Tuesday, 11 September 2012

... Is alive!

So I know I haven't posted in a while but I have a very good reason.  After much thought and very little planning I have moved to BRIGHTON!!
My bestest friend Laura of Illustryous fame has lived in Brighton for several years and has been asking me to live with her for quite a while.  It seemed now was the time to make the move so on the 11th of July I packed my bags and headed south.
So far everything has gone pretty smoothly but so I don't rabbit on too long, here is a brief summary of what has happened:

+ I spent three weeks sharing a bed with Laura before moving into my new house where, after much maneuvering I have ended up in my room with very little furniture.  I share the house with Laura, Hester, Dave and Kiki the dog.

+ After five days of exploring I found a job at the truly charming Blackbird Tearooms where I get to work with a bunch of lovely people serving proper tea and yummy homemade cakes.

+ I have been going to weekly life drawing classes at Draw Brighton where laura is one of the many models.  (I now have more naked pictures of my best friend than any normal person should have!)

+ Even though I have only had my own room for a few weeks I have already bought/acquired a wardrobe, two chairs, a mattress, two dresses, a bean bag, a curved mirror, a wooden writing box, a parasol, a chaise lounge and a pile of vintage fabric.

+ I have made several trips up to London to see my lovely Dan Hodgett.  One of the many reasons for moving down south :)  (In ten days we'll have been together a year! eek!)

That's about it for now.  Apparently the Olympics were on too but I wasn't paying attention.  Here are a few photos to fill in the gaps...

This is a view from my house of the South Downes.  Not exactly the bustling metropolis of Brighton but its not too far away.

A bit of Brighton poetry...

...and a bit more.

Brighton station.

A bit of vintage goodness. There's a lot of it around Brighton.

A bit of Brighton artiness. There's loads of that too!

Laura's room that she has just finished organising and now looks like a fairy grotto.

My room which is a mess.

So that's it for now.  I'll keep you posted with new developments.  Hopefully get some creative stuff on the go soon!

Laters xxx

p.s. One of the lovely ladies I work with has a super blog called Yours Truly.  Check it out if you know what's good for you!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

...Says thank you.

This one is for you Papa...

and this...

and this..

Happy Father's Day!
Thanks for the need to take photos, the taste for good ales and the squiffy vision 8-) xxx

Thursday, 10 May 2012

...is on the market.

So last Sunday Big Sister Bertie and I took part in The Worcester Flea, an outdoor vintage/craft market in the heart of Worcester.  This is the second time we've given it a go the last being in March when we had wind, rain, sleet and snow.  Unfortunately we didn't make money back on the stall and we spent our float on tea and pasties.
This time however the weather was much better and with a bit of forward planning we came up with ways to make our stall more appealing.  The main attraction (which we were rather proud of) was a "gallery" made by tying garden mesh (found in a charity shop) to the posts of our stall that we pegged prints, clothes and other lovely stuff to.

Pretty nifty huh?  We also had a table of lovely things we'd made including some mini hot water bottle covers made from felted woolly jumpers (made by Bertie).  There was a washing line of vintage clothes and lots of fabric bundles courtesy of Dearest Mama who came along to help.  The weather held out, we made a profit and there was tea and pasties.  

Miss Bertie in her handmade flamingo dress (commissions available)

Dearest Mama making labels

Me looking very pleased with myself

All in all a good day :)

Saturday, 21 April 2012

...gets a bit patriotic.

Last week I submitted my entry for the Best of Britain exhibition at the Corinium Museum in Cirencester.  The idea is to create a new stamp design for the Queen's Jubilee.  Each entry had to be the size of a postcard and follow the theme "Best of Britain"

I decided to use an idea I used for my graduate work at uni which was all about tea!  A hand stitched tea bag with Union Jack design, some lovely bunting and letter stamping. The result is below:

Have a look at all the entries here!

The exhibition runs from 30th April - 5th June and there is a book launch on the 4th May if you're in town.


Friday, 30 March 2012

... Gets Folksy!

I have finally put items on my Folksy shop! Have a nosey at my handmade Pretty Flamingo Tote Bags.  Made using recycled fabrics including some vintage pieces. A perfect unique accessory to go with the summer trends.

I will soon be adding tea cosies, pin cushions and needle cases. x

Friday, 23 March 2012

... feels a little guilty.

So I haven't done a blog post for over a month and I feel a little bit guilty but here's some of the things I've been doing to fill you in...

Big Sister Bertie and I had a go at selling crafty stuff at the Worcester Flea. Unfortunately after having a lovely sunny week the weather decided to be completely rubbish.  There was rain, sleet and a very chilly wind which meant that there were very few people and we spent most of our money on hot drinks.  I sold one pin cushion and traded a bag for a vintage skirt.  Not a great success but we still had fun meeting new people.

As Middle Sister Harry was turning the big 30 this month and was having a bit of a difficult time with a poorly knee, Bertie and I decided to throw her a surprise birthday party with a railway children theme (as it is one of our favourite films).  All friends and family were secretly invited,  costumes were made and we transformed a damp old church hall from this...

... to this...

We basically moved the contents of our parents living room half a mile up the road.  There were metres of handmade bunting, iced buns with pink icing and lashings of ginger beer. We showed the The Railway Children film (1970s version of course!) on a projector and everyone had a jolly good time.  Harry really had no idea which made it all the more wonderful!

In other news I will soon have some brand new glasses and sunglasses which I am rather excited about and this weekend I will be making cushions for Hampton Court Chapel.  I have also set up a folksy shop and will have tea cosies and flamingo bags on it very soon!

See you soon x

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

... Tries out this romantic malarky.

As its the day after Valentine's Day I thought I'd write a post about some romantic stuff or at least things I find romantic.  I think romance is different for everyone. What can be one person's idea of a loving gesture is another's vomit-inducing-heart-holding-stuffed-bear (No offense to those who do like vomit-inducing-heart-holding-stuffed-bears but if we're going for a stereotype, I'd rather have a bunch of flowers (Hint Mr.D)).  Anyhow here's three things that were invented by loving husbands for their lovely wives (at least that's how I imagine it):

1.  Sticky plasters (or Band-aids) were created by Mr. Earle Dickson.  His wife was rather clumsy and always accidentally burning or cutting herself so he created a small sticky bandage so that she could cover the injury and continue to do things until she hurt herself again.  

2.  Bird's Custard Powder was invented by Alfred Bird whose wife was allergic to eggs.  He also invented baking powder because she was allergic to yeast. He sounds like a keeper (and he was probably loaded).  Money and pudding, win, win!
(It also makes children want to do the ironing. Another win)

3. Latex medical gloves were first used by a surgeon William Stewart Halsted.  Before then surgeons washed their hands in carbolic acid to deter germs.  However Dr. Halsted's wife, who was a surgical nurse, had a bad reaction to the chemical so he asked the Goodyear tyre and rubber company to develop gloves that she could wear.  It was only later discovered that using gloves reduced the spread of bacteria but at least they got there in the end.
Thumbs up William!
Latex gloves were later developed using the same process used to make condoms, which is sort of relevant...right?

Hope you all had a good one xx

p.s. To all those who say its all about the card companies making money, why don't you make a card and stop moaning! Or better yet buy one from an independent crafter who probably needs the money.

Monday, 30 January 2012

... Loves Charity Shops.

Today I decided to take a trip into town for a proper big breakfast and a bit of charity shopping.  Charity shopping is possibly one of my favourite things to do.  You just never know what's going to turn up!  I think most of my possessions were bought from charity shops.  In Worcester there is a little street that has six charity shops on it which is my idea of heaven.
Well today I made an amazing find in Age Concern, It was a big box of vintage fabric! I nearly squealed when I saw it across the room and had to restrain the urge to run towards it like a maniac.
The sizes range from a metre square to about 4 metres and came to the grand total of, drum role please.......£4.80!  My favourite pieces are the blue elephant print...

...and this bright yellow one which I keep gazing at affectionately.

A good hoard indeed!  I'll endeavor to make lots of lovely things soon and post them.


Thursday, 26 January 2012

... Remembers the Golden Days

Following on from my last post I thought I could show some photos I took last Autumn all on Kodak film!  A tenuous link I know but who cares.  All these photos were taken on a Canon AE-1 manual SLR.  Enjoy... xx

Monday, 23 January 2012

... Feels a little sad.

This week it was announced that Kodak have filed for bankruptcy cover (which basically means the poo has hit the fan.)  I'm never quite sure how I feel when a large company goes under. On one side I feel like its a great opportunity for smaller businesses to get themselves known and to get rid of the big corporation bullies.  But in this case it just seems sad that a 133-year-old company, which invented the hand held camera, can't keep itself going.  Its amazing how a few bad decisions can destroy so much.  They had the digital camera industry in their hands and they just didn't make the most of the opportunity.

Anyway enough of the sad ranting! I thought this would be a great chance to show off some of my vintage camera collection. I have been collecting them for a few years from charity shops and car boot sales, and I've always had a particular liking for Kodak Brownies and Instamatics. It seems that with the whole world going digital these little gems are being disregarded as plain old tat but I think they are beautiful!  The fact that these little wooden/plastic boxes would originally have been seen as the height of technology is just amazing.
I intend to use as much manual photography as possible in the next few months, maybe even with some of these cameras.  So here's to Kodak, may you some how pick yourselves up again and make George Eastman proud! (He chose the name Kodak because he liked the letter K. Its the little things that make me smile)


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

... Finds 10 Good Things.

Inspired by Shimelle Laine's 10 things for the 10th I have decided to do my own 10 things.  I was supposed to post this yesterday (on the 10th) but ran out of time.  I did think about it a lot though and decided to find 10 things from last year that made me happy illustrated with my own photos.

At first I didn't think I'd be able to find 10 things, being slightly pessimistic but after looking through photos from the last year I had difficulty deciding what to leave out!  So without further ado (and in no particular order) here are my 10 Good Things from 2011.

1) This time last year I took part in The Society of Designer Craftsmen annual exhibition.  They had spotted my degree work at New Designers and asked me to apply.  It was a great experience to exhibit in London and I met lots of amazing crafty people. I did apply for this years exhibition but hadn't really been organised enough to finish my work (like a numpty).  Hopefully I'll get my act together for next year!

2) My first work experience after graduating from university was at Spinster's Emporium. A wonderful online vintage haberdashery.  I worked there for 8 months and gained loads of experience I wouldn't have got anywhere else.  While I was there I ran several crafty workshops and looked after the business for three weeks whilst Donna, the director was traveling.  It felt wonderful to be trusted with so much responsibility (and scary too!) and it was a shame I had to leave.

3) In february my friend Anya and I decided to go to Venice for the Masquerade Festival.  It was amazing and crazy!  Some of the costumes were just incredible. For the final weekend it was like Halloween on crack.  There were entire families dressed as the cast of Alice in Wonderland, kids dressed as Scooby Doo with Mystery Machine and someone dressed as a wall.  I'm sure if you google it you will find lots of images but here is my favourite that I took.

4) My job at Kitsch. Ok to be honest it wasn't the best job in the world. At times it frustrated me so much I was on the brink of handing in my notice on several occasions, but the thing that kept me going for a whole year were the people I got to hang out with everyday.  The friends I made there definitely kept me sane. Thanks guys!

5)  I've been to few gigs over the past year and they have all been brilliant, particularly Elbow in Nottingham and Laura Marling at Sheffield Cathedral.  I also loved the little folk acts who popped up in my favourite hang outs, David Wax Museum in the Malt Cross and Darren Hanlon in Lee Rosy's Tea Shop.

6) 2011 was my year for rediscovering my love of manual photography.  There is something so exciting about picking up some photos from a shop, never knowing how they have come out till you open the envelope! I also expanded my collection of vintage cameras (I think I have 20 now) which inspired my latest art project using camera film to make little sculptures.  I'm updating my arty website over the next few weeks so please have a look and let me know what you think.

7)  I have quite a big extended family and every other year we go on a big family holiday.  In 2011 it was Norfolk.  There was a lot of hanging out in beach huts, pubs and playing games.  Good old family fun!

8) I try to make gifts for people as much as possible or as time and money will allow, and my favourite this year was the bag I made for Big Cheese.  I used a dark blue wool fabric which I appliqued with flowers and embellished with buttons.  I used some pretty vintage fabric for the lining and stitched a special message on the strap. I liked it so much I made one for myself.

9) Every year two of my closest friends and I always go on a trip together, usually to some hippy camp.  This time we visited my friend Ros who has a little cottage in Wales.  It is a magical place where we can just relax, drink tea and talk about where our lives are going.  I only used my manual camera and here are my best photos.

10) A new cousin!  Baby Molly Jane Constance Smith was born this year and I want to steal her!  My youngest cousin before Molly is 19 so at our Christmas family gathering there was a lot of pass the baby going on.  My little big sister Hannah (the one with hair) claimed Molly for most of the day based on them sharing a middle name. Whatever!

So there we go, 10 good things. Phew! that was long and there was so much more to put in:  making things, a wedding, prohibition party, twycross zoo, birthdays, art fairs, Pins and Needles, trips to Brighton and London, party on the Thames, Introducing does Entroducing, oh and a boyfriend :)

I think I'll make the next post shorter hmmmm.  Laters lovelies xxx

Saturday, 7 January 2012

...Explores Worcester with Big Cheese and Parsley.

Today was a day of exploring and oh what treasures were found!  Worcester is a very pretty little town with lots of independent shops hidden everywhere and my best purchase of the day was from the first shop.  The Big Cheese (aka Miss Bertie) took me to a second hand furniture shop and I found...
... Parsley!  For those who don't know, Parsley the lion was a character from an old children's tv show called The Herbs (to be honest at first I thought he was a character from The Magic Roundabout oops!) Look him up on Youtube, he's ace.
So I decided that a few photos of Parsley strategically placed round Worcester would be a great idea.
Parsley with an amigo.
Parsley perched with a small child.
Parsley supporting the RSPCA (50p was donated)
Parsley eating a latte.
Parsley playing in the condiment jungle.
Parsley doing his best Lion King impression on a tuna melt.
Parsley chillin' with a mannequin.
Parsley taking advantage of this mannequin's weird pose (seriously what is she doing?!)
Parsley hangin' with some mugs.
Parsley standing on an armchair.
Parsley checking his mane.
Parsley on a tiger.
Parsley chatting up some birds.
Parsley doing some shopping.
I'm hoping to have many more adventures with Parsley in the future so watch this space.

Laters x