Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Most Marvellous Place to Shop - No, really!

When I've not been slaving over the sewing machine, I've been out and about with my Mumma, as usual, looking for pretty things. A very good friend of mine talked about a shop he and his girlfriend often frequent, and as it sounded so wonderful, Mumma and I decided to get in the car and have a looksie. Well, it was fantabulous! It's a shop called 'A Most Marvellous Place to Shop' and they're not kidding! There's Nanna's Kitchen, a quaint little eatery serving all kinds of nibbles from all day full cooked breakfasts to pea and mint soup! The crockery is absolutely gorgeous too; all mismatched and so adorable.

The actual shop is in a rather interesting looking building with wonky stairs and a cellar. There's a clothes section in it's own 'room' and then the rest of the building features different sections with all sorts of goodies - antiques, homewares, jewellery, clothes, hats etc. All with a 'vintage' feel. 

I was shocked at the prices - everything was such good value. With cups and saucers selling for around £4 a set, A Most Marvellous Place to Shop is quickly becoming one of my favourites. 

In the clothing section, I managed to find a very 1940's looking cream/beige hand embroidered silk blouse, a black polyester embroidered blouse and a 1950's red wool sweater with a collar; perfect for wearing with my big circle skirts!

I also picked up a beautiful cranberry coloured Angora hat for £10 and an Art Deco style brooch for £3.50.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Everyday musings...

So I got out of bed early today to take my poor broken dress to the menders. Amazingly, it's going to cost more to fix the dress than I paid for it.But, ah well. It's such an amazing dress, I'd be mad not to get it fixed.

I've also managed to talk my Mumma into a night out to "Hedna's Vintage Nightclub" on the 25th June at the Stables in Wavendon. Mumma does like a night out, especially as we're both into the music of the 30's and 40's so what better way so spend an evening eh! I can't wait. Apparently, the Beeb are going to be there too, so of course I shall have to get my seamed stockings out and get the face-pack on in an "All right, Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up" style! 

There's so much happening at the moment! I'm now officially unemployed - I was a Data Administrator for a Drug Service, but they couldn't afford to keep me on (tragically, I'm not at all saddened by this, only saddened by the fact that I shall have no money!). So, I've been applying for jobs left, right and centre.

If anyone knows of any modelling jobs, hair jobs, makeup jobs - do let me know! I'm pretty desperate for something other than office work. Suggestions on a postcard, people!

A few months ago, my Mumma and I had decided to attend Twinwood Festival (the amalgamation of Twinwood Festival and the Glenn Miller Festival) for the full three days. However as money and jobs seem to be a bit of an issue at the moment, so we've decided to just do one day. Can't decide which day though, I'm thinking the Saturday? Hmmm. Apparently, we missed a corker of a festival last year, when I believe Imelda May performed. Gutting! lol.

As I'm currently unemployed, I've been trawling through the job sites to no avail. I want an exciting, different job - not a standard admin job. So I've started looking at places like Gumtree where I've spotted the odd makeup job and whatnot. I've also got a few hobbies, one of which is sewing - well, I say sewing, more like 'fixing buttons onto tops' rather than actual dressmaking. So, I've dusted off my dilapidated old sewing machine and have taken it upon myself to advertise for someone to spend some time with me, teaching the basics of dress making. I have no idea if I'll get any inquiries, but my motto has always been 'if you don't ask, you don't get' - so I'm asking! If anyone knows of anyone who'd be willing to teach me to sew, then do pass on my details, thank you.

Speaking of hobbies, I've recently acquired a glue gun. And what better way to spend a sunday afternoon than making flowers for my hair! I spent hours in Dunelm Mill and Hobby Craft looking for flowers and managed to pick up a few bits and pieces to experiment with. I've never made anything like it before, but it's not a bad attempt I reckon! I made a few hair clips and even a pair of Pansy clip on earrings!

Just thought I'd post a picture of my Grandad's camera from 1951. My Dad was going to give it to a friend, but I knew it should stay in the family. I always found it fascinating when it was displayed on our dresser when I was a kid, so I've rescued it and it now sits pride of place on my books! Isn't it cute! Sadly, it's not in 'working condition' but for nostalgia's sake, I'll never part with it.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair: Cambridge!

Having had so much fun and the Oxford and Brighton Judy's fairs this year, I thought it was only right we took a trip to Cambridge for another Judy's day out!

We got to Cambridge at around 12:30 and had a good old browse. Sadly, I wasn't so taken by the items in the first part of the fair, but managed to get a very 50's looking high necked jumper with beads on. As some of the beads were hanging, I managed to get £3 knocked off the price! Bargain.

Further in, I got rather excited when I spotted a very tailored 50's dress; white with black collar and cuffs. It weighed a tonne, and felt quite small. As I was trying it on, I had my own 50's dress on around my hips and all of a sudden I heard the one noise a girl doesn't want to hear.... 'craaaack' and yes, my zipper on my original 50's dress had in fact, snapped. *Insert many many expletives here*.

So my mum ran around the fair asking for a safety pin while I took off the dress I was trying on and the dress I was wearing that day. I managed to get the zipper to zip up, but there was a gaping hole just above my bottom! Thankfully my Mumma is a whiz when it comes to impromptu fixings, and she managed to keep it together without anyone noticing!

Note to self: never EVER try clothes on whilst wearing a vintage dress - take your darn clothes off first! That'll teach me to try and be nifty and smart won't it!

Anyway, so the dress I tried on didn't fit - it was teeny tiny. But, I did get a beautiful 50's swing dress for £30. I actually overpaid by £5 so had to go back after my Yo Sushi and get my fiver back - every little counts!
As my poor dress was in such a state I decided to "risk it for a biscuit" with this black and red dress I found. I thought 'ah, if it doesn't fit, I'll stick it on ebay' - lo and behold, it fits beautifully. It's a little big on the bust, but as the waist fits, that doesn't matter so much. I just love the buttoned collar and little flicks on the cuffs. I'm also a huge fan of netting/lace so I also love that it's partially see-through.

Obviously, I just had to do the obligatory cupcake purchase at the fair and again, gorgeous cakes! I ate one one the way home in the car and the other that evening. My favourite was definitely the chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing and a slice of Terry's Chocolate Orange on top. Perfection!
Check out for simply darling cupcakes!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

War Paint

I thought I'd write a bit about one of my biggest passions in life; makeup.

I've worn makeup since I was around 13. The first makeup I bought was a silver Maybelline eyeshadow, a candy flavoured lipgloss and a W7 semi-permanent liquid eyeliner. I wore the eyeshadow and lipgloss to school and even got sent out of a class once for applying my lipgloss during a lesson!

My passion grew as did my makeup bag and I started learning how to apply liquid eyeliner very early on. It quickly became my 'every day' makeup and to this day, liquid eyeliner is the one thing I rarely go out without.

Because I've always worn glasses (and being severely myopic) it means that my eyes look a lot smaller than they actually are. So I spent a lot of time working out how to wear eye makeup to emphasize my eyes rather than cover them up. I quickly found that smoky eyes is best worn as a 'grey' rather than a 'black' base. Too much black and it closes my eyes up no end.
I also found that wearing pencil liner on the inner lower lash line had to be paired with mascara on the bottom lashes, or it looked too stark.

After a while I noticed that the W7 eyeliner wasn't the same as it always was - they must've changed the formula. So, I tried all the other types of eyeliner available; liquid with a brush, liquid with a foam tip, felt tip pen style liner and finally settled on MAC's gel liner called Fluidline in the colour Blacktrack.
My staple eyeshadow (every day eyeshadow) is also by MAC which is called Silver Ring.

Lip wise, I've always had issues. I have rather full lips, so wearing lipstick often makes me feel like Ronald McDonald. I have no idea why, but it does! However, when I do wear lipstick, I have 3 favourites. MAC's Viva Glam which is described as an 'intense brownish blue-red', MAC's Ruby Woo which is described as a 'vivid bluish-red' and finally Chanel's Rouge Allure in Passion (pictured below).

Today I've opted for the darker of the 3 - the MAC's Viva Glam. It has a more 20's feel to it, as it's a very dark red.

Nails wise, I always always wear OPI nail polishes. Their formulas are incredible and they are the most chip resistant polish I've tried - and believe me, I've tried a few!

My signature nail colour is Big Apple Red. I've really taken to wearing my nail colour the '1940's' way, which means leaving the half-moons bare. I achieve this by using french manicure stickers, but sticking them over the moons, then tidying up the edges by hand with a scalpel. It's fiddly, but gives a very authentic look.

My biggest tip for long lasting nail polish is to always use a base coat, a minimum of 2 coats of colour and a top coat. I use OPI's all-in-one 'Start to Finish' as a base and top coat, which is gorgeously shiny.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A Triumphant Weekend Indeed!

Well, haven't I had a fabulous weekend?!

It started off on Saturday, when we drove down to Worthing to stay with my friend (and makeup artist) Claire Jones. We had planned to do a photoshoot for her university project, however, the weather seemingly wasn't on our side. We kept our fingers crossed and carried on with the hair and makeup regardless of the weather; even if the shoot didn't go ahead, it'd still be a good opportunity to do a 'dummy run' for the hair and makeup.

Luckily, as we finished the hair and makeup, the weather decided to be our friend and the sun peeped out of the clouds. So we dragged our "prop" into the car (Jack, the Husky!) and drove to our chosen location. I have to agree with the person who famously said 'never work with animals or children' - it was... interesting, to try and get a Husky to pose, especially when there are rabbits frolicking in the field next to us!! Nightmare, anyway, the shoot went really well and we got some great pictures (from what I can tell from the camera playback!). I'll post up some photographs when Claire's finished editing them.

On the Sunday we made our way to Brighton Racecourse for Judy's Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair. It took us a while to find the right door to get in - it wasn't very well signposted at all!
I knew I had to arm myself with plenty to spend, as I had a mini shopping list of things I've needed but not managed to find. On my list was a fitted cardigan, a full circle skirt and a pair of red shoes.

So we got to the fair and paid our £3 entrance fee and the first thing we heard was the DJ playing fabulous rockabilly hits. It set the scene really well and I got all excited like a kid in a sweetshop. The first pair of shoes I tried on I fell in love with, however, I knew my mum wouldn't be too pleased if I bought another pair of black court shoes!

So we had a good rummage round all the stalls and saw a lady holding a rather tantalizingly gorgeous black and white checked 50's full circle skirt! I was bobbing around hoping she'd put it back and wahey; she did! So I grabbed it and threw it over my arm to try on. It fitted perfectly, so I rushed back and gave the lady the £40 she was asking for for it. Yes, £40 is the most I've spent on a skirt (so far!) but, I think it's well justified as firstly, it's a huuuge piece of fabric, secondly, it has pockets and thirdly, it's reversible! It has a black lining and a double zip, so I can turn it inside out and wear it as a plain black skirt, or keep it as a black and white check skirt! Fabulous idea, reversible skirts.

The next thing I came to was this red shirt with puffed sleeves and scoop neck. I knew it'd look great if I changed the buttons and tucked it into a black pencil skirt - or even a circle skirt. It was a steal at a tenner, so I was happy. I've found some amazing buttons in Dunelm Mill, so I'll go and grab a couple of sets tomorrow.

I knew I wanted a pair of red shoes, but I just couldn't help myself when I saw a pair of plain black loafers. They were a size 3, but I tried them on anyway and lo and behold, they fit perfectly. I asked how much they were and she said they were £10. I offered her £8 for them and she said yes, as they looked so good on me I could have them for £8! Darling!

I grabbed myself a stunning Now-Voyager hair rose for my hair - as the skirt I bought the other week needed a much darker coloured rose to go with it. The skirt is a more 'rockabilly' style skirt, bought from Lady Luck's Boutique, made by a company called Old Skull 4ever.

Just as we were leaving the vintage fair I saw a stall right at the entrance to the hall, and they had 2 black real fur muffs for sale. I looked at them, picked them up and put them down. I knew my mum would kill me if I bought a muff, but I told myself that as I've always wanted one, she'll understand! Especially as they're pretty hard to get hold of (and it such great condition). I managed to barter them down from £35 to £20 and was really chuffed.

Sadly, I didn't get a cardigan, but I got some amazing items regardless. I always make sure I don't buy things I'm not going to use, or things that can't be 'mixed and matched' with my wardrobe. And, I reckon I did pretty well to stick to my rule!

I just wanted to show you all a picture of my most prized possession to date....

Just as we were driving down to Worthing on the Saturday, I decided to bid on a 1930's black velvet and Ermine collared opera coat on eBay, as it was just about to end without any bids on it and I needed a coat for the Autumn.

I bid £60 and got it for the starting bid of £45!!! A complete and utter triumph this was. It arrived in the post today and this is possibly the best vintage buy ever.... The arms are the perfect length and it comes just below my ankles, I shall move the button over slightly so it fits more snugly, but other than that, it's a total success!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Photoshoot and Vintage Fair!

One of my bestest friends in the whole wide world is a makeup artist like myself. However, since she's at university in Worthing doing her makeup degree, I can proudly say she's chosen me to model for her for one of her assessments! I can't tell you what the theme is, but I'm very excited to see what she does with my hair and makeup. I've got my own wardrobe, so I shall be hulking it down to Worthing this weekend in my gorgeous Kathy Van Zeeland leopard print suitcase.

Whilst we're down south, we thought we'd take a trip into Brighton for Judy's Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair. I absolutely adored the fair I went to in March in Oxford, so I'm dragging Claire to the Brighton fair for some well deserved retail therapy and of course, cupcakes! You can't go to a vintage fair and not have cupcakes!

Having just splurged on a new coat for the winter (yes, I always buy my winter coats during the spring and summer!) which I shall have to post a picture of once it's arrived from New York! I hope it looks okay - it's Cranberry coloured with a 36" bust, but thankfully it has a tie belt so hopefully I can cinch it in a few inches. I'm also watching another coat on ebay, but that will have to wait until I get my last pay packet from my old job! *sob sob*.

As I'll be away for most of the weekend, I shall have to write my blog once the weekend is over as I'm sure I'll be too busy, unless I take my netbook with me? Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

Anyway, I must be off, I need to put my rollers in ready for my Job Seekers Allowance interview tomorrow! Beggars cannot be choosers, of course!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A sunday afternoon in Winslow

Awww, I had such a lovely afternoon with my Mumma. A few days ago we noticed a sign at the side of the road saying there was a vintage fair in a town called Winslow (Buckinghamshire) so of course we had to go!

It was so charming, the town square was absolutely packed with stalls, a band (and singers!) playing 1940's and 50's tunes and it was buzzing. Some of the town's shops were open especially for the festival and there were families with children and lots of dogs too. I must've been one of maybe 3 people who were dressed up in vintage garb, so I did get a few glances! One lady complimented me on my glasses, saying she tried on a similar pair and looked like Dame Edna Everage and was very jealous of me not looking like Dame Edna hehe. Of course, when I bought those glasses, my first question to Mumma was 'they're not too Dame Edna, are they?' haha. Us ladies are all quite similar creatures really.

Anyway, I went to the fair with a few things in mind; a pair of leather gloves, some hair flowers and a cupcake. I've got a big thing for cupcakes at the moment - my waist however, wishes I hadn't!

The stalls were all very quaint and eclectic. There were several jewellery, clothing and handbag stalls; much to my delight and lots of homeware stalls too selling gorgeous tea sets and crockery. I managed to get myself a few lovely things.

First of all, I'd been dying to get some more pin-up style hair flowers and to my utter delight, there was a very lovely lady (quite timid, if a little bit nervous) selling her handmade hair flowers. They were all stunning! She had lillies, orchids, sunflowers galore. It was her 2nd time as a seller at a vintage fair, and it certainly won't be her last. Her hair flowers were gorgeous and all handmade so worth the price. I paid £7.99 for the largest black flower I bought, which is a fair price really.

The thing I like about buying hair flowers in person, is being able to feel them, and try them on before buying. Some of them tend to look cheap and sometimes like when they're on ebay, the measurements aren't quite right. I saw one hair flower on ebay saying it was 9 inches wide. That's huuuuge! So, I'll make sure I buy all my hair flowers in person from now on! And definitely from the lovely Bev -

Mumma bought me a gorgeous glass trinket box (pictured below) for the ridiculous price of £1! 

And I bought some amazing 50's clip on earrings and a dazzlingly glittery glass bead necklace - paid £10 for the lot.

Lastly, I stumbled upon a stall selling all sorts of shabby chic vintage homewares, including this splendiferous pair of cream coloured leather gloves which, funnily enough; fit like a glove! They set me back a whopping £4!

After we'd finished at the fair, me and Mumma had a glass of wine and a plate of chilli in a local restaurant and gently sauntered home! A very delightful sunday afternoon indeed.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Speccy Four Eyes

Eeeeep, I'm so excited!

For years and years I've wanted a pair of glasses that a) suit my face and b) are a bit 'quirky'. It wasn't until I was in my favourite opticians - Hammond and Dummer that I found the most amazing pair of glasses! They're by Face a Face and look like this:

I absolutely ADORE these frames. They're vintage-esque but with the modern extras like anti-scratch, anti-glare coatings and thankfully, high quality Nikon lenses for my ridiculously severe prescription.

I also decided that I'd treat myself to my first ever 'second' pair of specs. I've never been able to afford 2 pairs of glasses at the same time, so this time I've taken the plunge thanks to a car accident pay out I had a few years ago!

Seriously, people with mild to moderate eye sight problems really don't know how lucky they are - Specsavers can't even cater for my prescription, let alone give me 'buy one pair, get one free' sorts of offers. You are lucky. Trust me.

Anyway, rant over, here is a picture of my soon-to-be-second-pair of glasses. Again, vintage-esque, but with the mod cons a girl like me cannot live without! My Diors:

Aren't they gorgeous? What dya reckon?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sounds of the Summer

No turning back!

Well good evening ladies and gentleman. What a fine weekend we've had!

Let me start by saying that I'm going to somewhat buck the trend of talking about a certain event on the 29th April. Yes, it was lovely... yada yada yada but I'm actually sick of hearing about it now... However, I would love to have gone to a street party dressed up to the nines, but sadly travelling down to London on the friday wasn't really an option for me!

So instead I decided to go for a rummage yesterday to Brackley Antiques Cellar (my favourite haunt) and managed to pick up a stunning handbag for £32. It's genuine Crocodile and significantly larger than my current 'favourite' handbag.

Isn't she an absolute beauty? I love her so much!

I don't know if I've told you all how much I love charity shops, and this is another reason why:

 I found these shoes in a local charity shop. They're made by Bally, and I'm not too sure of their age to be honest. I'd hazard a guess at 80's, but they do have a more 40's look about them. I do know that if buying vintage shoes of any kind, to have them re-heeled before wearing them! I found out the hard way and wore them to work and found bits of black heel all over the carpet! The heels were so brittle they just broke up totally. So I spent a few quid and had them re-heeled. They're a size 4.5 so they're a tad big for me, but they're just lovely. I doubt the bow on them is original, but I've got a gorgeous pair of shoe clips that will sit perfectly in place of the bows should I choose!

This is another gorgeous piece I bought from Brackley. I fell in love with this cake stand as soon as I saw it. I just love roses. Roses are my favourite flower in the entire world, they're romantic, rich and symbolic. Not to mention that red is my favourite colour, so of course I have to have red roses all around me. I actually saw this a few months ago, but couldn't afford to buy it the first time I saw it. I thought to myself, 'if it's still there the next time I go, I'll grab it' - and that's exactly what happened. I knew I couldn't leave it behind again, so I paid £23 for a cakestand - bearing in mind, I don't bake cakes. It works perfectly as a jewellery stand.

You may also notice a rather cute looking 50's lucite brooch. I bought that yesterday, with the handbag! I was looking on ebay for one of these brooches but couldn't be bothered to wait for postage and lo and behold there was one sat attached to a piece of card with a rather large £14 price tag. I thought 'oh sod it, it's lovely' so I bought it! Ooops. It is lovely though.

Made by Lena