Friday, 11 May 2012

Please remake The Hoover Constellation!

This is an image of the glorious Hoover Constellation known as `Connies'! It is a brilliant spherical vacuum cleaner first made back in 1956 in the UK, earlier in America, according to the very knowledgable Paul Linnell. It has no wheels but just floats above the carpet on its exhaust and sucks like a demon! It was made in a range of glorious colours a few of which you can see above. So why don't they make them anymore? Well Maytag brought out an alternative, The Satellite, in 2006 which is supposed to operate on similar principles but being styled in a more modern vein and with a brushed stainless steel finish to it, it has  too much of a kettle-trying-to-be-a-vacuum-cleaner feel to it to appeal to me.

I have used a brilliant Constellation, which we've owned for around 25 years until recently but the motor finally died and I am told replacement parts are no longer available to repair it. I was told in the repair shop to just buy a new vacuum and expect it to last about 5 years....!

What can be done to persuade Hoover to remake the Constellation? Make the parts so it can be repaired and we don't need to keep buying then chucking away new consumable stuff  - much more eco- and make it in a range of fab retro colours. I can't help but believe thay would be snapped up. One even featured in Mad Men apparently - see below!
Look at how the Danbury van brought the old vw campervan back for those who wanted that aesthetic without the foibles of old engine/ bodywork (just don't do a cost comparison between the two...). You only need to look at the amazing old Hoover factory in Perivale to know that Hoover used to be bang on or ahead of the design trend of the moment in the past. Looks like their old factory in Pentrebach, Merthyr Tydfil closed down in 2009 because they couldn't compete on the world market.

So for now I've just bought a `new' old Constellation off Ebay where they are sometimes available Its a collectors item and probably not be used to hoover with but hey could you not!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


This graffiti down the road from me made me smile today...

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Cards in Londonfelt Etsy Shop

I have started stocking some greetings cards using prints of watercolours I have done in my sketchbooks over the years. The first batch are from my travels in Asia a few years ago...but I hope this will get me back in the habit of carrying my paints with me wherever I go. Here's a selection...

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Jerwood Gallery in Hastings

Got to visit the new Jerwood Gallery over the Easter and I have to say that, whilst I know there has been much controversy about it - in particular its siting on the fantastic Stade alongside the fishing boats - I was really impressed. The building, by HAT Projects, seems to work really well, fitting in beautifully with its wonderful irridescent black tiled facades. The picture windows inside frame the stunning location making works of art of each view too. I read a good article about it in the Guardian afterwards which pretty much sums it up for me - although I liked the stairs, chunky or otherwise.
The work in the permanent collection - mostly British 20th Century - was really interesting and there is a charming video of Rose Wylie talking about her work which is currently on show on the ground floor.

Monday, 27 February 2012

New colours...

I made up some felt beads with beautiful turquoise and gold sari silk. They look so good with glassy beads - not sure how its going to work yet but I want to use all these materials in my next piece.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Frida Kahlo inspiration

It can be a bit grey living in London and I am a bit prone to wear fairly plain grey clothes - can't help myself - I do love the colour grey! BUT...I also have a bit of a thing about wild clashing vibrant colours and with merino felt they are all easily available and just crying out to clash. I have been making some wild headpieces inspired by images of the wonderful Frida Kahlo and using a cacophony of oranges ,cerises and reds...
Courtesy to the kahloists' journal for Frida Kahlo image above.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Experiments with Nuno felting

I have been using my range of Tibetan colours - as I think of them - to combine with silky fabrics in a technique new to me where you end up with a lovely quilted effect.
Even though the merino colours I have used are realy vibrant it acheives quite a subtle effect. I just used it to make a gently curved scarf....

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sari silk needlecases finished

So at last I have finished the three wet felted needlecases...
It, of course, involved yet another trip to my favourite haberdashers for exactly the right coloured pre-felt leaves for the insides and some fine wine coloured ribbon as ties. Needless to say I left the shop with a whole load more stuff for a couple new ideas. One of them will require some sewing with my recently refurbished Featherweight Singer - not my strong point - so we'll have to see how that goes!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Sari silks and Buddhist Landscapes

I recently stumbled across some little paintings I did years ago which reminded me of the deep blues, purples and golds of the landscape and Buddhist temples of Ladakh.I was thinking of trying to use these colour combinations in some work.

One of my New Year's resolutions is not to get distracted, fall in love with and buy extra unnecessary materials but then recently I saw this basket of beautiful sari silk threads in rich ochres, reds and blues last week they looked so perfect... now I am working on a series of felted pieces with the most heavenly coloured silks incorporated with the wool. I want to keep them quite raw with ragged edges. Just hoping I can do the silk justice.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Museum of Craftology Blog!

Delighted to find my cactus brooch being featured in a really fun blog I just discovered called The Museum of Craftology
The blog is full of references to hand crafted work inspired by the natural world. The writer, Amanda, also writes a piece about an artist Shauna Richardson who makes the most amazing `crochetdermy` pieces, similar in feel to the work by Chloe Harrison which I mentioned recently but this time the amazingly realistic and life-like animal trophys are fashioned in incredibly skillful crochet!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Love these faux trophy heads...

Seen at Anthroplologie on Regents Street I was bowled over by these beautifully crafted animal heads by Chloe Harrison of Studio gnu
They are hand constructed from locally sorced or recycled materials and manage to retain the lovely texture and feel of the fabric whilst completely capturing the essence of the animal. Really brilliant!