Steptoes Dog Vintage Wares

Where I have a little cogitate on all things vintage ......

Friday, October 04, 2013

Love the vintage wardrobe - don't love the vintage pong!

If you keep clothes for a few years or you buy vintage clothes and accessories you'll have found that smells can develop.
Old and vintage clothes & accessories can develop a smell due a number or reasons and here's how to prevent them and how to deal with them if they do arise.
A smell can be present, but not neccesarily because something is dirty or has been badly stored (but, neither helps). All clothes and accessories can develop a smell over time, it can be from the materials it is made from, the item it's stored in, the air, or old perfume, cosmetic and washing powder traces, especially if an item is stored in a box, suitcase or other closed in space.
Firstly, always wash, clean and air items before storing them, this will remove any existing smells which may grow over time.
Store items in appropriate covers, pure cotton or linen or acid free tissue paper is best, old washed cotton sheets and pillow cases are great for storing clothes and accessories.
Store clothes and accessories in a wardrobe, with pleanty of room.
Get items out of storage regulally and air them in the fresh air (on a dry day) for a few hours, take them in before evening to avoid damp.
Don't store items in plastic as this can give off an odour and if items are sealed into plastic any humidity can start to mould.
Don't use moth balls or chemical insecticides - these really smell and they can stain fabric too - use a couple of lavendar bags to help keep moths and smells away.
If you find that a piece of clothing or an accessory has developed a smell try to air it out, this may take a few days, just hang it up outside if it's dry (bringing it inside in the evening to avoid damp) or inside on the back of a door in a warm room. Give the item a gentle shake every few hours and if the smell has not diminished after several days and the item can be washed (according to it's label) then wash it and if not then you will need to speak to a professional dry cleaner.
If a vintage hat or vintage bag has a smell that persists try putting a small bowl full of baking powder inside and leaving it for a few days - this should absorb the smell.
I hope this helps
Sarah x

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Getting Organised in Vintage Style......

Life is busy ... really busy and we seem to have to cram more and more into less time these days. A little gentle organisation goes a long way to keeping things from decending into total chaos and i've read loads of books, blogs and articles on getting / being organised. So drawing on all the wisdom of the experts, here's my contribution - I hope it helps!

Why We Get Disorganised...

Our brains can only hold so much stuff and if we overload them we start forgetting things, so give your brain a brake and take some of the load off by organising your physical environment.
In a nutshell if your stuff is sorted, then your brain can (theoretically) deal with all the other things you need to remember.....

This type of organisation mainly involves three key concepts:

1. Having places for your things so you can find them easily, especially things you use daily - such as a spot for your keys, shoes and post.

2. Using the places and puting things back where they belong - Don't put your keys on the sofa, they'll go down the back and be lost for several days, meaning you'll spend hours looking for them and then need to find the spare ones or get new ones cut and not lose them too..... Yes, I speak form personal experience on this one!

3. Writing things down and having a place to keep physical reminders such as bills that need paying and invitations that need replys...

Organising With Vintage Style.......

So once we know what the problem is all we need to do is find solutions to help, but, I don't want beige office letter racks and plastic bins and draws lurking around my home - they're so dull, so here are my TOP 5 vintage organisation solutions:

1. We lose years of our lives hunting for lost keys, so have a spot for them - try a vintage brides basket  or antique tureen for your keys.

2.  Keeping track of post & paperwork that needs your attention by keeping it in one spot - an antique or vintage toast rack is the perfect solution.

3. A sudden headache or cut finger can throw us off totally, especially if you cann't find a painkiller or plaster so keep them togeather in a vintage first aid tin - (don't forget to keep all medcation out of reach of children).

4. Another gremlin from the land of lost content are shoes - all it takes is for one shoe to wedge itself under a sofa and hey presto you've lost 20 minutes of you day! So get a lovely big vintage basket and get everyone to put their shoes in it when they arrive home
 - no more lost shoes!

5. Muti-tasking is part of our lives and it really helps to keep everything running smoothly, but, after a hard days work we just want to sit our comfy sofa. Get a decent size vintage tray, it can be your writing or computor desk, craft table, dining table, and more - all from the comfort of your sofa ... A  vintage tray looks fantastic and has many, many uses so invest in one!

I hope this inspires and helps - even a little.
Sarah x

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Monday, September 16, 2013

7 Key Pieces to Give Your Wardrobe some Vintage Style This Autumn....

Autumn is approaching fast and as the temperature drops it's a great time to update your look and wardrobe. Vintage clothes and vintage accessories offer an ultra-stylish and really inexpensive way to do this...
Check out these 7 fabulous pieces we've hand picked to show you just how easy and cheap it is to take your Autumn wardrobe from ordinary to phenomenal!
1. Take it from the top - you can't go wrong with a vintage beret guaranteed style and warmth, it just keeps coming back decade after decade and for good reason it's a style that looks good on everyone ....
2. Snuggle up in style - a vintage scarf will add extra warmth, a touch of colour and personality to any outfit and this 1980s one is bang on trend for A/W 2013.....
3. Wrap Up Warm  - a jacket can take you through more seasons than a coat and a good vintage jacket will last you for years, keeping your autumn and winter wardrobe fresh and you warm!
4. It's In The Bag - get a genuine vintage handbag..... It's an instant wardrobe uplift, it'll last for decades, never date and it will always fit - enough said!
5. Grab a Cardi - A cardigan will let you extend the life of most of your summer wardrobe and even turn evening dress into daytime outfit, so it's a must have. Check out our 1980s Navy Blue Wool Cardigan - it's lovely!
6. Cold hands are no fun, so don't neglect them - get a pair of gloves. Anyone with even a vague interest in fashion will tell you that gloves do give instant style to an outfit and our selection of vintage gloves is no exception.
7. Sparkle Like You Mean It!  A pretty 1950s diamante brooch will add glamour to anything you pin it on - so buy it and use it!  Pin your scarf, make a style statement on your lapel, take your little black dress from day to evening.... let your imagination run wild!
This entire Autumn look is just under £103 with our back to school discount... we've got a fantastic 35% discount off all orders over £35 and FREE UK delivery!
Sarah x

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Harvest Time.... Blackberry Jam - so easy!

It's harvest time and the traditional time for making jams and pickles and stocking up the store cupboards and freezer.
Blackberry picking is one of my favourite things, i've done it since I was a child and there's nothing better than coming home after a good walk, with a bag and belly full of juicey Blackberries- just watch out for the prickles though....
I keep a carrier bag in my pocket, you never know when you'll spot some lovely plump berries just ripe for picking.
Once home you have Blackberry and Apple Pie Black berry and Apple Crumble or best of all Blackberry Jam.....
Making your own blackberry jam is very easy, very satisfying and very cheap too and when the weather's turned to winter it's lovely to have homemade Black berry jam on toast or a scone to remind you of warmer days!
Home made Blackberry jam is also a great gift for Christmas, there aren't many people who don't love it, so it's a lovely thoughful gift and it really helps keep costs down.
Here's a great Blackberry Jam recipe that I use - it came from one of our vintage cookery books and never fails.
Half the weigh of the Blackberries in sugar.
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice - optional.
Get a big pan, weigh your blackberries and half their weight in sugar, add these to the pan and bring to the boil stirring occassionally to stop the sugar sticking and burning on the bottom, once the mixture is at the boil, let it cook for 40 mins and you'll have black berry jam - you can add a table spoon of lemon juice of you like.
Once your jam is cooked you can spoon it into clean jars and seal with a wax paper disk and lid or cellophane cover secured with an elastic band.
You can then make lid covers from pretty vintage fabric and tie with vintage buttons and ribbon or even draw and cut out some circles of paper and get your children to decorate them for a personal touch. Finish with a label with the type of jam and the year.
vintage recipe book and a pot of homemade jam makes a really wonderful gift .....
Sarah x

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hold on To Your Purse Strings & Your Vintage Treasures - It's a Buyers Market .......

The good news is that apprently the economy is improving! However, here on the ground, things are still tough and will remain so for a while yet and we're still getting lots of people contacting us for advice on how to sell their antique and vintage treasures.....
Here in the antique and vintage world we've been affected by the poor economy, with fewer people having money to splash out on their collections, we've dropped prices to make things more affordable for our customers and so we are also having to pay lower prices for pieces.
It's a buyers market!
It's a good time to hold on to your antique and vintage pieces if you can - as the economy and demand rises so will the prices, so waiting a few months or maybe a little longer will most likely increase the amount you'll get if you're selling. You could use this time to do some research on your item, which can increase the amount you get for it too.
It's a great time to buy - if you're looking to buy antique or vintage pieces, the prices are really low  right now and I suspect they won't stay that way for very much longer ....
Antique and vintage collections can be great investments, you can chose almost any type of item to collect, at any budget and they're endlessly facinating ...
We'll soon be entering the Christmas buying season and prices and demand will go up, so if you're looking for gifts get in quick and save yourself some money.
Antique and vintage pieces always make unique and very thoughtful gifts and you get so much more for your pound than on the high street too...
Check out our handy guide on how to value your antique and vintage items it can help you make sure you buy or sell your item at the right price!

Sarah x

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Monday, September 09, 2013

Best New Arrivals....

We've found lots of lovely antique and vintage pieces over the Summer and we're now busy photographing them and writing descriptions ready to pop them into the online shop. Here's a sprinkling of the very best antique and vintage new arrivals ......

A sensational vintage jewellery set in Purple and Lilac Lucite. A great vintage look in jewel colours - bang on trend for A/W 2013.
Pair with tapered trousers and heels for a spot on vintage take on catwalk looks for A/W 2013.....
A really sweet (no pun intended) vintage 1950s dessrt set in polished Chrome. It's really easy to use - perfect for fruit, cake, triffle and almost any other dessert you care to think of....
The set has dessert sporks - a dessert fork with a deep base so it's a spoon too!
In it's original fitted case this set is just lovely.
We add a selection of antique and vintage pieces into the Vintage New Arrivals every week so this is a great page to bookmak, so you can keep up to date....
Sarah x

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Friday, September 06, 2013

Summer's not quite over .......

Well - the rain's come today and after all the lovely sunshine it feels like Autumn may be on it's way, but, hopefully we'll get a bit of an Indian Summer So here's a few bags that'll take your wadrobe from summer into Autumn at a gentle pace.

We sell loads of wonderful vintage handbags - here are my top five that I think will really rock your  wardrobe for Summer / Autumn 2013 .......
1. 1960s Straw tote with bamboo handles ...... it'll add instant colour and has pleanty of room.

2. Sleek Fassbender Lizard Skin Handbag - it's really elegant and if you are hankering after some colout, you can inject it by tying a bright scarf to the handle - it's very versatile.
3.  1950s Florida Beach Bag - why not do away with the handbag and get a totally relaxed look with this cute vintage 1950s beach bag, it's large enought to take all your essentials....
4. Sixties Cream Tapestry Fabric Handbag - a very pretty bag for Summer/ Autumn. Florals are still  trending for A/W 2013 and it's a good size too.
5.  1990's Rucksack - rucksacks and 90's fashions are bang on trend and this one is a cutie!
We've loads more and new arrivals all the time, check out all our vintage bags here.

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