Tuesday, November 18, 2008

If You're Feeling Sinister--Traveling Part II

We left London, but not before dancing on stage for the encore of my favorite band (Belle and Sebastian) singing my favorite album in it's entirety (If You're Feeling Sinister). The concert was covered in the London Times; my stage dancing captured eternal.

Finding cheap a fare to Paris and with a free place to crash, the City of Lights was magnificent. Whilst trekking the tourist circuit, we found a Moroccan travel agency specializing in charter flights. Our first destination, Essoueira, a Moroccan beach town made famous by Jimi Hendrix's "Castles Made of Sand" (there is indeed an ancient castle on the beach, made of sand and completely crumbling) was a labyrinth of artisan stalls and fish markets. To Marrakesh and Fez we sojourned, riding buses and donkey cabs (click here to read diary entries and see pictures).

Renting a car for a week to tour the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert is not recommended; a guide or group is advised as our destination was just a few kilometers from the Algerian border. But we did not know that. Although there were close calls (it is considered a given to be lost as many Moroccans change the road signs in order to direct you to their towns), we spent an incredible night under the stars atop a dune in the middle of the Sahara (the sandstorm and the camel stench could not spoil it). Never have I seen so many stars.

We walked across the border to Spain ending up in Sevilla where we found a flight back to London and a plane ticket home.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

London Calling: Part I

My honeymoon was fabulous. I mean truly wonderful. As rough and ready world travelers, we sought the exotic. We knew we had the chops; we met as travelers in the mountains of northern Israel (our first "date" was two weeks in northern Egypt along the waters of the Red Sea). Little did I know we would traipse through Paris, see the Southern Cross descend upon a Saharan night sky and dance on stage in London with my favorite band.

We have camped in the Pyrenees, bartered in the markets of Istanbul, walked the walls of Dubrovnik, partied in Barcelona, explored the castles of Prague, the churches of Italy and the pubs of London, but nothing quite prepared us for the honeymoon.

We never plan. Anything. Even plane tickets. This unnerves most, but we find it exhilarating. There are no hotel reservations, no itineraries, no way home. Adventure on the fly, we call it.

First, we went to London. You can do anything, go anywhere from London. I have always managed to find some sort of last minute deal to London. For very cheap. We stay in the same Bayswater hotel each time and do nothing but walk. I have an extensive collection of London walking tours and historic pub guides. As we walk we look for travel agencies buying tickets to wherever is most inexpensive, interesting or a free place to crash.

So we went to Paris. (To be continued......)

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Garden of Shoes and The 1960s Psychadelic Mod Fashion Plate

I keep everything. I have broken dishes, an entire couture collection of single shoes, (Belle, my mastiff-laborador, having chewed the other mate--most recently a pair of handmade snakeskin Italian leather pumps that I picked up at a thrift shop in London years ago. Alas.) almost every single piece of correspondence that I have ever received, and boxes upon boxes of clothing.

I have it in my head that someday I will create some sort of art from my history. Most likely these treasures will remain in my attic, sit in my basement and wait to be moved to their next domicile.

My imagination can actually see the beauty I could create. The broken dishes to be made into a Gaudi style backyard bench, the clothing resewn into gorgeous new frocks, and all those poor single shoes? I once saw a famous garden where old purses were bronzed and placed about. I liked the way it looked. Could definitely do the same with the shoes. Especially my old cowboy boots.

This week I went through my art studio looking for inspiration. I always joke that my workshop looks as if it was hit by a natural disaster. People don't quite believe that until they see it. It's quite amazing, actually. Utter chaos. I love it.

So I am sifting through boxes and drawers and find a linoleum block/woodcutting kit bought about ten years prior. Thought I would give it a go. I found that I truly enjoyed carving the blocks with my various Art Deco inspired images, retro fashion plates and an Art Nouveau inspired nature scene as well. And I enjoyed the printing itself. A new found medium.

Pictured is my 1960s Mod Psychadelic Fashion Plate. A limited edition, signed and numbered linocut print, she is available in my Etsy shop.

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