Thursday, 30 September 2010

How to Make Sloe Gin

On my lunchbreak recently I spotted a sloe bush so I gathered some berries and tonight we prepared some sloe gin with them. If you spot any berries and want to make this simple recipe here is a little how to. It takes a couple of months to ferment so it should be ready in time for Christmas!


1lb Sloe berries
8oz Caster Sugar
1 ltr Gin


1. Prick the berries with a needle and place inside a large sterilised jar.

2. Add the sugar and gin (only the finest quality, ho ho) to the jar and seal tightly.

3. Give the jar a right good shaking..

4. Draw a face on the jar (optional).

5. Store the jar in a dark cupboard and shake every other day for a week, and once a week thereafter for 2 months.

6. The gin should then turn a dark red colour and be ready to (strain then) drink! Hurrah.

Film Thursday: Now and Then

There are a couple of reason I put this film onto my Lovefilm list! Firstly a couple of friends said they watched it when they were younger and loved it, and secondly I read it was like a female version of Stand By Me, one of my favourite films so I thought I'd give it a go!

The story is a bit similar to Stand by Me as it is about a group of friends who look back on their friendship at 12 years old and the summer they investigated the death of "Dear Johnny"...

The young cast were ace and i really loved the 1970s bicycles (one even had a little stereo attached to the front basket, i need one of these!) However the "grown-up" versions of them were totally different to their younger selves and were rather annoying so I was glad they didn't feature for the majority of the film! Christina Ricci turns into Rosie Donnell (hmm) and Thora Birch into Melanie Griffith which didn't quite ring true.


My Cameras: No. 4

4. Lomo Fisheye 2 (Cost: £5 2nd hand)

One of my favourite charity shops finds was this Fisheye camera (it was boxed and all, with half a roll of film already exposed which I had developed). I love the photos this camera has produced. It works best with lots of sky, trees and buildings towards the sides of the frame. It takes normal film and made me remember how fun it is not knowing what pictures you've taken til you pick them up!

It has the capacity to take double exposures too..

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Top 5 Comic Blogs

After I posted up my top 5 illustration blogs last week, this week I thought I'd share my favourite comic artists' blogs.

1. Lucy Knisley's Blog (above)

Lucy wrote the brilliant French Milk, a travel comic diary about the weeks she spent in Paris with her mother. Lucy's writing is funny and easy to relate to and her books are definitely worth a read.

2. Craig Thompson's Doot Doot Garden

If you haven't read Blankets I urge you to find a copy and read it when you get chance, it's a beautiful story of first love which is one of my favourite graphic novels ever.

Craig Thompson's blog has been detailing his progress on his latest epic novel, Habibi, which last week he finally completed. I can't wait to read it!

3. Sorry Comics

John Kinhart's blog contains autobiographical stories about anything from relationships to the end of the world.

4. Jeffrey Brown comics

Jeffrey Brown is another of my favourite comic artists. He doesn't update all that regularly but his blog's worth checking for insights into his progress, for example this example of how he made the cover for his latest book, Cats are Weird.

5. Ellerbisms/The Everyday (above)

I thought I'd include some British cartoonists in the list, but both these series have come to a close now. If anyone has any other autobiographical comic recommendations let me know!

My Cameras: No 3

3. Kodak Brownie Vecta Camera (Cost: £4)

This was a recent charity shop purchase, but I don't think the films are available any more. There's a good history of different Brownies here.

I just read that the Brownie has been redesigned for the 2012 London Olympics, as shown below. Cute, no?


Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My Cameras: No 2

2. Fuji Instax Mini (Cost: £30ish second hand)

My second most recent camera purchase was a Fuji Instax Mini, bought from ebay. I mainly got it as I love instant film and I'm down to my last 5 polaroids (I can't bear to use them!) and I thought this would be a cheaper equivalent. It's not really the prettiest camera and I do prefer normal polaroids as these are a little too small to be clear and lack the lovely colours of polaroids but it is a fun replacement for now! (Photos taken with it below at End of the Road festival)


Monday, 27 September 2010

My Cameras: No 1

As a few other people have recently posted about their camera collections, this week I thought I'd share some photos of mine too! Starting off with my most recent one, won in a competition hosted by the lovely Adeline.

1. Polaroid 340 Land Camera (cost: £0!)

I've only just learnt how to open up this camera so I've not got around to trying it out properly yet. But I'm really excited as it uses peel-apart film and Kate kindly informed me you can purchase Fuji film for it pretty cheaply. (Although I'm not sure if it will need a new battery, and if they are still available still or not.) If anyone has any tips, let me know!


Friday, 24 September 2010

These are a few of my favourite....

As I am a bit lacking inspiration lately I thought I would share a few of my favourite blogs on different themes, starting with my favourite Illustration blogs. Here's a top 5, i hope you like them as much as I do!

1. Caitlin Shearer (above)

I really like Caitlin's watercolours, I keep meaning to try some painted illustrations myself but never quite get round to it. Oops.

2. Gemma Correll

I'm really addicted to reading Gemma's daily diaries and I love her cat/pug illustrations too. What a talented lady! (Actually I'm wearing a t shirt designed by her now, ahem!)

3. Emilie Boudet

Emilie is a Parisian illustrator who draws cute comic-like characters with pen & ink. She also draws fun and quirky travel journals like the one above.

4. Kris Atomic

Kris has a lovely blog here which includes illustrations and some brilliant photography too, as well as step by step features on her illustration process which are really interesting to read.

5. Anke Weckmann

Anke has done work for various magazines as well as a really cute make-up line, shown here, and some lovely stationery designs as well.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Film Thursday: My Neighbour Totoro

I finally got around to watching the well-loved Miyazaki film after loving the cuddly Totoro for years! It was a really sweet film and I really loved Totoro's character (I want to fall asleep on his huge belly like they do in the film!) and the Catbus was great!

The only slight letdown was I didn't enjoy the Disney-ish American voiceovers, which took away part of the Japanese charm of the film, so perhaps I should have tried to watch a subtitled version instead. Still, here are some pictures of the great Totoro and friends.


Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Old Photos

I've finally started scanning in pages for my Polaroid Zine (the one I started some months ago!).. so while I had the scanner up and running I decided to scan in some old photos from my dad's album, taken of my parents in the late 70's. Looking at these photos makes me really happy. My mother died when i was younger which makes the photos even more special to me. I love seeing the clothes she wore and getting a glimpse into what my parents were doing at my age.

I also love the fact they are square shaped and the colours are so unique - I told my dad that these days people actually buy apps to apply these old-fashioned effects to photos to age them. Nothing beats the real thing though.


First Day of Autumn

I don't know about you but Autumn and Spring are my two favourite seasons, and as today's the first "official" day of Autumn I thought I'd share these cute little conker characters, made by Sandra of Herzensart.


Monday, 20 September 2010


This weekend i visited some of Tom's family and their lovely dog Pip. Although she's getting on now and is really an old lady-dog she is so small she often gets mistaken for a puppy! Visiting her made me want a dog even more even though it's not at all practical with a full-time job and living in a flat. Booh.

Pip likes extreme closeups!
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