My photo for me, art and photography.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

And All That Jazz

Everyone makes a huge fuss about jazz. For some reason, the name 'Mulgrew Miller' kept popping into my head today so I thought I'd check him out. It doesn't matter how hard I try, I'm sorry, I just don't like Jazz. I know it was born out of the big black movement in America in the 20s and is hugely influential in the way modern music is put together today, but I really just don't like it. I'm sorry Roger, if you're reading this, but I really can't stand saxophones either. There's maybe ONE piece of saxophone music that I vaguely like, which Megan turned into a Judy Garland tribute, but the rest of it... it's just very dated 1980s cop show music to me.

Here's the video from Megan that I'm referring to:

I like the cheerful tune the sax is doing, but the rest of it is what I've grown up knowing as 'elevator' music (no offence Meg - for me to conceed to liking ANYTHING like this is high praise from me! LOL - it's just so bloody catchy!)

There's a store my mum used to shop in when I was a kid called 'Tudor Williams'
and, this was in the early to mid 1990s you understand, they were STILL selling those massive gold clip on earings, big chunky fake pearl necklaces and bracelets and little Bronnley minature toiletries in powder blue boxes and jumpers with big geometric prints.

When you walked in, it had that sort of stale talcum powdery smell from those horrifically strong floral old fashioned perfumes being squirted, on a daily basis by blue-rinsed tightly-permed pensioners, while white, highly rouged, mannequins with cheekbones like razors looked out over the customers from their pedestals,staring vacantly from beneath thick blue eyeshadow painted up to their eyebrows, and heavy lashes which battled to keep the peroxide blonde Howard Stern-esqye wigs from falling into their eyes...

basically a total throwback to the 80s, and that's the sort of music they'd have pumping through the store.

I think probably half my dislike for this music stems from whenever mum dragged me in there, I'd be stuck there for HOURS while she pottered around looking at fabrics and jumpers and then spent an hour trying to decide between which one of the two white duvet covers she'd picked up should get - while I sat at the base of the mannequin stand sulking, and bored out of my skull, while over-rouged sales assistants smiled at me and cooed and made babytalk. I smiled back because I was a polite little girl, but on the inside I was screaming 'I'm FIVE YEARS OLD! I can spell my own name, I'm not dumb you know - talk to me like a normal person!"


And ALL I wanted to do was go into the shop across the road where they sold millions of different kinds of colouring pencils and felt tips that were invisible until you went over them with the white pen and erasers in the shape of koala bears and things like that.

The shop is still there. I think there was a fire or something there a couple of years ago, but honestly - from my memories of that place, you couldn't persuade me to set foot in it ever again. I'm sure they've revamped it and put in laminate flooring and minamal fixtures and modernised the mannequins; but whenever I go past it on the bus on the way to Kingston, I imagine it to be like some kind of time portal: that the inside is unaltered and they're still selling those little bottles of bronnley toiletries in powder blue boxes, and the jazz is still filtered through the store... and my mother is still trying to decide which of the two white duvet covers she'd picked up she should get, while a little girl sits at the base of a mannequin stand, wishing she was somewhere else.

Give me some good old fashioned big band swing ANY day of the week!
I did start surfing youtube looking for a good example of the sort of swing that I like to post up here, but instead ended up getting extremely sidetracked by Fred Astaire, then Ann Miller and now I've found someone who's stuck videos of plays and also someone who's stuck Stage Door, starring the AMAZING Kate Hepburn up, in its entirety.

I have a love-hate relationship with youtube. I love to watch stuff on there, but if I've made plans for the day, and get on youtube, it's all over. It's all down hill from there. Oh well. I'm having a blast anyway. Who cares. I think I might do a Hepburn Colourisation now - not done a colourisation for AGES!
did a Liza Minnelli design today - My friend, Phil has been whispering the words 'cafe press' into my ear for the past couple of days - I think it could be something worth looking into.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

One for Megan and Charles

To prove to Megan that I can't draw and that you don't have to be able to draw to be able to paint, and for Charles, just for shits and giggles ;) Create custom animated gifs at!

and the finished thing in full(on the digital thing because it's late and because I can't be naffed to dig out my acrylics right now - would have looked better if I did it with real paint, but nevermind. Wasn't trying to impress anyone. Made using the acrylic brush and the.. er.. SOME form of 'blend' brush - 'smudge' i think on Corel Painter X:

What day is it?

The results of today's efforts. I'm getting a bit droopy about not painting with an actual paintbrush because I haven't got my studio yet. I've got a nice big canvas all lined up for my next piece which will involve lots of paint being splashed around, and which I can't do indoors. The weather is horrible - cold and wet and frankly, the idea of trolling around in the garage freezing my proverbials off for hours on end really doesn't appeal.

and some of my friends have asked me to have a think about designing some Judy Garland themed t-shirts, so here are a few ideas I've knocked out (the last one is because a pair of the ruby slippers has been stolen)

Much as she's enjoying the graphics tablet.. Tash needs real paint.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


right - I'm just orf to make a start on clearing out the garage (step one towards stuiodem). I'll hopefully have something slightly more substantial to write later on today, but afore I toddle off, here's a quick tonguetwister for you:
you have to memorise this and then say it as fast as you can

one smart fellow, he felt smart
two smart fellows, they both felt smart
three smart fellows, they all felt smart

go on.. I dare ya.

EDIT: haven't done anything marvellously exciting today - just a couple of nude practice sketches and a weird 'attempting to be arty' thing of bette davis

Like I said - nothing spectacular, but I need the practice! My proportions are horrendous. I really have to work on that.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Box Hill

After getting to sleep at about 4am last night (for the fourth night in a row, and for no particular reason) my parents woke me up at about 10am to say 'we're all going for a walk, be ready in 20 mins' fantastic. Feeling like a complete zombie, and really not in the mood for walking downstairs, let alone up and down a whopping great hill; I threw my 5 year old unused box of watercolours along with a paintbrush, a 5 year old unused bottle of nut brown ink and a pen, a bottle of water, my camera and some new unused conte pastels into my bag. If I had to go, art could be my excuse to get out of walking - plus my foot was really hurting. I think it's from walking around London all day in ugg boots - they really aren't good for you, or geared for long distances - I've not seen one person wearing them who doesn't end up with their feet turning inwards, so they're walking on their instep. I love my boots - they're warm, they're comfortable, but they make me walk like an idiot. Those shoes would be great if somehow, someone could invent them with decent soles which don't wear out in a week, and do something to prevent them from making your feet collapse inwards.

I digress. So we got there. Dispite being bundled up like an eskimo, this hill is very high and the winds were very cold and rather strong, so I was absolutely f-f-f-FWEEZING! This did not deter the insane bikers and lycra loonies and their bicycles from congregating en masse for their Sunday rideout. I don't know quite what the tradition is, but every single Sunday, as far back as I can remember, it's what they do. They congregate in the carpark of the pub at the bottom of the hill - you can see the sea of bikes glittering from the top of the hill, have a pint, eye up eachothers bikes, have a bit of a geek out session over the paint job on someone's Goldwing, and then just.. well.. ride. Don't ask me where, I wouldn't know - it's just one of those quirky Brit-Geek things I think.

Top of the hill, grey clouds gathering, wind whistling into my ears, armed with a pashmina, an art book and a big paper cup of tea, I managed to find a spot relatively rabbit-poo free and settled down. Incidentally, a half-burrowed rabbit hole is an excellent cup holder. Kept my tea nice and warm for quite a while too!

this is what the place looked like (black and white because the photo didn't really come out too well)

I've decided to stop running from my fears and avoiding things that make me feel awkward in life and instead face them head-on, so I thought now would be a good time to apply that philosophy to art too. I have had a life long hate for watercolours. I can't use them, I hate the way they look and... yeah, I could go on, but the general idea is that I just don't like them. I don't feel I have any control over the paint - it just dribbles or it's so dry I can't really do anything with it, and I have to work from light to dark, which I don't like doing. I like to work dark to light - I always put the highlights in last, and I absolutely detest the way colours bleed into eachother resulting in wishywashy pictures which, to me, look really dated and tacky - kind of like that faded print from the 1980s of some flowers in a vase that your gran's had on the wall in her loo for the past 20 years that she bought in a charity shop somewhere for 50p.

Anyway. I still hate watercolours, and I still hate the way they look, and I think I always will. I think they're also slightly stigmatised, because I associate watercolours with retirees pootling round the countryside in sun hats and beige velcro shoes with their little art groups and folding chairs, painting old houses and flowers and such; but part of me feels that I should find it within me to respect them and it, and the only way to do that is to be able to master being able to use watercolours myself. So. Here's my attempt at a watercolour (bearing in mind that I've avoided using this stuff like the plague. I think I've done maybe 2 watercolours in my life. Does watered down acrylic count?) If you want to see it bigger, I think you can if you click the picture.

It got a lot colder when I'd finished, and my hands had actually turned blue, so I packed up my stuff and toddled off into some trees to attempt the second type of unused medium. I was using ink in 'nut brown', fittingly, for a tree, and one of those old fashioned pens that you dip into it - I think it was my grandfathers - it's about 100 years old anyway, and pretty much unused up until now. I don't like it. I mean, I quite liked drawing with the ink, but the actual process itself I found rather irritating - I'd load the pen up with ink - and I checked before I left the house how I was supposed to do that - sort of scoop it up and then scrape the excess off the front as I pull it out of the jar.. but half the time it'd be fully loaded - a nice big blob of ink on the back of the pen, but it just refused to migrate to the paper. I don't know if it was scared of drying or what, but it really started to annoy me after a while. That ink is kind of strange too - it's a Windsor & Newton one, and it dries shiny. It didn't say anything about it on the bottle itself, but it's like it amost has a gloss/varnish quality to it, and when it dries on the pen, it's not like regular ink which is kind of powdery when you scrape it off - it's kind of plasticy and peels off like cheap nail polish, so I don't know if that has something to do with its reluctance to get off the pen? who knows. I got it home and wasn't satisfied with the shading, as I'd lost patience with it by then, so I bulked the shadows up using a conte pastel. Slightly cheating, but never mind - it was only a practice sketch. The colour on the photo came out a bit funny because I shot it with the lights on, which messed up the white balance and I couldn't really fix it - that's the best I managed to do. Looks a bit daft, but it's not particularly important.

Lastly, flipping through an old art book, decided to try and sketch a face in an old fashioned style. I'm not sure who this guy is, some kind of violinist from about 1860 I think; and a rubbishy sketch of a lamp in the living room (hey, it beat watching the news) trying out a new exercise I'd read in a big book on art that I have - of drawing the thing without taking your eyes off it - something about getting your hand working in sync with your eye better.. or something. It was actually surprisingly hard - my first attempt, which I shall not post here because it really is truly diabolical, looked more like a fried egg than a lamp. What you see here is the heavily modified post-experiment-salvage-operation version haha but yeah. Interesting experiment. Try it youself and let me know what you think of it!

If you're wanting to learn more about that place, here's a link to the National Trust website (also on their menu is a place called Polesden Lacey which, if you're in the area, is just up the road from Box Hill - about 10 mins drive away - you simply MUST visit! it's one of my favourite places in the world.)

Tomorrow, I'll be going to see a man about a website, and hopefully, weather permitting - which is usually an uncertainty in this country- I'll make a start clearing the rubbish out of the shed, and taking the first steps towards making it sound, and converting it into my studio! I can't WAIT! I espied a really nice studio easel in the art shop I mentioned in yesterday's blog for £45 so I think a return trip is in order for further investigation.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Lick Brane

This post is just a rant really with an art bargain thrown in at the end.

Went out to London today with the intention of going to the Cypher exhibition put on by a friend of a friend of a friend in Hackney somewhere, which I was a bit like 'err... Hackney?' about when I found out where it was. For Americans, think Harlem before it was cleaned up and that is similar to the reputation Hackney in London has earned itself.

I'm a well spoken, middle-class, preppy-boho, vintage-tweed-jacket wearing person who would not be seen dead in any form of 'street' gear or tracksuit and who associates the word 'garage' with cars and junk-storage rather than a genre of music. I'd stick out like a sore thumb. From what I've heard about the place, I might as well walk around with a big flashing neon sign above my head saying 'I'm posh, mug me'.

Anyway. We got a little sidetracked by a random place en route, which I am very grateful for because it meant that Hackney was given a miss. My friend and I got a little sidetracked by Brick Lane, which I'd never been to before. Honestly, I personally don't see what all the fuss is about - everyone is like ooh it's so kooky and indie and boho and asian and cultural - especially after the film 'Brick Lane' hit the cinemas last year.

Kooky and indie and boho and asian bollocks. To put not too fine a point on it. Basically, what it is is a grotty street with a whole heap of rundown buildings housing indian restaraunts where the owners stand by the door and try and bribe you to come in- it's more like a curry-scented cattlemarket than a street. I'm guessing they do this because competition is fierce and their food isn't all that good - and supposedly 'vintage' shops selling things like 80s cast-offs and cowboy boots where the sole is practically worn through for £70. I mean, it's ridiculous! Crap quality things and ludicrously overpriced. If you want 80s cast-offs, you'd be better off going to a charity shop and buying the same thing for 50p, and take comfort in the knowledge that your money is going towards a worthy cause and doing some good to someone who actually needs it.

I really don't think Brick Lane deserves it's 'cool' reputation. You want cool, indie and kooky? get yourself to Camden Market. Tons of random vintage shops and indie jewellry and crafts and stuff, all incredibly cheap. Ok so there may be a few druggies along the way trying to flog you weed and liquid gold and hash lollies, but the army surplus shop and the random punks more than compensate for that. Where 'random' is concerned, my heart belongs to Camden Town.

Brick Lane seems to be the place where people who think they're cool go to be seen - you see tons of 'emo/indie' kids standing around, or sitting on the floor outside these open fronted bars with cushions everywhere and fairylights, sucking on shishas (or however you spell it) in their flourescent skinny jeans, tennis shoes and floppy straw hats, desperately posing with a 'look at me, aren't I cool, interesting and individual.. even though I'm dressed like an absolute pillock and look just like EVERYONE ELSE HERE' attitude.... it's rather tragic really how hard they try and how badly they fail. I don't think they realise how stupid they look. I can't wait until they're all in their 40s and go through their photo albums going 'oh my dear god, what was I thinking'. I shall point and laugh.
A mannequin in a shop window nearby:

So. I can safely say, crumbly old buildings aside, Brick Lane is a bit rubbish.


What made my day was.. a WONDERFUL art shop called Cowling & Wilcox. It's fantastic! For a start, it's absolutely massive and you can get pretty much anything you want in there in at least 2 different sizes, and secondly it's beautifully cheap! it's not like one of these crap 'we sell oil paint really cheap' places where it turns out the oil paint refuses to get off the brush and actually stick to the canvas, but it's the brand name stuff but cheap! for example - system3 acrylics - a pack of about 6 in Sussex Stationers (which is purportedly selling things at discount knockdown prices) will set you back about £26. In THIS place, same thing will cost you £14 (I can't remember the exact price, but I remember getting very excited by how cheap it was and a little miffed that I'd just stocked up on all my acrylics and spent a fortune when if I'd known about that place before I'd have saved a packet!) A4 hardback ringbound daler&rowney cartridge 50 sheet sketchbook was just over a fiver, in sussex stationers it costs me about £8.

I know where I'm going to be doing MY art shopping in future!

Details of this wonderful establishment of magical art goods are as follows:

Cowling & Wilcox Ltd
26-28 Broadwick Street. London W1F 8HX
Tel 020 7734 9556
Fax 020 7434 4513

112 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JN (think this is the one I went to)
Tel 020 7033 3685
Fax 020 7033 3648

Soho W1 020 7734 9556

This post is rather over entheusiastic, but the wonderful art bargain and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Bitter fuelled day was all a bit much for me. (Side note: the food in the Cheshire Cheese is reeeeeally good!)

Absolutely wiped out - I must have walked at least 6 miles today.

Friday, 20 February 2009


I've been 23 for about a day now. I'm officially old. I say that every year. This year, I AM old though. It'll be worse in 2 years time when I hit the big 2-5 and realise that a quarter of my life is over and I've done nothing with it. Wow, what an optimistic start to the year! LOL seriously though - hopefully by the time I'm 25, I can say I've done something worthwhile with a qarter of a century.

The pressure is on now, because I see people like The Pythons, or Charles Dickens who had done masses by the time they were 23 - Look at Mozart for chrissakes, he'd already written several operas by the time he was EIGHTEEN! ok, Mozart is a bad example because he was a genius, but still - it's a case of life going into the input funnel, and not a lot coming out of the output funnel of the Tash machine, so I aim to do something about this.

Today was spent relaxing mainly, and eating far too much, but I did manage to squeeze in a couple of bits n bobs on the graphics tablet. I'm leaning on that thing a lot at the moment as the scribble output receiver (I like that, I might use that again - not a bad name considering I made it up on the spot at exactly 03.00!) because my sketchbook is full up and the shop didn't have the size I wanted. Why is it whenever you need a sketchbook, they always just HAPPEN to have sold out of the particular size you want, and either have absolutely massive ones for about £12.99 or stupidly small things you could just about squeeze a stick man into and with crap quality paper for £3.99, but not the decent cartridge just under A4size ringbound one that you want.

I digress. Digital things. I did an alternative Clara Bow picture, because I wasn't overly keen on the first green one, so here it is:

then did an eye.

And learned how to make an animated gif thing to post up a progress gif thing on here. Mainly for my own entertainment, but there you go. Create custom animated gifs at!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Digital classics

I've really been having fun with this graphics tablet today! made a picture of Mae West and another of Clara Bow earlier and enjoyed them so much that I think I'm going todo a series of various classic stars like that. Here are Mae and Clara for now:

A sneak preview of what to expect on my site

Ze News

No other updates to report on the world of art today, apart from a quick digital sketch which is below the poster, but my website will be up and running on Monday - I've called the internet people, I have 48 hours to wait for the information to be processed and then I need to call my techhie guy who is going to upload it all for me, and I don't want to call him on his weekend, because that's not very fair on him. So, providing nothing is wrong with what I, in my technological ignorance, have constructed, I should be live and online sometime on Monday :D fingers crossed, eh?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Tablets, Cupcakes and Emotional Blackmail

I got my graphics tablet yesterday and I'm now attempting to write this blog entry with the pen, because I'm currently drinking tea and am not very good at one hand typing.

Today has been a bit of a disaster. I overslept, waking up at half past one (!) so that basically meant all my plans for the day went totally out of the window, I found a 2 year out-of-date (!) Betty Crocker carrot cake ready-mix in the cupboard which mum said to use rather than go to sainsburys to buy flour today. TWO YEARS?! I really wasn't sure about it, because I'm 100% anti-ready mix stuff anyway, so I stuck it in cupcake tins so I wouldn't waste too much electricity, as it takes only 8-12 mins to cook cupcakes and 35 mins to cook a regular cake, so it's better news for the environment/credit crunch, so ideally, smiles all round.

It would have been if I'd made the stuff myself from scratch - this stuff just tasted wrong to me, incredibly artificial - mum and dad like it but I think it tastes dodgy.

Probably as a result of me baking with bad grace, the whole thing was a disaster from start to finish - curdling, then sinking in the middle. I stuck some chunks of chocolate in them to kind of make them taste.. less dodgy, and burnt my hand on the oven, then when I turned them out (after leaving them in the oven for 15 mins to be on the safe side), the guts fell straight out through the top, through the mesh and all over the kitchen top, so I spent the next 10 mins scrubbing.

I am GOOD at cakes. This stuff is just ridiculous - I mean, who puts 200ml water, 75ml VEGETABLE OIL and 3 eggs in a small cake? this is the last time I use this prefab nonesense.

Anyway. Brighter things. Graphic tablets. I'm finding it quite hard and extremely weird to use. It can handle thin lines just fine, but putting pressure on it to do fat lines (this is in corel psp x2 btw which is crud generally because it keeps freezing) it's very tricky to use, but I just need to practice - the wierdest part for me is drawing with a pencil and not looking at the thing I'm drawing on - having to look up to see what it's doing - my brain associates pen with looking down to see it- drawing without seeing where the pen is going to judge distances is odd - I'm talking about this from the point of view of an artist's relationship with a pen - it may be different for people who associate drawing and colour etc with a mouse or trackpad etc... I'm getting more accustomed to it every minute but it's still hard to get used to actually maneuvering the thing because I can't use it the way I use a real pencil - if I adjust my hand on the pad, it's not like a mouse where you can lift the mouse up (or your finger up) and put it down further up the table and the mouse will pick up where you left off - the drawing bit on the pad is very rigid - this point on here is THIS point on your screen and there is no negotiating with it for the sake of comfort.

Anyway - here are the three scribbles I've done to play around. The first one was on corel paint shop pro x2, and the second and third ones were on corel Painter.

yeeeah it looks 'ok'ish - I know I've only had it for a day so I'm not skilled enough with the pen thing or the software to really make an informed decision, but I can't see this ever replacing a paintbrush, an old army shirt and white spirit high. I don't think anything computerised will ever even come close to tell you the truth. it's good for practicing techniques though, I think - don't really need a sketchbook to play around with colour, but again - it's nothing like the real deal so.. when I find its merits, I'll judge it based on those, I think. Other than that - my wrist gets tired from using a mouse and a trackpad absolutely kills it because I got repetative strain injury as a teenager from having to copy up 2 years worth of science exercise books in 3 days, because I lost mine and had an exam coming up (genius at work, eh?) so this thing is a mixed blessing in terms of pain threshold.

As far as emotional blackmail goes - I check my junk inbox from time to time to make sure nothing has been filtered into there that wasn't supposed to be filtered into there, and I keep getting emails from people with arab names like aayad and sayeed_barjas saying 'I am giving you a surprise' as the subject heading. I'm one of these insanely curious people - I hate surprises - I'm the kid that was always up at 4am on xmas eve, shaking my presents under the tree, tryin to figure out what they are - In this case, I KNOW that if I open it, it's blatently going to be some form of virus that nukes my computer, or something that hacks my computer and steals my identity, or something trying to swindle me out of every penny I have... but it's the pandoras box thing - I want to know!!! it's terrible, isn't it! total emotional blackmail! it's not right!

Monday, 16 February 2009


This is my one-fingered salute to that guy who did 'blue square' and had the audacity to call it art. I frankly find it insulting that people like that, and that AWFUL Tracey Emin woman who stuck her unmade bed in an art gallery (I'd like to tell her where else she could stick it), get recognition over other people who devote their lives to creating amazing art and who live in obscurity, or relative obscurity.

(I'm not actually dedicating this canvas solely to this though - I'm not wasting it - I just painted it blue as the background for something else - just looked at it as it was drying and thought 'if I sent this to the Tate Modern with some horrifically pretentious title, i could get a lot of money for it)

Sunday, 15 February 2009

New Sculpture

is in the works. I'm attempting a 1945 Judy Garland - mainly because everything else I've attempted to sculpt so far has been out of my head... it's strange - I find it next to impossible to draw things from my imagination, but hand me a piece of clay and faces just materialise out of it. So, I thought I'd try Judy, because I've spent most of my life loving her, so I know her face extremely well, and how it's supposed to look - that plus she has a funny little face - small chin, pug nose, low brows, big eyes - so she'd be an interesting face to try and build too.. I bought a few blocks of polymer clay.. and while I dont really have Miss Showbusiness just yet (I'm finding this extremely hard to do! it's one thing drawing someone and something else completely to try and make something 4D when you've only ever seen the subject in 2D) - so yes, she doesn't really look like Judy Garland yet, but she'd make a very good addition to the Easter Island carvings! haha oh well - I'll keep at it and see what happens. My art teachers in school told me that no matter how dismal a painting looks, if you keep at it, it will eventually come out the way you want it to - you just have to break through the mental barrier of 'this isn't working. Bin it'. They were right about that, so I hope the same philosophy can be successfully applied to sculpting. Thank god this is polymer clay so I can take my time with it and not stress about it drying out on me.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Missing Out

Wow! it seems I've really been missing out! I've just spent the past hour surfing the net. I originally started out searching for a studio easel I can actually afford (those things are EXPENSIVE! I'd be better off building my own out of bamboo sticks or something), and ended up looking at studios for rent (out of curiosity) in my area (to give me ideas for my own) and found myself on a website about open studios. FANTASTIC idea! getting the public into a studio so they can see how it's done (and also a good way to promote work) I think I should get myself into some of these arty communities - I think I could learn so much from these people! I'm definitely going to pay a few studios a visit during open season and see what info about techniques and materials etc I can glean, especially about sculpting - I'd love to be able to do that properly, and really feel confident that I know what I'm doing... Who knows - in couple of years time, I might take part as an artist too :D

Untitled, because I can't think of one

ha ha hEM. Er... well - I just re-read my last blog, and this website malarkey has taken me.. QUITE a bit longer than I expected. I wasn't really planning on teaching myself HTML and CSS as well as how to use Dreamweaver, but if we didn't have to struggle to get things done, we wouldn't feel quite as satisfied when we'd finally finished and stood back and taken stock of what we'd actually been able to accomplish, would we?

My website is finished, the domain name is bought -, incidentally, all I need to do now is call up the domain name people tomorrow and tell them the address of the server host I'm using, because I'm not using theirs, wait 24 hours for that to be processed, then I'm live and online! About time!

Second bit of news for anyone who cares to know, that after many 'conversations' I'm finally getting a studio!

well.. I'm getting a shed, which I'm going to convert into a studio - it needs a lot of work done to it - need to get all the crap that's in there now out and in the attic, then need to plug all the holes, somehow get all the spiders out without hurting them (yes, I am that loserish, supersticious and pro-life) hoover up the cobwebs and dead wasps and other creepy crawlies, put up the insulation, board that in, paint it white, get some plastic sheeting type stuff down on the floor somewhere, then pull in some furniture. I know it's really pathetic, but I'm so excited about FINALLY getting a space of my own that's not my bedroom where I can do my thing without getting yelled at for potentially getting paint on beddings and carpets. I've already planned to get a desk in there for my laptop so I can have my music, and do my graphics work.. or start learning to do that anyway, and my old kettle from uni and a BIG tin of teabags and chocolate biscuits, so I can have tea whenever I want, RIGHT there - I already have coffeemate so I don't even need to bother with milk :D (I just need to figure out how to get electricity in there, but that's a minor detail that can be figured out later).

Now my frustration and impatience with the website is over, the impatience with the great British weather begins. I just need 3 days of solid good weather so I can move all that crap out without getting rained on or snowed on or iced by. I honestly cannot wait until spring, and I sincerely wish it would rodding well hurry up and get a wiggle on so I can move my art stuff into there and start using that space without dying of cold. Some sun, warmth and fresh air wouldn't go amiss either - summer is going to be wonderful, because the shed is the old summerhouse with two big doors that open up so I can really feel the world and listen to the birds.

Speaking of birds, my dad's blackbird was got today by a cat. We say it's dad's bird because it loved him - whenever dad was in the garden, he'd (we know it was a he because his beak was bright yellow) come and perch on something near him and watch him. Dad chased the bloody animal down the garden to try and rescue the bird, but it was too late. He was very upset, but I painted him a picture of it from a photo I took a couple of weeks ago, so that cheered him up a little. It's not as if that cat didn't have enough to eat - it was clinically obese. I'm peeved about it too to be honest - I mean, there were at least 5 pigeons on the lawn which wouldn't have been missed - why couldn't it have got one of those?. All I can say is woe betide any cat that so much as dares to THINK about going after my Robin. There must be some way to keep the bloody things out of our garden. I personally think a dog would be a good preventative, but mum won't have it.

and from birds to twitter

I really don't get what all the fuss is about - people seem to be going on about it constantly these days - I didn't actually know what it was - I just assumed it was a rival to blogspot or facebook or something. Onto youtube I went to get educated. Apperently it's something to fill in the gaps between blogs. For people to say things like:
I just made a cup of tea.
I just got out of the shower
I'm picking up the phone to call up my pshyciatrist
I ate a bagel approximately 4 mins and 35 seconds ago

As if they think people actually care. As if this endless and incessent self-promotion isn't weird enough, you get EVEN WEIRDER people following these things, who are actually interested to know if joe bloggs farted at 4.25pm. I mean... I don't know, I suppose I'd have to sign up to the thing and actually give it a try myself before I can really form a proper opinion of it, but it just seems really rather stalkerish to me, and a bit sad that people have got absolutely nothing better to do with their time than inform complete strangers of their every movement. Blogging is only a step away from that, but at least it gives you the space to form some coherent ideas and actually talk about something meaningful if you wanted to - like the treatment of bears in Peru, or the bushfires in Australia. I chose to fill mine up with rubbish, but that is because I freely admit I have no life outside of a canvas at the moment. The stalkerish element to twitter is the main thing I find incredibly offputting. The closest you'll ever get me to that thing is updating my facebook status when I can be bothered.

EDIT: Damn. I just changed the layout and lost my statcounter thing. How annoying. That had over a thousand pageviews and made me appear to be a vaguely interesing person. Still, at least the page looks a bit better now.