So we’re in a New Year and it’s the end of January already…all together now….AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! How did we get here?! I swear I say this every year but nothing ever changes, time just goes too gosh darn fast and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
Anyway, with that in mind, a New year means a whole new set of wonderful stuff to tell you about. Not only is time not stopping, but neither is the influx of wonderful websites, blogs and people doing fantastic stuff. So much so that I’ve already started filling up my post for February!
Lets get started;
In a previous entry I did list one of my favourite websites as BURDASTYLE, an interactive sewing website with a huge hub of members, contributors and practical resources. Coming up behind them and one to watch has to be YOUR STYLE ROCKS, a free sewing community that not only gives you access to free patterns but encourages you to upload your own in a monthly competition. Big believers in homemade fashion it is definitely one to keep your eye on for new ideas and shared inspiration. I love their current pattern on offer and hope to find the time in order to try and make it soon!
Next up is one for the photographers amongst you, it is a website I haven’t been able to tear myself away from since I discovered it and quite simply PHOTOJOJO is the best photography hub I have found on the web to date! In their own words, they “find the best photo shiz anywhere” and they do. However, it’s not all the usual stuff, it’s FUN STUFF!! Like putting a friends face on to cupcakes, amazing competitions and prizes, cute ideas and photo tutorials…this website really stands out. All you do is sign up and let them come to you, and believe me, I am ridiculously excited about the emails. Check out their facebook page for all they have available and a chance to interact. But wait, I’m not done yet, there is more…they have a SHOP! And I want everything in it and I will put it all on my Christmas list every year from here on in till I get it. It may be an American based site but it ships everywhere and claims to do so FAST! And at not too much of a high price either so it’s got the nod from me. First up I think I want the ‘Table Dolly’ and then the ‘Fisheye Lens’ for your iPhone…oh wait and then I want the ‘Camera Cookie Cutter Set’ to use in the kitchen and the ‘Nikon Camera Lens Mug’ and ‘The Dreamy Diana Lens’ and and AND!!! I really hope someone I love is listening…ahem.
MODCLOTH is a bloomin’ fabulous website for vintage style clothing and one I constantly look at for inspiration and new style ideas. Their BLOG is just another facet of their already successful brand and I can’t recommend it highly enough to sewers out there who want to pull outfits together and draw from inspired mood boards and lookbooks. With guest bloggers, featured items and interaction with their main website, the brand as a whole is a fun interaction with fashion and continues to have a keen eye on current trends and also their own unique sense of style as a whole.
Next up is a blog that covers everything, and covers it with style. MISS MOSS includes posts under the headings of “Vintage, Fashion, Design, Photography, Art, Living, Music, Food, Stuff” the last of which is one of my favourites because in case you hadn’t noticed, I like STUFF! I love the fact that Miss Moss (also known as Diana) describes her blog as a ‘Compendium of Radness’, how can you not want to read what goes on there? A recent post was about a gorgeous and intimate wedding with a distinct vintage vibe which was beautifully shot and perfectly presented. The whole thing is put together beautifully and I am constantly picking out home decor inspirations, clothing wish lists…and building up an appetite for something delicious.
I have been meaning (for a very long time now) to make my own pesto. I promised myself I would stop buying the stuff in jars when I got an easy to use hand blender for my birthday last year, and guess what, I finally did it! It would seem, after a recent email into my inbox that ETSY isn’t just good for shopping, it’s cooking resources are not to be over looked and I was pleasantly surprised to find THIS VIDEO instruction on how to make pesto in one of their mail outs. Not only is the video beautifully shot, it sticks to the basics and when you see it laid out in front of you like that you realise just how easy it is to actually do it yourself…and how you also don’t need a blender in order to do it!
One day this year I am going to write about the time I spent a summer in Italy, making my way from one culinary experience to the next and enjoying every single second! In the mean time I will look at authentic recipes and drool over them in anticipation of going back and in memory of being there at all. This particular RECIPE from Crepes of Wrath jumped straight out of the page at me, firstly because I love it’s name (said in a thick Italian accent), but secondly because I remember having it and I remember it being DELICIOUS. Osso Buco is a cut of veal and since seeing this recipe I have been trying to find, but have realised it is not that easy to track down in the area that I live in. Osso Buco translates in Italian as ‘Bone with a hole’ and it’s in that hole that bone marrow remains and assists in giving this dish so much flavour. The more I write the more my mouth waters, I will have to stop there and report back if and when I ever find the meat in order to make this particular dish.
I was really moved to see the works of Pep Ventosa, a Spanish photographer who creates artistic images by “deconstructing and reconstructing digital images to create new visual experiences” His Reconstructed Works of EUROPE and AMERICA are both vast and intricate. They seem to cover a mass of vistas whilst retaining a true sense of detail. In his processes, Pep uses anywhere from a dozen to several hundred separate photographs in order to depict one scene and by taking them apart, reworking and then reconstructing them he creates an entirely new reality for us to look upon. They are truly beautiful. At university I did a study on the photographic collages of DAVID HOCKNEY which hold comparisons to PEP VENTOSA‘s work as they too open up the subject matter to give a feeling of expanse. At the time I also tried similar work of my own and intend to dig it out and possibly to recreate it this year as one of the personal projects I have set myself.
Next up is a man who is currently making me extremely nervous. DENNIS MAITLAND is lucky to be alive if his latest series of photographs, LIFE ON THE EDGE is anything to go by. I mean seriously…how did he do that?! In summary, Mr Maitland went to the edge of some very tall buildings and took photographs. However, this series of pictures is so much more than that. In most his feet are just visible dangling precariously over the edge of a looming structure that implies it’s a long way down before you reach the ground. When I started looking at them I couldn’t help but feel a bit sick! Yet…the more I did, the more I noticed that they’re so edgy, and they’re also so stunning! I’ve looked at every one of them a couple of times now and each time I do it’s almost like I gain more courage to look away from his feet (which I always start with just to ensure he is sitting safe and securely) and on to what else is going on in the pictures. This collection is definitely worth a look, and more than one at that.
I’m only going to highlight one book this month, mainly because I literally ran out of time, but also because I have other greatness that I am saving for next month! I want to talk about a book that has been available for many years and one that helped me through writing my dissertation on the subject of female photographers who photograph themselves and those who may photograph their families as an extension of themselves. MIRROR IMAGES: Women, Surrealism and Self-representation is an invaluable resource on the subject and one I have been revisiting in anticipation of some self portraiture projects of my own (more on that later). So much of what I discovered during my research surprised me. One fact being that a scarily high number of women in photography suffered with breast cancer because of the chemicals used in the dark room, not only that but a few of them documented the disease, most notably JO SPENCE whose work has become synonymous with Phototherapy and who sadly also died as a result of her cancer. From the seriousness of that case to the seeming frivolity of CINDY SHERMAN who created hundreds of alter egos for herself and photographed them all in a vast exploration of escapism… the discussions in this book and the theories it covers are extensive. I am not going to go in to them all now as I will explore a few throughout projects I have planned, yet if it is a subject that intrigues you, this is definitely a title for further reading.
And finally! In true Momma tradition, now is the time to pay homage to another artist/crafter/creative/designer who has made something so lovely it caught my eye. And this month it comes from the creative genius that is LOVE FROM HETTY & DAVE.
Now if these handmade ‘Baby’s First Brogues’ don’t tug at your heart strings and your purse strings I don’t quite know what will. Apparently they will be available to buy on their website soon and I want a pair… I don’t even have a baby for goodness sake! They make me think of the old story ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ and that their intricacy and perfection can only be credited to tiny hands that make light work of them in the middle of the night. In reality they can be credited to ‘Love From Hetty & Dave’ who make handcrafted leather jewelry and accessories, all of which are stunning. It’s all beautifully made too and it’s often hard to believe it’s done by hand because it’s so perfect, yet trust me, because it is! You can follow their BLOG or updates on their FACEBOOK page in order to keep up with new creations. They also have cats, which every great crafter I follow seems to, every great crafter except me that is…but on that subject I have enough to say for a whole other blog post!
Till February readers….x