Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pea Pod Pot

Just like buses...nothing for ages and then four come along at once....

Something a little more 'modurhn dahlink' for today (well modurhn by my standards at least)

Late 50s, early 60s pea pot, no lid.......I have a few other bits similar to this that I have been 'saving' for the day we get the kitchen 'done' (not neutered!).

I have been saving money steadfastly for two years or more and now have enough for a new actual kitchen may take some time.......

Dom says that our old boiler (30 plus years old and annual service costs the price of a small car...) is fine and has another few decades left in her.

He may have got the 'Old Boiler' mixed up with my good self at some point.....................

I am rather partial to a nice bit of fabric that 'goes with' a nice bit of pottery.  I like things that 'match' but not in a direct matchy sort of way

'Any ideas anyone?

Thank you for your two penny worth Arthur

No, I mean 'matchy' in a sort of blendy, 'that goes with this' sort of way

'Ah yes - perfect sense now' 

 Thank you Arthur

In truth I have spent recent spare time 'CUPBOARD SORTING'.  

You can only imagine the enormity of such an undertaking

Thank you so much for calling and I read all of your comments with great delight 

This is the end of my daily bloggo postings - I will resume the 'now and again' postings

 I cannot keep up with myself let alone this blog!  

I have to get back, get back, get back to where I once belonged.....

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


Just like buses....nothing for ages then three come along at once.............

A warm welcome to new followers - I WILL call round eventually and have a nose in your cupboards!

 I am rather partial to colour and pattern.


Oh dear - is it that obvious...

These cups and jug were twinkling at me whilst at the car boot back in the Spring of 2013......made by Portmeirion

 You will be shocked I know...


I really, really don't

 But these are so purdy with that colour and pattern..... I was drawn to them  like a child to a moth to custard to ....

What a super, duper design

I have a post lined up regarding  my jugs....


My top tip for today is:  If it is cheap enough just buy it and worry about where you are going to put them later (crikey....where AM I going to put them.....??????)

Better call in THE BUDGER UPPER

PS: As you can tell from the flowers this is a post from the post bank - I am not able to make Spring flowers bloom in January!!  Today was its moment for some reason - perhaps because the gloom of today needed some cheeriness

PPS:If you have never been to Portmeirion please do try and visit - it is a special place 

PPPS: I am not really here today so I have set this to go off with the timer thingy : today I am in London circulating on the Number 68 omnibus - one of the finest routes in town!

PPPPS: Just for you Angela I have dug around The Custard archives (very dusty!) and late last night (writing this last night) I found these:

 I have some 'proper' coffee bean spoons too.  I may have one or two others........I am rather partial to a nice spoon....

Thank you for asking Angela - these photos would never have seen the light of day otherwise!

PPPPPS: Also thank you Sarah for asking about other egg cups...I may have one or two (we all have our addictions and I neither smoke or drink...very much....never had a pedicure, 90% secondhand.... so....) and delved in to The Custard archives again but only found these for now:

 Sometimes making breakfast is a bit of trial (I am JOKING here!)

Handy things egg cups!

Tra la la fiddle de dee
I am in London
Having a cup of tea

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Just like buses.....nothing for ages then two come along at once.......

Of course watching someone else's breakfast is riveting Jenny!

Just pictures of a boiled egg!

                                                                     "That's it? "

                                                             "A BOILED EGG POST!"


"Excuse me but I have come all the way from Nebraska this morning..... FOR A BOILED EGG!" from Kandice in Lincoln

"Hang on there: I trudged over from ALASKA - full of hope and anticipation and FOUND THIS!" from Snowy Owl, Anchorage

"Yes, but I have traipsed from Budleigh Salterton...what a waste of time... time I'm never getting back..." from Doris who has never left Budleigh before

"And I flew in from Havant...used my air miles and everything...what a load of old cods" from Bethany -  originally from Dunchurch

"Just a minute... I've come all the way from Great Portland Street...why did I bother..." Kenneth from Bingfield Street originally...

(a bit of a joke there for those of a certain age!)

"Thanks for nothing... really is great...." Anon - globetrotter

"Not even a flamin' tablecloth thrown in..." Also from Anon (lots to say for themselves this morning I note)

But there is a cup of tea of course!

Ladies and gentlemen I give you...

....the perfection that is a boiled egg.

Tra la la
Fiddle de dee
Eating toast
and a boiled egg-ee............

PS: Next week the thrills and spills of paint drying.....I love to push those blog boundaries...

PPS: Please note the Marmite - I know that some you of can't abide it but it can abide with me in that case!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Undeserving of your comments and a vintage light bulb moment!

Thank you so much once again - it is clear to all that I am pretty useless as I have still to reply to all of your kind comments and visit blogs.  As snowflakes in the sun and childhood on a sunny day - time is indeed  a fast disappearing beast..........

Glad that you liked the books - I will write another post about them at some point as there is a great deal to be said about our Mr Morris and Ms Larcombe

This is a post just about a light bulb

As a light bulb it is not very good - I cannot really see anything and certainly cannot see to sew

As a work of art it is a wondrous thing - electricity is a wondrous thing.  Lives are changed by electricity and light bulbs - that is a wondrous thing. 

Sad that I am I like to spend my spare time watching Hans Rosling giving fantastic talks using some fantastic statistics. Not everyone's cup of cha but for me he makes statistics mesmerising.   This one here is where he discusses statistics on washing machines, electricity and poverty.

 My mum did all our washing by hand.... five children and an old copper boiler...mangle being used well into the 60s....(1960s in case you were wondering - cheeky!) wash day  was full of angst.  Every day was wash day...

If you recall this post here  I stated loud and clear that I had bought a lampshade and that I 'had plans for it'.  The plan was to use it in this room along with some other 'items' that I was going to have hanging from the ceiling......however I have changed my mind...for now at least.

For now it is just a naked bulb!

Talking of inventions -  late last year  I stepped outside the front door to find this on my doorstep....

It is good to know that I am not the only one prone to eccentricities! I think that several people received a delivery that day

You can Google Mr Sollitt if need be.....

PS: Rest of light bulbs in the house of the eco low energy type. This one here is an indulgence in the light bulb world

PPS: Finally able to do a bit of sewing at the weekend - it has been a very long time since I made anything that was any good.

PPS: I LOVE the BBC's 'Fake or Fortune' programme! I know that there are great deal of you out there who love your thrillers and murder mysteries but for someone like me, who can only get her head round non-fiction (no imagination sadly),  the dicing and splicing of real life is the better option!

PPPS: Finally sifted through one or two embroideries to put on the wall opposite this light bulb - I have photographed them so WILL create a post on that very subject.

PPPPS: As of February I will be much busier work wise - hang on that would be this SATURDAY.....roll on Spring...

Friday, 17 January 2014

A DANGEROUSLY ANORAKY POST. Font focus and old books.... Part the First

Hello again.  I trust that you are fine and dandy.  
I am sorry again for lack of visits and replies to your kind comments - I aim to put that right this weekend.  Very busy work wise so less time to enjoy myself here sadly.

This week in 'The Land of Custard' (Pat Pending) we are focusing on fonts and old books.  Please turn away now if this sounds as anoraky as indeed it is. 

 I have withheld from posting on this subject in the past as I thought it of little interest and would appeal to a limited number with a specific palette: I know several of those people so we have discussions elsewhere about this very topic!   I am coming out here as Annie of Knitsofacto has used a particular font on her blog makeover and I got very excited at the idea!  

This post concerns the one subject about which I am very much of the anorak persuasion.  I love fabrics, embroidery, tins, china but I LOVE old books - very, very specific books.  I have collected these books ALL of my adult life (quite a while then....).  I have collected them in a very focused, organised, meticulous way.  When it comes to these books I am an anorak..............It has taken some years of blogging to say that!  

Another time we will explore the use of the Glasgow Rose motif in Blackie Books and stylistic conventions used by the Blackie Publishing House WITHIN A VERY LIMITED TIME FRAME (I SAID IT WAS ANORAKY!)

This post explores the fonts used by Talwin Morris and  also the designs of Ethel Larcombe : the date range for this post is 1893 to 1915.  I WILL NOT be venturing outside of the time scale today so please do not ask : though Talwin's work for Cassell, Morison Brothers and so on is interesting it is NOT the focus for today.   I can obviously only touch the surface here as there is a great deal that could be discussed and I have got toilets to clean and beds to make..............

I am joking of course..... but just to say that in these first two photographs we are clearly examining the differences in style between Morris's sans serif font (above) and Larcombe's serif font (below). In my mind both are of equal beauty and I would not put one above the other.  Some days sans serif is in favour and on other the serif font wins!  Life is like that I find : ying and yang, Rolls & Royce, cheese and biscuits, bra and knickers.  

The books above  and their specific covers are reasonably uncommon  and it took many, many years to finally trace a copy of  'The Handsome Brandons' - other cover designs of same title exist in their plenty but this design is exemplary. It is sheer perfection in the World of Fonts. Dare I say that  it is fontastic.....

  Ms Larcombe's use of the Glasgow Rose motif will be examined another time - I HAVE TOLD YOU THAT ALREADY.

Two different styles but both with impact on  the shelf - which of course was exactly their intention.  

That is all the discussion needed for today. I seriously could go on and on but the bare bones will have to do for now.

The books below are all Talwin Morris designs - dating from the 1890s to early 1900 (he had sadly died by 1911).  Each and every design is perfect in its balance and form : carefully crafted and delicious upon the book shelf.  For this post I have decided to photograph some of Talwin's less common design - some of the longer series you can buy for 2-3 pounds very easily and jolly nice they are too - here though are mainly 'one off' designs.

The joy of Blackie books is that the same title frequently appears in a range of colours....I may have collected one or two over the seen below.

This series was designed by Ethel Larcombe, NOT Talwin Morris or indeed CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH -  misattribution is one of my pet hate (AHEM!) and not infrequently used on auction sites to inflate prices and mislead!  I feel quite sorry for Ethel - a fantastic designer who is often not credited for her own work. I am starting an Ethel Larcombe fan club if you care to join.  I will be creating badges made from her special motif - for members only.

I have been hoarding  collecting the series pictured above since being teenager ('That would be a sad, lonely old teenager would it?').  I would be the early bird at London markets scouring the stalls looking for just these books.  I am about half a dozen books away from collecting the last few titles that I am looking for in this particular series.  Not sure what I will do after that as I have searched for these books on every overseas trip and bought them in bookshops when visiting New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Eastern Europe among others! This has been 35 odd years in the making and the day I find my last book will  be a sad day indeed I think.  It is the searching and scouring that is the big adventure and though the internet is a great place it has also spelt the end of my local secondhand book shop .  All books that were 'my sort of books' would be kindly be put to one side (some mysterious place out the back) and then the owner would scurry off and say 'I have something that you might like Jenny...'.  If I was lucky I would also be invited to play a game of chess with 'The Men'  - who would be huddled round an old table in the corner.  How wonderful that all was and I could easily loose myself in an old bookshop for a day or two. 

The series of books is not tooooo long.....(dare I tell you that this is a 'two book deep' book shelf...and longer than this photograph shows)
 I would need a fish eye lens to fit them all it.  The series is not uncommon and I think that a fair few of you will be saying: 'I've got some of those'.  It is not hard to find the designs of Ethel and Talwin - they were everyday titles published for mass consumption - but finding them in very good condition when they are 100 years old and read by children....ah yes....that can be more difficult.  I have been lucky to have found several of this series with their hundred year old dust jackets.   A true wonder which, when unpeeled, reveals a 'brand new' book underneath.

The photograph below is pre-wallpapering a few of years ago (I bide my time before I post something!)

I think that I have mentioned previously that I am rather fond of colour and pattern...The one below is an old Flickr photo of mine.  I briefly mentioned my fondness for these books in this post here and before I closed my Flickr account

This is another Larcombe series - NOT RENNIE MACKINTOSH.  Comes in a range of colours....I may have others.....

Below we are returning to the works of Mr Morris and to the sans serif font - with double cross bar for extra measure!

I cannot tell you how much pleasure these books have given me over the years ('She really gets sadder by the minute')

The attention to detail in Talwin's designs is wonderful and the range in styles is staggering (I am only showing a taster here today)

All these books date from the 1890s onward  but, to me, the designs look modern and fresh.

Below are a couple of little pamphlets - a bit of a rarity as these booklets are scripts for short plays used for schools and drama groups.  These two look as though they have never been used : however today we are examining font usage and what a splendid font it is too

Below we have some known designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh (incidentally these were bought for a couple of pounds from the same May Day Fair as the glass deer I posted about before Christmas) - post dating the designs of Morris of course and here we note Mr Mackintosh is now using the double cross bar. Some credit Mr Mackintosh as being the influence upon Mr Morris but I rather think that it was the other way round and I will not enter a discussion around that!  The graphic square design is reminiscent of the pattern seen in bedroom of Mr Bassett-Lowke whose house (78 Derngate) Mackintosh remodelled in his particular style.  Incidentally - again - when I was a child we would sometimes take a trip to Northampton and my mum would point out the house that was designed by 'a famous man' long before it became the place it is today. In the museum at 78 Derngate you will see copies of these books and, completing the circle, Northampton being home to the boot and shoe industry is neatly mentioned in the book below.

Below is another known Mackintosh design - not as stylised as the previous set of books but use of an interesting font once again. Spookily the two books (far left) were bought at different times, from different book shops but have the same owners name inside.........

Back to Mr Morris below of course and one of my favourite Talwin series designs (as opposed to singular book covers).  Can this be bettered?  I think not!

Imagine having this book to read as a child - how wondrous that would be.  These are little slim books that fit neatly into your pocket.  They date from 1903 and are glorious - I will not enter into a debate about that either!

If you are extra lucky ( keep those eyes of yours peelified at all times) you might also  find the hundred year old paperback (oil cloth)  version of the same book

Blackie were experts at marketing so would frequently produce the same book title but in a range of bindings to 'suit all pockets' - reading was for everyone -  just as it should be.

These Morris designs m above mainly date from 1897-1899 - some look as though they were printed yesterday.  Again keep your eyes peeled as I have bought these books at car boots/charidee shops and all sorts of unexpected places.  The world of books is open to anyone I think

The focus here is the Talwin's use of the bird motif in his designs - it crops up time after time...along with fish...

Also available in blue.........oh dear......and green.............and burgundy...... but not for today....another time...

My sisters and I discuss that fact that we had very few books as children - Pear's Cyclopaedia being the main source of reading (lots of facts and figures to memorise and digest). My sister and I learnt all the dates of the Kings and Queens by rote, learnt basic sign language, learnt the meaning of 'umbra and penumbra' (a very handy bit of knowledge if you watch University Challenge) and could draw an image of both at a young age (sad but true!!) - all nuggets gleaned from that book. We had a tattered copy of  'The Waterbabies' that was our grandfathers, a handful of old Beatrix Potters and a hefty copy of the Henry Vlll and his six wives.  I still have that book and can find the well thumbed page which I read over and over again as a child : the bit where Anne's extra digit is described.  True or false I loved the story.  Today we four sisters all have book 'collections' (nothing too grand) - a range of beautiful Alice in Wonderlands (all of us have contributed to that collection every birthday and Christmas - that is where this one here went to) and a lovely collection of Edwardian pictorial covers. 

 If you wish to build up a collection of anything my top tip is start very, very early in life and buy things that you just love 'because'. I had no idea who designed these books all those years ago - I just thought that they looked nice and would cost 20p to £3.00 so why not!   If you are part of a large family you will soon realise that everyone cottons on to your peccadilloes and they will look out for similar things too for you.  I wonder if my sister is fed up of Alice's every bloomin' year...

PS: One day will do a separate post on children's  book illustrations -  I have two or three...cripes

Keep up..

PPS: Wondering if anyone out there thinks that I make all this up and that  I really live in an ultra-modern Penthouse just off Mayfair....

PPPPS: Get oudda here - you pesky kids !

PPPPPS: I really do have some anoraky conversations regarding Mr Morris and Ms Larcombe and I am  happy so to do 

PPPPPPS: Some of my Morris and Ethel books have gone to live on the shelves of the Glasgow School of Art which is most fitting I think

PPPPPPPS: I have far ranging tastes and interests and I am quite sure you do to.  I am not alone with my eccentricities!!!