It’s only Woods Ware but I like it…

I know I’ve mentioned Woods Ware Beryl on more than one occasion, but this post gives you a little bit of information about Beryl’s sisters Iris and Jasmine.

Beryl was manufactured by Woods during the Second World War in response to strict utility standards meaning things must be manufactured cheaply and made to last.

Tons of Beryl was churned out, and she was soon joined by Iris and Jasmine – two more colourways. Beryl is known for being plain and simple although I always think if you look closely you’ll notice some little Art Deco details. I’d always favoured Beryl but recently I’ve started picking up bits of Iris and Jasmine too as I think these three ladies look rather stunning all together.

I bought a big big stack of Beryl recently, and once I’d weeded out the bits I wanted to keep I set about selling and swapping the other bits for Iris and Jasmine. I’ve also been given a dresser that needs some TLC and I think it’ll be a great home for my ladies. More on that later…

It is with a pastel hued longing I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Dorset Apple Cake but I like it…

That season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is here! It’s my favourite time of year, made quite bittersweet this time around by my return to work after maternity leave. I’m enjoying being back, but it’s been difficult leaving baby with others and finding my feet again after a hiatus at work is a challenge too. 

One of of the best things about autumn is the harvest and the bountiful produce this brings. I’ve a new source of apples this year in a kind work colleague who even delivered them to my door! It’s been a nice distraction this weekend, baking something tasty for teatime.

Although I’m a big fan of the apple crumble, there’s only so much crumble a family can eat, and each year I try to extend my recipe book to include another apple recipe. Last year Eve’s Pudding was the order of the day, this year a Dorset Apple Cake. I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. It was a nice simple recipe to whip up on a Sunday afternoon while Baby was napping. Once the apples were sliced I only had to mix up the cake mix ingredients in one go. Then I spread half of the mixture in a tin, layered with apples, repeated and sprinkled some sugar on top. I let it bake a little longer than the 50 minutes to ensure the centre was cooked and this seems to have been about right.

I ate mine warm with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream, but the Dr had his just as it was. The golden crunch of the outside was a nice contrast with the soft sweetness of the appley sponge. I think next time I’ll add some cinnamon – mostly because it’s such a good pairing and my favourite Autumnal flavour.

What are your favourite autumn apple recipes?

It is with a fondness for therapeutic baking I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only Fisher Price but I like it…

I’m aware my posts are much more sporadic lately and I hardly think I need explain why. Although I was determined not to let that happen, the fact that I’ve just gone back to work following my maternity leave means that the posts might not become more regular for a while yet! I’m still loving and living the vintage but the opportunity to write about it seldom arises.

As as you might expect, I’m taking bubba along for the vintage ride and this has lately manifested itself in the purchasing of a lot of vintage toys. He’s on the move now and interacting with his environment so much more.

As a child some of our favourite toys were the classic Fisher Price toys. We had several of these and many of them had been handed down from older cousins, well loved and bearing surprisingly few battle scars.

They were simple and allowed for imaginative play, could be played with over and over and above all were very well made. It amazes me how many of them still exist – intact and ready for many more hours of play.

Herman Fisher and Irving Price teamed up in 1930 when they decided that world needs more imaginative toys. Their first line of 16 toys was sold in department stores and soon became very popular. Fisher Price went from strength to strength despite a hiatus in 1943 to help with the war effort.

In the 1950s Fisher Price began to experiment with other materials and introduced plastic toys to their range for the first time.

As the years passed Fisher Price kept reinventing itself, bringing out ranges of toys for babies, then baby equipment such as high chairs, then electronic toys and so much more. Recently, they reissued some of their most popular toys – with just some small modifications for today’s market.

Of course, it’s all about this boy. And although he’s still too little for most of these toys, and more interested in chewing them than playing with them, I know they’re not going anywhere. They’re going to be around for many years to come.

It is with a nostalgic nod I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Crofton but I like it…

16cm pan

I wasn’t familiar with Crofton until I saw a post on Instagram – I do find, once you’ve filled up your followers lists with people who have the same interests and obsessions as you, Instagram is a great way of discovering things! 
Somebody posted a photo of some lovely enamelware – a weakness of mine! I assumed it was Orla Kiely, from the design, but it turned out to be Aldi’s new range of homeware, which was apparently introduced this week.

Large decal oven dish

Well, call me shallow, but after I’d given Baby his toast and first taste of scrambled egg this morning (we are all loving the weaning!) I knew what my mission for the day was.

Crofton 3.5L Casserole Dish

We headed to our nearest Aldi and gave the range the once over. I was very restrained and only bought the oven dish – I know I’ll use that, whereas the casserole dish – though lovely – will rarely get any use as I don’t often cook casseroles and if I do, with only two of us to eat them, they aren’t that large! It was tough to walk away with only one piece though: those green decals do appeal to something deep inside my soul!

I looked at some of the other bits in the range, and quite liked this storage jar and the pastel pans too. If you’re a fan of the vintage mid century designs and pastel colours it’s definitely worth checking out as a budget alternative. You may need to be quick though, I’ve a feeling it’ll be popular!

It is with a thrifty head on I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Vivien of Holloway but I like it…

My brother married his lovely fiancée at the beginning of June. They tied the knot in Portmeirion in North Wales, which if you don’t know it, is a stunning location. It was built by eccentric architect Clough Williams Ellis, whose vision for an Italianate village led him to build in this charming valley in North Wales.

It was the setting for 1960s TV series The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan, which has become something of a cult classic.

The wedding was the first big event we’d been to as a family of three and my first chance to dress up post-baby! It was a lot of driving but we were very excited to stay in the beautiful Portmeirion Hotel (just behind Patrick in the photo above!) and explore the village together.

        

The village is beautiful, quirky, charming and really has to be visited, because every nook and cranny holds a delight.

But enough about that. On to the real reason for my post: the dress. And no, I don’t mean the bride’s dress. Hers was very nice but it wasn’t vintage inspired. I decided to go for a Tiki theme as I’d been asked to play my ukulele in the wedding ceremony. I looked through all my favourite websites but this beauty from Vivien of Holloway (http://www.vivienofholloway.com )caught my eye.

I’m a big fan of Vivien of Holloway (my wedding dress was VofH!) and this dress didn’t disappoint. The only thing I find difficult is the sizing. They don’t marry up to high street sizes and you have to try and order from your measurements – but mine never seem to match a size that works on me so I have a lot of ordering and returning by mail order until I find what fits.

The fabric was great – nice weight cotton mix that hung beautifully. I paired it with a green petticoat (also VofH) and some wedges from White Stuff few years back. I find having a baby on your arm/shoulder/hip makes most jewellery impractical these days, so I decided against the bamboo bangles and silver pendant I’d like to have worn! I did of course, put a flower from Claire at Uptown Curls in my hair!

The fit was great, it nipped me in at the waist and was snug across the bust. The halterneck, although not adjustable, worked perfectly. Best of all, there was yards and yards of lovely full circle skirt to skim out over my petticoat.

Later on in the evening I got to sing a number with the band – that’s a pint of water, I promise!

Lovely sister and me, posing in front of the stunning views.

I think I carried out my hula girl duties satisfactorily and a good time was had by all.

It is with hazy summer memories I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Squirrel Confections but I like it…

It’s been a little while. I had assumed my blog might take something of a backseat once Baby was here but I couldn’t have predicted just how all consuming this motherhood business is! We’ve had a little bit of illness, a family wedding and we’ve been battling the intense heat this week, but we’ve survived (and even enjoyed aspects of) it all.

One thing Bubba and I do usually get to do in a week is have a charity shop rummage. In our little part of Southampton there are many charity shops in a half mile radius and we have had quite a bit of success recently. My favourite find is this tin.

I had never heard of Squirrel Confections but the name and concept delighted me so, that I just had to have the tin, even though its condition wasn’t great. A bit of research tells me that Squirrel Confections produced (and seem to still produce) a few varieties of gummy sweets. My Mum remembers buying them from her village shop, asking the shop keeper for “Some of them Squirrel Sweets”.

As usual, I have no idea where it will live or what I’ll use it for, but… I’m sure once I’ve cleaned it up, I’ll think of something! 

It is with a craving for wine gums, I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Robin’s Nest Emporium but I like it!

It is always pleasing to see a new independent business pop up. We see many come and go as the current economic climate makes it so tricky to survive.

One of the latest ventures on the on the South Coast that caught my interest is Robin’s Nest Emporium.

It is quite out of the way, but well signposted, so bubba and I managed to find it on foot without too much trouble.

Once inside it wasn’t long before I started to spot some tempting items. This Homemaker China caught my eye, but I’m trying to be sensible at the moment, given that I’m on maternity pay!

  

There was some gorgeous Meakin china too. Plenty of nice finds if you’re a ceramic-aholic like me!

  

I would have loved to have taken home either this gymnasium horse or the collapsible village hall seating. I once saw a gym horse being used as seating next to a breakfast bar and it was incredible.

I was particularly taken with this upcycled bedroom furniture – it would be so cute in Baby Vintage’s room, but my sister persuaded me we could have a go at doing it ourselves. She’s nothing if not optimistic!

I have to say, on the whole, I was quite impressed with the prices. Obviously, the Emporium is made up of stands from individual sellers, so the prices vary, but I felt they were generally reasonable.

If you get peckish there’s a cafe which looked very inviting. I think next time we might make our visit a lunch date…

So the real test – did I buy anything? I wrestled with my conscience over the purchase of lots of things, but my treat that day was another vintage milk bottle for my collection. Blue Riband biscuits remind me of my grandad, as he always had some in his biscuit tin.

My verdict is that it’s definitely worth a visit, with a good range of bric-a-brac and furniture, plus some modern retro items for your home, I doubt you’ll manage to leave empty handed.

It is with a wistful longing for a Blue Riband I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Easter 2017 but I like it…

I’m rather late with this post!

Blame my Easter bunny for that!

As I think I mentioned, we had family visiting for Easter which was lovely. We were very spoiled and had some nice meals together. One new addition to my Easter decorations was this lovely pussy willow.

It’s a slight variation on the old ‘Easter tree’ – when I was little you found a branch outside and stuck it in a pot of soil and hung handmade decorations on it. It only cost a few pounds from a florist up the road and I hung a selection of little ornaments I’ve collected over the years on it. We enjoyed it this year, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last next year with little fingers snatching at it!

I hope you all had a lovely relaxing time!

It is with a pair of bunny ears on I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Specs Competition but I like it…

Just a quick post to tell you about my latest venture!

I’ve entered myself into the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year award! Mad, I know –  I wasn’t aware there was such a thing until I saw a link to a friend’s entry. I’m making myself unofficial vintage ambassador and I’m hoping to encourage high street chains to stock more retro frames.

The photo I’m using is one of the images taken by Flo Westbrook (http://www.flotography.co.uk) on my wedding day. My makeup was by MUA Sharon Dawson (http://www.eyecandyhairandmakeup.co.uk/home/4584206349) and my hair by Claire Byrne (https://www.facebook.com/Uptowncurlsuk/). My incredible retro frames are by Retro Peepers (http://Www.retropeepers.com)!

Specsavers are giving £1 to anti bullying charity Kidscape for every entry, so even if I don’t win, some money will get donated to a good cause.

I’d love it if you’d vote for me, and maybe even share it if you feel so inclined! Just click on the link and like my photo!

https://loveglasses.specsavers.co.uk/entry/entry-46378-tgz060ctc0br

It is with a winning pair of specs I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!