Thursday, 22 December 2011

Me and My Comic Books

I have a life long love of comics. I grew up with Pogo Possum, Tintin, Asterix, Wizard of Id, Garfield, Family Circle, The Perishers, Beano, Dandy, Beezer and that's just to name a few.
In my teens I devoured 2000AD annuals and Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
Around 17 I ventured into my first comic shop alone and ignoring the sweaty stares of fanboys,  I brought my first grown up comic, which was The Furry Freak Brothers, this was my failsafe to avoid the uncomfortable looks girls get in comic shops. I would browse then as soon as I felt creept out I would grab the next FFB and get the hell out of there.
My collection has grown much since then, as I mainly collected graphic novels, I have boxes and boxes of books, love them.
Now I work 2mins from GOSH (the best comic store in London, if not the world) and 10mins from Forbidden Planet, yep I'm screwed. I shall live in a house made of comic books.
Here are my latest acquisitions:
My Fav was Hildafolk, a surprise buy and a pleasant one at that.
Though, in truth, all of these are stella and recommended...

Heartbreak Soup-Pressy from Big Griz, one of the legendary Love and Rockets range, a must read for any comic buff.
Tales from Outer Suburbia- Shaun Tan is magical and this is atmospheric magic captured on paper.
Burma Chronicles- I read another one of his books and find them compelling mundane reads.
Habibi- OMWord! Mega, Humongous, phenomenal, breath-taking, the dreams I had after reading this were warp and epic. I am a longtime fan of Craig Thompson, his Goodbye Chunky Rice was one of my first indie/alt comics.
Flight 7- and yes I have the previous 6. always a pleasure.
Hildafolk-magic fun, lively, gentle, silly, mesmerizing. My friend at work kept saying Nobrow to me, important publishers I guess, so when I saw this I snapped it up.
Blacksad-An Emi reccomendation of epicness, film-noir cat detective, better than I have described it.
Bone- Borrowed from the library years back and vowed to buy my own copy. Pogo Possum meets LOTR.
Copper- a real pleasure and I truly identify with Fred the dog. Came from the pages of Flight.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

By Needle and By Hook!

So Big Griz is trying to steal my scarf, after wrestling him to the ground, I conceded by offering to knit him one.
It's my first proper attempt at knitting, so it will be a very 'special' scarf.
So far the scarf is 4 inches, two colours and very wide.
 I am also attempting to crouchet my sister a shawl for her ever thumping growing bump, Junior. It's my first attempt at a triangle and it's a bit too trianglely. so it'll take a while to be wide enough to go round anything.
I like to crouchet on the bus with my headphones on, it's very relaxing. I try to do one line across for one bus journey.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ice Hockey Series: The Big Playoff

Couple of my Ice Hockey friends, Ciaran Conliffe and Lee Harvey, asked me to do some cartoons based on their ideas, for them to be published in the Streatham Redskins Fanzine. I hope to do a series but here is the first three, which I am told have been published.

The Streatham Redskins are about to be temporarily moved to a new rink in Brixton.
Streatham shall be leaving their historic rink as a new one gets built.
There is a lovely article about the feelings of one of our Hockey players through this change, check it out here:

I have mixed feelings on the Brixton Rink, though I am glad Streatham is getting a new one for the area and the team. 
On one hand this has unfortunatley been built on a valuable asset, of the ever shrinking Brixton market. The big concrete car park, which has now gone, leaving a huge empty space.
Without this car-park the market is pretty much gonna disappear. I wish the local council made more of an effort to rebuild the market rather than let it die.
Here's a wonderful film about the market in Brixton, one I grew up around and had a wonderful ever extending 2nd hand market including tons of fruit and veg and fabric.

The other side of the coin is, I am super super excited that Brixton is going to have an Ice Rink, I hope to become a regular. My sister lives near by so when she has given birth I shall be educating junior on Ice Hockey so he/she grows up to be a Hockey player. I have made junior a customised babygrow.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Crochet Mushroom Tutorial

1. First pick your colours. I recommend one light and one dark. I picked these green ones because they look fluorescent.
2. Next crochet single stitches in a spiral until you have create a circle of the size you like.
3. Next take your other colour and crochet another circle very slightly smaller
4. Now stitch, with the darker thread, the two circles together and stuff a touch of toy filling
5. Using the same dark thread stitch lines of the gills of the mushroom on the lighter circle.
6. Crochet in single stitch a tight tube in the lighter thread, stuff with some toy stuffing, stitch close the ends and attach to the centre of the mushroom.
And your little crochet mushroom is finished, ta da!

Amigurumi Mushroom

 Here's what I made yesterday, I been slightly crochet obsessed (my fingers are super sore) but I figured amigurumi mushrooms would be v.easy and they are!
I shall do a tutorial and post it for you to make your own.

Gosh! It's been over a month since I did a blog post, for shame!
I have some valid excuses. I started an exciting new job 3 weeks ago.
I am now the Animation Coordinator on Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom! Get in!
Pretty much a dream job, pretty full-on chuffed :)
Have to say though I was pretty chocked to leave Chuggington, the team became a bit like family so sorely missed. Chugga-Cho-Cho in the words of Koko, Traintastic Crew.

Before I got the job, I was planning to do a Christmas craft market stall but the stall dream has been postpone. I stopped blogging and started planning and attempting to make mass produce, so I have lots of half made things right now. Which means in a month or two I gonna be spamming my blog with creations.

Since being here I have had the urge to crochet, I think it's the weather change. My pregnant sis requested a crocheted blue shawl for winter so I been working on that. My first ever time I've crocheted a triangle.
That project I like to do on the bus to work, whilst listening to jazz. I witnessed another crocheter on my bus the other day and I chickened out of bringing mine out, next time I see her, I will!

Nice to be back people, I shall keep in touch.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

My Memory Walk

When I signed up to do the Memory walk, I mainly did it because I wanted to find out more about the care available to people with Alzheimers.
As you probably seen in my previous posts, my father had a stroke roughly 5-6 years ago this caused a form of Dementia, and although he is a cheerful soul, he needs 24/7 care mainly provided by my mum. So I did the walk for my Mum, Sandy, and my Dad, Lee.

I was pretty nervous before the walk as I have crappy knee. Been strengthening my thighs with swimming and I had brought my walking shoes and insoles from scholl which help hugely with the ol' leg hinges but I was concerned about how they'd cope with 10 miles.
I regularly walk longish distances, do like a good walk, so I know I can easily do 5 miles, but to provide a challenge I went for the 10, outside my comfort zone.
I got to Battersea park earlier than I'd planned, you could register from 9:30am and I'd got there at 9:30am, bit too precisely.
Upon getting off the bus I was looking for people I thought might be on the walk. One lady with a purple rucksack and walking shoes just like me, seemed to be heading the same way.
Once we got the park there weren't any signs pointing the right way, and I saw this lady and another chap were looking for it too, so I said hello, turned out we were all doing the 10 mile.
The lady with purple rucksack and walking shoes, Jane, became my walking buddy, and so we got our t-shirts, our sticker and name tags, I had my face painted and she had her nails done and we had our picture taken in the free booth as evidence and we got balloons.
 The Alzheimers Society photographer took some staged pictures of us putting our signs on each other, our signs said who we were walking for that day, hers said Her Aunty Peggy and mine My Mum and Dad, Sandy & Lee. Must check the website and see if they used them.
Then we had to do this daft warm up, which I secretly enjoyed, and threw in some extra shimmys.
Then to the theme tune to Rocky we were off! Walking on mass.
Jane and I chatted non stop, the whole 10 miles, which totally helped, we discussed Pinterest, Crafts, ramblers, fashion, just stuff and completely forgot our feet might be hurting. We asked each attendant along the route, how far? Needless to say none of them knew but we carried on pushing through. Jane was determined to do at least a 20 min mile and was thrilled we finished with a 17 min mile and we both agreed to do more walks. And my knees didn't hurt at all!! My calves and the bottom of my feet hurt but I had no blisters and my knees hadn't let me down ( I actually did a little jog at the end and my knees felt great??)
We came in at 2hours and 40 mins and burnt 950 calories (minus the 300 calories on a bacon butty)
We got a medal, a certificate, a goodie bag with sweets, a pedometer, shower gel (do I smell?) and loads of info about Alzheimers, fundraising and walking.
I felt elated, joyous and chuffed and I then, stupidly, walked from Battersea Park to Vauxhall (proving to myself the next challenge is the half marathon!)
I managed to raise £521.50 for the Alzheimers Charity, find out more about demetia and what the Alzheimers Society do and how you can help at:
With Thanks to Amber.H, Claire.S, Fay.C, Jane.H, Nona, Pauline, Patsy.B, Carol, Sarah.P, Karl. L, JW,  Chris, Maria, Veronica, Rosaire, Lucy, Abigail, Ruth, Bill, Eli&Jewels, Robert.A, Emma.H, Simon.D, Fran&Bird, Laraine.C, Tom.B, Helen.W, Jane.C, Andy.G, Nicholas.C, Brian.B, Ciaran.C, Mari-Lou&Family, Katie.A and my Mum&Dad

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Craftivists, Fine Cell Work and awholelotta-Wool

 Yesterday I joined the awesome group Crafitivists to help out in sorting wool for another excellent organisation Fine Cell Work.
Fine Cell Work is an organisation that helps rehabiliate prisoners using crafts, mainly embroidery, to earn, save money and rebuild there lives whilst inside prison. Sitting listening to our co-ordinator, Ella, tell us all about the work they do, was thoroughly inspiring.
They needed the Craftivists help, as their wool donations was starting to over load the office, so the tapestry and the crewel wool had to be organised into colour, and the old and wrong wool weeded out.
We all quietly sat picking away at our laps of colours, it was very meditative and relaxing. Loved the Colours!
Ella, our coordinator, wasn't sure how much we could do but we ended up sorting the lot out and clearing the space under the desk in the office.
I was really glad to join the Craftivists for the day, and do something totally worth while. I wasn't sure how activism and crafts went together but I'm liking their thinking and shall be keeping an eye out for other events. I'd also like to do more voluntary work for Fine Cell Work, really important work, I think.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Leafleting My Neighbourhood

A brilliant new event for South London has been born, the South Lambeth Market, consisting of Local people selling there products locally. The first one last weekend on the 17th went down a treat, with a constant flow of visitors. Selling fine foods and wares from fresh baked bread to plants to crafts, all housed on the court and inside hall of a local pub The Cavendish Arms, I am so pleased it will be a regular thing and I look forward to the next on Saturday the 8th October, 10-4pm. 

I am very keen to help any thing that helps to put Stockwell on the map. So the week before I offered my services to help with distributing fliers. I opted to distribute around my mums neighbourhood just a couple of roads.
Boy, I never realised what strange and hard work it is, up and down stairs, sweating buckets on a highly humid morning. It's Spider season so had to navigate huge webs with orb web spiders in the middle covering pathways. I encountered greasy, grimy gates; front gardens overloaded with gorgeous flower; a faded gnome garden; multiple doorbells on large houses and loads of no junk mail stickers “it's not junk, it's an invitation” I thinks to myself. By the time I finished I was grimmy, covered in cobwebs and dripping with sweat but I got to know my neighbourhood a bit better. Just walking through their gate up to their door gave me more of an idea of who lives in my hood, it's not as posh up close.  

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

End of The Road 2011: Paintings

Well I've just got back from EOTR, slightly tanned and quite contented.
In many years gone by, festivals to me were about getting wasted outdoors with loud music, and fancy footwork.

This festival I was determined not to drink but to try and see as many bands as possible because I was over awed by the line up, the line up was the reason I leaped forth and brought a ticket.

Saw some amazing bands including: The Growlers, Secret Sisters, Caitlin Rose, Micah.P.Hinson, Clap your Hands Say Yeah, Joan as Police Woman, Sam Amidon, Beirut, This is the Kit, Diagrams, Nathaniel Rateliff, Phosphorescent, Tinariwen, The leisure Society, Josh T. Pearson, John Grant, and Joanna Newsom to name but a few.
My favorites were Josh T. Pearson, John Grant, The Leisure Society, This is The Kit,  Diagrams, Joanna Newsom.

I liked stargazing to Joanna Newsom it was so cold and our legs killed so we lay on Chezza's poncho and watched the stars to the gorgeous voice and harp of Joanna Newsome, it sounded like the stars singing.
This is the Kit filled the Tipi tent, with a full crew of musicians including a lady playing the saw. I found some of her music I hadn't already got and was lucky enough to have a little chat about South London and get a signing from Kate Stables of This is the Kit. 
The Tipi tent was very good for discovering new music, Nathaniel Rateliff was phenomonal, Sam Amidon stella voice, and Diagrams were my big favs with their ballons and mention of Streatham!
Diagrams' Sam Genders was telling the audience how he'd asked the manager for a budget to make this gig 'wow', and got given £ he went to the pound shop and brought loads of bubble blowers and balloons and handed them out and I have to say, it was awesome. The whole of the front of the stage was multi-coloured balloons bouncing up and down. And really loved the music.
I was utterly mesmerised by Josh T Pearson's soulful singing, blew me away.

As always the festival food was Amazing food Pieminster, Nachos, pizzas, corn on the cob, falafel, proper lush and yum!

Being sober and forgetting my camera I took the opportunity to draw and paint, I'd forgotten my paint brush so had to use my fingers, but I think they came out rather nice.

And the company was awesome, thanks Ladies, Chezza and Ams for good times and good company! You guys are awesome :)

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Young Craftster's Creation

The other month I crocheted a little pig, and named him Iggy. I felt he needed a new home as I never like to keep my own creations. My mum told me of her friends 8 year old grand-daughter who often gives my mum hugs at church and is a constant sunny presence. So I decided I'd send her Iggy the Pig with a little thank you for looking after my mum.
Well! I was extremely chuffed and surprised to receive in the post a thank you card with a fantastic pair of hand made earrings by the young craftster herself! 
I wore them to work, proudly telling everyone who had made them.
Thank You Nicole! Keep up the Good Work, very impressed!
Me in Handmade Earrings

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Hannahmade Rubber Stamps

So I keep my rubber stamps in a stamp box, lol, see the pun? I love puns, hot cross puns!
Since I was little I've watched my Dad carve, from wooden animals to lino cuts. 
He got me into lino cuts around my early teens, and I guess I took it for granted at the time. 
My favourite lino print of his is his dandelion print, we still have lots of his lino cuts in the cupboard, just looking at them takes me back in time.

Although lino is beautiful and you can get intricate gorgeous detail, carving erasers is quick, fun, cheap and easy. Have a look at my tutorial for a rough outline.

 Course, one of the key things to remember about carving writing in a stamp, is always reverse the image.

I had to do these letters and the snail mail twice because I wasn't thinking and forgot to reverse the letters. It does show how quick one can do them though as I did the lot in one evening.
Only 17 more letters to go!

Remember to reverse your image!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

H.Bs How! Stamps

An Eraser, A Pen, An Idea
Some Carving Tools (acquired from pound shops to art shops)
Some Ink Pads (acquired from art and stationary shops)

Think of something, ok? Now draw it on your eraser.

  Using a thin line cutter, gently cut
the line. This should be like a hot
knife through butter, so go careful.

 Using your little ink-pad, colour onto the stamp et viola! you're good to go!

 And of course if you'd like to tweak it, you can always add little
establishment like the little heart I
added to mine.

Once you get the hang of it you can create all sorts, for instance this tree, and by using the little ink-pads, you can easily apply different colours to different areas.

That's a Hannah How For Now! Give it a Go :)