Sunday, 31 March 2013

Spring playlist #04

I'm so ready for Spring over here, it's been a tough, long, snowy winter and with the last of the snow (it better be!) still on the ground, I need some springy tunes to help me welcome a new season, even if it's being stubbornly late to arrive! Here's looking forward to leaves on the trees, lambs, daffodils, growth, new life, eggs, warmth, more daylight and the clocks going back (which I forgot this morning!)

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Recent Sights

 Here's a few snaps of some recent sights I've seen from a T-Rex to To Kill a Mockingbird, William Blake to Udon Noodles, Egyptology to Snowdrops and Jigsaws, Fishing Tackle shops and Beautiful Books, Nests and Gothic Architecture, the Daughter-in-law and Scout's bed, and Modern architecture and white gable ends.
Most of these were taken in Manchester while having a huge culture fix, taking in the Raqib Shaw show at Manchester Art Gallery, the amazing To Kill a Mockingbird production at Royal Exchange Theatre, William Blake at the John Rylands Library & the new Egyptology gallery at the Manchester Museum. Then I also saw The Daughter-in-law at the Crucible in Sheffield and there's some local finds from my garden and elsewhere on my travels.

What have you seen lately?

Fashion Saturday: Print Trousers

Jil Sander Navy pants

           Jil Sander Navy                                                                 Timney

I love a good print and they're just right for spring giving warmth, colour, hope, humor and a smile and when they appear on trousers even better as there's still freezing temperatures and snow where I am! Here's a few of my faves:
DVF x Current/Elliott Jeans                                  Sonia Rykiel 

Alexander McQueen legging

                    Alexander McQueen                                        Alexander McQueen

                                      River Island pants

Adriana Voloshchuk                                                          River Island

Marni capri

                            Marni                                                           River Island

This post was meant to be a Fashion Friday post but I was away all day yesterday doing exciting things, so it's become a Fashion Saturday post! 
{all exciting goings on will be revealed in a later post}

Friday, 22 March 2013

International Art to See: Africa & Middle East

If I was in South Africa I'd see...
 Secret Garden
  Strange Flowers by Olaf Hajek at What if the world...

Here's the next post in my International Art to See series (see also North America, South America, Europe pt I & Europe pt II) covering art to see in Africa & the Middle East. There's so much art, covering so many subjects from abstractions, portraiture, religion, to interiors, chairs, script & Arab women in sport. Here's a few of my picks of what to see:

4 walls: Sha Zero, Takashi Murakami, Mr. Brainwash & Esther Mahlangu at 34fineart...

&  Summer of Sculpture at the Mount Nelson Hotel with Everard Read
in Cape Town.

Alessandro Pappetti at Everard Read...

The French Connection
 The French Connection at Joburg Art Gallery...

 & The Coming of Age at Joburg Art Gallery
in Johannesburg.

If I was in Zimbabwe I'd see...

Samuel Fosso: Everyone is Beautiful....

& European Old Masters and Nineteenth Century Paintings at National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo

If I was in Saudi Arabia I'd see...   
Mohannad Orabi Profile Portraits at Ayyam in Jeddah.
 If I was in the UAE I'd see...
Sharjah Biennial in Sharjah.

3.13 (featuring 7 monographic artists) at Cuadro...

The Dara Chronicles & Luminous Script at the Ara...

& Art of Iran at Opera in Dubai.

If I was in Lebanon I'd see...

If I was in Qatar I'd see..
Jewad Selim,
  Fahrelnissa Zeid & Forever Now: 5 anecdotes from the permanent collection at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art...


There's tons of art out there to see, what are going to see? What galleries/artists do you recommend?
Next up in the series? Asia! 

Fashion Friday: & other stories

H&M have just launched a smaller, more focused, more stylish brand called & other stories and there's lots of block colour and texture, two of the things I love in fashion. I'm really coveting the Clare Vivier two-tone wallet along with pops of neon pink on belts & ballerinas, origami-like dresses by Abigail Lorick, simple geometric rings, cut-out cardys and a wave print tee, perfect for spring, when it arrives still getting snow here in the UK!

(product name angle) (product name angle) 

(Replace width product name and angle)
                Brass Ring

(product name angle)  (product name angle)
Wide Parka                          Abigail Lorick Dress

Linen Shorts                          Dolman Sleeve T-shirt 

What would you pick?

Monday, 18 March 2013

Book Covers: Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Here's the next book cover in my project to redesign each book I read this year. The third book is 'The Wind-up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami (also see '11.22.33' & 'The year of magical thinking'). While I'm a big fan of Murakami, having read and loved, 'Norwegian Wood', 'After Dark' & 'What I talk about when I talk about running', this wasn't as focused and there were lots of things that didn't add to the story, but within that there were some intriguing bits, especially the idea of spending 2 days down a well in the dark just to think....

Anyways here's the cover, I completed it when I'd only read half the book as I put it into The fox is black's recovered competition. I also love the winning entry by Sam Kittinger. I wanted my cover to have the feel of living in two worlds, an ordinary reality and an alternate, weird & crazy one which is what Toru Okada lives like in the book. The psychedelic swirl also contains elements of themes in the book such as cats eyes, legs, water and a black hole to signify the darkness at the bottom of the well and in the other reality he encounters.
Up next I'm reading 'The last werewolf' by Glen Duncan which has one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen and held, which was created by the fab Peter Mendelsund.

What are you reading?