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!

Quirky jewellery at the Old Spitalfields Market

Today the sun made a benevolent appearance and given its scarce presence in spring this year, I took this opportunity to brave the cold and visit the Old Spitalfields Market. According to Wikipedia, this has been the site of a market since the early XVII century and was then located in a rural area in the outskirts of London. [Edit: recently they discovered a Roman cemetery on the site]. Nowadays it’s in the heart of the city and hosts fashion, speciality food and vintage markets, with different themes for the various days of the week. I didn’t take any pictures of the market to avoid delays, but I promise I will in my next visit!

I’ve been living in this city for quite some time (years) now, but this is the first time me visiting a fashion market, if we exclude the neighbouring one in Camden Town (shame on me). This is really strange indeed, given that I love all vintage happenings, flea markets and anything where one can find the unique item, accessory or something that can be later included in a new creation. Let’s blame the fact that in these years I’ve been really busy with my studies and work.. smile.

So, on this sunny-but-cold Saturday, my partner volunteered to accompany me to the market – knowing that I would end up in endless searches and scrutiny of what on offer, it was a brave decision. Thus, I am grateful for that, as I did bring home some special items.

In this post I will focus on a few bits of quirky jewellery, now re-homed to my address for a bargain price.. obviously, I love bargains!

There are three pieces that I chose among the many at a little stall in this beautiful covered square. More later on the other items that I got there, and elsewhere, in these days – here I’ll keep on the jewellery theme and leave the fabrics for the following one.

First I picked a heart pendant, with the aim of finding later a suitable black or deep red satin cord necklace (or maybe this one or this?) to complement it. Its delicate filigree metalwork reminded me of Etruscan jewellery and a silver butterfly brooch that my mother used to have. The mysterious Etruscans had an important culture and governed a large part of Italy before the Romans; they left some extraordinary examples of art, from goldsmith artefacts to pottery and bronzes… anyway, I’m now digressing.

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The next item was a decadent bracelet composed by three rings of coloured pearls, in black, dark red and rich English Rose tones, with matching chiffon top styled as flowers. It’s probably something that I wouldn’t wear everyday, especially given my low-key appearance and no-jewellery daily outfits, but I could imagine that it would work well for an evening out with a black sleeveless dress, or with a goth outfit that I occasionally wear in the alternative Camden.

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It took me a while to choose the last one among other candidates, but in the end I took with me a wooden, glass beads and coloured shell necklace. I loved its pair of wood rings, the delicate shades of the real shell and the small glass beads. At first sight I thought it to be a bit on the excessive side, but when I analysed the quality of the material, it appeared to be just a genuinely quirk piece. And if I won’t get to wear it, I can always re-use (upcycle?) its bits: for example, out of the wooden rings make brooches for some own-made shawlette, scarf or cowl – I’d just need a steel or horn pin; or use the beads in the lace-y detail of an accessory. Ideas are plenty, so no worries there.

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Off to prepare some fish dish now.. Stay tuned, more to come about fabrics, haberdashery and some original skirts to be restyled…