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Junkshop Gem: Cook Now Dine Later by Catherine Althaus and Peter Ffrench-Hodges


They say you can't judge a book by its cover - but I think we know what we're getting from Cook Now Dine Later by Catherine Althaus and Peter Ffrench-Hodges.

Yes, this is 60s dinner party territory. But not only that, according to the preface, this is a book that will 'appeal to any bride who intends to go on working after her marriage.' And one with a strong stomach too. The food in here is pretty astounding - we've tried to find a recipe we might be able to keep down, but so far haven't dared go near one.

Continue reading "Junkshop Gem: Cook Now Dine Later by Catherine Althaus and Peter Ffrench-Hodges" »

Metalware gifts from Retro Rebels


Small but stylish retro gifts aren't often easy to come by, but for a perfect token gift metalware with attractive design is ideal. Retro Rebels have a great line of giftware that's especially perfect for rockabilly lovers and fifties enthusiasts.

This pair of metalware gifts are longlasting and look great. On the left is a business card holder featuring the Piratessa tattoo design, along with this notepad and pen holder set. The pair feature rather "grown up" kitsch tattoo prints that are fun and affordable.

Find out more from the Retro Rebels website

Junkshop Gem: Ward Lock's Complete Letter-Writer for Gentlemen

Letter_writing Ever wondered where The Chap gets its inspiration from? I'm guessing from genuine period publications - like our latest Junkshop Gem, Ward Lock's Complete Letter-Writer for Gentlemen.

Words cannot do this book justice, but I'll do my best. It's seemingly part of a series that also includes 'The Young Wife's Advice Book', 'Games For Parties' and 'Etiquette For Gentlemen - Don't!', all of which are now high on my wants list. But let's look at this one first. Published (I'm guessing) in the early 50s, the book is packed with letter-writing advice for every conceivable eventuality, from business to pleasure and (amazingly) wedding proposals (should you feel a little nervous about the prospect).

Or if you fancy a day off work tomorrow, the following letter might be useful:

I am sorry to inform you that, in consequence of a bad attack of gout, I am quite unable to get to business to-day. I hope, however, to be able to attend in the course of a day or two. Trusted that my enforced absence will cause you no inconvenience,
I am Sir,
our obedient servant,
(Your Name)

The book cost just £1 - secondhand copies are unlikely to be going for much more. See Abebooks for availability.

Find out more at the Abebooks website

Vintage ladies hats and headgear on eBay

101132033_oLast weekend I fell in love with the idea of a vintage hat complete with netting, after seeing one atop a very pretty young lady's head. A classic Hollywood look, a hat complete with netting isn't easy to come by but it is very stylish indeed.

Luckily, an eBay seller called Mad Hatter is selling a number of vintage hats from various periods in vintage fashion.

This fantastic emerald green piece is from the 60s and is currently selling at a bid of just £9 and looks to be in great condition.

Find out more from the eBay product page. From here you can view the seller's other items too.

Junkshop Gem: Anatomy of Contemporary Furniture by John G. Shea

AnatomyFancy making your own mid-century classics? John G. Shea can show you how with the Anatomy of Contemporary Furniture.

First published in the mid 60s, then updated through to the mid 70s, the book is part reference guide to contemporary design of the day (names like Artek, Herman Miller, Knoll and Eames), a pictorial guide to some of the leading designs (it is very picture heavy) and a DIY guide to building your own furniture in the style of some of some classic pieces. So if you fancy getting down and creating your own shelving, coffee table, circular dining table or space age lounger, your guide is at hand.

Obviously, none of this is for beginners like me, but if you have some good woodworking skills or know someone (or some small company) that does, you could use the book's drawings and guides to create bespoke mid-century-style furniture at a fraction of the cost of an original. The price of this gem? Well, we picked it up from a junk shop for £1 and I can guess you'll not pay much more for a copy on eBay or Abebooks.

Browse for a copy of the book on the Abebooks website


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