How’s your week been? I remember being picked up from the station, getting the train from school and being asked what I’d been doing all day, and the effort it took to remember each different lesson and what we had done. For these recollections of my week, I find myself having to look back through my phone, my photos, texts and calendar to work out what I’ve actually been up to. This is my past week –
1. Getting excited about a parcel from my printer
I’ve told you a few times about some Art-Themed Wedding Stationery, because I’ve had such a brilliant time designing it. When I received it from the printer, I was really excited about the finish and how the colours pop – I can’t wait to see the Table Plan, Table Names and Place cards all assembled at the venue. I also received the matching invitations for this Save the Date, which I can’t wait to show you once it gets sent out, and a few single page bespoke illustrations – as surprise gifts for other halves on their wedding day and a first anniversary present for a couple whose wedding stationery I designed last year. I also stocked up on more of my ever popular Glorious Guide to Getting Married.
2. Sewing a piece of quilt, eating BBQ, drinking too much wine and playing Cards Against Humanity
On Saturday, I caught the train with Jen and Nat, to celebrate Chloe’s Hen Party. We spent the afternoon sewing and decorating pieces of cloth, to be put together for a quilt for the couple. We sat, drank Pimm’s and sewed, and ate pieces of amazing apple tart – always pick a French family to cook your afternoon tea! When we’d expended all our creative energies, we sat in Chloe’s garden chatting, drinking bubbly and eating barbequed burgers, spiced carrot salad and potato salad. It was lovely to spend a summer evening this way – it feels like the proper way to enjoy the long evenings. We did this until the sun had disappeared and a chill hit the air, so we went inside to play an excellent version of Wedding Pictionary, and then later, Cards Against Humanity. It claims to be for horrible people, which should give you a sense of the game! You have to try and come up the most offensive response to a phrase – one that causes a sharp intake of breath and a wince – although the real trick of the game is knowing the other players well enough to pick the response that will appeal most to their sense of humour. Having lived with most of the party who stayed over at university, waking up to drink a lot of tea with a wine-head (plus wine stomach now you mention it!), was made almost nostalgic by the familiarity of the bleary-eyed chatting and pyjamas. It took a little concentration to make it home, but, after a lift to the station and a train, I walked in the sun from Waterloo, with Anna and made myself a Fish Finger sandwich and sank myself in a deep bath.
3. Admiring Ruben
On Monday, Big Sis, her husband and his family came to London for lunch, along with the excellently squidgy Ruben. He’s two months old and I’m a big fan, especially his chubby cheeks. We ate tapas at Camino – special mention for the Fiduea and the empanadillas, and me and Mr Story squidged Ruben – everyone’s a winner!
4. Eating herb burgers
Last week I was supposed to make dinner for a few friends, but I was ill, so I couldn’t. Mr Story had already made these Dan Lepard slider buns to go with Nigel’s herb burgers – the meal I was planning to make. After being ill, I made myself feel better with the fresh soft white rolls and marmite, but since then and throughout the week, I’ve been making little batches of herb burgers to eat with the left-over buns. I really recommend both recipes. The slider buns are lovely – plus excitingly they have custard in the recipe! We froze them, and they’re small enough to defrost very quickly. Also, the herb burgers are amazing! They’re so tasty and really easy. Looking at other bean burger recipes online, it’s all soaking lentils, binding with egg and breadcrumbs, and a gagillion ingredients – whereas these are simple and easy and really fresh. It helps having a shop at the end of the road that sells huge bunches of herbs for 79p – supermarket herb prices/quantities would up the price somewhat. I’ve been experimenting with the recipe too – adding pickled jalepenos, to add a bit of kick, and trying a version with some fresh green peas and rosemary. I can definitely see myself adapting the recipe with a lot of different ingredients, now I’ve discovered how easy it is to make a burger with just a couple of cans of beans. Mr Story has taken the last two buns with a little pile of herb burgers and some fresh coleslaw with him for his lunch today, so we’ll have to make some more buns.
5. Making Stop Frame animation
On Tuesday, it was my first full day of a Stop Frame animation workshop. After having had a quick go at Pick Me Up , I really liked the way animation stretched my brain in a different way to usual, and the physical nature of building and changing and expressing things with plasticine or paper, rather than a line drawn on a page. Seeing the film come together is like magic. I looked about and found a workshop at City Lit – unsurprisingly – City Lit teaches everything! So I signed up to a short workshop course, and it’s great. We made jointed puppets – like the shadow puppets we made at school, and some quick plasticine models, and started getting to grips with the process and technicalities of making animation. The tutor is great – a puppeteer and animator rather than focusing on the technical side, he’s been great at encouraging us to think of the physical nature of how creatures move, and getting pauses and natural rhythms into our films. Next week we’re making a proper puppet, and then a final film.
6. Seeing Wot No Fish
I can’t remember where I first saw Wot No Fish mentioned, but when I did, I knew I had to go. Danny Braverman was handed down papers and bits and pieces of family memorabilia. In that collection, he discovered over 3000 wage packet envelopes that his Great Uncle had illustrated for his wife, Ceilie, from the 1920s until the 1980s – every week of their marriage, from sketched doodles at the beginning and at the beginning of their marriage, to detailed, coloured illustrations, depicting their lives as they grew old and she grew ill. Danny talks through the story, showing illustration after illustration and providing little pieces of family context, as well as highlighting the historical context, as it impacted on the Jewish East End. Mostly though, they’re touching, sweet, funny and frustrated illustrations of a relationship, and the progress of an illustrator, who starts with small sketches and becomes much more complex with his work. After the performance, there was a table of wage packets laid out, and I loved looking at the collection – they’re just brilliant, and a rare record of a marriage and a period in history told so perfectly. It’s on until 19th July at Battersea Art Centre, so if it sounds up your street, there’s still time.