July and shopping my closet

I'll cut to the chase and tell you that it's not been the best of days today. I've lost a key at work, an important one, although at least not the only one, but lost somehow. Then later at home I couldn't find my best tweezers - completely gone, not in the usual place, not anyplace in fact. But what really confirmed me having a bad day was on returning home after a day of manning the desk, I'd popped upstairs to spend a penny and when I looked at my reflection as I washed my hands I discovered that I'd forgotten to finish my make-up and had spent the whole day wearing only blusher and lipstick! Not a scrap of eyeshadow or a sweep of mascara!! Maybe not earth shattering for you, but I'm one of those women who won't be seen outside without full make-up on. Am sharing all of this with you in case it's part of a gradual decline into something more ominous and a darned sight less funny. Ever the drama queen me!

But this was funny: me enjoying the fact that a cyclist had just managed to avoid knocking Fiona over as she stood in the middle of the road to take my photos. It was a tad risky on her part, but she likes to live on the edge does Fiona! Anyway, on to the outfit of the day, shall we? The jeans jacket is by Bennetton and must be at least 10 years old. I love the colour, plus it's got stretch, and pockets. Pretty much my dream jacket then.

The jumpsuit is one I bought in Manchester 5 years ago in H&M. I've recently made small alterations to it meaning it fits much nicer now. The neckline was previously too wide so I've added some darts in both back and front for a snugger fit. I've added an orange stretch belt to give a bit of definition to what is quite a baggy outline.

Shopping my closet includes my jewellery, so nothing new with rings (pre-loved) or necklace (from Topshop) or even sunglasses (Radley).

My brocade trainers were from TK Maxx many moons ago, the brand is Replay. Super comfy as all of my Replay trainers are, hurrah!

Let me introduce you to Jill who's my latest sewing friend. Jill and I got chatting in the Gallery the other day after she complimented me on my dress. We nattered on comparing stories and then later that day we met up again and this time she was wearing her new homemade dress. The pattern is from the V&A website and the fabric is from Liberty no less. Isn't it fabulous and didn't she do well with the contrasting sleeves and placket!

Jill is here on holiday on Tresco and is a true vision of loveliness! I'm thrilled at how sewing has brought lots of new people into my life already. It was super to meet you Jill!

                                                                                          Anna x


H&M silk jumpsuit

Hurrah for August!

Hello again. Like the rest of the nation, if not the world, we here on Tresco are trying to establish this new regime as normal and hopefully August will see things continue in the right direction. However, one thing far from normal is that last week the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were here on the island on holiday. It was a private visit, a family time for them to enjoy a bit of anonymity and it seems that not one photo of them was taken or leaked to the press. Four years ago the couple were here for a day trip and at that time we all hoped that they might return. Last week Tresco proved to be the most idyllic place to spend a family holiday without having to leave the country.

If you're a long term follower of mine, then you may remember the last time I wore this fabulous jumpsuit was at a summer exhibition five years ago. My current break from shopping has me working hard at reviving old clothes that I've dismissed or overlooked for years. This jumpsuit hasn't had an airing throughout these five long years and I'm so happy to find it again. I wore it to work yesterday and these shots were taken the day before when Steve and I popped along to Saffron Bay for a quick photo shoot.

The silk jumpsuit is beautifully lightweight and floaty as you can see from this series of shots. I wore it with a short sleeved tee and white pumps for a practical look. The wide trousers were a challenge to begin with, tripping me up as I dashed upstairs for the first time, but thereafter I just treated them like a maxi skirt, grabbing handfuls when I was bobbing up and down the staircase or even hanging art. 

I suppose the low cut back is mean to show off a young and firm back view, but I overcame that with a skinny ribbed tee shirt (very old) which fitted perfectly under the slim cut bodice. The jumpsuit has a side zip as well as the tie back feature.  I pulled the whole look together with this ornate buckled belt which draws the eye to the waist as a good counter to the voluminous trousers.

"Old lady jelly arms" alert here!

These ribbon tied Puma trainers have become my go-to shoes during my busy working life of late.  They're squashy and comfy and perfect for climbing both stairs and ladders and generally being on my feel for 12 hours a day. My working role has expanded to me becoming cleaner at the start of the day, to Gallery Manager, administrator, art curator, packer and unpacker of goods as well as shipping co-ordinater. There's something very satisfying for the control freak in me to know I have my finger on the pulse of every aspect of the business for the first time ever. Ask me any question about our website, artists who have been to stay, art stock both in the Gallery and the 100 cottages, new works about to arrive or paintings en route to a client and I'll know it without having to ask an assistant or refer to files. It's a satisfying position to be in and one that I'm relishing despite the longer hours.

Today's jewellery is all old too, so much so that I can't recall where I got the rings. The necklace came from the Gallery and I fancy it's made from some African bean that's coloured naturally... My sunglasses are by Radley London.

And this was yesterday's early start. I bumbled into work at 4.30am while the moon was still high in the sky. That may seem ridiculously early I know, but once I wake my brain just starts whirring away making notes of all of the jobs pending for the day ahead. At that stage there's no point in trying to roll over and go back to sleep. Much better to just get up and get going. Thank goodness I love my job! 

                                                                                                                                     Anna x


Winter Opulence, our Style Not Age Challenge for December

Welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge.

Hello to you and thanks for dropping by. This month's theme for our challenge was chosen by Emma and goodness, what a lovely idea to opt for Winter Opulence. We've all taken to this one like ducks to water so without further ado let's see how Emma starts this off shall we?

Emma looks positively regal in her velvet dress with teeny velvet bag and that crown like headband. Find all the details on her blog Style Splash

Jacqui's take on Winter Opulence is all about lace in the shape of this rich red lace dress, styled simply with red suede shoes. See more on her blog Mummabstylish.

Hilda has chosen a double helping of fur to compliment her gold brocade skirt for her sumptuous look. Catch up with her on her blog Over The Hilda.

At the mention of Winter Opulence I immediately thought of fur - but which of my many pieces was the dilemma? I've not yet showcased the velvet and fur coat which I bought in London in November... But no, maybe not. This silver fur jacket captured my attention as I rummaged through my wardrobe. 

It's a hand-me-down piece from Sasha, the brand is New Look and is quite old I think. Anyway, I like the short length as it feels young and a bit more funky when paired with this satin jumpsuit, pre-loved from H&M. 

The satin bowed trainers (new with labels) were a recent purchase in London. The brand is Kelsi and I've found the same ones online here. I thought the silver pumps were a great match for the silvery hued jacket. 

My bejewelled turtle handbag continues with the Opulence theme perfectly don't you think? I bought this in a boutique in St Andrews almost 12 months ago, but there's no label to show the brand/maker.

No brand with the necklace either I'm afraid. I bought it in London too at the Crisis shop in Finsbury Park. The necklace was one of many bargains I found at only £6.95. I can see this will be a great asset to my jewellery collection. Both rings are pre-loved too. And my sunglasses are by Quay Australia.

Fur, satin, velvet, lace and brocade - we've pretty much covered the who gamut of Winter Opulence here. What do you think of our outfits for this month's challenge? Do drop me a line or post a comment if you have something to add. Next month I'll be starting us off with our first challenge of the new decade. What on earth will that be I wonder?

Until then, I'll wish you all a very 
Happy New Year!

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

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