Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Here We Go Again...

Summer is over and my little break from selling at Vintage fairs has come to an end....as October draws nearer so do all the fairs that I have booked to have a stall selling all my lovely kitchenalia...

I did a little display stall at The Royal Derngate Theatre in Northampton with Trevor from The Northampton Vintage Fairs last weekend to ease myself back in gently.  The Theatre was putting on a production of 'To Sir With Love' and there were Lindy Hop lessons, vintage makeovers, actors, singers all getting everyone in the mood before the play started...including our fabulous vintage stalls.

So now it's all systems go as we get ready to spread the vintage love across the midlands ....

'Here We Go Again' I say to my mum as we get in the van at ridiculous o'clock to set off for whichever destination I have selected for that weekend.  I love selling at Vintage Fairs as it's not only my business but a chance to catch up with all my vintage friends who are buying and selling or just eating cake at these events.  I've got a full diary now up until Christmas...here is my schedule in case you would like to come and see me at any of the fairs...

Sat 5th October - Market Harborough Vintage Fair, 3 Swans Hotel 11-4pm
Sun 13th October - GJ Fairs, Sky Blue Sports Connection, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL 9-4pm
Sat 2nd November - Stamford Vintage Fair, Stamford Arts Centre, 11-3pm
Sun 3rd November - Blighty Boutique Fair, Hatton Park Village Hall,Barcheston Drive, Hatton Park, Warwick,CV35 7VR 11-4pm
Sat 23rd November - Northampton Vintage Fair, St Matthews Church Rms, NN1 4RY 11-3pm
Sun 24th November - Blue sky Antiques Fairs, Hermitage, Whitwick 9.30am-4pm
Sat 30th November - Stratford Vintage Fair, Town Hall, Stratford Upon Avon 11-3pm
Sun 1st December - Memory Lane Vintage Fair, Stapleton Village Hall, Leics 11-4pm
Sat 7th December - Market Harborough Vintage Fair, 3 Swans Hotel 11-4pm
Sunday 8th December - Yardley Hastings Vintage Fair 11-3pm
Sunday 29th December - GJ Fairs, Sky Blue Sports Connection, Ryton on Dunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL 9-4pm

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Count Your Blessings!!!

My lovely Daddy has always taught me to count my blessings and I do everyday....well maybe not every day but often!  Life is so hard with so many horrid things surrounding us I think it is really important to recognise the good things in life, the little things that actually keep us going.  This is really hard at times when things are challenging us in life and this is when it is good to pick up a reminder.....
A lovely friend that I met through blogging and Facebook came up with a wonderful idea to create Bee Happy Journals.  Deborah Fielding from beehappyhome.co.uk spends most of her days spreading happiness and joy.  She mentioned the concept to me and I was really excited to see what she came up with.  I am a vintage girl and was thrilled that when she showed me the prototype and it was made from a vintage book cover.  I obviously wanted one for myself and had two friends that were going through tricky times and wanted one each for them as well as they needed to focus on some nice things in their lives.  Here is picture of the three journals I ordered and one other.  All are individually made, personalised and quirky.

Bee happy journals
I couldn't decide which one to keep for myself but in the end I went for this one...

vintage style bee happy journal

You can of course use these journals for whatever purpose you see fit but I am using mine as a store for all my happy thoughts, sights, experiences and ideas.

alice in wonderland bee happy journal

The day my goddaughter got her A level results and got into the Uni of her choice had to go down in my book as it was a happy moment filled with relief for her.

Storing happy memories

I've started collecting up ideas for decorating my house and business for Christmas and this is all stored in my journal...

These journals are so quirky and each page you turn has a different paper, postcard, pocket, label or picture.  I have listed my doggy touching noses with the lambs, hanging out washing on spring morning and my climbing rose coming out in June as happy moments this year and when I feel down I can just open up my journal to lift my spirits.

When I gave the journals to my friends they were really touched and I hope inspired to take a moment to count their blessings....

These wonderful inspiring journals can be purchased from beehappyhome.co.uk. You can also follow Deborah on Facebook or read her blog which is lovely.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Mrs Nostalgic feels all Nostalgic!

Morning readers!
I have been quite naughty and not written a blog post for a good few weeks as I have been getting on top of everything at home with poorly dogs, a farmer husband that works all hours and a house that is full to the ceiling with vintage treasures to sell!  I have cleared the route now to my retro bar so I am making good progress!!
Anyway....the other day I went out with my lovely friend Cherry of Merrimans Vintage Jamboree (you should check out her Facebook page). We climbed in my van and went off to sunny Lutterworth in Leicestershire!  Not the most glamorous place in the UK but home to 'Back In Time For Tea'.  We had both heard about this new tea room and wanted to pop in.  It is a 1940's inspired tea room attached to an Army supply store so there is a World War feel floating through the place!!

Back in time for tea, Lutterworth

Vintage inspired tea rooms

1940s tea shop

1940s sideboard

1940's living room

vintage china cabinet

I absolutely loved everything about the place and the fact that it is so close to me means I can pop over for a cup of tea in a Green Woods Ware Beryl cup & saucer anytime!  They serve bread & dripping, spam and of course tea and homemade cakes.  The owner Gavin gives his customers a warm welcome. The old war photos around the room are of his relatives and there is a little story to tell about each one. I am popping down this weekend with some Brown Bettys to add to their collection to brew up a nice cup of Rosie Lea as long as there is some left from the rations!!!!
I would recommend a visit to this place for a little nostalgia......They are open Thurs - Sun, Leicester Road, Lutterworth, Leics.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Pretty Flowers & Women of a Certain Age!!!

Well it was that time of year again for Gardeners World Live at the NEC and mum and I put on our uniforms and off we went to Birmingham!  Uniforms???  Yes Gardeners World Live is full of women of a certain age, sometimes joined by their husbands of the same certain age and they all wear a uniform!  It consists of sensible comfortable shoes, usually 'Hotter' or similar brand, lace up with a jazzy colour to brighten them up! Jeans or 'slacks' as I like to call casual trousers, layers and a waterproof coat in again a jazzy colour .  Usually these coats are a grey or blue and have a bright colour around the collar or down the front to make them feminine and yes that word again a bit jazzy!!!  A cross over handbag is again essential for this kind of occasion and a nice pink lippy and your hair done!  I don't know how things changed and I went from heels, trendy clothes and going to the NEC to The Clothes Show to trainers, jeans and a jazzy waterproof going to Gardeners World Live.  I'm not going to deny it though....I loved it!  Here are some lovely piccys of things that caught my eye....

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Mrs Nostalgic's A-Z Of Spring Cleaning

Well my dearies, Spring is here and it’s time to open the windows, shake out your pinnies, pick up your feather dusters and start your spring clean.  Here at The Nostalgic Kitchen I take spring cleaning very seriously and am more than pleased to pass on some of my clever little vintage tricks for a thoroughly refreshed household that will be the envy of the street. Warning!... your neighbour’s curtains may start to twitch with envy.

A – No self respecting housewife can start a household chore without the correct Apron!  A suitable vintage apron should be selected and adorned ready for the task ahead! 

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, A for apron

B- Get up early and start your cleaning as day has sprung! In the words of Mrs Beeton, the Queen of Domestic Godessness,” There is no work like morning work, particularly household tasks, and those we take up early in the day, when fresh from a night’s rest are ‘trifles light as air’ in comparison with the same dragged or hurried through later when there is not time for their proper performance.”

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, C for cupboards

C- Empty your entire kitchen Cupboards and clean thoroughly inside.  This is a good opportunity to have a sort through your cupboards and pack away in a box any items you haven’t used for a while to offer to a neighbour or to take to the charity shop. Before replacing your items in the cupboard you could line them with pretty paper to brighten them up.


D- The cleanliness of a household’s Doorstep is an indication of what’s inside.  Make sure you sweep and then scrub your doorstep within an inch of its life with a scrubbing brush and Sunlight soap.

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, D for doorstep

E- The secret to a successful spring clean vintage lovelies, is Elbow Grease!  Some tasks can only be achieved by hard work and lots of energy.

F- The wonderful thing about doing housework is that you are also doing your own little Fitness session as well.  I have a fabulous little Guide to Beauty written in 1964 by Joyce McKinnell and she says “Next time you do the dusting, hold in your stomach muscles and then slowly ease them out. When you bend down to dust the skirting board keep your legs as straight as possible.  Don’t slouch over the carpet sweeper, but hold your head high and your shoulders back.  When you reach to do a high shelf, do it gracefully and remember to take full advantage of the stretching movements to keep your midriff firm.” I say no more!

G- Now a day spent spring cleaning can be exhausting so treat yourself to a Gin & Tonic my darlings to perk you up!  Yes - Mrs Nostalgic finds it very medicinal and gives you full permission to sit back and sip!

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, G for gin

H – Make sure you Hoover in every nook and cranny and then when you have finished don’t forget to give the hoover a clean!!  

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, H for hoover

I- The ‘Modern HomeLaundry work’ 1934 suggests that we should “Keep Irons in good condition for use by cleaning on a board with a coating of powdered bath brick, rubbing when necessary with beeswax tied in a piece of cotton cloth, and dusting well.  Irons should be cleaned before being stored and rubbed with any household fat free from salt, or with olive oil.  They need to be heated before use; have as much grease as possible rubbed off with newspaper, then be washed with hot soda water, and dried”.  Off you go then!

J- A lovely Vintage Jug full of Spring Flowers in your kitchen when your cleaning is completed will not only look pretty but will be a constant reminder of your hard work and accomplishments. 

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, J for jug

K- After many hours spent on hands and Knees a housewife must be mindful of Housemaid’s Knee.  When at all possible exchange kneeling for a useful labour saving tool. A Ewbank Carpet Sweeper, a good old fashioned long handled mop & a long handled dustpan can all help to reduce time spent on your knees.

L- Don’t spend money on chemical fresheners and deodorisers when Lavender water will do just as well and is cheaper and kinder to the environment. A few drops of Lavender Oil in water or dried lavender diffused water sprinkled on curtains and carpets, in your washing machine and down your sink will help to freshen up your home. 

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, L for lavender

M- It is essential to have the appropriate Music playing loudly when spring cleaning to motivate, invigorate and enthuse.  May I suggest a decade for each task...1980’s for Hoovering including Queen, Madonna and Wham, 1950’s for dusting including Doris Day, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, 1960’s for scrubbing the floor including The Beatles, James Brown and Ike & Tina Turner.  It is important to save the real nostalgic stuff till you have your Gin & Tonic break including, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby.  Personally Mrs Nostalgic likes to do her windows to a bit of Neil Diamond!

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, M is for music

N- Newspaper and vinegar will clean and shine your windows better than any fancy supermarket spray! When cleaning windows use crossways strokes for inside and vertical strokes for outside, then you can tell which side is smeared. 

O – Cleaning cloths were invariably made from old pants and vests!  Why buy new cloths when you can just recycle Old underwear?

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, O is for old underwear
P- As you Peg out blankets and throws on the line to air you will be able to sort through your old pegs and throw away any mouldy ones.  A lovely idea is to sew yourself a pretty new Peg bag in a vintage fabric to keep your pegs in.

Q– As you put your summer bedding on you may wish to pack your winter Quilt away. Quilts are notoriously difficult to clean, as not only do they incorporate many different fabrics in one piece, but they're often handmade family heirlooms or vintage works of art. Quilts are best cleaned with some fresh air. Hang on the line on a sunny day. If there are any stains just try to spot clean areas that need it or hand wash it in your bathtub or sink. When you store the quilt, keep it on a shelf or a place where it can air a little.

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, Q is for quilts
R- Rain! - We have a lot of it in the UK and the clever housewife will plan her spring cleaning day around the weather.  Cleaning is accomplished more effectively Dearies on a dry day, for dirt clings and is more difficult to remove when the house is slightly damp, as is inevitably the case in wet weather. 

S- Soap Jelly....Save all scraps of soap.  When you have accumulated a sufficient quantity, put the pieces into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Heat over a low heat until clear and free from lumps, then pour into a jar.  This will form a lovely jelly when cold, and, if kept standing beside the sink, will be found most useful for washing up and laundry work! 

T –A 1940’s Vintage Hair Turban is vital for keeping your hair out of your face and to protect your tresses when you clean. This is a great way to multi task-  Spring cleaning whilst allowing a head full of rollers or pin curls to dry. Perhaps most famous of all head wraps from the 1940s was the one worn by Lana Turner in The Postman Always Rings Twice in 1946, however equally famous is Mrs Nostalgic who is rarely seen without hers on! 

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, T is for turban

U – Very important Spring Cleaners, to clean Under everything. These special spaces and places only get touched in a spring clean and then never again till next year.  Under the refrigerator, cooker, washing machine, shelves, tables, beds, furniture and especially under the rim of the toilet! 

V- Is for Vinegar which, vintage lovelies, has actual magical powers! It is a mainstay of old folk recipes for cleaning, and with good reason - vinegar kills bacteria, mould and germs. It is naturally and powerfully antibacterial.  Keep a clean spray bottle filled with 5 percent vinegar in your kitchen near your chopping board, and one in your bathroom, and use them for cleaning. Undiluted vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off. 

A-Z Of Spring Cleaning, W is for Washing

W- Washing is a big part of housewives’ duties most days, as well as during the Spring Clean. The ‘Modern Home Laundry work’ book written in 1934 explains that “The type of washing apparatus that a household will have depends upon the amount of washing undertaken. There must be suitable and adequate apparatus if all washing is to be done at home.”  It suggests a Dolly Tub and peg, hand-operated washing machine or an electrically driven washing machine. Soap, a rubbing board and laundry brush are also essential tools for the laundry room. The joys of modern living have meant that washing for us is now so much easier but may I suggest an apparatus that I can’t live without and that is a Sheila’s Maid. Useful for drying items when it’s a wet day and a tidy airer that does not take up floor space. 

X, Y &  Z – If, by the end of the day of Spring cleaning you are starting to Yawn, then eXchange this for extra Zeal to get the work finished.  ‘The Book of Good Housekeeping’ 1945 does warn however that “The modern home with its new finishes is easy to clean, but even modern cleaning has its own problems.  It only needs an excess of Zeal and the continued use of a drastic cleanser for a sink, bath or other piece of equipment to be defaced, if not ruined for life”.  Be cautious then Spring Cleaners that successful Spring Cleaning takes a loving gentle but energetic approach to make it a success but with the right tools and a sneaky Gin & Tonic you will have sparkly and bright households to be proud of.xxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The National Vintage Awards...yay!

Mrs Nostalgic is very very proud to report that we are one of four nominees in The National Vintage Awards - Best Online Shop - Homeware!  We are so excited here at The Nostalgic Kitchen HQ!  The nominees receive public votes in order to go through to the final three and attend the posh award ceremony in Birmingham.  I am currently in last place :( However I am just so pleased to be part of it and get the publicity and exposure.  As my lovely blog reader I would be very grateful if you would vote for me.  You just click on the link below and tick next to The Nostalgic Kitchen. Thanks everyone and keep everything crossed xxxxxx


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

You know you are getting old when...

Hello readers...Mrs Nostalgic is feeling old!  I was having a little chuckle to myself yesterday as I was thinking what the young me would say to the old me now!!!!!  I was thinking how I've changed and there are a few key traits that prove I'm aging...You know you are getting old when....

You start bird watching!  I knew it was the final straw when I asked my Mother in Law to buy me a bird table for Christmas.  Don't worry readers I don't go out for the day with my binoculars and twitch but I do enjoy a cup of coffee looking out the window watching Mr Robin and the little black bird on my bird table.  The highlight of my morning is watching the bluetits on the peanut hanging thingy.  They are really pretty.  You see there I go again! Old!

There are certain foods, as well readers, that one only acquires a taste for when one gets older.  Sun dried tomatoes, olives, Stilton cheese and beetroot.  Of course an appreciation of a good wine comes with age as well but I seemed to develop that skill in my late 20's!!!

Getting washing dried on the line...well actually the whole process of hanging it out, monitoring the weather and joining others in the comment when a black cloud comes over "oh no I've got washing on the line"!!!!! When you were young you didn't care if it dried outside or in as long as you didn't have to do it frankly!  I also have line envy!  We have a whirly and I so long for a long sweeping line to sway backwards and forth.  See old!

Monty Don makes your heart flutter! Not only that but he knows how to cultivate a good brussel sprout!  I get really excited about Friday nights...no not because I'm getting ready to go out clubbing but because it's time for Gardeners World on the tele and I get to pick up tips whilst lusting after Monty Don! I need help I know.  I love gardening ..that's an age thing. My best friend and I talk about our gardens when we meet up now and how the slugs ruined our foxgloves last year...we used to talk about boys, sex and rock & roll.  Planting up pretty pots gives me as much pleasure these days as dancing on a podium once used to! By the way planted up some alpine strawberries in an old vintage baking tin and put on a shelf in the garden and it looks really lovely...try it xx

So Mrs Nostalgic is quite content with the aging process and quite frankly it's a relief to be able to let go of the pressure that is being young, acting and  looking hip & trendy. I'm off to put the kettle on now and have another cup of tea from a bone china mug...you appreciate a bone china cup as you get older you know!!!  

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Marble in a Tea Kettle

A little something I thought I would share with you....A glass marble placed in a tea kettle and left in there permanently will keep limescale at bay!  It bounces around when you boil the kettle chipping away at any limescale!

How do I know this?  Well I was picking up a kitchen larder to renovate from a house that was being cleared by a family after the death of their elderly relative.  She sounded like an amazing character who always did something for a reason.  She collected newspaper clippings with tips and ideas for making household chores easier.  When I picked up an old brown enamel tea kettle there was something rattling inside it.  When I looked inside and saw the marble I wondered why on earth there would be a marble in there.  I asked the family and they didn't know why but said there must be a reason as everything was done for a reason!

I kept the marble and the kettle and returned home to research the reasoning behind the marble in the kettle! Quite a common notion I discovered and so from now on I will put a marble in every stove top kettle that I sell with an explanation of course and keep this useful tip alive.  I am going back to this lady's house on Saturday and I will have a little smile in her kitchen for the useful tip she has passed on to me!  Wish I had known her.....oh the things she could have taught me!
Gonna sit down now and have a nice cup of tea...limescale free....cheers!