How to really grow food in your backyard Here I share with you the secrets that have transformed me from a gardener with a not-very-productive vegie patch, to growing most of my family's fruit and veg.
Traditional Foods My health has dramatically improved after changing my diet for a more traditional way of eating, as advised by Sally Fallon.
Food Flower Poster Forget the food pyramid! It was developed by the agricultural industry, not by nutritionists. Instead, print this Food Flower poster, which shows a visual guide to choosing nutritious and satisfying traditional foods.
I told you I was working on an installation for my desk. Finally I'm happy with my first piece.
And brings to mind babies in humidicribs instead of snugged up to their mamas; the plethora of medical intervention which seems almost inevitable for babies these days.
I've been reclaiming unloved and discarded dolls from the op shops, painting them to relieve them of their garish smiles and blue eye shadow, and making up little scenes, like this one, in which to feature them. You can see a half-completed doll in the mirror.
And how I made it? I took wooden box I found in the op shop, and covered it with papier mache - pieces torn from an old sewing pattern book. I had a bit of scrapbooking paper leftover from The Grimstones, and I used that as the background for wallpaper.
I drew a chandelier out of cardboard and almost died trying to cut the thing out - very fiddly. But after a coat of black paint and mounting it on a piece of chain from a broken necklace, and it looks great.
The bed was made with armature wire which I glued to a foam-core base. And the chest of drawers are also made from foam-core board.
The inspiration was from a magnificent magazine, Selvedge, that was sent to me by Jenine, the ever-talented designer who has poured hours into our Grimstone stuff. The magazine is amazing. I was inspired by images of dolls house furniture made from cardboard, dolls in boxes, and mummified reclaimed dolls. It got me going, so thanks Jenine, for the fabulous inspiration!
I first discovered marionettes in Guatemala, when we came across Sergio Barrio on the street and I was totally captivated. I've held that magic close to me and tried to recreate it in my own marionette shows. Sergio emailed me with this video of his puppets. I was so inspired and delighted to see them again - it's just been a memory and a few photos that I've tried to hold with me through the years. At last I get to see them move again, but unfortunately it seems he filmed it in fast forward - I understand why: puppets move so slowly that on the screen it seems very drawn out. BUT I'm so disappointed - I'm longing to see exactly how they move, real time. Anyway, watch and enjoy.
I'm revamping my life, bringing back creativity. Those balloons that were out of reach. I'm grabbing them back now.
It seems ironic that The Grimstones was hours and hours of happy happy making, but now it's turned into a ball and chain, a life of admin and computers and no energy for anything after I've performed a few shows.
I'm making a doll-art installation for my desk. I have an idea for a wheat-bag Matroshka doll I want to sew.... and making page after page in my journal has helped me to stay in touch with art and being creative.
By making pages that don't matter too much, I find I can experiment broadly, and when I find something I like I try using it again on a different page in a different context. It's wonderful - I feel I'm learning so much about putting together journal collages.
My hand writing is improving too - it's still totally messy but I can write in a few different "fonts" now which I could never do before.
I can't recommend strongly enough an art journal as a way of being creative and expressing yourself in an ongoing way. It's given me such a thrill, and keeps me in a creative headspace so that I'm constantly collecting inspiration and ideas to try out.