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Thank you for following Your Vintage Blog…but as of today we have moved! We are still with wordpress but have upgraded to another of their platforms. Please come see at http://www.yourvintagelifeblog.com/ We have a new post today waiting for you.

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Thanks Kate x

Mince pies in minutes

We have just made the quickest mince pies…they literally take minutes! They are actually more like mince buns. Our ones (mine and Herbies) havent turned out to be the prettiest but I can assure you they are the tastiest, and quickest!

As always, we do it in a retro style! Everything in our kitchen is orange and dates from the 60s/70s! (The kitchen itself isnt orange….but after the renovation who knows!)

It’s actually Kirstie Allsop’s recipe so I’m totally cheating!

I use ready made puff pastry. Roll out half of it into a flat, thin square shape. Our rolling pin is still packed away so I had to run round to the neighbours house to borrow theirs. They didnt make comment on my 70s retro flower pinny!

Cut the pastry into squares about 3″. Spoon ready made mincemeat into the centre of each square.

NewsFlash! Mincemeat isnt actually meat! Herbie was very upset that we were making meat pies as we are all veggie!. I did explain but he wasnt having any of it!

Fold the edges of the pastry up and pinch together, a bit like onions.

Turn them upside down so the flat side is upwards. Place them on a greased tray.

Paint beated egg on them so they are glossy when cooked. Cut a tiny hole in the top of each so they dont burst. Throw them in the oven…I used gas mark 5 until golden brown.

All in all took 10 mins to make, 10 mins to cook!

Serve on vintage cake stands (of course), pour cream over and tuck in!

simple! Oh and they have all gone, in about the same time it took to make them.

A century of fashion

I love my books. I have so many that some I havent even looked through for years. Last weekend I stumbled across an amazing book of Vogue covers dating back to 1909.

My grandma bought this book for my mum, probably over 25 years ago. It is called The Art of Vogue Covers by William Packer and has some of the best images of vintage fashion I have ever seen. I can’t quite believe this has been on my book shelves for this long without me discovering its beauty.

The 1920s and 30s were an amazing time for fashion especially for women. They cut their hair short, wore slinky clothes, shortened their hems, enjoyed a new found freedom of partying, dancing and drinking. It was a time of boom, and colour, and without a doubt, style.

Here are some of my favourite covers.

New year edition from 1927. A huge fur-lined floral coat with polka dot skull cap hat. Drawn by George Plank and is described as his simplest cover. Totally stunning.

Great autumnal look from 1928. She stands proud in her charcoal grey fur lined coat and blue clutch bag in front of the most amazing car. I love her hat, of course matching her coat.

Great art deco styling from 1929. The images are so strong with vibrant bright colours. Both images are by Benito, the right hand side is a swimming cap, the left is an autumnal hat clearly mirroring the look.

A summer look now from August 1926. Her hat is wide instead of the usual skull caps, with a band that matched her dress. She stares straight at us drinking her large pink drink.

Midsummer fashions from 1928. Her consertina pleated sleeves are totally on trend today and remind me of the blouse worn on our front page of our eBay shop and ASOS boutique. Her wide brim hat, gloves and long pearls complete the look.

When you think of 1920s fashion you think of the fringed dress. Here, in 1926 this lady rocks it, with piano shawl, high arm cuff and pearls. Probably on a cruise, the Vogue lettering is made up from the stars. Gorgeous.

2 party looks from 1925. The red striped on the left is very burlesque with her large feather fan. Her nude coloured dress is stunning with her large shadow behind giving her great presence.

From 1938 the cover has a tall lady wearing an unusual quilted dress with nipped in waist. Interestingly by the late 30s the hem lengths have dropped. With her large brimmed straw hat she stares out to sea. The cover on the left is for the coronation of George VI.

I’m sure you will agree they are magnificent. There are so many more…..

Credit of course goes to William Packer and Octupus book for writing and revealing these amazing covers. Credit should also go to the artists, some known, some not, who captured the beauty and style of the period so well.

Coming soon!

We are really looking forward to the months ahead here at Your Vintage Life.

We have loads of Christmas and winter clothing waiting to be photographed for our eBay shop. There are faux furs, knits and some real sparkly gems all at great prices.

We are so excited to say that in just a few weeks our new ASOS boutique will open its doors, packed to the rafters with vintage accessories: handbags, scarves, jewellery, ties, hats….ooh the list goes on!

Then there’s our new monthly stall at Spitalfields vintage market….from November 5th we will be selling out beautiful boutique dresses as well as some knits, blouses, handbags, coats…..think vintage glamour!

We will be at the Clothes Show Live in December for a whole 6 days…phew! Affordable, funky, on trend vintage will be for sale….

Then there’s all the university fairs perfect for student vintage clobber as well as some treasures for everyone else. Cambridge, Leamington, Leicester…we are coming to get you.

Gosh we also have 2 possible 3 furniture events before Santa gets here. Coffee tables galore, lighting, glassware, barware, even a shaggy rug will be available.

So, in the mean time here are a few vintage lovelies to wet your appetite which will of course be on sale somewhere near you soon!

Gorgeous purple satin 1970s dress

1970s burnt orange mohair Jaeger coat

1930s deco leather clutch with back strap and purse inside….stunning!

Eye catching 1950s clip earrings

Puffed pleated sleeved, pussy bow 1970s dress

1980s silk Escada equestrian scarf

Vintage shaggy faux fur coat

1930s Czech bird brooch

1940s green suede bag and gloves with handmade brooch: worn to a wedding during the war

Vintage rhinestone snake brooch with 2 pins

Have yourself a Merry Vintage Christmas!

We know, we know.. it’s still November but here at Your Vintage Life we can’t wait ’till Christmas. We wanted to share our latest article for Vintage Life Nostalgia magazine to start to get you in the festive spirit….(and remember we have great pressies available on the site!)

Have yourself a Merry Vintage Christmas…

…by adorning your home with 1950s decorations, throwing a vintage Christmas Eve party and creating a traditional Christmas Day!

Christmas in years gone by, was more about family than today’s commercialism. Mother saved all year in saving schemes to ensure everyone could come together with peace and happiness. And every year was the same.

The dusty box of decorations came out of the loft to reveal a blast of colour, with glass baubles and strings of garlands. The tree was covered in balls and icicles reminiscent of the atomic shapes that were appearing on fabrics. The balls had indentations with crushed insides, stripes like the rings of Saturn and cigar shaped icicles which brought a modern feel. The tree was real, as artificial tinsel trees were not the fashion until the 1960s. Cards, candles, wired tinsel and coloured lights were thrown on top creating a haphazard, joyful vision. Under the tree amongst the presents, was a pile of pine needles mixed with broken glass; bauble casualties occurred on a daily basis! It wasn’t until the 1970s that plastic, durable baubles became the norm. A Barbie influenced fairy sat on the top with canary yellow hair and an organza skirt.

Multi coloured paper garlands zigzagged across ceilings with folded out paper bells hanging from the centre. Making paper chains was a family event with everyone participating. Strips of coloured crepe paper were stuck together with a running stitch sewn down the middle to create a twisted rainbow effect. There was one rule: the more the better!

The house was decorated often as late as Christmas Eve. Due to lack of transport, families spent the evening walking from house to house delivering cards and presents. This was party time when parents had a festive drink and children stayed up late, drinking lemonade. The drinks cabinet was stocked up and party snacks were laid out: men drank sherry, ladies drank Gin, Cherry Brandy or cocktails with a glace cherry on top. These were always served in the best glasses: frosted shot glasses for sherry (the schooner didn’t really take off until the 1960s) and branded champagne flutes for your Cherry B, Snowball or Babycham. Bar accessories were on display with fruit ice buckets, soda syphons and glass cocktail shakers.

Candy coloured “Little Forks” were used for nibbles. Meat was the main party food: cocktail sausages, tinned ham and scotch eggs were the favourites. The centre piece on the table was a hedgehog; a potato wrapped in foil with cheese and pineapple chunks on cocktail sticks sticking out. Entertainment came in the form of a sing-a-long and flicking through last year’s Christmas card scrapbook. Everyone enjoyed themselves but was always home before midnight….before Santa arrived!

Christmas morning, children woke up to a pillow case full of toys. A must was the year’s annual laid on top, perfect for excited eyes to read while waiting for parents to wake after the festivities of the night before.

As it is today, the dinner was the main event. The table was set, using only the best china which hadn’t been used since Easter. Candles were lit in the traditional central Christmas log. This was homemade; father would find a log, drill a hole in the middle and place candles in it.

He would stand at the head of the table carving the turkey on a huge ceramic platter. Seasonal vegetables were served in matching tureens. Mother added Bicarbonate of Soda to the sprouts to keep them green…everything had to be just so. Homemade crackers were pulled. Beer was drunk as wine didn’t become popular until the 1970s. Everyone dressed up in their best clothes. The meal ended with a Christmas pudding which had been made in November. All the family stirred the mixture in large mixing bowls, made a wish and hoped they would get the lucky sixpence.

After dinner, the family gathered around the wireless to listen to the Queen’s speech. Instead of flaking out on the sofa, everyone played board games. Pin the tail on the donkey, Lotto and the Christmas jigsaw were favourites. Cards were also played, using buttons for money when bets were placed.

Eventually, after turkey salad, cake and a glass of port at the table, the day drew to a close.

All this can be created today. Learn from the ghost of Christmas past and create a simpler festivity, holding family values high and celebrating a fun, bright look. Keep your eyes peeled all year for vintage decorations and pile them high on the tree. Dress your 1950s cocktail bar, make some old fashioned cocktails and invite people over on Christmas Eve. Wear your favourite vintage clothes. And turn off the television, play games and have a sing-a-long with the people you love!

Merry Christmas!