The Monsanto House of the Future

A glimpse into the future in the nineteen fifties. I know that this sounds like something Doc Emmett Brown would say but it’s interesting to go back and see what ideas people had about the future. In 1957 the idea of the future was something that fascinated the Disney organisation and also a firm called the Monsanto Company. They thought, in common with Mr. Robinson from The Graduate, that the future could be summed up in one...

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The Lewis N. Clark Mini Cross-Body Bag

Lewis N. Clark Does It Again When my mini cross-body purse arrived today, I couldn’t wait to unpack it. I’d been looking for a smaller sized purse that would hold all I need, yet would be easy and light to carry. As you can see in the video below, the Lewis N. Clark mini cross-body bag is nylon, ideal for travel because it is lightweight. Perhaps as important these days, it offers RFID protection for your credit cards. Of course that...

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Art Matters: L.S. Lowry on Match Day

Andy Royston’s back on the terraces with one of England’s most beloved painters, L.S. Lowry. One cold and rainy evening in West London I found myself wandering towards a set of bright floodlights shining above the houses. Brentford FC were playing Gillingham in some cup game and Griffin Park was offering tickets on the turnstiles. So in I went, picked up a cup of Bovril from the Ealing Road end and, as the drizzle faded...

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Tom Keating: Art Fraud

Tom Keating: Criminal or hero? In the nineteen sixties and seventies, Tom Keating made a very handy living as an art forger. But was he a criminal or was he simply exposing the shady side of the art world? He painted fakes in the style of several well known painters (whose works were valuable and in demand) and sold them without exactly revealing that they were ‘home made’. How much of a crime is that, exactly? Well, in...

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A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston

A Ship Called Rothko: Artwork by Andy Royston I’ve loved the work of Mark Rothko for as long as I can remember. The last time I recall one of the artist’s works selling it was at Christie’s in New York. The price was a cool $86.9 million. This price set a record for the top price paid for artwork produced after World War Two. Therefore I think it’s pretty safe to assume that there won’t be a genuine...

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Norman Rockwell: Fake!

The Norman Rockwell painting that was a fake. Breaking Home Ties is one of America’s favourite illustrations.It was created by Norman Rockwell in 1954, originally for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. For years it was exhibited and admired by the American people but there was just one minor detail – it was a fake. More than fifty years after it had been painted, it was discovered that the artwork on display was a...

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Looking at Paintings (9) David Hockney ‘The Road Across the Wolds’

When David Hockney’s Yorkshire landscape paintings were first shown at the London Royal Academy in 2012, they attracted mixed reviews. The art critic of The Economist admired some of the works, but wrote, “Others, I would argue, would not be celebrated at all if they were not by Mr Hockney, such as this ‘The Road Across the Wolds’.” But he was wrong. The painting, now on permanent display at the Hockney Gallery, Salts Mill, Saltaire,...

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Choose Life – A George Michael Diary

As we say a fond goodbye to George Michael, Andy Royston remembers the hairspray days. Enjoy What You Do. “Do you, enjoy what you do? If not, just stop – don’t stay there and rot…” It had been a mad year. I’d spent most of it living in a South Manchester bedsit, wasting time on a year out of college. Way too many nights had been spend on dank dance floors and working (badly) on my day job running...

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Augustus John

Augustus John: Fryern Court, Fordingbridge. Artist Augustus John was born in Wales in 1878. He became the darling of the art world and was well-known for his eccentricities. He often wore gypsy-style clothes and lived life in his own bohemian fashion. He was married in 1900 but, because he loved women, that didn’t stop him having affairs most notably with his long-time mistress Dorothy  McNeill, usually referred to as Dorelia....

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Art Matters: The Fighting Temeraire

Andy Royston talks us through his favourite painting by JMW Turner – ‘Ye mariners of England, That guard our native seas!  Whose flag has braved a thousand years, The battle and the breeze!‘  Thomas Campbell  “Ye Mariners of England” In this famous painting by J.M.W. Turner, the great old warship Temeraire no longer flies the union flag. Just a white flag flutters from the mast of the tug, showing that a ship is now...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Elephants

Love elephants? Great gift ideas. Are you looking for gift ideas for someone who just loves elephants? I have found an online collection that features almost one thousand items – all of which feature elephants. There are some incredible pieces of jewellery – both modern and traditional. The photograph on the right shows a lovely example. There are other items to wear too,including some gorgeous elephant print scarves. But...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Turtles

Turtle-themed gifts: For good luck. In many cultures and societies turtles are considered to bring good luck so what better gift than turtle-themed products? The articles you see on this page are all make by artisans all over the world and are made from sustainable or recycled materials. The sculpture you see here, for example, is a carved coconut and its base is made from sustainable albesia wood. It is hand carved in Bali by an...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Dolphins

Love dolphins? Gift ideas. Dolphins are so popular. Is it because they always seem to be smiling? If you have someone on your gift list who loves dolphins as much as I do, then here you’ll find the perfect gifts for them to add to their collection of dolphin themed jewellery, décor items and more. I love the pendant that you see in this photograph, for example. The two dolphins are hand carved by a jewellery sculptor in Bali and...

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Mexican Jewellery from Guillermo Arregui

Stylish,original jewellery from Mexico. Guillermo Arregui creates the most wonderful jewellery in his Mexican silversmith workshop. The necklace you see on the right is a lovely example. There are more further down the page and you’ll see that  Guillermo combines traditional method sand design but brings them completely up to date. He takes much of his inspiration from nature, from the natural stones that are available in Mexico...

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Decor: A Sunrise Palette

How to pick accessories and décor colours. Did you know that interior designers use a simple trick when they are coordinating décor in the rooms they design? Often, their cues come from artwork. For example, let’s take the gorgeous sunrise artwork below. Designers take a prominent item that will be displayed in the room. This is often a painting, a spectacular photograph or sometimes even a textile such as a tapestry or an...

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The Clocks of Windsor Castle

The Queen’s Clockmaker. Steve Davidson has a fantastic job. He is in charge of the many clocks at Windsor Castle, one of the residences of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. But on two weekends of every year he has a truly unenviable job – the weekend in spring when he has to put the clocks forward and then in autumn when they need to be put back an hour. How many clocks? Including the royal residence itself, outbuildings and...

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Photograph Fabric Printing via the Sun

Lumi Inkodye: Print photographs onto t-shirts using solar power. Great for kids, great for adults and a truly fabulous way to express your creativity and make gorgeous garments, décor items and gifts – that’s what Lumi Inkodye offer you with their kits and products. This is a seemingly miraculous way to add your photographs and designs to any fabric item using the sun to develop the images. You can take any photograph from...

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Looking at Paintings (8) ‘Tell Your Fortune, Lady’

Over 70 years after it was painted, ‘Tell Your Fortune, Lady, still has the power to stop me in my tracks. It was one of a series of paintings of gypsies at Epsom and Ascot race courses, England, by the artist, Laura Knight (1871 – 1970), created over a ten year period in the 1930s. The Artist Laura grew up in Nottingham where her strong-minded mother gave art classes to support her children. Laura showed early talent and...

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Looking at Paintings (7): The Conchie

The painting, ‘The Conchie’, by the British painter, Arthur Gay (1901 – 1958), was first exhibited in 1931 to a sympathetic public reception. A decade earlier this would not have been the case. Background In 1916, with the Great War raging unabated and the number of volunteers drying-up, the British Government introduced military conscription. The Military Service Act compelled men, aged 18 to 41 (later extended to 51 years) to serve...

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Florida’s Finest: Cannonball Adderley

How The Cannonball Got His Name. The first in a series of profiles of Florida’s greatest artists, Andy Royston begins with Fort Lauderdale’s be-bop great Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley. “You don’t decide you’re hip. It just happens that way”. – Cannonball Adderley On a Friday night in June 1955 a band director from Fort Lauderdale’s Dillard High School set out on a long drive...

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Jacquard Sweaters & Jackets: So Stylish

Jacquard sweaters – so fashionable We’re often told that the basics of a good wardrobe is classic clothes. And it’s true. Classically styled garments are timeless and remain fashionable for ever. They are never out of date. But this doesn’t mean that classics should be dull – so many people buy them in just black, grey or other neutrals – they can also be fun. Take this jacquard sweater you see on...

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Colour Notes: Fast food

Colour notes: Fast food The study of colour is a huge subject. Researches have shown that certain colours affect us in different ways. Some of these are obvious; blue – the colour of a sunny sky and a clear ocean – is a soothing colour. Red, on the other hand, creates excitement – and hunger. Just think about how many fast food logos use red. McDonald’s of course, Wendy’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dominos,...

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Cacoon Hanging Chair

Is it a tent? A hammock? A chair? All three. The Cacoon is a relaxing haven – your own space where you can sleep, read, enjoy the scenery, listen to music, get back to nature, enjoy solitude, enjoy company… It was inspired by nature. See the image at the top of the page. This shows the nests of the weaver birds – don’t they look cosy? That’s what Nick McDonald thought when he saw them in Mexico. But why...

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Art Matters: George Grosz

 “Come out of your rooms, even if you find it an effort, pull down your individual barriers, let yourselves be caught up by the ideas of working people and help them in the struggle against a corrupt society.” George Grosz In 1912 a rebellious young artist from north eastern Germany moved to the Wedding district of northern Berlin. George Grosz was already proving a distinctive draftsman, influenced by the expressionist...

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Jackie Kennedy: The pink suit

Jackie Kennedy: The pink suit. In early November, 1963, John and Jackie Kennedy were at the White House enjoying a private dinner with newspaper columnist Joe Alsop and his wife, Susan. After dinner, John Kennedy asked his wife to show their guests the pink suit that she intended to wear during their forthcoming trip to Texas. Jackie was reluctant at first but went to her room and fetched the plain, pink suit. Yes, that one. Looking...

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Style: Wallis Simpson

Style: The transformation of Wallis Simpson Many people would agree that  ‘elegant’ is a word that is often used to describe the Duchess of Windsor, the former Mrs Wallis Simpson. But that wasn’t always the case. Wallis, or Bessie to call her by her real given name, loved clothes but had little idea about how to wear them effectively. This was true until she started her affair with the Prince of Wales (later King...

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Antoni Gaudi i Cornet

June 10th, 2016 marked the 90th anniversary of the death of one of Spain’s most controversial architects! Even though he has been gone 90 years, his work and the mark he has made on Spanish buildings, makes it seem like he is still alive today. Gaudi was a sick child and because of his many ailments spent much of his childhood indoors. Though he didn’t get out much, he watched and learned many lessons by observing the world around...

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Art Matters: Vincent and Paul

Andy Royston takes a look at Vincent van Gogh’s Chairs of 1888, and a fraught relationship with his houseguest, Paul Gauguin. ‘At the bottom of our hearts good old Gauguin and I understand each other, and if we’re a bit mad, so be it, aren’t we also a little sufficiently deeply artistic to contradict anxieties in that regard by what we say with the brush?‘  Vincent Van Gogh –  letter to Theo van Gogh. Arles,...

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Zoran Music: Dachau Artist

Who was Zoran Mušic? There are hardly the words to describe what happened at the Nazi concentration camps. But Zoran Music, an artist from Austria, was incarcerated in Dachau and secretly drew the horrors of life there. After graduating after studying art, he decided to travel. He was arrested by the Nazis when he was making sketches of buildings. They assumed he was a spy. Story has it that he was tortured and then interrogated by an...

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Tuesday Typo: The BBC

‘Separate’. I’m not going to say that there are no typos in the articles I write. But I’m just me. I’m not a huge and respected organisation such as the BBC. The British Broadcasting Corporation has been a symbol of getting things right and setting standards since 1927. So it’s been around a lot longer than I have. This is why I love to read their style guide and other guidelines for journalists and...

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Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich: Style I have a now out-of-print book that studies the lives and style of five famous women. It could be called a history lesson through the eyes of a fashion designer. One of the five is the fabulous Marlene Dietrich. She was known for her special style and her fashion innovations – when in Germany in the early years of her career, she once attended an audition wearing a Napoleon hat with a huge feather, a...

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Mobile Art is Worthless.

Photographer, artist and iPhoneography pioneer Andy Royston considers the wisdom of sharing his art online and the trials and tribulations of the mobile artist (those who create art and photography entirely on mobile and cellular devices). Today, I found a bricks-and-mortar business was using a familiar image to promote an art gallery exhibit. Three artists were featured in the show, yet there was something all too familiar about the...

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Gift Ideas for Turquoise Lovers

The gentle color of turquoise has attracted fans for thousands of years.  In varying shades of blue and blue green, it is popular smoothed or rough, pure or with the intricate lines that often trace through the gem. Sometimes carried in amulets or as adornment, cultures from the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, and in the Americas, the Atzecs, the Incas, and the native North Americans have all prized the gem.  it is considered a...

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The Jewellery of Wallis Simpson

The Duchess of Windsor’s jewellery When the Duke of Windsor died in 1972, he had specified that his wife’s jewellery -most of which he had lavished upon her – should be dismantled and broken down after her own death. He did not get his way. For on April 2nd, 1987,  less than a year after the duchess’ death, her collection went to auction in Geneva. Even though the gems were fabulous, a major part of the...

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Vintage-look weather instruments

Stylish vintage weather instruments Weather instruments tend to fascinate us these days. When I want to know what the temperature is, or what I can expect from the weather a week on Tuesday. my iPhone will tell me almost immediately. For more indepth detail, the internet has so many sites that can give me the exact information I need. But in days gone by, people relied on weather instruments – barometers and so forth –...

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Looking at Paintings (6): Self-portrait of William Shackleton

This is a self-portrait of the artist, William Shackleton, born in 1872 into a prosperous Yorkshire family. The oil painting, 54 x 40 cm in size, is part of the permanent collection at Cartwright Hall in Bradford. William Shackleton was the son of a prosperous Bradford paper manufacturer and merchant. He was educated at the local Grammar School, studied art at Bradford Technical College, and in 1893 won a scholarship to study at the...

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I Walk A Lonely Street – checking into Heartbreak Hotel

Andy Royston goes down to the end of lonely street in search of a rock and roll ghost. “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” Edna Buchanan 42nd street, just off Collins Avenue in Miami Beach doesn’t look anyone’s idea of lonely street. These days it is home to a fancy condominium tower, and at the end is a beautiful beach boardwalk right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, beloved of morning...

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Design Classic : The American Fire Hydrant

When visiting a county for the first time, travelling around and feeling the essence of place what is it that remains in the memory. What stays with you as a signifier of that country. What brings back the essence of things. In places like London it can be easy; the red phone box, the black cabs and the double-decker buses. In France it’s safe to say that it is the food – the baguette, the fromage and the bottles of wine....

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Album of the Year – Shearwater’s Jet Plane and Oxbow

Andy Royston reckons that the album of 2016 has already been released. “Shearwater strikes a proper balance between anxiety and artistry on this new record, a tenuous equilibrium that the world desperately needs to find on its own at the moment.” –  Erik Thompson: The Line of Best Fit. Keeping up with new music used to be easy. There was a time when radio DJs played what they wanted to play instead of by-the-book...

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City Girls

Think football (or soccer) and you think men: men shouting, waving, cheering, chanting, booing. But here in my home city, Bradford, West Yorkshire, many female fans of all ages attend both home and away matches. They come with their male partners or spouses, they come in female pairs, they come with their kids or grandchildren, and some come on their own. And they can be as passionate as the men about the game. In 2015 a local...

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Ruby Gifts

It’s gift giving time and whether it’s for your anniversary, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthday or just “because,” think about what the woman in your life would love to receive. One of the things almost all women love is jewelry. Add to that the glowing color of red, and it becomes an irresistible gift for a woman to wear. Red is the color of passion and that feeling and color never goes out of style....

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Dada : Buffoonery and a Requiem Mass

Andy Royston takes us back one hundred years to the very birthplace of meaninglessness. The Cabaret Voltaire, opened on 5th February 1916 in a back room of run down old cafe in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. Freedom: Dada Dada Dada a roaring of tense colours and interlacing of opposites and of all contradictions, grotesques, inconsistencies; LIFE. Tristan Tzara : Dada Manifesto 1918 “What we are celebrating is both buffoonery...

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The Unknown Pleasures of Joy Division

Andy Royston takes a look back at Unknown Pleasures – a classic post-punk album by Joy Division, released in 1979. “What stunned me then, and still stuns me now, is how a band and their manager could have created a record of such awesome beauty and, by and large, fail to notice it” – Mick Middles: Factory – The Story of the Record Label I picked up my copy of Unknown Pleasures around my 18th birthday from...

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Songs For Swinging London

Andy Royston takes a look at swinging London and picks out the songs (and videos) that defined the era. ” Suddenly life broke out in warm colors again, so young and beautiful that a lot of people couldn’t stand to look at it. For the first time ever, kids were teenagers. They had loot, however come by, and loot’s for spending. And where there’s loot, trouble follows.” – Absolute Beginners Colin...

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Dress Up Your Pet Day

Proper Attire for your Pet On January 14th we celebrate National dress up your pet day. If you have a small dog, or one with little or very short hair, you probably dress your dog often, but today is still cause for celebration. It is estimated that in the United States alone we will have spent over $58 billion in 2014. The year before the figure was nearly $56 billion. While the majority was spent on food and veterinary care, $13...

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iPhone Photography 101 – Silhouettes and Sunshine

iPhone Photography 101 – Silhouettes and Sunshine. As a beach photographer I find that I’m constantly looking for new ways to make my sunrise shots memorable. I take photographs every day, regardless of the weather, and I try to find different ways of capturing the moment. Silhouettes have become an important part of my workflow and have played a part in creating some very dramatic photographs. Here in Florida a bright sun...

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Gifts for Ocean Lovers: Sea Life and More

The ocean calls to most of us.  We either live near it or wish we did.  Many of our favorite memories include a beach somewhere, with warm sand, a gentle breeze, seashells, and the roar of the tide that rolls continuously onto the beach. Surfing and swimming in the salty water, watching for dolphins and whales to fly out of the water.  Perhaps you picture a winter beach in a storm with waves crashing on the rocky shore. However you...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers: Dragonflies

It is said that dragonflies bring success, victory, happiness, strength, courage, and adaptability. They have two set of wings but can fly with one if need be. They zip and zoom around flowers, ponds and ever around the world. They are fast. They are known for their ability to hover in one spot for a very long time as well there darting from place to place. They are amazing insects. They have a wonderful ability to adapt to their...

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Gift Ideas: Birthstones

A Treasured Gift Birthstones today have become a very special way to honor the recipient’s birth month.  With so many types of jewelry available, it is a sweet gift that can be given more than once. For many it is an annual tradition.  Rings, necklaces, cuff links, earrings, all are lovely gifts that will last for many years, if not lifetimes. The unique designs below are only a few of the selections available.  Every birthstone has a...

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A Soap Opera – The Invention of Sunlight

Andy Royston gets all in a lather about a bar of soap. “I know half my advertising isn’t working, I just don’t know which half”. W.H. Lever Before Victorian times hard soap would be made at home – a simple mix of ashes and fat, with dry weather and salt to set the soap. If you bought, you would buy a piece cut from a block. In the 1800s block soap was simple stuff. There were about a half dozen basic...

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Bug Jewellery

Bug Jewellery has been fashionable for many years. Everything from bees to dragonflies, cicadas, grasshoppers and bugs of every kind. I personally love butterflies, lady bugs and bees. Bug Jewellery is not for everyone, but I happen to really like it. Red bug bejewelled jewelry box In ancient times, Bug Jewellery was worn not just by women but by the men also. In Egypt, the Scarab Beetle was worn by the army as a talisman of...

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Illustrating ‘Alice’

Alice – and Her Illustrators. On one hot summer day in 1862, a shy, introverted mathematic professor, Charles Dodgson, told a story to three young girls whilst rowing on the River Thames. One of the three girls, Alice Liddell (his favourite) begged Dodgson to write it down and give it to her. He did. And ‘Alice’s Adventures Underground’ was born. So too, was ‘Lewis Carroll’, the pen name adopted now...

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Forza! Ferrari gifts

 Ferrari gifts We know that Ferrari produces the most fabulous cars but did you know about the other luxury Ferrari items you can buy? The backgammon set on the left is a lovely example. Fans of Scuderia Ferrari – the motorsport division – are often to be seen wearing the marque’s merchandise and yes, the t-shirts, hats, jackets and children’s clothing produced by the company are wonderful. But there’s so...

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Stylish Eco-Friendly Jewellery

These fabulous jewellery pieces come from various countries throughout the world and are guaranteed to be planet-friendly. Made by local artisans, many of these pieces use traditional methods and featured up-to-date designs of locally-styled heritage jewellery. Many of the materials used are recycled – such as glass, wood, cotton,plastics, paper and more. Natural dyes and colourings are used and some of these lovely pieces are...

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Fashion & Style from Luisa Villavicencio

Designer fashion from Guatemala. Luisa Villavicencio creates the most stylish cotton goods. You can see a lovely example on the right. This gorgeous cardigan is made using raw cotton and blends three natural shades – ivory, jade and brown. All the products she produces are natural – no dyes are used at all – and make the most of cotton’s qualities. Luisa explains that she comes from a Guatemalan family and they...

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The Perfect Chaise with Storage

The storage chaise. A perfect solution for small spaces. When space is at a premium in your home, it’s wonderful to find a stylish and chic piece of furniture that is so useful, wonderfully attractive and even gives you extra storage in your room. This comfortable seat will provide you with extra seating for guests, it’s the perfect item for a reading nook and it even makes a convenient spare bed for a child. It’s 63...

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Mason Jar Solar Lighting

Beautiful, practical, sustainable solar lighting. I could carry on and use even more words to describe these wonderful solar lights. They look fabulous, work brilliantly and provide jobs and education to the artisans who create them. These fabulous lights were originally developed for use in Africa in areas where traditional lighting fuels are unavailable, in short supply or prohibitively priced.  The lights use solar power and will...

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What’s the Point of Art?

Have a look at this painting of South Bay, Scarborough, by Yorkshire artist, Arthur Kitching. Do you like it? Yes? OK, why do you like it? No? Why don’t you like it? Or are you indifferent to it? Same type of question – why are you indifferent? I guess these questions go some way to answering the one posed in the title of this article. A work of art inevitably provokes a response from the viewer. You are drawn to it – or not...

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The Film Effect

The Film Effect. I love taking photographs, it’s addictive, and over the past few years I’ve become rather snap happy. Without a reasonable smartphone camera I decided to carry round my trusty compact digital and, while learning more through this, I found the common side effects of the curse and convenience of such handy photography still applied. As other digital camera or phone uses may identify, you can find yourself wanting...

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How To Hang Your Artwork

The best placement for your wall art. So many little things make up the difference between a professionally designed interior and one that has not had the benefit of the expert eye. One huge giveaway is how artwork is placed on the walls. Luckily once you know the secret your home will not be like so many where artwork is hung haphazardly and there’s something about the professional way that subconsciously makes your home look...

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African Wood Carvings

African drums, masks and sculptures by Eric Darko. Eric Darko is an artist living and working in his home country, Ghana. He was taught traditional wood carving by his brother when he was still at school. Today, Eric makes his living creating beautiful hand carved works of art. In the days before the internet, it was difficult for artists such as Eric to be appreciated by those of us who are at the other side of the world but today,...

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Home Decor: Restful Blues

Restful and relaxing blues and greys. Various shades of blue and grey are known to be the most restful and soothing colours you can chose for your home décor. This is why so many people choose these colours for their bedrooms. But they are a wonderful choice if you’re redecorating your lounge, sitting room or family room. Just take a look at the example below. Just looking at the photograph is calming, isn’t it? Yet...

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Shopping at Harrods of London: For Everyone

 Harrods of London ships worldwide At one time, shopping at the prestigious London store Harrods was the preserve of the rich. And only then was it available to those who lived in London or who travelled there. I’m almost at the stage when I can’t remember the days before online shopping and it’s strange to think that now, anyone and where in the world can shop at Harrods. The store was well known for being the place...

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Looking at Paintings (5) – The Big Skies of Yorkshire

Painting skies successfully in oil or watercolour is tricky. Not many artists can capture successfully the range of colour, grandeur and rapidly changing nature of Yorkshire skies, which, as you would expect a Yorkshireman to say, are the grandest of them all. And, thus, only a Yorkshire artist could do justice to them. But here are four Yorkshire artists – two now dead, and two very much alive – who have done it. Bertram...

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Four Faces of Stress

Four Faces of Stress Here are just four causal faces of stress, as seen by artists (photographs taken by me from books in my collection). (1) Fear Hilary Paynter’s wood engraving, titled ‘Stress’, catches the anguish of the rats as they cower together. The rats express their fear in individual ways. Some sink to the bottom of the pile, their eyes closed or glazed over in submission, whilst others huddle together for protection. One...

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Stylish Shawls

Stylish shawls from around the world: Essential wardrobe items. I honestly don’t know how I would manage without my selection of shawls, scarves and sarongs. They are so useful and versatile and can instantly transform outfits, from casual wear to formal dress. They come in such a huge variety of colour, styles and weights too. Heavier scarves can warm you on cooler days or  evenings yet lightweight versions are ideal for...

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Art Matters : Paris Street, Rainy Day

Andy Royston meets an old friend unexpectedly on a Chicago street. I thought I knew Gustav Caillebotte. I know that he was a rich man who was able to retire from work as a lawyer and indulge in his love of art and of impressionism while still in his 20s. Freed from having to worry about the bills, or even sell his work, Caillebotte lived in the newly developed 8th arrondissement district and painted realistic and impressionistic...

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Looking at Paintings (4) – ‘Trenches’

On the 1st July 1916, the Battle of the Somme was launched during World War One. By the end of that day alone 60,000 British and Empire troops had been killed or wounded. It should be remembered too, that the overall Somme campaign led to over half a million German casualties. Among the advancing troops on the 1st July 1916 were 2,000 members of the ‘Bradford Pals’ – men drawn together as volunteers at the start of the war from the...

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Artwork with Quotes: Home Decor

Decorate with typography: Wall quotes. When you’re choosing artwork for your home – or to give as a gift – there are many factors that you’ll take into consideration. So why not try wall art with motivational (or funny) quotes? They’ll make you smile or improve your day and there are so many to choose from. There’s something to suit almost every occasion, and they also look terrific adorning your...

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Organise your Entryway

Create an organised entrance to your home – even in small spaces. The most perfect and organised homes have beautiful entryways with a place for everything. But you can still have an organised, tidy and useful system in your home even if you live in a tiny space. All you need is a shelf or two and a little imagination and you’ll be just as efficient as those people who have perfect hallways. Having a special place to keep...

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Herb and Plant Growing Kits

Planet-friendly gardening indoors or out. I have found some wonderful ways to grow herbs or plants with these fabulous kits. They are marvellous way to give to friends as a gift – or a splendid way to treat yourself to fresh herbs or exciting garden (or patio) flowers and plants. What’s even better is that these items are all sustainable and planet-friendly. Take for example, the basil growing kits you see on the right....

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Stylish Invitations

Stylish invitations for your celebration. When you’re inviting friends to join you for a special celebration, be sure to select the best and most stylish invitations. Chances are that you’ll be busy planning your party, get-together or wedding – there’s so much to think about – so make life easier for yourself by ordering stunning invitations online. In this wonderful selection you’ll see invitation...

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Decor: Selecting Frames for Your Artwork

Choosing frames and mats for your artwork. Changing the look of your room can be expensive. But you can dramatically alter the way your space looks simply by switching out the artwork. And similarly, you can change the look of your favourite paintings, drawings or photographs simply by the way they are  framed. See how framing options can change the look of just one artwork. Let’s take this fabulous black and white framed...

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Unbiological Sister Necklace from So Simply Quaint Review

Sisterhood is an amazing blessing which I’m lucky enough to share with three amazing women. My sisters are there for me in the worst of times and the best of times. While not everyone is as blessed as I am to have sisters, almost every woman is graced with an Unbiological Sister. These sisterly women aren’t related to you by blood, but are there for you nonetheless. To honor the friend in my life who is my “fourth sister,” I sought...

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Berlin’s beloved Ampelmännchen

Andy Royston tells the story of Berlin’s best loved street characters – the Ampelmännchen. Angels over Berlin My own first visit to the city of Berlin came after the re-unification of Germany, at a time when the city was going through a period of great changes. I wanted to visit the city before too much of the ‘old’ east had been wiped away, and see some of the city that I knew from my favourite film of the...

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Pointillism is a Versatile Technique

Pointillism is a Versatile Technique Don’t have a steady hand, or the caffeine has kicked in? Don’t worry, you can still paint a picture! Just turn on some peppy music and pounce away. Have some aggression that you want to let out, and you still want to be productive? Don’t worry; you can still get out the canvas and paint. Put on some music with a heavy beat to it, and beat the canvas with paint markers! But you...

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Brighten Up Your Work Space

Use colour to help you work. Do you remember when office items such as file cabinets, staplers and other necessities of work were incredibly boring? No longer. A truly delightful company named Poppin can brighten up your office, your home workspace or your dorm room with their fabulous work accessories. Of course, we’ve always known that an organised work area helps us to be productive but what has sometimes been overlooked is...

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Decor: A Palm Tree Palette

Choose accessories and décor colours for your artwork. This is the second article in my series about using artwork to provide an instantly coordinating décor palette for your home. This time, we’re working with an image of palm trees overlooking the ocean. As you can see below the artwork has some wonderfully subtle hues. In this palette Sherwin Williams has picked out paint colours that blend perfectly with the art. These can...

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Four Faces of Happiness

Four Faces of Happiness What makes us happy? Here are just four faces of happiness, as depicted by artists whose work I admire. (Photos taken by me from books in my collection) Friendship The late, Beryl Cook, one of my favourite artists, captures a night out: a group of women friends unwind and have a good laugh together. The woman in the foreground, cracking-up with laughter, makes me happy every time I see it. To be able to relax...

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Flannel Shirt Gifts For Women

  Here’s the perfect gift for a woman in the Autumn or Winter. When the temperature begins to chill, I sometimes need something on my arms, even while inside. Sweaters and jackets are too warm, and a long sleeve blouse just isn’t enough. That’s when I reach for one of my beloved, soft and well-worn flannel shirts. They’re comfortable and provide just the right amount of warmth. What do you grab when you...

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A Splinter of Wood Engravers

Wood Engravers. My aim in this article is to introduce you to the art of six contemporary wood engravers whose work represents all that is inspirational to younger engravers and collectors of this art form. I hope that this article will inspire you to find out more about modern wood engraving, particularly as book illustrations – the most readily accessible way of collecting wood engraved illustrations. A splinter of wood...

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Higher Than The Sun – The Art of Paul Cannell

Andy Royston remembers one of London’s wildest artists, Paul Cannell, London’s Basquiat. “Like all great dyslexic artists Paul Cannell pants” JEFF BARRETT Jeff Coons? Do me a favour! Gilbert and George! Fuck off and die! The Grey Organisation?? In three years time if Paul Cannell is not a superstar artist with constant exhibitions in every main city throughout the world come and find me… EDWARD BALL...

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Saucy Seaside Postcards

Saucy Seaside Postcards Growing up in the 1950s, a visit to the seaside with my family was always a treat. One day, I was walking along the promenade when I saw a group of teenage girls giggling over a rack of postcards. I asked my mum what they were laughing at. “Mucky postcards”, she said, “And you stay away from them!” I didn’t, of course, and I still have a soft spot for the bawdy humour on seaside postcards in Britain,...

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The Art and Craft of Wood Engraving

Wood Engraving. I want to share my attraction for wood engraving with you. My retirement profession now is book seller and I make a point of selling books with wood engraved images. Some are so sublime it is difficult to part with them – although they pay my bills when they go. The aim of this article is to highlight the work of some talented wood engravers, past and present, and to share the beauty of their work with you. My...

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Faces on Wood

Grained by Life. Wood engraving can be a fine medium for capturing the dignity of the human face. The grain of the wood can be utilised to emphasise the age of the sitter – and the contrast between light and dark, in both the background and facial features of the subject, can be highlighted by the engraving process. Let me share some of my favourite ‘faces on wood’ with you. I hope this may encourage you to seek out...

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Gifts for Fashion Lovers:  Handwoven Handbags

International Artisans The small town of Assam located in the Northeast of India is well known for the craft of weaving. The art has been passed from mother to child for generations.  While embroidery is uncommon there, the beautiful patterns they design are often referred to as embroidery on loom. Manjuri Hazarika is one of the artists who hand weaves the cotton fabrics then creates lovely handbags.  After graduating from a design...

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Take a seat: A quick look at the evolution of chairs

It’s fair to say that today most artists and designers ideas are shaped by changes in the world around them, whether they choose to respond by creating something in line with the times or an out of sync statement. However, for the masses it’s only since the 20th century that there has been room for the luxury of anything other than basic function in furniture design. Take the chair you’re sat on, it’s been part of a long design...

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Looking at Paintings (3): ‘The Emigrant Ship’

‘The Emigrant Ship’ This is the third in my ‘Looking at Paintings’ series of articles. This painting is titled ‘The Emigrant Ship’ by the Yorkshire artist, Charles Joseph Staniland, and is exhibited at the Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford. Each group of people in the painting has a story to tell – or perhaps gives us the opportunity to tell it for them. (Image: Copyright – Bradford...

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Interview with Andy Royston: The Ft.Lauderdale Sun Project

When we first interviewed photographer, Andy Royston, about his iphoneography, he mentioned the Fort Lauderdale Sun Project.  Since I was curious to know more about it, we thought you might be too.  As luck would have it the day he chatted with us was the day he reached an amazing milestone, that of 20,000 Twitter followers. As you can see from the photographs included here, Mr. Royston has mastered the art of photography using a cell...

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Looking at Paintings (2): ‘The Dole’

Looking at Paintings This is the second of my articles on 19th century paintings in art galleries in Yorkshire that caught my interest. This one, ‘The Dole’, painted in 1867 by the Yorkshire artist, James Lobley, is an example of ‘narrative’ painting – one that tells us a story. In ‘The Dole’ the story is about social class, dependency, poverty, charity, and the impact of charity on others....

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Looking at Paintings (1): ‘Signing the Marriage Register’

Looking at Paintings. I enjoy visiting local art galleries, finding a painting I like, then learning more about the painting and the artist. This one is called ‘Signing the Marriage Register’, painted around 1895 by James Charles. It hangs in the Cartwright Hall gallery, Lister Park, Bradford. It is typical of 19th century genre paintings, which were very popular at that time. I like it for its close observation of people,...

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Art Matters – Nocturne in Black and Gold

Andy Royston takes a closer look at the painting that sparked a notorious libel case, Nocturne in Black and Gold – The Falling Rocket by James Abbott McNeill Whistler Nature contains the elements, in colour and form, of all pictures, as the keyboard contains the notes of all music. But the artist is born to pick and choose… that the result may be beautiful – as the musician gathers his notes, and forms his chords, until he brings...

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Book Sculpture

Books as Art. Every day thousands of old books are sent for recycling. Nothing wrong with that, you might say, and I would agree. But there is another use for discarded books: as book sculptures. The image in this introduction is by book sculptor, Justin Rowe (used with his permission). Other photographs in this article have been taken by me from books in my collection. New art from old I came across Justin Rowe’s work when...

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Beautiful Bookbinding

Designer Book Bindings. Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of bespoke or designer book binding. These are bindings commissioned and made for a particular book and are fusions of craft and creativity. The finished works are often beautiful – often exquisitely so – and highly collectable items. In a world of standardised mass production, they stand out for their uniqueness and individuality; there will be only one...

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Collecting Fine Press Books

Fine Press Books. I have been a bookseller for 20 years now. But ten years ago I went to a book fair that specialised in fine press books. And it was love at first sight. These beautiful creatures gradually pushed aside their greyer companions and began to take over my bookshelves. This is the story of how I came to specialise in selling fine press books. I hope to share my passion for them with you. All the photographs have been...

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Pic of the Week: Hula Hoop

When it comes to family photos, are you more likely to pose people in the pictures or are you more likely to take some random shots and see what happens? Personally, I tend to like the less posed pictures. They in themselves tend to tell a story that you fill in the the looks on people’s faces. Sometimes it’s the surroundings that make it special, or the others in the picture that lend some weight to the whole story. This is one of my...

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The Street Characters of Bradford

The Street Characters of Bradford. By the mid 19th century, Bradford in West Yorkshire had become one of the most affluent cities in Britain. It had become a world centre for the manufacture of worsted textiles and its population had rocketed from 47,000 in 1831 to nearly 108,000 by 1851. The rapid growth of mills had created work for thousands, great wealth for hundreds – and misery for many who fell between the social cracks....

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Pic of the Week – The Golden Hind

Photograph of the Week: The Golden Hind. Regular beachgoers along the coast of south Florida may have met one of these first hand. Our beaches lie just west of the Atlantic Gulf stream and after sustained easterly winds, the fleet sometimes comes ashore. I’m talking about an ancient creature from the deep – scourge of swimmers and beachgoers, with a fearsome reputation. I’m talking about the Portuguese Man...

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Pic of the week: A Poem for Granddads Everywhere

A Poem for Granddads Everywhere. I’m four and know about an old woman who swallowed a cow – But I don’t know how she swallowed a cow. I know about Jameson whisky (it’s for his chest) And that Postman Pat and Maisie are the best. My Granddad told me that. My Granddad’s worked as a teacher, clerk, and railway cop, careers adviser, and in a camera shop. He danced once on a famous show; they called it ‘Ready, Steady, Go’ My Granddad told...

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Prince George: Get the Look

Prince George of Cambridge: Get the Look. When his new sister Princess Charlotte was christened in July 2015, the media unanimously agreed that young Prince George – who was just a few weeks shy of two years old – stole the show. View image | gettyimages.com William and Catherine each have their own distinctive style and it seems that young George is already a trendsetter. Clothing manufacturers rushed to recreate the...

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The Pocket Monkey Multi Purpose Tool

The best and thinnest multi purpose tool. I’ve always loved those small credit card sized tools – the ones that are a smaller and lighter version of the Swiss Army knife – and I’ve found this one to be the best. The reasons are simple, it’s so thin that it easily fits into the credit card section of my wallet, it has just the tools I need and it doesn’t get confiscated at the airport when you...

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Pic of the Week: Jabba the Toad

Jabba the Toad. Meet Jabba, our friendly neighbourhood toad, which turned up in our yard one day. Living in rural France you come across quite a few creatures and wildlife that aren’t so common in the UK. Yes, I agree you do get toads roaming around the gardens and ponds of the British countryside, but to be honest we’d never come across a toad quite this big before. We’re incredibly lucky to be living in the French...

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Pic of the Week: Clouds

Photograph of the Week: What the Clouds are Saying. Have you noticed that every morning on the homepage here at JAQUO there’s a new photograph taken from the beach? Here is one taken today. This image was captured on Fort Lauderdale beach just as the sun was beginning to rise. Isn’t it amazing how nature provides us with such fabulous artwork? Andy Royston has been taking photographs of the beach for six years – you...

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Songs about Cities – Manchester

I must confess I knew little of Manchester before I arrived there to study in the late 1970s. Thanks to my cricket fanatic father I was a little wary of the place. The red rose of Lancashire were the enemy of any self respecting Yorkshireman and not to be trusted. Yorkshire Vs Lancashire? Think ‘Game of Thrones’ with cricket bats. For them as don’t know, cotton was the making of Manchester. It was imported through...

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Mosaic earrings

Mosaic earrings: Sophisticated but inexpensive accessories. Make use of  simple but effective fashion trick that can make your outfits effortlessly coordinated. You’ll achieve a subtle coordination without appearing to be deliberately mixy-matchy. Professional designers will often use the colour palette from a single item when they are creating a look. Next time you’re looking at a quality fashion magazine layout take...

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Of Palm Trees and Buried Treasure

Since men first set out to sea there have been tales of imaginary islands. A disc of sand and a coconut palm tree anchored in an azure ocean; a pirate’s treasure buried beneath and some unexpected stories to tell. As a child I was hooked on all those stories. Swashbuckling buccaneers and buried gold from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, castaway tales from Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Captain Nemo’s...

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Duchess of Cambridge: Get the look

Duchess of Cambridge: Style.   In June 2015 Catherine,  the Duchess of Cambridge, showed classic yet modern style when she was photographed wearing an outfit that comprised a stylish blue and white striped top, skinny blue jeans and casual yet classic boat shoes. She looked elegant, relaxed and ready for fun. (Many women noted with more than a touch of envy that her figure looks amazing just a few weeks after the birth of her...

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Create a logo in minutes

Create a logo in five minutes or less. There may be a time when you need a logo, or a symbol to represent a part of your business or event, fast. For example, a magazine or website wants to write about you and asks you to email a logo – by return please. But your business is just getting off the ground, you don’t have logo yet. Create one quickly and easily. You have hundreds of hidden logos on your computer Don’t...

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Create & print photographic business cards easily & quickly

How to create quick business cards. Even today, business cards are still in use. The problem is though that we don’t need to order hundreds as we used to in the past. But how can this be done economically? In the days when we lived offline things were different, but today few of us need hundreds of business cards but we don’t want to a) employ an expensive designer and b) buy in bulk. There is an answer. You don’t...

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DIY Wall Décor Ideas

DIY Wall Décor Ideas. We moved into a home with a beautiful finished basement. At the time we didn’t have the furnishings for both the basement and the living room upstairs, so we had some decisions to make. Moving is stressful and costly so you want to take some time to think about your needs. We decided to furnish our new basement with the furniture that we already had form the old house, and of course we had to go out and buy...

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Beach out your Dorm Room

Bring the ocean along, wherever you go If you have a student going away to college soon, you will know how important it is to find a comfortable style for their personal space in a dorm.  Something stylish, something that reflects their likes and their taste, and something cheerful yet relaxing. Since beach is synonymous with relax, what better atmosphere for a college dorm room? Soothing colors, the sound of the ocean, will help a...

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Graphic author resource boxes

Graphic author resource boxes: Why and how. Why should you have a graphic author resource box? If you’re an online writer, you know how important it is to have a ‘signature’ for your articles. In addition to other considerations, it’s a valuable aspect of the brand you are creating. Mostly, this will be a text resource box (see the bottom of this page) but there  are several good reasons for having a graphic...

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The Art of the Location

Since summer 2009 I have developed an extraordinary photographic habit. I’ve been capturing images at what I sometimes call “the same old beach” each and every morning, arriving unfailingly at the same parking spot on Sunrise Lane and walking out onto the sands to watch – and photograph- the sunrise. Today marks a run of over 400 consecutive days pounding the sands here in Fort Lauderdale, which amounts to many...

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The iPhone Art of Andy Royston

If you happen to be in the Ft Lauderdale walking on the beach in the early morning, you have probably seen photographer Andy Royston. He’s been walking along that stretch for six years now.  Using only his cell phone he has taken well over 25,000 photos to share on Twitter, Flicker and various other sites. We caught up with him this week—though not on the beach.  This is the first in a series of interviews with the award winning...

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Remember to Doodle

Remember to Doodle. I’ve always been interested in fighting the corner for typical workplace / classroom enemies so this time I’ve decided to return to the topic to defend doodling. It seems like a natural instinct to most of us, even if that’s just absent-minded sketching in the event of holding a pen, but does its popularity explain why do we do it, where does it originate from and what good, if any, is my swirly...

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Formatting print pages: Quick and easy

Formatting print pages: Quick and easy Transform boring print – fast If you’re a designer, you’ll be familiar with the client who sends you a Word document and a photograph and expects you to transform it – in no time. Can you please make this look better? No colour please, we can’t afford colour printing. Speaking of which,  the printer has a huge workload – can it be ready within half an hour...

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Working with text: Tables

Working with text: Tables Format a menu using tables I have several clients who are restaurateurs and they know the importance of well-presented menus. Therefore, I often find myself working on them. When working with almost all text jobs, creating tables and cells is an important way of layout out the information. They keep the text in a regular, tidy form with nothing to distract the eater from the menu offerings. Oh, and I always...

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Save the red telephone box

Save the red telephone box When you think about British icons, what comes to mind? Maybe red double-decker buses, perhaps Big Ben, possibly the city gent in a bowler hat. But for many, it will be the iconic red telephone box. And they are now an endangered species. In their heyday, there were over 92,000 scattered throughout the UK. In cities they were in rows, in the countryside there’d maybe be one per village. Today, there...

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Art: The Beauty of Birds

Seabird artwork by Andy Royston Even ancient man was fascinated by birds.  Prehistoric cave paintings often feature birds and other winged creatures and since ancient times,they have been used symbolically in many cultures. And we still continue that fascination to this day. It’s hardly surprising – birds represent a freedom that we don’t have; the ability to soar into the air, go anywhere, fly to their dreams (or...

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iPhone Photography 101 : Low Angles

Every day I take a walk along Fort Lauderdale’s North Beach. I’ll be there rain or shine as I have been for many years. The reason I like this stretch of shore is that in the early hours it is quite deserted. The width of the sands there is quite narrow, so it is quite easy to step away from the shoreline should the skies become photogenic. I like to frame the sunrise with silhouettes of palm trees if I can, and the palms...

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Ashton Sutton Wall Clocks

Ashton Sutton Wall Clocks Beautiful Ashton Sutton Clocks Notice that some have a thermometer as well. Hang it on the patio in a place easily seen from the door, so you could know without stepping out, whether it’s too warm or cold to sit outside. It will also keep you informed as to whether you need a coat, a light sweater, or if you can bare arm it, if you need to go out. Time, As We Now Know It Briefly, time as we now know it,...

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Colour notes: Perception

Design and colour Colour selection is extremely important. And professional designers don’t choose colours that simply ‘look pretty’. Colours have meanings; colours evoke moods. Colour has been the subject of many expensive and extensive research projects. Colours can also fool you. Colours mean different things to different people. White, the symbol of purity in the western world, signifies death in eastern...

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Is your kitchen designer a professional?

Ten ways to check your kitchen designer’s skills If you’re remodelling your kitchen, you’ll more than likely be using a professional designer. After all, it’s an expensive home improvement and you want the best. The cliché tells us that the kitchen is the ‘heart of the home’ but it’s also the most dangerous room in the house. Every kitchen has electricity and water – which can be a...

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Colour notes: Do we all see the same colours?

Do we all see the same colours? Probably not.  You and I might look at a rose and describe it as ‘red’ but that’s because we’ve been taught that’s the name for that colour. But if we looked through each others eyes we might see completely differently. Remember, not everyone sees colors the way you do. In fact, one person is twenty is medically classified as colour-blind. Most of these people are men...

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Throw pillows as art

Can throw pillows be considered art? There was a time when I was quite snooty about it.To me, art was seen on walls. I was tolerant enough to think that sculpture was art and that some ceramics, jewellery and so on could be classed as art but household items? I didn’t think so. But I’ve changed my mind in recent years. Product design went through a quiet revolution some years ago. Suddenly items such as lemon squeezers...

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A Song for Sunrise – Mary Margaret O’Hara

Mary Margaret O’Hara turned up in London back in 1988 to play a show at one of those old London jewel box theaters. She’d released a remarkable album earlier in the year called Miss America, which had been a fascination of mine from the off. I couldn’t wait to see if she could live up to her extraordinary record. On Mary’s music there’s nothing particularly unusual going on. Accomplished country tinged...

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Glamping: Back to Nature in Comfort and Style

Glamping: Back to Nature in Comfort and Style What is it about this photograph that calls to me? The outdoors? The beautiful setting that makes me feel like I’m alone in the wilderness? Staying in a tent, as I did when my family would camp? Or perhaps it is simply how comfortable the bed looks. If I were to choose a romantic getaway, it would be to a spot like one of these. I’d find one set apart, sweetly isolated, and enjoy the sound...

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A Room Fit for a King or a Queen

A Room Fit for a King or a Queen Royal Blue is one of my favorite colors. Growing up, my mother always had some part of our home décor as Royal Blue. At different times through my childhood it could have been a Royal Blue carpet, or curtains, or a Royal Blue sofa. Whatever the decor was, my mother added a touch of Royal Blue somewhere in the house, and she was a true master at color coordinating. It was obvious that this was my...

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Creating the perfect bedroom with Frank Fontana

Let Frank Fontana help you create the perfect bedroom Please don’t misunderstand when I say ‘creating the perfect bedroom with Frank Fontana’. All I mean by this is that this designer can help you, via his tips, to create your perfect sleeping space. I do understand though. If you’re familiar with Frank’s TV show then you’ll know that Mr Fontana looks as though he would be the perfect addition to a...

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Tattoos: Yes or no?

Tattoos: Yes or no? Are tattoos a good idea? I’m inclined to say no – probably about eighty percent no. I have several reasons for this but I wonder what you think? When I was a kid, few people had tattoos. They were mostly men who had been in the armed forces. In England, men were obliged to enter the army and do national service and this wasn’t abandoned until the end of 1960. It was 1963 before the last of the...

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Stylish Marimekko for your home

 Timeless Finnish design by Marimekko   My Marimekko umbrella lives hanging by my back door on open display. Yes, that’s a convenient place to keep it but that’s not truly why I keep it there. It’s so lovely that I don’t want it stashed away in a cupboard – I want to see it. The Marimekko team have been well-known and influential designers since the nineteen sixties. Beginning with textiles, the...

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Mosaics are a versatile art form

Mosaics are a versatile art form. Mosaics are pictures that are made of small pieces of pebbles, glass, stone, and more. The art of mosaics has been around for thousands of years. Early designs were made of pebbles. Most early designs had little color. Expanding the art to include glass did not come until later, once more tools were introduced. With the introduction of more advanced tools, designs also became more intricate, and also...

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Flowering Bonsai Trees

Flowering bonsai trees: Buy online Bonsai trees are a Japanese phenomenon, right? Actually, they were first cultivated in China where these miniature trees are referred to as penjing and have been popular for thousands of years. They are exceptionally calming in the home and indeed,one of their functions is that of contemplation – and they are often referred to as a ‘three dimension poem ‘ or a ‘living...

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The season’s best jackets & vests

You probably know ArtHome as a retailer of wonderful artisan art objects and decor items for the home but did you know that they also have a fabulous range of fashion goods? In addition to accessories and jewellery, you’ll find an excellent range of fashionable, wearable art. Above, I’m featuring a small selection of their jackets and vests – new for this season. Aren’t they fabulous?I love the loose fit, the...

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Sunrise artwork: Style and serenity

How does the artwork you have in your home or office affect your mood? To a very great extent, according to experts. For psychologists to Feng Shui consultants,  they all agree that surrounding yourself with positive images has an equally positive effect on our mood. What could be more uplifting than daybreak? Here we have the start of a new day, full of promise and potential. The dawning day is artwork provided by Mother Nature...

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Vintage fashion: Eva Peron

There’s no doubt that Eva Peron was a remarkable woman. She died at the age of only thirty-three but has remained an inspiration for many – and her style has also endured. You can see more about her style and how to achieve her look here.   Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design...

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