Fairs, restoration and vintage jewellery

Flowers are blooming… here’s a beautiful bush from the neighbourhood

spring flowers

Spring is coming!

A catch up post with a bit of all….

The ABBS market I attended recently wasn’t bad – all in all it was an interesting experience and helped me getting a feeling for what items may sell and in what price range. Sadly, I managed to delete the photos I took at the event, thinking I had already downloaded them… doh! So I will offer some flower pictures instead, which are always nice to see.

The restoration of the ceiling rose is in progress: it takes ages to clean it up properly. Here’s a shot of a recent state – you may not see much progress, but I assure you there is. You may notice that in some areas the stucco details are much clearer – those come out after hours of careful brush work. Here are some pictures of the WIP (the work has now proceeded further, but I haven’t taken a photo yet):

After most of the extra material had been removed

Material has been removed from the outer circle

The stucco details in the left quadrant are starting to come out after careful brush removal work

I also booked tickets for The Ideal Home Show currently held from 24 Mar to 9 Apr 2017 at the Kensington Olympia Grand in London. Yesterday when I passed by on my way to work (the venue is just next to my office train station) it was pretty crowded already! As we’ll visit at a weekend, it’ll be necessary to get there early to avoid exhausting queues. If anyone is interested, you can get a reduced price (from £15pp to £10.50pp booking for two, using code OLYMPIA).

I have been continuing my quest to acquire more vintage jewellery boxes. I already have quite a few, but I love these old boxes, so more are on their way. They will be used for some of the vintage costume jewellery that is to be sold on my Etsy shop VforVintageLondon and at the upcoming fairs. Speaking of which, the actual listing of such jewellery on Etsy is high up on my to-do list! I seem to never get around to it, although I have many photos already and “just” need to write the listing… I hope to do some this weekend, because they’re really beautiful! Just a few pictures to show you some… (if you’re interested, please get in touch, we ship worldwide).

Recently I was shipping one of the Etsy orders (an elegant vintage red leather purse) and came up with the idea of decorating a beautiful blue box with some delicate flowery vintage paper, in a blue-white-red theme. What do you think?

Finally, I booked at another fair: the Pop Up Vintage Fair is a regular vintage fair taking place in the beautiful old St Stephen’s Church in London. As well as plenty of vintage shopping, you will find “retro” live music and a vintage tea room with yummy cakes. If you would like to attend, I have some free tickets 🙂

Details: Sunday 9th April, 11:00-16:00, at St Stephen’s Church, Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, London, NW3 2PP. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these 🙂

Have a lovely weekend!

The Fiver Curtain

(Vintage Way No. 2)

Finally this weekend I was able to dedicate some time to repurpose a lucky find from some time ago: a curtain in a beautiful shade of blue.

The material: curtain and matching haberdashery (all for a fiver). It feels like a linen-cotton fabric, so not bad at all.

The bathroom needed a small one to avoid or reduce see-through when the lights are on at night.

Luckily the width of the repurposed material perfectly fitted in our window, so the work needed wasn’t a lot.. but bear in mind that currently I have no sewing machine, so it’s hand stitching all the way.

Before being shortened

Out it came (part of) my sewing thread stash (lots of vintage threads and some less old – ebay, charity and market finds). For a quick refresh on some more of my stash, see this old post: Wooden Reels (no, this isn’t it all, and yes, they’re still stored in boxes). If I ever need a colour, I’m pretty confident it’s going to be in there, or at least something closely matching..

In my usual freestyle way, I didn’t do much of complicate measurements (i.e. none). After putting it up on the curtain rail I just marked the desired length in a couple of points, then proceeded to bast and cut the extra length.

The extra length has just been cut off

The bottom has been basted, ready for trying it up

Then the edge was fixed – the result is not particularly pretty, but works. There was a little fiddling with the basting as in the middle section the length was slightly longer. Then the two layers were fixed together with a small, mostly hidden stitch. And that was it: new curtain’s up!

“New” vintage curtain is up!

It still needs a curtain hook to hold it on a side when open, then the haberdashery blue rope can be put to use too.

I was very happy to repurpose the lucky find: “new” nice curtain for a fiver.

Environmentally friendly: check; economic: check. Win-win.

~ ~ ~

As some may have noticed I don’t blog very often. I thought about it, and I believe it’s due to my instinct of presenting things only when they’re complete. This way I miss out on the spontaneous update and just putting it out to the world really.  So I end up having quite a few photos of things I’ve done, seen or am making, but actually posting very little of them. Also, life often gets in the way and throws many things at you – sometimes there isn’t just enough energy left to sit, edit photos and write it all down. I wonder if that’s a common problem with bloggers?

Anyway, next time (this week!), I will discuss:

“New” Curtains. The vintage way.

In the bedroom there were some really unappealing wooden blinds, which were inherited from the previous owner.

I really dislike blinds (understatement).

Recently I was lucky to find a set of vintage Jonelle curtains, in cotton fabric and made in England. They look like new, clean and crisp. The price tag was very friendly, which was a nice extra. *Happy*

The only things needed were a pole and some hooks to hang it.

And finally yesterday we scored a very nice wooden pole (it has acorn shaped finials!). Acorns and oaks are one of my favourite plants, so the acorn motif was just perfect. *Happy*

Today we took the old ones down and put the ‘new’ curtains up… I just love them!

What makes me even happier is that the whole thing is very environmentally friendly – only the pole is a new product. I even had vintage brass hooks to use, so didn’t need to buy the crappy plastic ones. *Very Happy*

Another day in vintage life style.

Do you like and buy vintage?

The curtains are made of Jonelle pure cotton, in green/cream with a leafy motif.

The curtains are made of Jonelle pure cotton, in green/cream with a leafy motif.

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The curtains finally hung, only need shortening

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The pretty wooden pole with acorn finial

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Vintage brass curtain hooks

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The old wooden blinds.. now gone on Freecycle

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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

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?