Archive for the ‘Random Wonderful Things’ Category

Meet Spiky!

July 17, 2010

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post to share something wonderful. Look at the baby hedgehog that our next door neighbours have rescued!

hodgeheg baby

The farmer mowed the field behind our houses and this little thing ended up in their garden. It’s 4 weeks old or so I’m told and it’s now living in a rabbit hutch as it’s too young to survive on it’s own just yet.

baby hedgehog in hand

Their kids named it Spiky, which is inspired. He is so ridiculously cute!

hedgehog on palm

Not the best photos, I know, but I didn’t have much time to capture it (dinner was cooking) and the camera kept focussing on my neighbours’ hand! Silly camera! Intelligent focus my ass.

hold a hedgehog

Anyway, that’s all for today. Had to just quickly share that.

See you again soon,

Joe

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Other People’s Creations – ‘Artrox’

July 14, 2010

Hello there dear readers and welcome (or welcome back perhaps) to my blog!

We did a craft fair the other day at the nearby Steiner School in Forest Row. It was a beautiful sunny day, there was lots of lovely customers and there were lots of wonderful stalls selling beautiful things. In amongst these stalls were 2 or 3 artists that really stood out and today I’m going to tell you about one of them in particular.

Art piece on stone

This isn't her, it's just her hand (holding her work).

Let me introduce you to Sanya Budna of Artrox. She turns simple stones into the most beautiful and magical art pieces. It seems like a simple concept, and I suppose really it is but perhaps I should use her explanation:

“Carefully studying the stones’ topography, Sanya infuses life into their natural imprints. She respectfully follows patterns, without judgement, or opposition. As the soul of every individual stone grows clearer and bolder with each stroke of Sanya’s brush, a wonderful magic occurs. The creator becomes the created, and the interaction with the medium develops into an act of alchemy, transforming both the artist and the art piece.

art work on rocks

Each piece is an original and unique artistic expression that will never be repeated, with the purpose for each stone to also serve its beholder as a loving, stimulative and comforting companion.”

amazing artwork on rocks

I personally absolutely loved them and looking at her stall covered in all these little magical pieces made my heart ache they were so beautiful. On holiday as a kid (and still now to be honest) I found stones on the beach that I thought were beautiful and put them in my pocket. I think what Sandra is doing appeals to that nature in us, to have a constant connection to the earth and to see beauty in even the simple stones at our feet.

painted rock

Mind blowing.

She was really generous and let us trade one of Jenny’s awesome lavender houses for one of her stones. I also got another stone that will be staying with me from now on in that little pocket in my jeans that’s inside my normal pocket. You know the pocket I mean? It never gets used for anything usually. Anyway, that’s where this stone is staying. I love it. I am so very pleased.

Art rocks

Anyway, hopefully you can see what I mean and you don’t think I’m totally crazy. Do you guys collect rocks when on holiday? Surely you did when you were kids at least?

You can find out more about Sandra and her amazing work on her website. The photos don’t really do them justice though, so if you ever get a chance to see them in person then don’t pass it up.

And that’s all for today – so, very nice to see you all.

Do come back soon!

Joe

Bouncy Ball Army Gets Promoted

July 9, 2010

Hey everyone,

These aren't mine.

For a few years as a child I collected bouncy balls. Whenever I saw an interesting one I would try and get my mum to get it for me, and sometimes this would work. I named the collection my Bouncy Ball Army.

Don't throw these too far though

After I had amassed a certain number, I found a random bag and put them in it. (It actually turned out to be an Army and Navy bag or something like that which was rather crazy.) This is where they stayed for many years.

It was like this, except real.

They got promoted to a clear plastic bag years later when the old bag got a bit tatty. It seemed better to be able to see all the balls through the bag.

This was great, but Jenny and I have always said we should keep an eye out for a big glass jar so they could be a bit of a feature as opposed to just crap hanging around.

An example

Which brings me to my point! The other day we went to beautiful Lewes for lunch and a bit of shopping. And what do you know, during our adventure we came across a lovely big glass jar in the flea market! This is the result:

And for today, that’s all.

More posts soon.

I love Junky Chicken!

July 2, 2010

Hey everyone,

Just a quick post today to tell ask you all to go and check out my wife’s newly relaunched shop on Folksy.

Upcycling maps amazing

She’s got a new banner, some new products and it’s still all as awesome as it ever was. She needs some favourites and some sales (she had 31 sales in the old shop!) – so feel free to fall in love with something and snap it up.

She totally deserves as much love as you can spare as she is just brilliant. This is why I married her you see.

You can also look at some of the great presents she’s made me over the years in my series ‘Jenny’s Amazing Gifts‘, right here on this blog!

Anyway, more proper posts coming soon.

Lovely to see you all!

The Wirrow

June 15, 2010

Good evening dear readers! (or morning or afternoon I suppose),

the wirrow imagining

Today I am here to share with you a wondrous artist that from the moment I saw his work, he blew my mind. To start with, the video below features lots of his art and some of his music and I think it’s a good place to begin.

One of the reasons I really like what Wirrow does is that, in his own words he ‘creates characters and tells stories‘. Also, like me he ‘likes things that are lo-fi and organic’.

wirrow art piece
The art he creates gets right down into my soul and manages to affect me deeply. Every piece he creates has a longing, and also this amazing wonderment to it. It’s almost nostalgic in some ways, but at the same time I’ve never seen anything like it.

wirrow art piece
Many of them are also just really sweet,

wirrow art fox cub hug

they are often hilarious

speech bubble thought bubble wirrow

and they always make me smile – even when they’re sad somehow.

art piece wirrow

I had a really hard time picking so few of his pieces to feature in this post so I’d recommend heading over to his blog and his website and spending many hours looking at everything very closely.

cats on my mind

To close, here’s one of his animations (that the geeks among you will like especially).

wirrow show is over

And that, is today’s blog post. I only wish I could make things this beautiful. Perhaps one day I will. I’d like to thank Wirrow for making such amazing pieces and for putting them out into the world.

Thanks for coming,

Joe

In the recording studio…

June 7, 2010

Good day my friends!

recording studio desk

A couple of weeks ago I spent two evenings at AudioBeach UK, a small but impressive, lottery-funded recording studio in Brighton run by my brother-in-law Forbes Coleman.

That's his head at least, someone elses body. Click the image for the Real Forbes.

We’ve been developing one of my songs which I had written and recorded at home with just guitar and backing vocals previously and we’ve ended up with something very cool indeed.

There was quite an impressive drum kit.

We’ve added drums, bass, re-recorded the guitar parts, re-done all the vocals, added some piano and even put a bit of electric guitar in there towards the end. It’s turned out amazing and I’m really pleased with it. I’m very excited for you all to hear it!

This is how a fish would see the control room.

I forgot the camera on the second day which was a shame, if I’d remembered it this post would be littered with images of me looking all cool recording the vocals or Forbes playing the piano part – maybe in black and white to make them extra arty.

recording the vocals audiobeach

Jenny got this image on my phone camera, it's the best we managed to get. (Still pretty cool though)

Now I’m going to give you the new studio version to listen to first and then if you’re curious as to how it sounded originally (and you haven’t already heard it), you can then listen to the original version below that. Ok? (and please try and listen to it with some good speakers if you have the option – not just on your laptop!).

Right then, enjoy!

Manifest – Studio Production

Manifest – Original Demo

And the lyrics are here:

Manifest

Sitting in the sun, spring is back again.

Wonder where you are, just what’s happening.

I cannot believe where life has taken me.

There are things that I have seen that everyone should see.

The things that we can create,

If we only concentrate.

Manifest what you will,

Imagination’s there to fill.

You can have just what you want,

As long as you don’t think you can’t.

Go create your perfect life,

Dive right in and don’t think twice.
Be grateful for the things you’ve got,

And more will come your way.

Focus on the love, that you’ll find if you look for.

Focussing like this, just brings in more and more.

So forget about the hate, forget about the lies.

Focus on the truth, that’s here before our eyes.

The things that we can create,

If we only concentrate.

Manifest what you will,

Imagination’s there to fill.

You can have just what you want,

As long as you don’t think you can’t.

Go create your perfect life,

Dive right in and don’t think twice.
Be grateful for the things you’ve got,

And more will come your way.

Now I, want to sing you all this song,

And although things have gone wrong,

You can change how things turn out,

Change will come about, if we clear our minds of doubt.

And I, want to ask you all to sing,

And to question everything.

Learn that fear just isn’t real,

There are better things to feel, live with love and we can heal.

So go, tell this to your friends.

Pull them from there beds,

We’ve done our sleeping now, it’s time to wake up and be proud,

We’ve got to sing our truth aloud, do things you’re not allowed.

Be yourself, love yourself, trust yourself x2

Manifest what you will,

Imagination’s there to fill.

You can have just what you want,

As long as you don’t think you can’t.

Go create your perfect life,

Dive right in and don’t think twice.
Be grateful for the things you’ve got,

And more will come your way.

Tidying My Dreads

May 18, 2010

Hey you!

Jenny has tidied my dreads up good and proper and I’m hear to tell you all about it. You lucky things! =)

dreadlocks that need tidying

This is after they're cut and before they've been tidied. (They were way longer before this)

This doesn’t happen very often as we’re usually busy with something or other and it never seems very important as they’re dreads and so they can look messy – it’s fine. Except of course when you’re due to go to a fancy 50’s themed wedding and you want to look your very best that is. And that’s where we went last weekend.

mirror reflection

That's me in 50's get up. Spinny photo eh?

So something needed to be done about my messy hair. It hadn’t been cut and tidied up since our wedding and that was in June last year, so it was going to be a bit of a job (it was quite long). Look at the difference between the two sides!

Half done hair cut

Quite a difference in length.

This was awfully timed because – as you’ll see on Jenny’s blog – we had lots to do before the day of the wedding.

50's wedding

Like trying to choose my outfit for instance...

So we cut them shorter.

dreadlocks cut off

A lot was cut off though.

It was a bit scary.

hair cut

Aaagh...

It made quite a pile of dreads – a strange thing to see in front of me on the desk.

Dreadlock pile

I put them in the bin eventually but it was a really strange thing to do. Looking down at them felt like looking down at a limb or my own head in the bin. Very weird.

So cutting was quick and relatively easy. The actual tidying is the really time consuming bit. Jenny realistically figured we’d never get them all done in one evening (4 hours or so) and by the end of the night it was clear this was indeed correct. Thankfully she’d been clever (as always) and done the top layer and left the ones underneath for the next evening. I would’ve looked a bit strange if she hadn’t been so thoughtful and I had to go to work the next day so thank gods for her.

What we actually do to tidy them up is as follows:

Jenny threads all the loose hairs in and out of each dread with a tool of some kind that we got from a great online shop called ‘Dreadworx‘. Then we wax the dread to hold the hair in place with Knottyboy Dread Wax. I have no photos of this process so you’ll just have to use your imagination. It takes ages and after many hours they end up looking awsome.

just retwisted dreadlocks

This is actually a couple of weeks after. They were even better initially.

So now they are tidy and I looked pretty good at the wedding. And not just because I was so well dressed, but because Jenny had worked so hard to tidy me up.

I clean up nice, eh? (I am being taught how to juggle in this photo)

So lets all send hugs and happiness to pregnant Jenny for working so hard to get me looking nice. =) Go Jenny!

Thanks for reading,

Good day,
Joe

Joe Hurry Creations’ Genius Occupations

April 27, 2010

Hello again everyone,

Today we’re revisiting one of my lovely new features – Joe Hurry Creations’ Genius Occupations. I’ve found you guys a really cool one and I think you’ll be pleased you visited. Let’s begin, shall we?

scrap metal sculpture

High up in the American Northeast, in a town called North Freedom, Wisconsin, there is a man called Tom Avery. He also goes by the name Dr. Evermore and he is responsible for a scrap-metal sculpture known as The Forevertron, which is the biggest  scrap-metal sculpture in the world. Weighing in at over 300 tons (320 to be exact) this amazing structure climbs 50 feet in the air and stretches out to 120 feet along the ground.

amazing recycled sculpture

As the owner of a salvage business, he began turning his talents to this fantastic creation and after many many years (26 of them I believe) he has one of the coolest free attractions I ever did hear of. The place is now littered with (hah!) hundreds of sculptures of varying size, from waist high to 20+ feet tall. There’s the most amazing bird band which is probably my favourite part I’ve seen so far, with 70 different bird/instrument hybrid creatures.

recycled sculpture

Aren't they just fantastic? Click the image to see them in more detail.

Tom is especially cool because he doesn’t use sketches, blueprints or calculations to build these creations. He just builds them and manages to make them stand up safely and happily (even when they weigh 20 tonnes or more). recycled birds

The only bad thing about this place is that it’s so very far away and while you may have a chance to go (and you really should if you do) I’m probably not going to.sculpture chimes

Now, that’s not to imply stuff like ‘good things never happen to me’ or ‘I’m so poor I won’t ever be able afford it’. I’m not a whiny little b*tch so that’s certainly not what I’m trying to do. Basically I don’t have a passport right now, and I’ve got a baby on the way and while I’d love to go to this place, I don’t really want to have to go to America at all. Here’s one more picture:

scrap metal art

Either way, my respect goes to this fantastic individual and his amazing creation. Once again, I think he has created a truly genius occupation.

See you all again soon,

Thanks for coming,

Joe

Other People’s Creations Pt.1

April 19, 2010

Good morning/afternoon/evening,

How lovely to see you again dear reader!

Today I’d like to share with you someone else’s amazing creations, which are also made from recycled materials. Take a look:

bottle house
Come with me on a journey to Prince Edward Island, Canada!
bottle map
We swoop over the sea and through the mountains (there must be some mountains I’d have thought) and land gently on the grass at the smallish but rather awesome –  Bottle Houses.

bottle house window

Constructed by the late Édouard T. Arsenault out of 25,000 bottles, these various buildings are the result of years of work. He was inspired by a postcard of a bottle church in 1979 and so started collecting empty wine bottles from local restaurants, friends and relatives and then washing and de-labelling them all ready for construction.

bottle house

He managed to create 3 different buldings in 4 years and they’ve been open to the public since 1981.

chapel with bottle walls

There’s even a chapel where the sunlight shines through at the altar and it looks pretty beautiful (not that I’m really religious – it’s just pretty).

sunlight through bottles

Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t been kind to these beautiful structures. So from 1992 to 1998 the buildings have been carefully photographed, deconstructed (saving all the original bottles) and then rebuilt with better foundations to last for much longer.

bottle bottle

You wouldn't want to hit this bottle!

So yeah, personally I think they are pretty darn cool. I shall try and seek out more amazing things to share with you in future weeks, but for now I shall bring this to a close. Thanks for coming, see you again soon.

Good day to you all,

Joe

How to get a chick in 21 days

April 10, 2010

Hey everyone,

So I came in from putting the chickens to bed tonight (we’re looking after the neighbours’ 2 beautiful chickens) and I commented to Jenny (who is my brilliant and pregnant wife for those who are new here) that she was taking much longer than the chickens do to make our baby. I’d found another egg since getting one this morning you see, so chickens are really quick.

clock on belly

Humans take ages to hatch.

She rightly pointed out that she doesn’t need to sit on her eggs, they come out pre-sat on and pre-hatched. Then I realised I didn’t actually know how long a chicken sits on an egg before it hatches. It seems all wrong that I don’t know something so basic as this. So I went on a small  journey of discovery to find out more (to wikipedia incidently) and I discovered the answer and many other interesting things too!

hatching a dog egg

Firstly, to answer the original question – it takes roughly 21 days of sitting on an egg (a chicken sitting on an egg that is) for it to be ready to hatch. So even with the sitting they’ve got Jenny totally beaten. But this was just the beginning of my learning. For instance:

Hens can be extremely stubborn about always laying in the same location. It is not unknown for two (or more) hens to try to share the same nest at the same time. If the nest is small, or one of the hens is particularly determined, this may result in chickens trying to lay on top of each other.

Imagine it! How I laughed! That’s just hilarious and great.

four chicks ride on chicken

I couldn't find a photo of eggs layed upon a chicken. This was the closest match.

Then I discovered this:

Before hatching, the hen can hear the chicks peeping inside the eggs, and will gently cluck to stimulate them to break out of their shells.

How cute is that?! I love chickens even more now than I already did!

But anyway, the last thing I’m going to share with you is my favourite discovery:

Geese lay huge eggs

You could find this under your chicken (if you have geese too).

Some breeds, such as the Cochin, Cornish and Silkie, regularly go broody, and make excellent mothers. Not only for chicken eggs but also for those of other species. Even those with much smaller or much larger eggs, such as quail, pheasants, turkeys or geese!

It must be a bit of a surprise for the chicken when a baby goose pops out, or she’s probably perfectly aware of what she’s doing. Wow, chickens are so amazing and sweet.

Delicious chicken in a bun

Sweet and delicious...

Anyway, that’s all for today.

See you again soon,

Good day.

Joe