Monday, 31 March 2008

More Custom ACEO Albums.

I absolutely love making my ribbon bound books, especially ones catered for ACEO's as not many people know about them... and if you're one of them, ACEO stands for Art cards, Editions and Originals and are small pieces of art where the only rule is that they measure 2.5" x 3.5". They are like trading cards, although I have noticed that they are usually bought more than actually traded!
My latest project has been for fellow Etsy seller anacdesigns, who is also from the UK which makes it even more exciting as nobody that I know has ever heard of these ay-see-ee-ohs!
She wanted an ACEO book that could withstand any dirt and grime for when people touched it so I suggested that I could give the book an acetate front and back cover.It was the first time I had done this and loved the finished result as it made the book look so luxuriously glossy! She also wanted it bound in a dark golden ribbon which I think works beautifully. Another book she ordered was for her mother which is bound in wine coloured ribbon and this time in a portrait composition. I loved this one too, the colour and font combination makes it look so....dreamy.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

More handmade books.

I've recently made some more books, experimenting with different imagery and colourways. Firstly, and my most favourite so far, is this 'Dreams' book!It is for people who still like to record their dreams and it is filled with pale green sugar paper, a central white section and you can buy it here. I love that slick of white... and not until I finished it did I realise that I subconsciously got the idea from oriental jelly desserts! .. My mother had recently bought some that were green with a white (coconut) middle, and the image below is an example of what some of these 'oriental jelly desserts' look like, although, I actually don't really like them! This is possibly because a lot is made with a coconut flavour, and I don't really like coconut!... However, it doesn't mean I can't be inspired by them! I also made two books with a heart and bow on the front cover, I thought they looked quite sweet just sitting in the corner! .. and you can buy them here and here!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Cubes.

I recently purchased this beautiful opalite and gunmetal necklace from Etsy seller DesignedbyRJ who is also a fellow blogger here. (Etsy is a website where you can 'buy and sell all things handmade'.)It was actually a bracelet to begin with but I absolutely had to have it as a necklace, it was too beautiful to be worn on my wrist! I always feel a bit hesitant asking sellers to 'change' their products, I'm never quite sure if they'll feel offended about it. However, myself and DesignedbyRJ had such lovely conversations and I was so pleased that she was happy to change it for me! The bracelet was then changed into a choker length necklace so it sits just above my collarbones! Be sure to take a peek at her jewellery, the pieces are very simple but absolutely stunning and very versatile.
On receiving the necklace and seeing it beside my other pieces of jewellery, it dawned on me that I have recently started buying a lot of blocky-shaped jewellery, which primarily wasn't really my style. I've always preferred softer shapes, such as spheres, teardrops, ovals etc, but, I actually think these new found shapes suit me more... Here are the pieces I have bought in the last couple of months:

Two painted pendants by ttgart and a doll photo embedded in resin pendant by stoopidgerl. Below is a cube necklace by gallerialinda and a beautiful chunky matryoshka doll embedded in resin ring by yasminbochi. This makes me wonder what I'll be buying in 10 years time! Admittedly, at the same time I bought the necklace from DesignedbyRJ, I did also purchase these earrings, the colour was too sweet to resist!.. and I guess, maybe, it was to make the transition to blockier jewellery less painful.OK OK, I am being over-dramatic and this is all probably just a coincidence! .. but the earrings are so yummy, you just want to eat them.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Another custom ACEO Album.

I was so excited about completing my first custom ACEO album and over-the-moon when I got another so soon after it!

In case you're wondering what ACEO's are, they are small pieces of art where the only rule is that they measure 2.5" x 3.5". They're similar to trading cards but I think they're more prone to being bought, than traded.
This album was ordered by fellow Etsy blogger, katilady, and she requested for it to be bound with cherry blossom pink ribbon and for the title to be in Papyrus font. I'm always so surprised at the outcome, because I have no idea how it looks until it is actually finished! I think the book looks so cute! I'm starting to think about upgrading my own book now!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Superheroines. Part III. Alice in Wonderland.

Here is another one of my 'Superheroine' entries, but this isn't Lewis Carroll's Alice, it's American McGee's Alice.Firstly, I'll introduce the game which I think I bought around 2002 and I loved it. It's based on the original Alice in Wonderland, but this time, she is older, and very eerie. Admittedly, the game scared the hell out of me, there were just too many jumpy bits!. .. however, since watching The Grudge (about 3 years ago), I have definitely toughened up!The storyline of the game is that Alice's parents are killed in a fire where she is the only survivor and she becomes very disturbed. She is then institutionalised in an asylum and it isn't until years later, when she is a young lady, that the 'white rabbit' calls upon her to help undo a now, dystopic Wonderland run by the Queen of Hearts. She enters the changed Wonderland and has a range of weapons to aid her journey. These include a butchers' knife and a deck of cards. The deck of cards were my favourite as you didn't have to do any difficult aiming, you just had to scatter them about! (Think Gambit from X-Men!).. there were some more weapons but I never got that far..and......I never did finish the game. I remember clearly that I got stuck on the same bit over and over and over again (don't you just hate that?!).. I was on a giant, floating chessboard, and I had to work out the pattern to dictate what sections to step on so that they didn't drop. But, of course, the pattern could only be worked out by trial and error. I got too frustrated. I never logged in again.
Now, onto the most exciting part, they're making a film version! I recently stumbled across this while browsing films due to release in 2008-2010!!!.. and guess who's playing Alice? Sarah Michelle Geller! I think they got this spot-on. She was a fabulous Buffy, and I thought it would have been hard seeing her play a different role but I was very impressed when I watched her in The Grudge... and I think she is perfect for this film! I'm not sure how much it's going to be based on the storyline of the game, but it is still going to be haunting and eerie. It's a superheroine playing a superheroine in my eyes. I can't wait!

Other films I came across were The Incredible Hulk (this surprised me as there was already one not so long ago with Eric Bana and Jennifer Connolly), Ironman, 10,000BC, Barbarella (wow! a super-duper superheroine!), Batman- The Dark Knight, Blood - The last Vampire (based on an anime and it sounds like a female version of Blade!), Gabriel, Sin City 2, The Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian, The Mummy - Tomb of the Dragon, X-Files 2, DragonBall (wow, I watched the cartoons when I was younger!), Hellboy 2 - The Golden Army, The Lovely Bones (based on Alice Sebold's novel, amazing!), The Wolfman, Star Trek, Angels and Demons (Dan Brown's novel, oh my god! This was my favourite of his books!), Transformers 2 (loved the first one!), G.I Joe (shame it isn't Jane!), and Shrek goes Forth!
It's going to be an amazing year (or two) of films! Wow! (I really need to find a new word for that.)

Saturday, 15 March 2008

New Irregular Choice boots!

I got these Irregular Choice boots a few days ago and they're called 'Moony', which is pretty much obvious why! They're a pale gold and quilted with vertical lines. When I first saw them, I didn't really pay much attention until I laid eyes on a runner up photo for the Irregular Choice Photography Competition, and they just looked so much better on. The photo is by Heather Longton and Ellen Noble, whose other photograph they submitted actually won first prize! I did an entry about this here if you missed it! The product was pretty much sold when I saw this! Stunning isn't it? I think Irregular Choice should hire them to compose their editorials!
They're very flattering, especially at the back, and quite comfortable, although they could be further comfortable if there was a little platform at the front.However, there is one point I absolutely must make about these boots, they're impossible to take off. My feet are a size UK3 and they fit perfectly, and not too tight, but I just can't take them off without help, this style of boot really should have a zip. My mother, who is pretty much a size UK 2/2.5, also tried them on and I ended up having to yank them off while she held on to the banister!
I am determined to wear these boots, so have been thinking of finding someone who can implement a zip in for me.. if anyone knows of a reliable place I can go to in London, let me know! .. or if not, I'm going to literally cut a side slit and have Velcro straps going across.. but, I really hope I don't have to resort to having to do that! .. I will of course blog about its progress.

Friday, 14 March 2008

First Custom ACEO Album Order.

I recently had a custom request for an ACEO album with photo corners and the buyer wanted it personalised with her name and with scarlet ribbon. Mine is a very plain black and silver, so I had no idea how this was going to actually look like and was very excited to make something completely unique!..and wow, I was very pleased! The scarlet ribbon is so striking! It took a very long time applying the four-hundred-and-eight photo corners, but was actually really soothing, like when I'm knitting! I am looking so forward to my next custom order now!! I have also decided to add a third column to my blog and would love to read your opinions on it!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

"Don't judge a book by its cover". Part II.

I did a quick entry about this saying (which drives me nutty) a while ago, you can read it here and features an excellent book. I completely judge books by their covers, the same way myself and everyone else judges packaging, whether it's food or toiletries and so on. I have recently finished 'The Russian Concubine' by Kate Furnivall (bought purely on its cover and title) and it has to be one of the best books I have ever read. There are other versions of this cover and I wouldn't have bought the book if I wasn't actually being offered this particular one. The colours caught my attention instantly, which I believe is completely from being in fashion! You can't help but constantly look for interesting colours, combinations and prints. From the title, I had a feeling it would be a bit like Memoirs of a Geisha (excellent book, much better than the film!), but with a Russian girl as the main character which made me very curious! However, it's nothing like Memoirs of a Geisha, and is nothing about a Russian girl being a concubine, it completely exceeded my primary thoughts!

It is set in late 1920's China, and tells the story about Lydia Ivanova, a young Russian girl and her beautiful mother who were exiled from Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. Lydia is the main character and the story tells us about her struggles to survive in an alien country while falling in love with a Chinese Communist. I honestly can't describe it all in a sentence, I don't think I've done the greatest job so far! ... but Lydia is such a fantastic character, and oozes superheroine qualities, although I don't think she is actually meant to be portrayed as one!

It was so hard putting this book down, each page revealed something new to the story. One frustrating thing though, there was a lot of lies and betrayal throughout the story, and part of me wishes that it 'all came out' in the end, so certain characters knew how things seemed to 'magically' happen, and that they should be thanking certain people, but it didn't. Maybe I'm too used to happy endings. Although at the same time, I wouldn't say the ending wasn't happy. Am I really confusing you yet? I'm trying my best not to reveal too much!

Overall, this is definitely a must-read book, there was some Russian speech which made me realise what a beautiful language it is and I really want to learn it! But unfortunately, by scientific facts, I am too old to easily grasp a new language. I used to do Psychology and my tutor taught me that the best age to learn a new language is when you are 5, somewhere around that age! The ending was left with an opening for a second novel (a bit annoying!), which I think the author is currently doing... and my final words are that sometimes you should most definitely judge a book by its cover!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

More ACEOs.

My addiction to ACEO's is quickly growing and I recently received 11 new ones!

Many people are still baffled by what ACEO's are, and just to keep it plain and simple, they are little pieces of art where the only rule is that they measure 2.5" x 3.5". That's all. Easy peasy. .. and they have the same concept as trading cards (think baseball, marvel etc), although I think they are bought more than they are traded... and I definitely won't ever be trading mine!

Firstly, I'd like to introduce an Etsy shop, GrayArt, who I stumbled across in the Etsy forums (Etsy is a 'place to buy and sell all things handmade'). She had a lovely, illustrated avatar consisting of a beautiful, content looking lady, standing in front of a cherry blossom tree.. However, there was something different about this image, it had a sepia tone to it, which I only see with photos, so, I just had to check out what she had sitting in her shop!
... Lo and behold, she had the most beautiful ACEO's!! .. and not only that, but all the original images were created using a wood-burning technique, which explains the sepia hue. At this point, I was completely captivated. I'd love to watch someone create something so detailed by wood-burning, in my mind, it just seems so.....difficult.

There's the lady that caught my eye, I obviously had to get it! Another that I was very drawn to was 'Haunted I', the third image in this photo. I must admit, it scared the hell out of me, I literally felt like someone was watching me when I laid my eyes on it! ... now, if a little piece of art can have such an effect, I just had to get it too!
I believe that many people buy art not just for its aesthetic appeal but also because they can relate to it, or it reminds them of something personal... for me, a lot of it is suppressed deep down, so I was trying to figure out what it was about this image that I liked so much.
Anyway, sorry, I don't have something thrilling to tell you about my discovery apart from it reminding me of when I was very young, and my older brother was obsessed with horror films but was always too scared to watch them alone. Of course, he would make me stay up watching them, and would spray water into my face if I fell asleep... how mean is that! .. and one of the films I'll never forget is Poltergeist... and I think that's what this image reminds me of. God that film was scary. So in this scenario, my fear created by watching Poltergeist was suppressed!... and some more:

Next up are ACEO's by ssuzuki. I previously introduced some of her work in my extremely long Superheroines entry and was delighted with my purchase of owning mini versions of her art!

I love how ssuzuki uses both vivid colours and even just a pencil to create such stunning images and I must say that she has an amazing imagination! The far right one is called 'End Transmission' and how I wish she really existed! .. .. actually, I wish all of ssuzuki's characters existed! The one next to it instantly made me think of the 1950's 'Sinbad' films, I adored them when I was a child, and now laugh at the huge improvement of special effects!.. although at that time, I was very convinced!

Now looking at my new ACEO's side by side, I am amused at how contrasting they are.. I have the most varied taste!... my boyfriend says I am the most difficult person to buy for, but I shouldn't be because there's just so much I like, right?... or do you look at it as that there is TOO much to choose from?

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl.

This was finally released in the UK and I was straight at the cinema. Having been addicted to 'The Tudors', I absolutely had to watch a potential film version of it. I really liked this film and found myself comparing it a lot with 'The Tudors' and there were many many differences. I usually have a lot of criticism about the acting (although I'm no expert, but everyone can tell whether they really were convinced by ones acting or not) but I have no qualms with the acting here. Scarlett Johansson portrayed Mary Boleyn in the exact same way I envision her to be, kind, sensitive and forgiving.

I thought Natalie Portman was an excellent Anne Boleyn, cunning, intelligent and vivacious, although I much more prefer 'The Tudors' Anne, played by Natalie Dormer. I have read from many sources that Anne Boleyn was not conventionally beautiful at that time but she was very talented and had an alluring charm about her that men nevertheless, found attractive. This I feel Natalie Dormer shows best... but I do wish I could just travel back in time and see for myself instead of speculating!! Who do you prefer?Anyway, moving on. Eric Bana played Henry VIII quite well, but I feel they/he should've made his character come across/look a bit more older. Even though Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks even younger in The Tudors', for a film, I felt the characters should have a lot more historical detail to them.
Now, I absolutely loved the costumes. I focused so much on them, the colours, the fabrics, the way they draped and folded, the head pieces, the jewellery (beautiful!!), nightwear, prints, patterns, even the curtains in the background, the bedding, the wallpaper, everything! This is what happens when you've been studying art/fashion all your life, you become incredibly obsessed with little things like that, which can be a bit overwhelming but also super-inspirational!! Like the image below, I would never have thought of putting gold and blue together, I would usually put blue with silver, not gold, but seeing them next to each other looks so beautiful.. I will definitely have to source some fabric now!Overall, the film is great, although I haven't read any 5 star reviews about it yet, and UK critics have not been thoroughly impressed with the acting or storyline... but, I never listen to them anyway, because in my mind, it's all about taste, but in a film critics' mind, they have a certain criteria to follow before a film can be labelled as 'excellent'. So there you have it, a brief and very vague (I don't want to spoil it!) review of the film as seen through my eyes..... which, and I do apologise, mainly consists of fabrics.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Utilising a gift.

My mother got me a 'My Insolence' perfume gift set by Guerlain a few months ago, but forgot to give it to me until now! Anyway, I loved it as soon as I saw the box. It's so pretty, I would love the print as a fabric! So, as I was slowly opening it up, I came across such a beautiful box inside! I love leopard print and was never really keen on zebra print, but I liked this one, which was in a suede-type fabric..... the box consisted of a body lotion, perfume bottle and a mini version, the smell was divine!! Can you smell it over there? I lightbulb instantly formulated above my head, I had been looking to buy some little drawers for some organisation in my room, and was contemplating getting the clear, plastic Muji stacking ones, but I found them to be so expensive and other similar plastic ones looked really tacky.. so things like my ACEOs, sewing threads, buttons etc etc were just laying around waiting for a home. Until this box came along. I took out the plastic casing and it's absolutely perfect! I tried looking for another 2 all over the internet, so they can stack up and look like a mini unit, but as my mother bought it months ago, they're nowhere to be found!!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Superheroines. Part II. Alice.

I loved writing my Superheroines entry but was frustrated about not being able to fit everything in. There are still so many more superheroines I need to talk about...So, I have decided to do seperate entries for them instead of trying to cram it all into one place!

I watched Resident Evil:Extinction (#3) a week ago (I missed this at the cinema, because it was removed quite soon from its release date which I think was because it wasn't very popular, blah!) and it was fantastic!! I couldn't remember much from the previous two, and actually want to rent them out to refresh my memory, but this one was great. I've always been a huge fan of Resident Evil, as soon as I'd watched the first one, I bought the game to play on my GameCube (PS2 and XBox is better - as everyone was telling me, but a GameCube just looks so cute!) ... however, I didn't play it for a very long time as it scared the life out of me.. too many zombies jumping out and I'd end up shooting aimlessly at a wall out of fright or just running away from them and not progressing in the game, at all. I'd be absolutely terrible if it was real, probably end up shooting myself in the foot, or worse.
See, it looks scary doesn't it??? You cannot deny it! The game was given fantastic ratings and one day I will try to complete it as I think I'll be OK playing it now.. I was a lot younger then. But, I must admit, I have completely moved on from the GameCube and onto PlayStation 3.

Back to the film, Milla Jovovich was brilliant as Alice. I remember the ending of the second one and the cliffhanger was that she became a human/zombie hybrid and was now super-duper strong, and escaped out of the laboratory. This third installment now shows her trying to find peace, but runs into a group of survivors looking for a safer place. Throughout the film, her increasing strength is slowly revealed such as telekinesis, and when the baddies at Umbrella Corporation try to 'shut her down' (so they can capture and further experiment on her) via a satellite dish, she overrides them. It was all very very exciting!!

I particularly took an interest in what she was wearing in the film as it was such an improvement from the first and second films. Although I actually quite liked what she was wearing in the first film as the red dress added a touch of glamour and amusingly styled with black chunky boots and a huge gun, of course.However, looking back now, I hate the outfit in the second film, it's incredibly unflattering, and as she is also a professional model, she should have got away with it, but I don't think she did. (I know the clothing isn't the most important thing when you're trying to stay alive!.. but they don't go unnoticed!!)The whole ensemble in the third film was put together incredibly well and I actually found out (after watching the film) that it is a Jovovich-Hawk designed costume! This didn't really surprise me as she is one half of beautiful fashion brand Jovovich-Hawk but I adore how she is utilising one part of her life into another. My most favourite part of her outfit were the suspenders-influenced section, where instead of adjustable straps, there are knots, giving it a ready-for-action feel, almost in a similar way how martial arts characters will knot a band around their head before they start uppercutting and such. The outfit also reminded me of one of my favourite Final Fantasy characters, Rikku, especially with the twin knives! However, even though I don't really approve with the outfits she previously wore, they suited perfectly with the storyline in each film.

I was so pleased that there was a cliffhanger ending (leaving it open for another!) which showed the creation of her clones, hundreds of them, wow!... and then switching to Tokyo, where Umbrella Corporation have now relocated. I hope the next one won't be too far away and with it being set in Tokyo seems very fascinating!

Also, lets not forget her as Joan of Arc , Ultraviolet and the amazing LeeLoo in The Fifth Element, I think that was the first time I'd seen her acting and was very impressed.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Irregular Choice Photography Competition.

Irregular Choice (my most favourite shoe brand), launched a photography competition a few months ago to submit a dynamic photo with a pair of IC shoes as the subject (of course), the winning prize were IC shoes every month for a year and to be featured in their first Coffee Table Book!

I kept meaning to enter but I was so busy!! .. anyway, they recently announced the winner and runners up here. The 1st prize winners, Heather Longton and Ellen Noble, submitted an extremely impressive, surreal, editorial-type photo, and I can completely see why they won. If I saw it on a billboard and had never heard of Irregular Choice, I would look it up as soon as I could and buy those shoes! They completely sold the brand, the styling is perfect, the backdrop is perfect... and here it is!
Amazing isn't it? I really hope they have another competition soon and this time I will make time to enter!! A pair of Irregular Choice shoes every month for a year is pure bliss.
Furthermore, I do actually have those shoes, which are called 'Fish Out of Water'. They're so fun and have such a flattering shape! The split toe is influenced by traditional Japanese culture and mine are pale pink with a metallic scale print. They are very comfortable, but I would highly recommend wearing split-toe/tabi socks with them for further comfort. Shiatsu experts also believe that split-toe shoes/socks have health benefits to them....however, I don't think it applies when it's combined with a 3" heel.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

The last 24 hours.

I have made 7 books. Trust me, that's a lot for what needs to be done to make these books! I've been neglecting my blank-book-making as I've been concentrating more on developing ACEO albums and dresses. So, I decided to just completely set my mind to it, a bit like when you leave coursework to the last minute, shut everything out and speed through it the night before, well, minus the deadline bit, and minus the poor quality... although I do remember a lot of people in my class getting away with the latter....including myself, thank god! I think I work well under pressure, something especially important to have in the fashion industry. I absolutely love the finished results, I've been a bit obsessed with an abstract-type rose design I roughly did with a marker pen several months ago, so have implemented that into the front cover of some of the books. I adore floral shapes and illustrations but I think a rose is the most attractive flower to draw because of all its little sections, second place would have to be a lotus, which is actually also the definition of my horrible-sounding middle name, although it is amusing how such a horrible name can mean such a beautiful thing... only a few people know it. It will not be revealed!!I also made a 'Book Of Dreams'. I sold my first 'Dreams' book quite quickly which surprised me as I wasn't sure if people actually recorded their dreams anymore, you just never really hear about it do you? This time I felt like titling it with something a bit more dramatic, I think I got the idea from a conversation I was having with a friend about The Book of the Dead (we both love Egyptology! Look out for a future entry!) and I guess I just liked the tone it gave. Next to it is a Capricorn Traits Book. I have to admit I didn't make this one from scratch (in the last 24 hours), I'd made it about a month ago but I had to take it apart because I noticed I'd spelt 'possessive' with one primary 's' after I'd finished it which was quite annoying as I'm quite good at spelling!!Lastly, I made two slimline notebooks for myself, one to sit on my desk and another, the purple one, for my bag.I also mounted a print-out of the London Underground map on the back of the book as I'm forever trying to work out quicker ways to travel around London, and I do on occasion completely forget how to get to places! .. well when you're trying to avoid the hundreds of people running around like headless chickens, squeezing through closing train doors, bashing other passengers out the way to get on the train when another is due to arrive in the following minute anyway... your brain does tend to get a bit fried.The print-out is really really tiny (font size must be 2 or something!) but it's fine for me to read because I do have pretty good eyesight! During the last couple of months at University I had the most painful headaches, my doctor said it was either posture (but it wasn't because I never slouch, due to a strict aunty, a brief gymnastics phase and being in the school choir, although I honestly can't sing to save my life), eyesight (I never have trouble seeing anything so it wasn't that either) or stress (but I wasn't stressed at all).
So I went for an eyetest to 100% rule that out and I got above average! Therefore it must have been stress, surpressed stress maybe? .. because as soon as I finished the last thing I had to do at University, the headaches vanished!

Well there you have it, that's what I've made in the last 24 hours, now I'm going to go and soak my hands in a big bucket filled with intensive moisturising cream.

I'm also thinking of changing my name to SuperWoman.