Wednesday, 29 May 2013

The Joy of Parenting

Ahh, the joy of parenting.
Not something I know very much about, but I do know that it has inspired some classic magazines to make very cool covers.

I have no idea when we bought this set of cards, or where. Way before I got interested in the 20th century, I do know that. So I was surprised and glad when my Mum was sorting out her postcards (she has hundreds of them) and said 'Jess, something for you, perhaps?'

It is what it is:

So, covers from magazines that focused on the daily family life, resulting in pretty awesome postcard designs a few decades later!

I am not going to show you all cards at once - I'm saving some for those non-inspirational (blogging) days.
Besides, there's 26 of them, you wouldn't be able to handle the cuteness!
(I know it says 31 but my Mum already sent some of the cards to her friends - in the end that's what they're meant for.)

I scanned them for you. Normally I just take photos but it isn't sunny at all here and it was also getting too dark, and my iPhone flash is not even remotely satisfying.

Scanning is not really my thing, I figured, sometimes the words are quite illegible. But I'll compensate that. :)

I saw this short story' on 9GAG a few weeks ago, can't disagree with this one!
This is how anger often works.
The Saturday Evening Post - March 20, 1954  - 15 cents

Nothing like a man with sexy out-of-bed hair!
Week ending December 29 1951 Wednesday Fourpence

I can hardly look at this one without shivering!
Can you imagine, all those beautiful lipsticks and clutches..! Argh
The Saturday Evening Post - November 22, 1952 - 15 cents

Week ending February 6 1960

Week ending June 1 1957  Every Wednesday Fourpence
Are doctors really underpaid? Complete Stories by Doris Lessing, Daphne Rooke and Mark Derby 

I'm looking forward to continuing this little series! I hope you're looking forward to follow it.
There are some 1940's cuties coming along as well!

Happy second half of the week,
xo Jessica

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The start of something new!

Ugh, while typing that title I immediately got the High School Musical opening song in my head. :/

But, this really might be the start of something new, since I am the proud owner of a genuine Singer sewing machine!

It's not such a sunny reason why I got this cutie to be mine: an old gentleman from our church we know very well is moving to a nursing home. A few years ago, his wife passed away and he hasn't been  able to throw away any of her stuff: too emotional. But now that he's moving he simply has to, and my Mum helped him with sorting it all out. And so they came across this sewing machine and a bag of clothes from her 'slimmer years' and well, our old friend didn't like to say goodbye to those, but ''at least they're in good hands now, dear''.

So, a Singer sewing machine!
It is the Starlet 334 model - I couldn't make up from the website in what year it was manufactured, but the 1970's that's for sure.

It's that typical 1970's yellow, yay!

Yup, that's totally my finger. But, you can still see the floral print and that's what counts.

It gives me a lot of clothing making opportunities and that is great, because where I live there is not much exciting vintage - in fact, no vintage at all.

But that's okay because soon I will be making my own 'vintage'!
I now get all visions of one day being the Netherlands's sewing Queen...

It will take a lot of practice though... Sewing is not really in my blood - my mother is a great knitter and crocheter, but sewing never really was her thing. Same for my grandmother.

My great-grandmother on the other hand simply was a magician with her needle and thread!
I'll never forget the story my Mum regularly tells: when she was about 13 years old, she got a new schoolbag for her birthday. The very first day she used it to school, she somehow managed to get it completely torn. There was no way she dared to show her Mum of course...
But there was one last hope - grandma! Within half an hour, the bag was all fixed, and her Mum (you know, my grandma) only got to know many years later.

Well, it will probably take a lifetime or two to get THAT phenomenally good at sewing, but I am definitely going to practise this summer!


Over the past few months I have already collected some cute little things here and there to (maybe) develop a new hobby!

Mini sewing box, the blue round thing here^^:
30 needles yeahh

Mini travel sewing kit!!! €1!! 

Not useful at all but ehh
Oh by the way; is it too obvious that I struggle with how Blogger won't get my photos where I want them? Aarrgh! Even Word works better. 

Gorgeous duochrome fabric!
Cool fabric detailing

Cute summer fabric - maybe I can make a girly skirt out of it one day!
And last, but definitely not least...

Ohh how I love and cherish my buttons.. there's not too much of them but I love every single one!

Everyone knows that sewing accessories should be kept in an antique cookie box.

The only thing I've ever managed close to sewing is trying to make boring cardigans more unique  by replacing the buttons with special ones from the market.

So, long way to go!

How have you experienced your 'getting started with sewing'?
(at least I assume that my fellow vintage lovers have all tried to start sewing at some point in their lives...)

Good luck / enjoy this new week! XO

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Books books books

Over the past months I have been lucky to add a few more books to my collection.

It varies from books I just love reading or at least love the idea of having such a classic in my own bookcase (I'll explain that), and books I don't particularly lile for their contents but DO have a very cute (vintage) cover.

If you follow me on Instagram (@jessicasvintage for you who don't follow me yet, it's never too late ;)) you might have already seen some of my lovely finds; well then please pretend you forgot about them. Then again, not everyone of you has Instagram!

I am not going to give you detailed plot summaries or information about the writer.
These are not book reviews, it's just a photo series of recently bought books. :)

Let's start with the one I've had in my possession for the longest now (I think.) I even remember the date: since December 8 this big blue one is officially mine. It was also the most 'expensive' one - not for me though, it was a present from my Mum.

I have always had a great interest in linguistics, so (pretty much) everything that has to do with languages and words and puns.
That is also a reason (one of the many!) why I started studying Greek and Latin in school: the way we speak nowadays would have been dramatically different if those two languages weren't there! So cool.

Last year, I frequently (at least twice a week) found myself thinking: 'what at funny word/saying that is actually! I wonder how this came into our modern language.' My Mum struggled with this as well.
Of course, it is easy to google where a word comes from (etymology - the study of the history of words and their origins), but sometimes you just want a bit more information.

Then your best friend is obviously an etymological dictionary!
But: where to find one...?
There are pocket versions - not good enough for linguistic snobs like us.
First hand versions - around €60, that's not an option.
But then this antiques bookshop comes on our path!

For €10 it was mine.

And it hasn't disappointed me since!
I consult it at least once a week and sometimes I just go through the pages to learn a new word and its etymology. Of course a dictionary isn't the kind of book with which I'd crawl up next to the fireplace (if we had one) with a cup of tea, but yet it is kind of readable.


 Ahhh. I already read Rebecca when I was about 14. A student version! That is English, but simplified. Also: a shorter story! Such a shame, because now I know the clue of this mysterious, beautiful and horrid story but I have only enjoyed 100 pages of it!
However, when I saw this Daphne du Maurier book (her best, in my opinion) at the local thrift store for the silly price of €0,50 I had to take it with me.

Yes, I am a re-reader.
Even whodunits! 'I might discover new things or see the story from a different perspective...', the voices in my head tell me.
I know, I know... life's WAY too short to re-read such books and there are millions of other great books...

A book (part of a series) about school girls in the 1920's! Think of Enid Blyton (Malory Towers, Clarence House...).
Haven't started reading it yet, probably never going to. But for now, owning this pretty one is enough.

Yeah well I don't know anything about this writer and if it's trash or pretty good, but the cover seemed funny and I had a quick look inside the book: still funny.
Felt the need to give myself a treat and before I knew it I purchased it!
The only non-second handie in this blogpost. 

Aaaww. A very antique English language guide! It also smells antique, hehe.
With words we don't even use anymore, how cute!
Around €3.

Hmm. When I took this picture, it really looked like one could easily read the title and author. 
Sorry about that.
This is Camera Obscura (dark room) by Hildebrandt, 1839. It is basically stories about normal people and their normal lives, very wittily written. He criticised the society around him. 
Quite a treasure in the Dutch literature, and naturally I was a very happy girl when I found this gorgeous edition and had to pay only €2!

Obviously didn't make this one mine because of the nice vintage cover..
But hey, John Grisham. Need to say more?

I did collect some London guides and Agatha Christies as well, but I think those deserve a whole new blogpost all for themselves. :)

Next time a more exciting blog post I hope!

xoxo Jessica

Monday, 20 May 2013

Autumn outfit in May

Well, at least the colours are not very spring-like. But that's okay, because I just heard on the news that this Dutch spring is the coldest since 1962...


I once bought an H&M cardigan because the colour is just so gorgeous!
Way before I had become a vintage gal.
Didn't wear it much because when it's all buttoned up and the sleeves down, it can give one quite a ... puffy appearance.
However, with the sleeves rolled up and only one or two buttons buttoned, it looks rather cute I think!

Another reason I never wore this knit is that it is quite an impossible colour to match with red lipstick. And since my idea of vintage until a few months ago was 'red lips are necessary, one can't be vintage without vamp lips', this cardi was a no-go...
Fortunately, I know better now. (I think!)

Back to the gorgeous colour - a combination of terracotta and peach.
Somehow it gives me a slight 1920's or 1930's feeling, not sure why...
Probably my first acquaintance with an outfit from that era had this kind of colour in it.
Also, it is not waisted but quite loose-fitted, something that's also seen in '20s and '30s.

I picked out a boring grey thrift store skirt and my Mum was so kind to lend me her black blouse.
Add some stockings and cute shoes, and there you go: a whole new outfit!

As I already pointed out in the Queen's day post, I'm having serious problems with photos. Objects are all right, as well as self pics of my face - for showing off a new lipstick for instance. I take those with my iPhone or laptop webcam. My Queen's day outfit was photographed by my aunt with her quality camera, but for other outfit posts... I only have my webcam. :(

So, I tried my best. The fact that my head is not visible in one or two photos is not because of self-consciousness but I still need practice in getting my full outfit in the webcam thing..! Hehe.

Oh webcam quality you never fail to fail me... <3

More realistic view of the colour

Cheap H&M 'pearl' necklace fits around my wrist 5 times! And looks kind of classy me thinks.

Thirties sunglasses! 

These sunnies just have to be used arrogantly, don't you agree?

And these are the shoes. They really are black, not blue - trust me.

By the way, I managed to find a lipstick and blush in just exactly the cardigan's terracotta shade.
Happy end for the cardi after all :)

For the next outfit post I'll try to arrange a real photographer!
And by that I mean a friend or neighbour - sorry Mum. 

XO Jessica

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Car show - at the right place, at the wrong time...

This afternoon, my Mum and I went to the shopping center to do the groceries, no serious shopping intended.
So you understand, I wasn't dressed up or anything. Not vintage, just 2010's. Very plain, as a matter of fact.
And then, we had just left the supermarket, we heard '50s music, and obviously we hushed to where we thought the sounds were coming from.

And - ahhh!
A classic car show!


The year it was built was not indicated with this car - in my opinion the most gorgeous one!

Nice detailing!




So, this was all lovely. 
Some of these beauties were for sale!
Well, I am probably never going to get my driver's license anyway, so why bother..?

There were even more cars, 1960's pastel ones and 'younger' cars from the 1980s and such. I didn't photograph those, because this is a vintage blog and well if you want to see retro cars, you can google them. 

I saw a lot of cute old gentlemen who could almost be English - so stylish and distinguished.

But oh pity! I wasn't one of them. I'd almost say 'normally', when I AM dressed up the 1930s/1940s way, I get those appreciative glances and sometimes even a 'you look like my girlfriend/mother from the early days'...

Not this time though!
While I was taking photographs, I could feel the elderly people look at me like 'what is a teen like that doing here?!'
It really made me feel uncomfortable.
I know I shouldn't bother, they don't know better and next time I will be prepared for this.
But how often does it happen that there's an oldtimer show in the shopping centre (a 2 minute walk from my house)?
That's right, once a year at most!

Well, following the 'always look on the bright side'-motto: at least I didn't miss out the cars themselves..!

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo