Wednesday, 29 June 2011

A jolly good sale spot...

Today, after a tough day at work, I thought I'd pop into New Look to look at pretty hair flowers....but I emerged with a couple of sale purchases, one of which I thought some of you forties-loving ladies might like to know about whilst it's still in stock!

I picked up this lovely button-through linen skirt, for only £9! (Reduced from £27.99). What a steal. The skirt is a soft A-line shape, and because it's linen it is going to be delicious for hot summer days when most of my clothes are a bit too hot and stuffy. Tis a lovely burnt red colour and look at the pocket detail! I might add some trimming to the pockets and change the buttons at some point, y'know, just for fun!

Mmmm, one step closer to my perfect 40's summer wardrobe dream ^
(sorry, picture source unknown, though do let me know if you come across it)

I know there has been a lot of furore about ladies who don't wear exclusively vintage pieces not being "proper" vintage enthusiasts...but stuff 'em! If you know what you like, you can find some great pieces from the high street that can work perfectly in a vintage enthusiasts wardrobe! And when there's a sale can most certainly be worth a little look!

Have you girls found any great vintage-inspired high street buys recently?

Pip pip xx

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Camping in the wilds of Norfolk, and some extreme make do and mend...

Hello lovelies,

Every now and again, it is nice to escape the big smoky city and spend some time taking in the fresh country air!
Last month, I took a rather impromptu trip home to join my mum, little sister and step-dad on a camping trip in the Norfolk countryside for the May bank holiday weekend. 

And guess what we stayed in.....

.....a tipi!

Not like a proper proper one, all canvas and wood, cowboys and indians stylee, but a lovely big tipi tent!
We put fairy lights and bunting up in it and everything! It was right cosy.

When we arrived, the camp was already set up, with the fire pit, 'wee shields' for those too lazy too walk up to the loo block (not me!), and a grub tent for doing cooking in! All we had to do was set up the tent, and then we could join the rest of the camp (a load of my mum and step dad's friends, and their young kids).
Easy, right?


The moment we got the tent up there was a very large gust of wind, followed by a large rrrrriiiippp.

Darn it.

So we spent our first hour and a half, sat on our bums in practically gale force winds, hand sewing the tent back together at the rips! 
Now that is what I call extreme make do and mend!

In the top left you can see me and my step-dad sewing the tent!

Over the weekend, the children ran around in amongst the trees and played on the rope swing and the mud slide (which is literally just a very steep dirt hill....which the children all managed to manouvre with ease, but I fell backwards, bumped my head and proceeded to slide uncontrollably down on my bum- much to the amusement of my little sister!).
The men did manly things like chop wood, stoke the fire etc etc.
The dog lounged around, got a lot of attention, and ate soooo much food.
And me and my mumma made things! Me and mum made these handsewn owls, and mum helped me battle with my "3 hour sweater" attempts, generally unpicking my mistakes and re-knitting....over, and over, and over. The gin didn't help with these attempts!

We made candles with the kids too, melting wax beads and old candles down in little tins on the fire, and then layering into paper coffee cups with a wick in...I was probably as excited as the children to unwrap my candle  when it was set! And you can see it in the little photo above, accompanied by a bit of my knitting.

I wore my Freddies dungarees the whole weekend...I'm so glad I invested in them. Until recently I never, ever wore trousers, but I invested in these after falling madly in love with the 40's factory girl look. And in the sale, they were only £ I thought I'd give them a try. They are great for times like this, when it is just not suitable to run around in a pretty, delicate floaty dress. Can you imagine if I'd have fallen down that dirt hill wearing one of my fave 40's frocks? I'd had a fit! They are also great for work, when I have lots of lifting to do and don't fancy ripping yet another pair of tights or snagging another dress! Or even just those days, where you just don't feel like wearing a pretty dress...I'm not the only one to have those, right?

Japanese cotton headscarf: carboot.
50's sunglasses: vintage fair.
Cotton shirt: carboot.
40's repro dungarees: Freddies of Pinewood.

I'll leave you of this photo of me, all tied up by the dog on her lead!

What do you vintage ladies wear for camping? Or do you loathe camping altogether? 
Me, I think I'm a country gal at heart!

Pip pip xx

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Snippets of a curious house!


When I pop back to Norwich to visit my fam, I split my time between my dad and step-mum's, and my mum and step-dad's very different homes!

My mum has a lovely home of shabby chic, natural and neutral loveliness. Lots of homemade crafty things, a kitchen full of homemade preserves and wines, and a garden full of home grown veg! Very economical and self sufficient. And now, a new addition to the garden....a shepherds hut! But more on that when I've had the chance to return home and stay in it- I can't wait!

* * * *

My dad and step-mum's, on the other hand, is packed to the rafters with antique, vintage and secondhand treasures and oddities! The colour scheme is predominantly quite victorian gothic, with lots of display cases and shelves and a big fireplace in the front room. My dad has his "music room"...a room that basically he has  filled with his records, comics and retro and vintage toys and games! AND, we have a 'museum under the stairs'...yep, they turned the cupboard under the stairs into a tiny "museum".

For this post I thought I'd share a few pictures from around the house...

My fathers day present for my dad has taken pride of place on the bathroom door! 

And want to meet the owners of such a curious house?

Daddy Johnson, and Big Rosie (yes, we are both named Rosie)

Family facts:
#1 My dad runs a music college in Norwich.
#2 My step mum is an interior designer.
#3 Paloma Faith has visited our house.
#4 We once had a gig in our house as part of the Orange Unlit Tour.
#5 Me and my step-mum are both called Rosie.
#6 My dad, my step-dad, and Mr Mike's dad are all called Ian.

What are your fam's like? Tell me some interesting facts!

Pip pip xx

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Battersea carbooty!

Now, I like nay love a good carboot.
I blame the fam...when I am back home visiting my fam in Norwich, we attend as many as we can fit in. And we always leave them laden with things.
Weirdly though, in my 4 years of living in the big smoke, I have never gotten around to attending a carboot here! 

So on sunday, with a day to myself and no plans whatsoever (well, before the dreaded nightshift), I finally attended my first ever London carboot...Battersea!
And boy am I glad I did!

I ventured down south of the river, and jumped off the bus with glee as I reached my destination! I'm not joking when I say I may well have let out a little yelp of excitement as I approached the school playground. An old chap curtsied to me and said I had a wonderful skirt on, which made me chuckle as I handed over my 50p entrance fee- and I was off.
There were plenty of stalls and it was rammed.....and this was on a wet day, so one can only imagine what it must me like on a sunny day! There was the standard mix of junk, bric a brac, vintage and antique, as well as a burger van and a chap selling rather delicious looking cakes (of which I might've bought one had I not been saving every penny I had in case it was needed for treasures).

Want to see what I picked up?
(apologies for the pictures, you can't get a proper sense of how wonderful the dresses are with them just being on a hanger, but alas Mr Mike is off visiting his fam up north and thus not around to take photos of me in them, and my beloved dressmakers dummy Diana has a broken leg)

My first buy was this charming 50's(?) basket bag for a mere £1! It was nestled in amongst some terribly awful bags in a box labeled "All bags £1.50 £1". I saw a lady handling this and hovered behind her until she put it down, then swooped in before she had a chance to change her mind! 

Then I spotted this beauty fluttering in the (very strong) wind...

A beautiful floral 40's wrap dress! For £7! I couldn't even tell if it would fit me, but I thought it was worth the was! It just about fits, with a slip underneath to avoid any big reveals of course! I love that this was obviously home made by some lady, the inside seams are raw, and one of the front edges is just the fabric's selvedge, not even seamed! Delicious.

Now from the same lady, I also purchased this butterfly in a gold frame. He's mounted on gold leaf, no less! He was only £1 and is beautiful.

And also, again from the same lady, I got this lovely lace dress...

It's made of a delicate white lace, with a peplum waist and capelet sleeves. She gave me this and the slip she would wear under it for £7 too. The lace has a slight tear to it, but I can put some tiny stitches in it. I have images in my head of an elegant lady (not me) wearing this to summer garden parties where she would drink tea and eat cakes! 

Next I found this gorgeous knitted dress for £5.

You can't see from the photos, but the colour is a pale yellow, with lilac flowers and stripes running through it. It has a little tie waist and a flared skirt. I just love the colour combination, and the little crocheted flowers at the neckline!

I have no idea how old (or recent) the lace and knitted dresses are! Any of you clever ladies got any clues? The lace one has some overlocked seams, so can't be as old as it looks. And the knitted one seemingly has machine-sewn seams and hand sewn hems. I have literally no idea with these but would love to find out!

Next, with funds running low I picked up this cotton hankie with an embroidered 'P' for £1. This is a present that I am going to pop in the post for my nan!

And finally, with only £3 left in my purse, I found this little mirror for £2 and snapped it up.

On the back it states "To commemorate the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth", and features a gold silhouette of the two, and the year "1937".
On the front, it says "Louis H. Emm ~ The Warlingham Grocer". I've done a little bit of a google search but have thus far found nothing. I wish I could find out some information on this mirror! Why does it exist? Who did it belong to? Who is Louis H. Emm? Was he The Warlingham Grocer? I need to know!

All in all, I'd say this was a very successful sunday, and I shall most definitely be returning to the Battersea carboot.

And guess doesn't start til 1.30pm!  Possibly the most perfect sunday carboot start time.

Did any of you lovely lot visit any carboots this weekend? Have any of you ever been to the Battersea one? Or got any London carboting tips?

Pip pip xx

Friday, 17 June 2011

A bit of light lusting...


No ladies, you are not seeing things.....that IS a lamp in the shape of a beautiful teapot.
This is my current lust, but I am trying to convince myself not to buy it, due to a definite lack of room (and money) at the moment!

If you fancy it though, quickstep your way over to here to snap it up from the Laura Ashley website. It is currently reduced from £60 to £36! 

I am currently dreaming of a kitchen table with this as the centrepiece! *Le sigh* If only....

Pip pip xx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

It's the small things in life!

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"
-William Morris

Now I like even the things that are useful to be beautiful too where possible! And I was on the hunt for a new diary for work *YAWN* (yes, this post is about my work diary! Oh, the glamorous life of a visual merchandiser, eh?)

Anyway, I hunted the shops after work for the perfect one, but alas the lovely brown leather one with the gold edged pages was teeny tiny, and thus not meant to be. So, instead I bought a bright, bold patterned one, and pimped it up, a la craft.

That's right folks, Tim Westwood wishes he could present this episode of "Pimp My Diary"...

From this.....
 To this....

After a lot of hand sewing, red and blue felt and dusky pink vintage lace, my diary now looks a lot more wonderful than when he started his life. He's a bit wonky but I like him like that. And now he's even got a little pen holder on his spine!  Glorious.

Pip pip xx

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

My menswear is in a magazine!

Hello guys and gals,

Just a quick post to say I've got a new post over at Moustaches and Monocles!
Please do pop over and have a look, it's pretty exciting for me.

Here's a preview:

Pip pip xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A jolly holiday to Windsor.

Yes, recently me and Mr Mike took a wee holiday to Windsor...only a short holday, one night in the Travelodge, but a holiday none the less!

We have funny schedule between us, so although we live together, its hard to really do anything together. So I decided I wanted to take an adventure as we had a couple of days off together. We chose Windsor as it isn't too expensive to get to, I already knew my way around having visited with my mum and aunts before and it is a really pretty city!

We set foot off the train to find this....

Glorious union jack bunting! There was loads, everywhere!

And there were a lot of vintage cars from different eras parked up just round the shopping arcade. 
And some lovely swing music playing.

 As you can see, I was ever so excited by this greeting!
Cardi: charity shop.
Japanese yellow floral chiffon blouse: carboot.
1940's checked skirt: carboot, £1.

And look at these lovely chaps in their uniforms.

This was the view from our room...thats the 'Windsor Eye' you can see. That's right, Windsor has its own eye! You best believe it baby.

Then we went to a great pub that overlooks 'The  Crooked House' tea shop, and gorged out on an amazing meal.

 Sausages and mash, with gravy and a stack of onion rings! Swished down with a bottle of Rekorderlig strawberry and lime cider. Scrum-diddly-umptious!

After a nice stroll around Windsor, we headed to M&S, bought the above feasticle, and headed back to our room to watch films all evening.

I had TWO baths in this lovely blue tub. One right before bed, and one as soon as I woke up.
Since I did my back in once and for all, I have been partial to a good bath! 
But not having one in my flat, it was well worth the £23.50 just for the bath.
What a treat!

The next morning, we had our breakfast overlooking the castle...and an unsightly CCTV camera.
Then off we trotted for a walk down by the river and a sit in a park. 

The swan invasion scared me quite a bit!
"What if they eat us?" I exclaimed as Mr Mike waved his hands near their heads! I didn't hang around too long.

I loved this sign we happened upon on the side of an old bridge. 
Some silly sod had only gone and done graffiti on it though.
I hope he got his £5 penalty!

We had an ice cream, played in a maze, and bought a beautiful souvenir teatowel!
I've decided I might try to pick up one of these whenever we go on little holidays to different places.

All in all a lovely time was had and I recommend it if you are wishing for a wee escape from the big smoky city and an adventure!

Sorry this post is so picture heavy, and I hope you haven't fallen asleep!

Pip pip xx

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A day of adventuring.

My, oh my! Wasn't it a lovely day today?

Me and Mr Mike attended the North London Vintage Market in Crouch End, then had a picnic in Ally Pally, then got the bus to Stoke Newington for drinks, then headed home and got a takeaway and watched a film. Glorious!
What did you lovely ladies do today?

This is the second time I've been to the North London Vintage Market, and it was again great. Mr Mike came with me, dragging his heels and pulling a forlorn face as though it was a form of torture. Poor neglected chap! I bought a couple of presents for birthdays, and I bought myself this...

A badge with my initials on....
RA, for Rosie Alia!
It was £2 but I simply couldn't not get it.

And this is what I wore:

You can't see too much of my dress as I am being a'swept by the wind on Ally Pally hill!
40's style floral dress: ebay, £6.26 incl postage.
YSL leather belt: charity shop.
Satchel: The Leather Satchel Company.
50's sunglasses: vintage fair.
Stylefit sandals: carboot.

Have a great sunday darlings,
Pip pip! xx