Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Here Comes Summer - We're Festival Ready!

Like Oscar Wilde I can resist anything but temptation. As is so often the case, I ended up bringing more home that I took with me to Vintage Village on Sunday. On the way to the loo, I bumped into trader friend Suzy and we escaped to the charity shop over the road from Stockport market hall where I found this canary yellow catsuit on the £1 rail.

I got some cracking stuff from my Marie of The Queen's Drawers' rails including this candy coloured nylon blouse which, combined with my 1960s cotton hot pants, suede go-go boots and retro jelly basket, Jon reckoned I had a bit of a Miami vibe going on. What a shame that I only wore it to the supermarket rather than South Beach.

This Suzy Ware tie-fronted blouse will need taking in but I'm loath to put it on my rails as I love it.

How fabulous is this 1970s JC Penney jumpsuit? I'm almost disappointed that it's too hot to wear at the moment - but it'll make the usually miserable British weather a lot more bearable when it goes back to normal.

I couldn't resist this zebra print dagger collared shirt. The Cat Charmant label is so cute.

I swooped on this 1970s Indian block print quilted cotton jacket on our neighbour's stall. It's reversible with fabric buttons on the patterned side and mother of pearl ones on the burgundy side. It's the perfect size and ideal for chilly festival evening and for wearing on our next flight to India. Price? £3!

Tomorrow we're heading off to the beautiful Cotswolds for the Cornbury Festival, described as being England's most civilised gathering. The journey from Walsall takes around two hours and set up should take another seven. We're leaving early as we want to be finished and ready with cans in hand for 7pm for England Vs Croatia, Jon's taking his laptop especially. Come on England, the whole country's behind you!
As you can see our new (secondhand) van is absolutely rammed and we've yet to pack the food and our own clothes. I've no idea what I'm taking yet, so far there's a backless floor length silver evening gown, some iridescent cat's ears and a sequined bustier on the pile. Practical as ever, me!

It'll be the fourth year of trading there and we love it. Fab customers (although my favourite visitors, Andrea, Mary & the girls will be missing it this year), a happy family of fellow traders and, most importantly, the organisers really look after us with a secure, traders only enclosure and our own - clean - toilets. Read all about our previous years at Cornbury HEREHERE and HERE.

Are we looking forward to spending the next seven weeks on the road? You bet! Especially as I've booked flights to Greece for the week after we get back in September. However mad the festival season gets (hopefully no more f*ck-ups like last year's Truck) we've got seven days of sea, sunshine, Mythos beer & Greek salads as big as my face to look forward to!

See you soon.

PS Good luck to Belgium tonight! 

Friday, 6 July 2018

Lets Be Frank - Forgotten Frocks, Refashioning and Ten Quid Vintage

What is it those strange minimalist types tell you? If you haven't worn it in six months then get rid of it or some such nonsense. This 1970s Frank Usher maxi has been hanging in my wardrobe for over two and a half years and today was the first time I've had it on my back. Maximalism rocks!

I wish I could say that I've given it a glamorous first outing but it was just a walk into town to pick up some bolts from Wilko and have a rummage around the chazzas. It made a good impression despite it's humble trip, a young woman even stopped her car to tell me how much she loved it. 

WEARING: 1970s Frank Usher maxi (Moseley Vintage & Retro Fair, December 2016), silver basket (British Heart Foundation), vintage Indian tribal pendant (Walthamstow Pop Up Vintage Fair), vintage Polaroids (car boot sale, 2016)
After the agony and the ecstasy of the England match on Tuesday night we weren't exactly firing on all cylinders on Wednesday morning but ,as we'd missed our regular shopping date last week when we met Ann & Jos to visit Attingham Park, thought we'd better check out the chazzas of our favourite town as the festival season kicks off next week and we might not get another chance for ages. 

I loved this souvenir apron from Grenada I found in the 50p bargain bin - just look at those shapely ladies.

Not that I had any intention of using it for its original purpose. Domestic goddess I ain't!
Out came the scissors and the sewing machine and half an hour later this backless halter top was born.

I wore it yesterday with a 1950s parasol I bought from a car boot sale and my great-great grandmother's lawn petticoat. I went with Jon to the hospital while he had his knees x-rayed (his knackered knees are the most likely reason behind his bad back - a common ailment with musicians). Who says I don't lead an exciting life?

I've been watching Jon like a hawk over the past month - every time he goes to do anything remotely physical I'm yelling belt! at him like a woman demented. I'm surprised he hasn't got a tan line from wearing the damned thing! Anyway, he's been watching his back and I'm happy to say that we'll be at Stockport's Vintage Village this coming Sunday.

Maybe it's the sunshine or the euphoria of the football but we've decided to have a massive £10 sale.

Here's just a bit of the stock we'll be taking. Nothing modern, no repro, no dross, just lots of great stuff including labels including Tootal, Jean Allen, Quad, Jaeger, Pringle, Gabicci and Kati for Laura Philips.

The Brazil Vs Belgium match about to kick off and a can with my name on it awaits.

I might love my Lundby of Sweden dolls houses and my Lotta of Stockholm clogs but tomorrow it's all about England....come on boys!!!!

See you soon.

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday. Do pop over and join in and see how incredible Patti looks in her Kinky Melon coat! 

Monday, 2 July 2018

On The Ball

When the lovely volunteers in my local hospice charity shop asked Jon to take some photos of me wearing this vintage John Charles chiffon strapless ballgown I bought from them last week we had to oblige.

John Charles was founded by designer Cherry Price in 1958, concentrating on special occasion wear. They were known in the 1970s and 1980s for party and dress-up occasion dresses that had a decidedly feminine look.* This dress dates from the mid-1970s. As always I'm intrigued how something so elegant ended up on the rails of a charity shop in a down-at-heel town in the Black Country. I love the bold floral print, I'd love to imagine it having been worn as a super sassy wedding dress. The previous owner was clearly no shrinking violet.

*Source: Vintage Fashion Guild

If you're wondering, this isn't an ancient forest or secret woodland. It's the bottom part of our garden and as wild as can be. I had to tuck my voluminous skirts into my knickers to negotiate the waist high weeds.  Anyone want to lend me a goat?

Apologies about the lack of blog posts (and commenting) of late, it's because we're getting festival ready. We've increased the size of our usual trade tent by two metres so we needed a dummy run to see how many more rails we could accommodate without it looking too cluttered. We've managed to add an additional four rails, a large table and have even built a changing room from plywood (as opposed the one we usually create out of vintage fabric, rope and pegs). Jon's wallpapering it tomorrow!

WEARING: Cropped & pom-pom trimmed top made by me using vintage fabric, 1980s Levi cut-offs & red leather belt (nicked from the stockroom). 

Much as I love trading at fairs, our festival pitch gives us an opportunity to show the general public who we really are. With fairs we only sell vintage but at festivals, while the majority of our stock is still vintage, our stock often includes pieces we've picked up on our travels around India, amazing clothes that aren't particularly old but are too cool to miss and crazy things I've made from vintage fabric and/or other people's trash. This year, in addition to clothes from the Victorian era through to the 1980s, there's bejewelled Kutchi bags, Rabari tribal necklaces and chunky Indian metal bangles. There's loud West African waxed cotton kipper ties & bucket hats and jewellery we've made from plastic toys, doll parts and leftover bits of wool. Like our home, our festival shop is decorated in a random mix of Indian temple tat, kitschy '70s toys, faded granny lampshades and vintage nautical flags. I've turned knackered umbrellas into parasols, customised denim, sewn dozens of wired headbands, and reworked gents' pinstriped waistcoats into something far less corporate. I've ironed over 200 dresses and checked over each and every of the thousand plus items we're taking. I've replaced missing buttons, dodgy zips, hooks and eyes and re-sewn hems. Everything has been priced, measured and sized and hung on the right coat hanger (I get really twitchy if things aren't on the right hanger!) After getting the thumbs up from neighbours, friends and even the postman .....Man, that is amazing! we finally took it all down and packed everything up this afternoon and we're absolutely knackered. Eight days before kick off proper!

I've also been missing in action as I've been glued to the footie, I'm already sick with nerves about tomorrow night's game. As the World Cup 2018 is shaping up to be the most exciting tournament ever I'll leave you with the greatest World Cup song ever. Come On Eng-ger-land!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

England 2 - Belgium 2 : A Trip To Attingham Park

This time tomorrow we'll be up against one another when England take on Belgium in the World Cup but today we played nicely when we met up with our friends, Polyester Princess Ann and husband Jos, at the magnificent Attingham Park in Shropshire.

If you remembered that we visited Attingham Park for my birthday then you'd be doing better than me because I'd completely forgotten we'd been! Back in December I'd worn the maxi Ann had sent me from Belgium for my birthday, today the sender of the dress was able to come with me.

Read my previous post HERE.

What a difference six months makes. On our first visit we didn't spend long lingering in the grounds as it was bitterly cold and blowing a gale. This time the mercury was nudging 30 degrees (the hottest day in the UK this year) and we could take our time.

In full bloom the walled gardens were breathtakingly lovely.

With the scorchio temperatures it felt more like the South of France than sunny Shropshire.

Not a cloud in the sky.

Ann and Jos have been holidaying the UK for years so were fully aware of how rubbish our weather usually is. Ann had hardly worn any of the cold & wet weather clothing she'd packed and was thrilled to find this maxi in a charity shop yesterday.

After a stroll around the orchard we walked five miles around Attingham deer park.

Days like today that make you appreciate how very beautiful England can be.

After lunch in the Stable tea rooms we wandered around the Georgian opulence that is Attingham Park. 

I've shared the interior before but here's a few things that caught my eye. Ann and I were in raptures over some of the vintage clothes on display. That maxi dress!!!

After exploring the house we returned to the cafe for another drink (it's thirsty work, all this sightseeing!)

After a few farewell photos we said our goodbyes - until next year. Let's hope bloody Brexit doesn't put a spanner in the works and affect our European friends being able to visit the UK.

See you soon.