Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl - Book Review.

Loved it!!! 'The Other Boleyn Girl' is about Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary, and you are taken through from when she is a very young girl, married, but then pushed by her ambitious family into becoming Henry VIII's 'favourite' while still being a Lady-in-Waiting for his wife, Katherine of Aragon. She eventually has two children with the King, falls in love with him, and irritates her family for losing the point of gaining the King's attention. Her family then turn to Anne to take over...and that's where it all really begins.
I wasn't sure if I had spoilt the book for myself by watching the film adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana where you can read my review about it here... but it was so much better. I don't recall the film being much about Mary at all, I vividly remember it still being about Anne which I can understand as she plays such a big role, but in the book, Mary is narrating the story and it just comes across as so much more interesting. I wish the film had not made it all about Anne... although I possibly might just have to watch it again.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Swan Book.

I previously blogged about a new piece of artwork that I did consisting of a Nouveau-style swan which you can read about here and I planned to make it into one of my ribbon bound books...and here it is!My handmade books have always been rectangular and the body of the book always had torn edges, but for my new illustration, I wanted everything to be smooth and round. So I smoothed and rounded the edges of the entire book! Took a lot longer than usual, but I think it suits my illustration really well.I've called this one 'Periwinkle Swan' (available here) because of the shade of blue I have used, which I find is most complimentary on the silver card. I can't wait to further utilise my illustration in other colourways and I would love to read any suggestions!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Lunchbox.

I had purchased this beautiful white, vintage lunch box with brass detailing from fellow Etsy seller greenhearts a few weeks ago (all the way from the US!) and it has finally reached me!It is exactly how I imagined it to be, and if I wasn't so obsessed with the Care Bears as a child and didn't have the Care Bears lunch box, I would've definitely been flaunting this one!I originally got it only because I thought it was so pretty and also a great price (£15/$30), therefore I had no idea what I'd actually use it for. However, I have decided that all my embroidery skeins which were in one of the drawers of my IKEA drawer unit could use a new home as I haven't had time to do any embroidery and could use the space for something else......therefore, the lunch box bag was perfect! ... and because of the concave lid, I can fit many many more skeins!

Monday, 22 September 2008

New Books.

I have finally got round to buying 'The Other Boleyn Girl' by Phillipa Gregory! I wanted it as soon as I had finished 'The Constant Princess' where you can read my review about it here. The other book, 'Twilight', is by Stephenie Meyer and I first read about it in a newspaper about a week ago, and as soon as Vampires were mentioned, I knew I was going to get it! The brief storyline reminded me a little bit of 'The Historian' which is one of the best books I've ever read. I think I'll finish these ones quite quickly so look out for a future review! I also have another 5 books on the go, as you can see in my 'Currently Reading' list on the right side bar of my blog. Those actually need finishing too but admittedly, I want to finish these new ones first!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

The Dark Knight.

I have finally watched this! I was so close to missing it as I've been so busy and when I checked the film times the only ones available were at 9pm! I knew I'd be tired but really wanted to watch the installment to Batman Begins as I thought this new, darker version of Batman was really fantastic. I was also surprised to see Harvey Dent in the film, a character who seemed familiar to me but I couldn't put my finger on it... until my brother decided to semi-spoil the film for me and whisper 'that's Two-Face!'.... which then took me back to my childhood where we had read about him in comic books.I was very impressed with the film although it was a bit too long (around 2.5hrs), but I probably wouldn't have minded if I wasn't so tired already. Heath Ledger was great as The Joker, I think it is his best role and he had a flawless laugh for the character. One scene I found particularly amusing was when he dressed up as a nurse... but you would need to watch it! The costume and make up was also perfect which I think can be hard when trying to portray an originally silly character in a non-silly way! It'd be interesting to see how The Penguin would be although I hope this character is not introduced for fear that it can ruin the new, dark vibe of Batman. There is rumour that Johnny Depp will play The Riddler next which is the most perfect choice. I can't think of anyone else suitable for the role, although Jim Carrey was bloody damn good in the 90's version!However, the costume would need intense revision! It will be interesting to see this, and I hope it is something sophisticated, as The Riddler is a very sophisticated character. And lastly, Maggie Gyllenhaal had taken the role as Rachel Dawes which originally was played by Katie Holmes... and I am so glad of it! She was so much better than Katie Holmes, with a lot more character and feisty-ness! Although I wish she had also been in Batman Begins because I have such a disliking for inconsistent characters!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Embellishment.

I recently added some notecards to my Etsy shop with my own fashion illustration of a modern flapper girl that I did at University and she has stuck with me ever since! However, a few days ago, I was looking at the dress she has on and thought of doing something different with it for another set of notecards.I quickly realised that I wanted it to sparkle exactly how dancing flapper girl dresses should! So why not literally add some crystals to it to help emphasize it even further!I originally embellished the entire dress, but found that it became a bit bulky for the notecards and made it difficult to write on the back. I also had plans to add some tiny feather plumes, literally making up the entire dress... but of course, this would make it even more harder to write on. I then decided on just having scattered crystals which I had to individually apply and I am so pleased with the results! The newly embellished notecards are available here and also comes with envelopes and stickers!I have reserved the idea of making up the whole dress, fully embellished, crystals and feathers, for something else that came very quickly to mind... which I will show as soon as it is done!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Vintage Strawberry.

I have been collecting vintage jewellery for a while now and you can see my blog entries of them here... and I would like to introduce my newest one!As soon as I saw this strawberry brooch on eBay, I bidded on it straight away, even though there were 6 days remaining until it ended. I didn't want to risk forgetting to bid on it closer to the time, as many times I have completely forgotten, and it's worse when it goes for a price lower then you would have actually bidded! I thought the way the little metal balls are used to depict the surface of a strawberry was so charming and I hadn't ever seen that detailing before. The size is also very big for a brooch, a similar size to a real strawberry, but those really plump and juicy ones!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

A present.

I got a little present a few days ago from the loveliest person, ever.... and the present I got is actually something I've been wanting for a while now, and I haven't mentioned it before to anyone! Don't you love when that happens?When you get something completely unexpected, but the something is what you absolutely wanted! OK so, I'll get to my point and this 'something' is my own little custom made stamp! It is my 'brand name' nuvonova and in my font! The box is also custom made for the stamp!I couldn't believe it when I opened the little parcel, I almost let out a shriek! There is a sample of the stamping on the wooden part of the stamp and it's perfect! I'm just trying to decide what colour ink pad I want to get, but will probably go for black.I also received the business card of the person who made the stamp which is fellow Etsy shop owner, owlbaby8069, she hand carves all the stamps which are amazingly beautiful and intricate. I have my eye on the lotus ones because they're so beautiful and they're also the definition of my middle name! I completely recommend this seller! I'm even thinking of having my swan illustration (see a few entries down) made into a stamp... and probably a lot more!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

How to make fabric buttons.

My previous blog entry shows my bundles of fabric that I introduced to my Etsy shop which was initially used to make fabric buttons but I no longer have the time to do so! I also showed a few buttons I made... but now I want to show HOW to actually make them! All you need are scissors, needle, thread, cover buttons, fabric and a minute!First up, the cover buttons. You can get them in plastic or metal. Plastic ones are best for sewing onto lightweight garments after they have been covered as to not drag on the fabric, they are also cheaper to buy. Metal cover buttons are specifically good if you want to cover and put them with heavier fabrics such as corduroy or velvet, as the teeth in the cap will help secure it a lot better than plastic ones. When I need metal ones, I always just go for Prym branded ones. Cover buttons are available at all haberdashery stores, or just look for 'plastic/metal self cover buttons' online. The cover buttons come in two parts... one is where the fabric will cover it, the other part will lock into it to hold the fabric inside.Step 1:
Cut a circle out of the fabric with a 1cm (0.39") space around the size of button you have. It doesn't have to be perfect. Thread your needle, making sure to leave some extra thread at the start, and sew a circle on the fabric, I usually do half of the width between the button and fabric edge... but it depends on the person, the more you do it, the more you'll know what works best for you. Don't knot the start or end of your thread, and have them on the same side of the fabric when you're done sewing as it will be better for step 3.Step 2:
Neatly trim around the edge of the sewn circle, but not too close because if you're using delicate fabric, it will rip at the next stage. I just trim a good amount off so that it isn't bulky.Step 3:
Place the button in the middle, hold the two loose ends of the sewn circle and pull, this gathers the fabric which wraps around the button. I usually find it's easier to have the two loose ends of thread on the underside when pulling. I then usually wrap the thread around the shank of the button to keep it secure. Of course, if your fabric has a distinct right and wrong side, the thread ends should come out on the right side, if you choose to do it my way. This will make more sense when you come to do it!Step 4:
Then, get the second component, the cap, and click it on! Simple as that! This will keep all the fabric inside. Make sure the fabric is tightly wrapped in before you click the cap on or there will be loose fabric peering from the edges and that doesn't look very pretty! You might not get it the first time but keep trying and it's the easiest thing. Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions if you're finding it confusing! (Either reply to this entry or use the 'contact' button on my left sidebar.)

Monday, 1 September 2008

New Artwork.

I've been using my rose, flamingo and other designs quite often for my handmade ribbon bound books, so I decided to work on some new artwork!I wanted to draw another animal, as the flamingo was the only one I currently had, and I also wanted it to have the same 'elegant-Nouveau' look that I had in mind when I first did the flamingo... and here it is!I chose to do a swan because they're just so beautiful, I guess I can see how they follow on from a flamingo and I can already see myself illustrating a peacock next!
The swan originally started off as a rough pencil sketch, just to get the shape in, then I copied it with ink and started filling all the other details... it was then scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop. I haven't put my illustration onto a book yet as the colours for the cover and ribbon are still undecided... I really would like to have a hint of white though but unfortunately, printers can't print white so I may just dabble a bit with collage this time... I'll keep you updated!