Wednesday 27 June 2012

Giveaway! Win tickets to Vintage Fashion Fair London


Exciting news for those of you within reach of London - the Vintage Fashion Fair London is returning to Primrose Hill on July 8th, and they promise to have 'wearable vintage at affordable prices' as well as higher end designer pieces. Summer dresses, swimsuits and accessories, plus vintage fabrics and haberdashery are all waiting to be discovered, and when you need to refuel there is a cafe offering a selection of snacks and light lunches. [And tea, I should imagine. That's pretty much compulsory to get you lot anywhere]. Sounds like like a remarkably civilised way to spend a Sunday doesn't it?

I've kindly been offered five pairs of tickets to give away to followers of Faith Hope and Charity Shopping; so if you fancy a few hours of shopping with a like-minded vintage-loving friend, just leave a comment on this post. If I get more than than five entries I'll pick the winners by random number generator. 

Please get your entries in by 3rd July, and look out for the winners being announced promptly afterwards. Please ensure your comment includes a way to contact you. Winners will receive their tickets by email direct from the organisers.

For further information, opening times and directions, see the Vintage Fashion Fair website.

Lakota x

PS. I will probably be there. I don't know if that's an incentive. I'll wear a red carnation or something. [or the famous bum-less jeans...]

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Felt Flower Make, and where not to shop

I've been a bad blogger again this week. I'm not entirely sure where it's gone but I know it involved the realisation that children have an unerring ability to spend eight hours in central London stuffing their faces, yet somehow save all their vomit until they reach the first carpeted space in your home. [The stairs, all of four seconds from my front door. Clearly I need to teach him how to puke in Leicester Square like Mummy used to a tourist.] I would recommend you avoid the Turkish Delight/Pizza Express kids' meal combo and stick to laughing at the skateboarders stacking it on the South Bank.

I have also had my tarot cards read by our very mystic chola bad-ass La Dama over at her new Etsy shop GoldenLuz. [Yes, world domination beckons for us both. Be afraid]. Oh, and I also met the world's rudest and quite possibly most insane shopkeeper. [No, not La Dama]. It was one of those occasions where you are completely blind-sided by someone's bizarre behaviour, up to the point that you have to keep checking you didn't accidentally kill their kitten.

Basically, if you're ever in Cecil Court, and your eye is caught by a shop called T. Alena Brett, don't begin, as I did, to look innocently through the 'antique prints' (aka bits of old newspaper with a mount) she has stacked in boxes outside her shop. It began with the owner coming out and huffily moving the box I was looking through (where she'd put it) slightly to the left, as "this is how the shop works"

"OK" I say, a bit bemused, and continue looking. She mutters something about boxes falling on me, and sounds put out with customers in general, and disappears back inside. Two complete strangers exchange glances with me and we all do the internationally recognised 'wtf?' shrug. 

I continue flipping through and find a 19th century horse-racing print I think my aunt and uncle might like. Mr FHCS and the kids turn up, but don't touch anything [Remember we're in the street anyway]. The owner re-materialises instantly, and starts ranting about how there are more prints in the window, and that she has a slipped disc, so can I move. I point out that I'm where she moved me, and that there's no need to shout at me. 

This sends her completely over the edge, and she snatches the print away from me, hissing that her father has just died and she doesn't need this, and she doesn't have to sell to me. She doesn't need to apparently, as she has "the most famous shop in London", and is so beloved that "people give her gifts" - pointing wildly at the amber necklace she's wearing. She gestures at the boys and says "AND I teach children in my shop! How about that?". At this point I appear to have entered an episode of Black Books (a UK show about a drunken misanthropic second-hand bookseller who hates actually selling any books)  but oddly it's less amusing when it's actually happening to you. We leave quickly in case she morphs into Basil Fawlty and starts goose-stepping down the street and shouting about the war.

Having come home and googled her, I found it's not just me she's taken exception to. I had been willing to give her the benefit of the doubt if she was recently bereaved - but from reading remarks from other people who've had run ins with her, she's been claiming the recent death of her father for at least two years! I guess her regular jewellery buying patrons are keeping the shop afloat, because she's certainly not wooing the passing trade!

Anyway, enough of how to make friends and influence people, and on to my make for the week. I got bored of watching England struggle to keep the ball the other night, so made myself this dahlia brooch instead. The original tutorial is by the very clever and crafty Megan Reardon over at Holidash, and if you click over there you'll notice that her version is far superior to mine. However, my latest attempt is a vast improvement on my first attempt, which looked more like a squashed red cabbage than a dahlia. I'm quite pleased with this latest hot pink version. [I didn't bother with making a pocket on the back to keep a picture of a loved one, cos that's just not how I roll. But you could, if you're sappy like that]. Pretty cool though, huh?

Felt Dahlia Corsage. With added bosom.

Do link up your latest makes and outfits and what have you, and let me know any other shops to avoid while you're at it. Please remember to link back to Ta-dah! Tuesday in your post.

Lakota x

PS. There's a jubilee linky here - please join up if you've finished your swap.

Friday 22 June 2012

Jubilee Swap Linky post

Hello, I've been asked several times about a linky post for the Jubilee swap, so whilst I realise not everyone will have completed their exchange yet, a lot of people have, so I'm putting up a link now which will be open for a month. Those I've seen look to have been really good - but it took me so long to sort out that I didn't join in myself this time around, so I'd love to see what everyone got.

Don't think I'm wearing this shit all through the Olympics too

If you haven't finished yet, you could always take a look at my Jubilee eBay post - lots of absolute rubbish patriotic delights!

Lakota x

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Recipe, and 80s theory debunked

Shirley Conran once claimed life was too short to stuff a mushroom. But then she also seemed to think it would be enjoyable to be pleasured by a goldfish*, so I think we can discount her point of view. Yeah, basically it's a recipe post. You'll notice that there aren't many of these on FHCS, and might deduce that I'm including one today because I've not got round to making anything much recently. I make no comment, except to say that my lunch yesterday was really good. So nyeh. will need:

Large flat mushrooms - eg, field or portobella, remove the stalks and chop finely
Finely chopped onion and garlic
Grated Cheddar, or crumbled blue cheese such as Stilton or Dolcelatte
Breadcrumbs (I always have a bag in the freezer)
Fresh or dried parsley or coriander
Chopped streaky bacon or ham (assuming you're not veggie, obviously. It's not essential)

I'm afraid I'm not one for proportions with this kind of thing, as it really depends on how greedy you are and how many people you're serving, but I used 2 rashers of bacon, just under half a small red onion, one clove of garlic and about a handful of cheese and breadcrumbs. As you're cooking it all together in a small frying pan it's really easy to see whether you need more of anything and just add as you go. You simply fry the onion garlic and mushroom in a little olive oil, add the bacon if you're using that and cook for a few minutes. [If you're using cooked ham, just add it at the end]. Stir in your cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs, mix together and spoon into the tops of your mushrooms. Then you just bung it in the oven at 200 degrees for around half an hour. Couldn't be easier, and really only takes a couple of minutes to prepare. Really nice with salad and a dollop of creme fraiche.

So - what have you been up to? If you link up, could I please ask you to make sure your post mentions Ta-dah! Tuesday. Thanks!

Lakota x

*Lace. And to think they worry about the kind of porn teenagers are exposed to these days...

Sunday 17 June 2012

Lashings of Ginger beer...

...preferably the Crabbies alcoholic variety, is what I intend to pack in my latest purchase. Isn't it a beauty?  Well, it will be; once I've cleaned all the cutlery up, removed the vestiges of green paint on the wicker and got rid of several years of accumulated dust. I think it had been stored in someone's attic for a while before being finally dropped off at the charity shop. I'm guessing it hadn't been in the window that long before I came along and grabbed it! It cost £8.50, and it's massive, so I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have hung around. The plates are china, and it came with an absolute ton of different size tupperware containers - so we'll each be able to have an individual portion of hard-boiled quail eggs or whatever delicacies cook can rustle up for us. Just the ticket after solving a mystery on a windswept moor, or foiling smugglers in a deserted cove. 

I think I shall call him Timothy

Will catch up with everyone soon - and Ta-dah! Tuesday coming up if you have any great makes, finds or outfits to share.

What are your picnic essentials?

Lakota x

Linking up with Flea Market Finds , Magpie Monday and Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - Badge Heart Art

This is another idea I've had languishing in a folder for ages - before the invention of Pinterest even  (shock horror!) but have had to be slowly gathering supplies for. I have no idea if Brigitte Herod was the first to make one of these pictures with retro badges - that would be like establishing who got in first with the scrabble tiles idea - but her badge heart at Rockett St George was the first one I found.

Who doesn't feel a pang of nostalgia for their childhood when they see all the brightly coloured badges - I know I had quite a collection from places we'd visited when I was a kid, but sadly when I found them a few years ago most of them had gone rusty. However, I bet you don't feel enough of a pang to pay £175 for one of these pictures! When I checked the Rockett St George website yesterday, they had stopped selling the small version, but they did have an enormous 120cm square canvas version - only £1,500! Want to see?

If you want one, they're available here

Despite the sad loss of my World Wildlife Fund and Walkers crisps badges from my youth, I did still have quite a few badges knocking around, as some years ago I made my own version of a Topshop bag (er, with badges on) and I just dug it out of the back of a cupboard. The few extra I needed came as part of a job lot from eBay, and I also found some I'd got with NME years ago. If you don't still have your childhood collection, you quite often see baskets of old band pins to rummage through at boot sales, market stalls and sometimes vintage shops. Children's birthday cards are another fertile source - how many 'I am 4' badges does one kid need  anyway?

I forgot to take a before photo, but I'd bought a nasty Next Homes type picture from a charity shop - a pine box frame with some uninspiring dead twigs and skeleton leaves in. Ripping out the foliage tore the back cardboard, so I covered it with some turquoise wrapping paper (£1 from Paperchase) and painted the frame white. I arranged the badges as well as I could and then hot glued them in place one at a time. If the back of the badge was very deep, I added a bit of blue-tack before glueing over it. If you don't want the picture to be permanent, you could probably just use more blue-tack and skip the glue altogether.

My version. For not £175

I think these are easier to do if you have a selection of different sized badges, I had a few larger ones but mostly they are the typical small button size. Having a variety would make it easier to fill in any gaps, but I don't think it came out too badly. Not quite as good as the £175 version, but a lot cheaper!

So, what have you been up to? I'd love you to link up your latest ta-dah! posts. Please link back here so others can join in.

Lakota x

Sunday 10 June 2012

Elegant Touch - Nail wraps Review

I've tried nail wraps before at a salon and have to say I was distinctly underwhelmed. The brand was Minx, and the therapist who did them had only ever seen them applied at a trade show, so I was something of a guinea-pig. She had to do a lot of trimming of the sides to get them to fit my small nails, they absolutely did NOT allow you to 'file away the excess at the ends' as suggested, the heat she applied to my nails from a lamp to help adhesion was really uncomfortable, and whilst the end result looked ok from a distance, I didn't like how ragged they felt on my nails. [She was a great manicurist generally, and didn't charge me for the experiment, so it was worth giving it a go].

Anyway, despite being aware of the new 'do it yourself' products available at Boots etc, the above experience had rather put me off, so I probably wouldn't have bothered buying any to try out myself at home. However, I'd been religiously entering Glamour's daily 'month of beauty' giveaways in May, so when a packet of Elegant Touch nail wraps arrived for free, I had nothing to lose.

I won a design called  'scrunched almuminium' which is supposed to give a crumpled foil effect, and there are 24 wraps in the pack, so sufficient for two manicures - or a mani/pedi - with a few over for disasters.

You need to apply a base coat first (not included) and are then ready to get to grips with the wraps. I was able to find the right size for each of my nails fairly easily (although I have now been left with the wider sizes which would need the edges cutting if I did it again) but as they're relatively short at the moment I was left with quite a lot of excess at the ends. Rather than attempting to file all this away with the enclosed emery board, I used small sharp embroidery scissors to trim it to shape - and this worked pretty well. Unless you're ambidextrous it's obviously a little harder to do one hand than the other, but it's no more difficult than it is to paint your nails with your 'wrong' hand. You rub each wrap firmly once it's in place, and the instructions suggest using a hair-dryer on low heat for a few seconds to help them stick if necessary. I found they adhered well though and there was no need for any extra heat. Applying topcoat seals the design and helps prevent damage.

The result

Here are my thoughts on the product as a whole:

  • I did use the file a little to finish off and whilst it seemed to work for a very small amount of smoothing I would definitely not rely on it to remove all the excess. However they worked a lot better than the minx ones I'd tried previously!
  • I don't think I did too bad a job of applying them, but I could feel a few wrinkles and bumps, which I think the pattern helped to disguise. I'm not sure a plainer colour or design would have been quite as forgiving.
  • The 'foil' effect is not as good as I'd have liked. You can see in the promo photo that they look like they have a metallic finish. They don't, it's more like a photograph of a metallic finish. On my nails it looked more like a graphic black and white pattern. They may look better on a slightly longer nail.
  • The tips did begin to wear a little and the sides started to lift after a couple of days. They survived showers/washing up etc but I don't honestly think they'd still be looking good after the 5 days the pack suggests they'll last. I must admit I got bored of them and peeled them off early though. 
  • They're easy to remove, but do leave a sticky residue which you need a good scrub with nail varnish remover to get rid of.
  • More expensive per manicure than even the most expensive polish, but far cheaper than going and getting a nail art design applied, so they'd be worth it for a one-off event, and you don't have to worry about chips.

To be honest, I think my problem with nail wraps is that they've been sold as something that they're not. Basically, they're stickers. You're putting stickers on your nails - like the ones you enjoyed when you were a kid - just with a particularly hardcore glue. Do you remember when hair mascara was the latest big thing? Do we all still buy it now? Er, no. Coloured gloop in your hair didn't feel luxurious, and nail wraps don't either - not compared to a really good polish manicure. They feel a little bit cheap. That said, I'd give these 7/10, for being better than I'd expected. I'm still a polish fan though.

Have you tried nail wraps? What did you think?

Lakota x 

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Ta-dah! Tuesday - storage satisfaction

Hello, yet another scheduled post today, as I've been away for the long weekend. Hope you had a great weekend dropping 'flotilla' into everyday conversation / criticising the BBC coverage and are now heartily sick of coronation chicken and the union flag. [I suddenly realised that if you start a link party on a particular day you should try to actually have something to post, hence I irritated the husband by insisting that it was urgent I hang and photograph something immediately before we left, rather than packing my washbag, finding children's shoes and other such boring tasks.]

Remember the vintage expanding coat rack I bought? I've finally given it an oiling and got it on my bedroom wall, and it has made all the difference to my jewellery collection. I probably have fewer necklaces than anything else, and I don't tend to wear them nearly as often as earrings, bangles and rings, probably because up til now they've been hidden away in a jewellery box. Those that weren't hidden away were slung over the corner of my dressing table mirror, which looks great and is all very well until you want to wear something, whereupon everything proves to be tangled together in some kind of evil jewellery spaghetti.

Ok, this isn't everything. But it's a lot better

Mr FHCS was not overly thrilled with the prospect of yet more stuff going on the bedroom walls - he's been muttering in discontent since I found another matching spice rack to house the overflow from the current nail varnish store - but even he has admitted that it looks quite decorative. There's just something so satisfying about being able to see everything, don't you think? And it meant I rediscovered a few things as well as being able to see current favourites.

60s American peapod pendant - vintage fair

70s tiger eye pendant - gift from mother in law

Stolen thunder wooden necklace and stone arrow head

Eclectic Eccentricity Cottontail Hare - won in Jen little bird's blog giveaway 

Malachite choker - bought in France or Spain in early teens
{edit: that's my hand, not an alarmingly scrawny neck!}

So, not an impressive ta-dah, but a personally pleasing one. I'll be back later on today to catch up with everyone, so do link up anything you have to share.

Lakota x

Sunday 3 June 2012

And the person who should get private dental care is....

I have painstakingly written out everyone's entry - plus any extras for tweeting - and the biggest boy was excited to do the honours. [There was a lot of mixing of the many many pieces of paper] The winner of an incredible retro sweets hamper is.........


Congratulations! Please let me know your details and I will pass them on to Bah Humbugs to fulfil your prize. I am extremely jealous!

Incidentally, if your business or company would like to offer a prize for my readers, please do get in touch.

Lakota x

Saturday 2 June 2012

Guest post from Lulastic - Home made Chalkboard Paint

Hi everyone - hope you're all set for a fantastic Jubilee long weekend. I'm chilling out for a few days with the family, so I've arranged a fab guest post to keep you entertained.


Hello! I’m Lucy. I normally post over on Lulastic and the Hippyshake where I scribble about delving into bins for vintage treasures, crafting up old stuff and creating a house out of other people’s leftovers. I have a wild wee toddler called Ramona; a sweet chaos causer who mostly enjoys tipping up my paint/ poking around in my glue, picking out my stitches. I am dedicated to thrifting with all its subversive thrills and massively enjoy reading Lakota’s charity shop adventures. I am well happy to be on her blogdiggidy right now. Yahoo!

I just love the blogosphere. There is SO much creativity and imagination bouncing around, people making, thinking, doing, sharing. Frontiers being smashed to smithereens. I read a post this week that did this for me. It could easily have been about feminist motherhood, gentle parenting or global activism. But, actually, erm. It was about making your own coloured chalkboard paint.

Lemme say it again without hyperventilating: MAKING YOUR OWN COLOURED CHALKBOARD PAINT!

*skips about it total glee*

I have just recently found Ecoempire- another blog that makes my heart sing- and love what she did with the paint. I am working on an upcycled summin summin so have been playing around with the paint for that. But in the mean time I have whipped up a little jar of sweets for our pals who are taking us to Bruges tomorrow for a day trip. I love doing things with jars. Such a thrifty way to give gifts, with all the mountains of jars we get through (our own particular mound is primarily due to being such huge gherkin and lemon curd fans.Mmmm. Lemon cuuuuurd.)
Anyway, here you go. Prepare to have your minds completely condoogled with craft and DIY possibilities…

Yeah, for REAL. It is totes that simple.

I am yet to get through a whole tin of blackboard paint so I love that you can just make this up with little bits of paint you have in your cupboard. Someone somewhere also has an old tube of grout- so always ask around.

I also painted and superglued a little pig onto the top. I know that is a bit suggestive, giving a jar of sweets with a pig on the top but I didn’t mean in that way, promise. Although one of the recipients loves jelly sweets in an unfathomable way – puts away a whole packet for breakfast even.

I can’t confirm or deny but I think, THINK, this pig may be the one that turned me vegetarian when I was a kid.  We were travelling through Germany and stopped off for some sausages in a roadside cafe and they put a tiny plastic pig on my plate.  I was like “Er, what’s with the pig?” and as I asked the question it all fell into place, the thoughts I had been suppressing my whole childhood. That the beasts of the field end up in our bellies. Clinging to my plastic pig, I vowed meat would never again cross my lips. And it never has. (Apart from a brief period when I used to make salami sandwiches then take out the salami at the last minute so that the bread and butter still had meat juice on it.)

I did keep him, that momentous pig. And he looked just like this one.

Aaanyway. I can basically HEAR your minds whirring you crafty foxes-  do you reckon you might whip something up with this frontier bashing magical coloured chalkboard paint? Perhaps some of Lakota’s place mats?

Thanks for having me, a total pleasure to be read by you. (And if you’re ever in extra need of a whimsy craft fix or a gaze at a charity shop haul do pop over and say hi!)