Continue to talk about happy things

Good afternoon lovely people, if you’re still with me I thank you, tis more than I deserve.  Lately I have been making life far far more complicated than perhaps it needs to be, with a lot of important changes/stuff going on, in my life situation and in my mind.  Getting to grips with everything is proving harder than I expected, which I find strangely amusing given that I’ve done/lived through some tough things in the last few years and all of this shouldn’t really be challenging me so much.  Anyhoo, if you haven’t heard already, the good news is that the lovely people at my temp job have decided to keep me as a real person, with actual money and plenty of interesting stuff to do.  I move over to contract in a few weeks (eek, better sign it!) and am looking forward to that bit more stability. 

From the blog of artist Lisa Congdon, check it out, she’s amazing (thanks Michelle, you show me all the best stuff)

So now I need to have a cup of tea, clear some of the clutter out of my brain, straighten a few pictures, and tidy the mountains of randomness that I’ve been building around me, so that I can relax, enjoy and stop having meltdowns at people who really don’t need that right now.  I’ve had a fantastic last few weeks of friends and fun stuff that I can’t wait to tell you about, plus the ongoing backlog of photos to share.  So here it is, a new leaf, I’m turning it.  Hope to see you back here soon!


Go outside

We took lunch out to the Downs today because we were lucky enough to both be working from home (I had a meeting in town).  It was sunny enough to be like a little holiday, which was lucky because neither of us is very good at planning real holidays so we’re in theory two weeks away from hoping for sunshine in the Lakes and have booked neither a cottage nor time off work.

I’ve a job application to write and rather a lot of cleaning and organamising to do so I stiiiiiill haven’t sorted through any of the several million recent photographs so I will share with you instead another lovely nugget of advice from Wendy MacNaughton

There’s hope yet that I may get myself sorted because the tall one is buggering off for a few days so I could potentially manage to be a tiny bit more productive.  I hope so, my to-do list is getting wee bit out of control….

Lick it

Happy Easter everyone. Today I have watched lambs frolic, run like a crazy thing all arms and legs flailing down a hill, admired the first haze of blue in the bluebell woods, started spring cleaning, emptied a greenhouse, planted some survivors, had a chocolate fight and shared lots of hugs. A good Good Friday.

So it seems an apposite day to draw your attention to Citizens for Optimism, some groovy folk who think good design can inspire happiness.  Like it.

Design by Leen Sadder

This was brought to my attention by Little Commas, as writer who designs and a designer who writes, or maybe t’other way aboot.  Anyway, Lil C wrote a sweet enough post to get freshly pressed (not jealous, not at all) and not only did I enjoy visiting her blog, I also loved the Citizens themselves.  Check them out, all the posters are lush. Lick them.

Stop riding that penguin, we’re leaving

We went to the zoo again today – after two highly random days of driving, garden sunshine, Big Grizzly catch up time and CV grottage – and had much fun taking far too many pictures of animals that we didn’t take pictures of the other day. Chief among these were the penguins, seals and meerkats.   Penguins are much beloved by LTN for their comedy stylings, so darlin’, this one’s for you.

- from DENY Designs by Nathan Ripperger

Courtesy of who have a whole lovely post in this vein, click on the penguin to see more.

And before I go, I must just say, Bristol Zoo is getting serious points for babies at the moment. Two month old meerkats are so sweet it’s crazy tempting to grab one and put it in your pocket to take home.  Not so easy with a wee gorilla.  On the other hand, those li’l kats move like greased lightning and apparently have pointy small teeth so it’s probably for the best that they stay with their family.

Tell it to the birds

These two are on a pillar in the same cluster in Brizzle as I’ve been showing you already.  I love how different they are, but linked by the birds.








And while I’m on birds, I was introduced to a fabulous illustrator by the lovely blogger Bryanna on The Heart of Art, and I’m grateful to her. The illustrations are graphic and clean and right up my street.  Gorgeousness….stop by Brynna’s blog for more images

Heart of Art’s featured artist - illustrator Charley Harper

strange but compelling

Have you seen the 9 Eyes project by Jon Rafman? It’s a collection of (discarded?) images apparently (true?) from google streetview.  Strange but often intriguing or wierdly compelling.  I like this one especially; it’s wonderful street art and it also makes me immediately think of the shelf of old sixties sci-fi that my mum had, which I’ve loved exploring for years.

like a sixties sci fi cover

On the secret shelf behind my parents’s bed there were short stories and epic sagas by Arthur C Clarke, Asimov, Ray Bradbury and so on.  They always had fantastic cover art, and mind expanding contents which led me to ask many interesting questions about people and what if?  And if you haven’t read the collection of Asmiov’s robot stories yet, you should. And you should google Kelly Freas, illustrator extraordinaire (click the pic to read more by someone else who likes him)

LOVE this book...

So there.

To illustrate a point

Over the weekend I spent a fair time poking round odd corners of the internet and got onto a bit of an illustration roll.  It all starts with the Byczek blog which showcased this absorbing video of title sequences.

You probably all know by now how much I love watching films, even if they are quite ridiculously squeak inducing in some cases.   Well the style of different pictures is a huge part of the allure for me – including title sequences.  Of course the Bond films are justifiably famous in this arena, but as you can see there’s much more gold out there than just Goldfinger.

Berlin, by the way, is a fairly hipster filled city.  I can’t quite work out if there are more here than in Londontown, some of the identifying features are muddled, but spotting them is a fun game to play.  On a hipster note, check out Japecake’s hipster crayons for a giggle.  Stay inside the lines people.

Wordle: Squeaks

Oooooh, and today I found this totally genius website for making pictures from words. My words. Pictures made of words = Happiness on the internet for nickys-that-squeak.  I can already see that I’ll play with this many times over, but for my first attempt
– in monochrome –
here is a wordle of my squeaks to date. Love…

Also, while we’re on the topic of cool things, I’m a little bit smitten by Moo.  Firstly, they’re called Moo, which is such a genius name for a company that I can’t work out why no-snaffled it before.  Secondly they have a simply brilliant idea – they print cunning business cards and things in that line, with the magic selling point being that you don’t have to have just one design, you can have many. So for creative types of people with short attention spans (me) it’s a godsend.  Plus their products look positively edible in their design gorgeousness.  Honestly I haven’t been this impressed with a company website since I fell head over heels with Getty Images in London. The website is slick and the business idea is perfectly formed in every way.  Currently I’m trying to dream up an excuse, and therefore the pictures to use, to create one of their shiny shiny stickerbooks.

But to finish where I began, I’ll come back to illustration.  While reading freshly pressed I accidentally fell over the rather wonderful Doodlemum and had a fun time wandering round her blog. I was particularly pleased with this post of this gorgeous pic because she references another squeaky little person. So I’ll leave you with a mermaid combing out her hair. Happy Monday folks.