Category Archives: Art

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sometimes I think about how much of our daily lives revolves around consumption. We consume food so we don’t die, we work so we can buy food, we spend our excess money on stuff that we want and occasionally need and as we cross things off our To Buy list, we add new items to it. We have to work harder because the list keeps growing and consuming is a tough cycle to break. Here’s a day in my consumerist life.

TWM_August19_2014_8As a child, I was quite taken with Willy Wonka’s meal gum. As I’ve grown, I’ve often daydreamed of its invention as it would make life much more productive. I’d love to replace time spent eating with time spent making, creating, and doing. As someone has yet to invent a chewing gum food alternative, I’m forced to settle for the second best: The NutriBullet. Every morning for the last few weeks, I throw a bunch of healthy stuff into the bullet and BOOM, fifteen seconds later it’s drink-able. 

Mundane drinking > mundane eating.

On this morning, my smoothie included oats, almond milk, spinach, strawberries, zucchini, and blueberries. Scoff if you must (a few weeks ago I would have), but it’s actually pretty tasty and, more importantly, totally convenient!

TWM_August19_2014_9My chilli plant has gotten big big big and is producing lots of chills, which is exciting. It’s miraculous to me what a little bit of water, some soil, and a seed can come together to create when sunlight’s involved.

TWM_August19_2014_10Lately, David and I have been dreaming about shipping container houses with ample garden spaces, hoards of plant babies, and lots of natural light. But we’ve also been thinking a lot about central city flats with small balconies and public parks. Problem is, we want both. Both the city pad and a country oasis. We want modern, stream-lined homes with energy efficient appliances and we want homes full of found objects from centuries past that are sustainably repurposed for our modern desires. We want to save the environment, but we want to get on planes and travel the world, see the sites, and take something back to prove we were there. We want both, we want it alland all this wanting is quite frankly ridiculous.

I often wonder, is all this wanting just a fixture of our entitled and over-stimulated generation or is it a by-product of being an ambitious person? I’d like to think it’s the latter, but more often than not I find myself thinking it’s the former. The wants of our generation are not sustainable. Or can we really have it all?  

I don’t think many people will be happy with the answer. 

TWM_August19_2014_11When I catch myself double-tapping my way through Instagram or clicking through the pages of my favourite blogs and getting lost in the fantasies of the lives of others, I often close my eyes and remind myself to work hard and stay humble. To chase my dreams, but keep simplicity and sustainability at the forefront. Our lives are great and we have much to be thankful for. Our worries are small and our opportunities are huge.

On the topic of huge opportunities, Liam and I are marching forward with Gradient and are constantly striving to push ourselves to grow and learn. This last Tuesday, we were especially focused on our business consumption– specifically relating to our finances and business plan. When it comes to both money and hardcore business planning, I’m the first to admit that I’m not especially great at all the nitty-gritty details, so it’s important that I find great resources to help me navigate those uncertain waters.

For business planning, I can’t recommend the book Business Model Generation enough. David initially bought it for me whilst we were living in Boston. At the time, the two of us were hatching a plan to start a social network-esque community engagement product and though our plan fizzled out, the communicative illustrations and real-talkin’ messages conveyed in the book stuck with me. Whilst Liam and I decide how to push forward with our own model, I’ve been referring to this book time and time again. And as our model changes and our business grows, I’ll likely keep thumbing through it.

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As much as I love and believe in planning, I also believe that a very important part of any business plan is to be adaptable. We never know when a client will fall through or a new acquaintance will ask us to deliver a big job. It’s important to be open to new opportunities and advancements, but to be able to think them through to fit the overall plan. That’s why I like planning with sticky-notes. Things feel in flux with sticky notes, but like building blocks, too. If something changes an a particular block doesn’t fit where it used to, there’s room to restructure and build in a slightly different way.

TWM_August19_2014_13Now, I realise that this post is beginning to sound very heavy-handed, but I promise we’re not like that. See, we like to keep things light-hearted and fun! We enjoy laughing, we like connecting with our clients and believe that no matter the price of the things we want in life, the most valuable things that we have are our relationships, our smiles, and our memories. Working together, Liam and I remind each other that the reason we’ve pioneered out on our own ins’t to Scrooge McDuck dive our way into piles of dollar bills, but because we care about what we do, we enjoy it, and we want to help others who care about what they do better communicate about their brand of awesome, too. We believe that when people care about the things they make and the people they work with– like, really care– the world is better for it. If caring were a currency, we’d be rich.

TWM_August19_2014_14But caring isn’t a currency and people like me who would like to trade on good-will, beautiful trinkets and thoughtful favours need to get wise and name a price. Then we need to deliver on our promises, send out invoices, and– more often than not– chase ‘em up. And for me, that’s the most difficult part of having a business. (Though I have to say, whenever I start to get queazy about money matters, I refer to Kathleen Shannon’s post about thinking of money as energy. So so good, though I’m admittedly not always great at it.)

TWM_August19_2014_15After our planning session wrapped for the day, we meandered our way through town. After all that capital-b-and-p Business Planninge, ducking into Chapel Place Gallery to scope out some art was a very welcome diversion. This piece, Touch and Go by Henrietta Dubrey, caught my eye. I like the tension between the two figures. They remind me of interlocked fingers or barges narrowly passing each other in a harbour.

TWM_August19_2014_16We stopped in The Pantiles, which was charmingly decorated with bunting, and enjoyed a coffee as we prepared for a meeting that was sure to be especially taxing to a brain like mine. Enter excellent resource #2: BSR Bespoke, Accountants Extraordinaire.

TWM_August19_2014_17After learning so much about setting up our business, tax exemptions, and how I can’t keep buying my clients coffee/lunch and thinking we’ll just claim it back, Liam and I walked out to a beautiful rainbow. Was this a sign of pots of gold on the horizon? I don’t know, but I was feeling pretty blessed either way.

TWM_August19_2014_18With our heads full of numbers, we were happily lured into Wetherspoons for a last minute beer with our friends Sam and Scott. Sometimes I think that maybe I consume too much on the alcohol funtimez-front, but then I walk into Wetherspoons where half the occupants are basically human beer casks and feel a little better about my personal intake. Like, it could seriously be so much worse. 

TWM_August19_2014_19You might remember Sam from his TWV posts here, here, and here. Scott, however, has not done a TWV but you may have seen his face here once or twice due to his involvement in the Tunbridge Wells Writers.  Scott, in addition to being a brilliant comedian, is also the man who develops most of my film. One day, I want to take some really horrific photos on a roll of film and drop it off like “Oh, hey! Here’s another roll of film full of boring pseudo-artistic tourist photos and stuff. Kbye!” and scare the crap out of him.

Buuuuut now I’ve just given that secret away so I probably won’t do it but would’t it be so funny if I did?! 

TWM_August19_2014_20After a few bottles of beer, Liam and I headed toward my house so we could do some last minute gift-wrapping. You see, Tuesday was Nick’s birthday and we were late to the scheduled celebration.

TWM_August19_2014_21Our wild celebration started with some prosecco and Thai take-out. Fancy.

TWM_August19_2014_22The evening continued with a Disney sing-along and a deep discussion about which Disney characters and moments shaped us. We were sitting in the dark for most of the evening, which was both strange but also helpful as it gave the nature of our conversation more drama. Birthdays should always be about drama, don’t you think? It makes them more memorable that way.

TWM_August19_2014_23Liam and Nick’s three cats were not invited to the party as they are basically furry, land-walking piranhas and eat e’rything they find, regardless of whether or not it’s edible. They could smell our prawn crackers and hear our laughter so they sat directly outside the door, trying to peer through it and find a way to break in.

Keeping cats is kind of funny when you think about it. Don’t get me wrong, thinking about the amount of love I have for Le Chat sometimes makes my heart feel like it’s going to explode, but on a less personal not it’s funny that we buy these animals, feed them, clean up after them (which can be really yucky, can I get an amen?) and get what in return? Indifference. Bad behaviour. Dirty paw prints across freshly cleaned floors/tables/beds/keyboards. But then they jump on our laps and purr and give us lovely little nuzzles and somehow that is worth it to us.

TWM_August19_2014_24And the love we feel for these little creates and for the other things that we nurture and grow– like my wonderful chilli plant– it consumes us.

Consumption, people.  It’s everywhere.

Tuesday With Vous: Ed Liddle

I got a little joyful (drunk) at a work dinner last night so I didn’t get around to posting this at my regular time (sorry, world!), but it’s up now so YAY! This week, we’re looking into the life of local artist, and my dear friend, Ed Liddle.  Ed’s funny and talented and courageous. He’s a doer and a maker and is always up to something interesting– whether it’s making a delicious lunch, camping out to see Prince in London, or listening to vinyl and painting in his studio. I adore Ed and I really think you will, too.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Name: Ed Liddle  //  website  //  twitter
Location: Tunbridge Wells, UK 
Occupation: Artist & Bhajia maker 
Camera Used: Canon 100d with a 40mm pancake lens

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This is the first thing I see and hear every morning. It’s my circular ‘was once white is now cream’ Panasonic radio alarm clock. Received as payment for building a gate for my brother and his wife about 8 years ago, we stumbled upon it on eBay and its been with me ever since. This orb like beauty has travelled with me from place to place and I know wherever I am with it by my (bed)side mornings are potentially a little easier to bear.

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I’ve been looking at the curtains for quite a long time, listening to the radio. Slowly waking up. Today is going to be a long day.

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Whilst living in halls at University my flatmate Rob was (and still is) really into hot chilli’s. So he grew some seeds and ate the chilli’s. (Other versions of this story are available) Several months later, having expressed an interest and helped him re pot the chilli plant a couple of times- It grew to be quite a beast – I received a ‘grow your own chilli plant kit’ from his mum, Sue. <3

So urm, nearly 4 years later I decided to plant them.

So good so far. (in this hour I also had two slices of peanut butter on toast and an earl grey tea FYI)

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So introductions. I’m Ed and I manage an organic hot food business. I travel around with our wagon pitching up at local markets, events and festivals to cook and sell Onion Bhajias and Pakora. More details and a cheesy photo can be found here -à www.motherbhumi.co.uk. The rest of my time is spent making art. I studied Painting at Brighton University and since graduating have been living and working back in Tunbridge Wells, my studio located in Southborough.

Today I’m headed to Lewisham Art House to finish installing the next exhibition my work will be shown in. So I thought the wheel of my car would illustrate the fact I’d be travelling. Lily the cat had different ideas.

EdLiddle11 I’ve arrived at the gallery, just waiting for friend, fellow artist and exhibitor Liam Kean to arrive so we can continue to crack on with the install. Here’s some tools to a)prove we are manly and use drills etc and b)show we did some work yesterday.

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The build up to an exhibition is always busy, working backwards from the install date to make sure you’ve got plenty of time to make the work that you’re happy with but also when working with paintings to make sure they are dry. It’s pretty easy to ruin a work during transportation and install, because something is still wet.

Here’s Liam looking uncharastically weary/confused. I imagine he was saying something like ‘I can’t work under conditions like this, Ed you’re too much.’

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The gallery we are exhibiting in (Lewisham Art House) is a joint artists studios, project space and gallery. The building it’s housed in used to be an old library and there’s lots of lovely original doors, windows. Great stuff to photograph. So why resist?

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Time for lunch. Before installing, both Liam and I had a rough idea of where work would be placed, having made some trips to see the gallery before. However things always change when the work is placed in the exhibition space. So at this point in the day we haven’t yet got anything up on the walls, or objects built. We’ve spent the time moving pieces about, discussing the ideas behind the work and trying out different combinations of display. It’s both exciting and daunting that whenever you install an exhibition, there is the potential for several very different exhibitions just from the way in which you install the show. (WHAT did you eat I hear you say? I had a pizza I made last night. No quality ribs or chicken for me!)

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We’ve pretty much decided on where things are going so time to attach mirror plates to the paintings and get them on the walls.

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The last bit is always quick, in the last hour or so everything is up and its onto clearing up. The glamorous side to being an artist, I seem to always be sweeping floors. (Tiny violin plays in the background). I take tools and unused wood out to put them back in the car. Can’t resist another door photo.

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Exhibition installed, I am now headed into central London to meet my friend as we are going to see a talk at the Royal Academy. I catch a train from New Cross Gate to London Bridge.

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Lewisham is a bit of an awkward place to get to and from (the places I’m going to and from, anyway) so instead of getting the tube all of the way, I get off at Waterloo and make a quick stop off at the Southbank Centre to have a tea. I truly love the Southbank Centre and depending on what time you go to get a coffee/tea/drink there, the view of the river and the London skyline changes dramatically. There are also lots of people who meet there for what I can only call ‘creative power meetings’ its great though as you get to overhear lots of conversations. Todays conversation consists of a group of three; an old lady, a middle aged man and a young girl. They are dramatically conducting a read-through of a play, making edits and notes all the while. **Readers beware** to attend or hold one of these meetings Apple products ARE necessary. I saw a man on an ‘hp’ laptop sitting in the corner. Needless to say the rest of us shunned him.

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This is my friend Holly. We meet at the RA to attend an ‘in conversation’ with Anselm Kiefer. Kiefer is undoubtably one of the world’s greatest living painters and one of my favourites, so as soon as I heard about the event I booked a ticket. Holly also loves Kiefer, but it had sold out by the time she went to book a ticket. Don’t worry though, after being put on the waiting list SHE GOT IN.

Holly and I studied our Art Foundation course at Maidstone togther and we also both went to Brighton University. She studied Architecture and is currently working in an architects practice in London before she continues on to study for her Level 2. Holly’s work is fantastic and her work can be found here. She also had some really exciting news to tell me, however all I can say is watch the One Show on the 21st April.

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Kiefer in conversation with Tim Marlowe was funny, sharp but most of all truly inspiring. His energy was boundless and he couldn’t help but make jokes and laugh all the way through the talk. I’ve tried to sum up the evening and have deleted each try so I shall simply add in a quote he dropped in when asked whether he always wanted to be an artist.

“At first I thought I’d like to be Jesus. Then I thought, the Pope. Who’s better? But then I realised, Artist is best.”

At the end we waited for everyone else to leave, meanwhile a queue had formed and suddenly people had armfuls of books for him to sign. It was slightly embarrassing, mainly the fact that each person had about 4 books each and wanted Kiefer to sign them. “Sign this one to eBay please” Each to their own. I did however go and speak to him and tell him that I enjoyed the talk. I also shook his hand. Of course I haven’t washed it since.

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So after the talk I headed back to the station. Somehow I managed to get on an extremely slow train back to New Cross Gate, stopping at a mere 14 stations from Victoria. Here’s a picture of a man looking a little like I felt, and I know you cant see his face but his shoulders and neck tell me he’s feeling bewildered and tired. Don’t worry about me though, on the train I managed to read and eat my bargain basement 40p croissant from M&S.

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14 stops later, via Timbuctoo I walked up to find the car and drive home. Check out that dash. 0-60 in 1 minute 24.

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Remember that 40p crossaint? Well I also bought a ready meal whilst in M&S. Before you sharpen you pitchforks, remember I made lunch and it’s been a real long day.

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The orb welcomes me to bed. Lamps, all about cosy lamps.

I’d love you all to come and see what I’ve been working on at the Lewisham Arthouse. The exhibition ‘Awkward Conversations’ runs from 2-13 April and is open Wednesdays-Sundays 12-6pm. Or join us for a drink at the late night opening on the 4th April. www.edliddle.org

I’m also showing at Perk and Pearl’s Mind Your Head Gallery in Tunbridge Wells and you’ve got 9 days more to go and see that. I hope our paths cross again! X

Voyage to the Beginning of the World

Liam has a photo exhibition called Voyage to the Beginning of the World up at Javabean Cafe this month and, as there are only 11 more days for you to see it, I wanted to give you locals a kick up the bum to get in there and ogle his photos whilst enjoying some cake and coffee.

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Beautiful-PlaceTo accompany his photos, Liam asked The Tunbridge Wells Writers to share poems and short stories inspired by the collection.  To me, the photos are about companionship and loneliness in old age, so I wrote a poem exploring that theme.  A few friends have recently asked if I’d share the poem again, so I thought I’d do that here.

WhenYou'reOld

All photos by my talented friend, Liam Rogers

For Theo, Finally

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My friend Theo recommended I watch Frances Ha ages ago and, on December 8th, I did. And I loved it. First, it needs to be said that the main character, Frances, is a little bit like all of us: hopeful, uncertain, trying to find a way to manage her values and dreams whilst still being able to pay her rent. Greta Gerwig, who wrote and stars in the film, wrote a story and gave a performance that made me feel– made me feel a whole lot– and I’ve been carrying the film with me and mulling it over for quite some time.  After my initial viewing, I told Theo that I’d send her a response soon. Well, Theo, this is my response. And soon is a relative term, right?

Theo,

I wept at the end of Frances Ha not because I was nostalgic for a time that once was, but because I wanted to be. If you took the reel of my life and rewound it four years, I was in a place where I would’ve watched this film and said “Oh, I am Frances!” and I would have felt excited and safe knowing that a future of 20-something struggle, mishap and adventure was mine for the taking. That it was normal.  At that time, I was loving my single lady life in Boston. I had moments where I hit the sauce too hard and made some questionable life decisions, but I had good friends to pass the time with and a solid support system. It’s like that Sinatra song: “When I was 21, it was a very good year. I used to walk through the city and feel like everything around me was raw and electric and full of opportunity, when I was 21!” (Oh, those aren’t the lyrics? Oops.)

I met David in February of 2010 and I can now see that my own life trajectory is also a lot like Sophie’s, Frances’ best friend played by Mickey Sumner.  Like Sophie, I fell in love (unexpectedly), said bon voyage to my roommates, to all my undergraduate furniture and to the vagabond uncertainty of my single life and exchanged it for the special kind of freedom that comes with being in a committed relationship. The freedom to focus. The freedom to mix your books on the shelf with someone else’s and not worry about getting them all back when the lease is up. The freedom of knowing that no matter how bad things get, you have someone who’s going to fight for the future right alongside you.

I wouldn’t change my decision to marry and move to a new country, but this film made me wonder what would’ve happened if I hadn’t met David, if I had instead moved to Minneapolis or New York, or even stayed in Boston, and had to figure my shit out on my own.  What crappy job would I have taken and where would it have led? What roommates would I have gotten drunk with and cried in front of and how many broken hearts would I have survived– both romantically and otherwise? Would I have given up my dreams or would I have fought, alone, for whomever it was that I wanted to become? It’s silly, but this film made me nostalgic for the life I never lived. It opened the door in my imagination to the land of What If.

Over the weekend, David and I went to London to visit a friend who lives in a great apartment (one that wasn’t very self-aware, might I add) with three roommates, all of them living on top of each other like puppies in a cardboard box, lovingly tumbling over ears and paws and tails until they’re scooped up, one-by-one, and brought somewhere new. It’s a transitional kind of happiness, these roommate situations. Little families are formed and a special kind of balance between intimacy and privacy happens. It’s exciting but it’s stressful and sitting at my friend’s kitchen table, with empty bottles lining the cupboard tops like trophies, I felt that familiar undercurrent of raw electricity and my Frances musings came full circle.

In the film, Frances says, “I’m so embarrassed I’m not a real person yet” and when she said it, I was like Yeah, me too sister. Even though I have a mortgage and a cat and a permanent roommate (hi, David), I can still relate. We always think the next step forward will be the answer to all our uncertainties, will make us a little more whole, but we’re all still figuring it out.  We’re all a little bit like Frances, regardless of whether or not we can be categorised as “real people” yet.  And isn’t that kinda the beauty of life?

I feel like I’m saying this all wrong, like I’m not really making sense, but I hope you know what I mean. A little bit, anyway. Maybe we can talk about it over a drink one day.  I would really like that.

Until then,
K

*Yes, there are a lot of generalisations in this post. No, I don’t want to get into a discussion about how problematic that is.  Thanks. 

Photo via Frances Ha

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My fabulous little life is a whirl of boozy Christmas celebrations, long lunches and belly laughs these days. Prepare yourself for TWM Christmas Crown Edition!

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Considering how much I really detest our current bed, I sure do spend a lot of time in it! Yes, yesterday was another very dark work-from-bed morning. I’m very much looking forward to the Solstice on Saturday and the days getting longer.

9But unlike some days, I wasn’t working from bed all morning out of routine but rather because we had houseguests and I wanted to stay out of their way. My dear friend Max and two of his friends crashed with us for a few days as they journey across Europe over their winter break.  Oh to be in college again!

10See, here they are! Cuties.

11Back in the office, I got into the Christmas spirit with some chalk art before the true festivities started.

12What Christmas festivities? Well, yesterday I was lucky enough (i.e. doomed) to have two 3-course Christmas dinners to attend.  The first of the two was a friend-filled Christmas lunch at Signor Franco.

13Once the wine was poured and the Christmas crackers popped (cracked? opened? I don’t know…), things got out of hand rather quickly. My office buddy, Martin, became a Christmas ninja.

14This classical bust decided a career change was in order and left town to become a Christmas elf.

15And the lady with the sauciest Ladybits in all of Tunbridge Wells got Santa stuck in her chimney!

16After lunch, I went back to the office to settle a few things for the day but quickly realised that the spirit of the season (ahem, wine with lunch) had squandered my ability to get any real work done.

17So I tailed it out of the office and joined everyone else at Fuggles where the merriment continued!

18You know what, I really love Fuggles. It’s simple, it’s comfortable, it’s fresh. Every time I go, I feel like I’m stepping out of Tunbridge Wells and into Narnia… if, of course, Narnia was a bar where interesting people congregated and sipped delicious booze, I mean.

19The ever-changing beer selection at Fuggles is supposedly really great, too, though I wouldn’t know anything about that…

20On my way to Christmas Dinner #2, tragedy struck and I twisted my ankle stepping off a curb and face-planted on the pavement.  As I result, I arrived to Javabean Café with a bloody knee, a run in my tights, and gravel stuck in my palm. So basically I showed up to the party looking every bit the lady that I am… (Thank you, Liam, for this photo of my I want to die face.)

21Despite my elevated level of hot-messness, a wonderful evening transpired with the Tunbridge Wells Writers! We ate, we  laughed, we played a very difficult quiz game….

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And we celebrated a birthday, too! (Happy Birthday, Emma!)

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And Liam’s photos twinkled down on us from the wall like stars in an inky sky… or whatever.

23And then it was time to go so we all hugged goodbye.  (Class Couple 2013 goes to Kat & Sam, obviously! Bahahaa.)

24Once home, I cleaned my wounds and then snuggled under my infinity duvet* to sleep like a queen.

The End and Merry Christmas!

*Like an infinity pool but in duvet form. Essentially, David and I are getting a new bed soon and it’s going to be about twice as big as our current bed. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but we’re upgrading from a Double (i.e. Divorce Bed) to a Super-King (i.e. Happy Marriage Bed).  Last week, when we were preparing for our house guests, we realised we needed another duvet to accommodate them. To solve the problem, we bought our Super-King-sized duvet and gave our visitors our old one (we washed the duvet cover, promise). Wow, so this is a long story!, but the point is: we’re now sardining it under a GINORMOUS duvet until we get our new mattress and already this change is such an improvement. Literally, infinity duvet! Never again will I wake up shivering, wondering where the covers are. Totally life-changing!  I highly recommend.

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Guys, before I start, let me apologise for using this absolutely atrocious font in these photos.  I don’t know what I was thinking but I blame jet lag.

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Getting out of bed was, no joke, the most difficult thing in the world yesterday.  Like, if Gandalf had invited himself into my house on any other day and told me I had to carry The Ring to Mordor, it would’ve been easier than waking up on my first morning back in Hobbit Country England. Oh man, I was draggin’.  Laggin’?

10But look! My new light! I don’t even want to think about how much of a P in the A it’s going to be to dust so let’s put that out of our minds for the time being and focus on cuter things. Things like…

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Le Chat! She missed us very much whilst we were away and has been a super aggressive snuggler, which is just her way of showing us that she cares. And just for the record, I don’t run Le Chat’s twitter account. David does. So sweet too, right?!

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I was on deadline yesterday and had to finish my story for the Tunbridge Wells Writers’ Christmas Advent Calendar.  It’s a really great project where we submit short stories, scenes, or poems that will be revealed one by one on our Advent Calendar.  These were my “notes” for the “story” I wrote. What day will it debut on the advent calendar? You’ll just have to check it every day to find out!

13After finishing my “story”, I went for a jog sidewalk shuffle.  After not running sidewalk shuffling at all in Minnesota (too cold!) yesterday’s effort was a little tough, but– and this is the part where I will sicken you ‘exercise is fun’ BS– it felt really good to get back out there.

When I returned home from my excursion, I was absolutely ravenous and made so much pasta it didn’t fit in the bowl.  Strangely, it had no problem fitting in my tummy…

14And then, after a lovely morning, I finally made my way to the office.

15And I hung out with Lucille for a little while.  (Her new haircut is really great, right?)

16And I doodled with some chalk.

17And then I went and visited the Christmas tree that the handsome English gents at Create DM have in their office.  I especially like their birdhouse. Tweet tweet!

18Once work was done and dusted, my evening began. First stop was just off Camden Road at Art Pull Gallery where Liam and I saw the work of over 50 local artists! It’s a really great collection of work (including one of Liam’s photographs) so be sure to pop in to see it.

19After Art Pull, Liam and I had a very exciting meeting at Oxfam Bookshop.  As some of you may know, my life-long dream is to have a shop and sell wonderful, beautiful, well made things that I love to people who will cherish their new items forever and for always!  So, once upon a time, I tweeted that I get weak in the knees every time I use a self-checkout because it makes me feel like I’m working in a shop and that’s when Oxfam tweeted me and said something along the lines of “You can volunteer in our shop and for real work in a shop”.  So that’s precisely what I’m doing this coming Sunday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM!  If you’re a crazy stalker or just someone who wants to come in to buy some books and/or stocking stuffers, be sure to come by and buy. They’ve got loads of goodies, but remember to bring cash!

If you can’t make it in on Sunday (for shame, for shame!), you can follow along on Twitter as we’ll be live tweeting the entire day!  Prepare yourselves for photos of our shop window, the strange books we find, and maybe our my kinda/sorta wacky Christmas outfit, too.  It’ll be so fun!  CAN YOU TELL I’M EXCITED?!

20After Oxfam, it was time for Stop Number Three, this time with the Tunbridge Wells Writers!  Can you spot Liam and I between the measures and tumblers?  HI!

21As always, there was much laughter at our bi-weekly gathering.  If you’re a local writer (and by “writer” we simply mean someone who writes– whether it be for yourself or others), stop by at our next meeting on January… You know what, I don’t know what day we’re picking back up in the new year!  Look, if you’re a local writer, here’s what you should do: follow us on Twitter or check the website for updates. I’m sure someone at some point will let you know when our next meeting is… (Ahem, guys, can someone tell me when are next meeting is?)

22Come 10:00 my burning flame of passion, excitement, and energy was burning low.  Jet lag, it’s a bitch.

23So I went home and snuggled next to an equally sleepy David. But even though I was so tired, I wasn’t too tired to scroll through Instagram and like a photo that Sam took of me taking a photo for Tuesday With Moi.  And now that photo is here. How meta.

Aaaaand there you have it, my fascinating Tuesday.  Thank you for reading!

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

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The previous night was the Launch of Artists Unveiled. We had a terrific party at La Fiamma (culinary artists extraordinaire!) featuring the work of Chris Burke, Ed Liddle, Caro Spinette, Liam Rogers and Chooc Ly Tan.  This scroll featured charcoal and chalk portraits of partygoers by Chris Burke. You’ll see some in a moment… 10

When David bought an iPad a couple years ago I wasn’t super into it.  But then I downlaoded the Paper by 53 app and bought an Adonit Jot Pro stylus and now I love it. Our case is by Gräf & Lantz and I love that, too! 11

Sharpies taste the rainbow…. 12

At our launch party, Chris Burke sketched portraits of some of the attendees. This is his portrait of Liam. His head isn’t really that big IRL. Promise.
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However, this is exactly what Ed Liddle is going to look like when he’s a silver fox.  FOXY!14

The days lately have been grey. Autumn is here. It’s my favourite time of year! 15

At our launch, we had props with a camera set up for people to use to take their picture with.  Ed made this awesome paper crane.  I keep it on my desk now.  16

See you in Minnesota, November! (p.s. How talented are my friends who made their invites themselves?  They’re so creative! Check them out– Facet & Forge!) 17

Oh, yeah. So running is something that I do now.  I don’t hate it, but I’m not to the point of loving it yet, either.  I’ll probably write a post on running (jogging/walking/struggling) sometime soon because I know I would’ve found it useful as a beginner.  So look forward to that!  Or don’t. Whatever.  18

Riding in cars with boys.19

Liam and I stopped at Art Pull together last night.  This was my favourite piece.  It’s by Diana Poliak and is called the ‘Stalking Stork’.  I love how primitive it feels.  So textured and strong.  I love the vibe.  IT MOVES ME. 20

Back at home, I unrolled the scroll that was on one of the tables at the launch asking artists to ‘leave their mark’.  Here’s the mark of Will Charlesworth of Inquisitive Cows and Widow Burpy21

Speaking of Widow Burpy, this photo was taken as we were on our way to her house! As is tradition, we watched Breaking Bad with her and her husband, Justin (aka my Tech Shaman). 22

On this particular night, we were watching the series finale.  It did not disappoint.  In fact, it was the most perfect ending I ever could have imagined. SPOILER ALERT: Don’t do drugs. 
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Then we walked home.  This is the Eye Of Sauron which watches us always and forever as we sleep. And as we wake, too. The Eye Of Sauron is building condos.  Of course.  

And that, my friends, is Tuesday With Moi. Glamorous? Perhaps not. Fun? Absolutely!  If you want to share your Tuesday (which is great if you’re a freelancer! small business owner! person with a creative eye!), please get in touch. Find all the details here right here! and then email me and we’ll become BFF.  xox

Tuesday With Vous: Liam Rogers {take 2}

Name: Liam Rogers
Location: Tunbridge Wells
Occupation: Photographer / Film-maker
Camera Used: Nikon D7000

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

TWV_1

Good morning world. What’s up? TWV_2

Look there’s condensation on the car. Good morning autumn!

 

TWV_3

Driving to work has been a breeze during the summer holidays, then it all goes down the drain for 10 months. Good morning traffic. TWV_4

Bit late for work but check out that view! Tonbridge is not my favourite place but I love that little glimpse of countryside. It never gets old. (Disclaimer: Taking photos whilst driving is not cool but I’ll happily risk my life for Lady Sims.) TWV_5

Offices don’t generally inspire vast amounts of creativity but I think I was on to something when I created this masterpiece. TWV_6

Brian is my man. My rock. My one and only. TWV_7

Apart from my awesome colleagues, this is the best thing about my office. TWV_8

My boss (coolest boss ever BTW) always supplies us with weird and wonderful snacks. Her brand new lippy was added to the mix because she is the Queen of impulse buying. TWV_9

My bestest office buddy Laura wearing the poster for the Electric Lantern Film Festival.

Annoyingly, the rest of my afternoon was spent doing stuff where is wasn’t ok for me to whip out my camera and be like, ‘can I take your snap for TWV?’. Soz. TWV_10

One last picture of the weirdest thing I have on my desk. It kind of creeps me out. TWV_11

Now to Trinity to see my film being shown on the second evening of the Electric Lantern Festival. It’s always weird watching something you’ve created with a room full of people, suddenly an 8 minute video feels like the longest thing ever! TWV_12

After the film screening we headed to the ever classy ‘spoons for a quick drink. Surprisingly, this light chandelier thing is pretty amazing. TWV_13

Potential film for Electric Lantern 2014? For sure! TWV_14

I return home to find a pile of books on my desk. I’d love to pretend I’m super cultured but they’re all Nicks. (@cllrrogers) TWV_15

Seeing your photos all big and in the flesh is so exciting. Before I go to bed, I must must must frame my photos to be installed at Woods tomorrow. (edited to note that the Woods show is now TONIGHT as of this posting.) TWV_16

This is how I feel. Bedtime. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Okay, everyone, follow Liam on Twitter and go and see Liam’s photos at Woods! GO GO GO!

And remember, if you ever want to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, take a peek at the details and get in touch. I’d love to see your day!

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Oh, my!  It’s that time against,  isn’t it?

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Sometimes I wake up early.  Here I am anxiously waiting as the water boiled for my first cup of coffee.  Because Monday was a  bank holiday, the start to my week was a little off-kilter.  When my 7:00 AM alarm went off I thought, “Dear me. Tuesday? Camera time!”  Et voila.  8

Weekly plant inventory: My cilantro is growing beautifully, my basil (which is a store-bought transplant) is pulling through the shock of its new soil, but whatever I planted on the far left (mint, I think?) is being a very poor sport.  Such a poor sport, in fact, that I gave up and threw them away later in the day.  Also, my window need cleaning.  Filthy!
9

I started reading Stoner on Monday and I’m just over halfway through.  David read it before me and recommended it, so I was skeptical of how good it would be.  It’s a perfectly mundane but totally captivating novel.  And very well written.  Suffice to say I’m loving it.  10

As per usual, I postponed my arrival to the office until I had a sufficient amount of caffein to ensure I wouldn’t snap at anyone.  Again, because this Tuesday felt especially like a Monday, I was really out of my element.  My to-do list weighed on me like a crushing burden and I maintained the dreamy lethargy of a long weekend all day long.  Not a particularly good combination, though the light on the floor in the office was quite pretty.  11

My colleague, Martin, has coat hangers at work but never hangs anything from them.  It got me thinking about all the strange things that we have at our desks but never use.  All the stuff in our lives that we have but never use.  Life does have a way of accumulating around us, doesn’t it.  12

Along with the accumulation of stuff, this lack of time has been a theme in my life lately, too.  Time!  There is never enough.  Never enough time to sit quietly, to get work done, to seek inspiration or find the time to exercise the body.  Time, it is scant.  It is precious.  It is evasive.  I would pay good money to have more.
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But luckily, there is always time for tea.  14

On Monday, I had the great opportunity to spend the day with a fantastic woman and artist who I knew in Boston and is right now visiting London. Together, we chatted about art and the act of making.  We walked through the city, shared a beautiful meal, and shared a bit of ourselves with each other, too.  Spending time with her was so inspirational and it reinforced, too, how I want to move forward with my career and the things I’m doing.  I want to focus on more creative endeavours as I move forward.  I would like to spend less time at a my keyboard.
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Three o’clock is wasp hour in the office.  I don’t mind wasps or bees, but this one was particularly loud as it buzzed through our space. I tried to shoo it out the window but it just wasn’t interested.  Poor thing.  16

Light coming through the opposite window.  The days are getting shorter.  In yet another way, time is running out.  17

On days when I’m tired or have a lot to accomplish, I find myself more and more often dressing to match my Minnetonka Moccasins.  It’s kind of sad, actually, as they don’t especially fit my out-of-house wardrobe, but they’re just so dang comfortable and sometimes I just can’t help wearing them to work (or elsewhere). Guess I’m just a Minnesotan girl deep down, after all… 18

You know those days where you just crave something warm and lovely?  That was yesterday for me so I made myself some miso noodle soup before settling in to complete some work on the sofa.  19

And whilst I got on with my work, David got on with his.  This is his business face.  #Sexytime.
20

And then the clock struck eight and I realised I was late to the Tunbridge Wells Writers gathering. I passed this glorious lavender patch as I made my way into town and the world glowed blue around me.  Lovely! 21

My wonderful friend Sam (remember Sam from here & here?) is putting on a local film festival called the Electric Lantern Festival the first week of September.  I, unfortunately, will be in America for the duration of the festival, so please be sure to attend in my stead and then tell me all about it!  Or maybe even Skype me in for a few of the screenings…  That would be fun, right! 22

Speaking of Sam, for all the latest on the festival, follow ELF on Twitter.   There will literally be so. much. to. see.  Though I can’t promise all of it will be as great as Sam’s profile… 23

After much joyous laughter, I made my way home and to bed with high hopes of rising again early to complete this post in the soft morning light.  I’m sorry to say, dear reader, that my plan did not work out as I thought it would and I apologise for posting this so late.

Please forgive me.  xx

Tuesday With Moi

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8

I felt like being a little square yesterday and I think David’s shirt, hanging from the closet door, is what prompted my preference for squares.  So here you have it, the first square TWM. 9

I bought this rhubarb jam a few weeks ago at a farm shop and I kid you not, when it’s gone, I’m going to cry so many tears.  It is delicious.  When I stir it into greek yoghurt, I’m transported back to my kitchen in Brussels where I used to eat the best rhubarb yoghurt known to mankind.  We bought it from this little milk truck that came to our Sunday market and the yoghurt, white with rhubarb compote settled at the bottom, came in small glass jars that I’d wash out and bring back the following week when I bought more. It was magical.  Rhubarb jam.  I love thee.
10

I’m growing herbs from seeds!  It’s so exciting to see them inch up higher and higher every day.  I waited for what felt like forever for them to breach the top of the soil, but now they’re growing beautifully and will soon turn into delicious additions to salads, pastas, omelettes and roasts.  Everything, really. Delicious in everything!  I think this pot is cilantro.  I think….11

I’m very particular about my pens.  For years, I’ve been using Pilot G-2 0.38 pens in black but I just can’t find them in that size here in the UK. (Before you say it, yes, I could probably just order them online but I think it’s a little obnoxious to order just one pack of pens online. Plus, ordering online totally takes the fun out of the hunt.  It’s too easy. Boring.) Anyway, Muji to the rescue!  I now have lots of skinny pens in colours (blue! light blue! red!) and one not-so-skinny pen in black (they didn’t have it in 0.38 at the time, sadtimes) and together, they make me very happy.  Hurrah! 12

I’ve noticed lately that it’s really important for me to take short breaks away from my computer a couple times a day.  You know, work solidly for 90 minutes, then take a 20 minute break to do something that doesn’t involve a screen.  One of my new distraction occupations is combing Le Chat.  I comb her for about 10 minutes a day, which she used to hate but has come to love.  No lie, every time I comb her, I collect a giant ball of hair like this one.  Not only is the Le Chat getting prettier, my carpets are also a lot less hairy, which is fantastic! Can you imagine having fur like this?! Crazy.
13

Yes, I’m one of those weirdos who still buys CDs.  I’m like an old man that way.  Yesterday, I was having a grand time listening to Dave Brubeck.  It’s great getting-it-done music, actually.  Now that I think about it, I guess I’m like an old man in lots of ways…
14

On my way to the office, I noticed that the construction site on my street now has a giant crane!  They’re building condos, I think.  Go figure. Better sell our flat before some identical new ones pop up! 15

This was weird: for my three o’clock photo I was standing at the window looking for something to take a picture of when a man who was walking down the drive toward our building stopped about forty feet away and stared directly at me.  After about three seconds of straight-on staring, I decided to move further into the office, but he just kept looking up and so I continued to inch further and further away from the window until finally, about a minute later, he turned around and walked back up to the main road, never to be seen again.  It was quite startling.  Whilst hiding from his gaze on the other end of the office, I took a picture of this chair.  Very interesting, I know… Moral of the story: people be crazy. 16

View from my post-it note covered desk.  17

A peek at a Recipe Book mock-up I did for Yophoto.  Also, they’re having a sale right now (20% off all 20x20cm Printed Cover Books with the code 20off20 at checkout) so be sure to pop over if you’re interested in making a photobook (or recipe book!).  Personally, I love the idea of a recipe book.  I love cooking (or, rather, I love when David cooks) and love taking pictures of our homemade food and I think making a bespoke cook book full of your favourite at-home recipes is a fantastic gift idea! (And now you all know what I’m getting you for Christmas, fa la la la la!)
18

Since I’ve been brushing her, Le Chat has fallen even more in love with me.  I had to barricade myself in a wall of books and bags yesterday so she didn’t harass me as I was finishing up some work on the couch.  She really is so needy.  Le sigh… 19

After closing down my laptop for the day, I walked to Camden Road for a Private View at Art Pull20

Yesterday through to Saturday, August 31st, Disgusted! will be in the gallery.  Mike Flight is the gent behind the show, which is a collection of street art and graffiti.  I couldn’t find their facebook page, but if someone illuminates me with its identity, I’ll be sure to update it here.  21

Remember Ed and Liam?  In this picture, they’re my fun, disapproving friends (let’s call them Will & Grace) and I am their loud, inappropriate brunette friend (let’s just call me Karen).  We’re a great team! 22

And yes, SURPRISE, we went out for a post-art gallery drink to talk about some things we have in the works for Artists Unveiled (so much is happening). Thanks for the photo, Liam! 23

And then we stayed out way too late and had to get kicked out of the pub.  Story of my life & THE END.

Thanks for taking a moment to check out this week’s Tuesday.  Remember, if you’re someone who kinda/sorta/totally would like to contribute to Tuesday With Vous, you’re more than welcome to do so.  Just check out the details and send me an email (kate at ladykatherinesims.com).  I’d love to feature you and see what you get up to!