The Art of Book Design: The Absent Minded Fairy

Margaret Vandegrift. Illustrated by E.B. Bensell. The Absent Minded Fairy. Philadelphia, Ketterlinus Printing House, 1884.

The digital scans of this book contain a bit of extra love. Many of the pages have been hand-coloured in crayon to add a flourish to the original drawings, and I find them utterly charming. My favourite is page 19 with the elephant up a tree. The artwork is Victorian in flavour and the story itself is sweet and well told. I’ve included the first page that is without artwork because the opening sentence is delightful and sets the tone for all that follows. You’ll find all of the full-sized plates below the fold. Enjoy.

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Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

A Calendar of Sonnets: October

The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way,
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Oar empress wore, in Egypt’s ancient line,
October, feasting ‘neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!
Helen Hunt Jackson

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 5

Or “being too smart for your own good”. Many photographers have nice expensive gear and then set everything on “automatic” and wonder why their pics are not that nice. Well, I’d never do that but do most of my adjustments by hand so I can get the best results. Except for when I forget about something. So here’s the question for the fellow camera addicts: Why do Giliell’s pics have this annoying blueish tint?

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Here you can see the different style of later architects who worked at the cathedral after Gaudi’s death: sharper lines, more influenced by cubism than modernisme.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

Write your guesses in the comments and I’ll tell you if you’re right tomorrow.

A Magnificent Moon Vine

Opus has sent us something special – a lovely story accompanied by some gorgeous photos. Enjoy.

   When I was growing up in north Georgia, in the early 1960s, my mother always grew moon vines.  I remember that the seeds needed a lot of help to germinate – soaking, followed by nicking with a nail file.  The vines were nothing special, much like many members of the morning glory family.  However, unlike morning glories, moon vines bloom in the evening.  Mom always grew them in pots on the front porch, to make it easier to keep an eye on them.  In my hazy memories, they always opened as darkness fell.  Earlier this summer I ran across some seeds and decided to see if they were as beautiful as I remembered. 

  The plant has had two blooms so far, with more on the way.  I missed the first; was busy inside and just didn’t notice until the next morning.. I was alert the next evening, and the bloom was well on its way to opening by early evening when I checked.  

   I had not seen one bloom in well over 50 years and had forgotten:  it was spectacular.   I usually do plant photography in the studio, with lots of light and gadgets galore.  This was just an iPhone, and a truly mind-boggling subject.  No edits, no cropping, no tweaking.

  I have nothing to add to the pictures. 

  Well, one thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipomoea_alba

©Opus, all rights reserved

Click through to see the magnificent flowers. [Read more…]

Holidays: Sagrada Familia 4

Let’s stop with all the hospital talk for a while, because I’m getting sick and tired of it. Seriously, I was not made for “long, slow recoveries, but I guess few people are. There are so many more pictures from the holiday, so let’s dwell on that beauty.

These pictures showcase the architectural elements inside the cathedral, which are just as beautiful as the windows. I love the light stones.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

 

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A Beautiful Butterfly Poses for Photos

I apologize to Avalus for taking so long to post these photos. I received them near the end of August when things were hectic for me and I didn’t have consistent access to the internet. They’re beautiful pictures and I’m delighted to share them today.

Here is a beautiful butterfly. It might be a popular monarch (Limenitis populi) or a white admiral (Limenitis camilla), but I am not sure. In German they are called big and small Eisvogel (Kingfisher). 

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved