Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Yarning Along

I discovered a lovely blog called Small Things.  Full of stunning photographs and stories of a simple yet fulfilling life, this the blog of Ginny Sheller, a mom of six, and an avid knitter.  Every Wednesday is Yarn Along day, where all those interested, can share their works-in-progress.  This is mine...

... the Big Square Baby Blanket for my cousin who is going to pop soon.  I'm going to do 2 more rows of black, and maybe a picot border, to make it extra special. :)

And that's my trusty Kindle, in a gorgeous cover I got from Amanda at The 2 Sisters Shoppe.  I have just finished "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier.  A good, riveting read.  Problem was, I kept having visions of Scarlett Johanssen and Colin Firth in my head.  Note to self:  NEVER watch the movie then read the book.

Mollie Makes

This is my fave read, Mollie Makes.  I await the next month's issue eagerly, every month.

Chock-a-block with crafty ideas and inspiring articles on designers, makers, and living the creative life, this mag gives me butterflies in my tummy...

I surreptitiously leave the mag in the bathroom for "casual" reading, in the hope of Them Two catching the craft bug, subconsciously... Hehe.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Heart Art

Over the weekend, the husband and I went to the Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Park.

Yes, that's what it's called, "The Affordable Art Fair".  Not a very snazzy or creative title, considering it's for an event to do with creativity and the appreciation of it.  But, hey, at least we all get the picture. :)

All works were priced between GBP40-4000.  All you have to do is set your budget and take your pick.  It cost GBP15 to enter the giant marquee, and it was an eye-opener to see people seriously shopping for art, walking away happily with bulky, brown-paper packages tied up in strings.  (And all together now: "These are a few of my favourite things!"  Sorry, I digress.)

So inside the giant marquee is a slew of art galleries setting up temporary shop, flaunting their best and favourite pieces, as well as a small exhibition of recent art graduates' work.  Original paintings, sculptures, photography, prints... we had a field day.  It was enjoyable just to see what's out there.

Vanessa Cooper.  Sun Bowl.  Oil on board.  60X60cm. 

Trevor Price.  Noah's Ark.  Etching with chine colle.  Edition of 100.  30X36cm. 

The atmosphere of the entire affair was so relaxed, so casual, which made appreciating art refreshingly accessible.  And I was thinking to myself, what is the Singapore  leg of this event like (where art is a bit of a conundrum/struggle for the government to develop/non-existent phenomena.)?

In Singapore, I find art appreciation seems to be somewhat confined to 1. those who can afford it (which gives it  a factor of snootery), and 2. those who have some far-out new-fangled concept/medium (art is not art if it's not hyper-creative).  Basically, with reference to the term "arty-farty", it takes a lot of fart to make it Art.  The more inaccessible it is, the more artistic it is, and that's what makes it Art. Which probably explains why the government is having such a hard time convincing people to appreciate the Arts.  Simply because no one has a goddamned clue of what Art is.  Plus, few people find it not-very-profitable most-of-the-time.

Kheng Li-Wee.  Bamboo Grove.  Archival digital print.  Edition of 35.  61X77cm. 

Ron Lawson.  Struan Cottage.  Watercolour and gouache.  13X20 inches.

There always seems to be this need for "success", and by "success" I mean financial gain, be it in terms of making a living as an artist, or buying art as an investment.  It's this obsession with monetary gain that is the bane of art in Singapore.  Which probably explains why everyone (including the government) try too hard.  I mean, what good is it to say "Right, we're gonna get into art, and get people into art, and I'll give you the money for it.  Do it.  NOW.  And remember what you can say and cannot say." (I shall not elaborate on the last sentence, because the government is not very happy about any critical information concerning Them.)

Alice Sheppard Fidler.  Nasturtiums in a Small Bottle.  Oil on board.  13X18cm.

Work of recent graduate, Esmeralda Dominguez Pueyo

Whether it's big or small,  realist or abstract, paint or print, cheap or expensive, we all don't just like what we like, and make/paint/buy something just because we like it.  We are hardwired to calculating "What's in it for me? Ka-ching"/ "How can I make this worth more? Ka-ching"/ "Excuse me, exactly how many dollars??"/ "OMG, are you sure it's OK to say that???"

More importantly, I think the government has failed to realise that the Arts is more about self-expression than about having the funds to be creative. In an environment with as much censure as there is in Singapore, Art basically has a snowball's chance in Hell.  I'm not saying that we all become libertines and dance around stark naked with body paint tomorrow.  But if you're constantly being checked and guided, guided and checked, there is no way a people is going to be truly creative, and/or learn how to be appreciative of creativity.

Honestly, there should be a less stolid perspective towards Art, and simply more of a "hey, I really love how this looks!" and "ooh, I like the way you think!"  After all, Art is, well, just Art. (The word is looking a bit weird now, isn't it? Hehe.)

No, I haven't said anything substantial about what art is.  And the fact that art in Singapore is a tad too strangled, and too attached to being "successful" isn't really new.  But, hey, at least I got it off my chest. ;)

Scenes from Richmond Park

The husband acquired a new camera a couple of weeks back.  An Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3, and a Lumix lens.  So here are my adventures with the new cam at Richmond Park.

The effects settings are fun!  They make me look like a real photographer!! :) 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Of Swaps and Squares

I've put my name down for some fun via the lovely blog oh, hello friend.  If you haven't been round, you've got to.  Danni shares some of the most wonderful ideas and inspiration for simplicity and gorgeousness.  Plus, she does loads of fantastic deals and yummy giveaways! :)

Anyway, what happens with this shop/swap is that, if you are a crafter with a shop, you sign up for the swap, and Danni will pair you up with another crafter with a shop, and you send each other a surprise-something!  How fun is that! :D


On another note, my Big Square Baby Blanket is coming along nicely.  A few more rows and I should be done.  I just hope there is enough of this baby-soft cotton yarn to go round.  Coz I bought this yarn in Singapore, and I don't even have the labels to search for it online.  Silly me: should always keep yarn labels...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Scenes of Autumn

We traipsed off to Greenwich Park past danky weekend to catch some Autumnal Glory.  All sorts of barriers and fences were still up from the London 2012 Olympics Equestrian events, so the place didn't look as pretty as it could have.  But here are some lovely (or should I say, "leafy") pics from my trusty iPhone.


A kid and his grand-dad picking up fallen chestnuts.
This SO reminds me of a detail from Ophelia. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Stuff

I have so much new stuff at the shop, it's crazy.  All in anticipation of the holiday shopping season.  As such, I have crafted a whole load of Klimt earrings.  I like how they are an ensemble of stones and beads which look a little like festive baubles, and how they can take on an artsy shabby chic feel, or be suave and sophisticated, depending on the colour combination.  And whichever way, there's a bohemian edge to it.  Go on, take your pick! :)





Monday, October 22, 2012

Maya Is In Morocco

Over the weekend, Maya left for her World Challenge trek in Morocco.  In the run-up to the trek, the school has given them 3 briefings, letting them know the geographical wonders they will be encountering, all the gear they will be needing, and that in previous trips, people have literally shat and peed in their pants (nice :S).  As I sit here and write this, I am missing her so much, and hoping she is having a good time, despite the lack of toilet facilities.

Maya the Adventurer.  All set for 7 days without proper food, toilets and Facebook.  OMG!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Big Square Baby Blanket

I am in the throes of crocheting up a baby blanket for my cousin, who is due to give birth in about a month's time.  It's basically one giant granny square, but I like the fact that it has a round centre, which makes it look like an Evil Eye.  A talismanic, protective blanket of sorts. :)

Many thanks to Angie for sharing her crochet pattern at her gorgeous blog, le Monde de Sucrette.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On My Lust List


*Sigh*... the FLY London Mes boot, how gorgeous is she.  I tried them on at the shop the other day, and they are SO comfortable, I swear, I could sleep in them.  Cutest thing though, my Happy Skull tattoo on my calf pops a peek-a-boo. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Scenes from MAYA & RUHI at Old Spitalfields Market

Glad to report: all went with MAYA & RUHI at Old Spitalfields, without any major hitches or squabbles.  Although the day's takings weren't fantastic, we all had great fun!

Maya the Muscle.  Doesn't look like it, but this girl can lug the shop-in-a-suitcase up and down flights of steps in the Underground.  O_O!
... and After. :)

Lots of gushing-over, and tryings-on, and a few sales.  All in all the day went really quickly.  It wasn't as busy as I expected, but at least we managed to cover cost.  I suppose it's still a little early for Christmas shopping.

Lunch break for the hardworking.  Chicken Chow Mein!

 As such, there's a whole lot more I will be putting up at the online shop.  As soon as I get round to photographing all of them, and sitting at the computer for a couple of hours.  Watch this space! ;)