It’s only Collectif Mermaids but I like it…

The Dolores dress from Collectif is a very popular style and it’s just become available in a new pattern. Must admit to being a big fan of the Maids of Mer so am quite delighted with this print.

imageIt’s a great cut and I like the pink coral, jellyfish and the bubbles in the print. Some great detail.
image Love those big chunky pearl buttons and I think teaming it with wedges is inspired. image

If you’re not so much about the dresses, perhaps you can see yourself getting some wear out of this pale pink, pearly-buttoned cardi? It is pretty cool. I have yet to own a cardi with little details on it. So 1950s. Must remedy that this year…imageIf a whole dress would be a bit much this top might tick your mermaid box without overdoing it? I’m very tempted, but have promised I won’t buy anything other than wedding purchases for the next few months…

It is with a wish for a scaly tail I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Saladware but I like it…

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Once again I think this one links back to my Gran. She had one of these salad dishes on the side although I don’t remember anything ever being served in it. I don’t know what manufacturer made it  – my research suggests Beswick, Carltonware and Arthur Woods, to name a few, all made dishes like this.imageimage

I was fascinated but it’s shape, the detail to the veined leaves and the contrast of the smooth, shiny red tomatoes! image

The colours were vibrant and I liked the fact the bowl looked like the meal it was meant to serve. Cheesy but true.imageI picked my bowl up in a charity shop this week for £3.99. I’d seen quite a few before but they’d been the wrong size or shape, or, more often, they’d been in quite battered condition. Although this one has a lot of crazing, it is chip free. One website I visited led me to believe it was made between 1934 and 1944, so it’s looking good considering its age!

I think I might serve something old fashioned and unwieldy in it. The kind of thing your nan would put out for high tea on a Sunday – a dish of beetroot and egg drizzled with salad cream? On a bed of lettuce. That’ll do it!

It is with a knowing wink I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only SS16 but I like it…

It’s that time of year when all the clothing companies announce their new ranges. We actually had a quite a nice sunny Sunday this weekend and the Dr and I had a quick walk around the Common. The softly thawing ground smelled of Spring and gave me a little bit of hope for warmer weather and skimpier clothes!

The following is a quick round up of my favourite items from my favourite companies!image

This Caterina Vintage Swing Dress from Collectif (https://www.collectif.co.uk/collectif-vintage-caterina-vintage-swing-dress-p-vss160812-c-navy.html) would be a fab wardrobe staple, perfect for work, or lovely dressed up with heels and a nice bag in the evening. I’d get lots of wear out of it!image

Absolutely adore this range from Lady V, modelled here by gorgeous George (www.fullerfigurefullerbust.com). This bright spring pattern is perfect and I like the nice broad shoulder straps. Looks very comfy – and stylish!image

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a sucker for a fun print and this ticks that box! Fun, fruity and fabulous, I think you could have lots of fun in this! (https://ladyvlondon.com/Tutti-Fruity-Phoebe-Dress/#.VrjzyMSQGrU)

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This Kitty Anemone dress from Vivien of Holloway is lovely in teal. The pattern is soft and works well with its different shades of bluey-green. (http://www.vivienofholloway.com/women-c70/dresses-c10/kitty-anemone-teal-p2081)image

i don’t think you have to know who Milly Molly Mandy is to love this dress – but it helps! Lindy Bop have done us proud again, for just £35 this Bletchley Swing Dress (http://www.lindybop.co.uk/dresses-c1/swing-jive-dresses-c3/bletchley-red-stripe-shirt-swing-dress-p2596) can be yours… imageI’m a big fan of mustard clothes and I don’t own enough of them. I have this dress in a  another colour way and can confirm its lovely soft cotton and a great fit… Lindy Bop’s Ionia Tea Dress at £30 (http://www.lindybop.co.uk/dresses-c1/tea-day-dresses-c2/ionia-mustard-polka-dot-tea-dress-p2647).

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I don’t get on very well with this style of skirt but I might be tempted to try again having spotted this amazingly cute Tippi candy striped skirt from Lindy Bop (http://www.lindybop.co.uk/bottoms-c21/skirts-c5/tippi-ice-cream-stripe-swing-skirt-p2556). It would be so adorable with a just a plain white top and some pastel flats. Really must lose half a stone and try and make this work!

Some very exciting stuff out there, these are just a few of my favourites, and I’d definitely recommend you have a look at the websites of these companies as there are many more delights waiting for you… Happy Spring!

It is with a longing for Spring I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only a Wedding but I like it…

My wedding for the record. My wedding which is in less than 8 weeks. This weekend my Mum, my little cousin Molly, my sister and my oldest friend came to me for the day. We ate cake and cookies (baked by Molly and I that morning) we had our hair done and our make up done and we tried on dresses, petticoats and jewellery together for the first time.

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It’s a scary moment when all the things you have sat and ordered on wet and windy evenings on your own, suddenly materialise and are put together in the right order. You hope you chose the right colour, the right length, the right material and that it fits and works as a whole.

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And do you know? It did. Almost all of it.

The hardest job I am having is not showing you the photos of all of us, dressed up, made up and grinning together. My bridesmaids are the loveliest, and most perfect ladies ever. They look so good together and even though none of them is that into vintage they have all committed to full circle skirts, petticoats and retro hairstyles.

It is with excitement I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Blossom Dearie but I like it….

I discovered Miss Dearie on a film soundtrack some years ago. I think the first song I fell in love with was Put on a Happy Face. I can’t seem to find it on YouTube but it is the soundtrack to this film on Vimeo…

http://bret-moss.tumblr.com/post/133843899389/osamuito-bikelore5-from-toshiki-sato-on-vimeo2

What a unique voice. I had to find out more about this lady…

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Turns out Blossom Dearie (that’s her real name!)  was born in Albany and studied piano as a child. She got into Jazz as a teen and moved New York shortly after. She mixed with all the rising stars of the day and formed her own vocal group, arranging popular songs of the day for them to sing.

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She soon got noticed and then signed by a big studio. In the years that followed she sang and recorded all over the world, not least recording four albums in London and performing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club. She was notoriously strict about her environment when performing. She disliked background noise or even the movements of waitresses. Given that she sung a lot in nightclubs it’s a wonder these stipulations were adhered to, but they were! More often seen as a mark of her seriousness about performing than diva-esque tendencies.

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I love the fact that her name perfectly matches the tone of her voice. Her gentle, wispy, childlike tone is almost ethereal and quite unique. I never tire of a jazz standard sung by Miss Dearie. She often turned down full orchestras in favour of hand picked backing bands consisting of the best musicians of the day. The phrasing is very finely observed and her choice of material is sublime. I urge you to check out this back catalogue and be charmed as I have been.

It is with clicking fingers I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Meakin but I like it…

Meakin Carousel

 

Seriously, how can you not love this bustling carousel with its jolly painted horses and flailing arms? This pattern is called Carousel and it’s a china design by Alfred Meakin.

Meakin clovelly

Clovelly

Meakin are one of the Stoke in Trent pottery companies formed in the late 1800s. They produced lots of cheap ironstone pottery throughout the 19th century.

Meakin Down by the Seine

Down by the Seine

Alfred Meakin operated from a factory in Tunstall. His brothers James and George had a factory nearby and operated under the name J and G Meakin.

Meakin Montmartre

Montmartre

The appeal of the China lay in it’s hard wearing nature and it’s fashionable designs.

Meakin Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Many of Meakin’s lines were exported to America, and were very popular there.

Meakin Siesta Mexican

Mexican Siesta

There are several decades of Meakin out there and I was lucky enough to pick some up for a matter of pence at a car boot sale a few years ago. I have also come across it being sold at scandalously high prices in charity and antique shops. It’s rather charming and one of many things I could get addicted to.

Meakin Tunstall Jivers

Tunstall Jivers

I’m keeping an eye out for any on my travels and hope to add some to my collection – for the right price you understand!

It is with a an eagle eye I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only Knopf Designs but I like it…

I must admit I do love Instagram. I got back into it a year ago when Flo (www.flotography.co.uk ) suggested I link it to my blog. I now use it to advertise my blog posts, but I also follow lots of other eccentrics like myself who post charity shop finds and jugs they bought at the Car Boot Sale for 50p. This gives me hours of amusement but every now and then you find something really special.

knopf3A search for #vintagechina led me to @knopf_designs and Anja’s lovely creations. Anja uses broken, cracked, chipped and solitary pieces of china to make jewellery.

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I’m a bit of a vintage china geek and I like to think I know my Hornsea from my Royal Doulton. It’s a family failing – my Mum’s the same!

knopf1If you have a favourite pattern there may well be a piece of jewellery to your taste…

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Even if the jewellery isn’t your thing you can appreciate what Anja’s doing – that sense of shame and waste you get when you smash a vintage beauty is forever eradicated! I’m pretty sure she’d gratefully accept that bit of Meakin you dropped when washing up…

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You can find Anja on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Knopf-Designs-Jewellery-133821480073915/?fref=ts) and on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/knopfdesigns).

I’m almost looking forward to breaking something so I can give it to Anja and see what she makes out of it!

It is with butterfingers I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Mary Berry Homeware but I like it…

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 You our may remember these lovely egg cups and spoons I received for Christmas. They’re part of Mary Berry’s homeware range. I did a bit of digging and found out what else Mary has to offer…

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You can buy Mary’s products from Sainsburys, John Lewis and Boots.

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It’s very classy looking, nice and fresh with shades of blue, grey and white. I like the little duck motif. There are lots of pieces I’d love – the cake plate and jug are particularly pretty! I think they’d blend in very well with my vintage china. Mary has done us proud, I think you’ll agree?

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Each store stocks a slightly different range of products and, if you can find them, some are on sale now! See if you can bag a bargain!

It is with a bit of a crush I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!

It’s only Haggis but I like it…

The Dr and I are away this weekend so we had our Burns Night Supper early.

I’ve never made Neeps and Tatties before (or eaten haggis if I’m honest!), but a google of the recipe told me that Neeps aren’t turnips as I’d assumed – but swede! I roasted some chunks of potato and then added some boiled swede, gave it a rough mash and put it back in the oven until it was all golden. Then I covered it, chilled it and later that day returned it to the oven dotted with some butter.image

As I’m veggie I got a vegetarian haggis from my butcher. It said it was made from oatmeal and had fruit and nuts in it. I had to boil it in it’s bag for 40minutes. image

I did like the Neeps and Tatties but I’m afraid I won’t be in a hurry to try the veggie haggis again. I think it lacked some seasoning and was rather bland tasting – a bit like fruity porridge. A little too sweet and in need of some herbs or pepper.imageAll in all it wasn’t my most successful meal but I tried something new and I followed a tradition. I like traditions. Have a good Burn’s Night and I hope your meals are more successful than mine!

It is with a funny taste in my mouth I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

It’s only a tradition but I like it…

We spent Christmas with the Dr’s family in Lancashire and while we there I was lucky enough to be given lots of vintage treasures by his Mum. I think she is glad of the space in her house and bemused by my interest in things she has had in her cupboards for years.

imageI will share all the goodies with you over time I’m sure but this is the one that intrigued me. This beautiful box of bone handled kniveswere given to us… But! We had to hand over a penny before we could have them. It’s a tradition apparently, and if you don’t exchange money for knives you’ll fall out! The knife will sever the friendship. I love old traditions and customs and I’d never heard of this!

I wondered if this was a Northern thing, but my Mum says she’s heard of it. I know if you give someone a wallet or purse you must put a coin in it. Something about it meaning they’ll always have money? What superstitions do you observe in your neck of the woods? I feel another blog post coming on, this is rather fascinating…

It is with an urge to research I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it!