Sunday, 21 August 2011

P is for Picnic

Yesterday hubby and I paid our monthly visit to SeeWoo in China Town to stock up on green tea, tofu, soya, seaweed & other odds and sods.
We thought that as we were going into town anyway, it would be nice to have a picnic lunch in St James's Park before shopping, so we packed adzuki bean pie, salad, bread sticks, fruit & beer.
We were going to bring the vintage Brexton picnic case that I scored from the car boot sale last year but decided that it would be too much of a pain in the backsie to carry, especially as we'd be laden with carrier bags after going to SeeWoo's.
  It was just as well that we didn't bring it cause contrary to what the man on the telly said about the weather, mid picnic it started pishing down.
It was alright though cause we continued our picnic sheltering under a majestic tree that had umbrella like qualities ;)
Here I am getting ready to crack open a bottle of non-alcoholic Cobra beer...
I've only just come across the 0% Cobra & I have to say that although it's very nice I still prefer Becks Blue to anything else that I've tried.
St James's Park is one of my favourite London parks.
My sister took me here on my first visit to London when I was ten years old and I've been in love with the place ever since. 
Hubby and I worked & lived-in at a pub off Trafalgar Square in the late 90s & in our spare time this was where we went to chill out or excercise; 
slothing out on tattered pub accommodation blankets or playing Frisbee, those where the days ;)
I have some really happy memories attached to this place.
Here's the Brexton that never made it to the park, thankfully!
Here's hubby sheltering under the tree, at this point it was merely spitting, a few minutes later the sky ripped open and it poured down for atleast half an hour.
Even the ducks looked a bit miffed by the end of it.
Then we strolled up to China Town to restock our supplies of oriental goodies.
Green tea is ridiculously cheap in China Town, this huge box of 200 teabags is less than £2.
I actually saw this tea when we were in Malaysia earlier on this year and they were charging a lot more for it over there, which I found somewhat stange considering it's so much closer to China.
We always pop a few things in the basket that we've never tried before and this month that turned out to be these four items...
I'm sure I've had black sesame seeds on bread rolls before but I've never cooked with them.
We go through a bag of white sesame seeds every two weeks, I like to scatter a handful in salads & sauces.
Did you spot the print on the dress I'm wearing in the pics?
I bought the dress on eBay cause the print reminded me of the Homemaker print ;)
When I was googling for a pic of a Homemaker cup I came across a really awesome blog called H is for Home, if you're into your retro stuff then this is definitely one for your blogroll.
Here's a pic from that blog of a Homemaker pattern cup...
I also found out that the blog owner has a fabulous on-line shop that is amazingly well stocked & an etsy shop too, where you can buy some of this amazing fabric...
 I almost fell out of my chair with delight when I saw it, it's really gorgeous, alas I have no spare pennies to buy some myself at the moment.
I did score some fabulous vintage fabric at the car boot sale earlier though, so I really can't complain too much ;)
Hope everyone has had a smashing weekend!
Lot's of love,

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Jennie goes to Bollywood

The other week whilst chucking random words into the eBay search engine I happened upon a stunning traditional three piece outfit.
The seller had listed it as an 'African skirt suit' but after seeing the fabulous attire some of the guests wore at the wedding Christina of Fashion's Most Wanted attended a while back, I just knew that it had to be Indian.
I think that this slight listing faux-pas worked very much in my favor as I had no competition.
I've seen similar outfits going for considerably more, so needless to say I'm chuffed to bits.
The outfit is made up by a Lehenga (skirt), a choli (top) and a massive dupatta (shawl wrap).
It is in pristine condition and finished to a very high standard.
Lucky old me, that's all I can say, it's flipping gorgeous!
Here I've teamed it with some ornate bindis, quirky Indian earrings & loads of bangles all from the car boot sale.
You can see in the pics that the dress I was wearing before was slightly tight in the waist region ;)
It has to be said that I wouldn't normally pick a garment that puts my midriff on display but for this stunning outfit I'll make an exception.
I feel like I should be Bollywood dancing ;)
The skirt is very long and as such would be quite tricky to incorporate into an everyday outfit but the choli top could certainly be worn with a shorter skirt or some trousers.
Here are some glorious close-up pics...
Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend.
I'm off to scoff some Bombay mix & crack open a bottle of non-alcoholic Indian Cobra beer, cheers or A la sature as they say in India ;)
Lot's of love,

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Dirndl Mania

I've always had a fondness for traditional/ethnic/cultural clothing & over the years I have amassed a large collection of attire from all corners of the world.
Elaborately handcrafted dresses made from exotic African fabrics, rustic South American ponchos, opulently embellished Indian garments, stunning Japanese Kimonos & Chinese cheongsam frocks but there is one garment in particular that make me go weak at the knees…the Dirndl!
The dirndl is a traditional dress primarily worn in Bavaria & Austria.
Its design is based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants but I think nowadays most people probably associate it more with buxom wenches serving frothing steins rather than farming the land.
I recently acquired yet another pretty dirndl to add to my collection,
I now have one for every day of the week.
Here she is...
I've teamed the dirndl with a vintage Eastern European embroidered peasant blouse that I picked up from the car boot sale at the weekend. 
I think they look as if they were made for each other ;)
How mad is it that only the other week I also acquired this amazing Bavarian wool cloak...
I've been on the look out for a cloak like this for ages and was chuffed to bits to unearth this from a mound of clobber at the car boot sale and happier still to get it for a song ;)
Here are my other six dirndl dresses...
A few years ago I found this pretty landhaus waistcoat on a rail in a charity shop, 
it has been a staple in my wardrobe ever since...
Close-up & labels
...and yet more labels ;)
Here I am wearing a dirndl dress at the age of two...
That's all for this time folks!
Hope everyone is fine & dandy :)
Lot's of love,

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Dampening discord & nurturing nostalgia

In the light of what's been going down here in the urban jungle of late, I've not been in a good mindset for blogging and I'm still feeling a bit off key; the figurative grand piano has taken a great big knock and it's playing woefully out of tune.
So I'm just going to give you some pictures of my mummy instead cause I'm missing her very much at the moment.
It's at times like these I wish I could turn around to the nearest adult and ask them to phone my mummy to come and collect me cause quite frankly...
"Jennie doesn't want to play anymore!" ;)
Here's my beautiful mamma Ewa:
I believe she was 15 years old when this was taken. I wish she'd held onto that frock ;)

These two photos were taken when mum did a spot of modelling for a local photographers studio. She was only 16 years old but looks atleast twenty I think. A year later my  mum gave birth to my oldest brother Pelle.
Tea & fag break on the balcony in August 1965.
I think this was taken on a trip to Poland in the 60s, check out the groovy print on the dress...yeah baby!
This is one of my favourite pics ever, my mum looks amazinlgy stylish & beautiful. I return to this photo for style inspiration again & again.
A knitted ensemble this time teamed with a cute smile. Check out the funky furniture...I'd so have that in my house today.
Here's mummy clad in a fabulous floral blouse with her pigtail plaits, giving yours truly a sink bath ;)
My mum became involved in local politics in the 70s, I guess that's where I get my activist streak from ;)
She smoked for years and years but then one day when she was fourty-odd she binned her stinky sticks and haven't smoked since ;)
Here's a local news clipping from 1976, it reads "Mother of five & ninth name on the town council list Ewa Andersson,29, demands more childcare opportunities & jobs for women, 5 year old Jessica & Jennie who is almost two agree" ;)
Here's the three of us again, several years later at Christmas, all wearing Laura Ashley style fine frockery.
Yesterday's outfit incorporated one of my mum's dresses from the late 70s.
A very elegant 40s inspired frock...
I've teamed it with a pair of vintage heels, Coach bag, 80s sunnies and a pair of crochet & stone heart earrings... all from car boot sales ;)
I love wearing my mum's old clobber, it makes me feel a little bit closer to her ;)
Close-up for you fellow print geeks ;)
Here are some other treasured bits & pieces that used to take pride of place in my mums wardrobe...
She LOVED clog boots back in the late 70s & early 80s.
This top was handmade my a woman that lived up the road from mum when she was a teenager. Mum wore this on the night she got together with my bio-dad.
This was another staple in my mums 70s wardrobe, I remember admiringly looking up at that yellow sleeve when I was the size of a midget ;)
That's all for today folks!
Hope you are all keeping safe in these crazy times.
Lot's of love,

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Supermarket Sheep

We've had yet another sizzling day here in London.
The only downside with this heat is that I find it extremely hard to stay focussed on work.
 All I want to do is to grab a blanket and a cool bag full of chilled drinks & hit the park.
It gets horrendously hot in the flat during the day and horridly humid at night and as a result we’re going through rocket lollies, squash & ice cubes as if they were going out of fashion.
We had to pop up to groTesco earlier to replenish our stock of these very items...
I like to read the label on everything cause there are so many things that I'd really rather not consume...aspartame & corn syrup being top of that long list!
Hubby and I both loathe big supermarket chains & I really feel like the biggest hypocrite alive when I wander down the isles of groTesco.
I buy most our fruit & veg from either the £1 a bowl man or a family run greengrocer not too far from our house, they sell freshly baked Turkish bread and delicious olives too.
However for every year we've lived in this area the number of these small family run businesses seem to dwindle and yet another 'groTesco local' or one of the other supermarket giants move in.
The variety seemingly shrinking in favour of more of the flipping same.
What are you looking at ;)
Another thing that really gets my goat about these supermarkets is that the prices seem to change every time I go &  in my experience contrary to what the TV adverts proclaim it is more often a hike in price rather than a drop.
  There are so many things that I detest about groTesco but the thing that I hate the most is that I actually shop there.
I'm a self-confessed bread-o-holic but I find that if I bake it myself it's more filling, supermarket bought bread is often full of air & additives.
It still makes me laugh cry when I see how warped food pricing is in this country, especially in the light of the damaging effects that it has on the general public.
It was one of the first things that stunned me when I moved to the UK from Sweden back in 1994, I couldn't for the life of me understand why bad stuff like microwave meals, crisps, soda pop & biscuits were so cheap compared to good food.
I grew up with these things as rare treats and they were not at all part of the daily diet.
I was briefly acquainted with a young mother back in the 90s and was completely appalled with what she was feeding her kids...frozen pizza (that's why bad mums go to Iceland), chips, ready meals, white toast bread, chocolate spread and crisps. 
Never a meal cooked from scratch and never a piece of fresh fruit, horrible & if you ask me, tantamount to flipping child abuse!
The government should in my opinion subsidise fresh fruit & veg and make sure that supermarkets prices are regulated, so that the good stuff is affordable to everybody. 
If the powers that be really don't want a nation of morbidly obese people on mobility scooters in the future then surely this is what needs to happen?!
Busted! There I was thinking I could get away with sneaking a bag of delicious vegetable oil laden potato bits in the basket without hubby noticing ;)
Hubby and I are both vegetarian. 
When people ask me why we're vegetarian, I tell them to go on YouTube and check out the PETA's 'Meet Your Meat' video cause that should bring it all home.
Today's frock is vintage 50s by 'Global' and was an eBay purchase from a few years ago.
So what did we buy at groTesco?
Two bags of carrots for juicing (I've been juicing everyday lately and I'm developing a nice little David Dickinson glow)
Coffee for the cafetiere (we both need a daily fix)
Bottlegreen apple & plum cordial (I've been drinking pints & pints of this stuff)
Ice lollies (you've got to have them, when it's hot)
Mushrooms & garlic nan breads (for tonights curry)
As you can see above, I was caught lurking in the crisp isle...
I know I really shouldn't but we got a bag of potato sticks to share ;)
Close-up for the print & label lovers ;)
That's me all ranted out for one day!
So where do you stand?
Are you a supermarket sweeper or a supermarket weeper?
Lot's of love,

Monday, 1 August 2011

Urban foraging and silly posing

It has been a splendiferous summers day here in London.
So we took time out and went for a walkabout in the park & did some impromtu foraging along a nearby nature trail. 
The blackberries are getting ripe now and there's an absolute abundance on the bushes. 
I also wanted to collect some elderberries for making a cold & flu fighting tincture.
I've been very much inspired by my sister as she has been making  loads of jam & cordials lately.
Incidentally she has also recently started a gardening blog called Haveriet
it's written in Danish but if you can't read it there's loads of lovely pics to feast your eyes on too.
I was somewhat "overdressed" today wearing a frock with long sleeves. 
Thank goodness it is made from cotton otherwise I think I would have passed out from overheating but it was kind of good to have a little cover to protect my arms from being rasped to bits by the blackberry thorns.
The frock is from British High Street staple store Topshop but it is from the 70s.
I won it on eBay together with a bunch of other vintage attire a few months back but this was its first outing as it has been lying on my mending pile awaiting my attention.
It was nothing major, just a few stitches to the underarms and it was ready to be rocked again ;)
I love the little row of round fabric clad buttons to the front and the cute ditsy floral print.
Some blackberries destined for a crumble (that we have just devoured)...
A little bit of strutting infront of the camera, as one does ;)
I also picked some wildflowers, so much prettier than a garage forecourt bouquet & free too.
Some more snaps of my lovely dress...
I hunted down a few more vintage Top Shop frocks on-line for your perusing pleasure.
Behind every link is a wonderful vintage frock, go on and click, you know you want to ;)
The top one is from the lovely Liz.
Here's a close-up of print & label for any fellow fabric & label nerds out there ;)
  That's all for today folks!
Hope you've all had a swell day and that the sun didn't go to your head and make you do silly things like posing behind a tree with one leg sticking up in the air, tehe!
Lot's of love,

P.s. If you haven't read it already then there's a fecking brilliant interview to be enjoyed over on The Fashion Turd blog with the undisputed Queen of Quirk Helga.