Red in a blue room has the same effect. It sparks. It’s a catalyst for some kind of explosive event. But the whole experience is calmed down by the blue. It’s as thrilling as fireworks, but you can live with it. Whereas a red room can be too intense: a little disturbing.
I suddenly decided it would be a good idea to take part in the Penge Jumble Trail this year about 4 days before it kicked off. If you haven’t heard of jumbletrail.com and you like shopping bric-a-brac (or searching for Sindy doll treasures), go and check it out now. It’s a really useful website where you can either organise your own jumble trail, or look for upcoming jumbles. You select an area and then invite people to join in. In America they call it a garage sale – in the UK we sometimes call it a yard sale but basically you set up a stall outside your house. Obviously it works better if other people are doing one on your street or nearby on the same day and that’s where jumbletrail.com comes in handy.
Luckily someone from another postcode was looking to partner up for a stall in my area and I had some company – not sure how I would have managed otherwise as I seemed to spend the whole day running in and out. I whizzed over to the local supermarket and bought 8 lemons and made real lemonade which went down well. The trick to the recipe is blending the whole lemon, pips, pith, skin and all. Then straining it out. With the sugar it gets that super-tangy bitter sweet taste. Since it was a blasting hot day, cold drinks went down well. My front garden is South facing with no shade, so we lashed an umbrella to a post and huddled under it.
My jumble-buddy Jane (who it turned out I’d been calling Kate all day aaagghh bit dyslexic), brought her daughter and she adopted one of my Sindy dolls. I’d put a bag of rejected dolls out, including quite a nice Sindy with somewhat loose hip joints and a missing little finger. Sarah (not her real name but since I’m posting her picture) must have been around 10 years old and worked really hard on the stall with us all day and sold a lot of books for her Mum. Very patient! Instead of getting bored, she started playing with Missing Pinky and assembled a very stylish purple outfit with matching white petticoat, ballet shoes with string ties and a purple bow. It’s funny because I’ve collected over a 1,000 fashion doll clothes since February; I’ve washed and ironed and kept almost all of them except for about 20 rejects put out in the jumble sale. And Sarah managed to make 2 or 3 great little outfits out of them. Fashion designer in the making?
I also sold a Sindy with funny discolouring on her face to a local lady who turned out to be an avid Sindy collector (60s period) with an expertise in hair rerooting. So I’m going to be back in touch with her to see how she transforms the Sindy.
Pengetout is a pop-up shop on Penge High Street. You will find it nestled amongst a fabulous selection of fried chicken shops and esteemed charity shops, next door to Press Gang printers (knock out an A1 poster at the eleventh hour) and Penge Bistro (genuine Italian nosh).
The shop was conceived and funded by Bromley Council as part of a scheme to grow business in the Penge area. They drafted in Sally Williams from Retail Revival Ltd, who is an expert in setting up pop-up shops and making them profitable. Sally has something of a no-nonsense Lord Alan Sugar approach to driving a business into profit – all to the benefit of the 9 or so traders currently selling their wares and ready to take the reigns themselves from September onwards.
I’m really happy to say that ShimmyShim has a guest slot at Pengetout throughout July.
Currently I’m trying lots of different products in the shop to see what appeals to Penge customers. Right now, you will find the full range of cards and two vintage Sindy sets (Sindy wall divider and Sindy scooter). And as already posted I’m setting up a temporary Sindy Museum on Saturday 22 July which should be fun.
OK I have to end a bit of a chicken shop diversion here to mention Chicken Shop clothing I WANT ONE OF THOSE Ts! I want to offer products that make you say I WANT ONE OF THOSE! Well certain fashion dolls, Sindy in particular certainly have that effect on some of you.
and The Pengest Munch only because it’s the Pengest. 2.5 million video views! Ordinary South London kid… Crazy.
I had the full range of Sindy vehicles at the Big O, but the Range Rover really stole the show. I guess it was a very famous car of it’s time and summed up everything about the infamous Sloane Rangers of the era.
It was amazing weather and a very friendly atmosphere. Most people came for a family day out. Very well organised and themed. It seemed to be marquees of different eras with the vintage stalls in the middle. The lady on the stall next to me did a roaring trade in hair ribbon bows. I noticed almost all the parents enjoyed buying these kinds of small presents for their kids and there were a lot of little girls with bows in their hair by the end of the day.
As with the So Last Century Fair, people were really attracted to ShimmyShim’s vintage toys, but more to look at and talk about than to buy. I keep coming back to the idea of opening a little museum!
Because the fair was featuring a vintage cars rally and a scooter parade, I decided to mirror that and I brought ALL my Sindy vehicles and dressed up some Sindys and Barbie’s rock star friend Derek from the mid 80s to go with them.
Red Sindy ‘Range Rover’
Orange Sindy caravan
Barbie / Sindy pink ‘cadillac’ Zima car
Red 80s Sindy sports car
White Sindy surf buggy with wave design
Yellow Sindy scooter
Sindy horse and trap (also sometimes called a Gig).
I decided to be ‘diverse’ and brought Sindy’s friend ‘Imani’. She was sitting in the pink Zima cadillac style car which all the guys (hmmm interesting I wonder why) thought was ‘Lady Penelope’s’ car. Some of them were a bit bemused that ‘Lady Penelope’ was suddenly a black woman, or at least one guy was. He said “Lady Penelope’s turned black!” but then looked a bit embarrassed. I guess he worried if he was being un-PC. Maybe he was.
A couple came by and chose the Sindy Range Rover towing the orange Sindy caravan to go in their newly decorated kitchen. I’m hoping they’ll post some pictures as it sounds like amazing decor with orange paint and a huge kitchen dresser full of vintage collectibles. I was glad to make a decent sale! Also sold some cards which were very carefully picked out by their buyers. I like to choose cards carefully too – you have to get exactly the right card for the person it’s going to and you just get a feel for it and a particular card will stand out, and you can picture your friend or loved one’s face when they see it and maybe imagine them commenting or telling a joke about it.
The festival celebrates suburbia through the decades. It’s billed as ‘Vintage with a Twist’ and will be a celebration of retro delights from the 1940s to the 1980s including caravans, cars and a scooter parade.
Man Bun Ken (as Twitter calls him – fair enough!) AKA Distressed Denim Ken is one of Mattel’s 15 new boy dolls revealed this week. They are all called Ken.
There’s Camo Comeback Ken, Cali Cool Ken, Super Stripes Ken, In Black and White Ken and the snappy sounding Preppy Check Ken. Some of the names are a bit perplexing. Cactus Cooler Ken sounds like he either has a bum like a pin cushion on a hot day or perhaps he does all his gardening in the fridge? Get the full list at UrbanDaddy.com
I am impressed with the range. They do look cool. Interesting to compare with Lammily’s male doll currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Lammily did their own comparison with Ken, but that was a year ago – before Mattel launched this new, more diverse range.
I have to say, although I bought the first ever Lammily doll because I respected the idea of making a doll with ‘typical human proportions’, she is a bit dowdy and her male equivalent looks similar. He’s probably a really interesting guy once you get to know him, but from the outside he comes across so average that he’s bland. Real doesn’t necessarily mean average. For example, who has 2.4 children? That might be the average but it’s not real! Real people have quirks – that’s what gives them personality. Such as a man bun for example. Each of the 15 Kens has some feature which makes him interesting. There used to be one Ken trying to be a happy medium and now there are a group of dolls, like real people, with funny character traits.
Mattel’s dolls are more idealised, but then fantasy and ideals of beauty have always been around. In some ways it’s good to have an ideal body image to aim for when you’re deciding between going for a run or sitting on the sofa. So long as your sense of worth doesn’t depend on matching that ideal. Your own personal best is the ultimate ideal and Mattel’s dolls seem to reflect that. They have chiselled jaws, but somehow they seem to say more about personality.
For a fascinating insight into the Mattel team and the processes behind designing the range of Ken’s checkout this GQ article The Ken Doll Reboot by Caity Weaver with fantastic photography by Spencer Lowell.
What do you think of the 15 new Ken dolls? Bland? Idealised? Or do they have personality?
I’m fascinated by these two 60s dolls from Japan. They seem to match with their amazing beehive hair styles and musical chairs, although they each have unique details. The bride has mitten like hands whilst the dark haired doll has hands with fingers (a tiny bit claw like where the wire has poked through). They are both terrifyingly demure. The bride has extremely high heels. Weirdly they remind me more of sad broken Chinese feet from days past than Japanese style shoes.
I wonder if the dark haired doll is like a mother or aunt figure? Perhaps she was the matchmaker for the wedding?
They will both be available to buy at the ShimmyShim stall at the So Last Century fair on Sunday 11 June. Hope to see you there!
And I was so excited to see the first order within a few hours, especially since it takes time and patience to attract lovely customers (like you) to a brand new Etsy shop with a brand new business.
It turns out that my first ever customer was a local fellow and friend who shares a love for miniature things. His home is quite the cornucopia of vintage treasures as me and my boyfriend discovered when we visited for a bit of dinner a few weeks ago. First print has definitely gone to a good home : )
More art prints to come on the shop – I’ll be releasing at least one per week over the next 12 weeks.
And you will be able to come and buy selected micro-vintage collectible objects at the upcoming ShimmyShim market stall