Posts Tagged ‘book’

World Dolls Series: Austria

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

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vintage 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

We’ve arrived in Austria on our World Dolls Series tour. We might just catch the first of the winter snow, so our timing is perfect.

vintage 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Illustrations are by W. Lewis from The Birmingham school of Design – our resident artist in Germany & Holland too. We love all the artists in this collection of books, but if we were pushed, we’d probably choose W. Lewis as our favourite. The illustrations are both charming and very clever.

Dolls Lisa and Johann from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Our guides are Lisa & Johann, looking resplendent in their national dress.

Alpine skiing scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

We’ve parked the coach up and are going to chill out (quite literally) in the Tyrol for a while.

Ski jumping  scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Our hosts have no shortage of activities lined up – skiing, skating & sledging (it’s the 1960s so it’s pre-snowboarding!)

Cows in an alpine scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

When the snows melt we’re going to get stuck into a bit of farming.

Haymaking scene from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Picnics and strolls through flower-filled meadows on our downtime.

Illustration of a salt mine from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

It’s going to be hard to drag ourselves away from this idyllic life, but for a bit of urban culture & retail therapy we might stop by Vienna.

Illustration of Vienna from the 'Austria' book from the World Dolls Series

Well, we do need to get that coach moving again before it seizes up. Next time it’s Russia.

World Dolls Series: Italy

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

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'Italy' front cover from the vintage World Dolls series of books

We’ve crossed the border and travelled from Germany to Italy in the World Dolls Series – we’re certainly clocking up the miles! :-)

'Italy' front inside cover from the vintage World Dolls series of books

The lovely illustrations are by Philippa Walters this time.

Map of italy from the vintage World Dolls series of books

Our guides are Lisa & Pietro. They’re a cheery couple, always singing & dancing. Pietro with his guitar & Lisa with her tambourine.

Gondola in Venice in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

We’ve spent the last few weeks watching the hard-hitting & brilliant Gomorrah on TV – as you might imagine this is a more light-hearted view of Italy! We start in the North with its mountain scenery and work our way down to the hot & sunny South – taking in cities like Venice & Rome.

Lisa and Pietro dolls in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

The pretty villages & harbours are much celebrated – along with the stunning countryside.

criss-crossing washing lines hung with washing

These narrow streets & steps are a classic scene that springs to mind when we think of the Mediterranean holidays that we’ve taken.

Procession of worshippers in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

There are lots of processions & festivals too – and pretty whitewashed houses with painted shutters, ornate railings and flowers in pots. See, we told you it wasn’t Gomorrah.

Balcony with flowers in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

Makes us want to pack a small rucksack and jump in a camper van. I’m sure they could do with a hand (or foot) for the grape treading.

Grape-pickers in 'Italy' the vintage World Dolls series of books

Join us next time when we’ll be in Austria.

Bookmarks: Decorating with Colour

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

This is one of our favourite books at the moment – we’re dipping in & out of it all the time!

brightly coloured home office

It’s entitled, Farrow & Ball – Decorating with Colour.

title page from Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

It’s beautifully written by Ros Byam Shaw with stunning photography by Jan Baldwin.

mahogany paintwork

We tour around Europe, visiting some truly gorgeous homes that incorporate Farrow & Ball products into their decorating schemes.

log pile

There’s no doubting that Ros is an expert when it comes to this much-loved British brand, this being her second book in collaboration with them!

mosaic of painted doorways

Her first book concentrated solely on English houses, but in this tome we’re also treated to peeks inside the homes of Farrow & Ball lovers in France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Denmark, Norway & Switzerland.

pair of purple upholstered armchairs

There’s a great variation in the types of property & spaces featured – from country farms to urban villas. They have broadly traditional, rustic country and contemporary styles – but in truth they’re truly eclectic, their owners skilfully mixing items from many styles & eras.

room with white-painted wooden rafters

They’re furnished with antique, vintage, retro and industrial pieces.

red kitchen wall with white area painted unevenly with a roller

In addition to having owners with great taste, they all have one more important thing in common…

exterior paintwork

…the magic touch of Farrow & Ball.

Arcana table and chairs

We love Farrow & Ball ourselves – the tradition, the integrity, the colours, the eccentric names!

Contemporary chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

This book is a must for anyone who shares this love – or for anyone who likes beautiful interiors.

Royal Welcome chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

We like the fact that each photograph is accompanied by a short descriptive passage that helpfully includes the specific paint shades used in each space.

doorways

The author also shares each owner’s story, the property history, architectural highlights and details about certain pieces of furniture & art works.

wide open shelving

The book is divided up into broad sections which cover the decorating principles relating to Classic, Contemporary and Country.

neutral paint colour charts

Towards the end of the book there’s also practical information about products, finishes and colour groupings that work well together.

Neutral Territory chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

The author also takes us inside her own home – and a beautiful home it is too – with a modern, country, rustic style. We love the house and could really relate to the section where she talks about the challenge of a poorly lit space – in her case, an inner hall. She plucked up the courage to paint this space in Farrow & Ball ‘Mahogany’.

walls in hallway painted black

It’s counter intuitive, but as Ros points out, the darker shades create atmospheric & dramatic spaces – and actually make them look bigger. She says that it still gives her a thrill every time she enters. We’ve been toying with the idea of painting our landing area & upstairs lounge space in a dark shade. This section of the book has finally convinced us to go for it!

john name and green art glass on a shelf

We know what we’re going to paint – and when. There’s just one last question to resolve though – Mahogany, Tanner’s Brown, Pelt, Off-Black, Pitch-Black or Downpipe??  We’ll flick through the book once again to look at how the various shades look in real life.

Dark Drama chapter from the Farrow & Ball 'Decorating with Colour' book by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Jan Baldwin

This book comes highly recommended. It’s a comprehensive guide – and will be an endless source of inspiration.

[This review is brought to you in collaboration with Farrow & Ball]

Charity Vintage: Beards… A Spotter’s Guide

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

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permalink to Beards: A Spotter's Guide by Cara Frost-Sharratt for sale on eBay for Charity by & in support of The Martlets HospiceImage credit: Ben Swift

I bet you didn’t know that today, 6th of September, is World Beard Day. Yes, there is such a commemoration. And, as Justin is a long-time beard sporter, we’re participating in the celebration by dedicating this week’s Charity Vintage post to the cause.

This copy of Beards: A Spotter’s Guide by Cara Frost-Sharratt that we’re featuring isn’t a vintage book, but it’s second-hand – so that nearly counts, right? It’s being sold by & in support of the Martlets Hospice* which is based in Hove. It’s listed as ‘buy it now’ for a mere £2.99 with free postage.

The book is full of fab, humorous illustrations by Ben Swift. You can see a selection of them on his Behance gallery. The author tells us that:

This book is a handy guide for the amateur beard spotter. You can fit it in your pocket and whip it out at a moment’s notice when a tricky chin appendage wanders past… this book will give toy all the ammunition you need to inform and educate yourself about this curious group of men, united by their love of wearing whiskers.

Justin’s beard closely resembles the one gracing the cover – similar in shape, length & fullness – albeit lighter in colour with a few stripes of silver. I wonder what this one is identified as…

*The Martlets Hospice is an independent charity, caring for adults with a life limiting disease where a cure is no longer possible, in the Brighton and Hove area. Specialist palliative care is provided for patients. Support is given to families and carers during the patients’ illness and into bereavement.

World Dolls Series: Scotland

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

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vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book

This week we’re touring Scotland in our World Dolls Series of books.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustrations by M. Russon

There are twelve little books in the series. We’ve managed to get hold of them all, so we can do quite a comprehensive tour of Europe now.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book featuring dolls Andrew and Sheena

Our doll guides for this trip are Andrew & Sheena – sporting their national costumes which they wear for high days & holidays (they dress down in jeans & T-shirt the rest of the week!)

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a castle

Fabulous illustrations once more – this time the work of M. Russon from the Birmingham School of Design.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of children wearing tartan outfits playing with a snowman

They’re very atmospheric with a distinct 1960s feel.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of houses and boats in Aberdeen

We love the colours in this book – subtle shades of green, ochre & blue with flashes of bright red.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a thistle

Some illustrations are full of tiny detail, but they retain a simple, spare quality too.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a steamboat and highland cattle

We take in towns, harbours and the wonderful Scottish countryside.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a red tractor

We love the depiction of life on the croft.

vintage World Dolls Series Scotland children's book with illustration of a flock of sheep with Sheena and a piper

Next week we’re heading off to Wales – hope you’ll join us!