35mm photo + cyanotype paper

Below is a cyanotype that I made a couple weeks ago, using a 35mm photo of my friends Jo and Melanie, taken last summer outside Melanie’s home. With my husband’s help with getting the contrast just right in GIMP (he’s a pro at this), I inverted the black and white of the photo, printed it out onto transfer paper, put the paper on top of a cyanotype in the sun for 10 minutes, and voi la, done! I made two of these, one for Melanie and one for Jo, both as part of their birthday gifts. Technically there is a third copy that is a little blurry, so I’ve kept that for myself.



Now that I know how to transfer photos onto cyanotypes I think I will be doing this more often!

UCL Museums

One great thing about a city like London is that you can live here for years and still find new discoveries. The other day I made two, which are both museums on the University College of London (UCL) campus – The Grant Museum of Zoology and the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology.

Ten years ago I would’ve hated the Grant Museum, as looking at dissected animals would be the last thing I would find interesting, but now I find it fascinating. I also thought it was cool that there were people freely sketching the animals everywhere in their notebooks. When I got home my friend Mel told me that the (literal) Glass Jar of Moles in the Grant Museum have their own twitter! So I am following them now, of course.



Apologies for the reflections – it was a very sunny day.


monkey skeleton, (literally) hanging around


Then I discovered that there was another UCL museum around the corner, all about Ancient Egypt! Those who know me know that I love Ancient Egypt and when I was a kid I wanted to be an archeologist. So it didn’t take much to find Petrie Museum which “houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world” (Petrie Museum website). HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS PLACE? Doesn’t matter, I know it exists now.



Walking on Gower Street between the two museums….

The Petrie Museum…


Hedgehog artifacts, which made me think of my friend Maria, as we both love hedgehogs. <3

So if you ever find yourself in London and have a love for Zoology, Ancient Egypt, or both, definitely worth a visit to these places. Apparently there is also a UCL Art Museum but I guess I’m saving that for another day. xoxo

A new journal

I’ve started using one of my old rarely-used moleskines as a new sketch journal/scrapbook of sorts. I used to make collages inside of notebooks, but now am starting to incorporate a bit of hand-drawn art into the mix. This is partly inspired by Emma as the other week she showed me her sketchbook in person and it was amazing. I’m not an illustrator like her, so I am doing my own thing. Also, I now have suddenly a use for those piles of postcards, stickers and other memorabilia from my past.

These pages are dedicated to two women I admire – the Nina Simone card is a 30th birthday card from my friend Michelle, and I bought the Rigoberta Menchu postcard at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway. Rigoberta won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.



I’ll be sharing more when the pages start filling up! xoxoxox

Life Drawing at the White Rabbit

This past week I attended a life drawing class in NE London. Considering I live in SW London, this is a bit of an insane journey for one 2 hour class. However, my friends invited me last week and I said ‘no’. After hearing it ended up being the best life drawing class they had ever attended, I finally said I would join them. So over an hour of train and tube journeys, I ended up at the White Rabbit Cocktail Club, where the class was being held.




I was the first one to arrive! I didn’t mind though. I talked to the instructor and he is a really cool guy. I also found out he teaches a painting class bi-monthly in Angel (which isn’t as far for me) so I may be going to that as well! Anyway, after a few minutes my friends showed up, including Emma (you can read her blog post about the night here). Even though they provided materials, I got out my David Bowie pencil for the occasion.



The class proved to be the most relaxing atmosphere I’ve experienced with life drawing. It also went by pretty fast! The soundtrack, consisting of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Soma”, Nirvana’s “About a Girl”, and Sigur Ros’ “Hoppipolla”, only improved the atmosphere. Our model also had a sense of humour. When the instructor adjusted the lighting in front of her, she said “It’s pointing right at my fanny!!!” (Non-Brits: that means “vagina”). Everyone laughed and of course, the instructor moved the lights back!

So here are a couple of my drawings. I had only a few minutes for the first one, and then longer for the second. Considering the time constraints, I think I did alright:




What I found strange with my 2nd drawing is the pose the model gave was very strong and confident, but for some reason I drew her kind of hunched over and looking a a bit fragile. I actually tried to “correct” the drawing but nothing worked.

So, that’s my experience with life drawing at the White Rabbit Cocktail Club, and I will definitely go again! If you’re interested, there’s a Facebook group for the class.

Holga photos: April – July 2013

I finally developed some film that was in my holga cat camera. The photos span from April to July of last year, and feature photos from London, Vienna, Prague, Reykjavik and Mankato, Minnesota.

Hope you enjoy them, and I will try my best to take more film photos, and develop them sooner, this year.

xoxoxox

Brussels and Antwerp

Last weekend my husband went to a conference in Brussels for work, and I tagged along. It was my 3rd time to Brussels and while I like the city, I admit you run out of things to do by your 3rd visit. There was a lot of wandering around, but we also visited the Musical Instrument Museum for the first time (if you are into World Music at all, you should visit) and I also went to Antwerp for the first time! I knew very little about Antwerp, but it is a lovely city and found out that I prefer it to Brussels. I met my friend Kim there. Kim is one of my oldest friends and she lives in Amsterdam, so it was easy for us to meet up. It was lovely seeing her again.

Here are a few of the photos from my trip:

Brussels…

Theremins and synths at the Musical Instrument Museum…


A Christmas tree made with bottles, because, why not?

Antwerp….

Antwerp Centraal Station


I wanted one of these, nevermind they’re for little kids.

At the Fashion Musuem…


Wasbar, the landromat cafe


Inside the Maria Cafe…

….drinking Belgian beers.

Back in Brussels…


Babar chocolates!!! Babar was one of my favourite storybook characters when I was a kid.


The posh shops


Godiva praline hot chocolate!! ♥ OMG…


Jacques Brel


I bought myself macarons. :)


I took this photo through a window. Daniel and I were having coffees at PAUL and watching this street performer and his lovely dog. I was obviously more fascinated with the dog.


& a votive prayer at St. Micheal

xoxoxo

Learning screen printing and making tea towels at Drink, Shop & Do

Apologies for not posting on here for so long. Since last posting I’ve been to New York which was ace, but have spent the rest of this year so far either feeling ill, in pain (dental) or working. I have to say that I’ve had better starts to a year, but one nice evening was last week when my friend Jo and I learning how to do screen printing and made our own tea towels at Drink, Shop & Do.

The process is pretty easy. You just cut out paper shapes, knowing these shapes will be the white bits to the design. Then you set the design underneath the screen printer, put gobs of paint on the top and then evenly spread the paint! It is even easier than I made that sound.

Anyway, here are our photos from the night:



That’s my design!


Jo’s finished towel. Ace, isn’t it?


And mine.

Hope you are all surviving the January blues. ‘Til next time. xoxox

Homemade gifts pt. 2

In my last post I wrote about some gifts that I made this Christmas. Now this post is about some homemade gifts I received whether it was made by the person themselves or made by someone else. I have to say I have gotten some great gifts so far and I’m not even done with Christmas yet as I have another one this weekend!

First of all, I received this owl cross-stitch from Ingrid who hosted the Yuletide swap at her blog Let Me See The Colts. I personally haven’t cross-stitched since I’ve been a kid, and this piece is inspiring. I have a ladybug/ladybird cross-stitch pattern that I won from a Shoreditch Sisters’ giveaway that’s waiting to be made…




Then I got a teacup necklace from Melanie K. I think I now have 5 necklaces made by her!



I got a Russian Doll broach from my friend Jo. She bought it on an etsy site, but I don’t know which one.



One of my colleagues’ 9 year old daughter was in our office last week as she was already on school holidays. To allievate boredom, she made these little boxes out of spare origami paper we had around the office, and put a paper crane inside, and drew the peace sign inside the box. So creative.



From Daniel, I got a little bird bowl from another etsy site!



And now that I know that Tatty Devine necklaces are handmade in London and Kent, I’ll throw this one in here as well. This is the Rabbit Sky Lab necklace I wanted! Also from Daniel:


Hope you all are having a good festive season….xoxoxo

Homemade gifts

Providing you have the time and sometimes, the talent, I think that homemade gifts are some of the best gifts you can give or receive. The other night I had a few friends over for a dinner party and I ended up making a couple of the gifts I gave them. I’m please to say the reactions to them were all positive! When Christmas is over I may do another post on homemade gifts that I received. One gift I have already opened is some black & white film from my friend Melanie. I am supposed to take photos with it over Christmas and then she’ll teach me how to develop the film in her darkroom! So providing that turns out well, that will be another post on here.

Anyway, for this Christmas, I painted Jarvis Cocker for my friend Jo. It was my first time painting Jarvis, and I made sure to get his tiny mouth and jaw line correct. That’s really all that mattered.




Then as my friend Kim is spending Christmas in New York and I lived there for 5 years, I made her a little New York guide, featuring my favourite places that I know are still around. This was accompanied by a mix CD (remember those? I’ve started to make them again!) featuring songs about New York or from artists in New York. Kim was pretty happy with these!


And ok, this isn’t homemade, but I love the idea of using magazine or newspaper clippings as wrapping paper, especially if a certain article reminds of you someone. So I wrapped my friend Melanie’s gift with a Christmas interview with Brian Cox, because why not?




I hope you are all enjoying the festive season so far… xoxoxox