Archive for July, 2009

Weird and Whacky Design:It’s Crystal Clear

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , on July 31, 2009 by echostains

These handbags by Judith Leiber are too good to miss!  I just had to add them.  I love the way they sparkle, but I’m not sure about some of the themes….

scarlet parrot by judith leiber  with crystal

scarlet parrot by judith leiber with crystal

This  exotic parrot would get anyone noticed.  Talk about Treasure Island!

ganesh judith leiber handbag

ganesh judith leiber handbag

Or how about a lucky elephant God Ganesh handbag? rather cute don’t you think?

schnauzer dog handbag by  judith leiber

 

 

 

schnauzer dog handbag by judith leiber

The work that has gone into this doggy handbag is unbelievable!  You would be devestated if you left this  in a taxi ………

More of these fabulously weird and expensive handbags from Judith Leiber’s website HERE

If you liked this post – there’s more where this came from!  Go to my home page and look in my Categories, click on ‘WEIRD AND WHACKY DESIGN’

What I’m Reading at the moment: ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT with tags , , , , , , , , on July 30, 2009 by echostains
christ the lord: out of Egypt Anne Rice

christ the lord: out of Egypt Anne Rice

I’ve not even finished reading ‘Christ the Lord’by Anne Rice yet.  As usual, I left off reading for a bit, then started reading something else….and now have to go back over it to ‘immerse’ myself in it.  With me, when I read something I need to be totally into it.  I need to get the feel: acclimatise myself, so to speak.  I can summon  this easily enough when I go back.  I know if I pick this book up again and go back a bit I will be in Jerusalem again.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

At the moment though, I am now reading the latest book by one of my favorite authors, Sarah Waters.  The book is called ‘The Little Stranger’ and is turning out to be a little gem.  It is set in the 40s and is about the breaking down of the class system, the landed gentry trying to hold onto their land, servants amid fading fortunes.  The family in question aren’t exactly of the same status and ilk of the Marchmaine’s from Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, but you get the idea….  The story is about their house, a crumbling ruin in which strange phenomena seems to be happening.  I am LOVING it!

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters writes great books!  The ‘Fingersmith’ made me gasp with admiration at the twists in it!  The BBC version was absolutely fantastic to watch. 

Affinity by Sarah Waters

Affinity by Sarah Waters

Affinity’another good book, set in a Victorian womens prison, I thought the book  better than the BBC version, (which was pretty good and was very well done).   You could actually BE in that prison, such is the quality of the writing.  Couple that with the table tapping mediumship……decidedly creepy.  ‘Night Watch’. is the only one I wasn’t keen on at all.  It’s a War one, but I can honestly say I can’t remember much about it.  ‘Tipping the Velvet’ I saw on the TV first,  and what a great tale it is about Victorian Music Hall, Gay women, prostitution, cross dressing and well,…all sorts.  All done  with great humour and pathos.  The book was also excellent.  Sarah Waters is known for her Gay subject matter, which I know has put some off reading her work.  More fool them – I say, as they are missing out.  These novels are full of craft, wonderfully plotted and well written.  She is a GREAT writer! Her tales are full of twists and turns and very well researched.

Update:  ‘The Little Stranger’ finished reviewed HERE

Also read ‘Wedlock – How Georgian England’s worse husband met his match……..   by Wendy Moore

Happy Birthday Marcel Duchamp! Better Late than Never…

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by echostains

Duchamp 'Fountain'

Duchamp 'Fountain'

Yesterday was the birthday of French artist Marcel Duchamp (b.1887 – 1968).  He is said to be the inventer of conceptual art.  When he submitted ‘Fountain‘, a urinal to The Society of Independent Artist in 1917 signing it R. Mutt and displaying it as art, this had an immediate effect…. and art was never the same again.

nude descending from a staircase  No. 2 duchamp

nude descending from a staircase No. 2 duchamp

He  was a Surrealist and also a Dadaist (I shall be writing about them soon).  He like to challenge art establishments and the way that art was percieved.  One of his earlier works ‘Nude descending a staircase No. 2’ shows the artist’s interest with the  mechanism of movement. This is a hybrid  of Cubism and Futurism.  He created controversy when he exhibited this at the 1913 Armory show.

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Another of Duchamp’s works, ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by her Batchelors’  is a very complicated peiece of work (better explained HERE).  His  ‘readymades’ as he called them, consisted of found objects which he would cobble together and sign: an extreme form of  minimalism.  Andre Breton defined the ‘readymade’ as;

“an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.”

Duchamp didn’t produce many works, but is still a very interesting artist who made important contributions to art and especially the way in which art is percieved.

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.

Rubens

Gauguin

Dali

Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton

Turner

Van Gogh

Morris

Pollock

Chagall

Kahlo

Modigliani

Degas

Hopper

Honestly! Really Really!

Posted in WRITING AND BLOGGING with tags , , on July 28, 2009 by echostains

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.

Rubens

Gauguin

Dali

Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton

Turner

Van Gogh

Morris

Pollock

Chagall

Kahlo

Modigliani

Degas

Weird and Whacky Design: Hand in Glove?

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , on July 27, 2009 by echostains

glove-shoes

glove-shoes

What about these for a whacky design then…They’re called ‘Glove shoes’, for obvious reasons.  I’m quite taken with them actually!

If you liked this post – there’s more where this came from!  Go to my home page and look in my Categories, click on ‘WEIRD AND WHACKY DESIGN’

Cool Places: The Minus 5 Ice Bar, Mandalay Hotel, Las Vegas Navada USA

Posted in PAST PLACES, SCULPTURE, WHAT HAPPENED IN VEGAS STAYS HERE! with tags , , on July 26, 2009 by echostains

Just a quick one before going out.  Spent most of the day painting (as in painting and decorating).  All white paint in my hair (at least I THINK it’s white paint…lol!).  The colour scheme? not mine I may add….white paint on white paint.  I’ve got that snow blindness or whatever you call it.  Antarctic. 

Minus 5 bar

Minus 5 bar

 I’d love to go to the Antarctic!  The nearest I got was the Minus 5 Bar in the Mandalay Hotel, Las Vegas.  It’s a strange place to say the least.  You pay your money and are issued with a  parka and padded mittens and boots . When you go a bit further along you are given a bit of a talk about the bar…finally you are allowed into the inner sanctum.   A bar made of ICE! Thats right, actually made from ice! 

Cool drinks, shaken not stirred

Cool drinks, shaken not stirred

there are ice sculptures, ice seats (with rugs on)…even the glasses are made out of ice!  How cool is that?  Obviously VERY lol!

Us in the Minus 6 Ice Lounge Las Vegas

Us in the Minus 6 Ice Lounge Las Vegas

Minus 5 website HERE

HERE’S some more info about it

Life under Canvas

Posted in HOME with tags , , on July 25, 2009 by echostains

life under canvas.....without rain

life under canvas.....without rain

To camp or not to camp? that is the question.  But there’s no easy answer when the weather is so unpredicable and the tent is brand new and has never been tested.  I love camping: the great outdoors and all that nature business.  I even like cooking outside.  Everything seems to taste better in the open air.  Now, should we make a dash for it:run between the raindrops and hope they miss us?  Or should we wait longer and risk the weather getting even worse?  Decisions decisions…….