Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Season of mists

At some point, every autumn, I will say to myself "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness". Maybe just in my head, or maybe to someone else. I just can't help myself.

On Saturday, that quotation was even more apt than normal, while we were out for a walk on The Downs in Bristol (a lovely open area of grassland and trees in the middle of the city). We saw this mellowly fruitful apple tree, growing wild. The apples looked very red against the blue sky.

It was a beautifully crisp clear autumn day, and we stayed out, watching the sun set. As it did, a thick mist started forming at ground level, like an old horror movie. It made you want to run through it to set it swirling around you. However, we found out that only happens with the dry ice in films - the real mist was much less tangible. But it was still amazing. I've never been out in a mist quite like it, thick in places, but a clear bright sky overhead.

There are more photos on Flickr

Friday, 19 September 2008

West Bristol Art Trail

In four weeks time, I will be taking part in the West Bristol Art Trail. Bristol has at least four Art Trails now, where artists open their homes and studios to the public for a weekend. They're really great - you get to see interesting art and can also have a bit of a nose round other people's houses! My house isn't quite in the area covered by the trail, so I'm exhibiting with several others in the Hope Community Church. (That'll save me tidying up!!)

I'm looking forward to it, but also very panicked that it's only four weeks away now. I don't have nearly enough work to show. I'll be showing my collage & assemblage. Like this one, called 'Black Thoughts of a Small Doll' (Titles are difficult!)

I've also been doing some painting lately. I probably won't include it in the Art Trail, as I didn't mention painting when they asked for my details for the programme. Also, I don't really think it will go with the other work, as I've been painting dolly portraits. Here's my painting of a Dolly Darling called 'Teeny Bikini on the Beach'I've put photos of a couple of other paintings on Flickr. I really enjoyed doing them. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed painting.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Flea market frenzy

More things to cheer me up. First a great postcard from my friend Tessa, which I got last week.
So sweet of her to send it just to cheer me up. I did need it!

Then on Sunday, I went to a flea market. Didn't have a lot of cash to spend, but found a few nice things. I think my favourite is probably this little cutie. She even has a tape measure in her plinth! (I really like the word plinth...)
I put quite a few other pictures on Flickr, but I'll show you another. It's a Dolly Darling clone. My partner Gary, bless him, bought this at the flea market for me. He was very excited because he thought he'd found me a Dolly Darling. I think it's pretty impressive of him to know what a Dolly Darling looks like at all, and she's a great little doll in any case. I then found her little friend on the same stall, so they're staying friends for now.

Why does shopping cheer me up so much? I think I must be very shallow. I'd like to pretend that all this vintage shopping is a stand against consumerism, but I would be a complete hypocrite. I like shopping of all kinds. I often think I missed my calling and I should have been a buyer for a department store. Maybe it's not too late?

Anyway, I really need to balance my buying with some selling. To that end, I've been putting lots of things on my vintage Etsy site,The Kitsch and the Curious. I'm trying to list things regularly, and I think it's paying off, as I've made a few more sales (none in the UK yet - does anyone look at it?). Probably not going to make my fortune just yet.

I had to smile this week when I saw that Gretchen from the marvellous Shop66 was blogging that she'd just got 200 items in her shop. It's funny how we all set these targets for ourselves. At the start of the month, I thought I would try to get 100 things in my shop by the end of September. I'm currently on 49...

Friday, 12 September 2008

Last weekend's shopping

Every other day for the past two weeks I have been thinking about posting here, but never finding the time. The ongoing saga of my family in hospital has been taking up a great deal of my time, and stressing me out.

So I was very grateful to my friend Katy, who took me on a shopping trip last weekend, which cheered me up a lot. We set out for Rajani's Superstore, which is a like a pound shop, but the size of a warehouse. That concept will either thrill you or frighten you. (If it frightens you, you're probably reading the wrong blog.) It's better than a pound shop, as most of the things in there are less than a pound. Although to be honest, you would be reluctant to spend as much as 10p on some of the stuff in there! It is not a place for restrained good taste. But who wants good taste when you can buy a ketchup bottle in the shape of a tomato, or pink plastic dolls furniture?

The box frames will be great for dolly assemblage, once I've taken the nasty dried seeds out. The dolls furniture came in a set, and is very random, as the pieces are made to completely different scales. Look at that standard lamp next to the dresser ( and that tiny thing to the right is a coffee table... )

I also got some great toys. This badly sculpted deer being attacked by a lioness -

And three sets of fake lego rooms. Three of us (all adults) spent a surprising amount of time putting these together when we got back to Katy's house. And yes, Katy, I finally managed to get the fridge door to go on!

We also went to some lovely Indian supermarkets. I love the food, but I also love the packaging.

I've put some close-up photos of this packaging on Flickr.

And we even managed to sneak in a visit to a charity shop, where I bought some cool old children's books

I've already made some of the illustrations into badges, which will soon be on etsy, once I figure out how to package them.

And that's not all of it - I got more goodies I haven't even got around to photographing. Plus, in the last two weeks I've acquired a lot more cool stuff to share. I must get snapping!