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Nutty about Norwich!

July 17, 2011

It was with great pleasure that I was able to reacquaint myself with Norwich recently. My first visit, as most of you will remember, was back in April of this year when I exhibited at A Most Curious Wedding Fair (the brainchild of the fabulous Becky from A Most Curious Party ).

Having arrived at 10pm the night before and still having to create little details for the fair the next day, I ended up grabbing a quick bite to eat and sitting on my hotel bed, stringing pearls till late (and painting my nails!). Unfortunately there wasn’t any time for sight-seeing that weekend and I only saw St Andrews Hall and the car park before leaving on the main road for home!

So it was such a treat to go back and see what Norwich was really all about! With the vastness of the city and being aware that the forecast was for rain, I knew I had to have a plan. Thankfully, Joanna Millington (an amazing local photographer and new found Twitter/Wedding Fair friend) came to the rescue and pointed me in the direction of Prim Vintage. As soon as I read her blog post about the store, I knew I had to make it my first port of call. It’s a hive of vintage fashion finds and I was in heaven! The owner is a lovely lady and we had a good natter about our respective businesses, fashion and trends. I also made a little purchase, which will be revealed on a later post 🙂

Ambling a little further down St. Benedict’s Street, I found Aunty Nana’s which was full of vintage accessories and furniture. Chatting away to the owner, we soon realised we had previously met at the Wedding Fair and she had taken a business card and been recommending me since April – how lovely! They also have a vast array of vintage china in the shop which is available for hire – perfect for weddings or hen tea parties! I bought a retro telephone from Aunty Nana’s which will be used as a prop for my stationery (and to sit and look pretty in my studio).

Having put out a tweet for help on the best places to visit, I had received a reply from the gorgeous Gemma from Vintage Norwich. Her site houses a host of ‘must-see’s’ and the directories are perfect for anyone interested in seeing a different side to Norwich than the typical tourist trail.

With this in mind, I headed for Goldfinches and found more fabulous vintage finds. I had a lovely talk with the owner about the fair, her wonderful shop and weddings. Sitting alongside her at the till was her sister who had been setting up a Twitter account for the shop – something I am very active with now but had been clueless about at New Year! She expressed her fears about the way Twitter works and trying to understand it, but I think everyone is the same when they first open an account and within a couple of weeks I will expect to see her happily tweeting away!

Out into the rain I ventured on, not caring to take my brolly out of my bag, as that would leave less room in my hands for rummaging through clothing or accessories (and holding purchased goodies!).

The next stop was Daisy & Lola’s which was so welcoming with the sounds of vintage songs filling the shop. The owner was utterly captivating and told me how she specialises in 40s/50s styled clothing. I fell in love with the letterbox red wiggle skirts and the 50s flare dresses – simply divine! There is also a small range of vintage clothing and accessories available at the back of the shop and she also stocks the fabulous designs by Eclectic Eccentricity who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Wedding Fair and whose products I recently saw advertised on This Morning!

I had spent so much time chatting to the wonderful shop owners I met along the way that I hadn’t noticed how late it was! I met up with my husband and we decided to have afternoon tea at Biddy’s Tea Room (another recommendation from Vintage Norwich). Situated above a furniture/menswear shop, the quaint little tea room is decorated with pretty bunting and a huge flag swagged aloft, mismatched chairs and lace tablecloths, dressers full of vintage china and best of all, a gramophone playing in the background. Enjoying an Earl Grey from a china cup and delving into my delicious Banana Loaf (hubby had a Cream Tea which he devoured), we whiled away the time chatting about my finds and experiences of Norwich – Biddy’s was the perfect place to appreciate everything I’d seen.

We left Biddy’s and continued meandering through the Lanes and discovering Norwich a little more before it was finally time to head home.

It’s a wonderful city with a great vintage vibe and I hope to visit again soon!

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Pretty Vintage Accessories – Supplier Spotlight

July 12, 2011

Twitter is a wonderful medium – I love how it connects you to people you may not have known otherwise.

One of the first people I followed was a lady called Alison from Vintage Amethyst – she was so friendly and had such a likeable nature, as well as an online shop full of delightful treats!

Last week I made my first purchase from her which I saw advertised on her facebook page – as soon as I saw it, I simply had to have it! A beautiful, cream birdcage memo holder with sweet little bird feature:

As you can see, it is as pretty as a picture! To my utter delight, the lovely Alison had included a postcard collection from her shop as a special gift! I am utterly giddy about paper products, but being a stationer, it’s very rare that I receive any! (I guess people think I can make anything I want to, which is true, but it’s so lovely to be gifted pretty paper).

(close up of the pretty postcards)

Not only is this perfect to hold all those little reminder notes you have (or just to display pretty postcards you may have acquired!) , it also makes a fabulous choice for a table plan. I love using different ways to display table plans and using my birdcage tags, I think it works really well and would make a great addition to a shabby chic styled wedding:

As well as using this gorgeous piece to style my table plan labels and tags, I will also be using it to display my vintage style Save the Date postcards:

Please take a look at Alison’s shop for more pretty vintage styling for your wedding or home – she has chosen so many lovely pieces you’ll be spoilt for choice 🙂

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A Very Special Invitation

July 6, 2011

To my complete delight, I have been invited to the Love My Dress Soiree next month!

It will be great to meet so many wedding industry professionals in one place, amidst what is set to be an utterly fabulous evening!

There are so many people I’d like to meet on the day, here are just a few (please visit their sites as, not only are they lovely people, they are also fabulously talented):

Ali Lovegrove, from Ali Lovegrove Photography

Emma, The Wedding Reporter

Leah, from Golden Apple

Vicky, from Vicky Trainor

Corrine, from Corrine Smith Design

and of course, the wonderful Annabel from Love My Dress !

There are many more but this post would be endless if I listed them all!

I shall be travelling up the day before and sampling the delights of Newcastle with my good friend Alison from DaisyCupcakes – it’s set to be a fun-filled girly couple of days!

I’m sure the question on everyone’s lips is…..what will you be wearing?! Well, you shall have to wait and see as I am keeping that under wraps for now, but rest assured, it is utterly fabulous and fits the ‘vintage glamour’ theme perfectly! I shall be sharing it with you all in a few weeks…so watch this space!

One Year On….

July 1, 2011

So on the 18th of June, I notched up my first year of marriage. It still feels very strange be called ‘Mrs’ anything (like someone’s talking to my Mum!) but I absolutely love being a wifey.

Wondering if it will really feel any different after you’re married? especially, if like us, you have lived together for years prior to the  marriage? We honestly expected to feel absolutely no change whatsoever…life would just carry on as it had been, but we would be ‘married’ instead of engaged. Well, I can definitely say, it does change things. In a wonderful, secure, bonding way. My husband (!) and I both say we feel even closer to each other, which was quite unexpected but utterly satisfying 🙂

As we were planning our wedding, we had often heard and read that the first year of marriage was the worst and that couples really struggled through it…we were a bit daunted by hearing this but thought we’d just see what happened (not much else you can do!). Thankfully, I am very pleased to report that it doesn’t have to be like that for everyone! Our first has truly been the best year of our entire relationship! Perhaps we’ve just been lucky, but I like to to think that our experience is the most common…not the other way round!

Here’s to many more anniversaries and lots of happy years ahead!

On The Search For Vintage Treasures

June 8, 2011

This week’s post is about my love of all things vintage and my eternal seek to find treasure from some fabulous bygone age.

Over four days, I went to a local vintage fair set up by the lovely Keeley from Discover Vintage where I met fellow tweeters and purveyors of absolutely gorgeous vintage finds, Rutland Vintage .

As soon as I walked in, a gorgeous little fold up camera caught my eye – I already have a couple of vintage cameras and I knew this would fit perfectly with the others….

First purchase of the day!

I just love this little camera – it must have been such an amazing gadget in it’s hay-day!

Walking around the wealth of goodies, I soon spotted a leather suitcase – I had been after one of these for a while but something was always wrong, be it the price, colour or condition. This was perfect! I have a ladies attache case in white which was used for my wedding and it sits perfectly in this. I absolutely adore it and cannot believe I was able to snap it up for £25!

Leather straps hold the case open from the inside…simply divine!

Complete with key and perfect lining, I’m very excited about this case…..it will feature heavily over at Elle Is For Love, so keep an eye out for it’s debut appearance!

Monday saw my next quest for treasure, when I headed over to Northampton to My Happy Vintage Home . The lovely Carol and her daughter Chelsea run this little haven, selling vintage homewares and clothing from their home. They are both so welcoming and friendly and their home is styled so beautifully, you are immediately put at ease and made to feel ‘one of the girls’. Cups of tea and cupcakes were consumed and lots of chat about our love of furniture and decor were had by all – a very fun day indeed!

It was almost a mini Tweet Up as a few of us had arranged to meet there –  I was lucky enough to meet the gorgeous Hayley from Vintage Scoops (aka Mrs Scoops), the very sweet Lauren from Lady Amy Wedding Design (with her beautiful baby boy Noah) and the amazingly talented Alison from Daisy Cupcakes who I am lucky enough to call my very good friend. Though Hayley was without the lovely Betty (her Bedford ice cream van) on the day, my little bug was much admired in the meantime!

New friends were made of the Felt Fairy who has a great blog with some fabulous tutorials – if I get a spare minute over the summer, I will definitely be trying out her covered buttons, and also Emma from Feelin’ Felty whose felt baby booties are adorable! I was also fortunate enough to meet Lindsay from Elsie Sparrow – a gorgeous gal who makes the cutest Betty purses! Such a talented bunch!

So, on to my purchases! These are my fab finds from My Happy Vintage Home:

This delightful Green Tea Set came home with me…..how could I resist it?!

My next purchase from the treasure trove of goodies at My Happy Vintage Home was this wooden birdcage:

My final purchase from My Happy Vintage Home was this blue cane basket which will be housing my lace and embellishments:

The next day, I popped into my local town to a charity shop which only sells vintage items and found this amazing mirror with louvre doors for just £14:

I have something hugely exciting planned for this mirror!

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the items I bought – I really enjoy giving new life and love to old pieces and you will see a lot of them being used to style my stationery products. I’d love to hear about the vintage treasures you’ve stumbled upon recently 🙂

Love is Sweet! How to make your own Sweetie Bar

May 31, 2011

The ever popular appearance of a  Candy Buffet/Sweetie table at weddings is still going strong, so I thought today I’d focus on inspiration for your sweetie bars and showcase the range of accessories we offer at the same time 🙂

Firstly, the all important jars! There are so many gorgeous jars available, though they tend to cost the earth on the likes of ebay! Of course, you can hire these which makes things very easy, though if you prefer to buy, they can be found quite cheaply.

Search for ‘apothecary jars’ – Next have these gorgeous jars available for just £10 for the smaller jar and £14 for the larger one.

For a cheap alternative, ASDA have some great glass jars – choose from flip tops in a range of sizes or screw tops with a silver lid for £1 each – they occasionally put these on offer for 3 for £2 so keep your eyes peeled! Ikea also do a very cheap range of sweetie jars – so shop around!

Jars now sorted….what to fill them with?! Sweets can be picked up extremely cheaply – if you’re on a strict budget, get to the Pound Shop! They have lots of traditional style sweets in large packets at, of course, £1 each. Remember to check the best before dates on the bags if you’re buying in advance!

Now to making things look pretty! Our sweetie tags are the perfect way to dress your gorgeous jars…choose from a range of styles: hanging, wrap around or freestanding:

Hanging style:

Wrap around Style:

Freestanding Style:

With your pretty tags purchased in your theme colours and patterns designed especially for you, next, you’ll want to purchase some tongs/scoops for your guests to pick out those tempting sweeties! Ebay is great for metal scoops or wooden tongs like these:

As well as making the jars look pretty, continue the sweetie theme by supplying your guests with our personalised sweetie bags (available in an array of colours and designs):

We also make card bunting flags and Sweetie bar signs to let your guests know they can help themselves. Here are some of the signs we’ve made recently which are made to any size to fit your picture frames.

Wondering how to style your sweetie bar? The key to a good table is to have an array of jars, ranging in height, all perfectly co-ordinated with the colour palette of your wedding (or complimentary colours) so finally, I’ve put together a moodboard for you to give you some inspiration, enjoy!

Credits:

Top left: Amy Atlas Events

Top centre: Project Wedding

Top right: My Wonderful Party

Bottom left: The Sweet Treat Co.

Bottom centre: Hostessblog

Bottom right: The Sweet Treat Co.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

May 11, 2011

It wasn’t only a special day for Kate at the end of April, it was also my birthday on the Thursday so what better way to spend it than at the beach?

Unfortunately, the couple of days camping we’d planned, soon turned into a day trip to Norfolk after I checked the weather forecast! It was bitterly cold at the coast but I had such a great day – I always find it therapeutic being by the sea and having worked so hard for a good few weeks, I definitely soaked up every last drop of relaxation!

Starting at Brancaster and working our way round to Wells-Next-The Sea, Sheringham and Cromer, the sun soon made an appearance and I spent the day strolling through pretty villages and along deserted beaches, hand in hand with my husband.

Whilst meandering through the village shops, I saw this chair outside one of the women’s boutique and immediately told my husband to pose….always happy to oblige, here he is doing a splendid job of feigning grumpiness!

I came home completely invigorated by my day by the sea and started thinking about those brides marrying on the coast and how they could incorporate it into their day.

I was recently commissioned by the lovely Natalie from Love Bouquets to create her invitations for her blessing by the sea. She wanted a fun, nautical theme in blue and white with floral vine at the top to reflect the flora at her location. She was delighted with the set I created for her and I have altered it slightly to suit anyone else with a nautical theme.

The full Nautical inspired suite with belly band wrap:

Invitation:

Extra Insert:

RSVP:

Nautical Inspired Suite:

I love the nautical look and think a wedding by the sea using this theme could be fabulous! Here’s a moodboard I put together for any brides considering marrying on our gorgeous UK coastline, or even further afield:

Starfish Chairs

Cake

Beach Sign

Nautical Flags

Bridesmaid Dresses

Flowers

Hurricane Lamps

Boat Favours