Saturday, 31 July 2010

A Vintage and Modern Dilemma!

This is not a post full of pretty pictures but a story of a vintage and modern dilemma!

Last night our TV finally went, we turned it on, it turned itself off, this went on for a while, I asked a friend who knows about these things, and he said it sound like that's it, it's f****d, so a dilemma ensued....

As any of you know who read this blog, finances are pretty limited here right now, so that was part of the dilemma, however there were other things.

My husband said, maybe we can do without a TV? It led to quite a discussion. I love the idea of having no TV, I imagine a life where I'll read more, do more crafty things etc etc, it also never really looks good in a mostly vintage living room. Then I thought hang on, let's face reality here, I enjoy some TV shows, it's kinda like a relaxation, escapism thing, I don't slavishly sit down to watch my 'shows' as we have Sky+ (I think you have Tivo in the US) so we watch what we want when we want. I also love watching DVDs,  old movies, new movies, The Sopranos - don't even get me started on the Sopranos, we must have watched it about 4 times all the way through already!!

Could we really do without a TV? The answer is no I don't think so. I do know people without a TV, and I admire it in a way, but then I think they miss out of some stuff too, I love documentaries about interesting stuff, there's nothing better in Winter than sitting down on a Sunday afternoon and watching old movie after old movie! I also love some modern stuff, a new series just started last week in the UK it was a modern twist on Sherlock Holmes, honestly it was fantastic and we both really enjoyed it which is a rarity for new TV shows.

So we decided to get a smaller TV to tide us over, we're not a household with loads of TVs so when our TV went that was it!

Then I got to thinking, about style vs modern technology! I love gadgets, I'm a thoroughly modern woman when it comes to technology, I have my blackberry which I couldn't run my business without, I use my laptop every day, I like that all my music goes on my ipod even though I still have a huge CD & Vinyl collection, in truth I couldn't do without my technology!

Of course I would love a TV like above from Predicta, or this one below cos it looks cute

But obviously the one above is teeny, you'd have to be about a foot away to see anything! And I can't afford a Predicta TV sadly :o(

So I was interested as to whether you feel a dilemma between style and appearance and how you want a place to look and incorporating technology into it? In truth we didn't really have a dilemma we knew we'd get a TV but it does make you question why you have one and if you want that vintage look how it fits in. Would love to know your thoughts.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Charity Shop Haul!

I rarely go to charity shops any more, I can count on the fingers of one hand the good things I've bought in a charity shop in the last 20 years, I never have any success ever ever ever! I do pop in them when I walk by them but I never see anything, well I occasionally see stuff that's ok, but I'm hardly desperate for stuff so I would only buy something I loved.

Well today my friends was the day! I went to a local town I don't often go to because I needed to pick something up from a good fabric shop there, when we walked out of the fabric shop I noticed a charity shop next door and thought, it's always worth a look, nothing... Then there was another one 2 doors down, nothing.... Then another one across the road, this was a bit better it was a furniture one, there were a few things that I might have bought if I had lots of spare cash and lots of spare room, but nothing really special. Then 2 doors down another one, did I think it was worth it, well hey I've been in the other 3, and this one was really worth it!

I only ever look at homeware type stuff, I've never found clothes in a charity shop, however my husband thought he'd look at the shirts, he's got some great vintage & repro shirts but he paints a lot and wants more shirts to just wear around the house, without wearing out his good stuff, and he found one! I couldn't believe it, he found a late 50's/early 60's shirt for £4! Here it is!

My lovely husband in his new shirt, it's a bit creased cos I took a photo straight out of the bag! It's not stunning but it's an old one, in a style he likes, it fits and it was cheap!

But it doesn't end there, I saw a really really lovely teaset in a cabinet, great colours so went to have a look with no intention of buying because I could see it was £20 but I wanted a closer look as I got close to the cabinet I saw the most fab set of 6 glasses with stylised stags on them, when I saw the price was £4 it was a no brainer, here they are, all in excellent condition, no chips, no wear or anything, I may have to buy some sherry just so I can drink out of them!! I assume they're sherry glasses?

And here's a close up

How amazing are they? They really go with my Meakin Stag Dinnerware too which you can see in this post here

And last but certainly not least this 1950s lemonade set! I LOVE it, I love frosted glass a lot, I love green and it was only £5 which I love even more!

I have to say I'm thrilled I LOVE all these purchases, I don't think they're just ok, neither did I buy them just cos they are the era we like, I genuinely love them all

I'm one very happy Straight Talking Mama!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Getting jobs done....

I don't know what you guys are like but I'm terrible for starting a job and then running out of time to finish. Having said that I also quite like a room to develop organically so my inability to finish a job helps this! I'm also broke so I do stuff when I can, time wise, money wise and if I have the stuff, so as you can see, jobs often don't get finished!

Anyway my lack of finishing jobs some jobs has been getting on my nerves lately so a few weeks ago I decided to make a list of all the small jobs which need doing, most of which I have the supplies for or I only need to spend a really small amount on and slowly but surely I've been ploughing through them! Feels good to tick them off the list too...

So far this week I rewired my wall cocktail cabinet and had a friend put it on the wall for me, I know I didn't put it on the wall but it's too heavy for me to do on my own, here it is back on the wall!

What is weird is this has been relocated and usually when you relocate something like this, each time you see it for a little while it's a surprise, however this looks like it has always been there! This is it close up, still need something to cover the side lights, I'm still thinking.

I'm happy to see it back up and looking glam!

Then today, I decided I had a couple of jobs which needed to be finished in the kitchen. For ages now I've been meaning to replace a horrible modern hook rail that sit over the door of a cupboard in our kitchen, I already have the replacement but just didn't get round to it, today DONE!

This might not seem like much, and in fact it really wasn't much to do, but you know you when you have a job and you just never get round to it, please tell me I'm not alone on this.

Then finally I decided it was time to put my mexican curtains up in the kitchen, but long story short I knew it was going to be hard to find the right fixing to put them up, all to do with our stupid windows reaching the ceiling, the curtains having a rod pocket so that's how I wanted to hang them, I went to 4 DIY stores, oh yes 4! I still couldn't find the solution then someone in the last store said try the store round the corner which turned out to be a huge curtain type out of town store and there it was the solution! I came home, did a little drilling, screwed the fittings up, put the curtains on and  ............ they were far too long aaaaargh!

I had no idea, this is not something we tend to have a problem with and of course in many rooms curtains being a bit long isn't a problem but in a kitchen where there's cleaning going on all the time, you don't want your curtains on the worktop. So then the dilemma having to cut vintage curtains, I don't know why this causes me distress but it does, I guess this could be why I have a disgusting amount of vintage fabric uncut eeek! Anyway I did it I cut them and they're up YAY! Here they are

Ok I know you can't really see the design but you get the idea, so here's a close up.

Cute huh? I've had these for so long I thought I would never get around to getting them up and there they are!

After I did this I sat down with my list and crossed all those jobs off, boy that felt so good, I feel a bit energised by it all now, so what's next? I have plenty to get done, slow and steady wins the day, but having it all written down in a list helps

So how do you do your renovation or home decorating jobs? Do you start and never finish? Or do you do a bit each week til it's done or do you leave it and leave it til you're fed up then blitz them? Would love to know I'm not totally mad and on my own!!

AND how exciting, I have over a 100 people following my blog now, what a great compliment I'm humbled! Thanks all! I'll have to think of a little giveaway to do, I'll give it some proper thought! 

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

What are things really worth?

As someone who has collected clothes and homewares from the 50s for over 20 years now sometimes it dumbfounds me when I see things on ebay for some astronomical price.

Admittedly when I started collecting things were pretty cheap, no one wanted stuff from the 50's apart from likeminded people. It wasn't mainstream to wear 50's stuff or have it in your house, the word 'vintage' hadn't been invented and so it was all ours and no one elses!

The world has changed massively, partly because of ebay I think, you can pretty much buy what you want from whereever, that would have been amazing when I was in my 20s, I didn't have a choice I had to trawl around places to find stuff I loved!

However I do think that things have gone a little crazy price wise, I do wonder what you all think, here are some of the things that have shocked me recently price wise.

Now these are very nice however they are only a set of 6 50s coasters, how much are they? £5? £10? £15? oh no, these are Buy It Now for £49.95 oh yes people £49.95, that's $76 for my US readers!! That is a crazy crazy price!

Now don't get me wrong, this is fabulous and they do naturally find their price online and they do go for a good price, however this one is priced straight in at £395! This is at least twice the price I've seen the best ones go for, in fact most go for about £120 which I still think is a little pricy but that's fine as the price is reached by demand, but £395? That's just over $600, shocking huh?

Now to be fair this seller seems to sell mostly designer stuff, something I know nothing about and I'm not interested either, so I could be wrong about this but personally I think this is totally overpriced as I've seen similar stuff FAR cheaper. How much? £565! That's $860 approx. Maybe it's a certain designer or whatever I don't know as I said I'm interested in buying what I like, not something just cos it's 50's or cos it's worth something or has a designers name on it.

Not long ago there was a seller on ebay in the UK selling several pairs of fabulous 50's curtains and they really were fabulous, sadly I didn't save the pics cos they were stunning but the prices were crazy I have no idea where they got the prices from, they started at about £800 and went up to about £1200 (That's $1200-$1800)! Needless to say they didn't sell, they were listed several times and still didn't sell, wonder what happened in the end....

I'm sure we all come across overpriced stuff when we're out searching I was just wondering what your view is on it, now don't get me wrong I'm all for private enterprise I mean I run a business but my view on business is I would rather get the sales and sell at a reasonable price than overpriced and not sell. I wonder if these sellers are misinformed or just ambitious! Would be really interested in your views.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Selling stuff....

Yeah 2 posts in one day weird huh?

Anyway I have been selling of a lot of stuff for about 2 years now, I do it in batches, well the thing is you don't stop buying so when you've been into this as long as I have you get a bit bogged down with the excess of stuff! Then there is the denial of something not fitting but not being able to bare to part with it! I have finally started to come to some of that stuff, I just listed 3 things on ebay that are all stunners, so in case there are any other larger ladies out there I thought I'd pop them up on here so you can check them out.

There will be more stuff and some really random stuff going up on my ID, I'm just trying to get rid of stuff as well as good stuff! So apologies for the random stuff!

Here's the first, a fabulous 1950s Kamahameha Hawaiian Dress in a larger size, you don't see that very often! You can see it here

I'm only really parting with this cos the size I am when this fits it's just to large for me to feel comfortable in that type of dress, does that make sense? So when it fits I don't feel comfortable wearing it and then when it's too big it looks wrong! So really it's got to go, I love it, but it will never work :o(

Second up, oh boy why I even bought this I'll never know, I have had it for so many years I can't tell you, I even remember buying it and when I found it, but here's the thing, I hate pink, I don't wear pink and it doesn't suit me! So why haven't I sold this before now, cos I LOVE the style, I've even said in the ebay listing, if it doesn't sell I'm going to dye it black eeek! You can view it here

And last but certainly not least this little beauty! Well I'll have to post a few pics of this cos WOW! You can see this here

Anyway thought I'd let you all know in case you are, or know someone who is a larger size cos I know how hard it is to get good vintage clothes in larger sizes.

I'll be listing loads more, mostly in much smaller sizes, but probably over the next few days rather than just today.

Right better get back to it!

I need your help people!

I know lots of you are collectors or renovators so I was wondering if I could ask for your help.

I have a fabulous wall cocktail bar but sadly it got damaged and I'm trying to find something that will renovate it was I love it so much!

Here it is as it is now

I just rewired it so it's not on the wall at the moment!

Here is it several years ago before it got broken :o(

Sad huh? Now don't get me wrong I know that I won't be able to replace the glass which saddens me beyond believe especially as we didn't break it but someone we knew let us store it in his garage and when we went to pick it up the glass was smashed to bits! Anyway nothing I can do about that but what I think I could do is put the ridged plastic that you see in the middle at the sides too. Here's a close up

Or similar stuff on my other cocktail cabinet

If anyone has any recommendations of suppliers or products that would be great! Really really appreciate it!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Great ebay sellers - they exist!

Ok people radio silence didn't happen, it's a long story but my laptop is still in the shop to be mended but we have a new one for my husband so all is good YAY!

Anyway I just wanted to let you know that great ebay sellers do exist!  A while ago I stumbled on something on US ebay that I knew my husband would use and love, it's a vintage keyholder wallet with his initial on the front! Here it is

How lovely is this and how much was it? 99cents! Yes you heard it 99cents! Of course there was postage on top of that which was hardly excessive!

And why was this seller so exceptional? Because I won this lovely thing for 99 cents and they found a tie pin with the initial P so sent that too! FREE!

My husband was chuffed to bits as you can imagine not only did he get a lovely useful gift that cost almost nothing, he got a gift from the seller for nothing!

Bravo to that seller!

I did have another fabulous seller not long ago again I bought a bathroom cabinet for 99p, I went to pick it up and the seller said wouldn't you like to check it is what you want before you take it, he also brought it to the car and put it in for me, all for 99p, amazing!

Just wanted to prove there are still some great sellers out there on ebay.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Rediscovering what you didn't know you had.....

Or at least didn't remember you had!

As I said a couple of posts ago I'll be lagging behind on blogging in July/August as I'm desperately trying to catch up on all the jobs in the house that I have let fall by the wayside in the last 2 years whilst I've been working hard on building Notorious Kitsch.

Anyway I am having the sort out of all sort outs, I do this often but I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel! I've been buying vintage clothes, music and homewares for over 20 years and when you're been collecting that long - I'm sure my older readers will agree - things CAN get out of hand! Don't get me wrong I've bought loads and sold loads in that time but there are always things you forget about or you don't want to part with or whatever.

I thought I'd do this post on 3 things I forgot I even had but uncovered when I tackled a particular part of the house!

First up is this cute vargas girl poster, it has a fold in it so I assume it came from a mag, we always had it up in our bathroom, but haven't put it up since we've lived in this house, she doesn't have a frame so will need to get one and it will go back in the bathroom!

How cute is she? Ah to look like that and have a sarong and bikini top like that, although now we are veering dangerously into fantasy territory!

Next up is an odd little thing but I kinda like it, however it is one of those things that you think why do I have it!!

Cute top so what is it?

It's a brush and inside.....

It's a manicure set! Clever huh?!

And last but certainly not least, this very very cute shelf lining paper that I still haven't found a home for and has been stored away forever!

I have some mexican themed fabric for curtains in the kitchen too, it will look very cute in there eventually!

In Other News!

My laptop is kapput, it needs to go away for 10 days, YES 10 days! Running an online shop is not easy without a computer, fortunately my husband has one but it's pretty crappy so not sure how much non-essential stuff I can do on it before it gives up the ghost, so there may be radio silence from me on the blog for 10 days aaargh, just warning you!


I notice I am not too far away from having 100 lovely people following the blog, how fabulous, I'm so chuffed, as soon as I reach 100 I'll be hosting a giveaway, lord only knows what but I'll conjure up something fabulous you can be sure!

Ok people I'm backing up my system as I write this so need to get all essential stuff done before I say bye bye to my laptop for 10 days, noooooo.......

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Talented guy!

I said I'd let you know when the very talented guy I know who sells repro chalkware was selling on ebay again, well he's selling now! There's quite a few on there, some have already gone, sorry for being tardy, however he told me he's releasing a lot of new models so keep an eye out for what he's releasing in the future.

I have several of his chalkware pieces, they are really lovely, well made and the best repros I've ever seen. Here are some that he has on ebay at the moment, I know he packages really well and ships all over the world so if you're in the US and want to bid don't worry! They can all be found here

I really want the next one for my bathroom!

Really how talented is he?! Thanks to Ray I had the courage to repair some of my own chalkware realising it was easier than I thought, which I was happy about as I had broken the base of one of my favourite lamps, now it looks like new!

If you want to check out some of the chalkware I've bought from him, click here for a previous post!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Loving what you have - part 3!

I haven't been blogging much lately as I'm a woman on mission! I've been building my business for so long I haven't had time for anything else and I have so many things that need doing or sorting in the house that I've finally decided to make a huge list and I'm setting myself a date goal to get things done by, pretty ambitious huh?

So please bear with me during the summer it's going to worthwhile, well for me anyway!

So this weekend we did something very boring but necessary, we painted our garden fences, boring huh? But boy it looks much better out there.

Today I went through my kitchen cupboards having a big old sort out getting rid of things we never use, and sorting through and photographing my dinner services of which there are 2 almost full sets. I LOVE them and wish I had somewhere to display them so I could see them more but back in the kitchen cupboards they have gone, well for now anyway! I'm sure I will discover all sorts over the coming weeks so I'll make sure I photograph as I go along!

First up is my Alfred Meakin Midnight Star Dinner Service, I can't believe I have so much of this, yet there is more to get, I got most of it cheap and in one go, I know, lucky me!

I LOVE the shape of the soup bowls!

Here's a close up of the teapot, love love love the star pattern!

Next up is my Alfred Meakin Stag Dinner service, it's in the rarer blue colour, you don't see this around as much as the red, so it's been hard to get additional items for it. We actually bought this as a whole set years ago at an antique centre.

Here's a close up of the design, again I love it!

Next up is a lovely desert set again from Alfred Meakin, can you see a theme here? Yes I love Meakin, sometimes I don't even know what I'm picking up is Alfred Meakin yet I look underneath and there is it. My mum even has a dinner service from the 50's which is not really my kind of thing but I've always kinda liked it, only last year did I look underneath so see who made it, you guessed it good old Alfred Meakin!!

Anyway we're not huge desert eaters so this doesn't often see the light of day but recently it's been english strawberry season, I sincerely believe English strawberries are the best in the world! Anyway strawberries and cream eaten out of this set just makes it extra special!

This is absolutely one of my favourite designs, here's a close up of a plate I have, it's the only plate I have of this design apart from the desert set above. I love the colours and the design!

The design is also called Bill and Ben, this makes me giggle, which will only make sense to British people of a certain age!

Next up, not Alfred Meakin - well I dunno it doesn't have a mark on the bottom but I don't think it is - are a set of 4 plates which I just can't bear to part with, I don't know why I keep them apart from that I love them!

Next up is something I had in my 'for sale on ebay box', I have no idea why, it's very cute!

And also came in VERY handy after painting the fences in the hot sun on Saturday, once we'd showered the muck off, drunk loads of water, we filled it up with Pimms, Lemonade and loads of fruit and ice, YUM!

How good did this taste after an exhausting day of hard work?! Yep you guessed it DAMNED GOOD!

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