Friday, 3 July 2015

Film Friday: Obvious Child

Plot Obvious Child stars Jenny Slate as aspiring comedian Donna who is dumped by her boyfriend in a Brooklyn bar toilet after one of her shows. She goes through a bit of a late twenties crisis, and ends up with an unwanted pregnancy to deal with.
Guest appearances Gaby Hoffman (Girls) plays her best friend (who seems to pop up in everything right now!)
Fun facts Jenny Slate is the creator of the strangely addictive internet sensation Marcel the Shell with shoes on...
Overall I really enjoyed Obvious Child, actually one of the few films I've seen that deals with sex and abortion in a straight talking manner, without copping out. It is sharply written with a lot of funny moments.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Life Lately...

A little life update as I've been rather slack at blogging lately!

+ Tom turned 30! I managed to surprise him with a piano for his birthday (which was harder to arrange than I initially thought!)
+ I had a reunion with some uni friends in Leeds - can't believe it's been ten years since we graduated (but everyone was still the same!)
+ A few weeks ago I explored The Park Garden Trail. For those not familiar with Nottingham, The Park is a fancy area of Nottingham behind the castle filled with beautiful (mostly huge) houses. Hugh Grant used to live there don't ya know... once a year people open up their gardens for the public to explore and the entry fee goes to charity. There were some amazing ones - I had serious garden envy
+ And finally - we have booked flights to New York in the autumn. A friend of mine is moving there soon, I'm very excited about this! If you have any tips on where to stay, hit me up in the comments!

Listening to Obama (!!) on Marc Maron's WTF Podcast
Watching the final season of Mad Men (yes, I cried at the end), Orange is the New Black
Buying various hayfever drugs
Testing out a new cafe in Beeston for brekkie, Rye. Yum!
Exploring Nottingham's new computer game centre, the National Videogame Arcade
Reading Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon

Friday, 19 June 2015

Film Friday: Under the Skin

Plot In Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson plays a mysterious seductress who kidnaps hitch-hikers in Scotland.
Guest appearances Many of the men featured weren't actors and were captured by hidden cameras so a lot of the dialogue was improvised.
Fun facts Apparently the film took ten years to complete and originally featured a married couple (the husband of which was going to be played by Brad Pitt which would be a very different film!)
Overall I'd wanted to watch Under the Skin for a while as I loved the poster artwork, and the film is directed by Jonathan Glazer (a Nottingham Trent graduate turned filmmaker who's directed lots of music videos). I enjoyed the film - although I did doze off for a few minutes halfway through (I was sleepy, and the plot was quite mesmerising without much dialogue!) I thought Scarlett was really good, and it was interesting seeing her interacting with everyday Glaswegian men.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Made: Fabric lampshade cover

This is a pretty easy make as I cheated a bit and used a lampshade making kit kindly given to me by a friend just before we moved. But making your own (with or without a kit) is a fantastic idea as it means you can use whatever fabric your heart desires, you could even match it to another print in the room if you wanted to.

The kit was pretty straightforward to follow (if you'd like to have a go, you can buy a range of them here), I used some Mount Fuji Japanese fabric I ordered, along with my cushion fabric recently from Etsy.

You cut a piece of fabric to fit the piece of sticky backed plastic provided which makes the shade itself. This can be a bit fiddly and reminded me of covering school books with plastic, without leaving any bubbles! You then attach some double sided sticky tape to the lampshade rings, and roll the shade around it to stick it together. Finally you push in the rough edges under the rim with the tool provided. That's about it. I put up the lampshade in our spare room and think it looks pretty dandy!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

A weekend in a Welsh cabin

To celebrate my birthday last weekend Tom and I headed for a couple of nights in the Welsh countryside. I found a cute little cabin in mid-Wales (via Canopy & Stars) without TV or internet (hurrah!) with a log burner and only sheep for company.

Caban Coch (aka 'Red Cabin' as I found after checking a Welsh dictionary!) was decorated in a quirky vintage style and despite its small size was very well equipped with a cooker, mini fridge, double bed and shower. Plus the view from the window was beautiful, so it made for a really relaxing break. 

We spent a day at Aberdovey beach before heading to Dolgoch waterfalls. I had been here as a kid so it was really fun to go back and explore this Welsh 'rainforest' again.

We bought some Welsh-cakes, played board games and cosied up in front of the log burner. Even when it rained on our final evening it just made us feel even cosier so it was a perfect mini getaway.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Film Friday: Far from the Madding Crowd

Plot Thomas Hardy's story is set in the fictional Wessex, and revolves around Bathsheba, a strong independent woman whose uncle leaves her his farm to manage. She is pursued by three very different men - Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer,  Frank Troy, a mischievous soldier and William Boldwood, a wealthy bachelor. But Bathsheba doesn't want to be any man's property!
Guest appearances Carey Mulligan is great as Bathsheba, and Michael Sheen is also strong as Boldwood, although I wasn't quite as struck on the other male leads.
Fun facts Carey Mulligan was allowed to ride her own horse in the film and ended up getting concussion which lasted throughout 6 weeks of filming.
Overall I really enjoyed FFTMD; of course being a Hardy story there's a fair amount of tragedy (the film kicks off with a sad moment right at the beginning involving a flock of sheep!) The countryside scenes were beautiful and I have to admit I did do a fair share of 'aww'-ing when Gabriel gave her a pet lamb at the beginning- how can you say no to that, Bathsheba?! 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Made: Cushion covers

This blog was originally started as a way of documenting my creative projects and inspirations, but over the years I have let the 'make & do' aspect slip a little to the wayside. But moving house has meant the perfect chance for me to get creating again.

Since buying our burnt orange coloured armchair I wanted to make some cushions that were grey and orange to complement it, to go on our sofa opposite. I looked far and wide but couldn't find any fabric I really liked until a friend sent me a link to Miss Matatabi's fabric shop on Etsy. So many pretty patterns! And the postage was pretty cheap too. In the end I chose this Japanese fabric which I love.

I bought the cushions at Primark a few years ago for about £1 each - this was the original tartan cushion cover, slightly naff ... but it took me a while to get around to replacing them!

I followed this tutorial to make cushions with an envelope seam, perfect if you want to use two contrasting fabrics for the front and back. Last week my neighbour April (who has a lovely sewing blog, Thimbles & Teapots) kindly gave me some spare fabric to use on the back of the cushions so I was all set!

My sewing machine was given to me by my Nan who used it back in the '70s, and I'm happy to say it's still going strong! Although I did have to replace the thread in the bobbin to begin with, which took me forever as I'd forgotten how to do it (a YouTube tutorial helped!).

My sewing soundtrack was the new Sufjan Stevens album, perfect listening for a rainy evening.

I'm really happy with the final cushions (although I may invest in a rotary cutter next time as I found it hard to get straight lines when cutting the fabric). I'm glad I'm back in the creative loop and excited about more sewing projects now that I've dusted off my machine again!