Alice in Wonderland at the British Library

One of my favourite books in the world is Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. In fact not just the book – I love the ideas, the illustrations, the history and the endless versions of it that have been created.  When I heard the British Library were having an exhibition dedicated to it I just had to go. 

    

From the British Library website: 
“Happy Birthday Alice! To celebrate 150 years of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this exhibition explores how Alice has captured our imaginations for so many years. Although the story has been adapted, appropriated, re-imagined and re-illustrated since its conception, we are still enchanted by Carroll’s original, much loved story, which continues to inspire new generations of writers and illustrators.

Come and see Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript with hand-drawn illustrations, alongside stunning editions by Mervyn Peake, Ralph Steadman, Leonard Weisgard, Arthur Rackham, Salvador Dali and others.
Discover how Lewis Carroll’s story has been re-imagined, re-interpreted and re-illustrated over the last 150 years with newly commissioned articles, a selection of manuscripts, reviews and literature relating to Alice in Wonderland”.

You start by taking a journey through a pop up of mirrors and maze walls all peppered with Alice in Wonderland quotes and various illustration from books across the 150 years of its publication.  

  
You then enter the exhibition itself which showcases everything from the first edition, details and photos of the original Alice; Alice Liddell, examples of all the different illustrations that have been done over the last 100+ years, plus original art, vintage toys and of course, the ‘Disneyfied’ Alice and her merchandise.

My favourite thing had to be the original diary and then handmade book (complete with hand drawn illustrations) by Charles Dodgson (the real name of Lewis Carroll) that he made Alice as a present after that afternoon of storytelling…for a fan like me it was just breaktaking to see it.
 
 
 Plus there’s a fab pop up Alice in Wonderland shop with lots of fabulous quirky items.  

Its definitely worth a visit whether you are a fan or not and its wonderful that it is free for the nation to enjoy. Thank goodness for the patrons of the arts whose donations make this sort of thing possible. 

The exhibition is in the library foyer, is free to get in to and runs until 17th April.

The British Library is at 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB – nearest Tube Kings Cross/St Pancras. 

The thing I fell in love with this week

BILD ‘Destinations’ print (£6) and NYTTJA frame (£9) – IKEA  Me and my fiancé fell in love with this print as soon as we saw it. Our first proper holiday together was to Paris for my 40th birthday so the city holds some great romantic memories for us.

The poster and frame are sold separately and are available instore at IKEA. See product details on theire website here 
 Image via Ikea.com

It is currently up on the wall in our lounge waiting for when we decorate the room – which will be soon! Its looks great but I know it will look amazing once the room is done.

What have you fallen in love with recently? 

Monday Mantra

Yep, its the beginning of the week again, the weekend has flown by and here we are at Monday morning! Here is todays quote or thought that has inspired me and I hope it inspires you too. Have a great week!

Todays thought

 

Source – my Pinterest

Love to be creative? Is there a piece of art, a story, an idea or project bubbling inside you? Let the sky (and beyond) be the limit…

What words have inspired you recently? I would love to know.

Ripleys Believe it or Not – London

As you may know, in our family there are 6 of us. Myself, my partner, my 8yo son and my partners three sons of 23, 8 and 3). Being in a blended family has its challenges, but also can be wonderful too. My ‘stepson’ Cam’s (although we are not married I refer to my partners younger children as my stepsons as I bring them up 50% of the time) birthday was last month and we looked to organise a fun day out in London he would enjoy.

IMG_9130 We settled on Ripleys Believe it or Not in Piccadilly and booked tickets for the Saturday. I’d been past it so many times as its in such a busy part of London but never really found out what it was. Well I think it’s a hidden gem for families! Due to the type of attraction it is we choose to not take our youngest as at three he wouldn’t really understand what he was seeing, so a family ticket for two adults and two children’s was all we needed. Now, tickets for Ripleys are not cheap – the family ticket bought online is the cheapest option at £67.96 and you can also use Tesco Clubcard tokens too. After a quick search on the internet though I found a buy one get one free offer so all together for the four of us it cost £45.82 – not bad for a central London attraction. Ripleys is in a fantastic building just off of Leicester Square and the attraction has over 700 artefacts spanning six floors, 19 themed galleries, plus an additional Laser Race area which certain entrance tickets cover.

IMG_1445 Inside it really is a mass of things to look at – mostly totally random but lots of fun. I didnt realise that Ripley has been a real person who spent his life collecting the unusual and the rare for people to then visit – there is information about him all through the tour – he must of been an amazing character. Some of it is probably a bit silly for older kids (knitted car, giant chair, upside down room) but for two 8 year olds it was perfect! There are crazy objects, models of record breaking things such as the worlds tallest man, the smallest piece of art, ornate coffins, animal skeletons and bits of meteor to name but a few…

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IMG_9133 Parts of it are more like a traditional museum whereas other parts are much more interactive. You can walk through a medieval dungeon with all its torture equipment, see Olympic Torches from throughout the years and look at crazy optical effects like walking through a tunnel of moving light that makes you think you are moving upside down.

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IMG_1444 I have to say I loved it! I loved seeing all the different art made from crazy things, part of the Berlin Wall and walking through a hall of mirrors. The boys loved the interactive parts such as the light tunnel, creating virtual graffiti as the Berlin Wall and feeling how cold the water was when the Titanic sank.

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IMG_9144 The Laser Race Attraction at the end of the tour had long queues when we got to it, but to be fair we moved to the front quite quickly. You go in as a family and then have to navigate through to rob the bank vault without setting off the alarm via the laser sensors. The boys loved the idea and did really well but be warned you do have to wiggle all over the floor like a cat burglar!!! No good if you’re wearing a dress!

There were a few parts I found a bit ‘too’ weird – there was a whole section on real life freaks and some of the real shrunken heads (including a film on how they were made) were quite macabre! At the end of the journey there is of course a gift shop which is over priced and mainly full of sweets and a hard sell if the £25 posed photo books of you in Ripley style pith helmets they encourage you to pose for. However you can leave via the Laser Race route, which we did to avoid the cries of “Mum/Dad can I have…” We had a great day and I’d definitely recommend it. Book the tickets in advance and definitely don’t pay the price on the door and avoid the gift shop. But if you have kids under 12 I think its a great day out that will keep them talking (and thinking) for long after they leave. Find out more on the Ripleys website here. Photo sources my own or via the link above.

Valentines Day Wish List

Valentines day is a week today and amongst the adverts for diamond rings and expensive perfume, its got me dreaming of pretty things I would love to own.

Now, let me start by saying I’m not a huge fan of Valentines day! For me its a marketing ploy, pure and simple, and I don’t like to be told when and what to buy my loved ones.

but…

I also love stuff. Beautiful stuff. Random stuff. Sometimes expensive stuff. So, if I was to pick 10 things right now I’d love, this is it, Valentines Day or not. Oh, and just to add my birthday is very soon too 😉. 

 1. When I saw the MAC Rocky Horror make up range I shivered in an-tic-i-pation (see what I did there?). I adore the film, its songs, its message and its styling. A perfect collaboration – lipsticks are £17.

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2. Tatty Devine jewellery is unique, stylish and well made. Would I go for a name necklace and channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw? For someone like me that loves anything sparkly, their £60 Magpie necklace ticks all the boxes.

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3. What can I say about the House of Holland Mr Men collaboration? Lets just say this jumper would look fab on me! I love fashion with a sense of humour – yours for £200 and theres a Mr Messy version too!

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4. What a statement piece a Anya Hindmarch bag with the cartoon themed leather stickers attached would be. Stickers start from £35 and you can attach them to any leather bag, wallet or case.

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5. Oh gosh, just yes… Primark poporn pyjamas – £10 (sadly not online – find in-store). I’m a bit obsessed with eating popcorn and like films, so…

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6. Rory Dobner designs are probably one of the best designer ranges I’ve seen recently after discovering them in Liberty. His cat designs are the sort of thing I cant resist and some pieces will definitely be mine in 2015. Prices start from £13.50.

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7. I love a non fiction book, particularly by female writers. The Jenny Mollen book ‘I like you just the way I am’ looks so funny. She is just wonderful! £16.99 (thats the cover price so will be cheaper online) well spent IMO.

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8. I’ve been coveting a pair of thigh high boots for a while and these H&M versions look great. The heel isn’t too high and at £39.99 they are a great price too.

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9. Etsy panda knickers – OK, not cheap at £27.61 but super cute. And panda is my nickname…

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10. I think this Not on the High St train ticket artwork is just so sweet. Personalised art with your names and date you met for just £16. Add the frame of your choice and you’ve got something you’ll treasure forever reminding you of fun days out.

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Well, thats 10 things that are all very me! I hope you like my wish list and may the 14th be filled with love of all kinds for you.
Love, Sarah 💋💋💋

Find links to all items online via prices in text.