February is generally a slow, quiet month, with the ending of one season in sight and the possibilities of Spring in clear view. Time to plant those seeds and patch them T-shirts in anticipation of warmer, more active times ahead. But whilst you still have a few gentler hours to spare here are some things to keep you amused:
We love these huge graphite pictures by Ethan Murrow. Simultaneously weird and beautiful, they certainly get you thinking......
Two films from 2017 you should make an effort to see:
The Florida Project
Six-year-old Moonee (the remarkably watchable Brooklynn Kimberly Prince) lives in the motel with her young mother Halley (Bria Vinaite), who pulls together cash for the rent by selling wholesale perfume on the estate, hawking stolen theme-park tickets and, eventually, through prostitution. Impish Moonee spends her days roaming the surrounds with her friend Scooty (Christopher Rivera) and new pal Jancey (Valeria Cotto)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
With brilliant performances by Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson, this darkly comic drama has a murdered girl’s defiant mother boldly paint three local signs with a controversial message, igniting a furious battle with a volatile cop and the town’s revered chief of police.
Have you discovered Plümo? They source distinctive fashion, homewares and jewellery beautifully crafted by artisans and designers from Africa to Asia and are currently offering 10% off your first order. Still some wonderful designs to be snatched.
The next Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Sale will be held, for the first time at the Freemasons Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 on 25th February 2018.. This award-winning shopping event is a firm favourite of those looking to update their wardrobes with unique, retro and vintage garments and accessories at (generally) affordable prices.
Japanese embroidery artist ipnot creates pieces of food and drink that seem to leap off the fabric and into life. Ipnot enhances the realism of her embroideries by staging them with their real-life inspirations and surroundings, like piles of fluffy rice in a bowl, and slices of stollen crumbling off a miniature fork. Ipnot shares on her website that her grandmother’s embroidery practice inspired her to start, and she uses the needle and thread similarly to the painting technique of stippling. You can see more of the artist’s petite embroideries on Instagram.
As parents and grandparents it is sometimes difficult to come to terms with youngsters' seeming dependence on the computer and social networking. It was, therefore with interest that I read the words of the fierce thinker and largehearted, beautiful writer, Ursula K. Le Guin (October 21, 1929–January 22, 2018). Her book No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, is a splendid piece full of her wakeful, winkful wisdom and a commentary on what modern childhood may be missing.
"Kids used to have a whole lot of spare time, middle-class kids anyhow. Outside of school and if they weren’t into a sport, most of their time was spare, and they figured out more or less successfully what to do with it. I had whole spare summers when I was a teenager. Three spare months. No stated occupation whatsoever. Much of after-school was spare time too. I read, I wrote, I hung out with Jean and Shirley and Joyce, I moseyed around having thoughts and feelings, oh lord, deep thoughts, deep feelings… I hope some kids still have time like that. The ones I know seem to be on a treadmill of programming, rushing on without pause to the next event on their schedule, the soccer practice the playdate the whatever. I hope they find interstices and wriggle into them. Sometimes I notice that a teenager in the family group is present in body — smiling, polite, apparently attentive — but absent. I think, I hope she has found an interstice, made herself some spare time, wriggled into it, and is alone there, deep down there, thinking, feeling."
There is always in February some one day, at least, when one smells the yet distant, but surely coming, summer. Gertrude Jekyll