As August draws to a close it’s nearly time to say goodbye to the summer and look forward to all the Autumn brings. The last month has been a fantastic one for me. I love having both my girls at home together and despite feeling like I have no time to get anything done I have had such a great time with them.

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The girls at Ham House last week (not a great summer shot as it was cold and rainy, but I liked it anyway)

Jessica goes back to school on Tuesday and I will miss her loads. However only having one to look after and who hopefully will have the odd nap, I have a bit of time to catch up on things.

There are a few things I plan to get done in September. I’m going to spend a bit more time on the blog. I have had so many nice comments and great feedback over the last few weeks and it really spurs me on to keep writing and taking pictures. So I’ve decided to challenge myself and post every single weekday throughout September. It is definitely a challenge for me but one I think I will enjoy loads so wish me luck on this one. Posting more also gives me the chance to write about more things. I don’t want the blog to just be about vintage, I also write a lot about history, books, beauty, crafts and anything else that takes my fancy so blogging every day gives me a chance to cover everything!

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Lot’s of outfit posts just waiting to happen!

I also need to catch up on housework big time! I promised myself I wouldn’t worry too much about the house while Jessica was off school, but now it’s time to have a good sort out and a spring autumn clean.

I need to catch up on my sewing, I have a couple of unfinished dresses to work on and would like to make a couple of things before the winter comes. If I get time I’d also like to knit some warm bits too.

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The green dress on the left is nearly finished!

Shopping wise I’ve put myself on a pretty tight budget but I will be stocking up on tights in lots of different colours for when the cold sets in. Other than that I might pick up the odd vintage bargain at car boot sales but no more spending for me. (This is mainly down to a lipstick addiction that got a bit out of hand – lipstick post to follow soon!)

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Car boot sale jewellery bargains

The Vintage Book Group will be back after a summer break with lot’s of new books to read and discuss, please join up and suggest any vintage reads you’ve enjoyed recently. I love the little discussions we have.

I am going to make more YouTube videos as well. I have managed to build quite a haul of vintage over August so I’m going to share it all with another video, hopefully early next week. I have a new much better web cam that I’m going to try so it should be better quality than my last video.

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A teaser of some of my recent vintage haul!

Lastly – and I’m a little late on this one I’m going to take part in a sewing challenge The Fall For Cotton Challenge is hosted by Lucky Lucille and By Gum By Golly. I’ll be doing another post on this tomorrow morning with a bit more about the challenge and what I will be making.

So fingers crossed that September is a successful one for me. If you like the blog please support it by following, either my entering your email address in the right hand side bar or on bloglovin’. Thank you xxx

 

all pics borrowed from my instagram feed

I’m feeling a little sad today. There is a lovely little shop local to me called Blubarrys. They sell dancewear and accessories and I have been buying Jessica’s ballet shoes, dresses and leotards there since she was 2 and first started dance. It’s a lovely little shop run by the nicest people. The service is excellent, the people who own it are lovely. I’ve always enjoyed my little trips there with my daughter and have always left feeling really happy. It’s a shop I rely on, as I want my daughters ballet and tap shoes to fit well and be checked on her feet by an expert. It has never even occurred to me to see if I could get the same products cheaper online.

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Image from Google Street View

However it seems I was alone in this. while driving past the other day my daughter noticed a sign in the window saying that all the stock was reduced for closing down. We doubled back round and popped in to ask. The owner explained that they were closing as people just weren’t using the shop anymore. Seeing how sad she seamed to be losing her business broke my heart. Imagine losing something you had worked so hard on for so many years!

And the shop is not alone, out of the ten or so shops on that stretch of road there are several closed and boarded up. It makes the area look run down.

You hear about small businesses having to close all the time, usually we talk about big companies coming in and taking over areas and putting smaller independents out of business, but in this case there are no other dance shops, just the internet where sellers having lower overheads and shoppers have the convenience of shopping from their sofas. the impact that I have from shopping online hasn’t ever really occurred to me before, but this has definitely got me thinking.

It’s not all down to the government and larger companies to help out small businesses it is our responsibility as consumers to think a little more about where we shop. It’s not just about supporting that one business, it’s about living in an area that isn’t full of boarded up shops. It’s also about getting personal service which you get so much more of when the business and products really matter to the person selling them.

I came home feeling deflated and sad because I wish there was something I could do, I don’t want this shop to close and I don’t want to buy Jess’s ballet shoes online. The only thing I can really take from this is to try harder to support local business from now on.

I would really love to hear people’s opinions and experiences on this one so please comment below.

Ebay dos and donts

This post comes from a slightly perturbed me. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with eBay. As a vintage lover it’s a great place to seek out vintage pieces, however it’s so easy to get it wrong too and waste your money on something that’s not what you thought it was.

This happened to me AGAIN today, I was eagerly anticipating the postman’s arrival as I’d ordered a new “1950s” dress. When it arrived I could tell straight away that it wasn’t what I thought I was getting at all. The tell-tale signs were there – polyester, over locking, etc. It’s a nice dress but what I paid for was a cotton 1950s dress. I don’t think the seller was being deliberately misleading I just don’t think they’d done their homework.

The age of vintage is so important to the price so if you are selling online it is so important to know the basics. If an online shop did this there would be outrage, however it happens on eBay and Etsy everyday. I know people want to get the maximum money for things but selling something which is not what it seems is totally counter productive. It can result in cases being taken out and negative feedback, so it’s important not to make mistakes even if you do it unknowingly.

There are plenty of people happy to buy 80s does 50s dresses but they need to know what they’re buying!

Anyway it’s not like me to be ranty about things so I’ll move on. To get it out of my system I thought I’d do a list of eBay dos and don’ts when selling vintage.

eBay Dos

– Do your research, if your going to be selling a lot of vintage get a couple of books to help you date items accurately, there are also a lot of online recourses to help for example The Vintage Fashion Guild website and Sammy Davis Vintage.

– Do take great pictures, take as many pictures as possible from all angles including lots of close-ups. Make sure you show any damage or faults, it doesn’t mean the item won’t sell as most vintage buyers are happy to do the odd repair. It’s also useful to include a picture of the label if there is one.

– Do include measurements, vintage sizing is so different to modern sizing that I don’t usually buy anything without measurements. Just include bust, waist, hip and length.

– Do put as much information in the title as possible, there is room to include what the item is, what material it is and what size. This will draw people’s attention to your item if that’s what they are looking for.

– Do include a lengthy description, make sure all the details are there, including age, material, damage etc. Everything should be there. If you’re not 100% sure of the age or material then say that in the description.  Just don’t try to guess in case you don’t get it right.

– Do give details about delivery times, returns, and other items you may be selling. If it’s all there then the buyer knows what to expect and may take a look at your other items too.

– Do keep your postage charges fair and offer combined postage if people buy more than one thing. Check the Royal Mail website for accurate postage charges.

– Do send in good time (I’m terrible at this but promise to try harder) or if you only post items out once a week just state this in your listing.

eBay Don’ts

– Don’t guess the age of an item unless you say you’re not sure. Like I said above you don’t want to risk getting it wrong.

– Don’t hide the facts, if something isn’t in good condition or has staining and damage you have to say so. It sounds obvious, but it happens a lot and people will only be annoyed when their item arrives. It doesn’t mean it wont sell, but don’t expect people to pay premium prices for something that needs work.

– Don’t ignore the buyer, keep in touch with the buyer if there are any delays, most people won’t mind and it saves them having to chase their item.

– Don’t list something as vintage when it’s not!!!!! Saying “vintage style” 9 times out of 10 is not OK either. A Primark floral print dress is not vintage style. If something is reproduction vintage just say so, that’s fine. (This is my personal opinion here, I just find all the vintage style stuff gets in the way of me finding what I’m looking for.)

– * edit – just thought of another one – Don’t use heavily scented fabric conditioner or perfume on the item. So often I open a parcel and I’m greeted with an over whelming smell. If you want to freshen up a piece of vintage give it a gentle wash, and hang it out to air. I’d rather smell a slightly musty vintage smell than be over powered by so much fabric conditioner that the item feels sticky.

I’m sure I’ll think of more later, but if you have any tips for selling on eBay please add them to the comments.

As for my new dress, I feel bad sending it back so I’m going to keep it and count my losses but next time I’ll message for more details before bidding.

Other posts you might like…

So You Want to Start a Vintage Business

My Tips for Selling at Vintage Fairs

The other night I popped to Sainsburys to restock my bathroom supplies. They have some really nice products and there are always lot’s of special offers and multi-buys. I got pretty lucky as nearly everything I got was reduced. I thought I’d share my buys with you here as I haven’t done a bath or beauty post for ages. (all the prices show the normal price and the price I paid at my local Sainsburys)

I have bought all of these products from Rosebud and Blossom before, I love the scent and the packaging which looks great in my bath room. I used my last empty glass bubble bath bottle as a little vase. I also like that they are made in England by a small British business. These were all on offer for £1 each! I got…

A Bowlful of Blossom Bath Cream – £2.99 – £1.00

A Bowlful of Blossom Body Wash – £2.99 -£1.00

A Bowlful of Blossom Hand and Body Lotion – £2.99 – £1.00

I love the cute retro styling on the dirty works range, and the products are great too. Most of the range is currently 50% off at the moment so now’s a good time to give them a try. I got…

Coconut Caress Body Scrub – £3.99 – £1.99

Buff Your Stuff Body Scrub – £3.99 – £1.99

Coconut Caress Body Wash – £2.99 – £1.49

All of a Lather Body Wash – £2.99 – £1.49

Bling it on Shimmer Lotion – £4.99 – £2,49

I have never tried this shampoo and conditioner before, but I’d like to try more products that contain fewer harmful chemicals. And the scent was lovely so I’ll let you know how I get on with these. I also picked a up a new Denman bristle brush which is great for smoothing out curly vintage styles.

Happy Hair Days Smoothing Shampoo – £3.99 – £2.00

Happy Hair Days Smoothing Conditioner – £3.99 – £2.00

Denman Brush – (I can’t remember the exact price but it was around £5.50)

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

This bank holiday Monday we headed to Littlehampton in Sussex for a little day out. Littlehampton is a beautiful little spot of British seaside with a harbour, a sandy beach, an amusement park and a boating lake. It’s also when of the nearest beaches to London where you can go crabbing.

All you need is a crabbing line, which you can buy on eBay or at seaside shops and some bait we used a jar of cockles and some bacon. You’ll also need something to put the crabs in, most people use buckets but I took a washing up bowl as it seams kinder to let the crabs scuttle around. Remember to put the little crabbies back after!!!

It’ so easy and we all had a fabulous day, we also caught loads! Here are a few pics from our day…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at all the crabs we caught, we gave them loads of bacon to eat so they were very happy, then we let them all go!