20% Discount at The Just Slate Company

16 Dec

The Just Slate Company 3

I’m always on the lookout for new accessories for my kitchen. Being an avid cooker and baker, how I present my food is really important to me. I was delighted when The Just Slate Company sent me one of their beautiful products to review. I love slate kitchen ware but didn’t own any so I was very happy to receive an Oil and Vinegar Dipping Set to try out.

The Just Slate Company 1

The Just Slate Company 2

Because my kids can be fussy eaters I’ve recently taken to making buffet style lunches at the weekends. So I’ll fill the table with deli items like olives, cheese and cold meats along with bread and salad and everyone can help themselves to what they want. My new slate tray is perfect for displaying the bread on the table and looks really classy.

The Just Slate Company 4

The set retails at £30 which I think is about right for a handcrafted UK made item. I would also see these as pieces that would be used for many years so I would be happy to pay a little more for something of good quality that would last.

The Just Slate Company 6

I was so impressed with the quality of the item, which is absolutely beautifully made. It is made from a robust bit of slate and is thick enough to be hard-wearing. I was really pleased that it also had a foam cushion underneath which will stop it scratching furniture.

The Just Slate Company 5

The Just Slate Company are based in Scotland and all their products are handcrafted by skilled craftsmen from raw slate. I love this video which I found on their website which shows their beautiful items being made.

The Just Slate Company Website features a fantastic selection of slate seeing items as well as beautiful serving utensils. There are some wonderful gifts ideas for foodie friends or people who are really hard to buy for. So if you’re looking for some last-minute gifts then their website is well worth a look.

They have also kindly given me a discount code, so my readers can get 20% off everything on the site. just add the code VF20 at the checkout.

A Secret Christmas House with John Lewis

15 Dec

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to an event at John Lewis in Kingston. Amazingly behind the scenes in the shop they had created a little secret Christmas house. What was once offices is now a beautiful living room, dining room, office, luxurious bedroom and cosy little kids room all decked out for the festive season.

John Lewis Christmas 19

The house was created to give staff an impression of all the christmas ranges and how they work together. It looks absolutely fantastic and was so inspiring, it really put me into a festive mood. The staff at the store were all absolutely lovely and talked us through the winter ranges while we sipped on prossecco and nibbles on delicious canapés.

As usual I took way too many photos on the day and I want to share as many of them as possible with you, so grab a cup of tea and a mince-pie as this post is going to be a long one! I’ve dived them up into different areas of the house and gift ideas.

Living Room:

John Lewis Christmas 16The gorgeous living room was decorated for Christmas in a beautiful silver and white theme with glass baubles and beautiful glittery stags. I loved the TV in the fireplace which was a creative touch and the John Lewis advert playing on the TV, I love Monty the Penguin!

John Lewis Christmas 4

John Lewis Christmas 25Festive drinks at the ready!

Bedroom:

John Lewis Christmas 11How cosy does this wintery bed look? I loved the mirrored wall and the rose gold details on the lamp.

John Lewis Christmas 17A total classic, Chanel No5 on the bedroom shelf.

John Lewis Christmas 24The bedroom also featured this amazing black sewing machine.

Office:

John Lewis Christmas 6No bloggers home is complete with out a lovely little work space, I loved the bright pops of colour and cheerful stationary.

John Lewis Christmas 3Cute knitwear and a fun christmas tree painted on the wall adorned with colourful baubles. Such a fun colourful idea. 

John Lewis Christmas 5I love nothing more than a big pile of notebooks for jotting down ideas. 

John Lewis Christmas 23

At The Table:

John Lewis Christmas 7

John Lewis Christmas 8There were loads of fab ideas to make your Christmas table stand out. 

John Lewis Christmas 12From beautiful crystal glassware…

John Lewis Christmas 20To festive napkins on beautiful china…

John Lewis Christmas 26And cute little robins…

John Lewis Christmas 27I loved all the beautiful ideas.

On the Tree:

John Lewis Christmas 15There were 3 different trees in the secret house, all decorated really differently. I loved this elegant green glass bauble. 

John Lewis Christmas 14These white and mirrored decoration were beautiful, elegant and feminine. 

John Lewis Christmas 13This delicate glass santa pays homage to vintage decorations. 

John Lewis Christmas 21This cute fox looked adorable peeping through the tree.

Under the Tree:

John Lewis Christmas 22This is everything I need under my tree! Chanel, Chanel, Chanel.

Food and Drink:

John Lewis Christmas 26From drinks and treats for the table to foodie gifts John Lewis and Waitress have you covered. 

John Lewis Christmas 2I loved this display of gifts for mulled wine and Christmas cocktails alike. 

John Lewis Christmas 10Lovely baking bits. 

John Lewis Christmas 9Perfect Christmas gifts for food lovers. I’d love to receive a hamper filled with all these goodies. 

For the Kids:

John lewis Christmas 28Let’s not forget the little ones. I adored this cute little kids room which made me wish I had a little boy, or a girl who liked cars!  Check out the cute stuffed decorations on the children’s tree!

John Lewis Christmas 29I also loved these retro children toys, which are reissues from Fisher Price. Rob’s mum still has the little record player from when her kids were small so I was delighted to see the reproduction one which is identical. Seriously tempted to get all of them for Lila!

John Lewis Christmas 30

Time to Relax and Pamper:

After looking round the house and filling up on delicious nibbles, we were treated to a little pamper with Espa who offer treatments and beautiful products at John Lewis. Their luxury products are absolutely beautiful. I was gifted a little goody bag full of lovely sample size products which I will be reviewing separately.

Espa 1

I’d just like to thank the wonderful staff at John Lewis Kingston for putting together such a great event and for sharing the secret Christmas house with us. It really was such a fun evening. I was also given a very generous goody bag by John Lewis containing lot’s of Christmas treats which I will also try and do a blog post on very soon.

Visit the John Lewis website.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Review

12 Dec

I had been wanting to try Liz Earle’s Hot Cloth Cleanser since reading numerous glowing reviews of it across the blogosphere. I finally bought it a few months ago and it’s been my everyday essential ever since. I had previously used Cold Cream to remove my make-up and cleanse my face. Although the favourite product of our foremothers is amazing for removing make-up I was on the look out for something a little less oily.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish 4

Cleanse and Polish runs along the same lines a classic cold cream in that you apply the creamy formula all over a dry face including over your eyelids to remove make-up. The difference is in the ingredients which contain mostly natural botanicals as opposed to some rather suspect ones in cold cream. These include rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus oil. Not only do they work wonders on your skin but they also smell amazing.

The cleanser comes with a special magic muslin cloth which not only removes all traces of product and make-up but also helps to exfoliate and remove dead skin leaving the face clean and smooth.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish 2

The cleanser comes in pretty green packaging along with a muslin cloth. I picked up the starter kit which comes in a handy zip up bag with a 100ml bottle of cleanser and 2 muslin cloths. At £15 I think it’s great value especially as the product lasts so long. I bought my first set a few months ago and have only just replaced it.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish 1

I love the smooth formula which is easy to apply and is so gentle that it can be used on the delicate eye area. As I mentioned it smells beautiful and really feels like a luxury product. The muslin cloth is very soft, but very effective and can be washed at 30 degrees when required.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish 3

For removing make-up it is an absolute god send. Like many vintage devotees I usually wear a fair amount of liquid eyeliner as well as several layers of mascara most days. I like to remove it without having to scrub the area at all, as I don’t want to get wrinkles before my time! With Cleanse and Polish you just gently rub it over the make-up and it gently melts it away. All you have to do is wipe over with the muslin cloth and the make-up is gone. Similar products I’ve tried have left a faint residue of make-up leaving me looking a little panda eyed, but this removes every last bit.

I’ve always had very clear skin and have never really suffered from spots, although I do get an occasional one now and then especially when I wear a lot of foundation. Last month I did a lot more outfit photos and I usually wear a little more make-up than usual, I found this product really helped to keep the breakouts at bay as it left my skin so clean.

I’m so happy with this product that I use it every day, I simply love it. I also love that Liz Earle is a British company based on the Isle of Wight. They also don’t test their products on animals like so many other companies still do which is definitely a plus point for me.

I bought my set from the Birchbox website.

Liz Earle is also available at John Lewis

How to Maintain and Repair Vintage Stockings – Ask Vintage Frills

11 Dec

A few weeks ago I asked the followers of my Facebook page to ask me some vintage fashion related questions that they wanted answered. The response was some really interesting questions that I couldn’t wait to get answering. First up is a question from my reader Naomi who asked about repairing and maintaining vintage stockings. She mentioned that they are expensive to buy and she wanted to make them last as long as possible. Something that women of the past would definitely understand.

For the Loveliest Stockings

There is nothing worse than buying a beautiful pair of vintage stockings only to catch them on a ring or a nail and make a hole, the hole then becomes a ladder and the stockings are destined for the bin. However all is hopefully not lost and it may be possible to save them.

Firstly though it’s important to think about preventing damaging them in the first place and there is lots you can do to prolong the life of your stockings. One important factor is choosing the right stockings for the occasion. Everyday stocking should be far more robust and harder wearing so go for a thicker style with a higher denier. It’s worth remembering that low denier stockings are almost impossible to repair. This advert from the early 50s explains little about gauge and denier.

Gauge and Denier of 1950s Stockings

This Charnos advert from 1954 describes some of the different styles they offered for both day and night. If it’s not clear on the packaging or they have come to you unwrapped if you look closely you should be able to see how tight the weave is and how thick they are. Keep the thinner more delicate pairs for special occasions. It might also be worth investing some reproduction stockings for everyday wear.

1954 Charnos Stocking Advert

Once you have worn them be careful taking them off and don’t put them with your other washing where they may be caught on other garments. They should be hand washed and dried away from heat. These washing instructions from a pair of my 50s stocks tell us a little about the care required when washing.

Vintage Stocking Washing Instructions

In the 1940s stocking were hard to come by and had to last as long as possible. This label from a pair of 1940s CC41 stockings from my collection explain that the stockings should not be thrown away until they are completely unusable. It also reminds us to be careful putting stockings on and not to catch them on rings and nails.

Waste Not Want Not Label CC41

I’d have to say almost every pair of stockings I’ve ruined has been because of a nail. Remember to keep your nails well filed and don’t put stockings on at all with rings on.

If the worst does happen and you do make a hole things are a little harder for us today then they were in the past. Back in the days where every woman wore stockings and had to make them last there were repair shops you could go to have them mended for you. This was actually a very skilled and intricate job and repairs could be made almost invisible. They even developed special machines which did all the hard work. With stockings being so expensive during war-time repair was absolutely essential. Many women also often had the skills and materials needed to mend them adequately themselves. So things are definitely a little harder today.

Vintage Stockings

Your first ports of call for a damaged stocking are clear nail polish and hairspray. they will both help to stop a run in it’s tracks and can be a great quick fix. If the hole or ladder is high on the leg and won’t show then this can be the ideal solution, just dab a bit of clear nail polish at either end and it shouldn’t get any worse.

If you want to try to actually repair the hole them you’ll need some hosiery mending thread, a ball point needle and a lot of patience. The thread is pretty hard to come by these days and your best bets are eBay and Etsy which always have a few on sale. Most advice I’ve read still recommends a little hairspray or nail polish to seal the ends of the run before stretching the stocking and stitching up the hole. Nylon thread is pretty stretchy and hard to work with however once you have managed so stitch up the hole the stretch is exactly what you need.

Vintage Nylon Stocking Repair Thread

Any mends will obviously show so this will really only work on small holes or on places on the stocking that will be hidden. In the 1940s when times were hard and stockings needed to last it was completely normal to have lots of repairs in your everyday stocking but not so much today, so there has to come a point where the stockings are no longer useable.

This handy tip from a 1947 magazine shows how to use the tops from an old pair of stockings to make a too-short pair of stocking longer. So if you do have a pair that is beyond repair why not keep them to one side and see if they come in handy later on.

Making Vintage Stockings Longer

I hope this was helpful for you. Remember to look after those stockings!!!

Do you have a vintage related question that you’d like me to answer in a similar post? Comment below and I’ll get to work on answering them.

Thank you to Scrapiana who pointed me in the direction of Nylon mending thread. 

New Vintage Accessories

10 Dec

Recently I’ve picked up a few new vintage accessories. I’m trying not to buy any more dresses as my wardrobe is now officially full, so I’ve been turning to bags and jewellery to get my vintage fix!

Vintage Accessories 2

First up is a lovely birthday present from Rob. I’d spotted this gorgeous wooden box bag at an antiques shop while out shopping with my mum. I absolutely loved it, but as it was out of my budget I decided to leave it there. Only I got that thing where you spot something and can’t stop thinking about it. I imagined all the outfits that I would wear it with and how much stuff I could fit in it. So I was delighted when Rob took me back to the shop to show him the by now infamous bag.

Vintage Accessories 1

I’m planning on doing a bit of repair and restoration on it as it’s looking a little worn. I’ll obviously be very careful not to scratch away any of the hand painted design.

Vintage Accessories 3

I fell in love with the bag because it’s hand painted which makes it beautifully unique. I also love anything which gives a hint of the identity of the original owner, so seeing the initials painted inside sealed the deal for me.

Vintage Accessories 4

As I mentioned the bag came from a local antiques shop. I’ve recently turned to antique shops to do most of my vintage shopping. They’re not quite as over-proses as exclusively vintage stores, they tend to have older pieces and a really eclectic mix as well. Perfect for picking up beautiful things like my lovely new bag.

Vintage Accessories 5

Next up is another vintage handbag. We recently went to a vintage and craft fair in Surbiton and I was looking for a bargain handbag. I love this tapestry bag as it’s a pretty good size and despite showing it’s age a little it’s strong enough to hold all my handbag essentials. It also only cost £8 so it would have been rude to say no!

Vintage Accessories 6

This one definitely needs a little cleaning and I’m planning to gently hand wash it when I get the time. I’m sure it will look much brighter once decades of dirt are washed out of it.

Vintage Accessories 7

Lastly I picked up three new pairs of clip on earrings. I had met up with my mum at her church’s christmas fair and obviously I had a huge rummage through the bric-a-brac stall. I picked out these straight away as they have a good age to them and I really love big earrings to brighten up dull outfits.

Accessories 8

I was delighted to get all three pairs for just £1! They have now taken pride of place in my jewellery box, I am especially in love with the fruit cluster set as they’re a real showstopper.

Vintage Accessories 11

Vintage Accessories 10

Vintage Accessories 9

What do you think of my new treasures? Have you bought any nice vintage accessories lately?

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