Monday, 29 July 2013

My Entry for Sheffield's International Artist Book Prize

During my final year of uni I volunteered at Bank Street Arts, a gallery in Sheffield city centre and I had the pleasure of working with the Artist Book Collection and their biennial prize. My whole body of work for the 3 years of my degree was centred around books which started off after a lightening sort of moment in first year. I slowly became more aware of Artists books and what they were and more importantly what they could be. 

I was fortunate enough to be really involved in cataloguing the artist book collection that Bank Street had from the previous prizes and also to help design, organise and run their stand at Leeds Artist Book fair in 2012 (Heaven!)

So this year when I knew the prize was coming up again for it's 4th year, I dug out one of my artists books from my final year and entered it in this years student prize! If the whole concept of book art and artists books is new to you then bare with me in this post. I'm hoping I can explain my logic simply and perhaps you will find a new medium you would like to explore.

The outside of my book

The first page  of my diary and the book is kept in tact

Showing the inside pages

Close up view of the inside pages
So you may be wondering what on earth this unreadable book is all about but there is a method to my madness I assure you!

There's 3 key factors in my work that inspire it and also help explain it:

1. A book can be seen as two separate entities: a physical object and it's content

2. Painstaking methods of working including weaving, cutting and re-arranging

3. Ambivalence; the simultaneous existence of two conflicting feelings towards something.

So now you have these 3 factors in your head, let me try and explain the above piece. I have kept a diary for nearly half of my life so the content is naturally very precious to me, yet the methods I use in my work manipulate and destroy. For an exhibition brief about Identity I challenged myself to 'blend' two of my earliest diaries into one, creating an object that looks and feels the same from the outside, not no longer communicates to the viewer. Through this ambivalence in my work, I will never get those diaries or memories back.  

So I packaged it up and sent it it off last week ready for the deadline of the 31st. After seeing the calibre of entries from the previous years, I am not aiming to place in any way shape or form. But I will enjoy my book being in the exhibition and hopefully I will be able to go up and see it in the show.

For the official website of the prize click here

Week in Pictures

1. Started matching my own colours which is inspired by Paul Octavious's Pantone Project. Follow him on Instagram for his regular posts from the project.
2. Hit 1000 views in just over a month of being live! It may seem like a small step but for me it's huge!
3. My lovely bunny arrive from Emma Block. The newest post is about her collection of bunnies and if you scroll down shows her original project!
4. Just an outfit of the day post for my new favourite summer dress
5. Accessory post with my new necklace and polka dot top (£3 from Primark!)
6. My last orchestra concert of the season
7. Love my new Pyjamas! (Again, Primark Bargain at only £4!)

DIY Tutorial: Personalised Stationary - Finishing touches!

 I forgot to show you all how I wrapped and delivered my stationary to my recipient!

 So as you can see the I wrapped the set of envelopes and note cards separately using a strip of everyday kitchen grease proof paper and some washi tape to seal it. It's as simple as that and it holds everything in place for when you wrap it.

I love wrapping presents in brown paper because it gives you the chance to be so creative with tags and ribbons and there's no clashing patterns and colour schemes to worry about. (Plus it's really cheap for a big roll!)

I got the Washi tape from eBay but the person who I bought it from doesn't seem to have it in their shop anymore. You can sometimes find this tape by searching or you can get similar things in ribbon but it's always nice when you're making a handmade gift to acknowledge this and this is a really easy, subtle way of doing it. The tag is one of many that I have made from bits of cardboard, packaging and old cards I've been given; I think this might have been an old tissues box that I recycled!

Friday, 26 July 2013

KewCraft - A new crafting website!

 Kew Craft is a new website selling, designing and making all things papercraft. Based in Leicestershire, UK they specialise in papercraft for those special events like weddings, hen do's or making baby anouncemens. 

The company is founded by my cousin who is really into scrapbooking and crafting and has made KEW craft to not only sell craft materials but also gifts and personalised stationary.

 Below you can see some of the examples of cards and scrapbooking ideas that my cousin has made which incorporate some of the Kew Craft products. Check out her facebook page for regular posts of products she's made and crafting ideas.

Head over to the official Kew Craft website for the full ranges or products, gifts and ideas. Let me know what you order!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Belated Birthday Post

     So it's taken me a while to get round to doing this but I was away for pretty much my whole Birthday week and now I've been catching up with reality. I had the best week off, my uni friends came to visit, I visited my parents new house for the first time and enjoyed the lovely sunshine which never happens in England! So here are some of the lovely presents I got, I needed to share them because I'm so lucky! 

I'm not one for expensive jewellery with diamonds and things (unless it's rings perhaps!) so my friends know me well and get me cute, kitch jewellery. I love the bracelet that my cousin sent me and her little 4 year old picked it out....great taste already! I wore it pretty much all week seeing as though I was by the sea.

The earrings and necklace are both from one of my best friends and they're both Accessorize. I love taking photos so the cameras are pretty self explanatory and the necklace is just fab, it has these little wooden charms on it like you can see in the picture and goes with so much!

 My best friend from uni and who I lived with for the whole time knows me so well! Firstly she bought me a MAC red lipstick which I haven't photographed but I will never be able to afford to buy a MAC lipstick for myself and she knows this. Then she buys me this VOGUE postcard set which I love so much I won't be able to use and am going to jut keep them all for myself!

 From my regular feature Whats on my bookshelf? it's safe to say that I love books and everyone knows this so Birthdays and Christmas I always get plenty of books! The ones on the left are both from my Boyfriend. the top one is by Swiss Comedian and Artist Ursus Wehrli who loves to put everything in (his) order. This book made me laugh out loud at the extent he goes to to put things in painstaking order, I guess it reminds me of my own artwork at university so I can relate to this compulsion to do such things! The one below is Making Mini books by Kathleen McCafferty and so far I've only flicked through it a few times but there's loads of projects I want to try out and will be showing them here when I make them! If you're into book making, get this book!

On the right are the smaller, story books I was given. I've already read 2 of them already while I was relaxing in the sunshine so they are worth the read.

1. This cute little book is from my best friend and it's a collection of some of the cutest animal pictures I've ever seen with a running story about friendship throughout. Super cute!
2. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf is the first one I read while away and I couldn't put it down. It's her debut novel and if you're a fan of Jodi Picoult then you will love this too as it has a similar narrative from many different characters perspectives. 
3. Sirens by Tom Reynolds is the book that inspired the Channel 4 programme Sirens which was on a while ago, did anyone else watch that? I thought it was a really good show so I wanted to read the book behind it which is written by a Paramedic in the UK and the things that happen on the job.
4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is the other book I read straight away. If you want a good cry, this is the book for that! Without giving too much away it's about a girl who begins working for a quadriplegic and it tells the story of their relationship. It broke my heart, it really did!

I will soon be doing features on all of these books for Whats on my bookshelf? so if you want to know more then check back soon!

Here are a few pictures from my week away and all of the lovely places I visited...

In the above square there are photos from my actually Birthday which I spent in Scarborough. We found this amazing little street with murals all over the buildings and Luna Park, as is most of Scarborough is a bit of a time warp in places! British seaside at it's best.

The square below shows mainly Filey and the walk along the clifftops that we took. I felt a real sense of calm while I was there which I haven't felt in a while, perhaps it felt homely to be back up north.The final photo on the bottom right is York Station which I love. I had to wait nearly an hour here to get a connecting train but it's probably one of the nicest station out of London.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Good Mail Day: Look what arrived today...


So a couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through Instagram and saw that Illustrator Emma Block was giving away some handprinted rabbits which she had made for a project in sixthform. Usually when I see something like this online, It's been and gone and I have completely missed the boat. But this time, I this little advert to give one of her bunnies a home on the day she posted it and quickly sent my address off and waited.

Well today my bunny arrived and it is so cute! As you can see it is a dark purple lino print with a turquoise front and pink and white stripey back. He (yes I've decided it's a he!) also has little organge glasses! I can't bellieve she made about 100 of these in sixthform, each handprinted, stuffed and sewn. Dedication!

 I'm super please that I now own a little piece of Emma Block's work. If you want to see more of her work check out her blog and website for all of her lovely illustration.