As part of my The Forgotten Library business I have a small concession in Hopkinson (by Nottingham train station). Today I took two baskets full of fabric and buttons in to sell. It was time to clear out 10 years of hoarded crafting supplies and the rainy weekend here proved perfect for inspiring me to get on. That and a childrens book I found called Jenny Lou is Busy Again – it starts with a little story about Jenny Lou and how she collects toffee papers, flowers, ribbon etc to glue and make pictures from. There were blank pages to make your own pictures in to follow but whoever once owned this had just coloured in the line drawings that went with each story. Fortunately I didn’t find wilted flowers and old sweet papers in my craft cupboard – I wonder what state Jenny Lou’s would be in?
I’ve always been an ideas person. This unfortunately means most flashes of creative inspiration never even make it to the prototype stage. I’ll wake up in the night and think a concept through – so far through it often feels as if I’ve made, sold and finished with something before one ever even existed.
The bath tub is a great place for ideas too as are journeys. Really anywhere I cannot immediately put the thought into practice. I fill all my notebooks with little gems but then the reality of going to work and daily routine takes away the hours when I could be creating these marvels. Often they can wait for years to take shape.
Inspiration struck whilst a friend was staying last week and we were emptying baskets and cupboards to find the things we’d need to bring our idea of using vintage buckles and fabrics to make headbands. There was no elastic to be found and so after the initial enthusiasm we put everything back in boxes and cleared the table again. I’ve bought some elastic now but who knows how long this one will take to become reality.
How many whirlwinds of creativity are there happening out there in the world I wonder. Each hoping for someone to have the time, materials and enthusiasm in the same moment so that the idea can become reality.
Take a look at this interview with The Forgotten Library on the Swop n Shop blog – a great event to raise money for British Red Cross
We’re very pleased to have The Forgotten Library back! Having undergone a name-change, they’ll be appearing once again at June’s event, due to take place in Derby’s Silk Mill Museum.
We caught up with head librarian Charlotte to discover what it’s all about.
1. Hello Charlotte. Could you sum-up The Forgotten Library in one sentence?
Unique gifts created from vintage books and papers.
2. Couldn’t have put it better myself. So what exactly will you be selling on the day?
I hope to bring along something from all the ranges made at The Forgotten Library. Individual journals with pulp fiction and classic penguin book covers. Fun folders with vintage magazine covers. Magnets and keyrings featuring book illustrations and retro advertisements. Cards with unique train travel tickets from the 1930s-1970s, cigarette cards and advertisements from a Victorian Times newspaper. Assorted gifts from letters to bookends decorated with decoupage. Book clocks and…
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Old photos often make me wonder what memories they hold. Who is in the photo? Where was it taken? What memory did it capture for someone? Part of the journey of this mixed collection was being rescued at a recycling plant. How can anyone throw out their family photos I hear you gasp? I always think I could never imagine parting with any of ours yet I am told my nana once had many many more that were borrowed but never came home again. I suppose even if there are still family and friends of the people in the pictures they probably have no idea the photos ended up taking their current journey to my desk. It really is all too easy for snippets of social history to become separated from the people whose lives they tell the story of.