Friday, 29 March 2013

An Easter comic giveaway!

It's Good Friday and to celebrate I wanted to give you lovely blog readers a chance to win a brand new travel zine, illustrated by Tom and I on our trip to the Netherlands last summer.

It's our third zine in our 'Lost & Found' series of comic-diary zines we've made, the first about Croatia and the second about the time we spent in Chicago. All three are now available in my Etsy shop. Each zine is in two parts, the first half features drawings and thoughts by me and the other half is Tom's side of the story told via some funny comics he's drawn. The back page also features a few tips of where to visit in each place.

For a chance to win all three... just leave me a comment below telling me your favourite travel destination and why, before April 2nd. I'll pick a winner out next week (and may even throw in a few mini eggs into the package!)


Film Friday: Weird Science

Last Sunday when trawling through the vast Netflix archives (in the most part full of a bunch of odd films nobody's heard of!) I stumbled upon a John Hughes film I had never seen. Weird Science stars Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell Smith as two unpopular nerds who decide to use the magic of computer science to create their dream woman and enhance their rankings amongst their school chums (one of whom is a young Robert Downey Jr). While the film didn't really rate as one of Hughes' best, (see The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off amongst others) it did have quite a few funny moments and lots of good 80s special effects! Their creation, Lisa was rather like a Mary Poppins with attitude, and there is a very 'Poppins' moment toward the end where the house gets magically tidied before their parents arrive home.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Recipe: Mushroom, spinach & cheese pie

I've not done any food posts for a while (partly due to my food photography not being the best, as proven above!) but I just wanted to share a tasty meal I made recently. You can't beat a good pie when it's cold outside!

Mushroom, spinach and cheese pie
You'll need:
puff pastry
a small bag of spinach
one onion
2 cloves garlic
goat's cheese (or another cheese of your choice)
half a punnet of chestnut mushrooms
herbs of your choice (thyme is good)
1 beaten egg (to brush over the pastry)

[N.B. Below is my recipe but it was loosely based on this one.]

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the crushed garlic and chopped onion. Chop your herbs and add them to the pan, along with the chopped mushrooms and fry until soft. Next roll out your pastry on a floured surface, into a large rectangle shape. 

Wash the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water over until wilted. Next strain out the water and season with salt and pepper. Chop the spinach up and spread it over one half of your pastry. Next add a layer of seasoned mushrooms. Chop up your goat's cheese & mozzarella cheese into slices and distribute them over the mixture. Next brush egg around the edges and fold over the top of your pie. Press down the edges with a fork and pierce the top in several places with your fork. Glaze the pastry with the remaining egg.

Put in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with a side salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Cold fingers, hot tea, icicles, Sunday afternoon films, tangerines and good tunes. That's what my Sunday was made of. How about you?


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Living in a snowglobe

My view today

My view last autumn

Spring is just round the corner... isn't it?

Monday, 18 March 2013

52 Lists: My favourite geek heroes

It may not surprise you to learn that at school I was definitely more of a geek than one of the popular kids. Glasses? Check. Braces? Check. White socks with black trousers?! Oh dear. However I'm pretty sure most of the 'geekier' kids ended up in some brilliant jobs, whereas their popular counterparts? I'm not so sure. Since then I think there's been a definite surge in popularity of nerdy types. (Some people even going as far as wearing glasses with clear glass as a fashion item - hmm.) So I thought I'd round up some of my favourite geeks from popular culture. One day the geek will surely inherit the earth (ahem!)

1. Brian Krakow from My So-called Life
As well as getting straight As Brian also loves photography and has a knack of being at the right place at the right time. If it weren't for his slightly silly haircut and beige outfits he'd surely make the girls swoon.

2. Josh from Clueless
He has a penchant for Radiohead and is more interested in watching CNN than Ren & Stimpy. Paul Rudd's character in Clueless is pretty charming despite his bad dance moves (speaking of which, this video proves Rudd still has the moves!)

3. Milhouse from the Simpsons
As this clip shows, Milhouse rules. 

4. McLovin' from Superbad
This kid knows how to par-tay.

5. Louis Theroux
Mainly for his amazing ability to rap. (I probably watch this on average once a month...)

6. Graham Coxon
Makes wearing glasses and stripy tops ever appealing.

Who's your favourite geek?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The drizzle in Brizzle

This weekend my friend Sarah and I headed down to Bristol. I've been once before but it was great to visit again - even if our visit was slightly hampered by the terrible weather (which also prevented me from taking many photos, bah.)

On Saturday we met up with friends in the Here Gallery - always a lovely place to find creative books and the prettiest birthday cards. We climbed the hill and took a walk to Clifton, a very pretty part of town with a lovely view of the city below. We popped into a cosy pub to dry off from the rain and then walked up to see Clifton Suspension Bridge which looked very pretty lit up in the night sky. Bristol is full of so many interesting shops and cosy cafes, I can't wait to visit again (in slightly sunnier weather!)

Our friends Meg & Sam have a wonderful collection of dog knick knacks as well as these super cushions!

Inside the Tobacco Factory


Friday, 15 March 2013

Film Friday: Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed is a film based on an actual classified ad placed by a man looking for someone to go back in time with him. Aubrey Plaza (out of Parks & Recreation) stars as the journalist willing to take up the offer who, along with two of her workmates eventually tracks down the man in question (played by Mark Duplass) and gets mixed up in some strange and comical goings on. The film had lots of funny moments and was enjoyably strange although we found the ending a little disappointing. But go watch it for yourself and decide!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

52 Lists - Make a list of things that make you happy

1. Nice letters in the post
2. Daffodils
3. The star chart my dad painted for me (above)
4. Exploring unfamiliar cities (this weekend, Bristol)
5. Holiday-planning
6. Meeting up with old friends and still laughing about the same things
7. Having a hot cup of tea made for me each morning (even though i often fall back asleep and let it go a bit cold, oops)
8. Home-made karaoke sessions
9. Lucy Knisley's book tour wardrobe (which matches her new food book 'Relish')
10. Sunny mornings
11. Trying out new recipes
12. Making new mix cd's (and adding to my amazing 80's YouTube playlist!)

[This list was inspired by the brilliant Sarah Rooftops.]

Monday, 11 March 2013

Seeing | Hearing | Doing

The snow is back! Just as I was beginning to think spring was round the corner. March so far has involved..

seeing Adam Buxton's Bug show at the Broadway - an excellent show!

reading The Kite Runner - the graphic novel version

watching Undeclared. It's a bit like Freaks & Geeks, the college years - a series from 2001, starring Seth Rogen, Jason Segel and a host of other familiar faces. Yesss. (I feel like I'm the only person to have watched it, anyone else familiar with this series?!)

compiling my desert island discs, just for fun - it's actually near impossible to pick 8 favourite songs, my choices keep on changing!

wearing stripy jumper and winter woolies

drawing a new portrait for a friend's wedding gift

buying tickets to see David Byrne and St Vincent in August. I'm excited!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Film Friday: Bill Cunningham New York

I'm so glad I finally had the pleasure of watching this documentary, all about New York photographer Bill Cunningham. Now in his eighties, he has been cycling around New York documenting street fashion ever since he was a young man.

It's astonishing to see just how passionate he is about capturing real people, and his warmth seems to charm everyone he photographs. Just how he still has the energy to cycle around one of the busiest cities in the world is beyond me (and he admits he's had 28 bikes stolen over the years). We glimpse the inside of his apartment where his tiny bed is surrounded by filing cabinets containing all the photos he's ever taken. As the film goes on you can see how his work is his true love, and later on there is a sad moment when he reflects on how he's never had an intimate relationship. But he seems to find such pleasure in his photography. As Bill says in the film, "he who seeks beauty, will find it."

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

My 1000th post - 5 years of blogging

I started this blog five years ago, back in February 2008. At the time, me and my workmate Christina had been reading inspirational blogs such as Design Sponge and Print Pattern, and decided we'd challenge ourselves to make our own, showcasing our design inspirations. Since then my blog has been a great source of ideas for me and has grown into something that holds so many good memories from the past five years. I remember when I first started writing on here, I felt slightly embarrassed to be a 'blogger' and kept it a secret from most people I knew. However as the years have gone by I've become a lot more confident about sharing my blog with family and friends, and it's been such a great way to connect with other bloggers from places near and far.

Since this marks my 1000th post I thought I'd round up of some of my favourite posts from the past five years.

1. My first ever post.. not the most interesting perhaps, but ah.. nostalgia.
2. Still my favourite charity shop find.
3. I interviewed illustrator Gemma Correll back in 2009: parts 1 & 2.
4. I opened up some pages from my travel journal in 2010 (bits of which later inspired my travel zines!)
5. In 2010 I sent a travelling sketchbook to some lovely blog readers round the world, asking them to draw inside what they did the day it arrived. In January 2011 it made its way back to me. The pages inside are beautiful, have a look here.
6. Some photos from when Tom & I first moved into the Convent together
7. In May 2011 I shared what's on my bookshelf..
8. In June 2011 Tom and I decided to have regular blackout nights, and turned off all sources off electricity, no phones laptops or TV. Bliss.
9. In August 2011 Tom and I took some very spooky photos in The Convent...
10. And in November 2011 I shared a comic made for my grandmother when she moved out of her home that she'd lived in for nearly 60 years.

Thanks to anyone who's read my blog over the past few years or left lovely comments. Laura x

Saturday, 2 March 2013

#52 Lists: Suburbs i have lived in

(I am doing these lists in a slightly random order, but hey ho!)

1. Normanton, Derby
Normanton gets a bad rep from some people in Derby as I suppose it's a bit of a deprived area. However I enjoyed growing up there as it's so multicultural, lively and down to earth. I liked growing up in a terraced house with a real fire, although there are a few bad memories that stand out in my mind, like looking through my window to see a boy in our garden smashing up the garden gnome I'd won at the school fair.. this still makes me sad!

2. Spring Bank, Hull
When I was a student I lived in a shared house in the rather dodgy area of Spring Bank. Not as nice as the cobbled streets where my halls of residence were the previous year, but it had a certain character!

3. Hockley, Nottingham
When I got my first job I moved to a shared little house in Hockley, in the centre of town here. I enjoyed the years I spent there and met some interesting housemates. Although it could be very loud on weeknights living so close to bars and we'd sometimes have people throwing up in front of our house. Nice.

4. The Park, Nottingham
The Park was recently dubbed the 'Beverley Hills' of Nottingham by The Guardian.. I don't know about that but Hugh Grant was once a resident and it is a lovely quiet area with old fashioned street lamps to light the way at night. The only problem was I didn't really feel a sense of 'community' when I lived there and some of the residents could be a little unwelcoming.

Now I live in a very central area but have the best of both worlds as its quiet and we have a lovely view from our window. Maybe one day I'll move out to the country but for now this feels like home.

Bonus list - Cities i wouldn't mind living in: Bristol, Manchester, Bath, Brighton, Amsterdam... how about you?

Friday, 1 March 2013

Film Friday: Wreck it Ralph

Well, Friday's rolled round again and this time it's brought to you by the letter R, which stands for Disney's new animated hero, Wreck-it Ralph! I admit it was Tom's choice of film, and I may not have seen it otherwise but I really enjoyed it. The plot revolves around a group of computer game characters and there are lots of nods to 80's arcade games, featuring characters like Pacman and Dr Robotnik.

Ralph is the villain in a game called Fix It Felix, but wants to be able to earn his own medal and goes off on a quest to find one. The film is super fun and best enjoyed with lots of sweets! And the short film before it, Paperman is simply lovely. You can watch it on Youtube here.
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