Mad World

Lame title but look: Pops recently presented me with a pulpy collection of Mad snippets. Love the circus theme cover and the red dyed page edges (even better than gilding? I might just say yes.)

I will now share a section that really appealed to me – it still feels relevant 50 years on.

Or put simply:

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Little Boxes

Ahem. What defines a productive weekend? Seeing friends and family, sleeping in, drinking wine and… eating krispy kreme? Well, check to all the above. But I think what really makes it a pro weekend is getting out the craft materials and making something pretty. Check! Enter the little boxes…

Blank canvas. Not for long!

Woot. [Note to self: yoga mats make great cutting mats but do not take to PVA glue spillages. Sticky down dog’s = not fun, just messy.]

The bronze paint gets used! Happy face.

Aaaanyone remember Lite Brite? Oh how I wish I could find the actual toy part and not just the (albeit pretty) bulbs. On the brite (HAH) side, I can now put them to use in my crafty adventures…

BAM. I skipped a bunch of ‘in progress’ photos because this has gone on for long enough, so will now present you with the finished products.

Open wide!

I still have one more but will save it for another weekend. All arted out for now.

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That Thing That Blows

A choodle’s life. Fighting for page space on an A5 sketchbook, drawn whilst being scrutinised (well, my be glanced at) by sleepy, cranky morning commuters, then carelessy disgarded for months post-scanning. Which page gets commited to the prostigious completed choodle collection? Bet you can’t guess…

Good guess! My title was so obscure and all…

It might even… one day… end up on a t-shirt. Or erased from memory. This was a complete procrastination piece. I have stickers to work on!

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Mixing it up

Thanks to the genius Bianca over at Goodnight Little Spoon, I’ve recently been able to take part in my very first mix share swap. It’s nice to share. And you can get it yourself here.

Think I’m going through a bit of a confetti obsession atm. I even snuck it into designs at work this week… Taste that badboy rainbow.

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The Beautiful People

This documentary from the BBC, Glamour’s Golden Age, about young people in 1920’s London had me wishing I was born 60 years earlier. Which is a first. I mean, what would life be without the internet? Not to mention spray deodorant, dub step and frogurt?  But what they did have (if you were born into a ludicrously rich family…) is style. And they knew how to rave it up.


My favourite ‘character’ from the era is Cecil Beaton (1904 – 1980). He was a photographer, diarist, interior designer and an award-winning stage and costume designer – a very talented chap. His photography really sums up what I think is the real beauty and elegance of the era (you know, before the drink and drugs killed most of its stars). Here’s a self portrait he did:


Love it. Though I’m not surprised he was bullied at school. Emo… Anywho, I do recommend watching this documentary on iPlayer while you’ve got the chance, it gives a super intro to what was going on then and what these people were about – many of whom have been forgotten now. Its also pretty amusing how much it reflects what young people with endless cash supplied by Daddy are like in London today. These were the first teenagers, the first ‘IT’ girls the UK saw – history, darling.

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Spend a Penny

Nooo not like that. At my shop! Which has had a bit of a facelift (screw you bigcartel and your fees) so now I can have endless fun what with the making and the selling. Have a browse at Zencart has been a bit of a bitch at times, so it’s a bit of a work in progress.

The shoes I recently posted about pre-colouring have also gone on sale. Want some? Yeah ya do. May be my poor product photography can entice you?

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Puppet Masters

I had the pleasure of visiting the Barbican Gallery last week to see an event that’s part of their current animation season. This event was an evening of short films made by Bretislav Pojar followed by an interview with the man himself. Out of the ridiculously awesome events part of this season, it appealed to me because I remember studying Pojar briefly when working on a stop-motion project at art college. I know I found some of his films on the Tube, but as a Czech puppeteer and animator his work is massively overshadowed by his mentor, the god that is Jiri Trnka.

There’s no shortage of info on the Trnk online, so rather than botch together my own bio, I’ll link to the best bits I found:

Jiri Trnka: Walt Disney of the East! from Animation World Network (extensive and well written)

The Puppet films of Jiri Trnka from Not Coming to a Screen Near You (good extracts from Trnka’s bio by Jaroslav Bocek)

Trnka’s ‘Bayaya’ from Michael Sporn Animation (wicked photos and links to a documentary on the man)

Jiri Trnka 5 from one1more2time3 (loads of Trnka’s beautiful illustrations)

BACK TO POJAR! The films shown were a great mix, 3D and 2D stop motion, all made with mind blowing style and often with a really good element of humour. Not as child friendly as I had expected, way more original themes than a Disney flick and usually accompanied by an impressive and perfectly complimentary piece of music. The one I really want to watch again was The Lion and the Song (1953). It was nuts. A lion taken straight out of a Henri Rousseau painting eats a harlequin and his accordion… and deeply regrets it. Clearly words don’t do it justice…

Source (Also an excellent recap of the evening)

The cracker that opened the night is available on YouTube though, so check that out: A Drop Too Much. (Pojar is such a badass. He told the audience that the motorbike scene in this was pretty simple to do because he was a biker and based this on his experiences of hitting the road after a few drops too many!)

Big congrats go to the Barbican for hosting such an extensive and inspiring season dedicated to animation. Watch Me Move: The Animation Show runs from 15th June – 11th September 2011 and I implore you to go visit it.

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Having breakfast as soon as I get in to work at 9 definitely has its upsides – more time in bed, a choicey selection of free cereal and fruit and having something to look forward to at the end of an hour long bus journey, 15 minute walk and 4 flights of stairs.

Of course there’s also the downsides. People seeing what bizarre concoction of hot chocolate/muesli/mashed banana/weetabix I put in the microwave, spilling milk/coffee/both on my keyboard and, above all, the hunger striking on route to work. GRRROAARRR. So one day I had to express it in a somewhat abstract self portrait.

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Plimsolls in Progress

Thought I might share the pre-colouring state that my custom shoesies go through. Could indeed be an option when it comes to selling them – don’t want full colour? Choose the line art verison! No problems with colour clashes there… Hm, must work on sales lingo.

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A quote that has made me giggle for years now originally came from some comedy impressionist show (Dead Ringers may be? Definitely didn’t involve that twat who can only do Tony Blair.) It was a perfectly accurate take on Kirstie Allsopp (off of Phil n Kirstie) and all I remember was Kirstie (well, the comedienne) saying ‘I wasn’t born. I was knitted.’ SCENE. Oh god for some reason I find this hysterical. Anyone else…? :/

Well that’s the back story, lets add a giraffe doodle on a train and a bash of a pastel palette and whaddya get?

Oh Kirstie.

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