A little spooky inspiration in the run up to Halloween.
As much as I love taking you all on virtual tours of the National Trust properties we visit, there’s only so much I can show you. That’s why I was delighted to discover (in my latest National Trust bulletin… yes, really) that the National Trust has recently started cataloguing their hundreds of thousands of historic objects online. As of writing this post, there are currently over 750,000 entries available for viewing. That’s a whole lot of antiques to drool over.
If you decide to take a peek, share your favourites in the comments!
Upton House is an interesting estate because although it dates back the 1600s, it underwent major refurbishment in the late 1920s and as a result there are many art deco design features, including the most wonderful 1930s gardens. Today the house is furnished as it would have been back in the 1930s, when it was still owned by the millionaire heir to the Shell Oil Company, Lord Bearsted. He was an avid art collector and his vast collection dominates several rooms in the house.
If you visit sometime soon, you may get there in time to catch their current exhibition of the modern artist Glenn Brown. I’d never heard of him before but his work is fascinating. He takes inspiration from the style of old masterpieces, but his use of unusual colours and the way he distorts his subjects makes his work very bizarre.
In my opinion, this painting below was by far the best painting in the whole house. The expression on that little dog’s face kills me!
Jumper – Aubin & Wills
Skirt, bag, shoes and jewels – thrifted/vintage
You know you’re getting old when your Saturdays are more and more frequently spent ‘National Trusting’ as opposed to shopping or hanging out, or whatever it is kids do these days. Not that I’m complaining. Today’s visit was to the stunning Upton House (photos of that to come tomorrow or whenever my old, slow computer next decides to be compliant) and it was still just about warm enough to get away with bare legs.
I’m going to take better pictures of this bag later on because it is so perfect and deserves a post of its very own. I found it at an antique fair a few weeks ago and have been gazing at it like a besotted teenager ever since. Also, I got a fringe! A colleague cut it at work for me earlier this week. I’m still not entirely used to having hair on my face all the time, but I think I like it!
Photos by Ian.
Today I rediscovered how terrible I am at using a tripod and remote to take my own picture. As a result, most of these pictures are slightly out of focus, but hey, at least they didn’t all turn out like this. Terrifying. If you follow me on instagram you might have seen that my hair was looking fairly decent before I left the house, but the wind soon took care of that.
On to more important things, recently I was incredibly honoured to be chosen as Modcloth’s Blogger of the Moment and this lovely pumpkin coloured number has been named after my little corner of the web! If you’d like, you can read an interview and see how I styled the dress over on the Modcloth website. I’m sorry (and, okay, maybe the tiniest bit proud) to say that the Foxtail & Fern dress is currently only left in a size large, but perhaps it’ll be restocked later on.
I’m wearing the dress with a velvet jacket I got for £1 at the car boot (I always like to sneak in a bit of velvet come autumn), my beloved We Never Sleep necklace, a 1930s clutch, and my new favourite shiny shoes from Topshop. Also tights and a t-shirt because it’s already so cold here!
I love, love, love this John Lewis advert. From the costumes and the hair and make-up, right down to Paloma Faith’s beautiful rendition of Never Tear Us Apart. It’s perfect.
Speaking of amazing costume design, has anybody been watching The Bletchley Circle on ITV? I just want to climb into my television and steal everything on screen, despite the fact that the program is centered around a serial killer obsessed with young women. And I’m sure all of you will have noticed that Downton Abbey is gracing our screens once again? My TV has never looked so good.
Jacket, blouse, brooch and bag – vintage
Jeans – Topshop
Tie – Flapper Girl
Yesterday’s weather looked pleasant enough from inside, but once outside it became immediately clear that taking photos was going to be a challenge. We had to battle turbulent winds, fast-fading light and to top it all off, it seemed that last night every photographer and every photographer’s mum was out to photograph what I thought was a pretty standard sunset, making it somewhat difficult to find a secluded spot for ourselves. In the end, these were the only shots I deemed salvageable. Unfortunately, you can’t see my feet but I was wearing a pair of sleek black Crocs. Kidding! Or am I?
The lovely tie I’m wearing was kindly sent to me by Christine of Flapper Girl. I love having unusual accessories to play around with and this red tie makes what would have been a pretty boring outfit into, I hope, something a lot more blog-worthy. I nearly Photoshopped a badly drawn Tardis into the background because I can’t help but think that my outfit is vaguely Doctor Who-ish, but then I remembered that I’m far too serious for that.
Now that I’m back from Tenerife, I thought I’d kick off posting again with a giveaway! Lucy of North Brooklyn Dry Goods very generously offered this beautiful vintage bird brooch for a prize. Isn’t it precious? To enter, all you have to do is sign up to Lucy’s mailing list (which Lucy will use to let you know about shop sales and promotions) by clicking here, and then leave your name and e-mail address (using the comment form) on this post. The giveaway will end next Monday and is open to international readers.
If you’re not a poor ex-student like me, then I thoroughly recommend you check out Lucy’s charming Etsy shop. She has a great eye for unusual pieces and if you see something you like you can use the code “FOXTAIL12″ to receive 20% off anytime before the giveaway ends. Some of my favourites include: the butterfly dome, the Edwardian crochet blouse and this amazing skirt with little bees embroidered all over it. How about you?
The giveaway is now closed and the winner is Jade M. Sheldon. Congratulations Jade! I’ll be e-mailing you for your details shortly.
Last week I went to stay with my sister in Tenerife for 10 days. She’s been living and working over there for the summer as a ‘shot girl’. It might surprise you to know that my sister and I are as different as chalk and cheese: you can always count on Steph to have a good tan and larger-than-life eyelashes. It’s crazy how different we turned out to be after sharing a bedroom for over 18 years. Because of university I hadn’t seen her for six months so we were well overdue a catch up.
The windmill in the middle picture was outside of a restaurant we ate at one evening, ‘El Molino Blanco’. At night the spokes were lit up with hundreds of tiny lights and inside there was a man with the most beautiful voice serenading diners with songs such as ‘La Vie en Rose’. On paper it sounds almost cringeworthy, but it was absolutely perfect.
My favourite details from Baddesley Clinton. Apparently this place is magical at Christmas, when the fire is constantly lit and visitors are invited to stay and relax in the glow of a Christmas tree. The National Trust often has a very precious approach towards the furniture in its houses (with good reason), but at Baddesley Clinton, the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed; you can walk on the carpet or sit on the sofa and nobody bats an eyelid. Plus it has a moat. And a history of murder. What more could you want?