Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Just thought I'd give you a quick introduction to my art work. I'm all excited because some local artist friends are setting up a high profile open competition in their studio in one of the towns old furniture factories.
Here's some grainy B&W shots of the place:

How could you not grow up a little bit Goth with all these mouldering Victorian Factories around you?

Anyway... back to the art...

This is what I do

Guess who? When I saw her at the wedding, I knew I had to paint her. In fact the hat was so tall that I ran out of space and had to add an extension! I won The Vintage At Southbank Bad Art Salon with her too and now she belongs to designer Wayne Hemingway (probably in the loo or something)

Gratuitous shot of me accepting the prize with judges Lulu Guinness, Wayne Hemingway, Christos Tolera and Paul Kindersley one of the curators getting in on the act 

 Here's some examples of my other work. I'm getting a bit low on work as I keep selling it (oh boo hoo Clare!)
The Orangery 2008

Mark Spitz 2008

Downley Common 2010

 Nigella 2010 (just sold this one!)

Pug 2010

Barbry Allen 2011

Old Deer 2011

You get the general idea.... big eyes, bright colours, slightly sinister. That's generally what I do. I'm also on the lookout for new subjects, so I hope you don't mind if I approach any of you wanting to paint you in your most fantastic outfits from your lovely photos (or weirdest photos). 

Also if you're an artist, please share your work and/or enter the competition in the link above!

Ps: I have 20 followers now! Woo! Thanks so much!

I mentioned Goths earlier. Well here's a handy make up tutorial from my friend Paul on how to get an edge authentic goth look. Or terrify children.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

First Attempts At Millinery

It's taken me a while to write this post, I tried earlier but a chronically fuzzy head delayed me, so back after a walk up a breezy hill, past some passive aggressive cattle, then again distracted by an art problem and Earthflight I'm giving it another go!

Here we go without further ado, my first attempts at customising a hat and a fascinator. or two fascinators depending on where the line is drawn between the two:

Remember the hat from the post ? Well, I bought some netting and roses and voila!

Better light in the half finished conservatory!

hmm, difficult to find a photo where I wasn't looking a bit mental. However, I thought I'd get over my vanity and show you these in all their hilarity!

Here's a close up of the fascinator. All I did was buy the base and the feather on ebay seperately. The feather was part of a topshop fascinator thingy. I took it apart (cheap shite so not difficult) and reattched the clip on underneath the base. Easy!

I also bought this cashmere jumper from a charity shop for £3.99 and attached a fuzzy bunny patch from a job lot I picked up in a local haberdashers.

ps: I saw The Artist on Tuesday and it was excellent! Here's the lovely Rose Murphy version of Pennies From Heaven from it

Monday, 23 January 2012


Ok so maybe buying my boyfriend Batman Arkham Asylum for the sssbox was a bad idea, I have nothing to do. We're house sitting and I've no energy to start sewing after a long swim with a crooked neck. So I looked at a vintage fashion blog that was asking who my style icons are in return for being entered into a prize draw to win a rather smashing book. I'm not really sure who my style icons are... I certainly do think the people listed are fabulous but they don't, erm, give me tingles. They're too obvious and maybe I'm too much of a weirdo or too (shock horror) snobby to go for someone so obvious. I'm sure the blogger is lovely, but she did mention Cheryl Cole in a positive light and for me, anyone who thinks that dead eyed twiglet is a style icon doesn't deserve the book.

Oh dear, enough of the ranting. I just really don't like Cole or her ilk. I'm such a fussy bitch that it's often easier to list who I'd like to throw to the lions than who I put on a pedestal.

 There's so many "ordinary" ladies - blogging or otherwise - out there who are so much more deserving of the Style Icon title. Actually - ignore the ladies bit, there's some amazing men out there too.

Firstly here's Doris - as Calamity Jane, my favourite film as a child (next to Carry On Up The Jungle). She was a tomboy, she ran up hills and sang, didn't brush her hair (til the end and I still loved her) and looked stunning. I really didn't want much else out of life

I grew up with Carry On Films and my hero in those wasn't Babs but Amanda Barrie. She appeared in Carry On Cabby and Carry On Cleo (a film I faked being ill at school for so I could be sent home and could therefore watch it as I couldn't get them music out of my head!)
So cool, so amazing. Posh and world weary in one film, ditsy and glamorous in the other, with hair and make up I wanted to copy

Are any of you fans of E F Bensons Mapp and Lucia books? Oooh I really hope so. I'm a huge fan of the books and the 1980s TV series starring Geraldine McEwan , Prunella Scales and Nigel Hawthorn. Aspiring and devious social climing queen Lucia (McEwan) is so fabulously elegant and stylish, I just drooled with envy at her Art Deco outfits. Sigh, so cool, so elegant.

It wasn't just her clothes, it was her girly tones, her sideways glances and elfine features. Divine.
Here she is out classing the rest of the town:

Another Mapp and Lucia character I love is the obviously lesbian "Quaint" Irene Coles, the pipe smoking artist - whom I can't find any photos of, but here's a great video introduction, Ireney can be seen about 2 mins 40secs in! 

It's funny really, because it's often not one specific person who is a style icon. I tend to go for ideas and trends more. From an early age I was introduced to camp humour and gay men have been a massive influence on my entire life. The king of er Queens being Kenneth Williams. Any looks that reflect that saucy humour are ones I've gone for. I even wanted to look like this.....

or this...

and definitely:

Back to the girls - Just to finish. Here's one woman rock star snaring machine Pattie Boyd. It's her hair I love more than anything. 

this is the dream hair.. the hair shangri-la I always dreamt of.

 Another girl with a similar look I just couldn't stop staring at is Francoise Hardy, I've never seen anyone like her, she's so beautiful. (ok Jess and Gib stop getting excited I haven't switched teams) 

Ok, just a quick mention of my other darlings:
Lumley - always
Annette Hanshaw

Joan Sims

Eartha Kitt

Audrey Fforbes Hamilton

Ok, there is an obvious one... Marilyn in Some Like It Hot, my favourite film

and my nan... in this photo mostly. 

Who are your influences? Tell me all!

Here's some cheeky innuendo or double entendre or both, I'm never sure

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Take these broken wings

We had a quick trip into town and surprisingly there were some charity shops open on a Sunday. I'd already been round them about four times last week greedily looking for bargains and rather desperately looking for presents for my boyfriend and found nothing at all - apart from a pair of 80s white lace gloves - 99p from Oxfam, which I can't seem to erm.. lay my hands on at the moment, hence no photo!

However - I did get this lot -

birdy scarf - only noticed them when I got home - 49p YMCA

Dress 4.95 from YMCA shop, though originally from the "inspire" range from New Look - I find it insulting that size 18-24 people need their own special range, why not just integrate with the rest of the shop. Bastards.

I see the red dye lasted about a week then...

19th Century Seaside print - according to my internet researchings this was published in 1935, the frame and backing look very old too... and it was only £1.25!

Here's the guy this post is named after, he was only £2 and he had a broken wing so we couldn't leave the little fellow behind

it's just  a simple slipped screw, so it shouldn't be difficult to fix!

This lovely dress is actually from ebay, it arrived earlier in the week, it's from the Marks & Spencer's 125th Anniversary Limited Edition range.... think I might change the belt. £21

It's freezing outside, but according to this song, that's the best kind of weather for courting - and there's some mean tapdancing in this video:

Thursday, 19 January 2012

If you touch hitty pitty, hitty pitty will bite you!

I'm a massive fan of Beatrix Potter, I've even considered a tattoo! So when I was browsing on ebay for a bag I found Linda's Handbags and asked Linda if she would make me a handbag in the style of one of the others she has but with the lovely Squirrel Nutkin material I'd spotted. She kindly agreed and it was done in a trice and posted uber quickly. Including P&P it cos me £17.99 - which isn't bad.

Sorry for the dodgy photos - I'm staying at my boyfriend's and I left my good camera at home

oooh lovely lining and an inner pocket!

Lovely long handles... the sinusitis has been replaced with a sore neck and I've been meaning to downsize my huge handbag for a ages to I think I'll try this one for a while to try and take the pressure off my poor right shoulder

Here's a lovely piece of originial art and the whole of squirrel nutkin's infuriating riddle:

"Old Mr. B! Riddle-me-ree!
Hitty Pitty within the wall,
Hitty Pitty without the wall;
If you touch Hitty Pitty,
Hitty Pitty will bite you!"

the answer is a nettle