Wednesday, 23 November 2011

New (old!) Plant pot

Saturday just gone, it was a lovely bright, dry autumnal day so I was up and off out early with Michael and my sister, Elaine for a spot of bargain hunting at the big fleamarket at Earlestown. To be honest, it was very slim pickings and I didn't really see much (only one thing!) that I liked enough to buy. Having a tiny house, we just do not have any space for any more clutter so it has to have the wow factor for me to buy it! I always love having a good old rummage through all the crap though - kind of like sifting for gold! - and can't think of how I'd rather spend my Saturday morning :)
Here is my sole purchase anyway;
60s/70s plant pot - £2.50
Not exactly a 50p bargain, but I loved it! The seller looked me up and down and told me it was £3. I haggled him down but he wasn't for shifting much!
Elaine said that she felt that she was overcharged for things too - most likely because we looked smart and well dressed in a sea of tracksuit wearing/scruffy shoppers. Note to self - look like have just got out of bed and don't do hair/makeup next time!
And how it look in situ in the bay window next to our egg chair. Orange and brown is my absolute favourite colour combo for homeware and interiors, yet I'd never wear it clothing colour wise! 
This plant is known as a Zebrina Pendula, or Wandering Jew- and was a present off my mum. They are fab plants if you kind of (ahem) forget to water them as they don't really mind and grow like wildfire anyway in a lovely shocking purple and green. When they get a bit straggly, you just cut off the ends - and stick them in fresh soil, and they grow again. This plant is on its 4th re-incarnation and still going strong :)

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas.......

At weekend I went into Manchester for my monthly creative group meet up, and also to do a bit of Christmas   shopping. I don't go into town that often really, only usually once a month or so, and I was pretty shocked at how busy it was, how many shops were in full on Christmas mode (6 weeks before the day!!) and more importantly, the shocking amount of people that were completely laden with piles of plastic shopping bags. This got me thinking to what a wasteful time of year Christmas is, and so I thought I'd do a post on how we can all be a little bit greener at this time of year. I'm by no means an eco-warrior, but I do care about the environment and try and re-cycle and reuse everything I can where possible. If I at least inspire one person to change a habit, then I'll be happy!
 1. Wrapping! - Most people just look at the print, and what's on offer without even considering the environmental impact of their paper. The majority of papers are just that - paper, which is completely fine and 100% recyclable. However, for those who prefer a more 'luxury' package - you may usually get something like this:
Foil or plastic shiny wrapping. You can't recycle this, and it will just go into landfill - which if you think about how many people dump this stuff each Christmas, is pretty bad. You can still get lovely (and recycleable) paper wrapping, so if you want to be be green, avoid the foil!
If you get a present wrapped in this....peel off the tape, and reuse!
Along the same lines as the foil-y wrap are the plastic bows. Ugh! Yes, your pressies look pretty, but what happens to them after the gifts are ripped open? In the bin.....x 100's of 1000s the world over. Your presents will still look lovely and be appreciated just as much without bows and ribbons on! If you really feel you have to use bows, then try and get paper ones, use paper ribbon, or use textile ribbon for crafty friends who you know will re-use it for something else!
Greeting cards - If you are being super green, some people don't send them at all. Fair enough, but I like to give cards. I always make sure they are charity ones, and preferably recycled as well. Make sure you recycle envelopes when you receive them, your paper goes into the recycling bag on Christmas day, and your cards as well at the end of the season! 

2. Shopping for Gifts - The fun part! Or not, in some cases. When shopping for presents, really think about what the person you are buying for would actually like, need and use. Not what YOU like, what THEY like. Also think quality, not quantity. I personally would much rather have one thoughtful gift that I will use and love, than a sack full of 'novelty' (read: Landfill) gifts. If you are doing a Secret Santa at work, good (and well received) presents for people who you don't know so well are always things like 1/2 bottles of spirits or a bottle of wine for drinkers, small boxes of luxury chocolates, such as from Hotel Chocolat, a quality notebook (such as Moleskine) or cashmere socks (which you can pick up inexpensively from places like TK Maxx). All of these things can be picked up for around £5-£10 and will be more gratefully received than a huge box of 24 different scented bath salts from the local bargain shop.
For like minded green friends and family, why not consider doing a 'Charity Shop Challenge'. My sister and I did this last year, and it went so well that my other sister is joining in this year! So, the rules are that you have a budget - for us its £10 per person, and that all gifts must be from a charity shop. This is good in two ways as you get some nice things, which is recycling in itself, but your money is also going to a good cause too.If you have a few pounds left over - many charity shops now do lovely fairtrade teas, chocolates and spice grinders, which will finish off your charity gift bundle off nicely -  win all round.

Don't forget to take your re-usable shopping bag with you every time you go out, too. I have about 4 of these nylon shoppers, that I keep in various handbags. It means that when I'm out shopping - I don't need a plastic bag from the shop. There were people last weekend with piles of plastic shopping bags - like 8 in each hand. Most looked like they only had one small thing in each. Most of those people probably throw the bags in the bin when they get home. Start refusing plastic bags, and using your own and be instantly greener!

3. Re-gifting! The dreaded taboo! I personally don't think there is anything wrong with it if done in a positive way. Passing on the dreaded lavender bath salts from Aunt Frieda to your best mate is not cool. Passing them onto your friend's gran, who may actually love them is!
Does anyone actually use bath salts????
 If you get presents that you don't like or want, why not pass them on to someone who WILL like them, donate them as a raffle prize to help raise funds for your local school or club, or donate them to your local charity shop. Just because you don't like it, someone else most likely will.
So there we go! My tips for a greener festive season :)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Trip to The Vintage Village

Today, Michael and I went to The Vintage Village, which is a big vintage fair held in Stockport Market Hall. I was tipped off about the fair by another stall holder at the vintage fair I did last month, who told me that it was by far one of the best in the area. Having never been to Stockport (even though its only a half hour drive from where we live!) it was also a bit of a day out to explore somewhere new, too.
Here are some photos from the day...
Todays outfit:
 Fake fur coat £5, Ebay and wearing my poppy with pride, as it was remembrance day today
Bow Bag from Woodchip Boutique - custom made just for me :)
Boots - Tesco years ago
Tights - Tesco (yesterday!) £6 - 150 denier fleece lined...cozy
Michael loitering outside some nice Georgian houses we spotted on the way to the market
House detail - stunning!
And the Market hall. A beautiful Victorian building dating from the 1860's that has been recently refurbished back to its former glory
Building detail. Isn't it nice?
And so inside we went! As it was a lovely sunny day it was naturally really brightly lit inside and it was actually quite warm - so I was a bit hot in my fur coat and fleecy tights!
And some of the stalls...
The quality and choice of the stalls was pretty amazing, and the pricing was fair - not stupid.
 There were over 80 separate traders too - so lots to drool over.
We had a good look round, then went to peruse the rest of the town centre, and had some lunch while deciding what to go back and buy!
And this is what I got;
60s storage jar set - £7
We have been after some of these for years. I can never find the right thing though at car boot sales and charity shops. There is always one missing, they are too big, in poor condition or just not the right kind of look that we like. This set is immaculate - and also came with an extra little pot for er.....not sure!
And the lids have sliders on them so you can pour the contents out of the spouts!
Giant 60s print in frame -£5. Loved the colours and style. 
And my fave find of the day (well, Michael spotted it actually!)
50s dress - UNWORN! - £20
This seller had some amazing stuff - 40s/50s/60s homeware all in the original boxes, and some dresses and gloves that were pristine, almost certainly unworn. He told me that they came from the home of a lady, who was 91 when she died, and had been a complete horder. She had basically NEVER thrown anything away, and hardly used what she bought (lots of). I've never seen a stall like it! I wanted it all!!
Close up on the neck detail. There are two patterned pearly buttons that are attached to a flap that closes with metal hooks. The style is a fit and flare (my fave - suits my pear shape!), and has the classic cap sleeves, metal back zipper and pinked inner seam edges that tell me that its more than likely an original 50s piece. 
by Lanfield - Gowns and Two piece suits!
The dress is pristine and only smelled a bit musty - and I'm pleased to report it has survived its first (and probably only) wash in decades! The only thing that I'm going to alter is the length of the skirt as it falls below knee on me, so I'm going to make it a little shorter so its more me!
And a view of the new storage jars in situ in our kitchen. I think they fit in perfectly :)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Candy Cool is here!

Just to let you know that my BRAND NEW Candy Cool range has arrived!
The necklace collection is made from 1" square wooden tile bases with glossy bubble topped exclusive Dolly Cool designs on 16" silver plated chains.
Modelled for me by the beautiful Miss K from The Rockabilly Girl Next Door!

 Isn't Miss K fab?! :)
At just £7.00 each with FREE worldwide shipping, Candy Cool makes ideal stocking fillers, or just a little treat for yourself!            
Now available from Dolly Cool

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway! I had 27 entries and did a random number generator to pick the winner....
My winner was number 11 who is Mrs Munster! 
Thank you all for entering and Mrs M - if you can send me your details to:
info@dollycool.co.uk
and your prize will be on its way! :)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Weekend away!

 I have had the 5th of November in my diary for quite some time now - not for Bonfire night, but for Whitby Kustom Hotrod show that takes place annually in a lovely quaint seaside town called Whitby every November. As its quite a drive from where I live, Michael and I decided to incorporate it into a weekend away and have a stay over in nearby Scarborough too. We were very lucky with the weather which was lovely and bright and even quite mild at 14 degrees C, for an early November day. Here are some photos from our trip to Scarborough;

Art Deco at the Stephen Joseph Theatre
Me stuffing my face with a Cooplands  (Yorkshire bakery) cheese pastie, which according to Michael are the best. It was rather nice!
The Grand - posh hotel on the cliff top. No we didn't stay here - we stayed in the cheap Premier Inn round the corner!
Tram that goes down the cliff to the beach
The old market hall 
And below the Market Hall is the Market Vaults - a converted cellar with lots of independent traders and vintage stalls - shame most of them were shut!
Lobster pots in the harbour. They smelled dreadful - funnily enough like rotting fish!!
And sunset over the harbour - lovely!
We also managed to discover a few charity shops along the way and picked up a few bargains...
Vintage glasses - hooray! £1.25 for both
60s Xmas decorations - 20p each. 
Even dated on the back! 1968
We had a nice evening in Scarborough, then went for an early night as we had to leave to go to Whitby at 7am. We actually had no sleep as out room was right outside a nightclub - gah! Thump Thump Thump all night till gone 3am. I complained in the morning, and we got a full refund. I should think so too!
Bog eyed and with car packed, we set off to Whitby...Michael did the driving, which was about 15 miles of  scary roads that looked like this:
FOG! 
We arrived in one piece just before 8am and set up stall. The weather in Whitby was pretty dire all day - constant rain. It didn't dampen peoples spirits however and it was however a great show! Whitby Kustom is in collaboration with the goth weekender, so a real mixture of people at the show - great for people watching too. I didn't take pictures of people as I felt a bit rude doing so, and also it was throwing it down most of the time so I just nipped out to take some of the cars - here they are....
Rat Rods



And my best in show was this! Its a Rolls Royce Hearse - fully converted into a scary machine complete with glowing eyed bats, skulls and a full sized coffin in the back!
And of course, no show would be complete without me sampling the local cupcake stall's goods. Michael had the strawberry and vanilla one - with severed finger decoration,and I had an orange sponge with lemon curd filling and sugar bat on top. YUM! 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Happy Day of the Dead and 200 follower giveaway!

Firstly Happy Day of the Dead, or Feliz Dia de Los Muertos to all my Mexican and Spanish readers! I really love this celebration and the amazing art and colour that surrounds it really inspires me. As I do freelance for US alternative company, Too Fast as well as using the imagery in my own Dolly Cool work - I find that I am drawing Sugar Skulls rather a lot, which is great though as I love it! I thought I's share with you some photos today of my creations that are Day of the Dead themed.....
Firstly - the lovely La Dama modelling a Dolly Cool Sugar Skull and Pearl necklace
**Please note - all the following images are used with permission from Too Fast and all designs are copyrighted**
My Day of the Dead themed Pajama Suit for Too Fast

Combined hat and scarf for Too Fast

Metal and Enamel Necklace for Too Fast

Sugar Skull scarf for Too Fast
Sugar Skull and Rose Necklace for Too Fast
And not by me - but loved by me....
The Day of The Dead book from Korero books. If you love beautiful alternative art and culture books, you really need to look at Korero!
Original art by MisNopalesArt. I really love this guys work. Really original and quirky and totally affordable.
The amazing ring that Michael got me for Christmas last year by the talented Missy Industry. This has not left my finger since I put it on on Christmas day last year, and I get complimented on it all the time. I think its my favourite piece of jewellery that I own!
And now on to the giveaway as I have now over 200 followers! Woo Hoo! Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read, comment and hopefully enjoy my blog. I really do love writing it so I hope you like reading it!
So, in the spirit of today's blog post I will be giving away the following to one of my readers;
A Dolly Cool Sugar Skull Rosary Necklace
See, you can look as lovely as La Dama when you wear it!
And..one of my Day of the Dead hairties....
So all you need to do is leave me a comment on this post to be in with chance of winning. I will let this run for a week so get your entries in before next Wednesday 9th! Entry is open to all wherever you live in the world.
Thank You and Good Luck! :)