Friday, 21 January 2011

Ah, It's a Girl Thing

This post is a follow-up inspired by the comments on my last post. Thank you all - it was very heartening to know that I'm not alone with my nostalgia for those kitschy flower-power cards. I particularly liked Sue's comment about being in the local newsagent, looking at cards and gift wrap. That certainly struck a nostalgic chord. (Although I always had to cover my school books in odd ends of wallpaper.)

Anyway, it got me thinking about why these images have such an emotional pull. It often seems to be connected to memories of my mum. For me, it's all about the late 1960s and very early 1970s, when I was about 8 to 10 years old. Certainly an age when I was young enough to still like the things my mum liked. And also, I think, an age when I was probably becoming more interested in 'feminine', 'grown-up' things.
I didn't have particularly girly toys or books, and I played all my brothers' games, so maybe this was my point of difference. At that age, I got cute floral birthday cards that looked like this, whereas my brothers got cards with god-awful paintings of fishermen, or a photo of some books and a model plane.

I also think at that time I was identifying with all those feminine things that my brothers didn't share, like going through my mum's jewellery box (I loved that), and getting interested in my mum's clothes, make-up and magazines. The bright colours and bold designs of 1960s florals obviously appealed to my childish sense of design! My sister is 12 years older than me, so was already grown-up by then, and had fashionable clothes, like the memorably wild, lime-green, psychedelic floral bell-bottoms with matching tie-front top. (Do you remember how they were called bell-bottoms, before they were called flared trousers?)
Colourful wallpaper was another favourite of my mum's, and I vividly remember some of the wallpaper we had. I was delighted to salvage some odd rolls of vintage wallpaper from the family house. This very 1970s design I chose for my bedroom as a teenager, and have now used on the front of these Ikea drawers.
My mum really liked all these bold, floral designs.  As in so many things, I find I am, as ever, my mother's daughter.


KC'sCourt! said...

I remember 'bell-bottoms' I also received cards like yours, and I chose wallpaper very much like yours for my bedroom in the 70's, before that is was pink tight rosebuds (60's). I also remember being like mum - or rather mum making me be like her!

Donna -Little Tiny Stitches said...

I LOVE your wall paper onthe front of those ikea drawers. So pretty and colourful :0)

Lalabibaby @ Dreaming of The Simple Life said...

That post has brought back some memories ..... bell bottoms, loon pants, cheesecloth shirts, smock tops, hot pants !!!

I remember that bright floral wallpaper too and one of the first jobs at the start of term was to cover your books with wallpaper .... I had some of my friend's bright turquoise similar to yours. It was extremely stiff and not like the tissue paper they sell these days.

Thanks for the trip down Nostalgia Lane x

Unknown said...

lovely nostalgic post - my nan loved all those floral pictures!

Aunty Bee said...

Oh what lovely memories you have bought back for me. My sister and I got Judy and then Fab208 in the sixties and seventies, always 6 months behind as they came to NZ by boat, my brothers got the Beano. My brother had grey and black wide striped bell bottoms, which made him a cool was he.

TK said...

Do you remember the floral cards that were scented? My mum used to get those sometimes.