Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Very Vintage Halloween: A Few Ideas

So it's two days away and I have only just decided what to wear for Halloween. Being one of those people who just doesn't put the effort in with these things, I have been slightly pressured to go to town this year as our work night out is on Thursday 31st! A very spooky do indeed...

So here are a handful of slightly different costume ideas to make you stand out from an array of ripped white T-shirts and tomato red blood splatters. (I have used Pinterest and google image searches mostly here and I apologise if I couldn't source the original blogs/names - but credit to everyone for these amazing ideas)

1920s silent film stars
White/grey facepaint for your skin and a monochrome dress theme. Complete with script cards and you're done! 

Lichtenstein Comic Book Girl
I have a yellow wig in the post - Yep I'm giving this a go! I've decided to cheat a little with a plain white long sleeve shirt to avoid doing too much painting, but I'll be sure to show you the finished product!

Vintage Harlequin
I am gutted I didn't think of this earlier. If you can't find the right playsuit/jumpsuit/dress then go the opposite way with checked tights and a big neck ruffle, it;s really all about the make-up anyway. I love this so much!

Miss Havisham
Over the corpse bride? Turn to literature for your new Halloween Heroine! This will take some commitment, but boy, it'll be worth it!

Get stuffing your trousers girls! Yes! I mean it! Sarah is too easy, get you're Jareth on. Well, unless you have the perfect 80s puffball sleeved wedding dress of course...

The Birds
Green dress, blonde wig, lots of black birds. 

Pin Up Witch
Classic look done beautifully by Fleur De Guerre here. I have taken this from a blog post I found on her blog here. Some great ideas. If Vivien Leigh can work it then so can we.

The Shining Twins
Matching blue dresses with some sickly sweet lace detail, white tights and some buckle shoes. Throw in some coloured contacts and some fake blood if you want to edit it but this look is pretty hard to mistake and if you have the perfectly sized best friend to do it with, you can't go wrong. Just don't smile.

Another styled by Fleur on Southern Retro, more surreal than scary but a great easy option for your fella or for yourself too. Bowler hats are simply everywhere these days. 


If you have any ideas we should know about, PLEASE throw them over to gina@thevintagefair.com! We'd love to hear from you and we'll put them up online! Have a very creepy (and safe) night out! Happy Samhain to all of our pagan followers too.  We'll be putting up an array of vintage halloween pics for more inspiration and just to tickle your curiousity buds too over the next two days :)

Gina xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Making Your Rented Room a Vintage Haven

Oh hello everyone! It's been a while and for that I can only apologise. But it's been super busy at LouLou HQ! But I'm back with lots of vintage ramblings for your wardrobe and home. 

Now we've all been there, blue curtains, blue carpet, MFI furniture, white walls. The standard student bedroom has never been the cool kooky haven we envisaged in our daydreams. But what can you do when you're skint and let's say, well, prioritising your funds for other things?! We've got a few ideas for you to style up your bedroom vintage style without running too far into yopur overdraft!

Now instead of plastering your walls with photos from last Saturday night, how about pegging them up on a long piece of string? They could drape across the entire width of a wall or criss cross down and alcove or across your door. Not all of us have polaroid camera, but lots of us do have Instagram! You can get these printed off fairly cheaply, have a look here. They look so much more decorative.

Tailors Dummy
Now, it took me quite a while to not get scared in the middle of the night, but my tailor's dummy has a different outfit on all the time, and I get to display my favourite vintage dresses and accessories! Usually it's because I can't quite fit into them...! But at around £35-£30 you can get on off eBay and it makes a big statement in a blank room. Look at this example from A Harem of Peacocks.

Bed Linen
A tidying your room cheat I learnt at Uni, is that if your bed is made, it makes the room look ten times neater! You can have that one for free. But if the linen is pretty and vintage inspired, it'll look even better! We love french toile prints, (it's even the wallpaper in our office) and this Ikea set is on eBay for a cheapy cheap £24.95.

Tins and Teacups
Vintage tins and mismatched teacups are simply everywhere at the minute. Nip to your local vintage fair, antiques centre, charity shop or even on ebay and you'll be sure to stumble upon a wide range of them. They do so much more than just look pretty. Teacups make for lovely little dressing table ornaments that can hold your earrings and rings, loose change etc and tins can hide so much mess on your desk! Pop all your stationary in them. Plus, they're dead cheap.

Suitcases and Trunks
You may consider them a little overdone, but vintage suitcases and trunks are fantastic DIY projects for the home. We even did a blog post on all the uses we could think of, take a look here! But if you just need a quick and easy storage solution, stacking a few of these in the corner of your room for files, shoes, or just junk is a great and affordable space saver. Get searching in charity shops, flea markets and car boots.

Door Knobs
If you have a little time on your hands, it's worth rummaging at car boots, markets and hunting online for pretty vintage drawer and door knobs. If your landlord's furniture is a little, um, crap then a new set of screw on door knobs is a lovely little way of putting your own stamp on your room. Plus you can keep the original ones and replace them when you move out. No damage done.

Lampshade Mobile
This idea came to me when I was out on a charity shop spree. I saw a little pile of mini tasseled lampshades, you know the ones, Nannan definitely has a fair few! If you simply attach string to the centre of the lightbulb fitting inside, you can then hang them from the ceiling with a bit of tape or a thumb tack as they;re ever so light. Hang between 3 and 5 at differing heights to create a quirky feature to your room over your bed perhaps. Obviously, there are no lightbulbs in our little idea, but here's a bit of inspiration to give you an idea.

Flower Garlands
Not only did they look superb in your hair at Latitude fest, they look very pretty draped over your bedhead, on your wardrobe, fireplace or round your window. eBay have lots to choose from but Live Laugh Love have a great selection of other vintage inspired decor too. If you struggle to find any, search for wedding garlands as they're often used for these too. You could mix them up with fairy lights too!

Mismatched Walls
Now, before you tell me that your landlord doesn't let you hang things on the wall, I know, it's rubbish. But do ask! If you're super lovely about it, there's no harm in asking. Because who doesn't want a feature wall, such as your chimney breast, full of random bits and pieces! Clocks, taxidermy, photos, postcards, mirrors etc look so cool all bundled together. I love what Lereese from GIRL STOLE VINTAGE has done with one of her walls. I love the orange 70s clock.

(If you really can't use a hammer and nails, use posters, vintage postcards and magazine cuttings. You could even cut our paper picture frames to put them in - use your imagination.)

So there you have it, lots of little, affordable ideas to help get you stylin' it up in your first rented room. We'd love to see who can rise to the challenge! Send us your pics of your kitsch decoration ideas and we'll feature them on our page!


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Sweets for my Sweet

With the launch of our kilo sale The Vintage Pick 'N' Mix in student unions this Autumn, we got to thinking about our favourite childhood sweeties! So when David Frederick from Sweet & Nostalgic asked if we'd like to host a little blog post on all things retro candy, we had to say a big yes please! Get ready to learn a thing or two n all...

My favourite vintage & old fashioned sweets
There is something truly magical about vintage sweets, I think it’s their ability to take a person on a trip down memory lane and reminisce upon their childhood memories. Ever since watching Charlie & The Chocolate Factory as a child (the old version) and seeing the old fashioned sweet shop that had character in abundance, I have become fascinated by vintage & retro sweets.

Old fashioned sweets from the 1940’s

Catherine Wheels
For a sweet that is so fantastic, it really does have a gruesome past. As you are probably aware of, Catherine Wheel is an old fashioned term for a cartwheel. But it was also the torture device that was chosen to execute St Catherine of Alexandria. These sweets were based upon the latter. Putting the history of Catherine Wheels to one side, these sweets consist of liquorice strips that are wrapped around a nonpareil liquorice button.
Aniseed Balls
These are small reddish brown sweet that have become very rare in recent years. They share a similar consistency and texture to gobstoppers. Aniseed Balls are flavoured using aniseed oil and have a very distinctive and prominent aniseed flavour. They last a very long time in the mouth before dissolving. In the centre of these sweets you will find a rapeseed, rapeseeds are used as an initial base to place layers of sugar around.
Pontefract Cakes
Originating from a small town in Yorkshire called Pontefract; these are a very small, mourish sweet that consist mainly of liquorice. On every single Pontefract Cake is a small embossed stamp, this is in fact a stylised image of Pontefract castle.

Old fashioned sweets from the 1950’s

Jargonelle Pear Drops
When it comes to sweets, what can be more British than pear drops? These are a British boiled sweet that are made using various pear flavourings and sugar. These sweets were originally half yellow and half pink and shaped to resemble a pear.
Sherbet Fountains
A sweet that many British people associate with their childhoods, Sherbet Fountains are tubes of smooth white sherbet with a black liquorice stick that is used for dipping or sucking. When these sweets were first produced, they were wrapped in paper with the liquorice stick poking out of the top.
Coconut Mushrooms
Probably my personal favourite, the taste of these sweets is instantly recognisable and very distinctive. Coconut Mushrooms consist of a sweet chewy chap that is covered in dessicated coconut sprinkles. What I love about these sweets is the unique, juicy coconut taste.

Old fashioned sweets from the 1960’s

White Mice
This classic sweet consists of solid, creamy white chocolate and boasts a very distinctive and unique taste. In fact, the taste of White Mice is so distinctive, that if you were to eat one blindfolded, you will instantly recognise the taste.
Anglo Bubbly
A true great and the undisputed king of bubble gum, Anglo Bubbly is a fantastic sweet. What I find love about this sweet is the fact it has remained its retro pink colour after all of these years. Anglo Bubbly features a very distinctive pear flavour.
Dolly Mixture
A firm favourite of many, Dolly Mixtures are a pack of multicoloured cylinders, cubes and other shapes with various hints of subtle flavourings. These famous British sweets consist of soft sweets and jellies coated in sugar.

This is a guest post by David at Sweet & Nostalgic, an online sweet shop that specialise in Retro & Old Fashioned Sweets. David is passionate about all things vintage and has written numerous articles for magazines and blogs.