Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Joys Of Second-hand Shopping

The exciting thing about being a dedicated second-hand shopper is that your home and wardrobe are constantly evolving. You just never know what you're going to come back with when you leave the house on a mission.

At the beginning of the week I had no idea that my dress collection would be boosted by another psychedelic maxi ...

or that we'd be spinning our vinyl on a groovy 1960s British-made Hacker record player, in perfect working order, snaffled from our favourite house clearance stall at this morning's car boot sale.

That I'd have a new addition to my Flamenco doll collection

 What a beauty!

that we'd find a psychedelic cow plate

To partner the one we already own.

That we'd rehouse a plant in a funky '50s woven plastic planter

Or light up our mantelpiece with some fairy lights

Or treat Gilbert (our VW Camper van) to some fab 1960s Tupperware storage containers. 

Second-hand shopping is a slow process and it can take years to build up a collection or find that one special something you're after but how exciting it is when you finally do. Your sought-after, much longed-for purchases will be far more precious to you than something bought off the shelf from a soulless department store.

How excited am I? Along with our friends Lyndsey & Steve at Boomerang Retro, Kinky Melon got featured in Vintage Village's Finds Of The Fair for April.

Have a fab long weekend - if you've got one. We'll be selling our wares in Bridgnorth on Saturday and maybe hitting a car boot or three on Bank Holiday Monday (that's if the weather plays nicely.)

See you soon!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Boot Sale Tales & Vintage Sales

 There I was on Thursday morning, arse in the air, rifling through a box of old tat at the car boot sale when a woman's voice behind me asked, Like 1960s and 1970s clothes, do you? 

We promptly struck up a conversation, swapped numbers and earlier today I went round to her place to buy a heap of gorgeous vintage clothes she'd inherited from her aunt. This amazing cape dress was just one of the treasures, here's most of the rest:

Getting up at the crack of dawn to stick on false lashes, do my hair and pick out something fabulous to wear isn't the behaviour of a mad woman, its the best way to get access to the good stuff. I doubt I'd get offers like this if I shuffled around dressed in the standard car booting attire of  scraggy pony tail, grotty jeans and a hoodie.

Anyway enough about me, how about Kinky's weekend?

Yes, it really, really, really is!

The mural and this groovy corner were snapped at Seven Miles Out, an amazing arts centre & cafe directly opposite the Victorian covered market hall that is Stockport's Vintage Village.

Kinky's pitch
We met so many cool folk and, despite it clashing with a big football match, sold loads. We enjoyed every minute. The good people of the North West really love their vintage.

What we wore:

I wore a 1970s psychedelic Corky Craig of California maxi dress Krista-licious gave me along with my cape-tain (seen HERE) and a shed load of junk jewellery, including my favourite recycled fruit wrapper bangle from the super groovy Señora Alnutt and my hoop earrings from Queen Helga.

Jon's shirt is a 1960s Carnaby St original from darling Curtise. His trousers were from the sweetest Squirrels and the Crimplene For Men safari jacket was nicked from Kinky Melon's stock room. His eBayed R Sole boots are his pride and joy.

1970s turquoise cape dress with a St Michael floral shopper (from Clare)
A busy week ahead beckons. We're restocking Blighty Bazaar and preparing for the Vintage Easter Fair in beautiful Bridgnorth, Gilbert's being naughty and needs a damn good seeing to and, as you can see from the state of that pot, the garden needs some serious attention.

See you soon!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Nothing Says Spring More Than Yellow Bri-Nylon

Said darling Curtise when I thanked her for sending me this insanely bright top.

1960s Dorothy Perkins maxi (vintage fair, 2009), Frida pendant made by the awesome Tamera

She apologised for the elastic being a bit clapped out but I didn't mind at all, I'd never done shirring before but in my anxiousness to wear my new top I grabbed the elastic, switched on the machine and set about it without a moment's hesitation, shouting Just call me Shere Khan to Jon. Shir can, get it? Ha! Never a dull moment in our house. 

Not that I'm one for seasonal dressing, I wear a bikini when its hot and a coat over the top when it isn't.

None of this running off to the shops for a new wardrobe when the season changes. Its lurid Hawaiian prints and gauzy cotton maxi dresses all year round for me. After all, isn't that why  thermal underwear was invented?

Look at me, getting down with the kids and taking a self portrait (I can't bring myself to type the "S" word, text speak appals me).
There is a hint of Spring in this pretty 1970s Richard Shops maxi I found in a charity shop this week. After an epic buying mission that's taken in charity shops, car boot sales and a secret rendezvous behind the back of a Black Country church hall its one of the few things I'm keeping for me (and, in line with Vix's Rules of Wardrobe Maintenance, I've removed a couple of items from my wardrobe to accommodate it).

This ridiculous 1970s shopper is also a keeper. the man selling it looked at me like I was some poor care in the community candidate when I screamed Oh my god at the top of my lungs when I spotted it at yesterday's car boot sale.

Taken by the lovely Dawn at My Vintage Events
We're venturing to the North West this weekend and taking Kinky Melon to Stockport's Vintage Village. If I didn't own it already I'd be hyperventilating over the stock we're taking. I feel quite sad for not having the time to photograph it all and record it for posterity before it finds new owners.

Have a fantastic weekend - see you on the other side!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Mid-Week Trip - Stone Love

The Tiger Cave
Fancy a bit of culture? This time I'm taking you to Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. These are part of the long-lost photos I rediscovered the other day (see Pondicherry HERE).

Littered with stone carvings, friezes and sanctuaries, Mahabalipuram is a UNESCO world heritage site and dates back to the 1st Century AD. 

The carvings were created by craftsmen brought to the area by the rulers of the Pallava Dynasty of South India in the 7th Century.

The area then became an open air school for carvers to perfect and showcase their art.

Krishna's Butter Ball 
 Even today the predominant noise is of chisel on stone from dawn until dusk (murder if you've got a hangover). 
The Tiger Cave
You can spend days wandering around here, admiring the craftsmanship and picnicking under the stones, shooing off greedy goats and hawkers flogging tat.

Mahabalipuram Temple
And once you've had your fill there's some fantastic restaurants and amazing roadside stalls crammed with trinkets, silk dresses from nearby Kanchipuram, hand-made leather chappals and tribal jewellery.

The Shore Temple dates back to the 7th Century. It has been known to sailors since the days of Marco Polo.

 The beach is gorgeous and virtually deserted. Most tourists check into the swanky five star hotels set discretely behind, preferring to sit on sunbeds around a swimming pool - crazy fools.

Approach to the Shore Temple
A free dance festival is held in village centre in January every year. 

Pancha Rathas
Mahabalipuram is well and truly on the tourist trail but time your sightseeing carefully and you won't be bothered too much.

For weeks we sat on the beach and watched the sun rise, listening to the chanting and smelling the incense wafting from the temple next to the beach.

 Five Rathas
Followed by idli sambar in the bhavan (cafe) by the bus station.

Before rocking out.

We'd sit, chat and share a masala chai with the stone carvers before heading to the beach for a few hours of sunbathing and swimming.

Arjuna's Penance
Then we'd return to our room for a shower, a cold beer and to contemplate our plans for later.

Here's where we stayed, Tina Blue View, a family run guest house right next to the beach. At less than £3.50 for the night it's deservedly popular and nearly always full.

Still with me? Hope you enjoyed getting stoned in Tamil Nadu.

See you soon.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Vix's Guide To Work Wear

What kind of job allows you to dress in lurex, catsuits, platform boots and feather boas? Mine!

These two outfits were my choice of work attire for a weekend of vintage selling.

Mind you, I'd be a pretty shitty seller if I didn't dress in head-to-toe vintage.

I don't hate clothing rules just because I'm a cantankerous old cow, its simply a revolt after a past spent in uniforms and adhering to corporate dress codes. Back in the bad old days I'd quietly refuse to conform by painting my toenails blue, going underwear-free and sticking a bejewelled ring through my belly button. My house was painted all shades of psychedelic craziness (so mad, in fact, that it once appeared on a local TV show) to make up for a 100 hour week of pinstripes, flesh coloured tights and a ugly blazer.

Underneath all that corporate polyester was a new tattoo itching like a bastard
These days I decorate my walls in subtle shades of ointment pink, old wedding dress white and wet cement and instead decorate my body in lime green, shocking pink and silvery turquoise and man, does it feel good!

1970s paisley catsuit (£10, Stourbridge vintage fair), navy feather boa (20p, car boot sale), recycled wrapper bangle (Mrs Allnut) and Sinful Nail Paint (fabulous Em)
Like some of Friday's commenters noted many women feel safer in sticking to style guidelines and, if that makes them truly happy, then bully for them.

Vintage lurex maxi (£1.99, charity shop) worn with 1960s psychedelic blouse (from Jo), denim waistcoat (from Lucy, formerly of Lucewoman) and Bollywood H-Bomb Helen brooch (handmade by Tania)

But, if you don't have to abide by a dress code, why not come on over to the sod-the-rules dark side and join me? It's bloody marvellous over here!

Joining Patti and the gang for Visible Monday then I'm off to bed 'cos I'm knackered. I promise to catch up with all my blog reading in the morning.