Welcome Vintage Twee's blog!

We specialise in creating beautiful items full of charm and nostalgia for weddings, tea parties, showers and other celebrations.

Whether you're planning a special event or just taking a look around, I hope you enjoy reading our blog and find it of great use and inspiration. We hope to be able to provide an insight into the interesting ideas behind the items we create, post information on our new creations fresh from the studio and inform you of any news we may have to share!

You can also visit our website and online shop to purchase anything you like from our ranges here www.vintagetwee.com

Friday, 24 December 2010

Festive Frolics

'It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air' - W.T Ellis

I love this quote and couldn't agree more with Ellis who sums up the true Christmas spirit in one simple sentence. December would just be another month and Christmas another day if it wasn't for the way in which it ignites a nostalgic spark in all of us that keeps us toasty and warm throughout the freezing temperatures of the winter season.
We all have one thing that awakens that Christmas spirit inside of us and for me, it's baking. I always remember making chocolate cornflake cakes with my mum and sister on Christmas Eve whilst watching Mary Poppins & fighting over who gets to lick the spoon. Having eaten many chocolate cornflakes cakes in my 27 years, I decided that 2010 would be the year that I would start off my very own Christmas tradition and do something that I will always be known for.
After much deliberation & justification behind my choice (that is being a red head and representing my fellow ginger people) I decided that I will pursue a Christmas craft career into the art of gingerbread men. So, in true festive spirit, I enlisted the help of my sister Emma and new brother-in-law Lee who were here visiting and we set to work to create some little masterpieces for a Christmas party later in the week hosted by Anita from Itsamistry Design Studio.
Ok, so not everything went to plan and I severely miscalculated the flour-syrup ratio, ending up with a sloppy paste-like mixture that couldn't be picked up, let alone rolled out. We were also missing one major cog in the gingerbread production wheel which was that of the gingerbread cutter himself...! Being creatives, we were not defeated and of course just had to improvise and Lee drew up a perfect gingerbread man card template to use instead! Once they were baked we set to work on a 'Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be....' decoration task and after an overdose of glitter icing and jelly tots, we finished up with the likes of Simon Cowell, Elvis and Cher (the original of course) on our baking tray. And the bonus? They were not just edible, but delicious!
And so my brand new Christmas tradition has been born. Of course, to avoid looking like a 5 year old had made them, I baked a fresh batch for the party yesterday (with an actual gingerbread man cutter and the right amount of flour this time!) and decorated them according to who was on the guest list. That would be Anita herself from Itsamistry Design Studio, Shilpa from Mistry Marketing Events, Nia from Gallery 6 Studios and Sarah from TinTrunk. We were also joined by Toni from Lady, Behave! who escaped a personalised gingerperson but unfortunately Alan from Village Vintage Clothing wasn't so lucky and got his delivered by Sarah, which was complete with beard and braces! Now, I apologise for any offence caused but felt the world needed to see my handiwork...go on, post a comment and vote for your favourite one...if I can reach 20 comments, I shall post my secret gingerbread recipe on the blog... :)

Itsamistry's Anita complete with her trademark
matching jewellery set

Shilpa from Mistry Marketing Events in Christmas Party mode 

Gallery 6 Studios Nia and her paintbrush and palette

TinTrunk's Sarah in vintage black and white...

So the moral of this festive tale is to always take some time to think about what puts 'Christmas in the air' for you...and when you have figured it out, capture it, bottle it and bring it out once a year to release your own true Christmas spirit.

Vintage Twee would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year xxx

Left to right: Shilpa, Anita, Nia and me!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, the chilly air is filled with the magic and mystery of reindeers with glowing red noses, Santa and his amazing chimney act and snowmen that come to life in our back garden when we are sleeping at night..
But what about the other, darker kind of unexplained phenomena that we don't naturally associate with this jolly time of year? One of the most famous and quoted Christmas tales of all time is that of 'A Christmas Carol', where Charles Dickens brought an element of the supernatural to the festivity period through his Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. The book was written in 1843 and, being a true literature lover, (as well as Ghost Whisperer fanatic at the moment!), I decided to indulge in Dicken's interest in the paranormal and tell you Vintage's Twee's very own tale about a Victorian ghost a little too close to home...

Since being a little girl, I have always been fascinated watching my dad carry out his daily profession as a gent's hairdresser and I often still call in to visit him in the barber shop he has occupied for over 20 years based in Heaton Chapel, Stockport.
 However, even now at 27 years old, I cannot walk to the kitchen to make my dad a cup of tea without closing my eyes tight at the sight of the crooked door to the shop's cellar. I can recall my dad's colleague locking my sister and I down there as a joke when we were young, as well as the story of a customer's dog who came out with all his hair stood on end. Tony's Barber Shop is well known in the area for it's terrifying ghost who resides in the cellar and has driven out many past female tenants who occupied the rooms above my dad's shop. The building itself dates back to the 18th century and was occupied in the 1840s by Irish navvies who had been employed to carry out the heavy work during the building of Stockport's railway line. The men were said to be a nuisance to the neighbourhood with their constant drinking & the prostitutes that they brought home. When the work was done and the men left Heaton Chapel, the women and their children remained, some of which residing in the property on Manchester Road that is now my dad's barber shop. The council had to fumigate the property as it was in such a mess and when doing so, they uncovered a host of bones under the floor in the cellar.

Source: Taken from
'Supernatural Stockport' (1991) by M.Mills
Many years later, the house was occupied by a Polish family during the First World War, who experienced many sightings and presences of the ghost connected to the building. They experienced the figure of a man stood at the foot of the bed, invisible hands drawing the quilt off the daughter's father as he lay in bed and the opening and closing of the young girl's vanity box on her dresser. It seems the young sisters who lived in the house were MUCH braver than my sister and I would ever be and followed the man to the cellar, where they watched him descend the stone steps carrying a lantern and disappear through the wall. It has been said that the ghost that haunts the building is that of the man who killed the prostitutes and their babies and buried their bones under the cellar floor.

Now I'm never in there long enough to find out if this is true, but it seems that the ghost has a distaste for women as he seems to haunt all the female tenants of the building yet my dad has never had a problem in the 20 years he has been in there. Perhaps the male dominated environment of the Barber Shop keeps the ghost at bay? Or maybe that padlock dad put on there is working...

So there you have it! Let's hope the Heaton Chapel Phantom doesn't know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and try to teach us some Christmas cheer...or I'm going to have to seek out Melinda Gordon to cross him over!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Trumpet Blowing Tuesday

At this time of year, it's all very easy to get buried under mounds of wrapping paper and sellotape, as well as feeling like you're wasting all your time stuck in queue after queue – be it in the shops or on the road. However, Vintage Twee has been hitting the headlines the past couple of weeks within a variety of different magazines and online blog articles and I thought I would take a mere moment away from creating my Christmas gift tags to share the good news with you this week!

I was delighted to discover that one of the biggest bridal magazines in the country, Wedding, had featured not just one, but two of my items in this month's issue! My 'I Do' Cupcake Sticks had made it to number 5 on their Wedding List and I realised what popstars must feel like when they discover what number their single goes into in the charts...(which this week makes Vintage Twee equivalent to Rihanna - beating Katy Perry, JLS and Jacko...whoo hoo!)
About to put down the magazine and indulge in the beautiful free Crabtree & Evelyn hand lotion that came with this issue, I noticed something else which looked vintagely familiar a few pages later. My Popcorn Cone Favours had been featured as part of a retro themed photo shoot which made me squeal with delight! So far I've had some great feedback from the articles & some orders for both of these items which is fabulous and I'm very proud to have had my work featured in such a significant publication in the wedding world.
From national to local news...Vintage Twee was also snapped at the Vintage Village Fair at Stockport Market Hall last month. Thinking that I had escaped the lipstick-less exposure when the article didn't appear in the Stockport Times that week, I was informed by my lovely Twitter friends @TinTrunk and @Itsa_mistry that the dreaded photo had in fact found its way onto page 28 of this weeks paper...drat! It was, however, a great article on the fantastic vintage and craft fair held every second Sunday of the month at Stockport's historic market hall and drew in the crowds for last Sunday's Christmas special event on Dec 12th. However, I was very disappointed that nobody brought their article to be autographed, despite my Twitter requests..grrrr...

AND finally, to finish on an international note, Vintage Twee was contacted by online German magazine 1001hochzeiten.de who are currently working on a series of articles about themed weddings and would like to feature my Enchanted Fairytale Favour Boxes! I shall keep you posted on the date this shall be online to view...although make sure you have your interpreter at the ready as unless you're fluent in German, you shall have to just look at the pretty pictures!

Enough trumpet blowing for now, Auf Wiedersehen! xxx

Friday, 3 December 2010

Girls will be girls!

Recently, Joanne was asked to source some beautiful images of early 1900 ladies for a lovely Vintage Twee brides favours. On a hunt in North London trawling the antique shops and book stores, a real vintage treasure was uncovered. Weighing in at a hefty few pounds, the Girls Own Annual dated 1899 is a fantastic collection of handy tips, hints, articles and pictures aimed at young ladies entering the prime of their lives.

The impeccable condition of the book means it has the ability to transport you back to a time when it was most important to please your husband, run the home and look beautiful. Not much has changed there you might be thinking! Compiled of one penny articles on homemaking, general tips and anecdotes it really is the most interesting read this year! Scattered throughout are images of those elegant Victorian ladies which are so perfect for the real authentic touch to the Vintage Twee range.

Unfortunately, there is a problem with acquiring such wonderfully unique items when usually your first thought is how you can tear it up! There really does seem to be something so spellbinding about this annual that its now taken up permanent residence on the Vintage Twee bookshelf and most definitely isn’t about to see the scissors anytime soon! And so, the hunt for a replacement begins… lets just hope the next purchase makes it to the shop floor!

On a final note, don’t forget to enter the competition running on this great blog http://www.chronicallyvintage.com/ to win some Vintage Twee Christmas baubles! The competition is only open until Sunday 12th December so enter and you may become the proud owner of a set of hand-crafted vintage inspired decorations.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A Pinch of Love from Haworth...

After weeks of denying that it's that time of year AGAIN, Vintage Twee was officially (and surprisingly willingly) thrown into the Xmas spirit this weekend at the Christmas Market Craft Fair in Haworth, Yorkshire, home to the Brontes and Heathcliffe himself! It was a fantastic day with some amazingly talented exhibitors and before long I found myself singing along to the festive sounds of Wizard and The Pogues (and dancing on the spot in an attempt to keep warm) whilst showcasing the latest Christmassy creations from my collection.

The real Christmas spirit however lay about two feet away from me on the stall next door, in a mass of beautiful little organza bags, hung like cute stockings just waiting to be picked. I was completely captured by the imagination and creativity of both Lianne and Sue from the fantastic Strawberry Kisses, creators of these beautifully handmade gift bags which provide a unique way to send a sentimental message for almost any occasion.

And my favourite thing about these wonderful little nostalgic tokens? Each one comes with a beautiful and touching verse appropriate to the occasion and written by the girls themselves, something very rare to find amongst the commercial nature of the greeting card industry these days. And look what I found for all the brides-to-be! A Pinch of Luck for the Bride which contains a real sixpence, a lucky horseshoe, silver heart, glitter and dove table confetti all wrapped up in beautifully blue organza bag perfect for her something old, new and blue!

At only £4.99, these little bags are a truly lovely keepsake for someone special and I cant praise the girls highly enough for the passion and love that obviously goes into every single one that they make. You can visit Strawberry Kisses lovely website here to see their complete range (including a hilarious Bah Humbug bag with a badge for the Christmas party pooper) and pick out a Pinch of Love for your someone special.

On one final note, I also want to say thank you to my other neighbours Vicki and Andrew from Tranquillity Within with their beautiful and natural handmade organic skincare range (and highly amusing conversations!) and The Wee Bakery for their scrumptious cupcakes which were thoroughly enjoyed during the X Factor results last night! And of course, no Christmas event is complete without a picture with Santa...despite my protests of 'I'm too old!' and 'No it's not Christmas yet!'. Thank you Santa :) Now where's that Bah Humbag badge...

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Whole Village of Vintage...

Vintage Twee donned her fur coat and seam stockings yesterday to step back in time and exhibit at the fantastic Vintage Village within Stockport's historic market place.
TinTrunk and her vintage curiousity collection
A trove of vintage treasures in a beautiful glass hall over 750 years old, The Vintage Village had
everything from authentic and upcycled clothing and accessories to jewellery, homewares, collectables and of course a wealth of handmade crafts created by some extremely talented local people.
Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the old classics echoing through 'The Glass Umbrella' (as the majestic market was once referred to); open them and see the wondrous sights of the elegance and beauty of the 1940s and beyond, captured by the ladies in their hats and gloves browsing vintage china teacups & saucers.

Beautiful vintage teacups from vintage china company 'Tea'
The crowds also flocked in from those visiting the nearby 1930s pop-up grocery shop which was in town for this weekend only for the BBC to film their current TV series 'Turn Back Time'.

Whenever I attend a fair, I am always amazed at the level of talent amongst craftspeople like myself and often left in awe of the beautiful items that they create and offer to us. I had the true pleasure of being located next to Anita and her stunning jewellery pieces from Itsamistry Design Studio and opposite Zoe with her handmade jewellery, cards and gifts from Honey Bee Designs (pictured below)
Sweetpea family
Take a stroll round the corner to find the fabulous Sweet pea family with their hand stitched, knitted and crocheted accessories including the cutest mittens, hats, hairbands, bows and scarflets, as well as gorgeous gifts for around the home.
Like a magpie to gold, I spotted 'Tea' amongst the many vintage traders and their lovely collection of china, as well as Sarah from TinTrunk and her wonderful collection of vintage curiosities ranging from the 1920s to 1980s.

Lady, Behave!

A true gent - Lady, Behave!
I also snapped the fabulously named Lady, Behave! (and her suited and booted young assistant!) with some amazing millinery and headwear.
All in all, it was a fantastic day and Vintage Twee was very well received in her home town of Stockport, with some very complimentary comments and an unprepared, lipstick-less paparazzi moment for the Stockport Express newspaper!
Let that be a vintage beauty lesson to be learnt ladies...always keep your red lipstick and pressed powder to hand for sudden starlet situations...

The Vintage Village at Stockport Market Hall is held on the second Sunday of every month from 10am-4.30pm. The next fair is on Sunday 12th December, contact mailto:info@villagevintageclothing.co.uk  for more details!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Beauty and the Twee...

The beauty of handmade items is that everything can be tweaked, twisted and tailored to fit and one thing that Vintage Twee is proud of is the ability to put a different spin on many of the items that are sold. When I did a charity event in Stockport a couple of weeks ago for the Alzheimer's Society, I met the lovely Katie, manager of Salon 21 Tanning and Beauty in Romiley, Stockport. A beautician by day and dance teacher by night, she shares my love for all things vintage and girly and loved the entire range! With a wealth of female clients, many of whom are pampering themselves for special occasions such as weddings, she thought my items would prove very popular and invited me along to her salon with a view to becoming a stockist of Vintage Twee goodies. Half an hour (and a very near leg wax) later I left with a price list and a mission to come up with a beauty inspired take on some of my most popular items.

With a focus on looking fabulous, I created some of my signature tea holders (see above) complete with detoxifying fruit and herbal tea bags, to boost body and mind, and featuring quotes from iconic vintage beauties such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. I then transformed my English Recipe Cards into bundles of Vintage Beauty Secrets containing tips from the 1940s on how to look good on a rationed budget. Each pack contains 4 cards on how to achieve Sumptuous Skin, Alluring Eyes, Shiny Starlet Hair and Red Siren cheeks and lips, all hand tied together in vintage lace bow and embellished with buttons and tea roses.

These new items make lovely gifts for bridesmaids and female friends alike and are just in time to buy as Christmas stocking fillers too! These, plus select items from Vintage Twee's traditional range, will also be available to buy in the salon as from Saturday 6th November so if you're in the area, pop in and take a look at our amazing display! If you aren't local to the salon but would like more information or to order/stock any of this range, please do drop me an email!

Now, where did I put that price list...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Will you be my bridesmaid?

Dearest brides-to be,

I hope this postcard finds you well! I am writing to share some wonderful news with you which I thought you would love to hear!
Vintage Twee has been busy creating a new (or old...) range of vintage postcards with a difference...designed especially for you to send out to your nearest and dearest ladies as a special invitation to your day. Step back in time to the old fashioned days of correspondence with these lovely vintage postcards from the early 1900s, reproduced as beautiful invitations for the bride to send out to her chosen bridesmaids and Maid of Honour. The postcards feature different images of classic vintage beauties and have been printed with the words 'Will you be my bridesmaid?' and 'Will you be my maid of honour?'.

They are available in two designs – with this text printed either on the front of the postcard or on the reverse in the space of your own personal message. The back of the card also reads: 'Postcard' and has a space for your stamp and of course the address of your lovely ladies!

These postcards are truly elegant and are the perfect touch if you are planning a vintage or traditionally English themed wedding. They will be available to purchase from Vintage Twee's website and Etsy shop from next week for a mere £1 3s 12d each (that's £1.75 to me and you...). Or correspond with me through joanne@vintagetwee.com if you have any enquiries!

I shall sign off until next time but will be sure to write again soon!

    Yours truly, Joanne xxx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

My True English Beauty...

This week the blog entry comes from my good self as my sister and co-blogger Emma Louise 'Gregory' (as from last Sunday!) is currently sunning herself in Hawaii on her honeymoon with her lovely new husband! It was a fantastic day and Emma looked stunning, I was extremely proud and I had to show you all how beautiul she was!

She wore a vintage style ivory wedding dress and gorgeous jewellery by Yarwood White and held a lovely trailing bouquet of roses in dusky pinks and cream. Us bridemaids were donned in 50s style halterneck satin dresses with full underskirts from London boutique Viviens of Holloway and beautiful ivory heels (that I kept on for a miraculous 14 hours!!!) She really was a true English beauty and I would like to say congratulations again to Emma and my new brother in law Lee!

So, at times like these some would say it's very useful (and economical!) to have a sister who can take care of your table decor and favours! Of course, it was my pleasure to have Vintage Twee provide this service as my gift to the happy couple and I had been working with them for the past few months to come up with the perfect arrangement for their day. The theme of the wedding was vintage, with beautiful birdcages as the centrepieces on each table at the reception and so we worked this into the design of their table plan. The wedding also had a travel theme (this being something pertinent to both the bride and groom) and I created vintage style luggage tags as place settings for each guests. The favour boxes were taken from the design of my Simply Vintage range and adorned with a string of pearls and burgundy satin ribbon to match the bridesmaids dresses and the table names were edged in lace for a truly classic look. Everything looked beautiful and we had some lovely compliments on the decor during the course of the day.

All in all, it was a roaring success and I'm so proud to have been able to add an extra special touch to my sisters wedding day. And I managed to leave the business cards and Blackberry in the hotel room all night. Lots of love and congratulations to Emma and Lee!


Monday, 27 September 2010

Feast your eyes on these festive baubles….

You may think that Santa’s still a long way off delivering his pressies, but at Vintage Twee it’s been at the forefront of Joanne’s mind for the last few weeks! It’s most definitely time to cast aside those half broken supermarket baubles and treat yourself, your wedding or your Christmas party to an array of Vintage Twee’s festive creations.

The first Christmas range from Vintage Twee offers the most beautiful and delicate baubles, absolutely perfect for a Christmas wedding or event. They enable you to envelope all the things we love about this magical time of year… the romance, the colours and the festivity. Made from pieces of vintage patterned paper which is cleverly decoupaged on to each bauble and sealed with an antiquing medium, they really will complete your party look in style. Different styles include the Vintage Pearl and Satin Ornament, and the lovely Vintage Music Sheet Christmas Ornament. As always, Vintage Twee uses real vintage materials where possible and this is no exception! The music sheets used to creative these unique ornaments were rescued from a charity shop where the only place they were heading was the bin! Taken from a 1940’s music book, it became all the more special when Joanne found the pictured note written inside the front cover. What more romance could a girl ask for at Christmas?!

Available from the Vintage Twee Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/vintagetwee and priced at an extremely reasonable £4.50 per bauble, they go on sale this week!! Be the envy of your friends and guests and hang up a little bit of vintage history year after year…

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sparkle down the aisle with Yarwood-White..

As my own wedding is creeping nearer by the day (19 to be precise!), all thoughts have turned to the finishing touches to my outfit… the jewellery. As a wholehearted supporter of handmade wedding accessories, I used my never ending stash of wedding magazines to scour for the perfect place to buy them from.
It didn’t take long before I spotted the stunning Yarwood-White jewellery and eagerly went online to check out the range. From tiara’s and headdresses to earrings and necklaces, Clare Yarwood-White has hit the nail on the head when it comes to making beautiful, eye catching and affordable wedding jewellery.

My vintage chic wedding demanded classy, individual and memorable jewellery and I desperately wanted something I could keep forever and hopefully pass on to future generations. After countless hours gazing at the choice on http://www.yarwood-white.com/, I chose the gorgeous Fern Drop earrings and the Modern Heirloom bracelet- the magpie in me was drawn to the sparkling crystals! My correspondence with Yarwood-White has been professional and timely, each email I have received from Clare and her team has instilled in me nothing but confidence in their products. 

Like an excitable little girl on her birthday, when my order arrived I couldn’t open it quickly enough! The jewellery is even more beautiful than it is on the website, the delicate crystal and pearls just ooze glamour and sophistication. I tried them on with my wedding dress at the weekend and was mesmorized by the bracelet twinkling under the lights and the earrings peeping through my hair. I love them so much that I have now decided I need more! The lovely Clare is helping me design a bespoke necklace to compliment my dress- I literally can’t wait to see it!

Vintage Twee wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Yarwood-White jewellery for any brides big day, party or just as a well deserved treat! The products are made from quality materials and packaged beautifully. They make you feel truly special and valued…. and it won’t make a huge dent in your budget!

For a chance to meet Clare, check out her gorgeous accessories and discuss any of your own requirements, pop along to the Oxford branch of the Ellie Sanderson Boutique on Thurs 23rd Sep, 5pm-9pm. Clare will be there along with other fabulous accessory designers, glasses of bubbly and free hair trials by Philosophy Hairdressers! Yarwood-White are also pleased to advise there will be 10% off any orders placed on the night! All I can say is ladies, be prepared for the hardest decision of your lives..!