Friday, 3 June 2016

meanwhile... still here

This year has seen us running ourselves ragged as part of meanwhile..., a collective of traders making use of an empty shop just off Scunthorpe High Street.

meanwhile... there's us lot 

...flogging furniture, selling our souls and meeting lots of interesting folk from our fair little town since January 2016. I wrote about the growth of the meanwhile... project back then [here] we were only meant to be here until March 31st...

Traders have come and they have gone, we've had pop-ups within our pop-up, we've fallen out, kissed, made up, redecorated twice, shuffled around loads and celebrated the fact we are still here! 

With some of the shuffling around, and Mr P taking voluntary redundancy from his job, we started doing more upcycling projects. As much as we hate that term, customers were loving what we did with suitcases. I made a few signs and he was selling coffee table suitcases on legs that were flying out faster than they hit the shop floor. 

Bought by a Stone Roses fan, who'll be using the case for when he goes to see them this summer. Not that we are jealous.

1920's case restored and raised into a coffee table, using tapered wooden legs. The inside was lined using a newspaper from the 1950's. 

An old HMV record player, whose innards were completely beyond repair. Thankfully, Mr Pigeon took it into his care, repaired the box and used some dansette legs to make the box usable again.
We had a few DIY sessions where tired objects are revived into becoming more permanent fixtures as shop fittings.  
That chair up there never sold at the multiple carboots we dragged it to. And so to it's new life as a hanging rail and shelf at meanwhile... It gets far more attention up there than it ever has anywhere else.
Broken wooden units have become our new shelves, as we've used their drawers in place of the previous wall tenant that was collected at the end of May. Luckily these drawers act as rails, too, allowing more showcase space for outfit combinations.

Made by Mr P's gnarly oil stained hands, this pallet platform has been so handy.It's solid, so can take a lot of weight and the gaps have had all kinds of bargains hanging from them... such bargains that they're now empty again. And those larger shelves in the back? They were decorated with maps by our very own #VintageGirlGang member, Jill of Alfie Robot Retro.
It's been a real learning curve selling from a bricks and mortar shop. Thinking that you know what the general public want is entirely different to what the public (of Scunthorpe) actually want. 

Tip: vintage clothing isn't what the general public of Scunthorpe want. 
Not many of them, anyway. We did away with lots of clothing after realising this. Especially menswear, which sold diddly squat. That surprised everyone, because there's a huge gap in the market locally for interesting or alternative menswear. Perhaps we weren't going to be the next Apple Inc after all; managing to persuade people to spend their entire salaries on things that they don't want/need... [mental note... try "ivintage"]

Scunthorpe; a small town with not much money and an unwarrented reputation for being a bit rough around the edges. This means we have to carefully consider our traders, prices and what we sell here. Some people doubted our ability to make it work... and it did work and it still is really working! No-one is more surprised about this than me. 

We've been at risk of shutting a few times, but the repeated extension on our time here has been like being skint and then finding a tenner in the back pocket of some old jeans; pure wonder and loveliness.

Our traders have included vintage and retro specialists, artists, crafters and record companies. 
The latest addition to the meanwhile... family is Emma, of Three Button Vintage:

Emma is a tall flame headed beaut of a girl from Doncaster. She usually covers the Wednesdays in the shop and is ace at handling shoplifters! Emma has a love for the 1930's and 1940's and like many of us old hoarders, is selling off lots of her own personal collections of home and fashion from eras spanning 1950's - 1980's.

Just as we welcome Emma for another month, we are about to lose one of my favourite traders; Vintage Edited. Becca is whipping off to the other side of the world for a year of exciting adventures in New Zealand. We'd love to wish her good luck, but we secretly hope she hates it and comes back as soon as possible!

Becca of Vintage Edited has become, what I'd consider to be, a good friend of mine. We've partied, nattered and ran our way into a lovely friendship and I'll be sad to see her off on her way, but can't wait for her to come and vintage with me again when she gets back!

meanwhile... there's you lot!

Some of our repeat customers and avid fans have come in to thank us for staying open, congratulate us for staying open and praying that we stay open longer. 

By repeat customers, we mean the ones who now work with us on a first-name basis or a nick-name basis (bag lady, dressing gown man and motorbike Dave) and they come every week to make sure they're supporting small local businesses. 

Our customers really make this place worth while. Hearing their life stories and memories attached to items in the shop is heartwarming and makes me grab my chest in a sweet moment of "I wish you were my grandparent"


it's been great "playing shop" and it's still great "playing shop" and it'll keep being great "playing shop" until our time here comes to an end. 
A sincere and heartwarming Thank You all for the continued support, it keeps dreams alive and home finances of real life people ticking over. 

This blog post has been fuelled by:
Patrick Wolfe's Magic Position
and peanut butter MnMs

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Blush, Blossom and Bloom

I think the blossom season is one of the best times of the year. The freshest colours, prettiest smells and that calming feeling of all the newness Spring brings. 

Image from Claire's blog, following the growth of her pregnant belly
If you've read one of my earliest posts about my love for Autumn, you'll know I'm a big fan of bringing in the new, fresh starts and the excitement of New Beginnings. 

Historically, spiritually and mythically Spring represents newness. It's in our bones to feel peaceful with the arrival of pink blossoms and colours highlighted by a low laying sun. 

Soft pinks are featuring heavily in my life, this Spring. A few weeks ago I dyed my hair "rose quartz" in time for my 32nd birthday shenanigans. I did it the same time last year, too and I'm starting to think that blossom INVADES me. 

Dress from Rosie Hearts Vintage

Then I went and bought my new favourite P brooch from You Make Me Designs where you get to choose the colours you want your bespoke pin to be. Without thinking, I went for the gold and blush, which apparently matches the new 'do. 


Bloom of Bothness

Blossom pink makes my heart swell a little. There's a "bothness" about the colour that I really like; it's soft and hot, fresh and vibrant, exciting and soothing. It's both of all those, simultaneously. 

I feel like that's often the main part of my day job, to be Both; to inspire and to calm. I work at John Leggott College, the place I first fell in love with art. I'm the technician on their Art Foundation course, working with a great bunch of students to find their art voice and secure themselves a place at universities across the country. 

The Art Foundation is a time on your creative career where you're pushed to your limits, learning new skills, meeting tight deadlines, exploring and developing new theories, media and methods. 
It can be a really stressful year of a young persons life and I feel rather protective over their well being while under our responsibility. 
I've really enjoyed watching this group of young artists discover their visual language and personal interests. Oddly, a lot of the students have been playing around a lot with soft pinks...

Lucy has been making work about life, fertility, death and connections. Her stitching and drawing abilities are incredible. I really love her work and how she uses fleshy colours outside where we usually expect to find them. The detail in her drawings draw you in to spend time and thoughts on her art. 
Lucy will be heading off to study Fine Art in Leeds after summer and we are all very proud of her.

Hannah has been on a quite journey this year and the depth in theory behind her photography really reflects that. Hannah's mixed media work has it's heart in photography and she's been making a real impact with her approach and determination despite the trek she's had. 
The peach fabric in her recent photography really soften the severity of the collection and bring a sense of peace to an otherwise harsh image.
Hannah will be heading to Norfolk Uni in September, to study more behind the lens.  

Chelsea has also been on her travels through the misty crossovers of graphics and fine art. It always felt clear that her heart belongs to the fluidity that Fine Art offers. 
Again, using mixed media and college, Chelsea's work explores our connections to oursleves, others and the world around us. It draws you in with details, hits where it hurts and then calms with the colours and media she uses. I really like it a lot. 
Chelsea will be taking her soft pinks and more to Nottingham Trent (where I studied) to study Fine Art (what I studied), and I think she'll fit in just perfectly!

Natassja has thrown some spanners in the works this year and I've really enjoyed some of the challenges she's put us through. 
Her work is intended to entice and test us and how comfortable we are with sexuality, feminism, women in art and so on. 
The theories behind her work are heavy and engrossing, but the displays are fun, engaging and somehow funny. I love it. I love the pink and I think she's going to do just swell down in that there London at Central Saint Martins!

I like how, at a crucial time in their creative careers, these girls are all embracing the blossoming pinks and blooming peaches. Just as they're about to go off and being blooming blossoms in various new homes across the land! 

So, I say go ahead and welcome that inner bloom, blush like a good 'un and enjoy the blossom before it goes all mushy and stinky under your feet. 

This blog post has been fuelled by:
Jolie Holland's "Springtime Can Kill You"
And chocolate flapjack.

Aldi PANdemonium

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