Sunday, 28 February 2010

A scribbly Saturday.




I've been drawing a lot lately. I have plans, ultimately, to put some art-based things on my etsy (which I'm not going to link to, today, because I realised on Friday that ALL bar one of my listings have expired so there isn't much point in pimping it until I sort that out!). Maybe greetings cards or something. I like the idea of doing prints, but it also makes me feel terribly shy and shrink away from it.

I still couldn't imagine putting one of my drawings on my wall. Probably because I live in a house with someone who paints
like this. Yeah, my dad is pretty much amazing.

But anyway! Due to the lethal combination of power ballads and sambuca, I've been a little hungover today (although taking the cheese-based recovery method has worked a treat) so a lazy Saturday night in with my sketchpad and pencil for company (and chocolate, and old episodes of the Office on Dave) has been just the ticket. Writing a blog entry at 2.30am is not so much the ticket, though. I am silly.
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Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Currently blaring out my iPod...

So, the way I listen to music is by making playlists on my iPod of a bunch of albums, and then putting them on Shuffle. It works, because if there's music that I am obsessed with, I don't get sick of it because I get variety, but on the same token, I don't have to discard beloved tunes for the sake of new ones. So, yes, I'm STILL listening to Glee (the first soundtrack is by far the best) and Florence & The Machine.

But I have new stuff in there too! Behold...

The Young Knives
A year or so ago, I was so obsessed with the sheer genius of Turn Tail (me: ‘It's so much better than their normal stuff!') that I sought out their back catalogue. And was totally wrong - it's not so much better than their normal stuff at ALL, I've just been misjudging them all this time on the back of shouty numbers like Hot Summer. They're really, really good. I challenge you to listen to Voices of Animals and Men and not fall in love. Oh, and Superabundance.


Delphic
I want to say they're like the new Klaxons, even though they don't really sound like the Klaxons at all. But they sort of remind me of them. Actually, they're more like if the Klaxons and the Friendly Fires had babies and their babies grew up to make an album. I'm listening to Doubt from the Acolyte album now to attempt to justify this statement, and yeah. I stand by it.


Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I resisted them for a long time, but after falling in love with Zero, Heads Will Roll and, from there, the It's Blitz! album, it was only a matter of time. After seeing them at Glasto last year, I was totally sold, and head over heels for Karen O. She's just so fricking cool.


Vampire Weekend
I had A Punk, from their debut, as my ringtone for nearly 2 years. It still makes me jump every time it starts. Such a good first album. Contra, the follow up, is really good, but I fall short of loving it as much as their first album. Still, Cousins and Holiday are good. Oh, and Horchata. Okay, actually, it is pretty good. It's just that my iPod keeps bringing up the song, Contra, and I find it boring, and because it shares a name with the album, I judge it unfairly.


The Drums
I know there's still snow on the ground (probably... somewhere), but it's such a good summer album! Which I imagine was their intent, given the title is Summertime. It's just a happy, retro, bouncy album, and I'm currently wishing and wishing that they'll play Glastonbury (apparently the Wombles are, you guys! Wow!). I love it so much I'm considering using one of their songs as my new ringtone. High praise indeed.


The Sunshine Underground
Raise the Alarm was one of my favourite albums a few years ago, and I recently reintroduced it to my playlist, because I was impatiently awaiting their new album, and ranting to anyone who would listen about the ridiculous wait for it, considering they played V last year, so they're obviously still together... and then I found out it was released last week. Yay! It's really good. Not such a great dancey album as Raise the Alarm, but still really, really good. Love. Them. In fact, somewhere out there is a video of me dancing and looking stupid in the front row of an XFM gig they did in 2006, and I'd really love to know if it's ever going to get dredged up.

Your turn now! Music recs? New and old?

In other news, I recently joined Deviant Art. If you're on there, come and say hi so I can add you! I am, predictably, essbeevee. I really want to put more of my drawings and makings on here in the future, and in fact am considering doing a bit of an arty giveaway on this blog soon, to celebrate hitting over 50 followers! (Thank you so much, by the way, I'm loving all the new bloggers I'm discovering lately!) What do you think, would you be interested?
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Saturday, 20 February 2010

A lovely surprise.







I think I love the packaging most of all.
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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away...

...BECAUSE IT WAS PANCAKE DAY!!!!







Learnings:

- marshmallows microwave VERY well.
- so does white chocolate.
- melted white chocolate + melted marshmallows + pancakes = JOY.

What did you have on your pancakes?
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Monday, 15 February 2010

Vintage for the sake of it.


Aaaand we're back, images and all! Thanks for not all fleeing at the sight of the red Xs. And now, for a real post.

So! I have to be honest, the whole vintage 'trend' is starting to irritate me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making new things from old and thrifting old outfits. The idea of wearing a jacket or a dress that is really from the 50s or 60s is a really cool one. My 93 year old Granny gave my sister her awesome fitted red leather jacket that she's had for about 40 years, and that's just beyond amazing (yes, I'm jealous, but I've come to the conclusion that leather jackets just don't suit me, and also it fits my sister way better than me). It's also pretty amazing that my Granny was still stepping out in a red leather jacket when she was 90. So yes, I'm all for buying vintage. In theory.

However, it's become a "trend". And because it's a trend, it's become perfectly okay to slap the 'vintage' tag on something over 20 years old and charge through the roof for it. See, I went to a vintage fair recently, and I was kind of excited about finding some interesting and unique items. And while there was nothing there that I fell in love with, there were some nice bits. At ridiculous prices. For instance, a sequin jumper? THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS. And it was
hideous.
I know that vintage is, ethically, a great way to buy. Like I said, I'm all for it. I have a vintage leather satchel that I love so much I kind of want to cuddle it - and the fact that it was a total steal makes me love it even more. See? Isn't it just delicious?


And, okay, I'll admit it. I get a kick out of exclaiming 'It's vintage!' when someone admires it. (Actually, I make a point of saying it in a poncy, OTT, posh voice. Obviously.) And I won't stop looking on ebay and etsy for reasonably priced vintage treasures. But charging through the roof for something that the high street are doing pretty great copies of is just going to send me running back to Primark*.

Okay. Rant over. :)

Thank god, then, for events like the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair. I foresee a trip to the Oxford or Cambridge events in my future.

* Coming soon: a post on why I keep trying and failing to give up Primark. I got a (LOVELY) dress in there today for A POUND. My lunch cost more than that!!
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Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A pink and fluffy edition of links of the week...

As it turns out that my blog is going to be image-less until at least Monday (SIGH, and just when I got my layout looking all pretty!), I'm having to abandon my planned posts for now. So, I thought I would regale you with a long-awaited session of links of the week! Which, just to prove that first sentence wrong, WILL contain images, thanks to the Blogspot hosting feature. Which has about 1kb of memory left on it, hence, why I do not normally use it.

Whilst compiling this list I realised everything was rather pink and fluffy, so I therefore slap the tag on it of Valentine's. This is a Valentine's Themed Links Of The Week!
(Or, if you'd rather, not. Personally, I think Valentine's is rubbish. But I'm still allowed to link pink stuff. And cake. So there.)

Firstly, a blog that I discovered tonight that I think may become my new favourite blog. It's baking themed. God, I love baking. But it's more creative than the average blog, which appeals to the arty-miss in me. I want to make the heart cake so much.

From the awesome I Am Baker.

Secondly, if you're looking for amazing gift ideas, may I present my new favourite Etsy shop, due to the OMGTEHCUTEZ.

KnittingDreams makes me explode from the adorbs.

Okay, while we all love heart shaped fried egg pans (I do want one, I do! It was such a wrench to give one away as a Christmas present this year), I'm currently totally obsessed with the idea of coffee stencils. So cute! And reasonably priced!

From the aptly named CoffeeStencil.

These stunning cake and oreo truffles look so easy, I'm tempted to make a box just for me.


And finally, if you are stuck in on V-day this year, feeling single and sorry for yourself, why not make a Coconut Cream Pie... and relish the joy of not having to share it with anyone. (Sometimes being single isn't so bad. Boys eat an awful lot.)


And if you really can't stand the idea of Valentine's Day and want to ignore it altogether, don't worry - it's Pancake Day on Tuesday! Lingering New Year's diet forbids it, but I'm so, so, so tempted to celebrate by making a Crepe Cake.


Ah, like so many of my blog posts, this ends up being all about the cake. But it's SUCH good cake.

I plan to celebrate Valentine's by going shopping! Well, I've got no boys to buy for this year, so I might as well buy presents for someone... and I'm someone, right?

What are you up to this Valentine's?
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Sunday, 7 February 2010

My blog has issues!

My website has decided to go down! I'm trying to get it back up at the mo but it might take a few days - and until it's sorted I have no images.

Sorry everyone! I will try and get it all fixed as soon as possible...
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Saturday, 6 February 2010

Books read... well, not all that recently.

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I read twenty books in total in 2009. This is not a lot. Less than two a month. Considering I've been known to read five in a week before (my whole degree was based around my ability to read five books a week) this is pretty shocking. That said, we're coming into the second week of February and I am only halfway through the new Terry Pratchett. Which I started about two days after Christmas. Must make more time to read.
14 - Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
I'm struggling to remember anything about this book. Shall we, instead, talk about how ace s4 of Dexter was? IT WAS SO ACE. Anyway, like the first Dexter book, this was somewhat underwhelming. I think it's just that the concept lends itself well to a TV show - you get the depth of emotions and ambiguities from the actors, and the supporting cast is more fleshed out - whereas in the book, it all comes off rather lifeless.
15 - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling
I was actually reading this back in July, before seeing the film. It made me cry. So did the film. I miss new HP books.
16 - Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Gael Marquez
One of those books I read because I felt like I
should, y'know? It was good. But I didn't love it in the way that a lot of people loved it, even though I can kind of see why other people do.17 - Getting the Girl by Marcus Zusak
The Book Thief was one of my favourite books read recently. I also adored one of his other books, I Am The Messenger. But this was just... not the book I was hoping for. He'd raised my expectations, and I just found this sort of sweet and harmless, but forgettable.18 - Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker
I love Charlie Brooker. I picked this up cheaply in a random record store, and even though it was talking about TV that was on back in 2006, it was still hilarious. Charlie Brooker would be my ideal dinner party guest. For those who don't know, he's an acerbic TV critic. Who is also on TV now, too. He's hateful. I adore him.
19 - Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
I know, I know. But I had to follow it through! I can't legitimately mock something without experiencing it firsthand! Anyway, it was long, and ridiculous, and I do not approve of 'fade to black' when you've been waiting for Stuff to happen. Also, Renesmee? Pchah. But, strangely, I sort of liked it too. Or maybe it was just the completist in me wanting to find out how it ended.
20 - A Great And Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
Happily, the other books in this series are now sitting by my bed, waiting patiently to be read (seriously, I need to finish that bloody Terry Pratchett so I can find out what happens to Gemma!). Yes, so I really enjoyed this. It's set in a boarding school in the 1800s, and it all mysterious and fantastical and scary and a little bit sad, and I really really recommend it.

Next up...


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What are you reading lately?
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