Tuesday, 15 November 2011

To Paraphrase Noddy Holder, It's (Not Quite) Christmas

To paraphrase Noddy Holder, it's (not quite) Christmas, but I've been busy listing lots of gorgeous vintage greetings cards on Etsy.

My grandfather worked for a greetings card company in Preston, Lancashire, UK for forty years. When the company closed, he bought the original sketches and drawing that the cards were printed from. Most date from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sadly, the drawings are largely anonymous, being done by commercial artists employed by the company. He gave me an old suitcase full of these, and a good many more, from sentimental mottos to tall ships in full sail to kitschy cottage gardens.

Fab, aren't they?

Monday, 14 November 2011

Easy as A B C

Love love love this typography themed Etsy treasury, perfect for feeding the type / letter obsession ... Also love that it features vintage ornamental numbered arrows from my Etsy shop, hurrah.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

John Bull Special

New eBay purchase ... A nostalgic treat to myself, as there was a set at my Nanna's for the cousins to share. Grandad was a litho printer, you see. We used to print and draw on paper samples and offcuts.

It was pre-owned by some small boy called Philip, and hails from, of all places, Chorley, Lancs, my birthplace. I feel I was destined to own this.

Love the 'John Bull' font: the rubber type is more like a pre-Helvetica simple sans serif.

Prepare for many a handprinted birthday-slash-Christmas card, friends and acquaintances!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Insipidity and Intrigue‏

A better guide
Image originally uploaded to Flickr by shawnzrossi

I have been re-reading Mansfield Park, my least favourite Jane Austen. My favourite is Persuasion, for romance, although Pride and Prejudice is funnier.  

I am finding Fanny Price much less insipid than previously: I am surprised at her wry insight and sly observations, and am discovering that she has a more vivid and animated inner life than I recall. I think this passed me by on first reading, perhaps because I was too young? 

Also, I am noticing inordinate amounts of seduction and intrigue, frequently openly discussed by the characters. Noblemen kidnapping innocent young ladies, unwed mothers, underage elopements, co-habitation, runaway wives and women "under the protection" of men who are not their husbands ... I wonder ... What a fab PhD that would make! 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Amphorae and Monkey Tails

Capuchin B&W

Image originally uploaded to Flickr by ushtey

Courtesy of Simon Garfield, I was delighted to learn this morning that the symbol @ - which in English is called an "amphora" (as in a jar or unit of measurement) or an "ampersat" but is more often known as the "at sign" - is called "monkey's tail" in German, "pig's tail" in Danish, or "dog's tail" in Russian. In French, it is "snail", and in Czech, "rollmop herring" ...

All far more evocative, no?

Friday, 4 November 2011

For the love of ... CathrineHolm

There is just something so satisfying about the CathrineHolm Lotus pattern enamel ware. I think it's the primary colours and the nice clean cutouts, oh, and the sleek modernist shape.

Looks like I'm not the only one! This is definitely on my wish list ...

There's a lovely little Flickr group too, for a bit of enamel eye candy ...

According to this appreciation site, CathrineHolm was an ironworks company, rather than a person. I am so disappointed, I was imagining some kind of Joan Holloway 1950s style goddess ...


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