genevieve – print and pattern

print and pattern


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ephemera take two (or three or four)

Parker's Burning Lens print - genevieve blog

Ever since I first discovered the Ephemera Society‘s fairs, I’ve been dying to return. And return I did, the Sunday before last.

It’s hard to describe the sheer excitement and overwhelm that makes me want to hide in a corner at first. It’s an endless treasure trove of gorgeous typography and vintage graphics, and the fear of wanting everything briefly paralyses me before I take a deep breath and dig in.

Ephemera Fair - genevieve blog

burma, kelloggs and silk stockings

Ephemera Fair - genevieve blog

To keep me company in my excitement-slash-angst, I went with a friend of mine who shares the same crush on old bits of paper. I thought we might just egg each other on but actually he played a key part in my not bringing home a hundred sheets of vintage ads, and helped me to choose a small haul, which I’m very pleased with. Ephemera high-five!

First up, a page advertising Cadbury’s Cocoa Essence and Mexican Chocolate. This was one that pained me to leave behind last time and since it was still there, I took it as a sign. There’s something lovely and neat about how they’ve squeezed all the words on vertically and horizontally, and of course the bright colours.

cadbury's cocoa essence and mexican chocolate print - genevieve blog

cadbury's cocoa essence print - genevieve blog

Cadbury's Mexican Chocolate - genevieve blog

The next is perhaps my favourite, a label for Wm. P. Hartley’s Table Jellies. I’ve been wanting to make some jellies for a while, since Bompass and Carr became all the rage, and while this hasn’t happened (yet!), this will satisfy my craving for Victorian-style moulds in the meantime.

Wm. P. Hartley's Jellies label - genevieve blog

This ‘Welcome to Europe’ print is published by the Post Office. I do love the Post Office’s old ads, and I’ve long been coveting several of their old prints, which you can buy here. The font is striking, particularly the ‘M’. I’m reading Just My Type by Simon Garfield at the moment, which is giving me a fascinating insight into typefaces, and means I’m noticing fonts way more than before.

welcome to europe - genevieve blog

Post Office Welcome to Europe print - genevieve blog

The last print I found in a tempting pile of pages detached from The English Encyclopaedia: being a collection of treatises, and a dictionary of terms, illustrative of the arts and sciences, published in 1802. Both of us loved the intricate and precise drawings, which were of everything from shells to husbandry to chemistry equipment, often all on the same page. From a ‘short’-list of around 25, I managed to pick this one of burning lenses.

Parker's Burning Lens print - genevieve blog

Parker's Burning Lens print - genevieve blog

Parker's Burning Lens print - genevieve blog

Aside from the lovely drawings, there’s something I like about it that I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it has to do with the way the ‘Burning Mirror of M. Buffon’ and the old-fashioned science equipment seem to belong in one of my childhood fantasy adventure books.

You can find out when the next London fairs are here.

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wild flower cigarette cards / rubber stamps

I’d been searching for a good copy of The Observer’s Book of Wild Flowers but I was thrilled to get one better than that for Christmas in the form of a set of Wills’s wild flower cigarette cards.

I used to press wild flowers as a child in Cornwall and I love them all the more now, as they remind me of a time when I lived closer to fields, hedgerows and streams. But nostalgia aside, the mini flower cards are just so pretty. I’m hatching a plan to display them somehow, perhaps all lined up as below, or perhaps in a smaller batch.

I’m known as a bit of stamp fiend (of the craft variety, although I’m rather fond of old postage stamps too), so I was super chuffed with these knitting-themed rubber stamps and assorted ink pads I got as well. My love of stamps and knitting all brilliantly rolled into one.

They are by Skull and Cross Buns, a make I’d never heard of, but having checked out the Etsy site, I already want at least half of them. They are so nicely made, and the stamp comes out clean and crisp every time. I also really like the way the rubber stamp is raised quite far from the wooden ‘handle’ bit, which means no nasty accidental marks.

So that’s my print/pattern Christmas present round-up. I reckon I did pretty well! I can’t wait to put them all to good use.


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print club london

I’ve been meaning to check out Print Club London in Dalston ever since it came on my radar, and Blisters – the Director’s Cut was the perfect opportunity.

It’s a great idea – 40 artists, 40 editions, 40 pounds – which all adds up to a brilliant chance to get your hands on an original graphic design print from the heart of Dalston. All the prints are inspired by films, lots of them cult classics.

I was bowled over by the venue MC Motors – all industrial warehouse cool, illuminated vintage signs and exposed brickwork.

Here are some of my faves:

marty mcdouble by RYCA

star wars by concepción studios and the wild one by colourbox

I very nearly took home the Back To The Future print by RYCA but decision paralysis drove me to leave empty handed (always a disappointing and ironic side effect of wanting everything). But one thing’s for sure, this is an event I won’t be missing next year.

You can check out all the other prints here.

I spotted this kitty just outside the gallery