donderdag 4 januari 2018

Tales from December's twilight days

When I waved goodbye to the office on Friday before last, I was looking forward to eleven days of freedom, which seemed like an eternity at the time.

All too soon, though, the Christmas break was over: I've been back treading the hamster wheel of daily life for two days by the time you're reading this.

But I was able to refresh my batteries, as they say, although it would have taken at least twice as long to get them fully charged.

So, what did I do with all the time I had on my hands? In terms of actual achievements, not all that much, but I did get to the bottom of my mending basket (well, almost: there's still one Summer dress waiting for new buttons).



It might be stating the obvious, but we did some charity shopping.

These photos were taken on the very first day of my break, which was the Saturday before Christmas.

The skirt I was wearing is part of a St. Michaels suit, in a rust coloured marled polyester fabric, which I'd recently found at Think Twice.

But although it's looking quite nice on Angelica, it didn't feel right on me.


Instead, I wore the skirt with a psychedelic vintage top, tight fitting and closing with a back zipper, and cinched in with a powder blue belt. For warmth, I threw on my "faux sheep" gilet.

For our shopping trip, I replaced the gilet with a powder blue and cream wool jacket, accompanied by a multicoloured knit scarf and a dusky pink mohair Kangol beret.


The gods of the charity shops were with us that day, as there were two pairs of boots and a pair of booties waiting for me!


I even managed to find a vintage dress, which is quite a rarity at the chazzas these days. It's a Summer dress, so I let Angelica do the honours, while Phoebe was keeping a watchful eye.


These scarves are both from the same shop, but couldn't be more different: a silk Paris souvenir scarf, depicting Parisian landmarks as well as elegant Parisiennes, and a blue and white woollen scarf, which looks brand new. They were a steal at just € 0,30 each.


I'm skipping Christmas, as you already know what we were up to.

Weather permitting, we went for a couple of walks. The trouble is, weather didn't permit all that often, but on Boxing Day it was obliging enough for us to for a good long walk in one of our favourite parks.

This, however, you will be able to read about in my next post.


On Wednesday, I had to go into Antwerp as I'd made an appointment with my hairdresser for a colour and cut. Jos went along and we made a day of it, although I wasn't really up to facing the crowds yet.

Before lunch, we popped into a recently opened shop selling vintage clothing per kilo, where I bought this fabulous Austrian made tapestry handbag.


It was only when I got it home that I discovered the tasseled comb in its cute little case lurking at bottom, together with the bag's quality label. What a lovely surprise!

It was Thursday by now  - how time flies! - and we decided upon another round of charity shopping.


This turned out not be be very fruitful, but I still ended up buying several necklaces, a gorgeous new-to-me orange cardigan and a bag full of vintage darning wool.

The green furry scarf with the big pom pom was found at the supermarket, of all places!


We ended the day, which turned out to be reasonably sunny, by visiting the atmospheric castle ruins in nearby Duffel, which were the subject of my last post of the year.

Here's a closer look at what I was wearing that day: a vintage dress in a heavy polyester, its abstract print a riot of colour, combined with a blue cardigan and the blue boots I found on Saturday, and accessorized with orange plastic beads.

My outerwear consisted of my brown fur-collared jacket, to which I pinned what I call my "octopus" brooch, although the thing's got ten arms and not eight! I also wore a burgundy crushed velvet scarf, a purple beret and red leather gloves, and I was carrying a blue handbag.



Back at home, Phoebe made the most of the dry weather by playing hide and seek in our garden and clambering on top of our weathered stone angel.

There's not much to see out there except for the skeletons of Summer's blooms, the brown remains of our rampant ferns, and our Hydrangea's papery flower heads. But look, one of two Fuchsia bells have decided that their season is not quite over yet!

It's been grey and miserable for most of the month and with hindsight December seems like one long rainy twilight zone.



It was one of Mim's comments that reminded me of the existence of my light box, which I hadn't needed in years, and which I'd completely forgotten about.

So, we promptly dug it out of the cupboard, blew off the accumulated dust, and I sat myself in front of it while reading. Thank you, Mim!


Defying the greyness of the weather can also be done by wearing bright colours, which is what I did in abundance on the last Saturday of the year!

Then, New Year's Eve was upon us. I'd picked out the dress I was going to wear well in advance and obviously it was going to be a maxi. A bright blue vintage cardie, blue opaques and black suede booties closing with a front buckle completed my outfit. I also wore a Lucite statement necklace.



We celebrated with friends, each supplying one of the courses for our New Year's Eve supper.

I made paprika (bell pepper) soup, and brought some savoury appetizers in my 1960's Tupperware hostess tray.

1960s Tupperware ads featuring the tray!

The main was Orloff Roast with potato croquettes and salad, and we closed with Panna Cotta topped with raspberry coulis.

We were joined by Nessie, our friends' beautiful cat, who managed to steal a cheese cube from my tray ...



After supper, we played a game of Trivial Pursuit, which was won by the girls, although according to the boys we got off lightly as we got all the easy questions ...

Here's to friendship and lots of shared fun in 2018!

The winning team!


39 opmerkingen:

  1. It has been a very grey and gloomy month so I'm very glad to see you got your light box out; I do hope it's working for you.

    What lovely outfits you've been wearing and I absolutely loved the vintage dress you got in the charity shop.

    Fabulous accessories too and the tapestry handbag was such a lovely find especially with the bonus comb and case!

    It looks as if you had a fab New Year and I am so enamoured of those lovely front fastening boots...

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    1. Thank you Veronica. I can't wait to wear that dress. It won't be long now, just a few months ... Oh, and the light box is definitely helping, but I can only use it in the weekends, as it's playing havoc with your sleep if you use it after 6 pm. xxx

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  2. Yes it's been so grey recently, accompanied by the wind and rain, it's no wonder spirits are low.
    Colourful clothing is definitely required to keep the glums at bay! I adore your psychedelic top and new year's maxi, nothing gloomy there. Your new year celebrations with friends look great fun and no surprise that you beat the boys at Triv! xxx

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    1. We've had the odd ray of sunshine today! Hurray! Oh, and I'll tell you a secret: the girls usually beat the boys at Triv! xxx

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  3. Oooh you look beautiful in your colourful ensembles!! Thank you for sharing your finds. I have put myself on a shopping ban as I have far too many clothes and purses.

    I must say, that tapestry handbag is a gorgeous find. I definitely would have snaffled that up!

    Happy New Year's!!

    Happy thrifting ;)

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    1. Thank you! I've tried putting myself on a shopping ban too. Didn't work ;-) xxx

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  4. What fun!

    As usual all of your outfits are colourful and detailed.

    I'm very fond of the first outfit and that bold printed blouse. Gorgeous!

    I'm drooling over that little tapestry bag. You sure have some great luck finding exceptional vintage pieces. Just the thought of a place selling vintage by the kilo makes my heart skip a beat. Yes...I may have an addiction.

    Let's not talk about the weather. It is going down to something insane like -37 C with the windchill this weekend. It's beyond ridiculous.

    Suzanne

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    1. Thank you Suzanne. I surely don't envy you your weather ... I expect great things from that shop. They even got a decent selection of men's wear. But, hardly any dresses! Maybe they'll get them in by Spring/Summer ... xxx

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  5. Sounds like a great way to ring in the new year with friend, food and games. Purple AND blue boots? The gods were very good to you! The summer dress looks like very old vintage, or is it one of those fab 70's does 30's pieces? Either way, it certainly gives you something to look forward to.

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    1. I admit I was very lucky with the boots! I don't think the dress is earlier than the 70s. It was clearly handmade, but the fabric is a bit of a giveaway. xxx

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  6. the winning team looks perfectly vintage - like a snapshot in my childhood album :-D
    well done fighting the grayness with bright clothes and accessories - if worn or just bought at the 2.hand shops. i totally miss thrifting, its long ago we went. but january will offer some indoor fleas... :-)
    huge hug! xxxxx
    p.s.: did you read my answer @moi?

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    1. pps: me too - the hot flash :-) or i would wear the cardi as sweater with "nothing" under.... do you have a kind of teal skirt? or we take gray.... or red for extra impact :-DDD
      xxxx

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    2. That photo certainly has a vintage feel to it, which I think is helped by the curtain fabric! Hope you get lucky at one of the indoor fleas, keeping my fingers crossed for you! xxx

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  7. I love that photo of you and your friends! What a lovely way of seeing the new year in.
    Those pictures of Phoebe are adorable, too!
    Glorious outfits and fabulous finds. I think it was a great idea to wear that St Michael two-piece separately, the skirt looks brilliant with that amazing psych top.
    Love the yellow dress and that fabulous haul of boots - you're so lucky having small feet! xxx

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    1. Thank you Vix. You're quite right: I often find shoes and boots in my size at the chazzas! xxx

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  8. I absolutely love the summer dress that you found, Ann! I'd love a dress like that to wear now! I love the tapestry bag and that's so cool that a comb was inside! If only vintage items could talk: wouldn't they have some wonderful tales to tell?! I also love the necklaces you found charity shopping! I love what you wore for NYE, Ann! You look fab! (and your friends do too!) XXX

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    1. I often wonder about the history of my vintage items. Indeed, if only they could talk! xxx

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  9. You made that outfit look so much nicer than it did on Angelica :-)
    I love the tapestry bag you found.
    Your New Year's Eve sounds great fun and the photo of you and your friends is lovely. You look very stylish in your maxi dress xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally! I've got quite a few tapestry bags, but this one's the loveliest by far! xxx

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  10. I love coming to see what colourful clothes you have been wearing! It lifts my spirits in these dark gloomy days. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Linda! I'm glad I'm able to lift your spirits. That was quite a nice thing to say, and actually lifted my spirits ... xxx

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  11. Happy New Year!
    I'm impressed that you've powered your way through your mend pile.
    The orange cardigan is stunning, and the green supermarket scarf? Love that! Supermarkets do throw up the occasional gem.
    Cats and cheese!!
    Sounds like you had a relaxing break, despite the dull, grey weather.
    xx

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    1. I've quite surprised myself there ... I just couldn't stand the sight of that overflowing basket any longer. I've already worn that supermarket scarf a lot, it's so soft! xxx

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  12. Oh what a wonderful posting. I love the scarfs, especially these amazing paris scarf :). Your psychedelic shirt is stunning.
    Wonderful charity findings and so much fun with friends on new years eve :)
    huge hug xxx

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    1. Thank you Tina! I've put aside the Paris scarf to wear in April! xxx

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  13. What a wonderful post! Your celebration looks just perfect - with beloved people, pretty clothes and such wonderful home-made foods! I was so tired of celebrations which start early here, in November, that I skipped NY this year (we watched a show and had some apple juice, hehe).

    I think you deal with gray weather so well, Ann! Lots of reading, light box, long walks when weather permits and of course a lot of bright colors! What could be better than that? Maybe a trip to a sunny island, your strategy is so much more doable, at least for me. :) It's the little things that we do day to day, which really make a difference I believe.

    I love how you paired your new skirt with the colorful blouse instead of the matching jacket - it gives an outfit a zing! Your new boots are fantastic, adding even more colors to your wardrobe. And that embroidered purse? That's a true treasure!

    Happy 2018 and lot of love!!

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    1. Thank you Natalia. We often stay in on NYE, in fact this was the first time in years we celebrated elsewhere. I completely forgot I had that psychedelic blouse, but I'm definitely going to wear it more now that I've remembered it ... xxx

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  14. I smiled the whole time I was reading this lovely post, Ann. What a fun time off you had! I had a very similar holiday, including lurking kitty, as you know, ha! Phoebe is such a beauty. I am amazed at that wonderful bag - what a find! Your NYE outfit is awesome - love those boots! My favourite picture is you and your girls, reminds me of my friends!

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    1. I'm glad my post made you smile, Sheila. Oh, cats, they do love lurking, don't they? I love that picture of my friends and me too. I've put it on my phone and look at it when I need cheering up! xxx

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  15. What a great Christmas break you had and some amazing finds too!

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  16. Happy New Year! I hope the light box is doing its thing.

    That summer dress was a great find. I can't wait to see how you accessorise it. And how cool that your tupperware tray is in the adverts.

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    1. I've been using the light box a lot ever since you reminded me of it! That Tupperware tray - like most of my modest collection - came from a chazza! xxx

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  17. Happy new year to you both and wow what a fabulously packed blog post.
    I wear a lot of my suits as separates for the same reason and also it makes for different looks.
    I think I might need one of those lights Ann, It’s been so dull here.
    You look gorgeous in your new year outfit and how lovely to celebrate with your friends.
    LYNN xxx

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    1. Thank you Lynn! You should definitely get a light box. You can put it up while you're doing your crafting. xxx

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  18. I'm finding it hard to get onto the hamster wheel too! I actually had a day free to conquer all my outstanding blogger requirements and still never got round to doing them! I need a rocket up my backside! There are so many interesting items here Ann. I love the floral scarfs most. They are beautiful. xx

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    1. I tried to keep up with my blogger comments, as I know it can be quite daunting if I let them accumulate. I don't think it's a rocket up the backside we need, but some long overdue sunshine! xxx

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  19. I'm also missing some longer holidays to refresh my batteries!, but you look really cool and fresh! Love your outftis, fabulous color combos, mixed textures and awesome brooches!. I'm in love with your tapestry bag and that red-orange cardi. And obviously, you look fabulous in your polka dot dress with yellow cardi ensemble, it's my favorite!!
    Also fab in your maxi dress, so elegant!
    besos

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    1. Thank you Monica! I couldn't believe my luck when I found that handbag, although it was a bit strange when they weighed it to see what it cost! xxx

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