Retrotrace Vintage Blog Pages

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

My life changed in a flash on 15th October 2015 after a diagnosis of terminal small cell lung cancer

My life changed in a flash on 15th October 2015 after a diagnosis of terminal small cell lung cancer. I have responded well to initial treatments of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and have high hopes of living with the disease for much longer than the original 6-12 month prognosis. I feel optimistic that I will achieve my target of being around to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday on 31st August. My next target is to be here to see her graduate in 2017.
My days of buying and selling vintage and collectables has been on hold, but I am now focusing on sorting and selling my stock, donating 50 percent of sales to cancer charities. Watch this space or follow my facebook page 

Thursday, 15 January 2015

How To Brighten Up Dull January Days

If your home is feeling dull and grey after the Christmas tinsel has been packed away, and the January weather is cold and daylight hours are still short, then why not check out the amazing pendant lights sale at Heal's.
A fantastic selection to suit all tastes. I particularly love the Tom Dixon range.

Retrotrace Vintage How to brighten a dull January day with Heal's lighting sale.
Tom Dixon range of pendant lights at Heal's
Retrotrace Vintage How to brighten up dull January days with Heal's lighting sale
Cohen Scandinavian pendants exclusive to Heal's
Vintage How to brighten dull January days with the Heal's lighting sale
FLY Transparent pendant light available in a range of bright colours

Sunday, 4 January 2015

I am now officially RETRO and VINTAGE !

I celebrated my milestone half-century birthday on 3rd January and can honestly say that I do not feel at all middle-aged! Maybe 50 really is the new 30 (or 40). I consider myself blessed to have so many happy memories to cherish, and feel excited about the future. Life has thrown me many challenges along the way, but I believe these have helped by to grow and learn. As summed up by the late, great Nora Ephron (who had much to say about growing old).......

Retrotrace vintage, retro trace, nora ephron quote in 6 words growing old, nora ephron, 50th birthday, growing old humor

So rather than being in denial about my age, I am proud to have reached my mid-century milestone. Sadly it is a privilege denied to many, and I consider each year and each decade a blessing. For loved ones and friends who are no longer here, I raise my glass to each and every one of you. A toast to friends past, present and future. Cheers!! May the future be bright for all of us.

Vintage lady, champagne, vintage celebrations, retrotrace vintage, 50th birthday, mid century birthday, retro

Friday, 22 August 2014

Best of British

I love this hand-lettered poster by Debbie Kendall celebrating all the quirky traditions and rituals that really are quintessentially British! 

Quintessentially British hand lettered poster by Debbie Kendall
Quintessentially British hand lettered poster by Debbie Kendall
Print maker Debbie originally created the poster for a competition themed 'All Things British'. It is inspired by vintage advertisements, Victorian engravings and 19th century typefaces.

The original pen and ink drawing is reproduced as a fine art limited-edition Giclee print. Each print is signed and numbered. The edition size (number of prints that have been produced) is just 20.

There are a few prints still available in the edition at a cost of £59 (unframed). They are printed to order and take around 2 weeks. Please contact Debbie via her website THE ENLIGHTENED HOUND to place an order or see more of her work.

Let me know if you can add more to the list of rituals and traditions.....! Feel free to add comments below

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Channel your inner vintage siren with this gorgeous Boden dress

I am loving the new dress collection at Boden, especially this Sixties Ponte Dress. A tulip shape frock with a Sixties-inspired cut in figure-flattering Ponte. Choose from chic stripes, classic Black and bright Fire Cracker.
Boden summer dresses vintage inspired
Sixties-inspired dress in Fire Cracker

A few more stunners .....

Retrotrace Vintage Blog Matilda vintage inspired dress Boden
Matilda vintage inspired summer dress

Retrotrace Vintage Blog Boden vintage inspired dresses
Summer Shift dress in the retro fifties-style Brown Riviera print

Visit their online store to see the fantastic full range including lots of new arrivals for the summer. I have been a fan of Boden since they first launched in 1991. Superb quality and also a great collections for men, children and babies.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Collectaholics: A curious mania indeed

The crazy, obsessive, frustrating and fascinating world of collecting!

"Collecting things is the world's biggest hobby: there are very few people who do not collect something, consciously or otherwise". - Hunter Davies 

I have always been a collector. Sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, but I have always been an accumulator of 'things'. Since my childhood days of collecting bottle top inserts in special edition glass pop bottles and cereal packet inserts in the early seventies, then novelty erasers, then postcards, progressing to button badges and NME magazines in my early teens, to my more selective and curated collections of today - vintage and mid century ceramics and glass, and modern first edition books - I have always been a 'hunter-gatherer' by nature!

What drives people to collect things? Why are some people minimalist by nature, and others hoarders and accumulators? It is something that has intrigued me over the years. So I was delighted to see that BBC2 had made a programme called COLLECTAHOLICS where presenters Mel Giedroyc and antiques expert Mark Hill visit collectors in their homes. From railwayana and beer cans in episode one, to taxidermy and - my favourite so far - condiment sets in episode 2! 

I loved the first 2 epidsodes and counting down to the next episode on Wednesday 2nd April at 8pm. Mark and Mel decide to take drastic action when they meet James, who is confronted by just how out of control his collection of 35,000 pieces of Star Wars memorabilia pieces is, when they are removed from his home and laid out in a 2,400 square foot storage facility. 



For another excellent (and funny) insight into this fascinating subject I strongly recommend reading CONFESSIONS OF A COLLECTOR by Hunter Davies 

Hunter Davies Confessions of a Collector Retrotrace Vintage Blog
Hunter Davies on collecting: "Once you are in its grip, it's like a love that lasts forever".

As a compulsive collector of items as diverse as comics, coronation mugs, British prime ministerial autographs and football memorabilia, Hunter Davies is well placed to write about the fascinations and frustrations of 'treasure-hunting'. 

In his inimitably enthusiastic and witty style, he describes how his collections came into being, tells some intriguing stories behind the items in them, and recounts his triumphs and disasters.

He also discusses the nature of the urge to collect, and states:

"At one level the act of collecting is simply the lazy person's inability to throw anything away; at another, it shines light into forgotten but fascinating nooks and crannies of our past."

And finally, I love this quote by Louis Auchincloss which I think sums it all up beautifully! 

Quote Collectaholics Retrotrace Vintage Blog

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


After the house move: unpacking boxes and sorting through inventory.

Following a house move and some major renovation works, I am finally getting round to unpacking my boxes of vintage stock items that have been stored away. It's like Christmas! Now to start sorting and photographing ready to list in my on-line store. Watch this space ....

Disneyana vintage collectable Disney figures
vintage games, vintage snoopy, vintage toys
Babbacombe Pottery Fox Phillip Laureston Vintage
One of my personal favourites- Fox string and scissor holder

Vintage string holder, fox string holder, frog string holder, pelican string holder, cat string holder, holt howard, babbacombe pottery, babbacombe pottery string holder, frog scissor holder, cat string holder
COLLECTION OF VINTAGE STRING and SCISSOR HOLDERS by Babbacombe, Holt Howard, Philip Laureston

Vintage hornsea tapestry, vintage meakin, vintage poole pottery, vintage thomas germany, carltonware denim
VINTAGE AND RETRO CERAMICS by Poole, Meakin, Corningware, Thomas Germany, Carltonware, Hornsea


Retrotrace Vintage jewellery and compacts
Selection of Compacts & vintage jewellery

Vintage Carlton Ware Denim Ware tea pot
Rare vintage Carltonware 'Denim' Teapot

Sklo Union glass vase Dartington Frank Thrower Daisy vase
Vintage Glass: Stunning Sklo Union and Dartington / Frank Thrower 'Daisy' vases

Retrotrace Vintage money box, vintage games
Just a small selection of my collection of money boxes and games