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?
We are redecorating the kitchen now....
I want my home to look SIMPLE SOOTHING RELAXED ORGANIC FRESH CLEAN CALM SANE SENSUAL
That's not too much to ask, is it?
Though it took some doing from our starting point 11 years ago which was this : (see also 4 March)
We worked our socks off, got to the point where we had simply had enough (do you do this?) and having got it to an acceptable condition more or less abandoned any further DIY for a number of years. So we are now doing that 'second pass' going back to all the bits we didn't finish, and quite enjoying going at a more considered and rational pace, and making good decisions.
..tomorrow, some inspirational websites and books....
You do hear it said that looks don't count, whether it be of people, or clothes, or homes....but I contend that how things look affects how we feel quite profoundly whether we are aware of it or not.
Something that recently made me much clearer about what my preferred home style is - and by that I mean what kind of look pleases me most, aesthetically and psychologically - was stripping the sitting room bare to do some long overdue redecorating.
I realised just what a lift bare white empty space gives me. I love it. The more we removed, the more I liked it. I know it feels Spartan to some - I can see that - but it makes me feel, I don't know, more alive somehow! My surroundings really do have a powerful impact on how I feel.
Do you feel this? What kind of environment gives you a lift? And can you recreate that in any way in your home?
Here is the room after we finished - it just lacks flowers on the table....
This is how it looked when we moved in. It's good to have some 'before' photographs to remind you, isn't it? It makes you feel all the hard work is worthwhile!
I've never been a fan of the 'previously worn' look..
reduced to £24.99 !! (people were looking, if I didn't laugh I'd cry)
I think I've spotted a new trend!
An ad for Filofax, the paper personal organisers, describes them as:
Will old-fashioned be the next big thing I wonder?
I fell in love. With this hat. Waited (im)patiently, and sure enough they reduced the price, from £45 to £12! Hurrah! I am so often lucky in sales.
The brim was huge, and would have looked fabulous on someone 5 foot 10 inches tall, so I started to unpick it, thinking it would take an age - but it unravelled beautifully and I kept going until I felt the brim was more in proportion to my 5 feet 0 inches - looks like spaghetti!
Am now all set for that wedding....
I've been enjoying Love, Loss and What I Wore written and illustrated by New Yorker Irene Beckerman, a slight book which briefly tells the author's life story through the clothes she wore from the 1940's to the 1990's. Starting with her Brownie uniform and dancing school outfits, through home made skirts to party dresses ( 'I almost got into trouble at that party. I think it was the dress.' ) to bridesmaid dresses and the trouser suit she wore to her first job interview, and more. Her memory helped I assume by the fact that she kept so many of her clothes!
The fun of course, is in remembering your own nearest equivalents. Best read in little bits, and had me looking through old photographs and asking my daughters what clothes they remember - both mine and their own. It will be fun to check this out with my sisters too. A nostalgia trip kind of read....
..which clothes in your life so far stand out in your memory ?....