Thursday, 31 March 2011

i put this little montage together for my work blog. it's pictures of my favourite activities i have run in the museum.
Got this in the post today from thisandthatfromjapan I had also ordered cute stickers which say on them ' we hope it will help you have a happier life. have fun with our various stickers.'
aw

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

sketchbooks

When I first started art college we were all encouraged to keep sketch books.  Since then I've found it difficult to stop and find it great to have a space to note things down, draw and collage. Ultimately they have become more important than any 'finished' pieces of art I have made.  When I look through them, it's strange to see how the same ideas keep coming through again and again. I keep thinking of these new amazing things to do and it seems I've already had that thought before about 4 years ago and not done anything about it!
there is lots of cutting things out of magazines and sticking them in, collecting quotes and a high use of stickers
mint green really is yum. one of my absolute favourite uses of mint green is on the severn bridge...
I got this photo from here although it doesn't really showcase the true delight of the minty green bridge sides and the more blue lamp posts. The delights of mint green and the delights of the severn bridge deserve a post of their own... but it's late so, another time!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Things I bought this weekend

Lunchbox for Bert as it says 'Mr Roberto's Spectacular Circus Parade' on it, Lullatone cd for me,  'Valerie and her Week of Wonders' book for Bert, 'Sew La Tea Do' by Pip Lincolne for me full of supercute things to sew, and some spotty pink material.

food

We had baked sweet potato, green salad with (vegan) duck and witch's supper. That's the witch's supper on the right hand side in the brown bowl, it's meant to taste so good that if a witch came to supper and tasted the dish she would be too yummed up to put a spell on you.  I found the recipe in a spell book by Judika Illes, she says that it is an Italian recipe, but my little Italian friends hadn't heard of it.... anyway, Judika says to fry some garlic and a tin of chick peas in olive oil, and then add fresh mint and salt and pepper.  Usually I pop in an onion too, and it is super delicious hot or cold.

In other news, I have felt slightly guilty ever since posting the film of Bas Jan Ader in connection to my dentist appointment. Amazing, touching and heartfelt art reduced to a cheap joke about my having a filling?
Apologies for that.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

tomorrow i have to go and have a filling.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Noah's Ark material

I bought this sweet material yesterday - it says it's from 1972. The idea is to make a stuffed noah's ark and lady in shorts and a bow ( am not sure how this lady in blue vest and pants features in the story) and some little animals... I like it as it is though and think i'll just use it for a quilt or a bag.
Sadie went crazy for it too... she said 'I love it's old timey smell'.





Thursday, 24 March 2011

reading....



so... the memoir fest is going well. Siri Hustvedt is done - it was great though sometimes a little hard going with lots of references to Freud and case histories of people.  Am about half way through the Candia McWilliam which am loving - it feels pretty divorced from my life what with dating Loyd Grossman when he was called Jet Bronx, private school, cambridge, working at vogue, marrying an earl, alcoholism, going blind..etc etc but am really enjoying it, it's wonderfully honest, and even though it deals with lots of quite harrowing things it's never maudlin or depressing, it's much more matter of fact in a kind of -this is what happened to me and am fine- sort of way. I really recommend it.

I've just been to the library to pick up A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates.... for some reason I thought that it would be quite a small book... but it's pretty much the same size as Candia McWilliam coming in at just over 400 pages. As you can probably tell from the title it's about being a widow and the death of Joyce's husband, I haven't started it yet, but it's making me think of the wonderful The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Will report back on how it goes.

the fabulous Joan Didion
I also got The Seas by Samantha Hunt from the library - Bert suggested it, and it looks good. Dave Eggers says that Hunt is 'One of the most distinctive and unforgettable voices I have read in years.' I pretty much trust Dave Eggers with my life (I don't actually know him, but for quite a while back in the time of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius I thought we might one day get married) and certainly trust him with my reading material.
From one San Francisco heart throb to another .. it's Lawrence Ferlinghetti's birthday! the wonderful wonderful man is 92 today (i think). citylights is the best bookshop in the world!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Installation detail from an exhibition I did while I was in college. The bunting was inspired by the tissue paper bunting found in Mexico. I cut it all with a knife... it took ages.

This is a detail from a print I made when I was artist in residence in Quebec. I looked at maps of the area and combined this with story telling.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Sunday

Purse I made out of the cowboy material I got yesterday... 
I also watched Dawson's Creek (?), read and made cupcakes.

They are vanilla cupcakes with coffee frosting. I followed a recipe from  vegan cupcakes take over the world and bought camp coffee (like a coffee extract) for the occasion which is a huge bottle and is probably going to last me the rest of my life.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Saturday!

Lovely sunny day, went to town, and did all my favourite things - coffee, book buying (Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter and Monkey Grip by Helen Garner), Cds ( Anna Calvi for me Josh T Pearson for bert) beer and chips and also got lovely material from A Vintage Affair in Morgans Arcade in Cardiff. Bertie got a new vintage suit too... and looks super handsome in it as you can see from the picture below.

Bert in new suit
two aprons... the green i'm planning to wear and the blue will be used for the material
These lovely bits will probably become a bag..
brown cowboy material for bert's quilt, and slighty insane green material with pigs wearing hats and a cow riding in a truck...
...then home time and wine, bread, olives and left over risotto and a bit of Ghost Whisperer. perfect.x

Go to herlibraryadventures to see what other people have been buying from flea markets and antique shops.

Friday, 18 March 2011

this is on our wall... nice huh?
 Sadie likes to look out of the window...
...or sit in her shoebox

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Looking at buildings

Another photo from one of my 'Looking at Buildings' session in work. Children have to go out and do sketches of buildings and then come back and make a 3d model. adorable

1950s pattern and design

Monoprint made by a child in one of my art sessions
Detail of dress from the 1950s
Potato print made by a child in one of my art sessions
Detail of 1950s dress
Drawing made by a child based on 1950s designs

These pictures are a year or so old but they came out of one of my most favourite art and craft sessions. We looked at patterns and textiles from the 1950s and then made some prints based upon them. We used simple monoprinting using polystyrene, potato prints and lots of collaging. The results as you can see were gorgeous.x
Not so much making the last few days as have been feeling a little poorly and mainly watching cooking programmes...  I have also been reading this amazing book about stress and emotions effecting your body, repressed memories and so on. It is really really good... I haven't read any of Hustvedt's novels (although have one in the house) but am thinking of giving her new one a go soon.
Following on from this, am planning on having a bit of a memoir fest and am looking forward to Joyce Carol Oates (Joyce is absolutely one of my favourite writers) and Candia McWilliam...


Sunday, 13 March 2011


This contented cats print sold by fancymoon is just too cute, and is going straight on the Bert pile.


Paula Rego


Tracey Emin


Kiki Smith

More artists I love... Kiki Smith, Paula Rego and Tracey Emin... beautiful, disturbing work with hints of fairy tale but lots of grittiness too. I pretty much love everything they do and really really want that picture of a fawn.
Feliz Gonzalez-Torres

Bas Jan Ader

Am feeling a bit snuffly today so have been lying on the sofa reading magazines and working in my sketchbook.  Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Bas Jan Ader are two of my most favourite artists so I've added pictures of their work.  That's enough to make anyone feel better... and chilli and garlic too.

little purse

my first go at making a purse and putting a zip in! i possibly should have made it a bit smaller... i went home for the weekend and my mum gave me my old swimming badges, i had to use them! the material behind is Maisy mouse material, i got if from calicokate in lampeter... it has loads of lovely fabrics.  Am thinking that the Maisy mouse flower print would make a great picnic blanket.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Felt badges...

...and then I made badges...


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

In the art activites I run, children make the most amazing things (most of which they take home).  Over the past couple of years when I've been running art and craft activities I have seen loads of wonderful drawings, but the one above is the only one I've taken home and hung on the wall.  It's such a strange picture and so beautiful, it reminds me of Catholic reliquaries such as the one below.

fingerpuppets...

Birdie fingerpuppets I made today... they are pretty simple because I am planning to make them with children (plus I don't really know how to sew) for a nature art activity.  They are meant to be a chaffinch, a bullfinch and a blue tit!  After making these I thought it might be nice to make some felt badges as well so will maybe have a think about the design of them and get onto that tomorrow.


To make the fingerpuppets, cut out two shapes as above for the body of the puppet and two wings. The body measures about 5cm across and 7.5cm in height. the wings are 3.5cm in height.
To start with sew the wings on to one of the body shapes, tried both blanket stitch and running stitch and i think running stitch looked better. Then add the face! I tried a few different designs, some i used buttons for eyes, some have embroidered crosses, and some have french knots for eyes.  For the beak you could cut out a little triangular piece of felt or satin stitch one in place, alternatively you could cut out a beak and head combo as in the photo below.

Once you've finished the face, just sew the two body shapes together apart from the bottom gap for your finger! I used blanket stitch but running stitch will work just as well, and easier to sew for little ones.
If you would rather make badges out of them, just sew on a brooch piece on the back before you sew the body parts together and you don't need to leave a gap for your finger!

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