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

 

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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]

of roses and random little objects

Some time ago, walking in Hampstead Village on a lazy afternoon, I sighted some little things and brought them home with me.

The first was a little rose plant with five blossoms in a tender pale cream with pink undertones – one of my favourite flower colours. Weeks into her new stay, the rose was rehoused in a larger green pot and unexpectedly (I by no means have a green thumb) thrived fairly well on the little place by the window. In recent days, the last of its blossoms, it was the tiniest one, surprised and showed us its beautiful heart in a shade of pale antique pink. As nothing lasts, although we wish so, I took a few pictures of my little rose, hoping to capture its tender appearance in an immutable form. Rationally, I am aware that it is a futile exercise, because change is a constant that we ought to accept as natural and even embrace. Following this first theme, my mind brought back Nick Cave’s ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow‘, inspired by the traditional song ‘Down in the Willow Garden’; his music has a fascinating mix of dark and romantic tones and I truly recommend his ‘Murder Ballads’ record. Sadly this song is about the killing of a beautiful woman.

my pale sweet rose

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Pale Rose Petals wool

The Little Prince and his Rose by ~lulii13omgtribute to The Little Prince and his Rose by lulii13omg, from Deviant Art

Carefully carrying my little rose around, back on that day we first met, we went on to visit a little covered vintage market. It was late in the day and some of the stalls were already packing their items. I stopped by a table with a couple of little boxes, you know those with an assorted mix of random things in them, to see what really there was inside. I carefully chose a few little curious objects, some old buttons and cuff links (?), a pin brooch, a necklace clasp, some 70s brooch, a green brush, a little metal whistle and a horn crochet hook (it must be an old one). The seller had plenty of high-end items at the stand, so I guess it was almost a relief to give away some of this no-name pieces… so I got my little shopping bag for a very inexpensive price – which is a good way to keep quiet that little voice of guilt, deep down there.

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I am not sure how these little things will be put to use one day, but I enjoyed choosing them and making a place for them in a cute little box of mine. A bit silly, isn’t it?

On a lazy Sunday stroll in town I found..

[of colours, nature and harmony]

a few more pieces that aroused my interest. More details in another post, here just a peek..

flower field by the deep riverflower field by the deep river

 

green is for Hope
green is for Hope

 

at the foot of the mountain
at the foot of the mountain

 

Observing the folds in the photo above, my mind associated the image with the 16th-century ‘Bathing Feet in a Mountain Landscape‘ silk painting by Hsieh Shih-ch’en (please have a look at the page, I’ll wait for you): if you follow the link, zoom-in the image to see the details and the serene person resting in the nature. From the Arts Connected’s webpage here is a peaceful inscription from the painting:

In deep seclusion the eastern wind blows fallen blossoms,

The whole river of spring water ripples with cloudy mist;

The wanderer’s song has ceased and he is entirely at leisure,

Resting by an old valley pine while the sun has not yet set.

(Hsieh Shih-ch’en)

[Disclosure: I’m not an art expert.. just came across this while searching for some definition!] I hope these last words brought some calmness and harmony into your first day of the week. Take good care x

About fabrics, haberdashery and patterned skirts (Old Spitalfields part 3)

Let me introduce the items of the final part of this mini-journey through my most recent troves: it’s all about haberdashery this time.

We start with a rich piece in a deepest brown background and orange details. It bears similarities to some folk patterns like these ones: Vintage Apron with Folk Design, Russian folk art bowl and spoon. I could imagine it as a decoration to pieces as those featured in this Kate Davies’ post on traditional knitting patterns (especially the Estonian ones) and in another on ’70s embroidery. Enough with the talking, here are some pictures..

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Then, there are two lighter trims, featuring respectively a forget-me-not and a heart pattern on simple cream backgrounds, as well as a nice fish-scale border.

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That’s it for this short series…!

About fabrics, haberdashery and patterned skirts (Old Spitalfields part 2)

As promised, here is a post about my other recent “troves”. Some of the photos are fuzzy because of the late afternoon poor light, sorry for that.

First things first, I’ll start with some actual items, that is some skirts that I fell in love with because of their patterns (and colour schemes). They may be restyled at some point, though I still haven’t worked out the details – pondering stage in progress.

The first skirt features a check pattern in dark blue, rich red and tan beige. I love the colour combination, but the style may need some adjustments, as its length is not really suitable to an average height person like myself (tongue-sticking-out face). It would be lovely to wear with a grey blue outfit, matt tights and powder blue ballerinas (blue? what a surprise…). The fabric is rather thick, cotton corduroy like. Here are some pictures – disclosure: colour rendering didn’t work out at its best, please activate imagination mode:

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Next, another skirt in a completely different style: flowery and light pattern, silky-like fabric and knee length, definitely something more for springtime (weather permitting). Its motif captured my eyes (poppies are very popular where I come from, see this post from the National Geographic) and the colours are simply adorable. A light-hearted and happy style that calls for warmer days. [are those poppies or wild roses?]

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We now move on to the fabrics section. Both are small-ish pieces, but it wasn’t enough a good reason to leave them (wee grin). The first fabric is a dramatic rich red roses on a black background, in cotton corduroy. The most accurate rendering of the colours is in the first photo; the orange-y tones in the subsequent ones are not correct.

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The second fabric is a thick wool small piece, with heathery pastel stripes and a subtle herringbone texture. May be just enough for a simple A-line skirt (hope), which would go well with a high-collar minimal sweater like the one that I recently purchased in a heather pink pure wool.

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The post is becoming too lengthy, I will put the remaining items in part no. 3 of this series… bear with me.

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…