Vintage advertising prints

As you may have noticed from the last post, I rather like vintage advertising prints and, truth be told, I have a LOT of them. I think that you can get a real insight into what people were like (or at least what advertisers thought people were like) years ago and they’re a piece of actual history- I love seeing the trends, the design, the products of the time. They are always so much more glamorous than the ‘hard sell’ garish designs of today and the fact that they’re illustrated makes them feel like proper pieces of art. It helps, I guess, that people had to be a lot more artistic before photography.

I seem to have accidentally acquired quite a collection of the things in the last year or two and they’re all over my walls. Hey, if you’re stuck in a single room that you can’t decorate- the walls are the focus of a lot of your creativity!  The attraction of the adverts, other than the fact that they look lovely and are black and white  (always a plus for me!), is that they are easy to come by and, at around a fiver a print (unframed), they’re pretty cheap for a piece of art you can pretty much guarantee none of your friends have hung on their walls.
So, following last week’s purchase of the 1930s Jaeger print I picked up at the Islington Pop-up Vintage Fair, I thought I’d share some of my monochrome collection…..

1931 French perfume advert

1931 French ‘Eau de Cologne’ advert

1937 Jaeger clothes advertising print- I wish they’d sold the clothes too! The bottom coat is incredible!

French ‘Charmis’ advert- unknown date. That is some seriously glam underwear.

Roman Holiday Film advert- starring the beautiful Audrey Hepburn

I couldn’t finish this post without adding this print in, I know it’s not technically an advert but for me it’s completely tied up with the adverts. These are the people that would have seen them and maybe bought the products. And there’s something about this image that I can’t quite keep my eyes off. It’s a picture of VE day and they look so happy and relieved. I see this as a little piece of history too and one quite fitting considering it was Remembrance Sunday a couple of days ago.

Islington Pop Up Vintage Fair

This Sunday my boyfriend took me to The Pop Up Vintage Fair at Islington Assembly Rooms. It has to be the best one I’ve been too. The rooms were beautiful and completely made to be filled with vintage treasures and there was a really cute pop up tea room. AND they had an amazing live band called The Spinettes who sang 1950s tunes in gorgeous rockabilly dresses.  I picked up two lovely vintage rings and when I wore one of them today I got loads of nice comments. I also bought a fab 1930s advertising print by Jaeger which will go with my expanding collection of vintage adverts (more on this at a later date).

The fair was run by Pop Up Vintage Fairs London who run loads of similar events with stallholders selling vintage fashion, jewellery, homewares and prints. The next one is at Spitalfields market on the 17th November. If you like what you see, I’ll see you there!

 

Fair fever: Guildford Boileroom

As promised, I’m posting pictures of my stand at the Guildford Boileroom Artisan Boutique fair. I was really nervous beforehand but shouldn’t have been- I had a great time and met some lovely people. I was sorely tempted to buy things from the other stalls but had to restrain myself-  I would have gone into negative money for the day with all the lovely things there! For my first foray into selling, it was a success and I’m really looking forward to going to the Boileroom Christmas fair later in the year.

Here is my stand all set up and ready to go (apologies for the dingy photos, it was quite dark and the weather outside was so gloomy, which didn’t help).  I remembered to take float money, reading material and a chair but if there’s one thing I’d remember for next time, it’s take some additional lighting or muscle in on the spaces by the windows!

Small and simple as you can see

This is by far my favourite item: the mini teaset. It was unsold so still up for grabs! The gorgeous floral handheld mirror was the first to go.

A small selection of my vintage books- dating back to 1900!

Up close and personal- the vintage enamel bread bin, teacups and kitchen canisters

Stay tuned for more news on my vintage stall adventures: I’m hoping there will be much more to come. In the meantime, look out for more ‘Home trend’ posts this week and a tutorial on reupholstering an old sewing stool- one of my favourite projects to date!

Guildford Boileroom Artisan Fair

Exciting news!
I’m setting up shop for the first time ever at the Guildford Boileroom Artisan Boutique fair. I’m really looking forward to seeing what it’s like. I’ll be selling a mixture of antique, collectable and upcycled homewares including teasets, vintage mirrors, frames and cushions. No spoilers yet but I’ll post photos after if it all goes well. I’m really throwing myself into the deep end with this but if you don’t try it, you never know if it’s any good do you? It could be my calling!

The fair will stock vintage clothes, homewares and accessories. So if you’re in the area, stop by!

Awesome August thrifty finds

Don’t you just love it when you find something great when you weren’t even looking for it? I’ve been scanning the (many) charity shops in my town for mismatched teacups to make into beautiful candle gifts (as seen here) to no avail. I usually see them all the time but, sod’s law, when I want to buy a couple, I can’t find one anywhere! I’m not too upset though as, in the last shop I visited, I bagged a load of different things.

These vintage red kitchen scales were the first to catch my eye. Very industrial and they’ve seen a fair bit of use but they’re so solid and sturdy and I love the idea that they have been (and will continue to be) passed down generations. They cost me £20 which is loads cheaper than the reproduction models you can buy.

I also nabbed an authentic retro tin sign (only £4) to go with the scales. Together with my beloved amaretto tin from Milan, they’ll make for a lovely red-themed kitchen when I get my own place. For the time being they’re occupying a corner of my bedroom and the scales have even become storage for my hair nik naks, clips and bands.


Other bits that i picked up include a lovely mercury glass tealight holder (£2!) , some adorable floral boxes (also £2) and a circa 1900 map of China (£5).

I love the feeling of getting something that is good-quality for a fraction of the cost that you’d buy it new or even from a vintage shop. You can get some really great stuff from charity shops, you just have to be prepared to trawl through some not-so-great stuff to find it. My biggest tip is to be patient. Sometimes you won’t find anything at all but other times you’ll leave with bulging bags.

What’s your greatest charity shop find?

Pottery Barn crosses the pond

Pottery Barn has been a long standing favourite with the yanks and I have looked on jealously whilst other US bloggers showcase their pottery barn spoils.
But, no more! Pottery Barn is now delivering to the UK and other countries. It’s taking all of my self restraint to not buy everything on the website. Delivery costs aren’t bad either although you’ll still have to contend with customs. Here are my favourite pieces. Love, love, LOVE the cubby storage unit.

Monsoon Magnets

Apologies for my very lengthy absence from the blogosphere. I have just returned from a month in India full of colour, tastes and cultures. I had an amazing time and when I’ve finally sorted through my huge mound of photos (800!) , I’ll be sure to share some of them. But for now, back to the present…

Monsoon home are doing some really beautiful pieces at the moment. Recently, whilst ‘having a little browse’ –clearly in denial about my ability to resist buying EVERYTHING I like- I spotted these cuties. I thought they’d be just the ticket to spruce up my very plain and rather institutional looking IKEA  magnetic whiteboard.

However, after arranging them nicely on said whiteboard , i decided their colourful loveliness made it look even more dull than before.  I ended up redesigning the whole thing- so much for using the magnets as a quick fix! I am now the proud owner of a lovely girly fabric covered magnetic notice board. More on this to follow…

Matalan Magic

This week, after a colleague was excitedly showing round her new crockery from Matalan I decided it was high time I visited my local store.

I’m jolly glad I did, just look at the bargains I picked up! The plates and bowls were only £3 each and the teapot a mere £8.

Adorable right? I couldn’t resist. Matalan has definitely earned its place on my hot list of go-to places for affordable homeware.

Dunelm Delight

I’ve been going shopping mad over the last few weeks. There are so many beautiful things on sale that I just can’t seem to help myself. I’ve also been getting pretty crafty so keep an eye out for posts featuring my latest handiwork.

My most recent purchase was this gorgeous floral duvet set from Dunelm Mill that will go very nicely with my French memo board.

Completely Cath Kidston-esque I think you’ll agree. And the best bit: it only cost £19.99! Utter bargain!

How to make a French-style memo board

I wanted to replace the dull magnetic whiteboard in my room with something more chic and so the obvious option was a French style memo board (the ones with the lattice of ribbons over the front to hold your pretty bits and bobs).

Decent ones can be a bit pricey and it’s hardly complicated so I thought, what the heck? I’ll just make my own.

An evening of over-zealous staple gunning later and ta-da! A beautiful home for all my precious paper.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Take an appropriately sized board. I used an old cork pin board as I had it lying around and it was the right size.
  • Get some stuffing- I got polyester wadding from my local quilting shop (incidentally where i also got the fabric).
  • Stretch the wadding over the board and staple to the back of the board, making sure it’s pulled tightly.
  • Next, take your fabric and cut it to size, allowing for extra to go round the back of course. Again using the trusty staple gun, attach to the back of the board pulling tightly. I used this gorgeous Cabbages and Roses print which I got for £5 for a half metre which was the perfect size for this project.

  • Ribbon time. Lay your ribbon over the memo board where you want it to be (I chose a lattice French style) and cut to the correct size, allowing extra to stretch round the back to attach. Pull the ribbon taut and staple to the back of the board. This takes a bit of concentration and patience to get the ribbons straight and parallel. I used another length of ribbon as a makeshift tape measure to ensure that the distance between the ribbons was uniform.
  • Where the ribbons cross stick in long pins to create that quilted look.
  • Attach a piece of string or similar to the back for hanging (if you want to put it on the wall). As I used an old cork board , it already had one.
  • Finally, add all your pretty bits and pieces to the board! Et Voila!