While in Dorset this week I spotted this weather beaten telephone box on the seafront in Swanage. There are very few of these design classics left standing on the streets of Britain. In 1924 the Royal Fine Arts Commission invited 3 respected architects to submit designs for a telephone box. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott won. He was a trustee of the Sir John Soane’s museum at the time, and the shape of the roof of the Dulwich Picture Gallery mausoleum, my local gallery, influenced his design. Last Sunday saw the end of one of the most exciting exhibitions Dulwich Picture gallery has ever hosted. One of the most inspiring illustrators and artists of the 20th century, the show was amazing. Some of his most iconic images were on display.
Do you or don't you send valentines? I do....but it has to be Homemade. ......except for last year. Having just been commissioned for the Homemade book, I was tempted on Etsy.com to buy this delicious Rob Ryan print for my sweetheart of 25 years, an investment me thinks. Over the years I have received many beautiful Valentines from my true love. Strawberry jam toast lovingly cut to spell I love you; Poems hand written and painted onto old postcards but my all time favourite has to be the one that Elspeth wrote about in her Wonderful Weekend book. A polaroid photograph of a heart, with his shoes on one side and mine on the other. So romantic, expressing more than any words, walking the same road, each a half of the whole. Simple ideas are the best. I love this heart shape that I found fossilized onto a rock while walking in Dorset. Buttons or shells threaded onto fuse wire then shaped to form a heart. Or this wooden heart with a crackle paint effect. Paper cutouts, not quite Rob Ryan but still beautiful when lovingly crafted. I have knitted and sewn and I have baked heart shaped cakes, all for my valentine. My latest labour of love is adapted from The Homemade book. A take on the traditional victorian sand cushion. The making ethic has now naturally passed to my teen treasure, albeit in the manner of creating a photograph. . Already a bit of an old hand and teaching her Mother new tricks, this was last year's model, I love the "my funny Valentine" music on the piano. I wonder what she will produce this year.
The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? -J. B. Priestley