Friday 28 February 2014

Hostess With The Mostest

 That's a proper dinner party dress, I thought, when I unfolded this vintage maxi from Linda's parcel of joy, already picturing my hair piled high in a huge topknot, draped across the kitchen table, sharing my favourite recipe for dhal fry served up in my groovy collection of retro tableware.

Talk about the best laid plans and all that.... this morning, as well as my roots, I've managed to dye my forehead a lovely shade of Superdrug's Natural Black, which no amount of nail polish remover has managed to shift - so there's fat chance of an elegant up-do.

And, if I'm not battling with a cat (or three) for possession of the kitchen table,

it's Jon with his Novum Deluxe IV sewing machine and a pile of vintage old men trousers to be skinnied up. There's precious room for me, Sixties ceramics and South Indian delicacies.

Jon, Walsall's answer to Billy Idol

If you're wondering about his sewing talents they hark back to his punk days. He couldn't afford Vivienne Westwood's prices so, like me, he used his mum's Singer to customise stuff he'd bought from jumble sales. We really are a match made in heaven!

In the absence of kitchen space you'll have to make do with my corner of the lounge, the bit not littered with salted peanuts, biscuit crumbs, cat hair and clippings from VW Camper magazine. You'll notice my chair is strategically placed next to the bar (those knitted poodles house the Lidl rum & value cola, I'm such a classy bird).

1970s Crimplene hostess dress worn with Ultraviolet opaques (Xmas, 2010), orange suede platforms (Helga the great) and an Urban Outfitters neon & perspex belt (present from Liz, 2011), Beaded earrings (Auroville Ashram, Pondicherry, India 2011)
Plans for the weekend? Ours will no doubt involve real ale, curry and avoiding the forecast snow as much as humanely possible.

Have a good one & see you soon!

PS Check out our friend Jo's amazing portraits of Curtise, Sandra and me.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Cat Fight

When it comes to wearing animal print I don't hold with any of that toning it down nonsense.

Its highly camp, over-the-top & ridiculous and it turns heads so, if you've already got everyone's attention, why not make staring worth their while?

 Last week Hey Homewrecker! Linda sent me a marvellous parcel of joy, each item worthy of a post in its own right. Friday's post featured the nightie and today this '70s tiger print C&A frock gets an outing. Buoyed up by last night's British Sewing Bee I hacked 6 inches off the hem before I left the house this morning, midi length makes me look like a midget.

Pony print bangle (Ilaria), Fruit wrapper (Senora Allnut) and the rest from charity shops
Several of my blogging friends have recently discussed essentials they can't live without - from grey tee shirts and pencil skirts to skinny jeans & blazers. Nothing as grown-up for me, just a shed load of cheap bangles.

I didn't realise how far my addiction had spiralled out of control until I emptied out my bangle chest and managed to fill an entire bucket with the bastard things.

This is where they usually reside, in the larger of the two chests. These used to sit on Mum's dressing table we were children and I vividly remember my brother and I rummaging through them and discovering our baby teeth in an envelope, forever ruining tales of the tooth fairy. 

Look how organised I am - three drawers - one for plastic, one for silver and the other for wood and brass.

This is the larger of the two after Vixification - trimmed with pompom braid (bought at cost price from my number one fan on the market), decoupaged with Bollywood posters and with the missing drawer pull replaced with a brass button from a vintage blazer.

A Bollywood-inspired bangle bureau!

Tiger print dress worn with 1950s fake leopard coat (£5, Age UK), 1950s rose bag (20p, car boot sale, 2006), crochet corsage (handmade by Sarah Misfit), 1960s velvet & rhinestone choker (£2.50, vintage fair)

Today's been a whirlwind of chazzing, spring-cleaning Ebbie (she's the 1971 VW Type 4, 411LE Variant behind me) and running errands. Jon's got himself a vintage sewing machine in absolutely mint condition. If you're very lucky I might be able to capture him at work altering his trousers.

See you soon.  

Monday 24 February 2014

Lets Go Charity Shopping!

Yay! Liz had the day off work today so we indulged in our favourite pastime, ransacking the chazzas of the West Midlands for cheap, impractical and frivolous things.

Armed with big bags (Liz made this beauty),

Sensible shoes (mine!),

...and a £4.30 daysaver.

We caught the bus to Royal Sutton Coldfield to explore.

Here's just a few of the town centre charity shops.

We made frequent stops for refreshments (and to inspect our purchases). I bought this 1960s groovy perspex candle holder (99p) and the flower power PVC bangle (50p)

Liz snaffled this 1960s Kangol angora beret for £2.50

No girls' day out would be complete without the obligatory Wetherspoons lunch - cheese & tomato panini with chips and a generous measure of dry white wine (£5.69 a head - bargain!)

It seemed a shame not to make full use of the day saver ticket so, once we'd exhausted Sutton, we jumped on the bus to nearby Boldmere and explored the chazzas there.

Liz got some hand knitted gloves, an embellished warehouse dress, a Laura Lees For TopShop silk blouse, a paisley print shift dress and a satin work shirt.

I bought this odd wood-mounted picture 'cos I can't resist a pretty lady (especially when she's a cheap one).

These 1970s saucers (at 25p each) will be great on the kitchen windowsill as plant pot stands.

A ceramic poodle thermometer for 75p? How could I resist?

Crimplene maxi (my mate Curtise), 1960s vinyl bag & hat (charity shops), fake fur coat (£7, clearance sale 2012)

Talk about a good day, on the way home the owner of my favourite Indian trimmings market stall let me have a big bag of pom pom braiding for cost price and Jon had not only unloaded the van & put away all the stock from yesterday but also had jacket potatoes ready & waiting.

See you soon!

Linking to Patti's Visible Monday and Judith's Hat Attack.

Friday 21 February 2014

I've Bin Busy - The Bollywood Makeover

I know, I know, in the grand scheme of things there's little in life less mundane than a waste paper bin but the one in our bedroom irks me each time I look at it, shabby 1950s roses just aren't my thing.

Undeniably useful and stupidly cheap (I bought a pair of them for 20p from a jumble sale), yesterday I decided it was high time the damned thing got a makeover.

Using my best ever find from Poundland - a £25 coffee table book of Bollywood movie posters ( I was hyperventilating when I bought this, I'd lusted after it at Mumbai airport for hours), 

I scanned, cropped and printed off some suitably groovy vintage images, including ultimate bikini-clad babe, Sharmila Tagore, in An Evening In Paris.

I glued the images to the outside of the bin, leaving them to dry overnight.

Then I sealed the outside with a coat of varnish.

Finally I glued some leftover Indian pom pom braid to the top and ta-dah!

A Bollywood-tastic bedroom bin fit to grace any retro-lovin' babe's boudoir at a total cost of absolutely nothing.

I blame the gorgeous Suzanne for this creative madness, earlier this week she'd commented: I've decided you are a vintage wizard. I could give you an old tin can, some bobby pins and a straw hat and a piece of frill from an old apron you'd make that work too. I couldn't oblige with the rest of the list but I reckon the old tin bin counts.

Vintage nylon nightie (courtesy of the lovely Linda in Belfast), 1970s neon orange mules (Cancer UK)
We're packed and raring to go selling at Moseley's Vintage & Retro Fair on Sunday (Birmingham's hippest suburb). Have a fab weekend and see you on the other side!

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Oh Baby! More Curtain Couture

Knee length skirts, cutesy animal prints and girly ice cream shades, not my usual thing, but there's a distinctly Spring-like friskiness in the air this morning hence the cheery colours, frivolous print and gratuitous leg flashing.

The buds are about to burst.

Signs of growth in my containers...

...and Jacob's out of hibernation!

I bought this 1960s nursery curtain from a jumble sale. I've no idea why, possibly I had the same in my room as a baby but, more likely, I was still drunk from the night before. The rabbit with a rattle looks worryingly demonic.

Last nights' Great British Sewing Bee (and such a positive reaction to Sunday's Go-Go dress) had me all fired up. This curtain was the first thing to hand in my fabric stash, it fitted the 1971 Jiffy pattern perfectly and I managed to knock it up in an hour. 

Young Vix would have looked at this outfit in horror. She'd have worried that people wouldn't know she'd had a grammar school education, an IQ of 145 and was once a member of Junior Mensa if she walked around town in a skirt bedecked with squirrels and bunny rabbits. Who'd know she was a serious Indie fan if she didn't dress in head to toe black with bad ass 16 hole Doc Martens?

Old Vix couldn't give a toss. I know I'm an intelligent woman with great taste in music, if a stranger chooses to dismiss me as a empty-headed Barbie girl it's not my loss. 

Jumble sale skurtain worn with 1960s ribbed sweater (50p, car boot sale), Suedette candy-coloured platforms (£5, off the market), bubblegum pink opaques (present from Jon, 2012)
I've had a brilliant couple of days of second-hand shopping success which is currently piled high on the settee and in danger of smothering the cats if I don't get it washed, ironed and put away plus there's Moseley Vintage & Retro Fair to prepare for (details HERE). Better step away from the internet and get my arse in gear.

See you soon!