Saturday, 26 February 2011

Handy's Makeover

I was inspired to post this as I found a cool crafts blog Strumpets Crumpets with a Memory Lane project about memorable items from your childhood.

This is Russ's good pal, Handy. Made for him before he was born, Handy has been Russ's buddy for many a year and not a Christmas goes by without a drink raised to Handy.
Course when I met Handy he looked like this (see before pic)
So I took my craftsy skills and gave him a make over. Carefully hand washing him as he is an old man now, I gave him new eyes and new nose, sewed his neck back properly (Russ's attempts had been a tad rough) and I crocheted a jumper especially for him. And this is Handy today with a new lease of life.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Burlesque Life Drawing at the Folk House

Being new to Bristol, I have no idea where to start when it comes to places to go and things to do, so I was glad this came up, Burlesque Life Drawing at the Folk House.

I've heard of it before in London and never got round to going, so a bunch of us from work went along with sketchbooks tucked under arm and bags brimming with pens and chalks. The Folk House is tucked down an alley on the side of a very steep hill with lots of shops on. Once you go down the alley it opens up behind the shops into a court yard, it had a nice feel to the place. The hall was large enough and already full (though not too full) and there was an easel free so I nabbed it.

I prefer to life draw standing up, because it's more physical and you can pull the poses your trying to draw, and I like to take my shoes off, because then I feel more relaxed, and can focus more. It's been a long time since I've done life drawing so took me a while to warm up (and those drawings aren't on here!) but once I got into the headspace, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I remembered about using fingers to smudge helps to feel the contours and sculpt the image. The other trick I used was, using a light skin tone pastel, I mapped out the figure in quick marks, then went in with the pencil, that helped alot.

We had two models Delilah Di Sgrace and GoldiLox, they held a selection of burlesque poses for a range of 10-20minutes.
Some of my better images are the 20minute ones although one of my favourites is the hula hoop one which was the last one of the night, a 5 minute pose, which by then I was really warmed up and found it easy and fun.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Happy Birthday Nuclear Dawn!!

The LMPS gathered before dawn, ok more like 11:30am it was a Sunday after all.
Balloons were blown, equipment gathered, venue set up, doors flung open, then the hoards began to gather in their ones and twos, drips and drabs, whilst busy beavering away upstairs the LMPS did the finishing touches.
By 12:45 a good crowd had gathered and down came the LMPS to grab a swift drink and meet the people. A tall white haired kiwi strided across the room towards artist Brian Barnes cheerfully booming “well your looking older” “Dale!” cried Barnes, “I haven’t seen you for years!”
The two original creators had a Cilla Black moment and merrily caught up with life, post murals.
On cue the hoards we gathered and on mass, looking both ways to cross the road, the crowd was guided to the site of the mural we’d all come to see, Nuclear Dawn.
With party hats and party poppers, and a few beers in the hand, we all cheered and toasted the 30year old mural a happy birthday, singing in full embarrassing volume for all of Brixton to hear, for a prosperous future and a quick photo opportunity.
Then all were whisked round the side where a curtain hung on the wall, a team of old hippies heaved a bin out the way, to make the moment more ceremonious. Then Dale and Brian, with a quick whip of their hands unveiled two plaques commemorating 30years of a Brixton well loved landmark to great cheers and more party poppers.
Our leader and co-ordinator Ruth miller, said “right now back to the pub”
And all 50 of us hiked back over the road, and into the Dogstar.
In the penthouse room at the top of the building everyone took their places and with a little fiddling the projector was on and the slide show begun as Brian, with many interjections from Dale, talked us through the making of Nuclear Dawn thirty years ago that day.
With flimsy scaffolding, original concepts, making in process and some very hairy photos of Brian and Dale, the story of Nuclear Dawn unfolded.
By the end of the talk, many a few vintage residents got into discussions of the place and politics past.
Close on it’s heals an animation made by local resident, Hannah Miller, was shown featuring the mural coming alive, a fascinating capturing of the time and era the mural was made, her childhood.
Finally Ruth closed the evening with Thanks You’s and offerings of the the legendary cakes and limited edition badges and was then pleasantly surprised to receive a beautiful print of Nuclear dawn by Brian himself, you could tell she was chuffed.
Cake and conversation were equally scoffed and a fun day was had by all.
God bless Nuclear Dawn and all who walk by her for many years to come!

Congratulations Moggy!

One of my oldest and dearest friends just had a beautiful baby girl.
Congratulations Moggy on your most wonderful creation ever!
Weaver and Textile Goddess check out her shop and website:

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Morning All!

It don't take me long to gets to work in the mornings so I get to chill out with my morning coffee, this morning I did it with a drawing. I am currently reading The Creative License by Danny Gregory which is all about 'Giving yourself permission to be the artist you really are', just finished reading his book 'Everyday Matters' they're very good and full of illustrations, v.inspiring.