Filed under: Books, Fripperies, Trinkets, Victorian, Victoriana | Tags: Etsy, Fashion, film, movie, Sherlock Holmes, Style
I haven’t seen this yet (our nearest cinema is a nightmare to get to unless you drive, which we don’t) so may have to wait for the DVD again, but ooooh I am looking forward to it.
I wasn’t, to tell the truth, because I dislike Jude Law really quite intensely and it all seemed a bit tawdry, and not in a good way.
However, many of my friends have given this film excellent reviews and the trailer does make me want to watch it.
Ah, seedy Victorian underworlds, my favourite. 🙂
Inspired by all things Holmes-y, I put together a little selection of trinkets & fripperies available from the ever-delectable Etsy sellers.
Just how ridiculously adorable Sherlock Holmes gal (knitting pattern)? I may have actually squealed slightly…
I wish I could knit, I want one! She looks really sassy and slightly mischievous, doesn’t she?
In fact, I would like all of these things. Maybe not to wear all together. There’s a fine line between “rocking a look” and “fancy dress”. 🙂
I do hope you enjoy – and let me know what you thought of the film if you have seen it already!
Direct links to items shown, left to right:
I’m delighted that this selection is also a current Etsy Treasury. Yay! (Expires Wednesday 3:50am)
[EDIT: Aww, the Sherlock Holmes book bag has already sold! Still, do have a look around the rest of Spoonful of Chocolate – lots more book bags to choose from. I love them, so unusual].
Filed under: Books, Brooches, Etsy, Fripperies, Gift Ideas, Style, Trinkets
In a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I present the latest hand-picked selection of gifts where It’s The Thought That Counts…
This little selection of temptations is inspired by Alison – a fabulous lady I don’t know as well as Hester (the previous incumbent of the Fantasy Gift Recipient), but wish I did.
On the first occasion I met her, I was slightly intimidated as she’s one of those people who seem to have it all, who can walk into a room and keep everyone entertained whilst juggling volovants, making witty quips and dancing a waltz. She’s a sarcastic adventuress with an eye for good makeup, and she has excellent taste in music.
And so, the following is a selection of items I think she’d like. I’m not as sure as with my selection for Hester, but certainly they certainly make me think “Ah, that’s very Alison…”
Direct links to items shown, left to right:
The brooch I could also have given to Hester. Indeed, I am very glad to say, to any number of my friends who have equally book-addled brains!
Until next time, I do hope you enjoy browsing these wonderful shops.
Filed under: Art, Autumn, Books, Cosy, Etsy, Fairytales, Fall, Hounds of the Morrigan, Knitting Pattern, Literature, Pat O'Shea
Hounds of the Morrigan, by the now sadly departed Pat O’Shea, was 10 years in the writing. It can be classed as a children’s book, but I have been reading it on and off since I was 11 years old, and it still remains one of my favourite books in the whole world. Such imagination, dark humour & a great cast of characters – I just had to honour it with a blog post and – of course – a selection of goodies inspired by fond memories of the novel itself…
Direct links to items shown, left to right:
The story is the age old battle of Good v Evil, in the same rich vein as Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence; but it’s really the cast of characters and the adventures they have together that always brings me back to the world Pat O’Shea created.
I always, always wished for another book from her, a continuation of the story, the chance to meet old friends. There is a tantalising glimpse of what might have been in her obituary, printed in The Guardian newspaper:
The few brilliant chapters of the unfinished sequel are almost worth publishing alone: a Christmas card scene, candelit shop windows, carol singers and a robin… and into this cheerful scene rides the great Irish witch the Morrigan with her wild sisters, bringing mayhem and magic and mischief.
*sigh* How selfish it is of us voracious readers to wish someone alive again merely so they could finish/begin a sequel. It’s all a bit Kathy Bates in Misery for words, but I do sort of understand that constant, gnawing wish for more.
Of course unfinished sequels always hold a power that a published book can never have (much as we mourn the loss of new songs from our favourite recording artists who died too young, or the films we’ll never see of actors who went before their time).
It’s an aching void always begging to be filled with new material from rambunctious upstarts or delving into the classics to see from whence your favourite sprang… but you have to get over it each time the craving begins, or that dreadful self-pitying kind of mourning for what might have been starts to spread, like little spores of black mould in a damp bathroom.
Relish the tangible, that’s the cure!
With this in mind, I feel I must very soon curl up in a cosy nook…
…wearing something scrumptiously soft & a good pair of thick bed socks…
…heaped with blankets and cushions, drinking hot chocolate [possibly with a slug of something wicked in it] and reading The Hounds of the Morrigan for the umpteenth time!
Oh, and don’t get me started on Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones – another of my all-time favourites which I hold to my bosom and treasure like a rare jewel. And OH MY GOD – HOW did I not know that she’s written a [proper] sequel?! Ordered it immediately, of course. I may return to this to wax lyrical at length…
Ah, Howl, my first literary crush.
Whatever your favourite cosy read is, I hope you have time to snuggle up with it, soon. I truly believe it’s balm for the soul, and most especially at this time of year, don’t you think?
Do share with me your favourite cosy reads – or the books you keep coming back to throughout the years – I’d be fascinated to know!
Filed under: Beauty, Books, Decadence, Etsy, Fashion, Fripperies, Trinkets, Victorian Originals
I have always adored the idea of a proper Dressing Room – lord, a dressing table would suffice right now, instead of the cluttered bedside table I currently use to store my lotions & potions! How deprived I sound, but truly I still lust after a dressing room – a boudoir nook to lounge nonchalantly on a chaise long whilst eating violet cremes and occasionally powdering my face or spritzing perfume in. Such a room would automatically make one feel glamourous, I think – and what a lovely start to the day, instead of scrabbling around in drawers crammed with half-used plastic containers… ~le sigh~
Incidentally, the above is taken from a really good article focusing on the history of dressing tables, and which really captures the heady opulence of owning and using one – from an inspirational decorating blog called Decor to Adore, which I shall certainly be adding to my blog roll.
As a little girl, I used to love watching my mother get ready for a night at the theatre or a cocktail party – impossibly glamorous, grown-up locations I yearned to be at, too. She had everything laid out neatly on the dressing table – heavy crystal pots containing scented powders and downy feather puffs with satin bows, an old-fashioned silver hairbrush & mirror set inherited from her mother, various perfumes, some in their original bottles, other decanted into vintage atomisers; pearls draping the mirrors, long gloves – all utterly wonderful, whimsical and highly covetable items which made great impressions on me, and which effortless, serene glamour I still aspire to, but shall likely never attain. ;p
One of my favourite book to dip into and dream of the past (and particularly how ladies were expected to look and behave in polite society) is the Old House Books reprint of the 1892 original: The Ladies Dressing Room.
“The indispensable companion of every well-bred lady at the close of the nineteenth century.
In chapters on each part of the female form copious details guide the reader through such imperfections as wrinkles, sunburn, warts and even baldness – for which a concoction of rum and onion is prescribed – without ever venturing upon too much scientific explanation. Such simple and politely euphemistic terminology as ‘small black spots’ and ‘redness’, combined with the occasional piece of hearsay or high society gossip, gives the impression of a casual yet authoritative chat among nineteenth century aristocratic gentlewomen.
Ever fearful of old age or indeed the illusion thereof, The Lady’s Dressing Room strikes a graceful balance between hopeless self-indulgence – chocolate is offered as a cure for bad breath – and an heroic call for ‘spartan frugality’ where there is even the slightest ‘tendency to grow stout’.
As well as being highly informative on its intended subject, this book also divulges a great deal about the writer’s contemporary society. Numerous pages of advertisements for everything from a carpet sweeper ‘the greatest labour saving invention of the century – Invention hath no nobler aim than to lighten woman’s labour’ and the ‘permanent removal of superfluous vein-marks, moles or warts through the administering of electricity by a lady electrician’ demonstrate a burgeoning consumerism (not to mention Victorian eccentricity).
Nothing was more important to a lady than to be seen to be a lady. This is the book that showed them how.”
Sometimes shocking, mostly amusing and always absolutely fascinating, this book is an indispensable addition to the research library of those who wish to gain a deeper insight into the customs & traditions of of the 19th Century. It also inspired (you know what’s coming, regular readers!) an Etsy selection – this one is actually a currently featured treasury on Etsy until wednesday 23rd at 10:15am – but preserved here forever for your viewing [one hopes!] pleasure. These are all things I would love to stock my dressing room with, or have delicately littering my boudoir – in any century. Happy browsing…
Direct links to items shown:
Filed under: Books, Fripperies, Georgette Heyer, Jane Austen, Literature, Regency, Stephen Fry, Trinkets
Yes. You read that correctly. Better than Austen, and I don’t care two hoots or give even a bit of figgy pudding who knows it. I rate Heyer that highly and I take every opportunity to tell people. Well. Not every opportunity. I don’t walk along the street frothing at the mouth whilst muttering the mantra over and over again; nor do I startle people in the park by screaming it in their faces, or have to be led away at family gatherings whilst having my hand patted and a dear relative having to explain that my nerves are not what they were.
I simply mean that whenever the topic of Georgette Heyer comes up, I feel urges overtake me and I must – absolutely must – share with someone in the vicinity how utterly glorious her historical novels are.
But hopefully share in a socially acceptable way with no need to call the rozzers or phone Social Services or any other unpleasantaries. So put that phone down immediately.
I think – bizarrely – most people I know came to read Heyer quite by accident. Finding a book whilst staying with relatives, espying the cover and buying it merely for – what one [incorrectly] assumes will be – a bit of froth with nothing beneath the muslin to give it substance. The highest instance of Heyer Discovery seems to occur in the sickroom – a prolonged period of illness in which one seeks out comfort and allows novels previously deemed well below one’s standard to vie for attention among the smelling salts and chest rubs.
Watch this fascinating clip of the ever magnificent Stephen Fry describing his “guilty pleasure” of his obsession with Heyer (which began in the sickroom at his school)… [starts talking about Heyer around 02:44 or thereabouts if you don’t want to watch the whole thing]
Such unfortunate discoveries seem to further denigrate her reputation – of which she was well aware during her career. An excellent book to learn more about her, should you wish, is Jane Aiken Hodge’s biography, The Private World of Georgette Heyer; or for more general information about the Regency period, with particular reference to Heyer’s novels (and showing how meticulously she researched her work) do seek out Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester.
My absolute favourite of Heyer’s novels is, without doubt, The Grand Sophy. It’s just a masterpiece of farce combined with accute observations on family life and – overall – of society. In this way, I think it’s a very good start for a new reader to Heyer’s historical novels, and it shows that really (as with Austen) she wrote far more about manners than romance.
We Heyer fans will forever be relegated to the realms of Whismy Readers. Those who have never before picked up one of her books will delight in sniffing loudly and declaring “OH. You like ROMANCE novels, do you?” in a tone of voice usually reserved for the slightly insane or obviously working class. These people assume that it’s all gadding about on horseback and flapping around with lace hankies. Now, I cannot deny that Heyer’s novels usually have an amount of horseback-gadding and hankie-flapping, but they are incredibly well-written accounts of gadding & flapping, and really deserve greater respect [than I am giving them here, certainly!] and a wider audience.
This post was inspired by reading Melanie’s ongoing account of her favourite Heyer novels, and particularly the pleasure of witnessing someone (in this case a fellow blogger called Lucy who writes Enchanted by Josephine) who begins her latest post with the immortal words: “So now this is for sure…I’m officially hooked on Georgette Heyer.” Ha. Another convert for the clan. Join us, darlings, do!
By now you should know that any subject I love talking and writing about inspires me to curate a shopping gallery at Etsy, so here’s my latest offering. I do hope you like the pieces I have chosen, and wont think them too whimsical. Oh, actually, I don’t care if you do, because I adore them. ;p
Direct Links to Items Shown:
Yours in whimsy,