Sunday, 25 September 2011

Two Monster Weddings

Hey friends. I have had the most mammoth weekend. I've been all over the shop and been lucky enough to see two sets of friends get hitched, yeah! Both weddings were so beautiful and special in their own ways, and I'm so happy for both couples! Hooray Rachel and Dave and Sean and Grace! You are ace. Oh that rhymes! I'm a poet and I didn't mean to be one.

One thing that both weddings had in common was that they had MONSTERS in them. You may remember me making these and these ages ago. Well get ready to see them again. Yes!

First up I went to Belfast on Thursday to the Rachel and Dave shindig. It was so good. So good. Rachel and Dave are well into their country music and everything, and all the men in the wedding had cowboy hats and bolo ties (I had to look that up) and stuff and it was all wicked. Here are Rach and Dave with the original monsteroos:

Beautiful! The big monsters sat up at the front while the wedding was going on and on the top table at the meal, they are awful sycophants. They had a good time, I could tell.

Now you know I made little cakey monsters too:

There they are on the cake. It was beautiful and simple so it looked well good. Just a simple white sparkly cake, plus cupcakes and biscuits, so pretty. That Calamity Jane poster had Rachel and Dave's faces superimposed on it, well good. They were all over the tables, my favourite was the Lone Ranger one with Rachel's pretty face and Tonto's big veiny man hands.

I'm ashamed to say I was pretty excited about seeing what the monsters would look like on the cake. Nearly as excited as I was about the actual wedding, if not more. No, not more. But excited anyway.

Moving on.

So I stayed in Belfast with my friends for a couple of nights and then pegged it home on Saturday morning, back to my flat for a shower, then straight out again to Preston for Sean and Grace's do. I was a bit demented with rushing around but I eventually managed to calm down and it was a really nice day. Here, have a picture:

Aren't they perfectly GORGEOUS. Couldn't you just dip them in your tea.

Those are little mini monsters for the cake by the way, which is here:

It's a cake of cheese, as in three or four wheels of cheese in tiers instead of cake. Fair enough, it makes no difference to me at all because I do not partake of the dairy produce anyway. Fruit salad all the way me. It's pretty though and I love the royal blue and bright orange combination. Bright colours are my faves, I don't know if you have ever noticed that.

So after the 'cake' had been cut and dished out, Sean put the monsters in his pocket where they remained for the rest of the night.

He also took some of my business cards and flyers and became my impromptu agent, on his blimmin' wedding day. What a guy. You are a guy, Sean. Ta very much.

Both couples will now be on holiday and not read this, but I wanted to get it up here because I'm proud to have played a tiny role in their days. I love them all, they are lucky and they deserve it. I'm totally weddinged out now. If any more people talk about how much they love each other I'm going to gip in their pocket. No, no, I don't mean that.

I do enjoy making the wedding monsters though, what do you think? I could add them to my repertoire. Monsters monsters monsters.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Inky pinky pen and inky

I can smell a dirty stinky. Oh wait! Sorry, I thought I was 6 then.

So my branding, as it were, is still pretty shoddy. For some reason I have generally eschewed getting business cards and flyers printed (easy! Fairly cheap also!) in favour of making them myself (hours of work!) My first ever business cards looked like this:

That's the rubber stamp I made by carving into an eraser (and my fingers). I was really pleased with that. The back had a sticker on it with my email address and this blog and stuff, printed off-kilter on Calps' printer because I had no idea how to make things fit in a template.

So when Jim made my website he used the lettering from my stamp in the logo, but NOT ONLY THAT, he invented an entire font just for me, out of the 8 letters in 'helen makes'. How unbelievably cool is that, I was so made up. So all the lettering on the website is based on the original stampy scruffy thing I made.

Also Jim made me this logo, the smiley monster/ball of wool guy, and I'm abandoning the toadstool effort that means nothing. I currently have no promotional materials with my website URL on, only this flyer with the blog address:

So guess what I am doing!

That's right, I am STAMPING! Making myself some business cards the old fashioned way. I love it.

Here's Step 1:

And here's Step 100000000 because I didn't stop to take photos of the in between stages.

I also made a stamp with the URL on, to go on the other side. That looks like PINK INK! And I said, will that ever come off? I don't think! (The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, sorry) It used to be red, but I've had it for about seven years and it's not any more.

So what do you think of this. As usual I am uncertain. I am also terribly sorry about the post I did the other day, yikes. I hate to boast and I felt like I was. I suppose I should get into the boasting in a big way, but I am not ready yet! Bob's video's good though int it!

I am also going to draw some kind of flyer thing to use as well, I'm not sure how this is going to end up but I'm sure I will show you. My head is full of a cold and also full of job applications, ideas for knitting, bits of old rubbish, etc. I will leave it here for now. Lots of love xx

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Monsters On Film

So I have been busy doing various things, half finishing them, abandoning them, and wandering off. That's what I've been doing the last week. How about you?

I made Bob's monster ages ago, and he now lives in a caravan somewhere on the continent so I wasn't expecting this to plop into my inbox:

How exciting! I love it. Music made by Bob as well. What an all round talented dude. Serious.

Oh yeah! I have other things to talk about.

After I posted the Kimya Dawson/Merrill Garbus monsters last week, and plugged it on Twitter, I saw that Kimya had written this:

How good's that? I asked her if she would like me to send the monster somewhere she could get it, and she ignored that. So I guess she doesn't want it. I'm still chuffed with that response though. I am so glad Twitter exists. I'd never talk to anyone otherwise.

Speaking of which, remember how I made Adam and Joe monsters once and met Adam Buxton and gave them to him? I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but he posted a very nice thing on his blog, which I was made up with.

Ugghh, this is really hard to write, I am not good at it. The monsters I've made as part of my People I Like thing are all people who've had some kind of influence on me, or whose work I admire generally, so to get such lovely feedback from them is actually awesome, to me. I'm not just shamelessly self promoting honest! I'm allowed a little show off, once in a while!


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

People I Like part III (LADIES' EDITION)

Hey. So a lot has happened recently. One of the things that has happened is, I have changed the way my blog looks, you may have noticed that Nic is smiling at you all over the place and the header is LOADS worse than the old one. Do you like it? I really DO. I was trying to get it to look more in sync with my website, with the blue and everything, but my blog is essentially like a scrapbook where I sling everything, so I thought it'd be good if it looked a bit scrappy, too. Luckily, I am very good at making things look scrappy. Result! Also, look over to the right. If you get stuck on here, and you want to go to my website but you've forgotten how, you can click on my fringe there and you'll be transported magically. Hooray! You can just go back and forth all day. But don't, because I don't want you to get the sack because of me.

Another thing that has happened is, I made some stuff. I will get right into this because I think it's going to be a long one. So make yourself a brew NOW, or you might regret it in about three hours.

So all the People I Like so far have been men, that is all right, I like men. I do have a load of women though, that inspire and delight me and make me feel happy.

First up is Merrill Garbus. If you don't recognise her name, she's the singer from tUnEyArDs. This is her, lookit:

I only got wind of tUnEyArDs' music earlier this year, and I was INSTANTLY obsessed with it. It was like, 'this is EXACTLY what I want, it's PERFECT for me, I am so pleased yes'. I went to see them in June and it was fantastic, oh my lord. One of the best things I have ever, ever seen in my life. Merrill looks amazing on stage, she belts out these powerful, crazy, mental noises and loops them and layers them and bangs drums and it's so primal and animal, it blew my mind to bits. I stood there for the whole show practically shaking because I was so overwhelmed, and on the way home I nearly cried because I know that I'll never exude such confidence and power, she is clearly having a great time and she whips the crowd into a right frenzy as well. It's wicked. Argh! I am such a loser.

So I tried to dress the monster like Merrill was dressed when I saw her live, but I couldn't remember really. I know she had face paint like that, and I think she had huge frilly sleeves made out of, like, tulle. Or whatever that stuff is that you make petticoats out of. I used a hyperbolic crochet technique to make big fat sleeves, which turns out to be kind of hard to photograph:

Hmm. It's a cool technique and a really easy way to make something which looks pretty great. You can see what I'm talking about a bit better here. You get a lot of people making coral reefs this way. I think I was also thinking of Bjork's dress at the Biophilia show, which made her look a bit like a coral reef. There aren't any photos of it on the internet, apparently. Oh well!

Also I only made one sleeve, because it took me about three hours. I think it looks pretty good balancing the cascade of hair on the other side.

Okay so that's her. She's wicked.

Another Person I Like is Kimya Dawson. She's an old school girlcrush of mine.

I don't know what I was going to write about Kimya Dawson because I made this monster ages ago. I've been listening to her for years and reading her blogs and stuff on the internet for slightly fewer years. She seems like a nice person and she does a lot to champion people with problems, addicts, shy people, people who don't fit in very much. I find her tremendously inspiring. She looks amazing as well. I think I'm drawn to women who find their own style and who embrace this sort of colourful DIY, punk aesthetic, because that's what I like as well (says the woman who wears the same hoodie every day).

This is how I chose to represent her tattoos:

What a copout, eh? This is supposed to represent an inner lip tattoo: it says '2 LEGIT'.

Thundercats T-shirt:

Uh huh. Aaaand, these are the ears from my Superted costume that I wore once. I doubt I will wear it again, so Kimya can have them.

Anyway so I guess I will post those monsters off, to frighten and confuse some people who I have a great deal of respect for. Yesssss!

Aaahh. The third thing that happened was that I finished my job at the Arts Council. I was absolutely gutted to leave and I was really touched by all the lovely comments from everyone there. I never realised I had made any kind of impression on anyone, I hardly ever even spoke to anybody. So that's the end of that chapter, I will be looking for a job from now on, AGAIN. I feel pretty okay at the moment. Hopefully I will stay like it.

All right guys, phew! My mega-post has come to an abrupt end. Hope you weren't too bored. Take it easy and see you again soon, x