Anemones, Free Anemones

No, this is not a post about a movement to free the oppressed Anemones; it’s an ode to Dover Books, the source of these anemones. And about a lagniappe of sorts.

To your right is a nice William Morris anemone pattern. It comes from Dover Books. It was free.

I like a lot of things about Dover Books. That they sell things that are reasonably priced and fun and low tech. And that their embrace of the internet has just led them to do more reasonable and fun things.

I’ve bought things from Dover Books before. The other day I was thinking about how nice it would be to have some clipart that might be used by children who would like to advertise (a) the world’s largest yardsale; (b) the best lemonade stand Ever; (c) a low cost dog walking service. (The BlogLily boys are as entrepreneurial as they are weapons crazy.)

And that’s when I discovered that, in addition to a huge catalog of interesting things, Dover will email you every week — for free — a selection of images you can use for projects such as the ones I’ve outlined above. That’s a pretty nice internet lagniappe. When I came across it I thought about how it’s not creepy or bad to offer something free like that: it’s a a terrific way to thank people for being customers and potential customers. The Bloglily boys are going to have to think about yardsale, and lemonade stand and dog walking lagniappes. They’re something that makes doing business with people a tiny bit nicer.

Oh, and one other thing. Dover Books has a huge series of paper doll books. Do you remember paper dolls? I loved them. I doubt there are many children who play with them anymore. But Dover keeps carrying them: a lot of them. Brides around the world, Fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Napoleon and Josephine! Someday, a resurgence of interest in paper dolls will sweep the world and Dover will be there ready, with those paper dolls, for a reasonable price for a new generation of paper doll appreciators.


16 thoughts on “Anemones, Free Anemones

  1. Bloglily, you’ve touched on one of my pet rants – the way that you can’t buy proper paperdolls anymore! The paperdolls they have nowadays are press-out things with stick-on clothes. Are the children of today too idle to cut out the dolls, glue them on cereal packets, cut out the clothes and press down the tabs?! I had hours of fun doing that as a child. I especially loved the comic Bunty because there was a Bunty paperdoll on the back of each issue, each with a different hairstyle and theme. I had a bag of Bunty paperdolls and outfits and would draw them “rooms” in an old diary I had. It’s sad to think that these days little girls’ magazines are all about Barbie and nasty fashions. Bring back Bunty, that’s what I say!

    Your boys sound so cute and enterprising. I’m bracing myself for all the army and weapons questions I’m sure to receive in a few years time from a certain boy I know!

  2. Dear Helen, Who knew? I remember cutting them out and bending the clothes around them. (Or maybe the edges were sort of perforated. But there was definitely cutting and bending involved at some point.) And if you want to Bring Back Bunty, well, I’m right behind you even though I have no actual image of Bunty, not having lived anywhere the Queen held sway which I sense is where Bunty lived.

    Just to warm you up, here was today’s question from my six year old: “Mom, if Oakland and San Francisco had a war, who would win?”

    I just don’t know where stuff like that comes from. My answer? Oh, I’ll just admit it, I gave him the preachy, “Nobody. Nobody wins when you fight wars.” His answer was much better. “San Francisco would win. They’re bigger and they have more police officers.” The only thing I’m sort of proud of is that at least he’s been trained to call them police officers rather than police men. Otherwise, the forces of the mighty Testosterone are winning.

  3. I was a HUGE Dover fan when I was a child (and remain a fan as an adult, with all their great books and reprints). Paper dolls were one of my passions. I spent hours creating my own, as well as playing with those provided by Dover. I loved their coloring books, too. One of my absolute favorites was a collection of Edward Lear limericks. I also like their stain glass window coloring books. So glad to hear they’re still so enterprising. (My former boss was lucky enough to have worked for them back in the days when I was dressing their paper dolls).

  4. Hi Emily — Glad to hear that about Dover. I’d love to work for them too! There’s something about how thorough they are and how interesting their stock is that really appeals to me. Plus, they’re just not charging a lot for what they do. I really like that. Best, BL

  5. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of what they offer. In fact, one of my tattoos is heavily based on a celtic border I found in one of their clip art books (back when photocopying gave clip art it’s name). The tat is two hounds entwined in classic fashion and, after some 17 years, I still get complements on what a wonderful design it is.

    Dover has also done some exccellent books about mythology and history that I have in my vast collection — many people equate Dover with the more traditional clip-art and paper dolls, but they have published some interesting non-fiction works as well.

    Thanks for remindng me about them…. Guess I’ll have to check out the site now

    ::BL gently twists Mick’s arm and he cries for mercy before there’s any tension even evident in his muscles::

    Thanks! I needed that.

  6. That was just the cup of tea I was handing you, Mick.

    I saw, looking at the site, that they’ve got some interesting looking books about science and math. It would be interesting to know more about the people who run that company. They’ve been in business since 1941, the site says, but not much else.

    Your tattoo sounds wonderful — I wonder if the Dover people know what they’ve inspired!

  7. I love Dover books–they have such a great, esoteric (that sounds better than “weird,” doesn’t it) collection of interesting books. Mick–I, too, love their Celtic art collection, and your tat sounds very, very cool (is it Kells zoomorphic?)–I have a big Celtic knot around my ankle.

  8. ::sips quietly::

    Hmm. A mighty nice cup of tea too. Assam?

    BP – yes, zoomorphic (although I have to admit that I had never used the term before and had to look it up to make certain of what I was agreeing to). Prolly derived from Book of Kells. I kept the colors tribal (nearly black blue and lighter blue).

    Have I mentioned the tea?

  9. Yes! Assam Golden Tip — from Peet’s. Very nice with milk. Doesn’t that make your twisted arm feel better?!

    BP, Knowing about that Celtic knot around your ankle has made me rethink what being an English professor is all about.

    Emily — While you’re at it, could you find out if there are any jobs there? (Just joking — but really, sometimes I do fantasize about working in the book world; having a quiet library job, or sitting around a bookshop drinking tea and showing people to the good reads or cutting and pasting a nice Dover catalog, when I’m not cutting and pasting the paper dolls just to make sure they work, of course.)

    Hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday.

    Best, BL

  10. My dear BL, you need to read my posts “May I Suggest a Book You Just Have to Read?” and “Editors and Authors” to give your fantasies a bit of a reality check. (Even so, I do have to admit that working in the book world has been great for me — although I’ve often said it’s kind of like an alcoholic working in a bar).

  11. Those paper dolls are fantastic. I want the art deco one. Perhaps I’ll put in on my Christmas list.

    I have the working in the book world fantasy too. I picture myself as owning a second hand book shop and being like a female and slightly less rude Bernard Black (reference to great tv series Black Books) while working on a great unfinished novel.

  12. Dover is a great publisher.

    And on the paperdoll note – my daughter (6) likes my ‘victorian ladies’ paper dolls that I had when I was a kid better then the magentic “paper” doll set that she recently was gifted with. So not all hope is lost for the next generation.

    My victorian ladies on the other hand…. Let’s just say that they’re starting to look more well loved then is quite healthy for paper. 😉

  13. Dear Lily,

    This is my first entrance onto the blog stage, and i’m very nervous. But I’m hooked on your site, and everyday it seems to add meaning to my life. Owen and I are currently deep into a Dover book I bought in Chicago at Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio. It is a cut out and glue version of FLW’s Robie house, which is also in Chicago. It takes all of our collective patience and dexterity, and we’re having a grand time together, thanks to Dover. Owen has become the xacto knife wizard, and we know how boys love sharp objects. I am a long standing Dover fan, and to know I can get their clip art for free, what a treat! Thanks BL for sharing your beautiful insights and life.

  14. Hello Lucy — I’m so delighted you’re here. I really like thinking of all of you making the Robie house with Owen. I haven’t yet even said the words “xacto knife” in the presence of my children and admire you for your courage in doing so. A few days ago a lovely woman named Emily, who works in publishing, contributed some information about the people who founded Dover — it’s a very funny story of two not so nice people — I’ll find it and put it up in the text so you can read it when you have a chance. And welcome. It’s not so much a stage as it is a terrace, where you’re sitting outside in a very comfortable chair in the evening after a good dinner, chatting as the sun goes down. It’s a nice warm evening, by the way, and even though there are new people hanging out, they’re all so interesting and fun. Oh, and there are no dishes to do. xxoo, Lily

  15. Hello Lucy… I admire your courage i try and do the same. The work is what really matters; how it’s done. It was such an opportunity to work with these wonderful people and hope to have the opportunity to work closely again. It’s been a blessing to have them part of this team. Because of this wonderful team, we’ve managed to create such a wonderful new line of this product.

    Good luck to you and all my love…

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