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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Vintage Style Christmas Gifts 2012


Modern Christmas Gifts for the Vintage Lover
By Kitten von Mew

My parents always seem to find my Birthday and Christmas gift buying a nail biting experience. Not being into the 1930’s and 40’s themselves, they are always worried about getting the wrong thing when it comes to antiquities. Luckily, vintage seems to be somewhat the fashion at the moment (huzzah!), meaning that modern shops often stock homeware and accessories fitting to our lifestyle.

I have decided to bring you a few ideas that may help when you are out of ideas and are fed up with ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ products!

First I bring you Royal London Watches. I met this company at War and Peace 2012 and saw their stunning timepieces for myself. They have a special line of WWII inspired watches, fitting for any civilian outfit and even one that would blend in perfectly for military! Waterproof, battery powered and with leather straps, they will certainly stand up to outdoor events, without letting you down in the style stakes. With ladies and gentleman’s watches, the main 2 greats are ref. 41109-01 and 41110-01 on their website.
Cost: Between £59.99 and £69.99 from www.royallondonwatches.co.uk

Royal London Watch Company and Kitten von Mew at War and Peace 2012

Royal London Watch Company and Kitten von Mew at War and Peace 2012

Dotcomgiftshop has some fantastic vintage gifts for the home and garden. So many in fact that it took ages to narrow it down to 1 item! Luckily Candee Photography and I had done a photoshoot including their beautiful Birdcage Cloche Glass Cakestand. With a little bird handle on the domed cover, it is ideal for housing cupcakes, biscuits, cheese selections and more. Too pretty to keep hidden in a cupboard, this glass cakestand is an ideal Christmas gift for those who love to entertain!
Cost: £19.95 from www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Dotcomgiftshop Sugar Bowl with Kitten von Mew. Copyright Candee Piccies

Dotcomgiftshop Sugar Bowl with Kitten von Mew. Copyright Candee Piccies

Glass Bird Bell Jar and Cake Stand

Glass Bird Bell Jar and Cake Stand from Dotcomgiftshop. Copyright Candee Piccies

The Wartime Farm House on the BBC has been a hugely successful and informative television series off the back of Edwardian Farm. The book that accompanies the series is full of farming history, wartime recipies, useful hints and tips for using herbs, making natural shampoo and even a footstep diagram of how to do the foxtrot. Beautifully laid out, this hardback book is a great addition to any 1940’s home.
Cost: Around £20 from www.wartimefarm.co.uk
BBC Wartime Farm Book

BBC Wartime Farm Book

Finally a fantastic Christmas gift for men, this is in fact the official Torchwood Dressing Gown from Find Me a Gift! Based on a WWII RAF Greatcoat, it features brass buttons, shoulder boards and 2 pockets. Made of 100% cotton towelling the bathrobe is a fantastic way to lounge around the home or trudging to the showers at WWII events! It fits men’s sizes medium to XL, but I am hell bent on having one of these myself, so the extra room will come in handy for stashing biscuits and hot water bottles… It is currently on pre-order and due in 26th November, so get your order in now in time for Christmas!
Cost: Around £49.99 from www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

Torchwood Dressing Gown from Find Me a Gift

Torchwood Dressing Gown from Findmeagift.com

And for those who want to bring a little vintage into their Christmas decor, check out these gorgeous Union Jack paper chains too!

Union Jack Paper Chains by Find Me a Gift

Union Jack Paper Chains on our Christmas Tree!

 

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Health After Military Service – Written by Emily Walsh


Veterans Day: Health After Military Service

Everyone who has ever signed up to serve in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces realizes quite quickly that he or she becomes G.I. (Government Issue) before the signature dries on the enlistment papers. Yes, there are plenty of safeguards in the service to protect personnel. When it comes right down to it though, those who have served know they may have been exposed to things that can pose a health risk later on in life. It could be anything from self-caused exposure to health risks such as tobacco use or exposure to asbestos, which can cause mesothelioma cancer.

A Centers for Disease Control report indicates that a third of males who have served report one or more chronic health problems as opposed to one fourth of men who have never served in the military. It actually makes sense for both men and women in the military. Young men and women embarking into a realm of high stress service can lead to exposures to substances and lifestyle choices that could cause harm later in life. The good news is that for many of the diseases, it does not have to continue.

Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are two chronic diseases that can be controlled or stopped entirely with lifestyle choices. In the service, personnel often cannot make or do not choose the healthiest foods among the options available. Also while deployed on active duty, the amount of calories needed to get through the day are usually much greater than what a service member will burn in civilian life. The food choices and high calorie content often follow service members into civilian life where weight gain begins almost immediately.

Weight gain leads to insulin resistance, which leads to high blood glucose levels. Excess weight also can lead to high blood pressure. The good news is that taking a close look at the types of food and the amount being consumed after returning to civilian life can lead to beneficial lifestyle changes. Another good thing is that those who served are used to challenges. The challenge now is to get back into a routine of burning calories and keeping muscle mass, and it can be done without putting 80 pounds of gear back on and double timing it through the desert.

Soldiers and sailors are some of the best problem solvers in the world. They have sacrificed a big portion of their lives to keep their country free. The command now is to get them all working to avoid chronic health issues long after their service years are up. Stop tobacco use now to avoid everything from emphysema to cancer later. Revisit that military mindset to get control of the calories and types of food in the daily diet. Go back to basic training to get those bodies fit for service.

Former military service men and women of all ages can do a lot on their own to halt the progression of chronic diseases that are plaguing those who served. Yes, it takes some discipline and commitment. However, those are two things those who have served know very well.

Blighty Boutique Craft and Vintage Fair – 9th December, Warwick


Blight Boutique Fair Flyer, December 2012

Flyer for the December Fair!

Please come and give your support at this amazing craft and vintage fair organised by Blighty Boutique. I will be selling some of my large collection of 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s clothing and accessories that I would love to go to good homes.

I will also be singing some festive tunes and 1940’s hits in the daytime, so stick around for a cup of tea and cake too!

Christmas Craft Fair – 2nd Dec, Warwickshire Exhibition Centre


Cotton Tail Pincushion by Kitten von Mew

The Christmas Craft Shopping Experience will offer all sorts of amazing crafts, making ideal Christmas gifts for all the family. Not only that, I will be selling my pincushion cups, the last of my 2013 calendars and more besides!

I will also be singing some festive hits and vintage crooners to get everyone into the spirit, so pop by and show your support!

It opens at 10am til 4pm with free parking!

Admission: £3.50 each. Under 16’s FREE when with a paying adult

Make Do from a Table for Two


This weekend I decided to make a dress out of my WWII house dress pattern. I wouldn’t usually endeavour to do such a painful sewing task, but this fabulously easy pattern requires no buttons or zips (courtesy of wartime rationing) and is made out of 1 front panel, 1 back panel, a sash belt and optional pockets.

WWII Dress Pattern and table cloth

WWII dress pattern and embroidered table cloth

I have used this pattern a couple of times before; making a dress and a top, but I felt more confident on this project. I had bought a beautiful hand embroidered table cloth at a charity shop in Weymouth with the soul intention of creating a dress or top with it. I have a couple of embroidered tablecloths that I adore, but never get to use them for fear of spillage and staining, so like many people, I store them away and they are never admired. Unfortunately I only had enough of the flower embellished Irish linen to do the front of the dress and belt, so took one of the matching serviettes to the local haberdashery shop to match it with plain linen or calico. I did find some great natural calico that matched brilliantly…until I had finished stitching and realised that the tablecloth was in fact a lighter shade than the flipping serviettes! That aside, I am very happy with this pretty summer dress. The back is very plain, with just the floral detailing of the sash belt offering a rainbow speckling of colour, whilst the front is splendid with colour and pattern. I chose not to put the pockets on as they would have covered up some of the beautiful handiwork, but added some green upholstery trim to the neckline to finish it off.

WWII House Dress

Finished dress by Kitten von Mew

It reminds me of either the make do and mend flour sack dresses or perhaps the western European fashions of the time. I cannot wait to wear it next summer, but just hope that if I decide to lay down in the sunshine I am not mistaken for a picnic blanket…

Halloween 2012


With so much preparation, I can hardly believe it is all over (although slightly glad that I can have a vaguely clean house before the Christmas decorations go up!).

This year was so much fun thanks to visiting friends AND trying pumpkin engraving for the first time and loving the effect. We went mad decorating the cottage and it looked amazing. Here are some photos of our best bits, costumes and decorations!

 

Bex and Trampy Halloween 2012

Bex and Trampy with AMAZING makeup and costumes on Saturday! Taken by KvM

 

Corpse Bride Costume by Kitten von Mew

My Corpse Bride Costume Completed!

Finally a picture of my Corpse Bride outfit! The makeup was very uncomfortable, but Im trying a lighter finish for Dr Sketchy’s in late November!

Halloween Decor in the Bathroom

Halloween Decorations in our Bathroom!

Haunted House Halloween Decorations

Our spooky cobwebs and dead flowers really gave the place a chilling touch!

vintage halloween decorations

Spooky cobwebs covered the living room

Corpse Bride Halloween Decor

Our Corpse Bride sitting at the buffet table on Halloween night 2012

Halloween Fish Tank

Even the fish got a Halloween theme!

funny halloween photo

Our engagement photo was transformed thanks to a couple of Frankenweenie characters

Frankenstein Engraved Pumpkin

My 1st attempt at pumpkin engraving! You need stronger candles for the light to shine through, but WOW! Amazing effect!

 

helen-and-dai-halloween-2012

HP Saucy and Dai on Wednesday

 

Bride of Frankenstein Kitten von Mew

My Bride of Frankenstein special FX makeup that I wore to work and on Wednesday evening! And yes, apart from the white streak that is all my real hair!

 

Pumpking Carving Competition

Pumpking Carving Competition with Anna, Ollie, Bex and Trampy. Trampy won!

 

Richard and Kitten Halloween 2012

Corpse Bride Kitten and ‘James Boned’ Mr Moo on Saturday

Stay Puft and Ghostbuster

Hilarious Ghostbuster and Stay Puft on Wednesday. Most hilarious thing I have seen in ages!!!!

 

Kitten and Richard, Halloween 2012

Having a giggle with our brilliant gingerbread bat lolly! How cool is that?!