Saturday, December 12, 2009

Free Textures: Grunge Lyonnaise

Well, I have returned from my lovely trip to France but appear to have brought back a mild dose of Swine Flu, along with the bottles of wine and jars of lavender and violet confiture. This is rather ironic, to say the least, as our hotel was next door to a health clinic where people were getting vaccinated for "La Grippe A". I'm by no means at death's door and as I'm otherwise in good health, my GP has not ordered a dose of the dreaded TamiFlu. However, I'm staying in bed for a few days in the hope that my condition won't escalate and I am already VERY bored, so have posted a some French textures in my Flickr Photo Stream. Feel free to use these for your personal, non-commercial projects but please credit me and send leave a link back here to your lovely creations.

Here are some previews with links:

Grab me here

Grab me here

Grab me here

Grab me here

Sunday, December 6, 2009

If you want to get a hat...find a pebble

The last few days before we set out on our annual pilgrimage to the Fete des Lumieres in Lyon were a worrying time for my partner and I. Just one question occupied our thoughts and once we had left Paris, the tension was palpable. The last few minutes of the train journey into Lyon Perrache were fraught with anxiety and we felt no festive joy as we dashed through the Christmas market. The scrumptious spicy cakes and fortifying vin chaud could not delay us now. We desperately needed to know: had the Club Tricot Canuts of the Croix Rousse, held on to their title of knitters of the World's biggest Bobble Hat and would the Gros Caillou (Big Pebble) be proudly adorned with the fruits of their industrious labour, as it had been during last year's festival? On arrival at our hotel, we hastily dropped-off our bags and made our way to the Croix Rousse market square, at the end of which, on a fine day, it is sometimes possible to see Mont Blanc. The majestic mountain was of no consequence to us...we longed only to see the Big Pebble sporting its wonderous woolly winter warmer. Imagine if you can, dear readers, the joy that filled our hearts as the top of the fluffy bobble came into view..

We don't think it's the same hat as last year. The bobble looks a lot bigger and I can't recall the fluffy trim around the bottom.
What happens to the Bobble Hats after the Festival? We like to think that they will be donated to a good cause and that maybe there is a refugee camp somewhere in the World, full of multiple-coloured, fluffy, bobbled tents.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pimp your Cube

This photograph from Vintage Moon has sent me scurrying off to the local charity shops to find as many old Rubik Cubes as I can.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

National Scrapbooking Day: ZigZag Scraps

I don't usually put adverts on my blog but just recently, I have got to know the wonderful group of women at ZigZag Scraps. They produce lovely things and this weekend, they are cheap as chips!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Zetti Architecture? Javier Senosiain


Mexico city 2006

This morning, by email, I received a set of images that I had to share. It's like Teesha Moore and Antoni Gaudi had a secret love child who became an architect. Javier Senosiain is an exponent of organically informed design and you can view more examples of his stunning work here

Meanwhile, over at my other place, I've posted a scrap layout

Thank you for looking!

Monday, August 10, 2009

French Freebies: girlies and grunge

Here are two gifts to you all from our wonderful French holiday. If you use them in your personal projects, please do leave a link here so that I can take a look!

We had a VERY relaxing trip in a lovely place but you'd hardly know it by looking at the contents of our camera memory cards. Most of my photographs are of crumbling, urine-stained masonry and pavements: evidence of my serious grunge habit and need to feed it at every available opportunity. To make great grunge, at least one of the following five factors are required: the passage of time, extreme climactic conditions, neglect, vandalism or pee. Not wishing to make the slightest insinuation about a country and people that I love, but the French do a far better class of grunge than you can get here in the UK. It was for this reason that I was to be found loitering in the riper exterior locations around the Gare du Nord, after my long-suffering partner and I had paid 7 Euros to leave our bags in a locker so that we could stroll up to Montmartre and get a quick glimpse of the view over the rooftops of Paris, before returning to England. But Ah! The streets of Paris are paved with glorious grunge and I was compelled to stop every couple of feet, sometimes (much to my beloved's distress) whilst balancing precariously on the edge of a pavement or half way across a crowded pedestrian crossing. This left us with about 45 minutes to dash up the steps to Montmartre, take photos of each other and (of course) one of a bit of wall and then dash back down to the Gare du Nord and onto the Eurostar.

My beloved has an equally sad addiction for dodgy electrical wiring installations but you have to go to Lithuania to really indulge in that one.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The view from my loo...

As promised, a little light blogging from France. We  are staying in a beautiful house, situated in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields full of hay bales and scampering hares. Our bathroom has a floor to ceiling window and this is what you see out of it when you're sitting on the loo. Sheer bliss! 

While I'm here. I'm having a bit of a go at journaling. The first page was begun on our train journey from England and finished the following day.  I make no claims to great, or indeed any kind of art. The materials that I had with me were two fibre tip pens, a little pair of scissors, a tube of Pritstik and some train timetables. This was my first page:

I'm finding journaling to be very challenging. It is so very hard to stop thinking, to just be instinctive, so I decided to develop an idea from the first page, to remind myself that I was on holiday. The face looks like our friend from Luton! 

Eventually, I began to enjoy the simple pleasures of cutting up paper and doodling. I have bought a cheap packet of felt-tip pens but actually, it's lots of fun to stick to using very little:

On Saturday, the rain came. We weren't annoyed as it is the first rain they've had here for some time and the garden really needed it. My journaling materials that day were two cheap tubes of acrylic paint, a little glue brush, a felt pen, Pritstick and a copy of Le Figaro. As you can probably tell, by now, I had really loosened up and reached the "who gives a *@%* " stage. 

Yesterday, we visited a local fete which was actually an entire village taken over by what the French call a Brocante and we British, more prosaically, a car boot sale. Such is my love for these type of events that it would have been very easy for me to have completely lost the plot and run around like  a headless chicken but I managed to stay disciplined, concentrating on ephemera and photographs. As I'm on a limited budget, some very difficult decisions had to be made but I have found some lovely bits and pieces and below is a photograph of some of my new stash. What stories will reveal themselves? I will have lots of research to do!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Little Britain

A very dear old friend and I have had a long, on-going debate about whose home town is the most depressing: his or mine. He is from Luton and I like to point out that at least Luton has an airport so that you can escape somewhere far away and exotic. My home town has the number 82 bus to West Bromwich or the number 87 to Dudley in one direction or to Birmingham in the other, depending on whether you want to see animals in the zoo or animals drunk and falling over curb stones. However, I think my friend may just have won the argument hands down by sending me the following extract from a deeply depressing discussion that occurred during a recent visit to his mum (who is absolutely lovely, by the is a lot of Birmingham...actually)

Step Dad: You wouldn't like Luton today. What do you think of it?

Son: Thinks he knows what's coming,tries to divert conversation: I wouldn't know, I only travelled through.

Step Dad (looking hot): Its all bloody WOGS.

Mum, quietly: Love, you can't ...Love...

Step Dad, warming to his subject: No, I speak my mind: WOGS. We had one at the door the other day. Terrorists! (which is his new word for them)

Mum to Son, desperate: If you invite them in do you think they take their shoes off, or is that only in one of them Muslim houses?

Step Dad: Terrorists you mean....

Rude Food

Is it a bird? Is it...

Bang goes my application to Artful Blogger...

I ask you, could anyone else have a tomato like this growing in their garden? Oh well, might as well get the tone lowered here sooner rather than later. These photos were hastily snapped on my mobile and I have refrained from artifying them, opting for a Blog Veritie stylee. You are...ahem... more than welcome to use them in any of your artworks, should your requirements run to erotic veg. Kimmie, you could add it to your on-going challenge artwork! Marsha, I expect to see it sporting a pointy hat and wings by the end of the week.
Heaven only knows what will happen when it reaches puberty...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Welcome Freebies

My bible at the moment

Essential kit

Welcome to my new blog! This is the place where I intend to share a few of my other obsessions some of which are vegetable gardening (and related pursuits such as slug-slaying, compost making and muck spreading), tea drinking, taking photographs of lost gloves; collecting old and often slightly manky ephemera and photographs.  
As a small welcome gift, I would like to offer the garden-related  items above. Please download them and use them in your artwork (with an appropriate credit).  If you use them, I'd love to see what you've created so do leave  a link here so that I can have a look. I'm new to offering freebies and hope that the size and resolution will be ok.

That's all for now, short and sweet. Thanks for dropping by!