Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Anna Peach

Anna Peach 'seed' & 'weathered' 2003

Ever get that thing where you want to post about someone but no matter how many times you write, edit, re-write it just doesn't do justice to what you want to say? That's where I've been at with this post about the wonderful
Anna Peach. It was easy to do this post about her last April because I didn't know her at all, I was simply responding to her amazing Coconut Couture (above & below).

Anna Peach 'Coconut Couture' 2003

Now, through the wonder of the internet, I do know her and the more I know the harder it is to post something that encapsulates the complete creativity that flows from her every action, word and thought. I am totally captivated by the way she sees the world and how she then expresses it in her art and her poetic writing (she doesn't call it poetry, but read Mapping the Wind and you'll see what I mean).

Anna Peach 'island' hemp fibre & cording 2003

Anna works with themes that are very dear to my heart, particulary when working with water (see History Viewed Through Water), she has such an affinity with waterand environment. Everything she does exudes an appreciation of her immediate environment, of the history of place. I find her work so pure and honest, and brave. She is so dedicated to her projects, which are often incredibly labour intensive works like this breathtaking piece...

Anna Peach installing Spirit House in Wisconsin
photo via
Kelknits courtesy of John Michael Kohler Art Centre

The absorbingly beautiful Spirit House is a dress/installation made from 100's of pieces of hand made lace. It is breathtaking on so many levels. All my attempts to write about this have been sadly inadequate, the best thing is to read Anna herself talking about it in this interview with her in Hana Hou, it does her more justice than my poorly crafted words are able to.

Anna Peach inside 'Spirit House' 2003

While she was in Switzerland (having moved there from Hawaii) we had some great email conversations talking about life, work, travel & experiences- she's a natural storyteller. Her writing style and openess as inspiring as her artworks so I said I really thought she should start a blog, and am pleased to say she has! She's been moving again (she's very nomadic in her way) hence me stalling this post for a few months. But she's settled again now and back to her new blog
The Golden Egret Studio which is already one of my favourites, filled words, images and observations that really get me thinking in a more reflective way.

She makes such beautiful work but as you will discover if you delve deeper, she is more than willing to get in amongst the cold, the wet, and even the unpleasant to find often elusive truths of a place, of it's history, it's processes. Ah, I curse my inabilty to write eloquently - I know what I'm trying to say but I haven't the vocabulary to convey it. Just look at her work, read her blog - if it speaks to you then you will know exactly what I mean.

One of Anna's underwater installations. See the tiny fishes inside the gloves

Here are a few more articles about Anna which are worth reading as she always reveals wonderful stories from her past when she talks - one from Hawaii Craftsmen and a more recent one in Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Anna -
It's good to see you immersed in a project, albeit a chilly one for the moment. May your coffee be always hot and your sleep be deep, when it comes. I thought of you when I saw the burdock burr women made by Ceca Georgieva.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

blues reds & more flowers

Yup, I took a lot of pics on that trip out

So much bird actvity in the garden just now. I couldn't sleep the other night so I was wide awake when the dawn chorus started at 3.30am - one of life's wonderful sounds. The best things in life really are free.

Mr P took a low quality video clip of the blackbird feeding the fledgling on the garage roof - so cute, the chunk of bread being offered is WAY too big so baby bird keeps spitting it back out - it went on for about 5 minutes - literally.

If you're wondering why I don't have more bluetit photo's it's cause they are too quick. I took 2 very short clips of one bird flying in to the bird box with caterpillars for the chicks and then out with equal speed. A wise move when Mr P's cat is lurking in the bushes as he often is.

Lots of you lovelies have left comments and I've tried to visit you all individually but I've also typed replies in the comment section for that post, so you may want to pop back into it for a look.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

More rhododendrons

A trip away from the house yesterday. Not far, not for long, but we went in the car so by recent standards of confinement it felt like a foreign holiday. Even when out of the car I couldn't go far, but far enough to set up some photo's that would make me feel like I can still be creative and to put a bit of 'me' back into my blog.

My week of having Lucy to myself ended so it was nice to finally go somewhere with her her other than just outside the house (Mr P been wonderful about giving her walks). It will be very strange not to be woken at 5.30am by her enthusiastic arrival beside my face, usually with an old sock or pair of knickers in her mouth as a good morning 'gift', though by the end of the week I'd trained her not to do that.

It's 2.30am, I can't sleep cause I got all over excited when the Clustr counter said 446 people visited here yesterday! I still want to know who more of you are - go on folks, de-lurk for just wee minute, to satisfy my curiosity. Comment verification is still off so it's easy peasy to leave a quick hello.

Ooh, I can hear thunder outside, quite close. I love thunder and lightning. No rain yet.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Patrick Blanc - vertical gardens

Mr P's conifer

Yesterday Blogger deleted my reply to the wasp/hornet post and I haven't the heart to retype it so I'm changing the subject, but will keep you informed.

The 2nd half of my post is a moan, I need to get it out of my system but you don't need to read it. Instead go and enjoy the wonderful vertical gardening of one of my idols Patrick Blanc who has FINALLY(!) been acknowledged by the UK's TV gardeners when they featured him on a piece for the Chelsea Flower Show last night (he's not in the actual show, sadly). Imagine if all the ugly buildings in cities were clothed in green, amazing. And so good for our souls, our air quality and for city ecosystems.

Patrick Blanc vertical garden at Quai Branly, Paris
Photo found here.

I could never understand why his work was so ignored by them, it's so important and so beautiful. I wondered if perhaps it was because it involved no soil. A lot of gardeners are snobby about soil. I remember they did a piece about hydroponics on Gardener's World last year and some of them were quite snotty about it saying it wasn't 'real' gardening (tell that to the kids who visit The Hydroponicum in Scotland, lucky lucky scool kids). I agree there is no substitute for getting your fork or hands into soil, but to say that anything soilless isn't gardening is silly, so many plants have developed in places that don't have gardens full of soil. And so many people don't have gardens at all. Learn how Patrick got started here.

My Rowan still growing in a plastic bag, 4th year?
I do, finally, have somewhere for it to go soon

Perhaps they feel the same about Patrick Blanc? His plant clad buildings are basically vertical hydroponics. I remember being wowed by his Paris gardens when I saw them in a book in the Library on Pwhelli in Wales 5 years ago. Oh how I miss Wales, such a beautiful country full of incredible scenery, enormous toasted teacakes, fantastic galleries, lovely people and, for me, wonderful memories.

Yesterday I got my 3rd period in 4 weeks, not impressed, my body is so out of whack just now. How can so many bits hurt in so many ways at one time? I can usually handle 3 sorenesses at a time, but I must be at about 10 this week and they are wide ranging. Skin, joints, nerve endings and muscles. SO I try to count my blessings. My forearms don't hurt in the middle, nor do my thighs (apart from some bruises). But everythign else - Ow.

I can't see them but I can hear them :0)

Thankfully Mr P has been great all month about giving Lucy a decent walk each day to make up for me being crappy. He said that all his collegues are getting really sick with some mystery exhaustion bug, and these people are all self employed so it must be really bad as no work =no money. Maybe my exhaustion has been triggered by the bug and that's what's aggravated my Shingles?

Longing to climb that hill again

Who knows, certainly the Doc has no interest in finding out so as always I will do my best to heal myself with healthy food, herbs, herbal/homoeopathic remedies etc. But it all costs money. I had to buy some new St John's Wort tincture (good for recoveriong from Shingles but also an anti-depressant, and you really need that when you've had chronic exhaustion and pain for years) it cost so much I couldn't get the homoeopathic remedies I was wanting.

Got to stop, joints cracking. Have a healthful weekend folks, and if your limbs work get out there and enjoy them to the full, they are amazing things to have.

I keep forgetting there are men building a new roof 2 houses down. When they stand on it they can see over the 10ft hedge right into where I'm sleeping! Ooh, I'm getting ideas in my head now for making vertical hydroponic window shutters.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

It's a wasp, Jim, but not as we know it...

...or is it? Found this blowing down my path today, lovely pinky/lilac paper nest...

I assumed a used wasps nest. I love wasps nests, and had never seen one the colour of lint before so I was very happy with my found treasure. It was only when I got it in the house to take a photo that I realised Elvis had NOT left the building!

I like dainty wasps, the harmless ones that look all French with their dainty waists and black evening wear look. Or even subtle stripes. But I'm not keen on your black and yellow sting-you-for-no-good-reason wasps. Anyone know which this will be?

Should I be excited or scared about putting my eyes close to watch their development? Some have gone, some are all maggotty looking and have munched their 'section' open and some are still sealed in. It's about 4cm wide, 5cm long. Looks like there were 16+ compartments in there, didn't want to tear it to find out for sure. I even got a tiny video clip of them munching! Kind of freaky, but nature really is so intriguing. When you think how we are helpless as babies for years, yet these things are on their own from day one, surviving on intinct. Amazing.

Ulrike Hamm

In the garden- pine needles with silvery blue undersides.
Makes me want to create things.
Look who else has been inspired by nature...

Earrings and bracelet by Ulrike Hamm.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

garden shows - degree shows

One day late, here is the post that failed yesterday, thanks to anyone new who has commented since then. I'm afraid I've done something nasty to my neck (too many weeks of being knarled up like an 112yr old). So I didn't get all the links restored, too sore to be on the computer. Also may not write till it's better, but will post more garden pics...

Aquilegia in lilac and acid green
(the intense green doesn't show here)

My mum told me Chelsea Garden Show has already started and then I realised that the Dundee Degree Show must be started too. Where has this month gone? Mr P suggested we go (Dundee) at the weekend but I think that would be madness, even if I was feeling better. There are few things that get me over excited as much as degree shows and when I go to Dundee it brings back SO many memories of creative times that I get all enthused and start wanting to do print, sculpt, sew, cut, make jewellery, make textiles... you get the picture. That said, if (when) I'm better in June I'll be keen to go to the Edinburgh Show, any of you going along? I had great fun going round with Daphne last year, my second meeting with a fellow blogger.

Blue and white Aquilegia

Ooh, new category at Chelsea - Roof Gardens!!! One of my posts for Sew Green next month when we have 'Water' as a theme, will be Green Roofs. So maybe there are some green roofs in the roof garden displays. I hope so. I've been sneakily transforming a garage roof near me into a subtle green roof by throwing pits of succulent up there - they stick in the moss and then get tiny yellow flowers in summer. I'll also be posting on Permaculture swimming pools. Agh, so behind with everything. In fact, I shouldn't even be posting here at all, I have far far too much to do but I got such a buzz of blog enthusiasm realising I had readers.

On that note, I was very excited getting up today and thinking there might be people I've not heard from before revealing their origins in the comments, so far Deedeen, Karoline and Beth have revealed themselves. Thanks Gals! Everyone else, don't be shy, just say hi.


Beth, I already know and love your work, I'm a sucker for anything twiggy (I'm guessing you've seen my twig ring - love twig jewellery) and I saw one of your shows, not sure if it was your BA or your MA but it stuck in my mind (pre blog). I meant to email you year when I was promoting local jewellers to ask if I could show a piece on my blog, but it coincided with all my veggies needing attention and I eased off the blogging.

Bleeding Heart

Milla, so glad you stopped by again because Zoics - love your ABC of Artists posts over at Made By Milla , I especially liked the ones for D as I hadn't ever seen most of them before.

Seedheads of Grape Hyacyinth

I was finally allowed to buy Mr P something arty for his birthday this year. I've always wanted to get him a made gift, but he never likes much (and my own work isn't really his taste) so I was very pleased in March when we were in the Flat Gat Gallery (and tea room, great cakes) in Lauder and I saw a 'look' in his eye when I showed him this...

It's so rare for him to like something so I said I'd buy it for him. Gulp, I hadn't even looked at the price. Thankfully when I turned it over it was marked half price because it had two small chips in it. Still £25, not my usual Charity shop bargain, but still, half price on something that he truly wanted felt like a good deal. Best of all, it meant I didn't have to worry about not being well enough to buy him a present over the last few weeks - though the poor man was sent out to buy his own birthday food treats on my behalf.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Birds in the garden

Feeding the kids :0)

I just did a fairly big post, all sorts in it, lots of garden photo's and thanks to new commenters and some messages to others - and Blogger went weird and wouldn't post it. No problem, I thought, they back up every few mins. True. But only the text. All my pics have gone and I'm too tired to redo it so for tonight it's just my wee bluetit in the birdbox. Enjoy.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

green things and Clustr visitors

On the bus, 18 - 81, yet so similar.
Their coats were the same colour too,
one a raincoat, the other a combat jacket.

Amazing, just realised my last post was my 500th. No wonder I get tired.
One of the things that is always guaranteed to bring a HUGE smile to my face is Morran,
Camilla's dog, on video. See her dancing! Camilla also had a link to this beautiful piece of jewellery by Andi Gut (found via Ma Roulotte).

Other good things I have been missing during my semi-absence
(other than everyone's May Birthdays - Mr P has his today) are the posts over at Sew Green where I also post, usually. With all the Spring cleaning that happens this time of year you really should read 'Laundry Soap DIY' and 'Clean Green'. And if your not getting your home gorgeous, you're probably getting yourself gorgeous, but what lurks within those beauty products and what are the alternatives? All is revealed in 'cosmetics: it's what's on the inside that counts' and 'green toes'.

Miss P got me Neways as they make safe products for your skin which include labelling for people with allergies. She gave me Great Tan for my Christmas and I did a test on my leg recently, nice colour- not orangey at all, so I'm very pleased. Thanks Miss P.

Makes me want a sorbet.

I'm utterly obsessed with the whole Clustr Map thing just now, I thought maybe 20 people a week were popping by, but the map has only been on for 8 days (and it didn't start counting till the 3rd day) and already there have been 1102 visits! I'm gagging to know who on Earth you all are? And Katharine says that figure doesn't include people using RSS feeds, which I know a good few of you are using. I'm so stunned! What makes you visit? What do you like seeing or reading about. I'm utterly intrigued. I squealed myself breathless when I read that 200 people visited on Friday.

I am also a bit mortified. It was one thing to think it was a handful of you, but to have so many people seeing my atrocious spelling. I hope you come for the pictures and don't notice the grammar. The writing part is really for myself, I never imagine that many people read it. My mix of UK, US, UK schooling means I got totally muddled about which grammatical rules to follow and it would appear I now make it up as I go along Fal-dee-da. But I do spell colour with a 'u'.

Chives in old Ecover tubs at Damhead Farm Shop.

One of the things that stops me commenting on sites is word verification. I don't mind the first few but after about 5 I get irritated, esp. if they are long ones. I get that impatience from my mother. We laugh because she used to get annoyed waiting for the bread to toast and would pop it up and eat it before it was ready.

So, to encourage you to leave a comment I have turned it off
word verification for a few days (or until the spam starts). I hope you'll leave a note to say who you are, what you do, what interests you about this blog (and what doesn't). Are you all men? I'd love to be able to visit you too if you have a blog or website, but feel free to leave an anonymous comment if you prefer.

I'm having a go at socialising tonight, friends round for Mr P's Birthday dinner. Fingers crossed I make it through without having to go back to bed.
Hope you've all been having a good weekend. I can tell you right now that you have all perked up my weekend with your visits.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

My Folk Lover - Catherine

I was going to put Catherine Campbell in the papercut post but as she's quite collagey too I thought a separate post would be better to show my two favourites of her papercut girls...

I only found Catherine by accident yesterday on Flickr then I found her new ETSY shop, then her new blog My Folk Lover . I'm telling, this is one busy lady. She organised all these things plus had an exhibition in March...

And still she managed to work on growing some veggies! I think she's going to do very well and get a big following. Since emailing her I've already spotted her over at the ever inspirational Crust Station where she was featured last Sunday (oh CS how I miss being able to visit you regularly).

Papercutting for your pleasure

Ok Liz, sorry I'm late with this post for you, last 2 days were overwhelming and I had no brainpower for finding the original links for all these images. The nature of the work means the skill, intricacy and beauty of papercuts is usually best seen by visiting the original sites where they tend to be shown larger, and with other works by each artist. It's missing some key ones I really wanted to show you as most of my gazillion papercut links and images are on my own computer (as opposed to Mr P's which I've been using this year) but here is a small selection to wet your whistle. I've tried to make it quite varied.

This one was too rude for my wholesome clean livin' site but I knew you'd like it! It's by Sangeeta Sandrasegar at Mori Gallery 2003. Here's another of her cut from her, still has naughty bits but not as blantantly obvious, from her 'Goddess of Flowers' series, Untitled No.26, 2003, found here.

Papercut originally uploaded by Saillena.
I love the red on blue.

The 2007 calendar of Nikki McClure. Available from Buyolimpia these are soy ink prints of her delightful papercuts. See the cut detail on Girl and Boy...

'Central Park Resevoir' by Drew King.

Detail from one of Peter Callesen's 2007 large installations.

Lonnie Hutchinson's installation 'Sista Girl' 2004.

Meredith McNeal has cut images from vintage wallpaper in her show Keeping Room (on till May 27th, Figureworks, Brooklyn, NYC). The show also features her miniature paper dresses inside bell jars.

When a sent a certain someone (hello you) one of my tree papercuts they gave me a link for Yuken Teruya's toilet roll tubes cuts at The Saatchi Gallery, but what I fell in love with were his trees cut from and displayed within paper bags like one below. Other favourites were the Louis Vuitton, the MacDonald's (the text looks like blossom) and the Marc Jacobs. This one is LVMH - Le Bon Marche, 2005.

Traditional Japanese papercut (Kiri-e) by Maasaaki Endo.

Detail from the intro page of Papercuts.Us by Rick Jones.

The collage/papercuts of Virginia Rose Kane using ephemera.
Here are two examples, 'Felice' & 'Iris'.

Archie Granot cuts Jewish Ketubahs.
This one has 7 layers of paper.

Some of Gerlof Smit's new contemporary paper works and below them one of his more traditional pieces. I like a lot of his paper jewellery.

Ooh, just discovered someone new to me, and her site is well designed which is always a bonus. Artist April has a site (and blog) full of her art including her varied papercuts like this ship, 'Eat Food not too much, mostly plants', and Mizrach. I LOVE this cut entitled 'Lungs'. April, I'd love to see you do a brain!

Heather Moore (Hi Heather!) who makes nice silhouettey magnets and textile prints had a link on her blog to a great papercut book on Etsy by Pistoles Press.

Beatrice Straubhaar's papercut designs are also available as prints on items for the home.

Huge papercut at Beijing World Art Museum.
Blue and red loveliness of giftnamie.
Crisp and graphic red on white Chinese papercuts.
Red laser cut Li Xi gift envelope.
Chinese papercut shop photo.
Very old French papercut slides.
Paper cuts have nice shadows.

Ok, I have SO many more but I think my body may finally allow me to sleep (the co-codamol didn't work, blugh). I you enjoyed this, and when I'm back on my own computer I'll post the ones that I think you'll really love. Happy Birthday Liz, I really hope you'll feel well enough to come home soon,until then I wish you sunny skies, birdsong and the energy to enjoy some surfing. Love C xxx

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