Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Summer plans!

It's been a week or so since I've updated this blog but simply because I've been incredibly busy trying to get everyone sorted for the 2012 Summer Show! I can't believe it's come around so quickly and I can't believe it's going to be my 7th Summer Show... I just don't know where the time goes!

There's been a bit of stress with the build up to deadline and the look of the living dead surviving on only Red Bull in the eyes of many of my gang but nothing unusual there... it happens every year! We have to get the show up by Friday at 4pm as the extra bank holiday (thank you Queen Liz!!) has meant that the show opens on the day we return! Arggh!!! I AM calm, I AM!!!!

Hopefully we'll have everything up in time and once again I'll be able to look on like a proud mother on the night of the show when all the families and friends come in and see exactly what we've been up to with their precious ones over the past 2 years!! Hopefully!!!!

I've had a busy few weekends away from work as well & I have now planned my Summer holidays!! Yeehar! I realised in my first year of working as a lecturer, that it's so important to plan the 5 weeks off otherwise they just get wasted and then you have that awfully long term from August to Dec.... it's really really long!!

So I've been pretty good with planning my time off effectively. Obviously last year was pretty crazy with turning 40, a fab ceilidh on Arran and jumping out of a plane at 15,000ft so it was important for me to do something equally interesting (or crazy!) this summer!

And I can confirm that I will be undertaking a German road trip (no throwing myself out of the plane getting there though!!)

I ummed and ahhed about going for a cheeky week or so on a beach but to be perfectly honest I just get bored of lying around doing nothing and I've never been a sun worshipper so I decided to go all cultural & hit Berlin!

I'll spend a few days on Arran first as I have to get my Scottish air fix, and then I fly to Berlin with Alyson, my friend from work & her 2 mates! We're going to get a central apartment in Berlin for 5 days and when they come home I'm going to train it across country to Hanover and stay with my friend Gemma for 5 days!!

I'm so excited as it means I'll get to see the AquaDom, the world's largest cylindrical aquarium & as I said in a previous post I've always wanted to see that!! I also intend to get a new camera as I've been quite obsessed with taking photos recently and I'd like to pursue that more as a hobby!

As soon as the show's over I'll be straight on to planning for work and for my trip!! :)

I really hope I get the chance to spend more time getting back to my drawing over the summer as well as that has slipped by the wayside, again, just because I've been so busy with the day job!

I did a few drawings for Tallulah Love and went back to my hand drawing which made a change! They're going to be published in the 1st edition of the Tallulah Times hopefully this week so watch this space! :)

It made me realise just how much I miss drawing by hand so will definitely try and do more stuff like that this summer.

Other than that I'm off camping this weekend with a fab posse to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. I'm very much looking forward to it as I've gone a bit OTT with my jubilee regalia and the tents are going to be covered in flags and bunting! At least we should be easy to spot! We're going to have a jubilee barbecue party on the Monday and go for the World Record attempt of the most people wearing paper crowns on a campsite!!! ha! Yep.. it's going to be a fun weekend! Let's hope the weather stays as nice as it has been!!

Happy Jubilee weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Richard Avedon - another genius with a camera!

I'm in the middle of the madness of the fashion department at CCAD right now. Deadline day is tomorrow and there have been tears and tantrums but nothing different to usual.
I try to keep an element of calm throughout all this but I have my own deadlines, such as making sure the FMP show is going to be amazing & that I have put together posters and write ups for all the students!
I'm trying to create a Classic Dress poster for the 1st years & because I used a David Downton illustration last year I wanted to use photography this year.
I have a number of images in my head when I think of the classic dress, including Audrey Hepburn but when I think of photography and a picture which involved a classic dress I immediately thought of Richard Avedon's photography and the classic picture of the model Dovima stood amongst some elephants wearing a Dior dress... as you do!!

These pictures are perhaps 2 of my all time favourite fashion photographs! I love the sophistication of the model stood on straw mixed with the playfulness of the elephants!
Of course, this involved me going through the rest of Avedon's archive on his website and gasping with admiration at his photography. It's just stunning! He is definitely another one of my photographic heroes!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

My birthday wish list... I'll have everything from Tatty Devine please!! :)

Oooh, it's the weekend... and better than that, it's a bank holiday weekend!!!! Woo and indeed hoo!!
For some reason my body won't let me sleep in anymore!! I had nothing to get up for in particular this morning... well, I thought I had an opticians appointment at 8.30am but I got the wrong Saturday.. doh!

Anyway, what better way to start the day than to mooch around in my PJ's with a cup of coffee trawling the internet for items I wish I owned!! :)

And as it's my birthday in 2 months(ish) I thought I may as well start a wish list (and hope someone will look at it!!!!)

I've always been a fan of quirky retro jewellery, anything that makes a statement!! I used to buy a lot from this seller on Ebay but she's disappeared recently! :(

My favourite jewellery designer has to be Tatty Devine!!!
Tatty Devine

The thing is, it's not exactly cheap and you'd need to take out a small loan for their most popular items but I'm counting on getting one of their best sellers... the Name Necklace!

Thing is, I could go for the very obvious choice of getting my name!!!! Original eh?!! But I want to be more quirky than that... so I'm thinking, what word sums me up?!! Glittery?! Crazy?!!!
Oooh, I like this...... I do say Crikey a lot!! :)

I think it's time to put this out to the masses!! What word sums me up?!
The most popular word is the necklace I get made!!!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Gemma Correll - my illustrator of the month! :)

I've been doing my daily trawling of the internet in my search for things that inspire me & came across this little Gem of an illustrator, Gemma Correll.... did you see what I did there... Gem.. Gemma?!! no.. ok, I'll get my coat!

Anyway, I recognised her artwork as the work that is featured on a number of greetings cards I have purchased in the past!! We have a similar sense of humour! Small things amuse me... talking cats and vegetables that have intelligent thoughts... you get my drift!? Gemma draws such things in a way that just makes you laugh! Well, they make me laugh! Such simple drawings but so detailed!

I love her website - it's got everything! I even love the fact in the section which has what other people have said about her work she has “wtf. worst cartoons ever!” – Luc Hook Walker of Australia, and “How is this funny? Like at all?” – Mariah; when most other people would be bragging with amazing comments, but not Gemma! Yep, she definitely has a very warped sense of humour which I like a lot!!

Oh, and her drawings are just brilliant! Here's a few of my faves:

Girl after my own heart in this one.....

This one just makes me laugh out loud, or lol if I'm getting down with the kids...

I love the thought that fruit could have personal problems....

I think I might get myself some Valentine's cards like this next year.....

I could keep adding more and more of her drawings until the cows come home but it would be easier for you to take a look at her website!! It will keep you amused for hours!

The Top 25 Destinations in the World!

I love travelling and visiting new places but I guess time and money has stopped me visiting many destinations that I would love to go to. So I was intrigued by the latest publication on TripAdvisor which is a poll of the World's Top 25 destinations!  At first I thought, right... these are the places I need to visit before I die but then if I'm going to be realistic about it (Goddam being realistic, I want to live in a fantasy world forever!!) I doubt I'll get to visit all 25 unless I come into a serious amount of money and suddenly find myself with lots of spare time!!!

Having been through the list I'm pleased to see I've been to a few on the list so I don't feel too hard done by, and I'm not sure why, but Australia has never really appealed to me so I don't mind so much if I never make it there!! However, I'd love to go to New Zealand & it would be silly to go there without stopping by Australia!!

So my list of where I've been to already out of the Top 25 goes like this:
London, New York City, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin (although only the airport when we had to land there instead of Munich because of bad weather... can that count?!) and Dublin! That's not so great out of 25 but better than none!!

The places from the list that I'd really like to visit are: Prague (I heard the beer is nice!), Las Vegas (OMG... I think I'd be in my element!) Bora Bora (well, it just looks amazing doesn't it - total chill out!), and New Orleans (again, how amazing would it be to be able to say I drank bourbon in New Orleans!)

So it looks like America has to be the next destination for me.... wonder if I can do a fly drive!!?

I then came across the Top 25 destinations in Europe and I thought I'd see if I fared better with this list!!
So here we go: London (again!!! It's really not my favourite city I might add!!) Paris (I LOVE Paris particularly Montmartre!) Barcelona (loved the beach bars!), Berlin (that pesky airport again!), Dublin (that was a 30th birthday party if I do remember rightly and I woke up with a hamburger under my pillow the next day!), Amsterdam (finally!!! Amsterdam is one of my fave cities! I spent nearly a year there in my 3rd year at Uni living in Broek in Waterland with the lovely eccentric Alice....best months of my life!!), Edinburgh (2nd favourite city ever after my hometown and where I have spent 20 happy Hogmanay's - no one knows how to party like the Scots!), Munich (went with work to a major sportswear exhibition - weather was bad hence the divert to Berlin!)... oh, and that's it!!! Not as good as I thought! And where's Newcastle upon Tyne?!!!

The places I'd really like to visit on the list in Europe are: Prague (see above!), Santorini in Greece and Sorrento in Italy (as they just sound dreamy!)... and it would be nice to go to the other destinations but i'm not fussy!!

Actually, no.. there is one place more than anywhere I'd like to go to in the World and it's in Berlin (so I need to make it out of the airport next time!) - how could I forget?! It's the Radisson SAS hotel in the centre of Berlin which is home to the largest cylindrical aquarium in the World!

So seriously, if anyone wants to take a trip here with me let me know!! :)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

One of Northumbria Uni's finest!!

I am proud to be a graduate of the amazing BA(Hons) in Fashion Marketing at Northumbria University in Newcastle (a graduate of many moons ago!!) & I'm always promoting this course to my students so it goes without saying that I need to mention one of my old classmates, Shaun Kearney!

Shaun is a graduate of the Fashion Design course but he was in the same year as me. His girlfriend, Alison was in my class on Fashion Marketing and I was part of the close knit group of friends who hung out together!! Me, Alison, Catherine & Katherine, Morag & a few others got up to some right mischief, but we also worked hard! I knew very early on that Shaun & Ali would make it big as their final degree shows were just amazing!!

They moved to New York not long after graduating (1996 if you must know!!) and have been there ever since. Alison became a textiles designer and Shaun has worked his way up to the highest level becoming Creative Director for Cynthia Steffe in the early noughties!

Shaun and Alison were the nicest people you could meet, they never had a bad word to say about anyone which is a rarity in this industry. They both went through heartbreak during their final year at Northumbria when Shaun lost his beloved dad and Alison lost her mum, both to cancer. But I think this gave them the motivation to make something of themselves and to make their family proud!

I was thrilled to be invited to their wedding in Liverpool in 2004. We had a total blast and danced the night away! Seeing Douglas Maclennan, the God of the Fashion degree, dancing like a loon was just brilliant!!

Shaun and Alison became parents to the beautiful Skyla a few years ago and I was able to meet up with them when Shaun was invited back to Northumbria to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University! They had never changed & we had a good gossip about life!!

I would love it if Shaun was ever able to come into CCAD to talk to my students about his career. That would just be amazing but as they're based in NYC I think it would be a little difficult, and I think he would be out of my budget allowance for a visiting speaker!!!

Anyway, Shaun decided to leave Cynthia Steffe at the end of 2011 to seek out new ventures and the fantastic news is that Shaun has been named as the executive vice president and creative director of Magaschoni Co. I am so thrilled for him as he deserves every bit of success & I wish him lots of luck!

Here's a link to his own blog although I can't begin to imagine how he has the time to keep it updated!! Congratulations to one of Northumbria's true success stories!! :)

Pinch and a punch for the first of the month!!

So we're into May already!! I can't believe how fast this year is going!! In January I had all good intentions of doing a lot more of my own illustrations but I think the last one I worked on properly was back in February! I've done a few little pencil drawings here and there but I just don't seem to find the time to do much more!

My full time job really is more than full time - it consumes my life, but then again, it is my life! I can't imagine doing anything else! To be able to teach others what I love doing has to be the dream job... sounds a bit sickly and I must admit, there are definitely bad days on top of the good, but overall it makes me happy and fulfilled to see the students progress!!

So, I thought for my first post of May I would mention the Blog that I did some work for!
Style and Then Some is a fashion blog run by 4 girls on everything that inspires them!
This week Sophie Caldecott has written about the illustrator Frances Ives who she has used for her wedding invitations.

Frances' work uses watercolour in the most delicate of manners and they really are beautiful.
I love the painting of the dancin robin... he's so cute!!

A friend of mine saw a call for Fashion Illustrators back in February to draw the haute couture garments seen on the stars at the Baftas and the Oscars so I offered my services! There was a few late nights but I felt it was worth it and the results of my efforts, and the other volunteers, can be found here and here. The drawings I did are below... can you guess who each star is without looking them up?!! :) Happy May everyone!