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Romantic Rome

Evan and I spent last week soaking up the sunshine in Rome visiting some friends and drinking lots of vino rosso! I whipped the old Hipstamatic app out at every opportunity as per – and I had a lovely time snapping away…

I spent a long time pacing the streets searching for the vintage shops that were listed in my guide book – but sadly the book was about ten years old and we never found the shops! Luckily, we had a lot of fun looking though, and stumbled across some gorgeous places off the beaten track.

I loved the look of this “Tipografia” shop, and bought some fabulously kitsch Catholic ornaments. Not sure Evan ‘gets’ them, tee hee! We had a fabulous week away, and we returned to Islington feeling very refreshed.


Button time

Every month, Evan gets me a little eBay treat for me to use as props in my styling work (I make sure I’m ‘watching’ a few items so he gets the hint!) This morning, these beautiful buttons arrived on our door mat, and I photographed them before Tilly could get hold of them and ‘hide’ them under the shed – as is her way!

Rosie’s Armoire

A few years ago, I met Helen Ashworth of Rosie’s Armoire at the Country Living Fair, where she was selling stunning cushions made with fabrics which she’d printed vintage postcards on to. I was smitten and bought two! I was delighted to hear that Helen’s now opened her own website selling her own goods and some beautiful vintage goods, too. I’m LOVING the photography, and the ephemera – it’s all so sweet…

These beautiful purses made of vintage postcards and maps are top of my wish list today!

If you haven’t already had a peep at Helen’s lovely website Rosie’s Armoire – get clicking now!

Patchwork Harmony

Mmmm, today I’ve been ogling the lovely buys over at online vintage homeware shop, Patchwork Harmony

So many lovely things! Patchwork Harmony is run by picture editor Caroline Taylor in her spare time. It’s really grown and developed over the past few years – great example of a self-starter setting up a small vintage emporium online and thriving.

The Bunker (underneath Waterloo station)

Evan took me to watch Beth Steel’s play Ditch in the Old Vic Tunnels, underneath Waterloo station. It was a good play, but it was the venue that really captured my imagination – dark, eerie brick tunnels with trains rumbling overhead – it was really spooky and sinister. The highlight for me, though, was the bar. (No surprises there then!)  Called THE BUNKER, it’s tucked away down a side tunnel, and completely furnished with vintage furniture and accessories. It’s amazing.

The bar itself is made of reclaimed doors, while the wall behind features glass cabinets filled with curiosities such as spooky old dolls – all very creepy but very cool, too!

Check out the vintage mirrors, collection of framed photographs and mismatched chairs – so cool.

There were some fabulous installations to walk through before the play to get you in the mood. The floating tree was particularly spectacular.

The entrance to the Old Vic Tunnels is so discreet – just a scummy-looking graffiti-covered metal door down an alley – but lurking behind it is a warren – and the coolest bar in London by far! Sadly, it’s private so you have to have a ticket to a production to experience the joys of this funky venue.

The joy of the Hipstamatic app!

At the weekend, Evan showed me the coolest iPhone app EVER for vintage freaks like you and me. Hipstamatic. (If you’ve already got this app, stop reading now and I’m sorry for being five months behind! If not, read on…) It gives your iPhone digital photos an analog look by turning the phone into a vintage camera, complete with films, lenses and retro effects – you even have an annoyingly small view-finder and you have to wait for the photos to develop and print! Now, Evan uses it to take arty shots of mountain bikes and people in the pub. But I use it to take photos of vintage stuff around my house…and it gives everything such a funky 1960s flavour, I’m HOOKED:

Oh, this makes me so happy. There’s a massive Hipstamatic Flickr group well worth checking out. Even a rubbish photographer (like myself) can get such super duper results – everything just looks amazing. Especially in black and white. I also think that people look a lot nicer (!) when the edges are slightly blurry – we’re so used to the harsh reality of digital, this softer view of the world is a welcome and refreshing change!