Bookish Charm

Bookish Charm

>> I've had numerous conversations with women who readily admit to stashing away boxes of ribbons, buttons, old bits of stationery, fabric scraps and any other bits and pieces that might come useful on a "rainy day" when we might suddenly take to a spot of customising, decoupage or collage scrapbooking.  The truth is those days rarely come and the boxes sort of pile up and fester into a heap that mocks you  with its pointless messiness (apparently I'm an authority on the subject according to the Guardian).  I have a bag of letters and notes which I've kept because I thought the envelopes and papers were interesting.  There's another bag stuffed full of ribbon bought in various markets and haberdashery stores.  They should be gracing a dress or a shirt as a trim but I haven't got round to it yet.  There's also a box of embroidered samples that are all too small to do anything with but just look nice when you lay them all out on the floor.  Totally legitimate reason for hoarding all of this stuff.

A simpler solution would be to have a flick through these books which I picked up in Tokyo.  Published by the same company Seibundo Shinkosha, when translated through Chrome, the titles are quite literally "Pretty Paper Things Over the World" and "Asian Cute Embroidery".  No confusion as to what the subject matter is, right?  These weren't nearly as specific as some of the other books I saw – books purely on airline meals, on tools used by a shoe maker, on how to give a dog a hair cut – I'm not entirely sure how any of this gets published and makes money but who cares when I can now flick through books purely dedicated to the things that I'm squirelling away in boxes.  In Pretty Paper Things Over the World, stationery, packaging and all sort of printed paraphernalia from the world are showcased with pictures.  I can't of course read the text so to me, it serves no purpose other than a good half an hour can be spent getting giddy on pretty paper things.  












The book about embroidery from Asia is perhaps a bit more substantial and relevant.  Japan, China and India are well represented with many embroidery examples that are beautifully photographed as well as offerings from smaller countries.  It's a book of deets to marvel at and for one for the textile nerds to get stuck into.   



















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  1. Elisa

    2012-11-02 at 2:05 PM

    I love how you can find very,very topic-specific book in Japan and in Korea, it seems like they get obsessed with unusual things and then make a book out of it, which is great. I love random books. I should install a shelf dedicated to them, for inspiration.
    Elisa – Wandering Minds

  2. Liz

    2012-11-02 at 2:37 PM
  3. Serdane

    2012-11-02 at 2:43 PM
  4. Ying

    2012-11-02 at 2:56 PM

    For flat objects, you should start collecting them in a book. It can be an actual notebook or just a sturdy magazine. I did that with the museum ticket stubs that I saved. It saved me so much space and helped me declutter a whole corner in my closet. Plus, this way the collection would actually be looked at.

  5. Kit

    2012-11-02 at 3:03 PM

    I’m an extreme hoarder, I still keep fabric (mostly leather) and trimming scraps from the uni days, wouldn’t dare throw them away thinking that one day it would be useful for future projects. It’s been 8 years and I still haven’t got round to using them yet :S

  6. Ania

    2012-11-02 at 3:09 PM

    I’m also a kind of person who keeps all the ribbons, laces and pieces of fabrics in one big box. although I soemtimes have an idea what to do about it, ususally it just lay in the box..
    that book seems to be amazing! I love those patterns! xx

  7. kristen

    2012-11-02 at 3:17 PM

    !!!! I need to go to Japan

  8. Isa

    2012-11-02 at 3:47 PM

    The pages with the lace and the elaborately-patterned fabrics are especially beautiful… I just want to make them into clothes, or shoes, or hang them in billows from the ceiling!
    Oh, and scrapbooking=the solution to all of the above hoarding problems (as long as the things you hoard are mostly 2D).

  9. Liz.L

    2012-11-02 at 6:02 PM

    Loving your blog I seriously can’t get enough of it! It always puts a smile on my face and lets me in on the latest.

  10. Miss Coco

    2012-11-02 at 6:38 PM

    Its so original!!

  11. Angela

    2012-11-02 at 7:15 PM

    I stopped collecting odds and ends because I would clearout and realise that I have not and will use them, even though in the back of my mind I think may do. However, having seen the books you display I might have to start collecting them instead! Great post!

  12. Tara

    2012-11-02 at 8:32 PM

    The little trinkets, fabrics and prints festooned across the pages of these books are simply divine. But now I cannot help but wonder: how does one go from the mounds of paper-goods, card-thingy-ma-bobs, cuts of fabric and all my other hoarded “gems” to pieces of art like the ones that currently have me in awe?
    Best Wishes,

  13. Taylor

    2012-11-02 at 11:16 PM

    I love the book and its layout… whoever thought of publishing it was definitely onto a winning idea! Love this post 🙂
    Taylor x

  14. Caroline

    2012-11-03 at 5:10 AM

    Those books are so great. Yup, I’m definitely guilty of stashing those pretty papers and bits of fabric (you should see my stationary collection). Don’t know if I an give all that up just yet…..

  15. Angus James Keefe

    2012-11-03 at 7:30 AM

    Nice post to read. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep up the great work i’ll be visiting to your blog.

  16. claUDIA

    2012-11-03 at 9:33 AM

    I would buy one but i cannot understand anything of the chinese alphabet ;( It can be aproblem also ordering it! any good edition in Italian,English,French or German?

  17. Susann Akers

    2012-11-04 at 12:07 AM

    Before I started blogging I was an avid scrap booker. So seeing the all those books with all the lovely scrappy pictures got me thinking that I should sort through some of my scraps and may be to do a a couple of pages.
    Those masks are a bit creepy actually. Great post though and thanks for awakening my scrap booking urge

  18. Victoria

    2012-11-04 at 1:03 PM

    Wow, looking really good ! Nice style !!

  19. Elvis Trujillo

    2012-11-05 at 5:31 AM

    That book sure is charming. I love the designs… the patterns are looking good.

  20. Sari Purdy

    2012-11-05 at 5:36 AM

    Beautiful patterns. I really like the book.

  21. Christine Kiebert-Boss

    2012-11-05 at 5:40 AM

    I want these books!

  22. Lynkez

    2012-11-06 at 7:01 AM

    That book seems to have it all to do with fashions and design styles. I wish I traveled to Japan for shopping.

  23. Janni

    2012-11-06 at 6:50 PM

    Great pictures! Scrapbooking is the most addicting thing ever 🙂

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