Sunday, 19 September 2010

Crafting and Cutting

This week I have been doing some crafting, something which I haven’t done for ages because I’m a perfectionist and very impatient. If a project doesn’t come out perfect and isn’t quick to complete then I lose interest and/or patience. So I’ve been focusing on something quick and relatively fool proof; making Christmas money envelopes from vintage annuals. I took a few into work to show my colleagues what I had been doing at the weekend and I now have 12 orders from family and friends. I was originally making the envelopes to sell at the Vintage and Handmade Fair in October, so I best get cracking if I’m going to make enough for my orders and have a decent amount to take to the vintage fair. Luckily I have stacks of vintage annuals to choose from, although female themed envelopes are much harder to make than the ‘male’ themed ones. I’m finding that boy’s annuals are full of colourful battle illustrations and cowboys comic strips, whereas the vast majority of the girl’s annuals contain a select number of beautiful images, accompanied by lots and lots of written articles. It seems girls were educationally ahead of the boys even in the 50s?

I’ve also been flicking through some of my vintage women’s magazines to find cosmetic and hair inspired adverts to frame above my dressing table. I'll follow up with a picture of them in prime position once I’ve hung them. The only problem with cutting the adverts out of one of my magazines was that last night I decided that I wanted to start collecting issues of the said magazine, ‘Woman’s Illustrated’, and have now found that it isn’t very easy to get hold of, even on Ebay! The horror! It actually kept me awake last night as I mentally cursed myself for not being patient enough to photocopy the adverts from the magazine rather than bulldoze in with a pair of scissors. Aghhh.

I’m watching a couple of ‘Woman’s Illustrated’ on Ebay at the moment but if anybody else comes across any when charity shopping and carbooting and decide they’d like to sell them, please think of me. I’m also collecting ‘Mother Magazine’, but managed to not start chopping these to pieces. I am however kept awake by the fact that when in a shop in Brick Lane a few months ago, I decided to ignore the urge to buy a whole stack of them (at £1 each!) and only picked up two. Aghhh. I’m going to blame my Asperger’s for my tendency to obsess over mistakes and missed opportunities, although I’m sure it’s something every vintage magpie experiences…that beautiful rare thing that you failed to buy.

My favourite ad from Mother magazine.
This 50s ad fell out of a stack of men's magazine I picked up a a carboot a few weeks ago. I love it, especially the colours.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Charity Shopping with Mum

Today my Mum and I went and did a little bit of charity shopping. I haven’t been charity shopping for ages as I find them a bit expensive these days and so tend to stick to carboots. However, I travel all over Warwickshire, Coventry, Birmingham and Leicestershire with work and have started writing down some streets where there are a few charity shops clustered together. Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth are relatively affluent areas and I wanted to see if the prices were any more reasonable in more deprived areas.

Today we went to a row of charity shops and a house clearance shop in one area of Coventry and I was pleased to find that in general the prices were much more reasonable and there were quite a variety of vintage bits and bobs. I tend to find that the charity shops local to me not only wack a massive big price tag on anything remotely vintage (although I have also seen second hand books priced higher than Waterstones), but that they often lack the kitsch bits and pieces I like because they’ve probably been deemed unfit for the shop and chucked in the bin.

Our first stop was the house clearance shop, which was mainly full of newish furniture. As I was having a second glance over everything I saw a plastic bin with a hideous 60s plant sticking out of the top and had a rummage. I pulled out two white Scottie dogs (yay!) and a long necked cat vase/ornament. One of the Scotties was a bit worse for wear with a glued on ear, but I thought it was mean to take one and leave the other. They’ll look a handsome pair on my fireplace once I’ve painted over the hideous dark varnish ( it was from Ebay) with a nice matt white.

Next, some charity shops on a lovely old semi-circle row. I’m not very good at dating buildings but I’d say the row was 1930s due to the art deco feel, although most of Coventry is made up of 50s and 60s architecture since it was bombed to oblivion during WW2. I bought the most in the first shop and left with a big box full of decorative bits and bobs. In the other shops I picked up some vintage Ladybird books, which will probably end up on my Bicycle Bazaar stall or Vintage and Homemade Fair Stall, more of which later.

One thing that I nearly resisted was this 80s Madonna ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ style leather jacket, but I just loved the lace on it and it was my size so I treated myself. Or rather my Mum temporarily treated me to it as I had to borrow all my shopping money from her until the end of the week. Thanks Mum! I thought it was a bit overpriced at £14.99, but maybe I’m just stingy. As I had to remind myself, how much would you pay for a vintage rip-off in Topshop.

Some of my finds will be at the Vintage and Homemade Fair, organised by Ann and Debbie in October.

Swap Goodies

I had the loveliest swap parcels arrive a few weeks ago. It was a real treat as they both arrived on the same day! One from Dawn at Life on the East Coast for the Shabby Vintage Swap, and one from Pixiedust at Faerie Nuff. I’ve just had to gather all my swap bits and pieces together as I was so excited to receive them that I forgot to take pics.

Here’s my parcel from Dawn, minus my pineapples cubes, yum yum.

And here’s my parcel from Pixiedust.

I absolutely loved my swaps and was instantly absorbed by the vintage ‘Every Woman’s Luck Book’ from Dawn. It’s full of interesting superstitions, many of which I’ve never heard of before, like ……. I also loved my cute handmade Scottie dog and he swings happily from the handle of my crafting cupboard.

The sweetie part of my swap from Pixiedust isn’t in the picture as the Galaxy Cookie Crumble was instantly devoured by my Mum and I. I love the pretty handmade heart, the material’s so lovely and it adorns the door of my craft room. The candle also included in my swap isn’t pictured either as I’d already set it burning in the living room.