I Love...Golden Books

Before I get started singing the praises of Golden Books, I'm happy to announce that my contact page has just been freshly installed on my site! Come & help me test that everything's working & in order, by sending me an email. Just come & say hi, & I'll say hi back! I was going to put my info page up today too, but it's getting late & I have dinner to make (vegan leek & "feta" pastries!), so I'll make sure to do it during the week.

Just Like Me, written & illustrated by Leonard Weisgard, 1954

A Child's Garden of Verses, written by Robert Louis Stevenson & illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen, 1951

Now, down to business... I bet a lot of you grew up reading Golden Books. I love that they were such an accessible way to get kids reading & appreciating great illustration. Earlier this week, I was working on a picture, & it occurred to me that it was strangely reminiscent of the spine & endpapers of a Golden Book. It was purely incidental, but it just goes to show what sponges we are as children. How the things we read impact on us in such a profound way. Googling Golden Books today, I discovered this fabulous blog, sadly no longer updated, but it's a little gold[en book]mine of mid-20th century illustration. I've posted the merest snippet of what you'll find there, from some of my favourite illustrators, such as Richard Scarry & the amazing Alice & Martin Provensen. I owned this edition of A Child's Garden of Verses & a few of their other books. I wish I still had them!

The Happy Little Handsaw, written by Robert E. Mahaffay & illustrated by Milli Eaton, 1955

The Golden Calendar, illustrated by Richard Scarry, 1956

From the Archives: 1970

Here are some of the gorgeous illustrations from my favourite book when I was three - Nurseryland Annual 1970 - an illustrated book of poetry.

I loved poetry when I was a young'un, & loved this book in particular because of the beautiful pictures.  Google hasn't been very enlightening about the book's illustrator, simply credited as Hutchings, but what a talented artist - I love his use of textures. I thought these pictures were so magical when I was little, in fact I still do! I loved this book so much, it eventually fell apart. My mum repaired it with tape, which you can see in the third image. I could have Photoshopped that out when I scanned the pages, but I think seeing the repairs on this beloved old book is kind of nice!

Foxy Haiku Contest: We Have a Winner!

Whoops. I'm the worst blogger ever, I was supposed to announce the winner of my Haiku competition a week ago - sorry about that! I've had a hard time picking my favourite Haiku, that's for sure - what a torture - they are all so great!

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But, without further ado, the winner is Rachael, with her sweet little poem about interspecies friendship:

sleek red fox moonlight flanked by a large coal black cat there in my dark garden

Congratulations Rachael! I really hope you like your bracelet!

But I couldn't help myself...I couldn't stop at just one Haiku...they were all so amazing... So I have chosen a couple of honourable mentions & have a little prize for each of them which you can see below - these little Folk Like Us pendants (they will also be available once I launch my shop in a few weeks' time). Honestly, I wish everyone who entered could win, but I don't want to send myself bankrupt bestowing prizes willy-nilly! So, I shall restrict myself to just the two extras & will be sending a pendant to Suki, for her rather dark & moody, Film Noir-esque poem:

Autumn nights grow cold A fox comes to the city A strange cry is heard

And a pendant to bryssy for so perfectly capturing the image of a little fox gambling about on a cheery autumn day:

cracking leaves lay under padded trixter paws cool breezes blowing

Thank you everyone for entering - that was so much fun! :)

Haiku Contest - Come and Join In!

Back in the days of my old blog (three & a half years ago!) I held a little contest where I asked people to write a Haiku about a rabbit. It was so much fun - I couldn't believe how beautiful & inspiring everyone's poems were! I thought it was high time I held another Haiku challenge, & the inspiration this time is another one of my favourite animals - the fox.

The prize for this contest is from my new jewellery range, the Folk Like Us bracelet you see pictured above, which is inspired by folk art & beautiful endpaper patterns of the 1930s & 40s (& also happens to feature a little fox too). It's valued at $95 USD, & if you win, you will be the very first person in the whole world to own one, because they don't go on sale until October when I open my new online shop.

To enter, you must be a subscriber to my mailing list, so if you haven't signed up already, you can do so via the subscription form over to the right on my sidebar, or there's another form down at the foot of the blog, or a checkbox you can tick when you leave a comment.

If you'd like to join in, please post your foxy Haiku in the comments - how easy is that?! I'll pick my favourite poem on Monday the 19th of September - so you have a week & a half to dust off your feather quill, put on your Haiku thinking cap & enter. I am so looking forward to reading everyone's beautiful poems!

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And the Winner Is...

Hooray! Time to announce the winners of my Super-Duper Mega April Giveaway!

I've drawn the names from my Mailing List for the 4 prizes, but 1 of the people hasn't replied - eek! Shows how important it is to keep your mailing list info up to date! I'm going to draw another person's name if they don't respond in the next 2 days, so stay tuned...

The winners (so far) are...

Lili Wilkinson (goodie pack) Cosy Up (Snap! print) Jen Vecc (goodie pack)

As for the bunny Haiku...wow it was hard to pick a winner - they were all so great! Drumroll please...the winner of the Jack Rabbit print is...

Ashley aka Le Petit Monstre with her poem...

Jack Rabbit stares off sees much to both love and fear. It's a jungle out there.

I thought it was really touching in its simplicity - I particularly love the line "sees much to both love and fear" - beautiful work Ashley! Congratulations! Not only a talented artist, but a poet & bunny lover too!

As I said, it was really hard picking just one. I wanted to give a few more an honourable mention...

The lovely Anna Laura for her ode to vegetarianism...

chicken, pork, beef, fish who eats rabbits anyway? they look better alive!

Goodfeets with a lovely little springtime revery...

green spring leaves unfold lying in the grass, she sighs a rabbit is born

And he also linked to his favourite bunny song... I don't know where he found the time or energy to write bunny poems since I just read in his blog he recently made 24 collages in 2 days!!

And finally, Treet submitted this enigmatic little number...

Quietly I sit Part of all the universe You call me bunny

I'd like to send those 3 entrants a little something too, while I'm in a prize-giving mood.

Wow that was fun! I think I'm going to have to hold another contest soon... Thanks for your entries! :)