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


Fins and face masks

Another Friday, another feature.

Thanks for swinging by again! Yes, Friday's are looking a bit different now that Dress Up Friday is over, but never mind, here's a dose of beach therapy for you instead. This shot was taken on Wednesday when I was trying out my new toys. Look a bit harder and you'll see them.

But before we talk about these glove fins, I thought I'd just mention that jazzy swimsuit of mine, bought from the Wiggle website. I buy all my swimwear from there as well as goggles, swimcap and anything else you can imagine. Here's the link to the same one

I tend to wear this longer kneeskin suit in the evenings when the beaches are a bit more busy. I'm not keen on flashing too much flesh and love the way this accentuates the positive while covering up the negative. Fiona and I are enjoying our after work swims, often challenging ourselves to swim further and faster than if we swam alone.

A fellow swimmer introduced me to these hand fins recently, raving about the difference they can make to both the speed and power of stroke. I bought mine on Amazon, but I suppose you could find them elsewhere. In fact, I don't know why I didn't look for them on Wiggle! Anyway, as Fiona can testify, they do make for a much more powerful stroke and have also helped me improve the pitch of entry for my hands on freestyle. Every time I wear them they improve my speed which in turn means that she too improves her speed as she works to keep up with me. The tables will be turned next week when hers arrive and I have to try even harder to catch up with her speedy gonzalez stroke!

This was taken on Pentle Bay when we swam from the south end to the north and back again. We reward our efforts with a hot flask of tea or in my case fresh lemon and honey - yum! It's a good way to wind down at the end of the day, giving us the chance to take in the view and congratulate ourselves on both the swim and the lifestyle we have here.

Yes, today it's Mask-up Friday and for me, although I've been wearing these at work since the 6th of July, this means another daily challenge to find the right mask to compliment the outfit of the day. I've been making my own for some time in both the snout shape and the pleated one. I won't pretend that they're comfortable, but as someone recently pointed out, if you don't like wearing a mask then you'll hate wearing a ventilator.

Initially I really struggled wearing the face covering, but the more I do, the more I have become acclimatised. My customers are wearing them, some in fabric and some are the disposable kind, but whichever, I'm grateful that they are. Together we're doing our bit to keep each other safe and with the other measures I take, hopefully my workplace has become a sanitary space for everyone. I had a visit from our local Environmental Health Officer today and felt very reassured that everything I'm doing is right and appropriate for this type of retail opportunity. 

My sister Dianne made four of this style of masks to start me off and I've been copying her template to make more. I'm also making the oblong, pleated version as some days it feels less restrictive, but maybe that also means less effective. Mask-Up Friday is headline news today, but soon it'll be the norm. 

Now I have masks as my newest accessory I'm finding the daily outfit choice is being led by the mask rather than the other way around. This weekend I hope to make a few more which might mean no matter what I wear, I'll always have the right mask to wear. 

And talking about matching ... Did you notice how beautifully my new fins matched my swimming cossie?

I'll be back on Monday with our end of month style challenge, so please don't miss it!

Anna x

Created by bo design