Friday, August 28


We arrived back home yesterday after a sunny, confectionery fueled week in Amsterdam.

When we weren't sat people watching or reading in the numerous cafes dotted along the canals, exploring they city on foot with rare help from our map and dining on waffles and vlaamse frites with peanut sauce and mayo, I went to lots of vintage stores: Wini, Episode, Zipper, Lady Day, 1953 Retro en Chic and Laura Dols as well as wandering through Waterloo Market.

Here are my two favourites:

1953 Retro en Chic on Staalstraat is a lovely little shop.

The small space is covered in beautiful garments, shoes, bags and other bits and bobs. I spent quite a while taking it all in while the other half relaxed outside the cafe opposit. It was a 'look only' store for me with all the items of interest well out of my price range.

The gorgeous clothing and accessories available at Laura Dols on Wolvenstraat have been divided between two stores along the same street. The prices vary but as you can guess they are generally a little on the steep side.

I fell for a little red hat (already having bought a red skirt on the market) and put it on right away. I nearly lost it to the river Amstel when a gust of wind blew it right off my head. I finally caught up with it not half a meter from the water's edge.

I took three pairs of shoes to Amsterdam, only one of which were flats so after a first day turning my feet to lumps of raw meat I packed up the heels and wore only my little red t-bars. The other item in constant use was my green cardigan. With two primary colours for starts I went even brighter adding pink, teal, purple and blue tights.

Friday, August 14

Top Mode Dress #2

Finally some pictures of my Top Mode
40s dress.

I am starting to get used to my new look now, no longer surprised at the be-fringed one in the mirror.

My rag curling abilities are improving, so the results are less erratic all the time. That said, I think the breeze blowing through my hair masks the short comings of my curls in the pictures.

I am rather enjoying how well the fringe suits BIG hair accessories, bows and topper/tilt hats. I have tried a few on yesterday and I'll definitely have to keep my eyes peeled for head wear from now on.

Dress: The Old Chemist Antique Shop
Tights: eBay
Shoes: Ark Vintage

Wednesday, August 12


So I finally have the fringe I decided on a couple of weeks ago. It is such a big difference I am compelled to stare in every mirror I pass (and other reflective surfaces too). The feeling of unfamiliarity is so overwhelming I still can't quite decide whether the cut suits me or not.
Either way, I am quite enjoying the novelty of it all.

Below are before and after pics as well as a photo of 3 or 4 year old me with fringe the first.

Saturday, August 8

Top Mode Dress

Yesterday I went to The Old Chemist Antique Shop. I try to keep myself from going there too often because it is one of those places you never leave empty handed.

I am glad I went yesterday, because there was a 40s shirt-dress waiting for me inside. It was love on first sight and I found myself clutching the hanger as if somebody was going to try and rip it from me any second.

It is my first dress older than myself and I must admit I am in awe at wearing something that has been around more than twice as long as I have.

I have three more working days to go and then I am off work for a little while, so last thing Wednesday I am getting my long awaited hair cut and as of Thursday I expect to go photo mad. Can't wait to show you the dress properly :-)

Thursday, August 6

Linzer Kuchen

In October I am going to spend a weekend visiting my parents in Austria. This trip is long overdue, seeing as I haven't been in 'the old country' in nearly two years.

The postcard above (from 1924) shows my home town. The house on the card is where my parents live and was my home for the first 18 years of my life.

I am looking forward to copious amounts of cakes and pastries, so on that note:

Here is my recipe for Linzer Kuchen as my Grandma and Mom make it.
The amounts given will make three cakes (or four if you use small baking tins).
They will keep for approx. one week and can be frozen.

You can substitute the walnuts with hazelnuts, almonds or pecans and rum works just as well as schnaps. As for jam anything with a bit of sourness to it will do (cranberry sauce works really well).

It is a really simple cake to make but kneading that dough will do wonders for your arm muscles, not to mention crushing so many nuts (I can't get a hold of pre-ground walnuts ANYWHERE in this town).

Sunday, August 2


Metal screetches as girders move in the breeze. Broken glass crunches underfoot. Echoes, pidgeons cooing inside the hollow buildings. Butterflies, so many butterflies, flitting from flower to flower amidst the debris.

My way home from the cemetery took me past some disused college buildings torn down in part last year. I usually look at the locked gates wishing I could just bound over them and go inside to explore the derelict leftovers hidden behind it.

Today the gates were open.
I cycled home as fast as I could, changed and fetched the Blue Lady.

Blue Lady Mask: Paper mache and oil colour
Dress: H&M
Belt: Asda
Tights: eBay
Shoes: Clarks

Mister Careless

I have always had a soft spot for the Mill Road Cemetery.

Blackberries grow along the brick fence and crickets chirp in the tall grass. People walk their dogs, relax on their lunch break or even go mushroom picking.

Most of the graves are so old they are crumbling away, the inscriptions having become illegible long ago.

Finding Mister Careless' gravestone did make me smile though. What an excellent surname.

While I took pictures a lady bug landed on me. Good luck is mine. :-)

Hat: H&M
Top: Oasis
Skirt: Oasis
Tights: eBay
Shoes: Clarks
Bag: eBay

Saturday, August 1

Neat stitches

No outfit post today. I was much too knackered to get out of bed early.

Instead I finally started re-hemming my skirt. I am making a real effort to keep the stitches neat (head about two inches from garment, tongue sticking out, brow creased) but the results make me wish for a machine even more.
I am nowhere near finished and I have already added a new 'must have' to the house of my dreams: Space for a sewing table (in addition to a garage to be turned into a studio, large kitchen, large garden and a real shower, not just a plug into the bathtub affair).

Of course acquiring a machine wouldn't make me any better at sewing, but some illogical corner of my brain keeps insisting that once I have a machine Poof! I will suddenly turn into queen of needlework.

To the right is my sewing box. While I suck at using the equipment inside it, I do like the look of my little Russian doll collage or decoupage (such a grand sounding word for a bit of cut and paste).

I am going to cut an old pillow to shreds now. It is time to try out rag curls tonight.