Sew A Dino­saur (1992)

I was given this book as a gift as a child. I never made anything from it because it’s defin­itely much too diffi­cult for chil­dren, I just admired the projects.

Tim and the Hidden People

Tim and the Hidden People is a series of children’s school read­ing books from the late 70s/​early 80s that a lot of schools had. They have a strange, bleak folk-horror atmo­sphere, and the illus­tra­tions in the first three collec­tions are a little uncanny valley. Tim is always walk­ing along lonely canal paths with strict instruc­tions to not look over his shoulder and tie the silver string around a partic­u­lar tree or else.

Ivan Bilib­in

I thought while stuck at home I’d do regu­lar posts show­ing things I like which other people may not have heard of. Ivan Bilib­in was a Russi­an artist most famous for his lavishly illus­trated books of fairy tales taking inspir­a­tion from Japan­ese wood prints, Russi­an icon paint­ing and Ye Olde Slavon­ic script.

Magic Stor­ies From Around the World (1986)

Here is anoth­er scan of a vintage book I have had since I was a child. This is a collec­tion of myths and legends from around the world. It was origin­ally Czech and trans­lated to English, and has a large selec­tion of cent­ral European stor­ies less known in the UK, along with stor­ies from places like the high Arctic and Poly­ne­sia. There are also lovely illus­tra­tions by three prom­in­ent Czech illus­trat­ors.

Altern­at­ive London 1969/​70

I found this book in a char­ity shop. It’s a prac­tic­al guide to altern­at­ive living in London from 1969/​70 cover­ing a wide range of topics from rent laws, to sexu­al­ity, drugs and communes to join. This is the first edition, there were yearly updates through­out the 70s.

Cadbury’s Novelty Cook­book

I got this late 70s/​early 80s book from a char­ity shop a while ago. A lot of famil­ies in the UK had it when I was a kid I think. I got it out because I prom­ised to make my friend a really ludicrous birth­day cake from inside. The recipes are fine, vari­ous flavoured sponge cakes with butter­cream icing (albeit with gratu­it­ous Cadbury’s product place­ment in every recipe). It’s the choice of cake themes in the book that’s a bit odd …

Golden Hands Book of Crafts

While I was at my grandparent’s place, I scanned some books. Here’s the Golden Hands Book of Crafts from the 70s. I have some of the magazine of the same name, which I scanned before. You can see that here. Most of the tutori­als in the book weren’t very excit­ing, but there were some nice 70s stock pictures.

70s interi­or design book

Here are some scans from a 1970s interi­or design book- House by Terrence Conran. Some of the stuff in it is really really 70s look­ing, and some is very clean and time­less-look­ing. The pictures I’ve scanned are a mix of the two categor­ies. I just scanned the pictures that appealed to me, as it’s a massive book. Some of them are a little grainy due to the print­ing tech­nique. I scanned anoth­er 70s interi­or book I have here.

Golden Hands Monthly

got this stack of 70s craft magazines in a junk shop in Devizes a few years ago. That place was amaz­ing, a multi-floored cavern of junk. It’s gone now, I think. Here’s some photos.There’s the usual ultra-cheesy raffia work projects and crocheted plant hold­ers and so on, but the clothes patterns are actu­ally mostly pretty nice, which is why I bought the magazines. What I’ve scanned is a mix of nice things and weird stuff though. I also couldn’t scan double page spreads very easily, because the bind­ing on the magazines is dodgy, and I didn’t want to pull them about too much in case they broke. These issues are from 1972 and 1973. I have anoth­er issue from 1976, but it’s prin­ted on much cheap­er paper (the paper qual­ity wasn’t ster­ling to begin with) and the contents are pretty dull.

Visu­al Diary

As part of my MA, we were required to keep a creat­ive diary keep­ing track of the profes­sion­al prac­tice lectures, research, read­ing, exhib­i­tion visits and gener­al inspir­a­tion. I finally got around to scan­ning some of the one from my second year. In the first year I used blog posts for the same purpose, but I felt the need later on for a phys­ic­al record.

Costumes for Plays and Play­ing

When I was a kid I used to borrow this book again and again from the local library. The first thing I ever sewed myself was from it. A friend of mine at juni­or school’s older sister was in a school play of Toad of Toad Hall, and we went to watch. When you’re 7, 13 year olds seem incred­ibly impress­ive. What impressed me even more were the weasel costumes. I wanted one for myself. Armed with an offcut of brown fabric and a toy sewing machine I’d got at a boot­fair, I made a hood with ears like the ones in the book. It was wonky, and I was a bit ashamed of it though, and wished I knew how to sew straight (look­ing back, I’m not sure the toy sewing machine was actu­ally capable of a straight seam). My opin­ion of my sewing projects has improved slightly since.

Nature All Around

These are some pictures I scanned from a 1970s kids book at my dad’s house called Nature All Around. My uncle used to work for a non-fiction publish­er and we always seemed to have strange free books from his work around the place. It has draw­ings and photo­graphs of things chil­dren can spot around the aver­age brit­ish garden/​field/​beach and inform­a­tion about the lives of the vari­ous creatures.

Explor­ing the World of Robots

I’ve had this book since forever. It was part of a set of educa­tion­al books that were a hand me down from my cous­in. The others in the set were pretty stand­ard, on topics like anim­al migra­tion or cars, but this one is a bit odd. The others in the set have long gone to the char­ity shop or anoth­er relat­ive, but I’ll always keep this book.

All the cheese­cloth & macrame you can eat

I got this 70stastic book for £1 from a char­ity shop, mainly because of the pictures. The textu­al parts are worthy and Blue Peter-ish, with lots of making things out of tea chests and copy­dex (why doesn’t tea tend to come in chests these days?), guides to home tie-dying, and sentences like “and kitchen foil gives a touch of glam­our”.


When I was 17 or so I used to carry this note­book around in my bag to jot stuff down in. In boring moments in the pub, friends used to draw in it too. I managed to lose the insides (I’ve still got a few pages some­where, but I haven’t seen then in a while, I’m sure I’ll uncov­er them when I return to Brighton and unpack my stuff). You can see where other people have scribbled stuff on the cover too, and polar­oid stick­ers got stuck on, and then fell off where the mater­i­al was so flimsy. Those polar­oid izone stick­ers were a bit rubbish really. I scanned the covers a while ago, and forgot about it, and just noticed them on my flickr.