Friday, May 25, 2012

Just to let you all know we've added a last minute event at Knebworth House & Park, Hertfordshire on the Jubilee weekend to our summer itinerary which we're very excited about. The organizers have also been kind enough to give us an extra 4 feet of space so Megan can demonstrate her mad hot knitting skills for the crowds so if you her demonstrate before and are able to attend you're in for a real treat.

Now that the sun is out and it seems summer is finally starting to win us over, Megan and I have been giving some real thought towards a make over for the trusty Crooked Van. Those of you who know us will often recognise us by the huge, completly consipcuous blue van parked outside the Crooked House that is rather in need of a bit of TLC.  Bless the big blue beast, here he is with Meg.

Friday, May 18, 2012

“Book-love, I say again, lasts throughout life, it never flags or fails, but, like Beauty itself, is a joy forever.”  
- Holbrook Jackson, The Anatomy of Bibliomania

  I don't know about you but I don't just love to read a good book, I like to collect pretty ones, to read and write in. Maybe it's the writer in me but there's something about paper and binding that no Kindle could replace or word proccessor emulate. I'm really glad that Megan understands my fascination with books as she has given me some of my favourites over the years and has some great ones of her own. I present to you now my favourites from around the Crooked House. If you're a book nerd like me we'd love to hear your comments about your favourites or send us a picture, I know I'm not the only one out there!

Spun From Fact

How crazy/beautiful is this notebook? It was hand made and given to Megan buy a woman who makes notebooks from found art. You can literallly flip to any page at random and land on some thing quirky and interesting, which is what I've done here...

Hailey's Cover
This is Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielowski, while not my favourite book of his it is the most astonishingly well made and mind-bogglingly complex. It's a story about two wild and wayward teenagers who are on the run trying to outrace history and never growing old. It alternates betweeen two narratives, Sam's and Hailey's whose story's begin at either cover. This book was meant to read from both ends and each narrative is a strange intermingling of poetry and  stream of conciousness that leaves me dizzy, it is entirely possible with this book to finish either end and then seamlessly circle back to the beginning. Time has no rules in Only Revolutions and for all of the above reasons I love it. There is no one interprettation of this book that I think could ever be wholly correct, but I think most people who have read it on even see it agree that it's beautiful.

Sam's Cover

Hailey's Inside Cover (which you need a mirror to read)

Louis Riel

An Excerpt from Lewis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown
Here's one of my favourite comics/graphic novels. Louis Riel is a historical biography in comic form of the infamous Métis rebel leader by Canadian cartoonist Chester Brown. It deals with Riel's antagonistic relationship with the Candian government around the time of the Red River Rebellion and profiles his possible bouts into schizophrenia as Riel struggles with his identity as rebel leader and his belief that his is the Prophet of the New World, sent by God. I love it's minimalist style and unemotional dialogue as it comprehensively documents a relatively abstract corner of history. In form and content it is beautiful and deserves a place here. 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielowski
Another Danielowski book and without a doubt my absolute favourite book, EVER.  Danielowski's original multi-narrative epic and mindblowing exercise in ergodic literature is nigh on impossible to summarize effectively so instead here I include the cover blurb, I don't know who wrote it but it's about the only explanation I've found that does it justice....

 "Johnny Truant, wild and troubled sometime employee in an L.A. tattoo parlor, finds a notebook kept by Zampanò, a reclusive old man found dead in a cluttered apartment. Herein is the heavily annotated story of the Navidson Record. 
  Will Navidson, a photojournalist, and his family move into a new house. What happens next is recorded on videotapes and in interviews. Now the Navidsons are household names. Zampanò, writing on loose sheets, stained napkins, crammed notebooks, has compiled what must be the definitive work on the events of Ash Tree Lane.
  But Johnny has never heard of the Navidson Record. Nor has anyone else he knows. And the more he reads about Will Navidson's house, the more frightened he becomes. Paranoia besets him. The worst part is that he just can't dismiss the notebook as the ramblings of a crazy old man. He's starting to notice things changing around him...
  Immensely imaginative. Impossible to put down. impossible to forget. House of Leaves is thrilling, terrifying and unlike anything you've ever read before." - Too true.

Excepts from the Glossary.
My Diary Circa 2005-2007ish...
  Now no self respecting bibliomanic's collection could be complete without a few diaries. I've had so many over the years for so many different reasons. It's only been over the last couple of years that I've been busy enough to make it worth keeping a diary in the conventional sense i.e. to help remind me when I'm supposed to be doing something. Nowadays my diary is somewhere in between a calender and a notebook. Megan gave me my travel diary and my current diary which I use to keep a track of all my Crooked House projects. I think it's safe to say that I do not like being caught without one of these and a pen on my person at all times because you never know when that bolt of inspiration will hit and I've lost too many good ideas in the frantic search for something to jot them down on.

I was a lot more secretive about my diary back then...

Travel Diary 2011

Contributions made by my Swedish friends and the Kids of Khao San Rd.

One of Megan's

The Current Diary - A Christmas Present from Meg

My Busy Year

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Message from Megan

Sometimes there is just so much to do it boggles the mind. It's been a while since our last post and since then I've been away for 10 days exhibiting first at Penshurst Place in Kent, I stayed in Tunbridge Wells with Tori's cousin Karl who was kind enough to put me up in his bachelor pad for a few days. Despite the rain I had a really good time at Penshurst, I was lucky enough to display my Peek-a-boo Tier dress at the entrance of the show which drew lots of lovely people to my stand which was great. Then after a brief trip into London to stay with my wonderful friend Monica Boxley and went fabric shopping! :)
Also got myself some Earings by Suzie Dale-Smith

 Then onto Hatfield House in Hertfordshire where I stayed at Almshoe Bury Farm, the oldest dwelling house in Hertfordshire which sits on nearly 800 acres of land. Had an amazing weekend, with record sales on the Friday and my smiles continued. I'm really pleased with the reaction to my new collection and it was exiting to get feedback many of my most loyal customers whose reactions were just as kind. I also got to catch up with many of my favourite designers and makers and meet new ones as well.

Now that I'm home I'm going to be cracking on with commissions and starting to plan the Designer Open Studio in June, not to mention I'll be exhibiting at Patchings Festival in Nottingham on the 14th - 17th of June and I will possibly have one more date to announce soon so I'll keep you all posted. I've got plans for my new fabrics too soon keep an eye out on new styles the will be appearing on the website soon. Just to say a big thankyou to all my wonderful customers and I will speak to you all soon. Love Meg xx


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