Andalusia, architecture, art, photography, Spain, spring, travel

Andalusian Art and Culture

Having been to Andalusia a few times now, I have a real appreciation of the lifestyle and culture, the laid-back attitude and, of course, the need for a siesta in the middle of the day…

Marbella is a lovely resort which has been revived and refreshed to something more like its 1960s heyday (although, thankfully you don’t need to be a millionaire to go there now!

Apart from the miles of golden beaches, the main draw of Marbella, for me, has to be the Old Town.

The Old Town is a winding maze of cobbled streets, cafes, restaurants and shops, selling everything from linen and cotton clothes and home furnishings, to local artisan shops and designer handbags, with wisteria, bougainvillea and hibiscus spilling over you from the balconies above.

Only 45 minutes away by a very reasonably priced direct bus, is Malaga, birthplace to the artist Pablo Ruiz y Picasso.  A beautiful city with architecture old and ancient a-plenty to feast your eyes upon, including this beautiful former Hospital and the Roman Amphitheatre ruins.

As Picasso’s home town, there are a number of Museums / Art Galleries – we decided to go to the Museo Picasso Malaga – which appeared to be the largest, but also had an additional exhibition on which we wanted to visit.

I must admit to never having been a big fan of Picasso, from the few pieces that I have seen, but my view has definitely shifted now, having seen the range of oeuvres including sculpture, ceramics, print-making and his early, more naturalistic paintings.

The additional exhibition was a touring exhibition called Energy Made Visible, focusing mainly on Jackson Pollock’s Mural which was commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim for her New York abode.

IMG_20160427_132126

Although I love¬†Pollock’s drip painting, it was one of the rare occasions when the other exhibits¬†–¬†including those who both inspired and were inspired by Pollock – were more interesting than the main feature.

There were works from artists and photographers that I did not recognise, such as Barbara Morgan, Herbert Matter and this painting by Antonio Saura – La Grande Foule (the Great Crowd) which made more of an impression on me than Pollock’s work.

IMG_20160427_131219

Initially this looks a bit bleak, but in reality the faces vary from comical to the downright scary. ¬†Being a complete geek, I couldn’t help but see a misshapen Darth Vader in the figure on the bottom row, just before the half-way mark. ¬†Can you spot him?

My final surprise was to see a work by Andy Warhol, another artist who I have always thought was over-rated.  This work, entitled Yarn Painting was so eye-catching and bold.  Regular readers will know why I laughed when I found out the name of the work Рas a mad-keen crafter, I spend half of my time looking at or working with fibres and yarns!

IMG_20160427_131058

This exhibition is on in Malaga until 11 September so, if you get a chance, take some time out and enjoy Andalucia!

Standard
crochet, sewing, Uncategorized

Cheeky Presents for Funny People

I had great fun this weekend, giving some cheeky little presents which I had made, to my lovely friends, Kerry, Des and Tilly, who I haven’t seen for ages…

I decided to be quite adventurous and make Des a crocheted Death Star –¬†that evil Star Wars space station – thanks to the amazing pattern from Pops de Milk – I was quite pleased how well it came out, and I may just have enough yarn to make myself one as well. ¬†I didn’t half get some funny looks on the train when I was finishing the stitching!

 

Next up is Kerry – who, not exclusively within their household, has an unnatural love of trumping (farting, blowing-off, passing wind, whatever you wish to call it!)

I found an old book of cross-stitch alphabets and decided to use one of the most pretty designs with one of the rudest sentiments. ¬†A nice juxtaposition…

IMG_20160312_140923

Finally, Tilly is apparently obsessed by Adventure Time – an animation series I have never seen, and she particularly likes two characters, Jake and Finn. ¬†I meant to make both figures but Jake took so long I had to stop there! ¬†Perhaps on my next visit she will have a matching pair…

You would not believe how difficult it is to make a figure which you are unfamiliar with, especially when he has a surprising number of ‘parts’ (not being rude there, for once!).

All of the prezzies were happily received and gave me the chance to practice some skills I haven’t used for many years, I may have to make some more subversive pieces for my own amusement… ¬†Or maybe even on my Etsy shop.

What phrases (cheeky or not!) would you like to see hanging on your walls?

Standard
Uncategorized

Twinkle, twinkle little star, or how to become a geek in 5 easy steps!

Evening all!

Many years ago my fate was set on seeing a little known arty farty film called Star Wars.  From then on I was either going to be a Wookie or an amateur geek.  Past childhood, I shed my excessively hirsute outer shell with a mixture of Sellotape and Immac, therefore sealing my geekdom destiny.

 

download (3)

 

 

It took several years to hone my talents with a mixture of obscure indie music, bad haircuts and copious amounts of Doctor Who.  For those wishing to explore the delightful world of geekdom, without resorting to these extreme measures, astronomy is a good way to start!

1. Start with your eyes ‚Äď no expensive gadgets required (unless you are a shopaholic at Specsavers). ¬†Learn the basic constellations using a Planisphere and/or Star Map book. Unfortunately it doesn‚Äôt show you the location of Tatooine so I can‚Äôt hook up with Han Solo in that jumpin‚Äô bar in Mos Eisley, but a girl can dream…

 

hanshotfirst_400x400

 

 

 

2. Join an Astronomical Group ‚Äď there are hundreds across the country and some are better than others. My first one had great talks, but was full of pompous and officious morons.¬† The second one is disorganised, small, and the talks are not often so fascinating, but they provide¬†beginners talks, the people are welcoming and¬†–¬†well let‚Äôs be honest –¬†basically they‚Äôre not a load of nobbers.

3. Get a couple of useful and free apps on your phone ‚Äď a red torch light (Roxanne!) as normal light ruins your night vision for at least 20-30 mins, so get in the dark and stay there! Also Google Sky Map is pretty good and Astronomy Picture of the Day is always inspirational, even if it just makes you lie in bed all day crying at the beauty and teeny-tinyness of this ol‚Äô planet in the big scheme of things.

 

images (2)

 

 

4. Even though, quite obviously, Sir, Lord and all conquering Professor Brian Cox is every thinking woman’s bit of jam on a crumpet, do not (repeat DO NOT!) admit that he is a hottie. Just watch his Wonders of the Solar System / Wonders of the Universe and for the hardcores amongst you, Stargazing Live every Spring must be observed (geddit!?) without drooling.  And that goes double for you men!!

 

Professor-Brian-Cox-with--m

 

5.¬†Don‚Äôt try to get into something you don’t like for the sake of geekness. ¬†I tried this to¬†spectacular effect with Lord of the Rings and nearly got lynched in the cinema. ¬†My crime? ¬†Forgetting I was in the cinema, I¬†said “oh for god’s sake, just die!!”¬†at the (extended)¬†death throes¬†of Sean Bean as a beardy arrow dodger.

 


download-(5)

 

And as for the nursery rhyme we started with ‚Äď it’s pants!¬† Stars don‚Äôt actually twinkle, they only look like they do when looking through our atmosphere.¬† So put that in your pipe (nebula) and smoke it…

Happy geeking!

 

Lou x

Standard
Uncategorized

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Park (erm, Seafront)!

What a fabulous week it’s been – a fabulous trip to Marbella in Andalusia, Spain, with Mum for a week, relaxing and chilling out. ¬†we spent most of our time wining, dining and watching the world go by in cafes and restaurants!

 

GetAttachment (19) GetAttachment (16)

The walls of the old town in Marbella are covered in beautiful pots and climbers Рgeraniums, bougainvillea in vibrant pinks, reds and purples.  The Moorish influences and winding alleys with restaurants, shops and apartments are absolutely fascinating.  We spent most of our time here rather than the seafront.

 

 

GetAttachment (6)

 

Everywhere there was music and dance Рa dance festival was running all week and most of the events were free and on the street.

As a self-confessed geek I could not, however, believe my luck on our first full day. ¬†We were sitting in a cafe having a croissant and fresh orange juice, and¬†an orchestra sounded up on the bandstand opposite. ¬†Within two notes I squealed in poor Mum’s ear – “it’s Star Wars!”

Those in the UK will remember the TV Show “Name That Tune” will appreciate it when I say – I name that tune in two! ¬†The first two notes of the piece when Luke Skywalker is looking out at two of the moons of Tatooine is apparently called Binary Sunset¬†(starts at about 00:30 on this version) and is a beautiful piece of music. ¬†I had to get the bill pronto and dash across the street to catch them complete a medley of all of the Star Wars music. ¬†My belief (slightly controversial, I know!) is that John Williams is the finest composer of all time.

 

 

 

GetAttachment

 

What a wonderful orchestra they were Рfor the next two hours they played a wide range of music from Mozart and Beethoven to baroque and another of my favourites РDanse Macabre by St Saens (used as the theme tune for the brilliant TV show Jonathan Creek).  The most remarkable thing was that they were the Malaga Provincial Youth Orchestra, and none of them was over 18.

I wholeheartedly recommend Marbella for a holiday, especially out of season, they are so proud of their town and it is kept so clean and there is a high police presence, so you feel pretty safe (main issues seem to be pickpocketing).

I’ll update later in the week with the crafty happenings in Marbella and further gossip!

Happy crafting!

 

Standard
Uncategorized

Geek Chic Week (end)

Brrr it’s freezing here in the UK…

It’s a fine excuse to spend a lazy weekend at home with nothing much planned apart from crafting and geeking out.

This fantastic book has just popped through the door (thank you Amazon!) and I’m really excited to start some geeky new projects. ¬†I have had a few ideas in my mind for a while, but have now been sidetracked by the fantastic Princess Leia hair buns hat and Padme Battle Cape sported by the model on the front cover!

IMG_20150131_105926

OK – so they’re not practical (can I see myself wearing either to work?) but there are some really fun projects. ¬†I surprised myself at my lack of geeky knowledge of the books / films in this – I’m not particularly keen on comics (I tend to think that’s more of a boy thing) and most Fantasy is not really my bag, but I love a bit of Sci-Fi…

With the cold weather and my general laziness this weekend I have decided though to spend some time researching the two geeky gifts I want to make next (one of which is for myself!)

Firstly, since I started knitting two years ago, I wanted to make myself a Tom Baker-style scarf. ¬†Yes – for the uninitiated I’m talking about Doctor Who. ¬†Tom Baker was my first Doctor (I came in on the very end of his reign) and although I found him quite frightening in many ways (particularly the hair and teeth) – I always loved his scarves.

download

What I’d like to do though is a finer version – just as long but using finer wool (perhaps DK or Aran). ¬†I love this idea which I found on Pinterest

ccfb7440fa645437ee02e9b07bce7d22

This is actually made from beads – it’s really gorgeous. ¬†Perhaps rather than a DK / Aran one I’ll make one in lace / 4ply. ¬†That would be a bit more complex methinks…

I have also found this wonderful pattern for a Death Star by the brilliant¬†Pops de Milk¬†– this is so mega-cute that I think I’ll make one for me and one for a friend, who I hope will love it. ¬†He’s even geekier than me, so no doubt he will be impressed!

Thats-no-moon-Pops-de-Milk-crochet-deathstar-1022x1024

But for this weekend, I’m going to stick to a Star Wars day today (original trilogy of course) and then tomorrow I may be Star Trekking (yes, geek fans I may be letting you down by admitting I prefer the J.J. Abrams reboot to any previous Star Treks) ¬†And now he’s in charge of Star Wars. ¬†I may be just a little excited about that…

Happy crafting!

Lou x

Standard