Welcome to the art of curiosity; my personal amble through the worlds of art, crafts, books & all manner of other curiosities. You'll find examples of my jewellery & art work plus an account of how I'm attempting to confound depression & my bipolarity by pursuing my creativity. There's a lot of whimsy too; my mind set is distinctly frivolous at times!

So, Dear Reader, won't you join me on my journey?

Sunday, 6 May 2007

the importance of a blank piece of paper

I should be celebrating. I should be out on the town with a bottle of champagne in one hand & Daniel Craig in the other. The weather is perfect for fountain paddling at dawn! But alas, I am not the girl I used to be. My hot-to-trot party dresses & stilettos were bought at a closing down sale just before the Ark set sail and where as once upon a time I used to set the pace, all I want to do nowadays is to find somewhere comfortable to sit that is not in a draught. That last phrase is the killer. Caring about draughts is a rite of passage that everyone thinks they will avoid. Unfortunately it has the ability to creep up on one in an insidious fashion. If your knees start cracking when you rise from the ground, be vigilant! If you find yourself mentioning the damp weather & its effect on your bones, you are well on your way to developing a draught avoidance strategy. If this had already begun to happen, STOP RIGHT NOW & reassess your situation. If I may make a suggestion, throwing a cardigan away has an invigorating effect. It demonstrates your insouciance in the face of a draught. Insouciance can be very chic & flirtatious, so cultivate it. Buy that anti-ageing serum from you know where, inject a little insouciance into your life & voila - no one will ever guess your real age unless you leave your birth certificate lying around.

Now where was I? Why should I be celebrating?

I have finally finished work on the bones of my website. I’ve installed all the cupboards & shelves that I need for the moment. With the support of my mother in law and Old Man Dickson I have spent eight weeks working on this project from the moment I woke until the early hours of the morning. I had no idea it would take so long, but conversely I don’t exactly know what I’ve been doing all this time because there’s not a great deal to show for it.

So the end of this endeavour is the reason why I should be thinking of taking a dip & doing an Anita Ekberg - if only I had the right equipment!

Unfortunately I don’t feel like celebrating because I’ve fallen out of love with my website. I don’t like it any more - I’ve grown too ‘accustomed to her face’. I allowed myself to become obsessed with it & now it's pay back time. At my age I really should have learnt my lesson by now!

I miss assembling jewellery. I miss drawing. I miss reading books. Allowing myself to get obsessed is rankly dumb behaviour, but I have coaxed a little pearl of wisdom out of it. I now know why the concept of building your own website was invented! It exists to remind us of the value of a blank piece of paper!

You can make marks on a piece of paper & you can erase them without losing half a page of data with it. If you put a pebble on top of a piece of paper, you won’t lose it. Nothing freaks or is dumped - what you see is what you get. I LOVE PAPER!! It’s so simple & versatile and you don’t need a five year old on hand to show you how to do the most basic piffling task! You can carry it around with ease, wet it, dry it, drop it and tear it apart in rage.

I’m not advocating Luddism - far from it. I’m just saying that computers are the spawn of the devil if you allow yourself to be chained to them.

To move on...

So far I’ve only given you 5 things out of ‘100 things you don’t really want to know about me.’ I’m going to add a few more things to my list now & because I’m enjoying the renaissance of paper in my life, I’m going to tell you 10 paper related things. I bet you can’t wait ;-)

6. I love Ethel M. Dell (my laptop) but I still prefer to write on thick creamy paper.
7. I draw & paint & make collages with paper. Sometimes I make paper collages with paper I have made.
8. I have amassed a lot of cuttings. Two of my most cherished cuttings are the obituaries for John Peel and Spike Milligan.
9. I am a stream-of-consciousness list maker - read my lists & know my life. I can’t do anything unless it’s on a list.
10. I can make paper hats out of the broadsheets. I can do a ‘Wellington’ or a ‘Napoleon’. (I bet you know how to make these hats too.)
11. To date, I have never made a successful paper aeroplane.
12. I am currently reading a paperback called ‘The Deadly Space Between’ by Patricia Duncker.
13. I doodle on any available paper surface
14, I still practise my signature just in case I’m asked for an autograph when I’m a world famous writer/painter/Orla Kiely handbag expert.
15. If a card or something interesting arrives in the post, I use it as a bookmark for whatever book I’m reading. When I’ve finished reading, I leave the card inside the book - it’s a memory marker.

Have you had enough? I thought so. Well done for getting this far :-)

Photograph & design of Exotica necklace © Jennifer Dangerfield 2007


Jean said...

awesome! I draw on my shoes.

Jennifer Dangerfield said...

I like this idea. What do you draw on your shoes?

I'm just pondering - as well as Art Trading Cards, perhaps people could decorate their footwear & start wearing Art Moving Shoes?

Jean said...

haha! I drew whatever struck my fancy.the so-called "peace symbol, for example, which is actually the symbol for nuclear disarmament, as I would take great pans to tell everyone. this was in the sixties. I am a horrible bore. I also drew hearts. and flowers.

from wikipedia:

"The CND or Peace symbol

The CND or Peace symbol

This forked symbol was adopted as its badge by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Britain, and originally, its use was confined to supporters of that organization. It was later generalised to become an icon of the 1960s anti-war movement, and was also adopted by the counterculture of the time. It was designed and completed February 21, 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a commercial designer and artist in Britain. He had been commissioned by the CND to design a symbol for use at an Easter march to Canterbury Cathedral in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in England.

The symbol itself is a combination of the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for Nuclear Disarmament. In semaphore the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two flags in an upside-down "V," and the letter "D" is formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down. These two signals imposed over each other form the shape of the peace symbol. In the original design the lines widened at the edge of the circle."

How I knew all this eludes me.

Jean said...

I was going to say something but I can't somehow figure out how to make a joke out of Nancy Sinatra, her boots which were made for walking, and art cards. help me out here?

Jennifer Dangerfield said...

Nancy, Nancy - I'll tell you about the role she played in my life in a moment.

This is very weak offering but here goes anyway. Nancy's boots were killer boots so she defintely had the trump card! eeck!

Let me go back to Nancy. I've just bought myself a copy of her Boots CD ( the cover features Nancy in skin tight striped top & tights with red leather boots & mini skirt - it's a look that I have always coveted). You may ask why?

When I was very young, my aunts were dolls (they still are). They were Twiggy Mark II & III. Their clothes! It was an explosion of colour - a design revolution. I didn't know anyone else who looked like these goddesses.

When I was 5 or 6 or 7, they gave me their old Decca record player and a few records that they'd grown out of. One of them was Nancy in her killer boots! I fell head over heels in love with this drama queen record & played it over & over again - I surprised myself the other day when the CD version arrived because I still know all the words! Hallelujah!

Her version of 'As Tears Go By' is still the best in my eyes. When I was little, I was able to compare it to another version because my aunts gave me Marianne Faithful's album too! I was a cool clued up kid! Sadly my friends were only interested in baby dolls & mini versions of irons & other household tomfoolery (preconditioning?) so I had to keep my cool status to myself.

When I was a child, I was on my own a lot, but what did it matter? If I was stuck in my bedroom, I'd stack up the singles on the record player & dance & sing & work on my cool status.

Nancy, I love you!
Jean, I love you too. You've brought back so many happy memories :-)

Jennifer Dangerfield said...

And now for CND and the peace movement.

Thank you so much for the information about the Peace symbol. This is such fresh & interesting information - I'm going to lodge it in my brain & contemplate it. This is one of the things that a researcher should know ;-)

Have you ever heard of Greenham Common? This might help: http://www.greenhamwpc.org.uk
I had the opportunity to visit the women & join in on one of the 'rings around the fences' demonstrations. I wanted to go so I said I would go, but then I was asked to one of those parties that you feel you just can't miss. I was a hedonistic little fool - I should have gone to Greenham Common, but I let myself down & partied instead.

I'm remain ashamed of myself to this day :-(

Jean said...

I am so impressed by the website. it makes you want to cry.

As for Nancy--never heard her rendition of "As Tears Go By" but played the other over, and over, and over.