Bruce’s Lucky Dip: New Year, New Hobby 2017 Edition

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I haven’t run a Lucky Dip post since 2015 apparently, so it’s high time I got back into it.  In case you are unaware, in my Lucky Dip posts I pop a search term into the Book Depository’s mighty search engine and bring you the most chuckle-worthy results.  I last ran the New Year, New Hobby lucky dip in 2015 (was it really that long ago?!) and have decided to repeat the performance today.  Sit back and peruse these ideas for potential new ways to spend your time in 2017.

For the person who remains traumatised by 2016 and has begun the year with a grim outlook:

diy-coffins

Do-It-Yourself Coffins For Pets and People: A Schiffer Book for Woodworkers Who Want to Be Buried in Their Work by Dale Power

For the person who remains traumatised by 2016 and has decided to take matters into their own hands:

diy-drones

DIY Drones for the Evil Genius by Ian Cinnamon

For the person traumatised by 2016 who would rather forget the whole thing and masquerade as an animal:

animal-hats

Animal Hats: 15 Patterns to Knit and Show Off by Vanessa Mooncie

For the person traumatised by 2016 who would rather forget the whole thing and BECOME an animal:

transform-yourself-into-any-animal

How to Transform Yourself into Any Animal: A DIY Guide to Surgical Procedures by Orca Man

For the person excited about new beginnings, and too much time (and too many hamsters) on their hands:

homemade-for-hamsters

Homemade for Hamsters: Over 20 Fun Projects Anyone Can Make, Including Tunnels, Towers, Dens, Swings, Ladders and More by Carin Oliver

Or indeed, too many cats:

cat-castles

Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself by Carin Oliver

And finally, one for the booklovers…a sensible one, I promise:

bookcases

Bookcases: From Salvage to Storage (14 DIY Designer Projects) by Aurelie Drouet

I hope you’ve found something in this lot to inspire the creative juices for the coming year.  Do tell me how you plan to spend your down time and whether you plan to write an amusingly-titled book about it, won’t you?

Until next time,

Bruce

Colour Me Confused: Inexplicable Subjects on which to base a Colouring Book

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As many of you know, I’m a great fan of the BookDepository.  Apart from their fantabulous range of books, low, low prices, and free international shipping (!), I find great enjoyment in their search mechanism. I get unfathomable delight from typing in a random word and casting my eyes over the numerous and unexpected titles that pop up.  It’s like fishing in Lake Oddball.  In fact, even an innocent word like “colouring” will turn up the most bizarre range of tomes.  Books that make you think, “now what publisher in their right mind thought THAT would be a big hit amongst the community of colouring-in enthusiasts?”

So today I will share with you some of the more exciting titles that have turned up in the fishing net of the Good Ship Catalogue Trawler.  These are but a small sample, mind, of the hilariously weird titles that lurk in the search engine, just waiting for their chance to be spotted by that niche-market colouring fan…please, enjoy:

  • Stewing over a birthday present for the Li’l Dawg or Li’l Shawty in your life? The Gangsta Rap Coloring Book may be just what the gang leader ordered!   In fact, why not follow the gift to its logical (and inevitable) conclusion, and give it in conjunction with the Police Station Coloring Book, which helpfully features “thirty full-page drawings introduce youngsters to a host of law enforcement professionals on the job”.  It’s never too early for youngsters to appreciate art imitating life.

gangsta rappolice station

  • If appreciating art’s contemporary forms is more your show, why not test your pastels on Body Art: the Tattoo Design Coloring Book?  This little gem features “men and women showing off tattoos on their arms, legs, and backs”.  That’s right!   For all you aspiring tattoo artists, this book will provide essential practice at colouring inside the lines – before you try it with indelible ink on your unsuspecting and probably drunk best friend.

body art

  • For those of a more sedate, and dare I say, modest disposition, here are two offerings to satisfy your bland and uncomplicated desires. If An Amish Farm Coloring Book doesn’t quite scratch that itch, I guarantee you will be transported to your happy place by the Historic Southern Lighthouses Coloring Book.  Thankfully, both of these books are part of a series, so you need not fear running out of Amish or Lighthouse related imagery to render in living colour.

amish farm  lighthouse

  • Finally, after constant hectoring from the Slightly Creepy Equine Enthusiasts Lobby, Dover Publications has thoughtfully made available the Horse Anatomy Coloring Book.  If you’ve ever thought that colouring in the outside of the horse was simply not enough, Dover has thoughtfully rectified this thorny issue by providing pages depicting the horse’s “skeleton, muscles, nervous system, and major organs” for your colouring pleasure.  Red and white crayons at the ready, kiddies!

horse anatomy

In case you thought these were the most bizarre, I have actually excluded the most inexplicable colouring book that I’ve come across.  That one is dedicated entirely to the reproductive hardware of female fleshlings. I would have included it here, but the title contains a word that is considered particularly rude and unsavoury amongst more civilised fleshlings.

I’ll let you all go now so you can make sure your colouring pencils are sharp enough to tackle the challenges contained in these tomes….Incidentally, if anyone owns one of these books, I’d love to see some finished examples.

Until next time,

Bruce

The Gargoyle’s Gift Guide: For List-makers, Diary-keepers and General Book-wreckers…

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Evenin’ all! Today I present to you some ideas for those most insidious people on your  list…you know the ones…they’ve already finished their Christmas shopping by August at the latest, they’ve printed out all those digital family snaps and arranged them artistically in some sort of scrapbook, and they use words like “reflecting” and “goal setting” and “making dreams a reality”.

And then there’s some suggestions for that other lot – the ones who spill tea on that brand new first edition hardback you bought them for their birthday; the ones who write phone messages in crayon on the wall because they couldn’t find pen and paper, the ones who tear out pages and use them to wrap gifts because it’s more eco-friendly than buying wrapping paper….

Honestly, it makes one shudder to think about it. Yet still, gifts must be exchanged….so I have made your job easy.  You can thank me with appreciative glances and quiet murmurs of praise.

For List-Makers:

Look no further than The A-Z Book of Curious Lists: A Journal for the Impossibliy Imaginative.  This cracker of a book provides fresh fodder for those obsessive little munchkins who cannot make it through a day without making a list.  With a list idea for every occasion, this will keep them so busy that their “To-do” List will remain untouched for days.  Some of my favourites are:

  • Other Names Besides Harold for an Elephant
  • Indecent Attire in Which to Attend the Opera
  • and Unpromising Haiku Beginnings (in response to which, my fleshling owner has written “There once was a man from Nantucket”)

the-a-z-book-of-curious-lists-a-journal-for-the-impossibly-imaginative

For Diary-Keepers:

For a twist on the run-of-the-mill diary experience or for those who are time- and imagination-poor, Q&A a Day: A 5 Year Journal is just the ticket.  This pocket-sized memory-protector provides enough space to write a single answer to a given question five times over, to cover the same date over five consecutive years.  The advantage of this is that you only have to write one sentence a day and you can cheat off last year’s answer if you can’t think of an original one.  My favourite questions from this one so far are:

  • What is your Achille’s Heel?
  • What can you smell right now?
  • and What new word have you learned? (to which my fleshling owner has responded: “Moral turpitude”….which is quite obviously two words, not one.  It really is a wonder I’m not presiding over piles of books that begin with “See Dick Run”…)

qanda a dayFor Book-Wreckers:

For this most difficult group, one cannot go past Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.

wreck this journal

This licence to spill, mess up and generally destroy is perfect for anyone who wants to break free from the shackles of conformity…and anyone who’s just a bit bored in work-related meetings.  While I am yet to become guardian of this tome on my personal shelf (my fleshling owner obviously being more kindred with the precocious group of list-makers and diary-keepers), I have searched for some examples of work completed in this book to give you an idea of what you may be in for.  Such as this:

bleurgh journal

and this fluffly little gem:

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So once again dear readers, I hope these suggestions aid you in your neverending and ultimately unsatisfying search for that perfect gift.  And if Santa happens to be reading, Mad Martha would love a copy of Wreck this Journal (being a firm encumbent of the book-wrecking population).

Until next time,

Bruce

Just Dahl-ing: Fantastic finds for a Friday…

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“My candle burns at both ends,

it will not last the night.

But ah my foes and oh my friends

it gives a lovely light”

Roald Dahl’s motto

Well my friends, I am in a particularly Dahl-ish mood today (as is the case with all of us at one point or another) so I have compiled a small collection of quite fantastic finds related to the good man himself.  For the iphone/pad/pod/potato owners, you can spruce up your phone with a Golden Ticket inspired decal!

Got a birthday coming up? Theme it Wonka and snatch these amazing character cake toppers!

But my best, and possibly the weirdest, find yet – a full set of pens crafted around characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Here, my friends, is the answer to the question “What do you get that book lover who has everything?”

Each of these beauties is available for purchase at the links below:

Ipod decal: http://www.etsy.com/listing/87689801/the-golden-ticket-iphone-44s-decal

Cake Toppers: http://www.etsy.com/listing/51715867/willy-wonka-and-the-chocolate-factory

Pen set: http://www.etsy.com/listing/92003417/the-entire-set-of-character-pens-from

Laybuy now for Christmas!

Bruce

A Costume for the Very Hungry Booklover…

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I’ve just now come across this delightful (and head-turning!) wearable art piece for those who wish to publicly display their love of Eric Carle through fashion.

BEHOLD!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Costume:

Made by theholidayshoppe and available for purchase here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/110837950/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-inspired .  Incidentally, they also make a very nice sushi costume…if you’re into that sort of thing.

Laybuy now for Christmas (or Halloween…or Book Week!)

Until next time,

Bruce

One for the trendies: Inspired E-reader covers…

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Those who know me will know that I am not a fan of the e-reader, mainly due to the fact that their widespread use has the ability to render bookshelf gargoyles obsolete.  However, I am aware that many flesh-folk find them quite handy.  So I present to you these quite lovely e-book covers from Chick-Lit Designs, made from upcycled book covers:

Or for those who prefer a more holistic carrying solution, how about these purses made in the same fashion, that contain a hidden e-reader holding pocket:

Or for those who don’t possess an e-reader (allies in the fight!), but wish to display their love of reading in a public fashion, these delightful clutch purses:

These enticing, handmade products are available at www.chicklitdesigns.etsy.com for your purchasing pleasure.

Laybuy now for Christmas…

Bruce

For the reader who loves to wear their heart on their…neck. Or ears.

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Just look at these delightful little handmade beauties from Coryographies…if I was the type of gargoyle to wear baubles and bling, I would definitely be stepping off the shelf (figuratively speaking) in one of these little babies.  Available to purchase here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Coryographies?ref=shop_sugg

Laybuy now for Christmas!
Until next time,

Bruce.