Category: Vintage

It’s only Jodie but I like it….

With the advent of warmer weather I am thinking of ways to keep cool during the interminably long summer term.  It’s lovely to have the hot weather but I spend much of June and July in a classroom with 30 little bodies desperately trying to stay cool and keep their little minds on the task at hand. http://www.collectif.co.uk/bright-and-beautiful-b-_and_-b-jodie-floral-jumpsuit-p-bbss161902a-c-navy.html?utm_source=Customers+Retail+4-4-14&utm_campaign=3d09ebeb94-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_5_16_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_33bf474bcf-3d09ebeb94-149684553

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As usual Collectif have come up with the goods. I love this jumpsuit! It’s a really nice vintagey print and looks like a cool cotton fabric too. Those wide leg trousers would make for some great air flow.

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It’s not too revealing in the cleavage department and not too figure hugging either. I feel sure this would be a winner!

It is with a desire for a jumpsuit I say:

Its only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Thelwell but I like it…

When I was little my Mum always took me to buy shoes in a shoe shop in our local town. They had a basement room for children which smelled of leather, had a wall of cardboard shoe boxes, and where I had to put my foot in one of these slidy things  to determine what size I was! It also seemed to have this wallpaper for almost all of my childhood:

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These cartoons were very popular during the 70s and 80s and I remember liking the delightfully dotty signature:

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These plump ponies and unfortunate riders could be found in newspaper cartoons, in books and on bowls and other merchandise at the time.

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I liked the super curvy, stodgy horses, always seeming slightly manic and difficult to control.image

Coupled with the inevitable novice rider, trying and failing spectacularly to master their beasts.image

Looking at them as an adult, I can still see the humour and the skill, but actually if you look closer, some of the background artwork is very detailed and, frankly, pretty stunning.

Among the prizes © Norman Thelwell. National Trust hosts Norman Thelwell exhibition of original illustrations from private family archives. Mottisfont welcomes in the New Year with a major exhibition from the private family archives of one of Britainís most popular cartoonists, Norman Thelwell. Best known for his hilarious cartoons of plump little girls on equally spherical ponies, these familiar pictures are joined by other satires of twentieth-century life, alongside beautiful paintings of local landscapes. The exhibition, which features over 70 original artworks, includes many that have never been on show before. First created in the 1950s and published extensively since, Thelwellís pony cartoons are still easily recognisable today. The artist drew the endearing characters Penelope and her mischievous pony Kipper in hundreds of humorous scenarios, from ungainly jumps and gallops to the destruction of country fairs. Thelwell also produced numerous other satirical cartoons, with astute and amusing observations on country life, from gardening and fishing to the upkeep of heritage properties. While these images have given Thelwell a lasting reputation as a talented cartoonist, he is less well known for his beautiful landscape art. Thelwell lived close to Mottisfont ñ an idyllic country house in Hampshire, now owned by the National Trust ñ and captured the surrounding countryside in a series of stunning watercolours.Mottisfontís exhibition reveals many of these pictures, including images of Mottisfont itself, Romsey Abbey, and the landscape and villages of the Test Valley, brought to life by an extraordinary talent for naturalistic painting. Displayed alongside Thelwellís well-loved cartoons, the exhibition demonstrates how the artistís amusing observations on life in the country are rooted in a deep-seated love of the Hampshire landscape. Also on display are a series of never-before-seen sketches and a selection of models which the artist created as protot

It came as no surprise to find that Thewell also exhibited landscapes, many painted near me in Hampshire, showing a great love for this picturesque area.

SOLENT NEWS AND PHOTO AGENCY...NORMAN THELWELL 1970'S. SOLENT NEWS AND PHOTO AGENCY TELEPHONE

Stair Hole, Lulworth Cove © Norman Thelwell. National Trust hosts Norman Thelwell exhibition of original illustrations from private family archives. Mottisfont welcomes in the New Year with a major exhibition from the private family archives of one of Britainís most popular cartoonists, Norman Thelwell. Best known for his hilarious cartoons of plump little girls on equally spherical ponies, these familiar pictures are joined by other satires of twentieth-century life, alongside beautiful paintings of local landscapes. The exhibition, which features over 70 original artworks, includes many that have never been on show before. First created in the 1950s and published extensively since, Thelwellís pony cartoons are still easily recognisable today. The artist drew the endearing characters Penelope and her mischievous pony Kipper in hundreds of humorous scenarios, from ungainly jumps and gallops to the destruction of country fairs. Thelwell also produced numerous other satirical cartoons, with astute and amusing observations on country life, from gardening and fishing to the upkeep of heritage properties. While these images have given Thelwell a lasting reputation as a talented cartoonist, he is less well known for his beautiful landscape art. Thelwell lived close to Mottisfont ñ an idyllic country house in Hampshire, now owned by the National Trust ñ and captured the surrounding countryside in a series of stunning watercolours.Mottisfontís exhibition reveals many of these pictures, including images of Mottisfont itself, Romsey Abbey, and the landscape and villages of the Test Valley, brought to life by an extraordinary talent for naturalistic painting. Displayed alongside Thelwellís well-loved cartoons, the exhibition demonstrates how the artistís amusing observations on life in the country are rooted in a deep-seated love of the Hampshire landscape. Also on display are a series of never-before-seen sketches and a selection of models which the artist created
Stair Hole, Lulworth Cove © Norman Thelwell.

The cartoon ponies and their plump riders will always raise a smile but it’s been nice to find out a bit more about Mr Thelwell and the depths of his talents. I for one, am in awe.

It is with a nod to a great talent I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Wedding hair and Make up but I like it!

Hair Claire

I met Claire Byrne through a Facebook group for vintage lovers in my area. I asked a question about where to buy hair accessories for my hair and was immediately pointed in Claire’s direction. She’s been cutting my hair ever since and also gave me some hair flowers to review. My sister and I modelled for her at a vintage fair recently too. I knew exactly who i wanted to do my hair on my big day – its not just anyone who can achieve the things that Claire can achieve. She knows exactly what she’s doing and is experienced in creating vintage up dos, classy styles and super curls.

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Flo Westbrook was very enthusiastic when she took photos of me getting ready! There are lots and they’re all fabulous! When I said I wanted my hair down and curly Claire knew exactly what to do! She started with a wet set and left me drying while she got started on the bridesmaid’s hair.

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Iso had a little wave at the front and then a gorgeous big purple orchid – handmade by Claire of course!

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Molly has lovely, long thick hair and so we gave her a big thick ponytail, a matching ribbon and a little wave at the back with a pink orchid.

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Jess had some lovely curls and a little white orchid.

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We all had fun choosing from Claire’s box of delights!

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Sharon Dawson is a friend of Claire’s and was our Make Up artist for the day. Just like Claire she was very easy going and really put us all at ease.

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I don’t wear a lot of make up so was happy to be advised by Sharon on what to choose.

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I love the smoky eyes she gave me and it’s inspired me to try recreating the look myself!

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I don’t normally wear foundation but the one Sharon used was very light and breathable.

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As you can see the overall look was stunning.

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The only input I had into my make up was asking if we could use my Besame Cherry Red lipstick. I just love the shade on me – it’s very bold but I do think it works!

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Then I headed back to Claire for the finishing touches to my barnet!

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Some anxious looks here – looking a bit Martha Reeves?

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She teased all my curls into the right places and we added a white orchid and a teal orchid.

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I’m so pleased with my finished look – so very vintage and perfect for me! Claire and Sharon were just amazing and so very easy to be around on a potentially stressful morning! The last 20 minutes before we left the house were mad – I had three people trying to get me into my shape wear, then my dress and not lose all my make up in the process! I can’t believe how great I look in the photos and wish I could call on Claire and Sharon every morning!

It is with a desire for live-in Hair and Make up artists I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

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 Seed Cake but I like it…

The funny thing is, I think I first heard of Seed Cake when I was reading The Hobbit many years ago. When Bilbo Baggins’ house is invaded by lots of visitors at the beginning of the story one of them asks if he has any Seed Cake. It’s a very old British recipe, can be traced back at least as far as the 15th century and was very popular in Victorian times.imageThe idea intrigued me and I looked up some recipes. When I found out that the seed involved was caraway seed I wasn’t sure – I couldn’t envisage it working as a flavour in a cake. Caraway seeds have a slightly minty smell, neither sweet nor savoury and quite musky, with a strong aroma.
imageI used a Nigel Slater recipe (http://theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/may/02/nigel-slater-classic-recipe-seed-cake) he says just to use a teaspoon of seeds, enough to gently perfume the cake – other recipes I looked at suggested more and I think I’m going with Nigel on this one.

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The cake reminds me a lot of Madeira cake – both recipes have ground almonds in them, although seed cake lacks the lemon you get with a Madeira and it doesn’t rise as much. The seeds do give the cake a gentle perfumed flavour which is actually very appealing. It has a nice texture due to the ground almonds, a golden crust and the smatter of caraway seeds add a tiny crunch. I’m not sure it’ll replace Madeira cake, which has become a favourite of ours, but the Seed cake is a quirky addition to my repertoire – nice for a vintage picnic maybe? I can see why Bilbo and his mates packed it for their long quest…

It is with a plan for a picnic I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Gingham but I like it…

I’ve had an obsession with gingham since I had some little gingham shoes from Mothercare when I was a toddler. Despite loving the stuff, I can’t remember the last time I had any clothing made from this cutesy check.

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As usual,  http://www.collectif.co.uk have come up with the goods and I’ve been dreaming of this mint check dress all week. Oh how I adore that colour!

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Of course blue gingham is Ultimately desirable and the little daisy details on this make it even more perfect… Collectif again! image

Even my feet can get involved! These are Collectif too and they’re on sale right now. Really feeling I must make a purchase soon – my summer is not going to be complete without a mint gingham dress to flounce around in!

It is with a pastel-hued summer in mind, 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.

Wool House

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 Collectif but I like it…

It’s no secret that I’m a Collectif fan. I’ve blogged about their clothes herehere and here just to name a few posts.

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I should probably shut up about them, but they keep bringing out amazing new prints and designs.

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I’m a sucker for a nice print and I love fruity designs – so fun and retro!

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I particularly love this playsuit – I’m too curvy and too old to wear it, but oh, the cuteness!

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There’s a pretty top too, if dresses and playsuits are not your bag.

Collectif Lemons Print Top

Such a great print for summer – I know we’re not quite there but the sight raise in temperature gives me hope!

It is with plans for a summer wardrobe I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only ‘Bubble and Squeak’ but I like it…

I know it’s not glamorous, or trendy or even expensive but I find there to be something incredibly comforting in a simple bowl of bubble and squeak.

For the uninitiated – maybe you were raised by wolves? – bubble and squeak is basically leftover potatoes and vegetables, mashed up and gently fried until crispy and golden. It is often served after a roast dinner – using up remaining vegetables, and is a staple at Christmas time in the days following Christmas, when it is delicious served alongside all those cold meats that hang around for weeks!

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It was served a lot during World War Two when rationing meant families had to work hard to make small amount of food last across several meals and very little went in the bin. I find that kind of thinking very appealing and hate to throw any foodstuffs away – I’m always looking for recipes that used the leftover, the dogeared and the slightly stale.

I love my bubble and squeak with a big dollop of brown sauce and veggie sausages. How do you take yours?

It is with a thought for the wolf-raised 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!