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.  

Sunday, 22 April 2012

New Facebook Page

You can now follow me on Facebook, just click on the button in the sidebar or go to

Friday, 20 April 2012

What will be vintage?

Its no secret at all that my favourite vintage period is the 1940s and 50s and that our children join us on our 1940s reenactment adventures, infact it seems one of the most favourite vintage periods for people of my generation!

I often wonder if, my children will continue with this love of this period or as they grow if they (along with another generation) will embrace a new vintage period.

Putting aside other factors the 1940s / 50s is a period when alot of our parents were born and grew up.

So, how much of that has influenced our enthusiasm for the period? Our parents nostalgia influencing our subconcious, rose tinted stories of  'the best days of their lives' increasing our love for the period.

There is alot being asked these days about when is vintage? how old does something have to be vintage? Well, experts will quote anything over 25 years can called Vintage which takes us to the 1980s.  Fastforward 25 years till my daughter is the about the age as I am now and the 70s and 80s will be 50/60 years ago.  not too far away from my 60/70 years since the 1940s and50s!

Although we wouldn't rush to dress from the period -(the above piccy might change that!!)
hubby and I definitely embrace the nostalgia of the 70s. Often buying original childhood games for the kids and rewatch our GoodLife DVDs with them!!

And there'll always be a babycham or snowball offered to visitors on xmas day, before dinner....

So will they jump into the 70s and 80s (the decades I was born and grew up) with as much enthusiasm as I have for the 40s and 50s or will those post war years always remain the desired vintage period?

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Modern Or Vintage Part Two

Creating our own vintage modern television was lots of fun and we loved the results, but I've also bought a few vintage styled items in the past...

Retro Classic DAB radio 

I've had this one for years now, it must of been just as they came out. I imagined myself taking it on wonderful summer picnics but after realising just how many batteries listening to digital radio uses up I have it in the kichen so I can listen to JazzFm as I bake! 
I'm now looking for a portable record player for picnic duty....

Vintage styled fridge 

I've long been an admirer of retro styled kitchen appliances, I think as a vintage car enthusiast, the chrome styling and curved lines hooked me in. I spent many years longingly looking in the window of the Smeg store in Bath, picking out my favourite colour of refrigerator - it changed with the seasons! So when we redid the kitchen this year, we were definitely getting a retro fridge! After looking online I found one, not a Smeg but the same familiar lines and a good deal cheaper, a gorenje.

Retro bicycle 

I just can't comprehend the thought of few or NO gears, I struggle to keep up withthe children on rides as it is!! I was lucky with this bike, vintage styling with up to date gears, brakes and comfort etc. Now I just need to find 'the right' wicker basket for the front!

There are many lovely vintage style goodies on the market today with modern technology with looks spanning several vintage ages. Here are a few of my favourites...

 Retro 3 in 1 breakfast station

 Vintage Digital camera 
Rolleiflex mini 

The ease of a digital camera is just so convenient. I want to know I've 'got the shot' before I move on, but whipping out a digi at events isn't always proper so one of these would do me just nicely! I've also had thoughts of frankensteining a new camera into an old brownie (shh...don't tell hubby!)

USB keyboard 

Our computer lives in our lounge, hidden within a vintage wooden bureau, but one of these would look great on a big leather topped desk! It looks like you just use a tablet for your screen, which itself is a clever idea, take the tablet away and all thats left is your vintage typewriter!
The downside of my set up is that the monitor lives on top of the bureau. Now that the TV is hidden away, it stands out even more!  If anyone has got any ideas how I can hide the monitor I'd be greatful...

I'm sure everyone reading this will have a different view on whether these are great or naff, a brilliant solution or a complete cheat.
For me its the technology I need inside something that is pleasing to the eye, so its win win for me! 
What do you think? 
Do you have any modern vintage items in your home? 
What would be on your wish list?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Friday Night Comedy

Last week, on Friday 13th, the weekend of the titanic's sinking centenary, in a rainstorm, we dressed up and went out for a meal on a boat....

And thats where the comparisons stop.

The 'Penny Lane'

Our trip out was to the premiere of the 'River Giggle' an Evening of Comedy on the River Avon. The format of the evening, run by promoter and gangster character act  Sal Monello, is simple -  a three course meal followed by 4 comedy acts. The venue, aboard The Penny Lane River Cruiser , gives a nice twist to the evening.

The evening was an absolute blinder, with some great comedians and  delicious food! Luckily we had a great crowd on our table so the banter over dinner was fun too! Unfortunately the rain put pay to any photos, so you'll have to imagine  how fabulous we looked!!!

They are looking to run this regularly the 2nd Friday of the month, if you're near Bath  its a great night out, you can book here. And Sal holds other comedy nights around the area too, if boats aren't your thing!*

*The boat is moored for the evening so no sea sickness to worry about!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Vintage or Modern? Part One

What do you do when you live in a modern house but yearn for vintage? You love the look of the old but need the technology of the modern day?  Last week I bought this lovely little 1950s cabinet on EBay, declaring it 'something a little special' to friends. Of course it doesnt seem special at all until you sneak a peek inside....

Its a 1950s Decca  Television - how cool!  Of course since the digital switchover here in the UK there was no way this was actually going to recieve a signal (scart lead? hdmi socket? this thing has screws to adjust placement and a lever to twiddle for focus!!) So what should we do, leave it as a curio prop in our already over crowded lounge , maybe not!

Hubby took it out into the garden and had a fiddle, 20 minutes later , the kids were watching a Winnie the Pooh Movie on our new fifties styled HD Television!!!

The Little Paris Kitchen

Have you seen this cookery program yet? I bought the cook book last week after catching a couple of episodes. Its the last one tonight but you should still be able to catch them on still for a little while.

Rachel Khoo left Croydon in the U.K for Paris six years ago where she trained as a french pastry chef. She lives in a tiny but lovely French apartment, cooking in a kitchen where she can touch all four walls from the same place! From a two ring burner and compact oven she cooks simple French food with minimal fuss and even ran a resturant from her front room!

Betty Bee  interviewed Rachel a little while ago on her blog here

Rachel is totally living my fantasy of living in Paris and cooking whilst wearing red lipstick and running about from patisserie to boloungerie in a wonderfully vintage inspired wardrobe!! She's had many outfits this series I've fawned over...unfortunately not many seem to be on the net!!

 This was my favourite dress!!!

Polka dots feature very heavily in Rachels wardrobe

 Classic French Mac

 Deviation from her normal dresses, Rachel in a jumper and skirt.

Apparently I'm not the only one and Easy Living has an online section, where you can 'Shop Her Look'

Friday, 13 April 2012

New Skirts And Skate Parks....

Forgive me, again, for the lack of posts. Its the Easter hols and family life has taken over a bit! Easter break also meant the last of my sewing lessons. I finished my skirt in time -and begun a new dress - but since the holidays began I haven't had time to pull out the machine at all :-(

I must of had a subconcious Thursday (sewing lesson night) pull though because yesterday afternoon, I bought this fabric and knocked up something with little miss. Nothing vintage, just a self drafted skirt in a Retro pattern! We sewed it together - fun challenge! 

It only took an hour or so from measuring to wearing - most of that threading the elastic and breaking the bodkin in an all to narrow channel! Little miss was rather impressed I'm pleased to say, but did turn round at the end and ask....'but mummy why did YOUR SKIRT take so long to sew?' 

Today she wore it when we headed back to her new found hobby of skateboarding! 

Of course her second favourite pastime is modelling!!

Son swapped between bike and board all day. They're still beginners but they've got alot more confidence in the past few days!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

{Readers Question} and A guide to 1940s Jeans and what to wear with them

I was recently asked by a a good friend, what a 40s girl would have worn with jeans? There are really two sides to answering this question  so I'll split the post in two...

Part One If you want an authentic look...

Jeans were workwear. Predominantly the realm of men only, but WW2 meant many women were entering the workforce and were looking to wear something practical and hardwearing. Jeans were often refered to as dungerees, overalls or

If you want an authentic workwear look with these think practical - flannel or chambray shirts, woolen jumpers.

 Hard Working Denim on the Farm

W.A.V.E.S. ( Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) in their Denims.

Part two If you want to wear an 40s fashion look...

Ok so you have your 40s / 50s style Jeans and you're looking for something to pair with them to give you that vintage look...

Not got any jeans yet? Try....

Freddies of Pinewood

Vivien of Westwood


For tops the sky is your limit!! And don't just stick to straight jeans either....

Heres some looks I'm loving at the moment on these internet lovelies

Elegant Musings Wearing History Jeans- Short Sleeved Sweater

Sorry I don't know who this girl is butthe tie top looks great with the pedal pushers (more of a 50s look I know but so cute) And I LOVE those cherries!! *desperately trying to keep  focus on the clothes and not the lovely car behind her!!*

Finally Super Kawaii Mama  and a lovely 40s blouse under her Bernie Dexter Dungarees!

So Bunny, and everyone else who was wondering, there you go.... thats the lowdown on 1940s Jeans and what you can wear with them, hope I helped!!!

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