Paper Obama

Download the tempate and build your own paper Obama. It's Build-O-Bama (via Paper Forest).

The Bubble Car Museum, Byard's Leap

New on Nothing to See Here, the fruits of our labours at The Bubble Car Museum near Cranwell in Lincolnshire. This is one of those places that NTSH was made for - badly advertised, difficult to get to but utterly delightful.

Oranges and lemons

Following the selection of his Elephant Man poster as a finalist in the Chicago International Poster Biennial, Richard Ardagh's new Oranges & Lemons letterpress posters are a limited run of 130 and were set and printed by hand. The first in a series of collaborations with Graham Bignell at New North Press, they are available from Nelly Duff, Columbia Road E2.
I don't normally reprint promo text from emails but this is a lovely thing and the blurb says it all. More about Richard at Elephant's Graveyard.

I like postcards in a popcorn bag

I'm very pleased to say that I like postcards are now on sale at Present&Correct, an exquisite London-based design studio and web shop. They do spectacular designs of their own like the A-Z endangered species chart and caff notecards, and mix it up with beautiful retro finds and imported lovelies. What's special about the postcards at P+C is they come in this vintage popcorn bag. Nice!

Jim Lambie floor

Forever Changes, an exhibition by Jim Lambie is showing at GOMA (Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art) until Monday 29 September. I love his patterned floors, intricately made from coloured tape. This one is black and white and swirly for a change, in a Bridget Riley stylee. The big hall in GOMA is a really beautiful space as it is, they look great together. So if you've not been, get in there before it closes next week. I feel like I haven't taken quite enough photos of it so might need another trip.

This is a superb clip from 1953 showing how Ordnance Survey maps were made. By men with tweed jackets, horn-rimmed glasses and complicated machinery, that's how. It really is a delight, from that documentary era where everyone tootled about their business to uplifting music and optimistic voiceovers. There are more current clips showing how it's done now, but they're really dull in comparison. Thanks to Ramage for this little cracker


I found The Map That Came To Life while scouting about for Ronald Lampitt. He illustrated my favourite Ladybird book Understanding Maps and this is in a similar vein, but even better. Published in 1948 it tells the story of John and Joanna, stuck at their uncle's for 4 weeks during the summer holidays. He sends them out into the open countryside with only an Ordnance Survey map for comfort.

The Map That Came To Life

As they wander along it explains what the markings and symbols mean. Learning about OS maps was one of my favourite things at school - I could look at maps all day. This is a really exquisite combination of fact and decoration. I love the cleanness of it all and the beautiful bright mid-century colours. Oh, and the ragged edges around the text. Nice touch.

The Map That Came To Life

I'd love to tell you all about Ronald Lampitt but can't find out too much about him. He did a few travel posters, a few Ladybird books and some other prints, mostly architectural in nature. There are some more pictures from the book in this Flickr set. Happy trails.

Update: Thanks to Daniel Weir for pointing out that scans from the whole book are available on The Alphabet of Illustrators. I'd forgotten about that site - it's very good, if a bit idiosyncratic in the way it's laid out. There's a short bio and some other Lampitt bits and pieces.

jubilee pool

Beside the Seaside: snapshots of British coastal life, 1890-1950 opens today at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. It's a exhibition of vintage photos plus other seaside-related artefacts. The NMM blog gives a good glimpse behind the scenes - check out the Punch and Judy puppets.

applecross circle

There's a Beside the Seaside Flickr group running for the duration of the exhibition and photos from it will be displayed by the museum, both on their website and in the galleries. Disclosure: The NMM are paying me to moderate this group - my pleasure! There's been a good turnout from the Flickr Seaside Massive and there are some great photos there already, like the two above of the Jubilee Pool, Penzance by sareypoppins and Applecross by Michael Prince. Do join in and add your favourites.

Toy cable car

I've just spent a loooong time looking round Thorsten Van Elten's lovely online shop. There's a small but perfectly-formed selection of special things like wind-up cable cars, Battleships napkins, Pessimist pencils and Mind the Gap cards. For kids try the Mercedes caravan set and Ole Million Face.

Little People in the City

Little People have been delighting the internet for some time so it's good so see them in a London exhibition. I had a look last week. It's fab. The book is also a little treasure.

Oh dear, Fleetwood Pier has bitten the dust. The BBC have a feature on the fate of Weston-super-Mare following the fire on its pier back in August. For all the quotes commiserating its decline here's Paul from London, giving an alternative view:

Piers are a tired reminder of an irrelevant age. Would we dream of erecting giant ironwork structures in the middle of national parks - complete with candy floss stalls, amusement arcades, dilapidated pubs, and dreadful cafes? What class! Why we desecrate our coast in this fashion is beyond me as is the notion of spending millions resurrecting the anachronisms. No other country "treats" its coast to such impoverished imaginings. Long may our piers continue to be despoiled by the conflagrations they so richly deserve. "There's nothing like piers" - thank heavens for small mercies.

The West Pier

I had a look at the remains of Brighton's West Pier last week. It's a sad sight. There was a placard detailing regeneration proposals, full of grand promises about leaving the remains alone and building "a vertical pier" on the shorefront. Not terribly convincing. I suppose I see the opposite to Paul - they're old buildings that deserve conservation. It seems criminal that they're left to rot like this.

Gifts Shells Orgasmatron

Well, Brighton was fab. dConstruct08 was a lot of fun. Very thought-provoking. I'm still digesting it all. Brighton itself was wet and windy, which seemed appropriate in a way. Proper British seaside weather.

Just married on Brighton Pier

Random point: does anyone know what these things are called? I always take photos of them but don't know what to tag them with. There must be a technical term, surely.


Look at this little gem from the Moffat Toffee Shop. I don't even like coffee fudge, but had to buy it anyway because the packaging is so nice. Loving that houndstooth look. They have a lot of merchandise with this branding on it, including rather fine mugs.

Two Way Books

I'm going to Brighton later in the week, for dConstruct - the "affordable one day conference for people designing and building the latest generation of social web applications". Well, I'll do my best. Should be a good trip. Despite having almost no free time, is there anything to do/see/nice to eat in Brighton apart from this lovely bookshop, (photo by Dave Knapik)? I've been there a few times but not for ages so all tips gratefully received.

Margate Shell Ladies

There's been something amazing happening in Margate. These wonderful shell ladies (7-ft high!) have been promenading around town. Created by sculptor Ann Carrington, they are named and modelled after notable local women like Fanny Newlove who founded the spectacular Margate Shell Grotto. Sadly these lovely ladies took their last walk yesterday but a permanent bronze version is due to be unveiled later this month. Found in mondoagogo's always excellent photostream.

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