Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Painting & decorating '70s style

tandem DIY couple
That's one way to bring home a roll of lino

OK, so Your Beautiful Home on a Budget is not about craft as such, but when you open a book on the contents page to see a laughing couple in earth shoes and hotpants cycling home from the DIY store on a tandem complete with Donald Duck skirt guard, you know you're onto a winner.

The book is packed with eye-popping ideas for revamping your home on a shoestring, 1974-style. Do It Yourself and you could, for instance, be the proud owner of a psychedelic chest of drawers:

jazzy drawers

Love the drawers (obviously) and the matchy-matchy lampshade, and adore the little mini chest of drawers at the back there (just imagine if that had been given the spray paint treatment too...)

Careful of the fumes, mate

The majority of the jazzing up of furniture seems to be achieved with masking tape and spray paint – here's one of the DIYers busy pimping his kitchen cabinets.

Not sure what the budget aspect of this pink shag-pile carpet is, and pink's a colour I'm not crazy about, but this works – even though this woman looks like she's emanating some kind of Ready Brek glow:

pink carpet
Shag hairstyle, shag-pile carpet

Next, a couple of music lovers listen to Universal Soldier by Donovan on their hifi system, having lined up Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends to play next (both records were released a good five years before this book came out).

Great taste you guys

Last but not least, a smiling foursome unpack their Texas Homecare booty from the hatchback of their Austin Maxi. No wonder they look so happy – what's not to like about this set-up?

Communal living

And that's just a fraction of the interiors eye candy in this book:

beautiful home cover

Laurie Larson Publications (1974). Part of the Young Color series

I bought Your Beautiful Home on a Budget in a junk shop in Hastings in 2003, along with, and I hesitate to make such a wild claim, an even better one in the series, Planning Colour for your Home, which has a chapter on every colour in all it's 1970s glory. I am planning a post on that, too, so do stay tuned.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Colourful crochet bags

vintage crochet bags
Three bags full (of what though?)
It's not the bag trio itself so much as the illustration and the layout of the page that made me want to post this. Notice the middle girl's stance, her watch strap, patchwork skirt and the white frilly cuff emerging from the sleeve of her friend's brown leather (or maybe it's meant to be suede) jacket. I live for stuff like this!

vintage crochet bags
The page in all its glory (including corner stainage)
This was once the back cover of an issue of Golden Hands magazine. No idea which issue because I'm ashamed to admit I tore it out... I bought the entire back catalogue in special ring binders from eBay a decade or so ago (I remember the postage costing a fortune). But then I had to move flats several times in quick succession and didn't have room to store my mags or the strength to keep lugging them up and down stairs so, in a fit of recklessness, I went through ripping out the pages I particularly liked and recycled the rest*. HOW COULD I?

Moving swiftly on... the drawings are very similar in style to the fashion illustrations in Jackie magazine (future blog post alert) I wonder if they were done by the same artist – I'd love to find out who it was.

Lets have a closer look at the striking headline:

crochet bags golden hands
Nice. If you'd like a go at making one (or all) of the bags, click here for free, printable instructions. All measurements in inches.

*I have been trying to replace them issue-by-issue ever since. Still regret chucking the ring binders though

Friday, 8 June 2012

Crazy-cute kids' sweaters

kids jumpers
How do you like them apples?

Ah it's June... just around the time I planned on busting out the hotpants, crochet bikinis and cutaway one-pieces (to write about, not wear, I hasten to add). But then I came across these adorable little dudes (with added Labrador) modelling mini fishermen-style sweaters while gatherin' apples, and just had to share the pics and knitting patterns with you...

kids anchor jumper

This little bruiser must be in his 30s by now and is probably mortified by these photos, but I'd love to go back in time and give his cheeks a squeeze. I bet you were eyeing up his cords-and-wellies ensemble in the first picture (I certainly was). And as for his mate's little gingham shirt, what is there to say? Nothing weird about looking to three-to-four-year-old boys for style tips, is there?

kids jumper blue
Sitting on the fence

As you may have gathered, I think these jumpers are pretty darned sweet, but the other great thing about them is that, being a basic T-shape, they're really simple to make (scroll down for links to the free patterns).

The book I found them in, Stitch by Stitch (part 3) was published in 1986, and I can see that year all over the peachy quilted bathroom accessories on the cover – but much of the content, including these dinky sweaters, looks a good few years older than that. I mean collars of this size were not de rigueur in the mid-to-late-80s, even for kids, as far as I remember.

stitch by stitch3
Torstar Books, 1986 (so it says)

I snapped up this, and several other delightful old craft books, on a visit to the National Trust property Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, where a well-stocked secondhand bookshop adjoining the ticket hall was  doing a roaring trade. (I wasn't more interested in buying books than looking round the house, honest.)

Anyway, if you have a young man in your life (of course a little girl could work these jumpers just as well, dare I say even better), dig out your needles, click here followed by here for the free pattern and GO. These sweet sweaters are so quick to make and I would love to see any finished results.