Sunday, 15 January 2017

We are now on Instagram

Cinderella Clock made for a display

I am always late for everything in life preferring to hold back and wait and see before testing the waters myself.

Some years ago when the husband and I were buying a property we registered with an  estate agent who simply could not believe that we did not possess a mobile phone between us. She thought we were lying to her.

Since those days which do seem rather a long time ago now we have been dragged (sometimes screaming) into the modern age by younger friends and family members who despair of our dusty hermit like habits. Time moves on and though Blogger was once a favourite place for us all to meet many have found a new café in Instagram which is quicker to use, and you can take it with you! I resisted for ages, but in the end was completely won over by the vast amount of absolutely beautiful images that people share.

Vienna cafe
 I can take an around the world trip in just a few minutes while having a cup of tea and then return to the real world instead of spending hours over posting a piece on Blogger.

Am I leaving Blogger? No, but I cannot pretend that I have as much time as I would like to post and to visit fellow bloggers who I so admire, and so, if you want to follow me more closely I would be honoured if any of you pop over to Instagram and become friends there. Link at the bottom of the post, and in the sidebar. You can still enjoy the galleries on instagram without posting.

While I have been away from Blogger I've not been idle. We have now been at the wonderful old building, The Emporium in Hungerford, for seven years! The shop is doing well and keeping me very busy buying, renovating, inventing and selling. And our poor old rickety cottage continues to vex us trying to keep it upright.

The Emporium in Hungerford, Berkshire
 I've travelled a bit

From a painting at Watts Gallery
renewing my love of the magical places in This Sceptred Isle which first caught my imagination,

Tinsmiths, Ledbury, their magical alley
Step back in time
18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London

Thatched cottages in local villages

and fallen in love with another European city, Oh Vienna. I shall return.

Baroque Heaven, look up in Vienna

Art Nouveau everywhere too
The exquisite Secession House
More amazing roof, St Stephens Cathedral

 It was lovely to travel, and so good to come home. 

The tall dark and handsome man I'd given my heart to awhile back has done amazing things and become a superstar. In my time I have been bewitched by many special thoroughbreds and could not have hoped that another creature so enchanting would gallop into my life ~ and yet, there he is.Thistlecrack.

Thistlecrack trained in Somerset by Colin Tizzard,
and ridden byTom Scudamore,
out on their own

I've read a LOT of wonderful books. I hope to post a few soon so that if you have not read them and find them interesting you can look out for them too.

Puff has her own ideas about what we read!
The Last Days of Leda Grey by Essie Fox
fascinating look at the world of silent films
Wonderful Edna! 

Sadly we had to say farewell to our beloved lodger, little raggedy man Munchkin whose bravery in his illness touched all who knew him.

Our Lionheart
Munchkin LeStrange
We had a wonderful Christmas in Devon with the family together for a change, and hope that you enjoyed the holiday season whatever that you believe, and where ever that you may be in the world.

These times are very trying for so many people. Yet with January here and Spring not far behind I do feel positive for the first time in a long while. We can endure.

Find us on instagram Here: discardedtreasures

Monday, 31 October 2016

The Dressing Up Box

Attic Treasures by John O'Brien
I usually do a more serious post for All Hallows Eve, or throw a lavish ball. But this year we are nursing our old Maine Coon Munchkin LeStrange and as he is poorly our cottage is a little quieter than usual at this time of the season. Celebrations are kept at minimum so he can sleep.

Our ghostly mantle overlooked by a Victorian champion amongst racehorses,  Stockwell.

We have a lot of candles lit, we are stocked up on chocolate to drink and to give out to the small Trick or Treat ones who call upon us.

Our cottage door and walk are hung with Halloween decorations, as each year, to make the children welcome and Mrs Black is watching for them. I hope they knock soon!

Dog Ghosts!
While Munchkin has been resting I have been putting the time to good use on the never ending task of a dealer in antiquities ~ sorting. Munchkin seems to be comforted by me and the various boxes of items spread about and he slumbers in his basket at the centre of it all.

The real life home of collector Vervia Todd
This reminded me of my youth and the 'Dressing Up Boxes' which children of yesteryear would have had at their disposal. I can remember the delight with which I first delved into such a box in the attic of the Grandmother of a friend of mine. It was a cedar chest and in it was a satin and tulle ball gown, beaded flapper dresses, a velvet opera cape, long lace gloves and hats with feathers and jewels. It had little compartments on top which lifted out. In these were long lace gloves, paste brooches and headbands which looked like crowns to me. On the very bottom of the box were silk slippers from the 20s. They were tiny and encrusted with beads. This was as close as I ever got to being Cinderella.

It's easy to make a Dressing Up Box for your children, or yourself!
My own life was nowhere near as grand as this though we too played dressing up, from a cardboard box of discarded items. Once in awhile we visited thrift shops and I was allowed to gather old velvet dresses or capes to play in.

Such stuff as dreams.
Fit for any Princess to play act in.
A velvet dressing gown from Toast.
Like many portals which have the power to transport us to somewhere else, to turn us into someone else, (or our real selves,) Dressing Up Boxes never lose their appeal. They may not be as dramatic as the wardrobe in C.S Lewis's wonderful tale, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but the magic is there.

The Wardrobe
I know that we are encouraged to 'grow up', set aside our Fairy Tales and childish costumes and live in the real world. I believe this is a mistake. The real world is full of beauty and dread, good and evil. Fairy Tales help prepare us for this, and a little escapism does us some good from time to time.

Helena Bonham Carter in Twelfth Night
Read more From Here:
 Halloween, and any dress up which children play, teaches them to use their imagination. Wanting to dress up and act out characters is not new, the Victorians loved doing this, and the kings and queens of old always held masquerades and kept a jester. Shakespeare certainly knew this!

Today, more than ever, those who inherit this Earth will need to be able to use their wits to find their way. And to believe.

I'm sharing some of my favourite Halloween moments from my internet travels.

Proud 30s/40s children playing dress up at school

vintage Halloween costumes

Photo by Johanna Parker Design on Flickr

This child Porcupine is brilliant!

Bring your horse too!

Alas! Sad Squid.
Oldies but goodies, always well dressed
The Stones
I'd also like to say that dressing up is not just for Halloween. It's easy this time of year to wrap up warm and forget the joy a little ornamentation brings to us, and to those who look at us. Couture has known this forever, and although few of us could afford to buy the creations they bring each season, it is simple to do small things to enhance our Autumn and Winter outfits. Or you might even get lucky and find a real vintage designer item at a charity shop for a song. Take some inspiration from films, paintings and celebrities. And vintage copies of Vogue.

"You don't have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive"
Diana Vreeland, Vogue

Use of a dramatic colour brightens your look
La Sargantaine, Ramón Casas i Carbó, 1907
You can never go wrong with Audrey. Or Chanel. Just add pearls.

Audrey Hepburn
Eternally classic.
Breakfast At Tiffany's

Diane Keaton in her own clothes

Details of Florence Welch's Gucci gown, and her rings.
Television shows based upon Victorian/Edwardian and 20s/30s/40s characters offer many ideas for outfits.  Not just for ladies either, that coat Sherlock wears is such a classic. The scarf is great too. The costumes in Peaky Blinders and Penny Dreadful are fantastic and would be fairly easy to borrow bits from.

One for him, the Sherlock Holmes coat and scarf.
Peaky Blinders, the 'ladies'
Peaky Blinders, Thomas Shelby played by Cillian Murphy
 smouldering in his wardrobe

Equally stylish
Vanessa Ives and gunslinger Ethan Chandler
Penny Dreadful

Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful
Wearing a wonderful velvet and braid over collar on her long coat
Don't forget the looks from the 50s/60s. Think beautiful wool in shocking colours, tactile tweed and coats in fabulous shapes. Add a vintage handbag and remember to wear a brooch. For a more updated look wear a few brooches at the same time!

1958 coats by Cardin and Jacques Griffe

I'd not wear real fur, but this girl has a great look!
She really knows how to wear brooches! And the black trousersuit.
From her own blog, Here:

Add jewels or a feather to your hat (wear a hat!) throw a shawl over your shoulder and clasp it with a glittery brooch.

Wear all those bracelets or beads you've been keeping, all at once. Wear velvet in the day. Go on, you know you want to!

Green velvet silk dressing gown, from Toast

Take inspiration from Beatrix Ost,
street style post from the blog Advanced Style
 written by Ari Seth Cohen

Wear black if it suits you, and gloves
A true inspiration. Model, actress, and owner of over 100 hats
Marion Rogers "Mimi' Weddell (February 15, 1915 – September 24, 2009)
Read more about her, Here:
And on her Wiki page, Here:

Make like 30s film stars and wear pajamas to a party.
Monsoon collection 2016
And don't forget if you have children or Grandchildren to help them find their own Dressing Up Box.

I am very grateful that someone still reads my ramblings, and to all of you who do I wish you a magical Autumn (or Fall as we say in my hometown) and I hope that the Winter will be kind to you and that you and yours stay warm and safe, And a little decorated!

Further reading:

A couple of my previous Halloween posts, so sorry if you missed attending the Witch's Ball! I might have another next year.

Two Doors Down From The Witch, Here:

The Witch's Ball, Here:

Artist of Attic Treasures which I opened this post with, Here:

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