Thursday, 12 July 2012

Summer, picnics and ginger beer, leapfrog and hopscotch...

Ah the long days of summer, picnics and ginger beer, leapfrog and hopscotch...

Ok, so here in the UK summer so far has been pants! This was a rare sunny evening at Granny's where shunning the TV they went outside and played :) 
Summer went on forever when I was a kid, hopscotch drawn on the road in the turning circle was my game of choice, if I wasn't off den building with my brother (pretending to be swallows and amazons or the famous 5!)  What were your favourite childhood summer games / memories?

All this rain has meant I've had plenty of time inside sewing, you can check out my creations at  here or here

Lil Vintage Makes is  also on Facebook and Twitter too

I'd be ever so chuffed if you could join me!!!

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Longest Day


Yesterday was the longest day of the year! A fact I was unaware of as I wrote out my To Do List...

I gardened, transplanting plants into our new veggie patch at home...

I was serenaded by my friendly blackbird...

The bees buzzed around me....

I baked...

Updated the photos of my bags for my folksy shop...

 I even found myself thinking of xmas...Oops!

 Phew!  How did you fill your longest day?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Pyrex & Rhubarb Pudding

Yesterday I  brought these little lovelies home.

 I spied them in the window of my local thrift shop and thought they would make darling little bowls for crumbles (rather than the 'soup' bowls they were labelled as).

The design isn't my normal colour choice but its the exact one my mum so I couldn't say no!

When I got home I wanted to use them straight away, and, spying the overflowing pot of eggs from our chicken I changed the crumble in my mind to sponge and along with the rhubarb hubby brought back from the allotment the day before, i devised a recipe for Rhubarb Pudding

Rhubarb Pudding

You will need:

3 sticks of Rhubarb
2 eggs
125g Self Raising Flour (1 cup)
125g Sugar (1/2 cup) + extra sugar to sweeten rhubarb if desired
125g Butter - room temperature
Preheat Oven to  175C

Begin by pre cooking the rhubarb until slightly softened,chop and microwave for 5 - 8 minutes or heat on stove.
Strain off liquid from rhubarb and discard.
Spoon rhubarb into base of Pyrex dish(s) sprinkling with a little sugar to sweeten if required
In a bowl cream sugar and butter together.
One by one add eggs to the bowl and mix.
Sieve flour and stir into the sponge mixture.
Stir until combined.
Spoon mixture over rhubarb, and level off.
Place in oven an cook for 30 minutes until sponge cooked thoroughly and golden.

Serve hot  - delicious with a scoop of ice cream

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Some rather exciting news....

Also the reason I've been quiet for so long!

I can finally reveal I have jumped into the World of Business and started my own business. Phase one is now up and running...

I have always loved to create, combine that with my love for vintage and you get 'Lil Vintage Makes'. From Bunting hand cut from vintage Ladybird books and strung on twine or crochet trim and tape, to bags made from handpicked vintage or vintage inspired fabrics, and lots inbetween, you can guarantee a nostalgic treat for young ones or those who just 'remember the days'....

So all of my time has been taken up, designing and sewing, not to mention the business side!! Now would you like to see picture of the paperwork or the sewing?

Silly question....

There has been non stop doodling!

 ....Careful sewing!

 ....Selection of fabrics

....and rather fun photo shoots!

And that al goes on even before I get near listing it in my shop!

I'm not sure how much this blog will be affected. I've started up another blog for the business which should showcase all the new designs and the work behind them, but as its part of my everyday life now, I guess they'll be a little more 'sewing bits' in my posts over here too. 

I hope you all agree its pretty exciting news, I'd love to know what you think...

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A Day of Olympic Proportions....

Okay, so I hinted before that we'd had a bit of an Olympic Day in May Here it is in all its glory. As you know, I live near the spendid City of Bath, and a couple of weeks ago the children were given time off school to go and see the Olympic Flame as it made its way through the city, we were also given the opportunity to take part in a World Record Attempt to form the World Largest Olympic Rings. We were assigned Blue and along with Nanny, we headed off to the Victoria Park! 

The day was fantastic, amazing blue skies, and such a relaxed family festival type feel. The children were great, there was ALOT of waiting around and practising, so we climbed trees and ate picnics. 

You can see a time-lapse video of the whole thing here

So that was the morning...we headed over to the Guildhall and claimed our place to watch the torch go past later. We were so lucky and had a spot quite near the front with a stunning backdrop of the Abbey. Finally when we had sat through all of the sponsors vehicles, the flame arrived!!

All in all and spectacular day I'm glad we took part in!! How about you, did you see the flame?

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

{How to Guide} Vintage Jelly Moulds and How to Turn out a Jelly!!

I bet you've all wanted perfect Jellys like the ones above haven't you? No problem! You just need to pop to the antique market/ car boot sale / Granny's house and pick up  one of those darling glass moulds you've spied right? 

You'll probably leave it til the day before the party too yes? Make a packet up and turn it out onto your plate just before the guests arrive perfect housewife style! Umm no. 

I bought a lovely fluted jelly mould on my last trip to Devon and couldn't wait to use it! I knew they were tricky so i did a bit of research and greased the glass inside with veg oil before filling with jelly. It didn't work. In fact it didn't work so badly that the centre of the jelly plopped out whilst the outside clung to the edges still *grr* Take two , and a lot of research later I came up with the ultimate guide to turning out Jelly from a glass mould...

1. Wet the mould before pouring the jelly in, (swirling some water around the mould then emptying out should be enough)

2. mixing the jelly at 1 and 1/2 tablets to a pint of water instead of 1 tablet per pint. 

3. When you want to turn out the jelly dip the mould into boiling water for 20 seconds first. 

4. you might need to run a knife around the rim to release the top edge! 

5. Don't forget to wet the plate you are turning it out onto so you can adjust it to centre positon!! 

Hope that helps you achieve your perfect vintage jellies, if not and you still want that mould in your life...Give up - and get one of these lovelies....

Friday, 1 June 2012

What I did in May....

You'll have to forgive me for the lack of posts recently, I've been working on a little special something! You'll have to wait for the official announcement on that, but if you can't wait you go like my page over on facebook and you'll get lots of pictures of it all coming together....

Meanwhile hers a few photos of what I got up to in May...

Cooling off in the scorching weather....

Preparing for the Queen's Jubilee, i'm loving all of the 50s styling out and about in the shops at the moment - i hope it doesn't all disappear again after too quickly!

 Parties and celebrations at School - practicing my face painting for daughters Jubilee mufti Day!

 Being Blue - no not like that! We took part in a record breaking attempt of the World's largest Human olympic rings display in Bath.

Welcoming the new season, with lots of Summery (homemade) goodies!!

Gardening - Enjoying the flowers and Digging a new Veggie Patch in the garden...

While others merely watched!!

Family Picnics - this one was enjoyed at the Vintage Nostalgia Show, Wilts.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing what we got up to, i'll blog a little more in depth on a couple of them soon, but its half term here, and we're off on our holidays so you'll have to wait.......again. (sorry!)

There might be some updates here if you're lucky

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A delivery from 1973.......

At the weekend, my mother brought out a box for me

Quite unassuming, vintage cosmetics maybe? Mum was an Avon Rep in the seventies. Nope! Turning the box I spied the handwritten label quickly!!

Oh how I smiled!! Opening it was like jumping back into my childhood!! Lovely handrolled (yes mum is a perfectionist!!)lengths of the most fabulous braids mum had used throughout the 70s and 80s when she sewed our clothes :)

A selection of the goodies inside.....

Sometrimes its good to have a mum who's a bit of a hoarder ;)

Today I'll be sorting my own sewing stash so I can add these to my own collection. I have a feeling mine will pale in comparison!!

Now just because Sounds of the 70s last night reminded me of my parents love for the Carpenters, heres a song to brighten your day...

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Happy May Day

Today, the first day of May is officially May Day here in the UK. (Although our MayDay Bank Holiday is next Monday).

How are you celebrating? It would have been lovely to dress up in  a gorgeous summer dress and frolick through a meadow smelling wild flowers and picknicing by a small stream as the butterflies flitted by....

But alas, this is England and it is raining! So I am tucked up inside in  high waisted trousers and a cherry red bow jumper. My nod at May Day are the strawberries on my new summer blouse I thrifted at the weekend!

Local town flooded yesterday - thats a road the river is by the houses!!

Even though it its as grey as a battleship outside - and probably twice as wet! - I can't help thinking of summer and browsing lovely vintage summer dresses on the web and decorating the house for summer....

What are your vintage summer plans, wardrobe or otherwise?

Monday, 30 April 2012

A weekend in Devon...Typewriters, Tablecloths and Regrets....

At the weekend, before the rainstorm that nearly blew our caravan away, we went to Devon. We wandered around antique centres and thrift stores and I found two lovely retro typewriters. Both complete with their hard cases and in fully working order, I couldn't decide between the two. 'Why do you need a typewriter?' Hubby asked. I was unable to offer an answer past, because I want one, so I didn't offer a reply. Our house if full to bursting of things I couldn't say no to, just because. So, I set myself a limit (noot having a clue how much typewriters were worth) and asked the shop keeper how much they were....
They were £5 above my self imposed limit and as I couldn't decide between the two, we told her we'd think about it and be back later.

We crossed the road and visited a church sale where I happened on a bag of assorted embroidered tablecloths, stupidly cheap. But because I couldn't think of an immediate use for them I passed them over.... We decided to escape the cold in a cafes and more shops...

We continued back through the high street  and returned to our caravan. The next day I sat down with a coffee flicking through my new Mollie Makes and  was filled with inspiration as too what I could have done with those tablecloths.

The next day, back home, I browsed EBay for typewriters, turned out they were a bargain at the shop.
 ' I wish I 'd bought that typewriter' I whispered over to Hubby.   'I know, I was thinking that earlier'
he replied.

So what advice can I pass on?

If you spot something away from home , by all means give yourself some thinking time but don't forget to go back to the shop. Set an alarm on your phone for 10 minutes then ask yourself again. "Do I like that item enough to buy it? Will I seriously regret it if I don't." 
Assuming you have internet on that phone, do a quick search for comparible items and prices no use in paying over the odds, or equally missing a bargain.
And despite all this DO remember how much space you have at home!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

{Tutorial} How to make a Hair Rat for Faux Bangs / Rolled Fringe

I'm always on the lookout for a good vintage hairstyle, and the faux fringe is one I've dabbled with in the past a couple of times Previously, I've use a shop bought dughnut sliced open to create the rat , but the colour doesnt go with my new hair and truth be told its a bit on the chunky side. 

'I know' I thought this morning, 'It can't be that hard -I'll make my own!'  And do you know what? 
It wasn't! 
You too can make your own Hair-Rat with this tutorial

Hair -Rat Tutorial

You will need :~

* Old pair of tights
* Scissors
* Neeedle and thread or Sewing Machine
*Cotton Wool, Wadding or a big ball of your own hair (saved from your brushes)

1.First select your tights, normal everyday tights or stockings,  in a colour that matches your hair closest.  This is a great way to recycle those holey ones!! Mine were 'Barely Black', good for darker hair,  for blondes choose 'Natural' shades.

2.Cut a section from you tights approx 7" long.

3.Starting 1" from the one end, sew a seam along one shorter edge and after 1 1.2" turn and sew along the length of the tight. 

4.Cut away excess tight material and turn tight inside out.

5. Fill the tube (leaving 1" gap at open end) with your filling and manipulate until stuffing is even along the length, and tube is  'sausage shape'.

6. Sew up open end so you have 1" flat piece of tight between seam and end of tight material. These extra pieces of flat material will enable you to pin the roll into your hair.

7. If you are using a sewing machine selecting a stitch where the needle sews to one side of the foot will help get a good result. I selected option 5 (see below)

You should now have a homemade Hair-Rat!!!!

Roll your fringe around the Rat and finish with a pretty flower!!!

If you need a hand rolling a fringe  you can check out these videos...

Fleur rolls a faux fringe ...

Monday, 23 April 2012

Dirty works - budget buy review

Now I'm as much of a sucker as the next vintage gal for a bit of Retro 
packaging. So, when I spotted the dirty works on the shelves of 
Sainsburys I had to try some. 

I started with some of the 'hardware' rather than the toiletries and 
bought the compact mirror and a retractable lipbrush. 
Christmas time I was given a DW toiletry bag containing a lipgloss, day cream 
and another mirror - whoops. As wells a few more things from the range, 
brushes and case, clippers, tweezers and a trio of toiletries
I was pretty pleased with the Day Cream, it quite thick, but absorbs 
quickly. My skin is very dry and it keeps it moisturised fairly well, 
although not quite for as long as my normal cream. 
The lipgloss smells lovely, it is a nice natural colour - but is 
ever so sticky!
Across the web I've read a few review on the toiletries and opinions are 
Read The PrincessPrudence's review of the face wash here 
and more products on Victoria-Vinage's blog here
All of the other (non toiletry gifts) were fab, well made , fun graphics 
- vintage belles, glossy black or powder blue and polka dots! 
I would definitely recommend these to add to your makeup bag!

So when I was on the look out recently for a new eye cream I decided to 
give the DW one a try. First impressions weren't good, 
I opened the box and the tube took up less that 
half the box - a pet hate of mine!
Come on, Sainsburys we don't need wasted packaging! 
But the cream inside was pretty good, not to greasy, it went on easily 
and seemed to reduce the appearance of any fine lines. 
In fact, all seems great until I went downstairs 5 minutes later and hubby asked 
what had happened to my eyes?? 
My skin had turned red where i'd applied the cream - Eek not a good look! 

So unfortunately the cream was not good for me :( 
And if you have slightly sensitive skin 
I'd definitely say give this one a miss.
Overall, I'd say it is a range of two halves! 
People (myself included)seem to love the hardware, bags, tools etc 
but the toiletries are a bit hit and miss!
Luckily its cheap enough to give it a little try and make up you own mind.  
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