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Broken China Jewelry and Prize Draw!


Broken China Jewelery

Bracelet and Ring

I have such a fascination and love for vintage teacups. Hubby continuously has to stop me from picking them up at carboot sales! I also have a passion for collecting king’s coronation (George and Edward) china as I love the detail that goes into the painting and transfers! So vivid!

So combine this with one of my other great loves, jewellery, and you have my world pretty much exploding with excitement!

China Jewellery

 

Vintage Belle Broken China Jewelry is a USA based shop and she makes everything in 925 sterling silver. From Beatrix Potter to willow pattern, there are so many gorgeous pieces, you will find it hard to choose!

At Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a pair of earrings with a little pearl dangle, a swallow heart pendant, a rose china ring and an amazing charm bracelet using hallmarks. Unfortunately she only posts within the USA, but if you have a pal or relative in America, get your broken china jewellery sent directly to them!

Sterling Silver China Earrings china earrings

I was so impressed with that I had to contact Diana and ask her some questions…

What made you think of combining porcelain with jewellery and did you take a class?

While I was in college I worked for a company that made broken china jewelry using the copper tape and solder technique (similar to how some stained glass is assembled). I loved the creativity of making the jewelry and the concept of enjoying old china in a new way. After college I worked as an accountant for several years, but I missed the creative outlet the jewelry provided, so I decided to start my own business. I knew I wanted to use sterling silver and create settings that were more akin to fine jewelry, so back to school I went! I took lessons in fine jewelry making and learned to torch solder and use lost wax casting to create the settings I wanted. Today I am so grateful to be able to offer pieces that match my vision of high-quality combined with simple, lovely styling.

Have you a favourite piece you have created? Any rare porcelain used?

I don’t have a single favorite piece, but I am partial to the vintage bluebirds. They have such a fun history! The popularity of the bluebird china rose to its peak during the 1920s. The optimistic outlook prevailing in America in the 1920s naturally aligned with blue birds as symbols of hope and happiness, and bluebird china rose to prominence alongside the optimism of the people. Many were given away as “premiums” by retailers or could be obtained with coupons earned from purchasing other products. What started out as give-away items are now coveted by collectors.

Swallow Pendant

Swallow pendant in sterling silver

China Swallow Heart Pendant

Are you a fan of vintage? If so do you like any particular eras?

Am I a fan of vintage? ABSOLUTELY! I love learning about history and appreciate all time periods, but if I had to pick a favorite I would say the Victorian Era. So much exquisite beauty was created during that time, even down to the tiniest detail. However, I also appreciate the clean lines and updated feel of Art Nouveau movement from the late 19th and early 20th-centuries. Truly, I love it all!

Rings are available in sizes 6 to 11 and pendants do not include a chain, so why not pop them on a beautiful piece of ribbon instead? The traditional gift for 20th wedding anniversaries is china and in the USA pottery is a traditional 9th anniversary present too! From Valentine’s Day to Birthdays, it really does have you covered for events, favourite colours and favourite pottery. Spode, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton and so many more fabulous pieces have been revamped as rings, brooches, pendants, earrings and bracelets.

I am giving away the beautiful ring that you can see in the pictures! It is a size 10, but could easily be sized down at a jewellers! For your chance to win, just rate this article and comment below! The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day!

1930's pinup Kitten von Mew

2015 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for Kitten Von Mew’s blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 39,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas 2015


Well I hope you all had a wonderful Yule! I was lucky enough to perform at a Masonic event in Birmingham again, singing Christmas crooners and vintage numbers. They put on a lavish banquet and we had a marvelous time!

Christmas Eve was spent in our favourite cafe The Forteas in Stratford upon Avon! I serenaded them with some more yuletide numbers and 40’s classics as people sat and enjoyed their afternoon tea. It was hard not to turn all my attention to Betsy as she was wearing an adorable Christmas dress and would light up whenever I turned to her. Her smile really does cut through the dullest day.

On Christmas Day, we spent time with the family and my sister flew back from the USA to be with us all. Betsy is still too young to appreciate the festive season, but she was still spoiled with some amazing gifts from family and friends. It will be fantastic next year (and years to come), when she can get excited over the twinkly lights and wrapping paper. I wonder what she will think of her first snowfall?

So here are a few pictures, I hope you enjoy them and forgive me for not posting anything for a while. Babies sure do take up all your time and energy and it is a rare thing to have the opportunity to sit at a computer nowadays!

 

Betsy Rose got this adorable deer hat from Aunty Siss!

Betsy Rose got this adorable deer hat from Aunty Siss!

 

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Just before my performance at the Masonic Christmas event

Just before my performance at the Masonic Christmas event

 

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Our wonderful day at The Forteas

Our wonderful day at The Forteas

 

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Aunty Siss! She also bought Betsy that toadstool rattle!

 

 

 

A fantastic gift from Lil' Siss! Star Wars Christmas jumpers!!!

A fantastic gift from Lil’ Siss! Star Wars Christmas jumpers!!!

Corpse Bride Wedding Dress


I thought I would do this blog post quickly before packing up my computer! We are moving house and I should be hard at work, packing boxes and stuffing bags!

Although mostly known for my 1940’s singing and burlesque, one of my most popular blog posts is actually about a Corpse Bride Halloween Costume I made some years back, based on the Tim Burton film. The original wedding gown was donated to me by a good friend and I set to work re-working it and creating accessories.

A lovely bride-to-be by the name of Mira got in touch earlier this year after seeing my dress, asking whether I could do the same for her. So she sent me some images of a few wedding gowns to choose from and pounced on a sweetheart bust, lace overlay number which she sent to me to work on. Over the coming months it went through 4 hand dyes.  I added lace, vintage pearls, snipped the train, hand painted some detailing and hand stitched the slit, created a veil and headdress and even the bouquet and button hole to match!

I was not only eager to get it finish in time for her wedding, but was also rather pregnant so it was getting harder to pick up things if I dropped them on the floor! I was so proud of the dress and took pictures all the way through to show progress.

Miia’s wedding went beautifully and she sent me some pictures to show you all of her big day. Hopefully I will get to do more of these up-cycles and finger’s crossed some other themes like steampunk or Day of the Dead too!

Gothic Wedding Bouquet

I sprayed the bouquet with enamel paint, added jewels, covered wire and antique lace before adding hand painted accents.#

 

Corpse Bride Wedding Veil

Corpse Bride Wedding Veil. I made this out of natural muslin and sprayed and hand painted it.

 

Corpse Bride Wedding Gown

The gown and headdress. The headdress was handmade using covered wire and little flowers that were sprayed and painted.

 

Corpse Bride DressIMG_9426

 

tim burton corpse bride dress

Mira in the dress!


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Welcome Betsy Rose!


Well, on 14th July at 3.44am, this little bundle forced her way into the world weighing 7lbs 10! I had her at the Lucina Birthing Centre in Coventry, which was the best decision I ever made. The midwives were fantastic and the rooms and facilities incredible. Midwife run wards like this are definitely the way forward!

So here she is, our beautiful, windy, bubbly baby; Betsy Rose May Von Mew…

betsy von mew

Betsy and her Mama Mew

V&A Museum and Tea at Claridges


As baby is pretty much imminent and we were running out of time to do things that we wanted to before her arrival, we decided to use my Claridges afternoon tea voucher (thanks Little Siss!) and visit the Victoria & Albert Museum for our wedding anniversary.

I hadn’t been to the museum for many years and so much had changed, which was a shame in some respects, but there had also been many improvements such as the inner courtyard area. This now hosted a shallow pool and sitting platforms, encouraging you to dabble your toes on a hot day and take in the beautiful architectural features. Like a lot of places, the V&A features an incredibly over priced eatery, but everything looked lovely and you would go there for a treat not as a necessity!

It is a little hard to get your baring whilst walking through then endless levels, even with the map and had to double back on many occasion when trying to find certain exhibits, but got there in the end! I was especially keen to see the costumes and stage/ film section, but unfortunately it was not fully open and some of the cases were empty which was really disappointing! There were some little gems though as you can see…

victoria-and-albert-museum-joan-rhodes-dress

This incredible boned and highly structured dress was worn by Joan Rhodes. Joan was a glamorous ‘Strong Woman’, famed for her 50 cm waist and her ability to break 25cm nails with her teeth, bend steel bars and rip up telephone directories (250, 000 of them in her career!).

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1930’s banjo owned by George Formby. He actually used to re-string his banjos with fishing line.

victoria-and-albert-museum-dandelion-light

Designed by Studio Drift in 2011, this amazing Fragile Future concrete Chandelier features real dandelion seed heads and is powered through a 3D bronze circuit that conducts the electricity to the bulbs inside the dandelion heads. Not a wire in sight!

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A stunning glass chandelier sculpture by Dale Chihuly. I remember first seeing his pieces at Art in Action many years ago. It is wondefrul seeing them in such places as the V&A and Claridges now!

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Vivien Leigh’s costume from Duel of Angels (1958). It has a very ‘New Look’ feel to it, even though it is much later. Designed by Christian Dior.

victoria-and-albert-museum-noel-coward-hip-flask

A fabulous flask given by Noel Coward to each of the cast members on the opening night of his operetta Bitter Sweet. It is designed to look like a little book and in inscribed ‘with best wishes Noel Coward’.

victoria-and-albert-museum-movie-gown

Frustratingly, this amazing costume had no information as they were still working on the exhibit. I have a photo of this outfit saved somewhere from many years back and know it was worn by a famous starlet in a film, but cannot say who or where!

victoria-and-albert-museum-lion-king-costumes

Fantastic costumes from the Lion King stage production!

The V&A has rather a lot of religious artifacts, but I was more interested in the jewellery section (absolutely STUNNING pieces, but no photography allowed!), the costumes and the marble statues. The museum now has a separate site housing the children’s things (which I had not realised as I was hoping to see the doll’s houses and vintage toys) and doesn’t seem to have the Egyptian items I remember fondly from my childhood. It was still a lovely outing and the building itself is spectacular if you are a fan of gothic architecture!

We couldn’t wait for our afternoon tea at Claridges! We are a big fan of these and have already been lucky enough to have some at The Ritz, so the comparison would be very interesting. Claridges has some wonderful Art Deco features and detailing. Even the door bell has me weak at the knees! The decor was fabulous and airy, but I guess that is mainly because you are literally sat in an atrium foyer area whilst having your tea. I found it less pretentious than the Ritz in some ways; no need for shirt and tie (but relieved to see that everyone was till dressed smartly!) and the food was just as good! I was served gluten free finger sandwiches and my pregnancy dietary requirements were all catered for. The bread was wonderful (sometimes gluten free can be rubbery or dry) and they happily topped up the sandwiches when plates were empty (Ettington Park could learn a thing or two about this, they actually charge extra for more of their measly pickings and don’t tell you until you receive the bill!). The scones (also gluten free) were delicious and served with clotted cream and a special fruit jelly infused with tea! Then came the delicacies such as a little coconut and passion fruit tapioca pudding and wonderful treats. We were also brought out another cake plate especially for our anniversary!

The tea (I am a sucker for Earl Grey) was wonderful and topped up frequently by our allocated server. The only thing that was a little frustrating was that you had to wait to have the tea served for you, rather than being able to relax and do it yourself. This was literally the only gripe and the rest was wonderful. I think I actually preferred it to The Ritz! Oh I forgot to say! There was a cello and pianist there playing not only classics such as A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square, but also renditions of modern songs like Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean! Fantastic!

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The Mew’s plus bump enjoying our wonderful afternoon tea!

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Our wonderful ‘Happy Anniversary’ surprise at Claridges!

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My scrumptious gluten free selection of treats!

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Mr Mew’s selection!

Celebrities at War


From Silver Screen to Serving in WW2 – Originally written for Military World Magazine by Kitten von Mew

So we all know about the honourable work that a lot of celebrities did, entertaining our troops throughout the war with ENSA, the USO and in the movies. What about those stars that actually served in WW2? I’m bring you just 6 of the many who did!

Attenborough 1942

Richard Attenborough 1942

Richard Attenborough in In Which We Serve, 1942. Image from http://vintage.tips

Winning 4 Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards, starring in blockbuster movies such as Jurassic Park and The Great Escape and directing classics such as Whistle Down the Wind, Oh! What a Lovely War, Gandhi and A Bridge Too Far…This is one man with a determined and energetic disposition! It is no wonder that he signed up for the Royal Air Force. He initially trained as a pilot and was then placed at the RAFFPU (Royal Air Force Film Production Unit) located at Pinewood Studios, under the command of Flight Lieutenant John Boulting. They produced propaganda films, showing bombed sites, RAF aircraft and aerial action. Attenborough volunteered to fly with the unit and qualified as a Sergeant after sustaining permanent ear damage during his further training. He flew several missions, recording from the rear gunner’s position. Although this is not technically classed as actually fighting in the war, can you imagine being up there, filming Bomber Command sorties and wondering when the next air raid would be???

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson, Around the World in 80 Days

Michael Anderson (left), Mike Todd Frank Sinatra Around the World in 80 Days 1956. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Michael Anderson is best knows for directing Dam Busters, Around the World in 80 Days, Orwell’s 1984 and Logan’s Run! In WW2 he served from 1942 to 1946 in the Royal Signal Corps, 48th Infantry Division. There is hardly any information about his time in the British army!

Bea Arthur WW2 Card

Bea Arthur WW2 Card

Bea Arthur WW2 Marines

Bea Arthur WW2 Marines

Bea Arthur (previously Frankel) is most famous for her ‘ tough chick’ character in The Golden Girls, but was also one of the first women to serve in the Marines in the war! After hearing that the Marines were enlisting in 1943 (at the age of 21), she hoped for a role in ground aviation, but became a truck driver and typist and made it to Staff Sergeant in her 30 month serve. In her Personality Appraisal interview sheets, she had been described as ‘Officious but probably a good worker – if she has her own way!” and her conversation as “Argumentative”.

Arthur always denied serving in the war, but this may have been a cover up of her one count of misconduct…contracting a venereal disease in 1944!

Gene Autry WW2

Gene Autry WW2

Gene Autry. From rgreyh.files.wordpress.com

Known fondly as the ‘Singing Cowboy’, Gene Autry appeared on television, radio and films such as In Old Santa Fe, always playing the same singing cowboy character. He was the fist of his kind, but was superseded by Roy Rogers when Autry enlisted.

Joining the US Army 1942, he already had a private pilot’s license that proved useful. He became Tech Sergeant but was hell-bent on becoming an aviator. 2 years later he earned his service pilot rating as a C-109 transport pilot as Flight Officer. Autry flew dangerous airlift operation as part of the 91st Ferrying Squadron of the 555th Army Air Base Unit, Air Transport Command. Their missions took them over the Himalayas, between China – India – Burma Theatre. He ferried ammunition, arms and fuel until the end of the war.

Jackie Coogan WW2

Jackie Coogan WW2

Jackie Coogan in the US Army, From amazonaws.com

Jackie Coogan was famously know for his role as Uncle Fester in the Addams Family in the 1960’s (bald head, made light bulbs glow by putting them in his mouth…you know the one), but did you also know that he was the little boy in Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid?

In the First World War, Coogan worked with Near East Relief and toured across Europe and the USA in 1924 on a fundraising drive. In March 1941 he enlisted in the US Army as a medic after being angered by the Pearl Harbour attack. He later requested to become part of the 1st Air Commando Group thanks to already having a pilot’s license. Coogan was the first glider pilot to land allied troops behind the enemy lines of Burma! One of the gliders he was aboard unfortunately crashed. Coogan’s troop was attacked by the Japanese and he was the only one to survive, due to being at the bottom of the pile of bodies. He served for 5 years before being honourably discharged in 1944 and given the Air Medal and several other war citations for his service.

Alec Guinness WW2

Alec Guinness WW2

Sir Alec Guinness, middle row, centre.

He didn’t just help Skywalker defeat the dark side as Obi Wan in Star Wars! No! He also served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve too! Also famous for such movies as Bridge Over the River Kwai, Kind Hearts and Coronets (one of my favourites!) and Hitler: The Last Ten Days of which he surprisingly considered his best film performance.

Guinness commanded a landing craft in the invasion of Sicily and Elba, later ferrying agents and supplies to the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia.

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