Monday, 13 November 2017

The Colour Purple


It's no secret that I hate winter but rediscovering this coat almost compensates for the plummeting temperatures.

1970s jumper worn with 1970s purple lace maxi (used to belong to my friend, Nikki), vintage suede platform boots and crochet skull cap (both charity shopped), Pom-Pom trimmed tribal belt (present), Dents' cerise leather gloves in top photo (car boot sale)

What lies beneath? Don't adjust your computer screens, long-time readers, jumper-phobic Vix is wearing... a jumper! I spotted this Missoni-esque bell sleeve poking out from the £3 knitwear rail on a secondhand stall on the market. Most of the stall's stock is of the mainstream high street variety but every once in a while I spot a vintage gem, like this stunner and, funnily enough, the coat in the top photo. 

I'd mentioned sharing a few of the things I rescued from my parents' house in my last post. As we're about to redecorate I've stashed the bulkier pieces in an outbuilding until we're ready to display them in all their glory. Treasures include an Egyptian Revival fire surround with the corresponding peacock blue ceramic tiles (last seen HERE), a walnut Art Deco standard lamp (identical to THIS but when Jon's rewired it, rest assured that ours will be adorned with a far funkier lampshade) and, most excitingly, Mum's partially furnished 1930s Tri-ang doll's house (same model HERE) which I was convinced she'd given away years ago. Sadly it'll need even more restoration than The Cottage!


Here's Mr Punch the Victorian cast iron door stop. Until I googled him I'd never noticed he was taking snuff or that the dog was wearing in a top hat. Just goes to show that if you see something every day of your life you stop looking at it properly. My brother & I weren't that fussed about keeping him (we've stubbed our toes on it more often that we care to remember) but Jon loves him and as he's put his back out loading the skip and braved the spider ridden cellar and attic we thought he should have him. 


How could I not keep this 12" tall Art Nouveau Morris Ware vase? Hand-painted in all of my favourite colours, if it was a dress I'd wear it. Designed and signed by George Cartlidge for S Hancock & Sons, it was produced in Staffordshire between 1912 - 1920. Morris Ware was originally produced to compete with Moorcroft but looking at completed listings on eBay, Morris Ware seems to sell for more. Back in my misspent youth I "liberated" a couple of these encaustic tiles from a building destined for demolition, giving one to Mum and keeping the other. Along with the rest of my encaustic tile collection, it'll be put to good use when we redo the bathroom.

My brother and I found this Mid-Century Polish-made wooden ornament in a box amongst Dad's stuff, neither of us had ever seen it before, but looking at his old passport (something else we uncovered for the first time last week) for a young man from a working class family, he was very well travelled and probably brought it back as a souvenir (along with the Bitossi cat and the bronze model of Athena who both live on our mantelpiece).  


Handsome devil, wasn't he?
I wrote a blog post about my Dad's adventurous life HERE


Dad trained with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He travelled to the States on business a few times when we were kids but I didn't know he'd been in the 1950s.


Can you imagine what it was like travelling to Germany just seven years after the end of WWII? 


Remember the Victorian scrap screen I've had since I was a child? It was starting to disintegrate and look very sorry for itself but I had a brainwave. Mum had kept all my childhood books - extremely tatty as many were already old when I inherited them and I'd almost read them to death. I knew that if I sent them to a charity shop they'd end up in the bin. Why not salvage the pictures and display them somewhere they could be seen every day (as opposed to being hidden away on a dusty bookshelf)?


 There's early Twentieth Century biblical stories and fairy tales, a 1920s nursery edition of Peter Pan, Mum's wartime Alison Uttleys as well as a dilapidated Yellow Submarine paperback and my first Ladybird book from the 1960s plus some treasured greeting cards sent from family members between 1906 to 1951. I've attached them to the screen with a liberal application of PVA, stained them with  water from 10 teabags stewed overnight and will varnish them when it's all dry. 


So not too much of a hoarder, am I? Over the weekend I've managed to whittle down the endless bags of family photos & documents ranging from the Victorian era to the 1960s to a livable minimum. If I get a chance this week....the to-do list is another whopper....I've try and share a few interesting finds with you, it'll be an incentive to get them in some kind of order.

Linking with Patti & The Gang for Visible Monday.

See you soon!

75 comments:

  1. That coat looks like it was made for you. I am with John though, the door stopper Punch is incredible, just put it somewhere out of the way so no more bruised toes. And that vase - beautiful.

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    1. Thank you!
      Mr Punch is behaving himself so far and propping open a door that has an annoying habit of swinging shut. I'll give him a wide berth after a few drinks, though! xxx

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  2. Have to say I never thought I'd see you in a jumper but not surprised you pounced upon this one it's a beaut, you look very Agnetha/ Anni frid. I'd keep Mr Punch too, he's a favourite of mine. Your dad was certainly well travelled, I wonder if we'll get back blue passports after bloody Brexit.
    xx

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    1. It is a bit Abba, isn't it?!
      The Blue passports would help a tiny bit in having to leave Europe, wouldn't they? The bit at the back where Dad had to record how much money he'd taken with him on each trip made me giggle - £20 for Germany! xxx

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  3. Ooh that coat! I LOVE it! I'm cold most of the year so at least winter gives me an excuse to wear layers, fluff and hoods

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    1. Hello, you!! Lovely to hear from you! I nearly wet myself when I spotted that coat, couldn't believe it was a fiver. It's like having your own little eco system wearing it with the hood up! xxx

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  4. Good work on the screen, such an ace idea for salvaging some childhood memories. I love the purple coat, very glam. Nobody would know there's a jumper underneath... Xx

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    1. Phew! As long as nobody thinks I've got a fleece under there, I'd never live it down.
      I've got to crack on with the other side of the screen now, the new bit's showing up the other side! xxx

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  5. I remember that coat from last year & that new jumper is fab!
    That Morris Ware vaseis divine & the mid-century ornament is errrr interesting!
    I'm very happy Mr Punch found a good home too.
    xox

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    1. I love that coat, it covers everything! xxx

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  6. Super coat! I never wear purple 'cos my husband hates it so much it's not worth the whinging.

    It's good that you've been able to keep some things from the house. The vase is lovely.

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    1. I remember him telling me that he hated purple! I wonder what caused that! xxx

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    2. I genuinely don't know. Short of some bizarre subliminal Catholic thing I can't imagine any reason for it.

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  7. Ah this post is a real treasure, I thoroughly enjoyed looking at all the lovely things you rescued. I agree with Jon, i love the Mr Punch too.
    The screen you've recovered with old book pages is such a good idea and you're right it's far better than a dusty bookshelf or worse still the bin.
    Your Dad looked very handsome in that photo.
    Finally, your jumper is lovely. I must say I do like woollies because I really feel the cold. xxx

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings, Sally! I've got to do the other side of the screen now, I hope I've got enough books and bits left to do it or it'll be a charity shop run to do more. xxx

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  8. Your Dad was a handsome devil - and so well travelled. Good idea with the screen. I agree that Jon deserves Mr Punch. x

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    1. Wasn't he? Very unusual for a young man from a working class mining family in the post war years! xxx

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  9. The purple outfit is head to toe beautiful! Love the Missoni-like sweater and that amazing coat!!

    Love the Jester (or Mr Punch), I'd save it too (here is his Russian brother - Petrushka, btw - https://www.google.com/search?q=%D1%80%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9+%D0%9F%D0%B5%D1%82%D1%80%D1%83%D1%88%D0%BA%D0%B0&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiy0LftlrzXAhUM2WMKHUqQASwQ_AUICygC&biw=1366&bih=637)... but I'm sure you knew it.

    The Art Nouveau vase and tiles are beautiful, and the way you preserved pictures from your childhood's books is very creative!

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    1. I love Petrushka! I wonder who came first, Mr Punch or his Russian brother? I hope your wasn't a wife beater like ours is. xxx

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  10. And you do take a lot after your handsome Dad! Not only in face and adventurous spirit. I looked at the old post, and when he walks up the stairs, he reminds of you so much - the same posture!

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    1. That's so funny you saying that, Natalia. I look at myself sometimes I can see my Dad in my mannerisms, too. xxx

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  11. I love Mr Punch. Your posts are super interesting at the mo as I love seeing 'thru the keyhole' and your parents were clearly mega hoarders and had a very interesting collection. By the way I have seen 2 pairs of Russell & Bromely shoes in boxes, brand new price tags £175 each in a chazza for £25-35 each .. I keep looking at them, it's a fair wad but not compared to what they cost new, I know I should buy at least one pair so might make an offer .. better get a move on!

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    1. Thank you! The blog posts are really helping me to focus and not get overly sentimental about stuff.
      Those shoes sound like a bargain - have you looked at completed listings for anything in a similar style? I sold a pair on eBay earlier this year for £80! xxx

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  12. You're a vision in purple. I remember the coat from last year, and those purple boots are fantastic with it. Couldn't quite believe you were wearing a jumper though! It's fabulous, and I would certainly have picked it up too! I love Mr. Punch, but I'm sure I would have stubbed my toes on him many a time as well. I'm famous for stubbing my toes! How fabulouse is that doll's house! I love your idea of salvaging the pictures of your childhood books and decorating your screen with it! And your Dad really was a handsome devil, and such an adventurer. I spotted a Belgian stamp in his passport too, from Oostende ... xxx

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    1. That's a huge compliment, you have the best selection of knits. I think I was subliminally inspired by your lovely yellow H&M one!
      I was renowned for my clumsiness - that is, until I met Jon. I fear for Mr Punch's future when he's kicked him a few times! xxx

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  13. That purple coat is so fabulous, I almost want it to get cold! Love the striped sweater too. And your dad - handsome and brave and you do look like him too. Have a wonderful week, xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! Be careful what you wish for! We've got a welcome mild day today but it's been grim! xxx

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  14. Your coat is absolutely fabulous, in the true meaning of the word. You look like you are all set for an epic adventure. Your Dad was a very handsome man and what an interesting life he led by the sounds of it. You must take after him and he must have been very proud of you. Absolutely love that Morris Ware vase. The colours are fabulous. Very "you" brilliant save on the scrap screen. It is a lovely thing. Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kelly! I'll never stop being amazed by the clothes made in the 1960s and 1970s, they seem to get more and more fabulous the older I get!
      My brother originally claimed the vase but after a few weeks decided the colours and style weren't really him, crazy man! xxx

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  15. My older sister also had a very similar triang dolls house, but slightly smaller, without the garage. I spent all my childhood playing with it, so you brought back a lot of memories xx

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    1. Hi Jayne! There's quite a few of the smaller ones on-line. Mum's must have been a deluxe model, it's even got lighting in each room - although I doubt very much if it still works! xxx

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  16. My granddad was from Cannock as well and every Saturday night would walk from Cannock into Walsall , to the dance , then back again.

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    1. Goodness me, he must have been fit! I'm not sure if my Dad ever did anything as sociable as that! xxx

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  17. fab in purple - the sweater is a dream!!
    i´m fascinated by all the interesting things - that art nouveaux vase!! - and the stamps in your dads passport....
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, darling! Dad was fluent in German, he was very fond of Germans (and VWs!) xxx

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  18. I remember that blog about your dad , cant believe its been nearly 5 years

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    1. Doesn't time fly? it surprised me, too. We started clearing the house the day i wrote that post and it all came to a grinding halt! xxx

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  19. I still have a pink and white crocheted cap like that my mum made when I was ten. I'll get it worn on blog so we can be twins.
    How I love that coat. Mr. Punch is really lovely-I'm glad he'll be staying with you. I really like your recycling of the old children's books. I too have some that are far-gone and hadn't thought of decoupage as a use. I might have some boxy handbags getting a makeover. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Wow! If anyone can rock a skull cap then it's you! Mum used to make them to wear herself but never made me one. I did have a poncho though! xxx

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  20. Hurrah, another blogger who hates winter. But hey, I can understand your joy at the discovery of this wonderful coat. Your boots are rather awesome too! I'm battling hard with my hoarding nature, so well done if you're making an impact on things.

    Have a great week!
    Anna

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    1. I'm all about the sunshine and heat! I'm counting the days till I'm next in a bikini! xxx

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  21. The coat! I think I would be a happy soul sipping a brew, leaded or unleaded, next to a cozy outdoor fire, looking so stylish. I love the picture of your dad-easy to see where your looks came.

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    1. That coat is so warm with the fake fur trim and the hood - it made Monday's baltic temperatures a lot more bearable. xxx

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  22. thought I'd stumbled onto a new blog, you in a sweater? What a sweet sweater.

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    1. I know! Wonders will never cease! Must be my age. xxx

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  23. That coat is wonderful! And the boots! And the dress! I love the doorstop too. Just keep your toes well out of its' way! That tile is fab...hope the bathroom refit is top of the to-do list for 2018 and then we can see them all. Much love at this slightly unsettling time. Zxx

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    1. Thanks, Z! The redecorating should be done by the end of 2017 - good way of ignoring the seasonal insanity! xxx

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  24. Gorgeous purple everything & that top!!! Love Mr. Punch!! Jon is so right to keep him! The vase, the tiles, the 20s Peter Pan----TREASURE <3

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  25. Never say never, right? You look wonderful in your sweater et al, and your prodigious energy has me all inspired!!! I need to get back to daily creativity. Love you, and thank you!!!!!

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    1. I hope you get out of your rut very soon - I love it when inspiration strikes! xxxx

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  26. So many treasures! Your dad was very good looking and dashing.
    I love the thisle vase, very pretty.
    My mother is tossing things out now to save us the heartache later.
    I hate to think what is gone.
    The Polish figurines look like part of a Nativity set.
    The 3 on the right look like shepards with staffs.

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    1. Hello Tess. Your Mum is very wise to do some clearing out now, it saves a lot of stress and heartache in the long run.
      I'm going to fill that vase with peacock feathers, I think.
      I wondered if that was something to do with the Nativity, could explain why it was still in its box, Dad was a rampant atheist! xxx

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  27. I don't have a blog but I love to read yours. The outfit is rocking but the most lovely thing is the picture of your screen next to the bookcase in one room, with you in the background in a back room looking at a dressmaking model. It reminds me of a Vermeer painting for some reason. I was born in the 50's and so much of what you wear reminds me of the clothes I wore in the 60's, which was such a funky time to be a teenager. Thank you, regards Sue H.

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    1. Hello Susan, lovely to hear from you.
      My Mum had a set of Vermeer prints on the wall when I was growing up and I thought exactly the same as you when I first saw that photo in the magazine it was featured in.
      I envy you being a teen in the 1960s. It must have been so exciting. xxx

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  28. Great blog post, thanks for the link to the Art Deco Lamp - we love that too!

    We've got some great stock in at the moment, we'd love to see you visiting our blog https://kernowfurniture.co.uk/blogs/news

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    1. My pleasure! Don't tempt me, you've got some lovely stock! x

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  29. Glad you kept a few things frm your parents' home, Vix. Looking forward to seeing how you redecorate your house. Xx

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    1. Thanks, Jess! We'll get cracking on it this weekend - I hope! xxx

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  30. Love , Love , Love that screen and the coat is gorgeous too , Such interesting finds xxx

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy with how the screen is looking, I've been meaning to do it for over 30 years!! xxx

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  31. A wonderful way to mend the screen and keep what you have and love. I'm with Jon on the Mr Punch!

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    1. Thank you! I'm worried I'll run out of books to cut up, decoupage is very therapeutic! xxx

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  32. Whenever I see purple it reminds me of one of my closest friends- it's her favourite colour. It's been very touching to see the photos of the things you've kept from your parents' homex
    Arilx

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    1. I bet she's a lovely person, purple lovers always are! xxx

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  33. Oh my goodness, I remember those coats and jumpers! Both fabulous and you look gorgeous in them.

    What a brilliant door stop that is and I just love the vase and tile.

    I think your screen idea is wonderful. All that decoupage will have some meaning and memory for you as well as looking fabulous.

    Cor - your dad was a handsome man and well travelled too. The way he is looking out of his photo is the exact same way you look at the camera as well! The wooden Polish ornament is very unusual and so colourful. I expect it's a type of folk art...

    Have a great week.
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I'm loving decoupage, no wonder the Victorians were fans, it's much more fun than watching the telly! xxx

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  34. What a fab coat in the first photo and gloves and shoes perfect with it. Love mr punch. What a handsome man your dad was. He looked like a film star. That was such an interesting blog Vix. Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! Everything I own seems to match that coat! xxx

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  35. It's incredibly hard to narrow down what to keep isn't it? I can only imagine what a task you have on your hands sorting out photos and paperwork........

    Love, love love all the purple and green! x x

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    1. It really is! I'm being really ruthless with all the old papers and photos, too - neither me or my brother have any intention of having kids so there's just no point in keeping hundreds of photos, no one's going to want them when I've kicked the bucket! xxx

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  37. I love to see you in all your velvety purple glory!!, that's a fabulous coat, and it would make Winter looks less dull!. You look gorgeous in that fab color!
    Glad that you're managing all the stuff with a positive attitude, sometimes it could be an overwhelmingly nostalgic task. And you got some interesting pieces: I'm totally in love with those wooden ornaments, so unusual and colorful!.
    besos

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