Sunday, 25 October 2015

A Very Vintage Very Vibrant Weekend PART 2!

Drum roll, please!! Here's PART 2 of A Very Vintage Very Vibrant Weekend! Last weekend was our first experience of back-to-back trading (hosting a stall at two different fairs in two days).
After Saturday's awesome event at Kelham Hall's Big Vintage Festival (post here for those who haven't seen it), we were up at 4.30am again for Beverley Vintage & Retro's Fair at Beverley Race Course.

This was our first fair the other side of The River and so it was imperative to make sure we earned that all important bridge toll!

We arrived to a very dark and cold venue, but soon warmed up with over 40 trips up and down stairs with all our stock. There seems to be a reason you rarely find an overweight trader.

Once we were fully set up, I got changed and a bit more dolled up than the previous day's poor efforts. This stunning yellow and navy 1960's dress was bought from Rosie Hearts Vintage. I teamed it with my new-to-me swanky 1960's leather, fur-lined, loafer boots. Swit Swoo eh?! 

It always makes working a fair more fun if you've got a talking point, and this dress created a bit of a fuss with people who remember their similar dresses from 1960's and 1970's.

All that fuss attracted two publicity shots for local papers and a radio interview with Beverley FM! Posing really isn't my expertise so it was a bit embarrassing.

We chose to leave our larger accessories out of this fair, because the carrier is far to big and heavy to lug up the slim stairwell at this venue. It turned out to be a great decision as we could spread out gorgeous jewellery out a little more.

Which meant we sold lots of our sparklers and boxes. Massive WIN for us Pigeons, because we love some of these and are always tempted to whip them into our handbags!

Beverlery Race Course was a really well publicised event, meaning it was extremely full. We were very lucky to be visited by two of our favourite families! One of which includes this gorgeous guy who was a little bit in love with the plastic display pigeons. Cheeky scamp!

Being a busy day makes the long hours pass so quickly. And nothing makes a day pass quicker than a moment like the following story:

Customer: How much is this?! (holding a beautiful trio)
Nana Pigeon: £8
Customer: Put it in a bag, hide it under your table and give it to the lady in the blue coat! Don't tell her I did this. Quick! She's coming!

Blue coat lady approaches our stall

Miss Pigeon: Excuse me. I've been instructed to give you this. Please enjoy
Blue Coat Lady: Oh what's he done now?!

It turned out she is married to an extremely romantic man, who pulls wonderful surprises like this all the time. He came back to thank us and told us the story of how he proposed. Mr Pigeon has got some serious learning to do when it comes to his romantic streak!

All day long, we were lusting after some stunning stock on the stall next to us. Black Cat Vintage had dresses and outfits to die for. They were getting attention all day. This lovely lady tried on and ended up buying this blue 1950's two-piece and wore it for the rest of the day. We'd do the same if we found a get-up as perfect as this!

Working our first ever back-to-back weekend really taught us a few things. Mainly that it's about time we invested in a van, but simply, they aren't as bad as we thought:
  • Leaving home in the dark and arriving home in the dark makes it feel like you've been on a holiday. 
  • You meet a lot more lovely people the longer you're awake. 
  • Make-up does actually work wonders!
  • Pack more food and an extra flask! 
We hope to see oyu at some of our upcoming fairs, in time for the festive season... yes, I said FESTIVE!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

A Very Vintage Very Vibrant Weekend PART 1!

So, last weekend was our first pair of back-to-back Vintage Fairs. First up was Britain Does Vintage's Big Vintage Festival at Kelham Hall:

It's usually always an early start for traders at fairs, so up at 4.30am we were. Miss pigeon and Nana Pigeon, two big cars heaving with stock, a pack-up, a flask and a load of plastic pigeons. We saw the sun rise in a beautiful Autumn mist and arrived to a frosty chill at a stunning venue.
If you've never been to Kelham Hall, here's a little about the stunning venue, taken from the Kelham Hall website: 

"The present Kelham Hall is the third building to have stood on the site with two former halls having been damaged significantly by fire (one in the early eighteenth century and a second in 1857). All three halls were built for the Manners Sutton family, whose links with Kelham and Averham date back to the 12th century.

Between 1903 and 1974 Kelham Hall was used as a training college by the Society of the Sacred Mission in preparation for missionary work. The hall and grounds however were requisitioned by the army during the two world wars although these were the only interruptions.  The most significant legacy left by the monks is the incredible domed chapel, which today is a year-round venue for weddings and events and an exquisite addition to the property."

We were lucky enough to be situated in this very dome, almost the exact same spot as the last time we traded here, in March 2015. It's a vast hall that is impossible to photograph in one image.

The stained glass windows are stunning and surround the mezzanine and high dome ceiling of the room.

Two rails, 17 boxes, 9 suitcases and 2.5 hours later we were finally set up ready for punters to arrive!


It's always lovely to see fellow locals at these bigger fairs. Here are the gorgeous ladies from Lindsey Lodge Hospice Shop , Scunthorpe (who we are looking forward to seeing at their own fair this weekend!)

And the gorgeous Jill from Alfie Robot Retro, who we are working with on a very exciting event, this Christmas!

It was the first time we met the glorious Rosie Hearts Vintage with her beautiful hair. She certainly loved meeting us with Miss P's multiple mod dress purchases!

One of the delights about going to a Vintage Fair is that people really make astounding efforts when it comes to what they wear. Below is Newark's very own Steampunk group. They looked incredible and gained a lot of attention throughout the day with people taking photos and commenting on their outfits.

This couple below really made a lot of effort with sourcing their genuine 1940's gear. That fur collar was gorgeous!

This hat. This coat. This lipstick. These gloves. The beautiful skin. SWOONTASTIC vintage effort!

We were entertained by some talented groups, singers and dancers, including Backstep Boogie who taught visitors some smooth moves; and Gina Rose was not only stunning and beautiful in her vintage get up, but her voice was astounding. We loved hearing her serenade our sales!

Kelham will always be one of our favourite places to trade because of it's gorgeous surroundings, friendly fellow traders and the efforts put in by Britain Does Vintage. After 2.5 hours of packing up, our day had come to an end. A super long drive home, a scoff of a take away and an early night in preparation for A Very Vintage Very Vibrant Weekend PART 2... another 4.30am start looms!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Is that you, Autumn?

You've taunted us for a week or so and now you've gone into hiding. We whipped our winter coats out of storage, dusted off a flat cap and darned our bedtime socks in excitement and readiness. Brace ourselves for Autumn...

 ... the best time of year.

If, like Miss Pigeon, you seemed to be a student forever, you may recognise the coming of Autumn as a sign of New Beginnings; and what could be more symbolic of New Beginnings than fresh dewy mornings, the low sun temporarily blinding you with real life lens flare, crisp cool air in your lungs and stinging your cheeks. These are the moments to stop, close your eyes,  take a deep breath and let that wet air frizz your hair.

To New Beginnings 

It's been a long hard slog this year; having our first baby, fathoming out the world with a tiny creature as our responsibility. Friendships put on hold, things put to one side, ideas put to bed, lives almost paused. But this Autumn feels like a big New Beginning for the Pigeons.

Breathing in the low mist that sits still on the fields surrounding our village, I'm reminded that it's such a beautiful time of year; and now I've a new job working in a college, the excitement of Autumnal New Beginnings is rumbling away in my belly again. 

I'm setting up projects, organising events and really enjoying StanleyPigeon pottering about, chatting away to me and the dogs.  The mojo is well and truly back and I'm soaking up all the New Beginnings and styling out some stunning new vintage stock in line with the upcoming festive season.

Fresh Collection

... at one of the projects that's been the long-time-coming! BoxWindow, a shopable (is that even a word) window display at our favourite local venue, Cafe Indie. I'll tell you more about this one another time but for now, here's a sneaky peak of our Autumn inspired window, full of ideas to inspire gifts for men and a colourful season ahead. If you can't wait for a  BoxWindow focused post, go to Indie, enjoy a dirty chai and have a peruse. 

An Old New Beginning

It was in Autumn 2013 that we bought our 1958 Morris Minor, too. An old kind of new, but definitely an exciting time for the Pigeons. I remember it so well because we didn't know the colour and when we saw the sage green gleaming from underneath the layer of dust, my heart skipped. Perfection.

It was a sharp cold day and we were buzzing to be going to look at a Morris Minor so close to our home and for a decent price considering it's condition. An hour later and we were owners of everyone's dream car. 

Back home "Little Green" met with the dogs' approval and a few neighbours came for a nosy, but we'll tell you more and reveal more in a Little Green only post!

It's fairly obvious we are pleased to see the arrival of Autumn and all our upcoming New Beginnings, but we are holding a few back, until details are finalised and posters drawn up.

Take that deep breath and let the wet air frizz your hair, care free.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The INDIE Revolution

A lot of many moons ago a friend of ours was telling us all about this exciting adventure he was about to go on, as the manager of a non-profit business, training and supporting young people in a cool and trendy coffee house. This place was to have art and music and creativity at it's core. And boy-oh-boy did Mr Plumtree pull it off! 

Cafe Indie before Mr Plumtree even had the keys. I was taking a few photos this day, to get an idea of the space, so I could help with loaning/buying a few bits of furniture for when they opened. This photo would (unknowingly) become very relevant to my future:

Cafe Indie is where we started to make a name for ourselves. Pigeon Vintage hosted our very first pop-up stall there and continued to do this until we felt confident enough to go for the big fairs. We loaned a few of our prize possessions to Indie, too, until they got much cooler and more appropriate furnishings.

One thing that has remained permanent fixture and plays a part in creating the venue's quirky atmosphere, is their famous INDIE sign. Some of you may know that the sign was made at Pigeon HQ, by the fair but gnarly hands of Mr Pigeon!

Plumtree was getting some outrageous quotes for this sign and I mentioned that my Mr P would probably be able to give it a good go. Being the perfectionist he is, I knew it would only ever be an amazing outcome.
So? I lost him to the garage for the next few weeks, while I stayed inside beginning my own exciting adventure (we were in the early weeks of pregnancy and I was suffering from delightful morning sickness).

The sign is made from sheet metal that was cut and bent to shape using an industrial machine that Mr P had to build from scratch (he'd salvaged it from a skip years ago and never needed to use it until now).
To get the industrial look, once the letters were made Mr P sprayed them with a salt solution and left them outside overnight to get them to rust.

I'll never forget the night that he sent me this photo; the first working component standing proud atop his workbench. I was working at the youth centre and gasped with shock at how good it looked. I knew it would, but THIS good? I was a proud girl, carrying this man's baby. It was a bit overwhelming. 

It took a few days to put up, because of the size and availability of people to help, but this was the sign installed before the bulbs were put in. Josh the apprentice, who's still serving time ( ;) ) at the cafe was like a metal monkey, climbing and hanging off walls to help us get it on the wall. To give you an idea of scale, the letters are 120cm high.

Being the modest beast he is, Mr Pigeon switched the lights on without telling people. There were so many young people in the building, helping to pull walls down, paint chairs, build furniture, clean floors and so on; but none of them knew what spectacle was about to occur. Everyone cheered and applauded and wowed. It looked fab and felt like the beginning of what has become a bit of an Indie revolution for us all.

Since then, the sign has featured in band photos, promo pictures, blog feeds, student selfies, instagram check-ins... it's part of the heart of Cafe Indie, and I couldn't be more proud of Mr P for being it's creator!

Image kindly given by Paul Rhoades Photography

Image of musician Joe Solo taken by Paul Rhoades Photography
Taken from Instagram's #cafeindie
Photo of Cooper and friends, taken by Imagernation Media
Image given by Under Electric Candlelight, from their Christmas stall

These pictures could keep coming, but I want to leave you with my favourite Indie sign capture of them all:

Our baby, StanleyPigeon, mesmerised by his Daddy's sign, reflecting in his eyes.

Aldi PANdemonium

This week instagram has gone all hearts-for-eyes over some pans. We all crave a bit of Catherine Holm's classic and bold kitchenalia. ...