axelschefflerAxel Scheffler said that Brexit makes him “sad and angry every day” as he picked up the Illustrator of the Year prize at The British Book Awards last night (14th May).

When receiving the award, Scheffler, who is German, said that while he was “grateful” to receive the prize, he did so with “a heavy heart and maybe even a slightly bitter feeling – it feels like a consolation prize, or even a farewell gift.”

Read more: Scheffler blasts Brexit in British Book Awards speech | The Bookseller

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Edited and updated 16 May 2018

At the beginning of February, I talked about cutting back on posting and visiting for the sake of my health. The times I’ve had for myself as well as family and friends since have been beautifully beneficial. On the other hand, it has and remains a lot easier to update First Night History and Rogues & Vagabonds since I’m either reblogging or transferring from the original R&V.

In the meantime, I have several works in progress but no pieces ready to display, let alone sell so here’s a re-post about the work of one of my favourite artists, whose 120th birthday is 16 May!

Sharing Secrets, 1928 Tamara De Lempicka is an artist whose work I wish was in the public domain so that I could sell it at First Night Vintage.  Alas, she died in 1980 so unless my business becomes a worldwide success in the near future (stranger things have happened!), I cannot afford to licence any of the images…

via First Night Design | Tamara De Lempicka [1898 – 1980]


charles-rennie-mackintosh“Every object which you pass from your hand must carry an outspoken mark of individuality, beauty and most exact execution.” Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Glasgow is having a bit of a do this year to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect, designer and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the city’s favourite…

via The History Girls: Charles Rennie Mackintosh: Making the Glasgow Style by Catherine Hokin


Originally published 19/11/2015

To say I was influenced by the atmosphere of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White — must read it again — would be bending the truth, although I’ve included that sentence in the description boxes at galleries. However, only when I had finished creating it did the book come immediately to mind.

I have used a detail from a photograph by…

via First Night Design | Church at Twilight #Art | First Night Design


Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) — Source.

Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) — Source.

Fashionable in the 16th and 17th century, the art of embroidering unique covers for books saw a comeback in late 19th-century England, from the middle-class drawing room to the Arts and Crafts movement. Jessica Roberson explores the…

via Pens and Needles: Reviving Book-Embroidery in Victorian England – The Public Domain Review


Please put your hands together to welcome Lucy Brazier to First Night Design. She is here to describe the third in her trilogy of amusing and mystery-ridden novels that give new meaning to college life from a female Deputy Head Porter’s point of view.

After avoiding the murderous intentions of The Vicious Circle in First Lady Of The Keys and risking life and limb to find a priceless missing painting in The Vanishing Lord, our heroine Deputy Head Porter finds herself once again at the centre of strange and macabre goings-on in the notorious Old College.

One of the oldest and most illustrious educational establishments in the country, Old College boats a bloody and turbulent 400-year-old history and the arrival of its first female Deputy Head Porter has done little to calm matters. if anything, it’s made them worse. We join Deputy Head Porter at the beginning of a new academic year where the induction of a new Bursar – the enigmatic Professor Dexter Sinistrov – causes ructions. With his first act of office being to cut the tea and biscuit budget for the Porters’ Lodge, he makes himself instantly unpopular with the bowler-hatted staff within. But it is more his penchant for poisoning people that really concerns Deputy Head Porter.

Meanwhile, Head Porter appears to be leading a secret double life and The Dean is convinced that Russian spies are after his job. When two dead bodies turn up at the bottom of the College gardens, Deputy Head Porter is determined that there will not be another College cover-up, even if that does mean begrudgingly working alongside unwelcome outsiders DCI Thompson and DS Kirby. Add to that a wayward College drinking society and an ageing Lothario of a professor and Deputy Head Porter really does have her hands full.

The Blurb:

Sometimes the opposite of right isn’t wrong. It’s left.

Tragedy strikes once more at Old College… The Porters’ Lodge is down to its last tea bag and no one has seen a biscuit for over a week. Almost as troubling are the two dead bodies at the bottom of the College gardens and a woman has gone missing. The Dean is convinced that occult machinations are to blame, Deputy Head Porter suspects something closer to home.

The formidable DCI Thompson refuses to be sidelined and a rather unpleasant Professor gets his comeuppance.

As the body count rises, Head Porter tries to live a secret double life and The Dean believes his job is under threat from the Russian Secret Service.

Deputy Head Porter finds herself with her hands full keeping Old College running smoothly as well as defending herself against the sinister intentions of the new Bursar.

Spies, poisoning, murder – and none of this would be any problem at all if only someone would get the biscuits out and put the kettle on…

This is the third instalment of the world-renowned PorterGirl series set in the ancient and esoteric Old College. Author Lucy Brazier opens the lid on a world which has sinister overtones in this cozy, BritLit mystery.

Available to pre-order now, general release 27th April 2018.

Amazon UK:

https://amzn.to/2uTULKU

Amazon USA:

https://amzn.to/2uPGIGr


Follow Lucy Brazier:

www.portergirl.com

www.whoshottonyblair.com

Facebook     @PorterGirl100

Finnegans Wake – a guide by an idiot

Never A Cross Word – A Poirot Parody for Captain Hastings fans everywhere 


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


For your delectation on this bright, sunny Thursday morning after the constant drip of rain over Easter.
Sarah x

A R T L▼R K

 

Fragonard,_The_SwingThe Swing, 1767

On the 5th of April 1732, the French painter and printmaker Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born in Grasse, France. He was one of the greatest French painters in the two brilliant and productive pre-Revolution decades; although, due to his highly individual style, he was officially less recognised than, for example, his teacher, Boucher. In his work he focused mainly on large canvases with erotic themes, which he executed in an improvised Rococo manner. A very prolific painter (in his lifetime he produced over 550 paintings), after the Revolution he found himself in a very difficult position as the stern virtues of ancient Rome had become extolled again, and the fame and popularity of classical painters such as David pushed him to the margins of public interest. As a result of this, he died a poor man in 1806.

When talking of eighteenth-century erotic pictorial themes…

View original post 1,001 more words


To celebrate what would have been Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday, here is the great lady herself with ‘I Rise’. She is never less than inspiring. I’ve posted this video before but it never fails to touch my soul.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah



Well, that’s a turn-up for the books. I’ve sold some The Swan Also Rises Wrapping Paper. Thank you, whoever you are!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Diane Arbus at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970, holding a copy of “Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962.” Stephen A. Frank

Diane Arbus at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970, holding a copy of “Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962.” Stephen A. Frank

Diane Arbus was a daughter of privilege who spent much of her adult life documenting those on the periphery of society. Since she killed herself in 1971, her unblinking portraits have made her a seminal figure in modern-day photography and an influence on three generations of photographers, though she is perhaps just as famous for her unconventional…

via Diane Arbus Called Her Portraits ‘A Secret About a Secret’


A delight it is to sell a poster of Renoir’s charming child!

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


This is an original vintage colour lithograph by Frank A. Nankwell used for a Puck periodical cover in 1899 (April 5) from The Library of Congress and copyrighted by Keppler & Schwarzman. Easter has never looked so attractive!

Please note that Zazzle is taking a long time for this design to show in search results.

Available at the following galleries:
Redbubble
Zazzle US
Zazzle UK
Fine Art America [14 fulfilment centres in 5 countries]

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


First Night Design

I’m finally building up my collection of St Patrick’s Day designs.  First up is this humorous take on the ‘Keep Calm’ Ministry of Information posters from WWI, which is also available with a white background.

Below are a couple of my earlier designs.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

View original post


Mother’s Day in the UK is this Sunday, while tomorrow is International Women’s Day. This is a post I wrote in 2014 which some of you have seen before.

First Night Design

Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000 [photo: David Sim] Born Benedicta Hoskyns in 1922, my mother spent a large part of her childhood on the island of Malta where her father was serving in the Rifle Brigade.

She later spent a year drawing from life at Salisbury School of Art. During World War II, she nursed with the Red Cross in Auxiliary Hospitals and Convalescent Homes throughout the country, also finding time to write, produce and play in several revues for her patients.

The war over, she trained for the stage at RADA where she received commendations from Sybil Thorndike and Laurence Irving and won the George Arliss prize as well as sharing the Dialect prize with Cyril Shaps.

Her subsequent career included repertory at Windsor, Bromley, Sheffield, Coventry and Nottingham, No Other Verdict at the Duchess Theatre in the West End (“stealing all the notices as the maid” she would tell me…

View original post 960 more words

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