I Walked The Walk

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“Fancy walking 23 miles along the Thames Path?”asked a friend a couple of months back. I heard myself saying yes without much thought really. It was to raise money for our local hospice and was organised by a friend of my friend who had recently lost her sister to cancer earlier this year. I lost my Dad to this cruel disease some 20 years ago this Summer so it felt a fitting tribute to him too….

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I love walking and as one of that rare breed of non drivers I get lots of practice. It stood me in very good stead..

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I expected lots of the above landscape with urban sprawl and city sky scrapers littering the journey….but there was so much more…..

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Fabulous wooden structures rising from the river at every corner….

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Most places I have no record of as photos were taken on the hoof as it were but I do know the following are Greenwich and the Cutty Sark….

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This was the view from Nando's terrace….we terrorised staff until they let us in to use the loo! Never refuse women in orange who have full bladders….it's the law!!

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Giant outdoor game of Jenga anyone?

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Anthony Gormley sculpture with cable car above…..must take a ride on that some day!

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And the fantastic bit of kit that is the Thames Barrier…normally used 3 or 4 times a year….except in January this year when it was raised 17 times to cope with our biblical rainfall!

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Anyway we made it….some 6 hours later. My battery lasted longer than my phones so have no evidence of our sprint finish…I kid you not….or the fact that I had no blisters.

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All in all it was a great day and the diverse landscape kept us all focused and determined to finish….we only lost 2 of our number along the way…..1 to horrendous blisters and the other to ongoing back problems.
As a footnote….scuse the pun….I felt very proud of my 59 year old rather short and slightly chubby legs!……and to date our group raised over £4000 for St Helena Hospice.

L’Enfant Terrible

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I love a fashion exhibition, as you may have gathered and Jean Paul Gaultier at Barbican turned out to be one of the best I have seen. Freedom to take photographs and sharing the experience with Kate Maison Bentley Style made for a fashionistas day full of fabulousness indeed!

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We were treated to a visual feast and much laughter as mannequins and JPG himself smiled and chatted to us……Kate has evidence of this on her blog.

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I took around 100 photos so will share some of my favourites…..

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Mannequins revolved slowly around like a luxurious luggage carousel with stunning creations celebrating all things Paris…..ooo la la!

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Mohican headpieces to die for stirred my soul and the following images reflect my love of feathers…..

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Exquisite corsets, sublime silhouettes…..

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And of course Jean Paul’s sense of playfulness and fun throughout….

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Thanks Jean Paul, it was such fun!

Artists Textiles

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Seems a while ago now since I went to see this exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in South London. I shared the day with the 3 girls I used to share a studio with, 2 of whom are surface pattern designers,so we were all keen to see what was on display……we were not disappointed! And photography was allowed…Hurrah.

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Delightful headscarves from Marcel Vertes in 1945 were so vibrant…

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Salvador Dali,s hand was unmistakeable here…

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Some textiles were on display in their intended use as fashion garments,amongst them these gorgeous Horrockses dresses from 1940/50s

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……when curves were celebrated!…..

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Enter Picasso…..of course!

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This reminded me of some vintage china I found recently…..

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…..called Matador,made by Broadhurst in England so I don’t think Mr P was involved, but a girl can dream….

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Andy Warhol
The following 2 designs are from Zandra Rhodes who set up the Fashion and Textile Museum herself.


This design put me in mind of the opening credits of Mad Men. Can’t quite imagine Don Draper holding a bunch of balloons though!

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This was one of Zandras designs for her degree show in 1964.

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……such as this little beauty I bought recently…..it’s going to be a skirt….before you ask!
To finish here are a couple of detail images from my favourite Circus by John Rombola. The exhibition runs until May 17th so see it if you can.

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…..and if you do get to visit,when you leave the building in Bermondsey St, look up and you will be treated to this lovely mash up of architecture…..

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When Vintage Attitude Moved In With Viola

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On Friday morning of last week me and my Vintage Attitude girls set off on a journey to London. The girls were excited and as always I was looking forward to my day in the city. But I also felt a little nervous as my girls were to be scrutinised and considered for a new home…..and I wanted them to be accepted and loved for exactly who they are. And the good news is….they were…..accepted….here….

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This gorgeous boutique in leafy Bayswater is now home to my girls dresses. (Although as one sold on the first day it may not be home for long).

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The shop is owned by lovely Sara who I met a couple of weeks ago at The Classic Car Boot Sale. She bought one of my dresses for her daughter and told me that she had a shop on Connaught St and would love to buy some dresses from me to sell in her shop!!! I stifled a scream and arranged to email images etc of what stock I had. And on Friday she bought 10 of them and immediately displayed them in the entrance to her delightful boutique.
To say I am pleased is an understatement…..I am chuffed to bits!!!
As you will see Sara has a real eclectic taste and I love the quirky look of her shop. She has a lot of experience in the fashion world having been a buyer for Paul and Joe and The Cross,before opening Viola 5 years ago. She deals with independent designers and niche labels and I am very happy to be one of them. Here are a few images of Viola…..Enjoy!

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This feels like the start of something exciting…..glad I can share it with you…..

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Classic Car Boot Sale

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Sorry for the delay in reporting back on my first vintage fair of the year but it took me a while to come back down to earth after my most successful fair ever! Great way to start my year eh? Big thank you to all who wished me luck….it worked!!

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This was my pitch….bit of improvising as we weren’t supplied with tables this time and I already had my hands and shoulders full so couldn’t carry one. People seemed to enjoy having a rummage around the floor as well as looking through rails so it worked well. The sun shone on us all day and I sold lots of everything,met lovely people…..among them Mrs Fox Finery,who bought a dress from me. So great when the blogosphere brings us all together! I had no chance to leave my stall so only have a few images to share…..

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This gorgeous girl loved her Hollie Hobbie dress and wore it very well I think you’ll agree….

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And this little cutie went off wearing her new dress on top of the one she arrived in! Nice!

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Walter the Rolls Royce was my neighbour for the day and went home with two of my Scottish cushions as that’s where his owner had found him.

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All round it was a fabulous day and I went home tired but happy. It feels so good when some of the coolest people you will ever meet love what you create and then want to give you money for it!…..roll on the next!

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Top Of The Crop Tops

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I found these delightful tablecloths a couple of months ago and my crop top production began…..

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By using a complementary vintage fabric on the back I could get two or three tops from each cloth,depending on its size of course. My addiction soon took hold and I really enjoyed the chance to mix and match fabrics and even used some Laura Ashley patchwork pieces to appliqué over any marks on the cloths. As usual I only made one of each by using different appliqué or back fabrics. The pattern was from the 80s and according to Vogue and the high street I seem to be bang on trend…

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More cloths led to more tops….

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….and here’s my lovely daughter Ami modelling some…….I made her too!

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Lots of lovely new pieces for my stall at The Classic Car Boot Sale this Saturday on London’s South Bank……Wish me luck….

Glad To Be Grey

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This weekend I had yet another birthday! Is it me or do they seem to come round more often as we grow older? During this past year I made what for me was a huge decision…..I stopped dying my hair and learned to live with my natural colour,grey…..I prefer silver…..but either way it’s not red, which I have been for as long as I can remember. I have to say I have found it liberating with no more shoving poison on my head every 6 weeks or so and as long as my cut stays on trend I don’t feel it’s ageing which was my biggest fear. So thank you to Jean Paul Gaultier for putting grey hair and particularly on older models on the Paris catwalk a few days ago.

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It’s joyful!
However I don’t want to rant on about grey hair but I would like to share some images of the beauty that can be found in things as time marches on….

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The West Pier Brighton has captured my heart since I first saw it many moons ago and I have watched her demise with great sadness but I still find the structure utterly beautiful…

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The following photos I took at the weekend while visiting Brighton for my birthday…..

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I guess what I am trying to say is I feel drawn to this heartbreaking structure because we are both survivors. Life or the sea can batter us at times….I bought up 2 kids on my own through Thatchers Britain….not for the faint hearted…and I am learning every day to cope with getting older on the outside…inside is still 24!…..but me and my beloved West Pier are hanging on in there…..

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Loo(ve) Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry!

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A match made in my 70s gift wrap loo heaven,don’t you think?

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It was as a 15 year old in 1970 the movie Love Story captured my heart and I really did buy the album,book and t shirt! So the cover of my,not played since,vinyl had to have pride of place in the loo….

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Hope you enjoyed your trip to the loo(ve) and agree its a fitting tribute to all those marriages since the 70s that went down the pan!….Cynical? Moi?…..never!

It’s a Wrap….70sStyle!

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There I was in my local independent stationers buying some swing tags for my next fair,and as I turned to leave my heart leapt as I spied this pile of gift wrap lurking, literally in a bucket,like some naughty kid everyone tries to ignore.

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Can you believe the utter kitsch beauty of this? I think it’s from the 70s and the signature seems to be Reni…..so if anyone out there has any info I would love to hear from you!……and the best part of this find? The price?….40p for a pack of 25 sheets of this gorgeous paper.

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Yes,I bought it all…7 packs in total. What will I do with it I hear you cry? That’s easy. I am going to wallpaper the loo with it as a tribute to all those brides whose marriage went down the toilet!!!