Thursday, 30 June 2011

Timeless vintage brands #4 Ladybird books

For the last issue of this series of post dedicated to timeless vintage brands, I was glad to present you the Penguin Books' logo and to tell you about the history of this publishing company... and for this current issue I wanted to continue this cultural branch and, following a very precious suggestion received on flickr by a friend of mine, I took decision to hand carve the amazing logo of Ladybird Books limited! I have to admit that, in spite of the fact that it is an old and well established enterprise, I had never heard this company before but, since I've discovered it, I've fallen in love with its wonderful logo! And to show this new love of mine, here some pics of Ladybird hand carved rubber stamps...

According with its official website, Ladybird published books for children since 1915, when Wills & Hepworth (the former name of Ladybird Books) published a large variety of fairy tales or ABC picture books under the imprint "A Ladybird Series". I was not able to find why they have chosen a ladybird as logo, no evidence about it is available on the net, but what I learn is that this brand became in England a kind of synonymous of childhood education since 1940s, when the Ladybird invented a new standard in books for children with 30 x 40 inches and 56 pages format, a cheap price, and a such as quality in writing and drawing able to stimulate little ones' curiosity and imagination (other than the mine... ;)). More than their official website, some other site are dedicated to this children books publishing company: check them out here and another one here...

Sunday, 26 June 2011

My favorite illustrators # 4 Amy Earles

draw by Amy Earles

For this fourth issue of this special group of post dedicated to my favorite illustrators, I'm really glad to introduce you Amy Earles, an amazing american artist. I discovered her work sometime ago when, while browsing on Etsy, I stumbled upon her wonderful shop, filled with unbelievable paper dolls and draws. As she wrote on her blog's profile, she "makes things, prefers autumn, dreams in color, reflects from half closed eyes...Working primarily in gouache and pencil, she makes articulated paper dolls, paints & draws little stories and facets of memory".

Her stile is really unique, she's able to conjugate two different and contrasting frames of mind thanks to an agreeable and linear stroke mixed with dark colors, which evoke a feeling of sweet melancholy. I really love the outcome, and it was impossible for me to not buy a paper doll of her. Indeed, her paper dolls are simply wonderful, the choice for me was so hard because I love them all since the first sight. And, fascinated by her work, I've taken decision to carve a stamp inspired to one of her characters, a cute little ghost present in some of her draws and paper doll sets... You can check her work out on her website, on her blog, and on her shop...

Monday, 20 June 2011

Another geekery: Pacman rubber stamps

Keeping the geek mood of my last post, I took decision to carry on my personal rediscovery of 1980s' video game art. Differently to modern video games, focused on an excessive realism and a simple digital imitation of real life, those games were an effort of complete abstraction based upon a little goal but well defined: this was the case of Pacman, a yellow ball with a mouth whose the only goal of its life was to eat little things (stones? coins? simply dots? boh) dispersed in a labyrinth while escaping from colorful but dangerous phantoms... simply genial! Nothing to do with modern video games technology that has completely lost the boundaries between reality and fiction to such an extend that, for instance, we find ourselves playing tennis with an imaginary racket in our hands or to see our digital alter-ego making hula-hop in the screen in front of us while, in reality, we are moving as a crazy one on a plastic platform... you can ask me nostalgic, but I think that 1980s games are a completely different story in respect of modern ones for their imagination and their degree of abstraction that render them timeless...

And to show this geek attitude, I hand carved a set of Pacman rubber stamps, that you can find on my etsy shop for only few days, before I will be back in Italy for my summer holidays! I hope you like this new retro-geek production...

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Paris invasion

"Space Invaders" is for all people who, as me, raised during the 1980s almost a synonymous for the video game in itself: it is, indeed, one of most famous digital addiction who the human being has ever created. And, it is with a lot a pleasure that I visited last sunday a art exhibition dedicated to the "Space Invaders": indeed Paris is actually under siege of 1000 little aliens that are decorating walls of Parisian houses. An street artist had the genius idea some years ago of reproducing onto the walls of a lot of town, such as Paris, the characters of "space invaders" using little and colorful tiles! This modern mosaics an authentic art performance, to which books and exhibitions are dedicated.

Such the one organized by the art space "La Générale", which is holding an amazing exhibition to celebrate the 1000th invader sticked here in Paris. From 7th june to 2nd july in Paris (14 avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris, from Tue. to Sun. 12 h- 20.30 h, free entry, website you can take a look to this definitively old-fashion geek exposition in which, more than admire the wonderful Invader's art, you can also eat some gouffres with the shape of the main character of this video game... And, for this occasion, it was produced also a map of Paris in which all the invaders are localized upon... during last time is not so uncommon to find people that are just walking around with in their hands the "invasion map" of Paris giving chase to these colorful UFOs dispersed in the town.

And, me too, I was not able to resist from buying the map and starting to search them around the town... Furthermore, I've also carved a rubber stamp set of "Space Invaders" that you can find on my etsy just for few days, until the 3rd july, before than I will come back in Italy for my summer holidays... I hope you will have fun with them, using them to invade your house, your paper stuff or your t-shirt with a simple hit of stamp!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Summer creations

After having produced a wide range of rubber stamps inspired to summertime and seaside, I've taken decision to make also some accessories to be worn during summer in order to give a kawaii touch to your holidays... here you can find an ice-cream brooch, some fabric covered bottoms with little jellyfishes hand stamped upon, some necklace and brooches with jellyfishes, and also some octopus ones... I hope you like them, you can find a lot of them on my etsy, for the other write me an email if you'd like to see them added into my shop!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Treasures of Paris #4. Tienda Esquipulas

For this fourth issue of my special little treasures of Paris, I've taken decision to bring you in the Latin America, starting a journey into the Guatemalan and Mexican popular arts and traditions thanks to Tienda Esquipulas, a little shop in the heart of Montmartre... if you love, as me, to fill your house of colored and kitsch items, this boutique is a staging post while visiting Paris!

Ana and Irene, two sisters from Guatemala, started seven years ago a delicious shop here in Paris with the aim to disclose the popular art and peculiarities linked with their own local culture; their shop is a really ethnic market able to introduce here in France all these items that characterize the Latin American culture, as for instance masks, piñatas, ex-votos, decorated candles, handmade statuettes, traditional textiles, lucky charms and plastic gadgets... All the items present in this shop are issued by an accurate selection of the best popular art and handicraft directly imported from Guatemala and Mexico, and they are a surprising explosion of colors and of multiculturalism ...

The things that intrigued me the most in this shops are the items linked with the All Soul's festivity: in Guatemala, artists and crafters produce a wide range of funny and colorful skulls and skeletons, the calaveras, such as the ones in the top of this post. In this culture, indeed, the dead is not felt in the same sad and macabre way in which we consider her in Europe: she is a kind of natural continuation of life in other shapes and people does not fear her at all. During the Dia de los Meurtos (aka the All Souls' Day ), in Guatemala are held big festivities, in which abundant fiambres (a tipical dish) are served, and graves and houses are decorated in funny ways with colorful adornments, in order to allow the souls of dear ones to come back and stay for a while with alive ones. For that, in this culture dead is represented with humor and even fondness...
You can find La Tienda Esquipulas - Guatemala arte etnico, in Paris, 20 rue Houdon, 75018, from Tue to Sat, 11h-20h, and from Sun to Mon, 14h-19h, Website:

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