Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - thirty four

An attractive upside to the bad weather - rain drops caught among the leaves of a plant.

Resorting to hot chocolate to warm up! Had to have cream and marshmallows!

Going through my vintage buttons to find the perfect ones for my new cardigan.

Stitching the button band on to my new cardigan, knitted from a 1950's pattern.

Grasses at sunset.

A weekend of family celebrations for my niece's first birthday.

A fly past by two Lancaster bombers at the dedication celebration of a new memorial at a World War Two airfield in Lincolnshire.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - thirty three

A little later than planned with these this week! Only managed to take six, not sure why!

Out and about on walks, noticing that the blackberries are nearly ready for picking. Seems a bit early this year.

Glanced out of my bathroom window and saw this beautiful rainbow over the valley.

Reading a book to my niece, acting it out by frog hopping around the room.

Lovely Ladybird books.

Playing around with hair flowers.

Looking at beautiful yarn colours.

Friday, 15 August 2014

More vintage wedding photographs part four

I thought that it was about time to take a look at some more vintage wedding photographs as I have managed to add a few more to my collection. For others, take a look at these posts hereherehere and here.

This is such a lovely 1920's bridal party. All the women are in cloche hats, all of which are different. The men are all in three piece suits. The man on the left has his jacket open and it is just possible to make out the fob of his pocket watch. It also looks like his trousers may be a smidgen too short for him. The bride looks great in her pretty dress which looks to have silk circles appliqued around the hem and neckline. She is wearing a double strand of pearls. The bridesmaid on the right has the best shoes, t-bars with cut outs and a great heel height. She looks very similar to the bride, I think they must be sisters.

This is the bridesmaid on the left in the first picture. I was so pleased to find a second picture from this wedding. As she is standing in this photo we get a much clearer view of her outfit, such a pretty floaty dress with a handkerchief hem and sleeves. The print is floral, stylised poppies in several colours I think, with sprays of leaves that look like the foliage in the bouquets. Her hat is double layered, a sheer layer under a net/lace/straw outer. She is wearing a fine chain with diamante type jewels.

Moving on to the 1930's.

I would very much like her outfit! At first I thought it was a two piece but on closer inspection I think it is a dress made of some kind of herringbone weave material. It has fantastically huge buttons, I can't decide if they are flowers or clusters of gems. They are great though, they add glamour to an otherwise plain outfit. Topped off by a very lovely hat. Is she the bride? I don't think so but is part of the bridal party maybe. Mother of the bride? I would love to know.

Look at the groom's super shiny topper! He is wearing a tailcoat with a lighter coloured waistcoat underneath and has very fine pinstripes on his trousers and his carrying his white gloves. The bride has a beautiful floor length lace veil and an amazing paper/floral headpiece. I can't see much of her dress as the massive bouquet is in the way! She is also carrying a lucky horseshoe. They both look so very happy, great smiles!

I think this photograph is from the early 1940's.

Another wonderful set of floral print attired bridesmaids. The print looks like bunches of roses and chrysanthemums. The dresses have Peter Pan collars and sleeves which are puffed at the shoulders and gathered down the arm. They are all wearing a floral headband. The detail I like most about their outfits is the poesy of felt flowers pinned at the throat in the join of the collar. So pretty!

The bride is wearing a dress made from beautiful lace and has a double layer veil in two lengths. She looks to be wearing a heart shaped locket. The groom is wearing a marvellous pin stripe suit with a paisley tie. Snappy dresser! The woman on the right is wearing a dress worth a second look. I like the contrast stripe at the edge of the crossover front. There is floral applique on each shoulder which matches that on her cummerbund style belt. I would rather like that dress for myself. I am guessing but think that she is the bride's mother and the bridesmaid sat in front of her is the bride's little sister.

Here we have a wartime wedding. The bride is wearing a two piece suit which looks to be made from velvet and is very simple in design. Her headpiece looks like it may be made from ruched velvet, it is very pretty. She is carrying a lucky horseshoe. The men are all in three piece suits, the one on the left appears to be plain and the other two are pinstriped. The man on the right is holding gloves inside his hat.

I know that these two are called Jack and Gwendoline as I bought this photo and the next from a relative of theirs who had several copies of these photos. It is so nice to talk to someone who knew all about the people in the picture and to find out some things about them. Another wartime wedding here with Gwendoline in a two piece suit which has more detail in it's cut then the one in the previous photo. I like the curved pocket detail. She is wearing a triple strand of pearls and her corsage looks to be made from three orchids. I really like her hat which has some veiling and a double rose bloom detail. Jack is in a three piece suit and is wearing a stripey tie. I think it is such a lovely photograph.

This is Tony and Irene. Tony is Gwendoline's brother and he used to tease her, saying that she had fat legs, and always called her Jumbo! What a lovely brother! If you look at the previous photo I think you will agree that there is nothing out of the ordinary about Gwendoline's legs so I hope she didn't have a complex after being called Jumbo.

Irene is wearing a very simple but beautiful V necked dress with a ruched bodice, long sleeves and a long lace trimmed veil. She is wearing a triple strand of pearls. Her hair flowers look like lilies. Irene is carrying a massive bouquet of red carnations, ferns and heather and is holding a lucky horseshoe.

Tony is wearing pinstriped trousers with a dark jacket, a white shirt and a checked tie. He is carrying white gloves. he has obviously taken great care of his hair!

I think this next photo is either from the late 1940's or the early 1950's, probably the later.

I like this photo of a very happy couple posing outside the church which in my head, is a tiny countryside church. The bride is wearing a dress with a shirt like, long sleeved, wide collared bodice and a flared, floor length skirt. The dress material looks interesting, it has a raised/embossed pattern on it, I can't tell what that pattern is sadly. The bride's veil is almost floor length and where it is attached to her hair she has curved sprays of flowers which are really pretty.

The groom is in a dark tailcoat, a lighter waistcoat, a white shirt and pinstriped trousers. He is really grinning at the camera!

The final photograph is from the 1950's.

This looks like the parents of the bride and groom with the best man, bridesmaid, flower girl and page boy. It isn't possible to see much detail of either the bride or groom's outfits. The bride does appear to have a long veil, long sleeves and to be carrying lucky horseshoes. I really like the bridesmaid's dress, with it's wide skirt and it's pretty shawl style neckline. The page boy seems to be chuckling away to himself!

That is it from my latest vintage wedding photograph findings. There will be another post when I have managed to track down some more!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A bit of a bookworm

I love reading. It is one of my most favourite things to do. I love the way that a book can take you into another world, inside someone else's head, inside someone else's life and to places that you have never been or will never be likely to go. I like the way that they can make you happy, sad, excited, scared, intrigued and fascinated. You will never be bored if you can read and if you have access to a book. You can read for pleasure, to escape, for formal education, to learn something for yourself or to inspire. Sometimes, I get worried about how I will have to time to read all the books in the world that I want to read!

I have enjoyed reading ever since I was a little girl. I remember being in Class 5 and being able to choose my own book from the harder books on the shelf. I can remember standing by the side of my dad's chair reading my school books to him. I remember my mum choosing books to read as bedtime stories to my sister and I. I remember the day that I could choose books that weren't from the children's corner in my local library. I remember going to the library before our summer holiday and carefully picking six books to last me through the week away. I remember getting a bedside light for Christmas so that I could read in bed without disturbing my sister with whom I shared a room. I remember going round to my neighbours and choosing the next one in the complete Nancy Drew series that she had. I remember as a teenager working my way through my auntie's Thomas Hardy collection of which I was allowed any except Jude the Obscure. I remember reading Jilly Cooper's books all the way through studying for my Masters for some light relief. I remember collecting my boxes of childhood books from my parent's loft when they moved house.

My bookcase on the upstairs landing. Each shelf is double stacked.
This is the waiting to be read bookcase.
When I was nine or ten I started a list of books that I read, writing them down each time I finished one on lined paper in my red with white polka dots file. I know that 60-90 books a month was not unusual for me. I wish I still had that list so that I could see what kind of books I was reading. I no longer read that many books a month, too many other things get in the way when you are grown up. In 2008 I did start my reading list back up, I write it in an A5 hardback notebook and I enjoy flicking back through it every so often.

One of the sets of shelves in the living room.
A number of these shelves are double stacked with
my books from my childhood behind.
A few weeks ago Jessica from the fabulous Chronically Vintage wrote this post about her reading habits and answered a set of questions about them. I so enjoyed reading about Jessica's joy of reading and it inspired me to write this post of my own and to answer the set of questions.

My bookcase in our spare room. This has all my
vintage craft books, vintage fiction books and
my modern knitting and sewing  and fashion
history books.
Do you snack while you read? If so, what is your favourite reading snack? 

I tend to read and eat all the time, especially if I am on my own. I eat and read at breakfast and at lunchtime. I don't necessarily snack and read but if I was going to, my preferred snack would be some chocolate. 

What is your favourite drink while reading? 

My favourite drink while reading, indeed my favourite drink is a good cup of tea, in my favourite mug.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? 

The idea of doing anything to my books except for keeping them pristine horrifies me! I don't really even like the spine getting creased unless the book is so large that it is unavoidable. When I am buying a book I go through the whole pile in the bookshop and choose the one with as near perfect a cover as possible. I caused great hilarity at one of my book groups, which runs as a book swap, by buying a copy of the book I wanted to swap from a charity shop so that I didn't have to risk my copy going out into the world and getting wrinkled!

That said, I did do A level English Literature and had to write in my books then. So my copies of Middlemarch by George Elliot, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf do have written notes in them. But only in pencil!

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open? 

As you can probably gather from the above answer dog ears or laying a book open flat are big no no's for me. A bookmark every time. Not always the same bookmark though, I like to vary them with the books I read. I think somewhere I probably have my childhood bookmark collection, I always used to get a new one from historic houses and museums that we visited.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both? 

Both! I like many different genres of fiction and tend to give most books a try if someone has recommended them to me. My least favourite are science fiction and fantasy. I always keep an eye on what new titles are coming out, I like reading the book charts and reviews in the Sunday papers and just browsing in book shops. I read lots of social history books, particularly Second World War diaries and books about women's experiences and changing roles. I also enjoy books which cover the 1920's-1950's and I like to read about fashion history.

Are you the kind of person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere? 

I can stop anywhere but I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter. It is rare that I don't do that, it probably only happens if I am reading in bed and am too tired to get to the chapter's end.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you? 

I wouldn't do anything which would damage a book but I have chucked one across the sofa or to the bottom of my bed if I am irritated. This is most likely to occur when I find the ending of a book unsatisfactory. I don't like to be left hanging, I like a proper ending!

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away? 

I would like to say yes as it is always good to expand your vocabulary but actually, no I don't. If I can guess or it doesn't detract from the sense of the story then I probably wouldn't stop to look it up.

What are you currently reading? 

I am currently reading a non fiction book A Home Front Diary 1914-1918 by Lillie Scales. The last few books I have read are The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller, When I Lived in Modern Times by Linda Grant, Ravenscliffe by Jane Sanderson, Last Chance Saloon by Marion Keyes and Poor Cow by Nell Dunn.

What is the last book you bought? 

It wasn't just one book! I had a couple of gift vouchers for Waterstones so I went and had a lovely happy time looking at everything and then making my selection. I love being in a book shop, I find it so relaxing and I love gift vouchers because they are completely guilt free shopping! I only bought one fiction book, the rest are social history.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one? 

When I was younger I would often have two or three books on the go at once. Now though I only really read one book at a time. I might have a fiction book that I am reading and a non fiction book that I am dipping into now and again.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read? 

I read all the time, whenever possible so I don't really have a favourite time to read. I like to read in the bath, in bed, on the sofa and on an old leather chair of my parents that we have in our spare room. My other favourite place to read is in my parent's cosy little summer house in their garden.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alones? 

I would say that I read more stand alone books but I am not against a series if I find one that I enjoy. For example; Philippa Gregory's books on the Wars of the Roses are a series but can be read and enjoyed as individual books. I really enjoyed Philip Pullman's Northern Lights series.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over? 

This is a really difficult one. I think if someone was to tell me the kind of book that they liked to read I would have no problem recommending one but I don't have a particular favourite that I would always recommend. Some authors whose books I would always read include Sarah Waters, Margaret Forster, Penelope Lively, Andrea Levy, Pat Barker, C J Sansom, Kate Morton, Kate Mosse, Joanne Harris, Maggie O' Farrell, Sebastian Faulks, Tracy Chevalier and Patrick Gale.

How do you organise your books? (By genre, title, author's last name, etc.) 

I order my books in several different ways. My social history books are ordered by time period and also in the order that I have read them. My knitting books are all together as are my sewing books. I separate out children and young adult's fiction and they are arranged by author. Classics all go together, by author. Then with my fiction books I order them by author and then by who I think they would get along with! That isn't based on anything other than a strange gut feeling that this sort of book would like that sort of book if they met each other! Occasionally my books are ordered only by where I can manage to get them to fit on an already packed shelf!

I really enjoyed thinking about my reading habits to answer these questions and to write this post. I was also pleased to be able to combine my love of reading with my love of vintage knitting patterns as I went through my collection to find the patterns that featured women reading or with books. Actually, there aren't as many as I had thought that there might be. Plenty of posing with flowers, chairs, umbrellas and random backgrounds but not so many books. A gap in pattern cover styling I think!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - thirty two

An hour of candle light between 10 and 11pm as we turned out the lights to join the national commemoration the beginning of the First World War.

Hot, sweaty and proud! I passed my Amateur Boxing Association Level One Award. Look at my bling!

Very delicious gin and tonic cake made by a friend. We had a craft evening whilst watching episode one of the Great British Bake Off.

Organising my latest book haul from various charity shops.

A very wet and windy journey to my parents for the weekend. Roadworks led to a different route over the Humber Bridge.

Pansy Cat wanting a stroke and a fuss. Looking a bit skinny as she is recovering from a thyroid operation.

A lovely, relaxing Sunday morning with my family, all contributing to completing the crossword, with only a tiny bit of help from Google!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - thirty and thirty one

I have been a bit quiet of late as I have been away on holiday to the Lake District. I had a lovely, relaxing time with lots of walking, reading and knitting. Just perfect really. My holiday fell across two weeks of seven snaps so I am combining them both into the one post here.

A good walk along the canal on a gorgeous sunny day.

Meeting a friend in Manchester for lunch and a catch up.

The first walk of the holiday. A view of Derwentwater from Cat Bells. You can just see Keswick on the left.

A pretty, tiny church that we passed whilst walking the trail of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle in the Newlands Valley.

Looking over to Cat Bells from Friars Cragg. Nice to see the hill we climbed!

We did a lovely walk which took in the atmospheric Castlerigg stone circle.

Rainy weather in the Lakes produces beautiful clouds floating over the mountains.

Sunset over Morecambe Bay.

Lots and lots of big skies here! I am now caught up with my Seven Snaps series and have got my first three photos for week thirty two. I have lots of post ideas in my head so I hope to have them written up and posted soon.