My Vintage Childhood

My Vintage Childhood: March 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Go With What Makes You Happy the Basic Key to Defining Personal Style.....

Oh gosh how I love colour, it truly brightens my day and how I feel and when it comes to my personal style and wardrobe colour and pattern dominate whether it be vintage or not, I always, always have colour and pattern to play with.

I op shopped this simple long t-shirt dress in aqua last week mainly because it is an easy wear for lounging around at home with the kids. It's certainly not a colour I wear a lot of nor is a go to preference but it is a colour I love teamed with other colours, so this is a dress that will serve me well as a base for layering with other pieces and for $2 why not?

Teamed with my thrifted cobalt blue pleat top, denim vest and my lovely thrifty find of the chest plate necklace (thrifted last year) which has complimentary colours to my outfit, I feel colourful, bright, happy and put together with very little effort.

Why am I talking about loving colour again? I know I do it a lot! It's because it's one of the things I love and makes me happy when it comes to style and fashion.

Wearing what makes you happy and bright within your spirit is one of the most simple places to start with in defining your own style and using trends as inspirations open to your own interpretation or rejection.

My spirit is brightened by the play of colour, pattern and florals and are the basic elements of what I am attracted to in representing my personal style whether I buy vintage, thrift or retail.

What makes you happy? Do you know what makes happy or do you struggle to answer that question?

Before you even look at a garments size, what are the very basic elements that grab your attention to take a further look regardless if you end up buying it or not? The answers you come up with hold a lot information for unraveling and revealing the basics for helping you find your personal style, even if you find your answers don't match what your wardrobe currently looks like.

I'd love to hear what it is for you.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top 4 Expensive Children's Clothing Items To Always Thrift & Save.....

All my children have a mix of vintage, modern and thrifted clothing and accessories in their wardrobe and in the time I have been a parent clothing them has been far less expensive then you would think. In fact in the nearly seven years since Cohen was born I have spent a fraction of what most would think to cloth three children in clothes, shoes and accessories.  I  always accept an offer to look through hand me downs, I shop bargains and I always, ALWAYS look for clothing for them when op shopping.

So I'm going to let you in on what my top four op shop clothing buys for children are that are traditionally pricey items when bought retail.

Denim is durable and lasts especially with rough and tumble kids. Denim children's items are always in supply at op shops and generally in great condition because of its durability.

My kids always have a base of four to five denim shorts in their drawers. They last longer then cotton or sports shorts and can be worn casually or dressed up. I also nab jeans and denim jackets for the kids each year if I come by them. Jeans and jackets are pieces that will be grown out of far quicker than denim shorts with children. Jeans and jackets will generally become too short in the the legs or arms before shorts become too small in the waist. Hence I would rather pay op shop prices on denim jeans and jackets than retail prices for a piece that will essentially only be worn for a season and be grown out of by next year.

Quality Brand Name Children's Shoes
Kids and their growing feet, need I say more. If there is one thing I've heard a thousand times over about kids and their growing bodies, it is how quickly kids feet grow and how much and how often parents are having to fork out money for new shoes.

When kids are growing so rapidly they can leap shoe sizes in a few short months to our amazement. Hence if you have an eagle eye out when visiting your local op shops it's very common to find baby and children's shoes that look almost unworn. If you're lucky to spy renowned brand names like Clark's (pictured on the right of above pic), with a reputation of topping reviews over the years for children's school shoes be sure to grab them quick because some other thrifty parent will if you don't.

Party Dresses
If you have daughters and they are girly girls who like dresses to twirl in like my daughter, pretty party dresses for special occasions and parties can be expensive. Sure children's prices aren't as expensive as women's retail prices, but when you're looking at cost per wear on special occasion pieces, it seems crazy to spend a fortune on a stunning little piece for your girl who may only wear it a hand full of times if she is lucky.

Having a daughter who likes dresses and follows in my footsteps somewhat, of making any old day and excuse to dress up, I always have have an eye out when op shopping for pretty special occasion dresses and at op shop prices I can afford for her to have several and wear them for more than just special her just because days.

Knitted Goodies
I am nuts for hand knitted baby and children's clothing when thrifting and why not they are often unique and made with love and when they have been looked after are a durable cheap investment in children's winter wardrobes. Knitted baby goods in good condition when thrifted also make for sweet baby gifts for family and friends who have welcomed new bundles of joy to their families.

There is no limit to the types of items and garments I thrift for my children's wardrobes as I always have my eye out for suitable items for play and fun whilst supporting their own unique style and tastes that they are constantly developing. By avoiding retail when I can with them, it allows me to afford for them the opportunity to experiment and take risks with their style and not crush our budget, clothing our constantly growing and developing children.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How to Date & Value Vintage German Paper Mâché Easter Eggs.....

Easter is around the corner and if you're a fan of German collectibles or are looking for some unique decorating and gifting options, you might like these collectible vintage German Paper Mâché Easter Eggs. 

Traditionally paper mâché Easter eggs were given as gifts filled with yummy German candies and sweets inside. The tradition still continues to this day and those who seek to collect Easter collectibles often have a preference for those made in Germany from the Victorian period through to the 1950's.

Dating German Paper Mâché Easter Eggs

  • Pieces stamped German were generally produced before 1918.
  • Pieces stamped German Republic can be dated between 1918 and 1933.
  • Pieces that are marked East Germany, German Democratic Republic, West Germany and Federal Republic of Germany all generally date after World War II.

Values for German Easter Collectibles

Depending on the imagery depicted on paper mâché Easter collectibles it can significantly influence the value. However German eggs and Easter collectibles dating back to the turn of the last century hold the most value and appeal, for example if you're fortunate enough to find paper mâché rabbits with removable heads which date from 1900 - 1930 they often exceed $100 or more in value. On the rare occasion you can find a rabbit dragging a cart, their value can be several hundreds of dollars.

If you're smitten with the imagery and thought of seeking out some of these beauties for an Easter collection or display and you have a budget you can still find these lovelies from the 1940's onwards at affordable price points with some ranging around the $25 - $40, but you will generally have to act quick to nab them. We fortunately still have a few in listed on Etsy, if you'd like to check them out.

Do you have any Easter or bunny collectibles?

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Monday, March 7, 2016

5 Thrifty Tips for Clothing Children

In the time I have been a mumma  (nearly 7 years) I have spent a fraction of what most would expect to clothe three children.

We have all heard people say that it costs a fortune to have kids and there is the constant expense of replacing shoes and clothes they wear out, get soiled or damaged.

Clothing your baby, toddlers, children and even yourself doesn't have to cost a fortune, if you plot and plan and are always on the look out.


Hand Me Downs 
When you're having a baby or you have young kids, it's inevitable that you will get offered hand me downs from family and friends. Heck I've even had acquaintances offer them to me. Don't be shy take all offers of hand me downs and take a look through what's on offer. You'd be surprised how easily it is to complete your children's wardrobes from accepting these offers alone.

Op Shopping and Car Boot Sales
They are mind field for picking up clothing for my kids an if you're on the hunt and choose the right times or car boot sales you can frequently score kids clothes for 50 cents a piece or fill a bag deals.

My kids have always been thrifting. Check out Sarah she was only 2 years old in this picture and was already flicking through racks. 

Kiddy Clothing Swaps
This is something I have done many times when my kids were all still babies and friends had babies a little older or younger. Get a bunch of friends together with kids of varying age groups and have a swap-a-thon. What's not nabbed by another mum, can be donated to charity. But there are likely limitless options for upcycling and restyling garments that didn't get swapped even if you think they're too small.

If family and friends are asking about gifts to purchase for kids for birthdays and Christmas I always quote this little saying. Get them something they want, something the need, something to wear, something they need. So that always covers them, they are always most welcomed to buy new or special items of clothing for the kids. The majority of my children's brand new clothing comes in the form of gifts from family.

Retail Sales for Basics 
If all the above has failed to fill the necessary gaps in your children's wardrobes. I head to the likes of Kmart, Best and Less, Big W and Target. I have an approximate budget for basic retail buys for the kids retail clothing needs including shoes and I would be hard pressed to exceed $300 for three children in a year on retail buys.

Simply by following the above and ALWAYS resorting to retail purchases as my last resort and when it's absolutely necessary, it has simply saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years.

If you haven't already give it a try and change your thinking and be amazed by the savings.

Do you have any other unique ways of saving a buck when clothing your children on a budget. I'd love to hear what you do?

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