#Ping Ping Post no 7

Hello again and welcome to #Ping Pong Post no 7. The aim of #PPP is to recreate a girls night in where I and my two blogging friends, Ann of Kremb de la Kremb and Samantha of Fake Fabulous, choose an item of clothing and then style it up in our own way. In theory this is a simple enough idea, but the practicality of it is a bit more difficult as we all live so very far apart - Ann lives in Hong Kong, Samantha in Scotland and I live in England, on an island 28 miles to the west of the Cornish mainland. Now in its 7th month, the series started like this - see here. This time Ann has offered up her striped Breton top, so let's see her interpretation first.

Ann has run with the nautical theme here by adding hooped earrings, pirate's scarf, dark eyeliner and lots of gold bullion. Her girl-goes-pirate look is softened by the silky gold skirt that echoes the gold of her socks and tennis shoes. I love her authentic touches of the harbourside backdrop with all the right props. Ann's photos always have a humorous slant, but that never takes away from her skill in finding a story and telling it well. Cute as always, Ann carries off this ultra feminine pirate look with casual ease.

Details are:
Kerchief--second hand shop
Gold Hoops--very long story....but now from Hong Kong
Necklace--Hong Kong
Thumb Ring--Mumbai
Striped Crop Shirt--H&M hand-me-down from my sister
Gold skirt and socks-- Forever 21 

Both ladies have featured a full skirt. Samantha, however, has given the outline a more pared down look, thanks to some very clever illusionary effects. By tucking the top in and adding a big belt she really changes its shape. Her chunky boots tie in beautifully with the patent belt, and the the pop of blue she introduces by way of accessories is a clever move. Samantha says she really enjoyed this challenge and I think it shows. The cool, funky outfit she created is the work of a true fashionista.

Details are:
Dress: Asos (from a Charity shop)
Boots: Vagabond
Glasses: Tkmax
Necklace: eBay
Belt: Coast (old)
Bag: Linea
Nails: Barry M
Tights: Gypsy

Yes, and here's the top again, but as a skirt. I have to admit that this wasn't my favourite #PPP. I'm not keen on boxy shaped tops and this one swamped me, so I had three options: to wear it as a turban, a skirt or a poncho. Well, as you can see I opted for the skirt version. The length did of course, bring it's own problems which is where the dress came in.

Once I'd pulled the skirt over the dress, the belt was needed to cinch everything together. Cue matching shoes, and once I'd got that far, I thought the whole look was begging for a finishing touch. By topping the outfit off with a hat Polly thought the ensemble was very St. Tropez. What do you think?

Details are -
Striped top - Ann's
Dress - J at Jasper Conran
Hat - Mila Sehon
Belt - TK Maxx
Shoes - BCBGeneration
Handbag - thrifted
Sunglasses - Quay Australia
Watch - Michael Kors

Once again, I think we've all had a bit of fun creating our own particular style with the selected item of the month. Next month will bring another challenge, this time from my wardrobe. I do hope you'll come back again on the 20th October to see what's up. And just for a change, our line-up will look a bit different...

Linking with - 
Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb
Cherie of Style Nudge

Anna x


Too much colour?

I wonder if there can ever be a case of too much colour? If so, might this be it? Is there any point in me trying to apologise? I've just trawled through my album of photos from the past few weeks looking to find the right outfit to feature and despite my best efforts at trying to tone things down have opted for this colour fest today. I do have some more sober (well, less punchy) offerings to show you, but not this time. Here on the Isles of Scilly we're about to be hit by a gale and a huge, wet weather front this weekend. In light of this, I thought I'd inject a bit of colour to give myself a lift as we batten down the hatches. Summer lives on - in my little world at least!

These wonderful sweetie-like rings were a gift from my friend Wendy who follows my blog avidly. She saw them in a local shop in Cornwall and immediately thought of me. They were the start of today's outfit which I built around the stripes and colours - what fantastic inspiration! Thank you so much for this fun element - you know me so well Wendy x

Early mornings are always busy on the road to New Grimsby quay and this morning brought Rob, one of the engineers on the island, trundling along in his tractor, happy to be the photo-bomber of the day.

Today's post is the first of three that I will be publishing over the next three days. Friday and Sunday are both my regular posting days, but Saturday is also the 20th of the month which is Ping Pong Post day. I do hope I can keep up the pace, and that you won't be sick to death of me by the end of the weekend! See you tomorrow?

Back to the ensemble - the skirt is by Boden (similar), top is from Coast (charity shopped), cardi is from Pure (similar), sandals by Refresh (similar), rings and necklace are gifts, watch is by Michael Kors, bangle by Kate Spade New York and sunglasses are from Quay Australia.  Finally my pink glitter nail polish is called Pink Crystal by BINKY

Anna x


Brooch pile

I've shown this jacket on Instagram, but not with the same configuration of brooches so here's the new and improved version. A blogging friend, Suzanne Carillo (see her blog here), had featured her brooch pile jacket around the same time and we had laughed about our creative efforts being so similar at times.

I couldn't say which particular one of these is my favourite, but I do love the crammed full effect the brooches all create. I saw a fashion feature recently that showed a denim jacket with brooches which were sprinkled all over the entire thing. It was pretty in its own way and I might try it if I tire of this.

I really like this bag and shoes combo. Ostrich and leopard print are great partners in my eyes.

I can see that this brooch collecting could be addictive. Another blogging friend of my Kezzie (see her blog here) features her brooches often and each one has a story. I'm not sure if brooches might ever replace my passion for clothes, but it's another little offshoot which will be a joy I'm sure. 

The denim jacket was a £5 bargain in a charity shop and the brand is GAP. My orange top is by Coast (charity shop) and skirt is from Boden. Shoes are by Salord Jover and handbag brand is L Credi from TK Maxx. Watch is by Michael Kors, rose gold bangle is by Kate Spade, rings are old, as are the pearl necklaces.

Wishing you all a great weekend and hope you can drop by again soon!

Anna x


All in black today

I've only worn this fab jacket once before (see here) and thought I really ought to be trying to get the cost-per-wear down. As you probably know, I don't wear a lot of black as I'm a big fan of bright colours, but sometimes it's good to mix things up and do something different. So here we go with basic black spiced up with a touch of orange.  

I hate to be predictable in my dressing, but more than that, the worst thing anyone could ever say about me is that I'm boring. I may, in fact, be a clothes bore, but that's something I can happily live with! My motto of "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour" comes from the notion that beige is the most boring colour in the whole spectrum. (I do accept that the beige tones when sported by the the uber-classy Victoria Beckham and her genre can look beautifully understated, and I was one who in her younger years felt comfortable in beige too.)  Middle age however, for some women, heralds the onset of a loss of identity and verve for life often resulting in the birth of the beige years. I know this is a gross generalisation, and if you're a fellow blogger, then we know it won't apply to you, and by virtue reading this, that excludes you too, as you must have an interest in colourful clothes otherwise you'd surely not be part of my readership. In all honesty, I don't level this at anyone I actually know. This generic, beige-wearing, identity-less, style-less, post-menopausal ghost of her former self, is in essence, the me I dread becoming. It's what drives me to suck the marrow out of life; to dress wholly for myself, be the most honest version of me, the flamboyant, colourful self that makes my heart sing when I look at the veritable kaleidoscope of colours hanging in my wardrobe today. 

This look of surprise and delight is because my favourite doggy-driver, Charlie, has just appeared. Polly managed to capture his wind-swept look as he zoomed around the corner towards us. First photo-bomb of the day!

So, to give you a quick run down of the outfit - Michael Kors jacket which I bought from TK Maxx in Feb; harem pants were a purchase again from TK last September and have only been featured once as here; frilled and pleated orange shell top is from Coast, but picked up in charity shop in Harrogate; the boots are new from the sale at Office last month; the Madonna inspired handbag was a find in a charity shop in Truro last month. Rings are charity shop finds too.

Linking with
Catherine of Not Dressed As Lamb 
Patti of Not Dead Yet Style 

Anna x


Business travel, street fashion and a smidgen of shopping

OK, when I say a smidgen of shopping, you know I'm stretching the truth. But that's alright when your amongst friends, isn't it? And hey, you all know me by now; I like to dress things up, play things down according to how good a story it makes...

So let's start with the travel, shall we? After a short boat ride to St Mary's I caught a small Twin Otter plane to fly the 15 minutes to Lands End airport, followed by a brief taxi ride into Penzance where my friend Nicky collected me from the railway station. She and I headed out to have lunch in a cafe overlooking St Michael's Mount. But let's just backtrack a moment. Nicky has recently moved from Cambridge to St Ives, and although we've been friends for many years I usually only see her when she visits the island. I know she drives, but haven't seen her car. "What car am I looking for?" I messaged her. "A red Mazda" she replied. I don't drive, never have, and don't know one car from the other, but at least knew I was waiting for a red 'un. Bang on 10am a little red car came whizzing into the car park. Hell, it was the hottest, cutest, little sports car I've ever seen!

The idea was for me to have a shot of Nicky with her car, but she protested so much about having a bad hair day that, of course, I just had to stand in for her.

St Michael's Mount is a big tourist attraction for those visiting Cornwall. You can walk across the causeway at low tide to visit the tiny island with its castle, garden, and cafe. Once the tide comes in you can return to Marazion by boat. Full details on the link above.

Nicky did offer to be my back-up photographer, but I thought it might be too big a commute to ask. She did a very good job though, so thanks Nicky x

We had a lovely catch up over a bite of lunch whilst enjoying the view across the bay, before I headed off for my first taste of the shops. I'm always a bit light-headed with excitement when I've been set free from island life. Don't get me wrong, I love living on the little gem of an island where I lead a pretty idyllic lifestyle (apologies if I sound smug, really not meaning to), but I also love the contrast and the buzz of the mainland as long as I know it's short-term. My first blitz of the shops can be a tad frenetic, and often results in a few dodgy items, as my style radar can be a bit rusty. I exercised an element of restraint this time, only buying a couple of well chosen bargain pieces. 

Next stop was to visit Sasha in Truro for a couple of nights. We shopped, laughed and had some lovely meals together before I headed off up North to Harrogate. I may have done a wee bit of charity shopping in Truro, but we'll cover that later. There was a slight hiccup en route, where I happened to fall asleep and missed the station that I was due to change trains, but it all worked out fine in the end. Fast forward to Harrogate railway station where I came across Lilly, a fan of Japanese fashion and culture which informs her clothes choices. I think she looks fabulous, and I adore those boots.

The next morning I went to the BCTF which is the only trade fair I attend. This wholesale fair showcases the very best of British craft and attracts gift buyers from across the whole of the UK. I hadn't been there long when I bumped into Rosie, another buyer. Rosie's style statement is bold, matching her ebullient, bubbly character. When I asked her to pose for my blog she brought out her fierce sunglasses and proffered her silver shoes as a starter. Great stuff!

The final fashionista I met on my trip was Sonia who I encountered on the train from Harrogate to Leeds. We snatched a couple of minutes on Leeds station before she had to dash off to work. She was quick to apologise, saying she wish she'd worn some better jeans. Her purple hair, immaculate make-up, retro shopping bag and funky patched jeans define Sonia's street style, without any need for apology. She's a cool cat as far as I'm concerned. 

So, back to the trade fair. One joyful discovery was shoe maker, Kate Hopkins-Searle see her website here. These Cinderella type slippers are actually ceramic shoes loving created by Kate over many hours. They're hand painted, some of them gleaming with a gold lustre finish and they are exquisite. Kate's talent is matched only by her modesty. I think they ought to be featured in an exhibition at the likes of the V&A, don't you? Or even Liberty's of London, maybe Harrods? Golly, if I could afford them I'd love to have them on display in my house.

My other favourite makers are the team from Zinc White who create jewellery, bowls and boxes out of art supplies ie. pencils, paintbrushes and used canvas. I absolutely love these pencil bowls. It's amazing what skill and imagination can create - so clever.

And so on to Harrogate itself. This Spa town is steeped in history, populated with beautiful, architecturally important buildings. Famous too for its vast parklands and gardens which are always immaculate. I love visiting there, and that's not just because it's been voted the "Happiest place to live in the UK", for the third year running. No, honestly, it's a great tourist attraction as a town, as well as having many historical sites of interest around it. And the great attraction for me, that being, the wonderful women of Harrogate who are very generous in donating some of their finery to the local charity shops in time for my arrival every spring. But I mustn't forget to mention the most popular eatery in the whole of Harrogate - Bettys - where the afternoon teas are legendary. This time I stopped by to purchase some macaroons for Sasha. The window display had caused a bit of a sell-out, but I did come away with a box of Champagne ones and also some in gooseberry. Both were greeted with equal delight by her.

By the time I'd shopped in my last port of call I had not only filled my suitcase to the point that I could hardly lift it, but also the two empty holdalls were fit to burst and I'd had to scavenge another bag for the overflow - what a lovely lot of loot I had. The trolley couldn't hold any more by the time I arrived at Truro station after my second sleepover at Sasha's.

I had to deliver the three bags on the front of the trolley down to the quay in Penzance so that they could be sent across to the islands by ship, as my luggage allowance on the plane was a mere 15kg. Apparently no extra allowances are to be made for out-of-control shopaholics like myself, ho hum. The flight back to St Mary's was a bit misty, but still good enough to take a few snaps on the way across. We departed from Lands End, flew past the Longships Lighthouse and some 15 minutes later the islands hove into view. A jet boat was waiting at the quayside from where we were soon whisked off for the brief trip to New Grimsby. The time from leaving the airport to arriving at my door was 45 minutes. Perfect. The bags, however, took a bit longer to arrive. Two days in fact, but none the worse for wear. 

My journey to get my shopping hit maybe takes a bit more effort than most, but the spoils make it all worthwhile.  

And finally here we have the big reveal. The haul comprises of -
1 pr boots, 5 prs shoes, 3 belts, 1 scarf, 8 handbags, 2 coats, 3 jackets, 10 prs coloured jeans, 3 prs trousers, 6 dresses, 1 cardigan, 3 skirts and 10 tops.

Of these only 5 items were from "real" shops (TK Maxx and H&M) and the remainder were finds in charity shops. Finds from the likes of Hobbs, Roland Cartier, Coast, Reiss, Calvin Klein and Versace. All in all a very satisfactory shop I think. Well, take a look and let me know if you agree. My next trip off island won't be until September, but I think I may have had enough of a top up to keep me going until then.

You'll notice that I'm still sourcing lovely pink items to expand my colourways along with some fabulous pops of orange too. My summer wardrobe is shaping up well, and I'm looking forward to showcasing some fab new outfits. See you all again on Wednesday x

My mainland outfit comprises of -
Coat: from Sicily. Faux leather jeans: H&M. Silver brogues: Office. Gloves: charity shop. Sunglasses: Quay Australia.
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