Midweek monochrome

Midweek can sometimes be a bit blah for me clothes-wise. The start of the week usually prompts a surge of enthusiasm to find a fab outfit to set the right tone. Likewise, come Friday I have another boost at the thought of the weekend which acts to spur me on to delve deep and find something inspiring. But midweek is neither fish nor foul if you get my drift. However I've never worn this wonderful charity shop find before, even though I bought it during my autumn shopping spree. The jacket is from Planet and was a snip at a fiver. Five pounds could buy you a cup of tea and a sandwich and for the same money I've got this beautiful woollen jacket - wow!

I paired the jacket with my harem pants from TK Maxx, slipped a thin thermal top underneath (from M&S) and finished with my gorgeous wedges from Office. The rings are charity shopped, the gold chain was a gift and I'm wearing my old faithful sunnies by Quay Australia. 

I'm back from Harrogate, flushed with success from not only my business buying trip, but also from my personal shopping trip too. The Britishi Craft Trade Fair is where I find the design led gifts, jewellery and ceramics for the gallery as well as being a source of new talent from emerging artists who bring all sorts of novel ideas to the fore at these events. I never know what I'm going to find which is all part of the fun. See the full report here as well as the scoop on my purchases.

Linking with -
Laurie of Vanity And Me
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


All-day boots

Yes, you may well be surprised to learn that these high heeled boots are indeed comfortable enough to wear all day long, but no-one was more surprised than me! As I was gathering the elements of this outfit together, I knew I needed to wear boots as the weather was forecast to go downhill over the course of the day, ending with rain by mid-afternoon. After a bit of a rummage I remembered a couple of boot boxes at the bottom of my wardrobe and lo, here were these brand new beauties! The colour is perfect for the ensemble, but I can't for the life of me remember when I bought them or why they've never been worn. I seem to recall they came from TK Maxx, but goodness knows how many years ago that was. The fact is, when I tried them on, I had a true Cinderella moment as they fit perfectly!

Just as I'm thrusting my hand into my pockets here comes a frisky little sea breeze!

Hold tight!

I'm not a huge fan of brown, but by adding the yellow silk blouse and bright orange belt, I think the overall look is more effective than if I'd gone all tonal with creams and beige for instance. I know women who look so elegant and understated in that kind of brown/beige palette.  Personally, I use the impact of pattern clashing, bold colours, frills and generally flamboyant dressing to distract the eye from my short comings. I know we're none of us a good judge of ourselves, but it's all about playing to our strengths and I think I know mine. 

Today's outfit comprises - jacket by S'NOB, skirt (vintage) by Additions, blouse by Principles petite, boots by Ravel, belt and jewellery are charity shopped and handbag is by L Credi.

Anna x


Sunday - time to chill

Last Sunday (Mothering Sunday) we had glorious sunshine but also a brisk easterly wind. I decided to make the most of the bright day and took myself out for a walk in the hope of finding a good spot to take some photos. The daffodils are still out here, but many are past their best despite it only being March. We have such mild weather on the islands that our daffs are really far ahead of mainland blooms.

I've been shopping my closet for the past three months so nothing here is new. The jeans, blouse, fluffy top and rings are all charity shopped from last year or before. My boots are from ASOS and sunglasses are by Quay Australia. As you read this I hope to be zooming around the charity shops in Harrogate laden with bags after spending most of my days at the British Craft Trade Fair. I'll be taking away the obligatory empty bags to be filled with all my loot. Maybe by this time next week I'll be posting my spoils...

See you soon!
Anna x

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