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Sweet and savoury

First up: the sweet! The very lovely Punk in Writing asked me for the recipe to the chocolate and peanut butter swirl I made for Easter, so here it is. It’s my mum’s favourite sweet of mine, and it’s VERY tasty and VERY fattening, so make at your own risk!

Chocolate & peanut butter swirl

360g (13oz) white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup (140g) smooth peanut butter
400g (14oz) dark chocolate, chopped coarsely

♥ Line a 20cm (8″) square cake tin with baking parchment.
♦ Melt white chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until smooth.
♣ Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.
♠ Melt dark chocolate in the same way, cool slightly.
♥ Starting with the dark chocolate, pour about a quarter of each mixture into the pan at a time, alternating between dark and white.
♦ Pull a skewer through the mixture, first horizontally, then vertically for a marbled effect. Your tin of mixture should now look like this!

Then, just leave it to cool. I tend to pop it in the fridge but if you have the time, you can leave it to set at room temperature – it’ll take 2-3 hours. If you do put it in the fridge, make sure it has warmed up to room temp before you cut it or it tends to splinter. Unless you don’t care about presentation and just want to scoff it as it is (and who would blame you?)! But it looks so effective in little squares and makes a great gift. Ta-daaa!

Now for the savoury. Well, actually it’s just some photos of me and Miss Cherrylicious from Sunday’s Burlesque Brunch to share with you! I’m modelling Valkyrie Corsets and hats by Tricia Cox which I didn’t consider when I did my hair for the day, whoops. So I had to use the small top hat at a prop instead! These were taken by my lovely friend Nicole.

That’s all for now, I shall be back later in the week for more V.I. Buys and, fingers crossed, some shoot pictures to show off.


Fleur xx

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My weekend in pictures

It’s been a busy old weekend for me, and with one more glorious day of nothing (except, unfortunately, for the pressing need to tackle the jungle in my back garden and fight it back into something resembling a lawn) stretching out ahead of me, I thought I would present my weekend’s pictures to you all.

1. white choc o’plenty 2. flour power, 3. spring daffodils 4. the finished products 5. easter roast 6. easter outfit two 7. inigo montoya 8. the divine Miss Vicky Butterfly 9. you killed my father…

I spent most of Friday baking, before settling down to watch the new episode of Red Dwarf in the evening, which I enjoyed, but not as much as the older episodes shown after. Then Saturday I went off to my parents’ house for a huge roast turkey dinner, followed by the Christmas pudding we couldn’t quite manage at Christmas! The baked goods went down well, and I was sent home with a Lindt bunny, which was instantly devoured. I was regretting wearing my very fitted repro 40s overalls and ended up having to undo the waist button to drive back, heehee!

Here is the outfit I wore, as taken by my Dad.

my 1940s factory girl get up!

Overalls were custom-made for me by Trouble Mackenzie, shirt is from New Look and my co-respondant shoes were bought at Rhythm Riot 2008.

Sunday was the Burlesque Brunch, from which I expect lots of photos will be forthcoming, but you can check out the last two above for a taster. I was so nervous about the ‘live’ modelling as it’s been so long, but after I was laced into the gorgeous corsets (made by the talented Geraldine of Valkyrie) and stepped out from behind the curtain with my glamorous fellow Brunch Belle Miss Cherrylicious, my confidence returned and I shimmied my way round the room. A slap-up brunch, tea, cakes and the very unfair ‘Not Cricket’ pub quiz followed, which we (meaning my partner in crime, Torquil Arbuthnot and I) actually won, first time I have ever won a pub quiz in my life! I say ‘we’, but really Torquil got all the answers, and I correctly guessed that the song being acted out on stage was S Club 7’s ‘Reach for the Stars’….. the shame! I did win a pair of red sequin pasties though, funnily enough, Torquil didn’t want them! Then we played Orange Battle, and I made it all the way to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Torquil. Cheek! You can see him in action in the final against a mysterious Spaniard above. It was a wonderul, if tiring day.

But the best surprise of the weekend was picking up the green/brown floral Swirl dress from the post office on Saturday. Now, I’m sure my readers are getting heartily sick of me banging on about Swirls now, and I will shut up soon, I promise! But I was delighted to find that it was an absolutely brand new, perfect deadstock dress, complete with store and Swirl tags. The auction didn’t say a word about it, just that it was in ‘excellent condition’! Amazing. My holy grail!

1. "in just 25 seconds…" 2. original Swirl hang tags 3. original store tag 4. deadstock Swirl dress – pressing label

So that was my weekend. I’m so glad that my ‘V.I. Buys’ feature went down well, I will aim to do one every week from now on. Thank you everyone for being lovely! Do tell me all about your own long weekends.

Bye for now!

Fleur xx

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New feature: V.I. Buys

So, I wanted to make this blog a little less about the (oh-so exciting!) life of me and a little more informative and helpful to those girls out there who are wanting to add a bit more vintage style into their lives. Goodness knows my mind is a treasure trove of information on the best vintage inspired (V.I.) fashion and reproduction vintage brands, some of which are common knowledge, but some of which aren’t, and should be! I’m calling it ‘V.I. Buys’, and though many of these will be actual reproduction vintage, ‘V.I. Buys’ has a better ring to it, I feel!

So, without further ado, here is the first instalment of my new feature!

First up, it’s the new line of 1940s swing trousers from UK designer Vivien Of Holloway:

They’re a slightly different cut to her original 1940s sailor style ones, with pleats and no buttons. I need to go in and try some on, and get myself one of the cute peasant tops, too!

Next, some very vintage inspired tops from my favourite high street shop, Dorothy Perkins.

I actually have some of these myself: the lilac pointelle cardigan and the black fluttersleeve top, which, although is a bit too low cut to pass for anything but a modern top, does have those lovely 30s-inspired butterfly sleeves. DP do marvellous knitwear, and lovely detailing like pintucks and bows, and best of all, it’s really good quality … unlike some other highstreet brands.

The ditsy print tie-front blouse would look wonderful with some cream high waisted trousers, or with some red sailor shorts from Tara Starlet for a summery pinup girl look:

This is a good alternative to a playsuit, too, if like me, you have a long torso! The red wedges are also from DP, and have a nice small peep-toe, which is more authentic than the wider ones you often see … unless you’re going for a 70s look! I thought they’d go brilliantly with a wicker handbag, either in white to match the buttons, or natural to match the raffia of the wedge. What do you think?

And if you’re looking for a skirt to wear with your vintage inspired knitwear, look no further than the wonderful Sophistikitten. In her own words, “Sophistikitten started from a love of the fashion and style of the 1930s, 40s and 50s and a search for the perfect pair of French knickers.

Sophistikitten is based in England and all items are lovingly designed and made to order in house. Garments are not mass produced in sweatshops by exploited workers which means that you, the customer, can order a unique, quality item with a clear conscience.

In crafting the ranges I can indulge in my love of high quality materials. Searching for the perfect fabric means that I am able to offer you clothes in materials hard to find in mass produced garments. Beautiful gabardines, crepes, silks and satins form the basis of my collection. From time to time I am also able to offer unique vintage material.”

If her vintage style french knickers, made from stunning, authentic materials, weren’t enough, she introduced Sophistikitten’s Skirt-O-Matic last year. Offering fully-lined pencil skirts with customisable trim and detailing like belt tabs and embroidered arrowheads, these skirts are a true work of art… and I have no idea why I don’t own one yet!

Photos are © Sophistikitten and Vanessa Whyte, model is the glam Miss Honey Lulu.

That’s all for now, let me know what you think of my new feature, and if it’s a success, I’ll be back next week with more!

I hope you all have a wonderful long weekend, and make sure you scoff lots of chocolate, won’t you?

Tinkety tonk!

Fleur xx

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Fame and flapjacks

Some of you elegant coves who are friends with me on Twitter and Flickr will have seen this already, but…

I’m just so excited to say that I am on the cover of The Chap magazine! My first ever cover, and on such a spiffing publication! It’s out today, so if you’re a Blighty resident, do pop along to your local branch of Messrs. W. H. Smith and co. and see if they have a copy. There’s a whole photostory inside, featuring me as an elegant diamond thief! I will have all the photos soon, so I will definitely be posting them here. On the same subject, Mr Gustav Temple recently announced details of the next Chap Olympiad, which is to return to Bedford Square Gardens on Saturday July the 11th. I may very well be officially involved in some way this year, but will be attending whatever happens, so make sure you keep the date free, and under no circumstances embark upon any training!

Another event to enter into your social diaries is the return of the infamous Burlesque Brunch, also known as the most glamorous and decadent way to spend a Sunday.

Since Miss Tenacity Flux and Ivor Fancie took some time off to produce an heir, the Brunch suffered a slight hiatus but it’s now back and we’re all raring to entertain you! Starting this Easter Sunday at The Last Days Of Decadence in Shoreditch, the Brunch is a bi-monthly event featuring a delicious slap-up brunch, Afternoon Tea and cakes, fashion shows by yours Truly and the divine Miss Cherrylicious, plus, of course, three outstanding burlesque acts. There’s also the utterly indescribable Orange Battle – check the link for more information on that! All in all, it promises to be an utterly fantastic day and, we hope, the start of many more to come at our new home. Tickets are very, very limited by this stage, so if you want to come along, please don’t waste a moment!

Talking of food, here’s some I made earlier!

I absolutely adore cooking and baking, and luckily the man likes everything I bake, if not everything I can cook (he is super fussy)! His favourite is my flapjack recipe, but I also make a mean shortbread, super fattening chocolate brownies and white chocolate blondies, white chocolate and strawberry muffins, oatmeal, apple and raisin cookies … the list goes on. I thought I might share my favourite recipes with you all, starting today. To make delicious flapjacks, this is what I do.

Click the picture if you would like a big one to save and use – don’t forget to let me know how it turns out if you do!

Bye for now!

Fleur xx

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The joys of spring

Self portrait
Originally uploaded by fleurdeguerre

… I am full of ’em! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend? I did, in fact, it was the best I’ve had in ages and not even Monday morning can dampen my spirits.

On Friday night, I finally went to see Watchmen. As a huge comics nerd I’ve read the graphic novel several times, and was looking forward to the film for a really long time. It only took me so long to go and see it as my boyfriend inconsiderately went to see it in New York, in IMAX, and didn’t think it was that amazing, so I had to practically beg him to see it again with me. I could have gone on my own, but I never have time in the week and I’m with him at weekends, so tough luck for him, heehee! I have to say, that apart from the very cringey sex scene between Nite Owl and Silk Spectre, I really enjoyed it! I thought it was very faithful to the original material and liked what they did with the end more than the end of the book. Blasphemous perhaps, but never mind.

Saturday saw me at the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair as mentioned in my last blog, helping out at the Queens of Vintage stand. I went with the aim of just being on hand for vintage styling tips, but ended up doing some styling myself! I’ve only done hair on one other person before, so I was really nervous, but the girls seemed pleased, and that’s what counts right?

I’d certainly never attempted short hair, but the adorable Norwegian girl Henrietta (in the last one) luckily loved the result!

One of the most gorgeous gals I know, Lisa was there, with absolutely no need to be made over! She was crowned a ‘Queen of Vintage’ by the girls, never has a title been more deserved! Do head on over to the Queens of Vintage site for more photos, all taken by the talented Katy Chan.

I also spent a while in a beautifully sunny park, being interviewed by the super sweet Kitty Killer for a piece she’s doing, which was my first ever proper interview. I think I gabbled on rather too much, but hopefully that was help rather than hinderence – I’m sure it’s best to have too much material than too little. Keep an eye on her blog for the interview to go up there.

Saturday night, I went for dinner with my lovely man to Sophie’s Steakhouse and had a delicious chateaubriand, then off to see some friends at the Phoenix Artist Club. Sunday consisted of watching the Grand Prix, brunch at a café in Knightsbridge, and a leisurely drive back to … er … play Fallout 3 all afternoon! How civilised, haha. We also discovered the fabulous and very retro Cupcake Emporium, which has recently opened a stone’s throw from my chap’s place. We actually went in there for brunch, but didn’t realise they literally only served cupcakes and a small selection of sandwiches – fantastic for afternoon tea, but not so much for brunch so we went elsewhere. I hope to go back and sample their delicious looking cakes.

So that was my weekend. My good mood was compounded when I woke up this morning to discover I had won yet another Swirl dress – the very last of this particular Swirl binge, I promise. This one is rather special as it’s a very early one. It’s a ‘Ty-Wrap by Swirl’, which, according to the previously linked and excellent article by Fuzzy Lizzie is a 1940s one, being the same in cut and style as the one at the top. It was listed as 50s on eBay, and shown with a crinoline in the main gallery picture. And, well, it’s a little loud for some perhaps, which is why it was such a bargain! But I love it – can’t wait to get it. I am hoping it doesn’t go wandering like the gorgeous black velvet suit I got from Violetville Vintage (a few posts back), which has never arrived. Gutted is an understatement. Luckily the fact that this Swirl was a total bargain (unlike the suit which was a total investment *sniff*) means probably no customs, so fingers crossed for speedy delivery.

That’s all from me for today, except to say that I’ll be back soon to post my very first ever magazine cover picture, and to bring you information about a new weekly feature I’m going to be doing here at Diary Of A Vintage Girl, in an effort to make this blog even more helpful and informative for vintage fashion devotees. Hope you all enjoy your start to the week.

Pip pip!

Fleur xx

PS. Yay spring! Photo is by Kitty Killer.

My fair outfit:
Blouse, wicker handbag and jacket (on the ground) – vintage, Trousers – Heyday!, Shoes – Rocket Originals

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Morning all!

So, despite not having bought a proper lens for my camera, I decided to try and take a shot of myself in my new Swirl after my efforts to make it wearable paid off. I wish I had remembered to take a ‘before’ shot of it, because the transformation was actually amazing. When it arrived, it was so grubby I thought it was actually a pale peach rather than pink – it was only the pink stitching that gave it away. It was particularly bad around the hem and the ties and I was slightly worried it was going to be hard to get out. It had also been taken up by around an inch, which I was over the moon to discover, as when I tried it on, it was only *just* long enough. I mean, I am not so fussy that I won’t wear something that falls at the knee – one of my other Swirls does, but I prefer it to fall just below.

So I set to work, unpicking the hem, removing all the leftover thread. There was some very slight fading but nothing major or obvious. It took a while as it has quite a full skirt … and I did feel guilty at the thought of how long it must have taken to do in the first place!

Then I mixed up a bucket of Vanish Oxi Action Multi, which has to be the best invention known to man. The Crystal White one is what I use on my white towels and bed linen, but though it would no doubt be even more effective I didn’t want to fade the embroidery, so I stuck with the colour safe one. I left the dress sitting in the bucket for two hours, coming back to swish it a bit and poke the bits sticking out back in! And what a transformation! The water turned beige and the dress emerged a delicate rose pink. I then put it in the washing machine* for a delicate wash with another scoop of Vanish and voila! A day hanging to dry and an iron, and it came out looking like this!

I am so pleased with it! (And with my new black hair, though I look really pale before I’ve put on my lipstick. It’s only semi-permanent though, after all the stripping and dying I endured last time, I’m not going there again!) And I’m not *entirely* unimpressed with my camera – it’s not the sharpest picture ever, but not bad for a first try with a kit lens (from an ancient NON digital SLR). And I can’t WAIT for it to be warm enough to wear.

* Some of you may be gasping with horror at the thought of me washing it in the machine – but I wash all my vintage cotton dresses that way. Swirls in particular were made to be machine washed, and I am very careful with my cycles. But, at the end of the day, I buy these dresses to *wear*, and this necessitates proper washing.

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to come and say ‘Hi’ if you pop along to the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair this Saturday. I’m really looking forward to it. The gorgeous Sapphire Island is the 40s waitress at the Lady Luck Pop Up Tea Shoppe, and I can’t wait to meet her again! I will be back Monday with updates galore.

So until then, pip pip!

Fleur xx

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Affordable Vintage Fashion

Afternoon all!

I just wanted to let all you Londoners (who don’t already!) know about the first ever London edition of the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, which is taking place this Saturday from 11am at the Fym Fyg Bar, Bethnal Green.

I was asked by the great gals over at Queens of Vintage if I would come and spend some time at their vintage dressing room inspired stall, and of course I jumped at the chance! I will be on hand from about 12pm for tips on anything from vintage hair-styling, to bargain hunting. You can have your hair and makeup done by their stylist and even have your photo taken by a professional photographer. Who knows, you could even be appearing on the site as their next ‘Vintage Queen’, so please do stop by and say hello.

There are tons of other fantastic things to see and do at the fair, including eating delicious cakes at the Lady Luck Pop-up Tea Shoppe. Can’t wait. See you there!

Fleur xx

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All new weddings-a-go-go

Well, following my epic 8 (I think … I lost count) weddings last year, the new year of nuptials has begun in earnest with me attending no less than two last weekend. I think it’s just that I am ‘that age’, with my girlfriends from my college and university days all marrying the partners they’ve been with for 4, 5 or 6 years. I find all the weddings I attend very emotional for several reasons. It’s wonderful to see my friends so happy, with men who clearly love them dearly (the groom on Friday was trying, and mostly failing, to contain his emotion during the ceremony and the speeches, it was adorable. *sniff* ) but it’s also hard to see so many leaving their earlier lives behind and entering this new stage; I can’t help but feel slightly bereft. But the joy far outweighs any other feelings, not to mention the tasty grub and free-flowing booze that invariably accompanies such events! And of course, I get to dress up!

I went with a black, white and red theme on the Friday, not too much of any one of those colours (which, as we know, can be frowned on at a wedding. Not so much these days of course!)

I wore a dress dating from 1946 with an early 40s red jacket over the top (I wore a red pashmina wrap thingy when inside), complete with red bakelite cherries brooch and red Rocket Originals wedges and nude seamed stockings. I did take a full-length shot and have cleverly forgotten to upload it to Flickr, so I will update this post when I have done so. But you can see my whole dress in this shot of the Bride and Groom… in which I was caught unawares!

I was wearing matching red bakelite screw-back earrings when the day started, but an over-effusive cheek kiss with an old friend caused one to break apart and almost fly into my glass of bubbly! Well actually, it was orange juice since I was driving. Luckily I had another pair in my handbag. Always prepared for vintage mishaps, me! Haha.

The second wedding, I wore the same jacket, shoes, and in fact hair, but wore a light turquoise vintage blouse and cream trousers. Hopefully some pictures will emerge, but I’ve not seen any yet. You’ll have to use your imaginations!

I’ve bought a couple of new vintage dresses recently, both by my absolutely favourite brand, Swirl. If you have never heard of Swirls, have a read of this very informative article by the VFG’s Fuzzy Lizzie about them. I now have 5 including the two on their way to me. The first of the two is pink and looks similar to the pink gingham one in the article, except solid. Sadly the seller has deleted the pics already so I can’t show you. However it was a super bargain due to it being slightly discoloured, hopefully nothing a soak in Oxy Clean won’t fix. The second is this one:

I love the autumnal colours! I think I will wear it with a new pair of wedges from Rocket Originals that I have my eye on. The Connie in green:

The green isn’t a perfect match onscreen, but the reality might be different. We shall see. What do you think?

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Fleur xx

PS. Don’t forget this Saturday is the next instalment of the fantastic Blitz Party. I wish I could make it, but if you go, let me know how it was! F

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Well that’s settled then!

The vote for whether I should do Daily Outfit posts was unanimously a ‘Yes’! So I will get my camera sorted and my apartment kept presentable and start doing them within the next month or so. My new lens will also enable me to do some vintage hair tutorials, which I’ve been asked for on several occasions. Just one thing – you all have to promise not to be highly disappointed in me when you see how un-vintage and un-finished my flat is! I’m talking half-painted doors and no kitchen floor! Ooops! 🙂

Today is an example of a day when I would not be doing a Daily Outfit post, because I am really not happy with my outfit today. Let me describe it to you. In fact, let me change my mind and make this the first of my Daily Outfit posts. I’m going to start on a low (so it can only get better from here!) and go take a (bad) picture with my iPhone, in the loos. Very glamorous! But I just wanted to show an example of how I almost get it right, then it goes horribly wrong at the last minute!

Today I am wearing: A pencil skirt made for me by Shona of Heyday, a flutter sleeved top from Dotty P, BLACK ( D: ) stockings from What Katie Did and shoes I got from a dance shop somewhere.

Can you see which part I am not happy with? I had to open a pair of black seamed stockings this morning because I didn’t have a clean pair of nude or nude with black seam ones. Now, I am clearly in a minority here, because I never, ever wear black stockings in the daytime. Not black fishnets either. It just feels wrong to me – they are for the evening, in my book. And they CERTAINLY don’t feel right when the sun is shining, perhaps if it was the middle of winter, I’d feel better about it. I should have changed when I realised I had no nude ones, but I tend to faff over outfits and I couldn’t be late for work. I also feel rather like a goth with the amount of black. Fail!

I’m happy with my hair and makeup today though. My hairdo is just one of my quick and easy numbers as I didn’t have time to wash and set it last night after swing dancing. Three small rolls in the front and a black chiffon headscarf. HOWEVER! The headscarf look really goes best with casual 40s trousers rather than a tight pencil skirt. But my hair needs a wash so it was Hobsons in regard to hair today.

So there we have it. A semi-unsuccessful (in my eyes) outfit, and my first D.O. post ever. I promise the quality will improve for the next one. 🙂

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Dear body,

It’s been almost two weeks, why can’t you shake off this lurgy? Honestly, I am one of these people that’s hardly ever ill, and I don’t think I’ve actually been 100% *well* so far this year. I’m still waking up with a mouth like the Sahara because my nose is completely blocked. Bah!

Anyway. My lovely man has scarpered off to New York, again, leaving me bereft for another week. So I spent this weekend ruining my diet at my parents’ house, and then embarking on a mammoth spring clean of my flat. This was partly due to the fact that despite Frontlining my cats every month, I combed one and found he still had some fleas. So that was it, I removed all the furniture from my bedroom (the only room with carpet), blitzed it thoroughly with spray and put everything back, but differently. I’m amazed at how much bigger it looks! I also reorganised my entire CD and DVD collections, stripped and washed the sofa cushions, and made vegetable soup from scratch. I am a domestic goddess! Or I would be if I hadn’t got so exhausted at 8pm that I had to stop without finishing the rest of the cleaning. Still, I will finish it over the next few evenings. I am still very pleased!

I was delighted to receive a new picture from Rebecca Parker the other day. She’d been going back through her shoots from last year and found one she just had to edit! I think it’s fab, but then I think everything she does is splendiferous.

A question for my readers … would you be interested in ‘Daily Outfit’ type posts from me? My main reasons for not doing them are that a. I don’t have a very good lens for my camera so it’s hard to take them in my flat and b. I don’t know if people would actually be interested! If enough people are, I will get myself a new lens and give it a go! So speak up now! 🙂

Fleur xx

PS. The good people responsible for last month’s wonderful Blitz Party have just announced the date for the next one; it’s on the 28th of March. Unfortunately I don’t yet know if I can go, but I really hope I can. It is bound to be just as fab as the last one, if not better!