Monday 27 June 2011

Mantelpiece Monday

Estelle is running her 'Mantelpiece Monday' feature over at Fortune Favours today, so I thought I'd join in with a few quick snaps. This is the fireplace in my bedroom, and although I have a dressing table, any prettifying does tend to be done standing at this mirror, hence the collection of creams and perfumes which have gathered on the right of the mantelpiece. 

The glass candlesticks were a present from my husband and are from Graham and Green, the mirror was from an art deco fair - and was expensive, but I love it - and the photo is currently my grandparents on their wedding day. Russian dolls present from husband - picture of them all here.

Glass and tortoiseshell dressing table pot from 20s (the inside lid is mirrored, very handy), random charity shop swan vase, small bronze owl - Minerva, goddess of wisdom and war, given to me by my dad. 

Tiny wooden Japanese dolls - posing with their even tinier babies, which you can store inside them. I've had these since I was a child and rediscovered them recently at my parents' house.

Not the most organised shelf , but the mantelpiece itself is only a few inches wide, so not much fits on it! Why not go over and nose at other people's more carefully curated collections?

Lakota x

Sunday 26 June 2011


Hurrah! At last it's stopped raining for a minute here in London and we actually have a gorgeously sunny day, so I'm finally able to use my latest find. This French pitcher and 4 glasses are probably from the 50s and are just perfect for fruit juice or Pimms and lemonade. [I know that technically the use of glassware isn't dependent on the weather, but they are particularly summery!]

Retro 50s juice jug and glasses - £5.50 from charity shop

This won't happen very often, but the set co-ordinates so well with my new dress, you lucky people are also treated to a rare picture of me pratting about in the  jungle garden pretending to be a 50s hostess.

Goodness darling, this lawn needs mowing before the guests arrive

Yes, I do have a head!
Fruit print dress - Clements Ribeiro Portobello via TK Maxx
sunglasses, bangles, earrings - charity shop
sandals - liberated from Mum's wardrobe

The earrings below are another thing I picked up locally this week, and cost me £1.95. I found one caught in with the clip-on earrings, and hunted for its partner until I found it caught in the back of a brooch in a basket of random jewellery. They have a screw back - which is a LOT more comfortable than most clip-ons - and I  guess they date from the 1920s or 30s. They're not precious by any means, as you can see one of the pins is rather bent, and the original gold toned finish on the beads had mostly worn off. This is probably not something to admit to doing with deco jewellery, but I 'mended' them by painting the beads with a bit of iridescent nail varnish [Chanel quick shine for nails, if you were wondering]. Anyway, I like them, and I hope whoever owned them originally would like to know they'll still be seeing nights out.

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend, wherever you are.
Lakota x

PS. If any of you skinny types are interested in the 80s Bernshaw dress, it's now on Ebay (sniff)

As usual I'm linking up to: Flea Market Finds

Wednesday 22 June 2011


Do you ever have one of those weeks days where everyone annoys you and everything you encounter seems designed to irritate? I just read the words "we're well jel"  in a trashy magazine article relating to Gavin Henson's upcoming stint on American TV show The Bachelor (my own fault, my friend buys them and they exert a pull) and decided that come the revolution, the writers of  Heat, Reveal and Closer will be first up against the wall. How come they're employed in journalism and I'm a housewife? The rest of the pile seemed solely concerned with the antics of orange buffoon and professional father Peter Andre, and the dozy cast of The Only Way is Essex. Anyway, sometimes you just want your jewellery to laugh bitterly in an ironic fashion for you - so I made these:

Ok, well actually I made an 'L' for Loo and one for me, but I couldn't resist making the 'O' to go with them. I have a whole set of these wooden scrabble tiles, so if boredom sets in again tomorrow I may well be sporting 'MUM' and 'DAD' knuckledusters on either hand ;-) 

Also suitable for when I'm in a more teenage and less trenchant mood <3

Any other suggestions for 3 letter words? I'm thinking 'MUD' for the Glastonbury goers!

Lakota x

Linking up to Handmade Thursday 

Sunday 19 June 2011

Books, crockery, frockery...

It's been a little while since I posted any of my charity shop buys and flea market finds, so just a quick post to show a couple of recent purchases. The charming Enid Blyton book is full of very improving stories, demonstrating amongst others the danger of procrastination, and the virtue of spending your shillings on Christmas presents for your parents as opposed to sweets. I picked it up because of the lovely cover, but I'm sure I could stand to be improved! The Wind in the Willows is an old favourite to force my eldest to read.

Vintage children's books

  Duchess bone china cup and saucer with sweet-peas
Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the Willows (1959 edition)
Enid Blyton - The Sunshine Book (1965)

Lord Nelson Pottery Jug

All the above were a pound each, which is pretty reasonable and getting rarer in London charity shops. I picked up the little girl's dress with appliquéd parrots for £2. [For a niece. Pretty as boy2 is with his golden curls, I think he'd draw the line at a frock].

No labels inside - handmade? 

Also coming home with me was this amazingly crazy evening dress by Sara Bernshaw, as I couldn't leave it languishing in the charity shop. Sadly this piece of 80s awesomeness is too small for my voodoo enhanced booty, so it will be heading to Ebay or a yet to be established Etsy shop. It claims to be a UK12, but I would judge it as more an 8/10.  The ruffles at the back are boosted by layers of net and it has a cabbage sized corsage, just so there's no danger of blending into the background at parties.

1980s Bernshaw dress

How did this escape Carrie Bradshaw's closet?


Edit: Two people have now told me that the child's dress is an example of Mola reverse appliqué work by the Kuna indians of Panama. How fascinating, I thought it was handmade. Thanks so much for the info Gini and Esther, it's very unlikely I'd have found that out myself!

I'm linking up to Flea Market Finds

Thursday 16 June 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

My son's class have been learning about times gone by, and have already paid a visit to the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, where they were most perturbed to learn that at one time they'd have been required to amuse themselves with a hoop and stick, and that even their teacher (37) remembers a time before Nintendo DSi. Next up is 'holidays past', and whilst looking through my stash of family photographs to find some he could take into school, I unearthed this. I think it's great photograph in itself, but even more propitiously for my blog, I've just discovered that someone's taken the time to date it on the back -  Hastings,16th June 1927 - so exactly 84 years ago today.

Cornettos all round then?

Ooh, they're having a gay old time, aren't they? And who's that pater familias glowering at the back like The Godfather? Why it's Great-Grandad George, whom you may remember from a previous post. Yes, he of being dressed up as his late twin sister fame! My Great-Granny May is seated on the left, and the dowager on the right must be my Great-Great-Grandmother. The little boy at the front is my Grandad Phil, now 88, the one who grew up to join the airforce and deface the Pyramids.

I love that the one concession to the fact that they are on a beach is that the kids have no shoes on - "Go, be barefoot and free, on the stoniest bit of beach known to mankind!" - otherwise they could all be going to Church. If you look closely you'll see a spade as well - presumably to tunnel their way to the Algarve.

Hope you enjoyed this little Thursday Flashback!

Lakota x

Linking up to Sepia Saturday

PS. Welcome all new followers, I see I've now passed 250, so I'll be doing another giveaway soon to say thanks. And if you need any more of my ramblings, come and say hi on my new Facebook page. 

Monday 13 June 2011

Rainbows...almost an outfit post

So, Saturday's Ebay post has taught me that most of you are as willing as I am to do very bad things with Lenny Kravitz - but that at least one person was offended by the butt enhancing jeans! I guess you don't see that kind of thing in the Cath K catalogue. Anyway, I shall keep it clean today, and as it's been pouring with rain since I got back, I thought I'd share a rainbow dress I picked up at the Frock Me Vintage Fashion Fair.

Darn it, my head's come off again. 

Strapless Marion Donaldson floral dress £15
orange wedges -  Faith - won voucher in online comp

Another rainbow photo to show you is my bargain flowers I grabbed in Tesco on Friday. Sweet williams, reduced from £3.00 to a yellow stickered 39p! I'm not sure what they thought was wrong with them, most of the buds were closed and they were just in need of some water. [Makes up for all the daffodils I've bought from supermarkets which refuse to open]. I have plenty of proper vases, but rather like them in this cleaned up tin can left over from our dinner that night!

Rainbow glass table mats Joseph Joseph via TK Maxx

Happy Monday all. And if I have an excuse for gratuitous pictures of semi-naked men, I'm always gonna take it! [Probably in the next Ebay post. I saved the best til last -heheh]

Lakota x

Linking up as usual to Magpie Monday

Saturday 11 June 2011

I like big butts...The Magic and Madness of Ebay. Part 2

I've been feeling a little less than fabulous recently. My figure pretty much recovered after my first pregnancy, but then I entered my 30's, bouncing 10lb Boy2 came along, and nights of leaping about to techno til 5am were long past - replaced by sitting on the sofa working my way through the Prison Break boxset and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc. My stomach's fairly flat considering, but I have flabby upper arms and a general loss of tone. So, I've done the only thing that could be done. Returned to that dreaded place we all turn to in the end, the only place that gets results. Huh? Booked a course of Zumba? No, not the gym - do I strike you as someone who would wear sweatpants?! I speak again of Ebay, where everything can be bought...for a price.

Welcome to the Magic and Madness of Ebay, part 2! After the spirit dolls post, it may not surprise you to learn that as well as paranormal collectors, Ebay is also home to a multitude of witches and spell-casters, all just desperate to grant your every desire. But I'm not interested in your common or garden 'love spell', nor protection from 'negative forces' (not yet anyway, let's see how many warlocks I enrage first) - what I need is to lose half a stone - can they help me with that? Why yes! And it's quite uncanny, just look at the first listing I found:

"Welcome my friends! I feel that you were drawn to look at this auction! Your spiritual energy felt where it could gain real help and felt the real magickal energy generated by even just this ad!"

Holy magickal energies Batman! This is just what I need. My bingo wings will finally be a thing of the past, just like the batwing jumpers I use to cover them. And look - she's illustrated her listing with a random picture of Lenny Kravitz, wearing a frankly ridiculous turkey feather and leather combo, which means I have the excuse to reproduce it here!

I still would. Once we'd burned all his clothes

Ok, maybe we can get Mr FHCS all Kravitzed up later. But yes, there's plenty of pictures of what I can achieve with her spell too.

She looks pretty foxy, right? And the seller has absolute faith in her (will)power, having used the 'magick' successfully herself. Between giving birth and her child's first birthday she lost 100lbs. That's 7 stone 2lbs - or Nicole Richie. Wow. Impressive. All she used was "this spell, and basic common sense". Hmmm. Well, for only $9.99 I guess it's worth a shot. Or I could just use the basic common sense part for free.

But why stop at just losing a few pounds? Let's go for a full body overhaul. I think I've mentioned my weird slightly different coloured eyes before. One is green, and the other is hazel with a big brown patch in it, and both are grey round the edge. I could get those coloured contacts, but I don't fancy sticking my finger in my eye. You know what I'm going to say now, don't you? There's a spell! The seller says she can change your eyes to any colour, as long as it's 'natural'. Her picture appears to be of a coloured contacts shade chart, but let's not quibble.

"The colours you may choose from are Amber, Blue, Brown, Gray, Green, Hazel, Red and Purple"

Yeah, cos so many people have purple eyes.  Don't give me Liz Taylor - her so-called violet eyes were not the colour of Prince's pants. I'm not even going to think about who would ask for red eyes. At least one customer is happy though, leaving the feedback that "spell casted [sic] 5 days ago my eyes were brown now there is [sic] blue ripples. Amazing". I am indeed amazed.

So I have my new sylph-like figure and my bewitching purple eyes, why stop there? I could "grow a few inches taller safely and painlessly", "add a cup or two" to my current breast size or make my face "appear more beautiful to everyone around me". Nah. I want to look like J-Lo. It's time to roll out the big guns. It's the Voodoo Hoodoo Booty Enhancement Spell - whoop! And Mambo Belle, High Priestess of Voodoo 'Magique'  is going all out to sell it, in the rather incomprehensible style of a spam email:

"People will look at you differently, look at you more! You will hear over and over again compliments and comments on your curvaceous bouncing bottom!
Plump, Shapely, Luscious Booty!
Buns of lovely pear shaped globes! 
Curvy Backside!
Luscious Bottom!

Yes, I imagine people will "look at you differently" if you wear those out of the house

All I have to do is send her $29.99 by Paypal, and "join in with a simple candle offering and anointing with oils". Mr FHCS has kindly offered to help with this part. [I don't know about you, but I find my bum often looks better after a judicious helping of body oil and in the dark by candlelight]. Mambo Belle and the Loa Spirit Goddess La Sirene will do the rest. 

All the the magical listings are private so feeback doesn't specify what spell was cast, but it's fun to guess:

"This is great seeing some results, hope to see big results soon!!" 

My money's on the Penis Enlargement spell - only £4.99! Unbelievably, no questions have been asked about the spell - but 24 have been sold! No questions? Not even "can I expect any tingling sensation?", or "will I be able to operate heavy machinery?". But I shouldn't laugh, these are are men who will go to any lengths for what they want. [A little width is thrown in as well]

Seriously though, whatever you call it, I don't believe that magick, magique, voodoo or any other kind of hoodoo can help with gender realignment. But believe it or not that is offered too, along with promises made to couples suffering from infertility. This is taking advantage of people who in all likelihood are at their lowest ebb - desperate - and no legal disclaimer in tiny writing talking about 'entertainment purposes only' makes it OK.

I make no judgements about the power of 'positive energy' if the practitioner has at least met the patient - I know people who swear by acupuncture or reflexology. Who knows, certain Wiccan practises may have some efficacy too - but in small ways. If you're dopey enough to give your money to an Ebay charlatan offering whiter teeth or purple eyes, that's your look out, but promising a baby - or indeed a sex-change - is just unkind. I leave the last word to Mambo Belle, buried at the very end of her listing  for a shapely butt;

"and remember, modern medicine is a type of magick too"

No shit.

Lakota x

If you can cope with more of my ramblings on slightly more mundane matters, why not come over and 'like' my new Facebook page? Let me know if you have one too. Oh, and don't forget to check if you were one of the Plum and Ivory giveaway winners.

Friday 10 June 2011

Plum and Ivory winners!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Plum and Ivory giveaway. The random number generator decrees that the five winners of a sweet metal bird decoration are:

1. Keshling
2. Miss Tea
3. mrandmrslewis
5. Lady Cherry 

Congratulations! Please let me know your contact details at so I can pass them on to Plum and Ivory. 

Lakota x

Thursday 9 June 2011

S'culture, innit?

Well I'm back from Malta, and although I haven't yet cried like my 6 year old missing the buffet restaurant, I've felt like it facing the washing mountain. I don't know which I hate more - packing or post-holiday laundry. The holiday itself was lovely though, and the boys were delighted with their first flight, although Boy2's pleasure at his 'aeroplane wee' turned to terror when he flushed the loo. Poor baby, I forgot how loud they are.

Golden Bay

Our hotel was the Radisson Golden Sands, and while we spent plenty of time splashing about in the pool with the boys, I'm not really much of a 'spend all day at the resort' kind of person and neither is Mr FHCS, so we hired a car and dragged the oiks off for plenty of culture as well. Our first stop was the incredible  St John's Co-Cathedral in Valetta. Whilst the exterior is quite sober and austere, the place is seriously impressive inside, even whilst the current renovations are going on. The interior was redecorated in the new Baroque style at the beginning of the 17th century, and the jaw-dropping  floor is covered in marble tombstones stretching the entire length and breadth of the nave, commemorating the most illustrious knights of the Order of St John (the Baptist).

Added to my 'bathroom inspiration' file

Cathedrals aren't traditionally the most thrilling of places for small boys, but both mine are currently obsessed with 'Ninjago' lego, the baddies of which are  from 'the underworld'. Each of the hand inlaid tombstones is different, but a recurrent motif is that of grinning death, so looking for skulls and skeletons kept them happy.

Whilst the floor is what grabs your attention immediately, look up and the painted ceilings are also absolutely bonkers baroque:

Never knowingly under-decorated

Look at the figures on either side of the window. Their shadows are painted onto the gilding, so they really look as though they are crouching up there. There were examples of this kind of trompe l'oeil all over the vaulted ceiling.
Creepy monks, ready to pounce

St John's also boasts two paintings by Caravaggio, St Jerome Writing, and The Beheading of John the Baptist - the latter is enormous (over 5m long) and gives a satisfying feeling of being in the presence of a true 'old master', although I'm not sure I'd want it in my living room. I didn't know much about Caravaggio previously, but like many of an artistic temperament he seemed to have led an interesting life - killing a man in a brawl, fleeing with a price on his head, being made a knight, painting the odd masterpiece, fighting again, masterminding his own prison break, and finally dying under rather suspicious circumstances.

Caravaggio's signature can be seen in the blood coming from the severed neck - very emo dramatic

Hmm, what else? The beautiful walled city of Mdina, the smell of thyme underfoot at the Dingli cliffs, and the 7,000 year old cliff-top temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra.

House in Mdina - Mummy, why are you always taking pictures of doors?

Dingli Cliffs

Hagar Qim and Mnajdra temples

I'd never heard of these ancient temples on this tiny island (and the even tinier island of Gozo), but when you consider their provenance it's incredible they're not more famous. They are the oldest standing stone structures in the world - older than the Pyramids, older than Stonehenge. [This is where you all comment and berate me for my ignorance]. Unlike Stonehenge and the Pyramids however, for a few Euros you can wander all round them, tread where these ancient people trod, and sit your toddler on a rock hewn by people about whom almost nothing is known. There were just a handful of people the day we visited, and whilst there are now cameras and a slightly bored security guard - inevitably there are a couple of additional carvings of the 'S+B 4 EVA 1982' variety. [Mind you, my Grandad claims to have scaled one of the Great Pyramids and carved his name into it while he was stationed in Cairo during the war. Apologies if this is true, Egyptian people! I'd love to be able to check] 

The temples also seem to function like Stonehenge, as the first rays of sunlight on the solstices apparently align with specific points on the axis of the Mnajdra temple and fall upon what has been described as an altar. Wouldn't it be amazing to get one of the limited number of tickets they sell for this each year? [hippy emoticon]

Blimey, this has turned into a really long post and is making me sound quite middle aged! I promise there was also the odd cocktail and glass or two or wine. And before I paint myself as a cruel parent the boys enjoyed the temples, honest! We saw a snake on the path and boy1 lost a wobbly tooth whilst eating a lolly in the cafe. But if you tuned in for shopping then I apologise - I did buy some glass from the craft village at Ta'Qali, but won't be sharing that until December, posting about Christmas decorations in June just seems wrong.  Normal service will be resumed shortly!

Lakota x

I'm drawing the 5 winners of the Plum and Ivory giveaway tomorrow evening, so if you haven't entered yet you've just got time.

Saturday 4 June 2011

A couple of awards...

I'm away in Malta at the moment but due to the marvel that is the scheduled post I can give you a virtual wave without even touching my computer. To the two lovely people who have given me awards, I'm really sorry it's taken me so long to get round to doing this post - I do really appreciate you thinking of me.

First up thank you to the charming Kezzie at KezzieAG who passed the One Lovely Blog Award on to me. 

I was then really flattered to be one of the recipients of the Sunshine Award from the ever stylish Viviane at Hippiebohoreloaded.

As usual with these things I think I'm supposed to give you some random facts about me and nominate some other bloggers, although I am going to cheat a little and combine the two awards -  
  1. I do excellent impressions of most characters from 'Gavin and Stacey', although I think my Nessa has the edge. 
  2. I've had various nicknames, including PVC and Boots. [No cards with my number have ever appeared in phone boxes]
  3. My most recent parenting triumph came last week when my 3 old approached a random woman at the swimming baths, and cheerfully informed her "you look like a funny, funny witch!" To be fair, she was wearing black, and had long henna'd hair [we'd just borrowed Room on the Broom from the library]
  4. I love Tim Minchin and think he's one of the funniest and most intelligent comedians working today. See video below for just one reason.
  6. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up...

I'm passing the awards on to the following bloggers - as usual, if they're not your thing, just see it as compliment, no pressure to accept, but if you want to - lovely. I know some people have stopped doing blog awards as they see them as the equivalent of those email chain letters*. I suppose they are, but it's always nice to be appreciated. It's also a chance to find out about blogs you might not otherwise know about. 

Pick whichever you don't already have!
15 Coast Road - Seaside and sewing from Wendz
Atomic Betties - Play 'Vintage Hot or Not' with Flo
Jumbles and Pompoms - Love Loo and her jumbley finds
The Vintage Knitter - Many tricks up her sleeve
Ivy Black Chat - She's a lady. And she makes stuff.
Scarlett Loves Elvis - Finally I can return the favour!
Lucy Violet Vintage - Everybody needs a neighbour like Kylie...
Vintage Vixen - A style legend, I don't think she does these things but wanted to give her a nod
Blackbird Has Spoken Go and see what she says

Lakota x

*Tell 5  friends about Faith Hope and Charity Shopping and you will receive good news by the end of the day. Tell 10 friends and lose that last stubborn 1/2 stone you've been trying to shift since Christmas...

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Attention Swappers!

By now you should all know your swap partners, I've either emailed you or left a comment on your blog. Sorry for the generic cut and paste job but there were a lot of you to get through!
I've been asked a few questions, so here's a recap of the rules and a couple of suggestions.

  • There is no minimum spend. Maximum spend is £12 / $18.50 AUS / $19.80 US / 13.90 EUR
  • At least 3 items, with a maximum of 5.
  • Remember you will need to be able to mail everything. Pack everything well and ensure you've used the correct postage. Your swap partner will not want to be charged for delivery!
  • At least one item must be sourced from a charity shop/boot sale/garage sale/jumble or similar. If everything is, then all the better, but I know sometimes the good stuff just isn't out there. 
  • At least one item should be handmade - it doesn't have to be handmade by you if you're not crafty!
  • One item should be jewellery of some description. 
  • Ensure your partner receives their parcel by 31st July. I know that sometimes life throws up problems. If you are having difficulties or something happens which will delay the swap, please do let your partner know, it's only polite.
  • I was asked whether items should be clothes, homeware etc. That is up to you and what you think your partner would like. If they are a sewer and you find vintage fabric - perfect. If they love bags and you find a great one - send it on. Don't forget books, pictures, crockery, garden items, craft supplies...
  • Try and get a sense of what your swap partner likes from their blog posts, pictures etc - and it's not cheating to ask them questions before hand. It might be nice to 'follow' your partner if you don't already.
  • Some people have a list of 'likes' on the sidebar of their blog. Maybe consider something similar if your blog doesn't feature much of your personal taste or things you've bought. [whiskers on kittens might not be that useful though]
  • You'll need to exchange email addresses so you can also swap addresses. 
  • Remember to let your partner know when you receive your parcel,
  •  Post about the swap so we can all share what we got.
  • Have fun!
I'm without internet access until 6th June, but any problems, comment on this post and I'll be in touch when I can.

Lakota x