Thursday 28 November 2013

Women's Stuff

I was all set to walk into town today when the postman called with a bastard massive birthday parcel from Queen of Kiwiland, Helga. Off went my fake fur jacket, on went this luscious green crochet poncho and out I went.

I got so many elderly ladies stopping and asking if I'd made it myself I was tempted to start lying & telling them I had, but as I can't even get to grips with a simple chain, I thought I'd better be honest and not bask in someone else's glory.

Remember me mentioning a bizarre ebay buy we'd been to pick up on Monday morning? Well, this is it, a pair of 1950s shop display stands. 

I've always had a bit of a thing for old skool advertising, I can lose hours looking for vintage shop fittings on ebay and pouring over old adverts in magazines. 

Both Modess and Lilia were on sale from the mid-1920s.

Here's some girls-about-town checking out the Lilia stand.

I'd planned to use the stands for displaying stock at vintage fairs and within our soon-to-open shop space in Blighty Bazaar,

I've had fun doing a trial run in the lounge for Sunday's fair.

But I couldn't resist snaffling the other for our bathroom.

I scrubbed away the surface rust with a bit of wire wool and that was it. Painting would have ruined it, I like vintage to look vintage.

Usually this kind of stuff can go for loads of money and I assumed I'd be outbid but no, I was the only bidder. Maybe people were put off by the sanitary towel advertising, silly buggers. Half the populate menstruate, hardly taboo, is it?

1970s poncho worn with psychedelic Jeannie Jersey maxi skirt (Georgia-May's Vintage), 1970s St Michael cotton and lurex top (darling Curtise) and a heap of junk jewellery 

The other day one of my vintage trading friends bought a vintage piece of airline uniform for his wife from eBay and the seller, assuming he was buying it for some pervy purpose, send him a bonus gift - her thong (fortunately a clean one). He's passed it on to me to use as a sort of relay baton, the holder has to do something inventive with it and pass it on to another member of the vintage selling crew.

Have you spotted it?

I've an exciting blogger meet-up planned for tomorrow. Watch out if you're in the Black Country and standing in the way of something good in a charity shop, you may get trampled to death.

See you soon!

Monday 25 November 2013

The Way We Wore

My idea of "menopausal dressing" would involve elasticated polyester slacks, orthopaedic shoes and a fleece, but if the fashion bloggers say it's wearing hot pink, then who am I to argue?

Photo courtesy of Emma Charlotte Makes
My workwear got a rip-roaring reception from both stallholders and customers alike at Saturday's vintage fair. I couldn't give a toss about being youthful, been there, done that, had the bad skin & the angst and now it's someone else's turn. As long as I'm happy, who gives a toss if I look my age? Not me, that's for sure.

My outfit was provided by my dear blogging pals. The California-made maxi was from the beautiful & talented Jean, the recycled juice wrapper bangle from fabulously funky Senora Alnutt and the neon wig was my choice of Wonderland Wig from a competition Helen ran on her Mancunian Vintage blog.

1970s safari jacket (Age UK), French wool cap (bought 16 years ago), Carrot leg skinnies (Compton Hospice), R Soles snakeskin boots (eBay).
A man driving past Saturday's venue spotted Jon having a smoke outside and, accompanied by his wife, made a diversion to find him as he loved his style. He came away with a groovy 1970s green velvet smoking jacket Jon suggested would suit him.

Look at this tremendously stylish couple who paid us a visit over the weekend, they're Ros Jana's parents. It's obvious where she gets her beauty from.

The tea room was run by the ladies who sold me the groovy 1960s swimsuit last month and was incredible - and that's from a woman who doesn't "do" sweets. Not a naff c** cake in sight.

Angela Gore, London maxi dress (Judith and Bertha Vintage)

I sold lots but did I buy? Hell, yes. I spotted a twin to THIS dress poking from a clothes rail two pitches away and rushed over like a woman demented for a closer look, discovering that it was not only maxi length but two sizes smaller than my bit-on-the-big-side Baklash one. It belonged to the seller's Grandma, a former mayoress. It was one of her favourite evening dresses for official dos in the late 1960s.

It got its first official outing today, not a glam dinner dance but a mission to collect a couple of bizarre vintage items in Peaky Blinders country I'd won on eBay over the weekend.
(I'll share them later this week once I've scrubbed them down).

You're not mistaken, we did do two vintage fairs this weekend but, being the premenstrual dimwit I can be, I left the camera battery at home in the charger. You'll just have to believe that our pitch looked great and that I didn't wear beige, sportswear or a wolf fleece.

There's another vintage fair at Newhampton Arts Centre in Wolverhampton this weekend, looks like this week will be spent finding some more stock, it's a hard life.

See you soon!

Thursday 21 November 2013

Boom, Boom, Boom

This is no ordinary vanity case.

This is part of a project Jon's been working on, rescuing old and unloved pieces of vintage luggage and transforming them into bad ass boomboxes.

After weeks of being dragged around the geekish, male-dominated world of Maplin, sharing the dining table with odd-looking gadgets and popping to the Post Office to pick up mysterious parcels, today an electrician has awarded his vintage boomboxes a British safety certificate, meaning that not only are they cool to look at but they won't blow your house up if you use one.

That bloke of mine is not only a stylish beast but also a blinking genius.

We've another full-on weekend of vintage selling at Bridgnorth on Saturday and Mere Green on Sunday.

Here's just a teensy selection of the groovy clobber we'll have on offer, in addition to our custom built sound machines.

And if that doesn't tempt you, just wait until you see what I'll be wearing (courtesy of fabulous parcels recently received from dear friends, Jean, Helen and Senora Allnut).

1970s satin maxi (Baklash, Nottingham), Fringed leather crop top (the divine Helga), Cobalt and jade suedette ankle boots (£5, market stall), wooden beads (supermodel Tania), African trading bead earrings (supremely talented Tamera)

I was stunned to see that the wearing of bright pink being described as "Menopausal" so I'm planning on going overboard on Saturday (at 2 weeks shy of 47 I am probably on the cusp). When I tried my outfit on earlier one of the cats ran for his life. Let's hope it doesn't have the same effect on any potential customers.

See you soon!

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Family Ties

So much seems to have happened since I last blogged - two amazing vintage fairs, a gallery preview and some successful charity shopping and, if we're friends on Facebook, you'll have seen most of it already, so let's talk about something completely different - my heritage.

I come from a long line of hoarders, people far more interested in the past than the present, which may go a little way in explaining why I love vintage clothes and old houses so much, its in my genes. My Grandpa's aunt Phyllis spent a large part of her life researching the family tree, a tattered document which, after she died in 1977, got passed on to me.

Without the internet it must have taken years to trace our lineage back to Sir Thomas Guy, the founder of Guy's Hospital, London (1644 - 1724).

The scary woman in the hat was his second cousin, Sarah, and the pious looking chap, her husband James Robison.

Together they had nine children, their daughter Sarah (above) married John Cook of Greenwich in 1757.

This miniature is of Harriet (1780 - 1846) one of Sarah and John's ten grandchildren.

Harriet married Andrew Chapman of Trentham in 1806 and gave birth to seven children. The eldest, Robert (1808 - 1885) wed Mary Alice Johnson (1817 - 1882) of Knowsley in 1845. 

Alice, as she was known, was the original owner of not only the brooch I wear,

but also my monogrammed locket,

and mourning jacket.

Alice's son, John James (1853 - 1910) married Elizabeth Adams (b.1854) in 1879 and had 8 children. 

Her first-born was my great grandmother, another Mary Alice (again, known as Alice).

One of her six sisters, Bessie, was the owner of the autograph album I wrote about here.

  Alice married Thomas William Harris at St Michael's Church, Stone in 1908.

His deed box travels with us to all of our vintage fairs.

I have Alice's wedding dress 

She and Thomas lived here.

Thomas outside the garden gate.

Alice in the 1920s

They had one child, my Grandpa, Reginald William, born in 1913.

He married my Grandma, Joan Mary Crosby of Chester, in 1940

They had a daughter, Jennifer Mary, in 1942

Who married in 1966 and I came along a lot sooner than was considered respectable.

The rest , as they say, is history.

1970s maxi (from the magnificent Helga)

The Cheshire Rifleman's jacket from the Boer War, Great-Grandfather's top hat and the handsome daguerreotype who went mad? That's from my maternal Grandma's side and another blog post in the making.

Hope you enjoyed the history lesson.

See you soon!