Monday, 9 November 2009

Columbia Road Flower Market

I often like to take myself off for a little stroll along the wonderful Columbia Road on a Sunday, to breathe in the delights of its weekly flower market. A favourite haunt of bargain bloom-lovers throughout London, its pretty Victorian shopfronts hold equally lovely treasures within, from the oh-so-right combo of vintage homewares and cakes in the appropriately named Vintage Heaven & Cakehole, to mid-century baking paraphernalia (plus more cakes) in Treacle. To fully review the whole street and do it justice would take far too long, but for a few crafty tid-bits, keep reading

Ryantoon - the temporarily re-named store owned by paper-cutter extraordinaire Rob Ryan - has been rebranded in tribute to Ryan's beloved Newcastle FC (apparently there's something football-ey happening at the moment in man-sport-land). In fact, it's quite the most literal take on temporary I've ever seen: the entire store frontage has been wrapped in decorative Rob Ryan parcel tape (also sold instore for £10 a pop, natch). The result, combined with the fantastic window display, really is stunning, and also looks surprisingly resilient. Luckily for Ryan, his team have avoided some of the less aesthetically pleasing colour combo's of other strips and opted for classic black and white (I'm sure this was the number one topic of discussion in the boardroom back in 1905 or whenever these things were decided upon.) NB: I'd like to apologise now to any football fans reading for both my lack of knowledge and level of interest being so low I can't even be bothered to google for correct info.

Anyway, back to topics I know somewhat more about - this sweet little shelving unit caught my eye in retro candy shop Suck and Chew. Whilst it throws up my eternal dilemma regarding destroying already-sound items for the purposes of hacking, it's a great re-use, particularly if you have a somewhat redundant old pre-cm rule.

Couldn't resist including a little hack by Mother Nature herself: love, love, love these ornamental cabbage roses. Neither really one thing or t'other, they sure are mighty pretty.

Finally, the end of the street - with flower vendors dropping their prices by the second in an attempt to pack up before an imminent rainfall, the stampede stopped me actually checking out the shop this sign was advertising - but I was struck by the lovely collage newspaper frame (despite the fact it came out less romantic and more bacterial-looking in these shots).

Monday, 2 November 2009

Crazy Fools

It's not every day that you walk past a Victorian boozer and see giant inflatable tentacles bursting through the windows (although depending on how much liquer was involved before you left, maybe you do). Then again, it's not any old boozer that chooses to forego the local darts teams and drunken old men propping up the bar to let 'graf' lovin' Bristolians transform the place into a modern art gallery for a day. Being on the tres sophisticated Upper Street in Islington, though, presumably goes some way to ensuring your regulars won't be up in arms though (or tentacles... boom boom).

And so it was that the weekend of 24th/25th October saw
The Library play host to Bristol-based urban art collective Crazy Fools. As well as boyf-pleasing original prints, paintings and sculptures from the likes of Banksy and the fabulously textured 'untitled' artwork by David Walker (above), the work of Sarah Warren also caught my eye. Using collage and layering in her work, I simply lurve the way her images literally leap out of the page, achieved in part by using the mount as part canvas also, adorning it with cut out flowers- a great idea for any have-a-go artists out there.