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Last minute photoshoot prep – argh

I have a photoshoot with the lovely Grace tomorrow afternoon.

We booked it months ago, which means the date has snuck up on me, and while I’m very excited, I’m also incredibly disorganised. This week I have been frantically making these beauties:

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while simultaneously freaking out about how little preparation I’ve actually managed to do.

Discovering at ten to five on Wednesday that a) a key part of one of my costumes was locked in my parents’ garage, b) the location I had scouted would be overrun with students investigating their futures at university (how inconsiderate, lol!), and c) I hadn’t actually got round to ordering two other key costume components yet, I haven’t been the most serene in the run up to the shoot.

Fortunately Grace has found us a new location, the internet is magical and I have both costume pieces in my hands, and I did a detour on the way to see my accountant last night and got the other one from the garage. Phew. Now all that’s left is dyeing my hair, deciding on make up and actually getting there in one piece tomorrow…

Worst case scenario, I guess we’ll fly…

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I have been scouring the internet and my Craftsy classes for posing ideas and practice, because despite all my dance history and being a photographer, generally when you stick a lens in my face I get the giggles, and not in a delicate and attractive way, usually in an all out snorting, crying-with-laughter-while-rolling-on-the-floor kind of a way. Which is going to be difficult in a corset.

Fortunately the two main looks we’ll be shooting are my two newest alter egos – Nell, real name Petronella Blythe Merriman, who’s a steampunk gypsy with a story all her own, and an as-yet-unnamed woodland fairy with rainbow wings and western boots. (I love how this alter ego work feeds off who you actually are.)

So though I’m excited-nervous to be the other side of the camera, I’m looking forward to drawing out more of Nell’s character, and perhaps finding out my fairy’s name and personality.

I’ll let you know how it goes! (and secretly? I’m pleased I’ve not had time to stress about it much. Like my self portraits, I suspect it’ll go better for being a bit spontaneous…)

With love and unicorns,

signature

Tiny Lifechangers: colour coded keys DIY

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It can’t be just me who finds my tray of keys and spare change a constant muddle, and has more than once picked up the wrong one to house sit or feed a friend’s cat. (I often try to blame being creative, but in this case I am just hopeless at keeping the keys organised).

After the third time I tried to let myself into my parents’ house with my business partner’s house key, I decided I needed to do something drastic.

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Enter the 10-minute fix for easy, pretty and un-mix-uppable keys: nail varnish.

I have three sets of house keys besides my own, all of which are similar enough to make it difficult in a hurry (or the early morning) to see which is which.

So I raided my (embarrassingly extensive, for someone who paints her nails maybe three times a year) nail varnish stash and chose four colours.

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Glittery blue, for my own key.

Pool blue because it’s pretty.

Burnt sparkling gold because it matched the one gold-coloured key in the set.

Bright green because it makes me smile.

(Sneaky tip, I chose all of these for their heavy coverage too, to reduce the number of coats).

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Steps to making your gorgeous new keys:

Remove all keys from keyring, and wipe with white spirit or similar to remove any residue from fingers and handbags.

Arrange on a non-stick surface which you don’t mind having bits of nail varnish on (I used a box file)

Paint one side of your keys in your chosen colours.

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Let dry, and add another coat. Repeat until it’s as bright as you’d like – but be careful not to paint any of the actual key mechanism!

Turn over and repeat on the other side.

Once dry, re-attach to keyrings and admire.

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(optional) 7. Write initials on keys with permanent marker for extra identification.

Definitely one of the simplest projects I’ve ever done, but it’s had an amazing effect on the part of my life that involves me turning up at the right house at the right time and actually being able to let myself in…

52 Project, week 5: Pomophily

pomophily

Bit fuzzy from my much-abused camera phone, but this is the moment we handed in our entry to work’s art competition. Based on one of our academic’s TEDx talks, about homophily – which is “the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others”.

This was a group effort from Crafty Coffee, our Friday lunchtime craft group – and we thought it illustrated us perfectly.

Don’t miss Campus Cat in the middle! Maria’s original talk is here, with the images we were inspired by at 15:19.

 

 

A treasury of unicorns

With unicorns being my signature these days (and yes, my spirit animal is almost definitely a unicorn or a blackbird. Probably a unicorn), I figured it was high time I made a themed treasury on Etsy from my new shop.

Which was lovely – and really dangerous, I want to buy All The Things.

Without further ado, here are some of the gorgeous unicornified things in the world today (and don’t forget their underwater cousins)…

‘Unicornity’ by unfurlingyourwings

Unicorn goodness 🙂


Unicorn Nymph Horn and Ear H…

$205

Magical Unicorn Wedges

$100

Dollhouse Miniature Blue Nar…

$26

Whatever Bitch Unicorn Cross…

$3.5

Narwhal is Unique: Illustrat…

$20

Magically beautiful Unicorn …

$6.72

Unicorn Friendship Bracelet …

$2.99

Small Gold Unicorn Ring

$10

unicorn stamp. unicorn hand …

$9

Papercutting Template – Unic…

$4.5

Narwhal Plush – with Mustach…

$48

Steam punk pegasus Unicorn p…

$15

unicorn bag handmade by morg…

$29.99

Michael Miller Rainbows and …

$9.5

Snowflake Unicorn nursery gi…

$31.96

5 pack of Mini Unicorn Chris…

$4

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The First Annual Christmas Cookie (Craft) Swap

January 6th saw the very first of our annual craft swaps (though I’m not sure we can wait a whole year for the next one) – organised by Mimi, the idea was that all nine of us would make enough of whatever we chose for each participant to go home with one.  It ended up in January by accident, but we think we’ll keep it there as it’s so lovely to have something to look forward to after Christmas!

2013 craft swap | duckingfabulous.com

The edible things were long gone before I had a chance to photograph them, teehee – wonderful alcohol-infused vegan chocs from Annastasia at Midorigreen, and yummy chocolate fridge cake from Helen. The button magnets (genius!!) from Mimi also escaped my photo shoot as they’re adorning my filing cabinet/noticeboard in the studio!

My contribution? Kilner jars decoupaged with pin up ladies (Elvgren paintings, as he’s my favourite pin up artist) and filled with cutters, a tiny pot of ginger, my favourite gingerbread recipe and glitter. Of course 🙂

kilner jars decoupaged with pin up girls | duckingfabulous.com

It was a wonderful afternoon, full of tea and giggles and happiness, and we all went home sparkling with the joy of friendship and sharing things we’d made… a rare achievement for a grey day in January, I don’t usually sparkle much straight after Christmas!

I loved seeing how everyone interpreted “make something” differently – we had no duplicates, and I was amazed all over again at the talent within this group of women I’m so proud to be part of!

I can’t for the life of me find the PDF of the gingerbread recipe – will put it up if I locate it!

Craft Swap #2 – Polka Dots

Emboldened by the success of the first swap, and polka dots being among my favourite things EVER, I was quick to sign up for the next Popular Crafts swap. I had completely misjudged how manic July was going to be for me though (best friend’s wedding, camping weekend away, parents trying to move house…) that I haven’t finished my side of the swap yet! We have till the end of July but I was hoping to post this weekend… bad squishy!

However, I received my parcel from the delightful Jenny at The String Empire last week and it made me smile so much – arrived on exactly the day it was most needed!

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Gorgeous, no? The card is painted and will be going on my wall, I adore teacups… the duck portrait is already adorning a shelf in my living room, the fish is no longer, he was yummy, and the purse is so very me, I adore it 😀 Thank you so much Jenny – I hope you like yours as much when it arrives! 

Why I shouldn’t be left alone on a quiet evening (or, transforming shoes with Mod Podge)

I made these back in March, but realised when I was trying to show a friend that they don’t feature on this blog – I think I posted them on my old Blogspot version.

They just sort of happened, on a coldish evening with nothing much to do, I decided I’d have a shot at making one of my favourite pairs of shoes wearable again (the heels were so scratched and dented I couldn’t wear them to work any more).

Two of the great loves of my life - shoes and books 🙂

Because they just happened, rather than being planned, I forgot to take a ‘before’ picture. But in the months I’ve been wearing them I’ve had such a good response that I’ve started prepping two more pairs for customising, and will be adding a shoe-customising workshop to my plans for 2012 😀

Christmas Wreaths

I know, I know, it’s only November, but I have SO much going on in December, I have to start my Christmas decorations early or I won’t get any up! I also spend the actual Christmas period at my parents’, so I like to enjoy as much of the Christmas spirit at home as possible before I go 🙂

I spent quite a lot of time last weekend, in between searching for presents and party dresses, trying to find a wreath. This, from BHS, was about the closest I found to what I was looking for, but I very much wanted some pink and purple in mine, to match the colour scheme (pffft – the attempted colour scheme, that should be) in my flat!

 

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There were also a few of this type around:

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None of them took my fancy, so when Anna and I were out on Thursday, I bought a pack of baubles from Asda and some contrasting snowflake tinsel from the 99p shop (oh yes, super high end, that’s me!). Got home, dug out the florist’s wire I bought two years ago (I knew it’d come in handy one day!) and over a few dvds and lots of chatting, I made this (please excuse the cheesy pic of me):

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I’m really quite proud! :D