Wednesday, April 30, 2008

for my sister with love..

You're free! I bet you don't even need that safety net.. you'll just keep on flying. I love you!

the fourth

I put the dates for my vacation in my calendar several days ago but only realized this morning that this means I'll be in the US for the Fourth of July for the first time in years! I love family firework picnics. Hooray... I can't wait!

Monday, April 28, 2008


..a short Czech animation by Jan Bubeníček and Bretislav Pojar. I'm such a sucker for pirates. And puppet films. A pirate puppet film, ahhh...

Part one:

Part two:

Apologies for being quiet, but it's been so sunny and I've been up to my elbows in pulp and wire and epoxy.

(note: the videos seem to be down, but check out clips from Pirat here and here, and Jan Bubeníček's lovely director's reel here!)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

a word to the wise...

I've put off writing about this for quite a while, but after spending another few hours trying to bend my computer's operating system to my will I feel the need to share a warning.

As a self-employed artist working to launch a web-based business my computer is my life. A few months ago I had to replace my much loved laptop as its many eccentricities had worsened with age. I desperately wanted to avoid switching to Vista, so much so that I considered switching from PC to Mac. The computer which had all the features I wanted was only available with Vista, and so I conceded defeat.

I love my new computer. It's fast and powerful and the graphics are great. The only problem I've had is that Vista is terrible. I cannot organize files and images the way I'd like because Vista won't allow it. It blocks access to basic files, even if I am logged on as an administrator. It crashes my web browser. It eats drivers. It is incompatible with software it claims to support. I have lived with temperamental computers before, but Vista's failings plague me on an almost daily basis. Today it ate the driver for my volume control, and frankly that's the last straw. If you are looking for a new PC I would strongly suggest trying to find one that will still run on XP, otherwise switch to Mac. As for myself I will be looking into a change to the Linux Ubuntu OS. If anyone is currently running Linux and has any advice please let me know.

In happier news, we've been enjoying a lovely spring day. The sun is streaming in the windows, and I watched a bird with a worm happily hopping along the wall outside the kitchen window while I was having breakfast.

You can just see the worm in its beak, and the wisteria is about to burst into bloom!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!

On this day in history a solar eclipse marked the return of Odysseus to Ithaca, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, the term "Cold War" was coined and my beautiful sister was born.

Happy Birthday!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

snug as a bug in a rug

I braved sun and sleet and hail and rain to meet up with some of my favorite people for lunch yesterday, and today trekked across town to see another friend and have my belly filled with wonderful homemade scones. I am consequently a contented and very, very sleepy girl. Off to bed now.. goodnight!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

bubble, bubble, toil and trouble

I managed to splash boiling water on my face and down my shirt while cooking dinner this evening. My dad told me a story of my great aunt Ona, a woman of formidable build, who once poured an entire pan of boiling water down her girdle. I suppose it could always be worse.

Monday, April 7, 2008

the view from yesterday

After some astoundingly sunny days, winter had its last gasp. I woke up yesterday to snow!

There were no fewer than ten snowmen in various stages of completion in the park, and several snowball fights. Today everything is back to normal. It's as if the snow never happened.. maybe we all had a collective dream of winter?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

love, love, love

I woke up with a tune stuck in my head and it took me a while to realize it was this song from Sesame Street:

I have no idea how long it's been since I've seen that clip. Strange it swam into my head, but it is a happy spring-y song to go with our happy spring-y weather.

Hope it's lovely where you are too!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

this must be Thursday

Just for fun, a cardboard bicycle..

(many more lovely cardboard objects by Chris Gilmour can be found here)

..and some boat shoes:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

still more beautiful things

Sculptures by Kathryn Spence, made from thread, trash, lint, string, wire, doll clothes and fabric scraps:

Untitled (5 Wrens, 1 Blackbird, 1 Paperbag, 1 Blue Jay, 1 Robin)

Untitled (figure)

..and fine art taxidermy by Polly Morgan:

For Sorrow

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

noodleheads, nincompoops, mooncalfs, ninnyhammers & fools

"The highest form of bliss is living with a certain degree of folly."

When I was little one of my favorite books was an edition of The Wise Men of Gotham, retold and illustrated by Malcolm Carrick. The people of Gotham were said to have feigned foolishness to keep King John from staying in their village in the 13th century. The stories recount villagers drowning eels, sending rent away tied to a hare, failing to trap a cuckoo in a hedge and other misadventures.

The book is silly and wonderful and had an incredible smell the way some books do, a bit like a mature cheese. When I was very small I somehow thought this was because one of the tales was about a man rolling his cheeses down a hill in the belief they would take themselves to market. This and other Gotham tales can be read on Project Gutenberg.

Another story about a fool who is not entirely foolish is the Russian fairy tale The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship. It is about a simple young man who wins the hand of the Tsar's daughter with a flying ship and the help of a strange band of travelers. Here is the first part of a 1990 stop motion puppet version by Cosgrove Hall:

A full version of the story can be read here.

Happy April Fool's Day to you!