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Neon DIY projects

14 Jun

Being a child of the 80s, I have always had a not-so-secret love for all things neon. I think it stems from the the first outfit I owned which I loved with a fiery passion – it was a hot pink top with flouro yellow stars on it and a matching skirt with lots of frills and layers which was flouro yellow with hot pink stars on it. Amazing. It made my 7 year old self very happy.

So I’m really happy to see so many neon related DIY projects on my favourite blogs and popping up on Pinterest. If you fancy getting stuck in to a very bright crafty project, here are a few of my favourites:

DIY Colourblock Bag from Say Yes to Hoboken

Wood and Neon Lanyard Necklaces from Martha

Neon and gold notebooks from Eat Sleep Cuddle

DIY neon toe shoes from Green Wedding Shoes

Have you seen or worked on any good neon projects lately? Share them in the comments!

Vintage Fashion Fair London

13 Jun

On Sunday I visited The Vintage Fashion Fair in Camden, London. They run an event once a month with stalls selling clothing and accessories from all eras. This is a fair for dedicated vintage fashionistas. The clothes were excellent quality but also quite pricey so I would have needed to really fall in love with something to put my hand in my pocket.

The Dress Circle had some of my favourite things. I loved this 50s Hawaiian dress and this tortoiseshell handbag and thought very hard about buying them but managed to resist. They can’t be found online but you can catch them at some of the other vintage events around the country (list at the end).

How cool is this hairdryer? I didn’t ask if it works!

Katie’s inner 80s child would probably like this pink leather skirt.

Find some of the vintage fashion stalls mentioned here at the following events:

14-18 June – Rockabilly Rave, Camber Sands – rockabillyrave.co.uk

13 – 15 July The Vintage Music Festival, Northampton – vintagefestival.co.uk

16 – 22 July – War & Peace Show, Kent – thewarandpeaceshow.com (don’t be put off by all the military stuff apparently there’s lots of fashion

25-27 – Twinwood Festival, Bedford – twinwoodevents.com

14-16 September – Goodwood Revival

Book Review: The Wah Nails Book of Nail Art

4 Jun

Nail art is huge at the moment, even royalty are doing it (Princess Eugenie had Union Jacks on her fingernails at the Epsom Derby on Saturday!) but who better to bring out a book on the subject but Sharmadean Ried, the founder of WAH Nails.

Sharmadean opened her first WAH Nails salon in Dalston in London in 2009 and the brand’s popularity soon caught the eye of national retailers, leading to a pop up shop in Selfridges and a permanent space in the Oxford Street branch of Top Shop.

The book takes the WAH style and shows you how to do it yourself. There are 25 projects, starting with their original leopard print design, each with a step by step illustration.

This comic book style is one of my favourites.

The cover gives the impression that the book is aimed at teens but the design inside is a funky scrapbook style which I think has wider appeal. I’m dying to give some of the projects a go but need to invest in some nail-art pens to do the more intricate parts of design. I’ll share the results when I do.

The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art is a very cool book which teaches you the WAH techniques and designs and gives you the inspiration to start doing your own nail art.

Thank you to the publisher @hardiegrantuk for sending us a copy.

Live: Fast Fashion

25 May

How simple is this wardrobe update? Pop a corsage on your top and it instantly creates a new look. Mix and match different corsages with various tops, dresses, coats and jackets for lots of choices.

As modeled and designed by the lovely Alice. I think this works particularly well because the pretty bright red flower she’s chosen really contrasts with the monochrome polo neck.

 

Style on a Shoestring – The Shoestring Splendour Swap Shop

9 Feb

Thank you to all the people who braved Arctic temperatures on Saturday to make it to the Swap Shop and to those who sent their apologies. As a result of the weather we were a little quieter than expected but those of us there did some successful swapping.

Alex picked up this lovely coat donated by Zoe.

I went away with a gorgeous and unworn wool jumper, a scarf, a sequin scarf/headband and another jumper. Plus I gave away a pair of boots that I felt guilty about not wearing every time I looked at them. Much better to know someone else is getting some use out of them.

The Cherry Blossom Cakery provided amazing cake for sale again and Katie had a manicure by Alex, our newest addition to the clothes swap experience.

At the end of the swap we packed up the things that had been to both events without finding a home and took them to the Save the Children charity shop.

We’re already planning the next swap shop for April so start clearing out your wardrobes now. We’ve discovered the most common worry about coming to the swap is that people don’t think they have enough to donate. We don’t expect everyone to turn up with bags of things, one item is enough but we’ll be charging a small entry fee next time too so if you don’t bring anything at all you don’t need to feel too bad!

Would you prefer a week night or Saturday? Let us know in the poll below.

Shoestring Swap Shop

18 Jan

After the success of the last one, we are planning another swap party!

The Shoestring Swap Shop will be on February 4th at the Railway pub in Clapham North, from 1-6pm.

As well as a massive swap party for clothes (and any gifts you got this Christmas that you think are just not you), you can also buy some delicious cakes from the Cherry Blossom Cakery, make Valentine’s cards for your loved ones, and lots more.

If you are interested in hosting a stand showing people how to upcycle their clothes or furnishings, e-mail us at Shoestringsplendour@gmail.com.

If you would like to come, please RSVP on the Facebook event page or by dropping us an e-mail at the above address. More details will be coming soon, so make sure you sign up today.

Hope to see you there!

PS: as a further enticement, here’s a reminder of my bounty from our last event

Shoestring Splendour Swap Party

30 Oct

Thanks to everyone who came along to yesterday’s Shoestring Splendour swap party. There were some amazing clothes on offer, each with it’s own story.

A few went along the lines of “I bought this dress/shirt/pair of jeans because I thought it looked good in the changing room, but it’s never suited me and I’ve only worn it once or twice”, some had literally never been worn (there were quite a few things with the tags still on!), and some were well loved, but just not getting worn as often any more (as Hannah said of one of the dresses she brought ‘I have too many photographs of me in this dress, I think it’s time to move on’).

This was one of my favourite pieces that came to the day. Everyone tried it on, but then Hannah tried it on and it was like it had found its home!

I managed to get a huge haul of stuff – three skirts, a dress, two cardigans, two t-shirts and more. Far more than I expected!

One of the skirts I picked up

It genuinely feels as though I have a whole new wardrobe.

Louise of the Cherry Blossom Cakery brought along some amazing cakes for us to have with our cups of tea, and Hannah and I had some cards for sale too.

Other than that, people who brought clothes were free to rummage, try things on, pick stuff up and take it home. What a great day!

A lot of people who came asked if we were planning on doing these regularly. The good news is that we are definitely going to be doing another swap, probably in January, so watch this space!

The Vintage Event at Balham Bowls Club

16 Oct

The Vintage Event run vintage fairs around London gathering together a handpicked selection of vintage traders selling vintage fashion, accessories and ‘objects of desire’. We visited them at the Balham Bowls Club yesterday, an amazing venue which is full of loads of amazing furniture, decor and ornaments even before the traders set up. During the day it was all about shopping but from 8pm it turned into a dance with music from the 40s – 80s

I was really impressed with the range and quality of items for sale. I’m not into vintage fashion myself because I’m the wrong proportions to wear it but these hats definitely caught my eye.

Katie always keeps an eye out for potential wedding dresses and found this amazing 70s one at Pippa and Me but it wasn’t quite her style.

But she did buy some of these fabulous original magazines from The Hostess Hotties which will no doubt become part of a project soon.

I was tempted to a couple of items to add to my collection for Millie Willkins Vintage China Hire. I already have one of these Sadler teapots so was really pleased to find one in a different pattern at Simply Vintage Designs. And I was really pleased with this sugar bowl with built in sugar tongs from Tea-licious.

After all the shopping and chatting to the stall holders we were in need of refreshment, thankfully Mother’s Ruin were on hand to proved cake and cream teas.

All in all it was a brilliant event and one I’m sure we’ll be visiting again. Hopefully next time we’ll be able to stay for the evening too.

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company: Trunk Sale

13 Oct

On Saturday my mum and I went along to the Vintage Wedding Dress Company in central London to try on a range of their dresses in their trunk sale.

I went along to the sale because I fell in love with one of their dresses online, booked an appointment and then realised that their dresses were crazy out of my price range. The dress I loved so much costs £1850 retail with some of their others costing even more. Then I saw that they were having a trunk sale and I thought maybe that would be my way in.

When we arrived at the venue, we had to check our coat and bags so that we didn’t take any photographs, so I’m afraid the above is the only picture I managed to take! Discreet, isn’t it? The trunk sale itself consisted of loads of dresses on rails in a big open room, with lots of brides-to-be changing. I have to say I thought it would be uncomfortable, changing in front of so many people, but that feeling lasted about five minutes – about as long as it took to get the dress on..

The staff were really friendly, helping me in and out of dresses, attaching sleeves, tying sashes – one of them even put a veil on me! I told her I had no intention of wearing one, but she said I should put my hair up and put it on ‘just to see what it looked like’ – it looked a.m.a.z.i.n.g. I’ve thought for ages that I didn’t really like wedding dresses, but then I saw all the wedding dresses on offer there and I have to say, my opinion has shifted a little bit!

In the end, the dress I loved so much from the website didn’t suit me at all. But there was another dress (this one, with lace sleeves and a silk sash) which looked absolutely beautiful. I tried it on in a gold-y white colour, as opposed to stark white and it was so gorgeous. I think my mum teared up a little bit. She tried very hard to get me to buy it, but I just couldn’t do it.

The dresses are significantly cheaper (it worked out to be around 40% off on the dress I loved), and because they are samples, I think the sales team would be open to bargaining. However, it was still £1200. I know that this is a very reasonable price for some people to spend – especially when the quality of cut is so high and the dresess are so flattering (really – the dress made me look RADIANT) (I am clearly not over my decision yet). But it was the first wedding shop I tried anything on in, and knowing I would have to buy it then and there to get the discount, without trying anything else on, and spending such a lot more than I had planned on spending, made me eventually (it took some deliberation) decide that it wasn’t for me.

However. If you do have £1200  to spend on your dress, I would highly recommend going along.  There were a lot of real vintage dresses (as opposed to the ‘Decades’ collection which are new, but inspired by vintage looks), which tended to be less expensive, and the Decades dresses, which were lovely.  The next trunk sale is in 6 months and, you never know, if I haven’t found another dress by then, I might be there with you pulling on one dress after another!

The Vintage Wedding Dress Company – website // Twitter

Clothing and Christmas swap party!

30 Sep

It looks like I will be moving house (again!) soon, and somehow, despite only being in my current flat for six months, I have already accumulated lots of things which I never wear or use. There are the jeans that still don’t fit me, the spotty skirt I don’t think suits me anymore, some work shirts and some t-shirts – and that’s just what I can remember while sitting in the office! Everyone has these items in their cupboard – lovely things which for one reason or another just aren’t getting worn.

So, Hannah and I thought it might be time to host a clothing and Christmas swap party.

If you would like to come, just RSVP to the event on Facebook, and make sure you invite your friends! We have hired a room in a lovely pub in south London, so hopefully there should be lots of room.  We are having the event on October 29th.

Please bring along any clothes and accessories you love but which you no longer wear and you think could be loved more by someone else.

ALSO (this is where the ‘Christmas’ part comes in), if you have been given a gift which you think is just not right for you, but might be right for someone else (either to keep or to ‘regift’), then bring those along too! You might make someone else’s Christmas shopping just that little bit easier…

If you are coming along, leave a comment or drop us a line on Twitter – it would be great to meet some of you in person!

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