Have you ever had a moment where you just cannot remember when and where you have bought or been given something? I had one of these moments a few months back when I was culling my wardrobe. As I live by the “you wear 10% of your clothes 90% of the time” motto, I try to cull my clothes every few months as they live in a vintage gentleman’s dresser, which if you are familiar with vintage pieces, you will know that it is a modest sized piece of furniture, mostly for hanging suits.
Anyway, back to my wardrobe culling, I found this batik skirt with a gathered elastic waistband, looking starched and never worn in my wardrobe. I had no idea how it got there and have no memory of buying it. I wondered if it were a piece of old batik which I had asked my mum to sew into a simple skirt? I had gone through a phase some 10-15 years ago when I was buying a lot of batik so I suspect it might have been an old batik piece which had somehow made a comeback and got stuck between pieces of clothing until I noticed it?
It was a mystery. In the end, I asked my mum to cut the long batik skirt short so that it was more wearable, from ankle to knee length. Here I am wearing it with my mid calf leather boots amidst beautiful autumn leaves. I love upcycling old fabric and I am glad this batik skirt has now gotten a new lease of life.
Some wise person said simplicity is not about deprivation, but it is about creating space for living. We know many of us now live in spaces which are getting smaller. Hence I am a firm believer of surrounding myself with things that I love. Every item is specifically selected, serves a particular function (aesthetic function IS also a function, LOL) and has a special place. Things which don’t fit this simple principle is edited out, it makes life much simpler, and the house easier to upkeep. It also uplifts your mood and gives you emotional space not to be cluttered with so many physical items.
Being vintage lovers, our living space is filled with many vintage, retro pieces but they also sit side by side with some other new pieces, existing in perfect harmony, neither overpowering either. Living with preloved also helps save the world from unnecessary landfill and waste, another principle which many vintage lovers also respect.
How do you want to create your space for living?
What do you get a vintage lover for their birthday? Recently we celebrated a good vintage (won’t tell you exactly what vintage that is, but definitely would be in the retro and vintage category by now). In the mail from New Zealand came a lovely package and together with the beautiful card, there was a book that is just up our alley. And then yesterday, a slightly belated gift came. In the carefully packed box which was transported over from Australia, was a lovely vanilla candle in a vintage parfait glass. The scent from the candle even though unlit, was discernible in the living room and was a nice freshener.
There’s nothing like these gorgeous vintage pieces from lovely friends and relatives to help you celebrate a good vintage.
Sometimes less is more. When you (1) have a serious client meeting; (2) need to meet government officials for work; (3) have a personal meeting with your banker who will evaluate if to give you a bank loan; (4) are interviewing for a new job, sometimes the safest thing to do is to wear a sombre suit or a dark-coloured dress to project the “right” image (unless you work in the creative areas or one of those new economy industries, then you want to dress the OPPOSITE of this). But wearing a serious, dark outfit may be so dampening, dull or drab. To keep the image but yet to add a touch of individuality, style or focus of interest, you can consider adding a vintage brooch such as this heavy gold-tone beauty, to the outfit. It will strike the right balance of “proper” and “style” and you can be serious and yet not look like a member of the regimented work army in typical corporate uniform. So experiment and have fun!
Who doesn’t love a genteel afternoon tea? Especially those with lovely baked items served in equally gorgeous vintage cake stands and sandwich plates, accompanied with your pot of favourite English tea poured into thin china tea cups and saucers. The food, the chinaware, the company…
We review our photos of afternoon teas past and think it is time for us to start planning for another one. Soon.
Have you made a list and checked it twice? Have you been naughty or nice? Yes, it is indeed that time of the year again, where has the year gone?! Christmas is in 11 days and we do hope your Christmas shopping is all done or at least you have an idea AND a plan to get it done soon. If you are needing some inspiration, here are our vintage suggestions:-
- For the friend who loves baking: a vintage cake stand to showcase his/her baked goodies;
- For the cousin who only wears black, blue or other plain coloured jackets and dresses: a vintage brooch to jazz up the outfit;
- For the sister who has moved into a new apartment: a framed vintage scarf for her wall;
- For that work-friend who loves a tipple: vintage drinking glasses;
- For that trendy friend: a gorgeous vintage fashion statement handbag;
- For the little brother: a wind-up mechanical toy;
- For the wife/girlfriend/special gal: a vintage typewriter for her to type you little love notes, letters and cards or perhaps even that book she’s been wanting to write; and
- For the husband/boyfriend/special guy: a vintage watch to let him know he’s on your mind and in your heart all the time.
And if you are all done with shopping for pressies, then it’s time to start on the Christmas party menu!
This is a lovely example of re-using, re-cycling and up-cycling. These lovely artworks in the Singapore Biennale (currently running til Feb 2014 at the National Museum) are made out of vintage chandeliers but with the glass and cystals changed to uranium glass beads and with black light installed so that the uranium glass beads glow a beautiful green colour in the dark.
The works are by a Japanese artist husband-and-wife team, Ken and Julia Yonetani who are now based in Australia and are entitled “Crystal Palace” (read more about their gorgeous work here) and is their response to the recent Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.
Uranium glass was widely used to make glassware such as candy bowls, citrus presses and cake stands in the 19th and early 20th century. They are also known as vaseline glass and many vintage fans love collecting uranium glass kitchenalia.
Do you also love these vintage chandeliers, coupled with old-fashioned vaseline glass, being given a new lease of life as these stunning artworks, even if the event behind them is actually quite sad?