zondag 4 juni 2017

If the shoe fits

It's not what you think!

I haven't gone mad in a shoe shop, nor have the sales started early. There wasn't even a charity shop or flea market involved in this major shoe haul!



No, these five pairs of new-to-me shoes were a gift from a friend, who was doing a cull and was getting rid of those shoes she was no longer able to wear.

Lucky for me, we have the same size (4, or 37 here in Belgium).



I particularly love the sandals and the sling backs (which, would you believe it, were my friend's wedding shoes!), and I finally own a pair of gold shoes now!

In order to fit them all in, I cleared some space by getting rid of a bag full of boring shoes I'm never wearing.

Meanwhile, summer arrived with a bang, as we were having a mini heatwave last weekend. It was an extended weekend for most here in Belgium, as schools were closed on Friday after Thursday's public holiday, and lots of people had the day off as well.



As is tradition on days like these, the roads to the coast were chock a block with traffic (the papers said that over 500.000 flocked to Belgium's 67 km of coastline), but the nearest we went to the seaside is this 1950s souvenir from Knokke, Belgium's poshest seaside resort, found at a charity shop.



On Saturday, we started the day with breakfast at our little garden table, enjoying the quiet and relative coolness of the morning.










I wasn't wearing polyester for once, but rather 100% cotton!














This vintage handmade dress screams 1970s, with its cheerful flower print in red, yellow, orange, olive green and white on the darkest of brown backgrounds.

The dress was picked up at Think Twice, and the moment I laid eyes on it, I was willing it to fit, as I was head over heels in love. But in spite of its small waist, closing with a side zipper, it's got a wide skirt that effortlessly skims over my hips.



Its pale yellow rick-rack, which can be seen peeping out from the square neckline and which has been sewn about 15 centimeters above the hem, has a mind of its own, and no amount of ironing gets it to lay flat. As if it isn't bad enough that the dress itself has to be ironed. Oh, the things one does for love!



I'd piled on the accessories, and was wearing yellow beads, with a cluster of beads at the bottom (vintage shop), an orange plastic ring and yellow, green and red bangles (charity shops and flea markets). The leather look green flower corsage was a retail purchase in last year's sales.

Oh, and I wore my new-to-me gold shoes, a comfortable pair of ballerinas.



The high temperatures, which do not really agree with either of us, forced us to take things at an even more leisurely pace.

While it was still relatively cool, I walked into town to pick up some essentials, returning via our village's weekly market where I was tempted by a pot of marguerites.

Then we just sat and enjoyed the garden ...


... and its wildlife.



A splash of orange is provided by the intricately shaped Nasturtium flowers and the first of the delicate, papery thin Welsh poppies (Meconopsis cambrica), who seem to be chosing a different place to settle every year.


The ground covering Geranium, with its host of pink flowers, has decided to keep the gooseberries company, while they slowly ripen to a ruby red.

In the afternoon, we paid a brief visit to our local charity shop.

We were overjoyed that it had air conditioning, so while Jos was having a free cup of coffee, I had a look around, and bought this red polka dotted white dress.

In fact, I already saw this dress a couple of weeks ago and while it was a perfect fit, I noticed a stain, which I wasn't sure I'd be able to remove.




As luck would have it, I'd forgotten my packet of make-up remover tissues I usually carry for the purpose, so I made sure I had them with me this time. I was able to fade the stain a little, so I took a chance, thinking that I could always hide the stain with a brooch or flower corsage. And the best thing is that it was now half price, as they were having a sale!

I guess good things come to those who wait ...

I'm happy to say that after washing the dress, the stain has disappeared completely!

Other recent charity shopping finds, which I haven't yet been showing you, include two blue scarves, a long-sleeved shirt and a lightweight cotton blouse sprinkled with flowers.


There were some books too:


The book on Art Nouveau and Jugendstil, a heavy 425 page coffee table tome, is well worth the € 8,50 we paid for it.

The delightful book on the right promises a guided tour of ten of literature's most famous houses. There's Dorian Gray's house, for instance, but also the House of the Seven Gables and Baskerville Hall.

Oh, and Manderley ...


"We turned the last corner, and so came to Manderley.  Yes, there it was, the Manderley I had expected, the Manderley of my picture post-card long ago.  A thing of grace and beauty, exquisite and faultless, lovelier even than I had ever dreamed, built in its hollow of smooth grassland and mossy lawns, the terraces sloping to the gardens, and the gardens to the sea."
~ Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca



... which puts me in mind of our first holiday together in 1995, when we spent a sun drenched week or so in Cornwall. 

Such wonderful memories!


40 opmerkingen:

  1. Your garden is looking beautiful and I love how your cat was crouched next to the stone chicken!

    What a lovely dress that is with the rick rack trim. Summer in a dress. I also loved the accessories you wore with it.

    The shoes you were donated looked fabulous; lucky you and what a kind friend!

    I'm so glad the spotty dress washed up okay and I am coveting the book about great houses in literature. Rebecca is one of my all time favourite books - read and reread - along with Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist.

    Hope it doesn't get too hot but remains bright and sunny...

    xxx

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    1. It needed some orchestration to get Phoebe to pose with the stone chicken ;-) Rebecca is one of my all time favourites, and I'm thinking of taking it to Wales ... xxx

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  2. What a lovely selection of shoes! And your cotton dress is really adorable; I love the touch of pale sky blue in your hat-sash, with it.

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    1. Thank you! That hat was a lucky find: the sky blue sash was already there when I bought it! xxx

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  3. i have this jugendstil book!! :-)
    (seen in mai schnippsel)
    cool shoes! especially the block heeled color blocked - hihi - slingbacks! the cotton dress is totally pretty and it matches your breakfast ceramic....
    hugses! xxxxx

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    1. Indeed you do! I've yet to wear the slingbacks. To be honest, I am a bit wary of ruining my friend's wedding shoes ... xxx

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  4. WOW! So many great things about this post... What a delightful, amazing gift from your friend! I love the slingbacks especially, but all the pairs are wonderful. I need to learn to "make room" for my new stuff but sorting out what I don't wear more frequently, I tend to put it off for too long. The cotton dress is a beauty, I would love it too. And how wonderful that you were able to buy the polka dot dress and remove the stain.

    Your garden is such a peaceful and beautiful place, and I can see you relaxing in it regularly. My parents have a vegetable garden (dacha) in Siberia, and it is a HUGE amount of work... they are in their early 70s and still do all the work themselves. But it keeps nurturing them through the long winters.

    Beautiful books, I would buy them too! Lots of love!

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    1. I'm always putting off making room for new stuff too, but I'm getting there ... The dress is very comfortable when it's hot. I even wore it to work. How amazing that your parents still do all the work in their "dacha", but then again I guess gardening keeps you young and fit! xxx

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  5. What a wonderful friend to gift you all those magnificent shoes.

    I'd pull out the iron for a dress like that. Even your tea cups match it. Your garden is looking lovely. My nasturtiums haven't even sent up buds yet, but our weather has been cool. Good catch on the red dress-and on sale too.

    I visited the House of Seven Gables years ago when I lived in Massachusetts. I didn't go in, but somewhere I have photos taken in the front yard. It did have seven gables but was an otherwise unremarkable New England house.

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    1. I must confess I didn't grow the Nasturtiums from seed this time. I picked up two plants when we last visited the garden centre. I love the variegated leaves of this one. xxx

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  6. I do love a friend that passes on such things as SHOES!! Good haul there too. Your garden is looking beautiful, as mine dies off for the Winter yours is alive and colourful. Perfect place to have a snooze!!

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    1. Sometimes it's hard to get one's head around the fact that it's nearly winter at the other side of the world - and vice versa ... xxx

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  7. All the shoooooes! I like the look of the sandals. And your dress is so pretty too, I love rick rack. The literary houses book caught my attention, with the mention of Dorian xxx

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    1. I mentioned the Dorian especially for you! The sandals not only look good, they are comfortable too. Oh, and rick rack always is a selling point for me. Even when it has a mind of its own ... xxx

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  8. That cotton dress is just gorgeous, I really like the colours and ricrac - such a pain to have to iron it though!
    I am always jealous of people with small feet, who can get into lovely vintage shoes. Alas, I am a 41 to 42, and so have very few vintage shoes in my collection.

    I hope more sunshine is on its way to Belgium ;)

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    1. We can't complain about the sunshine here, so best to keep it in Wales if you have it. I'll be there in about one week ... xxx

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  9. Goodness! Shoes!! Beautiful shoes! I love those slingbacks!! They look like they may be comfortable too!!

    That flowered cotton dress is very pretty. Isn't it wonderful with dresses slip effortlessly on?

    I hope you continue to enjoy nice weather...we just finished a rainy weekend, hah!

    happy thrifting ;)

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    1. Thank you! I was overjoyed when my friend gave me the shoes, and she was very pleased that I blogged about them! xxx

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  10. I love the ric rac trim on your dress im ric rac fanatic

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    1. The rick rack really makes this dress, don't you think? xxx

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  11. No wonder you do well with shoes, you've only got teeny feet! My common size 7's are like gold dust second hand!
    What a cracking gift, you've got a very generous friend.
    I love your cotton frock and the red spotty one is a beauty.
    xxx

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    1. I'm sure size 7's are like gold dust here too. My paternal grandmother only had a 3, so I must take after her, feet-wise. But several of my friends have a 4 like me ... xxx

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  12. Your breakfast in the garden looks very inviting, and I love that you used a table cloth :)
    I love your 70s dress, I think the ric rac can be forgiven for such a beaut!

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    1. We breakfast in the garden whenever we can, and we always use a table cloth. This one has a couple of minor stains, so isn't too precious for outside use! xxx

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  13. Oooh! That polkadot dress is divine! I'm so glad the stain came out for you.

    I often take a risk on purchasing pieces that have stains. Sadly the last one I risked did not pay off. It had horrible pit stains and no matter what I tried they wouldn't budge. Finally I decided to soak the piece in stain remover overnight. Needless to say when I came downstairs most of the dye had come out of the dress and it was a huge mess. #fail

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Ouch, that was a major fail, Suzanne. But pit stains can really be very stubborn. I've been lucky so far. Fingers crossed! xxx

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  14. I love the dress you're wearing and the shoes are a lovely gift. Your feet are so petite! I'm a six so they would be no good for me.
    Seeing your Cornwall photos I noticed one was Zennor, I love it there, we always call into the backpackers hotel for an ice cream and we've been to the folk museum more than once. xxx

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    1. The area between St. Just and St. Ives is particularly lovely isn't it? We really should do Cornwall again! xxx

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  15. Aw, Phoebeface! Your cat is so cute. (This is where it turns out I'm misremembering and she's not called Phoebe at all...)

    It's only fictional, but I still get annoyed that Manderley burns down at the end of Rebecca.

    Those shoes are a great gift.

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    1. You remembered correctly, Mim: she is called Phoebe! Oh, and I agree about the end of Rebecca ...

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  16. I have to say Ann that summer clothes really are lovely on you. You look fabulous, and what about all those fabulous shoes... wow. No chance of me havin any of them, I even beat Vix on shoe size as I am an 8.
    Bet you are getting excited now for your holiday. Hope you have good weather.
    Lynn xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynn! I'm pleased though that at least I can keep all my shoes, haha. xxx

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  17. Wow, what a lovely friend, your shoe haul is fab! I especially like the slingbacks and ballet pumps. The cotton frock is a delight, I do like a square neckline...so flattering. Your lovely green garden looks a perfect place to escape to from the mad bank holiday traffic. X

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    1. It really is a delightful dress to wear too, definitely worth getting out the ironing board for ;-) And no mad bank holiday traffic or crowds for us, we only visit the Belgian coast well out of season ... xxx

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  18. Wow, what a lovely friend, your shoe haul is fab! I especially like the slingbacks and ballet pumps. The cotton frock is a delight, I do like a square neckline...so flattering. Your lovely green garden looks a perfect place to escape to from the mad bank holiday traffic. X

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  19. Woah! Shoe envy coming on! Your flowery cotton dress looks just the thing for a sunny day and I love all the accessories too xx

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    1. Thank you Liza (I now know from Mim's post that that's your name!). That dress is one of my favourites! xxx

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  20. wouu, such a lovely collection, your friend has been really nice to give you those beautiful shoes!
    And it's lovely to see you in the sun, enjoying your breakfast and looking fab in your floral cotton dress!, adorable! and so cute accessorizing!
    Glad that you got that polka dotted dress, it looks so summery!
    besos

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    1. Thank you Monica. I think my friend preferred to give them to me (so that she could still see them from time to time) than give them to charity. Needless to say, I am very pleased! xxx

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