Wednesday, 6 March 2013

It definitely feels a little like Spring here, though the sun isn't shining and there's a chill in the air (it's even a bit foggy today) but the birds are singing and the world seems a little brighter.  

I've never been one for wishing the seasons away, pining for the Spring/Summer months and the warmth they bring, i've equally enjoyed the Autumn and Winter seasons and the beauty they too bring to the world.  Alas, that was when i was younger and before I left my modern centrally heated home for one that was three hundred years older and even though we have central heating it never seems to be quite warm enough for me in the winter months, hence layers of woollen jumpers and scarves and a pining for warmer months.  But for all that i love it here, it is definitely, and has always been, a happy home despite Nicci's belief that the chill comes from it being haunted!!!

I managed to finish all my "treasured Hearts" brooches and put them in the shop this last week or so, and i've armed myself with a tray full of supplies to make more today.

As some of you may know i have a love of vintage ephemera, whether it be old letters, handwritten invoices, greetings cards, postcards, i have a lot of it. 

 I have pieces i collect and pieces that i bought to use in my artwork that then get collected because i sometimes can't bear to tear them up!  My latest stash, found  tucked away in one of our store rooms after putting it there about three years ago, is a huge amount of papers from a solicitor dating from about 1879 to the 1930's.  Some are handwritten and some are typed but they are all very lovely, the paper has become thin, faded and delicate over the years and some of it is water stained creating the most amazing patterns.  The real treasure amongst them though, in my humble opinion anyway, is the huge amount of thick envelopes that have been sliced in half, with the stamps and postage marks left on, to create a folder for the paperwork for each client.  These are made all the more precious because they have all sorts of handwritten solicitor-ey (sorry i know thats not a word) notes on them and make gorgeous backgrounds for my art.

I'm not afraid to admit that i have a penchant for all that is old, the forgotten past of ordinary people, fragments of a life, lost trinkets...treasure.  I love the worn out, faded, used, distressed, run down and over mended.  It's quite sad seeing beautiful old things in perfect condition, unused and unloved.

That's why i was drawn to this very curious item
 Described as a twenty six page handwritten book of stories, poems and riddles dated 1885.  The cover is of a robin and mistletoe, hand painted in water colour with a hand drawn calendar for that year, it is absolutely exquisite

Inside are handwritten pages of stories, riddles and poems. 
There's a story, entitled White Elephant and could be autobiographical. The writer says that he married late in life, on impulse, and clearly regrets it. He used to live in "delicious little lodgings over a booksellers shop in the city" but his wife thought it incumbent upon "people in our position to have a suburban residence". He hates the suburbs. His wife chooses a minute residence facing a common, sarcastically described as, "somewhere in the cheerful neighbourhood of Islington". 
He is hen pecked. His wife sends him to Tottenham Court Court Road to buy seed potatoes which he carries home with the greatest of difficulty. She wishes him to convert their little garden into "a potato field". There is a Description of  a Victorian climbing trip to the Swiss Alps, which also seems autobiographical. 

I don't actually have it in my possession yet, but i can't wait to see it and read it.

Indigo Moon is looking rather lovely at the moment, Gav and I have had a busy time re-organising, re-re-organising, we spent the day on Monday (our day off) picking up this sale item from Halls Auctioneers in Shrewsbury and then went on to a favourite supplier (also in Shrewsbury) and bought some rather mad things like tin military bowls, a giant abacus, some wooden rusty ladles (that's lad-les, not ladies)and some odd sort of jangly musical instruments, like the sort used by morris dancers (don't ask!).  I photographed it all yesterday, have a look here.

I've been resurrecting my relationship with encaustics over the last week or so.  Not the coloured stuff but just plain beeswax (the smell is gorgeous), i'm experimenting with embedding objects in the wax - i've seen some interesting artwork involving beeswax and a blow torch....but it looks mighty i'll forget about that for now!

I know.... i have a thing for houses at the moment, but it works here i think.  I wanted to use gold leaf but had run out of the sheets, which i think look better, and used flakes instead, although it doesn't look the same.  The green bit here is a piece of an old childrens book cover, quite thick.  It has a thin layer of wax and has a nice sheen, which you can't see very well here.

These are works in progress:

I'll leave you all in peace now, i've a mad few days ahead this week, but i'll save that for my next post.



Twiglet said...

You have been busy. I am well over my cold so email again when you are free. x Jo

Micki Wilde said...

You are always so busy, i'm amazed at how much you get done.
I love all your latest work, I still have a 'thing' for houses too and your's are delightful!!

Shahrul Niza said...

This is such lovely post. I LOVE all things old, rusty and torn too, I feel comforted with all these beauty :). I'm in love with your stitches little envelopes, with fabric bits here and there... so delicate!. The armory is gorgeous too, I saw them at a local flea market one day :). WOW, love your post today :). HUGS.