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Art Journal Bundle Box

Inside this art journal bundle box is a beautiful, handmade book and tools for you to get started working in it, filling it with your writing and creations. Here is a short video showing what’s inside.

The journal is made from a mixture of different papers such as watercolour paper, maps, vintage tracing paper, and text for texture and fun. Inside the pages were strewn with purple and yellow onion skins, creating eco prints on some of the pages. The assembled pages were then bundled with twine and the imprint of a rusty skeleton key and were then boiled in a cast iron pot of tea and rust. The pages were then dried then bound into a single, chunky signature with sari silk. Each book is one of a kind. The blank art journal will come in a box with:

  • UHU glue stick
  • Bamboo dip pen
  • Small waterbrush
  • Ranger Mini Mister
  • Altered mini tin with postage stamps
  • Fun paper pack that includes tags and vintage dictionary fragments
  • 10ml handmade walnut ink
  • 10ml handmade acorn ink

When you receive your art journal bundle box you will have a link to a short video showing ways to use the different elements. This box will make a unique gift for [read more]

What to Do With Your Anger in Uncertain Times

I have heard a lot of people say they are scared right now but I am not so much scared as angry, which feels weird because as a rule I do not get angry. You could say I don’t believe in it but today I am not only angry, I am convulsed with rage. But here’s the deal. It doesn’t help and I don’t like what anger does to me or to other people so – I had a good cry in the shower, got a grip, and gave myself this pep-talk; here it is in case you need one.

Idiots may be idioting while the world burns but even so, I have a choice. I can feel outrage and helplessness or – I can be angry but in control of what I do with that. One thing I know: They are counting on our anger to divide us, making it easier for Them to get away with this. A look at social media posts and especially comments makes it clear that it’s working. Actively refusing to be part of this, rejecting it and deliberately choosing another reaction thus becomes an act of rebellion, of disobedience.

I am not [read more]

8 Free Things to Do to Keep It Together

The funny thing is, some of us enjoy being isolated. I do. It gives me time to do what I already love doing: drawing, sketching, reading, making. But for others, it is a source of stress and anxiety, so without further ado, here is a list of fun, creative, and FREE things you can do to keep your mind from feeding on itself while we isolate ourselves.

 

Get in shape without the gym. Come out on the other side of this in better shape than when you went in.

Few things can help you now more than self-care, so when you are finished with your stress eating (and drinking!), consider doing something simple that will improve your mental well being as well as how you feel. The variety of free workout videos on YouTube is staggering. Yoga, pilates, zumba, HIIT, chair aerobics (for those who are disabled), light stretching, bootcamp – you name it. Scared to begin? Search for work outs of five or ten minutes or that are labelled “easy” or “beginner.” See if you can get your kids or your cat to join you. NO EXCUSES.

There are a variety of sites online that offer what is effectively [read more]

Altered Book Cover Girl with Bat

For me this piece has a real fractured fairytale feel: Edward Gorey meets Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

This collage is on a vintage book cover and full of vintage paper ephemera goodness. Carte de Visite of girl in pinafore and button boots, circa 1880s, with collaged wings. Fragment of handwritten, French letter, 1903. The pen and ink bat is from a 1912 Swiss zoological guide. All paper ephemera is original; these are not printed reproductions! Piece measures 14 cm x 21 cm. It is wired for hanging, or the wire can be removed for framing. All of my pieces come with extra paper goodies.

Cost is £40. Shipping worldwide is £5. You can use the PayPal button below for payment, even if you do not have a PayPal [read more]

Vintage Postcards

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St Paul’s Graveyard: Lovely Headstones in Sketty, Wales

I have walked past this church so many times but until recently never noticed how lovely some of its old headstones are in its surrounding cemetery. I have now, and here are a few of them.

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Memento Mori: The Shearwater Ghosts of Skomer

On the island of Skomer, off the coast of Wales, is the largest population of Manx Shearwaters in the world. Under cover of the middle of the night, they fly in from the sea where they have been feeding. Hundreds of thousands of birds go hell for leather into the safety of their underground burrows. In the morning, the paths of Skomer are littered with the occasional bodies, or what is left of them, of the unlucky ones who didn’t make it but instead fell prey to the Greater Black Back Gulls who feed on them. All that is left is a pair of wings on a path and they fascinate me. They are the most striking memento mori – reminders that we must die – that I have ever seen (and I’m a gal who likes a good memento mori). So a typical morning on Skomer is: get up, have some coffee, hike, hike, hike, and oh, hey, remember that we must die: thanks guys, got it. And strangely, these visceral tokens of life and how quickly and randomly it is snuffed out are so lovely and unlikely.

From my post on Skomer:

The next morning, paths around the island are [read more]

Here There Be Puffins: Skomer Island

“The sea pronounces something, over and over, in a hoarse whisper; I cannot quite make it out. But God knows I have tried.” – Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk

I wish I could subtitle this: “It Can’t Always be Paris,” because as a rule, my love of travel takes me to cities, ones that I’ve fantasized about my whole life. To museums, churches, cafes, and copious amounts of people watching, opera going, and pastry eating. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that, more and more I find myself drawn to places off the beaten track, looking for something you can’t find at the end of a subway ride. More and more I go in search of a different kind of church, a different type of watching.

Last week marked my third stay on Skomer, an island off the coast of southwest Wales. It is a place of pronounced beauty and mystery, wild in locale – it can be reached only by boat – and demeanour, if an island can be said to have such a thing. While humans have lived on Skomer for thousands of years – remnants of an Iron Age community are still strewn about the island, [read more]

Flea Market Finds: Vide Greniers in France

If I got to choose what I would do on my last day, there is a good chance I would ask for three hours at a good flea market on a sunny day with friends, because that is just about my idea of heaven.

One of my favorite quotes is from director Robert Bresson: “Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.” For me, a flea market is not about shopping per se but about a feeling I sometimes have that something – in this place where there are worlds inside of worlds jammed up against other worlds and time is all over the place – is waiting for me to find it: to make it visible.

Because while Bresson is clearly speaking of the act of creating, this can take many forms. It might be film, drawing, or artistic endeavours, but it can also be cooking a memorable meal or putting together an iconic look or saying or doing the needed thing at the right moment. It can be the ability to look at a jumbled-up box under a messy table and see the one piece of treasure there, the one thing that needs to be found.

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A Visit to Zurich’s Museum of Fine Art

I have been lucky enough to visit art museums in many cities. This is consistently one of my favorites. There are other museums that have more, but in a way that is the point. The Louvre, the National Gallery, and their like are amazing, but they are too large to really take in and emotionally digest what you find there. This is where Zurich’s Kunsthaus is different. Yes, it has relatively little in the way of old masters and prehistoric whatnot and many of the things that make other world museums so dynamic, but what it has is truly choice and can be experienced in an afternoon. It is just the right amount of beauty to be taken in, felt, remembered, and treasured.

Van Gogh, Rodin, Chagall, Picasso, Monet, Beckman, Ernst, Kandinsky, Giacometti, Klee, Rousseau, Matisse, and on and on. Just as important is what it doesn’t have: a mad crush of bodies getting between you and the experience. Most museums in major cities are in a constant state of crush, with flashing cameras and hordes of tourists mobbing a handful of well known works, making it very difficult to savor any of the experience. In Zurich, there is dignity, [read more]

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