Thursday, 29 March 2012


A few weeks back the folks over at Little White Lies magazine set their readers a task: Create a well known scene from a film using plasticine. Never one to allow a creative challenge to pass by (especially one that involved plasticine  - so many childhood hours making monsters and the like with plasticine) Mitch and I set about re-creating a famous movie scene...can you guess which film it's from...

Yes it's that bit where t-rex eats the lawyer off the toilet in Jurassic Park - classic moment and much loved film. Plus it meant that we got to make a dinosaur out of plasticine. Although I roughly shaped the body, Mitch deserves the credit for all the important details on t-rex :)
And here, for all those who are un-familiar with Jurassic Park (I hope there aren't many of you!), here is the real scene from the film.

Work in progress...

Sadly we didn't win the competition but it was great fun playing with plasticine again. Plus, we got to see all the other creative entries some of which are truly awesome. My favs: Little Miss Sunshine (which won), Wall-E, Ghostbusters, King Kong and Up.
See all the plasti-scenes here or on the Little White Lies facebook page.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dog Stars & Crafty Foxes

Last weekend I went along to the Dogstar, a big old pub in Brixton which had opened it's doors to The Crafty Fox Spring Market. If it rings a bell it might be because I raved about their winter one last year. And, just like the Christmas one, it didn't disappoint.

On the Saturday I had company whilst perusing the varied stalls full of beautiful badges and necklaces, awesome cushions and cards, fun plushies and soft toys, not to mention all the wonderfully crafted coasters, clothing, bags, tea-towels, notebooks, ceramics and prints. I knew my sister would love it and she did! Animals were a big theme throughout the market, Katie was drawn to Stacie Swift's excellent illustrations whereas I particularly loved the cushions at Butterscotch & Beesting however I couldn't afford her circus flag cushions so opted for a little zip-up purse in the same fabric, I love it v.much. Other highlights included: Alice Potter's pretty patterns, handmade books by Maudie Made, the witty illustrations of Jimbobart and the bannoffee cupcakes from The Teas Knees. To finish off the Saturday I also learnt how to knit :D! The lovely people on the top floor of the pub were offering free knitting and crochet workshops. A very patient lady managed to teach three of us first time knitters how to cast on! Knitting is completely addictive and I am huuugely tempted to invest in some knitting needles come payday!
Stacie Swift's illustration

cupcake (with chocolate flake!) from the Tea's Knees and my purchase from Butterscotch & Beesting

Katie (red) knitting in progress

my (yellow) knitting

On Sunday, I returned on my lonesome to the Dogstar with the sole aim to print my own design on a tote bag. Because, yes, that's what the Crafty Fox was offering for a mere £5. Thanks to the cheery Mr Wingate that was the best fiver I've spent in a long time. And don't worry if you missed it - he does screen printing workshops at his studio in east London! Before exiting I couldn't resist this delightful print by Sam Blown or a vanilla cream cupcake from Relay Tea. All in all I had a completely fabulous weekend, and the weather wasn't bad either!
my tote bag screen print

Sam Blown illustration

Friday, 23 March 2012

Olympia calling: Stitch & Craft

Last weekend Kensington Olympia hosted Stitch & Craft, a four day event aimed at knitters, quilters, cross stitchers and paper-craft persons. The main port of call was, of course, the quilting section which if it wasn't for 'A Gift of Quilts' display, was rather small. Thankfully the 400+ quilts for the display did not disappoint. The quilts were made by individuals and quilting groups across the country in aid of the London 2012 Games whereby the quilts are being given as gifts, one for each of the country taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics. Some of my favs below:

Detail from Suzanne Foster's quilt - she's used fabrics from the V&A shop which are absolutely beautiful 

This quilt by Hilary Sherratt really stood out from the others - I love how different it is

A bit more traditional but tres jolie, made by the Baker Street Babes

Very busy but super pretty quilt made with Liberty Print fabrics, submitted by the Ouse Valley Quilters Evening Group.

Detail of the Ouse Valley quilt

Also on show at Stitch & Craft - the knitted village (which was exactly what it sounds like).

Other highlights included: the knitted dogs (and cats) by Best in Show authors Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, Big Knitting with Ingrid Wagner and Linzi Upton's quilted yurt!

Some things that completely baffled me: catering staff (loudly) bitching about and even berating customers, not enough seating (I guess this is always the way at these events) and lastly, on the bottom floor where the paper craft section was, a woman was giving a demonstration to promote a book to doodle. Seriously. This woman was actually showing people how to draw repetitiously - lines, circles etc - in order to create a pattern stating "no artistic talent is needed for this I promise you". She was basically drawing what you'd doodle in the margins of exercise books or what I draw whilst I'm on the phone. I don't normally rant on here but this was simply ridiculous. To make it worse, there is some woman out there who's making money from selling these books about how to doodle! Doodling is a completely spontaneous action and the thought of buying a book to show you HOW to achieve it is just insane. *rant over* (sorry about that)

Round up:  Stitch & Craft as a show was alright but kinda small, it's no Knitting & Stitching at the Ally Pally. One thing I almost forgot, whilst taking a breather from wondering around and enjoying a cup of tea, a lady approached us from a tv production company, the very same company that brought us The Great British Bake Off. Turns out they're making a sewing themed show too...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

a whole year later!

Today is Beard Today Gone Tomorrow's 1 year anniversary! 

It's funny to think that this all started a whole year ago back when I was a data monkey (updating that lovely database) and completely bored out of my mind. However, if it hadn't been for that loathsome database I probably would never started the blog in the first place!

A lot has happened in the last year and for the for most part it's been bloody great. Aside from some v.awesome life changes (the new job & moving to brixton) there's been plenty of other stuff going on...

I catered for my sister's film shoot; watched international roller derby; met a famous film star; discovered the need (& want) to take more photographs; enjoyed a film screening in the open air; attended a beautiful wedding in the woods (and one by the sea); saw and danced to a host of artists and bands in Victoria Park; played and won at musical bingo; got hooked on an awesome comic; had a good wander around east Berlin; learned A LOT about quilting and re-affirmed my love of dinosaurs in costume form!

So here's to another year of Beard Today Gone Tomorrow - with more posts, pics, updates and perhaps a makeover...
the blog that is, not the beard :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tuesday's Tees - Ohh Deer

So this week's Tuesday's Tees is all about the awesome website It's home to bunch a creative individuals who've got together to make lovely products featuring fun and excellent illustrations. They're soon to launch a series of notebooks based on the theme of 'stuck on repeat' (as a huge fun of repetition - artistically & musically - I want one muchly) but currently available in their shop are cards, prints, magazines and, you guessed it, TEES!

Although you can buy their t-shirts as stand alone purchases they also offer something a little more long term for all us t-shirt junkies...the t-shirt club.
For £15 a month (including p&p) subscribers receive a new tee every month designed by one of Ohh Deer's contributing artists. Sounds good eh? A tee subscription - it totally blows my mind :)

Monday, 19 March 2012

Making & Baking - mother's day weekend

(finished muffins, patchwork fabric card I made for my mum, baked treats, mum and nana, enjoying my scone with clotted cream and jam)

Mooma, Mutti, Mama - whatever you call your mum, Mother's Day is a good excuse for the family to get together and, invariably, eat nice things including, if you're anything like my family, numerous types of home made baked goods!

This year the gathering took place at my auntie and uncle's place in the New Forest, Hampshire. My auntie made an a-mazing lunch - chicken pie (with v.tasty pastry), butternut squash, mash and green veg. 

For afters we were spoilt for choice: Scones (made by my mum), Coffee Cake (courtesy of my auntie) AND...earl grey mini muffins baked by me!

The recipe for the muffins can be found here.
I think it says to use muffin cases however my local supermarkets didn't have any so I just used cupcake cases which meant I ended up with a batch of 21. I also decorated some with a dash of lemon icing (icing sugar and a few drops of lemon juice) and some with a little bit of lemon drizzle (mixing caster sugar and lemon juice) just to make sure that the muffins weren't too dry. 
They are perfect with a lovely cuppa.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

When I grow up I want to be...

Last weekend a very good friend celebrated her 25th by throwing a fancy dress party, the theme: come as what you wanted to be when you were little. So, I had a good long think about my younger self and what she wanted to do as an adult. I loved drawing, writing and making things - particularly with plasticine - (nothing much has changed there) but I couldn't say that I'd actually wanted to be an artist or writer or animator. I called my mum and asked if she remembered whether I'd expressed any particular interests in possible professions. The answer was no, I'd never really said anything about growing up and doing this or that. I reckon as a child I was probably so involved in the 'now' (whatever character I was drawing or comic I was writing) that the distant future of adult-hood never really caused me much concern, secondary school changed that of course - cue panic about where my life was heading and "career planning". Aside from entering the idea of becoming a writer, and that's certainly taken a back seat, I've never really known what I wanted to do... Anyway back to the party, my mum did say one thing though: I was always very interested in my dinosaurs - trips to the natural history museum were an absolute treat. And so, I went to the party as a dinosaur fanatic, not quite a paleontologist because that includes ALL prehistoric life and I was just all about the dinosaurs. The Iguanodon was my favourite.

The party was awesome, the hosts provided food, jagermeister AND vodka jelly, the flat was indeed and everyone made lots of effort on their costumes. I was initially worried about the fancy dress element but on reflection it was a brilliant theme not just as conversation starters but also the opportunity for a creative riot! Fav childhood aspirations of others: Indiana Jones, Noel Edmonds and The Pope.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tuesday's Tees - Election Time

Threadless, home of super cool tees for all, have 5 election themed t-shirts for sale! This being Threadless, we're not talking about your bog standard candidates, it's politics with awesome options. 

Cool, huh?
The three above are my favs. All five designs are by AJ Paglia (you can see more of his designs - other tees included - on his website).

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tuesday's Tees - make the most of it

What do you do when a t-shirt no longer fits you? Cut it up to use as rags, keep it as sleepwear, give it to charity, maybe even sell it on ebay BUT what if it isn't just any old t-shirt but a favourite which you simply can't chop up or banish to oxfam...Well there are plenty of options and today I thought I'd share one example: my t-shirt curtain.
When we first moved into our flat it was extremely unfurnished. Don't get me wrong I realise we were very lucky to have a fridge and a washing machine but other than that the flat was completely bare. We discovered fairly early on that not having any curtains (especially as we're on the main road) was quite problematic. So, what with being quite broke, having no TV or internet (or habitable living room) to keep me occupied, I kept myself entertained by making curtains for the bedroom using the available resources ie: a selection of mine and Mitch's old tees. Ta-da!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Code Breakers & Quilt Makers

At the end of February I took a trip to Bletchley Park, home of the code breakers and enigma machines which played a vital role in winning the Second World War.

It's a fascinating place, crammed full with British history and, as you'd imagine, stories so many stories - about the people who worked there, the buildings themselves and the equipment housed there. Throughout the visit I learned a lot of interesting facts:
  • The Mansion (pictured above) is somewhat of an architectural pic'n'mix. It started out as farmhouse which was consequently added to during the late 19th Century by the owner, Sir Leon, who, possibly inspired by trips to Europe, decided to build the extensions in varying styles (Grecian columns, Dutch Baroque etc). The result is a rather bizarre but quirky building.
  • The enigma machine was first used by the Germans in WWII (apparently the Brits turned it down because it was thought that the machines wouldn't be secure enough). 
  • Over 8,000 people worked at Bletchley Park (most of whom were women) but no one lived on the premises. Service men and women stayed in nearby villages and housed by the local inhabitants.
  • Although it's not official that the code breaking which took place at Bletchley Park during the war was the reason why the allies were victorious, what is certain is that the work conducted there shortened the war by two years.
  • Alan Turing, who is probably one of the most well known names to be associated with Bletchley Park, was, aside from being an incredibly skilled cryptanalyst, the brains (along with Gordon Welchman) behind the bombe - a large electromagnetic machine designed to crack the German ciphers, the equivalent of 36 enigma machines! Despite his great achievements before, during and after the war and his influence in early computer science, Alan Turing came to a very sad end. He was found 'guilty' of homosexuality, which was still illegal in the UK, and was given female hormones (I'm guessing as some sort of 'treatment') instead of going to prison. He committed suicide age 41. What a way to treat a hero, or anybody for that matter!
  • On a lighter note, pigeons played a tremendous part in the war, not you're average Trafalga Sq pigeon but homing pigeons who fearlessly delivered messages - parachuting from aircraft, dodging gunfire and German Falcons sent to kill them. The success rate of the pigeons was incredibly high and some were even awarded medals for their valour!
  • Bletchley was bombed once, but not directly and certainly not intentionally. The Germans were never aware of it's importance as the centre of England's code breakers, if they had it would have been obliterated.
Also on site at Bletchley Park: 
All the old huts that were built to house the Government Code & Cypher School and their operations, a couple have been restored.
The National Museum of Computing where you can see the world's first semi-programable computer, Colossus.
A model railway courtesy of the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society.
A museum full of pre, post and war-time memorabilia. My favourite piece was a classic bit of make do and mend - a pattern from a magazine showing how to make clothes from a parachute - such resourcefulness!
Vintage vehicles - an ambulance, cars and motorcycles.
A quilting exhibition held by region seven of the Quilters Guild. Ok, so this one, unlike the others, isn't always there, luckily for me though I managed to have a look at the display of war themed quilts created for the event. Also on show was a small number of Canadian Red Cross Quilts which date back to between 1939-1945 and were sent from Canada across the atlantic to war-torn Britain. 

Bletchley Park was a super fun day out and I thoroughly recommend it! It has it's own train station and parking is ample, adult tickets are £12 and they hold events every now and again (like the quilting exhibition) so it's worth checking out there website for up-coming exhibitions and the like, One last tip, v.insightful tours around the site are available and run for about 90 mins. The man who lead our group was very engaging and informative, it's a pretty perfect way to take in the place!

In my own quilting adventures...the top is done and the wadding has been purchased, all I need now is the backing!

Thursday, 1 March 2012


Even though there have been a number of worthy sun-filled days in the last week or so, today was the day that the sunglasses came out and the coat was left at home. Perhaps the latter was a little premature, it can get a little nippy waiting on district line platforms, but the sunglasses were a good call. Spring please!

Sunglasses are most probably my favourite of all accessories and if I could justify it I would own many many pairs. I love my current ones which I've had for almost two years but there's nothing to stop me looking at (ahem, and then buying) the beautiful eye-wear available for this spring/summer...

My top six at the mo (above) - from left to right:
Pepper Retro Lucia Liberty Print Sunglasses, £130 Liberty
ASOS Highbrow Cat Eye, £12 ASOS
Keyhole Sunglasses, £16 Topshop
House of Harlow1960 Steph Sunglasses, $150 Urban Outfitters US
Summer Surrender Sunglasses, $42 Anthropologie US
Claudia - Pink, £14 Jeepers Peepers

And the best of the rest (below) - left column:
Havana, $119 Bon Look
Rimless animal print shades, $14 Urban Outfitters US
Paloma Crystal, 120 Euros Super (not entirely sure if these are for women but hey!)
Matte Pop shades, £16 Urban Outfitters Europe
Ray-Ban Wayfarer Comics on Black, £160 John Lewis
Ditsy Clover Print, $235 Orla Kiely
Linda Farrow projects for Alexander Wang Oval shades, £235 ASOS

Right column:
Split Frame Shades, $42 Anthropologie US
Ray-Ban Retro Cat Eye shades, $109 UO US
Lookout Sunglasses, $18 UO US
Navy Flat Tops, £16 Topshop
Spitfire Junior Disco shades, $39 UO US
Keyhole Sunglasses, £9.50 ASOS

Novelty factor:
Pink Gold Lens Heart shades, £16 UO Europe
Eiffel Tower Sunglasses, £9.50 ASOS

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