Vintage advantage

Cover: The Vintage Tea Party YearA new list for 2013 – books with ‘vintage’ in the title. I don’t think I will be making choux pastry swans for a Happy New Year party, nor edible keys for a Wedding Tea Party, nor lacy faggots for a Gentlemen’s Tea Party, but I did love looking at The Vintage Tea Party Year. If you like floral china, second-hand clothes and embroidered tablecloths, this is the book for you. It can even help you out with styling your hair for a Tea Party –  if you have enough patience (and hair) for a victory roll.  Perhaps I could have a Useless in the Kitchen  but Willing to try a New Hairdo Tea Party. BYO pastry swans and lacy faggots – I’ll supply the tea and the hairpins.

Vintage Cakes is divided into handy chapters like Everyday Cakes, Little Cakes and Posh Cakes; although there could be a question around where a Victoria Sandwich Cake should be – surely it’s more Posh than Everyday? The photographs are  a bit gorgeous; more lovely floral china, beautiful slightly battered tins and cottage garden flowers set off the actual cakes to perfection. For this one I could supply a tea-cloth and a tea-cosy, and, if given enough notice,  possibly the lollies for the top of the Celebration Cake featuring pistachio green icing topped with the entire contents of a mixed lolly bag.

Cover: Vintage HandbagsVintage handbags follows the history of the handbag from 1900 until now.  Lavish illustrations and intriguing asides abound – apparently after the First World War “the increasing mechanization of cooking and housework… freed women to spend more time outside the home: going to work, lunching with friends, attending a matinee or visiting the local lending library.” Lucky old them, off to the local lending library clutching bags of a “plumper, more commodious shape” than the little reticules and Dorothy bags the Edwardian ladies sported.

Vintage Beauty Parlor was something of a disappointment. Do the ’80s really count as vintage?  Perhaps they do if you remember big hair and big earrings only too well.  Although this book could be useful if you take themed parties  seriously – it really does take you through how to achieve the looks step-by-step. Whether or not you would want to is another matter.

What do you say Christchurch – the money or the bag?

Cover image of "Fifty bags that changed the world"Since February 22, I have become a bag lady. I’d rather be a money bags, but oh well … what is it they say about beggars not being able to be choosers? It is handy that everything I own can fit into one tote bag, though. My life has become extremely portable. I am never without my essentials.

If I was crafty, I’d spend the winter making bags, so my belongings can have a change of scene every once in a while. I’ve always just been a practical one handbag and one travel bag kind of girl – unlike some of my friends who’ve got enough to stock a shop – but maybe it’s time to change. Maybe it’s time to be bag fabulous.

I could add a laptop bag, a bum bag, a lunch bag and several shopping bags to my collection . I could co-ordinate them with my outfits, and decorate them with beads and buttons and badges. The possibilities are endless.

Cover image of "Fashion accessories"Are you a bag lady (or bloke) too? Or do you favour satchels? What things do you carry with you wherever you go? Has the contents of your handbag changed post-quake?

And if you’re keen to watch the original It’s in the Bag, check out this series of clips from NZ on Screen.