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Festive Genius

Look at this fab tutorial I found via Our Craft Shops and their free advent calendar!

cardboard reindeer holiday craft

Click on the picture for the link where you’ll find templates and everything.  I’m off to print them out now!

Keep the Vintage Love xxx


Magazine Review – Pretty Nostalgic

The Eagle Eyed among you may have noticed that we recently enjoyed a brilliant weekend at the Vintage Nostalgia Show near Salisbury.   One of the most fun parts of this was meeting the girls from Pretty Nostalgic Magazine who were there to promote their beautiful new magazine and their book!

The Pretty Nostalgic girls rocking the parasol look!

Obviously I’m a sucker for a lovely magazine! My shelves are already groaning with piles of Mollie Makes and Handmade Living not to mention countless Knitting Magazines, but this one is different.   The photography and design is as beautiful as Mollie Makes and it’s in more of a softback book format so easy to keep and treasure.   The big thing though is that it’s more like a fanzine in a way, for the vintage, handmade and eco lover and made by vintage and handmade devotees directly.  There are contributions from all sorts of people on a really diverse range of interests and it’s full of practical ideas and inspiration as well as interesting information on collectibles and antiques.  I love old glass so the Art Deco Glass article is right up my street and full of buying tips.


What a fabulous strap line this is for a magazine! As well as a focus on local producers and their products and homes there is also a focus on community and sharing resources.  I hadn’t heard of the new online community called Camp in My Garden but what a fantastic idea in these straightened times.  Do check out their website, it’s full of people in the UK and Europe who are opening up their space to like minded campers.   Advertisers include Permaculture Magazine and Neal’s Yard Remedies and there are articles about developing a community garden or growing your own plants for traditional remedies.  Mr was really interested in the history and recipe for the scotch egg (he dreams of making a Cornish version!) and the focus on Star Wars Toys.

Another favourite of mine was The Bottom Draw Project which was a series of mini items on people’s most treasured possessions and the, often affecting, stories behind them linked to memories and people no longer around.   It’s especially nice to hear from a range of people from Vintage Writers to a Forest Schools leader.  I think that the Magazine would genuinely welcome contributions from anyone to this and in fact in general.


I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now – starting from financial necessity after giving up work to spend time at home with my small boy.  Basically the idea is to choose what you buy more carefully with a view to it lasting longer, and also on making use of second hand items or on repurposing items that you already have.  I have a skirt made from some 1950s curtains picked up at a local Give and Take Day (bring and buy without the buy – everything is free!) and a much loved velvet jacket I owned that became too threadbare to wear.

My repurposed skirt

It get’s so many positive comments when I wear it and you’ll never bump into anyone wearing the same thing when you’re out in your very own handmade original!  The magazine is full of inspiration to help us to find our way out of the horribly resource wasting throw away fashion culture.


Pretty Nostalgic is a bi-monthly magazine and something beautiful to keep and refer to.  The £8 price tag may look steep but this is a self-published magazine and two months worth of Mollie Makes would cost almost £10! In a major coup Pretty Nostalgic will now be available in over 600 WH Smith stores across the UK or if you live locally I’ll happily lend you mine to tempt you in to subscribing (at 25% off!).  Click here for subscription information.  I know that the editors are always keen to find contributors and advertisers so do get in touch!.  For July and August there is a Seaside and Beach Hut theme – JOY – can’t wait for mine to arrive!

Keep the Vintage Love xx

Beach Huts (by Kay Smith)

Beautiful Frome – favourite days out!

Finally inspired to put down my knitting and write something on my sadly neglected blog!  This autumnal weather has had me beavering away on hats and scarves for the whole family….am now struggling with a dog walking cowl for me which I messed up in the car yesterday…..but anyway….


We had our annual trip to one of our favourite places yesterday – Frome in Somerset.  Only an hour and a half from our front door, we discovered Frome by accident on an impromptu camping trip that took us to the Bell Inn at Buckland Dinham on the weekend of the Frome Festival a couple of years ago.

We’ve been heading back ever since to enjoy the eclectic mix of independent shops, art centres and regular vintage fairs and craft markets!  Frome itself has it’s history in the weaving trade and is Mendip’s largest town, with cobbled streets and apparently more historic buildings than any other Somerset town.  There are masses of events during the year including a monthly Artisan and flea market and a Cheese and Agricultural show.

This time though we were here for the third incarnation of The Vintage Bazaar!!  We’d been to the first but missed the second somehow…but desperately wanting to buy some art deco buttons I’d seen Sophie from Fading Grace had been carding on her blog and knowing she was going to be there we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone…

This is a truly lovely fair with an emphasis on the vintage rather than the handmade and a wonderful warm atmosphere.  Also being a little further away there were exciting exhibitors that we hadn’t seen before. Mr M of course headed straight for the maps to increase his burgeoning vintage map collection with one of North Cornwall from 1927 while I drooled over the beautiful eiderdowns and fabrics available, and a number of 50s dresses that were as usual far too tiny for me!

Blue Tit and Buttons

We caught up with Sophie and picked up the buttons and couldn’t leave this little guy behind although he’s quite heavy so I’m not at all sure what to do with him as yet.  He can’t sit on my sewing machine for ever that’s for sure – no matter how pretty he is!

We also especially liked the upcycled cabinets from Box Mad like this fab Beano covered cupboard which was a bit out of our price range but gave me plenty of ideas for furniture renovation.

New to us was Donna Flower who had loads of really gorgeous fabrics and haberdashery from every era.  She got a really cool website too so check it out if you need anything in that line.

Donna Flower Fabric packs

After grabbing coffee in our favourite cafe we headed off to St Catherines Hill – possibly one of the best shopping streets in England if you like the old and the crafty.
Top on my list this time was Millie Moon
which is just like a beautiful yarn shop but for sewing.  I have seriously never seen such a fantastic  selection of fabric and haberdashery in one place.  We bought a pretty little owl tape measure for Meg for her birthday although I’m so tempted to keep it for myself it’s so cute!  There were really pretty frilly knickers kits too.
Talking of yarn there is tiny but perfectly formed Marmalade Yarns and also super clothes and vintage shops Make and Mend (great name!), Nova and Poot.  Deadly is the Female is not to be missed with it’s quirky pin up girl style that includes great underwearmake-up and shoes
Follow them on twitter or facebook for some great online savings and offers from time to time.
We also hit dreamy Bramble and Wild for more birthday pressies and for me to look at the lovely flowers.  They also have a very cheeky parrot!
Keep the vintage love xx

Favourite Shops – Made by Swimmer

 The eagle eyed among you may recall that we were excited about the Made by Swimmer stall at the recent evening vintage market that was part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival Light Night  brilliance.   Well the good news is that their website has just been updated with lots of new and especially funky things.  I absolutely love the loop knitting items particularly the scarf and there’s a fantastic emphasis on upcycling and recycling fabrics as well which is always a winner.  The velvet clutch is top of my Christmas list though!

Here’s a little gallery of my favs…!

Craftastic Day Out

The Alderholt Craft Collective otherwise known as our Tuesday Knit and Knatter group hit gorgeous Ally Pally yesterday for some fantastic craftastic fun at the Knitting and Stitching Show!  After a lovely tour of the New Forest courtesy of Solent Coaches (not quite what we had anticipated!) we arrived in my old stamping ground of North London…

North London's Iconic Ally Pally

Shockingly although I lived just down the road in Highgate while I was a student in London I had never been to Ally Pally – it’s worth going just to walk in the beautiful park land and to see a fab panoramic view of London

London Panorama

The view once we got inside was even more exciting though!  There was literally every kind of needle and textile craft imaginable represented including some of my favourite shops like


and online yarn sellers like Loop Knitting from London.

Black Sheep  Wools had by far the best bargains though – I’m still regretting not picking up some beautiful half price Noro Silk Garden Chunky  Noro Silk Garden

I was also in love with this pretty bias binding at sewing kit supremo Cloth Kits

Beautiful Bias from Cloth Kits

and there were all sorts of new and exciting shops and products to see.  I especially liked the pretty kits on sale at Nest  from Crouch End.

Garden Party Bunting Kit from Nest

I also got very excited about trying some spinning


at the Handweavers Studio and Gallery    and picked up some lovely tops and a drop spindle and a quick tutorial from the friendly girls on the stall.

There were also some fantastic exhibitions from textile designers of all sorts and other crafts from machine embroidery and quilting to fabric painting and felting.

Art:Cloth 4+4

Sadly there wasn’t time to take in The Upcycling Academy which featured Barley Massey (Fabrications), The Street Style Surgery, Craft Guerilla, TRAID and War on Want to give people a chance to work with recycled materials and create fantastic new garments but check out the Fabrications website for ideas.

The other ladies bought some fantastic yarns too and we headed home tired but happy and planning next years visit!!

keep the vintage love xx

Of Arts and Noodles, Vintage and Blue Tits…..

We took 5 children to the Arts by the Sea Festival in the centre of Bournemouth yesterday and much fun was had by all.   There were fab events and shows everywhere you looked! Here’s some of Mr M’s great photos….

I also managed to add to my favourite blue tit collection as Zoe from Love from Hetty and Dave was at the pop up Boscombe Vintage Market in Pine Walk by grabbing this totally fabbo phone case.

Blue Tit Phone Case

There were so many fantastic sellers that it was hard to know where to look first but the stall by Made by Swimmer definitely caught the eye of both me and Meg with it’s really funky upcycled doorstops and fab loop knitted collars!

Made by Swimmer

We hit incredibly child friendly Wagamama for dinner which kept everyone from 3 to 15 happy (no mean feat!) and then headed down to the Pier for the start of the Grand Grotesque Parade.

We were all highly entertained by the interactive light and sound installation standing amongst the carousels and the parade definitely lived up to it’s billing of a ‘surreal masked spectacle’ inspired by a grotesque carnival that took place in 1910.  We all took different things from this and it will live very long in the memory!  Next up is the Masquerade Ball at the Pier Theatre – should be good…

keep the vintage love xx

Exhibitor Focus – Local Handmade


WE LOVE BUNTING!  There we’ve said it! We are very very proud to be hosting a great range of brilliant local craftspeople and skilled makers and sellers to our fair.  Here are just a few of the fantastic names on offer…

Willow Natural Products, Designed for Daisy & NuNu Designs


Peanut Bibz

Homegrown Originals

Nicki Cooper

Natalie King

Joh Kennedy-Wall

These great people will be offering a range of beautiful things from childrens items to pretty handbags, not to mention original artworks and all things in between. We’ve even got some fantastic vintage homeware and clothing.  There’s an emphasis on upcycling too which is of course one of our biggest preoccupations.  Come along and support our brilliant local creative community and local businesses at the fair!

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