Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Category Archives: hairstyles

Where there’s a Will….

I’ve just returned from Stratford on Avon. It was my sister’s birthday. A BIG birthday made all the more disconcerting because she is my younger sister and the less reminders I have the of how old I am, the better! I made her an album for her birthday, which involved the inevitable trawl through old family photographs. The bad hair do’s, the shocking clothes, Memory Lane can be quite a terrifying place to walk down. I also dug out some old home movie footage which was originally Super 8 film which I had transferred onto DVD. Quite hilarious. Memories of so many family outings –  I can only think that every time my dad said ‘Do something for the camera’, we flung ourselves off whatever rock or wall we were standing on onto a beach or we did a cartwheel. In Scotland, in Wales, in Cornwall, in our garden – always the same. Here is a photograph of me and two of my three sisters (presumably just before we threw ourselves off the sea wall at Blackpool). I’m the tallest and birthday girl is the cutie in the middle.

This is the album I made for her.

We had a lovely family party at a hotel just outside Stratford on Avon. Yesterday, we had a very quick trip into Stratford to see the sights. It always astonishes me that William Shakespeare’s birthplace is still standing there on a busy shopping street.

We had a very quick walk along the River Avon by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It is undergoing a huge renovation project so it is currently covered in scaffolding and camouflage. It normally looks like this

but at the moment looks like this

Here are a few more shots of the visit.

This last guy was one of those performance artists who stood as still as a statue until someone approached him to take his photograph and then he leaped off his box and frightened the life out of them. I’m not sure Will would have approved.

To round off, (tenuous link alert) this is a calligram I did a few years ago. I repeated the phrase ‘As You Like It’ to make this image of the great man himself. Click on it to enlarge.

Lots of stuff (or I’ve run out of titles…)

I was driving into Dorchester yesterday to the hairdressers (no major disasters there, hair same but shorter, hairdresser fully mobile again!) when I passed through an area called Poundbury. This is a ‘model village’ (read ‘housing estate’) which is being built on the outskirts of Dorchester by Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.

It is a very contentious development as opinions are divided about the architectural merit (or otherwise) of the houses being built there, the density of the development and its eventual size. This quote is from a local web site and reflects some of the ‘anti’ feeling about Poundbury (the full letter can be read here, it’s hilarious!)

“In my understanding, be it correct or otherwise, the Poundbury development was intended to reflect the architecture and community of a traditional West Dorset country village. This, I assume, is the brief that the designers, architects and developers are working by. It is possible that I am not the only person who is struggling with that concept, considering that the Poundbury development is quite possibly the diametric opposite of that brief, in every perceivable way.

I am no designer, nor an architect or a developer, but it doesn’t take an expert in this field to reach the conclusion that the surreal, and quite frankly “fake” Poundbury development appears to be taking heavy inspiration from the following:

– Kensington & Chelsea
– Walt Disney
– Regents Park Residencies
– 18th Century Normandy
– Southern European/Spanish
– Rural Germany/Austria
– Peckham
– Far-Reaching corners of the Milky Way.”

Personally, I think it’s dreadful and I could fill a whole post with my objections (hmm, now that’s an idea for a dull day) but one good thing that comes from all the digging and excavations that are going on are the poppies which spring up along the roadside. I was driving past and screeched to a halt to take some photographs of them. You can see some of Poundbury in the background.

I don’t mention Dorchester much but I went into town the other day and walked through the Borough Gardens and spotted the clock and the bandstand which have just been freshly painted and look really good.

All the bandstand needs is the Wessex Military Band which plays in Bucky Doo Square in Bridport on Saturday market days. They look amazing in their scarlet uniforms. I managed to get a shot of them last Saturday.

It makes a change to be showing you shots of the towns instead of the coast – I thought you might be getting a bit bored with those. I had a lovely surprise yesterday. My book swap book arrived. It was sent to me by Crazy Daisy Girl (alias Diana Waite) all the way from Utah. It’s a gorgeous little book and to tell me something about the town she lives in, she made the cover from a flour sack from a local flour mill, the pages are red to represent the red rocks which are from the area. Here are some photographs of it.

My album is coming along. I have finished sewing the pages together and have started to make the cover. It has been a nightmare! I am using thicker than usual board as the it needed to be sturdier due to the size of the album, so I had to take it to the gallery I used to work at where they have a huge guillotine which made short work of cutting the board to size. Of course I always have problems with glue and manoeuvering large sheets of gluey paper is just so difficult. I originally intended to have leather corners on the album but to be quite honest it would have made it even more difficult to position the marbled paper so I chickened out… Anyway, progress so far…

So far, so good, so stressful….now I need a lie down :-)

Instead, I am going to go and play with my Wii fit. I am trying to lose weight as you know and this is such a fun way of exercising. I love the step class and the hula hoop and the jogging and the downhill skiing slalom and the yoga….brilliant fun. For those of you who don’t know what I am talking about, check this out.

I have to close the blinds in case the neighbours think I have gone insane….next thing I’ll be moving to Poundbury :-)

Then and now…

I went for a walk on my favourite beach last night. I was delighted to find lots of the coastal plants in full bloom along the edge of the beach and on the cliff tops. I think the purple flowers are called ‘thrift’ but will have to check up on the others. 

I had lots of company on my walk – not of the human kind though.

The cliff tops are honeycombed with rabbit warrens and I saw dozens of them during my walk. It’s slightly disconcerting actually. The cliff edges are unstable enough without bunnies mining them! It was a lovely walk though, even though it was grey, the sun kept trying to break through and the sunbeams shining on the sea were gorgeous.

I went for a walk as I needed to get out – I had spent the entire day sewing this giant album I am making. I started by cutting 50 sheets of ivory Colorplan 270gsm paper (which is the same as Falkiners use in their photograph albums). Each sheet had to be measured and cut individually and then scored so I could fold over a 2cm section on one side. This helps to space the pages so that the album lies flat once photographs are placed into it. 

The next step was to sew the pages together which so far has taken me over a day and I am only about half of the way through. I normally just hold the text block in my hands to sew but as these pages are 40cm x 50cm, that’s just not possible. The sewing would be easier I think if I was using a sewing frame but as I don’t have one, I am just lying each new page on top of the previous one and holding them in place. It seems to be working so far….

I found this great web site the other day that invites people to post an image of themselves when they were a child and then to photograph themselves re-creating the childhood photograph. It’s called ‘Young Me, Now Me’ and some of the photographs are hilarious. I ‘borrowed’ these to show you what I mean. You must visit and see the rest of the photographs – or even post your own!

As you might have guessed, I couldn’t resist digging out a Young Me, Now Me combination. It’s not a direct recreation but with a bit of cropping and converting to B&W, it’s close enough…

It’s interesting to note I had bags under my eyes even when I was 8. Must have been all that reading after lights out under the bed covers with a torch! And my hairstyle hasn’t changed that much – just got longer. Which reminds me, I’m off to my hairdresser again on Wednesday. Last time I went, he was in a  wheelchair as he had broken his leg very badly and he did struggle to cut my hair – I’m amazed he even tried. It necessitated me lowering my chair until it was inches off the floor so that he could reach me – I felt like a little girl again, sitting on those miniature chairs we had in primary school.

Shall I be more adventurous this time….? Nah!

 


 

I’m so excited!!

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I am so excited by this book as it has set my imagination whirling…. Let me explain. This book is covered with a linen bookcloth which can be used in an inkjet printer. It comes in sheets which are roughly A4 size or roughly A3 size. The print on this book is a photograph I took in the summer of marguerites in my garden. It took me a while to get the printer set up to take these sheets. They are paper backed and as they are not quite a standard A3 size (they measure 11″ x 17″) they have to be treated as a custom size but once it’s set up, it’s easy. Half the problems came from the fact I was having to get used to my new Canon PIXMA Pro 9500 A3+ printer. This was my test print. I was quite prepared to bin this as I thought I would have to make some adjustments but it came out beautifully. It actually looks sort of faded – like an antique fabric which I really like. I am now trawling through my photographs for ones which will make good book covers and my mind is racing with thoughts of future photographic projects…..landscapes, flowers – people! The ultimate personalization!

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Well, here it is finally. The new hairdo! I have had about 6″ cut off my hair and it is now a bob rather than droopy spaniel ears :) To distract you from me, I am sitting in front of my fish clock, a ceramic Gothic-surreal-call it what you will masterpiece which is so fragile, that after three or four house moves, half the pointy bits are held on with superglue but I still like it! And it tells the time perfectly. News Flash! I just went downstairs to see who made this clock and picked it up – and one of the spirals on the top fell off and broke in half. Marvellous. Anyway, it is made by J. Callaghan in 1997 and that’s as much as I can tell you about it.

To continue my makeover I bought new glasses (or spectacles as my optician calls them) It’s really difficult to buy glasses. I still have this hang up about ‘Men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses’ and I grew up watching those films where the hero, after unsuccessfully wooing the beautiful unattainable one, finally notices his secretary, the plain bespectacled heroine (usually played by a gorgeous actress wearing glasses with a frump hairdo) You’ve all seen the scene where he removes her glasses, lets her hair down and says wonderingly ‘Why, Miss Smith! You are beautiful!’ This is a trend I’ve also seen in present day teen flicks and soaps. Take one gorgeous actress, tie her hair up and make her wear horrid glasses. Ugly duckling becomes swan by styling her hair and wearing contacts. ‘Now, Voyager’, ‘She’s All That’, Ugly Betty anyone?

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So I eventually chose some groovy Prada specs which I hope send out the right message when I’m wearing them. I don’t have a photograph of me in specs so you will just have to imagine those. I do rather like them them though, they are dark green and very smart but I don’t want to have any ‘Miss Smith’ moments, I want to look fab all the time :-)

Feeling light headed…

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This sweet little diary is a ready made text block from Paper Source. It only measures 6″ x 3″, so is pocket sized and was really fun to make. No groovy inside cover paper with these ready made books, but in this case the cream inside paper matches the cream dots on the orange cover paper so it looks OK.

I have just returned from the hairdressers and now look like Katie Holmes. Well, Katie Holmes’ big sister. Oh all right then , Katie Holmes’ mum. It’s actually rather nice, I think and certainly feels much lighter and less – well, droopy, I guess. Only problem with it I can see is that my neck feels chilly so I shall be wearing more scarves! So, new year, new hairdo. Let’s see if my new swotty reading glasses and my Katie Holmes’ hairdo can bring some luck my way!

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The weather forecast in the UK is set to turn cold. I’m a bit concerned that all the flowers which ventured out into the unseasonal warmth last week, will be caught by frosts and icy blasts. Let’s hope not. We often have a nasty, cold February, so I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by a cold snap but I have been lulled into a false sense of security and have taken the extra blanket off my bed. (I’m a sheets and blankets girl – no duvet for me!) I may have been a bit premature.

I was searching through some old photographs on my laptop, and I found a copy of what is possibly, my favourite photograph in the world. It’s by the Swiss Magnum photographer, René Burri. I don’t know what it is about this image but I could look at it for hours. It was taken in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1960. I saw a print of it in a gallery in London last year and fell in love with it and one day I hope to have a copy of it. In the meantime, I shall content myself with this small version on my laptop…if you click on this thumbnail you can see a larger version than my blog allows.

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My number 1 son got a digital SLR camera for Christmas and is now deeply into photography. He wants to do a photography course so we are busy researching places he could go. Only problem I foresee is that I am fast running out of wall space. My art collection was boosted by the addition of all the lovely photographs my erstwhile photographer ex took and gave me (not husband ex but recently departed beloved boyfriend ex) which I still love and I have been taking photographs myself which might be worthy of framing, so if Number 1 son starts, we shall just have to move to a house with more wall space. Anyway, that’s a nice problem to have – a surplus of wonderful paintings and photography is not really a problem at all in my book.

Anyway, I’m off to admire my hair – I just hope it looks as good when I have to do it myself…..