Friday, 27 April 2012

Mollie maths + crown jewels

Hello again! I've finally got round to posting about a few bits and pieces and I've bought over the last month or so. I had thought I'd wait until there was actually some light available, but as it looks like we're in for Biblical rain for at least another week, I've either used the original eBay photos or just photographed them anyway in the brief seconds where the sun peeked through the cloud hanging over London.

Given the fact that I've been hibernating on the sofa again, eBay was obviously the destination of choice, although I bought these vintage boots back when it was still warm, thinking I'd get use out of them later in the year. They've been worn loads the last couple of weeks, as they're fleece lined and also waterproof. They're comfy too, and easy to walk in. Win. They cost £15, and I paid for them by eBaying the launch issue of Mollie Makes - yes, the one with the infamous crocheted apple cosies. I got £20 for it, and as it had 25 watchers - and I've seen issue 2 go on a Buy it Now for £28.99 (!) - the Mollie madness clearly hasn't abated yet!

 =+ £5.00

Independent tests have shown that Mollie Makes does not perform well in puddles

Ages ago I took this photo at vintage sellers Birdy Num Num's stall at some event or other - I was quite taken with the crown brooches, and thought they'd look good against a denim jacket. However I decided £12 was a bit pricey for costume jewellery and just snapped a picture to remind myself to look out for something similar.

Anyway, with the Jubilee this year I guess people are digging out anything royalty related, and I bought this with the extra fiver from the Mollie Makes sale.

Vintage brooch c1960s

 It was listed simply as 'Crown Shaped Brooch', condition vintage, 35mm. It's signed 'Bellini' on the reverse - an American company - and just out of interest I did a little search to see what it brought up if you include the maker's name. Want one like mine but in royal blue? Yours for just $300.00 For 185 quid I'd like those rhinestones to be real sapphires please! And I'm a bit confused as to how the condition can be described as 'mint' when the seller goes on to point out a missing stone. Mine really is mint though, so I'm open to offers...

Somehow I'm guessing my brooch isn't really worth a king's ransom - but there are also red and topaz versions on sale for up to £50. So it was still a good buy, and kind of justifies my splurge last week on these earrings - also from eBay. Boy2 calls them my 'flying saucer earrings' and has decided they're inhabited by aliens.

Signed silver and black opal vintage earrings

In Edinburgh we mainly did touristy things - the charity shops on the Royal Mile really did have royally inflated prices - but I did very briefly pop into Armstrong's vintage shop, as several of you recommended it. Definitely one to explore with more time and without small boys, but I did grab this German leather patchwork bag.

I also need to show off the amazing bag that the lovely Emma of Ivy Black Chat made and I won in her blog giveaway. Isn't she clever? It used to be a Primark dress but is far more fabulous in its new incarnation as it's now a complete one of a kind. I love it but it's sadly been too wet to use it much recently:

Once again I seem to have managed to buy accessories and still don't have much in the way of a functional wardrobe - although I am trying and also got jeans and two tops earlier in the week. Oh, and a policeman's outfit with a foam walkie talkie, although that was for Boy2. I got this slightly bonkers necklace as well, although I was thinking of LaSophia when I picked it up. If you haven't seem her blog, go and check it out. She's a gorgeous Mexican mama to be, living in sunny Sacramento, and always has great outfit posts. Let me know if you want the crazy necklace Sophia!

And finally, talking of buying things for other bloggers, thanks to everyone who has signed up to Faith Hope and Charity Swapping this year! I'm so pleased to hear that so many people have made new friends through the previous swaps. There are loads of people once again, from all over - I'm checking out blogs and beginning to pair everyone up, so apologies if I've not commented for a while. I'll be checking out what everyone's been up to this evening. If you want to get involved and get a fantastic parcel from another blogger - then there's still time to sign up. Click HERE for the rules and to add your name.

Lakota x

This post is shared at Her Library Adventures

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Frog Princess

Did you read Lucy's recent post about self-esteem and body image? Krista then followed up with her own honest piece about her reasons for having breast enhancement surgery some years ago. In Krista's case, it was her then boyfriend who triggered the onset of feeling less comfortable with her appearance. Lucy suggests that we seem to have an innate ability to remember and extrapolate 'truth' from a single negative comment, whereas any number of compliments are instantly forgotten, or dismissed as mere politeness. Krista's response to one comment from her ex would seem to bear this out.

I also agree that despite many many opinion pieces on the subject - and the very existence of the vile misogynistic rag which is the Daily Mail "Look! This woman has aged in the 30 years since she made that film where she looked sexy! Let's ridicule her!"- the blame for my own vacillating self esteem cannot be placed at the feet of the media. I'm not an idiot, and thankfully not in the public eye. Whilst I'm aware that my pasty pins would look infinitely better with a tan, I have never felt the urge to sport a complexion which is   two parts Tango to three parts Ronseal. And I think we're all aware by now that magazines and ad agencies use and abuse Photoshop in their cover girl hatchet jobs. Some are beyond ridiculous -  the people at Ralph Lauren are obviously so inured to his own er, individual look, that a model's hair being twice the width of her waist could be overlooked with ease:

whereas others do take a second glance. I have no idea who Mariska Hargitay is, but I'm pretty sure she's a beautiful woman, who doesn't actually have the proportions of a Blythe doll reflected in a fun-house mirror: 

No, I don't blame the media. I occasionally succumb to the glossy lure of Grazia when I'm in Tescos and the kids are nagging for some over-priced kids mag with a shabby plastic toy on the front, but I always regret it afterwards. Not because I'm sobbing at the fact I'll never look like Cheryl Cole, but because the cover story is such a non-event. 'My new body' exclusives are beyond tedious at the best of times [we get it, you used your millions to pay for a personal trainer, or you got lipo. Yawn] but this isn't even a story of flab to fab. This is the same thin famous woman, continuing to look famous and thin. Just in a different outfit. If I'd bought this, I'd only have my own defective reasoning abilities to blame.

 I'm not denying that Cheryl has a 'killer body' in the main photograph,
but she appears have exactly the same one in the inset picture. Surely she got 'from this, to THIS' merely by taking her T-shirt off and swapping her trousers for some leopard print knickers?
THERE'S NOTHING DIFFERENT ABOUT HER!'s mock-up of 'the perfect woman', having asked shoppers about their most admired parts of female celebrities. "She has Angelina Jolie’s pillow lips, Megan Fox’s perfectly shaped eyebrows and The Duchess of Cambridge’s long glossy hair". She also has a neck to rival the Karen hill-tribe 'giraffe' women of Thailand, but strangely that's not mentioned... 

So who do I blame, if not these ludicrous magazines or societal pressure? It's my children. Seriously. Is it not enough that pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding wreak all kinds of havoc on your hitherto peachy body? Apparently not. I wouldn't mind, but mine also feel the need to point out the damage they’ve inflicted. Yeah, you supermodels or new mummy bloggers can describe your c-section scars or stretch marks as ‘badges of honour’ as much as you like, but you’re not fooling me.  After 36 hours of labour and emergency abdominal surgery I didn’t want a badge of honour. I wanted a fucking medal and 3 weeks in the Caribbean to recuperate. And now I’d like a boob-lift and a bottom which isn’t like a ‘wibble wobble jelly’ please. [direct quote from Boy2. Although whilst we were in Scotland he appeared as I was getting dressed and had apparently changed his diagnosis. Instead, my bottom was "very wrinkly. Like because you've been in the bath". I hadn't. I think I preferred his original opinion]

Yes, whilst I’ve somehow managed to spawn children with the looks of Botticelli cherubs – they’re not even adopted – regrettably they possess a level of tact somewhere between Simon Cowell and Janice Dickinson from America's Next Top Model.  Once you become a mother, the mere act of singing in the shower – once a simple pleasure, tolerated by an indulgent boyfriend –  is now likely to be punctuated by a small child observing you critically through the curtain and saying something like “Are you doing a wee Mummy? It looks like it. You’re making my ears hurt. I need to do a poo”.  On one memorable occasion I was asked "is your willy poking out?” When I replied in the negative and explained that girls and ladies didn’t have willies, he replied triumphantly – “Just balls!”.

Hmm, which would you say was wobblier? Mummy's bottom or dessert?

And don't think it's just my post-baby body which comes under scrutiny. When their gimlet gaze is lifted from my nether regions for a moment, I am treated to reminders about my need to buy pore-minimising cream "Your nose has little holes" and to keep up with a more regular schedule of depilation "You're all prickly!". At least my boobs are deemed "nice and fat", which I think is a compliment. Though Grandad was less pleased when his were noted.

Oh, but there was the time that Boy2 turned to me and said, "You look beautiful Mummy". I preened a little and began to thank him, whereupon he finished "Beautiful as a frog!". I guess to a three year old that could be considered high praise - I do get a lot of kisses after all.


Do you have any children in your life? Are you the Princess or the frog in theirs?

Lakota x

Don't forget to sign up for the third Faith Hope and Charity Swap - Jubilee year Special! Loads of people have joined up already - and it's open all over the world.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Faith Hope & Charity Swapping 2012 - Jubilee Special! Sign up Now

Please see badge on sidebar

Greetings subjects! 

It's that time of year again, where I dust off my spreadsheet and send you all off foraging for guilt free treats at charity shops, car boot sales, swap meets and other places you thrifty commoners love. Yes, it's the first 2012 Faith Hope and Charity Swap - and this Summer I thought it would be fun to do a Jubilee theme. Don't worry if you're not a fan of Queenie and her chinless descendants, the theme can be interpreted as loosely as you like. Think red, white and blue, diamonds (or their costume jewellery cousins), crowns, Britannia...

Whether you were here for the inaugural swap or this will be your first, I'd love you to get involved. Just sign up in the comments. I will keep sign up open for month, so please display the badge in your sidebar with a link to this page so others can get involved - I want as many people to get the chance to join in as possible, but to do this I need to match people in the same part of the world. 

Those of you who've taken part before will know the drill - but if you need a reminder or haven't played until now, here's a quick run-down of the rules, with the newly added jubilee twist.

* You need a blog to join in, and you must have updated in the last month - sorry, but this makes it a little easier for your swap partner, and hopefully ensures you're serious about taking part. If you have had problems in a previous swap, please let me know (privately)
* As usual, you need to send your swap partner a minimum of three items, maximum of five.
* At least one item should be thrifted/second hand - if everything is, great! 
* At least one item should be handmade - whether made by your own fair hands or bought from Etsy/local craft fair etc.
* This time - at least one item must fit the jubilee theme somehow. If your swap partner is a rampant republican/anarchist, that's fine - you can twist the theme to fit!
* No minimum spend, maximum £12.00, or the equivalent in your local currency. (this doesn't include postage, so remember you'll have to post your parcel too)
* Swap to be completed by 7th July or as otherwise arranged with your partner (if this interferes with holidays etc)

Sign up below - I'll keep it open until May 10th and then get on with assigning partners. I'll try to ensure that everyone gets to take part, but it does depend on whether I can find a local partner. If you're willing to post internationally, please let me know.

Lakota x

Edit: A few people have asked how to add a badge - there may be easier ways but I've always found this to work using blogger.

Right click on the picture you want, then either save to your computer, or copy the picture url. My badge url is below:

Go to layout - then 'add a gadget' - then 'add a picture' - then either upload the picture or copy in the url
The add a link so it goes to this page - in this case the link is below:

The click save and you're done!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Earrings. I made EARRINGS!

Hello! I've just got back from Edinburgh, and apparently my absence from the internet meant it stopped working - I always thought this might in fact be the case, trees falling in the forest and all that. Anyway, here's a post which was scheduled to be published while I was away, and er, didn't. 

You might remember that I put 'learn to make some proper jewellery' on my Spring resolutions list, and as is so often the way with lists, I decided to get going on the most appealing task straight away. [And by 'proper', I meant not held together with glue or made out of lego]. Over the years I must have spent a king's ransom on jewellery bits and pieces - particularly earrings - so I don't know why it's taken me so long to get around to buying the correct equipment and having a go myself. As well as admiring Charis's upcycled jewellery, and Emma's stunning creations using semi-precious stones, I've been looking at my existing earring collection and trying to figure out how they were made. Here's a few of my efforts so far:

Purple and blue glass 

Silver filigree and midnight blue sparkle beads
I made these from a bracelet I didn't really wear.

Stripes! These go so well with a monochrome outfit

Hippy love - these glass seed beads are so cute

What do you reckon? Next on the list to attempt are boho feather earrings and beaded wire hoops. My earring display is going to be full up soon - I may never buy jewellery again!*

Some 'non-proper' jewellery attempts

Lakota x

*ok, so this won't happen.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter*

   *Hope the Easter Bunny brought you chocolate and not a bedwetting problem and lifetime of therapy like this poor child. 

Check out her rictus grin of terror and the sheer evil in his icy blue eyes.

More Easter horror here.

Lakota x

Friday, 6 April 2012

Spring resolutions and life lists

Despite my somewhat derisive post back in January about New year's resolutions, the fact remains that I am a girl who loves a list. I always have a notebook with me, and in addition to ideas for the blog, and random lyrics I've scribbled down so I can google them later and find out the name of the song, there'll invariably be a page that looks something like this:

 milk, bread, tomatoes, flour
pay in cheque
Easter bonnets - chicks - Poundland?
library books back
use up squishy bananas - cake?
PTA meeting - 7.30
New baby present
photographs for blog post
buy travel insurance
clean fish tank

Thrilling, eh? However, for ages now I've been meaning to write a list of things that wouldn't just keep day to day life ticking over, but would actually enhance it - things I want to do in this year, and the years beyond. It's easy enough to think 'oh yes, I'd love to do that', but I find unless things get written down they don't get acted on. The beginning of Spring is always a far better time to make decisions than the depths of Winter, and I've had 3 months since new year to give the matter some proper thought! I want the beautiful Frankie magazine journal I won in Kylie's giveaway to have some exciting plans and amazing memories written in it - not just shopping lists and reminders that the boys need new shoes.

Isn't it gorgeous? All the pages are beautifully designed, and I love the little touches like the perforated  calling cards, the ribbon bookmark and the pocket at the back for tickets and receipts and so on.

Anyway, here's my 12 things to attempt in 2012 (or the next twelve months if need be) - there's nothing too earth shattering here, just things I'd like to do which it should be realistic for a mother of slender means to achieve. And there's no New Year style deprivation either - I've had quite enough of that now I'm done with Lent.

1. Read 100 books this year - you can see how I'm doing with this on Goodreads
2. Go to a city/country I haven't been to before.
3.Date night once a month with husband. As espoused by every magazine ever. Hard to achieve in reality.
4. Learn to make proper jewellery ie. not sticking stuff to myself with glue
5. Actually attempt fancy biscuit decorating from 'Biscuiteers' book I got for Christmas
(if nothing else it may make a humorous blog post)
6. Keep in touch with friends better
7. Crochet something larger than a granny square
8. Get published somewhere other than my blog
9. Buy MORE clothes!
10. Try to make it to more boot-sales.
11.Start drawing again
12. Keep going with the blog and try to improve it - better photos for a start.

Some of these are from my 40 before 40 list,* which is in danger of becoming merely a list of hotels and travel destinations. We're actually all off to Scotland shortly for four nights in Edinburgh - when Sandy posted that she was going it reminded me that it's been on my mental 'go-to' list for years. So I can tick off number 2 - Edinburgh and Scotland itself will both be firsts! Any tips?

Do you have any plans for the year? Any new year's resolutions fallen by the wayside or worked out brilliantly?

Lakota x

*I'd just like to make it clear that it'll be before 36, 37, 38, and 39 too. It's just that the others aren't nearly so catchy.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Midweek pretties

I do love a bit of vintage jewellery. The boys and I dropped some clothes off at the charity shop, and while the eldest browsed the bookshelves for 'Beast Quest' books, I had a quick rummage through the saucer of  earrings on the counter. These were very tarnished, although I don't think they're silver, and one of the tiny pyrite stones is missing, but I thought they were worth £1.95.

A previous owner liked them enough to mend them, as they have different clips on the back.

I've been having a play with the photo effects in Picasa - trying to make a bit more of an effort with my pictures. I quite like this HDR look, what do you think?

I found this marcasite brooch in a junk shop a couple of years ago. It's a pretty good match for the earrings. Now I just need an emerald green evening dress and a suitable event to wear them all too...

Lakota x

PS. The winner of my Facebook competition is Mary Lynn Riffe. Please let me know your address.