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

Friday, 6 January 2012

...Moves in

And so begins my new year in a new home! Today I travelled from Nottingham to Worcester to live with Big Sister Bertie in her lovely little house.  All my homely possessions are unpacked, dinner has been eaten, tea has been drunk and now its time for bed.
Not the most exciting first post in the world but its a start!
See you all tomorrow folks. Sweet dreams x