Monday, 16 May 2016

Vintage Girl Gang - KatyBag!

I love our Vintage Girl Gang and how much support it provides for traders, artists, vintage girls, kitsch lovers and now... a DJ! 

All of a sudden I feel like our cool ratings have escalated somewhat! 

KatyBag fangirled me on Instagram after I posted a photo promoting a #vintagegirlgang blog post. "CAN I JOIN?!" yelled Ms Bag and now she's totally IN!

KatyBag, why vintage for you?
It's all about the music for me! Inspired by my older brother who was part of the 1980s Mod revival, I started listening to 50s-60s soul, ska and original R&B when I was very young. This then led me to watching 1960s films, introduced me to 'Quadrophenia' and latterly led me to discovering the 'underground' subculture club scene - Mod, Northern Soul, 50-60s soul and R&B and original ska and reggae. I just adore the style that accompanies theses subcultures - the clothes, the haircuts, the shoes, the accessories and the attitude ... this love now includes items for the home too!  Happiest when spending a few hours 'treasure hunting' around vintage and collector's fairs or antique shops, charity shops or car boot sales.

What vintage homeware is your favourite purchase and why?
This was the hardest question for me to answer!!! We live in a 1950s semi-detached house, still with lots of original features, doors etc. + most rooms furnished with 50s-60s furniture and accessories ... a recent carpet-fitter even asked 'is this house some sort of museum then?' ..!
So, just choosing ONE thing was a challenge for me. In the end I have chosen the 1950s Birdseye Maple bedroom set - found in the deepest, darkest depths of eBay after an extensive search, we collected this set from a lovely lady in Spalding, Lincolnshire who had grown up with the furniture in her parent's house. 

We brought home with us 2 large wardrobes (complete with interior drawers and even hat compartments!), the beautiful dressing table (pictured), 2 glass-topped bedside cabinets AND matching headboard.

What vintage fashion item is your favourite and why?
Another tricky question ... I can't resist a good 1960s vintage dress and my wardrobe is full of them! But my favourite item is this late 1960s Welsh wool coat + matching handbag. Discovered in the back of a church converted into an antiques 'shop' in Horncastle village, Lincolnshire. As luck would have it, fitted me perfectly and nabbed myself a bargain! So often complimented on this coat, a real vintage treasure and cosy too!

During our mutual fangirl chat, you mentioned your vintage car, what type is it and how did you come by owning it? Also, do you drive it as your everyday runaround or are you a Sunday driver? ;) 'Olive' is a 1967 Morris Minor 1000 - another eBay bargain after extensive research and hunting for the ideal motor, we collected her from Essex and drove home to Lincolnshire from there. 

Due to my day-job sadly I don't get the opportunity to drive everyday, but Olive is so much more than a 'Sunday' car - she is for 'high days and holidays' our adventure wheels and 'Mystery Machine'! Soon after buying her we travelled from Lincolnshire to holiday in Cornwall and back home via a road-trip to Glastonbury and Bath. We even used her as our own wedding car last year too! 

Re-sprayed by the previous owner we found a traditional signwriter in Lincolnshire called 'Mervin Dove' who hand-painted her original pin-lines back onto the doors + inspired by vintage coaches and trucks even added the name 'Olive' to the boot lid.

What vintage music or film inspire your creative eye?
I collect 50-60s soul and original R&B vinyl 7" singles and occasionally DJ at Mod and soul events/clubs.
And one of my favourite films is 1963 'Billy Liar' starring Tom Courtenay and Julie Christie.

Finally, the thing I ask all lasses being initiated; who's your vintage Muse and why?
Dame Barbara Mary Quant. Welsh fashion designer and British fashion icon. She became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. 

An iconic, inspirational, boundary-crossing, head-turning woman with a strong sense of her own style.

I'm not jealous of KatyBag. Not one bit! But if I *could* have her life, I would! 
What a beautiful car, coat and cabinet, eh? She's a Vintage Girl Gang WINNER. She's also a DJ, specialising in music supporting the hugely influential mod movement. 
To check out her spins, head to Subculture, the music night at Madame Waffle in Lincoln. I bet we'll be heading there straight after work! Who's in?

KatyBag, you carry so much sixties swag it hurts! I salute you by slopping them Vintage Girl Gang lips on your sweet cheeks!
  If you're a vintage lover, a girl and you want to be in our gang, please get in touch with me so I can share some more VGG loving among the many vintage fans out there:

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A Baby Pigeon's Vintage Bedroom

Pigeon Villa became a very different place since the arrival of our little fledging, Stanley. Twenty months ago our world was flipped on it's head and all our beliefs in reusing, recycling and reloving vintage were brought to question:

Practicality, cleanliness and durability.

Three things that are paramount when buying for a new arrival, or so we kept being told. Actually, our budget was non-existent, since Stanley was arriving a lot earlier than we had planned (super fertility powers on both sides to thank for that). Zero budget, meant a lot of begging, stealing, borrowing and rediscovering beautiful things we had stashed away. We were given a cot bed by some friends, a wardrobe by a family member and already had the rest. It was an unusual collection of stuff, but one that came together all too nicely.

Here are a few stories about the collection of things in our Stan's vintage inspired bedroom:


These glorious floral curtains are navy with some beautiful large flowers on them. We bought them when Mr Pigeon and I first got together. We went to Hemswell Antiques Centre on a date, figuring out each others' sense of style, when I discovered these absolute gems for a snip at only £20 for tonnes of fabric. The Mr was the first to say "they'd be great in a nursery". We both went a bit quiet and unsure (with it bring early days) then we bought them.


Alphabet Art

Many many moons ago I used to work as an intern with book artist Karen Bleitz. Karen was a member of arc editions and had previously worked with Ron King, the founder of Circle Press. Ron's "Alphabet 2" (see above) was the reason I studied a Masters degree in Book Arts. I spotted this incredibly beautiful piece in the Tate Britain shop in 2007. I fell in love with it's simplicity; the folds, the white, the letters. All things I was continually inspired by as a creative person.
While working for Karen, she said that Ron needed a bit of work doing for him; computer based stuff, lining up work for a folding pamphlet. I was in awe of this lovely old gent being in her studio while I tapped away on a laptop in the presence of the man who originally inspired my move into Book Arts.
Toward the end of our day together, he suggested that I be paid for the work I'd done for him. I didn't want money. I wanted Alphabet 2 and his Miniscule book that went with it. I didn't think I'd ever stand the chance of getting this in real life with my own money, so I thought I should take the opportunity to have one as payment for some simple work for this really lovely chap. Thanks Ron.


They were made bespoke for me for my eleventh birthday, to house all my books for "studying" at Secondary School (?!). There are three sets all together, but these are the largest and they've come with me to every home I've lived in. They're made of pine and have been wrecked with scratches, candle burns and ink stains over the years, so we chose to paint them this "John Deere-green". I usually really dislike painted furniture, but these look so cute and set off the brightly coloured toys perfectly.


Noah's Ark

When you're pregnant, you get a bit nesty and over organised and a bit too ready. I was only a matter of weeks when I started drifting through the internet and instagram pondering what my baby's interests and hobbies might be, what I might want for his/her bedroom and what we might need to, you know, keep the baby alive.
I stumbled upon this beautiful pull-along Noah's Ark on Ok Corral. It was so cheap, but I couldn't risk spending any money that early on. I pointed it out to my Mum, saying I thought it was cute. A week later, it turned up on my doorstep! Good ol' Nannas and their internet shopping skillz!

Duck & VDub

That there duck was bought for me by an old friend of mine when I commented during a walk that I liked how Soviet it looked. The odd little thing was in a faded box shoved in the window of a cute little cafe in Scunthorpe. He's a wobbly thing that jingles as he sways. 

The yellow camper was bought by Mr P at one of his many visits to bugjam as a single man. The colour is what I find most appealing. StanleyPigeon has loved the wheels, the windows, the doors, the wipers, the wing mirrors, the seats and more. He's over loved them, perhaps, with them all now being broken or missing. It's ideal for all the crashing he plays at the minute.

Snoopy & Sooty

This awesome dog was mine and my brother's as kids. He makes a funny croaky noise as you pull him along. His tail is a bit bent and his lead is lost and his ears are a bit knackered, but he's our Snoopy and we love him to bits. 

Sooty. Well, there's an interesting story for you! My best friend's little boy genuinely believed I was pregnant with Sooty, when I first told him I had "exciting news". He said "I know! Sooty is coming to Scunthorpe!" Standard. We all laughed and explained that I was pregnant and he looked, with all certainty and said "will you call it Sooty, or Sue?" Hence us now gaining multiple Sootys.

The letterpress type was chalked to highlight Stan's weight when he was born


The Unit

This ridiculously helpful kitchen unit has a bit of a long story behind it, but I'll try to keep it short. Basically, it lived in my mum's garage for years and she'd never let me just have it... Until I met Mr Pigeon. All of a sudden she noticed a more stable future than dragging this beaut to the various cities I lived in. 
It arrived in a mess, after being used for "bits" in the garage. Screws, paints, tools, STUFF! All slowly marking and ruining it over the years. So this was our first fix-up project. Cue lots of sanding dust, paint splats, application arguments and laughs all along the way. 
We used this unit as a baby-changing station, storing all the necessaries needed and now it's become Stan's favourite game - pulling his socks out of the drawers to scatter them about the house shouting "gocks". 


Kewpie is a new thing to me,  this doll isn't, but Kewpie is. I had no idea that our Baby Gary had a cult following and that he existed across the world in many guises. I just thought I'd picked a very sweet doll in a chazza shop in 2004, for 20p. You wouldn't find a Kewpie for 20p anymore, mind. It's all gone to his head a little, we think. 
Just next to Kewps is an old book called "Phunology", it's full of parlour games for entertaining your guests. There are some hilarious writings in there. Perhaps I should blog about them one day? I bought this book because my real surname is McPhun (I promise I'm not lying).


Mega swoons for this light shade. It's glass, printed with yellow, immaculate and an original 1940's one. I picked this gorgeous thing up for only 20p at a carboot. The lady selling it guffawed as she shouted "I can't believe anyone would WANT that!" She may have paid me to take it from her if I'd ummed and ahhed any longer.

Atop a Wardrobe

The wardrobe was given to us by an elderly family member. It was a old man's and has all his travel stickers stuck to the in the door. We had to take a window out to get it in the house. I didn't stick around that day, for fear that it might not make it in the house. 

Those beautiful softies sat on the top of the wardrobe are from various places. They part of a growing collection of "non-play" toys that I'm gathering for no reason other than I love them. The lion and the dog are from Skinibears. She's super talented and the quality of the toys is impeccable. I love them a bit too much. The knitted pigeon is from Scout and Co Kids and naturally had to be bought despite the price tag being out of my budget - I saved a long time to justify finally owning him. 

The (little) Man, The (little) Legend 

And here he is, having a ponder while looking at his beautiful vintage inspired bedroom. It's my favourite room to spend time in with him, because of all the colours and light. 
Currently, there's a bit of a trend for monochrome kids clothes and nursery furniture. I envy people whose homes are clean and tidy enough to style up all black and white, but my Stan likes a bit of colourful stimulation while playing and imagining the world around him. 

I know, he's pretty cute isn't he? He's the centre of our little world and I'll forever line his nest with comfort and love, until he tells me to pack it in and that he wants one of those car beds. Ho hum.

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. ...