Tuesday, 27 October 2009

scattered leaves

It's definitely not Summer anymore. The clocks went back on Sunday so it's now getting dark at about 5pm. It's warm coat weather; it's changeable, volatile, blustery deep Autumn weather.

On Sunday it was the best. It started off muggy and miserably wet - you know that fine penetrating drizzle that really gets to you. I went into town and everyone seemed moody. People were shoving; umbrellas clashed. By the time I went home though, the sun had come bursting through the clouds and there was a huge great arc of a rainbow: a whole arc. Low black clouds and bright blue sky, and this magical bridge of colours. I wished I had my camera.

It is windy, and flocks of leaves are swirling around in the sky like tealeaves in the bottom of a cup. In our garden, the vine leaves have turned a deep, glorious red, and they are falling. Soon our trellises will be bare and we'll be able to see straight through into the neighbours' gardens.

What I love most of all, however, are those late roses. The roses keep flowering into November, bravely against the cold. We've taken better care of them this year and they're flourishing in their final blaze of ephemeral beauty. It's wonderful.

I keep thinking of that song by The Be Good Tanyas, Scattered Leaves. It has a story about a love that's ended, one who's returned and the other who's moved on, but I love the way it captures the beauty of the season and the sense of time moving inexorably to the next cycle. As the seasons pass we all lose things, the past becomes past, but as the song says, "that's just the way when you walk your days in the beauty of this world".

Saturday, 24 October 2009


I just discovered Zara Wood and fell in love with this adorable owl locket. So Santa, if you're reading...

Monday, 19 October 2009

pom-poms are so perfect: part 1

folksy pom-pom boots at John Galliano A/W 2009

I currently have a thing for pom-poms. They are sweet and silly, colourful and appealing, and they're easy to make. You can use them to decorate just about anything - like Ashish's customised American Apparel hoodie for Vogue, below.

I am making a gigantic pom-pom! I had hoped to include some pictures of it in this post, but it's taking a while... There will be a part deux. People keep asking me what I'll do with it when it's ready. I really don't know yet, but I'm sure something wonderful will happen when it finally emerges!

From UK Vogue, November 2009 issue

As if they weren't great enough already, pom-poms are also now have their own political movement! Check out the Pom-poms for World Peace movement to see what I mean...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

an owl a day

A few days ago I received a sweet little package from Portugal. The delightful Maça, of One Badge A Day, included a pretty flower as a free gift - how thoughtful!

Of course I couldn't resist this quirky fabric badge with its little yellow owl motif.

Wearing the badge, plus one of my own - a startled little red owl. I realise that I probably wear an owl somewhere most days! (I have a great little tag necklace from BoyGirlParty that comes out a lot).

For the moment I'm keeping it as a flower, but maybe I'll wear this one too. I so love ditzy floral fabrics. I have a crazy old 1960s cotton skirt that I'm turning into charming little fabric buttons at the moment.

COMING SOON: a post about POM-POMS! - un-missable, naturally!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

badge for J&J

badge for J&J
Originally uploaded by The Owl Club
This is such a pretty, photo of my friend's daughter J, with her dog, J - so happy and full of life! I asked what she'd like on her birthday badge and she said, 'my dog'. I hope she likes it!

p.s. these are the same friends we went damson picking with a few weeks ago, as I wrote about here.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

unexpected whale

Sometimes you just have to look up to see something wonderful. Most of the time we wander around with our eyes to the ground, scanning only for the important things: traffic lights, cyclists on the pavement, people we're avoiding etc.

I looked up the other day and saw this:

I think it's a whale. I love whales. Strangely, my sister-in-law has a terrible phobia of them - she can't even look at a picture of a whale without coming over all peculiar!

Must remember not to wear my Sven Palmowski squid & the whale badge when I see her...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

a poem

(photo of poetry book shelf taken at Kettle's Yard)

Today is National Poetry Day in the UK. With this in mind, I actually sat down last night and tried to write a poem. It's been a long time since I attempted such a thing... and I can't say the results were very successful. There are some words on a page, filed away for now, perhaps they have a beautiful future, perhaps not.

So I won't post that here. Instead, I want to share something by that most passionate of poets, one of my favourites, W. B. Yeats. Musical, mystical, speaking to the inner murmurings of the soul: you can read his poems endlessly.

By William Butler Yeats

That crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,

Her soul in division from itself
Climbing, falling She knew not where,
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship,
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing
Heroically lost, heroically found.

No matter what disaster occurred
She stood in desperate music wound,
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.'

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

pie in the sky

There's always time for creativity but... well, you know when other things are keeping you busy and tired, and creative projects start to seem like pie in the sky? That's a bit how I'm feeling at the moment.

That's why I'm so glad I have some Etsy custom orders to work on (more of this in forthcoming posts), keeping me focused & inspired!

And then there are the pretty Autumn-dusk skies to look at, reminding me of beauty just when I feel like crawling into bed and hiding under the covers from the world!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

drops in the river

My friend J lives on a houseboat and for his birthday he invited us all for a trip along the river. It was so beautiful with the glowing light in the Autumnal trees and the orange and yellow leaves in the water.

When I arrived I could see them all huddling around J, giving him his birthday presents.

Imagine if this were the view from your kitchen sink.

We entered the lock with the low Autumn sun behind us. Everyone was watching us from the bridges and riverbanks.

The people sitting on top of the boat had to lie very flat as we passed under some low stone bridges along the way.

The lock opened and low and behold, we were now at the right level to continue down the river.

All the way there were leaves in the water, scurrying in our wake, and the water captured blue patches of sky and violet clouds.

These images go well with one of the Fleet Foxes' wonderfully luminous-sounding songs, Drops in the River.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

ochen horosho

This means 'very good' in Russian. Because clearly there is an appealing folksy-slavic aspect of the design of my latest Etsy purchase: these brilliant badges by Stuart Kolakovic (see his Etsy shop here).

I love his style. How can I describe it? It's a mixture of fairytale, folklore nostalgia, and geometric, stylised simplicity. I see from his blog he's done book covers - makes me want to write the right kind of book just so I can ask him to do the cover! Check out the pretty logo stamp he put on the envelope:

Am also grateful to Sven Palmowski of the fab Badge Review site for this find!

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