Sunday, 20 October 2013

Steampunk in Alingsås & Copenhagen

Well, my family and I went away on holiday for a week. We started in Alingsås Sweden where there were 2 great festivals going on simultaneously. There was the Steampunk convention and also the festival of lights and both were fab!
Before we went away I cobbled together costumes for my girls to wear from bits out of their wardrobes plus a few bespoke pieces including augmenting a mini top hat with some spray painted swimming googles..
Here are the girls outfits and please excuse the quite frankly disturbing blurry faces, but necessary for their anonymity I'm afraid...

So once we were all dressed, off we went to the Steampunk Convention, here I am in the cemetery (on the way there) which will feature greatly further along in my blog...

The convention was held in a school and no matter what efforts went into making some kind of 'vibe' it was still quite obviously a school and a rather dreary one at that. The drabness of the environment was in stark contrast to the fabulously inventive costumes and gizmos on display there

Here are the two lovelies from  Imperial Fiddlesticks and they had one of the nicest stands selling bespoke hats and little bits of lovely nonsense

I bought this necklace from Skuggsidas Smycken

I so wanted to buy that object in front of the nice lady  from Grand Decay but we were going on to Copenhagen and as I had defied space-time laws and packed a family of 4's belongings into 2 small suitcases, there was not 1 nanometer of space left for strange Victorian scientific objects. This one was particularly desirable as no-one knew what it was or did. How mysterious!

The festival also had a big exhibition going on in a much more salubrious old building and we also watched some late night Charlie Chaplin movies with real pianist there!

Well, you know I mentioned the cemetery earlier? Well it played a significant part in our little trip because it was part of the Lights festival in Alingsås and although it was beautiful by day, it was breath taking by night. The photo does no justice to it really so I will try to explain... As we walked through pitch black night, the cemetery was illuminated along ground level with just enough light to make it look like a gothic fairyland and then 2 huge trees had been fitted with lights which slowly pulsed brighter and faded like a pair of huge light breathing lungs. There was also some beautiful ethereal singing coming from speakers and the whole process of walking though there was one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had.

The Lights festival involved many light installations around the rather picturesque town of Alingsås and  there was a whole garden bathed in brightly coloured lights. I loved this shot as it looks like a being of light is reaching for my daughter...well, ok, a being a shadow actually but lets not get to technical!

After Alingsås we took the train to Copenhagen and spent 4 days there. We went to the zoo of course and also to the Tivoli which is an absolute must! It was a special halloween week and was heaving. I have never seen so many pumpkins! They were used as decorations all over and here was the biggest!

I also saw this in an antique shop. I liked and wanted it, but there's no room in my suitcase for a huge stone anatomical bust so I had to content myself with this quick snap.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

My Home in Dagens Nyheter Newspaper

Last Friday, I was delighted to see a full page article about me and my home in one of Sweden's biggest national newspapers so I thought I would take this opportunity to explore some of the weird and wonderful old things around my house, the little props used to give life to the interiors shots.
When the newspaper asked if they could come and photograph my house I thought I better sort things out a bit so I spent the best part of a week pimping up the house, doing little things like adding these silver spoons to the lampshade, just to make it a little more interesting. I found them in my local recycling station and thought..'I'll have that!' Proper old antique silver spoons someone was throwing away! Unbelievable!

In my home the focus is always on upcycled, reused, secondhand, home made... you get the idea. I want to get across the idea that you don't need to have tons of money to get an interesting look, you just need to look at old stuff with a fresh eye.

I had some help from my friend, stylist and photographer Janice Issitt who took these quick snaps before the newspaper arrived...

The artwork on the wall is by my little daughter and the tea set is inherited from my Grandma. It was piled high with pasties for the actual shot. I also made the table cloth from old crocheted doilies and linen which you can also see in the final shot.

Here is a closeup in the living room. I found the table on the Holloway Road in London and took it home and painted it black. There is still a horrible white plastic marble strip down the middle so I covered it with an oriental satin runner I made. The footstool in front was also hideous when I found it but a lick of red paint and new fabric has given it a new lease of life.

This is in my bedroom. I've owned that little pink cup all my life, I think I've had it longer than any other object ... I still love it too!

This is also from the bedroom, that plant doesn't normally live there, it likes it outside but it looked so nice in that spot (normally there is an ugly CD player there). I painted the boring terra-cotta pot with Annie Sloane chalk paint the day before the shoot...

This is a little arrangement of journals and Wash bag from my label Van Asch that Janice arranged on the window sill, normally there is nothing on the windowsill at all... See, you can't believe what you see in the papers... It's all staged!! ;-)

To see the final shots and read the whole article check out Dagens Nyheter.