Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
this week's picture book is the butterfly ball and the grasshopper's feast, from 1973. illustrated by alan aldridge and with verses by william plomer, it's loosely based on the poem of the same name by william roscoe, but is more focused on the animals' preparations for the ball.
esmerelda, seraphina & camilla
the incredible illustrations by alan aldridge bring the verses to life. according to wikipedia he was apparently inspired when he "read that john tenniel had told lewis carroll it was impossible to draw a wasp in a wig." aldridge's work really deserves a post all of its own, he was responsible for many great album covers, and helped create the graphic style of that era. wikipedia says 'his work was characterised by a flowing, cartoony style and soft airbrushing - very much in step with the psychedelic styles of the times.'
"this is the tale of the summer's day, deep in the woods of england, when the butterflies and grasshoppers invited all the creatures of air and land to a ball and feast. from st michael's mount, windsor, rye, salisbury, tintern abbey and the far corners of britain they came - moles, gnats, dormice, newts, shrews, caterpillars, moths, frogs, squirrels, spiders, toads, mice, bees, flies, worms, centipedes, hares, hedgehogs, otters, and foxes. setting out in johnson's spinner trains, hot-air balloons, stagecoaches, and on foot, most arrive - some fall foul of bats, stoats, wasps, and foxes and don't! beneath the broad oak tree the butterflies and guests dance the evening away, feasting and merrymaking until the glow-worms light up and lead the weary guests back to their beds."
you may remember a few weeks ago i featured the animated music clip "love is all" that was made in 1974 by roger glover, based on the song love's all you need mentioned in this book. this was supposed to lead to a full length animated film, and glover had written a full soundtrack that became the butterfly ball album, but the film was never made.
shelly snail & swallowtail
there are also two other books based on the sequels: the peacock party and the lion's cavalcade. there are many more gorgeous illustrations in 'the butterfly ball' but these tiny images just don't do them justice. i urge you to find yourself a copy of The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast and pour over the amazing work.. its a grasshopper's feast for the eyes.
wouldn't it be amazing to have a butterflies ball themed party? who do you think you would dress as?
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
"Einordnung" - Issued by the Deutsch Sparkassenverlag bank publishing agency. The title might freely translated as 'keeping one's place' or 'adaptation"
Publisher: Deutsch Sparkassenverlag GmbH
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
today i flew to the city where i grew up to spend some time with my dad who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and given a survival time of 6 months. 1 year on he's still going. he's pretty unstoppable, and its hard to imagine him ever ultimately stopping. he is getting weaker now though, and with each month's visit comes nasty new surprises and more stressful goodbyes. even though my mum passed away from cancer 5 years ago i still don't have a grasp on how to handle it, so its a very draining time, but i'm grateful for the time we do get to spend together.
i'm reluctant to say this, but i've decided to take the rest of this week off from blogging. this blog is my happy place, and a distraction from harsh reality, but i need to keep some of my happy energy all for myself right now. i hope you can understand. regular programming will resume on monday.
thanks for reading, see you next week.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
it was published in 1969 by paul hamlyn pty ltd in australia. you can see it in the national library of australia collection here.
the story follows toby and sarah, who are twins. they go to holiday with their aunt edith who lives by the sea and each day they go for a different outing. everywhere they go they wiggle and squirm and aunt edith clicks her tounge and tells them "please sit still my darlings."
on monday they go for a ride on the ferry and they fidget. on tuesday they visit the dentist, where they squirm. on wednesday they visit the theatre. they're so excited to see a princess in a golden crown and a prince riding a brave white horse that they can't possibly sit still and aunt edith clicks her tounge and tells them "please sit still my darlings. how you two do wiggle and squirm!"
on thursday they visit aunt edith's friend, miss spratt in her best room. they eat all the cream cakes and drink all the lemonade and they want to explore but aunt edith says "please sit still my darlings. how you two do wiggle and squirm!"
on friday it rains and they play cards inside with aunt edith, all the while fussing about. on saturday the go to the circus where they're too excited to sit still. "please sit still my darlings. how you two do wiggle and squirm!" says aunt edith (click here to see the full page spread of the circus)
on sunday they go to church in their best clothes where they wiggle about like the other children. on monday aunt edith is too tired, so the twins play outside in the garden: "out in the garden the sun was shining. there were shady green tres and tangles of flowerbeds and secret places. beyond the garden there was a beach with wide butter-yellow sand and beyond the sand was the sea which rippled like a great blue carpet and curled frothing white where the waves broke on the beach."
While playing outside, toby and sarah wonder why aunt edith wants them to sit still. they ask the sun who tells them things would be in a mess if he sat still. they ask the trees who can't give them an answer either: the wind blows the trees so they're rarely still either. they ask the birds who think sitting still is a terrible idea, and they ask the sea who tells them there is nothing as restless as it.
when night falls they still don't know why aunt edith wants them to sit still. their father picks them up and they go home. In bed, toby asks the moon if he knows the answer, and the moon tells them he's been on the move for thousands of years.
in the morning their mother asks them why they're so still, so the ask her about aunt edith. she tells them if they were still she'd think something was wrong and adds "there's plenty of time to sit still when you grow old!" indeed.
apologies for posting this so late in the day, a certain child of mine who also won't sit still is having a birthday party on the weekend, so i've been busily preparing! i hope you enjoyed seeing more of sandra smith's art, i really wish i knew more about her. if anyone knows anything, please comment!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
you might remember that a while back i showed you how i made a moss terrarium. i was pretty naughty and ignored all the good 'how to make a moss terrarium' advice i found online and just went ahead and cobbled together a pretty cute looking terrarium (if i do say so myself!) just for the fun of it.
moss terrarium in july
well six weeks have passed and my terrarium lives on. i've tended to it almost lovingly, spraying it with water when i remember (about once a week) and making sure it stays in a light position (by forgetting it exists). every few days i leave the lid off for a while so it can get some fresh air, but mostly it just sits there, all fogged up. so how is it looking, you ask?
moss terrarium in september
as you can see (as much as you can see, thankyouverymuch iphone camera.. proper camera coming soon!) there is a tall stalk of something growing and the moss has assimilated nicely into its new home. the deer and the toadstools however, remain the same - turns out it isn't a magic terrarium.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
do you know blythe? she's the girl of a thousand faces, all of them framing those humungous eyes. she causes quite a stir - some people are fanatics and others think she's a little too strange to find endearing. but i'm sure that doesn't bother blythe. she's been down and bounced back. she's one tough cookie!
she was created in 1972 by allison katzman as a sort of homage to the wide-eyed waifs illustrated by margaret keane. unfortunately, the world wasn't ready for blythe and the toy company kenner ceased production after just one year. but nearly 30 years later blythe was rediscovered when chronicle books published photographer gina garan's book 'this is blythe'. pretty soon blythe was 'big in japan' and replicas and new editions of blythe were produced by takara japan and ashton drake galleries USA. blythe had a whole new generation of fans who were old enough to appreciate her and creative enough to take her from being a quirky doll to the star of a fascinating subculture.
i have a blythe (a 'mrs retro mama' unsurprisingly) and although initially my plan was to create something unique and customised, i just like her the way she is. she stands in my studio, rocking out to a music box and being my little plastic muse. i do love seeing what other people do to their blythes, though. some of them are near works of art. pictured up the top are some of my favorites on flickr. groovy babies, dolly birds, and a fabulous yarnhead bear! isn't the yarhead bear fascinating?
what do you think of blythe? do you have one?
Monday, September 7, 2009
i haven't spoken much about my personal life on this blog. as selfish as this may sound, this site is my space. just mine. and those of you who are parents will understand how precious having some space of your own is! however to give some background to this post allow me to share: my son is turning 3 on sunday. its been an incredible few years, but its been like having my brain on 'hold' for most of that time. at the beginning of this year i vowed to start working towards something and investing more in my interests and mental wellbeing. step one was to start reading again. step two was to try and be more health conscious and step three was to extend myself and edge outside of my comfort zone.
cut to nine months later and i'm just getting around to step three.
a few weeks ago i decided i wanted to do some screen printing, but having only done so a couple of times with lots of help from other people, i wasn't really comfortable just diving in. so i had a peek at the centre for adult education website and found a 2-day intensive course taught by the excellent nathan gray.
part one of the course was last saturday, and we did some prints using paper stencils, and some using the speedball blockout and resist fluids. pictured above are my stencil prints. i'm really happy with that technique and i feel very inspired by the results. don't you think they look a bit scandinavian? the blockout and resist fluids gave some people great painterly results but cleaning it off the screen with a high pressure hose makes it something i can't really do at home. coming next week, the results of our photo emulsion prints!
i really recommend (anyone who as the time) taking a course. it might sound trite, but aside from picking up some new skills i've met some great new people and its just so nice to do something different with my weekends. next on my list to learn is proper coptic bookbinding, and letterpress printing.
have you taken any good courses or have something in mind you'd like to learn?