Last week’s weakness

My weakness is shopping. Actually, not just shopping. My weakness is shopping, thrifting, collecting….I can’t drive past a car boot sale without dropping in, I can’t visit a new town without thrifting through the charity shops, I can’t ignore a sign saying “Garage Sale” be honest I can’t even drive past a skip without meer-catting my neck up to see if there’s any bounty inside.

So maybe I should share with you my fact here is last week’s weakness.

So, while trading at Saturdays Furniture Flea in Cambridge I took some time to check out all the other stalls there. I met some lovely people and saw some gorgeous stuff. But to be fair, this is the thing that caught my eye first.

The stall was called Little Toucan and was opposite mine. It was full of brightly coloured kids retro items and this little tortoise was sitting on a cushion under the table. He was literally looking at me!

It is hand made using vintage floral fabric. He had a bigger brother which I managed to resist but is still on their website.

I love the purple vibrant colour. The fabric is as good as new.

His eyes are sleepy, handsewn with looped stitching.

I love it! But of course he is not for me! He is tucked away in hiding (or maybe hibernation) waiting for Christmas. Lucky Kitty will be getting him from Santa in just a few weeks time!

Check out Little Toucan here


Deck the halls!

Gosh is it really nearly Christmas? Well, the festive issue of Vintage Life magazine has arrived with our latest article in.

For some ideas on how to decorate your home this Christmas, here is “Deck the halls“.

A vintage Christmas calls for vintage decorations. Add hand made touches with family tradition, to make it all the more special.

In the 1950s the tree was real with delicate glass baubles hanging next to candy, ribbons and candles. The 1960s brought a love affair with artificial trees, especially silver ones covered in cosmic shaped baubles. The 1970s look was anything goes…pile it all on..never mind if you can’t even see the tree!

Whatever your style, here are some ideas to recreate these looks, with a few of our own personal touches added. Why not go back to your own family traditional look or maybe start making your own traditions for your grandchildren to enjoy in years to come.

The Vintage Look

Keep precious glass baubles away from little fingers by hanging them from your vintage lights. They will look beautiful above the dinner table, catching the light as they move. Hang perfectly with clear fish wire or go for the craft look with silver ribbon.

Set the table with vintage crystal to create a sparkling Christmas dinner. A bowl of matching vintage baubles makes the perfect centre piece. Scatter crystal charms all over, add silver, candles and cake tazzas to finish the look.

Don’t forget to add the finishing touches with vintage silver napkin rings and crisp white linen. Everyone in our family had their own individual hand-picked silver napkin ring replacing the need for place names. This eclectic look will add character to your table.

Surprise the postman with bright paper garlands and bells adorning your hallway. Why not make your own by simply sewing a running stitch through lengths of coloured crepe paper.

Hand made touches

Create a soft, pretty effect by adding flowers to the tree. Silk cream and pink roses dipped in silver glitter will shimmer behind your vintage baubles.

Make your own crackers with personalised gifts inside. Or add sparkly vintage jewels to the outside to complement your table setting. Think brooches for the girls, cuff links for the boys. Maybe wrap the outside of the cracker in vintage wallpaper or fabric for a clashing patterned look.

Hand picked holly with red berries make an easy-to-make centre piece. Display in a vintage vase or jug and sit on a mantelpiece. Hang cards from vintage pegs on brown string to finish the look.

Create your new traditions.

Celebrate your childhood with your own children by displaying handmade treasures collected over the years. My handmade pink fairy from the 1970s sits alongside my children’s recent masterpieces to create that 70s eclectic look.

How many of you remember the Blue Peter coat hanger decoration made in the late 70s? This one is still going strong and greets all visitors young and old.

My grandma lovingly wrapped small gifts and hang them on the tree. Each present had a riddle describing the person the gift was for…we sat around guessing, appreciating the time and love that had been put into it. Year after year my riddle was: Who married Henry 3 times? Katherine of course!

Beat the Monday Blues Part 1

Beat the Monday blues by checking out something or someone we love. Here at Your Vintage Life, we feel it is important to share great finds with you all as well as support local business.

So this Monday I want to share with you the most perfect cushions, beautifully made and beautifully designed.

Eclectic chair is the creation of Heather Linnitt who is based in North Leeds. She is an upholsterer but also makes cushions  often from vintage fabric as well as vintage silk scarves and the most stunning Japanese kimono fabric.  She also makes contempary ones out of fabric that has simply caught her eye. They don’t cost the earth and will make any sofa or bed simply divine.  She offers a great service of making cushions from your favourite bits of fabric especially for you…you can even have pompom trims. Just contact her via the website.

In a recent interview with UK Handmade she discusses her stunning cushions, saying “I am a big fan of colour and pattern and I love the vintage/retro look mixed with contemporary furniture and accessories.

I like a bit of faded elegance, something that has seen a bit of life and is a bit worn around the edges.” I love the description of faded elegance, it sums up some vintage fabric so well.

The kimono fabrics are, in my opinion the best. She describes them as “a piece of art, very often handpainted, the colours and designs are out of this world”. I’m sure you will agree.

The silk scarves ones are equally lovely. She says ” They are far too beautiful to simply tie up around your neck, and with a bit of reinforcement from some interlining, they make stylish vintage cushions.” My favourite one reminds me of a Mondrian meets Rothko….the colours are divine. I cannot quite believe it was once a scarf!

One of the cushions has been featured in this months Homes and Antiques magazine (alongside our furniture and homewares). This shot is totally gorgoeus and their blue rose cushion sits pride of place in the middle of the sofa.

Here are some more gorgeous creations. Make sure you check out her website at

Didn’t we do well?

Today’s job is to pack Christmas away, but before I do….here’s some of the vintage lovelies we received.

For him…some more Taunton Vale to add to the collection. His love of orange means our kitchen is filled with bright, zesty retro treasures….from 70s Tupperware storage, to 60s CathrineHolm enamel cookware, to funky orange Taunton Vale flower storage jars. We even have a (modern) orange Smeg fridge!

He also had a diary filled with images of 1950s pin-ups. I love this…I love the styling, the clothes, the fact they are not skinny!

For our little girl………a 70s Fisher Price Jack in the Box….a new addition to our vintage toy collection. I, in fact, had this when I was a child and I thought it was rather scary. Kitty however thinks it is hilarious!

For our little boy, a 70s game of Kerplunk. I love the box with the groovy kids faces…Herbie, so far just wants to play with the marbles!

They also received some hand knitted jumpers from their Great Nanna B. This cardi is so cute and a one off!

For me…..I received an array of vintage nighties, slips and a cute bed jacket. Ruffles, embroidery, lace, pretty pastels and bright limes…GORGEOUS! (I don’t quite look like the pin-up in Adam’s calender though, but I’m working on it!)

Lastly, I received this lovely folding 3 tier cake stand/table. I LOVE IT!!! I am going to put it in the bathroom with trinkets on each shelf. It is in such great condition with the pictures having no fading at all. I will also use it as a prop at the upcoming Vintage Wedding fairs.

With that…it is all over and my focus is now on wonderful  spring trends and buying new stock. Watch this space!