Category: Occasions

It’s only a few Wedding Details but I like it…

Ok, I promise, I’m almost done with wedding posts for now, but I just wanted to share a few little details with you…

I can honestly say I’ve never dreamed of a large fairytale wedding in a castle, with me in a meringue dress. I know that’s what the storybooks told me. I know that’s what I’m supposed to want that, but I just don’t. I’m more of a ‘Once Wed’ (http://Www.oncewed.com) kind of girl – if you haven’t seen Once Wed, it’s full of hipster weddings, in barns, or on mountain tops, with brides in hippie gowns and guys in quirky waistcoats. They have dinner tables in meadows bedecked with jam jars of peonies, or planks of wood, laid out on scaffolding in warehouses with vintage vases. They make their own favours and have burlesque entertainment. That’s what I’m talking about!

I knew right off that all the little details were important to me. Let me explain:

The favours:

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I’ve always loved wedding favours – I think it’s an extension of my love of gift giving. I knew I wanted it to be something handmade but inexpensive. I put my passion for chutney to good use and saved jars to pot up my favourite caramelised onion chutney. I spray painted the lids a lovely turquoise and added printed labels and name tags.

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The flowers:

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I got really stuck when choosing flowers. I didn’t want to be stressed on the day trying to buy fresh flowers and I couldn’t find any non living, button bouquets that I liked. I happened to mention this to best buddy Becca and she replied “Well, you do know my mum used to be a florist, don’t you?”. I had no idea but I did know my troubles were over! I handed over to Grandma Jane (Becca’s Mum!) and she did a beautiful job. I asked for simple bunches of Gypsophila for the Bridesmaids and the same for me with some added freesias.

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When they arrived they took my breath away. Grandma Jane said the florist always has to have some artistic license so she’d added some teal ribbon and tiny pearls. So beautiful and perfectly in keeping with my theme.

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The table decorations:

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Our place cards were an afterthought – the Dr ran down to The Range and bought them the day before and I wrote them out, adding a fact about each person on the reverse as an ice breaker: some silly, some whimsical and all very personal.

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As I’m a primary school teacher, my current class are always a big part of my life. I had told them about the wedding and had been intrigued and amused by their reactions! I decided to ask them what they thought love was and to get them to write that on hearts which were scattered around the table.

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“Love is when you have feelings for somebody and will keep a promise to each other and never tell lies to each other – Honey”

I also used Pinterest for inspiration – why wouldn’t you? A while back I had spotted a table runner that was made from lots of vintage lace doilies sewn together which just seemed perfect. I got on eBay, spent about £20 on doilies and my Mum and I sewed them together.

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It was super cheap and no need for superior sewing skills as it just required a few tacking stitches here and there.

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I had one final idea that I liked. I wanted to get some little badges made. I found a company online that were very reasonable. Mr T’s Shirts ( http://www.mrtsshirts.co.uk) did me a deal of about £25 for 100 badges. I was very happy with the service and quality and they were just another little souvenir of the day for my guests.

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So these are my finishing touches, my little flourishes and the things I think really made the day. None of them expensive, all of them with some element of handmade and all created with love.

It is with a handmade flourish I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only The Wool House but I like it…

Not long after I first started visiting the Dr (my husband) in Southampton, back in the early days of our courtship, we spent a lot of time exploring the city. Despite having lived less than an hour away from Southampton for several years I had only ever really visited the theatre and the city centre. The Dr lived down by the docks and we set out one day for a walk. I spied an odd little old building near the ferry terminal. We wandered in and I swear there was something odd occurring there… A display of ‘genuine’ fairy skeletons downstairs and some kind of folk ukulele group playing upstairs. At this point in time it was functioning as a community arts space.

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Fast forward a year or two and the Wool House no longer houses fairy skeletons and has been transformed into a fantastic pub and restaurant. Paul and I had popped in a few times and loved the ale there – The Dancing Man Brewery is an award winning micro brewery and it took on the Wool House as it’s second venue after successfully running The Platform Tavern for almost 20 years. The Platform Tavern is known in the area for its ale, it’s live music and its tasty pies. We had dinner there for the Dr’s birthday a few years back and the food and drink were both excellent.

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The building itself is beautiful and has such character. Built in 1338 it has been a wool storage space, a prison, boat building warehouse and many other things. It has beautiful high ceilings, beams made of Spanish cedar and is currently decorated with heaps of fairy lights, work by local artists and 3 large windows over looking the harbour.

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As soon as we started looking for wedding venues we knew the Wool House was the only choice for us. It is unpretentious, rustic and just a little bit different. Plus the fact it’s just a few minutes walk from the register office! All rather perfect I think you’ll agree! Our first meeting with Mandy, the events manager (and the fact we’ve always found the staff to be friendly and helpful), only cemented our decision –  when she said “Tell us what you want and we’ll tell you if we can do it!” we knew we were in the right place.

These photos from our photographer Flo Westbrook show just how atmospheric it was there on our special day:

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It has a stunning spiral staircase taking you upstairs that had been decorated with trailing flowers and tea lights.

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We began our day by pulling the first pint – look carefully and you’ll see a photo of us on the pump – our beer was called ‘Amazing Grace’. It was such a lovely touch and a great photo opportunity!

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The table had been decorated beautifully with lots of little touches that I had delivered to Mandy, the events manager, the day before.

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The lighting is beautiful – very soft and twinkly, and Flo has captured the atmosphere perfectly here.

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Such a stunning space with those high beams and stone walls!

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Look at all those twinkly lights! Such a lovely backdrop for our photos!

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All in all, we’re so pleased with our choice of venue and everyone loved the food – we had a range of pies, with vegetables and golden roast potatoes, lovely flavours and great quality – one guest insisted there must have been half a chicken in her pie! The staff were attentive and polite, totally understanding of the needs of our party all the way down to our youngest guest who was just 4!

It is with a new career as a barmaid I say:

It’s only vintage but i like it!

It’s only a Bridesmaid but I like it…

Back in June I asked three ladies to do me the honour of being my bridesmaids. I did this, for some reason, in the style of Lily Allen:

I chose my little cousin Molly, my sister Jess and one of my best and most long standing friends Iso.

Due to the different ages and heights of my bridesmaids I decided to go with a fairly plain and classic dress that I knew would suit all of hem and would be quite comfortable on the day. A quick look at Lindy Bop ‘s website left in me in no doubt that Audrey would be the right lady for the vintage look I was trying to achieve!

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I initially though about having all my bridesmaids in polka dots but in the end I decide just to put Molly in spots and let my two senior bridesmaid rock a classic colour. I teamed the dresses up with this lovely royal blue petticoat:

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I decided to leave the finer details of footwear to the Brideys to organise and made my final job to buy them white pashmina each and a Tatty Devine name necklace!

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As usual lovely Flo Westbrook has done us proud with some images!

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I’m very happy with the quality of the dresses and petticoats. I ironed my sister’s dress and the cotton was a nice thick material that held a pressing well. They looked lovely with petticoats under them and I didn’t hear any complaints from the girls about the petticoats although I know they can take a bit of getting used to! The two blue dresses were purchased in the January sale and only cost about eighteen pounds each. All in all the Audrey was a thrifty and gorgeous choice and I think my ladies looked fab in them!

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I can’t imagine having spent my day with any other ladies!

It is with a finger on my chin I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a post-Wedding mantelpiece but I like it…

The day after our wedding we woke up in our boutique hotel room, had nice showers in L’Occitane smellies and then, feeling rather tired, headed for home, after picking up cards and gifts left at our venue.

We made a pot of tea and sat down to open all these lovely messages and then tried to make room for as many things as possible on our mantelpiece. We had said that we didn’t need gifts but many of our friends and family gave us money or things they knew we’d love anyway and we felt totally overwhelmed by their generosity.

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Our lovely P&P has pride of place and a selection of cards shows just a little of the love we received. That’s my bouquet on the right – lovely gypsophilia and freesia and little pearls!

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We were grateful to receive these little instruction manuals too. They’re very informative.

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With the support of Ladybird books I’m sure this will be a long and fruitful Union! Must say we loved leafing through these and giggling – what a fab sense of humour the people at Ladybird have!

It is with a short shopping list I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only an Easter mantelpiece but I like it…

Continuing the tradition of decorating my mantelpiece for each season and event I invested in a few new pieces for this holiday.

My glowing bunny came from Notonthehighstreet and he’s pretty cute.

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My carrot garland was from a seller Kaz on eBay.

My stained glass bunny was a present from my Mum and came from Jenny Newall it’s really lovely and I’d definitely recommend a look at this seller – I love a bit of handmade, as you know!

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I finished the whole look off with a big jug of Spring flowers which always spells Easter to me! Hope you had a lovely Easter – mine was eclipsed a little by my wedding which fell a few days later, but we did squeeze in a roast chicken dinner with my sister and a few chocolate eggs! More on the wedding soon!

It is with a Sunny outlook I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Easter but I like it…

It’s been a chilled day here today.

The Dr, my sister and I have an Easter routine.

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It involves a roast, a musical and Easter nests. This year I roasted a chicken for the carnivores and I made a hot cross bun bread and butter pudding for dessert. Then we relaxed on the sofa with My Fair Lady and a bottle of prosecco.

Happy Easter!

It is with a full tummy I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Easter but I like it…

Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy and Vintage Easter!

 

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Have fun and do whatever does it for you this Easter-tide. I shall be spending it with some of my closest family – not all of them sadly. I shall cook, eat, Watch a musical and eat too much chocolate. Then I’m off to Wales for a few days to see my Mum. More on that soon.

It is with a sense of culinary foreboding 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!

It’s only a bauble but I like it…

There’s something exciting about decorating the house for Christmas isn’t there? Amid the streamers and holly sprigs and mistletoe, the centrepiece of it all is a Christmas tree. It’s been a few years now since I’ve been involved in decorating a tree and I am beginning to miss it. Dr P and I don’t really have room to put up a tree and we are away for Christmas anyway, but this is the last year I will forgoe a tree. I miss it.

There’s something special about about the act of decorating the tree. As children it was a moment we ( my siblings and I ) looked forward to and relished. Mum would bring the tree home, Dad would get the cardboard boxes (with “Xmas decs” scrawled on them) out of the attic and we would attempt to take shovelfulls of sand out of a usually frozen sand pile to fill the bucket it went in. Once it was wedged in place, Mum always insisted on wrapping foiled paper around the bucket to hide its mundaneness. Then we could start the decorating.

The baubles were always my favourite. Of course lights are important, and tinsel or bead strings help draw it all together but the range of different shiny coloured baubles are the real feature for me.

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I always had a fascination for these concave ones, their tactile nature was perfect for tiny hands to explore. My  Grandad’s tree – which I usually got to decorate too – sported many of this design.

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I found lots of lovely examples on eBay but the prices were shocking. Unfortunately I think it would cost me far too much to deck my tree out in vintage baubles…

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It’s lovely to to have something with so much history as part of your Christmas and I do own a few older baubles, that belonged to my parents, from the 70s. You know these disco ball style ones? Classic!

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Althought the fashionable perfectly styled, two coloured, Christmas trees that you see In magazines at this time of year are very appealing, I’m sticking with my tree, which has a mixture of old, new, traditional, and not so traditional decorations. Some I’ve bought, some have been given to me. They all exist together and many of them have stories. I’m looking forward to reuniting them all next Christmas, hopefully in a new home chosen by me and Dr P.

All the same, I’d be very happy to find something like this in my stocking this year 😉

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It is with Christmas tree-envy I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a Gift Guide but I like it…

You cannot bury your head in the sand any longer. Christmas is fast approaching whether you like it or not. And I do like it as it happens. We’re big into Christmas in my family and we all love buying, wrapping and giving gifts.

One of my favourite places to buy gifts in recent years is www.folksy.com. Folksy is a marketplace for handmade things and it’s based in the UK. I love handmade things. I like the originality of having something no one else will have. I like the fact something has been designed and sourced with care and love. I like the fact my money is going to support an independent craftsperson.

With this in mind I’ve compiled a little list of gifts that can be bought from Folksy – a gift guide if you will.

I’d start with these lovely festive hair clips from Butterfly Kisses ( https://folksy.com/items/3881246-Tartan-Reindeer-Hair-Slides ):

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I just love this patterned clutch from Jiggle Ma Wiggle (https://folksy.com/items/6533699-ladies-wallet ):image

I think these simple but perfect pearl earrings would be a stylish accompaniment to many of my outfits. Find them at Deborah Jones Jewellery (https://folksy.com/items/6523959-Pearl-earrings-sterling-silver):

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As far as I’m concerned any item from Amy Laws’ ( www.folksy.com/items/5774021-SALE-Dusty-Pink-Ice-Cream-Dress ) shop would be more than welcome, but right now I’m choosing this gorgeous summery number, to keep me going through the dark months until I can bare my flesh again!

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And, I’m sorry, there’s really no point me pretending to be all sophisticated. What I really want for Christmas is one of these bauble headpieces from Hatastic (https://folksy.com/shops/Hatastic/collections/234712 ) I own several of their pieces already and I bought one of their ‘Hen’ headpiece for my sister to wear on her Hen do. Their stuff is just great: fun, affordable and completely unique!

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Of course these gifts can be for others… Or, you know, why not treat yourself? I might just do that.;-)

It is with a mischievous grin I say:

Its only vintage but I like it!