Tuesday, 19 April 2011


I've been experimenting with using wire again. Always a favourite of mine, because it's easy to use, and has a rigidity and sculptural quality that thread sometimes lacks. I'm not entirely sure why I felt compelled to start weaving wire and sequins together last week, but once I had the idea, I had to try it out. The end result isn't exactly what I expected, but I quite like it, anyway. I can't decide whether to add more to this piece, or finish it in a different way. I'll keep looking at it, and hopefully the solution will come to me. 

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Tokens and Totems

Excitement is mounting here at Kitsch Mansions. In just over two weeks we will be taking a quick trip to Cornwall in order to set up my new exhibition at the Here and Now Gallery in Falmouth. After a lot of indecision deep thought, I've called it Tokens and Totems.

A friend called my weird dolls 'totemic', which I really like. Although I affectionately refer to them as 'my dollies', that can be misleading, so maybe Totem Dolls would be a better way of describing them. A totem is symbolic or emblematic, and has connotations of tribal art, so that seems appropriate.

Tokens are also symbolic, or representations of something else. My dolls are representations of the human figure, but 'token' also makes me think of little plastic toys, coins and charms, which I use on the dolls and on other pieces. Think also of love tokens, tokens of office, bus tokens, token female. I love all the layers of meaning, although there might possibly be too much meaning in that little word!

This exhibition has all come about through the talented Camilla. She set up the wonderful Here Shop in Bristol, and is now studying down in Falmouth. She manages to find time to work at the Here and Now Gallery there, and she invited me to exhibit. A solo exhibition is incredibly exciting for me, and I'm so pleased to have this opportunity. I cannot thank Camilla enough for being so encouraging about my work. I only hope I can live up to her opinion! 

So now I'm busy finishing work and wondering if there will be enough. I also have huge wobbles about whether it's good enough. Why are exciting things so scary? Does this happen to everyone or is it just me?

Monday, 11 April 2011

Happiness is a Kitsch Pink Cat

Look at this wonderful kitschy kitty! It was a present from the lovely, talented and generous Viv of Hens' Teeth. I had seen this kitty on her stall.. ooh, last year, come to think of it. I really wanted it but decided I couldn't justify buying it for myself at the time. When I popped by her stall for a chat at the Vintage & Handmade Fair on Saturday, she just gave it to me! I nearly screamed with joy, I was so excited and pleased. I love it!!! It's just brilliant! Thank you so much, Viv!
I couldn't resist spending some money on Saturday, mainly concentrating on the small and cheap! Yes, yes, alright, that is another clog, but this blue one is pretty special, and has 'Belgium 1945' written on the side. Lovely floral painting on it too.  
I never got round to taking any photos, as usual, but Mr Kitsch took a couple of photos of my stall for me, so at least I have some photos of the day to show you. There's always such a great atmosphere there, and I managed to have quite a bit of chat with other sellers. All the stalls were full of fun things, and I enjoyed myself just looking at some of the amazing vintage textiles. I have bulging crates of fabrics, so I have forbidden myself to buy more. However, that won't stop me visiting the Vintage Fashion and Textile Fair in Chipping Sodbury in June.
My next fair for selling is the Vintage Bazaar in Frome on 30th April. Should be another great day. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Creative Wednesday - Nick Cave Soundsuits

(Photo from Seattle Art Museum)
I just saw this amazing exhibition on the Doe-c-doe blog, and was stunned. Nick Cave (no, not that one, a different one) creates these wonderful costumes called 'Soundsuits'. I love that they reference African tribal costumes, Cornish hobby horses, traditional textile crafts, thrift store finds, and a bit of Liberace to boot. Everything I love, in fact!
He is a performance artist and dancer too, and you can see the costumes in action in the video below. Sadly the exhibition is in Seattle, and so I won't be going for a day trip any time soon.
Ah well, thank goodness for the interweb!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Vintage Shelves

Isn't it fun playing with stuff on new (old) shelves? I bought this little bookcase from the charity shop last week, and Mr Kitsch very kindly volunteered to repaint it for me. Today I added some vintage wallpaper at the back of the shelves. The plan is to use it at the Vintage & Handmade Fair at Chipping Sodbury on Saturday, so I thought I'd try adding some kitsch bits and pieces to see what it looks like. I have a plan to put together a cute Easter display, once I get everything sorted out. I hope I'll see you there!