Thursday, 29 September 2011

for the love of librarians...

i was very happy when i found this, the best dedication ever, in one of the charity shop children's books we bought last week... 
which brings me neatly to this which looks right up my street. 


while o-o was a l-man's yesterday i was a whirling dervish of activity preparing screens and cutting paper in readiness for starting work on a new print. completely soaked myself using the pressure washer to clean the screens, next time i must remember to don my yellow trawlerman waterproof dungarees and wellingtons. did a couple of paint testers on the kraft paper, i prefer the matte surface (on the left in the photo), what do you think? 
 it's a lovely day in brighton, skies are blue and the sun is hot-hot-hot. i spent half an hour under that sun wheeling son-shine up and down our street in his pushchair to get him to sleep. i fear that he may be on the verge of dropping the nap, yikes, my blogging days could be numbered....

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


i've just added this amazing 1970s mothercare maternity dress to the sianuskavintage shop. perfect for your autumn/winter retro pregancy or after a big lunch!

feeling deflated

strapped o-o into the buggy this morning only to rediscover the flat tyre that i'd pumped up and ignored yesterday. cue trip to the shops on shank's pony to buy puncture repair kit and other essentials. returned befrazzled and bedraggled after chasing o-o round the supermarket and then carrying him up the hill on my shoulders. i am RUBBISH at puncture repairs; caused two new inner tube holes and several bent spoons whilst attempting to put the tyre back on. anyway, happily it's finally fixed. isn't the thingumy that comes with the pump a thing of beauty?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Thursday, 22 September 2011

some treasures

o-o and i did a little late afternoon charity shopping yesterday. we spent the princely sum of £2.40 and came away with some treasures. a few 1970s children's books including one called 'grandfather ben' by someone called eva scherbarth. i love the limited colour palette, the detail of the line work and the strange perspective. the story is quite downbeat but it ends with grandfather ben smoking a pipe on his own, not the kind of denouement you see in modern children's stories. doesn't their house on a hill look like a nice place to live?
a wooden tray puzzle with a transportation theme. i love it but might put it in the etsy vintage shop, as it's very likely that pieces will go missing if it stays in our house... good illustrations and a lady on a bicycle who we decided might be my friend helen.
she too has curly hair and is often to be found on two wheels. here she is with a chubby faced me in the days of proper photo booths.
helen is a very talented upholsterer. have a gander at her website (fashioned by me, i even did some tinkering with that there HTML code, what a geek).

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

ideas brewing

i've spent rather too much of o-o's nap time making my first animated gif following these instructions on this nice blog say yes to hoboken. scheck it out! need to keep the camera in the exact same position for maximum effectiveness but i like it none the less.

i've started a new sketchbook, a bit like running across a garden of crispy white virgin snow in your wellies. i think margaret said she tapes the first pages together, unused, to avoid that first-page-of-a-new-sketchbook paralysis. do you have any new sketchbook rituals?

i've got a couple of ideas brewing. this morning we went into town to source some bright paint. have been up cyber hill and down cyber dale trying to find thick kraft paper to no avail, think i might go with the 90gsm wrapping paper i spotted on ebay as it's a heavier weight that the stuff in the art shop and much cheaper...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

making a splash

sick of those modern swim caps that make you look like you've got a condom on your head? treat yourself to this 1970s flower power beauty and be the envy of all your friends at the pool. with thanks to the lovely pea for being my model. how cute are her freckles? i'm jealous!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

zig zag knitting cast off

i've finished the knitting and cast off. now just need to sew up and make some twisted wool ties. m's just announced he's going to make a batch of homemade strawberry ice cream, yum. o-o says that a walrus says 'galumph, galumph, galumph', he read it in his richard scarry book, who knew?

Friday, 16 September 2011

these things are not OK

  • exercising your dog in a children's play area.
  • ignoring the 'no dogs' sign on the gate of the children's play area.
  • encouraging your dog to attack the swings in a children's play area for your amusement. 
  • leaving your dog's poo on the pavement.
  • leaving your dog's poo in the gutter.
  • leaving a bag of your dog's poo on the pavement.
  • leaving a bag of your dog's poo in our recycling box.
  • leaving a bag of your dog's poo hanging in a tree.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

a bit of green

the tiled no man's land at the end of the bath invites the accumulation of bottles of nearly empty shampoo. perhaps we could install a planter a bit like this one (living etc, april 2011) and grow some lovely curly ferns. it'd be nice to have a bit of indoor greenery.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

chewing gum grey

i've come to the conclusion that a slap dash housewife like me shouldn't have white bathroom towels. all of our once white bathroom towels have turned a depressing chewing gum grey and look like something that might, in a more civilised house, only be used to dry the dog. so o-o and i stomped into town this morning and, with the profits from recent print sales, purchased a new set of towels in a pleasing dark grey, they will not show the dabs, hurrah! i might supplement them with a few of these lovely peshtemals.

Monday, 12 September 2011

zig zag knitting

i've started knitting the 'helmet' hat for the lovely ex neighbour's lovely new baby. at first it looks like a bit of a knotty bumpy mess but after a few rows order emerges from the chaos and you start to see chevrons appearing.
all old ladies seem to be able to turbo knit whilst simultaneously doing several other things (in my grandma k's case these other things might include; boiling the living daylights out of a pan of veg, winding a baby, listening to the radio, keeping a watchful eye out of the window to log passersby's admiring glances at her garden and playing an ultra competitive game of cards). i, on the other hand must keep my eyes and mind firmly focussed on the knitting in (v-e-r-y slow) progress. as captain oates said, i may be some time...

sketchbook monday

Thursday, 8 September 2011

old lady swearwords - new colours!

yesterday, while o-o hung out with b and l-man, i donned my inky printmaking/canoeing jeans and set about printing some old lady swearwords. thankfully no one was around to witness the horrifyingly disorganised process; discarded balls of masking & parcel tape everywhere, tea spoons used to mix ink in old (rinsed!) food tins and milk cartons, precariously balanced mugs of brew, bathroom towels used to mop  soggy screens, wet prints drying on every available surface and other trip hazards too numerous to list here. time flies when i'm making stuff, i love it so...

what was your granny's swearword of choice? mine used to say 'duw duw' (which i later learned means 'god, god' in welsh) when we tested her patience (by knocking the pebbledash off the house with a tennis ball etc). she must have said it a lot because as a tiny tiddler i actually called her grandma duw duw!

red, green, grey and light blue versions are for sale in my etsy and folksy shops now.

more storage for children's books

this is jolly nice isn't it? pity it's in the US and would be an arm and a leg job to ship to blighty. perhaps i could make something like it (but brighter)? it'd be a nice, functional, temporary partition in a shared bedroom. if you used peg board like this it'd let little dots of light through.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

kermit soles

my toes are tough guys and have burst through my springcourt trainers. the springcourt's achilles' toe is the join between rubber and canvas. they have now been relegated to printing/canoeing footwear. my new superdry trainers with the kermit soles arrived this morning. obviously need to wear them in a bit to take the brightness off the white. at the moment it appears that two small white dogs are running a perpetual race at my feet!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

a rainy day

l-man is with us today and it's raining. we spent the morning confined to the house, twiddling our thumbs, brumm-brumming cars about and (loosely) sorting the toy animals by species. then o-o and l-man decided to cosy up in o-o's cot with pajama ted and knitted bear. 

o-o put both teddies to bed with plenty of blankets. i love knitted ted's wonky smile, he was made by my welsh gran

as cabin fever began to set in l-man suggested we venture out to the secret playground despite the rain. everything was very soggy and there was a small amount of squabbling over the spinner. 

tomorrow o-o is going round to l-man's house to play. i'm going to print some old lady swearwords, any special requests colourwise?  i also need to pick up sticks and make a new baby gift for our lovely ex-neighbour who has just celebrated the arrival of her fourth tiddler. i'm planning to make a 'helmet' using a (very) vintage pattern, bought on ebay, which utilises a satisfyingly zig-zaggidy construction, i'll show you what i mean once it's underway.

Monday, 5 September 2011

sketchbook monday

i collect bits of text. this one is a description of derek jarman's childhood holidays, it was snipped from this article.

"oklahoma! on the gramophone, maidenhair ferns watered with cold tea, a cat and a boxer puppy. bulb catalogues, scented balsam poplars, a vegetable garden ..."

he'd probably quite like these hole-y pebbles (batman) that i found during our blustery sunday walk on the beach. pebbles with holes are lucky. they look like tiny malformed skulls or prehistoric talismans. 
to continue the seaside theme i just added this flippity perpetual calendar to the sianuskavintage shop.

Sunday, 4 September 2011


i've just listed this rather sweet little book in the shop.

perhaps it will be the beginning of a new collection for someone...

part of my Warne Observer books collection
'observer book of...' collection found here

Friday, 2 September 2011

storage for children's books

o-o loves stories and already has a vast library of books. it would be great to have somewhere to store them that was easy on the eye and kid friendly. here are a few nice ideas...
book tree by shawn soh
corner library via ohdeedoh
design classic, penguin donkey
nice ikea spice rack hack found here
country living via leberpr
love the colour spectrum filing system in the corner library image and the fact that you can see the covers of the books, makes it easier for the tiddler to choose a story.
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