Style Imitating Art: Ciclotrama 36

Hello, hello! Today I am taking part in Style Imitating Art again, for the first time in a while. I keep forgetting about it but for once I remembered.

This time Salazar chose a sculpture/installation from a series called “Ciclotrama“. This particular installation is “Ciclotrama 36“.

She said she chose it because she “liked the contrast between the strong gold frames and the delicate black strands of ropes”.

As soon as I saw the photograph I knew at least part of what I wanted to wear. I own a skirt that is perfect. Here is my final outfit:

As you can see, I combined the skirt with a black jumper. Mustard coloured tights and a gold necklace were an attempt to bring in the gold tones from the frames.

The skirt is from a Dutch brand called Superstition. I bought it in around 2014, I think. The black jumper (sweater) was purchased during my year abroad – so end of 2003/beginning of 2004 – when I realised I hadn’t brought enough winter clothes with me. The tights are H&M, purchased last year. And the necklace was a gift. It’s featured in other SIA outfits so you can see a close up of it here.

If you’re feeling spontaneous, you can still submit an outfit by emailing a photo to Salazar (14shadesofgreyblog@gmail.com) by the end of today. The round up of all submissions will be on her blog, https://14shadesofgrey.wordpress.com/, tomorrow.

How do you like my submission? Isn’t the skirt just amazing?

An art tour of my home (Bloggers Art Gallery)

Hi everyone! Kezzie came up with this idea of a kind of bloggers art gallery – basically a link up to allow bloggers to share the art they have in their homes. The interpretation of “art” was left completely open – paintings, sculptures, carvings, glassware, a beautiful patchwork quilt. Whatever art means to you. I thought it sounded fun so I decided to join in.

For my post I wanted to a kind of virtual tour, as if I was actually walking through our flat with you telling you about the things we have on display.

The first thing you see when you come in the door is one of my favourite pieces in the whole flat! My cousin sent me this for Christmas 2019 and she informs me it’s by an artist local to her in Shrewsbury. Regular readers will surely remember it as we got it framed only recently.

If we turn to the right and continue down the corridor, the next thing we come across is two decorative tiles, hanging above the cabinet where we keep towels and other things. I bought both of them years ago on Dawanda – the former German version of Etsy. The cat one is a copy of a piece by Rosina Wachtmeister, an Austrian artist. I think they’re made using serviettes but don’t ask me how!

Appropriately, the fox card is actually from Kezzie herself! It was far too pretty to put away so it lives there. The gap on the left usually contains a framed photo of my godson but I took it down before taking this picture… privacy and all that.

Some of you may remember that where the red panda now hangs used to be home of a fox that was drawn for me by blogger Alison. Never dear, Mr Fox is still around! He’s just moved further down the corridor to be with a second piece of zentangle inspired artwork that Alison sent me in memory of our twins.

Having reached the end of the corridor, we now enter the bedroom, where we only have one thing on the wall (I need to do something about that!). This hedgehog is a digital print made up of lots of triangles. I got it from a charity auction in aid of PostPals.

hedgehog

Next door to the bedroom is the spare room. In there we have something that isn’t art as such, but we found interesting enough to frame. It’s a very cool jigsaw. (It’s also a pain to photograph thanks to the reflection from the window on the other side of the room!)

Exiting the spare room, we find a very important piece of art to our immediate left – a gift from my godson. I’ve removed his name from the photo, but the date shows he was almost 3 when he painted it.

There’s no art in my office so we’ll walk straight past that door and continue down the other side of the corridor. I won this bee in the same PostPals auction as the hedgehog.

bee print

We’re back to other end of the corridor now. To the left of the front door is a shoe cabinet, which houses a watercolour postcard I bought the first time I went to Paris. The little bowl was a gift from a friend in Luxembourg – would you believe it’s made of paper? And obviously the little painted chalice is from Rome.

On the wall above the postcard, next to the living room door, we find a peregrine falcon. My dad’s girlfriend’s dad painted it for me years ago!

Into the living room next, where we turn left along the bookcases and find this poster of Paddington Bear. I’m not sure whether it’s strictly “art” but I love it!

Paddington Bear

Three pieces reside on top of the cabinet that houses our wine glasses. Jan’s sister drew the gorilla. The two cross stitches are mine – Death of Rats was a gift from me to Jan years ago and he gave me the Me to You bear kit, which I then stitched.

Above the TV is a shelf that’s full of DVDs, and also houses two little foxes. Both were painted for Jan by his sister and I adore them!

Below the shelf, to the left of the TV, is a cabinet, and on top of that cabinet there are two cards featuring artwork by my aunt. She does them as Christmas cards, and these two are the most recent. I have others that aren’t on display, including a koala from when they lived in Australia. I wonder if you can guess where they live now?

Also on that cabinet are a painted stone and two postcards, all by Jan’s sister. The stone was a recent gift to Jan, the postcards are older.

Moving around the room, on either side of the window we have two things that we had framed years . Inn the left is a print of a Rosina Wachtmeister painting (she of the cats in corridor – she does a lot of cats, but this one doesn’t feature any).

To the right of the window is something that was actually an advert for an event at a French cultural centre where Jan used to help out. He liked it so much that he wanted to get it framed. I’m not actually sure what it’s supposed to be.

Above the sofa is a poster of a painting by Edward Hopper. Jan has owned it for years, I think since before we even met. He likes Edward Hopper… I’m quite honestly indifferent to him.

Finally we head into the dining room part of our open plan living/dining/kitchen area, where we have a frame containing some mini cross-stitch motifs that I stitched for myself years ago.

And that’s the end of my tour. We don’t have any sculptures or anything cool like that, there’s no wall space in the actual kitchen area and we don’t have any art in the bathrooms.

I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of art other people have in their homes. Once the various posts are up I’ll add the links here in case you want to see them too.

Alison’s post.

Ally‘s post.

Anca’s post.

Hazel‘s post.

Ivana‘s post.

Julia‘s post.

Kezzie’s post (host).

Mike‘s post.

MK‘s post.

Louise‘s post.

Ros‘s post.

Sophie‘s post.

Sheila‘s post.

Thrift Deluxe‘s post.

Vix‘s post.

Wembley‘s post (on Facebook).

Style Imitating Art: Liberty Head

Yes, it’s another outfit post. When I saw the inspiration for this week’s Style Imitating Art, I immediately had an idea for an outfit I wanted to submit. This time, the piece was chosen by Kim from Fierce Fashion and it’s Liberty Head by Peter Max:

liberty-head-1986.jpg!Large

The first thing I noticed was the stripes down the middle, then I noticed the white and coral type colours and realised I had the perfect pair of trousers. Then, with the main colour being blue, I decided I had to add a blue top. So here is my outfit:

SIA-June2020

When I asked Jan to take the photo for me and showed him the inspiration, he asked whether I planned to wear something spiky on my head. I told him I had chosen the necklace to represent the spiky elements, but then he spotted the crown on the bookcase, left over from a Three King’s Cake, and persuaded me to put that on. Nonetheless, here’s a close up of the necklace:

SIA-necklace

By the way, you may notice my hair’s changed colour since my last SIA post. I dyed it last week but it didn’t work as attended. It was supposed to be purple! It doesn’t look too bad like this though.

Some things in this outfit have featured in previous rounds of SIA: the necklace (gift from my grandma), shoes (Deichmann, 2 years ago) and T-Shirt (don’t remember). The linen trousers were from C&A last year, purchased for my holiday in Spain and Portugal!

I’m fairly late with this post again, but if anyone wants to spontaneously join in send a photo of your outfit (on you or as a flat lay) to Kim on fiercefashionblog@gmail.com by tomorrow – 2 June 2020. There will then be a round up of all submissions on her blog on Wednesday.

 

Style Imitating Art: Teapot

Hello friends! For the first time in a while I remembered Style Imitating Art exists so I’m joining in. This time the inspiration is a gorgeous teapot made by the British Royal Worcester Porcelain Company. My outfit’s connection with the prompt is a bit of a stretch, but allow me to explain…

First, let’s take a look at the inspiration.

Teapot-Metropolitan-Museum-of-Art-Open-Access-scaled

As soon as I saw the teapot, my first thoughts was that the pale blue/green colour on the left reminded me of a dress I own. Other than one colour the dress and teapot don’t have much in common though…

SIA-teapot

 

So I added accessories to try and make it look more like the art. It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but I am wearing a necklace, earrings and a bracelet.

The necklace (which has featured in an outfit post before) and bracelet reminded me of the teapot’s handle. The earrings feature birds. Nothing like the actual birds on the teapot, but still birds!

Since we were going outside, I needed a hat so I grabbed one that had patterns that  vaguely reminded me of the right-hand side of the teapot and parts of the handle. The band around the hat also reminded me of how the teapot is split into strips of colour.

hat

Finally, my shoes (which I didn’t take an extra close-up of) are black because of the black on the teapot.

As for where the items in my outfit came from… for the most part I can’t really tell you. The dress was ordered online years ago but I don’t remember where from. I purchased the hat in Spain (exactly a year ago today, actually) on arriving there only to find I had forgotten to pack a hat. And all the jewellery was gifts. The shoes are a brand called Rieker and I like them a lot. They’re comfortable.

I actually had Jan around to take a photo of me this time, so no awkward attempts at selfies. Instead you get my weird facial expression of “how does one smile for an outfit post, exactly?”.

I’m quite late to the game, but if you wanted to spontaneously rustle up an outfit you have until tomorrow (Tuesday, 18 May 2020) to submit it to Danael on livingoutsidethestacks@gmail.com – you don’t have to take a photo of yourself wearing it, a flat lay of what you would wear is fine – then check out her blog Living Outside the Stacks on Wednesday to see everyone else’s submissions.

Believathon II: Journey to the Stronghold

I’ve been looking forward to this readathon for ages,and now I’ve finally finished deciding what I’m  (potentially) going to read.

This readathon takes the form of a “choose-your-own-adventure” story based on a map… this one here:

Believathon II Map

You can find the map in the amazing compendium, which you can download for free here or even buy in book form from Amazon. The compendium features the quest that we’ll be going on as well as recommendations from various bloggers and book-lovers for each of the categories.

This is a two-week readathon that is taking place from 11-24 May and is hosted by Gavin from the YouTube channel How to Train Your Gavin. You can find the Believathon Twitter here.

To allow me to actually follow the choose your own adventure aspect I’ve decided to pick a book for every location then decide spontaneously where to go next after completing each prompt.

Believathon-tbr

Our journey begins at the Poacher’s Pocket Inn where the prompt is to read the first book in a series. In the tale, you also receive a magic lamp that gives you the chance to skip a location or even go directly to the end so you could potentially read two books for this readathon. Anyway… my choice for this prompt: The Shadows by Jacqueline West, which is the first in the Books of Elsewhere series.

After that, you have a choice of two locations to continue with, then from there another two, etc. Here are the remaining locations and prompts:

The Yellow Brick Road – Read a book you were supposed to read years ago. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Somehow this never crossed my path when I was a child! I had planned to read if for my Master’s dissertation (which I wrote on the translation of children’s literature) but I decided it was too long so it’s been sitting on my bookcase ever since. It’s definitely about time I read it! (Confession: I actually have the original German as well since for my dissertation I would have had to read both, but since it’s long I’m cheating and reading the English translation for Believathon.)

Baba Yaga’s House – Read a book featuring a family relationship. In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll is about a girl being sent to stay with her grandmother while her little brother has a heart transplant so I’m assuming her relationship with her grandma comes into it somewhere.

The Wonderfalls – Read a book featuring a disability. The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree by Paola Peretti. This features a girl who is losing her sight and it comes highly recommended by Gavin himself.

100 Acre Wood – Read a book with yellow on the cover. High Rise Mystery by Sharna Jackson. There’s not much yellow but it’s definitely there!

High-Rise Mystery

The Deepwoods – Read a book that was published before 2000. Three Tales of My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett combines three books published in 1948, 1950 and 1951. Slightly before 2000!

Mermaids’ Lagoon – Read a book featuring a female bond. Tilly and the Book Wanderers by Anna James. Tsam recommended this book for this prompt in the compendium so clearly it must fit.

The Brolly Rail – Read a book featuring transportation or with transportation on the cover. The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson. There’s a train on the cover! (And possibly in the book?)

Platform 13

Orion Found – Read a sci-fi book or a book related to space. I’m actually reading the book that inspired the location for this one, Orion Lost by Alastair Chisholm. This is also the middle grade monthly book for May.

Black Ice Bridge – Read a book featuring an expedition or adventure. The Pirates Eye by Guy Bass. The second Stitch Head book. In this one our tiny hero sets sail on a big adventure on the high seas!

Finally, we end up at The Book-Keeper’s Stronghold with the prompt to read the next book in a series. I will finally be reading The Battle of Perfect by Helena Duggan, the third and last book in the Perfect series. I can’t wait to see how it ends!

So I will definitely be reading the first and last books on this list, and in between those… We shall see where my quest takes me. I’m really excited for all of these books so I may just end up reading the ones I don’t get to after Believathon is over.

Have I inspired you to take part in Believathon? Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought!

A couple’s day in lockdown, April 2020

I saw a few people doing “my day in quarantine” on their Instagram stories and I thought it would be fun to do something like that here, but a couple’s version. Also, I don’t call mine “quarantine” because people in quarantine don’t get to leave the house. My uncle was in quarantine for potential exposure because he had been in Tirol and he had to stay in his flat for 14 days and his daughter wasn’t allowed to come home from her mum’s for that entire time. If you can do your own shopping and see family members you’re not in quarantine! Anyway… rant about semantics over. This was Easter Saturday – I’ve just been too lazy to sort out the photos until now.

10 a.m.

Jan: Sleeping. (I took a photo of our bed the night before specifically for this purpose!)

Me: Making a cuppa, because that’s how I always start my day.

11 a.m.

Jan: Still sleeping.

Me: Getting some reading in before Jan emerges and the TV goes on.

12 noon.

Jan: In bed. Where else?

Me: Thought it was about time I actually ate something!

1 p.m.

Jan: No change 😂

Me: Time for a shower.

2 p.m.

Jan: Apparently got up while I was in the shower. No watching TV and eating breakfast.

Me: Reading is out, so now I’m colouring.

3 p.m.

Jan: Watching the news while playing a game on his phone.

Me: Watching the news and continuing to colour.

4 p.m.

Jan: Even when all live sport is cancelled, my boyfriend manages to find football!

Me: Finished my picture.

(Immediately after I took those photos Jan went for a shower and I hoovered the flat, but at photo time the above is what we were doing)

5 p.m.

Both: Our for a walk. Hello ducks!

6 p.m.

Both: Still walking. Said hi to some goats.

At 7 p.m. we were still out, walking towards home, but I forgot to take photos. It wouldn’t have been very interesting anyway since we came back along a busier road.

8 p.m.

Jan: Ordering food for us (and then he went and emptied the dishwasher).

Me: Getting started on my blog post for April’s Show Us Your Books.

9 p.m.

Both: Food came – and we also ordered some Italian soft drink things (that is actually not Coke!)

10 p.m.

Both: Watching Indiana Jones, apparently?! I had never seen it before. It was terrible! (He made me watch the next film the following night. It was even more terrible!)

I stopped taking photos after that. I took my book to bed and read until it was finished. Jan stayed up watching TV until I don’t know when.

And that is a snapshot of how each of us coped on one specific day in lockdown (or semi-lockdown really, since we’re still allowed out to buy food and go for long walks).

I also have an “official” photo an hour post still to come. That one will just be what I was doing. This couple’s was just something I thought would be fun.

I hope everyone is doing okay out there. Keep staying home. It will be worth it in the end!

Post isolation fantasy choices challenge

Kezzie has put together a challenge with some questions about what people will do when all the restrictions are lifted and we can safely go about our lives again. I thought it would be a fun thing to ponder so here are my answers.

1. Restaurant you would go out to.

We usually go to a vegetarian/vegan restaurant called Tibits whenever I’ve had to go into the office in Germany. We haven’t been since the beginning of March and I’m actually starting to miss it! Or I might like to try a restaurant that we haven’t been to yet.

2. Friend you would meet up with first.

As I mentioned in this post, I don’t really see many friends at the best of times, but I had been planning to meet up with my friend who lives Karlsruhe and her boyfriend once the weather got warmer so  hopefully we will get to do that before the summer is over!

3. Place you would go.

Realistically it will probably be Germany to work since I’ve now missed 3 of my regular trips there 😅. But if we’re talking fantasy answers I would love a weekend away somewhere. Maybe up a mountain somewhere in Switzerland.

4.  Shop you would go to.

I don’t really do much shopping outside if supermarkets – Switzerland is too expensive! So it would probably just be the department store Manor to buy stickers (I use them on the envelopes when I send cards for Post Pals or letters to my pen pals). Or I would go to the bookshop, wistfully read all the synopses then leave without buying anything because they’re sooo expensive. I can honestly order a book from Waterstones in the UK and pay less for it including postage to Switzerland!

5.  Food item you would buy/eat.

The only thing I haven’t been able to buy is yeast and since I planned to make hot cross buns with it I feel like that ship has sailed!

6.  Cake you would eat.

If I want cake I can make it (as long as if doesn’t involve yeast!) but I do love the chocolate, pear and hazelnut cake from the restaurant at Papiermühle so I would have to say that.

Toblerone cheesecake
Toblerone cheesecake

7.  Show you would/will go to see

We didn’t have any planned so I would have to see what’s on once events are allowed again. I’m hoping for another good comedian to come to Switzerland. Bill Bailey would be nice!

8.  Concert you will go to watch.

Jan is still hoping a project he’s involved in will go ahead in October so most likely that.

9.  Relative you will hug first.

My mum had been planning to come over in June so if we can rearrange that it will be her. But honestly I don’t even know when I will see any member of my family again. Flights probably won’t be going for a long time 😦

10. Holiday you would go on.

It would be great if we could rearrange the Poland trip we had to cancel. Or maybe I’ll take a trip to the UK and hug all my family!

11.  Other activity you would take part in.

I had been planning to sign up for a beginner’s crochet course at the end of March so if that’s repeated when things open again it will most likely be that.

12.  Thing you would do at work.

I am still working as normal and I already worked from home apart from on two days a month, so there’s no task that I need isolation to be over to be able to do. However, things were really slow this week so I am hoping our customers will get back to work so they can send us things to translate!

13.  Item you would buy.

I don’t think there is anything I want/need that I couldn’t just order now. Maybe we will finally get round to buying balcony furniture?

That’s it. I really enjoyed thinking up these answers. Hopefully I will get to actually do some of them this year! If you want to answer them too I would love to see your answers and please also link to Kezzie’s post and stop by to say hi/let her know you’ve done it.

A Photo An Hour: 21 March 2020

Hello friends! Saturday was the day of the Photo an Hour linkup and, thanks to social distancing, for once I wasn’t the only one spending the entire day inside 😉

Here’s what I got up to:

10 a.m. Kettle is boiling for the first cuppa of the day.

11 a.m. Tooooast! (Just noticed the state of my toaster. Yikes!)

12 noon. Finally starting this book that everyone has been raving about.

1 p.m. About time I got in the shower.

2 p.m. More tea! Jan is up now so I’m making two.

3 p.m. Can’t concentrate on my book while Jan has crap TV on so I’ve escaped to my craft room (otherwise known as the office). Making Easter cards for Post Pals.

4 p.m. Putting on some laundry.

5 p.m. Getting some reading in while Jan’s in the shower.

6 p.m. Cooking. Soup seemed like a good idea.

7 p.m. Drinking beer, watching the news.

8 p.m. Getting some exercise with a virtual reality game. (Please ignore the mess!)

9 p.m. Back in my PJs.

10 p.m. Watching some YouTube.

11 p.m. Time for bed.

How did you spend your weekend at home? (I hope you were at home – unless you work for a health service, supermarket or similar, in which case THANK YOU!).

Photo an Hour is hosted by Louisa and Jane. The next link-up is on 18th April. Will we be allowed out by then? Only time will tell.

Three things for February 2020

bee1
Good morning!  I’ve kind of been neglecting this space recently so I thought I’d do this as something fun that’s also quick and easy. Shamelessly stolen from Audrey.
Three things I liked about February
1. Our trip to St Gallen
2. Pancake day!
3. Watching Good Omens
 
Three things I’m looking forward to in March
1. Poland. We’re meeting my family in Krakow for a few days then Jan and I are going to Wroclaw.
2. Lighter evenings so I can leave the house after work without having to worry about people lurking around corners.
3. …I cant actually think of a third thing. Clearly I need to male some plans for March.
 
Three vegetables I eat the most
1. Carrots
2. Courgettes
3. Chick peas
 
Three grocery items I buy every week
1. Milk
2. Bread (for toast)
3. Chicken
 
Three things we go through like crazy in my house
1. Teabags
2. Dishwasher tabs. I seriously don’t understand how we got through so many with just the two of us living here.
3. Margarine
 
Three things I always have time for
1. Reading
2. Sending birthday cards
3. Catching up with other people’s blog posts
 
Three things I never have time for
1. Writing posts for my own blog
2. Housework (you may think I exaggerate but you haven’t seen the absolute state of my flat!)
3. Cooking anything that takes longer than 45 minutes total  (including prep). I want to but I just can’t!
That’s it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. (P.S. The photo at the top has nothing to do with anything  – I just needed something to put there.)

Six degrees of separation: From Fleischman is in Trouble to…

This was fun last time, so I thought I’d do it again. This link up is hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite and Best. The idea is that everyone starts with the same book and then adds six more to the chain, each one somehow relating to the one before. Then we see where everyone’s chain took them.

This time around, the starting book is Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

Fleishman

I had never heard of this book before, but the synopsis tells me it’s about a man who has recently separated from his wife. One day, she drops their kids off at his place and disappears. This tells the story of him searching for her while juggling his job and parenting their two children. I feel like it’s quite unusual to read about divorce and relationship breakdowns from the man’s perspective, but here’s another book that does that…

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons. This is about a man who, on the eve of his 30th birthday, makes a stupid mistake, which results in his wife moving to Japan, leaving him to raise his son alone.

My next link is a little tentative as it’s based solely on a word in the title…

Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan. I haven’t actually read this yet, but it’s about a boy called Johnny who has recently moved house, and therefore schools, and has to deal with a bully. Then a chance encounter with a swan sparks a series of events that result in Johnny playing the lead in a school ballet. There seems to be a magical element to it as well. It sounds like it’s going to be a fun read!

Let’s move on to another book featuring ballet…

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I adored this book as a child and read it over and over (seriously, you should see the state of my copy!). This is the story of three sdopted sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy, who ended up taking ballet lessons and, later, performing to help earn money for the family.

My link between this one and the next book is adoption.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford. This is a fun children’s mystery set at a smuggler’s inn during the winter. The main character, Milo, is adopted and while the story is not about that, his being adopted does play on his mind a lot (although he clearly loves his adopted family and wouldn’t change his life for anything).

Another book featuring a hotel and a mystery is Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. Interestingly, the main character in this one is an orphan, so there’s another connection! Although according to the synopsis, Elizabeth Somers sadly didn’t end up in a loving family. I haven’t read this one but I really want to!

For my final link, I am going to go with a character name. As I’ve mentioned, Winterhouse features a girl named Elizabeth, which brings me to…

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. Elizabeth is not the main character in this Instead it’s the story of Maud – her best friend – who is suffering from dementia and has a few things muddled up but is determined to find out what’s happened to Elizabeth. The lengths Maud goes to to try and find her friend are really touching and I found this a really good depiction of dementia. I recommend this book.

And that’s six, which wraps up this chain. Go here to find out where everyone else’s journey took them (you can find all the links in the comments on the host’s post).

If you were to make a chain, what links would you use?