Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pretty things from all over the web


Paper to Read

This Jerome K Jerome quote print is from Keep Calm Gallery.  I am the biggest fan of Jerome K Jerome ever.  If you want something hilarious to read, pick up a copy of 3 Men in a Bot (not counting the dog) - or, even better, read it online as the book is now old enough to have its rights expire.  I still have my old, blue, dog-eared copy that I bought for 5 canadian dollars at a second-hand book stand on a Nova Scotia trip with my parents.  I read the book in Russian translation first, then in English, and both were awesome.  Here is one of my favorite parts to give you a taste:


We got up tolerably early on the Monday morning at Marlow, and went for a 
bathe before breakfast; and, coming back, Montmorency made an awful ass 
of himself.  The only subject on which Montmorency and I have any serious 
difference of opinion is cats.  I like cats; Montmorency does not.

When I meet a cat, I say, "Poor Pussy!" and stop down and tickle the side 
of its head; and the cat sticks up its tail in a rigid, cast-iron manner, 
arches its back, and wipes its nose up against my trousers; and all is 
gentleness and peace.  When Montmorency meets a cat, the whole street 
knows about it; and there is enough bad language wasted in ten seconds to 
last an ordinarily respectable man all his life, with care.

I do not blame the dog (contenting myself, as a rule, with merely 
clouting his head or throwing stones at him), because I take it that it 
is his nature.  Fox-terriers are born with about four times as much 
original sin in them as other dogs are, and it will take years and years 
of patient effort on the part of us Christians to bring about any 
appreciable reformation in the rowdiness of the fox-terrier nature.

I remember being in the lobby of the Haymarket Stores one day, and all 
round about me were dogs, waiting for the return of their owners, who 
were shopping inside.  There were a mastiff, and one or two collies, and 
a St. Bernard, a few retrievers and Newfoundlands, a boar-hound, a French 
poodle, with plenty of hair round its head, but mangy about the middle; a 
bull-dog, a few Lowther Arcade sort of animals, about the size of rats, 
and a couple of Yorkshire tykes.

There they sat, patient, good, and thoughtful.  A solemn peacefulness 
seemed to reign in that lobby.  An air of calmness and resignation - of 
gentle sadness pervaded the room.

Then a sweet young lady entered, leading a meek-looking little fox-
terrier, and left him, chained up there, between the bull-dog and the 
poodle.  He sat and looked about him for a minute.  Then he cast up his 
eyes to the ceiling, and seemed, judging from his expression, to be 
thinking of his mother.  Then he yawned.  Then he looked round at the 
other dogs, all silent, grave, and dignified.

He looked at the bull-dog, sleeping dreamlessly on his right.  He looked 
at the poodle, erect and haughty, on his left.  Then, without a word of 
warning, without the shadow of a provocation, he bit that poodle's near 
fore-leg, and a yelp of agony rang through the quiet shades of that 
lobby.

The result of his first experiment seemed highly satisfactory to him, and 
he determined to go on and make things lively all round.  He sprang over 
the poodle and vigorously attacked a collie, and the collie woke up, and 
immediately commenced a fierce and noisy contest with the poodle.  Then 
Foxey came back to his own place, and caught the bull-dog by the ear, and 
tried to throw him away; and the bull-dog, a curiously impartial animal, 
went for everything he could reach, including the hall-porter, which gave 
that dear little terrier the opportunity to enjoy an uninterrupted fight 
of his own with an equally willing Yorkshire tyke.

Anyone who knows canine nature need hardly, be told that, by this time, 
all the other dogs in the place were fighting as if their hearths and 
homes depended on the fray.  The big dogs fought each other 
indiscriminately; and the little dogs fought among themselves, and filled 
up their spare time by biting the legs of the big dogs.

The whole lobby was a perfect pandemonium, and the din was terrific.  A 
crowd assembled outside in the Haymarket, and asked if it was a vestry 
meeting; or, if not, who was being murdered, and why?  Men came with 
poles and ropes, and tried to separate the dogs, and the police were sent 
for.

And in the midst of the riot that sweet young lady returned, and snatched 
up that sweet little dog of hers (he had laid the tyke up for a month, 
and had on the expression, now, of a new-born lamb) into her arms, and 
kissed him, and asked him if he was killed, and what those great nasty 
brutes of dogs had been doing to him; and he nestled up against her, and 
gazed up into her face with a look that seemed to say: "Oh, I'm so glad 
you've come to take me away from this disgraceful scene!"

She said that the people at the Stores had no right to allow great savage 
things like those other dogs to be put with respectable people's dogs, 
and that she had a great mind to summon somebody.

Such is the nature of fox-terriers; and, therefore, I do not blame 
Montmorency for his tendency to row with cats; but he wished he had not 
given way to it that morning.

We were, as I have said, returning from a dip, and half-way up the High 
Street a cat darted out from one of the houses in front of us, and began 
to trot across the road.  Montmorency gave a cry of joy - the cry of a 
stern warrior who sees his enemy given over to his hands - the sort of 
cry Cromwell might have uttered when the Scots came down the hill - and 
flew after his prey.

His victim was a large black Tom.  I never saw a larger cat, nor a more 
disreputable-looking cat.  It had lost half its tail, one of its ears, 
and a fairly appreciable proportion of its nose.  It was a long, sinewy-
looking animal.  It had a calm, contented air about it.

Montmorency went for that poor cat at the rate of twenty miles an hour; 
but the cat did not hurry up - did not seem to have grasped the idea that 
its life was in danger.  It trotted quietly on until its would-be 
assassin was within a yard of it, and then it turned round and sat down 
in the middle of the road, and looked at Montmorency with a gentle, 
inquiring expression, that said:

"Yes!  You want me?"

Montmorency does not lack pluck; but there was something about the look 
of that cat that might have chilled the heart of the boldest dog.  He 
stopped abruptly, and looked back at Tom.

Neither spoke; but the conversation that one could imagine was clearly as 
follows:-

THE CAT: "Can I do anything for you?"

MONTMORENCY: "No - no, thanks."

THE CAT: "Don't you mind speaking, if you really want anything, you 
know."

MONTMORENCY (BACKING DOWN THE HIGH STREET): "Oh, no - not at all - 
certainly - don't you trouble.  I - I am afraid I've made a mistake.  I 
thought I knew you.  Sorry I disturbed you."

THE CAT: "Not at all - quite a pleasure.  Sure you don't want anything, 
now?"

MONTMORENCY (STILL BACKING): "Not at all, thanks - not at all - very kind 
of you.  Good morning."

THE CAT: "Good-morning."

Then the cat rose, and continued his trot; and Montmorency, fitting what 
he calls his tail carefully into its groove, came back to us, and took up 
an unimportant position in the rear.

To this day, if you say the word "Cats!" to Montmorency, he will visibly 
shrink and look up piteously at you, as if to say:

"Please don't."
Keep Calm Gallery has some other very cool prints as well; the prices are steep but the typography and the quotes are just priceless. 


Paper to Write

Imprintables is a new Australian paper shop.  Well, at least new to me.  I love all of their cards - small sized, elegant and perfect for little announcements of big things.  Almost makes me a send-out-baby-arrival-announcement kind of girl.  Almost.  May be I'll use them for the next birthday party though!

Paper to Hang
 Kidlandia offers custom-printed maps for your kid.  Make your own pirate bay, world or country, customize all the place names with things your kid loves (including custom creatures, treasures, boats and swords) and make him king! Who would not love that?  I mean, I'm thinking of getting one for my husband.  Shhhh.  You can get these in vinyl sticker form, in stretched canvas, or as a printed paper.  To hang. 

Oh, and you can also order a plain, old, boring real-world map.  But I don't know why you would.  I mean, look at this.




No paper involved at all

And, finally, the Help Shop has some well-designed tablet tins for your perusal:


And don't forget to check out their Help, I'm Bored section, even if you are not.

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