Friday, 29 May 2009

Unsuccessful photography

You might remember this post from a while ago, where I did a digital drawing of one of the old cameras, an Agfa Silette L, that we've had lying around the house for years. Well I finally got a roll of film back from the lab today from that camera and oh dear. What a massive disappointment. It looks like the focus is off, and I don't think it's just my bad photography skills that are to blame. What a shame, I really like that camera but I don't think I'll be using it again.

This pink VW Beetle is one of the only shots that was (nearly) in focus.

The good news is that my exams are OVER! So I finally have time for other things, like drawing. And painting. I'm hoping to get back to life drawing classes next week. I've missed them terribly.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Walking the dog

(Or possibly the cat, we still haven't decided what he is.)

Saturday, 23 May 2009


Taking photos of the sunrise at about 5am is something to do when you can't sleep.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Stamps - lots of stamps.

I have lots and lots of stamps, and I have some empty frames. I'm going to fill the empty frames with stamps and hang them on the wall, because stamps are awesome. So many different, pretty, interesting designs, so many different countries and so much history. I love them.

I took this photo for my Unravelling course, as this week is about "favourite things". It's currently the desktop background on my iMac :)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Felting is fun

I picked up my needles recently and knitted this little bag, and finally got around to felting it and sewing the flower together.

The yarn is Twilley's Freedom Wool, Crystal Palace Little Flowers, and something else I can't remember, also by Twilley's, and it was a very quick and very easy knit. The pattern is here.

I'm so pleased with it! Isn't it pretty! The only problem is that it's quite small and I tend to carry a huge bag around with me everywhere, but I like it too much not to use it so I'll just have to cut down on all the stuff I carry! Oh and the flower is removeable so I can pin it on my jacket :)

Here's what it looked like before I felted it.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A shot from the Werra

Update from yesterday's post: Richard got a roll of film back today that he shot with the Werra. Most of the photos weren't great but here's one we both like. Unphotoshopped in any way.

Monday, 18 May 2009

I like old cameras

We have an abundance of film cameras. They're somewhat addictive. They can be picked up for next to nothing nowadays and they somehow have more personality than your generic DSLR! Here's a couple of sketches of two of my favourites.

This is my Olympus Trip 35. It's rather an iconic little camera - it's fully automatic apart from setting the film speed, and was launched in 1967 and made famous by David Bailey in a 1970s ad campaign. My particular one is from 1979 and is in almost mint condition. I paid hardly anything for it on eBay, but it's my favourite of all my cameras. (Apologies to my D80, but it's true.)

This is a Werra 1. It's a bit of an oddity. It was made by Carl Zeiss, the lens manufacturer, somewhere around 1950 to 1960. It takes 35mm film and to advance the film and cock the shutter, you twist a ring at the base of the lens. I've never seen anything similar on any other camera. The lens hood turns backwards and screws back into the body, and the lens cap screws onto the lens as if it were a filter, rather than just clicking on like normal lens caps do (I imagine this would be a bit annoying after a while!). This is Richard's newish toy. He found it in a charity shop in Stoke Newington a couple of weeks ago for £10 - bargain. He just shot a roll of film with it and left it in today to be processed - if any of the shots are particularly nice I'll update this post tomorrow.

Both drawn with Faber Castell Pitt pen, Caran d'Ache water soluble graphite pencils and a water brush.

Do you still have a film camera?

Unravelling week 2: reflections

This was a hard week for me because I hate hate hate being photographed. There are hardly any photos of me after the age of 14 or so, when I finally got sick of my dad constantly brandishing a camera and started to hide from it. I didn't take many photos this week, and I cheated a bit by not even being in all the photos I did take. (The above is one of the Unravelling writing exercises, reflected in my makeup mirror.)

I have had a kind of nothing weekend. No drawing at all. No painting. And I can't scan anything right now anyway as I rearranged my desk and now my printer lead doesn't reach my computer (did I mention I bought a new iMac? I love it) so I ordered a new one and will have to wait till it arrives. But I'm thinking I might do a doggy version of the "lots of cats" drawing tonight.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

My husband is a hero too.

I made Richard into a hero too!

When he grows up, his ambition is to be a mech pilot. (He has watched too many anime films.) I think this might be as close as he gets.

Should be a nice surprise for him when he gets up this morning, as stalking my blog is one of the first things he does every day!

Super Me!

I spotted a link on MyGurumi this morning (a blog I've recently discovered that managed to make me pick up my knitting needles again): The Hero Factory. If I was a superhero, this would be me (after going on a diet, obviously):

Try it out, it's fun :-)

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

100 posts! Let's celebrate with lots of cats!

Well I never thought I would have stuck with my blog long enough to make a hundred posts, but here I am! And I still love my little blog. It keeps me motivated to draw and paint and make stuff, and all your comments make me very happy and even more motivated, so hopefully there'll be another hundred posts to come.

(Click to make bigger.)

There is no better way to celebrate something than to draw lots and lots of different coloured cats. So here's lots of cats. (It was too big for my scanner so I had to stitch the pieces together in Photoshop, so if you can see any joins, just pretend you can't.) Faber Castell pen and watercolour.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Work in progress

Not much time for arty stuff or crafty stuff as I've been busy panicking over tonight's exam, but I did decide I wanted some Fashion Wheel art for my walls, and that a pop art style might be quite cool. Here's what I worked on for a while last night while watching Ashes to Ashes (series 2 is much better than series 1, by the way).

Click to enlarge.

There's still quite a bit to do, and I also can't decide if I prefer a white or a coloured background. Any thoughts?

PS: This is compressed to make it load quickly - the 'real' one is better quality.

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Week one of the Unravelling e-course finished today. So far it's great. The writing assignments are very thoughtful. I haven't actually put pen to paper yet (due to exams, yet again) but I have been thinking about what I want to write, and I've got a little journal to put them all in.

The photography theme for this week was "feet". Here's one of mine. I took with my rubbish little compact while waiting on the train. There's a few more in my Flickr, here.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

My exams: two opposing views.

I hate exams. This is how I feel during exam time.

Richard thinks this is how it will all turn out. Nice to know my husband has faith in me (no matter how unrealistic!).
(Click to enlarge.)

Actually this evening I had the exam I was dreading the most (Portuguese oral exam - I was talking about childhood obesity, of all things) and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. One of the examiners gave me a chocolate at the end of it! I was actually saying to my workmates that at the start of every exam, students should be supplied with chocolate and coffee. This was at the end of the exam, and I had to bring my own coffee, but it's definitely a step in the right direction :)

Monday, 4 May 2009

Sleepy catdog

Elvis is worn out from chasing The Nothing* round the house all day and is now having a full-on slob across the back of the sofa. I grabbed the nearest pen (a fine nibbed calligraphy marker) and did a couple of very quick sketches of him.

Number one. This is on the back of some paper I had been using to try and break in a new very scratchy nib, which is what all the funny shapes are.

Number two. He kept moving in his sleep.

Here's what he looks like right now. Bad webcam photo but just look how huge he is. I measured him and he's about 24 inches long. All the better for cuddling.

*The Nothing is Elvis' nemesis. He likes to chase it round the house at 3am.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

EDM #221 and a new footballer

Here's EDM number 221 - draw a handheld game. What else could I draw but my DS Lite? I love this thing. When the DS was first released, I was wary of it. I thought the touch screen was gimmicky. Eventually I got one and I grew to love it, especially as games like Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and Professor Layton came out. When my exams are over, I'm going to finish Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars. (If I had a pound for every time I said "when my exams are over" I would have the deposit for a house by now.)

Also here's a footballer. He plays for Chelsea and I think he's called Ricardo Cavalho. So he's probably Brazilian, in which case maybe he can help me revise for my exams... I was in a charity shop the other day and spotted Shoot 2009 annual for £1 and snapped it up. Lots of lovely footballers to draw! And it's tidier than all the sports pages from newspapers that I had been hoarding up till I got around to drawing them.

Both of these were coloured with horrible coloured pencils from WH Smith because I have misplaced the pencil case with my Derwent pencils in. I tidied up the other day and put them away somewhere safe and now I forget where the safe place is :( The colour from these pencils is really quite weak. I never really noticed the difference before but I haven't used these pencils in a long time and now I realise why they were so cheap.

Tomorrow my Unravelling e-course starts. I'm so looking forward to it. Everything for the past few weeks has been assignments, exams, work, exams, exams, exams. Hardly even any drawing. It's about time I took a bit of time for myself when I wasn't allowed to feel guilty for not studying. Also it will force me to take photos, and that's a good thing. There will be writing assignments too. I'm not a writer at all, as I'm sure anyone who reads the ramblings on my blog has already noticed! But again maybe it will force me to sit back and think about things a bit instead of always rushing through stuff to get to the next thing on the list.
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