Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My walking stick, eye candy and me

Tomorrow will be my umpteenth birthday and I propose to throw off the walking stick I've been using for the last week. It hasn't been an easy week. I'm lucky in that I'm rarely ill so my fall has rather put me out of sorts as I've been unable to operate in the same way as usual. Thanks to all those who offered soothing words and advice although I didn't have much success with the ice packs.

I'm hoping to visit the Rob Ryan exhibition in Stafford tomorrow. I won't be going in a boot and a slipper as I did when I went to hospital where I discovered my hopping days were long over as I failed to move forwards and just managed to hop on the spot!

I have spent more time in a chair and thought I'd share with you the two books that have been keeping me entertained

Etc. by Sibella Court a stylist whose work I like ...

She couldn't be asid to be a "less is more" person as she uses lots of her collections in her room sets. Reviews on Amazon vary from one extreme to another with some folk hating her style and others loving it.

The book itself is a delight with a typewriter font (which I like and others hate)and lots of brown paper interspersed with glassine paper and countless pictures.

Lots of evidence of subdued effects - feathers, mother of pearl buttons, twigs and stones...

natural bristle brushes

and who else collects barbed wire in its different forms to such good effect? (Note to self - must pick up barbed wire next time I'm out!).

I've also, in totol contrast been enjoying Brian Cooks Landscapes of Britain. Many of you will recognise his style from the countless posters and book jackets designed by him in the 1930s.

The book is a celebration of his work and is a delight from cover to cover.

These are a couple of his book jacket designs...

I love the palette he uses which is so eveocative of the 1930s.

The last photo is of one of my own Brian Cook book jackets - somewhat faded and battered but tomoorw I shall take his advice, take to the road and "See the Country"! Well the bit that falls between Nottingham and Stafford anyway!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Friday, 17 December 2010

Thwarted Christmas preparations...

My Christmas preparations are being thwarted. Yesterday I found myself hugging the road when I slid on its icyness. Having watched in horror as my twisted foot grew and grew it let me down and refused to allow me to stand on it. I had it xrayed and although it isn't broken I'm supposed to be chair bound for the day. This is tres hard for me - I don't do chair bound and certainly not two days before Christmas!

I thought I'd share some pictures of what should have been a Christmas shopping trip a few days ago where I spotted a new White Stuff in town. This put paid to my shopping.

I was surrounded by vintage loveliness and loved the changing rooms which were set out like a street of front doors which when opened revealed hallways all individually decorated and styled...

complete with drainpipe with added rat ...

The walls were covered with kitsch pictures

and they had even thought about keeping the children enteretained with this fish ride ...

and its own little cinema

with seats from an old picture house!

Loving the lift doors...

There were very few Christmas decorations but the pictures had been tweaked with fun

They also had a Magic Mirror - when you try on and want a second opinion you tap in an email address on a pad on the mirror and it e-mails the picture to the address you typed in! I had a go and the picture below is what I emailed to myself - I wasn't trying on - the assistant was so excited about the store she wanted to share everything with me and let me take all these photos.

And the clothes, and the vintage shopping - no idea - didn't spot the clothes and here's hoping foot has improved enough to finish everything off tomorrow. Here's hoping!

Love Wend

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

'Tis the season

for Quality Street,

Miniature Heroes ,


etc, etc.

Tins of calorific indulgence cover "the desk at the end" from December 1st until mid January (people take in their unwanted chocs after xmas hoping others will eat them so they don't have to break their post Christmas diets.)

But take a moment to reflect on the packaging. Take a minute to read the recycling instructions on a box of Quality Street - as follows...

"Once you've enjoyed the sweets separate the coloured outer wrapper and recycle the foil as you would a drinks can.

You can put the coloured outer wrappers on your compost where they'll decompose. This is a much greener way of getting rid of them and it'll help your plants grow strong.

Remove the window from the empty carton and put the window bit in the bin The card can then be quickly and easdily recycled... By doing these thingsa you'll be doing your bit to help look after the planet, so why not treat yourself..."

This took the whole idea of of sneaking a quick bite of chocolate into a"whole"nother sphere - the team trying desperately to separate foil from cellophane, ripping windows from the cardboard and wondering whether the office can recycling bin men would respond favourably to lots of bits of Quality Street wrappers mixed into the "Cans only" bin. Such fun! (Hey - times are desperate in the Civil Service - we have to scavenge laughs where we can)

Why, I wonder, is there a cellophane window in the middle of the outer packaging? Given anyone over the age of 3 knows what QS look like I'm not sure there needs to be a hole over which they need to stick, (with glue), the cellophane, so that we can see the multi layered wrappers within. So in this age of austerity and in a bid to live a greener life if you must send me chocolate please do it in the form of

which succeed on both counts - non fattening centres and non wasteful wrappers! A box will do nicely but I can think of a variety of useful things to do with a bucket if you must send one!

Love Wend

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Eye candy...

Time to get out the baubles then. I paused when I looked at the boxes which were lovely in their own right...

The one with windows overlaying the holly one is getting quite tatty and I was about to bin it when I notes the decorations around the side - so nicely faded I'm tempted to turn them into gift tags!

Couldn't help but take pictures of my baubles. Why would folk throw them out? As I've collected them over the years people complain that "they have lost their end bits" or are chipped so they are getting rid. I just smile and hand over my pennies (I don't pay much). I can always find "an end bit" (what is that bit called?) from another bauble to swap and give it a new lease of life if that is all that's wrong.

They invariably come with their old means of attaching them to the tree and that always makes me smile too - today I've removed string, wool, thread, twisted paper clips (which is a great idea for the s shape required - try it!) and pipe cleaners!

Just lovely eye candy...

With more than emough for the tree I'm working on different ideas to display them - not sure that this works - may move them into a glass trifle bowl...

After playing about I went to a craft fair and passed a shop selling these baubles.
£40!!! I had to smile smugly to myself and be glad that I am an early riser. All those early get ups to go to the car boot certainly pay off don't they?

I'm a fan of Rob Ryan's work and thought I'd share these things found in John Lewis. If you're short of inspiration see the "Please smell us" vase...

the "Believe in People" mug ...

And the Duo-mugs - (not sure what happens when you break one)carrying the legend
"All of these words are worth less than the breath to say them if we cannot be together". The words do not continue round the mug - they have to stand side by side to read the full message. Sweet!

Have a great week!


Sunday, 5 December 2010

Anyone wondering who won the Christmas bauble giveaway? You'll have to scan to the bottom of the post!

Earlier this year Niobe and I went over to Dublin for a few days and we accepted an invitation to meet up with Elaine (Jaboopee) who lives over there. Elaine was the first blogger I had met and we shared a lovely couple of hours drinking coffee and eating cake and chatting about all sort of things as if we'd known each other for years.

She shared with me what was still a secret at that stage - that she had won a commission to do a large mosaic for a school and that it would take several months to do it. Well, it's now installed and showing right now on her blog - link in my side bar. Just click and have a look - it's absolutely stunning!

I wanted to share with you a couple of artists I met last week at the Harley Gallery before Igot stuck in the car park. Magie Hollingworth was,I thought,a paper artist whose papier mache I love - see these kitchen implements...

and, if you prefer less colour, the black version

So why do you have a jelly mould half full of shredded fivers Wend?

Well that's because Magie uses them to make little pots which she calls "Made of money". I was intrigued as to how she got the shreddings. She explained the convoluted procedure she had to go through to get them from the Royal Mint, not to mention the security with people either side of her as she walked through the corridors of the Mint to collect her shreddings. Anyway my interest earned me a bag of the lovely stuff! (I have more in peach - made from £10 notes).Apparently it's pretty indestructible - how many fivers have you put through the washing machine?

What I hadn't realised was that Magie is also a designer for Ehrman tapestries - so for button lovers check this out!

She explained her process for designing these - apparently the company send her the wool that she needs - she has a rough idea of what she wants to do and stitches it and then sends it off to Ehrman. She doesn't even get to keep the prototype! Not sure I'd be happy with that deal!

I also fell for the work of Ros Roberts a 2010 "New designer" who makes these amazing lamps and lampbases out of discarded books and twisted and bent willow branches. These were stuuning and use very tiny bulbs for safety.

Apologies for the delay in sorting the giveaway. The winner is Cathy over at Menopausal Musing. Cathy,please let me have your address - my e-mail is on my sidebar - and I'll pop them in the post to you. Thank you to everyone who entered - I included everyone who commented on either blog. Hope you have a good week lined up!