Harrogate - the final instalment

As promised, here's the third outfit that I wore at the trade fair last week. The dress is quite old (by Nine West), polo is from Primark, tights and belt are old, shoes are by Office, my handbag is by Ted Baker, rings are preloved and my watch is by Michael Kors. I thought this van was the ultimate in accessorising! 

House by Hazel is run by Hazel Holland who is the wife of Tom Holland one of my gallery artists. I do like to make an effort to co-ordinate my outfit with Hazel's fabrics at least once over the show period. It's lovely to catch up with them every day during the fair as we have lots to chat about and generally have a bit of fun too. Tom and Hazel are based in Penryn in Cornwall which means I can pop into Tom's gallery on my way to the dentist to see how the paintings for his next show are progressing. This will be featured next month on the blog.

After my three days at the Trade Fair it was time to cash in the gift voucher from my sisters.

Sandra and Dianne had travelled down from Scotland to join me in Yorkshire so that we could have a brief catch up. Their promise was made good with these crisp Scottish bank notes along with a suitably sparkly purse. We had a busy day visiting my regular charity shops as well as discovering five new ones I'd been unaware of. I had a ball; them maybe not so much!

They even supplied me with an extra shopping bag for the occasion!

Do not adjust your sets - this is terribly out of focus! I know that neither of my sisters would wish to be featured on the blog, but I thought this one would be better than my efforts at soft focus. We had great fun together and even though we're all in our 60's now I will always be the baby of the family, meaning that I still benefit from their wisdom. 

And this is the haul! I'm afraid I couldn't find time to take individual shots of these, but have itemised them as - 6 jackets, 2 handbags, 7 pairs of shoes, 1 matching skirt and top, 2 dresses, 2 skirts, 1 pr culottes, 3 blouses, 4 prs jeans, 1 cashmere sweater, 2 shirts, 1 rash vest, 1 cummerbund, 1 hat and lots of lovely jewellery. The majority was charity shopped, but some things were from TK Maxx in both Truro and Harrogate. I featured some of the shoes on instagram - here's the three stars of the show.

I can hear the outcry of "Where will you put all of this?", but worry ye not! This weekend I have three days off work and will be applying myself to the big changeover. During this process I'll be (ruthlessly) culling what hasn't been worn and these will be laundered, ready to be sold on eBay. One of these days, I plan to feature some of these pieces here and link through to my eBay page - you may wish to buy the odd piece or two ...

Anyway folks, it's been lovely to chat. I hope you've enjoyed seeing the last instalment of my mainland adventure. The last word has to be to Sandra and Dianne - a big thank you for my fabulous day out spending all that lovely lolly!

Anna x


Home again!

Hello and happy Sunday to you! Thank you for joining me as I return from my stint on the mainland. The purpose of my trip was to visit the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate where I do the main gift buying for the gallery. It was as fruitful an event as ever which is always a relief after the two days of travelling it takes to get there. I spend a whole day on the train travelling from Cornwall to Yorkshire during which time I have waves of excitement at the prospect of finding some fab new gifts and then I also worry that the Fair may yield nothing to suit my audience. My journey of nine hours is punctuated by thoughts on the two extremes.

This was the outfit I wore on day two of the Fair. If you missed the first outfit then click here to find that one. By the second day I'd made a few new acquaintances as well as meeting up with some regular suppliers and most of them declared this as their outfit of the day - very kind of you all! The kimono was a charity shop find (no surprises there) and was only £3, which frankly is quite ridiculous for an authentic Chinese piece of this quality. 

You'll no doubt recognise the obligatory sock boots (H&M) along with the embroidered velour track pants (Zara). Today I've added my beloved leather handbag from many years ago - it was one of my first vintage finds in a charity shop in Ireland when I was there on holiday with my sisters. My sisters joined me this time in Harrogate too, so that I had company in the evenings to go out for dinner.

I've adapted the outfit to the mild temperature by adding a silk shirt underneath (preloved, Next brand). When I was in Harrogate the weather was quite cold, very cold in fact, so much so that I wore a polo neck sweater with this, plus a long sleeved thermal top underneath. We also had torrential rain one day, followed by fog and a bitterly cold breeze, so we really did get value for our money weather-wise!

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed my new sunglasses from my favoured brand Quay. I bought three new pairs of Quay Australia sunglasses from TK Maxx in Harrogate. On the face of it, this may seem extravagant, but when you take into account that these were all reduced in the sale meaning I got three for the price of one, then that's perfectly sensible or at least reasonable, isn't it? The gold chain was a gift, and the rings are preloved.

It's always nice to have a trip away, to have a change of scenery and Harrogate certainly does have lots of lovely scenery as well as things to enjoy. The tearooms at Bettys are a highlight of anyone's stay, whether it's for the tradition of afternoon tea or to buy some sweet treats to take home. My bags were bursting with goodies for the family on my return.

My next post will feature my third outfit of the Fair plus the further joys of Harrogate by way of its charity shopping. You'll not be surprised to hear that I couldn't fit all of my lovely loot into my suitcase and therefore had to send two boxes home by post. Hopefully within the next couple of days these will arrive and I can take some snaps for the blog. I have some vintage delights to share with you as well as some more bargains from TK Maxx. 

I hope you have a super weekend and look forward to catching up with you again soon!

Linking with -
Jacqui of Mummabstylish 
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb
Anna x


Midweek monochrome

Midweek can sometimes be a bit blah for me clothes-wise. The start of the week usually prompts a surge of enthusiasm to find a fab outfit to set the right tone. Likewise, come Friday I have another boost at the thought of the weekend which acts to spur me on to delve deep and find something inspiring. But midweek is neither fish nor foul if you get my drift. However I've never worn this wonderful charity shop find before, even though I bought it during my autumn shopping spree. The jacket is from Planet and was a snip at a fiver. Five pounds could buy you a cup of tea and a sandwich and for the same money I've got this beautiful woollen jacket - wow!

I paired the jacket with my harem pants from TK Maxx, slipped a thin thermal top underneath (from M&S) and finished with my gorgeous wedges from Office. The rings are charity shopped, the gold chain was a gift and I'm wearing my old faithful sunnies by Quay Australia. 

I'm back from Harrogate, flushed with success from not only my business buying trip, but also from my personal shopping trip too. The Britishi Craft Trade Fair is where I find the design led gifts, jewellery and ceramics for the gallery as well as being a source of new talent from emerging artists who bring all sorts of novel ideas to the fore at these events. I never know what I'm going to find which is all part of the fun. See the full report here as well as the scoop on my purchases.

Linking with -
Laurie of Vanity And Me
Anna x


Hurrah for Harrogate!

Yes, here we have the post about my annual business trip to Harrogate which also happens to be one of my best shopping trips too. I'm back home now, firmly at the helm at work and wearing the most fabulous of outfits, even if I say so myself.

Outfit details are - leather trousers are from TK Maxx (£14.99!), jacket by Autonomy (charity shopped), blouse from Sainsbury's, boots from River Island, necklace from Du Barry, clutch borrowed from Sasha, rings are charity shopped, sunglasses from Quay Austraila.

So let's rewind to the beginning shall we? I started my trip with a stopover at Sasha's new flat in Truro (where's the photos from this, I now ask myself?) and a visit to the hairdressers. My stylist, Matthew, is also the owner of Afina (see more about the salon here) one of the busiest salons in the county, where massage chairs at the backwash come as standard, and the welcome drink ranges from a glass of bubbles, a blast of caffeine or soothing herbal tea according to your fancy.

Matthew worked his magic and after various hair treatments I'm feeling ready to step out in style with the elegant ladies of Harrogate. The following day was spent on the train heading north reading this month's book for book club which is an absorbing read, a captivating story and as you can see has the most ornate of covers.

The main objective of my trip to Harrogate is to visit the British Craft Trade Fair see here to find new, often hand crafted gifts to sell in the art gallery I manage. The show delivers exactly what it says on the tin: British made goods that are craft orientated rather than mass produced. 

I met Matthew Read last year at the fair. This year I'm back to replenish my stock of these beautiful one-off pieces of gold and silver jewellery. Matthew is an extraordinary craftsman who collects all sorts of rare jewels and minerals (such as pieces of meteorites) to mount and mould into his quirky jewellery.See his website here to find out more about him.

The trade fair is based in one large hall located out at the Great Yorkshire Showground. After quartering the aisles for hours I would step outside for a breath of fresh air, take on some fuel and consider my plan. Spring is in full bloom here.

One of the new suppliers I found this year was Hazel Holland from House of Hazel. This range of tableware has a wonderful, fresh contemporary vibe that will sit perfectly in our gallery - I can't wait to put a window display together. Hazel also makes plush cushions and sells co-ordinating fabrics to compliment the range.

Hazel and her husband, artist Tom Holland, work from their studio in Penryn - see here for her website. Tom has been one of my gallery artists for years, and yet I've been blissfully unaware of Hazel's work. Their stand at the fair became a daily highlight for me to drop by and chat about how our endeavours were going.

This year, as every year, I stayed in a lovely guesthouse on the Kings Road in Harrogate, The Alamah (details here) which is run by Judy and Sue. The house is as warm and welcoming as they are, with every creature comfort you could need. Breakfast is a running banquet or in my case, more simple fare which set me up for the day ahead and the big bed was luxury at the end of my miles clocked up at the fair.

The boiled eggs hidden under these old fashioned egg cosies are the best protein packed fuel for me. Sue waits table while Judy acts as chef. I don't know of anywhere else you'd get the chef come to your table to check that the eggs were scrambled to your liking whilst they're still in the pan! I featured Judy's ceremony of the eggs to my table one morning as the little spiral egg cup in the background bobbed and danced its way to me - find it on my instagram here  

And yes, let's not be too coy about the other draw to Harrogate - the shopping! The sales were on, but aren't they always? I scored new shoes and boots from all sorts of shops, none of them charity.

From left to right, back row to front it reads like this - black and gold boots from River Island, silver boots from Primark, tassel sandals from River Island, pink and orange sandals from River Island, black lace heels, pale gold heels, coral and gold trainers, floral mules and burgundy oxfords are all from TK Maxx. Yes, that will keep me going for a few months.

Here's the loot all waiting to be loaded into the taxi ready for the journey home. I did in fact have to leave the blue holdall with Sasha to bring home for me as I couldn't carry it! I caught the train and finally the ship home to Scilly on Thursday. The islands were bathed in sunshine as we rounded into St Mary's quay. It was great to be back.

I count my blessings every time I see this sight. Island living suits me, and much as I love my trips to the mainland it's no longer a way of life that I hanker after. These forays to hunt and gather fulfil my needs and I'm happy to retreat to this smaller island existence. The season is well under way here and my focus is now all about the job. Our first exhibition of the year is next on my agenda and I'll be able to share that with you next week.

I'll leave you with the clothes spread as per usual. I think it's a great haul, mainly from charity shops with the odd purchase from TK Maxx. 

Linking with -
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style 

Anna x

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