Charity Vintage: Pelican Books | British birds, wild plants & flowers

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Vintage Collection of Pelican Books on bird watching and wild plants & flowers for sale by & in support of Dorothy House Foundation(ends 24 May, 2015 16:32:25 BST)

Yesterday we highlighted a range of bird-watching handbooks to help you identify some of our avian friends. Lo & behold we found this great lot available on eBay for Charity. We love vintage Penguin and Pelican Books anyway, but this lot covers everything you need for doing a bit of nature-spotting!

There are four books on bird identification, and the other four classify wild flowers, herbs and grasses. The set is for sale by Dorothy House Foundation*. The opening bid is £5 with £3 on top for postage and packaging. That’s a pound a book – bargain!

*Dorothy House Foundation aims to work with their community to develop, influence and provide palliative and end of life care that meets the needs of all people with a life-limiting illness. Their purpose is to ensure that the very best care is provided to those in need.

Gimme Five! Bookshelves

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selection of modern bookshelves

We’re in desperate need of some new bookshelves. We’re great hoarders of magazines – we keep them for inspiration and for cutting up and using on moodboards.

Our ever-growing collection of lovely interiors and cookery books is dotted all around the house. We have them in almost every room; stacked up high in piles on the floor, on tables and on each side of the bed.

The recessed floating shelves in our sitting room are mainly given over to displaying our collection of vintage pottery and enamelware. Even this is interspersed with little stacks of books here & there! We like free-standing shelves as we’re always rearranging the furniture to give new purchases a temporary or sometimes permanent home!

We like modern, sculptural, minimalist but striking bookshelves that look like works of art in their own right. The Ptolomeo bookcase is great because it makes use of often under-utilised vertical space. Our favourite though, is the bright yellow SD2.o; unusual, asymmetric and with a sense of fun!

  1. Vitra ESU shelf 4OH By Charles and Ray Eames: £2,108, Heal’s
  2. SD2.0 Shelves limited-edition Factory Yellow by Andy Murray Design: £350, Bouf
  3. Loki 5-shelf bookcase: £195, Habitat
  4. Polygon shelving unit, walnut: £299, MADE
  5. Ptolomeo bookcase by Bruno Rainaldi: £1,095, The Conran Shop

Bookmarks: Style Me Vintage – Home

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'Style Me Vintage' book by Keeley Harris


We’ve been looking forward to reviewing Style Me Vintage – Home by Keeley Harris. It’s just our cup of tea!

'Style Me Vintage' title page | H is for Home

We first met Keeley a few years ago at the Vintage Home Show at Victoria Baths, a regular vintage event she curates (the next of which is happening this Sunday – 15th March).

'Style Me Vintage' 'Where to start' chapter page | H is for Home

As well as the VHS in Manchester, Keeley organises the Festival of Vintage in York, owns the Vintage Emporium – which has concessions across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. She co-runs the Vintage Academy and weekly Twitter chat #VintageBizHour with fellow vintage expert, Kate Beavis. In addition, she regularly writes for and contributes to various vintage magazines and appears on TV. Goodness knows where she found the time or the energy to write this book!

Collection of vintage art glass vases in various colours | H is for Home

Anyhow, on to the book! If you’re only just putting your toe into the water of vintage homewares and interior decoration, this book is a great starting point.

'Style Me Vintage' '1920s' chapter page | H is for Home

There’s an initial overview on how to get going, writing checklists and possible sources for items.

'Style Me Vintage' 1960s vignette | H is for Home

The book then breaks down the collecting & styling into eras – the decades from the 1920s through to the 1970s. Each decade is further sub-divided into useful sections.

'Style Me Vintage' 'Design Influences' section | H is for Home

‘Main Design Influences’ – the external factors that filtered through to home styles – think Art Deco and Hollywood glamour in the 1920s or Pop Art and the space age in the 1960s.

'Style Me Vintage' '1930s' chapter page | H is for Home

‘Get the Look’ – takes the home, room by room, and advises on key furniture pieces & accessories that will help you achieve the feel and appearance of an era.

'Style Me Vintage' '1940s' chapter page | H is for Home

‘Details’ – those essential touches such as wall coverings, lighting and artwork.

vintage enamelware | H is for Home

Peppered throughout are lots of tips on what to look for and home owners’ quotes such as this from Ste & Kat, “We’re big fans of simple design and smooth lines with masses of functionality and think most classics from the Midcentury have both in bucket loads. We like to mix Midcentury with modern and classic design”. Our thoughts exactly!

'Eclectic' chapter | H is for Home

If you happen to be ‘old hands’ like us, this book is equally satisfying. We love having a nose into other people’s homes. All the interiors featured within are ‘real world’ spaces; no unattainable staged sets here!

stove-top vignette | H is for Home

The are lots of familiar vintage items but it’s always a treat seeing how homeowners put them together and juxtapose with the new.

'Industrial' chapter | H is for Home

Towards the end of the book are chapters covering ‘Eclectic’, ‘Industrial’ and ‘Shabby Chic’ styles – popular looks that don’t sit easily into any particular decade.

vintage 1950s Alfred Meakin 'Circus' pottery tea set | H is for Home

There’s also a double page spread where Keeley recommends vintage shops, events and specialists that you can visit to help make your dream vintage home a reality… and we’re included – yay!! 🙂

vintage kitchen storage | H is for Home

We’d highly recommend this as a source of inspiration & information for both newbie and more experienced vintage homeware fans. Get your copy from the publishers or Amazon.

[Many thanks to Pavilion Books for the review copy]

World Dolls Series: Spain

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Vintage World Dolls Series: Spain book cover

We’ve reached Spain – and the end of our journey in the World Dolls Series.

World Dolls Series: inside Spain book cover

Just to recap for any latecomers, this charming set of children’s books written by Irene Dark has taken us on a trip through twelve European countries – our doll hosts guiding the way. The books are wonderfully illustrated by a variety of artists. For this final edition it’s the turn of J. Sirr from the Birmingham School of Design.

Map of Spain

Carmen & Juan are taking care of us in Spain. They scrub up well don’t they?

Juan & Carmen, dolls from Spain Juan & Carmen in their Flamenco dress

As the book says, “Spain is a land of hot sunshine. a land of dance and song”.

Street musicians in Spain

We’re barely off the coach and we’re shaking our stuff to the percussion band!

Carmen's house

We’re staying in a traditional Spanish house which is very pretty. Girls in the beds, boys on mats on the floor!

Working in a vineyard

There’s more farming to do – we’ve done our fair share on this trip! It’s grapes, olives, cork and pigs here in Spain.

group of pigs

We’re not complaining. We like earning our keep – and what better way to experience life in each country? And it’s not as if it’s been work, work, work – we’ve skied, skated, sailed, swam, danced, shopped & gone sightseeing.

men on mules

We’re getting all misty-eyed now – what a journey we’ve had. Wonderful sights and lovely people (dolls).

Siesta time in Spain

But all good things must come to an end – and what a beautiful place to rest and reminisce. We’ve sold the coach and have bought a couple of donkeys. We’re staying in Spain for the foreseeable future.

Beach in Spain

You’ll find us here on the beach with our jug of Sangria – staring out at the blue sea & sky. The odd swim to cool off, a light lunch perhaps. Let us know if there’s anything urgent.

                      GONE FISHING – H IS FOR HOME x

World Dolls Series: France

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front cover of the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Bonjour! We’ve hopped across the channel to France in our World Dolls Series tour.

front inside cover of the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Illustrations for this edition are by Janet Meeson from the Birmingham School of Design.

French dolls Marie and Pierre from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Are guides for this trip are Marie & Pierre – resplendent in their traditional costumes.

French dolls Marie and Pierre from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

A bit of gentle sun on our faces – we’re all relaxed and mellow – so the large shillelagh stick to keep order on the coach that Patrick had in Ireland has been dispensed with!

illustration of town-houses from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Marie & Pierre have joined us from their toy shop window in Paris.

illustration of a tree-lined avenue from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

All the classic Parisienne sights. Wide, tree-lined avenues…

illustration of a pavement café from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

…colourful cafés, classic architecture, beautiful bridges, the River Seine….

illustration of a steamboat from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

…and of course – the Eiffel Tower.

illustration of town-houses from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

We then head into the idyllic countryside to take a look at the vineyards & orchards.

illustration of a castle in the hills from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Then onto the coast for a spot of sunbathing – where we can all get very brown! 🙂

illustration of people sunbathing on a beach and sitting under umbrellas from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

And finally we take in a festival – the Blessing of the Boats.

illustration of the festival of the Blessing of the Boats from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

We just love the illustration below.

illustration of priests standing on the harbour and fishermen in boats from the France edition in the World Dolls Series of children's books

Join us next time when we’re in Germany.

Charity Vintage: I-Spy News Chronicle books

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set of 9 I-Spy News Chronicle books being sold on eBay for Charity by the Hospice of St Francis(All end on 3 Jun 2014, between 21:26 & 21:45 BST)

Once again, it’s a collection of vintage books being featured on this week’s Charity Vintage. This time there are 9 I-Spy News Chronicle books being auctioned as separate lots. They’re being sold by & in support of the Hospice of St Francis* who are based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. They’ve promised that if you happen to win all 9 books, postage will be no more than £2.99.

The I-Spy News Chronicle books were published for children, (often as a tool to keep them occupied on journeys and days out) mainly in the 1950s & 60s. There were 40 in the series. Visit the I-Spy entry on Wikipedia to find out more. Someone has put together a Pinterest board containing lots of the vintage and reissued books by Michelin.

*The Hospice aims to bring peace, comfort and dignity to patients and families facing the crisis of serious illness. They offer assessment and skilled clinical care, respite breaks, home support, day care and bereavement support. Care is free of charge and a flexible and individual approach is made.

Charity Vintage: Ladybird books

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4 lots of vintage Ladybird books for sale by Thames Hospice on eBay for Charity
Thames Hospice* is currently selling half a dozen lots of vintage Ladybird books. Each lot contains 10 or 15 books with a starting bid of £5.95 and £6.95 respectively. If you’re a collector and you’re interested you’d better hurry because they all end later on today!

The lots include books I remember having & reading as a child including Black Beauty, The Big Pancake and The Three Billy-goats Gruff. Their illustrations are so memorable! We sometimes buy & sell them ourselves – here’s a photo of a large haul of vintage Ladybird books we acquired a few years ago.

*At Thames Hospice their philosophy is that together they provide skilled and gentle care for adults with cancer and other potentially life shortening illnesses and their families, friends and carers, giving them hope and dignity throughout their illness both up to and following death.