30 Apr 2012

What I'm Wearing: A Head Scarf

I saw this Pin last week on Pinterest of a girl wearing a 1950's style head scarf and decided I wanted to take the leap and try it. I've always thought they were adorable but wasn't sure if I could pull it off.  I think I managed it pretty well, I wore it with casual clothes sans make-up on my way down town to meet a friend for coffee. But I think it would also look great with a little make-up and some red lippy and eyeliner.

Ages ago I watched this fantastic hair tutorial on Youtube(which I quite obviously didn't do) but part of it was advice on how to tie a head scarf. She recommended that you use two clips at the side to hold it in place. I used matching red button hair clips, how predictable am I? As my hair is quite fine I used a couple of slide to boost the front of my hair just a little bit so it didn't look too flat. I also pulled out a few scraggly bits at the ears to messy it up a bit. The scarf itself was just a bit of scrap fabric I had lying about the place.

By the way the glasses are from Pennies, what a find! They were only a few quid, and they are the cutest shade of duck egg blue.

You might also like the What I'm Wearing Series

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28 Apr 2012

80's Nostaligia-Research for a costume

I'm going to an 80's party tonight for my friends birthday, while researching costume ideas I came across too many cool things that I had to put them all in one place! It's a bit scary to realise I don't need to buy anything to wear to thew party, it looks like I have all of it already that's to this whole 80's revival at the moment. The key difference between then and now is to cross the ugly line, the neo 80's thing is far too cool.

My brother had an Atari 800xl and we had to load our games on a cassette, the really good games like this, The Black Lamp, it took 30mins to load, and when you died there was no such thing as a continue, you had to load it and start all over again. Heartbreaking but amazing at the same time. Because of the load time, and also because I'm the youngest I mostly watched my siblings play this and rarely got to play it myself.

Myself and my sister has one of the Pogo Balls, I loved it, and to be honest I would really like to have a go on one now. Do they sell them anymore???

I became a little obsessed with The Breakfast Club in the 90's when I actually was a teenager!

Nom, noms, so much sugar!
This is actually something you can buy now as a retro gift.

I had a Gem doll, I loved her, she was way cooler than Barbie, so it made it ok to play with dolls.

I only recently remembered that my love of audio books started at an early age, I had a He-Man and She-Ra  storybook on cassette that I listened to on my Walkman. Not much has changed, I still listen to stories about Princesses, dragons, and warriors with mighty swords!

I think this would make a great group 80's costume, you would just have to borrow a lot of white guitars, and spend a while regrowing your eye-brows. It's Robert Palmer by the way.

I was very tempted to go as Sous Sisoux , as it's pretty much how I dressed as a teenager in the 90's, but all of those clothes are in boxes in my parents house.

My costume will probably look something similar to this, I have the white shoes, the leg warmers, the fishnet tights. I also have a short netted skirt(but sadly it's brown) but I'll layer a blue one on top. I just need to figure out my top and accessories, easily done since most of my clothes are some shade of rainbow. I also have the added benefit of owning a t-shirt transfer machine, so i can whip something up easily.

Photos of my eventual outfit will follow next week.

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27 Apr 2012

Hotty But Notty: Louis Theroux

Hotty But Notty (Part 16): Louis Theroux 

My Hotty But Notty series has returned at last! To those of you who missed it let me explain. For years I've gotten a slagging from my friends for fancying nerds, and never the typical Hollywood 'hot' guy, most of them thought I was a little nuts. Well it turns out there is a word to describe people who find intelligence sexually attractive, it's sapiosexual, I'm glad there are enough people like me to warrant a word. Last year I started a fun series called Hotty But Notty to champion the a-typical hotties in the world and I was delighted with the response I got. Some previous entries have included David KrumholtzMark Kermode, Christopher Eccleston, and Tim Roth. The only reason I stopped was that I started to run out of candidates. I'll continue to post these entries on a Friday, but I probably won't do one every week...unless I get some suggestions from you guys.

This weeks candidate is Louis Theroux; the thinking ladies totty. He is a documentary film maker who records the lives of the weird and wonderful in a bumbling non-judgmental English manner. He has done programmes on the porn industry, a brothel, a prison, a religious cult, and plastic surgery to name just a few topics. He tends to let his subjects show their own madness, and then quietly and gently guides them through logical questions about their bizarre lives.

I think it's this quietness mixed with his obvious intelligence that is so charming, there isn't a brash series of judgments, more a naive curiosity to learn. He is tall and gangling, and always seems to be making himself smaller in a room, maybe in a effort to make those he is interviewing more at ease.

Another thing that he does brilliantly is playing the straight man in a bizarre situation. In the video below you can watch him asking a manager about becoming a body builder, and very strangely the conversation leads to selling soiled underwear.

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26 Apr 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Drawing Evolution

 Here is another design that I've been working on for my series of canvas bags. Since I thought of the idea of making bags a couple of weeks ago I knew I wanted to do my own Lisbeth Salander( The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). I enjoyed posting last weeks evolution of Frankenstein's Monster so I thought I would do the same for this.

Initially I drew the line drawing in pencil and scanned it in before shading it in with graphite pencil. The third image shows the two of these images put together in Photoshop, making the outline darker. Fir this project all colouring is done on the computer, similar to the way to the way the a lot of comic book artists work. I added layers of colour using textured brushed, building up an interesting background. I wanted to go for a ruddy and army green palette rather that the expected grey and black.

I'm happy with the result, but the purest draftsman in me kinda prefers the simple line drawing. I learned this from the work that I did last week, that's why I scanned in the image after this first stage. I might go back and do another more simplistic version, as a learning exercise, to see what result I get. Having said that, I'm still drawn to the final image, I like the colours and textures that I was able to get in the background.

What do you think?

Update: After a few hours I went back and played with the colours a bit. I think I liked the background too much to allow myself to see that it was making the piece too busy. I knocked back the saturation and made it much more monochromatic, meaning that Lisbeth pops out more.

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25 Apr 2012

Game of Thrones

I have become totally addicted to Game of Thrones, along with pretty much everyone one else I know. It's based of the series of books A Song of Ice and Fire by George.R.R.Martin. It totally makes sense to make a fantasy series into a television programme and it cuts out all the hassle of making 3 1/2 hr epic movies that will never be as good as the book. So far in the tv programme there has been very little left out, and you don't have to suffer a numb arse, as was had while watching Lord of The Rings. HBO have a pretty cool website for the series with interactive maps and family details, which is probably helpful for those who have not read(gotten totally addicted to) the books.

I read lots of fantasy books, and most of the time I love the fanastical story, but more often than not the characters are a mix of wooden, chauvinistic, and plain irritating. In contrast Martin's characters are layered, compelling, intelligent; even the 'bad' guys are likable because they are so well written. This is fantasy for grown-ups, where politics and intrigue just happen to be in a magical world, with all it's delicious complexities.

Tyrion Lannister is definitely the best character, he gets all the wittiest lines, and is a master puppeteer in the political circus. The character in the book is fantastic and Peter Dinklage is cast brilliantly in this role, you might remember him from The Station Agent and Intermission.

The texture and detail in the show is fantastic, it's amazing the budgets that tv programmes get now, it's like watching a film. I would be tempted to buy the dvd box set just to watch the extras so I could see all the work that went into it. While we are on the subject of dvd extras, it drives me mad when there aren't good ones, in an age of downloading they really have to offer you more to coax you into buying the box set. I watched The Borgias recently and they had 2 minute soundbite HBO specials about the production. It was like watching a children's show it was so dumbed down. It seems illogical to have a simplistic reality tv style documentary to accompany a show that is quite intelligent; if an audience is smart enough to get the plot I'm sure they have a longer attention span than 2 minutes. Has anyone watched the Game of Thrones extras, are they any good?

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24 Apr 2012

Juxtapoz Illustration Book

Since I've been doing some drawing again recently I started paging through my collection of illustration books. I built up my modest library mostly getting them as presents, or buying good art books when visiting galleries or good bookshops when I'm away. I bought Juxtapoz Illustration when I was away in London a few years ago, Juxtapoz is an art and illustration magazine and this a compilation book. The sticker on the back says I paid £20 for it, an alright price for a hard back book. I picked out a few of the more interesting artists in the book...

(I found the book here on Amazon if you are interested)
Tomer Hanuka is a New York based illustrator. I love his use of line and block flat colours, this piece particularly reminds me of Aubrey Beardsley's work, who I was a little obsessed with in college.

Mode2 is a graffiti artist based in London, this piece is much more classical that the rest of his work, but it reminded me of years of travelling on buses and train to visit my parents; all these tiny special moments that you get to see of other peoples lives. I love people watching, and have drawn a few passengers in my time, I love this piece. 

I just had a look at Morning Breath Inc's website and his work seems really varied, he has done design work for the Foo Fighters and Slayer, but I must say that I prefer this style of work. I like the layering of text, flat colours with a defined line drawing on top, it appeals to the print maker in me. 

I love these collages by Eduardo Recife. I got big into collage in college, which is probably why I love card making so much. A friend of mine reminded me of a present I made for him years ago of a collage that I scanned in, transferred and made into a cushion. I had totally forgotten about it, but it sounds like it would be fun to do this kind of thing for the canvas bags.

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20 Apr 2012

The Return of my Handmade Cards

It's been a long while since I made any cards, now that I think of it, Christmas was probably the last time. I'm hoping to have enough to put out my card rail at the stall tomorrow. I have 20 made so far and if I keep plugging away at it, I should get there. I have my Tad Williams audio book to keep me company. The end picture is for my new stickers. I used to use a stamp, but it has my old website address on it. These look far more professional, I printed them myself on sticker paper that I get in the €2 store. I also made up a bunch of new designs for my stickers that include; poppies, a Mr. Darcy type man, ice-cream, rainbows and ice-pops.

As usual these cards are only available from my stall, and are €4 each or 3 for €10.

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19 Apr 2012

Frankenstein's Monster: An Evolution of a Drawing

I've been doing some drawings for my canvas bag designs, and I thought it would be a fun exercise to show all the different stages of this piece based on Frankenstein's Monster. I used pencils, water colours, graphite pencil, and pens. I then scanned it in and did some colour and darkness alteration in the last two stages.

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