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Saturday, September 8, 2012

My latest treasures from the Vintage Fair


The latest vintage fair had some lovely surprises (even if I did rant in my previous post about my pet peeves). There was a lovely Victorian ostrich feather and ivory fan but I resisted. And lots of hat pins which I also resisted.
And sadly the vintage jewelery components lady wasn't there but I did get lucky all the same. 
I've been looking for a 50s/60s novelty print that I could make up into a dress or skirt for ages. And I never see much but lo and behold I found this beauty with galleons and castles on it - right up my street in fact so I snaffled that right up. There's 2.7 metres so that should be enough for a dress.



I also found a lovely set of vintage anodised drink tumblers still in their original leather container with bottle opener and two gorgeous melamine barbecue dinner plates which came home with me. They are so reminiscent of my childhood I couldn't resist.
I did find one or two other things which I'll tell you about in my next post. 

Things that tick me off at vintage fairs

Yes, it's rant time. I love vintage fashion fairs, I look forward to them throughout the year and feel hard done by when I miss them. But I do have some pet peeves.
The biggest is the way people set out their wares and in particular the dresses and clothing items.
Most of us know what size we are, whether that be in modern sizing or actual measurements. And that's how I like to do my shopping.
Being a modern woman I am generally larger than many of the women of yesteryear. I am an Australian size 14/16 and have an hourglass figure. This means the chance of me finding a lot of vintage clothes to fit me is small. So I don't really want to waste my time trawling through metres and metres of clothing racks to find they have nothing in my size.
I know sizing of clothes is very different today from, say the 50s, but come on, if you are selling goods then for goodness sake get organised and attempt to put the clothes in some order that makes it easy for people to shop.
Some of the traders at the local fairs do a brilliant job with this. Some, bless their bobby socks, actually list the dress measurements like many traders on Etsy. I make a beeline for their stalls because I don't have to waste time.  I know setting up a stall takes a lot of time and effort - I've done it. And I do it with the seller in mind.
As to the rest, when I asked one trader, she said, "oh no I have them grouped in colours. But I can tell you which ones are larger if you'd like..."  When I said yes I'd like, she showed me two dresses out of around 100.  When I thanked her but said neither was suitable, she just walked off mid sentence to do something else. 
Money must come easy to her because she hasn't had to work out that she will sell more if she takes a little time to think about how people shop.
My other major pet peeve is courtesy.  I like people to greet me, it's just good manners.  It's not good manners to keep talking to your partner behind the stall or just stare off into space when I am standing in front of you with an item in my hand and have to actually say "excuse me I'd like to buy this...". I generally say hello to the vendor before I even start to look at their wares. At least it gets their attention.  Some actually greet me before I get the chance to say hello which is fabulous. Crikey it just makes life more pleasant doesn't it?
And I won't start on the shoppers who have no manners at all. I don't mind if people lean over to get something but if you are cutting me off from what I am looking at please at least have the decency to say "excuse me".
Well that was quite the tirade wasn't it!  The next posting will be far more fun, I promise.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

There's something about brooches

I've always liked brooches, right from when I was a little girl. 
I still have my baby brooches but the first one I remember loving dates from when I was around four or five. It was a little plastic soldier and I still have it.

Brooches seem to be back in fashion again. Sometimes a larger bold single brooch and sometimes in groups of two, three or even four.
I found this brooch dating from the late 19th century on Etsy - it had just about everything; it was a brooch, it had paste stones, it had a dangly pearl and I could afford it.  
No it isn't from the 18th century. But it is very versatile courtesy of the little hook on the back of the top which means it can be used as a pendant as well as a brooch.
The 18th century produced a variety of brooch styles. As well as the portrait and cameo brooches the 18th century also produced the girandole style brooch (and earrings) which featured three drops or 'tremblers' at the base of the brooch. (Girandole was a style of candleholder which featured pendant drops very similar to a chandelier.)
A quick search online found those pictured here - the yellow and pink ones are almost identical and must have been a very popular style from the number still in existence. The designs were copied by local gold and silversmiths. 
Some brooches were paste (glass) like the gold/yellow one from Norfolk Museum and this pinky purple one from Skinner's Auction house; others were diamond and other semi-precious stones. But all probably produced the same pleasure in their owner as my brooches give me.