Betty, Vintage Life, Mollie Makes, Homes&Antiques

I read far too many magazines and am fairly indiscriminate across the glut of womens, health and lifestyle mags. From weekly Grazia and the occasional Heat to Health and Fitness, Zest, Womens Running and Yoga Journal via Elle, Red, Easy Living, Vogue and even Harpers Bazaar. The last three were cheap subscription deals in an attempt to save money and stop buying trashy weeklies and read something a bit more grown up. With Vogue and Harpers certainly, they do have some great essays and i feel like i do learn the odd thing about art or culture in between the millions of pounds of luxury brand advertising holding these magazines together.

The fashion and lifestyle portrayed by these magazines is however so far removed from me though – whilst i love fashion, i’m still sadly largely in mum/comfy jeans and jumpers most days still half-expecting to be covered in wee/poo/yogurt three years on and as £100 is my Ebay limit, i hardly qualify for the jet-set lifestyle required to maintain the image the glossy mags portray, and needless to say i am not quite *ahem* model size – that i have started feeling quite ridiculous for reading them and so have been looking for alternatives which are a bit more realistic, down to earth and more honestly reflecting my interests.

Before Christmas, after reading about Betty on Twitter (i think it may have been Lauren Laverne?) i ordered the Winter edition. A real treat and full of inspiring (and affordable) quirky, vintagey fashion, hair and make-up aswell as interviews with up and coming designers and great cooking recipes (i made the Tomato Chutney from their blog and it was fantastic). You should sign up to receive updates from their blog which are always lovely.

Another very recent discovery is Vintage Life, which does what it says on the tin. More gorgeous Vintage inspired fashion and lifestyle with a focus this month on Mad Men style and dressing for the rain but using vintage-bought pieces as well as affordable high street and reinforcing my love of the Mac, aswell as vintage hair-styling for the rain too. A fascinating piece on Josephine Baker, a great article on perfecting your cupcake icing (which i am Rubbish at) and some excellent event and retail listings. You can pick it up in WH Smith or subscribe.

Over the past year i have been making some (initially abortive) attempts at learning crafts and am currently on the way to finishing my first crochet blanket. So, looking for a bit of inspiration, a glance at the crafty section of WH Smiths generally leaves me feeling overwhelmed and/or old before my time. However, Mollie Makes is a beautiful magazine which includes a free crafty gift (the lst two issues have included a kit to crochet a flower brooch and some very pretty vintagey buttons). Its byline is ‘making, thrifting, collecting, crafting’ and includes inspiring interiors, projects and chats with designers, crafters and folk involved in making/finding beautiful things. The photography is just gorgeous throughout and whilst i haven’t started any of the projects yet, i’ll be keeping all the mags to give them a go in future. The current issue’s projects incude a cool beenie hat, slouchy slipper boots and a granny square cushion.

When at my folks, my mum inevitably has a pile of magazines about fantastic homes in the countryside and/or Cornwall aswell as Antiques. I normally leaf through these fairly quickly but the BBC magazine Homes & Antiques has been focussing more on vintage lifestyle and collectibles and whilst i normally just read my mums copy, i actually bought this months copy myself. Well worth picking up if you are interested in vintage homewares but also some great articles on vintage dress patterns and jewellery.

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