Sunday, 31 August 2014

Monday Musings... The Biscuiteers

I was looking for some recipes online and ended up getting directed to Biscuiteers Biscuit Company. Now delicious biscuits aside I was totally blown away by their amazing shop front- it looks like a drawing that's come to life!
As someone who generally opts to draw with black ink on white paper I totally loved it.
I hear the biscuits are pretty good too...

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Paperfolk Loves... Lisa Kokin

Lisa Kokin uses embroidery to evoke emotive responses to found imagery and text. She is one talented lady, creating book art and installations as well as teaching classes. I particularly love her series of black and white photographs with stitching, they remind me visually of the work of Christian Boltanski.

Here are a few of her works but there's lots more to look at on her website.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Daily Drawings

A quick drawing I did before heading to bed. I have some new pens which are supposed to be easy to blend (Ha Ha!) Unfortunately they were not as blendable with water as one may have hoped so the background ended up being a little blotchy rather than having a cloudy look to it. I was imagining the design as a linear embroidery on linen combined with acrylic paint background.

Monday Musings... Colourful Pigeons

These colourful birds are courtesy of Spanish pigeon racers who paint their birds in bright, bold colours. The result being a beautiful explosion of colour in the sky. You can read more on the guardian web site.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Books I've Read... Americanah

Americanah is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's third novel and has been shortlisted for the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2014.

What's the plot?

Ifemelu and Obinze grew up together in Lagos but both dreamt of living more successful lives far away from Nigeria. Ifemelu goes to America and Obinze sets up life in England. The novel tracks both of their separate lives but it's clear from the first few chapters that Ifemelu and Obinze's  relationship isn't over. From the outset, the issue of race in the modern world is tackled through the eyes of character's living in countries with very different attitudes- England, America and Nigeria. There is a sense of restlessness that unites all of the characters where they have longed for a life and when they have it its not how they imagined it would be. Ifemelu and Obinze needed to get away from their country of birth but feel incredibly guilty when they no longer feel connected to their culture. Adiche conveys cultural differences through the characters subtle observations and engagement with people in their lives whether it be family or their hairdresser. Essentially this is a love story between two high school sweethearts but it is the tensions around race that create the most interesting story.

What did I think?

I have some mixed feelings about this book, in one respect I really enjoyed the author's way of commenting on race which was by in large done through subtle descriptions, for example the description of the location of Ifemelu's hairdressing salon where it's noted that all salons who cater for African hair are in the worst areas of the city. I also enjoyed Ifemelu's feeling that she wanted to escape her life in Africa because in some ways it meant that she could have a career and more importantly freedom to do what she wanted. This was juxtaposed by her Auntie's situation in America where she found herself poorer and almost needing a husband to support her.
For at least two thirds of the novel I found myself gripped on the ups and downs of the characters lives but towards the end I felt it focused more on the love story of Ifemelu and Obinze which I personally found to be quite stereotypical of most romance novels or rom- com films.

Is it worth a read?

Definitely. Despite my personal reservations about the love story element, the other themes within this novel make it well worth your time. I'm actually quite looking forward to reading another of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novels in the future.

You can pick up a copy here.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday Musings... Kelvin Hall Carnival

So I have to admit, clowns freak me out. I know it's a clich├ęd fear and I would love to say it was because I read too many Stephen King novels (which I haven't) but it's simply because I hate someone's identity being hidden from me.
Anyway despite my clown hatred I've managed to put my fears to bed and bring you some beautiful posters from the Kelvin Hall Carnival and International Circus.

Anyone who has lived in Glasgow will know that nowadays the Kelvin Hall is an international sports arena but at one time it played host to a carnival for all the family. I love the different styles of posters and I actually find the ones from the sixties and seventies to be more appealing from a design perspective than the ones from the eighties. What do you think?






Friday, 8 August 2014

Paperfolk Loves... Donna Wilson

So I've been a fan of Donna Wilson for a while. I love her knitted characters and, not to get all patriotic, she is from Scotland y'know!
Donna's brand has been growing at an amazing rate considering she only set up her company in 2003. I was really excited to hear that she has just released a new fabric collection featuring the same hand-illustrated tone of her knitted characters and other works.
This means we can all have a bit of Donna Wilson's design in our homes but have all the fun of making it ourselves!
Here are some of the new designs available to purchase from her shop.

Check out our feature!

So this is my slightly wonky pic taken on the train of Paperfolk's feature in Hoopla Mag! The new cross stitch patterns available in my etsy shop have been given a plug in the second issue of the contemporary embroidery magazine.
Despite a teeny bit of bias with my work being featured I am actually really impressed with Hoop-La. Being super keen on all things crafty I've spent years picking up magazines that are either too old fashioned or don't have enough content to justify their price. Hoop-La comes in at £4.99 per issue but there is genuinely a lot of content. There is a combination of book and blog recommendations, artist interviews and DIY designs to try out. Unlike other magazines of the same genre, it isn't packed full of adverts, the 100 pages are jam packed full of a nice mixture of tutorials and inspiration from truly contemporary embroidery artists. I would thoroughly recommend and after reading the most recent Summer issue cover to cover I can't wait until the winter one!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Monday Musings... John Venn

I'm really enjoying today's Google doodle to celebrate John Venn's 180th birthday.! Venn is most famous for creating the Venn diagram which shows the relation between sets in the format of pictures. I didn't actually realise Venn was English so that's me learned a couple of fun facts today. You can read more about how the Google doodle animations were created over on the Google blog

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Daily Drawings...

A quick pencil sketch with watercolour of a deer from my sketchbook...