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at first I thought, wow, she’s posh

Here's the video of our Summer Reading Challenge visit to Leith Library! Philip Reeve came along and made a very elegant flip-chart stand. I love it when the boy says, At first I thought, wow, she’s posh! She had like, that bird in her hair, and fancy blue ribbon… and a dress with lipstick on it… and it was like, really posh.

Philip noted that support for Scottish independence has soared since our visit; I hope we weren't a contributing factor...

Thanks again to the kids at Leith Library who helped me come up with the Mythical Maze characters on my previous visit, and to the library team, Edinburgh City Libraries, The Reading Agency, and Tesco Bank Community for organising the day's event.

In other news, after my meeting at Scholastic yesterday, I stopped into Foyles on Charing Cross Road and found this book looking up at me from the display table. One of my all-time favourite illustrators that I'm always going on about, David Roberts, and... hats! Oh my word, you guys!!! Why didn't no one tell me about this book??

David drew his inspiration for the Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau illustrations from fashion editor Isabella Blow, and milliners Philip Treacy (spot the Princess Beatrice hat!), Stephen Jones, and Elsa Schiaparelli (note the shoe-on-the-head hat). And David has a little cameo appearance on this spread, too!

Let's zoom in a bit to read the text:

The book's writer, Andrea Beaty, and I just started following each other on Twitter, so I went and explored her website and there are treasures to be found! Check out this wonderful video of Philip Treacy making a hat! I was totally riveted.

David worked as a milliner, and you can tell, in the sculptural way he draws his figures and their patterns. I put together my hats with a bit of lick and spit - I don't really know what I'm doing - but I often daydream of taking a year out of publishing to work as an apprentice for Philip Treacy, with access to all that great kit. I don't generally get excited about the whole fashion industry (and its emphasis on being super-thin), but I make a huge exception for hats, which can be worn by anyone. Andrea's website also has some examples of hats that you can make yourself:

Hat lovers and fashionistas around the world, you're going to adore this book. You can follow Andrea on Twitter as (@andreabeaty but sadly, David Roberts is not on Twitter. (He's too busy pumping out a prodigious amount of incredible work. How does he DO it??!)
Edit: Ah! Andrea says David has a Tumblr page! You can visit it here.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 12th, 2014 05:57 am (UTC)
there is even a cheeky crow
That book is like catnip for me! Must. Buy it.

For niece. Absolutely for niece.

Edited at 2014-09-12 05:57 am (UTC)
Sep. 14th, 2014 12:27 pm (UTC)
Re: there is even a cheeky crow
Absolutely for neice, I would never question it! :D
Sep. 12th, 2014 07:18 am (UTC)
Leith Library and Hats
That's a blast from the past for me. When my three were really small we lived in Leith and I used to haunt Leith Library with my double buggy (with extra buggy board) and loneliness. We had moved to Edinburgh with a four week old knowing no-one. That library was a wonderful refuge.

My mum's friend's daughter (keep up!) is doing millinery at college. My mum tells me that the young woman in question goes on regular trips to a hat sundries supplier in Luton. It fills me with envy and I have spent a stupid amount of time on their website (Baxter, Hart and Abraham) even though I'm a dressmaker rather than a hat maker.

Thrilled, by the way, to see that autocorrect wants to make hat maker into haymaker. Now there's an alternative career. I've just come over all John Constable!

Best wishes,

Sep. 14th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Leith Library and Hats
Thanks so much, Joan! Leith Library is such a gorgeous and inviting space, I can so understand why you'd want to go there. And thank you for the tip on Bzxter, Hart and Abraham! I must keep them in mind, if I ramp up the hatmaking! :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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