Archive for November, 2009

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


Brown Paper Packages tied up with String, What Would William Morris say?

Posted in ART, DESIGN, HOME with tags , , , , on November 22, 2009 by echostains

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, nor believe to be beautiful

I find writing my blog such a locupletative* experience.  I’m never really stuck for something to write about, well perhaps sometimes….   I’m always squirreling away designs, interesting websites and information.  I used to do this with fabric too.  I had loads of beautiful fabric pieces put away, always meaning to do something with them, but somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to cut them up.  I did eventually make some crazy patchwork cushion covers and a couple of patchwork quilts but I still have the more delicate stuff stashed away.

That's the spirit!

The same applies with handmade paper.  I have reams of it.  I love to look at it, I love to handle it.  I just can’t bear to cut it up.  When I have to cut it up though, I keep all the tiny bits in case they come in ‘handy’.  If I was in the War I would probably be one of those women who hoarded tins of pineapple chunks and sardines  (given my fondness for original packaging, this is not as far-fetched as it seems)

old fashioned

All in all, I think I would have done OK during the War.  The black outs wouldn’t have bothered me,  this house is quite dark , in fact someone once called it a Christmas house, because it really comes into its own at Christmas.  I digress, as usual.  I’m going to have a clear out, I can feel it coming on…I am teetering on the brink of just going for it, no mercy shown, sentimentality cast aside and just getting RID of stuff! What IS the point of hanging onto these things?  Perhaps it’s a security issue.  I just know that no sooner have I got rid of something, then it’s the very thing I want in a few days time.  I want to have this house nice and uncluttered for Christmas, I could be gone for some time….

Power to the Word!

To acquire a locupletative  (enriching ) word, why not adopt  one!  HERE  It’s free, it becomes your word  and you get a certificate too!

Happy Birthday Rene Magritte!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , on November 21, 2009 by echostains

Rene Magritte

It’s Belgian Surrealist artist Rene Magritte’s birthday today (1898 -1967). His witty and strange juxtopositioning of everyday objects became talking points in artistic circles in his own lifetime.

Betrayal of Images 1953

In a range of paintings which Magritte called ‘The treachery of images’ (1928 1929) the artist draws attention to everyday objects like this pipe by writing underneath it (in French) ‘This is not a pipe’ arguing that the painting was just that, an image of a pipe and not a pipe. That’s the sort of quirkiness that made him controversial at the time. Magritte seemed to do a lot of this, each painting became a riddle. 

1931-magritte the entrance. the sky is one of Magritte's trademarks


Magritte uses several symbols in his imagery – bells, curtains, clouds, apples, umbrellas and draped objects.  These symbols recur throughout his art.  It’s as if the artist himself is trying to solve the enigma of these images, (an enigma he has created, I may add)  

Gloconde 1953. it's raining men!

 Though he collaborated with other surrealists such as Man Ray and Yves Tanguy, his relationship with Andre Bretton (founder) was always rocky. 

the Lovers

When Belgium  was invaded by German in 194o, Magritte fled to France.  But his relationship with the Parisian artists was also fraught with difficulties. Magritte adhered to his own ideas.  By 1953 the artist was commissioned to paint murals that were destined for the Chandelier Hall in Knokke casino (Belgium)  and had also started to make short films.  Magritte was creative all his life and a very innovative artist of his time, always willing to enquire, question and push boundaries.

the human condition

For a more in-depth look at the artist’s life and work look HERE

and  HERE

Weird and Wacky Design: Conjuring Rabbits from a Car

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , on November 20, 2009 by echostains

I really like this ram a lot

I don’t know what is wrong with wordpress lately, but I keep losing lots of stuff, then they keep coming back.  I have changed a lot of stuff round recently, so I need to go through my settings again, make sure I’ve not ticked some wrong boxes or something.  I came across these unusual animals made of car parts.

car part sculpture Rooster

They are called ‘Steampunk animal sculptures’ and are by James Corbett.  Apparently, each part has kept the integrity of the car part it is derived from.  I haven’t a clue about car parts at all, so where this rooster came from I don’t know, but I like the shiny substance which looks like it’s made from horn.

James Corbett Hare

This hare is a bit frightening, it looks like an automation – that it could easily come alive!  Something you would see in an old Doctor Who episode.  For more of these unusual animals made from car parts HERE


Watched: ‘Twenty Thousand Streets under the Sky’ by Patrick Hamilton

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, period drama, WATCHED with tags , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by echostains

This review has now been transferred to my Bookstains blog here

Watched: ‘Enid’ BBC4

Posted in WATCHED with tags , , , , on November 18, 2009 by echostains

This post has been moved over to my Bookstains blog here

Fairytale books of many colours: A Phase that has Lasted

Posted in BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by echostains

The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang, just one I read earlier - a lot earlier

I am the sort of person that if I read something and I like it, and the way that it’s been written, I shall then proceed to read as much as possible by the same author.  So consequently, when I first discovered libraries I read one of the Andrew Lang Fairytale books (can’t remember which colour) which contained many fairytales and carried on until I had exhausted them all.

Sam Pig Alison Uttley

From there I progressed to Folk tales from different countries and this kept me going for a bit.  Other series that I liked reading as a child were the Sam Pig books by Alison Utterly.  I just like the way that these were written and the illustrations.  I read one Sherlock Holmes book and this lead to just having to read them  all.

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

When I discovered Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (which we had to read in school), I began to realise what ‘literature’ was really about.  Dickens also had the same effect on me, I devoured nearly his books, with varying degrees of enjoyment (though I still haven’t read ‘Edwin Drood’).  This habit  has stayed with me as an adult.  When I saw ‘Tipping the Velvet’ on TV, I decided to read the book, from there I have now read all Sarah Waters books: some are better than others, but I just love they way in which they are written – I like the style.  Having said that, Patrick Hamilton’s books, of which I have enjoyed an extensive one after the other phase, tend to be erratic (the author showing through sometimes too much), enjoyable though

Great-expectations one of my favorites

An author I could not get enough of about 25 years ago was Stephen King.  His works translates fabulously to the screen,  My hubby doesn’t like him, says he has a tendency to waffle on.  I disagree.  When for example, you read something like ‘The Shining’ it’s true that half the book is taken up with describing the hotel – but that’s the genius of King, he builds atmosphere so skillfully.  Then when the ‘hotel’ or scene of the horror is set and is then  so vivid in your imagination  – he just steps right  in and frightens the hell out of you, lol!

Stephen King the shining

Lot’s of writers I could write about: lot of books and writers I am going to write about, lots of books I have read, lots of books I have read and forgotten about. Yet so many books to read – I look forward to that.