The Art of Book Design: Illustrated book of Poultry

Martin Doyle. The Illustrated Book of Domestic Poultry. Philadelphia, Porter & Coates, 1892.

Because chickens are beautiful. And it’s what’s for dinner tonight.

Black Breasted Malay

Ghou Rook Rumple (Silk Fowl Chicken)


via: The Internet Archive, where you can view all the illustrations, including the ducks and geese.

The Art of Book Design: Tanglewood Tales

Tanglewood Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett; 1921; Philadelphia, Penn Publishing Company

As promised, today we’re looking at the second book illustrated by Virginia Sterrett, Tanglewood Tales by Hawthorne, and the artwork is just as beautiful as that in Sterrett ‘s first book, Old French Fairy Tales.  The soft flowing lines and attention to small details are still present, but there’s more boldness in the colour palette and, perhaps because of this, a different quality of light. Sterrett was only 20 when she completed this work and was already sick with the tuberculosis that would eventually take her life.

Enjoy! [Read more…]

Plant Portraits

Opus has a new philosophy for photographing flowers and the result is stunning. I couldn’t be more delighted to share them with all of you.

…the spring and early summer has been very good for macro plant photography.  I have started thinking of these as plant portraits, rather than just macro photography. …Hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed capturing them.  

Clover, ©Opus, all rights reserved

Wild Carrot, ©Opus, all rights reserved

The Art of Book Design: My Lady Nicotine

Barrie, James Matthew, My Lady Nicotine A Study in Smoke, London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1890

A book written by the author of Peter Pan about his love affair with smoking. He had quit smoking when he wrote the book and had become contemptuous of it, but the series of 33 essays speak wistfully of his fond remembrances of the days when he enjoyed his pipe. The essay titles include, “His Wife’s Cigar,” “How Heroes Smoke.” and “The Perils of Not Smoking.”


via: Classic Literature Library

Jack’s Walk

The Lily Pond, ©voyager, all rights reserved

This is going to be a strange year for Jack and I. Usually, at about this time of year we pack up the car and head down the highway to the east coast where we spend our summers by the sea, but this year we’ve decided to stay home. My mother’s health has been deteriorating and even though she lives in a nursing home I still worry. I’m an only child so I don’t have a sibling to call on for help. I begged for a brother or sister when I was young, but to no avail. Too bad, an extra pair of eyes and hands would be nice at this stage of life.

When we’re down east in Perce we stay with Mr. V’s mum who is 93 and has been living alone. This mum is still a going concern. Well into her 90’s now she still manages everything well and on her own. She shops and cooks and still bakes cookies because who wants store-bought. She also still drives, irons, gardens and has just found herself a rather nice, very old-fashioned and sweet boyfriend who will be spending the summer with her. He’s just a kid at 78. That means just a bit less worry for us. Our east coast mum will have a wonderful summer even if we can’t be there to share it with her.

Jack hasn’t ever spent a whole summer in Ontario so I’m going to see if I can find a few new trails to keep him engaged. Me too. I like to be outside and I don’t what I’m going to do with myself without my annual hunt for seaglass.