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Posts Tagged ‘vintage’

the butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast

dust jacket/cover

this week’s picture book is the butterfly ball and the grasshopper’s feast, from 1973. illustrated by alan aldridge and with verses by william plomer, it’s loosely based on the poem of the same name by william roscoe, but is more focused on the animals’ preparations for the ball.

esmerelda, seraphina and camilla

esmerelda, seraphina & camilla

the incredible illustrations by alan aldridge bring the verses to life. according to wikipedia he was apparently inspired when he “read that john tenniel had told lewis carroll it was impossible to draw a wasp in a wig.” aldridge’s work really deserves a post all of its own, he was responsible for many great album covers, and helped create the graphic style of that era. wikipedia says ‘his work was characterised by a flowing, cartoony style and soft airbrushing – very much in step with the psychedelic styles of the times.’



“this is the tale of the summer’s day, deep in the woods of england, when the butterflies and grasshoppers invited all the creatures of air and land to a ball and feast. from st michael’s mount, windsor, rye, salisbury, tintern abbey and the far corners of britain they came – moles, gnats, dormice, newts, shrews, caterpillars, moths, frogs, squirrels, spiders, toads, mice, bees, flies, worms, centipedes, hares, hedgehogs, otters, and foxes. setting out in johnson’s spinner trains, hot-air balloons, stagecoaches, and on foot, most arrive – some fall foul of bats, stoats, wasps, and foxes and don’t! beneath the broad oak tree the butterflies and guests dance the evening away, feasting and merrymaking until the glow-worms light up and lead the weary guests back to their beds.”

harlequin hare

harlequin hare

you may remember a few weeks ago i featured the animated music clip “love is all” that was made in 1974 by roger glover, based on the song love’s all you need mentioned in this book. this was supposed to lead to a full length animated film, and glover had written a full soundtrack that became the butterfly ball album, but the film was never made.

shelly snail

shelly snail & swallowtail

there are also two other books based on the sequels: the peacock party and the lion’s cavalcade. there are many more gorgeous illustrations in ‘the butterfly ball’ but these tiny images just don’t do them justice. i urge you to find yourself a copy of The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast and pour over the amazing work.. its a grasshopper’s feast for the eyes.

wouldn’t it be amazing to have a butterflies ball themed party? who do you think you would dress as?

do you remember i told you about my screen printing course? well, last saturday i finished it up. at the end of the first class we coated our screens with photo emulsion, so at the start of the last class we exposed them to the UV light. It was a pretty fancy set up, with a vacuum chamber to put the screens in while they were being exposed. i bought some calico bags to print on, and the bag pictured below is the finished result.

draw! pilgrim calico bag

the bag was printed using 2 layers, both exposed on the same screen (but divided by tape): one of pink opaque ink, and 1 of transparent red ink. the contrast between the 2 layers is more apparent in person, but then again it could just be my computer screen.

what do you think of my bag? i carried it with me on my trip last week and got a few compliments. it sure is exciting being able to carry some artwork around with me. i am definitely looking forward to making some more!

Country Graphis Posters '79: Fish Man

“Einordnung” – Issued by the Deutsch Sparkassenverlag bank publishing agency. The title might freely translated as ‘keeping one’s place’ or ‘adaptation”
Artist: Aiga Heinemann-Rasch
Publisher: Deutsch Sparkassenverlag GmbH

i’m back in the real world, now. thanks for your patience. i’m looking forward to showing you some fun stuff this week!

lovely lashes

a homage to lovely falsies, and the beauties who wear them! this post is dedicated to my lovely friend andie, who rocks an eyelash like nobodies business!

i tried to dig up some history on false eyelashes, but all i could find is the following, on several different sites:

False eyelashes were invented by the American film director D.W. Griffith while he was making his 1916 epic, “Intolerance”. Griffith wanted actress Seena Owen to have lashes that brushed her cheeks, to make her eyes shine larger than life. A wigmaker wove human hair through fine gauze, which was then gummed to Owen’s eyelids. “Intolerance” was critically acclaimed but flopped financially, leaving Griffith with huge debts that he might have been able to settle easily – had he only thought to patent the eyelashes.  

via useless facts


shu uemura has become synonymous with lashes (though the range on the website isn’t nearly as big as what’s in store! where are the holographic and rainbow ones?!)

and here’s a video on applying false lashes

so, do you wear false eyelashes? i must admit, as much as i love them, i’m rubbish at applying them (despite much practice) and tend to look more drag than fab. sigh. why is it the things we love most, are the things that don’t suit us!? (see also shift dresses and wide leg jeans)




Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: Fables & Fabulous Yarns

not too long ago i discovered this fabulous knitting pattern book on etsy. its the columbia-minerva knit fashions for boys and girls no.775 from 1970 titled ‘fables & fabulous yarns’. not only is it full of fabulous floral backdrops, the knitted outfits are downright charming – though maybe i feel that way because i never had to wear a woolen pinafore myself!

flowers, crazy stuffed animal props, pinafores and knee socks – what more could you want?! how about some poems? well you’ve come to the right pattern book!

the introduction goes:

a long time ago
in the kingdom of make believable knits
the children declared their independence
and moved across the valley to live with the friendly animals.
they were happy until autumn when it came to their notice
that the animals coats were growing thicker and warmer
while their own clothes were getting thinner.

as winter approached, envy grew into hostility,
until the animals, alarmed for their lives,
sent the tiger in delegation to persuade the children
from persisting in their foolishness.

“children” said the tiger,
“your pride threatens the peace of our land.
rob us of our coats and you rob yourself of friends,
and when our coats wear thin on your backs you
will be lonely and cold too. let us carry you home where you
can enjoy the fruits of the affectionate adults.”

the children heard his words and met
in council to deliberate the matter.
a few thought it more romantic to sneak home
under cover of darkness and gather yarns to knit for
themselves. but the majority said this was not a time
for romance. “all we can knit anyway is scarves and who
wants to go around all winter wrapped in a scarf
when we could have cardigans and dresses and caps and slacks.
let us return and reconsider independence when we
know better how to care for ourselves.”

secretly relieved at being outvoted,
the few joined the many and they all set out at once
astride the larger animals. the adults were likewise
relieved and decided henceforth they would
try to give their children a greater sense of freedom.

and so you will notice as you
read through our book that while the children and
their animal friends play happily together,
the grownups are not anywhere to be seen.
they are behind the scenes knitting.

the fashion director

now on with the fashion parade! please note, the poems are featured above the photos in the book. i didn’t write them. i can only write rude limericks and thats another story for another time!

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: girls who feed asses

two maids garbed in knits of high fashion
met an ass who ate yarns with a passion
said they in protection
please try for “delection”
these flowers as alternate ration

how sweet are those knee socks and mary-janes? and i love those hair ties the girls wear. can someone who had some tell me what they’re made of? are they wool? they look like ropes and remind me of sesame street!!

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: nautical but nice!

three sisters in dress of a sailor
took their pet to be fit by a tailor.
when faced by a bear
all covered with hair
the merchant turned five degrees paler.

as my mother would say, ‘nautical but nice!’ i wish i’d had some sailor outfits as a child. how did they get the skirts to not stretch all out of shape? can you tell i’m not a knitter?

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: apres ski, apres style

a toast to warming snacks and sweaters
sköal to saint bernard the bold
it may be june,
but none too soon
to start and knit for winter’s cold.

plaid trousers! i die. how terrible is that stuffed st bernard? it looks like someone won it at a fair! i’d like that hooded cardigan, and those red mugs though, please.

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: bring on the chevron

two sisters found a baby ‘roo
playing in the hollyhocks.
they spent the morning at the zoo
and picnicked there on lollypops.

lollypops, knee-socks and hollyhocks! oh my! i love the little girls matching tights and polo neck combination. i had a lot of pinafores as a child and i still love them. i just look like a sack in them now thankyouverymuch puberty!

Columbia-Minerva Knit Fashions: matching in brown

a career kangaroo
who sold fruit at the zoo
was caught making book on the side.
when asked to foreswear
this shady affair
he said, “by the book i’ll abide.”

these last two outfits i do not envy. and judging by the kid’s expressions, they share my sentiment. the girl looks like she’s saying “a brown pleated skirt?! thanks mum. now i can wear my school shoes on weekends too” and the boy looks to be saying “you think you’ve got it bad? i’m going to be missing more than this one tooth when i wear this around the guys!”

so what do you think, should we petition to get more poetry+knitting crossover books published? i’m thinking haiku+crochet! sonnets+cross stitch!





i have to admit, my bedroom is a real sanctuary for me. its a very light room, and even though
i’m not being a morning person, i really love waking up there. gradually i’ve been pulling together
some treasures to make it an even lovelier place to wake up, and just a few weeks ago i scored
the pièce de résistance – a cane bedhead! my grandma had one, when i was little, and i just loved
how curly and pretty it was. after some hardcore searching and some ebay-related patience i found
one to fit our bed. it isn’t in perfect condition, but i knew with a coat of paint it would be good enough
for me!
so, enough chat! time for the before and after eye candy!


and after….

i’m so happy with how it turned out. it was a full day of spraying, and waiting, and spraying
some more, and my flip-flops got a bit ruined (oops) but it was worth it. i feel like the room is
complete now!

what do you think?



Daddy Dear

D, D, D, D

Daddy dear, oh daddy dear

Do dogs have dreams, do ducks have ears?

Do dragons dance, why do gophers dig holes?

Do gophers dress up in their dirty clothes?

D, D, D, D

Dogs dream of meat and their dreams are delicious

Ducks do have ears but they don’t do the dishes

Gophers dig holes to hide their candy bars

Dragons don’t dance and they don’t smoke cigars

D, D, D, D

Daddy dear, oh daddy sweet

Do dandylions roar, do daisies have feet?

May I have a drink of water and a dish of tadpoles?

Daddy how deep is a doughnut hole?

D, D, D, D

If dandylions roar then your daddy is deaf

The daisies drank the water so the tadpoles left

Your eyes are droopy darling daughter and you’re dizzy in the head

The toads are eating dinner so it’s time to go to bed

Little dolly go to bed


Music by Bud Luckey

Lyrics by Donald Hadley

Lyrics from The Original Sesame Street Lyrics Archive

As seen on Sesame Street Old School: Volume 1

I wish i knew who animated this, but my googling turned up no information. I love the style of illustration, especially the ‘d’ amongst the flowers etc.

Its interesting reading the comments on the YouTube page, so many people saying they found it scary for various reasons. I don’t really get that, but i have always liked slightly disturbing things. This always just seemed pretty to me. I hope you weren’t scared!

fab fabrics
I’ve been playing in the Vintage Fabrics flickr pool. Come on in, the water is… floral!