Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Happy Little Discoveries for a Tuesday

Today has been a day of happy little discoveries. Firstly, I came across a single copy of the new issue of Pretty Nostalgic Magazine which I snapped up with glee. I love Pretty Nostalgic. I love everything from the matte paper which has a lovely scent (yes, I am sad enough that I sniff magazines as well as old books!) and a beautiful slightly muted colour palette, to the fact that they have kept their integrity by releasing it bi-monthly rather than monthly. I would much rather read a really good magazine less often, than read a padded, diluted magazine more frequently.

So, new magazine in bag, I decided to take myself into Marks and Spencer for a pot of tea. Sometimes on my lunch hour, I just like to take myself away from work, and decompress. A pot of tea in Marks and Spencer's cafe is actually a surprisingly nice way to do it. Although it is always bubbling with noise and people, it tends to be a happy noise. Your pot of tea comes with a tiny biscuit on the side, and the milk comes in a tiny china jug. I love to sip and read a book or magazine, or just people watch. Today I was struck by how many of the customers were ladies. There were older ladies who had clearly been friends for years, sitting and lunching and chatting. There were young Mums bouncing babies on their knees, and everyone just seemed happy.

It was on my way to the cafe that I made a particularly nice discovery though - our Marks has a new mini beauty hall. I can't put my finger on why, but something about it reminded me of a French Department Store. Perhaps it is that I have just finished reading 'Miracle on Regent Street' which is set in an old-fashioned department store, and also several books by Jamie Cat Callan, which are about capturing that French Woman magic for yourself. Perhaps it was just that there were several French brands on the shelves. Whatever it was, I was soon entranced by the shelves of products on display.

The perfumerie intrigued me with the elegant bottles. I spritzed on some violet scent from the most beautiful atomiser bottle - and although I love violets, it was rather too many pennies for my purse today. And in any case, my eye was then drawn to the botanical designs on the perfume bottles by Fragonard - in particular Vetiver, which I may treat myself to next pay day. It smells almost masculine to me, and reminds me of cedar and bergamot and musk, but also quite feminine at the same time.

The hair care products include some of the Philip Kingsley range. I have always wanted to try his legendary hair elasticizer, but I remember when I was going to order a sample from his website, the postage and packing was almost as much as the product. So not only did I not have to pay p&p, I discovered a trial sized set of elasticizer, shampoo and conditioner for only 50p more than the elasticizer on its own!

There were some shelves of makeup - I didn't recognise the brands, so want to do a little research before I think too much about them, but they looked nice. Several of the skincare lines were French, and again, I want to do a bit of research before trying any of them out.

The whole area seems really well chosen and curated - the kind of products that you don't see just anywhere a good range of prices, and somehow they have created an aura of prestige without making it intimidating.

My plan for this evening is to do the washing up, settle down with a pot of Ceylon tea, and read Pretty Nostalgic magazine while watching the sun slowly fade into the gloaming of evening. Wherever you are, I hope your evening is blissful too.

Love Mimi xxx

Monday, 10 June 2013

Newspaper Clippings

My love of magazines is well documented on this blog, I think. I also love to read newspapers, and to tear out articles to pass on to friends or family. I was at a family funeral last week, and the final reading was a poem that Aunty Enid had torn out of a newspaper and saved - they found it in a tin with some other bits and bobs. I like to think that when I am gone, one of my cuttings or tearings will flutter out of a book and be saved to be read at the funeral.

I cancelled my subscription to Mollie Makes magazine today. It isn't that I don't like the magazine anymore- although I do think it has lost its way from when it began - but I just can't rely on it to arrive. Once again, for perhaps the fourth or fifth time, I have spotted it in the shops and it just hasn't arrived at home. I love the early issues, but sadly I have found them less and less inspiring.

I was thinking about cancelling my only other subscription, to Homemaker, but the new issue of that did arrive and it was just charming, so I shall keep that up a while longer.

There are few other magazines that I buy regularly now. There have been a whole host of new craft magazines in the past few months, all in the vein of Making. I dabble and try one from time to time. I don't buy the Chap nearly so often now that they seem to have less room for the Chapette, and I went off Vintage Life some time ago as the content shrank and shrank.

It has been a while since I felt a real frisson as I discovered a new magazine. Marie Claire Idees still does it for me, but is so very hard to get hold of - perhaps that is why? Although I think that nothing will ever beat a proper print magazine, there are some truly fantastic online magazines available. My heart skipped a beat when I discovered Hey Doll magazine today http://glossi.com/vavoomvintage/4197-issue-one-february and best of all, there are 5 issues to read - and even more incredibly, they are free!

Mum recently gave me several bags of magazines from where she was having a clear out, and we talked about how much we both love a good magazine. She said that it was her Aunty Mollie who gave her the taste for them, when she was a teenager. It is the same Aunty Mollie who used to let me play with a tea set and use sugar-strands for the 'tea', so as well as being responsible for our love of magazines, I think she sewed the seeds for my love of tea, too! Amongst the magazines that Mum gave me was a bag of torn-out articles and recipes and craft ideas from women's magazines from the last 40 years or so. Some made me smile slightly sadly - there were several about feeding your family cheaply, from when I know now she must have been up against it - and some made me smile happily to see old favourites in print. Intriguingly, I found a recipe for 'Naomi Bars' (my given name) that I mean to make one day soon. I have never heard of them before!

There really are very few things nicer than settling down with a pot of tea and a new magazine. I would love one day to bring an idea I have had simmering in my mind to life. I have an idea for a newsletter-magazine-thing called The Teapot Times...it would be one sheet of A3 paper, and origamied up into a little square, and tied with ribbon to a teabag. I can see the logo in my mind - a teapot pouring out a stream of flowers, buttons, pins, spools of thread, etc. One day, I will have to bring it to life. But for now, the kettle is calling.

Love Mimi xxx