Masters of Tinplate

When do you think tinplate toys began? In the 1920s, perhaps the 1930s? Try the 1880s. I was surprised too. Toys up till then had been mostly made the way Geppetto made Pinocchio, by hand carving wood; so cheap toys were often simplistic and crude. Even when metal was used, as in lead toy soldiers, the decorating process made manufacturing extremely labour-intensive. And even after tin toys first appeared, they too were painstakingly hand-painted, pushing up prices.

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Designing Vintage Gardens

There are many options to consider when it comes to designing your garden. From rustic inspired gardens that blend in with the surrounding environment, to ultra modern designs that adhere to the latest trends. One style that is increasingly popular is the vintage garden aesthetic. This harkens back to the traditional British garden that many recognise from old photos. Creating your own timeless garden is simple, as these 4 tips show:

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Woo Gilchrist
Shoulder to Shoulder

Considering how short a time the Suffragettes’ campaigned for Votes for Women, it is amazing how much memorabilia there is on the antiques market. Not only items produced by the movement itself, but commercially produced items showing support, showing contempt or – as with some of the German toys produced during this period – a sense of the amused observer.

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My Moonbase Alpha

Live your dreams, they say, and Catherine Bujold is certainly living hers. Welcome to the future! When it comes to design, some sci-fi fans draw the line at a Tardis moneybox and Star Trek pyjamas. But not Catherine Bujold. French- Canadian Catherine has transformed her home into her own Moonbase Alpha in hommage to classic 1970s TV show Space: 1999. And it’s not geeky in the slightest – it’s fabulous!

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Edna Martin - Swedish Textile Designer

As the VE Team textile officiando, I thought I would write a bit about one of my very favourite designers, who you may not have heard of.

Let me introduce you to Edna Martin (1908-2003) . Martin was one of the leading designers and a dedicated reformer of Swedish textile arts in the mid-twentieth century. She was also Director of Svensk Hemslöjd between 1945 and 1951, Artistic Director of Handarbetes Vänner from 1951 to 1977 and senior professor of art at the Royal College of Art from 1957 to 1969.

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Woo Gilchrist
The Krampus...

As you no doubt have guessed, we here at VE love the darker side of things.  We are drawn to the quirky and downright weird in fact.  We've been fascinated by the (mostly) northern European tradition of the 'Krampus' for some years now, and it seems to have been getting more popular now with some Krampus 'runs' being held in the UK.

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Woo Gilchrist
Marmite Musings

There are a few categories of collecting that will always have a love it or hate it reaction and taxidermy is one of them. Even the VE office is divided, but I’ll not let on who’s for it or who’s against it here.

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Alan Ashby
Stroke Me, Touch Me, Feel Me...

As well as the wonderful furniture and jewellery that we feature, there are also lots of great designs in vintage fabrics and I'm one member of the VE team that knows all about this, having being a fabric addict since I was a small girl. Let me tell you why I love fabric so much...

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