Monday, 23 April 2018

At Work & Play


Today I'm wearing a fade-into-the-background combination of pink, red and purple.


Of course, when I say fade into the background, that's only when my surroundings are as bright & clashy (is that a word?) as my doll's house extension, aka the basement chill-out zone and office area, today's featured room.



This vintage radiogram came cheap and was rather tatty. The wood stain was in the garden shed, it was pissing down with rain outside and I couldn't be arsed to fetch it so instead I diluted a tablespoon of instant coffee into a bit of boiling water and brushed it on. It came up a treat.


 The desk was listed as a set on eBay along with the blanket box in the bedroom. In my rush to snap up a bargain I failed to notice that it was 12:1 scale. Vintage doll's houses are usually 16:1 scale so it looked far too big and clunky so I sawed off the pedestal legs to shave off a few crucial centimetres. I wasn't at all keen on the colour of the wood so I painted the desk with blackboard paint, sanded down the edges and the drawer fronts (the places which tend to get the most wear) and buffed them up with brown shoe polish. Hopefully it looks less like nasty repro and more like a well-loved family heirloom.


The chest of drawers was another modern piece (£1.20 from the clearance section of a doll's house website) to which I gave the same treatment.


The flamingo curtains are folded paper. Like previous rooms, they're glued to a wooden kebab stick and finished with two wooden bead finials. The chair is vintage Lundby and was cheap on eBay.


Bibi commented on my last blog post that, for the ultimate in '70s decor, I needed a vinyl beanbag. Lacking any vinyl in my stash I used the rest of the charity shopped kids' trousers left over from the bedroom quilt, cut out a coupe of circles and a rectangle, sewed it together and stuffed it with lentils. Pizza and beer, anyone? My cans are pieces of white tack, painted red with a press stud glued to the top.


A friend gave me the 1970s Matchbox Hot Wheels car at Moseley yesterday. Mini Stephen Squirrel loves it.


The basement is just like our proper house with guitars, amps and black and white cats everywhere. Sadly there isn't a four pack of beer or a pizza on the table.


The details:
  • The corner sofa and tiled coffee table are 1970s Lundby, the "cushions" are vintage 1950s braid from the car boot sale which I cut up, stitched and stuffed with cotton wool. 
  • The supersize lampshade was the lid from a posh facial wash Liz bought me for my birthday - now I can remember that gift for ever!
  • On the wall are more of the charity shop mini frames I painted and gilded. I love those creepy Margaret Pearce big eyed prints.
  • The shelves are lollipop sticks I cut up and painted white. Most of the ornaments are beads my friend Sarah sent me. The tiny wooden horse used to be in a cacti my Grandma had on the kitchen window sill when I was a little girl. Goodness knows how old it is.
  • The plants are more sellotape, garden wire, nail varnish, old lid and loose leaf tea creations.
  • Sarah also sent me the electric guitar. Jon told me that I needed to make a Marshall Bluesmaster amp to go with it, so I did!
  • The vintage typewriter was a right fiddle to make. I filled it with salt to keep it stable (thanks for the tip, Aril!) The camera & Kodak film? Well, I am a blogger!

Anyway, enough of the play, how about work?


That's if you can call hanging out with the beautiful people of Moseley work! Check out my vintage cape-sleeved cotton maxi which arrived in this parcel of goodies from Sarah on Saturday morning.


We haven't done that many fairs this year but this was the best one so far. I think that after the previous two were cancelled people were desperate to come out and spend their money. You don't get many of the annoying "My nan used to have one of them" brigade at Moseley, just people who appreciate (and buy) proper vintage. 

Clockwise from top left: 1950s dress; Fake fur jacket; 1970s tiered maxi;  Fake fur coat; West German-made midi dress; 1970s polka dot dot blazer (needs buttons, I'll do that later); Fake fur jacket; 1960s lace shell blouse; Fake fur; Printed cotton velvet waistcoat.
Despite selling lots the van wasn't empty for the return journey. When a trader tells you that they're giving up selling vintage and need to sell off all their stock at a good price, well, it's just got to be done.

Vintage folksy-style dress worn with Vietnamese choker (courtesy of Krista) and Lotta of Stockholm clogs.

First rule of vintage selling is...don't try on the stock. Oops! I'm doing Kinky Melon a favour really, smaller sizes can take an age to shift, I'm just looking after it...honest!


Gaynor, a super cool, vintage lovin' girl I met when she bought a dress off us years ago, popped along to give me these incredible hand-made Swedish-style clogs she bought from Scarborough-based company, Bjorn last year but never wore as they crippled her. As I'm obsessed with all things Swedish (Lundby, Scandi Noir, Lotta of Stockholm and Goat to name but a few) I'm delighted to report that they fit me perfectly. I'll be wearing these beauties all Summer long.

Linking to Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.
See you soon!

67 comments:

  1. Love that you make your own miniatures, so many people don't and your houses are fab because of it - I mean who makes mini-amplifiers? :)

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    1. Trust me to be different! I'm so used to tripping up over amps in my house I had to create one for the doll's house! xxx

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  2. I can't stand it. Minimize me at once! Then I can move about each of your doll house rooms at my leisure. And while you're at it, please minimize your clothes as well. Thank you very much.

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    1. I'd love a mini Pao in my house just bring some of your mini shoe collection with you! xxx

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  3. I love reading how you put together those amazing dolls house rooms. One of these days I have got to try this. Love your maxis!

    Theresa

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! I think all vintage loving girls need a retro doll's house in their lives even if it's just a room in a shoebox! xxx

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  4. Oh....I would love that for my sewing room...it's gorgeous.

    Those blue clogs are just to die for...the red ones too.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Plenty of space for making a mess! My dream of a sewing space!
      I do love clogs, they're so comfy! xxx

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  5. Your attention to detail is just incredible! I was admiring the typewriter, and was gobsmacked when I read that you made it! And the amp too! The purple frock is fabulous on you, of course you have to look after it, somebody's got to do it. Good to see your red Lotta clogs again, which means Summer is now well and truly on its way! xxx

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    1. I could have bought a ready-made retro typewriter but it seemed more fun to make one - fifth time lucky! It was back to boots today, my feet were freezing. xxx

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  6. i take pizza napoli ;-)
    its such a cool room - love the bead vases and the furniture make over - but the the cats are clearly the best feature!
    purple dress is fab on you - but that pic at the fair is simply beautiful. please tell me that the 50s dress does not fit my 112 bust.....sigh.
    cool clogs! xxxxxx

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    1. That's my choice, too! The cats are being very naughty in the new room, they keep sharpening their claws on my purple carpet!
      Sorry, that 1950s dress is typically small on the bosoms! I'll keep looking for you, it's so your style! xxx

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  7. Wow, your dress is utterly fantastic. I love that shade of purple and you look superb in it.Absolutely loving this doll's house. Especially that tiny little horse and your funky beanbag. Didn't they make a mess when they started to leak. Really glad that you good fair. Your dress is gorgeous. Does it go with your lovely new clogs or are they too teal? They are lovely. What a kind gift. Xx

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    1. Thank you! I pounced on that dress straightaway, I love purple, too!
      Those polystyrene balls used to leave such a mess and stuck to everything, didn't they? At least I can cook the lentils if the mini cats decide to rag this one!
      The clogs do go well with the new old dress. I'm dying to give them an outing this week but I'm back in boots today...brrrr! xxx

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  8. Your miniatures are so enchanting - with cats! Love that purple dress; it needs you to look out for it. And your new clogs - divine. Hope the week ahead is just as wonderful. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Thanks, Patti! Everything's better with cats! xxx

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  9. I love that your black and white cats feature in the dollhouse - Vizzini would be in there, tearing everything up and chewing on things! Wonderful dress with the cape sleeves - you look amazing! I love those red shoes - I have a pair of pink metallic shoes by Wonder (wood soles) and yours remind me to wear mine!

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    1. I love a black and white cat or two! Vizzini should come over and have a go in the hot rod!
      I'm liking the sound of your Wonder shoes. I've got my eye on a metallic pair of clogs! xxx

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  10. Oooh, your new clogs are beautiful and I ADORE the pink and paisley dress you bought from the giving up vintage seller AND the purple polka done number!!!
    Your dolls house making is just getting more and more amazing!x

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    1. Thanks, Kezzie! I'm excited about a new pair of clogs, I wish it was a bit warmer today, I wanted to wear them but my feet were too chilly! xxx

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  11. Interesting the shoes do look comfort and at my ages common sense is important when it comes to feet wear.
    Coffee is on
















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    1. You're right! i can't wear heels like I used to. These clogs have orthopaedic soles but they don't look too sensible, do they? xxx

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  12. If you start eating lutefisk, you'll know your Swedish obsession is getting out of hand ;)

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    2. Urgh! I think my brother's experience with that when he visited Stockholm a couple of years ago is what turned him vegetarian! xxx

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  13. Love that flowery beanbag! And your new maxis, additions to the dollhouse, and Swedish shoes are divine!
    xox

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  14. The purple and white dress just had to be yours, fits like a glove. Glad to hear that trading was brisk and the newly purchased stock at a great price too good to refuse.The newest addition to the dolls house once again is so perfect in every detail, only you would a camera and film. All the best. xx

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    1. Exactly - when something fits that well it's a crime to sell it on! xxx

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  15. Love both pairs of clogs, something like that would look grand on my feet!

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    1. Have a look at the Lotta of Stockholm clogs - they even do them in vegan leather. I walked around Greece in them for a week and never got a single blister - well worth the money! xxx

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  16. That purple dress is ace.

    Do you think a lot of sellers are getting out of doing vintage, or is it a cyclical thing - new ones spring up and established ones drop out all the time? I just seem to have noticed a few giving up lately.

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    1. Thanks, Mim! I love a crisp cotton frock.
      There are a lot of people giving up vintage selling of late, The fairs are getting fewer (and a lot more expensive) and I'm told that the wholesalers (which many vintage traders use) aren't as cheap as they used to be. People get into vintage selling thinking it's glamorous and it's going to make them rich - it's not! xxx

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  17. I love the beanbag. The typewriter is brilliant too, it must've been so fiddly but it looks great.
    Clogs mean summer, it's raining again today so it cheered me up to see them. I love Scandi too, I think that's why I like mid century style so much. You've nailed it in your Lunday. xxx

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    1. Thank you! They were fiddly, the typewriter took me five attempts and the bean bag two! Oh well, it's all a learning curve as Jon tells me when I'm swearing and tossing stuff in the bin! xxx

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  18. I'm totally in love with your fade-into-the-background purple outfit and your totally amazing room too. I love particularly the cute office área, the desk, the map hanging on the Wall, the fabulous details!
    Lovely to see you enjoying the sunshine and wearing your clogs!, so nice that you have a new pair!
    besos

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    1. Thanks, Monica! You know me, subtle as a brick! xxx

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  19. Love the outfit. The work on the dolls houses incredible. How many hours a day does it take? Have you seen Queen Mary’s dolls house on the internet.? It is really something but I bet she didn’t get the pleasure out of it as you do with yours. She was known for admiring things and people felt obliged to give them. Still the poor soul had a pretty boring life so good on her with her interests. Imagine being married off to brother no. 2 when her fiancé died. I think I would give her things too if it made her happy.

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    1. She did seem to have been a bit of a sad character, doesn't she? To have been interested in doll's houses must have made her an nice person though, everyone I've met who is into them is lovely!! Apparently the author Graham Greene's wife, Vivien was a doll's house expert, travelled the world cataloging them and even had her own museum. She loved cats, too so she must have been one of us! xxx

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  20. That gorgeous purple dress reminds me of Holly Hobby. Did you guys have her?

    Aren't you lucky that you have people brining you such great gifts?

    The cat in the jeep is hilarious.

    Suzanne

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    1. I loved her, she was massive here in the 1970s. I had the dolls and everything. That's a huge compliment! xxx

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  21. I wish I had a Gaynor in mu life to pop up and give me gorgeous shoes! They're smashing!
    I wish I had an actual basement chill-out zone and office area - or rather maybe an loft one - just like this! Andy will be pleased when I tell him I've added a loft conversion to the list of 'things to be done to the house'. It will definitely have a bean bag, and flamingo curtains! And a cat or two. And beer.
    xx

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    1. How kind was Gaynor to give me those clogs? They're as comfy as my Lotta's. I love them!
      A loft conversion would be fab. Are you sure Andy can't squeeze it in between jobs?! xxx

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    2. Oh how I wish he did have the time...

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  22. I love that dress , Its my favorite colour, Every time i see your makes for your houses , It amazes me , So many fantastic ideas , I've used coffee before to stain things too xxx

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    1. Thank you, I know you love purple as much as I do!
      Coffee was the first thing to spring to mind when I was doing up that radiogram, I was really surprised at how well it worked. xxx

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  23. If I ever run into you Vix I will be able to recognise you immediately with your wonderfully individual style! I remember having a Cloth kits purple dress not dissimilar to yours in the 1970s. Memories of my Mum cutting out all the preprinted pieces on the fabric. Arilx

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    1. Thanks so much, Aril! Clothkits were amazing, weren't they? They go for a bomb on eBay! xxx

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  24. I’d love to get on with clogs they always look fantastic but it’s not happening so I’ve my basket of jellie shoes out again. Saying that I’ve only managed two days so far with this rotten weather, I keep putting my boots back on.
    Every time I read what you’ve been doing with the dolls houses I end up chuckling. The coffee staining got me this time heehee. Xxx

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    1. Hooray for jellies, I was gardening in mine on Saturday but it's back to boots today! xxxx

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  25. Glad you sold lots. Fab new frock you've got there from Sarah, looks like the exact same style of the one I bought in STN and the purple one is another stunner. Your new-to-you Bjorn clogs look so soft & comfy too, I'm surprised to hear they crippled the previous owner.
    More delights in the dolls house! The radiogram (and Stones LP)and desk are brilliant, the desk looks much better now it's black and worn around the edges. xxx

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    1. I'd forgotten about that STN frock, it was a beauty, wasn't it?
      Those Bjorn clogs are really comfy, the lip at the back stops your foot slipping about. I think she must have bought a size bigger than she needed - such a shame as they weren't cheap. xxx

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  26. Ooh, new shoes! As I said before, clogs eternally remind me of my mum! I’ve never tried any, they just look uncomfortable to me! xxx

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    1. Honestly clogs are so comfy! I think we have the same narrow feet that slip and slide about but I wore clogs every day in the blistering heat of Corfu last year and never got a single blister! xxx

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  27. I don't think Sylvester would like a spin in the jeep, but mini Stephen Squirrel looks very pleased. You can certainly work magic with a bit of glue and some beads.
    I'm envious of your lovely gifts! I love that cotton maxi from Sarah, and those clogs are a marvy colour.

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    1. Some cats like a drive - my dad had a gorgeous girl who he used to pop on the passenger seat and take for a spin! Ours just think of vets! xxx

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  28. The basement is fab! I just adore the the typewriter and the plants - simply amazing. Love your fabulous clogs and lovely maxi dresses. Did you sell the fur coat? What size is it? Not a 16 by any chance?
    xxxxx

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    1. Hi Vronni! The fake furs are in the stock room ready for the Autumn. I'll check the coat for you on Monday and give you first refusal. It's very glam, isn't it? I've got a feeling we'll be needing coats for a while yet! xxx

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  29. Purple with red are awesome on you! You must have a pretty colorful background to fade into! :) The office space is so charming with distressed furniture and yellow tape writer - I wouldn't mind at all to write in there! Your work and play sound equally fun. You are one of the rarest people who actually enjoy their work, I think you can teach classes on that subject!

    Lots of love!

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    1. Thank you! I love purple and red together, like an explosion in a jewellery box! xxx

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  30. I am in awe of just how much you have done with your dolls houses! Just amazing. xx

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    1. I never thought I'd be any good at making such tiny things, I get blinder as I age! xxx

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  31. Your ingenuity knows no bounds! The beanbag and lampshade are my favourites. xx

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm loving the world of minis! xxx

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