How Hollywood celebrated women in WW2

 Last week I attended a talk by Professor Yvonne Tasker,  from the school of film and television studies, UEA titled - Recruitment and Containment: Hollywood Celebrates Military Women in WW2.  It was a really interesting look at how Hollywood encouraged and actually glamourised the idea of of joining the ranks.

The talk opened with the cover of Life magazine (August 1941) that you see above.  Life magazine was a well respected and much read publication. This cover is a powerful piece of imagery that caused a bit of a stir, the subject of women serving in what was at the time a mans world, was much debated - especially in America.

There was the argument that women couldn't possibly do what a man could and for the few that were able to? Well they obviously weren't real women were they?! So women were dammed if they could and dammed if they couldn't! Of course back here in Britain it wasn't really a choice for most women to volunteer for work or join the services. I wonder of having the choice taken a way actually made it easier - because getting stuck in was exactly what was expected of us?

In America recruitment campaigns were run with posters that used not just patriotic language, but words of inspiration and promises of personal growth, development, travel and freedom. Some of these posters were used in the talk, others I've found whilst researching myself. It's essentially really quite a fascinating marketing campaign.

Pulling on the star spangled heart strings
The proud folks

''I'd rather be with them than waiting'' was a popular slogan.

Films were reinforcing the messages on these posters, with females taking on roles that saw their characters become strong ballsy women as they experienced life in the forces. Women were being shown as strong, confident and improved - all whilst wearing a uniform and doing their bit for the war.

In parts of America it must have been like an uprising - as women saw posters and had on screen imagery of the posters promises in action. For some women it would have been an escape route out of the life they knew, with joining up being a way to change their destiny.

The talk included stills and clips from several films, most of which I hadn't heard of - so if you feel like watching some films that cover women at war really well (as advised by the Professor - and after such a fantastic talk, I trust her advice on this!) here's some to add to your DVD list:

This Above All (1942)
So Proudly We Hail (1943)
Up In Arms (1944)
Marine Raiders (1944)
Here Come The Waves (1944)
Keep Your Powder Dry (1945)
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Historical Saucery at The Little Vintage Lover fair

 Hope you've all had a good weekend, I've had a busy but fun one. In case you missed a previous post about 'The Historical Sauces' I will just bring you up you speed (sorry to those of you who know exactly what a sauce is! Feel free to skip this bit.)

The Historical Sauces consist of myself, Gemma of Retro Chick and Lucy of Glamourologist. We've joined forces to work together providing a Pop Up Vintage Reading Room at events and to generally add a little 'how to' glamour to the world. We all like a good giggle whilst looking nice and we adore history. Having spent a few months working together on Gemma's other website Vintage Norwich, we realised that we really enjoyed working together and supporting each other with our writing/vintage activities so why not collaborate on something together. So The Historical Sauces were created.

Sunday saw us take the Vintage Pop Up Library to the Little Vintage Lover Fair at Sussex Barns, Burnham Market in Norfolk. We were very lucky that we were able to stay close by, in a lovely quaint little seaside town called Wells  Next The Sea. We had a lovely stroll through the streets which were bustling with Christmas spirit as the lights were being switched on.

 Father Christmas was coming  to town on a boat - which made me very excited but we decided to head to the pub and try and find some Christmassy beer instead! We're rich with some decent beer brewers in this part of the country including the well known Adnams, so we were hopeful we'd find something yummy. So we followed the brightest star (sort of...) and headed off to find a suitable drinking establishment.


Despite the Guinness glass this is actually half pint of Adnams Yuletide beer. Cocktail stirrer optional! We all decided it was very delicious. Lucy agreed....

As all good librarians should be, we were home by 8pm and eating fish and chips. By the end of the evening PJ's were the outfit of choice and it was pin curl city ready for the next day. Morning came and we were ready for action. Armed with our books and victory rolls we headed off to the fair. It was such a blustery day, on closing the garden gate one of my victory rolls got tangled up on a branch, but several seconds of trying to free myself didn't do too much harm - nothing that a kirby grip couldn't solve. The lesson there is - never be without spare kirby grips!

Set in a beautiful barn we used our pop up library to create a vintage reading room for people. After the brilliant success of a previous fair, we had high hopes this would be a popular feature again and it certainly was. We were on hand as always to chat about books and all things vintage. 


We've an ever growing collection of books and magazines. Fashion, social history, hair and beauty. We've cocktail books, cookery books and it's still growing, we're aiming to have something for everyone. We had a really fun day meeting and chatting to lots of people. We are very lucky to have some rather fabulous head wear that was created for us by designers Sugar and Hatter. We got many lovely comments on these during the day!

 Also in attendance making our feet tap was DJ78 who plays his tunes on 1930's wind up gramophones. Now I like old tunes, but I'm no expert but I've learnt a bit about 'shellac' now - which was used for discs  prior to vinyl. I was very grateful for the odd Christmas tune popped in. Especially Santa Baby which never fails to to make me think 'ooo I love this one'.

I rounded the day up with a glass of mulled wine. It's thirsty work being a librarian!

By the way have you entered The Historical Sauces giveaway yet? Get your entries in by December 7th 2011. To see what you can win and check the rules click here.
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Being Santa Baby on a £5 budget

 Well after the success of the recent post Being Santa Baby on a £20 budget I've decided to repeat it, but this time the budget is just £5. Now in the previous post there were some gift ideas that came in under £10 too, so if you haven't seen that one do pop over and have a look.

Everyone I speak to seems to need to cut back this year, but we still like giving gifts and let's face it, we do like receiving them too? But we don't want it to mean that the gift giver then can't eat for a month due to blowing all their pennies on presents. 

Amazon have this book priced at £4.29. The 1940's and 1960's homes are also available at the same price. You can select free postage.

The website notonthehighstreet.com is full of gift ideas. It's a site worth bookmarking for Christmas, birthdays, weddings etc etc.

Perfect for marking the pages with recipes you need to refer back to. Set of 10 page markers £3.80 plus 50p postage.

I love Lush, the products are fabulous to use and once you have tried one product you will be hooked.

Cancer Research UK have some lovely items in their online gift shop. UK only. Postage is from £3.95 per parcel for UK standard delivery or free if you spend over £49. I think that's pretty good and the actual cost of the items is very budget friendly too. I'm really impressed with the selection and price range. I will be doing some shopping from this site myself I think.

And finally the Cancer Research website has these 2 fun little stocking fillers for £1 and under! 

Don't forget that photo's make a nice gift too. An album that you've put together or a picture in a frame. It might not be the most expensive gift ever received but it will be unique and how could anyone think such a gift is anything other than utterly fabulous?


*Postage can vary on the sites linked in this post as there may be offers/promotions/changes to terms and conditions.

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Mid week link love

Middle of the week again, we are half way to another weekend. Hooray! Hope you have some nice plans. I intend to sleep lots, drink some vino and relax. Well, try to. I don't find relaxing easy, I always feel there is something I should be doing, thinking, planning or worrying about. When I do sleep I have crazy dreams. I've always been a vivid dreamer but lately I keep dreaming about talking animals............. what can that possibly mean?........... Anyway, when I'm not doing all of the above I love getting lost in the wonderful world of the internet. So here are some things I've recently enjoyed.

First of all, if you enjoy Agatha Christie then I've just discovered an official information and community website - agathachristie.com  Here you will find all the latest news such as new programmes being commissioned and the history of the great lady herself. 

Retro Chick has been working her beret. One beret worn three ways

Tuppence Ha'penny  Vintage has written an interesting post on dating vintage clothes

Over at My friends call me Nelly there is a series of posts on vintage stars. This one includes a stunningly gorgeous lady I had never heard of - Gloria Mildred DeHaven, she may be one of the most beautiful women ever.

Glamourologist has written about the history of false lashes

The Fabulous Miss K has written and interesting post called Style over Beauty

Hair blog - Hair advice and all things nice has a DIY hair mask recipe

And finally, I appreciate that I'm not at all techy and that you may be reading something you have known for ages BUT did you know that you can read Kindle books on your computer? I didn't! Is this news to anyone else or am I that behind the times??? - Remember I'm the girls who doesn't yet own a smart phone....

Anyway, I discovered this when a dear friend sent me an email to say that his book was now available for the Kindle. How exciting is that?! Here follows a shameless plug for which I make no apologies - because this chap is an utter doll. Clever, interesting and witty.

Pete hand reared a baby otter for the 1979 film Tarka the Otter which was based on the novel of the same name by Henry Williamson, first published in 1927. The following is taken from the product description page on Amazon - 

Pete Talbot trained at the Otter Trust under naturalist Philip Wayre. He was invited by film producers David Cobham and Bill Travers to hand rear a baby otter called Spade for a leading roll in Tarka the Otter. As his otter grew, Pete took him to live in a magical old water mill in Hampshire – the home of wildlife film makers Ron and Rose Eastman.

In time, including Spade, they gathered a menagerie of five otters, a tame barn owl, a goose and a German shepherd dog. With others, they became a family traversing Southern England, from Norfolk to The West Country, with their exotic pets. Over two years living free with his otter, Peter encountered a diverse mix of other animals and their keepers.

His wonderful real-life experiences and gradual awakening to the magic of Henry Williamson's classic story are uniquely traced in this humorous and compelling adventure.

The book is available on kindle for just £3.21. Click here to visit the book on Amazon
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Carry on blogging!

Missy Vintage is now one year old! I'm not sure if I should be celebrating an anniversary or a birthday, but I've opted for the latter. What an exciting and interesting year it's been. I still remember making the decision to stop thinking about writing a blog and just get on and do it. It's scary, I didn't really tell anyone I was writing at first.

I wasn't confident that anyone would actually want to read a single word I wrote. I took a big breath, threw my words out in to the scary world wide web and just hoped people wouldn't be mean to me! That's the honest truth. I can still remember hitting the 'publish' button on that first ever post and  nervously biting my lip.

I'm not a techy person, I still gasp when I have to send a fax at work because it all seems like a magic trick to me. My blog has been created with blood, sweat, tears, lots of hair pulling and countless bottles of vino. Gallons of vino! It's evolving, there are still things I want to change about how it looks - an interesting header for example is on my wish list but I've learned a lot and each time I work out how to add a bit of code, or change something I'm happy. Maybe next year I will really get with the times and get an iphone..... you never know!

My style has really evolved in the last 12 months. Writing about a subject really focuses the mind. I'm eclectic, I don't conform to one look or decade,  I'm not confused, I'm just doing my thing. If I want to wear a 40's style dress, with rockabilly style eyeliner then I will! Yes, I've had some negative remarks from people. I've been called a freak and had a stranger in the street ask  ''WTF are you wearing?' 
This is the dress in question....
 Personally, I think a polka dot dress complete with pussy bow is quite a peaceable creature of an outfit but the lady in the pink anorak didn't seem to think so....... I accept that I may be swimming against the 'mainstream' so I also accept that if I'm opting to look a little different from the 'norm' then I will get negative remarks as well as  positive ones - and the positives far out weigh the negatives. There will always be rude people in life, sad but true. I'm simply glad not to be one of them.

The last twelve months have also seen Missy Vintage become part of Vintage Norwich and form  The Historical Sauces with two very lovely fellow Norwich bloggers Gemma from Retro Chick and Lucy from Glamourologist, so for me blogging has actually changed life as I know it! A dramatic but completely true statement.

So thank you for reading, following, commenting, joining me on facebook, twitter and the emails etc. I've met so many lovely people along the way. I'm already wondering what next year will bring. If you are thinking of trying something new, may be writing or learning something then all I can say is good luck and have fun with it!

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Being Santa Baby on a £20 budget

I know, it's not even mid November yet, but Christmas is well and truly on it's way. Most cities seem to have the lights up and there's only one payday left for most of us (except for those of you that do the Christmas eve shelf sweep!) The internet is a great resource for ideas and provides a fab chance to support small businesses and charities. Not to mention the fact that you can do your shopping from your desk. Win win really!

I had the original idea for this post whilst  browsing through the shop in London's Imperial War Museum but I've decided to expand it to include some other fabulous gift ideas. So to inspire you with your Christmas shopping or perhaps your own wish list.........  here are some gorgeous goodies under £20.

Sugar and Hatter Etsy store

Sugar and Hatter 'Le Fay' fascinator. £12.50 plus £2 postage. I actually have this in black. It's completely gorgeous and uber glam. These designers have other styles in their online shop that will come in under £20 including postage, so do pop over and check them out.


Poppy Valentine iphone case £10 plus £3.50 postage. Made with vintage fabric. This shop also has gorgeous make up bags  - these also come in at under £20 so this site is well worth a browse.

Abilu Creations dice cufflinks £6 plus £2.50 postage. There's a big selection of goodies for ladies and gents over on this site including necklaces, earrings and all the loveliness you might need to accessorise your wardrobe.

Amazon currently have this book pried at £7.19 postage is free depending on the delivery option chosen. I'm a huge fan of Gil Elvgren, many of the pin ups I use on my blog are from this artist. This is a really substantial book that is jam packed with pin up beauties.

Rockalily lipstick £14 plus £2.50 postage. If the picture looks familiar, it may be because you've read my review. Lipstick for Christmas?? Why not? It's an ideal present for your friend, sister, girlfriend etc. There's a small range of shades but they include perfect reds and pinks for all skin tones. I think mums can sometimes think twice about spending £14 on a lipstick, when we have so many other things to juggle. I know I did, but I love it. It's long lasting so it's brilliant when you are constantly on the go as you don't need to keep reapplying. It would be a gorgeous gift to receive...... I'd have one as a gift any day of the week! (Did you hear that Santa?!)
Truffleshuffle.co.uk have this Ted Baker camera case £15 plus £1.95 postage. This is quite a quirky site, with a huge selection of various gifts and homewares.
Past Times lunch tin £12 plus £4.95 postage. This store has some *fabulous* items for all age ranges. They offer a 'click and collect' service, so you can order online and pick up instore and save some pennies.

So wrapping up (see what I did there?) let's have a look at what you can buy via the online shop on The Imperial War Museum website.
£9.99 - Also available in green and brown

£15.99 Union Jack bunting

Poster £6.99

Delivery charges are based on weight and they do ship world wide. Shopping with the museum is a great way to show some support and they have a huge range for all ages groups, so make a cup of tea and have a browse.

If you can get to the London Imperial Museum then do. They have an amazing exhibition on at the moment - The Children's War and there's also a life size 1940's house to walk round. I've written about my recent visit and you can read about it HERE

Happy shopping!

*Postage can vary on the sites linked in this post as there may be offers/promotions/changes to terms and conditions.
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