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10.12.12

57 We need to talk about vintage ...

The second Advent candle's lit.

We had excellent cheere, rare vintage, and were drunke after supper. Well, not me and the Mr, obviously, sadly that hardly ever happens here. No, it was Castruchio and chums who'd enjoyed some good wine, way back in 1604*. Fact: until long after Queen Victoria came to the throne the only thing commonly referred to as vintage was 'the yield of the vine'. To go vintaging was to gather grapes - at the vintage, that's where the time element came from - not embark on a shopping expedition.

Fast forward a bit and vintage becomes more about the when than the wine. Vintage stuff was new stuff once but it's old stuff now. How old, however, is open to debate. A vintage Daimler, for example, will have been made between the wars, but a vintage Dinky car any time between 1940 and 1980.

Members of the vintage community - we're talking subcultures not viticulture now - all born in the last century, often seem happy with a looser definition of the word: 'if, like me, it was created before 1990 and I like it, it qualifies'. Which seems fair enough, I'm not averse to a nice bit of last century vintage myself. What I'm struggling with is the notion that you can create your own vintage treasures. Surely vintage things have a history as an entity? If I make a new thing from bits of old things, vintage or otherwise - a time honoured occupation - isn't that recycling or repurposing?

The little zinc planter that houses my Advent ivy wreath reckons it's 'vintage' ... I guess the label wasn't big enough for the garden centre to add the word 'style'. And the candles are apparently 'vintage' white. Has the world gone mad?! Am I the only one bothered by vintage's bid for world domination**? Do please tell me what you think about it all.

Edited to add ... I just unpacked my weekly shop ... my Flash anti-bacterial household wipes are marked 'Vintage edition' ... I'm not going to tell you what I said on seeing that!

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Blogtopia is currently rife with Blogspot bloggers reporting unexpectedly hitting their image quota limits. This is apparently a known issue which Blogger is investigating. What seems less well known is that images sized to 800 pixels or less, top to bottom and side to side, are not included in your quota. PicMonkey has a free resize facility (it's listed in Basic Edits) that allows you to manipulate pixel numbers while maintaining the image's proportions. All images on knitsofacto are sized to 640 pixels max in either dimension, and after two years of blogging here I have used less than 1% of my image storage space. I do hope that's info that is useful to some of you.

Edit: for more detailed info on this see my response to Vintage Sheet Addict's comment below, and see Tess/Driftwood's comment if you really have hit capacity on image storage.

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* If you're of a sensitive nature you might not want to follow the link, it takes you to the text of a rather bawdy Jacobean comedy!

** Berocco produces a yarn they've named 'Vintage', it's 50% acrylic and 10% nylon ... that sounds about right then!

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57 comments :

  1. I think I may be classed as vintage now! ;)
    V x

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  2. As far as "creating your own vintage" goes, I think this is missed used. You cannot create true vintage, perhaps it would be better described as "vintage look" or something similar.
    I could say that I like vintage, but it could be very different to what someone else calls vintage. I am probably a "fake vintage" type person. I like things with a vintage or a retro look or feel, but don't generally like the actual stuff.
    And where retro is concerned, I definitely prefer a toned down version of it....and my retro is restricted to the 50's.

    A very interesting topic to be sure, with lots of different ways of looking at it. I think the vintage craze will pass (like everything does), and the trend followers will forget all about it, but the true vintage lovers will continue to love all things vintage.

    xx

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  3. Yes, I've struggled with that myself. My grandmother collected and sold antiques, the older the better. I grew up having to tip toe around a lot of her house for fear of breaking something priceless. My mother and I would go vintage, or as we called it, "junk" shopping when I was a child and I am just old enough and well trained enough to not consider something vintage unless it meets a certain criteria. Still, it seems "vintage" has gone the way that the word "green" has...it's getting stamped on everything!

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  4. I guess it only annoys people who know the difference! Commercially, some people will use a name or tag with whatever they think will sell, so there are those who will incorporate the name 'vintage' into as many tags as they are able to, to increase their sales figures.

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  5. I really like your pot of trailing ivy with the four Advent candles, such a pretty change from the usual wreath.
    Talking of vintage, true or false, have you noticed how some blogs on photography are giving (with the help of photo editing software)their photos the 'vintage look'? You get the scratched, worn away look, the faded look, the bent-corners and frayed edges look. How do you feel about that?!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, you spotted the tongue in cheek sepia effect ;)

      I think if it has a place in what you're doing - my Taking Tea with Miss Havisham photos for example - then it's fine. And as with anything else, if you like it and it hurts no one, why not? But I certainly wouldn't do it without good reason, and it can look very silly if overdone.

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  6. The vintage word always makes me smile. I think vintage shops used to be called junk or charity shops. Doesn't stop me wanting a rummage though. New or old a beautiful thing is still a treasure. I always find the Harry Enfield sketches 'I saw you coming' funny as I am sure it is a prevailing attitude amongst some sellers of vintage wears...
    Sorry to read that you are having trouble sleeping. I am n a bout of the same thing and have been awake since 2am with a head full of ideas about work and a very sore throat. Not a great sleep inducing combination! Much love x

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  7. I can take the use of vintage with a pinch of salt although it is much overused these days. For me it is more about recycling and not sending perfectly functional and solidly made items to landfill, when they can provide many more years of service or pleasure.

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  8. Thank you Annie for letting me know about PicMonkey!!!! It's fantastic!!
    A big hug, xxxxxxxxx Ale

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  9. I never actually know what Vintage is...modern invention, or old in new use?
    Vintage is associated with beautiful, elegant things to me. Hmmm
    what pertains that Blogger space issue, I always re-size my images, as it anyway they take time to be uploaded. Resize approx 800pxl to 600pxl. Pretty good resolution for them.
    Take care and have a happy holiday season!

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  10. It's a bit alarming to find that things from the 80s are described as vintage. I had accepted my childhood being vintage, and I'd just about got used to my teenage years being vintaged, but by the 80s I was a grown woman!

    I'm emailing you about photosizing and Picmonkey Annie if you don't mind -need some clarification!

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    Replies
    1. I've replied Sue, hope I've helped :)

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    2. You did -enormously. Thank you x

      Delete
  11. Not long ago I was lamenting to one of my daughters that a word that I had been told had a vulgar connotation when I was growing up is now being used commonly in conversation and even publicly from the pulpit by our pastor.
    While the use of 'vintage' at least does not offend me :), I appreciate your observation that its meaning is suffering through its misuse, Annie.
    Bravo for defending the vintage definition of vintage:)
    xx from Gracie

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  12. Thanks for the tip on photo sizes Annie, that's very good to know. I guess that explains why I haven't used that much of my allowance either.

    Yep, 'vintage' has just become a sales word hasn't it? "Vintage is the buzz word, we'll shove it on our packaging regardless of what we're selling and then they will buy it!"

    S x

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  13. The only things that are vintage around here are me and the old man. The rest is second hand. Remember that?

    Thanks for the PicMonkey tip!

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  14. It is quite funny how rife 'vintage' has become. What I find interesting though is why that appeals to us - perhaps we are yearning for times when life was simpler x

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  15. It was 'second hand' whilst I was growing up! We went to the second hand shop, brought second hand stuff then Mum worked her magic on them! I'm not sure when the term 'vintage' came about, but I like it, and it's much easier to type than second hand.....it would take me ages to write a post! But we all know, deep down, it's just second hand stuff, which is perfectly ok...I LOVE second hand stuff!
    Thanks for the pic monkey tip, if I shrink my pixels, does that mean the picture gets smaller? That's not a joke by the way, I really don't know!!! :)

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    1. I love second hand stuff too (hope no one thought I didn't!).

      Re. the pixels, and this is a simplification but hopefully it will help you understand. You're not shrinking the pixels per se, you're shrinking the number of pixels. Imagine the same image drawn on same size sheets of fine graph paper and children's squared paper. One blue square/pixel on the squared paper might equate to four blue squares/pixels on the graph paper, each of a slightly different shade. The graph paper holds more visual information, if it were a photograph you'd say it had higher resolution. Reducing pixel numbers is akin to drawing on paper with larger squares, and in the process reducing the size of the image file that's stored in the Blogspot blog's inbuilt Picasa album. But the picture can then be reproduced at different degrees of magnification. My resized max 640 pixel squared image (that's over 400,000 pixels in total, rather than the millions of pixels in the original file) can be blown up so large you'd see the individual squares, or reduced to a thumbnail. This is why you're prompted as to picture size when uploading images.

      Hope that helps, it's probably as clear as mud!

      Delete
  16. I'm another vintage blogger who can't quite get her head around the thought of manufactured vintage. I guess it's a variant on the (over)use of traditional or classic when referring to styles.

    As for the photo storage problem, like you I have always resized my photos, usually to the 800 x 600 format which is said not to count. I've checked and in nearly two years I've used just over 2% of the 1GB Picasa allows us for free.

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  17. Vintage according to my vintage dictionary (1978) means year in which it was produced/of high quality.
    What is called vintage look- used to be called reproduction.
    If we like it, does it matter what it is called!
    When I created my bedroom about 5 years ago , the style was called "french"- now it's called vintage- how did that happen!
    Sadly "vintage" has become a marketing tool and is just a trend. In 10 years time a new look will have been created. Will we still like vintage then. Watch bargain hunt or any of the antique programmes to see how things come back in fashion and then out again and loose their value.
    I shall carry on making things I like for people who like them!
    Another good post which has got us all thinking! Hope you blogspot folk sort out the problem soon. I had no end of trouble with wordpress last week, which they finally sorted!Cathyx

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  18. Ah, thank you; I shall be a sub-800 woman from now on. I guess they mean 'faux vintage,' an alliance of two fine marketing words...

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  19. I always resize my images too, makes them (and the blog) load quicker. For those people who have reached their quota an easy solution is to create another free gmail address, invite to be a blog author, and use the picassa allowance on that email address to upload your photos.

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  20. People used to strive to buy new rather than 'second hand'. Now, it seems so long as those 'second hand' items have had the word vintage attached to them, they're preferable to new. I think it's great that people want to reuse and recycle things rather than discarding them, and if calling things vintage makes it happen, then it's all good. I've started resizing my photos before uploading them to my blog and haven't had any problems since I've done this.

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  21. The distinction has become quite tricky with the current trend for repurposing and restoration.

    I am currently reupholstering a pair of late 1800s French chairs. The webbing was shot and they sagged when sat in, so I had no choice. I've stripped them right down so only the original frame remains. Stuffings and coverings will be new. Are they now vintage or not?

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    Replies
    1. They're restored antiques of a Third Republic vintage, surely? ;)

      Delete
  22. I grind my teeth a bit when I see something brand new being sold as 'vintage', I must admit. Something that was originally old but has been done up can still count as vintage though by my personal definition, as I'm sure everyone is very glad to hear.

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  23. Gracious! Is that "Image Quota Limit" thing, hitting Blog Land again? -Grin-

    I pay a bit every month. And never run out of space. It's the only thing I do pay for, in regard to blogging so it doesn't bother my Scotch soul, too much. ,-)

    Vintage! Yikes! One of those words which can really be bandied about, in almost every possible way. Hehhhhh... Don't know where-to-go, to find a *correct-ness* Rule. :-) So I'd just make up my own (Rule).

    "Auntie"
    From "The Land That Winter Forgot"

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  24. I hit my limit a while ago and have only been at it a year! I just pay them their $!@ or whatever it is a year and roll my eyes a bit. Maybe I should investigate the Picmonkey thing right now!

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  25. Anything that will get people to rethink, recycle or reuse is good to me. If they believe it is chic to call it vintage so be it.
    I work for an auctioneer and live with a home full of antique and vintage finds.
    Cozy and perhaps a little cluttered it is my safe haven from the perils of the outside world...
    Susan

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  26. OOOH! Picmonkey is fun!

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  27. I think the confusion seems to be with 'vintage' as in old and 'vintage style' which is meant to look old. Although how old is old is quite another matter.

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  28. I am feeling a little nauseous with the word "vintage" at the moment Annie, Kirsty Allsops programme isn't helping either! I feel like its been so over used and anything that is old is considered vintage now! I have always loved anything old, second hand and found in junk shops/yards. I try not to used the "V" word any more as it seems to create a mild irritation in my brain....there rant over! Sorry I am feeling a little bah humbug regarding the V word! Brilliant photographs as always, xox Penelope

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    1. I was rather amused to see on one of Kirsty's programmes that she was extolling the virtues of 70s teak furniture as 'vintage' - it was just the same style as the dining table and chairs we bought new (and still have!) when we first set up home. Having previously seen one of those prgrammes where they show an estate agent valuing properties and noted that they said the owners had lived there over thirty years and that the property was rather 'dated'. That too probably applies to us. Does this mean that if you are too young to have bought the items new they are 'vintage' but if the same thing was bought as new (the current style at the time) and still have it then it is classed as 'dated'?

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  29. What I find funny about vintage are the pictures that keep popping up on Facebook of things from the past with the caption "Do you remember these?" attached. More than once they have featured items I am still using in my kitchen. I had no clue they were "vintage." I just thought they were old and ugly. :-)

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  30. hear, hear! I am SO tired of everything having to be "vintage" nowadays - I don't mind 'vintage' at all when its genuine, but not when it's new stuff made to look old. Here we have also had the equally obnoxious "shabby chic" style for a number of year. Bah!

    I must say that I much prefer the wine-vintage notion than "new stuff psigj as old". Cheers!

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    1. I don't know where the "psigj" came from? It might be a vintage word?! Or it might just be a mispellt "posing"...

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  31. Ha! Just read your review of Vintage Flowers, Annie.

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  32. Your advent candles are lovely too in your vintage planter. I had to smile about your comments about vintage we will be classified as vintage before too long!
    Thanks for the tips about pixels I have just changed one of my pictures to 640 and I can't see any difference.
    Sarah x

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  33. That's very interesting about the pixel size for images. I'm always running out of space. Thanks for the info.

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  34. I can live with overuse of 'vintage', but oh "the wow factor" renders me murderous!

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    1. Yes, me too! Especially when it's used on property programmes. The expressions "bolt-hole in the city" and "forever family home" can also make me quiet cross.

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  35. This did make me chuckle! Frankly, I think that "vintage" is just marketing speak for "second hand". I don't mind things that are second hand - on the contrary, I rather like them - but let's just say it as it is! xx

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  36. In Britain we are accustomed to antique and historic. We are surrounded by buildings and artefacts created hundreds of years ago. This is not the case in certain parts of Australia or the USA, something my blog friends often point out. Maybe this use of the word "Vintage" stems from those countries who envy our history?

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  37. Vintage usually means expensive to me while second hand is just what I live with. I love junk shops too :) It would be nice to be referred to as vintage rather than just old. My gripe is with the forever young culture we live with where nobody ever seems to grow up and you are only valued if you are young and pretty. Whatever happened to valuing your elders for their wisdom, experience etc.

    viv in nz

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  38. Annie, it's been fun to read your post and the above comments regarding "vintage." When I was first living in NYC back in the late 1960's I remember our treasuring beaded 1920's flapper dresses we sometimes found in thrift shops.

    Now...I realize that some my 1960's treasured clothes and shoes that I've kept in my own time capsule of a trunk would be much more vintage to today's 20 years olds. Guess it is all relative as Einstein hinted to us.

    Something that the fashions, furniture, china, jewelry and textiles (like persian carpets) of yore have to grant them value is that they were hand made. Used natural materials.

    It sort of flips me out to think that anything from the "polyester" decades might be considered valued vintage. Retro maybe.

    I keep trying to convince myself that change is our friend. Might actually be a jolly chum, but a bit difficult to embrace.

    xo

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  39. Ah, vintage. It's in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. But I do agree, if it is a new product and manufactured in recent time, then it's "vintage inspired" or "Vintage style." Lol, this reminds me a bit of working at the newspaper when people would submit events at "first annual." There is no such thing! lol.

    Inspired by you, I did check my photo storage! Whew, I'm only at 3% and that includes my old dormant blog, which means I've been blogging about 5 years now.

    Hope you're getting lots of lovely knitting done! I'm trying to meet my Christmas deadline!~

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  40. I can remember when antique was used rather liberally but vintage is the new vogue......'on trend' ....or something!
    I'd like to go back to the original meaning, so I could go vintaging, sounds like fun!
    I must check my photo storage, thanks for the tip x

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  41. lovely photographs, thanks for sharing. I too go by the before I was born for vintage items - good to know its a rule of thumb! Maggie.

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  42. We never went to the second hand shop when I was a kid...we were poorer than anything but in my mom's head, we weren't so poor that we had to shop "there." Funny thing is, as an adult I enjoy thrift-shopping. I can only imagine the fun as a child!

    Vintage is as vintage does, I suppose. We've bought and inherited a lot of Danish teak, and when I was told that at one time even mid-century modern went out of style, well, I suppose that "vintage" will, too.

    And then, of course, there is always IKEA!

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  43. Hmm hate the word vintage unless it's to do with wine - i yearn for a cellar full of excellent vintages - i always thought if it was really old it was an antique, if it was pre-owned it was second hand and if it was made to look old it was called a fake. i love second hand but only if it's beautiful, useful or what i need at the time; i certainly don't want it if it's called vintage and being sold by a young woman in a cardi my Grandmother wouldn't be seen dead in as she tries to persuade me the vintage cups she's made into candle holders are worth the vastly over inflated price she's asking. and don't get me started on the Honourable Miss Allsopp and her flying leap onto the latest bandwagon of interiour design. Ah rant over - thank you.

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  44. I thought I was the only one struggling with the mis-use of the word 'vintage', although I might be hardpressed to come up with an exact definition. Once the media latched on the term....and shabby chic dipped into the style---the copycats/term abusers have run rampant. I'm somewhat offended....because, I assure you----as a woman of a certain age (!!!!) I qualify as vintage, so I should know!!!!

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  45. I prefer the wording 'vintage inspired'.........I think this covers most bases.

    Have a lovely christmas Annie. x

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  46. Oh, the quota thingo. I use iPhoto on my Mac and I resize my images there - easy peasy.

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  47. Let's up the pretentiousness ante, and start pronouncing it "vin-'tazh". :)

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  48. I need to resize my images especially the ones that come from our fancy camera. I keep forgetting to do that. Thanks for the reminder.
    Your ivy candle holder is so festive and pretty for this Christmas.
    I do have some "vintage" items I think. I just inherited a Joseph I-Magnum cashmere coat from my great aunt who is a century at least. That should count yeah?

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