On My Bookshelf…The Peacock Party
Last week in the first of this series, and as part of my self-declared Bug Week, I shared with you Alan Aldridge’s illustrated The Butterfly Ball. Gorgeous, wasn’t it?
Well, the treats just don’t stop. People, here’s THE SEQUEL:
In this book, the feathered inhabitants of this charming world decide that anything those bugs can do, birds can do better. This volume was published in 1979 based on anonymous sequels to Roscoe’s version, illustrated in collaboration with Harry Wilcock, and with verses by George E. Ryder…and OMG I’ve just found out there is a THIRD one – The Lion’s Cavalcade! *taps away on Amazon…Sold!*
It is equally as charming. No field notes on bird identification this time, but no less adorable. I could literally recite each poem here, they are all so delightful. This is one of my faves:
Before the world found shape or rhyme,
Before the pendulum measured time,
You were spawned by a murky spell,
You bedmate of demons and powers of hell!
Haunter of the gallows tree,
Raven, what mysteries do you see?
What hellish schemes do you devise?
What evil brews in your cruel, coal eyes?
Busy in your time-worn tower,
You spin your black charms hour by hour:
“Take sulphur’s fumous air,
Mercury, potassium mix with care,
Charge this broth to gentle fire,
Add bat fur, cobweb – stir this mire.
Then your evil wish behold:
The ruddy hues of magic gold!”
‘Many stories have been told
Of tyrants, despots, villains bold.
Worst was the parrot, Shel-em-Nazam,
Spawned by a she-devil, sired by a ram.’
Again, the page of Madame Swanna is scored with my childhood tracing.
Finally, we are treated to a double page pull out of the triumphant Party:
You can see more of Aldridge’s work here.
Vintage needlework goodies
Finally catching up with myself today after an ‘out of sorts’ kinda week. Spending the day designing new jewellery motifs so will be back to sharing my work in progress soon.
In the meantime, thought I would share some amazing vintage embroidery guides and pattern books given to my mum recently. Obviously I love looking at all the designs, but the really fascinating thing is the social window it provides, and how obviously important needlework was in the home back then.
Sit back and enjoy, stitching geeks.
These magazines are from the 40s:
Look at the too-cute ads inside:
And these French guides from DMC and Recko, also from the 40s and 50s. Lots of upholstery designs and sampler alphabets:
And this one which is 100 years old!
Look – claimed 99 years ago!:
Full of lovely traditional Crewel designs, very simple instructions (assumes you knew what you’re doing) and hand-coloured plates: