Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Absolutely Fabulous

On Saturday night Mark and I went to celebrate Sue's big birthday at The Bull in Highgate.
We've only known Sue and Mark (of Gorgeous Jewellery) for a few months, so we felt very honored when they invited us to attend this special occasion. Leslie and Aiden were there too. It was really great to meet so many of  Sue and Mark's lovely friends and family.
 Frocktasia effortlessly blending immaculate ladylike with common as muck. Sod the champers, this old girl prefers pints of bitter ;)
The party was fabulous, Sue's son and Mark delivered brilliant speeches, Sue treated us all to an awesome poetry reading, they'd very generously made it a free bar all evening and there was gorgeous finger food, sweets and cakes for all to eat. A special playlist with all Sue's favourite tunes had been made up and after a few brilliant ales from the pub's very own micro brewery I was hitting the floor like my name was Dancing Queen.
I bagged the dress that I was wearing from eBay the other week, it's labelled 'Global' and I think it's probably from the 50s. This is a perfect frock for dancing in, so much lovely swishtastic fabric!
We had such a brilliant time and I feel so incredibly blessed to have met such wonderful people as Sue and Mark, they ROCK!

On Sunday morning, I had promised Leslie that we would be at Talacre Road by eight at the latest to help set up. At half seven the alarm went and I waded through a gloopy mist of dancing pink elephants to the bathroom, steeped my bedraggled body in a bath, applied a generous dollop of slap onto my festering features and proceed downstairs to peel Mark off the kitchen sofa. Neither of us could face the bus journey so a taxi was ordered and we arrived just in time to put up the 100 meters of bunting that Leslie had spent days making.
It took me a good few hours and a hair of the dog to get back to some semblance of normality.
Thankfully Leslie and I were stall neighbours and that was not only a joy but a blessing too cause all the things that I'd completely forgotten about, brilliant Leslie had remembered, like rain covers for instance.
I also got to borrow her deluxe rail again, what a star this fabulous woman is...
Friend of the Year? You bet! 
Mark had to shoot off at lunchtime to collect Barbara a friend from Berlin who was stopping with us for one night before heading on to Wales.

There were loads of fun goings on at the Carnival all day :)
No Dandy post is complete without mentioning my fabulous fellow traders, as always they rocked my socks off and filled even my hungover riddled mind with awe :)
I fell in love with London's History Recycled, the brainchild of the super talented Amelia Parker. She makes stunning and unique pieces of jewellery from fragments of clay pipe stems collected along the banks of the River Thames. How awesome is that!
Lionheart Stationers specialize in hand illustrated and bespoke stationary but also design beautiful handmade clothes. You can peruse their creative wares in their well stocked etsy shop
 Full Stop Shirts is a brilliant concept T-shirt company that create unique Tees designed to be a reflection of the wearer. Their 'Me-shirt' comes printed with a list of the wearers favourite things and can be ordered from their awesome website.
 I was chuffed to bits to be trading next to lovely Claire of Bright River and her fab fella. Not only was Claire selling her wonderful original photographs and art prints but she had also brought along a rail full of wearable goodies too, I was eyeing up a fabulous Bavarian style frock on her rail.
 Vicky of Dolly Plops was working flat out all day putting her face-painting and henna tattooing skills to good use.
DBUN Designs sell fabulous greetings cards and smartphone covers and behind this small company lies a very inspiring story.
We were blessed with some awesomely sharp looking carnival revelers too. Just check out this stunning chick...
Sporran handbag, simply ingenious!

We'd had a few light showers but in the afternoon the sun decided to make an appearance and there was much rejoicing. The rain covers could come off, the umbrellas put away and exchanged for sunnies.
With the sun came Jo who was wearing the fabulous frock that she picked up from the Frocktasia stockroom when she visited last week. Here she is with our friend Barbara from Berlin.  
I hope that Jo will be able to visit once more before she heads back to the US, we had such a lovely time hanging out the other day and I've still so much to show her ;)

 Some close-ups of Leslie's stall, featuring her awesome handmade scatter cushions that you can buy from her etsy shop and her brilliant vintage button bracelets...
Whilst we were all basking in the late afternoon sunshine these two super stylin' chickadees rocked up at my stall and bought a Frocktasia necklace each. Needless to say I was beyond thrilled, I mean come on, how awesome are these girls :)
Despite the rain throwing a wee spanner in the works early on in the day, I had a fantastic time at The Dandy pop-up and loved the fabulous community and carnival vibe. Once the sun peeped through the clouds everything was just perfect. The numbers swelled and people were eating, drinking, laughing, chatting, shopping, bopping and just having a whale of a time, it was brilliant! 
Yes, that's me having hair of the dog number two ;)
Mark and Barbara helped pack all my gear up and very kindly brought it all home and I stuck around to help take down all the Dandy decorations including the 100 meters of bunting.
I got home to a bowl of pasta, that I scoffed in five minutes flat and after a little catch up with Barbara it was straight off to bed for some much needed regenerative sleep.

I had an absolutely fabulous weekend, hope yours was just as good ;)
Loads of love,

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Sunshine on a rainy day

It's been a little while since my last blog offering but as the saying goes time flies when you're having fun.
Here I am basking in today's five minutes of sunshine :)
 As I was desperately trying to find something to pair this maxi skirt with this morning the doorbell rang and outside waited my ever smiling postie with a wee parcel from Sweden.
My beloved mother must have known that I was in dire need of funky summer tops cause the parcel contained not one but two of these crochet beauties.
Vintage 70s maxi skirt (eBay), handmade top (from my lovely mum), Boho belt,  retro sunnies & necklace (car booty), Hush Puppies sandals (chazza) and Frocktasia handmade bag.
Last Friday my beautiful friend Zandra came over from Sweden to stay for a few days. We went to school together in the mid to late 80s and remained pen-pals for a number of years after I moved to another town when we were in our teens. In the mid 90s I moved to the UK and lost contact with a lot of my old pals including Zandra but thankfully we found each other again through Facebook.
 This was the outcome of our attempt to do a 'Past & Present', I'd had a gin or two by then, so I couldn't remember which side I had to go on ;)...
I always admired Zandra's creative & individual style when we were kids. When the majority were jumping on the Adidas tracksuit bandwagon she would rock chunky boots, revamped jeans & oversized blazers. She was never afraid of doing her own thing and she had a real flair for quirky styling even as a youngster.
Here's Zandra back in the late 80s...
She's still one of the coolest cats I've ever met. Zandra and her husband Jens run one of Sweden's top tattoo and piercing studios called Heavenly Ink
We had a fabulous few days of reminiscing about old times, catching up on twenty years of life stories and just enjoying each others company, it was awesome and I can't wait to do it again!

Whilst on the subject of  wonderful women, a couple of days after Zandra left I had another fabulous visitor.
Jo who writes the blog Joyatri's Adventures in Vintage came for an afternoon of tea drinking, chatting and some light rummaging. I've met Jo three times now but it feels as if we've been pals for years, she's a gem of a gal and if you haven't as yet please check out her fabulous blog. Much like Zandra she's got a real flair for quirky styling, she's very creative and has a beautiful soul steeped in kindness. Jo brought the most delicious vegan muffins I've ever tasted, baked to perfection by her own fair hands. She'll be returning to the US in a little over a weeks time and then you'll be able to peruse and purchase from her fabulous Etsy shop again :)

On Sunday Frocktasia will be braving the elements and joining the fabulous Dandy Lion Market when it does a turn at the first ever Kentish Town Carnival...
According to the BBC weather website, rain is forecast for Sunday but I've been cosmically ordering sunshine for weeks so I'm simply not having that!

Rain or shine I'm sure it will be a fabulous day  :)
Hope you've all been keeping well.
Loads of love,

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Breaking the habit & learning to let go

A stop and start spring has taken a big leap into summer over the past few days and I'm keeping my fingers crossed this is a wee taster of what's to come.
It's been two years since I last wore this funky 70s frock & I'm just sitting here wondering why that is?! I love the amazing trippy print and the gorgeous colours. Here's the last time it had a proper outing...
It was my pressie to myself when I quit working at The Lamb and Flag when it was taken over by Fullers. They did offer me a job under the new management but with reduced pay, less perks and an enforced dress-code, I told them where to stick it.
The fabric to the top part of the frock is a little bit on the sheer side, hence me teaming it with my trusty waistcoats in both the get-ups. 
The waistcoat I'm wearing today is a traditional Austrian one that I snapped up from a charity shop several years ago, it's got a great fitted shape, the embroidery is stunning and even the buttons are brilliant.
I think that frocks and waistcoats were made for each other.
My suede waistcoat (that I wear all the blooming time) was bought from a vintage seller friend of mine.
 After I quit the pub two years ago, I undertook one almighty life laundry but I realize now that it wasn't severe enough. 
 We've still got too much stuff hanging about, so it is time for 'Life Laundry 2' and this time I mean business. No more hanging onto things that I know I'll never use, wear or look at again...be gone clutter, be gone!
So it would be lovely if the sun could stick around for a while so that I can use the balcony for sorting stuff out. I attacked a few boxes earlier that had been gathering dust under the daybed for past two years since I last went through them and that yielded a bin bag full of stuff and it also resulted in me getting sunburn on my shoulders and knees, I won't forget the factor 50 tomorrow ;)
I'll leave you with a few pics that I snapped in the park earlier of the growing goslings, look how their flight feathers are starting to peek through the fluffy down :)
So gorgeous!

To play us out here's Linkin Park, enjoy :)
Hope you are all doing grand peeps.
Loads of love,

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Such a good feeling, that's where I wanna be!

Yesterday saw another edition of The Dandy Lion Market and not just any old edition, it was the second anniversary. I had a little bit of a mishap trying to get to The Oxford with all my stuff in the morning, Mark had very kindly put my case already strapped to the trolley downstairs and all I had to do was to bring it out onto the pavement loosen the strap off a little so that I could attach my rail. Even if Mark had shown me how to operate the strap mechanism I still managed to totally mess it up rendering it impossible for me to attach my rail to the case. Panic stations on the pavement! I called Mark who again explained to me how to go about loosening the strap & I even roped in a young man who was passing by but no joy. Thankfully a call to wonderful Leslie resolved my woes, she had a spare rail that I could borrow at the venue so I could leave my one behind. Not only is Leslie a beloved friend of mine she is without a doubt one of the most accommodating and brilliant market organizers that I've come across. She deserves praise and applause every step of the way. After a quick bus ride and a brisk walk I was at The Oxford albeit a little behind schedule. I was helped by some of my fabulous fellow traders to get the strangling strap off the case and as the rail had already been put up for me I was set up and ready to roll just after twelve :)
The thing that I really love about The Dandy Lion Market is that it never fails to impress and enthrall me with its line-up of creative talent and this month was the best one yet since I've started trading here. Everyone had pulled out all the stops to make their stalls and wares look fabulous. On every stall there was something that I wanted to snap up (curse my empty pockets). 

For the forth time I present to you my wonderful day at The Dandy...

Beautiful Shonel of Solace Designs made a return with her fabulous jewellery and accessories. I had an intense lust pang for one of those fabulous leather chest plate collars of hers, you can snap one up from her wonderful Etsy shop.
Gorgeous Listra of Listra's Handmade Soaps told me the wonderful story about how the inspiration to make her Caribbean Spice soap came from memories of baking with her family as a child.  I just had to bag a bar of it cause it smells absolutely divine. No nasty animal fats or chemicals just natural good stuff as it should be.
You can only see the top of Lizzie's head in this picture (sorry Lizzie) but you can see loads of her Beautiful Art. Fabulous & funky cat brooches, eco-friendly totes, coasters, mugs and amazing original wall art. There's a well stocked Etsy shop should any thing catch your eye...
Lovely Elizabeth is the creative genius behind Like Never Before. She uses recycled denim and other textiles to create stunning and unique statement jewellery. Yesterday she also had a few pairs of amazing looking revamped denim shorts up for grabs, just the thing to stand out in a sea of pedestrian cut-offs at Glastonbury.
Pretty Emma of Stitchrovia was hard at work stitching away when I interrupted her to take this pic :)
She offers up "A modern take on traditional cross stitch embroidery with a bit of British quirkiness thrown in". To snap up a pattern visit her Etsy shop.
Brilliant artist David Harker returned for a second month running with his awesome artwork. The amazing European Black Pine that you can see on the right is the latest addition to his fabulous work.
These two lovely ladies are behind Tillia's Teas, no website or Facebook page as yet but they sure know how to put together a delicious tea blend.
Perusing Raccoon Circus wares gave me several lust pangs. Stunning feathered hair-clips, amazing fit for a festival headdresses and crowns as well as beautiful bows & slides for every day wear. The creative genius behind Raccoon Circus is Laila who also happens to be a very talented musician, do check out her fabulous blog Tape Parade
If you love the look of her wares she's also got a fabulous Etsy shop for you to take a gander at.
Nubian Origin specializes in fine dining tableware inspired by African art and culture and is created by designer Adobea Obeng. They brought along their first stunning collection called 'Akoma Africa' available to purchase from their Etsy shop.
Brilliant The 3R Crafts were back for a third month running with their fabulous array of quirky and cute upcycled cork craft wares :)
I was gutted that I didn't get the chance to have a proper rummage through the rails of  Retro Girl but with any luck our paths will cross again soon. Vinita does not only curate a kaleidoscopic vintage & retro collection of  epic proportions but is also the founder of Rocket Girl independent record label. Yesterday she also brought along a fabulous collection of Indie and collectible CD's and Vinyl...groovy shoes!
Secret Treasures is run by Shona & Sophie that make vintage inspired jewellery and gifts at very affordable prices. They have a fabulous on-line shop for you to peruse :)
More vintage and retro awesomeness brought to The Dandy by D'Burgin Fox Vintage. This pair specialize in  British style icons and classic heritage brands. A collection of lovingly selected must have pieces for dapper gents and stylish ladies.
Tania of The Little Skincare Shop makes a range of fabulous natural facial toners made with vegan and environmentally friendly sourced ingredients. They are available in English Rose, Lavender, Orange, Tea Tree and Chamomile. You can purchase their products from their on-line shop or on Etsy
The next stall totally bowled me over...now that's what I call display skills :)
Ava Design is a jewellery company specializing in Japanese Akoya & Biwa Pearl and Swarowski designs. Each piece is designed, handmade and finished by Ava and most are limited edition or one-offs. Check out Ava Designs fabulous website and on-line shop.
Here's Leslie in front of her Wunderbar Vintage rail :)
Leslie also makes awesome scatter cushions, super funky vintage scarf tops and amazing zip and button bracelet cuffs. She stocks some of her marvelous handmade wares in her Etsy shop.
As today is Coronation Day Leslie decided to entitle this months Dandy 'Crowning Glory' and to wear a funky rainbow crown to mark the occasion ;)
Speaking of crowns...here's a gem of a man fit for a crown, Mark of Gorgeous Jewellery.
Mark very kindly gifted hubby with this gorgeous thistle brooch by miracle jewellery to go with his kilt  and I bought this amazing Jonette Jewellery brooch that I'd spied on Mark's stall at the Muswell Hill Market a few weeks back.
A couple of snaps of some of the lovely people that visited. 
Whilst on the subject of lovely people, look who came to visit :)
Jo of Joyatri's Adventures in Vintage and her lovely fella. Jo and I talked about hoarding and I invited her to come and have a wee look around my hoard house at some point. They are a really lovely couple and their visit made a good day even better. Darling Jo also brought me a fabulous gift, a gorgeous woven suede belt and I know just what to wear it with, it will look awesome with my Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin frock. Thank you so much Jo for the lovely gift and to you both for popping along :)
I also got a wonderful gift from Leslie, an absolutely awesome zipper and button bracelet cuff made by her own fair hands and with me in mind. I love having such thoughtful friends.
Then all of a sudden the Dandy day came to an end, five hours go rather quickly when you are having such a lovely time. Mark rocked up at five to help me pack up and get the stuff back home, what a star!
If Mark hadn't been working today we would have probably stuck around for a few after market drinkies but there's always next time ;)
Thank you to Leslie for organizing yet another topper of an event, to all my fellow traders for enticing and inspiring me with your awesome wares and amazing displays and of course to the lovely people that came through the doors and spent some time chatting, perusing, sampling, trying and buying stuff, you peeps ROCK!
The next Dandy at The Oxford will take place on Saturday the 6th of July but before that Leslie is having a pop-up Dandy Lion Market @ the first ever Kentish Town Carnival on Sunday the 16th of this month but I'll blog about that when I have more details.

If you are wondering where the inspiration for today's post title came from, turn up the volume and enjoy :)
Hope you've all had a splendid weekend my lovely friends and that you feel rested and ready to take on the week ahead.
Loads of love,

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Happy Happy Happy

 My love for a Russian scarf print is well catered for in the fabulous frock that I'm wearing today. I bought it last year from a car boot sale and it was going cheap cause the elastic around the neckline was completely knackered. No bother for the likes of me, I've got elastic coming out of my ears. I also have an Everest like mending pile so it took me quite some time to actually get around to fixing it. Over the past few days I have made a brave attack on said pile and am happy to announce that it does no longer rivals The Shard.
 The frock is labelled Tootique and I think it's probably from the 70s.
 Check out the voluminous sleeves and the newly elasticated neckline ;)
70s scarf print frock, 70s jacket, 80s boots, soap stone & macrame earrings and handmade Turkish necklace.
The Egyptian geese appeared with their brood yesterday, they are so adorable. I just wish I could scoop them all up and keep them safe from crows and herons that like nothing better than to snack on a these little fellows. The parents do their level best to keep predators away but crows are persistent and cunning.
I'd better hit the hay as it's getting rather late and I've got a big day tomorrow...
The Dandy Lion Market will be celebrating its second anniversary today and it's going to be blooming grand. I'll be there with a rail full of fabulous & fun  frockery.

Here's Stevie to sing a happy ditty to make us all smile, enjoy :)
...and just because I love you all and want you to be extra happy this weekend here's another happy tune for your listening pleasure...
I wish you all a brilliant weekend :)
Loads of love,