Sunday, 17 December 2017

A place called home

It was on the news this week, proving that it was not a figment of my imagination: it's officially the darkest December since 1956. In some places in Belgium there were just under two hours of sunshine in the first twelve days of the month.

Having suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly abbreviated as SAD, in the past, I had noticed a considerable improvement during the last couple of Winters.

This year, however, due to the continuous lack of sunshine, I have been feeling tired and irritable, craving sleep as well as time off.

So, as we had a big flea market to go to last Sunday, we decided to take it easy and spend the day at home on Saturday.

L to R: my sewing basket, mending basket and button stash basket

Staying in was the perfect opportunity to tackle my overflowing mending basket, starting with some button magic!


I hated the buttons (top right) on this otherwise fabulous frock but after rooting through my stash I came up with these perfect replacements.


The buttons on this blue dress sprinkled with pink hued flowers were far too small and frankly speaking a little bit boring. These pink squares are just the right size and colour. Isn't it marvellous how a change of buttons can totally transform a garment?


Grey, purple and lilac constitute the colours of this funky print dress threaded with silver lurex, but not only did I not like the buttons at all, there was one missing and another one which didn't match the rest.

Again, my stash of buttons came up trumps, with these swirly lilac ones!

We were getting a bit restless after lunch so, as it was mercifully dry for once, we briefly left the house to visit our most local charity shop.



The dress I was wearing was picked up for € 2 at Think Twice at the tail end of last Winter. 

It was obviously handmade and somewhat shapeless on top, so I was sure it was one for the giveaway pile, until I did up the top button, which is something I rarely do. Fully buttoned-up it suddenly looked alright, so maybe it was meant to be that way ...

It was the groovy print (Jos said it looked like a variety box of chocolates) that sold it to me and I'm really glad it did. It's going to be a keeper after all!


To liven things up  I chose my burnt orange cardigan and tights. 

First wear of the boots I picked up during a charity shopping trip a couple or weeks ago!


I always have such fun accessorizing my outfits!

The dress came with a brown fabric belt but I preferred to replace it with a textured brown leather one with a tortoiseshell buckle.

Two layers mean two brooches, so I chose a gold tone bow with a red and white mottled stone for my cardie, while I pinned a cheeky little robin to the collar of my dress.

Further finishing touches were a string of orange beads and a watch with leopard print strap, recently picked up cheaply from a high street shop.



Much as I love my Princess coat, variation is key, so I wore a Tweed jacket trimmed with fur, which is part of a suit.  It's been quite a while since I wore the two pieces together, as the skirt is a little bit scratchy, but the jacket is worn on a regular basis during the colder months.


The large feather brooch was still pinned to the jacket when I took it out of the wardrobe, so no decisions had to be made in that direction.

A brown beret, burgundy crushed velvet scarf and red leather gloves completed my outfit.



Our local charity shop, which is just outside the town centre, has recently enlarged its premises.

I promised to take some photographs, so here's a little peak inside. 

Although the clothing department now takes up the whole of the previous shop floor, there wasn't anything on the rails that was tickling my fancy.



That doesn't mean we went home empty handed!

I dug out this sturdy picnic basket from a Christmas display. It is fully lined and even came with a red and white checked tablecloth. At just € 2,50, it was a steal! It's got so much more space than our other basket, which has now been roped in to store accessories.



My button stash basket, which by no means can be called small, was full to bursting, making it an ordeal to find what I was looking for.



This tin, costing only € 0,50 is now sharing the basket's burden by giving a home to my collection of green buttons. I'm always claiming that green buttons are hard to find, so I was more than surprised by their numbers.


My final buy were these unworn fur lined vintage slippers, perfect for sitting at my desk and writing blog posts!

They were just in time for the snow to arrive, which it did the very next day.

More about that as well as Sunday's flea market in my next post!

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style!

47 comments:

  1. the most beautiful tin i ever saw!!!
    perfect to treasure green buttons :-) the basket was really a steal being in such good conditions.....
    sad to hear that you struggled so much with SAD this season - i hope it will get better after dec. 21. . i learned that one of the best things is to go out for a walk or bike tour or such - even on dark days the light is more better outside of buildings and can help our mood.
    definitely good for the mood is your outfit with the choco dress!! brown with orange is a gorgeous combination!
    xxxxx

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    1. p.s.: love those "bärlatschen" ;-D

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    2. I'd love to go for a walk, as I know this can help. Unfortunately, the weather gods have decided to treat us to rain, rain, and more rain. And now it's even too warm to wear the "bärlatschen" ;-D

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  2. Great idea, switching the buttons. I really must try that on a few garments. I love the fur lined slippers, I could do with a pair of those! x

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    1. Thank you! I cannot sew, but at least I can switch buttons ;-) It can make quite a difference to a garment! xxx

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  3. It's amazing how the small details can completely change the look of an outfit.
    I'm glad you confirmed the lack of daylight Ann. It's been very dark and cold here in London this year compared to last year at least. I swear I suffer from S.A.D too
    Laurie xx

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    1. Thank you Laurie! I do think we have the same weather. No white Christmas this year, that's for sure! xxx

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  4. Sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well. I can't imagine what it must be like to have so few hours of sunshine. I'm glad you had a chance to take it easy on Saturday. The change of buttons looks great! It's amazing how the small details can really transform an outfit! I love the dress you're wearing and your cardie and tights look fab! I love how you've accessorised: especially the birdie brooch and beads. XXX

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    1. Thank you Sasha, can you send over some of your sunshine, please? xxx

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  5. It always cheers me up to see the bright colors of your blog. Love those slippers. Happy holidays!

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    1. I'm glad my blog cheers you up, Ally, and happy holidays to you too! xxx

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  6. I'm sorry to hear you've been suffering from a lack of sunshine. It must be awful. If I could put you on a plane and bring you here I would-the blasted sun has been going full-force, can't even manage any rain.

    You are so organised with your buttons. Love the tin, and how wonderful are those slippers?!
    I hope the sun returns soon and you are able to put that picnic hamper to use.

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    1. It's been grey again all week, and the weather forecast doesn't look promising. Will have to put our picnic plans on hold, I'm afraid! xxx

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  7. The lack of sunshine is a real downer for sure. Lucky you have so many great vintage markets to distract yourself.

    I never saw the use for vintage buttons before but now I see I need to start collecting my own. It really does add something extra special to a piece.

    The dress you *almost* got rid of is fantastic! In fact your whole outfit with all the accessories is an oeuvre. All the layers and details make it so interesting. Your love of your collections is evident in each outfit you create. How wonderful that you are able to wear the items you collect.

    I'm on a mission to find a cute robin pin like yours.

    Suzanne

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    1. Thank you Suzanne! I was always playing with the buttons in my grandmother's stash as a child, so I guess that's where my love of buttons comes from. I often change buttons if I don't like the original ones. If I ever come across another robin pin, it's yours! xxx

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  8. Switching the buttons is a good idea. I love these link buttons. They are amazing to this dress. I wish you more sunny hours to go out in your wonderfull dresses. Great findings Ann.
    Here is snow too, argh I hate to ride bike in snow.
    I wish you a nice week, huge hug Tina

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    1. Thank you Tina. I'd hate to ride my bike in the snow too ... xxx

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  9. I completely sympathise with how you've been feeling, I loathe these long dark Winter days but the hours of daylight you've been getting are nothing short of cruel.
    You and Jos definitely did the right thing, staying in and getting cracking on projects. You've done a brilliant job customising your fabulous clothes, I bet you feel a lot better for tackling them.
    Your jacket looks wonderful with that groovy dress and I'm more than a little envious of those super cool slippers!! xxx

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    1. I definitely feel better now that I've tackled some of my mending basket, and hope to finish the rest over the Christmas break, wearing my new slippers, of course! xxx

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  10. I also sympathise with your SAD feeling (such an appropriate acronym)!, so many people suffer from it!. I also think that changing time causes lots of nuisances, it's pretty unnatural!
    I love your dress, the fab print (lovely that it looks like a box of chocolates!), the orange tights and cardi, the Awesome accessorizing! even your watch matches everything!. And that tweed jacket looks fabulous! You Rock!
    And it's really nice that you've collected all those buttons and now you can use them to 'revamp' your dresses!. Buttons are so cute as it's said!
    I love your 'new' picnic basket, another fabulous find to enjoy!, so perfect!
    Wish you lots of sunny days!
    besos

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    1. Thank you Monica, you are too kind! Cute as a button, indeed ;-) I forgot about that expression ... xxx

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  11. You are indeed a masterful accessorizer, Ann! Changing up buttons makes such a difference, doesn't it? Hope more sunshine is coming your way, xox

    Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thank you Patti! Can you spare some of your Floridian sunshine? xxx

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  12. I'm so impressed that you've made a start on your mend pile already. I've collected together all the things I need to mend but it looks a bit daunting now!
    I have a dress I'm struggling wit at the moment, it has a top button so I might do it up and see if it transforms itself like yours. What a fab idea, it wouldn't have crossed my mind to go that. Such a simple thing to change something from a 'don't want' to a keeper! Looks super too.
    I hope the snow is making world world seem a little brighter.
    xx

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    1. I've made a start, now for the rest ... It can indeed be a bit daunting at times! Do let me know how you get on with the dress ... xxx

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  13. wow I love your vintage dresses!
    best wishes
    shley x

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  14. Oh, you did so well in picking out new buttons for those garments - nicely done, Ann! I love the top set of buttons the best.

    You are just the queen of accessories! I love how you style up your outfits. Such great attention to detail!

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    1. Thank you Sheila, I just love accessorizing an outfit. But I think you are a master accessorizer too! xxx

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  15. Sorry to hear about your SADness Ann but as the winter solstice is only a few days away at least the days will start getting longer. Well done on the button revamp, it revitalises your frocks. Xx

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    1. Hurray for longer days! I cannot wait ... xxx

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  16. You have such a great eye for matching buttons to garments. On every single one I was thinking, yep definitely the right choice, after you changed them.

    If I don't get a chance to comment on your next post, I hope you and Jos have a wonderful Christmas! xx

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    1. Thank you Cate. That's such great praise, especially coming from you. I'm really chuffed! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too! xxx

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  17. I don't think I have the patience, Ann, to remove and then resew buttons on, but you're right they can certainly transform an outfit. I loved the outfit you wore to visit your charity shop and the little robin brooch is gorgeous.

    I was so inspired by your burnt orange tights in another of your posts that when I saw some in a charity shop I just has to buy them and I wore them this weekend! They'll be in my next post...

    What lovely finds you made; the picnic basket was such a bargain and I loved the tin and the slippers. I'm hoping to get warm cosy slippers for Christmas; I threw my last pair away as they kept falling off my feet!

    Have a great weekend.
    xxx

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    1. I am not the most patient person, especially when it comes to sewing, but sometimes you have to persevere, I guess. Glad I inspired you to buy and wear burnt orange tights, too! xxx

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  18. I love your button work. It makes such a difference to the outfits. I love changing buttons myself and adding to my stash whenever I can. Your green collection is great, what a good idea to organise them by colour.
    December is a dark month isn't it, that's why I like to put strings of lights up. It sounds like yours has been especially gloomy. I hope you get some bright sunny days soon to chase away the SAD.
    Your jacket and dress combo look fab and I love those burnt orange tights. xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally! The buttons are much easier to sort through now that I've separated the green ones. I am still waiting for bright sunny days, I'm afraid. xxx

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  19. I love the robin he's gorgeous and that new button tin, oh wow.

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    1. Isn't he? I couldn't believe that gorgeous tin was just € 0,50 ... xxx

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  20. You take accessorizing to the top level, Ann! I adore this outfit, the bird brooch, the colors, the animal print, the orange tights! I am looking forward to a day when I order tights of all colors, something I've been thinking to do for a long time now.

    It's wonderful how you changed buttons - perfect choices! And the tin is really pretty!

    Our last Winter was like that! It's tough, I can relate... I feel significantly better this December, but I too have a tendency to take it easy when it's cold outside. After all, we are mammals. :) Time to hibernate!

    Lots of love and warmest wishes!

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    1. Thank you for your warm and encouraging words, Natalia. Oh, how I would love to hibernate! xxx

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  21. I've always liked the darker days and cold months but even I get a bit fed up with them at some point, so I can understand how you feel if you are not a Winter person anyway. Your finished outfit is gorgeous, love the burgundy scarf and gloves, everything in fact! Your eye for detail is spot on, all of those dresses look so much better with the new buttons you have chosen for them. Merry Christmas to you both xxx

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    1. I don't really mind Winter and darker days, but the greyness has been really interminable this month. Would like some clear, sunny days to lift the gloom! Merry Christmas to you too, Claire! xxx

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  22. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, slippers!!!! Your button replacing was a masterful stroke! What an improvement! Hmmm, the darkest December. I can well believe that but interesting to have it confirmed!x

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  23. You've got a real eye for buttons - every change is a massive improvement.

    I'm sorry to hear you've been feeling down. I hate the dark days; this year I got one of those special alarm clocks that lights up half an hour before it rings to simulate dawn. I don't know if that would help with SAD - one of my friends has a light box on her desk at work to help with hers. But the days are getting lighter now...

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    1. Mim, you are a genius! I do actually own a light box, but had forgotten all about it, as I hadn't needed it for the last couple of years. I dug it out after reading your comment and have already used it while I was reading this afternoon! xxx

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