Friday, 29 June 2012

Film Friday: Jurassic Park


I dont seem to have watched many films this past week (bar Moonwalker, which I don't think counts?!) but tonight we are giving Jurassic Park another watch, should be fun! I wonder if the effects have stood the test of time? Have a good weekend folks!
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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Lovely Links // June

Kara through the looking glass

Some nice things spotted lately..

Any fans of Wes Anderson's latest film Moonrise Kingdom may be interested to see these behind the scenes photographs, which were taken on set by photographer Ant Wrangler.

Some very pretty nature still life photographs can be found here by Mary Jo Hoffman.

This Bill Murray colouring book is pretty cool.

I've been enjoying looking through Letterheady, a lovely collection of old letterheads of the famous, run by Shaun Usher, who also collates Letters of Note.

Also of interest, on Lists of Note, this list of 'What I Won't and Will Miss' by Nora Ephron who recently passed away is quite sweet in its simplicity. [via amy elizabeth]

And for any film geeks, Paramount Pictures celebrates 100 years with this cool film poster by DKNG Studios, featuring 100 of their most iconic films. See if you can spot your favourites!
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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Things other people love but I don't like


Recently Sarah Rooftops wrote a post on the subject of things other people love but she just doesn't get, so I thought I would try a similar list myself. Here goes nothing..

1. Harry Potter
While not everyone I know loves Harry Potter a lot of people seem to reference various characters from the films and I don't really have a clue what they are talking about. I only watched half of the first film and it was okay but I think my main problem is I can't really stand Daniel Radcliffe!

2. Star Wars
I understand that a lot of people love Star Wars from watching the films as a child, and I've tried to sit through these films several times and it's just never done it for me. Plus the Phantom Menace was truly terrible (but even the real fans admit that).

3. Bob Dylan
Despite several friends trying to convince me of Bob Dylan's talents over the years, his voice annoys me a bit and I just don't get his appeal. (See also: Bruce Springsteen, Elton John)

4. Seafood
Tom is always trying to make me learn to love prawns, calamari and other seafood but I really can't bring myself to eat them! It just seems wrong for some reason... especially seafood with tiny beady eyes, arg!

5. Musicals
Although there are a few from my childhood I still enjoy (Mary Poppins, Oliver, the Wizard of Oz if that counts?) most musicals just get on my nerves a bit!

6. High heels
The one time I tried on high heels in a shop I actually got a cramp in my foot, so I've given up! Flat shoes are just so much comfier and easier to wear.

I better stop there! Are there any you disagree with or would add to your own list? Let me know!
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Thursday, 21 June 2012

50 Strangers Project.. continued


A couple of years ago I decided to challenge myself to photograph fifty strangers' portraits. The rules were simple - I'd approach random people and ask if they minded being photographed, to help build up my confidence and skills in portraiture. Since then I've successfully photographed 32 people (including one zebra and one pop star!) and I aim to make this fifty by the end of the year.

In a way it's actually become harder as the time has gone on, after the nerves of approaching the first stranger I knew I could do it and it's become more of a challenge to try and keep up with it and keep the photographs looking strong. It's definitely a great project to try if you want to improve as a photographer and build up confidence though and surprisingly few people have actually said no to having their picture taken! I really enjoy looking back through the shots and I hope to make a book out of them at the end of the year, just got to keep going! The set so far is here, with a little more information about each person.
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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

A Day in the Life comic


A few months ago I drew this comic for Riders for Health, a charity which provides transportation for health workers in Africa so they can reach isolated people who are in need of healthcare. The comic is based on a diary written by Bernard Chininga about a typical day's work for him. I'm really pleased with how the final comic came out and happy to say that it will now feature in Riders' marketing materials as well. (You should be able to view it in its original size here.)
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Indietracks Festival Workshops: a Crafty Interview

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Indietracks is an indiepop music festival which takes place every July at a steam train site in Derbyshire. The location is brilliant - as well as an outdoor stage and venue in a chapel you can even watch bands play on the steam trains themselves! 

As well as enjoying the music, you can also take part in various workshops, run by Alice Hubley (who seems to have my dream job!). I interviewed her about what we can expect at this year's festival.


Hi Alice! First off where do you work? Are you crafty in your spare time?
I'm currently working as an events assistant for the Crafts Council and have a history of events and festivals work. I taught myself to knit eight years ago and since then have done all manner of things crafty, taught workshops, volunteered at various craft fairs and even knitted on stage with Chicks on Speed. I love watching TV and crafting is a great way to make TV watching appear productive! My current projects are a lovely green knitted cardigan and a cross stitch of a Yorkshire Terrier sporting a nice red bow. My favourite craft project is my crocheted pizza slice scarf!

How did the workshops at Indietracks first come about?
I think someone else came up with the idea that they wanted to have workshops at the festival, and that same year I approached the team and was like "I want to get involved with Indietracks".  It kind of made sense with my knowledge of the craft scene that I coordinated the workshop program and voila, here we are four years later!  I'm really pleased with how successful they workshops have been, but I think people these days are looking for festivals that offer more than bands and beer, so it's no surprise that they have been popular. 


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The workshops are generally free or really cheap, and a great opportunity for you to sit down and try something new. I have had people told me that workshops at Indietracks have inspired them to be crafty, which is really awesome. It's great to see so many families get involved with the workshops too, so much that after the first year, we've always had workshops aimed at children and encouraged workshops to be family friendly.

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What's been your favourite workshop over the years?
That's not fair, I can't pick one as being a favourite! The highlights for me include...

Tatty Devine in 2009 - It was so great to be approached by my favourite jeweller asking to run a workshop, and their workshop was such a success.  They brought half their workshop with them to help attendees make jewellery out of found items and things bought from the shop. The girls stuck around the whole weekend and really enjoy the festival (though I think their stall in the merchandise tent was dangerous for most of us ladies in attendance!).  Tatty Devine also designed and produce jewellery for the festival for two years in a row, which was a real honour, the Indietracks bunting necklace is a particular favourite of mine.

Yoga with Frances McKee 2011 - So we programmed the workshops at 11am on the grass in front of the main stage.  I spent most of the weekend worrying that a) it was going to rain and b) no one would turn up at
11am on the Sunday to do the workshop.  Thankfully it all turned out great, it was a lovely sunny day and loads of people didn't get as drunk as my friends the night before and made it to the class!
Frances's festival yoga style is pretty unique, probably the smuttiest yoga class I've ever been to. I love The Vaselines so it was great to have Frances involved, and I'm looking forward to seeing them play at Indietracks this year.  Fingers crossed we can get Frances back for another yoga session too!

I also really like the workshops that use craft to promote another message like the Knit a Neuron workshop we had in 2010 which was a project to promote brain science through knitting, or recycling and reusing workshops like the Tetrapak wallet workshop.


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Indiepop 'Guess Who'

The workshop organisers always amaze me with the amount of work they put into their workshops for so little gain, the Baby Honey guys redesigned the Guess Who game for their Indiepop Guess Who, the Sugar Paper Zine girls made 20 different craft workshop kits for their workshop, and Verity made an insane amount of cupcakes for the cupcake decorating last year!  They make my job at the festival so easy, they are the best!

The schedule for this year is: 
Saturday - 2pm Eco Bunting: Printing With Nature
3pm Cake Club's Sugar Fuelled Cake Decorating Party!
4pm Super Spinners
5pm Lindy-Pop Indie Hop Workshop
Sunday - 12pm Super Duper Super Heroes! (kids workshop)
1pm Come & Have A Go If You Think You're Indiepop Enough Popquiz
2pm Sugar Paper Presents.... Postcards from Indietracks
3pm Ellie & Sarah's Magical Musical Album Cover Making Machine
4pm Indie record label round table
5pm Friends or Knot?' Friendship Bracelets


Thanks Alice, I can't wait to try out this year's workshops! For more info on this year's Indietracks festival which takes place from the 6th - 8th July, you can visit their website here.
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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Want!



Lomography has introduced a baby version of their fisheye camera. Even though I have the full sized one I can't help but lust after its baby version, it's so sweet!
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Monday, 18 June 2012

A Log Cabin Getaway

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For Tom's birthday, his sister and I planned a surprise weekend trip to Shropshire, to stay in a sweet little cabin on a farm. It was a lovely weekend and we had lots of fun despite the rainy weather; playing cards and board games, eating many cakes and erm, dancing the Macarena into the night. We also went a walk over the fields, and despite muddy feet we saw badger dens, rabbits and chickens as well as making friends with some sweet horses too (one we named Bowie as he had one brown eye and one bright blue).

The place we stayed in was lovely and the owner even brought us some home made cakes and champagne. We're already planning to go back again!

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diptych holiday

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Look, he's smiling!

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PS I wrote a guest post recently all about where I live for 'Words That Can Only be Your Own', you can read it here!
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Sunday, 17 June 2012

White Chocolate & Ginger Cheesecake recipe

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I haven't had much time for baking recently but as I took the Friday off I decided to make a summery cheesecake. The recipe is all my own (so excuse the approximate amounts), as I couldn't find any decent ones for this kind of cheesecake. I added some strawberries as decoration too as I think they go well with white chocolate. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
250g (1 tub) Cream Cheese
Approx 100g Marscapone
Double Cream (1/2 large tub)
Large bar white chocolate (I used 4 Milky bars!)
100g butter
250g ginger biscuits
Strawberries

1. Crush the biscuits using a rolling pin (I whacked the heck out of them inside the packet although this did get a bit messy so I suggest putting them into a plastic bag first!)
2. Melt the butter and stir in the biscuit crumbs. Grease and line a deep cake tin and pour the mixture inside, flatten and pop into the fridge for an hour to cool down.
3. Put the cream cheese, marscapone & double cream into a mixing bowl. Boil some water in a saucepan and break up the white chocolate. Put the chocolate into a glass bowl on top of the pan until it melts. Add this to the mixing bowl and use an electric whisk to mix together until smooth.
4. An hour later pour the cheese mixture on top of the ginger biscuit base, leave to cool for a couple more hours (or overnight) then add the strawberries as decoration. Voila!

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Friday, 15 June 2012

Film Friday: 2 Days in New York

I've been waiting a while to see 2 Days in New York, the sequel to 2 Days in Paris, directed by and starring Julie Delpy. I am always a bit wary about sequels but, happily I enjoyed this one a lot too! The storyline is similar to the first film, but this time Delpy's character is dating Mingus, a writer and radio broadcaster played brilliantly by Chris Rock. Again Marion's family descend on her for a couple of days in which chaos reign - her Dad (played by Delpy's father in real life) was my favourite and provided quite a few funny moments. I also enjoyed the cameo by Vincent Gallo towards the end (who featured in a storyline not dissimilar to one that featured in the Simpsons!)

I may be a bit biased as I do love Julie Delpy but I really liked this film, and I thought Chris Rock was a great Adam Goldberg replacement - if you've seen it too, let me know your thoughts!
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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Happy birthday Tom!

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Today the Queen visited Nottingham and Tom turned twenty seven. A pretty special day, all in all!
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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Weekend in Pictures

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At the weekend I ended my first clothes swapping event. 'Swop 'n' Shop' was a chance to take along 3 items of clothing to swap with new ones, held in aid of the Red Cross at the lovely Silk Mill Museum in Derby. It's a fantastic space which I'd not visited since a school trip as a child. It was strange seeing some of my old dresses being snapped up by people, but a nice feeling that they were going to a good home!

On Sunday I met some friends at the Arboretum for the Green Festival, and it was even hot enough for ice creams! As we seem to be having the worst Summer (and Spring) weather ever this came as a lovely surprise!

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Excited clothes swappers!


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Outside the Silk Mill


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I love these cute little creatures on the bicycle racks outside


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More clothes... dangling from trees at the Green Festival


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Friday, 8 June 2012

Film Friday: 2012


The only film I have watched since getting back from my holiday was 2012, a disaster movie about the end of the world starring John Cusack as the hero. I have to admit, Cusack was the main reason I chose to watch the film, which was pretty similar to Independence Day but with more over-the-top effects! However the plot line is pretty cliched and it's maybe one for the big screen only, so we had to turn it off halfway through.

~ ~ ~

Just one day left to enter the Comic Book Giveaway! (And there's more great comic books for sale on my eBay page too) Happy Friday folks x
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Monday, 4 June 2012

Be Kind, Rewind (a film list from my childhood)


I do love a good list! Recently I submitted a list to Bianca's blog, titled Things from my Childhood that are too good to give up. So I decided to make another documenting my favourite childhood films that I used to watch over and over (and with most, this hasn't changed!). 

I remember when me and my little brother would go to the corner shop and check out a video for the weekend (usually the Princess Bride but occasionally we'd make a bad choice such as Night of the Twisters - a rather terrible rip-off that we mistook for Twister. Which, looking back may have been a blessing in disguise!). Are there any good ones I missed?

 The Princess Bride (still awesome), My Girl (still makes me cry!), Labyrinth (used to terrify me a bit)

Return to Oz (another slightly scary movie for kids- the Wheelers were the stuff of nightmares), Stand By Me & Flight of the Navigator

Oh, and Happy Queen's-Jubilee-Bank-Holiday-time to any British readers out there! 
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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Comic Book Giveaway!

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This weekend Tom and I decided to have a bit of a clear out as our shelves are heaving under the weight of all our comics and DVDs. Some items were ones we had two of such as this sweet little comic by Jeffrey Brown. I thought I'd pick a little selection to give away on the blog!

What you can win:

Every Girl is the End of the World for Me
I love Jeffrey Brown's books, and this one is a touching little insight into a few weeks where Jeffrey bumps into five different girls he knows, which serves as a little epilogue to his Girlfriend trilogy (many I've read over and over) but works as a nice little intro to his work if you are unfamiliar.

I Never Liked you Anyway
This comic memoir details the struggles Chester Brown encounters during his troubled adolescence.

Spirited Away DVD
Not a comic book as such, but this is a gorgeous animated film by Hayao Miyazake details the journey of a ten year old girl who enters a fantasy strange world where humans change into animals.

If you'd like to win all of the above just leave me a comment below (and your email address if its not on your profile) and I will pick a winner at random on Saturday 9th June. Yay!


Giveaway is now closed, congratulations to the winner I picked out today, Becky!

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Friday, 1 June 2012

Film Friday: Moonrise Kingdom


Last Friday I went to see the latest film by Wes Anderson. Moonrise Kingdom is set in in a fictional town in New England in the 60's, and centres around a boy scout called Sam who has run away from the rest of the group. He befriends a misfit girl called Suzy who's had enough of her family and together they leave on an adventure round the island. Obviously I wanted to own everything in this film, from the record player to Suzy's cool outfits and cat basket! Stylistically it's another of Anderson's finest films and there are a lot of funny moments as well. Although I did think (like some of his other films) the style sometimes outweighed the plot, and found myself drifting a bit during the second half. However the part where Bill Murray throws his shoe more than made up for this, and I was left craving a camping adventure with a box of records and a Dansette in tow!
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