Monday, 16 July 2012

Hidden treasures - vintage brooches

Can it really be Monday?  When the alarm went off this morning at 5.50am, I was certain that it was Sunday - don't you just hate it when that happens?? 

This weekend was a busy one and I'm shattered!  The rain put pay to the event we were doing so instead we got round to doing some much needed decorating.

Decorating =  moving furniture (obviously!), moving furniture = discovery of hidden treasures (well, those that have been put away for safety) and discovery of hidden treasures = time spent looking at them and therefore less decorating being done than I had hoped - oops!  Summer holiday's are nearly here though so Mr Y can always do it when he breaks up from school :o)

It may appear that I don't care about the treasures I found.  I mean, stashed under the bed doesn't seem the best place for things of such beauty.  They were stored when my youngest came along because they are quite impractical to wear with a little one in tow.  These are proper vintage items, not delicate in that they'll break if I breathe on them but certainly delicate enough not to withstand the tugging of a 2 year old. 

In fact, the things that I found mean a lot to me.  Silly as it may well be to get attached to a piece of jewellery but many have been given to me by someone near and dear. 

First up, found under the bed (along with a whole heap of dust!!), is this little pair.  I wore the large red one when my little lovelies were Christened.  The lady walking the dog, although a little tatty with some paint loss, was the most expensive coming in at £40.  I bought it with some of the money left to me by my Nan when she passed away.  I haven't ever worn it, which seems a shame, I know, but it's very fragile and I think, well know, I'd sob should I break it! :o)

Next, these two, the one on the left being on it's original card (can't say I'm certain it's the original card but it's what I was told).  The one on the right was given to me by my parents.  By the level of paint loss, it's clearly been loved but I must admit that I've never worn it - I don't like the demonic eyes.

These following two are, I think, from the 1930's purely because of the decoration on the bar.  The tiny one is very annoying to wear because it keeps turning round!

Next up, the dangling ones!  I get the one on the left, dogs with a dog kennel and all that but dogs and an umbrella?? 

Finally, my two favourites.  Both given to me by Mr Y they are rather special, if I do say so myself.  The one of the right has a head that turns from side to side.  It's a little stiff and I'm not sure whether it has always been like that or whether the years have taken their toll and things have seized a bit.  The pretty little one on the left is unusual too.  If you move the left hand bit of the scarf, his eyes move.  Dog with attitude! :o)

Now I'm not really a dog person, well, not in my house anyway.  We used to have a black Labrador who was like Digby and just kept growing.  In the end, when I was expecting 2nd little Y, he took a never ending holiday to Cornwall to live with a friend of ours.  I can now love him from a distance - suits me fine :o)  

Although I don't like dogs in my house, there is something quite sweet about some of the brooches from the 1930's and 1940's that caught my eye.  As to what they are made of, Bakelite, celluloid of just plain old plastic, I don't know and ,in all honesty, I don't really care.  I don't collect them for value, I have them because they are beautiful and I adore them :o)

Now they have been photographed, they have been returned to safety.  It seems a pity that they don't see the light of day more often.  I sometimes wonder whether I should display them somewhere, on a board or in a frame perhaps, but I worry about them fading in the sunshine (no chance of that at the moment, I know!!)  Maybe on "child free" outings they will get an airing.

Do you have a collection squirrelled away in a cupboard or under the bed??

Friday, 13 July 2012

Festival of the Forties - cancelled

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, this weekend we were meant to be at the Festival of the Forties. 

Anyone living in Blighty can't have escaped the fact that it has been somewhat soggy under foot.  A duck's paradise but not mine!!!  This rotten weather has put a dampener (no pun intended!) on many events, countrywide.

We have been lucky and, as far as 1940's events go, have escaped relatively unscathed; until today.  

Having kept a keen eye on the weather forecast, hoping that, by some miracle, it might be wrong (well it happens doesn't it?) and keeping everything crossed, we packed the van this morning and headed to Peterborough for the Festival of the Forties only to find out that it, too, had fallen foul of the weather and had been cancelled :o( 

A council health and safety executive had inspected the site and taken the decision that the event could not take place.  Given the enormous puddles and state of the site, we understood why.  If we had camped, I fear our beds may have sunk deep into the ground or, worse still, we may woken up in a puddle! :o)  Mr Y hates camping at the best of times, waking up sinking into the mud would have been the end of his days under canvas!

The event looked like it was going to be wonderful.  It had been 18 months in the planning and promised so much.  The organisers seemed to have thought of everything and we were looking forward to attending, as we know so many others were.  Biggest disappointment?  Not going to Big Band dance.

As saddened as we are, we're know that it is nothing compared to the bitter disappointment that the organisers must be feeling and the financial losses that they will have incurred.  They were a brilliant team and the organiser cannot be faulted.  They did everything they could to keep the event going, the damn weather had other ideas!  We very much hope that they will try again next year; we'll definitely be there if they do.

Here's hoping that summer actually makes an appearance, there can't be much more rain up there, can there?!  Ramsey 1940's event is the next one, 5 weeks today.  Surely by August we'll get some sunshine - I hope so.

On a positive note, what to do with a free weekend?  Well, Mr Y can be seen running for the hills because, you see, I am currently flicking through the paint chart wondering where to begin :o)  Oh, and enjoying a rather large slice of cake! 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Turn Back Time - 1940

Have you been watching the Turn Back Time series which is currently running on BBC1?  If you have, do you like it?  If you haven't, you can see it here on BBC iPlayer. 

The series features 3 families who get to experience what life was like for their actual ancestors, from the 1900s through to the 1970s.  There are 3 houses which have been decorated to reflect the living conditions of the working, middle and upper classes. 

Episode 3 featured my favourite era, the 1940s.  They briefly touched on air raids, evacuation, being called up for service, rationing and the black market.  There was so much more that I would have liked to have seen but, within the time limits of just 1 hour, I accept that they were limited as to what they could show.  Photographs of the series are scarce on the Internet, but I did find this one of the Meadows family.

Image taken from BBC website.
I don't know much about the era's featured in episodes 1 and 2 but the decor in this most recent episode was spot on, so many beautiful things, I wanted them all! :o)  Poor Mr Y was subjected to the shouts of "I've got one of those" or "Mum still uses her one of those" as I sat watching it last night.  The kitchen in the Taylor's house was AMAZING!  Vintage and green - what more could you want??  The sink, the cupboards, the enamel, I could go on but I shan't bore you.  

On the downside, the clothing, in a large part, I found disappointing.  Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't expect that they would all be wearing actual clothing of the period, I believe in preservation and all that, but I thought they could have done a far better job.  Take the "spiv" for example in his 1950's trilby!! 

Also a let down were the hairstyles the women had.  I didn't expect perfectly styled rolls because that's not realistic.  If you could see me as I'm typing you would question as to whether I've actually brushed my hair today - birds nest to say the least - but I would have liked to have seen some curls.  Minimal effort seems to have been made and in my book, if you're living the era, that should encompass everything.  As for Mrs Meadows portraying a member of the ARP with her long hair rather than having it properly put up - don't even get me started!!  I shall get off my soap box now :o)
 At the end of the episode, they celebrate VE day with the family members having a bit of a dance. I was half watching it, half knitting when I saw what looked distinctly like one of our jumpers.  Calling Mr Y to come and take a look, I sat perched on the edge of the sofa hoping it would make another appearance.  It did, although very fleetingly, and I was in no doubt that it was mine.  It was unmistakable because I remember having great trouble with the collar that simply wouldn't lie flat and the colour, emerald green by Stylecraft, was incredibly bright, distinctive in fact.  

However, frustratingly, I had to wait until this morning to check it out on iplayer.  Having watched it and paused it numerous times, I can safely say that yes, it's one of ours!  It's shown at about 54 minutes in.  The buttons on the back were the clincher.  I remember selling it last year through eBay.  I wonder where it went and how it came to be on the box!  Here it is being modelled by Doris (the dummy)!

I've been on the telly :o) !!!
Forgive me for being somewhat chuffed, safe to say I haven't stopped smiling since!  

In other news, this weekend, we're at Festival of the Forties.  This is a new event but there is so much going on and even better, it's only £1 to get in :o)  The organisers have gone the extra mile to make things easy and enjoyable for all parties concerned and I'm really looking forward to it.

I should really go and start sorting some bits out, so much to do, not least packing wet weather gear because, according to the weather forecast, we're supposed to have rain, rain and more dastardly rain.  So far this morning all I've managed is to do is card these pieces of jewellery, surprised I'm parting with them really :o)

1930's / 1940's earrings and brooches
Back soon!! x

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Little Vintage Lover Fair - Heydon

Well what a wash out today has been.  We were meant to be taking little Y's to the zoo but the weather had other ideas!  We woke to pouring rain which didn't ease off until gone 2pm!  Reluctantly, we spent the day at home knitting (only me obviously!), catching up with friends and eating FAR too much cake. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A day at home gave me the time to download the very few photographs that I took last weekend.  On July 1st - although I can't believe it was only a week ago because it feels SO much longer - we had a stall at the Little Vintage Lover Fair in Heydon.

I'd never been to Heydon before but found it to be such a pretty village.  It has no through road and no new buildings have been constructed there since the Queen Victoria commemorative well in 1887 (although I'm not sure a well classes as a building but I'm sure you get what I mean!).  As beautiful and quiet as the village is, I'm not sure I'd like to live there - a bit eerie for cowardly me. 

The fair had a lovely atmosphere, was well attended, well organised and we had a brilliant time.  There were some beautiful items offered for sale but I resisted the urge to bring more goodies home with me - just!  Thankfully, the weather stayed fine and only a few drops of rain only fell at 4.30, by which time, we were packing away.   

Shame on me, I didn't get many snaps of the fair, 3 to be precise.  I'm a bit of a camera coward and am not that comfortable walking around taking shots.  Thankfully others did though and you can see some of them here.  My shots.......

This lady was beside us and made the little girl dresses from vintage fabric - very sweet.
Being in North Norfolk, Mr Y took the little Y's to Sherringham and then Cromer.  There was a vintage vehicle run on the North Norfolk Railway and they all had a ride on a vintage bus and steam trains were running on the line.  We're back at the railway in September for their 1940's event.  I'm already looking forward to it!  Just look at the carriages!

Of course, a day beside the seaside means the obligatory ice-cream.  When they came to collect me at the end of the day, the first thing they told me was how tasty it was and how Daddy had let them have a flake AND sprinkles - no photos though as Daddy was too busy scoffing his - and half of eldest Y's!

The next fair is on September 2nd in Burnham Market, North Norfolk.  The fairs are very well run, have a great atmosphere and lots of treasures to be found :o)  What's not to like :o)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Pass the Jubilee parcel :o)

A few months ago, I signed up to the Jubilee swap which had been organised by Lakota over at Faith, Hope and Charity shoppingI was paired with the very talented Nicole whose blog is Nicole Needles - this lady can really sew and has an amazing collection of vintage patterns!

I have a mountain of paperwork surrounding me this morning and so was very happy to be distracted from the laborious task by the arrival of these parcels in the post.

The paper is brilliant, something I've never seen before and the little Y's have made great use of it.  The carpet is currently covered with a rainbow of stamps as they play postie :o)  Inside the parcels was this collection of goodies :o)

The brooch didn't make it into the shot - sorry :o)
Some lovely patterns, always a winner as far as I'm concerned and you can never have too many.  A pin cushion beautifully made by Nicole.  This was a perfect gift because, as daft as it might sound, I don't have one and was only considering the other day how to go about making one - you've saved me a job - thank you!  The trivia quiz will be tested on Mr Y when he gets home from London tonight.  I wonder if I can make him play for dinner - if he gets them right I cook, if he gets them wrong he buys the takeaway??!!  The tape measure brooch, cleverly made by Nicole, is so novel and very well made, it's already had an outing :o)

The knitted purse is actually my favourite.  Beautifully knitted, and neatly lined, such a pretty design and colour wise, totally up my street - I adore it!  The chocolate coin which had been thoughtfully slipped into the purse made it into the picture, just!  I know two little girls who have their beady eyes on it, we'll see how long it lasts.

I am over the moon with what Nicole chose, thank you SO much! :o) 

I know Nicole has received, and blogged about, the parcel I sent her so I am safe to show you what I picked.  Nicole's blog is lovely.  I had a good old nosey around it to help me chose some things for her and this is what I ended up sending.

A 1950's knitting pattern, a Needlewoman and Needlecraft magazine from 1952, 2 vintage sewing patterns, a handmade felt corsage, a beret I knitted from a 1950's pattern (that I love so much I shall be knitting one for me!) and a packet of jubilee coloured sweets (which may have tasted disgusting!).  Nicole has already had a chance to use the beret and looks very lovely in it - you can check out her post here.

I've never done a swap before.  It was great fun and Nicole was an excellent swap partner - thank you Nicole :o)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

1940's Hollywood Dress Pattern

I'm linking in with Lakota's ta-Dah Tuesday posts - check her brilliant post out here.

Back in March, on a day with weather not unlike what we have today, I brought you this post featuring the dress I was planning to make.  

Well, 4 months on (where does time go??), and it's finally finished!  This one was much longer in the making than the blue one.  The problem was, I made the skirt, then the blouse but then things ground to a halt - I think the prospect of those bound buttonholes put me off :o)  Well with the bright weather and renewed enthusiasm having tackled the buttonholes on this dress and it's done! 

Like many vintage patterns, they are hard to date.  I used this website and am guessing that my pattern is probably from 1938 or 1939, vague I know :o) 

This was a real joy to make.  The fabric was so easy to use, not slippery and really good quality.  The fabric comes from The Sunbonnet Sue Collection presented by Windham fabrics.  It's a 1930's reproduction print called tonal clover and it's still available here.  Something I hadn't considered when I had it sent from America was the ludicrously high import charges.  The tax isn't too bad; it's the £8.00 handling fee courtesy of Royal Mail! 

With the exception of the buttonholes (which weren't a pattern problem just my lack of experience) the pattern was really easy to work with and everything matched up perfectly.  The buckle is vintage and I made the belt using double thickness petersham ribbon, covered with the fabric.  I drew the line at doing belt holes though as I couldn't find anything mighty enough to get through the finished article.  I welcome any suggestions :o) 

Thankfully I photographed it last week when the sun was shining.  Photographed today and the dummy would have sunk into the mud, as it was the dummy ended up sliding down the pole so I had to sit on the floor to get the shots.  Should probably have made use of my iron before snapping :o)

That will be it on the sewing front for a while.  I've got my knitting bug back and will be starting the back of the squares jumper, this time taking greater care!!