Friday, 30 March 2012

Film Friday: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

I recently watched 'Fast Times..' for the first time and really enjoyed it. It was written by Cameron Crowe and directed by Amy Heckerling, who later directed Clueless. In fact this film is kind of its 80s predecessor. But with more nudity! Sean Penn is almost unrecognisable, playing a stoner (who rather reminded me of Travis in Clueless) who loves to surf. It's the kind of film that doesn't really have a distinguishable plotline but I quite liked it for that!

[Ooh- this new blogger layout is taking a bit of getting used to- not quite sure how to post photos at their original size, can anyone help?]

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Good day, sunshine


Jess over at Knitting on Trains has given me a 'Sunshine' blogger award, thanks Jess! Here are my answers:

Favourite colour: Blue
Favourite animal: Dog
Favourite non alcoholic drink: Freshly squeezed orange juice
Facebook or twitter: neither, ho ho. (Okay, facebook)
Getting or giving presents: I think i do actually prefer giving them and seeing people's reactions - making presents is best!
Favourite flower: Daisy
Favourite pattern: Stripes
Passion: art, photography, music, food & Mad Men! (New series this week!)
Favourite number: 28

And 5 blogs i'd like to pass the award on to: Amy Elizabeth, Words that can only be your own, Lady Croissant, Sarah Rooftops, & Sweet Nothings (apologies if any of you have done this before!)


Monday, 26 March 2012

A Sunday Smile

Sunday Bike Ride

These past few days we've been blessed by beautiful sunny weather, meaning I had chance to get my bicycle out of the dark basement to enjoy the Springtime. On Sunday I met up with a couple of bicycle buddies and we set off along the river on a long ride to a village just outside of Nottingham, called Radcliffe on Trent, stopping off at Holme Pierrepont on the way. It didn't take long to reach the countryside and it was so nice to get away from the city for a few hours for a quiet ride in the fresh air. Here are a few things I cycled past on my route.

Sunday Bike Ride
A bench decorated in beautiful daffodils

Sunday Bike Ride
This shop looked intriguing

Sunday Bike Ride

Sunday Bike Ride

Sunday Bike Ride
A stop off at the pub was in order.

Sunday Bike Ride
I wonder who lives here?

Sunday Bike Ride
I'm glad these still exist!

Sunday Bike Ride

Sunday Bike Ride
I love these lines in the sky..

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sketchbook Sundays


This week's sketchbooks belong to illustrator Amy Blackwell. Amy resides in Nottingham and has a lovely blog
here you should check out. She also sells items such as prints, tote bags and knitwear in her etsy shop featuring cats, foxes and suitcases amongst other things. Thanks for sharing Amy!






Friday, 23 March 2012

Film Friday: As Good as it Gets

This film from the late nineties stars Jack Nicholson as a grumpy old man (a role he does play rather splendidly!) who is rude to everyone, including his favourite waitress, played by Helen Hunt. Things start to change when his neighbour asks him to dog-sit for a few days. I enjoyed this film although it was rather long and my short attention span meant I had to watch it in two separate parts! It also served as a bit of a warning about the American health system - getting ill can mean huge bills that force people to lose their homes. Scary stuff.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Books i want to read.

Since my car quite literally blew its gasket a couple of months ago my commute to work has involved getting buses, which gives me a lot more time to read on the way. In addition to the film wishlist I posted up at the start of the week I thought I'd make a similar one about a few books I want to read this year. (Books with nice covers make it higher up on my list!)


1. Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

The title of this book grabbed me recently when reading a list Bianca posted up of 100 Best First Lines from novels and thought I'd investigate further. The novel details a couple of weeks in the life of an advice-columnist working in depression-era New York. His column is dubbed 'Miss Lonelyhearts' and he grows increasingly depressed by the letters he receives.

2. Baby's in Black by Arne Bellstoff

This was recently recommended on Lizz's blog. Baby's in Black is a graphic novel based on the relationship between the 'fifth Beatle' Stuart Sutcliffe and his girlfriend, photographer Astrid Kirchher.

3. It Chooses You by Miranda July

This has been on my wishlist a while, I'm just waiting for it to come down in price a bit! Miranda July's latest book is about her adventures meeting people who placed ads in the 'Penny Saver.' Along with her photographer friend she documents the journey she made meeting 16 people and the stories they have.

books 2

4. Kiki de Montparnasse by Catel Jose-Luis Bocquet

Another graphic biography, this one is about the life of artist's muse and French model Alice Prin, also known as Kiki de Montparnasse.

5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I bought this book a while ago and haven't got around to starting it yet. The Color Purple is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about an uneducated black women's struggle for power in the deep south.

6. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Strange thinking that Capote's other famous work is so different.. In Cold Blood is a true life story investigating the murder of a family that took place in 1959 and the motives the killers had for their crimes.

If you have read any of the above do let me know!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Just a minute - March

Full Moon

Reading... I've nearly finished 'The Lovely Bones' (I am a slow reader...)
Listening... to Steely Dan. Against my will. (Although they're kind of growing on me now!)
Watching... The American Office (at first I wasn't sure but if you skip to the 2nd series it does indeed get better)
Buying... a pair of flamingo-patterned shoes.. (erm I blame sarah rooftops for mentioning flamingos!)
Dreaming... of summer festivals. Well just of summer in general really.
Wanting...a warm weekend to get my red bicycle on the road again!

[photo taken on a midnight stroll the other week by tom]

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Film 2012

I realised there's not been many new films out lately I've really wanted to see. Post-Oscars there tends to be a bit of a lull in the cinema, but there are a few films coming out in the next few months I'm looking forward to seeing.


1. This Must be the Place, out 6th April

I am mainly looking forward to this film as it's named after my favourite Talking Heads song (and contains a performance of David Byrne singing it), but Sean Penn looking rather like Robert Smith has me intrigued!

2. 2 Days in New York, out May 18th (my birthday!)

When I found out Julie Delpy was shooting a sequel to 2 Days in Paris I was pretty happy. However this one is shot with the absence of Adam Goldberg, which I was a little apprehensive about. The added bonus is that Vincent Gallo is on the cast list, playing himself. This should be pretty funny.

3. Moonrise Kingdom, out 25th May

Not long until the new Wes Anderson film is out, and this looks set to be a good one.


Mainly because the scenes with Batman's house were shot at Wollaton Hall, in Nottingham and I can't wait to see it on the big screen!

5. On the Road, out 21st September

I started the book years ago but didn't get on with it so I am intrigued to see if the film works for me or not. Steve Buscemi is in the cast so hopefully this is a good sign!

6. The Great Gatsby, out 20th December

Another book I couldn't get into (oops).. will Leonardo Dicaprio be able to pull off the role of Jay Gatsby? Baz Lurhmann is set to direct the film version of the classic Fitzgerald novel, out at the end of the year.

What films are you looking forward to this year? Let me know if there's any I missed!

Sunday sketches: Troy Browne

by troy browne

This week we peek into the sketchbook of Troy Browne, a motion designer from Nottingham whose sketches contain surreal characters and funny situations he sees around him. You can see more on his facebook page here.

by troy browne

by troy browne

by troy browne

by troy browne


Friday, 16 March 2012

Film Friday: Fargo

It's been years since I first watched Fargo and I'd forgotten a lot of the film (apart from the ending!) so it was really good to give it a re-watch. I love Francis McDormand's character, a pregnant cop investigating a bunch of murders that took place near Fargo (pretty much the middle of nowhere!). Steve Buscemi plays one of the bungling criminals, who is 'kind of.. funny looking,' who along with Peter Stormare seems to get himself further and further into trouble until the rather chilling climax..

Monday, 12 March 2012

11 Things

I was tagged by Bianca to take part in a little meme doing the blog-rounds. (I was meant to post up 11 facts about myself too but struggled with it a bit so I decided to just answer Bianca's questions instead!)

11 things

1. Name five celebrities you'd invite to a dinner party.
David Attenborough, John Cusack, Julie Delpy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and last but not least, Louis Theroux.

2. What was your dream job as a kid and what is your dream job now?
Children's book illustrator. I used to make little books called 'the Zany Zebras' about a group of zebras who's escaped from a zoo. I think my dream job remains the same now to be honest!

3. What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
A stripy dress from H&M


4. Who are your celebrity 'dad-crushes'?
Okay I'll go for David Byrne, David Bowie (stealing one of Bianca's!) and Jonathan Richman.

5. What is your favourite item from your wardrobe?
Lately it's been my bobble hat although it's getting a bit too warm to wear it now!

6. What are your 3 favourite blogs at the moment?
Dear Friend, Solo (Lizzie Stewart's Diary), Lucy Knisley's comic journal.


7. What is an event/era you'd time travel to if you could (past or future)?
Maybe the 20's, I'd drop in on my Grandfather and see how different things were back then.

8. What are your favourite pizza toppings?
Spinach & ricotta FTW.

9. What is your favourite fictional couple?

10. What is one place you'd take someone visiting the town you live in?
Maybe a walk round an area near Nottingham Castle called 'The Park' - it's old fashioned and pretty there, and there's an amazing huge stone tunnel you walk through to get there.

11. What are you going to go do now?
Start cooking! Catch up on some Netflix...

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sunday Sketchbooks - Part 2

Ian's sketchbook

This week I asked Ian Carrington to share some of the pages from his sketchbooks. Ian is a Designer from Nottingham (who I happen to work with!) who loves to draw. Amongst his doodles he's drawn a brilliant series of 'Illustrated Celebs' including The Beatles, the Flight of the Conchords chaps and my personal favourite, Prince! You can see them all on his website here. Thanks for sharing Ian!

by Ian Carrington

Ian's sketchbook

Ian's sketchbook

by Ian Carrington

Friday, 9 March 2012

Film Friday: Splash

I hadn't watched Splash since I was a kid so I thought it was about time to watch it again. 80's Tom Hanks + John Candy = a recipe for success!

[Fun fact: this film introduced the girls' name 'Madison' to the world after Daryl Hannah names herself after a street sign they pass by on Madison Ave. Since then the name has constantly grown in popularity!]


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Feelin' foxy

foxy roundup

First it was owls and now foxes.. ever since I spotted a beautiful fox print dress in a London shop window last year (it was slightly too pricey for me, bah) I've had a slight obsession with all things foxy. Does anyone else go through similar favourite-animal phases? Hmm.. Here's a round up of some lovely things I've spotted on the theme.

Clockwise from top left: Round fox cushion, £39 from Solitaire, Fox brooch £35, Tatty Devine, Plush fox cushion, £13 by gingiber, Fox Scarf, £12 sale price at Aubin & Wills, Monty the Fox plush by saracarr, Sleepy fox embroidery by earlybirdspecial, Cyril Squirrel-fox, £48 by Donna Wilson

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Make Do & Mend in Cosmo Italy!

My bit in Italian Cosmo
Google translate comes in handy here!

A couple of months ago I was contacted by a lady at Cosmopolitan, Italy who was working on a guide to different European cities, featuring blogger's inside tips. I was asked to write about a favourite place here in Nottingham, so I chose Highfields Park, near Nottingham University where you can rent a rowing boat in summer and visit the Lakeside Arts Centre there too. The article was published this month, so I thought I'd share it here. I am proud to see Nottingham in there amongst so many other great cities! (Plus Frank's name in print for the second time - in case you were wondering, Frank isn't canine as it says in the intro, he is in fact a monster made as a birthday present for me by Tom!)

Cosmo Italy blogs feature
The full article, for any Italian readers!


Monday, 5 March 2012

Photos on a rainy day

Tom Rosin's Cameras

On Sunday me, Tom and two camera-loving friends decided to set ourselves an afternoon photo challenge. We would all start off in one location, then head off in different directions, taking photos of interesting things we saw on the way. We'd then meet at the same destination (a cosy tea shop) at 3pm to share our end results. Unfortunately when Sunday came the weather was less than great; cold and rainy! But instead of rescheduling we decided to use the rain as our inspiration. Afterwards, cheesecake and tea were the perfect remedy for cold hands and steamed up glasses! We are planning to put the results up on a photo blog soon, meanwhile here are a few photos from our day.


Lee Rosy's

Lee Rosy's

Tea & Cheesecake at the end of the day

Sharing our photos

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sunday Sketchbook Series

Jamie Jonathan Ball_Sketchbook_01

I really enjoy peeking into people's sketchbooks, it's so interesting seeing the process illustrators use to create their work. So each Sunday I will post up some scans from some talented creative folks that I know.

First up is Jamie Jonathan Ball, a freelance illustrator whose work is on display from Wednesday in Lee Rosy's Tea Shop here in Nottingham. Next time you pop in there for a tea be sure to check out some of his art work or you can see more on his website Little Kingdoms. Jamie's final work is very colourful and I especially love his character designs which are well suited to children's book illustration. Thanks for sharing Jamie!

Jamie Jonathan Ball_Sketchbook_02

Jamie Jonathan Ball_Sketchbook_03

Jamie Jonathan Ball_Sketchbook_04

Jamie Jonathan Ball_Sketchbook_05

[If you'd like to share some pages from your sketchbook just drop me an email ]
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