Sunday 27 April 2008

Paul Beelen - jewellery

Paul Beelen: Brooch - Untitled 2006. Maple, amethyst, white pearl

Paul Beelen: Brooch - Untitled 2006. Maple, crystal

There is something deeply satisfying about whittling away at a piece of wood, letting the form reveal itself as you work. I think that's what attracts me to the sculptural wooden jewellery of Paul Beelen found via Klimt02. I'll add my wood carvings to the list of 'things I really must photograph and show on my blog one day'.

Paul Beelen: Ring - Untitled 2006. Maple, malachite

Paul Beelen: Ring - Untitled 2006. Maple, jasper

Drive-by shooting, the good kind

LA drive-by (click image to enlarge)

Mum used to worry about drive by shootings in LA. But it's ok when it's me doing the shooting, with my camera. This shot, like so many, was taken as we flew by in the car. I love it. I love the degrees of focus/unfocuss, blurring/sharpness. I love the white picket fence with the red/pink flowers peeking over the top against that lovely grey blue background and the man walking by with the baseball cap. I love the soft shadows on the building, the pistachio ice cream colour of the metal tubing (I think it was for a billboard). I love the crisp clean lines of the cables against the sky.

Marina Del Ray drive by (I think)

It's 4.53am. I can't sleep cause my PHN has flared up massively so I've spent 3hrs catching up on Alicia's blog. It's amazing to think that in the past I used to visit the people on my side links most days. Certainly not less than weekly. Now there are many I've not been to since New Year because I'm too tired. I feel bad because I do really want to keep up. My friend in Australia text me yesterday to ask how LA was. I felt so guilty cause I've never had the energy to write up a proper email about the trip. Even what I've posted here has been image based. She wants me to use facebook but I really struggle with anything that requires a password to access it. I have too many passwords to remember.

Plus, I dislike having to read everyone else's comments in order to get a context for what is being said. I mind find it easier if I knew the people, but almost everyone I know on facebook lives in another country, so the people are strangers to me and the extra effort of sifting through their writings fries my addled brain. Anyone else find that or is it just a Chronic Fatigue thing? I like things simple, find site, look at friends post/pics/email,respond if I have energy. No special access required. No unnecessary strain on the brain. My poor confused brain (Liz, your text made me laugh, the one about cognitive dysfunction, especially as those are my initials).

West Hollywood drive-by

The ME/CFS world talks a lot about 'brain fog' and it's certainly been a big reason for my comparative lack of computer use in the last year, especially when it comes to blogs that are heavy on writing and tell ongoing stories. It's like my brain just can't keep all the info together, it muddles up people, places, names and dates (and let's not get into how much is forgotten within seconds of entering, literally seconds). And, of course, I get sucked in, emotionally. I get excited, inspired, enthused, engrossed or perhaps saddened, and I want to leave comments. All things which take up energy I don't have anymore and add to the fizzing in my brain. So, until my brain cells are back to normal I'm afraid, friends, that the blog is still the best I can manage communication-wise. It covers the widest base of people I would normally contact in other ways. A one stop shop, and that all important place where I can feel I achieved something, even if it is just to put a few more pictures up.

Venice drive-by

Well, my goodness, I never expected all that to come tumbling out. Sometimes it just happens that way (usually in the wee small hours if I can't sleep). Yet if I had planned to write any of this it would never have happened. The weight of necessity really pulls me down, so when these spontaneous moments come it's best to go with the flow. But blimey, it's nearly 6am! I've just realised it's daylight outside. I can hear the birds singing and the radiator clickety clicking (weather still pretty cold). I was just saying to Alicia that we are going to have Daffodils in May (unless some more freak weather comes and squishes them before Thursday). It's all ahoo (yes Jill, still plugging away with Jack and Stephen). Speaking of Jack and Stephen, I read a nice line yesterday '...I saw him running about on deck before I came below, laughing like a holiday' (from The Surgeon's Mate, Patrick O'Brian). I like that, though the aforementioned addled brain had changed it to 'happy as a holiday' which I rather like.

Friday 25 April 2008

Little and often

More from that fabulous box of goodies Daphne sent last
month, I really love her illustration for the foxglove packets! And the hand stamped papers around the ribbon are ace, as are the colours (see, I'm not only about the brights and the blues, as Daphne knows) Daphne, the foxglove seeds are going far and wide to all the places ravaged by trucks and diggers in the last year. They seem to be munching up the Edinburgh Greenbelt at a steadily increasing pace but at least now the dumped soil ca begin to have new life thanks to you. I'm also mixing in other seeds from my own plants, like feverfew and herb robert, buddleia and even transplanting some snowdrops, a few bulbs at a time on each walk with Lucy. Little and often.

Not much blogging, I had several emails to catch up on on Wednesday and it totally wiped me out. Not been reading any either, which is driving me crazy. However, I have managed, in small bursts, to finish the O' Brian book I had picked up again, and am half way through the next one. Again, little and often, even if it's only 2 pages at a time.

Have a great weekend folks, not sure if I will blog before next week, I'm really trying to rest up.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

These people mean business...

One of a multitude of signs they had on this small parking area.

I'd love to write these around my garden where the kids keep breaking through and killing my plants. Instead of writing 'you will be towed!' I'd like to write 'You will be eaten!'. And maybe have some monstrous teeth drawn top and bottom of the sign :0)

Monday 21 April 2008

I just bought...

On Ebay, isn't it cool? The legs can be folded away - I love this sort of thing! Sink, 2 gas hob plus grill and storage space. I have a new tap already.

I'm so happy, now I can squeeze a kitchen into my house extension so I will have a kitchen with a window! Ventilation, birdsong, daylight and not beside the bathroom. I'll probably keep the original kitchen sink area in the centre of the house to be a dedicated art sink. Happy times, though it won't be done this year, I'm getting it as a Christmas present from my parents.

Saturday 19 April 2008

And this...

What you don't see is the cat trying to eat these while I took the pictures. He was very persistent- those ends were not frayed till he gummed them (poor bugger only has 2 teeth so everything gets gummed, like a lizard).

Friday 18 April 2008

Thursday 17 April 2008

Whale watching, weather watching

One of our sayings on the trip was 'all roads lead to Lincoln'. It seemed like no matter where we went, we always ended up on Lincoln Blvd, which we liked because it was our local main road when we lived there, just one street up from our apartment, and later the house. One of my favourite parts of Lincoln is the Toyota dealership where I had my camera ready for some whale watching every time we passed. This mural is enormous, I suspect possibly it is life size. None of my drive-by photo's every captured the full image, but here are 3 sections, I love how it looks with the blue sky and the clouds...

Speaking of clouds... here in Scotland my daily preoccupation is watching the weather, hoping for a good day to wash/dry clothes. So far every sunny day except yesterday has been interrupted with rain,hail and sometimes sleet. Unfortunately yesterday I was barely able to move (and only awake for 4hrs) so I missed my chance. Today doesn't look promising...

The only gap is when I am out with Lucy but I tend to get where I'm going then sit for an hour till I have the energy to come back again. Looking out hte window now (10.30am) I can see the clouds hovering above, deciding whether to deliver hail or sleet, it's co-o-o-old out there though the sun is shining. Mid April, and there has only been one day (apart from LA) when I have not worn my thermal long john's under my trousers! Partly that's due to inactivity and bad circulation (I must buy more ginger for that) but mainly it's just down to cold winds.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

Fabric Store

This place is has been around about 30 years I think. I didn't go in cause I was on a very tight budget, not to mention no room in my bags for swathes of fabric.

All weekend I've been too tired to do my blog.
I have lost my lovely dog walking assistant to the lure of the French Alps (ski holiday). More detail in comments section if you are so inclined.

Friday 11 April 2008

Holiday revealed!

Exhaustion has been getting the better of me but I did want to pop in briefly to let you know there have been 2 correct guesses as to where my holiday was. Jill correctly guessed Venice and Santa Monica, our main destination.

For those who don't know my blog so well, Venice used to be home in the early/mid 80's and this trip was to mark the 20th Anniversary of our last time there. Our base for the visit was in Santa Monica beside the pier. Here's the view from the room at 5am...

Liz recognised the whale mural in clue 7 and correctly guessed Marina Del Ray because she bought her car there 7yrs ago though she lives in Switzerland now - I love when our big world feels like a small world. Little connections, shared links between strangers.

I'm a little behind in checking my comments but I'm hoping to have a little more energy at the weekend when I don't have Lucy to walk. Oh, 2.30am and I hear the rain starting. Earlier today (friday) we had sun, rain, snow, sleet and something that was a bit like hail, but not quite hail. The weatherman's promise of seasonal weather by the end of the week was clearly wishful thinking. I hope you are all having much nicer weather, and that you have a great weekend.

Monday 7 April 2008

Seasonal differences

Hard to believe these fresh Spring foods were what I was eating in mid February last year! Do you remember there was so much foody goodness about I was posting food photo's for weeks, all taken on sun drenched days.

Here we are now, April already, and a weekend of freezing temperatures and snow inspired Mr P to cook up a HUGE pot of warming dhal yesterday. It is so damn tasty I found it hard not to eat the whole lot through the night (body clock still upside down). I'm now drying off after a hideous trip out with Lucy in torrential sleet. My heart went out to the lambs, only 2 weeks old and stuck outside with no shelter but their mother's bodies. They looked so bedraggled and cold. Living 500ft above sea level we may may be only 5 miles from the centre of Edinburgh, but the weather conditions are often an exaggerated version of what's happening in town - colder, hotter or windier. I was looking at the snowy Pentland hills and wondering if people in town even had snow this weekend, possibly not. They may very well have cherry blossom and spring vegetables!

As I write, the sun is coming out again and the forecast is for some seasonal weather later in the week. Let's hope it comes so that the lambs and the fledglings can have a more carefree start to their lives. Every little lamb should skip, not drip. More holiday pics soon. Wishing you all a good week.

Sunday 6 April 2008

Interesting cuts and links

Here's a treat, an entirely new post, not one that's been sitting in my drafts for over a year! I was doing my usual search for new and lovely papercuts to show you (even though I have a backlog of them still un-shown, but I never let that stop me looking for more) and came across the blog All Things Bright And Beautiful which among has enough links to keep me busy for years! The one that I beamed at most was this post showing intricate red Chinese papercutting in a new context (which she found via Wooow...yk.celine)...

Vogue China: Oct 2006 featuring Model Mo Wan Dan
Photographer: Juan Zi. See article pages on Asian Models

That same post also showed (on recommendation by Celine) the papercuts of Wu Geng Zhen (I've written his name as he writes on flickr and his website). She included this link to read more about him and a link to Taishin Bank where his work is exhibited . His Flickr site lived up to the hype showing really incredible images of huge cuts and a stunning exhibition. A really nice place to explore showing several different types of work. I did some more searching and found him here on which seems to be a bit like myspace.

Wu Geng Zhen working on a large papercut 2007

Exhibition shot taken Feb 2008 on Wu Geng Zhen's Flickr

Exhibition shot taken Jan 2008 on Wu Geng Zhen's Flickr

When I followed the link to Celine's original post about the Vogue photo's she was showing more delights in the form of amazing cut leather work by Ginta Siceva ...

Ginta Siceva: Necklace 1, Spring/Summer 2008 Collection

Ginta Siceva: Necklace 12, Spring/Summer 2008 Collection

Ginta Siceva: Brooch

Phew, that was hard work for my addled brain to get all the links right (I hope they are right). I used to find it so easy but M.E. makes even the simplest tasks much more of a challenge. I think it was worth taking a whole day to do (I kid you not). I'm really pleased that these new (to me) blogs have given me some lovely things to show you plus lots more links and posts for me to discover on sleepless nights, thanks ladies!

My work - net experiments 1990-92

Net experiments 1990-92

This is one I showed with the cat, but it looked so nice draped over a page from the beautiful Noa Noa catalogue I couldn't resist another showing. Also a close up of the string tops, sometimes the simplest things are the best things.

Saturday 5 April 2008

Sky blue, blue sky

Hijacked email

The guesses are getting closer. Long Beach too far South, Malibu was the closest guess and we did go to Malibu one of the days.

I've just found out that email address for this blog has been hijacked by spammers! I got an email today that claimed to be sent by me, it said Re. Gucchi and had some numbers on it. This happened to my old business email and I had to ditch it in the end. Please be aware I NEVER send any junk emails. If you get something that has cally creates and the subject title looks suspicious you can check with me here on the blog comments to find out if I have sent anything.

I read this website which explains how they get your details from someone else's address book and forge it in the 'from' section of the email, so people think it has come from your address. So I can't even find out who they got it from. I hate to think I may have to change my blog name and working title for future artwork, but if people are getting bad mail I don't want to be associated with it. Last time it happened I met someone who thought I'd sent them really nasty photo's. I was horrified and disgusted that those images were being associated with my business, and it was only coincidence that meant I met her and found out.

It's 3am and I've been stressing about this for hours, changeing email passwords, trying to set up new addresses etc. And all the while listening to the rain pounding on the window. They say there may be snow today and have talked of Arctic winds. Hard to believe thursday was warm and sunny. Come back sun, we were just getting to know you.

Thursday 3 April 2008

My trip - clue No.7

I loved this whale mural, only 1/3 showing - it is huge.

Tiny Buildings

Tiny Buildings: Post Office Blue, 1976

I was doing a search for stuff related to my mobile home eco-renovation, but what google showed me was a wonderful blog called Tiny Buildings. A place documenting the work of Sharon and her late husband James, who in the 70's began making "
tiny buildings crafted from business cards, packaging and other nice papers." read the lovely story of how she started here. Sharon continues to make them today and they are the most delightful and personal creative recycling I have seen.

Tiny Buildings: Wedding Chapel Three, Maryland 2007

Tiny Buildings: Hiltl Cottages, Zurich 2005

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