'Books'

‘The Gown’ A Book Review

April 16, 2019

By Tab Byrum

(via)

Every once in a while I like to share something I’ve experienced, whether it’s a film, a restaurant, a recipe, or a book and today I want to share a wonderful book I finished reading over this past weekend entitled ‘The Gown’. The Gown is a historical novel that follows real events but with some real and some fictional characters, in this case, it’s the wedding of then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 in post-WWII England. The novel opens with Ann who is arriving at her small cottage outside of London and we learn that Ann is an embroider in London for Norman Hartnell in his fashion house. Hartnell was known for the beautiful clothes he designed in the 1930s, 40’s, and 50’s for the ladies in the British Royal Family, especially the King’s consort and current Queen’s mother, Queen Elizabeth. During the story we also meet Miriam, a young Frenchwoman who has made her way to London following the war, she is also a classically trained embroider who goes to work for Hartnell, but she also has a secret. The book does a little time traveling as we meet Heather in 2016 who is Ann’s granddaughter living in modern day Toronto. Without going into a lot of detail and giving anything away we witness the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding dress for her November 1947 wedding to Prince Philip, we watch as the young ladies meet the young men who may or may not be the men of their dreams and come to terms with who they are as well as coming to terms with family secrets and events that shape their lives. The book is a peek behind the curtain at what it’s like to work in a couture fashion house and the research and detail work that goes into creating something like a royal wedding gown. I strongly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fact and fiction novels as well as romance and/or fashion. The Royals make a few appearances in the book but it mostly focuses on these three women as they each struggle in their own lives to live their dreams and become who they were meant to be. I look forward to reading the other books by author Jennifer Robson, I hope you’ll read it and Enjoy!!!

‘The Gown’ author, Jennifer Robson (via)

March 2019

March 4, 2019

By Tab Byrum

Forward, March 
And Welcome Spring,
When Bunnies Bounce
And Birds All Sing.

When March Winds Blow
The Winter Away, 
They Get The World
Ready For April & May. 
                                                     -Anonymous 

Can you believe we’ve entered into the third month of the year, I can’t!! It’s 23 degrees here today and we had a little ice and snow over the weekend but as fast as time is going it will soon be hot, school will be out and I’ll be posting about the 4th of July. Today we are going to start something new, looking at what special events and days are coming up in the month of March. There are hundreds of events on the calendar every year and each one is given a day of the year to be remembered or celebrated, some of them very popular like St. Patrick’s Day and some of them more obscure like National Cheese Doodle Day which is tomorrow. So, here we go with a peek at March and just a few of the fun things you can enjoy and celebrate during the month. Enjoy!!! (above via)

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Perfect For Halloween From Out Of Print

October 17, 2018

By Tab Byrum

There’s perhaps no way better to get into the Fall and Halloween state of mind than to read a good book, a good Horror book that is. But, if you don’t have the time to sit down and read maybe you can wear your favorite horror novel, poem, or short story, especially with the amazing collections of t-shirts, scarves, tote bags, and so much more at Out Of Print. Out Of Print has lots of great merchandise with different themes, today we are going to look at what’s available in the “Spooky” category as we charge on towards Halloween. Whether you’re a fan of Dracula, Edgar Alan Poe or Mary Shelly’s monster there’s something here for you and any of these would be great gifts for October birthday people with a sense of wonder and macabre. Join me today for a little frightful shopping spree and check out all the awesome merchandise from Out Of Print here at their website. Have a great day and Enjoy!!! 

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The Haunting of Hill House from Netflix

October 16, 2018

By Tab Byrum

Last Friday the 12th I was very excited to watch the premiere of The Haunting of Hill House that was premiering on Netflix and it did not disappoint at all. The mini-series is based on author Shirley Jackson’s 1959 gothic horror novel of the same name. The book has been turned into two previous movies with the 1963 version being my personal favorite. In the original book and film, Hill House is a 90-year-old mansion built by a man named Hugh Crain who lived and died there. Hugh originally built the mansion for his young wife and daughter but his wife was killed in a carriage accident on the way to the house and never saw their home. His young daughter Abigail lives in Hill House with her father until he dies and she continues living there until her own death as an old woman. Many years later Dr. John Montague gathers a group of people who have experienced psychic phenomenon in their lives along with Luke the young man who is supposed to inherit Hill House, two “psychics” also show up, young ladies named Eleanor and Theodora. Together the group experiences sightings, loud noises and all kinds of evidence of ghosts and are scared to death. In the new version, the characters from the original novel are now a family with the Father being Hugh Crain, his wife Olivia and their five children taking on the names of some of the characters from the original book and film. The Netflix series is VERY well done with lots of thought given to paying homage to the book and original film. The special effects are wonderfully creepy with several scenes played out in complete silence for extended periods of time to build suspense, there’s also one “jump scare” that made me jump, clap my hands and laugh at myself. My favorite episode was episode 6, “Two Storms”, that was filmed with a single camera and done with only one break in the filming. The entire episode is like watching a play and was mesmerizing. If you enjoy spooky or horror then be sure and check out Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House and enjoy a wonderful 20th Century novel brought to life for 21st Century streaming and binging. Enjoy!!! (above via)

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Alphabet Legend Books

October 9, 2018

By Tab Byrum

I recently began seeing ads on Facebook for the Alphabet Legends books and was very intrigued. I went to the website for the books and am so happy I did, the story of the creation is simple and timeless and I love the art and message the books convey. Alphabet Legends was started by Australian author and illustrator Beck Feiner when she was trying to teach her oldest child, Levi, the alphabet and there wasn’t anything fun or unusual for a parent to use at home. In her words, “it’s hard to bond over B is for Banana.” This led to Beck creating an A to Z that she could use to teach her son and she centered it on things about Australia. Immediately Beck’s Instagram followers wanted a copy of the list and that led to books and posters and now today there are several books available on a wide range of people with amazing artwork that lets you teach your child, not only the alphabet but also about certain people associated with places and occupations known as the Alphabet Legends, there’s even a book for the Manchester United Soccer Team in the UK. Today we are going to look at five of the Alphabet Legend books, ranging from Alphabet Legend Americans to Legends in Fashion and Little Legends. These books will make awesome gifts for kids and grandkids, shower presents, baptism gifts, Christmas, you name it and these will be perfect. I love something that’s not only fun and artistic but is also educational…but not in a way that you feel like you’ve just attended a college lecture on a topic. Join me for a peek at Alphabet Legend Books and to see more of the selection visit the ALB website here. Enjoy!!! 

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Harry Potter Collection From Pottery Barn

September 4, 2018

By Tab Byrum

It’s hard to believe but the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, came out twenty-one years ago and this fall we have a new Harry Potter movie with the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Part 2. In celebration of all that we are taking a look today at the fun and beautiful new Harry Potter Collection from Pottery Barn available at Pottery Barn Teen. While this may be on the website aimed at teenagers I know a lot of adults who will be gaga over some of this stuff, especially things like the pieces of furniture and the lamps and lighting, all very high end and chic. Whatever your age there’s something here for you if you are a fan of the Boy Wizard and the world he lives in. If you have an HP fan on your Christmas list there’s bound to be something here that will make extra happy this year. I’ll share some of my favorite things here today but you be sure and visit the PB Teen website here to check out the entire collection. Enjoy!!!

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Out Of Print ~ Inspiration From Literature

July 13, 2018

By Tab Byrum

As you may know, I LOVE books and I was really excited to find out recently about the Out Of Print company and website. Out Of Print is dedicated to celebrating literacy and stories while promoting literacy in underserved communities, each purchase made on Out Of Print helps support literacy programs and book donations to those in need.  Out Of Print has an amazing choice of things you can buy, all of them inspired by great works of literature and their cover art. I particularly love all the t-shirts available with some of my favorite books on them, both children’s books and novels. There’s everything from British works like Jane Eyre and Jane Austen to American novels 1984 and To Kill A Mockingbird. There are also great kids books like Are You, My Mamma, and Curious George and everything is available in both men’s and women’s styles of t-shirts. If you’re not into t-shirts they also have tote bags, socks, boxers, jewelry, mugs, and much, much more. I will definitely be placing an order in the near future to celebrate literature and help those have better access to literature who don’t know. I hope you enjoy this look at t-shirts and pay Out Of Print a visit soon. Enjoy!!!

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Vintage Halloween Decor From Etsy

October 5, 2017

By Tab Byrum

I love Halloween and my favorite things to decorate with are things that many consider Folk Art or handmade by artists and anything Vintage, today we are going to take a look at a few things available on the Etsy website under the category of Vintage Halloween. Some of the items we are going to look at today are truly vintage or antique pieces and some of them are new but are made to look vintage or antique. There are pages and pages on Etsy to scroll through and see what people have for sale in the way of Vintage Halloween or what people have created themselves. Remember to click on anything orange in the descriptors to visit the website for the item. I hope you enjoy this little stroll down memory lane and let me know if you use any vintage or antique pieces to decorate for Halloween, have a great day and Enjoy!!! (above via)

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A House For Dior

July 28, 2017

By Tab Byrum

The south of France has always been a place where people go to escape, whether it’s to escape a busy city life or just to escape, the south of France is a place we’ve seen depicted in movies and read about in books where people want to get away from it all and just relax. That’s how it was for famed clothing designer Christian Dior, and when you have the means to buy a home in a place you love maybe you do, and if that home is in the south of France it might be a castle and this one is. Christian Dior purchased the Château de La Colle Noire in 1950 and truly felt at home here. After buying the home Dior immediately set about restoring it to original glory but sadly he died in 1957 and his sister, who inherited the home, was unable to keep it. Today the house has been reclaimed by the Christian Dior empire and has been fully restored to the way Dior wanted. The home is decorated with beautiful fabrics and antiques from floor to ceiling and a new book has been published focusing on the beautiful end results of the restoration of De la Colle Noire, today we are going to take a look at images of this beautiful home that inspired Dior’s iconic perfumes like Miss Dior in 1947. Enjoy!!!

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Charley Harper ~ Tabulous Tastemaker

July 24, 2017

By Tab Byrum

I haven’t done a Tastemaker post in a while but there was some recent news that made me take a look at the work of artist Charley Harper. Harper was born in West Virginia in 1922 and raised on a farm there, Harper’s life on the farm influenced his artwork his whole life as he became famous for “highly stylized wildlife prints” and other works where he used nature as the focus but rendering it in his own unique style. During Charley’s career, he was known for many things including the illustrations for The Golden Book of Biology which I remember and is still for sale. In addition to book illustrations, Charley Haper did posters, prints, magazine work and often worked with nature conservancy groups like zoos and the Everglades National Park. Charley and his artist wife Edie worked out of their art studios in Cincinnati, Ohio and later formed Harper Studios with their son Brett. Charley Harper died in 2007 after a lengthy battle with pneumonia but his artwork lives on and is still very popular, West Elm has come out with a new collection based on the artwork of Charley Harper that we will focus on tomorrow. Today, join me for a look at the unique and mid century inspired artwork of Tabulous Tastemaker Charley Harper, Enjoy!!! (above image via)

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