Wednesday, 22 June 2011

30's inspired Gold Belt & Accessories idea

I've been invited up to a work awards Do' next week, so took today off to find a dress to wear. Several hours and numerous dresses later, and I have found it! I am keeping the dress under wraps until the night as it's so beautiful I want to show it off in all it's glory! And at the moment it needs a little tlc, and some strategically placed accessories.
It is a 30's silk gown, with the most amazing high neck and open back, and a bright royal blue colour. I have never worn royal blue before, so it's quite a big deal to me! This is meant to be an investment piece, and will become my go-to gown for posh events, so of course I need accessories :)

Having blow the budget on the gown (thanks to my aunt, who bought it for me as an early birthday present!), mum, my aunt, and I headed over to Primark to raid the kitsch jewellery section. SO much gold bling! I don't wear gold, ever, so again, new territory for me, but the dress is so subtly lavish, I wanted to jazz it up, and also cover up some stitching marks from where a previous 'bling' would have been.

I bought:

3 Necklaces - gold chains with snake pendants
Snake Bracelet
Snake ring
Chunky gold necklace
Plain gold & velvet shoulder strap bag

The gold looks amazing next to the blue, you're going to have to trust me on this one! So I took all the bits apart, and came up with the following ideas:

Statement Belt:

Comprising of the chunky gold necklace, looped through the sash that came with the dress, the chains from all 3 of the snake necklaces, looped through the chunky one, and one of the snake pendants in the centre.

This is still work in progress, need to tweak it a little, but getting there :)

The Bracelet:

I'm going to use another one of the snake pendants in a hair band, so need to pick up some royal blue  ribbon tomorrow and get stitching...maybe with some feathers??

Matching snake ring:


It looked a bit plain but with the gold trim, I thought why not place the last of the 3 pendants in the hoop to tie everything together? Perfect!

Now just got to think of how to do my hair...I'm thinking finger waves perhaps? 

Still need to glue and stitch everything together, but wanted to try it all out first before committing. Any improvement ideas greatly welcomed!

Much Love from Brighton,


Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Day at Eltham Palace - Part 1

The Mister surprised me today by whisking me off to Eltham Palace, on the outskirts of South East London.

I have wanted to come here for quite some time but never managed to get round to it, so you can imagine how excited I was when he told me where we were going!

Eltham Palace is partly a Great Hall, built in the 1470's by Edward IV, and partly a hidden away Art Deco gem! Can you tell by looking out the outside? I couldn't!

It has featured in many films and TV programmes, such as:

Bright Young Things
I capture the Castle
High Heels and Low Life
Home Front
Brideshead Revisited
Antiques Roadshow

It's owners had a very colourful life, but as I know this post will end up far too long if I go into detail, if you want to find out more, the link to their website is posted at the end.

The beautiful front door of Eltham Palace...if only this was my place! 

The Art Deco Mansion was built for Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 1930's. They acquired the site from the Crown, and were granted permission to restore the original Great Hall, but due to the damage to the remaining rubble, they built their own dream party home.

Leading designers were brought in to create this masterpiece of architecture and design. No expense was spared by the looks of things, so come and take a step inside to see just how lavish it is.

Unfortunately, you have to put on these fetching shoe covers to protect the floors. A small price to pay in my opinion!

The Great Entrance Hall:

This has to be the showpiece of the entire house, so of course you would have it as your entrance hall!

Guests would have been greeted by the butler, their coats taken from them, and lead towards the powder room at the back, to have cocktails served when they came back out.

The circular rug is a reproduction as the original was so threadbare, English Heritage had to put it in storage. However, this is an exact copy, the original having been designed by the influential carpet and textile designer Marion Dorn. It was huge! We weren't allowed to step on it because it is so fragile, but were told that it used to be rolled away, to reveal a wooden dance floor underneath. How cool!

The hall is lined with Australian blackbean veneer, and the stunning panels at the sides of the powder room were designed by the Swedish artist Jerk Werkmaester. I cannot describe just how breathtaking this room is. I was speechless. Everything was perfect. The furniture mirrored the structure beautifully, and the simplicity of the design is truly timeless. 

Dining Room:

Designed by Malacrida in a Moderne style. The ceiling was painted with aluminium leaf, so that at night, when the lights were dimmed, it glowed like the night sky, shimmering above the diners. 

English Heritage painstakingly reproduced most of the furniture in the house. They soon found out that the original dining table had been leant to Ealing Studios, who returned it to them in a somewhat abused state after having been donated by the family as a prop.

Drawing Room:

Decorated in an old Italian Style, as Virginia was half Italian, half Hungarian. It was meant to be a cosy place to retire to, to get away from the parties, and you can find many examples of the Hungarian/Italian influences, such as the Oak Beams, delicately painted.


This was Stephen 's room. Also designed by Malacrida, it is lined with Indian Mahogany. The cupboards used to store his vast coin collection. They used to travel a lot, so there are many reference books still remaining from their travels. The desk is another replica, but the original was made of walnut, wish I had one like this!


So this was Virginia's retreat within the house. There was a secret door between her room and his library, so they could sneak into each other's studies.

It was sycamore panelled, and again designed by Malacrida. I love how he place a mirror at the end of the wall, to give the ceiling a never ending illusion. It all seemed to be about fun and games here!

Back Hallway:
The doors were closed along here, except for the gift shop at the end, but I did really want to take a peek, if only there weren't other people about to stop me :(

The tour of the house had to finish there unfortunately as they had temporarily closed the upstairs. But I am determined to come back again, as there are bedrooms, gold bathrooms, the billiards room, and much more to find.

I even saw a maid disappear behind a secret door, and then realised there are secret doors all of the place here! I can just image their dinner parties, playing hide and seek and sneaking around the back corridors. If only they could host just one more party...

The Gardens:

The weather wasn't too fabulous, so we just had a quick play in the gardens and the Mister took a few piccies of us messing about. One minute it was pouring down, the next it was sunny! Where has the summer gone?! 

Sitting by the Moat

If you want to find out any more about Eltham Palace or English Heritage, go check out there site HERE. You'll also find opening times and upcoming events. They also give guided tours around the buildings, and today we happening across a Medieval Jousting day in the gardens! Pics to follow in Part 2. 

I cannot wait to go back again, and I'm even contemplating becoming a member of English Heritage, I can see myself going to other houses more often now!

Much Love from Eltham:


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Head Scarves - the 7 Day Challenge - Day 7

Day 7:

I was at a photo shoot last night, so thought I'd take a quick shot of my 7th style of the week.

I tied up a very thin scarf as a hair band, and but a big bow in the top. I pinned the back up loosely to let it drop a little. I was really chuffed with how my hair had set from the night before, so left my fringe to hang loose with a nearly perfect wave :) getting there slowly! Now I understand why I always hear people saying you have to brush the crap out of your hair to get it looking good. This went from Georgian ringlets, to fluffy messy, to smooth waves, but only after what felt like 20mins of brushing. Worth it though!

So there you have it. I have to admit, looking back, I feel I could have been a little more adventurous and tried out some more styles, but I don't think I will stop wearing a scarf on a regular basis any time soon! It's made me fall back in love with wearing them. They make even the most simplest of styles feel more dressed up, and it's perfect for the summer by the sea with all that wind, heh. 

Much love from Brighton,


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Head Scarves - the 7 Day Challenge - Day 6

Day 6:

Set my hair in rollers last night in preparation for a photo-shoot (more on this to come!) so I needed something practical but pretty to keep those curls fresh for the evening! I tried out Tami's scarf tutorial many months ago, so thought I'd try out my own variation today. Hair all tucked up but on show high up the top, using my Ophelia Fancy scarf bought from a retro craft fair a few years back.

The girls at the office really liked it, and it certainly did the job! Curls all perfectly intact for the shoot after work :) It's also quick and easy, and I like the messiness of it, no need to keep faffing with it, cos it's not meant to be perfect! 

Perfect for a lazy hair day!

I'm contemplating doing a few posts on hair do's for hats....any takers? any ideas?

Plus, I seem to be fast approaching the 50 followers mark, wow! thank you so much :) it's great to hear from you and I really appreciate all your feedback. I want this to be something you want to read, so please let me know if you think of any topics you'd like to hear about. Due to the sudden rise in followers, I've decided I will put together a little Give-Away, so watch this space! 

Much Love from Brighton,


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Head Scarves - the 7 Day Challenge - Day 5

Day 5:

Horribly blustery and wet outside today! *bbbrrrrrr*

But we went out and braved it at the Bromley Pageant, with a crack of dawn, 5am start! 

Due to the early start, I decided to use the scarf in the same way as yesterday, but played about with the front rolls a bit and came up with the above. I think I quite like it! And it managed to withstand the day's rain and wind with only hairspray and pins to keep it in place.

We somehow managed to get there a bit earlier than we thought, so were the first ones in the Triumph 2000/2500 area. But that meant we got to watch all the others turn up while eating breakfast with a hot cuppa from the trusty thermos! Scrummy! :)

Picked up my new favourite coat while charity shopping yesterday. Such a score! I am in love with it. Its real suede, in my favourite colour, and I think, but not 100% sure, that it's sheepskin trimmed. The collar is amazing. I wore it yesterday and was wondering why there were hooks at the front, as it was hung up with the labels folded down in a 70s does 40s style, but then realised my neck was getting cold and voila! Cute little peter pan collar :) and all this loveliness for £20. 

Here's Tilly Triumph with her fellow siblings. We were the only Estate version, but parked up next to us, and sadly not in this picture as they left early, was the earliest surviving Mark 1 Triumph 2000. It was beautiful!

The day sadly ended in a bit of a wash-out. It started to pour it down, and the wind picked up. The displays in the main arena were cancelled, but the trusty Hot Rods turned out in force and took centre stage. 

There was a dad and son combo too, with his son driving a Tot Rod, with matching paintwork! I want one of these soo bad. One day...then I'd just have to train the dog....hehe.

One of the other attractions was the Home Front Bus. Take a step inside, and you will find a 40s living room, a shop, a street hit by bombs and even an air riad shelter! In one bus! 

It was amazing inside, you have to take a look if you ever get a chance. Stupidly, I didn't take any pictures as was too busy rummaging around :)

Having had a think about what to do next, I think I'm going to give the 'Rosie the Riveter' style a shot. 

Keep you posted!

Much love from Bromley,