Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Long Hot Summer of Festivals

There's a chill in the air in the mornings now and it's definitely dusk by dinner time, which means one thing: autumn is coming. Something which I am pretty happy about. While I love the summer, I'm also looking forward to crisp mornings, digging out those chunky cardigans and cosy tights, kicking up leaves in the park, cooking big hearty meals and snuggling up on the sofa. Not to mention Halloween, Guy Fawkes and the run up to... no, it's too early for the 'C' word. But you get the idea. Autumn is a busy time for us at Minimum Mouse too, it's probably my favourite season for vintage clothes, beautiful wool coats, jazzy knitwear and tweeds are things that really were better in the past and we've been saving up lots of gems for you all. We'll also be hitting the road going to lots and lots of vintage fairs all over the country, and we love getting out and about and meeting lots of people, as well as seeing all the vintage trading friends we have made over the years. There is quite a gang of us mobile vintage salespeople, and they are the nicest people you could hope to meet.

But before summer slips away and is just a happy memory forever more, I wanted to take a moment to look at a few pictures of our adventures over the last few months. We traded at four festivals this year, Mostly Jazz, Secret Garden Party, The Retro Festival and Moseley Folk. We were blessed with amazing weather at every one, something we never expect and are so grateful for. Festivals are so much more fun when you don't have to fret about your stock getting soaked in the rain! In the UK we normally end up moaning about how disappointing the summer has been, but this year we really can't. We have had so many warm and sunny days, it has been such a treat.

We teamed up with the fabulous Second Hand Rose to trade at the festivals and had so much fun. Highlights of the summer included seeing Public Service Broadcasting's fascinating live show, spying on the filming of Midsomer Murders at the Retro Festival, pampering ourselves in the spa at Secret Garden Party, also the amazing fireworks over the lake at SGP, seeing Chic's crazy onstage party finale and finally Ocean Colour Scene playing their album Moseley Shoals in their Moseley homeland! We are 50% brummie after all.

We're off to Croatia in a couple of days to soak up a last few drops of summer sun before we have to get the knitwear out, so I'll speak to you on the other side!

Surely the most beautiful little festival in the UK. Lovely.
Our busy marquee at Retro Festival
Graffiti artists at Mostly Jazz
Festival season fuel

Our stall at Secret Garden Party
Cars and cases at Retro Festival

Best dressed couple ever?

The captain makes a friend, Public Service Broadcasting

Chic's onstage party
Clowning around
Lovely customers at Secret Garden Party

Shopping at Retro Festival

The ever stylish Clare Bridge
The captain of our ship

Friday, 6 September 2013

Autumn Dates!

It's that time of year when summer is drawing to a close and our attention turns to bringing out the autumn stock and getting back on the road. I was just taking a look at our calendar for the next couple of months, and exhausted myself! We are going to be all over the country between now and Christmas, from Exeter to Glasgow and most places in between. We're excited to be visiting some new places, taking Minimum Mouse north of the border for the first time and hitting more universities than ever before.

So, I hear you cry, when are we coming your way? Well, wonder no longer... (click for more info)

Saturday 7th - Leicester Vintage Fair at the Cathedral
Thursday 19th - St Mary's University College Vintage Fair, Twickenham
Saturday 21st - Bristol Vintage Fair at The Passenger Shed
Sunday 22nd - Exeter Vintage Fair at The Corn Exchange
Thursday 26th - University of Northampton Vintage Fair
Friday 27th - Judy's University of Leeds Freshers Vintage Fair, Student Union
Saturday 29th - Judy's Lincoln Vintage Fair, The Engine Shed
Sunday 30th - The Leeds Vintage Fair, The Town Hall

Wednesday 2nd - University of Kent Vintage Fair, Canterbury
Thursday 3rd - Royal Holloway University Vintage Fair, Egham
Saturday 5th - Southampton Vintage Fair, The Guildhall
Sunday 6th - Bournemouth Vintage Fair, The Pavillion
Tuesday 8th - Nana's Vintage Fair at Staffordshire University
Saturday 12th - Wolverhamption Vintage Fair, Wulfrun Hall
Sunday 13th - Cardiff Vintage Fair, City Hall
Saturday 26th - Scarborough Vintage Fair, The Spa
Sunday 27th - Cheltenham Vintage Fair, Town Hall
Monday 28th - University of Manchester Vintage Fair, Students Union

29th-1st December - Girls' Day Out, Glasgow SECC

6th-10th December - Clothes Show Live 2013, NEC, Birmingham

We still have a lot more dates to confirm in November and probably some for December too, so we'll update you again soon. Hope we will bump into some of you on our travels!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Vintage Treasure Hunting At Malvern Flea

We had a lovely day out at Malvern Flea on Bank Holiday Monday. I've written about it before, but if you missed it I'll fill you in - it's a big flea market that happens about once a month at the Three Counties Showground near Malvern, in Worcestershire. The stalls can vary massively in price, and vary from proper antiques through collectables to pretty much junk. We tend to focus on the 'pretty much junk' end of the scale, as we love bargains above all else! Here are some of the weird and wonderful things we spotted. (Apologies, the picture quality isn't great, I snapped them all on my iPhone as I didn't want to be lugging around my DSLR all day!)

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, we really did see a real stuffed bear, several rocking horses and disembodied legs, a kettle that looks like an apple, a surprised stuffed fox, Paul Daniels' Mystery Box, the Knight Rider annual, giant letters, and lots of cute doll related stuff. What more could you want from a day out, eh?!

It's such a fun place to visit as you really never know what you might find. Here's what we took home with us...

I'm a sucker for a bit of Cornish blue, those lovely blue and white stripes just look so homely and comforting. This teacup and saucer set was just £3.

These pretty embroidered tablecloths were just £3 each, I love the vibrant colours. They may be playing a part in our wedding... but that's another story for another day.

These (very creased) vivid green floral curtains are massive (actually too big for our bay window, I'm going to have to hem them) and bold and bright and happy and lovely. I'll have to post another picture when they are up.
These glass bottles are for a top secret wedding project which I can't speak any more about at the moment! I'm collecting lots of varied bottles and vases in a range of colours, which is a lot of fun. I love these medicine bottles and the beer bottle from Newport.

Finally, probably our most exciting purchase of the day, four 1970's retro garden chairs for £30.

I think we did pretty well, but managed to be pretty restrained at the same time. I could have come home with about a million things very easily. Have you ever visited Malvern Flea? Or can you recommend a must visit flea market near you?

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