Tatty Devine Sample Sale 2019

Tatty Devine Sample Sale

There are three types of people who go to the annual Tatty Devine sample sale in East London:

  • The early-starters – the ones who get there at goodness knows what time in the morning (or even the night before) and seemingly never leave the hall…
  • The late-morning queuers – the ones who get there just before the doors open and lose all feeling in their legs as the morning goes on
  • The afternoon browsers – the (sane) ones who don’t want to spend the whole morning in a queue so get there in the afternoon when everyone else has collapsed, and somehow manage to pick up dream pieces regardless

If you’re in the top two groups of people, you need to show serious commitment. This not for the faint-hearted – there’s rain, sun, and everything in between. If you want the good stuff, you need to get there early and be prepared to queue.

I’m firmly in the second group. Whilst I admire those who get there before the sun rises, I could never spend hours camped out on the floor outside St Hilda’s East Community Centre – I love Tatty Devine, but just not enough for sleeping bags and camping chairs.

Tatty Devine Sample Sale

I got to St Hilda’s East at about 9.15am and there was already a healthy number of people in the queue. I put my headphones in (Editors – The Blanck Mass Sessions) and prepared myself for a long wait. Over the course of the three hour queue (yes, three hours), we shuffled and shivered along slowly. I survived the freezing cold wait by thinking about the Dum Dum doughnuts I’d reward myself with when I was done, and also by wondering if my knees would ever allow me to sit down again.

At 12.30, I was inside the hall and greeted with half a dozen tables stacked full of acrylic jewellery goodness. We’d heard that there had been bags for sale as well, but they had long gone. I then don’t know what happened to me – I think I must have fallen into some kind of fugue state as I didn’t emerge from the hall until 2pm.

Tatty Devine Sample Sale

I do remember saying to myself on a number of occasions that I had finished my selections, only to go around the room for one last lap and find more stuff. Both a curse and a blessing – there are frequent drops of new stuff from staff and customers who are putting back unwanted items. At one stage, I was literally in the queue to pay when I saw someone put a pink lobster down, so I went around the room again to see what else had been given up. You can understand why people don’t want to leave – there is a huge element of fomo and thinking that your dream piece might be just about to arrive in the room.

But when I did eventually leave/escape/come to my senses, I was very happy with my purchases – I spent way more than I had planned to, but I really couldn’t bring myself to put anything back. Really looking forward to my June payslip though.

Tatty Devine Sample Sale

Tatty Devine Sample Sale 2016


Tatty Devine Sample Sale Queue

I feel extraordinarily tired, incredibly grimy, and I’m not convinced my legs work anymore.  This morning, I queued for almost 3 1/2 hours for the Tatty Devine Sample Sale (and spent another hour crammed inside).

It was my first sale, and the first hosted not in the Brick Lane shop but around the corner at the Rag Factory which sounded a much better idea to me – I had read about the sale last year where people queued for a ridiculous amount of time as the shop was too small to fit more than a handful of people.  So I thought I’d try my luck, get up early this morning, and try to grab myself some bargains.

Husband asked me when I got home if it was worth it – I think it’s safe to say yes:

I knew I wanted a lobster of some kind, the tudor houses, a flamingo, and a tiny crown so those are ticked off my list.  I wasn’t expecting there to be such a TINY adorable lobster – I spotted him across the table as I was queueing to pay and couldn’t quite believe how small he was.  And how cute is the tiny parakeet as well.  The little table was actually a freebie – I think they felt bad for keeping us in the queue for so long.  A couple of the items were £30, a couple £20, then some £15 and £10.  I could have spent a hell of a lot more.

I didn’t get anything spectacular though, which I think I’m ok with as realistically I can only wear subtler pieces at work.  As already mentioned, we queued for 3 1/2 hours – I got there at about 9.30am, it opened at 10.30 and we eventually got in a just after 1.  It’s a shame that most of the statement pieces were long gone by then and one of the staff commented that some of the first people in hadn’t even left at that point as they were still protectively holed up in the corner of the room.  I felt bad for the people who were after the more epic stuff.

The actual event was run by aSample who did their best, but as someone next to me said, they didn’t know the stock and didn’t seem that interested or invested.  Plus, their security guard kept getting in the way which was so annoying!  As it was being run by ‘professionals’, I did kind of expect it to be better organised.


Not that us lot left out queuing in the cold didn’t make our own fun.  We all fell in love with a local resident who didn’t give a fig that there was a bunch of people queuing outside his house and kept bringing out more and more elaborate items and clothes into his front yard – two glitter scarves!  An amazing kimono!  Fake flowers which he shoved in the waistband of his turquoise jeans!  A squash racquet!?!?  We got in the way of a street art walking tour, after we’d figured out what the hell they were looking at in a crappy little yard off Heneage Street.  Plus, there was a bit of a fangirl moment when Harriet and Rosie came out to chat to us (with Rosie’s adorable little baby).  For a Tatty obsessive, that was pretty awesome.  I met Sarah in the queue who kept chucking stuff my way as we went round, so I have her to thank for a few of the bits I bought.

Now I’m going try to find a home for all my new pieces.

And maybe cut up my debit card.

We agreed to not have anymore stupid interventions at our Intervention intervention

TDDec15Scuse the grainy photo, but I was sorting through my Tatty Devine collection and I thought I’d document my current stash.

It has been noted by a few people that I may be displaying obsessive behaviour when it comes to by Tatty Devine.  I can’t disagree.  I’ve picked up a couple of things in their Secret Santa promotion over the past couple of weeks, and have even taken part in some swaps on Instagram and Facebook to get re-home some of my pieces that I don’t wear anymore, and to get some new items like the parcel bow and the red elephant head.

The box on the top left is my swaps box – unfortunately, I was unlucky enough to get Reem in one of my Secret Santa boxes which is just the worst.  Surely, there’s someone in this world who wants to take it off me?  Anyone?

I have just realised that when I last did a stock-take, I had half as much and that was only 6 months ago.  Oops.  Perhaps it is almost intervention time.

Every single night, the same arrangement

Last three weeks

I haven’t had the internet for over a week.  Sadly, with my tech support/Husband overseas, I had to make do with just my data allowance on my sparkly new Nexus 5X, which I very quickly blitzed through.  So what have I been doing without my beloved internet?

I started my new job on Monday and so far, so statutory.  I’ve been reading insanely long government documents, and trying to decipher wordy guidance.  It has not been the most fun ever.  It’s also very daunting that I now have 8 people working for me.  8!  I can’t even count all of them!  Next week, I move desks and do yet more reading, and maybe one day I’ll be able to finish something I start without having to go to a meeting or getting distracted by a Very Important phone call.

My parents took me to the Ashford outlet last weekend where I compulsively bought some new Skechers.  I don’t even need them.  Ashford was actually a bit disappointing and in no way matches up to my trusty Swindon outlet, but it was good to have a change.  I’ve also bought a lot of Tatty Devine, including two wishlist items.  Ooo, and the Liberty beauty advent calendar which is tempting me from the bedroom as I type.  When is it December?

Like the trendy, young people we are (ahem) Tim and I went for brunch at The Refinery at Bankside.  We’d been there once before for his birthday which was most enjoyable then and brunch was equally enjoyable.  I was very surprised that it wasn’t really busy – my pancakes were delicious and not expensive so it’s surprising to me that we walked straight in.  I’ll definitely be going back for yet more pancakes.

After brunch, we visited the Tate Modern to see the World Goes Pop exhibition.  I hadn’t really considered that most of the Pop Art I’ve seen and appreciated is American and British, and this exhibition showed stuff from all over the world – Asia, the Middle East, Latin America.  It was political, feminist, folksy and all very mind-expanding.  Many vaginas with mirrors, including some in a beautiful room byJana Želibská that I really liked.  The final room was really disorienting – repeat pattern wallpaper by Thomas Bayrle which made my eyes dizzy, sexually explicit films which a bunch of gay men seemed really into, and a radio advert on repeat which almost drove me insane.  Lovely bit of neon by Chryssa Vardea in there though.  We then had a lovely walk down the river, and sat outside the Oxo Tower until we were frozen having one of our legendary conversations.    

More shopping
As we made out way into one of the Tate’s shops, I told Tim a fascinating story about how one of my biggest regrets was the day I didn’t buy a Tatty Devine/Tate necklace that I saw in the shop years ago.  I could see the jewellery cabinet was still in the same place it’s always been in, and thought I’d have a look at their current selection. AND SAW THE REGRETFUL NECKLACE!  I hesitated for a moment – originally £160 and now at half price, it was still more than I’d budgeted for the day.  But Tim’s wry knowing smile gave me all the encouragement I needed, and I snapped it up – the last one they had.  He really is a bad influence on me.

I’m now done with my Buffy rewatch, having watched almost 2 and a half seasons in the last three weeks.  Angel’s on hold for the moment, mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to chop-and-change the DVDs in the drive.  I forgot how ridiculously melodramatic season 6 was, and how season 7 all runs into one.  I could never remember the difference between “Bring on the Night”, “Showtime”, “Get It Done”.  The whole middle of season 7 was just pointless.  However, I do still think “Once More With Feeling” is one of the best episodes of television of all time.  And 7 improved dramatically when Eliza Dushku turned up.  God bless Faith.

But the waiting is now over, as a very jet-lagged Husband has returned.  I got to the airport way early as I was far too excited, and then burst into tears when I saw him walk through the arrivals hall.  The relief at finally being able to see him, be able to talk to him, is almost overwhelming.  He crashed a couple of hours ago as the time difference has broken him, but hopefully we can quickly get back back into our happy routine.

My chain hits my chest, when I’m banging on the dashboard

TD Collection


Everyone has been posting their Tatty Devine collections on Instagram, so I decided to gather up all my jewellery from their various locations around the house for a mini photoshoot.

I thought I had both more and less than this but of course I could always do with more.  I had put myself on a Tatty Devine spending ban for this month but apparently, there’s a sale due in a couple of weeks so I’ve amended my spending ban to “no full priced items”.

The bad news for me is I’ve started staking out Ebay for some pieces that I missed out on.  I haven’t bought anything from Ebay for years but I desperately want La Luna and snow globe necklaces.

I fear my addiction is spiralling out of control…

Tatty Devine Lucky Dip

TDLuckyDip1My day is always immeasurably improved by the arrival of a Tatty Devine box in the post.  Even more so if the box is one of their Lucky Dip selections because the contents are a complete surprise.  I bought my first Lucky Dip box last year and regretted only buying one so decided to get both a large and a small box this time around.

I did have a little bit of anxiety when buying the boxes as there wasn’t a “no pierced ears” option and I convinced myself that I’d get two boxes full of earrings.  As it turns out, I was worrying for no reason.

TDLuckydip2A TRAPEZE NECKLACE!  I am so happy!  I’ve had my eye on this piece for a while but have always been distracted by other bits.

The small box contained the Modern necklace, which was part of their Tate Modern collection; the smiley 90’s glasses; and the pink heart ring.  The large box had the trapeze necklace, the playing cards necklace, the shiny pink sequin necklace and the cat ring.

I can give or take the rings and the smiley glasses, but am super happy with the rest.  The only problem I have now is that boxes are still on sale – I’m going to have to hide my debit card for the next few days until they sell out.

Bring me an alien this year

Christmas has become a little different since the arrival of my two nieces.  They’re not quite old enough to understand what’s happening, but there is definitely a higher proportion of plastic flying around!  We had Christmas lunch at my in-laws, but as always, we spent a couple of hours at my parents in the morning opening presents.  Everything was nicely timed so we effectively opened presents over the course of the whole day.

I lucked out this year for several reasons.  Reason number one:

J4Husband upgraded my Nikon J1 to a Nikon J4.  My J1 is getting a little tired and I’ve spent the last year or so debating what Compact System Camera to get as I knew I wanted another mirrorless one.  I eventually settled for the newest Nikon – I knew my lenses would fit and I’m familiar with the settings.  So far, I love it – much smaller and lighter than my J1.  The above is the last photo I took with my J1 😦

Christmas 2014Reason number two that I lucked out was that my wonderful mother-in-law had just got back from New York where she heroically braved Sephora and Co Bigelow for me.  She bought me the Glitz and Glam Party Essentials which has so much great stuff inside, a set with 10 Sephora eye pencils, a Deborah Lippmann varnish in Let’s Go Crazy, and some of my favourite Lavender and Peppermint conditioner from Co Bigelow.  I have been in heaven playing with all my new make up over the past couple of days.

Husband also bought me an arctic fox necklace from Tatty Devine and Science For Her by Megan Amram which is hilarious.  My brother-in-law and his wife got me Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes which I can’t wait to dig in to, and a sleep set from This Works.

Now I just need somewhere to squirrel this stuff away.

Happy Birthday Tatty Devine

TD15eJudging by their most recent collection, I have had a mild obsession with Tatty Devine since 2001.  I was very excited when they launched their birthday collection, as it’d give me a chance to pink up some pieces I had missed out on when I was a poor twenty-something.  And even more excited when they announced a pop-up shop at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank.  My favourite!  I dragged Husband there on our anniversary trip.

I haven’t actually been in a Tatty Devine store which is a fact I find astounding – every time I’ve been near their Covent Garden shop, it’s either been closed or rammed full of people – so this is my first real experience of a shop.  Husband has been into their stores more than I have!  I loved looking at all the pieces, and the Russian Flower collection above looks so beautiful.  And I completely fell for the dalmatian necklace and brooch which I hadn’t seen before and has only just gone online – if I hadn’t taken a photo, I would have thought I dreamt it.

TD15cI’d already made my decision on what I was going to buy, but I had to get Husband to prevent me from buying more as I was quite drunk and my credit card could quite easily have slipped and bought more.  Fortunately for my bank balance, this didn’t happen and I happily left with a Cuckoo Clock brooch and Rabbit in a Hat necklace.  And of course I couldn’t say no to a TD15 tote bag to take it home in.

They’re running a charm workshop in the store over the rest of September and I’d love to go, but I’m not crafty at all so would only make a mess.  I’m happy to leave the necklace making to the experts.


Tatty Devine Lucky Dip Weekend

Tatty Devine boxesMy love for Tatty Devine has already been documented on this blog on a number of occasions.  I would buy pretty much everything on their website if I could.  Last year, I missed out on the sample sale and lucky dip weekend – I think I might have been on holiday or away for work or something – but this year, I was able to jump online as soon as the boxes went online.  YES!

“Each Lucky Dip Box contains a randomly chosen mix of pieces taken from over 13 years of collections, hand picked by our team and presented in a classic Tatty Devine box*. Every box is different so you never know what will be inside! Discover hidden gems, one-off samples and rare pieces. You’ll find classic out of production jewellery and very special hand selected seconds, too.”

I was super excited when the box arrived, because I am a ridiculous dork.

Lucky Dip boxOoo, it’s a good’un.  Awesome red glittery bow tie and matching ring, Tatty Devine postcard and plectrum bracelet.  A plectrum bracelet, man that’s good!  I remember being obsessed with their plectrum jewellery years ago but couldn’t afford it as a Young Person.  Now I finally own some!

Tatty Devine will run a swap shop on Facebook once everyone has received their boxes, and I’m tempted to have a look, maybe for the ring as I’m not really a ring person, but I’m equally happy keeping it all.

I only bought one box, which I am regretting this a little.  The other box in the photo was a little gifty Husband bought me last week.

Rob Ryan box

Oh hello, this is a fancy box

Rob Ryan necklaceA STUNNING gold Rob Ryan Each Kiss necklace.  I actually screamed when I opened the box.  Oh my goodness, I love it.  And bonus present – it came with a limited edition Rob Ryan print, signed by Rob, Harriet, and Rosie.  I need to find a frame for it and put it straight up because it’s so gorgeous.

There’s a sample sale at Tatty Devine next weekend, and it’s a good job that I’m going to be in The North because I really need to stop spending money on jewellery now.