Thursday, 18 June 2015


Yeah... so that happened about two weeks ago... let's just bypass it and start enjoying some music from the past thirty years of my life.

Hopefully in some kind of chronological order, please enjoy my I turned 30 and all I get is this lousy playlist, with lots of stuff I liked, loved and listened too between 1985 to 2015*, and yep, I will keep adding to it, because actually, it's become one of my go too playlists!

* I am negating my Boyzone, Eternal, Spicegirls phase. Though a advert currently on British TV has made me remember how much I love East17 as a kid and the anniversary episode of TFI has reminded me of a tonne of music I loved and why I love TFI! Sod Top Gear, Evans, bring back TFI!

Listening: Loser - Beck

paper architects

The Paper Architect, Alchimie de Courvoisier, The Hunter and Theatre Book - Macbeth, all hand crafted by Bristol based husband and wife duo, Davy and Kristin McGuire. All of which are beautifully delicate, and emotional paper dioramas, made as theatrical installations which are brought to life with projected movements.

The Paper Architect, is my particular favourite. In a mixture of papercut sculpture, projections and live action, it tells the story of an lonely elderly man (play by John Cording) who is about to be evicted from his studio workshop, and whilst spending a few final hours with his work, contemplates how life could have turned out differently. It's a melancholy story most people can probably empathies with.

Whether it's an installation, or a pop up book, beautifully illuminated and animated, the couples work is just magical.

All I'm going to say is, ugh!

Also, that I feel gypped. We never got to do dioramas at school, I would have LOVED to do dioramas at school! I'd love to do dioramas now! Then again, that's kind of what I do at work isn't it? Oversized dioramas. Though not actually for work... my work involves more ordering things on the computer, and fitting lenses into frames... ugh, my job sucks, I want to be them!

Link | Davy and Kristin McGuire
Link | Davy and Kristin McGuire on Vimeo
Link | Beautiful Papercraft Installations Brought To Life [...] by Davy and Kristin McGuire via Laughing Squid
Link | The Paper Architect by Davy and Kristin McGuire photographed by India Roper-Evans

Listening: Search Party - Ghost Poet

Sunday, 14 June 2015

pop culture pencils

There's nothing better than a good pencil. Sounds stupid, but a bad pencil, can be a horrible and irritating object to use. Scratchy leads that you can feel juddering across the page and ones that have broken down the entire length of the pencil and continuously snap as you're sharpening them... a lot of pencils are truly horrible. I could show you... there's a lot of cheap HB's* festering in my pencil pot alongside the better quality H to B drawing pencils I collected during uni, and the bendy** pencils I recently bought on a nostalgia trip.

Honestly, I'm a pen girl, for both writing and drawing and always in black ink. So I rarely use pencils these days, unless it's either handy or for preparatory sketching. But I remember kids in school with their names printed on their pencils. Where they were getting these mysteriously personalised pencils from, before the days of internet shopping, is beyond me, but you'd trump them with these telly inspired beauties.

Sarah Graham, founder of the Glasgow based La La Land and creator of Pop Culture Pencils, hand-stamps each of her pencils. Emblazoning them, not with kids names - though seeing you can have a thirty character long custom set made for a little extra money, your name is not a lost concept - instead, the length of the pencil is stamped and foiled with quotes and catchphrases from your favourite telly shows and films. These include, The Might Boosh "Stop tugging me mink!"; Community "Cool, cool cool cool"; The Thick Of It, "Come the fuck in or fuck the fuck off" and a new addition, from Adventure Time "Oh My Glob!". Along with many others from a lot of the shows I watch and films I love.

La La Land is also the originator of the Celebrity Wife Pencil Set, so your pencils can pledge your love as Mrs Benedict Cumberbatch; Mrs Ryan Gosling; Mrs Jamie Dornan or Mrs Alexander Skarsgard.

Not sure I'm going to buy those ones, but my lovely sisters bought me the IT Crowd set for Christmas. They're still in the Pop Culture packaging and I have a look at them every time "I'm in an ethical pickle."  Pretty sure there will be a few more sets in my pen pot in the future and I hope they're in yours too.

* Pencils are graded H to B, as I'm sure you know, H standing for Hardness and B Blackness. Ranging in most brands from 9H to 9B with HB, your traditional school writing pencil, almost slap bang in the middle. 9H being the hardest and resulting in very light markings, 9B being softest and giving the darkest markings. There is one aberration to this grading system, F, which sits between HB and H and while it mythically represents Fineness, there's conflicted opinions on whether it sharpens any finer than those which flank it.

** BIC Evolutions are recycled wood free pencils which when I was a kid, I loved because they were bendy, they sharpened nicely and were a nice aqua colour. I was easily swayed by anything that wasn't your traditional black and yellow or black and red stripe.

Link | Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Pop Culture Pencils on Etsy
Link | La La Land Blog
Link | What Would Buffy Do? Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Princess Bride Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Muppet Christmas Carol: Rizzo The Rat Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Adventure Time: Oh My Glob Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Malcolm Tucker The Thick of It Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | The Mighty Boosh Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Community Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | The IT Crowd Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Spaced Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land
Link | Parks and Recreation Pencil Set from Pop Culture Pencils on La La Land

Listening: The Riverboat Song - Ocean Colour Scene

Sunday, 7 June 2015

tea stained

I like cups, all sorts, but generally the one at home are white inside. Down side is, I don't like tea stains, they make things look grubby even when you know they're clean. Luckily, I find something satisfying about getting rid of them, despite my hatred of bleach.

Designer Bethan Laura Wood, may actually change my mind on the horror of tea stains. Her series of ceramic teacups entitled, "Stain", is centred around the development of the product once in use and the decorative pattern actually improving as cup after cup of tea is brewed and the inevitable stains begin to build on its surface. The project is intended to challenge the assumption that use is damaging the object.

The surface of the bone china is treated in such a way that initially invisible patterns begin to become more vivid as they are constantly filled. However the way in which the pattern develops, the saturation of the colour and particular areas of concentration, depends on the drinking habits of the particular tea jenny making the brew.

Anything to get away from an extra cleaning job. Such a good idea.

Link | Wood London "Stain" by Bethan Laura Wood
Link | Wood London "Stain 2014 | Flock" by Bethan Laura Wood
Link | Spot Cup by Bethan Laura Wood from L’ArcoBaleno

Listening: Emily's Pine - The Bluetones

musical interlude: "devil town"

For a few years, my sisters have been trying to convince me to watch Friday Night Lights, and for years I've not watched it, partly because I just wasn't in the mood for it, partly because I don't particularly enjoy sports movie/television and partly to annoy them. But, we began watching an episode a night a few of months ago, and we're now about to finish it completely and I am actually kicking myself for not watching it sooner, because it's amazing. I give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

If you don't know it, Friday Night Lights is about high school football, the obsessive nature of the game and the importance one town in Texas, places on it. Initially it was a book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream (1990) by H.G. "Buzz" Bissinger, a piece of non-fiction about the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas. No names were changed and to the author, it was a piece of journalism, then in 2004, the book was made into a film, Friday Night Lights, starring Billy-Bob Thornton, which followed the Odessa Panthers through the 1988 season - I can't really say more than that, because I've still not actually watched it.

Two years later, in 2006, it was adapted for television by Peter Berg for NBC, brought into present day and made to exist within the fictional town of Dillon, Texas. The heart of the five series is Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), his relationships with his wife Tami (Connie Briton) and daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden); the football players he coaches and the strains and stresses which come from trying to succeed in the whole towns dream of football success.

Four of the best reasons to watch it:

1) Coach, and his beautiful mixture of surliness and compassion.
2) WWTRD: What Would Tim Riggins Do? Drink it, shag it or fight it, probably. Tim (Taylor Kitsch) is made out to be a fuck up, but a loveable one. In Riggins we trust! (Maybe not in his brother Billy though.)
3) Poor Matt Saracen - which is chorused nearly every episode. Matt (Zach Gilford) is a lovely, sweet guy and if it can go wrong, it will.

4) Tami Taylor, y'all. Chandler and Briton make a really believable couple throughout and enviable during their best moments. Plus don't mess with Mrs Coach! Y'all got that?
Now for the music, W G Snuffy Walden, who scored The West Wing also responsible for Friday Night Lights, but with popular music interspersed, including this cover of Daniel Johnston's song, "Devil Town". This version by Tony Lucca, was commissioned by the show, after they were unable to secure the right of the Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) version. It has been used a few times during the five series and the first time it played there was a scramble for a google machine to find out who the song was by, and it's now stuck firmly in my head.

Oh, and I may get stick off my sisters for using possibly the girliest/hipster incarnation of Coaches motto "Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose," as I could find, but at least it's spelt correctly, unlike on the menu of every disc from seasons four and five we've watched.

Link | Clear Eyes Full Hearts Can't Lose Print by Peinthesky on Etsy
Link | Friday Night Lights on IMBd
Link | Friday Night Lights on Wikipedia

Listening: Devil Town - Tony Lucca

Saturday, 6 June 2015

strange and beautiful

Carsten Witte's series of photographs delicately painted with fine anatomical images of skulls entitled, "Intuition". The Hamburg based photographers series depicts the fleeting nature of beauty and how photography only really preserves a moment.

One main idea behind my work is the belief that everything is constantly changing but photography can preserve the moment. Beauty is almost nothing without the knowledge of how fast it will fade...(via behance)

It's a bit of a departure from the happy go lucky illustrations I posted yesterday, but I keep coming back to these pictures because I find something really strange a beautiful about them.

That and I've been watching too much The Walking Dead and Supernatural.

Link | Carsten Witte Prosite: Intuition
Link | Carsten Witte on Onelife
Link | Carsten Witte on Behance
Link | Skull Portraits by Carste Witte via This Is Colossal
Link | Intuition by Carsten Witte via Design Collector
Link | Skull Portraits "Intuition" by Carsten Witte NSFW via Juxtapoz
Link | Skull Portraits by Carsten Witte via Elements Magazine

Listening: Beautiful People - Supergrass

Friday, 5 June 2015

i love doodle

Lim Heng Swee aka ilovedoodle, is a Malaysian illustrator and graphic designer who's designs are all about making people happy. He likes "Doodling A Smile".

I dare you not to be cheered by at least one of these doodles.

Link | I Love Doodle Website
Link | I Love Doodle Etsy
Link | I Love Doodle Pinterest
Link | Bad Hair Day | Beautiful Inside | Dark Side | Double Cone | I'll Never Let Go
Link | Know Your Enemy | Lonely Traveller | Microwave |Pattern Conflict | The Best Is Yeti To Come

Listening: You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet - Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

inner city snails

"No snails were harmed รข€“ they just had their homes vandalised."

This is a thing. Some people have taken to painting the shells of snails - using non-toxic paint of course - to help prevent people from accidentally stepping on the poor blighter's. Even thought they eat our nice hosta's and I have no nice feelings towards their naturist cousin, the slug, I quite like snails. I'm not entirely sure why, but I do and while ethically I'm not sure how kind it really is to paint animals shells, even with non-toxic paint, I think if I saw a graffiti covered snail trundling slowly through the garden, I'd be tickled pink and keep my eye out for it.

These particular specimens are by London based artist, Slinkachu, who's other projects resolve around miniature figures, innocuously going about their lives in the capital, in amongst the weed filled cracks in stairs and detritus found on the street. But on the subject of snails:

"Inner City Snail, is a satire on the over abundance of urban media. The snails are decorated by hand with graffiti, advertisements, or tiny figures and then left to go about their business in the city - albeit on a smaller scale, and at a slower pace, than their grander counterparts." (

So if you ever see a graffiti covered snail, tip your hat, wish it good day and make sure to step over it.

Link | - Inner City Snail (also Little People Project)
Link | Inner City Snail - A Slow Moving Art Project - Blog
Link | Graffiti Snails Roaming London As Part Of Slow-moving Art Project via Metro
Link | Inner City Snail: Geile Schnecken via Rebel:Art
Link | Slinkachu: “Inner City Snail” via Shape+Colour
Link | To Prevent Snails From Getting Stepped On, People Pimp Out Their Shells via Bored Panda

Listening: You've Got Time - Regina Spektor 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

the walking toy

Two things I love, The Walking Dead and Toy Story... then you read one Buzzfeed article and you realise there's a reason you love the them.

It's a story about a sheriff, who loves his kid, the band of misfits he runs with and their repeated fight for life against the dead and those who want to take control of anyone who's left...

Think about it.

Link | The Walking Dead Influenced by Toy Story V2 by Toooooony on deviantArt
Link | The Walking Toys  (Walking Dead/Toy Story) by armalarm on deviantArt
Link | Undeniable Proof That “The Walking Dead” And “Toy Story” Have The Exact Same Plot via Buzzfeed

Listening: Zombie - Jamie T
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