Sunday 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Oh what a night! We danced, we drank, we sang, we were in bed eating pizza by 1am.
Here I am in my zombie killing outfit, ready to defend mankind.
Then I discovered my husband had turned.
What's a girl to do?
He's got life insurance. It'll all be ok.
Chainsaw attack! 

At The Lanes we saw a couple of really good bands. The first group were a sort of pop-punk group who's name I missed, but they were good. Then came the Blonde Vipers, headed by a very sexy cat lady. They played an excellent set of punk style* music, the vocalist had an 80s female punk type of voice. I loved them!

*I know nothing about music, but they made me think a lot of surf punk groups from the late 80s. Their myspace page describes them as Rockabilly. Clearly I know less than I thought.

There were some burlesque dancers, who I couldn't see because of the throngs of men pushing forwards, but the crowd gave them a warm reception, so I assume they were good. I have huge respect for the girl who came on dresses as Edward Scissorhands and danced to the theme music to the movie. She had the hands on so I have no idea how she managed to get her clothes off...

I remember going out for Halloween about 5 years ago, dressed up with a few friends. We were virtually the only people in town in fancy dress and people kept looking at us strangely. What a change a few years makes! Everyone we saw on the streets last night looked awesome. Full makeup, wigs, costumes, and not cheapy joke shop costumes either. A lot of people had mad a real effort and were really original with their costumes. I was impressed!

Shortly after this picture was taken the zombie pirate, blinded by my flash, collided with the girl in the red tie and spilt beer everywhere. Ooops, my bad.
One of the bar maids. How cool is that?

All in all, an excellent night out and although I feel about 60 today, it was well worth it.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Crafty temptations

In addition to my spending I wrote about yesterday, I've been doing a lot of lusting and drooling over various crafty bits and pieces. As well as the cold weather inspiring me to make some warmer clothes, I've been thinking about Christmas (I know, I know, but we are only 7 weeks away now) and reading the Crafty Christmas Club created by Tilly.
So here are some of the shops that have caught my attention.

I'm looking for 2 ply yarn for my jumper that my Mum has promised to knit me, and it's not been easy! Fortunately I don't need much, but what I've found has mainly been baby wool in soft pastels, or very very expensive! I did find 2 good sources though.

The first, Silver Viscount, has reasonably prices new wool in a good range of colours. It's not terribly exciting, but it looks like it'd provide me a good choice. However, I'm not so terribly keen on wool, firstly because I do find it itchy and it can also be a bit unpredictable in the wash.

The second site I found was much more drool worthy. Violet Green sell the most beautiful cashmere, merino, and cotton yarns in a wonderful range of silky colours. These are the ones that made me go "ooooooooh"

I've also been looking at cross stitching charts.Now, I'm working on a sampler I started back in the early summer and I'm still only about 1/4 done. In addition, I have 3 kits waiting to be stitched and 4 books of projects waiting to be sewn. So, in short, I shouldn't be looking at MORE cross stitch projects, but I did. Ooops.
I particularly liked the charts I found from the Historical Sampler Company. I'm a big fan of the traditional stitching styles and these mostly traditional, with the odd slightly trendier style thrown in.

Since I was on a roll, I thought I'd look for woll dressmaking fabrics. I need some warn skirts and dresses and good wool is hard to find. But. I did a search and came across MacCulloch and Wallis in London who sell on the web. It's pricey, looks wonderful and is fair for the quality that's apparent from the photos. I'm itching to get up there and see the fabrics for myself now!

Finally, I wanted to share this photo shoot. It's by a modern photographer in a mix of retro styles and is stunningly beautiful.

And last by certainly not least, I keep forgetting to mention that the very lovely Evie over at La Couturier Dimanche awarded me my first blog award! Thank you very much!
I'm supposed to pay it forward to 15 other bloggers, but I am very lazy and am finding it hard to find bloggers I follow who don't already have the award! So here are my 10 nominees, in no particular order.
1. Welsh pixie
2. Land girl 1980
3.  A Sewing Odyssey
4. Canadian Twenty Something
5. Did You Make That
6. Miss Magpie's Musings
7. Ohhh Lulu
8. Steam
9. Swingin' it in Vintage
10. Vintage Loving Librarian

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Shop till you drop

I have a confession. I've been spending far too much money.
I know it's not a shocking confession to make, but I feel as though I should share my crime and ask forgiveness. To help you bring yourselves to forgiving my crimes, I will share my new treasures with you.

1940s pattern. I'm not sure about the lime green, but I do like the plaid and I thought this would make a great winter dress, something I've wanted for a while and will save me money by stopping me buying one. Not buying it? Nah, I wouldn't either. Still,it's pretty awesome. Plus, the lovely seller sent cute buttons free.

I'm likely to be going to a rock night at a local club next month and my mostly-vintage wardrobe doesn't really cut the alt-rock image so well. I reckon that rockabilly bridges that gap between vintage and rock, so I started thinking about what I coukd wear that was rockabilly! I decided that a check shirt, tied at the waist with my 40 jeans from freddies would work, if I put my hair in Betty Page bangs and punk up my makeup.

So...I stopped by Primark this week, looking for a check shirt. I found this one, which I actually really like and have been wearing round the house since! Bonus!

I also bought this little cotton jumper while I was there...

Then I decided to get these shoes from Clarks. I have the black leather ones, and these chocolatey suede ones were too good to pass up! These shoes are so comfy, and nicely basic to go with most outfits. When I finish my skirt I'm making I'll be wearing them together.

I also picked up these shoes. They're to wear with the ATS uniform I'm putting together for a reenactment group. I'm going to be ATS!

I also saw these boots at office, but I'vwe managed to restrain myself from buying them so far. Aren't they beautiful?!

And I'll leave you with my last purchase, a pumpkin for carving tomorrow. This is not a picture of my owl though, sadly, it's a treat given to the animals at Bristol Zoo. I wish I could buy an owl!

Monday 25 October 2010

Party like it's 1949

I've recently bought tickets to two fabulous events, both retro themed and both in Bristol in the next couple of months. I'm one happy lady!

The first event I'll be attending is the Halloween night at The Lanes. The plan for Halloween was originally going to London for the incredible Don't Dali with the Devil, but once cost of hotels in central London, plus trains, tickets and drinks had been factored in, we were spending about £200 for one night.

(c) Natty Dread
So, the search began for something as fun in Bristol. While A Sailor's Grave doesn't have the decadent surrealism that originally attracted me to Don't Dali with the Devil, it does have some interesting music, in the shape of alternative, rock and swing based groups, plus burlesque performers, zombies and fire performers. Entry is a snip at £5 and there are prizes of the best costume. As such it fulfils my desire to dress up and be entertained while costing us less than a quarter of London. With the sheer variety of excellent entertainment on offer, plus the fabulous location, it promises to be a brilliant night out.
My favourite idea for a costume at the moment is a zombie hunter. I'm thinking of something along the lines of a cheesecake 50s style army lady (dress and petticoat, heels, tilt hat) with a chainsaw. The best part of this idea is that I already own all the requisite parts of the outfit except for the chainsaw... Cheap and easy!

Event number 2 is a pre-Christmas 1940s dance at The Tunnels. The excellent University of Bristol Big Band will be playing and I have no doubt that it'll be spectacular fun. The last event they ran sold out well before the dance, so I bought my tickets today to avoid missing out! Photos from the last event can be found here. Now all I have to do is think about my outfit!

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Things I have made

I'm feeling very lazy at the moment, so rather than do any new making, I thought I'd look back on things I have made and bask in how active I CAN be.
I'm very lucky with where I live. Bristol is a very arty city and there are hundreds of day, evening and weekend courses available to try just about any art, craft or activity that takes your interest. As a result, I've taken lessons in (amongst other things) singing, sewing, knitting, tarot and Christmas wreaths.
Many of my creations weren't fit to see the light of day, or have withered and been thrown away (such as my wreath), but I have kept most of what I make. It appears that I have a 'skilled beginner' level of talent at most crafts, but seem unable to get beyond this for any single activity. Maybe I just don't like hard work. Either way, here are my favourites.

Dragonfly and Star
I made this star in a Christmas stained glass workshop, and went back with my Mum 6 months later to make the dragonfly. They now have a time-share on the window by my front door where they catch the morning light. Of all of my creations, I think I might be the most pleased with these.

Stumpwork snowdrops
Stumpwork is essentially 3D embroidery, where you use layering of stitches, applique and wire to create an image. During the class I took, we made a clump of snowdrops and I'm just in love with the result. I keep meaning to get round to framing this, and going back to make more. The lady who was running the classes isn't doing it this year, so I can't go to make any of her other flowers, although you can buy her kits here.

Cross stich sampler
No class for this one, I just fancied giving it a go on the back of the embroidery I did. I found it very simple to get to grips with and am really chuffed how well it turned out. I'm working on another sampler kit at the moment, but it's more complex and is taking a lot longer to make progress on.

Needlecase and pin cushion
Not terribly exciting, but I do use them all of the time. We made these first in the sewing course I did last year and actually they're great. The pin cushion is stuffed with sawdust till it's solid and it's much better than the spongy ones I have!

Heart picture
I was just testing my stitches and ran this up. I liked it so much I put it in a frame!

Knitting sampler
The sole result of my knitting class. Crap and proof that I'm not good at all crafts! Despite the dropped stitches and the odd wrong-way-round stitch, I quite like it!

I'm still trying to decide which classes to take this year - I want to try some different crafts, outside of the needlework I've already done. Pottery maybe? Any suggestions?

Monday 18 October 2010

Scavenger hunt

Tell Everyone Who tagged You: Land Girl 1980

Find and post the following items

Your Favourite YouTube Video:

A photo of something that will make people say 'awwwww' :

Continuing with the cat theme, my two not long after we'd adopted them. They hadn't been out from behind the sofa for long, so this was a great moment for us all! And yes, the big boy Socks only has one eye!

A Funny T-Shirt :

Something Geeky:

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die

Not only do I love Lovecraft, I roleplay. Geek out.

An Image From Your Favourite Movie:

The Princess Bride

Hear this now: I will always come for you.
- But how can you be sure?
This is true love - you think this happens every day?

A Link to the Newest Blog You've Discovered:- Snoodlebug

A Picture of Something on your Wishlist:

Tag 3 other blogs:

Sunday 17 October 2010

Vintage in Hay on Wye

 I finally made it to Hay on Wye this weekend. It was only a flying visit, as we had family to see as well. The day was beautiful, the sort of crisp and sunny day autumn is supposed to be full of. The mountains and the trees were wonderful and it's on days like these that I long to live somewhere prettier than Bristol.
The view from the road
We did our normal tour of Hay, taking in most of the vintage and antiques shops, plus a number of the bigger book shops. I took lots of pictures of pretty things, but I feel I missed a lot of the best sights, if only because I was rummaging for goodies!


The Olde curiosity shoppe is one of my favourites. It's jammed full of clothes, homewares, music books, fabric and crafting bits and jewellery. I love going in for a rummage!

Sage femme is my second favourite shop, and is more second hand than vintage, but the whole place is themed in a mid C20th French style, so it's full of beautiful finds from France and England, old and new, all presented in a wonderful way.

A stack of vintage veils

 Next, onto  Booths Books, the biggest bookshop in Hay and recently refurbished with a cafe and a number of sofas and chairs. Unlike a lot of Hay, the books are very well organised and alphabetised, so it's easy to find specific books, and there are 2 resident cats!

 There was a sweet shop in the back of a rather imposing antiques shop selling blankets and quilts, along with a few vintage nicknacks. Afraid I forgot to look at the name of the shop!
 Finally I went to another shop I can't remember the name of, but it's one with lots of small traders throughout. The rooms are small and packed, so it was hard to take photos but I got one of a clothes area at the back of the shop. There's always something nice in here and it's got such a huge range of items it's a good place to spend some time rummaging.

Onto what I bought then! In the last shop I bought this trunk for £12! It all works despite a little rust and I'm going to use it ti store blankets I think. It's really big so I think I got a bargain.
 I also picked up a white opera scarf for Tom (becuase we go to the opera all the time dontcha know :/ ) and a suitcase, which was another cheap find for £10!
 Finally, in Abergavenny, Tom saw this owl and bought it for me, bacause I am owl crazy. Isn't he cute? He's supposed to be a doorstop but I'm going to keep him on a shelf so that the cats don't eat him. His name is Lord Oliver Wise, which I think suits him perfectly.