Weekend wear

Yay, here comes the weekend!

The weather has changed dramatically again from the lovely spring days of last week to the Westerly gales bringing not just rain but also hail, blasting us here in the Southwest over the past few days. Different weather means different outfits too! It's funny how even during lockdown I've still punctuated my days with weekend wear being a tad more relaxed. This all black look is a bit different for me and was actually my alternative outfit for a recent faux leather challenge - see what I opted for here

The black longer length hoodie is another new piece never shown before. It's by DKNY Sport and was a joyful find in TK Maxx a couple of years ago for the ridiculous price of £8. The fabric is a lovely soft velour with the DKNY logo in tiny print across the whole fabric. The kangaroo pouch pocket is great for stashing all sorts of random bits and pieces or just for slouchy hands.

The faux leather biker jeans are by H&M and are years old now, goodness knows how many. I love the heavy duty knee patches on them which just add a bit of extra interest to what would otherwise just be black jeans. The floral boots are from Primark and were a hand-me-down from my daughter. I seem to have worn them lots this winter without them making it onto the blog. Sorted now!

This carefree pose belies the fact that I'm having a bit of a wobble about returning to work. I think I've become institutionalised during these long weeks at home. What seemed like lots of time to do deep cleaning, de-junking, in-depth admin and shredding of paperwork never mind that glorious sewing project, and daily swimming and even walking - what happened?! I've only achieved a fraction of what I had planned. Oh, I've loved being at home! 

As my start back day rattles wildly towards me, I'm going to use that knowledge to settle down and get some stuff done. I know, I know, I know - I'll be fine when the time comes to be a Gallery Manager again. I just want to finish some bits and bobs before the madness of another season hits me.

Anyway, enough of that! What do you think about these fab rings? Both metal; one silver and the other a black metal finish but looking like perfect partners. I found them in charity shops (of course), one in Truro and the other in Harrogate. My old faithful sunglasses are from (all together now) Quay Australia. The silver necklace is from Melissa James jewellery.

At the moment the whole island of Tresco is gearing up to re-opening. In a month's time we should all be ready for the big welcome back to our guests. So, in the meantime I'd better knuckle down and get some more of my to-do list done. What about you? Will you be going back to work or staying at home? Have you enjoyed lock-down or are you chomping at the bit to return to normality? Please share, I'd love to hear how it's been for you.

                                                                                              Anna x


Pattern play on a bright winter's day

Hi there! How's your week going? I've been having a root through my wardrobe to bring out some pieces that deserve a bit of an airing again. There's nothing new here, but that doesn't mean it's not a joy to wear. These sunny colours are just right for a bright winter's day. I took a walk across to the other side of the island and found this little corner out of the wind to set up my tripod for these shots.

I do love a bit of pattern play. The floral trousers were from TK Maxx ages ago (what a delight to find they still fit, especially after the other day when I was bemoaning my rounded tum). The striped top was a sale item from Topshop, back in 2019 I think. And the gold moleskin jacket was from TK Maxx around the same time. 

January is a great month to apply oneself to mixing and matching old items rather than fall prey to the January sales. Take some time to bring pieces together, trying on as you go. I've made some surprising discoveries that way. At the moment I have a vintage pair of flares in tan leather begging to be worn. I put about six different tops out on the bed, some of which still haven't been shown on the blog. By trying them on and mixing these around I've created a great new outfit out of second hand pieces that really reflect my personality so much more than high street clothes ever could. I'll feature that one soon...

I bought the necklace from Topshop at the same time as I bought the sweater, both pieces together cost me £20, result! The two citrine rings were gifted to me by Gemporia way back in 2017 - see that post here. I've just noticed that I have a shopping list written on the back of my hand here - how very glam!

The mock croc silver boots were in the Primark sale for a fiver, ages ago. 

Regular visitors to Tresco will recognise the house behind me here, Nautilus. I was lucky enough to spend the weekend there three years ago as we celebrated my 60th birthday. We had a wonderful time, especially when the family turned up on the way to my ABBA party. If you missed that post you can see it here. 

And talking of birthday's, it's my 63rd on Sunday. I've already taken the photos and do hope you'll join me for that colourful feature. We're lucky enough to have the family around us currently so my day looks like it'll be a good one!

                                                                                       Anna x


Cashmere luxury from The Cashmere Specialist

Hello lovelies! I'm so happy to be back firing on all cylinders again. And not only back, but enjoying the opportunity to share details of my new cashmere polo neck courtesy of The Cashmere Specialist. I've been gifted a couple of beautiful items from the Slovakian company, but the review is mine, all my own words and my honest opinion of the goods.

I chose this vibrant fine yarn sweater mainly for the colour (Lapis blue - find it here). I'm all about colour after all. A cashmere polo neck is the ultimate luxury item for the winter and this one is a lovely fit. I like the slimline shape for a sleek outline. I referred to the size chart to check my measurements and opted for the medium which is a perfect fit. I hate to wear wide sweaters as they make me look very square and do like this one for that reason. The smooth, soft yarn is comfortable against the skin without the need of a layer underneath and the tight ribbed neck is perfect for trapping the body's heat to keep toasty warm - it's also very good at disguising my turkey neck! 

The Cashmere Specialist is family run company, trading online only. Quality is their prime concern from sourcing the wool to production across their entire range, whether it's 100% cashmere or the cashmere and cotton range, cashmere and silk or Alpaca range. Luxury items don't come cheap, but the brand offers high quality, which means that these are not only soft, warm and comfortable, but durable and long lasting too. I hand wash my cashmere in a specialist liquid in warm, not hot water and always dry my sweaters flat on a towel to maintain the shape and keep them colourfast.  This jewel bright blue deserves to be kept as vibrant as ever!

Raglan shaping and deep ribbed cuffs and hem are a classic design, ensuring a great finish. The smooth two ply yarn is a real plus in my opinion. I have quite a few cashmere sweaters from other brands that use a fluffy wool  and initially this fluffiness always seems to have a great appeal - oh how cuddly soft they are, just like a teddy bear! However, inevitably over time, the fluff results in piling and bobbling resulting in a sweater that has to be relegated to at home wear. I even bought one of those cashmere mini combs, but all they do is cut off the lumps and bumps leaving you with a thinner patch underneath. 

And here's the rundown of the rest of the outfit: skirt and two-tone brogues are by Boden, but are very old indeed. Rings are pre-loved, tights are ancient and sunglasses are by Quay Australia. Many thanks to Fiona for giving up her lunchtime to take the photos. 

This zingy yellow snood (find it here) is my second gift, and what a fab burst of sunshine it is! Again, I chose a bright colour as another anitdote to the dark winter months ahead. But on a more practical note, the snood acts as a barrier against the cold and also as an effective heat trap to stop the body's warmth escaping. Easier to wear than a scarf, the smooth yarn doesn't itch and is also fine enough not to add too much bulk around the neck either. 

I'm hoping that the yellow snood perks up this offering, which on reflection may be a tad too much brown for my liking. I fancy that I may be less bold in my outfit choices since I've emerged from my poorly time at home. I'll have to scour through my wardrobe to find something a bit more inspirational for my next post. There - I've thrown down the gauntlet to myself style-wise and let's hope I can come up with something worthy. The details however are: trench by Topshop (pre-loved), jeans by Curve Appeal from TK Maxx, striped sweater from Topshop, boots from Primark, sunglasses are by Radley - none of this is new. 

What I've failed to mention this far is the fact that I have a discount code for The Cashmere Specialist - if you order anything from the website between now and the 2nd of December you can claim a 10% discount simply by quoting ANNA10 in your order. 

Do please take a moment to browse through their website - it's a veritable cornucopia of knitwear for both women and men in a wonderful array of yarns and colours. They do a great line in accessories too which may help with your Christmas wish list!

                                                                          Anna x


Spring greens with the Style Not Age Collective

Hello and welcome to another challenge from the Style Not Age Collective! Jacqui has opted for the theme of Spring Greens this time which does seem to have had the desired effect by fast forwarding us into some lovely springtime weather. Hurrah for that and let's see how Jacqui has tackled the challenge herself ...

It does indeed look like spring has taken hold where she lives too. Her dress is from Next and just in case you hadn't noticed, Jacqui's new eating regime means that she's fading away before our very eyes, helping her to drop a size. What a great excuse to have a new wardrobe Jacqui! Do pop over to see her post on Mummabstylish.

Hilda is showcasing this fab green coat from Zara with faux leather jeans in her springtime setting. She's waxing lyrical about the delights of spring on her blog Over The Hilda so do swing by to find her inspiration.

Another green coat this time from Laura Ashley for Emma of Style Splash. Her yellow courts and that cute daffodil brooch are both perfect tie-in's for the spring theme too.

I must admit that I had to rummage around in my wardrobe to find some green of any sort. I soon discovered that even though I like the colour, I don't actually  own many green pieces - note to self to remedy that at the soonest possible opportunity! This skirt is one I bought from eBay a few years ago. I haven't worn it much due to the fact that the lining around the bottom edge seemed to be too tight and to pucker the line of the skirt. I expect that's why it ended up on eBay. After a couple of attempts at repairing it I finally resorted to separating the lining and skirt completely and et viola, it worked!

It was easy to pull the rest of the look together once I'd fixed the skirt. The spring theme was echoed perfectly in both the M&S blouse and my floral Primark boots. I picked out the blue from the boots to choose tights and all that was left was to find a jacket. This yellow tweed Chanel type jacket was a charity shop find. If there are any of you readers who've been with me from the start, you'll have seen this jacket and skirt paired up four years ago in this post here. I'm pleased to see that I still have a love for this combination some years on. 

The rings are both pre-loved and seen regularly on the blog - I do like these large gobstopper kind of rings for adding a bit of extra colour to an outfit.

These sock boots are sooooo comfortable, a dream to wear all day long. 

The backdrop for this shoot was chosen by Sasha - perfect spring greens don't you think?

My old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia, as usual. 

So that just about winds it all up for another month. Did you enjoy the challenge? Does it inspire you to search out your own version of Spring Greens? I do hope so. Please take a moment to visit the other ladies on their blogs to read their back stories.  I'll be back later on this week with ...? Goodness knows what! I'm sure I'll find something to share with you. Thanks for joining us again this month and I hope you'll be back soon.

                                                                                          Anna x


Do your own thing!

I'm a little late posting this week due to having a nasty tummy bug since Monday. I'm on the mend now, weak as a kitten, but no longer lying prone which is progress. Being forced to stop is no bad thing sometimes, although this wasn't exactly stopping if you get what I mean. As I was resting this morning I read an article in a recent You Magazine about Lorraine Kelly and her quote really resonated with me - maybe with you too?

You Magazine 15th April 2018

I bet we all feel an affinity with this wonderful lady who has become a household name. As a fellow Scot I feel proud that this lovely lass rose from the provinces to take London by storm, ending up wearing the crown of breakfast TV, all the while remaining grounded and reassuringly ordinary. I agree with Lorraine when she says, " One of the few consolations of growing older is that you have far more self-confidence than when you were young."

Take the following outfit - 

In my formative years I read in Jackie magazine (the style bible for my teenage years) that only the most flat chested Twiggy-esque types could wear smock dresses/coats. I took this to heart as my own chest blossomed beyond the reach of this particular fashion. Even now as an assertive, self possessed woman I still carry all these rules around with me when I go shopping. But lately I thank goodness for being able to counter these style restrictions with the "who gives a damn?" of maturity.

There were so many features that attracted me to this duster coat/swing coat when I found it in Harrogate recently - the checked pattern, the colourway, the darling pleated hem, the bow-tied sleeves, the patch pockets - all of which countered the fact that it was a smock coat. I'm not what you'd call busty, but the fabric falling from the bust can only make you look bigger and vanity usually gets the better of me, however in this case this entirety won me over. 

And thank goodness for that, cos isn't it just the sweetest thing ever!

I had thought that this was a vintage find, but like my dear blogging friend Sheila I took a moment to research the label and found that it's an American brand and is the sister company to Fovever21. And it's a scoop at £15!

No matter how I tried I couldn't get the big hair and big coat to swing in the same direction!

As you can see I've totally embraced the whole smock thing here with the empire line top by Cameo Rose (preloved). I used the cream tone of the lace to inform my choice of trousers; the F&F wide legged crops were in the autumn sale last year for £5. And the shoe boots were an obvious when I picked up the coat - yellow and blue in checks and florals - of course they go!

Today's jewellery is all preloved although the sunglasses are new from Quay Australia.

And to finish off I'd love to have my soundtrack for this post from my favourite artist Paloma Faith. The track is called "Make your own kind of music" see here. The remake of the hit by Mama Cass is perfect for those of us who appreciate an anthem on our journey of self expression. Until next time ...

Anna x


It's show time!

Easter weekend is generally when we kick off the season with our first exhibition of the year, and this year is no different. On Good Friday Polly and I worked late, stripping the gallery and rehanging with brand new works commissioned for the show. You can see the entire collection online.

Another thing that doesn't change from one year to the next, is the last minute flurry as I try to find the perfect outfit for the occasion. The sunshine belies the very cold temperature thanks to a chilly north wind which just added to my stress. 

"Give us a twirl" demanded Polly, but the camera couldn't quite keep up with my moves. I wanted to include it anyway as it shows the mood and movement despite the lack of my camera's technical abilities.

The dress has been showcased on a previous opening night, but not with these boots. The kitten heel sock boots are from Primark and I seem to recall that they were only about £15. I added an extra petticoat to counter the static that had built up during my wardrobe malfunction. 

And what one was that, you may ask? With only five minutes to spare, I decided that my frock did indeed need an iron despite it's crinkled effect and so I attempted to iron the skirt part whilst I was still wearing it! Please don't try this at home!!!! The result was that I could barely remove the wrinkles and also it just created a whole load of static. A lightweight net underskirt did at least douse things down.

For those of who haven't succumbed to the charms of the sock boot already, may I just tell you that the combination of kitten heel and soft fabric plus gentle grip around the ankle all go to make for an incredibly comfortable boot. At the last count I seem to have four pairs, but I don't think that's the end of it by any means.

For once I'm not sporting any charity shop jewellery - the pendant is by Vivienne Westwood, the citrine solitaire is c/o Gemporia and the other citrine ring was a purchase in an airport terminal somewhere. 

The evening was a runaway success, so much so that we had no time to capture the support team as they and I were working right up to the last minute. My thank-you shot of the group may be missing but my thanks still go to Polly, Hannah and Connor for making everything run smoothly. While the youngsters went off to party I stayed late and packed up paintings ready for despatch first thing in the morning. And that I'd say, was pretty much as it should be.

On Friday I leave the island to travel north to Harrogate for my annual buying trip. Please do drop in again on Sunday though, as I plan to post my outfit of the day that I'll be wearing. In the meantime, have a great week and I'll catch up with you again on Sunday!

Anna x

Created by bo design