Friday, 16 March 2018

Charity Shopping & Mini Makes



Look! I'm finally out of the doll's house and back to full-size. Here in the real world, life continues as usual. We've been out and about vintage hunting so the washing machine is on overdrive and I'm back to mending like a maniac. In vehicle news Jon's trusty mechanic managed to weld the undercarriage back on to the van (that's the works van - Gilbert is enjoying his annual winter break) so the need to replace it isn't quite so urgent.


You'll be pleased to hear that I've been wearing clothes. Today's outfit is a '70s cotton maxi by Gerard of Paris - it's been on the rails in the stockroom for ages as no-one but me can get the zip up, I think that's a sign from the vintage selling gods telling me that I have to keep it. The maxi coat was a £2 bargain - not the greatest quality but the colour, described as freesia, makes me very happy. The brass necklace is made by a hill tribe in Orissa (another Indian state on my must-visit list) but bought in Tamil Nadu. The papier mache bangles are Kashmiri but found in Black Country chazzas. The 1950s beach bag came from a car boot sale years ago and cost me 20p.


Monday's outfit consisted of a British-made maxi dress I bought new (!) in the dregs of the winter sales for £2. As it's so low cut, I stuck an emerald green charity shopped swimsuit underneath to preserve my modesty. The Welsh wool cape last made an appearance on the blog before we went to India. 


I picked up this super funky denim jacket for £2 in the charity clearance shop on Wednesday. Labelled Marguerite Thursby, a bit of internet research revealed that she was one of the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong's leading dressmakers of the 1970s, her clothes were worn by, amongst others, the then governor's wife, Lady MacLehose. I'm wearing it was my beloved slinky psych maxi I bought from eBay for 99p years ago - at £2.99 this got to be one of my cheapest outfits.

I nearly walked past it - I find the charity shops that colour co-ordinate their stock an absolute nightmare to shop in - but the zips caught my eye. Nothing says 1970s more than a big white plastic zip. 


If the weather forecast is to be believed we're in for more snow this weekend so finding this Missoni wool scarf in another clearance charity shop couldn't have come at a better time - although Jon's claiming finder's rights to it. 

Swedish Hasbeens for £1.99 in Banardos? Don't mind if I do. Roll on Summer!

I'd show you our latest finds but they're already packed for this weekend's back-to-back vintage selling extravaganza, which kicks off with Walthamstow tomorrow (details HERE) followed by Moseley on Sunday (details HERE). 


It's not often I come across 1950s dresses in such pristine condition (two are by Horrockses) so I did photograph these beauties the minute I got them home. I'll be taking them along with us at the weekend. 


Meanwhile, back in the world of miniatures, here's my new sewing space. The cupboard is made from matchboxes, dressmaking pins and beads and covered in a photo of our curtains. The Picasso is from a 1970s necklace and the patterns are photocopies of some of my stash, scaled down and printed off. The ferns came from a plastic palm tree I found in a 20p charity shop rummage box. The metal sewing machine was £1.75 from eBay.


The kitchen is coming together. I won these 1970s Lundby cupboards on eBay for £2.19. I found pictures of the original kitchen set they came from and printed off an imagine of the splash back onto glossy photo paper, glued it to heavy duty card and then attached both cupboards.

The flooring has the same black and white quarry tiles in our real-life kitchen and also, just like Stonecroft, no.62 has patchwork curtains.


I'm having so much fun playing with miniatures I've just gone and bought another doll's house! Pictures to follow shortly.

See you soon!

71 comments:

  1. Oh I wish I could wear those 50's dresses but I'm afraid my figure is unfortunately not conducive to wearing anything like that :(

    You look fabulous as always.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! Those 1950s dresses are tiny but they're amazingly bright and vibrant considering they're over 60 years old! xxx

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  2. Fab denim jacket, would look great with any pattern. Great find! More snow! What the......stock up on rum my friend (can you find a miniature rum bottle for your doll house? Maybe with wee limes?)

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    1. We're on the same wavelength, T- I've found four mini bottles of rose (another of my favourite tipples)! xxx

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  3. Oh you are making me laugh with your miniature world. I’m glad Jon managed to get the van fixed in time for the weekends trading. Hope it’s a good one for you.
    We are off to the Lowry theatre to see Matthew Bourne’s production of Cinderella (fingers crossed the snow passes is by).
    Love to you both xxx

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    1. That sounds like a wonderful cultural outing - have fun! Keeping my fingers crossed that the snow melts quickly! xxx

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  4. Not entirely certain what "freesia" has to do with the acid yellow color of that maxi coat but the cut & fit are divine!
    Love the Picasso sewing room.
    AAAH, I have a yellow kitchen too!
    xox

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    1. I suppose it makes a change from describing yellow as buttercup! It looks surprising okay considering I'd probably go up like a firework if anyone came near me with a naked flame!!! x

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  5. Great finds as always! I'm actually going to the Walthamstow fair tomorrow, so may see you there! x

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    1. Come and say hello if you do, I'd love to meet you! x

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  6. That green maxi is gorgeous on you!! I'm loving the miniatures!

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  7. the first dress has my favorite color - but alas - would fit only one leg.....
    ;-D
    and you look so fab in it together with the acid yellow coat and the funky bag!!
    the jean jacket remembers me of one i had as a 12 year old - 1980.... and i have hasbeens envy - we never have such cool shoes in the 2.hand-shops. love the sewing room - of cause one has to have a picasso over the machine table - for inspiration!
    i wish you luck at the fairs!!! xxxx

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    1. That first dress is a beauty - they all are, although I look terrible in that girly style, like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
      I can't believe I found Hasbeens, they're comfy, too. xxx

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  8. Those 50's dresses ought to sell quick-they're beautiful. Great news about the van-one less thing for you to worry about.
    Those are the least Hasbeen looking Hasbeens ever-probably why I like them.

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    1. I love finding rare beauties like those dresses, the previous owner really looked after them, they're pristine and freshly laundered, too.
      The Hasbeens are quite elegant, aren't they? Shame they're black but you can't have it all! xxx

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  9. I like the 50s dresses bet they go fast. The dolls house is so much fun, can't wait to see the second one! hope your van holds out with the travelling over he weekend.

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    1. They're pretty, aren't they? It's a shame my mannequin is a curvy girl, I'd love to display them on the stall tomorrow! xxx

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  10. Your 50's dresses are beautiful. I love the skirt you're wearing with your denim jacket too, it really caught my eye.
    I hope your weekend trading goes well and isn't hindered by the beast 2! It's been 18 degrees here today, can't believe minus figures are forecast for tomorrow. xxx

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    1. Aren't they beautiful dresses? Back in the early 1980s when I started collecting vintage clothes they were relatively easy to come by, these days - 30 years later - not many survive in such good condition.
      Fingers crossed the weatherman's wrong. It was 14 here today, positively balmy! xxx

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  11. Aren't you a sight for sore eyes in your Gerard of Paris maxi with the "freesia" maxi coat and your stunning brass necklace. Total love for the 1970s denim jacket as well. It reminds me of one I had back then. And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who hates it when charity shops colour co-coordinate their clothes! I was in a shop once where they'd even added helpful labels proclaiming "red", "green", "pink". Love your further additions to No.62. Wishing you good trading at Walthamstow (which always reminds me of East 17) and Moseley. I'm sure those dresses won't be coming back home with you! xxx

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    1. I don't understand why chazzas do that. It's not like anyone goes out charity shopping with a colour in mind, you just want something that fits you, don't you. Size order please!!!
      All I knew about Walthamstow was East 17, too until I discovered the William Morris connection. It's just been named the borough of Culture for next year, too! xxx

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  12. I saw Horrockses dresses in a vintage shop - cor, the prices! Good catch - well, lots of good catches!

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    1. I know! The last one I had I sold to a dealer for £120, she doubled her money!!! xxx

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  13. What fun to watch you create a parallel universe that is uniquely yours! Another private world I enjoyed entering was a medieval landscape set in a very large aquarium. It had the Disney Land castle with turrets and real water in the moat, a lawn with statues and shrubs, and a sunny patio in front of the dragon's cave. This was the home of a gentleman's bearded dragon, a compromise devised so that his pet lizard could live in style in his new wife's otherwise conventionally elegant lounge.

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    1. I love the sound of the Medieval Atlantis in a fish tank! How thoughtful of the gentleman pet owner to consider his wife's interior decor! xxx

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  14. My daughter would buy those dresses immediately if she saw them on your rails-they look like htey were made for her. If she didn't have a cool techie job, I'd say she was born in the wrong decade. You, as always, look lovely. I might fit an arm in the denim jacket, but what a find-would go with just about any bold dresses with a hint of blue, but how you have it paired, I really love.

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    1. I love that your daughter loves vintage but works in tech, that's such a quirky mix!
      I was really excited to find the jacket, it's quite an unassuming piece but it'll go with anything! xxx

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  15. Hasbeens and Horrockses...wow, what finds! Plus all the other bits and pieces are pretty amazing too. I am loving your miniature vintage life; it's like me and my floral garden love. Who knew small could be such fun? Zxx

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    1. I've done pretty well for a woman who isn't into labels!!
      I can't believe how miniatures are taking over my life - it's mad but fun! xxx

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  16. Miniatura is on at the NEC 24th/25th March....I shall be working and trying my hardest not to spend!
    Arilx

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    1. Is it? I'm not working next weekend...hmmmmmmm!!! xxx

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  17. I'm always amazed at the things in your charity shops! Love your outfits, at first glance I thought the freesia maxi coat was part of the dress it goes so well.
    I'm at a couple of fairs myself this weekend and we have a bloody amber warning for snow, so I'm hoping it comes to nothing! Hope you have good trading!

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    1. Just when i think it's all tat something amazing pops up, I suppose it's what keeps us addicted to charity shops!
      I hope this snow comes to nothing. I'm so tired of it now.
      Good luck with finding vintage treasure! xxx

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  18. Lovely! You've been scoring very well lately.

    That first dress you're wearing is stunning. I need more people like you shopping at my Etsy store...I have quite a few very tiny pieces I will never fit into.

    I've been on a bit of a break lately but when the husband goes back to Hong Kong on Sunday I'll be back full force and I feel the itch to get out to the thrift stores again.

    Suzanne

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    1. Welcome back!
      I can have small dresses for ages - I get really excited when I spot someone little in 1970s gear approaching my stall.
      I bet you're dying to get back and hunting again. The good thing about shopping secondhand is that we don't know what we missed when we were away! xxx

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  19. You seem to find the loveliest things, Vix. I love your "freesia" coat. It looks great over that maxi. Your dolls house is really charming. I love that you are doing it up like your own house. Hope that the trading is good for you. I am banning myself from Walthamstow as there are too many fabric shops. :) Xx

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    1. Thank you! Just when I'm on the verge of moaning about how chazzas are full of Primarni tat something always pops up and surprises me.
      I'm hoping we're busy tomorrow or I might be tempted to track down those legendary fabric shops! xxx

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  20. You look like a Spring day Vix-a breath of fresh air & I love those strappy shoes x

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    1. Thanks, Flis! I was hoping my attire would tempt Spring o stick around a bit longer. I'm not liking the weekend weather forecast! x

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  21. good news on the van, car trouble is a pain. Those shoes are awesome, I never find shoes. I've been enjoying your adventure in the tiny world

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    1. the van comes as a huge relief, I can tell you!! I'd been stalking those shoes for ages, I had to do a double-take when I spotted them. xxx

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  22. Sometimes when I'm in those annoying charity shops that do colour themes I surreptitiously start re-ordering the clothes as I look through them, first by item type and then by size...

    Your outfits are all so wonderful. And I'm particularly excited by your latest dollshouse additions, the mini patterns are brilliant! I had a Sindy dollshouse when I was a child, my eldest sister bought it for me. It had a working shower!!!
    xx



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    1. Now there's a great idea, we could do guerrilla tactics in the colour co-ordinated chazzas and rearrange them!
      I love the Sindy furniture. The shower sounds amazing. xxx

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  23. Ooh, I love your yellow and green ensemble, very spring-like and the denim jacket too. The Hasbeens look Goth-inspired, but I'd be happy wearing those too.

    Your dollshouse is fab. I brought a 70s one for Monkeychild years ago and the plastic furniture that came with it was identical to that I had when I was little! xx

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    1. Goth Hasbeens! I like it! xxx

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  24. Superb denim jacket Vix.... looks the bizz on you! Amazing to find a Missoni scarf, bet it was needed today. (bastard freezing and snowy here in Sussex anyway) Pleased to hear the van's undercarriage is now in top nick. xxxxx

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    1. Bloody bastard freezing indeed! i think the Mini Beast was colder than the beast! xxx

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  25. I'm loving your OOTD round-up, and the green/yellow combination is amazing!
    I also had a luck finding a Missoni scarf recently in pretty colors.
    What an adventure with your miniature world - perfectly Vix!
    <3

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    1. We're Missoni twins!!
      I think I was subliminally trying to create Spring with the yellow and green, sadly it scared it off and winter came back! xxx

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  26. Those 50's frocks are beautiful. Super hard to find over here to. You are having so much fun with your mini world, I love the mini wall of misery. Enjoy!!!

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    1. Thanks, Sue! those frocks are super rare here, too. I could kick myself over the ones I used to hack off with nail scissors making them into mini dresses in the 80s! xxx

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  27. You have such a great eye. Can't wait to see which direction you take the next dolls house in!
    Enjoy your back to back trading.
    xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. Thank you!! Sadly one of the fairs got cancelled because of the snow - but I had fun making more miniatures! xxx

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  28. Ok, I was so confused at first about the miniatures. The stuff in the pics I saw on IG looked real and I was like "is she redecorating?" I'm so slow. LOL

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  29. Ooh, the doll's house furniture is so fun! I love all of it.

    Also loving your Gerard of Paris dress (so classy!), and your gorgeous necklace in that first outfit. Good luck in the sale, Vix!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! I do like a swanky vintage label even if I can't find out anything about it! xxx

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  30. You are a vision in that first outfit! The colours and shape are perfect! I love how maxis look on you! WHAT a find those Horrockses dresses were! They are so pretty and vibrant!
    I cannot believe how cool your doll's house decorating is!!Xx

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! I think I was a bit previous in my Spring outfit, look what happened 24 hours later....the Mini Beast from the East!! xxx

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  31. 'You'll be pleased to hear that I've been wearing clothes', mwhahah, yes, I'm pleased to hear it!!. You're looking absolutely fabulous in your maxi dresses, and love particularly that your new yellow maxi coat matches that cute kitchen you've been creating!, such a beautiful color! And love that big white plastic zip in your denim jacket!, you rock in it!
    And I'm in love with your sewing space!, there's something very appealing to me in these cute dollhouse's furniture, it makes me dream!!
    besos

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    1. Thank you so much! I think the freesia maxi coat must have jinxed the weather, ever since I wore it it's gone back to being winter. xxx

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  32. Oh you are looking gorgeous, Vix! Such lovely maxi dresses and the freesia coat is fab! I'm with you on the colour co ordinated charity shops - I hate it. My heart sinks as I enter the shop. I just scan the rails for anything in a nice pattern or lovely colour and then I pounce. It would have been so easy to have missed that lovely denim jacket; thank goodness for the zip!

    The miniature world is looking magnificent; the sewing machine is just so sweet. You are clearly extending your creativity making things for the dolls house - more power to you!

    Hope you didn't freeze at the weekend...
    xxxx

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    1. Those colour co-ordinated rails are just impossible to browse through not to mention how ugly & unappealing a huge wall of beige and black look. There's a couple of women we regularly meet when we're out and about who spend a fortune in the local chazzas, they've started boycotting one of the shops which has recently started coding their colours - their takings must be significantly down. xxx

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  33. Four 50s dresses?! I am in definite awe of your chazza-searching skills. I didn't know that about the white zips either; I shall keep an eye out. I think as the mainstream phase for 'vintage' fades my local chazzas are keeping more retro stuff in the regular shops. Only homewares so far (tea sets and glass bedroom sets), though I'm hoping more clothing will start appearing.

    You're really good at making those miniatures. There was a programme on doll's houses on BBC4 last night - the illustrator who wrote the children's Charlie and Lola books was talking about her own one, and meeting people who make miniatures, and it was a nice break from the usual history of the houses. (The prices of some of those miniatures!!!) Also her house was so colourful it reminded me of yours, though hers isn't as retro-styled.

    Orissa's on my 'want to visit' list too; one of my Tweeties is an Indian travel blogger who regularly heads there from Kolkata to get in a bit of beach time. It looks lovely.

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    1. Its a novelty to find one '50s dress these days, to find four and a unworn Dollyrockers maxi in a shop where I rarely find anything and you can imagine my excitement - especially when they were cheaper than the New Look and Primarni!!
      I saw that BBC4 documentary and loved it. I loved her doll's house and was fascinated by the Tate House at the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, the different scales fascinated me.
      Puri beach is supposed to be lovely and really really want to visit Konark, too. So many places to visit! xxx

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  34. those vibrant vintage dresses are amazing...and they are so you and you wear them so well.

    The denim jacket with the zipper is adorable.

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    1. Thank you so much! those 1950s dresses were in perfect condition and would have cost a small fortune back in the day. xxx

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  35. You're so lucky with those Swedish Hasbeens! What a brilliant bargain. I love those 50s dresses too!

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  36. Hello! The 4 lovely 50s dresses, have you sold them yet? :D Just wondered as they are RIGHT up my street. Would deffo be interested in them if they haven't

    (my email is liztregenza@hotmail.com- I think it will show up with my work one here!)

    x

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  37. Ooooo, I would love to find a denim jacket like that! The white zips are very mod, and I like that there are no chest pockets, which always make me look too busty. Excellent score on the Missoni scarf and Hasbeens sandals. I don't focus on brands when I thrift shop, but if I find something I really like, AND it's a good label, it's extra awesome.

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