Thursday, April 22, 2010

a little tour of my brain part 17 - Ten foil letters and ten inspirations from Britain

I bought these beautiful foil numbers in London quite a few years ago.  They are about 4 1/2 cm high or 1 3/4" high if you are not familiar with the metric system. The vibrant colours are printed on heavy gold foil paper, what more could a child want or an adult for that matter.

My ancestry is British and I didn't realize how much of an impact it has had on my design. So instead of just showing you these foil numbers that I bought in London each number will have a corresponding inspiration from Britain to go with it.


These foil numbers

How could they not be an inspiration, I have kept them for so many years.


The Victoria and Albert Museum

When you go to London visit the V & A museum. Their website blurb says it all, "V&A South Kensington is the world's greatest museum of art and design, with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity. Discover 3000 years' worth of amazing artefacts from many of the world's richest cultures including ceramics, furniture, fashion, glass, jewellery, metalwork, photographs, sculpture, textiles and paintings." It is a truly amazing museum. The museum also has The V & A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, London. I can't describe the museum any better than they can, "The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is home to one of the world's largest and oldest collections of toys and childhood artefacts. The collection, which dates from the 16th century to the present day includes dolls, teddy bears, toy soldiers, train sets, model cars, puppets, rocking horses, costumes, board games, and some of the first jigsaw puzzles ever made." It is a great museum to visit as well.


Bird's custard

British comfort food that can be eaten alone or used in making trifle and poured hot over Christmas pudding. The packaging is quite lovely, I have several vintage containers.


Licorice Allsorts

I have known for along time about the happy accident that created Licorice Allsorts but for the life of me I could not find the information in the books I have about candy, so I checked online. Wikipedia says "In 1899, Charlie Thompson, a sales representative, supposedly dropped a tray of samples he was showing a client, mixing up the various sweets. He scrambled to re-arrange them, and the client was intrigued by the new creation. Quickly the company began to mass-produce the allsorts, and they became very popular." History was made! I will be using some fake licorice allsorts in an upcoming project.


"Merrythought" teddy bears

"Merrythought" make beautiful mohair teddy bears, I have mine still from my childhood.


Pip and Squeak Annual

I still have my dad's 1930 annual. Check the posts here, here, and here to see samples of the illustrations


Rupert Annuals

We gave these annuals to our children each Christmas. I have some vintage ones as well. I will do a post about them soon. Show and tell is so much easier.


Children's books - Beatrix Potter books, Flower Fairy books, and Winnie the Pooh

I cheated here didn't I? These three sets of books have all inspired me. I like the realism in the illustrations as well as the fact that the characters are a part of our real world and are treated as living beings in their own right. Disney did a disservice to the beautiful illustrations of Winnie the Pooh once they became a cartoon. Whole generations have missed out on some very beautiful art work. I am on a soap box at the moment aren't I, well I won't apologize. Here is another future blog post, stay tuned.


Tricia Guild

Her firm Designers Guild, founded in 1970, is a world force in the design industry. Designers Guild produce textiles, carpets, paints, home accessories, wall papers, and furniture. Her use of colour and pattern are extraordinary. I'll do a post about her as well!


Carolyn Quartermain

Carolyn Quartermain's silk screened textiles are vibrant, bold and totally feminine but not fussy. Her use of colour has been an inspiration. There will be a post featuring some pictures of her work as well.

Well there we have it, ten foil letters and ten - or more if you a stickler for details and accuracy - inspirations from Britain. I am happy that I did this post because there will be some more in depth posts to follow. Honestly I had a bit of a mental block before this post, the brain just stopped and said "I don't have anything to give you at this moment so just go away!" See you next post.