surprise and also your Great Aunt's coat...it looks soooo warm.x

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    1. The racy book covers are the best. At the time, even the more serious books tended to get lurid covers in order to entice people to buy them. xxx

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  10. Weekends go far too quickly that's for sure. I love your Dad's sketches.

    I'm not a fan of real fur, if it were me I'd give it a decent burial.

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    1. I think I'll keep it around anyway, Gisela, even if I won't wear it much. The next generation can give it a decent burial if they like. I'm too sentimental to let it go ... xxx

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  11. I'm not a fan of real fur either but that one is just too precious, especially with memories attached even if it isn't the same as the one in the photo.

    How amazing to find the treasure of your Dad's sketches. I agree you should frame them. What a unique piece of art to have on your wall.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. I will be framing the best of the sketches, and put them in my ... ahem ... boudoir! xxx

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  12. Coral and navy is such a brilliant combination, and you're really working it there.

    Those drawings your dad did are lovely; getting them framed would be a great way to ensure they are kept safe.

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    1. Thanks Mim. I tried combining the coral with other colours, but always go back to the navy, which really enhances the colour. xxx

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  13. Oh my word, so many amazing treasures! I love those sketches your dad did, especially the bottom right one. What a lovely thing to discover. And that coat! Just wow! I'm not a fan of real fur either, even in vintage, but I could never part with something like that if it belonged to a close relative.

    Oh, and as for never having enough time at the weekend, you're preaching to the choir, sister! I never get ever everything done I'd wanted to and then by Sunday night I'm worn out. It makes getting up on Monday morning quite a struggle! xx

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    1. Although I love the coat, there's part of me that wishes it was faux fur. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable wearing real fur. My dad would be so proud to read all your comments on his sketches. It makes me a bit sad I only discovered them now ... xxx

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