Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Hourglass Inn

The dreaded flu has kept me away from our usual Friday night date with the best pub in England- it has however been redolent of childhood illnesses; being tucked up in bed, smelling my Mum's Chanel perfume (now mine) through a blocked nose, eating my favourite dinners for strength and finding enough energy to indulge in my all time favourite computer game, Simcity. Tom never knew he was seeing a computer geek in disguise! Sorry to have missed you Hourglass Inn, there is always next week.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Each Autumn begins like this, with stunning horoscopes reching beyond the expectations of a single season.

The beginning of autumn calls for a squash supper and inspires a wintry landscape to finally be painted onto the screen we have been meaning to decorate for an age. An annoying space in the kitchen has been given a new lease of life with a perfect fold out table onto which we have a selection of our favourite recent finds.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Bicycle Luggage Special

Lately all the things I seem to find or ideas I have had have seemed to point in the same direction, that direction is towards bicycle luggage. It might seem like a slightly odd axiom to the threads of my spare time but that is how it is.

To begin with some of the ways in which the theme has been seeping into my consciousness I will post the below pictures from a couple of magazines I won on e-bay. They are from 1913 and have wonderful cover images (the chap on a punt is an example of this). Note the stylish luggage featured in the bike snippits...

Some of you reading may have spotted the early Brooks advert on the corner of the page above, so did I. I was reminded of my lovely brooks Glenbrook saddle bag which I love terribly but don't use very often because in Exeter it would probably be stolen and my Mother bought it for me Christmas just gone. I needed something less precious.

This book has some great passages about luggage. This was a present from a local junk dealer and was very well received. I remembered having seen it somewhere before but couldn't think where, then I remembered it was on the Tweed Cycling club's website. Found it? Somehow, although I can't quite see why now looking back at their pictures, I thought that perhaps a good satchel would be a possible solution. So the next weekend I happened to be looking through a couple of barn's belonging to an antique dealer and found this...

A good, heavy canvas fishing bag with a nice wide strap and lots of pockets. It really does the job nicely and it stays with me when I lock the bike up making it much harder to steal.

That said though I have started working on a leather bag made from some old folios I have cut up. The sewing machine just about goes through the leather if turned by hand. I am just waiting for the buckles to arrive in to-morrows post and then it can be finished. If I remember I will put a picture of it on here. It doesn't look as scruffy in real life.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Autumn Boots.

Every girl needs a new pair of boots for autumn; I have already written about my lust for riding boots, and am yet to find any in my financial realm, but these Kurt Geiger beauties, a steal off of eBay have that horsey look to them and are officially my autumn boots. They will be pounding the pavements of New York city in November- too exciting! Until then, the conkers are starting to fall and leaves are gathering in kickable quantities.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Goodwood Revival.

There is not a lot I need to say about Goodwood Revival apart from that it is a perfect day out! Cars, planes and sharp suits for Tom, and vintage clothes stalls and the chance to spend a day as dressed up as I would like to be every day (though I am certainly not disinterested in the beautiful machines on show). Thanks to the wonderful April whom I bought my perfect plaid skirt off of, I had so many compliments!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Christian Union Tablecloth

I got a present today, I usually do when Tom has been working in Otto. Today it was a large Christian Union table cloth. It is perfect for the top of my wooden chest; for some time now I have worried about my plants wreaking all sorts of water damage to it, now I don't!

Goodwood revival happened last weekend, unfortunately I have to wait until my Dad sends me some pictures to be able to share the experience. It was a wonderful weekend, I am quite sure we were the best dressed there.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Pin Curls

Me and Tom are going to Goodwood Revival in a couple of weeks and I thought I better get some hair-do practice in. I want to attend the event in a 1930's style, I haven't decided what to wear exactly, I think that will have to be a future blog post, but I tried pin curling my hair. I am lucky enough to have hair that more or less falls into waves anyway, I would imagine trying to pin curl straight hair is quite an art! I basically followed the lines of my natural curls and whilst holding them down with my fingers, pinned them with long bobby pins to keep them in place, then dried my hair and sprayed a lot of hairspray and then took out the pins and this was the result. Not bad, but I am going t have to learn how to do it at the back of my head, which is really difficult!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Sunday Finds.

A day out in Sarah 'Otto's' van round recycling centres in Devon helped us acquire these lovely new (old) things:

Our latest obsession is finding nice old jars to store our dry foods and spices in, we had a couple more but they met a sad end before we even got them home thanks to a clumsy van exit by Tom; oh well, easy come easy go... They are sat on a sweet little deco wooden tray also found today.

Tom found himself a sturdy little wooden aeroplane.

Tom got this for it's amazing leather saddle, but upon closer inspection is actually a really quality late 60's East German racing style bike and will be done up and sold at some point. It will keep Tom out of trouble for a while anyway.

This little chap was one of a few sad looking toys in a damp and dark shed; I am a sucker for sorry looking toys and so he is now safe and warm and will now be making friends with all my other waifs and strays this evening. His name is Budleigh bear, after the little seaside town tip he was residing in until today.

A fetching deco looking fire-screen, the wood came up lovely after a linseed oiling and is ripe for a bit of a creative make-over. I am not quite sure what to do with the panel; decoupage perhaps? Any suggestions welcome. We ended the day with chips by a slightly drizzly seaside, what a great Sunday!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Practising for Autumn.

I put myself on a clothes buying ban this week; it lasted four days. Oh dear, I lost my bet. I walked into Whistles confident that I had seen all the latest Autumn clothes online and didn't want to buy any of them, I didn't bank on the silk blouse I had been coveting all Summer being reduced to a nearly affordable price. I now owe Tom a dinner out in penance for losing the bet. At least I have a lovely new blouse, and doesn't it look nice with this camel skirt I won off of eBay for when the weather starts to chill.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Linen Suit Revival

Following an accident involving a prong of metal protruding from an arm chair and the right hand sleeve of my linen jacket I decided it was time for a bit of an over haul.

I had bought it a year ago from H&M of all places and never expected it to last this long but, seeing as it has I thought it deserved a bit of dedicated work.

The hole required patching (from the inside, I slipped the fresh cloth through the hole to make it less obvious) as I was saying the hole require patching, to get the fabric I needed it was obvious that the trousers would have to lose some of their length. They had never actually managed to reach all the way don to my ankles and I had never felt quite comfortable wearing them so shorts was the logical step to take.

I hope I have managed to create some sort of easy summer outfit whilst still conforming in some way to civilised ideas of what is proper gents wear, and saving my jacket which is a staple.

Excuse the creases, they need a second iron.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


I am attempting my first knitted garment; I have been knitting scarfs for too long and am finally branching out into jumpers. I found this 1930's inspired set in my favourite knitting magazine Rowan and have decided to try the one pictured at the top here, but in a burnt orange shade instead. Some of these designs are too wonderful, I can only dream of being able re-create them, I can but try. I found the pictures on this yarn site though I should have not been lazy and scanned them myself. Well, if I start now I may well have finished it by next winter.....

New Green Dress.

My favourite time of year: Autumn clothes are finally hitting the shops, and though I was very underwhelmed by most of them there are a few bits that I will hopefully be buying throughout the month; I got this one on the spot though, it is from Next (which I generally really don't like but has the odd wonderful item that catches my eye!). It is the exact green I have been longing for a dress in and will look great with brown tights and boots when the chill sets in. For now, as we are having some sort of vague summer, I will stick to sandals and bare legs.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Old money, new money

Having just discovered a new sort of shopping experience together we thought we had better write about it straight away.

Here are the instructions;

1. Find an old advert for something you already own (with the price on it).

2. Type in the price along with the year at the following website.

3. Marvel at how much money somebody must have spent on an item you got for pence.

We found adverts for our bikes and tried those, it seems we both made quite a considerable saving!

Monday, 10 August 2009

My latest obsession.

Why oh why are these boots £400? I know why, because they are beautiful Italian leather equestrian boots; I having been scouring every shop and Internet site trying to find something similar at a more Maria suited price and have had no luck. They would be perfect for autumn with ample amounts of tweed. Must carry on looking, you know how it is when an obsession takes hold.....

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Our Bikes

It is amazing there has not yet been a bike post since Tom is actually obsessed with bicycles; the weather had finally cheered up enough so that we could take ours outside and take some nice pictures of them. Mine is a 1942 ladies Raleigh Sports, and due to it being a war-time bike has a complete absence of chrome, though whilst doing it up as my birthday present there has been a few touches added such as the lights and dynamo; apparently it is a very rare thing to have a matching set of Miller lights and dynamo. We had a massive stroke of luck in that a Brooks B18 ladies saddle, with the embossed leather flowers detail, came up on eBay for quite a lot cheaper than they sell for on the Brooks site! I also purchased a hand-made leather saddle tool bag from a chap who makes them to sell on eBay. I have named her Clara.

Tom's bike is a 1950 Raleigh Superbe which was about the best bike you could get at that time, she is called Edith. She has a 4 speed Sturmey Archer rear dyno-hub in stainless steel wheels and a Brooks B66 saddle and Glenbrook saddle bag. She has two lights at the front rather than an ordinary one! The pannier bags both mine and Tom's sport are actually army surplus radio bags, I dyed mine black but it has come out a nice bottle green colour instead; they make perfect panniers and are really cheap and hard-wearing, the perfect size to carry all the picnic food you could want and a bottle of wine.

Monday, 27 July 2009

New Trousers

About 30 seconds after my last post about my new skirt Tom walked in having tried on his new trousers and shoes; in my haste to get a nice picture to blog with I managed to rip my skirt on an annoying spike of metal that sticks out a small rip in the deco armchair just in view! I am so gutted; it usually has a chair cover over it to stop such accidents but I had just whipped it off as it would have looked a bit ugly in the picture, typical.

Anyway, Tom's trousers are from gentlemens outfitters Lugets of Exeter; it is always a thrill to find trousers that fit Tom as being of such a long, thin shape it can be near impossible sometimes. Lugets trousers come unfinished so that they can be hemmed to exactly the right length, and so are a bit longer than needed, perfect! Tom is a dab hand at hemming too which is lucky. They are a light and airy cotton and linen blend, not that we need light and airy trousers at the moment, damned English summers.

The shoes are a chance win off of eBay; they are Bally shoes and look rather lovely against the rich brown of the new trousers I think. They are very comfortable too I am assured. In fact come to think of it the tank top is pretty new too, it is from our friends' shop Electric Gypsy and is the perfect 'go with anything' cream colour, and I fancy it gives a little nod to Brideshead Revisited style.

Ebay Find.

I thought I would take an opportunity to show off my latest eBay purchase; it is a Topshop skirt but I thought it looked almost 30's with it's row of buttons up the side. It required me to move all the buttons to allow a little extra room as I was feeling hopeful and bought it despite it being a size 10. It was too tight but as the buttons are working buttons the alteration was possible. It is quite a 'High Street' outfit as I am wearing it with a lacy knit Topshop cardigan and the Hush Puppies shoes Tom's Mum so kindly gave me. It has been a very long while since I have liked anything at all in Topshop, when once I could always rely on it for good High Street staples; the cardigan is from the current range and I was quite surprised to find it after having lost interest in the shop for so long, my bank balance wasn't quite so pleased.