Monday, 30 September 2013

Our Lomography Summer - Part II

So, for the second part of the grand summer tour through the Mini-Diana lomography lens! :)

First off - the absolute winner of the whole film! Portraits of Izzy and I with a green and purple flash shot over each other! This wasn't even done on purposes, we were bummed when we realised we'd shot them over each other, but actually the result couldn't have been more fabulous!

Also turns out this lomography malarkey does wonders for your skin, I don't think we've ever looked so flawless! :p

Helloooo miss model! Beautiful Isabel under a pink glaze looking like a seventies muse.

Next off we have Cherry and Vanessa's first day trip to a British beach. Full of all the things you'd typically associate with it - wind, rain, scampi and chips and a British determination to actually swim! Most remarkably it looks like we even had a spot of sunshine at some point!

A soft focus New York including a donught brekkie in Brooklyn with a view back over the Hudson and Manhattan, the view from the highline and the East Village street where our apartment was. It's like they've got hazy with time, like happy memories! :)

Finally, a walk along the marina into the sunset in Ibiza Town on our the last night on the party Isle. Saying goodbye to Ibiza. An apt end to this film!

If you liked these you can see some of our other Lomography adventures in the following previous posts:
Our Lomography Summer - Part I
The Lomo experiment No. 1
My Mini-Diana


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

DIY Fantastic: Magnetic Pineapple Chalkboard

We have a freezer!!!! This is exciting stuff. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it has revolutionised the way we eat, cook, shop and snack. Okay, I'm getting carried away, maybe not revolutionised, but changed A LOT! As part of my new obsession with the fridge I also realised that it needs a little sprucing up to avoid looking like a giant white blot in the flat. Useful white blot, but a blot nonetheless! So, I have started to attack it with gusto and put my diy skills fully into Decorate-the-Fridge mode.

This was easy squeezy and only even needed two ingredients: magnetic material and chalkboard PVC. To try and jazz things up a little I opted for an exotic shape for my blackboard - a pineapple! So in addition to those two ingredients I also used pen and paper to make a pineapple shape and sharp scissors for all the cutting, so in reality that was a fib!

Then the actual steps are just as simple! The first thing we did was whip up a template for our pineapple. As you can see below, there are (believe it or not) a LOT of different ways to draw a pineapple!! Eventually we struck on a shape we were happy with and cut out our template. :)

Next we took the PVC roll and cut out an A4 sized piece to stick onto the magnetic sheet:

The trick here is just to ensure that you have no trapped bubbles, other than that there's not too much to it! Once it was firmly stuck down we trimmed the edges, but to be honest we could have skipped this step as we lopped off a lot more shortly.

We then took out pineapple and placed it in the middle of the rectangle. Using the chalk draw around it being as careful or as carefree as you like - it's chalk so it rubs right off if you go wrong!

Then we took scissors to the pattern and snipped our your way around the outside. I was careful not to cut too much off too quickly, you can always trim it down but you can't add it back. Ha!

Then we took the chalk to the cut board to prime the surface and smoothed it over with our fingers to create the perfect background. Then we popped it on the fridge door and you're ready to start making a list! :)

How does a magnetic chalk board stick to a brick wall, I hear you ask! M A G I C. 'Nuff said! :p Okay, we fess up. Turns out it's basically impossible to make giant white fridge look glamorous! This is Izzy turning up the glamour stakes in a vain effort to produce the shot. Clear fail!!!

And this is more what it looks like after a few of said cocktails! ;)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Our Lomography Summer - Part I

The experiment continues. And we can most definitely call it that - the results are quite clearly experimental! This is how the latest batch of lomography photos we've turned out. Some are gentle and soft others are vibrant and dynamic. And I love them all! :)

My favourite part of getting real film photos developed is how you get memories of a whole summer on one film. With photography being so instant these days, we need to remember to look back and reminisce. I'm usually too busy thinking about the next photo I want to take and instagram! (#knickerelasticfantastic) :p So to walking out of shop with my latest haul of printed film photos and reminisce over the last six months is so great! Needless to say, no filters here!

These first photos almost have a soft focus feel about them. I love the haze of summer they portray and the suggestions of lazy summer days in Provence, lounging in the garden, swimming in the pool or playing boules on the drive!

Similarly below, celebrating on the beach at Brighton. It doesn't matter to me this photo is a little fuzzy, that was exactly the warm feeling I had in my tummy that day. We took a day trip to the lanes to find the perfect antique engagement ring. We did and then had ice cream on the beach to celebrate. I don't want to remember a specific moment, I want to remember the whole day and this is exactly what this photo conjures up for me.

These next ones are from our hike up Snowdon! We did this with all our family in memory of my late uncle. We raised a whopping amount for the local hospice that did so much for him and the family and every single member of the twenty-strong team (ranging from 7 years old to somewhere near the 60s, without being too specific!) made it all the way up and down. Incredible.

Got a few more to sort through that I'll want to share soon, so keep an eye out for them coming shortly!

You can also see the other results of our lomography experiments here and here.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

DIY Fantastic: Letterpress Course - Part II

As promised, here we have Part II of our epic letterpress course. And in due course I'm sure we'll continue with a part III, IV, V etc as we progress with our training and projects! So far we'd shared the key steps in preparing the type and locking it up in the press ready to print. So next we shall share a bit more of the actual printing process and the fruits of our labours!

This is the studio in East London, the home and base for the London Book Arts Centre. It's a functional but funky mix of essentials, storage and antique printing presses!

The centre has a wide range of presses, you can see some of them in action below. I would love to give you a dappled history of the various presses at the centre, but I'm afraid I don't know enough of their history (yet)! You'll just have to arrange a visit yourself instead. :)

In addition to the working presses they also have a number of these beauties dotted around. I wonder if they are still in working order, but I don't care either way - they are magnificent sculptures and works of art in themselves!

Rolls and rolls of colourful bookbinding canvas...

The first go on the printing press, that look of concentration on my face. Ha, my pesky tongue is always a clear giveaway!!

And finally, below is the result of my first attempt, yeay! I rather like the effect, the textures and variations in density it created give it lots of character! :) But it needed some tweaking to perfect the quality of the printing to the highest standard, aherm!

Making progress in the right direction...

Having a little inspection...

And here's the final print. You can see that it still has a lot of texture, as a result of the age and level of use of the wooden type, but I love that! All I need now is a photo frame so I can get this bad boy up on the wall, how exciting!

And now here's Izzy finishing the locking up of her type in the press and looking very happy about it! :p

And her prints filling up the drying rack...

These girls used a slightly different printing press and used individual small rollers to apply the ink directly to the type. The results of this vibrant hot orange were awesome and the hand rolling enables a few more fancy techniques such as a gradient of colour to be applied.

Finally, the ever so slightly less glamorous (but nonetheless essential) process of cleaning up the presses at the end of the evening. I think we were using baby oil as the cleaning fluid, cheap and effective! :)

Tah-dah! Looking incredibly pleased and proud! :p

Believe it or not, we've already been back to LCBA to add another string to our bow! This time we learnt all about the art of foil embossing so we'll share a few peeks on this next time round. Anyone else developing an addiction to letterpressing?! Welcome to Letterpressers Anonymous, lets share stories!