Monday, 30 July 2018

Re washing the kitchen floor yesterday

Well, I have to say, that floor was very surprised to get washed. But the nice thing about being surrounded by work is that I'm always thinking about my projects on some level and it's actually quite easy to fit in other things. Do contribute your own thoughts on how you manage to fit real life into art/design practice.

Living, as I do, surrounded by my work I think my aim really must be to make it such a part of routine that it becomes not much different to doing the washing up. 

. . . doesn't matter how you look at it

my little studio is topsy turvy and A Mess

it's something that is a normal part of the creative process, at least I think so. In any case, chaos is energy - don't fight it. Yesterday I washed the bathroom floor - I'm painting a mural in there on one section of the wall. This morning, after doing some work on the mural, moving some stuff I'm selling off to make more room and cutting some Daler board for another project, I washed the kitchen floor.

Clarity, minimalism's most inspiring aspect, has taken over my guest bed space. Good. But the mess and disorder have been transferred to my sitting room. Not so good. Time for a before and  after pic (check back later).

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Command, cajole, persuade . . .

plead, pretend . . . buy yourself ice-cream and/or a whole tray of Starbucks iced mocha. 

Whatever it takes, finish the work.

Today I'll be finishing off an artwork

If this sounds a trifle blasé, it's because I try to think of it as not much different to building something - no big deal. It should stand up, and it should have impact, two important requirements of art as well as architecture. 

It needs a little bit of fiddly stuff with red ink so I'm off to the shops.

As a previous post touched upon, context is often important when making art- or design-related decisions 

Now that I have my guest bed up and running, I have chosen an installation piece that fits the space perfectly. This will be my next task: finishing it and installing it securely.

Has everyone seen 'badly photoshopped Timmy'?

The bed is now stripped of its springy new duvet and shiny pillows

In fact it's entirely covered with a dustsheet and of course the reason is that I have two studio cats.

After an intense work day, I like to think I can take a few hours off: go to the launderette or something. What I call keeping the systems running in the background. 

I often start a project by running through the steps of its making in my head. Time well spent. 

As I started to make the bedhead I realised I had lost my reel of nylon suspension line needed to hang up the bedhead. A lot of my design clobber has had to move into the main room to make room for the bed. I was very tempted to 1. go to the park (but finish the washing up first). I know from experience that to choose 2. search high and low until you find it can lead to so much time lost that it qualifies as displacement activity. 

Anyway, I was lucky yesterday and spotted the nylon in the right pigeonhole. The shelf had moved but not its contents.

My background by the way, before i took up art and design in a big way, is publishing. The deadlines are so tight that whenever i couldn't find my box of staples I'd have to choose 3. run to the shops and buy a replacement. The complete answer to the how to handle a delay in the making process is actually 1., 2., or 3., depending on the context.

The bedhead is up

(Full story [and answer to the puzzle posted earlier] later.)

Remind me what we're doing today?

Only joking. My design project today is to fit the bedhead to the new bed I'm building.

Unexpected delays, interruptions, or too little sleep are completely normal, even givens, for any project, small or large. And, oh, distractions . . .. How do we deal with them all?

Well here's a multiple choice puzzle:

A designer (the undersigned) has mislaid a vital piece of stuff needed to make the bedhead.

What does he/she do?
  1. go to the park (but finish the washing up first)
  2. go to the shop and buy a replacement
  3. search high and low until he/she finds it
Which is  'correct' 1, 2 or 3?

Bedmaking, part 1
Cleared the area (see pic below), built the bed. Now to dress the bed. 

Progress on building a bed

We're halfway there. The bed frame and mattress are in. The bedhead is not in. As a designer I reserve the right to make that a surprise. Conventional bedheads are boring, have you noticed that? New pillows are on order. My spare pillows have all been sat upon at one time or another by my two cats. Lights, space for storing clothes and a dressing area are all in the planning stage. 

Here's a sight of the 'before'

If you notice some Felix cat boxes it's because they're made of the kind of firm cardboard you can upcycle as containers. By the way, you know the joke about minimalist living, don't you. All you need are two apartments, one for minimalist living and one for storing your stuff. 

Thursday, 12 July 2018

I've been reading some Dutch blogs (thanks Dutch News for the recent list). 

Almost my first memory of Holland was being given lovely fresh Dutch bread and butter with chocolate sprinkles on top.

Me and my friend M. were staying at the Amsterdam student hostel spending our days in the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt and hagelslag - we girls wanted for nothing. 

So when I saw that Stuart, the author of Invading Holland, had made his own hagelslag using m&ms, that Dutch memory flooded back in full colour and I thought I'd give hagelslag a try.

Maybe blue and green would be too dazzling first thing in the morning I thought (especially since Eng had just lost to Cro). So I poured them all out onto a dinner plate, grabbed a polythene bag, and picked out the paler colours.

I toasted the bread, It's easier to fit more butter onto hot bread. :-D

My chosen instrument of destruction was a rolling pin. Over and over the bag it went. That sugar coating is so crunchy and sharp it actually made holes in the bag. 

Really yum though. And of course after breakfast for the rest of the morning I crunched through all the 'other colours' as well.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

A parade of London buses driving (on the right - hurrah) down Great Portland Street yesterday. Some protest or other. 

Friday, 6 July 2018

Not a big red London bus but a big red KitchenAid. 
Think of the amount of artisanal butter you could 
make with a machine that size.