Before I go ahead and tell you about what I've been doing and, more specifically, what I've been wearing since my last non-travel post, I would like to put something right.
When I posted this collage
a while ago, based on the Kitsch Deluxe book I found at the charity shop, and mentioned that there were some impostors, both Monica
immediately noticed the obvious ones: the plaster Mary's and the kitchenalia. However, there was a third one:
This jumble of odds and ends is to be found in a small display cabinet in our dining room. Apart from several kitschy deer ornaments, a pair of 1930s cat bookends and a tiny, magnetic pair of Scottie dogs live on the top shelf, while the lower shelf houses, amongst other things, a slightly battered Spanish fan, a set of Art Nouveau salt and pepper shakers and a threesome of stone doves which we bought not long after we moved into Dove Cottage.
It rained heavily and almost incessantly in the week before last.
As if the general lack of daylight and the fact that I'm leaving the house when it's still dark and returning after the sun has set again isn't enough of a hurdle for taking outfit photos!
We try to avoid taking indoor photos to show you my outfits, as they usually aren't even remotely flattering, so we have to be creative and take any opportunity that comes our way.
This is what I was wearing on Friday before last. I started the weekend early by taking Friday afternoon off, so I was home when there was still a modicum of daylight.
We waited for the rain to let up, even if only for a couple of minutes, but it never did. In the end, we went out in the garden using an umbrella, which as a plus - being a purple one - added even more colour to my outfit.
There's nothing new here. The dress is an old Think Twice find that's been with me for years, but which for some unfathomable reason I hadn't worn in quite a while. Its diagonal stripes, in various shades of blue, were counterbalanced by the horizontal red, ochre, pink and purple stripes of my cardigan. Originally from H&M, this was a charity shop find.
The multicoloured wooden beads were also charity shopped, while the brooch was a flea market find, as were the boots.
The only things not new-to-me were the blue plastic ring and the red opaques.
And then it was Saturday, and what a miserable day it was, its greyness and wetness inescapable.
Through rain-blurred windows, we watched the unnatural darkness of early afternoon, until we couldn't bear it any longer and decided to brave the steady downpour for a trip to the charity shop.
Hurray for the whitewashed brick wall and skylight in the garage where we park our car. Such a pity it isn't closer to our house, as it's the perfect place for outfit photos, whatever the weather!
When I got dressed that morning, I was determined to wear this Paisley patterned Diolen blouse and, looking for a perfect companion, I happened upon this blue and rust plaid skirt. I'd forgotten it had pockets!
I pinned a blue-rimmed flower brooch to it and added a pale blue beaded necklace. At my waist, you might recognize the snakeskin belt, a recent flea market find. I thought it made a nice contrast with the Paisley and the plaid.
If you half-close your eyes, the pattern of my charity shopped blue cardigan is reminiscent of houndstooth. Its shades of blue pick up the blue in my skirt, opaques and beret.
My Made in Berlin wool jacket went on top. I love the flash of blue provided by my cardi's cuffs peeking out from under the jacket's sleeves.
The colour blue is repeated again in the carved plastic brooch and my ring, both of which also contain red, which in turn I matched by wearing a red scarf.
I love how this outfit simply evolved, without any forward planning. And it all started with the blouse!
We drove down to a charity shop a bit further away, which we hadn't been to in months as our last visit was a bitter disappointment. At that time, we were faced with half empty shelves and clothing rails still full of last Summer's leftovers.
It was a relief to see that whatever had been going on then had now been sorted and the shelves and rails were once again fully stocked.
A rummage in the accessory boxes yielded five belts for the princely sum of € 1 each.
After taking an armful of clothes into the fitting rooms, I ended up with these two cardigans, a chunky mustard one closing with a zipper, and a fuchsia textured one trimmed with lurex.
I also bought this skirt, which I pounced upon immediately since I already own a jacket in an almost identical pinkish Tweed. Incidentally, this jacket was bought in the same shop many years ago.
It's a real wardrobe staple (see here
for my last wearing of it) and I think the skirt will be as well.
Rather than having Angelica do the honours, I thought I'd play dress-up and show you the accidental suit myself, accessorized with turquoise details.
We did this little photo session on Monday. I'd taken the day off and as luck would have it, we had a brief respite from the stormy weather, even though it was raining again by mid afternoon.
There's still a surprising amount of green in our garden this late in the season, some of it provided by evergreens such as our rampant ivy and the foliage of winter flowering Clematis armandii growing through our lilac bush in the background. The small yellow flowers belong to Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), whose bendy flowering shoots have been embellishing our garden wall for many a year, and which it seems to be doing especially prolifically this year.
Speaking of green, Jos was more than happy to model his new-to-him coat for you!
It's an original Alpen Loden which used to belong to my Dad and which was still rattling around in his wardrobe. We happened upon it while we were having another clearing session at my parental home.
As it was in perfect condition, as well as a perfect fit for Jos, it was a keeper.
My outfit also featured a fair bit of green, starting with my beloved fake fur collared jacket. I added a mustard beret and a pair of deadstock vintage gloves, part of a lot I bought several years ago.
While running an errand in town, I finally managed to make some photographs of the delightful front garden of the local vicarage (for want of a better word), which was planted earlier this year.
Seeing all those flowers still going strong makes it hard to believe that we're actually in December!
I'm leaving you with a glimpse of what else I was wearing that day.
In spite of its flaws (it's got a broken zipper pull and a visible hemline), this burnt orange and green dress is still making regular appearances.
This time I accessorized it with a green belt, leopard strap watch, multi-coloured stone brooch, green plastic ring and orange "berry" necklace, which actually snapped later that day, leaving me with handfuls of tiny beads.
Oh, and first wearing of these green zig zag tights, a sales bargain from last Winter.