Friday, 12 February 2016

Accessories aren't clothes, right?


Clarks Chinaberry Sky shoes, Luxulite Audrey II brooch and vintage scarf
I had quite a tough day at work today - I've taken over making my magazine's cover disc, and once I get used to the process it will be easy but this first time was quite stressful - so it was lovely to get home to a parcel from Curtise, containing a copy of Complete Home Knitting Illustrated from 1946 and the beautiful scarf you see underneath the shoes in this picture.

The book is fascinating as it is so very practical; fashion was far less important than function at this point in history. And yet the designs are stylish, and one previous owner of the book clearly kept using it as between two pages I found a scrap of a receipt dated '...tember, 1966' and with some prices. Most of the prices are in a table. but the one at the very bottom does say, 'Allen Key, 8d each'. Sounds rather expensive for Allen keys to me, as we got a whole pack for £1 in Wilko's the other weekend. Anyway, on the back someone's written 'decreases', so it was clearly a knitter's note.

As for the scarf, isn't it a beauty? It's the perfect mallard green, with an abstract brushed pattern in black and caramel. I am already planning outfits that will show it off at its best.

And so, the shoes. If you're going to break your resolutions, you might as well do it in style.

I know I said I wasn't going to buy any more new clothes till July, but I've sort of failed on that front. I don't really count accessories as clothes, but switching to buying them is breaking the spirit of my resolution, even if it's sticking to the letter of it.

The Luxulite Audrey II brooch needs no explanation – I love vintage, science fiction and vintage science fiction. How could I resist? Clearly, I couldn't. Lots of vintage lovers are big Luxulite fans, but not all of their stuff appeals to me – I'm usually more of a metal and diamante person when it comes to costume jewellery. This though... it had to be mine. And it does sparkle a lot, photos don't do it justice.

You do know who Audrey II is, don't you? She/he/it is the carnivorous plant from Little Shop of Horrors, a loving musical pastiche of 1950s B-movies. (Oh lordy, I've just seen Luxulite are doing flying saucer earrings...) Of late I've really yearned to express my nerdy side more. It's not the sort of thing women in the past would have done, but I guess I was never going to manage the authentic 'from another time' look other bloggers embody so beautifully – the name of this blog should have given me a clue! I can't do without my robots and rockets and old horror films. Ah well, life would be far less interesting if we were all the same.

I'd wanted the Clarks 'Chinaberry Sky' shoes for a while, and even put them on my Christmas list. (Mr Robot likes to have a list so he's got a vague idea of what I might like; I don't expect everything, or indeed anything, off of it, but it gives him something to work with.) Santa didn't bring them, but the January sales did bring a 50% discount on Sarenza. When they arrived they turned out to be a tad tight, so I've been wearing them while watching telly to break them in. The X-Files and Agent Carter will make them fit. My friend Lucy, who is the merchandiser for Ted and Muffy, also advised using stretching spray, so I shall have to track some of that down.

I don't think I've ever owned a pair of navy shoes before. Reaching the point of owning black AND brown shoes felt decadent enough, then there was owning more than one style in each. Now I have shoes that are toffee brown with navy toes, and weirdly the mid-height block heel is supposed to be on-trend this year too. Coloured shoes and vaguely fashionable - where will this madness end?

26 comments :

  1. Whoa...those are Clarks? Beautiful *and* comfortable? Count me in. I love the heel too.

    Has the brooch started clamouring for you to feed her? I'd be nervous pinning it too close to my head.

    Curtise has excellent taste generally, and particularly with scarves. That's a beauty that you'll get loads of wear from.

    I wouldn't just say this to say it-you were put in charge of a difficult task at work because someone thought you are the right person to handle it. You. Super-Capable.

    I'm off to have a look at the Clarks website now...who knew they started making fashionable shoes?



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    1. Well, my shoes are a bit tight, so they're not comfy yet. But they will be. (I'm very annoyed that one of the few firms that seems to do half sizes nowadays makes things far too narrow. Either that or my feet have got wider in the past five years.)

      I'm looking on disc-making as a Useful Skill; it won't hurt me to develop some familiarity with more HTML than the blog uses. Publishing's such a precarious business generally that I'm always good to maximise my transferable skills.

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  2. Oh Mim!
    *claps her hands with excitement*
    You've said it right: life would be entirely boring, monotonous and not worth it, if we were all the same.
    I never learned to wear scarfs, but I ever so admire them. And yours, the first moment I saw it - and no idea why - reminded me of wearing the Universe around your neck. It's reminding me of the image of a nebula. (if that's not scy-fy I don't know what is!) :)
    Being the fan of interesting shapes and all-that-glitters, this brooch knocked me off my feet. It's the perfect way to subtly demonstrate your nature, without having your entire clothing and/or makeup telling so.
    ...
    Tough day, right?
    It seems like it's a world-wide phenomena, dear - I've had quite the commotion yesterday. Working with people has it's ups and it's downs (I'll tell you only that, not to bother you with my comment... since this is the one where I glorify your shopping choice!)

    ....
    Will you allow me to leave with a quote:
    “To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”—Gail Sheehy, Author

    M.

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    1. Yup, we all definitely need challenges. Though life does has a habit of sending several out at once when one challenge would do!

      I don't wear scarves often, but that one is so nice I'll definitely try to give it a few airings.

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  3. Oh my lord that Little Shop of Horrors brooch is awesome! And accessories are decidedly NOT clothes. For definite!

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    1. I have since fallen into the chazza trap and bought actual clothes. But they were a nantastic pleated skirt and some tweed trousers, they're definitely useful.

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  4. Awesome Luxulite acquisition! How can one not wear that fun brooch and beam from ear-to-ear?! :)

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. It is fun, isn't it? It's jolly big; I started out with it on a dress but I think it's better suited to a coat or jacket.

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  5. Well you know me of all people won't argue with buying accessories and a brooch of all things, especially such a fabulous one. I'm afraid my quirkiness bursts out all the time I've learnt to live with it!

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    1. I can never see an elephant thing (or Peanuts) without thinking of you :-)

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  6. I would have sworn those shoes were vintage at first glance! Lovers of 60s and 70s shoe styles are well catered for on the high street this year, I've just started noticing (am usually oblivious to styles I don't wear myself, I kind of tune them out!). That's a cracking pair, I do hope they stretch sufficiently. That stretching spray is supposed to be great.

    As for the brooch, it's amazing!! I love Sci-Fi too as you well know, so I whole-heartedly approve of it. Though I am more a Day of the Triffids than Little Shop of Horrors fan.

    I just bought my first pair of boots from Ted & Muffy, they'll be starring on my blog soon.

    xx

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    1. Ooh, I'd love to know how you get on with the Ted and Muffy boots. Lucy has loads of pairs and they always look really lovely. I was eyeing up the 'Ollivander' loafer-brogues, which are now down to £50. So tempting!

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  7. Hope you find patterns to make in the knitting book, Mim - I thought of you as soon as I spotted it! Those lovely shoes and the scarf seem to work very well together, and the brooch is fab!
    Hope work is less stressful this week. Xxx

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    1. Should be a bit less stressful this week - I think this is my one week without a deadline. Next week is print deadline (ie whole magazine has to be approved and go to the printer), the week after that is the deadline for the digital editions, which is straightforward but does mean setting up two different ways of accessing the video tutorials as those readers don't get a physical disc and tweaking all the relevant pages, and now I'll have disc deadline the week after that. Four weeks, three deadlines, 13 times a year. Ay caramba.

      *Rosie the Riveter pose* WE CAN DO IT! (I do actually have a Rosie coaster on my desk at work. Rosie is my icon.)

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  8. That scarf is fabulous and I love the crazy brooch even if I know nothing about the film. Hope those shoes start to ease up soon, they're so very you!
    Hope work gets easier for you soon! xxx

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    1. I was thinking the other day, "If I knew 20 years ago what I know now, would I still go into publishing?" and the answer is still yes, though I'm very grateful to have started when I did. All the new responsibilities are at least transferrable skills, and I try to make the most of opportunities to pick up new ones. The more I do it, the easier it'll become.

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  9. Ooo, those shoes are lovely and well worth breaking your resolution for! I had to stretch my B.A.I.T. shoes and wore them around the house with a couple of pairs of socks on. This stretched them within about 2 wears.

    I loved Little Shop of Horrors when it came out and probably haven't seen it since. Your fantastic brooch makes me want to watch it again. Feed me, feed me now!

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    1. I keep wanting to see it again now, I have the songs going through my head.

      I'm still working on stretching the shoes, but they're getting better all the time. Drat my fat little feets...

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  10. Fabulous shoes and the scarf underneath looks pretty too. I got my first Luxulite brooch last year and have since added several more! I can see why you got this one!

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    1. It had to be done, it was calling to my geeky side. I hadn't expected Luxulite to be so sparkly.

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  11. What fab things! The shoes are lovely. I don't buy leather or suede these days so trying to find vintage appropriate footwear is hard. When I do find it it's often synthetic patent which cracks easily.
    Xxx

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    1. Yes, plastic doesn't age as well, does it? Though even leather goes in the end.

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  12. That Curtise is a treasure, she always finds beautiful things and is so generous with them, bless her kind heart! He scarf is really lovely as are those shoes. The brooch looks jolly, but again, I'm a bit clueless as to the backstory. Who knew I was so ignorant?! Sounds like work is very pressurised. You know what that means don't you? That you deserve treats! No guilt necessary! Xxx

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    1. Heh, the problem is I have a print deadline every 19 working days, and really don't need THAT many treats.

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  13. Mim

    I saw this tip on Pinterest - don't know if it works but to stretch tight shoes wear with thick socks and direct heat from hair dryer on shoes all over for several minutes. I assume the heat makes the leather/plastic/whatever shoe molecules expand.


    I love the blog!

    veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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    1. Ooh, thanks Veronica. I don't actually own a hair dryer, but do have a small fan heater.

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