Saturday, 18 November 2017

Swearing Therapy (and One Hell of a Goodie Bag)

After going to Stylist Live with my youngest sister last year, when I received an email about this year's event, I jumped at the chance to go.

A 'Festival of Inspiration', Stylist Live - hosted at Olympia - was chock full of health and beauty, fashion and lifestyle, with talks, food, drink and shopping!

Both of my sisters wanted to go this year, and having enjoyed the event last year, I decided to go for VIP tickets!
The VIP ticket included lots of awesome extras, such as food, drink, luxury pick 'n' mix (seen above!), glitter makeovers, a VIP lounge, beauty treatment, a talk, and a goodie bag!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Remember, Remember...

...the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.

Alright so it was the fourth of November, and that wasn't the most original of titles, but nevermind.
There was also no treason, the only gunpowder was in the fireworks, and the only plot was to get myself a hotdog from the friendly local scouts!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

October Roundup & 365

Chill and Mist (300/365)
Well, despite my intention to get my butt into gear and work on more goals from The List, this blog totally fell by the wayside again during October.
Maybe it's because the weather is getting colder, maybe I'm just tired of the same goals and lacking in motivation, but I only managed to complete one goal this month:
068. Send Happy Post to 5 people
I wrote about it a few days ago; those who received happy post know who they are (and as for what they are? Awesome is the answer). 

Of course, I also continued taking photos for 365 Project:

October 365 Project photos. Click to view larger (on 365 Project page)
October 365 Project Photos. Click to see larger (on my 365 Project page)
Once again I've struggled a little with ideas. I know I could simply make snapshots day to day, but I went into this project wanting to stretch my fingers creatively. I want to end up with a collection of 365 photos that I'm proud of (though I have a fair few 'meh photos' amongst the bunch!)

Asides from happy post and photography, during October I also:
  • Finished the Japanese course on Duolingo (I still don't remember anything, haha)
  • Picked up German on Duolingo again (I gave up a couple of years ago. Haven't forgotten as much as I thought!)
  • Drew more hands (goal #001; I mostly did this whilst waiting for things like computer scans/backups/etc)
  • Did 99% of my Christmas shopping. Yes, I know it's early. But it's almost finished and I don't have to stress over it, hurrah!
  • Made plans to go to two events in November. Yay!
Hopefully having plans in November means I'll actually update more than once this month, but only time will tell!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Happy Post

Alright, so I still suck at both Doing Things and updating this blog, but at the beginning of the month, I finally completed another goal from The List!
068. Send Happy Post to 5 people

This goal was to do with making friends happy (or at least trying to) by sending unexpected postal goodness their way. Because they deserve to have nice things show up unexpectedly (makes a change from bills, right?)

I often intend to send 'Happy Post' to people for no reason other than 'just because', and it's something I do do from time to time, but never in bulk like this.

It always takes me forever to gather things to send, because I don't like sending someone just one random thing. If I'm going to pay for a 'small packet' sized parcel, I'm going to stuff it as much as I can!

Things I sent:
A combination of socks, notebooks, zines, bookmarks, jewellery, and a postcard to say "Hi!".
Different people received different things, hand-picked just for them, mostly relating to inside jokes, a hobby or interest of theirs.

I can't post a photo because...I only thought about that after packaging everything up.

But I can post about this now, because everyone received their parcels safely! Mission Accomplished!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

August & September Roundup & 365

Flying Fish (218/365)

Alright, so I've been the worst person, and let this blog gather dust for an entire two months. Whoops.

Honestly, I haven't been up to much.
I went to Kitacon (an anime/nerd convention) at the end of August but other than that, and asides a few meetups with friends, life has been decidedly uneventful.
Mostly because I've not made the effort to make it eventful.
Over the past couple of months, I've lost a lot of my motivation to Get Things Done, and to Do Things. Everything takes more energy than I have, and more effort than I'm willing to put in. (Yeah I know, I suck.)

August 365 Project Photos. Click Here to view larger (on 365 Project page)

I am still working on a few goals, but really need to take another look at The List and decide how much I want to do some of those things.

Things I'm doing lately:
  • Practising Japanese on Duolingo (not for a goal, but I'm on a 94 day streak! Yay!)
  • Occasionally drawing hands (goal #001. Fill a sketchbook with artwork/studies of only one subject. I've a long way to go yet!)
  • Gathering things for another goal, so I might actually do something I always intend to do, but take ages to get around to. (It's a cheating goal really, because it's something I do do, just not nearly enough).
  • Trying to memorise every country in Africa (goal #033; I can name abour 30 off the top of my head)
  • Continuing with 365 Project (goal #65)
September 365 Project Photos. Click Here to view larger (on 365 Project Page)

This time around, since I've missed two months worth of roundups, I'm not posting the individual photos from my August/September 365 Project, just screenshots from the 365 Project website. Click them to view the page and see the images at full size.

Please do go take a look, I've been practising with some different kit (70-300mm lens!) and some different concepts and techniques (high key & low key photography, 'splash' shots, surreal images, and more!)

And now, I'll go look at The List, and try to find some motivation...

Monday, 7 August 2017

A Strange Pair: Project Update

Things That People Look Through

I realised it's been some time since I last posted any photos from my project, A Strange Pair.

As a memory refresher, this project is based on information found in a psychology book, relating to the way some schizophrenics categorise objects (see my post, Stop!, for more details).

Things That Cut
Things That Hold Other
Things Together
Things That Should Not Be
Jammed Into An
Electrical Socket

A summary of the project, as I wrote in my first post about it, is:
A Stange Pair is an exploration of the relationships between everyday objects.
Which sounds pretty fancy but is basically me popping various objects and a white background, and snapping pictures, having spent hours trying to come up with unconventional yet logical reasons for those objects to be paired together!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

July Roundup & 365

Big Day (208/365)
Aside from attending my cousin's wedding (above) and upcycling a dress into a waistcoat, I didn't really do anything worth blogging about in July, so this post is going to focus on my 365 Project photos.

Despite doing little of note, I did experiment with some different techniques and ideas when taking photographs this month!

Reflective Afternoon (182/365)
Musical Wave (183/365)
I began the month with a couple of abstract images--reflections of light on the ceiling!
Over the course of the month, I experimented with other types of reflection too.
All will be revealed further on in the post...

Thursday, 3 August 2017

How to Remedy a Shrunken Dress

If you've been reading my ramblings for a few years, you'll know that I bought this awesome embroidered dress at a vintage/second-hand kilo sale, back in 2014.
If you didn't know, you do now ;)

Anyway. Over the years, this dress - which, it turned out, is partly made of wool - shrank when I washed it.

Every. Damn. Time.

No matter how I washed it, that outer later got a little shorter, a little slimmer.

Until the underskirt stuck out a good few inches, and I couldn't zip it up anymore.

It's sat in my project box for a while as I tried to decide what to do with it. I couldn't bear to get rid of that lovely embroidery!

So I made a shrunken waistcoat from it, instead. :)

Though this refashion was simple in theory, in practise it was time-consuming and a bit of a challenge!

I completed this a couple of weeks ago, but until today didn't get around to blogging about it (I know, I'm a slacker.)

The skirt was fraying away from the bodice, so unpicking all that stitching took ages, and because the seam allowances were tiny, it was fiddly work to create new hems.
I also had to remove the side-zip, and create new seams for the outer and lining. Originally I was going to leave the little red tie on it, but after I'd finished sewing, I decided it didn't look right, so cut it off!

Though I can't easily do anything about the slightly shrunken armholes (that wool is a pain in the ass and I am lazy), I've still managed to get a cute, wearable garment from something that I would otherwise have had to get rid of.

Plus it goes nicely with a shirt I have!

With this refashion I complete a goal from The List, so colour me doubly happy!

080. Refashion/upcycle 3 items of clothing
My other refashions have been:
01. Refashioned Retro Dress (another kilo sale find!)
02. Customised Glitter Boots

Seems I've inadvertently refashioned myself a new outfit!

I did the first refashion back in 2014--took me long enough to complete this goal, didn't it!
Having griped in my post about the dress that I messed up the bodice, I fixed it last year--fits much better now :) to remedy a shrunken dress? Turn it into a waistcoat!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Weald & Downland Living Museum

In my June Roundup, I promised a post about my trip to the Weald and Downland Living Museum, and here it is!

This post will mostly be photos; I worked hard to whittle it down to just 10 from the 200 I took!

Dad and I went to the museum on Father's Day, as they were hosting a wood fair. The day was utterly roasting hot, which made it a glorious day for taking photos, but not so much for being outside...
...which meant the coolness of inside these historical buildings was very pleasant!

To call this place a 'museum' is actually a bit of an understatement. This 40 acre site is home to more than 50 historical buildings that have been painstakingly taken apart and rebuilt at the museum. Altogether the buildings showcase a 950 year history of rural life in Britain. They also have a pretty nifty, brand spanking new visitor centre, including a shop and cafe, which I believe opened this year!

Sunday, 9 July 2017

June Roundup & 365

This roundup is a bit late, considering we're just over a week into July now! Between hot weather and being busy with things (mostly everyday things), this blog has been neglected over the past month, with posts I've intended to write as yet left unwritten.

Despite that, I've kept up with 365 Project and am now halfway through! The first six months of the year have gone by very quickly...

Anyway, here's a roundup of what I did in June, along with my June photos for 365 Project.

I started the month by going to see a comical play, The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with my parents, followed by a meal at Las Iguanas in which I tried some new food: Brazilian xinxim (which helped me start on goal #43 Try foods of 5 different countries).
The play was fun, and the xinxim was so tasty that I have actually had dreams about eating it!

Photography-wise, I started off the month photographing pets:

Watching (152/365)
Attempted Portrait (153/365)
Snacking (154/365)
Ignore (155/365)

The first full week in June turned out to be quite a busy one, with three trips out, lots of walking, and some axe throwing for good measure...

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Glazed and Fired

After learning to throw a clay pot during Brighton Fringe last month, I eagerly awaited the time when my sister and I could collect our fired pots from the Painting Pottery Cafe.

We were in Brighton today, so popped in to collect them!

This time, I got a photo of my sister's pot, too. Hers is the heart-shaped one--I think it's really cute!

I'm pleased with how mine looks after being glazed and fired, too. I keep picking it up and looking at it, quietly amazed that it's something I actually made! Though I'm a creatively-inclined person, pottery has always looked rather difficult, so it's nice to have a memento of something I've tried out and not done too badly at.

After trying out pot throwing, I'd definitely recommend it as an activity to try if you're looking for something new!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Unleashing My Inner Viking

Today, I went to the South of England Show, which I've written about before. Last time, I managed to complete a goal whilst there, and this time I managed to complete another one!
095. Throw an axe
I'd added this goal to the list thinking it was unlikely I'd get to do it unless I went to one of those activity days that are on Groupon sometimes (the same goes for 094. Fire a bow, to be honest).

So when I saw a stand doing axe-throwing, I had to have a go!

Out of the 9 throws I got for my money, I managed to hit the target with the wrong end of the axe a few times, took a little chunk out of it once, and finally with my last two throws, I hit the target!

They weren't the best of throws, but I did hit the target at least! I suppose that given enough practise it's easier to get the hang of. If I get a chance again, maybe I'll try throwing one-handed instead, as I think I could get more power behind it that way (two-handed throws, as I did today, allow for more control).

Also, since the rifle range was there again, I had a go...

I did better than last time, getting all the shots in the black. Yay!

Monday, 5 June 2017

A Taste of Brazil

After going to see The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes the other evening, my parents and I went to Las Iguanas for some post-theatre grub!

My previous trip to Las Iguanas involved stuffing myself with tasty Latin tapas, but this time around I decided to be more adventurous and try something different: Xinxim!

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Brighton Fringe Festival is nearly over, and Thursday hailed the last of my Fringe Doings this year. This time, the show was Tobacco Tea Theatre Company's performance of The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. As my parents are Sherlock nerds, they came too.

The performance was held in the same pop-up theatre as The Picture of Dorian Gray, which I wrote about a few weeks ago.

The premise of this play was that Sherlock Holmes unknowingly murders his own client, and sets about to solve the mystery of who did it. But between Watson's rent worries and Moriarty's scheming,
nothing is as straightforward as it seems, which leads to a hilarious and farcical show full of plot twists, wit, and excellent characterisation!

Really enjoyed this play; it was a great way to round off Brighton Fringe!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

May Roundup & 365

The month of May has come to an end, and thanks to Brighton Fringe Festival, it's been my busiest month so far this year!

Along with those events, I managed to get out on quite a few walks, and also make use of the smartphone clip-on lens kit I was given for my birthday at the end of April. The kit comprises of macro, wide-angle and fish-eye lenses, and I started the month by taking a fish-eye picture of a snail!

Curves (121/365)

Once again, I ended up taking many photos of 'nature things' for my 365 Project this month:

Beees? (130/365)
Posy (131/365)
Bald Patch (150/365
Tufty Bunny (122/365)
Petals (132/365)
A Good Nose (128/365)
Mouths (133/365)
Shellter (149/365)
Heads (134/365)
Fluffy Belly (144/365)
Though I keep intending to look for something other than nature to photograph, it still ends up being my go-to topic, whether it's due to a serendipitous discovery of a snail sheltering beneath a flower (and a bad pun I can't resist), a macro of a moth's fluffy body, or a snap of some freesias bought from the local greengrocer!

Being in the countryside, there is nature everywhere, which I suppose explains why I photograph it so much (it's not just laziness I swear).

I guess city-dwellers doing 365 Project might find themselves photographing urban life and landscapes--after all, it's right there on their doorstep.