Saturday, 31 March 2012

The Amazing Mr Hockney

Last weekend, feeling a lot better at last, we had a mammoth day in London - mainly to see the amazing Mr Hockney at the Royal Academy. The story of how we finally managed to get tickets to the Hockney exhibition is too long and tedious to include here - suffice to say it was long, and er tedious. Anyhoo, we eventually had tickets for 8.00pm on Saturday in our little paws and were mighty pleased with ourselves for this achievement alone.

Although we don't live that far from London we still don't venture into the city terribly often. Certainly, when we lived in the depths of the North Yorkshire Dales we rarely did anything 'cultural' - it was an hours round trip just to drive out for a take-away! Needless to say we were jolly excited when we got the train to Waterloo. 

Past the London Eye - that will have to be done on another trip, if I'm ever brave enough.

We walked along the Thames to our first stop (the Picasso exhibition at Tate Britain - oh yes, we were going to overdose on ART today) in the unseasonably warm Spring weather. Beautiful.

After coffee, croissants, and two hours of Picasso and Modern British Art, we were expelled back into the daylight a little dazed and overwhelmed. We still had about eight hours to fill before Hockney so we headed off to the British Museum, one of my  favourite places. My lovely hubby was a little knackered so I went for a stroll around the Egyptian Rooms and took a few snaps. I wanted to be an Egyptologist as a child and still take every opportunity to watch TV programmes and read about Egypt when I can.

The Sculpture Room has some beautiful Egyptian and Assyrian sculptures. Part of me is not sure that we should still have these objects but at least they're on permanent display and the place was packed with visitors.

Revived by copious amounts of coffee and cake in the BM's cafe we strolled through Soho, via Paul A Young's chocolate shop. Some of you may know that we once spent three glorious days with Paul training as chocolatiers. Although we (sadly) had to move on from making fine chocolates our love for quality chocolate has not faded and we take any opportunity we can to get hold of the real thing. Paul's chocolates didn't disappoint and didn't hang around for long either!

By early evening we had managed to find two large comfy chairs in the Royal Academy and were sitting happily with nuts and Yorkshire beer whiling away the last hour before we could enter the exhibition. We've been huge Hockney fans for some time, especially since we discovered Salts Mill, near Bradford, in West Yorkshire, when delivering chocolate several years ago, where there's a permanent Hockney exhibition.

The Hockney exhibition was superb. It's hard to describe something so completely wonderful. We spent a very happy two hours going through the galleries and, yes, it would have been great to have the place to ourselves but then we wouldn't have overheard two ladies discussing the paintings and deciding his greens were a little 'too garish' (did they not notice the purple??) - my husband has just reminded me they were watching Hockney's film at the time, that is, real colours - I guess they don't get out of the city very often! But still, it was simply brilliant.

We then took our weary bodies, tired feet and brains full of disturbing, ravishing and beautiful images back to Waterloo and home to Basingstoke. A perfect day - thank you Mr Hockney.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Pearly Queen

There has definitely been a pearly theme in the shop lately. I seem to be drawn to the ivory, champagne and creamy shades of pearl - all faux of course - I can only dream of the real thing!

These creamy jewels are now available in my Etsy shop - so if you're planning a Summer wedding and you're looking for that 'something old' take a peak.

Or maybe you're just looking for something that says 'I'm demure, innocent, pretty and pure' to go with your Spring outfits. (He he, I won't tell on you, promise!) 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Miss English Rose Sits in Bed for a Day

I've been sitting at home in bed today trying to fight off a virus that's had me in its clutches for two weeks now. Still, this enforced rest has meant that I finally got to watch Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day - a film that's been on my Lovefilm list for months, if not years! And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unashamedly fun and with a happy ending (of course) what I loved about it most was the fabulous 1930s set design by Sarah Greenwood.

Nowadays I find myself looking at the jewelry, clothes and furnishings in films and hardly concentrating on the plot. This film has some ravishing things in it and the bedroom in the apartment is particularly fantastic with silver Chinoiserie wall paper you would give your right arm for.

Sometimes I wish I was in charge of props on a film like this. That would be a dream job. I especially like looking at the lamps in period films. There are crystal lamps and wall sconces in opulent abundance in Miss Pettigrew.

Which reminds me, I have a lovely pair of crystal wall lights that I renovated several years ago still sitting in the cupboard. They were a rather garish gold colour when I found them in a junk shop so I applied a verdigris treatment to the metal parts and washed the crystals by hand in soapy water. The finished result was not at all bad but I've moved around so much in recent years they haven't yet found their way onto the wall. I'll know that I am truly settled when those crystal sconces finally have a home. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Tart's Boudoir

Remember this posting from a few weeks ago?

I did say I would let you see what this pile of bits turned into and I'm kind of pleased with how things turned out.

Two old plain fabric lampshades were tarted up with a patchwork of vintage fabrics, lace and buttons. I've always enjoyed a bit of decoupage and this project used the same technique but with little squares of fabric instead of paper. I had a great time with my new glue gun (a Christmas present from hubby), folding and sticking the lace trims and then adding a row of pretty buttons to finish it off. They're a bit 'tarts boudoir' I know, but I quite like things a bit over the top occasionally. I've got a pile of bits of old lace and another larger lampshade waiting for a more frothy, frilly makeover - I'll keep you posted with that one.

Just the other night I was watching Sarah Millican's comedy show on tele (she's fab) and the set consisted of enormous patchwork lampshades - my goodness, have I gone and become trendy by accident? Or was it done with more than a touch of irony? I may never know - but the lampshades were glorious! I resisted adding one of those old tassled lampshade fringes to mine (the ones on the show were great) but I have to admit that I've been collecting them from antique fairs and car boot sales whenever I find them so they are bound to feature soon! 

Before I go and list some more things in my shop, here's my latest Etsy Treasury - I couldn't resist the fantastic colours in these items and there are some great shops in here. I especially love the botanical resin jewellery by Spotted Dog Asheville and that red flower ring is definitely going on my wish list: