Loving

A time to try something new.

 

I’m obsessed with all ceramics and pottery, so much so I regularly take pictures of it in magazines as something to ‘save and enjoy later’.

My work mate Luke told me about a pottery class he took late last year that he really hated when it dawned on me. I AM GOING TO TAKE THAT POTTERY CLASS! And love it, and maybe make a pottery salami like in the picture below. Oh it will be fun. I can’t wait to start and share what I make. 

Luke, meanwhile, has decided he’d quite like to learn to violin, so any willing teachers based around Bloomsbury, do get in touch.

 

 

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The Complete Universe of Fornasetti

 

Whenever I’m in the need for a certain kind of inspiration, I need look no further than one of my favourite books, ‘Fornasetti, The Complete Universe’ published by Rizzoli. I urge you to do the same.

 

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 I never fail to be overwhelmed by the skill of his hand and the sheer prolificness of output. Not to mention fun he makes everything seems to be. Piero Fornasetti may look like a serious kind of bank teller type but I think absolutely every single thing he put his hand to points to the very fact that he was anything but.

 

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I’ve picked out a few images to show what I find so inspiring about his work and I urge you to read an ‘Interview with Piero Fornasetti, 1987 by Shara Wasserman’

 

To the Fornasetti

 

 

Dream Wood Grain

Faux Bois, faux bois, faux bois – one day I will make up my very own faux bois, but when I look at Fornasetti’s I think ‘why bother’

 

Gorgeous Drawing

 

Hand in Hand

 

Map Table

 

dream space

Its his sketch book in the foreground of his insanely beautiful room that really gets me here, but check out that rug!

 

Blossom

 

After this particular sift through the ‘universe’ I was moved to steal the sample of Osborne & Little Malachite pattern wallpaper we have in the office and overlay it with a blown up print I have of blossoms by Batty Langley. I’m trying to make up my own Malachite pattern as well. I think this may be a life long process.

 

 

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During the same quest for inspiration I did come up with this cute design for a 6″ Round plate, I called it ‘House & Altas’ and it’s available to order here.

 

 

 

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The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.

Does anyone need reminding about opting into organ donation? It can be done online (I’ve only given a link for the UK, but you can google Organ Donation + your country to do it wherever in the world you are).

Easy peasy and extraordinarily important. Click here to do something you’ve been meaning to do for years. I’ve seen first hand how dramatically it can improve a persons life. It is SO SO worth it, that heart you never thought you had could more than make up for it a second time around!

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When One is tired of London….Episode 1 ‘The Drowned Man’

I can say I have been tired recently but certainly not of London. In fact I would say this has been the first Summer in a very long time that I have made the most of what’s on offer in this great city. Largley due to having energetic and interested house guests, but also due to the fact I have been holed up for some time now and have finally found the need to shake it off and remind myself of who and where I am.

Having missed (forgotten) to take photographs of what Ben would call ‘blogortunitites’ over the last couple of weeks due to being so involved in what I was doing I thought I’d skim some images courtesy of the kind people of the internet to share with you. So thank you kind people with foresight and cameras. Let me know if you have any objections to me using your images IF you can prove they are in fact yours yeah?

The first cultural event I want to blog about that I never thought I’d see myself going to was a production by the immersive theatre group Punchdrunk and their latest theatrical adventure ‘The Drowned Man’ ( I ended up seeing it twice!). I’m normally the LAST person to put their hand up to volunteer attending any theatre. I find live performance pretty, I dunno, in your face? Theatrical? Performancy? Self conscious for sure. People pretending to be other people anywhere other than on the telly have always made little sense to me. Puppets are OK, because people are pretending to be an inanimate object and that makes perfect sense. Call me uncultured, I really don’t mind. Educate me, if you want to put in the time I’m happy to do the crime. PLEASE!

My first theatrical experience was seeing CATS in Auckland in 1990 (same year as the Auckland Commonwealth Games, which was/is still OUR London Olympic Summer!) when I was 12. The tickets cost my mother a fortune and she made me a waistcoat with a tiger print/face pattern especially for the evening, she’d seen it a few years before in Sydney and didn’t want me to miss the dazzle. There was so much anticipation and SO much riding on it being amazing for me. I think I ended up being so nervous I forgot to actually enjoy it! ( Or perhaps seeing fully grown men and women pouncing around in leotards painted up as cats singing renditions of Barbara Streisands’ ‘Memories’ makes you automatically block/hate all theatre?)

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 Back to The Drowned Man…I was offered a ticket a few weeks ago almost last minute by a friend which I couldn’t make, that same weekend I was given a second spare ticket a chance I figured the gods were telling me something so I went. I took a group of six the week after that.

The Drowned Man - Punchdrunk production

 The Drowned Man is a completely different experience. Set over four or five floors (200,000 sq ft) in an old postal sorting office in Paddington, two stories of love gone wrong are played out and it is up to each individual audience member to decide which storyline or actor they want to follow. We were given masks upon entering and told to remain completely silent throughout but encouraged to explore, leave no stone unturned if we so felt the need. The staging is vast. I spent the first visit mostly wandering around wondering how they’d managed it and only getting glimpses of the action. The second time I decided I wanted to follow the story more closely and it was pretty extraordinary. I’m aware there is an unwritten code that punchdrunk fans don’t reveal any plot line so I’m not going to spoil it for anyone other than to say, its a three hour performance and the first lot of friends I went with who were experienced in punchdrunk said ‘there will be a point where you want to start looking for the secret bar, find it and odds are we will be there or not far behind’ I can tell you both times this happens approximately two hours in and the last hour is spent happily in a replica 60’s Hollywood club where you drink and fall in love with the man singing Blue Valentine perfectly dressed in a white tuxedo and all the girls walking around on floor length sequined gowns whispering sweet nothings in punters (who can’t believe their luck) ears.

What I loved about The Drowned Man was how it was so different to regular theatre. Things I struggle with i.e. the self-consciousness, when everyone around you is laughing so hard/reacting so strongly to something that you think is utter crap. You then need to proceed to judge the entire audience, especially the friends that invited you (entire friendships needs to be fully re-evaluated), its stressful. If you really hate it you can walk away and visit the bar. If you really love it you can secretly weep and get swept away with it because you are wearing a mask and have lost your mates and are anonymous. I can’t possibly comment on the quality of the dancing or acting I have zero knowledge of it but at least I can now say I say I have a burgeoning interest.

The Drowned Man runs until the 30th December in London’s Paddington, tickets and dates available here. I urge you to experience it for yourself and if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them. Having shared mine I’m now far more interested in hearing about your first foray into the theatre.

 

World’s most depressing shop front found in Ontario, California.

Worlds most depressing shop front

Here Comes the Sun du du du du

 

I love the set up of this picture from the paper yesterday. The (waxwork) Beatles on the street in Blokker at the beginning of a tour of the Netherlands before taking up residence at the Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam.

 

 

What I actually love the most is the look that John Lennon is totally rocking, white on white on textured white. So much so I’m going to attempt to work a Spring/Summer 2013 wardrobe in the same vein. You heard me, I’m going to channel John Lennon through clothing and maybe glasses. Vintage mens belts are notoriously hard to get hold of because they are rarely put back into circulation when finished with they are inherited (which is apparently the case for all good vintage mens clothing, a mens ware designer told me once) where do I look for a white single breasted tuxedo jacket and how can I pull it off like John?

 

 

Taste is the common sense of Genius

 

I found a few unlikely things caught my eye that surprised me last week.

On Wednesday we went to newly reopened ‘The Quality Chop House’ in Clerkenwell for dinner. The staff were completely charming and very good looking as they all seem to be these days (or is that what getting older does to you? Failing vision?). The set menu was good as were the wine matches, the £170 bill for two was pretty choppy, this was down to the wine by the glass per course, a bit off putting for a bite to eat on the way home from work on a Wednesday. It’s Nandos next time. The reason I wanted to go there was the interior, it has one of those Pie & Mash Shop interiors, all booths with punishing bench seats, lovely wooden panelling, cream paintwork, black & white checker board floors with a bit of brass thrown around for good measure. Totally up my street. What surprised me was that I was quite taken by the cut glass tealight holder that was on our table. So taken I had to take a picture of it. 

 

Looking at it now, maybe the lack of light and the pair of sexy silver Salt & Pepper Mills were bringing it up a bit? I’m can’t quite believe myself when I say that I like it. But I do! A cut glass tealight holder – whatever next?

 

Michael Stubbs, ‘Virus Drawing #34’, 2009, vinyl and ink on watercolour on paper

 

On Thursday night we went to the opening of Mike Stubbs latest exhibition of drawings at the Cass Gallery on Whitechapel High Street, which I thoroughly recommend going to see. Afterwards we went for a drink and caught up with some friends. One of which was rocking this Shearling Jacket, Pink Shirt, School Tie combo, which again, I was completely taken with. See for yourself.

 

 

 

Do you see what I mean? Totally works. Is this surprising?

The third surprise of the week was when I was watching Murder Mystery Solving Duo Rosemary & Thyme (I’m not even embarrassed about it), there was a scene where they were in the most beautiful garden, it looked a lot like Rosemary Verey’s garden at Barnsley House but it wasn’t, filled with clusters of pink Dahlias, so I ordered 100 pink dahlia bulbs and now I can’t wait for the sun to come out and begin planning where to put them in my garden.

You & Me – SOJA

 

My favourite song of the moment. I wish the video was as good!

 

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Sing a Rainbow II

 

Nan Kemper and those tulip planters had better watch out.