Thursday, 27 May 2010

'Cos he's football crazy, he's football mad...

...but he's not just footy bonkers, he's the world's greatest dad!

Hello again crafty chums! Thanks so much for the wonderful response to my previous ramblings and for those of you who have chosen to follow my blog! Rest assured I'll be following yours too. Living as we do in this uppity old world it's always a brilliant release to read about what other creative folk are up too isn't it?! Us Kapows are off tomorrow and it's a lovely long bank holiday weekend, so time to focus our energies, refresh the Folksy shop and get our l'il ol' selves sorted.

With that in mind my dear wife and fellow owl fancier, the esteemed Mrs Konnie Kapow! has kindly uploaded to the "e-shelves" one of my very own designs today. It's a Father's Day card and yes, you guessed it, it's theme is none other than the 'F'-word itself... FOOTBALL!! (it was only a matter of time really, although for a while I didn't believe she'd let me do it!!)

I actually did the drawing of Geoff Hurst wellying in England's fourth and final goal in their triumphant 1966 World Cup win about, say, 15 years ago at school, but - ever the diligent hoarder - had kept it filed away for a rainy day. When Konnie and I got our heads together for a Father's Day card brainstorming session a few weeks back I remembered it, dug it out and - Geoff's yer uncle - it became a Konnie Kapow! card in a matter of moments! I hope you (and your dad if you buy it for him!) like it, I think the green envelope is the icing on the cake, but then I'm a total football nerd, so of course I would.

With the 2010 World Cup drawing near it's a time for such uber-footy-weirdos as myself to get really excited and, even at 30 years of age, find myself idly thumbing through World Cup sticker albums at the supermarket, imagining myself scoring winning goals when volleying my trainers off down the hallway when I get home from work, or hunting down the absolute best and most comprehensive free wallchart from one of the newspapers or footy monthlies. NERD!!!!

With all of the above in mind here are a few Folksy finds which also wink cheekily in the direction of that thing beloved of dads everywhere... The Beautiful Game:

Funky picture frame by Unique Cycle incorporating a Roy of the Rovers cartoon strip collage

Funky notepad by Return Void: Geekware made from retro football game floppy discs!

...and finally that old classic, the knitted footy scarf (I wanna blue one!) from The Knitted Duck

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Madness of Mr Kapow!

Howdy pardners! Have you checked out the new Konnie Kapow! Father's Day cards yet? There's more to come shortly (one of them's WELL good too!) so fill yer Kapowboy boots and sort your Pops out with something special, eh!

In other news, I've been meaning for a while to write something about how rubbish I think I am sometimes. You know, cheery stuff, keep people interested!! For as long as I can remember really I've been talking myself out of doing things I like to do, convincing myself I've not got the talent or determination to do anything worthwhile artistically, while on the other hand boring people's brains out at parties and stuff telling them about my latest idea for a painting, or exhibition, or attempt to become King of the Art World in one fell swoop (is that a phrase?).

I've come to realise that it really takes the intervention of some such cartoon strip superhero as Konnie Kapow! to even begin to point a bumbling clown like me in the right direction. Unbelievably I actually feel like my latest efforts at photographing random objects, painting odd little pictures and doodling 'til dawn may just be the beginnings of something special and it's all thanks to the strength, persistence and all round wonderfulness of my cheeky-faced snuffle-pops of a Super Wife.

I'm bonkers me. Today for instance I was en route to work and all set to get the train as us snoozy Kapows were running a little late ("hey, those guys are meant to be superheroes, why don't they just fly to work?!" - ed.). I decided that I had just about enough time to walk in, as I'd done yesterday. It's approx. 4 miles and takes me about 45 mins.

So, off I trotted, armed with my trusty old clunk-clickerty Pentax and determined not to miss such delightful a photo opportunity as I had the previous day when a duck popped up among the bluebells on the banks of Bingham's Pond by Gartnavel Hospital. I ended up being late for work, which was clever, but feeling a bit bad about that couldn't dent my overall state of being somewhat chipper for an otherwise ordinary Tuesday!

I took another batch of pictures on my way home and found myself "scootin' aboot" along the way very much in the style of one of Billy Childish's semi-autobiographical incarnations of himself from his series of hilariously demented novels, chattering away to myself about how it's only a matter of time before this weary old world discovers my boundless artistic zeal and finesse and lavishes me with praise, adulation and gifts of only the finest quality headgear.

On my wanderings today I got my duck shots, but I got more. A lot more! I'm afraid I'll be being all coy and annoying now, as I don't want to spoil the surprise before I get said photographs developed... Suffice to say I got loads of amazing shots of **** of *** *** AND a few ***** ******** ...AND! some excellent additions to my project in progress about the sad state of ******** *******. How annoying am I?!

Anyway, I really hope they all come out as well as they looked through the viewfinder! The late afternoon sun did a great job with the lighting, it was dead balmy and gorgeous and it actually seemed as though the kind folks of Maryhill Road (as I remarked out loud to myself at one point, in a line of verse of which even the very grandest figures in the history of English literature would be proud: "Maryhill Road is a f***ing GOLDMINE!") and surrounding area had spent all day setting the shots up for me. It was amazing. Here's hoping an exhibition arises from the rolls of film currently tucked away in my schoolbag. I so want to tell you about one of the shots, as I think it might be my favourite ever and I literally whooped for joy when I spotted it. I honestly nearly got run over in the midst of the mayhem I was that chuffed!!

In between adventures with my camera today I was at work. Boring! Yes, boring indeed, but I didn't seem to mind that much. At lunchtime I went for my debut session of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, something I've been interested in for a while and, in light of my recent feeling that I'm some kind of horrific, socially inept, confused and neanderthal type buffoon, Konnie and I looked into and found a place in Glasgow that might be able to help. Superbly it's right near my work so I was able to saunter out from the caverns of doom at S********** P*****, where I spend forty hours every week rotting my brain and trying not to chew through my desk in a rabid fit of bored-mania, pop round the corner and have an introductory appointment within the space of an hour. Smart!

The guy I saw was great and we had a good opening natter. I told him stuff about me, my story, the way I always seem to end up down the same dead ends in certain aspects of my life, in spite of seemingly having so much going for me, etc. I frustrate the living daylights out of myself most minutes of every day and don't know how to deal with even simple things a lot of the time, which then leads to me feeling like I've been really mean to people I adore and generally behaved like a gigantic, glowering aardvark from hell (sorry to any aardvarks reading this, I don't know where that came from!). After the aardvark stage, I then feel terrible for ages, really guilty and furious with myself, embarrassed and totally gutted that I'm such a fool. I then find the people I've been mean to (or maybe haven't really, but I think I have) and apologise to them and stuff and everyone's so nice they seem to not really mind, but I don't really believe that they don't mind so I feel worse and... bleeeuurgh... you get the picture, right? Aardvarks?!?

So, I feel like I need to have a sort out and a belated spring clean of my brain, a look at why I am such an up and down character and how I can make sure I don't waste my talents doing stuff I really, really hate doing and actually allow myself to TRY and do some positive, brilliant things. I'm always terrified of failing, messing up, making a tit of myself and so on, but in a way I need to realise that I am a big crazy loon and it's actually a strength of mine and that I can't really fail if only I'd just give it all I've got and have a proper bash.

Hells bells Kapow! old boy, you might actually ENJOY it!!

In the style of one of the most wonderful television programmes ever made, Sesame Street, created by the late and very, very great Jim Henson, today's extended ramblings were brought to you by the letter 'K', which of course stands for Konnie Kapow!, my wife, my best friend, my Johnny and June-tastic darlin' companion, my partner in popcorn-based crime and the love of my big silly life. Where would I be without her?

Probably in a home for lost, irritable and confused aardvarks, somewhere near the Himalayas.


If you've got this far, then you really are a trooper and a half and thanks awfully! However, even if you haven't read all of my blabberings (it was mostly me going on about wandering about and stuff), please do click on the image below as I'd like very much to draw your attention to the brilliant photos of Emma in Wonderland, I particularly like the one below, entitled A Gentle Freak-Out, both the image itself and the cracking idea behind it!

Friday, 7 May 2010

My name is Bill Decker, and I'm a murderer.

It would appear that blog fever has descended upon Kapow HQ. Here's my second one in successive days, WOO!

At the aforementioned magnificent wedding we were at last weekend, I enjoyed partaking in some top notch singing and performing in the style of my idols Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. It seems that - unbeknownst (great word!) to me until the opening bars to Faith by George Michael piped up and everyone assumed R&M style position - the bride and her siblings (who weirdly it turns out I look a bit like in a ridiculously tall, dark-haired, but bigger/uglier-faced (me not them) way!) like, turtley love Vic and Bob too!! We had much fun performing impromptu accapella versions of Cottage Cheese as the party continued to swing exquisitely. Happy, happy times.

The impact on my life of these two comedy japesters from the north east cannot be quantified by any form of mathematical equation, law of physics or any other such conundrum, voodoo or wild necromancy. No, no, no, absolutely no way! I forget sometimes that so much of what I do/say/think can be directly traced back to the years circa 1993-1996 where I watched them pretty much religiously with my little brother, playing videos to death, learning sketches, accents and song lyrics off by heart, drifting into Pat and Dave's Hartlepool drawl at the drop of a hat. Magic.

It's kind of a shame that they haven't been as prolific in the past ten years and I'd dearly love for them to do something non-Shooting Stars based, much as I love that show too. The world needs surreal, silly comedy more than ever, it's such a miserable place and for the likes of Horne and Corden to be having money spent on their efforts at 'comedy' when there's people like R&M around is criminal. There's so much lazy commissioning and risk management when it comes to good telly. Stupid people in charge of everything, even comedy! Gah!

Going to see a couple of episodes filmed live at BBC Television Centre, Wood Lane, London W12 7RJ, a while back were two truly great nights and I've had brilliant random encounters with Vic, Bob, Les and even the "Got any booze for t'baby" guy (he used to get my bus home when I lived in New Cross, yards from where Vic and Bob met at the Goldsmith's Tavern!) down the years. Seriously folks, you really SHOULD meet your heroes! Inadvertantly making Bob Mortimer laugh at one of the Shooting Stars filmings remains one of the proudest moments of my life.

Anyway, how do I link this to the world of selling greeting cards, crafts and all that shebang?

For starters, continuing apace along this rambling comedy trail, why not try this awesome print from those canny folks at Eyeshoot Photography. It's a brilliant nod to the Monty Python team and John Cleese's hilarious sketch. I've got a picture from it by my desk at work (I'm the wacky one in my office, totally Colin Hunt-tastic!). It's my birthday on September 8th folks, so if anyone's looking for an idea for a present... I LIKE THIS PRINT A LOT!:

Secondly, a nice effort in tribute to those Kiwi heroes Flight of the Conchords, knitted with style and panache by Ding Dong Designs:

Did I mention we're off to see Bret and Jemaine in action LIVE in Glasgow in like just over a week's time?! No? Well we TOTALLY ARE!!!

In the meantime - KAPOW!!!!!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey

Afternoon campers. I seem to have gone through the entire Seven Dwarves in terms of emotions this past week. I just made myself a Lemsip Extra Strength, so that even ticks the 'Doc' box!

The Kapows were very fortunate to be invited along to the wedding of the year at the weekend. Our friends Ruth and Thomas tied the knot (literally, they did this Celtic knot-tying bit before they exchanged rings, cool, huh?!) in massive style in the truly idyllic setting of Blairquhan Castle and it's beautiful grounds. I had the best time ever, it was unbelievable!

Since we got home to Glasgow on Monday I've realised that I would be far better suited to life on an expansive, meticulously landscaped and maintained country estate than the city tenement in which Mrs Kapow and I currently reside. Not sure how to go about sorting this out however...

I have also come down with a dastardly cold type bug which has literally floored (well, ok, sofa-ed) me all week. I thought I should use some of my time, between moaning and feeling sorry for myself, to write a blog. I've not done one in ages and I've also been looking for a chance to address the criticism I've had from Mrs Kapow for my failure to incorporate some subtle Kapow marketing into my ramblings.

I also thought I'd have a look around on Folksy for some 'get well'-based items and have found a few nice bits and bobs. Check 'em out!

'Oh Matron!' handbag by Violet Skies
(LOVING the photo Violet! "STOP! Matron Time!")

'Lego Doctor' keyring by The Bothered Owl

'Nurse Mouse' figure by Lamorn Designs

'Headache Head Magic Care Balm' (15g) by Maia Natural Beauty

'Get Well Soon' card by Accidental Vix

Teapot 'Get Well Soon' card by Design Rocks!

Right, I'm off to try and work out a 'get well soon' card which incorporates some sort of Fu Manchu/Man Flu pun. Watch this space!