Long live that Friday feeling

Anyone who follows me on Facebook or Twitter will know that I was just a bit excited on Friday.... Despite the early morning start and the fact that it wasn't great weather (goodbye mac hello faux fur kind of weather) I fought off my sleepiness for an early morning meeting with The Historical Sauces and a client on a very exciting project we're working on.....

So if you happen to be in, or fancy a trip to Norfolk on the Jubilee weekend then the event I recommend for you on Sunday 3rd of June is ............The History Fair at Gressenhall. Celebrating the 'Fabulous Fifties' it's gong to be a super day of fabulousness and fun. We're going to be there with the Pop Up Vintage Reading room, which will also house our 'Lips & Flicks' tutorials, and during the day, we'll be popping over to the chapel to give talks on fifties fashion. Exciting! The building we are going to based in, is like a little house, it's going to be brilliant creating a room in a room! We're very very excited. Can you tell? We've even made the front of the flyers! Eek!

As well as us, there's also dancing, music, activities including a fifties classroom, fashion shows, cars, if you come dressed in fifties style then entry is also free, so we're expecting it to be a bit like stepping back in time! Gressenhall was formerly a workhouse, now a museum they host several events in the year. Whilst we were there, we got to have a good look around so we could make plans and I just had to pop in and visit the 1950s room. Just divine. If you read my post about the 1940s house in London's Imperial War Museum, you'll know that I love, love, love stepping in to a room and being transported back to a different time. I find it quite magical. In fact, I find it more magical now than I did as a youngster.

I have another set of flying ducks on my wish list.

I'm a ballet pump/flats girl most of the time due to my hectic lifestyle and always needing to dash everywhere, however ideally I'd wear heels with this lovely dress, but I'm still getting over a sprained foot that's still quite painful, so heels have been more or less avoided completely for weeks now. I hope it sorts itself out soon! The dress I'm wearing by the way is a charity shop find. It's home made and the little scarf is attached. I'm guesstimating  it's 50s/60s from the fabric and style, but it's tricky with home made dresses to be precise. The little scarf/tie is attached, I feel like a bit of a trolley dolly, it does need heels though!

I loved the cocktail cabinet. I so need one of these in my life but we simply don't have space *looks around the room at walls* We really don't, I've tried to be imaginative with were it could go but alas it's not going to happen. I just missed out on some fifties tumblers on Ebay this weekend which was a bit of a boohoo moment. Tumblers don't come along that often, shot glasses are plentiful which I think is down to the fact that they were probably kept for display or just for best. Shots are not an everyday drink of course. Not even for me.......

Now I'm happy to admit that I don't want to go back to using wooden tongs to do the washing, but the 1950s room is very very interesting. I'd like to spend the day there at the very least. I think seeing rooms set up like this is great for style inspiration. The house we moved in to had been in the same family for 90 years.... but the person we actually bought it from, had bought it as a 'do up and sell on' job. We do have some lovely feature fireplaces, but the kitchen is new. I can't help but wonder what the old one was like. The room in Gressenhall isn't roped off, you can open cupboard doors and peep inside. If only they had an entire 1950s house. That would be quite something.

The other reason Friday was an excellent day - despite being the 13th.......was because we sold more tickets for The Historical Sauces 'Flicks and Lips' session - which took us to almost a sell out and yesterday we sold the last tickets in the morning so hooray! We've also been in discussions to hold some kind of vintage event for quite some time now. As we have the mini masterclass this Sunday at the Sauce HQ, we thought we may as well just open up the bar afterwards and have a couple of hours of cocktails and shopping. We're calling it 'Sip and Shop', we'll turn up the tunes, have a few stalls and of course a cocktail menu!

If you're in Norwich on Sunday, pop down! There's no admission charge, it's just a nice way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday evening, have a nice drink with friends and maybe bag a few vintage bargains. You'll find us in Olives on Elm Hill, Norwich. Doors are open 7pm-9pm this Sunday - April 22nd.

We're really keen to get some more events on in Norwich, we've been in talks for quite some time now and of course Gemma is an old hand on the vintage event scene, having thrown some spectacular events of her own already. I'll keep you updated on developments as they happen but if you are looking for something to do then Norwich/Norfolk is lovely. I am completely biased and it's been said many times over the years that I should work for the tourist board, but really it's got such a lot going for it. We're rich in history, Norwich has beautiful buildings despite the fact we suffered from heavy bombing in the second world war. We're a short train ride to the coast and of course there's an ever growing vintage vibe which I'm happy to be at the heart of, writing and working for Vintage Norwich.

If you do plan a visit, then take a look at the Vintage Norwich website, you'll find an events calender, guides on places to shop and eat etc. We take researching things like afternoon tea and cocktails very seriously. We're nice like that.....
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Liquid eye liner review: Vivo

Cat flick eye liner is a big part of my signature 'look'. I like 50's style flicks and if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I mix and match eras, I'm no purist and I have no issues dressing in a 40s style, wearing 50s style make up and my hair? Well it could be a beehive, victory rolls, headscarf - it all depends on my mood. I have been known to throw it all up in dare I say it.... a top knot. Not very vintage but I think make up can add a vintage edge to any outfit. Flick eye liner, lipstick and I'm good to go.

 I started playing with eyeliner on my eye lids when I was fifteen. I still vividly remember reading my Just Seventeen magazine and seeing this 'how to' guide on a very sixties look. Lots of eye liner on the eyelids. I grabbed my kohl pencil straight away and loaded up my eyelids and went out expecting everyone to coo at my new look. No one did - not even my boyfriend at the time who I'm assuming probably opened his eyes at some point as we snogged, so he must have noticed surely? I can't rule out it was the night my hair got stuck in his braces and took some time to untangle but either way at some point he *must* have noticed surely? No one said a thing. I can only assume it possibly looked so awful that everyone was too polite to mention it........

I stuck with pencil for years, my typical make up developed in to a thin line of eye liner on my eye lids to define, with the occasional subtle flick. I stayed clear of liquid liner. I'd tried it a few times and it always ended in disaster and quite often with lots of swearing. Liquid eye liner takes practice. It is a skill that's worth mastering though and when you have, you'll be super pleased with yourself.

If you are looking for a new liquid eye liner to try,or may be you have avoided it because it terrifies you, then I think I've found a bit of a gem, that in my opinion is a really good product AND it will cost you less than a latte in your average coffee house.....

I'd like to introduce you to the liquid eye liner I can't stop recommending to people. The brand is called Vivo, it's exclusive to Tesco but you can now buy Vivo products online . There's so many things I like about this eye liner and the price is one of them. This is the cheapest eyeliner I've ever used, I discovered it when I'd misplaced my eye liner and couldn't afford to just buy another one of the same brand until the other one turned up (it had rolled under the sofa in case you're wondering!) So I picked this Vivo eye liner up as a cheap temporary measure and hoped it would do a half decent until the other one could be located. How much did I pay for this Vivo eye liner? ..................... £2.

Yes £2 and I've hardly used another eye liner since. This is my go to eye liner for almost every occasion. So apart from the price what's good about it? Because let's be honest cheap doesn't always mean cheerful when it comes to cosmetics and I've certainly been dissapointed a few times with products that have claimed a lot for the small price tag but offered little.

The lid/brush handle is tapered but not to such a width that it becomes fiddly to hold, the brush is bendy but firm enough, that the bristles don't separate in all directions. The colour I use is carbon black, but other shades are available including slate grey which could be a good option if you felt black was to dramatic. The other thing I liked about the brush is that it's really really easy to create a thin line or a more noticeable thick line (as my not so photogenic hand is demonstrating....) - perfect for a 50s/60s look and also ideal for creating a fine line in the inner corner of the eye.

The liquid eye liner goes on really smoothly, I know I'm well practiced in applying my eye liner - so much so that with The Historical Sauces I teach how to apply it, but I still have days when mine doesn't go perfect first time, In the same way that some days my hair curls better than others. Those days just happen, and they happen to everyone!  Liquid eye liner just takes practice and a bit of experimenting with a product that you feel comfortable with. This feels like that kind of product for me. It's easy to apply and it feels as effortless as liquid eye liner is ever going to be!

My 'concentration' face is quite miserable looking obviously! eek!

My top tip for make up application is a hand held mirror. This is a 30s one I picked up in a vintage shop for about £6 ages ago. I've also some beautiful ones picked up from charity shops and carboot sales. They really are brilliant. You're completely mobile to do your make up in any room you want to. You can easily chase the best light and importantly you can just angle the mirror to where you need it.

Mascara is an essential finishing touch to add some meow to your cat flick eyeliner.

Cat flick eye liner can be as subtle or as dramatic as you want it to be. There are no rights or wrongs, it's your make up and your look.If you're not sure you want to invest a lot of money in starting to use liquid eye liner or you just can't spend lots of money, then the Vivo eye liner is a brilliant choice. It's long lasting and hard wearing. Out of ten I would give it a nine! The only thing that would make it even more perfect would be if there was a waterproof option. This compares very very well to more expensive liquid eyeliners I've used including Mac and No.7. For £2 it's well worth adding to your make up bag.
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Rainy Days

One week I'm sitting out side a pub coatless and the next I'm walking down the street in my faux fur, hat and brolly. How bizarre the weather is in the UK right now! So as umbrellas seem an essential piece of kit at the moment then they may as well be fun to use. So to cheer yourself up and perhaps those that pass you by, here's a selection of some fab umbrellas to keep you dry and happy.

Palm tree umbrella £28 from Umbrella World

Pop art umbrella £18 from Umbrella World

Totes flamingo umbrella £17 from Umbrella world

Seagulls print umbrella from Marks and Spencer£12.50
Union Jack umbrella from Marks and Spencer £19.50 (perfect for a rainy Jubilee I'm thinking..........)

Radley Claremont poppy print umbrella from House of Fraser now £24 reduced from £30
Linea butterfly print umbrella from House of Fraser £7.50 reduced from £15

Marvel print umbrella from River Island £15 (not just for the boys, I think if comics are your thing it's a great unisex brolly)

Something else to keep your heads dry and the glamour stakes up are these great rain hats. Rain hats, I hear you cry?! These hats from Bubble Betty just ooze gorgeousness and they are very much on my list of products to try.

Picture from Bubble Betty website

Currently there are four designs and they are priced at just £6 each, They come in a reusable tin so you can pack your hat away and pop it in your handbag. I just think they look super cute and if like me you are vertically challenged then you'll understand what a task it is to try and use an umbrella at times. You can't manoeuvre it above peoples head to lift it out of the way and allow people to pass!

Or those days when you've done your hair and it's not raining but just horrible and damp outside? You don't need an umbrella but these could be a great solution to get you from A to B! Do take a look at the Bubble Betty website.

With any luck I will soon be posting about ways to keep cool! Fingers crossed! Oh talking about the weather is such a British thing to do isn't it!
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Good Bye March!

Well March was quite a month! We had fashion week in Norwich, that combined with all the other things I've been doing lately, left me feeling that I needed matchsticks for my eyes, never mind eyeliner! I ended the month with a weekend off to celebrate my birthday however it didn't quite go according to plan! I got the train okay, in fact I had a nice journey. Cans of ready mixed gin and tonic where on offer at the station shop at 2 for £3, which was handy as I'd forgotten to pick up a drink to take with me, (proof that I don't have a hip flask popped down my bra all the time...) so this was a happy result!

Reading material, gin and a sunny day - hello weekend!

I had a lovely stroll through London to get to my meeting place, we had a scrummy dinner, some ridiculously scrummy vino and headed home merrily - hooray! The weekend was here, I'd survived the workfest of March, reasonably intact and now I could celebrate my birthday (a week late but better late than never!) But in the early hours of Saturday morning, I woke up with a ferociously sore throat and I thought I was actually having some kind of random allergy as it was so swollen! From that moment on I went down hill rapidly and ended up being ill with a horrible virally coldy thingy (yes that's a medical term - I used to go to St. Johns Ambulance, I have badges and everything!)

We had planned to visit the vintage department store Blitz and the Churchill War Rooms but sadly I was completely knocked for six - I'm not sure I've ever been struck down so quickly! You normally get some signs to warn  you?! So I have no lovely pictures of my weekend to show you. No one needs to see me pulling faces as I drink lemsip ( I'm sure it's the same face I pull each time I try Marmite, just in case I might like it one time) So whilst I can't share any pictures with you, I hope you can at least enjoy the links and may be you can add them to your lists of places to visit!

So between laying in bed and laying on the sofa, always with the duvet - that duvet was draped around me like a cape most of the weekend. The most pathetic super hero you ever did see, if I could choose a super power it wouldn't be sneeze power. I'd like the power to turn water in to wine, can that be a super power? Or is that restricted to miracles? Can it really be pigeon holed?

I digress....... so whilst laying there popping stepsils and allowing my lemsip to go luke warm so I could at least neck it like a shot, I just thought back on what a month March had been and made a few plans in my head about how to grow this love I have for vintage and working for myself. I'm a nice boss. I like being my own boss. So looking back at March first -

The Historical Sauces took part in several events as part of Norwich Fashion week. We had a Pop Up Make up Boutique in Imeldas as part of The Lanes Night Out. We also attended the Queen for a Day event and what was supposed to be our Pop Up Library and make up workshop, got turned in to a live hair demonstration! Now I qualified as a hairdresser a few years ago, but I really only like the socialising with people and the hair 'dressing' side of it. I don't enjoy colouring or cutting (which is why I don't do it), I like the styling and creating achievable vintage inspired looks bit though. A lot.

However I was still nervous when asked about two days before if I could do something, as the hairdresser who was planning to do the demo wasn't going to be available to take part!  Eek! However I shrugged and said 'okay' My heart was pounding so don't think this is a cool as a cucumber moment - I'm getting more and more used to stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone! I'm so pleased I did it though. No, I will never like hearing my voice boom through a microphone, but it did go well, I created a rockingly good beehive if I say so myself and I was proud of both the hive and me! I think often we're so quick to chastise ourselves or look at the negatives, that the positives can get completely lost. I'm guilty of this too but I'm working on it!

My tea trolley for the hair demo. Eve the Benefit girl borrowed this for her make up demo! It was my idea first of course.

The next event was a Vintage Norwich event with Norwich's independent cinema - Cinema City. I'm hugely proud to be part of the Vintage Norwich Team, we really are passionate that this city of ours has such a lot to offer and it's home to a lot of talented people. This event saw me grab my camera and capture not just images of the night but the best dressed guests too.

I was super pleased when this gorgeous girl told me she'd been at the hair demonstration, nice beehive I think you'll agree.

The next event was at Mill Rythe Holiday Camp, showing the girls on the entertainment team how to create a 40's look for their new show. It was quite a road trip!

Picture courtesy of Retro Chick

I did manage a mini birthday celebration with my fellow Sauces Gemma and Lucy and we nipped to a pub in town that does an offer of fizz and chocolate covered strawberries which was yum. We'd been hard at it pricing up clothes all day, so it tasted doubley good!  Finally event wise was the vintage sale I mentioned in my last post. I lost my vintage seller virginity! I sold a dress to a girl in a local band, may be it will be auctioned off one day when they make the big time!

 As I mentioned in my previous post, I seriously looked in to selling vintage a few years ago, but other things happened, I had to put it on hold, then the vintage market boomed (which is exactly as I predicted!) and there were/are so many sellers that I wondered if I should just concentrate on my writing - which was certainly not a bad call, it is going brilliantly and I can't imagine life without my blog if I'm honest! So I'm starting to wonder what else can I do to build up a portfolio of  Missy Vintage projects to keep the bills paid and to keep me spending as much of my working life surrounded by vintage, because quite frankly I really love it. 

I'll be taking a serious look to explore if selling vintage is something I'd like to do properly and if so how would I like to do it. I'll also be taking some time to ponder my photography. I did and adult education course several years ago (digital was only just becoming available on the high street) and I really loved it. I can develop my own pictures but I don't use film any more, and digital can make you a lazy photographer so, I may dust of my old 35mm SLR and load up some film, I'd also like to explore just what I can do with a digital camera too. I've turned down a few weddings and events over the years because I wasn't brave/confident enough. Well, I've finally acknowledged that the the only person who can change that is me! I've decided that I need to start taking my own advice on this one!

  I  help run a small business network in Norwich called NIN - Being surrounded by creative brains is quite inspiring, if you are in or near Norwich (or know someone who is) and have a creative/quirky business then do take a look at the link, we've got some brilliant small businesses joined up so far including designers, artists, vintage sellers, events organisers..... it's an informal group of small business people helping each other and finding ways to make the work work!

There's something about birthdays that make you reflect back on what you have and haven't done isn't there. I'd like to have a few more boxes ticked before the next one gets here.......................
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Tick Box Alley

I know it's the middle of the week, but I've just about recovered from the weekend! Was I burning the candle at both ends? No! The reason I've been as achy as a fitness boot camp detainee is down to working at an event ALL weekend that we had in Norwich called Tin Pan Alley. A rather splendid event that had a big twist on the flea market/vintage fair we've all become used to....

The event took over a gorgeous listed building in the heart of Norwich that's been empty for several years. Four floors of old uneven floors, flaky plaster, odd patches of wallpaper layered upon wallpaper -  it was an amazing space to work in. What was I doing there? Well for this one my recent weapon in the shape of liquid eyeliner was left in its holster and I was there with The Historical Sauces selling vintage!!

This was a massive box ticked for me. About two years ago I decided to look in to selling vintage with an online shop. I went to Business Link and they were brilliant. Really helpful but my work situation changed and the blog then took off fantastically. Offers to do other vintage projects came up and I've done some fabulous events but selling a few pieces of gorgeous vintage was a big box ticked for me!

We were up in the attic of the building which meant that we had to carry our stuff up a few flights of stairs - and why I ached this week! That was quite a work out but we had fun and it was an unusual but fab event to be part off.

We were just about ready as doors opened at 5pm on the Saturday, having got changed a few loads earlier, I finished carrying the last few suitcases up the stairs complete with beehive and 60's dress like a vintaged up delivery lady!

We were there again the next day ready for the doors to open at 11am. I have to say I woke up that morning and lay in bed feeling about eighty years old. I have total respect for vintage sellers who do events like this all the time! It's fun but my goodness, it's hard work! I would certainly do it again though.....
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