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Friday 31 August 2018

Freerein Friday - Brown, Revisited

There are posts that don't make it on to my blog.  Sometimes because I feel a post fails on content, photography or simply attitude - and occasionally all three!  
These drafts linger in my blogger's wilderness.
I've brought this early-summer reject back from the wilderness today (after cutting it back to the salient points - it rambled!) because it will link in to another post coming up soon.
So here I give you brown, revisited.

My recent  blue jacket search HERE reunited me with a few forgottens.  Like this brown print lined cotton lawn affair.

East dress and cardi.

Bought in sale about 10+ years ago, during my Brown Period.

Never worn, so BNWT, to use eBay language!

It's quite long, though not as long as it looks in these pics!
And though it was reduced considerably from its original £80 price tag, I still don't like to chuck it out when it's never had even one airing.   Should it stay or should it finally go?
Oh the trials of a dithering hoarder ...

So I did what all experienced ditherers do, I switched focus.  
To footwear. M&S glittery espadrilles.

These espadrilles seem a good partner for the dress, should I ever bite the bullet and wear it!

So that's my rejected post, revisited.
Next stop, Highway 61,


A la perchoine.

Thursday 30 August 2018

Thieving Thursday - Taupe and Cream

Hello my lovelies, thanks for popping in today for more thieving!

Kellyann commented last week that most of us reading or writing  this type of blog will invariably be seasoned thieves when it comes to stealing styles from magazines, TV characters, people on the street and other blogs.  Heavens I've done it all and done it most of my life!

The steal starts when you spot something you like and think "I'd like to copy that look".  In my case, it's usually followed by "and I've got something very similar (and very old) lurking in my wardrobe (archives)".  And so my steals are usually borne.

Today's started with me stalking a cardi.  Yup, like I need  another cardi! But I was drawn to a winterweight version of my summer trapeze cardi which I wear A LOT. 

Source Madeleine website

As I looked at the pic I realised that the look was very me, but a me about 15 years ago.  I have light cream trousers from back then (a silk/linen mix), but they are just as in the picture - extremely wide.  And as much as I liked all those neutrals, the outfit doesn't quite work for the life I lead now.  It's a bit, er, too posh!

So I adapted the look to make it wearable for my retirement life.

I started with the silk/lace cami (La Redoute), added the kind of linen trousers I wear throughout the summer and topped this with my taupe trapeze cardi from The White Company (all old).

I added a silver belt and a taupe shoulder bag, then added silver jewellery to echo the belt and chain strap of the bag, and pewter sandals.

And thus, for no current outlay, I was able to steal a look that I fell for when lusting after yet another cardi.

Now maybe style stealing doesn't appeal to you at all.  Maybe you're lucky enough to have your own unique and gorgeous style and copying some else's is something you've never thought to do.

But if you have, would you like to share a success, or a failure?
And do you have a source you go back to time and time again?
A specific magazine, an actress, a member of a Royal Family?
I'd love you to share your experiences in the comments section below.

Don't forget, you can follow me or subscribe to this blog or Pinterest and now, taadaaahh, you can find me on Instagram.
You'll find the links you need in the right sidebar.

Looking forward to catching up with you again soon,
a la perchoine

Wednesday 29 August 2018

WIW Wednesday

Hello my friends.  We meet again for my third What I Wore Wednesday.  Wow, I can do consistent!
This journey started the day The Photographer went into hospital and although he's been at home for a couple of weeks now, I just seem to have got into a nice little habit of daily outfit shots.  

The discipline gets me to think about what I wear.  Gets me to work my wardrobe.   Yes, there will be times when house and garden choose the outfit for me, but that doesn't mean that I have to stay in the worn-out shorts and vest I start the day with eh?  And I swear seeing me presentable at some stage in the day in some way aids my patient's recovery!

So let's crack in with another WIW Wednesday, I hope you enjoy my offerings. 

M&S linen print trousers, light taupe cami picking up the print background, coral Woolovers beaded cardi.  M&S bronze sandals (not seen).
Felt a bit PJ-like!

Tea with friends.  Same cardi over white column, red espadrilles (2nd Loved).  The cardi felt better being showcased by the column then hooked in by colour with the shoes.

 Cooler day so I chose mum jeans, white T and duck egg cashmere cardi, JoNY.  Perked up with fave silk scarf of summer.  Bronze sandals.

Meeting at solicitor's office, so poshed up jeans with metallic belt, white T, aqua silk/linen Kaliko jacket (part of suit), metallic espadrilles.  

Out to dinner.  Black jersey dress, Dotty P.  Aqua Woolovers beaded cardi.  T strap heels.  Teal/black necklace from La Duchesse - love it!

Picnic on beach.  Pink leoprint jersey dress, black hat from Next, Birkies.

And later, a napkin draped stylishly over knees - NOT!

Posh meal with TP.  Next print dress, grey Woolovers cashmere/merino cardi, Adesso heels.  Silver strands.  Claudia Bradby double grey pearl earrings.  Grey leather Wink bracelet.

Waitrose (grocery shopping) done glam!
Black Linen frilled button top (from skirt suit) worn over Next lace cami.  Pewter sandals.  
Wore dark jeans for first time in about 3 months!  A sign that summer is coming to a close 😢.

Did you find any inspo from my week in outfits?

Digging into your wardrobe and trying pieces in a different way can be so satisfying.
That's what I've been doing with that last top - worn as a suit it's just too "posh" for life in retirement.  But splitting up top and bottom and working the individual pieces into more casual outfits creates looks that can fit into the life I lead now.  
Is that something you fancy giving a try?

Wishing you a fabulous week ahead,
a la perchoine.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Travel Tuesday - Where I Stayed

Oh how quickly we get back to our everyday after a holiday.  We've only been back just over a month, yet my holiday seems light years away now.  Does that happen to you?
We've only managed one two week holiday so far this year and how I've yearned for more as I've looked back on my holiday snaps for these travel posts.

This post wraps up my Devon holiday.  As usual I'll let the pics do most of the talking.

No surprise that we needed a fleet of cars to make it all happen.

We stayed in the middle of the pretty Devon countryside.
So peaceful.

Source of photo, Coombe Farm website

The farmhouse where 14 of the visiting American family stayed.
You can see the vineyard behind the property.

The complex had a swimming pool and a 12 seater cinema, which were both well used.

Many a wine was sipped at the table during the hot, balmy evenings.

We gathered in this kitchen sooo much.  The catering arrangement was simple : each family unit took a turn to shop and cook for all the family, which with the UK contingent was over 20.

The grazing cows were our neighbours.

Our Cottage

TP and I shared the sweetest cottage.
This was a super little home from home.

Source of property photos, Combe Farm website

Enjoyable moments were spent sitting out on the cottage's little terrace, enjoying the peace - early morning or after a hectic day out and about.
A family of house martins were nesting in the roof and the adults gave us amazing displays of their swooping and diving as they flew in the valley below, then returned swiftly to the nest with snacks for the fledglings.
 Yes, we did have time to sit and stare!

I also had time to pose around the cottage!

Vine Cottage.

The farmhouse complex was the perfect place for a large family group to stay.  The property was well equipped and tastefully decorated throughout.

The owners and team were friendly, helpful and easily contactable throughout the planning stages, and that continued during our stay.
Our stay at the farmhouse was fun, yet peaceful and sooo relaxing too.

I hope you've enjoyed my little travel series with snapshots of just one of the many beautiful places to visit in Britain.
Thanks for popping in today - please pop back tomorrow for WIW Wednesday!

A perchoine.

Monday 27 August 2018

Monday Mode - 50 Shades of Off-White

Hello my lovelies,  I hope your weekend was super-peachy!
For those of you who've been enjoying a long bank holiday weekend, I hope it's been all you could have wished for.
It has been low-key here at Chez Pout.  Medical appointment for TP, afternoon tea at friends, walks, beach picnic, housework and (for me) moving furniture (oh how I love doing that!).

For what seems like months now (SEE HERE)
I've been trying to find a perfect off-white/stone coloured cardi, mainly to sub for my cosy old Windsmoor when a posher light neutral needs to step up to the plate.

But golly, the search has been arduous and has spanned several months.  And even after a Woolovers try on last week, I still don't know if I've actually got there with my off-white.
You see, there are sooooo many shades of off-white.  Some have a yellow tinge, some with a pink tinge … oh I could go on and on and bore you to tears with my research but suffice to say, I am nothing if not dogged and relentless in my quest and I think I've tried on most of the  off-white shades the universe (or Pantone) has created.

So here's my latest try on.  I wore the cardis with a white column so that I could assess the subtle shades of the woolies without distraction.
And I kept the tags on as history has proven that many off-whites are tried and all many (?) are returned.

This cream cotton mix cardi is a contender the more I look at it.

It has pockets, a huge plus point for a lady who doesn't like carrying a handbag in her dotage.

And it's length is good, for that essential derriere coverage.
I can see this cardi with jeans or thrown over a summer dress when the evening chills.

And it's in the sale! £25, though make that £20 if TP asks!

This cashmere/merino blend is a contender too.  It's length is fine too.

But it is without pockets, a.k.a. my handbag.

Such are the intriciacies of off-white that I almost didn't take this one out of it's wrapping, because it looked a weird grey/pink tinge.

(Though it looks "normal" off-white here.)

But something compelled me to try it on and I quite liked it, especially when I tried it later with jeans.  The jeans ensemble is in my WIW Wednesday offering.
The thing that's going for this one is that TP liked it!

So, to summarize, I did like them all but as two out of the three are full price, I'm giving the pricier pair some serious thinking time.

My search is important to me because I think the right fit/right shade of an off-white cardi looks pretty darn classy.
But what is really hitting home is the amount of frogs you have to kiss before you hit on that perfect prince of an off-white summer coverup. 
50 shades is probably only the tip of this off-white iceberg.  And that's a lot of kissing!

Now, over to you.
Do you have an off-white cardi?
Do you get a lot of use out of it? Through 3 out of 4 seasons?
Did you struggle to get the exact shade that you liked and that worked for your wardrobe?  And just how many frogs did you have to kiss?!!

A la perchoine.

Friday 24 August 2018

Freerein Friday - Shibori Ice

Whilst on holiday last month, one of party surprised we English ladies by gifting each of us with a beautifully hand-dyed silk scarf that she'd made back home in the States.  How sweet was that?!
She explained that she'd used a mix of dying techniques called Shibori and ice dying.  Each scarf was a glorious mix of colour and pattern.  As luck would have it, when I got home I discovered that mine went perfectly with the oranges and corals I'd recently bought.  Superbly well, in fact.

See for yourself!

I was so grateful for this unique gift and the thought that went into it.  I wore the scarf for its debut outing to visit TP in hospital the other week, worn with the outfit above - skirt, cami and cardi.  I bought a takeaway coffee on the way to his ward, then wasted no time in pouring the cup of hot coffee down my front!

Yes, I uttered noises that could not have been misinterpreted - that coffee was hot! 
Fortunately the ward was hot and I'd taken the scarf off before annointing myself with caffeine.   Phew!

I quickly retired to the bathroom where I rinsed out the coffee stains from my camisole and skirt.  The cami bore the brunt of the spillage, so it was  thoroughly wet.   I buttoned up my cardi, pulled on the wrung-out skirt and hung the camisole out to dry, draped over a chair.  
I thought I'd handled this disaster with amazing speed, calmness and imagination, working within the constraints of a hospital loo and the clothes I had on my back.

But the skirt had a HUGE damp patch down one side and common decency had forced me to put it back on.  So I tied my shibori ice dyed scarf around the patch like a sarong and got TP to photograph my quick-thinking innovation from his hospital bed - no peace for the infirm, eh?!

Disaster contained, and with panache.

Not only is this scarf a work of art, it hid my embarrassment in a crisis too. How versatile is that?!

So back to our clever lady.   She also quilts, expertly,  and has provided the most amazing quilts when family members this side of the pond have faced extreme illness.

A beautiful Healing Hands quilt

Here's an example of her Healing Hands quilts - all absent family members send her templates of their hands and she creates the most amazingly sensitive and beautiful quilts.  Draping the loved sick one with the quilt thus lays the absent family members' hands over the loved one.  Such a compassionate work of art.

Our creative lady no longer has the time to run her quilting business, so when I told her I'd like to showcase her work she directed me to Jane at this website,
Fiesta Fibers, HERE

See an example of Jane's  Shibori folding and ice dyeing, HERE.
Jane dyes the chosen fabric uniquely, then creates reversible quilting around the resulting pattern, adding any additional applique to enhance her design.
She's clearly a skilled practitioner of her craft, incorporating her expertise in needlework with her vast knowledge of dying techniques.

Here's Jane at work.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jane in Boston nine years ago.  She's a lovely, warm and beautiful lady, who's passion for her art shows through in every piece of her work.

And here are some examples of her work and examples of how these fine unique pieces can be displayed in the home.

This is my favourite piece from Jane's website.  So striking, yet practical.

What a creative lady!
Read about Jane's work, her touring and her exhibitions on the website link provided earlier in this piece.
If you're looking for a special heirloom for your home or for a loved one, make Fiesta Fibers your only port of call.

A la perchoine.