Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A memory a day - 22 - Scree Glee!

One more from the Pilgrimage of the volcanoes of Southern Italy. Scree jumping down Mount Etna, like bouncing down the side of the moon! Sunnies and a tee shirt wrapped round my face. The tee shirt snood because, as you can imagine, the stink of sulphur is overpoweringly strong when one is bouncing around on a volcano...

Monday, 30 January 2012

A memory a day - 21 - Prickly Pear Pilferers

A rather less irksome memory than the last one! Again still on the Italian Volcanoes holiday(around 11 years old), at a campsite on the island of Lipari. I had yearned for this pair of delicious shorts printed with beautiful prickly pears. They were pretty pricey but my dad bought them for me agreeing they really were rather fabulous. After one wear they were washed and put on the washing line of the campsite where they were stolen by a cruel but presumably rather stylish pants thief. I loved those shorts, sigh...

Friday, 27 January 2012

A memory a day - 20 - Lobster Leper

On the same volcanoes holiday, in Naples being approached by an unfortunate old man who it seems had leprosy which had lost him half of his hand. I remember the abject terror of his pincers nipping at my arm. He was harmlessley asking for spare change but I was convinced for a long time after that bits of my body felt loose and were sure to fall off at any moment.

(I'm not sure if it's okay in these politically correct times to have called this post lobster leper, apologies for offence caused!)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A memory a day - 19 - Burping Beauties and Carpets of Crickets

When I was about 11 my dad moved from Zimbabwe to Italy so he was a wee bit closer! One of the first summers I spent over there we went on a pilgimage of the volcanoes of Southern Italy and Sicily including Mount Etna and Vesuvius. Between Sicily and Italy you have the Aeolian islands. These islands were the most magical and beautiful place I have ever been. This pic is on the top of Stromboli, a volcano that's still live and still erupts hourly. I don't know if you still can but we did the climb to the top, reaching the summit at sunset. We slept there in our sleeping bags being showered with ash every now and then as stromboli belched her way through the night.

Even waking up to literally a carpet of crickets covering us(it's very warm up there, they like it!) couldn't change the magic that is Stromboli, a place I'll always feel priveleged to have visited at such a tourist free time. Ahhhh Stromboli you are a beaut!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A memory a day - 18 - Jump suit seamstress

My mother made me some wonderful things when I was a very little girl, knitted clowns, rollerskating pink satin skirts etc. A bit later on I remember this attempt at a jumpsuit where she sewed the arms onto the legs and the legs onto the arms. I'm not sure it would've been the most trendsetting of outfits even if it had gone to plan! I make a lot of my own clothes nowaday, maybe this was an early inspiration!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A memory a day - 17 - Leopard Print PTA

Around 11 years old. My mum, the most glamourous mum at parents evening. Leopard Print Fur Coat, Electric Blue Snakeskin stillettos, spandex skin tight minidress and purple and blue eyeshadowblended right up to the eyebrows. (it was the 80s don't forget!) Oh and the straightest sleekest black bobbed hair ever to be seen. Unfortunately when you're 11 and wanting to be invisible this isn't how you want your mum to turn up to parents evening! But looking back oh so cool! And I'm not seeing the twin set and pearls look happening any time soon for her nowadays either!

Monday, 23 January 2012

A memory a day - 16 - Boobs and more blushes

When I was about 11 my Mum's boyfriend of the times two daughters came to live with us for a short while. They were around 16 and 18 and found great enjoyment in dressing me up, sock filled lumpy bra, blue eyeshadow up to the eyebrows and those rosy cheeks aren't just due to rouge. I spent a lot of my childhood feeling embarrassed about one thing or another but it was lovely for a short time to have a couple of sisters.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

A memory a day - 15 - Baco foil suntans

About 11 or 12 years old. When Factor 2 seemed like the equivalent of sunblock! Baking foil reflectors, legs slathered in cooking oil, me and my friend laying in the sports field behind my house baking our legs into an orange blistered sweaty sausages! The things that seem perfectly logical at the time eh!

Friday, 20 January 2012

A memory a day - 14 - Yellow and Purple blushes

About 10 years old here, my bandy legs are getting chubbier and my thighs are thickening so what do I find in my PE kit. Bright purple ribbed tights and tiny yellow satin shorts. I was always second to last to be picked for the team anyway (yes there was actually one person even less popular than me!) but this little ensemble really didn't help my case. I remember a baffled look on the PE teachers face as I appeared from the changing rooms alongside all the stick thin girls in their cute gym skirts and shiny tracksuits. I was destined to continue being distinctly unhip!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Stuck on Repeat

Some sewing machines for OhhDeer's Stuck on Repeat submission. I must try and get my head round tiling this year!

A memory a day - 13 - Godzilla Hugs

Around 8 or 9 back in Norwich. My mum brought back wonderful pressies from a trip to the US including a giant inflatable Godzilla. He may not have been quite as big as this but it certainly felt like he was at the time, aw I miss being a small person. I remember loving this 80s-tastic giant t-shirt dress too with big cats eyes on which I wore until it fell it pieces.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A memory a day - 12 - Moons and Elephants

I came back to live in the UK with my ma after about a year. I missed my dad terribly back in England. He told me that whenever I looked at the moon he'd be looking at the same moon too. I guess this is possibly where my moon fixations come from. The elephants marching round the sun are from my favourite dream of the time. There were some clowns and trees involved too but I think I will stick to mostly waking memories for now!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A memory a day - 11 - The Uaz, red rocks and upside down trees

Still about 8... In Dad's fabulous Russian Uaz Jeep which I remember bouncing about in it a lot! The trees are Baobab tree's which I thought were upside down trees (you can see why!) and the rocks are those of the Matopos hills(Zimbabwe), red balancing rocks on barren hills. Such a beautiful place filled with many happy magical memories.

(to see all the memory a day posts - http://animella.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/memories )

Monday, 16 January 2012

A memory a day - 10 - Circus Tiger Suprise

I'm not so proud of this one as drawings go as it doesn't look like my dad's face at all and is all a bit wonky but as I have no photos of reference for any of this time in my life the details of hairstyles etc are a bit fuzzy!

What I do remember is (around 8 years old still, Zimbabwe) the travelling circus comes to town. My dad used to be quite the photographer (I think he was working at the time teaching Photography at the local art school). He was standing right at the bars of the Tiger's cage, he thought he was doing the zooming in on the camera but no it was the Tiger zooming in on him! He ends up with the tigers paws and claws wrapped round his leg. The next thing I remembered was a nun looking cleaning his mauled leg but he tells me she was in fact the Tigers Tamer! Not doing the best job there then was she!

Packages from far away places....

I received a lovely package over the weekend from the very talented Jessica Gowling. Some gorgeous cards of Jessicas artwork, papers and stickers and a gorgeous handmade sketchbook using a book cover which happened to be one of my favourites, The Birds. (she also sells these in her etsy shop.) I think I've mentioned before I love doing any kind of swappages so if you fancy getting involved in any collaborations etc don't hesitate to get in touch!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

A little interlude for Valentines of the Feline variety

A little interlude from a memory a day to show you a couple of new necklaces. Laser cut from Beech and Acrylic, Percy on his sewing machine. (and I can put any illustration in on request)
These have turned out really sweet! You can buy them here - http://www.etsy.com/shop/Tanky

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A memory a day - 9 - Buffalo Bills Smiley Burgers

Going to Buffalo Bills in Bulawayo was a rare treat! Happy meals were not what they are now and I was over the moon at the prospect of a ketchuped smiley face on a Buffalo Bill Burger! Possibly where my ketchup addiction problems started!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A memory a day - 8 - Meeting Mr Banana!

I have no idea at what event this was, but about 8 years old still living in Zimbabwe, meeting and having ones hand shook by a grinning President Banana. Obviously I was just most in awe of the fact he was called Mr Banana and not that he was the President of Zimbabwe. Apparently a law had been passed saying anyone laughing at his name would be imprisoned, he's not with us anymore so I don't suppose the law still is enforced but if it is let's hope no one see this!

A memory a day - 7 - Pretty Frocks and Cartoon Fridays

Starting school in Zimbabwe at around 8 years old. The scariness of a new school in a new country balanced out by the prettiest school uniform ever and the fact that at this school every Friday afternoon everyone watched cartoons projected on a screen as a rule! I don't remember watching any other TV at this time so it was pretty exciting!

Hmmm so far, we have novelty bags, colouring pencils, cats, teaching, comic books and pretty dresses. This is all seeming pretty similar to my life nowadays. Possibly not so excited about a new pair of dungarees these days though!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A memory a day - 6 - Whizzer and chips off to Zimbabs

About 8 years old on a plane on the way to be with my pa who now lived in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. My mum very kindly saved all my comics that were delivered weekly including Whizzer and Chips, The Beano, The Dandy and Topper for weeks and weeks beforehand so I had a right old treat of a pile to take on what was a really long trip for a wee lass on her own.

I had my brand new favourite dungarees on. I had also been upgraded to business class so very excited about the toiletry bag that had all sorts of potions in it along with a sleeping mask. How very grown up! Unfortunately I was sick all over my new dungarees shortly after this (hence the waiting sick bag) and I remember being thoroughly distraught about it! But I have really fond memories of little Bulawayo airport and being so excited about dad being there to pick me up after missing him terribly. Awwwww

Monday, 9 January 2012

A memory a day - 5 - Gold Stars all round!

So I spent a lot of time on my own when I was little! About 7 years old playing teachers with Ballerina Sindy, ooh how I loved those bendy legs, Moley and the Clown. The clown I remember my mother buying in Covent Garden, he sat on a a swing for a long time looking pretty but I always dreamed of the day I'd be allowed to play with him! They were all very studious and quiet so gold stars all round, a bit shy about asking questions though.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

A memory a day - 4 - Tripod the Cat - beware gruesome content!

Tripod the cat - so named because she only had 3 legs, no one remembers what her name was before becoming tripod so perhaps it was meant to be. I believed for years she had lost her leg getting caught in the bedsprings so I always had a somewhat horrific picture in my head of poor Tripod's accident.

It turns out she got runover, my mother swears she actually told me Tripod got her leg caught in barbed wire a the end of the garden, thinking this would ease my mind rather than the idea of metal monsters on wheels squashing poor Tripod. Somehow my mind interpreted that as the shortly before for this picture here, poor love, stuck under the bed entwined in curly wire.

Tripod was a truly amazing feline though, running around like any other quadruped. You'd think she hadn't even noticed the missing limb the way she took it in her stride (scusing the pun!)

A memory a day - 3 - Measles and Beans

About 7 years old - Measles! In bed under a fabulous pink eiderdown itching but really excited by the baked bean jigsaw puzzles I'd been given to cheer me up! I have always remembered that puzzle as being baked beans but when I looked it up I can find no evidence of such a puzzle in a can at the time so I might be mistaken but this is how I remember it so this is how it stays!

On the end of the bed sits Tripod the cat. She was named Tripod due to an unfortunate event at the time.....(see tomorrows pic!) In these pics due to blurry memory edges she may well resemble more the fluffy hovercraft cats I have today who like to float around in boxes and squeeze onto bookshelves as they do make rather fabulous models. (oh and don't they know it!)

Friday, 6 January 2012

A memory a day - 2 - Pencil Presents

Around 6 years old - We'd just moved to Norwich from Leeds. It was a quite odd higgledy piggledy house, with the kitchen in the basement, an orange formica table where I would be eating my heinz spaghetti and fishfingers on blue rimmed NHS plates for some time to come. A teeny tiny bedroom with roses on the wallpaper, big rooms with dirty windows onto a noisy road with roaring trucks, and a beautiful long garden with a ramshackle wendy house and chickens.

The day we moved in I remember two things. One was seeing a small girl playing in an old tin bath at the bottom of the garden next door(soon to become my childhood friend until we lost touch when we moved a few years later)

The second thing I remember is being surrounded by boxes and tea chests when I was given a Holly Hobby Coloured Pencil set. Funny the things you remember.... Wow I loved those pencils!

A memory a day 1 - Big things for little people

So I have a set a new project for myself to help practice my retrieving and drawing from memory. I figured where best to start than my earliest memories. So a memory a day starts a journal of snippets of little old me and I'm sure will include many other cherished friends and family as time goes on.

Here's number 1! About 4 or 5 years old, going to Springbank school in Leeds. I remember how much I loved this giant baseball boot bag I had for first days at school. (It probably wasn't quite this big but it certainly felt like it!) I wonder if this is what spawned a love of bags and all things oversized and silly!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I have a really good feeling about 2012 and my only resolution is to keep in mind "don't dream it DO it"!! That kind of covers everything! This is also the year when I will marry my lovely fella of four years who has been an inspiration and the person who gave me the confidence to go for it. If it wasn't for him I'd never have had the courage to put myself out there so thank you Gary Wheeler!!

I've really enjoyed collaborative work this year in exhibitions such as the Matchbox show and individual mail art as well as one of my favourites the doodleswap. If anyone wants to collaborate in any way or swap some mail art don't hesitate to get in touch! (tankenska@hotmail.com)

Oh yes and really pleased to have been told I will be in Images 36, the AOI's Best of Illustration for the year. So in 2012 let's all do what we love and love what we do, good things will happen!