Sunday, 28 February 2010

Cleaning my Crinolines!

Gorgeous girl has been out in Derbyshire doing Duke of Edinburgh training so I have spent the weekend cleaning (definition - moving things about admiring bits and putting them in new places). I didn't realise how much had changed until she came home grumpy and tired saying "Everything's changed - I'm so confused!"

I'm not sure what's going on as I found several crinoline ladies dotted about and they are so very Not Me! Pretty and dainty and delicate are not used in sentences with the word Wend in them! They've all been picked up at car boots etc - I hate to see them being thrown out!

Having taken pics of them I've added them to the Crinoline Lady group on Flickr where there are just 3 "ladies" who have added their Crin Ladies to the group. If you are tempted to look check out the photos of "The Custards - sheer eye candy for the vintage lover...

Can anyone tell me where this passion for crinolines came from? Was there a film which started it off? She and her beau also appeared on the early Quality Street tins until they were phased out...

All my messing about was accompanied by the man below in the form of Lenny Henry playing Othello on Radio 4. I always love a bit of Shakespeare and was able to listen without interruption and I wasn't disppointed! Bliss!

Hope your weekend was good!

Love Wend

Sunday, 21 February 2010

What exhilarates you?

I leapt out of bed this morning ready for today's car boot. Ready to leave I opened the curtains to this! Don't you just love the way snow clings to the narrowest of branches outlining and defining the shapes and structures around us?

If I listened to the weather forecast I would have known but I don't preferring not to let weather influence what I'm doing. Still, that sort of covering of snow would put off the most hardy of stall holders!

Yesterday I browsed a 1923 magazine and came across some fabulous adverts.Just look at this description of exhilaration ...

Are you buried by the weariness of work or the accumlating cares of the world? Despite work having been the source of much frustration for me I will not let it bury me. (For those who gave me a huge bloghug when I was completing THE FORM last month - I got the job at the lower grade so now have to get used to a signifcant pay reduction - good job I'm a seasoned thrifter! Again I do thank you for all your support - I was amazed). I digress - I seek my opportunities to brighten the days all the time.

Spotted last week in Anthropologie were these very retro looking glasses (above) hardly a snip at £10 - EACH!

Spotted (and purchased)in a charity shop this week the set below - the real thing, a complete set of 50s glasses for less than half the price of one from Anthropologie! I admit to a tad of exhilaration at my find. Exhilaration for children only - I don't think so!

What exhilarates you - do tell!

Love Wend

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

In celebration of Niobe - Queen of Thebes

I first came across Niobe as a clematis, simple but striking with an innate beauty - not loud and flouncy, I fell for her simple charms and planted her in the garden.

When my gorgeous girl was born several names had been banded about - most of them boys. But 5 weeks before her alloted date she was born, (a great surprise to me as I'd only gone out shopping for a few bits) without any decision having been made over a name. Within a couple of days the name Niobe seemed to stick with little thought as to its history.

Niobe is one of Greek mythology's more tragic figures. She was the daughter of Tantalus (probably) and one of several possible ladies. Niobe was the queen of Thebes and married to Amphion. They had 14 children (the Niobids), and unfortunately Niobe boasted about her seven sons and seven daughters at a ceremony in honour of Leto, daughter of the titans Coeus and Phoebe. She mocked Leto, who only had two children, Apollo, god of prophecy and music, and Artemis, virgin goddess of the wild. Leto took offence and to retaliate, sent Apollo and Artemis to slaughter all Niobe's children. Apollo killed the seven sons while they practiced their athletics. Artemis killed the seven daughters with her lethal arrows. At the sight of his dead sons, Amphion either committed suicide or was also killed by Apollo for wanting to avenge his children's deaths. Whatever happened, Niobe's entire family was dead in a matter of minutes. In shock and grief she fled to Mount Siplyon where she turned to stone and from the rock formed a stream (the Achelous) from her ceaseless tears. She became the symbol of eternal mourning.

The rock of Niobe weeps even now. She is seen on a rock cliff on Mt Sipylus - the fading image of a female that the Greeks claim is Niobe. Composed of porous limestone, the stone appears to weep as the water after rainfall seeps through it.

We've moved a couple of times since she was born but I always have a Niobe in the garden.

Today my gorgeous girl is 17 and amazes me daily with her wit and charm and generosity of spirit. I love the fact that we know of no-one with the same name and she has got used to the myriad of names her friends call her instead. One day I'll take her to see Niobe's rock. Until then I'll just say

Happy Birthday, Little Niobe

Love Mummy

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's day

Seen in London last week - Liberty's window...

Gorgeous roses in the shop at the store's entrance

Had to visit Anthropologie - for research only! (Far far too expensive but eye candy by the bucket load...)

Old pieces of picture frame randomly displayed...

Their variation on the bird box...

and their interpretation of the vintage pinny - lovely colours but not for the hardened thrifter at around £30!

But today's best news - I went to an outdoor car boot after several months away. I just loved having a good old rummage again! Not in the least romantic - but it did make my heart quicken! I'll take some picture of my purchases soon.

Have a good week


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A really big Boo and 3 cheers

I don't normally comment on news stories for fear of causing offence but I was very upset to hear that, having given assurances regarding the jobs of Cadbury's workers last week, Kraft have now decided to renege and close down a plant near Bristol. I have no connection with those folks just a strong belief in honesty and integrity. I was sad that this family institution was taken over but even sadder that those involved have taken this decision within a few days of taking over...But then I'm a (Cadbury's) chocolate lover so perhaps I'm biased! Don't let them touch Creme eggs otherwise I may start a petition and a focus group.

But on a lighter note - three cheers for Ben de Lisi who has just designed a hospital gown which leaves the patient with some dignity, rather than becoming the butt of all jokes as they reveal their poor defenceless rears, in the traditional British gown with the delightfully draughty back opening . The American gown designer who usually produces frocks for the likes of Kate Twinset has turned his skills to replacing the traditional horror with something slightly less revealing but with plenty of "access for medical intervention" and in a lovely cotton jersey mix for ease of movement. I'm lucky enough never to have had to wear one of the originals - I hope not to have to wear one of the new ones. Unfortunately I didn't hear any mention of a Cath Kidston print being applied to the fabric!

Stop press - I saw a bank of snowdrops on Sunday!!! Unfortunately couldn't stop to take pictures.

Love Wend

Friday, 5 February 2010


I'm looking forward to this weekend as its going to be rich in terms of real "me time". Today I'm going through some of my late Dad's things as on Sunday I'm going to a "Hope and Elvis" workshop: "An experimental day working with found objects, old papers, photographs & books. Stitch, type, paint & make memory journals, collages or cards for special family & friends." Earlier this week those attending were urged to pull together some bits and pieces we may want to include in a piece.
I can't bring myself to use "one off items" which I feel I need to save for posterity (I'm not sure why- he didn't live to see most of his grandchildren so his things won't mean much to them!) However I've unwittingly become keeper of the family archive so take my duties seriously! I carry an old family name as a middle name (PHIPPS) and have passed this on to Gorgeous Girl. Unfortuantely she is the last person to carry the name and she tells me she won't pass it on! (It's embarrassing!). I have traced the Phipps family back to around 1700 (George Phipps being my 6 x great grandfather. The family moved from Leicestershire in the early 1800s to Arnold near Nottingham where they became quite well to do and my 3 x great uncle became proprietor of Chestnut House Academy.

This was a boarding school and Joseph was very forward thinking in his teaching. The picture is of a lithograph signed by Joseph and the one below is a close up. I love this picture with its very wooden looking children!

So now I'm surrounded with lots of ephemera wondering where I'm going to start and what I can and can't use to create something special! And my camera isn't working! May be I should just try to keep things simple!

Tomorrow I have a vintage fair to look forward to in Lincoln! So hopefully lots of eye candy!

Hope you have some good things to look forward to!

Love Wend