Thursday, 26 July 2012

Juggling? Or dropping the balls?

Wow, I can't believe it has been almost 6 months since I last updated this blog :o/ I don't think blogging is ever going to be my forte! 

But this fact - that I have been utterly useless at keeping this blog up - has got me thinking, mostly about how we all juggle so many balls, so much of the time. Some of us do it brilliantly and some of us (me) could sign up for a new career in the circus we make even the clowns look graceful and poised!

I am utterly envious of all the people I see who seem to run successful businesses, blog regularly, have a family, keep up their twitter and facebook accounts and still manage to have a life! How do they do that? Am I just completely terrible at time management? Between Vintage Pixie, the kids, home and trying to maintain some semblance of a life and doing some very occasional (another thing I want to change) exercise I just never seem to have the time. 

But I wonder, whether these other people, the "do it all, have it all" people really do? I think if I actually asked any of them they may well have a similar story to tell of not really being able to keep everything they would like to up to the standard they would like. Maybe I should stop beating myself up about the fact that, for now, I'm not capable of doing everything I want to do?

So, I have failed this year as a blogger, not because I don't want to do well and write lots of fascinating posts but simply because of all the balls I juggle, the blogs are the easiest to drop. I think for now I will cut myself some slack, with old adage of "this too shall pass". We are in the midst of the school holidays, my usual childcare is no longer available and I feel a little overwhelmed by everything I've been having to do. In September my youngest starts school full time, I may well find then that I can be that "super-human" do it all person after all! :)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Shoes, glorious (Irregular) shoes!

Like many people out there I LOVE shoes, so I thought I'd do a frivolous little post dedicated to the amazing beautifulness that is the shoe! I have a lot of shoes... But in particular I have a slight obsession with Irregular Choice shoes - I love the way they have real personality, always get comments and are like works of art for your feet! If I could afford it, I would own loads of them.

Sadly I don't but I do have a few pairs including these beautiful Hot Pink Cortesan pair - these were my wedding shoes and the start of my love of IC!

Look at them! Beautiful from the top to the sole and so comfy! Ahhh.

Here's a pic of me wearing them on my wedding day dancing with my lovely friend Richard. Excuse the slightly weird pic but I couldn't find many with my feet in! :)

I also have these Miaow boots:

And these gorgeous floral Flick Flacks:

For which I have this beautiful matching bag!

But there are MANY, MANY more on my wishlist!

These AMAZING versions of the Courtesan! Red! Skulls! Bows! Fab!

These Fresh Cut Grass. Red (again) but with little turquoise Birds! Ooh I may implode with the gorgeousness!

Yummy Tea and Cakes. Almost good enough to eat!

Abigail's Party. There are loads of this style I'd love to own, but who doesn't want some purple boots in their lives?

So there you go, one of my (not so) secret obsessions!
Do you have a particular shoe brand you love? Are there other brands I should be looking at for my shoe collection? I'm open to any and always looking for new shoes I can obsess and ooh and aah over! :o)

Friday, 20 January 2012

Friday Fripperies - Picture Paradise

I have a blank grey wall in my living room which is crying out for some decoration. I was initially thinking one large print but the adjoining wall already has 3 large prints and I think this wall needs a little less uniformity.

So here are some of my "pictures on walls" inspiration. As soon as I have the ones I want collected up and put on my wall I will post a pic of that as well. At the moment it's just grey, a lovely shade of grey, but blank and grey nonetheless. Poor wall...

This is lovely, so neat even though the frames are all different sizes. (from

Different frames and sizes pulled together by a common colour theme. (

Lovely idea for a nursery, the colours are so fresh and pretty. (

This I love! I think I am going to aim for a look like this but with different coloured frames, do love the B&W though! (

Love the mix of different frames with the mirror and lettering over the simple white chest. (

I don't have any stairs but if I did I'd do this! (

And finally... Pictures on trees!! I know this isn't indoors but came across this on and think it looks amazing! 

So there you go, some pretty pictures of... ummm... pictures for you to enjoy :o) 

Have a lovely weekend x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Sprinklings of (Vintage) Pixie dust!

So, I thought I'd write a little post about some of what we do. Specifically our Makeover service!

We offer this service because I passionately believe that wherever possible furniture should be saved from landfill.
People often don't realise the potential an old piece of furniture they've lived and put up with for a long time can have. They want a new look for their room and as furniture is such a huge part of the "look" of a room the logical thing is to start afresh with a new bedroom suite/table and chairs set etc. So often though that boring old pine/dark/undesirable in some way furniture can be transformed into exactly what you want at a fraction of the expense of starting all over again!

I always feel so sad when I see perfectly useful, but unattractive, piece of furniture broken at the bottom of a skip but I do realise that people often lack the time and confidence to do these kind of makeovers themselves, which is why we offer this service.
We can work with any colour scheme, fixing anything that needs fixing, replacing ugly handles with lovely new ones if necessary and generally transforming pieces that looked fit for the skip into pieces you'll want to keep for a long time.

Whether your furniture is antique, vintage or modern, our techniques will work. We use high quality paints in any colour you like and are happy to suggest colours to compliment your decor if you don't know exactly what you'd like. We are completely honest if we ever do come across a piece of furniture that can't be helped and would never leave a client with anything we wouldn't be happy to have in our own house.

The images in the post are just a (very) few examples from makeovers we completed last year. You can see some more on our Facebook page too. I hope that if I can blog more regularly I can do full makeover posts as they happen so you can see the process and progress.

Our ethos as a company is to re-use as much as possible, all the furniture we sell are "upcycled" antique or vintage pieces, our accessories are made from reclaimed and vintage materials wherever possible and so it makes sense to us that we offer a service to help other people upcycle and save money at the same time.

If you are interested in having a piece of your own furniture "made over" do please get in touch, we can travel within a reasonable distance of Surrey/Sussex and are always happy to give a no obligation quote, just send me an email to and I'll be happy to help.

Obviously those of you who are able to do this yourself... well I'm preaching to the converted and yay for you!! :) I'd love to see some of your real life makeovers too so feel free to share! :)


Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy 2012 and a little think about 2011

Wow! We are two whole days into 2012! I have a very good feeling about this year, whatever the doom and gloomers may say about the state of the world! :)

SO.. Happy New Year to everyone, wishing you all luck, health and happiness in 2012!

2011 was a fantastic year for us here at Vintage Pixie. We have learned a lot of valuable lessons about business, what works for us and what doesn't and hopefully have a good idea how to take Vintage Pixie on to a bigger and brighter future.

Some of my personal highlights have been:

- How well received the idea of our furniture makeover service has been received and used. I LOVE being able to help people save money and help the environment by keeping their old furniture and giving it a new lease of life!
You can see some of our bigger projects here: Horley Makeover album
and here: Berkhamsted makeover album

- Our first bit of magazine coverage! Just a small feature of one of our Willow Hearts in Perfect Wedding magazine, but still mucho exciting for us media coverage virgins! ;)

- Our first vintage/handmade fairs. The fairs we organised in Shalford in June and December were fantastic and a great success. It has been amazing meeting so many fantastic sellers and customers through this, we hope to carry on the fairs into 2012 so if any of you vintage/handmade sellers out there fancy it do get in touch! :)

There have been many, many more highlights this year, but I won't bore you with them all. We've had a fantastic year and I hope that Vintage Pixie will only grow stronger in 2012 as we really find our feet in this crazy world of self-employment!

It hasn't all been wonderful and glorious, we've made some mistakes and learned some lessons too. The most valuable one being that sometimes no matter what you do, or how well you mean, some people will never be a positive influence and there's nothing you can do to change that. You can only control your own behaviour, no one else's.

But... Onwards and Upwards! Here's to 2012!

My New Year's Resolution for Vintage Pixie is really to push the furniture side of things a lot more this year - the makeovers, the finder service and hopefully getting more of our stock items out to new marketplaces. 2011 has taught me that that is really where our strengths lie and we should play to them.

I also want VP to really be a supportive voice for other small businesses. I've witnessed so much bitchiness that just feels so unnecessary, I truly believe there is room for a diverse range of players whatever your industry, us small businesses are all in the same boat at the end of the day - trying to make it in a hard economic environment and doing amazing things with our creativity and talents! :)

I have my own personal resolutions too.. As well as the usual lose weight, drink less, spend less etc. I want to make some big changes at home, learn some new skills and be a LOT more organised. I will keep you posted on those as soon as they're more concrete!

Thank you to all of you who have supported Vintage Pixie in the last year, it's beyond appreciated!

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? I'd love to hear about them! :)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Art, Icons and Inspiration

So.. finally another blog post from me. This time no promises about how "I will do better" etc because, as has been proven by my lack of posts, I apparently won't!

Anyway, this post is to show you my AMAZING new wall art that now takes pride of place in my living room.

A set of three iconic quotes by three iconic women: Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Mae West (you don't get much more iconic than that!) beautifully illustrated and presented in his own unique style by my super-talented little brother Jack!

I had searched high and low for the 'right' pieces of art for the big bare space in our living room and had failed miserably at finding anything. I love typography so had flirted with the idea of some typographic art but still nothing was quite right and often lovely things were out of my price range.

So instead of buying a mass-produced piece I decided to use the same principle I do with my furniture: get exactly what I wanted and have a completely bespoke piece.
I chose three of my favourite quotes by three of my favourite ladies and asked Jack to come up with something.
I left everything else in terms of style and design to him, I simply chose the quotes and Jack did the rest. He did each one in slightly different but complimentary tones and with a "distressed" style finish and I think they look amazing and suit the decor in our flat perfectly.

We printed them onto high quality art paper and I now have three completely unique prints gracing my walls and finishing my living room to perfection.

Jack is a final-year art student and available for commissions so you too could have an amazing piece of artwork that is just for you - take a look at his site, it's full of fantastic, unusual and amusing art.

Anyway, enough of the waffle and pimping out the illustrator. Here are the images:




And finally, them all in-situ on my living room wall - they do look a lot more impressive in real life.. :o)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Edinburgh vino and vintage

Wow I have been super bad at this blogging malarkey! So I am going to TRY to be better and blog more (but don't hold me to it, I may fail again!)

So as it's the time of the Edinburgh festival I thought I'd write about the lovely city itself.. We are lucky enough to have some fab friends who live there and so a couple of weeks ago we spent a night and a day perusing a little tiny smidge of what this amazing city has to offer.

Firstly we had a night in Leith... now the Leith of my imagination (Trainspotting) is a far cry from the reality of Leith today. Leith has been gentrified considerably over the last few decades and is now a really lovely place to spend an evening. There are lots of really nice pubs/bars/restaurants along the docks. We spent a New Year's a few years ago in a gorgeous steak restaurant just off the main docks area, but I have no recollection of its name (must have been a good night! ;).
This time we spent a rainy but fun and wine filled evening at a great pub called The Kings Wark (their own website is currently down). It was a fantastic place, all dark wood and 'proper' pub-ness but with the added bonus of serving fabulous food. I can recommend the mussels and the steak, if you get a chance to go do check it out!

The following day we went shopping, well mostly window shopping, but it was a lovely sunny day and we made the most of it.
We visited a few fantastic vintage shops that I've never visited before around the Grassmarket area. First was Armstrongs a fabulous Aladdin's cave of vintage and kitsch that should be a must-go on any trip to Edinburgh!

I fell in love with an original 50's floral prom dress which was unfortunately too big, or it would have been mine! There is literally something for everyone here, from beautiful and affordable occasion wear for men and women to quirky dressing up clothes. Pretty much every era is covered and you could literally spend hours unearthing the treasures lurking everywhere!

                    A not very good picture of the said 50's dress, it was stunning IRL!

So if you're not already a seasoned local vintage shopper and you visit the city, Armstrongs is well worth a bit of your time! As is their sister store the Rusty Zip on Teviot Place, which is smaller and more 70's based although I did spot a beautiful red chiffon 50's ballgown in there which I'd have loved to own!

We also had a lurk around Godiva, at the foot of the Grassmarket, a stunning shop with a front room full of designer-made reclaimed vintage clothes and accessories. There were some stunning pieces here and well worth a look for that unusual item, I absolutely loved the elastic waist belts with vintage fabric detailing! The good news for us non-Edinburgh-ites is they have an online shop:

 The back room at Godiva is chock full of pretty vintage treasures, more modern vintage than Armstrongs - 70's and 80's feature heavily - but well worth a rummage. I found the cutest little black 80's playsuit which sadly came up too short in the body for me (I didn't have a lucky shopping day!).

I'm sure there are loads of other lovely vintage shops to be found in the city, we sadly ran out of time, but the taster I had was a scrummy one. :)