Monday, 29 August 2011

THE ELEGANT BOHEMIAN: ~Tips for wearing vintage...

THE ELEGANT BOHEMIAN: ~Tips for wearing vintage...

I, too, love vintage. There's a certain glamour in wearing something from days gone by. Also making up the history of the item gives it a certain extra cache as well.

Much love from England,
Rosemary the Shopper

Thursday, 25 August 2011

You've Gotta Love a Shop Like That

Isn't this a gorgeous building?   It's not fake Tudor, it's REAL Tudor.  I see I should take another photo, as this one doesn't do it justice.  This is Watson and Thornton on Mardol Street in Shrewsbury and they sell fabrics and haberdashery.  If you are one of my North American readers, you might think, well, that's no big deal.  But I have not found many towns in England that have any fabric stores, let alone one as neat as this. 

So, I am in Fabric Heaven whenever I go in.  But in addition to the staff all being knowledgeable and friendly, everyone seems very happy there.  The staff joke with the customers and with each other.  You often hear people laughing.  Telephone callers get the same delightful treatment as if they were standing in the shop.  It's just a happy place.

I  once couldn't decide between some of their fabrics, so I said to Brian,  who works there, "What would you recommend?" 

"Well," he said, "Don't drink, don't smoke, and gambling's probably not good for you either!"

You've gotta love a shop like that!

Monday, 22 August 2011

My Favourite Shop

Our local shopping association is having a contest to vote for your favourite shop.  Well, really, that's like asking a person to choose one chocolate in a box full of ones you love!  There are SO MANY fabulous shops in Shrewsbury, I'd be hard pressed to say which one is my favourite.  So I've decided that my favourite is the one I'm in, whichever one that might be.

The photo above is me in front of New to You, which is a consignment shop.  The clothes are great (only one of each!) and the staff are equally great.  Although Jan is an evil woman, always getting me to try things on.  I'm such a push-over that she doesn't have a hard job! 

I also have customers here of my own, as some of the staff purchase Forever Living Products from me.  That's the aloe vera company, if you're not familar with it.  Lovely products for skin and good health.

Lots of shops have hanging baskets and our town isn't called the Town of Flowers for nothing.  If I still lived in Canada and saw pictures of this town, I'd be crying to live here.  And now I do!  Who says fairy tales don't come true?

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Adventures in Tights

Here I am, helping out my friend Kerry, who runs this delightful shop that is about as wide as a shoebox.  It's called "Thighs the Limit" (great name, hey?)

I modelled a pair of her jazzy tights (pantihose for my North American friends who are reading) and handed out flyers to the crowds going to Shrewsbury's Flower Show.  A very old and popular event.  Over 50,000 attended this year, although not all of them got a flyer from me!

The tights I am modelling here are called Hollywood because of the images, and the fact that the word "Hollywood" is emblazoned on them in various places.  The nice man at the Sabrina River boat launch took this photo of me holding my flyers.

These are the ones I modelled on the second day.  Really knock your eyes out designs!  Shame about the legs, but I discovered that a warm smile and a happy-go-lucky attitude went a long way.

To check out Kerry's exciting, jazzy tights, go to

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Another 50 word Marvel

I have to sort out some photos for my next blog entries, so I thought in the meantime, I would post another of my 50 word stories that I wrote for a contest that the Daily Telegraph ran some time ago.  Appropriately enough, it's about fashion.

How Fitting

At last count, Suzanna had 318 pairs of shoes.  More if you counted the slippers.

"How could any one woman need so many shoes?" despaired her husband Rob.

Eventually, a foot fetishist wooed her away with joint partnership in a shoe boutique.

Shortly thereafter, she developed a thing for hats.

This story is especially for my blog buddy Judith, who loves hats.  Check out her great blog on

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Catwalk of Life goes to the Wool Shop in Wales

Sorry the quality of these photos isn't the greatest... I was using the camera on my mobile phone.  Maybe my hand shook because of all the excitement of seeing these wonderful, scrumptous shades of wool!  As I said to my friends, this is like being an alcholic in the brewery.  So much to choose from, and I want it ALL!

This is my friend Jo, who has been knitting since she was four years old.  She actually has people PAY her to knit for them.  Nothing she can't figure out.

This is Erica, who comes to knitting group every week with something new she's created.  Her blue top she crocheted from a cone of yarn she found in a charity shop.  She can make anything out of anything.

Here are the four of us, after our purchases, holding our psychadelic paper bags full of wonderful wool from Colinette Yarns in Wales. Lesley, who did the driving, is on the arm of the couch.  A shop with couches, tables, and knowledgeable, friendly staff.  Fantastic!

Our knitting group will have plenty to knit and natter about in the coming weeks.  I told them, I've had more fun on an afternoon out with them than on a week's holiday.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A beautiful wedding in an English Country Church

It's a lovely Saturday in August and here I am at the lych-gate of the church Gorgeous Husband and I attend.  I am wearing one of my new hats (all 40 or so hats I have wouldn't do, of course, it had to be this one!) to celebrate the wedding of two young people, Pamela and Andy who we recently have become aquainted with.

Pamela and Andy met in war-torn Afghanistan, while serving in the military, and chose our church for their  ceremony.  It was probably one of the loveliest weddings I have ever been to.  And both Husband and I had roles to play:  he was one of the bell-ringers, and I gave the signal to the bell tower as to when to start and stop ringing.

The entrance to the church.....

The bride and groom leave the church under the arch of military swords.

Everything about the day was lovely, and the bride and groom were so happy and enjoyed themselves.  We both wish them a long and happy married life together. 

Incidentally, the cream dress I wore to their big day was my wedding dress from the civil ceremony 15 years ago.  (It still fits and continues to go to weddings!!)

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Arm Candy

Here's the new pewter-looking braided rope bracelet, worn with some companions.  The bracelet with the silver horn bead is almost hidden underneath the new bracelet, (from a boot sale in Brighton) and on the other side of it, a bead bracelet I made in jewellery class, and a silver blue/green stones bracelet I got in Greece.  Other than the bracelet from Greece, the rest cost about £2.  I can't remember how much the Greek bracelet was.

I'm discovering that an armload of bangles and bracelets is instant glamour, and sometimes for a ridiculous amount of  money.  One bracelet is nice, but 4 says. "get a load of THIS!"  To think I used to be shy about wearing clothes that made people look twice.

Do I worry that I'm OTT?  (That's over-the-top, if you're not familiar with this expression).  As my friend Erica says about wearing what you want and being comfortable in your choices:  "Suits the wearer, bugger the starer."  As long as you please yourself, you're ahead of the game!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Reasons to go Shopping in August

Surely I'm not the only person to know the real reason to go shopping in August.  The stores are basically THROWING THINGS AWAY.  Well, OK, you do have to pay, but really, they might as well say, "here, help yourself."

It's not just the dregs of summer clothes that you can scoop up a bargain on.  Sometimes it's those things that you can wear, and wear, and wear.  Tee shirts, jewellery!! shoes, etc.  I particularly like to get a nice sundress that I can add a tee shirt, waistcoat and boots with as the weather gets colder.  Bridges the seasons, and if you're packing, it's a handy way to change the look of your outfits with just a few switch-arounds.

I was thrilled as punch to find a lovely pewter looking bracelet that looks like braided rope for £2.50, which I thought was a bargain.  At the till, it had been reduced to £1.50.  See?  Throwing it away.  That bracelet, along with 4 others, and it's a great look.  Pleases me anyway, and my opinion rules supreme in how I dress!

Also found 2 incredible pair of shoes (that can bridge into autumn) for the princely sum of £5 each.  That's better than charity shop prices, and these are new.  And returnable!! 

All I need now is a warehouse for my inventory and a well organised catalogue system so I know what I've got.  Now there's an ambition!

Has anyone else found August to be bargain hunters paradise?