Ralph Settle - A Wonderful Man

Ralph Settle is 88 years old.  His attitude to life is inspiring.  What a wonderful man.





Beautiful Words


I'm wearing a vintage sequinned top today.  With my slippers.  Just cos.

Do you love dressing up too?


 P.S.  Just to reassure you, I'm wearing other bits and pieces to complete the outfit.  I'm not sitting shivering in a sequinned top, slippers and nowt else. 

Favourite Thing On A Friday - The Things Children Say

Sarah, aged 8:     "Emma, have you dyed your hair?"
Emma, aged 43:   "Yes!"
Sarah, aged 8:     "I like it.  It's very red.  You look like a bauble."

I'm still grinning now.

What do you think?







As far as I'm concerned, Sarah was bang on.


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What have you been up to this week?.  Link up below and I'll bring my big red baubley head over for a look.



Favourite Thing On A Friday - Finding Old Photographs

Last week, I wrote a post for Wordshaker Magazine about my first encounter with the powers of the Little Black Dress.  I had some requests to post pictures of the dress I had written about.  This week I have been a woman on a mission to find a photograph to post for you.  Somewhere in the past 20 or so years, any photographic evidence of me ever wearing this dress has almost all but vanished.  If I didn't actually have the dress wrapped up in tissue paper under my bed, I wouldn't know if I'd made it up or not!

Having opened up the old leather suitcase where I store all my photos, I did manage to unearth pictures I haven't looked at in more than 20 years (and almost cough up a fur ball due to the dust).  It was fun to remember different outfits I had loved.  I thought I would share some of the photos I found with you...

♥The Early Years♥

 
When I was little, I loved dresses that swirled when I spun round.  I was also partial to bunches and hair bobbles in the shape of cats.  I was about 5 or 6 in this picture.  I remember this dress really well.  It was my favourite.  You can see my older sister chasing me along the beach.

♥The Sylvia Plath Years♥


I had read Sylvia Plath's poem "The Spinster" and taken it to heart.  This was my 2nd year at university, in the spring of 1989.  That hat was an original 1930's lace cloche that I had found in a vintage store.  I loved it.  Even though it did squeeze my head a tad.  There was a lot of wearing of flat shoes and black around this time...

♥The Sporty Years♥


Once I realised I loved doing anything outdoorsy, my clothing uniform entered a whole new phase.  The Converse and sloppy jumper era 1991-92.  Those All Stars never left my feet.  Literally.  I went to France by train in them and wore them in my bunk over night.  I woke up in the morning with my heels together and my feet turned outwards so that both my feet made a 180 degree angle flat to the bunk.  It was agony.  I spent my first day in France walking like Charlie Chaplin.  P.S. There was a kite at the end of that string.

♥The Little Black Dress Years♥

 
This is the only photo I have been able to find of me in my vintage Little Black Dress. You can just about see the beading on the bodice.  I wanted to take some photos of the dress in the garden today, but the 100mph winds scared me off. I'll do my best to get some better photos so that you can see the skirt too.  I'm not sure why my eyes are closed in this picture, except that I don't really like having my picture taken and I guess it was a case of "if I can't see them, they can't see me". Canny. This picture was taken in 1988.


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My Favourite Thing On A Friday this week has been going through my old photographs. What has your favourite thing been this week? Link up below and I'll be over in a flash.  (I can't help it, I like playing with words.)





Beautiful Words


When I'm tired, feeling blue, stressed or in any way under par (and I'm not talking golf), I find my mind wandering to other people.  Then I find myself comparing my life to theirs. And coming up short.

Recently I realised that I don't know what someone else's life looks like from the inside. (At 43 years old, you'd have thought I'd have figured that out sooner wouldn't you?  I like to comfort myself with "slow but steady wins the race".)  I can never really know someone elses's story.  More importantly, I have my own story to write.

I'm Emma, in Emma's body.  My energy is much better spent making my today amazing instead of speculating  how someone else's today might look or feel, and then judging myself against the fantasy I have created of their life.  When I think about it like that, it's pretty bonkers to measure myself against someone else.  Much better to measure my today against my yesterday, and see if I managed to make my today more fun-filled, loving, happy and creative than my yesterday was.

Of course if all else fails a pack of the old ready salted never fails to do the trick.  And there's always gin.


P.S. I'm a guest blogger at Wordshaker Magazine again today.  If you like your men in sequins, then you'll probably enjoy my post. 

Coco Rose, Share Your Sparkle!



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So December is here.  It's the time of year when cats learn that chewing the wire on fairy lights isn't as much fun as they initially thought, glitter is liberally glued onto anything that stays still long enough, and the meaning of the phrase "less is more" gets forgotten.   And that's just in my house.  Yes, my friends, I'm cracking out my copy of Aaron Neville's "Soulful Christmas" once more and torturing Eric and Ernie with his warblings all over again.  Good times.  (On a bit of a seque, does anyone else find the word "bauble" ever so slightly rude?  No?  Just me then.)


In honour of the month that represents, to me, all things twinkly, I'm really excited to have the fabulous Coco Rose from Coco Rose Diaries sharing her sparkle here with us today at Mimi and Tilly.  You all know my passion for glittering jewels, and Coco Rose has opened up her jewellery box, and selected two of her most precious pieces to show us.  Thank you so much Coco Rose.  It's a pleasure to have you as my second guest blogger here at Mimi and Tilly.

Coco Rose writes a truly beautiful blog sharing her love of crochet, yarns, blends of colour, flowers, light, and all that she finds beautiful in her world.  It is a feast for the eyes and I never cease to be amazed by  her photography skills and her ability to turn rolls of yarn into exquisitely beautiful blankets.  If you haven't already come across Coco Rose Diaries, I highly recommend you take a look.

A huge welcome to anyone popping by from Coco Rose Diaries.  I'm very happy you've come on over.

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Blog name:   ♥Coco Rose Diaries♥




Preferred jewellery style:  Statement or small and discreet?

Depends on my mood! Sometimes I’ll wear just one discreet necklace or pair of earrings, other times, big rings and big necklaces.



Do you prefer costume jewellery, vintage jewellery, precious jewellery, or a mix of all three?

I would have to say costume and vintage jewellery are my favourites. I don’t own very expensive jewellery. I would lose it. I am a magpie, and cheap, cheerful and sparkly get me every time.



Which do you prefer? Yellow gold, silver, platinum?

For ages I disliked gold on me, so it was silver every time, but I am warming to gold and wear it more now.



Which piece of jewellery do you dream of owning? A twenty carat diamond ring? A tiara?

A big aquamarine ring with diamonds on a platinum base.



Which piece of jewellery can’t you leave the house without?

Earrings



What sparkle are you sharing on Mimi and Tilly’s “Share Your Sparkle!”?

It was hard to narrow it down to just one……Is it okay to have two?  The first is an aqua cut-glass costume ring.  The second is a silver heart and earring necklace set.












What is the story behind this piece of jewellery?


I saw the heart necklace set one day in a shop and I fell in love with its beauty and simplicity.  I loved the shape of the hearts, that they were battered metal and that there was a tiny heart that dangled on the necklace at the bottom. 


My husband was with me at the time not really paying attention to my ooohs and ahhhs over it.  A week later I was taken to hospital. I was 28 weeks pregnant with my first child and all was not going well.  My son had to be delivered at 30 weeks just before Christmas, and sat on Christmas day in an empty maternity ward, my husband gave me this set.  He had been paying attention!  Each time I wear the set, it reminds me of that special Christmas.



The ring was my Grandmothers.  She loved costume jewellery, and had a big social life that meant she got to wear lots of it!  It’s just cut glass, nothing fancy or expensive, but it means the world to me.  My love of jewellery came from her.  I love this ring for it’s colour, shape and size.  Big, and bold, but soft and beautiful.  Every time I put it on, it takes me back to my childhood and all the lovely memories I had at her house trying all her jewellery on!  So the sentimental value of this ring is very big.


♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥     ♥   


Coco Rose, thank you for sharing your sparkle with us here at Mimi and Tilly.  I love your grandmother's ring.  It is such a beautiful colour.  I have a love of textured silver too, and the tiny swinging heart pendant on your necklace is so pretty.  I've really enjoyed reading your stories behind each piece, and can imagine how wonderful it felt to receive your pendant and earrings while you were in the hospital over Christmas.  I've added some hearts to my post in honour of your beautiful blogging style, and wanted to say a big thank you for guest blogging by giving you this blog button...   Please feel free to post it on your blog, as a big thank you for taking part.  You'll also be added to my list of glittery folk who have shared their sparkle here on Mimi and Tilly on the "Share Your Sparkle!" page of my blog.






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If you have been inspired by Coco Rose and would like to take part by sharing your sparkle here on Mimi and Tilly, just send me an email via my contact page here on the blog letting me know you'd like to join in, and I'll get back to you.  I hope you've enjoyed sharing Coco Rose's beautiful jewellery as much as I have.

Sending glitter and smiles,


Holistic Happiness

Two things I've always been really fascinated by are holistic living and holistic therapies.  I find the concept of balancing the body, the mind and the spirit totally amazing (if a little tricky in practise).  Alongside being a teacher and lecturer, in a former life, I'm also a reiki master and aromatherapist.  Since developing M.E. I've been using my powers on myself. Mainly to calm me the heck down (it can be stressful living with a long-term illness). Over the years I have found some relaxation techniques, and natural beauty secrets that work a treat for me.




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I woke up this morning and realised that you might be interested in knowing more about holistic therapies, what they are and how they work, and how to get top quality holistic therapy treatments at a fraction of the usual cost.  I also realised you might want to know some of the natural beauty tips I use that are gentle on my skin and gentle on my wallet.  I have no idea at all why this didn't occur to me sooner...  No-one can accuse me of jumping the gun.

Anyhoo, if you do want to know more, just let me know, and I'll get right on that!




Favourite Thing On A Friday - Wordshaker Magazine and LBD's

It's Friday.  It's December.  This can mean only two things:

1. Favourite Thing On A Friday.  Yaaaay!
2. Dusting off my Little Black Dress in time for the Christmas festivities.

I love clothes.  With an absolute passion.  I love how putting together an outfit is an expression of how I'm feeling.  I love playing at dressing up.  Most of all, I love Little Black Dresses.  Ever since first seeing Audrey Hepburn sip her cup of coffee in THAT dress in "Breakfast at Tiffany's", when I was around the tender age of fourteen, I have had an ongoing love affair with the LBD.




Over the years I've had a range of different Little Black Dresses.  Each year, at this time of year, I go through my wardrobe and I pull out my current one, in time for the festive season.  I still have three of my all-time favourites lovingly stored in tissue paper. Beautifully made.  A long Calvin Klein figure hugging number from the early nineties.  A short Calvin Klein tailored number from the late nineties.  And a very special handmade Little Black Dress from the early 1950's.  I was 19 when I found it in 1987.

It's a special day for me today.  I've written my first guest post, which is being featured over at Wordshaker Magazine, sharing the story of that very special 1950's dress I found. It would be wonderful if you fancied popping over and having a read. (My article will be available to read as soon as it is published today.)

If you haven't already come across Wordshaker Magazine, I highly recommend you paying them a visit.  It's an online magazine written by a team of three very talented writers, who write for other women.  It covers an eclectic mix of topics including fashion, health issues, relationships, as well as current events.  Wordshaker Magazine also offers the opportunity for women bloggers and budding writers to write contributing articles.  For me it's been a great way to build my writing confidence, and share a story, all at the same time. Wordshaker Magazine is edited by Jules, a lovely lady who is currently working very hard to complete her first novel.  Jules writes a personal blog which you can find here. Jules' blog is interesting, sassy and features words like "amazeballs" which make me laugh out loud.  Thank you, Jules, for featuring my article.  You put a smile on my face this week.

So my Favourite Things On A Friday this week are Wordshaker Magazine and Little Black Dresses.

What have you been up to this week?  Link up below and I'll be over faster than you can sing "Moon River", to find out.

   
All photographs courtesy of www.doctormacro.com a fabulous site that offers full use of its wide range of movie stills.

I've Seen It All Now

This  video is so cute, it actually made my toes curl backwards.


I'll be back on Friday with...

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Feel really welcome to link up your Friday posts with Favourite Thing On A Friday. That way we can come over and see what you've been up to. On Sunday Coco Rose from Coco Rose Diaries will be sharing her sparkle here at Mimi and Tilly.  I don't want to spoil the surprise but Coco's gems are beautiful!

In the meantime, sweet dreams!


Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should

I found this picture today.  It made me smile.  A lot. 



Can you imagine the pilling?

My sense of humour is restored.



I Can Feel A Titter Brewing

Just to let you know, I woke up this morning, made myself my usual bucket of tea, and halfway through drinking it, could feel a titter brewing (alongside the tea in my unfeasibly large mug).  It wasn't about anything in particular, but it was definitely there.

This is tremendously good news.  I don't like not finding things funny.  I don't like not feeling excited about something, anything.


I have started knitting a scarf.  I've knitted another square for my granny blanket.  I've got my second guest blogger sharing their sparkle here at Mimi and Tilly this week.  And, drum roll please, I've got an article I've written being featured in an online magazine this coming Friday (I'll tell you more about that in a special blog post later this week).

Not too shabby for a woman who temporarily lost her titter.

I'm still experiencing that powerful blend of M.E. symptoms.  However, I've been able to accept them for what they are, stop fighting them, rest up, and ask for the help I've needed.  It's made a huge difference.  I don't find asking for help very easy.  I naturally tend towards stoicism and radical independence.  I've learned this week that letting someone help you is giving that person an opportunity to demonstrate how much they love you.  I didn't understand this until this week when friends and family rallied round.  I am very grateful for the love and help I've been given this week.  Thank you.

And a huge thank you for all the beautiful words that you left for me in the comments section, after I wrote my last post.  Each and every one of your comments touched me, and helped me get my titter back.  I wasn't expecting that kind of reponse, and am very grateful for your kindness, support and friendship.

So, for now, I'm taking things easy, saying boo to the blue (Thanks Jenny!), resting up, and being very gentle with myself. I'll be back this week with a gorgeous blog post from Coco Rose who is sharing her sparkle.

Now that's something to smile about.

          

Favourite Thing On A Friday - Beautiful Words

I love that words can change how I feel.  I love that I can read something and feel lifted, loved or moved.  I think words are really beautiful.  I'm experiencing a very powerful blend of M.E. symptoms.  The past few weeks have been difficult.  They've felt really messy.  I knew things weren't good when I realised I'd lost my sense of humour around it all.  I know.  One of the things that makes life fun for me is the fact that I make myself laugh so much.  At my own expense.  Even when others aren't joining in.  And tumbleweeds are rolling across the carpet.  You can usually find me tittering at the back somewhere about something I've tripped over/stood in/dropped.  I woke up earlier this week with no titter.  Instead I was feeling really blue.

I'm resting up in a bid to get my sense of humour back.

Then today I found these words...


It felt good to remember this.

I hope that today, you are having one of the best days of your life.

If you'd like to join in with Favourite Thing On A Friday, just link up below and I'll be over in a jiffy.



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Favourite Thing On A Friday - Compliments

Last week I posted about restyling my locks, and, frankly, it did me the power of good as I received so many beautiful compliments about how lovely my barnet was looking.  Thank you.

Then this week I had to make some phone calls that involved me sitting on hold listening to music.  The piece they were playing was very loud and, to be honest, hurt my ears.  I felt like I was being shouted at by musical notes. A tad aurally abused, if you will.

I assume that music is played while a person is sat on hold on the phone so that they are soothed and mollified by said music.  I felt neither soothed nor mollified.  I'm not generally an aggressive or impatient person.  If anything, I'd say I was a bit of a sloth when it comes to getting irritated by the stuff of day-to-day living.  But I did find that I had a strong urge to poke myself in both eye balls just to distract me from the electronic dirge that was assaulting my ear drums.

I attempted to resolve this problem by putting the phone receiver on my desk so that it was a little bit away from my head.  This didn't really work. Leaning over my desk to put my ear near the receiver, to make sure I could hear if someone picked up my call, wasn't the most comfortable position to sit in.  I haven't got an excessively enormous head, but, there is a lot of stuff stored in there and, honestly, it's heavy.

Then I came across this...



How amazing would it be for general woman and mankind if we were given compliments while we sat on hold on the phone?  How much more amenable would the conversations be, if the person left sitting on hold for ten minutes was given a litany of reasons why they were the cat's whiskers?  Talk about oiling the wheels of general happiness and I'm-having-a-good-day-ness.

In my mind it would sound something like this...

"I'm sorry but all our customer relations staff are taking other calls at the moment.  Your custom is important to us.  We will take your call as fast as we possibly can...  Do you know how hot-to-trot you are?  Yowza, that outfit you've put together today is bang on trend.  Your bottom is the perfect peachy size and most certainly does not look big in your skinny jeans.  And, what's more, you are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.  And funny.  That joke you told your friends last week made me laugh so hard, I snorted.  Don't get me started on your writing skills.  Your words...  I'm getting a little choked up saying this...  Your  words...  Move me.  Thank you for supporting our business.  Frankly, we couldn't do it without you."

Pretty uplifting huh?  If a little invasive.

So, my Favourite Thing On A Friday this week is receiving compliments.  Thank you for the beautiful compliments you leave in your comments.  They make a huge difference to my days.

If you fancy joining in with Favourite Thing On A Friday, just link up below and I'll be over in a jiffy to pay you a huge compliment.  Just because.
   


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What's your Favourite Thing On A Friday this week?  And what's the best compliment you've ever been paid?

  

Ear Ear

Earlier last week, I mentioned I had some earrings I had designed and made that I wanted to share with you.  And here they are.  These earrings are made from etched copper sheet and copper wire.  They have been shaped into a curve for added "dangle appeal", and have tiny etched droplets attached for further "swing".













What do you think?  After I'd finished them, I realised they reminded me a little bit of turtle shells!  These earrings are going to be wending their way to the USA, where a friend of mine lives.  We met in Japan and have been friends ever since.  He wrote to me a little while ago telling me his wife would love my earrings.  He doesn't know it yet, but I'm going to package these up so that he can give them to her as a surprise at Christmas.

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