Miroslav Sasek washi tape

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Detail from a strip of Miroslav Sasek washi tape

We ordered a roll of decorative washi tape off Etsy a couple of weeks ago…

Air mail envelope to us from Japan

 … a very pretty package duly arrived from Japan shortly after.

Contents of envelope from Japan

It came from seller Eriko Shirasawa whose Etsy shop is called Sweet Supplies Store. We have to sing Eriko’s praises – look at the effort that’s gone into sending a humble little item. It was nicely wrapped – stickers & stamps, business card, a hand written message – and what looks like paper confetti – lovely!!

Plastic wrapped Miroslav Sasek illustrated washi tape

On to the tape itself, which features illustrations by Miroslav Sasek from his series of ‘This is…’ children’s books.

Miroslav Sasek illustrated washi tape

In this case, it’s ‘This is London’ which dates from 1959. As we’ve mentioned many times previously, we love Sasek’s artwork. It really is fabulous – charming and witty – and very distinctive. There are a few different designs of tape you can choose from too.

Detail from a strip of Miroslav Sasek washi tape

It’s perfect for decorating notebooks or little gifts – hanging notice board items… or even acting as a decorative border to a shelf or wall.

This is Cape Canaveral

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Vintage This is Cape Canaveral book with other titles in the series by Miroslav Sasek | H is for Home

We’ve just made a new addition to our collection of This is… books.

Vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book with cup of tea

It’s always a treat to make a brew and settle down with one of these gorgeous books for ten minutes – especially one we’ve never read before.

Vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book cover

Our new arrival is a first edition copy of This is Cape Canaveral dating from 1963. Later versions of this book were called This is Cape Kennedy and most recently, This is the way to the Moon.

Astronauts illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

As always, fabulous illustrations by Miroslav Sasek leap off every page.

Vehicle checkpoint illustration from 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

It’s a pleasure to share them with our readers – existing fans and perhaps a few new converts too.

Cameramen illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 They’re insightful and very witty…

International newspaper headlines illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 …and full of wonderfully observed detail.

Rockets illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

They’re beautifully drawn and capture the era perfectly.

Mercury Control Center illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

They also have a real sense of optimism about them.

'Welcome Back' illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 We picked up this copy for £5 which was a real steal for a first edition.

Cape Canaveral gift shop illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

It’s always nice to get a bargain…

Satellite dish illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

 …and perhaps added just an extra tiny thrill as we thumbed through the pages!

Space available illustration from a vintage 'This is Cape Canaveral' book

We always buy the early editions and really love our little collection – Cape Canaveral makes it 11.

Pile of vintage 'This is...' books by Miroslav Sasek

A few more to go yet though – there are 18 in the series in total!

Miroslav Sasek alert!

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detailed view of vintage Miroslav Sasek matchbook designed & manufactured for Liberty of London

A few months ago, we blogged about this lovely vintage matchbook designed by Miroslav Sasek for Liberty of London. They’re rare survivors especially when in good condition.

Last week, we were contacted by Penny from the Rain Rescue charity shop in Sheffield. They had a similar one donated to their shop recently and were keen to get the best possible price for it. We said that we’d flag it up to our readers if they put it on eBay, so here’s a link to the listing. They do wonderful work caring for & re-homing animals in need.

The winning bidder will be receiving a lovely item and helping a great cause to boot. If you’re interested you’d best be quick – the listing ends tomorrow!

Miroslav Sasek matches

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detail from long vintage match book made in Finland for Liberty's and illustrated by Miroslav Sasek. Showing an illustration of a man being driven by a chauffeur in a Rolls Royce and a motorbike with a side car | H is for Home

Here’s something for all you Miroslav Sasek fans out there – there won’t be many of these left in circulation.

long vintage match book made in Finland for Liberty's and illustrated by Miroslav Sasek. Showing illustrations of different vehicles such as a London cab, motorcycle with side car and chauffeur driven Rolls Royce | H is for Home

It’s a vintage book of matches with cover design by the famous illustrator – unused and in pristine condition – what a rare survivor!!

detail from long vintage match book made in Finland for Liberty's and illustrated by Miroslav Sasek. Showing an illustration of a London black cab | H is for Home

Sasek depicts 1950s/60s London traffic in his unmistakable style…

red interior of a long vintage match book made in Finland for Liberty's and illustrated by Miroslav Sasek. Showing completely unused black matches with red heads | H is for Home

… and it’s a very long match book – 32cm, so plenty of room for Sasek’s wonderful drawings.

detail of the spine of a long vintage match book made in Finland for Liberty's and illustrated by Miroslav Sasek. Showing the text "150 crown matches made in Finland Designed for Liberty of London by M Sasek | H is for Home

They were manufactured in Finland for Liberty of London – just gorgeous!!

New York, New York

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illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing Brooklyn Bridge with cars passing beneath it

Our recent post I is for Ireland featured the This is… series of books by Miroslav Sasek.

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing a view of water tanks in a city scape

In it we promised some more photos from a recent acquisition – This is New York.

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing people in the aisle of a grocery store

The book was published in 1960 and, as per usual, the illustrations are fabulous!

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing various types of vending machines

New York is one of those cities that works particularly well…

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing a traffic copillustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing an American footballer

…with it’s distinctive buildings, day to day goings on and familiar characters.

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing a view of a city street lined with cars

The artist captures the 1950s/60s era – the sights and the vibrancy of the city.

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing firemen in a fire engine

We had a 10-day holiday there a few years ago. It had changed a bit since Sasek wrote these books but lots of the unmistakable landmarks and energy of the city were still there.

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing a street vendor selling hot dogs and soft drinks

Flicking through these pages reminds us of the great time we had – hopefully we’ll get back there again one day…

illustration from Miroslav Sasek's vintage children's book, "This is... New York" showing an aerial view of Manhattan's skyscrapers and the Hudson River in a pixelated style

…and it would be a real dream to cruise up the Hudson river to arrive in real style!

I is for… Ireland

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detail of vintage book cover, 'This is Ireland' by Miroslav Sasek | H is for Home

It’s been a while since we’ve done one of our alphabet blog posts – but the arrival of this book fitted in nicely with where we left off… so, I is for Ireland.

page from vintage book, 'This is Ireland' by Miroslav Sasek featuring Irish green double-decker buses | H is for Home

The book is from the This is… series by Miroslav Sasek.

page from vintage book, "This is Ireland" by Miroslav Sasek featuring Irish pub interior

We’ve mentioned him quite a few times in blogs but, any excuse!!

page from vintage book, "This is Ireland" by Miroslav Sasek featuring rolling green fields and sheep

We absolutely adore his stuff!

page from vintage book, "This is Ireland" by Miroslav Sasek featuring shop frontage of Patrick O'Brien general store

This is Ireland, published in 1964, is no exception. He captured the quiet countryside and the hustle & bustle of town life with equal charm – the scenery, buildings, characters – day to day life.

page from vintage book, "This is Ireland" by Miroslav Sasek featuring the busy main thoroughfare, O'Donnell Street

It’s been added to our ever growing pile of Sasek books – a pile that shows no sign of abating. Each new book is greeted with the same excited anticipation.

collection of vintage books by Miroslav Sasek | H is for Home

There were two more arrivals this week – This is Israel and This is New York.

pair of vintage books, "This is Isreal" and "This is New York" by Miroslav Sasek | H is for Home

They’re both very welcome additions to our collection…

page from vintage book, "This is New York" by Miroslav Sasek featuring skyscrapers and pink stretch Cadillac | H is for Home

New York in particular lends itself to his stylised characters and distortions of scale – just wonderful! Page after page of classic illustrations. The accompanying words are very sweet too.

page from vintage book, "This is New York" by Miroslav Sasek featuring an all American diner | H is for Home

We’ll post more illustrations from this particular book – they deserve a post of their own!