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re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

March and April are big birthday months around here, with lots of friends and family celebrating another year on the planet. In an attempt to spring-clean and clear some much needed storage space in my studio I’ve been re-purposing test- and dud-prints from previous screenprinting projects as gift wrap, cards and gift tags…

re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

re-purposing test and dud screenprints as gift wrap

They make for some beady-eyed packages… but so far the recipients haven’t seemed to mind being eyeballed by their birthday gifts!

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The colourful wrapping papers in the third ‘diptych’ are by
(top image) 1973 and (bottom image) Sukie

Today has been a grey old day in Amsterdam, but I’ve been continuing with some colourful papercutting to keep the grey at bay.

In stark contrast to the peaceful monochromatic winteriness of the wolf and bear cards that I blogged about earlier in the week my papercutting has taken on a positively summery direction, colour bursting at every seam.

I’ve raided my paper stash – of Japanese origami and washi papers, saved gift-wrap and envelope security patterns, ticket stubs and other ephemera – collected over many years and in many different places…

i ♥ paper

envelope security patterns

… and I have been cutting and layering them to create what I’ve dubbed ‘rare blooms’ (as each papercut-thread-and-sequins-concoction is very much one-of-a-kind).

It’s a completely addictive activity and so much fun!

On the subject of fun… tonight we’ll see Scout perform at the Occii (I think its small size will make it the perfect intimate venue for her, always in my past experiences, intense & exposed performance), and tomorrow we’re off to Brussels (just a hop and a skip across the border) for more musical fun in the form of the Toutpartout festival @ Botanique (can’t wait! Although I’m gutted that The Cave Singers and Jason Molina have had to cancel due to illness – get well soon one and all!).

In between all the excellent music this weekend I’ll be participating in the Etsy Holiday Sale (I’m thankful for modern technology and the virtual ‘shop’, which allows me to be in more than one place at once :). My small garden of rare blooms has taken root over there.

Whatever you’re up to this weekend, I hope it’s fun-filled and colourful!

collection

… is another man’s treasure, and although I wasn’t actively seeking ‘treasures’ while I was in Cape Town (damn those economy class luggage constraints!) I enjoyed browsing the junk shops, second-hand bookstores, salvage yards, flea-markets and off-beat galleries.

Every second-hand or ‘junk’ object has a story, and even though that story is usually not apparent, likely never will be, and is possibly not even very interesting, it imbues the object with a kind of ‘luminosity’, the faint and distant resonance of life’s ‘white-noise’.

Words are not my forte so I’m having a hard time describing what I mean, but I think it’s this incorporeal narrative potential that each object possesses that, for me, makes junk shop browsing such a pleasing way to pass a few idle hours…

play

quagga books

skulls

armoire

(eat your heart out Piet Hein Eek!)

shelves of stuff

zebra

quagga books mural

birds in flight

hunter and hunted

hippies use side door

basket skulls

coke, ox, basin

If luggage constraints (and customs and health & safety regulations) had not been an issue I probably would have returned to Amsterdam with a suitcase full of skulls!

I’m off to the Primavera music festival in Barcelona tomorrow. In addition to the many, many decibels of great music I plan to indulge in I hope to also get a bit of a Modernista architecture/Antonio Gaudi fix. Some Catalonian sunshine wouldn’t go amiss either. So, although it’s a little early in the week to be saying this, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Adéu-siau, until next week!

Ingenious plastics recycling 

I’m currently in Cape Town, where the sky is blue and the sun is shining! I’ll have fairly limited access to a computer while here so updates will be intermittent over the next few weeks… but I did want to share this ingenious plastics recycling idea I encountered while browsing the galleries and junk shops that line the beachfront road in Kalk Bay.

These magnificent mobiles/’beaded-curtains’ are made out of bits of plastic bottles and other plastic packaging, cleverly contrasting colour, shape and opacity. They look absolutely dazzling in the bright sunlight! (They’re at the Artvark gallery where they’re used as exterior ‘signage’ and interior/exterior space dividers).

Ingenious plastics recycling

(Apologies for the extreme contrast in these photos. My camera and I are so unaccustomed – after living in the Northern Hemisphere for over a decade – to the intensity of light and shadow down South!)

 Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle…

Collected colours - greens

For the past while I’ve been collecting our ‘mixed card & paper’ recycling into colour-coded piles with the intention of making simple colourfield collages – here are some of the results. Although unintentional I like the fact that they also act as ‘journal entries’ of a sort – a map of post sent and received, cups of tea enjoyed, meals eaten, yarn used-up, journeys made, exhibitions & gigs attended etc. I guess there is an irony in that too, as they’re also a record of our lives as consumers…

Collected colours - reds & yellows

“In nature nothing is wasted. Every output is an input for something else. It is increasingly argued that our consumer society must find an equivalent system, and fast. That means embracing the ‘four Rs’: reducing, reusing, repairing and recycling. By changing the way we think about the lifespan of materials, many experts believe we can completely alter the way we manage rubbish. We can achieve a seismic shift from the consume-and-chuck-it impulses of contemporary life to finding new ways of extracting every last breath from each item, delaying the moment of final disposal as long as possible.”

The above is an excerpt from Leo Hickman’s excellent book “A Good Life” (Although the detailed ‘Directories’ at the end of each chapter are very UK-centric I think it’s a worthwhile read wherever you are. It’s a great book for raising awareness of the many and complex issues we all face with regards to ‘living ethically’ in the world today).

Collected colours - blues

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Elegant step-gables and spring sunshine in Amsterdam #gable #step_gable #trapgevel #canal_house #singel #grachtenpand #spring #sunshine #new_growth #green #pattern #symmetry At the Melkweg last night for some RTJ music and mayhem... #melkweg #runthejewels #RTJ #ElP #KillerMike #livemusic #neon #typography #stars #milkyway I ❤ tree skeletons… soon to be bursting into new leaf, so I’m enjoying these graphic lines while I still can #dawn #silhouette #treeskeleton #graphic #filigree #pattern #colour #gradation This magic has just started to unfold in the ‘garden’ on our little roof terrace. Methinks spring has most definitely sprung! #spring #lente #blossoms #plum (?) #pink #petals #stamens #delicate #growth #seasons #cycle_of_life #roof_garden #haarlem Dawn colours #dawn #silhouette #dome #cathedral #kathedralebasilieksintbavo #studio_view #rooftops #haarlem Dressing W-A-Y out of my comfort zone for the “glitter and glamour” themed wedding party of friends tonight. Gulp… they say it’s good to step outside one’s comfort zone now and then, right?! #shimmery #sequins #glitter #festive #ottodame #not_black #colour #pattern #texture

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