Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The quirky duck and regal swan.

A long grey month, but when the sun does make a rare appearance, the winter light is beautiful.

This month I am stalking swans.
The light in their feathers, the don't-mess-with-me haughtiness and the effortless grace they possess make them incredibly photogenic.
Even when I'm leaning over them with a long lens camera.


My printer will soon be on overdrive. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Itchy feet and hues of grey.

Two weeks into my least favourite month and trying to resist the urge to book an impromptu trip back to the sun, sea and friends of SdotYam.
Afterall, January's a slow month sales wise and grey has never been my favourite colour for a sky.
BUT...this is supposed to be the year I change things up and spring clean my life, and whenever I go back to SdotYam I end up boomeranging right back within months. has been four years...and I was supposed to have gone back this summer...
Oh my goodness, it's tempting!


Yotvata on the beach.
NoBurger, winter 2010.

While I may not be a fan of grey skies I am a fan of grey fabric, and am starting 2015 with a grey palette of varying hues. And resurrecting the wide awake fox cub, after a year of snoozy ones.

This one is called The Curious Fox Cub, and is backed with a soft and tactile wool.
It's been a long time since my foxes have been awake!

And continuing with the monochrome theme, this is a photographic card featuring the regal swan.
The crisp winter light of December was perfect for photography, and the swan has a unique charm and grace.


Sunday, 4 January 2015

The soft glow of fairylights and a yearning for chipboard.

As the New Year stutters into normality I'm hanging on to the fairylights.
Much as I'm jaded by Christmas and have never embraced tinsel, the fairylights make January less grey.
But I've missed my six foot boards.

I'm a big fan of the boards, chipboard at its finest.
(Although I admit to being sceptical when my dad appeared on the doorstep last year, brandishing said boards and announcing they would change my life).
Well, they didn't change my life but they certainly expanded my workspace!

These boards were unsurped by the Christmas tree, a bargain from the one-step-away-from-the-shredder section of the Christmas tree plantation.
Rejected, due to a chunk missing from the back, but who looks at the back anyway?
And I have a pile of pinstripe and flowerpower fabric to sew, fresh from a new year rummage down Bricklane.
Yesterday morning I woke to soggy conifers and icy winds.
With an overwhelming urge to be back in London and away from a Gower shrouded in grey mist and festive drizzle.
6 hours later I was in Paddington, my gateway to urban sanity.
And finally got to the Horst exhibition I've been meaning to see for ages, just a day before it closed.


I love photography, and these were strong images.
The strong lines, the lighting...the staging.
For Horst I can tolerate a queue stretching down the South Kensington tunnel.
I'm glad I went.

On a photography theme, December has been the month of the swan for me.
Move over quirky ducks, I've fallen for the elegant lines and effortless grace of the swan.
And the crisp yellow light of late December was perfect for stalking swans at a local park.

December has also brought the rediscovery of a box of old slides from the 60s and 70s.
I find slides quite magical, so retro and so of their time.
The one below was taken in 1969, and is of me and my mum.
A moment in time.



Saturday, 20 December 2014

Bue skies and PJs.

In an ideal world I would have jumped out of bed at 8am, been out the door at 9 and be in the park photographing squirrels by 10, having finished all my Christmas shopping and with a full fridge.

In reality I overslept till 10am, have barely scratched the surface of Christmas shopping, Tesco has no delivery slots till after Christmas and I won't be at the park before 2.
On the plus side, my orderbook is clear, the tree has half its baubles and the sky is blue.

Today I wave goodbye to the courier till after Christmas.
No more odd shaped parcels, pink mailing sacks or wrestling to get boxes within the courier size restrictions.
No more packaging at midnight, cellotape wars or dodgy addresses that don't exist on Google.
Suki objects to the noise of the cellotape.
She gets that ''don't mess with me'' glint in her eyes.

I've seen more of the courier than my own son, who is working such nocturnal hours that the only time I've seen him this week he's been horizontal.
But I always hear the door when he rolls in at 4am.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Mail me pink.

The bane of my life.
And this week has brought it all.

Addresses which don't match postcodes, addresses with no postcode at all...incomplete addresses, customers who change their addresses after payment...

And then there's the rural post office, with the antiquated scales that never match my own, consistently adding extra grams which cost extra pounds to post.

The grey fox currently AWOL in Seattle, and my apparent inability to match up the right parcels with the right labels after midnight, resulting in BluePeter-esq deconstructions with the packaging.

BUT -on the plus side - the ironing board has never been so useful, and I'm completely in love with the pink mailing bags!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The big wheel and eternal lure of the fairground.

There's something about the fairground.
Daytime, dusk or night, scratch below the grime and tackiness and there's a magical quality.

As a child it was special.
The smell of the candyfloss we were never allowed, the rationed rides... the imagery.

As a teenager it acquired a dangerous edge, with a magic all of its own.
The first time I went on the big wheel my bag was open, spraying change like confetti onto the people below.

On SdotYam it symbolised 50 years of independence.
I still remember the sheer terror of being unceremoniously shoved off the laundry roof on a zipline.
And this time there was unlimited candyfloss. 
Alongside unlimited jugs of wine.

SdotYam, 1990.
Willie and Victor.

With a small child it was always the ghost train and carousel, and as the mother of a grown up son I  find myself drawn back to the strong imagery of the big wheel.


Now, I like the fairground as it's just waking up, and prefer my photos devoid of people cluttering up the foreground!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A tornado of fluff in the run up to Christmas.

The floor.  Oh my goodness - the floor!
It's as if a tornado has whipped up all the cotton and fabric and paper scraps and displaced them at random.
So many foxes, so little space!

In three years I have never been this busy; sleep has taken a back seat, the sewing machine has acquired a solid coating of fluff around the bobbin and the overused printer has been sworn at and loved in equal measure. 
I have learned that working after midnight is decidedly dodgy.
Labels on wrong parcels, heads sewn on upside down, over indulgence of chocolate...

Thank goodness for a fantastic courier and a post office at the top of the road.
Alongside marmite and Vintage TV.

Christmas can wait.
It will be a last minute panic which I'm refusing to think about until a week before.
Plenty of time...

I seem to be developing a bah humbug attitude towards Christmas.
I love the smell of the Christmas tree, mince pies, fairy lights and The Pogues Fairytale in New York.
I have an aversion to the abundance of Christmas tat in the shops.

Gone are the days of large family get togethers; Christmas day has become more fragmented.
It is also the first year that my son will be working.
He officially graduated last week and I'm very proud.
Although he has yet to master the washing up bowl.