Saturday 28 March 2020

Everything depends upon how near you stand to me

Like a virus, fear is contagious. Perhaps even more so. It spreads like wildfire, as neither social distancing nor quarantine can stop it. It worms its way inside your head until the outside world feels like an alien country full of potential predators. It eats you up and then spits you out in tiny little pieces: a jigsaw of what once upon a time was you. Several pieces seem to be missing so that you cannot make yourself whole again. Fear makes you want to flee - which is virtually impossible in this current crisis - or fight. But it seems you're fighting against giants. Only when you realize they are actually windmills will your heartbeat finally slow down.

So I'm giving the middle finger to all those who are kindling fear with gloating gusto. I'll be banishing their black-hearted messages by wearing colour. Lots and lots of it, so there! I do hope this will make them crawl back under their rocks! And as for those at the other end of the scale, who still haven't got the message and keep putting others at risk with wanton abandon: may you all be turned into pillars of salt.

But even if things are looking bleaker than ever, and if I certainly do not always feel like practising what I'm preaching: we mustn't give up, and keep on aiming for that light at the end of the tunnel.

The 16th of March was the start of our first week of semi-lockdown and the day of my last journey by public transport. Schools had closed, so that I was absolutely fine in the morning, having an unprecedented amount of space on the tram. 

I was wearing a seldom worn red vintage dress liberally sprinkled with blue and white crescents. There are blue and white stripes at its yoke as well, which has three buttons proudly bearing an R. The R is short for Romy, as that's the name mentioned on the dress's label, which is also bearing a picture of the Eiffel Tower, giving it a certain je ne sais quoi.

The dress's classic red, blue and white colour scheme was reflected in my choice of accessories, as well as my cardigan and tights. Even my blue ankle boots came out to play!

Back to that fateful Monday. Non-essential shops were still open - they would be forced to close for the duration on the 18th - and by midday it was fairly crowded in the city centre. I fled back to the office in disgust when, out for a breath of fresh air, I was almost overrun by people carrying Primark shopping bags. People who obviously had to go home when I did. That evening, Jos and I made the wise decision that he would take me to work and pick me up again by car, which went a long way in reducing the fear factor.

Our car journey to work takes us past Antwerp's botanical garden. In spite of this being a less than ten minute walk from my office, I hadn't been there in years, so on Tuesday I took advantage of the gorgeous springlike weather to head there during lunch break.

There were only a handful of people about, all keeping the appropriate distance and, after walking around to see what was in bloom, I sat on a empty bench luxuriating in the sunshine and indulging in a couple of minutes of normality.

Apart from plants, there's some art dotted around the garden. These are by sculptor Monique Donckers, and called "Greening II". When I was looking it up on the Internet, I came across some photos taken in Summer, when grass was allowed to grow around them, almost obscuring the last one. I'll have to go and photograph them again in a few months' time, hoping that by then all of this is only a bad memory.

This is another of that week's outfits. Now that the days are getting longer there is once again opportunity to take outfit photos after work.

This classically shaped, box pleated frock, with its green flowers on a white and mottled green background, was another one which was long overdue an outing. I chose a medley of red and burgundy to accompany it. 

I didn't feel like venturing out again during lunch break that week. To be honest, I was finding the routine utterly exhausting: putting on latex gloves to take the elevator to the ground floor and opening the building's front door, then getting rid of the gloves and get out the hand sanitizer, and then having to do it all again coming back in. As I was once again putting on gloves, I started humming the song Hand in Glove by The Smiths, stopping short when I came to the line which became the title of this post. How very, very apt. Never mind that it is preceded by the line "we can go wherever we please"! 

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, even if a stinging wind did its best to throw a spanner in the works.  I was feeling surprisingly chipper that day, which was greatly helped by wearing one of my favourite ever frocks. The green 1940s style dress with its blowsy flower print originally had cheap looking plain white buttons which once again I replaced with more likely candidates from my stash.

In my opinion, blue and green should certainly be seen, so I added a sky blue cardigan, squirrel brooch and ring to accompany the blue flowers in the dress's print.

Further accessories were a tan belt and translucent beaded necklace, and I pinned a Welsh daffodil brooch to my cardigan in honour of the first day of Spring.

Teal opaques and my snake print ankle boots completed my outfit. The latter were only worn for the photos, though. 

When the rays of the sun started pouring into our little walled garden, I exchanged my outfit for an old pair of jeans, pale yellow top and denim gardening apron for a spot of heavy duty pruning.

We cleared an area of some of the rampant ivy and the dried remains of last year's ferns, and pruned our winter jasmine within an inch of its life. 

Having lost our winter flowering Clematis armandii, as well as its host plant, our long suffering lilac, there's not much in flower yet, apart from the yellow flowers of our ineradicable Ranunculus bush and the frothy sprays of white Spirea flowers.

Our cast iron weather vane appeared from under a mound of ivy, and I accidentally knocked our stone sun plaque from our garden wall. No harm done, though, and she, as well as the weather vane, are currently awaiting new spots.

Meanwhile, Jos had been tackling the remains of the dead lilac, so that we can now see the shed at the back of our garden from our kitchen window. I'd almost forgotten the makeshift gingham curtain and the row of wooden tulips I put up many years ago to cheer things up.

Still in a good and productive mood, I then put away my warmest Winter coats and dresses, exchanging them for the first batch of Spring stuff, a task made much lighter with the help of you know who!

We'd intended to continue in the garden on Sunday but, although it was looking gorgeously sunny, the wind had turned decidedly icy and unpleasant, which kind of put paid to our plans.

In the end, we only stepped into the garden to show you my outfit, which was based around another dress I hadn't worn in years. 

It's a handmade one, with three-quarter sleeves with elasticated cuffs, and a slightly psychedelic flower print in orange, lilac and purple on a white background.

I pulled out all the stops by accessorizing it with a purple woven belt, a fuchsia cardigan to which I clipped a row of flower hair clips, a multi-coloured wooden necklace, and an enameled Iris brooch pinned to my dress's collar.

I was wearing the ankle wellies I picked up at a charity shop back in December and which have been a godsend for my gardening activities.

In the week that followed, I had quite a few wobbles, and as it now seems that starting from next week I will be on reduced hours, I will have to find a new routine to keep my mind out of mischief. 

Meanwhile, I wish you all well, and hope to see you in my next post!

Linking to lovely Nancy's Fancy Friday!

Monday 23 March 2020

Accentuate the Positive

The world is in turmoil and everything has gone topsy turvy, and at times it feels as if there is no way out of this nightmare we're currently living in.

I'm determined to spread some cheer and accentuate the positive, but still I'm having good days as well as bad.

For my own peace of mind, I'm trying, if not to eliminate, then to reduce the negative, by having snoozed everyone on social media who's been scaremongering and posting the often fake and blown out of all proportion news the Internet is rife with. Beyond the bare necessities, I don't want to know. In the end, we can only do what we've got to do, which is to try and keep calm, to practice social distancing and to self isolate as much as possible.

And to wash our hands! Mine are red and raw from constantly doing so and they seem to have aged 10 years in as many days.

There will be no walks to take you on or finds to show you for the foreseeable future, but I can still show you what I've been wearing, can't I? Nothing's changed in that department.

On Friday before last - Friday the 13th, how very apt - the first steps towards lockdown were taken by the Belgian government, closing all pubs and restaurants except takeaway ones, cancelling all events and closing all non-essential shops during the weekend.

I'd taken the afternoon off as we had an appointment at the bank, but that got cancelled as well, leaving me with time on my hands.

There was definitely something fishy going on, so I accessorized my burgundy, rainbow striped dress with the shrimp brooch I recently found at the flea market and a cream belt with a mottled plastic buckle and a ditto little dangling fish. 

I used pops of turquoise for my necklace, cardigan and opaques. Although this wasn't the intention, it just dawned on me that the turquoise might be representing the sea! After all, isn't that what we all are: at sea with the current state of affairs?

The sun was shining on Saturday, so it was too good a day to waste inside. 

But rather than joining the idiots who found it necessary to flock across the border to Holland where shops, pubs and restaurants were still open, and acting as if nothing untoward was happening, we just stepped across our backdoor's threshold and into our garden.

To say that it is showing signs of neglect is a huge understatement, so we took advantage of our house arrest to start with the first of our tidying sessions, removing some of the rampant ivy and pruning our lovely Hydrangea which was still sporting its dried flower heads among its luxurious new growth.

My denim ankle length gardening apron came from IKEA, but at almost twenty years old it can practically be considered vintage. The pink floral gardening gloves were a bargain from a local shop and I have them in yellow too. 

And this is what I wore for the rest of the day. Flowers, and more flowers! 

Both the navy, flower sprinkled skirt and the blue and white floral blouse, were Think Twice finds, but while the blouse already joined my wardrobe last Spring, the skirt was a more recent sales bargain.

Picking up the orange flowers in the skirt's print, I opted for an orange belt, necklace and tights. Orange also appeared in the raised flowers on my brooch, while the tiny white ones and the green background echoed some of my skirt's other colours.

We have recently started using our bread machine again - it had somehow fallen out of favour in the last couple of years - and as Jos had stocked up on ready-made bread mix, we didn't even have to leave the house for a loaf of bread. And baking one's own bread makes your house smell heavenly too!

Sunday was mostly spent lounging on the sofa. Or rather, sitting on our 1950s cocktail chairs, as our sofa was occupied by another family member ... Oh well, we all know who's the real Princess of Dove Cottage!

I've been reading my latest book, which is rather good. With my book hoarding tendencies, there will be no shortage of reading materials, that's for sure.

First wearing of this multi-coloured beauty of a dress, another fairly recent Think Twice find.

Here I am smiling as if there is no tomorrow, and faking that I haven't got a care in the world. 

With so many gorgeous Spring colours to choose from, it wasn't easy to pick the one I'd use for my accessories, so after doing some eeny, meeny, miny, moe, the choice fell on green! 

I didn't object and wore a vinyl belt, beaded necklace, opaques and a massive bird brooch in my favourite colour.

For the outfit photos I even donned my sage green ankle boots. They are pull-on ones in waxed leather, and bought while on a short break in Zeeland in November 2018.

Speaking of Zeeland, we'd booked an airbnb there in the week after Easter, which unfortunately it looks like we will have to cancel. Oh, how it breaks my heart!

But I didn't laze around the whole day. Enter Isolation Occupation No. 2!

Taking out my sewing basket and rummaging in my vintage button stash, I set out to replace the tired and washed out buttons on this crepe vintage dress. 

Aren't these magenta ones a definite improvement?  They match the pink-ish bits in the dress's flower print almost exactly.

Well, that was it, the first of the undoubtedly many isolation weekends. I'll probably get cabin fever, but I'm sure I won't get bored.  If only that scary virus would pack its bags and leave!

Do stay safe and sane, my friends!

Thursday 19 March 2020

Mad world

Doom and gloom, those terrible twins, are keeping a stranglehold on the world as we know it.

Anxiety is doing its utmost to turn me into a nervous wreck but today I'm closing my eyes and plugging my ears, opting for a la la la approach and reducing my news intake to the bare minimum.

Instead, I'm trying to keep my spirits up by reading your wonderful blogs and doing my bit by trying to lighten your hearts with mine.

Being virtually housebound - and office bound, as I'm still going out to work, in a large and nearly empty office in case you're worried - means it's back to basics, but I'm sure you won't object if these basics consist of my colourful attire!

So, let's make a start with what I was wearing on Friday before last, when I'd taken the day off as Jos's son Kris was helping us set up our new laptop. I know, we're such nitwits when it comes to the technical side of it all. It still surprises me on a regular basis that I was able to start my blog at all!

The bottle green skirt, a colour which doesn't photograph well and thus looks much better in real life, was a sales bargain from a high street shop. I fell in love with its colour, shape and length, not to mention its very stroke-able, super soft suede-like material.

The bird print shirt was a charity shop find and never fails to cheer me up. To its frilly collar I pinned a green glass brooch, while the chirpy birds in its print got the company of my green birds in flight brooch, as well as my brown owl ring. If the belt looks familiar, it is the one I found in the charity shop the other week. I've had the necklace for ages. If I remember correctly, it came from Accessorize, who used to have a shop in Antwerp many years ago.

Saturday was bright and sunny for a change, so that I gave my Winter coats a miss and opted for a green Tweed blazer, a charity shop find back in the Autumn of 2018. A red felted flower corsage was pinned to its lapel. And, as a special request from Jess, I was carrying my green handbag!

The skirt came from Think Twice and is a joy to behold with its abundant print of flowers and foliage, the eye-catching border of palest green leaves matching the colour of my blouse, with its mighty dagger collar, almost exactly. 

Both the round buckled belt and the vintage celluloid flower brooch were charity shop finds, while the wooden beaded necklace was an old retail buy.

We didn't have much luck at the charity shops that day. It was that time of the year again when all Belgian charity shops were gearing up for the upcoming Retro Day. This year, it would be on the 14th of  March, but as a part of the Belgian COVID-19 regulations which have recently come into force, the event was duly cancelled. Additionally, as from the 18th of March, all non-essential shops are closed for the duration, so there won't be any charity shopping for me anytime soon!

But let's look at the bright side for now, as I still owe you the outfit I wore on Sunday before last.  

The iridescent pleated vintage frock I was wearing was last seen on Angelica, but now it was my turn. 

As we were off to our monthly indoor flea market (the last one for a while, as they have been suspended too), I wore a short jacket, which makes rummaging in floor level boxes a lot easier. It might have been this season's last wear for my green fur collared jacket! 

My frilly pink scarf and a new-to-me dark purple beret - one of Saturday's charity shop finds - completed my outfit.

Saturday's second find was this yellow cardigan with one of the funkiest prints ever. It was never my intention to wear it with the dress, but when I put it on a hanger next to the dress which I'd already earmarked to wear on Sunday, it struck me what fabulous pattern-mixing opportunities they offered.

I wore it belted over the dress, pinned one of my lady brooches to it, and added a violet beaded necklace and a chunky green plastic ring. There, done!

The flea market might have been a tad quieter than usual, but I'd expected worse. Still, our finds were rather limited.

Our biggest buy (in terms of size) was the small beige beauty case, which has a Made in England label hidden in one of its pockets. It's in perfect condition, but unfortunately lacking its little mirror inside. For the time being, that is, as my own personal handyman will see to it when these crazy times are over.

The wooden thing on its right is an antique spinning top: childhood nostalgia for Jos.

There were jewellery stalls galore, so that at least I was able to get my fix of brooches as well as a necklace. The latter was only € 2, but again its colour doesn't photograph well.

The brooches were picked up at from a variety of stalls. The children in the bottom left brooch, and especially the girl, are the protagonists of a series of children's books which were popular in my childhood. Pure nostalgia for me, as I even have a small collection of the original issues of these books.

The lizard on the bottom right, although not articulated, made me think of the lovely Sheila!

The slightly faded lady brooch on the top left is the little sister of a bigger one I used to have but which detached itself while I was wearing it and smashed to smithereens.

The top right one contains a tiny piece of lace.

But the one I'm sure your eyes were instantly drawn to must have been the tiny plastic cuckoo clock, a souvenir brooch from Triberg in the Black Forest.

Well, that's it for now. I will be continuing my usual blogging schedule and hope you will drop me a line now and again!

Keep safe, my dears!

Linking to the lovely Nancy's Fancy Friday. Do go and pay her a visit!

Saturday 14 March 2020

Strange days indeed

In the first weeks of my blogging career back in March 2016, on the day following the terrorist attacks at Brussels airport, I published a post called Could Life Ever Be Sane Again.

Part of the lyrics to a Smiths song called Panic, this kept playing over and over in my head in the days following the attack, as it expressed exactly how I felt: a kind of numbness mixed with disbelief and above all, a feeling of powerlessness, a reality check in a time when daily realities seemed to be ever shifting.

How very apt that post title would have been now!  As if on cue, it has wormed its way back into my subconscious ever since the dreaded Coronavirus has reared its ugly head. The situation has become pretty dire here and it's hard to stay positive when faced with the relentless scaremongering the media bombard us with, causing panic and paranoia all around and seemingly throwing all common sense overboard.

For the last couple of days, I feel as if I'm about to lose my sanity. Numb and powerless, I can only stand and watch as reality is shifting yet again, and Belgium is going into the first stages of lockdown. Strange days indeed!

Ironically, I also wrote a post called My Corona back in 2016.  I'm not joking! It's here and it's about my grandfather's typewriter!

On top of that, sunny spells are still rarer than hen's teeth these days, but at least there's a cure for the rainy day blues!

And if wearing colour doesn't kiss it all better, it certainly goes a long way in making me feel marginally better and, perhaps, anyone seeing me wearing it too.

Giving preference to those items which haven't been worn yet this Winter, I unearthed this 1960s purple floral shift dress from my wardrobe. Yet another old Think Twice find, it has a dropped collar and a row of tiny decorative self fabric buttons at the yoke.

Trying to keep a sunny disposition was aided by adding yellow in the mix, a first for this dress which in the past I always wore with either pink or mustard.

I was surprised at how well the purple seemed to work with the amber yellow of my tights, cardigan and necklace. And look how the pansies in my brooch are bringing the colours together! As a final touch of sunshine, I added an orange flower corsage to my long-line cardie.

In February's final week, the weather had been particularly fickle.

One afternoon at the office, I looked up from what I was doing to see a flurry of snowflakes drift by my window. Much to my relief, the snow didn't stick, but it still managed to cause even more disruption than usual to Antwerp's feeble excuse for a public transport system.

On my way to the bus stop the next morning, I was sufficiently entranced by the delicate morning sunshine illuminating our village church that I took a photo with my phone's camera.

I did the same the next day when we were once again treated to the usual foggy drizzle. What a difference a day makes!  

The weekend, as weekends tend to do, couldn't have come sooner. 

You've already seen Saturday's purple and yellow attire at the start of this post, but not my outerwear.

I didn't have much use for my Princess coat this Winter, so I'm taking the opportunity of any chilly day to give it an outing. Recently, I was asked why I'm calling it my Princess coat. Well, at the time it made its first appearance on the blog, back in December 2017, somebody remarked that it was a coat fit for a Winter Princess, and so the name stuck.

That Saturday, we did our usual round of the charity shops, where I found a fabulous pair of hardly worn brown boots, with a kind of decorative elastic panel at the back. Their heels have just the right height for them to be wearable for me, so in our basket they went.

Next up was a pale green suede belt with the most gorgeous buckle. You'll see me wearing it in my next post!

A handful of necklaces also made their way into our shopping basket. Surely a girl can't have enough of those?

People have been asking me about the background fabric I'm using to photograph most of my jewellery finds. This is actually a quilted plaid I found in a charity shop years ago, consisting of  large alternating pink and white printed rectangles. The quilt covers our antique linen chest and its position in front of one of our upstairs windows offers the perfect light for photographs as well. I love the faded grandeur of the fabric, the faded bit greatly helped by the fact that it's one of Phoebe's favourite sunbathing spots!

Enter Sunday the first of March, and a brief respite from all the rain. I don't remember if it lasted all day, but I don't think so, as we didn't leave Dove Cottage's confines.

The dress I was wearing that day, with a repeat later that week, was a re-discovered one and no, I haven't got the slightest idea why it was neglected for so long. I don't think I wore it at all for at least two years!

It's got a generous pleated skirt which invites a spot of twirling, a tie collar, which I tamed by pinning a multi-coloured stone brooch to it, and bishop sleeves closing with two red buttons at the wide cuffs.

If I remember correctly, it also came with a self fabric belt, but I used a grey leather one with an oval leather covered buckle from my collection instead.

Everything I'm wearing here came from my existing wardrobe, except for the pinkish pearly brooch, which was twinkling at me at Think Twice a couple of weeks back, and the boots, which are the ones I picked up at the charity shop on Saturday.

Well, that's it for now. I'll be returning with one more post of outfits and finds before entering an enforced period of charity shopping abstinence, as all shops except for those selling food - and toilet paper, if it's not sold out - have to close in the weekends until the end of the month. As for flying visits to Think Twice during my lunch breaks, I somehow don't think I'll have the heart for them.

But it will pass, I'm sure it will. Do stay safe and healthy in the meantime!

Tuesday 10 March 2020

Always take the weather with you

With the weather still playing foul, life has been happening mostly indoors the last couple of weeks and, to be honest, being cooped up inside has been doing my head in.

This time last year, we already had some gorgeous Springlike days behind us, which we made the most of by topping up our Vitamin D levels in our local parks during the weekends. Sadly, what with the never-ending rain and the succession of storms which always, like clockwork, seem to find us on a Sunday, we've hardly ventured outside at all this year.

On February's penultimate Friday, with the unexpected sight of the sun streaming through my office windows, I decided to outsmart the weather by cheekily taking the afternoon off.

Fully used to supplying my own portable sunshine by now, I was wearing sky blue accessorized with sunny yellow. 

The dress was a fairly recent Think Twice find, bought on the same day as the blue houndstooth frock I was wearing in one of my Bruges posts. Sprinkled all over with tiny dots, its botanical print in a twosome of blues gives the impression of a Pointillist painting.

Although I loved the dress's gentle A-line shape and oversized collar, I initially thought it looked a bit plain, but adding the ochre yellow belt and my favourite multicoloured necklace seemed to do the trick.

As did adding ochre opaques (just visible in the first photo) and a bright yellow cardigan, to which I pinned a brooch with a mottled orange and green stone.

As if to taunt me, the sun starting playing hide-and-seek as soon as I was on my way home, and by the time I'd reached my stop and was getting off the tram, she'd packed her bags and left. 

Jos was picking me up in the car, but instead of going straight home, we made a detour via the local charity shop, which we hadn't visited in a while.

I found this worse-for-wear Madonna and Child figurine hiding at the back of a shelf, and as I picked it up for closer inspection, I was intrigued to see that dear Mary seemed to be perched on top of a boat. This lead us to believe that she is Stella Maris, or Star of the Sea, protector of seafarers. The paint was peeling in various places but we as we thought her rather charming, we took pity on her, and after paying a pittance of € 1,20, we took her and her baby home. 

While I was browsing the clothing aisles, not finding anything that even remotely tickled my fancy, Jos found this wooden wall plaque, a souvenir from Holland, complete with little windmill.

As we already have a modest collection of these brightening the wall of our entrance hall, it would have been silly to deny it the pleasure of joining the gang!

Saturday turned out to be yet another one of those dull, damp and dismal days, when even a dash to the garage to pick up our car feels like too much effort.  

But needs must, and as we were sure a rummage would be beneficial for our moods, we dragged ourselves from the sofa, grabbed our coats and umbrellas, and went off.

I was wearing a button through black printed frock with a notched collar, which for some reason had been greatly neglected in previous years. It's printed with what looks like tiny scraps of patterned fabric in various shades of brown mixed with a bit of white.

Lovely though it is, it badly needed a further colour injection and turquoise was the one which immediately sprang to mind.

I used it for my cardigan and opaques, as well as all my accessories, consisting of a belt, necklace, ring and brooch. 

A second brooch, its centre doing its best to emulate a piece of wood, was pinned to my cardigan.

The charity shop of our choice is one we visit regularly, but can be a bit hit or miss. Lately, it has been the former, and this time was no exception, as I soon happened upon this gorgeous red hessian bag embroidered with raffia flowers.

Then there were a couple of skirts, both handmade and - I suspect - having had the same previous owner.

Here's Angelica doing the honours of showing them to you.

The first one, in a textured cotton fabric, is unlined and softly pleated and, with its fresh lilac, green and navy print on white, is the epitome of Spring. 

Angelica was happy to wear it with a green fine knit Crimplene top, a navy woven belt and a navy and white beaded necklace.

The second skirt is fully lined and made from a light viscose fabric, featuring purple and pink florals and the odd splash of orange.  A pale pink polyester blouse and purple accessories completed Angelica's outfit.

Happy with my finds, we made our way home, but not before stopping at the charity shop in our village. Here, I was seduced into buying a funky jacket by posh Belgian label Caroline Biss, which was launched in 1987, when a first dedicated shop was opened in Antwerp. Not one I've ever set food in, mind you, as I certainly wouldn't want to spend over € 200 on a jacket!

The jacket in question, in a boxy shape which normally doesn't suit me, but now miraculously does, looks virtually unworn. Still, I initially dithered as I absolutely hated the shiny gold buttons. But replacing buttons is an easy fix, especially with a stash of vintage buttons at my disposal, so the dithering didn't last all too long! Apart from its fabulous print, the jacket has pockets, so it would have been downright silly not to buy it.

Sunday's diary page was completely empty, and would have been the perfect opportunity to go for a walk, if the devilish weather deities hadn't played spoilsport once again. With torrential rains our lot for the day, it even took until late afternoon before it stopped for long enough to nip into the garden for outfit photos. 

Staying indoors does't mean not dressing up! 

My coral polka dot fit and flare frock is an old favourite from Think Twice, where I picked it up many years ago. Looking back at past blog posts, I always seem to be wearing it with blue, which I repeated by adding bright blue opaques and a beaded necklace in a similar colour.

The navy, white buckled belt used to belong to my Mum, the same colours appearing again in the brooch, one of February's flea market finds, which I pinned to the dress.

The jacket, from the Spanish Kling brand, was charity shopped back in January, and I thought I might as well wear it instead of a cardigan.

Before I sign off for now, I'm returning briefly to that other charity shopped jacket. As you can see, I soon found the perfect set of buttons to replace those shiny monstrosities. So much better, don't you think?

Linking my blue sky and yellow sunshine outfit to Nancy's Fancy Friday. Do go and check her out!