First postcards from Paul to Mildred……


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Late 1902.


Romeo & Juliet for St Valentines Day


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Today’s long overdue blog post is the first image of hundreds of postcards from a recently acquired album which contains postcards sent to Miss Mildred Harrington from Paul between 1902 and 1904.  Although the album does not contain any cards sent on the 14th of February I felt that this one from a month earlier captures the romance of St Valentines Day – romantics may like the characters with the initials M & P written above.

14th January 1903

14th January 1903

Berrington Hall Jane Austen film & television costumes in regency surroundings


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As part of my last holiday I was lucky to visit the beautiful National Trust property Berrington Hall.  On display in the beautiful rooms were a number of costumes used in various film & television productions of Jane Austen novels.  Here are a few of those I was lucky to see.

Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant) Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson)

Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant)
Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson)

Berrington Hall hosting an exhibition of Jane Austen costumes

Costumes as worn by Billie Piper in Mansfield Park & Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane.

Costumes as worn by Billie Piper in Mansfield Park & Anne Hathaway in Becoming Jane.

Costume worn by David Morrisey as Colonel Brandon

Costume worn by David Morrisey as Colonel Brandon

Sense & Sensibility Willoughby costume (Dominic Cooper)

Sense & Sensibility Willoughby costume (Dominic Cooper)

Sense & Sensibility costume Marianne Dashwood (Charity Wakefiled)

Sense & Sensibility costume Marianne Dashwood (Charity Wakefiled)

1940 Derby emergency rest shelter details & Bronte newspaper articles.


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Sorting through some books this afternoon I found a couple of interesting page markers. Emergency Rest Shelters 1940 The Penguin paperback The House of Exile Nora Waln contained a postcard with Christmas and New Year greetings together with a folded sheet of paper. This turned out to be a “Schedule of emergency rest shelters established in the county borough area” listing 26 locations around Derby.  Dated December 1940 and produced by the Public Assistance Department.  There are pencil names alongside and I wonder if these were the people who worked at the shelters or people who had gone to them. For interested locals the buildings were King Street Wesleyan Chapel School, Queen’s Hall Schools, Central Church Schools, Normanton Road Congregational Schools, Public Assistance Offices, The Merchant Hall, The Jubilee Hall, Derby Co-operative Society Guild Room, St. Anne’s School, St. Barnabas’ School, St. Luke’s Church House, Christ Church Mission Hall, St. mark’s Church, TheRoe Farm School Clinic, Mansfield Street P.M. Schools, Salvation Army Citadel, St. Joseph’s Schools, St. Thomas’ Institute, St. Augustine’s Schools, St. Alkmund’s Schools, Carlton Road Congregational Church Schools, Allenton Senior Boys’ School, Brighton Road Senior Boys’ School, Nottingham Road Junior School and Ashbourne Road Junior School.

In The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Mrs Gaskell there were two newspaper clippings from July 30th 1913 regarding letters Charlotte Bronte sent to Professor Heger that has been donated to the British Museum. The Professor Charlotte Bronte letters newspaper article

Etsy Craft Party June 6th 2014



Today I rushed from work to join some very creative fellow Etsy sellers for craft and chat.  The lovely organiers had set out five different tables with activities to have a go at.  Arriving late I only managed two and a half makes but had a wonderful time.

Going to fill out a name badge I found myself at a table with three ladies I’d already met before through an Etsy meet a creative venture and being stallholders at the same event.  I love the way crafters are so friendly even if you’ve only smiled and waved over a table you feel welcome and part of a group immediately.  First up Emma Blue ( was giving tuition on paper folding to create a little box. The idea was to put photos inside on a fold out but after needing three goes to make the box lid big enough to fit (two abandoned green lids are no doubt on the way to the recycle bin as I type) I thought I’d leave further box work for later.

Next Rhea Clements ( was demonstrating how to make a clutch bag from a magazine.  I love the way all these different creative projects for using photos had been devised.  Miraculously the sticky back plastic didn’t wrinkle and I was especially pleased I learned to create a cord using a latchook.  I found that so theraputic I think I may have to dig in the family sewing box for tools so I could make cord to relax.

Etsy Craft Party makes June 2014Just before the venue needed to reclaim the space I moved to a table full of pretty coloured threads to have a go at embroidering one of the old photos I’d brought along but only had time for a few roughly attempted plant stalks ad one very basic flower.  It’s been something I’ve thought about doing for a long while so I am at least inspired enough to make a plan to learn embroidery stitches and try this in depth (as soon as I get a little time that is).

There was even a raffle with some lovely prizes and I was lucky to win a selection of cards by Debbie Greenaway ( and an Etsy t-shirt.


Lovely afternoon. Thank you to all the organisers and I’m sorry I didn’t get time to chat to more people.



J. O. M. Ashley diary entry February 15th – 18th 1919


Saturday 15th February 1919

Lydd – Earls Court

Catch 9.17am from Lydd which gets me home to Teddington just after lunch.  Pick up my Blues, proceed to Redcliffe Square and enjoy another very good evening at the Empress Rooms.

Sunday 16th February 1919

Earls Court

A pleasant placid day, including going to a concert at the Albert Hall.

Monday 17th February 1919

Earls Court – Lydd

Return home to get rid of my blues and go again to the Empress Rooms at 4pm for another couple of hours dancing before leaving with a great rush for Lydd by the 7.15pm.

Wet of course.

Tuesday 18th February 1919



Am delighted to be asked to exercise Col. Phillips new charger – which turns out a jolly good mount.  Take him down to the sea to-day; but he seems to have exercised me more than I him!

Portraits from the scrapbooks. 1945.


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Last year I acquired three scrapbooks.  One was filled with photographs and two were filled with sketches, paintings and pastel drawings like this.

Scrapbooks PilotThe photos showed family and friends on holidays and the pictures were a vast array of different subjects and styles by an amateur who I think must be one of the people in the photos.  Amongst the drawings there were two whom I think bear a resemblance to women in this photograph.

Scrapbooks four friends.Scrapbooks MuffScrapbooks portraitWhat do you think?

Hopes & Dreams


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The blog may have been untouched for 6 months (oops) but The Forgotten Library has been busy with December seeing every weekend on the top floor of Waterstones as part of the Craft in the City event.  This was my stall and welcome refuge on a Saturday from my retail sun-fri day job.

Craft In The City 2013During December I reached one of those big birthday milestones and a very dear friend sent me this gorgeous painting by Ritchie Collins.

40thPaintingI can’t do it justice in a photo, the detail is so incredible.  There is something so magical about the night time cityscape that my imagination has been filled with what The Forgotten Library at this building might be like inside.

40thPaintingright 40thPaintingleftWhilst I fall over the crates of stock on the landing and try to rearrange my work bench to create amongst all the tools and materials piled there I dream of a studio with plenty of space in this amazing building full of historical character and dreams.

Find more of the artists work at


The Secret Garden Craft Fair

Sherwood Art Week brings together talented artists to exhibit their work in shop windows throughout Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.  I am looking forward to following the yarn bombing trail I’ve been hearing about to go and look at the displays this week. There are also some great workshops (unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to subscribe to the one I hoped to do) so take a look at for full details.

Starting things off yesterday was The Secret Garden Craft Fair.  My experience of this started on Friday night as a group of lovely people gathered together to prepare the gardens of the United Reform Church.  I can now play my part in constructing metal market stall frames and with luck (or a broom for assistance) put on the covers.  In humid evening temperatures the orange squash and biscuits a kind lady was offering was very welcome.  Having started work in my day job at 7am and gone straight to help set up in the afternoon/evening getting my own things together late Friday night was a challenge and I was glad of the 8.15am start the next day so I had time to rearrange the unplanned bits of display that went a bit awry.

Still by 11am I was set up to go……..

SAW2013d You are probably wondering why there is a wall behind for the secret ‘garden’ fair, well I was lucky to have an indoor stall as my paper based crafts don’t do well outdoors once they’ve stopped being trees.  I should have taken photos of the gorgeous displays outside but this turned into the busiest event I’ve ever done and I never quite got round to it.

Here are some of my fabulous neighbours in the hall ovrobin and modflowers


Thank you to all the lovely people who came along. I had such a nice day.  Everyone was so supportive and I had some wonderful conversations.

Here are a few more images of the stall

SAW2013b SAW2013a SAW2013e SAW2013f SAW2013g

It was the first time I’d had my newly designed pencil pots on sale and I was pleased to find new homes for many of them.

Any crafter will know that every craft fair brings the huge temptation of wanting to buy gorgeous goods from the other sellers.  As soon as I’d had my first customer I knew I could treat myself to this fab bag from ovrobin

OV Robin bag

Their website will be up and running soon, in the meantime take a look on Facebook for the latest news (and if you are looking for a graphic designer check out Ali’s work Gifted Scribble).

Later on I was able to take a quick look round the garden with my umbrella thanks to the British weather and picked up these treasures

Foto Ceramic pedant

Can’t wait to wear this. Take a look at all the beautiful work at Foto Ceramica

Corrina Rothwell card

This card is so me I had to snap one up when I spotted them on Corrina Rothwell’s stand.

Now I had better start making some more stock!

Forgotten histories & decorative designs


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Yesterday I purchased a selection of (okay far too many) books with the intention of turning some into clocks.  I’d used the Folio Society Shakespeare before to make a clock like this..

Measure For Measure Book Clock it seemed a good idea to bid on a large lot of books to make some more.  I’ve spent the day sorting out what I can create things from. Most of the books are on the way to the charity shop or will be on the bookshelves at Hopkinson (prices from 50p) soon so I can get back some of my shockingly overpriced investment (since I got bid up).  Back to those folio Shakespeare’s…

Folio Shakespeare

There are 37 Shakespeare books which I suspect is complete and I’m one of the few people who enjoyed Shakespeare at school (Macbeth hooked me) so they keep asking me if they can stay on my shelves.  My sensible business head points out the fact I need to make clocks.  My literature/theatre loving head says give them a home and preserve them!  They do have very pretty covers before you even look at the wondrous variety of illustrators in the different volumes (including Dali).

Shakespeare Folio Society detail

Some of the books were crumbling as often seems to happen with the leather spines.  As one opened when I lifted it what at first appeared to be a piece of silver paper slipped in between pages came into view.

Waverly novels photo silvered

The print from the book pages was transferred to parts of the paper and when tipped a certain way in the light I was sure I could make out the profile of a face (looking towards my fingers in this shot).  In the next volume I found what appears to be the same photographic image which had not deteriorated and a number of other photos, many also fading in intriguing ways.

Inside Waverly novels, flower photo Pressed leaves inside Waverly Novels Portrait photo inside Waverly novels Inside Waverly novels torn photos Inside Waverly novels face overlaid with print

Also in the box were some beautifully decorated covers, sadly detaching themselves from the books.

Everyman cover design Green leather, gilt decoration Decorated cover design Swirled leather Leather relief patterned book cover

Also in there was a bible published in 1806.  Amazing to think this was created over two centuries ago.  I wonder whose family it is from?  I know my mum talks of our family bible left when her grandmother died and my grandparents had had to travel several counties to clear the house by bus so could carry very few possessions away with them only practical things the family needed.  I wonder if that still survives somewhere today.

Bible marbled endpaper Family names in bible Family register in Bible 1806 Bible Bible illustration