Sunday, 27 March 2011


Odd Swan pic

You know those kitsch fake oil paintings you get in elderly peoples' houses? Well much to my surprise I've suddenly acquired a taste for them. Not all of them obviously - but this one in particular. I spotted it yesterday doing the rounds of my local flea market (which incidentally you should all have heard of by now). There was something about the colours that really appealed - and it reminded me of some languorous swans I saw last Spring on the River Wye in Monmouthshire. I find this picture very tranquil -  so I've hung it in the kitschen (spelling mistake intended) to bring calm to my cooking. At £1.50 it was a very good bargain indeed.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Doing it Yourself? Priceless

I don't know what hit me yesterday, but walking through Greenwich Park in the Spring sunshine, I suddenly felt like a change. And what do women do when they fancy a change? They cut their hair of course! When it comes to hair, there's no time like the present, so I walked up to Blackheath village and popped into a few hairdressers to see if I could get a last-minute appointment or cancellation. Being a Saturday of course, everything was pretty booked up, and the only slot I could find was a cut and blow dry for £50. Now call me tight, but that's just too much for a girl on a shoestring, so in spite of being tempted to splash out, I decided to revisit the MJ of my youth and do it myself - thus saving myself £50. Bargain! Now of course, the main rule for cutting your own hair is that you shouldn't do anything too complicated, and you shouldn't do it drunk. Suffice it to say, I stuck to principle number one, but blew principle number two out of the water by setting-to with the scissors at 11pm after a large glass of vino. I thought (in the tradition of the finest craft manuals) that I'd take you through my haircutting technique STEP BY STEP so you can try this money-saving idea at home too.

So - here follows instructions in how to cut your own fringe nudging towards midnight fuelled by Sauvignon Blanc.

1. Firstly separate off the area to be be fringed with a cross-the-head parting.

2. Cut one side (leaving plenty of room for adjustment).

3. Even up the other other side (trying to mirror the one opposite). Realise you really should have wet your hair to do this, so stick your head under the shower.

4. Get a bit more daring and cut closer to the length of fringe you require "feathering" the sides by sliding the scissors down the edges:

5. Dry off hair and even up if necessary.

6. The morning after the night before:

Friday, 4 March 2011

Latest beautiful bargain

I found this gorgeous bridal headpiece down at my local fleamarket the other day. It's made of wax flowers and little fake pearls. Stunning. I bought it along with a lovely shawl, a scarf and a cardigan for £5. Bargain! The friend I was with also bought a pair of fantastic "land girl" style trousers from the clothes pile. We looked inside to see the label. It read National Theatre - WARHORSE. What a find!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Vintage glasses

OK - I've something exciting to share with you today - or at least, it excites me! We all know how much a new pair of glasses can cost. My most basic frames and prescription lenses from Vision Express came to well over £100 - and I don't even LIKE them! However, you can be chic and unique for a lot less cash if you're willing to dig around a bit. When I was in Vision Express, I asked them if they were able to fit prescription lenses into vintage frames - something I'd heard that they can do. Yes they said - it's not a problem and what's more, you only pay for the lenses, there's no fitting fee or anything like that. Well, that got me thinking. The following week I was down at Greenwich flea market and I had a quick scout round for vintage frames,  but although I saw a couple of pairs of old glasses, nothing really caught my eye. However, one of my stall-holder friends explained that her student daughter collected vintage spectacles and that she'd bring along a few pairs for me. Well, how could I resist! I described the sort of thing I was after and turned up a few days later for a trying-on session. I selected a pair of fifties/sixties glasses in their original box plus a pair of fabulous cats eye sunglasses - and paid the grand total of £15. Back at Vision Express they said that they could certainly remove the old lenses and put some prescription lenses in, but that if the frames broke during the process, then there would be no compensation. I tremulously accepted, and ordered the cheapest type of lense going. I paid the grand total of just £27. Two days later, I received a joyful text saying that my glasses were intact and ready for collection. Here is the result! I'm really thrilled with them. I doubt anyone else will have the same frames as me, and I'm already looking out for another pair of gems to add to my collection.  Vintage National Health specs anyone?