Cup finals ...... dontcha just luv 'em ....
You look forward to them, and they usually end up in spectacular disappointment.
Kinda like life at the moment really ...
It's FA Cup final day once again, with CHELSEA playing LEICESTER CITY!
Despite the competition forever being shunted around and disrespected, for me it still retains its magic.
It may have slowly been pushed down the priority list by certain clubs, either chasing the hallowed top 4, or by teams desperately trying to avoid relegation, but to the fans it will always have a certain aura.
You can still find giant-killing stories, and brilliantly you can also still see fans waving slightly rubbish looking handmade FA Cups, made of cardboard and covered in tin foil. Classic.
Third Round day in early January always has a special place for me, there is something different in the air.
Modern day games I've been to always seem to throw up a meeting with a lower league club, who miraculously have found 6,000 fans all of a sudden, when their average is barely a thousand-odd. They then proceed to sing to you, "Where were you when you were ****"!! I'm guessing irony doesn't happen for some, but that is another bit of Cup magic that always makes me laugh.
In my younger days, a Cup Final for my team was a distant dream. I would always watch the finals, but always at the back of my mind, wondered what it would actually be like for them to be there.
We made the odd Quarter-Final in my youth, until finally getting to Wembley in 1994. Which was a disaster. Although I wasn't there, I was at Wembley for the Semi-Final, which was one of the funniest and most chaotic matches I ever went to. And I don't mean on the pitch. I still laugh today at some of the sights I saw that day.
When we did win it in 1997, the feeling was indescribable. The following day's victory parade is another treasured memory of a manic and insane day.
Despite my team getting to multiple finals since, I STILL haven't actually seen them play in a final, having never managed to get a ticket. Football for the fans eh?
At least some lucky people will be a Wembley for this year's final. And I hope a few more treasured memories can be made.
Win or lose, up the Blues!
Truly sad to see Southend United relegated from the Football League ...
The Blues had been a League team for 101 years, and now face an uncertain future in the non-league.
What a shocking thing to happen to such a fine club.
I have many treasured memories of going to see Southend play at Roots Hall, as we grew up in the town.
They used to play their home games on a Friday night, so it had a magical feel about the place, with a very special atmosphere.
The ground is
wonderful, built by the fans in 1955, it retains an old-school, REAL
football air about it. Three sides of it are still original, with only the
huge terracing at one end being replaced with a new stand.
My first ever football match was at Southend, way back in 1977, and I can still clearly remember seeing the floodlit lush, green pitch for the first time, as we took our seats in the East Stand.
I saw a few games in their brilliant 1980/81 Fourth Division Championship season, the club's first major honour since forming in 1906. At the end of the season they played First Division Wolves in a friendly, and I remember my Dad laughing as their big-money striker Andy Gray kept slipping over!!
I can also still hear in my mind the programme seller that would always be shouting "PROGRAMMES, LOTTERY", as you walked towards the North Bank!
Stay strong Blues and get back up again.
Has been a while since I've updated on all things ARTPIX.
Things are slowly starting up again after lockdown, which is brilliant.
I've been able to source new stock from further afield, in the ever-hopeful thought that I might actually be able to sell things at vintage markets!!
Looks like my first market will be the Giant Shepton Flea, which is pencilled in for 30th May.
Fingers crossed for that!!
As the boot fairs are already up and running, I'll be selling for the first time this year on Sunday, at the Axminster Boot Fair over in Devon. Good to clear some space in the ArtPix Storeroom!
My unit at The Customs House in West Bay is flying again, having reopened a couple of weeks ago.
That is fully stocked with wonderful vintage goodies, and an extensive range of retro football stuff, including my own unique designs.
I'm working away on various restorations and upcycling projects ...
One of them is an amazing early 1920s Dulcephone gramophone player. This beautiful object had bizarrely had its base painted white, the metal parts spray-painted bronze, with the speaker painted silver.
I'm still meticulously stripping this all away! The speaker is already revealing its incredible original green, blue and turquoise colours.
The second issue of my ARTPIX MAGAZINE is still happening, but after the usual total loss of confidence and drive, is still waiting to be finished.
Ironic when you think for years and years I designed magazines at breakneck speed on very tight deadlines for a living!!!
And don't forget I'm selling a huge range of vintage items via the Facebook Marketplace.
Just search Matt ArtPix and see what there is!
More updates and news to come, keep in touch!!
Loving the massive backlash from football fans that has already started against this ludicrous super league.
The corporate suits were always going to drain football of any integrity it had left, and today is the day it has now totally gone.
Finally some good news on the ArtPix front ... THE CUSTOMS HOUSE in West Bay is reopening tomorrow!!!!!!
If Victoriana is your thing, then you'll definitely be amused by these two exquisite items dating to the Victorian era ...
First up is this ornate and very beautiful cheese dish, decorated with flowers.
Not sure of the date for this, but it could easily be from the 1850s/1860s.
Then this extraordinarily elegant green glass decanter, with all its incredible handcrafted features.
This certainly dates to the 1880s.
These two highly desirable Victorian pieces are for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Just go and search Matt ArtPix and you should find them ... otherwise contact me directly!
A long while ago I bought this pair of old binoculars ...
Throughout the Covid lockdowns they remained in the ArtPix Storeroom, but as time dragged on I decided I'd sell them on Facebook.
I was going to put them up for £10, but as I like to give as much info as possible when selling items, thought I'd do a quick online research first, as there are no maker's marks anywhere.
I'm glad I did!!
Turns out that they date to the Second World War, (or possibly even earlier), and are made by the German company Carl Zeiss Jena.
It did give me a tiny shiver down the spine, as all sorts of images and stories go through your head.
We'll never know who owned them, what they saw, where they were, or how they got to Britain. It could of course be really bad as to where they were and who had them, any scenario is possible.
But we know one thing, because although not especially rare, they are of huge historical interest.
And I nearly flogged them for a tenner ... it pays to research things first!
Selling this gorgeous old box on Facebook Marketplace ...
This is a proper antique, a really old no-nonsense tool box, that is a really well made item.
It also still retains all its original metal features. I particularly like the corners that protect the edges of the box.
Have a peep on Facebook HERE
Or contact me directly if you fancy it.
One of the many things I'm selling on Facebook Marketplace, is a very rare vintage trading card of the legendary Brian Clough.
The card is from the Footballers series produced by A&BC in 1959, and shows Cloughie in his playing days with Middlesbrough.
His career as a player is often overlooked, as he'll always be remembered for his stellar feats, and antics, as a manager. But he was a prolific striker with an extraordinary goal scoring record, and would've achieved all sorts of records had his career not been cruelly halted by injury.
He played for Middlesbrough and Sunderland between 1955 and 1962, bravely trying a comeback from his injury in 1964.
Finishing with the eye-watering record of 267 goals in only 296 appearances, he then embarked on his trophy-laden managerial career.
The card is framed, and attached within the frame by corner mounts, meaning the card could be taken out and viewed, as it hasn't been stuck down.
They are hard to find these days, so is a nice bit of football memorabilia for a nice price of only £12.
Take a peep on Facebook HERE, or contact me directly if you want it.
Absolutely loving The Terror on BBC iPlayer at the moment ...
A Polar Expedition to find a Northwest Passage in 1845 starts to go horribly wrong. Based on actual events and people, the series, (and book of course), imagines what could have happened.
Also feels apt, as working in the ArtPix Studio often feels like a Polar Expedition, with temperatures feeling a little like -25ºC.
The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset is reopening on APRIL 12th!!!!
I have a unit in this emporium, which is right on the seafront down in West Bay, on the Jurassic Coast.
I'll be piling in new stock, so get yourselves down there, get spending, and help out small traders like myself!!!
We are all now starting to think about sticking our heads above the parapet, and sneaking a look into the future.
A few of my regular fairs and markets are announcing dates for this year, and it's starting to look like there's actually a chance they might go ahead!
So I've tentatively pencilled in BRIDPORT VINTAGE MARKET on 25th April, and the GIANT SHEPTON FLEA MARKET on 30th May, as my first markets of the year.
I'm digging out my mask in preparation!!
In the latest issue of the Chelsea fanzine CFCUK, there is an intriguing advert to start a new football club.
Some REAL Chelsea fans are getting together with the idea of forming a brand new club, to play in the lower reaches of the non-league, away from the modern-day game, away from the money, power and all the rest.
The proposed name is RISING SUN FC, a nod to the original name of the pub opposite the main gates at Stamford Bridge, where the Club was first formed in 1905. Nice touch!
After the sacking of Frank Lampard, it's hard to still Keep the Blue Flag Flying High to be honest.
Yet another chance of the club creating a lasting and fruitful legacy has been thrown away.
I've long thought a club run by, and FOR, Chelsea fans would be an amazing way to reconnect with football, and what being a football fan is all about.
Over the last couple of decades the enjoyment has slowly been sucked out of the 'Matchday Experience', with the cost of tickets long ago entering the realms of fantasy.
Early days of course, but I wish them all the luck in the world to get this dream going.
Can't wait to be standing (not sitting), and watching this brand new team, and belting out classic CFC songs for 90 minutes ...