By far the coolest thing I’ve seen all week….
You can’t really tell from the photo as you can’t see all the cables that would be at the bottom of the pic, but the sewing machine is powered by the stationary bike. The person on the bike pedals away like a maniac while the artist stitches their portrait as they cycle, interviewing them and incorporating tidbits of their concise life stories into each piece. Its a fascinating process to witness and the skill and precision of the artist is mesmerising.
The artist is Harriet Riddell and the event is Craftspace. Now in its third year the event has grown from a one day event into a 5 day crafting minifest incorporating hand and machine embroidered textiles, jewellery making with cardboard and live music. It’s held in St Phillip’s Cathedral Square (more commonly known as Pigeon Park) and it really made me feel proud to be a Brummie.
I was so impressed. My beloved Birmingham used to get a lot of stick for being generally a bit rubbish, but my city has really pulled its socks up and is making its mark. It’s great for big brand shopping but it’s the independents that really make me beam. The vintage elegance of Agnes & Norman shoes, the eclectic homewares of Handmade Boutique, and the delicious eats at Yorks Bakery Cafe are among my favourite places to visit in the city centre. Not to mention our brand spanking library (which looks like a gigantic wedding cake) which is fast becoming my number one spot to relax. Oh yes, its a good time to be in Brum.
PS- I did consider having my own portrait stitched but I started to think….. Can I cycle non stop for 15-20 mins? Will I look like a sweaty heap? Will the bike collapse underneath me? OMG everyone’s looking. I’ll just watch….
This post is a day late. I meant to post it yesterday on the 11th but got a little waylaid with a few other things. Oh well, just means we’ll have to celebrate today too:-)
Well well well. Exactly five years ago today this blog was born and time has truly whizzed by. Five years since I sat in front of the computer debating with myself whether or not I should start a blog, and whether or not I should start it on the anniversary of 9/11. It almost seemed a little disrespectful. I could have waited until the next day but if there is one thing that life has taught me time and time again, its that you never know what may happen to you from one day to the next . So I didn’t delay it any longer, I dived in not having a clue what I was doing, and five years later I only slightly have more of a clue than I did on that first day.
5 years, 1,346,808 views, 3,382 comments, 513 posts, 512 tags and 26 categories later and its still going. Thank you, thank you, thank you to every single one of you for sticking with me. Its been super, and here’s to five more years. A notable mention to Xsyntric, Buttercup, Sian and Cara S for being among the top commenters- muchos besos!
And yes, I did go out and buy myself a helium balloon. I last had one when I was around 6 (it had Miss Piggy on it) and I’m just as pleased with it today as I was then. I am just an overgrown child really.
Dress made by me.
By which age should I have no longer felt the need to buy myself big a tub of felt tipped pens?
What I’ve been watching recently, reviewed in five words or fewer….
Great performances, thought provoking naivety.
Genuinely funny, uncomplicated summer viewing.
Often uncomfortably voyeuristic, but sympathetic.
With the exception of PE lessons in school and sporadic spinning classes as an adult, it would be fair to say that my life so far has been a sport free existence. I am so anti- sport that I have found myself deliberately and aggressively avoiding all things olympic and even refusing to buy certain food items as all of a sudden they’ve been olympiacised (new word alert) and they’ve come over all red white and blue. I am not the slightest bit overjoyed/ proud/ excited that London is hosting the Olympics as I am just. not. interested.
Considering my vehment dislike of all things olympic I cannot believe that I just sat and watched the whole damn opening ceremony from begin to almost end (Paul McCartney came on and the telly went off). Not only that- I actually enjoyed it (cough, splutter!). A lot (choke!).
I never watched the 2008 ceremony in Beijing but I remember that when London won the 2012 bid, I heard murmurings that doubted the ability of London to put on a dazzling show that could match the spectacular firework laden performance that China put on. Well what the opening sequence may have lacked in pyrotechnics it more than made up for in creativity, imagination, style and humour. The first 25 minutes were SPECTACULAR and as much as I wanted to do what I usually do and switch over, I just couldn’t stop watching. To say I was impressed and engaged would be unjust as I was totally consumed by it all. That first sequence was energetic, inclusive, funny and highly entertaining.- and of course- terribly British. Who needs excessive glitz when you’ve got quirk and eccentricity in abundance? The old adage of sticking to your strengths has never rung so true.
The Queen is now a movie star! The Queen has a sense of humour! Who would have thunk it?! The queen was also bored as I saw her examining her fingernails as Team GB entered the stadium so I guess one was not amused for too long. I’m sure I saw Prince Phillip catching forty winks. One couple who definitely were not sleeping was Charles and Camilla who seemed to be the only ones in the royal enclosure having a jolly good time.
It was all very educational though and I’ve been trying to remember as much of the informative commentary as possible in case I ever actually get to go on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and the final question is, “Which country was the last in the world to have television.” I can then confidently shout out, “Bhutan” before Chris Tarrant has even read out my options. I will smile sweetly when it is indeed the correct answer, collect my cheque and hit the airport. Tuvalu? It’s a Polynesian island. Comoro? It’s an island off the east coast of Africa. I know these things Mr Tarrant, because I watched the opening ceremony for the London 2012 olympics even though I hate sport. Had I known there was such a wealth of knowledge to be gleaned just by watching a bit of the olympics on the telly I’d have been tuning in years ago.
What did you make of it all? Like it? Love it? Hate it?
Why does online time pass quicker than real life time? Real life times is moving at crank speed anyhow, but the online world is moving at full tilt and it’s leaving me in the digital dust. I was just on the XO Jane site and realised that I was reading the newly launched UK site, not the US one. HOLY MOLY, that means I missed the big launch. HOLY MOLY again, that means that I’ve officially been an XO Jane contributor for nearly three weeks and I didn’t even mark the occasion with a celebratory drink. I’d been too busy with work and making prom dresses to even notice. I can’t keep up. Anyhow- if you are interested in reading more of my thinkings and ramblings click here to see what I have to say on the subject of fashion for fat brides. Look at me, I’m spreading obesity! It must be contagious.
I am always intrigued by the search references and links that bring people to this blog. Yesterday the stats revealed a huge spike in traffic and its all because of this woman….
…. wearing a Reiss dress I that I briefly blogged about in 2008, and my post was referenced by a blog called katemiddletonstyle.org. Crazy! While we are on the subject of the Duchess, fashion and me, I am going to take the opportunity to blow my own trumpet (quietly) and say that we almost rubbed shoulders in 2002. You know that fashion show in St Andrews where she first met William and modelled in that skimpy dress that was then auctioned for seventy eight grand? Well I showed my graduate collection at the same show. Unfortunately I don’t ever remember seeing our future King there and I have no idea if Katherine modelled any of my clothes. Even if she did- I no longer have them so I won’t be cashing in on the association any time soon. If I was one of the X- men with the gift of foresight, I would have made my collection more boudoir chic than winter sport, kept it and flogged it for megabucks ten years later. Missed opportunity or wot! Le Sigh.
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!
WordPress sent me this nifty lil review of the blog’s activity today. I was most impressed with the layout of the report and the fact that so many of you have tuned in to read this thing in the first place- thank you! Thought I’d share the stats with you seeing as the stats are made by you. Thanks for sticking with me all this time, its greatly appreciated- MWAH!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
London Olympic Stadium holds 80,000 people. This blog was viewed about 290,000 times in 2011. If it were competing at London Olympic Stadium, it would take about 4 sold-out events for that many people to see it.
I’ve been watching a lot of movies over the past month- some old, some new. Rather than write a full review of each one I’ll just do a quick five words or fewer snapshot on what I thought of them all…..
Unexpectedly violent but darkly mesmerising.
Surprisingly good and funny too.
Creepy. Twisted. My kinda film.
James Bond this is not.
Wooden lead performance, barely watchable.
Unconvincing gremlins-esque load of nonsense.