Friday, 10 December 2010

In A Flap

Do you remember those girls at school who could whip up fascinating origami secret-number-finger-things from bits of exercise book at break time? And jump about, in and out of elastic, singing complicated rhymes. They usually ended up in the hockey team. 
Each flap revealed a secret message or vicious barb.  

Or pointed a sharpened pencil at our destiny.

It happened to the best of us.
So imagine how pleased I was to finally learn how to make my own. And that, all this time, I have been just a few simple folds away from a glorious future.
These are our tickets for Sunday's Paper Caper.

The secrets to a new life of boundless creativity and fabulous wealth lie within their folds.
Lou. x

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Wakelin Hall

I have been having a brilliant time, making a vignette in a shoe box. I'm doing it for a number of reasons. Firstly as preparation for our forthcoming event, Paper Caper, on 12th December, and partly for an exhibition of work by local artists called Artists on Parade, being held this weekend to raise money for a very wonderful thing which happens each summer in Lewes called Patina Moving On Parade. At this parade all the children from all the primary schools who are moving up to secondary school parade through the streets of Lewes wearing the most fantastic costumes made from withies (sticks of willow) bent into shapes, covered with tissue paper, to form animals, flowers, anything. Last year's theme was the jungle and the streets were crowded with exotic plants, crazy insects and frightening beasts. As well as being a spectacle, it is also extremely moving. Here is the poster and if you are in Lewes this weekend do pop in and you might buy a masterpiece and raise money for this very special parade.

Now, back to the vignette. As well as making decorations at Paper Caper I thought it might be fun to do something that fuelled the imagination. Inspired by a friend giving me stacks of old postcards, I decided to use them to make a vignette in a shoe box. I have always loved museum displays where you are invited to look into peep holes and spy another world, whether it be real or imaginary. I turned to my trusty computer and the internet for instruction and found just what I needed here, at the V&A.
It was snowing heavily when I made this and the town outside appeared to be black and white. I think this inspired my choice of postcard as a starting point for my scene. It is of an ornately timbered house in black and white. I set it in a snowy wood. I showed it to my husband, Graham, who said that it reminded him of Wakelin Hall. A shiver ran up my spine and I was back in my teens, when I first met my man, tittering and teetering back from the pub in his village. In the middle of the village, behind a scrubby, wooded front garden stood... Wakelin Hall. It was a timbered building and had been empty for years. In the day time you never noticed it was there. But at night.... Some said they had seen a candle burning in a window. Others had dared to run up the path. I always quickened my pace when I went past Wakelin Hall. So this is what my vignette is about.
Here it is so far.

It has been a joy to do. Stage set designers are my new heros. My scene is very simple but looks quite complex when you see it through the peep hole. For me it has been an experience of less is more. I had other characters in there, more trees and sequin stars but it became a bit crowded and frustrating to look at because the eye couldn't focus. Next I will seal it up with the lid and decorate the out side. I'll show you when I'm done.


THIS is brilliant Watch it.  It'll only take a minute.
I'm  investigating papercraft. Properly. Before our Paper Caper on the 12th.  Talent is unfolding itself everywhere. Yesterday at the Artists And Makers fair at the Foundry Gallery, I discovered Lydia Crook, artist and paper engineer.  Why didn't I take a picture of her stall?  Or discover her months ago?  Here is just a small example of what she can do. A print for our youngest daughter.

You must  look at her WEBSITE.  And follow her BLOG. Quite awesome. And annoyingly youthful.

Someone had decorated the Foundry windows.  I want to live there. With a huge bed and woodburning stoves.  And make stuff.
Lou x

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Extreme Make Believe

Emma and I sat like mad gypsies outside the Round Barn, Firle last Saturday. In flurries of snow, we lit a bold fire, brought out wooden lanterns and blankets that we could have sold for a small fortune.

We had visitors.

Little fingers in the button box.
And David from the Dutch House came to stand by the brasier and chat. He brought warmth and spirit with him from the other open houses in the village and taught us how to make 3 D Christmas stars.  I found these instructions this morning and tried again. Watch the video clip just for the tune.  Then take a look at the Firle artists website   for a glimpse of this creative community at the foot of The Downs.  Behind every green wooden door or low flint wall there seems to be an artist at work. And David's bread is as good as it gets. There are open house events at least twice a year. The Tiny Tulips site will inspire and invite you to make time to visit Firle soon or get out your sewing machine.
Do you remember Vanessa, our crochet genius from Pimp Your Wardrobe?  Her house, Little Talland, was open too. Her other site Kissysuzuki would be a perfect place to shop for those of you who missed the mulled cider, red wine and warmth there last weekend.
Local Jewelry maker Louise ran a pop up vintage shop.  Behind the heavy wooden doors of the village hall was a canvas tent full of old fashioned toys, embroidered textiles, a rosary, glass plates and other lovely vintage flotsam.  There was home made cake and tea. Each table was decorated with crocheted doilies, fresh flowers and candles.  I went back the following day, just because.
Lou x