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Photography Pretties: urban rain

September 19, 2011

The photo above is my favourite (:

Any comments would be really appreciated.

Please do not take my work, and inform me if you pinterest/etc it so I know you like it (:

All photography by me. Canon PowerShot sx200 is ❤

.a rusty old train track over a drooping wall

.My Pippa

...I love the top section of the photograph above

...This reminds me of weddings

.Autumn has arrived

.....under a train bridge over the river


Thank you unbelievably muchly so for looking!


Laurie Lee

September 17, 2011


 ‘As I Walked out one Midsummer Morning’ 
written by Laurie Lee

Categories: Autobiography, Travel.

It was 1934. The young man walked to London from the security of the Cotswolds to make his fortune. He was to live by playing the violin and by a year’s labouring on a London building site.
Then, knowing one Spanish phrase, he decided to see Spain.
For a year he tramped through a country in which the signs of impending civil war were clearly visible.

Thirty years later Laurie Lee has captured the atmosphere of the Spain he saw with all the freshness and beauty of a young man’s vision, creating a lyrical and lucid picture of the beautiful and violent country that was to involve him inextricably.

‘A beautiful piece of writing’- Observer.

This is a great book. It is so inspiring in terms of travel, writing and other arts, and includes the most beautiful descriptions and analogies I’ve ever read outside of a poem.
It is possibly the most inspiring book I’ve ever read. You can literally open any page and there will be a paragraph I’ve read twice or more; not for the usual reasons, where what you’ve read goes over your head, but because I enjoyed reading it so much just a moment ago. Such beautiful, vivid descriptions that you want to imagine again and hold in your head. I could open any page and draw from it.
(Also, it smells like old book- but that doesn’t necessarily come in the package- I have an older version than the illustration shown above- and it’s not the author’s doing, it’s just a bonus.)

This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’m definitely going to read the others. I’m keeping this without fail.

Image credits:

Phone case tutorial / Make your own plastic

September 15, 2011

  What you’ll need:

Scrap paper (a4 sort of size)
Plastic/carrier/recycling/bin bags
Greaseproof paper
Strong Glue
Something to iron on (I used the kitchen surface with a couple of tea towels underneath, as I don’t have an ironing board(!) )

Alternate: Material and thread instead of plastic bags etc.

Step 1

Make a net of your phone

To do this, lay your phone on the paper screen side up, and draw around the base.
Turn it carefully onto the side without lifting it off the paper and draw around the side.
Lay it back on its base and turn it to another side. Draw around that.

Also draw around the essential features on the net. Eg. camera, screen, keypad, buttons etc.
Make sure (especially if your phone is curved) that you leave enough space between the sides. If you ‘roll’ your phone it should be great.
Tip: Leave a teensy bit more space if using material and you want a sewn border, or if you want to case to be quite fat.


Step 2

Prepare your ironing station

Lay out your ironing board/protective worksurface.
Plug your iron in. Turn it on. (Ask your mum if you don’t know how, or are under the age of 18 (; )
Lay a sheet of greaseproof paper down on the surface. This is VERY IMPORTANT unless you want to a)release poisonous fumes and b)wreck your iron c)wreck the plastic d)wreck whatever surface you’re working on


Step 3

Create your plastic

lay out your carrier bags on top of your greaseproof paper. You’ll want to layer them on top of each other. One carrier bag will just melt away into smithereens. The thicker the amount, the thicker the plastic you create. I suggest at least five bags in a layer. Bear in mind that the width of the plastic will also shrink as it melts.
Lay ANOTHER SHEET of greaseproof paper (VERY IMPORTANT, SEE STEP 2) on top of the bags.
Iron over until the plastic has fused together. You will need to turn the lump of plastics over at some point to do the other side.
DO NOT let any plastic touch the iron. You may need to put the iron on standby, peel off the top sheet and fold the plastic over to create an extra thickness.


Step 4

Admire your handiwork

Also, switch the iron off, and clear up your workstation. There might be interesting patterns on your greaseproof paper.
To help save the environment, save the greaseproof paper for next time or use it in another craft project.


Step 5

Cut out the shape

Lay your net over your created plastic.
Draw/score around the shape of the net.
Cut the shape out.
Carefully cut out/score out the ‘essential’ holes for the screen and whatnot.
Bend the lines where the case needs to fit around your phone. Scoring would probably help in doing this neatly.
In your net, it might be handy to add an ‘open/close’ thing so you can get your phone out!
Tip: Try not to plonk your net so that the thickest bits of plastic are at the ‘seams’ 

The edges/castoffs of the plastic make decent bookmarks (;



Hot glue/superglue the edges, making sure it fits on your phone as you do so. (Without glueing your phone.)
Make sure you leave a gap so that you can get your phone in and out!

Alternate: Use the net and draw the shape in fabric
(I used cheap calico, but I dont suggest doing this as it is very flimsy and will fray.)
It is nice to sew around the edges to make the case a bit tighter, and you could put felt or something similar as an internal layer to protect the phone more.

 (In this image you can also see where I have put a flap, to close the opening with a button.)

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you make it and how it goes!

Children’s books: ‘The Peppermint Pig’ and ‘Smith’

September 15, 2011

The Peppermint Pig
Written by Nina Bawden
Cover illustration by Richard Jones
Illustrated by Kenny McKendry

 Johnnie was only the runt of the litter, a little peppermint pig. He’d cost Mother a shilling, but somehow his great naughtiness and cleverness kept Poll and Theo cheerful, even though it was one of the most difficult years of their lives.

These are both books I’ve had since I was a child, that I haven’t read up until now.

‘The Peppermint pig’ is a lovely book that I think I would have enjoyed as a child but I also loved it now! I stopped about once per page to imagine the details as the description is quite inspiring.  Set in the late 1800s there are lovely, romantic details mentioning boned bodices, old baths, home made clothes, proper home cooked food and horse rides- and that’s only up to chapter 3! Later in the book they continue to describe a whimsical life that I’m slightly jealous of – except perhaps the poverty and illness that was about more then- but the book inspires me further to grow my own food, make do and mend- and also encourages my desire to travel!
In this version, pictured above, there are lovely illustrations too. I actually copied some out from the book as I love Kenny McKendry’s drawing style, and it’s like an improved version of my own. I learned a lot from copying him. (Here is the link to the post, and the direct picture.)

Verdict: I’ve kept it, for now at least. It’s inspiring so i might jump in and out of it, even if it’s just to reference the illustrations, or to find a paragraph to illustrate. I imagine my future children would also love to read it.


Written by Leon Garfield
(I believe the version above is also illustrated by Kenny McKendry, but it is not the same version as mine)

Smith was a pickpocket – and a very accomplished one at twelve years old. But the instant he empties the pockets of an old gentleman, he finds himself caught up in a dangerous web of murder, intrigue and betrayal.

This is a great book, although I think I prefer it now than I would have as a child, as I can appreciate the adventurous, full storyline and the way it’s written better than I would have when I was younger. There are some very lovable characters and detailed, poetic imagery.  However, some of the description is then ‘ruined’ by the childish follow up- for example on page four (example to come) and then two pages afterwards, ruined with ‘- and died.’, which is then explained in brackets.

Verdict: I’m not sure whether to keep this one- it’s a great book but i dont think I’d personally read it again . I think I’ll pass it on to my nephews.

Thank you for reading. What books have you enjoyed recently?

30 Day Portrait/’Do more Art’ challenge

August 31, 2011

At the beginning of August I decided to take up some challenges.

Here are (some of) the results of the portrait challenge, hosted by Violet. 

At the start, I was planning on drawing a (decent) portrait every day, and uploading them on here daily or at least weekly.
Turns out I didn’t draw one per day,  but I made a concious effort to draw and create more as a whole.
Here are some of the not-quite-so-failed portraits I’ve done over the last month. There’s a LOT more improvement to go, and I’m going to continue to draw people from observation as much as possible. I’ll show you every now and again (:

A large photo of a tiny self portrait done on nice paper with coloured pencil (:
.Some shoddy pencil drawings. Clockwise from top left: ‘Hannah’, ‘Sam’, self portrait, made up.
.Some more made up people. Although bottom right is kind of from a photo (Story inspiration drawing.)
.Know who this is? The eyes are a bit funny though..
.My friend Bethan, drawn at a really weird angle at 3am, ignoring her hair
.A little girl in a cafe, and then drawings from the illustrations by Kenny McKendry in the Peppermint Pig.
His style is a little like mine so I thought I’d try, and it was helpful. Interesting how he doesnt draw the bottom of the eyes.
.Type ‘fashion illustration’ into google and you’ll see the picture I sort of followed.
.My friend Becca
(drawn in biro and then messed about with the contrast on the laptop which failed it,
especailly as it’s about 5cm big in real life.
Oh, and I messed up the eye on the left because I couldnt see it under her fringe.. :|)
.My eye and nose, drawn from a pocket mirror in Starbucks with  coloured pencil.
.I am pretty proud of this.
My nanna sleeping ❤ It looks like her too (:
and from the drawing above, I tried to draw a caricature of an old man…and before I said what/who it was, my mum said it looked like my uncle, who is my nanna’s eldest son!
Personally, the lips/what I call ‘Thomas the Tank lines’ remind me of Homer Simpson, but whatever!

Comments, suggestions and help would be really gratefully received! x 

Photography and Art Pretties

August 31, 2011

Just some stuff that’s been floating about…


.How cute is this bunny? He belongs to my friend Josh.
Aawww sooo fuzzy (:
.who doesn’t love a buttercup?
....This is my gorgeous nephew (: He’s ten.
.One of my old paintings that’s up in my room. Not happy with the lilies but like the water (:
.Another painting- based on humans and trees. Can you work it out?

This next bunch are what’s remaining of my wildflowers.............These last few caught my eye while I was out (:

Comments would be truly appreciated ❤ 

Photography Pretties: jewels

August 25, 2011

Just thought I’d share with you some recent photographs I’ve taken.

Any comments would be really appreciated and helpful (: