The best thing about vintage is that is covers so many decades and styles and inspires all kinds of creative activities. What's your vintage style and how do you make it your own? Write to blog@daisy-dog-vintage.co.uk

Reworking and reinventing

Tanya Kingston talks about bringing new life and form to unwanted books and paper

I have to confess to having always had an unconventional passion for books. I’ve always loved to read, but for me books offer so much more. I love the texture, feel, size, smell (nose dipping between the pages!) and even the ‘sound’ of books.

Booksy was an idea I conceived after studying Book Art & Design at university. I wanted to take all the skills I had learnt, together with my love of ‘the book’ as a physical object, and literally give new life and form to unwanted cheap books; to recycle and reuse for people to enjoy and appreciate.

I love visiting charity shops, vintage and flea markets picking up books, maps and paper to create all manner of literary gifts for any occasion. Even teabag envelopes come in handy, having created a range of miniature poetry books together with an authentic tea-leaf smell!

Recycling and upcycling is part of every day life today and I think it’s wonderful that we are living in an age that inspires us to embrace the second-hand in order to re-use, rework and reinvent.

See Booksy in the Rustic Directory

Rustic Farmers Market Party

A fun and easy vintage party theme idea by Fran Taylor

When we discovered that each cottage in our terrace was home to somebody with a birthday at the end of July we decided to have a massive joint birthday party to celebrate. It became an annual event - and although some neighbours have moved on and new ones have arrived, it's now a tradition. The Sunbeam Cottage Annual Birthday Party is alive and well with more than 20 of us having a great evening!

This year we've decided to have a theme - The Rustic Farmers Market Party. The girls got together recently to brainstorm ideas and recipes and this is what we've come up with. So if you've done Bollywood, 60s and Great Gatsby themes, why not give this one a try next!

Rustic Farmers Party table setting

The food:
Locally sourced from farms and farmers markets (and no, Morrisons doesn't count as locally sourced!)
Traditional pies and sausages
Local ham and cheeses with our own homemade pickles and rustic bread in a basket
Home grown veggies from our gardens and allotments
Rhubarb Crumble, Gooseberry Fool and Strawberries and cream - all from our own fruit bushes
Scrumpy, local beers, homemade wine and Elderflower champagne

The decorations and entertainment:
Straw bales with woolly rugs
Bunting, candles in flower pots, garden flowers in jam jars
Mismatch plates and bone handled cutlery
Vintage gingham tablecloths and napkins
Music by The Wurzels, Dolly Parton and more

Dressing up:
For the guys - jeans and Rydale check shirts, welly boots and cloth caps decorated with mud and straw
For the girls - flowery summer frocks, straw hats with flowers and welly boots

Why a costume jewellery brooch is a 'must have' accessory!

by Eve Rowat of Eve Rowat Silver and Vintage Jewellery

Modern jewellery simply doesn't have the charm, personality and charisma of a vintage piece. Vintage crystals have a special sparkle about them because of the way they were made back then, and some of the greatest jewellery design houses were at their peak of inspiration and innovation in the 1950s and 60s. You can buy modern look-alikes, but they're just not the same!

Quite apart from the fun you'll have rummaging in antiques and collectors fairs or in one of our wonderful local emporiums, a costume jewellery brooch or necklace won't cost a fortune (unless you opt for a truly high end vintage piece). Expect to pay from just £15 for a good quality vintage brooch, although you might pick up a bargain at a boot fair!

Your vintage find will turn the simplest outfit into something truly special. Imagine, for example, a huge crystal brooch on the lapel of a smart jacket with a crisp white shirt and jeans. Or picture it cheering up a winter coat on a dull, wet day! And, of course, it's the perfect way to ring the changes with your favourite LBD. Another bonus is that you're unlikely to see anybody else wearing the same one!

Eve Rowat vintage brooch

If you want to check out the gorgeous range of vintage brooches, necklaces and silver jewellery that I have on offer then you'll find me at the Oxted Community Market on the second Monday of every month. The Market is open every week from 10am to 1pm at Oxted Community Hall.

I also have pieces at Warlingham Village Hall Market (last Friday of the month) 10am to 3pm and a cabinet inside Lovingly Made Vintage Garden and Home Boutique, The Homestead, Copthorne Road, East Grinstead RH19 2QQ (open 10am to 4pm Wednesday to Saturday) next to Doves Barn.