Saturday, 31 March 2012

Getting my bake on

I'm home for Easter now and baking always seems more appealing when I'm in my kitchen at home.
(No offence housemates, but come on, you've seen our kitchen) 

I made these sugar cookies with a different coloured, shaped centre after seeing something similar briefly on the internet. So briefly that I didn't make a note of exactly what or who made them. Apologies internet.

The mixture was a bit sticky so the only way I could successfully replace the middle with red stars (which were just cookie mixture with food colouring) was with the help of a lot of plain flour.
My sister and I thought that it would be nice to add strawberry flavouring to the stars, except we both thought of this once the cookies were done. Ah well, next time.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

House progress: Appliances

I've started adding more details to the rooms in the house, but have realised that the objects don't have to be perfect as when the house has the roof on not a lot of light can get in the rooms.

This is the television for the living room.

I decided to put something on the screen just for fun. I only had an Argos catalogue so my choice was very limited.
So they're watching the X factor. I don't know what that says about the inhabitants of this house...

The living room also has a side table and a sofa. I was able to make the sofa out of cardboard which I painted a shiny brown. In the dim light this looks like brown leather.

The kitchen now has a toaster and a kettle, which meant I had to then make plug sockets.

The sink has been filled with washing up (no taps though...I need to get on that). My tutor didn't like the way the sink was obviously made of aluminium foil and as I couldn't think of a better way to make it I added plates and cups to cover it up.
It will also add to the narrative of the piece. Why has the washing up been left only half done?

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Miley Filey System

The other day I was walking through my favourite 99p shop and was stunned to see many copies of the Miley Cyrus book, Miles To Go. And they were the hardback edition!
She is worth so much more than 99p.
So I bought a copy, which is fair enough, except...

...I already own the book.
The paperback edition which has a different cover and an additional chapter.
And is quite the entertaining read I might add!

After joking that I now have a home copy and a uni copy, I then explained to people that I'd bought the hardback copy for a craft project.

And this is it.

An expander file.

Here's how I made it.

I cut out the pages of the book with a craft knife.
I'm sure I'll find a use for them, even if it's just anonymously mailing my friends a page or two where I've highlighted a hilarious section.

Then I cut two pieces of thick paper with the length of an A3 piece of paper and the same width as the book cover. Mine was 15.5cm
Then I folded the paper concertina style with each fold being 1cm which I measured out first.

I attached some ribbon to the inside of the book cover using strong glue. 

I glued the folded paper to the edges of the inside of the book cover and stuck another piece of paper on top, over the ribbon, to keep things neat.
Gluing the paper to the other half of the book cover can be a bit tricky because that folded papers likes to flick out.

Then I cut out rectangles of paper, mine were 15.5x23cm, to be the dividers in the folder.
I put them in every other fold and glued them in place at the edges.

Then my folder was ready to fill with photos, leaflets from things I've been to and general life ephemera.

I want to come up with a clever name for this project, something that plays on the fact 'miles' rhymes with 'files'....
Miley Filey System?
We'll go with that for now.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

House progress: porch

More house progress. It's been a busy week guys.

The porch and garage now has a roof!

But before I attached the roof I realised I should probably finish the inside of the porch because once the roof is on I'll have limited access.

I made a little chest with a seat on which I imagine the little inhabitants of this house sitting on to put on their shoes. You've seen the fabric I used on the top here and here. That stuff was a good buy.
I also make a row of coat hooks from some small pins that I bent into shape. They kept scratching my hand when I was reaching in to arrange things. 

The porch also has a doormat but I wouldn't want to wipe my shoes on it as it's actually made of sandpaper that I painted.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


More progress on my degree show house.
The back of the house now has paving!

I scored individual paving slabs into a piece of thick grey card and roughly painted them.
Then I smudged charcoal over the paving so it would go into the cracks to look like dirt.
I also added grass scatter, the kind used on model railways, along with dried tea and mixed herbs.

I'm really pleased with the way this turned out as it looks pretty realistic. It was also nice to get some instant results as it seems most of the parts I'm working on for this building are taking a long time, but it doesn't look like I'm getting anyway.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Geometric Art

 I'm currently drowning in 1x1cm roof tiles so instead of sharing that dull progress I'll show you an artist that came to speak at uni today.
Yes, it's not all studio time at NUCA. Sometimes artists come and talk to us. Quite often they're kinda boring or I don't like the work. 
But the work of Mark Harris caught my eye.

Continuous Offense - Blade
Acrylic on Lambda Print
48 x 30cm. 2007
His slightly earlier work involved painting over photographic prints with really detailed, colourful threads covering the objects.

Continuous Defense - Northern Gate
Acrylic on Reproduction
26 x 19cm. 2008
Another series of work came about after rescuing a bunch of old photographs that his father-in-law was throwing out. He painted futuristic looking 'defences' onto them and I love the mix of styles.

Western District Archway
Collage and Acrylic on Paper
47 x 30cm. 2009
He received the photographs in brown folders which he made collages on using images of buildings and geometric drawings.
Check out the rest of his work here.

The triangular, geometric imagery that features heavily in Harris' work reminds me of Yes and Yes's blog header...

...Elsie's geometric photo art...

...and the Gotye video. Which I'm sure you've all seen by now.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

The most magical place on earth

Hey everyone. How was your weekend? Get up to much?

What did I do?

I went to Disneyland!!!

Sneaky little 4 day trip with my best friends in France when I should have been working on my degree show piece.
Shhh, don't tell my tutors.

For me, Disneyland is mostly about trying on all the hats...

Doing a lot of posing...

And tracking down the characters.

(Baloo pretty much attacked us with a group bear hug right after this photo. Scary stuff)

My friend Lizzi high-fiving Minnie Mouse.
A great moment.

Have any of you been to Disneyland/Disneyworld?
Whats your favourite thing?
Does anyone else spend their first hour in the park just running around pointing at things? Just me?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Camera case

I finally got myself a new camera and thought I should probably keep it in a case as I'd been carrying around my previous camera in a sock.

So I quickly whipped up this simple case this morning.

It's made from the same material I used for this bow which is quick thick and plastic-y. I just folded a strip over and sewed down the sides.
I also lined the case with felt for extra protection.

For the closure I just tied a hair elastic to the case which fits nicely around the camera.

I needed to make this case pretty quickly as I'll be needing it tomorrow when I take a trip to the most magical place in the world (well, in Europe)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Inside the house

 Initially I wasn't going to bother too much with the inside of the house I'm making, but after being encouraged by my tutor and my family, and then getting a bit carried away, the inside it starting to take shape.

This is the ground floor with the hall, kitchen and living room.

View through the porch window of the stairs.

The front door.
Uh-oh, the glass has been smashed!

The view into the living room.
I still need to add furniture.

The kitchen.
I thought it would be cool to print the wallpaper using another hand made rubber stamp.
Cos it's not like I have tonnes of other things on this house to work on...
A house doesn't need a roof if it has hand-printed wallpaper, right?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Todays progress, and a sneaky noment

Sorry for being a bad blogger, friends. I feel bad just showing you progress on my degree show piece.
But that will change soon as I have a fun break coming up!

Today I finished making these beasts.
The plinths on which my degree show pieces will sit!
Me and power tools will never be bffs, but I started to get the hang of the nail gun and sander by the end of it.
Now I just need to paint them. Anyone offering?

(I am 5'2", these plinths are 110cm tall. I felt I needed to tell you that as they make me look insanely tiny.)

After all that hard work I refuelled with this cake that my friend Natalie made.
Regular cupcake right?

Oreo, peanut butter, another Oreo, covered in chocolate brownie.
Holy yum!
I'd seen the recipe on Instructables and facebooked it straight to Natalie knowing her love for both Oreos and peanut butter.
She loves peanut butter so much she paid out £7.99 for a box of Reece's Puffs cereal.

The cakes were delicious and we've started thinking of other cookie/spread/cake combinations.
Bourbon biscuit, Nutella, chocolate cupcake?