Saturday, 25 May 2013

Hair Clip Heaven - Rosie Alia Designs

Hello there good gentle folk. I hope you are all doing aces. And if not, then perhaps this treat of  hair clip from Rosie Alia Designs will cheer you up? Simple things like pretty fleur's  - real or faux - usually make me smile. Especially when they are as nice as this one.

Now. I own more hair flowers than I care to admit. Most of mine come from the High Street (H&M -  I'm looking at you) for anything between £2 - £5. I recently decided to try and display them in some kind of arty way, using string and my dressing table mirror.

The result? It looked as though a monster had taken a floral dump in my bedroom. 
I must try harder.It looked so awesome in my head.

dress - made by me // shoes - thrifted Clarks //cardy Primark // bag vintage 70's

However, I think that this looks pretty awesome on my head. Hand made by a very talented thing by the name of Rosie Alia, they are the perfect addition to a coiffed retro do or for clipping in and rushing out the door (yep -  that's me then)

Made from durable, but remarkably real looking, silk flowers they fix in with a sprung clip that doesn't show. Yes. Doesn't show.

Now. I have a real problem with the clips on hair flowers being seen. Although the flowers themselves might not look all that natural -  for some reason seeing the clip showing really bugs me. I have been known to spend longer on trying to conceal them than I did on my actual hair.

So -that in itself was a huge win for me. That and the fact that no matter what side I place it (usually my left) or how my hair is fixed, it stays put and does not stick out at a weird angle.

Rosie made this one just for me with it's big ol' poppy and hedgerow looking whites. I am really into Edwardian looks at the moment with wild flowers and such.  I like the idea of it looking as though I have whimsically picked a shrub and stuffed it behind my ear. In my head, the is exactly the look I pull off.  Ha!

With that in mind,I shall be keeping a close eye on the new things in store. I basically want an English meadow on my head (could I hint any harder? *wink*) and with custom orders available, I might just be able to achieve it. But if you are a buy-and-wear-kinda-girl, there are plenty to choose from ready made over at her Etsy Shop -  with new pieces being added all the time. She is one busy crafter.

I think her prices are fair for the beautiful work she creates. As a vintage dresser herself, she knows exactly what us gals are after. 

There are a few I have my eye on and if they are still there by pay day -  I shall be clipping them on my head. Fact.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Gramps 96th

Today marks the 96th anniversary of my Great-Great Grandfather's death during World War I. 

Although we know little of what happened that day, we do know that it was upon this date and that he perished with 5 other men from his battalion. 

The how's and the where's have been lost to time thank's to the Blitz. We shall never know  for sure where he is buried or how much of him made it into a grave.

He is remembered on the Arras Memorial in France and by me every day.

William Edward French

1886 - 1917

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Scotney Castle

How bad am I? More photos from bygone days out last year just waiting to be found in my folders. And this day out was such a nice one too. Gah. I really must try harder not to forget what I have snapped.

Today I take you (via, errrr, Summer 2012) to Scotney Castle, which is part of the 

And honestly, I think it is in my top five places I have visited to date.

The whole place had me entranced. Being mid-week it was relatively quiet which gave us lots of time to explore the rooms and the grounds. But my, oh my, it was muggy. You know the type of humidity that makes your forearms damp. Ack. To be inside main house was a blessing.

Originally a 14th century moated castle, it is just the ruins of this original structure that remain today. During the mid 1830's the Victorian country mansion that stands was started and was only opened to the public in 2007. I have to say, it does feel very much like someone still lives there. Although it is a large property, it felt like a home and is stuffed full of personal effects and memories of a life lived.

The mansion was built using sandstone found within the grounds and once it was completed in 1843, the hollow left behind was made into the Quarry Garden. Now. I must have not strayed too far from the path, as I have since found out that it contains some fossilised dinosaur prints. Ah well, it means I shall have to return and seek them out. Shame.

I love, love, LOVE going upstairs in National Trust properties. Why am I so excited about stairs? Well, because they are not behind ropes and I always feel like, just for that small amount of time, you really get up close and personal with the property. Am I a crazy person? Perhaps. But, for me, it is always a bonus if I can go all the way up or down a flight of old wooden, only-carpeted-in-the-middle stairs. 

Imagine all the folk who have done it before me.

I could say that I was so engrossed in my walk up (someone elses) memory lane that I nearly missed the fabulous painting above. But I would be a fibbing. You cannot miss the hooooge black-&-white-striped-dressed painted lady. I just stared at her and she stared back. To then walk a little further up the stairs, into a bedroom and be greeted with the actual dress left me a little agog.

From memory, the dress was found in the attic many years after the portrait was complete having been carefully stored away. What a boon to find it in all it's stripy glory.

The whole property is heaving with little trinkets and signs of the past lives. I spent a far few moments imaging myself living in a place such as this. Especially sitting with all my friends around this table.

I have yet to shake my need for taking my own photo in other people's old mirrors. Fellow visitors in the room must think me kooky. I'm not (well, only a healthy amount)  -  I just love the idea of capturing myself in another's looking glass.

I like it so much -  I did it not once, but twice. What a poser. Ha! Something I liked a lot more than taking random reflection shots of myself, were these, frankly, amazing illustrated letters. I am a keen letter writer (although I am sure my penpal's would agree at the moment -  I have been woefully lazy when it comes to hand writing anything of late) and  I would love to be able to draw and send something like the above. Ain't they special!

And don't even get me started on how beautiful this dressing table set is. They are right to put things out of my grasp. I love how lived in, yet vacant and tidy the rooms are. Something for me to take some direction from me thinks when it comes to my own home. I have lots of old, thrifted stuff -  but it seems to be everywhere.

If the inside of Scotney Castle was not enough for me -  then there were also the gardens to be explored.

And mighty fines ones they were too. I would love to have a garden. One with a creeping-ivy-covered ruin in it, all the more so.

We spent a long time exploring with me trying to take photos of bee's and butterflies. This is the only one that made the cut. The others were a buzzing, fluttery mess. So you shall have to make do with some shots of my mug. In a blue polyester frock I found at a jumble sale in the Autumn.

Now. Take a closer look at the photo in the top right. See that hand? A blurred hand just by my head? Who's is it? I have no idea. It's not mine. It's not The Beards. And there was nothing behind me. Apart from that wooden door. And a wall.

Aside from that rather spooky note (who's hand is that?!) -  I can heartily recommend a visit to Scotney Castle if you are ever in the around that way. And if not, it is most certainly worth a special trip.


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