Saturday, 25 September 2010


More of my kitchen divas, kitchen godesses, kitchen buddies or whatever you may wish to call them. I started making them a few years ago and they certainly got addictive!
 When you push down on the corkscrew it makes the doll do her exercises ! She is made from a corkscrew, glass salt cellar, coaster, a wooden piece for a curtain pole and a wire frame that had beads wired to it to cover a night light.
 You could say that this one had "seen the light" about healthy living, emptied her salt cellar and rendered her corksrew useless and taken up exercise instead !
 The other one is an ice cream scoop in a peppermill stood on another piece of a curtain pole. Her arms are a drawer handle and wired bamboo beads. She is decorated with buttons and holds a fabric rose.  This one seems familar somehow, as though I know her, with the pepper and the ice cream  in her personality she must blow hot and cold, yet she seems to look demure and  reminds me of a bridesmaid......
I made a lot like the ones outside that are made from jelly moulds and egg whisks. They are mostly made from found materials, jumble sale finds etc.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

bits of wall 6

a Spong mincer, it had a bit missing so it went into the wall. Used to use this to make Chutney in the Raw. I minced apples, onions, dates, carrots and mixed them with spices and vinegar, yummy with cheese. It was kept in the larder not in the fridge and it kept OK, mind you it didn't last long, it was soon eaten up as was the Banana Chutney I used to make.

bits of wall 5

An old OXO tin, back in my childhood in the 50s and 60s we used to call an OXO cube "a square meal" as a joke. Theres  the neck of an old stoneware bottle with a pouring lip, the sort we would have used at school to fill up the inkwells in the desks. Another sea washed brick. A box brownie camera that the shutter can still be clicked. I remember spending 19/11d, (nearly £1) all my birthday money, at Woolworths, on a box camera not thinking that I could not afford a film nor to process it ! I had to save up to be able to get a film but dad did buy the chemicals to develop and print at home. I remember holding the frame to light to make a contact print that was about 2inches square ! I did do a series of workshops at an old folks complex and the women asked to do pinhole cameras because when they were at school the boys did them but the girls had to do cooking. So I set it up for them and they were pleased to have the chance to do it but did confess it was not as exciting as they had imagined it to be !

bits of wall 4

An old shoe last used by my late uncle Ted in his shoe repair shop, below is an old sherry tap which would have been put into a barrel of sherry in a pub.

bits of wall3

Another kitchen diva made from 4 whisks, a jelly mould, a tea insfuser and a metal star shaped basket with rosebuds inside, again hanging from an old window stay from the front doors stained glass windows. I made quite a few of these divas from kitchenalia. At the top of the picture is a few of my brothers old pipes (from the days when pipe smoking was all the rage) Between the bottle and the diva is a door handle off my late mothers wardrobe.  

bits of wall 2

One of my kitchen divas hanging from an old window stay. Made from a lemon squeezer, a pipeing nozzle, whisk, two spoons, and a baking mould. Theres an old metal shoe stretcher in the picture, something we don't tend to use often now as they were mainly used on leather shoes to keep their shape. Near the bottom of the picture is a typewriter key W.....Imperial Typewriter Factory was in East Hull and a neightbour used to work there. The square pan is in the picture with the "dampner" off the back of the front room coal fireplace resting in it. The bricks are from different stages of building work on the house and some are from a fireplace I had taken out.

bits of wall

my late husband worked at Kingston Communications which used to called Hull Corporation Telephones Dept, the oldest independent telephone company in UK. This old corporation Bakelite telephone was too far gone to restore so it ended up in my wall. To commemorate the standing of the telephone company,  that my husband used to work there and it is the right age for the house. Above the phone is a sea washed brick picked up by the kids from the beach at Hornsea  where they used to holiday with their grandparents.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Heritage Trail

In 2005 I was asked to facilitate an Art Project to celebrate a Methodist's Churchs' Centenary. Many people in the locality were upset about the changes on Princes Avenue. Much loved local shops over the years closed, the whole area changed into wine bars and eateries and the focus became on the night life for people outside of the area.  I wanted to celebrate all that the Avenue had been in the living memory of the local people and try to give the Avenue back to them.
The whole of the Avenue was photographed early one morning and the photos joined together to make the street. Originally I had tags hanging off each dwelling/shop listing from archives who had lived or sold from the premises. People had to lift the tag to be able to read the list to check if I'd found the name of the shop they remembered. There were gaps, which I hoped people would fill in from living memory. I was privy to many stories and memories from all age groups which was a great delight. I found pictures from the 1900s and the 1930s showing the shops and street life, shots of old public transport, bombed buildings from the war and so on, invoking memories for the people who had lived there all their lives.  The archive I created has been borrowed and reused a number of times, more recently the brand new Hull History Centre also made use of it. The blow ups that they did are pressed into service for Hulls Heritage trail weekend where they on display again at Artlink's lovely new premises on Princes Avenue.The tiny old premises can be seen on the right of the second picture. Tomorrow as part of the Heritage weekend I will be doing a Mega map making workshop drop in for the children there.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

tatty bag

Instead of throwing these scraps, some of which I have had for years at the bottom of my scrap bag, I turned into my shopping bag to finally use them up. The jeans were one of my sons and some of the florals were from my old clothes and my daughter's .

The wallpaper is sooo me, it reminds me of my flowerpower barefooted days and brightens up my kitchen.
I remember walking to shops barefooted, in a long skirts and a shawl (as was fashionable then) some children watched me pass by, their eyes were as big as saucers, one of them pointed to me said in an awed voice "a lady ghost from the olden days" I stopped and turned to face them and they scattered in all directions!

Monday, 6 September 2010

moved at last

this page spoke to me and I started to write, and it did spill out. I should really go back and cover up some of this. but it was good to get it "out"

sketch book play

play play play. I like the way that some of the stuff I was using up bled through to the next page. Just as in life, the past shapes us, previous pages bleeding through influences the next page seemed symbolic some how. If I didn't like a page or if it spoke too loudly to me, I just blathered something else over it until I liked it.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

bracken and fruit netting

bracken led to grasses, fruit netting, eyelash wool etc Play play play ! I pooled diluted paint onto the page, dropped on the bracken, painted the opposite page and shut up the sketchbook and put a weight on. Left it a while before opening it up and admiring the results.


cling film, that did side track me, I did loads just for the delight of seeing the magic results so I'll only show you one!

Paper fun

                                                          Bought a book, Journal Spilling, because of the title. I am put off by formal scrap booking, dividing pages into thirds, accents and stuff. I am put off Journaling because some of what I have seen just dosn't push my buttons.This book encouraged me to play with colour and processes, the trouble is I enjoyed it too much. I got seduced by the results. Bubble wrap gave some amazing variations.                                                                           Yes, I have done it before, but this time it was liberating.

free flowers

Earlier this year I was given a bunch of these and they lasted ages. There were quite a few little off shoots which I cut off and trimmed and dipped in rooting dust. I  laid them on a  piece of newspaper at 2in intervals and covered with a light sprinkling of compost. Folded over the newspaper to contain the compost and rolled up tightly, fasten with an elastic band and tucked into a jam jar and kept watered. Most will root and the result is what you see here. When they have finished flowering I will replant them into individual pots. (which I should have already done but didn't get around to it)  Free flowers! and a reminder of a spontanous gift from my lovely neighbour !

trampoline arch

Add caption
left over stones from the pond went to make the supports for the trampoline base arch. The trampoline base was begged off my neighbour who was going to take it to tip. One side is the "wonky" side the other side is perfectly round. On one side is a dolly tub with honeysuckle and a yellow rose  and at the other side is my mums old dustbin again with honeysuckle and a yellow rose in memory of my mum. It's only been done a couple of years and the climbers haven't smothered it yet. have you spotted the little stone house? It has a real slate roof and a dry stone wall which is a cheat because it had to be glued together! The garden badly needs tidying up and the lawn is more like a meadow !

stone bench

we used to have two large fish ponds linked by a waterfall in the garden which my late husband used to sit on the edge of and watch the fish swiming around and the toad and frogspawn develop into tadpoles. They got too much for me to look after, they developed leaks and so on. I saw a picture of an antique stone bench for sale, I showed the picture to my brother who made me this one for me. None of it is cemented together it's all done like dry stone walling. the upright piece in the middle (which ended up off center) is my old front door step, original to the house. Inspite of some strong winds it has stood for about 10yrs, undamaged so far. The stones were brought in by the original owner of the house and it pleases me that they are still in use today. Also the fact that what my husband used to sit on (the edge of the pond) is a kind of memorial seat now.

lampshade sentinals

Ok don't know how to rotate this so you'll just have to get a crick in your neck. I have edited and inserted right way round photo and removed wrong photo ! I am getting more computer literate Round of applause please !
I have white walls or brick to photograph them against, neither works well. These are old lampshades on old speaker stands. The one on the right does have a silver lampshade on top of the white bottom one of the "head" which isn't showing up well.  ( must spray it )
What I would like to do with these is to invite women to make a piece of  work  to  fit  one  or  more  of  the segments to cover  the  torso  for  International  Womens  Day  which is ( March 9th)  I would send out templates to anyone interested. I first had the idea several years ago but ill health keeps getting in the way. I would like the piece to be about women who are/have been special to us. Please get in touch if you are interested.

Picnic at Spurn 2

We saw great tangled mounds of rope, several mangled lobster pots, lots of plastic bottles and something that looked like layers of plastic which at first we thought looked like a collapsed inflatable boat but I think may have been someting off a fishing trawler. This mangled lobster pot looked a bit like a trifid and what is not so evident in this photo is the clear sand approaching it from one direction which for all the world looked like the "trifid" had crawled there ! Around it was a circle of white stones, again not so evident in the photo, it just amused me and I wished I had video skills and kept a record of others I have seen and could aminate them.  (Ok so I'm a bit potty, but harmless ! lol)   I didn't go home empty handed, I gathered a load of drift wood which I have been hankering after for ages.
The coarse long grass was alive with crickets which I don't remember ever seeing there before but a lack of butterflys which we would normally see there. Other times when we have been we have seen large chunks of rusty cars, sadly too large and too heavy to bring back to put in my garden ! Sometimes we have seen loads of anchors tangled up in ropes, no chance of getting one out without a spade. A couple of local artists have collected the rubbish from the beach and exhibited a vast array of art work mainly of plastic of all colours. It is amazing what can turn up there. There is a bus there during the summer months but it is too long a walk from the bus stop to where I want to be on the beach. I am very grateful for my friend who takes me there.

Picnic at Spurn

My friend took me off for a picnic at Spurn on a gloriously sunny day. Spurn is a spit of land that curves round in the mouth of the River Humber. Over time the sea smashes over the land and re designs it and the curved "hook" at the end changes shape. A few years ago there was a rail track down the middle of it, a left over from WW1, huge blocks of concrete,and allsorts of left over military buildings. All gone now by the power of the waves. Every so often the single track road is breached and has to be re routed. A place dominated by natural destructive forces, and yet a tranquil wildlife santuary,  Never over run with people, just a few bird spotters and a few ramblers. I love it. As far as the eye can see nothing but beach and sea. My friend is in this shot, in the distance near the middle. There, past and present meet and there's nothing but the sea between me and the rest of the world, and I don't feel alone, I feel connected.

Luca and Matteo

Here they are ! my beautiful grandsons at home in Italy. No gas and air or painkillers in Italy when you give birth, ladies, you just have to get on with it ! Just for the record Luca was 7lb 10oz and 50 cms. Luca is the image of Matteo as a new born.