Wardrobe planning #24: Costume jewellery – #01 Horn and necklaces

I have collected a lot of jewellery over the years, much of it fairly inexpensive costume pieces. Most of it fits quite well into my colour wheel so that it goes with my clothing choices and I now make sure that I bear my colours in mind when I buy new items. I also have more expensive jewellery, that I wear often, but I have decided that it would not be a particularly good idea to post about that, for obvious reasons.

You will already have seen quite a lot of my “bling” over the past months, but I want to share some of my favourite pieces in this post. I have already written about my Halcyon Days enamel and Ferragamo leather bracelets, so I will not repeat those, but I will mention some bracelets that I have not already shown in the next post. This week I am posting about my horn jewellery collection, some sentimental items and also necklaces and pendants.


I think I have shown most of my horn items already, but here they are all in one place. I love the natural horn pieces – the shades of dark brown to cream go well with many of my clothes. The lacquer comes in a rainbow of colours. This is a starter collection, I suppose, as I intend to get some more items in the future. I would like pendants in blue and also cream at some point. I may also buy some more earrings. Perhaps some smaller ones.

Horn jewellery

Horn jewellery

The purple pendant is see-through in that the lacquer finish is thinner and allows you to see the pattern of the horn. It is also only on one side so it can be flipped over and worn with the natural brown horn side. Both pendants are on adjustable cords. These items look good all year round.

This horn jewellery was purchased for very reasonable prices from several Etsy stores, including QueCraft. Some of these stores are no longer in business, but new ones seem to have since joined, so I am sure that items like these would be easy to find. Of course, Hermès has its own horn jewellery range, but this costs £££ and so is way out of my league!

Oh, and here is a horn bangle from another source – Pia.

Horn bangle - Pia

Horn bangle – Pia


Jewellery sets

Jewellery sets and sentiments

These all have sentimental attachments for me! The small silver bell on the left was bought for me by Lovely Husband from an antique shop on the Pulteney Bridge in Bath on our honeymoon. The other sets were presents from family members: a bracelet and earrings with tiny flowers set in resin and a necklace and earrings in peachy-beige and gold enamel from Pilgrim.

Necklaces and pendants

Necklaces #01

Necklaces #01

I seem to have collected quite a few beaded necklaces over the years, together with some made from shells. Top left is in blue, white and gold beads; the centre necklace has brown, white, gold and some blue. One shell piece is teal and brown and the other turquoise and lime green on a brown cord. The one on the bottom right is made of silk, in shades of blue, turquoise and pink, and was a gift from my Mum.

Necklaces modelled!

Necklaces modelled!

This is what they all look like when worn. The necklace in the centre is quite heavy; the silk one is so soft and light against my neck.

Necklaces #02

Necklaces #02

As you can see, you really do not have to spend a lot on costume jewellery. You can still get something that will make an impact or nicely finish an outfit for very little. The most expensive piece here is the amber rope necklace; the most inexpensive is probably the shell pendant in that I have had it since I was thirteen! The large crystal and silver pendant looks great in the Winter with my “snowflake” earrings and I have already shown the blue topaz and silver pendant in a previous post. The leaf skeleton pendant was purchased from Wallis a few years ago and I bought the turquoise and gold tassel beaded necklace from an eBay trader, BOHO-LANE. I could love something similar in purple.

Next week, I will show you some more of my earrings and bracelets.

Best wishes,


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Scarf of the moment: Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs

This pretty scarf is another cheerful pick-me-up that brightens the day with its whimsical details. Designed by Christine Henry for Hermès Spring/Summer 2016 season, it has appeared as the cashmere and silk 140cm, the silk twill 90cm, twillies and in the 45cm gavroche size. I have the 90cm in colourway #09. As I missed this scarf when it was first offered (I had used up my scarf budget for that season), I was thrilled to find it later on, new and pristine on eBay – at a great price!

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs by Christine Henry for Hermès

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs by Christine Henry for Hermès

My scarf has a lovely light turquoise border, then the pattern starts in shades of yellow and blue, with teal, taupe and purple touches. The design shows flower-like birds or bird-like flowers in bands across the scarf. The details are intricate and small.

These are the colourways of the 90cm size:

These are the colourways of the cashmere and silk 140cm shawl:

And here we have the alternative colourways of the 45cm gavroche:

As the scarf has such small details, I have photographed some close-ups for you. Here they are in a slideshow:

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The design history:

Like an allegory of life itself, Au Pays des oiseaux fleurs tells of the interconnections between fauna and flora. The delicate drawing transports us to a dreamlike land of trees, flowers and birds, mingling in rich profusion. No two trees are the same, each unfurls scrolling arabesques, decorative forms and flowers, an open invitation to the multicoloured birds snapping twigs to build their nests among the branches, feeding on blossoms, transporting fertile seeds and pollens. Plants and animals blend and blur in this composition celebrating the extraordinary richness of life on Earth – the intelligence, beauty and power of nature. No single thing can thrive, it seems to say, without all the rest.

These are collages I have already shown on the blog. As you can see, this colourway looks great with clothes and accessories in shades of blue, navy, teal and turquoise.

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès - collage #01

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès – collage #01

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès - collage #02

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès – collage #02

The scarf looks very cute in a number of different ties. I love to show off the gorgeous turquoise/aqua border. This exact shade is exquisite, in my opinion.

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès - collage #03

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès – collage #03

Here we have some other people’s reactions to this scarf. Firstly, a YouTube video called “The Nicest Scarf in the World – HERMES “Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs” Scarf”:

Here, the A Passion for Elegance blog shows a gavroche of this scarf.

I hope you have enjoyed this exploration of Hermes’ Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs. The next Scarf of the Moment post will be in two weeks – Dans un Jardin Anglais – which I have in both the 90cm size and also as a twilly.

Best wishes,


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Sale and eBay purchases 15/06/17

It is sale time and I have been a bit very naughty, spending money on accessories again! Bad, bad Librain 😉.

First of all, I visited the Halcyon Days sale and saw that a bangle on my wish list was reduced. I had been watching this one since it first came out. We have an in-joke in this family about owls, so I simply had to have this:

Bluebell and cream enamel, Owl bangle - Halcyon Days

Bluebell and cream enamel, Owl bangle – Halcyon Days

Isn’t it cute? The tiny owls have little crystals as eyes – neat. The colours will also go well with my clothes and the bangle will be great stacked with my others in blue and cream. What do you think?

Enamel bangles in blue and cream - Halcyon Days

Enamel bangles in blue and cream – Halcyon Days

As you may be aware, two of my favourite patterns of all time are Hera and Ianthe by Liberty of London. I already have both of these as scarves, but I saw an auction for a Hera in lovely shades of blue and won it…

Blue Hera silk scarf - Liberty of London

Blue Hera silk scarf – Liberty of London

The scarf is silk, but it is a more inexpensive version than my other Liberty of London scarves as the rolled hem is machined rather than hand sewn. The pattern and colours are very nice indeed. Here it is in a cowboy cowl knot:

Blue Hera scarf - Liberty of London - cowboy cowl knot

Blue Hera scarf – Liberty of London – cowboy cowl knot

When June arrives, with its sales, I always check to see if any of my wish list items have been included. The owl bangle above was and also this Aspinal snakeskin wrap bracelet in “peacock”. I bought another one as well, not in “my” colours. This bracelet will be a present for someone later in the year.

Peacock snakeskin double wrap bracelet - Aspinal

Peacock snakeskin double wrap bracelet – Aspinal

I think I will save this wrap bracelet for the Autumn and Winter as it will look great with teal, which I think of as a cold weather colour. The snake skin is lovely with a brilliant sheen and the fastening is adjustable. I will model it later in the year.

Tomorrow’s post will be a Scarf of the Moment: Hermès’ Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs. I hope readers are enjoying this series.

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs - Hermès

Au Pays des Oiseaux Fleurs – Hermès

Best wishes,


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Reading roundup 14/06/17

I haven’t read nearly as many books as I did last week, although that week was pretty exceptional. Perhaps I have been reading more web-based stuff? More likely, I got caught up with the General Election and became obsessed with politics for a few days, reading everything I could get my hands on. I couldn’t sleep on election night and ended up watching it all unfold until the early hours of the morning. Then I felt awful for the next couple of days. Well, physically awful!

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

Anyway, I did finish The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths. I really love her Ruth Galloway series, but didn’t feel the same about this book. Set in 1950s Brighton and other seaside towns of the period, I found it difficult to keep going. The plot was interesting, but not gripping. I then started the next book in the series, but gave up on it after a few pages. I have decided that I will not continue with a book if I am not enjoying it enough. There are far too many in my wish list to waste time on anything that doesn’t appeal to me.

Beyond the Truth by Anne Holt

Beyond the Truth by Anne Holt

I then ended up with nothing in my book pile as I needed to visit the library and I didn’t feel well enough to go! Eek! This is when the library’s ebook service comes in very useful. I was able to browse through the list and selected a book by Anne Holt: Beyond the Truth, #7 in her Hanne Wilhelmsen series. I have read quite a few books by this author and have found that they have been translated from the Norwegian and published here in a fairly random order, which can be awkward. It does help to read them in order as there is a background story which flows through the series. I gave this one three stars as it was not the author’s best, in my opinion.

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves

Thin Air by Ann Cleeves

Back to the wonderful Ann Cleeves for my next read. I have got a bit out of sequence with her two series, Vera and Shetland, as I now have to request them from the library and they are becoming available in the wrong order. Never mind, I love her books and I am sure I will enjoy this one. I will let you know next week.

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 13/06/17

Normal service has been resumed. Well, I simply couldn’t resist a bit of campaigning last week, and what an outcome! Such interesting times for us all in the UK. We will be watching to see what happens.

Like last week, I am going to show you yesterday’s outfit rather than today’s, as we have not been out today and, instead, I managed a few household “jobs”. As it has been warm and a bit sticky today, I only wore a t-shirt and lounging pants to do some ironing (first time for ages), arrange some flowers, and sort out washing. It all sounds very mundane, but it is a real achievement for me to be able to support my family with even these small acts of housework. I hope to be able to do similar tasks during the rest of the week. Lovely Husband has to battle his own disabilities to do the vast majority of the work needed to keep the house running. Our dear lads are quite helpful, but also make work at the same time!

Anyway, we did go out yesterday, I am glad to say. We had to pick up our new glasses – mine are only for reading, but, as I wear them for a large part of the day, they need to be comfortable and light. I was getting deep dents on either side of my nose from my old glasses, so I am hoping that these new ones solve this problem. The picture below also shows a hint of something that I will post about on Thursday…

New reading glasses

New reading glasses

After visiting the opticians, we went to the library and I chose my next 8 books, including one I had requested. Tomorrow’s post will be a Reading Roundup of this last week’s books, if all is well. We then went to the garden centre for tea and coffee and a walk round. I saw some Hotter sandals that I liked at 20% off, but restrained myself as I have been spending a bit too much recently – oops!

Sandals - Flare aquamarine multi - Hotter

Sandals – Flare aquamarine multi – Hotter

So here we are with yesterday’s outfit of the day:

  • Silk scarf 90cm – Parures de Samouraïs – Hermès. In a simple knot using a MaiTai horn shawl ring.
  • Bright coral, cotton mix cardigan – Lands’ End.
  • Bright coral, cotton mix top – Lands’ End.
  • Indigo jeans – Cotton Traders.
  • Cream enamel and gold, Byzantine bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Coral enamel and gold, Agama bangle – Halcyon Days.
  • Turquoise enamel and gold, plain bangle – Halcyon Days.
Parures de Samouraïs - Hermès - collage #05

Parures de Samouraïs – Hermès – collage #05

I really do love pink coral as a colour as it brightens up my mood, and my face, I think. The Parures de Samouraïs scarf is, of course, absolutely wonderful. My prediction of a few months ago, that it would become one of the most sought-after, has come true.

Best wishes,


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Wardrobe planning #23: Fun jewellery

As I am 60, you would imagine that I have a lot of costume jewellery, collected over the decades. In fact, I wore a shell pendant the other week that I think was a birthday or Christmas present when I was either 12 or 13! Some of this jewellery is what I call “fun” in that it causes amusement when people see me wearing it, rather than hysterical laughter because I look inappropriate for my age. Well, I hope that the latter doesn’t happen!

You can see elsewhere on this blog that I was a school librarian for many years and I really enjoyed working with children and young adults. When I first started I was not a lot older than the sixth formers; when I finished I was probably granny age. I was a pretty strong disciplinarian, but maintained a good relationship with the students and my colleagues through humour. That humour came, sometimes, from my jewellery…

Librarian necklace - Tatty Devine

Librarian necklace – Tatty Devine

When I found Tatty Devine I realised that I could have some fun with their range of perspex jewellery. Amongst other items, they make personalised name necklaces, so I had this “Librarian” one made in sparkly turquoise. I still wear it because I feel that once a librarian, always a Librarian!

Librarian necklace - Tatty Devine

Librarian necklace – Tatty Devine

Working along similar lines, I also bought a range of “book” jewellery, both earrings and necklaces, which amused visitors to the school library. These were all from traders on Etsy. If you search for “book earrings” etc., you will find quite a few examples. I had intended to collect more, but then I had to retire early. I do still wear these occasionally, particularly when I visit the local library as the staff have fun looking at them and it opens up a nice chat sometimes.

Book jewellery - Etsy

Book jewellery – Etsy

Clockwise from the top left:

  • Winter is Coming necklace – GlamorousGlueDesigns on Etsy. Based on Game of Thrones.
  • Game of Thrones book charm bracelet – LittleLiterature on Etsy (no longer trading).
  • Little Women book earring – ChimeraCuriosities on Etsy (not sure if still trading). This tiny book actually opens and has printed pages.
  • Alice in Wonderland necklace – BaillieDay on Etsy. This has small charms, such as a working watch, rose, key, “drink me” bottle, rabbit, etc.
  • Alice in Wonderland book earring – ChimeraCuriosities on Etsy (not sure if still trading). Tiny opening book with printed pages.

When Christmas came around, I had a few sets of fun earrings to wear. In fact, I like the quilled purple and gold paper ones so much that I wear them all year round.

Christmas earrings - Etsy

Christmas earrings – Etsy

Clockwise from top left:

  • Polymer clay Christmas cake earrings – DragonsDust on Etsy.
  • Vintage tree light earrings – iheartmyartuk on Etsy.
  • Polymer clay Christmas pudding earrings – DragonsDust on Etsy.
  • Quilled paper, purple and gold earrings – VBPureDesigns on Etsy.

I hope you have found this post amusing, at the very least. It is nice to have fun with accessories or jewellery once in a while, without going over the top. Anyway, I will write more about my costume jewellery collection next week.

Best wishes,


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What a difference a day makes!

Image credit

Rainbow Bridge by just1snap on Flickr

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