March 13, 2012
The weather this weekend was somewhat delightful, a wonderful change to the dark clouds and patchy rain we had in the middle of last week. I had been planning a photo shoot for my Mystic Moose website all week, but even though the sun was shining, the lighting just wasn’t quite right for it – it was too bright and harsh, and by the evening it had gone a little cloudy again. So instead I took my new teacup tote bag for a walk whilst I scouted for potential locations for photos.
I made this new bag last weekend, after a rather lovely day in the garden of a cafe. Although I didn’t intend to, I spent about four hours sitting at the slightly rickety duck egg blue table with a friend, drinking cup after cup of tea. The little teashop had some delightfully quirky cups and saucers and no two were the same; having been sitting there for many hours we’d gotten through quite a few different cups! If the wonderful waitress hadn’t been popping back and forth to collect our empty cups, our table would have ended up looking very much like this tote bag! I took to doodling some of these cups, whilst sitting in the sunshine, and once I got home I began to ink and colour them in. As with my other totes, I then reversed the image heat pressed it onto the cotton, resulting in the colourful drawing being transferred!
This walk was extremely lovely, and the air had that lovely freshness that comes when people realise that spring has finally come and begin to cut grass in the hopes for some outside activities in the coming weeks. Flowers seem to be re-emerging recently, so I spent a lot of time admiring daffodils and daisies and gathering inspiration. I also got to see some lovely dogs – lots of beautiful collies, a couple of Labradors and Staffies and an extremely friendly terrier puppy wearing a pink collar that was owned by a muscular biker-y-looking man. I had several dog walkers compliment my teacups tote bag, which is always a lovely experience, because it’s great finding out in person that people like the things you make.
I also met a lovely ladybird when I was drinking tea, who was kind enough to let me take some photographs. There were some lovely parts of the gardens, some beautiful patches of architecture and I think I found some nice stonework against which to photograph my totes – I’m still looking for the perfect banner photo for my new etsy Facebook page! Go take a peek – I’ll be posting discount codes and updates on new crafty delights!
February 26, 2012
Carli Davidson’s portfolio is full of beautiful and unusual photograph of animals, but my favourite by far is her series entitled ‘Shake’ which features dogs shaking off water. Using a fast shutter speed, she is able to capture the creatures’ mid-shake, the movement causing distorted faces and wild hair.
Not only is she a wonderful photographer, but also an experienced animal trainer, and it is this knowledge of her subjects and their personalities and behaviour that enables such fantastic photography.
I find something comical about the series, perhaps because of the familiarity of a household pet, and my own amusing memories of dogs shaking themselves dry. Typically, the border collies are my favourite…
February 17, 2012
People may have read my post a few weeks ago about my London trip to see the Wizard of Oz, and how it prompted my double decker bus tote into being. With the Queens Jubilee and London 2012 on the horizon I felt the urge to make a few more themed designs to celebrate.
Regular followers will remember several occasions where I have said how much I want to get a dog, but won’t allow myself right now due to various practical reasons. Of course that doesn’t stop me gazing longingly at the adoption websites for hours on end, picking out potential matches! Recently I’ve been ogling at Corgis.
I guess my current obsession began a few weeks ago, whilst I was on my morning run and rounded a corner, coming came face to face with a huge, fluffy husky. I paused out of a kind of bemused shock – not at the husky, but at the scene behind it. A man in his mid twenties stood there and I guess he was an employee of a local dog walking company. I say this because clustered around his muddy green wellingtons were corgis. Lots of corgis. There were about 15 of them in total, each scampering along on short legs, interweaving their leads and panting heavily. I’ve seen these corgis many times since, but never as many and never with the same walker. I wish I had had my camera with me to document the sight – but perhaps it is the kind of scene which improves and transforms into something better in the memory?
Since then I have been doodling corgis throughout my sketchbook (which I will put on this blog soon), and one of the outcomes is my Union Jack Corgi Tote bag. I love this little guy, and this bag makes the perfect shopping companion, reminding me of both the bizarre event which inspired its creation and my love of dogs. Since I uploaded it to my etsy shop earlier this week, it’s had quite a bit of attention, so I have high hopes for this little doggy in the coming months.
I recently set up a facebook page and twitter account for my etsy shop, and welcome followers and ‘like’ers! My New Years Resolution was to keep all these social networking outlets up-to-date, and its going fantastically so far, especially since I worked out how to link the accounts together!
November 7, 2011
I never held for sinister stories of grandmother-hungry wolves and woodcutters with a passion for dissecting animals. The Brothers Grimm are perhaps the most well-known for being sadistic or gory, but early versions varied in their nature. Sometimes Grandmother was hidden in the cupboard and Red was saved just in time, or Red removed her clothes, got into bed with the wolf and realised what he was. But in other versions Red was eaten once getting into bed and there was no happy ending, or Red unwittingly cooked and ate her own grandmothers flesh and blood, or both Red and Grandmother were eaten whole and once they were cut out by the Woodcutter, the wolfs empty stomach was filled with stones so that he fell into the river and drowned.
In some of the early stories, there is no Woodcutter who arrives in the nick of time and Red Riding Hood has to escape using her own cunning, drawing on the clear themes of the safety of the village and the dangers of the dark and unknown forest. Supposedly the original was a warning to young women about sexual advances from men – an obvious example being the version where a naked Red and gets into bed the Wolf only to be eaten and have no happy ending. In any case, I’ve always preferred to see Red Riding Hood and the wolf as a coming of age story, with the wolf becoming a guide of sorts through the forest, as Red Riding sets out into the unknown and has to rely upon her own choices. In those cases, the woodland never seemed that scary at all.
November 1, 2011
This photo makes me so happy.