Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Lights, Camera...Action!

I mentioned in my last post about the acting aspirations of DD and myself... well, we had the most fantastic time last Sunday on an actual film set!

I am on the mailing list for St Barts Pathology Museum in London (bear with me, it does relate to the story!) My lovely friend Kathy and I are booked to go on a taxidermy course here very soon (watch out for THAT blog!!). A very exciting mailing came out asking for extras for a film being made there and so, as New Years Resolution #4 was 'try new things', I thought I'd apply!

I managed to talk DD into it too... and so, last Sunday we found ourselves in full Steampunk costume heading towards the big smoke.
Saturday night was spent making costumes...introducing my steampunk/pathology hat. And yes, it's a real bird skull!
We arose early, 5am is not right for a Sunday, but made good time to London and arrived early for the 9.30am call. We were ushered into make up - well, deshine powder - which made us feel very superstar! I was tempted to demand my own trailer but settled for a digestive!
The Pathology Museum was an amazing place. Now those of you who know me will know that I quite like 'weird', in fact 'weird' is my middle name (after Strange and Unusual) but it was weird even for me. A beautiful room filled with thousands of specimens in formaldhyde. Some of them were recognisable, some of them you could only guess at and EVERY body part was there (yes, even a few penises/penii?) tee hee hee..

Three floors of weird!
I didn't photograph a penis, I'm not that childish!
As extras we got to take part in a ballroom scene. I got to dance with two of the main characters, the Seducer and the Husband.... Well, how could I refuse? Both gentlemen were lovely and I am happy to report I didn't stand on any toes! I'm assuming it was my outstanding hat that won me this honour, they had no prior knowledge of my dancing expertise! The bonus was that I appeared in any close up shots and so had to do at least twice as much work as DD. This was thrilling except I chose the wrong shoes for such long hours..but, professional to the last I carried on despite aching toes.
Resting between takes (it's a technical term)
The cast and crew were fabulous and really supportive of us newbies, we had a fabulous day although Monday passed in a blur of tiredness.
The 'extras' - doing shock!
Huge thanks to everyone involved in making our day such fun, and do check out the website for more information!
There is also a Facebook page - Sherlock Holmes and the Stolen Emerald - Will keep you posted on when we take to the red carpet for the opening night! ;-D

Friday, 25 January 2013

A most interesting week...

I shall start with an apology, no posts since last Saturday. Shameful! And no pictures today... Actually that's two apologies, sorry about that (that's three now....argh!)
Well, I have been dancing out. Not sure whether to post photographs of this as I am modelling some quite stunning jewellary from Primark. Yep, it's as classy as it sounds!
Then it was my birthday. I got to go vintage shopping - the best kind! We braved the snow all the way to Brackley where I purchased a delightful 1930's mink stole complete with head and 7 (yes, 7!) feet... I also purchased some opera glasses, or as my dearest daughter has christened them, ballet binoculars. She got some too as we now have a shared passion for the ballet having been to see the Russian State Ballet last week. Photographs of these items will follow (the mink and opera glasses, not the ballet) when suitably arranged. And updates of our next trip out modelling them!

Snow has caused much mirth this week, we built a giant snowman at work (on our lunch hour!!). His gradual lean to the side has been watched with interest and we are now taking bets on when he'll fall and who he might squash.

This weekend is promising to be thrilling too. DD and I are poised to star on the silver screen. Ok, this is a bit of an overstatement. We are extras on a silent film being made in London. It's a steampunk Sherlock Holmes adventure and we are very excited if not a little nervous. We have to travel there in full costume and it's going to be a very long day.. Will definately post pictures of this when I can!

I don't think there's much more gossip to tell. Watch this space for more excitement as it happens!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow Day!

It's been snowing.... I guess most people will probably have noticed that! Due to my cross country epic daily work commute I was allowed a snow day yesterday. This meant a period of looking at the lovely scenery from inside (honest!) but I did allow myself a break to take a walk and enjoy the actual white stuff for real.

The village looked really pretty and everyone was still at the stage of enjoying it and not moaning about how horrible snow is.... well, I guess the owners of the cars who had pranged at the crossroads probably would disagree with this!

The church in particular looked picturesque and I thought shots of snowy gravestones made a change from children on sledges or inappropriate snowmen!
Just a shame I have run out of Polaroid film, this could have been an interesting experiment. Oh well, next time :-)

Monday, 14 January 2013

New beautiful things!

It was a chilly sort of a weekend. This was a good excuse for log fires and woolly jumpers, blanket and hot drinks. Then I got a bit too hot...
However, Saturday did provide a chance to peruse a local charity shop. This one is a favourite, a village community shop run (mostly) by lovely old ladies who think 50p is a steep price to pay for most items!

I bought myself a fake oil painting (I like the frame and can think of a hundred things I'll never do with it) some old maps - 20p each, bargain! I'm not sure if these will form the basis for some vintage map bunting or wall coverings or if I can use them to explore the areas to see how many roads have changed since the 1940's. In the meantime they will provide amusement in the form of funny place name spotting!
The lacy hankies are delicate and look as though they should never be dirtied with nose blowing. I picked out some plain ones but when I got home I found I had also picked up one embroidered with an 'E'. I'm thinking of changing my name to Edith to make full use of this and the old suitcase I bought previously labelled 'E Sutton'.

My star find was a very old piece of embroidery in an equally vintage frame. It's very fine work and I would love to know more about it!

Other news, I finally finished framing my jays wings. These were given to me years and years ago by my Grandad....yeah, I know other children get dolls and trains.... but these are fabulous and I've kept them safely knowing one day I would do something with them. I found the frame at a charity shop and here they are.....


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Chin chin....

I love gin..... I love Hendricks gin in particular! Last night I went out for a girlie drink with my friend Helen at the Plough at Clanfield... I drank gin!
The Plough has a vast collection of different gins, I was disappointed to note I had tried only 4 out of the 9 million they had on display but this poor record must surely be seen as a challenge to me and my liver.

Hendricks also produce some lovely china. They certainly know how to combine a few of my favourite things :-) The Plough had a beautiful tea set on display. Sadly it was under the watchful eye of the chap at the bar.... I'm sure they must get lots of gin soaked yummy mummies in there attempting to smuggle the tea set out in their designer handbags! I'll take my Primark carrier bag in next time, they'll never suspect a thing!

Hendricks have a fab website too, where you can enter their Curiositorium! You will find all manner of gin related stuff including some great recipes...

I bought the latest issue of 'Pretty Nostalgic' yesterday. This is more of a book than a magazine, full of lush photographs, vintage collectors and crafters and inspiration. There were several articles that caught my eye this time, one on vintage cameras, 1940's fashion, dolls houses and an interesting piece on lists... I totally understand the power of a list, I have notebooks full of them! Shopping lists, to do lists, house related lists, packing, sorting, remember to take etc. I always like to start a list with at least one thing I have already done/packed/tidied/bought. It's a psychological thing I guess, finish the list and cross something off straight away! Even if the rest of the list gets abandoned I can never have completely failed! Apparently some people collect lists as a sort of historical record. Their own lists that is....

I wonder if anyone has ever collected abandoned shopping lists from trolleys? Maybe I could start?

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Instant Love??

Well, I am having fun with the Polaroid... I have yet to have the time to properly scan any of my 'experiments' to be able to share them properly but for now here is an arty shot of those taken so far...

I have been reading my new book and having a play and I can now share some of my new discoveries!
  1. Once a photograph is taken it needs to be IMMEDIATELY placed out of the light. I have taken to holding an open book in front of the camera to catch the picture as it exits the camera. Tricky to balance so I am experimenting with a variety of sizes. So far 'Karen and the Little Lost Kitten' is doing an admirable job.
  2. The newly taken photograph needs to be nurtured at a temperature between 13 -25 degrees. I am trying to attach a thermometer to the book but it's proving difficult. In the meantime I am stuffing the book up my jumper!
  3. Using 'Karen and the Little Lost Kitten' seems to be a mistake as the book contains a built in finger puppet (of the kitten, not of Karen), the added texture creates interesting patterns on the developing photographs.
  4. The camera model is a Polaroid Close Up. This is blatant trades description fodder. For 'Close Up' read 'Focus Free'.
  5. Daytime photographs come out as dusk, dusk comes out as midnight and midnight comes out as coalmine.
  6. You can accidently operate the shutter whilst the camera is shut resulting in an interesting view of the inside of the camera. Except it's so dark that you can't see anything (see also coalmine, above).
  7. The term 'Instant' needs to be taken in the context of the history of the Universe. Should you be confronted with a once in a lifetime photographic opportunity - imagine Noel Edmonds has turned up at your local Co-Op - you will not find out if your creative efforts have been successful for at least an hour. Maybe two. Depends how dark and warm you kept the tiny embryonic artwork. If it has not been successful Mr Edmonds will surely have moved on to other supermarkets by then and your moment will be lost.
  8. As each photogaph costs an average of £2.20 it is tempting to see each failure in monetary terms. Instead I am seeing each as it's own mini art experiment. Or something...
This may all sound somewhat negative (no pun intended) but I am actually enjoying it! It is a shame the film is so expensive and still in an experimental stage (Polaroid stopped producing the film and so it is being redeveloped by another company) but the excitement of the photograph popping out and the anticipation of exactly how rubbish and arty the shot will be is still a thrill!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Owl always love these gloves (ouch..)

My beautiful friend Kathy has an lovely Mummy... she kindly knitted me a pair of Owl Gloves as featured on the cover of issue 21 of Mollie Makes magazine!... Now I love a good craft magazine, my bank statement is witness to this and I am easily swayed by a free gift on the cover. Mollie Makes is a wonderful read, full of fabulously talented people who all seem to live in spacious apartments and spend their days in a creative whirl. I like to buy the magazine, read it, get inspired and then fail miserably to recreate anything I have seen. Esecially when it come to knitting. I can do knit and purl if I concentrate hard. I can also cast on and off. I cannot increase or decrease unless by accident (I started this row with 25 stitches, I now have 27, how the hell did that happen?) I did make a hat once. It was too small.
So I was thrilled that Mummy Kathy stepped in to make me these for me. Mine would have looked nothing like the cover..... I shall not offer to knit her a thank you gift :-)

Other news today, my Polaroid book arrived today. It is called Instant Love by Susannah Conway and it looks like it will be an interesting and useful read. I will rate it on it's ability to aid me in taking pictures I am happy to share here with you!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

(Watching someone else) Dig for Victory!

What a fun weekend! Baking rock cakes, entertaining, moving books from shelf to shelf (and back), resisting the temptation to use the Polaroid before instruction book, giving in and using the Polaroid, feeling guilty cos it was a rubbish photo etc etc.. barely time for a girl to breathe!

We did spend some of the time getting to grips with the allotment. We have begun to mark out and edge the plots, we dug up last seasons potatoes and carrots and generally tidied up.
Well, actually this is a bit of a fib... what I did was watch the hard work whilst swanning about complaining that the wind was ruining my hair, that I didn't want to get mud on my tweeds and that I was now quite cold, is it time to go home? In all fairness I did make cups of tea and do a touch of girly pruning of the raspberries!

You can't see the hard work on the raspberry canes from here :-(

Earl Grey anyone??

Friday, 4 January 2013

Shake, sh shake it!

How do you concentrate at work when you get a text saying "you have had two parcels arrive at home!"? A long afternoon followed (longer than normal for a Friday which always seem to drag....) Anyhow, some hours later, at home and unwrapping my new vintage Polaroid camera fresh from Ebay... the second parcel contained a box of film for aforementioned camera and an arty Polaroid book, how exciting!

Sadly the second parcel did not contain the instructional and inspirational book I had also ordered and so I have decided to refrain from leaping in and wasting the (very) expensive film until I have some idea of what I am doing! What a novel concept....

Still, I am all poised to uphold number three in my New Years Resolutions (2013) "Take more photographs of lovely and interesting things". This shall not include offerings such as my drunken and badly captioned picture on Facebook on Christmas Day entitled 'dozing husband with 1960's Christmas angel balanced on head'. Although, on reflection compared to some of the art in my new Polaroid book I could be onto something big!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

I did it!

Yay, here is my blog! It came to me as if in a dream (along with the weird title), a place to share the life, times and 'true' confessions of a vintage-oholic. Here are my ramblings, photographs, thoughts and general nonsense... Enjoy!
(This isn't me by the way, but I do covet the hair!!)