A Vintage Diary

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28th January 2012

We have had a great ASOS shoot yesterday but boy was it cold! Katie, one of our new models was frozen and as I didn’t need red raw hands holding the vintage accessories we only lasted a short while. Our focus next week is all about ASOS with more bags being listed daily. We will have another shoot in 2 weeks which will mean we will be full again in the boutique. The doors have only been open for 3 months but we have done really well….so it’s definitely going to expand in 2012.

27th January 2012

Breaking News! We now stock Vintage Life magazine. You can purchase it from us at the many fairs and events all round the country we attend as well as direct if you’re local. For anyone that hasn’t read it yet…where have you been? It’s full of vintage fashion, homewares, Betty Bee’s great “How To” guides, vintage weddings…and the odd pin up girl! Oh and also our article every month!!! A big box arrived of them this morning, so if you want a copy let me know!


26th January 2012

We’ve just packed up a 1950s coffee table that has been bought by the props department at the National Theatre! I wonder which performance it will appear in? It’s the classic style with black screw on legs. Believe it or not..Ikea in the 50s/60s sold these (in Sweden of course)

25th January 2012

So another dilemna…sell or keep? Mr YVL wants to keep this retro case for Herbie to use as a schoolbag. It’s dead cute and the perfect size for his books. Thoughts please?

24th January 2012

We are getting ready for Valentines Day! Photographing lovely vintage nightwear from the 1920s through to the 1980s. Think Birdsong meets Mary Quant. We have written a blog for later in the week and will start listing Thursday. In the mean time here’s a sneaky peak!

23rd January 2012

Today was a good day! We have taken on a new intern who is going to be a great help photographing stock ready for listing, pricing ready for fairs, packing parcels, sorting stock…basically freeing up my time ! Hurrah…this means I have more time to actually list stock which means that more great vintage and retro will be available to buy!

Plus, we have signed up for this December’s Clothes Show Live. For 6 days we will again be selling our vintage wares to hoards of young women in need of an affordable fashion fix.

Here we were last year.

21st January 2012

Yesterday I found this fab vintage case. It is an unusual shape as its deep rather than wide.

When opening it up…guess what was inside? A load of vintage Christmas decorations including glass 50s indentations and a cute fairy for the top of the tree.

Lucky or what? (er…I came downstairs this morning to find my children playing with them…maybe not so lucky!)

20th January 2012

Possibly one of the most beautiful and saddest songs ever. RIP Etta James

17th January 2012

How to fool your children.

I have found the perfect place to hide my chocolates so that the thieving kiddies don’t find them. I have a large collection of vintage tins with a special fondness for Quality Street tins. In them is mostly buttons, old zips, beads etc. Like this one.

So as both children think that they are filled with boring stuff they don’t look inside them. Bingo! Now I have found the perfect use for the new vintage tin that Santa brought me.

Mummy 1, Herbie 0!

16th January 2012

Well I spent the day today finishing off our easter article for Vintage Life magazine. The deadline was today! So while I was tucked up warm inside, Mr YVL was up a ladder outside renovating our window boxes. These were homemade but very rotten. He has repainted the metal frames, made new boxes, painted them green…….such a clever man. What do you think?

Before: (a little blurred as I have zoomed in)

And after:

Now just picture them full of Spring bedding. And the house will (eventually) be painted cream.

A job well done methinks.

15th January 2012

A meal out with Spiderman. Herbie has worn this outfit almost daily since Christmas. Has anyone got any tips on how to get him out of it? How I wish for a little boy in vintage clothing: arran jumpers, long socks, plaid jackets…instead I get my very own superhero!

13th January 2012

Today’s dilemna: Keep or Sell? This is always happening in my life as we buy so many lovely things that I always want to keep! These would be lovely to keep but to be fair with our children they are likely to get ruined! What do you think?

They are Pelham puppets in their original boxes. I love them so much especially the Ermintrude from the Magic Roundabout.

9th January 2012

Why my children are so lucky.

Look what a very delayed Santa brought yesterday. 2 Cath Kidston bags! Kitty’s one is big enough for her to sleep in but is great for all the stuff toddlers come with.

And as for Herbie’s “big boy” satchel…isnt it great! It’s covered in space ships and rockets..no Fireman Sam in sight!

8th January 2012

Yesterday we braved the cold to set up stall at Old Spitalfields market in London town. It was sale day with the aim of being the biggest vintage sale ever!! 150 stall packed the place with home wares, jewellery, furniture and clothing and we are pleased to be part of it. Here are some piccies of our stall.

We set up to reflect our stall at The Vintage Festival last summer, with a stool and mini dressing table. The stool came from my Great Aunts house.

3rd January 2012

Everyone loves a vintage pinnie don’t they? Well santa sure does because he brought both my 2 one each. Here they are: Herbie in his Homepride apron and Kitty in her cotton red pinny. Herbie seemed to love his more than her…maybe he will be a chef when he grows up.

They weren’t cooking though, but playing with their retro plasticine head!

Cute huh?

1st December 2012

Happy New Year!

Not much to tell of last night as I was poorly in bed. But today I’m up and running and thinking of resolutions. The over riding one is to be healthier and stronger.

  • somedays my body feels older than it’s age….especially since carrying two children. I want to get fitter and stronger: this time next year I don’t want to be poorly on new years eve.
  • I want to stick to this years marketing plan: not to get side tracked by bolts out of the blue
  • To me more organised with my admin. A whole stacking box of receipts is not good.
  • Finally to have a better work/life balance. I shouldnt be writing this at 8.30pm while Mr YVL is sitting beside me. And to have some time off: we havent had a proper holiday since 2007.

30th December 2011

Guess what we will be doing today?

Both the new Homes and Antiques and Vintage Life magazine arrived today! Quick flick through I can see great stuff by Betty Bee (as ever) and an interesting read called Chic and Cheerful: thrifty makes to make your home gorgeous! Oh and there’s my latest article of course called 2012, A Vintage Year with loads of ideas to have a vintage year. See you later!

26th December 2011

We spent Boxing Day with Mr YVL’s family. More presents, another dinner…phew! One of their decoration ideas which I clocked for next year was picked hydrangeas which amazingly this year are still green with a little pink still visible. My mother-in-law painted glue on some of the petals, then sprinkled silver glitter over. Simple, really pretty and another great home-grown, hand-made Christmas idea. Displayed in a smoked grey Riihimaki vase, it was also a great vintage idea!

25th December 2011

The table is set, the food is cooked, the champagne is open, the presents are being ripped open…Christmas is here! Happy Christmas to you all!

24th December 2011

Most peoples blogs today talk of magical Christmas Eves. Well, mine is mostly about cleaning! I have collected silver and crystal all year for the table tomorrow and forgot it needs cleaning!

Here are my Grandmas silver milk jug and sugar bowl.

They look even better with sweets in.

I love glass with stars cut into it. Here are the silver edged coasters I picked up in a charity shop.

The large bowl is perfect for the the centre of the table with baubles in.

Crystal tazzas for the mince pies

Crystal glasses especially for the candy cane. Mr YVL will drink his beer later from this one.

I got this set of glass trinket dishes from a jumble sale. It looks great with all the nibbles in.

Gosh, is that the time…I better get back to the cleaning!

23rd December 2011

In our Christmas article for Vintage Life magazine, I wrote about making new traditions that your children can continue well into the future. This included hanging their creations from the tree. Today Herbie came home with his home made bauble, covered in snow and glitter. It is now hanging pride of place next to all the other vintage decorations.

and here’s last years one next to the pink fairy I made over 30 years ago!

22nd December 2011

Remember a few weeks back we bought a trunk of old vintage decorations. Inside there was loads of plastic 50s/60s garland which I have used with abundance over the house. Up the bannisters instead of real greenery! A bit kitsch I know but it’s exactly what would have been done 50 years ago! p.s. We havent renovated the stairs yet so please ignore the wallpaper and carpet!

21st December 2011

This year Santa is bringing Herbie a camper van bedroom. As part of our house renovation his room was definately due a makeover..infact his room was one of the worst rooms. For those of you who didnt know, we have a camper van ourselves called Florence. So, we have made up a canvas print of her for his room. He will love it!

20th December 2011

How to make your run down house renovation feel Christmassy by Mr YVL. Today I came home to my 1950s paper garlands and balls hanging from the horrid suspended ceiling frame in the kitchen. Yes, wires are hanging down, yes the tiles are disgusting but my decorations are truly fabulous.

17th December 2011

We have had some great press this month. Homes and Gardens magazine featured our cake stand in their gorgeous Christmas party recipe pages. The photo (bottom right) features our 1960s stainless steel cake stand. The tartlets look scrummy and the red and silver reminds me a bit of the table decorations we styled for Vintage Life magazine. Makes me feel just a little bit more festive (and in need of party snacks)!

16th December 2011

While today is snowing and so, so cold, we are dreaming of summer days in late August. Today we can confirm that we will again, be selling at the fabulous Twinwood Festival next year. Its a 3 day event on the August bank holiday weekend. Full of 1940s and 50s dancing, singers and events, we will be selling our vintage homewares and clothing. And as it’s only up the road, I again will be popping home for a shower every day!

Here is some piccies from this year.

15th December 2011

Now, is this best vintage haul ever? Today we bought a  trunk full of vintage toys from the 1950s through to the 1980s. There are the great Fisher Price toys which we collect. Some we already have but the ones we don’t (the dog, the school desk and the Polaroid camera) may have to stay with us! I love the Tom and Jerry jack in the box, the Rupert the Bear, the Humpty Dumpty, the rubics cubes, the pillar box shape sorter, the Magic Roundabout Pelham puppets, the Mr Men jigsaw….I could go on! Well, it’s off the clean them all, then onto the website tonight.  Which one is your favourite?

14th December 2011

Christmas cards have been done…a little late but still there’s time to post them! I bought a stamp at a car boot sale of a giant snowflake. Having dipped it in bright red ink, they look great against the crisp white card. The small pearls were added for detail. Simple…a bit splodgy but I’m pleased all the same!

11th December 2011

We finally have our tree! Read all about it in tomorrows blog (including my stress and worry!)

10th December 2011

We found a box of 5 sproingies in the garage today. What’s a sproingy I hear you ask! It’s our made up name for one of these!

They date from the 1960s and they are becoming rarer and rarer.Can anyone enlighten me as to what their real name is?? This one is brown and gold, we also have ones in orange, yellow and green! They are iconic pieces from the atomic era, when we were all caught up in the space race.

5th December 2011

SOLD! Our beautiful 1960s yellow concertina pleated dress  has gone to a good home. It sold today to a new author who has just finished her book about a lady in a vintage store (she didnt pass on her name..if you are out there get in touch!). I think you will agree it fits perfectly. Here she is (photo taken on my phone so slightly blurred)

and here is the same dress in one of our signature shots for our eBay and ASOS store.

4th December 2011

Today was the Furniture Flea in London. We sold our retro wares including lots of mid century furniture and tonnes of orange plastic. Poor Mr YVL did it on his own as I was at The Clothes Show….that’s another story! It was good to meet up at the local village pub afterwards for a well deserved beverage!

 Photos courtesy of The Affordable Vintage Fair

1st December 2011

First day of the Clothes Show Live…..busy busy busy! Here are a quick few photos of our shop. Check out the price blips and risers highlighting our re worked skirts which were featured in Frankie Says Shop blog!

Tesco sure taught me well!

30th November 2011

More prep for Clothes Show….postcards printed and put into carrier bags…life as a vintage seller is fun!

29th November 2011

Today has seen much more prepping for this week’s Clothes Show Live. We have tonnes of knitwear on our rail starting at £18. Here are some of our faves which will be on sale on the first day.

A cute angora cream jumper with beads

Another cutie in pale blue with silver stars

Pink puff sleeves with crochet Peter Pan collar

Loads of re-worked skirts as featured in the Clothes Show blog

Turquoise wool tartan skirt with leather tie sides

Bright florals..wear with opaques or bare legs!

And we have loads more still to prep: blazers, leather jackets, faux fur and the 200 dresses! See you tomorrow!

28th November 2011

We had a great day yesterday in Leicester for Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. We met some fab people too. I even had time to pop into town to check out the local vintage shops (thanks to Mr YVL running the stall!). Check out our pitch! Our best seller of the day was vintage scarves for only £3 (4 for a tenner)…must be something to do with the fact it was freeeeezing!

26th November 2011

We are all packed up and ready for tomorrows fair….we are at Leicester De Montford uni from 12.00-5.00. Its the last fair before Clothes Show Live next week…then we have a break until the new year! If you are near there tomorrow come say hi! In the mean time I’m just trying to work out my new loyalty scheme…..every little helps so some say. Any ideas?

25th November 2011

Today is all about ironing…90 different vintage blouses in total! We are busy getting ready for the Clothes Show Live next week and are washing, pressing, labelling tonnes of vintage clobber. Today it’s all about the shirt: 80s blouson puff sleeves, patterned, block colour, 70s boho, pretty prints….we have it all! Here are some of our favourites especially the cute hat printed one!

23rd November 2011

Why I love independent stores Part 2

The same hardware store I talked about yesterday also has 3 bottles of Topps scratch cover! What’s this I hear you ask? Well it is the best thing to rub on teak furniture to bring up its colour, fill in scratches and give it shine. It has been discontinued and scrupulous dealers are now selling it at over the top prices on eBay. But I found the last 3 bottles at a bargain price. They had been there so long they were covered in dust!

22nd November 2011

Why I love independent stores

I popped into our local hardware store today and found the most amazing thing. Leg Plates! Yes you heard right, leg plates. These screw onto tables so that the 1950s original black legs can screw into them. We have loads of spare legs and now we have plates which can be added to table tops when we find them. A bit odd, yes…but these are for 1950s/60s tables! The price label was from the previous owner which is over 20 years ago. So these have been sitting there since the last century! I bought the lot (and at £1.20 the price hadnt changed since then either!) We recently bought an amazing 60s cocktail table which was on the wrong base…watch this space as soon it will have the right legs put back on!

21st November 2011

I’ve been a bit quiet over the last few days as we all went away this weekend for a family wedding. It was lovely to get away, but we still found time to go bargain hunting and looking for stock! We found some fab bags, capes and even some furniture! However, the main event was the wedding. Everyone looked lovely especially my vintage loving little girl. Pretty Kitty wore her 1960s pink dress and cape….and started walking especially for the occasion to show off her look.

17th November 2011

Yesterday we were featured in The Clothes Show’s blog “Frankie says Shop”. She shouted about our re-worked pleated mini skirts. We will have rails of them at the show so are very proud to have been featured! Check out the article where Frankie declares “Race you to the stand” for the fab skirts!


16th November 2011

More vintage brollies…I cannot resist them! This one is a perfect Jubillee one for next year along with stripes and ruffles. Gorgeous!

15th November 2011

I bought a lovely vintage girls dress yesterday on my mammoth buying trip. It’s from the 70s, bright pink (much brighter than the photo) and has cute bunches of grapes on. I think Kitty will wear it to the wedding we are going to this weekend. With her faux fur coat, white tights and patent shoes she will be a vintage girl!

14th November 2011

Who saw Lady Gaga last night on television as a headless corpse? Well Mr YVL beat her to this look on this years Halloween. Seperated at birth?

13th November 2011

The worst thing about doing a fair is unloading the van! It’s always better after a good fair though but in this weather it’s hard to motivate youself to do it. Here are some piccies of our stall yesterday.

12th November 2011

Just as we were packing up at the Furniture Flea today in Cambridge I spotted a suitcase that I once sold. Way back in the summer, we traded at The Vintage Festival on London’s Southbank. On the last day I sold some vintage hard suitcases to a lovely lady from a company called Tilt. They decoupage and upcycle vanity cases and bags as well as sell gorgoeus vintage accessories. So today, here was the green one enjoying its new life of having a snazzy front. It’s a green case with a new bright outer, all shiny and revigourated. I wish I had a before photo! Here it is now, along with some of its friends.

11th November 2011

Today we are getting ready for the Furniture Flea tomorrow. We will be in Cambridge selling mid century furniture and retro home wares. We are teak oiling and bees waxing! We love this little windsor childs chair. It may be a nursing chair but we think it would be lovely in a little girls room.

10th November 2011

Whilest flicking through a 1956 edition of Woman’s Own I came across this Batchelors Garden Peas advert. It reminded me of my children and lifestyle so much I thought I’d share. There’s mum, doing the washing. The boy and girl are beautifully clean, playing together, all smiles. The cat is happy to be with the children. Just like my homelife.

Yeah right!

9th November 2011

A few weeks back it was our 5 year anniversary. We bought each other 1000 spring bulbs as there are not many here in our new house. They arrived today.

We bought 800 tulips and aliums in reds and purples. We still need to buy 200 bluebell bulbs. Not looking forward to planting them though! Mr YVL bought me a very apt  card to celebrate.

Mr YVL has given romantic plant gifts over the last 5 years. For our first Valentines he dug up snowdrops from his garden, potted them and put them outside my door. When he asked me to move in with him he bought me a purple Magnolia tree. And another Valentines I got an archway with 2 climbing roses. Arent I a lucky girl!

8th November 2011

Is it Christmas yet?? Well judging by todays knitwear it must be soon. I love this modern knit with its crochet collar and vintage feel. It arrived yesterday, ordered online from Topshop. What do you think?

And teamed up with a 1960s enamel brooch, bought for me by my mother-in-law, I think it looks great!

6th November 2011

We are slowly getting organised at YVL HQ….as of today we have started to rent a unit/garage in the village to store all our furniture and homewares in. I am loving the furniture side of the business…I simply adore restoring something to make it look amazing! And as we were bursting at the seams we needed a new space pronto. No piccies yet as it was dark by then time we finished. Next stop…Cambridge Furniture Flea so better get the teak oil out!

5th November 2011

A great day was had today………so much so that I think I will write a blog about it! Here’s a teaser photo

3rd November 2011

A vintage fairy was purchased today..she is so old! With layers of lace and organza and a handpainted face she will be perfect on the top of the tree.

Question. Keep or sell?

1st November 2011

We have had two days of Halloween….giving and receiving. We started Sunday when we all got dressed up and went trick or treating to family and friends. I wore last years red wig and my Mother in laws 70s maxi dress. Mr YVL wore a vintage cape over his head, held a hobby horse and a pumpkin head and became the headless horseman! Herbie was a skeleton and Kitty a scary fairy/kitten (a total mish mash look!). Neither wore make up, even though I bought a new pack plus fake blood…they went for the au natural look!

As you can see she looked pretty but he looked like an 80s throwback! So off we went and the kids received loads of goodies.

Yesterday however, it was time to give. Herbie dressed up again and waited for the kids in the village to come round. He was so excited..couldnt actually control himself….scaring the kids, handing out sweets, shoutingHappy Halloween.

Interesting thing is at 3 and a half, he much preferred the giving rather than the taking. Good huh?

Happy Halloween!

31st October 2011

Today we launched our new ASOS boutique selling “bags of vintage accessories”. We are still busy listing stock..and the good news is we had our first sale today too! We sold this brightly coloured wooden 80s necklace.

30th October 2011

Still going through the old trunk I sorted through a box of vintage Christmas decorations. My collection is getting out of control so each year I sell some! I love the glass baubles, they are so delicate and great bright colours. (Check out our article for Vintage Life magazine about vintage decs; Have yourself a merry vintage Christmas and some sneaky pics of our home last year in the blog A look to the past)

So in the box is realms of old garland. I’m not sure what we will do with it but it is so very festive. Maybe it will be incorporated into a table decoration.

In amongst all the vintage glass baubles I found 2 plastic orange retro decorations. I havent seen these before and they will be great in the retro lounge.

29th October 2011

It has been a great week for buying…I bought an old trunk and filled it with vintage treasures last Monday. I eventually today started looking through my finds…and remembered I bought this gorgeous vintage brolly. Any regular readers will know I LOVE a brolly (check out our blog Brolly Good). This one is bright blue with black flowers all over.

What I love the most is the handle which looks like old wood. It has its original tassle still attached.

What a brolly good find!

28th October 2011

The sun has come out, thank the lord! Today we are photographing for our exciting new ASOS boutique. It will be full of vintage accessories and first up for the shoot were the bags! Multi tasking as ever, the kids came too! Friday is officially Mummy Friday so we packed them up in the car (along with the bags, scarves and a variety of different faux fur). Not sure what ASOS rules are about child labour though…….. what do you think?

27th October 2011

Anyone for omelette? Just been to the chickens and they have been on a laying overload! (or maybe I didnt go and collect the eggs for the last few days!!)

Anyone got any good eggy recipes?

26th October 2011

Have been planning Halloween today, thinking about what the kids should wear. I don’t want to buy anything new but have very little time to make something. Herbie’s last costume will probably still fit and I’m sure I will work out something for Kitty. In the mean time check out last years photograph of us all. I reckon I’m rocking red hair! I wore a vintage red 70s dress and a full length needle cord cape…scary and stylish all at the same time!

25th October 2011

We are getting ready for the launch of our new ASOS boutique. It will be a vintage accessory shop full of handbags, scarves, belts and costume jewellery. Men will also have ties and scarves to choose from too. All items are hand picked especially for the boutique and will be on trend and affordable. As I spent 7 years at Acccessorize it is ironic that now I will launch a similar boutique…but vintage of course! Here are some of todays bags all cleaned and shined ready for launch. Check out the 1950s raffia, 1960s kellys, 1970s boho and the 1980s glam!

and for a sneaky peak at the shots…..

24th october 2011

Missing box 74 has finally turned up and is full of our framed photos of the family (nightmare box to lose huh?). It also had our telephone collection in it. Normally we would have a phone in every room but as we have no sockets it feels a waste of money to get them all fitted. So we had an idea of putting them all together, in a collection type way, on our telephone table! It’s probably a bit much but Mr YVL wants to wire them all up so when the (very) rare time someone calls they all ring! If he manages it I will record it for you!

23rd October 2011

This weekend has seen the structural problems in Herbie’s room being fixed. The previous owners put in french windows in this room with a wooden lintel above. This rotted which meant the gable end above dropped. This has now been fixed and a window put in. Amazing what Mr YVL can do!



22nd October 2011

We took 2 pairs of vintage rollerskates to the Cambridge Affordable Fair today. A womens pair in white from the 70s and a black mens pair from about the same time. Mr YVL wore them last night, skating around the house trying to tempt me to keep them. I envisaged his idea of us skating round the village together and promptly priced them up. They were snapped up straight away! Here is the happy lady who bought the white pair.

21st October 2011

We are finally trading at the Cambridge Affordable Vintage fair tomorrow so today’s been all about packing up the van! Luckily we now do this so regularly it’s just a case of adding and pricing new stock. We are loaded to the brim…come and say hi tomorrow!

anyone for a weekend bag?

20th October 2011

Today we moved Herbie out of his room so we can start the major job of renovating his room. (It’s the room with the structural issues) Behind his drawers we found a large picture of me! Back in the mid 90s I was photographed for a window display for Accessorize. I was managing their Bayswater store then..probably about ’97. I think the collection was called Class of 97 and was loads of staff wearing hats and scarves. Here I am!

19th October 2011

Thought I’d share my latest addition to my Queen coronation tin collection: a lovely yellow one from 1953. I have put all the business cards I have collected recently into it!

18th October 2011

All that happened to me today is seeing Michael Buble…..and here is a picture! He was doing a book signing which I wasn’t prepared to queue for! He said “alright ladies”… a man of amazing words!

17th October 2011

I bought some ink stamps yesterday from a local carboot sale. I chose snow flake ones for the kids to make Christmas cards with. However, when delving deep to the bottom of the box I found these 3 vintage ladies. One is obviously 1950s with the nipped in waist and flared skirt, one is 1960s with the mini dress and one looks quite 70s with a large floppy hat. Not sure what I will do with them but first thought is to use them on thank you notes from Your Vintage Life! Any ideas?

16th October 2011


Today we found an original 1950s cotton day dress…immaculate…………..which fits………………..in a box……….at a car boot sale………………..are you ready for this………………………..for 10p.

YES you read right! 10p. Oh, there is a god and he loves me today.

15th October 2011

Just back from an amazing day in Oxford. We sold loads and our feet are very sore! We trialled our 1950s table on the stall with baskets of vintage accessories> Ties for £5, Cravats for £8, wallets and purses for £5, scarves for £3, leather gloves for £10. We placed it behind our trunk of bags all at a tenner. The wonderful people of Oxford loved it!

We had a huge stack of vintage weekend bags and cases…they ALL sold!

We also trialled a small capsule range of our new Boutique collection. This also did well. Happy customers, Happy me!

14th October 2011

Stock priced..check! Van loaded…check! We are off to Oxford first thing tomorrow for Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. Come and see us if you’re near! We have fauc fur, mohair chunky knits, blouses,  autumn dresses, menswear, bags and our Boutique range.

13th October 2011

Loving that we have now unpacked all the hard back books which include all my vintage reference material. Flicking through images of 1940s ladies for todays blog makes me happy! As a writer I crave information and have been reliant on the internet for a few months now. There’s nothing better than real paper with words and photos!

12th October 2011

Today Herbie and I learnt that nothing is impossible. And that all you need to do is believe. We read an original 1976 Mr Impossible book. It’s the first edition and doesn’t even have the pictures of all the Mr Men on the back cover.

11th October 2011

After a difficult few days one of my Great Aunty Joan’s treasures has brightened my mood. Her 1950s/60s bright blue large bubble vase sits on the table in our new lounge. It’s perfect, no chips and cracks..it even has its original sticker on. I bidded on one at an auction once and it went for far too much..and now I have one. And the best thing it belonged to myown  family. What more can a girl ask for.

10th October 2011

Had a difficult day today clearing out our late Great Aunt’s home. Amazing how people behave when “free” stuff is on offer. Anyway, I have come away with some lovely momentos from her life which I will share with you later in the week.

9th October 2011

Another day of unpacking boxes: last night we unpacked 10 boxes of books and records. Then spent the evening playing them and enjoying our eclectic taste. Think I will share some of them in tomorrows blog.

8th October 2011

The best bit about renovating a home is finally opening your boxes which have been in storage for so long. Today we have finally opened all the kids boxes and found some real treasures. I’m afraid  it’s another book I’m sharing but this one belonged to Mr YVL when he was a boy (all those years ago!!).

It’s a pop up Magic Roundabout book from the 70s…actually 1971 although he wasn’t even born then..maybe it was his sisters (don’t tell her we have it!).

It’s in bright colours with a pop up Dougal on every page.

I think it should go on the new adult book shelf (admire please..this is what Mr YVL designed and built yesterday)  not the kids one don’t you?

7th October 2011

Very excited that my new, vintage Woman’s Own arrived in the post this morning. It is from 1953 and includes 30 ideas for home made Christmas presents….ooh I feel a few blogs coming up don’t you! To be honest some of the ideas are hilarious..maybe I should try and get crafty and make some for you. For example: peg pags, dice pin cushions, hanging plastic posy bowls and even an evening bag.

6th october 2011

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

Who would have thought when playing our vinyl records, whether it was on a Dansette in the 60s or a Bush in the 90s that one day we could have our entire record collection in our pocket? Who would have thought that one day you could have the whole internet in your pocket for that matter? Or a computer in your (vintage) handbag.

As a non techy person, I was slow to embrace the world of the wide web. The only reason I craved an I-mac was the coloured design (I wanted a pink one). I bought a mini I-POD as they were going cheap to staff at Tesco….but then I was hooked. I cannot actually survive without my I-Phone..FACT.

The world has lost a pioneer, a designer, an inventor and someone who can change a non techy like me into someone just that little bit more techy!


5th October 2011

We found a box of the children’s books today which have all been packed up due to the house renovation. It was full of old Ladybird books so tonight we read his favourite one. “5 little kittens” was written in 1955 and is a cute story told in verse. 5 kittens are left for the day whiles mummy goes shopping. They decide to “do mummy’s cleaning jobs” including washing up all the tea cups. But they all get smashed and trouble ensues in the form of shaking out a mop in a policeman’s face. “‘All’s well that ends well” as the kitties get their presents from the shopping trip.

They sure don’t write them like this anymore.

4th October 2011

So did I keep the 1950s wooden hand painted pencil box or have I saved it for my little boys Christmas present? Check it out here

Here it is today on my desk…so what do you think?

3rd october 2011

Finally had a great night sleep as we have curtains AT LAST! Our bedroom has been featured in the blog before (Fabulous Fifi) without curtains. The street light opposite has been shining in my face for months but not last night! Simple pleasures huh?

2nd October 2011

Not much happening today, just nursing hang-overs (Mr YVL) and eating large roast dinners. So I thought I’d share some of the well dressed lovelies from yesterdays fair in Lincoln. Personally, I’m loving the lady in the navy dress!

Rocking the hotpants, boots and boho look

Great cameo brooch on the scarf!

Sorry slightly blurred but this maxi skirt was to die for

Check out the belt, shoes, dress and matching door combo

The cutest dress with a bag bought from us…..probably the best bag ever!

Hey Bert…Hey Ernie. All in a days work!

1st October 2011

Fair advice vol 2; How to improvise

When your van breaks down and you have to put only half the stock into the car for a 4m wide stall….how do you fill your stall without it looking bare? You could give the space away or….

you could improvise. Today I added a bench and seats for my customers to sit on and then hopefully browse my stock. It worked! (sorry about the state of my trunk of bags..right mess or well shopped..you choose!)

I also left a copy of Vintage Life magazine for them to read!

30th September 2011

Today we launched our first blog in a series of festive gift ideas called “Home grown, Hand made, Vintage Christmas”. Today we are planning next weeks one. Can you guess what it might be??

29th September 2011

We found a hedgehog curled up under the lawn mower on Sunday. We thought he was probably considering hibernating so Mr YVL quickly made him a house in the back shed. Herbie lay him down some cat food and named him Freddy (event though I suggested the predictable Spike).  Off he went into his new home.

The shed was/is a rickety thing…heres it getting a lick of paint. It houses all our gardening stuff (and now Freddy). It resembles a cricket pavilion, yet I call it firewood. All our friends told us to keep it so we did.

But it’s so darn hot he has rejected his house and has gone off somewhere else! Obviously too early for hibernation! Herbie (aged 3 and a half) drew a picture of him  before he left so we can remember him!

28th September 2011

We are getting ready for our series of Christmas blogs which start this Friday. They are called “Home-grown, Hand-made, Vintage Christmas” and will give you ideas for great gifts for your loved one. So, in preparation for the first one we have been foraging. Juicy blackberries have been picked in abundance, our fingers are black and our toes have nettle stings on them (Note to self: next year wear wellies!)

27th September 2011

Our October newsletter went out to everyone who has subscribed over the last few months. It is something I have been meaning to do for a while with the aim to communicate all news and promotions to people who love vintage. Sign up now at the website.


26th September 2011

It’s Mr YVL’s birthday today! We have bought him a 1960s Westclox Big Ben alarm clock in purple. Perfect for his bedside table! I love the space age feel and it is in perfect condition!

Happy Birthday Adam x

25th September 2011

Today is all about the house…we are ready to choose paint colours for our lounge. For anyone new to the blog, check out our other posts about our house renovation.

We knew we wanted to have blues and oranges…based around the colours in our 2 Mucha prints. I  love my William Morris cushions and curtains. They remind me of the 1970s when this art nouveau look had a come back. My childhood sofa had a Morris print on. Then we started thinking about our teak furniture, teak and white lamps, copper finishes on things. We have chosen a tile from Fired Earth for the hearth.

So we chose a grey/teal/blue colour for one feature wall which will be painted today. I hope it works.

24th September 2011

Today has been all about getting ready for October’s vintage fairs. All the summer stock is packed away and we’ve been selecting great vintage yet affordable stock for Lincoln, Leamington and Oxford’s Judy’s Fair. (See our website for dates)

We have tonnes of fab women’s 70s/80s mohair and chunky knits, blazers, customised skirts and sexy pussy bow blouses. We will have a rail of fake fur and mens duffles. Menswear will be present too with denim, knits, blazers, track tops, bomber jackets and Bretons.

Phew, and we havent even got onto the 6 foot rail of autumn/winter dresses yet…..

(and so far I’ve only kept one cardy for me and one jacket for Mr YVL..good huh!)

23rd September 2011

My first Rockalily lipstick arrived in the post….and I love it. I will blog next week all about its fab packaging, gorgeous taste and glorious colour. In the meantime, I tried to take a photo of me wearing it. My word, I must have taken 50 photos…trying to take one where I didn’t look demented.

Check me out with my new red lippy! (Oh and loving the fact my cardi co-ordinates with our bedroom!)

22nd September 2011.

This is my first entry…I have been wanting to upload photos of my day and suddenly I had a brain wave….Kate’s Diary.

By popular demand, we will start with a photo of me! The face behind Your Vintage Life which never gets shown! Here is me with my daughter, Kitty. I will try harder to find a better one…I dont seem to have many of me but hundreds of the kids! You will see there is no victory rolls but there is a Now, Voyager green bird clip in my hair!

Leave a comment


  1. Jane

     /  October 5, 2011

    Just seen the Big Ben clock and it took me right back to being small! My Mum and Dad had one exactly like that in their bedroom with matching purple and pink duvet covers and walls. It was cocoon like to a small person and my sister and I adored the clock.

    Jane at Tea with Ruby

  2. Jane

     /  October 30, 2011

    The Christmas decorations have just taken me back to being small at my Nan’s!
    What a lot of eggs your girls lay, we’ve got two, Petunia and Ariadne who we love dearly.
    Hope your photo shoot went well

    Jane x

  3. Thanks, the shoot went well (once we got Herbie out of the way!). Our chickens all lay…one died this weekend though..we now have 6! More eggs than we need thats for sure. Just has last nights curry with egg added!!


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