Mid week love links

Firstly, just a quick thank you for the *amazing* reactions and comments on the last post where I raided by wardrobe and did a few high street/supermarket chic looks. I'm a bit stunned at how popular that post was and I did take the rear end shot out a few times in editing... We all have those days when confidence dips, I'm not confident 100% of the time! (If you missed the post in question and have absolutely no idea what I'm  rambling on about, then you can see it by clicking HERE!)

Thanks to everyone who contacted me about it. I've been asked for advice clothes and eras and been asked to take people clothes shopping.  I've loved hearing from you. I'm not an expert by any means but I'm happy to offer an opinion or answer a question as best I can! If you want to email me directly rather than leave a comment then feel free to say ''Hi'' to me at missyvintage@hotmail.co.uk

So on with the post.....The world can seem a really sad place, I'm reluctant to even turn on the news at the moment. It's been commented that I can be a bit 'Pollyanna' with my smile and carry on regardless attitude, perhaps it's that Brit stiff upper lip thing. Who knows, but I thought right now we could all do with sharing a little love and niceness. So this post is going to be a bit of a shout out for a few of things I've read this week that have warmed my heart, touched my soul, and made me smile.

LOVENOTE, is an art project that you can be part of. The artist is looking for notes and messages of love to feature in a collection that will eventually be exhibited. They can be Anon if you wish so don't worry. Take a look at the site and if you want to take part all the instructions are there and there's already several on the blog for you to look through, it's a wonderful project.

Even if you feel you can't take part, why not pop over to the site and have a look. Love notes/letters are such a dying art. I have a 40's child's suitcase that holds postcards  The Boy sends me. I love getting them. You can't keep the memory of a text or a phone call as a keepsake like that. You can hold the memory of a conversation that contains words of love for many years but age is often cruel and once forgotten those whispers of sweetness may be lost forever. The written word can at least keep those memories alive if only on paper. Take a look at the lovenote site by clicking HERE

Nestled amongst my scarves, maybe over time the case will be full of letters and post cards.

The postcard could be from anywhere, when was the last time you sent  post card?

Blogger Lady Cherry  has written a really thought provoking and interesting post about the late Amy Winehouse. Amy's album Back to Black has always been one of my favorites since the first time I heard it. Like a lot of people there have been times when it's almost been a soundtrack for my life. Lady Cherry has included some pictures of a young Amy. It's easy to forget that she was once a young buxom girl with a raw talent. You can read this post by clicking HERE   *Polite notice, Amy Winehouse's death has provoked some very extreme opinions so let's go by the rule that if you can't say anything nice then just don't say anything at all.

picture from amywinehouse.com

So we've had  love and then reflection, what's next?..... a smile? Smiling is very important. It can also be quite disarming. That moment when you politely smile at a stranger as you walk past them an they don't smile back? I like to think that they are not being rude but that they were just not expecting it (maybe they think I'm bonkers...) People don't smile at each other as much as they should, it's a shame.

This final link is it to Land Girl 1980, who has written a guest post for a lovely blog called Lottie Loves. The post is about the contents of Land Girls Satchel and her daily essentials. For me it was the creative use of bobby pins that made me laugh. I won't spoil it for you, but it's worth a read. It also shamed me into realising how unorganised and full of unnecessary items my own bag is, I must add that to my 'to do' list....... You can have a snoop in Land Girls bag by clicking HERE

I hope you have all had things to smile about this week?
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Getting that vintage look

I'm  happy to be out of the closest as a non purist when it comes to vintage as you know. Yes my first choice will probably always be vintage or someones cast off, most days I will wear something that falls into that category, even if it's just a bag or a scarf. Occasionally I don't though, so is it possible to do the 'vintage' look without a single piece of vintage? Yes I think it is, which is great news for those who like the look but don't want to wear second,third, fourth maybe even fifth hand clothes. Or maybe you want to add a vintage twist to already in your wardrobe? (accessories will be a huge help here)  So I've rooted through my wardrobe to find some high street labels............(not an easy mission as most of the items in my wardrobe are at least 30 years old, so this has been a good exercise in the usefulness of some key modern/classic pieces)

If you like the 40's look then a sweet floral tea dress, dab of red lipstick and a few kirby grips, flower in your hair,or a head scarf and you are sorted. I don't have any non vintage dresses to fit this style in my wardrobe, but you get the idea. I do have some wide leg trousers which always make me feel a bit 'land girl'. I usually combine them with a vintage blouse but for the purposes of this post I've pulled out a modern blouse that I think cost me £6 from Asda at least 2 years ago. It's a nice little blouse, and for that price a bargain.

Trousers and blouse from George at Asda, Shoes - M&S (they are like ballet pumps with heels. Uber comfy)
If you don't fancy going down the route of full victory rolls in your hair (or if like me you have days when they go fab and then a day when your hair just won't behave) then twisting the hair into these 'faux victory rolls' is a really good alternative. You still get the cuteness but it's a very soft look. Just twist your hair and grip with a kirby grip or pin. (Twist hair towards the parting of the hair)

Another pair of wide leg trousers with the same blouse. I do like wearing flat shoes, even though I'm very short! These brogues are from good old Primark. *love* them. I often wear Primark ballet pumps. Unbelievable comfy and they can squash into your handbag when the heels start to kill!

Trousers - George at Asda, blouse as before, shoes - Primark

Katherine Hepburn working the trousers & blouse look

1940's shoes, not really so different from shoes you might buy today, fashion trends usually refer back to another era in some way.
 If you fancy more of a 50's/pin up look then a pencil skirt is your friend. This skirt is yet another item from Asda (I guess this is turning more into the vintage look from the supermarket?!) This skirt was a bargain several years ago and it's still going strong. It had been reduced to £2 in the sale! But they charged me incorrectly at the till so they knocked another £1 off it!
Skirt - George at Asda, blouse as before, shoes as before,belt - Primark

A pencil skirt is incredibly versatile, I often pair mine with a t-shirt, it makes a very simple outfit, which you can accessories as much or as little as you like. I like the 50's pin up look. I like the wiggle of Ms. Monroe. For me Pippa Middleton as lovely as she is, just isn't a patch on the beautiful Marilyn with her amazing curves. If you haven't got a pencil skirt in your wardrobe,  have a think about investing in one. Seriously, love your bums ladies, wear a pencil skirt!

Skirt as before, T shirt - George at Asda, shoes - ASOS, bottom - all my own ;O)

So the shoes....my pin up peep toes.........

I want to tell you how comfy these are. I want to tell you but I can't because after about 15/20 minutes they really really hurt your toes. Aw but they are beautiful though aren't they?

Pencil skirts, need I say more?

Do you have a favourite era? Do you mix and match high street with vintage or do you work the vintage look purely with high street/supermarket chic?
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Aladdin's Cave Norwich - prepare to be amazed....

*just a not to say that since writing this,the shop has moved. It's still on the same road and it's right next to the bridge (walking towards Anglia Square. You can't miss it!)

Aladdin's Cave is in a building formerly known as Looses, which is a household name in Norwich, located on Magdalen Street.  Indeed, I remember visiting Looses with my Nan as a small child.  My memory of this shop is of it being huge with lots to see.  Looses shut some years ago - a major loss to this part of the city.  For the last couple of years, the building has been a walk-around store for antique/vintage gems, with several sellers each having a section to sell their wares.  When the lease ran out in 2010, there was a real danger that it would all come to an end and this part of the city would once again end up with another empty shop. 

Fortunately, Graham, who up to that point had simply been one of the many sellers trading from the store, saw vast potential in the set-up.  With his business partner, Rob, he decided to take a huge leap of faith and sign a new lease on the whole building.  And so, in April 2010, the shop re-launched as Aladdin's Cave.

Graham very kindly gave up some of his time to have a chat with me - and this is one busy guy.  During our chat, several people needed to talk to him about all manner of things, from money to buying stock.  Graham is very hands-on in this business - he lives and breathes it - from sweeping the floors and doing the bins, to looking after the traders.  What I also love is that although Graham isn't from Norwich originally, he has an obvious passion for the city.  I knew straight away we were obviously going to get along!

Also in attendance during my chat with Graham was a local busker, better known for busking as Elvis.  Anyone who follows me on Twitter may recall me tweeting one Saturday that I had tea made by Elvis!!  So there I was, sat in the sun, drinking tea with "Elvis" and Graham, talking about vintage, blogging and Norwich - not a bad way to spend a Saturday, hey?

Graham, a former construction worker, started in the antiques trade in 1999.  A friendship with an antique dealer led to Graham doing some restoration work, giving him the inspiration and the knowledge effectively to change direction in life.  Graham told me about what happened when the lease expired in 2010.  He told me that he sat in a meeting with the other traders, took a draw on his cigarette, and reached the decision that maybe Magdalen Street was meant for him.  I'm not sure I can disagree with that thought at all!

I put it to him that in my opinion it wasn't an exaggeration to declare that Aladdin's Cave was responsible for revitalising this sometimes neglected part of the city.  Graham is obviously very proud of what's been achieved here - it really is a wonderous sight to see all the treasures that have been brought together under one roof. 

Notice the white 50's foot stool on the sofa, in the bottom left hand picture? You will see this again later....

 There are currently thirty-four independent traders in the shop, with a waiting-list to get a trading-space.  There is such a variety of goods - pianos, wardrobes, chairs, clothes, bags, china - you name it, it's there. (In fact this is where I got my delightful teal green dress that I wore to the cocktail part, which you can read about by clicking here) Aladdin's Cave have also hired items out to students and drama groups and it has become the go-to place if you need props or inspiration.  It's all set out as a big open-plan shop, with a central till, so you can browse for as long as you wish.  There's nothing pretentious about this place - nothing stuffy or snooty - which is perhaps something you may expect when the words "antique" and "shopping" are involved.  It's a really welcoming atmosphere - there's a friendly, almost community, spirit.  When you combine all this fabulousness with the fact that the variety is plentiful and the prices are affordable, the only decision you need to make is when to visit. 

If your eyes, heart and purse/wallet can cope with even more gems, then I would recommend you visit on a Saturday.  Back in June 2010, Graham and Rob launched a weekly flea-market above the shop, utilising a previously wasted space.  There's currently fifty-two regular stall-holders and, again, the variety is huge.  The queue on Saturday mornings builds as people wait for the doors to open. 

There's plenty of stuff for the boys, too.  You'll find stall-holders with fantastic vintage men's fashion.  One that caught my eye was a regular stall called "Lost Property".  They've been trading in the flea-market since last November.  I was amazed to see shirts still in packets and some amazing record-players.  Whilst taking some photos, I found myself watching a little boy who looked amazed at one of the record-players in action.  I wonder what he was thinking?

I really need to add a record player to the wish list I think...
 My favourite seller who I met on the day is a very beautiful and classy lady called Marigold.  Her stall is made up mainly of her own clothes, from the 40s through to the 80s.  I won't reveal her age but I'm sure you can do the maths and work out that this lady is of an age where she has seen a lot - and my goodness she has done a lot!

Marigold is an ex-ballet dancer, who has travelled the world.  She was a dancer in the Astor Club in Berkeley Square and also a window dresser.  There's a really beautiful selection of clothes, shoes and bags on her stall.  What's fascinating is that Marigold is happy to chat about the history of them very openly.  She says that she loves them all and it's lovely to see that the people who are buying them love them too.

The orange dress in the top right hand corner was designed by Marigold and made especially for her in the 70's, the floral kitten heeled shoes in the bottom left hand corner were bought by Marigold when she worked in Harrod's
 Marigold went on to say that customers have come back to tell her where they've worn them and she seems to like knowing that their history lives on and they're still being enjoyed.  Thoughtfully, Marigold has made a screen to enable shoppers to try her clothes on before they buy.  The back of the screen actually has photos of Marigold herself wearing some of the clothes that are or have been on the stall at all kinds of events during her life. 

Marigold wore this dress during her time as a dancer at the Astor Club in the 60's. In fact she wore it when footballer Bobby Charlton visited the club and Marigold had to kiss his head for a photograph!

Marigold herself was a little camera-shy, so I can only suggest you go to the flea-market and go and see for yourself what a beautiful, classy and very friendly lady Marigold is!   

The vintage scene in Norwich has really boomed in the last few years, thanks to the vision of people like Graham.  He told me that he see his weekly flea-market stall-holders as "little acorns" because several of them have gone on to open their own shops elsewhere. With an article about the Norwich vintage scene being in published in The Times newspaper in April, and Aladdin's cave actually being named as a place to go and visit, Graham believes that Norwich has the right feel and vibe to enable it to develop as a "destination", similar to Brighton.  Given the number of "acorns" there seem to be around the city at the moment, who would bet against him? (Norwich is less than two hours from London by train, with this shop being within a 30 minute stroll from Norwich train station)

Oh, and the white 1950s foot-stool I told you to keep an eye on?  You may have guessed actually ended up coming home with me.  I'm a sucker for an atomic leg.  I also bought a beautiful suitcase from the flea-market - I don't think a girl can ever have enough vintage suitcases!  They'll come in very handy when The Boy kicks me out of home for bringing home too may treasures.....

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Buy Buy Baby part 3

More loveliness in the form of vintage/thrifted goodies! I think I really need to stop buying china now.....unless I intend to either open a tea shop or begin a china hire company! Some beautiful cups have made their way into my cupboard, can you ever have too many pretty tea cups though?.........

Fabulous pastel coloured cups & sauers, 1950's. I once left some peach coloured ones in a shop as I didn't have enough money with me, I've been hoping to find some more and here they they are.
When I moved I had the aspiration to get mismatched dinner plates, sadly I am ridiculously attracted to anything blue so I've ended up with a theme of mainly blue willow style dinner plates. Mismatched in pattern but with an obvious theme of blue. I can't help it, I just adore the colour. I have managed to scoop up some fabulously pretty platters, cake plates and a ridiculous amount of pretty side plates (some cake stands are planned!)

Finding bowls had been more tricky.....they don't seem to be as easy to come by as plates. I've found a couple of lovely willow ones (yes, there's that blue again) and some pretty little bowls which are perfect for sauces/olives and I have some serving bowls which are fab for salad, veg etc, but bowls for things like my morning cornflakes are harder to find.

Does anyone have a cocktail bar? I would absolutely *love* one, sadly we just don't have the room but I've still bought a couple of retro soda syphons, I think they are just interesting to look at and I recently found this round one. I've never seen one this shape before?

 And the final gem to show you on this post, is this box of 50's shot glasses! Beautiful aren't they? They have been used as the gold band is worn slightly on some of the glasses, which I just love.

I'm fascinated by the idea these have been taken out of the box for parties and then put away again for the next special occasion.
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Buy Buy baby part 2.

I've so many gorgeous bits and pieces to show you all from the last few months. That's one of the exciting things about moving house and wanting to put your own stamp on it. A boot sale a few week ago saw me leave with a beautiful haul goodies, including this 30's pink pressed glass tea set. It's absolutely stunning. I've been drinking cloudy lemonade from it and even vino! I just like using it so much. (I never was very good at saving things for 'best'.)

so pretty

 The chap I bought them from, said they belonged to his mother and that he could always remember her having them, I love knowing the story behind things I buy. The lady is now in a home, bless her.  I wonder if this set was a gift, or if she think had saved up for it?  It's very very pretty, I'm going to treasure it.  I made trifle in the cups for our dinner on Saturday night. They looked and tasted gorgeous!

 It was such a hot day at the car boot and people were desperate to pack up and get out of the heat, so it finished way before it's official end time, but fortunately I also managed to scoop up this 1950's gravy boat and a 1930's pink glass ring/trinket holder which will look sweet on my 50's dressing table.

I should also mention that in this picture are my baby blue 50's damask silk napkins, I desperately need to get a 50's table cloth. I really *must* add that to my wish list to focus my mind on hunting one down. I also bagged some champagne coupes for 10p each, so now I have 9 of these! They look glam, but oh my goodness, they are not the ideal glass for the clumsy person. Which is me!!

Yes I'd love to say I'm one of these women that glides into the room, tosses her hair with ease and sips vino as serenely as an angel would breathe air....I could say that but I'd either be a liar or an honest person in utter denial! So as someone who talks with their hands, can fall over her own feet and has been known to manage to get her hair caught on someones dental brace (yes that happened!) These glasses do run the high risk of someone or something getting a drink sploshed on them......but I love them anyway!

In the picture you can also see my 1970's St. Michael's place mats. I get very excited at anything that says 'St. Michael's made in the U.K'. I have absolutely no idea why but I just do.

Evidence of my clumsiness can be seen bottom left hand corner....whoops!
More evidence of clumsiness....that vino is scarily close to tipping out of the coupe I am holding at a ridiculously dangerous angle....indeed it did end up over my 70's does 50's dress.......

Us bloggers can *sometimes* be a bit guilty of taking several photo's to get the  ones that actually end up on our blogs (God bless digital cameras!)....... so here's a tipsy 'out take' picture of me scrunching my nose up like Kenneth Williams as I fall about laughing after sloshing my drink up my arm and over my dress!
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Agony Aunt 1947 style

 You're looking at a magazine from  November 1947 called 'Home Notes'. Amazing to think this is almost 64 years old! It's going to be fabulous to read through, I was going to try and be really disciplined and save reading it until I went to a fabulous tea room we have in Norwich called Biddy's. I think sipping tea whilst being surrounded by beautiful china with old music playing will be simply divine and most fitting, it will be like stepping back in time. I also have some love letters from the 1950's I've been saving for this occasion too..........

I bought these on Ebay, seems a shame they are not in a box of treasures with the writers relatives but c'est la vie I suppose. I haven't even peeped at them yet, so let's hope the seller was honest in the description! When I find out I will let you know.......

So I've flicked through the magazine, it's in amazing condition for it's age and I must confess I got quite excited at finding a problem page! The page is actually called 'Sarah Hope's help page'  The picture of Sarah (actually she looks quite formal...) so the picture of Mrs Hope is very matronly, and quite frankly somewhat scary. There's no further details about her so let's see what issues are bothering the ladies of 1947 and take a look at what Mrs Hope's advice is..........................

Not the best picture but do you see what I mean?

Is it wrong?

I have been going around with a boy for some time, and just lately we have started making love in a very passionate way. I mentioned this to  a friend of mine and she was very shocked. I cannot truthfully say I am ashamed of my behavior, but I must admit that, occasionally I fee guilty. Is love making of this sort wrong, and if so what shall I do? Incidentally I am only 17, but have always mixed with a crowd considerably older than myself. From Bunny.

Mrs Hope replies

Don't you think that you ave answered your question yourself by admitting that, sometimes you feel guilty? Why should you, if you were perfectly happy about your behavior? I only wish that you had let me have your name and address so I could have written to you privately,and explained to you, as I cannot do here, just why it is not only foolish but dangerous. I think you should tell you boyfriend that you realise how rash you are being, and let him see that you mean it when you say you are not going in for any more of this lovemaking. You'll see if he's worth anything at all by the way that he takes your decision. 

''When we are married''

My boy and I have known each other for four years, and I've always been very friendly with his sister and his family. We see each other 3 times a weekend he's always talking of ''when we are married'' but he never says anything about being engaged to him. Last week his mother asked him if he was going to a certain dance, and he said : '' No, I am saving my money, as one day I shall have a wife to keep.'' But I cannot understand why he hasn't really made up his mind. I love him very much and would hate to give him up. What shall I do? From Poppy

Mrs Hope replies

I don't think you have anything at all to worry about. It seems to me that your boy takes it so for granted that you're going to marry each other that it has never occurred to him to mention a formal engagement. The fact that he talks about  ''when we are married'' and what he said to his mother , proves this. Also as he is keen to save money so that you can get married, he may feel it wiser to cut out the expense of an engagement ring. It's a big item, these are hard times you know.

He's so jealous

I am going to a party, and my husband has asked me not to wear anything that looks well on me. He says I have to keep my beauty for him alone and he hates to have his men friends admire me.  I love my husband but I like to be admired by others as well, and I know I am considered pretty.  How can I stop him from being so jealous? From Green Eyes

Mrs Hope replies

You can't stop your husband being jealous, it is a powerful and violent emotion and only those who suffer from it know how painful it can be. Perhaps you aren't always as careful as you might be to avoid giving your husband cause for jealousy. I rather think that this must be the explanation for his strange request that you should not wear ''anything that looks well'' at this party. I shouldn't take it too seriously, wear a pretty frock and take pain to look  as nice as nice as you can, but don't over do the make up or go out of your way to attract attention from other men. I think you'll find that your husband won't mind how nice  you look if you  make it clear that he's the one, and the only one, you're aiming to please.

Hmmmmm so what do I think? .............. Well I think Bunny not including her address was a lucky escape! I think Mrs Hope would have written a letter, but it would have been addressed to Bunny's parents!! The poor girl might have ended up getting the beating of her life or sent to a home for wayward girls (maybe both!) I do wonder what happened with Bunny and the boy though..........

As for Poppy, well as Beyonce. Seriously though, one of my early posts was about expensive rings not being the main thing about being in love, however it would have been nice if he had actually popped the question, at least asked her and not assumed! You can find that early post by clicking here

As for Green Eyes,  well, where to start? What conflicting advice. You're husband is in the right but wear what you like within reason. Hmm, I really don't think there was much clear or helpful guidance there at all. I wonder if Mrs Hope got a splinter as she appeared to find a fence to sit on half way through that response!

What do you think?
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