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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

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Win a Set of Lifestyle Books

11 Jun

We’ve reviewed most of these books on the site and now you can win a set for yourself. Just sign up to our mailing list between now and the end of June to be in with the chance of getting your hands on all five books – 82 Modern Style Ideas to Create at Home, A Girl’s Guide to DecoratingHow to Make Jewellery With Tatty DevineMiss Hope’s Teatime Treats and The WAH Nails Book of Nail Art.

Thanks to the publishers Ebury Publishing, Hardie Grant and Murdoch Books for the review copies and thanks to Katie for donating one of her own.

How does your garden grow?

6 Jun

Are you growing any fruits, vegetables or herbs this summer?

Unfortunately we don’t really have any outdoor space in our flat, so we’re a little bit limited as to what we have space to grow. But I love having fresh vegetables and herbs during the summer months, so I always try to go something!

This year I’m growing tomatoes, peppers and basil. They all seem to be doing well – the tomatoes exploded during the few weeks of nice weather we had recently, which I am incredibly excited about. I have never grown so many – usually each plant gives me 10-15 tomatoes if I’m lucky. This year it looks like we might actually have a glut, something I have always read about but never quite experienced for myself!

The basil is just a supermarket plant, but seems to be surviving quite well. I try to cut it back (and eat it!) once every week or so, as it’s been growing really quickly.

And finally the pepper plant. This is the newest purchase – I bought it from Brixton market around two weeks ago. After a couple of days it transpired that it was infested with green fly, but after washing each leaf carefully with soap and warm water, that appears to have gone away.

I did also have an aubergine plant, but it sadly passed away about a week after I bought it – I think the pot I put it in was too small.

The two things I have done this year which appear to be doing wonders are 1) reusing the water when I boil eggs at the weekend – I let it cool down and then water the plants with it – the egg shells act as a natural fertliser! and 2) I have planted a marigold in with the tomatoes – I heard somewhere that this keeps green and black fly at bay and so far, it’s been working a treat!

Do you have any tips for growing veg indoors?

Happy Jubilee!

3 Jun

Happy Jubilee weekend! We hope you’re having a brilliant time and enjoying the bank holiday. A big hello to everyone visiting us thanks to Mollie Makes – we’re so excited to be featured – can’t wait to pick up a copy later on this week! We’re also taking part in BYW 2.0 – Great to meet so many new people through the forums there!

I am going to be baking a cake on Tuesday for lunch with Hannah and my parents and I thought I would share these amazing cake toppings, even though the cake is not baked yet.

I spotted them on Pinterest and my friend Laura ordered a set for me and a set for her from a tiny little shop in her home town. How cute are they!? I couldn’t wait until the cake was baked to share them…

They are sitting on one of my two Emma Bridgewater Jubilee tea towels – both my mum and my future mother-in-law bought one for me – luckily they are both different. I love them!

The weather isn’t quite living up to all of my dreams today, but I’m certainly still planning to have a good time – what are you doing over the bank holiday?

Upcycling a Footstool

1 Jun

Ages ago Katie kindly gave me this lovely footstool that once belonged to her grandmother. I’d been looking for one to do up for a while and this was exactly what I’d been looking for. It’s already been well used in my house but I finally got round to doing it up.

I started by stripping off all the old fabric and padding and giving the whole thing a good clean. I found fabric I liked in Fabrics Galore (Wandsworth Road, London) and wadding in The Crafty Sewer in Tooting.

I cut the wadding to size and lightly secured it on the footstool top with glue. Then I wrapped the fabric around it and got out the trusty staple gun. Halfway through it was obvious that the wadding wasn’t up to the job so I cut a second piece and layered them together. I’m still not completely happy though so any tips from furniture restorers on where to find proper wadding would be much appreciated. It does the job well enough for now though so I finished stapling the fabric securely round the top with a firm even stretch across the top.

I wanted to keep it dark wood but freshen it up, so the next step was to give the wooden base a good sand and a new coat of varnish. This was more difficult than I thought because some of the vanish came off easily and other parts were more difficult so it too a lot of elbow grease to get an even tone. You can still see the grain but I like that.

Two coats of varnish and the footstool is finished. Thank you Katie!

Jubilee Tea Party

30 May

If you haven’t made your plans for the long bank holiday yet why not have a jubilee tea party and take tea like the Queen in proper china cups.

Millie Wilkins China Hire is doing a special hire offer of a tea set for six – one teapot, six cups and saucers, six side plates, sugar bowl and milk jug – for just £15. Collect yourself for free (central London) or have it delivered on Saturday (within M25 only) for £20.

Contact milliewilkinschina@gmail.com for more details or visit their page on Facebook Millie-Wilkins-Vintage-China-Hire.

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.

 

Cheerful carnations

18 May

Carnations get a bad rep. They are mostly known for being the flowers that people buy when they are desperate – wilting flowers from the petrol garage bought in a fit of “SHIT I HAVEN’T GOT THEM ANYTHING”.

But is that association really fair? Traditionally they represent love and fascination, and although they are generally cheaper and a bit smaller than roses, they are still beautiful and come in a huge variety of colours and even patterns. For me the lower price just means they are more affordable and the fact that they are available everywhere means you have no excuse for not having fresh flowers at home!

P and I have been thinking about how we want to arrange our wedding flowers and carnations proved a great flower to test with. We aren’t likely to be using them on the day, as we are looking at wilder flora like heather and ferns, but we wanted to test how our cordial/passata/olive bottles/vases would look with some kind of flower arrangement in them. I hope you agree, they really do look lovely!

2 bunches for £5 from Marks and Spencer

Arranging flowers in the kitchen

Two bunches provides more than enough flowers to fill four bottles/vases – I could probably have filled five for just £5!

How do you think the vases look? I am thinking of dipping them in creamy paint so that just the water level is painted. But I’m worried about how much it will drip! Have you done this before? Any tips, let me know in the comments…

And what do you think of carnations generally? Take the poll over on our Facebook page.

(PS! That’s passata, cordial, olives, passata up there – they make great vases and cost nothing as we ate the previous occupiers…)

Shoe Organisation Inspiration

6 May

I love my bedroom but I don’t have nearly enough storage for my clothes and shoes so it’s a battle to keep it tidy. My current mission is to find something to store shoes in, other than a pile behind the door. Here is some inspiration I found on the internet.

I love this colour wheel of shoes but it does rather rely on you having lots of different plain coloured shoes to have the most impact.

I wish I had room for a gorgeous cabinet like this.

I want everything in this picture.

If you love your trainers and want to show off the labels.

And finally, if your shoes are a bit scuffed and scruffy file them away in this Ikea cabinet.

Book Review – 82 Modern Style Ideas to Create a Home

27 Apr

82 Modern Style Ideas to Create at Homeis a book of home styling ideas taken from the Australian magazine Inside Out, with special projects by Tamara Maynes ‘the Queen of Australian craft’.

Projects range from wall decoration to livening up ceramics and making Christmas decorations. This isn’t a step by step guide but rather inspiration and ideas that you can adapt for your own home. Some examples are…

Use blackboard paint to give a piece of furniture a new look.

Frame pretty wrapping papers and floral pictures and layer the frames resting on a mantlepiece or on the floor.

Paint your own pattern, they’ve used stripes here, as a splashback and cover with glass to protect it.

There are lots of ideas especially for beginners but if you’re a relatively seasoned interior designer/crafter you might find it a little simple.

This book was kindly sent to us by the publishers Murdoch Books.

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