Bubble sleeves and scuba skirt


Happy Friday to you!

Yay, it's Friday and I'm ready for the weekend! What about you? It's been a busy week at work and now we've got storm Ellen blasting over the top of us. My photos were taken a little while ago which is just as well because the same view looks like this today -




Island life does mean that we really experience the full benefits of the weather, be it a wild storm like today or a wonderful sunny day. The big outdoors is only a step or a boat ride away and what a joy that is!




I've been delving into my wardrobe again, playing mix and match with skirts and tops, this time coming up with this old scuba skirt (from H&M) and adding the bubble sleeved top from TK Maxx (the brand is By Clara Paris). My silver and white sandals were a hand me down from my daughter (the brand is River Island).






The stretch and leather trim belt was a charity shop find and works a treat to pull the two separates together. The ribbed jersey top is quite thick and does bunch up just by the nature of the fabric, but I find that a snug belt adds a bit of smoothing and control. 






My black pair of Radley sunglasses work really well with the bubble top. See the pretty rose adornments close up here. Cute eh?




Both of my rings are charity shopped too. The rose one is particular favourite.




Weather permitting I'll be going to St Mary's tomorrow to have my hair cut and coloured. This will be the first time I've been since March. We've not had any boating for the past two days however due to the storm so I may not make my appointment. Wish me luck with that! In the meantime, here's a shot of the Gallery from a couple of minutes ago. I was in at work early this morning, but decided to leave when the spray started hitting the gallery windows. I didn't like the prospect of high tide still to come and even more water dashing against the building.




I'll be back on Monday with the Style Not Age Collective, so please do join me then.

Late edit! The Style Challenge is next Monday, the 31st! 

Anna x

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Summer pattern play


Hello again!

Great to see you again! This was my work outfit from the other day and as you can see it was all about that playful bit of fun called pattern mixing. Sometimes I like to clash my patterns, but this outfit was more about complimentary patterns and colours and how they work well when they have this common thread of lemon to tie them together. 




I'm having great fun shopping my closet, finding clothes that haven't been aired since last year. I've never worn these pieces together before and so this really is like a brand new outfit to me. I was very pleased with myself when this all came together - a new ensemble without shopping or spending a penny - hurrah! Who knew that being thrifty could look so good.




I bought the skirt in the Zara sale last year whilst in the shop in Oxford Street. I didn't have time to try it on and it's a tad small for the size on the label. I've been missing the odd meal, working late, swimming longer and faster on each outing and this is the pay off - I've dropped a few pounds and everything fits so much better. I have to revel in this fact now as I know how easy it'll be to drift in the other direction as winter descends.




The summer sandals are by Europen brand, a TK Maxx find from last year too. This neutral colour works with everything and goodness, they have a lovely squashy insole making them really all-day-long comfortable too!




My friend Fiona lives just around the corner from the Gallery and did the honours with my photos. It was just like the old days with Polly - lots of heckling and telling me to stop talking!




This jacket by Heyton is joyful piece. I love the 3/4 length sleeves, the tiny leaf pattern, the crisp clean colours and especially the overall quality of it. It'll be no surprise to you that I bought it from TK Maxx. The white vest top has an element of stretch to it and is also quite thick fabric. It was £3 in Topshop sale last summer - result! My resin and flowers necklace is an old piece that I've had for almost 20 years now. It's by Daisy Dunlop, a Cornish jeweller. I've just checked out her website and she's working in silver and gold now. My rings are pre-loved pieces and the sunglasses are by Quay Australia.




My oh my, haven't our lives changed so much in the past six months! Who'd have thought we'd all be making and wearing face masks? My sister made this one for me from a template she created. Here's a few things to keep in mind when you're buying or making a face mask - 
  • Make sure it's big enough for your features. I've got a long face with a big nose and some masks are simply too tiny to cover my nose, mouth and chin.
  • To be effective against the virus our masks need to be 4 layers thick. This one has two layers of interfacing as well as the inner and outer fabric. Government guidelines suggest 3 layers, but the scientists are recommending 4. 
  • The fabric needs to be a tightly woven non-stretch type, ie cotton or linen. If you have a stretchy jersey fabric one then they won't provide sufficient protection making them ineffectual. 
  • You need to be able to talk with it on. Again, some masks can be really pretty, but if they fall off your face when you talk then they're not providing you with the safety needed.
  • Wire across the top of the mask to tighten it over the bridge of the nose is essential. Without wire, when you talk the mask will simply slide down over the nose. I see this a lot with clients constantly readjusting their masks. 
  • The more you touch the mask, the more chance you have of introducing the virus onto its surface. Keep washing your hands and keep your hands off your mask. Again, this is a good reason to wear a well fitting mask.
  • Disposable masks can't be carried around in your pocket or handbag for days on end without becoming laden in bacteria. Medical masks are meant to be thrown away after use, not used as if they are fabric ones with a long life.
  • When taking the mask off, remove it by the loops to avoid contaminating the face covering.
  • You ought to wash your mask after one wear, that means daily. In other words, you're going to need more than one mask for the forthcoming months so that you've always got a clean one. 


I've got some fabric that may also match this jacket and plan to make another mask or two this weekend. 




Running the Gallery alone is proving to be both challenging and rewarding. I'm working longer hours, but finding that the job satisfaction is greater as every time I sell a painting it's through my own efforts. The appointment system means that I take only two clients at a time for half hour sessions. This really is personal service, giving me time to share stories about each painting and the artist who created them. 




I sold this pair of paintings the other day. Created by artist Rosemary Trestini, they do look stunning together, but were actually painted some 12 months apart with no cross referencing to each other. The client had requested to view all of the work I held by this artist and we moved them around, rotating them to see which looked best as stand alone pieces and together. On placing these two side by side we both witnessed a little bit of magic as it was like a beautiful homecoming for them. They truly look like they ought to be together and within a minute the client had decided she must have both.  It's such a joy to make this happen. We all deserve beauty in our lives and if I can find the right thing, be it a vase or a necklace, a sketchbook or a fabulous oil painting, I'm thrilled to be part of the process.




                                                                                     Anna x

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My signature colour - July's Style Not Age challenge


Welcome to another Style Not Age challenge!

Suddenly it's the last Monday in July and time for this month's style challenge. Where has this month gone? Since returning to work three weeks ago I've fallen back into that crazy headless chicken mode again. In fact, it's as if I never had all of those months on furlough, getting on top of chores and making home a place of order, tidiness and calm. Now it's back to the chaos that seems to come with normal working life. But hey, let's focus on the challenge of the month - My Signature Colour. As you can see I have opted for a veritable rainbow of colours as I have no single one that is my signature. We'll have a closer look at the outfit in a minute, but first let's check out the rest of the Style collective to see what colours they chose.




Jacqui from Mummabstylish is bit like me, not able to choose only one colour, instead she's opted for this pretty pink and blue patchwork dress that she picked up in the Next sale.




Style Splash's Emma is a big fan of red and is sporting this fabulous creation by Dark Pink from Asos with co-ordinating shoes from M&S.




Blogger Gail from Is This Mutton has chosen lilac as her favourite colour and how very flattering it is! I do love the pink accessories too Gail. 




Hilda says orange/red is her colour and this looks stunning on her. She's recently had her hair coloured and it, and she, look great. Catch up with Hilda on her blog Over The Hilda.




I'm never happier than when I'm wearing bright colours and this look has it all! The Jaeger skirt is a vintage piece, pre-loved of course and a much loved favourite of mine. 




The net underskirt gives body to the skirt and add that bit of pizzazz that I so love. There's nothing understated about this outfit today, but sometimes I'm just larger than life!




The white ruffle blouse is by Jovonna, a find from TK Maxx last year and perfect for this over the top bit of dressing up. 




Much as I think the skirt and pop art shoes are perfect together...




... by adding this handbag it takes the outfit to a whole other level. It's pure riotous assembly in colour and yes, represents my signature style colourwise. 




The handbag has no label and is a charity shop find from my November shopping trip in London with my friend Ben. My rings are both charity shopped too.




A show-off outfit deserves show-off sunglasses and these old favourites are just the job! In case you've missed them before, the brand is Quay Australia.




Steve and I had an interesting time when we did this photo shoot last weekend. Within a minute of leaving the house (which is actually exactly here in this photo) the heel of my shoe came apart from the sole. In true the show must go on style, Steve bashed said heel and squeezed it back into place so that I could walk about (albeit gingerly) for the shots.




The heel came off the other shoe almost a year ago so I posted it to the cobblers in Truro to have it mended. And then when it came back, a funny thing happened. I had lost its partner. As it sat on a book shelf during the winter I kept looking at this beautiful solitary shoe mocking me for having paid £30 to have it repaired and now it seemed that it would forever be a showcase piece with its wearing days a thing of the past. I even put it out of the way at one point, annoyed at my stupidity. I questioned the chain of events. Had I just thrown the partner away when the shoe broke as I was appalled at the quote to have it repaired? The shoes had cost me £8.50 in a charity shop in Harrogate, worn only once before and now it'd cost me £30 to have it fixed? Yes, clearly I'd been so cross that I'd chucked the other one away in disgust. From time to time throughout the winter I'd come across the single shoe and get all excited that I'd found the other one. Only it wasn't! And then when I was unfurloughed I was digging through a pile of boxes at work and hey presto! The partner was in a shoebox under some files. So here's another £30 gone as I have this one repaired too. Man these shoes aren't quite the bargain I thought they were!

                                                                                   Anna x

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Weekend casual wear


Hi there!

So how was your weekend? Did you rejoin the workforce on Saturday? After a week of preparation the Gallery re-opens for business today, giving my life structure and that much needed definition between work and play. This outfit surely falls into the play category, although I suppose I could add some wedge sandals and maybe swap the jeans for tailored trousers to give it a smarter look. The tiered smock top with a gift from a friend and was a joyful find when I did my wardrobe changeover in the spring. The pre-loved jeans are by Next.




The outfit screams playful and fun.










I've just discovered the joy of the hairband as the perfect ploy for unruly hair. I borrowed this one from Sasha to see if I liked it. I do, and have since bought a few to keep me going. I'm letting my hair grow for the moment, but am sure I'll get to the stage when I want to have a proper hairstyle again. Have you high-tailed it to the hairdresser yet? Gosh, I bet they'll be busy now! My retro style Quay Australia sunglasses were from Topshop last year. Funky eh? Click on the Quay link above for a buy one, get one free offer on currently!




The chunky ring was from TK Maxx (old) and the gemstone one is a charity shop piece.




The colourful beaded sandals were from New Look (old).




I love the delicate beadwork on this crepe smock, particularly on the shoulder area - it makes for an interesting feature.  You'll notice that the lichen on the rocks is echoes the same shade as the top. I only had to step across the road from home to find this perfect backdrop! 

I'll leave you with a couple of shots from home. The moonlight one was taken from my bathroom window a couple of weeks ago. 






The black swans are our new local celebrities, moving from island to island to be featured on everyone's social media platforms. Seemingly we had a dolphin swimming between the islands last week too! And talking of local celebrities, my husband and son were featured on TV last week. Steve and Jamie work together maintaining the landscape on the island of Tresco which was one of the areas included on the Devon and Cornwall programme. Click on the link to see these lovely handsome chappies at work.


Have a great week and keep safe!

Anna x

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Hurrah for Dress Up Friday!


Hi there!

Yes, it's that time of the week again! Is it a sign of my age that it always seems to be Friday? The days continue to rush past me with the sudden realisation that it's Friday once again. I recall my mother-in-law saying something very similar decades ago and I always used to be puzzled by the comment, and here I am now, finding the same thing. Anyway, it's Friday and I'm all dolled up for another sashaying session. 




The sunshine dodged in and out from behind the clouds making for interesting tonal variations with each shot of this bubblegum pink dress. I love the deep frill which creates a super swish and flirtiness to this Polo Ralph Lauren dress which was a TK Maxx purchase ages ago. The round neck and sleeveless figure-skimming fit would be classed as a shift dress were it not for the audacious frill. Oh yes, the frill makes it!




If you remember this brooch pile jacket then congratulations to you for being a long-term reader - it was 2016 when I last featured it here. I toyed with the idea of wearing my grey fringed cowboy jacket with this dress, but I think it fell into that dreaded category of Mutton dressed as lamb! The 30 year old that resides in me constantly clamours for a fun and flirty look, but thankfully I still have a cringe radar that sounds when I'm too close to the edge of ridiculous. The Gap denim jacket was a charity shop buy and remains adorned with brooches which I still add and subtract depending on recent finds. The sunglasses are from Sainsburys, again many moons ago and the rings are both pre-loved.




Flashing too much thigh for a bird of my age, but heck, so what!






The two tone suede heels are more pink and red than the burnt orange this shows. Needless to say, these aren't work shoes, but are too pretty not to pair up with this fabulous frock. I bought them from River Island some years ago, but they don't get out much (surprise, surprise!) apart from the odd airing on an exhibition night. 






If you want to check out the other participants of Dress Up Friday then check out the link here. I fancy that by this time next week I'll be back at work, but plan to keep on posting this Friday feature, so please swing by to see what I've been up to. In the meantime, I'm searching for another work outfit to showcase on Monday, so maybe see you then?


Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely weekend!

Anna x

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