Thursday, 28 April 2022

Confessions of a Preloved Wardrobe Capsule Challenge


Well that was fun!

I have always loved a capsule wardrobe challenge but this one was the most challenging yet.

Last month my blogging buddy Sarah London and I decided to launch a Capsule Wardrobe Challenge using only preloved items.

The 10 items I chose would not have been the clothes I would neceassrily have chosen from my wardobe but what I learned was how much restriction leads not only to creativity, but pushing oneself out of the comfort zone.

My first five outfits were pretty obvious but by the end of the challenge I was running out of options and I had lost the pink top I had included so my capsule ended up with 9 items instead of 10.
But necessity, as they say, is the mother of invention and I was forced into the uncomofortable zone.

I hate my legs. I feel they are short and stocky and would only have dared to wear a mini skirt with thick back tights. But I was bored with thick black tights. 

And now, I had nothing to lose.

Unless my legs are tanned I hate to expose bare legs so these large fishnet tights offered a little coverage.

And once I tried them with the skirt, I quite liked it.

I then tried some bright red tights I had bought but never worn and experimented with wearing the shirt back to front and underneath a top.

I even had a go at showing off my midriff which I had never even considered but by the end of the challenge I had gained a little more confidence.

So what have I learned from this challenge?

Just one lesson - don't knock it until you've tried it!

Why not have a go?

I am off to see how Sarah got on here.

* To see the original items used in the 

challanege, take a look at my last post.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

The Preloved Capsule Wardrobe Challenge 2022


Long-standing readers of this blog will know I love a Capsule Wardrobe Challenge.

I feel so much more creative when my options are restricted.

My first Capsule Wardrobe Challenge was in 2008 and there were several more over the years

The Small Fabric Of My Life: And the winner is........

The Small Fabric Of My Life: The Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2010 Winner is........

The Small Fabric Of My Life: The Fourth Annual Capsule Wardrobe Challenge is Announced

But this year I wanted a Capsule Wardobe Challenge with a twist - all items have to be preloved.

The inspiration came from my joint monthly  blog with Australian Blogger Sarah London when we have shared our Second-Hand Stories. Why not create a second-hand capsule?

I have enjoyed coming up with some combinations from my preloved wardrobe and I have learned a few things along the way which I share below.

The brief for the challenge is:

1. Create a Capsule Wardrobe of up to 10 preloved items to create at least five different looks.

2. Jewellery, underwear and hosiery is not included.

My 10 items are shown above and comprises:

2 items of footwear

2 bottoms

3 tops

1 jacket

1 Bag

1 jumpsuit

And here are a few looks I have put together.

I will post my Favourite Five looks in our joint blog next month when hopefully we will share some other looks from felllow style bloggers.

But for now here are my top ten tips

1. Try and create a capsule where every top goes with every bottom.

2. If you include a jacket choose a style and colour that will go with your tops and bottoms.

3. Choose a hero piece that can be dressed up or down and combine with your tops. I have included a jumpsuit.

4. Choose one bag to go with all looks.

5. Choose footwear that works with all your bottoms and hero piece.

6. Consider a base colour and complementary colours.

7. Think about patterns. Clashing can be good but not always!

8. Consider the weather.

9. Think about your daily activities.

10. Be creative.

Now please head over to Sarah's blog here and see what she has to say.

I always learn something new.

See you soon,

Jane X

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Back To The Future


How is nearly a month since I have blogged?

Life with two grandchildren and a job has definitely reduced my blogging time.

But they are worth it.

Today's outfit is a Top Shop skirt from a local charity shop and a birthday jumper from my husband.

Only teaching in the morning today so I was able to go and visit Mason for some cuddles.

It doesn't seem five minutes since I was cuddling his mummy.

Briony was born at home and here she is just a few hours old after her first bath.

The farm where my husband works is full of the joys of spring.

And so am I now I don't have to wear my big coat anymore.

Although I am staying safe with two jackets!

I am working on a new crochet project inspired by this outrageiously priced dress.

But for now I am working on enjoying Mason before he grows up too fast.

See you soon,
Jane X

Sunday, 20 February 2022

We Are Grandparents (Again)


You wait years for a grandbaby and then two pop along in under a year!

Welcome to our world, Mason Gary Cringle.

It has been a while since I posted, but I am still on a high after witnessing the birth of my baby grandson.  

My daughter had invited me into the delivery room with her fiance early on in the pregnancy but I hadn't built up my hopes as I was aware things may change. 

But at 9pm on Monday Feb 7th I got a call to say labour had started. It was early days so they told me they would ring if things progressed.

At 2am on Tuesday February 8th I got a call to say the contractions had intensified so I got dressed into the car and drove the 8 miles across the county lines from Merseyside into Lancashire where they live.

It was a long night.

In the dimmed lounge we half slept, half watched the television. I have strange recollections of pottery competitions, police chases and airport customs procedures.

I never did find out of a woman was hiding drugs in her buttock implants and for some strange reason I need to know.

By 5am things had slowed down so we walked around the roads for a while and then it stopped.

My daughter hadn't felt the baby move so she rang the hospital and they asked her to come in.

I took Bud, their little Frenchie home and waited.

Happily, the baby was fine but it meant another sleepless night for my daughter and her fiance as the contractions returned.

At 6am on Wednesday February 9th I got  a call to say they were being moved to a delivery room and could I bring some pillows and lucozade.

I made my way through to Ormskirk Hospital and with arms and bags bulging found them on the matenity ward looking a lot more cheerful than I expected.

There was a television in the room but it didn't work. Luckily I had brought a speaker and managed to find some PLaylists for Labour on Spotify which we listened to for the next 12 or so hours.

I had sprayed my yoga and meditation mist and all the staff said they hated leaving the room as it was so chilled.

After slow progress Briony was put on a drip and epidural.

Around 7.30pm they asked me to get out the clothes for the baby and warm then under the lights.

It was getting exciting.

By 9.30pm she was ready to push and despite early misgivings the caesarean she had feared was ruled out and at 9.51pm on Wednesday February 9th 2022 Mason Gary Cringle entered this world with a lung busting cry.

Thank you to the skills and care of the midwifery team and the support of her wonderful fiance I cried tears of joy.

We all did.

At 11.30pm Jordan went home to get a good night's sleep while I fed and cuddled Mason as  my daughter slept.
Music played softly in the background and in the dim light as Wednesday turned into Thursday I enjoyed the most magical time with my grandson.

Around 1.30am when the effects of the epidrual had worn off and my daughter had showered mother and baby were moved to a the post natal ward and I drove home across the country lanes under the glow of an almost full moon.

We reunited Bud with his mum and dad and he is the perfect big brother.

It has been 10 days since Mason came into our world and I can't imagine a world without him.


Friday, 4 February 2022

All My Pretty Girls Love To Crochet

 In August we enjoyed a lovely trip to Cheltenham with our great friends, Sara and Niall.

While the boys were watching Liverpool play, Sara and I went shopping.

I had never seen an Anthropologie shop before although I had bought some stuff from ebay.

It was so exciting to get in and mooch around, but not so exciting to see the price tags.

I fell in love with this cardigan but the price tag was over £100.

"You could easily make one like that," said Sara.

Challenge accecpted.

And when I came home I ordered some of my favourite colours and started on some squares.

I had no pattern but looking at the photo I realised the caridgan was a set of 52 squares.

And I just kept going.

Last weekend I finally finished it and watched a youtube tutorial to discover a way to edge it neatly.

I've worn it twice this week and just love it.

I have already started making one for my daughter in law and a mini one for my grandaughter.

And if you are wondering where the title of this post came from, take a listen to this song!

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Pimp My Look Preloved Style


According to the Cambridge University dictionary one of the words associated with accessories is 'pimp' and who can resist an alliterative title?

In this video I share my favourite preloved accessories.

And if that's not enough then head over to the rather fabulous Sarah London to check out hers too as we blog jointly on the last Thursday of each month in our Second Hand Stories series.

Monday, 24 January 2022


 September 2017 was one of the worst months of my life.

Two of my four children moved out and our beloved chocolate labrador, Harvey died.

I was bereft.

And I still had six months of autumn/winter to face before the following spring.

I hated winter, closely followed by autumn.

I only felt truly alive in the spring/summer months.

And then I realised I was wasting half my life, wishing I was somewhere else in the year.

A book saved my life or gave me back half my year.

It was The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater.

Although it is a cookbook ( and I confess I haven't made any of the recipes), it is also a celebration of the winter months.

Every November I get the book out, snuggle in front of the fire with a hot drink or glass of red wine and in the glow of candlelight savour Slater's hynoptic prose.

And Im delighted to report that I have a new one to add to my collection.
Wintering by Katharine May is described as a 'comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves.'

And now a third child has moved out of our home - my youngest son, Ben.

It doesn't seem five minutes since I was posting about his 10th birthday here.

He is renting an apartment in Liverpool city cenre and living the dream.

We visited his place in The Lexington yesterday and my sadness was overshadowed by the sheer thrill of the fabulous views and buzz of life from this vantage point.

Being able to see life from a distance has given me perspective.

I have just one child left out of four still living at home but it no longer feels as raw.

The dynamic had already shifted with the dismantling of our nuclear family.

And it is thanks to my love of reading that I have found great solace in books, especially the 2,000 year-old Book of Tao by Lao Tzu which I read when I trained to teach Yin Yoga.

"If you try to change it, you will ruin it.

Try to hold it, and you will lose it.....

.......the world belongs to those who let go."

And by letting go of my role as a mother, I have started to embrace my role as a grandmother.

And by saying farewell to Harvey, we have found space in our hearts for Frankie.

But while it may still be winter, I am refusing to let go of my white jeans.

Have a great week.

Jane X

Confessions of a Preloved Wardrobe Capsule Challenge

  Well that was fun! I have always loved a capsule wardrobe challenge but this one was the most challenging yet. Last month my blogging budd...