Tuesday, 28 February 2012


So Shrove Tuesday doesn't just mean pancakes to me, although it really is something to get excited about. A whole day celebrating pancakes is pretty special by anyones standards, surely? I'm a bit of a closet Catholic though, and so for me it's also the day before Lent (shudder). Last year I gave up the liquor, surprisingly not too hideous, not compared with chocolate a couple of years before. You forget, that's the thing, and it surreptitiously finds its delicious way into your gob, and bingo. Guilt. Remorse. Bugger.

This year it is was all going swimmingly (albeit the first four days) until I managed to drink a little bit too much red wine with my sister and I conked out snoring in bed before saying my prayers (2012's Lenten resolution). Rats. It's the wine. It always is. It makes me terrible forgetful and lax.

I do think taking things up is proving more difficult than giving them up. I was told recently that if you can do something for thirteen days consecutively, then it becomes a natural addition to your lifestyle and not something that you struggle with so much. I like that. Thirteen days isn't so long. It's rather comforting.
Only forty more days to go.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

I Love My Tucker

Isn't this the prettiest of dresses? It is by Tucker and is exclusive to Net-a-Porter
Tucker designer, Gaby Basora designs some beautiful silk dresses and tops. I particularly like the florals (go figure) that she does rather than the graphic prints. It'd be perfect for all those summer weddings.
I just need to find the required £370.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Posh Pooch Purdey

A painting I did for a friend recently.
The Posh Pooch



I'm a self confessed animation junkie. My sisters and I grew up on a diet of Disney and I adore Pixar too. When I lived with my little sister, many an evening we'd get in from a night out dancing, either a tub of Ben & Jerrys' (me) or Kettle Chips and Phili (her) in hand, throw all of the cushions on the floor, grab a duvet, and put on a VHS. Yup, VHS, I'm that old. My top choice was The Jungle Book or The Little Mermaid (notice the priest's semi at the end). Her's was Aladdin or, nope, they all rock. And by gum did we know every. single. word.

Rather thrillingly, although it's not due for release until 22nd June, you can watch a clip of Brave, Pixar's latest offering here. Make mine a Baked Alaska.

Junior & Mowgli
Ariel & Sebastian
Aladdin & Genie
Did you ever dream of growing up to be like Cinderella, waltzing about in layers upon layers of taffeta that birds from the forest had made for you? For all those grown up eight year olds (girls?), you've got to have a look at Alfred Angelo's Disney inspired dresses. Genuis. Eat your heart out Vera Wang.

My Magical Guard Pig

This was the rather eerie sight outside my studio last night.
I like to think of him as my guard dog/pig. My sister stuck a carrot in his mouth last summer making him look like he was smoking a cigar. Most funny was how unfunny my Dad found it.
Apparently he was in Harry Potter. Blink and you'll miss it.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Oh yeah!
Bopping around the studio listening to the new Gorillaz track DoYaThing.
Get the free download here 'kiddie winkles'.

Lovely Lux Fix

That wonderful site Lux Fix that I blogged about last year are at it again. They've used some of my scribbles in a post on Barchick.com, an ace website that reviews unique drinking spots all over the world. It's pretty cool.

The scribbles have been taken from a book I'm (slowly) illustrating and they're peppered over the review, so that each girl has a corresponding establishment. They look pretty cute...



Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Shrove Tuesday

Hello again.

Yesterday was one of my absolutely most favourite food days of the year, Shrove Tuesday. One of the very few things that I can cook, and cook exceedingly well I'll have you know, are pancakes. In light of this and the added joy of cooking them on a Rayburn I bought a plethora of goodies to go with, which I proceeded to devour throughout the day. I think the best was supper. I made a savoury bacon and emmental pancake followed by Golden Syrup and lemon ones for pudding. Yup, I take this seriously. Thank you Silver Spoon.

I scoffed away by the roaring fire watching Much Ado About Nothing.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Size Of Our Times

This is something that I find fascinating. When you go around galleries you can usually hear children giggling about how rotund the ladies are, especially the nudes. And it's true, they pack a lot of lard. For various reasons the ideal of female beauty was much larger than it is today.

Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano addresses this in The Venus Project. She has taken some of the most celebrated nudes and given them an 'Extreme Makeover' (that show makes me want to vomit) using Photoshop.

The difference is startling and often unsettling. Some nudes look adolescent like Ingrés 'Venus Anadyomène' (1848) and others don't have any physical presence in the composition like Bouguereau's Venus (1879). The sensuality is lost in Gentileschi's 'The Sleeping Venus' (1625) and Cabanel's 'The Birth of Venus' (1863), although arguably I can't help thinking that some might be an improvement but that may just be with my TwentyFirst Century eyes (sorry Richard Westall 'The Power of Venus', best stick to paintings of Lord Byron).

I've often thought that one of the reasons that Velázquez 'Toilet of Venus' (1847-1851) is so palatable today (other than the fact that the man was a genius and the painting is pure heaven) is the slender line of the reclining nude. Hats off to Giordano, but any alteration to a Velasquez would be detrimental.

William Adolphe Bouguereau 'The Birth of Venus' 1879
Sandro Botticelli 'The Birth of Venus' 1486
Artemisia Gentileschi 'The Sleeping Venus' 1630 
Richard Westall 'The Power of Venus' 
(Agnolo di Cosimo) Bronzino 'Allegory of Love' 1545
Francesco Hayez 'Venus' 1830 
Alexandre Cabanel 'The Birth of Venus' 1863
Diego Velázquez 'The Toilet of Venus' 1847-1851
I was discussing this last night with a friend and it is interesting that whilst 'you can never be too rich or too thin' (thanks for that pearl of wisdom Wallis Simpson) and 'nothing tastes as good as being thin' (Kate Moss), curves in nudes are considered sexy. Fashion models are expected to be skeletal because they're showcasing the clothes which arguably hang better on such figures. Page Three girls and High Street Honey's aren't, they're starkers. Slim not skinny is still preferable for a nude. So, whilst Giordano has addressed this conundrum interestingly and called it to attention, perhaps it is slightly off the mark?  

Friday, 10 February 2012

On The Rocks

It's little things like walking along a pebble beach early on a Friday morning, with no one about (other than Cora and Rachel) that fills me with glee that I get to live in the countryside for a bit. We walked up to the cave where Rachel found an old seal chilling out at the back last year. No such sightings today but I remember an old army building on the cliff edge that I used to walk past when I was little. Its remnants are scattered over the rocks now but it's partly still in chunks of wall and is so smooth, it's extraordinary and beautiful.


My boyfriend wants a tree house for Valentine's Day. Yup, I'm dating an overgrown twelve year old. I think it was in response to my (Que. stamp my foot) asking for a unicorn, or failing that, a warship. More specifically, he wants a tree house like The Mirrorball at the Tree Hotel in Sweden. I wouldn't mind one either.
They're my kind of tree-hugging.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Valentine Panties

If you're racking your brains for a fun and original Valentine's present, buy a naughty nude or commission one of yourself! 
Red Valentine Panties

Love Me Tender

Yup, it's getting close to the middle of February. You either love it, or hate it.
I used to loathe it. I genuinely felt that it was so cheesy and, well, naff. Then I had an hilarious time, completely unexpectedly about five years ago when I was taken to a really rank looking Portuguese Sporting Club in North Kensington. Inside, everything was pink and so unbelievably naff that it was wonderful. There was a Portugese guy in a DJ booth singing James Blunt covers (mostly in Portuguese) to an empty dance floor, pink heart helium balloons bobbing about our table, and the most delicious set menu. So kitsch, and too funny.

Since then, it's been increasingly fun. I also believe in exchanging gifts as often as possible. I know it's expensive, but is there anything more wonderful than knowing you've got an ace present for someone? Also, getting a present's pretty ace too, let's be honest.

In that vein, I've earmarked some corkers (some slightly unrealistic!) that might get your heart racing and in the mood for luuurve.

Damaris Kamikaze bra £52 & knickers £36.50 - love it

Solange Azagury-Partridge Black Cherry Hotlips Ring
A couple of years ago I was given Rob Ryan's 'This Is For You'. The images and words together are utterly beautiful, and I've a mega crush on his work. I had the most heavenly day when I went to his shop Ryantown on Columbia Road on a cold Spring Sunday morning, just at the beginning of the daffodil season. I bought lots of lovely presents and then had a wonderful lunch at The Hoxton Grill.

Rob Ryan 'Believe In Goodness' limited edition print £160 
I think my heart would burst with joy if I was ever given flowers so beautiful.
These nod to the pastel trend that I am loving. Perhaps controversially, but I think flowers are better when they're unexpected, or picked on a walk in the Spring. However, if you were being super spoilt, you could always have them for the year... swoon.

The Real Flower Company
Pastel Pink Roses & Hyacinths £55
The Real Flower Company
Blush Pink & Lavender £45

❤ Liberty Turquiose Strawberry Thief Silk Scarf £95 
❤ this is almost too pretty 
Years ago I was staying with friends in Yorkshire and they had put one of these wonderfully toasty Oka faux fur throws on my bed. It would be perfect for snuggling up in front of a fire with your squeeze, keeping the February chill out. Terrible chic too.

Oka Faux Fur Throw £135
Treat ❤ Your ❤ Self
Buying yourself a Valentine present isn't the same as sending yourself flowers. 
Oh, and it isn't ok to allow your beau to slack off (Rosie for Agent Provocateur).