195o's inspired african print lover

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

OOOOPS I forgot

To tell you all about something totaly amazing that is going on at the moment but is nearly over so you need to get some tickes to the last few films......oh sorry might help if I told you what I was going on about?

So on Saterday, late afternoon I headed to the Hackney Picturehouse, one of the 3 venues in London, playing host to this years FILM AFRICA 2011.

I was not quite sure what to expect as I had done a little bit of reading about the all films showing in the festival  but had not planned to head to anything in particular just turn up and give it a go.
I am really glad I did as it was a great event. For £10 I got to see 4 great and very different films and watch and if I was brave enough take part in a Q&A with Zina Saro-Wiwa the writer of two of the films.

Zina spoke so eloquently about her films The Deliverence of Comfort and Phyllis which were already captivating and interesting in there own right. I really enjoyed the way she captured some of the themes and references of Nollywood cinema and I am exited to see more of her work in the future.

A still form The Deliverance of Comfort

A still from Phyllis

Drexcia was a haunting film about an empty swimming pool in Ghana I think the film maker Akosua Adoma Owusu captured perfectly the emptiness of the space. I could not help but be left with chills.
Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) was an interesting tale about hair braiding and the practice of learning to braide on white dolls. Black hair in the west is something that is regularly discussed and I often heard arguments regarding the virtues of weave vs natural hair. However Me Broni Ba was not attempting to cover this ground but discuss hair and how it is worn and the larger issues associate with being an ex colonial country  in a way I had not seen before.

All in all Film Africa is a great event and one tht is definalty worth a visit and its not over yet you have untill sunday to get some African Film action so check out the website http://www.filmafrica.org.uk/ and get yourself there.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Lots and Lots for us to do

I am always in a quandary when I write this because I want to tell you about things I been to but I also want to share with you thing that are coming up so today I am going to do a bit of both here we go!

I have been doing a bit of snooping around recently trying to scope out the best markets to do this Christmas because this year things are different. In the past my efforts would all be aimed at a spending spree this time they are all aimed at a selling spree. Oh yes its time to make a bit of cash and sell of the piles of hats earrings pj's children's clothes and other bits and bobs that are now starting to take over my studio.
I have decided that I am going to go with Brick Lanes Sunday up Market (date tbc) and possibly one Greenwich Market before Christmas. I quite fancy myself as a market trader I defiantly have the gob for it and the love of tea! You will all be the first to know when I get a date so you can start saving to come and spend all your hard earned cashola with me.

While I was hunting around I also came across a little craft market in Islington.....now the PDF wont load up so here is the link to the page if you fancy it? http://www.islington.gov.uk/leisure/ArtsAndEntertainment/553.asp

OOOOOH and while we are on the subject of craft I went last week to the launch of Victoria Woodcrofts new book 'The State of Craft'. The event took place in rough trade record store in east London. The organisers had set up little stalls where you could make a moustache print a bag or make a headdress. But most excitingly we got to have a peek at the book itself. It looks great with lots and lots of fun ideas you can try out! And its on Amazon!

So I made it to one book launch but last  night I missed out on another. After a day form hell where it seems I did not bother to pick up my brain before I left the house I did not make it to the launch of 'New African Fashion' by Helen Jennings. I was really looking forward to it too! Helen is the Editor in Chief of ARISE magazine putting her in a perfect position to put together some of the great designers in Africa today. I haven't seen it myself yet but it is defiantly on my Christmas wish list!

Oh what else what else. If your in London and you fancy a bit of music......

Or some Art....


Robert Rush   David Cyrus Smith   David Treloar   David Ben White
Curated by Emma Jamieson
11/11/11 - 23/12/11
Private View: Thursday 10th November 2011, 6pm - 9pm
you can have a peek here http://www.thefort.info/

Erm I think I have said enough for one day so I will leave you alone for now until tomorrow xxxxx

Monday, 7 November 2011

Hat Maker Hat Maker Make Me A Hat......

Ahhhhhhhhhh I have been so behind with my blogging it actually feels embarrassing to start again. But I will put my red face aside and get back on it.

First up this week a hen party fascinator class in Dorset (ok this happened a little while ago maybe even two months ago hence the red face). Me and Miss Jazz (my super star legend of a best friend) arrived around lunch time under the guise of friends down for the  weekend. We were under strict instructions not to let the cat out of the bag about the hat making class, it was a top secret surprise. So all my goodies remained in the back of the car while we strolled through the village to the local pub. Everyone else in the pub  was suitably dresses in jeans, boots ready for walks in the countryside. Me and Miss Jazz were however all glammed up in high heals, lipstick and vintage dresses. They must have been able to smell the out of towness on us!  I can only guess what the bride thought when we met her! anyway after a bit of whispering and some huge hints for the bride to erm go away she did. Leaving me and Miss Jazz to get back to the house and start to lay out all pritty things so when the unsuspecting bride returned we would be ready to go!
It was great fun to be involved in this covert operation and lovely to see the brides face when she walked in to see all of her friends waiting and a very brightly coloured table.

It was such a good day. I really fget a kick out of seeing the end product every single hat was brillant and all so so different!

It was all in all a great weekend with great people. I have to give thanks at this point as always to my partner in crime Miss Jazz and to Miranda for booking me and her lovely family for looking after us so well!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Gumboots and Beyond

Hello everyone sorry its been such a long long long time! As you probably all know its been quite a thought provoking week or so here in London. If I was to even start talking about it I would need a book not a blog post. Good god there is so much to say and so much that has already been said. So rather than be another voice in that crowd I have decided to take us off topic or maybe not that off topic........

I came across these amazing kids on you tube doing some clap step or stomp or gumboot dancing or whatever you want to call it (there seems to be 100 names).....I just call it mesmerising.

These kids are out of this world not one single person even a tiny bit out of step!

They are not however the originators of this kind of dance. Its know as South African Gumboot dancing. This was traditionally used to send messages over a short distance in the mines. The authorities did not allow the use of drums so this was a perfect and very resourceful solution in the dark wet of a gold mine. Hope your all slapping your legs and hands and trying (and failing) just like me!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Underground Railroad - Quilts

I don't know how much anyone reading this knows about the underground railroad?
The underground railroad was an escape route for slaves from the American plantations of the south to the safety of the north. It is described as a railroad but it was actually a zig zag walking route to freedom.

This was a treacherous journey and those brave enough to do it needed  all the help they could get. That help came in many different forms from the Quakers, Freed slaves and in the form of maps. It goes without saying that making these maps to easily deciphered was massively dangerous, bounty hunters were never far away. The maps were in the form of quilts with illustrated landmarks that the women would hang outside to give clues to which was the best and safest route to the north.
I have done allot of research online but I cant find any original examples of the quilts however I found lot of examples of reproduction quilts.

Its a small part of a huge operation but one that was vital in passing on information. 

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Well she's a artist that polarises people. Even me and Miss Jazz have distinctly different views on her. I say distinctly different I love her and my best friend hates her, I mean that could not be more distinctly different if it tried.
I can understand why some people HATE Bjork she can seem so off the wall it borders on irritating for some. 
For me she is admirable as someone who is never afraid to push the boundary's both fashion and music. Oh how I wish I could be that brave! For me she is an Artist not a pop star, that sounds really pretencious but i really think there is a distinction . For me a pop star is someone like Madonna who's style is so contrived a new image for each album so we can all go, wow look Madonna looks totally different. Not meaning to slag of a woman who has carved out a huge career for herself I mean she is the best at doing just that, reinventing herself. But Bjork is different whenever I see an image of her it takes my breath away. Whenever she is interviewed she comes across like a bundle of exitable thoughts her brain is onto the next subject before she is even half way through the first. Enough of my love in with Bjork have a look at some of her amazing images for yourself. 

And last but not least Crystaline from soon to be released Album Biophilia

Monday, 18 July 2011

Cinetetris- Black Cat White Cat

So on Saturday night commenced the first evening of Cinetetris for a couple of lovely lady's, in a flat in east London. The idea of Cinetetris is a group of people come together to watch a film and eat the food form the country of its origin. What sounds like such a simple idea on paper turned out to be a great evening. 
Whenever I get invited along to social events I always go with a sense of dread. A room full of people you don't know is like putting your hand into a bag of revels you never know if or when you might pick an orange one! I think it was a testament to the hosts that in this mixed crowd of people from all over the world everyone was quickly and easily chatting.

The film was called Black Cat White Cat (1998) by Director Emir Kusturica and its country of origin Serbia. That meant we got to sample food of Serbia. This was a totally new experience for me but thanks to the work of super chef Matt, what could have been a slightly iffy menu, was so tasty me and the people I came with went up twice (in fact I defiantly spotted one of them going up for 3rds). So once our bellys were full of Gypsy Chicken, salad and garlic potatoes we were ready to turn the lights down snuggle up and watch the film. And what  a film it was, Black Cat White Cat had me giggling all the way through, its fast pace and slapstick movements were brilliant. I hate to give to much away but I would encourage you all to watch it and either come along to the next one or set up your own Cinitetris.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Venice Biennale

After 4 days in the heat and bustle of Venice. I wanted to share some of my hilights. 
First up Rashid Johnson. 

I dont think I feel comfortable putting myself in the position of art critic so I will let the images do the talking. 
There was so much to see I am going to share it with you one a day......hope thats not to much of a drawn out process. 

until tomorrow!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Make your own fascinator part 2

So here we go This is my first time blogging a how to, so if you have any improvements that would make this easier to understand don't be afraid to comment it can only help!

So after you have trimmed your  excess its time to hide it. For this you will need some grosgrain ribbon, chose a colour close to the colour of your felt. I have chosen bright blue so you can see it. Use your magic Gutterman glue (this is the best glue I have ever found all the strength of super glue with non of the sticky fingers). Put a small amount of the glue all around the edge of the hat making sure you have enough excess to turn under (around 1cm)

Turn under the excess and glue it down then press down your edges to make them nice and smooth.

I have chosen to use beads as my decoration so I have begun by gluing beads into the creases of the hat. 

So I have been gluing hundreds of beads on for days so I thought I would show you were I'm at so far. I fain pic to follow soon! only a few hundred left to go!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Candy Cakes

Well this is one of those stories when everything falls into place. 
I was looking for a curvy model for a photo shoot I had in mind, because models with no shape really don't rock my world. I came across Teiko Dornor on her blog and was blown away by her beauty. So after a while I plucked up the courage and sent her a message on facebook. I was so scared I had made myself look like a groveling idiot I waited and held my breath for a response. It was such a relief when her reply popped up.
The timing was perfect as she had a photo shoot lined up with the very talented Jessica Flavin and needed some hats. It couldn't have been better So I sent a little package of some of my 'candy cakes' and below are the results of the shoot!
I cant thank them both enough for the beautiful pictures.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Chico and Rita

I feel like I am so late on this but better late than never they say???
After going to Cuba last Christmas I totally fell in love with the place. It was beautiful the people were kind and the food and architecture blew my mind. I would go back in a hart beat. Watching Chico and Rita took me right back to the center of Havana but to a different time a time where it was in the height of its popularity. The Havana you see now has a different kind of beauty you feel like you are discovering a forgotten land. The music is in the air, I feel like the film really captured this. I don't want to give to much away but I smiled I cried and I  was spellbound by its difficult love affair. There were times i forgot i was watching a cartoon as I was so entranced by the deeply human emotions. In short I would recommend this film to anyone. The directors Tono ErrandoJavier Mariscal should be so proud of this beautiful film.

PS I think I want to be Rita she is so beautiful!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

In Memory of Uncle Phil

I don't really want to say much today I just want to dedicate this post to my uncle. A man who truly stood up for what he believed in fought for the people who needed it and thought deeply about so many things.  Even when he passed away his wish was to give his body to medical sciences so people could learn form his passing. I just want to say thank you to him for all his kindness and that I miss him always.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


I watched a cracking documentary on BBC iplayer the other day called feasts. The programme centered around a festival in Kerala India. A beautiful festival that brings together different religions and casts centered round a meal of 10-13 dishes. The part of the festival that really stuck in my mind was when a gang of dancers shaved there bodies and painted themselves as tigers. The best tigers were the guys with big fat bellies who could really make them roar when they giggled about when they danced. I thought i would share some images with you so you can see the great tiger faces...... 

the man they do it all for King Mahabali. If you can watch the programme do its a pretty special insight into the culture of India and some of the flaws in a cast based society. Feasts