Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Saul Bass

 Saul Bass, just because ... thank you Chicklet x


Friday, 18 November 2011


Portmeirion, on the west Welsh coast, is a hidden gem. It was home for The Prisoner, back in 1967. The village was established by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, and begun in the 1920s. Ingrid Bergman, Bertrand Russell were among a few of his guests. Noel Coward wrote Blithe Spirit while staying in The Portmeirion Hotel.

What a nifty idea - a concave window ...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

The Spirit of 51

1951 Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London

Groovy graphics! 
Recommended listening for today is Dave Brubeck's  "You Go to My Head". Sit back and enjoy ...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Sintra is an idyllic well-to-do resort half-an-hour's train journey from Lisbon. It has the fairy-tale Pena Palace, on a hillside and feels very pre-war Hollywood - lush landscape, wiltingly hot, azure sky and it smells of a honeyed paradise. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


 Music by Fado singer, Amalia Rodrigues

Monday, 18 July 2011

Fanny and Johnnie

Fanny and Johnnie Cradock were an intriguing couple.

They wrote under the name of Bon Viveur for the Daily Telegraph from 1950 - 55, encouraging the public to be more experimental with food, in a very dictatorial manner. She of the raised painted eyebrows and he of the removed air (and hair) with a cravat had become household names by the time she took part in that tv programme "The Big Time", with Esther Rantzen (1976).

Julia Davis and Mark Gatiss appeared in "Fear of Fanny", in 2008.


Top photo: "Home Canning: Johnnie manipulates the home canning machine as Fanny packs grapefruit sections ready for scaling."
Bottom photo: "Johnnie shows off one of their giant jars of whole canned peaches bought when the price of peaches was down to 3d each."

My top three Fanny recipes:
1.  the Brawn recipe begins: "Scour the head thoroughly and see that the eye sockets are clean ..."
2. Shrub: ("very old, very English, very good")
3. Apple Ginger: "This admirable deception is the hostesses stand-by when unexpected guests make an emergency sweet imperative. All you need to have besides is a tin of cream OR fresh cream in the house."

To preserving in general Fanny advises: "DO NOT be a slave to ritual jam and jelly making ... they are eaten, faute de mieux, if they were to be put on the table with the exhortation, 'this must be finished up!'"

Fanny Brice "Cooking Breakfast for the One I Love". 1930

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Vintage dressmaking

 Saw this image of a dressmaking pattern for a vintage maternity jacket on etsy (very Doris Day, thank you to The Playful Needle)

and it set me thinking  ... all those wonderful 1940s - 1970s patterns that I've got tucked away should be enjoyed.

Let's see the iconic Joan Crawford in the original 'Mildred Pierce'.

 A few years on -  the '60s ...

Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman in the classic film "The Graduate".

Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen in "The Thomas Crown Affair" sooooo stylish ...

Wonderfully evocative and psychedelic theme also sung by Noel Harrison  'The Windmills of Your Mind'

More style and very sinister ...

            Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in 'Don't Look Now'. 
(Just as well I haven't got a dressmaking pattern for a red duffle coat!) 


Monday, 20 June 2011


 This is "Patches", Clarence Carter, but I can't help thinking of Carole King's classic album "Tapestry"...


This is a patchwork quilt my sister and I worked on since the early 1980s! It has all sorts of printed cottons, including some original Laura Ashley offcuts - when they sold them specifically for patchwork ( a bag of scraps would set you back 70p, in 1978). The Laura Ashley designers used to go to the Textile Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in South Kensington, London, for inspiration. I included some more modern checks and other found pieces.
It's fab to look back on as each piece has a memory. (Feelin' like Olivia Walton now.)

This quilt was all machined and included some polyester fabrics.
Recognise "Holly Hobbie"?

G'night y'all!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Little Things Mean a Lot

I've always loved these gorgeous things - the charming naive illustration style of Polish graphics is an absolute joy. My grandmother (Babcia) used to send us these fab cards. These are from the 60s.

- my bedroom door nameplate has survived all these years, a gift from my Auntie Daisy (she had to have it specially done - oh yes!).

Monday, 23 May 2011


I took these photos on a recent trip to Krakow, Poland. This is the very famous St Mary's Church in the old market place (Stare Miasto), in the centre of the city. The story goes that two brothers competed to build the taller tower ...

A trumpeter sounds every hour to warn of a Tartar invasion.

Also found these -
The Jubilat building is not ugly - it's post-war-fab!

ooh yes, and this - a shop window stuffed full of vacuum cleaner bags!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Old Cinemas in York

"On the avenue, I'm taking you to ... 42nd Street", with Ruby Keeler, 1933
The facade of the former Odeon in York is listed, understandably ...

... it's a fine example of classic Art Deco architecture. See here .
Also, here is the former St. George's Cinema,1921,  in the classic style. It's next to Fairfax House.

The Electric Cinema, now a furniture shop, is in Fossgate.

Thank you for the images: CYC Imagine York

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Monday, 2 May 2011

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Bought this little book for a fiver from Janette Ray's Arts bookshop on Bootham, York.

Some gorgeous books - was very tempted by a book on Erno Goldfinger at £110!

The Kinks, 1965

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Last week we went to Rutland Water, near Oakham. All the bluebells are out - they were an amazing sight and the smell was quite magical.

View across the reservoir at Rutland Water.