Monday, 28 November 2016

Up the Albert

At the weekend I got to go to the Royal Albert Hall! We were the guests of one of Mr Robot's business contacts; it was very kind of them to invite us.

Friday, 25 November 2016

1930s advice on colours

This morning I was doing some scanning from a 1930s book for a friend, and flicked through another book in the same box, Modern Beauty Culture. It was given to me back in the very early days of the robot, when I moved magazines from Simply Knitting to N-Photo. (Recently I moved again, to Official PlayStation Magazine. Stay versatile, stay lively!) I was flicking through it and thought you might like what it had to say about colours in clothing. One thing that I found fascinating was that in all discussions on colours, whether changing hair colour or choosing clothes, the eyes were the most important thing: "the colour of the eye must be considered, and never made to appear washed out. Beyond that, with a little skill and practice, the skin may be encouraged to meet almost any colour half way."

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

How to fix vintage photos

A pile of minimags
Erm, still haven't sorted out photos from my mum's party on Saturday, but I can share a photo of the surprise I made for her: little 'mini-mags', with a cover design similar to 1960s Jackie magazine. I got her to send me some old pictures but didn't say why, and then spent a bit of time fixing them up in the morning before work, then put them into a little magazine and paid Digiprint to print them out. It occurred to me that it might be useful to other people to know how I fixed the photos, as lots of us have old family pictures that have got a bit battered. So, here goes...

Friday, 18 November 2016

Five style lessons I've learned from The Avengers

Which show do you think is/was the most stylish on telly? Mad Men always seems to get a lot of votes, and I loved the look of The Hour - but those are programmes made now and looking back. Costume designers have had a chance to cherry-pick the best aspects of a decade's style and ignore the dodgy stuff. What about programmes set when they were made? Usually TV programmes are more down-to-earth than movies, but adventure series seem to be the exception. Even in a real-world setting, derring-doers are allowed to look glamorous. And so I reckon The Avengers has to be a contender for most stylish vintage TV programme.

As I'm still obsessed with the outfits Linda Thorson wears as Tara King, I thought I'd share some fashion tips gleaned during my watchings...

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

New Edwardian-style fireplace

What is happening to Casa Robot? It's actually starting to look pretty good!
This cat: Pippin. Note droopy, melancholy posture.
Our new fireplace has finally been installed. Yesterday the crummy old stained and chipped stone thing was taken away, and this lovely cast iron and tile one put in its place. I am VERY pleased. For one thing, we've had large bits of iron all over the living room for weeks, getting in the way. We had the chimney swept and got a safety certificate a few weeks ago, so we can use this one straight away.

We used to have lots of things on the old hearth - a jar for pennies, a laquerware tea dish from Burma - and a couple of candlesticks with everything else on the mantlepiece, but I'm reluctant to clutter the new one up. I'll definitely find somewhere for the tea dish, but the candlesticks may go in the attick for now. (I wouldn't get rid of them as they were a wedding present from a friend who has since passed away.)

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The 1948 Ideal Home

The Oxfam bookshop in Bath has been quite disappointing for some time – green Penguins, the vintage crime ones, seem nigh-impossible to find nowadays, and I've started to suspect they are all being creamed off for the !*£@ing 'vintage' Oxfam store. However, I still feel the call of the shop every once in a while, and yesterday I turned up a couple of goodies that the staff clearly don't think count as particularly collectable. My big find was this 1948-49 Ideal Home Book.

My other bookshop find, a Dover book of recreations of adverts from 1920s Sears catalogues is less 'wow', but still incredibly interesting.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Crinoline Robot's Vintage Overload

Come back to our screens, Beresfords, please!
Actually, I think I'm overloaded with everything BUT vintage right now. Having got over the lurgy, I feel as though I'm up to my ears in things to do yet again, which is all my own fault because I hate saying 'No' to anything.

While I was poorly I did finish the knitting for my It Cannot Fail To Please 1930s jumper, though I still haven't sewn all the bits together. Perhaps the coming cold snap will encourage me to do that - being chilly is a good motivator for sorting out knitting, I find. Having rewatched Partners in Crime from last year on my sick days, I'm really hankering for some more deco-to-midcentury telly. I suppose I can always rewatch The Hour, I Tivoed that one.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Wonder Woman goes VINTAGE


Have you seen the trailer for the forthcoming Wonder Woman film yet? I missed the early announcement that three films were planned. Well, the first one was rumoured to be set in the 1920s, though that doesn't look the case to me. There's the line 'War to end all wars', which would suggest the First World War, as indeed would the costumes in the dress shop scene at the end of the trailer, and the badges on the planes. (I was a bit baffled by the way that all the planes in the trailer appear to be monoplanes; some were used in WWI though biplanes were more common.) I am so up for Edwardian Diana Prince!

If the rumours are still vaguely accurate, the next film is going to be set in the 1930s/1940s, which would be likewise brilliant. My only regret? That Wonder Woman is DC and Peggy Carter is Marvel. A Wonder Woman/Peggy Carter 1940s-set movie would be just about my favourite thing ever.