The final summer show!

I really can't quite believe that another entire summer show period has come and gone. Summer in my book is highlighted by the start of our exhibitions and ends 60 days later when the six shows are all done and dusted. We opened our final summer exhibition on Friday the 24th August, sadly without any artists in attendance and also without a single shot of my lovely assistants. Life, as they say, rarely goes to plan and just to add insult to injury the perfect summer weather I had imagined somehow failed to appear. Instead the sky was grey and the wind was mighty fresh!

This is my vintage two piece that I bought in Harrogate for £8. It's real silk too.

The padded shoulders make me think this is an 80's piece, but please tell me if you know otherwise. The skirt length too indicates an 80's hemline don't you think? I certainly felt a bit Dallas in this. 

Fuchsia was what came to mind when I was searching for my accessories. The handbag and rings are all preloved, of course. The oversized pearls are from Debenhams.

The shoes are from TK Maxx (£14.99) and are by Miss Selfridge. 

The belt was a gift from my friend Bo in Portugal. She also sent me a dark green version too. Both are leather with elastic back, which is my favourite type of belt, but of course you know that already.

Here's a peek at the gallery just before opening and if you want to see the show in full you can see it online here. The party went really well; much busier than I expected given the wet and windy evening. I had resigned myself to having a very slow start with just a trickle of guests, but it was a lovely turn-out with sales being strong too. My windswept photo shoot was before the show and I had planned to capture the team at the end of the evening as we always do, but instead I was tied up with a last minute purchase and when I finally finished, I discovered that the girls had deserted me in favour of dinner at the pub!

And finally, I forgot to mention that the skirt has pockets - hurrah!

Have a lovely week.

Anna x


Wild about animal print - the Style Not Age challenge for August

Welcome to the Style Not Age monthly challenge with our subject of Wild About Animal Print as suggested by Emma of Style Splash. You may be surprised to learn that I don't seem to have as much animal print as you might expect, given my extensive clothes collection. One cardigan, one pair of boots, one pair of shoes and these trousers were all I could lay my hands on last week when I was trying to pull my outfit together.

The silky trousers are the Viyella brand, and are second hand, purchased many moons ago, but never worn until now. The issue I have with them is the elasticated waistband which makes me feel puffy around the midriff and therefore middle aged (what do you mean, that's cos I am!). My options were limited on this very hot day, so trousers it was. The Karl tee is by Karl Lagerfeld, a find in TK Maxx earlier this summer and it has been a great addition to my wardrobe for when I wanted a simple look without being too understated. 

The rose gold pumps are from TK Maxx too, the brand is Head Over Heels and again they've been very handy this summer for that dressed down look. Sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

I'm wearing my wedding ring along with a rose gold cz ring, my Michael Kors watch and two rose gold bangles.

I forgot to mention the gold necklace. This has quite a funny story to it ... Sasha and I were out shopping in Truro last year, checking out all of the charity shops for me and the high street ones for her. I came across this lovely necklace amongst a little cache of jewellery in the Barnardo's shop and gathered up a selection to take to the cash desk. Sasha stopped me on my way, telling me in hushed tones that these were all things that she had cleared out of her jewellery box only the previous week! As you can see, that didn't stop me as I was very happy to know the provenance of them all, plus the charity was benefiting too.

The Abbey Garden is full of lovely little nooks and crannies of interesting views with all sorts of plants. The agapanthus seem to be much favoured by my artists, so much so, that almost any painting featuring them sells!

The joyful bronze sculpture is called "Tresco children" and was made by David Wynne.

Let's take a look at the other ladies and their animal print ensembles.

Emma from Style Splash is vamping it up with her leopard print pencil skirt. She's chosen black as her neutral to compliment the print and wow, what a glamorous look this is. The layered frills on the sleeves are wonderful (do keep me in mind, when you're done with this one Emma).

Jacqui has accessorised her animal print dress with pink sling backs and handbag. She too has taken a walk on the wild side with the exotic backdrop for her shoot and is another lady who looks like she wants to squeeze the last out of summer. See Jacqui's post on her blog here.

This month's challenge clearly inspired Hilda to go to great lengths by wearing three kinds of animal print - giraffe, snake and leopard print and how fabulous does she look! Hilda's is always a class act and this time is no different. I'd award full marks to her for originality. See more on her blog Over the Hilda.

Thanks for joining us and before I leave, I'll add some shots of the Abbey Garden in bloom. Apologies for the lack of plants names here, but I hope you enjoy the flowers anyway.

Enjoy your week!
Anna x


H&M jumpsuit

Hi and happy Wednesday to you!

As the summer draws to an end I'm keen to share as many summery outfits with you as I can. Today's offering is this rich tropical print jumpsuit by H&M Conscious Collection which I picked up in a charity shop in Truro this summer for the grand price of £9.99. I've just done a quick search for this on line and came across it on eBay for £19.99 so it's still around if you fancy it. The fabric is drapey, medium weight and hangs well. The cut of the wide palazzo pants is cool for summer wear too. The crossover front has a hook and eye fastening to stop it gaping open - I suppose you could wear it on its own as the top is quite slim fitting.

The elastic belt is preloved and adds definition to the waist, as is my preference to draw the eye to the smallest feature of mine. I also like the feeling of a comfortable pulled together look that a stretch belt gives me, more than a narrow belt ever could. The rings are both preloved too and the necklace you may have seen before (it's by Melissa James Jewellery).

A jumpsuit is my ideal work wear you know. I love the easywear aspect plus how I can climb a ladder without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction which at my age seems like a terrible gaffe. It's interesting how the act of accidentally flashing a bit of thigh in your twenties seems harmless enough and yet in ones 60's is seen as comical at best, cringe worthy at worst. Am I just becoming a bit touchy now I wonder, or do you agree?

You'll have seen these (New Look) black cork wedge sandals before I'm sure. In fact they're coming to the end of their time as one of the toe ends is becoming a bit worn now. I've bought a replacement pair already, but haven't quite broken them in yet. 

I forgot to mention one of the best features of all - the pockets! I love the slouch factor of pockets, the easy resting place for the hands which helps to relax the shoulders giving a breathing space between chores. Pockets are an irresistible plus point for me when I'm considering a purchase, often tipping me over the edge when I'm in doubt. 

Coming up on the blog soon is the monthly style challenge with my friends from the Style Not Age collective. The subject this month is "Wild about animal print". After a bit of rummaging around in my wardrobe I found a piece that fits the bill. Ironically enough I did find my animal print collection to be lacking in choice, but am also very aware of how high I set the bar for myself. I do hope you'll join us on Monday to see how we all fared. The Abbey Garden is where Sasha and I did the photo shoot so I'll leave you with a small taster of what's to come.

Wishing you a fabulous week!
Anna x


Joie de vivre

Happy Sunday to you my lovely readers!

Today's outfit inspired these shots of joie de vivre. This is my Praise the Lord pose which sets the perfect tone for this post as I prepare for my morning stint at church, assisting the Warden with her duties.

I can't think of a better way to start the day than acknowledging how blessed I am to live where I do, surrounded by people that I love, doing a job which stretches and fulfils me. The sun doesn't always shine on this little island paradise, but that doesn't mean to say I can't start the day with joy in my heart for this wonderful life.

I ought to set these moves to music!

Polly and I spend two minutes every morning trying to capture my enthusiasm for life embodied in the outfit of the day. If I can spread a little happiness through these shots then we've done well.

I'm sure that a good old belly laugh is the best bit of exercise for both heart and lungs!

And so, on to the outfit. These shorts are vintage and have loitered in the back of my cupboard for the past couple of years, taunting me, goading me, daring me to try to style them. I bought these when Sasha and I went to Exmouth where we had a true charity shopping fest. I was drawn to the gorgeous colour of them plus the fact that they're a great vintage piece. However, they're a challenge with those darts and pleats around the tummy creating a bit of puffiness. And the length too isn't necessarily the most flattering. Yes, I'm uber self critical, I know.

I think that one of the reasons I shied away from wearing these is that they remind me of a pair of men's golfing shorts - just add some knee length Argyle socks, tongued brogues with studs on the soles and a cashmere sweater and the golfer in me would be ready to go! So for an old bird who's constantly searching for the glamour in life this was a good challenge.

The best way to glam up an outfit surely has to be to add frills, making this blouse by Jovonna (from TK Maxx) the perfect solution. Cinching the waist in with a smart belt (preloved, Country Casuals) draws the eye upwards towards the waist rather than the tummy which is another good ploy. Adding a fair old smattering of jewellery (all preloved apart from the necklace by Melissa James) is another way to ramp up the glam factor.

These pretty summer sandals were in the Sainsbury's sale last summer at £5, so not only were they a bargain, but are a great way finish to this look. I'm not normally a fan of white shoes, but Sasha, my partner in (shopping) crime, encouraged me to try them, and they have proved to be a very useful summer shoe. I'm delighted to have cracked this, and you never know, I may find another variation on this shorts ensemble to show you if summer lingers on.

I'll leave you with these shots from Blockhouse beach where I had my morning swim yesterday. The sea was calm and not too chilly at all making for a relaxing and energising start to the day. I'm heading off to the beach now before breakfast then I'll be in church by 10. If you see me, do stop me to say Hi!

Have a fab week!
Anna x


Another August party night

Hello from Tom Rickman and me.

Last night was the opening night party of Tom's show at Gallery Tresco with a flurry of excitement that caught us slightly unawares. The team and I had a hectic hour or so when the rush was on, the wine was flowing as fast as Polly could pour it and sales were brisk too. The photo captures Tom and I as we chilled at the end of the night, reflecting on the healthy start of another show. See the full exhibition here.

And here are the dream team (from l to r) Max, Tash, Polly and Ruth who all worked their socks off last night, keeping the glasses coming, topping up canapes and generally rushing around behind the scenes. Thanks ladies for all of your stalwart work. Posing alongside them is the latest addition to Gallery Tresco, our "Scilly cow" created by artist Tania Holland.

My party frock for the evening was a charity shop find saving me more than £100 on the ticket price. Brand new, this dress is from Designers at Debenhams by Jenny Packham, a name I've heard of, but not bought before. 

A bargain for me, but also my money makes a difference to this local charity.

The chiffon frock is hand embellished with beads, sequins and flowers making this a very special dress indeed. I decided to add silver as my accent colour which compliments the pale blue perfectly. 

The vintage shoes came from eBay many moons ago and are just right for this outfit.

The rings and bracelet are all preloved, but the necklace is by Charlie Dodge. If it takes your fancy, then do get in touch as I was only borrowing it for the night - it's £75 on sale at Gallery Tresco.

What do you think of the back view of the dress? Pretty eh? Well, that's actually the front of the frock. I tried it on in the shop and by mistake tried the v at the front, but then noticed the label was sticking up by my cleavage. As you may know, I'm not really a cleavage type of person, but the dress when worn the right way around plus these vintage shoes made me feel a bit granny-ish. So, I snipped the label out and took the plunge, hahaha - sorry for that!

And that's another successful show opened! This is our second to last summer show which alarms me somewhat as to how quickly another summer season has come and gone. So many artists, so many paintings come and gone! The 24th of August will see the team and I front our final summer exhibition and I do hope you'll come along to see how that goes. I'll be back again before that though - drop by when you get a moment!

In the meantime, have a great week!

Anna x

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