Category Archives: short poem films

Thursday…with blues

November 5, 2015

Filed Under : Autumn - short poem films - Winter

Photo 03-11-2015 13 28 23Earlier in the week I had a bit of a blue moment…I’m working with a lot of white in the new 5ftinf Shed installation for the Christmas Open House, and I just suddenly felt the need for blue…with some red punctuation…Photo 03-11-2015 13 07 39 Photo 03-11-2015 13 09 42 Photo 03-11-2015 13 12 12 Photo 03-11-2015 13 12 35 Photo 03-11-2015 13 14 55 Photo 03-11-2015 13 22 52 Photo 03-11-2015 13 32 45

There’s something very calming about indulging the colour part of my brain, and yesterday I also found putting one of my new jigsaws together also quite meditative!

 

Friday…with garden texture and ferns

September 25, 2015

Filed Under : Autumn - My Garden - short poem films

imageAs the Autumn creeps on, the textures of the garden are changing as well as the colours, and I love it when everything grows into each other; joined together by falling leaves and fading flowers…it was so nice to have a meeting with Cécile ( from Tiki Brighton ) in the shed this morning about an exciting pop up happening in London this November ( which I’ll keep you posted about very soon…Holly Bell’s ceramics will also feature! )imageimage image image image …although the nasturtiums are far from fading and seem brighter than ever…image image image image image image image image imageAfter our meeting and a potter in the back garden I wanted to pick some ferns from the front garden…I suddenly remembered these amazing fern books I was given by my mum during the summer…they must have belonged to my Granny, but they’re really old so maybe they were her mother’s…image I love ferns and when I was about 8 years old I went on a school trip fossil hunting in the Forest of Dean…I was SO excited when I found my fern fossil and then distraught when my best friend dropped it…BUT when I picked up the pieces we realised it had broken to reveal and even better fern fossil! …A bit of a life lesson really; sometimes when things are broken they’re far more deep and interesting…image

Anyway, the book is amazing and each colour wood block print which appears is like a pressed fern ( there were also some real old brow pressed ferns hiding on page 230! )…there is a lot of reading to be done now and a renewed fascination…I reckon ferns are going to be the new succulents!!image

( and here’s a quick flip through the books to give you the sense of it’s gorgeousness…)

Thursday…with Niwaki and a Japanese aesthetic ( and giveaway! )

September 17, 2015

Filed Under : Autumn - collaborations - ikebana - short poem films - Summer

Photo 10-08-2015 18 17 41When I was asked by topiary expert Jake Hobson who is the owner of Niwaki; ( a company who imports amazing Japanese products into the UK ) , if I would take some shots of some of their beautiful products, I knew I’d love them before I’d seen any of them as the Japanese aesthetic is very close to my artistic heart, but I wasn’t quite expecting to fall in love with everything he sent me…including a hand forged axe and a golden spade!

Japanese gardens are landscapes; microcosms of nature, and the trees are all shaped to fit into those landscapes. The name Niwaki (ni-whacky) means ‘garden tree’, but as ever within Japanese culture, it implies far more than just that, which is the very reason behind the company’s name…it implies more than one thing…

Jake spent time working in Japan and is married to Keiko who is Japanese, so unsurprisingly virtually everything on their site has been put to practical purpose by both of them at some point, and that’s basically how their range has organically grown. Jake was given a pair of Okatsune garden scissors on his first day of pruning in Japan, and is still using them today, ( and apparently everyone in Japan who gardens has a pair of Okatsune secateurs too! ).

So you can probably gauge by now how exciting it was to discover and investigate everything I was going to shoot…
Photo 10-08-2015 18 24 43I’m a very practical person, and live in a sort of indoor/outdoor way at home…inside the house I always have to feel connected to the outside, so ( much to the chagrin of my partner when he comes round ), I have to have the back door open from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed….whatever the season ( which doesn’t impress the cat in Winter! ).

I love popping out to the garden whenever I feel like it which often leads to impromptu pruning, digging, snipping ( often in my pyjamas ), and as I have a lifelong love of design the combination of very practical and very beautiful is my ideal…it makes the whole process of existing so much more pleasant…

My father was employed by a Japanese company most of his working life, and I was always fascinated by the gifts he was given when he came back from a trip, and the things he brought back for us…

It all seemed so different from anything you’d pick up in a cynical tourist spot over here…such care and precision had been put into every part of the product, the packaging, even the wrapping. I remember beautiful boxes containing delicate sweets and exquisite scarves for my mum, but with an aesthetic which I couldn’t quite get my head round…the designs were so alien to me ( I was heavily into Laura Ashley at the time! ), but I couldn’t ignore the quality, even aged 13…the quality of all the Japanese gifts my Dad brought back was exquisite…
Photo 10-08-2015 18 05 19So, for this shoot I wanted to echo the beauty of the hand made, the practical, the homely, and then combine it with my own style and a sense of the Japanese aesthetic… ( you can have a look at my Wabi Sabi board on Pinterest here )

Niwaki started off with just gardening tools but then extended their range to incorporate beautiful products for around the home…so below you can see what I came up with bearing all this in mind…Photo 10-08-2015 18 22 25Above: Okatsune-ikenobo scissors 

Below: Hontane scissors…Photo 10-08-2015 18 23 30Photo 10-08-2015 18 21 05Above: Okatsune-ikenobo scissors 

Below: Hontane scissors…Photo 10-08-2015 18 31 57Photo 31-08-2015 18 39 32Above: Okatsune Koryu Scissors 

Below: Japanese Wakasaya-bonsai Scissors
Photo 31-08-2015 18 40 56Photo 31-08-2015 18 41 07below: Japanese Saitaro Tailor’s shears
Photo 31-08-2015 19 08 55Photo 05-08-2015 17 19 22above: Japanese Fabric Snips
below: Japanese Hand Forged Tweezers
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Photo 13-08-2015 11 40 47Photo 06-08-2015 16 41 28Above and below: Japanese Yoshihide pencil sharpener
Photo 06-08-2015 16 42 18Photo 06-08-2015 16 45 26Above and below: Japanese Ikeuchi Craft Knife
Photo 06-08-2015 16 48 56Photo 13-08-2015 11 20 51Above: Kanekoma Higonokami folding knife

Below: Kotoh Folding Knife with Quince handle
Photo 20-07-2015 19 00 39Photo 21-07-2015 12 36 00above and below: Japanese Fruit Knife
Photo 21-07-2015 12 31 34Photo 05-08-2015 13 19 07Above and below: Japanese Kotodo Cans
…all these canisters are contained in the largest one; such a great example of economic and useful designPhoto 05-08-2015 13 08 43Photo 05-08-2015 13 03 50Below: Cray-Pas Colouring Crayons
Photo 05-08-2015 19 30 11One of my absolute favourite things of the whole shoot was this extraordinary Colour Encyclopaedia below, which consists of 9 different volumes of colour…( 90 artist’s pencils in total ), and which have the most poetical names and unbelievably beautiful colours like ’Sea Fog’ and ‘Pigeon Grey’ …they are undoubtably the most beautiful set of coloured pencils I have ever seen, and I keep opening them like I would a precious jewellery box. I could look at them for hours and just feel happy…to be honest I’m not sure if I could actually bring myself to use them; they’re such an exquisite piece of art themselves! 
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51314181927Photo 05-08-2015 16 51 04Above: Tangerine HankcachiPhoto 05-08-2015 17 24 27Above and below: Tengui Face Towels ( cherry blossom ) ( rain )  Photo 05-08-2015 17 30 55Below: Japanese Tobisho secateurs
Photo 13-08-2015 09 46 00Photo 13-08-2015 09 54 05Above: Genzo Snips

Below:  Okatsune fruit snips
Photo 13-08-2015 10 24 51Photo 13-08-2015 09 44 10Above: Japanese Tobisho secateursPhoto 13-08-2015 12 15 02Above: Japanese Sugi Tape ( bottom left )Garden Coir Twine ( centre ) and

Below: Black Japanese Shuronawa garden twine  with Red Choki scissors with Red Choki scissors ( by the way ‘choki’ in Japanese means the sound scissors make when cutting! )Photo 13-08-2015 12 08 07Photo 13-08-2015 12 01 05Photo 21-08-2015 12 54 39Photo 20-07-2015 18 25 31Above and below: Japanese Splitting Hatchet
Photo 20-07-2015 18 28 22Below: Mamiya Hand Forged Large Trowel http://www.niwaki.com/store/mamiya-trowel/Photo 21-08-2015 13 00 24Photo 21-08-2015 13 20 38Photo 21-08-2015 13 02 10Below: Japanese Weeding Hoe
Photo 21-08-2015 13 28 23Photo 31-08-2015 17 17 10And last but not least one of the best spades ever…this Japanese ‘golden’ spade
Photo 31-08-2015 17 16 27
…but now briefly back to the snips, because here’s a chance to win this beautiful pair of Wakasaya garden scissors…

All you have to do is follow @niwakijake on Instagram, repost this image below from either the Niwaki account or my account over the next week ( last day for entering is next Thursday 24th September ), tagging it with @niwakijake and @5ftinf and use the hashtag #niwakiscissorsgiveaway

( You can also leave a comment here on my blog saying that you’d like to enter )Photo 16-09-2015 15 18 45

…and here they are in action!

I was so, so impressed by the quality of everything I photographed for Niwaki, and I strongly urge you to have a look at all the stuff over on Jake’s website here as a lot of the things would make the most perfect Christmas presents ( that axe for example…who wouldn’t want that in their stocking!! ), There is also a Pinterest board here with more of my images, as well as a Steller story here.

AND… Niwaki are also offereing a 10% discount on orders this month if you use the code: 5ftinfniwaki

 

Monday…with a bit of Autumn

September 14, 2015

Filed Under : Autumn - My Home - short poem films - workshops

Photo 14-09-2015 11 15 34It’s only a month away from the workshop that I’ll be running with Anna Potter ( and @swallowsanddamsons on Instagram )in Sheffield on October 17th and as there are a few places still left, I thought I’d put together another arrangement in the sort of style which I’ll be working with on the day…

The day will be packed with flowers, props, Autumnal pickings as well as lunch and tea, so it will really be an Autumnal feast!

…I love saving and then using old dried up bits and pieces as well as discarded leaves and sticks, herbs, spices and anything else I can lay my hands on in the kitchen cupboard!

Photo 14-09-2015 11 01 38

So I created a broad palette of ingredients this morning so that I had the freedom to create something from all the Autumnal things which are filling my home at the moment…and then I let them work their magic…

Photo 14-09-2015 06 48 50 Photo 14-09-2015 10 16 51 Photo 14-09-2015 10 21 21 Photo 14-09-2015 10 23 09 Photo 14-09-2015 10 24 13 Photo 14-09-2015 10 27 45 Photo 14-09-2015 10 29 34 Photo 14-09-2015 10 30 19 Photo 14-09-2015 10 31 37 Photo 14-09-2015 10 26 31 Photo 14-09-2015 10 36 33 Photo 14-09-2015 10 37 29 Photo 14-09-2015 10 38 24 Photo 14-09-2015 10 44 41 Photo 14-09-2015 10 48 33 Photo 14-09-2015 10 49 53 Photo 14-09-2015 11 08 26 Photo 14-09-2015 11 11 09 Photo 14-09-2015 11 12 27 Photo 14-09-2015 12 11 01

Photo 14-09-2015 11 17 19

If you’d like to book a place on the workshop you’ll be able to here, and you can see my Steller story version here:

Sunday…with Weekly Snaps

August 23, 2015

Filed Under : Art - Cornwall - short poem films - Summer - Weekly Snaps

image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image image

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image imageThese images are basically a peep into life ‘around’ the table; things I see and how they might influence what I do and I try to make one of these stories each Sunday on Steller…you can see the Steller version here and the ‘Rescuing Dahlias’ Steller story here

 

The Lifeband and The Table…Part 4

August 3, 2015

Filed Under : collaborations - short poem films - Summer

Photo 22-07-2015 17 50 25This is the final part of the of the series of blog posts about my life band. I think I said in Part 3 that writing these posts has really been a wonderful experience; they’ve made me think about life, how I connect to it and what it means to me.

I wanted to include something of the talented couple behind Rhodes Wedding Co, who create these extraordinary and beautiful hand forged pieces.

I thought about all sorts of massive life questions I could ask, but that somehow didn’t seem appropriate in the end, as what I’ve found by creating this series of posts is that it’s the everyday objects and thoughts; the things we don’t consider important at first, or the things which have just quietly stayed with us through the years which become part of the vital make up of life and how we choose to exist within it…

So, I actually put together some extremely simple questions for us to answer, as I thought it would be an interesting way to look at the significance which small things have on us…

10 questions are below, and our answers follow ( with a few of my own images too )…

1. If you could list 5 important sounds of life what would they be?
Me:  The distant sound of seagulls, Cheeks ( my cat ) purring loudly, my son whistling or singing upstairs,  an old ticking clock,  the sound of my late Grandfather’s back door closing; how it brushed on the carpet and slightly jangled the knocker and the ket when he went out.
Jessy:  The sounds of birds chirping, the sounds of the ocean, the sound of coffee grinding with a hand grinder, the little and sweet breathing sounds a puppy makes, the sound of walking on snow
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2. If you could list 5 important scents/smells of life what would they be?
Me:  Cut, green grass in the rain, fields of broad beans in flower, wet earth in Autumn, ground coffee , a little ‘dressing room’  tin I have taken to every theatre I’ve worked in since drama school, and which contains something from each show…when I open it, it’s like smelling a very happy life.
Jessy: The smell of soap left on Perry’s skin after he’s had a shower, the smell of freshly ground coffee brewing, the smell of dirt, tires and sweat all together because it reminds me of my dad and grandpa after they’ve worked a hard days work, the smell of the ocean air, puppy breath
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 ( below – the dressing room tin )
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3. If you could name 3 life objects what would they be?
Me: 1. The Table ( of course! ), 2. My son’s Teddy…I think I needed it as much as him sometimes ( although it’s now hidden from sight in his room, I still love him ), 3. A celadon coloured mug made by ceramicist Holly Bell…I wouldn’t like to do without a good mug on a desert island! )
Jessy:  1. my old family film photos, 2. a small cedar chest that is filled with letters from my grandparents, each one in an envelope with a different theme like “homesick” or “money problems” or “loneliness” and each envelope has a card that has inspiring words to deal with those issues or emotions, and it also contains letters and sermons from my dad, 3.  4 rings that my mom gave me, I never taken them off. 
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4. What are your 5 favourite pieces of music?
Me: “I’ll Sail This Ship Alone” – The Beautiful South, “Come Rain or Come Shine”  – Judy Garland, live at Carneigie Hall, “Queen of The Night” –  Aria from Mozart’s Magic Flute, ” A Fistful of Dollars” by Ennio Morricone,”Amazing Grace” sung by a Male Welsh Voice Choir
Jessy: Elvis Presley – “Unchained Melody” , Sam Cooke, “A Change is gunna come” , Led Zeppelin, “Dazed and confused” , Placebo, “Twenty Years” , Ryan Adams, “Come Pick Me Up”
5. What 3 films inspire you?
Me: 1. 2001 – A Space Odyssey, 2. Singin’ in The Rain, 3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jessy: 1. The Talented Mr. Ripley, 2. Gia, 3. Away We Go
6. What object is a luxury for you in life, one which you love and one which you’d take with you to a desert island if you could?
Me: My Table, because although it’s massively practical, it’s also beautiful and I can see everything much clearer from it’s point of view.
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Jessy: My camera because it allows me to capture moments to later revisit
Photo 03-08-2015 11 12 37
( this is one of Jessy’s own photos where she has her camera! ) 
7. what is your favourite food and your favourite drink?
Me: A boiled egg with white toast and salted butter
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 Jessy:  RaspberriesPhoto 30-07-2015 09 25 31
Me: English Breakfast tea
Jessy: Coffee
8. what colour do you feel is you…( your base note as it were )?
Me: a sort of aqua/celadon blue with some element of sky blue
Photo 03-08-2015 11 06 16
Jessy: Rust
Photo 03-08-2015 11 07 03
9. where is your favourite place to visit?
Me: The Lake District…near Lake Windemere, to feel the memory of who I was and who I am.
Jessy: Michigan, to see my dad
10. where do you find peace?
Me: A quiet, cool church with a high ceiling, terracotta tiles down the aisle, wooden pews… and beautiful, unobtrusive choral singing…this always transports me to a humbling and very peaceful place and something I should do more often
Jessy: with someone I love
Photo 22-07-2015 17 52 02
There is so much which inevitably makes up up lives: our likes, dislikes, possessions, people, places, senses and memories for example.
My life band somehow includes all of this… partly because of what its creation has provoked in my thoughts and partly because it is now a possesion which holds all this life.
The images below are a selection of some of these memories which all hold a special place in my life:
IMG_1119above – in the Lake District at my Grandpa’s house
below – our Cornwall havenIMG_7973below – just after I won my first ever race ( I’m in the pink shorts )IMG_6835 below – me, my son and my mumJules, Me and Grandmabelow: my Grandpa – ( the Stanton part of me! )IMG_3132 below: my mum and Minky in the 1980’sIMG_8817below: me and my Granny ( the flower arranger )IMG_8822 below: my son and our cat10410152_815082235233244_4129036337348460160_n below: my Grandparent’s garden where I spent time most weekends as a child, and a garden I still missIMG_8812…and these are 5 brilliant and talented women who constantly inspire me: independent thinkers and creators and women who didn’t have life handed to them on a plate
I’m also aware that throughout these posts about the lifeband that I have managed to miss out how much I love my work; my painting, photography… and general creativity, focusing more on my influences.
But it’s these influences which fuel the creativity and my way of life…
It’s the important people and personalities in my life and the senses and places which support it…
So in creating these images over the last few weeks I hope my love for what I do has been implicit.
This week I wanted to create a mini film with the lifeband…but I also wanted to share some of the other images I’ve made over the last few weeks…

Photo 23-07-2015 16 34 26 I sort of wanted to show my connection to all this, and this photo of me when I was 7 years old, basically looks like how I feel inside…Photo 23-07-2015 14 42 47 Photo 22-07-2015 18 02 12 IMG_1362 IMG_1368 IMG_0223 IMG_0222 Photo 22-07-2015 17 43 40 Photo 22-07-2015 18 00 28 Photo 22-07-2015 18 03 55 Photo 22-07-2015 18 05 30 Photo 22-07-2015 18 29 00

This lifeband has been a real gift in every sense of the word, and I couldn’t recommend Rhodes Wedding Co highly enough if you wanted something very special and very personal to celebrate life with all its ups and downs, beauty and scars…
Please have a look at Jessy and Perry’s life band page on their site here, as you can order your own Life Band designed to celebrate your personal memories, hopes and who you are inside and out…and you will always be reminded of life!
You can see the Steller Story version here and
Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here
 

Thursday…with Salt + Stone

May 28, 2015

Filed Under : Art - collaborations - short poem films

Photo 12-05-2015 08 13 43

A little while ago the lovely Brooklyn based jeweller Jaqueline Stone from Salt + Stone asked if I’d like to collaborate with her and work with some of her new ocean inspired jewellery…

I have a fascination with the sea which often appears in my paintings, and I find the indifference the ocean and it’s underworld has towards us completely humbling.

I’ve also always had a fear of shipwrecks….maybe it’s something to do with this giant, working machine being slowly taken down to the beautiful, quiet depths; out of sight and yet in another world.

But I also have to live by the sea…it’s exciting and alive, and maybe I like to be reminded that we’re never in charge of this planet as humans; nature is, and that’s very grounding when I’m wrapped up in the daily digital!

So…of course these pieces from Salt + Stone were completely up my street, and when Jacqueline said she’d also send some of her sea shell collection I was really excited as it felt like it would be a very personal project…seashore finds always feel like a moment of childhood; a moment when we connect to something of no value just because we like it, and want to pick it up and hold it…Photo 11-05-2015 11 49 24So, I took great joy in combining some of my shells from Brighton and Cornwall with some of Jacqueline’s from across the Atlantic!

I had some hydrangeas which had wilted a little…the name hydrangea, by the way, comes from the Greek word “hydor,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel, which seemed very appropriate for the compositions as both the jewellery and the flowers are water lovers…

Photo 11-05-2015 13 11 55I then became intrigued by the quality which wilting flowers have…the blubells were past their peak, and yet they gave the impression of something underwater…Photo 11-05-2015 11 40 19I like to work from a place of no fixed ideas…so I collected my palette of colour and texture with flowers, shells and natural rock salt, and then loosely added some of the silver pieces…Photo 11-05-2015 11 42 19I played with their lines, shapes and sizes…Photo 11-05-2015 12 07 34…and started adding some colourPhoto 11-05-2015 12 13 09Photo 11-05-2015 12 42 36…but when I started playing with the delicate silver chains, I really began to feel the underwater flow and then added plants which felt like they could have appeared in rock pools…Photo 11-05-2015 12 59 44…I wanted the stingray to feel like it was swimming in it’s own habitat…Photo 11-05-2015 08 20 29…it was something like beautiful sunken treasure appearing in front of me; something which was morphing into it’s surroundings…Photo 11-05-2015 08 40 53Photo 11-05-2015 08 51 51I was really enjoying the closeness of the shots, as it sort of made me feel like a diver…

…but I came up for some air…or at least stood up on my chair!!Photo 11-05-2015 08 53 08…before going back under…

Photo 11-05-2015 11 10 53
Photo 11-05-2015 12 20 39Photo 11-05-2015 12 01 07Photo 11-05-2015 12 18 02Photo 11-05-2015 12 34 34Photo 11-05-2015 12 37 50Photo 12-05-2015 07 45 36Photo 12-05-2015 07 51 02Photo 12-05-2015 07 53 46Photo 12-05-2015 07 37 52Photo 12-05-2015 08 20 12…the whole shoot was a completely immersive experience, which led me to making this film…

This was a collaboration which felt so pleasing as there was something about trying to create a sense of water without any water and that was incredibly calming…

The pieces themselves felt like those special sea shore finds…I always think I’ll make something ( although never do ), from a rogue shell or stone with a natural hole in it which I’ve picked up on a beach walk, and these pieces from Salt + Stone really felt like those treasures, but ones I can actually wear and that sparkle!Photo 12-05-2015 07 30 42For more information about Jaqueline and her company Salt + Stone you can visit her site here, as well as her Instagram and Twitter feed

There is also a Steller story here to flip through today…