A few of us recently held a Christmas pop up shop to raise money for our degree show. Everything on sale was handmade, and xmas themed. I paired up and made a variety of wooden snowflake decorations in three different sizes.
It was very exciting to actually sell out (we'd made about 80!) before the end of the day, so we're planning on making a second batch this week coming. If anyone fancies some for their tree get in touch.
The latest addition to my portfolio...a perspex book. My idea began primarily as a response to the great influx of digitised books. Being a great believer in the good old fashioned three dimensional book, i felt that this project should wave the flag for the physical book.
With a brief that limited us to producing something predominantly typographic, i looked for ways to break those rules. I created images using perspex letters, and printed them on acetate and trapped them between my perspex pages.
I wanted to re-excite the reader with an even more 3D book than ever. I hope it celebrates the text 'The Waitress' by Jack Zipes, and most importantly lets the reader use their own imagination, and create their own ideas from the imagery that Zipes describes.
I'm usually fairly unbiased when it comes to characters of the alphabet, divvying up my attention equally between the provoking swells of the 's' and the 'b', the elegance of the 'f' and 'l', and the piquant punch of an 'i' or a 'j'. I have come to realise though, that i have for quite some time now, been having a sordid love affair with the lowercase 'g'.
I can't stop thinking about her...(she is a female character). For some reason the lower case 'g' looks to me like the perfect characterisation of a woman. I can't stop drawing it, trying to get the angle of her hips exactly right. A complicated mix of authority and elegance.
Oh yes, it's crept up on me, but it's now official... I'm clinically insane.
I am lucky enough to be one of three people chosen to help produce posters for exhibitions held at the gallery at Manchester Art School. This is our first one for illustrator Johnny Hannah. His work's pretty nice so pop down to the Holden Gallery next week for a gander.
The first project of the year is just about done (minus a few tweaks). The brief set was 'BANG!', and we were pretty much given free reign on where we wanted to take it. I went down the route of investigating the home life of horse racing commentators (obviously..?) and produced this little spectators kit. It accompanies some audio i scripted which i may one day upload, should i work out how.
[a transcript of the audio]
The box that houses the items needs re-making, as everything's a bit of a snug fit at the mo (can't add up). But overall the general concept's there, i'm pretty happy with it.
I shall be having a Spanish themed birthday party in Barcelona city centre today. I think we'll probably find a nice restaurant later on and drink nice wine before the madness and excitement of the conference tomorrow and Tuesday. Don't want to overdo it in my old age.
Is it slightly excessive to visit Barcelona twice in one year?
Today i am lucky enough to be jetting off to my favourite European city for a whistle stop trip filled with excitement. It's my birthday on Sunday, so i plan to spend the day enjoying the last of the summer sun, whilst stuffing my face at the food market.
On Monday and Tuesday i am attending the AGI 2011 conference, which has some fairly massive names in graphic design speaking. Very very excited. Hopefully i'll come back feeling hugely inspired and ready to launch straight back into project work.
Yesterday we took a day trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Summer showed up unexpectedly, and I had a lovely day flouncing about the grounds and getting mild sunstroke. The Henry Moore sculptures looked very much like an extension of the landscape, rising up gently over the grassy slopes. I was introduced to Jaume Plensa, and spent some time looking round the indoor exhibition rooms containing his work. Aside from being a brief escape from the sun, the sculptures really were strange and intriguing to look at.
I was transfixed by these sculptures! I couldn't get over how much they looked like projections.
Very nice day out, would be especially nice on a crisp, cold wintery
With the warmth of the Tuscan sun already feeling like a distant memory, it's time to get back to work in the rainy city. Autumn has well and truly barged its way in, and the familiar 'back to school' feeling is hanging threateningly overhead. Already fighting off the first of many autumnal sore throats and sniffy noses, i am feeling surprisingly upbeat about the sudden jolt back into reality. Ten days of warmth has relaxed every wind and rain-braced muscle in my body, and i feel (as i often do at the beginning of September) that it's time to turn over a new, rain spattered leaf.
We're headed to the coast today, to Porto Santo Stefano. This is the wild card of our Tuscan tour, none of us know much about it, or what to expect. I'm hoping for lots of fresh seafood, and a very welcome sea breeze.
Today we're driving south to Siena. Even though it's only a few hours drive, we're allowing the whole day for it, with the expectation that we may stumble across some places that need exploring. We're in the Chianti region, so maybe we'll see some vineyards. We'll be staying in an apartment for a few nights, then moving on again. Bring on the rolling hills and more lovely weather :]
Summer's done a runner. Time to take drastic measures.
Off to Florence with the Fam today, really excited. We'll be doing a bit of traveling around Tuscany over the next ten days, so i'll keep this up to date with where we're moving. Very much ready for some sun, sea air, interesting little streets, cathedrals. And food, of course.
Oh but to visit this shop in Tokyo. I somehow stumbled across The 100% Chocolate Cafe whilst trawling the net yesterday. I love the packaging and pretty much everything about them, especially the slightly pharmaceutical look. I can't decide if i'd want to eat, collect or apply all of these squares topically. I can imagine spending hours choosing which of the 56 flavours to go for.
It's a busy week this week, I've finally got cracking on some uni work that's been playing on my mind for a while now. Whilst i've been itching to get back to doing something useful, it's been physically difficult to haul my brain into action. It feels like it's been sat in a dark muddy puddle for the past month or so, and dredging it out has been a challenge. At the end of the week i'm going away to Tuscany, something i've been looking forward to for a long time. I'm using the promise of an Italian advebture as bait to get me to work, although i keep having to discipline myself for wanting to go holiday shopping. I don't need anything, i just don't want to sit inside and work. How do you motivate yourself to get back into work mode?
As part of my brief visit to Scotland this week, i spend a day in Edinburgh at the fringe. Having only ever visited during fringe season, i have no indication of what the atmosphere is like during the rest of the year, however it's always been very lively and friendly on my few visits.
Like last year we didn't pack the day full of performances, we mostly wandered down the cobbled streets watching street performers, and sampling the local pubs. We also checked out a couple of exhibitions, there was a particularly good Rauschenberg one at Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The main highlight was a free show held at 'The Hive' by comedien Phil Kay. I never know what to expect with free shows, i usually assume i'll leave with several pulled muscles from awkward jokes gone down like a lead balloon. Phil Kay was refreshingly funny. It was a musical set of semi-improvised songs that built up layers of laughter. I can honestly say that i left with an aching face, i really enjoyed it.
I really love these prints by Wendy MacNaughton. They remind me a bit of the illustrations done for Jamie Oliver's TV series, 'Jamie at Home', which i also loved. Now that the kitchen at home is starting to take shape (units in, walls mostly painted, utensils ready to be wired up) it's exciting to start thinking about the decoration and accessories (my favourite bit). As it's not really my kitchen to be decorated, i don't get to cast the deciding vote on what goes in, however i might suggest doing some homemade versions of these prints to go up on the walls.
Over the last three days, my faith in the residents of a seemingly not so Great Britain has been strating to wear thin. I turned on the news this morning, expecting to see more debris and destruction across the country. I was surprised however, and thoroughly heart-warmed by the large groups of the public who had formed their own clean-up teams, and were setting about sweeping and clearing up the wreckage from looted shops. It was nice to see that people care about their communities, and that local businesses that had survived the riots were offering food and drink to the clean up teams.
A photographer born in Copenhagen Denmark, and living in New York since 2006. Shoots include interiors, personalities, lifestyle and travel. The style is often simple nordic. I love the colours, textures and contrasts, she creates an almost magical feeling. I wish i had taken some of her photos, especially these ones of Venice.
The first photo i saw of hers was this one below. It was from a shoot for Bloomingdales bedding, and it just looks like such a perfect place.
Browse through some more of Ditte's lovely images here.
Has anyone else been watching it?? I fell straight in love with it. It's a BBC drama set in 1956, whichtakes viewers behind the scenes of the launch of a topical news programme at the BBC in London. I love the clothes, the clipped British accents and the fact that every character seems to have a glass of whiskey or similar in their hand at all times. It's a pretty sturdy cast,with quite a few familiar faces popping up all over the place. Catch up with the first few episodes on BBC iPlayer.
I love this picture. When we were younger, broken up from school for the summer, we would go down and spend a week with Nana and Grandpop. It was a treat because it always seemed to be sunnier down south, and the garden was perfect for playing in. It had a jungle at the bottom which Grandpop would wheel us round in a wheelbarrow, probably doing his back in a little more each year as we got bigger. Every visit we'd look forward to one evening when Grandpop would get the beast of a BBQ out, and we'd all sit out in the garden, often in our pajamas and be treated to barbecued bananas with ice cream for pudding - his speciality.
I think this photo must have been taken on arrival one summer, and i just love the look of excitement on mine and my brother's face, waiting to hear the end of Grandpop's story so we could open the little presents he would dangle in front of us.
Yesterday was spectacular. Alice and I donned our wellies (despite the ground being bone dry) and stomped into the show. It was very busy, and the sun was blazing down, so we wasted no time in finding shade in the cheese tent. Tent is a bit of an understatement, it was huge. We picked a route, and methodically worked our way round each stall, trying a sample of everything on offer.
Half way round, we had to step outside for a breath of fresh air, and a bottle of water. The cheese-fumes were making us feel slightly heady and disorientated. Break over, bottle of water in hand, we stepped back in and carried on like troopers and finished our first lap. We had planned to do a browsing lap, then a buying lap, but we both ate so much on the first walk round that neither of us felt much like buying anything.
I did however buy the Man Candy a truckle (great word) of Cornish Yarg, flavoured with wild garlic. I was introduced to Yarg on a family trip to Cornwall a few years ago and it has been a firm favourite since. It's a cows cheese that's usually wrapped in nettles, however the one i bought was wrapped in wild garlic leaves, which gives it a lovely soft fresh garlicky taste.
A brilliant day, that had a lot more than just cheese to offer. Next year i'll be buying my ticket online, as they're about £5 cheaper than on the door. Can't wait to go again.
Today Alice and I are going on a rather cheesy adventure to Nantwich. It's the annual International Cheese Show, and we are both extremely excited at the prospect of so many free samples. Photos and stomach pumping to follow...
A Personal Preservation Project We are constantly evolving, every second, minute, hour, day, week, and month of every year. Observing, consuming, working, doing, wanting, waiting, interacting, desiring, developing and changing – and all of these complex interrelationships and many more affect our views, habits and behaviour, every decision that we make influences what happens next in our lives and has impact on others and the wider world around us.
As societies have evolved they have always made attempts to preserve and store their daily experiences by using various visual languages, methods and techniques, from chalk on walls, paint on canvas, words in books, musical scores, recording static and moving images.
How can we classify, quantify and measure the changes of these complex evolutions?
This is going to be a personal investigation in which you will be observing yourself in macro detail over the next few months and then making sense of the information by visualising the data collected. Part 1OUTLINE CRITERIA What are you going to collect and how are you going to do it?
Design a way to record your daily activities over the summer months; this could be in the form of a questionnaire, visual dashboard, diary, visual journal, series of charts, apps etc.
How can you reduce your daily activities into quantifiable information?
Is it through a series of tick boxes, segments, shorthand, scientific models, tallies, graphs, pictograms, charts, tables, a series of photographs, film or some other method?
What criteria should you include?
The information gathered could be physical, mental, emotional, subconscious activity, economic, relationship interactions, changes in geography, environment, the weather, what you consume, distance travelled, time elapsed, sensory factors, multitasking, sleep patterns, brands which you come into contact with, websites visited, tweets made, the music you listen to, even concurrent activities happening outside of your immediate environment which have impact on your day. Part 2 OBSERVE / COLLECT Go about your daily business, work, eat, sleep, go on holiday, let your hair down and have a well-deserved rest. But at the end of every day record your daily activities onto your beautifully designed measuring apparatus. Part 3 ANALYSE / ORGANISE / EVALUATE Now you have to do something with all of this information which you have gathered about yourself and analyse, arrange, order and visualize it all into some kind of holistic narrative, find patterns, make sense of yourself and the activities you have encountered. What insights have you discovered? Create graphs and charts, map your movements, and design pictograms/icons that can represent you and your experiences. Think metaphorically; even relate what you have done to a wider cultural context. Based on these findings try to predict what will happen next. Its what you do with the data at this point, which will be the really interesting part of this project and will show how ambitious you really are. Part 4 INTERPRET / PRESENT / PUBLISH What would be the best way to present this information? The format is up to you, it could be in the form of a wall chart, an annual report, fold out map, info graphic poster, newspaper, editorial, documentary, interactive media etc. Whatever way you decide to interpret this data, we would like you also to produce an A3 poster, which will present your findings as a signpost/teaser campaign to your body of output.
I never quite appreciated the importance of a kitchen, until ours got demolished at the beginning of this week. We've been living in this house for ten years, and the kitchen has always needed 'doing', but because it's such a huge job, it's always been benched as a job that will be done 'when the time's right'. Turns out it's never the 'right time' to invite a bunch of burly strangers into your house, navigate the placement of a large skip, and retreat to the loft where the banging and crashing doesn't quite sound like the apocalypse is nigh.
However, everyone's taking it in their stride and getting on with things quite admirably. The kitchen's reached the point where turning back is not an option (see picture), so the only thing for it is to plow on, and retreat to a safe distance.
I am quite looking forward to when it's finished and i can do a 'before & after' post.
I've always been been pro-vitamins and minerals, but from food, not a bottle (unless medical circumstances mean one requires extra help) but i have to say i really find the packaging of these Origin Dietary Supplements really appealing. I love the simplicity, and the hierarchy of the information. I enjoy that there's nothing more than the necessary type. I think they work really well, I want to collect them! Probably not that healthy really...