Wednesday, 29 September 2010

flickering through films

Because I fancy myself as a bit of an amateur photographer, on the side, I have decided to devote my poor disused flickr account to housing some of my favourite analogue snaps.  So if you would like to show the page some love, you can find it here.

In the meantime, I have picked up a delightful Autumn cold, so it's Peppermint tea, big socks and tissues for me today.  Just in time for the start of term!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

inspired by nature

If you are local to Bath, I recommend you make your way straight over to the Rostra Gallery on George Street to gape at some beautiful screen prints by Graham Carter (illustration above).  Lots of striking colours and endearing characters to muse over (my personal favourite being the enormous owl).

work (experience) and play

I have been doing a lot of learning this week.
And what a lovely week it has been.

I have been encouraged to add a little bit of 'play' into my work, whether it's in ripping things up, drawing with my left hand, creating layers and textures or embracing wonky lines and pritt stick.  Why?

'What happens in life is that we become attached to doing "what works" or what is comfortable.  We get stuck in a comfort "habit".  This is fine if we want to have the same outcome over and over, but if we want to create something new we must always venture into the unknown.'  Keri Smith

Thursday, 16 September 2010

my last war

The first of, probably two responses to my summer project, inspired by the wonderful Mr Black, a beautiful old man and former war correspondent from the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  When Mr Black eventually realises, a little too late, the importance of being a family man, he abandons his lust for battle and wages one last war.  He remembers a tree his wife once had a run in with, and with a swing of his axe, chops it down and lovingly crafts a big wooden bed to mark their new lives together.  Long after his wife's passing, he hammers a nail into the bed every morning as soon as he wakes up to commemorate his loss, until the bed becomes so heavy that the floor caves in.

It's easy to forget about your dissertation when you have images to make and a, quite frankly, delicious looking Graze box on your desk (there's even a mini freshly baked Focaccia bread in today's one).

Friday, 10 September 2010

Thursday, 9 September 2010

spots v stripes

For those of you who remember Top Deck*, just about my favourite chocolate bar as a child of the late 80s, Cadbury's have released a new and exciting milk and white chocolate combo that has filled me with joy and nostalgia.

Just thought I'd share that with you all.

* I'm aware that you can buy it in Australia, but it's just not the same.

how to be good

I like a good documentary.  I have been banging on about this one for a while and was finally given the opportunity to see it on a UK screen at the lovely Little.  No Impact Man follows Colin Beavan and his family on a quest to live for a year without negatively impacting the environment, a process that aims to whittle down the bare essentials that we need for living a happy existence without creating problems for the planet.  That means no buying anything new unless it's in a pre-owned condition, no transportation unless by foot or bicycle, no paper, no toilet paper, no coffee (a struggle for the No Impact Lady), cotton nappies for the little one, no electricity bar solar power, no take away food, no food that hasn't be locally sourced and organically get the idea.  But there are things that you can do without abandoning toilet paper and harvesting worms in your apartment to compost your waste.

Buy local
If you're lucky enough to live in and around Bath like I do, there is a fabulous weekly farmers market every Saturday at Green Park Station.  You can bring your own bags and support the locals without buying cheap veg that's been flown in from overseas.

Cut out unnecessary packaging
This is a tough one, because there is little that you can buy that hasn't been wrapped in plastic and then put in a box.  But as a starting point, you can buy cleaning products from health food shops which you can refill on your next visit when you've run out. 

Compost your waste
The council reckons you can build your own composting bin with relative ease...but I'm not so confident.  Apparently you can pick  one up from your local garden centre and reduce up to 50% of your household waste.

Shop second hand
If you're fortunate enough to live somewhere that has good charity shops (sigh), there are lots of nice things other people don't want.  Or, organise a swishing party (I so so want to do this.  Ladies?)

Switch to fairtrade
Switch one of your household staples to Fairtrade (the Co-op's Fairtrade English Breakfast tea is rather nice.  Not to mention the chocolate).

So far I can conclude that, for at least two days after watching this film, you will be trying to implement ecological living strategies in your own home.  Yesterday I bought a jug and a bag of milk which promises to produce 75% less waste than the traditional plastic bottle.  I am considering buying a composting bin and unearthing my bicycle from my dad's garage. (Really what I want is one of these cool people carrying bicycles, like the Beavans' have.)

Even if going green isn't for you, you should definitely give this film a watch, especially if, like me, you're a sucker for a feel-good reality-based indie film.  If anything, it will make you want to live life outside more.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

our cups emptied, the day emptied.

I'm not even really sure what this is, but I thought if I didn't let it surface from the confines of my sketchbook, it might never get out.  In a fortnight long struggle to muster up something for my 'respond-to-something-you've-read' summer project, this is the best I could come up with.  It in no way expresses just how beautiful this book is (seriously, read it).  So it's back to the drawing board for me!

I'm almost thinking it would be better to draw from something I'm less attached to...what do you think?

Thursday, 2 September 2010

a big beautiful update

So, you ask, what have you been up to this summer?  Well.

I have traipsed around Avebury, home to an ancient collection of stones, where ribbons and sepia artifacts dangle freely from trees

Got a little job in the beautiful village of Lacock and enjoyed sneaky slices of cake from behind the reception desk

Scrambled over rocks with a belly full of ice cream in the seaside town of Lynmouth

Waffled a beautiful big veggie feast and several pots of Chocca Chai in the comfort of a special friend's new home

Experienced my first chimnea barbeque

Baked my first batch of (semi-catastrophic) cupcakes with my partner in crime

I suppose the biggie would be that I've moved house...

...To the oh-so-beautiful town...

...of Bradford on Avon (there will always be a place in my heart for you, Bath)...

...Had the best time imaginable...

...At Green Man Festival, in the heart of the Brecon Beacons, in great crevasses of mud

And stayed in a woodland yurt with a beautiful family...

...scavenging the breadth of Dorset for unusual photographs in a battle to beat the boys

I think we know who won, right girls?

Thankfully Autumn is my favourite of the four seasons, so although I will be sad to wave goodbye to the summer once more, I can't wait to snap up a new woolly hat and stroll through crisp sunny breezes in my boots, crunching yellow leaves and saying hello to a new and exciting phase of my life.  My dissertation I'm looking forward to less.  Swings and roundabouts!