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Thursday 31 October 2019

3 Ways to Wear Summer's Florals In Autumn

Helloo my lovelies. 
OMG! The last day of October - how did that happen?!

Autumn is well and truly here and most days on the island are chilly and crisp, and the number of dank and cold days are increasing at a ferocious pace.
It's the time of the season when the weather is scratching around for its rightful place.  I find myself wanting a touch of lightness in my dress yet with the security of layering up whilst the weather struggles to find its season.

So a light fabric base of a dress or skirt with warmer additions is ideal for an out-out right now.  And here are three of the umpteen warmer additions.

1.  With a Biker (Moto) Jacket

Here's what I wore recently for a dinner out with friends on a night when the weather had most definitely found its autumn - cold, rainy and very blustery.  Brrr.  So that took me to a tried and tested go-to of pretty skirt, woolly jumper, boots and a biker.
I call this combo my edgy granny look.

Easy silk skirt, ca. 2002

I did debate on whether to to a French tuck of my jumper.

But nah, who wants to see my granny's tum protrusion at dinner eh?!

And to prove the "tried and tested" point, I was wearing something very similar in 2016 in a-spring-in-my-step. HERE

The tried and tested look is seen here, back in February 2016.

More Inspo

Worn with a flowery dress (Pinterest)

2.  With a Blazer


3.  With a Cardi


It's surprising what can be added to a thin dress or skirt to make it wearable in the chillier months, yet keeping the look stylish rather than bundled up.   Just adding a woolly or jacket, a belt, some warm boots can instantly make light florals wearable right now, whilst still keeping some sense of stylishness.

Is this the sort of transitional  look you wear for a date night or dinner with friends in Autumn?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

Monday 28 October 2019


Sometimes little niggly jobs hang around undone in Chez Pout for weeks, months , years.  Yet they often take relatively little time to complete and the satisfaction is immense when they're done.

As was the case with the little niggly jobs I've completed this week.

The Picture Frame

Firstly, a brief history of this picture. 
It starts back in the seventies.   Salon was the Daily Mirror cartoonist, and the newspaper and the publishing company TP worked for BITD were ultimately owned by the same company.  Caricatures by Salon of the company directors were hung in the boardroom and when TP left, he was given his picture. 

And it ends in the teensies with me FINALLY getting round to painting the picture frame to blend in with the other pictures around it in the Chez Pout boardroom!

Here's TP rocking his 70s flares and sideburns!

The frame was dark brown.  The other frames in the vicinity are shades of grey, but just a few, less than ten, and definitely not fifty.

But during this past week something clicked -  I'd stared long enough at this mismatch of framage.   Carpe diem.  Action this day!

So on this day I seized a little pot of *Liberon cream paint (*see below for details).  I opened this pewtery magic and with a piece of kitchen roll I got rubbing!

I left elements of the original brown frame to show through.

This way, the grey picks out the colour in TP's trousers flares and the brown tinges blend with the rest of the picture. And of course the frame fits in with its neighbours.

And the whole process took about ten minutes.  So why did I wait so long?!!!

The Window Frame

The other small tweak of the week was this bare wood window frame.

This is the only "before" pic of it I could find after a quick trawl.  It's over my shoulder, just in case I need to point it out!

The bare frame dates back to 2010, so it's been staring at me for nine years. 
Yes, you read right,  nine years!
TP painted the nearby door and window frames last year, but ran out of puff or enthusiasm for white paint and this window frame remained bare and sore-thumbish.

So, and not before time, this week I decided I could no longer live with the mismatch of framage in this room and this window frame got the Pout Paint Pot  treatment too!

This job took a little longer than ten minutes, but a few hours applying three coats of paint over two days and the job was done.

And here's the "after" shot.  Nothing sore-thumbish or mismatched with these frames eh?

The feel in this back room seating area is now harmonious.   After nine years and a few hours of my time I can now cross two jobs off my mental list of the many niggly jobs around the house.
And my paint pot spilleth over with immense satisfaction and love!

Does any of this sound vaguely familiar?
Do YOU have undone jobs that irritate and niggle, that you know will take but a few hours of your time ... WHEN you get round to it?!!!

A la perchoine,
Mary x. 


And have I got good news for you and ME!
*Liberon gilt creams come in various shades of gold and silver and they are the BOMB!
  I've been using them for 20+ years for all sorts of exciting decorating jobs.
My last pot was sadly empty after this job 😢 and sourcing it from our small island has always been challenging and nigh on impossible.  

But through writing this post I've discovered it's available on Amazon and I am super excited to share this news with you!

I really recommend you give this little pot of magic a go - it transforms in a trice and you use little per job so it lasts for years.

*Liberon gilt cream - the Duracell of paint pots!!!

Friday 25 October 2019

3 Ways to Wear A Tan Moto

Hello my lovelies!  How are you doing?  
More specifically, how are you doing with your new season's wardrobe? 

Well, as I explained in my post dressing-by-numbers-longer-cardigan. HERE, I need help in putting together outfits when faced with my seasonal switch of clothing.  
My wardrobe looks somewhat alien, like its been sprinkled with the clothes of other ladies.  My mind's a blank each day as to how I (and those other ladies!) wore all this stuff previous autumns, so I struggle to come up with outfits from the eclectic mix I see before me. 

I look for inspo and I dress by numbers, for ease and, well, because mine and everyone's lives are too busy to dwell too much on mere outfits eh?  There's a whole world of turmoil out there when we step our stylishly booted foot out of the bedroom, so scant thought can be afforded to even simple style.

My dressing by numbers this past week has been focused on light outerwear, for there is a decided nip in the air now and it's cool enough outside to need a light dressing of outerwear.

I see from my Pinterest trawl that tan leather and suede motos are popping up with fervour this season.   Hmmn what do I have in my arsenal that gives a nod to this trend?

I don't have a tan moto, and not even a tan anything in the leather or suede outerwear department.   But eureka, I am just looking to a nod to the trend rather than slavishly jumping on the tan moto bandwagon, am I not?   
Well, there is answer to that rhetorical question and that answer is decidedly YES!  
So I hooked out my brown suede jacket, bought in Debenhams at the turn of the millennium.  That'll work.  Warm but not too warm so perfect for temps right now and something to work with to try to bring some of my previous seasons' pieces together into a look that says NOW(ish).

My first steal was this.   That aforementioned old brown suede blazer. A Woolovers longline cashmere merino jumper in a colour close to this season's caramel.  Brown Clarks ankle boots and totally undistressed girlfriend jeans finished the steal.  And I forgot to take one single solitary photo.  Sorry.

My next steal was based around a grey column.  And it is evidenced this time!

Grey jeans, Peacocks.  Grey cashmere merino high necked jumper, Woolovers.

Grey crossover bag and scarf, Primark.
 And the old brown boots again.

My third look will be to add some leoprint to the mix.   I say "will" because I have since been distracted by a moto jacket I DO have, my old faithful black moto.  But I WILL try out this third steal (it can hardly be described as challenging - white T and a scarf, for heaven's sake!).  And when I do, I'll make sure I photograph it and include it in my roundup of October outfits.  I didn't post a September roundup as that was mostly filled with cruise outfits and that deserves a post of its own, coming up (WHEN I can find the time!).

So there you have it - 3 ways to wear the tan moto.

Except that the moto is a blazer.  
The tan is a chocolate brown. 
One styling wasn't photographed.  
And I still owe you the third styling.

And I call myself a blogger?

It's no wonder I look contrite right now ...

As I head hurtle towards my 70s, I learn more and more that when I see a look I like, my first port of call is my wardrobe rather than the shops.  I can interpret the look into something in keeping with my age with whatever I have in there, then test drive it ... and if I'm blown away by it*, then maybe, just maybe I'll invest some pensioner pennies in a purchase.
Is this your approach too?

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

*P.s.  I think I'm teetering on the edge of being blown away by the tan moto!

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Dressing By Numbers - The Longer Cardigan

Cuppa rating🍸

Well, it's autumn innit? (Does saying innit instantly wipe 60 years off my clock?)

Last week I did the season swap.  Have you done yours yet? 
After it's done, it feels like a line has been drawn under one season, and I'm fresh and ready for the coming season, in this case autumn/winter.  Or as the fashionistas call it, AW19.  It took me a whole AW to work out the acronym when I entered blogland and it was only when SS came skipping along that I worked it out, duh.

So, season switch done.  Feeling pretty smug with myself.  Wardrobe contents sectionalised by colour.  Shoes grouped by occasion.  Oversized jeans put in the charity basket. 

Then I look at the attire around me and it's like looking at someone else's wardrobe.  It's all new to me.  But its mine, I know this for I have yanked every piece from my she-cave under the bed.  Yet my mind is a blank and the prospect of wearing this lot for the next six months is slightly daunting.  How DID I wear all this stuff just a few months ago? 
Now tell me, does that happen to you?  Or is it just me, AGAIN?

Well, this AW I hit on a cunning plan.  We're talking tails and weazels in its cunningocity.  And if you're not a fan of Black Adder then at this point you will perhaps think I'm away with the fairies.   But trust me, I'm not because I applied logic to my dilemma and came up with my cunning plan.  Pinterest!

Yes, I spent a cosy few minutes, hours, days there, for that is what happens on entering that site eh, time gets sucked into a vortexy black holey thing (or is that just me again?)
I saved everyday pensioner-style outfits that caught my eye.  
I bunged them into a spanking new folder.  
I worked out which pieces could be used from my new-to-me wardrobe to create the looks I liked.  
I then copied the looks on to blog drafts, split into types of outfits, e.g. like today's, the longer cardi.  

And in so doing I made dressing easy.   Just like painting by numbers, but in outfit form.  Holy fashionista, it's like being dressed by my personal stylist each day!
I wake up.  I find an outfit I fancy that's in keeping with the day's weather and events (oh I should be so lucky, at most it'll be a visit to Waitrose. IF I'm lucky!).)  I go about my day to day, calm and relaxed.

Honestly, I'm finding this cunning plan makes life soooo much  easier, stress-free and fun.
But what always apalls surprises me is that I need guidance to put together a fresh and stylish everyday outfit.  But I do, so I simply accept it and let my double-worry gene  move on to bigger global issues than which top to wear with which jeans.  
Holy melting glaciers, Poutgirl, there's a planet  to save!

Oh gawd, I'm rambling tooo much (again) so let's call this verbage done with for today and move on eh.
Here are the everyday outfits I've saved in this longer cardi section, together with some of my work to date.


Done, with a little fasionista's license.




My approach has been "in the spirit of",  rather than rigid steals, obvs.  The accent is on slow fashion, using what resources my wardrobe offers.  I'm sure this approach stops unnecessary spending and saves world resources, in some small way.
Holy eco-friend, Poutgirl, you've just made a stridette towards saving our planet!

And talking of planets, I really am apalled surprised that after nearly 70 years on this planet I still need help with this stuff.  
But I do. And it is what it is.  Life's too short to beat myself up about it eh?  

The salient point here is that I've accepted I need help.  I've cried out to Pinterest.  Pinterest has answered and made day to day dressing easy.  Dressing by numbers.  I've made it easy on myself.

Go on, make it easy on yourself too.

Do you need help with everyday style ideas?
Do you seek help?  From Pinterest?  Instagram?  Blogs?  
Maybe all of the aforementioned?

A la perchoine,

Mary x.

Tuesday 8 October 2019

The She Shed Diaries

Warning: this post has a ☕☕ Cuppa Rating
(the number of cuppas needed during the reading of this post)

Hi my lovelies, I hope you are well.

I'm at home catching up on all the post-cruise holiday stuff that needs to be done and pausing to enjoy some wonderful days last week with visiting family.  And then the rest of my time has been filled with general humdrum stuff around the house and garden.  And yup, not many outfits have managed to find of their way on to my back!

   Today I chanced upon a YouTube comment on my shed project video from 3 months ago that I'd not seen before and therefore not replied to ... Yes, that's pretty shocking eh?  I addressed that shabby behaviour immediately with an apologetic reply!
But once I'd sent my message to the lovely Texan lady commenter, I realised that it's about time I popped in here with an update on my She Shed Project. 

To catch up on the story so far, you may want to pop in to see these posts -
You could say that I don't exactly rush into things!

A pictorial recap of my little shed project:

First, some before and after collages.

Before, the barren wasteland.  After, The Sheds!

Before, the sheds.  After, the smart decked area. 

And that is the journey so far.
Now, a bit of detail. 

The original two sheds were listing badly and were unpleasant on the eye.

They were hidden from view behind a wall in a back section of the garden.  I only caught a glance of this area when going to the clothes line or picking peaches; its downfall was that it wasn't a socialising area (it IS now!).

And because of this, I tended to ignore the surrounding area and weeded it just a couple of times during summer.  And that was hard work!  And bloody too - many brambles lurked hidden in that undergrowth (believe me, this is a recently weeded photo - the weeds grew freely and VERY high!).

The nearby "flower" bed was an eyesore too: the magnolia tree survived there but just didn't thrive, probably due to the plants (and weeds 😳) that had grown up around it.

So it was a bit of the garden that I pretended didn't exist.  But the sheds were in danger of blowing down in a storm so I needed to snap out of my ostrich approach and get proactive - find a shed solution.
So I went on the hunt.

Then along came a shed that fitted the bill.
We ordered it in spring for delivery at the beginning of June  and arranged a date with a landscaping company to start near the end of June, sync-ing with our return from holiday in Sussex.  
All good so far.

Then a tragedy ocurred in the landscaper's company (very sad) and we were passed on to another company but of course we had to be fitted into their work schedule.

Meantime, we set about clearing the area as best we could.

Then at the beginning of August our saviours arrived and began the job.

The shed was built.

TP and I painted the inside of the she-shed a nice fresh white and the floor a charcoal grey.

We pinned layout designs on the wall and brought in an old rug.

TP settled in.

And then he set up shelves in the little He Shed he'd been alloted.

We then emptied the old sheds, decanted and transferred the keepers to the new sheds.

Along the way, other things happened.  
A summer storm blew down the pergola.
TP had a trip to A&E (ER) but he was much better by the time he got there and was soon on the road to recovery.

But back to the story ...

The landscapers returned the week before we went on our cruise holiday.

The old eyesores were gone in a trice and a blank canvas for the decking appeared as if by magic.

(We managed to paint the shed's outside window frames but the outside walls will have to wait a month or two - our holiday rather got in the way of the timetable!)

The flower bed was mini-diggered, leaving only the magnolia tree standing.

No time was wasted in building the framework.

Our lovely Dutch friend arrived to sit for Bertie and immediately stepped in to manage things - one cup of coffee then he was out there!
So we left for our cruise the next day, knowing our little project was in a safe pair of hands.

Our precious magnolia tree was incorporated into the decking - I'm hoping and praying it will now grow proudly, unencumbered by all the other roots it used to fight for space with.

Our lovely Dutch "project manager" sent us a photo of the finished decking whilst we were on holiday .

And we returned from our cruise to a tidied up decked area, albeit rather bare of furniture and devoid of planting.

But we've already used the area quite a bit.  

We've put a few bits of old garden furniture out there, which will be fine for the winter whilst we work out how we want to use the space and then how to furnish it accordingly.

We've spent quiet coffee break moments sitting there and thinking about the planting that needs to go around the decking to soften the area.  And that's the nice thing - we're in no rush to do anything fast or hurried.  We have all winter to sit and plan the finishing off of our practical, useful and very BIG new outside living area.   But if you have any ideas, please let me know, all suggestions are most welcome.

The exciting thing is that I've got a She Shed, his nibs has got a He Shed and together we've rediscovered 
The Lost Garden of Poutland.

A la perchoine,
Mary x.

I'll be back with another shed diary entry when the inside of my She Shed is ready  for inspection.  But now, I really must get into a few autumn outfits!