Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Birthday Hokusai

Happy birthday Katsushika Hokusai (born 31st October 1760) !

The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Hokusai - woodcut - c1829 - 32

Above is his most famous work, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Isn't it just beautiful? To celebrate his birthday I thought I would share with you all 5 facts about Hokusai

  1. Over the course of his life Hokusai used over 30 different names (this was common with Japanese artists of this period but not to this extent!) 
  2. His work, and Japanese art in general, was hugely influential to the Impressionists. Many of these artists collected Hokusai's woodcuts including  Degas and Gauguin.
  3. Shortly before his death aged 89 he is quoted as saying "If heaven gives me ten more years, or an extension of even five years, I shall surely become a true artist." 
  4. The Great Wave off Kanagawa is part of a series called Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji in which Hokusai recorded mount Fuji in varying weather conditions, at different distances and in different seasons. The 36 woodcuts were printed in a publication of his work but were so popular that another 10 were later added.
  5. Hokusai's style changed many times throughout his artistic career and sometimes as frequently as from one painting to another.
The Dorothy Days

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Vintage vogue fashion inspiration

Hello everyone,

This week I am loving this collection of vintage themed items. The glasses are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G !! I am totally in love with them, very chic!! I also really love the vintage telephone and the rather fabulous coat!!

What do you like best about this collection?

vintage vogue

The Dorothy Days Xx

Shabby chic sitting room inspiration

Hello everyone,

Thought I would give you all a little bit of shabby chic inspiration today with this sitting room collage. Shabby Chic Living Room

I think my favourite is the chair and the framed prints on the wall as they look a little bit like the ones I sell in my shop!

The Dorothy Days X

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The best of my Twitter followers' cat photos

Hey everyone :)

Hope you are all having a great week so far. The other day I had been away and was missing the cats loads so decided to ask my Twitter followers to send me their favourite photograph of their cat. The response was HUGE and I had so many lovely photographs tweeted to me which really cheered me up and made me smile. I thought I would share some of the best photographs I received here on my blog and I hope this makes you smile too!! 

Thank you to everyone who tweeted me with their photos :), it really made my day.

Hope this has given you your daily dose of 'awwwww!' :)
Thanks again to everyone who tweeted me their photograph of their cat. 

Have a great day.
The Dorothy Days Xxx

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

This week I am loving ..... Parisian vintage fashion

Hi everyone,

This week I am totally loving this film of very glamorous Parisian ladies from the 1950s showing off their beautiful clothing. I was going to try and write a little write up on which outfit I liked best and why but have been sat here watching the film footage on repeat unable to make up my many beautiful outfits to choose from!! Hope you all enjoy the film and can anyone else make up their mind to what their favourite outfit is? If you can please let me know in the comment section below along with the time on the film so everyone else can find it easily :).

The Dorothy Days X

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Wilton Diptych - National Gallery, London

Hello everyone,

A while back I wrote a post on art to cheer you up on a gloomy day click here to see it I posted a photograph of the Wilton Diptych and said that I would write more about it in a future blog post. Today is another gloomy day. It is cold and I am sat in my room watching the rain trickle down my window so what better day to write you a post on what I think is one of the most beautiful works of art.

This painting is called the Wilton Diptych it was painted in c 1395-9 and is the National Gallery in London. It is one of my favourite pieces in their collection and one which I always go and see when I visit the gallery. It is also one of the first works of art which I went to see when I started studying art history and I remember being totally blown away by it.

I will try to write this blog post without going into too much but feel free to ask questions if you have any in the comments section below.

The Wilton Diptych - Whats in the name?

Wilton because it came from Wilton House in Wiltshire (England) which is a beautiful English country house which has been lived in by the same family for over 460 years

Wilton House - Photo Credit: John Goodall

A diptych is a painting or carving which has two panels which are hinged together in the middle so it can be opened and closed like a book. They are small scale so they can be transported easily and are often used as altarpieces. (If there are 3 panels it is called a triptych.) The Wilton Diptych is a diptych which was used as an altarpiece and would have been used for private devotion.

Who did The Wilton Diptych belong to?

With this type of work (altarpieces for private devotion) the patron or owner of the piece often appears in the painting itself. This is the case with the Wilton Diptych and on the left hand side kneeling is the patron of this painting, King Richard II who was king of England between 1377 to 1399.

Who are the other figures in the painting?

Saint Edmund who was born in 841 and was King of East Anglia. He was taken prisoner by the vikings and when he refused to give up Christianity, he was executed. He can be identified by his arrow, which is reportedly how he was killed.

Edward the Confessor (1003- 1066) who was the last Anglo- Saxon King. He is buried in Westminster Abbey, London. A confessor is a male saint who has been blessed by not martyred. He can be identified by the ring he holds.

Always wearing ragged clothes and disheveled hair, this is Saint John the Baptist holding the lamb of God.

The 3 saints on the left panel, St John the Baptist, Edward the Confessor and Saint Edmund are presenting King Richard II to the figures on the right panel. The figures on the panel on the right hand side are the Virgin Mary who holds baby Jesus and eleven angels. The infant Jesus has has arms outstretched ready to bless King Richard II.

King Richard II is therefore shown as being very pious and devoted to his faith by kneeling down before the Virgin, Jesus and the angels. He also makes associations between himself and the past Kings of England (both of whom were considered to be very pious) and also shows his importance in that he is being acknowledged by the holy family. 

Above shows the reverse of the diptych. The white stag and the crest are both symbols of King Richard II. If you look closely on the opposite side of the painting with the figures you will find many more stags (for example in Richard's clothing)

I hope this has given you a little insight into one of my favourite paintings. I have tried to keep this post from not being too long (I could go on for pages about this painting!) but please feel free to ask questions in the comment box below and I will try to answer them.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post.

The Dorothy Days Xx

Quote of the week - Henry David Thoreau

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined"

 –Henry David Thoreau

Hope you all have a wonderful week. 
Thanks for reading my blog
The Dorothy Days X

Friday, 18 October 2013

The Dorothy Days update

Hello everyone,

Thought I would write a bit of a longer blog post today to update you all on what has been happening. Been so busy recently and so much has been going on!

Firstly my shop has been doing really well, September was a record breaking month for me with the highest amount of orders in a month that I have ever had since the shop opened. I have been adding lots of new items and also taking custom order which are always really good fun. The success of September seems to have continued over to October with lots of people purchasing early Christmas gifts. 

The last few days I have been super busy with shop things so I took a few days off Twitter (felt so strange without it!). I returned yesterday (Wednesday) evening and decided to join in tweeting with other women in business. As usual, it was really great and I got some lovely tweets but, to my surprise yesterday I was chosen to be the Woman in Business winner! I am so thrilled about this, it made my evening and they gave me a lovely little badge.....

I have also been super busy preparing for the craft fair which I am going to in Dorset. I have been making lots of new pieces of jewellery for it and also am going to be selling my gift tags and gift wrap and some vintage items. I really can't wait. If you are from Dorset please be sure to come along and take a look around. Entry is free and it is a great place to pick up some early Christmas gifts.

The flyer for the event is here:
You can also view the events page here: Just click the link to see the Facebook event page

Thank you everyone for all your support

Hope you are having a great week so far

The Dorothy Days Xx

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Cat Graffiti

On Wednesdays all over the internet, bloggers post a photograph with no words to explain it on their blog. Hence the ‘wordless’ title. The idea is that the photo itself says so much that it doesn’t need any description.

The Dorothy Days Xx

Monday, 14 October 2013

Quote of the week - Maya Angelou

Good morning everyone,

My quote of the week for this week is by Maya Angelou:

“I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow." - Maya Angelou

Have a great week everyone,
The Dorothy Days.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Gibson Tuck hair tutorial

Hey everyone,
I thought I would share with you all this rather beautiful but also very simple hair up called the Gibson Tuck along with a tutorial about how to do it yourself. It looks really understated but elegant and would be lovely for a special occasion. This hair style was made famous by Charles Dana Gibson, an artist who created the Gibson Girl, a representation of a beautiful independent woman at the turn of the 20th century.
DIY Gibson Tuck Hair Tutorial

Let me know if any of you try it and how you get on.
The Dorothy Days X

Friday, 4 October 2013

Something beautiful for you to enjoy today....

Springtime by Claude Monet, 1872, Oil on Canvas

Maybe it is a bit strange to be posting a Spring time painting in Autumn time but to me this painting is so beautiful that I just had to share it. The painting is by Claude Monet and shows his wife, Camille Doncieux under a canopy of lilac trees. Look at the dashes of fleeting light on her dress which shine through the leaves from the tree she sits under, so beautiful! She looks so peaceful reading while shading herself from the sunshine and resting in the cool of the tree. The grass looks lush and green and she seems unaware of at peace with her husband sketching her. Just three years after this painting was painted Camille became ill and died from suspected pelvic cancer in 1879. 

The Dorothy Days

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

What I have been up to.....

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and happy October! I can't actually believe it is now October, how has this year gone so fast?!

The last week or so has been really fun and I have been really enjoying myself. Being the big kid that I am I went to the funfair which visited town. I first went on the waltzer which I haven't been on in years and used to be my favourite ride. I was really really excited to go on but I soon realised that when you get older, the staff on the ride spin you much much faster! We arrived quite early to the fun fair, so the people spinning us were feeling rather energetic and ready for the night of work they had ahead.....never realised the Waltzer span so much! It wasn't quite the same as being spun gently as a child on the Waltzer and I came off very dizzy indeed.

So what is the best way to cure dizziness.........go on another spinning ride of course! So off we went on more rides followed by a nice gin and tonic in the pub! It was a really fun night at the fair and I can't wait for it to come to town again next year.

The rest of my week has been a mixture of catching up with old friends, being glued to Great British Bake Off, making new items for my shop and posting off new orders, wondering how it got to October and puppy sitting the cutest French bulldog in the world! It has been a good week and I am feeling positive about October.

Hope you all have a wonderful and joyful October.

Thank you so much again for reading my blog.

The Dorothy Days X