Saturday, 26 February 2011

Do you get it wrong sometimes?

I have just been inspired by a lovely new blog called Vintage Rose that I came across today. I love what she says in yesterday's post.  She talks about how she sees others looking at her and believes they are thinking negatively about her style, but in fact they are intrigued and  interested, but their face doesn't show a smile (yet).

It is something I have been wondering about too. Somedays I don't want to be a vintage girl when I am out and about in the normal-people world, just because the day is hard enough to get through without coping with funny stares. I am already a red-head, I am already big busted, I have a New Zealand accent, so even at 5'2" (and the all important 5/8"), I tend to stand out. I like dressing vintage, but I don't like feeling so very different - not all the time anyway. But maybe I, like Vintage Rose, get it wrong sometimes.  Maybe they are not funny stares, maybe they are just - "hey-you-look-interesting" stares. 
funny pictures - YOU PERPLEX ME
For when you need a good cute giggle, click here
It is only because we think that other humans are THINKING something that we assume it might be bad, especially if we are already a bit worried. We don't worry about what our cat thinks of our outfit do we? No, because we know they are just thinking about the next meal or, maybe, how to murder the next door dog.

When a stranger passes me and gives me a look, sometimes I have had the guts to break into a smile, even only a shy one, and I always get a really big smile back. It is kind of - "hey I see you looking at me" and "yes, I like your outfit" in silence.

Let me know about you. Are you really brave with your style regardless? Do you save the best bits for when your vintage friends are going to see you, so they understand and appreciate it? Do you have a mechanism to cope with extra attention, good or bad?


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Just some bows on shoes

I thought I would talk about bows on shoes.
Who doesn't love them?
(Sorry, left pesky super stuck label on cos I was in a hurry)
But sometimes the shoemakers get it a bit wrong in trying to be funky.  These office shoes originally came with rags as laces:
I can see what they are trying to do, a distressed finish to modern up these lacy lovelies, but skinny cheap cotton rags tend to rip, in fact a bit ripped off when I even tried them on in the shop.  So now that they are safe at home with me they have their new grosgrain bows that are just the right amount of floppy to be lush and just the right amount of form to be ladylike. I love grosgrain ribbon.
I also have this pair from Hush Puppies (a year old now) and their original satin ribbons with false leather on the end comes undone all the time, and sits out too stiff and proud - making them look like witchy shoes to me. 
So now the navy ones have been grosgrained too, and they no longer come undone.
The 4 year old in me really liked the idea of contrasting ribbons, say melon or red or even cream. Or maybe some with spots on them (this might yet be re-visited). But then I remembered that I am closer to 40 than 4. Damn. They have enough girlish-ness to them already I think.
I am a funny one for finishing off the ends of bows.  They either need a diagonal line or a shape "V" cut into the ends.  For these bows I made a diagonal cut and then sealed the end by holding it really close to a candle flame. This melts the synthetic fibre and seals the edge so it won't fray. My dad used to do it with bits of nylon rope and things like webbing straps on backpacks, so that must be how I know about it. 
I feel the need to do a disclaimer now: it won't work on natural fibres, they will just catch fire. Don't do it if you are not an adult. Be careful of your clothing/hair/cat catching fire. Be sensible about it. A candle is manageable since you need to get close to the flame, bonfires: not so easy. Have a bucket of water, a loaded fire extinguisher or a topless fireman handy.  I recommend the fireman; they tend to be more effective, but he MUST be topless. Not advisable to melt ribbon while drinking. Definitely advisable to melt into fireman after drinking. Do not melt and drive. Wear a seatbelt. And finally, have a little practise first on a scrap piece of ribbon

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Vintage adventures in the Isle of Wight

Hello and welcome to a new week. Mr Wolf worked out that we are 1/7th of our way through the year already. Sometimes you just want to smack him.
But... you can't... because you are away for your anniversary weekend and are supposed to be being nice to each other (which in truth we are really). I had a minor melt down yesterday (not a BAD one, just a TOO MUCH one) so this is Monday's post out on Tuesday - see, we are only 2 days into the week and I am already behind!


Anyhoo... We had a great time on the island and it turned into quite a vintage adventure weekend. I did as many Charity shops as I could muster then I did the knitting shops too. Surprisingly, we found there to be a decent vintage scene out there.
We met Tracy from Suze's Room in Ventnor:
And along the way we found Odds and Sods in Shanklin:
Who sent us on to Oh So...Vintage! in Newport:
(Now this is embarrasing, that style pattern was my ball dress in 1990. Back then it wasn't vintage)
We also walked out to The Needles, leaning into the wind the whole way and checked out the wartime gun battery out there.
(The "after" shot of my hair has been canned for fear that Darren Dead Man will tease me forever about it)
As a fitting end, on Sunday we went to the "Dairyman's Daughter" for lunch and happened across a wonderful swing band. Gosh they were fab!  
We worked off the roast by dancing the afternoon away on the cobblestone floor (tricky on my 193 yr old dodgy knees). From left; Rupert, Keith (also known as Arthur!?), Brian and Bob are amazing musicians with not a piece of sheet music between them. From what we can work out they have an impressive background; highly trained, quite famous really and are terribly nice and funny too. We think they make the most amazing live music we have heard for awhile. For reference, they are known as "Menage", being a bit of a play on the words "Men Age" and they play either at the Dairyman's Daughter or at the Glasshouse restaurant regularly.

What we DIDN'T get to is Cameos in East Cowes, and to check out Vintage Vacations (forgot they were based on the IoW until Tracy mentioned them). Oh and I needed another day on the charity shops! Does anyone else have vintage contacts in the IoW to add?

We hope to go again since the Island also reminds us of the NZ countryside. Perhaps in Summer though... and without the windy trip to the Needles.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

6 years and counting

Hello vintage lovers.
heh heh - "Vintage lovers" takes on an extra today meaning because Mr Wolf and I are taking ourselves off on a wee jolly this weekend to the Isle of Wight, just because we got married 6 years ago! (It seems both longer ago and just last week at the same time)
Actually, last weekend was our real anniversary, but since we were in a cold cow shed at Stoneleigh, romance felt some distance away (ie, buried under thermals, scarves, woolly socks and thick coats!)
Our wedding was vintage themed, of course, and there is a bit of a story about my dress.  Wanna hear it? ...Oh, ok then...
Mr Wolf proposed (without a ring I might add, gambling with fire there I think) when we first got to the UK.  He was still looking for work and I had just started a contract, so we didn't have much dosh. 2 weeks later I headed to my first ever vintage clothing fair with two friends from NZ. I was warned (complete with a stern look) not to spend much, worried as he was about money. Ok I said, sure, unaware as I was of the temptations that awaited me.
Well, I got through the whole day with the girls without spending a penny...until we were about to leave and THERE WAS THE DRESS! I only had the girls opinion of it, since there was no mirror to hand, and I didn't fit it, quite, but we could see the potential.  So I went and drew out £60 and bought it.
Now, Mr Wolf HAPPENED to be mucking about with accounts that afternoon and he SAW me take money out while he was on internet banking. Oh oh
When I got home, I quickly squirrelled the dress away in a cupboard, then got the third degree:
Wolf: "So what did you buy?"
Me: (thinking I had got away with it) "Nothing"
Wolf: "No, I mean, What did you buy?" (with a bit more intensity)
Me: (realising he knew, somehow and a bit spooked) "I can't tell you"
Wolf: "What do you mean?"
Me: "I mean I can't SHOW you". (with a bit of a look of warning thrown in for good measure)
Wolf: (after a moments pause and disbelief) "What a WEDDING dress?"
Me: (Smug as a kitten in a knitting bag) "yip" Then I put the £15 change in the kitchen tin.
Well he was floored and VERY happy. I think he realised he was marrying the right girl at that very moment. Indeed, my shoes cost £6 from Ebay and I made my own frilly knickers. Cheap as chips me! The petticoat was the most expensive item, needing to have enough netting to hold the heavy satin out (I didn't want a hoop). It can actually stand up on its own!
This is the only pic I have on my laptop so that will have to suffice for now, since we are already on the road.

I do hope you have a good weekend, and if you are not spending it with a special someone, that you can do something nice for yourself anyway.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lovely things found at Stoneleigh

Hi lovelies
Last weekend Mr Wolf and I went to the Militaria Event in Stoneleigh - basically a huge swop meet for the re-enactors in the UK.  You can get anything military there - Jeeps, boots, uniforms, equipment, guns (not working ones) absolutely anything... so long as it is khaki!  
I jest, but in truth, the UK has a thriving military re-enactment scene and the knowledge that is held within is truly phenomenal. Individuals and groups will research regiments and battles and know exactly the patch that is required to complete a uniform and can spot a fake at 50 paces. At other events they stage historically correct  battles, but this one is just to search for that elusive missing button/jeep part/size 11 desert boots.
Some gentle souls may find it disturbing, and think this glorifies war and all that goes with it.  In actual fact it is the opposite. Many there are ex-military and while they recreate the historical details, a healthy dose of respect for what it was really like is part of the whole experience. The re-enactments do remind us why we don't want to go there again.
So, anyway... me, at the risk of now sounding fickle, and being not really a khaki kind of girl (in that it suits me but not my personality)...well I... staked out the few stalls I was interested in, and I managed to get some very pretty things and here they are! 
Gorgeous 30s buttons - I think I have the exact match in a wool fabric
20s/30s Celluloid broach - so lucky to find these in one piece
30s buckle ON A CARD! ohh I love that almost more than the buckle itself! It will take me a year to decide to separate them, if I ever do

And no shopping trip would be complete with out a new pattern to lust over. 

And I picked up the tablecloth these are on too - so pretty and only £2!


I also had a look at Rocket Originals new Mitzi Shoes - Nice!

Mitzi
If you are interested in the re-enacting scene, I suggest you come along to the War and Peace show in July, or check out the World War II Re-enacting magazine (sold at some WH Smiths and here).  WWII would be the most prevalent, but other wars and battles are covered in what is know as "Multi Period Living History" events - just in case you need to know.
Over and out!

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