Thursday 25 February 2010

My First Bicycle Basket Bazaar

I’ve spent much of the last two weeks preparing for my first pitch at The Bicycle Basket Bazaar. The Bazaar is a vintage and handmade fair that takes place on the last Saturday of every month in the old Fish Market in Northampton. Every stall has to have a bicycle, as when it was the Fish Market all goods were sold from bikes, hence the name. I’m a firm believer in over-preparing and have been washing, drying, polishing, pricing, wrapping and packing a massive amount of vintage tea sets, ornaments, clothing, shoes, accessories and linen. In fact more than I can possibly fit on my small pitch! I’ve also made some jewellery from vintage brooches, cake toppers and cabochons. I’ve roped my cousin into helping me and I’m hoping that with my month long May trip to America fast approaching I’ll sell enough to be able to go mad in the Graceland gift shop. I’m sure I’ll end up returning to the UK with an extra suitcase and a ridiculous amount of useless, but amazing, American kitsch.

In sorting through my massive vintage collection I’ve not only cleared a massive space in my mum’s loft, but have also discovered all sorts of things I never even knew I had. My collection is massively varied. As I think I’ve mentioned before, if something is ‘beautiful’ or unusual then I just have to have it, which is probably the reason why I’ve ended up with a collection of clothes, shoes and coats that have never, and will never, fit me and over four typewriters. I was recently watching a period drama with a friend who commented how much she liked the 1940s/50s mirror in one scene, and who burst out laughing when I casually mentioned I had over 15 of them. It would have been funny, except I wasn’t joking.

Yes, my collection has got a bit out of hand over the years and I have reluctantly started to empty various family members’ lofts and garages of the things they’ve let me squirrel away over the years. The America trip has proved the perfect catalyst for this clear out and has made me review whether I really need that pair of 80s slouch boots I have never worn since I have three similar pairs....although they’re not that similar, they’re not lipstick red with tassels at the back. As I keep reminding myself, ‘if you sell the boots you could buy a suitably tacky I Heart Elvis souvenir, or indulge in some lush cosmetics while in the US’.

So this Saturday, 12 until 4, I’ll be donning three pairs of socks, mittens and a big leopard print coat to sell off some of my 12 year vintage collection at Northampton’s old Fish Market, now the gallery of Northampton Arts Collective. Hopefully I’ll make lots of pretty pennies, or dollars infact, for America. That’s if I manage not to snatch things back off people as they try to hand me their money!

Sunday 14 February 2010

Huuuge New Spangly Earrings

I’ve just received my order from Lady Luck Rules OK; a fabulously huge (2.5 inches) pair of red glitter heart earrings. I’m having a belated birthday night out on Friday and these will fit right in with the 80s theme and my cool navy and white polka dot dress. is run by designer/maker Leona Baker and I’ve bought all sorts from her collections over the years, including the items pictured below. I used to wear my huuuuge acrylic strawberry necklace to lectures all of the time while at uni but had to start taking it off during lectures as it clatter loudly against the table every time I moved!

The website’s jam packed with cute and kitsch jewellery and in the past it has stocked items by other designer/makers. One of my favourites was a collection by Kandy Diamond (pictured below) of Knit and Destroy. She designs and makes the most amazingly kitsch ‘novelty’ knitted accessorise, including scarves, necklaces and rings. I bought a tape measure inspired scarf from a few years ago for a friend’s birthday and she adores it.

One of the best bits on the Lady Luck site (apart from the poptastic jewellery!) is Leona’s events page and journal. I love the write ups on different events, fayres and general goings on and often hear of other websites I end up falling in love with through these write ups. So, back to the 80’s themed night out... I best start practising the blue eyeliner and bouffant hair if I’m to look more ‘fancy dress’ than ‘crazy lady in a headband and white stilettos’ xxx

*Update* Sob Sob, Lady Luck is closing her online shop to spend more time on other projects. Can't wait to see what she moves onto!

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Birthday Week

It was my birthday last week and my mum and I spent the day charity shopping and visiting recycling shops in search of anything old, beautiful, or useful. We came back with more than either of us had room for, including a Welsh wool cape, some beautiful pictures, blue 1980s heels, 1500 leather “Grandad buttons” (as my mum calls them), children’s lamps, lemonade glasses, a houndstooth cardigan, 80s earrings, old children’s annuals and Ladybird books...the list goes on.

By our third charity shop I’d filled my leopard print shopping trolley and we still had another seven to go to! After driving to another town to rummage in yet more charity shops we popped to the tip recycling shop and picked up some chipped vintage china. I love the delicate patterns on old china and tend to use mine to display earrings, brooches or badges so that I can appreciate not only the china, but also see exactly what I’ve got in terms of accessorise. It’s easy to lose track when you’re obsessed with anything ‘beautiful’!

My birthday week finished up with my first trip to Northampton’s Bicycle Basket Bazaar, held in the old fish market. The market wasn’t as large as I’d expected but there was a fantastic mixture of handmade goodies and vintage treasures. I left with a pair of hand knitted mittens, two cake stands, a bag of homemade malteser fudge, a tiny cute toadstool and three amazing handmade cards. I picked one for myself and two for friends but I like them far too much to part with them at the moment. Afterwards my mum expertly spotted a couple of charity shops across the road and I emerged 5 minutes later with a French style triple dressing table mirror for only £2 (Madness!), and a couple of pretty vintage lemonade glasses with brightly coloured birds on. We then stopped off at a furniture recycling shop on the way home where my mum bought an old wooden office stationary drawer. The compartments are amazing! She has no idea where it’s going to go but if you love something you just have to have it.