Wednesday 13 January 2010

Sepia Seventies

There was a moment in my childhood when I was no longer very young nor was I a teenager. It was the 1970's, a time when my world was coloured sepia, cream and chocolate brown.

I remember Magpie would come and kiss me goodnight before she and my Dad went out to a "do" and I was bewitched by her.

I still remember her perfume would hang in the air long after they had driven off. And I would lie awake imagining them at the party.

Magpie has always been a brilliant stylist, she would rustle up brilliant outfits. Long skirts, high neck blouses always feminine and always cool. My favourite was a floor length chocolate brown swishy skirt with cream polka dots and a cream silk blouse with impossibly small pearl buttons on the deep cuff and bodice.

This fabric, "Daisy Chain" by Jonelle was in our kitchen and when paired with posters by Toulouse L'autrec and wonderful hand thrown earthenware pots it seemed to me the kitchen was a brilliant studio for my early crafty endeavours. I have since discovered Daisy Chain was designed by Pat Albeck ( Mathew Rice's Mum!) Find out more about Pat's fantastic work here.

I was very influenced by films of that era too. This must be becuase of Magpie as I can't possibly have known about them from any other source. The wonderful styling of the Great Gatsby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Mr. Redford populated much of the landscape of my childhood in several guises, but the all time favourite?

Yes of course!

And Katherine Ross as Etta Place was sublime

Ah, that scene!
Responsible in some part for my obsession with multi layered petticoats and incessant rumaging in flea markets in the vain hope I might stumble over "THAT" dress

Definately the reason I love Ewa i Walla so much

You can read about her in the NOV/DEC 2009 issue of Selvedge
But that is not the only explanation for my Petticoat obsession, oh no
there is another little lady who must take some responsibility too

Magpie gave me both of these images on different years as Birthday cards. The flower girl was my absoloute favourite, I would sit at the kitchen table carefully drawing it and then colouring it/decorating it over and over and over again.
I wish I had kept the resulting collages! it would be fun to see them.
I am off to make a proper hot chocolate!
Still snowing here.
Hope you enjoyed my brown and cream trip down memory lane?


  1. Oh yes...I had Daisy Chain in my lounge!!
    And hessian on the wall!!
    It was very trendy then you know!

  2. Wonderful nostalgia!

    My MIL's kitchen is still that colour and boy does it look good again! She had it tiled in very sturdy, handmade tiles which have stood the test of time and never looked too terrible, and now they look positively great.

    My mum looked wonderful in red, white and blue, and had all sorts of great combinations like a red gingham maxi-skirt with a frill around the hem.

    I had a Holly Hobbie doll with such beautiful, soft cotton hair. I suppose it might explain my 1980s obsession with vintage petticoats, althought I hadn't thought of that before.

  3. I have a work colleague who still dresse in her original 70's boutique skirts and dresses!

    My bedroom had orange wallpaper and cream and brown lino on the floor - I'm happy to see the back of that particular look!

  4. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I used to have a Holly Hobbie poster!
    I remember my mum made myself and my sister lots of layered gypsy skirts in the 70's.In orange and brown!
    Rachel x

  5. I had brown carpet, cream furniture and brown and cream wallpaper - and brown sheets on my bed - in my teens. And I chose it all myself - it sounds really bizarre now, but I thought it was just the thing!

    Pomona x

  6. Sarah Jane,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :) It snowed a little here last night but its all gone now, raining today, still no water though! :( I wasn't around in the 70's, I'm a child of the 80's so I missed all this stuff, It's nice to look back at it though, was the 1970's the platforms and bellbotoom trousers? I think its the bright colours of the 60's I like!

    All things nice...

  7. Maroon seemed to feature a bit in the 70's I remember with mustard yellow. but there was brown lots of it too. Along with a yearning to wear my maroon maxi dress everyday! lol. I remeber my mum always wearing pretty dresses a lot when i was younger. Although she never wore them long as she is quite short.

    I love that picture of all those petticoats. There was a bit of a revival of that look a few years ago. With very fine white skirts worn over the top. Really pretty. Of course in my late teens grunge was all the rage which I loved, so Doc martens with all that feminity would definately of been my style!

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    MBB x

  8. I too, was a young girl in the seventies and admired the long skirts and frilly tops. Some pairings were very elegant and some had a hippie sort of look!! I was a great fan of The Great Gatsby...the movie and the book. The clothing & scenery were to die for!!

    Thanks for bringing these memories back for me. Oh...I recognized Holly Hobbie!!


  9. I love chocolate brown, it's one of my very favourite colours. Thanks for the beautiful pictures, I could go for a proper hot chocolate myself.

  10. Oh yes I remember the brown and cream era, mine had a bit of purple and orange in it too!

  11. As a 70's child I am all too familiar with brown. Even worse, I have brown eyes so was often dressed to match my eye colour - how I envied my blue-eyes friends!!

    My first 'continental quilt' (as we called them before the word duvet crept in) had the most amazing brown, beige & white cover - sort psyco-paisley - it went so well with the orange nylon sheets!!!

    Happy memories!!

    Vicki xx

  12. Brown...yuk..I can't imagine liking it now but oh yes,I do remember the hessian wallpaper and the brown bathroom suites!I loved the Laura Ashley romantic style too.


  13. I was also a child in the 70s and remember loving Holly Hobby, I had forgotten about it until reading your post. I also remember the brown and orange wallpapers, macrame hanging baskets and earthenware pottery. I also remember my grandma making me a long pinafore dress with a big frill on each shoulder, out of a blue denim effect acrylic fabric. I thought it was great at the time and wore it to the school disco along with rather a lot of body glitter on my face !
    Ann x

  14. I enjoyed it very much! I love Robert Redford..he lives here in Utah, have you ever been to Park City to his film festival? My grandpa lived in Park City, I used to love to go there. I love fluffy too and think all women's just in our hearts! Come say hi :D

  15. 'Aaahhhh' chocolate brown and cream - mine was brown and orange or you may cringe dark green and yellow!! And always with a big swirl somewhere - of colour that is!

    Thank you for the 70's trip,

    Nina x

  16. That wallpaper was in the kitchen of our house when we bought it in 1985. It was horribly dated by then and we hated it. The kitchen units were bright orange!!!! We couldn't wait to strip it all out.
    On a more positive note, I loved Holly Hobby and actually sewed a little rag doll wearing similar clothes when I was a teenager.
    And Robert Redford? In his white uniform in The Way We Were? Don't get me started!

  17. Thank you for that trip down your memory lane… now is there any hot choc going?!

    Victoria xxx

  18. I had brown floral wallpaper, patchwork design curtains & brown & cream hearts bedding in the 70's & I too loved the long petticoats & peasant blouses....


  19. I think we must be close to the same age. My sister had her first date with now husband at Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I loved Holly Hobbie too. OH what great memories.

  20. Oh have started something here. Us ladies of a certain era, have full and vivid memories of the iconic 70's, design, music, art and perhaps best of all... Mick from ATV's Magpie .... phoar! Oh dear, I think I may be lowering the tone here. x

  21. I had brown and cream in my bedroom. I loved Holly Hobby too. I totally loved Laura Ashley in the early days for the small sprigged fabrics - I wish that they would bring back there patchwork squares.

  22. Oh I feel very warm and cosy now. Our kitchen was brown and cream, so was the lounge in those days too. I think that's why I'm drawn to those 70's teaset in charity shops, they remind me of that happy house and warm kitchen. Sadly things went wrong in our family soon after we moved from there, ho hum!
    Will be sure to pass on any good reads I find in that huge pile I have.
    Lisa x

  23. Hello again! I've just discovered something to go with your colour scheme... I've blogged about it and made a link to you!

  24. Oh, what memories you've stirred! I was obsessed with Holly Hobbie...I had curtains, pillowcases, bedspread...and I made a cushion with her on. I have the cover here somewhere amongst a box of things that were in my mum and dad's loft...I shall have to look for it! I think that Laura Ashley was at its best back then - for its clothes and fabrics. I too loved to buy the patchwork squares and packs of off-cuts! What a lovely post - thank you so much! Rebecca x

  25. Found this lovely nostalgic post via Floss - The brown and cream duvet cover and brown bathtowels [wedding presents from 1970s] STILL in use! Floral dresses no longer fit - but repurposed to cover coat hangers. Brown and cream copy of "Great Gatsby on bookshelf in front of me - and quite a few brown kitchen bowls etc [from now-defunct Timothy Whites] still in use downstairs.
    Thanks for bringing back great WARM memories on a COLD day - blessings!!

  26. Loved this post! very nostalgic and I was like you I suppose, I started the 70's as a child but ended them as a late teen! suzie xxx

  27. Just wanted to let you know that you bring sunshine to my blogging life so I'm passing on an award to you. It's waiting on my blog so do pop in and see me. Hx

  28. Love trip down memory lane..I adore the fashions from The Great Gatsby..ohhh so comfy. Enjoy your weekend my friend.

  29. Lovely :o)


Thanks so much for contacting me! I love to hear from you it makes me smile x

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.