Sunday, October 31, 2004

Rockets, whizz-bangs and pumpkins etc.

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
That's tonight, but first it was up at 7 or was it 8? The clocks went back an hour so very confused to the real time now. Should have got an hour's extra sleep but I keep yawning?
The boot sale at Verdin Park was muddy affair but quite well attended considering. I found a few books, two annuals for Archie which I shall hide for Xmas and one about the old cinemas of the North west which has some great photos. Also got a DVD set of some old creaky silent films starring Buster keaton and Charlie Chaplin for 50p each! Some 10p plastic folders to put collages in will come in handy. No records or Cd's alas. hazel found some strange metal and plastic objects that will no doubt find their way onto her blogs in due course. Archie got some Beano memorabilia - a whistle, a magic trick and joke finger?
Now its time to raid the shed for more mail art!

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Trick or Treat? But that's tomorrow!

Display in Aldi
Originally uploaded by a1scrapmetal.
Hazel took this photo of the skull masks in Aldi today as we did our Saturday shop. As usual we went in for bread and mushrooms and came out with a whole trolleyload of stuff. Archie had already bought his death's cowl and sythe and skeletal gloves so no need for the skull mask! Already the rap of tiny skeletal hands on our front door and the cry of "trick or treat!" voiced menacingly by two midgets in vampire costumes. "But surely that's tomorrow ?". The ghoulish midgets just shrug their becloaked shoulders. It seems churlish to say come back tomorrow as they'd gone to so much trouble so they get a spooky coin and a chocolate eyeball each. Generous eh?
Archie has gone off with the neighbours to a special walk in the woods where the Mummy and Frankenstein absail down from the trees over in Marbury park. He went with them last year and said it was very good and not too terrifying I'm pleased to say. Hazel wanted to go but they had no adult tickets left.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Tales from Negativeland

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Isn't there a band called Negativland? It rings a bell. Anyway, rooting through all the mail art I found a big book of old negatives from the 60's and 70's and hope to reprint a few. Hoping to find a button on the thingy that would do it but can't see one. Any ideas?
This neg. is a photo of Sir Stanley Spencer's old house in Cookham, a small village just outside London on the Thames. I went there to see the Stanley Spencer Art Gallery but it was closed. It was nice seeing his old house and places he used to paint and recognised from many of his pictures. Stanley was an eccentric character who used to push his paints and easel around the village in an old pram. Lots of his paintings in Tate Britain.
Hazel and Archie went into town to get bikes fixed - two new inner tubes for Hazel's and a rear mudguard for Archie's. I stayed in, to blog and rummage in shed and scan some of the old mail art archive.
Later Hazel carried on with her lecture notes an Archie and I played Worms 3-D. He also did some homework and went on a cycle ride with Rosemary.
Hazel excited by one of her student's on channel 5's "Big Art Challange" who does video work. Even Brian Sewell thought he had potential which was amazing for soemone who doesn't like photography or video!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Googlyeye Kid Rides Again!

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Another old postcard from the coal shed. Amazing what stuff we keep finding buried in there. Besides all the mail art some old 78's but mostly the likes of Max Bygraves and Dickie Valentine! I don't remember where they came from even. Another trip to the charity shop I think is in order.
Hazel was working on her lecture today so I had to entertain Archie with board games the PC and the PS2. yesterday we went to see "Shark Tale" the latest animation from Dreamworks. Not a patch on Shrek or even Finding Nemo. The visuals were quite stunning but I wish they'd work on the story as much as the look of the thing.
Good news today, a phone call for Archie telling him that his flash animation "Light House" will be shown as part of under 18's short film festival at the Cornerhouse cinema in Manchester. I think Hazel was more pleased than Archie was - pushy Mum's eh?
Also found some old b & w negatives which I'm hoping to print on the scanner as soon as I can figure out the photoshop whereabouts of the thing that changes the negs to positives. This could keep me busy for a while!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Bric-a-brac = Flop-a-lop

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Only three stalls at the much touted Bric-a-brac market in Winsford. I had to endure a bumpy 35 minute bus ride through villages I'd never heard of to get there in the drizzle. I did get a few things though, so not a completely wasted excursion. Two CD's reduced in a sale. This Marx Bros. compilation of old radio show fragments (pictured) and one of Shirley Temples archive recordings ( Animal Crackers ). In a charity shop I found a Leo De Lyon record on the Gallo label, recorded in South Africa. He's obviously never heard of Apartheid! On the sleeve it states- "Besides playing the piano for the Whole Session, Leo De Lyon creates the sounds of Trumpet, trombone, bass-trombone, "Slam-Stewart" bass and french horn." Not quite sure how he does this but will listen to the record later and find out. If any good will add some to Boot Sale Sounds yahoo group at some point.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Ben Burpp's Barn Dance Band

ben burpp
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
It doesn't sound as good as the name but an interesting find from a charity shop a few months ago. Nothing today though at the two boot sales we went to. Well the first wasn't even a boot sale really - more like an empty car park next to Kwik-Save where the boot sale should have been! It's not as if it was raining or anything - infact the weather was perfect for it, so don't understand why nobody turned up, except us ofcourse. Fortunatley the other at the football ground car park was attended by a few booters and so all was not lost. Hazel managed to get a few things - a brass coat hook, plants, two pretend oil lamps to put candles in (all these power cuts in the winter you know!) and something else. Archie got another Horrible Histories book that he collects and a few other poetry books by the likes of Adrian Henri and Brian Pattern. I didnt find a thing though which was disapointing - not even any boxes of scratchy records to flick through. O well, theres always the bric-a-brac market tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Beatle Bones and Smokin' Stones

beatles, originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.

The rain stayed away long enough for a shopping trip to town despite the crowds. I borrowed a Jacque Tati DVD "Playtime" from the library and found a book about magic with some nice old victorian engravings ( re-print) for £1 in the market. I met Hazel and Archie later to buy some plastic archive containers with lids that will keep the mice out hopefully. Six for £16. Hazel also bought some socks for Archie as the others keep vanishing into thin air (where DO all the odd socks go?).
When I got home I filled four of the six plastic boxes with mail art from the shed. It was a very satisfying feeling to sort through it all and find a few choice items to put on my other blog and know that thet will be safe from nibblings of rodents.

Friday, October 22, 2004


Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
It's an "Insect Day" at Archie's school so an extra day off ( half term next week). he almost went in to Manchester with Hazel but she decided he'd benefit from extra sleep. Its pouring with rain so stuck indoors. He just went in the garden to resue some drowning snails and got soaked.
We played some games - Worms Blast and GTA. An amusing cheat code allowed the cars to have a strange anti-gravity boost and when they hit the kerb flew into air for about 20 feet. Oh what fun!
Hazel just phoned to say her third lecture on Creative Methodology went well especially the bit where she asks everyone to stand up and then plays them the video about responding to people in authority ( Do you always do what you are told?). Not sure how this relates to being creative but Hazel could probabaly tell you.
This is a collage made recently using a snakes and ladders board as a base. Just bits of it can be seen poking through. It doesn't have any deep meanings so please don't look for any!
Good news is that Harry Hill's TV Burp is back tomorrow but an awful 5-30p.m. time slot for some reason, just when I'm making the dinner!


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Animals Living In the Piano Shock Horror!

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Another old collage from the early 80's for Sylvia and fans of that era.
Walked to town this morning before the rain came and the winds got up. Posted a few things at the P.O. and checked the charity shops but no bargains. Took an old rucksack full of videos and CD's to the Help The Aged shop. I shall have to be careful not to buy them all again when they put them out!
Also got some blank CD-R's as I'd run out. Hoping Dixons would have some in their sale but no luck. Had to buy them at the normal price.
Archie got a nice packet back from the Beano Editor who he wrote to recently complaining of the sad state of the new re-vamped Dandy and he hoped the Beano wouldn't go the same way. Archie had asked the cartoonists to sign the comic he enclosed but unfortunatley they all work from home, but the editor signed it "the Editor" and enclosed some printed matter for his collection. Sad news though that the cartoonist who drew Les Pretend, one of Archie's favourites, had died and that's why Les Pretend hadnt been in the Beano for a while.
Below is a rubber stamped sheet made from a page of RUBBER STAMP EXCHANGE documentation. 1985.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

More Junk from the gander bag

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Another early work with the boring bits cut off at the bottom. Going to try and add an extra tiny collage to this by copying and pasting into the "edit" box and see what happens. I tried it over at the other blog and it went doo-lally!


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Piano worked by water-powered anenomes

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
A collage from the early 80's when I was finding me feet in the newly discovered mail art network. Making nonsense from other peoples junk always seemed preferable to painting landscapes that took ages to make and hardly ever sold. Collages on the other hand were very quick to make by comparison and I had the added advantage of photo-copying them to spread to a wider audience via the postal network that had been built up since the 60's.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Boot Sale Sounds Uploaded

Seven new scratchy tracks from the flea markets of old London Town are uploaded at yahoo Boot Sale Sounds group including such gems as Eddie Lund & His Tahitians,Errol Dixon's Jamaican R&B, pre-Stiff Jona Lewie and more "ska" rarities from the 60's. Find the link on the left hand side.

The rain has stopped and the sun shines. A walk to town and back. Not much to be found. A game for PC called "Lighthouse" - a point and click mystery from a few years back. So far I have opened the front door of the lighthouse but it's too dark to go in. I have to find some oil for the lamp. Now, where would it be? In this old locked lean-to? Under the flowerpot? I'm stuck already. Will have a go later.
Going to raid the coal shed for some more musty mail art now.
holiday in hawaii

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Holy Squelchy Mud Trails!

Cult Bat
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Just back from a pleasant Sunday morning walk in the woods over at Marbury where the mad dogs jump in the lake and spray you with water when they shake themselves dry! Archie sprained his ankle so we didnt get as far as we usually do. Hazel was taking photos of natural crosses for his school project about signs.( He made a cloth cross stuffed with macaroni but it was more like a floppy cosh!)
Lots of identical Chryslers turned up to a rally in nearby carpark - ugly retro looking things with big grinning grills on the radiators. Very odd to see so many all at the same time- like being in a tv commercial!
Tried to watch some birds at the hide but some idiot was on his mobile phone, talking very loudly and scaring them all off.
That's the trouble with Sundays - everyone has the same idea and ends up at the same quiet beauty spot making it not very quiet anymore!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Archie's spoon trick

Archie's spoon trick
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Archie's talents never cease to amaze us. He's animating the Battle of Hastings on Flash at the moment - doing a little every day. It looks very impressive already with dozens of Normans and Williams all brandishing swords and firing arrows as they float through the sky over Kent. Archie says with a few tweaks they will be more grounded soon.
I went on a brisk walk to town this morning and did my usual tour of the charity shops but didnt find much. I discovered that I'd neglected to bring any money or cheque book with me so luckily didn't find anything much to buy. I haggled for an old 1969 Beezer in the market hall with the man who sells second -hand books and nick-nacks. He wanted £4 for it which was quite reasonable but I only had £3-50 in small change which thankfully he accepted after some ummming and arring.
Got home to find the postman had been. A returned "banana" card from Anna Banana and some photos of Archie's birthday treat with the owls and hawks etc. Some of my sister and family were spoiled by a reddish blotch creeping from one corner. I looked on the negative and can't see it there so sending them back to do again.
Hazel and Archie have gone out shopping. He has some birthday money burning a hole in his pocket. He wants nearly everything in the Argos catalogue but might settle for a remote controlled car that turns into a helicopter.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Brussel Sprouts from Venus

Brussel sprouts from Venus
They are the vilest and meanest
Alien life forms to invade our turf
I've seen those evil vegetables
Landing in their flying colanders
Smelling like nothing on earth!

Gruesome gherkins from Jupiter
Dripping with slime and covered in hair
Ray guns at their hips
They rampage across our planet
Zapping everything that moves
Spitting out seeds and poisonous pips!

Red raging rhubarb from Mars
Pickled onions in their flying jars
Putrid potatoes with nasty green eyes
All hell bent on world domination
I really will not rest
Until they are caught and put in pies!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

More coal shed shenaniggans!

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
What is a shenanniggan anyway? How does one spell it? Anyhow, I was in the jolly old coal shed again, shifting boxes and expecting mice to run up my trouser leg. But none did, thankfully! Found some nice old letters, postcards and prints from the mid 80's including a Michael Scott piece which was nice to see again. Ive put a few on my other blog if you'd care to look.
Also found a little stack of old Dandy comics that will please Archie. Most are from 1976. The difference between these musty old faded things and the horrible modern newly updated version is incredible. How could they be so insenstive to materials? This old cheap paper is so lovely and the colours so subtle. Archie says he's only getting the first issue of the new Dandy and then no more. He's written a strong letter of protest to the editors but I fear it will fall on stoney hearted businessmen's ears.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Unlucky thirteen again!

I don't know why 13 should be so tainted with ill tidings and forbodings but it is. I awoke 45 minutes later than I usually do, this wouldn't be so bad but I'm supposed to get Archie up and get his breakfast and pack him off to school! So I was running round like a headless chicken first of all and discovered to my horror a big puddle of blue liquid on the draining board! The washing up liquid bottle had mysteriously sprung a leak in the night and emptied half it's contents. This took ages to clean up, especially as I was making tea and burning toast at the same time! The tea looked a bit more frothy than usual too!
The rest of the day wasn't so frantic and I even made a banana and carrot cake this afternoon which doesnt look too bad. Hopefully it won't taste too much of washing up liquid!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Mostly a day of scanning, photography and blogging. Searching the coal shed for likely mail art material from what I laughingly call the archive. I wish i was more organised but I'm not, so everything is mixed up. I keep finding 1980's mail mixed in with 1970's mail and 2001 mail jumbled with 1995's mail. But at least I didnt find any mouse nests!

Monday, October 11, 2004

New companion blog started.

It's called A.1.Mail Art Archive and you can find it at the bottom of my blog links. Since raking around in the dusty,mouse chewed boxes I laughingly call my archive, in the cold dank cobwebbed coal cellar, I find amazing things hidden from view for many years. These "treasures" deserve better and it dawned on me that a blog is a good a place as any to give some of these neglected trifles an airing. So feast you eyes on some postal wonders from the late 60's 70's 80's and 90's. Each week I will brush away the crumbs and snail trails to reveal more of the splendours that once adorned my doormat.

Stamp out mumbo jumbo!

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Actually it's an elephant and it says "Your Designs Made Into Rubber Stamps". Obviously a special stamp made for the Jumbo Rubber Stamp Co. or whatever who went bust and the big stamp ended up down Brick Lane market where I happened to see it and offered a fiver for it. "For the footstool?" the market man said. "Eerr,yes the footstool" I said winking knowingly. So I am the proud possessor of the biggest rubber stamp in the world - that's what I like to think anyway. There are probably bigger ones but the Guinness Book of Records doesn't have a category for rubber stamps for some reason. I wrote to the Alternative Book of Records and they accepted it and put it in their 1987 issue. Some months later I got the clipping sent from my friends at Rubberstampmadness magazine in the states. I guess the people who write and draw the Ripley's Believe It Or Not strip saw the Alternative Book of Records and did their own take on the whole thing. Below is a photo of me with the big stamp in 1990. It does print too if you dab a stamp pad onto the upturned elephant image and stand on the stamp, rocking back and forth for a good clear print.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Owls well that ends well

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Sorry about that. Archie had a great birthday so thanks for all of you who sent good wishes his way. The owl and bird of prey "experiance" was a real treat and enjoyed by one and all. Archie got to hold food in a big leather gauntlet whilst falcons and snowy owls plummeted down out of a clear blue sky to grab the tasty morsel and make him wince! The other kids had a turn too so no one was left out. A nice sticky cake and sugery drink beforehand saw too it that everyone was hyped up to the eyeballs! It was a bit noisy but then 6 twelve year olds usually are! He seemed to enjoy the day so a good choice. Some of the other children were pestering their dad's as they collected them that they wanted the same treat for their next birthdays (sorry dads!) Luckily the weather was great too with no rain and even sunshine during the outdoor display and flying etc.The nice fellow showing the kids around was straight out of "Kes" ( for those of you who have seen the wonderful Ken Loach film ) and could have been Casper grown up!
This is the collaged card I made for Archie's birthday. It took me ages to find the owls, looking through heaps of tattered old children's encyclopedias and books ravaged by previous collage making.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Partytricks and parcels

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Have been making a collaged card for Archie today as it's his 12th birdbath tomorrow and it has owls all over it. A bit of a theme going on as he's off to the Owl and Bird of Prey sanctuary tomorrow with some chums to fly some birds and see them catch lures etc. Praying for good weather.
He got a few cards today which he opened and couple of early parcels of presents from adopted uncles and aunties. He keeps changing his mind as to what he wants so he's getting some money to buy his own present. Some small things including a few books to open tomorrow. Spoilt rotten! He went over to Granma's and Auntie Audrey's this afternoon after a trip to town to get his haircut. They had some sticky cake and more cards.
This was one of the first collages that Boomerang made into a card back in the 90's. They've made several based on my work over the years. This is one of my favourites. I sold the original so this is a scan of the postcard - the only copy I have left.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Fruit Country

Fruit Country
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Not much fruit around but plenty of water today due to main pipe burst over by Archie's old primary school. Both schools were closed today due to lack of water. It's the first time Archie complained that he's miss one of his favourite lessons - drama.( They play a lot of games I think - that's why he enjoys it so much.)
Hazel did her first lecture of the year and was feeling sick with worry this morning but she just phoned to say it went o.k. though she probably "waffled" too much she thinks.
Archie is doing some Art homework- some collages in primary colours. They look pretty good too - I'll have to blog one.
Archie went down to see the huge pool of water flooding the road where the pipe burst. He said children were kicking water at passing cars and cyclists. He cycled home again before he got a soaking.
This postcard was inspired by those cards and photos of huge vegetables and balls of string etc. that find there way into Ripley's Believe It Or Not. I actually made it to the newspaper column that's syndicated in the states. "Michael Leigh who owns the largest rubber stamp in the world!" Next to it a badly drawn cartoon of a chubby man in a suit and tie with a moustache holding what look like a sink plunger!?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Back beat about the bush

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Went to a concert last night at the local High School organised by the Cheshire Touring organisation who put on shows in village halls (saw the Ukulele Orch. of Great Britain last year)and community centres etc. This time it was Backbeat a group of four young musicians who play mostly percussion instruments like drums, bongos, marimbas,vibraphones,xylophones and tons of shakers,whistles,triangles, gongs etc. Good fun mostly but went on a bit too long. The seats in the school are not meant to be sat on by humans really! We took our neighbour, Sarah and her young son Thomas, as they are always taking Archie out and it was about time we returned the compliment. Thankfully they seemed to enjoy it too.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

W. Reginald Bray

This image should have accompanied the poem on a previous blog but here it is courtesy of the scanner.
Here is proof that Mr. Bray did exist and he's not an invention of my fevered imagination! This Churchman's card (printed and given away with cigarettes in the 1930's) describes how Reginald was a pioneer of postal curios- gathering a fantastic collection of objects that he submitted to the postal system to test it. The smallest object he sent was a bee and the largest an elephant! He also carved his address into a turnip and sent that and it arrived intact. He also sent a bicycle pump, a hat, a shoe, gloves, etc. In the photo he is holding a shirt collar and shirt front he sent to himself.
He also collected thousands of autographs on self addressed stamped postcards he sent out to royalty, archbishops, statesmen and celebrities which they sent back to him.
Also he was the first to drop mail from a gas filled balloon over Belgium long before the first air mail post was started. An incredible man and sadly almost forgotten except by me and few postal curio enthusiasts.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Monsters whos meat is dirt and shadows

One of those days when its raining one minute and sunny the next. Archie has gone off to a birthday gathering (not quite a party) at Chris's house.
Town was very quiet this morning. I found a few Xmas presents to stash away but not much else. Looked for some old alphabets for the Collage Kids latest project but didnt find any. Rummaged about in the mag and book pile when I got home and found afew things to add to the collage just started. Let Flo out for a run round the back room.
Some nice mail for a change from Creative Thing,Mark Greenfield and Carol Starr (pages for FLOSS). Not that it was poor mail usually from these people but no mail atall yesterday and last week was very thin on the ground.
This is an old collage from the early 80's, before I did the first issue of Curios Thing. I did a few of these A4 sheets and did some collabs. with Hazel which we folded and sent out as limited editions. Very few were hand coloured like this.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Wooly Jumper Weather

40th Birthday
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Its sunny now but earlier it was very dark and wet and windy. Poor Hazel had to brave the elements to get to the station, but the train was on time for a change and she got to Manchester O.K.
I went out for a walk to the post office when the rain stopped and posted some mail and birthday card for Roger.( Hope it gets to you by tomorrow!) I was looking through Hazel's birthday cards that I had made over the years and found some nice ones that I'd obviously spent some time on - a labour of love.
Audrey just phoned to pick my brains over some crossword clues. What was Capt. Absolute's first name. Jack? What was the novel written by Nigel Belchin and name of the theatrical producer starting with a C and ending with an N. Well the last one was Cochran but don't know the other two. Promised to look them up on the internet. But isn't this cheating?
Scanned loads of new collages into Frickr so have plenty to supply blog now for atleast a week.
Flo, the grumpy rabbit, is indoors now since firework night is approaching and the air will be filled with the smell of cordite and loud reports. She's chewing the skirting board but otherwise behaving herself so far.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

How To Dress A Crab For A Chilly October day

Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
With something more cosy than the strange garment he is wearing thats for sure.
Up early for the boot sale at Weaverham High School. Very chilly and overcaste. Didnt find much really except some cheap videos for 50p each from a video store that was changing over to DVD's or had gone bust maybe. Some films I'd not seen like Blackhawk Down,Road To Perdition,and The Time Machine together with old favourites like Goldmember and Minority Report which I have to watch again to figure out what exactly was going on!?
Also got two scratchy records for 50p each. Worzel Gummidge Sings and Burl Ives folk songs. Hazel and Archie have gone again with Audrey who can never get up early. Archie found two Bash Street Kids annuals which cheered him up but not many metal objects for Hazel maybe she'll have better luck the second time around.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Laurel & Hardy

Laurel & Hardy
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
A better scan of this collage that Mark Greenfield and I have passed back and forth a couple of times. I have a whole book of L & H postcards to recycle so maybe I'll send some more out.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Strange Friday Ritual

Strange Alpine Ritual
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
Here it is- Friday again! It seems to come round with increasing regularity.
Archie was a poorly boy so I had to be nursemaid and entertainments officer today. When he'd recovered enough and his sore throat felt better he dragged himself away from the schools programmes about Death Valley and The Weather to play Worms on the PC. I did some collaging in between until my hand started to seize up- R.S.S.?
The 60's rooms that Angelica sent me are becoming very handy for putting strange people and animals in! I will Flickr and blog some soon.
More drizzle so just as well I didn't go into town.
Hazel at college testing the breaking strain of the 1st years by reading them the 145 page Course Document!
When I eventually got round to checkin' my e-mails I found I had 69, most of them were spam and nonsense from Fluxlist members with time on their hands!