Tuesday, 29 November 2011

What lies beneath.

So sorry I haven't had time to blog over the past few days, We get the keys to our house tomorrow so have been totally consumed by everything home related.

Just a quick post as I have got it into my head that I would love white floorboards in all the bedrooms. My husband has an inkling that underneath the old carpet there might be floorboards!.
I totally have my heart set on having white floorboards.

I love this picture. It's from one of my fav blogs www.littlegreenshed.blogspot.com def worth a read =)

The first thing I'll be doing tomorrow is peeling back the old carpet to see what's underneath. Wish me luck!.

Lauren x

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Paintings and Photos; Master bedroom.

Just a quick interiors post as I had to share the treasure I just bought!.

On the feature wall in the master bedroom (my bedroom....I mean our!). I want to make a stunning display of old photographs and paintings.

This next picture was the original picture, that I cut from a magazine, that gave me the idea.

I have got the most beautiful collection of old family photographs, that I am using for the wall but have been looking for some paintings or pictures, like the one's in this cutting. I love the flowers!.

And lo and behold I only managed to find the most perfect flower painting in a charity shop today!!. How lovely is this?!.

It is exactly what I was looking for and I cannot wait to put it on our bedroom wall.

Lauren x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Santa's grotto or bust!

I heard on the radio today that Hamleys toy store, London are charging £45.00 per child for their grotto 'Experience'.

WOW!. As a mummy of 3 and on a budget I was horrified at the price. If I were to take my 3 to the grotto it would total £135!.

Don't get me wrong Hamleys is magical at christmas, like something from a film. But never in a million years would I expect to pay that sort of money for my child to see santa. This got me thinking about visiting santa when I was child. The memories will last with me forever and I'm pretty sure in the 80's my mum didn't pay £45.

In Southend on Sea, Essex we had the most AMAZING department store called 'Keddies'. I can still remember it so well!. It was a proper old fashioned british store. With floors packed with wonderful things. They always had the most perfect santa's grotto. Every year my mum would take me and my brother. It was magical!.

I can remember going past the doultan china and to the grotto. I'm sure I remember a train?. But, I will never forget the excitment of it all. A proper traditional grotto. Where have all the traditional grotto's gone?. Are kids still allowed to sit on santa's knee?. Is the present still a book and a sugar mouse?.

Or is this what christmas is all about in 2011..??...overpriced grotto's?.

For me, NO.

I am a firm believer in tradition and simplicity and most of all that christmas doesn't need to cost a fortune.

I will more than likely take my children to a grotto this year. For sure it won't be Hamleys. Their excuse 'Cost's have risen'. Then why not have a traditional grotto?. With candy kanes, elves and a retired gentleman as santa. Does it really need to be an hour long experience with bells on.

Ask the kids...I bet it doesn't.

Lauren x

Oh christmas tree, Oh christmas tree.

Well, it's offical, it's beginning to look a lot like christmas!.

We won't have our own tree this year as the house will be a building site and as we are staying at my mum's it's her tree or the high way ;)

But that still doesn't mean I haven't thought about next christmas. I have already bought retro tree decorations and am looking for some kitsch lights. And I would love a white tree!. Here are some beautiful pictures I've been using for inspiration.

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Think it's time for a winter pimms and one of Hestons Pine tree mince pies. TTFN!.

Lauren x

Saturday, 19 November 2011

A very vintage christmas; Boardgames and babies.

I am a huge believer in the value of family time. Gone are the days when the family would spend the weekend playing board games and listening to the wireless.

The children of yesteryear had a beautiful innocence about them. And children of today seem to be lacking this. Probably due to constant exposure to computers, mobile phones and television.
Gone are the times when children where children. It is so very important to me to keep my babies 'babies' for as long as possible. They have years and years to be grown up but once those childhood years are gone we cannot get them back.
I read this quote, from a wartime child,

'We all used to make carts from sets of old pram wheels, We sawed up old planks and nailed them across and raced down the streets. Everyone did it. There was no traffic and you could whizz along. And we made kites out of brown paper and sticks. And there were always camps to build or bombsites to explore'. Philip Fancour;Readers digest yesterday's Britain.

I'm not saying we should all go out make a cart and let the kids scoot off down the road but what I am saying is maybe we need to get some of this childhood innocence back. Spending time as a family and playing traditional games, turning the television off and talking and most of all making sure the children have some 'proper' mum/dad/nan/grandad/brother/sister interaction. It doesn't matter if your a family of 10 or a family of 2.

Now, if christmas isn't the time to get some of this 'good old fashioned fun' back, when is?.

On christmas day we shall be attending mass in the morning, and once all the presents are opened and food eaten we shall be gathering for board games and family frolics!.

Instead of sitting infront of the tv this year why not turn it off and turn to some of these games instead. Not only will the children love it but so will the adults. (It's always the dad's that reveal their competitive streak over snakes and ladders!).

This was one of my favourites when I was a kid. I can remember sitting at my nan and grandad's old ercol table with my cousin and my brother. The only difference was the game we played was one of the original games and the beetle was made from square peices of card. Almost like a puzzle. Wonderful memories.

So dust off those old games hidden at the back of the cupboard, rally the family together and have a very vintage christmas.

Lauren x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Soldiers, cars and cowboys

I have been thinking about Henry and Ted's bedroom for MONTHS!!. I just cannot stick to an idea as there are so many cutesy boy's bedroom ideas.
Ideally I want the room to last a few years. So they are 19 months now and it would be wonderful if we didn't need to do much to it until the are 9/10 years old. Wishful thinking!.

I LOVE wallpaper, bright colours and a vintage look. I really like the look of an old american room. I can imagine an old farmhouse with a little boys room filled with old cars, painted furniture and drawings stuck to the wall.

Here is some inspiration I have been collecting over the past few months, Now to decide on which one to go with!. If I'm totally honest my fav is the Cath Kidston vintage car print for the walls with lots of vintage toys, different coloured furniture and two little iron beds. (Have I already picked???).
Comments very much appreciated.

And if anyone has a boy's bedroom they would like to share on the blog I would love to hear from you. ONE WEEK ON SATURDAY UNTIL THE BIG REFURB!.

Lauren x

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Stocking fillers.

This is my first post for 'A very vintage christmas'. For those of you who are reading this blog for the first time please see my previous post 'A very vintage christmas'.

I have been thinking about the children's christmas stockings and what to put in them. Nowadays it seems they seem to be filled with more and more, taking away the simplicity and joy a stocking should bring. I was an 80's baby and I always remember having an apple, orange, chocolate money and one small toy. My mum always made sure our stockings reflected the original idea behind them. I remember one year the orange was left out for some reason and it just didn't feel quite the same!.

In war torn Britain it seems the stocking was a crucial part of christmas. I have been reading lots of stories online and they all follow a similar pattern.

The children would wake and check their stocking had been filled, but would always wait for their parents to wake before opening. There would be an orange/apple, a small toy and perhaps some money or even sweets if they were lucky enough. Each story tells of the gratitude and appreciation for these simple gifts left by santa and how it brought light to the dark days of the war.

I am so in love with the idea of this simplistic christmas treat. I have found three vintage knitted stockings, one for each of the children.

For Poppy I have a skipping rope, a 1940's Enid Blyton book then we shall put in an orange, chocolate money and a sugar mouse.

For our twins, Henry and Ted, they each have a penny whistle, small toy car and again an orange, chocolate money and a sugar mouse.

I don't see the need to spend a fortune on filling a stocking when children appreciate simple gifts like this. I know Pops will be desperate to go out on christmas day to learn skip and the twins will be pushing their cars all over the house.

This is why I love the 40's, things were good even in the toughest times. Over the next few weeks I'll be looking more at the 40's and explaining why, for me, was when Britain, its values and citizens were at their best. Even with the turmoil and poverty many people dealt with on a daily basis.
And how to have an extra special christmas =)

Lauren x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A very vintage christmas.

December is fast approaching and I cannot wait to put the tree up, and the children of course!.

I am so in love with christmas, not because of the presents, or the long holiday from work but for the time I get with my family. My husband has a whole week off work and we spend every day being a family and having quality time together.

It is so very apparant that many people of today have lost their true christmas spirit and are wrapped up in spending money, they don't have.
Why has christmas turned into a stressful, expensive time when the most important thing is being with loved ones?.

During the second world war every holiday had been put on hold, apart from christmas. It was celebrated by the rich and poor, everyone got together and made the best of what they had.

From now until Christmas I am going to be blogging every week with tips and ideas, taken from the 40's, on how to have a wonderful christmas without the expense we suffer from mordern life.

The admiration I hold for the 1940's families is so huge, they coped, lived and loved through the hardest time. There is so much we could do as a nation to cope better in this recession, so lets put our best foot forward and start by making small changes inspired by wartime Britain.

I will be covering made do and mend gifts, chritsmas games, music, ideas for christmas dining, decoration and lots more!.

If anyone has anything they would like to contribute to my up and coming post's I would love to hear from you!. Please get in touch at lauren_sutherland@hotmail.co.uk

Lauren x

Monday, 14 November 2011

Leigh lights!

I am so looking forward to the turning on of the christmas lights this year. We are having an open evening at the shop with lots of festivities going on.

I would love you to pop in and say hello!. My unit is being transformed into a vintage lounge all dressed up for christmas. Taking inspiration from the 40's and 50's.

I have lots of beautiful vintage toys, pretty glassware and so much more!. Why not surprise a loved one with an extra special gift this year and buy vintage?. For a truly extra special gift that cannot be found on the high street.

Pop into 'what the butler saw' and come and see me at 'Poppy-Lauren Vintage' for a babycham and a mince pie. I'll have the old 40's christmas records playing, the retro tree up and oodles of treasures to browse.

What The Butler Saw 113-115 Leigh Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 1JH. We will be open all day and all evening on Friday 25th November for leigh lights. Hope to see you there =D

Lauren x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Larder of love

So...I've found this cupboard/room in our little kitchen. Its built right underneath the stairs. My husband wanted to board it up!.
I soon put a stop too that.

I knew straight away what it should be....a larder.

Without a doubt every family needs a larder. I know we have a fridge and stores of cupboard space but let me explain why I'm so excited about my newest plans for our 'vintage' home.

A larder was a cool storage area, used to store and cool food, before fridges were made. In the 1940's every home had a larder. Due to rationing the larder was a very important part of every day life for the family.

As a family of five, living in a recession. Where food prices have soared over the past 12 months and our purse strings getting tighter I think we could all take note from the families of WW2.

They pulled together as a nation, grew their own vegetables, went without so others could eat and made the best from what they had.

I intend to put this practice into our family life. Starting with the larder!.

Of course I'm going to keep the milk, meat etc in the fridge. (God knows what the school would say if I sent the kids in with food posioning, just so we could abide by old fashioned values).
BUT why shouldn't we, as a nation, store longlife food, jams, home grown veg. I know for a fact so many of you pop to your local supermarket EVERYDAY and buy in dribs and drabs. Over spending on junk filled food. Adding to the land fill sites with all the excessive packaging and probably not even eating what you just bought!.

I propose to shelf out the room, slate tile it (husband will do this) and store food in kilner jars, re usable boxes, tins and any other form of environmentally friendly storage I can find.

Not only will I be saving money and helping the enviroment. I hope to teach our children the importance of food. We are so lucky to have all that we do.

As always all pictures have been sourced online, I take credit for none.

Happy storing! Lauren x