I bought this beautiful Austin Reed silk scarf from Oxfam online....
(I stitched together the two short ends to make a loop - it drapes nicely and won't slip off as silk scarves tend to do.)
It's a lovely place to browse: clothing, vintage, books, toys, memorabilia, eco products and more, and they have a sale on till Wednesday....
I have too many clothes.
Nice new coathangers from IKEA led to another sort out. I worked out how many full hangers fitted the hanging space nicely (32) and decided that is how many things I will have in my wardrobe this winter.
As I changed over the hangers I engaged brain and made some decisions:-
Mistake....forgive myself and let it go.
Can't wear....for whatever reason, let it go.
Don't wear....for whatever reason, let it go.
Don't want to wear....no-one says I have to! Let it go.
Doesn't fit....let it go.
I feel happy in it! Lovely, think of why, and I'll know what to look out for in future.
It suits me! Yay! As above.
Is it right for the season? If not, store somewhere else for now.
I now have some to store, some to give to the charity shop, some to go to textile recycling, a core of good things and space for one or two new!
A good evening's work.
And next trip to the city I'll have a much clearer idea of what I need.
I know it's perfectly posssible to travel in sport or casual clothes, and at a push I could probably manage a long weekend away with just a back pack, but for me part of the fun of going away - especially if it is a city break, is wearing my very favourite things and dressing up just a little, so....
My suitcase is small, with wheels. It is hard and therefore a bit heavy and I'm looking for a lighter weight one. In it for a four day trip I had:
Pyjamas, thin cotton
Favourite t shirts, long and short sleeved, self coloured, one for each day.
A pair of dressier shoes
Linen trousers pressed and carefully folded
Jacket likewise - hung up soon after I arrived at my destination
Chargers for camera and phone
I also took, and could have managed without: a hairdryer (borrow or have a hair style that doesn't need one), a towel (supplied most places), a small leather shoulder bag, an umbrella, socks, a cotton blouse and more scarves. None of these were heavy except for the hairdryer and on another trip I might need them....
Crinkle fabrics are tempting - but I go easy on them as I'm starting to look crinkly myself!
Another tip to save weight - post gifts ahead, preferably so that they arrive while you are there.
So, not the last word on travelling light, but a basis for me to play variations on.
Here are some of my current favourite accessories..
Thank you so much for your comments and tips on travelling light. (Check out www.onyabags.co.uk - thank you Sarah.)
I do seem to have a lot to say on this topic, but my thinking is that if I really refine it and think it through thoroughly I won't have to tax my wee brain every time I travel! So, with that in mind the make-up bag and the sponge bag:
I went along to the Bobbi Brown stand in a department store when I found a voucher for their new range of long lasting make up (see post 18 April 2012). It was fun having my make up done - the first time I'd done that. It really does last all day so a few minutes in the morning and that's it....and my travel make up kit now consists of:
1 foundation/moisturiser/sunscreen all-in-one (I like Origins)
1 eye shadow in a neutral colour
1 brow powder and brush
1 eye liner pencil, sharpener and cotton bud to smudge
1 lipstick (another in backpack - I have one pinkish and one peachy)
In the sponge bag are mini bottles of shampoo, make up remover, shower gel and body cream. I saved little empty bottles and decanted my favourites into them. Toothbrush and mini tube of toothpaste. (Boots do a range of travel sizes of lots of things - I'm looking for a mini deodorant without parabens). A facecloth, blister plasters just in case, medicines, cotton buds, nailfile, hairbrush. My favourite perfume is in a heavy glass bottle but I missed having it, so will ask nicely for a tiny bottle of it for Christmas....
Tomorrow the suitcase..
I'm planning on travelling lighter still and here are my notes on what to wear, culled from my recent four day trip (see yesterday's post).
For travel I wear simple clothes in mostly natural fibres. I like these to be nice quality. Good quality ones can be worn for several days and still look great. Cotton trousers, a long sleeved self coloured cotton t shirt, shiny flats which are comfortable. Patent can look dressy or casual (mine are a little worn looking but comfort matters more, and I can have a smarter pair in my case if I think I may be going somewhere dressy). I spent a long time looking for the perfect coat. The lightweight one I have is poly-something-or-other, a slightly crinkly showerproof fabric which keeps the wind out, with a hood (avoiding the need for an umbrella). It can roll up small and fit in my bag.
None of these items have any decoration or trim on them - no logos, flowers, stripes, spots, tabs, buckles, belts or even buttons in the case of the coat. All the colours go with one another and suit me (a whole other story but a fun one, for another blog post). On my recent trip I had light grey, bright pink, lime green and a neutral I love - the colour of the froth on a cappuchino.
According to the season and the weather the t shirt can be long or short sleeved, thick or thin. A thin vest top underneath can be a top if it gets really warm or an additional layer if it gets cold and can be rolled up tiny and put in your bag when not needed. The shoes can be sturdier or lighter, or boots can be substituted, a jacket or a sweater can be worn under the roomy coat, tights or socks can add warmth....but basically it is still the same four items.
The fun bit is accessories - scarves and jewellery for me. I like bold necklaces - 'statement' jewellery I suppose you might call it, in bright colours, and big scarves - linen from Hobbs especially. I got a beautiful lime green one for £9 in their sale last year. Four necklaces and four scarves - two linen and two light cotton ones - don't take up much room or weigh much and create in effect a different outfit for every day. Also at the end of the day if you feel a bit crumpled and worn just putting a fresh scarf around your neck or shoulders with a pair of gorgeous earrings and a squish of perfume....can make you feel and look a million dollars again. Well, I exaggerate, but you know what I mean....
Any travel light tips most welcome....
Not Greece, but the British Museum London - wonderful!
My word for 2012 is lighter. (What was your word again?)
When I travel with the car I take lots of stuff without thinking about it too much, but when I'm carrying my own luggage I like to plan carefully and travel fairly light. After a lovely four day trip to London I've decided I want to travel even more lightly. So I tried, when unpacking, putting everything I had taken and not used to one side and made lists of everything else.
These lists will form my new Travel Light list for those occasions when I have to carry my own bags.
I took a long hard look at everything asking Did I really need it? and Can I find a lighter or smaller version?
My lists are Wear, Bag, Suitcase, Spongebag, and Make Up bag.
Tomorrow - my notes on what I like to wear when travelling....
I bought Elle magazine on impulse. Total fantasy! Airbrushed impossibly beautiful people and everything costs hundreds or thousands of pounds. What can any of this have to do with me and my life? I asked myself, about to bin it and tell myself I'd wasted a few pounds.
But then I thought Wait a minute, something made me buy this - what was I looking for? Surely there is something in there for me!
So here is what I gleaned:
I could do a simple manicure on my gardening hands (I did - nice).
There was one smiling model - amazing - and I thought I could smile more even if my teeth look nothing like this
Next time I'm in the city I'll look at Mango where they actually have dresses for £22.99? I don't want a dress but I do like looking..
I quite like wearing lipstick, and somewhere I've got a nice bright pink....there seems to be a trend for very soft colours, must have a look
I'd like to see this exhibition at the V&A of glamorous ball gowns and it is on till January 2013
Fragrance - I like perfume - maybe i could get some for my birthday. I tried all the little samples in the magazine but the one I liked was £67....hmmm, always did have expensive taste.
I could jump, wearing nice shoes?
I like high heels (about three times a year). Must plan more occasions to wear the ones I've got.
Prints are in it seems - maybe not this backless dress, but a shirt or a scarf might be fun.
I love my sunglasses which are very old and may fall apart any day. If I carry them in my bag I may find a pair that are similar...
A free make up lessson and personalised face chart from Bobbi Brown? Could be fun..
I realised that what I was looking for when I bought the magazine, was a little boost, a little incentive to think about my appearance and the end of winter clothes and winter skin (there is still snow on the hills as I write this!) but I think I did actually get my money's worth and am off to rummage in my wardrobe right now....and put on some lipstick!
(NB I am having annoying problems with the layout of my blog pages and hope the text is lining up with the pictures!!)
Still on the subject of favourite books At Home With White by Atlanta Bartlett has quite a lot of vintage, which I'm not particularly fond of, and shabby chic which just looks plain shabby to me, and as for 'distressed' - why would I want distress? There's enough distress in the world without deliberately ruining a piece of furniture....(just my opinion!). But the book was worth a couple of pounds second hand from Amazon, and better value than an advertisement packed magazine. (I did once get a second hand book from Amazon with bits cut out of some pages! It was described as 'good condition' but mostly they have been as described.)
There are some nice quotations from artists and writers:
'White...is not the mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.' said G K Chesterton. I would add 'and a lot easier to live with'.
In remaindered book shops I found The Scented Home by Karen Wheeler, The Healing Home by Suzy Chiazzari and Harmonious Home by Judith Wilson. Nice titles?
Here are some of my favourite home style websites. Of course they reflect my tastes, but whether you like chintz and cosy, vintage, classic, antique, modernist, country, traditional....there's a website - they are like personalised magazines - fun and (mostly) no ads.
..and of course they all have links to lots of others and you can easily spend hours....
PS Today is International Women's Day and I have not posted about it - so I am sending you to a posting today by Lisbeth from Sweden which I like very much - http://inredningsdesigner.blogspot.com/ The blog Creative Living is by the same Lisbeth who writes wabi sabi style (above). Check out her neat hone hone clock, just below the title top left!