The photographs show Knutsford, a Cheshire market town close by where we go to for the odd treat. There are good places to eat, cobbled streets packed with galleries and best of all the charity shops. “Posh” people it seems, throw away the best stuff! Of course I had to buy something when we visited last week, I found a lovely old wooden blotter for £3.50 and a vintage toast rack for 50 pence which I just had to have.
We ate lunch inside a quirky little museum which houses a collection of Penny Farthing bicycles and later explored some of the buildings associated with Elizabeth Gaskell. The novelist lived here and immortalized the town in her novel Cranford. Some of the buildings have an Italianate feel to them especially the Gaskell Memorial tower, which would not be out of place in San Gimignano!
We had World Book week a few days ago so I thought it would be fitting to share with you some of my recent acquisitions. I love a bargain, don’t you? I found this gorgeous re-print of Walter Crane’s “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush” for 99p and a very tatty copy of “Mrs Molesworth’s Four Winds Farm” for less than a fiver. I shan’t tell you what I paid for the “Baby’s Opera” but I am going to attend a book restoration workshop so I have told myself that this will be an investment. All of these titles were illustrated by my hero Walter Crane; my heart still skips a beat when I come across his work.
The other two books I bought in London, “Engraved Gardens” published by Primrose Hill Press Ltd is a beautiful book about wood engraving’s inspired by gardens. I came across “Twelve Poems about Birds” by Candlestick Press in The British Library bookshop; I bought it to give a friend on her birthday so I am hoping she won’t be reading this!
My name is Valerie Greeley. I am an artist, surface pattern/textile designer and illustrator. I have a special interest in the book arts including illustration, bookbinding, printmaking and artist books. I also have an interest in quilting, nature and bumblebees.