Reading books, not writing them, for a change. Or at least looking at pictures in books. I come from a very book-orientated family. Having several hundred books is quite restrained by our standards. Now I work full-time with textiles, I find it is very easy to justify buying design, textile and fashion books and frankly anything with pretty pictures which inspires me. My friends and family support this via the wonderful Amazon wishlist, which makes all birthdays happy ones. And in the last two weeks I’ve had several outings involving second-hand bookshops. It is just as well that Lincoln, Cromford and Stamford all have bookshops because they are all deficient in vintage clothes shops. Well, to be fair, Lincoln has one, but it was closed, Cromford wasn’t expected to have any, but the one in Stamford turned out to be a normal (though nice) boutique with 4 – yes FOUR – vintage pieces on a rack. Hmm. So my wardrobe remains unreplenished while my bookshelves groan.
A bookseller of Stamford was somewhat surprised to find my stack included
The Ladybird Book Learning to Sew (1972)
The ABC of Needlework (1950)
and Drawing Manga. The last wasn’t really for me, it’s for my contemporary art teaching resources project, not for adding to my collection of old sewing books.
I’ve also hoovered up a very pretty book on English Naive Paintings 1750-1900, a little book on Folk Art in the Alps and The Anatomy of Pattern.
Added to this army of stuff is the one I won! The Prairie Girl’s Guide to Life, thanks to Craftzine. This is just downright odd, although very entertainting. There isn’t much prairie round here, but it’s handy to know how to pan for gold, or go about ice-fishing should the need ever arise. Though the suggestions for embroidering cushions with wagon wheels or green beans did appeal. Incidentally, they also sent me a copy of Craftzine with my apron in, and I love it (the magazine, that is, my apron-love wasn’t a surprise). I haven’t done much past look at the pictures, but it is really good. I might have to subscribe now, seeing as you can’t just buy it in a shop here in this craft-zine-less-zone.
Anyway, back to my books. I also got (new) this birthday:
Chintz. Wow. I knew this would be good, and it is. Good old V&A. The Indian chintz collection is one of my favourite bits of the museum, and I often gave talks about it. I’m so pleased that the collection has been published at last. I could go on and on about chintz, but maybe another time. Another couple of museum collection books: Bonnets & Shoes and some National Geographic hats.
I’m sure there are some others around, buried under heaps, but I’ll come back to them. Now I just have to choose which one to read in bed.