There are some beautiful covers and images from the 1950s contained within the pages of my vintage Woman’s Own magazines:
There are so many gorgeous images in these Christmas specials that I just can’t show them all. I took nearly a hundred pictures! So, I will choose my favourites to wish you all Merry Christmas with. Huge thanks and best wishes to everyone who has followed my blog over the last few years. I hope these pictures help get you into the festive mood for tomorrow.
The advertisers of the 1950s seemed to promote a ‘fake realism’ quite strongly. By that I mean, that each image seems intended to portray a realistic lifestyle want or need but quite often in a fake-looking way. Christmas seems to give them an excuse to release some imaginative advertisements; yet for some of them, I can’t help but feel it’s an excuse to ‘bung’ on a few Christmas graphics and see how it sells:
This next advert was a very pleasant surprise when I was searching the magazines this morning. As a child, Enid Blyton was my absolute favourite author. I have very many happy memories of sitting reading The Famous Five, The Naughtiest Girl, The Enchanted Tree, Malory Towers, The Magic Wishing Chair and many, many more of her books.
My favourite advert is probably this one:
I just love how it’s one of the least Christmas-related products ever, yet Kia-Ora did a grand job of popping some Christmas graphics next to their bottle of squash and suddenly, even I want to buy a bottle of it for tomorrow!
Each year we have a (fairly) strict timetable of who, where and when to visit over the Christmas period. We go to my parents the weekend before Christmas, spend the day itself in Glossop by ourselves, some friends come over on Boxing Day; after that, it’s a slow, day-to-day movement over to Barnsley then up north to Sedgfield. Although it can be fairly tiring, it does mean that Christmas feels like it’s stretched out.
This year, I had to go to my parents on my own, as Aidan was in Australia with work. I would call him a lucky so-and-so but not after seeing the state he’s been in since he got back! Anyway, this meant that I couldn’t physically carry all of my presents from my parents back home. So I brought just one:
Not only is this the cutest piece of owl paraphenalia that I’ve seen in a long time, it has another feature that just adds to the kitschy cuteness:
It’s a detachable, pottery, baby owl! So, not only is this a decorative item but, if you are that kind of person, you can take out the tiny baby owl and hold it for a bit. Or hide it in unexpected places. Not that I would do any of those things of course…
Our house is fairly Christmassed up this year. We do have a stack of stuff that we roll out each year. My mum has been watching Kirsty’s Homemade Britain and made us one of these to add to the decorations:
My picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it does look lovely hanging in the window. Aidan has also made us a wreath for the door, I’ve made a strange Christmas tree shape from a magazine like this, and I’ve half made some bird baubles like this. However, I’ve forgotten to take pictures of those. I do have a picture of the tree though:
We did our usual trick of getting it cheap from the German market in Manchester and just hoping for the best. Last year, we had a double-trunker (or a Siamese Tree); this year it’s just a very, very odd, tall, sparse, thick-then-thin shape. We’ve still bunged on all of the baubles though. Hang on, when I say we, what I actually mean is Aidan. I was out on work Christmas do. Less said the better…
We’ve also put the West German pottery to good use:
The stars came from a window display when I worked at Monsoon in Manchester (boo, hiss!); they were being thrown away so I ‘rescued’ them. You can see a few of our cards here too. We’ve had so many this year! Mainly because I now have a Year Seven form so received lots of misspelled cards from them. The best one was from a little lad who had stuck one of his old primary school photos on the inside of it (“I had to cut D— and L—- out so it would fit just me!”).
Last but definitely not least on the handmade front… Aidan made me an advent calendar for the second year running. Once again it featured one of the fantastic Christmas images from the Galaxy magazines:
Today, I’ve got plans to: wrap Aidan’s presents, make his card, plan the veggie Christmas dinner, make a friendship bracelet as a present for someone, go to the gym, meet one friend for coffee, meet another for a hot toddy, meet Aidan for a pint once he’s finished work… It’s not all going to happen is it?
Sir Henry Cole is credited with instigating the first mass-produced Christmas greetings cards in the 1840s. He commissioned a friend of his, John Calcott Horsley, an artist, to produce a thousand handmade cards for Cole to distribute to his friends. The introduction of the penny post helped to further the practice. (Information taken from birthdays.co.uk)
Christmas cards are one of those things that I absolutely love sending (and receiving), but I am terrible at remembering to get them written on time. Very often, they’re sent out only a few days before Christmas with very little hope of them arriving in time. Usually, we use a suitable festive photograph to create our own cards. This year though, I think I might try and make something using some of my stash of vintage Christmas cards. Unfortunately I can’t quite remember where I bought them… they came in a bag with lots of others for various occasions. Aidan, being the thoughtful man he is, scanned these all in for me a couple of days ago without telling me.
What I love about these is how you can see the different decades and eras change. My absolute favourites are these ones:
Happy 1st of December!
As it’s now the (and I hate saying this) run-up to Christmas, we’re having a big push on Aidan’s Ebay, selling lots of West German Pottery. There are all kinds of pots for sale:
As with all of his Ebay listings, Aidan takes a lot of time to ensure that the pictures are truly representative of the colours, designs and proportions of the pots. Listings always include a detailed description of the items – any tiny blemish is described, and he does have eagle eyes! He spots things that I cannot see, even when he’s pointed them out to me. So you can be sure that if you buy something from us, what you see is most definitely what you get.
Some of my particular favourites from this week and next are these:
Just look at the glaze on that! It’s an amazing texture; crusty, thick and bursting with colour. ‘Fat Lava’ could not be a more appropriate way to describe it.
Remember ‘nu rave’? No, me neither, but the neon/rave scene will always have a place in popular culture. Why not pay homage to it with this:
N3221120 Jasba for sale
Those designers really did take their inspiration from anywhere, didn’t they?
If ever there were a ‘man’ vase, this one would be it:
“You Jane, Me Great Big Man Vase…” There’s definitely something very masculine and tribal about it. It looks like it should be dug up out of a pit, storing the brains of some long dead pharaoh or emperor. Maybe that’s just my imaginative interpretation of it!
I’ll be honest; I’m not sure how Aidan persuaded me to part with that punch bowl! I love it. Imagine having your mulled wine out of that this Christmas? Would certainly be a talking point amongst your relatives and a fantastic way to initiate them into the West German pottery fold.
I’ll give a pound to anyone who can get the British Sea Power reference in my caption…
I’m worried that beautiful Scheurich will get overshadowed by its more gaudy cousins. The glaze on this is beautiful: subtle, swirled green covered in a silver, metallic oil. It was difficult to capture truly on pictures, but I think Aidan did a good job of getting it just right.
So, those are my favourites that are up for sale over the next two weeks. If you fancy having a look (and even having a bid), click here.
My lovely middle sister is 24 today. In honour of her, this is a post all about nurses and brides. She’s nearly finished training to be a nurse and she and her boyfriend got engaged over Christmas. So, what better excuse than to find pictures of Nurses and Brides from the Fifties?
I’m loving the matching red nails and lips.
Apparently ‘nervousness can cause an unattractive pallor’. That was in the 1950s; nowadays it’s probably from the aftermath of the hen do…
I think the phrase ‘Come Hither, Nurse’ has probably changed in its connotations since 1956!
Somewhere, in one of the magazines is a story about a nurse and a doctor who fall in love amidst a hurricane in India. I seem to remember it had a gorgeous illustration to accompany it, but can I find it? Can I eckers…
I wish Kirsty still had to wear a uniform like that!
This front cover is probably one of my favourites:
The first page in a 4-page supplement to assist the new bride. All about household chores and making your home lovely. I used to get quite affronted by women only being pigeon-holed in one way. Now that I quite fancy a life where I don’t work, but take care of the house and pretty much do as I fancy the rest of the time, it doesn’t seem so bad. The biggest difference is that now, I can choose to do this rather than be expected to.
Happy Birthday, Kirsty! Hope you’ve had a fun day.
It’s been a lovely Christmas – and it’s still not really over for us. The weekend before Christmas, we had the early one with my family. Then we’ve spent Christmas Day in Glossop, had friends over on Boxing Day. This week, we’ll be seeing Aidan’s family as well; all before we have to start thinking about going back to work… Ah well, we knew it couldn’t last.
Anyway, how else to celebrate a wonderful Christmas than by sharing pictures of the retro and vintage goodies we gave and received?
To kick things off:
I absolutely love this. Another present from Aidan, and it’s probably one of my favourites. If you’ve not visited the site already, it’s worth another trip to the Tretchikoff website to have a look at all of his prints.
Luckily for me, I got lots and lots of presents! A green Casio watch, a Spirograph, a Tamagotchi… yes, I am a grown woman, if you can believe it?! I also received three new Scheurich 414 pots, but unfortunately the pictures have come out quite blurry. I’ll take some more another day; maybe even attempt to take some vaguely stylish ones… you know how that normally goes.
Here are two things I got Aidan:
A book all about retro and vintage prints by Tretchikoff, J.H. Lynch, Shabner, Maio and those 70s big-eyed children pictures. It’s fantastic, even if I do say so myself. Aidan seems to quite like it too. I bought his copy from Ebay (and America, no less) but you seem to be able to buy it on Amazon here. Review of the book as well. Even if you’re not a fan of these types of prints, it’s still a gorgeous book to look through.
I also got him one of these:
The teatowel, not the pots! It’s pretty good. I’m not sure if we’ll ever actually use it though; it’s a bit too swanky for wiping pots and pans. The seller, skinnylaminx, is on her holidays at the moment. When she returns you should definitely have a look at her shop on Etsy.
So, what’s the best retro or vintage thing you got this Christmas??
- Scheurich 414: Updating a Look (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
This is a real film. I’m almost beside myself with festive joy.
Hmmm, aliens and Santa Claus… who knew they’d go together quite so well?
That one freaks me out slightly – it’s the way it looks quite normal, then you notice that Santa’s got four arms… creepy.
Don’t forget this one (as used on my advent calendar):
A final one:
It’s that four-armed Santa Claus again…
Which one’s your favourite?
I imagine there will be many chocolates eaten over this festive period: mostly by me! I won’t be smoking though; despite my inclusion of this picture:
It’s more the pine needle headwear that I’m coveting.
The pink dress at the top with the ‘tiny sparkling Peter Pan collar’ is incredibly similar to the one I wore to our work’s ‘Posh’ ball last year. Wish I’d had the Peter Pan collar at the time! I might have to start searching for one to wear with my dress. I love the idea of adding sequins to cardigans, and ribbons to dresses. However, I’m drawing the line at clipping earrings to shoes!
I’d quite like a snowflake Fair Isle jumper and a Jack Frost one too!
A classic Christmas tale to read by the fire (if we had one) completes the perfect, 1950s Christmas picture for me. How delightful.