Monday, December 12, 2011

One Wishes You Festive Tidings

This is another Bust Craftacular post; another new (to me) artist. I'm counting myself lucky - as a relative London youngster lots of things are still new to me. It is hard to believe that it has been six months. Occasionally it feels like I have been here battling tourists and public transport frustrations forever but, for the most part, it feels like I've been here all of five minutes. Definitely not fully settled in yet. That has its perks though and the thrill of the new is one of them. I enjoyed the Bust craft fair (in my own grouchy, poverty stricken way) but I don't know if I'll feel the need to go back next year. I've been to a couple of craft type fairs in the last few months and, lovely as they are, they can get a tad repetitive. There is a very funny post on Yes I Like That about the limited ideas and motifs that artists are falling back on at the moment - primarily moustaches but also tea cups, foxes, bunting, cats etc. So true! I've managed to dodge most of those but only because she somehow forgot to add royal regalia and puppies...

There is a reason these things are so popular though, the latter two in particular are like crack to me. I'm whole heartedly a dog person. Not that I have anything against cats, besides a virulent allergy, I just love dogs. We're on the same mental level. All dogs are beautiful to me (apart from those hairless ones, they freak me out) and I struggle to walk past them. It was initially the corgis that caught my eye at Alice Gabb's stand. If I was grown up enough to be sending Christmas cards these are the ones that I would send. There is a strange lull in Christmas card sending in one's life, I have found. I sent many many Christmas cards as a child, cards to all my many youthful friends and all the children I liked in my year and children that I had to write Christmas cards to for form's sake, and I envisage sending many many Christmas cards when I am settled and mature and I have access to an unlimited number of stamps. Right now cards seem impossibly organised and sensible. Has anyone else found that?

Alice Gabb's work does make me want to write more letters and post more things though. Her telegrams for formal informalities and letters for the regal writer are encouragement for the laziest of correspondents (viz me). I am often struck by the desire to be a better letter writer - they are just the loveliest things. Alice's letter sets coincided with In Tearing Haste: Letters between Deborah Devonshire and Patrick Leigh Fermor which is a fab book that demonstrates two very different but charming schools of letter writing. Will write a mini review at some point because it was so sweet. They corresponded for over fifty years despite the existence of telephones and the advent of email. If they can do it why can't I? Don't even get me started on Paddy's recent death, it is too sad for Debo...

I am clearly struggling to stay on topic today. Alice Gabb - her work is beautiful and so is her letter writing mission. So are her British lavender candles in teacups. Cliched? Perhaps. Delightful? Absolutely. I have such a soft spot for kitsch, particularly royal kitsch. It isn't political, it is aesthetic - I love the iconographic naffness of it all. I basically want everything that she makes.

I'm going to go now because I must be productive and less ineloquent.

Chuck x


  1. You should send cards and write letters! When I was a student, I made crude Christmas cards on cardstock and sent them out. I love getting snail mail

  2. Thanks for the mention! I think you've rumbled me though, I left out dogs and royal tat because I have a massive affection for both of them. I will basically buy anything with a dog on it. I also have my eye on my gran's collection of royal coronation/wedding mugs, going back to King George! (more of a beaker than a mug)

    I haven't read the Debo book, it sounds great. Have you read Decca Mitford's collected letters? It's amazing, one of my favourite books of all time.

  3. Romantic ideas.
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  4. what cute things - love those corgi cards!

  5. So jealous of your Bust time. Clearly I will never get to that ball. boo x