If you could cut my head in half…

…these images are what you would find. A cross-section of my brain is Old America, I’m sure of it.

Peach Harvesting in West Colorado


A Montana ranch

An Idaho town

Jumping rope in a small town

Washington

A destitute mother in a migrant farm worker camp in California

I just stumbled across these photos via Blackbird Letterpress who found them on The Daily Kos. They represent America, through the lense of a Kodachrome camera, before Pearl Harbor. The photographs, for me, are bittersweet – So clear, so beautiful yet represent depressed America, about to head into an incomprehensible war.

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e·phem·er·a ~ things that exist for only a short time

A couple of weekends ago, we went to The Ephemera Fair in Birmingham at the National Motorcycle Museum. I don’t know how I came across something of this nature was going down. Probably one of my useless six hour interweb surfing sessions earlier this year. Which as it goes, didn’t turn out to be useless, because The Ephemera Fair was like being in old-smelly-paper heaven. It was crammed full to the door (besides a large proportion of silver surfers) of vintage books, postcards, tickets, magazines, newspapers. You name it. Anything recording something on paper pre-1980, could probably be found here. Beyond the musty aroma wafting through the air, I came across some really quite lovely things. And I purchased them. The thought did cross my mind at the time that I was literally paying for an old pointless bit of paper. However, when emotion gets in the way, and your eyes become the size of traffic lights caused by having the aesthetic-appreciation part of your brain tickled, that doesn’t matter. I fell in love.

Magazine insert advertising ‘Lux Soap Powder’. Colour lithograph by artist Will Owen (1869 – 1957) – Circa 1915 (Source – The Bridgeman Art Library)









Autumn : A Small Visual Encounter

This afternoon, Little Man T and myself went blackberry picking. Again. This time, there were plenty more of these jewels peeking out of the hedgerow than last time. I have to tell myself to stop picking blackberries. I become a little bit obsessed. Any glimpse of a shiny, almost black, juicy heavy berry and my reaction is like an Olympian runner off the start line. When we returned home, I picked a few pears off the tree in the garden, steamed them with a sniff of cinnamon and gently heated a handful of berries with a little water and a heavy spoonful of sugar, until they were syrupy. Served together, still warm, they’re juicy, sweet and comforting.

Also whilst we were out, I managed to take a few quick pictures in the churchyard opposite our home. I’m no photographer, however on looking at them on my computer this evening, some of them were quite surprising. The colours, textures and shapes, I think, are just lovely. See what you think.

This last image is my favourite. When you’re actually stood under the canopy of this pine tree, its like being under a blanket. And I think this shade of green has to be one of my favourites.

(*Thank you to you, and you, and you, and to everyone who visits my blog. I reached 3,000 hits today, which since March, for lil’ ol’ me, means something. I hope you return.)

Every now and then…

….I think its important to reflect. On whatever you like. Today, this quote is on my mind:

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful – Teachings of Gautam Buddha

Its quite simple really. I’m not religious, but I am human, therefore I have moments where I don’t feel my best. I don’t feel hard done by, but I don’t always feel happy. If I didn’t, I’d be a weird fish. Reflecting on words like this puts it all in perspective.

Laters.

P.S I don’t mean to come across as being holier than thou, or in fact, that I am the reincarnated Buddha. Profuse apologies if you think I’m a nincompoop.

A Wigwam & A Car Mat

That’s what a lovely friend of ours donated to our little monsters a couple of weeks ago. And to thank her (as well as freshly made raspberry muffins and 37 cups of tea) I made her this card….

…featuring the wigwam, playing itself…..

….and the car mat on the reverse of the card, also playing itself.

I received a text from B when she had opened the card, telling me how she’d shown it to her daughter and said to her isn’t it amazing how I’d found a card showing the same wigwam and same car mat. (*rolling my eyes and shaking my head. Again)

(Just joshing, B. Thanks again…love ya!)

Finding a diamond in the rough.

A diamond is a diamond. There’s no getting away from that fact. However, sometimes, a diamond can mean something else to someone. And thats precisely the point I’m slowly trying to get to. (*rolling eyes) I love. No. Not love. Thats an understatement. I have to harness my huge predilection when I walk into a charity shop. Especially with the new one I was introduced to by my mum last week. It’s called Emmaus and its not a charity shop. Its a village. Here’s a statement from their website about what they do:

“Emmaus Village Carlton is a homeless charity based in North Bedfordshire offering active support to formerly homeless people and we provide what we think of as a real workable alternative to homelessness.”

It’s a bit of a strange place when you approach it. You would never expect to find it where its located. But, its definitely a diamond in the rough. And alot of good charity work is being done, thats obvious.

Here are some of the treasures I bought, for literally, pence.

These bookends were £1.50. Ridiculous. And I LOVE them. I can’t wait to use them somewhere in our new office.

Ooh, actually. This honey pot wasn’t from Emmaus. It was from an antique shop from a nearby market town. I had it wrapped up in bubble wrap for the last eight months, so I wanted to photograph it. I also love this very much. My husband bought it for me.

This is going to be a nice little paintbrush holder for the office.

I bought the childrens book of prayer for its illustrations, not for its words, since I’m not religious. They’re very reminiscent of all the birthday cards my mum still has from my 1st birthday back in 1979. Probably why I love all this stuff so much. I think my mum was cringing at everything I picked up. And probably wishing she hadn’t thrown all her stuff out years ago, so she could make a dime or two off me.

You know it’s September when…

…the sky changes from light to dark just like that! Its happening already and it’s only September 3rd. And, yessssss. I’ve seen Christmas merchandise in the shops. Yes, people. You did hear me right. In. The Shops. My Godfathers, as someone I used to work with used to say.

One minute it was like this. Ta-da! (*see above). The next, it was pitch black. Thank goodness I’d just finished my latest little gift, for a wedding we’re going to tomorrow.

Some special friends of ours are getting married tomorrow and I wanted to make them something. I was asked to make their wedding stationery, and unfortunately, the timing was all wrong, so I wasn’t able to. I was a bit annoyed with myself for not doing them, but I made the right decision. We were just too busy. So, to try and make up for it, I’ve just finished this hand drawn framed picture.

I have to admit it was a bit of an experiment, as I used my new Letraset markers I got on sale yesterday to create the colour. I haven’t used markers since University (like, 13 years ago) so I was a bit anxious last night when I’d put the colour on, because in all honesty, I thought my four year old would have done a better job. When I got up this morning, I came and checked straight away, and actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I played around a little bit more with it, layering the colour, adding some light and, although I’m not 100% happy, its good enough. (I’m rarely happy with what I do, so I’m not just giving away a substandard piece of work). Plus, I have no more time.

The piece is themed on song lyrics which my friend used to sing when she got together with her husband-to-be-in-the-morning. She sang it all the time. AAAAAllll. The time. There’s two little birds chittering, sitting on some of the letters. Thats them. And the heart holds their initials within it. Oh yes, and the lyrics which are in pink, should hopefully be obvious as to their meaning. I hope they like it. That nerve-wracking moment of handing something over you’ve created from scratch is always terrifying.

My next project is a framed picture for my friends little boys 2nd birthday. Eek. The skates are on.