Monday, 26 July 2010

Books, Bags and Domestic Etiquette

After a couple of weeks of faffing about sanding, painting etc. I've finished revamping the bathroom cupboard that I mentioned in an earlier post. As it was looking a bit tired, I repainted it white and quickly ran up a curtain in a Kaffe Fassett fabric to hide all the lotions and potions! The brass catch had tarnished quite badly, but a couple of minutes soak in vinegar brought back the shine.

I've been out and about over the past two weeks with work, catching up with friends and family and so on, but have managed to squeeze in a couple of car boot sales and visits to favourite second hand book shops and charity shops; so I've two weeks' worth of goodies to show you all.

I used to love reading Enid Blyton books when I was a child and still have a couple that have survived the various house moves etc. So, I decided to supplement these and start collecting the Dean series for Monkeychild in the hope that she too will enjoy reading them in a few years time. The car boot sales and bookshop yielded some more editions to add to her library, including a Twinkle annual (the weekly comic used to be a childhood treat!) and some more classic Ladybird books.

I also found some books for me:

The Table & Domestic Etiquette book is fab; it has some real gems in it:

A Nation of Shopkeepers is illustrated with photographs of traditional, quirky and eye-catching shop fronts and interiors. Its very nostalgic and reminds me of shopping with Mum in the 1970s. Have a look at these photos; I love the signwriting used for Dolly's:

Its quite poignant really looking through this book (which was published in 1981), as I wonder how many of these shops  have now gone forever. On a brighter note - I can testify that the butchers shop on the front cover is still in business!

I also brought some more retro knitting patterns and books:

The knitted bikini looks well groovy and isn't it great a great photo? A healthy looking model with a 'real' figure in a photo which hasn't been touched up. I wish modern magazines would revert to this instead of using airbrushed images of so-called 'perfection'.

One of my charity shop finds is this tooled leather handbag; I particularly like the plaited closure. This will look great with my ankle length gypsy skirt and cowboy boots!

A week later I came across this needlework bag which I think dates from the 1940s, in a vintage clothes shop. As the bakelite chain handle was broken I managed to buy it quite cheaply. However, after a few minutes in the shed with Dad it was mended, as he replaced the missing link with a black rubber washer! Thanks Dad!

On the crockery front, I brought the Poole two-tone teapot and Beryl Ware milk jug at my local car boot sale. My husband thinks that I should have a moratorium on my china buying as we're running out of space  Well, this is nigh on impossible, but in order to compromise I've said that I'll only buy things that I'll use. This still allows my collections of non-china related stuff to carry on  regardless!

My last find to show you is this lucite cupboard handle that I found in a box of household locks and hinges on a boot sale stall. I've never seen anything quite like this before -its lovely and very 50s kitsch. Unfortunately the stall holder didn't have any more, but I still snapped it up for the grand sum of 50p!

That concludes my two week catch up of bargain browsing- happy hunting everyone!


  1. I have started collecting Enid Blyton books too, my excuse is my grand-daughter!!!!!!
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. I don't know where to start with commenting on this fabulous post!
    I was excited to see Twinkle as it was my comic of choice as a little girl, the etiquette and shopkeepers books are just amazing, I adore both bags and the bakelite knob is stunning. Oh yep, the bathroom cabinet is inspired and the knitted bikini reminded me of a crochet one Mum made for me twenty-odd years ago, it looked fantastic until I went for a swim. xxx

  3. Oh that bag is just gorgeous! I found a vintage leather bag in a CS today... you can never have too many bags!!
    Tamzin X

  4. You have found some great things,the bag is gorgeous and the lucite handle is lovely. My friend Debbie has some matching lucite finger plates in her Etsy shop, there is a link to it in the sidebar of my blog.
    Ann x

  5. What a lorra lovely things (sorry, I seem to have a habit of lapsing into Cila Black speak). My favourite is the handle. Love what you've done with the bathroom cabinet.

  6. lots of lovely goodies, the shopkeepers book looks like a good read.
    I had a white crochet bikini but it was only for poseing in :)

    Cate x

  7. Gorgeous finds. I love the way the girl in the bikini wears a matching beret - where are matching berets now when you need one? We can always rationise buying more kitchen stuff - although I can always rationise buying anything somehow! Nice to see you like Angie Lewin too!

  8. Hello everyone, thanks for taking the time to pop in and comment. Bags and boots are a complete vice with me - its like china - you can't have enough! And its only a matter of time before crochet bikinis surface again, at least they had a bit more give than knitted ones. The saggy water-filled bikini bum isn't a good look!

    Annie - thanks for the Etsy tip-off too.


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