Sunday, 31 January 2010


"A fragrance is like a signature, so that even after a women leaves the room, her fragrance should reveal she's been there"
Oscar de la Renta

It all started on Friday night when the parents started asking me really random questions about the price of perfumes, the names, the brands. What I liked, what I would buy, what was "in". Sometimes they do just ask random questions, sometimes they have a hidden agenda. I didn't really think anything about it till shopping in York yesterday and they avoided me going into Boots with them and then not telling me what they'd brought. That was until we was having a cuppa in the afternoon and they passed me a box;

The box is as gorgeous and as striking as not only the bottle but that of the perfume. It was my treat from my mam from the money passed to her through the inheritance, with herself, my dad and myself being brought one special something. My present is the gorgeous, gorgeous Lola perfume by Marc Jacobs.
The bottle is utterly impressive and gorgeous. Its so slick and sexy in its curves, blossoming out into a divine and overtly loud plastic multi-hue rose which I know can now be brought as a ring. As part of the Coty fashion house, you couldn't really expect anything less, especially with its for-runner of Daisy which if you remember I treated myself too in the Christmas sales. While I utterly love vintage perfume bottles, Marc Jacobs offers the same brilliance to a contemporary audience and I love how the bottle shape changes depending on the size.

Every last detail is to the point, nothing is wasted and its all just so very eye catching. The perfume itself is described [by The Perfume Shop - because I just couldn't describe the smell at all apart from "yum"] as a floral scent, one that is relax, cool and confident in a modern and sexy manner.

* * *

Hope everyone is having a grand weekend - I'm just lazying around watching Aladdin which I haven't seen for many a year, strangely enough it's both mine and JJ's favourite Disney films. Not really looking forward to the next week at work, ah well.

Mine ...

Little things make me feel like the luckiest girl in the world especially special pictures like this from my guy. I can't really think of what else to say apart from i'm just in love and its the best feeling in the entire world.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Powder, crocheting and some sorting

For some reason I never stepped inside Superdrug for years - no real reason why, just didn't - I think I was too blinded by the Advantage Card of it's rival rather then going by price comparisons. Thing is, Superdrug has some marvellous finds including these three vintage styled compact powder puffs [three for £1.49 = bargain!!] that I treated myself too the other day.

Anyone else come across and perfectly divine bargains? Or found a new shop?

I've even put one aside to display with my favourite compact - my square Vogue Vanitie as shown in the picture which had lost its original powder puff by the time it had found me. Most of my compacts are dotted around and displayed in my room - i'd rather have them out and seen then merely hiding them away to just keep them safe and clean. They happily perch upon the box of my mirror, my desk and my bedside cabinet, all sat upon old crocheted dollies [one of which can actually be seen under the hand vanity mirror above]made by an old great aunt or my granny when they were alive.

I keep on my "to do" list the need to learn to actually crochet properly, I mean I can make patches for a rug, I started and still haven't finished [because I don't have time any more] making a hot water bottle cover. I'd love to be able to make more delicate, flowery 'things'. I saved a lot of 1940s-1960s patterns from my gran which I do intend to show because they are just so worthy of posting about one day.

The key thing is, if you have vintage things, or just things you love now, you should just show them and make them a part of your world, make them things you see everyday. Sometimes it gets too easy to store them away to keep them safe, but they are all worthy of being seen, of being viewed and cherished as long as you look after them, keep them dry, safe, out of extreme light and temperature changes.

As a side note, i'm on the verge of trying to sort out my life in a way to battle my burning out mood and get me back to happier times and hopefully a new job. A step in the right direction right now is a step into the right path for the future. Wish me luck!

Monday, 25 January 2010

I guess you still have to smile

Things have been a little [as I term it] 'bleh' lately even though I do try and hide my moods, and my emotional crazy feelings most of the time, sometimes it just escapes because they need an out pouring somewhere. For the majority of the time, the net and my blog is the place I escape too. Insteadof getting bogged down by my minds emotional chaos I mess around on here, I think up blogs, I read them, I think up ideas. My blog is often a way to keep my moods and my anxiety at bay, to somewhat push it to the side, maybe half the problem is that I don't face them head on - ever. I'm in bit of a stick my head in the sand kinda person. Sometimes I think posting this on my blog isn't the place to do it, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Here I can hide behind a front and appearance of vintage finds, compacts, clothes, make up both real and virtual, but I guess sometimes even on here they have to be talked about and acknowledge - this is meant to be about being a twenty something after all.

My emotions have been a little confused since I was a teenager, tossed up between no idea what to do with my life, being messed around, never really fitting in, being shy; hormones and self harm I started on a path of being confused and somewhat 'lost'. University allowed me to find myself somewhat especially in a world of gigs but and now I just battle the anxiousness of my head, I get scared easily, I over worry, over think, I get stressed and I get down. I can be up and down emotionally within minutes. But that is just how my head is, that is just how it works - I always thought it was just the price to pay for being a little bit brainy [and i mean that in a very un-ego driven arrogant way].

But in even the bad, in the low times and when you feel there's no way or nowhere to turn a smile can can change a feeling. People don't tend to smile any more, in all honesty people just don't tend to be 'nice' to each other, they don't acknowledge, they don't say hello, they don't open doors especially not to a stranger. If a smile costs nothing to give - why do so few people give them out? Even a smile from a stranger could make someone's day, from personal experience even a strangers smile can make you feel visible and wanted in the world.

So be brave, hand out a smile.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

See what hunting in chairty shops can reveal - a musical compact!

With this weekend actually being my first full weekend off work since I started [apparently I was told yesterday I should have been granted every one in four Saturday's off - seemed to have gone out of the window in my case] I thought i'd just tag along with the parents while they went shopping to Beverley this morning. Treating myself to some new compact foundation, a gorgeous book on vintage perfume bottles [which i'll get around to blogging at some point] and the everyday essentials of facial wipes and cold cream [even a blog on this] I was bored waiting, killing time till they were finished. So I chanced a nosey in the Cancer Research charity shop and stumbled over this pretty little container;

At first glance I just assumed it was a little plastic jar, a container of some kind. It was only my nosey interest in lifting the lid after reading the "musical" wording upon the price sticker that my interest was increased even further - for inside revealed a little [slightly dirty I may add] powder puff, a [again dirty, finger print covered] mirror which is held under the lid and the slight, tired and slow tune being played and trying to make out the sticker upon the mirror was to name it a Lady Mate.

It was a pretty powder compact just not in perfect condition - all but one of the "jewels" are missing from the handle upon the top and there is a mark upon the side of the jar. But I couldn't let this chance of owning a musical compact escape that easily - anyway I collect them for their history and their beauty not their monetary value. I just had to buy it, it was a steal at only £1.50.
Six cotton buds, a duster, some water, mirror polish and a good clean later reveals a sparkling little compact. When I say little I don't mean literally, it wouldn't fit in your handbag and is designed merely to sit upon your dresser. From searching and surfing around on Ebay musical compacts come to fetch a decent amount and in turn they are pretty rare, especially if they still are in fully working order.
Lifting off the lid reveals the mirror with it's Lady Mate sticker still intact, its branded original powder [unused I might add] puff and the plastic stiffer. Oh and the picture even allows you a great glance at everything upon my dresser!

In a manner, the song this musical compact plays actually comes to date this compact more then the brand name - for there is literally nothing on the net with regards to Lady Mate - only a link to current ones being sold upon Ebay.

For this musical compact as a bit of a coincidence with the entertainment news of the past week and the death of Erich Segal the author of the novel with later became the film Love Story, for which the song played once the lid has been opened is the theme tune by Francis Lei. It therefore lets us date the compact to 1970 at the earliest which in a way is after the decline of the powder compact was actually in full swing.

In a manner I find the song rather sad, it sounds a little mournful to me considering the title is based around love. I can just picture a lady sat powdering her face, her compact playing it's musical tune while she gazes endlessly into the photographed eyes of her long lost lover.

Anyways have a lovely weekend, I hope you all have lovely, grand plans - I intend to just be lazy and probably end up tidying something else up - and if there is anyone at all out there that knows anything about Lady Mate compacts then just let me know!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Vintage wooden sewing box

Having a good sewing box is part and parcel of being an organised and dedicated sewer. With a base to organise and sort your skeins, your needles your bits and pieces will allow the crafty girl more time to past time in her hobby rather then rooting and hunting out that needle.

My own sewing box is one that my gran use to use, complete with her old threads, needles - everything really a girl could ever need. In addition I was brought a Celia Birtwell sewing organiser for Christmas but in turn its made a very handy jewellery box.

But being vintage at heart I could never turn down a vintage sewing box something like this that I stumbled on upon that magical delight of Ebay;

Images lost to cyberspace

Even complete with old safety pins, fasteners, thimbles, bobbins and silks this is the perfect little wooden storage case for your sewing pleasure. With 6 bids currently resting on £12.66, I really hope it goes to a home where its loved.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Saving the skin

I've never attempted a review or anything beauty based so this on my blog is a bit of a first. But, if your skin gets anywhere near as dry as mine in the winter, with water, air conditioning and the cold drying it out even more - hints and advice are a welcoming source of inspiration. Especially when it comes to buying something that you know works and if this posting just helps or suggests a different product to perhaps try then its all been worth it. And just for the small print all ideas, thoughts and reviews are mine, all mine.

There's been three products i've been oh so very pleased to have stumbled over this winter - a winter which in turn has turned out to be the worse on my dry skin front, it's also a family trait. These products i'm rather glad to introduce to you;

[From left to right; Avon Care: Rich Moisture Glycerine Hand Cream, Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E and Carmex Cherry Flavoured Lip balm]

The cold seems to affect these three areas - lips, hands and arms the worse, I guess because bar the arms they are the most "exposed" to the elements. With regards to the Avon Care: Rich Moisture Gycerine Hand Cream not only does this product zap life and moisture into your hands, it does so and it actually lasts! My hands at this time of year often feel like sandpaper, dry, aching and horrid. Loads of hand creams I've tried in the past merely seem to coat your hands in a sloppy mixture, nourish it slightly and then an hour later your back to where you started. Just by sticking this hand cream on throughout the day - but especially at night has allowed my hands to start to feel slightly human again and it lasts!

Like the hand cream I've tried oh so many products from body butters, lotions, baby oil anything and everything to try and actually make my arms look and feel human - they are so rough and dry they felt like an arid desert. That was until I was recommended the Palmers Cocoa Butter brand [I just chose the fragrance free version because I hate the smell of cocoa to be honest], having tried various brands before I was a bit iffy about trying yet another - but you don't get anywhere by giving in and I'm so glad I didn't. Palmers has offered my skin a new form of life and its moisturising effects do seem to last throughout the day. I even think my skin feels better, while it does claim to "tone" I haven't noticed an effect of that, nor have I noticed it reducing the appearance of my scars - but maybe my scars are too old and buried in to have any effect. But I would seriously recommend this product.

I like so many use to be addicted and would swear by vaseline products for my lips, that was until I started using Carmex. To be honest if something if still going and works wondering since the 1930s it must be a good thing? Right? Made with lanolin carmex lip balms not only nourish but they revive and care for your lips rather then Vaseline which often seems to dry out, rather then add anything to your lips. I now a Carmex user and fan for life.

And if anyone else has any other products for dry skin or otherwise, then feel free to add them in the comments bit!

Friday, 15 January 2010

A vintage treasure chest

From the success of the images of the vintage compacts from the other day, I thought I'd use this as the perfect excuse to draw your attention to this gorgeous images of these delightful treasure chests of shops that the vintage finds which my sweet, sweet JJ buys me things from.
Images like this vintage stroller pram get me very broody and I'm sure I'm able to hear my body clock starting to tick already and i'm only 23 but it doesn't help when oh so many girls from my year in school have had one, if not two children already. What's helping even less is the introduction of the baby clothing range into the store I work in. The mittens, socks and shoes for the 0-6 month old babies are just oh so adorable. But old and vintage is often more sturdy and more reliable and that is why this pram catches my eye - just a tad heavy and large for getting into the boot of the car methinks.
Not only do I just adore the desk but the two picture/photo frames standing upon it just ring out "buy me". While one seems to be missing its back, their delicate decorations and engraving just scream out quality and love. I can still hear them calling ...
What girl could turn down a peer into this vintage jewellery mass? From rings, to necklaces via hair brushes and a watch there is almost certainly something for every taste. What I just love is the colouring and the art deco design upon the vanity set at the far right of the page. Beige has never looked so attractive!
There is always time to think about Christmas, even when it was only 3 weeks ago, especially if its thrift and vintage. They really don't seem to make Christmas decorations just as sparkly as they once were!
Once you have one you start wanting more and more! This sweet, little silver topped perfume bottles are a delight to find hidden among the plants and the plates. Even the tray they are sitting so edgily upon the shelf is a gorgeous little treat!

In every image, of every object I just love how the item is presented and offered as if in a space and a place like within a home. Far from being presented in the typical format of contemporary shops of being pushes to the masses, everything in lines, everything the same, these objects offer a practical space for admiring the delights and the ways of the old. While these objects, be them antique or furniture - they are all presented as having and deserving not only a place, but more so of a use within the home and life we have today.

To let you into a secret, all these images and the vintage items I am luckily enough to call my own make me dream and wish, but most importantly make me drive towards having a shop so influenced by these styled vintage shops, of my known. I know I'm a massive daydreamer but its just something I would love to do. Who knows, maybe one day?!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Compacts galore

Pretty pretty displays make me want to own compacts, and even own the shop they are being sold in even more. Most especially when they are being displayed as items worthy of note with a chance of having a new life in the hands of new owners. JJ's pictures of them are just worthy of being blogged about.In comparison to their British counterparts, these American compacts offer the vintage lady something sparkling and bright. Credited as being more "glamorous" and fun American powder compacts always catch my eye, especially the half covered square white sparkly compact above. I just so adore the two black compacts - black seems to be a colour much missed in the colouring and decorations of vintage compacts, a colour more noted within their modern contemporaries. The black creates a shocking and startling backdrop, one allowing the glistening of the white decorations and the gold tone of the metal. The half moon itself [far left] additionally is less often seen within compacts - when they are found they command high prices. Alongside the compacts the turquoise colouring of the "1949 enamel clip on earrings" just shimmers out so very brightly. Its not just the objects that I adore about these shops, its how the objects became part of the scene - they aren't displayed as something merely for sale, but something to be admired and loved. 

Lastly I want to thank you all for your sweet and caring messages on Monday - I'm doing a lot better today - sometimes my head just thinks too much. I know I'm in charge of my own future and I know that I'm super lucky to my guy.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Feeling bleh, but with a perfume bottle

Some days life just seems super hard and I feel like I'm loosing all my life to work. Eight and whatever hours at work, and a minimum [if the buses are on time] of two and a bit hours on a freezing cold bus means I feel increasingly feel like I have no life, or what I do have its spent sleeping [and I know there's people out there that work longer ages and spend longer on the road to and from work]. I'm still on the fence with regards to university and if it was actually worth it because it seems to be getting me nowhere. There just seems to be no jobs that I would actually enjoy doing and just feels pointless sending off application after application with not even a "thank you for applying" in response. I know this is only a temporary mood. I'll get over it.

My boyfriend [JJ], my soul mate is the one person I have that keeps me going. He's the reason why I smile and I keep myself going to work even though its a job I could do with my eyes closed. I don't think I tell him enough how much he means to me, I know my head tries sometimes to push him away. I know he reads this and I want him to know how much he means to me, how thank full I am for meeting him, for letting me be his girl. I know I'm probably far from the dream girlfriend, I'm probably not easy to date, but I know I love him with everything I am.

He "gets" me like no one else ever has, no one else has come as close to getting, understanding and respecting me like he does. He could buy me a hundred things and every last one would be bang on, he just knows. He buys me pretty, gorgeous vintage gifts that I cherish like this perfume bottle;
I could try and write about this bottle as if I knew what I was talking about. All I know is that its so very delicately pretty and that it's been waiting to be ours ever since he first saw it. I guess like me and JJ, we belong together.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Elgina powder and rouge compact

American compact manufactures are credited for offering the lady a more diverse and fun powder compacts in comparison to their European counterparts with much more glamorous, sparkling or mother of pearl tops. With makers such as Marhil, Volupte, Rex Fifth Avenue to name but three, typical American additions to the compact often includes either a chain, finger ring or rogue compartment. The later addition became increasing commonplace due to cosmetic companies aiming to attract women into buying a 2 in 1 product allowing the customer to perfect her "well groomed look" in an indulgent yet portable manner.

So let me welcome you to this Elgina duo New York compact. While i'm still trying to work out if Elgina is a company name that turned into Elgin [any information on this would be grand because I can't find anything, anywhere about Elgina as a company] this compact is my delightful latest addition to my compact collection so lovingly brought for me by my JJ.
This sweet little golden compact comes embedded with the Greek Caduceus symbol upon its top. A symbol comprised of a staff entangled with serpents, sometimes including wings it is one often seen to be held by Mercury, the messenger of Gods, a guide to the dead and protector to merchants, shepherds and gamblers.
The Caduceus
Opening up the lid reveals not only its mirror, but in addition its two distinct compartments designed for the rogue [at the top only its flap cover can be seen in the above image] and the powder [the larger compartment at the bottom]. The rouge itself is concealed and kept in place behind a flap.
Upon the silver compartment is engraved the directions for a quarter to be sent to 358 5th Avenue in New York in order to have your rouge refilled.

Its such a delightfully practical yet wildly gorgeous compact. With gifts like this my guy treats me, and makes me feel like a princess. My vintage treasures are all the more meaningful because of him.

Starting the year with a blogging award!

I know some people are a bit anti blog awards - that you should write for yourself and not to gain awards, which in a way they have a point. But it is always nice to have your work credited and considered worthy enough of an award of two! So i'm ever so lucky to have been nominated for the glamorous blog award from Melanie's Randomness which I definitely recommend to be worth a follow!

So to pass this lovely little award on, I wish to nominate:

Friday, 8 January 2010

My day off in the snow ...

I guess I slightly went back to being a little kid today on my day off. Luckily in a way it was my day off, with the state of the weather today I fear I may have been slightly stuck getting to, and from work. Word is that it is only going to get worse, yet again!

It's been snowing pretty much on and off for the past three weeks. Most of it went over Christmas only to return in vengeance this week as you probably noted with my blog the other day.

So after a wander to the shops, I had a bit of a play in the snow. I wanted to make a snowman [or in this politically correct era, snowwomen] but with only one pair of gloves I had a fear of making them soaking wet and being glove less for days!

Justify FullJust what a girl needs to keep warm - thick big biker boots, skinny jeans, a huge warm coat and plenty of snow kick around and mess with!
If you forget just how slippery the roads are and how darn cold it was it makes a very pretty picture!
The snow on what was a week ago our Christmas tree. Yeah i'm a sucker for love and romance ... but just a little message to my guy.
Then you look out the window at going on 4pm and it's started to snow rather heavily again. The roads are back to a state of "treacherous" and buses being super duper held up. I have no idea if i'll be making it to work tomorrow. I'm wondering if its even worth the "risk" even trying. But sometimes I fear they don't believe how bad it can get weather and road wise out in the countryside especially since the government and councils are decreasing by 25% the amount of grit/salt they are using on all roads. So unless your living next to a motorway I think your pretty much screwed!

Gah, stupid snow! Hope it doesn't stop or hazard your weekends too much folks!

All pictures my own

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A chilly cold UK

Just saw this picture [see below] on the good old BBC, it made me chuckle that the UK is looking that cold, I really don't think any inch of the UK seems to have missed the cold snap!

Oh, and with more to come! Enjoy if you can!

P.S I will get to my normal state of posting soon, just inspiration seems to be lacking atm.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

"Do you remember the winter of 2010?!"

I get a job, ok I have to turn into a manic commuter everyday and live on the buses for an hour in the morning at 8am and back at 6 in the evening. All goes well, till the weather takes a turn.

With wintry cold easterly winds from Scandinavia blowing over the normally icy cold north sea today was a day when the "big chill" or "big freeze" as the BBC is terming it, hit the UK for the "last two decades" Lately its been -8 or perhaps somewhere closer to 0 degrees when I've been leaving for work. Today it was a warm -0.5 degrees - the day started well, it wasn't too slippery on the footpaths to the bus stop. The bus, for once was even on time - the day was getting even better.

Then you hit the main road, a road which can be treacherous at the best of times especially during the onslaught of rush hour, add in slushy conditions and never ending flakes from the greyest of Yorkshire skies and its never going to be a good sign. After taking 50 minutes to do a part of a journey which "normally" would take around 15-20, I wasn't even half way to work.

Doing the rough maths I probably wouldn't have reached work at that rate for another two hours. But at which point do you turn back? Do you risk carrying on when the road ahead was at a total stand still? With cars turning around in the middle of the road, the dual carriageway down to one lane, and a trail of slush on every inch of the road it wasn't looking good. While the bus follows the main road, this is one still in the middle of what became a bleak and cold countryside vista. A lovely picture it probably would have made on the front of a Christmas card, but not when your trying to get somewhere.

So I get off the bus after consulting a) the bus timetable for a bus back home and b) asking the mothers advice on "what do I do?". I wasn't really concerned about getting to work, I knew pretty well the bus would have got to work in the end just maybe one, verging on two hours late. It was the "what the hell do I do if the buses stop because the weather has got worse and i'm stuck in York with nowhere to go and noway of getting home?" I decide to turn around and leg it home.

I get off the bus in the vain hope of catching the next one home. An hour later after its timetabled time, the bus hadn't arrived. I felt like a total idiot standing by the side of the road by the bus stop sign, watching lorries slip and slide, endless police cars going pass with their sirens on with people looking at me as if I was some crazy person. To be honest - I probably was.

The end of the story is me having to be picked up by my dad after being pretty much stranded. I know its good to have a day off work and that snow can look pretty, but sometimes its just the most annoying thing!

So much for global "warming"!

Least this postman isn't wearing shorts like the one I saw yesterday braving the chilly winds. Hopefully your either set for the "big freeze" or free of the white stuff! [Images taken from The Guardian and the BBC]

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Daisy, daisy, daisy ...

I've never really got into this sales melarky, I've always been half tempted to think it is merely a commercial joke shops and manufactures are having on us to spend yet more of our money. Sometimes this sadly is most often, the case. But I guess if you really are shopping for something which is needed, something that you really would use or intend to save for another gift in time, then maybe it has its uses. The only other reason sales have a jolly good use is when it comes to perfume, especially those delights in gift boxes.

I can be a sucker for perfume, I would be more so if I had the money to spend on it too. I can admire and glare at a bottle of Chanel as good as the next classy girl, i've never fallen into the requirement of owning any celebrity scents however. Soo, when stood in the shop and they began wheeling out more of the shiny right golden boxed delights of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume how could a girl resist?

My eyes have been admiring Daisy for rather a long time, probably since it did actually come out at least two years ago, if not longer. At the time i'd only really started getting into perfume and then as I am now, i'm a complete fool for Paul Smith perfume - mainly because he's not that too well known, brings out big bottles, semi cheap [£20-£30] and his scents are truly feminine, light and gorgeous. The battle was between Daisy [Marc Jacobs] and Sunshine [Paul Smith]. Needless to say the £30, 100ml Sunshine bottle won. I lived in hope ever since that over time, and with introduction of Lola, the price of Daisy would decrease - I have never been proved right with this assumption.

So, which girl would turn down the half price Daisy gift set in Boots? Down from £45 to £22.50 I might add?!
The magic box of tricks ... its a gorgeous box in its own right
Open the lid and peer inside to the delights of the Daisy perfume, small vapouriser and body lotion - yummy
Daisy and its younger counterpart of Lola have the perfume bottles that I just adore. Much alike to the post I did a week or two ago about vintage perfume bottles they have something that is bewitching and magical, they are stylish and feminine. They make the perfect little addition to a girls dresser.
Pretty pretty daisies

Friday, 1 January 2010

A late Christmas treat

Just something that made me chuckle. I know its a week late Christmas wise but the light show is fabulous!