Tag Archives: Barcelona

Rocking Dog Loves A Bit Of Mosaic!

Fusterlandia Is  Fabulously Fantastical!, Rocking Dog

Fusterlandia Is Fabulously Fantastical!

Just before heading out to Cuba I chanced upon a blog “Everybody Hates A Tourist“. It featured Fusterlandia, and I knew that as a lover of mosaic I just simply had to visit.

A day after our arrival in Havana, Andyman and I found ourselves in a taxi travelling along the coast to the seaside town of Jaimanitas. Here the artist Jose Fuster has spent the last 30 years creating an enclave Casa de Fuster. Not content with the embellishment of his own abode, his art has continued onto the walls and facades of another eighty properties in this sunny little town. Fuster has somewhat appropriately been nicknamed Picasso of the Caribbean.

I loved being in this bonkers place and not since Barcelona had I seen such a run of mosaic. It was certainly a real highlight of our Cuban trip. Returning to our taxi we asked two taxi drivers whether it was correct that Fidel Castro lived in the town. We were met with dismissiveness, when I said that the information appeared in our guidebook they grudgingly whispered that it was indeed true but not to point a camera in a certain direction! All very secretive.

My first brush with mosaic, or rather, broken china was as a child. The village shop in Frenchay had a wall containing shards of china and Edwardian tiles, and my siblings and I loved it. I remember we all selected the pieces of china we each liked best. Though the shop is no more, having been turned into a private residence some years ago, the china wall reassuringly remains.

Mosaic of an altogether different quality can be found at the Duomo in Orvieto. Its gilded mosaic embellishments, positively glinted in the November sunshine and looked spectacular against the cloudless blue sky. Meanwhile still in Italy we spent a glorious morning discovering the ancient harbour city of ancient Rome- Ostia Antica. As a result of silting, the site now lies 3km inland and is incredibly well preserved. I loved some of the mosaic floors which would have graced public baths and private villas.

In past posts I have mentioned my admiration of Cleo Mussi and Julie Arkell. Both are skilled in their use of broken pot. I love my Julie Arkell heart shaped brooch which features the quote “Looking at the sea drinking tea”, somewhat ironic because I hate tea!

My shed harbours a large box of china ready for a new phase of garden mosaic. Last year I got as far as buying the swimming pool grout… so this year maybe, just maybe, will be the year I create Fusterlandia!

Fantastical Fusterlandia!, Rocking Dog

Fantastical Fusterlandia!

More...., Rocking Dog

More….

...& There's More!, Rocking Dog

…& There’s More!

Orvieto Duomo, Rocking Dog

Orvieto Duomo

Roman Port  Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Roman Port Mosaic

Village Shop, Rocking Dog

Village Shop

Mussi Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Mussi Mosaic

Arkell Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Arkell Mosaic

Rocking Dog Mosaic, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Mosaic

Rocking Dog’s Best Ebay Buys

Wedding Stuff, Rocking Dog

Wedding Stuff

Rocking Dog’s best Ebay buys are catalogued here. It doesn’t include the cars we’ve bought (and indeed sold) on this global auction site. Of course along the way there have been bad buys ( I wince at some rather dodgy watches that Andyman purchased in Ebay’s early days) and items we were outbid on (an Airstream caravan sorely comes to mind!) However over the years we have bought some great things and Andyman always enjoys the thrill of the chase!

A few years ago we bought some lovely items for Sorrel and Pete’s wedding. The list included a long string of fairground style lights, seed labels (for place names), Alexander McQueen green satin shoes (£50) and 1950’s American tropical fruit shoe clips. We also bought a large batch of Babycham glasses, though that didn’t turn out to be the bargain it should have been. Unbeknown to each other Andy and I were bidding against each other! Doh!

One summer with no holiday booked we found a last minute weeks B&B staying on a rustic fishing boat in Barcelona’s marina. It was great to eat breakfast out on the sunny deck and be so close to Las Ramblas. It was a really memorable holiday.

Purchases for our house have included a bargainous bed and base, already painted in a subtle Farrow and Ball paint. It arrived so well wrapped that it took a morning to undo the cardboard, tape, bubble wrap and string. We also bought our lovely French wood-burning stove on Ebay at a third of it’s original cost, despite only having been used a couple of times. I also spotted some unused fabric produced by Laura Ashley from 1986. It had found it’s way to Arizona and I brought it home! I remember it came packaged in local newspapers, I therefore enjoyed reading the obituaries, gossip columns and news reports of a small Arizona town.

More sentimental items have included a Chalmers Gelatine packet, complete with its sachets dating from about 1940. This Gelatine factory was set up by some ancestors close to Niagara Falls.I wanted to own a piece of nostalgic memorabilia and so again this item “crossed the pond”. One day whilst having a little Ebay trawl I experimentally typed in the Yorkshire village where many of my maternal ancestors lived and worked. Somewhat magically there was a brown envelope containing the typed account of a woman who described living in the village in the early 1900’s. I was really hoping there may have been a mention of my farming relatives, but alas not. Nevertheless it gives a brilliant snapshot of rural life in Darrington. On a separate occasion I found some transcribed parish records which detailed births, marriages and deaths of relatives living in Knottingley.

Other purchases have included vintage Christmas baubles, clothing, shoes, a painting and my beloved Bernina sewing machine.

How I love a good bargain. Happy Hunting!

Alexander McQueen, Rocking Dog

Alexander McQueen

Bargain Bed, Rocking Dog

Bargain Bed

Beloved Bernina!, Rocking Dog

Beloved Bernina!

Boat B&B, Rocking Dog

Boat B&B

Fabric Of Life, Rocking Dog

Fabric Of Life

Christmas Stash, Rocking Dog

Christmas Stash

Winter Warmer, Rocking Dog

Winter Warmer

Ancestry Trove, Rocking Dog

Ancestry Trove

Jellied History, Rocking Dog

Jellied History