There have been busy hands at Schloss Zed.
To begin at the beginning, on Friday morning, I had to go here, to the local stationery store (like Officeworks) to buy an ink cartridge for the printer. Then I noticed that there seemed a lot of nice cars in the carpark — a Bentley, a Jaguar, lots of Mercs and BMWs — and a bit of a rush on to get into here: Marshalls, just a couple of doors away from stationery heaven, is an institution in these here parts. It's a chain of fashion discounters, where you can pick up amazing designer labels for seriously ridiculous bargain prices, as well as accessories, toiletries, luggage, manchester, kitchenware and so on.
When Dace and Konrad were here with their kids in December '07, Marshalls was almost a daily destination for us, especially when the whole family needed snow gear for winter in NY and Maine. But you have to be lucky and get there on a good day. Some days it's full of crap, and on others, it's heaven on a stick.
Well, Friday was very much in the latter category. Summer had arrived! With clearances! Two and a half hours later, I had my entire summer wardrobe: four gorgeous dresses (the most expensive cost $29.95, but one original label was $240), four tops (the most expensive was $16.95, with an original price tag of $89), a three-quarter-length lightweight Calvin Klein trenchcoat (original label was over $200, I paid $39.95), and a Dana Buchman jacket ($49.95).
I also snagged a couple of cheap handbags. This is one of them. I'm a sucker for the black shiny wet-look stuff. It must be because of the pull-on boots I had in the 1970s that I loved so much, or because of the genuine fisherman's oilskin jacket I bought for thirty bob at Norwich market in 1969, which I used to wear with great panache teamed with a pair of genuine Royal Navy sailor's woollen bell-bottoms, 9/6 from the same stall (I was only 15 and it was the sixties).
What the hey — I love the shiny black stuff. This bag cost me $12.99. It opens up to be roomy, and has handles long enough to wear over my shoulder. Its only downside was a very thin yucky black cloth lining, very a la Shanghai sweatshop.
So yesterday, I ripped it out — in fact I did so quite carefully, so I could use the fraying pieces as a pattern — and made a completely new lining ...... complete with recycled phone pockets ... ... and a new lined zipper pocket for which I recycled the bag's original zip. And I put a reinforced bottom inside, before I sewed up the lining, because I do like a bag that stands up when you put it down. It's still a tacky black shiny placky bag — but I do love it!
:: I'm also knitting this cardie/jacket from the Rowan Classic Cafe pattern book. It's the same alpaca and silk yarn that I used for my clapotis. I bought it online, and it was so cheap I bought lots, so there's plenty to knit up this cardie for summer.