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!