Saturday, 30 June 2012

Oh look! #11

This week has been about...

epic breakfast pancakes // cat-battles
sunshine on the South Bank // not-boring salads

... being reminded of how I felt when I first read my mother's copy of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber (covertly, because I was 'too young' for it). These new illustrations for the book from the 2012 Book Illustration Competition reminded me of the impact it had, and why I still love it.

... watching the talented Rory Kinnear in The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre. Amazing set as well.

... reading Fifty Shade of Grey to try and find out what the fuss was about. Not finding out. This review sums up my feelings quite nicely though, I think.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Week Word: Scent

Emma chose this week's word, scent.

I've gone with the rather old fashioned interpretation of scent meaning perfume. (Does anyone still call it scent? I can only imagine my grandmother saying it!)

I've worn the same perfume for years, Angel by Thierry Mugler. It's a slightly controversial one, as I know a lot of people really hate it (you can read some amusing reviews here and here) but I think it's very dependent on your own skin chemistry. I don't like it in the bottle or walking past the display in a department store, but I do like it on my skin. 

Apparently its 'notes' include melon, coconut, mandarin orange, cassia, jasmine, bergamot, cotton candy, honey, apricot, blackberry, plum, orchid, peach, lily-of-the-valley, red berries, rose, tonka bean, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel. That's a lot of stuff to go wrong, but on me I think I get the last four and that's it. Much nicer.

I've also never had anyone recoil in horror, and occasionally people do tell me I smell nice. So I'm going to stick with it. (I also can't find any other perfumes that don't smell like either Impulse Body Spray circa 1998 or everyone's grandmother on me...)

Anyway, a watercolour sketch of my current bottle. 

And visit Emma to find out what other scents we have this week.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Instagram Tree

On Saturday I mentioned the instagram tree I'd made, and I thought it might deserve a post all of its own.

It's not really a how-to, as it's probably the easiest thing in the world and telling anyone how to do it seems a bit patronising! But I'm sure there are other people out there who've jumped on the instagram bandwagon as wholeheartedly as I have, and wish there was something else to do with all those beautifully filtered pictures.

You can get them printed straight from the app, Firebox do it for example. But it's not cheap and perhaps, like me, you don't upload all the pictures you take?

So... transfer your instagram pictures from your phone to your computer (I have an Android phone and just have to plug it in and drag them over). You can then upload them to your preferred online photo printing service. (I used photobox, but I think they're all much of a muchness and I'm sure you can find discounts if you shop around - they should be pennies per image, plus postage.) If you order them as 5x3.75" prints you'll get pictures with plenty of white space around them... just cut around them into squares or allow a border with a thicker edge at the bottom and they look like polaroids!

Tiny tiny pegs are available from Amazon in all sorts of colours (or I'm sure I've seen them in Paperchase or big craft stores before). 

I actually already had the tree - I'd used it for my Easter decorations - but it's just a useful bit of branch I found, cleaned up and stuck in an old flower pot filled with dirt. (You could probably use clay or florists' foam or something instead if you don't want to get grubby.)

Then just peg your pictures to your branches. 

Voila - instagram tree! And easy to update and change with your newest pictures as you take them.

Monday, 25 June 2012

More bits of the Barbican

I've finally managed to finish my Barbican illustration, pulling together all the sketches from our field trip.

I originally planned for it to be black and white, with just the people in colour, but I think I like this coloured version better. The black and white seemed a little bit too subdued for a building as interesting as the Barbican.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #19

This is what happens when you deprive yourself of sleep on an aeroplane, and try to stay awake by watching strange, scary television programmes (Grimm, and American Horror Story).

You end up drawing a cat-man. He didn't even start as a normal man and go horribly wrong - I had a strange desire to draw a cat-man, and a cat-man is what I drew.

Go and see if Emma's been drawing anything more sensible this week.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Oh, look! #10

This week I have been...

Eating birthday cake // Enjoy the occasional sunshine on the Thames
Making an instagram-tree // Wandering round the St Martin's Degree show

...wondering whether it really made any difference whether you use unsalted or salted butter when you're baking, and then Joy told me!

... feeling glad to hear (via the Inky Fool) that 'bimble' has made it's way into the OED. I'm sure I use it all the time and it definitely deserves 'proper word' status.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Week Word: Treat

I chose this week's word, and went for 'treat'.

It was Nick's birthday last weekend, so I made him a chocolate cake. On further thought, I'm not sure it really counts as I think treats are supposed to be a bit out of the ordinary and we do eat quite a lot of cake...

However, he got to chose what sort of cake it was and it didn't contain any stealth vegetables. Apparently that made it a treat.

It was Nigella's Devil's Food Cake which I find is a really useful store-cupboard recipe. (As opposed to the ones she thinks are. Her store-cupboards and mine are clearly very different.) But with chocolate butter cream rather than the frosting she uses as Nick is physically incapable of eating too much butter, and as another birthday treat I promised not to mention cholesterol for a few hours.

Go and visit Foxy Bakes and The Gift Shed for other Friday treats. And I'm going to tag Emma to choose next week's word.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Transatlantic Adventure #5: Out and About in Vancouver

A trip to Vancouver would apparently not be complete without a trek round Stanley Park, the massive patch of green to the east of Downtown. It's got the sea around quite a lot of it, and possibly bears in the middle.

Thankfully, the wildest things we saw were raccoons. Which were still quite exciting!

Well, raccoons and the crime bird from the Week Word a while back. And some seals. Possibly.

There are also very impressive views, even when it's trying to rain.

We were actually visiting Vancouver for a wedding, so our last few days included an excuse to dress up.

Normal service will now resume, I think, as I'm out of holiday pictures!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

This week's word...

Emma said I should, so I'm picking a Week Word for this week and I'm going to go with 'treat'.

If anyone else wants to play, let me know in the comments and I'll do a round up on Friday!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Transatlantic Adventure #4: Vancouver by rail

Having spent four days in Seattle, we got the train to Vancouver. (The Canadian one, not the American one. Very confusing having them both on the same line. Recipe for disaster.)

The train was nice, so much nicer than the ones we have in the UK. Big seats, decent food that doesn't require a second mortgage. And very lovely views out the windows.

We stayed in a studio apartment rather than a hotel this time, and it was perfect. And in a very pretty bit of town, surrounded by 'heritage buildings'.

But still within walking distance of Downtown Vancouver, for more exploring.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Sunday Sketchblog #18

I really loved the wooden buildings in Vancouver - all different shapes, sizes and colours.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Oh, look! #9

This week has mostly been about...

Enjoying the occasionally moment of sunshine by the river // Making crumpets!
Getting through a lot of fruit, post-holidays // Drawing

Being inspired by Londoner Emerson Thaine's beautiful line drawings (via meoldchina)

Wondering whether grown-ups can have mobiles (as in the hanging, spinning things, not the phones), and where I could put this bicycle one.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Wordless Week

We don't seem to have a Week Word this week, does anyone know who's supposed to be picking or shall I just chose one for next week?

In its absence, here's an stylish inky lady.

Inspired by this image (Ralph Lauren apparently) from my Pinterest.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Transatlantic Adventure #3: Seattle Sights

In between eating ice cream and drinking coffee in Seattle, we did also find time to have a look at most of the touristy things you're supposed to see.

The Space Needle (although we didn't go up - too cloudy to bother) and the monorail. It' s really like the 60s view of the future...

Pike Place Market

Mostly, though, we just wandered about and enjoyed being in a different city. Occasionally, the sun even came out.