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!


  1. Nothing better than a sunny outfit on a rainy days. I love how you bring your own portable sunshine with you. Yellow is such a happy colour, isn'it? I just love that sky blue dress you wore accessorized with a sunny yellow cardigan. The blue dress is a great find, the print is wonderful. I really like the tiny dots in shape of flowers. Btw you're right, it absolutely gives the impression of a Pointillist painting. I like Pointilistic paintings. The belt and the necklace you paired with this look are perfect as well.

    I also really like the red printed dress you paired with turquoise accessories. The necklace and the belt are very pretty. You always accessorize well. Where did you find a cardi in an exactly the same shade as the turquoise necklace and the belt? Such a great combination of colours. I love to see red paired with blue and turquoise is always a fun shade.

    I liked what you said about staying indoors does't mean not dressing up. I like to dress up even when I'm not going anywhere. The weather isn't stopping me, as at the moment I'm living on an island that is famous for its sunny weather, but sometimes going out isn't an opinion and staying in can be fun too.

    Your coral polka dot dress is fabulous. Polka dots are always a good choice. They are one of my fav prints. I like how you paired it with bright blue opaques and a beaded necklace. You match colours so well. I also like your charity shopped jacket. The buttons you found for it are so perfect.

    1. Thank you so much, Ivana! I try to be as colourful as possible in these trying times, and bring my own portable sunshine even on a grey and rainy day! xxx

  2. What fab frocks and accessories, Ann. I loved the blue dress with the yellow cardi and the brown patterned dress with the turquoise cardigan.

    Angelique looks lovely in the new skirts - great finds! I love the raffia handbag, too. One of my first blog posts featured a raffia handbag I found. Alas it broke soon after but I still use it to store wrapping paper in.

    It's such a shame about the weather but hopefully there will be better and more settled weather very soon.

    The new jacket is gorgeous and the new buttons are so much better than the gold ones!

    Hope your week is going well.

    1. Thank you Vronni! Isn't Angelica lucky: she's usually the first to wear any of my new acquisitions ;-) Glad you agree about the buttons, the old ones were just too shiny! xxx

  3. You really are a vision of sunshine in all your beautiful outfits. Plus, I know I've said this many times, but you really do have beautiful accessories.

    I love your Mary and child figurine. I collect them too. The windmill wall plaque is also charming. I imagine it would look fantastic in your entrance hall with the others.

    Your bag is SO, SO cute! My daughter has been on a mission to find one with colourful embroidered flowers for ages. I'm sure she'll be mightily impressed when she sees yours.

    Your coral polka dot dress is my favourite and the jacket is gorgeous. I also quite like the shirts on Angelica.

    I wish I shared your commitment to dressing so beautifully when at home. Usually I'm in my pj's if I don't have to go out.

    Have a lovely week.

    1. Thank you Suzy! We can never resist these figurines, and I seem to love them even more when they are flawed. I agree I have a lot of accessories, none of which cost the earth as the majority are second hand finds. I love having a huge selection of belts, necklaces and the like to choose from. xxx

  4. i´m in love with the biss jacket - with golden buttons :-D
    the little embroidered bag is super sweet - can you please give me the measurements - its something to wip up myself from an already emroidered fabric or such.....
    the 2 skirts are great finds - the colorway of the first is so wonderful summery!
    hugsies! xxxxx
    p.s.: i´m still glad about all that rain - last years spring was much to dry (after a dry winter!) and not only my garden had problems, the dying forests are a result of that too.....

    1. I'll keep those gold buttons for you then ;-) Frankly, they were far too shiny for me! I'll be sending you the measurements, but do remind me if I forget, as my head is a bit all over the place at the moment. I'm sure all that rain was very welcome for Mother Nature, but I could do with a bit less. And now that it's sunny, we have a pandemic :-( xxx

    2. help! please do not send me the buttons - a have a giant button stash from the days i had a fashion label...... ;-)
      but please remember to give me the bag´s mesurements! <3

  5. Boo to the sun hiding from you on your afternoon off! There hasn't been nearly enough of it lately, though I think it's finally starting to show itself more.

    I love the way you add colour to brown. Lots of vintage in my size tends to be brown - gotta hide those plus-size ladies, eh? - and I never think of putting other pieces with it the way you do.

    1. Think Twice does seem to have quite of it of plus-size vintage in a range of colours! And I actually do love a bit of brown! I love playing around with colours until I find "the one". Sometimes it happens instantly, but it often takes some trial and error ... xxx

  6. Isn't his weather draining? It started off sunny here this morning and fooled me, I ended up trapped in the Kinky shed as the rain was so torrential!
    Loving your cheery spring-like outfits especially the turquoise and yellow, such a lovely combination.
    Your embroidered bag is a beauty and so's the Worst-for-Wear Madonna, she had to be rescued.
    That jacket looks fantastic on you and changing the buttons made a world of difference! xxx

    1. Thank you Vix! We've actually got quite a bit of sun in the meantime, which I'm trying to enjoy even in these trying times. Glad you agree on the buttons. The originals were far too plain and too shiny! xxx

  7. Love you've been supplying your own portable sunshine and love your 'pointillist' blue dress with the sunny yellow!, and your fav necklace is a stunning piece!
    Love how you styled your brown&white dress with turquoise cardi and tights and accessories!, so delightufully matchy. And love this 'faux patchwork' print!
    Absolutely fab red bag with the embroidered raffia flowers and also fabulous jacket, those paisley-psychedelic motives are stunning!. Great idea to add some cute buttons!
    And I'm totally in love with your polka dot dress and blue jacket, I have a weakness for this color combo and love that you Rock it!, gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Monica, especially as you are fellow supplier of portable sunshine! Besos xxx

  8. I do love that funky jacket and you look lovely and bright at the top of your post in blue and yellow.
    The wooden brooch is unusual, I rather like it.
    I like the reference to Crowded House too :) xx

    1. Thank you Sally! You're always the one to get my song references ;-) xxx

  9. Loving your bright yellow and blue ensemble, and yes, of COURSE turquoise is the perfect pop of colour with your black/orange/red dress. Love those.

    Stay strong, Ann! The weather will get better!

    1. Thank you Sheila! I'm glad you agree on the turquoise! It might not be the obvious choice for some, but it was instantaneous for me! xxx

  10. You have such beautiful dresses, Ann! I especially love the second dress! The pattern is so pretty and I love how you've accessorised with turquoise. Fabulous! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Ann! XXX

  11. Friday already! I wish you lots of sunshine. We had a wonderful day yesterday. However, I had to spend it indoors due to work. There wasn't even a window. When we left (the theater), it was five o'clock ... Now, I can't see the sky yet as it is still dark. I'm hoping for the best.

    The jacket is lovely, the buttons much much better. Enjyo wearing it. Regula

    1. Thank you Regula! I'd really hate to spend the day in a window-less space! xxx

  12. Love your sunshine outfit, the mustard yellow accessories definitely compliment the blue dress.

    Oh, the Star of the Sea figurine is so charming. I’m glad you took it home with you.

    Oh my goodness, my eyes practically popped out when I scrolled to the picture of your red bag. I have been looking for the perfect straw bag with raffia flowers for the longest time. What a find!

    Sending some thoughts of sunshine your way. X

    1. Thank you so much Jess. I'm glad to read you love the Star of the Sea figurine. I love her even more as she is flawed. I know, the bag is rather fab isn't it? xxx

  13. Oh you could never look plane even if you tried! Lovely skirts, what a thrilling color combination the purple one is. It's getting slowly warmer here now, but now we can't go outside! Ha ha, what a horror.

    1. Thank you Nancy :-) But what a horror indeed! Do keep safe, my friend, I'm thinking of you! xxx

  14. What a fabulous find on the button front! One could super easily believe the replacements were in fact original to this snazzy garment. Awesome button upgrading, dear Ann!

    Autumn Zenith 🎃 Witchcrafted Life