Thursday, 31 December 2009

The post of things to remember to do someday

When you're a daydreamer much like myself, I can think up a million and things I want to do by the end of the week, yet alone in five years time. There are so many places I want to visit, things I want to see, random things I want to experience. And with the turning and the passing of one year into the next, today is probably the time and this is most probably the best place I have to keep a version of the things I would love to do some day, lucky most of my dreams are matched by those of my guy - i'm super lucky to have a guy that's not only into everything I am, but wants to share experiences too.

Sooo in no particular order after getting a proper job, moving away from home and some money:
Visit Falling Waters and have a ...
1930s American backdrop for an autumn honeymoon
Our first holiday spent making ...
sandcastles and splashing in the sea at a traditional British seaside holiday at Wells Next to the Sea
Travel around Europe ...
from France, to Italy, Germany and Poland with two rucksacks, a camera, some maps and a notebook ...
Get lost under a mountain of books and antiques during a visit to
Hay on Wye
Walk along .. or part of ...
Hadrians Wall
Like most girls dream ...
to get married [oooo see how that sneaked in]

And just time to wish you all a very happy new year!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Sewing and the bachelor girl

Have you ever thought about matching your carpets, your walls or your sewing to your hair colour? Well this, according to The Big Book of Needlework was the thing for all young ladies to do so. This book has always appealed to me, it offers insightful, creative and practical designs and tips on how to get started and become a mild expert in varying household and creative needlework projects. Yet it does so in a mildly sarcastic manner and it is the embroidery chapter which offers the most charmingly imaginative guide.

“Though the modern bachelor girl of the dashing, dancing, cocktail-drinking type may abhor embroidery, purely as embroidery, when it has no definite end in view, yet there is much modern embroidery which would give character and individuality to her bachelor abode and which, done by herself would neither cost much nor take much time for its execution.

Let us first design a background for those embroideries and for a brunette. Suppose she has a large and fairy lofty room with a north light. Her main furniture consists of a good divan with plenty of cushions and a quite handsome black cocktail cabinet presented by an admiring uncle. As she is of the vivid, restless type, fond of brightness, colour and life, her walls and ceiling could be covered entirely with a good dull gilt paper, having a surface simulating a canvas weave. The woodwork to be enamelled black and a plain black carpet on the floor. If this is too expensive then the floor could be painted black and have one or two scarlet (not red) rugs. Old rugs will dye quite satisfactorily to the proper lacquer scarlet.

Now the embroideries. For boldness and speed, these must be mostly in appliqué. Place the cabinet against the wall facing the window. On the wall behind it may be hung and embroidered mural panel ...

… For the blonde girl of this same type, the walls and ceiling might be in a silvery grey with woodwork painted soft jade and a jade-green carpet. The furniture to be plain, unpainted deal to which is applied two or three coats of inexpensive silver pain. Removed handles and replace them with short jade composition bar-handles. The embroidery … divan cover and curtains to be in the same designs but in a very full soft flat yellowish pink, embroidered in jade instead of scarlet, silver instead of gold, mulberry instead of black, and soft blue instead of china blue.

… For the less sophisticated type of bachelor girl, we would suggest the pale-pink walls of the shade of those small pink anemones one buys in spring. Woodwork and carpet in a pale dove beige. The divan and two large comfy chairs with loose covers of mignonette green with uncrushable linen.

This girl loves embroidery so she has piles of cushions, pink, beige, green and natural, embroidered in rather naturalistic designs.

… Do not imagine that those schemes are extravagant and beyond the reach of the bachelor girl. That is not the case. It is simply a matter of harmonising colours. If economy is a consideration, the curtains and cushions can be all of good casement cloth embroidery cottons are very cheap nowadays and with only one room to furnish the bachelor girl can afford to devote all her money to it”. (Goldie Killin, G., 1936:197-203)

Sounds like I need to hunt out some black paint and scarlet, definitely scarlet cloth!

Quote taken from - Goldie Killin, G (1936) “Embroidery” In Paterson, A.S., Service, S. and Paton, H., (Eds) 1936, The Big Book of Needlecraft, Odhams Press Ltd: London pp 184-211

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Sunday Times Style meets Superdrug Rose Compact

I hope you all had a delightfully drunken, stomach popping, present mountain filled Christmas! Mine was a bit of a let down but its all in the past now, and just roll on 2010! I'm again all full of cold - the second in two weeks - bad times.

Last Sunday [20th December] the Sunday Times Style Magazine advertised in one of their columns a pretty little stocking filler for the stylish and fashionable among us in the appearance a baby pink "rambling rose" mirror compact.
The "fluttering rambling rose mirror" which they cite at £4.99 appeared in my local York Superdrug to have originally being £3.99, yet cut down to £1.99 - how could a girl resist? I know its not vintage but its stylish and designed rather in the influence of the Marc Jacobs theme originally found within his Daisy perfume and more recently and additionally shown in the above magazine snapshot - for this Lola flower.
With fifty years seperating the two - old meets new.
Its now all saved with the Sunday Times article and original packaging - even the receipt and perhaps in another fifty years it might be sort after by a collector much like myself.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merrrrrry Christmas!

Just a super quick post to wish you and all my followers a lovely, a safe, and a very merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Kigu tapestry compact

I somehow managed to find some Christmas, festive luck and won a delightful Kigu compact on eBay. I've blogged about my love for matching my two interests of compacts and needlepoint and this compact hits the nail on the head by far! I've managed to date this 3 inch in diameter compact to the mid 1950s, designed and patented by Kigu of London, with a cover holding lovely rose patterned flowers still bright and cheerful even fifty years after its production. And, with a sliding clasp to the powder holder its unique in this respect in my collection. "Used" however does match its state yet with a good scrub and polish it radiates a warmth and shine nearly equal to its original state.

Probably from the series 2 Kigu of London compact design, its golden casing offering a plastic protected pink and red rose patterned tapestry.

A closer peek upon the top...
With a good scrub and polish the insides are shining and gorgeous - with an engine turned pattern on the powder cover, one decorated with the symbol and lettering of "Kigu" of London
A closer glance at the turned and decorated cover of the compact in addition with the "Kigu" mark reflecting in the mirror.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

VINTAGE: Night and Day

Ginger Rogers is a goddess. Her figure, her acting, her beauty, her everything was truly divine and not only do I cast green eyes of envy over her gorgeous presence and figure, but additionally over her delightfully feminine dresses. Not more so then those within the 1934 film The Gay Divorcee. 
 Every girl needs a sexy little negligee, something utter feminine, ultra gorgeous. Hiding things is often far more sexual then revealing everything.
This dress has given me far too many ideas for wedding dresses ... someday!

Monday, 14 December 2009

The only difference ...

I must have been driven past this tattooist numerous times but never noticed its signs when its closed. The little notices of words makes it something different;

"The only difference between tattooed people & non-tattooed people is ... tattooed people don't care if your not tattooed".

Sadly its true, I've been subjected to continuous "why would you" questions about my tattoos. Sometimes I like to think tattoos are more expected, but then again maybe tattooed skin is too far from the norm to be ever properly accepted by the masses. It's too challenging, too out there in your face.

Who knows.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Table cloth

As of last Sunday, the last stitches of the Christmas table cloth were sewn in place. The background to this piece is that it was found while sorting out my grans things after her death. Among numerous threads, frames, needles and wools this table cloth -thread-less and un-started became mine.

With the design printed onto the linen the task was to select colours and match them to the areas upon the cloth, with no chart or guide this was really playing by eye. The next task was to start learning the tricks and the methods of embroidery. My gran loved embroidery and she had an amazing talent for its many stitches and techniques completing many tablecloths both well used and loved in her time.

Sadly with her passing I had to learn from between my mam and the Big book of needlework from 1936 that we have upstairs. I think for a first attempt at embroidery and being able to undertake this challenge in three months - its turned out rather well if I do say so myself.
With Robbins, squirrels, bells, Christmas Trees and poinsetta's.
It has since been ironed ...
Even found some fancy sparkly threads with are slightly metallic like to add a Christmas feel especially with the star and decorations for the tree.

So at least one part of the Christmas table is sorted already!

Thursday, 10 December 2009


Tuesday was my graduation for my Masters [finally!] it seems ages ago since finishing my course and handing in my dissertation. Weirdly as the way of the world goes the date my dissertation needed to be handed in was the day my gran died. With my job at another university being up in the air and me realising that that city isn't Newcastle I had mixed feelings about graduating.

I know I'm lucky to have an undergraduate degree and to have been able to undertake and pass an MA has been a dream come true. Yet I'm slightly miffed about universities and the world afterwards - or just the lack of jobs.

So I went back to Newcastle with totally mixed feelings. Yet every time I return I get the strong yearning, a need to go back for good. Its weird how one place can make you, and add something to your life.

The ceremony itself was held in the Kings Hall inside the universities oldest building - that of the Armstrong building. With organs playing, gowns and hoods being worn there is always a historical and grounded atmosphere in the room. Its like you're really making history. And with the hall only able to hold up to 500 people in anyone go, the affair is always very intimate.
Stood by the Quad and the pretty Christmas tree with hood in hand before the graduation ceremony and while there was still some kinda light.
Out into the darkness after the graduation wearing my gown and hood standing under a carving of the Newcastle University sign featuring the Durham Cross showing the universities link back to the ancient city just a few miles away. The MA Sociology hood
So there we go, I'm now able to stick the old letters behind her name and correctly trying to work out if going back to do a PhD is the wise thing to do - time for a pro's and con list me thinks.

Oh and as you can tell I didn't go with the dress in the end - I was having a bit of a down [I feel ugly and fat kinda days that you sometimes get] and went with the good old reliable clothes - not that you can really see under the gowns that seem to be designed to make you look obese.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Books, books, books

For those of you like myself who enjoy a good read of a biography of movie oriented literature the top books of "stage and screen" from 2009 within the Sunday Times Culture magazine featured three of my all time favourite films/actors. So, while its perhaps a very late Christmas list its additionally a mental "to do" reading list!
Presenting "an appreciation of Bogart that sometimes reads like a long prose". Humphrey Bogart by David Thompson.
"A near-perfect example of how cinema ought to be written about". Frankly, My Dear: Gone With The Wind Revisited by Molly Haskell
"A huge book with terrific commentary" Bette Davis by Richard Schickel

Also the Christmas table cloth challenged is now completed [as of yesterday!] I have a load of pictures lined up now just need to find the time to blog and tell you allll about it!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Graduation pressie ...

... come early Christmas present. On Tuesday I will graduate properly from my Masters back in Newcastle and as a [lovely and so very sweet] "well done" my parents brought and surprised me as I sat down for tea with this so so very gorgeous set of bracelets and card hidden upon my chair.

Its additionally and early Christmas present but they thought I'd love to wear it [I had noticed the bracelets in a gorgeous little shop called Sliverado in York] for my graduation along with my silver Celtic heart locket I was given for my 21st birthday. They'll hear me jangling a mile off!

Imma just hoping it doesn't pour down with rain ...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A modern classic?

I'm getting tempted into buying this compact after spotting this modern one designed by Marks and Spencer to celebrate their 125th birthday of being a store upon the British high street. Normally I'm not tempted by contemporary compacts, they seem a bit too shiny and unused. They feel a bit unloved because they don't yet have the affection and the history which amount in the rest of my collection. Plus this on, although "only" £9.50 is more then my normal limit towards a compact.

This 125 year compact mirror is credited as being inspired by the M&S archives with a vintage and retro feel - one continued across a full range of celebratory gifts. On its face sits a young woman peering and puckering up into her own compact in her 1950s polka dot dress, a pattern matching the background of the compacts face.
Maybe it should be a Christmas treat for myself, but knowing my luck it won't be in the store when I get forced to go Christmas shopping at the weekend. The joys of fighting the Yorkshire masses to have a look-see before being even able to buy anything is never a delight I look forward too.

Mid 20 life confused rant

I have no idea what I want to do, or be, or spend my life doing. I have no direction and I'm pretty lost to be honest. The job I had, well I probably still have working for a university has totally screwed over and communication has all gone so very wrong and its all just a lost caused. So I'm making them wait like I had too.

People, well the parents keep saying do a Ph.D., apply to go back to Newcastle. Yeah ok granted I would love to move back to Newcastle but I don't want to have to do a Ph.D., a 100,000 word Ph.D. just to be able to move back there. I feel so behind most of my friends from my year at school because they are all settled into proper working jobs, not just temporary ones . They are all settled and loved up. And there's me with a load of letters behind her name and still pretty jobless. The debt [I don't wanna think about how much] of doing an undergraduate and a Masters Degree seems to have not really been worth it.

I know I want to get out of home, and in a way I want my freedom back but I don't think I have the mental state or the drive to be able to think up and write my own research. I don't think I want to go down that route.

I don't mind working in retail but the parents are stating i'm under selling myself. I enjoy meeting people and helping them. Knowing I helped them with what they need and getting to make a few new friends along the way. I want to be doing something. I don't wanna be tied up to a Ph.D. for the next three to four years and finish it with still no decent work experience and on the verge of thinking about marriage and children.

I'm finding you could have a million letters behind your name, have amazingly good degrees but without experience your not going anywhere. Feels like i'm just at a massive junction and right now i'm just slumped on the side of the road and not sure where i'm meant to turn.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Noting down ..

One of my favourite sellers on etsy is Badbooks, while I haven't [yet] purchased anything from this delightful collection of recycled, stylish; thrifty and gorgeously created notebooks - give me half the chance and half the need and I just will!

I have a few notebooks myself, my favourite is my paperchase one stored and hidden away with all the love poems written by JJ. Its a gorgeously silky purple cover, embedded and decorated with golden butterflies fluttering across the covers. I use to keep a journal once, writing about everything and anything a ten or a fifteen year old girl could ever write about. I think I have [or I did have] one still kicking around - the rest where ripped to shred and thrown away from the fear of my parents uncovering my anxiety ridden mind or my teenage [lack of] love life.

Badbooks collection of notebooks offer something different, they are bright, they are vivid and they are lovingly different. And I just had to share them!
Decorated in blue, black and lime this A6 journal is complied full of coloured, lined squared and even and scrap paper.
This salvaged notebook is made from rements of used envelopes, sometimes still complete with their own decoration via their patterned insides. The notebook is held together with a cover of reused packaging completed with an evloped flower and vintage button as it's centre. Its the flower which makes me fall in utter love with this notebook.
For something girlie then try this chocolate and pink polka dot square shaped journal, and its the colours and the design which captures me. With a faux leather cover, its insides are lined with the most gorgeous and sweetie pink fabric holding together a notebook of soft hues of pinks, beige, whites and purple papers.
Along the totally unique lines then this is the perfect match via this mail book. With every page a former used envelope some with plastic windows and dates its cover is one of corrugated card. What makes this notebook even extra different is that this journal will be delivered unpacked - the novelty is that the covers of this notebook is the packaging.

As a lover of things which are just a little different, I think these notebooks and all the rest that can be found upon the Badbooks Etsy website, fit the bill just perfectly!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Every girl needs a secret garden

One key film which reminds me of my childhood is the 1993 film version of The Secret Garden. Filmed in and around the Yorkshire Moors and Allerton Park, its a film which still retains its childlike mystery, ambiance and jovial fun yet dealing with death, disability and childhood experiences. Focusing around the journey of the ten year old Mary battling becoming and orphan and trying to change the love and longing of her cousin and uncle through the magic of a secret garden one hidden and locked away out of sight and mind.

What a perfect way of watching and spending a cold, rainy winters afternoon then by re-watching this delightful film [that and the 1947 version of A Mircle of 34th Street]. Sometimes period dramas can hit very wide of the mark they are aiming for, but this publication captures the plot and the meaning of the noval right on the nail. I think the best way of trying to replay and demonstrate the magical ability of this version is to just finish off with some film captures. Sometimes films from your childhood really are some of the best!
Images have been taken from The Guardian, Houseofmirthandmovies, Fish_Bear,

Saturday, 28 November 2009

And she's back

, Yes, I did slightly vanish for a while, but just blame the laptop, oh well just modern technology. A while ago I did mention that me and the [now old and at the tip] laptop had some issues with wanting to actually start. Well on Wednesday it started no more. Bad times!

But anyways, fear not I am finally back with a brand spanking new laptop!! I thank my lucky stars I saved most of my future images for my blog on my flickr so I haven't really lost much luckily. If I'm honest the death of the laptop has occurred alongside a death in my inspiration for thinking of things that could be worthy of being published upon this site but hopefully something will pop up soon!

Last thing to say is that I hope you all have a delightful weekend. Today has consisted of helping swarms of confused or pissed off Christmas shoppers, which reminds me again - that I haven't done anything for Christmas!

Word on the coccus bulbs is that they are starting to push through the soil - lovely stuff!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

PROJECT: Crocus In a Teacup

If you enjoy pretty things, sweet little flowers and want to find a use for some of your vintage teacups then this might be the perfect excuse for a spot of gardening. Ages ago I did mention an item that was broadcast upon the BBC programme Garden's World back in September designed by Alys Fowler of using your vintage teacups as a pot for growing some seasonal winter flowers, titled "Christmas in a teacup".

This weekend we started to get around to making these a reality using some old teacups from my gran and some crocus bulbs. Not being a green fingered individual at all maybe this might be the start of a little adventure. Well perhaps its a start anyway, and here's how we did it!

What you need:
  • Vintage china cup and saucer
  • 10mm diamond coated drill bit which can be purchased from any good DIY shop or Ebay for £4 or less
  • Drill to insert said drill bit into
  • Some bulbs [suggestions include crocus, paperwhites, hyacinths or small daffodils]
  • Soil
What to do:
So you have everything sorted and you've chosen which of your bulbs you want to use for your Christmas/winter display and now the fun starts!

First you need to select your chosen teacup, it could be vintage or just retro inspired, either one that has been hanging around your dinning room for years with no use or just brought cheaply from a charity shop or ebay. Just take your teacup and your drill with your 10mm diamond drill bit two or three little holes in the base - just a way of letting the water drain away so your bulbs don't get wet and mouldy.
[My choosen teacup and matching saucer rescued from clearing my grans house]

Then all you need to do is place two or three bulbs into your teacup and fill up to its rim with compost. You can then store them in a greenhouse or cold frame bringing them inside when the shoots are poking through, or they can be kept inside were you can watch your little bulbs growing in time for Christmas. Just water them well [but not let them sit in water] and keep them warm. Additionally they can even be replanted outside once their growing season is over.[taddaaa my chosen teacup and its contents. You can just see a little shoot coming through already]

I'll keep you updated on the growing.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall ...

I'm in one of them days for a random post, and seeing i've not being at work today and therefore had no buses or customers to complain about then I thought I'd take the time to carry on from a post I found upon Daisychain's blog. So to carry on the tradition i'm going to attempt to try and come up with ten random beauty facts about me!

Well here goes ...!!

  1. If I was rich enough, or just merely had the money to spare I really would buy all my make-up and beauty products from Clinique.
  2. Until then by day to day make up is No17.
  3. I never go anywhere without wearing eyeliner [black for the underneath and brown for the lids]. I fear going without eyeliner makes me feel somewhat like a zombie!
  4. Body butter is a life saver - with skin like sandpaper anything to make my skin somewhat human is a valuable must!
  5. I'm currently trying to get more into a beauty routine at night, scrub scrub scrubbing away the dirty of the day, moisturising and using toner, but with a rubbish memory and being half asleep, I often forget
  6. I love nail varnish
  7. My perfume of choice is most often one by the British designer Paul Smith - the first perfume I ever brought for myself or really wore was Floral, and I just love Sunshine and Woman. This is so closely followed by Daisy by Marc Jacobs and 4711.
  8. I never stick to just one brand of hair products, but I guess my favourites would have to be Toni and Guy, they seem to cover my dresser more then any other, but I seem to have everything and anything when it comes to hair stuff, I have a bit of an addiction!
  9. I need to re-dye my hair but I really don't know what colour. I've been dyeing it for the past four years - with blondes, toffee colours, brunettes and reds. Just need to find the colour and the time.
  10. And I love my hair being played with :)
I'm not going to tag anyone, just have a go at it yourself if you fancy! Its not as easy as it first looks!

Saturday, 21 November 2009


Today has been one of them rather manic, crazy and leg wearing out kinda days. Work has turned into a beehive of Christmas shoppers, from confused wandering shoppers their arms weighed down with a mountain of gifts bursting forth [and most often breaking the handles] of their shopping bags, to grumpy and bored looking husbands following in toe, to screaming children. My legs and feet currently feel like i've walked to London and back and sadly most of my nails seem rather much broke - I must admit I can be a bit of a girlie girl when there is the excuse to pamper the nails and face.

With early mornings and nearly two hours spent commuting alongside being shoved by pram and shopping bags, it was such a delight to log onto my blog tonight and be awarded such a little treasure from one of my favourite blogger's at Chronically Vintage!
I know I should probably pass on this award, but right now i'm half asleep and feeling rather useless at wondering who you pass it onto since all the blogs I follow are all fabulous anyway!

Too be even nominated for this award is fabulous especially alongside some other worthy winners. I feel very honoured in my company in sharing this award. And I will take this time to say a massively huge thank you to all of you that follow, read and comment upon my blog - it means a lot to me that not only do you read it but that is worthy of following! Since July when I started typing up my thoughts, my blog really has allowed me to develop my writing style and thought processes into something credible and worthy of keeping up.

Stay tuned because I have a tonne of ideas and pictures awaiting the chance, but most importantly the time to be published and developed. I have considered developing a post a week more compact based especially with regards to manufactures, their history and random ones I find upon the net. I really think there is a bit of a need for more decent blogging and online information with regards to compacts.

So thank you every last one of you and have a delightfully lovely weekend - hopefully one not with too much rain!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The next sewing project

So today I have spent my day off randomly sorting out the households random collection of sewing silks. We seem to be slightly over run with them alongside tapestry wools. Most have been left over from previous projects, others we inherited from my gran. A lot of them sadly are rather old but they still hold a use especially when picking out colours for a new project.

Now I did all this while I still haven't finished of any of the other projects i'm currently doing. With 30 odd days left to Christmas I still am on the case of the Christmas table cloth that I saved from my gran's [a proper posting about this tablecloth is in the pipeline]. I'm also still meant to be making a pair of patchwork cushions [they seem to have gone on the back burner since finding the tablecloth], and a cross stitch piece based around the Flower Fairies. Oh and a hot water bottle cover. I have too much on the go and with working now, not enough time.

But with the tablecloth on the verge of being finished I must admit rather then getting on with any of my other projects I have been more then tempted into starting something else, this time a sewing of vintage cars.

Its a pre-printed design that I had totally forgotten I already had. I have the case of buying things, putting them away and forgetting they ever existed. But after having a bit of a tidy up the other day this one has tempted me into sorting out the cottons. Normally, well in most cases you get such a design with the colours provided, or at least a list of which to purchase. This design however, had neither so it's all been a case of trying to match silks to the colours printed. I guess it leaves a little to the imagination and the individuals take on the image. And I guess in a way, it's half the fun.

As a DMC canvas its a sampler of vintage cars from 1925 to 1951, not that I know anything about, or really even like cars but i'm just attracted to the vintage element and because its just a little bit different.
Car sewing
[The vintage car sampler and it's chosen cottons!]
Now I just need to write on my stitckers down the right which colour is which cotton before I either forget or totally get confused! I can't wait to start, but I must finish the tablecloth first!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Bus bus bus

Buses annoy me, well most of the time. Often just slow take this morning it decided it wanted to be 20 minutes late with no sign or word of an apology from the driver. Yet take Saturday night, the same journey and 3 minutes late and the driver uttered a huge sorry for his apparent lateness.

I wish I was one of them people that can do things while they are travelling. On trains I'm fine, but stick me into something moving with four wheels and I can't do anything but stare out of the front window. Texting is just manageable, but reading just is a lost cause.

With a week and a bit spent going back and forth for verging on two hours every day to work, its a wonder what you see and what people do when they are travelling either for work, shopping or meeting people.

Take tonight, one girl was crying during a phone conversation, on her lap a huge bunch of flowers and at her feet a massive rucksack, a women was knitting nearly in the darkness because the lights started to go faulty inside - some soaks in a gorgeous navy blue, a few were reading, chatting on phones, listening to music. One girl was doing some written work, an elderly man was winding up his hand-powered torch.

I just stared out of the window into the utter darkness and watched the stars go past.

Image of the Los Angles Motor Company Bus circa 1920s take from Flickr.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Laurel

While having a hunt in my mam's falling to bits sewing box I stumbled across this 1930s The Laurel, Ladies Boudoir Safety Razor complete in it's original tin, razor and spare blade. I think this find was originally found while my gran worked in a charity shop purchasing anything sewing related for herself or for my mam. Perhaps, if I remember rightly, this cute little tin was hidden away in one of the boxes of vintage buttons.
Laurel Safety Razor 1930s
The presence of such Laurel safety razors are pretty much all over Ebay, thus showing they are far from rare. Yet with bids and prices ranging from 99p to £14.99 there reminds a market and an interest in such vanity and vintage finds. Measuring only 4.5" in length, it comes complete with its original instructions for use.

In comparison to contemporary packing, yet alone razors nothing compares. In its own little ways it has its own presence and beauty. Today this tin and its contents can so sweetly be presented and admired upon a vintage girls dressing table. In 70 to 80 years will our grandchildren be doing the same with products of our era?

I somehow think not.
Laurel Safety Razor 1930s

Saturday, 14 November 2009

LIFE: Random Ranting Time

Sometimes I really do just need to rant about stuff, often only little things that just need to come out into the open. So here goes;

a) Guys and gals who tend to wear their jeans below their arses. I don't really care to see your undies, even if they were Paul Smith branded ones, I wouldn't want to see them so clearly decorated. Either wear a belt in your jeans/pants, or get some that fit. Oh and please god if you do have to show the world your undies, make sure they are clean ones.

b) People who interrupt you mid sentence when your busy talking to someone else. Especially when it's so very obvious that your talking too, and helping someone. Just wait damn it.

c) There seems to be a sudden lack of manners, politeness and being able to be nice and friendly to people. To give a smile its free, yet they seem to be lacking in public.

d) Why does Marc Jacobs perfume have to smell so yummy and be so expensive. Well maybe £45 to most isn't that expensive when it comes to perfume, but it is when your money saving. Especially when Daisy has been out for over a year.

e) Why is everyone so obsessed with reality TV and the manufactured "talent" that is projected from such shows. The nation, even the news seem overtaken, and somewhat corrupted in the love and the life of the people which show and host these shows. Talent has been confused with glamour and fame. Yet to be "talented" has somewhat been blanketed into having a TV personality and appeal. I fear I'm one of the few people that just doesn't watch such shows. Hopefully there are more of us hidden somewhere.

There's probably more, but that'll do for now! Free free to add your own ...

Monday, 9 November 2009

Bedtime petals and quilted seats

Take a classic bed
1930s Bedroom
And cover it in sweet pink tipped rose petals
And the girl just falls deeper

I so would love that bed and dressing table - aren't they so glamorous and fab!

Sorry for the limited words tonight my dears, first day back as a working girl and I'm absolutely shattered.

The store radio was also playing an endless stream of Christmas songs - I may be well sick of them by the time Christmas arrives.

But additionally - your thoughts i'm sitting on the fence
Quilted objects, especially this quilted chaise;
Fabulous? Naff? Indifference? Discuss
If you do love it, you can buy it from Squint Limited

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Romantic Kinda Love

Sometimes there is a longing for a return to traditional and long lost romance. I am [secretly] a die hard romantic but I'm lucky enough in finding a guy that treats me like a princess. I have a romance I could only dare dream about.

While their romance was turbulent, their characteristics clashing and their personalities drawing them further apart, the relationship between Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier at the start at least, is filled with a lustful, deep romantic power.

Often to remind himself of his lover over in Hollywood [whom he nicknamed Puss], Olivier often placed carnations in his underwear during the Broadway run of the play No Time for Comedy [1939]. During their separation Olivier would send Puss long, intense love letters often accompanied with the carnation he had worn.

While they themselves were never granted their happy ending, it calls us to remember the little things that make up love, and the power of romance, of how it can change hearts, outlooks and the future. Of the power of love letters, love poems.

Even in hard times, love never dies. Sometimes it only gets stronger.

Petals of rose
Blossoms of blue
Sweet kisses of
My lover true.

Image of Leigh and Olivier taken on-board a boat in approx 1938, is taken from here.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Christmas Cakes

[Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker's man, bake me a cake as fast as you can - 2009 Christmas Cake baking away]

Christmas cakes can come in numerous shapes, sizes and filled with a multitude of indigents. Traditionally they are considered a British pastime, of a fruit cake most associated with Yule time. Filled with richest of fruits, from currents, mixed peel, cherries and nuts, they can be covered in marzipan, icing or left just plain and maybe topped with some brandy drizzled over. And for a more northern English tradition, cut a slice of Christmas cake served with, or without butter and some cheese.

One of the things I associate with Christmas is when mam starts collecting for, and eventually baking the family Christmas Cake. That day was today. The smell of the baking fruit soaked in orange juice, the crisping baking paper, the taste of the glace cherries carry through the house, and its sweet Christmas smell still lingers. As long as I can remember Mam has ALWAYS made the Christmas cake, its one of the things she refuses to buy from a shop, and to be honest they never really taste the same. And in a way, this cake makes Christmas, knowing its being made is when I start thinking about, and looking forward to Christmas.

The other fun comes when its time for it to be iced! We have a box of randomly collected Christmas decorations for the top, they have a history and an age of their own. I've grown up with them and to me, the little Santa on his sleigh, the house covered in snow which adorn the top of the cake really do make Christmas for me. Simple things.

The origins of the Christmas Cake stretch back to the traditions of twelfth night feast (traditionally the 6th January) and the celebrations around a plum cake, or for poorer families it would be fruit. These cakes were baked with a bean in one half, and a pea in the other - whoever finding each would be crowned the King and Queen of Revels.

Through the Purtian Reformation and their hatred of celebrations and religion, twelfth night was branded an eve full of mischief and was eventually banned. Thus celebrations remained somewhat limited until around the mid 1830s when Christmas festivities grew in popularity occurring alongside the increasing production of an iced fruit cake similar to those made today.

I'm not sure if the ideas of Christmas Cakes have escaped over the oceans? Or if many people still make them?

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Snuggley Knits

One of the best things about the weather changing into colder days and nights and having a mother that knits [I'm afraid I'm more of a sewer] is being able to get away with sticking on chunky and cosy knitted garments. My mam seems to be able to knit everything and anything, from babies clothes, jumpers, cardigans, socks. Anything that could possibly be knitted.

Mind you, I've never always liked my mam knitting me stuff, okay I will admit during school I never thought it was "cool" to wear anything hand knitted by my mam or my gran. Not that they weren't any good but due to the delights of the school ground and the swamping of young media's via the media and so called "fashion", knitting was never given any credit.

Now I'm at the point of no longer caring and generally just requiring more warmth. I always think home made woollen items always seem several degrees warmer then items purchased from the high-street, and with possibly the coldest feet in England my mam's knitted socks warm me up at tonne.
[Wrigley wriggle toes]
I have five pairs in multiple shades of rainbow colours, some topped with cream, pink or blue. Its weird how all the patterns and the shades work when they are being made - how they are made is beyond me. Bar understanding the use of needing four needles with no ends and going around and around in circles.

But seriously, knitted thick socks warm my feet up like an electric heater, more so then sticking them on a radiator ever would - mind you it has got to the extent of wearing one pair "normal" one pair knitted. Meh, I hate cold feet!

But then again as the saying goes, cold feet warm heart.

So when mam started knitting hats for Christmas boxes to Eastern Europe, I kinda wanted one. About three days later a viola, a bright red double knitted soooo warm hat is now mine! Normally I would never consider me and hats to have any form of friendly relationship, sometimes some things just don't suit - hats tended to be in this category. Until now. Regardless of its looks and its painless its so cosy and warm.

Seeing my new job doesn't finish till six and having to wait god knows how long for a bus back into the Yorkshire sticks my hat will be more then useful. I've already asked for another one - this time in purple!

So I guess embracing the knitting is the way to go, maybe I'll even try for about the thirtieth time to put up a pair of knitting needles and make something. Maybe.

One of my confessions, or probably one of my sins was the delights of MySpace in the days gone by, that's before the world of Facebook [so rightly I renamed Faceache] took over the Internet super-highway. I guess I became a bit of a photo-whore, but since then I tend to limit the pictures of myself that I post, even on Facebook - I think I'm one of the few that just doesn't post and comment about her life twenty four seven, instead I guess my blog is the one place where I'm most open and honest virtually.

I also found out today that I did properly past my Masters, so now I can properly add more fancy letters behind my name [I'm now an MA, BA (hons) blogger]. But I'll blog more about my masters and university when I graduate next month!

And to all you fellow Brits - have a fabulous and hopefully not to cold Bonfire Night- sadly due to the era of health and safety my local celebrations have been put out years ago!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Gems on your doorstep

Sometimes I think we as humans forget the things, the delights, the beauty's and the pleasures that can be found on, or close to, our doorstep. One of the things I just love about England and being British is our history, a history which remains so remarkably intact and visible for all to see at every turn, a history which gets may tourists flocking to our little island. From churches to castles, city walls to grand country houses history both rich and poor sits alongside and embedded within our nationality.

Yet I fear, even I often overlook the delights to be found on my very own [or at least 20 odd miles away] doorstep. Growing up in the fields of East Yorkshire, York has always been the shopping city of choice. While it was the city for clothes shopping I will confess to over looking the historical delights playing out before me within these visits; too busy being stuck behind the numerous and numberless amounts of foreign tourists crowded along the shambles or requiring directions for the "big church".

The "big church" happens to be the Minster, the largest of all Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe and seems to be the magnet to which the tourists are drawn, yet it is a building I've walked pass countless times without really giving it a second glance. It's a shame really - while its more then a little expensive to visit these days, it remains a magnificent eye turner from streets away. Even the shambles the tiniest of little streets is a gorgeous delight, packed full of traditional shops, from knitting, wooden toys, sweets and tea shops, yet only too often I view it as a street to get me to somewhere else.

I guess in the rush rush society we all too often forget to stop and look around our surroundings and we miss so much that would or could catch the eye of someone else. We become so safe in our surroundings that the beautiful may sometimes be invisible.

[York Minster]

Outside the Minster this guy always seems to be, drawing away on the streets copies of works of art. Not only do the buildings make the city or the place, sometimes it really is down to the people.

Sometimes we all could do with looking a bit closer at the things nearest to us, before we miss them or they get overlooked for good.


I additionally would like to thank you for all your kind thoughts and ideas/cures regarding the old wisdom tooth issues. Currently the throbbing has subsided somewhat, and I have experienced the delightfully rancid taste of clove oil - that's not a taste I'll forget too easily but it has helped!

Oh and I have to share finally being able to get a job - it may only be part time and it may only be for the Christmas period but money was starting to get short and even though its only temporary and requires the joy of travelling and hassle of public transport, hopefully it'll be worth it.

My motto to everyone out there struggling and feeling so fed up because of the recession and lack of employment, really is to keep trying.

Sometimes there really is a lucky break waiting to be had!