Posted at 11:22 AM | Permalink
It's been a long time - I see that my last post was in June! I've started an Masters degree and it's been eating into valuable leisure (and blogging time) - but hopefully it will be worth it. Apparently there is a slightly lighter timetable next term so I hope to be back in this space in the New Year.
In the meantime - have a wonderful winter and a restful holiday - especially all the amazing, multi-tasking mothers out there. I salute you - I really, really do.
The thing about bantams (of which we have 3 in our garden) is that they lay a really small egg and it's nearly all yolk. The good things about this are that they are a perfect size for C and S likes yolk. The difficult things are that I prefer the white and they only fit into 2 of the 15 eggcups that we own. Yes, 15 eggcups. Even with as many house guests as we can manage and with normal sized eggs - that is still 8 too many. I have discovered this because I am clearing out the backs of cupboards today. It is a truly grimy and satisfying task which is completely distracting me from the actual work I am supposed to be doing - but the upside is that I have liberated several spiders from their dark, back-of-cupboard lives and they now happily reside in the garden and I know S will be happy about that.
This little lady is smaller than most, so a contender for a larger bantam egg. Her partner is with my brother and I have lots of happy teatime memories associated with them.Can't wait for C to get excited about using her. Until then she will be pushed to the back of the (clean) cupboard with the other 14 to await a sudden mass visitation of friends all wanting boiled eggs.
I've always wanted a piece of Rob Ryan's work - and now I could have some - and a new skirt to boot.
I will save electricity by not looking at it on my 'puter 3 times a day ( or more maybe)
It's so pretty.
I will feel all self righteous because I'll have to make it and then I can say ' Oh yes, I made it at the weekend' to people who enquire.
If I don't dare wear it I could always frame it.
I like the white one best. I also have a toddler with often muddy feet.
Wearing patterns on my bottom? I fear the opposite effect to what I would normally try to achieve.
The price - and then I have to make it.
Ooooo look! More Pros than cons . . .
You can get this skirt at Clothkits - but please don't buy them all and not even leave me with the option ;)
I've topped 20,000 views on my Flickr account. I know that it's lame to admit that I know that - least of all because it reveals that I've checked my stats which, I have been told, is impossibly uncool of me - but come on - doesn't everyone do that really? And also because I think that hard core Flickristas would throw their heads back and laugh at my paltry 20,000.
Anyway - I am going to continue to revel in the fact that my pictures have been opened quite a lot and that it can't all be my parents - can it . . . ?
There are a lot of people seeking baby bedroom inspiration out there.
My daughter is cultivating her very own internet presence.
I just found this.
So, as the last long post was accidentally deleted I am going to try saving this one as I go - so if it looks a little short - please come back - it will have grown longer.
We left Chicago a couple of days ago and have been in New York since then. Chicago was not what I was expecting . . . but then I'm not sure what I did expect . . . just not to like it as much as I did I suppose.I think I could live there and that is the biggest compliment I could give a city. We had great weather - breezy, but sunny - the Art Institute was fantastic, the zoo was a hit with Celeste, everybody was really lovely and helpful and most importantly we had very,very good food. And it's so ridiculously reasonable for us here at the moment. I pity people with dollars who come to visit the UK at the moment . . . you'd have to get a loan out to eat in London for a week.
And, of course, there was Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, the giant, gleaming bean that sits in the Millennium Park. It has a very feminine roundness to it which is a bit of a relief amongst all those skyscrapers and although it's obviously dwarfed by all those towering buildings, its design cleverly reflects and multiplies them.Taking a photo of us mirrored in it was of course a cliche and so had to be done . . .
And so, to New York . . .
I haven't been here before and Simon has, so we're pretty much doing what I want to do. 3 days isn't long though and I would rather wander around and get a feel for a city then rush around like a headless chicken taking in 'sights' - so that's what we've been doing, with the Guggenheim and MoMA thrown in for good measure - oh, and the Staten Island ferry because it was so HOT yesterday we needed to find a breeze.
We spent the biggest part of today at MoMA wandering the galleries in no particular order, eating lunch, playing with C in the children's area and sitting in the sculpture garden.
Really liked this digital wallpaper from the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition. Computer generated plants who's growth and movement are linked to sensors that take their data from the 'real' world. It rains outside the gallery - they grow inside the gallery. Clever.
These pictures preceded an event that was, I believe, a first for our baby. . .
After crawling around for a good long while on Jim Lambie's tape and, it turns out, black dirt, floor we removed her to try and clean her hands and salvage what we could of her clothing. At which point she threw a tantrum a 2 yr old would have been proud of. I write this in a slightly tongue in cheek manner, but in fact it was quite upsetting - I don't know how I will get used to them. Maybe there won't be too many . . . !? Anyway, she got over it with some milk and a cheese biscuit and I had a strong dose of caffeine to steady my nerves. Oh, and a visit to Purl Soho definately helped too.
On a much more surreal note it just so happens that the Pope heard we were visiting and decided to make his trip coincide with ours. We only managed to bump into each other once - he's a busy man don't you know - but he gave Celeste a wave so clearly he recognised us. I think my Grandpa would have been pleased.
I had almost finished writing possibly the longest post I've ever written and had downloaded squillions o f photos when bloody Internet Explorer decided to 'unexpectedly quit'. Some choice Anglo-Saxon words have been floating around the room I can tell you.
Anyway - there is not the time to do it again so I leave you with some photos of Celeste's favourite afternoon in the U.S so far. Yes, we came all this way just to have an amazing time - in a park.
(And by the way, if anyone knows how to save a post without actually posting it - please do share)
No posts for weeks . . .then two in a day. I've remembered what I like about blogging.
Celeste has a new cushion for her horse and we have half of a pair of curtains. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never made a curtain before. Really embarrassed because it's SO easy. Why on earth did I think otherwise? Possibly because I'm not too great at cutting in a straight line but as these curtains are just bedspreads - all that cutting has been done for me.
I'm very excited. I have discovered a company that makes eversocool wall stickers. (Okay, in the US they call them wall decals, but that doesn't trip easily off my very British tongue so I will continue to call them stickers!)
I find our house a difficult place to put pictures up because a) we have weird small walls with beams and wonky bits that b) often look better with nothing on them and c) I am picky. The beauty of these stickers is that you can move them about when you're bored or when you change your mind. GENIUS. I'm particularly in love with the birds, the branches , the dreamland set and the customised text . . .
The possibilities are endless. I'm off to look at my blank walls . . .
Well, I have no idea where the last week went - lost in a whirl of washing, 'sorting', paperwork and general mooching around I expect. I was resolved not to make any New Year's Resolutions as I never keep them, but maybe, just maybe, I could manage a new week resolution.
Let's see . . . I resolve to make this week not blend into all the others. There - that should do it . . .
So, Everyday Monday (again) and I am currently obsessing about shelves. I'm caught in that place between fabulousness and practicality (shelfwise, you understand). We have lots of pretty things and some beautiful things and I want to arrange our pretty things on open shelves for all to see. But the thing is - we don't need to use any of that stuff on any kind of a regular basis (really, some of it - not at all) By rights the bag of raisins and tub of rice cakes should have prime position. I seem to be forever getting those out of the pantry.
We have another shelf at our window that boasts an ever changing range of weirdness. These little ladies came from Riga in Latvia and let me tell you they are not the kind of thing I usually buy. Maybe I could blame it on the cold? It was -25 - the coldest I have EVER been. But I still sort of like them so . . .
My Dad thinks he can sometimes see them move out of the corner of his eye. My friends think they are chickens. What all of this says about any of us - I don't know!
Have good evenings everyone. I've made sweet potato, chicken and cinnamon stew for dinner. Yum.
When we got married we hired a photographer. This wasn't an easy thing to do because . . .
a) It's hard to pay for someone to do what you could do yourself.
b) They try to take you away from your friends and family to pose stupidly together when all you want to do is have a drink and feel elated.
c) When it comes to editing, Photoshop is most wedding photographer's God (I don't want to offend wedding photographers - there are some great ones out there - we just couldn't afford their superior editing!!) and only the hideous misty filter button seems to work. That and the 'let's make everything black and white except for the pink roses' option.
However, we didn't feel like we could prevail upon any of our friends to do the job so we picked the company as carefully as we could and were very strict about not posing and the lack of editing we required. Needless to say, they did get us to pose a bit and we were too dizzy with the day to say no, but we got a nice album out of it with a few gems amongst them. Then, last week, they wrote to ask if we would like to buy the copyright to our images for a special cut down price. Of course, we jumped up and down (or I did, Simon said that's good then - he's not very excitable in that way) and thanked our lucky stars that we'd never ordered reprints at a horrifically inflated price - because now we can print as many as we want! Hooray!! AND - there are some really beautiful and natural photos amongst the ones we never saw.
Like these (edited by me, taken by Memories Photography)
For any friends and family that are interested I'll bung a few more of these up on Flickr over the next week and will happily print you any that you'd like.
Now - time for me to stop daydreaming about one day, three years ago. There's a baby to bath and and a meal to have with my husband.(I remember when I thought I'd never get used to that word!)
Have a lovely weekend.
C is at nursery and I am in the middle of the chaos I call tidying - but I had to post this quickly because the deadline is tomorrow!!
Elsie is organising a mobile swap - how great is that?
A lot of fellow bloggers have started 2008 with photo projects. Amanda, Jessie , Shannon & Meet me at Mikes are doing 30 days and there's the 365 days group on Flickr that a lot of people are taking part in. Oh, and the very beautiful photoblog 3191 has started A year of evenings.
Last year I intended to start an AM/PM blog with a photo from each end of the day, but I cannot see myself currently having the discipline - so I thought - how about one photo, once a week ?
Monday is the start of five days when it's just C and I, 9 to 6 . It's not that I don't enjoy our time together, for the most part I love it, but naturally it's more fun when our little family is together. So, I have chosen Monday as my day where I will take a photo that says something about our day and our life.
Here is the first . . .
And yes, I do know that today is Tuesday!!!!
I'm scouring the net for a baby swing to hang from the roof of our barn. I've always wanted a swing in the barn for myself, but I've never got round to putting one up. As the barn is next to my studio, I now think that I need a swing for C first. She can swing and I will push her whilst dreaming up new and stunning work. Then, when she's old enough, we will swing together.
I will of course make sure they are both very secure, so avoiding the fate of my namesake Katy. If you haven't read What Katy Did then you will not know (shame upon you) that she disobeys her aunt and swings on a broken swing, has some non-specific back injury and loses all her feistiness and becomes wise, good and, well, a bit prissy.
Anyway, back to my search. It seems that lovely swings are few and far between compared to all the other great baby stuff out there.
So far we have this from Johannes Mohr:
Also made in grey at Enfant Terrible. . .
Which, although it's very chic, minimalist and everything, seems somehow inadequate. I'm imagining that if you pushed too zealously you'd flip 'em right over. Also, it's pricey.
Then we have something more traditional, and cheaper, from our local toy shop, Tickety Boo.
and this . . .
I have to say I'm liking the look of the deckchair striped one.
If anyone else has any great ideas, please do let me know.
And, have a good Sunday.
So - here is my portfolio. 2 years out of date, but still special to me.
When I made this I wanted something portable,versatile and stylish. Most importantly stylish. The idea was that the book and stack of images would change and grow over time, that I'd be able to adapt it for different situations.
The difficulty now is that I look on it as a piece of work from a certain time in my life. Maybe I don't want to use it at all. Maybe I need to start again.
Louise's blog is full of loveliness that she finds on the web . . . saving me time and energy. Thanks sort-of cousin!
Love this and this.
I haven't been here for a few days now. There was a lot of post-holiday clearing to do - of my house and my head. Needless to say, neither is completely clear yet - although you can now walk safely through our kitchen, living room, bathroom and hallway without risking a laundry-pile related injury.
This little space has been fun, but has increasingly been roaming into 'cute photos of my baby' territory which wasn't the original intention at all. Henceforth I will try to wind down that side of it a little and crank up the creative side. C is nearly 9 months old and has started to be cared for, away from me, for one WHOLE DAY a week. This means more time for creating and more time for playing with new materials. I am taking part in an exhibition in May so it's time to get back on the horse. Metaphorically of course . . . I'm scared of horses.
So - I thought I'd start as I do not intend to go on - with a picture of babies. And three babies at that! I'm sorry. I just couldn't resist. Rosa Pym joined the gang just before Christmas and just as the three of us grew up together - so will they.
What great timing we have.
Alex Steffen: Worldchanging, Revised and Updated Edition: A User's Guide for the 21st Century
A kind of rambling journey through projects, models, critiques,reviews, opinions,ideas and ideals, on topics that range from women's health and education to the environment and, well, everything really. As one of the main texts for my MA I tried reading it from cover to cover, but that wasn't the way to do it. It's a 'chunk' book - best read in small pieces so you can properly absorb and reflect on what you've just read.
Donald A. Norman: Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things
It does feel a bit dated, but only because the world is so fast now and this is not a new book. But it all makes sense and reinforces the reasons why we 'want' objects.
Jon Wozencroft: The Graphic Language of Neville Brody
As I don't read a lot about Graphic designers I found this fascinating. I grew up reading The Face and I didn't know much about Magazine design back - I just knew I liked it because I felt it was different - and it was! There is a chapter where Brody is talking about students that he teaches and how he wishes that when they had an idea they would just do it and move onto the next one, instead of picking it to pieces. I have taken this on as a piece of good advice.
Shigeki Nakamura: Pattern Sourcebook: Nature: 250 Patterns for Projects and Designs (v. 1)
Pretty pictures/pattern research