Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Shiny, Shiny, Shiny Boots of Leather.....


As traditional ideas of what constitutes feminine interests go I'm a pretty poor excuse for a woman. Weddings bore me, I don't have a maternal bone in my body, I hate rom-coms, don't wear perfume, prefer best bitter to wine, have never seen Sex & The City, Love, Actually or Dirty Dancing, I don't fancy the bloke off Poldark, can take or leave chocolate and, in the past five years, I've probably spent less than a hundred quid on shoes.


Its not that I don't appreciate fine footwear but, as a confirmed maxi wearer, who sees my feet anyway? I'd rather save my cash for festivals, travel and having fun and just get my meagre collection of mostly second-hand shoes patched up by the cobbler. 


If I do fancy a change then there's loads of women out there who wear their shoes just a few times before getting bored and flogging them off at the car boot sale. Like these yellow leather, stack heeled beauties I snapped up for 50p yesterday. This time last year they retailed at £65 which is the same amount of money that we spent on accommodation for half of the month we spent travelling India.


If my new-to-me yellow boots weren't enough fab footwear for one day, less than an hour later, be still my beating heart, I spotted these. Original 1960s black leather & suede lace-up boots in my size. My 50p piece was handed over in less than the blink of an eye.


According to my friend Amie, some people have a real problem with the thought of wearing second-hand shoes. More fool them. A quick once-over with a wet wipe and a brisk polish and they're as good as new. After a near lifetime of wearing other people's cast-offs my feet have yet to fall off and the money I've saved from splurging on fancy shoes has gone towards the most incredible experiences.

Faith yellow boots (50p, car boot sale) worn with 1970s old rose print maxi (99p, eBay), fringed bodysuit (£1.49, Age UK), 1960s suede waistcoat (Xmas present from Liz), vintage tooled leather owl bag (£2, Islamic Relief)
I've just realised my entire outfit cost £4.98. I bet I'm the cheapest date over at Patti's party today.

See you soon!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

China Girl



The temperature has dropped by 20 degrees since last week, but every cloud has a silver lining and all that. It gave me a chance to road test this 1930s Chinese brocade opera coat when I popped down to Post Office to retrieve a parcel.


If only clothes could talk. I wonder who owned this before me. I bet they were insanely glamorous.


The beauty of a full length coat means that you can chuck anything on underneath and no-one will be any the wiser.



So my Yootha Joyce-inspired trouser suit I'd spent the best part of Monday making went unnoticed. That's probably just as well as the waistband isn't quite finished and there's a safety pin where the button should be.


The patchwork printed crimplene was £1.50 at Saturday's car boot sale and a friend gave me the 1974 Style pattern. Em made the pin cushion.


Talking of sewing I made this jumpsuit on Thursday evening out of an old bed cover. I wore it to Friday's jumble sale and a few ladies in the queue admired it. That's my Walsall-made Tarantella suede jerkin.


Here's this afternoon's task, ironing and labelling this humongous heap of new stock ready for the weekend and yes, that really is a purple satin sequin trimmed bra rubbing shoulders with a 1960s lime green linen coat.


I shouldn't have tried on this 1970s embroidered hippy-tastic jacket, made in Afghanistan and probably brought back as a souvenir from the overland trail. It might have to be a keeper!

Wearing: 1930s opera coat (vintage fair) with a 1970s felt hat (car boot sale), Mongolian lamb boa (jumble sale).

If you fancy a sequinned bra or some seriously groovy vintage clobber get yourself down to Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair in Birmingham on Saturday or Chester on Sunday.

See you soon!

Linking to Judith's Hat Attack.


Sunday, 26 April 2015

My Head Is A Jungle


Where do I start? Since I last posted I've been to two more car boot sales (both buying and selling) and a raucous lunch-time jumble sale and sewn some bed cover couture. The house looks like a charity shop sorting depot, the mending pile is almost as tall as I am and the washing machine has barely stopped since Thursday. I could show you our finds, share some of the incredible new-to-me vintage dressmaking patterns I'm itching to get started on or reveal Jon's latest DIY project but sod that, we went out last night and that's such a rare event these days (vintage fairs play havoc with the social life) it's got to be shared.


Liz invited us round to theirs for a Mexican dinner so I just had to dress accordingly. Forget boring old age appropriate, I'm food appropriate! 


I borrowed this insane vintage Flamenco maxi skirt from the Kinky Melon stockroom. The crazy 1980s ruffled crop top was bought for £3 on a blogging day out HERE.
The rose crown was handmade by Desiree a couple of years ago and the vintage Austrian belt was a pressie from Helga.


 Bangles - all second-hand. The wooden bird one was from an amazing charity shop which raises funds for stray cats and dogs in Goa (details HERE). Tamera made me the Frida pendant and the feather earrings were 99p from the Walsall branch of Topshop's closing down sale 4 years ago.




Baked Nachos and jalapeño bread for starters.


Gorgeous tableware.


Liz & Adrian


Rocket salad.


Spicy corn kernels


Crispy potatoes


My vegetarian fajitas were gorgeous. Wetherspoons' Mexican Monday pales into insignificance.


Liz & Disco



The Lizzes & me. Hostess, Liz, is on the left of the screen.


Despite knocking back the best part of two bottles of wine I'm feeling fine. Better crack on with the mending pile after I've caught up with my blog reading. Next weekend is a back-to-back vintage fair extravaganza and those rails need to be full!

See you soon.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Field of Dreams - The Midweek Car Boot Sale



According to Google today is Earth Day so what could be more appropriate than heading to a field in the gorgeous Staffordshire countryside and recycling our knackered old tat precious belongings?


It's been 4 years since we last sold at a car boot sale (HERE) and we'd forgotten how much fun it is. You simply pile your vehicle with unwanted stuff, arrive any time after 7am, hand over your £7 pitch fee and lay out your wares. Unlike a vintage fair you don't need to book in advance and you can sell anything, from unwanted household goods and clothes to food, tools, plants and building materials.


As soon as you park up you're inundated. Crowds will descend around the van, pulling boxes out and unpacking bags before you've even set foot outside.


Within 15 minutes of arriving we'd sold at least a third of our stock. Rolls of wallpaper, broken computer parts, half bottles of perfume and bath towels were gone in the blink of an eye. We even flogged our vacuum cleaner. Why are you taking that? Asked Jon When was the last time we used it? Said I.


My rail of vintage clothes went down well at £1 an item.


Having Gilbert is ace, you can brew fresh coffee and eat hot buttered toast while the other traders look on in envy. He's also a massive draw to our pitch, who doesn't love a vintage V Dub?


When I stopped being an employee and started working for myself it blew my mind to discover the secret society that is the midweek car boot sale. From retired people supplementing their pensions and antique dealers offloading their house clearance trash to traditional market traders & dodgy geezers with fake tobacco and counterfeit DVDs, all life is here.


Jon chatting to a neighbour, a builder by trade, selling off the contents of a derelict house he's just bought.


People always like to chat. Today we met a man who was in the same army squadron as a good friend of ours who lives in Goa. What are the chances, eh?



Wearing: Hawaiian maxi from Krista-licious, 1960s psychedelic scarf (a present from a friend), Vintage plastic earrings (car boot sale), perspex belt (Urban Outfitters via Liz), 1970s sunglasses (Moseley Vintage & retro Fair, 2014) 

Bare arms and vintage Hawaiian maxis in April, bring it on!


Rummaging through boxes of TV remote controls and phone chargers on the stall opposite kept the male customers occupied all morning. Jon treated himself to a pair of posh headphones for £2 - he's worryingly quiet now.


This dapper gent was doing a roaring trade.


The chip van is always the most popular stall.


Our mannequin got more than a few lecherous looks.


It would have been rude not to wander round the other stalls once the initial rush had subsided.


Did I buy? Oh yes!


Forget The Cat In The Hat. This cat on a hat must be the coolest vintage head wear I've ever owned. Both that and the groovy 1960s paisley sun hat fit my massive head a treat. The orange glass necklace was a gift from one of my favourite stallholders.


Also this handmade red crimplene maxi, 1960s sheepskin & leather coat and a rather fabulous Marion Donaldson hippy-tastic maxi.


A few vintage purchases, a wad of cash, a suntan and an empty garden shed. What's not to love about a car boot sale? We might have to go back and do another one this weekend.

See you soon!