Sunday, June 14, 2015

British Books I want to Buy

I "like" several Kate Middleton and British Royalty Pages on Facebook (as you could have probably guessed) and recently one of the pages announced that two fascinating books have been published. The first is a never before published Sherlock Holmes short story that was written specifically for Queen Mary's dollhouse. It is titled, "How Watson Learned the Trick."

Here is the product description from the site:
Queen Mary's Dolls' House at Windsor Castle is the largest and most famous dolls' house in the world. It was a gift from the nation to Queen Mary, consort to King George V, and was built by master craftsmen between 1921 and 1924.
When the building was ready, the foremost writers of the day were asked to contribute miniature works for the library. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote How Watson Learned the Trick, an original Sherlock Holmes story, especially for the library in 1922. This lavish cloth-bound edition contains a miniature book measuring just 38.5 x 30mm, a faithful facsimile of the original handwritten book in Queen Mary's Dolls' House.
In the story, Watson tries to mimic Holmes's mastery of the art of deduction with very funny results, making this a book for both adults and children to delight in.
Alongside the miniature book, the edition also contains an informative booklet with a transcript of the story and information about the Dolls' House.
As a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and being on the last book, I was very excited to learn that there was one more "new" story out there. It costs £12.99 (about $20).

Here is a link to an interactive site of Queen Mary's dollhouse. It is really neat!

The second item comes from the same site. It is a children's story written and illustrated by Queen Victoria titled, "The Adventures of Alice Laselles." It costs £9.95 (about $15.50)

The description:
Queen Victoria wrote this charming story about the adventures of Alice Laselles at Miss Duncombe's school for girls, and the mystery of who put the cat in Miss Duncombe's kitchen, when she was just 10 ¾. This tiny gem in its little red notebook is now kept safe in the Royal Archives. It is published here for the very first time, and is illustrated with characters created from Victoria's own collection of paper dolls, drawn for her by her governess and then delicately coloured in by Victoria herself. A delightful and unique children's story, which will still enchant and captivate every little princess today. With an introduction by Jacqueline Wilson.
 Here is a link to an interactive version of Queen Victoria's scrapbook. In the section on her childhood, it has pictures of more of her paper dolls. It's a great resource if you want to learn more about Victoria's life.

Friday, June 12, 2015

My "Happy" Place - the Beach

One of my first posts on this blog was on Exotic Beach Inspiration. I love the beach, but unfortunately I don't live on it or even near it. I was given the opportunity to go with friends for a week two years in a row, which was amazing. I just wish I could go every summer for two months!! But, since I can't do that, I must be content to share some 'beachy' pictures off of Pinterest with you.

I have two different Pinterest boards devoted to the beach. There is one called Beach House in Cape Cod (which I hope comes true one day) and Beach Stuff, which has all kinds of beach related things: d├ęcor, vintage swimwear, art, books, crafts, etc. Check them out! Here's some of the pictures from my boards that I decided to share with you here.

Beach Fashion - wow your friends at the beach with these retro looks!

Left: Short knitted beach coat with toggle fastening and bell shaped sleeves, 1955.
Right: Swing-back terry cloth beach coat pattern, 1950.

Don't forget your beach bag!
Australian Home Journal, 1949.
If you want to look like Gidget...
(Check out my post on Gidget for the Beach Party Blogathon here)
Don't forget to have fun!
Beach Houses - nautical motifs, pastels...

Every beach home needs a look-out room!

Library-by-the-Sea. Must. Have. This. Room!

Some Crafty Ideas...

Build yourself a little beachy shelf to hold your favorite books.
May I suggest Cinda by Janet Lambert, Paintbox Summer and The Scarlet Sail by Betty Cavanna, *Misty of Chincoteague and *Stormy, Misty's Foal by Marguerite Henry (must be illustrated by Wesley Dennis), *Sailor Jim's Cave by W. J. Pat Enright, The Treasure of the Coral Reef by Don Stanford, Dolphin Island by Arthur C. Clarke, and for the little kids (and adults; who am I kidding) *Annie Pat and Eddie by Carolyn Haywood (all of these are teen/children's books but I love all of them - the ones with stars the whole family will enjoy).
Journaling idea: put sand, shells, and other finds from the beach in little clear pockets and affix them to a page in your journal.

Nature has long been linked to elevated moods. At the beach, the sound of the waves and the feeling of sand beneath our feet can help the stress of everyday life fall away. The beach house, by its very location, is an agent of nature, and a key place for getting back in touch with the environment. The water, shells, dunes, beach stones, sea grass - each one speaks to us and soothes the soul.
 Coastal Living - Beach House Happy: The joy of living by the water. Antonia Van Der Meer. 2015.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Royal Family Update: New Baby Photos!!!

Kensington Palace released four photos yesterday of Prince George and Princess Charlotte. They were taken in mid-May by Kate at her home, Anmer Hall.

George is always full of so much personality

This one's my favorite, just look at Charlotte's contented face.

I love these photos much better than the ones that were released for George. He was to small in the picture and sleeping so he still just looked like a new baby. In these photos, Charlotte's eyes are open and you can see her little personality. These photos also give us a glimpse into Kate and William's home, which I have always been curious to see. Kate has such great taste in clothes and it looks like she has great taste in interior decorating too.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's Just a Perfect Day!

Yesterday was a great day. I went shopping with my brothers and got four awesome things.

This was me
First up:

A few days ago I saw this post on vintage postcards of movie stars homes and I thought, that would be cool to collect! I went to an antique store by my house yesterday, noticed a postcard carousel, and immediately found this cool postcard featuring Bob Hope and his house! He's one of my favorite actors too!

As we were about to leave, my brother spotted something on the back wall of the store. It was a 1962 Barbie Dream House for only $45!!!! And it's only missing three records and a drawer!! If it would have been the Barbie Campus or Little Theatre I would have had a heart attack, but this was awesome too!!

This is a picture off of ebay

Then we stopped at my friend's coffee shop. I was looking at some books they had on a shelf and they told me they were free. Suddenly I spotted this book:

I snatched it up quick!

The last great find of the day was when we swung by Walmart on our way home. I walked down the shoe aisle, which I never do, and spotted a pair of...

It was the last pair, they were on sale for $3, regular $14, and they were in my size!!!! (True, it was a girls size 5 but I wear an adult size 6 so it was perfect.) And they actually look like the ones in The Wizard of Oz. I've wanted a pair ever since I was little!! Judy Garland was to me what Elsa from Frozen is to the girls nowadays. I collect Wizard of Oz memorabilia (lunch boxes, posters, ornaments, etc) - I even have a stuffed animal of Toto!!

So yeah... it was a pretty epic day :)