Sunday, 22 February 2009

Swell times

Hello there!

How was your weekend? Mine has been nice and chilled - I saw Slumdog Millionaire (WOW, by the way!) and also made a couple of new pieces!

Times, they are a chain-ging! This necklace is a beast - made from a vintage pocket watching, hung on vintage dark brass and faux pearl chain. Unfortunately the pocket watch no longer works, but it's so bold and beautiful that it doesn't need to be practical!

A diamond era! This bracelet has a real 60s feel to it. It's made from a vintage broach, hung on vintage brass chain - a real statement piece.

So what are your thoughts? As always, your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Both of these pieces are available at my Swell Vintage etsy shop, so pop over and have a browse if you fancy it -

I'm ever so excited for the Dress Up IFB party for London Fashion Week tomorrow! I know that the lovely Mademoiselle Robot has been working super hard, so needless to say it's going to be an amazing night. If you're there, please come and say hi to me! I can't wait to meet my fellow fashion lovers!

Have a lovely week, one and all!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Swell webbing

Good news, everyone!

My little website is finally live - hooray! is GO!

Wanna see? Click this photo I took of some of my favourite pieces below:

So what do you think? I'd really love some feedback, so please don't be shy. Personally, I'm really happy with it. I has the exact look and feel that I want for Swell Vintage - the idea behind it was "rooting through your Grandma's attic". My extremely talented and clever friend, Mark Pavey, made this for me. If you want to see more of Mark's wonderful work, visit his website at

If you have anything you'd like to say that you don't want to post here, or if you just fancy a chat, you can now email me at

In other news: IT'S NEARLY FRIDAY!

What are your lovely weekend plans?

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 15 February 2009

Swell tagging

How is it Sunday already?!

Hello, my lovelies! And how was your Valentine's day? I had a very romantic date with my hair dresser, and got a fringe!

**Apologies for the extreme close up!**

It's a big change for me, so I'm pretty scared! But on the whole, I'm quite pleased...although a bit paranoid it's made my face look a bit fat...ANYWAY....

Keeping with the theme of self-indulgence, the wonderfully stylish Couture Carrie and Emily at Deranged, My Love have tagged me to answer personal style questions - so here goes!

Describe your personal style: Ohh this is a toughy. I like to think of my style is quite relaxed and chic. I like classic cuts and, of course, plenty of vintage. I aim to look like a librarian most of the time.

What are the staples in your wardrobe?: These would be vintage dresses, skirts and flats. I need to start investing in heels. I also love a good cardi.

What's your signature look?: A typical Frankie outfit = vintage dress/vintage skirt & long sleeved black top combo, long cardigan (probably from topshop), black opaque tights, ballet pumps and usually one of my own necklaces. I am a human sandwich board for my stuff.

What inspires you?: Oh, so much! It can be anything for me - old films, 20s-30s fashion, Agatha Christie books, Etsy, old photographs, style blogs, beautiful food or a twee vintage print. I'm open to anything.

Who is your fashion muse?: I think about this a lot, and it's hard as I change my mind all the time. At the moment, I'm loving Daisy Lowe, Chloƫ Sevigny, Edie Sedgwick (always) and all of the women on ITV's series of Poirot. I'm also continually inspired by the style of my friends, especially Edith and Ruth. They take charity shopping to a whole new level.

Favorite purchase of all time: My laptop. It changed my life - my name is Frankie, and I am an internet addict.

Biggest splurge?: I don't tend to spend too much on clothes if I can help it (although I've been more than tempted from time to time). Again, probably my laptop. Although I am due a new one...

What's your beauty routine?: I try to keep it simple, as my skin can be a pain in the arse! I use a face wipe to get my make up off, then Dermalogica face wash, an Anne French cleanser/toner thing then moisturiser - Dermalogica for day, Olay for night. Wow, that's not very simple, is it?

What jewelry do you never take off?: A sterling silver t-bar bracelet, which was a gift from my Mother. Classic.

What are you wishing for?: Exciting times ahead. Especially in regard to my jewellery.

What are your obsessions?: At the moment, it's Twitter, Flickr, How I Met Your Mother, polaroid film, making lockets and fussing over my new fringe.

I hope that was at least a little bit interesting!

I am aware this post is probably too long already, but I just wanted to show you the latest Swell Vintage pieces:

Bo-dacious! This necklace is made from a vintage broach, hung on vintage faux pearl and brass chain.

This necklace is made from a vintage locket, which I adorned with a rather striking plate that I hacked off a vintage perfume bottle. I've hung it with a vintage faux pearl on vintage chain. But that isn't the best part...

You open it up, and it's a family locket! Complete with vintage photographs! Of course, these can replaced with photos of your own loved ones, but I think it adds a bit of character.

Both of these necklaces are available at my Etsy shop,

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that my post hasn't been too boring!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 8 February 2009

Swell Look

Happy Sunday once again!

As mentioned in my previous post, on Saturday 31st January I went to Look magazine's Fashion Swap. If you haven't heard of a fashion swap before, it's really a rather genius concept - you take along items of clothing or accessories that you don't wear anymore, you're allotted points according to the type of item/where it is from, and then you can use these points to "buy" other peoples unwanted goods.

I myself had never been to a fashion swap before, but as I never really need an excuse to go to Carnaby Street (so much great vintage round there), off I went!

So I arrived at the Look 'Boutique' on Broadwick Street at about 12pm. This was the Saturday before London was hit by excessive amounts of the white stuff, so needless to say it was a little nippy! I took my place in the queue and, despite the cold, morale among my fellow swappers was surprisingly high. Every time the queue moved a few paces, there was a resounding 'whoop' from the crowd, and even though there were clothes at stake everyone was very friendly.

I even made a couple of allies in the queue - Liz and Laura. They definitely helped to keep me going with lots of friendly banter, enthusiasm (there was plenty of, "Oh, we're definitely the next ones in!") and even a hot chocolate, so if you happen to be reading, ladies - we made it!

Thanks girls! Hope you like all the stuff you got.

After queuing for a pretty reasonable amount of time, we made it in. Each group of girls were limited to 30mins browsing time, which may sound like more than enough but you'd be surprised how quickly it goes. My war buddies and I parted ways, and I got stuck in. With "you could wear a belt with it" as my mantra, I started digging for styles and fabrics that I could either harvest for parts or, indeed, wear with a belt.

So how did I do? Overall, I'm pretty pleased with my loot. I got a few good bits that I can work and have a little play with. Here are the bits I'm most proud of:

This faux-leather brown jacket is big on me (a size 16) but I figure at least I can wear plenty of layers under it to battle the winter chill.

This grey cardie is really great quality, and - let's face it - you can't beat a good bit of knitwear! Plus I'm very addicted to grey at the moment.

This mustard coat is missing a few buttons, but I prefer to add my own buttons to items anyway so it's perfect for me. It's nice and vibrant, so hopefully it'll help brighten up those dreary London days.

When I pulled this oversized vintage tartan jacket out of my bag, my Mum and sister were horrified - but they can't see the potential. Yes, it is far too big for me, but I love to mix fabrics and add them as 'hems' to skirts, dresses etc. Plus, look at these buttons:

With the military featured heavily in the glossies at the moment, I know I'm going to have a lot of fun with these bad boys.

So here's the question - would I go to an event like this again? The answer is "yes", but I'd definitely be more prepared next time. Based on my experience, my advice would be to talk a couple of like-minded friends along. That way you can be all over the room at once!

Also, I've got to give big props to the Look magazine crew - they were faced with a lot of very impatient, clothes-hungry girls, and they managed to keep a friendly smile on their faces. Very impressive.

So thanks for reading! I'm going to be working on new pieces today, and will be posting all about them this week. Please come back!

Much love,

Swell Vintage


Sunday, 1 February 2009

Swell silver

Happy Sunday, one and all!

Did you have a lovely weekend?

Mine has been pretty good! I actually have lots to blog about (Look magazine's fashion swap, PLUS I need to complete the personal style questions the wonderful and brilliant Couture Carrie tagged me to do), but I'm going to dedicate this post to the jewellery I made today.

Both of these necklaces share similar parts and have a similar look and feel. They're slightly different to my other pieces, as I wanted to make some necklaces that are really easy to wear and will go with everything. I'd love to know what you think, so your honesty and your words would be greatly appreciated!

Dear Diane...this necklace is made from a vintage sterling silver locket, hung from a vintage do-dad with vintage faux pearl on vintage silver plated chain. Very lightly inscribed is the name 'Diane', and it has space for two photos inside. I like to think it's pretty special!

Shielded...never fear - I'll protect you! This necklace is made from vintage do-dads, hung on vintage chain with vintage faux pearls. It's very ornate, but I like to think it's still simple and wearable. What are your thoughts?

ALSO, I was so so pleased to hear that the brilliant Maria of Style Kingdom loved the necklace she bought from me! She was even kind enough to blog about and it post photos:

The rest of the photos can be seen here. Please take the time to have a look because Maria's blog is brilliant and she is a much better photographer than me!

I really enjoy gift wrapping all of my jewellery. In fact, it's quite worrying how much I enjoy curling ribbon...

Help me?

Thanks for reading. Will you be my valentine?

Much love,

Swell Vintage