Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Latest vintage find - dog lovers calender.

So it is two thirds of the way through January and up and down the land people have taken down last years calender, removed last years diary from it's hiding place and have replaced them with shiny new ones, full of blank pages that promise to be filled with treats, visits, outings, holidays and parties. Maybe some of those things are pencilled in already and others are in the process of being arranged. A brand new year to fill however you see fit. Exciting!

I do have a new diary and calender which I am gradually filling. But I also have this:

'Looking around'
'Phew! I am so glad that they finally opened that zip.
It smelt of unwashed PE kit in there. It is not very classy.
And I am scared of the dark.'

Yep, it is a dog lovers calender from 1960. I totally love it. I found it in a charity shop in a bundle of tatty papers and odd pages fallen out of books. It was next to a rag rug making booklet so I rescued them both and took them home. The calender is up next to my desk where I write, sew, plan, daydream. These dogs can keep me company. This is what they are thinking about.

'It is all very well you stopping for a pint in the pub
after our hard day of walking.
What about mine?
Would you be satisfied with water after the day we
have had?
Give me ale.'
'Ok, right, ready, do it now.
One, two, three - sad eyes.
That nearly got her, again, again, sadder.'
'This is as sad as I can do Bert'.
'Well you won't be getting any of my biscuits George'.

 'Tail wagger'
'Ha, got you sucker!
What do they say? Curiosity killed the cat.
I knew you would look in that basket.
Not so smug now are you?
If I keep my paws here you will never get out.
As long as I wag my tail they will never suspect me.'

'Two old faithfuls'
'How did we get this reputation Betsy? It is doing
nothing for our street cred.'
But surely Mabel, it is better that they don't know
about our little hook ups?'
'Little hook ups? Speak for yourself.
I've had the stud of the street don't you know!'

'Look out'
'Right lads, who is going first?'
'You go Boris.'
'Yes, well, I would but I need to style my moustache.'
'You go Fred.'
'Well, um, well, turns out I'm a little afraid of heights, I
can't look down.'
'You go Timothy'
'Right, I'm off. That rabbit is mine you bunch of losers'.

'Miss 1960'
'Darling, you look simply divine, what a marvellous do.'
'It is a beehive, quite the latest thing so Richard told me.'
'Oh, so you went to Richard, what a delight. I must
book in soon.'
'Yes, he said he wished all hair was like mine and that not
all girls can carry off this look. So I don't suppose there
is much point in you going.'

'Sausages. Smell that lovely sausagey smell.
Yum, yum, yum.
I know I can will them off that table.
Sausage, sausage, sausagey sausage.
Oops, a bit of drool.'

'Look right, I am all relaxed. The sun is shining, the step
is warm, the kids are inside, no one is patting, pulling
or poking me, no one is calling my name or trying to get
me to do something undignified for a tiny bit of cheese.
So I stick my tongue out when I am sleepy. So sue me.
No need to laugh.'

'The Judge'
'I hear what you say, I hear what you say. After careful
consideration of the facts, looking into the case in detail,
hearing from witnesses and examining the evidence put
before me, I must conclude that you, Judy, did steal
Maggie's ball and buried it, hoping she would forget about it.
 By the law of the backyard I sentence you to 3 nights
 without your favourite blanket.'

'Basket of Mischeif'
'It was him'
'Wasn't. It was her.'
'Wasn't. It was him.'
'Wasn't. It was so her.'
'Wasn't. It was so him.'
'God this straw is itchy. We must learn to wee outside and not
in our bed.'

'I say old chap I'm knackered.'
'Rather. Me too old bean.'
'Lets just pretend we can't hear them calling.'
'La la la can't hear you'.
What do you have on your calender?

Monday, 21 January 2013

Handmade wedding - photograph bunting part two.

As I mentioned in my previous post we had two sets of photograph bunting at our wedding. One was above the cake and consisted of family wedding photos and photos from my friend's mum's album - the one that started it off. The other bunting was above our card and message table and was made from all the photographs that I collected from charity shops and antique centres in the months before our wedding.

In this post I am going to do a show and tell of all the photographs that I didn't have room for previously. There are plenty of gorgeous dresses, dapper gents, uniforms, huge bouquets, tiaras and some lovely brides in glasses who hold a special place in my heart as I was one and you don't see us all that often. For a really interesting look at vintage spectacles and another bride in glasses go to this post at Chronically Vintage.

The following two photos are of family members on my mum's side but we sadly do not know who they were. I am pleased to get to include them here.

I think this is 1930s .
Both dresses are high necked and demure. The bride has a waterfall type hemline
which is great as you can just see her beautiful shoes.
Look at her wonderful halo type headpiece.
I am surprised that they do not collapse under the weight of those giant bouquets.
The groom and best man are holding white gloves   - very smart.

The 1950s judging by the shape of the dresses. The brides appears to have
a full length lace overlay and has long sleeves in contrast to the bridesmaid's
short sleeves. Their dresses look to be patterned fabric rather than lace.
Notice the three girls on the left in their smart princess coats, knee length
white socks and shiny shoes. The little boy on the right is not being outdone
in his blazer and shorts.
This next set of photos are the ones from my friend's mum's album.

I think this is the 1930s. The bride's dress has a Peter Pan collar and a button
through front. Her veil is floor length.
In contrast the bridesmaid's dresses are very ornate with net overlays, ruffles
and swirls. They are wearing intricate headpieces.

This photograph is interesting as the bridesmaids on the left and right are the
same as in the previous picture, wearing the same dresses. I think the bridesmaid
stood next to the bride was the bride in the previous picture.

The groom is wearing a lovely pinstriped suit, look at
those sharp trouser creases.
The bride's neckline looks interesting, she is possibly
wearing a bolero. You can just see some lace detail on
the floor length veil.
She is carrying at least two lucky horseshoes.

From the bride's suit and hat I would say this is a 1940s wedding.
Interestingly she has no bouquet just an ornate corsage.
The men are holding white gloves, the women are wearing leather gloves.
The woman on the left either has very frilly sleeves or a pair of white
gauntlet gloves on.
The bride and groom are beaming, it is lovely.

Also the 1940s. The bride appears to have a floral
headpiece with a veil attached. She is wearing
a lovely suit.
Look how her bouquet covers almost one third of her.
She also has a lucky horseshoe.

I think this is 1940s or late 1930s.
I wonder if this was taken outside their house.
The bride appears to be wearing a long jacket over
her dress.
The groom has white gloves, a stripy tie and a waistcoat.

Now we are in the 1950s.
Look at the fabulous flares skirts of the bridesmaids, I bet there are some layers
of petticoat under there. They are wearing elbow length gloves and have gorgeous
floral top knots.
The bride's veil is much shorter and flared than those of the 1920s and 1930s.
She is wearing a nice pair of specs and is carrying a lucky horseshoe and a pair
of lucky black cats.

What an ornate wedding cake!
You can see the lovely shape of the bride's dress and
the detail of the lace. Her veil is much more of a birdcage style/

Look how happy this couple are. I am assuming
this was taken in the churchyard.
Her dress is a beautiful shape and the full skirt is
balance by the lovely pointy shoes.

No veil here but a wonderful fit and flare dress.
Wrist length gloves, a small poesy and many
lucky horseshoes.

The first ring shot. Doesn't the groom look proud!?
Her dress is made of gorgeous lace with a slip dress
underneath. Again, a short, flared veil.

The next three photos are from 1960s weddings.
All the women have some version of beehive or bouffant hair.
The bride's veil is back to being floor length with a shorter front section to cover
her face. She is carrying a lucky black cat.
The bridesmaid's dresses are well shaped but very plain.

I love this because both the bride and groom are spectacle wearers, the bride
has a fine pair of cats eyes frames going on.
Her dress is more of a column and has a funnel neck. Again the veil is two lengths.

I think that she looks beautiful and elegant in
such a simple shaped dress. The below bust bow
detail perfectly finishes it off.

The following pictures are the random ones that I found on my treasure hunts.

The 1900s?
The groom is in tails and a proper three piece suit. He
is holding white gloves and has a wing collar.
The bride's dress is beautiful, on the shoulders and round
the bottom there is detailing which looks like mini bunting.
Look at her lovely dainty heeled shoes.
She has a floor length veil and is carrying a huge bunch of

As you can see this picture is mounted on
card and is handily dated August 2nd 1913
which is fantastic detail to have.
The groom is in tails and a three piece suit.
He has a wing collar and is carrying gloves
and a topper! How dashing!
Do take a look at his mighty fine moustache.
It is hard to see much detail of the bride's dress
unfortunately. I can see that her veil is not
floor length but her dress is. You can just see
the bows and heels on her dainty shoes.

This is from the 1920s. Look at all the women's lovely headgear, especially
the bride's lace cap veil.
I think the bride may be wearing a long string of pearls and it looks like her
dress is lace at the top and changes to fabric under the bust.
I love the expression on the face of the little girl at the front.

I think this is from the 1930s from the bride's dress
and Art Deco type background.
There is writing on the back of the photo but it is not
in English. I can make out that the bride and groom
are Lenon and Maria and if I had to guess I would say
it is in Polish but that is a gut reaction rather than the
result of any linguistic skills on my part.

This has a stamp on the back from the photographer's
studio and it is from Weert in the South-eastern
Netherlands. I bought it in Lincolnshire, it would be
great to know how it ended up there.
The groom is in a three piece suit with tails, white gloves
 and a topper but no winged collar this time.
The bride's bodice has a lace overlay and a Peter Pan collar.
Her little pouch bag hanging from her wrist is lovely.

The detail is quite hard to see on this photo but I think it is
also from the 1930s. Although much is not clear you can see
the beaming bridesmaid on the right which is great.

I love how glamorous this picture is. Look how the
bride's train and veil have been pulled out to pool
round her feet onto the floor. There is fine embroidery
on the veil, possibly crysanthemums.
Look how the bride is stooping over slightly as she is
 clearly taller than the groom!

This bride and groom are also from Weert and had their
pictures taken at the same studio. Their outfits are very
similar. On the back of this picture it is handwritten
to a Mr and Mrs Thompson.

I think this is from the 1930s.
I find it interesting that there are three young bridesmaids and
a pageboy and they are wearing clothes made from floral
sprigged fabric, the first I have seen. The littlest girl has such
a Little Bo Peep bonnet on!
The bride's dress has a lace overlay and she is carrying a lucky

I am going for early 1940s for this one as the groom looks to be in uniform
but the bride and bridesmaid's dresses still have a 1930s look to them.
They have such wonderful big smiles.

This was quite a find as it is a large picture of a full group shot. It is very
tatty, dog eared and slightly ripped so I have done my best to show the
good bits of it.
My gut feeling is that is is late 1940s,  possibly early 1950s.
The groom and best man are in lovely pinstriped suits.
The guests are displaying a fantastic collection of hats.
It is hard to see much detail of the dresses, not helped by the giant bouquets
which are hiding them.

This is William and Colleen, a 1940s wedding.
The picture is underexposed so the detail is
unclear but I think it conveys a sense of the
happiness of the day which I love.

I think this is from the 1940s. I wonder if
this is taken outside their house?
The groom is in a three piece suit.

The 1950s.
The first glimpse in these photos of a wedding car.
She looks such a perfect 1950s bride, her dress is a gorgeous shape.
That is the end of my collection as it currently stands. I imagine that now I have started I will probably be looking out for vintage wedding photographs for some time to come. I love a collection and don't feel that you can ever have too many. At least this one doesn't take up lots of space!

If you are interested in vintage wedding style and details then you may find Vintage Weddings by Marnie Fogg a good book to refer to. I bought it before my wedding as a source of inspiration and loved it even though I have not read it all yet. If you are planning a vintage wedding it gives advice on dress styles to suit you, menus, entertainment, drinks etc.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Handmade wedding - photograph bunting.

My inspiration for this came from an hour or so sat on the sofa with my friend's mum having a cup of tea and looking through her photograph album of family weddings. As she was talking me through who was who and what the weddings had been like we were also commenting on all the different styles of dress. It was fascinating to see trends emerge and fall away again and to compare dresses of one era with another. We looked at length of dress, veil or not, accessories, bouquets, shoes, bridesmaid's outfits and groom's outfits. We compared wartime brides in their Sunday best to 1960s mini skirted brides with all sorts in between. We saw some beautiful outfits and some 1980s horrors. It got me thinking that I would like to reflect my interest in vintage fashion by having some sort of display of bridal wear through the ages at my own wedding.

My friend's mum as a bridesmaid in the 1950s.
I love this whole outfit and I kept it in mind
when looking for my own dress.
So I let the idea mull away in the back of my mind and began looking out for old photographs of weddings. It was a bit of a hunt but I started to build up a little collection. It was a fun search even though I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to be doing with them all! I find if you think too hard sometimes you push away the fleeting glimmer of an idea that you are having. Much better to let it be part formed hovering out of sight until the day when it is ready to ping into the forefront of your mind ready for you to use.

Relatives, names unknown, 1900s?
He is so very dapper.
I'm afraid that she reminds me slightly of Miss Havisham
due to the exposure. I hope she had a much happier life
than that.
So I waited for my idea to form and busied myself with other wedding decorations. I was also thinking about ways in which I could include our various grandparents who were no longer with us. I didn't just want to mention them in a speech, I wanted some kind of memento, object or presence of them there on the day. It occurred to me that I could try to collect up their wedding photographs and have them on display in some way. Then they would be there, we would see them, and they would be a part of the day.

My Granny (coming up 83) and my Grandad.

Granny and Grandad 1949. Granny wearing a dress lent to her by a
neighbour. Look how it swirls out onto the floor. The veil and headpiece
look pre 1940s to me.

Grandma and Grandad 1940.
A male relative designed and made Grandma's dress. He went
window shopping in London then returned to Sheffied where
they lived, designed and cut the pattern and sewed the dress.
The veil is long and the top half of the dress is surprisingly shirt
like. Look at the lucky black cats in the horseshoe!
Grandad was in the RAF and wore his uniform.

Grandma's bridesmaids. You can see her writing above naming Joan
and Cynthia.

Mr O's maternal grandparents 1945.
What a totally gorgeous dress.

Mr O's paternal grandparents 1938.
The bride and bridesmaid look to have some kind of amazing pompom accessory.
The bride's belt is a lovely detail.
I also managed to get hold of my great auntie's wedding photographs. In the group photo of my Granny and Grandad she is the adult bridesmaid on the right hand side.

My Great Aunt and Uncle in 1950.
She has a tripple buttonhole!

As above.
I like the best dress and nice cardigan approach.
I then wanted to include wedding photographs of our parents and Mr O's brother.

My parents 1973.
Mum made her dress from a Vogue pattern. The bridesmaid
on the left is my aunt who made her dress. The other two
bridesmaid's dresses were made by someone else.

Mr O's parents 1970.
Anothe lucky horseshoe and black cat.

Mr O's brother and his sister-in-law
The first scoop neck dress in these pictures.

Then my idea pinged fully formed into my mind like I hoped it would do. I would make bunting. Photograph bunting. On giant ric rac (love ric rac, knew I would find a use for it) and on lace. Using mini wooden pegs to hold the photos on. It would go above the cake and above our message tree (more on that in another post). It would be both a decoration and a display of vintage wedding fashion. It would include everyone we love who couldn't be there. It would give guests something to look at and something to talk about. It would give me something to keep afterwards, a piece of family history.

Photograph bunting in all it's glory.

In close up.
We hung two lines over the cake.
The bottom line includes some photographs from the album that I mentioned at the start.
 I put it all together when I put it up on the morning of our wedding. It was a little nerve wracking as whilst the version in my head was exactly what I wanted and looked perfect I hadn't actually tried it out so I had no idea if it would work in real life! I didn't know if the pegs would hold or if the photos would be too heavy or if it would just look a bit silly. But I loved it and am proud of it!

Mr O's mum.
Giant ric rac and mini peg details.

The bunting in position above the cake.

Close up of the pegs and lace.

The bunting made from the old photographs that I collected I put up over our message tree. I am going to cover that in a separate post as I want to include as many photos of the lovely old outfits as possible without making this one really long.

These are a few more of my family wedding photographs. Unfortunately we do not know everyone's names or the dates of the weddings but it is possible to roughly work it out from the fashions.

Look at those massive bouquets. I would say this is from the 1920s.
Delicate shoes for the grown ups and ankle socks for the children!

This is the 1920s. The bride's dress has an interesting handkerchief hemline.
Both brides have similar lace caps and veils. The younger children have
similar ruffled dresses on. They could even be the same or cut down as both
pictures show family weddings.

This is the wedding of my Granny's brother in 1937.
The bridesmaid dress material is interesting with those hoops. Look at the
huge puffed sleeves.
A big contrast to the sleekness of the bride's dress.

I think this is probably the 1930s.
Shame the huge bouquets obscure the dresses a bit.
The bride's veil is long, you can see it almost touches her train.
The bridesmaid almost has leg of mutton sleeves.

A 1940's wedding, obviously he is in uniform
but you can also tell by her suit. No fancy shoes
for her, just practical ones. I love her handbag.

Another 1940's wedding.
I like her jaunty hat.
It looks like he may have pinstriped trousers on.