Sunday, 22 February 2015

Updates

So yeah, I had a super duper, mega plan to be totally on the ball with the blog in 2015. Then I got a new job, won a holiday, my room's being redecorated and all sorts of bits have been happening.

I'm not sure whether it's the feeling of relaxation I have from leaving my old job or that my routine has been turned upside down in my new job (really need to find time to go the gym!) I have been sleeping, a lot. I feel like I just want to come home and chill, which is a good thing.

Also, as it's still winter, it's cold outside and the light is poor, I haven't been able to make an effort with my camera which was another goal I'd set myself (chill Laura, it's only February).

Fingers crossed, this is set to change. I have enrolled myself on a web design course to get some "formal" training as this is something I really enjoy doing and something I would like to do for you too. I am an impatient woman and want all the knowledge all at once, so in the time that I'm not writing blogs I am building a new website landscape. I want to get this done ASAP because I have a lot going on and so many exciting things to share, it will blow your mind.

Sorry if I'm quiet but I haven't disappeared altogether.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Cinephile #1

I've decided that 'Cinephile' needs to become a feature on this blog because I love films so much and I have such a strong opinion on many that I love to write about them. I can't promise how regular it will be, although 'fairly' is a good estimate since I've already watched so many films in  2015!

They're not all going to be latest releases, some of them (with the help of Netflix) are just films I've never seen before.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)



Ridley Scott's newest epic: the story of Moses. Moses grew up as an adopted brother to Ramses but when a prophecy predicts that Moses will save his life and become a leader, Ramses feels threatened. Moses always lands on his feet and adjusts to a new life as a humble shepherd when he is contacted by God to return to the capital and free the Hebrew slaves.

As can be expected, it's very grand and the field of vision of huge. There is so much detail and so much to look at. Definitely worth a watch if you like big productions, with a customary action section in the last third.

Harry Brown (2009)





Harry Brown is an ex-serviceman living on a rough estate, when his best friend is brutally murdered by some young thugs, he decides to take justice into his own hands.

The first 20 minutes or so of this film was such a hard watch. It literally made me hate everyone who wasn't Michael Caine. But then he wreaks havoc on some vile, little yobs. It is quite a worrying watch as well, Glynn commented that it was a 'Black Mirror' vibe, meaning this was something that could happen in the near future, and I argue that stuff like this happens right now.

It's also a Game of Thrones fest with David Bradley (Walder Frey), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) and Iain Glen (Jorah Mormount) playing big parts.

Overall a cracking film. I'd only heard good things beforehand and I'll only say good things now.


American Sniper (2014)






A true story about Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who had over 150 confirmed kills in Iraq. The film follows him joining the military and going out on 4 tours and also the struggles he had reconnecting to his wife at home.

With brilliant acting from Bradley Cooper especially, it is an emotional watch. It's based on Kyle's autobiography written in 2012 after he was honourably discharged from duty in 2009, so it is an accurate reflection of recent warfare.

 I, personally, couldn't stay gripped as it's simply not my type of film (hence the 3 stars), too much action and I dozed off a little bit in the middle. But if action, biographic, modern warfare stuff is your thing, then it's definitely for you!

Cube (1997) 



Seven strangers, each with a unique asset, wake up in a bizarre cubic structure. There are panels on every wall leading into identical cubes, some of which are booby-trapped. Why are they there and will they ever escape the cube?!

Recommended to me as a bit of mind-f*** film, which I can't resist, so I gave it a go. The plot was gripping from the beginning as we see a man making his way through the rooms, only to be quite graphically "cubed". Then we meet the main cast, it didn't take long before the terrible acting grated on me so hard. It was partly the acting and partly the script - 'I can't believe I didn't think of it before!' But my desire to understand what the cubes are all about kept me hooked.

Overall, I wouldn't watch it again because I didn't quite feel satisfied by it and now I know what the trick to the cube is, what's the point?

*Spoilers*

I think it can also be looked at in terms of a social roles study, particularly with regards the cop. A policeman is supposed to be a person you can trust, at first Quentin fulfills this role by being decisive and taking the lead. It's unclear how long they are in there for but it's certainly less than 3 days and in that time Quentin suddenly becomes an aggressive, rapey, cradle-snatching murderer.

I didn't feel satisfied with the explanation of the cube, they reckoned it was an old government experiment that didn't work out so they started putting people inside it for jokes... that's a good enough reason to have a clever mechanical cube!

Monday, 26 January 2015

A Starter Scrapbooker

I've wanted to start scrapbooking for aaaages because I have so many nice photos that I could do more with than just sticking them on Facebook. So I took the plunge during the January sales and order a shed load of inks, glue and stamps from HobbyCraft at a very reasonable price.


I've just started doing what I want to and I'm trying not to panic that something's going to be in the wrong place because it's my first go. I'm also the queen of clumsiness and am bound to knock something over or fudge it up somewhere. Safe to say, the bottom of my scrapbook is slightly blue from where it slipped onto the ink pad on my lap.



I've chosen to make this scrapbook with photos from our holiday to Disneyland Paris because they're some of the best photos I have and make me happy. Because the book is only small and my photos are big and square I've decided to go with 1 photo per double page to keep it minimalistic. I love how rustic stamping looks and it definitely covers up when I mis-stamp.

I didn't even think about the brown pages when I bought the blank book! But it is cool to see how well colour turns up on it, especially the metallics. As well as stamps I also have washi tape to give that a go, I'm thinking some geometric patterns...


I'd like to keep you updated with my scrapbook progress but I also want to hear your layout ideas! Give me your thoughts, exeperts!

Friday, 23 January 2015

I have the most amazing news!

So I was in work on Monday, when I get a 'No Caller ID'  call but I thought I'd best answer it and she says:

'Hi, I'm calling from Channel 4 on behalf of Sunday Brunch. Congratulations, you have won a holiday for 10 nights to St Lucia.'

ARE YOU HAVING A FAT GIRAFFE?! #RIPME

*One week earlier*
I was lazing in bed watching a little Sunday Brunch, when the ads were coming on and up flashed the competition for St Lucia and I thought 'You know what, I do want to go there,"Glynn pass me my phone!"' Half asleep Glynn passess the phone, I tap in BRUNCH20 and the rest is now history.

Literally the greatest moment in my recent life! Yes, yes, people do actually win those things. I couldn't stop shaking and skipping around the office, desperate for more details.Turns out it's all-inclusive, 6 restaurants, complimentary watersports, BEACHFRONT ROOM!

I couldn't think of anything better to happen to me right now, it's literally a dream come true because there is no way Glynn and I could afford to go somewhere like that anytime soon.


I had to share my news because I had posts planned for the week but I've been the busiest bee I haven't had the chance to sit down and write properly. Hopefully will be back on track at the weekend.

Right now I'm going to leave you all seething with jealousy.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Make your own Polaroid pictures



Hands up if you're one of those people who wants a little Diana camera that only takes photos lomography style or a Polaroid camera with the ridiculously expensive film. Guilty! For Christmas this year I originally requested a cute SELPHY printer because I thought it'd print cute little photos. But when it came to actually getting it I panicked and thought what if my big printer/scanner/copier could actually do the job?!

Here's my new plan, take big, crisp, professional looking photos on my DSLR and then do whatever the heck I want with them and print them on my big printer. What I really want is adroable square Polaroid pics and this is how we do it:

Truth is, you can throw a stick and hit a photo editing programme these days. My editor of choice is Picasa because it's easy, free and does the job. There is no need for getting all technical with Photoshop. Take the photo you want, first things first, crop it into a square. There should be a setting, often called 'CD' as though you were making a CD case.



Now for the fun bit, Picasa has a load of presets such as Lomo-ish, HDR-sh... etc but it also has plenty of sliders and other options so you can get your photo exactly the way you want. Whether you want to it to look faded and old or have a pink tint to it.



Lomo-ish

Holga-ish

Orton-ish

Now what you need to get yourself is normal photo paper (either 6 x 4 or 7 x 5) and pop it in vertically into your printer. Now my printer doesn't seem to even need photo ink, as long as I tell it that it's using glossy paper.


Settings to make sure of are Full page, Shrink to Fit and then obviously the correct paper size and have glossy paper selected. Play around with the options on whatever software you're using. Make sure you can see the print preview, as you may need to adjust the orientation (portrait/landscape) to make sure it's the right way round. What you want is for the remaining white paper to be underneath your photo. It doesn't matter if there's some on top because we're going to trim that off.


Cut off the top white part leaving a small white border, if you're doing a few it's best to use a guillotine. The bottom is then free for you to write on or do whatever you want!

And there you have it! Makeshift Polaroids, you can string them all up on fairy lights, pin them to a corkboard or my plan is to use them in my first scrapbook.