Monday, 31 October 2011

Vintage finds - bumper edition!

Today I realised I haven't done one of these posts for ages, I used to do them monthly. So here it is - a whole Summer's worth of vintage rooting. I've probably forgotten a few bits, and I'm going to do separate posts for a few select treasures!

1950s cabinet - £2! This was from a local antique shop, the owner told me he occasionally takes house clearance lots and so buys 'rubbish' in order to get the 'good' pieces - unfortunately he'd also broken one of the glass doors putting it outside, hopefully I'll be able to make a replacement one day. Frankly I think a person can probably make more money nowadays selling 50s furniture than unfashionable Victorian stuff, but obviously his distaste for it is to my benefit!

Sputnik legs! It also has glittery backing paper and curvy glass shelves. My friend Ciana helped me bring it home, and all I can say is that carrying two small children about must make you strong - she heaved it around with ease, I was a sweaty, wheezing heap after pushing it upstairs on my own!

1950s/60s shelving unit - £15. I love this, after getting rid of our massive hefty old CRT TV, I got the small new one and wanted something vintage to put it on, where I could also display some of my immense collection of trinkets. This came from a seller in Failsworth Mill, a large antiques and collectables centre where the prices are reasonable and the many stallholders are amenable to haggling!

1950s amoeba shaped mirrors, £3 each from a vintage jumble sale, held by a friend-of-a-friend who was selling her possessions in preparation for a move to France.

50s clock - £1. this was running when I got it from the same vintage jumble sale, stopped by the time I got home, started working again after I took out and oiled the workings, and promptly stopped again three days later. It's been going for so long that a hole inside that holds a moving part has become slightly oval instead of round, so it keeps going out of alignment.

1930s Lloyd Loom seat/basket - free! I got this by bargaining with the seller from whom I bought the shelving unit above, it was originally priced at £10, which is still fairly reasonable seeing as it is in completely original condition - most Lloyd loom furniture you find has been repainted, but this retains its factory paint job and deco foliage upholstery. It's strong enough to sit on and is currently hiding a small proportion of my laundry mountain.

Lustreware vase - £7, haggled down from £10 from the same seller as the shelves and basket. Another item for my fawn collection!

1920s-30s uranium glass bowl for my collection, £5, car boot sale.

Enormous glass cake dome, £5, car boot sale. Not vintage but still useful!

50s cats - £1.49 each, charity shop.

Vintage style metal memo board from Rose & Co., won in a raffle by my mum and stepdad. Aerospace boyfriend immediately drew a huge penis on it in dry-wipe marker, as he does with most things.

Beautiful 1950s diamanté necklaces - these belonged to my grandmother, were given by her to my sister when we were little, and my sister passed them to me recently as they are too glitzy for her and too likely to attract the small grasping hands of my niece!

Amazing vintage fully fashioned stockings, still in their original packaging and with spectacular pearl and rhinestone adornments at the heel! These will be saved as they are very special and were part of a swap I did with Miss Matilda. I sent her the framed 1920s prints I blogged about here, which came up very nicely with a bit of cleaning!

She was also generous enough to send me this beautiful jewellery as a gift - I squealed with delight when I opened the package, it used to belong to Lana Turner! Her daughter, Cheryl Crane, auctioned some of her belongings a few years after she died, and I remember drooling over the lovely things for sale at the time. Thanks again, Miss M! You are lovely! xxx

After I received the jewellery I spied this book for £1 at a car boot sale written by Crane, and decided to read a little more about Lana Turner's life. I've only just started it, but it is filled with scandal!

Movie monsters book with Christopher Lee on the cover, 20p, local church jumble sale.

Esther Williams biography, £2.99, Oxfam charity shop. I really enjoyed reading this, she's very frank and funny, and I'm glad she is still alive and lending her name to an amazing range of swimsuits! This one and this one are my favourites, they also do a black one with cherries which is beautiful but I can't find it anywhere in the UK. My only criticism of this book is that Esther's co-writer and editor, Digby Diehl, has a tendency to repeat things such as historical details and lists of names which have already been mentioned in previous chapters.

Max Factor biography, £1 from the pound shop in Burnley, a gift from my mum. This was really interesting as it gives a great insight into the man behind the company. I, like many people I expect, wasn't aware that Max Factor was an actual person, I had assumed it was just a brand name. He was a Hollywood makeup artist and cosmetics developer in the golden age of cinema, and this book is a great read for fans of films from the 20s-50s as well as those interested in the history of cosmetology.

Monday, 24 October 2011

The beginnings of another addiction!

Two new vintage frames! Plus my current ones at the bottom. I'd ordered the red ones and was waiting for them to arrive when I saw the green lucite pair for sale, they're perfect for me! This means I now have glasses which will match most outfits in my wardrobe, though I doubt that will stop me from buying more in the future - I love having another excuse to accessorise. They also all fit in with my Autumn/Winter wardrobe colour plan.

I can't wait to get my prescription lenses put in them. I have a feeling I'll have to start wearing glasses more often anyway, I'm sure my eyes have gotten worse since I first got glasses six months ago so I'm having them re-tested on Wednesday.

Here's a lovely film from the 50s featuring some amazing glasses!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

100 followers giveaway!

As promised, I'm hosting a giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 followers - I'm now on 102 actually!

Here it is! I'm going to give away one of my gorgeous Kalandra Jane Designs leopard satin fascinators! The winner will be able to choose from black or red trim on the hat, and I will post worldwide.

To enter, you need to be a follower of the blog and leave a comment below. For additional entries, post about this on your own blog, mention it on facebook or twitter and leave me a separate comment with a link to it (that way we all get to cross-promote!)

Good luck everyone! I'll announce the winner in two weeks' time, on the first of November.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


What a surprise! My list of followers has crept up very slowly over the last year and a half, then all of a sudden about ten have appeared at once! Hello to all you new people, and thanks very much to all my followers for taking an interest in my ramblings and general self-indulgence.

It seems I must now do a giveaway, as is the custom in blogland upon reaching such a milestone! I'll come up with something in the next couple of days and let you all know.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

New Hat Photos!

WARNING: this post contains gratuitous pictures of my face, over and over. It's one huge vanity fest.

A couple of weeks back my friend Berni and I did a photoshoot with some of my hats, taking new headshots to use as product images on the Kalandra Jane Designs website. I'll have all these hats for sale there as soon as I've finished writing the stock pages for them.

Berni Harris is a fabulous photographer specialising in wedding, portrait and fashion photography, she also has a great gift for working with outdoor subjects. She has a cute blog which you can visit here!

Now for the facefest.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Autumn wardrobe: teal dress plan

My sister has kindly lent me this draped top pattern from a French fashion magazine from 1957.

It's for a 37" bust and 29" waist, so will need sizing up quite considerably. I traced it onto parchment and graded it up, but stupidly I used my sister's notes for the measurements and not my own, and had already cut out the fabric mock-up before I realised! Thankfully it was just some cheap fabric I'd had ages and not my final project fabric. My sister is smaller than me, but the fabric I'm using is stretch and the mock-up pieces actually look like the size will be OK.

This is the fabric I will be using, a lovely teal knit. I'm planning to draft on a pencil skirt to transform the pattern from a top to a dress, and really hoping there is enough of it - the shop had less than two metres in stock but I might be able to squeeze the pieces I need out of it. I also got this silky polka dot fabric to match, but it doesn't fit in with my plan for this dress so I'll use it for something else.

Monday, 3 October 2011

There's no place like home...

There's no place like home... there's no place like home... but who'd want to stay home when you could go out wearing these shoes and delight the eyes of everyone you meet?

These beauties are my latest purchase, an exclusive to Schuh by Red or Dead. They were sold out in their Manchester store, as I imagine they are up and down the country due to their squeal-inducing desirability, so I bought them online with free delivery after trying on the plain black leather version instore for fit. The glitter version is in manmade materials so suitable for discerning vegan tootsies, and is available in shimmering silver too.

I love the shape of the heel, which is quite reminiscent of curvy 1940s styles. I plan to get lots of wear from these as being ruby coloured they also fit in with my Autumn wardrobe plan, some pieces from which I have completed and will be showing you all soon!

This week I also picked up the cherry print duvet cover and pillowcases pictured above, they're lovely and from Tesco.