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Technology is a wonderful thing – keeping in touch with the blog has never been easier thanks to those handy gadgets such as Blackberry’s, Iphones, Ipads, Samsung Galaxy’s and anything else you can think of that comes in tablet/touchscreen form 🙂

Vintage Vapours is like a box of chocolates  – and not the Revels kind, more Forrest Gump style! You can get this blog in pretty much any format you wish now. Using the links on the right hand side you can subscribe to and have it drop into your email inbox or just drop by now and then by coming directly to the web address. For those who like to interact a bit more there’s a Twitter feed @vintagevapours and now to add to it all you can find me on Facebook at 

So why not make that a favourite link or just like the page and I’ll pop up in your newsfeed  so you never have to miss out knowing there’s a new blog post, or event you could be taking an interest, or a new video posted of some of the most foot-tapping, twirling jive tunes I can find 😉

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So c’mon – don’t be shy – get to know Vintage Vapours and share in the passion for vintage fashion!


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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


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There’s a foot tappin boy inside this modern woman!

It’s a fact – I am a girl. 🙂 Yep I’m pretty certain that mother nature and the good lord gave me the equipment and the inclination to be a girl – yet the time has come when I’ve decided it might be better to be a boy 😛

And it’s all to do with having happy feet! You know the feeling – a great song pings onto that juke box. Something to really get your feet tapping such as Little Green Frog by Clarence Frogman Henry, or Laverne Baker’s Tweedlee Dee or perhaps a more modern number from Si Cranstoun with Coupe De Ville. Whatever it is, it rocks and you just want to get up and dance.

Tweedle Dee - Such a foot tapping quirky tune!

Tweedle Dee – Such a foot tapping quirky tune!

And that’s when the frustration really hits as not one of my family or friends has ever learnt to jive! Noticing how many “girls” always seem to hang about the dance floor hoping for a twirl it occurred to me that I could make the switch and thus significantly increase my chances of having a great time.

My dance classes are with Adrian and Sara from the Adrian Marsh School of Dance and a more fun and patient set of teachers you will have to go far to find 😉 They’re making it really easy for me to make the transition. They break down each move and repeat it with you till you get it right, mix and match new moves with old so that you are really comfortable and push you to try new things.

You will swing from frustration at your timing to annoyance with your own two left feet to giggles and helpless laughter at your interpretation of a good dance move 🙂

Dance still from official Si Cranstoun Coupe De Ville video - watch them rock n roll!

Dance still from official Si Cranstoun Coupe De Ville video – watch them rock n roll!

And I have to say I feel I was born to lead 😮 – since I’m enjoying it far more doing what I want to do on the dance floor rather than waiting for a guy to make a good dance move. Maybe I’m more of  a modern woman than I thought!


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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Music, Reviews


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The Big Vintage Weekender

I  would never describe myself as a groupie – that always strikes me as rather “desperate and tasteless” yet I think I came perilously close when I saw Si Cranstoun kick off the Big Vintage Weekender.

Si came to my attention as his songs feature at my jive class – and after watching him through the wonder that is the iphone and YouTube I definitely added his CDs to my Christmas list. So when I heard he was performing at the Weekender I couldn’t resist.

What a brill night – Julie Jive and the Big Notes opened the evening with a really rocking number of tunes.IMG_0863 – I’m not one for the goth 50s look but she carries it off well and her voice, once it warms up, really is very strong and carries her songs well. The rest of the band are not as memorable with the exception of their bass player – now there’s a man who understands how to be a performer. Ever want to see a musician lying on his back with his bass in the air – how cool and so old school 😉

Si followed and it was non stop rockin’ with the dancefloor properly stacked in appreciation. Big hits such as Coupe De Ville, Lonesome Heart Bandit and Dynamo were followed with new tunes (to me) but defo ones to get you moving such as Ella Hula Hula. One of my favourites is rather aptly named Tweet on Twitter lol!IMG_0866

Fantastic delivery made each song a real joy to listen to and I was incredibly grateful when my beloved went off to buy me his CDs; Dancehalls and Supperclubs, and Alternative Floor Fillers. Si was kind enough to sign them for me too.IMG_0876

My thanks must indeed go to my beloved – who has no interest whatsoever in the 1940s/50s but fortunately likes any kind of live music and more importantly seeing the massive grin on my face when I am enjoying myself.

He drove me not only to the first night gig but also back again the next day so I could browse the stalls in the hall – a 200 mile trip for a gig and a boot sale according to him!!

Well boot sale or not I was in seventh heaven – at the moment I am fascinated by vintage brooches for my jacket collars and found some incredibly pretty (read that as sparkly!) ones. IMG_0890

I was also tempted by a new pair of swing nautical trousers by Miss Fortune, despite the incredibly ugly cream ship buttons. Needless to say a quick trip to haberdashery and I’ve replaced them with some simple white ones – so much better 🙂IMG_0874

Having listened to Si’s CDs several times now I must say I am seriously impressed by some of the quieter tracks like Bella Principessa, and Daddy’s Gotcha. Not a bad tune in the bunch so yep I am now officially a fan (but not a groupie!) 🙂


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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Clothing, Events, Music, Reviews


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To tweet or not to tweet… it’s addictive!

I may be a girl with a passion for vintage but now and then I recognise and appreciate some great things from the more modern world – washing machines and tumble driers, colourful polyester and washable wool, electric curling tongs, mobile phones and of course the Internet 🙂In particular that great combination of the Iphone and the internet are one of lifes great wonders – and now I’m a blogger I thought it was time to explore that other great mystery known as Twitter.

To be honest I’ve put it off for ages thinking what on earth could be so interesting about anything that I would want to share it with the world throughout the day or even to read or follow anyone else. Well just under a month later and I now know what all the fuss is about. There is an addictive, even seductive quality to Twitter.

The ability to take snapshots of your life and want to share that moment finds you reaching for the phone – and the fine art of  juggling content and meaning in a concise 140 characters. Let’s just say that grammar goes out the window and it makes text speak seem positively the Queens English lol! I’ve been tweeting about clothing, events, music, and even motorbiking – but that’s another story!

That ping when a new tweet arrives has me reaching for my phone eager to see what is going on – and now that I’ve found some of my favourite vintage shops are in the twittersphere I love finding out what is going on with them and the latest goodies they have on offer. These include @Fredofpinewood, @ViVofHolloway and @VintageLifeMag.

I’ve also found new links to some great singers – @TheThreeBelles and @jiveaces are both acts I’ve seen at Twinwood and really enjoyed. Following them has pushed me more towards their music. I also started following @SiCranstoun after hearing his foot tapping, gotta get up and dance Lonesome Heart Bandit, (see the video) at my jive classes. He puts up get links to great new videos and I know exactly what I’ll be asking for as my Christmas prezzies 😛

There’s a whole world of vintage lovers out there on Twitter such as style icon @ApplebyJoanne and @lipstickcurls. And they open your eyes to new events, fashions, makeup and even baking tips – in fact everything that a vintage loving girl like myself could wish for.

I’m still getting the hang of sharing information (and hash tags!) – and my tweets are now linked to this blog for interested parties! I’m also pleased to say that I have gained a few followers of my own and several of my tweets have been retweeted by them 🙂

So just in case you missed the point of my post – you can follow me @VintageVapours


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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Great reads, People to follow, Reviews


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The lost art of having a ball!

The art of dressing for the occasion has been lost – yes it’s a sad fact that we only tend to dress up for specific times such as a black tie event, a job interview, a wedding or a funeral.

Dressing well for the sake of dressing such as for dinner or going to the theatre is a thing of the past – and what qualifies for a “dress” often makes one blink (my underwear has more cloth in it than some so called dresses!). So when I was given the opportunity to take a trip back in time to a more glamorous age I gleefully seized it and went off to the Victoria and Albert museum.

“Ballgowns, British Glamour Since the 1950s” is a stunning collection of clothing – and whilst that exhibition is £10, it also sits above a free exhibition of fashion through the ages – quite a nice way to spend an afternoon 🙂

The gowns range from the sumptuous – full skirted, tight bodiced and gently accessorised, to the ghastly – frills, flowers and whatnots that wouldn’t go amiss on a gaudy pantomime dame! Thankfully for the most part it’s about chic, couture pieces which flatter women.

I loved the pathe news reel which showed catwalk shows of new designs fashioned for ladies at private showings such as for the Queen Mum, or at country houses. There are also well known designs such as the pearl outfit Princess Diana wore which sit alongside designs by Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. There’s also a section about futuristic dresses – although latex wearing mermaid styles are not really my thing!

The free exhibition which looks at fashion through the ages does cover it all – easily recognisable 1920s flappers or the bright patterns and shapeless lines of the seventies. For me the designs around the Edwardians, Victorians, 1940s and 1950s are the centrepieces. From crinolines to full petticoats, from smart fitted jackets to circle skirts – each piece is to be admired and reminded of why it’s great to be a girl 🙂 and enjoying the retro scene.

The paid for exhibition is on until 6th January 2013 and I should imagine the free exhibition will continue alongside it for the same time if not longer. It’s well worth a trip in and when followed by a spot of lunch in one of the pleasant nearby cafes is a great way to spend a girly afternoon.


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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Clothing, Reviews


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It may be splitting hairs… but it’s worth it!

After almost 40 years of attempting to grow my hair below chin length I have finally had to accept that it just doesn’t want to 😦 You may recall I posted a month or so ago about Victory rolls, pin curls or well filled snoods being just a dream for me. Well victory may yet be snatched from the jaws of defeat lol!

My fave hairdresser Sylvia, manageress and most senior stylist at Plush Experience, came to my rescue with her skills at inserting hair extensions. Many moons ago I tried extensions and pretty much hated them straight away – Sylvia will probably remember the hours of fun we had putting them in only for me to ring her three days later begging her to take them out! The extensions were black and down to my middle back and just unmanageable for me 😦

But I am older and wiser and had a better idea of how I wanted to look afterwards. Working with my ideas on what I wanted to use my new look for, Sylvia inserted several rows in two colours to go with the semi-permanent colour I usually wear.

Splitting hairs? who cares if you can go from short to long!

Et voila! wow – what a transformation for me. I have to say I was (and still am) delighted with the new look which I am finding fairly easy to manage although am suffering a little with dry ends (am off to Plush this week to get some tips ;-))

And how has this transferred to a vintage look? Well after hours (and I do mean hours) scouring Youtube videos I have been having a go and am not too displeased with my first attempts.

My first attempt at a vintage look

I say “first” when what I actually mean is about eighth or ninth attempt but in my first afternoon at trying to do this. And what did I learn – don’t buy cheap bobby pins as the bobbles come off and they then hurt when you stick them in your head! And use hairspray as if it’s going out of fashion 😛 I strongly suspect I will be adding a travelsize of the old Elnett to my handbag!

It’s not perfect but I am happy with my attempt and am sure it will get better with practise. In the meantime I am happy to go out in public with it. So am off to dinner – will let you know how I get on!


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Posted by on September 18, 2012 in Clothing


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Take a step back in time with Twinwood…

Well it’s taken a while and my apologies for not posting but it’s been madly hectic!! The good news is that what is undoubtedly the highlight of my year finally arrived – the Twinwood vintage music and dance festival took place as always over the August Bank holiday 🙂

If you have never been then you need to make this a date for your diary. We went on the Sunday and were blessed with sunshine. As usual we took a picnic table, folding chairs, blankets and a mouthwatering picnic. Settled in front of the main stage we watched John Miller (Glenn’s nephew) and his orchestra. I abserlootley love that big band sound – there’s nothing else like it on earth.

John Miller at Twinwood

A more modern take on that sound was given by The Jive Aces – these boys rock the house – and some of you may remember them from Britain’s Got Talent when they became the first big band of their kind to make it to the semi finals.

The Jive Aces at Twinwood

Apart from the main stage there are two marquees including one for lessons and another stage for smaller bands and singers – complete with obligatory dance floor and believe me there’s no need to urge anyone to get up and dance cos as soon as those tunes start the whole show is jumpin! I was really pleased to see some familiar faces from my dance class also out having a great time :-).

For those of us seeking a few additions to our wardrobes there are loads of stalls to choose from including familiar faces Freddies of Pinewood (I love those jeans and bought another two pairs!), Rocket Originals (yep – had to get another top!) and everything from shoes to petticoats to suits, hats, gloves – all new, nearly new or indeed vintage. I was lucky enough to find a beautiful new, white and red-spotted Betty Page circle dress at a wonderfully reduced price and as it was my birthday my beloved insisted on completing my outfit with a full red petticoat and some very pretty red checked wedge sandals, complete with hanging strawberries, from Miss Bamboo (I’m a lucky girl :-))

Another great new outfit!

If shopping’s not your thing then how about a bit of culture with the museum and the watchtower – both are filled with fascinating displays and images which are regularly updated to give a new focus to different aspects of a time forgotten. But it doesn’t matter how many times I see it I always learn something new and feel blessed to have benefited from the actions of such dedicated people during the war.

Of course if wheels and engines hold any sort of fascination for you then watch out for the lines of vintage cars  – pretty impressive and clearly lovingly restored.

The day wouldn’t be complete without chips and a hot cuppa (yes I know I had a picnic) from one of the many food and drink stalls around, or time in the bars.

……………Roll on August 2013 – Twinwood returns and I’m off to book my tickets 😉


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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in Clothing, Events, Music, Reviews


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