Beat the Monday Blues

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 introduce to you the fabulous cases and bags from uoldbag!

There’s an amazing second hand shop here in Bedford which I can only describe as an alladins cave of house clearance. It’s owned by Pat who I have known for years (my mum used to own the cheese shop next door). I have been going in there forever, loving a root about in all the treasures (and some junk).

When I started the business up I kept going in asking for handbags and cases. They were always gone! To a local girl who “likes to stick things on bags” (Pat’s words). I envisaged a crafty type, sticking beads on bags for a hobby. Now there’s nothing wrong with this but I had no idea this person was creating the most amazing works of decoupage.

uoldbag! is owned by Lisa Tilley.

She lives locally and is a textile designer. She collects vintage magazines, papers, maps and  anything interesting to add to vintage suitcases and bags. The result is truly stunning and unique.

This is also done to create trinket boxes.

She also makes the cutest bags from upcycling tea cosies. The cases are real works of art and beautifuuly finished. I recognise they are not cheap…but think how amazing you will look at the airport carousel!

I caught up with her last week and she was good enough to answer some of my questions.

Where did the name uoldbag! come from?

A lot of people love the name and think there’s some special story behind how I came up with it, but actually it just came really easily. I knew it had to be something around old bag and I thought of a few different versions and did some research and found other companies called things such as ‘the old bag company’. It was finalised by talking through ideas with my partner and he came up with the ‘u’. I wasn’t sure about it at first but then after some more discussion we decided ‘uoldbag!’ was the way to go.

Describe your bags/cases in 5 words

Nostalgic, Fun, Young, Original, British!

What does a typical day look like?

I don’t really do typical days, whilst setting up my business I worked in many different jobs to fund it, which meant I had very different days and no routine. I am currently working full time on my own business which feels great and I’m finally able to focus purely on my own work, but I don’t think I’ll ever have a typical routine. I do what needs doing; I have periods of making and then periods of photographing the products and preparing the images and products for sale.

Then I’ll have periods of admin work, where I’ll upload the products to sites and market them. I’ll also be working at selling them, speaking with shops, organising delivery of sales, sourcing materials and everything else that needs doing. You have to have many heads, which keeps the work varied and I can’t see me ever getting bored. I love the making the most of course but the rest comes with it.

Whats your biggest achievement to date?

 My main achievement to date with my work is creating a range for Paris and Milan fashion week for Paul Smith which were displayed in the shop windows. My main personal achievement would have to be what I’m doing right now, working on my own business full time. I come from a very poor, large, single parent family where I helped raised my brothers and sisters, I was never expected to become anything, but I was determined to make a life for myself and hopefully in the future I’ll be able to help make the lives of others when I’m able to expand and employ people.

Where do you want to be in 5 years time?

I’d like to still be doing what I’m doing full time, be making a comfortable living from it and to hopefully have taken staff on to help me. I hope to have my own shop combined with a studio some day, preferably in London. This is one of my main aims and I hope that this will turn into many uoldbag! shops, but we’ll see. I like to walk before I can run.

And finally, what’s great about Bedford?

Bedford’s a great place to live because it’s quite close to lots of places, the most important being London. London’s great for creatives and an exciting place to live, but is very expensive and a bit manic for me. I love it in small doses but when I spend time there, I love getting off the train in Bedford and feeling the peace and ease. I like the fact, Bedford has the necessary things you need and then if you need something more you can just jump on the train. I also love the parks and river and I especially like the area my studio is based in, which is Castle Road. For a small town, Bedford is quite arty and the creative network is building all the time. I love the River festival and that it’s free and think the council should invest in more events like these that would attract more people to Bedford.

I’m sure you will agree her work is stunning. These are some of my particular favourites.

Check out the website, her etsy shop and join her on Facebook and Twitter.

One thing’s for sure…this is the perfect way to travel and no one will ever pick your case up by mistake!


Spotlight on Blouses

Todays spotlight is on the blouse. A wardrobe classic, it is the perfect garment to wear with this winters 1940s look. Elegant and simple it looks perfect with a pencil skirt, wide leg trousers and even with your jeans.

And you don’t have to actually find a 1940s version..there are loads of great vintage blouses out there from all eras to help you create the look.

One of the 1940s looks was utility: crisp white blouses were worn with trousers or skirts creating a functional look. They were quite masculine in style often with breast pockets and uncovered buttons.

For a more feminine look, women wore light weight blouses with rounded Peter Pan collars. Buttons were often concealed with fine belts added to highlight their curves. Some styles were collarless with a small bow at the neckline.

They were worn at work, in the fields, baking, going out….the blouse was an everyday item long before the introduction of the basic T.

Pretty patterns were seen but nothing too bright. Polka dots and small flowers were on blouses as well as dresses.

These images come from 1940s Woman’s Own magazines.

We have some lovely ones in stock in our eBay shop at the moment and a lot more coming this week. Whether it has a pussy bow neckline, gentle padding at the shoulders, is belted, has ballooned sleeves or patterned…one thing is for sure this autumn. We all should be wearing a blouse.

They’ve been framed

For all the people who have read our blog “We’ve got it covered” all about our lovely collection of 1940s/50s Woman’s Own magazines…here are some pictures of them now framed and hung up in our home.

In the hall, above the telephone table we chose the 1945 cover of a woman on a red phone which matched her lipstick perfectly. Another favourite is the 1939 cover of a woman with quite a bit of flesh on show…she looks beautiful.

To complement the yellows in the phone cover, we chose the 1954 lady in lemon.

In the bedroom, we chose classic 40s and 50s ladies with hourglass figures to match our Sanderson Fifi wallpaper.

The gent in a tux has also been chosen to sit alongside all the beauties. For more pictures of this room check out our blog “Fabulous Fifi

Fabulous Fifi

For anyone that follows our blogs, you will know we are renovating a poorly neglected 1920s house. Check out “Our Patterned Palace” for a glimpse of the array of 60s wallpaper and carpet on every (and I mean every) wall. It has been a labour of love but……

We have finished the first room!!!!!!

Our bedroom was covered in pink psychedelic wallpaper which we actually liked, but was not in a good state of repair.

This has been replaced with an amazing wallpaper called Fifi. It is from Sanderson and is part of their 1950s range. Recently they have pulled together a fantastic collection of original prints from wallpapers and textiles which are both eye-catching and fun.

Coinciding with the 60 year anniversary of the Festival of Britain, this range is nostalgic of the many fabric designers who showed their new radical ideas here at a time when this country was just coming out of rationing.

The Fifi design was an original wallpaper which was recently found in someones attic. It depicts ladies with hourglass figures and Dior’s New Look shapes which launched in 1947.

Tight bodices, nipped in tiny waists and full wide skirts. Splashed with purple and green it looks amazing with our Murano and Whitefriars glass collection.

I love white walls…perfect for showing off your vintage homewares. Teamed up with cream stained floors the room is bright and calming.

People often think white with cream is wrong, but i love it. Look at our Panton lamp against the cream of the wallpaper.

The room is quite big so we have added a 50s chair, a glass topped kidney shaped table and a cocktail cabinet.

No….we are not drinking martinis in the bedroom!  It is full of my glorious 1950s bag collection: lucite box bags, Dorset Rexs, Atlas window pane bags, Caro Nans, Enid Collins, Midas of Miamis…..I LOVE THEM!!! They are kept behind glass to protect them from sticky fingers!

All we need now is some curtains and to find frames big enough for our amazing vintage magazine covers, as mentioned in our blog “We’ve got it covered“.

Let us know what you think of Fabulous Fifi?? And maybe check out the whole Sanderson 50s range…