vintage finds | back to vintage, baby

well. refrain oneself from thrifting and one finds oneself pretty soon in again, not? ☻ what with the summer sales on i love to treasure hunt in proper stores too. clothes, mainly. basics, if possible. and since i'm prone to suddenly have well enough of running in and out of shops, thrift shops do get thrown overboard for a good month. which results in a very happy return indeed, round about now.

it's all textiles these days with me, probably because i do need to get some skylights sorted out with fabric. this piece made my vintage heart swoon.

and a few gobelins seduced me for their colour schemes.

yep. back on track, i'd say. i'll be shopping your windows, oh, and go see sophie's too.

drawing | theatre

traveling without a sketchbook urges me to scribble a few notes down in my tiny moleskine. having arrived home just now, i realize i want to leave my draft as is. one profession in life i wouldn't have minded is that of property master, always on the look out. it must be an awesome task to go hunting for that one perfect prop which makes the stage play bloom. such as hunting down a broken leg, e.g. i wonder what stephanie & crew has come up with!

random end {london tales}

london is also just as much sightseeing as you can muster.
even whence you're not encountering the obvious treasuries,
you do bump into

these days it may get served rained out.

cabs usually come in black still,
so when one sees a red one,
one needs to snap.

same goes {snap!} for the traditional red double-decker bus,
of which i thought the original routemasters
weren't running anymore?
perhaps they leave the depot on sunny sundays?

do click to enlarge
toe still blue...
when literally looking down, you may notice your feet,

or else beautiful, ornamental street plaques.

likewise in doorways.
someone enjoyed his/her type.

when fed up with the tube ...
travel overground! ☻

last but not least...
when london girls get set for the night, they really paint the town.
as i was unassumingly making my way towards brick lane,
i did bump into them. ☻

and when you do get tired of london
(which will of course NOT happen),
you can always catch a plane home.
london skies unfortunately are poisoned of 'em...

{a london photos round up here}
and thank you. ♥

corner view ≈ early

when hitting dover (uk) sunday last, 
we arrived late

that didn't matter,

because late 
turned out early

it gave me time 
to wander about a bit

i early

cole likes early too, 
i'm guessing, 
on jane's corner view, 
hosted by francesca.

a nightingale {london tales}

there isn't a thing that could have had me prepared for keats house. the weather being what it was, i jumped rain drops until i tired of them and let myself get soaking wet. a thing you'd never do at home, but when traveling, one finds oneself prone to bizarre if impermanent habits. i'd planned a whole different day, including the heath, and even waterlow park, descending from highgate, but blistered foot soles decided against too much loitering.

flask walk is supposed to be a picturesque alleyway, one of many in hampstead. and boy, does it deliver. even under a dull grey heaven, the vibrant colours of painted doors, the ancient cobbled streets and the relative quietude of a saturday afternoon spent lazily indoors by inhabitants, the walk to keats grove, where i hope to join my late friend, the poet, is a joyous one.

as i am nearing the gardens i hear the romantics troup exclaiming stage lines. i'd hesitated to take part, but was now glad i could just drop in through the back door. the lady in charge smiled, genuinely happy to welcome another customer. because of the racket outside, inside john keats former premises the cool bursts from the flowered walls, passionate echos jumping straight into my lap, fanny brawne's stitched past coming to life. there is an embroidery exhibition on too, scattered throughout the house.

the rain dissipates temporarily, as i stand on the terrace, listening to passionate words spoken by a welsh guide, who'd accidentally been to belgium before. ostend, it'd been. oh, yes, he'd liked the beer, very much, thank you, yes. but the man's affection does squeeze my wavering heart, as he determinedly drags me around the dwelling, pointing out a much requested and now recuperated original letter by keats, drawing my attention to the elegantly designed, burgundy engagement ring fanny brawne wore, until the very day she died.

how can one not trip, how does one not falter, when in a place where words were once spoken, carefully and devotedly? i am genuinely sorry, dear reader, not to be able to show you the rooms. they are a tad secretive about them, in hampstead, no cameras allowed. they're supposed to be here. go and have a peek. perhaps a listen, for the audioguides on the site are downloadable.

better still : go to london, walk those rooms. while you're there, say hello to keats from me. ♥

in the middle of {london tales}

yes. cemeteries feel green, apart from the grey. when city guides say london is a green city, they do not joke. hampstead heath is so large you feel right in the middle of the countryside when you find yourself, well, in the middle of the heath. even the predictable sounds of traffic 'outside' disappear. i will come back to the heath later on, but first things first. down the south lies dulwich.

i've wanted to come here before. the last time it got so snowy, i didn't even bother. this morning though, the day feels crisp and shiny, much contrary to the weather forecasts. before long both my feet and back get overheated (not a thing you want when traveling). i need to sit myself down plenty of times. {i sound like an old woman!}

anyway. horniman's nature trail is impressive, is it not? straight into lewisham, there we have it. again. the feel of a meadow, the excitement of a mysterious pathway, the smell of manure... you never know whom you may encounter. the notorious gamekeeper, perhaps? {sure, woolf, dream on.}

which is not to say i am not having fun making my way through unexpected landscapes. if you get tired of the hustl'n'bustle of the inner city, do visit a london park. you'll be amazed at the solitude you will find. and grab yourselves plenty o' cafeine on the way... ☻

{more london photos here.}

drawing | city {london tales}

busride 9
into liverpool street
it feels like heaven and a half (and a few fat clouds), when a city trip comes up out of nowhere. i was the lucky one, to go gazing at londons horizon last weekend. so far removed from a natural landscape as is possible, the london cityscape bedazzles me, time and again, as you may have read here

swarm study / III
at the v&a, july 2011
more info here
rachel's choice of the week couldn't have come at a better time. although it did keep me wondering how on earth i was going to tackle the challenge? did i feel like drawing that busy city bustle, the chaos of peak hour, the furtiveness of night? 
ha! night. someone flicked the light on.

my older brothers played a lot of beatles songs and i must have heard the fab four on and off all through my childhood. when as a young adult sitting down to finally watch the magical mystery tour movie, my fingers yearned to go colouring again... the association in my heart and bones trickling in. 

one way or another, i must have been at it with the radio on, full blast, over and over again... 

do you remember the smell of a myriad of fat oil pastels on paper, 

then blanketing over your artwork 

with black gouache, to ha ha! finish off the MAGIC : scratching lines, words, graphs? such fun!

  battersea power station, battersea
the gherkin
, the city
the london eye, southbank

i'm a big fan of city life. i'm curious to come and have a look at your impressions, via rachel! ♥ 
{more london photos here.}

the cult of beauty in the v&a {london tales}

frederic leighton
the aesthetes lived at the early turn of the 19th century. as a reaction to all things victorian (and restrained), beauty as such became an essential component in english art. first declining the pioneering movement, then, in a matter of months reckoning it as the latest craze, the english bourgeoisie bought themselves into beauty. which succombs the visitor to the cult of beauty, when a museum such as the victoria & albert focuses on the subject.

frederic leighton
the countess brownlow
as usual i came unprepared, but was overly glad to catch the exhibition by its tale. it's a glorious feeling to come right out in the open with aestethic beauty too, and consoling to observe how many people think likewise. yes, it got a little crowded at times, for absolute beauties by a.o. frederick leighton, edward burne-jones, dante gabriel rossetti, georges frederic watts, albert moore and james whistler did lure the crowd in. 

edward bawden
wallpaper 'church and dove'
, 1930
(not in the exhibition)
interior design & textiles (william morris co.), cartooning and literature, the latter offered by someone as notorious as oscar wilde, got its very own spotlight in a movement in which the bringing together of things, e.g in a room, came to be pure expression of taste and cultivation. the house beautiful, in other words, a vision to keep close at heart, whilest painstakingly stripping paper from those walls in our own sweet little dwelling (*vintage wallpaper musings* coming up soon! ☻).
{more london photos here.}

not to die in vain {london tales}

sheri reynolds describes in a gratious plenty what l. recently wondered about in a comment. whenever i'm traveling, i end up in one graveyard or another. don't think it's weird either, because it's the one place that's pretty timeless, a mood i'm often chasing. for we are mortal and we all have our ways in getting on with that truthful realization.

i've passed fulham cemetery three times over as many years, and this time i do jump off the bus, even if it's to quickly walk in and out again, chased by hungry squirrels. from the busride i remember west brompton, one of the magnificent seven (cemeteries). it's supposed to lie in the hood.

to say brompton cemetery is more appealing to the eye rather sounds like an understatement. as i'm curbing the swanky lanes, passing a group of cemetery guards on their morning tea break and feeling a few rain drops trickling down my collar, i happen upon the colonnades. they majestically lead me further on towards the chapel, at the southern side of the cemetery. there's a few more visitors besides me, listfully strolling by. we probably all come to look and find our piece of mind.

as i'm literally making my way round the modestly domed chapel (in the style of the basilica in rome), the rain clouds rapidly draw in and i find i'm making a run for shelter. under the east collonades i patiently wait out the third shower of the day.
just then a text message rolls in, asking me if i'm having fun? fun might be inappropriate for my current surroundings, but if i was to say i was having fun, would you think me awfully weird? ☻
{more london photos here.}

standing tall {london tales}

i see it rising ahead of me, as i'm chasing bermondsey antiques market. i'm going be late for the market, but that's how it is. a white caucasian male cycles by, on a vehicle that carries two ghetto blasters held in place by elastic straps. from them emanates the call from the minaret. anybody seeing him biking by, including me, gives him the eye, creating a sort of invisible bond between spectators. puzzlement, bewildering, judgement seem to be ours.

i pass a lady who's walking her dog. she points me in the right direction for the market. ai, but it'll be done, luv'. always charming to hear a fair scottish accent down the centre of london. i ask her about the shard. dunno, luv', no-oh. i shrug. i find the market, which is unfolding. never mind. 
the shard. i caught a program on it previously, and realised then the british have come up with another prestigious project to, well, outsmart the (architecural) world, perhaps?

the shard is tall and shiny. getting within reach, making my way towards london bridge, i realize the closer i'm gettin', the less the shard looks ginormous. that's how it is with tall buildings, isn't it? they shrink inevitably upon approach. all it comes down to, really, is the umpteenth business building made of glass.
to conclude my earlier intentions, i disappear down the tube. another box on the to do list ticked.
{more london photos here.}

corner view ≈ seen through the eyes of a child

dining room area in auntie's house.
the cherry wood table stood in the middle of the room,
facing the stove (that wasn't there in my time).
the room looked a lot bigger.

the table is empty, bar a fruit bowl. there's one chair of six taken. i'm on it. i am told to sit down and wait. i listen to the silence, thick as cream, but for muffled voices that trail behind the dining room wall. someone hushes impatiently. i turn my head back towards the worn cherry wood tabletop, but i don't know that's what it is. cherry wood. i'm puzzled by the bowl, which is chipped, and also cleared out of fruit. i purse my lips. i sigh intelligibly, and also as if. then i start talking. stricken, i hear my voice rasp. then i gain confidence, and talk some more. the wispering in the next room swells into a friendly banter, then dies down completely. i take pace in my words and sentences. i seem to be interviewing someone. i halt. who am i interviewing? 

☻ truth is, whilest i'm tracking back in my mind and pinning down this moment remembered, i can only but have been four. i dunno. can i have been?
"seeing through the eyes of a child", by beth, has proofed to be a powerful trip down memory lane. this is corner view by jane, hosted by francesca

☻ if you like, come to london with me here. put on the slideshow, hit the music button in another window, and relax. i so appreciate your company...

drawing | cloud

not as if i'm easily drawn to mumbo jumbo, but all of a sudden i'm drawing pie in the sky! a touch of sobriety in the midst of the heat? who shall say? and if kiting for pie in the sky does happen to be one of your {temporary} pleasures, then you might also remember this from the nineties? i do miss chef(!)/inspector henry crabb and his lovely wife. luckily there's plenty more excentric detectives to chose from, as we well know... ☻ i'll be flying by 'round monday next!....

as i'm sifting through images from the fictional movie made on daphne du maurier's life, i stumble upon image after image, concerning her private life and the much speculated gay aspect of it. it throws me a little. du maurier was a gifted writer who had a private life. spotlights glaring on anyone's personal life may be trivial to literary capacities of an artist.

having said that, i may also be biased by my lasting addiction to anything anglophile, especially if the brazen sea and an old fashioned mansion are involved. having been exposed to a televised series on rebecca at a vulnerably young age, it may have blindfolded me for any future reference. still. we all have our dreams and yearnings which we chase.

is this why a collection of short stories jumps amidst the few things i pack for the weekend? or is it, a pocket sized book is about all that i can muster, walking some familiar streets, and gratefully discovering a few new ones.

☻ {the drawing challenge should publish itself on time}. will be back after the weekend. have yourselves a roaring one. weekend, that is. ♥