I Should Be So Lucky?

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It seems that I’m on a bit of a winning streak at the moment.  Last Saturday, I entered a prize giveaway by the London Jewellery School to win a hamper of jewellery tools on behalf of my sister, who has just started up her own silver jewellery business, Chamarel Designs, in memory of our late Mum. And guess what…I won! I don’t know who was happier, her or me.

A few days later, whilst I was still on my happy high, I was checking my e-mails and discovered that I had also won a pair of tickets to attend Kirstie Allsop’s Handmade Fair 2015.  I was one of a hundred runners-up in a ticket draw I had entered via Facebook. I couldn’t believe it! Two wins in under a week.  Question is, can I make it a hat-trick…?

Frolics in Frinton

If you ever fancy a day out by the coast then head up to Frinton-on-Sea, especially if the weather is going to be a hot one! (As it was on the day Hubby and I decided to visit.)  It has one of the best beaches in the south-east.

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The Art of Baking

I was in a creative mood the other day, but couldn’t decide whether to bake or craft, so I decided to do a combination of the two – paintbrushes and paint palettes.

I was really pleased with the results:

If you want to create the paint palette then use a heart cutter to begin with, then cut off the pointed edge with either a knife, or a round or moon-shaped cookie cutter. Next, take a smaller cutter and cut out a hole at the top edge of the palette.

Check out the awesome ‘Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle, for some great biscuit inspiration, tips and tutorials.  She has some good ideas for how to use utilise cookie cutters to the max, using them to create alternative cookies.

The Force is Strong with this One

I first came across Marc Hagan-Guirey’s (aka Paper Dandy’s) kirigami craft when I stumbled upon his Horrorgami Exhibition back in November 2012. It had topped the Time Out list of things to see that weekend and I have been in awe of his intricate paper cutting and folding skills ever since.

For his latest exhibition, Cut Scene, he created 12 kirigami models inspired by Star Wars.  Each scene is cut from a single sheet of paper and shows an iconic moment from the original films. This time however the coverage of Paper Dandy’s work has been on a much wider scale, everyone from the BBC to Wired magazine have been trying to get a piece of the action.

Cut Scene Poster

I was especially excited about seeing the work this time round, as I had sponsored Paper Dandy’s exhibition on Kickstarter and one of the rewards for doing so was to be able to attend the private viewing of the exhibition prior to it’s official opening night!


The exhibition took place at 5th Base Gallery, Heneage Street, London.  Now I’m not really a fan of Star Wars (yep, okay I said that out loud) but I have seen all the films (the original ones anyway) so I took hubby along with me as he was keen to see more of Paper Dandy’s work, as well as being a Star Wars fanatic himself.

We were greeted upon our arrival by a group of storm troopers – which got people’s attention straight away…my hubby was almost star struck!

We headed inside to see the exhibition and we were by no means disappointed. The models were mind-blowing.  The level of detail within each piece was astounding and in the words of my hubby, ‘This dude is a genius’.

The preview was packed full with people itching to get a look at these amazing creations. I cannot even begin to get my head around the planning process to create these scenes, let alone the patience needed to cut and fold the paper.

Each model was displayed in a coloured light box on the walls of the intimate gallery space. (My photos just don’t do these models justice. They have to be seen to be believed!) Hubby was happy to give me a running commentary about each Cut Scene, in fact, I think he was more excited than I was – for me this was paper porn and for him Star Wars porn! The perfect art exhibition for us both to attend.

We both cannot wait for Paper Dandy’s next exhibition, as he’s already planning the ideas for his next one!

If you’re interested in his work then check out these links to find out more:

Instagram: @paperdandy
Facebook.com/paperdandyart
Twitter: @PixelDandy

Foraging in the Forest

The leaf-littered pathways of Whitewebbs Park.

The leaf-littered pathways of Whitewebbs Park.

It’s beginning to look a lot like autumn and this weekend it certainly started to feel that way!  Though still mild for this time of year, the temperature has dropped a few degrees.  However, today the sun was shining and it was perfect weather for an autumnal walk in the forested pathways of Whitewebbs Park, Enfield.  So with camera (and Hubby) in hand, I took my first proper autumn stroll of the year.

They say there’s nothing like a good walk to relax and clear the cobwebs and they’d be right.  I find going for a walk inspiring.  Its gets my creative juices flowing and gives me ideas for drawings, paper cuts and handmade cards.  Autumn is full of rich colours; browns, oranges, reds and the trees of the forests share their harvest of fruits, seeds and berries.

As some of you may know, I have some collectable obsessions with leaves, acorns and pine cones, but sadly there are not many acorns to be had this year.  Experts say due to last year’s bumper crop, the following year is usually not as abundant.  But sweet chestnuts and horse chestnuts are scattered everywhere this year.  There’s something very satisfying about your eye catching the richly-coloured (almost polished) surface of a freshly fallen conker.  People say it’s the simple things in life that make you happy and I’d have to agree with them.

 

Opening Night Makes The Cut

You may remember me mentioning a while ago that I had bought an amazing book on paper cutting, Paper Cut: An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft Art and Illustration, by Owen Gildersleeve?  Well, by sheer luck, whilst having a browse (or more blatantly a nosey) on social media (namely Facebook) I stumbled across a paper cut exhibition that would be taking place in London this month, organised by Owen Gildersleeve and The Proud Archivist Gallery, based on Owen’s book.  Imagine my excitement.  (If you can’t, I squealed, my eyes lit up and I was wearing a big grin on my face.)  It’s rare to find paper cut exhibitions in the UK (unless I haven’t been looking in the right places), especially those that are close to home, so I wasn’t going to stand by and miss out on this opportunity like this.

Paper Cut Ex Poster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night, I was fortunate enough to attend the opening night of the exhibition.  The venue was perfect for displaying the mind-blowing work of twenty-five of the most critically acclaimed papercraft artists and illustrators from around the world, Helen Musselwhite, Jeff Nishinaka and Chrissie Macdonald, to name but a few.  I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be standing so close to some amazing works of art.

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Hunting at Hatfield

Yesterday, Hubby and I decided to head outside to make the most of the good weather before the forecast rain paid us an afternoon visit.

Both of us being indecisive about where to head, we hit Google and Trip Advisor to search for possible local haunts that were not too far afield and I decided to check out Hatfield House to see if anything was on (as one thing we know for sure is that it always has a good supply of tea and cake – which as you know, is a must for any day out!)

And sure enough it had another outdoor sculpture exhibition on, ‘The Great British Scultpure Show 2014‘ to be more precise.  Hubby and I had been to one of these last year (a Henry Moore exhibition which hadn’t disappointed us).

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So after checking that Hubby didn’t mind me dragging him along on another ‘arty’ outing with my camera in tow, we hit the road.

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Farvel Copenhagen!

The last two days of our trip were spent relaxing, yes you heard me right, relaxing.  I managed to let loose and live without an agenda of places to go and visit.  Instead, we mooched about, ate copious amounts of ice-cream, bought from The Vaffelbageren, in Nyhavn (an old-fashioned Danish Waffle Bakery) that does the most divine banana ice-cream.  We also sat by the harbour and water front soaking up the glorious, hot sunshine, taking in the views whilst we could.

Here are some more sights to share with you before I bid ‘farvel’ (good-bye) to the city of Copenhagen. Enjoy!

 

 

Tivoli – Good Clean Family Fun

 

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After booking our holiday to Copenhagen, my Dad had mentioned that we must visit Tivoli (a theme park with rides and gardens).  He had visited it as a child with his parents many years ago and it obviously held happy memories for him.  Well it turned out that after booking our hotel, we found that we were only 200 metres from the attraction, so we just had to visit and we were quite glad we did.

The park opens from 11am to 11pm every day.  The guide book (and my Dad) recommended that we visit it by night to see the lights (as well as by day), so we arrived at half-past seven, whilst the sun was still out.  There was a short queue, but it moved quickly.  It cost us 99 krone (about £10) to enter the grounds. (You pay extra to go on the rides and other attractions within the park, such as the aquarium).  After a heavy day sight-seeing we were happy just to explore the grounds (also some of the queues were still quite long, as you’d expect at any major attraction).

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Full Speed Ahead

The third day of our city break in Copenhagen brought more sight-seeing and more importantly more muffins!

We stumbled upon ‘Emmerys‘ a great little organic cafe that sells the best freshly squeezed orange juice and the most amazing muffins (this time we sampled a banana on and a chocolate one) – we died and went to muffin heaven!  This is definitely a place to stop off for refreshments if you ever venture to Copenhagen.

After refuelling, we decided to browse some of the shops and large department stores along Stroget.  Our favourite store was ‘Illums Bolighus‘ where I literally could have lived in the shop because it was so full of gorgeous creative furniture, home ware and gifts of original designs.  I loved the wooden animals of Kay Bojesen (I hadn’t heard of him either until then).  Although I appreciate good craftsmanship and handmade products, I still felt they were a tad pricey for me (shame, as I would have loved to have taken the wooden elephant home with me).  

Another great department store was Magasin du Nord, again this was full of great furniture, lighting and home ware and gifts.  We did make a few purchases, but nothing too exciting, just some funky metal coat hangers (told you it wasn’t exciting) but they did look fab!  The Danes have a way of making everyday functional objects just look cool.

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