Friday, 8 January 2016

Crinoline Robot's vintage week

The brooch Sarah gave me is light enough to wear on the lapel of a blouse
Well, we're one week into 2016, and I hope yours is going well. My plan to wear different jewellery every day is working out. It'd be a bit rubbish if I couldn't manage it for a week.

 So far I've worn: my midcentury coral necklace and earrings; a pair of carved plastic rose earrings that came in an Accessorize multipack; Avon pink diamante stud earrings; fake pearl studs plus the delicate, clear diamante midcentury brooch my friend Sarah gave me; the silver and fake opal (fauxpal!) pendant and earrings I got for Christmas 'from the kittens'; a midcentury monster that I believe is Coro; and today a heavy gold leaf. I'm trying not to wear all my favourites in rapid succession as that will make things tough later in the year, though I should probably get more of my weightier brooches out of the way while the weather is cold enough for coats, jackets and other things made from sturdy fabrics.

Monster Coro (?) and today's heavy gold leaf. Both chazza finds.
The break over the festive season gave me a really good chance to think about what I do – not work, but the things I do in my spare time. I realised there were things I was doing that were no longer fun, and that there were things I'd been putting off doing because I never had time for them. I've stopped doing burlesque, which is something I'd been considering for months, but the break really convinced me that I wanted my Sunday evenings back. I'm also going to stop pushing myself to blog so frequently, so I have time to actually enjoy my knitting, embroidery or whatever, without feeling like I'm letting you down by not talking about it.

I've also been thinking about house things. The House of Robots was a rental property before we bought it, and it needed a lot of work. We got the damp treated, put in central heating, replaced the kitchen and painted the walls, but after that it sort of ground to a halt till we got the front door and windows replaced a couple of years back. Now we're getting the back door and windows done, and we're looking at revamping the bathroom – we've lived with a crack (sealed with rubber bathroom tile sealant) in the sink for over a decade, but finally it's going to be replaced.

Bathrooms seem to be one area where getting a vintage look isn't particularly easy, as only white suites are available in my price bracket. Mr Robot is also keen to keep the current terracotta colour on the walls. I'll make a Pinterest board for inspiration, but I suspect the room will end up looking neither modern nor vintage, just our usual eccentric 'explorer' style. Terracotta and white makes me think of Spanish, North African and Spanish Colonial design, so maybe I'll pull together inspiration from our travels. (We inherited loads of cream towels from my mother-in-law, and those would be easy to dye in Spanish tile colours like cobalt, turquoise and saffron.) We're planning a trip to Spain later this year; I could pick up some ceramics in Triana while we're in Seville.

Sometimes I do look at people doing up their homes on social media and feel slightly envious – but, as always, I remind myself that if having/doing/being [whatever] was important to me, I'd find the time and energy to acquire/do/be it. The things and life we have are, mostly and for most of us, the results of our choices. However, a lot of the big items in the house are from a time when we simply couldn't afford to choose what we wanted, and had to settle for the cheapest sofa or low-quality chipboard bookcases, the hand-me-down furniture that other people felt was too shabby to keep but we were grateful for. I'm generally reluctant to replace things that are perfectly functional, feeling it's better to make do, but after getting rid of our old dining table because Boycie lived on it for her last couple of weeks and it reminded me too much of her I've been so pleased with the replacement that I am thinking hard about getting nicer bookcases too. Maybe I'm finding the enthusiasm to have a more attractive house after all! You'll just have to forgive me for the lack of vintage styling...

14 comments :

  1. I have an avocado loo and sink you can have when we replace them!! We're sticking with white and I want to go black and white with the decor to make it a bit Deco. We currently have green carpet in our bathroom, yuck! The only trouble with DIY is it does indeed impact on one's style. I spent weeks in old jeans with no make-up on when we ripped out our 70s feature wall.

    I too will be trying to reclaim some time from blogging for other things, sewing projects etc.

    Our house is full of second-hand furniture but we got lucky with some of it, nice quality and barely used.

    Good luck with it all!!
    X

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    1. Yup, I have one set of clothes for DIY, it's not a stylish occupation. You can track the history of our paintwork from the smudges on the sleeves.

      Very generous on the avocado fittings offer, but no ta! I wish someone would make a nice eau de nil or duck egg suite...

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  2. Having a break over Christmas is always a good excuse to take stock and usually gets everyone going in the new year. I love your idea of trying to wear all of your jewellery rather than just the old favourites, I could do with trying to do this too as so of mine never sees the light of day.

    When you mentioned terracotta and white my mind instantly went to Morocco. I could imagine royal blue mosaic tiles as the splashback on the sink, yellow and blue textiles and ornaments from that area displayed on high shelves. I can just imagine it being quite exotic!

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    1. I showed Mr Robot some Spanish tiles and he wasn't convinced. He'll come around sooner or later...

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  3. It's funny really, we rent and sometimes I long to have my own place and really make it mine, but I suspect like you, I would never quite get round to doing it once the things that needed doing straight away had been done!

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    1. Yeah, I found we got it to a liveable stage then just lived with it. It's only now certain things have got really tatty and we can't live with them that we're looking at the rest.

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  4. I am sure that all the people on social media have stuck all their washing under the cushions and have piles of clutter out of shot. I tell myself that anyway as my house would NEVER look like that unless I had a home invasion by a team of stylists and cleaners. Explorer style sounds fab and very vintage indeed. Makes me think of steamer trunks and all those murder mysteries on trains with swooning heroines in bias cut satin I adore that gold leaf brooch. Looking forward to seeing all your lovely sparklies. Xx

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    1. Explorer style stems from our travels. We always try to buy one big, preferably vaguely practical souvenir, something locally made. Cuban vase, Welsh vase, Barbadian pottery casserole dish, Burmese lacquer tea dish... I love the thought of steamer trunks and exotic travel too - just old travel posters set me dreaming. I was hankering after going on a cruise, but my husband reminded me that the sort of ship I dream of hasn't sailed in over 50 years.

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  5. What pretty brooches! The big one does scream, "Coro" even if it isn't stamped.

    I inherited most of my furniture, none of which I really like. It is so well made, I can't justify getting rid of it and buying something new and inferior, but the 25 years I've spent moving heavy dining room cabinets, and a piano sometimes feel like too much effort for items I don't care about. When I die, I hope Danny sells it all.

    Terracotta goes with *almost* everything. If you add some black it can look Greek.

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    1. Luckily (or unluckily) all our old furniture is utter tat, so we can justify replacing it on quality as well as aesthetic grounds.

      I did think the only thing I wouldn't pair terracotta with was pink, but American Southwestern styles have made me reconsider that one. Purple, perhaps, wouldn't go. But most colours do.

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  6. Mim, dear...
    House-work is a never-ending tale. Take it from me, I've got mine last year and renovate, remodeled, added-up, tared-down.. there was work, work, work..
    Is it what I've imagined to be?
    By far: not.
    We dare to dream, and it's great. You can still see that I blog about house interiors (that reminds me, haven't posted something like that in a while). I will always be fascinated by other people's choices, ideas, plans and decoration.. but, as imperfect as my house is - it is my HOME.
    I rather like it (mind your head on your way in, the ceiling is LOW, and doorways seem o be made to create as much bumps-on-a-head as possible).
    Lot of things in my house are vintage, or used items. Not only due to my love for the things old, but also because /let's be honest/ we can't afford everything new and sparkling. :)
    ..
    To say that I'm excited to read all about your house, is an understatement. I can't wait to see some ideas even if they never get to become reality).
    Dreams are good.
    Dreams keep us going.

    ..it's raining over here, and I must dash outside, errands to run (that's what you get when living alone.. and your dog refuses to "give a paw" in housework) :)

    M.

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    1. I'm looking forward to having windows I can see through again! I don't think my house needs masses of work, just a good spruce up - repainting the kitchen, for example, will make a massive difference.

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  7. Beautiful brooches! The coral flower one in particular caught my eye.

    Goodness, do I know what you mean about having little to no time to craft. Were I to say that I had one resolution this year (I'm more a "make goals/life changes anytime the mood strikes" kind of gal), it would be to try - yet again - to somehow carve out even just a tiny speck of time each month to craft. I've really not been able to for over four years now and it slays me, truly. Crafting has been, and will always be, near and dear to my heart, but so often work, my health, and family commitments take up all of my time (and then some), so crafts and almost all other hobbies end up on the back burner. Even if I could squeeze in just a few hours once or twice a month, that still be a massive improvement over recent years, so that's what I'll be aiming for in 2016. Fingers crossed we're both able to carve out time for crafting this year.

    Big hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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    1. Thank you. I'm determined not to blog for the sake of blogging this year, but it is proving hard. I worry that all the lovely people I've met will move on, and have to remind myself that I stick with blogs that go quiet for a little while, so surely they will. I'm making a tank top for Cate, and I realised today that I started it at the end of September, so I WILL finish it this weekend.

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