Friday, 28 February 2014

40 not out!

I am pondering this as a second dress for Burgh Island, though it's a bit 'fronty'
Well, this week I turned 40. Funny sort of age, 40 - definitely not ‘young’ but I don’t feel over the hill just yet. This is one of those times when as much as I love vintage fashion, I’m glad I don’t live in the past because things were much more prescriptive about what was ‘age appropriate’. I recall an article in a 1920s magazine disparaging women in their late 30s playing tennis (apparently a gentle bit of gardening is more suitable!), and don’t even get me started on the clothes... It seems as though the older you got, the more colour was drained from your wardrobe, the more fun details were removed, and the less interesting everything became, until you ended up with a choice of navy, grey or brown and boringly box-shaped. Bah to that. BAH, I say!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Brass Brunel [EVENTS]

Organiser James made this fab K-1909
Bristol is getting its first steampunk weekender! Brass Brunel will take place from 20th to 22nd June 2014.

I’m very excited about this. Two of my favourite events last year were the Frome Steampunk Extravaganza (my writeup) and the Vintage Nostalgia Show (my writeup), but this year both events are taking place on the same weekend, and Vintage Nostalgia won out. I was, however, a little sad at the possibility of a year without a steampunk weekender to enjoy. This looks like filling the gap nicely.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The casual conundrum - how to dress down without dressing dowdy?

I’ve seen a couple of bloggers comment of late on how they need to mend some of their favourite clothes and get more wear out of their wardrobes (Gemma Retro Chick and Gisela Miss Magpie spring to mind), and others who sew talk about needing to make repro that they’ll actually wear. I’ve been thinking along similar lines myself.

Stylish accessories - are they the answer?

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Time's Arrow, Jonathan Green [books]

You could be forgiven for thinking Jonathan Green is one of my favourite writers as I've reviewed more books by him than by any other author on this blog. I've reviewed three of Green's other 'Pax Britannia' novels with their dashing dandy hero Ulysses Quicksilver: Blood Royal, Dark Side and Anno Frankenstein. I said in my review of the latter that it showed a lightness of touch not evident in the earlier novels. Time's Arrow shows a similar playfulness, while returning to the more Victorian setting of the ones before Anno Frankenstein. I really do think it's the strongest book in the series so far. I don't think Green is one of my favourite writers yet, but if he carries on writing like this he'll definitely be on my must-read list.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Caron En Avion [perfume]

Mmm, look at this. A 100ml bottle of Caron En Avion. Probably doesn’t look like much to you. However, it smells wonderful. I’ve been wanting to stock up on my favourite Carons in case they get discontinued/altered. (I’m still kicking myself for not realising Narcisse Noir was being discontinued until the EDT had sold out everywhere.) This bottle should keep me in stock with En Avion for a few years, at least.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Django Reinhardt: The Anthology [music]

Can anything sound more French than Django Reinhardt’s music? Edith Piaf, possibly, but her songs are nowhere near as relaxing as Django’s Romany jazz guitar, especially when combined with the sound of a violin (during the 1930s and 1940s Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli worked together). Reinhardt was actually Belgian, but he spent the bulk of his performing life in France, Paris in particular.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Mr Robot's new old camera

Don't you just love an old camera? I posted recently about my Fujifilm X20, a modern camera with a retro look, but over the weekend my husband got himself the real deal: this old Zenit E. We have a few vintage cameras kicking about the house; they're inexpensive, and nice objects in themselves. Plus you learn a lot about photography from using one.

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Sorry for two knitting-related posts in a row - I try not to do that to you! - but I have finally finished my navy cardigan, which had been on the needles since the middle of 2012, and if that doesn't deserve a post, very little I do does. (Actually, let's not go there - you probably could argue that very little I do does deserve a post...)

This is also a photo from my first-ever go at selfies. It took some faffing, but I managed to get one where the lighting and focus were both okay so you can see the stitch pattern. Actually posing nicely is something that can wait for another day.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Bletchley Circle, series two: the knitwear

I spoke a little about the knitwear in the most recent series of Foyle's War and people seemed to like that, so I’ve taken time to do some screenshots of The Bletchley Circle so I can do you a write-up of the knitwear in the second series.

Beautiful, but old-fashioned for the early 50s - a sign of Lizzie's poverty?
I haven't seen 1950s patterns where the colourwork carries onto the sleeves,
but they're usually motifs, not fair isle.