Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Car Boot Finds & Tales of Weirdness

We're all packed and ready for Camper Calling. It's our eighth festival of the season and we're finally into the swing of things, I've even had time to dig out some crazy 1980s fashion just in case anyone wants to dress in vintage-appropriate gear when ABC headline on Saturday night (which'll probably just be me).

In between basking in the sunshine, pottering around the garden, reading like a woman possessed (I reckon I'm solar powered) and watching Ripper Street I've done a bit of sewing, too. I've made a bias cut maxi skirt from a pair of 1950s curtains and another gypsy top, this time from a pair of Indian silk hippy pants. As we don't have to leave for the festival until tomorrow lunchtime we squeezed in another visit to the mid-week car boot sale.

This 1960s vinyl bag and blingy brooch were our first finds.

From left to right: 1960s St Michael mac, 1970s Keynote mac and 1980s military style belted raincoat.
The lady selling these vintage macs and the coat and jacket below was thrilled that we'd bought them. She'd been taking them to car boot sales for months without a sniff of interest. Why? They're in great condition and weren't expensive, it's just that the majority of car booters just don't "get" vintage clothes.

1960s Dereta wool coat & Eastex wool jacket

The lady I bought the vintage maxi dresses from last week had saved me a couple more. The lilac dress with the attached chiffon capelet looks like something nicked out of Yootha Joyce's wardrobe.

This 1970s cotton dress is a stunner.

 I hadn't noticed the label until I got home. I'm in great company as Curtise also owns a Katya of Sweden maxi (see HERE).

I couldn't resist this 1960s pattern for a "Mod Military Cape".

We've sold out of vintage flat caps (blame Peaky Blinders) so we were happy to pick up these English-made beauties.

I found these beaded chokers on a house clearance stall. They've got a fair bit of age to them and have a Native American look to them. I was amazed when the lady selling them only wanted 20p each.

The succulents were 3 for £1 (so I bought them all) and the garden sieve was 50p. I couldn't wait to get home, line the sieve with plastic and get them planted.

Earlier this year I made the mistake of buying a trowel from Poundland. It lasted all of 2 days before it bent in half. These vintage long handled tools were £1 for the pair and are a lot more attractive than my wonky Charlie Dimmock cheapo tat held together with duct tape. 

I found this Spanish souvenir pourer and winking corkscrew/bottle opening in the bottom of a suitcase and was squealing with excitement at how wonderfully kitsch they were. The stallholder must have thought I was a bit mad and told me I could have them for nothing. 

What home doesn't need a winking corkscrew?

We had post from Saz & Andy today, a book telling of the mysterious goings-on in and around Todmorden with tales of witches, satanism, vampires, hauntings and grisly murders not to mention alien abductions and sightings of UFOs. What have Lynn and Philip got us into?

Watching a TV show about baking cakes or reading about The High Priestess of the Hermetic Order of the Silver Blade Coven of Witches, there's no competition, is there?

See you next week!

Monday, 22 August 2016

Hit The North

Ever since we've been trading at Stockport's Vintage Village Lynn and Philip (aka Mr Dapper) have been regular visitors and, over the last couple of years, have grown to be firm friends. When I mentioned that we'd been invited to a mate's 50th birthday party forty minutes up the road from them they invited us to travel up north a day early and spend the night at their gorgeous cottage in the Rossendale we did. The doorway is just a taster of the wonderfully eclectic home they live in.

I'm wearing a vintage Crimplene maxi dress (gift from Heather), Stuart Weizmann boots and customised 1960s leather jacket (charity shops), Lynn's in a vintage metallic dress & 1970s suede jacket, both from Stockport's Vintage Village.

Typically, after last week's mini heatwave, the weather took a turn for the worst so out came the boots and jackets but did that dampen our fun? No!

After spending Friday night in the pub we travelled to nearby market town of Todmorden on Saturday morning. If you follow Lynn's blog (HERE) you'll know that she's obsessed with the place and you can see why. Nestled in the Pennines and surrounded by moorlands, Todmorden is outrageously picturesque and, with a town centre completely free from the retail chains that dominate almost every high street in the UK, it's a real joy to spend time there.

In 2008 a group of locals started the Incredible Edible Todmorden Project, planting public fruit and veg gardens around the town and inviting passers-by to help themselves to the produce. The idea was such a success that it's been copied in 15 other towns and cities around the UK.

Pretty it might be but Todmorden has an odd claim to fame. In 1980 the police were called to a coal yard where a body had been discovered. Zigmund Adamski, a 56 year old miner, had been reported missing five days earlier. He was still dressed in his suit but his watch, wallet and shirt were missing. A post-mortem established that he'd died from a heart attack but discovered burn marks on his neck, shoulders and the back of his head. These injuries had been dressed with a green ointment which toxicology tests were never able to identify. No suspect was ever arrested and the coroner claimed it to be the most bizarre case he'd ever investigated, leading to claims of an extraterrestrial abduction. The police are still forbidden from discussing the case with the press. 

We had lunch in the old Co-op, a 150 year-old shop with a deli on the ground floor and a vegetarian cafe-bar upstairs. I'm not sure what I loved most, the original Victorian shop fittings or the menu - both were incredible.

Next door was one of Lynn & Philip's favourite shops, the amazing Picture House Antiques. With boxes stuffed with black and white photographs, antique glass bottles, 1960s textiles, Persian rugs, vintage kitchenalia, enamel advertising signs and Smiths tour posters it felt like someone had ransacked our house while we'd been away.

After exploring the chazzas we waved goodbye to Lynn and Phil and checked into Todmorden's Queen's Hotel, our home for the night, for a power nap, an Olympic catch-up and to get ready for Saz's 50th Birthday party, due to kick off at 7pm in nearby Cornholme.

Saz and her partner Andy are fellow vintage traders and brilliant company, we met up with them in Goa earlier this year (see HERE). When they're not selling retro clobber they play in a bonkers psychedelic band who you can enjoy in all their glory in the video below.

We wore leis, drank Champagne and ate an amazing Thai feast prepared by the landlady of the local pub. We chatted and laughed until the early hours and still manged to be up for the inclusive hotel breakfast a few hours later.
WEARING: Vintage gingham maxi & silver pendant (charity shop), Richard Shops denim waistcoat (gift from blogger, Bedford Gypsy)
After a final soggy walk around Todmorden we checked out o the hotel, jumped in the van and had a scary journey home as the clutch (already a jittery from the endless stop/start journey on the way) had decided to play up. Luckily we'll be back in Gilbert this week as we're trading at Camper Calling from Thursday so we can leave the bloody thing with the mechanic.

WEARING: Tee shirt featuring John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) & Don Letts' daughter, Jet (birthday pressie from a mate), Black skinny jeans and brogue boots (charity shop), Leather Baker Boy cap (end of the Road Festival, 2015)
We didn't return to the Midlands empty-handed. From the Todmorden charity shops we bought a Jaws tee shirt and some unworn Mexican cowboy boots and Lynn & Phil gave Jon this crazy cat pen holder and a giant Wade tortoise ashtray for his birthday. I got a 50th Birthday present too but I'm being a good girl and waiting until December to open it.

See you soon!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Cheap Frills

Isn't the internet great? Lounging in the sunshine, watching the laundry on the line fluttering in the breeze, I decided that I needed a couple of off-the-shoulder tops to wear with my freshly washed maxi skirts. A normal person might have gone and ordered one on-line for next day delivery but, me, normal? Never! Instead I went inside, typed "How To Make A Gypsy Top" into Google and up came a blog with a tutorial so I could sew my own.

Here's the blog post I followed. The tutorial was for a dress but it was easy enough to make it shorter. As I was using a couple of Indian scarves and they were already hemmed, I cut my pattern pieces so the pre-existing hems could be used as the hems on the new garments, which saved both time and effort, always a bonus! The instructions advised measuring above the bust and adding a couple of extra inches for the seam allowance but, after I'd cut it out and tacked both sides together it was far too wide (probably fine for a cool Summer dress), so I shaved off 5" on each piece resulting in a loose, but not baggy, fit.

If I'd gone on-line I would have had to have spent around £30 for one, mass produced, off-the-shoulder top but instead I got two for 33p. The blue & gold scarf was salvaged from a "3 for a £1" bin in a charity shop clearance bin and the embossed silk one came from a friend. I already had elastic and thread in my stash.  Cheap as chips! Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

Talking of bargains we've been to two car boot sales this week. The sunshine brought out loads of traders but, with it being the school holidays, the buyers were very thin on the ground so we had our pick of cool stuff. Wanna see?

A job lot of 1990s sunglasses - didn't we all hanker for these after seeing Gary Oldman in Dracula? I know I did. All the cool kids are wearing them at the moment so we'll be taking these to our next festival.

A cream 1970s handkerchief hem maxi by Jon Charles and a 1950s nylon housecoat by Wonda-War.

A super groovy nightie (which I'd wear as a dress) and a slinky, flower trimmed backless maxi by Donerica of London.

A strappy Mr Darren maxi which the seller described as something out of Saturday Night Fever and a  pretty handkerchief hem evening dress by Ronald Joyce which, after trying it on, I've decided to keep it!

If you're wondering about the similarity of these vintage dresses it's because they're all from the same seller! She's got great taste.

Some cool menswear - a 1950s wool waistcoat, 1970s windowpane check wool blazer and 1960s car coat.

Some fabulously funky vintage fabric for my stash - it's getting low!

1960s Clarks' evening bag labelled "To Match Your Shoes" and some Trueform kitten-heeled gold mules.

Vintage headscarves - two with a horsey print.

And to carry on with the equestrian theme here's another horse print. I can never turn down a tea towel especially when it's 20p!

This "Made in France" tapestry was so naff that I had to have it, I'm sure I'll think of something strange to do with it.

This tapestry bag has a fair bit of age to it, I love the poppy design.

A pair of Kurt Geiger leather and canvas knee-high boots. I'm liking the 1970s vibe to these (and the fact they cost a small fortune when they were new.)

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I've got quite a collection of Victorian mourning paraphernalia (seen HERE and HERE) so, when I was offered this mourning jacket for £5 I almost snapped the stall holder's hand off. It's not in the greatest condition but it probably wouldn't have been a fiver if it was!

LEFT VIX: Me-made silk Gypsy top (made from a scarf given to me by our mates at Baboushka Vintage) , 1960s Dollyrockers maxi (99p, eBay 2007), Vintage tooled leather belt with a lion buckle (33p, charity shop), 1970s Purple framed  sunglasses (£1, car boot sale)  RIGHT VIX: Me-made cotton gypsy top and me-made screen printed maxi skirt, Vintage turquoise sunglasses (20p, car boot sale)
We're off on at epic road trip visiting friends up North tomorrow and I'm already excited!

See you soon.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lunch Date - What I Wore For Wetherspoons

Victorian, Psychedelic, Indian, Native American, Handmade, Charity Shop, Vintage, African, Birkenstocks, Topknot, Car Boot Sale, Turquoise.....if I did Instagram I'd have worn out the hashtag button. 

I'm dressed for lunch in Walsall's Wetherspoons. Other than a couple of evenings out socialising and some charity shopping the past week has been mainly spent scratting around the garden in a frayed vintage sundress with my hair in a ratty bun. Sitting on the door step yesterday morning with the sun on my shoulders, feet bare & filthy, soil under my fingernails sowing coriander seeds in a salvaged chimney pot I couldn't have been more content. Not that I've got any desire to chuck it all in and live off grid in the countryside any time soon, I'd go mad if I didn't live within walking distance of charity shops, the pub and people.

Anyway, back to the clothes and there's pretty much nothing here you haven't seen before. A skirt I made from a 1960s screen printed curtain from a jumble sale, a charity-shopped antique Horrockses camisole, a traditional Ghanaian leather-bound basket bought from last years' Kaya Festival and a pair of vintage Italian sunglasses the car boot stallholder considered so ridiculous that she only wanted 20p for them.

The shorter of my two turquoise pendants is Native American, hand made in Canada. Along with the copper cuff, engraved with the same design, it was a gift from an old boyfriend to my Mum in the early 1960s after he'd spent a year or so travelling the world. I bought the other pendant for £2 from Age UK last week, the manager had hidden it away under the counter until she next saw me, knowing that I'd love it.

After hobbling around for ages I finally bit the bullet and treated myself to a brand new pair of silver Birkenstocks. I'm not really sure what took me so long. In the year leading up to my first hip replacement I rarely wore anything else although, ten years ago I had to have the left shoe built up at the hospital as my leg was so much shorter than my right (oh, the glamour!)  Being sensible has definitely paid off, I haven't had a twinge of pain in weeks and the orthopaedic surgeon is happy to put off surgery until next year. Hooray!

I was going to post this yesterday but what started out as a lunch date ended up with us staggering out of 'Spoons at 11pm. Today I'm back to the ratty bun and frayed sundress, there's a weed-strewn border and a packet of rocket that won't plant itself.

See you soon!