Sunday, 28 August 2011

Meet some chums of mine...

I am in the process of trying to clear out, clean up and pack up my life to move it into my new flat.

During this process I am unlikely to have time for proper, descriptive posts. So I thought that in the meantime, I might introduce you, darling readers, to some of my friends as I pack them away to leave for their new home.

So here's the first two...

Gentleman Bunny and Lucy.

Gentleman  Bunny is made of tweed, has a moustache, monocle and bow tie, and even carries a newspaper in his right paw. He was made for me by my lovely chum Leanne for my 22nd birthday.

To his right is Lucy, a doll from the 1940's that my wonderful mumma gave me for christmas a couple of years ago. She has a plastic face, matted hair, stuffed fabric body and is wearing a blue linen waistcoat/skirt suit.

"Pip pip" they cry! xx

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My baby...

This is my baby.
My 1960's Singer sewing machine.

Bought for me by my dad and step-mum, and currently living at theirs until I move and have room for it.
When I was home recently I embarked on my first paid dressmaking job, and making the toile on it was fun. This heavy beast works, but I had to make a makeshift spool as the original one was missing. I fashioned it out of a bit of blu-tack and a plastic knitting needle. 
Make-do and mend indeed!

Pip pip xx

Monday, 22 August 2011

A DIY faux-middy cut: the risk that paid off!

For those of you who may not know, a the 'middy' was a style of haircut popular in the 1940's, that was designed to allow curls to settle neatly into a beautiful shape, the layers sitting on top of each other comfortably to give those lovely graduated curls.
The cut consisted of even layers and a U-shaped bottom, with sides that slant up towards the face. The standard middy consisted of 4 inch layers, but there were many variations in different lengths.

Now, I have been wanting and meaning to go and get myself a middy cut for an absolute age, though being the hairdresser-shy girl that I am (I've only been to the hairdressers a handful of times in my life, usually utilising my mum or step-mum for haircutting needs instead) I haven't quite managed it.
So, when reading up on the middy on this Fedora Lounge thread, I was excited to find some mentions of a 'do it yourself' middy haircut tutorial- could this really work? Surely not! I was apprehensive, but read on to find that many girls had said they had tried it and it had in fact, turned out well!

So being impulsive and impatient, as I can be in matters of the hair, I washed my hair and set to work following C-Dot's tutorial.
Here are the 'after' photos...

Shock horror! My un-made up face and bedraggled hair.
But you can see the hair now slants sharply upwards towards my face.

And here you can see the U-shaped back in all it's self-cut glory!

After following all the steps in C-Dot's tutorial, I dried, spritzed with setting lotion, rollered and slept.
And then I removed my curlers in the morning with baited breath-

Hello graduated curls.

Hello curved new shape.

And hello little curls around my face!

Sorry for not having better photos, I took these when my chap was away so of course, using my iPhone I was rather limited.

But all in all, I would say that if you are pining for a middy-style and are hairdresser-wary or your purse is empty then maybe it's worth taking the risk with this clever little tutorial. I'm very glad I did.

Pip pip xx

Friday, 19 August 2011

The Vintage Patisserie- book launch and sneaky peek!

Now, I'm pretty sure that most of you ladies will already be familiar with Angel Adoree of The Vintage Patisserie, if not from her appearance on the 2010 series of Dragons' Den then perhaps from her numerous appearances in the uk media recently, or her newly released book The Vintage Tea Party Book.

Yes, this flame-haired vixen is one talented lady!

She also happens to be my part-time boss.

On wednesday I was lucky enough to work at her book launch party, and boy was it fabulous!

I arrived straight after a shift at my full-time job, and joined Angel and the rest of the girls at the venue, which they had been working hard to transform. We added the finishing touches, donned our black dresses, aprons, heels and red lippie....and then we waited for the guests to arrive.

Here's me in a 1930's dress, serving the guests 
Photo snapped by the dear Penny Dreadful.

The night was a success- guests danced along to the live band Benoit Viellefon & His Orchestra who played some wonderful tunes, whilst we made sure no-one went hungry and no glass ran dry. An amazing array of people turned out to celebrate with Angel; friends, family, bloggers and media. I had the pleasure of doing the hair of Redlegs In Soho, and Katy from Vintage Victory, along with many other lovely ladies.
Now, as I was on duty, I of course captured no photos, but pop over to the blogs of Retro Chick and Penny Dreadful for photos of the party!

At the end of the night, the VP team were all gifted a copy of the book, with a little message from the lovely Angel, as well as a bottle of King's Ginger liqueur and a goody bag that were filled with all sorts of exciting treats.

The King's Ginger liqueur was developed in 1903 especially for King Edward VII; my favourite historical man for his influence on the development of menswear (I wrote my dissertation on this subject).
So although I'm not sure if I really like ginger, having not knowingly tried it since I was a child, how could I not try it when it was developed for my monarch of choice!
And it is 41%. Blimey.

But now, onto the book!

I can honestly say it is just the most beautifully designed and well thought out book. I mean, gosh, just look at it! Pick it up and it's weighty, packed full of ethereal illustrations by Adele Mildred and recipes, tips and how-to's. The book has lots of very tasty looking, beautiful recipes for things like a 'salad cemetary' and 'spinach and parmesan mini-muffins', alongside various tea-cocktails, and even Angel's legendary scones...which I can confirm are the best scones you will ever taste!
It is not only a cookbook, oh no! It also contains tips on where to source props, how to make aprons, how to dry edible flowers, and hair and make up ideas....perfect or what?
I may or may not be biased, but I think you probably need to own this book. Mine will certainly be taking pride of place on the shelves in my new kitchen once I've moved.

So in short, Angel Adoree is one very, very talented lady and I can honestly say that I am incredibly lucky to have the pleasure of working for her. Keep your eyes peeled because I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of her in the coming months!

Pip pip xx

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Haul of the charity shop kind.

Now, you all know I have a penchant for le charity shops. And I have a particular love for the charity shops of Wymondham, the little town my mumma lives in.

Here are my finds from my most recent visit with my ma!

Firstly some slightly themed buys...

This lovely green checked homemade maternity shirt was only £2.50.
Yes, I don't need this...but I can put it away...until me and Mr Mike decide to have our sprogs- that's definitely acceptable, right?

This wooden pull-along dog toy is lovely and has little leather ears! He was £1, and my mumma convinced me that I needed to buy him and again keep him (at hers) until we have some sprogs. 
She just wants another baby to fawn over...can you tell?

Sewing box, £6.99.

This keyring has an 'R' embroidered on it, and a bell.
Noisy and therefore not appropriate for actual key carrying, but obviously meant to be. 

A yellow plastic-coated wire plate holder...will be perfect for my new kitchen!*

*We are moving to a bigger flat in september, where I am going to have a sewing room! 
I can't quite believe it!

Though it does mean you may be hearing less and less of me for the coming months (or at least get shorter bloggins) while we pack/clearout/paint/move/get internet installed etc etc. Plus I am working two jobs, and  doing some freelance dressmaking on top of that. I feel exhausted just thinking about it!

So if you're wondering where I've popped off to for such long periods of time- that'll be me running around like a headless chicken wearing clothes covered in paint! Tee hee.

Have you bought any great bargains of late?

Pip pip xx

Friday, 12 August 2011

Sailing on the broads!

That's right.... I sailed a boat!

Well, sort of.

I am currently nearing the end of a lovely week spent at home in Norwich seeing friends and fam.

On wednesday me and my chums went out to the broads and joined a lovely group of people on a boat where we spent time sailing, playing games, picnicing and drinking!

We slept on a boat that had been bought in the 70's, and was a bit rickety but totally lovely! In total there was 16 of us sleeping on it, and it has bunks all the way round 3 walls of the inside, and a little kitchen area. It has permanent moorings out by some fields of horses and  a little village.

Please forgive me for a lack of decent photos...I was a bit apprehensive as phones + boats + water = risky. Especially when Rosie is involved! So my phone (which is also my camera) spent most of the time in my bag on the main boat preserving its battery.

During the day we split off from the main boat in groups on sailing boats and a row boat.

I can now say that I have been sailing in a proper sailing boat. And I can also say that it was absolutely terrifying. I didn't know I was quite so wimpy!

Every time the wind settled down and we got a good speed up, there would be one almighty gust and we would almost capsize! I loved it...but it was also bloomin' scary.

Here are the few pictures I captured of our adventure....

 This is what I wore to the boat:

If you look really carefully you can see it has yachts, men in rowing boats and hula girls!

Needless to say I was suitably innapropriate in my clothes, so I must admit that I had to resort to wearing a grey jersey jumpsuit, that I had borrowed as pyjamas, whilst sailing... not my finest hour!

And no, I'm afraid I don't have any photos of this! Haha.
(If you're lucky, I might be able to track some down for one of my pals and add them at a later date!)

Pip pip xx

Thursday, 11 August 2011

My daddy got me a uke!

Yup, I got a ukelele!

Now I just gotta learn to play it.

Pip pip! xx