Friday, February 29, 2008

We only see the stars at night

Being a leap day, February 29th holds certain magic. The thirfts today echoed that magic- even though I only had the time and energy to go to two of them (the other two shall be plundered next week), I still came away with some wonderful stuff, including (but certainly not limited to) a set of four antique fish knives and their forky partners- 50 cents; A 19th century book about fairy tales and fables- 1 dollar; and this:

(Do excuse the photo, the light is low in my lounge, even under the reading lamp!)

If it is what I think it is then the $1 price tag was most agreeable. If indeed it is but a humble 20th century trinket, the one dollar is still not to be sniffed at. But I think, I might be Georgian, or early Victorian. It reminds me heavily you see, of the Georgian memorial token I posted in my Valentines Day post. It's crystal, though I don't know what kind. I thought for one heart-stopping moment it might be hair inside, but closer inspection revealed that it was simply the natural fissures in the rock.

Another magic moment occured when I opened the mail to find my Red Bubble order had arrived. I ordered a card of one of my photographs to be sure that the site's quality was worth my while. Is it ever! Beautiful saturated colour, lovely heavy cardstock and an envelope to boot! I'll defaintely be ordering more.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Inspiration can come from anywhere, without notice- or with excessive effort. Sometimes I just sit on Google image search, type in a few random words and see what comes up.

Search term: 'antique clothing':

Barbara Neri- Asolo 2000
(23" diameter circle)
mixed-media assemblage:
lace, antique carte de visite photograph of Robert Browning,
pressed leaves with text.

Image search term: 'Dickensian alleyway'

It's unclear what this is- I think it's an Edwardian map of the Strand in London. from the NCR (National Cash Register) website.

Search term: 'moth dust'

A moth emerges from it's cocoon- from the blog kozmicdreams.

Google search term: 'dustbowl clothes'

Even though I searched for clothes, I still somehow came up with this! From a photo gallery of the work of Robert Polidori, from Dissent Magazine. The gallery is no where near as big as what I would like, but there's no mention of a book or anything else. But- as the magic of the universe will do- a Google image search on his name provides plenty of visual fodder.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The gathered relic: Lisa Mei Ling Fong

My artwork is my journal entry: a personal note on the efforts of a life that must inevitably traverse a timeline that is terminal. Death is what reminds me to live - not as an empty and floating being, but as a temporal entity that can touch all of what is around me."

"I assemble and arrange personal collections of relics in "Introversion Boxes" to create sentimental memorials. By composing themes either real or imagined, I perpetually develop the importance of what memory is as it relates to our fleeting existence."

Words and images above from from the artist's MySpace page.

Lisa Mei Ling Fong is one of those artists I discovered a long time ago while on a search for more people who had pursued in their art a definate Cornellian style. I filed her website away in my bookmarks and it was soon swamped by more discoveries and my forgetful memories. I re-discovered her again tonight and am instantly re-inspired in the world of box assemblage. If only my boxes would speak to me again- they went on strike a week before my last exhibition and a large cardboard box of them sits on the coffee table at home, waiting for me to discover the secret password that will open them up to me again. Art can be so touchy sometimes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Gypsies tramps and thieves

A few new necklaces waiting for the shop.

A charm bracelet, featuring a Victorian black bobble, mother of pearl, cowrie shell, Edwardian metal buttons, vintage bellydancing coins and a 1930s watch band.

completed earrings- all vintage pieces. Just waiting on some nice kidney wires from the US. :)

Paper collages rest on a vintage handkerchief pocket with age damage. This is part of a package for a pen friend. Features handmade Tibetan paper, book page scraps, 1920s map fragments, 19th century wallpaper, silk trim from a dying Edwardian wedding gown.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

There is no better cure for world weariness than a day at home

Paper collage in timid beginnings

The last two days have been quite productive. I have spent my time cleaning out the corner of the studio (didn't give up on quite as much 'I can ebay that' stuff as I would've liked to...) but I did give four boxes of stuff to charity. I dyed quite a bit of stuff including some factory-made vintage felt; when you dye that stuff, it gets a real organic feel to it, as if you'd made it from scratch. Lovely.

I used a dye that my friend had given me- a commercial strength deep green. Talk about colour! I'm so used to the Dylon and its half-hearted attempts, and Rit is pretty good even if it does give up the ghost too quick, but this stuff was great! I used it to dye all those 'problem' slips that never seem to catch the colour- one came out very mottled and drippy. I have a good stock of clothes that are ready to be altered now, but I'm not looking at them until I move- I'm not allowed to start anymore projects!

Which is probably why I started some paper collages while I rested. *sigh* Well they are little things, for a package to a new friend, so it's not like I'm starting anything I'll never finish...

Thursday, February 14, 2008


United hearts tin ornament

German 'antique heart' wax decoration

Circa 1880s silver heart trinket box

Georgian double-sided heart momento mori

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Inspiration- Bleak House

I don't remember ever being this sad before that a television serial has finished. Usually I don't get into drama at all, but this...well, this is Dickens. The characters, the plots, the twists...

Though it came out 3 years ago, I have only just now seen the BBC adaption of Bleak House- and OH how I was in love. Well- am in love, and I do have the last episode to go. I think I'm putting it off deliberately!

I love Dickens, though I'll admit I've never read the actual books. I do mean to, certainly, and Bleak House will certainly be the first one. I tried to read it a few years ago when the TV serial came out (I was sans television, pity me) -I tried and tried but just could not get past the first chapter. I've read the first page just now online, and I don't know what I didn't understand, it seems to be plain English to me now. Beforehand I barely understood what was happening.

But I loved Esther Summerson from the moment she appeared on screen. I never ever trusted Mr.Skimpole, not for a moment, but adored Dr.Woodcourt, with his Poe-like face.

(Dr.Woodcourt is a sweet-hearted character, but I can only find this picture!)

And horrible Mr.Smallweed!! Shake me up, Judy!!! Never have I been so repulsed by a character- Philip Davis did an outstanding job. And of course, how adorable Mr.Jarndyce is, and heartbreaking Lady Dedlock- I felt so bad for her, Gillian Anderson was stunning, keeping all that emotion locked behind a corset. Sargeant George, who made me tear-up, he's such a noble man! Villainous Tulkinghorn, and Mr.Bucket, he really grows on you.

An extract to end it with:

My Lady Dedlock's " place " has been extremely dreary. The
weather, for many a day and night, has been so wet that the trees seem
wet through, and the soft loppings and pruning of the woodman's axe
can make no crash or crackle as they fall. The deer, looking soaked,
leave quagmires, where they pass. The shot of a rille loses its sharpness
in the moist air, and its smoke moves in a tardy little cloud towards
the green rise, coppice-topped, that makes a back-ground for the falling
rain. The view from my Lady Dedlock's own windows is alternately a
lead-colored view, and a view in Indian ink. The vases on the stone
terrace in the foreground catch the rain all day ; and the heavy drops fall,
drip, drip, drip, upon the broad flagged pavement, called, from old
time, the Ghost's walk, all night. On Sundays, the little church in the
park is mouldy ; the oaken pulpit breaks out into a cold sweat ; and there
is a general smell and taste as of the ancient Dedlocks in their graves.

Oh, now I really must watch the last episode. Right now!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Inspiration- quilts and pottery

I love these quilts- so simplistic. I think the fact that they're so flat helps too, though I'm sure they'd be lovely spread out on a bed or as a rug on bare floorboards.

I also fell in love with this little bird dish:

It looks like the artist doesn't post outside the US though, which is a shame. Oh well, added to the favourites.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The melody of a long forgotten tune

key to a forgotten song

Locking up the village this evening I stopped longer than customary at the music studio, where I suddenly noticed for the first time all these lovely things that had been exactly there for years. Of all the newly arranged exhibitions in the museum, the music studio is the most neglected, thick with dust, the musical instruments decaying from lack of care.

I took a few photos of the displays (found the above key hidden behind the books on the mantel) and resolved to go in some time this week and give things a good dusting. I suppose as assistant curator I should be doing this kind of thing, it's just that with all the politics and change around here there hasn't been much time for actual curating. I feel bad that I've never paid it much mind before- I suppose because it's right next to the front door and seperate from the other buildings, so we tend to overlook it. Shame.

During the rest of my walk I found a few treasures:

I'm really in love with the crooked piece of willow root, and the dried poppies (I don't even remember seeing them in bloom!) -the feathers are from the geese, and the tiniest white snail shell I've ever seen:

I've found a few new blogs today, all stemming from Lost in the Woods, who left such sweet words about this place on her own gorgeous blog. I've whittled away a great deal of my evening looking at her posts and the posts of her links. What with all of that, plus the addition of finding ripe fruit on my blackberry bramble and having marmalade toast, it's been a very satisfactory Sunday indeed.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A finger in every pie...


Details of a finished necklace for the upcoming Etsy shop. I had hoped to have it launched by Valentine's Day, but it seems as though I might have to put back a little, perhaps early March. Preparing to move house and spending so much time in the city finding a house to move into is taking up much more time than I would like.

I am starting to list my photography on Red Bubble- I only just discovered this yesterday after a friend pointed it out. They're like a cross between Etsy and Cafe Press- all the class and quality of Etsy with the Cafe Press 'we'll print and sell it for you' motif. I'll be listing some images for sale as greeting cards in the next few days, once I've made some large enough to the requirement. I need to get a bigger memory card for my camera...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Inspiration- Flickr favourites

Every visit to flickr is an inspiration, but a visit with my favourites is the best inpsiration of all- each tiny thumbnail evokes something in me that symbolises what I want to create in my art.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The collecting habits of the Corvidae

Bracelet made from cutlery ends from Brown Banana
(Via the Sub-Studio design blog)

Mixed media from ArtKat Studio (check out her jewellery!)

Candace Ang (from the Devastated Saint range)