Thursday, 25 March 2010

Charley Harper

A small independent bookshop opened in our village about a year or so ago, and whilst I wonder at how such places can make a living in this day and age of Amazon and Book Depository, I admire the owners impeccable taste when it comes to Art and graphic design, reflected in the books and small stationary items that are stocked.

A while back my eye was attracted to the shop window, displaying a range of Charley Harper children's books. I have been an admirer of Charley Harper's work for a long time now, and couldn't believe my eyes, as he is little known in this part of the world compared to his native USA, where he is viewed as a legend.

Charley Harper's (1922-2007) unique view of wildlife is portraited by means of stylised drawings and paintings, capturing the essence of his subject in as few elements as possible. He once described his style as 'minimal realism' and joked that he doesn't count the feathers of the bird only the wings.
Charley has designed over 50 'Bio' posters for non-profit conservation groups and wildlife sanctuarys. In the 1980's he completed a set of 10 posters for the US National Park Service, each focusing on a specific eco-system and its inhabitants:-

Undecided in which book to buy I settled on this colouring book:-

I will selfishly keep it to myself, I might even unearth my set of Pantone markers from my university 'rendering' days, and do a spot of colouring in - it's too good for the children!! But...perhaps I will buy them a copy, because afterall I do want my boys to be exposed to decent art and graphic design in the hope they will appreciate it one day...

Friday, 12 March 2010

Tea Anyone?

As much as I love a good cup of coffee, too much makes me jittery, and really you can't beat a good cup of soothing tea. I am slightly fanatical about my herbal tea collection, and am a sucker for a nice bit of packaging and graphic design. I love the newly designed Clipper tea boxes:
The card is matt in texture, and the pictures so pretty. Clipper also produce my all time favourite, liquorice tea. Admittedly, an acquired taste, liquorice is renowned for its soothing effect on the digestive system and always makes me feel calmer in moments of stress. And what about Celestial Seasons?
You only get 10 bags in a box, so I like to think of them as the luxury tea, wrapped in waxed paper the flavours are very unique - have you ever tried a 'Red Zinger'?
Another favourite brand is 'Yogi' tea. They do a delicious chocolate tea, which combines vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa shells and liquorice. My 2 boys enjoy a hot cup of this, which is a nice non dairy alternative to hot chocolate. Anyone else a tea lover? any recommendations?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Splash of Red

Not much happening on the 'Hooking' front right now, I am defiantly needing some inspiration. I guess as we start to emerge from the cold winter months, I don't much feel like making any cosy hats or gloves. I did pick up a bargain 50p ball of silk/kid mohair yarn from our local Red Cross Charity shop, and fancied making a little neckerchief to brighten up my all too grey outfits. This one was made during a half hour episode of 'Nurse Jackie'.

I started with 3 chains, gradually increased at either end of the row to make a 'tip', and then decreased until I had 5 stitches. Crocheted until it was long enough to go round my neck and then repeated the 'tip' for the other end.

I'm rubbish at 'accessorising' outfits, so I'm hoping this will make me try a bit harder - it's a start...