Saturday, 21 November 2015

Guerrilla gardening final update

I would LOVE to be sharing images of glorious blooms splashing colour all up and down our street. Alas, our first (but not last!) forray into guerrilla gardening hasn't been a runaway success. But that's not to say we feel like we've been left empty handed, far from it, we have this success to our name:

Ta da! Yes ever so slightly compact but still a strong and healthy nasturtium plant. Even more importantly it's still holding it's own while all those around him are loosing their leaves! :p 

Whether or not we should expect a late Autumn flowering or not is still up for debate and with the weekend's first frost of the year (Yes! Time to wrap up your sweet bundles of joy to protect them from this silent killer!) due, handed are looking increasingly slim! But not to worry, I am not as fickle as to do this solely for the flowers, that's under egging the importance of lively vibrant vegetation on our streets too! :)

You can see our earlier guerrilla gardening updates here and here! 

Monday, 16 November 2015

DIY Fantastic: NYC Holiday Map

This may be my longest running art project EVER. I dreamt up the idea on our trip to New York back in 2013. And I finished and framed it a few weekends ago. Yes, that's right, over 2 years in the works.

We'd had a frame AND mount ready and waiting for months - reflection of the impressive level of faith Mr Fantastic had that I'd actually get the thin finished. (I'd have long given up on me!!) But I have admit it was incredibly satisfying to sign off on a piece and then get it framed and up on the wall within an hour. Maybe this should be my new motivational ploy for all my art projects...

Back in NYC we ummed and aaahed about buying a city map for our walls. We saw some super fun ones at Brooklyn Flea Market. But getting them home in our carry on was going to be an absolute mission. So instead, I promised I'd whip us up a personalised version upon our return....

I started out with a general outline of Manhattan and the main districts and then started to fill in from there. I included little snippets of each of our favourite adventures in the city. We tried to remember all our little adventures, walks, dinners, concerts and memories from our whistle-stop tour and I worked them into a drawing with little illustrations and phrases!

I sketched out the outline of each district and the general shapes of each illustration in pencil and then dived in with a permanent fine-liner for the final draft.

Some of my favourite little snippets in the above and below include 'Giant fritto-misto' at Bianca's restaurant (aah-mazing!), our final day's shopping spree for gifts in Greenwhich Village, our 'crazy taxi ride' out to Brooklyn in a yellow cab (I am a super supporter of The Knowledge after that experience!) and the delicious 'Brooklyn Roast and breakfast donuts' we had when we FINALLY arrived!!

For the areas we left unvisited (there's only so much you can squeeze in in three and a half days!) I kept the districts simple, filling the shape of each district with their names. These spots will definitely be on my hit-list for our next aherm, anniversary, trip to the big apple (did I say that out loud?).

This has been a real labour of love, but I am so pleased with the result. The concept is super simple - the map base and the overlay of place names and drawings is something you could do for any trip, anywhere in the world! Although getting all that detail in the tiny sketches did take a wee while...

In fact, you could also do something very similar using memorabilia from a trip. Creating a map-collage using ticket stubs, cutouts from pamphlets and photos. Have you ever made any holiday inspired art for your walls? Looking for suggestions for our next big trip now!

p.s. for more Knicker Elastic art work and framing take a peek at these floral watercolours and our eclectic living room gallery wall. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Type Fantastic: A New Creative Habit

Knicker Elastic Fantastic Blog Typography 365 day Challenge 1
I have recently started to feel like a bit of  a creative hermit. It's always the same excuses, lack of time and commitment. But enough is enough! My creative side won't take no for an answer any longer!

To switch creative gears I've decided to start a new creative habit and break through from this creative drought I've been living! 
Knicker Elastic Fantastic Blog Typography 365 day Challenge 2

I've been mulling over a few ideas for a while, but have finally set on a 365 day typography project. When I was a kiddo I'd spend hours writing out my name in hundred of different type fonts. Simply using coloured felt pens on a stack of white A4 paper. I'd do it day in day out.

Soon my friends started asking for their names in their favourite fonts. I even starting selling them for a grand price of 20p a piece (which you know was quite lucrative for a 10 year old, back when Mars bars cost sounding like my Mum!)!! 
Knicker Elastic Fantastic Blog Typography 365 day Challenge 3
So I'm going right back to where it all started (and should never have stopped!). I have committed to doing a daily typography exercise. I'm right back there, with a bunch of sharpies from Wilkos and a pad of fresh crisp clean paper! I'll start each day with a new fresh blank canvas. The beauty of this daily exercise it that it should be quick, simple and inexpensive (no extra heavy weight watercolour paper and specialist inks here! Well, not yet... ;).

Let's be honest, I may not end up doing this exactly EVERY day. I may skip a day and then have to catch up. Or I may try and front-load a few at a time. But if it means I sit down at my desk and churn out five typography exercises, then even better! I'll have turned what was intended as a way to carve out time for a five minute task each day into a full half an hour session and I can't think of anything better. Getting started is the toughest bit. In fact, I actually hope it snowballs. Once I've started it's almost harder to stop and drag myself up to bed!

Knicker Elastic Fantastic Blog Typography 365 day Challenge 4
By making this commitment out loud (well writing it here at least!) I feel committed to keeping up this new habit. Sharing the best of the bunch over on Instagram I'm hoping will also help keep me in check! (You can follow along with me here @knickerelasticfantastic). I plan to experiment with lots of different handwritten types and fonts plus a number of different mediums. I'm hoping we'll see a serious uplift in my typography skills over the next 365 days if I keep practicing!! 

Do you keep up a daily creative habit or are you now tempted to do so?! I'd love to hear how it's going as I launch into my personal challenge...