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!