New Choodle: My Faraway Land

I has completed choodle. Seriously nothing more relaxing on a crowded commuter train than drawing abstract lines and circles that make up some weird environment.

Only one more colourway this time, promise. I know I’m obsessed with doing this:

Exquisite Corpse

I just found out there was a name for that time burner game I used to love playing (and still do… need to find the time to burn though…). The Surrealists started it all off, according to the wiki. The way we played it was never with words, just one person would start by drawing a head of some kind, cover it up and hand over for the next scribbler to draw the torso etc (rookie cheat was to leave enough of a marker to ensure the next person in line would know where to start to make it flow). Much fun had. I just wanted to show these awesome examples from the grandaddies of it all:

Courtesy of this fine site.

Kind of makes me want to start the ball(point) rolling again. For a start, I can take part in PLATS‘s event ‘A Distinguished Head’ at Somerset House on 26th & 27th March. Part of Pick Me Up, a graphic art and design fair, which starts this weekend and I am freakin gagging for.

Also I was thinking about doing some kind of online version of the game: exactly the same as the hard format version but involves swapping digital files over teh interweb. Funs yeah? So, watch this exquisite space…

Creepy Advertising

This is just something that made me giggle. In search of inspiration from old adverts, I hit upon this collection of gems, courtesy of Weirdomatic.com. These are just some of the ones that creeped me out most, but there are plenty more. Advertising is something I’m fascinated by, and a little scared by… The power of it, how it taps into our subconscious and how it reflects how culture and society changes over time. I mean, there are plenty of contemporary adverts that creep me out too (Glade Touch ‘n’ Fresh. Need I list the reasons!?) Atleast these have some antiquated charm.

Five things that make me happy

1. Penpal

I have mail! The real handwritten, pen ‘pon paper kind. From my brand new penpal all away from Californiway. Big thanks to Margaret of Paper Pastries, a beautiful blog. Think it’s time to invest in some pretty writing material – yay! How I love paper shopping. Got my eye on these bad boys from Kate’s Paperie (US) and Papernation (UK):

2. Star Slinger

Can’t get enough of Star Slinger, and this visual accomplice to their new tune pushed that fuzzy feeling even further.

3. Accessorize

Went for a shopping spree on Friday and allowed myself a wander around Accessorize. Something I need to do with caution. This place makes my head spin with it’s ridiculously well designed jewellery, bags, well… accessories obv. In my wildest dreams I’d be a jewellery designer for them, for now I’ll just gawk like a seagull looking at a chip on Brighton pier.

4. The Lovely Bones (2010)

Just finished watching The Lovely Bones and while the film isn’t perfect (I really couldn’t stand Saoirse Ronan’s whispery voice… that’s all) they have done an incredible job at visually creating a world for the deceased. It’s a genuine serotonin increasing section of the film, watch it on mute and put on some Star Slinger.

5. Take 5

And finally, what would my happiness be without some chocolate covered peanut butter crunchy goodness? A cheeky visit to Covent Garden’s Cybercandy gave resulted in a Hershey’s Take 5 bar munch. Good things indeed do come in fives.

Accessorise like an Egyptian

Ho ho ho what a super title eh!? An interest of mine since the tender age of eight, is Ancient Egypt. The gold, the gods, the respect to cats… they had it down. I know I’ll blog more in depth about this in the future, but for now I want to focus on this: Egyptian revival via jewelery. How fun! And a great Etsy search session… check out my finds!

1. Scarab ring $15

2. Embalming fluid bottle charm $5

3. Hieroglyphic buttons $9.50

4. Steampunk scarab necklace $48

5. Czech glass scarab necklace $38

6. Sterling silver twig ankh $270

7. Pyramid ring $66 (not an Etsy find but work of the amazing Lilian Crowe – I’m sure you’ve seen this posted elsewhere but big props, her jewelry gave me the idea/obsession of Egyptian themed jewelry in the first place!)

Pattern Love

So in my recent blog drooling sessions I’ve found myself particularly inspired in pattern-producing, which is slowly but surely encouraging me to complete my own Pattern Project. I think a big thank you is in order for these incredibly talented peeps:

Helen Dardik (Orange you Lucky blog)

Illustrator, designer, mum – I can’t imagine how busy she must be but on top of this writes a fantastic blog, lookie ‘ere. I really love these, super cute patterns she’s produced.

Claire Madicott

Big respect to this business lady – founder of a publishing company who make greeting cards, gift wrap, stationary and do a very good job of it too. These were some of my faves, but you should definitely check out the selection yourself.

Dan Funderburgh

Oh boy do I have serious talent-envy when I look at this guy’s work. An impressive client range, and some even more impressive creative work. Look and weep.

Amanda Lincoln

Lastly, but lovingly, this super talented lady who specialties include product design, corporate identity and Ceroc dancing (yeah I hadn’t heard of it either, but it looks like serious fun, I wanna go!). These are some of my top picks, find more here.

Smiling Cat Curly Tree (Pattern #01)

The first of the Lace Based Pattern Project results. I think this is the cutest, mainly because of the smiling cat face I see in it. No one else…? Oh… But who knows, may be some future patterns will also hold these hidden gems. I love playing with the colours, you really get a different vibe from each – preferences anyone? They’re like my babies, I couldn’t possibly choose…

cat-tree-toytown

Toy Town

cat-tree-hippymelon

Hippy Melon

cat-tree-alien

Alien Planet

cat-tree-spring

Springtime

cat-tree-violets

Parma Violets

The Lace Based Pattern Project

If I trace back to my original inspiration for this project, I’d end up at the exhibit of Joana Vasconcelos’ fantastic work, hosted at the Haunch of Venison, London. I can’t even begin to explain how perfect her work is to suit my taste – animal models covered in hand-made lace, a maze of nothing but fluorescent plastic flowers and monstrous creatures made from beautiful materials. I present this artist with ‘Silly Good’, my ultimate badge of honour. Lookie ‘ere:

joana

Ok so added to this gush of inspiration, came my desire to get a tattoo around my wrist of a lace pattern I’d designed. Don’t judge. But this needed to be designed… So I got to work. Probably a good thing, but I eventually got so into creating pretty patterns based on lace trimmings I collected, that I decided my wrist couldn’t fit all these designs, so they need to be shared with the world through other mediums. And here we are…

I plan to post a shitload of these over the coming weeks, and at some point down the line, turn some into wrapping paper, prints, tats(?) and whatever else lends itself to hosting my pattern chunder. Enjoy.

Skulls and Skeletons

I have an odd (some might say) interest in bones. Skeleton used to scare the bejeezus out of me as a kid, and in recent years, I just find skeletal forms amazingly inspirational. Fortunately I don’t need to get up to anything morbid to find my muse, last year I was recommended an art workshop held in Reading Town Hall. Not the likeliest of venues, but bless them they try. I was working on a project (looky) with Jon Roberts, who informed me about it and we attended this Skulls and Skeletons workshop, run by Ingrid Jensen (both part of the Whiteknights Studio Trail).

It was a really great opportunity to get to hold these specimens, and have time to study and record them. Not quite the same, but hopefully you’ll get a sniff of inspiration from some of mine and Ingrid’s photos:

jaw1
jaw2beaver2

badger
skull1
skull2
skull3
skull4
skull5

If you fancy, show some support to the Whiteknights Studio Trail by visiting their Facebook page.

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