Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Batman.

When I spotted this lovely grey marl t-shirt with a scratchy batman logo on it, I really couldn't help but buy it! I've always wanted one since I was a teeny-tiny girl... but I'd never seen one that I liked. They were always black and with the too-perfect logo plonked on, it just looked so rigid and bee-like.But now I found one which was on sale at Topshop for only £10/$14! It's so soft and I've been wearing it with my dark blue high waisted jeans. I now have an urge to seek out all the other ones I'd always wanted: Superman/girl, X-Men, Spiderman, Venom, Joker, Ghost Rider, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, and so many more! They have to be really nice and different to the typical merchandise though... it's going to be hard, but I will keep you updated!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Muji.

I must admit that a lot of the things in my room are either from IKEA or Muji... I just can't help buying from these places, they're like an addiction and I love seeing their new offerings.
Muji hadn't changed for a very very long time, but I still enjoyed browsing the same things. I loved opening and closing (sorry, I know that's quite annoying!) the acrylic storage boxes, flicking through the recycled brown and charcoal coloured stationery products, and testing out the pens like I'd never seen one before. However, this time, I spotted a whole new section, which really stood out. Amongst the brown recycled folders and the charcoal recycled folders, was a very strange white section. These folders were recycled (of course) from milk cartons! I loved it instantly as I'd never seen or heard of this before... I mean, I'm sure milk cartons get recycled all the time, but to use it as a marketing/promotional tool was very interesting to me!

I bought it because my old-enough-to-know-better (25) brother did not know how to open a lever arch folder and broke mine (which was part of a set of 4 blue ones) by prying the rings apart... instead of using the lever - duh. So, as that set was ruined and I'll never be able to get the exact same one again, I went for a new colour! I loved the little details it has, like the metal brackets to protect the bottom and corners - although I wish they had edged the side hole too which I only noticed because my other lever arch folders have them and because they're usually edged to stop them from wearing down (when you pull them off the shelf).


As it is such a large, plain surface, I just had to use one of my blue lady MOO Stickers to embellish it. It is tempting to get a few more of these folders because a block of them all side by side would look so clean, so minimal, so slick...but at £6.95/$10 each, it is a bit expensive.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - Film Review.

This third installment of the Underworld films was amazing!!!! My boyfriend took me to watch it on my birthday a few weeks ago (sorry this review is very late!) which made my day - nothing beats a good Vampire film!
Rhona Mitra plays the lead female character, Sonja. In the first Underworld film, Sonja is introduced into the story via a memory that had happened centuries earlier and was killed by her father Viktor - who is a Vampire Elder. I loved how this film is digging a bit more into the past as I do remember wondering about the Sonja character and the storyline involving her.

Michael Sheen plays Lucien and Bill Nighy as Viktor - both are lead male characters. Although Rhona did a great job, Michael and Bill stood out by miles. Their performances were amazing, facial expressions were surreal... expressions I'm sure I'd never seen before but were just always so perfect for the scene. I was so impressed that I really feel I can't ever watch these two actors in other films for fear it will ruin my outlook! Michael Sheen had played ex-British Prime Minister Tony Blair and after seeing the trailer, I definitely can't watch it. However, on another note, he is playing the Cheshire Cat in the 2010 Alice in Wonderland film (yes they're making a film!), and that I can't miss!

The 'romantic' part of the film, (which I feel is always important if there is a lot of action) is the love between Sonja and Lucien, Vampire and Lycan. It is of course kept as a secret because Viktor sees that Vampires are the more superior race and Lycans as slaves. Viktor kills Sonja with Lucien watching and unable to save her because she revealed that she is pregnant with Lucien's child, and Viktor will not allow the bloodline to be spoilt. This was all very dramatic and I loved it!

I also quickly realised while watching the film that viewers will really empathise with the Lycans, which was weird at first because Lycans were perceived as the 'bad-guys' in the first film. I am so glad they made a film based on this unique race as I found the story fascinating and feel there is still a lot more to be told. However, I have read that the fourth Underworld will continue from Underworld Evolution (#2), which is set in modern time and will be about Selene... but this is all speculation.
There is so much more storyline in between what I have already mentioned, it is very deep but they all interconnect with each other and it is wonderful to see it develop amongst the series. You really start to appreciate the meticulous, detailed thought that has gone into each film. One thing that really stood out however, is that in the first one where Sonja's death is remembered, the actress playing her is blond, but Sonja in #3 is dark haired. Just a bit irritating, but something I can forgive! The costumes were also fantastic as it is set in a medieval time period... so instead of the black, glossy spandex catsuit and corset that Kate Beckinsale wore as Selene in the first two Underworlds, Rhona Mitra utilises the leather and chainmail look. Viktor also wore the most amazing embellished cloaks, which I wish was shown in more detail!

Overall, I loved it and I love the Englishness of it. I also sometimes see it as an older version of Twilight but it's primarily because of the confliction between Vampires and Werewolves. I also wondered that with the second Twilight film 'New Moon' in production, I am curious how they will 'make' the wolves look, because it has to look different to the Lycans from Underworld. I completely recommend this film if you like vampires, action, heroines and a deep storyline - and it doesn't even matter if you haven't watched the other two yet.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Resolution.

As I design, make and sell various things in my Etsy shop, I always had the hardest time designing business cards. Do I try and show everything I make, or do I just show the one, best thing? So I utilised the offerings from two different companies to produce a hybrid business card that would keep me happy for a while.
I ordered 250 glossy, one sided business cards from Vistaprint, which you can see below. I kept the front very simple, as I thought my blue lady (who I like to see as my mascot/logo) was as fussy as it should get. I left the back plain so I could write Thank You messages etc...

Then, I hopped over to MOO and ordered some stickers containing photos of all the different products I make. The fact that MOO lets customers upload as many different photos as possible is what makes it so appealing. So, I recently got my stickers, and voila - I can now pick and choose what product I want on the back. If someone buys a piece of clothing from me, I can use a garment sticker as a reminder of what they purchased from me and so on... and the plain business cards can be given to people who will be curious to see what nuvonova.com is all about. If I really want to, I can stick a maximum of 6 stickers onto my business card and it would still look a lot nicer, be a lot cheaper, and much more flexible then having the same collage on 250 business cards.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tutu Two.

Two weeks ago, I introduced you to my experimentation with making a tutu. It turned out better than I thought which you can see and read here. As mentioned, I made a black version, and as promised, here it is!It is made up of 5 layers of black polka dot tulle. My next tutu idea is to make one in georgette, but because it is such a drapey fabric, I would need to use about 20 layers to get a good amount of volume that a tutu should have... but I shall continue to experiment!What is your dream tutu? I'd really love to make a full length, Cinderella-esque, frothy skirt, but as it requires metres and metres and metres of fabric, I will continue making my smaller versions for a while!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Firefluff.

Lisa Evans a.k.a firefluff is a freelance illustrator and also a fellow UK Etsy seller whom I recently purchased some ACEOs from - which are pieces of art where the only rule is that they measure 2.5" x 3.5".
I came across firefluff while 'pouncing' on Etsy - Pounce is when you come across Etsy shops that recently had a sale. I thought her art was breathtaking and conjured up the strangest feelings. I started reminiscing about one of my most favourite programs I watched as a child - Moomins. I actually can't remember much about it... I just remember wanting to watch it all the time (even though it scared me senseless)... it was almost hypnotic, and it was just so satisfyingly different to everything else.

I found Lisa's art so overwhelming and beautifully dark. I also took such a liking to one of her very unique characters, Star belly. A creature with a belly full of stars! As a child, I always dreamt about having my own fantasy creature/pet that would take me on adventures... Star Belly would've been perfect! One of the ACEOs I got also made me think of a scene in another favourite, The NeverEnding Story... where the young boy travels in the air on the back of Falkor, the luckdragon. Lisa's work is like a concoction of all things I loved as a child, and present! She has the most wonderful mind!

I was also extremely impressed by the quality of her ACEOs... I feel like I have originals, rather than reproductions. I had recently been disappointed by the quality of some ACEOs I had been purchasing to the point of wanting to reconsider my obsession, but firefluff has put me back on track and I can't wait to get some more from her!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Red Suede.

I've been wanting some Dr. Martens for absolutely ages now because I love wearing boots, I love lace up detailing, I love patent, I prefer them to be low-heeled (for everyday use) and Dr. Martens happened to fit this perfectly. However, they just seemed like they would make my feet look absolutely huge, and lots of people had told me that they take a long time to break into... I also wanted to get red patent ones, but could never find any at a price I was happy to pay. So, while browsing the ASOS.com sale, I came across some red suede hi-tops for only £9/$13!I hadn't worn any type of trainer for about 5 years, so I was surprised that I liked the look of these so much. They are so comfortable and there was no 'breaking in' stage either... I've been wearing them almost everyday since (about a month now)! They also go with a lot of my outfits because I live in dresses which mainly consist of blacks, blues, greys, purples... everything that goes with red! They've become my Dr.Martens alternative, but softer and more gentle on my feet. I loved them so much, I bought a second pair in the same colour and a third pair in black... you just can't go wrong with them being £9 each!!Also, something that really hadn't occurred to me at the time, was that one of my favourite bags that I use very often, is also red suede! I felt almost embarassed that it was so matchy-matchy, but I don't care now! I'm not a designer-obsessed person at all, but this bag is by Prada and my mother swapped one of her own bags with her friends to get me this bag as I always had so much to carry when I was at University studying Fashion Design. The bag is huge, I can fit so much into it... and I love the weird tortoise-shell horn hanging off it, although I do sometimes feel it adds a bit of extra weight onto it!!
...and just to finish off this entry, some of you may also remember my red suede heeled shoes too! I am obsessed!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Breaking Dawn - Book Review.

Some of you may have noticed my never-ending blog entries on the Twilight Saga which (if you so dare) in order of publishing, can be read here, here, and here... but now, I have reached the end! I'm going to try and only mention what I really want to because I can honestly go on for ages!... but I was quite impressed with this last installment. Disregarding the endless grammar mistakes (I'm sure I'm not so perfect either, but I do try!) which really started to irritate me to the point of wanting to note them all down, emailing Stephenie Meyer and asking if they really were supposed to be there, the development of the story was very good. Without sounding cliche, I really felt it was the beginning, rather then the end... although I am being biased because this is the installment when Bella, our narrator, becomes a vampire. So, as you can imagine, it is very exciting to read.

Before starting Breaking Dawn, I 'accidentally' read that Bella becomes pregnant while she is still human. This made me curious in exactly how Stephenie Meyer would tackle the subject of human and vampire having sex - with the book largely aimed at children. I cringed at the thought of ending one chapter with the two lovers kissing, and starting the next chapter with news she was pregnant - something you would read in the problem pages of a teen magazine; "Can I get pregnant through kissing?".
However, I think Stephenie did a good job with this 'sensitive' part of the story, but depending on the age and upbringing of the reader, I'm still not certain if they would clearly understand what had happened. Nevertheless, I think it's only a small issue.

There were things I questioned while reading each book, such as where the Cullen's get all their money. My first thought was selling off antiques collected from centuries ago, but it was later revealed in the second book that it was through Alice Cullen's foresight of the stock market... I think I prefer my own, more anonymous idea. Unfortunately, some of my minor-but-still-would've-liked-to-see-it-mentioned-questions were never answered. One in particular, is Bella's time of the month. This is such a common teenage thing, over-exaggeration of pains, mood-swings etc etc... so I was surprised that Stephenie/Bella never mentioned it... although there was a brief nod to it when discovering she was pregnant. I also wanted to know if she would become more 'potent' to vampires while menstruating? I know this is such a bizarre topic to bring up, but I think it is totally relevant! While getting to know Bella, I could totally imagine her fretting about something like this. It's all about the detail! My thoughts on why there is no mention of this is because when I was 17/18 years old, it was still very much a taboo... and Twilight fans go much younger then 17.

Another main thing I wanted to read about was a vampire's death. Stephenie Meyer describes that for a vampire to properly die, they have to be ripped to pieces and burnt. Fine. But what happens when they are ripped apart? Do they have liquid in their bodies? Venom?...Slime? Have I missed something in the book? I would've loved to read the execution of a vampire in more detail - but I assume that this area is not further explored due to the target age group.

Overall, the Twilight Saga is a great story... and I only have one more Twilight-related blog entry to make and I promise there won't be any more!... until the second film comes out!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Tutu.

Tutus have always been that one garment that I've never been bored of from when I first knew they existed to this current time... and I know it's the same for other women. I even love the word! So, I decided to develop some to sell in my Etsy shop. This was the result:It's only a toile, so it's a mixture of scraps of fabric i.e some tulle and cotton... I think I'd prefer doing a tutu all in one colour and one type of fabric, otherwise it can look a bit too theatrical. This was the first toile I did from drawing out the pattern, so I'm pretty impressed with myself that it's turned out correctly without me having to modify anything! Ignore the bodice, that was already on the stand as I'm trying to develop a new dress shape, but decided to leave it on to photograph the tutu as I thought they looked quite sweet together!I have some black polka dot tulle that I was saving to make a dress with, but due to time restraints and my desire to stock more garments in my Etsy shop, I'm going to use it to make some tutus instead! I'll let you know how it turns out!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Artisticle.

I previously blogged about asking my dear boyfriend for ACEOs for my birthday - here, which he finally succumbed to getting for me! Artisticle, a fellow Etsy seller came across that blog post, noticed my obsession with ACEOs and was extremely kind enough to send me some of her own creations as a birthday gift!
I received them in an impossibly fast time (8 days from America!) and here they are!

They're different to what I usually collect but I love them! Very fresh, very avant garde... I especially adore the ombre effect of the Fleur-De-Lis one. Also, they're completely original, Artisticle screen printed these herself! I don't have many original ACEOs (actually, I only had 3 originals out of 47!) so these are extra special! Thank you Artisticle!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Strike a Pose.

I've been wanting to frame my little fashion illustration for a while now but 'never got round to doing it' until now! It took a whole 2 minutes... I hate when I don't do things - then when I do them - they were so quick to do - that I get frustrated with why I had put it off for so long! She looks so cute! I'm also thinking of doing the same with a black glossy frame, when I find one.
This one is available to buy here.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

My DVD Collection.

I originally owned 3 DVDS before Christmas (which were all gifts):- The Great Gatsby, an amazing film and a treasure trove of 1920's fashion inspiration, The Great Ziegfeld (which is still wrapped in cellophane), it was just one of those films I wanted when my 1920s obsession began, and The Red Shoes - still unwatched.My boyfriend got me Underworld and Underworld Evolution for Christmas because he knows about my obsession with vampires and heroines (Underworld is the perfect combination!) and also so I could refresh my memory of the story for when I watched the third installment; Underworld - Rise of the Lycans. So that makes 5.Everyone I know owns a ridiculous amount of DVDS, but I always felt it was a waste of space because if I wanted to watch a certain film again, I would just rent it. But after watching Twilight, I thought it'd be nice to actually have a collection of all of my absolute favourite films, which there really isn't much of. Well, I love a lot of films, but I would need a good 5-7 years until I would want to watch them again as I remember films quite well... however, when it came to Twilight, I really yearned to watch it again... and when Underworld came on terrestrial TV, I was more then happy to watch it and could easily watch it again tonight if I wanted to (thanks to my boyfriend!).
...so, just out of curiosity, how many DVDs do you own??