Rehabilitating Orange – Colour In Dare Day 5

I dunno about these orange shoes. This may be the last time that I save them.

The reason primarily for doing so was the Colour In Dare and nothing is much brighter than orange.

My dad hates the colour orange – won’t grow orange flowers in the garden. He used to tell me about the time that the livery of the Glasgow Corporation buses from green, gold and white:

to the orange of the Strathclyde Buses because someone or other had complained that the ‘Catholic colours’ had been around too long.

Orange is a colour that screams sectarianism to anyone like me from the West Coast of Scotland.

Strathclyde "Red" Buses Image Copyright

Since leaving Scotland and sectarianism behind, I have tried to incorporate a bit of orange back into my wardrobe but this particular shade still makes me feel uncomfortable.

Generally to repair my confidence in the colour by watching the Orange Tango man Adverts

because these shoes are very easy to get up to vertical from a seated position.

Top - One Teaspoon| Silk Wide Leg Pants - Akira Isogawa|Orange Shoes - XOXO

Colours:   Aqua, red, yellow, blue and orange

Shoe Save: Number 51 of 105

Are there any colours that make you uncomfortable when you wear them? Why?

By the Peacock – Colour in Dare Day 4

Arthur Silver's Peacock Design for Liberty, London

My husband tells me that alchemists thought that the iridescent gleam of the peacock’s tail feathers (cauda pavonis) held the key to turning base metals into gold.

The tail feathers of the peacock are also a symbol of rebirth and regeneration. More importantly the tail feathers of the peacock are symbols that evoke strong sensory memories two of my favourite shopping meccas:

Prince’s Square in Glasgow (and the smell of handmade chocolates and leather goods)

and Liberty’s of London (redolent of lemon oil and tweed wool)

Liberty of London Store. Photo credit Copyright Vogue UK

This dress now smells of a perfume that I don’t normally wear.  In choosing it the peacock motif and green blue tones made me think of early summer, mojitos, lime soap.  Unfortunately the day on which I wore it was unseasonably hot. Being someone who exercises regularly, I sweat easily and profusely. To counter the niff I nicked a friend’s perfume atomiser. This is always a mistake as something that smells delicious on someone else will invariably smell like air freshener mixed with extract of possum pee on me.

Peacock Print Silk Seduce Dress via eBay| Fuschia pink silk scarf worn as a belt gifted by MammaTaz| Stiletto sandals by Boccaccini, Italy

I’ll handwash it with a dilution of eucalyptus oil to bring the freshness back.

Fuschia Pink & Silver Stiletto Sandals by Boccaccino

Shoe Save:  My husband rolled his eyes and walked away when he saw these Boccaccini fuschia pink suede and silver sandals but when Colour Dare Needs must –

Silver & Fuschia High Heeled Boccaccini Stiletto Sandals

Colours:   Green, blue and pink

Shoe Save: Number 50 of 105

Date:     Thursday 20 October 2011

Raison D’etre: Fox In Flats Colour in Dare

The Saltire Compromised – Colour in Dare Day 3

The Inspiration for the Saltire/St Andrew's Cross/Scottish Flag Photo Credit: Scotland Here and Now

As a Scottish person I should have stopped at the wearing blue and white today without the addition of these:

Urban Sole Red Leather Criss Cross Stilettos| DVB White Jeans

The Saltire (or St Andrews Cross) is the Scottish flag.  Scottish people bitterly object to the additional colours and stripes that turn the Saltire into the Union Jack namely the St George’s Cross

The St George Cross. Photo credit: Daily Telegraph

and the St Patrick’s Cross.

St Patrick's Cross. Image credit Flag Net

Since I am half American and half Scottish, I do not feel that wearing red, white and blue turns me into a Saltire antagonist particularly as I don’t look much like a flag.  As I write this I am looking around sheepishly for the ferociously patriotic Scott Rhodie of Kilt for Hire to remonstrate with me.

Then there is the sound of my Scottish Nationalist gran having a go at me from beyond the grave when I cast my beady little shoe obsessed eyes on the following Union shoes:

8 Hole Dr Martens Union Jack boots

Irregular Choice Union Jack Patty pumps (vegan friendly)

and last but not least:

Alexander McQueen Patent Leather Stiletto Ankle Boots. Credit: Net A Porter

Blue Sequinned Top from the always reliable US eBay seller Tamar's Treasures| Belt: Witchery| Jeans DVB from| Red Stilettos from eBay

Colours: Blue and Red (on white which doesn’t count).

Shoe Save:  Number 49 of 105 (Shoeperwoman Shoe Challenge 2011)

Date:  Wednesday 19 October 2011

Worn for:  Fox in Flats’ Wear more than 2 Colours a Day Dare





Green grass and yellow icecream – Colour In Dare Day 2

Have you ever noticed how easily the natural world can mix bright colours?

How effortlessly yellow is a yellow rose?

Taking naturally occurring colour combinations into the world of the fashion colour dare is quite appealing.  I once had a acid green skirt that was the neon side of natural.  I loved it more than anyone else could understand why. To me it was the black sheep of the colour family – too garish to be loved.

In honour of that skirt I chose the brightest colours that I could today to give voice to a pair of green shoes that would no doubt otherwise have been matched with a black dress.

Yellow, pink & green shirt by Biba|Green silk dress by Seduce| Green satin peep toes by I Love Billy

The last time that I wore these green shoes was for Christmas in an ironic sort of way.

It is a wee bit hard for me to write this week. I lost a friend. When I say lost, I mean it in the most euphemistic way possible.  Lost means taken by cancer, death and however many horsemen of the apocalypse it takes to uplift a soul. My mum recovered from cancer – due to a positive mindset, sheer iron will – 2 years ago. I wrongly assumed that my friend would too.

We forge friendships in the virtual world that spill over into the real world.  It is as if a book is coming to life when we meet these online companions and fellow bloggers. Losing a blogger friend while the virtual ink is still wet on that person’s comments is scary.

So my dear Ozchewinggum, this post is for you. Much love and stop curling your lip.

As Oscar Wilde wrote

For us there is only one season, the season of sorrow. The very sun and moon seem taken from us. Outside, the day may be blue and gold, but the light that creeps down through the thickly-muffled glass of the small iron-barred window beneath which one sits is grey and niggard. It is always twilight in one’s cell, as it is always twilight in one’s heart.

Green satin peeptoe shoes by I Love Billy

No gray or black here.

Colours worn: Green. more green, yellow and pink.


Fox in Flats Dress Challenge – Wear 2 or more colours a day challenge.

Looking on the bright side – Dare of the Week Colour In (Day 1)

Psychologists will tell you that people like me who prefer to wear black are people who like to create a barrier between themselves and the outside world. By revealing the bare minimum about myself I can protect my emotions, my feelings and my vulnerabilities.

So this week when I read Fox in Flats’ latest fashion challenge, I could feel my usual mask of confidence slipping.

I’m daring you to add at least two different colours to your outfit everyday for a week, and for these to be the feature of your outfit.

So how did I deal with Day 1? By adding colour onto a black background. Baby steps people, baby steps

Does taking photos inside bright things count?

Michael Hoban North Beach turquoise leather vest top - laces up the front, zips up the back. You'll need someone dextrous to help you.

The only way that I feel comfortable with a lot of colour is if that colour is enscapsulated in leather.

The other fabric that holds colour well is silk – this mini skirt is literally so mini that you need to wear the kind of tights that some people of my acquaintance would object to.

Handcrafted silk flower skirt/pelmet via eBay

Coloured shoe are a bit more difficult. My idea of colour in shoes is – red.

These are the Dangerous Shoes. Luckily I was not the person doing dangerous things therein.

Since Day 1 (Monday 17 October 2011) I have managed to gird up my colour loins somewhat.

Main Colours Worn:  Turquoise/Blue/Red

Tomorrow – my green grass and yellow ice cream ensemble…. To be continued.

And now for something completely different (Louboutin Pink cupcakes) – Dilatory Dress Dare Days 6 & 7

Gold/bronze Hormo sandals by Ursula Mascaro, Menorca

Just in time for a new dress challenge I am wrapping up the last one.

My daughter aka the Minx turned 4 on 2 October 2011 at the end of Wear a Dress a Dare Week. She asked me if I could wear pink in honour of her birthday. I said no. I have no pink. Also I forgot that her birthday was on 2 October 2011 as did her father. We managed to honour her birthday a whole day early with these cupcakes.

Jaffa Cupcakes courtesy of the Australian Women's Weekly Classic Cupcakes Book (ACP Publishing)

This would be that shade she wanted me to wear a shade replicated by Christian Louboutin and a friend/former colleague of mine. She has a pair of bright pink shoes that pretty much make any outfit completely fabulous. This would be the shade of pink of those those shoes, the shade that my daughter loves.

Not any of these shades.

Light Pink Silk Wrap DKNY gifted by Dee Eadon/Silk Fan Print Pink and Lilac Dress Wish/Shoes by Ursula Mascaro both via eBay

I am a disappointment to her already as you can see from her expression.  My son, however, decreed that the cupcakes while not within his preferred colour palette were the ‘best ever mummy and I could eat all of them’.  He promptly did so leaving me no option but to make more cupcakes the next day.

It was a bit colder so I did my perenially lazy arse trans-seasonal dressing thing and wore a summer dress over a polo neck. Nice to see the hanger loops. These must have worked their way loose during the frenzied mixing of dark chocolate with butter and cream.

Black Lace/Cream Silk Slip Dress by Elle Would!/Black Patent Ribbon pumps gift by Linda Tran of

Those of you who know me will realise how completely reckless it was to wear a cream dress in the same house as chocolate sauce. Yes, I did indeed  put the blender on the wrong setting and ended up wearing the aforesaid sauce. <Bows>

I used Whittaker’s dar chocolate mocha which has a really lovely grainy texture (reviewed here) to make chocolate cupcakes. Those did not go down so well with the children probably unsurprisingly.

However, I did manage to complete. the dress challenge and save two pairs of shoes and cook for two birthday celebrations on consecutive days. The AWW Cupcakes book rapidly becoming my next favourite cookbook after the Cookery Year.



And here’s something that you would never expect to see from me – a cake recipe.
Jaffa Tops

3 oz softened butter
2 teaspoons greated orange rind
110 g of caster sugar
2 eggs
150 g Self Raising Flour
2 tablespoons milk

Butter Cream:
2 oz softened butter
1 teaspoon grated organe rind
120g icing sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
pink food colouring (or beetroot juice)

Recipe calls for Jaffa chocolates – I used wee sugar flowers instead

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade/350 degrees fahrenheit. Take an 80 ml muffin tin (12 holes) and line 8 holes with paper cases.
2. Beat butter, rind, sugar, eggs, sifted flour and milk in a bowl with a mixer on a low speed until ingredients are combined then increase the speed until the mixture is paler in colour.
3. Drop 1/4 cups of mixture into the cases.
4. Bake 20 minutes (or more if your oven is knackered which ours is). Get small people to shout ‘Mummy the cakes are burning’ every 5 minutes and keep the cocktail sticks handy. Once cocktail sticks come away clean, stand cakes on a wire rack to cool.
5. For icing: beat butter and rind in a bowl with the electric mixer until as pale as possible then mix in sifted icing sugar and juice in two batches. Add food colouring to butter cream to get the right shade of Louboutin shiny patent leather pink.

Recipe from the The Australian Women’s Weekly ‘Classic Cupcakes Book” Published by ACP Books ISBN 978 174245029-2


Dress Day Day 5 Double Decker Gecks

Wearing glasses is not a lot of fun.

Accordingly I only wear glasses because:

(a) I got drunk and fell asleep in my contacts so often at University that my eyeballs look like this under an optician’s little bright light; and

(b) after the age of 35 you get past caring if people are going to put off making passes at you based on your facial furniture. I assume that Sophia Loren is not short of the odd wolf whistle or two, for example

The Not Drowning Mother wrote a very touching post about her daughter Pixie becoming a speccy four eyes. I remember wondering when I read it how I would feel if the Minx was similarly afflicted.

Glasses have been part of my life since I was 7 years old.  The Minx is just about to turn 4.  For a couple of years fear of breaking my glasses stopped me getting into playground fights until I learned to take them off and hand them to people. I suspect that the Minx would just take them stick the glasses on the top of her head while sinking her sharp little teeth into a detractor’s throat.

See that left eye though? Apparently she is seriously astigmatic.  So now it is either glasses or …

a monocle.

I feel for her, I really do – it has only taken me 35 years to not mind wearing my glasses.  But I realise looking at the photo below that I have  learned Diversionary Tactics including deflecting attention to my shoes:

or  by using the cunning Old Two Pairs of Glasses/Accidentally Glimpse of Suspender Belt Straps Out Ploy:

Had at least one pair of her glasses worked properly, she would have noticed the suspender belt flash sooner... Silk Kimono Dress by Seduce via eBay, vintage stockings from Australian eBay seller sewingmachinegirl, suspender skirt by Stockings HQ

I suppose if I had one piece of advice to give the Minx it would be this – make sure that people remember you for something other than your gecks.

Meantime I would like to thank the staff at the Sydney Eye Hospital who treated the Minx and I so well on Friday. The waiting times were minimal – the staff were all fabulous at helping the Minx feel at home – I wish that all hospital visits were so swift and pleasant.

I would also like to apologise for any missing pieces of important optical equipment. We will bring these back with us next time.

Do you wear glasses or contact lenses? How do you feel about being four eyed?

eBay Sizing Disaster Dress Dare Day 4

This lacy dress was described on eBay as a ‘Lace Dress/Tunic, size 6 – 8’.

While I would never describe myself as an expert this looks to me more like a lace tee-shirt rather than a tunic. That could, of course, be a sign of my advancing age.

One of my colleagues suggested, as I pulled this so called dress down over my buttocks for the umpteenth time that I should just brave wearing it with no tights and a g-string. Her reasoning was that bare skin might do a better job of keeping the dress in place. This was not an option that I was prepared to run before having a couple of beach months under my bum first.  So I just wore the dress with a long, long leather jacket and boots.

People often ask me if I find online buying difficult due the sizing issues. Generally I do not.  I am a standard 1980s size 8 – everything that I buy vintage fits PERFECTLY.

From the 80s on everything goes a bit funny.  My measurements are (currently)

Bust:    32 inches

Waist:  24 inches

Hips:   35 inches

This is according to size charts equate to the following modern standard dress sizes:

US Size 2

UK Size  6

Australian Size 6

European Size  34

All of these statistics mean absolutely nothing unless and until you have tried a dress on. It seems to me from trying on clothes that are allegedly my size is that:

(a) there are a lot of really tall, extremely skinny fit models being used; and/or

(b)  most women size 6 or smaller do not have bums or muscly legs.

In other words, measurements which should fit me often don’t.  As a result on eBay I err on the side of caution and buy clothing brands that I have tried on in sizes that fit me or go for stretchy things a size smaller than I would normally buy.

Not to blow my own trumpet but I very VERY seldom end up buying something that doesn’t fit.  Notable exceptions include the Stella McCartney sale dress from eBay that is a true to size Aus 6 and strains at the seams round my hips (only worn with an extremely firm Rago(R) girdle) and a silk swing skirted Wish size 6 dress that does not fit round my chest unless the straps loosened so much that my not particularly large breasts escape out of the sides and the top.

Bearing in mind that none of the disaster dresses cost more than $15.00 plus postage, I don’t feel particularly concerned about buying online in the future.

If there are any small bottomed or small busted size 6’s out there, let me know and I’ll send you one or other of my size disasters.

Luckily enough the boots fit but I did buy those in person via vintage store Broadway Betty in Ultimo (last worn for the Geek Ladies Lunch last year).

What was your worst online buying sizing disaster?