Monday, 21 May 2012

My recycled garden

So please take the time to sign the petition here at the end of reading this. Please. It will only take you two seconds and when I get 100,000 signatures I can get plastic bags banned! Why? Cause I can only do a little bit to help save the planet and our own extinction and that will be worth it! Plastic bags, as you might know,  don't break down for over 1000 years, we are dumping them in the ocean to try and bin 'em and hurting our ocean friends as well as dumping them as land fill and releasing all sorts of poisonous gases into our air whilst our business' just keep producing LOADS more.

And now on with the blog! So, some of you know I am moving house and I'm moving into a house where I will have my own art and music studio - MY OWN ART AND MUSIC STUDIO! I have been working in shared houses since I was 17 and many many patient people out there and ex housemates (still covered in the glitter) were more than patient with me and my messy work especially when making 1000 handmade cds in batches every few months. Now, I can move my 5 sewing machines, 3 easels, canvasses, ball gowns, printing screens, guitars, screens, shoes, paints, glitter, amps and Wurlitzer into my own space - affecting noone but me and the birds at my window! Woop.

I have my own yard.

I move in 1st of June.

So, my brother who is really creative and a quick artistic thinker came round the other evening and we got into talking about my worries about the plastic that we as humans, are producing and how to tackle the waste that comes in through our homes... We travelled the internet on a recycled art journey and found some beautiful ideas for gardens. As I move in the 1st of June, I won't have long to get my yard feeling good and we tried to work out how to use all the stuff that we usually throw away. Tetra Paks, tin cans, drawers, wardrobes, shelves, bottles, jars, stuff.


Funnily enough, at points we had to stop ourselves from buying the 'stuff' that you need to make the recycled creations we were finding! Ironic!

Well, once we both got our heads around it - we were off. My brother, he's a teacher and is going to make a big recycled garden with the students, growing all their veg for the canteen! Brilliant.

If you haven't already PPPPPLLLLLEEEEAASSSSEEEE sign the petition HERE AND get Tom Davies' amazing Cool Down Remix of my single Cool Down Rewind here - I really think its beautiful as is Sandra Whetham's artwork! Click the links x

Anyway here are a few things you can do... I will blog my recycled garden in a few months - a few things we made below too. I wish you well xxxx

Get a pallet - any pallet, lie it on the floor upside down - staple some waterproof plastic to the back or use some hessian and cover the whole of the bag and sides - leave the top open. Fill the whole thing with eartha and then add all the plants you want and stand it up on its front and attach to a wall. I'm going to make one for the end of my kitchen cupboards and fill it with herbs.

If you have some wholes in your fence...instead of getting a new fence - fill em with marbles. Nice.

A old rake head. Says it all.

Use old furniture that's broken and gonna be burnt or thrown to the skip and turn it into giant plant pots. Check the one we made with an old drawer and some Broccoli seedlings

In my back yard

Leaky teapot? 

Broken plant pots - stead of throwing them awe, write on them and use. You can also add them to your compost to aerate

Sooooooo simple - mini greenhouses! Cut a plastic bottle in half and plant the feelings into the bottom half and then cover with the top. Maybe don't use edible plants cause the plastics can give off toxins when left in the sun a long time.

This is one of my favourites - soooooooo simple. You could paint the bottles too as you see in the one below which I love. Just save all your bottles and cut out a rectangle with a sharp sharp knife. The bottle top works as a draining system, I guess. Again, I'm guessing maybe don't put edibles in these due to toxin release from the bottles when left in the sun. I think all different shapes and sizes would look great too! I'm definitely going to make an indoor window garden like his one below in my art studio.

We discovered that you can buy glass bottle cutting kits for about £30 online which easily cut glass bottles and come with a polishing cloth so you can stop them from being sharp and then you can make these.... herbs in bottle necks in a glass of water will then self water - especially if you add a string into the bottom of the soil so it dangles in the water - the roots will suck what they need up the neck. Window herb garden for me and lovely gifts for my friends as and when a bottle gets finished in my house.

yup. We thought maybe go see the restaurants in town and ask them to save us their industrial tins stead of throwing them although I think they actually get recycled unlike plastics

Soooooo simple. Cut a bottle in half fill the top with soil and house it in the bottom of the bottle!

Any old hessian bags fill em with soil and plant some edibles

old pots and pans

Here are two hanging baskets we made with tomato seedlings in... Made from a curtain tie hassle, tinfoil packaging and the net from a bag of oranges and a bag of lemons. How bout that!!!

Go tomatoes!

 Now, this is one of my favourites! Picture frame with a chicken wire top filled with succulents which are kinda like cactus' - then hung on the wall. Definite one for my wall.

Use egg boxes to sprout your seeds into seedlings instead of those plastic propagators - you can use egg shells too - the beauty of all these is that you can plant them straight into the ground as they will biodegrade

Genius - guttering filled ih salad leaves! We made one too - Paul's work! (Line with a bit off tin foil incase of any plastic toxins


Just cause I want it

Inside out painted old tyres! Use them as plant pots (not for edibles)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Cosmic Star Trail

This weekend was a wild, wild weekend. Secret gig, huge gig at The Grand in Clitheroe to close the Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Festival with The Troubadours and the chance to work with many, wonderful musicians, project managers, chefs, personalities and audiences. Please check out Pete Turner, the bass player if you hear he is playing anywhere near you, Billy Buckley's wonderful Wagon Train, Claudio Kron's album which is a beautiful beautiful album and all the excellent projects Katie Tavini is engineering - they were just a few of the special guests I got the opportunity to work with and to make music with, this weekend. Huge. I'm exhausted and full. Thanks so much to EVERYONE who helped this weekend, even if your help was sending a positive thought this way. Everything helped.

On the gig at the Grand, I had a cosmic star trail of little girls who were drawing pictures and passing them to me as I sang so I thought I'd share them with you.

Cool Down Rewind and it's wonderful remix by Troubadour Tom Davies aka DaviesQuiet with beautiful artwork by Sandra Whetham is out all over the digital world - iTunes have featured it as new and noteworthy too ! Please get your copy here - I hope you enjoy. Please add a review if you can x

Thanks for reading. X

To Lovely, I love your picture, love the children xxx

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Hello. Welcome back to Crazy Fm.
Welcome to our new page... ARTIST IN VIRUALENCE.
I asked folk out there in the world if anyone would like to design a poster for a few of the gigs I'm doing and lots of beautiful talents sent replies. So...introducing my new poster by... Kirstie Mason. Super Quirk.

I'm off to the printers tomorrow to get it printed. T'is lovely! If you would like one, then please go to my musical boutique and i'll get one printed for you too. (All monies will go to Kirstie - she doesn't know this, so... shhhhhh!).

I asked Kirstie a few questions and her answers are below - thought it might be nice for people to know a wee bit about Kirstie and her work. There are a few more of Kirstie's images below too. 


'Centaurette' by Kirstie Mason


'The Batterfly' by Kirstie Mason

 'Dryad' by Kirstie Mason

"My name is Kirstie Iona Mason, I'm 21 years old and live in Wallasey, over the water from Liverpool. I've just finished my degree in Creative Writing and Film Studies, currently awaiting results! 
I've been drawing all my life but only very recently found my style with bold shadows and outlines and crazy colours. I pencil a rough outline of my designs then go over them with a black ink pen. After the basic outline of everything is done, I fill in all the shadows and make the outlines thick, it just seems to create this awesome effect. Everything I do is hand-drawn and scanned in, but as I'm not so confident with colouring, I may have to invest in a graphics tab just to make my work more professional looking. Anything and everything can inspire me, and I draw whatever pops into my head. 

My dream is to write and illustrate my own stories, and I am currently working on a short story which I hope to publish myself. I enjoy writing and drawing things that are different and quirky, and sometimes a bit surreal. As my favourite artist is Salvador Dali, this is hardly surprising! I am also inspired by the drawings and poems of Tim Burton. All I want to do in life is sit in a beautiful garden and draw and write with a cat in my lap!

Although I frequently go rock-climbing, skiing and snowboarding in risky places, the scariest thing I've ever done is sell my own artwork! It was my first ever experience of selling illustrations that I did for an Alice in Wonderland exhibition, and it was terrifying every time a person came to look at them. Luckily, the illustrations were very well received and I was one of the highest selling artists at the exhibition!

In terms of music and films, my taste is very varied. I listen to music that inspires me, so mainly film soundtracks and a bit of Tchaikovsky, although I could quite happily listen to the Doors, My Chemical Romance and T-Rex in the same playlist. I enjoy the poetic lyrics of the Killers, Joni Mitchell and the wonderful music of Czech composer Zdenek Liska. My favourite films include Disney's Fantasia, Un Chien Andalou and the Czech puppet films of Karel Zeman and Jan Svankmajer, the most underrated filmmakers in the world! I also enjoy the Bourne trilogy, any film with Cary Grant, particularly His Girl Friday, and the South Park movie, another example of a brilliant film soundtrack!"

Please leave any lovely comments for Kirstie here...