VforVintageLondon and the Flat Cat (the Perfect Pet)

I’ve been an avid buyer (hoarder) of vintage, inspired by the beauty of certain objects and the story they may tell us. This you may already perhaps know if you’ve been reading my blog for some time.

London, where I’m based, has a very bad value for money when it come to accommodations. But what has this got to do with the former statement? Well, being space at a premium, it was necessary to resize my vintage beloved collections.

So VforVintageLondon was born.

You can now find us on Etsy!

Meanwhile, the first order has been placed for this cute and rare cut out of the Perfect Pet. Let me introduce you to the FLAT CAT, a low-maintenance sweet companion:

FLAT CAT the Perfect Cat, a rare cut-out by Blue Q

FLAT CAT the Perfect Cat (Blue Q, 1988)

I’ve been super busy uploading some of my vintage troves to the shop.

Many others will soon be available: vintage costume jewellery, patterns, old tins, accessories, dresses, homewares, folk linens… and more will be regularly added, so perhaps follow me? (cheeky, I know!)

If you find anything you fancy, you can use one of these discount codes:

VFORVINTAGEWELCOME (£5 off on items from £10)

VFORVINTAGELONDONWSB (£2 off on items from £5)

Both voucher codes expire on the 11th December 2016.

Your questions, comments and feedback are welcome!

Vintage postcard, circa WWI

Vintage postcard, circa WWI, probably French

 

Autumn Colours Walk in Epping Forest

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Epping Forest is a lovely long stretch of woodland just outside of London in Essex.  There are miles of meandering footpaths in a surprisingly remote mature woodland.

I have been on a beautiful walk together with a meet-up hiking and outdoor group. It was a guided linear tour from Epping to Chingford (outer London).

We walked for over ten miles; the landscape and colours were pretty and peaceful and we were very lucky with the autumn weather – a fresh day but not wet at all.

We started off from Epping station, were we gathered and had a small breakfast, then set off at a good pace walking along some road, to finally enter the forest.

We stopped to have a packed lunch at a pond where some birds hungrily approached us to share our sandwiches. They did get some (most of mine).

It was a great walk, easy but not boring, and having a guide meant that I didn’t have to worry about consulting maps or compass or navigator… Thank you for the guide!

I’ll leave you with some impressions from the forest…

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Camping weekend in Guildford, UK

I haven’t posted in ages.. life has got in the way (insert boring details)

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This weekend I have been camping… yes! I hadn’t done in ages and really loved it. It certainly helped that the weather was graciously good and they offered very decent facilities!

It was for the EMF Camp that takes place every two years – a large gathering of investigative minds and non-grown-up folks. In the words of the organisers:

Electromagnetic Field is a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, artists, geeks, crafters, scientists, and engineers.

There were various activities – from talks to workshops, soldering sessions, blacksmithing, make-you-very-own-ring, villages (people with a shared interest of any legit sort), retro arcade…. (incomplete list by any means). An amazing varied crowd attended – families, geeks, alternative people, all genders/ages/tastes, from as far as Germany and Netherlands, Ireland (as well as from Scotland, Wales and England).

I tried out soldering, put up/down my very own tent with no hiccups (first-timer), played retro video-games. Generally had a fab time and felt very much in sync with the spirit and the landscape (amazing location, did I mention already?).

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My very own happy tent

My newbie soldering (left, and left)

The Retro Arcade – play anything vintage, for free

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The creator of the smallest sat (which orbited for 22 months, but found no cosmic rays – hope I got this right). http://www.50dollarsat.info and amsat.org

I also tasted freshly made Dutch Stroopwafel (a heavenly delicious recipe involving loads of butter, I understand). Sadly the blacksmithing was booked out, doh.

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Stroopwafel, freshly made on the spot (note my reusable light-weight container!)

…And got to wear flip-flops, walked bare-footed, sat on hay bales and got closer to Mother Nature. Big win.

The organisers made an excellent job and all ran smoothly. A big thank you!

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Are you ready for the caravan of love?

So this morning I found myself singing this tune on my way back from collecting something from the post office: “Caravan of Love”, The Housemartins.

I love the lyrics:

are you ready for the time of your life
it’s time to stand up and fight
it’s alright it’s alright

Hand in hand we’ll take a caravan to the motherland
one by one we’re gonna stand up with pride
one that can’t be denied stand up stand up
from the highest mountain valley low
we’ll join together with hearts of gold

[…] Every woman every man join the caravan of love
stand up stand up stand up
everybody take a stand join the caravan of love
stand up stand up stand up

I’m your brother
I’m your brother don’t you know
she’s my sister
she’s my sister don’t you know

We’ll be living in a world of peace
in the day when every one is free
we’ll bring the young and the old
won’t you let your love flow from your heart

These words tell so much of how I feel about this world and how I wish matters were for Mother Earth.

While walking back my late mother came back to my mind. In the few times when she would be happy, sometimes you could hear her singing some old tunes while going around the house. I loved to hear that – she was such a gentle and generous spirit and I feel really sorry that she had a hard and unhappy life with my father. I so wish she could have had the life she deserved, for her good spirit and many talents.

Sorry I brought back a personal and sad topic, after the cheerful song!

Isn’t it lovely when you find yourself or others singing a tune from the bottom of their heart?

Have you recently found yourself singing?

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Lovely pattern

Until now I have done very little season shopping: I don’t think there is much that I really need and in general I love buying presents that will have some practical use.

On Sunday I visited the Old Spitalfields market with the idea of finding some presents… Sadly, I failed to find anything suitable. The market itself was nice to visit, but I was a bit disappointed that many stalls didn’t sell items of own production.

There were a few stalls with woollens and I didn’t resist the sheepy temptation for long! I went home with a woolly booty:

as well as some soap bars by All Natural Soap Co (handcrafted soaps, 100% palm oil free, made with olive oil and wild shea butter).

And this is a hand-knitted present (a self-aid charity put my commission through to a skilled knitter who made it). My friend will have a beautiful neck warmer and a knitter will have had work. The (free) pattern is Braidheart by Rose Anne.

After the failed attempt at the market, I resorted to the net, where I found some useful presents:

Fire Log Carrier Bag

A fire log carrier bag

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Kneeler cushion for gardening

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Seedling labels

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Striped twine assortment

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Twine in a tin

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reusable muslin bags

(all but the first one were purchased from Burgon and Ball, an old British company based in Sheffield, England)

[disclaimer: as usual, I have no agreement and receive no compensation for mentioning items or brands]

And then there were the draught stoppers

Today I came across an old post about the Feline Draught Stopper, then WIP.. It took a while to complete, but last year it was finally done, and in use. Tadah!

ex Feline Draught Stopper

Here above it is, washed, stuffed and ready to be put in action again after the summer.

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I omitted the original feline head and tail, so it’s fair to say that cat is no more. I had to leave them out because they were going to be in the way when put in place on the window.

To make it I have (re)used materials that I had already in store. The outer shell was made with assorted wool rests, while the inner filling was done reusing bubble wrap from deliveries – just gathered together and rolled as a sausage.

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Above, on the right, you can see another draught stopper sewed by a friend of mine. It is made with fabric rests and vintage snap fasteners to close the side opening.

And here it is in use: preventing the cold draught coming in from the sash window, and also saving heating fuel. Good for the environment and for the purse!

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Finally, just a few ideas I saw in a shop window nearby. Maybe someone good at sewing could make these…

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Sun & flowers

Given the season’s weather (for those in the part of the world around the UK), I thought to add some colourful and bright photos…

In my yesterday’s post on jam and food waste I was showing the refurbished balcony in Austria – it did look a bit barren! The photos were taken just after the company finished working on the wooden structure that had to be replaced as the old was completely falling apart.

This time I’m showing some pictures – nothing special but at least there is bright sun light and flowers – of the balcony after the addition of some small plants.

Actually, the tallish green on the side of the balcony is now gone – someone stole it (all of the plants, vase and vase-holder)… unbelievable!

The blue-purple flowers are particularly loved by bees – a good bee-friendly way to add colour to one’s “garden”. They are called Aster (“Aster dumosus Sapphire”). Notice the bee in the photos below (yay):

And finally, a plant I had for ages and bloomed just before my arrive (isn’t that nice?)