Sunday, 31 August 2014

Modern Love in the 1920s - Some Advice

In my time I have collected a great many interesting vintage things. No rhyme or reason to what I decide to buy other than it takes my fancy, oh and it must be a bargain of course.

Sometimes folk find bits and pieces and give them to me because they feel I will appreciate them. This very old and I may say kinda strange smelling little magazine, was a gift. It doesn't have a date on it, I'm guessing 1920s because of the hair and lingerie styles, but it could be early thirties.

It is in tremendous condition for it's age, and is full of really lovely illustrations and adverts, as well as some 'new and dainty' patterns, designed for 'beauty and comfort'.

This article I think is worth sharing, it obviously seeks to manage a young gals expectations after marriage.

Seemingly men became very different creatures after the honeymoon period. For example, what is a girl to do when he forgets to bring the usual bunch of violets?

Well if you click on the story above to enlarge and squint hard enough you might just be able to read the answer. If not, a rough precis is, men aren't perfect, you wouldn't want them to be. Stop grumbling and appreciate what he does rather than what he doesn't !

" Did we think he would curtail his personal expenses, cut down his tobacco, and walk to the office, so that we shouldn't have to scrape over the housekeeping money? No, I don't suppose we gave it a thought, but we ought to now, and place it on the credit side of the account when we feel irritable and mutter: He's not a bit what I imagined........"

A warm welcome to my latest Google Friend Connect follower, Susan Newbigging. She's my fifty third follower, I'm hoping to make a round 100 before Christmas.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Haslam System of Dresscutting - Part Two

The last time I wrote about the notions and sewing skills of Miss. G. A. Haslam was in 2011. If you missed it you can still read it here. It has been so popular I can't quite believe it. So I thought three years has gone by, it must be time for some more Haslam. Who said I was slow on the uptake?

Lots of folk are giving hand made and upcycling a bash now, and that pleases me no end. Creativity is always a good thing in my book, regardless of what you do or how well you do it. Having said that I wouldn't want to wear a garment I'd sown.

But if you are one of those clever people like Lazy Daisy Jones, then you could probably glean enough info from this post to cut out a vintage pattern and make something really special. I hope so.

Miss. Haslam's tip for making this coat is, "Trace the pattern for the flared hip pieces and cut on each line. The two lower portions should be cut one and a half inches above the top of the pattern, to allow each to overlap. Allow one inch turnings at the lower edge, fold under and tack, machine. Fix each piece in position and machine to the coat".

Hopefully that means something to someone.

This costume coat design is from her Teenager and Junior Miss book of draftings. When I look at images like this I sometimes wish that Jeans had not been adopted so readily as stylish everyday wear. Even though I have to admit they are my own default choice of clothing most days.

Hello and welcome to John who is my latest Google Friend Connect Follower, you can find his delightful musings here.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Our First Born Sweetcorn

I promise a 'proper' post tomorrow.

Just wanted to share with my fellow veggie growing bloggers our first ever home grown sweetcorn.

It was sweeter than chocolate. And as you can see I'd taken my first munch before I thought to take a pic.

'This growing your own lark' is first rate, or as Lord Emsworth would say, "Capital".

Monday, 25 August 2014

India Hicks - One of my Favourites

Well the incessant rain has blown my Bank Holiday plans, how about you? Yes I thought so.

We've had a good run with the weather so it would be churlish to complain. Yet I feel we could still do with a teeny bit more warm weather before Autumn starts it's big chill.

I'm sending you some sunny pics to keep you going until the sun shows her face again. And a link to a very striking, stylish and talented lady's website.

image via
India Hicks, in case you don't know of her, is a fashion model, muse and a talented designer. I myself sport one of her Domino necklaces. I waited a long time for it and I never take it off! I think it's that special.

She also just happens to be the second cousin of HRH Prince Charles and she lives in the Bahamas. I know, lucky thing.

Her products are fabulous but to order them is a costly business because of our customs, tax and postal handling charges. But it doesn't cost a bean to dip into her life through her blog posts. Which I like to do. Masochist aren't I?

This latest post should make you smile and feel the warm sun through our rain.

Don't forget to tell her I sent you.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

A Week Of Ups & Downs

I feel as though I have been chasing my own tail this week. I'm not moaning mind, as I do like to have lots on.

I have been doing a bit of easy peasy painting in the house, just a downstairs cloakroom. It's all looking lovely and fresh again now. My brother and his wife are coming to stay with us in a few weeks and so I wanted to get it done. Not really the kind of thing anybody else notices, but part of my preparations for their arrival. I know, I'm nuts.

Actually we have just got back home after meeting them at Heathrow airport for lunch. They live in Australia and flew in today. They're now off on a wee tour of England visiting some friends and other family members before they come back to us in a few weeks for a five night stay. Can't wait, they are a very special couple.

So that was one of the ups this week, now to one of the downs.

I spent another long day travelling to and from  Margate on Thursday to attend a second interview for a dream job. Retail Buyer at the Turner Gallery. It is a very long way from where we live, but it was a two day a week post and would have been manageable if I didn't have to be physically there for all of my contracted time. Which I didn't. I was chuffed to hear I was the only applicant called back for a second interview.

Unfortunately I was so thorough in the presentation of the task they had set me, I inadvertently made them aware they had rather jumped the gun a bit. I suggested that more work was needed in establishing the direction of their enterprises and their 'branding' before they could move forward with the shop.

They agreed. So they didn't give me the job. Nobody got the job, because it no longer exists.

I'm adopting a philosophical view on the whole episode. There's no hard feelings and perhaps something better is waiting around the corner. Let's hope so.

On the accentuate the positive vibe, I have a new Google Friend Connect follower, in the shape of Ethel Johnson, welcome.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Searching for my Style

I can't say dear reader that I have ever been a dedicated follower of fashion. And apart from a brief period in my yoof when I dressed as a skin head, think Prince of Wales check dresses, Crombie coats and Sta Press. I have never really thought about dressing in a particular style.

In my twenties I 'discovered' vintage clothes and would often hoof it to Portobello Market for a little weekend number. I still do have a penchant for the odd vintage piece, but it's not a 'look' I feel I could go with on a daily basis.

Just recently though, and partly due to my visit to Reykjavik, I have become drawn to all things Scandinavian. Take a squiz at my Scandi/Norse board on Pinterest and you will see where I'm coming from. My Mother's maiden name is a Viking one so I do have some deep connections to that part of the globe.

I'm thinking of adopting a new style, a Scandi one. It will need to evolve, not least because I will have to grow my blonde hair long enough to feature some plaiting. But also because I'm not about to go out and spend thousands on a new wardrobe of clothes.

Don't worry I won't be seen wearing a winged Norse helmet. Although I do love a bit of eccentricity as you know.

Please click on the pink text below to see a wonderful interview with Dame Edith Sitwell talking about her style.

Almost forgot to welcome my new Google Friend Connect followers, that will never do. I'm super pleased to connect with, Countryside Tales, Captain Shagrat and Lemonade Kitty.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Birthday Treats

It's been a busy few days. I have been hither and thither. Margate again yesterday, more of that another time and today Eastbourne.

One of my close friends had a birthday today and she wanted to go to the Eastbourne Air Show, specifically to see the remaining two airworthy Lancaster Bombers in the world, flying together for the first time in over 50 years.

You see she has a special association with the 'Lanc', as both her parents, sadly now gone, worked on the bombers during the war. It was an emotional day. And they were a beautiful sight. I didn't get a pic, this one is from the Daily Mail showing them together in Lincolnshire.

The Lancaster Thumper, part of the RAF's BBMF with the Canadian Lanc, Vera.

We started the morning with coffee and present opening. I always like to buy her several things and spend many months finding just the right little treasures. I thought I would show you her birthday box wrapped in Agatha Christie and Poirot images. One of her presents had a Poirot connection and she has just bought herself a Remington typewriter, to do her invoices no less. So I thought these pics would be apt. I fired up the old Gestetner and hey presto.

Fortunately she loves hand crafted and home made things, so she knew it wasn't me just being overly scrimpy. The presents were wrapped in 'proper paper' inside, although it did have lovely retro images on that too.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Exciting Art Exhibition at Farley Farm House

Yesterday the mister and I attended a private view at Farley Farm Houseof a new and exciting exhibition of work celebrating Sussex.

The artist is a recent acquaintance of mine, having met her whilst I was helping out at our local art trail last month.

Philomena only recently moved to Sussex so portrays it with fresh eyes. Yet manages to 'nail' it completely.

Her unique style lends movement and power to her subjects. With elements of mystery and discovery making the work intriguing and fun.

Her canvases are a perfect fit for Farley Farm with it's wonderful views of the South Downs, and it's artistic associations.

Picasso was one of the many visitors to the home of his friend the Surrealist painter Roland Penrose and his wife Lee Miller, who moved there in 1949. As you would imagine the house has a lot of spirituality about it and not a small amount of magic.

I think Philomena's work is magical too.

Apologies for the shonky angles of her paintings but I was taking the pics around a large body of people. I hope you can get a sense of her beautiful art.

The exhibition is on until 21st September and all of the work is for sale. I would recommend a visit to the house as well as the exhibition. Farley Farm is a well kept secret, don't forget you heard about it here.

I would also like to welcome as a new Google Friend Connect Follower Hazzy who blogs here.

Plus highlight a fabulous post about the Giants who visited Liverpool, over at Lyn's blog. Pop over, you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Keeping Busy With Some Upcycling Projects

I mentioned a wee while back that I was going to tackle the two small ugly orange pine side tables, bought from my local chazza for a fiver. Perfect size for little drinks tables but oh so offensive to the eye. Well, I'm pleased to say they are finished.

Not a lot of outlay either. As you know dear reader, I don't normally buy expensive materials for my upcycling projects, I just rootle around in the (wo)man shed and find some suitable bits and bobs. The paint I used for this project was a half price bargain purchased many moons ago. Luckily, about a quarter of the paint was left in the tin. It had thick skin covering it, but after a good stir, it was good to go.

Do you like my free plant pot? My big Agave had some babies and I thought they would look cool in these Pizza Express giant tomato tins. I just asked for them after a meal one night, and they were more than happy to let me have a few. They're also good for storing garden accoutrement in the greenhouse.

The top view of the tables show my free downloaded images, covered with several layers of decoupage glue. And lastly here are my bird feeders made from vintage cups and saucers. What's on your 'must get done before the Summer goes' project list?

Monday, 4 August 2014

Dahn to Margit

The mister and I took a wee trip down to Margate the Saturday before last. We haven't been for years, not least because it's a bloomin long drive. There was all sorts going on. I'm not quite sure what the ladies in red were up to, but we kept seeing flashes of scarlet all over town. Great fun.

The wide sandy bay was full of folk having a lovely British seasidey time. We joined in with the paddling and searched for the very best shells, we listened to the steel band on the beach, we ate some crab and cockles and had a good mooch about town. We visited the mysterious underground shell grotto, and bemoaned the lack of Donkeys on the beach, like you do.

All the seafront pubs and bars were full to capacity mainly with skinheads (of a certain age). No not bald men, but the now slightly elderly sub culture group. They all seemed in good spirits, thankfully.

The reason for the trip was to check out the Turner Contemporary, we had heard good things about it. A sensational building with uninterrupted serene sea views.


It houses a world class gallery that is hoped will inspire, educate and excite visitors. And just perhaps, kick start a much needed regeneration.

Margate is quite an edgy place but I liked it. When Dreamland is returned to it's former glory in the next year or so it could tip the balance in it's favour and get holiday makers back to this neglected seaside town.

Perhaps the donkeys will return with them, I hope so.