Archive for November, 2009

Weird and Wacky Design: Ours is not to Reason Why (But I will anyway)

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , on November 30, 2009 by echostains

why? why not

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you still get a surprise.  You wonder what sort of minds come up with these ideas.  Wacky ones for sure…. I’ve always believed that for something to be successful, it must have a use, people must need it.   Then comes the hard sell.  Of course where there’s no discernible niche for the item, it is all fair and above-board to create one,  create a ‘need’ – make the product a ‘must have’.

bacon air freshner

Why though, would you want an air freshener that smelt of bacon?  Most air fresheners mask cooking smells……..  Perhaps it’s to conjure up a kind of comfy Sunday morning lazy feeling that the smell of bacon inevitably conjures up.  I’m saying this because that’s when I usually eat bacon, but some people eat it every day.  Then again, some people want to eat it every day, but are watching their cholesterol.  This bacon smell business reminds me of the Jorvik Viking Centre in York UK.  When it was first open and the cars went backwards (through time) and came out into the Viking village, this was one of the key smells (along with the strong urine one).  I’m pretty sure you could buy this essence in a bottle.  Later on, the smell wasn’t quite the same.  It was as if, they couldn’t quite get the recipe right.  In love with the bacon air freshener? HERE


Here’s another unusual concept, – a ‘Log’ floor rug by Yvette Laduk.  I have tried to get my head around this, and I just can’t.  The ‘tree’ has been ‘chopped’ down: what is left is a stump.  This is a flat image of a 3D object.  The 3D object that is really flat, will be placed (usually I would think) on a carpet.  A woodland is the natural carpet for a tree stump is it not?  So you are kind of bringing the woodland into your home?  Perhaps they do a matching carpet of leaves and flowers?  I don’t understand it, but I do rather like it!

sarah dery mousetrap

And there’s more…….  This mousetrap by Sarah Dery has a humane touch.   It lends a bit of dignity for the dearly departed mouse.  The mouse is trapped in the mouse trap and  then slid into this carefully prepared little coffin.  The other pictures have  more details  (HERE)including  a thoughtful little opening for its tail.  I don’t know what to say……

Rounding up: Loose ends

Posted in ART, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, THE STAR INN - THE RESCUE OF OUR LOCAL PUB with tags , , , , , on November 29, 2009 by echostains

 This post is one  in a special week of  celebrating Echostains I year Birthday blog

An indoor ladies toilet pleaseand disabled facilities

The last couple of days have been a bit hectic.  I’ve not even twittered!   The concert last night  for the toilets at The Star Inn  went down really well.  Did we achieve the money we needed for BOG AID? click HERE and find out…..

Julie Hesmondhalgh

Didn’t take many pics last night, just couldn’t get my mode right on the camera!  Really kicking myself about that.  None of them are really anything to write home about at all, mostly blurred.  You need a steady hand for this and getting there at 6.30pm….well, that doesn’t help lol!  Guest of honour Julie Hesmondhalgh (Hayley from Corronation St) made the auction go with great humour!  She was very entertaining, and a lovely down to earth person with a sharp wit!  The folk bands we had were also very good indeed and everyone just mucked in and had a great time!

More of my posts about The Star Inn HERE

We love art!

Seems ages since I put a proper post on here, everything is a bit up and down at the moment.  But will try to get back to normal soon and write about ART.  Well that’s the first year gone on my blog.  I have to say, I’m really enjoying doing it AND talking to some lovely people whom I would never have met otherwise!  Communication (the echo and the stain).

Echostains Blog is 1 Year Old Today! My 362nd Post

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN, WATCHED, WORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS, WRITING AND BLOGGING with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2009 by echostains

one whole year

Yes it’s one year today when I first started my WordPress blog!  So far I have managed to write 362 posts.  The idea was to write one per day, but  it was a while before I discovered being able to schedule these posts.  My aim for the next year is to beat my record!

art is everywhere

What have I blogged about? wittered on about?  Well all sorts – mostly Art.  Art can be found everywhere though!   I didn’t want my blog to be dry academia (succeeded there alright), but neither did I want it to be full of too personal stuff either: outpourings, confessionals.  Rantings? occasionally…. moaning?  trying to keep it down to a minimum.  I also try to steer clear of politics.  I do have views but I think there are too many blogs that focus on political matters.

Branwell Brontes Barbers Tale by Chris Firth next book on my list

I have LOTS of categories!  Including our travels, books I’ve read, TV and films I have watched and of course artist’s birthdays.  I am adding to these.  Those I missed will get an airing soon.  The only criterion for selection is that I do actually happen to like the artist’s work, otherwise it would be a never-ending task, bit like the sorcerers Apprentice filling the buckets…

I have still got more things planned, and when I can work out how to link gallery pics with written pages about artist’s (as in my Altered book) I will do so, as this shall make it tidier.  Many thanks for those who have commented on my blog, it is very much appreciated!  I would like to thank my right and left middle finger for typing…I would like to thank GOD that I still don’t smoke, or I would be dead by now smoking AND typing…….that’s it really!  Cheers!

Toulouse Lautrec Tracked…Maybe and Life in Sync

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, WATCHED with tags , , , , , on November 27, 2009 by echostains

Jose Ferrer still not positive he's the Toulouse Lautrec I was thinking of.....but who else is there?

Puerto Rica actor Jose Ferrer 1912 -1992 was, I think may have been the actor I was trying to remember played Toulouse-Lautrec in the 1952 film biopic  ‘Moulin Rouge’ by John Houston.  Don’t ask me where Peter Finch came from……

Moulin rouge poster1952 john Houston

It’s always frustrating when you can’t remember something for the life of you.  This happens with quizes a lot.  It just seems to depend if you are in sync with the world at that particular moment.  Sometimes everything falls into place, and the brain seems to be so sharp and ‘coincidences’ just abound.  Only they are not really coincidences, they are little clues showing you that you are in sync with the universe, I think.

I would very much like to do this indeed...Oh yes I would

Sometimes you can be reading and come to a word (in your head) and hear that word spoken at exactly the same time, but on the TV.  Or vice versa, listening to something and your eye-catching hold of the same word, sentence.  Very strange really.  Sometimes though I am definitely out of sync.  Just when I needed my printer urgently to print some programmes for tomorrow, the printer is playing up!  I got ink, I got paper…but it won’t print properly, even though I’ve cleaned the head.  Tomorrow is another day, hopefully a locupletative one!

Out on the Town with a Hundred Sewing Machines!

Posted in HOME, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER with tags , , , on November 26, 2009 by echostains

party time at selfridges

I had to go to town today.  Raining of course.  There’s a few Christmas decorations up, but it doesn’t feel anything like Christmas.  Some nice window dsiplays though.  My favorite is always Selfridges , they always have something flamboyant!

sheer decadence at selfridges

Not great pics but you get the idea, lots of drama, silver women hanging from chandeliers – the usual, lol! 

all sewing machines at Allsaints

Another shop, called Allsaints had the most amazing window display I’ve seen in a long while.  Hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of sewing machines in the window.  At first I thought they must have got them from a factory, but only some had motors fitted onto them, plus they weren’t all Singer either, some were German.  I wonder where they got them all? and I wonder what they will do with them all afterwards?

Happy Habitat

This one is Habitat, I think.  I couldn’t resist it. looking all Christmasy and welcoming!

selfridges detail

Time and Tide and Other Old Washing Powders that make Life easier but no Slower

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, BRONTE BITES, BYGONE ADVERTISING AND PACKAGING with tags , , , , on November 25, 2009 by echostains

fruit fantasia, better than the usual Test card eh? and very pretty

Not much of a post today, I’m afraid, just been very busy indeed.   Found a cousin I haven’t seen for about 40 years so we have a lot to catch up on!  There’s not enough hours in the day sometimes – yet other times,it seems to hang heavily.  I have loads to do in the next couple of days so I might not put a great deal on…but then again, I just might (as an escape route).  Still reading the Norman Collins ‘London belongs to me’ book and have got Branwell Bronte’s Barbers Tale’ by Chris Firth lined up after that.  Plus there’s all that clearing out business that I STILL haven’t got round to…oh Deary ME!

Happy Birthday Dear Toulouse Lautrec!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS on November 24, 2009 by echostains

toulouse_lautrec f

Today is the birthday of French painter, print maker, illustrator Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse Lautrec-Monfa (known of course as the diminutive Toulouse-Lautrec (1864 – 1901).  Post impressionist Lautrec is best known for his bright lively images of the Parisian  theatrical world. 

Toulouse-Lautrec La Goulue arrivlal au Moulin Rouge

The lively modern world of Fin de siecle Paris was one of colour and decadence and Lautrec immersed himself into it, illustrating all it’s life, humour, comic tragedy in this bohemian world.  As a lithographer, his colourful posters for the Moulin Rouge (amongst many other night clubs) were seen all over Paris.  His models were  outrageous dancers, like   Louise Weber, who was also known as La Goulou (the glutton) inventer of the Can Can and the instantly recognisable Jane Avril .

Jane Avril 1893

Althou Lautrec’s career only lasted about 20 years, he seems to have produced a vast amount of work.  His influences on Manet and Degas  can be seen in his behind the scenes images, where the entertainers can be seen at work and relaxation.

the-clown-cha-u-kao-by-henri-de-toulouse-lautrec the pathsw the motely

The 5ft tall Lautrec was addicted to alcohol and suffered a lot of disability.   But this did not stop him going out on the town and  capturing the exciting nightlife of Paris.  Some of his models are so instantly recognisable that sometimes a mere silhouette will suffice.  Lautrec led a relatively short, but exciting life and there are many biographies about him.  For a look at more of the artist’s fabulous paintings and prints see HERE

For a more detailed look at this life  HERE


Weird and Wacky Designs: Hitting the Sack (and keeping it)

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , on November 23, 2009 by echostains

shame to throw them out really

I think these refuse sacks are so cute!  (they’re called ‘Happy sacks’) and just the job for all that sorting out I am going to do.  But surely they’re much too nice to throw away?  Here I go again…..   Is there any end to it?  I also like these ‘Birch log’ pillows, they come in wool felt and are available HERE.  you would be sleeping like a log with one of these…

log pillow wool felt by Erika Kern. Sleep like a log

I really like this ‘hand’ wrench’, what a very innovative design!  A bit of a helping hand literally.   Available from HERE. 

paul martus tools

I also rather like this ‘Persuader’ hand bag by James Piatt, it’s even got a little pocket for your phone.  A very contemporary design with a touch of James Bond (shaken not stirred).

The Persuader bag, I'm persuaded

This has got to be one of the most simplistic designs ever!  Hangers made of Hazelwood.  There is something so Fred Flintstone about these, and organically charming.

hazlewood hangers livette la suissette