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Laser update: bikini line

In a previous post I mentioned the new course of laser hair removal that I am doing. It’s going very well, and it’s time to give you an update.

I’ve had one more session on the face since then, but this post is an update on how successful the sessions on the tummy and bikini line have been.

[WARNING: NSFW pics]

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Posted by on December 9, 2017 in Hair Removal, Photos, Uncategorized

 

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Lost and found

It was the Monthly Market at Farnham Maltings on Saturday, and as regular readers will know it’s something I like to go to regularly.

 

I started to put together a skirt & leggings type outfit, but it just wasn’t working, so in the end I went for jeans, boots, and a top. I chose a nice striped top by Phase 8 that I like, along with a Per Una cardigan and a jacket, and overall I think the outfit worked pretty well.

I wore one of my favourite necklaces – a 1920’s/1930’s oriental style necklace in gold or gilt silver (not sure which) with black enamel inlay and 24K gold engraving that I bought a couple of years back. I have a matching bracelet for it but since it lacks a chain I am always nervous about wearing it in case it comes undone and I lose it. But I decided to risk it.

Partway into the journey and I realised that I had lost the bracelet already. Oh no! But at least that meant that I had either lost it in the house or in the car, so there was a chance I would find it again.

I arrived at The Maltings just before midday, and started having a look around. It was quite busy!

I got talking to a seller who spotted my necklace and showed me two bracelets she had that were similar. They were gold, and very good quality, and so unblemished that they looked almost new. One was too small for me, and the other, which fitted me, was £45 which was far more than I wanted to pay. I told her that I had no doubt that it was a fair price but it was too much for me, and she asked what I would pay. I stressed that I wasn’t trying to beat her down to this price, but that I generally didn’t pay more than £25 for a bracelet. She looked rather shocked, but I went on to say that I’d spent under £30 on the necklace. She semi-seriously offered me that on the spot for it because she said it was worth far more, but I declined explaining that this was one of my favourite necklaces and I simply couldn’t part with it. After chatting a little more, I moved on.

Bracelet

Bracelet

Imagine my surprise when, in another part of the rabbit warren that is The Maltings, I found a seller with a very similar bracelet priced at £25. It fit, it had a chain, and it complimented my necklace. It also had more of a patina to it, which I liked. I don’t see this style for sale very often, so it was quite a surprise to see a total of three bracelets in this style for sale at one event.

I asked the seller if she had any movement on price, but she said she did not. So I just paid her the £25 asking price as I really wanted it and it was within budget. She even threw in a box for it, which was a nice bonus.

I also picked up a pair of tiny little silver heart stud earrings that will be ideal for work, for a very reasonable £4

Free parking

Free parking

After I had finished at The Maltings, I decided to go home via Fleet High Street, and parked up in the Council car park. I was pleasantly surprised to find that parking was free due to a “Small Business Saturday” initiative by Hart District Council. I think this is a great idea as I have long been of the opinion that one of the things contributing to the death of High Street shopping throughout the country is the cost of parking. Let’s hope that this initiative was a huge success and encourages it to become a regular thing.

My main reason for visiting the High Street was to call into Serendipity. If you’re not familiar with this shop, it’s a small unassuming shop front on the Fleet High Street that belies a large Tardis-like rabbit warren that seems to go on forever, culminating with Daisy’s Tea Room at the very back.

Drop your pants here

Drop your pants here

I didn’t find a huge amount there, but I was drawn to a cute & cheeky laundry sign. It was brand new and made in China, but at £12.50 I thought it was just about cheap enough to justify buying. I tried to get it for a tenner but unfortunately the ticket price was fixed. Oh well.

I didn’t find anything else I wanted there, so walked up the High Street popping into the various charity shops, but didn’t get anything other than a DVD. I did get a new scarlet matte lipstick by Maybelline in Superdrug though, which I think will look nice.

Drop your pants here

I ♥ my bedroom

When I got home, I hung the new sign on the mirror in my bedroom, which is above (but to one side of) my laundry basket. I think it fits in there quite well.

I then went looking for my bracelet. It wasn’t in the car, or on the driveway, and it wasn’t in my bedroom where I had put on my cardigan (I thought perhaps this is when it might have fallen off), and wasn’t any of the places in the house that I had been that morning.

I was scratching my head by this point, and then I remembered that I had transferred the contents of my old hand bag to my new Radley one. And there, inside my old handbag, was the bracelet; it must have fallen off whilst I was moving stuff across. So that was a relief.

Clearly I needed to put a chain onto the bracelet if I was to wear it again with confidence.

I’ve been collecting this style of jewellery ever since I bought the necklace, and now have the aforementioned necklace, the two bracelets, a broach, two pairs of clip-on earrings, and another necklace which is rather clunky and has some damage and which I have never worn.

The collection

The collection

As luck would have it, the broach has a small security chain on it with a spring clip at one end and a safety pin at the other. Since I don’t really wear broaches, the chain looked ideal for use on the bracelet.

I very carefully opened up the ring securing the chain to the safety pin, removed the safety pin, and then attached the ring to the bracelet. It was a very fiddly job and took me a while, especially closing the ring up again satisfactorily, but I got there in the end. I’m quite pleased with myself for achieving it, even though I say so myself.

Added security

Added security

Before I got my makeup off, I also managed a quick photo shoot in the outfit I was wearing. I chose the spare room for this, with me sitting in the window. I was quite pleased with how it turned out, although the end of the bed does rather distract from the picture. I could have digitally removed it, but I thought it was far funnier to leave it in and lampshade it with a knob gag. 😀

Insert knob gag here

Insert knob gag here

I’m wearing my new lipstick in this pic, but you can’t really see it very well.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Arts and Crafts, Out & About, Photos, Shopping

 

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Home photography

I’ve been interested in photography for a very long time. In fact, back in the days before we all used digital cameras, I even had a darkroom and used to process my own Black & White 35mm film and make my own prints.

Lately I’ve been becoming very dissatisfied with the self portraits I post on Flickr, mainly in the area of lighting. So I decided it was time to do something about it. Some research online brought me to the conclusion that continuous lighting softboxes were a cost-effective entry. For sure, studio strobe flash would be better, but the cost is around three times more, like-for-like.

Home Studio Kit

Home Studio Kit

I found a nice studio starter kit on Amazon, which includes two softboxes with tripods and bulbs, a backdrop frame, three different backdrops (black, white, and Chroma key green), some mini clamps for attaching a backdrop to the frame, and a bag to put it all in. The Amazon price was £92 but I was lucky enough that they also had one through their Amazon Warehouse outlet for £70. Ostensibly second hand, it turned out to be brand new with all components still sealed in their original packing and unopened. The outer packaging was a little beat up, which maybe was why it was made available through the Warehouse. So a bit of a bargain there!

Click to view larger version on Flickr

Click to enlarge

I was fairly pleased how my “In the Storeroom” shoot had turned out (especially all the views, faves and nice comments that I’ve had), but I really wanted to revisit it and do it better. In particular, some of the poses were a success but the photos themselves unusable. I also wanted to try a nicer blouse and better lighting.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I found a seller on Amazon Marketplace called Yasong who were selling what looked like the ideal blouse. They’re based in China so I knew I was in for a long wait, and sure enough it did take several weeks to arrive. Fortunately, when it did finally arrive the sizing was just right and so was the fit. Yay!

On the day of the shoot, I arranged the items on the shelving in a better way and paid a lot of attention to how it looked, and then set up the lighting.

Disaster!

Disaster!

Before I started on my make-up, I decided that the blouse could do with a quick iron before wear, so set my iron to a medium heat and when it was up to temperature started to iron. Within a split second I knew something was wrong as the iron didn’t glide, so immediately pulled it back to see, with horror, that the blouse had instantly melted. To say I was upset was an understatement.

I must confess that I almost aborted the whole shoot at this point, but instead took a few moments to calm down, posted my woes on my Facebook page, and had a cup of tea. Talking it through with people on that Facebook post made me realise that the blouse might still be usable as the damage was just on one area over my left breast and if I shot the photos with my right side towards camera, the damage would be partially hidden and could be corrected post-process in Photoshop (well, GIMP actually). So the shoot was back on.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

I took quite a few pics in the storeroom, and was really pleased with how they turned out. I also gained good experience with the lighting, working out what worked and what didn’t. It turns out that it is quite easy to over-light the subject – perhaps I need to add dimmers to the two lights (that’s assuming that the bulbs are dimmable; I will have to check).

I’ve only posted one pic from the shoot so far. More may follow, so be sure to keep an eye on my Flickr page!

Next, I set up the backdrop frame in my lounge and moved the lighting and camera down there too, then got changed into a PVC corset dress I recently bought, plus my trusty Doc Marten stiletto boots. Unfortunately this shoot was a bit of a disaster and none of the photos were usable. However, it was a good opportunity to play with backdrops.

For my next shoot I’d like to play around with the Chroma green backdrop and have some fun pasting myself into different scenes, as I already have some experience in doing this in GIMP from other projects. Maybe a picture of me on a beach? Who knows.

 
 

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Photo shoot: In the Storeroom

Click to view larger version on Flickr

Click to view larger version on Flickr

In my previous post, I mentioned that I had bought an office style / school style blouse for a photo shoot, and also if you follow my Flickr, or my Facebook page or Twitter, you’ll know that I also bought some fake glasses for the shoot.

Last Saturday I actually did the shoot, and it’s meant to be either a secretary or school girl in a store room. I left it ambiguous as to which it is, although I think most people are assuming secretary.

In order to make the background, I had to tidy the actual store room that I have in one of my two spare bedrooms. I have it set up with free standing metal shelving and an old office desk which I use for product photography. It was quite a lot of work to get it tidy like that, and I’m annoyed that I didn’t pay enough attention to what was on the shelves. The EVO magazine folders are fine, but the clutter on the top shelf of the units could have done with more tidying.

I spent ages on this shoot. Initially I tried with the glasses on, the blouse tucked in, my hair in bunches, and my larger breast forms. I also tried a variety of different poses, including sitting on, and reclining on, the desk.

It was a monumental disaster. Having my hair in bunches does not suit my face shape at all. Also, the larger breast forms made me look overly busty and top-heavy with this outfit.

I tried a few without the glasses as well. And with my hair down. And all combinations thereof. Pretty much all of them looked awful, although the poses worked on a few and I might revisit those.

I realised that my smaller breast forms would work better, so changed for those, and took even more photos. I took about 200 photos in the end. The pic shown above is pretty much the final picture I took and I think it is the best of them.

For this final part of the shoot, I un-tucked my blouse and wore it over the skirt. That’s why it’s so creased. Maybe I should have fired up the iron and ironed it, but to be absolutely honest I was very tired by this point and had pretty much had enough of the shoot so I had no enthusiasm for that.

Ruffle Blouse by Yasong

Ruffle Blouse by Yasong

I’m already thinking about what I would have done differently, and I may revisit this look. I’d like to get a different blouse – there is one on Amazon that I really like and might get, although the reviews suggest that it is a very slim fit. This would push the shoot firmly to ‘secretary’, of course, but that would be fine.

I’d also like to give a lot more attention to the lighting. For this shoot all I had was the light in the room itself, which is quite harsh. The light is a large circular fluorescent tube that fits into a normal bayonet pendant and gives off a really bright daylight tone light. It’s ideal for a store room but somewhat harsh for photography. I really should invest in some photographic lights.

Finally, I would pay a lot more attention to what is on the shelves and arrange things better and more tidily.

Still, as a first attempt at a photo shoot like this, I don’t think it was too bad and it was certainly fun to do.

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2015 in Clothes, Shoes, and Jewellery, Diary, Photos

 

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She’s not so dumb

I had been planning on going to the Flea and Collectables Fair at Woking on Sunday, but when I got up the weather was a little grotty and I decided that I really couldn’t be bothered. Besides, it was the final rounds of the BTCC and also there was a F1 race. So I decided to stay in. But I told myself I would get into girl mode and take some pics of the other of the two wigs; which I have not yet photographed.

Back in Black

Back in Black

I looked in the wardrobe for something to wear, and came up with a little outfit that I’m quite pleased with. The top is a semi-sheer shirt from Next, with a black cami-vest underneath, and paired with a simple black bodycon skirt. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out and it’s a cute little outfit.

Lisa Loeb?

Lisa Loeb?

A while back I bought some fancy dress glasses with an intent of doing a “sexy secretary” look with them, which I’ve never got round to doing. But I thought I would give them a go, and I really liked how it turned out. I think I look like Lisa Loeb.

I then went back to the wardrobe to see what else I could try, but nothing else seemed to grab me apart form a unisex retro t-shirt that I recently bought. Also, I have a “retro wall” in my house where I have retro posters, metal signs, and the like.

Retro

Retro

I thought it might be fun to take a photo of me in the t-shirt with that as the backdrop. The only downside is that it’s in the kitchen and the light is very harsh in there.

If you look carefully at the pic, at the parting of my hair, you can clearly see the lace front in action. It does an amazing job of making it look like a natural hairline, doesn’t it!

Keep Mum, she's not so dumb

Keep Mum, she’s not so dumb

You can’t really see the poster to the right of the picture, but it’s one I like very much which I bought at Bletchley Park. It’s a wartime poster cautioning people not to give away secrets – saying “Keep mum, she’s not so dumb!

On the face of it, it seems typically misogynistic in keeping with the era, but I find it strangely empowering. The woman looks very intelligent, confident and composed. And although the caption implies that men of that time considered women as stupid and of no consequence, the poster is pointing out that women can be intelligent and could be using their position to manipulate Top Brass in the Military (you’ll notice that the 3 men represent Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force) into giving away secrets. Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but that’s my take on it and from that point of view it’s empowering women.

 

 

 

 

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Hotel adventures

In my previous post I mentioned that I was considering staying in a hotel mid-week to break up my long-distance commute a little. A local Spa Hotel had a special rate last week where they had 20% off their standard room-only price, so I thought I would give it a go, just for one night.

I decided that it might be nice to take advantage of the different surroundings for some pictures, so when Tuesday night came around I spent ages packing up all my make-up, some outfits, and all the stuff I felt I would need. In the end I filled a small suitcase and also a shoulder bag. It’s absolutely no word of a lie that women need more luggage space than men.
I packed a nice silk (or silk effect anyway) black corset and some fashion tights, a nice dress, some shoes to go with it, and a PVC corset, PVC boots and PVC skater skirt. It wasn’t really my intention to take any photos for public consumption with the PVC outfit, but I just thought it would be a little fun.

I arrived at the hotel at about 5.30pm, checked into my room, unpacked and hung up my dress, and decided that I would have a little walk around the grounds. So I grabbed my camera and went for a wander. The hotel and grounds were nice enough, but there was a bit of an air of “faded glory” about it all. I managed to take a few nature and architecture photos, but none that I was happy with or wish to publish.

Returning to my room, I thought I’d get my swimming gear together and go down to the Spa and use the facilities. I have to confess that I’m not much of a swimmer or a bather, and I’m not really into saunas, so it was little surprise that within 20 mins I was bored and had enough so decided to return to my room.
Barely an hour had passed by now, and already I was very bored and realising that this hotel idea was probably not working out. Yes, it’s all very convenient not to have to drive 50 miles to get home, and the same back the next day, but being away from all the amenities of home is a big down side.

Hotel adventures

“Hotel adventures #1” on Flickr

I’d brought a bottle of wine with me, and also a box of sushi, so I had the sushi and a glass of wine whilst surfing through the channels on the telly, then after that I thought maybe I’d do my nails (bit of a frivolity to do that only to take it off again a few hours later, but I thought it would look nice for the pics). That seemed to take ages, but I did it whilst watching a Dave Allen compilation show on BBC iPlayer on my tablet, although it tended to buffer every so often which was rather frustrating.

After my nails were finally dry, I started getting my makeup on although it initially didn’t go very well and seemed to take twice as long as usual. Also I made several mistakes trying to do eyeliner wings, and ended up taking ages and getting rather frustrated with myself. Also I discovered that the eyeliner pen that I mentioned in my previous post was useless – it was far too narrow.
By now I was starting to get really rather upset and was very close to taking it all off again and not bothering, but I was exchanging emails with my friend Sarah whilst I was doing this and she encouraged me to keep going. So I stuck with it, then got dressed, and finally felt I was ready, then took the set of photos of which I chose to publish the one above.

Hotel adventures #2

“Hotel adventures #2” on Flickr

After that, I changed into the PVC outfit but wasn’t at all happy with how it sat on me; it looked awful, and none of the photos I took are anything that can be shown. Not even in private, so don’t bother asking. However, I did take a few head & shoulders portrait shots whilst wearing the PVC corset and I was quite pleased how this one came out. So that got published too.

By now I was really weary of the whole thing and I really didn’t feel like changing into the dress that I had also brought with me. Besides, the time was getting on by now and I needed to start thinking about bed, which meant planning enough time to get my makeup off, get unchanged, and get everything packed up again. So that was that.

The plan had been to have a lie in the next day, but I slept badly and woke earlier than usual and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I decided to get up, have a cup of tea, check my emails, Facebook and Twitter, and then check out and go to work. I made it in to work for 7.15am. Eeeps! Still, at least that meant I was able to leave mid-afternoon having done my hours.

Will I do this again? I don’t know. If I do, I will plan my entertainment a lot better – perhaps bring my laptop along with some DVDs and other offline content, so as not be so reliant on patchy Wi-Fi. Maybe a good book too. And if I do take pics in girl mode again, it’ll be less ambitious (with no nail varnish). We’ll see.

 

 
 

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Fashion update

Baroque Print Skater Dress

‘Baroque Print Skater Dress’ by Tenki on Flickr

As I mentioned in a recent post, I recently bought the ‘Baroque Print Skater Dress’ by Tenki but had not taken a photo of me wearing it. I’ve now taken one, as you can see. I can’t say I’m totally happy with the way it sits on me, though; especially in the under-bust area. Definitely not a favourite, although it’s ok I guess. I think I’m not alone in this opinion because it has gathered below-average views, faves and comments on Flickr.

‘Smoky Floral Lace Skater Dress’ by Select Fashion on Flickr

Far more successful was this lovely Smokey Lace Skater Dress by Select Fashion that I bought during a recent shopping trip to Camberley. I love how it appears sheer yet has strategically placed modesty panels. It’s really comfortable and I absolutely adore it. I think the colour and design really suit me. Again, it seems I’m not alone there as the above-average views, faves and comments on Flickr reflect. Even better, it was only £14.99 – barrrrrgain!

Browns & Whites

‘Browns & Whites’ on Flickr

Another success, bought during the same shopping trip, was a really cute brown biker jacket that I bought in H&M. It’s meant to look like leather, but close up it’s not fooling anyone. But that’s hardly surprising as it was only £34.99 and you’d expect to pay 10 times that for proper leather. But I think it looks pretty cute (as do my Flickr followers, it seems). I paired it with a skirt and belt that I bought years ago, a top that has appeared in previous pics, and my favourite Timberland boots. To be honest, the boots are a little dark for this outfit, but never mind.

Moving on to New Look I bought a nice floral body in the sale, reduced to £7. You don’t tend to see them to buy that often (unless they are as a really expensive ‘shaping body’) – certainly Marks & Spencer haven’t stocked them for ages. That’s a pity because I find them really useful and they really flatten and shape the tummy far better than a camisole or vest do.

Short Sleeve Pointelle Knit Shrug

Short Sleeve Pointelle Knit Shrug

I also bought a cute little black Short Sleeve Pointelle Knit Shrug which was also reduced to £7. I bought it because I thought it could be versatile and useful for going out, especially as the weather cools into Autumn.

Topshop earrings

Topshop earrings

Yesterday I was out shopping in guy mode for some stuff, and visited Farnborough Gate because I needed to go to Halfords. Whilst there I popped into Boots to get a liquid eyeliner, and decided to try a liquid eyeliner pen. It looks for all the world like a felt tip pen. Perhaps I could have saved some money and used a Sharpie marker instead? Anyway, I’m planning to have a go with it this weekend (the eyeliner pen, not the Sharpie marker!) and will let you know how that goes.

Whilst at Farnborough Gate I also popped into Topshop, and saw these absolutely gorgeous earrings. I love how they have an Art Deco (or possibly Art Nouveau) vibe and the chains are really delicate. Also I really like how they have mirror symmetry – it really annoys me when asymmetric earrings don’t.

 
 

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Don’t look down on me

Ok, not the best title for this picture, but it was the best I could come up with. :o)

“Don’t look down on me” by Joanne, on Flickr

 

I took this pic with my tripod on its maximum height, looking down on me sitting down.
There was quite of a lot of perspective distortion which I had to correct post-production, and there is still some even now but this was about as much as I could do without it starting to look odd.

 

Fashion card

Top – Marks & Spencer (Woman range)
Jeans – Marks & Spencer (Indigo range, skinny fit)
Boots – Timberland
Accessories – I really can’t remember I’m afraid.
Makeup – as per my ‘Getting my eye back in” post

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Clothes, Shoes, and Jewellery, Photos

 

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Holy Crochet!

“White Crochet Fringed Hem Top” by New Look

I mentioned in my last post that I had gone out shopping after I had done my makeup. I popped down to Festival Place in Basingstoke (Amazingstoke!) for a spot of Retail Therapy.

I bought this “White Crochet Fringed Hem Top” by New Look which cost me £22.99. It’s not something I would normally buy, but I really liked it and I thought it would be something I could wear with different things maybe.

"Baroque Print Skater Dress" by Tenki

“Baroque Print Skater Dress” by Tenki

I also managed to buy a dress not dissimilar to that Mela Loves London one that I mentioned in a previous post, only this one actually fits me. Yay! This one is the “Baroque Print Skater Dress” by Tenki and wasn’t quite the bargain that the Mela Loves London one was because I had to pay £25 for it. But that’s still not bad. I haven’t managed to do a picture of me wearing it yet, but here’s one of it on the hangar. I bought it in Debenhams but I notice that New Look also sell it via their website, which is what I have linked to.

"Woven Shoulder Stitch Block Jumper" by Warehouse

“Woven Shoulder Stitch Block Jumper” by Warehouse

Finally, I found this cool “Woven Shoulder Stitch Block Jumper” from Warehouse for £15. The shoulder panels are sheer and the sides and a band of the sleeves are quite “holey” which means you can show off what your’re wearing underneath (or a bit of skin if you’re feeling daring) which should make it quite versatile. Trouble is that I am going to have to wash it before I wear it because I managed to get foundation all over it when trying it on. Oops.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fashion update

As I mentioned on a recent post, I managed to pick up some more bargains on a recent shopping trip.

From New Look I got a lovely jumper for £11 (in the sale) and a vest top similar to the blue one I am wearing in the woods but in wine for £2 (also in the sale). From Accessorize I got a pair of earrings for £6. The earrings are in a sort of belly dancer style, I guess, but they are something I have wanted for a while now. In Primark I got a skirt for £3, a necklace and earrings set for £2.50, a pair of 120 Denier tights for £2.50, a 3-pack of “Emergency handbag tights” for £1.50, with each pair in a very compact tear-off plastic bubble designed to stay in your handbag till you ladder the ones you’re wearing. Very handy. And, finally, a DVD (Kill Bill: Volume 1) which I got in Poundland for, obviously enough, £1. Total spend was £29.50 plus £1.60 parking. Not too bad I think.

You can see the jumper, the skirt, and just about see the earrings, in this pic:

Jumper, skirt and earrings

Jumper, skirt and earrings

And here is a better pic of the earrings.

Earrings

Earrings

Then, today, I went to an Antiques and Collectors fair. I managed to buy four Royal Doulton port / sherry glasses in the “Georgian” style for £11 (negotiated down from £14), to add to my existing collection of this style, and also a pair of silver earrings for the grand price of £4 (I didn’t have the cheek to negotiate those down. LOL.

Earrings

Earrings

 

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