2011 - The year that was....

Did you all have a great Christmas? I've been a bit slack on the photos of the day. I felt like I needed to take a total day off, so you will have to take my word for it when I tell you that I cooked a fab Christmas dinner! I always find this bit between Christmas and new year a bit.... well odd really. I feel a bit in limbo, Christmas has finished and new year is coming but for these few days in between I'm always ready for the new year to just hurry up an get here, although I then chastise myself for wishing my life away. Am I alone in this?

2011 has been a year of highs and lows, I won't bore you with the lows but the highs have certainly been fabulous. I've gone from dipping a toe into the world of the written word to bathing in it. If anyone has plans to start writing/blogging in the new year on their list of resolutions/aspirations then I can only encourage you to try it. Do you have any aspirations for the new year? Last year I blogged about wanting to learn to sew, but the year's gone by so fast that I haven't got closer than browsing at the local courses online. So it's still on the list.

I'd also like to have a play about more with my photography. I gained a qualification a few years ago - It was mainly using film, as digital was just about on the increase back then but cameras were still very very expensive even for a compact never mind a more professional SLR. I can however develop and print film which is a satisfying skill to have but I no longer have an area for a darkroom and digital is just so super quick. It excites me but makes me a little lazy at the same time......

2011 saw me owning an digital SLR again having been without one for a couple of years due to me losing custody of mine in a relationship breakdown. Long story! Buying that was certainly one of the highlights of the year for me. There's been a lot of highlights of 2011 posts by us bloggers, I've really enjoyed reading them. So here are few of mine.........

My fabulous 1950's early 60's dressing table for the bargain price of £5. Not the greatest picture, but you can see more in the post all about my purchase. I still love it to pieces. I'm such a fan of an atomic leg....

My birthday, I like birthdays a whole lot more now I'm in my thirties. I used to fear them in my twenties when being thirty seemed like a nail in the coffin. It isn't, I've survived - Thirty five next year, I refuse to spend the next few years sobbing my way to the big forty. I'll be popping a bottle and celebrating my birthday.

May was the month I got my new camera as mentioned earlier. I knew I'd missed not having a digital SLR but I didn't really realise how much until I got my hands on one again. This was also the month that I met Gemma from Retro Chick for the first time, I was actually a bit in awe of her! (I've never told you that Gemma, or may be I have after a few drinks?!)

 I'd been reading her blog a while and she was one of my inspirations to actually start writing and stop just thinking about it. We met at a cocktail party organised by Gemma and Karen and Graham of Blue Skies Vintage Events. It was a fantastic party and I was quite nervous about going alone and not knowing anyone but I needn't have worried as it was a super party and I met some fabulous people. I remember being quite proud of myself the next day, despite my hangover. I was pleased that I'd stepped out of my comfort zone a bit and gone alone without back up so to speak. That was a good confidence booster.  

July was a busy month for me. The picture above is of a shop we have in Norwich called Aladdin's Cave.This was taken on a hot sunny Saturday and I'd just spent a good couple of hours taking photos inside and interviewing one of the owners over a cup of tea. I remember vividly carry home a 50's footstool that I ended up buying and an old suitcase.

It was only a 15 minute walk but mainly up hill and it was a scorcher of a day. Despite having to stop many times to rework how I was lugging my haul home I knew I'd got some fantastic pictures and I'd had a brilliant day. I had that 'high' that comes from  knowing you've just spent the last few hours doing something that you love. I'm hoping 2012 will have more of those.

The feedback from the post was fantastic, it's not easy writing about other people and their business, but I was so happy that some of the sellers from the shop and the flea market contacted me with their comments. I've been approached for the post to be linked on the shops facebook page and the pictures have been used for a Wiki project that's being created over in America about the best places in the world for antiques and vintage shopping. Hello world from Norwich!

I also blogged in July about Getting that Vintage Look . This post about using non vintage clothes (vintage purists look away now!) to create a vintage style wardrobe proved to be one of the most read posts of the year.  I know I will be continuing to shop for pre loved items in 2012, I normally look for old styles and labels BUT I'm going to look for potential on the rails regardless of age.

 I dug the items in this post out of my wardrobe and the trousers hadn't seen the light of day for quite some time. I predict 2012 will see many more people shopping in the second hand/pre loved route and also shopping from their own wardrobes to make new looks from existing items. 

Following the post on Aladins Cave, Gemma (AKA Retro Chick) asked me once again if I'd like to write for her other website Vintage Norwich. I didn't really have enough confidence in my writing the first time she asked me! No one like to fail and I admit that I haven't always been very brave at taking on new challenges, making decisions and trying new things. I'm glad she's tenacious or she might not have asked me a second time!

I was invited for afternoon tea along with fellow newbie Vintage Norwich writer Lucy who is also a Norwich blogger. (AKA Glamourologist)  Over food and fizz we chatted about the website, then over a second bottle of fizz we continued and I've a feeling there may have been a third bottle involved.........it was pretty clear that we had a rather a lot in common.

September saw our first event working together as Vintage Norwich which was pretty exciting to say the least. The even was part of Norwich Fashion week - not bad for a first event, I'm so lucky to have been able to be part of it. We held a not so little soiree at Cinema City in Norwich, they were showing the classic Breakfast at Tiffany's.

We took along a dressing up box for people to enjoy looking at vintage clothes and try on hats etc. In the above picture we are posing with the winner of the best dressed competition. It was at this event that the Pop up Library you will have heard me mention was created really.

This is the month that also saw me get to grips with a steel boned corset. I was reviewing a local burlesque event for Vintage Norwich, and it's the kind of night where people really do get in the spirit of dressing up. After a dress rehearsal that almost led to a fainting drama where I wondered if I would have to get someone to cut me out of the corset, it was actually all alright on the night as they say. I can laugh about it now....   

In October I blogged about the pictures I'd had taken by Matt of Southern Retro. I was honoured to be part of such an amazing project. Gemma, Lucy and some other fellow Norwich folk were photographed by Matt over his two day visit. I never tire of telling people to go and look at the gallery that Matt's created. It's an ongoing project and it's well worth a browse. Southernretro.com

October was also the debut of The Historical Sauces. Our Pop Up Vintage Library has quickly transformed into a Pop up Reading Room and we attended our first fair. The reading room was hugely popular and we got to meet lots of fabulous people. We have since attended another fair and already have bookings for next year too so it's full steam ahead.

I think 2012 will be exciting, we've several things planned, we have the safely placed up what I like to refer to as 'our pussy bow blouse sleeves'. As I  mentioned in a recent post, we'll also be stocking those essential seamed stockings and tights from the What Katie Did range and a capsule collection of Besame lipsticks. Yes, we had meetings about lipstick and stockings. Those are great meetings to have let me tell you! 

My blogging Birthday! Hoorah, I'd survived a year. Thanks again to everyone whos reads my ponderings, whether you are signed up to follow, have the latest posts emailed to you, follow on Twitter, Facebook or just drop by every now and again.

My Christmas spirit really got a boost when I visited a Pop Up Vintage Fair in London. Here I am with Maxine the organiser and Salina who runs the pop up tea room. I'd been tweeting with both of these ladies for months and they never cease to provide a giggle. It was so incredibly lovely to meet them both in 'real life' and they were just as lovely as I knew they would be.

I've been very lucky to meet so many incredible and inspiring people this year. I've just been out to lunch with Gemma and I said to her that I couldn't drink too much as I had to finish this post off and if I was too boozed up it would end up being a bit like a gushy Oscar acceptance speech..........I did actually stay quite straight on the booze front but it's still got a bit gushy hasn't it? Ooooops!

So now I am off to have a wee drink to say goodbye to 2011. I wish you all a very very happy new year.


  1. A great year and I know 2012 will be even better :)

    I have had a couple of drinks so might get a bit gushy - but it has been truly such a pleasure to spend time with you and Gemma over the last few months and I very much look forward to more meetings discussing lipsticks and stockings. xx

  2. Wheeee! What a year!

    I have also had drinks, so I'll leave it there ;o)

  3. Wow what a fab year you've had! I'm blushing that we featured in your Dec post. It was a real highlight for us to finally meet you too after all our tweeting. Hope that 2012 brings you lots of happiness and many exciting new opportunities. Love & hugs Maxine x PS: In 2012 please teach me how to leave a comment under my real name instead of anon :)

  4. What a super year! Wishing you all the best for 2012, I'm sure I'll bump into you at some more fab events and look forward to lots more vintage fun!

  5. Happy New Year, Kerry! Hope 2012 is just as fabulous. x

  6. What a year indeed!!! You have been up to so much - and I have loved reading all of it :)

  7. Happy New Year to you. Thanks for your comments this year too. Love your blog and all what you get up too. What a fun year. Take care for now and hope 2012 is just as fab. Xxx

  8. What a great post, I would really like to learn more about photography too. Happy New Year

  9. What a great year you have had! Lets hope for more of this in 2012!


    ps, You look wonderful in the Southern Retro portraits.


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