Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Alice among the forget-me-nots

I've been out and about buying lots of new stock over the last few days. When I buy new things, my first job is to check for any missing/torn pages, colouring, inscriptions and/or any other damage. This is not a hardship because I get to spend time looking at all the beautiful illustrations and reading the odd page or ten as I go along. But, having spent the entire winter huddled indoors the recent spring weather was too much of a temptation. So the whole 'checking for problems' operation moved outside. What could be nicer than sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee and a pile of new (old) books to enjoy?

 Alice in Wonderland among the forget-me-nots. One of my favourite books with one of my favourite spring flowers. Illustration by A. A. Nash. 

The rockery has just started to wake up after the long cold winter

Popkyn the pedlar enjoying the sunshine with the daffodils and purple Aubrietia 

The adventures of Perry Winkle by Jack Orr with the yellow flowers of Alyssum 'Basket of Gold’

Is this a crocodile or maybe an alligator? Either way it’s one of the illustrations from the adventures of Perry Winkle

I can do almost anything - so long as I have a garden table and a sheet of wrapping paper to protect the books!

Forget-me-nots and (I think) Armeria Maritima 'Splendens' or  Phlox douglasii. I’m not at all sure on this one so if you know, please leave me a comment.

Jack Frost was particularly unkind this year. Not content with nipping "scores of noses and ears and toes" he also stole away with this little fairy’s wing. Can a fairy with only one wing still fly?


48 comments:

  1. What a lovely job, looking through old children's books in the sunshine, perfect way to spend a day...I have had to glue my poor fairies together, two lost wings and one an arm!
    warm wishes
    Thea x

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    1. Hello Thea, thanks for calling in. I’m very lucky to be doing something I love especially when the sun shines.
      I wish I could find the missing wing but it completely disappeared. I can only think Jack Frost took it away or (more likely) it crumbled to nothing. Barbara x

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  2. What wonderful pictures, books surrounded by flowers. What a delightful selection of books too. Enjoy the lovely spring weather.

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    1. Thank you Darlene, I can't tell you how nice it is to see the sun again after such a long winter. Sitting in the garden is one of my favourite pastimes!

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  3. Sun...garden...old children's books...it sounds fantastic! A coke for me, please!
    I love Alice's illustrations and enjoy looking for various versions.
    Besos!

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    1. Hello Silvina, your drink and comfy garden chair are waiting, call in whenever you like. I love Alice too, and it’s amazing just how many different versions there are.

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  4. What great photos! I love the shots of the books with nature. ;) All of these books are new to me- but they look like treasures. I am glad you are getting to go through them while enjoying the outdoors. That poor fairy! I hope she can still fly with one wing. :)

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    1. Hello Stephanie, the sunshine and flowers were all it took to persuade me to work in the garden! Several of the books like Perry Winkle and I can do anything are new to me too. It’s such a joy finding things I’ve not seen before and being able to share them makes it even better. A little magic and fairy dust will be needed to get that fairy flying again!

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  5. Poor Fairy!

    beautiful pictures! I never know what flowers are, so I'm no help ;)

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    1. Hello Joleene, I had to look them up! The problem with rockery plants is they all look alike so it makes it a bit tricky. Thanks for calling in.

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  6. The word is that fairies with only one wing can fly, it's all about magic.

    I can smell your garden and feel the sun on my face. Nice book haul Barbara, it's so exciting shopping for books and then getting them home and going through them. I spy a Malcolm Saville book.

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    1. Hi Michelle, I'm sure she does have a trip around the garden at night - at least she is never sitting where I left her!
      You would not believe the change in the weather, from those gorgeous spring days it's returned to deepest, darkest, winter! Vests and socks have come back out of storage!
      Well spotted! A really nice Malcolm Saville with its original jacket.
      I enjoy your latest post about comps and prizes, really interesting.

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  7. Dearest Barbara,

    I would have SO MUCH FUN in England, scouring the shoppes, the outdoor sales and such....the darling illustrated books you collect are exactly what my husband and I have been collecting for over 30 years now. Greetings from a rainy but lovely Minnesota! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, come on over, the shops, castles and tea rooms are waiting for you! I would love to see your collection. I am surrounded by books all day, and yet I still can’t get enough of them. It is getting harder to find really nice copies, probably because so many people are doing it, but there are still some real treasures to be found. Barbara x

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  8. A hard job but someone has to do it.

    Back to heavy winds and rain here in the north east of England, your post has brightened my day.

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    1. Hi Tracy
      I know, and I get paid for it!

      The spring sunshine in Somerset has been replaced with a howling gale and torrential rain, what a difference a day makes! I’m so glad I made the best of those few days. Thanks for calling in.

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  9. cute pictures! :) New follower of yours! Please do me a big favor and click this link: www.961kiss.com/d/?t5 that's all you have to do; it's to help me win concert tickets! It would mean so much to me...thanks a bunch! :)
    Juliet
    www.apurplesky.blogspot.com

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    1. Hello Juliet, thanks for following. I've just been to your blog and clicked the link. I hope you get those tickets! Barbara

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  10. Hey there sweet Barbara! Yes, I must get my camera ready for some HOMESPUN photos; it has been ages since I have blogged on my "personal" life here at home, but I have a new camera and I hope to improve my photography skills!

    Thank you so much for coming by again today! Anita

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    1. Dear Anita, I know your ‘photos will be beautiful because everything you do is. Thank you for your sweet comment.

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  11. Flowers definitely compliment the artistic books. It's almost an overabundance of cuteness--if there is such a thing.:)

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    1. An overabundance of cuteness is fine by me Eve! In fact, I rather like that word and must remember to use it more often. Thanks so much for your comment.

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  12. Oh goodness, I love the books and all, but I am very distressed for your poor fairy! I hope you find her wing and are able to reattach it!

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    1. Hi Diane, I’ve searched the garden but can’t find it. Part of me thinks it has just crumbled away but another (larger) part of me thinks there is some mischief afoot. Is it possible the little fairy has an enemy in the fairy kingdom or maybe its punishment for some misdeed?

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  13. What a combination, lovely nature ,beautiful books . Very nice concept Barbara :)
    I am just loving it :)

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    1. Dear Aunt Mary that is such a nice thing to say. If you are enjoying it, then so am I!

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  14. You bet, Barbara. Fairies fly even with broken wings. You have such a wonderful job. Enjoy your time out in the garden smelling the flowers and poring through the books. Alice in Wonderland and forget-me-nots go as well as coffee does with cakes!

    Barbara, thank you for the bluebell picture. I'm moved that you've kept what I wrote in mind and are so sweet to send me a picture of my favourite flowers. You have such a dear soul. What a spread of purple into that enchanted woods!

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    1. I’m so pleased to hear that Claudine. I would like to think she is still flying over the garden with all the other fairies.

      I hope you get to walk in a bluebell wood one day. xx

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  15. Poor little fairy, the frost has been very cruel this year especially to brickwork, which I've noticed is crumbling everywhere I've travelled. Those books look enchanting. x

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    1. Hi Suzy, brickwork, garden pots and fairies have all suffered this year. Maybe it will be a lovely warm summer. xx

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  16. ~ He stole one of my garden fairies wings too, Barbara! I do wonder what he is doing with them all...hehe! Such wonderful nostalgia in these beautiful childhood books.....~ I have Alice in Wonderland illustrations by, Margaret Tarrant( My Mum's from her childhood) very precious! I only have a small forecourt, here at home....So to see your garden coming to live again was lovely too....~ with kindest thoughts....Maria x

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    1. Dear Maria, there must be a big pile of fairy wings somewhere! Margaret Tarrant’s illustrations for Alice are very special, lucky you to have your mum’s book. I always think spring is the best time in the garden. I’m really pleased you enjoyed the pictures. Barbara xx

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  17. Sounds like a very nice day, Barbara, sitting outside in the garden in sunshine browsing through your books :) Looks like there are some lovely books in your pile.
    Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Thank you Hilde, I hope the sun shines for you. Barbara xx

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  18. What a lovely job your's must be, to be surrounded by books you love, and help other people to acquire! :)

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    1. Hello Sandy, I count my blessings every single day. Thanks for calling in.

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  19. Hi Barbara - I do envy your life a lot of the time. How I wish I could sit outside amongst the flowers paging through vintage books and tell myself at the same time I am actually working! I was sad to see your fairy's missing wing. It does show off some of the lovely detail of her hair and dress but it makes her a bit lopsided. Do you still have the other wing to re-attach? Otherwise I might be tempted myself to take them both off (if it caused no damage).

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    1. Hello Sharon, It’s a hard life but someone has to do it. Sometimes I even have to force myself to eat cake and drink tea at the same time!
      I’ve searched and searched for the wing, but it's nowhere to be seen. I think it must have crumbled away to dust. I did think about removing the other wing, but I’m afraid it might hurt the little fairy, so will probably leave well alone. Anyway if it stays as cold as it is Jack Frost is bound to come back for it. Barbara x

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    2. Tea and cake as well! - now I'm really jealous!

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  20. BARBARA! HELLO OUT THERE! I come to you from my windy city today; gails and hail have invaded our spring, but that's not putting a cloud over my joy to see that the France party is on! Thank you so much for visiting today and I hope you will have time next week to visit the array of posts that are celebrating with me.

    Have a lovely evening; I think a pot of tea is in order for me tonight! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, I can't wait for the party to start! It’s cold, wet and grey here too. I think spring came and went last week!

      I’m going to enjoy a bowl of soup and some nice crusty bread for me tea, anything to keep warm.

      I hope you have a couple of nice fresh scones, with jam and cream to go with your tea! Barbara xx

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  21. My gran-daughter thinks your web site, is as great as sliced bread! and that's high
    praise indeed, I agree a good post, be well Agman

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  22. Hi Terence, please say thank you to your grand-daughter from me. High praise indeed! What a lovely comment from you today, thank you!

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  23. I love the Alice book! I've never seen her illustrated in that way before!
    -Jamie
    ChatterBlossom

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    1. Hello Jamie, the illustrations were done by A. A. Nash for an edition of Alice published by Juvenile productions c1950s/60s. I love her bobbed hair cut and blue check dress.

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  24. I think I've become quite jealous of your lovely collection. I love to sit outside and read and I bet it was great fun going through all those books.

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  25. It was Donna, it really was! Thanks for your visit. Barbara

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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