Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Just a bookmark!

A lovely little acquisition - from a very enthusiastic ex-puffineer clearing the decks on eBay. But a beautiful example of Jill McDonalds work. So many of the best pieces of her work are throw-away items like this. A real pleasure to restore.

The back of the original has a list of reading favorites written on it. It's fascinating to see what someone else saw as vital reading before we had the interweb and cable telly.

Monday, 14 September 2009

News Flash!

I know that these pages are mostly dedicated to the golden age Puffin Club, but for those of you who have been holding off giving your younger reader (6+) a membership of Puffin Post - hesitate no longer. January sees the launch of Puffin Post for 'Pufflings'.

I've only seen the launch info in the latest copy of Puffin Post, but this looks like the new incarnation of 'The Egg'.

Incidentally, the latest issue of Puffin Post is the most art focused yet! Nice one Ptolemy!

Puffin Post Vol.2 No.3

A seriously overdue restoration - and a blinder! For those of you who don't know the Happy Lion books (rather quirkily translated from the French), Jill's artwork is a very faithfull copy of the style.
By this point, I think she had really got into the swing of the covers. The first time I saw this cover I thought it was enchanting - my kids have said the same.

A big apology for all of you who follow this blog - I have literally been working round the clock on other projects, and something had to give! I will do my best to bring you some new things soon.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Puffin Post Vol.13 No.3

Slightly out of season, but fun none-the-less.

Featuring a short story by Leon Garfield, and in depth guide on how a book is published by Felicity Trotman, a centre spread on mask making, a profile of author Dorothy Crayder, a charming piece by Violet Bibby on finding Treasure (stories) from the past and photos from two forthcoming adaptations - Southern TV's 'The Ravelled Thread' and BBC TV's 'The Enchanted Castle'.

Not a bad little collection!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Puffin Post Vol.8 no.4

Another amazing Quentin Blake cover - you will probably have seen this one as part of the publicity for the new club. It's certainly a vivid piece of work, and again, one of my favourites.

Slightly drier content in this one! A historical story by Barbara Willard entitled 'Save England!', a story 'The Siege of Trapp's Mill' by Annabel Farjeon, A piece about the author John Masefield (The Midnight Folk etc.), and a more adventurous tale by Peter Dickinson -'Up and Beyond'.

Jill McDonald has two nice scale pieces - Part 6 of Odways 'Tales of the Golden Fleas' and a short-lived character 'McDonald McDonald' - the arch detector of useless (but fascinating) information.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Puffin Post Vol.11 no.1

A great one for anniversary fever! This issue included a brief history of the club up till that point as well as Jill McDonalds memories of drawing Fat Puffin (previously posted). Also included was a short birthday story by Elisabeth Beresford, a piece about Ponies by Flambards author Kathleen Peyton and an interview with Jan Pienkowski.

Bundled in with the magazine was the 10th Birthday Exhibition announcement with a special board game called 'Swoop' designed by Merlin Southwell printed on the back - not many have survived!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Puffin Post Vol.3 No.4

Okay, this isn't a typical spring/summer image, but it's so full of wit and humour - I defy anyone who says this doesn't offer something for all ages.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Long time, no blog...

Hello Puffin Bloggers - sorry to have been away for so long, I'm afraid my other work has been taking all of my attention lately. Goodness know what I'll do if it really takes off!

Anywho, here is a little restoration that I've been working on: The Puffin Readers Diary 1979!

This delightful cover was not very good at keeping its Gold and Green foil intact - mine was very worn. I hope that other owners of this little work of art allow me the license of approximating the look of the complete foil image. This is one of my favourite Jill McDonald ephemeral images.

I now have a cache of scans to work through, so I hope to resume normal service.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Puffin Cake?

I admit this isn't an original Jill McDonald work - it's mine! My youngest daughter just turned six and requested a Puffin cake! (I don't know where she gets it from!) My freehand icing isn't the greatest, but here is my attempt based on the badge design by Jill.*

One nice consequence of doing this was discovering that the parent of one of her friends was also a member of the Puffin Club - now a teacher!

I was also contacted by another founder member who had come across this site - sadly she only had one letter from another member on club stationary as a memento. She also has a polaroid of her as a child in her bedroom with one of the (now very) rare Puffin Bookcases. These were a short run item that could be bought at selected Puffin outlets around the country. As far as I have been able to find out, these are excessively difficult to find as they tended to get thrown out when the Puffin books were outgrown - or didn't survive moves.

I'm sure there are some still out there in varying states of repair - hold on to them! They are going to increase in value.

After careful consideration (despite asking permission), I have chosen not to post the picture, as I feel it would be inappropriate. I will locate one of the photos that were taken for Puffin Post as this shows it very clearly.

*I have removed my daughters name electronically for her protection!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Another successful restoration...Puffin Mugs!

This is something I have wanted to do for a while!

My lovely puffin mug (the one on the right) that was accidentally smashed by my eldest when she was little (the restored graphic was one of my first postings!) and then stuck together with sellotape and modeling resin has been useless for anything other than storing bits and pieces - until now!

My youngest is quite taken with the whole 'Puffin Thing' and loves Fat Puffin, asked if she could make a different coloured image - easy on most image manipulation software - and then asked for a mug for her birthday. I finally sent both image files to the nice people at tshirtstudio.com who did a sterling job, turning it around in 48 hours!!

So I had the pleasure of drinking my tea from a treasured classic - as did my youngest!

Thanks Guys!

Please don't ask me to make these up for any of you! The copyright issues are hideous!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Sorry I've been away...

It's been kind of hectic of late - non Puffin related. This was a sticker that was handed out to old Puffineers. This is another example from Ruths collection. If I can sort out the current stresses, normal service will be resumed shortly.

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan March 2009

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

If you ever received a postcard from the Puffin Club...

...You probably got a card with this on the front! This is from the collection shared by Jacqueline Atkinson. This was a really clever response to submissions from members (and everyone else!) The front had this lovely illustration and the back had a tick-box selection also illustrated by Jill McDonald (unless you hadn't recognised her deft pen and brushwork).

Look out for the typically humorous back of the card in future postings (I've got to promise something to get you to come back!!).

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Yet more treats - Puffin Readers Diary 1977

Dear blog readers,
Yet again, I have been contacted by someone with a past connection to the Puffin Club - to be honest this happened last year, but now I have something to share!

The artist and illustrator Jacqueline Atkinson who illustrated the strip 'Canny Blockhead' and produced many pieces of artwork for the club, has kindly sent me some selected pieces from her archive. One of the sets of drawings are the original plans for a mural that was realized at the Puffin Exhibition.

The first treat from Jacqueline's archive is the cover she produced for the 1977 Puffin Readers Diary. I believe that she and Jill McDonald were the only artists to produce covers for these little gems (but I would love to hear if I am horribly wrong).

Look forward to the re-emergence of 'Canny Blockhead' in future postings.

Many thanks Jacqui!

Monday, 23 February 2009

A new service!!

I have had several requests to buy items from my collection since I started this blog, and whilst it is tempting during these hard times, it has been hard searched for and acquired.

So I intend listing links to items for sale that I think are worth bidding for, or buying from a dealer.

The first listings are:

Puffin Post Volume 5 Nos 1, 2 , 3 ,4 plus folder - eBay
Looks in good condition. I have noticed that there have been more Vol.5 bundles over the past 18 months than any other, so the bidding for this shouldn't be too bad.
Well that was a waste of time! No one bid!

Puffin Post Volume 4 Nos 1, 2 , 3 ,4 plus folder - eBay
Again, pretty good. The filled in crosswords etc. shouldn't put you off. These are getting more scarce. Still shouldn't get above £10 - 12.
And it didn't - No one bid again! - You can't say I didn't try!!

A set of Volume 3 went for £12.06 a month or so ago, which is about on a par with book dealer prices.

PUFFIN Book Metal Pin Badge - eBay
One of the genuine enamel badges - not bad by the look of the photo, but it does appear to have firing flaws down the left side (quite common). These badges can get up to £15! I just depends who you are up against!
What a bargain!! The winning bidder got it for £4.45! Well done that eBayer!

Hope this helps some of you out.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

...and something for the younger audience. The Egg no.28

Sadly this august publication has not (as yet) been resurrected as this is a real favourite of my five year old. The cover, illustrated by Captain Pugwash creator John Ryan, features the mascot of the Junior Puffin Club - Smudge! Fat Puffin was supposed to be the Uncle of Smudge, though I remember this as something I was told at a Puffin event rather than in the pages of Puffin Post itself.

Apropos of the Puffin events, I remember a very nice little play area that had been set aside for the younger Puffineers and a very nice sounding lady inside a Smudge costume wandering around near it. Fat Puffin was of course doing the same elsewhere at the event, but it's an image that has stuck with me.

I would be very interested if anyone out there has any Junior Puffin Club magazines and members memorabilia, as it is incredibly rare to find in any state of preservation - I only have a few copies and nothing else!!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Something a bit more recent...Puffin Post Number 7 - Autumn 1985!

This is one of the better covers that came with the re-branding in the 80's - a great cover by Quentin Blake. I'm afraid this cover got some water damage, hence the creases (Too much to restore this time round without messing up the ink-wash artwork).

The inside of these felt a bit disjointed, maybe due to a loss of a house stylist to guide the way. Jill McDonald's graphics still appear throughout the magazine - old echoes of earlier times.

The other big change - and a big mistake in my opinion - was the change in size from A5 to an awkward A4! Why??

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A cheery puffin from the early days

I can't tell you the year this handsome chap appeared - but he is one of the early exhibition flyer puffins that decorated a Puffin Club Exhibition. There have been quite a few that Jill McDonald designed over the years with a kind of evolution that becomes easier and more stylised with every passing event and exhibition. It makes me wonder what she would have produced if she hadn't died at such an early age. Something marvelous!

Image from the collection of Ruth - Founder member 1487 - Restored S. Hassan Jan 2009

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Something familiar...

Here's the old members book that remained pretty unchanged for the whole original clubs existence. Two founder membership cards have a similar look to them in blue and pink.

Just as in the new club, it also held a copy of the Puffin Code!

I can't remember whether I mentioned it in a previous post - Jill McDonalds first big contribution to Puffin was of course the Puffin Logo/Badge itself.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Badges again..

Isn't he super! I've still got a a pile of these to post - hope you enjoy them.
And here is the 80's answer.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

You want badges? OK then...

Yes, it's a Puffin Explorer badge - one of the old ones. I've sadly mislaid one of the fifteen badges in this collection - it'll probably turn up when I least expect it. Never mind, I've still got the rest of them to share with you all.

Again, these are the work of Jill McDonald. One of my earlier posts showed one of the designs used as a rubber stamp. All of these badges were given away at Puffin exhibitions in the late 70's.

This is an example of the badges that followed Jill's death - The work is very slick, and obviously follows Jill's example, but it doesn't quite reach me in the same way. If you are the illustrator, please don't take offense! I'm a big fan of Jill's work, and I may be a bit blinkered.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year to all!

It's a bright sparkly new year - and already I have to start with an apology! I know I said I would try to put some little 'gifts' up on the blog over the twelve days (and here we are on day twelve without so much as a Christmas doughnut!).

I do have an excuse. I was laid up with one of the many Christmas lurgi bugs that are doing the rounds at the moment - so I wasn't full of Christmas cheer; more like Christmas congestion!
Anywho, I'm back for a year of vintage Puffinalia that sees the first new Puffin Post on the doormats of new young puffineers, eagerly ripping those membership boxes open to savour the contents (including their own fuzzy puffin).

Things may seem bleak out there at the moment, but it is warming to remember that the powercuts and financial worries that accompanied the winter of discontent all those years ago also had it's Puffin Club to give an identity to the avid readers of the 70's. Maybe not a lot has changed after all!

To make up for not posting the promised goodies over the festive season, please accept this offering:This is the cover to Puffin Post Volume 14 No 3 - Voted the best Jill McDonald cover by Puffineers following her death. It is very lovely!

The second place by only two votes was Volume 8 No 2 - which I have already posted, followed by Volume 3 No 2 (which will follow, I promise, I promise, I promise).

For those that may be interested, Jill painted 219 puffins on the covers of Puffin Post in total (though I hesitate to collate the total for the contents as well (should one include reprints?!).