Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday...playing with tea


I love having a bit of a challenge, and when I saw that this weekend’s hash tag project on Instagram was teatime, I thought it would be a good opportunity to play with my tea cups...
( ...nothing much has changed I suppose, since I was given my first tea set when I was about 6! )



These were my first tea cups of my collection...

I was staying in theatrical digs in Sheffield when I had just turned 20, and my landlady had an amazing collection of art deco plates on her wall.
She said she’d started collecting them years ago when no-one wanted them and they were really cheap...
Her advice to me as a young, wannabe collector was to collect something out of fashion, cheap, but always something which I genuinely liked...
So these quite rare, but chipped, Portmeirion ‘Gold Signs’ cups ( without saucers ) were my first purchases at 50p each from a charity shop in Sheffield in 1993...and they are still my most coveted cups, particularly as I’ve never found any others from the set.


( Poole, early Kathy Winkle and Susie Cooper )


I have far too many china cups now, so it was really lovely to get them out and show them off in the manner in which they were made for!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday...with a throwback

I wasn’t feeling very inspired today...
I’ve been waking up at about 4:30 am and then getting up at about 5am for the last few days which then leads to feeling completely knackered a few days down the line...



so I went for a bike ride, knackered as I was...


September is coming up with some great weather at the moment so I’m really enjoying cycling, ( plus there’s a fantastic new cycle path, recently finished, near home ).
I picked a bunch of wild flowers...

I got some slightly irked looks from a few older people who were having a walk, which made me ask myself if I was doing something awful, but I can’t see that picking a few ( and I’m always really careful never to go madly picking ) common wild flowers will affect the wild flower population on the cycle path...in my experience, picking flowers only encourages more flowers to bloom, unless you completely ransack the highways and byways with a strimmer...




Anyway, I put the flowers on the table and then into various vases and jam jars, had a cup of tea, and just looked at them...
and weirdly it was the purple daisies from my own garden which inspired the composition.
I’d seen some white ones on the bike ride, which I didn’t pick, but which I’d thought looked really pretty...

After I’d put the composition together, I felt it needed the small magnifying glass in it, which I’ve sometimes used before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere ( and still can’t...)


But in my looking I came across some of my old stuff from the 80’s...

My friends and I used to collect sequins, and my best friend had the best collection of all; the collection we were in awe of; the most coveted collection, the collection I wanted... 
Years after the sequin collecting fad had finished, my friend gave me her famed collection ( still in the box! ).


I’d added to the box with buttons and beads, as well as other bits and pieces, when I was in my late teens. 
I used to embroider espadrilles and sell them in local shops, and I'd used the sequin collection, so although it diminished, it was utilised!

I save lots of small things and they’re often like little childhood markers or memory triggers and I quite like being taken back to the 1980’s in the opening of a drawer...


My brother’s ZX Spectrum; and Hungry Horace...



Owen Owen in Coventry...an uneventful part of my normal, everyday life then...

...my old school badge ( yes,  I went to a school called ’Squirrels’! )
...So, from feeling pretty much nothing at all this morning, I somehow meandered into a genuine throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday...with London Plane leaves

Obviously Autumn brings a lot of colour to leaves but it’s also a strange thing to see all the coloured flowers disappearing at the same time...
The Virginia Creeper is just beginning its incredible colour change, which will hopefully become a bright red in a couple of weeks...

...but I was in London yesterday and you’re basically surrounded by London Plane trees and, being September, the pavements are beginning to gather a cunchy leaf carpet...
I wanted to challenge myself to find lots of colours within the dried leaves, so collected just a few from near Temple and Waterloo Bridge...

...I had to weight them down a bit at first to keep them flat and then added the dry hydrangea, physallis and Virginia Creeper berries.
 I spotted the succulents perfect colour match from the kitchen window...
...and then proceeded to drink 3 cups of tea!


Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday...collecting seeds

Although the garden has started to close down in preparation for Winter, it is also being incredibly productive with seeds...
So I've spent a little time harvesting...

Hollyhocks...


Love-in-a-Mist...



Sweet Peas...
( first time I've ever collected these...not many, but hopefully they'll produce more  plants next year...)

( not my washing! )

and Giant Echium...

It's funny how the most giant and tropical plant in the garden ( standing about 12ft high ) has the tiniest seeds...which are not easy to collect with it's almost invisible prickles everywhere...
...but it's these seeds which all my neighbours want...
...and it's these seeds I reckon I'll be bagging up until November!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Saturday...

I have to admit that I haven't properly been in the garden for over a week, which is part of the reason I'm sharing another of my grandparent's postcards...

I've been spending a lot of time on trains over the last fortnight, but I have also 
been trying to get in a bike ride most days. This morning's bike ride ( ahead of the train journey I'm currently on ) was so beautiful; there were so many Hawthorn berries about, and the lichen was looking very fresh...

...the cycle path is full of wild flowers which I sort of thought must have finished by now because of the amount of Autumn berries about...

but, onto the postcard...
I can't quite decipher all of it but here is what I can make of it:

6pm Wednesday 11th September 1935 ( posted at 6:30 from Tenby to my Grandfather staying in Guernsey )


Hello Buddy Dear,
Have just returned from o.f ! Such a glorious ride.
Won't Cov seem flat when we get back? Haven't heard any more about getting back, Stones think 8am. Please come home safely love won't you?
Did you hear about Alan Cobham display at Blackpool? 1 pilot killed, also 2 passengers.
Rough sea and high tide tonight. Hope it won't be out for your crossing.
Best of love once more, love.
Ever with love, your Baby xxx





Hope you all have a great weekend...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tuesday...with a Workshop Day Ahead


So, I’ve finally put together a workshop!

I think of my photographs as visual poetry or haiku which develop from feelings rather than meanings and which reflect the seasons, the light and a sense of the everyday.
It’s so important for a creative mind to have a starting point or to discover new points of influence as they help you to keep developing your own visual voice...
 ...and that’s basically what I’m aiming to encourage people to do.

There will obviously be a lot of tea readily on tap, and in the morning we’ll be working on detailed looking, as well as photographically documenting plants... ( I'll be there to give you all the tips you need ).
I feel it’s so important to actually spend the time looking at plants in much more detail than you may think necessary; finding their names and really documenting what they look like...and who they are!
This way when we come to arrange table pieces later on you will have formed personal relationships with the plants and how they grow, which will then in turn lend itself to the harmony of composition...


Lunch will be provided ( homemade soup, bread and salad )...

...and I'll be providing lots of winter flowers and foliage to choose from, as well as some vintage props, ceramics and inspirational books, but if there is something special you'd like to bring to the table please do, as everyone will get to work on their own wooden table...
The workshop is from 10 - 4pm at Knoyle Hall in Brighton on Sat 8th November and costs £80.
Places are limited, so if you would like to book a place, please e-mail: 
( info@philippastanton.com ) to receive a booking conformation.