Thursday, 30 June 2011


Bored games? Certainly not! It's all about BOARD games, we will never be bored of board games, that's for sure. I love them, particularly Risk. Risk was my first board game fix. We took it on a family holiday to France when I was about seven & remember staying up VERY LATE (1am! Very naughty for a 7 year old) getting involved in a bit of world domination with the fam. My troops were always the purple little fellas. The Risk board is a map of the world & is divided into 42 territories & I owe my limited Geographical knowledge to this.
Looking back I'm quite intrigued by mini Bella's detailed knowledge of Ural dwelling men's weeing habits & Kamchatka's love of red sauce - always referring to Ural as 'the urinals' & Kamchatka as 'ketchup'. 'I'd like to attack the urinals from China please' is how I would roll. And then I would roll. The dice. Ideal.

14 years later & Risk is still one of my faves - along with Baulderdash, Articulate, Floridaoply (Florida's version of Monopoly. It's fab. Rather than jail you go to 'Alligator island') & Cranium. My friends had planned a late night game with whisky & chips to accompany some Risky business. Unfortunately I arrived when the game was already underway & the purple chappies had already been taken, so watched the others battle it out from the sidelines. Photographing hands. And feet. Naturally.

As the game continued into the early hours & tensions were mounting, I decided to relocate to the sitting room to observe Huge the van's developments. All his bits & pieces had been moved inside to be fixed up before being fitted back in. A cupboard, sink & cooker unit & various other things being created. An interesting sight, to say the least...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Oh.Hello.Glasto.(what's up?)

My dress sense has been described by friends in a number of words - Unusual. Individual. Artistic. Creative. Eclectic. Colourful. All flattering ways of saying BELLA YOU ARE STRANGE & YOU DRESS STRANGE. End of.

I do admit to dressing in a somewhat peculiar way at times - whacking on a bit of this & a bit of that. I also admit this to being unintentionally unconventional and, although I am somewhat used to it these days, can't help being a little surprised when people seem almost baffled by my attire.

However there have been two recent occasions when I've been less surprised by people's bafflement.
I blame Nandos.
The first time was a few weeks ago. I was chilling with some peri-peri chicken in Nandos & a man came over to me to comment on my 'fancy dress'. Thanks, although looking down at my feet - Santa clause socks tucked into leggings with gold leopard print plimsoles - I guess he had a point. My only defense was that Santa was due for an outing - it simply wouldn't be right to only be bezzie mates with the old chap around Christmas time with stocking presents on the mind. Quite like Jesus & chocolate Easter eggs.

The second time of genuine bafflement at myself was last night on another Nandos outing. I looked down at my feet. Oh. Sheep? Criss-cross plimsoles?? Um...let's just say that as I'm going to Glastonbury festival tomorrow I thought I should slowly ease into the country vibe by getting chummy with some sheep.

YES! GLASTONBURY! What have I packed? White baby grow with florescent coloured kite patterns. That's all I'm saying.

I'm going to join Alex & Hugo the VW Campervan. I'm slightly concerned due to the fact my last Hugo sightings were in the form of bits & bobs in Alex's sitting room, however I'm assured he has been resembled & is fully habitable. Most exciting. See you crazy kids when I'm back next week from hanging with the less cartoony sheep.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


In my previous post (bellow) I told the story of my Brighton adventure from which I returned home with a buldging suitcase full of tshirts. The tshirts were all designed & created by my Brighton chum - 'BY BOZ DESIGNS', using the silk-screen printing technique to print his designs on the tshirts.

Over the summer I will be selling them, along with my vintage clothes from 'Bella's Bits & Bobs', on Portobello market.
One tshirt costs £12 & two for £20.
If you'd like any please let me know! I have all different coloured tshirts with all sorts of designs. Ooh la la!

A deadly sandwich? Some yummy cupcakes? Yes please.

A cross sunflower. What a shame. He's missing the sunshine...aren't we all?!

Saturday, 18 June 2011



Not long ago I cruised down to Brighton with the sudden urge to check out it's art school. I don't think I want to go back to art school but you never know eh. So I gave my friend a buzz who studies 'Sustainable product design' there & he said he was happy to take me around so I could feel the vibe.
Sustainable product design? How fab is that. In fact he's just popped off to Alaska for two months to live on a piece of ice (literally, I believe) with some crazy scientists for some distertation research. For his leaving party a few days ago we went to the Ice Bar in London 'Bellow Zero' to give us a taste of his time to come. We were provided with massive ponchos, warm gloves, cocktails (in ice glasses) & could only stay in there for 40 minutes. Not quite two months skiing & camping on a piece of ice...but to be honest 40 minutes of that was quite enough for me.

Anyway, back to Brighton. He has chickens at his student house. 5 of them. There were originally 7 however one was eaten by a fox & the other was eaten by my friend....nice way to treat a pet eh?

Groovy little fellas hangin' out and me becoming bezzie mates with one who'd just laid an egg. 
I ate it.

So the point of my story is that my Brighton dwelling (Alaska wandering) chum is very creative & he does a lot of silkscreen PRINTING on tshirts which he sells at various shops & markets around Brighton. However, recently he hasn't had much time to sell, but still has loads of tshirts TO sell. So I was like 'hey maaan I have a bit of a clothes selling business in the works so why don't I take your tshirts & sell them for you? Because I doubt you'll get much business in Alaska (unless you decide to line them in fur)...' So that was that! I returned to London with a seriously hefty suicase bulging with tshirts. Ideal.

Some of the designs will be appearing in my next post so check it out. 

In the meantime (as you wait in great anticipation) listen to the 'Broken Bells' album CALLED 'Broken Bells'. 
It's fab.
Thank goodness it's not called Broken Bella. That wouldn't be fab.
Although some people call me Bells.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Do you remember discovering your artist potential as a 7 year old at primary school - getting covered in squidgy poster paint & stamping your hands wherever you saw fit? I remember making hand prints in all different colours, letting them dry then cutting them up & using them as the tail feathers of a peacock.
It made sense at the time.

Having begun my printing career with the colourful peacock, I decided to develop my natural flair even further. For my A level art exam I created an extremely large woodcut of a tree. To do so I used various sharp cutters & hacked away at this bloody massive bit of wood for hours until I ended up woodcutting my finger & spending much of the rest of the exam in the nurses room. Not ideal.

After that experience I should probably have stayed well away from any form of printing, however the excitement of sharp implements, unusual chemicals & old school printing presses at City & Guilds of London art school where I did a foundation year drew me straight back in. During my year there I spent quite a bit of time printing in all manner of ways. Lino, etching, woodcut, aquatint, drypoint, engraving, monotype, silkscreen, lithography. You name it. Most enjoyable AND I still have 10 fingers.

A friend of mine at photography college in Newcastle is interested in the technique of 'photoetching' & so the two of us popped along to the gallery & printmaking studio 'Nothern Print' in Newcastle.

It was rather wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the loo (not just because it offered a pleasant relief after a hefty cup of tea, but also because the decorations involved birds & trees. I am a big fan of birds & trees.)

It all started with a FINE ARSE..

 Those printing folk not such a fan of Will & Kate babes? Shame.

...And it all ended with a FINE ARSE. In a manner of speaking.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


I have mentioned before about my penny findings which tend to occur most days - a 1p here, a 2p there, and in the evening I pop them in Jacob my groovy red owly purse for safe keeping.
To return to on a rainy day and pay for a flight to the Bahamas.

The other day I was chilling in Pound Land (oh, if only there were a Penny Land...) and spotted a penny. In a very charitable manner I suggested my friend pick it up for herself to which she answered 'eeer Bella that's like SO dirty' and left it there.
What? I was horrified. Reject a penny because it's unclean?? I've never heard anything like it.

First few months of penny picking.
HELLO new car.

 Through my penny picking I made a new chum - Penny Boy. We've had a number of penny related communications and most recently I made him the one & only 'ONE PENNY CD' which he's apparently been rockin' out to like there's no tomorrow.

I am very keen on music & sahweet tunes, so thought I'd share some particular favourites with Penny Boy and with you. Some old and some new.

The ONE PENNY CD playlist:

1. Intro - The XX
2. Silver Lining - Rilo Kiley
3. Fake Empire - The National
4. Modern Man - Arcade Fire
5. Chan Chan - Buena Vista Social Club
6. Here Comes the Blackout - Stornoway
7. Zebra - Beach House
8. What's it in For? - Avi Buffalo
9. I Feel Better - Hot Chip
10. Postcards from Italy - Beirut
11. Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective
12. Heartbreaker - MSTRKRFT
13. Vesuvius - Sufjan Stevens
14. This Modern Leper - Frightened Rabbit
15. Piazza, New York Catcher - Belle & Sebastian

Avi Buffalo. Your 2011 summertime album please. Seriously. It's ideal.

Friday, 3 June 2011


I do love my morning birdy friends, but it does worry me slightly that they are becoming a bit too friendly.
There have now been a number of occasions when I've been chilling my beans in the kitchen and a little robin chappy simply invites himself in. He doesn't even knock.

He said to me 'Yo, where's ma grub?? I've been waitin' for some deep fried worms - sort me out yeh?'

So I'm like 'Yeah babes, you're cute - rude but cute - so here you go...'

And once again he's very satisfied. Yum yum.
On another day when Mr. Rob Robin was maxin' in my kitchen decided I rather wanted to spend some quality time with him so shut the terrace door. Big mistake. Poor guy went crazy, flying all over the show & finally settling on a pot high up on a kitchen cupboard. VERY pissed off.
So that settled that. He wants my food but certainly doesn't want to be bosom buddies.
I feel used.

But in the end of the day, as long as they don't turn out like David's Sherry's birds (pictured bellow from an exhibition I went to in Newcastle) then I guess I'm ok with my uninvited, unfriendly guest.