Friday, 23 October 2009

ʚ lend me your lists ʚ

It's coming around to that time of year. I want to make my winter greetings cards and I am asking for your help...As you are all creative intelligent and generous bloggers would you mind taking part in a little task?
I have been completely inspired by 'Shopping Losts'  I have been in touch with Simon the creative genius behind the blog and he has given us his blessing. 

Wonderful shopping list finds transformed into typographical creations. 
I am well jell of this brilliant idea. 

So here's the thing. What is on your seasonal list?
Is it a list of presents you'd secretly like to receive?
Things you want to accomplish/make/resolve by Christmas?
A shopping list for the big cook in?
Presents to buy?
A new years resolution list?
If you send me your list either by email (if you are shy) or add it to the comments.
If you are in possession of a working scanner you could scan your hand written list in and send it to me. {forever humbly grateful for this kind of activity}

I will have the list I love made into a zinc plate for printing and it will be letterpressed by me as this years Christmas card, for me to send out to all my contacts and loved ones. I may typographically arrange it depending on the list.
You will of course get a set of cards yourself and I will add you as my co-artist.
How brilliant will that be?
Please please help, it will be so much fun and remember, it can be as ordinary as you like. I'm gonna love them all.

Here is a list circa 2004 by a young lady who will undoubtedly mash me if she ever reads this blog.
But it's good. Sshhhhhh. Mum's the Word.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

⤷⤷⤷ Somewhere Softly Sleeping

I'm going to pop a couple of my hand painted postcards in the shop
I was going to sell them as prints but I just don't feel good about it for various reasons.
Some things have to stay original.
The colours are very warm and soft and they 
don't translate to print at all well.
The reverse is blank apart from the postcard markings incase anyone wants to send a real painting through the post or write a personal greeting. 
They were inspired by my visits to the exhibition Garden and Cosmos at The British Museum earlier this year. And of course, my ongoing love affair with India. Painting them makes me feel simply serene. I've got a few to finish but I see no serenity in the near future. It's crazy over here behind the hedge.

Monday, 19 October 2009

◌○ diary pages ○◌

Not much to tell, got a new zippy scanner that makes my old one look and feel like a dinosaur. 
I do hate that pile of packaging to dispose of, leaflets and discs to file and the crawling around rearranging leads and wires business. Tis all done now so here's some diary pages that I scanned...
I do love artist's sketch books/journals...much of my recent weeks have consisted of long lists of 'to dos' which isn't half so interesting as balmy summer evenings spent doodling.
I'm heading for my busiest weeks and I'm a flurry of emails, proposals and work.
Having spent ages sorting through my letterpress and Adana stuff I'm longing for a few days practise but it will have to wait...

Friday, 16 October 2009

▼ pot/kettle/black ▼

It's not going to be easy to blog about my letterpress experiments. 
It's impossible to see the sumptiousness (is that even a word?)
of the image or type pressed ever so slightly into the paper. 
I'll have to get my super zoomy lens out to prove it when the sun comes out~
oooo ~ about next march.
Ever so many ages ago I bought for half a crown or thereabouts a box of copper plates,
I couldn't see how beautiful they were til I got around to print them
& I love them so.
I have no idea what to do with them, I'm too busy cooing over them like 
a louloulovesbooks in a stationary shop.
But the best bit was finding an unused tin of flouro pink ink
to print with, which isn't showing up too well either on this image.
You'll just all have to come around and have a look for yourselves.

Some other exciting news is that among the many workshops and teaching things I've got coming up I'm teaching 'make your own rubber stamps' at The Make Lounge  for a few dates in October and November, 
concentrating on holiday gift tags and cards. Remember these? 
I'm excited to be working at such a lively venue with so many creative classes being offered.
Sadly, my workshops sold out within a day, you've got to be quick to get on these courses at The Make Lounge .
Sign up for the newsletter and be the early bird that catches the worm.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

♁ lessons in letterpress ♁

Last week I had a great day with Vicky and Chrissie at 
Harrington & Squires.  
Once upon a time, a long time ago, far away in another land etc etc I bought, for a ridiculously small sum, a whole load of letterpress furniture, type in cases and two Adana presses. And it has so far languished in every available space in my shed/ house/under the stairs. I nearly gave it away, I stubbed my toe on it all, I cursed it,  I tried to print with it a couple of times and failed miserably. I had forgotten what all the things were for and needed a refresher. 
I noticed that Harrington & Squires did day courses and with much excitement I put myself in their very capable hands. 
It was a lovely, inspirational and educational day. 

I relearned all the basics, some technical terms (albeit all forgotten already as demonstrated yesterday whilst attempting to print with Simon Goode "can you pass me one of those thingummys please?") and came away with a set of business cards all handprinted by me and a new found desire to letterpress my life away. Of course, there is much left to learn but I am so happy to realise that it's a wonderful addition to my skills and I want to do more.

I know these pictures don't do letterpress much justice, 
the letters are debossed into the card with ink and feel really really good.
{I've blurred my phone number since I became a member of the witness protection programme}
Chrissie and Vicky were great teachers, patient and very knowledgeable about their subject. The studio itself is a dream to work in, it's called The Corridor for good reason, spread over three floors it's delightfully laid out with inspiration everywhere. I highly recommend a day there. Have an idea about something you would like to print...I was hopelessly unprepared.

I learned the basics of type and how to put it in a chase, lots of useful stuff about inking up and registration. After lunch I had a whole afternoon of printing my heart out, the day whizzed by and was over before I could draw breath. I left filled up with enthusiasm and another new skill. 
I'm so excited about printing up all the old printing plates I found with my Adana booty. 
Invitation to a South Seas Dance anyone? 

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


One of my birthday presents.
I love useful presents.
My daughter bought me a weighted hula hoop.
I'm loving it. 10 minutes a day for a flat tummy apparently.
I took a while to master it and I can now keep it afloat for 5 minutes. 
I would like to teach Twiggy to jump through it 
so we can be a bizarre circus act,
but she runs a mile when I put it on as does anyone within 3 metres.
So with my yoga, swimming and dog walking I'm mostly knackered.
It's enough to make anyone reach for a cigarette and a bottle of gin.
**photo by Meg B**

Sunday, 4 October 2009

✳ Inspiration or Plagiarism ✳ {opening the debate}

It's tricky this internet stuff... there is so much creativity out there and if you start to surf then you will be bombarded by images upon images, waves of  quick fixes for  jaded minds and some of what I see is exemplary and some of it is mediocre, at best. But worse than that, so much of it is samey~samey/matchy~matchy and I start to suffocate with blandness. In fact, I've stopped looking. I love the regular blogs that I visit and am totally inspired by. Or the ones where I can see creativity budding and forming from the right places and they gladden my heart (for tis a frosty one). I love the blogs that tell me about the latest amazing things out there in windywonderwebland because half the time I don't get time and it is right and proper that I do not live in a bubble. Increasingly, I worry that MY ideas and unique ways get appropriated and I have hesitations about posting them. In a world where everyone seems to have a blog/opinion/voice I want mine to be as unique as possible, as creative as it can be. Which leaves me in a quandary. 

To post or not to post? 

My creativity is my living, my reason to live, it fills my every moment and I have so much invested in it. It comes and goes and I have days/weeks of frustrating going nowhere moments and I think I should just get a 'normal' job and then huge vats of creative harvest arrive and I can't sleep or eat, I have to get it out. It is honestly like giving birth every time. I suffer, everyone around me suffers and in the end it's done or not and I move onto the next thing. For in me, there is a wealth of ideas. They pop out around my ears like sparkles and if I don't grab them they burst and drift. I don't invest too much in grabbing every one, they can be annoying because I can't give them a name or a voice and sometimes I'm just too arted out.  But also, every now and then I do something or make something and realise it's just like something I have seen. Now have I plagiarised it or been inspired by it? I just don't know. There is so much in my head (like a bustling bazaar) I'm not sure where half of it came from. It must have arrived from somewhere. Either it's all my ancestor's voices jostling for some creative relief or it's all my own work. But everything I see, everything I read must  make it's mark like handwriting on my soul and changes who I am and how I see things for ever.

Take this image...nice eh? I got home from holiday and in the garden all my chillies had come to harvest, my Mr picked them and arranged them all in a bowl and I took them outside today and arranged them into rows because that seems to be my OCD/Virgo way and because it was pleasing and because I loved the shapes of the shadows. I wasn't thinking oooo I'm making art, I was just playing. Took some snaps and this one jumped out. I felt quite pleased with myself. Then I realised it was just like Anna's work from the wonderful blog Colour and Sound

Now, I love Anna's  work and I would be totally horrified if anyone thought I had copied her wonderful unique style. But I am totally acknowledging I must have been influenced by her which led me to great and deep thoughts this morning. Notice acknowledge has the words 'know' and 'led' in it. I wrestle with this stuff. I have noticed elements of my uniqueness creeping in out there in other blogs and I get upset but then I think I have got so many more ideas inside me ~ I come from a huge line of unique people and I'm sure they are all in my head urging me on. I would hate to not blog about my work, in my style, because I teach and I love that I have inspired people and this is the best platform for that, it would be a shame if I stopped. If I inspire you, then acknowledge it, it's only polite and if you can't be unique then do something else. I've got a living to earn.

What do you all think?

It's all too philosophical on a Sunday morning that's for sure. I hate to sound like a lecture with a waggy finger but I'm interested in how you all deal with this too? 

With deep apologies to lovely Anna and I hope she doesn't mind that I used her as an example. But she is just so damn inspiring. And here's one of  my own images, I just love piles of stuff! Now what can I do with all these chillies? Make chilli jam? Shame to waste them and they are very hot. Maybe a garland of them for the kitchen to brighten those dark nights that are on their way, galloping like a train towards us. I wonder how long they will last if I glued them to the wall! Maybe I'll cast them in plaster. I'll keep you posted  ;-)

Have a good week...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

································· ✈

"gee, but it's great to be back home,
 home is where I want to be"
                           {Paul Simon}

What can I tell you? I wish I could show you everything...

peachy light on mountains at dawn 
the bigdog/ littledog woofing festival 
pomegranate trees
doorbells that sang with bursts of bird song
plates of seedy chewy fig jam 
fresh cool mountain water meeting the fizzing tinsel sea
a table sized pitta bread pregnant with steam
a warm rainstorm squeezed us under a parasol and made a cage of droplets to trap us
garlands of drying chillies reddening and oranging on every balcony
the cliff that roared above our beach hideaway
the sharp smell of the pine forest behind the sand
the fisherman who spoke no English but made friends with smiles and gestures
cool sweet tins of cherry juice 
enchanting shoeshine and damp beach towels
family life on a balcony, sofas and tvs in the evening light
a haunting swirling call to prayer
cicadas singing their evening love song
hot sharp apple tea
sizzling courgette fritters
hypnotised by a fan into a deep hot sleep
ripe moody tomatoes and crumbly village cheese
unmade roads leading to perfect tiny beaches
the town like a shaken tablecloth spread below us