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 have fallen in love with this week: Hello Spring!

Over the last few days it feels like we’ve finally left winter and slowly moved into Spring. Ok, its not totally here, but the suns been shining, there’s flowers blooming everywhere and Easter and all its sweet treats is on the way.  

I need some inspiration – I need bright. I need cheerful. I need cute!!!

In todays ‘The thing I’ve fallen in love with this week’ blog I share the things that are making me smile so far this March. I couldn’t pick one thing so I’ve gone for a few (I do love doing a flat lay!). Bright, fun and sweet is the name of the game…

 

Clouds zipped purse – Cath Kidston
Vintage coral necklace – Etsy
Purse and brooch – New Look
Nail polish – Superdrug
Hello Fashion Monthly – subscribe here
Pineapple dish – Debenhams
Vintage Mother of Pearl necklace – Etsy
Pineapple vase – Store TwentyOne
Scarf – Echo
Love Sick book by Jessie Cave – Amazon
Vintage glass dish – Etsy
Mike and Ike American candy – B&M stores
Mason Jar cup – Poundworld
Face pot stand and beaker – Tiger Stores
Twizzlers American candy – B&M stores
Clouds Gola trainers – Cath Kidston
Hand Food hand cream & Butter Me Up body butter – Soap & Glory 

 

Bright colours and cute designs lift my spirits. I love the Cath Kidston cloud design (well I am the blue sky girl!) and my new Echo scarf is perfect for Spring styling. The yellow Pineapple vase from Store TwentyOne was a bargain must have and ‘Love Sick’ by Jessie Cave is a book of her doodles on love and relationships and it is very funny and VERY relatable…

 

Regular followers of my blog know I love Hello Fashion Monthly (a bargain at £1.50 each month) and I couldn’t live without Soap & Glory products – I can’t shower, scrub or cleanse with anything else! If you like a jelly bean (as I do), it doesn’t get better than American brand Mike and Ike and when I saw that Pineapple dish in Debenhams I just had to have it…

I feel more cheerful already! So, what are you loving for Spring?  

For more flat lay product inspiration follow me on Instagram – here.

The thing I fell in love with this week

Love and Misadventure (RRP £7.99) and Lullabies (RRP £9.99) by Lang Leav – Amazon I first discovered the work of Lang Leav when I saw this romantic quote on Pinterest…  

Lovely eh?

After that I looked for more quotes and fell in love with her wistful, romantic, heady work. I love to read a few poems before bed to relax and always have her books sitting in my reading pile on my bedside table. I find her words very true from a female perspective for all who have been in love, lost love, are looking for love, or are lucky enough to be deeply in love and loved back.  

I recently added her second book ‘Lullabies’ to my collection and her new book ‘Memories’ is out now and will definitely be on my Christmas list. 

What have you bought recently that you love?

Childrens Book Review: Mr Cleghorns Seal by Judith Kerr

This is a new story by Judith Kerr, partly based on a true story which happened to her father and is about a man rescuing a seal pup, falling in love and ultimately finding a new purpose in life.

Our family very much enjoys the work of Judith Kerr and our nursery bookshelves have always been filled with her work – The Tiger who Came to Tea and the Mog the Cat series being particular favourites.  The story is aimed at children 7 years plus but could easily be read to children younger than that. I think that any child older than 12 years or so might find it too old fashioned and twee but I personally found the book charming and would read it to my youngest child quite happily. My eight year old enjoyed the seals antics and the zoo parts and definitely liked that there was a happy ending as he looked a bit worried after the seals mother never returned! Phew! Its a story that feels like its from another time in the very best way, with communication via letter, travels by train and an old fashioned courtship that reminded me a little of Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. Without giving the story away its a lovely adventure with a happy ending that all children (and adults) will smile at. Plus a story featuring a cute seal pup can never be a bad thing! Its 88 pages are peppered with lots of lovely pencil drawings by Kerr so is a relatively quick story to enjoy too. I also love the fact that at the back there’s details of the real story which although did not have the happy ending is still a fascinating read. My 8 year old was very interested in this particularly as it based based on how he puts it, ‘a real life story like a reality show but a book!

If you are looking for a new bedtime story that is gentle, sweet and wistful with a slight vintage vibe to it then this would be a great addition to your childrens bookshelves. It’s presented beautifully too with a dust jacket with gold embossed type so would also make a nice gift.

Mr Cleghorns Seal by Judith Kerr* is priced at £12.99 published by HarperCollins and available at all good bookshops

My home style: The flat 2013

Back in 2013 my flat was featured in the book ‘Style Your Modern Vintage Home’ by Kate Beavis which I was also the stylist on.  It is a fantastic book featuring peoples vintage inspired homes from the 1920’s look through to the 1980’s/90’s look and also includes advice on collecting vintage plus lots of styling tips in how to display your finds.  

I thought today I would share it with you to give you a taste of my personal home and interiors style…

All images courtesy of Simon Whitmore via F&W Media International Ltd.

I love to mix vintage and modern together so my home fitted the books brief perfectly.  As an ex window dresser and now stylist and style blogger how things look are so important to me. Am I fussy?  Maybe!  

I also wanted to show what could be done in a rented flat as so often interior books and magazines only show the most amazing, huge older houses – totally unrealistic for the majority of us.  Real life can still look fabulous. So take a look at the flat I lived in then…

The lounge – a fun mix of pop art, flashes of red and orange and retro 60’s styling.   

Table – original 1960’s Arkana, Artwork – John Lewis, M&S, Sofa – Harveys, Cushions – Matalan, Primark, Lamp – M&S, China Cats – Villeroy & Boch, Rug – vintage.

The kitchen/diner – a rented flats modern kitchen styled to feel different & quirky with a dining area designed to maximise a small space.

   

Table & chairs – original 1960’s Arkana, Artwork – vintage 1980’s, John Lewis, Fridge – Smeg, Glassware – vintage 1960’s, Kettle & Toaster – Breville, Clock – M&S, Accessories – Alessi, Matalan, Vintage

The hall – Fun vibes with a practical need.

Side table – original 1960’s Arkana, Lamp – Dwell, Clock – vintage 1990’s Swatch, Chair (just seen) – original 1960’s Arkana, Trimphone telephone & telephone book – vintage 1970’s

And finally some of the styling details – 

        

It was a great exerience having my home, as it looked in that moment in time, immortalised in a book! 

I have since moved to a new house that needs work, so look out for blog posts showing my home styling there. A bigger space will be much more fun and now thst we are not renting anymore, we can change what we want!

‘Style your Vintage Modern Home’ by Kate Beavis is available from Amazon – here 

All images courtesy of Simon Whitmore via F&W Media International Ltd.