On my op shop travels in the last few weeks I've managed to find some pretty amazing things and tonight's show and tell involves two of these.
This embroidered cushion cover was done in cotton on rough linen, and is so beautiful. Maybe it's the intensity of the colour, but I just couldn't get a shot that does it justice. It's deep red and very detailed for something done on such a large scale. I wonder where it was made, and how long ago. It looks very Eastern-European to me; in that lovely bohemian folk art style they do so well. I'm looking for a cushion to fit so it can find a home on our couch.
My second find was accidental like most good things; I almost missed it in the pile of books in the corner of a shop. It's called 'Marko lives in Yugoslavia' by Anna Riwin-Brick and Astrid Lindgren. It was the name Astrid Lindgren on the cover that grabbed my attention. (I hope my boys like reading her books out loud to each other one day, just like my sisters and I did...) Anyway, it's such a fun little story about a boy and his brother, and their search for their little pig and all the exciting things that can happen in one day in Macedonia in the early sixties. The photos are really special; they feel so natural and unposed, and you get the impression that the people in them were really just going about their normal day when the photographer happened to walk by.
There were a heap of other titles in the same series (Children Everywhere) printed on the back and so I decided that this would be the start of a great collection. I've already managed to get the second one on Trade Me, called 'Kuma is a Maori Girl' (by Dennis Hodgson and Pat Lawson) and I'm equally impressed. Kuma lives in Auckland, and goes to visit her family in Rotorua and discovers the more traditional Maori way of life they have down there.
These books must be quite collectible; in my Google search on the first one I found a book dealer selling it for US$80 (!) and Kuma is also normally quite expensive on Trade Me. But you know I'd never spend that much, hey ;)