Friday, 7 December 2012

What Katie Did Giveaway

What Katie Did are the leading faux lingerie company in the world. Bringing the glamour of the 40s and 50s to the modern woman, What Katie Did are a one stop shop for the vintage lady this Christmas. Whether you need to create that hourglass silhouette for your party dress with a corset or add a finishing touch to your outfit with a Besame lipstick, there is something for you here this season.  Oh and gents, there is even a foolproof guide to buying your woman the ideal lingerie set written by the only male staff member at What Katie Did, serious brownie points to be earned...

There home page is swoon central with sparkle, snow and some seriously retro underwear. Even the set screams Hollywood glamour with perfectly made up models. 

So yet again we are teaming up with the fabulous faux vintage lingerie company, What Katie Did to bring you a wonderfully festive giveaway. Last time you went dotty for those spotty tights and stockings that they lovingly gave to you and this time, as it's the season to sparkle, they are offering 10 lucky winners a pair of black and silver or nude and gold retro seamed stockings or tights. Gosh, even all that choice. We spoil you. 

Black with silver seams.

Nude with gold seams

What do I need to do? I hear you cry. It's ever so simple my friends. Hop on over to this little old link:

Fill in your details and what you'd like to win (psst! They sell far more stockings than tights by the way, long live glamour!)

I'm ever so excited, I may have to get me some too! And a Maitresse bra set and a Cabaret bra set and a few Waspies and a whole load of stockings and suspender belts. Etc

Love Gina (good luck!) x

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Pixie Crop

With the Les Mis premiere last night, I couldn't help but think about Anne Hathaway and having her hair well and truly chopped off for the role of Fantaine, a factory worker who gives birth to an illegitimate child. The movie version of the musical is raw, with live vocals throughout the film and Hathaway's performance of I Dreamed A Dream should rain all over Susan Boyle's parade.

Looking back over the past century a famous female face cutting all of her hair off is nothing new to us. Women with strong, striking features benefited from the chop as it highlighted the face so beautifully. Whether actresses cut their hair off for acting roles, models to stand out from the crowd or celebrities just wanting a change, I feel the crop is always worn by confident, brave women who make statements.

Screen icon Audrey Hepburn is a fantastic early example as she sported the pixie in the early 50s and has been much copied ever since. Similarly to Anne Hathaway, the crop haircut shows off her stunning features and enviable cheekbones.

In 1966 Twiggy had her hair cut short by celebrity hair stylist Leonard as a hair model to test out the "new" crop hairstyle. After a few head shots were taken, the images circulated until she was named The Face of 66 in the Daily Express. The swept crop framed her trade mark eye make up with all of the painted under eye lashes.  It is still said that this haircut landed her the lifelong career she continues to enjoy.

As Anne Hathaway lost her locks for the role of Fantaine, Mia Farrow lost her long blonde locks for her role in Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Cut in 1967 as a publicity stunt in a boxing ring, Vidal Sassoon worked his magic on Farrow making the transformation even more famous. It is said that her then husband, Frank Sinatra, was drastically opposed to the hair cut and issued divorce papers soon after her new hairdo was revealed!

One of my favourite vintage icons has to be Edie Sedgwick. Her tragic tale is glamorised by her fast paced, whimsical life with Andy Warhol as she frittered away her inheritance on clothes, booze and drugs. Though she wasn't here as long as we would have loved her to be, she left a big dent in the art and fashion world. Her pixie crop allowed her to amp up her 60s makeup as well as her elaborate dangly earrings.

Bringing things back to the modern day, the latest "shock crop" had to be from Harry Potter star Emma Watson. As the epic film series came to an end so did her long hair and apparently it was one of the best things she'd ever done, in an interview for US Glamour she claimed she'd never felt as confident as when she did with that sleek Farrow-esque crop.

So would you take the plunge and get rid of your long hair to make a statement? Maybe one for the New Year? One thing I know is that this style isn't for the wallflower or the particularly round faced...! If you've got killer cheekbones then go get the scissors pronto.

Gina x

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

101 Uses Of A Teacup

Well nearly. Mismatched china has found it's home in the vintage world with teacups, plates and saucers adorning many cafes, shops and displays! Where to find your china? The best advice I can give you is to rummage in your local charity shop. Don't worry if you can't find matching saucers, just keep growing your collection so you too can have a home full of teacup crafts! Oh and don't forget they make lovely gifts too...The crafty among you have thought outside the box and I have gathered my Top 5 other uses of the humble teacup.

These blew me away, so pretty and a real novel use of old china. I believe they were originally the idea from ceramic lights designer Greg Bonasera whose modern designs are very sleek yet stand out slightly. But I've found a very simple and easy to follow step by step DIY guide from Ideas Mag tutorial.  Chandeliers are also quite popular, you can cheat and buy a brand new one from Next.

Sticking with teacup interior design, howsabout this amazing clock? A statement piece for your chimney breast or in your kitchen if you have the room! You could always downsize and just put teacups at 12,3,6 and 9. You can buy these but again, here is a tutorial from Vintage Revivals  whose bright choice of china makes a brave use of colour and a welcome change from the usual pastels we often see.

While we are in the kitchen, grab us a glass of wine will you? Oh, no glasses? A teacup shall do! I absolutely love these, so simple an idea I'm gutted I didn't think of it first. Available from the inventively named Teacup Wine Glasses who are based in London.  If you aren't convinced, here is a review of the clever crafters and their teacup wine glasses from Festival Brides wedding blog.

Now how could I forget the humble teacup candle? These are simply everywhere at the moment, widely available at vintage fairs (including our own) and in shops all over the place. If you're feeling particularly handy then they really aren't hard to make yourself, so who better to trust for a home made vintage trinket than Kirstie Allsop. But if you just can't wait, you can buy your candles from Teacup CandlesKookie Candles and Eco-Antique Teacup Candles as just a few examples.

 To finish, here is a teacup DIY we can all attempt. The teacup pincushion. A very quaint idea that will suit the vintage fashionista and her customising ways or perhaps you'd rather just display a vintage cotton reel beside it as a unique decoration? The lovely, easy to follow blog Sophie Makes Things has a brilliantly simple tutorial for the pincushion below which has fab photography to boot.

But if you're really just that lazy, then click over onto eBay to browse the home made version for sale. This was my favourite on offer at at £6.99. But go on, give this one a go!

Get the super glue out!
Gina x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Right Royal Christmas (Baby)

Hope on board the bandwagon vintage lovers! So, Kate and Wils are expecting and fingers crossed it's a little girl so we can see in the new succession law in style. I'm sure that they'll have the very best for their little one, but what are you buying your little ones this Christmas? Any vintage babies out there? I've found some things to inspire a gift with a difference for the retro couple and their kitsch kid. 

First of all, I love all of these old adverts from the turn of the century through to the 1950s as a source of inspiration!

Starting with the last advert from 1910 for teddy bears, you can do worse than look to Steiff  for a classic teddy bear for a little person. They're an investment though, the one below is a sweet £129.99. 

If you're after something a little more purse friendly, look no further than the high streets' firm favourite for gifts, Past Times. Full of trinkets, traditional wooden toys and games, beautiful vintage style packaging for kids young and old. These classic toys would make great stocking fillers or tree presents. These are my favourites, but there are so many affordable and interesting toys and gifts to look through, plus you get 10% off your first order!

Jacob's Ladder £6.00 Past Times

Traditional Drum £17.50 Past Times

Hobby Horse £18.00

Retro Robot £10.00  Past Times

Keeping with toys, I searched high and low for one of those classic dogs on wheels that you could push around. The only one for sale that I could find online was at an auction, the one below. Buying vintage whether it's clothes or toys requires a little extra rummaging and hard work! You can find the auction here.

This original advert for Slinky from 1957 is so pretty. I didn't realise the toy had been around for so long! A very vintage toy that every child should have at some point, yes? Start with a classic silver slinky, I always found those plastic rainbow ones tangled easier. It'll keep them entertained for at least an hour right?

Hamleys toy store £10.00

Now we need somewhere to put all of toys don't we? Keeping things clean and tidy doesn't happen by magic but keeping them in something a little bit shabby chic might just make it a bit better. This white bedroom set from Children's Toys and Gifts is rather sweet as it comes with matching chairs and tables for little girls to play with tea sets. 

Thinking of the very stylish classy elegant mothers out there, you can't have a new born without a Silver Cross Heritage Prams. They are certainly fit for a royal baby and I have no doubt in my mind that K-Mid will be rocking one of these. They aren't cheap, rolling in at a handsome £1050. Put your eyes back in their sockets.

One of our lovely traders, The Apple Bobber have a gorgeous collection of childrens' vintage clothing, accessories and furniture. These are some of the more recent additions to their collection, I particularly love the 70s dress with cuffed sleeves, make me one in my size please! They aim to bring treasures back from "once upon a time" and try to keep them in their original condition for as long as possible. How charming. Find their shop online at Etsy here.

If Mum or Dad are handy with a needle and thread or (more likely) a sewing machine then get searching through charity shops, antique and retro centres, eBay and dedicated sewing pattern shops for unique kids sewing patterns. These from So Vintage Patterns are very sweet, I love the boys suit! Vintage children's clothes are hard to find in wearable condition, so making your own is an ideal solution. 

No little girl is quite dressed without her little lace socks and black shiny school shoes. These from Debenhams are exactly right for school or parties.  So very cute.

Keeping your child perfectly accessorised in the very coolest of retro style, I am delighted to have found a pair of childs' tortoiseshell wayfarers from eBay! Amazing! And only £5.99.

Now vintage books are a big business, with first editions and signed copies and collectibles all over the place. If you are shopping for someone with very specific taste then see yourself over at ABE Books where some books reach thousands and thousands of pounds! Look at that Beatrix Potter one! Yikes!


But if you're buying for a little one, you can't go wrong with a classic tale, my pick would be The Tale of Peter Rabbit as you can't go wrong. This anniversary edition is very sleek too, but you can find so many designs and versions of this book online, buy the one below here for £7.99.

So then. I hope I've given you some ideas for all the kids this chrismtas. Oh yes they'll be wanting all the gadgets too but I reckon you could charm them into loving a traditional toy too. I wonder what the Royals will buy the new mouth to feed next year? 

Gina x