Saturday, 28 April 2012

Awesomeness Overview: Shelf (online)

Who are they?

Shelf opened in 2001, the joint effort of Jewellery Designer Katy Hackney and Costume Designer Jane Petrie.

Shelf  took on an identity of its own. Many of the wonderful things which were intended to be sold were left by the wayside as the shop decided for itself which goods were to come and go from the shelves. Collaborations with other artists, hunting trips to foreign lands and vintage finds in the unlikeliest of places have all contributed to the Shelf collection and continue to do so as the shop changes and evolves. 

In March 2011 Shelf became exclusively an online venture. 

Where to find them: - also check out the cherry-on-top accompanying blog at

Purveyors of what now?

[Online Categories] 

My Favourites

Product: Big Green Crocodile with hinged jaw and lots of teeth!

Brand: Ostheimer

Department: Ornament

Price: £25.50 [Go HERE!]
Product: Ostheimer Bears

Brand: Ostheimer

Department: Ornament

Price: £15.00 [Go Here!]

Being as much curious ornaments as traditional wooden toys, it is no surprise that Ostheimer's selection of wooden animals places the dichotomy between tradition and change in a new context, effortlessly creating products which inform of a history of home-made craftmanship, itself exceeding 50 years, yet emerge exotic and adaptable. Ostheimer is appreciated around the world, with a reputation for producing traditional wooden toys of the very best quality, designed to be handed down from generation to generation.Ostheimer figures are produced exclusively from high quality native hardwood, maple and elm. Slight differences in colour and slight deviations in the structure of the grain are not defects, but instead contribute to the special charm and uniqueness of Ostheimer figures. 

The transparent colours are applied by hand with up to six consecutive coats,they are non-toxic, water-soluble stains which do not hide the natural surface of the wood. The design and the colour is based on the awareness that the children must still be able to feel and experience the wood. The figures are hand traced onto planed wood using templates, they are then sawn out and carefully sanded to achieve the typical soft edged form.

To read more regarding Ostheimer's production ethos please follow THIS link. 

Recommended for age 3+; measures approx 23 cm

Product: Embossed Paper Alphabet

Brand: Hand embossed in Germany

Department: Stationery & Office

Price: £8.00 [Go HERE!]

A sheet of 48 silver paper letters in a circus style font.
2 of each letter, apart from K, W, X and Z, plus an '&'
"Cut them free from each other and create labels for presents, greetings cards, children's party bags, table setting cards, the list is endless...."
Hand embossed using vintage press tools by Shelf's "friend Guido in Germany".

Sheet measures approx. 220 x 110mm; each letter is approx. 25mm x 22mm

Product: Pictorial Guide to East London

Brand: Handprinted screen print, limited run of 250

Price: £40.00 [Go HERE!]

An explorations of London's eastern reaches on this beautiful screenprint, produced in collaboration with Telegramme.
More than 40 of the East End’s most appealing businesses are picked out in vivid red, searing yellow and solid black. From traditional favourites E Pellici and Gardner’s Market Sundriesmen to the gent’s outfitters with a difference, Present.
Decorative and informative, it will brighten up the bleakest interior and provide inspiration to resident or visitor.
A three colour handprinted screen print on A2 (594 x 420 mm) 280 Metaphore cream paper. Printed in a run of of 250, each one numbered and signed.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

I do love a bit of scrapbooking!

In Context: a brief history of scrapbooking

Scrapbooks gained prominence during the Renaissance. These precursors of the modern day scrapbook were called 'commonplace' or 'table' books: Hamlet writes in one the saying: "Smile and smile and be a villain" (1:5, 43) - the stage direction indicating that he is writing as he speaks. G. B Harrison notes that table, or commonplace books, were actually popular devices in the early 16th century wherein "intellectual young men...recorded good sayings and notable observations." (Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare, the Complete Works, G. B. Harrison, ed. New York; Harcourt, Brace & World, 1952, p. 895). John Locke, the philosopher, highlighted them in his manual titled: 'The New Method of Making Common-place Books'. However, the comparison to be made between commonplace books and contemporary defined scrapbooks is found in motivation, not their aesthetic. A scrapbook utilizes a plethora of sources (actual things, scraps of paper, photos, mementos, etc.) in its end to display an underlying theme, whereas a commonplace book generally consisted of quotations, as written by the complier. 

1769 saw the advent of 'Granger books', a development Robert DeCandido describes as "one odd turn in the history of scrapbooks",  when William Granger published 'Biographical History of England', by James Granger. Otherwise known as 'extra-illustrated books', these books included both printed material and blank pages on which could be pasted whatever appropriate illustration the purchaser chose, an amalgamation whose popularity reached its zenith during the 19th century. Pre-19th century scrapbooking also emerged state-side, with the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) being amongst the most famous early enthusiasts.
However, the art and craft of contemporary scrapbooking sees its beginnings manifest in the early 19th century, the publication of works detailing 'how to' scrapbook: for example, John Poole's 'Manuscript Gleanings and Literary Scrap Book' (1826), which published poems, engravings and also advised how to collect and what to do - during this time such activities became an exclusively middle class craze. 

The invention of poetry had a profound effect, with Louis-Jacques Daguerre and the daguerreotype, 1837 and the onset of the public eventually having the means to process their own pictures. Simultaneously, the mid-1800s saw the production of embossed papers that enthusiasts could use to adorn their albums.

Notable versions of 19th Century scrapbooks included the "carte-de-viste": albums which contained photo pockets (an increasingly popular feature), whilst also including pages for watercolour and pencil drawings. Mark Twain, being a lifelong creator and keeper of scrapbooks, in the year 1872 patented the 'self-pasting' scrapbook, of which there were 57 varieties by 1901. 

The early 20th Century brought a lull to the pastime, with World Wars and economic depression forcing many scrapbook based merchants out of business. It was not, then, until the 1980s that scrapbooking was again an endeavor embarked upon, a growing trend that has spurred a plethora of associated paraphernalia, incorporating the now heralded 'vintage' pieces heralding to a previous age of scrapbooking enthusiasm.

Victorian Scrapbook
(Date. 1880-90)

Britain. 4to, [9 x 11ins.] 88 Full page coloured scraps, (up to, approx' 12 per page), including Christmas cards, Birthday cards, lithographic views, etc,some marked. Original decorated gilt, spine faded...£110.00, from David Hulse Associates.

Victorian Scrap Album
(No Date, ca. 1870)

England. Folio, [18 x 15 ins.] 46 linen leaves with 170 plus, chromolithographs, (colour printed) pasted on to both sides of the page, some slight surface loss to a few plates. The plates are taken from various children's natural history books, alphabet picture books, greeting cards, etc. "Ye Book of Scraps" " Collected and Pasted in - by Edward and Ellen Bates of Manydown Park - Hants - for the entertainment of their Grandson. Edward Bertram Bates. In the year. 1877 - Subsequently passed on to his six brothers in turn". Original half morocco gilt, boards detached. Sold from the Gyrn Castle Library, North Wales. £120.00: from David Hulse Associates.

A Penchant for Paraphernalia


Animal Stamps - £5.99

Alice drinking stamp - £5.20

'To-and-from Stamp' - £2.50 
[I direct you to The Oak Room to buy this simply effective East of India manufactured rubber stamp]

Themed stamp tins, courtesy of Cavallini - £18 - £20
[Cavallini are one of my favourite paper and print producing companies at the moment. Learn more by reading THIS previous entry dedicated to them!]


An amazing array of ribbon, priced from £1.00 per metre, can be found at The Oak Room's online shop! Simply click HERE now!

Reproduction traditional-style scraps

Gold foil oval frame - $2.75
Set of 6 reproduction scraps, made in Germany - £7.50
Fancy ladies reproduction scraps - $3.50
Children playing scraps - $4.50
Reproduction vintage fashion prints - $6.00
Vintage dance tickets - $2.75
My Scrapbooking Story

Volume I: commenced in September 2009

Volume II: commenced in November 2011

[The carry-around, some 8 months or so old and subject to whim and want]

[A birthday card, made with accumulated odds and ends]

My Collection: vintage scraps pre-1960

'Seven Little Kids' story scraps
'The Brave Little Tailor' story scraps
'Don Quixote' story scraps

'Robinson Crusoe' vintage scrap set - procured from Ebay

'Wild Animal' vintage scrap set - procured from Ebay

For information and interest: