Archives for posts with tag: cat

Postcards I have added to my collection over the past six months.

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A miniature print of Messiah (1919) by Ernst Neuschul, an Austrian born painter associated with the New Objectivity movement. I purchased this from the New Walk Museum in Leicester, which holds many German Expressionist works – and those of a similar ilk – which I will write about in the near future. You cannot help but be pulled into this image, which is so unflinching and unapologetic. The figure reminds me of the singer Richard Hell.

 

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This is from a box of postcards of Penguin Classic covers, which I was able to purchase singly from Oxfam Books and Music. The novel is The Drowned World by JG Ballard. Ballard’s novels are mainly dystopian in style, his most famous works being Crash and Empire of the Sun. I haven’t read The Drowned World (yet), although I have read others of his, but the submerged image of the Chrysler building, combined with the strong colours, really spoke to me.

 

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I received this in the mail around a month ago. How exciting it was to receive. My friend was on holiday in Scotland and sent me this postcard of John Byrne’s Jock and the Tiger Cat (1968). It is from the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, where the painting is currently held. Byrne is a Scottish playwright and artist, probably most known for the television series Tutti Frutti starring Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson.

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The funfair is something I’ve spoken about a few times on this blog, so adding this image to my collection isn’t a great surprise. I like that the shot is slightly out of focus, connoting movement, that the top of the image almost looks tarnished, and the soft natural haze mingling with the neon lights. It reminds me of Coney Island.

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Whilst on a recent trip to Dublin, I stopped at the National Gallery of Ireland for a look at their current exhibition, Lines of Vision, curated to celebrate 150 years of the gallery. I purchased this postcard of a painting I was drawn to in the collection entitled Moonlight (1926) by Paul Henry. Henry was born in Belfast and was particularly fond of the West coast of Ireland, where he spent a great deal of time painting landscapes. I liked the simplicity of the work, and on a personal note it reminded me of sailing to Norway last year.

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No, my cat is not helping me pick out new curtains, nor am I using her as a paintbrush. Here you will find some interesting items to bring a touch of animal magic to your abode.

Stockists
-Sanderson Omega Cats Wallpaper, £43 from John Lewis (available in other colour ways)
-Monocle Cheshire Cat Tile by Rory Dobner, £39.50 from Liberty
-Frith Sculpture Willard Cat by Paul Jenkins, £31 from John Lewis
-IBRIDE Irina Cat Tray, £85 from Liberty
-Framed Cat Cushion, £19.50 from M&S
-Journal from the Laurel Burch Fantastic Felines Collection from Paperblanks (various sizes and prices)
-Retro Black Cat Lightswitch Cover, £3.92 from Etsy (available in different sizes)
-Cat Doormat, £10 from Next
-Pyropet Candle, £30, available from Urban Outfitters (visit their website pyropetcandles.com to see how it works!)

Every time I see the trailer for the new Coen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, featuring a folk singer (Oscar Isaac) who travels with his ginger cat, Ulysses, I can’t help but recall a book I recently read called A Street Cat Named Bob, in which the author James Bowen is ‘rescued’ by his travelling feline companion.

Bob is a loyal and resilient tom who turned up on the doorstep of James’ hostel accommodation room. He was underweight and in need of attention, his ginger fur patchy and matted. James, a busker and recovering drug addict, took him in and they became inseparable, with Bob accompanying him everywhere – on foot, on the bus and on James’ shoulder.

It got me to thinking: are ginger cats natural travellers? Do they take more easily to life on the road than other cats?

In the film Harry and Tonto, Harry (Art Carney) is a widower who leaves his New York City apartment after he learns it is to be torn down. Despite his advancing years, he chooses to travel across America with his beloved ginger cat, Tonto, in tow, visiting relatives and old friends.

Then there’s Ellen Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) marmalade-coloured moggy, Jones, in Alien, the ultimate travelling cat, who survives against all odds in an outer space alien invasion.

It also got me thinking about the number of famous ginger cats featured on the silver screen, from children’s animation such as the Garfield films, Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots, and The Aristocats (Thomas O’Malley and Toulouse), to the ginger and white cat, Orion, in Men in Black.

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly’s (Audrey Hepburn) red tom, who remained nameless – or ‘poor slob without a name’ as she so kindly put it – was played by a cat called Orangey (he was also credited as Rhubarb). He had several film and television appearances in the 50s and 60s, and won awards for his performances.

Of course, it also reminded me of my own ginger fur ball, Moomin, who I wrote about just before Christmas. Moomin doesn’t like to travel more than five feet into the garden, so it’s still just a theory. Perhaps it’s just ginger toms? After all, all of the cats mentioned are male (ginger females are much less common), even the animated ones.

Even in this day and age, the sight of a travelling cat is enough to warrant stares. The cat will invariably attract a lot of attention, mostly positive, with perplexed smiles and attempts at petting. The owner is usually considered to be an eccentric, a bit mysterious even. If Moomin was willing, I’d definitely invite her out for a walk.

Moomin helping with the ironing

Moomin helping with the ironing


Since starting my blog in April 2013, I have written about many subjects, and have enjoyed exploring new topics. I will continue to write about what inspires me, and to discover new passions.

I have selected my favourite five posts since the beginning of Deco Domino, and let’s just say it’s a diverse bunch. Thank you to everyone who reads my blog; I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

A post with bite

The purrfect post?

A very Jolly post

Postcards from New York

A post with a lot upfront

moomin12This is Moomin. She’s six years old.

I first saw her when she was just six weeks, cage fighting with a kitten twice her size. Her three siblings – all jet black – sat quietly in a corner, as their ginger-striped sister rolled around on the floor.

The volunteer from Cats Protection sat her on the desk in front of me, where she promptly hissed and attempted to pilfer adult cat food. She was about the size of my outstretched hand, her bright orange fuzzy fur standing on end.

Her name was Cracker, perhaps because she resembled and behaved like a firework, but I re-christened her with a more fitting moniker: Moomin, an inquisitive and mischievous little creature, who runs amok in a Finnish forest. It seemed the most appropriate name at the time. I also thought it sounded cute, and she is often referred to as Moomoo, or simply Moo (yes, my pet has a pet name).

Moomin’s first foray into our home wasn’t her favourite day – she hid under tables and jumped off the couch whenever we sat down. She was a cautious kitty, but slowly we won her trust. She now hates being left alone and is not keen on outdoor life. Moomin loves to snuggle under our duvets, sapping our body heat and waking us with a gentle tap of her paw to our faces, or a swift lick of our eyelids with her scratchy tongue.

moomin2Six years later, Moomin is still a little firework – noisy and unpredictable, but she is also very affectionate and enjoys being petted. She loves having her fur brushed and licking ice cream lids. Her favourite toys are hair bands and nail files, which she likes to push off tables to play with on the floor.

Christmas is probably her favourite time of year. She clambers to the top of the tree, and bites the tips of the lights, making her entire head glow like a pumpkin. Then she parades around the living room with ribbons trailing from her snaggleteeth, before cramming herself under the radiator and wishing all a good night.

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I started visiting charity shops in my late teens, mostly to browse for books. Whilst charity shops are great places to pick up books on the cheap, I found that the bric-a-brac became the biggest personal draw.
Since I moved to the south of England, I haven’t yet checked out the charity shops in London, though I might have to soon.

Charity shops can be great places to find interesting things. Here I will show you some of my favourite finds.

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This creepy looking green cat was purchased from a charity shop for £1.50 and I am very fond of him. I don’t know anything about him (nothing printed on the bottom) but he was definitely well looked after. He currently resides on my coffee table.

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I bought this orange glass tea light holder also for the princely sum of £1.50. I liked the shape and the colour, which is quite a deco orange, and candle holders are always useful.

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Another candle holder, but in a very different style. I like everything about this – the way the top appears to be melting, the colour of the metals, the cut out hearts, which flicker on the walls when a lit candle is placed inside. I’m not sure what I paid for this but it can’t have been more than £2.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever found in a charity shop?

The following collection is a series of art cards depicting dreams, be it personal longings, aspirations from another era, or images with an otherworldly or ethereal quality.

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{Design by Maurice Beck. Purchased from Alba, Oban}

A very deco card, showing a poster for the Flying Scotsman’s Cocktail Bar through the 20s and 30s. This is such a great image – dark and mysterious, and I love the design and typography. I reckon this ad would have worked on me.

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{Photographer unknown. Purchased at M&S}

Driving Route 66 – and the Pacific Coast Highway – is on my bucket list. I am very drawn to the American road trip ideal (perhaps not the Hunter S. Thompson version): stopping at diners, random roadside attractions and seeing the ‘real’ America.

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{Angi Sullins and Silas Toball. Purchased from Nirvana, South Ayrshire}

I find this image rather mystical, spiritual even. I am enamoured with the moon and could stare at it for hours.

I wonder what the cat is wishing for…

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The accompanying envelope; it’s lovely when the envelope is just as beautiful as the card.

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{Design by Flora McLachlan. Purchased at The Art Shop}

A ghostly fox in a shadowy forest, this brooding and atmospheric drawing is entitled ‘Moon Wood’.

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{Photographer – Arthur George. Purchased from Waterstones}

One of my favourites – a photograph of Dreamland Cinema in Margate, built in 1935 by architects Iles Leathart & Grange.

Dreamland opened in 1921 and was an homage to American amusement parks such as Coney Island in Brooklyn. It spanned 16 acres and featured a zoo, miniature railway, and a 2000-capacity ballroom.

In more recent years Dreamland has not fared well, and a campaign called Save Dreamland was set up in 2003. The Dreamland Trust hopes to restore the interior of the cinema in the near future.

http://www.dreamlandmargate.com

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{Photograph by Paula Saving}

I can’t see how anyone could fail to be moved by a New York fairy tale winter scene, especially one in black and white (and green glitter on the trees). This card was part of a pack of Christmas cards I gave out a couple of years ago but I kept one as I liked them so much. It was a wish of mine for a long time to visit New York City, and it finally came true in April of this year. I had an amazing time and would go back in a second.