Monday, 25 July 2016

Nice Knockers

Recognise this guy? If not, go watch Labyrinth.

What kind of knocker will my dream tiny house front door have? (Seriously, guys, I am giving thought to practically EVERY detail of this dream house. There will probably be a post on toilet roll holders, toothbrush mugs and tea towels. You have been warned.)

Thanks to the film Labyrinth my knocker will not be some kind of animal with a ring through it's mouth or ears. I tend to look at inanimate objects with an anthropomorphic bias and would consider it cruel. I once saw a large stone gate where the gate posts were elephants twined in very uncomfortable looking stone chains and it made me dislike the house intensely as this seemed such an unnecessarily cruel thing to have at the borders of a home.

I do love a good bit of dragon, and this Guardian at the Gate door knocker from Medieval Collectibles is pretty impressive.

A dragonfly is another option, with the knocker part being the tail and not the head.

I like the idea of a nice brassy bee but I am aware that some people have phobias about bees and might be repelled rather than charmed by a giant stinging insect on the door. True, this is my dream house, but in my dream house my friends are always welcome and I'm willing to compromise on things here and there to keep things comfortable.

Koi/fish door knockers are also on my rader, like this one from Vicenza Designs. Unlike the other ideas above, this one would have a feeling of movement rather than stillness, and I like the rippling curve of the body, the fins and the scales.

What I'd really like to find and can't is a knocker based on the Muppet's Christmas Carol where the face of Jacob Marley's dead partner, played by Statler, appears on the door. But maybe that's a bit too creepy?

Best pic I could find.

This colourful parrot one would not make the cut because it might clash with the already busy stained glass panel of the front door but I am glad it's out there in the world

What my knocker most definitely will not be.

Who the hell picks a severed hand as a doorknocker? Obviously someone who didn't watch loads of horror films in their teens and therefore has no idea that this kind of thing is just waiting to come alive at the conjunction of certain planets and do evil things.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Stained glass for the Tiny Home

In my dream Tiny House there would be a couple of stained glass windows. 

In the wall above my bed there is a circular window. I haven't quite made up my mind on what it will contain exactly but I'm thinking either something like the sun piece in this image:

From Pinterest
or this:

I just love the idea of lying in bed and having all those lovely warm colours playing on my skin when the sun shines in. In the winter especially just the sight of them would be comforting, and a reminder of sunnier times ahead.

Not a window, but a lovely circular design nonetheless

The other stained glass window would be in the door. Different colours. I'd need to make sure that the door was facing the sun for part of the day so the pattern could splash all over the floor.

I think I'd like a scene, a patchwork of green meadows under a blue sky, or waves at sea, or a palm tree on a tropical island. 

Lovely colours and curving lines

Or maybe I'd like flowers or trees.

Not quite colourful enough perhaps but these magnolia are beautiful

Or maybe birds

Not right for a front door panel? Might have to find a place for it elsewhere then . . .

The colours of this one are too similar to the sun one that will be in my fictional bedroom but I do love this pattern

Not stained glass but I had to add it as I do like the way the different types of glass fit in to the cobweb pattern

Sunday, 10 July 2016

The Library for the Littlest Room

Once upon a time, I lived in that rare place - a rented house which DID NOT have a damp bathroom! In those halcyon days, I was able to keep a small bookshelf next to the loo for those extended moments when I had time to read while, um, concentrating.

I now live in a standard rented house. The walls of the bathroom are speckled with snowflake shape mould blooms here and there at this time of year, and these will become a mottled eggshell effect in autumn before being wiped out by some nasty mould cleaning product wielded by myself.

I miss that library in my littlest room. Here's a collection of those titles that I would recommend for anyone with a non-damp bathroom who can live the dream of having a Book Collection for Private Moments.

Roger's Profanisaurus (Viz - any edition)

If I ever end up renting a house with a non-damp bathroom again, the loo library will be reinstated with an addition for my arty-crafty impulses. Colouring in books are very popular. If I were more motivated and business-minded, I would exploit a potential gap in the colouring-in book market and release my own book entitled:
Colouring on the Crapper

Needless to say, it would be aimed specifically at those who have reading material in the toilet. The first couple of pages would contian instructions on how to make your own pencil pot made, of course, using a toilet roll tube. The pages would in the shape of a toilet seat, each one decorated with a different pattern or motif.

I even have a sequel in mind:
Colouring on the Crapper 2: 
This Shit Just Got Real

This would be a more standard square or rectangular shaped book. In the middle of each page would be something toilet related. A loo on one page, a drawing of one of those hideous knitted doll things that your gran used to have over the spare loo roll, a poo emoji, you know the kind of thing. On the background of the page would be a repeating pattern.

I know exactly what you are thinking.

I'm wasted on planet Earth.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Faux Moths

The work of Mr Finch

I'm sure the majority of people who start filling their dream home in their heads begin with practical things like furniture, wallpaper, curtains, crockery - that kind of thing. Not me, apparently. I seem to be spending the time I devote to making my fictional home my own by working out what I could make to go in it.

As well as a craftidermy animal head, my dream tiny house is also going to have a hand-made embroidered moth somewhere about the place.

One of the many beauties on Pinterest

This is another example of faux taxidermy and some of the examples that you can find on the interwebs are so incredibly intricate and beautiful that those who make them are correct in calling them fabric sculpture.

Yumi Okita has made some glorious embroidered moths, ones I doubt I could ever have the skill to make myself.

One of Yumi Okita's amazing moths

Unlike my putative craftidermy animal head, I would go for muted colours with a moth, natural neutrals with the odd bit of colour here and there, not so much a splash as a speck. I'd also like to use natural fabrics where I could, maybe suede and leather offcuts. Hmm. Lots to consider.

Another Pinterest find

I would of course have to check whether or not any of my friends had mottephobia when inviting them over, and remember to tuck my creation out of sight for their sake. As my dream tiny house is just that, a dream, I can't see this ever being an issue in the real world. Though for the record while the craftidermy head would stay where it was put my moth would be a mobile installation that I would endeavour to move about the place to give it different vantage points.

Moth by Blue Terracotta

I don't know how much storage space my dream house would have but I would be very tempted to make some mothballs to stash about the place here and there :)

Mothballs. Get it. 

Saturday, 2 July 2016

June's Book Dowsing

Book dowsing success in June.


Where did I find it?

The library

Why did I pick it up?

This is one of those books I've wanted to read for a while but never had the impetus to go searching for. When I picked this in June, it was with a sense of 'Now. Now is the time to read this'.

What did I gain from this book?

For some reason I thought this book would be quirky and light-hearted. Why I would have thought that when it has been compared to The Catcher in the Rye I don't know! My main emotion while reading this book was sadness and I cried more than once, especially at the end.

This novel was a reminder for me of how no-one comes to a story with a clean slate. We bring our experiences and worldview to the party too. This is the first fiction book with a main character with mental health issues that I have read since a nasty bout of anxiety/depression around a year ago, and the memory of this acted like a filter while I was reading. I felt for Charlie, his anxieties and his worries when things were 'getting bad again'. It reminded me of where I'd been. Because of that I didn't pick up on the fact that there could be a reason why he had the problems he did and when the discovery is made within pages of the book ending it was a surprise to me. I don't think that's a spoiler as other people who I have spoken to about this book have said it was obvious to them that the book was leading up to this kind of revelation. Anyway, this fact changed my experience of the book right there at the end and at some point in the future I will re-read Wallflower and see how different the story feels the second time round. 


Where did I find it?

The library

Why did I pick it up?

It appeared in the right place at the right time. I'd recently seen some lovely yarnbombing in town and this led to me doing some research on the subject online. Also, with all the political storms going on in the UK at the moment, the desire to find a way to express my own personal politics in a non-threatening, non-pushy way has been in my mind. I'd heard the term 'craftivism' on my interwebs forays and it sounded like the kind of thing that I was looking for, a means by which people can have a voice without forcing themselves on others.

What did I gain from this book?

I learned that there's a community of craftivists out there who act together to highlight injustice and inequality in their own creative way. Betsy Greer coined the term 'craftivism' in 2003, defining it as 'a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper'.Those are the kind of sentiments I need to hear right now.

I also liked a lot of what Sarah Corbett had to say, including:

'Our approach reaches out beyond the normal bounds of activism, providing a provocative, non-violent, creative platform from which to open up conversations'.

There seems to be a lot of shouting going on in politics at the moment, and not enough conversation.


Where did I find it?

The library

Why did I pick it up?

Perfume is one of my favourite books. I haven't read it in years and it is always one of those I think I really must get round to picking up again and never do! My own copy went AWOL years ago (a hazard of lending books) and it's something I keep an eye out for in charity shops. Picking up this slim volume was a means of reminding myself of this author.

What did I gain from this book?

Beware the inner voice that would have you make mountains out of molehills.

Jonathan Noel has a very ordered, small life. He describes himself at one point as a man of resignation rather than a man of action. Everything is neatly regimented from when he goes to the bathroom in the morning to when he goes to work to what he eats and so on. One morning, something unexpected and out of routine happens and it plunges him into a spiral of anxiety that widens as the day goes on. Ever wondered what the term 'catastrophising' means? Look no further than this book for an excellent example. Things go from bad to worse and Jonathan convinces himself that he can never go home again. In a day and a half, Jonathan's storm in a teacup is over - but for that day and a half Suskind expertly weaves a net of stifling distress around his central character.