A Small, Scarlet Miracle

 Cosmetics, Style  Comments Off on A Small, Scarlet Miracle
Feb 222015
 

A couple of weeks ago, Miss Wednesday was finally forced to venture into the Looe branch of Boots the Chemist.  She took Miss Sara as backup and they carefully checked whether The Assistant From The Depths of Hell was behind the till.  She wasn’t, so they confidently approached the cosmetics aisle.  It’s only a tiny branch of Boots and doesn’t have a wide selection of anything, but there is a small stand of Bourjois cosmetics, which is an old brand that combines history, excellent quality and very reasonable prices and Miss Wednesday likes it.

There was a dilemma.  As per usual, Boots had a 3 for 2 offer on and Miss Wednesday required 3 items, 2 eyeshadows and a concealer.  The problem was that the range of little round pots of eyeshadow appeared to have been greatly reduced and neither of the requisite colours were there.  They did, however, have the Smoky Stories Quad Eyeshadow Palette, which had 2 of the right colours and another 2 more exciting ones to boot, so that was a result.  Except that took the total of products to 2.  So what was Miss Wednesday to pick for her freebie?

She narrowed down the selection to a choice of 2 lipsticks.  One bright red and one very nude.  Did Miss Wednesday really need another red lipstick, bearing in mind that she’s very, very picky about red lipstick and usually gives them away after one wearing, even when they come from Chanel?  But could she pull off the nude lipstick look?  If you’ve ever witnessed her behaviour when (the very lovely) Claudia Winkleman appears on the television – “Claudia, darling, you’ve forgotten your lipstick again!” – then you’d probably say no.  So she put the red lipstick in the basket, dealt with the (thankfully) very nice lady behind the till, and added the lipstick to her cosmetics stash when she got home.

Weirdly for Miss Wednesday, the lipstick sat in the box for a couple of weeks.  Normally she can’t wait to try anything new but this winter she’s been devoted to her Dior Rouge Nude Illusion 779, and just couldn’t bring herself to forsake it.  But at last she did.

The new one is a Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick in colour number 13, Jet Set.  It’s red.  Very red.  Doesn’t appear overly blue- or orange-based, but the very pale Miss Wednesday can wear either and it is actually a very nice red.  The packaging is mainly black plastic and doesn’t look particularly swish and the product smells like, well, lipstick.  Nothing out of the ordinary so far.  It’s not going to beat Besame there.  Goes on smoothly, nice texture, good colour and coverage over a base of a red Max Factor lip pencil and face powder.  So far, so good.

Red lipstick

Bourjois Rouge Edition Number 13, Jet Set.

 

The lippy went on at about 10.30am.  Miss Wednesday’s day involved a rampage over the moor with the Alfhound, the making of a couple of frocks, several cups of coffee, some nuts from her Graze box and one perfunctory re-application before leaving work.  At nearly 9pm, after a cup of tea and dinner, she glanced in a mirror and was stunned to find that the colour was almost all still there.  But there was something else, something even more amazing.

It was all still on her lips.  This one, ladies and gentlemen, is not a bleeder.  Not even a fine feathering.  And that, on a 46 year old is little short of miraculous.  Or witchcraft.  Either way, she won’t be parting with this lipstick in a hurry and suggests that if you’re keen on a red lippy but struggle with the bleeding issue, you might want to give this one a try.

Miss Wednesday is not connected with Boots or Bourjois in any way, shape or form.  But she does love good make-up.  And a bargain.

Feb 152015
 

One of the reasons for closing The March Hare was, weirdly, the popularity of the Wednesday March frocks above all other things in the shop.  With the travelling and the work involved in actually running the shop, there just wasn’t enough time to make sufficient garments to keep up with demand and have a proper range of sizes and styles in stock.  Closing the shop, renting a workshop and concentrating on the made to measure side of the business seemed to be the way forward.  And it was.  It definitely was.  No question about that.

But it did close the main window on the world and plenty of people, both local and visiting, were very sad about the decision.  There has been a lot of feedback on this.  It’s a difficult one, because many of the people who mourned the disappearance of The March Hare had never actually bought anything in there; whilst they loved the style of the shop and clothing, it has to be said that not everybody had the budget or time for a made to measure, especially given the length of the waiting list.  So, realistically, the shop had to go.

When I closed it, the plan was to do some outside events, retro fairs, etc and maybe the odd pop-up shop, but swapping the huge 4×4 for a 2-seater sports job made the logistics of moving rails, mannequins and stock problematical and Miss Wednesday is still unconvinced that giving up her beloved Snippy (the hairdresser’s car) will end in anything other than driving misery.  So she’s bimbled along, making the made to measure and having a lovely time, but not getting out much and missing having that window on the world, which was good, albeit expensive, advertising.

On Tuesday 10th February, at 11.41 am,  a short Facebook message pinged in from a friend with a shop in Looe.  “Have you got a number I can call you on please?!!!”

This was either sent to the wrong person or a cry for help.  Number duly provided and Sharon called to explain.  She was opening another branch of Lovely Lane Interiors in Polperro on Saturday 14th and had already advertised that there would be some vintage clothing but that the person providing that part of the offering had been unable to go through with it and she wondered if there was anything left from The March Hare that could be put into her new shop to fill the gap.

Er, no.  Not really.  It is all made to measure now and any samples tend to get snapped up quite quickly.

One hour later, however, Miss Wednesday was in the workshop and Wednesday March Ready to Wear was under way!  It is not a huge range at the moment, given the timescale (3 days!) but there are plans for it.  The first pieces were delivered to Sharon at the new shop on Friday afternoon and will be added to as quickly as possible, whilst still providing the normal made to measure service.  The full range should be in place by Easter.  No pressure…!

Retro style frock with novelty print on white background

A bad picture of the first WM Ready to Wear design! Meet “Chessie”. Round neck, scoop back, gathered skirt. Ta dah!

Chessie is the first ready to wear design.  She’s simple, classic and classy.  The garments in the range will be offered in standard sizes (S, M, L, XL) and limited to one in each style/fabric/size to start with to maintain some exclusivity, certainly until we can gauge the demand.  But who knows where this may lead?

Chessie is priced at £85, which is considerably less than the made to measure garments and is currently available in a beautiful print of Edwardian ladies.  The fabric is designed and printed in England and the frocks are made in Darkest Cornwall – how’s that for Buy British?!  Grab one while you can.

Wednesday March Ready to Wear is currently only available from Lovely Lane Interiors, Polperro, Cornwall.  Drive to Polperro, park up in the carpark (do NOT be tempted to drive right down as it is very narrow and access is restricted to essential vehicles only) and wander on down the quaint main street.  Lovely Lane can be found on the right hand side, past The Kitchen restaurant and next door to the ice cream kiosk.  The sign is more easily spotted on the way back than the way down so keep your eyes peeled.  Inside you’ll find all manner of glorious furnishings and goodies to tempt you, along with some rather nice frocks and petticoats and a vintage tea room offering Cornish Tea and Coffee.

Interior shot of shabby chic interiors store

The Lord Mayor of Polperro, having opened the new Lovely Lane Interiors store there. WM Ready To Wear just behind him to the left! Photo stolen from Holiday Cottages Polperro

Meanwhile, Miss Wednesday is slaving away on the next design.  Watch this space…

Technological – And Possibly Nervous – Breakdown

 Wednesday March  Comments Off on Technological – And Possibly Nervous – Breakdown
Feb 082015
 

It has to be said, Miss Wednesday is a terrific procrastinator.  She’d be the first out there on the picket line.

“What do we want?”

“Procrastination!”

“When do we want it?”

“Next week…?”

This year appears to be a Very Good Year for procrastination and Miss Wednesday has, so far, excelled at it.  But not any more.  She has too much to do and needs to get off her amply-covered backside and Just Get On With It.  There are frocks to design, samples to make, course folders (City & Guilds Tailoring), frocks to make for customers, fabric samples to be sent out…

And then the PC broke.  Died.  Fell of its perch.  There’s a lovely great space where it used to live and Miss Wednesday has been plotting its demise for years in order to gain that lovely space, but all of a sudden she is unable to produce so much as a letter, never mind all the labels she needed for the above mentioned fabric samples and course folders.  Yes, she has a laptop.  Yes, there is a (wireless) printer still sitting on the desk.  Can Miss W get the two to talk to each other and actually print the document she laboriously typed up using Google Sheets?  Can she ‘eck as like.

So, when the going gets tough, the tough get going and on Friday, Miss Wednesday went shopping.

What did she buy?  Metallic gel pens.  And metallic glitter gel pens.  Now all she needs to do is work on making her handwriting legible.

Don’t wait up…

Dragged out of my hedge. Again.

 Costuming, Out And About, Wednesday March  Comments Off on Dragged out of my hedge. Again.
Feb 012015
 

It’s been a bit of a busy week.  Miss Wednesday has been busy with performing attire for her alter ego (me!) and The Incredible Miss Tanya to wear on stage on Friday night.  Full circles, naturally, but in a heavy black leopard flock.  Not the nicest of fabrics with which to work but very, very effective when done.  There was a bit of muttering from the Wednesday Witch when Miss Sara (bless her) just happened to mention that the black leopard flock fabric made lovely skirts and wouldn’t that be a nice thing for Friday’s gig but Miss W knuckled down and got them done.

Regular readers may recall my involvement with a folk band/collective called “The Changing Room” and the fun they had at the Looe Music Festival.  There has been much fun and games involving live BBC radio, a lot of airplay and good reviews and the recording of a cracking new album, Behind the Lace, due for release in the Spring.  Then, a couple of months ago, The Incredible Tanya informed the me that she and Sam Kelly had written a new song which had been translated into Cornish to take part in this year’s Kan Rag Kernow competition at the Penventon Hotel in Redruth.  If we managed to win it, we’d have the honour of going on a lovely jolly to Derry in Ireland at Easter to represent Cornwall in the annual Pan Celtic Song Contest.  Thankfully, it was Sam who had to master most of the difficult Cornish lyrics (it’s not the easiest of languages and I’ve rarely heard it spoken well) but, my goodness, he cracked it.  Hal-an-Tow will hopefully become popular and sung on a regular basis in sessions all round the county as it’s very catchy indeed.  (The English lyrics are lovely, too, and somewhat easier to master.)

Attire for the competition was slightly tricky as we wanted to project a coherent image, rather than looking like a rag-tag bunch of hippies, but we also didn’t want to look like “comedy Cornish”!  The flag of St Piran is black with a white cross and Tanya decreed that we’d be dressed in black.  Black?  Do I look like the kind of girl who wears…?  Oh, wait.  Once a Goff, always a Goff.  That’s alright then.  Although I didn’t have a plain black skirt suitable for harping.  (It’s the “cello” effect.  You simply can’t play a harp in a straight, tight or short skirt, unless you want to traumatise the audience and reveal what you had for breakfast, if you know what I mean.)  Miss Sara mentioned the stash of black leopard fabric that I’d clean forgotten about and how lovely her skirt in that fabric was.  So that was that.  Two full circle leopard skirts required for Friday.  Stat.

Woman playing accordion and wearing black leopard flock skirt

The Incredibly Talented Tanya Brittain sporting her full circle leopard flock skirt and a huge accordion. Picture by Bob Griggs.

 

Woman playing green Celtic harp.

Random Hedge Harpist also sporting leopard flock skirt, plus nifty lily of the valley Cornish buttonhole, made by Miss Tanya. Picture by Bob Griggs.

The skirts looked great under the lights.  We’re going to have to do something about the boys, though.  They had found the dodgiest selection of ties on the planet and Jamie had some buttonhole droop issues.  Thankfully they’re a good-looking bunch and they can get away with anything.

But it was an immensely entertaining night.  Imagine a Cornish version of the European Song Contest* and that’s pretty much what you get.  Beards a-plenty.  I had offered to grow one but there wasn’t much time.  Beard of the Night went to Matt Blewett, who probably ought to come to Ireland with us as our mascot.

The Changing Room with a big bearded bloke in their midst

The Changing Room plus the Beard of the Night Award winner, Matt Blewett in the middle. The Changing Room are l-r me, Sam Kelly, Jamie Francis, Evan Carson and Tanya Brittain. Picture by Leafshimmer Photography/Shirin Hodgson Watt.

How did the gig go, you ask?  Oh, well, we won.

Folk band The Changing Room on stage at the Kan Rag Kernow competition

On stage. Picture still from the video shot by Studio Wallop

So we’re off to Derry at Easter!  But before that, we’ll be playing the Falmouth Folk and Cider Festival on Saturday 28th March 2015.  Come and say hello!

And if you should be wondering what we sound like, visit the music page of our website here and have a listen.

* Re the Eurovision thing.  Jokes have been made.  I actually woke up in a cold sweat on Friday morning, having been in the middle of the nightmare that it was the Eurovision we were doing rather than the Pan Celtic.  It wasn’t a good dream and I behaved quite badly in it but I should like to say in my defence that I would NEVER be that rude to Graham Norton in real life…