Showing posts with label retro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label retro. Show all posts

Friday, 14 February 2014

Frocktasia Towers

I promised in a previous post that I'd give you a tour around our wee abode and today I finally got round to taking some pics. These past few weeks I've been very busy with market preparations and writing my business plan. Starting my own business was never really a doable thing when we were living in London. I did try but the horrendously steep living costs were too much of a prohibitive factor. Any attempts came to an abrupt end as soon as rent day loomed.  It was never going to happen in London but I think Glasgow might be just the ticket. 

Last Sunday Frocktasia made a splash at the lovely Little Birds Market & on the 23rd of this month we're testing out Granny Would Be Proud. I was so impressed with Little Birds so I've already booked a stall for the March event and we'll also be doing a turn at Glasgow's Affordable Vintage Fair on the 15th of next month.

I thank my lucky stars that Mark spotted that Can't Buy Me Love poster  last year and then gently twisted my arm into doing it, that initial plunge was a game changer. Meeting Leslie was another pivotal moment and exhibiting at The Dandy Lion Market boosted my confidence no end. I'm chuffed to bits how things have turned out.

Right I stop harping on and show you our pad. It is tiny compared to what we left behind in London but then again we are not paying £1000 per month any more. Much like our last flat this one is a bloody fridge but thankfully we are getting some insulation put in at the end of this month. Hopefully that will mean, no more wearing all your outdoors clothing indoors, fingers crossed.

Here's our home...
Hallway featuring Iggy the plastic iguana.
This house gave me good vibes from the first moment I stepped in the door.
I love all the wood paneling, it makes me think of cosy ski chalets in the Alps.
The bedroom is also Mark's playroom. Our beloved plants seem to dig the house too.
This is my playroom or should that be Barbara's room perhaps?! We have a storage unit that is the same size as this room that holds my vast collection of clobber. I am so glad it's not kept in the house anymore.
In our last flat we didn't have a shower so for twelve years I was a bath girl but this tub is tiny so I'm fast becoming a shower convert.
My mum sent me this cute cross-stitch to keep above the toilet. It reads "You can sit here in your own thoughts until somebody else comes knocking"... in Swedish it rhymes.
Our wee tiny micro kitchen. This was the hardest thing to get used to. The kitchen in our last flat had a huge couch in it, loads of cupboard space and the door that led out to our beloved balcony and our gorgeous pigeon friends. It's definitely not a kitchen for a cooking enthusiast that's for sure. I'm learning to live with it but I will never love it.
So there you go, you've now seen Frocktasia Towers. We do have a small garden with a shed too but it's too bleeding freezing to go outside today so that'll have to wait until a sunny day. We do get a lot of garden birds which is lovely and there are three pigeons that come regularly. A couple that we've named Laurél and Hardy and a white speckled one that we call Motley.

To finish off just a little medley of pics from last week...
I made a handcuff belt from a 50p set of furry love cuffs, I also bought two new wigs on eBay and took delivery of Frocktasia's new business cards and rubber stamp from Vistaprint.
It's amazing how happy a rubber stamp can make a person, I felt like I was five years old playing post office again.
Our stall at Little Birds Market at Sloans. We shared the fabulous Snug Room with  Blithe Spirit vintage jewellery stall run by the very lovely Palma.

That's all for this time folks, hope you are all doing well & keeping warm.
Loads of love,
Jennie
xXx


Monday, 12 August 2013

I can see clearly now

Some of us live our lives filled with perpetual longing for something better, sometimes battered by discontentment. Some are lucky enough to have found a place in the sun where they feel truly happy. A place where the dramas simply melt away and the first thing spotted in a cloudy sky is a silver lining. Some people are just swept along with the flow, content with not having to swim too hard.
Who am I? 
I often wonder that myself.
When I was growing up we moved three times before I hit fourteen. First when I was six, then ten and then again at thirteen. Moving was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it probably gave me a more varied base of experiences than staying put in a small backwater village in southern Sweden ever would have been able to but it was also a curse cause it left me feeling quite rootless and like everything was just temporary. My relationships were never allowed to properly cement before it was time to haul the anchor and drift off to another place where I had to fight tooth and nail to be accepted yet again. I suppose I got used to change though cause after five years in the same place I couldn't wait to fly the nest and move away. 
I left Sweden when I was eighteen to work in Spain for a season and then I moved to Scotland where I stayed for three years. I sloped back to Sweden for a year to study English and law but soon realized that living in the old motherland felt akin to wearing a badly boil washed woolly jumper and because of that I made a speedy return to Scotland where I met Mark. In 1997 I  lived and worked in Malmo in Sweden, Onich in The Scottish Highlands, Cambridge, Wisbech, London and then back to The Highlands for a short stint in Fort William before returning to London again. I lived my life out of a 90 liter backpack and anything I couldn't carry when it was time to move again was left behind. It was a liberating feeling not to be locked down by possessions and to be able to just pack up and leave at a drop of a hat.
We spent all of 1998 in London but still managed to move three times within the city that year.
Then in 1999 we moved up to Ballachulish to look after mum's house while she went off to be a Buddhist nun for six months and after she got back home Mark and I hitched to Barcelona for a summer of busking on La Ramblas. In early September we got a bus back to London, worked in a pub in Balham for a few months, saw in the new millennium with my sister in Copenhagen before moving to Glasgow.
We stayed there for one year before yet again returning to London and then out of the blue all the toing and froing came to an end. It happened on a December day in 2001 when we walked passed a estate agents. A rental notice in the window really grabbed my attention cause it said really wonderful things like "spacious rooms, plenty of storage, large balcony and nearby park" all of which really appealed to me, so we arranged a viewing and a week later we had moved in. Twelve years on we are still here but not for much longer cause change is afoot.
I never in a million years thought I'd stay somewhere for twelve years but I guess that I'd finally found a place where I was happy to sprout a root and my normal "ants in her pants" tendencies where replaced by "albatross adoration". Each year every room became a little more cramped with stuff until one day we were no longer able to just up sticks and move. Sure it's nice to come home to a familiar setting sometimes, flick the kettle on and see that well entrenched butt groove on the sofa where I have been perched year in and year out for what now seems like an eternity but equally sometimes the longing for those freewheeling vagabond days of my youth make me want to cry when faced with all this staid familiarity.
The anchor is no longer making me feel safe, it's making me feel chained down and all the stuff that I once regarded so highly is suffocating me.
Don't get me wrong I still love my frocks but over the past few years I've realized that there is something I love even more and that is excitement, adventure and really wild things! Right now living in London with a house full of frocks there is very little of that variety forthcoming. I want to be able to don a backpack, travel the world, work as a divemaster (although I'd have to become one first) & do marine conservation volunteering. I want to feel like my life has got substance and meaning. It has been ho-hum for too frigging long. Change is where I want to be!
Sheer 70s Hippie frock, satin slip,  suede waistcoat, Buffalo clogs, odd earrings, sunnies and Tibetan prayer bangle.
Just in case you've been wondering what I've been up to since I last blogged...
We've started making that change happen by selling off my vast stash of clobber at The Princess May Car Boot Sale. We'll be there every Saturday and Sunday for the foreseeable future. It will take a little while but we are bashing away at that hoard like nobody's business and making good progress so far.

Here's Jimmy Cliff to sing us out, enjoy :)
Hope you've all been doing well.
Lots of love,
Jennie
xXx



Thursday, 25 July 2013

Fiesta frock

In 1986 my mum took me to Mallorca on holiday, Magaluf to be exact. 
In the morning mum would cover herself in Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil, slither onto a beach lounger and stay there for hours reading her books in the baking hot sun. I soon got bored with lounging on the beach and took my inflatable lilo for epic paddles along the shoreline and beyond. On one occasion I got back finding my mother livid with worry cause I'd been gone for several hours. She gave me an almighty bollocking for not being more considerate and told me that I could forget about the fiesta dress that I'd been lusting over in a little shop near the hotel. As a child in pursuit of excitement, adventure and really wild things I became blinkered to other peoples concerns I guess. If my mum had known about all the other perilously crazy stunts me and my little pals got up to at home, she would probably have put me under permanent house arrest until I turned eighteen. We returned to the hotel in a huffed silence to get ready for an outing. That evening we were going to a 'medieval fiesta' held at some fake fort on the outskirts of the resort. Do people still go to these things? Everyone wore paper crowns and colour coded tabards to correspond with each seating section's individual knight. During the medieval banquet tournaments were held. The cheap Spanish plonk (and lemonade) was free flowing and there were lots of  jeering and cheering going on. An opportunity to shake a leg was also given towards the end of the evening, with a great many vermillion-faced holiday makers dancing to the ever so slightly annoying birdy song. 
Needless to say my mum didn't stay cross with me for very long and she even let me buy a fiesta frock before we went home. I actually wanted a scarlet lace one but mum thought it was far too sexy for a twelve year old so I was only allowed to get the much more virginal white cotton & crochet trimmed version. Sadly the white frock no longer dwells in my vintage wonderland but whenever I come across a similar dress all these memories come flooding back to me.
The hydrangea pink fiesta frock that I'm wearing today was cheekily borrowed from the Frocktasia stockroom cause it just seemed like the perfect day for it ;)
80s Mexican fiesta dress, ethnic mirror and embroidery embellished tie belt, 80s Pierre Cardin sandals & Leslie Works button bracelet.
I'll love you and leave you with The Pogues, enjoy ;)
Take care,
Jennie
xXx



Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Mighty fine mini festival

The other day Frocktasia & Wunderbar Vintage rolled out their rails at the first ever Sunday Mini Festival at The Finsbury. Our lovely pal Mike who was organizing the event had put together an awesome line-up of live bands and solo artists.
Thankfully we got to pitch up outside. I think I would have died indoors.
It was another scorcher of  a day so quite understandably many people decided to hit the park rather than the pub thus customers were rather thin on the ground during the first part of the day.
I was meant to be organizing the vintage market but in all honesty it was Leslie that did most of the organizing, she worked out the floor plan before we even got there, brought all the rails & trestle tables. 
She's is a superstar and the best market buddy anyone could ever wish for. 
I'd been busy making love-beads in the run up to the market & I was giving these away with every purchase. They resulted in lots of smiles, kind words and even hugs & kisses...love-beads indeed ;)
 My bargain case attracted lots of attention as per usual. I love it when someone is rummaging and all of a sudden their eyes light up cause they've found something they really like for cheaps.
Leslie's gorgeous friend Rachel popped by and hung out for a bit. 
 Leslie had brought some of her Leslie Works handmade wares too. I absolutely love these vintage button & zipper bracelets.
 I love her steampunk collars too, made from vintage lace and trims...
Meg and Bridget having a wee rummage and Mike having his fortune told  by Step Drey  who also happens to be a fabulously talented photographer ;)
 Around four o'clock the trickle of customers turned into a wee flurry as the sun-drunk park revelers, billed artists & their fans started to rock up. Leslie and I switched from enjoying the sun mode to trader mode and managed to make some people very happy with our vintage, retro and handmade wares.
The frock I wore yesterday has actually never had an outing on home soil before. It is the first thing to hit my suitcase when we holiday abroad. I call it my 'Tropical Rose' frock cause it's been with me to the tropics three times. The fabric features a finely perforated  pattern which is perfect for the weather we are having in the UK at the moment. The frock is by Ken Scott who is often referred to as the "Fashion Gardener" because of his trademark use of bold prints and vibrant colours.
Here's the frock in action abroad...
Pitching up alongside us was Antonio Alfaro Sanchez, on-the-spot poet extraordinaire :)
It is probably not a very common thing here in the UK to have to delay something due to good weather but unfortunately the glorious sunshine on Sunday did the indoor goings on of the mini festival no favors whatsoever. Therefore Mike decided to start the live performances a bit later than billed to allow an audience to build up for the acts. It is a very hard task indeed to try and convince people to go indoors when there is a nice late afternoon breeze in the air.
Before anyone took to the stage we were treated to some heavenly harp magic courtesy of  gorgeous Louisa Duggan and then Raff  kicked off the live music on stage followed by Katie Maddox...
 The vintage market started packing up at half seven so we sadly I missed out on the performances of Burton Bradstock and The New Burn. I handed the camera to Mike so that he could snap a few pics. Comparing the event was Andrew Hobbs and there was also some awesome poetry by Stephen Purbeck Howarth.
We were finished packing up just in time to enjoy the amazing Meg Cavanaugh with her awesome band of  (as she puts it in her bio) seasoned musicians. 
On the keyboard rocking a top from Frocktasia and a Bambie pendant from Wunderbar Vintage Miss Bridget Walsh ;)
Then it was time for Mike, Jozef and Simon to hit the stage...
 Needless to say they were brilliant :)
Completing the awesome Sunday Mini Festival line-up were the bonkers good Super Hero Jam...  
It was a really cracking event, I got to hang out with some of my favourite people, peddle my wares and enjoy great music...can it get any better than that?!
It seems to have gone down well with the venue as well as Mike has already booked another date for September, so if you didn't make it this time there will be another opportunity.
The Mini Festival will be back and next time it will be even bigger, bolder and better, yay!

Today Mark had the day off so at lunchtime we sauntered up to the park and lazed about in the shade, had some food, drank some low alcohol cider and did some cloud-spotting.
 Not that there were many clouds to spot ;)
Mark fell asleep and I took some photos of trees, insects and daisies for a bit. Then when I got bored I rudely roused my sleeping beauty and after playing "cherry pip" for a bit we went to feed the ducks who  were swimming around in spinach soup.
Cherry Pip: 
Hold onto the corners of a folded blanket
Put a cherry pip in the middle
Launch the pip into the air and try to catch it again
...one of life's little pleasures ;)
We've got a new friend. Meet Mr. White. He's got something wrong with his wing, poor thing  :(
 Today I cheekily nabbed a frock from the stockroom, just because I can...
Trippy Hippie frock, floppy straw hat, sunnies (car boot sale), scarf (pressie from mum), Vintage button and zipper bracelet (gift made by Leslie Works), Frocktasia love-bead bracelet, vintage necklaces, earrings and copper bangles (from all over the place).
I'll love you and leave you with Opus III, enjoy :)
Hope you also had a mighty fine weekend and an awesome start to the week.
Loads of love,
Jennie
xXx


Sunday, 12 May 2013

Not from the Dirty Thirties

This seventies frock echoes a much earlier fashion era, with its elegant floor-skimming length, adorable ruffle sleeves and shoulder button trim detailing, I'm thinking the thirties.
These pictures are from a Swedish dress making magazine dated 1934.
Here are two thirties dress pattern pics, found on pinterest.
I know that reproduction vintage fashion can sometimes be an apple of discord for real vintage aficionados but the only thing I have a problem with is when sellers (on-line in particular) are not straight up about how old a garment actually is and even remove labels in an attempt to disguise the fact that what they are selling is a dress from a High Street store bought last year, that sucks!
I've had this frock for years but I only recently rediscovered it hiding in a storage bag up in the loft. There aren't that many mystery bags left up there now, I'm slowly getting on top of  the hoard.
 Yay & there was much rejoicing! 
Vintage 70s does 30s maxi frock, Handmade Sami art necklace, 80s Pierre Cardin sandals, soapstone earrings & umbrella.
I did get a couple of bemused looks as I was feeding the birds by the boating lake earlier but personally I think this frock is just fine to wear for a stroll around the park, teamed with my cropped denim jacket it looks almost casual ;)
Yesterday Mark and I went to check out Muswell Hill Market as our lovely friends Sue and Mark were trading there.
Mark , Sue, Mark & loadsa gorgeous jewellery :)
Sue makes her own funky jewellery and Mark has a very  keen eye for beautiful vintage costume jewellery with a particular penchant for fabulous vintage brooches.
At the last Can't Buy Me Love market Jet mentioned that I may want to consider doing a stall at the Muswell Hill Market at some point and after seeing it yesterday I think Frocktasia will hopefully be there next month with a rail full of fabulous frocks and other gorgeous goodies, so watch this space peeps.
This venue scores high on one very important point,  it is virtually door to door on the W7 bus route, so even if Mark is working on the day I can very easily make it there on my tod.
Ideally I'd love to do at least one market a week.

I hope you've all had a fabulous & funderful weekend folks!
Loads of love,
Jennie
xXx


Friday, 3 May 2013

Mooching around with my mouche

The weather has been glorious these past few days and there has been a veritable explosion of greenery in the park. To think that just a few short weeks ago, we were holed up in our little central heated burrow fearing that the spring would never come. This year spring is like a fashionably late & much anticipated party guest, when she arrived she did so with more flamboyancy than you can shake a stick at. 
No jacket and peep-toe sandals, it really is spring folks...HUZZAH!
Today I'm wearing one of my self made genie jumpsuits and a mouche.
I was inspired to fashion an 18th century style mouche from a bindi patch after reading an interesting history of beauty marks.
I do have a very faint mole there anyway that I usually fill in with liquid eyeliner to make it more prominent but this one is huge and had the cashier at Lidl do a double take.
The jumpsuit is made from vintage fabric that I bought from a car boot sale some years ago. Whilst on the subject of vintage fabric jumpsuits, have you seen Vix's latest curtain couture offering? Totally amazing-zing, that woman knows what she's doing!
Frocktasia vintage fabric genie jumpsuit, Principles crochet waistcoat bought from car boot sale, 80s Pierre Cardin peep-toe sandals from charity shop, still going strong after at least five summers and several holidays abroad, Indiskan scarf which was a present from my mum, sunnies & necklace from car boot sales.
In other news :)
I "made" a summer chair for our balcony. Mark salvaged this armchair from the streets of London a few years ago. I never liked it cause it had those horrendous foam pads on top of an ugly lattice of plastic strapping but for ages I just threw a blanket over it and used it as my offload chair in the bedroom. The other day I stubbed my toe on it whilst hoovering and in a fit of rage I exiled it to the balcony intent on getting rid of the darn thing but before I contacted the council to come and collect it, a creative wave washed over me.
I cut off the lattice of plastic strapping, binned the foam pads and made a "chair sock" from a  heavy-duty canvas fabric. I threaded the sock over the metal frame, hand-sewed the bottom bit shut and screwed the metal frame back onto the wooden bit.
Hey presto, our new balcony chair...
 One more sleep and then it's Dandy Time, yay!
I'll be up early tomorrow morning running around like a blue-arsed fly no doubt. Thankfully Mark will be on hand to help me as he is not working this weekend, so getting there shouldn't present too much of a problem this time around. It will be a grand ol' day I can feel it in me waters, so many fabulous sellers this month, I can't wait to have a wee nosey around their stalls :)

To finish off a might fine tune by Annie Lennox with some heart-shaped mouche action going on, enjoy :)
Have a cracking weekend peeps.
Loads of love,
Jennie
xXx