Month: April 2015

It’s only fruit but I like it…

I took these photos a few weeks ago but forgot to ever post them! It was one of the first sunny days we had and I was having a pottering-at-home day. I needed to pop to the Post Office and decided that was an excuse to put on a dress and start tanning my legs!

Fruity5

So I’m wearing a Wallis dress, bought on eBay last summer because I really loved the print. The lemons, oranges and cherries are so bold and fun. It’s every bit as vibrant as it looks in the photos. The bolero is from Monsoon a couple of years ago and the shoes are Clarks. The basket was a find at a Lou Lou’s vintage fair recently.

Fruity3

The result? Well, the guys outside WH Smith – who were trying to sell broadband from a stand – flirted with me and an old man followed me round ASDA for a bit, standing too close.

Fruity 1

All in all, maybe I should stick to jeans next time.

It is with a wry smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a retro telephone but I like it…

There are many things I’ll need to purchase when the Dr and I finally get into our new home, but for some reason the item occupying my thoughts today is a retro telephone.

 imageimageimage image

There are lots of options of course. Some a little twee – perhaps more fitting in Hyacinth Bucket’s home than mine!

A swift gander through the virtual shelves on Amazon and eBay gave me plenty of food for thought. I think my favourite is this old classic. Funnily enough it’s the one we had when I was growing up. Literally for most of my life. It was rural Wales and things didn’t change very much or very quickly!

imageimageimageimageimage image

But oh, oh, the colours, the beautiful colours. I think I’m probably going to have to go for something on the mint/pale blue/teal spectrum but that mustard is a winner too… Decisions, decisions!

imageimageimageimage

Of course, this would be fun, but I just think it’s a little but too kitsch – even for me!

image

This lady was my first true telephone love – unfortunately I don’t think she’ll cut the mustard in terms of communication. I may save her for a later purchase…

image

It is with an image of myself, fingers entangled in telephone cord, I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only Bird’s Custard but I like it…

I do love the story of Bird’s Custard. Did you know that Alfred Bird invented Bird’s custard powder in 1837 because his wife was allergic to eggs? His egg free custard powder became so popular that he opened a factory in Birmingham where they produced the custard powder and the newly invented baking powder too.

image

Bird’s company were one of the first to use promotional items and brightly coloured advertising campaigns, making their brand very recognisable. We always had one of the blue, red and yellow tins with the three birds motif languishing in the back of a kitchen cupboard. It was most often pulled out the gloom and the lid prised off at Christmas or Easter to add a custard layer to the trifle we always made.

image

 

I keep a tin in my cupboard too. I’m a fan of custard with my crumble, with a chopped banana or even a slice or two of Swiss roll. It’s very comforting and even though buying fresh custard is now very easy, there are still times when the taste  and consistency of Bird’s is what I want.

image

 

I love old fashioned promotional products. Whether original or reproduction I find them very appealing. My kitchen utensils sit in a Colman’s Mustard pot (no idea how old – a car boot sale find) and somewhere in storage there’s a Bisto gravy jug which is rather lovely.

image

 

I discovered this range of retro Bird’s kitchenalia in a museum gift shop during a recent visit with my class. I managed to walk away without a purchase but I’ve since looked them up on www.amazon.co.uk and once I’ve moved I definitely think I may invest.

Aren’t they great? What promotional beauties are in your cupboards?

 

It is with a desire for red, blue and yellow I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

 

It’s only a Bespoke dress (update!) but I like it…

I had an exciting parcel today – my toile, from Ali over at Shake your Tush(https://www.facebook.com/shakeyourtush).
I was unaware of this but apparently it’s good practice for dressmakers to make a practice garment when using a new pattern. Well, I say a new pattern, this one is from the early 1950s! Anyway, they’re often made from cheap material, because sometimes multiple toiles might be made before a pattern is perfected.

image

Ali doesn’t make them out of cheap fabric and I love this green rosey pattern. It’s lovely cotton and it’s even better on!

image

Excuse the dark photos and mad hair – I had just got in from a heavy week!

image

I’m very happy with the fit- it’s like a glove! Very excited to get my real dress. The next step is for Ali to to use this same pattern to make my dress from the vintage sheet I gave her.
I shall keep you posted. Meanwhile I need to find out how much she charges for her toiles! If we have a sunny day this weekend (looking doubtful) I quite fancy giving it an outing!

image

It is with a meteorological wish I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Tunnocks but I like it…

 

 

 

Tunnocks Range

This is the first in a series of posts I’m writing about quintessentially British food. Enjoy!

Ah Tunnocks! Let me count the ways I love thee!

I think it was my Dad who first introduced me to their wares and from the first time I slid my fingertips under the waxed paper of a Caramel Wafer I was hooked. Since then I’ve enjoyed  The Tunnocks Teacake and, for some reason only during the festive season, the coconut dusted Snowball.

Tunnocks (http://www.tunnock.co.uk) are based in a little town called Uddingston, just outside Glasgow. It’s near my friend Rach’s house and it’s on my bucket list to visit the factory – although I gather the tours sell out quickly!

Thomas Tunnock opened a factory there in 1890 and spent many years baking on that site until in the 1950s they brought out a small range of products, in an attempt to market something with a longer shelf life. The introduction of the Teacake, the Caramel Wafer, The Caramel Log and the Snowball meant that business boomed and continues to do so today. On their website they say that ‘Indeed, it is funny how the more things change at Tunnock’s, the more they stay the same.’

Can I talk about packaging at this point? Just look at those yellow boxes. I couldn’t swear to it, but the boxes, the fonts, the waxed paper, the foil – none of it has changed in my lifetime and possibly not since they were first introduced. How many companies could say that? I love the vintage stylings – it’s like buying 1950s groceries. And who wouldn’t love that?!

caramel cup

The caramel wafer is a delicious multilayered sandwich of wafer and caramel covered in chocolate. I can eat them in multiples. The wrapper boasts “MORE THAN 4000 OF THESE BISCUITS MADE AND SOLD EACH WEEK”. No offence here Tunnocks, but I think it was Nigel Slater who commented on liking the flavour of some things because they always taste slightly stale, and I feel like that about these! I don’t know what it is, but they’re delicious and the kind of thing I would dream of finding in my lunchbox. Running my thumb over the red and gold foil undulations before unfolding the wrapper and sinking my teeth in…

Teacake bite

For me the other behemoth of the Tunnocks empire is the Teacake. With their distinctive slier and red dome, they are once seen never forgotten. These were a staple at birthday parties when I was a child. Nestled in amongst Penguin bars and chocolate fingers they were a special treat. If you’re really clever you can nibble off the chocolate shell, lick out the marshmallow and eat up the crumbly biscuit in one. Not that I’ve ever done that…

Tunnocks Plate 2

I must admit to being a newbie when it comes to the delights of the Caramel Log. I fancy they were not as readily stocked in my childhood, or perhaps I was always dazzled by the Wafers. I think the Caramel Log is my new favourite. It’s a bit like a Caramel Wafer but one that’s been rolled in toasted coconut, rendering it utterly delicious. A bit messy, as I am generally finding morsels of coconut in my bra up to 48 hours later, but so worth it!

Tunnocks Plate

Again – packaging. I went outside in the sun to take these and they shone and sparkled like the most precious treasure. No filter needed.

I can’t really do a post about Tunnocks without mentioning Nikki McWilliams (http://www.nikkimcwilliams.com). Nikki is an artist who is very much influenced by a nice cup of tea and biscuit – that most British of pastimes. I own several of her cushions, including a pair or Tunnocks Teacake cushions. You must check her out!

Nikki McWilliams

I’m going on a school trip tomorrow (in my real life role as Primary School Teacher) and I will definitely be treating myself to a Caramel Wafer in my lunchbox. A cheese sandwich, an  apple and a little taste of Tunnocks heaven. Winning combination. Make sure you include some in your summer picnics…

Tunnocks picnic

It is with a sugar rush I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

*Disclaimer: I paid for the products reviewed here and this vintage adventure is all my own…*

It’s only Nomads Clothing but I like it…

I have been a fan of Nomads ever since I discovered a rail of their dresses in a tiny shop in Wales. As soon as I stepped out of the changing room in this beauty, Mum, I and the shopkeeper agreed I had to make a purchase!

besame2

I liked the styling of the dress and felt it had some vintage inspiration even if Nomads don’t necessarily identify as a ‘repro’ company.

Nomads have been trading for over 20 years now and deal in Fairtrade, often organic cotton, ladies clothing. They take inspiration from many styles and cultures and everything of theirs I have experienced has been very vibrant and beautiful quality. They do a great range of smart and casual dresses, trousers, tops and some stunning statement coats for the Winter too.

I was lucky enough to be offered some items to review. The first item I chose from this Spring’s range was this lovely glowing shirt dress.

10537490_10153111246554844_2392504280431148056_o

I had various ideas on how to style it. Firstly thinking some 60s style t-bar shoes and vintage yellow beret. I also fancied a floppy black hat, with maybe a tan belt. But when the day dawned for me to try and take some half decent shots it was such bright sunny day I slipped on my Roxy sunnies, White Stuff flip flops and a black stretchy belt from eBay to nip me in at the waist, going instead for a more 1950s look.

Nomads Spr1

A little slick of my favourite cherry lipstick from Besame and I was quite happy with the results! I think it conjures up a 1950s picnic scenario with my basket (a fiver at a recent vintage fair!) and vintage flask (Charity shop – 3 pounds) along for the ride. The sunnies and belt make me look very much the 50s pin-up! Well, I like to think so anyway!

Nomads Spr2

Nomads Spr3 Nomads Spr4

The dress was a size 14 and a great fit on me. It has a lovely collar and pretty shell buttons running all the way down the front. The pattern is perfect – not too bright, but with a lovely glowing yellow and orange that cuts through the white and grey.

Nomads Spr5

The buttons at the top mean you can reveal as much or as little cleavage as you desire – I definitely think the length and style of this dress make it a multipurpose item – I could certainly wear it to work on sunnier days without any concerns.

Nomads Spr6

If you can tell good quality cotton by how it feels, then this fabric passes the fingertip test! It’s beautifully soft and fully lined in a gauzy cotton, making it very comfortable in the warmer times we’re hopefully about to have!

I felt that rare combination of comfortable and sexy in this dress and I think it’s also one that could take you from the day to the evening effortlessly. I will admit that I kept it on after I’d taken these photos and when Dr P got home from work I insisted we buy ice creams and walk around the harbour. In my sunnies and lippy, my boy by my side, I felt glam and relaxed – thanks Nomads for the nice memory!

Whilst I don’t specifically shop for items that are Fairtrade, it does assuage my guilt a little to know no-one has been exploited for me to look good. I’m grateful to companies like Nomads for putting options out there for me, making it easier to choose ethical clothing.

All in all, I felt this dress had a nice vintage feel to it and I know I’m going to get lots of wear out of it. If you head over to the Nomads website you’ll find that they’re offering 20% off some items in the lead up Earth Day, so it’s a great time to make a purchase. (http://www.nomadsclothing.com)

If you liked this post, stop back in a few weeks time as I have another Nomads dress to review and it’s a stunner, seriously!

It is with a glamorous glow I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it!

*I was lucky enough to be given these items to review, but the views expressed are all my own*

It’s only Vintassion but I like it…

Ok so it’s a Itsonlyvintagebutilikeit first today!
I got asked to write a guest post! Me! A guest! Well, my Mum always told me to be polite and not be late when I was a guest, so I submitted my post on time and here it is:

https://www.vintassion.com/post.php?blog_id=60

Please check out Vintassion – their online vintage emporium is stocked to the gunnels with treasures from clothing to homeware. I’ve been tempted to make a purchase but Dr. P says I must wait til we move to buy anything else because he nearly gave himself a hernia trying to shoehorn the last lot of finds into the wardrobe! There really is no more room…

It is with a disappointed look I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Twinwood but I like it…

So on a whim I entered a competition to be Miss Vintage Twinwood 2015.

https://www.facebook.com/twinwoodevents/photos/a.10152666756157657.1073741838.30797112656/10152683917717657/?type=1&permPage=1

You can see my picture here and if you go to the Facebook page and ‘like’ it that counts as a vote! If I get down to the final 40 ladies I get free tickets to the event, which is a great deal as tickets don’t come cheap!

Please, please, please vote for me!

It is with an imploring gaze I say:
It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Ladybird Book but I like it…

I’m pretty sure there cannot be many people reading this that haven’t read a Ladybird book. We had many books from their series’ on our bookcases at home. They’ve been in production since 1914 and in the early 1970s they produced their Key Word Reading Scheme which was used by many Primary Schools. I myself learned to read using the Peter and Jane books.

Ladybird KWRS

I have to say, some of the early Reading Scheme books were a little basic and repetitive but the captivating illustrations made up for that. Ladybird have a long standing relationship with some amazing artists. Harry Wingfield is the artist that brought Peter, Jane and their family to fruition. His illustrations do conjure up a perfect world where there were trips out with sandwiches packed, fun to be had under a blue sky and a soft clean bed to be carried home to at the end of the day.

Ladybird PJLadybird PJ sweets

There were many different topics including nature, hobbies and interests, history and travel.

Ladybird-BooksWe had these titles and the cover and each illustration is so evocative. Many of them are now dog-eared and so well thumbed. They were read over and over to me, and then with the gift of reading, I read them myself and – who knows – maybe one day, I’ll read them to my babies.

Ladybird jack-and-the-beanstalk Ladybird artists Ladybird things to make

And, as a mega bonus, I found these in a charity shop near my Mum’s house! Ladybird books in Welsh, ladies and gents!

Ladybird Welsh

It is with an introduction to Gareth and Sian (not Peter and Jane) that I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

 

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

I have perused quite a few charity shops in the last week, both in Wales and in Hampshire. Surprisingly, I haven’t had much luck. Today I did about ten shops in a half mile. I did see this Portmerion Totem coffee set. It was pristine and had one of the most dramatic 70s coffee pots I’d ever seen!

image

It’s hard to get a sense of it from here but it must be well over 30cm tall – quite a statement. I didn’t purchase it – not really my style!

image

This did catch my eye though. To me, it looked like rhubarb. I love rhubarb. Although, on a closer examination, I think it’s celery. Very pink, pink celery. Hmmm. It was £1.99 so I’m sure I’ll find a use for it at that price.

Heading out again tomorrow, so maybe I’ll have more luck then!

It is with a hopeful smile I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!