Pink boots x 2

Hello my lovelies and how are you? I'm well and hope you are too. With summer fast approaching I'm posting these sock boots once again as I'm aware that sandal season is just around the corner. Have I paired these with this pink trench already? Surely. Can't stop to check, as I'm heading off to the beach in a moment - yes, I'm back on my daily sea swims and all is once again well with the world! Yay!

Anyway, I ended the day yesterday wearing this version of pink sock boots as these are my afternoon comfy version. I think that the chunky sole is a great feature and distracts from the fact that these are more or less slippers. Pop a tweedy checked fabric on these and they'd be perfect grandad footwear.

They're also kinda spaceman boots too, don't you think? I bought these Jeffrey Campbell boots in TK Maxx earlier this year.

The rest of the outfit comprises of the polo neck sweater which is preloved, also much loved by me for the ribbed knit giving a figure hugging fit, plus the gilt buttons at the cuffs. The trousers are from Primark, this season, and the leather belt is preloved. The pink trench is by Topshop and was a fab charity shop scoop last year. The pink sock boots are by H&M.

You'll have seen a lot of this necklace recently due to the simple versatility of this silver chain which adds a contemporary twist to any outfit. It's by Melissa James, a brand that we carry in the gallery - please note this was a purchase of mine, not a gift. I link through to the brand cos it's a super and very affordable range of jewellery.

My old favourite sunnies are by Quay Australia - another shout out for a great brand - I have about half a dozen pairs of them, but seem to come back to the same couple of pairs time after time. And last of all my diamante ring is preloved and the pink ring was a gift from a friend.

We had a fair few spectators for this photo shoot by way of the cattle in the field nearby. Plus the obligatory photo-bomber this time was Graham the bike hire guy on the island. Am sharing this photo of him for those of you who know and love 'im!

Graham is a popular figure on the island and is know for his declaration that "This is my last year on the island" which earns him a healthy tip from his customers. Somehow the fact that he spins this one year after year only serves to endear himself to them even more!

Well, that just about rounds it up folks. It's been great to catch up with you again. You can tell that I'm feeling back on form again with this punchy pink ensemble. I'll be back at the weekend with another offering of sorts. I hope you have a brilliant week and look forward to seeing you again soon.

                                                                                         Anna x


Springtime dress and some shopping

How's your week going? Like a true Brit I'm gonna talk about the weather and say that after a whole weekend of rain, the sunshine has returned therefore all is well in my world. The forecast is for a sunny Easter weekend which will be ideal for us as we're hosting our first exhibition of the year on Saturday and I do love it when the opening night party can spill outdoors, drink in hand, to enjoy the vista in front of the gallery.

Today's outfit has been aired before, but deserves to be seen again I thought. Polly has named her theme as "the year of the dress" and turns up to work in a cute little number most days now. Following on from her lead, I'm pulling out some of my favourite dresses too. This ditsy print shirt-waister was from H&M last year and has a very grown up feel to it. I wore it before with these H&M red sock boots too, so there's nothing new here at all. I decided that it still warrants another look though. 

The seaweed and high tide had left the rocks a bit slippery - we really ought to have done a risk assessment!

Easy does it!

My pre-loved accessories are belt and rings, my much loved sunnies from Quay Australia and the gold chain necklace was from Primark earlier this season. 

I call this my master of illusion dress simply because it draws the eye to all of the right places. The red belt puts the focus on the smallest part of the body as the dress skims over the hips and thighs, the floral pattern disguising any lumps and bumps which may be lurking there. There's not too much material either which could cause bulk and it's long and flowing giving the impression that I may be long and flowing too, hahaha! I've just about talked myself into buying another of these, but I won't ....

I stumbled across this limited edition print in a charity shop in Harrogate recently and it couldn't have hit me at a better time. If you're a regular reader you'll know that Harrogate charity shopping is some of the best for me, resulting in a mammoth shopping spree. But this year I've had a fair dose of retail therapy over the past few months. I had decided to rein myself in, use my powers of self control and only buy pieces that would be really useful within my existing collection. I'm having this print framed up to act as a reminder of this new mindset. Pity I found this at the end of my stay and not the beginning!

Anyway, with this statement firmly to the fore, here's what I succumbed to -

I'll confess that these neon sweaters may not be the most stylish, in fact when I got them home I did a double take at how terribly bright they really are. But this is what seems to happen to me when I get my first sniff of the shops. A friend of mine who lives just along the road said she suffers the same problem. We go a bit stir crazy you see. Living on this tiny island (only one mile by two) with very limited retail opportunities, well it can make you impulsive when you get to the mainland and have your first dose of retail therapy. The excitement can go to ones head, resulting in some rather dodgy purchases. Thank goodness this was only a Primark splurge - it didn't break the bank!

The two pairs of dressy courts are a completely different ball game. Each of them was £20, both are Italian made and are indeed very classy (I think). These will be ideal party wear for our summer exhibitions.

In the sale at TK Maxx for £24 the brand is Tokyo Laundry and is a very practical purchase indeed. Ideal for dog walking or for wearing on the boat, this jacket is cosy and fits like a glove.

Pretty and practical, these Replay trainers were £35 in TK Maxx. Being pretty alone would have been fine, so it's a real bonus that these are comfy enough to be drafted in as afternoon shoes when the heels from the morning session are playing havoc with my tootsies. 

This Topshop skirt was a charity shop find and like so many pieces you come across it was stained. I trusted my instinct (and stain removing prowess) et viola, it's as good as new.

Another charity shop piece here, this time by Classic brand and coming in at under £5. The apricot shades are what attracted me - such a flattering colour for me.

And yet another charity shop find. By Boden, I thought this might look good with a black polo neck sweater and some pink or silver brogues - what do you think?

It was very exciting to find these snakeskin boots in New Look in Harrogate. I'd tried these on in Truro a few weeks ago, only to discover that one was a size 5 and the other a 6! The sales assistant scoured the entire store to see if she could find the other odd pair, but with no success. Clearly someone had bought them believing they were a pair. These were a 5 and had been reduced to £10, so it was a win-win.

This M&S dress is brand new with tags still attached. The retail price was £89, but thanks to the Scope charity shop, I only paid £14 for it. I've come up with a kooky plan to stop this looking too frumpy - watch this space.

Last of all are these leather and hessian sandals by Dune, from TK Maxx. They are nice and broad and the wedge belies the fact that they seem to be high, but the angle of them is very slight, making them all day sandals.

The next thing on the agenda for me clothes-wise is to change over my wardrobe for spring and summer wear. I'm keen to see what I've had packed away for these past few months. What about you? Do you do a seasonal changeover or are you someone who believes in layering up for the winter instead of having a complete change of clothes? Do share!

                                                                                           Anna x


Anna meets... Ruth

It's been a while since I posted one of these, but I'm delighted to bring it back with today's guest, Ruth Connolly. Ruth has been working on the island for the past few months and has become a friend of my daughters, and as such I've got to know her. And now it's your turn. I posed a few questions for Ruth to answer.

Ruth and I are both wearing H&M Christmas jumpers, but not just any old jumpers, as these (my Elfie Selfie and her Penguins) were designed by Ruth. 

A. Tell me about these jumpers and how they came about.

R. Whilst completing my Textile Design degree I was given the opportunity to spend a year working in the fashion industry. I was fortunate enough to be selected for an internship with the Ladies Everyday department at H&M in their head office in Stockholm. One of the projects we were working on was the 2015 Christmas jumper campaign. 

A. Is your background/training in fashion design?

R. I am a specialist in Printed Textile Design so I create the fabric that is used for garments. Although I specialise in print for fashion I am also experienced in designing fabrics to be used for interior purposes too. As a print designer I have a good eye for colour and current trends and also strong drawing, painting and digital skills. Print Design is a fantastic way of working with both traditional drawing methods and digital technologies to create innovative designs. 

Trend Forecasting is my other passion. This involves analysing key movements and trends both artistic and political to predict what we will be seeing in store within the coming years. This allows me to discover new concepts and ideas to work with which for me is the most exciting thing about being a designer. 

A. Do you prefer to shop on the high street/designer/charity shop?

R. I primarily shop on the high street (Zara and &otherstories are amazing for key, on trend pieces) but seek designer finds in thrift and charity shops. I like to keep a file of images from magazines, lookbooks and fashion history books that inspire my wardrobe. I buy key items for each season and pair them with existing garments I already have. I have lots of images of Victoria Beckham’s pre-fall 18 and Valentino’s A//W 2017/18 collections in my file at moment and am lusting over the colour combination of blush pink, terracotta and mauve. 

A. How would you class your style?

R. Classic and on Trend: one of the many advantages of being a trend forecaster. You’re unlikely to see me dressed the same as the crowds or in head to toe TopShop for example (although I do own a pair of those oh-so popular Stan Smiths... just too damn comfy). I spend a lot of time in London so channel classic YSL: a good black trouser and jacket but will jazz it up with a quirky pair of shoes (my absolute weakness). 

A. Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

R. Still designing and trend forecasting. I would also like to have expanded my concept design work and collaborate with artists from other areas of the arts such as choreographers and filmmakers. Also, I want to go back to university to get my Master of Arts in Textile Design and History of Art. 

A. If you suddenly came into money (say £5000) how would you spend it?

R. I am going to talk fashion here rather than all of the boring everyday bills and loans I could pay off. 

I would invest in a printed Valentino A//W 17/18 floor length coat. The prints remind me of David Hockey’s LA work and I haven’t been able to find a high street alternative this season. 

Or I would turn to Dior and their beautiful A//W 17/18 sheer gowns in stargazer print- grungy, elegant, beautiful.

A. What are your plans when you leave the Isles of Scilly?

R. In January I move to Vancouver, Canada for a few months. I will continue to freelance whilst exploring and capturing the beautiful landscape. I am on a hunt for #vancouverssecrets which I will document on my website ( that is launching soon. 

A. Will we see you back here again?

R. I holiday on Tresco every year so will definitely be back in September with my family. The Scilly’s are key inspiration for my collections so I come and explore the islands at least once a year to photograph, draw and write. 

A. What will be your abiding memory of your time here?

R. Apart from the luxury of waking up to, in my opinion, the most beautiful landscape in the world, it would have the be the people of Tresco. My biggest fear before moving out to the Scilly’s was if I would fit in with island life and make friends. The community made me so welcome that I am the happiest and most myself I have been for a number of years. The thought of leaving this amazing island with its equally amazing people is very sad, but I thank them for giving me the most incredible experience. 

A. What possession is most precious to you and why?

R. A letter my late father wrote to me inspiring me to live my life with love and optimism. 

Many thanks to Ruth for taking part in today's feature. I'll be following her with interest as this young lady will surely do well no matter what path she takes within the fashion world. 

No style conferring had gone on prior to our photo shoot, so it was quite funny when I met up with Ruth to see her sporting silver boots too. In the battle of the bargains however, I won! Mine were £5 from Primark and hers were £8 from TopShop. My jeans were from Zara in my Black Friday shopping spree. Silver jeans are exactly what you need when you're about to turn 60, don't you agree?

Before I sign off, I just want to acknowledge those amongst us who find this time of year a struggle. Whether you have painful memories of years gone by or are alone and feeling lonely it's not always easy to live up to the Christmas dream we're fed at every turn. A fellow blogger, Tamera Beardsley has posted an article giving some timely advice that may be helpful - see here.

Anyway folks, I'll take a few days off now and be back later in the week to show you my Christmas day outfit. I do hope you have a wonderful time catching up with family and friends. So let's eat, drink and be merry. Until next time -

Happy Christmas!

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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