30.9.11

So long September


This month has flown by. I feel like I have hardly drawn breath! It's all been non stop. I have to say, since starting my blog last November I never seem to get bored. I'm always thinking, researching, planning - one could say day dreaming! Now I'm writing for Vintage Norwich too, it's all a bit of a crazy blur as I'm combing it all with a full time job. A girl has to keep herself in vintage dresses, cocktails and vino!


Except as you can see, I haven't just been drinking cocktails and vino. I managed to get some time off work and go adventuring! So are you are expecting tales of Thailand, India or some other far off exotic destination?

Well, in fact I went to Cholsey. Where? Cholsey. No I'd never heard of it either. I actually thought the place was Chorley. Half way through the evening I was informed that Chorley is actually up north. I was sitting in a fold up chair in Oxfordshire. They do sound similar and I have no shame in admitting that geography isn't one of my strong points. Obviously.

Why was I sitting on a fold up chair with really no idea where I was? (I *did* know I was in Oxfordshire somewhere by the way, I didn't think I was actually up north! I just thought the village I was in was Chorley - which may also be very nice!) It was the annual beer festival. I'd never been to a beer festival before.....


I was sure I didn't like real ale. That's still true I have to confess. I really did taste test lots of different types, as you can see from above picture I even tried with my eyes closed! Ones that looked like gravy and ones that looked like various shades of .....wee. (Sorry real ale fans) But I just couldn't get the taste for it. Despite what the above picture may convey. I do like lager but real ale, no.

I was also sure I wouldn't like cider, due to the fizzy type being my drink as a teenager. I still remember my first hangover and being desperate to wear my new polo neck. I swear I laid on my bed slowly pulling it over my head for what felt like at least half an hour. A head squeezing torturous tunnel of darkness and pain. I shudder at the memory.

HOWEVER - yum yum! I loved it! I knew it wouldn't taste the same as the ciders of my teens (Anyone remember Diamond White?!) but I thought it couldn't possibly be *that* much different. I am completely converted! I have seen the light!

Now I never ever ever drink pints. I just don't, the pint glass I'm holding came in with the ticket price. But once I discovered those ciders, ditched were the half pints! For one night only I allowed myself to go a little lad-ette like and drink by the pint.

We had a fantastic time, there was music all day and well into the evening at which point it seemed really hilarious to look at the stars through our sunglasses..... and wow the sky looked like it had been sprinkled with glitter. With no light pollution out in the sticks, the sky was simply magical.


The food was good and it was a really family orientated day. So although I am certainly no beer festival expert I would say it's perhaps a bit different to the norm? It's held in the village hall, so it's not a huge festival but I have to say it was very well organised. We jumped on the train at Paddington station and it didn't take long to get there at all.

Also in Cholsey is the resting place of........Agatha Christie!! I kid you not! That was an excellent suprise! Fortunately we stayed with a friend so the next day (and yes I was hangover free...was that luck or is cider now my friend?? ) we walked to the village church and visited the great lady herself.



What an honour. It was so lovely and still. There were notes left in an urn at the headstone by visitors and also a silver necklace. I can't help but wonder what the story is behind that, but of course that is for Agatha and her visitor to know, not me.
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22.9.11

Kooky vintage adverts part 3

I LOVE old adverts. I'm fascinated by the styles, the art, the topics, the portrayal of the sexes. Here's a selection of a few I've found recently.












You can see more vintage adverts here and also here (I told you I loved them!)
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21.9.11

Mid week link love


Middle of the week again. We are half way to the weekend. I hope you all have some fabulous plans. It's been a busy week so far. On Sunday night I wrote out a 'to do' list (I'm good a writing lists but not so good at working through them like an action plan) However so far so good, and although I'm constantly adding to this list, it's nice to see things getting crossed off.

Next week I'm with my fellow Vintage Norwich girls helping out with the Breakfast at Tiffany's screening, if you are in Norwich next Wednesday (the 28th) then do come and see us. Even if you don't plan to get a ticket for the film, you can still drink in the bar and there will be some music and a vintage fashion library for you to browse through. I've sorted out a pile of books to take, these are sitting in their own little pile ready to be transported and I've sorted my outfit, so I'm ahead of the game. The screening is part of Norwich Fashion Week so worth keeping an eye out for events if you are Norwich way 22nd - 29th September.


I've worked through my emails, I've some blog ideas written up and of course there's more Vintage Norwich ideas bubbling away too. So lot's of plates spinning but all very exciting.

I've some mid week links to share with you again. I received lot's of lovely comments about an earlier post this week about my use of glass decanters as glam bottles for bubble bath (If you missed it you can read it HERE)

Well I can't take the credit for this brain wave. I took my Inspiration from Vintage Vixen. Before I started blogging (I am still a baby blogger, I've been writing for just 10 months) I only really used to read two blogs and Vintage Vixen was one of them. Vix writes about her amazing vintage finds and if you are not familiar with her blog then do pop over and browse through her posts as she has some fantastic pots on her vintage home.

Recently Vintage Vixen has been writing about her fabulous cape collection. Vix is not shy of colour, just what we need for these short, grey days. Read this blog here


Over on Perdtia's Pursuits you can find a review of free vintage magazine The Vintage Rag Mag (It's also available online) Read the review here


Roxie Roulette shows how to achieve a 1950's page boy set. Read Roxie's tutorial here

Lottie Loves has written about the anniversary of Grace Kelly's death earlier this month. Beautiful images of a classic screen siren. Read it here

Happy Reading.
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19.9.11

Missy Vintage HQ


The house is a work in progress, I wondered if you might like a peek at how things are going so far? There's no structural work needed, just decorating and filling it up with interesting 'stuff'. I'm aiming to use thrifted and vintage in each room in one way or another. If someone with minimalist taste walks in and turns pale with horror then we have done a good job as far a I'm concerned!

The bathroom. I'd love to show you a picture of an old roll top bath with claw feet, however the bathroom was fitted new by the previous seller (who bought this house to do up. Prior to that it had been in the same family for years.) So it's a very crisp modern white suite, not much vintage style going on in here so I've done what I can with the accessories and I'll keep adding to it. It's a nice space and I hope it will be a good mix of new and old as time goes by.

So far I've got these decanters (some of you will have seen these before) I use them for bubble bath. They look wonderfully pretty and it's lovely deciding which one to use. Quite decadent to have an array of fragrances to suit my moods, needs and stresses! They twinkle beautifully next to candle light.




For pretty bathroom storage, old china is your friend! I use this little pot to store cotton buds, and a pretty jug is perfect as a toothbrush holder.



A tea cup on the bathroom windowsill holds hair grips and bobbles. The 50's linen bin has a glass top, and is perfect for brightening up the room with some flowers. I use this 1930's glass jug. Little jugs like this are perfect vases, it's an economical way to have flowers dotted around the house as one bunch goes a long way when you divide it into little displays like this.



So onto the hall, we are aiming to have the walls full of mirrors in all sorts of shapes and sizes and as they will be a various heights I stand a good chance of being able to look in at least one as I walk out the door, anyone who lives with someone of quite a different height will understand that finding the right height to hang a mirror can be tricky! It's going to be a slow project though as I've set myself a maximum of £15 per mirror. I know if I walked into a antique/vintage shop I could snap up a dozen mirrors if price was no object, but firstly I don't have those kind of funds and secondly, finding them as and when is half the fun.



An item The Boy previously owned is this lovely old phone. My daughter never having seen one like this before looked quite unsure when she saw it, asking if it was real and did it actually work...It does work. Perfectly. However if you call a company that has an automated system where you need to press 1 to speak to A, press 2 to speak to B etc. You end up in a bit of a loop as you can't press a button to get to where you need to be. Still, you end up in the 'I don't know' queue, so you still speak to someone in the end.



The spare room may eventually end a dressing room/my study/writing room, however guests will have to put up with growing selection of pictures om what I'm referring to as 'The Kitsch wall'. Now this is going to a real marmite feature. It's going to be loved or loathed. Personally, I think it's a hoot. The fluffy dog makes me laugh every time I look at it. Brace yourselves.....



So there are a few ways I use vintage/thrifted items around the home. How do you work vintage in to your home?
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16.9.11

Breakfast at Tiffany's on the big screen


If you happen to be in Norwich on 28th September then Cinema City is showing this classic, so it's quite a unique chance to watch Ms.Hepburn grace the big screen. If you have *never* seen it before then this is an opportunity not to miss!



You can buy your tickets in advance which is probably wise, as this event is part of Norwich fashion week so it will be popular.


Vintage Norwich have been asked to help out, so we will be in the bar area from 7 pm. Do come and say hello. We will have a mini mobile library of vintage fashion books for you to browse through as you sip on a bellini or whatever tipple tickles your taste buds. Think of us Vintage Norwich girls as lipsticked up, cocktail drinking librarians....


The film starts at 8:30pm. We will be staying in the bar area, so even if you just fancy a drink on a school night them come and join us. You don't have to be attending the film to enjoy the atmosphere of the bar area, and the bar is set in a truly stunning building, with a beautiful court yard.

There will also be music, a dressing up box with some fun accessories like hats and pearls and the best dressed chap or doll of the evening will win a years free membership to Cinema City and an exclusive Vintage Norwich goodie bag. Anything goes. Dressing up is optional but if you want to don a little black dress, pearls and tiara, or dust off that frock you've only worn once or perhaps you chaps are just desperate for an excuse to get dressed up to the nines then this is a good excuse.

And where will Vintage Norwich be after the film?........You guessed it - the bar! The perfect place for you to have another drink before home time and tell us what you thought of the film.
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14.9.11

Mid week link love


In July I wrote a post called Mid week love links. Amy Winehouse had just tragically passed away and reactions were very mixed. Most peoples twitter feeds and facebook pages seemed to be filling up with cross words as people voiced opinions, thoughts and in my opinion some very sweeping and outrageous statements about the tragedy. So at the time it seemed like a good idea to just share some love by giving a shout out to some blogs that I'd recently enjoyed.

It got such a good reaction that I thought I would repeat it. Infact, I'm considering making it a regular feature. There are some amazing writers, photographers and creative people out there. Blogs for me, are like magazines. Firstly, they are free. Excellent... more money to either save (I probably won't do this) or put towards a vintage gem (I probably absolutely will do this) Secondly, they are brilliant inspiration.


Blogging is a brilliant way to actually just do something you enjoy and it's a fantastic platform to show what you can do. So some of these you may know, some of them you may be about to discover......

A bit of a shout out for some boy bloggers. There are not enough of you out there. Chaps, if you are considering blogging but are concerned it's a woman's world please don't be put off. I know there's a lot of us, but really we are quite nice and don't bite (most of the time) Hopefully these two links will inspire you....

Tales of a Southern Retro offers 'a retrospective man's guide to mid - century life' his latest post tells of his trip to Norwich to take some portraits for his project that captures vintage as a lifestyle choice. Read it here

Eclectic Ephemera writes about a range of era's and is especially fond of the 20's and 30's. His latest post has some stunning transport images. Read it here

Next is a shameless plug for my fellow Vintage Norwich Girls

Glamour_ologist has been writing about eyebrow trends through the decades. Read it here.

Retro Chick
recently wrote a post about styling hair in a vintage way. I've a similar post half written but my hair is much longer, so you girls with mid length locks could find this very useful. Setting hair my sound like a lot of effort, but really it's a bit of a discovery for a lazy girl who would rather spend an extra 30 minutes in bed in the mornings..... Read it here.

Another blog I've been enjoying and is well worth popping over to........

Tales from Betty Bee Towers who this week wrote about hair accessories that could inspire you to get experimental and perhaps make your own? Read it here
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12.9.11

Granny Chic

Who doesn't love a pussy bow?

This post was actually sparked by a tweet by a fellow blogger Rosie who writes Out with the new, in with the old. Whilst watching Eastenders Rosie tweeted about a fab dress Dot Cotton was wearing which had palm trees on it. At seeing this tweet I thought ''It's not just me!!' Hoorah! So often, I find my self watching Dot,other OAP characters on TV or even in the street and I want to own their dresses, bags, shoes, hats, scarves etc etc. I want those items that have been making the world pretty and glam for so many years.

I love a pussy bow!

Beige mac and kelly bag - yes I wear both of these items.

So who else loves what I like to call a bit of 'granny Chic'? I was once on a train sitting opposite a lady who had some gorgeous 1960's courts on. If she'd had the same size feet I might have thought about offering her some money for them (and a shoe swap of course!) I expect she would have called the guard.... I wonder.......

I've several pairs of 'granny style' shoes. A T bar works fabulously with anything. Even a pair of skinny jeans in my opinion.


I'm very partial to dresses that fall just below the knee. I've no idea how old this one is, it's been handmade. It certainly has some age to it. Any guesses? It's quite 50's looking and a very classic shape.

Whatever age it is, I love it. It's a fab shape, I wish I was clever enough to make a dress. It's still on my 'must learn' list


Some of you will have seen this snap of me before. I'm the one in the second picture. Just so you know.
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7.9.11

Girl meets..... steel boned corset.........

Here follows a tale of drama, terror and love......


Recently I received a message on Twitter asking me if I would like to go to the No strings Burlesque and cabaret night that was being held in Norwich. Of course my reply was an enthusiastic YES! Pretty soon I was having that ''hmmmm what do I have to wear?'' voice in my head. Yes I had options. My red wiggle dress would have fitted the bill..... but looking for inspiration, I looked around online I kept coming back to pictures of the very beautiful Dita Von Teese which made me start to ponder a corset.

I've worn corsets before, but never a steel boned one. There is a difference. A huge difference. Not just in the way they shape and support you but the difference in price can be huge.

Being the budget conscious girl that I am (translation = skint) I started to look around and I was getting more and more interested in the idea of attending the evening sporting a burlesque look. It's one of those events where pretty much 'anything goes' dress wise, so it was *the* perfect opportunity to go for it.

My normal day look is of often quite demure (ish!) mainly 40's/50's style day dresses. I'm very partial to a pussy bow, so this was going to be something a little different to say the least! But I couldn't afford to pay over £100 for a corset and I was finding some utterly stunning ones but with an utterly unaffordable price tag for my budget.

Then I discovered a shop on Ebay selling beautiful corsets. *This is not a sponsored post, I've received no gifted items from this store. It's not a review for a freebie I've been given. I paid for my corset with my own hard earned cash and I'm just so thrilled with it, that I felt this store deserved a shout out and a well deserved pat on the back*

Not only did the shop Corsets Boulevard Ltd have an electric blue colour (my favourite) but the corsets were also longer length which means they sit on your hips and over your tummy creating an amazing hour glass shape. Combine that with the fact that the price was £29.95 (plus £3.50 postage) I decided to take a leap of faith and hoped it would be as good as the pictures made it appear.

It came within 2 days and as soon as I opened it I gasped as the colour was magnificent! I'm a bit like a child at Christmas when I get something new and I couldn't wait to get my self all corseted up.

What follows is NOT a tale of elegance, so if you like to think of me as graceful, cool and sophisticated.....stop reading now...

I got the corset on - a bit of a wrestle with the fastenings at the front but nothing I couldn't handle. I look in the mirror and I can see the lace needs tightening at the back.... So of course I tighten it a little? No of course I tighten it A LOT! But, I'm okay, I'm standing looking in the mirror thinking this makes my waistline look *amazing* About a minute later I'm starting to feel a bit too constricted. Then a little ill. I've pulled this corset far to tight in one go.......



It's fine, I will just loosen it... Oh...I seemed to have managed to tighten in such a way that I couldn't loosen it, or undo it. Oh dear. Don't panic. Three minutes later - I'm feeling sick and panicking. No one is home to assist me..... EEEEK! I've tried the corset on over my underwear so I think that if I can some how wiggle out of my bra then I would have a little more wriggle room....... Believe me - at this moment every millimeter counts.



I can't undo the bra because I'm very restricted so I'm in the middle of the living room wriggling out of the bra as best I can by trying to pull it still fastened up, over my head. The hooky bit still managed to get caught in my hair so not only was I trapped in a corset (albeit a beautiful one) I now had a bra caught in my hair, hanging like some kind of alternative fascinator.

I was at the point of feeling quite sick (perhaps it was my kidney pushed up into my chest) I couldn't get in the car and drive to someones house and I wasn't quite ready to meet the new neighbours with a ''hello - welcome to your new home, by the way can you do me a favour???'' so I just had to keep going and I did indeed manage an escape the greatest magician would have been proud of. It was then that I learned that steel boned corsets are a bit of a unique piece of clothing. You don't just throw them on like a pair of jeans. They need TLC.

I've mastered that corset. (Although, I asked The Boy to tighten it for me 5 minutes before I was due to leave the house and he somehow managed to re-lace it. Wrong. Which left me having to correct it all!..) It's beautiful and I can't wait to wear it again. I wore it for hours Saturday night and it was unbelievably comfortable.

So Ladies - I am convinced that we all need one. But you must start of wearing it loosely - around the house is fine. You can then just tighten the laces at the back slowly. Slowly is key. Mid way through the night on Saturday my corset was laced as tight as it had been on that first time. Because I'd tightened it slowly my body adjusted and wasn't shocked.

At the event there were petite breasted ladies and generous busted gals and they ALL looked fab in their steel boned corsets. It really is an item that seems to suit all shapes. If you are curvy it works with those curves, if you are more athletic it creates them. It's a fascinating piece of engineering really!



If you don't want to spend fortune but want something beautiful, I would highly recommend this Ebay shop. Whether it's for an event, a wedding, a boudoir shoot (it comes with detachable suspenders) or may be you just want something beautiful on a budget. If you want to try a steel boned corset then this is a bank balance friendly way to treat yourself. I completely adore my blue one and I've had so many compliments on it already. I now have my eye on a green one. Do I need another corset? Possibly not. Do I want another one? Absolutely yes.

Corsets Boulevard Ltd
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