Month: February 2015

It’s only a Charity Shop but I like it…

Had a quick whizz around the Southampton town centre shops today and was very pleased with my finds.
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This large vacuum flask was in great condition and I love the little Good Housekeeping Institute logo! I nearly put it back on the shelf due to lack of space in my kitchen but it’s exactly the kind of thing I scour charity shops trying to find so walking away without it would have been a travesty!
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I also spied this Meakin serving dish. I do love these patterns! This china was so prevalent in the homes of my Mum’s friends when I was growing up it makes me feel cosy.

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It is with a one-bed-flat bulging at the seams I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Hamilton Studios but I like it…

One of the exciting events I have been itching to tell you about was a gift from my sister. She bought me a voucher for a Pin Up photo shoot! I was so excited as I’d seen companies offering similar things, but had never really had a reason to do it and felt a bit self conscious about it!

Hamilton Studios (http://www.hamilton-studios.co.uk) are based in Fareham in Hampshire – a mere 15 minutes away from where I live in Southampton. They are husband and wife team Michelle and Clive and they work from a studio in their back garden.

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When we arrived Michelle got to work straight away on my hair and make up. She put me at my ease, chatting away and I had the feeling I was in safe hands. The make up did seem quite heavy but she explained that that was of course because of lighting in the studio and – as you can see from the photos – it looks very natural in the images.

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My hair has been described as unruly by several stylists in the last 12 months! It’s something of a relief to know it’s not just me being useless at making it do things but it’s a bit daunting. Michelle tried to put some curls into the back but the hot sticks couldn’t seem to curl my unwilling tresses so we gave up and left the back straight. I love the high rolls – I think it was a great choice for me.

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I had taken along a choice of dresses: my Collectif polka dot dress, Frilly Chantilly Garden Party dress and a fruity dress from Wallis. I took a petticoat and stockings and two pairs of Irregular Choice shoes! Michelle and Clive loved my outfits and helped me choose backdrops that would work with each of them.

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I had great fun once it came time to change and begin the shoot. Clive was clear with his ideas for each scene and directed me very thoroughly when it came to poses etc. Luckily he managed to photograph me with my specs on! The reflection can be an issue, but he seemed to get round it. I do love my Peggy specs from Retro Peepers and I really wanted them on – plus I am soooo short sighted I’d have probably started tripping over things!

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I was impressed by the range of props, furniture and backdrops that the Hamilton’s provided – it really allowed for lots of fun scenes and poses. Each item was simple and yet perfect.

I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and seeing the images after the shoot with Michelle was brilliant. Clive had taken over 70 and it was really hard to whittle our selection down to 6. I was amazed at how glam I looked and how well I’d come over in the shots. I did find the photo packages quite pricey but we were in the studio for about 2 and a half hours, so for the make over, shoot, 6 prints and a disc of the images I can see it is a fair price. I am very happy with the images and I know I’ll use them a lot.

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It is with a glimpse of stockinged thigh I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Facebook but I like it…

I’ve been working on my social media lately and trying to make it work for me so I can increase traffic to the page and thereby get more opportunities.

https://www.facebook.com/Itsonlyvintagebutilikeit is my Facebook page. Feel free to add me – and let me know if I’ve been a muppet in some way and it’s not working!

You can also follow me on Instagram – @vintagemunchkin and @itsonlyvintage on Twitter.

There are so many exciting things coming up and I’m literally bursting to share them but I can’t!

Stick with me – I promise you greatness!

It is with baited breath I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a String of Pearls but I like it…

As I mentioned previously I asked the Dr for a gift for Valentines Day. It was an accessory I felt I was missing, something that I’d get a lot of use out of. Something that would have been a common gift, traditional for an 18th I believe, in my Mum’s generation. A string of pearls.

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He chose well – A plain pearly string with a gold clasp inset with a tiny diamond. They’re real, freshwater pearls and each one is unique. I like the simple yet classic design from www.hsamuel.co.uk. It’s a gift I’ll treasure and have for many years, wearing them over and over with different outfits.

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You may have noticed something else. The lovely Flo (www.facebook.com/florawestbrookphotography) advised me to get a new lens for my camera and I spent couple of hours today playing with my vintage lens. I could not be happier – I figured out the self timer and sat semi-clad in my window taking these! Oh My. Then I edited them. It’s a first attempt and I’m not 100% happy with these but it’s a first step of many.

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Anyway, I’m incredibly lucky. The Dr is too, too generous and I have fab friends to help me with my photography.

It is with a sense of decadence I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I paid for the goods included in this vintage adventure and the views expressed are all my own!*

It’s only a Charity shop but I like it…

Today I finally got round to scouting out the charity shops in the bit of Southampton I work in. I take a bus into this part of town and have been seeing the charity shops everyday on my way in and out, but of course I am always at work during opening hours. We were in that part of town to view some houses and so afterwards I had a little tour and I was pleasantly surprised by the range of vintage homeware I found. I had to limit myself, as I don’t want to buy lots until we move, but I could definitely have bought more.

My finds were these beauties:

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That background is a double sized candy striped sheet. I’m in love with it, I think it’d make a really cute summer dress… Just £2.50.

The beetroot pot is spectacularly ugly, I know, but I still adore it. I already own a celery man, apple man and an onion man. Now I have completed the set for £2.00.

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As you may remember those bubble vases are a favourite of mine and at 99p this one had to come home with me. It now resides with it’s older sibling.

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The little silver vase was an impulse. It’s marked ‘silver plated’ on the bottom and for a pound I thought it might look cute somewhere.

I’m impressed with what I found and there was lots more to be had. I just need to find the house to put it all in!

It is with a house-hungry stare I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Bespoke Dress but I like it…

I have a dream people.

I’ve had it for some time. In fact ever since I saw this on Pinterest:

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A little bit of detective work took me to www.naughtyshorts.blogspot.co.uk. But Naughty Shorts hasn’t blogged in a couple of years so I’ve no idea if she’s still making her amazing dresses from old sheets!

I love these old sheet patterns, they remind me of the kind of bedding my Grandad had when I was little. I love the idea of having a bespoke dress made for me – especially one made from 70s bedding!

Now, somewhere along the line I have discovered a seamstress in my area. I’ve been following her for sometime on Facebook and I am confident she is the lady to realise my dream.

After a little bit of eBay searching I discovered a brand new, old, duvet cover in this amazing pink pattern. It cost me just 20 British Pounds and I cannot wait to have it transformed into some super chic summer wear! I was so excited when it arrived I may have stripped down to my undies and wrapped it around me. Please look away if you are of a nervous disposition!

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I promise selfies in my scanties will not be a regular feature on my blog, but I felt it illustrated just how excited I am about this project! I will keep you updated – I hope to meet mystery dress maker lady and handover the fabric soon. I will be documenting the process on here.

It is with an excited squeal I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only bedding but I like it…

I popped into ASDA today to buy some stewing steak. I had promised the Dr a steak and kidney pie (I had to cut up kidneys, I am a vegetarian) so I grabbed thyme, parsley and stewing steak – all the ingredients I hadn’t garnered earlier in the week. As I was making my way to the till my eye was caught by this cute Spring themed duvet cover.

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I remembered a blog post by www.retrochick.co.uk about a Christmas pin up girl duvet cover. I think MrsJMP mentioned that one too.

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I decided I needed to check out the bedding in more detail and was quickly pulled in by this lovely teal 1940s style beauty.

imageI can’t find any images of this one online, but I love it! I purchased it even though I have no room to store any more bedding and we have yet to purchase a house! I think it’s a winner and a quick Google shows there have been some other great vintage themed bedding recently. I’m not going to unpack it, but stow it away with several other recent purchases, until we move. It will be a nice addition to the new bed we treat ourselves to.

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Retro Chick has this Sailor Girl one, and I must admit I’m tempted!

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I think they’re incredibly cute and would bring a smile to my face every time I stepped into my boudoir. I don’t think the Dr would disapprove of scantily clad ladies in the bedroom either. My advice is to get to your nearest ASDA and check out their range – or look online www.asda.co.uk.

It is with a vision of a future bedroom I say:

It’s only vintage but it like it!

*I paid for the items included in this vintage adventure and the opinions expressed are all my own!*

It’s only Beaulieu Chocolate Studio but I like it…

As you know, I am very passionate about supporting local independent businesses. So when I couldn’t find the Charbonel and Walker champagne truffles I blogged about recently, I started to look closer to home for an alternative.

I didn’t need to look much further than over the corridor,  as it happens, because one of my work colleagues, Vicki’s partner is a chocolatier! I loved that fact as soon as she told me – I bet he dropped that into conversation early on when they met!

Trevor runs Beaulieu Chocolate Studio (www.beaulieuchocolatestudio.co.uk) and I first tasted his chocolate at Christmas when the Headteacher at the school Vicki and I work at bought us all a Chocolate Santa from Trevor’s shop.

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I ordered some champagne truffles and a salted caramel heart. The truffles were consumed on Valentine’s Day and we enjoyed them alongside a nice bottle of Bollinger champagne I had treated us to. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they went together very nicely! The centre was a strong, boozy dark chocolate truffle encased in a white chocolate shell. They had a nice kick of alcohol without being overpowering and certainly had the taste of a good quality luxury chocolate about them.

Salted caramel is one of my favourite taste discoveries in recent years and I love this milk chocolate heart with its sweet and salty flakes. Just perfect. I may have eaten it all already! It’s a good portion too – a nice thick chunky heart shape perfect for sharing (although most of it has been consumed in little chunks when the Dr wasn’t looking with me trying in vain not to rustle the bag and arouse suspicion…)

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I like the simple packaging, jazzed up with a heart ribbon for Valentine’s Day – simple but effective.

All up I think the Dr and I will definitely be making a purchase again, although maybe just for a special occasions – my waistline can’t cope with this being too regular a treat!

It is with a rustle of cellophane I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

*I paid for the products involved in my vintage adventure and the opinions are all my own!*

It’s only Amy Laws but I like it…

I’m going to enjoy writing this post because it’s a chance to write in depth about a British dressmaker who I’ve mentioned before and I really believe in.

I discovered Amy Laws on folksy (https://folksy.com/shops/Onlyoneamylaws) , which as I’ve previously discussed is a great place to find independent makers of all kinds of amazing things. I noticed Amy’s Rockabilly Robin dress a couple of Autumns ago and immediately knew I had found my ‘Christmas Day Dress’! At £45 it was reasonable and after a few emails with Amy to query measurements I definitely felt like I wanted to take the gamble. I loved the style and shape and even more those chubby screen printed robins, settled snugly along the hem.

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I wore it that year for dinner with Dr P and again on Christmas Day with my family. I accessorised it with black tights and little black shrug.

Fast forward a year and my Mum announced a Christmas themed wedding on the 27th of December. I wondered if it was another chance to give Robin an outing. As part of the service I was singing with my favourite duet partner, my little cousin Molly. Normally we coordinate outfits when we sing together and when I described my dress she loved it and wondered whether it would be too cheesy to wear the same one? Amy was very helpful when I contacted her about making me a Rockabilly Robin for Molly. She asked for measurements, checked sleeve lengths and styles and shipped it off to Molly when it was done.

These are some photos from the day. I’ll be honest, I’m not one hundred percent happy with the way I put this outfit together. The length of the dress is a little shorter than I’d normally wear and I wish I’d worn thicker tights – I’m not a fan of how my legs look and a Welsh churchyard on the 27th of December is less than balmy! I’m wearing some black spotty Irregular Choice shoes but I’m not sure how well they come across either! I love the vintage fur stole and the vintage handbag – both bought at the Yellow Vintage Fair I went to just before Christmas. I think I match well with my sister MrsJMP which was more luck than judgement.

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I’m very happy with my hair which was styled by Phillippa Torrance (https://www.facebook.com/pages/PJ-2-CUT-mobile-hairdressing/177453405635996?fref=ts). If you’re in the Mid Wales area she is definitely the person to go to for cuts or styling. She’s winning awards left, right and centre, and I can see why. She had done her homework and knew what I wanted better than I did! I only wish I had some better photos of it!

Me singing

In terms of make up Mrs JMP helped me with foundation and eyeshadow and then I applied my favourite Besame Cherry lipstick. I find it the perfect shade for me.

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I thought, seeing as we were going all out on this Christmas theme, this might be the perfect moment for my Tatty Devine Holly necklace(www.tattydevine.com). I think it set off the whole ensemble quite nicely!

I think Amy did a great job and cousin Mol and I were very happy with our outfits. We sang Ho Hey by the Lumineers (in the style of Lennon and Maisy – check them out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkBJu5lUCuA.

Molly Polly

Amy has a whole range of dresses for adults and children in some beautiful designs. I am definitely thinking of treating myself to some more of her dresses for the spring. Can’t wait to see what she’s got planned to take us into the summer!

Pineapple DressFlamingo DressRainy Day

Something for every season and every mood I think you’ll agree. Go and check her out and let me know if you make any purchases – I don’t about you, but I need those flamingos in my life!

It is with dress envy I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Valentine’s Day but I like it…

Do you know what? I do actually agree with Bridget Jones about Valentine’s Day being ‘meaningless commercial exploitation’ although I wouldn’t go as far as Jenny Holzer who said  that ‘Romantic love was invented to manipulate women’. It’s a date in the calendar that has strayed far from its original significance and one that divides people in their opinions of it.

That said, I love traditions and I love any chance to make an occasion: to decorate a table, cook a special meal and have people nearby that I love. I do believe you should express love daily in a myriad of different ways, and I try to do that. The Dr and I talked about it and neither of us wanted to pay over the odds for a meal and a drink out just because it’s Feb the 14th. We have decided to stay in and cook something tasty together and treat ourselves to a nice Thai meal out at some later convenient date.

Although, having a rare midweek wander around the shops this week, I did get excited when I spied heart confetti for the table, heart shaped cookie cutters and garlands of felt hearts to festoon around the home.

I considered doing a Valentine’s day gift guide blog post, but quickly realised that buying for guys is really difficult and I wouldn’t be able to put together a list of things that I really believed in. That hasn’t stopped me asking the Dr for a gift. Oh no! I’ve requested something basic but pretty, an accessory staple, that if I’m lucky enough to get I will of course share with you.

I think I’m going to go all out on having a quality evening with the Dr. I’m going to treat us to nice things that I wouldn’t normally buy.

Top of my list are these:

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I’m a sucker for nice packaging and that vintage font has me drooling before I even think of the contents. A swift google shows me a long and royal-tinged history – there are not many that can boast they are chocolatiers to Her Majesty the Queen. These chocs are perhaps best described as ‘reassuringly expensive’ hence me never having taken the plunge before. I’m thinking maybe a bottle of something nice too. We have been known to share a bottle of prosecco or cava but have never had occasion to get a bottle of champagne, so perhaps it’s time. I spotted this on offer the other day, I’m going to do some research and buy something nice.

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Although we’ve been together almost 2 years now, it’ll be out first Valentine’s Day together as I was out in the desert last year. I’m super excited just to have quality time with Dr P, and he will have just come back from a two day work trip too. Absence definitely makes my heart grow fonder.

Whatever you’re doing (or not doing!) I hope you have a blast.

It is with a sense of anticipation I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!