Posts Tagged ‘book’
London is so magical, isn’t it? A galaxy of brilliant little extra-ordinary details, of green havens or sparkling cafés. So many addresses and surreal places – how often have you thought “Only in London can you see that!” – that it is impossible to keep track. When comes the time to plan a special day or evening out, the memory is misty, yes, there was this little restaurant in this neighbourhood but the name? Or was it on the other side of town?
London for Lovers is one of these travek books you read by pleasure, not just with a plan in mind. The typo, the graphism is so seducing, white, red, blue, between modern and vintage. The pictures evoque the word dreamscape – so bright, so real, so near. Oh, to sit under this tree in a park, or sit at this romantic table or find this exact detail in a museum, or run down these stairs! You will leaf through it preciously, page after page, with the same care, the same fascination as you would a collection of poems.
And so it will remind you of forgotten places you had promised yourself you would take your loved one too, one day and forgot. Those mysterious places that make you whisper a few lines from a book or an anecdote about the history of the building. Those narrow streets where you just want to get lost and forget everything else, everyone else in the world for a few hours.
One of these books you see, that will make your eyes sparkle, fall (back) in love with London, even fall in love if you are not yet.
So many ideas to enjoy the city together. Whether it is your firt time in London or whether you have walked these streets a thousand time, you will fall under the charm all over again.
The title stops you in your tracks, puts a smile on your face. You are awesome. When is the last time your heard that? And so you stop, leaf through the book, loving the rich cardboard cover, the touch of neon in the text. The craft ideas play on natural textures - wood, thread, blackboard paint… yet it keeps a modern vision, lovely angles, bright hues. The explanations are kept simple, with just the right amount of details and anyone -yes, even the clumsy me – can manage these and are echoed in gorgeous drawings too. They all can be done with kids, a great rainy day project. In seconds, you so want to make wooden medal brooches, doodle on jars, turn enveloppes into notebooks… A very refreshing book with -finally!- new ideas and not recycled ones, adding confettis of happiness to the house.
The story starts by a passion, of course. Her name is Lisa Comfort – the most adorable brunette you have ever met with a vintage look and the most enchanting smile. How many hours has she spent discovering the universe of sewing, dreaming then making unique models, sharing her knowledge, transporting her machine all around London? The came the idea of a café, Sew over it, thought as a second home. A place where you could fight the world one stitch at a time, learn a few more techniques and even indulge in a cup of tea and slice of cake. And for people like me, who barely master changer a button and would not even dare stepping in, clumsy as we are, but yet would love to add a splash of colour to a dress, there is a book too.
The first pages explain the very basics - the difference between stitches, sew a button, make an impeccable finition. Simple, clear explanation, lots of pictures to guide you. Right, yes, you can manage that, you are indeed feeling confident enough to take another step. until now, you never really knew which one. Well, you can indeed cover a button with fabric. Try – oh, success and you are most amazed. So what next? You leaf through, following the artist’s inspiration: pearls are a little like buttons, when you think of it so you could line them, make a pattern. A ribbon can be folded geometrically of in a beautiful flower. A simple collar suddenly becomes a work of art and a very unique one too. Now you are dreaming of a sewing machine, of making a gorgeous skirt.
One of these books that make you go forward, wonderful to discover on a winter day with a steaming mug of tea, enchanting with its simple words and taking you along to a world where everything feels possible.
Love Alice in Wonderland? Switch universe for a little while. You will melt for the wold of Oz, so unique and rich in magic. From the yellow brick road to Emerald City, thousands of ideas can be adapted to baking, crafting, sewing. Look for inspiration in Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes. Hot air balloon mobiles, tin hearts, gorgeous hair clips, rainbow cake, wild fabric flowers… Ah, click your heels three times, invent a party, a birthday any excuse will do to use those fabulous ideas! You will find a few creations explained step by step on the website.
Carnivorous friends, rejoyce. Little did you guess London had so many mouth-watering addresses in the meat field. Whether you favour delicate morsels, meatballs, the most tender lamb ou a juicy sirloin, Meat London will make you feel like planting your fork through one of the gorgeous pictures. Oh the agony of reading late at night when all is closed! The descriptions are worth applauding too, recreating the atmospheres, the textures, the fragrances to perfection, transporting within seconds in front of a nirvanesque plate. Techniques, anecdotes, history – it is all there and a formidable read too. The book lists some famous places of course but will also make you discover more skills of your favourites places, let alone amaze you with surprising alliances of taste. Even better, it does take street food in account as well as the master of this art - the best butchers in town. An absolute must.
If you are passionate about Alice in Wonderland and craft, you simply need to get that book. Page after page of gorgeous ideas, 50 in total, all enchanting. Adorable cushions, creations around the characters, extra-ordinary fashion accessories, details for amazing tea parties… No need to be a pro either - even I, so very clumsy, succeeded easily. Very inspiring and a magic of its own.
All roads lead to something sweet and Pastry Paris certainly is the most wonderful guide to the capital… On one side, amazing pictures of the city – architecture, decoration, famous paintings – on the other its imagined equivalent in sugar. Masterpieces that will make your mouth water, the best addresses in the capital of haute-patisserie!
A walk through London, one that will make you want like slowing down. Familiar views, gorgeous landscapes you are forgetting to enjoy. In each of David Gentleman’s sketch, there is a little detail, an architecture beauty, a different angle on a building you had never noticed and it makes you feel like going out and checking it ou right now. By following the capital through seasons, he also changes the focus to nature, underlining how much green oasis we have, how the nature cycles can change the luminosity entirely. And so, page, after page, you fall in love with the city all over again…
Vintage clothes are passionately in fashion. Ah, it is so easy to fall in love with the elegant hats with a discreet veil, the tiny adorable buttons with a story to tell, the unique patterns. The perfect trend to adopt if you are no so much into high street shopping and want a very unique style. It just takes a BBC film in costume to make me nostalgic – such an elegance, a different way to move into the clothes as well. I’d love to jump in but – as many others, I’m sure – I feel overwhelmed by it all. Ideally I would go for a specific era but I am at a loss to differentiate them. Now, the gap between the 1940ies and 1970ies is clear. But how about 1920ies and 1930ies? Vintage wearable fashion is the perfext reference book, clear, complete, extremely well illustrated. Each decade is analysed – day and evening wear, accessories, pictures of the part, style of one icon explained in details, even make-up tips. The best thing? No need to be fashionista to love it – such beautiful dresses and such a fascinating travel in time!
Time flew and you missed the gorgeous portraits of Queen Elisabeth II by Cecil Beaton at the V&A. Get the exhibition book instead. Amazing how much more a black and white picture can express in the complexity of its hundreds of shades. The gravity of a gaze as well as the freedom of a mnute of happiness look so much more intense. And so, page after page, we discover another Queen. A fascinating beauty, such grace and elegance. A visible weight on her shoulders - representing her people, no place for mistake, never really say how you feel inside. At the same time, it feels like stepping in the same room, sharing a rare moment of intimacy. A woman with a thousand different lives.