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!

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Handmade jewellery pouches! And yarn. And a Victorian ceiling rose.

I’ve been making wee bags to coordinate with the costume jewellery in my collection.

The collection started out because I saw things “I just liked” (uh oh, sounds familiar). I love it all, but I seldom use jewellery these days.. The vintage pieces are in time going to be posted on Etsy (whenever I get around to take beautiful photos and prepare the listings). I also plan to attend some small markets or events, like the ABBS that take place this Sunday in London (near Kentish Town, details here).

All of the bags are hand sewn. I used different materials:

  • Harris Tweed wool
  • velveteen (the purple and the orange)
  • corduroy (the black with red roses)

The Harris Tweed was a one-of lucky purchase – they were remnants, probably small offcuts from clothing and accessory production. The tweed came in various colours: beige, greys, dark green/dark red, brown/green/orange and so on. It’s very beautiful but until now I didn’t have an idea of what to make with it. I’m very happy that I finally thought of using the fabrics for these small pouches, because they’re beautiful materials and I love the results! I plan to make many more, as spare time allows..

Here’s an overview of those made so far (they still need ironing). What do you think?

My handmade jewellery bags

Corduroy in black and red, with a lovely rose motif

Purple velveteen

Orange velveteen

Harris Tweed wool in assorted colours

Harris Tweed bags and vintage jewellery

This one was made by an old friend of mine with a sewing machine. It’s much larger and can be used to wrap presents.

 

The bags laid out for photo shooting and planning the next ones to be made

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I also want to show you my last stash enhancement! Tangled Yarn is having a sale and soon it’s my birthday, so I treated myself to some gorgeous yarn by Shilasdair (a Scottish company based on the Isle of Skye). I already had some DK in Winter Loch and Summer Loch shades, to which I now added more of the Winter Loch (a dusty shade of blue), as well as some 4 Ply in Rowan Berry. These are the beauties (sorry for the bad evening light):

Shilasdair stash enhancement

Shilasdair DK in Winter Loch

Shilasdair 4 Ply in Rowan Berry

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Finally I also would like to share one of the DIY activities happening in the flat. The ceiling rose is being restored to its original Victorian beauty. It’s a WIP and may take quite a while to complete.

Firstly a vintage fancy (and heavy!) chandelier has been bought from Belgium. Now the stucco of the rose is being restored: in time it had been covered by layer upon layer of paint and its beautiful details were mostly lost.

There is an absolutely ecological and healthy way to remove the crap engulfing the stucco: PORRIDGE! Hard to believe but it works!

Here is evidence of the proceeding – unfortunately we forgot to take a picture of it before starting works, but you can still see how it was in the outer circle of the rose (which has yet to be handled).

The ceiling rose stucco (central section) covered in porridge and cling film (it does look weird)

The porridge has been removed and the layers have come off with it

Gentle mechanical work with a small plastic spatula is required to remove the extra material from the corner areas

After most of the extra material had been removed. Notice the difference between the inner and outer sections.

I plan to be back soon with a small update about the preparations for the ABBS and my Etsy shop.

Good night!

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.

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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

 

knit on

Today’s update on current WIPs… I have so many ideas that this morning I had to get up around 6am because I couldn’t rest any longer!

Feline Draught Stopper

The draught sit in the flat has gotten into a bleak state, which required a prompt intervention. Swiftly I consulted patterns, jotted down ideas (I have quite a few more), and this morning I casted on. Looking at the assorted mix of random yarns in the stash, I was actually able to put together some lovely combination of shades. Apart from one, the other yarns have no label – though it feels like a slightly coarse wool.

The beauty of using aran weight yarn is that progress is so immediate, which helps motivation. In the picture of the WIP, you can notice the beautiful Canadian birch needles that Joahnna from FlorePoste kindly sent me recently – I love them!

The pattern is free and can be found on Simplicity’s website or on Ravelry. You can see the finished item in the background of the second picture:

Feline Draught Stopper, the beginning

Feline Draught Stopper, yarn selection

Elder Father knee caps

Last night I moved the stitches from DPNS to short circulars (30 cm) and it made a big difference in ease of knitting: no nasty dropped stitches anymore (yay!). A little progress, now faring at 20 rows, not much but getting along.. The yarn is a pleasure to work with – it has a compact softness and a springy hold.

Elder Father knee caps

Vintage

I received a delivery from the USA with a sweet floral dress (60s?) by E. D. Juniors of San Francisco and some Bernat wool kit for babies (40s-50s?). The E.D. brand was apparently fairly popular in the 60s-70s – I wonder if any of the US readers know more about it?

vintage peasant dress in floral pink, by E.D. Juniors of San Francisco vintage peasant dress in floral pink, by E.D. Juniors of San Francisco vintage peasant dress in floral pink, by E.D. Juniors of San Francisco

Bernat Baby Pak, ca. 1946Bernat Baby Pak, ca. 1946

more beginnings

With the first day of the week, I deemed it suitable to start a few new things: (another woolly post)

Fleeces

You may remember from this post that I talked about Bowmont and Lincoln Longwool. The washing of the raw fleeces has begun: being my first attempt and being new to the process, it will probably take ages to complete all; additionally I need to be careful to avoid felting.

The detergent used is a natural washing up liquid by Ecover. I started by rinsing the ends under running cold water, gently opening the locks up by pulling the fibres sideway – this way, most of the vegetable matter and natural dirt came off before soaking. I didn’t take many photos because my hands were too busy, but I snapped a few before sunset.

Lincoln Longwool fleece before washing

Lincoln Longwool fleece before washing

Lincoln Longwool fleece soaking

Lincoln Longwool fleece soaking

I will show more pictures once the fleece will be dry. The next, I will “only” need to figure out how to use my vintage spinning wheel!

New project: Elder Father knee caps

I started knitting some knee caps for my father, using a vintage pattern from KnitHeaven.com. The days are growing colder and something to keep joints warm can be really useful. As a tribute to Wovember (Raverly group here), I’m using a 95/5% merino-cashmere yarn.

Elder Father: knee caps from vintage pattern

Elder Father: knee caps from vintage pattern

Cashmere-merino yarn in beige-celeste

Cashmere-merino yarn in beige-celeste, used for the project

Other vintage free patterns for knee caps on Vintage Knitting Patterns and Vintage Knits, who very kindly also offers other free vintage patterns.

Fibre tutorials & TV programme

Recently, I came across some free tutorials on SpinningDaily.com:

KnitMyStash wrote a great post on knitting programmes finally making an appearance on the TV landscape:

  • Programme on the worl-record attempt (shear-to-product) by a Norwegian team, thanks to the “slow TV” format now being presented on Norwegian television. I watched the first part and found it very educational as I could see it all happen minute-by-minute. Another reason to love Norway! For the moment there is no English translation, but it’s not really needed as the images talk by themselves.

They’re a very interesting reading/watching if you want to start working with fibres, or are relatively new to it.