Monday, 25 May 2015

Baby got back (from town)


I like free stuff and I cannot lie

Those other shoppers can't deny

When I go shopping with an empty purse

I wave my vouchers in the air


Uh huh

Apologies to Sir Mix a Lot, and I think I'll stop there as I'm finding it hard to rap!  

One of the things that constantly amuses OH is that I will pop out shopping and usually come back with a full bag of some charity shop bargains or shopping freebies and most if not all of the money I left the house with.  I can't deny that I find it amusing and get a rather smug feeling from spending little or nothing for things, let's face it, if I had spent hundreds I would still look the same, so why part with the money? 

So on Saturday morning I took myself off into Birmingham hoping to spend over £60 worth of vouchers I had accrued through various (legitimate!) sources.  I had seriously had enough of the shops after one hour but fortunately in that time I managed to spend £18 in M&S.  Surprisingly on a pair of jeans which were not reduced but at their normal price and under the Ozone label.  I actually liked the shape that much that when I got home I took off the old bootcut jeans I had been wearing and copied the shape, using these as a template. 

The daftest thing about these jeans is the size though.  They are a 10. I am not. They are actually a little generous on me too, so if I had the patience to try them on I may have opted for the size 8. This is vanity sizing gone a little mad.  I actually managed to purchase a vintage M&S skirt a while back and the same measurements then were a 16.  Daft, just plain daft!

On over to BHS, where I had even more vouchers to make a dent in.  Here I managed two purchases, this nice (I can't really think of a nicer word, the other word I was thinking of was boring!) ditsy print top, half price at just a fiver in the current sale.  Again, the sizing is a bit odd, it is a 14, so must be quite a skinny fit 14!  No matter, I like my tops generous so it isn't a problem, and it was honestly the only top I could find in the shop that I liked before I began to lose my temper and want to go!

Lastly, and I'm quite pleased with these and am hoping to get plenty of wear out of them this summer, these lovely and surprisingly comfy sandals, with cushioned insoles, were again reduced, from £25 to £20.  This time I was able to stick with my actual foot size and they are a size 4.

 These sandals are also available in a really nice faux nubuck finish nude colour and lots of bright jewel colours too.  

So there you go, again I come back home with all my money and plenty of vouchers still to spend, but I do have an outfit to show for it, so can't be bad! 

There have been very thin pickings for me this week on the charity shopping front, not that I'm feeling the need to buy loads of stuff, now I've found time to do a bit of altering of clothes I've already got, the need for something new or even new-to-me is seriously diminished.

I did manage to grab this orange vest top for just a pound, from the same shop as I bought the orange crocheted top the other week.  It was actually there on the rail when I purchased the crocheted top, but it only dawned on me when I got home that I would need something to wear underneath to make it decent!  It is also H&M, the same brand as the crocheted top too.

On the home front, I managed to make an orange and almond cake the other day. 

 I am trying to make a cake or two each Thursday for weekend consumption and to use the eggs up that we get from the girls.  Last week I made a lemon sponge with lemon drizzle on the top, sliced some of the leftover lemons (job lot for a pound from the market) and stuck them in the freezer for use in drinkies.  This week it was of course, Eurovision, so we were able to try out the frozen lemon slices in the gin and tonics we drank during the show. 

 Unfortunately it didn't make the songs sound any better.  Neither did using my 1998 Eurovision mug.

We haven't had any trips out this week, just a few walks around the village again.  Everything is now so green and after the heavy rain we had the other day, everything is around two feet taller than last week!

See what I mean?

As we have had some fairly decent weather intervals, we also managed to finish the wood shed, and split some of the logs that the tree surgeon left us when he felled the three trees in the garden in February .

A bit Heath Robinson, but serves the purpose.  The gap you can see on the far side is because I miscalculated the size of the roof off the old metal shed, that we have re-used here, against the size of the old fence panels we have also re-used, oops!  It just needs filling in and then it is watertight, almost.  We have also used the back of the old metal shed as flooring, just to stop the water coming up from below and rotting the wood.  Ivy and other plants have been planted to grow up and disguise it and also help with the weatherproofing.

Freshly split wood, really hard work!

They do say wood warms you twice, once when you cut it and again when you burn it, I can vouch for that!

I am hoping this cool but dry weather continues for the rest of the week so that we can get a few more outdoor jobs done, and am also hoping that we can start the garage conversion soon, these things do drag on!! 

Monday, 18 May 2015

That 70's vibe

Yes, the 1370's! 

We visited the beautiful Brockhampton Estate last Friday, over in Herefordshire, and it has to be one of the prettiest places I've been to.

 So chocolate box it's untrue

Built in the late 14th century and still standing, it is a stunning medieval moated manor house now owned by the National Trust.  

I did feel quite sick inside actually, no walls or floors are straight, you feel slightly drunk as you wander through the rooms!

 Amazing door on the gatehouse above, but the whole building is leaning 

Look at that fabulous flagstone floor in the main hall

 Surprisingly solid staircase

 I love the kitchen, it is furnished in the style of the turn of the 20th century and looks so usable  

 The brewery, there were a couple of mead and cider recipes hanging up but they were so vague I didn't bother to photograph them as they were useless to anyone not in the know!
 I really want my own little gatehouse, it had an upstairs too! Those metal chickens on the lawn were so cute. 

Stunning views of the beautiful Herefordshire countryside.  Brockhampton was a beautiful place to visit, so peaceful and even the drive there and back was free from towns and traffic.  We really felt as if we had gone back in time there.

So, swiftly on to this week's bargains.  

I had spotted this dress in a charity shop a few weeks ago, it was on for a modest price, around £2.50 I think, but had plenty of issues.  

The tag had been attached straight through the dress, making a small hole (note to charity shops, do NOT do this, it is very naughty and ruins otherwise perfect clothing!!) and there were brownish marks all over it, almost like tea stains or possibly fake tan.  Anyway, when I saw it reduced to a pound and still hanging forlornly on the rail, I bought it.  I have no idea how old it is but here's the label

St Michael, embroidered label and made in the UK?  Late 70's perhaps?

I also picked this up from the same shop, also a pound

Gorgeous tunic from the Indigo range at Marks and Spencer.  I really don't like tunic length things but a friend (actually an old friend I have recently been in touch with through Facebook, and who was always very arty and stylish) suggested I belt it, and guess what?

She was right!

I now have my 70's style summer outfit sorted.

Wearing: Indigo tunic £1, Per Una platform leather sandals, Ebay £3 including p+p, Levi's jeans, £2, and brown leather plaited belt, 50p

Nothing new happening on the cottage at present, and strong winds and rain have stopped play as far as gardening is concerned, so I'll leave you with a few shots from our Sunday morning stroll around the village

There are so many proper English bluebells around us it is really nice to see.  there's also plenty of wild garlic, and I'm yet to use any in cooking.

Hopefully, the weather will pick up in the next few days and we can get the roof on the woodstore, we have three trees worth of wood to put away!

Linking up with the beautiful Patti, at Visible Monday, who is looking fab with her new straight hairpiece! 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Lerose by any other name - part deux

Anyone following me on facebook will have noticed that I managed to purchase a rather gorgeous vintage dress the other day.  I couldn't resist it!  I was out for the day with a friend, who is also a charity and second hand shopper, and she actually spotted the dress, ummed and ahhed and put it back on the rail.  I told her off for putting it down then picked it up and bought it!  Moral of the story is if you ever find vintage in a charity shop, do not release your grip!

Not my size but now in my collection!

Isn't it beautiful?!

I also managed to find not one but two pairs of vintage navy opaques, I have been wanting a pair of navy opaques for a while, then, just like buses, two turn up at once! These are from USA and were a pound each.

Also managed to snap up a lovely crocheted top, it's a H&M size 34, which I think is a 10, it just about fits me and was a pound 

I'm not too sure what to do about the drawstring bit, it feels a bit high where it is so I may lower it (just a case of rethreading) or get rid altogether. I also need a vest top to go underneath, more purchases!

Another pair of tights, unopened. I just love the artwork on these, and they were worth the pound for the packing alone.  The mature lady on the till laughed when I handed them over "Ooh, they're old, someones been having a clearout!"

They are, of course an American Tan colour (masquerading as caramel!) 

I also found this nice t shirt with guitar motif, again just £1.  Didn't notice the repair until I was photographing it (hem, bottom right on pic)  but it will be pretty much invisible when I'm wearing it.

The only other thing I didn't notice was the fact that it is a child's age ten in size, I just held it up and thought it would fit me!  It does.  Who needs size labels eh?!

We've had a few local walks this week, including a (now very) quick trip over to Rushock for OH to pay his respects to John Bonham

The cymbal on the right is signed The Valley Boys, and I can't decide if they are from Wales or California!

Beautiful countryside as usual

We had a view of the Malverns from the church, easily obscured by all the cloud we've been having 

These lot were amused to see people in this usually extremely tranquil village

This looks very much like a vintage (70's?) combine harvester, rusting away in a farmer's field

Things are pretty much status quo as far as the cottage goes, apart from mum and I gave the kitchen a quick paint and wallpapered the chimney breast, just to cover up the hideous plaster pink peeling and cracked paintwork.  OH hates it and thinks it is "old fashioned".  The wallpaper is scraps left over from the early 80's, I think it is quite nice! 

We've got more gardening projects to finish when the weather allows, including completing the woodshed, a summerhouse and constructing a small stream, ambitious? Nah!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Botanical prints, breezes and bush size

Well, not much has been happening this week at Pennypincher cottage.  I did manage to find some bargain chicken corn at the local ASDA earlier in the week, reduced from £3 down to 75p a bag and in date until October.  Not that it will last that long!

 My only charity shop purchase this week was fab Ikea fabric unused offcuts, three of them, all approx 24 inches deep by 60 inches wide.  The print is very striking I think.

Got the lot for the princely sum of a pound.  They originally wanted 50p but it is a charity shop and I thought a pound was a fairer price!

The strong winds returned earlier in the week and we had to lash a few things down, like the tarpaulins on the chicken run!  I'd not appreciated strong winds before, being quite urban was a buffer in a way for the weather.  Out here there is nothing between the cottage and the elements but fields and hedgerows, not quite as protective as a row of terraced houses!  Today teh winds have subsided to be replaced by rain, no good for gardening but great for the garden, and everything is just bursting bud and flower now.

Today I managed to drive down the narrow yet fast lane in the village, it seemed much narrower once I was behind the wheel.  Later on, OH and I went for a walk across the fields and came out onto the same road, we encountered one motorist on our walk and he was doing about 30, so it's probably not just me who thinks the road is not a national speed limit candidate!

Our walk provided us with much fresh air and deep breaths, the nearby hills were shrouded in cloud, very low cloud

We encountered a hill to get back up to the village which was hard going

 It doesn't look much, but we were already walking uphill

Bloomin' hard going!

The baby rabbits are now braving the field next to the cottage on their own, and pose for me too, if I make a noise!

How cute! 

Finally, we found this treasure in mum's house, and she's letting me sell it to help raise renovation funds.  I remember her wearing it when I was little, and she had a seethrough brolly too.

Isn't it fab!  I have tried to find a photo of mum wearing it but haven't had much time to go through all the old photos.  just needs a clean, and I'm pleased that there are no rips or holes, but the studs are a bit rusty.  Not sure what the going rate is for a plastic mac, it might be the first thing on my ebay page.

The plastic label in the coat proved rather too much for OH when he read it, and I'm wondering where the coat was made!

Nuff said!  

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend everyone!