Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Christmas Cards & Ticket Holders

Hello all! I have a few new listings in my shop for you to browse....

This Oyster/Ticket/Card Holder made using the ORIGINAL PAINTING (!!!!) and with gorgeous gold paint. I wanted to offer something extra special for my first and loyal customers. Once it's gone it's gone...
And these are some of the last Nativity Christmas Cards I have. Buy them in a set of 4 on my shop.
Visit my shop. Browse, buy or say hi!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Books I Have Read Whilst Commuting

(Composed on the 18.29 to Barking)

There are so many negatives associated with a long commute. I personally spend just over three hours a day going to work and back, and let me tell you, it is not an enjoyable experience. But I don't want to dwell on the negatives (despite the fact there is a woman beside me tipping crisps into her mouth in the most annoying fashion) because my commute has allowed me an activity I usually save for holidays: reading.

I've just counted, in the three months since starting my job, I have read ten books. A neat little number, and typically the number I would read in a year.
I thought it would be fun to recommend a few of my favourites to fellow commuters. I hope you enjoy!

First up it's 'The Other Hand' by Chris Cleave...

The Other Hand by Chris Cleave

This book was instantly absorbing- which happens to be my most sought after quality in a book, to escape for a little while. Chris Cleave writes so convincingly as Little Bee, the 16 year old Nigerian refugee, with a traumatic past and a shocking secret. She's a very likable character, and I felt instantly on her side as she made her way to safety. The twist in the novel is a good one, I doubt you'll guess it, and the storyline runs convincingly and at a gripping pace from start to finish. 
I wish I could talk about the ending - but I don't want to spoil it for you. I'll just say this: 'The Other Hand' will leave you with a satisfying sense of your own safety in this world, an appreciation of friendship, and an understanding of the sacrifices we're prepared to make for it. Worth a read!

I'm going to leave you with an embarrassed whisper:

*I started reading Eat Pray Love*

Actually, that's not where the embarrassment ends... 

*I've also seen the film.*
One more? Ok then.

 *With my mother.*

There. So now you know. I'd like to advise everyone against reading the book, especially if you are feeling at all cynical, because this book will bring it out in you, and, quite frankly, you'll end up feeling rather angry.
The film is one thing, because you get to watch Javier Bardem on a beach, with his enormous but somehow quite attractive head, which somewhat detracts from all the sickening "soul searching." With the book you have no such luxury. Yuck. A must NOT read.

It would be wonderful to hear your recommendations too! Please leave them in the comments section, and, if you're so inclined, a short description.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Stack & Colophon Present Printout! at The Book Club

It's a liberating feeling leaving work knowing that you've organised something a little different for yourself. Last Thursday I chose Shoreditch, and the dimly lit rooms of The Book Club, to attend my very first (but their forth) Printout! event. 

Run by Jeremy Leslie , Creative Director at magCulture and columnist for Creative Review (among many other things), Printout! promises to be a night of industry talks and magazine browsing, with a well needed Thursday night pint thrown in.

Printout! is held in The Book Club's basement under a lightbulb clustered ceiling, which gave the effect of seeing frogspawn from the underneath - like frogs! - which was fun, and kind of cosy.

Magazine library provided by STACK

The guest speakers for the evening were Les Jones (Elsie magazine), Gareth Main (Bearded magazine) and Cathy Olmedillas (Anorak & PLOC magazine), who all gave an interesting account of what it's like to start up a publication. 
What I was most interested to hear about, being very much an 'internet girl' (Social Media Exec right here) was why they chose print, when the web is so readily available and so much a part of how we share information. Les (Elsie) spoke for most of the group, explaining: 
"It's about longevity and structure, about having something tactile to keep on your book shelf or coffee table". 
Cathy added that the internet was an increasingly crowded place, and that "it had to be print" to reach the young readers of Anorak and PLOC. This was interesting, and I had to agree. Page links circulate, and they can have a wide reach, but ultimately they die, whereas a magazine is something physical, it has to be physically thrown away, and is far less likely to be lost amongst the retweets and the reposts that the internet churns out daily.

Overall, the talk reminded me just how much of a struggle it can be to pursue a creative venture, such as starting your own press. Bearded magazine is no more, and many of the guests spoke about full time work being hugely important for providing financial stability. I discovered the independent magazine's being produced are much more about a passion and a drive to create something long-lasting and beautiful, rather than financial gratification.

Nostalgic reasons surfaced for making the publications themselves. Childhood memories and experiences form a lot of the content for Elsie magazine for example, with Les telling a wonderful tale of sticking a pin in a map and going on self initiated travels to produce content.

Goodie bag!

Print is about the senses then. About the touch, and even the smell, of paper, and about capturing moments and a thought process, in a way that would out-live a web page.