Wednesday, December 26, 2007

London Calling

Guest blogger here-- enjoying the incredibly warm hospitality of L&J's hide-away hotel. So far, we have had a great time, walking miles, enjoying the multitude of olfactory treats on the public transit, taking a few pics of the scenery, chowing down on yummy venison stew and treacle pudding near Chichester with Andy Fitz and family, and basking in the gourmet splendour of Jonathan's amazing Christmas dinner-- Martha Stewart should be VERY nervous.....

Day 1:
London must agree with Matt: photographic evidence above of him voluntarily trimming the tree!

Above: cards make the BEST decorations! (particularly when coupled with J's photos of ancient angels)

Day 2: With three London experts as my guide, I was taken to see the fancy decorations in Regent's Street and New Bond Street. Click here to see more of the gorgeous, festive baubles and gew-gaws.

Above: Flowers everywhere in Covent Garden. Very Eliza Doolittle.

Just off Carnaby Street, we stopped for lovely wine at Trouvaille-- a slice of France, including staff who spoke only in French.

Day 3: Matt and I went down to Southern England to visit his old sailing partner, Andy "Fitz" and his lovely family. Here, the boys relive their glory days as they kick the tires (keels?) on the I14s on the dock at Itchenor Sailing Club.

Day 4: Christmas Eve saw us act like proper Brits, heading down to "the local" for a drink.

Day 5: Happy Christmas! See me pretending to be helpful.... clever minx that I am, I donned an apron just for this shot and spent the rest of the day stuffing my face and quaffing champers....

Welcome, Friends! J's Aunt Jacquie, cousin Nick and Uncle Brian arrive to share in the festivities.

The Rodwell clan in Burlington-- everyone is together, courtesy of skype!

Day 6: Boxing Day in the land that invented it. Matt stayed home and nursed his cold-- sad! L&J&E went walking and walking and walking around Stoke Newington. We saw the climbing gym in an old power station from the early 20th century; the building was based on a Scottish Castle.

An angel in the very old, very overgrown Abney Cemetery in Stoke Newington Church Street.

After some delicious turkey sammies (and far too much chocolate), some mulled wine to warm us up, it was off again for a wander down Regent's Canal.

A rose (one of many) in bloom here in Stokey-- gives new meaning to the phrase 'the last rose of summer'.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hidden Art - Thankfully Found

It was a day full of visual excitement. After a breakfast at Belle Epoque with the two Johns (Ricarrdi was visiting), my J and I decided to make an afternoon uncovering art. We only saw a fraction of the studios but it made for a wonderful afternoon on a crisp November day. Here are a few things that I found particularly inspiring. If only I had more walls and table space....
These bottles were by Akiko Hirai. She shared a studio with another woman (Covadonga Hornero Garcia) who also did work in porcelain - it was very fragile, web-like surfaces. I don't have any images of her web dishes, but she had some fantastic vases and lights. Here is a vase that I particularly liked.

Most of the work was of a commercial nature - beautiful but buyable. However, we were treated to an installation by a woman named Caroline Lambard My pictures do not do it justice. Here is a small snippit of it and the 2nd photo shows J is posing for scale.

Then came the whimsical, adult sculptures (or maybe not sculptures perhaps pieces) of Alice Power. I loved her work. One piece that I didn't capture here (i need to save something for you who want to go and see the work is a Gary Glitter in shish ka-bob sticks jail). All her work was funny and a bit grown up despite the style that on first glance felt quite cute and kid-like. I loved it.

Here are a few pieces which work better in person -- should have shot a video...

Now for the nuns ....

I hope you can feel the motion and hear the crackly music of old 45s. I think this one was called Domenique. Jonathan of course was thrilled to hear the first one in this series used a reproduction player that had a usb port that you could use to digitize music. I hear a purchase coming on.

There was so much that we saw that it is unfair that I didn't capture them all here, but you need to go yourself. However, i will feature the one purchase that J made (i made one too, but it is a little gifty for someone so can't say much). J of course bought something for our walls -- which we have very few. Here it is. The strangest thing is that J bought me a skirt about 5 years ago from these guys in Toronto. Do you remember my RUDE skirt? These guys are called

The rest of the evening looked like this ... (can you guess the locations, the events, the experience?)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Love Actually is All Around Us

You can tell I'm pushing my late 30s when I describe my night last night as one of of my most memorable Friday nights.

I started the evening off with a few beers with workmates. This is still the greatest part about living in London (i.e. someone willing to go for a beer after work). Now this in itself is nothing to note, but a good start just the same.

The real fun bits of this Friday evening were waiting for me at home. I arrived home to TWO tall handsome men waiting for me. Lucky me. One poured me a glass of wine and cooked the meal. The other entertained me with his banter. (guess which was which? Hint: banter=bmad)
I say "Why stop with TWO tall, handsome men, why not invite over a third?" While it was a bit late to come in time for dinner, we arranged for a third to come for an after dinner tipple. Enter Sam MBA. It wasn't a difficult task, we just called on the powers of the interweb and a little company called skype. Enter Sam from DE.

OK the best part is still coming -- MOVIE TIME! B recommended that we watch Love Actually. How fantastic is that? I got to watch LOVE ACTUALLY and didn't have to use up one of my requrests on it. Thanks B.

So, up we went to the lounge, set up the projector and snuggled in to the couch to watch our collectively shared all time favourite (appropriately set in London).

Now part of the fun, was the pre-movie discussion. We all had to choose the saddest, funniest, hotest bits of the flick. We definitely had different points of view. Big surprise. My saddest but also the sexiest ... Laura Linney & hunky Carl. Personally, I think she should be able to have love and still be devoted to her brother. She should have done both!

Just to close out the night -- I guess what really was the topper of the evening. Not surprisingly I happily watched the first fifteen minutes and then fell asleep during the rest with the happy thoughts that I was surrounded by Love

... and my 2 HPs watching Love Actually together.

Blog Participation Here:
hat are your favourite, saddest , hottest, funniest bits? Here are some suggestions..

Funny: Could it be Hugh Grant dancing around number 10? That'll always remind me of Risky Business crossed with Matt B's dancing.


Sad: Emma Thompson opening up a Joni Mitchell CD. We all love Joni but ...


Romantic: Colin Firth speaking Portuguese to the lovely Portuguese girl?

I do want to know - leave a comment.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Beautiful Texture Deserves a Place on the Wall

I'm on my own this weekend. That means .... shopping. Yay!

I had great plans of visiting TopShop on Oxford Street. However, the closer I got the more my brain said NO. The crowds, the skinny girls, the depression. So it actually never happened.

I managed to make it down to Chapel Market to pick up my shoe at the cobblers (need one? ask me) Then, I sat at an outdoor cafe and lingered over a wonderful Latte and Brioche. I was basking in the sun reading about all the cultural stuff I could do in my Timeout. Yes, I said the sun - le soleil. Yes, it is London. Oui, J'ai dit le soleil.

As I was debating about making the trip further to Topshop I saw an advertisement for an Art Fair right around the corner from the tube. What a treat.

It turns out it is running for 4 weekends and every weekend features a different theme. Lucky for me it was -- textile and jewellery. THERE ARE NO OTHER TWO WORDS THAT GET MY HEART BEATING LIKE THOSE TWO... well of course the words SALE or better still SOLDES (in Paris of course)

The show was an unexpected pleasure. It was free! I saw so much lovely and amazing things that I wanted to own it all. I wanted wanted wanted. As my friend Paulie says "I want but I won't get" (or something like that)... but he was wrong.

I did end up buying 1 thing for me and 2 things for my bestest friend. (her birthday is coming up). I also tried on a great hat. I felt like I was from a different era in this little pillbox (well not really pillbox kind of oval pill box - any ideas as to what they are called? Found this website trying) hat with all this great embellishment on it. I didn't buy it but I'm thinking about it. I wish I had a pic to show you but the young women who make them don't have a website. In fact it was their first show. I feel I'm stumbling on to something big.

Don't worry ... i do have some visual chocolate to show you. Here goes.... these are some very simple silver earrings that I bought from Jo Bagshaw

And, the piece de la resistance or the pocketbook killer (as some may call it) is by a young artist also called Jo - Jo Deeley. In fact, the title of this post relates to a beautiful piece I saw at her stall. She makes fantastic pieces out of textiles.

silky gray

I absolutely adore textured and constructed clothing and her pieces reminded me of that look. She makes constructed wall pieces out of starched cotton or something like that. I need a photo as I have to convince J that it is what he has been dreaming for our wall but doesn't realize it yet. I couldn't find the particular one on her website but here is one I did see at the show. Check out her website it is really fab.

Allright now it is wine time ... first chocolate then wine. What could be a better on a late Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Show your creative side

Originally uploaded by patti haskins
Today, MOO launched their Super Duper Holiday Card Competition. There are some really beautiful as well as some hilarious entries. I of course can't enter because I work at MOO, but I sure can enjoy them. This little baby here made me howl right along side.

On a more personal note, B has landed in London - stop 2 on his world wide tour. Right now he is down at J's computer working at uploading all his photos to Flickr. Right now he isn't loving the process, but I'm sure he will shortly be a convert. Oh good news for B. He was chosen as one of the top 10 artists on the Saatchi Gallery website. Check out his work there - Burke Paterson.

OK ... need an objective this week:

Bring in the winter clothing. Can you believe I still have my summer clothing stuffing up my closet. Meanwhile, I've got carol singing cats to remind me how close Christmas is.

Oh another discovery lately was ... I'm loving this site.


The photo was originally uploadded by patti haskins and is entitled Hallelujah!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Here is the yellow bag ...

The New Mr. Bond
Originally uploaded by praguelondon
Any suggestions on how I might fix it? The rivots have been pulled out and the plastic/vinyl has ripped :(

Another Saturday Night...

In an effort to start blogging and giving back (I get so much from other blogs), I'm going to post a nothing blog. As you can see by the date on my last blog it seems like I average about 1 blog post a year. I just need to get something up there. Let's compare this to getting back on the old horse.

So ... it's another Saturday night here in London. J's mother, Anne. is visiting and today we tired ourselves out. We started the day out with a breakfast at the Acoustic Cafe in Newington Green. It was a good English breakfast sans grease! What a treat.

We then headed down to Chapel Market because I had been told that there was a dry cleaners/cobbler who could fix my yellow bag ... see my photo here. I love this yellow bag. It is my new laptop bag, which got ripped last weekend on my way back from the Stream07 conference. Unfortunately, while this cobbler can fix one of my shoes for a crazy low price of £3 ... he couldn't fix my bag. Any suggestions would be helpful

Finally, we made our way down to the Thames to the London Craft Show put on by the Craft Council. What a treat! It was soooooo wonderful. We loved so many pieces. There was some fantastic jewellery, beautiful scaves and one particular artist who made art pieces out of felt. See some of the great work by the artisans here. We didn't buy anything, but I'm hoping J will buy me some cool earrings or a ring for my birthday --- hint. hint.

I also did a little sales job for MOO MiniCards at the sale. In fact, a few of the artisans thought it would be a great idea to show their work.

OK ... I've done it. I've managed to get over the year hiatus.