Friday, February 28, 2014

20 questions

I saw this tag of sorts over on the Short and Sweet of It and thought it was a nice idea, some things that I haven't seen around before, and for any new readers, it might be a nice thing to read.

1. What brings you the greatest joy? I think small things, like waking up in bed and the sun shining, or enjoying a quiet afternoon with my mum talking about knitting and books.
2. What are your vices? Chocolate raisins, red wine, expensive yarn.
3. What is on your nightstand? I don't exactly have one, but on the shelf above my bed I keep my glasses, Crabtree and Evelyn pomegrante body lotion, my current read (at the moment, the latest ASOIAF book), several empty glasses and coke-cans, and a plethora of bobby-pins and hair ties.
4. Do you have a secret talent? I can whistle pretty well but it's not that secretive, I whistle a lot. Secret from the internet, I suppose.
5. What is your greatest indulgence? Lie-ins. I enjoy sleeping in far too much.

6. What should every woman try at least once in her life? Standing up for other women - more than once - which doesn't seem to happen as much as I would hope.
7. What makes you laugh? Bad puns, my mum, friends at work. 
8. What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I care a lot about what people think about me, unfortunately. 
9. What is on your bucket list? Visiting Iceland, amongst things.
10. What is on your feet right now? Some green felted slippers.

11. How did you make your first dollar pound? My first job was the one I currently have - I work in a supermarket although I did a different position. I remember absolutely loving getting my first pay-cheque! Other than that, probably doing work for my parents in exchange for pocket money..
12. What superstition do you believe in? I always seem to say 'touch wood' when I think about bad things, and then have to do it. I don't really believe it, per se, but I always seem to do it. 
13. What items in your closet do you wear the most? Comfy jumpers. I have about ten 'favourite jumpers'. 
14. What is the best gift you've ever received? I had to have a good think about that, but probably all the knowledge my mum has given me over the years. Without her I would probably be a lot stupider, a lot less talented, a lot less well-read, a lot more bored, a lot more boring
15. What is on your liquor shelf? I don't have a shelf, but downstairs I have some wine left over from Christmas, a bottle of homemade sloe-gin, a bottle of homemade raspberry vodka, and a bottle of homemade clementine orange. Also I think some rum and some Bombay Sapphire gin.

16. What is on your kitchen counter? At the moment a lot of mess from making dinner with my mum.
17. What would you never leave home without? My phone, probably. How predictable. Also at the moment I always seem to have mints and bobby-pins on me (my fringe is growing out!).
18. What movie has the greatest ending? I remember the first time I watched The Usual Suspects I aboslutely loved the ending. Also I think The Royal Tenenbaums has the most bittersweet ending o f all films. 
19. Who is on your guest list for your ideal dinner party? George R.R. Martin, Vija Celmins, David Attenborough, Tina Fey, Wes Anderson, and lots of dead people that would include; Agnes Martin, Mark Rothko, and Ed Ruscha, JG Ballard, Sylvia Plath. And probably Ryan Gosling.
20. What is the one thing you wish you had known when you were younger? How to like myself, which is something I am still learning.

I want everyone that follows me to do this and send me a link - I would like to get to know you all a bit better!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Just a quick post from me today, showing you something I am most excited about - some new yarn I picked up at Unravel today (it's on tomorrow if you're in the Farnham area or want something to do). I bought a few bits and bobs, but not the main thing I went there for (to see Alafoss for some Lopi wool for a sweater) because they didn't have a giant selection, but the stalls there that I wanted to see were amazing. I knew I wanted to look at Purlesence, and Fyberspates - and I think I got something from all of them. Good stuff! This caught my eye as soon as I saw it - a lime green 4-ply superwash merino yarn from, in Appletini. I got out my haul when I got home and this was practically glowing in the sun it was that bright - I can't wait to knit some socks with it! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

recent finds - art and photography on tumblr

This month I had a bit of a breakthrough in finding a very local printmaking studio that has all the facilities I need to kick-start my printing again. I had previous interned at one about 40 minutes away, which did not do etching, a process that I use to make my prints; but now I have found one that is about 15 minutes away and does! So I have been trying to get back into the mind-set of making work so have been spending more time on tumblr and finding images that I find interesting or relevant to what I want to start making.. I thought I would show you a few highlights from my tumblr since the new year.

Highlights include: finding out the Barbican has a freaking conservatory (two of my favourite things together), lusting after hazy summer days, paintings that remind me of the Turner exhibition I saw recently, aquatints and interesting paintings, as well as photographs of beautiful ancient buildings.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

these are a few of my favourite things

I've been watching The Great Interior Design Challenge (although I am getting a little tired of Bake-off spin-offs!) with my mum this week, and it's got me really thinking about my taste in interiors - I really couldn't think of anything worse than letting someone else design my bedroom or house?! Although it isn't exactly how I would want it, it's as close as i can it, living in my parents house. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom, and I love to have it just right (even if it's not always tidy.. shh), which got me thinking about whether I could relinquish decoration control of my little haven to someone else - the short answer is no. The long answer is.. well, could anyone really know what I want? What are some of the things that I love - natural items, crystals and wood and bark, earthy greens and browns, mixed with white walls and trinkets, old photographs and decorative glassware. But god knows what those designers would come up with - some of the awful things I have seen are fake panels decorated with wallpaper, painting beautiful original fireplaces and making some very questionable MDF shelving. 

Anyway, I am very proud of my little bedroom, and these are few of my favourite spots from around my room. My windowsill, has changed a little, and now features mainly plants, but I still have my vase of pheasant tail-feathers, my jars of rocks and shells, candles, my beautiful cigar boxes and testubes of San-Francisco sand and sea-water.
I am starting to have quite a lovely collection of art, too, including two beautiful prints from friends at my old internship that need to be hung, two paintings made by a friend from university (only one is awaiting to hung) as well as lots of lovely old postcards that aren't visible in these pictures. My current favourite 'Half Full' print that I picked up at free-art-swap in London a few years ago has pride of place, alongside two photos of the Salford skyline that my dad took in the 70's, which I think is now dominated by media city, and lots of framed bird feathers that I have found over the years, including my beautiful green-woodpecker feathers that I found at the allotment, some from my sad little woodcock friend, and pheasants and such.  I am also very fond of soft furnishings, my favourite being my handmade (by me!) quilt which is oh-so-soft and fleecy and will be with my for many a year to come.

Friday, February 07, 2014

an edinburgh getaway - flora and fauna

The final day of our Edinburgh break was spent exploring the city - to the point of exhaustion! We squeezed in a lot. We managed to visit a couple of museums and art galleries, took a city bus tour and a tour of some underground houses that was pretty cool, as well as lunch and seeing a few monuments.. My absolute highlight was the National Museum of Scotland which had a great collection. I have an amazing weakness for taxidermy and tend to hunt them out in whatever city I visit. They also had an old Columbian printing press on display in the main hall (the second photo) which was one of the kind of presses that I used at university. It was quite weird to see this on its own, and I really appreciated how beautiful they are as machines - the print room at uni was quite crowded so you couldn't appreciate the eagle and everything.. 
And speaking of birds, I made friends with this lovely crow whilst we were on the bus tour!

I know these posts have been rather spread out but I wanted to get most of these photos up on my blog without bombarding you all with them!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

fictional wishlist

I've always been a big reader,from when I was little and used to prefer reading to people and could read better and quicker than anyone in my school had for a long time. I used to make my mum read them to me until I got frustrated that I could read quicker than her (oops.. haha) so it's no surprise that I have ended up with a big wish-list of books on amazon that I am going to purchase as soon as I am through with my current lot. 

1. Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Joan Didion: I have read a few essays by Didion, and I always really like them, so want to read more. This is one of those things that has been sat on my wish list for a while but I keep putting off in favour of perhaps more exciting reads? I should stop that.
2. Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer: This book has it's basis in that sort of sensationalist-true-crime style novels, which I always get sucked in by (see here), but seems more like a history of the violence of Mormons, and a critique of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, which intrigues me.
3. Red Sky at Night: The Book of Lost Country Wisdom,  Jane Struthers: I am quite romantic and captivated by the English countryside, and the reviews of this book make it seem perfect for people like me. 

4. Sanctifying Misandry: Goddess Ideology and the Fall of Man, Katherine K. Young and Paul Nathanson: Someone I follow on tumblr spoke about this book and it intrigued me, essentially. I want to be more well-read about feminism and I have heard that their books are a good place to start.
5. Atlas of Remote Islands: Fifty Islands I Have Not Visited and Never Will, Judith Schanlansky: On one of my brief forays into Good-reads I saw this book reviewed and thought it sounded really interesting - it reminds me initially of the work of the artist Charles Avery who makes artwork about an imaginary group of islands. I read a book about this work of his and I think the parallels would be interesting.
6. The Lowest Heaven, Various: I was recently in Greenwich with my friend Tam to see the Turner exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, and they had this book in the gift shop there. A collection of stories inspired by photographs from Greenwich Observatory sounds perfectly made for me, and I am 90% sure it will be my next purchase.

7. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney: I wanted to re-read American Psycho, basically, and then started wondering what other fiction in that vein is out there. Amazon recommended me this and I realised that I had it on my wishlist for a long time. I don't think it sounds as compelling as American Psycho, but it still looks interesting.
8. A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit: I got really into Solnit whilst writing my dissertation about walking, wanderlust and wanting to be other places, I read excerpts from this whilst writing it, and it has been waiting for me to purchase it ever since.
9. The Last Werewolf, Glen Duncan: This is the most recent addition, I think, as my friend Tam recommended it to me this week just gone. I implicitly trust her book recommendations as she has never led me astray, and this sounds like something I would enjoy, but never look for myself.

I knew that I liked to read a mixture of fiction/non-fiction, but I didn't know how heavily the non-fiction featured.. Let me know if you have read any of these and loved/hated them, or any recommendations you think I'd like based of these!