Sunday, 28 February 2010


Blog successfully neglected for 4 days. Deary me.
Thankfully this can be my catch up blog. Equipped with pictures and exciting information (maybe).

Well Wednesday I started off by picking up some bits and bobs that I needed. Including some much needed hair-dye. I have a sneaky suspition that Vidal Sassoon won't be in the slightest bit impressed that I've dyed my hair dark brown but the pink was too high-maintenance and goes a weird salmon colour when washed out. Feeling much to cheeky to continually ask for free cuts and colour (I know, I'm not greedy). AND to shock them even more I sort of, mutalated my hair. Yeah, I got my grubby little hands on a pair of scissors. BAD IDEA. Well, it looks ok, but when you're hair is kind of the property of a salon that cut very specifically they'll know that my red handled IKEA scissors were the culprits of this DIY haircut. My excuse so far is....chewing gum? Pretty good all rounder don't you think. Anyway my hair now looks like this -

Bit of a shoddy picture but there we go.

Anyway, I had to quickly dye my hair and get stuff together to head to Bristol to meet up with the lovely Anita for the show in 'The Mothers Ruin' that she had put on. Featuring homies 'Goodtime Boys' and 'Polar'. I got in around 4pm and headed to Anitas place to meet her famous rabbit, Jeff, meet her flatmates, dump bag, sell a bike and head out to get some food. We managed all of that in an hour and a half then headed up to the venue to meet the guys and see how soundcheck was going. The venue was awesome. Small with a lot of levels, four to be exact. Dingy and everything you'd expect a 'rock' bar to be. The show was a late one and didn't kick off til 9.30pm. Both bands played awesomely and it was nice to not be in a familiar venue with familiar faces, besides that of Zoe, Anita and the GTB ofcourse. Faces I personally couldn't get enough of.

Afterward we headed to 'Start the Bus', literally 5minutes down the way. There was an illustration competition taking place involving an illustration team from Bristol and from Poland. The competition is taking place through Europe, called 'Secret Wars' (check it out, see if it's coming anywhere near you). The competition involves the two teams having a given amount of time to produce a piece in their own illustrative style. We got there when the teams had just 50minutes left. The place was absolutely packed but becaue of the sheer size of the canvas, everyone stood good chance of seeing what they had created thus far.

pretty bad lighting but this was the Bristol teams piece so far. They had covered the majority of their canvas and everything looked pretty spectacular considering they had no reference and no prior markings. They have been a graffiti group for 20years so don't feel too intimidated.

This was the Polish side. At this point me and Anita had managed to squeeze to the front, cha-ching, just so we could take a look at this rather charming fat piggy. Even though this teams canvas wasn't filled to the rim I personally prefered the work and style they were doing. Probably why I have a considerable amount of photos for their piece rather than the Bristol team.

such a handsome pig.

That speech bubble said 'Beeenksy'.

And would you believe, but my chosen team won! The Polish were titled the winners of the Bristol part of the competition. They painted a big black cross on Bristols side (which was a bit harsh I thought) and the two teams had photos together with the bad Westwood impresonator, Hong Kong graphic designer and local Bristolian illustrator. I had an awesome time, and spent sometime thinking how Cardiff and Wales in general doesn't seem to have the same opportunities. Considering it has two Cities that's pretty shocking. Luckily Bristol is just a 40minute train journey away so I'm lucky that I don't have to miss these opportunities.

When we headed outside we walked straight into the startings of a push about between two bristolian men and the Westwood presentor guy. I never thought I'd see such hooligan behaviour over art. Throwing lit cigarettes at the presentor yelling "use your fucking eyes". I was actually gobsmacked, and ofcourse, ended up in a debate with one of the guys over his behaviour and his belief that Bristol should of one soley because it was Bristols hometown. You can see why I had so many quarms with that statement. Eventually Anita and co dragged me away 'cause I get pretty defiant.

That night me and Anita stayed up chatting til 5am, natrually.

The following day we ventured to Glouster Road in search of charity shops and arty type places. Ofcourse. Anita took me to this awesome little art store with local artists work being sold and magazines etc. The exhibition showed two artists (who I'll fill in later cause my minds gone completely blank).

Artist #2

Then to a Junk shop/my haven.

This was a table top made from found china and porcelain. Awesome. When I think about all the shards I found as a kid in my garden, sigh.

Next I spent some hard earned cash in a organic/vegan/health store. Pretty much the best one I've been in yet, yes, even over Hungry Planet's store section. I bought Marinated Tofu, Silken Tofu (so hard to find in cardiff), Olive Pate, Eggless noodles, Vegan chocolate coated ginger, Miso Soup and some other bits and bobs. After all the food buying we felt pretty hungry ourselves so stopped in Cafe Kino on our way back. I got a Kino Burger with chips and a chocolate soy-milk carton. All vegan, even down to the mayo - nayonaise! When we got sent our food, the chef told me that the batch of burgers were particularly small so she gave me a free vegan muffin. What a cutie.

All completely delicious and I saved my muffin for the train ride home.

Such an awesome two days in Bristol, and I'm sure I'll be back more regularly with my lovely Zoe becoming it's most recent resident from my clan!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A Single Man

I'm a little late on the uptake with this film.
I was eagerly anticipating it's release around valentines day but a whole bunch of stuff managed to get right in the way of me seeing it. Then before you know it, it's down to just 3 showings a day.
The poster for this film was enough to get my 'need to see' mind flowing.

For a start it's won an award at the Venice Film Festival. For me that speaks volumes over any 'Bafta' or 'Oscar' award. I didn't even want to read up on it so my mind was completely opinonless other than that coming from the poster ofcourse.

Colin Firth (Bridget Jones, Love Actually - and a bunch of other films I'm non to keen on) looks completely different in this film. An improvement I might add. He didn't look so traditionally English despite his strong Hampshire accent that fits perfectly with his knowledgeable yet fragile character. Playing George Falconer, an English professor in Los Angeles who sufferes the loss of his life partner Jim in a horrifying car accident. The film focus' on a single day of Georges life where he sets about preparing his affairs before he commits suicide. Throughout his daily regime and pre and post suicide plans we are subjected to flashbacks and visions of the great love that was present between himself and Jim. These flashbacks give us vital information about the tenderness and love shared between two men during a sixteen year relationship. Although there is a sense of secrecy about their love, there is no denying that it is a love and friendship that most yearn for. In effect, these scenes subject us to the grief and sadness that George feels. The feeling of emptiness and state of just being as opposed to living. Throughout the day we are introduced to a number of people who notice Georges diminishing state of clarity and happiness. Some are strangers and some are life long friends.

The mise-en-scene and cinematography are pretty much perfect in this film. Set in the 1960's it's like my dream era. Every scene was spectacular and filled with tiny details, I'm sure there are mistakes made - there generally is with films based on the past. Having done some basic research on the film, I found out that it was shot in just 21 days and funded by Tom Ford himself (probably wasn't enough CGI antics going on for the film board to allow funding). Also the role of Kenny (a student in George's class who takes great interest in the professor) was originally going to be played by Jaime Bell, who didn't show up for his dress rehersal 5 days prior to shooting, so Ford remembered an auditiontape from Nicholas Hoult (About A Boy, Skins) who was given the role.

I really do recommend this film. It's increduously touching and comedic in some parts almost.
Here's the trailer

mail me art

I managed to take back my owing books today which only cost me £3 an considering I'd had 2 for well over a month I thought it was going to a lot more than that.
Seens as my lecturer for writing won't be in for a week and I couldn't go out to take photos thanks to the looming snow, I decided to read the newest journals and recommended art books (library recommended). I found this book, 'Mail Me Art' which is a collection of work from small/commercial artists who have decorated an envelope or parcel in their own creative style. It was really interesting to look at as well as making me think about going to look more of the selected artists work. So basically, I thought I'd upload some samples:

Unfortunately the 'Mail Me Art' website that I found these images on didn't list what artist did what! Kind of annoying for both readers and the artist I would assume.

Check the website for more information. Or if you want to know who any of the above are then post a comment and I can find out from my library. This book is definately worth checking out if you're big into illustration type works. Or if you're an illustrator/painter/drawer/graphic artist yourself you could enter the competition. I think the Mail Me Art 2 book application is now closed so keep your eyes peeled for the next opportunity!

Monday, 22 February 2010


Ok, so I got asked to put up some photos of the Scorpion, which by the way, has turned into two Scorpions over night.
Alex went and bought another on Clifton St today and this one IS female so he's calling her Cindy. The other I think, should be Lauper. haha.

This one is Lauper eating a cricket (I kept calling them cockroaches yesterday...whatever) pretty savage. Neat little cave though right?

This one is Cindy, she's a lot bigger than Lauper and is more of a green colour (which doesn't show cause of my shoddy phone camera flash). We fed her a cricket with a chopstick but she accidently grabbed the chopshick instead and MANNN is she strong!

Little cricket. Aww man, he's gunna be stung to death soon.

Anyway, whilst we were watching them, the scorpions found each other and started doing the mating ritual. This includes a dance where they put their pincers together Then the male mounts the female until they feel comfortable and sent vibrating signals. Yeah, this was pretty weird, but awesome. I thought there was going to be some Scorpion war about to unleash when Lauper discovered he had to share his new pad. Although they do have their own caves so if they get annoyed they got their own space.

Other than that today has consisted of attending my new rotation in university which is artistic writing. Doesn't really sound like it should have much to do with Fine Art does it, and not suprisingly this and MAP aren't being run next year (or are but in amongst other subjects) anyway, our two week project is to create a booklet (8pg front and back) that follows Purgatory and Imagination section of the brief. We need to use Indesign so already I'm blowing raspberries at this brief. I had computer technology. Luckily I've got a concept or two already and hope to make the two books this week!

I've got an artist who's work I'm going to make a blog about later after Boxing class and cinema.

I came home and watched the Scorpions. Then headed to Clifton St to run some errands. I bought some Molasses so if anyone has any recipies that use this bring them over. I have a few in my vegan cook books but variety can't hurt. I also got Miso Soup instant sachets, big box of Tofu and a hazlenut nougat and dark chocolate bar for my walk home.

I've just been preparing soup (currently boiling away ready for liquidizing) and my dinner.

Morrocan chickpea and bean Tangine. It's from an organic tin found in the free from section in most supermarkets. No gluten, dairy, wheat or added salt/hydrogenated fat. So it really is good for you. Instead of rice I had two large mushrooms which I lightly fried in vegetable oil with crushed garlic and put on a bed of spinach leaves. Super nice, and so much lighter than having it with rice.

I added some chilli sauce for heat (I got a cold). I know it looks like baked beans but believe me, it's not.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Solomon Kane

It became blatently obvious when I looked at the trailer for this film, that I haven't been to see an action/boy movie in ages. When Alex offered me to hop along with him, Paul and Sian I had noo idea what this film was.
I got linked to the trailer, which, in all fairness looks pretty solid as far as trailers go. Made by the same people as Conan (so I'm told) I was naturally excited.
Over the road the 30 seconds to mars gig was settling a might queue around both sides of the local arena. Seriously are they that big? They're kind of irritating. Naturally thanks to all the parents waiting for their kids to come out of the gig, there was no parking spaces. Apart from my completely illegal, after hours, pavement spot that Alex took great pride in occupying.

We got Large popcorn and drink (coke freakin' zero because Fanta is NOT vegan :( ) and headed in. The screen was actually full, which hasn't happened since the midnight showing of New Moon.
Luckily we got saved prime spots!

So the film started pretty well. Action - cheesey taglines - death - destruction, pretty much what you'd expect. Nice and loud. Then off into the story line. Again, what you'd expect - although the near turning of Kane into a peace ridden hippy was not cool. I didn't come to see no peace (yeah sometimes I like a bit of brutality - just the fake kind). But thankfully all faith was restored. Some parts were ludicrously hilarious. Really, I wish I could remember, but we couldn't help but mutter alternative ends to sentances that had that, y'know, false, "dramatic" pause. Again, I had guessed the 'twist' from about a 1/4 of the way in, so everything else was just being scrutinized. Especially the part where Meredith had made Kane new clothes. INCLUDING a snazzy leather jacket (check topshop).

The other hilarity was the religious propaganda. The film was obviously made by a Christian/fantasy fanatic and it clearly shows in the film. Using God as the 'saviour' for those who deserve to be redeemed for their evil sins and making worth life of those who are "good souls". It's probably unfair to call it propaganda seens as the film is based on a book/graphic novel of some kind. Probably the same era as The Crucible. Although, Christians were painted pretty badly there too.

In all honesty, the film isn't so bad. It is one of those films we love cause they're slightly laughable. The creature at the end though. OH GOD. Awful.


So another late finish on my painting at 5.22am Saturday morning.
I don't know what it is about that time of night/morning that seems to make my creativity flow. It's annoying but also awesome.
Saturday I had to go to the hospital which reminds me how much they SUCK.
I think they freak me out more than...urrgh anything. SO much for being the place that supposedly helps you out.
Anyway, I managed to give my uncle his painting. Thankfully! He loved it, and I'm pretty impressed with it too so I am glad!

Here a few samples:

I didn't crop or cut it because I knew he had a frame so i didn't want to make it too small.
Now to finish my other painting. Maybe after I go see Soloman Kane in the cinema though :D

Oh and my housemate Alex just brought a Scorpian home! It's making such an insane noise. Her name is Cindy aparently, it's pretty creepy/awesome.

Friday, 19 February 2010

declared WINNER!

Ok, so really I haven't won anything free, but I have won two of THE most amazing nesting sets I've ever laid my eyes on.

For once I found awesome stuff on ebay and really cheap.

Sherlock Holmes nesting dolls. Won for just 99p and £4 shipping. SCORE.

And these ones for just £3 with same postage!

Woohoo! I'm psyched to get these in the post for my room. I'm going to buy a real nesting doll when I go to Russia.


I sure would love this necklace! I've been on an etsy mission this morning and found a whole bunch of good prints and jewelry. It's so much easier than ebay!

Anyway, this necklace is from Sweet Berry Bird's shop. You should definately check it out.

I'm going to start painting my two drawings now that need to be done by tomorrow and Sunday! I'd post pictures but they're a suprise so I can't really show them off incase the sneeky devils find out.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

ready steady cook

Oh yes, more food blogging.
So after watching Coco before Chanel, I tidied my room so it's more "organized" for me to work in.
It probably doesn't look organized to anyone else. Then I went debated over what to have for dinner. Seens as I'm going to pilates I figured something substantial was needed.
Yesterday I bought veggies to make roasted vegetables with tortillas so i set the oven to heat and put them in 10minutes after. They tend to take around 40minutes.
In the mean time, I hadn't bought humous as part of my 'make everything from scratch' resolution which I've stuck too besides the odd night that I've eaten out.
Seens as I bought a huge bag of red and green peppers I thought I'd make red pepper humous.

So we have
1 tin of chickpeas (ok so I could of done dry ones but this was a spontaneous make)
1 Red pepper (de-seeded)
1 large clove of garlic
Tahini paste
balsamic vinegar
black pepper.

(you can add salt or lemon juice but I don't like adding salt to food and I ran clean out of lemons hence the balsamic)

so chop the red pepper into chunky cubes and grate the garlic into the bowl of chickpeas.

then add two tablespoons of tahini paste, plenty of black pepper, and a good slosh of balsamic vinegar. ANDDDD process!

put in a nice terracotta bowl...


It's a matter of taste in terms of how much of the ingrediants to add. So keep dipping your finger to keep check. Recipes have never worked for me, just my own tastebuds.

Caramalized (slightly burnt cause my oven is retarded) Roasted veggies done shortly after cleaning all humous making equipment away!

Next step:

Heat wraps and put homemade humous over the first half. I like a lot of humous!

Load up with some spinach leaves (calcium and vitamin heaven) and the roasted veg. Add some sweet chilli sauce or whatever other condiments take your fancy and wrap up.

So good!


Has to be one of my favourite dinners!
Try it.

Coco before Chanel

Wow, what an amazing film.
I knew I'd like it on the presumption that I don't dislike any films that star Audrey Tautou but I really didn't expect that.
I missed this in the cinema which was annoying. The only let down of Cineworld is their reluctance to show world wide cinema for longer than a week or maybe two if you're lucky.
I know it's the whole money making thing but they could keep 2 showings a week.
I was completely unaware of Gabrielle aka Coco's life before she made way into fashion, I'm not a big designer/fashion mogal myself so I may know the names of varying designers but not to say I know the ins and outs of their styles/lifes etc.

I'm generally facinated with most films based around 20's, 30's but it was so captivating watching the unfortunate life/mishaps of someone who's work's of art are still so utterly prominant in todays fashion catalogs/style setters. And to believe it all started with hats. Anyway, I really don't want to give to much away with this film seens as it's so beautiful to watch and all in French too which just empowers the beauty of it. (I actually listened out for all the words I know/recogize - I did ok), really watch this film. It doesn't mean to say you have to love fashion what so ever, but it's beautiful in everyway.

Audrey Tautou as Coco

Coco Chanel. Beautiful.

ms hubbard

Yesterday I woke up really late, I even managed to sleep through two alarms.
I spent the day fixing my virus riddled computer after learning that Facebook has had a virus sent through the chat/messaging system.
Luckily I found a blog to help sort the situation.
I continued to watch the remaining episodes of Lost season 4 and draw.
Seriously, I need series 5 so if anyone knows where I can watch it before I buy the boxed set my frustration will be in debt to you!

I then went shopping with Emma. My car is still broken and I'm awaiting a call back from a friends garage so I can drop the keys around to him.
My cupboards were completely bare, but now....thankfully I spent a good bit of money on restoring them to full status.
Seriously, I don't think they could look anymore vegan:

Peanut butter is my worst addiction.

green green green! :D

garlic, red onion and sweet potatoe. Staples.

banana and pineapple!

This probably seems to be so boring for most but ahh i love fresh food! :D Lots of making to do!

That evening because I was in a bit of a rush and I really hate eating late I had the rest of the previous evenings dinner: Cous cous, Mock Duck, French beans, Red onion in a vegetable stock with black pepper and cumin.

I added some cherry tomatoes to the equation :

It may look boring, but it tastes so satisfying.

I then spent two hours cleaning the entire house from top to bottom, and finished marking up the next painting before Alex came to pick me up to go to Newport, Le Pub. Unfortunately I missed Title Fight but I still managed to bump into Stan who I had no idea was driving Polar Bear Club around and met some new people as well as catching up with the folks I generally only get to see in Newport. I was no help flyering, but I was help in being chatty. Sorry AGP. Got back home at 1am (shockingly) tried to watch LOST S5 online and failed miserably so had friends instead.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


So my evening consisted of watching a couple more episodes of Lost (season 4 I'm defeating you by tomorrow) and going to see The Wolfman with Lee.
Popcorn & fizzy (leave to go flat) drink in tow.
The trailers were pretty awful and I already had a heads-up that this was a b-movie style film.

The only two actors I knew were Anthony Hopkins Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt.
I don't know what that had to say about the movie intially, most mainstream actors aren't THAT brilliant.
Del Toro, probably best known for his role in Snatch, Sin City and the recent Che pt 1&2 was the main character of the film. Named the 'prodgical son' by his father he sets his sights to find the person or monster behind his brothers untimely death.
Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs, Beowulf etc is the father of the two sons whose life took a turn for the worst with the death of his wife followed some years later by the death of his 'favoured' son.
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria, Sunshine Cleaning and The Devil wears Prada is the wife of the dead son who is wanting all of the answers. Soon to fall in love with his troubled elder brother.

The story is as predictable as any werewolf movie you've seen through the years. Really the narrative cannot alter that much. But this movie really does resemble that of a B-movie. Despite jumping at the clamorous noise, I found most of the (what I suppose were supposed to be) scary parts hilarious. There was enough there to keep me entertained, although I think this might of been the confusion regaurding how humorous I was finding the general action.
The ending scenes were especially farcical, especially when other werewolf transformed and proceeded to rip his shirt clean off in hulk esque style. Oh god.

Really, I have no idea what to make of the film. I have a sneaky suspicion that the bad CGI was intentional to follow the B-movie feel. The editing seemed pretty sound and even after checking on the only goof is something that only historians would discover. It's worth a watch that's for certain. But I'd definately be completely open minded before you go in. I think it leaves me with the same uncertainty that 'Drag me to Hell' created. That complete mix of conventions that we've become accustomed to. Anyway, for those who haven't seen/heard anything about it I'll leave the trailer.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

drawings on a loose leaf sheet

So literally just finished my new painting.
It would have been finished last night but I had some lovely late night visits from Alex, Emma and Jordan.
By the time they left (1.30am) I was spent and just wanted to watch more Lost.
Season 4 is seriously messing with me. My brain is working overtime trying to retain all the "clues" which they are giving me, but then snatching away in the next episode.

Anyway, I woke early and I've been feeling groggy so I remained in bed (watched more lost) and painted...and duhdundunnnn....

You'll have to excuse the bad flash from my phone making everything rediculously shiney.
I quite like this one. I'm hoping to produce some prints to sell so as soon as I know if people would like to buy it then let me know and I'll go print some.

Toward finishing Colin came and butted the painting out of my lap and sat in between my crossed legs

yeahh, my PJ's haha, probably the most girly thing I own. How cute is the cat though. He's actually still in the same position but I had to manouver around him. He must be really sleepy. Snoring from time to time.

Now I've finished painting it's suddenly hit me that I haven't eaten anything. Just some innocent smoothie, when you're in the zone not even hunger pangs get to you. Tonight I'm going to draw up my eagle/candle idea ready to paint tomorrow and hopefully the present I'm going to give to zoe...the smaller one at least.

9.30pm is a trip to the cinema to see 'The Wolfman'. Popcorn for dinner mmm!

For now, more Lost.
If anyone knows where I can watch season 5 online please let me know!