Saturday, 31 March 2012

Vintage 1930s Liberty catalogue diamonds & pearls

I was just looking for a pair of earrings when I came across my Nan's watch in my jewellery box.  Seeing the little marcasite watch & leather strap reminded me of this wonderful page from one of my 1930s Liberty of London catalogues - here we have a selection of pearls and diamonds set in platinum - wow!  Have experimented with scanning & photographing the page but sadly the reproduction quality of both is a bit fuzzy.  Not fuzzy enough to dim the diamonds, though!
My Nan's little watch below, worn with love & pride on my wedding day.

And the diamond & platinum version in close up - dream on Karen!  Reckon would need to add a few zeros on that 1930s price tag of £25.00.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Cupcakes and crinolines

I am always intrigued by the 1930s fascination with crinoline ladies - above are two lovely ladies in their English country gardens on two Deco cake stands I bought this week - what was it that the elegant & at times androgynous flappers were seeking amongst all those ruffles, lace & bonnets? 

A recent purchase of a 1931 Liberty of London gift catalogue revealed the most exquisitely crinoline attired doll on one of the toy pages.
Isn't she just lovely?  Whilst on the crinoline theme, a quick revisit to a couple of my recent pics, one from a child's valentine card from the 30s and one from a fancy dress catalogue of the time.

Reckon I need to get busy baking some crinoline shaped cupcakes to serve on my new cake plates. 


Monday, 19 March 2012

Muddy waters & retrograde motion

Mercury is in retrograde motion.  Aha, that's why nothing seems to be proceeding as it should right now.  Two weeks ago we noticed a small damp patch on the kitchen carpet.  Small dog took the blame, until we peeled back the carpet to reveal a HUGE damp patch on the concrete flooring.  Turns out our water pipes have pinholed (technical term folks!), so we have been living with a shallow trench in the kitchen since then while the concrete slowly dries, no flooring in the kitchen or utility, and a general feeling of upsidedowness until the hole is refilled on Friday.  Delicately traversing the trench whilst cooking, washing, anything is beginning to get on my nerves!

My attitude to horoscopes tends to be along the lines of if it's good, then maybe there's something in it, and if it's bad, then it's all a load of old baloney anyway.  But this week they say Mercury is in retrograde motion.  Certainly feels like I'm stuck in wet concrete.  Roll on spring!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Springtime Blanket Scrap Bunny

I had saved a scrap of vintage blanket textile somewhere deep in the Victorian housemaid's cupboard, so when I found a little vintage 1940s booklet of felt toys I thought I could make one of the tiny mascots from the blanket.  I love making small items I can stitch entirely by hand as I always find a few inches of blanket stitch so relaxing!!  I struggled a bit with his tail.  My first attempt was a snipped green felt pompon & wasn't really successful.  I couldn't really work out how to make a tiny pompon in the manner I remember from my childhood with two small circles of card - reckon I would have needed two Polo mints! John Lewis to the rescue with a length of bobble passementerie trim.  Thought I would show a length of vintage chintz (recent ebay purchase) which I am considering using to make some cushions for the living room.
PS: good news, I have managed to win some more of the vintage 80s yarn with which I am crocheting my first garment yesterday - I had done the back & one front side when I realised there wasn't going to be enough yarn.  Have had to wait a few months but I knew some would be listed eventually!  Can pick my crochet hooks up once more.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Today's vintage washing line

This week has seen me spend the best part of two days in rubber gloves - sadly, haven't been doing spring cleaning or housework (who has the time for that anyway?), rather washing my latest stock shopping.  Last Saturday I went to a brilliant vintage fair in Lincoln organised by Judy's Affordable Vintage.  If you see one of her vintage fairs anywhere near you, I would strongly recommend that you go along with plenty of shopping bags a-ready.  Huge thanks to the lovely Nik from Harrogate for all the scarves.  Today's vintage washing line sees many scarves and hankies from all eras - 30s, 50s through to 70s - aprons from 40s, 50s and 60s, a Newlyn fisherman's smock, and a divine 30s net, silk and lace evening dress.  Yep, I wash the lot, thankfully with few disasters.  Coats, jackets, ballgowns, everything gets washed here - I have nightmares about allowing bundles of old textiles into the house for fear of moth attack.  I sometimes wonder whether the neighbours suspect mr. brocobelle & I indulge in some rather eclectic dressing up chez nous. By the same token, I wonder if they suspect we have a stormy menage as they see me leave & return to the house several times a week carrying very large holdalls ...
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