Archive for the ‘Vintage’ Category

Seven Days of Positive – Day 83

In Curtains, Homes, Interiors, Vintage on December 10, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Look! My new (old) vintage Heals curtains are up – the ones I got in Lewes on Day 75.

I’m absolutely thrilled. They (or it, there’s only one) look even better than I hoped.

While I was taking these pictures – or attempting to – I developed a whole new level of respect for interiors photographers.

It’s so hard getting all the things you want in and not accidentally getting a bit of lamp shade in the corner.

It’s particularly tricky when there are numbers of mirrors involved and after taking a few shots I then realised had my butt, or grimacing face reflected, I was reminded of this legendary photograph from the early days of eBay.



Seven Days of Positive – Day 81

In Family, junk shopping, Shopping, Vintage on December 8, 2014 at 11:58 pm


Today had a little bit of fairy dust sprinkled on it.

I sat at my computer this morning and went straight on to eBay to see if I could find some vintage decorations to put on the top of my first ever home-made Christmas cake.

Along with an increasing sense of outrage at the profiteering prices – £19 for one old plaster Santa – grew my sense of grief about the tin of cake decorations which my mum gave to a charity shop in a fit of empty nest fury, some years ago.

Me and my sister have never got over it.

The tin itself was a marvel. It had been my grandmother’s and I would date it from about 1910. It had the most lovely purple and gold designs on it and inside…. Oh, inside!

I think I could just about list everything that was in that tin. I used to get it down from my mother’s baking cupboard and play with it all, making little tableaux.

The plaster snowmen, santas and a little cottage-y thing. The wood and plastic fir trees, plastic children on a sledge and some skiers. That was just the Christmas cake area.

All our birthday cakes were there. Ballerinas. Cowboys on horseback and, I think, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Years of little plastic candle holders. Random candles, which gave the tin a very specific smell of wax and old cake.

What really kills me is that she gave it away before the whole home baking and decorating schtick had taken off and no one had yet been clever enough to invent the term ‘vintage’ for second hand.

I’m sure whoever unpacked my mum’s bag of donations had a look in that tin, saw a load of ‘dirty old’ cake decorations and threw the whole thing in the bin.

Thinking about that got my day off to a grumpy start and I was glad later to have the excuse of posting a letter to get out of the house.

On the way back from the post, I took a wander up Courthouse Street, the best junketeering spot in this junketeering town. I popped in to see my mate Mick, to see if he had a card table. We need one.

He didn’t, but he had a lot of other enticing delights. It felt snow cold today, so clever of Mick to have this Rosebud out.


It’s one of my ambitions to have a bar in my house one day. I just need to get a bigger house first.


Loving this desk.


Mick then suggested I went along to number 17 to see Ollie, at Betty B Vintage, as he thought she might have a card table. This is another shop I love and before I’d even got through the door I’d found the perfect chair for my daughter’s bedroom.


She didn’t have any card tables, but once inside I couldn’t resist having a mooch about. So many treasures.


And when I got round to the far side of the space, I found these…


£2 each. The start of my very own cake decoration tin.

I was so happy I went and bought a lottery ticket.

I’m gonna pop some tags

In Second hand clothes, Upcycling, Vintage on May 22, 2013 at 11:29 am


My 12 year old friend Emmanuel Moline showed me and Pegs this video when we were in New York at Easter. I BLOODY LOVE IT.

It’s about shopping in thrift stores/op shops/charity shops, whatever you call them round your way, which has been a religion for me since my teens. This is upcycling made ice cool, by a dude called Macklemore (that’s him up top).

It’s got some crude language, so don’t play it if bad words bother you. (They don’t bother me, I’m a big fan of cussing done good…) But this morning we heard it on the radio in a cleaned up version, so you can download that if you’re bovvered.

Wherever you play it, listen up good because the words are hilarious – and the message is so so right.

That’s some cold assed honky.

Come vintage shopping with me

In Shopping, Vintage on December 14, 2010 at 10:09 am

Wanna come shopping with me? Vintage gear…

This mid-week special is a film I made with the marvellous Penguins when I as in Australia last month promoting my new novel.

Shall We Dance? is set in a vintage boutique owned by the heroine Loulou Landers, so they thought it would be a lark if we went vintage clothes shopping at the Sydney Antiques Centre, as part of a little clip for Penguin TV on their website.

I thought I must have done something good in a past life if going vintage shopping counted as part of my working day. Bring. It. On.

We had such a laugh and, of course, we all bought stuff. It really is a treasure trove in there, a lot of it very good quality – particularly the hats.

I wondered whether the late 1940s, early 1950s gear had arrived in Australia with the European immigrants of that era, because you would want a whole new wardrobe if you were moving to the other side of the world, wouldn’t you?

My great find was a pair of real crocodile 1950s pumps which make me feel so Madmen and are strangely comfortable to wear.

Later in the week I wore them to the crocodile show at Steve Irwin’s Australian Zoo up in Queensland. Was that wrong of me?

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