Sunday, 20 February 2011

Junk jewelry

Proof, if any were needed, that I have a mental age of about 11. I've had a lovely time today making silly necklaces and bracelets out of all the bits of junk I've picked up off beaches and pavements. I fear I'm even mad enough to wear some of it...
A charm bracelet and a necklace
crude plastic bits of stuff
A reflector and a hunk o' metal

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Book backlog

Bookmarks at the ready
Most people who love to read have a tantalising pile by their bed of books waiting to be read. So do I, but it's getting out of hand...
This is my corner of the bedroom. We had various cupboards and shelves designed into our bedroom when we moved in. I thought I had been clever in having not only a shelf above the bed but a special little extra shelf recessed by the side of it. Evidently this wasn't enough to contain the creeping stacks, which are becoming reminiscent of a secondhand bookshop (could be worse).
But how am I ever going to read all these books and watch all these movies? Given I'm already committed to two a month (outside of these) to review plus a book-group book, realistically I can only read about one a week of these, if that, so this is several years worth... Help!
     Does anyone else have similar backlogs?

Monday, 14 February 2011

The Museum of Everything #3

Yesterday afternoon, the four of us headed into London to catch the very last day of the Museum of Everything (#3) which, as far as I can tell, is a sort of pop-up museum which has previously popped up at Tate Modern, and somewhere else too. This was the third instance of its popping up.
Sir Peter Blake, inveterate collector (courtesy Tateshots)
The Museum was housed in some sort of empty warehouse just behind Primrose Hill, that most chichi of London villages. It consisted of wonderful items of kitsch and folk art from Sir Peter Blake's personal collection and other things curated by him -- Punch and Judy puppets, cigarette silks, circus posters, stuffed animals, fairground art, outsider art -- a great conglomeration of mad-looking things which have informed Peter Blake's art throughout his career.
The way through the exhibits was winding and myseterious. You had to push through heavy plastic slats at various points, and eclectic music came from unpredictable places. When we came to the largest space, an Ethiopian musician was playing whilst a burlesque-style dancer did the hula-hoop.
courtesy Tateshots
It was hard for David and I not to envy the sheer quantity of objects. We feel we are fellow collectors of this kind of stuff but clearly we were out of our league here. David once had the immense luck to visit Peter Blake in his studio for work and he cherishes the time he spent with this artist whose work we admire so much.
courtesy Tateshots

Well, at least we got to see it just before it closed. There was a great atmosphere and a sense of event, even if it seemed to be largely populated by a particular breed of affluent and jolie-laide North London types (both male and female -- not sure there is a masculine version of 'jolie-laide').
courtesy Tateshots
Afterwards we went out into the late afternoon drizzle and wandered up and down the very posh row of shops, thinking we might go for a cup of tea in, say, the Russian Tearooms or Primrose Patisserie, but all tables were already filled with the rosy-cheeked people of the Hill. So we just went home and had hot-cross buns at our own table.

courtesy Tateshots
We were very glad we made the effort to go, though.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Creative Space

My weird narrow office 'opened out'
I love seeing other people's creative spaces, and this is mine. Well, actually I have two, in separate parts of our house. That isn't as luxurious as it might sound. One, above, is my 'office', basically a narrow lean-to stuck on the side of the house and very cold.
There is hardly room for me to get down to the shelves at the far end.

The other space is shared with the Xbox and is only any good in daylight:

I'm longing for some time to sit at this table and some sun to shine on it.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


This post is entirely inspired by Christine Shanks' fantastic photographs of dolls (which, incidentally, I got to via The Sketchbook Project, for which I have Barbara to thank -- the wonderful maze of the Internet).
     I don't want to abuse Christine's copyright by reproducing any of her photos here but they are really worth a look. Her photos are much much better than mine. I tried to get some of the soulfulness of her images into mine but it was really difficult.

Still, I enjoyed going round the house looking for strange little people.
I usually think of this trio as a family, although it's obvious that the child comes from an entirely different gene pool that did not suffer from anemia.
I think this Mexican dolly has just committed a crime, probably baby-snatching.

Miss Julia Locket is serene and her gaze suggests she knows what the future holds.
This chap is shocked at everything he sees going on in the world. "Oy! Shtop dat!"
Farewell, farewell...
So long, lady...
I hope you're not freaked out by heads. There are a lot of heads in our house (future post, no doubt), including this one. I feel a particular affinity with her as she reminds me of myself as a child. See what you think:

Friday, 4 February 2011


Little puzzles where you have to roll ball-bearings around until they drop into the holes seem to be called 'dexterity puzzles', on eBay at least.
      I have a very few of these. My favourite is probably the cowboy above, for the mild colours and his staring empty eye sockets (not improved by the fitting of his steel eyeballs).
This one is great too, as it features a telly, my favourite miniature collectible.
     The puzzles are similar to cracker toys, in that one can only wonder at anyone going to such trouble to design and make them. Imagine being a dexterity puzzle designer; it would play havoc with your mind. 'Why am I doing this?'
Another much loved theme seems to crop up frequently in the puzzles -- hideous clowns. My worlds are colliding! Cowboys, tellies, clowns, space race, puzzles -- my collections are merging and overlapping like crazy Venn diagrams.
Monsters and nasty-looking little girls.Your uncle Peter dressed up as a Red Indian at a party.

All with bits of their faces missing.
On eBay there are splendid old versions of the puzzles -- very covetable, but also rather expensive. I particularly covet these ones:

Thursday, 3 February 2011


From the distant land of MMMC came a small, innocent-looking package. Travelling halfway around the globe, through cyclone and snowstorm, no one suspected that it contained creatures on a mission...

Guarded by their bashful bear avatar, the Flybabies made landfall.
Soon they had recovered from their ordeal and were ready to complete their mission.The place they had infiltrated was a horror house of incarceration. Their blood brothers were kept there, in terrible conditions, half starved and made to perform humiliating turns.

The Tumbler...
The Twins, with their disturbingly intense eyes...

And the mysterious faceless one, guarded in his cot by the Tumbler.
The boys were huddled together in the hope that there was strength in numbers, but they knew 'she' just called that a 'collection'. They were in despair, when the Flybabies flew down and made themselves known.
     'Don't be afraid. We are your brothers. We've come to save you from ... this...'
     Too late. Someone had a little accident. It wasn't every day that the Flybabies came, and their wings were scary.
     'Come away with us.... come to live with us in our designer Lego house.'
And so the rescue began.

Thank you for the prezzie, MMMC! x 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011