Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Do you like our owl?

After years of waiting the Blade Runner final cut will finally be released in cinemas, followed by the 5-disc collector's edition on DVD in December, complete with origami unicorn.

Deep in its depths, my geeky heart is going pitter-pat.

oh, I hate waiting!

Monday, July 30, 2007

la lune, sans rancune

how do you like your blueeyed boy Mister Death

Ingmar Bergman has died at the age of 89.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

the late, great Lead Belly

Some of the only existing film footage of Huddie Ledbetter, shot in 1945 and edited by Pete Seeger:

If you'd like to hear more, here's Lead Belly singing Where Did You Sleep Last Night? and Goodnight Irene.


As a reward for cleaning while the rest of the house is away making music, I've made a big pot of seafood chowder:

I adapted the recipe from one I found here.

First, put 1 kg of clams or mussels (or a mix of both - shells scrubbed) in a large pot with a good handful of roughly chopped parsley and 100ml cold water. I cheated and used a pack of mussels from the supermarket, but you could substitute any seafood. Cook over medium heat with the lid on until all the shells are opened. Give the pot a shake to help things along. When all the shells are open remove from heat.

When they've cooled enough strain the shells, reserving the cooking liquid. Remove the fish from the shells and set aside.

Next heat about 40g of butter in another large pot, and heat one chopped onion until soft but not brown. Toss in a bit of crushed garlic if you'd like. Whisk in 2 heaping tablespoons of flour and cook for a few minutes without letting the flour become dark brown. Pour in the reserved cooking liquid and whisk. As the mixture thickens, gradually whisk in 500ml milk.

Add 2 medium potatoes, chopped into small cubes, and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. If the soup becomes too thick, add more liquid. Splash in some white wine or a bit of cream if you have it on hand.

When the potatoes are done, add the fish and the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and cracked pepper, and toss in another handful of roughly chopped parsley. Serve with warm crusty bread. mmmmmm...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Where are you going, my pretty one?"

(Monty Python's Little Red Riding Hood, 1982)

Friday, July 27, 2007

ma vie en jaune

I'm slightly ashamed to have succumbed to a viral product tie-in, but the Simpsons avatar creator is pretty darn exciting. Here is a family portrait of myself with my beautiful yellow sisters (we each designed our own):

As Brie pointed out, I look much happier with my hair up than with it down:

..or if not happier, at least more insane. And Ash looks a bit like a Ramone. No, really... see?

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Because it has turned out to be a Rather Blustery Day, here is a Soviet animation of AA Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh..

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

rain, rain, go away

More proof we are all going to hell in a handbasket:

Terrible flooding in parts of Britain this week. Flooded tube stations, torrents of water in the streets.. and now my sister has written to tell me her flat is flooded. On the fifth floor. In the DESERT.

everything's gone green..

green tinged snippets of studio

(click for larger views)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin

Why am I still awake? I'm not sure, but look.. here's some bakelite!

mmm... bakelite.

"coffee's only a dime"

(Joseph Hart and Carrie DeMar's Vaudeville act, 1902)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

muttering thunder

The monsoon season has nearly started at home, and I am homesick for storms. I spent so many nights in the desert on the ledge outside my window in the rain, or walking by myself when I couldn't sleep. London is bad for insomniacs.. it isn't safe to walk alone at night. I miss the sky.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I scream you scream

Yes, it's wet and not so summery, but I think it would be fun to make some ice cream. I've been coveting an ice cream ball for a while now, but the good people at MAKE magazine have a cheaper, do-it-yourself solution (they also have recipes for Pepto Bismol and Mylanta ice cream, but I'll try not to hold that against them).

Friday, July 20, 2007

the rain in Spain

Today I went out in rain so heavy I felt like I'd forded a river up to my thighs. My feet stayed bone dry however, due to some damn fine footwear. God bless German cobblers. On the bus three older ladies were having an earnest conversation about the soaps of their youth. One was remembering the masses of lather she could muster washing her hair with a bar and some rainwater. It made me want to wash my hair in the rain.

My work table finally has a top, which I had cut in a place which was also selling "cheery MDF." I was tempted.

Tomorrow might be a cookie baking day, I think.. (yawns) ..and so to bed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Madame Tutli Putli

After watching many clips and waiting patiently, I finally got to see this!

Madame Tutli Putli by Clyde Henry Prodictions

View the film in higher quality and see more of the Clyde Henry's fantastic work at their website.

stand up sit down

Progress in dribs and drabs. I'm sporting an angry light bulb burn on my upper arm reminding me that my closet is not a walk-in one, but more the crouch-in or sit-in variety. All wearable items are now unpacked and put away, however.

Someday soon I might even have reports of things actually being made in the studio instead of interminable unpacking and sorting out.. and gosh, won't that be nice?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

the way things go

Nearly had to sell my soul to get lighting and trestles for my workspace today.. no desktop yet but all my colored pencils are beautifully organized. Priorities, priorities. Things are still a mess, figuratively and literally, but I am trying to have hope they will be better soon.

Just for fun (and mostly for Brie's benefit), a clip from Fischli/Weiss's The Way Things Go:

..the rolling shoes fill me with a small but particular kind of joy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Very many sad and difficult and awful things in the last few weeks.. I am trying to remember what is good.

I first saw some of Lotte Reiniger's animated silhouette films a few years ago. The movement she managed with flat cutouts is more elegant than that of much three dimensional puppetry.

The Little Chimney Sweep:

The BFI has more of her short films and clips available to download.

This was created using black paper and a light table by Edward De Leon:

It's rough, but gives a bit of hope for simple animation in the face of masses of rubbish.

And digitally animated but still roughly in the spirit of traditional silhouette films, The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello.

if this is Tuesday it must be Dalston

I finally have internet access again (hurrah!) thanks to the manly slaying of some technical dragons. I've spent the last several days wading through boxes, sorting out my new attic studio, being regaled with lovely music by Joel and Rowan, and taking many, many naps. More on the progress of my studio soon, and (possibly) pictures.

Here is one last look from my miniscule south London window..

Friday, July 13, 2007

moving day!

(Betty Boop in "Bimbo's Express", 1931)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

in honor of somnambulist packing..

(from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari / Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, 1920)

I should be packing, but...

"Bonnie Lasses", self-portraits by Tina Newberry

Epaulettes - Tina Newberry

Grey Ghost - Tina Newberry

Sitting Duck - Tina Newberry

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


"As, in a theatre, The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed / With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness...

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing."

for the twentieth time

Cardboard and packing tape and things I don't quite know what to do with... It all feels a bit overwhelming, and I just realized I've forgotten to feed myself lunch. Think I need some happier music as well..

Can't wait til it's all moved and put away and I have a lovely place to work. sigh..

Monday, July 9, 2007

bad, bad theatre

Have just spent more than three hours sitting through a dreadful play at the National. It was the second show I've seen there in a month featuring handbells. Handbells. Surely someone should be monitoring these things. Some of the live music was good, but the rest of the show hovered between po-faced and ridiculous. Much chair slamming and rolling down the stage. The evening wasn't really enough of a distraction from everything that has been going on, but I was gifted a box of American macaroni and cheese (a childhood food of happiness, along with frozen peas in a cup) which might help.

And a friend's death notice was published today, something which I don't have any words for.

old and new

I am finally packing up to move into my new studio (yay!) in my new house (hooray!) and am finding things I haven't seen in a while, including some very old drawings:

(click for larger images)

Friday, July 6, 2007

"for life's not a paragraph / and death i think is no parenthesis"

Fold away the white kid gloves, set aside the springy candy dishes and the tacky glass ladies. Spit your toothpaste in the plantpots, and let the fancy pink swans wander where they will..

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

the sound of insomnia

oh, wait.. I have new books I can go and read

another Wednesday

A day of giraffes and ukuleles and lovely skirts I wasn't allowed to try on... but I am also missing these.

Prokofiev in the morning

Suzie Templeton's beautiful stop-motion animation Peter and the Wolf:

Monday, July 2, 2007

such a nice boy

It's difficult to feel upset when your mother calls and tells you how much she enjoyed "P-Diddy's" recent performance on television..


(Iris Dement sings 'Our Town' on the BBC's Transatlantic Sessions, 1995)