Friday, 24 December 2010

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Some winter driving tips

Having to drive around in this winter wonderland comes with it's risks, so I thought I'd share with you some of my very useful driving tips for this type of weather.

  • As funny as it sounds, a Spade is a godsend when you get stuck, you can dig your wheels out and get some traction.
  • If you don't have a spade and you get stuck, wedge your car mats under your wheels to get yourself out (remember if it's only 2 wheel drive to put the mats under the wheels that the power is applied to.
  • If your windscreen gets dirty and your windscreen wash is frozen then grab some snow and wipe it over to clean it.
  • If your driving and your windscreen is dirty and window wash is frozen.  This will work best on a motorway or dual carriageway, drive behind a lorry or van and the spray will help wash your screen.  Dont drive too close though!
  • If your driving down a hill and start slipping or feeling your not in control then steer into the bank a little, the snow won't be as slippy and you'll be able to slow down faster.
  • One last tip is to use your gears as much as possible, instead of breaking if you go down your gears you have more control and are less likely to slip about the road.
Don't be afraid of having to drive in the snow, just be careful and keep warm clothes and boots in the car incase of a breakdown. Then ring for help.

If anyone has any others they want to share then just leave a comment.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Baileys White chocolate truffles

Yumm, here's what I've been making my family for christmas day, for anyone who likes Baileys, chocolate or truffles this is definitely for you!

If you prefer Milk or Dark chocolate then just replace the white chocolate with that.

20oz/560g of White chocolate
3/4 cup or 180ml of Double Cream
1/4 cup or 60ml of Baileys Irish Cream
1/4 cup or 60g of Unsalted Butter

Really simple stuff, break up the chocolate and put it in a bowl, boil the cream and baileys in a pan then pour it ontop of the chocolate, mix it until the chocolate has melted, then add the butter and stir until melted.

Shove it in the fridge overnight or until its hard, then you can roll the truffles up into small balls and roll them in icing sugar, hundreds and thousands, cocoa or chopped almonds.  If you wanted to cover the truffles in chocolate then melt it and let it stand to cool, otherwise the chocolate will melt your truffles. 

If you didn't want to put the baileys in then this is a wonderful recipe I use, again just substitue the chocolate for whichever you prefer.

Nice little treat for christmas, delicious.

More Snowy Thoughts

I love the way the snow and frost glistens, when I was driving home from work the snow shimmers in the headlights.  It looks like a million tiny diamonds, or a lot of Who's doing flash photography....

Snowy thoughts

I bet the farmers are absolutely loving the snowy weather, they're the fastest vehicles on the roads!  They'll be happy their the ones overtaking us for once.  I hope the power doesn't go to their heads...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Patience, Perfection, Precision and Paper

I recently saw some amazing blogs that show off a lot of different inspirational artists and interesting little bits of information. I think I've focused a little too much on myself so far so wanted to show you other artists, crafts and things I find interesting that I hope you will too.  My favorite type of art is where you almost think it isn't possible, or where it is obvious a lot of time, precision and effort has gone into it.

So this post is about paper art.

The first artist is Yulia Brodskaya, she is interested in typography and paper and as you can see here has combined the two to produce something a little different using quilling.  Makes me want to dig out my old quilling kit and give it a go.

The detail is incredible!

Here is Jo Lynn Alcorn's take on paper art, she makes it look so easy and the shapes are quite simple when you look close, but the overall effect is so elegant and neat because the flowers are cut symmetrically.
The 3D wallpaper effect makes a real impact because it's different to the usual flat surfaced walls people have in their homes. 

Imagine the amount of time spent cutting those snowflakes out!!!

Aoyama Hina is such a dainty, delicate artist, her work is a pleasure to look at, and her skill with a pair of scissors is incredible.

Georgia Russell is another paper artist that wow'd me, she uses books and cuts them up to make them into 3D pieces that look almost supernatural, like the book is peeling apart.  I'd like to think I could do this if I put my mind to it, but I can imagine its a case of it looks easier than it is.  Such a simple idea to produce something wonderful to look at.

I'll end on a cheery note with Eloise Corr Danch's brightly coloured flowers, these sculptures catch your eye straight away because of all the colours used.  Fantastic for these shop windows, it'd definitely make you stop and look at it.

What do you think? which are your favorites? If you have any other designers that you think are worthy of a mention or any unusual art then send me an email!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Bottle Cap Challenge

I had the restaurant where I work collect bottle caps for me over the summer, so I've now got hundreds of them!  I was going to use them in my course to produce some form of garment, but that didn't work out.  So now I have all these bottle caps and I'm not sure what to do with them.  I have had a few ideas though, so I sorted them all out into colours and cleaned them (they were fairly sticky, urgh).

I had a play about with them and the first thing that came together was this: which made my mum laugh because I have a thing about this flag, I love it!

Other thoughts were to make fridge magnets but just sticking a magnet in the back, or drinks coasters if I mosaic'd them together.

When sorting through them, In one of the caps some lovely person had left this little message, which I thought was quite sweet, and it brightened my evening, which was nice, even if only for a minute.
Someone definitely has a WKD side.

Friday, 10 December 2010

The usual all nighter.....

It's a fact, definitely for design students, the all nighter the night before a deadline.  I have to say last year was worse though, I've paced myself this semester, but still ended up with more work than I thought I had!  I've got my music on (keep me motivated), a cup of coffee (keep me awake!) and a bag of Malteasers (keep things sweet).

I've got my final collections and here they are! If anyone has any name suggestions, please let me know, I reckon it would look pretty proffessional if I had names for my designs.  Also if anyone has any suggestions for motivational music?!

I've also put a few of my designs on dresses to see how they would work.

Let me know what you think! Would you wear them?!
Ahhh back to my all nighter, coffee is a godsend!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Starting to lose the will....

So you saw my first 4 designs, now I only need another 4, but things arn't going so well, I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board and come up with some new motifs.  Which is a bit of a pain because it's slowing down the whole process, but being snowed in with a foot of snow helps, means all I can do it my work!

So after spending hours on work I'm not happy with I'll set to on drawing tomorrow.  I'm exhausted and frustrated, but this work is definitely not going to get the best of me!  Nothing Desperate Housewives and my bed can't solve.

Here is a few Patterns I came up with, but I'm not sure if I can use it becauseI need this to not be in repeat, and it doesnt work if assembled like the previous patterns.  Which is a bit of a nusiance, but I like this design regardless.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Change of Plan

Trying to get my two collections together (4 designs in each) and keep it to the specification (which they've made more complicated than need be), all this talk of positive and negative cuts and repeat and non repeat patterns.  So I've had to rethink one of my designs to fit in with all of that.  I can't remember which type of cut is positive and which is negative, but I've made the collections opposites, so I'm just hoping I've got it right.

Well here's what I have so far:
Collection 1

 The Design above was origionally the one below, but I had to change it so I had one collection in repeat and one not in repeat. 

Collection 2
So do the designs work? I still have another 4 to come up with (2 for each collection), Let me know if they work, if they look good, or if they need any improvements.  Any feeback would be great! Thanks!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

3 down 5 to go!

Here's my 3rd design, I'm churning them out, the only problem is I will proberbly have square eyes by the end of the weekend.  The amount of hours im spending on the computer!!
Im pretty pleased with this design, it's definitely my favorite so far, I'm a bit of a perfectionist so spend hours playing around until I'm completely happy with the final design.  If I wasn't I'd proberbly have had all 8 designs done already.

Let me know what you think

 And here it is, my final design.  As you can tell I go through a lot of experiments before I get here!
The thought of doing it like I have done just came to me, the annoying thing with degree work is you have to explain where it came from and how I got there.  Most of my designs are just a spark of an idea.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Work with 2 weeks to go!!!

Quick update of my work so far, let me know what you think! because just over a week i'll be cutting them out of fabric with the laser cutter!

Below I've put a series of patterns which all came from this vine motif, I used photoshop and Illustrator to work up the patterns, I need to decide which to use as my final designs.  I'm going to cut out the black part from my choice of fabric and then bond it to a background fabric to make it stronger. These will then be used as a lacey dress fabric.
 I've then put this into repeat so its a continuous pattern.

The difference between the pattern above and the pattern below is the one below I've dropped every other column down a little on the image below. (Just incase you couldn't see the difference, I was a little confused myself when I first put them on here haha!)

 I thought the images above were almost a little too busy, but used in small quantities as decoration on a bodice or part of a garment would be quite effective.

 These designs look much better because the gaps and white space make the intricate designs stand out much better.  So in this case less is more.
 This is going to be one of my final designs, It'll be cut out and bonded to another piece of fabric. I have a feeling it's going to be incredibly delicate which is why I'm bonding it to a backing fabric so it can be used to make garments.
 Please let me know what you think!