It’s only Lou Lou’s Vintage Fair but I like it!

I have been so jealous these last few years as I have diligently followed all the various Vintage Fair purveyors on Facebook. Watching them make visits to places I used to reside, seaside towns I love and knowing I could not be there because I was stuck out in the desert. Imagine my delight to find that Lou Lou’s were holding a fair right here in Southampton and my glee at being given free entry by lovely Jess ( http://www.ladyofvintage.com/ ) if I reviewed it on my blog.

I decided to use it as an opportunity to dress up – well why not? There’s not often an occasion for victory rolls in day to day life, more’s the pity. Saturday morning found me swearing into my curby grips as my hair refused to do what I wanted despite being 2 days without a wash, doused in hairspray and recently dyed. I managed to avoid getting cross with Dr P (He was in any case, innocent) as I sweated and made myself late to meet Mrs JMP ( http://www.mrsjmp@wordpress.com ) and her lovely friend Jess (different one!).

The fair was held in the Guildhall, which is a large venue and felt spacious, giving room for the stalls and visitors even when it got busy. The first stall I spied was Rescue and Revive (https://www.facebook.com/RescueandRevive?ref=ts&fref=ts ). Mrs JMP had already purchased from them when I arrived. I have made several orders from their Folksy shop recently and love their hand stamped vintage spoons  – such a lovely gift, I chose a spoon for everyones stocking last year and there were oohs and aahs of delight all round on Christmas morning!

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There were of course, lots of clothing retailers and if you were in the market for a new item for your vintage wardrobe you wouldn’t have been disappointed.

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Fake furs seem to be in this season – I’ve noticed lots of high street shops stocking them too. I do like the look I think and I’m working up to purchasing something small – maybe a little shrug? – to wear to a wedding this winter.

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A new discovery we made was Curlie’s Vintage. I think all three of us made a purchase from here – some gorgeous little earrings, hair slides and other pretties, most of them very reasonably priced at a pound – at that price it seemed rude not to!

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It was soon time to stop for tea and cake, all provided by a lovely lady called Lauren. I didn’t catch the name of her cake providing company but I did fall in love with her Vegan ginger and cola cake. Jess and Mrs JMP gave the lemon polenta and carrot cake rave reviews too. There are few things in life I enjoy more than really good cake, so I was particularly pleased with this part of the experience!

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As we dug into our cake we were entertained by Jules and Cassie  – better known as The Diamonds ( http://www.vintageduo.com ). These polka-dotted lovelies entertained us with songs from the 40s and 50s and really added to the ambience. Mrs JMP and I did have a little sing along to ‘Sisters’ by the Andrews Sisters – the old ones are the best!

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I have to include the photo of this cutie who was getting into the spirit of the event and trying on all the vintage millinery she could lay her hands on – good girl!

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On the way out we paused to take a few photos in the square and found this lovely Buick waiting for us. It is moments like this I realise I am serially terrible at posing for photos!

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All in all, we had a lovely couple of hours here – it was Jess and Mrs JMP’s first vintage fair and they both made purchases and were excited by the possibility of vintage clothes. Job well done Lou Lou’s – we’ll be back…

It is with a hand on my hip I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

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It’s only perfume but I like it…

Smell is the most sensitive of the senses. It is the sense most linked to emotional recollection and one study showed that people could recall scents within 65% accuracy after a year whilst visual recall is about 50% within 3 months.

With this in mind I think the choice of scent to go with my vintage attire is very important. My first thoughts about vintage scent were the bottles of Yardley perfume my Gran always had in her handbag. My Gran sadly suffered a stroke when I was just 4 and she remained house ( well, chair) bound for over 14 years following that. Next to her chair she always kept her handbag – as though she may be called upon to leave the house at any moment. It contained – amongst other things- lipstick, perfume and, I seem to recall, a love letter my Grandad sent her when he was serving in Burma during the Second World War. There was a perfume called Tweed, a blue bottle containing a perfume called Blue Lace and possibly others. The smells were not pleasing to my little nose, a bit cloying perhaps, but I still loved the feel of the cool glass bottle, the shiny material which formed the drawstring purse it came in and I longed to arch my neck and spray clouds of quickly dissipating loveliness on my skin. It seemed so grown up.

I toyed with a rose scented perfume a few years back. The Body Shop’s Moroccan Rose to be exact.

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Most of my friends dismissed it as ‘Granified’ but I liked it’s old worldly charm. Paul Smith has a nice rose scented perfume – a little more musky, but delicious.

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But it was on a recent shopping trip I decided to try a new shop. I have passed the odd Jo Malone store on my travels but never really delved in. I visited the store in John Lewis in West Quay, Southampton and had a very nice experience. I explained I was looking for something floral and vintage-y and the assistant was very helpful. She showed me several different scents and sprayed them onto cards for me, then let me wander and sniff until I’d made a decision.

In the end I plumped for the English Pear and Freesia, finding it floral with a hint of sweetness.

I’ve mentioned my penchant for nice packaging before and this was definitely a box I could tick!

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The cream and black packaging is very classy and two samples of other scents were popped into my ribboned bag, which was stuffed with scented tissue paper.

An even nicer end to this story is the lovely card I received in the post a few days later.

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I’m very happy with the perfume. Dr P says he likes it. My Mum was less impressed. She said it was too strong, but I must admit I sprayed a lot on when I dressed for the wedding (see previous post). It’s a good quality perfume and doesn’t need as liberal an application as I gave. At £45 for 30ml it’s more than I’d usually spend but I think it will go a long way because of its intensity.

On reflection I like the scent, received great service and would definitely recommend a visit – if only for a little spray and sniff!

It is with an arched neck I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it…

*Disclaimer – this was my own vintage adventure, I paid for all products reviewed!*

It’s only Upcycling but I like it!

So I am back to school and the new term has been its usual flurry of triumphs, hard work and a few tears. I’m trying to establish a routine for my evenings and one of things I want to do is to blog regularly. I heard a comment in a film the other day, something along the lines of ‘Go to work, but everything outside of that should be spent doing what you love’. I liked that phrase and it made me want to value my time and achieve things that are important to me in my spare time too.

Today I’m going to share a little upcycling project with you. At least I think it’s upcycling. It may actually just be a repurposed item. I’m not sure. Anyway.

I has a list of things I needed to make Dr P’s kitchen vaguely functional and one of those things was a kitchen roll holder. I checked Amazon, I googled, I ebayed. I couldn’t find one I liked (I am very fussy). And then I had a closer look at the eBay search results and noticed that one of listings was for something called a Copper Posser.

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This slightly UFO-like item is apparently used for agitating your washing in your copper. I decided I liked this chunky copper plunger and it would be perfect for kitchen roll. Within a few days I’d found one and bid until it was winging its way to me! It was the strangest shaped parcel I’d ever received!

It was old and battered and very tarnished but that gave me the chance to do something I’d not done in years – metal polishing! I flipping loved Polishing my Mum’s copper and brass ornaments as a kid and I had so much fun polishing this bad boy up til it shone.

I changed my mind about its (re)purpose at the last minute and it now resides in the bathroom. Dr P has not mentioned it. Not even once. I, for one, like it. I like the fact it had a previous life. I like the fact it bears scars. I like the fact it lives on now in retirement. Next to a toilet…

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It is with a satisfied smile I say:

It’s only Vintage but I like it…

It’s only Frilly Chantilly but I like it!

I had a wedding to go to, as is so often in the case in the month of August. In fact we attended three this summer – two were for my sister’s (http://mrsjmp.wordpress.com) nuptials and the other was my cousin Kate’s wedding. My cousin’s was a big family affair – all of my Dad’s extended family, so I wanted to look lovely and to show off my new vintage style. I needed a stunning summery dress and one night when I couldn’t sleep I had a trawl around all of the vintage clothing sites I know of. A new discovery that week had been http://www.frillychantilly.co.uk and a quick browse there soon found me exactly what I had been looking for.

Their beautiful Garden Party dress comes in two lengths and is quite reasonably priced at £45. I loved the shape of it and went to bed that night dreaming of a big floral cloud of a dress! I imagined how striking I would look placed in the rolling, Welsh fields of my cousin’s wedding reception. It was definitely love at first sight!

It arrived promptly and, it embarrasses me to say it, but I am a massive sucker for nice packaging! This didn’t disappoint.

I loved the fact in came in a nice box and the ribbon has been stashed away to be repurposed!

I went for the longer length and was very happy with the quality of the dress. It was made from a nice weight cotton mix fabric. It had pretty lapel details to the front and purple buttons at the centre. I’m a new convert to the halter neck, having previously thought it wouldn’t work due to my capacious chest! It had a zip to the back which gave me some initial difficulties, due to me being at home alone when it arrived and not being able to do it up myself. I always wondered why ladies in black and white films got their husbands to do up their dresses. Now that I own some 1940s style dresses myself I can see why – these bad boys are fiendishly difficult to do up yourself! One simply must have a husband in order to make sure one goes out properly dressed! It’s about angles and forces and I’m sure there’s an equation out there somewhere which explains it better than I could. I was almost tearful from the frustration of not being able to zip up and try on my new dress. I even considered going out into the hall and asking the lift repairman who was hard at work there to ‘do me up’, but I was worried this sounded like an improper suggestion…

Underneath my dress I put an extra long white petticoat from https://www.facebook.com/hellbunnyclothing.  I accessorised the dress with a stretchy blue belt off eBay, a simple silver necklace, a purple bag, my Retro Peepers specs and of course, a slick of Besame lipstick…

On the actual day we were too busy drinking Pimms, eating canapés and catching up with long lost rellies to take any decent pictures it would seem. This is the only one I’m sharing!

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Dr P and I took these for the purposes of illustration…

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I won the (unofficial but coveted) ‘Best Shoes’ award from cousin Huw. Irregular Choice never let me down!

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Many of Aunties ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the dress and told me tales of similar dresses they’d had in their youth. They loved the petticoat (I may have flashed it!) and said they hadn’t seen anything like it in years!

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One lady guest I didn’t know asked my auntie to please introduce her to the-girl-in-the-50s-dress so she could ask me about it. Job done as far as I’m concerned!

Had a lovely day and the dress made me feel a million dollars. Will definitely head back to Frilly Chantilly next time I have an event.

It is with a fond, hazy summer memory I say:

It’s only vintage but I like it…

*All views expressed are my own and I paid for the items reviewed!*