Thursday, 29 December 2011

On the Golbourne Road


Beautiful images taken by Jonathan.



Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mild weather



It's interesting to see the Guardian's roundup of the strange weather we've seen this year.

I've noticed it on the allotment. I had sweet peas appear in May, the blackberries started ripening in July and my marigolds went to seed in Autumn and next year's shoots have started coming up already.

There were daffodils in the shops a month ago and I've already seen crocuses in some peoples' window boxes. I'm intrigued to see what will happen next year.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

Hearts and lights



Jonathan went out with his friends on Saturday night.

Indoors on my own, bored and sniffly with the cold that's been going round the office for weeks, I didn't quite know what to do with myself.

So I decided it would be fun if I could work out how to make a Bokeh lens and take some pretty pictures filled with hearts. I wanted to use the fairy lights around the living room. Soppy I know.

What I found out is that it is UNBELIEVABLY easy!

I used an old Graze Box to make a lens cover out of cardboard (see above) and cut a tiny heart out of the middle. From then it was so simple, set the camera to the widest aperture, switch to automatic focus, blur the picture a bit and the results are just amazing.

Here is our tree normally...

Here is a normal blurred image of the tree
and this is the tree with the heart filter:

Isn't it amazing!?

Tried out the effect on some of our other fairy lights too...



I can't wait to try it with other shapes and in other settings too! So cool.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Christmas package



Anyone who lived in Brighton a year ago will doubtless still be trying to repress a grim memory of queueing outside the North Road sorting office last winter.

We queued in the rain, wind, snow, or a combination of any of the above for hours at a time in order to retrieve our much anticipated Christmas packages. We dreaded the clerk telling us that either a) the package wasn't there yet, b) that we had brought insufficient ID, or even worse, c) coming back to the window to tell us that they couldn't find our post and could we please leave a phone number.

This year, the Sorting Office have streamlined their processes, and the few times I've been in recently I have been met with a strict attendant on the door, who double checks your delivery slip, makes sure you have the right ID , and briskly turns you away should you not have the necessary documentation. They have seemed pretty ruthless.

I mention this now so that you understand how worried I became when I realised that the note that dropped through my letter box to tell me to pick up a delivery from the sorting office was not addressed to me but to "The Curiosity Project".

So off I headed to North Road yesterday morning, armed with 2 types of ID, a bunch of bills displaying my address and an email on my phone to prove that the package was indeed meant for me. I prepared myself for a fight.

As I handed the slip to the stern looking man on the door, he paused as he read the name of the addressee. I reached into my bag for my ID as I began with my explanation.

He stopped me mid sentence. And a twinkle suddenly appeared in his eye.
"We've had a few of these in, love. Come with me."

I followed him into the office where he shouted out to his colleague, chattering to me the whole time about the lady who'd been in last week and told him all about the project and how much she had been looking forward to opening her Curiosity Box. I told him I was planning to wait until Christmas to open mine. The lady last week had been pretty eager to get home and open hers, he told me.

"Fred, Fred, have a look at this. This is what I was telling you about. It'll be on the top shelf on the left out the back."

Fred looked disinterestedly at the card. "But hang on, what name is it under?"

"That's just it, there is no name. You don't know who it's for or who's sent one to you. We've been putting them all under C".

The clerk returned quickly with my post and my new friend looked just about, if not more excited about the box than me.

"That'll be a treat for Christmas" he said as I trotted merrily out the door, box clutched firmly in my hands "Hope you get some nice surprises".

So thank you to the lady who shared the Curiosity Project story at the sorting office , having someone share my excitement was such a lovely way to pick up my Curiosity Box.

Can't wait to open it on Christmas day!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Cake


Was lucky enough to be allowed to bake a cake for Doro's birthday party last week!
As with most things in my life, I managed to attach some bunting to it.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Christmas is coming


Beautiful vintage baubles from the retro fair last Saturday.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Power of Making


I went to the V&A for the first time just over a week ago to see the Power of Making, which is on until 2nd January.

The exhibition puts both contemporary and traditional crafts in the spotlight, demonstrating how Making remains relevant in the present and explaining how the techniques on display fall into one of three different groups; Adding materials (embroidery, painting), Subtracting materials (engraving, carving) and Transforming materials (glassblowing, baking).

There were so many favourite items it’s hard to choose highlights. The content was perfectly arranged and Jonathan and I spent a decent couple of hours exploring the space, learning about a variety of different techniques and items created by skilled craftspeople. In the first instance, I was drawn to the traditional crafty items; the knitted wallpaper, the crochetdermy bear, the Prisoner of War cross stitch samplers. But I found many new ideas I never thought would’ve appealed to me: the decorative funeral caskets and the 3D printers enabling children to turn their 2 dimensional sketch of a building into a tangible plastic toy. Fascinating.

Please go and see the exhibition. We’re so lucky to be gifted an insight into how these experts use their skills to solve problems and change the way we live our lives, and the Guest Curator, Daniel Charny drives home the importance of making by reminding us that “The knowledge of how to make is one of humanity’s most precious resources”.

On that note, I'll leave you with the V&A's own picture of the very frightening crochetdermy bear. Brilliant.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Monday, 21 November 2011

MADE Brighton


Beautiful things spotted at MADE Brighton.
Clockwise from top right:
1. Necklace by Shere Design 2. Cushion by Polly's Textiles 3. Book by Betty Pepper 4. Knitted chair cover by Rose Sharp Jones

And adorable ceramics by Porte Bonheur de Wollie

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Hollyhocks...


... or something like that








Monday, 7 November 2011

Flower arranging


Lovely flowers everywhere, including on Young Apprentice this evening. I watched longingly as the contestants got to spend 2 days arranging bouquets. Hmmph.

Thinking of flowers, I looked up some photos I took back when it was just starting to turn cold.

Plants and pots at Nicci's house...

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Thursday, 3 November 2011

pretty


Sorry for being a lazy blogger recently, but I'm hoping to keep you sweet with a pretty image from oh hello friend.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Sarah Raven Catalogue


The Sarah Raven Christmas Catalogue has just arrived, I was flicking through it, looking for some bulbs to plant for spring, but got stuck on this cosy looking image.

Mmmmmm





















Monday, 31 October 2011

Pumpkin fun


Happy Halloween everyone!

I was incredibly proud this year to have grown my own pumpkins from a plant donated by Helen and have been looking forward to October 31st all summer.

Jonathan and I spent Saturday morning carving our lanterns and then when we went out to celebrate Halloween in the evening, I was still so excited, I even dressed as a pumpkin.

The next day, embarrassingly hungover, I just about managed to sum up the energy to make some salt and pepper snacks with the seeds.






































































Monday, 24 October 2011

Saturday, 22 October 2011

a beautiful camper van


Artemis over at Junkaholique has thought of everything in the project she recently undertook with her husband to renovate their VW camper van... snuggly blankets, beautiful prints for curtains and cushions, bunting, fairy lights and vintage crockery.

I have been daydreaming of this ever since I saw the pictures she posted.
























Friday, 21 October 2011

Crochet Stegosaurus


Just when I started to learn crochet, I got a bit ahead of myself and decided to make a stegosaurus for Jess.

Luckily I found this amazing pattern and was able to make a beautiful Stegner. Thought you might like to see it.

The pattern was easy to follow and so cute, I've been meaning to say thanks to Anne-Marie for ages but never got round to it!




















Thursday, 20 October 2011

Weighing Baby Hedgehogs


Just had an amazing day volunteering with my colleagues at Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital near Chichester.

I didn't get to weigh any baby hedgehogs myself but I got to cuddle one!

Check out some of the residents...

















Monday, 10 October 2011

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

elderflower project


This is the start of my latest project. I actually have a plan for what will happen to these flowers once I've made a few hundred, but it's a surprise...


India


It's exciting when you find out that someone you know can take amazing photos.

This striking image was taken by my cousin when she went to India recently.
























Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Stealing sheep


Saw Emmy The Great playing at the Duke of York yesterday, supported by Stealing sheep, who sang delicate psychedelic melodies full of rainclouds, paper moons and summer.

When I'm in a girl band, I want it to be this kind of girl band.


Saturday, 1 October 2011

On the wire.


Perched outside The Exchange on Goldstone St last week.


on hating waste...



I'm getting a compost bin this weekend! Very exciting.

Since learning about the impact that landfill has on our climate, I've been feeling infinitely guilty every time I throw potato peelings into the bin. So from next week I'll be taking the cradle to cradle approach and turning it all into goodness to put back onto the allotment!

The tories' announcement this week that they are to spend £250m increasing the frequency of rubbish collections reminds us just how much we throw away. 8.3 million tonnes of food are chucked each year, mostly perfectly edible, and the impact this waste has on the planet is not restricted to the amount of methane gas from landfill but also incorporates the huge amounts of CO2 released during the production, transportation and storing of the food.

When you've got twits like Eric Pickles spouting rubbish like "it's a basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait a fortnight for it to be collected", it's hard to know what hope is left for this country. But luckily, campaigns like Love Food Hate Waste and Harvest Brighton and Hove are encouraging individuals and local government to take more action on reducing, reusing and recycling the stuff we buy (in that order).
Sat in Thorne's this afternoon, enjoying their Seasonal Allotment platter, Ali and I reflected on the proverb proudly displayed on their wall.

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.

Throwing food away is massively disrespectful to the farmer who grew the food, not to mention the millions of starving people in the world and those affected by the change in climate which is exacerbated by our hugely inefficient global food supply chain.

Not everyone can compost, but if you can, be proud that you are doing something so important. And if you can't, there's a number of ways you can reduce the amount of food you throw away, mostly just by being conscious of what you're doing.

The best and tastiest way is to make sure you always ask for a doggy bag if you can't eat your dinner in a restaurant but check out Love Food Hate Waste for more ideas.

Sumptuosity badges



I see these badges all over the place when I'm shopping in the laines and Sumptuoisity have recently added a knitting range to their gorgeous button badge assortment. Such a lovely idea, the badges are all made of silk and knitting wool. So cute.

Very tempting... you can buy them here.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cornflowers


I've been so lucky this year and the garden has been full of cornflowers.
Here are a few images in celebration.

On the allotment


Papercut by Philipp Otto Runge found at intofineart


Vintage china found by Alice at Emmaus



Picked flowers in the flat