New to Seamed Stockings? Here's My Delightful Review!

Dear Readers,

For the past few months I've been going a little mad on vintage inspired undies as I wanted to get the shape correct for wearing my dresses with. A while back I bought myself a rather lovely corselette from House Of Satin which comes with suspender straps. Unfortunately I haven't wore it at all because I don't actually own any stockings. I know, gasps of shock and horror. I did own some hold ups with black seams a while ago which I got from Primark but after they all laddered I never replaced them. Even though in the 1940's bare legs just wasn't done I still don't mind because deep down I'm a practical kind of gal. I like to be able to march around and not be worrying if my stocking are going to snag on something.

It is one of those things, however, that just completes the look and I can't wear my corselette without them. So began my search for seamed stockings. In my search, well a quick google, I came across UK Tights which is apparently the Earth's biggest hosiery store so I was pretty hopeful to find something and find something I did. In the end I bought four different pairs of stockings ranging from £1.50 to £15.99.

I spent the grand total of £25.98 plus £1.95 for postage and packaging. I was pretty pleased with the cost of P&P and even happier when my order arrived the next day, snappy delivery earns big brownie points in my book.

Silky - Smooth Knit Stockings
£1.50

If I'm totally honest I bought these out of pure curiosity even though they are seam free. For £1.50 I thought to myself what the heck, in the basket they go. They are soft, sheer, and apparently durable. I like the light matt colour as I'm not very tanned so need pale stockings and I also really don't like glossy stockings on me so matt is good. These come in one size which fills me with scepticism as one size fits all generally fits nobody. I do approve that they were made in the UK and they are 100% nylon.
Upon wearing them I found they hadn't lied about the softness. They feel lovely on my legs and were thicker than my other stockings which I like for winter. Also I was mighty impressed with their durability as I climbed onto a stone bridge wearing these and they didn't snag once. The one size fits all thing was a bit of an issue as I do have short legs so there was a small amount of gathering at the ankle but not as much as I was expecting which was a very pleasant surprise. All in all I was impressed especially considering the price and feel it was worth what I paid though they were more of an experiment and I'm not sure I would buy them again since they do not have a seam.

Pretty Legs - Back Seam Stockings
£3.50

Another low price which I am a fan of and these come in a range of sizes so fingers crossed they have a good fit. These are nude with a black seam so these would be better for 1950s outfits rather than 40s. Despite not being terribly period accurate I do like black seamed stockings as I feel they are more dramatic and I believe them to be more slimming since the seam is so noticeable it draws the eye downward. These come with a Cuban heel which is my preferred heel also. Again these are also made in the UK and are 95% nylon and 5% lycra.
I wore these to on the Friday of Pickering War Weekend as I wanted to save my nude seams for later. I found these to be very lovely and definitely worth the price I paid for them. The tops are soft and stayed up well; also the fit was very good which was pleasing for my short legs. I also liked how pale they were since "American Tan" really doesn't suit me; orange legs and pale everywhere else looks a tad comical! I would buy these again as more of my day to day stockings since they are so reasonably priced.

Leg Avenue - Sheer Backseam Stockings
£4.99

These are nude with a nude seam also so good for wearing with 1940's outfits. Unfortunately these again are one size fits all and there's no mention as to the style of heel. These are not made in the UK but are 100% nylon.
As it turns out the back seam on these was nude and the packet didn't specify heel type because there was none. The seam went down the leg and then kind of just stopped at the foot which I did not like. Also they are very thin and coupled with the one size fits no one issue I did find that they gathered at my ankle a bit. In the interest of full disclosure dear readers I have to tell you that I would not buy these again as I liked the feel of Pretty Legs ones more and they are cheaper.

Gio - Classic Fully Fashioned Stockings
£15.99

The price shoots up when they become fully fashioned but blimey they are luxurious. These are fashioned by hand in Derbyshire, UK, and are made from 100% nylon. They also come in a variety of sizes for a good fit. I've never bought stockings in these sizes before so I checked the charts beforehand. This pair have point heels but I won't hold that against them.
I used to think that fully fashioned stockings was one of those things that vintage people wore in order to be period accurate and not because they actually like them. Used to being important in that sentence. As soon as I got them out of the packet, and carefully put them on following instructions from a 1940s video, I knew why ladies rave about wearing fully fashioned's. Blimey I feel so glamorous when I put them on though you do have to be mighty careful with them which I feel is some of the fun. They do have a slight shine but I didn't mind this. I think I would buy a slightly smaller size next time as they were a teeny bit loose on the ankle but they do feel just amazing clinging to your calves. I was impressed at how durable they were ultimately when I was wearing them. I didn't climb onto any bridges in them but I did think they would be a wear once kind of thing, however, I'm impressed that they have not snagged thus far.

I hope this has been helpful or at least interesting for you all and I have to say it was rather fun to experiment and try out lots of different types of stockings. I would also like to let you know that I purchased these items myself and so my thoughts are all my own. I have not been paid or received anything from Tights UK to write this specific post.

What are your thoughts on stocking readers? Do they complete the look or are they an annoyance you can do without? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!

ttfn!

What's On - September 2015

Howdy doody folks!

How are we all today? I'm still coming down from the fantastic Steampunk Festival which was last Bank Holiday weekend and I'm eagerly awaiting my negatives to be processed and returned to me so that I can share with you some of my black and white photos which I took while there; well that's if they are any good! There's still so many events to look forward too and at this time of year it's very hectic with one thing going on after another which I love. We have just booked your camping tickets for Pickering War Weekend which is in October and we are staying over in my parent's vintage caravan. Anyway I'm jumping ahead of myself there because I'm meant to be telling you about what is going on in September!

5th - 6th September 2015
Kustom Kulture Blast Off
This is the 6th year that Kustom Kulture Blast Off is happening but the first year it will be held at the Showground in Lincoln having moved from it's original home at the Springfields Centre in Spalding. I remember going to this about five years ago with my parents and it was one of the first events I went to. We had a great time and I loved the friendly atmosphere, great music, and mixture of all different aspects of kustom kulture. There's cars, music, art, tattoos, bands, and shopping! I can't wait to see what they have in store this year at the larger event site.

13th September 2015
Louth Victorian Market
I will be attending the Victorian Market in Louth for the first time this year and I will be taking part in a Suffragette March. If you know me then you will know that I hold strong views on feminism and take pride in associating myself with that label. We shall be marching through Louth with placards, leaflets, and politely requesting women's suffrage and then after we shall meet in the park to hold a hunger strike during which no picnic shall be consumed. None. Nothing. Not even a Bakewell tart!
For more information go to the facebook page here.

19th - 20th September 2015
Wimpole at War 1940's Weekend
Wimpole is a hall, gardens and working farm so when they hold their 1940's you get a real sense of what the estate would have been like during that time. We have never been to this event and we won't be able to make it this year either but it sounds so good I'd really love to give it a go one year. As it is in Cambridgeshire it is out of my local borders but fear not it is possible for me to leave Lincolnshire, it happens occassionally, and we could stay with Indi's folks to make travel easier. At the event they have musical entertainment, military and civilian living history displays, arena displays, vehicles, a Home Guard drill which you can take part in if you wish, "Winston Churchill" will be visiting, information on the Dam Busters raid, wartime food, rationing and farming, and also a '40s market. In the evening there is a dance but this is a ticketed event. I really want to go now I have seen everything that's going on!
For more information go to their site here.

19th September 2015
Lincoln's Affordable Vintage Fair, The Engine Shed
A couple vintage fairs are held at the Engine Shed throughout the year and we have been to a few of them. This is a wide and eclectic mix of vintage so it's great if you like all sorts of eras including *shudders* the 90's. Though I remember the 90's so is it really vintage? They have music and a pop up tea room and hairdressers.
There is more information on the facebook page here.

20th September 2015
Beginner's Balboa Workshop
I have no idea why I'm so excited about this but I am so there! The reason I'm perplexed by my excitement is that I am not a natural dancer and indeed Indi and I really hate dancing I'm afraid. But this workshop is being taught by Mike and Rachael, of Finch and Ginger, who run regular jive dance classes here in Lincoln so I'm hopeful that if anyone can get me dancing it must be those two!
For more information see the facebook page here.


Have you been to any events yet this summer? Perhaps you have something lined up which you are bursting with excitement about? Let me know what you have been up to!

ttfn

Some Quick Ideas for 1940's Styling

Dear Readers,

With the 1940s event coming up here in Lincoln this Sunday I was recently asked by a friend for some tips on what they can do to dress in a 1940's style for the event and push the boat out a little bit. Now with this being a one off event for them I want to be able to suggest items and looks which nod towards the 1940s style but we're not going for an actual period accurate or true vintage outfit since that would be more of an investment and something I would suggest if they were planning on going to a number of events. So I thought I would share my tips and advice with you all as well in case anyone else was wondering what they could wear for the event.

What I wear is my actual personal style and I do mix eras and styles up a bit, as anyone would, to achieve my look and not a costume. I wear a mixture of actual vintage, vintage reproduction and vintage inspired items as described by Jessica of Chronically Vintage. I felt that her video explained the look really well and so have a watch here because I couldn't say it any better.

Clothes - I would recommend wearing a dress if you are happy to show a bit of leg as they are just so easy to wear. There's no worry with trying to match separates and you can just pop it on and you are done; I love wearing dresses for this reason since I'm a very lazy vintage lady. During the 1980's there was quite a revival of 1940's fashion influence so get routing to the back of that wardrobe and see if you have any gems you can style up to look 40's, think tea dresses and shirt-waisters. You can also find some real bargains in the charity shops too if you keep your eye out for dresses with that classic style. I could totally imagine the 1940's dresses on the below also being created in the 1980's and yet this image is from a Sears catalogue from 1943!
Image source: http://blog.johannaost.com/images/6290
Shoes - of course footwear is also important if you're going to an event. When I'm choosing what shoes to wear to a vintage event I always bear in mind the terrain where the event is held. This weekend we are going to Ramsey War Weekend which is predominantly held in a field so I'm going to be wearing a low heel shoe with a strap. I will admit that sometimes I even just wear black pumps from the high street if the ground if particularly difficult to walk on in heels. I like to enjoy the events I'm going to and don't want to be fearing I'll fall and break my ankle. At an event like the one in Lincoln this weekend I would wear a heel with a wide base and just go for a classic court shoe. You could also go for brogues as there are a lot of them around at the moment so you can pick them up quite inexpensively.
Image source: http://www.lauramaedesigns.com/2012/07/shoe-fetish.html

Accessories - some of this topic crosses over into hair because for me flower hair clips are an outfit maker. They don't just change the game folks; they re-write the rule book and create net-ugby (a cross between netball and rugby). Well maybe I was going a little too far there but I seriously love my hair flowers. You can pick these up from all over and my favourite place is Claire's Accessories. A handbag is also important so you can stash you lipstick, purse, mobile phone *gasp!*. Go for a classic black Kelly bag and you can't go wrong. Again you can pick these up in lots of charity shops and The Attic, which is a part of the St Barnabas charity shop, on the hill is really good for bags. If you like a bit of jewellery then a set of pearls is as classic as it gets and these can be picked up all over too.


Make up and hair - if there is one area I would highly encourage anyone to go all out on then it would be hair and make-up since this can turn a high street outfit into a vintage inspired master piece for relatively little money, just some lipstick and bobby pins! There are oodles of websites and you tube tutorials out there offering step my step advice on how to achieve these looks and it's where I have amassed all of my knowledge and skills from. My favourite channels are Lisa Freemont Street and The Cherry Dollface as they provide a great range of tutorials for both hair and make up styles. Again Claire's Accessories is really handy and they have all sorts of gadgets to help you achieve looks like the Heidi Roll which I love and use all of the time. Below are some hair accessories and gadgets I picked up at H&M and Claire's recently. If you're just starting to try out a 1940's look then the bare minimum you have to do is curl your hair and put on some of that important lipstick. My favourite low cost lippy is from MUA and you can read about it here. Don't forget to put some all important flowers in your hair too!

I hope this helps some people to get inspired and take part in the fun of dressing up for the event this weekend. I apologise that I didn't post this sooner but I have been very distracted lately. Let me know if you have any questions and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

ttfn!

Woodhall Spa 1940's Festival 2015

Dear Readers,

Last weekend we attended the fourth Woodhall Spa 1940s Festival which we were very excited about. From the very beginning this has been a well organised event and you can tell that the committee who organises it are re-enactors themselves because they have put together an event with everything you would want from a wartime weekend. There's re-enactments, fly pasts, living history displays, entertainment galore, and of course some good shopping to be had too! I love the entertainment which is dotted around at different locations throughout the town and they get some great performers in. It's all for free too which is amazing when you consider the cost of running the event which is a whopping £20,000!

It was beautiful weather while we were there and Indi was happy that he could wear his straw boater. It did rain on Sunday morning but as I am unable to leave the house before noon we totally missed it. On Saturday I wore a dress I bought a while ago from Tasty Vintage in Lincoln but as yet I've not worn it. I was a bit unsure at first as to whether I should wear it since I kind of felt it didn't suit me but after a great response from my lovely Facebook chums I went for it and I'm so glad I did. On Sunday I was feeling more about comfort and scrapped my plans to wear my green dress in favour of my blue gingham one. It's light yet sturdy and I just absolutely love it. I seem to wear it to Woodhall Spa 1940's festival at least once a year but it's just so practical.

On Saturday we met up with my mum and dad and spent the day wandering around town with them. I wore what I consider to be comfortable heels but as there's so much walking around town and on hard pavement too my feet really were killing me by the end of the day. I made one purchase of a beautiful hazel leaf brooch which matches some earrings I bought at Twinwood last year. The enamel is in beautiful leafy greens and brown which I think will be just perfect for autumn.

On the Sunday Indi and I started the day with a picnic - well it was lunch time! We sat on the grass next to some roses and had a great view of Sarah Jayne who was singing. Unfortunately Lola Lamour only performed at a dance on Friday night so we didn't get to see her this year. Sarah did a wonderful job though and looked stunning in her dress. She was really friendly too and we spoke once or twice throughout the day. We bumped into friends throughout the day which is one thing I really love about local events. In the afternoon we went to the air raid display at the Golf Hotel which I have never been to before as I favour watching the singers. There was explosions, smoke, and some unfortunate victims of the air raid attack but I felt that it could have been more dramatic though maybe that's just the AmDram in me!

While we were at the Golf we met with an old chum Zac who we met a good few years ago now during our brief foray into lindy hop dance lessons. Zac brought Daisy who is a beautiful English bull mastiff and she got lots of fuss and attention all day, I love Daisy Doo. After the air raid we made our way down to The Lancaster Inn and saw Heather Marie performing and took some much needed refreshment. Unfortunately I didn't get to chat to Heather Marie but I'm glad I saw her perform because she's so good. We had to leave before she had finished because we had bought a radio from Age UK and needed to get to the shop before it shut. We tootled off to the shop and then headed to the car to stash it away. While at the car we started munching on left over picnic, I had made too much food so there was lots left to nibble. It was actually really fun sitting on the bumper, chatting, nibbling and listening to the swing music drifting through. It was nice and shady which was lovely since it had been really hot standing in the sun at the Golf. Following the impromptu car picnic we headed over to Jubilee Park for one last look around the stalls and then had a coffee in the cafe. Yet again we sat in the shade, chatting, and listened to the music drifting over. I think that's my favourite thing to do!

All in all it was another fantastic year and the committee must be very pleased with themselves for bringing such a fantastic event to the town. It just gets bigger and bigger every year with more visitors drawn to experience Wartime Woodhall. I will say that I don't cope well with crowds and felt harassed at times with the
rudeness of some people, The amount of people who come as tourists vastly outweighs the number of us dressed in period outfits which is something that happens at a number of events, not just Woodhall. I don't begrudge people coming who aren't dressed up, don't get me wrong, the more the merrier is my attitude. But it can get to a point where you feel like you are a tourist attraction as people stare, make comments, and take sly photos without your permission. I completely understand that we are going to stand out and that's going to draw attention; that's something I came to terms with years ago when I started wearing vintage, but just because I look different doesn't mean manners can go out of the window!

Woodhall Spa is such a great event and still gets to hold the title of our favourite event of the year. Maybe we are biased as we love Woodhall Spa at any time of the year not just when the 1940's weekend is on. We visit the town regularly when we are at a loose end and we never go to the Odeon in Lincoln any more as we much prefer to go to the Kinema in the Woods. As happens every year I now can't believe the event is over and I'm sad that it is but excited too that we have so many other events just around the corner.

Did you go to the Woodhall Spa 1940's festival this year? You can read about our previous years at the festival here.

ttfn!

What's On - August 2015

Dear Readers,

Woodhall Spa 1940's weekend is just around the corner and I am so excited you would think it's Christmas (which I love and it's absolutely not too early to begin thinking about). The events calendar is really going to get into full swing now and I couldn't be happier. Although it does make me feel funny to think that it's been a whole year since the last Woodhall Spa 1940s weekend and quickly that year has gone; indeed this will be the forth year the event has been held and we have been attending since the very first one. There are more events besides Woodhall and here's a few of the events we will be going to this August.

1st - 2nd August 2015
Baston in the Blitz
Follow the success of their one day event last year Baston in the Blitz is back again and this time for a full weekend. We went last year and there was a lovely village fete kind of atmosphere. I'm so pleased it was successful enough for them to run the event again and this time for both Saturday and Sunday. There's a packed schedule of performances to go and see including the Blitz Dancers, Katie Mustang, and the Tweedie Sisters. There will be stalls, some speeches by Winston Churchill and living history groups. There were some lovely vintage vehicles there last year too.
For more information go to www.bastonblitz.org

3rd - 9th August 2015
Crich Tramway Village 1940s Week
For a whole week Crich Tramway Village will be stepping back to WW2 with re-enactors, singers, and lots to see and do. We went to their 1940s event in the spring and despite it being a bit of a drive out of town it was well worth it. There's so much to do at the museum anyway from riding the trams, taking a wander around the museum and stopping for a drink at The Red Lion. When the war week is on it's a busy day and a few of us had to have a restorative nap in the car on the way home (apart from Indi thankfully as he was driving!). I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Marina Mae performing there this time and also the shopping is good. Did I mention I enjoy shopping?
For more information go to www.tramway.co.uk/events/ww2-home-front-0

15th - 16th August 2015
Ayscoughfee Hall Museum 1940s Weekend
Down in Spalding this year the Ayscoughfee Hall Museum and Gardens are having a 1940's weekend where there will be vehicles, entertainers, stalls and more! On the Saturday there is even a flypast from the BBMF. I'm not sure if this is the first year they have held this event or if I've been totally oblivious to it but I've never been before. Unfortunately I won't be attending as I have plans to visit friends in London on that weekend. We have some very good plans indeed but it's a shame I won't be available to go check this little event out. Spalding is really pretty with the river and though I've never been in the hall it looks lovely and a great setting for a 1940s weekend.
For more information go to www.sholland.gov.uk/leisure/ayscoughfee/

22nd - 23rd August 2015
Ramsey 1940s Weekend
Another event that is out of the county but as Indi's folks live near Petetborough we often stop over with them so it's not much of a drive to Ramsey. This is another event I get excited about because I always have so much fun when I'm there. I don't want to jinx it but we have always had lovely weather whenever we have been and it just got all the elements you need for a great 40's event. There's top notch entertainment in the big top tent (I just love big top circus tents!), lots of vintage vehicles, great living history displays, fly past, oh and maybe some shopping. Really the shopping is great and I have noticed that some of traders at Ramsey who I then see again at Twinwood Festival and since we won't be going to Twinwood this year or next (something important came up, like our wedding!) I'm going to be extra into all of the stalls. This year we are hoping to meet up with friends while we are there so it's going to be even more fun. I will say though that this year we will be packing a picnic to take with since me being a vegetarian I do struggle to find something I like to eat. Although having said that we were told last year that there's a really good Naafi there which has completely past us by!
For more information go to www.ramsey1940s.co.uk

23rd August 2015
1940s Day at Lincoln Brayford Waterfront
Again another event right on our doorstep! This is for one day only folks and will include The Lancashire Belle wartime singer, a wartime blitz fire engine display and lots of stalls. Also scheduled is a flypast from the BBMF Lancaster Avro but I'm not sure if this will go ahead as the Avro is poorly. Unfortunately we will be in Ramsey as we had already planned to go and made arrangements with friends by the time we found out about this event. Also sandwiched between the Odeon and Wagammas I'm not sure it's the best setting. If you do go let me know what your experience was like, I'd love to know!
For more information go to www.visitlincoln.com/whats-on/1940s-day-8-15

28th - 31st August 2015
The Asylum - Lincoln Steampunk Festival
As I previously mentioned in my last post Dieselpunk Inspiration I am highly excited for the Steampunk weekend this year. It's such a fun event to go to with loads to do even if you're not a steampunk yourself. It attracts a lot of visitors to the city and is the biggest steampunk festival in Europe, imagine that! We don't usually buy wristbands for the weekend though they get you into a lot of the events but there's plenty to do mingling and browsing the stalls to keep us happy. The castle grounds are now free to enter too so if the weather is nice you could take a picnic to enjoy some of the best historical surroundings going. You can read about what we got up to and wore at last years event here. It never used to be on the Bank Holiday and it's a bit of a bind that it's been moved really because ordinarily we go to Twinwood Festival on August Bank Holiday.
For more information go to www.asylumsteampunk.co.uk

29th - 31st August 2015
Rauceby War Weekend
This was one of the very first vintage events I attended many moons ago and after I vowed I must get an amazing outfit like so many of the ladies I had seen there that day. In recent years we haven't been again as it clashes with Twinwood but this year we are hoping to go on the Monday as we have decided to skip Twinwood this year in favour of trying out some of the events we never get to go to due to the clash. There are lots of things going on at the event with a lot of living history re-enactments and if I remember right last time I went you could ride in a tank! There's an arena with staged battle re-eactments, vehicles, dances, entertainment, stalls, and as it's in a field there's a Naafi too for refreshments, and you'll work up a thirst going round the event since there's so much to do!
For more information go to www.raucebywarweekend.co.uk

Sorry for such a long post folks but there is just so much going on this month. When the summer is over I'm going to need a lie down in a dark room to get over it. What's in your calendar this summer? Are you going to be at any of the events I've talked about?

ttfn!

Dieselpunk Inspiration

Dear Readers,

Despite having many events in the calendar before the Steampunk Weekend this August Bank Holiday I still find myself extremely excited for the weekend and dressing up for it. I seem to do that a lot and always look to what's on the horizon and want to be there rather than appreciating where I am at the moment. I do love the Steampunk Weekend though as it adds some good variety to the events calendar and I have attended it every since it began; albeit the first time was entirely by accident. We have been trying more to get into Dieselpunk for the occasion as it's already based on an aesthetic we love and we have a lot of outfits in our wardrobes that can easily be dressed up for the occasion.

Generally we have always just attended the Steampunk Weekend dressed in our 1940's outfits but recently I have been wanting to make more of a special effort and do something which feels more Dieselpunk. I think though what I really end up doing is more of a Captain America based cosplay since that seems to be a lot of my inspiration. Last year I wanted to be a bad-ass Agent of Hydra but really all I wore was a Collectif dress I already own and Indi made me a little Hydra logo lapel pin badge. But I felt bad-ass anyway so mission accomplished!


This year I started out with a very specific character of my own creation, The Aviatrix, and I have been using a lot of photographs from the women pioneers of aviation as inspiration. Ladies such as Ruth Eldar, Amelia Earhart, and the stunning Katharine Hepburn.

Image Source: http://coolchicksfromhistory.tumblr.com/post/5875393796/aviatrix-ruth-elder-1902-1977
Image Source: http://semioticapocalypse.tumblr.com/post/82028902804/amelia-earhart-before-the-first-flight-across-the
Image Source: http://wehadfacesthen.tumblr.com/image/44005139389
As always though I am drawn back around to Captain America and of course I want to be Agent Carter; she embodies everything I wish to be! She's a stunner and has fantastic dress sense (that hat!) but also she kicks ass. Peggy gets the job done even when everyone around her says she can't, and especially if people say she can't. She does everything the men do only in heels.

Image Source: http://faymcwrath.tumblr.com/post/115454060556/o
In my mind I want my outfit to be somewhere between my two inspirations. I'm not looking to make an exact replica of either Peggy Carter's outfits or the original Aviatrix Outfits from the 20s / 30s. I think that's what's nice though about the Steampunk and Dieselpunk aesthetics as there's a lot of imagination involved so you can mix it up a little bit if you wish.

These are the types of things I am going for to accomplish my Dieselpunk Aviatrix outfit. I haven't got all of the pieces together just yet but it's beginning to come together which I am very excited about. You will have to tune in to my blog after the Steampunk Weekend to see how my outfit looks once complete.

Are you coming to the Steampunk weekend this year? Will you be dressing up for the occasion? Let me know what you think to my outfit plans, I'd love to hear from you!

ttfn!

post script - special thanks to my friend James for technical support during the making of this blog post. You're a darling!

What's on - July 2015

Dear Readers,

Time is just flying by over here in Lincoln and before I realised where I was at June had been and gone with decidedly not enough vintage events on for my liking. We did go over to Wicksteed at War but since that is in Northamptonshire I didn't feel like it was close enough to Lincoln to include in a What's On post. We did, however, have a lovely time even though the weather was threatening rain the whole time. July on the other hand is a very busy month events wise and the calendar really starts filling up. Fun times ahead folks!

11th - 12th July 2015
Thorpe Camp "We'll Meet Again" Event
Set in the visitor centre of the Thorpe Camp they will again be holding their annual 1940s weekend.
For more information go to http://www.1940weekend.co.uk/

18th - 19th July 2015
Woodhall Spa 1940s Weekend
I have to say this is one of my favourite events of the year so you will definitely be seeing me around for this. There's so much to do from dramatic air raid re-enactments, living history displays, singers and entertainers, dances, shopping, flypasts and more! The whole town gets involved and there's just such a good atmosphere with it all. I'm so excited for the event this year and am hoping to arrange a little picnic with some friends in the Jubilee Park. I love Woodhall Spa anyway and the setting is so idyllic for a 40s weekend. You can read about when we went last year here.
For more information go to http://woodhall-spa-40s-festival.com/


25th - 26th July 2015
Newark Air Museum
70th Anniversary Commemoration of V.E. & V.J. Days 1945 - 2015
This is not too far away and has all you could want for a very enjoyable day. The weekend includes, re-enactors, entertainers, vintage trade stalls and museum activities. There will even be a flypast from the the BBMF Hurricane. Normal museum admission rates apply.
For more information go to http://www.newarkairmuseum.org/Victory-Days_2015

25th - 26th July 2015
Festival of the Forties, The Plough Event Site, PE7 3DR
This one is a little out of town but luckily it's very close to where Indi's parents live so we do tend to go to this event every year. It's set on a huge event site so there's lot of re-enactments and displays there. We usually go for one day due to the travel but there's so much there to entertain you all weekend. Plus I always find something to buy there as the shopping is good!
For more information go to http://www.1940sfest.org/


Are you going to any events this summer? Let me know if I've missed any events oout oor if you have an event coming up. I'd love to hear about it!

ttfn!

Lincoln Bailgate 1940's Weekend 2015

Dear Readers,

As I previously blogged at the end of May there was a 1940s weekend right here in Lincoln on the Bailgate. I was pretty excited about the fact that finally there was a 40's event on our very own doorstep and also really excited to wear my new dress. I have taken a little time to think about what I'm going to say and how to say it because if I'm honest I was a little disappointed with the weekend. I've decided to alternate between positive and constructive comments to give it a good mixture.

1. Location - the location was perfect for me. Right on my doorstep the Bailgate is just a 5 - 10 minute walk (depending on heels) from my door. I also think that the surrounding area really lent itself to the event with the backdrop of the amazing Cathedral and Castle (the grounds of which are now free to enter). I love my home front events and always prefer those to a muddy field of tanks and explosions. Even the cobbles of the Bailgate are easier to walk on in my heels than a field of rabbit holes and dug outs.

2. Local Participation - this was mixed as in some parts it felt as though the local business went to lots of effort with some great displays and doing additional things, such as the Afternoon Tea at Lady's Rose's Edwardian Tea Room. In other parts though it felt that the local businesses were not on board with it which is such a shame. Despite being the first time the event has been held it still drew a good crowd of visitors so not to make at least a little effort seems almost a bit ungrateful. There are a lot of other parts of the city that don't get as much attention as the Bailgate and those areas would probably be really grateful of the extra trade an event like this would bring.

3. Turn out - as mentioned before the event was really well attended and this was only the first one they have done. Once word of mouth spreads more people will attend, hopefully more re-enactors too, as this really helps the give an event atmosphere.

4. Shopping - there were a number of stalls which I felt were not even remotely vintage or 1940's which is a shame. The shopping is a big thing at events and also if people attend who are not re-enactors but see it and want to get involved then it can give people a good starter for ten to have some experienced vintage sellers to talk to and by from. I think it also makes the event feel less like a 1940's one and more like a craft fair if the stalls are not vintage. That said there were two stalls down near the Strait selling vintage which looked really good and I may have purchased a cute little hand knitted jumper.

5. Music and dancing - at one point we stopped to have some lunch and sat outside in the sun with swing music drifting through the air. This lovely little experience was thanks to the Louth Lindy Hop Club who were dancing in the square near St Paul's Lane. Music, bands, and dancing are always an important part of the entertainment at a 1940's event. Although I don't dance myself I love the music and watching others dance. They really drew quite a crowd of spectators so it's not just me who likes this I guess.

6. Lay out - I feel that more could have been done with the layout as there were some areas which were relatively unused but would have made really great backdrops for some living history groups. The event also extended down from the Bailgate to some stalls on the Strait but this felt a little disjointed and could have used some other points of interest along the way.

Lincoln Big are planning on holding another 1940's weekend on the Bailgate next year too which I am planning on going to because it's a fun event in a good location. I hope have been balanced in my opinions of the event but I wanted to be totally honest with you readers on my thoughts. It is the first event they have held and I'm certain it's going to improve every time. There is also a 1940's day being held on the Brayford Waterfront here in Lincoln on the 23rd August 2015 from 10am - 4.30pm. There will be singers, living history displays, vintage vehicles and a Blitz fire engine display so it sounds like it's going to be a really good day. Maybe see you there!

Did you go the the 1940's Weekend on the Bailgate? What, for you, makes a really great 1940's event? I really love to know.

ttfn!

What's On - May 2015

 Dear Readers,

I recently sat down and drew up a list of all the vintage and wartime events Indi and I hope to attend this summer for a friend so we could compare notes. I realised that this may be of value for you lovely folks too as so often it can be difficult to know what's happening until it's been and gone. Generally at the beginning of the year I will go on the internet and trawl through for all the events I can find listed and add them to my calendar. I also go back and check periodically in case something else has been added or possibly even removed. I put all of the events into the diary regardless of how many there are or what else is going on just so I know what is coming up. There are some events which are a must for us every single year and then others which I have in the calendar and are more flexible on if we attend or not - usually weather dependent!

23rd May 2015
Come to the rockin-est party this summer; rockabilly, jivers, 60's surf and all the best blues boppers held at the Royal Naval Association club in Lincoln. 

Bar available, good dance tunes all night! Relaxed social atmosphere. Hope you can all come, gonna be a night with a difference! 

£3.50 entry



30th - 31st May 2015
Celebrate the spirit of 1940s Britain in Lincoln's Cathedral Quarter - including fly-pasts from Dakota and Avro Lancaster WW2 planes - in the 70th anniversary year of Victory in Europe.

Lincoln's Cathedral Quarter will be full of atmosphere over the last weekend in May for a 1940s celebration. You can expect re-enactments, live music, vehicle displays and more.

Full details at www.visitlincoln.com/1940s.

Do you know of any other vintage or wartime events coming up soon? If so let me know so I can pop them in my diary or advertise your event here!

ttfn

Live Below The Line Challenge 2015

Dear Readers,

Recently I took part in the Live Below The Line challenge which is where you have £5 to spend on all your food and drink for 5 days. I have to say before the challenge started I was feeling pretty full of myself as I pride myself on my thrifty ways, inventiveness and all the tricks I have picked up from reading about wartime rationing so I thought it wouldn't be too difficult. I will admit to you now readers I was wrong; I was so very wrong.

Before the challenge even started I was struck with how much of an inconvenience poverty is. I had to plan every single meal I was going to consume and stick rigidly to that plan and the shopping list. Something which is very difficult when the items you can afford might not be in stock or available. Very quickly everything I then saw, food or otherwise, was valued in terms of how many days worth of food it would be. I also went to a few supermarkets to be able to get the best price for everything I wanted to buy though I'm aware that not everyone would be able to do so due to transport.
Above is my shopping for on the challenge and for a bit of perspective below is an average shop for both me and Indi.
From day one I really struggled with the caffeine withdrawal and had some cracking headaches. Not to mention I was also always in a state of mild distraction as food was constantly on my mind. Add a dash of feeling light headed due to low blood sugar and an attention span of roughly 3 minutes which all made my days at work feel twice as long and I was twice as tired than usual when I got home.

The next issue was that of acid reflux which I am prone to anyway but was so much worse while I was on the challenge. My stomach isn't used to being really empty these days as I'm quite the little snacker. Also most of the foods which are low cost also happen to be quite processed which is another thing that disagrees with the old tum. In the evenings I would get home so totally ravenous that I would binge on the only thing I had a large quantity of, porridge. The stave and then binge situation meant I spent a lot of my evenings in agony with excess acid and stomach pains.

By the end of the five days I was so eager to get eating again and marvelled at the food on my plate; the quantity, variety and colour. Though humbled by the thought that my challenge was over yet for those actually living this they have no end date to look forward to. As a campaign the Live Below The Line Challenge is a brilliant idea as it not only raises funds but awareness too. Not only am I far more aware of what it is actually like to live below the line I've also spread awareness because honestly everyone I came into contact with got an earfull about how hungry I was and why.

If you would like to find out more or to donate then you can do so here

ttfn!

Finding Happiness Through Self Love

Dear Readers,

I interrupt the usual broadcast for something completely different. Self Love. For a while now it's been something on my mind which I wanted to talk to you about because it has become really very important to me. Erich Fromm who was a psychologist and philosopher, amongst other things, explains self love very well as encompassing caring, respecting and taking responsibility for yourself.


For me I have only recently become aware of self love as a concept and it really came at a time when I needed it most. Things haven't been easy for a while and there have been a lot of stressful events in my life. I historically have found stress incredibly difficult to cope with and have coped with it, well, by not coping with it. I have retreated and refused to engage and I feel I have therefore weakened my defences by taking the easy way out. Being aware of this trait within myself I got to a point where I realised that crying and saying "I can't cope" was a sure fire way of not coping and not even trying to so suddenly I decided to change my mindset to "I can cope". I wanted to find ways to make "I can cope" a reality and knew that I couldn't change the stressful events in my life so looked to the other areas where I did have some choice and control.

As a coincidence at the same time as this change in mindset was going on I felt an urge to look into my spirituality and beliefs as due to other events I was interested to find a name and belonging to the way I felt. I stumbled upon Kelly-Ann Maddox's blog The Four Queens and in particular her Self Love Manifesto post and suddenly dots began to join.

For me self love is about being kind to yourself and treating yourself how you would treat a friend so for example when you do something you think of as being wrong instead of saying to yourself "you idiot, why did you do that?!" you would say something supportive and positive. Things still happen that upset me or stress me out but I have decided that I value my health and happiness more than to allow these things to affect me in a negative way so when they do happen I often say to myself "I'm not going to let this get to me; I am worth more than that" and gradually by saying it to myself I am starting to believe. There are still times when naturally things do upset me bit overall I must say that I am already much happier and others have noticed this in me too.

So how does this relate to vintage folks? Well I feel it does in a tenuous way. Vintage has definitely helped me to accept my body, size and shape as I feel there is a great culture of body acceptance within vintage which is something I want to talk about in more depth later on. Wearing vintage also helps me to outwardly express my inner self and when there is no conflict between my outward and inner self it makes me feel so happy. My personal view of my blog has evolved and now I see it as being more of a record of the things and events in my life which make me happy including, but not limited to, vintage.

What are your thoughts on self love? Is it something you have heard of before? What do you do to show yourself a little bit of love? I'm always looking for new ideas to add to my list so that when I've had a bad day I can treat myself with a little kindness.

ttfn!

February Sewing Project 2015

Dear Readers,

For my February sewing project I cheated again and made the full, gathered skirt from Gertie's Blog For Better Sewing. I have wanted a skirt like this for such a long time and suddenly inspiration took me when I saw it again on Pinterest and I was reminded of how much I wanted one. I had a free weekend and some fabric in my stash so there really was only one thing for it!

I'm so pleased with the finished product and feel my sewing skills have really come on leaps and bounds just by following the instructions. A novel idea, I know! I'm most proud of how well the gathering turned out as I sought advice from my Auntie Margaret ages ago about it. On the previous skirt I made I just sort of made it up as I went along and the gathers were very uneven. This time around I remembered to make two rows of running stitches, not one, and I also put pins in at the half and quarter way points so I could match these up to ensure an even amount of fabric all the way along. 

There is more fabric in the skirt than was called for as when I came to cut it out I realised the width of my fabric was only a few more inches than the pattern so I didn't bother cutting it and just used it all. I feel that these extra inches have made a difference and my skirt is extremely full. That said I absolutely love it and it's the first sewing project I have made on my own and I have worn it repeatedly and confidently. I love it in black because then I feel comfortable wearing it to work but I have also dressed it up with my beloved Sophia wedges for a night out. Versatile is this skirt's middle name and I have also worn it with tights, a t-shirt and converse for a relaxed and comfy weekend look.

I'm wearing my "me made" skirt with a Bardot top from Primark and and my Sophia wedges from Rocket Originals. What do you think folks? Have you got any projects in the pipeline? Perhaps you have made this skirt too from Gertie's blog? I'd love to hear from you, drop me a line!

ttfn!

January Sewing Project 2015

Dear Readers,

At the beginning of the year I decided that I would make one dress per month as a sewing challenge to myself. We are now in March and although I have kept up with the challenge of sewing one thing every month I have bent the rules to make it one garment, not just a dress. I realised that jumping up and sewing a dress when I had very little experience in dress making was probably a recipe for stress and tantrums.

So my first project was something I have made once before and that's a pencil skirt. I really wanted a black pencil skirt that I could wear with anything and everything and that will have a vintage feel when I am in the office. While I am so extremely proud of myself for having made the skirt and make it to the highest finish I have ever managed to achieve I still don't feel like it's really what I was looking for. I think this is a combination of two things. Firstly due to my inexperience I think I chose a fabric which wasn't totally right for a pencil skirt. Plus even though I measured myself and cut my pattern out to the measurements my final garment was still pretty baggy on me and did not evoke the wiggle skirts that beautiful ladies from the fifties wore.


In fact I feel rather frumpy in it. Because of this reason I have decided to alter it to fit me and then take it apart so that I can use that as my pattern when making pencil skirts in the future. I am sad that after all of that work I will be taking my skirt apart but I love pencil skirts so if it means that I will have some more garments that I will actually wear and feel good in then I think it is worth it.

However, I am not deterred and plan on making many more pencil skirts in the future until I perfect it and get that ever so wiggley fit I desire. I already have plans to make the skirt in a teal colour and will hopefully make the capris trousers from the same pattern later this month.

Are any of you out there seamstresses? Have you had similar experiences with patterns? I would love to find out your experiences in sewing.

ttfn!

Post Script.
Skirt pattern - Simplicity 4047
Fabric - Fabric Corner, Lincoln
Jumper - Primark
Shoes - Clarkes
Earrings - Twinwood Festival

Sophia Shoes from Rocket Originals

Dear Readers,

I have been dreaming about the Sophia wedges from Rocket Originals for some time and last month I decided to treat myself so I bought them. At £80 it was a pretty big spend for me but they were so worth it. They really are so well made and the workmanship on them definitely justifies the cost. I'm still in winter mode so wearing thick black tights all the time and you know I think they look really cute together. The black underneath the white leather really shows up the cut outs. They are a bit higher than I am generally used to so I've got a good totter going on when I walk. I'm still breaking them in but I have a feeling that once I'm used to them they are going to be so comfortable.


What do you think? I already have my eye on another pair; I think this could be the start of a very beautiful friendship. And by beautiful I mean expensive. And by friendship I mean addiction!

ttfn!

My Birthday - Dreaming Of Kate

Dear Readers,

I think I have mentioned this before but I am a massive Kate Bush fan! I think she's just wonderful and I listened to her a lot in my late teens. When she did her live performances I was gutted that I wasn't able to get tickets as I was at work when the tickets went on sale and they sold really quickly; I also couldn't afford it at the time. On our way walking past the Lincoln Theatre Royal a few weeks ago I noticed that there was a Kate Bush tribute performance playing there the weekend before my birthday. I was very excited about this and pestered Indi until he bought me tickets for my birthday!

It was such a wonderful show and they did so well in capturing everything I love about Kate. There was about a million costume changes and the singer must be one fit and healthy lady because she didn't stop dancing all the way through. She also had Kate's mannerisms down to a fine art! They played all of the songs I love and when they started playing Running Up That Hill there was a little hiss of excitement from me and a few others I was sat near. As we age our voices change and the range we can achieve changes too. I was told that when Kate Bush did her live performances that she didn't sing the classic songs like Wuthering Heights. So going to see a tribute act means that you get to see these songs you love performed live and done to a very high standard. I also like that you can meet the performers afterwards as the are always in the lobby when you leave the theatre. More places should do this and then I won't have to stand outside in the cold for ages!!

Anyway it was a wonderful evening and I loved dressing up "Kate Bush inspired" in a very romantic blouse and tousled hair. This wasn't the end of my birthday fun though as the following weekend Indi had also booked a table for us and my parents at one of my favourite places, The Iron Horse Ranch House. It was a great evening but unfortunately I didn't get any photos as I was too busy having fun!






How do you like to celebrate your birthday? Is it a quiet affair or a big bash? I like to do smaller things rather than have a big party but I do enjoy getting my money's worth and it was great having three birthdays this year!

ttfn!

My Birthday - JD McPherson

Dear Readers,

It's my birthday tomorrow! It's very exciting, not because it's a particularly special birthday, but because I just like it. I don't mind getting older but it does freak me out a bit when I look back at how long ago it was since I left school. Since my birthday has fallen midweek I have done the only sensible thing and had celebrations on both the weekend before and the weekend after. Well to be precise I am doing a grand total of three things for my birthday this year, just because I can!

On Thursday I went to visit my sister, Jessica, in London as I tend not to get to see her for my birthday. We had arranged to goo and see JD McPherson too and my present from my Mum was my train fares so it was a nice little low cost trip. I have been wanting to see JD McPherson for over a year now, since the last time he toured England, so jumped at the chance of both visiting my sister and seeing him play at the same time. It was actually my Mum who first suggested his music to me and the rhythm and blues / rock and roll feel to his music does not disappoint. What I really love about it is the the kind of mutant blues under current there is to his music and I also feel that it is not too niche that it discourages a wide range of people from enjoying his style; in fact at the gig there was a really wide range of folks there.


Recently I have lost a little bit of weight, though I don't know why because I haven't been trying. But it's nice all the same as I am now able to wear some things in my wardrobe that haven't properly fitted me for a while. I was really pleased with my outfit which I wore both to travel down to London and also to see JD McPherson. The blouse was given to me by a friend and even though it didn't fit me very well I couldn't bear to let go of it as the print and style is so pretty. In fact I like it so much that when I saw a dress on ebay in the same print and style I had to snap it up! So I'm so happy to be able to wear it again and really pleased I didn't get rid of it when it didn't fit me. There are benefits to being such a hoarder!


Blouse - from a friend but originally H&M
Jeans - Freddies of Pinewood
Cardigan - New Look
Pumps - New Look


And finally I just had to include this picture because, you know, my milkshake brings all the cats to the yard, and they're like... "I'm lactose intolerant, why would you do this to me?"

ttfn

Woodhall Spa in the Winter Sun

Dear Readers,

We didn't really have much planned for this weekend and had thought we would get those jobs done that we have been putting off such as giving the car a little service and tidying the front of the house up. When we woke up this morning the sun was streaming in through the window and I knew I had to do more than odd jobs today or it would feel like such a waste. We decided to pop over to Woodhall Spa as is our go to option for Sunday outings and we visit regularly. It's such a pretty place to have a stroll around and even though it's a small town there's still a number of nice little shops and places to look around.


We decided to head over to the Petwood Hotel as we have it in mind as a venue for the wedding. There was a large marque erected to the side of the building which we assumed must have been put up for a wedding or other event. In the shade it was so cold yet when standing in the sun if felt almost like a spring day and the Petwood hotel looked beautiful in the bright, clear light.


If you follow my Twitter you may have noticed that I have been watching Father Brown lately on BBC1 and I think it has been influencing my style. My dress was recently bought from a company called Lady Vintage and at only £15 it pretty much had to be bought. The fabric is a little thin but it's better with a slip underneath and even though it is probably more of a summer dress I'm really enjoying wearing something more colourful than just black or grey. I wore it with some thicker tights and my little pumps to try and be a little warmer. My cardigan was a bargain too from British Hearts Foundation only yesterday.


From the Petwood we walked to the High Street and I particularly wanted to visit a book shop. It's called The Book Fayre and as you walk in you are greeted by the smell of printed paper and fresh coffee. There are large windows all along the front so thee place feels bright and spacious even though they have managed to get so much in there. It's a cafe as well as book shop and also stocks a lot of really nice gift items too. As you walk through there's a decent range of new books to browse and also tables dotted to sit with your coffee. Through the back is my favourite part though; a second hand book treasure trove. Every time I have been there I have found something I just had to buy like the collection of Marguerite Pattern war time cookery books and the vintage needlework book. This time I got my hot little hands on the Wartime Farm book in hardback and very good condition. I love the Wartime Farm series and last Christmas I even made the Mock Turkey recipe that was shown on the show only I adapted it to make it vegetarian.

From the Book Fayre we popped next door to have some lunch at the Lancaster Inn. We decided to sit in the front to eat as in there too it was bright and airy. Lunch was lovely and the service was really friendly too so I'm sure we will be heading back there at some point. After lunch we were too full for dessert which was a shame as there were some very tempting but we still needed something sweet so we stopped off at the sweet shop before heading home. What have you done with your Sunday? Was it action packed or nice and relaxed? Whatever you have done today I hope you had a lovely time.

ttfn

Rufford On The Home Front 2014

Dear Readers,

Way back in the last weekend of September last year Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire had their annual On The Home Front event. We went on the Sunday as the Saturday had two different vintage fairs on here in Lincoln which was too good of a shopping opportunity to miss. The weather was glorious for late September and it really turned into scorching hot day. We were really excited for this event as we have been to the Grand Historical Bazaar at Rufford Abbey for a few years now and always enjoy it but had yet to make it to the home front event. While there we had a lovely lunch sat out in the sunshine, met up with some lovely friends who we hadn't seen for far too long, and enjoyed the atmosphere and performances. I received a wonderful compliment from a group of singers who thought I was a performer too; I have no idea where they got that idea from but I thought it was kind all the same. We also met a lovely chap called Tony who some wonderful pictures of us just as the sun was beginning to turn golden and the day was drawing to a close. Tony recently sent me the link to his images and I just had to share them with you. Let me know what you think!







He must do something wizzy to the images when he edits them because there's something about them that feels quite authentic and I love the texture in the photographs. The rest of Tony's photography can be found here and I highly suggest you go check them out; he's really very talented.

ttfn!