Monday, 22 December 2014

Vintage 1960s postcards - kitsch kitten and daisies!

Remember when I used to scan stuff I’d found in antique shops? Let me remind you.

Anyway I’m up to it again, starting with this kitsch gem ‘Kitten in the Rose Bower’ photo above by Guy Withers! It’s a J. Arthur Dixon postcard and I think it’s from around 1965 (based on the one below I found with a dated stamp).

Fluffy animal and fake tree branches - what’s not to love?!

And another colourful and kitsch J. Arthur Dixon postcard I found in the same antique shop (I know, my hobbies are thrilling)! This one had a stamp on the back from 1965 along with the message:
"Thank you so much for sending us Contact. It is most interesting as usual. We are getting straight. With difficulty I at last got rid of some of the furniture and the Bristol furniture looks very nice in its place."
Other people’s mail woohoo. The flowers are Barberton Daisies, a wild South African species famed for their varied and attractive colours. Very bright, very 60s…

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Alchemy Festival 2014 - disposable camera photos.



Alchemy Festival 2014, disposable camera.
"Thanks for offering every drug known to man Alchemy festival, but really just wanted a toilet that wasn’t mentally scarring."

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Tennyson and The Lady of Shalott album art.

Doing a picture of The Lady of Shalott is like doing a cover version of a classic song - I’m never going to outdo the Pre-Raphaelites!

This is the cover for Dad’s latest album (he sets poetry to music), illustrating Tennyson’s tragic Shalott and her curse. It’s a girl stuck in tower, falls for hot knight with great hair, then inexplicably dies kind of story.

It’s come out a bit R. Crumb with all the crosshatching and luckily I had a medieval-style dress that I could pose in for reference. Dressing up as dead chicks makes my day.

And here is Alfred Lord Tennyson, surrounded by strange flowery things! I enjoy his glum Arthurian poems and his big influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Drew him in pencil for the sleeve of Dad’s CD and based his face on a portrait in a VERY old book!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Laugh with me LeeLee - Benefit fragrance review.

When I left my job writing for Boots, my amazing workmates gave me a big bag of beauty goodies to say goodbye! Benefit's 'Crescent Row' gift set is definitely my fave treat - four beautiful fragrances, each with their own name, personality and poem (wow)...

So let's have a sniff of crisp and clean LeeLee!  

her playful wink
and mischievous smile

the flirtatious side
of her innocent style

no thought or worry
of what's meant to be

first laughter, then love
"... along came LeeLee"

LeeLee smells like a lily, hence her name. I can also pick out woody notes, citrus and a nice dash of jasmine mmm! There is something of the woods about LeeLee and she's perfect for breezy outdoor days – like a breath of fresh air. I'll admit the citrus aspect goes a bit 'air freshener' on me (sorry LeeLee) but if you adore light clean scents then she's hard to beat. However if you're looking for something more fruity then Bella is your woman, and Gina is downright FILTHY.

If LeeLee was a person she'd be a fun yet very hygiene-conscious fairy, playing in a bath of lilies and lemons inside a woodland glade (#imayhavetodrawher). She's young, wholesome and I can really feel that 'innocent style' mentioned in her poem, but her 'flirtatious side' less so. LeeLee would rather climb a mountain or scrub her bathroom to sparkling lemony freshness than steal your man - that's Gina's job! She is not a seductive scent, unless you want someone to lean in and whisper "Mmm, you smell nice and clean".

Overall I'd rate LeeLee as a lovely casual fragrance for having adventures with; she'll be particularly special on spring days! Hope you've enjoyed my review, now who should I sniff next?

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Amazing nature at Renishaw Hall and Gardens!


The amazing woods near Renishaw Hall.

The amazing lake near Renishaw Hall.

The amazing garden near Renishaw Hall.

I could have walked around here all day, such a beautiful place! Very ‘The Secret Garden’ and one of my favourite Derbyshire stately home haunts.

It was also a fun surprise finding Watership Down under a tree. You can’t see it (you gotta have faith), but they’re gazing at a suspended wooden sun (Lord Frith I assume). Except for atheist bunny on the left there.

The amazing flowers near Renishaw Hall.

The amazing statue near Renishaw Hall.

Digitally tweaked in Photoshop for added drama/contrast/really cool things.

The cellist is Amaryllis Fleming and she was sculpted by Fiore de Henriquez. My knowledge of cellists extends to ‘Hilary and Jackie’, so I always reckoned this was a dead ringer for Jacqueline du PrĂ©!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I took my camera to the Eden Project.

The Eden Project, we loved it there!

It is where small impaled wooden cats spin on spikes and frogs and flowers are ripe for macro photography.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Promises to a new laptop (a love poem).

Oh laptop, thou art barely born.

Rejoice, you are now the lucky vessel of my neuroticism and creativity (yeah right).

I promise to overlook your sharp edges and fascinating ugliness (potential baby names: Rorschach, John Merrick). I was spoilt with my old Sony Vaio, it was a beautiful woman with gentle curves (sounding a bit gay here). But NO, you are a sleek monolith with no need for tawdry decor!

I promise to update you properly, protect you from virusy harm (sorry about this morning) and change your metaphorical nappy when needed (what?). I promise to install and master Photoshop, rather than just The Sims 2. I promise to upload my art and photography, rather than staying up to read rude fanfics. I promise to hunt for interesting work, rather than stalking people on the internet. I promise to use you for inspiration and personal development, rather than scrolling through amusing cat photos. I promise to stick up for your homely averageness when my boyfriend bullies you for not being fast or powerful enough (which he will). You're just about right for me.

In return, please keep my secrets safe and secure, so I don't end up in nude photo scandal shocker/blackmail hell. Not like I take any (sorry to disappoint). Here's to a fresh start and a few years snuggling up and slaving over the keyboard together.

Love from Natalie (a girl who writes for a living yet is appalling at poetry, and who hasn't owned a laptop since last year). *pats your wee laptop head*