Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Favourite flowers, poor dogs, Victorian maths teachers and tinned sunshine

I love hyacinths for their gorgeous scent so I treated myself to some cut ones yesterday. I also have a few others growing away. Our flat is small, so when you come in you can smell the flowers straight away. I used one of Kim Klassen's textures-this one from a new set called the Benjamin texture collection. This is named after her dog Benjamin. If you could use textures and have $10 then visit Kim to be able to buy these. The reason she made them is to raise money for her dog Benjamin who was run over and needs very expensive surgery. She writes a lovely tale of Andy her last dog, and how she found Benjamin and it made me sad to read about his accident.
A few weeks ago I bought a little book in Greenwich market called ''Differential Calculus''. The (quite strange) man selling it said "Are you sure you want this? Are you a maths teacher? Is it a present for a maths teacher?" He was a bit annoying and yes I did want the book, but not because of the subject, more for the beautiful embossed cover, and for the potential use of the interesting pages with formulas and obscure mathematical writing. I mumbled something about mixed media to him and took my book away. I have been wondering how to use it and have thought of making a book doll but in a different way. I have been thinking that I want the book to still close like a book but then open to reveal the person inside. I had been planning to embroider a face and stuff it and somehow fix it to the inside cover. When I had a closer look at the book today I discovered it was published in 1851! Inside on about the third page is this little sketch. I am wondering if it is the maths teacher of a bored Victorian child-or maybe their governess, and the child has done the sketch in a moment of distraction. I am going to try to embroider this face as the face of the doll, and also work out how to incorporate the sketch and the interesting beginning pages into the finished book. Of course, it may never happen as so many of my ideas don't but I like to ponder.
This is the tinned sunshine I mentioned. My friend Cleo made Ackee and saltfish with provisions last night-oh and fried plantain with Jamaican bread. All delicious. The provisions consist of green banana, yam, plantain and we also had breadfruit which I have never had before. I have had saltfish curry before-years ago but never Ackee and saltfish. I liked the taste and delicate texture of Ackee and loved the tin!
Tonight's party (two in two days-it is a social whirl!) is cava and mince pies-very Christmassy!

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Linda Sue said...

I could not go to the link and read about the dog- stories like that undo me- so thanks for the warning! Your book may be highly collectible and valuable- check online and with collectors before you art it up! I find old books for that purpose but am always reluctant to alter them unless they are imperfect and not valuable- usually religious books...they are usually shite. Party on, Dude!

jabblog said...

Hyacinths are wonderful - their scent is quite intoxicating.
I agree with Linda Sue - check first that your book isn't a sought-after publication.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of hyacinths - but they make me sneeze ... and sneeze... and sneeze!! I don't think I could bear to do anything to such an old book! I love the faces behind today's door - I shall miss your doors after Christmas!

Unknown said...

Hyacinths are so lovely,and your faces behind the door a gorgeous as always.

Leenie said...

You're wise to bring in hyacinths for your soul especially during this dark time of the year.

I can just see some right-brained student drawing away in the math book. I've been there. Been reprimanded for drawing all along the margins of my math homework. I thought it was better that writing what I thought..."This is boooooring and I can see no practical use for these equations, formulas and worksheets so I'll just draw pictures of horses and mountains."

Your party menus sound delicious and exotic!

Save the book it is already art.

Sarah said...

You have all made me think-I do have trouble destroying perfectly good books-especially when they are old, but I think-who is going to use it now? There are pkenty of old books in the world-and this one is pretty tatty. I shall think carefully though!

snoopydogknits said...

Hello there! Love the hyacinths and your 'door'! Just popped in to wish you a merry Christmas and a peaceful and creative 2011. Ros

Sam said...

Hyacinths have the most amazing smell! I always laugh when I see them though because I think of Hyacinth Bucket! Happy Christmas to you and yours! XO