This Week I Have Been Mostly…


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1. Exploring Bermondsey

I didn’t mean to spend so much time recently exploring Bermondsey, but I ended up spending both Saturday and Sunday there, and then today too. It helps that it’s a nice walking distance from home. And then, once I’d spent Saturday there, I loved the streets I found – packed full of cafes, restaurants and shops – full to the brim of independents – parks, small streets, and huge buildings originally built for the shipping industries.

I initially went there to explore the Fashion and Textile Museum and their exhibition on Mexican textiles. I spent an academic year in Mexico during university, and the culture and the people of the place are truly incredible. It was lovely to spend some time re-immersing myself in the culture, the colour, the images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dia de los Muertos and looking at the history of the Mexican Rebozo. It made me reflect, in a way that many others have in much more erudite fashion, on how the culture of Mexico, the sombrero and the traditional dress have been co-opted as comedy fancy dress – fake moustaches and all, and what a shame that is. To look at early 20th century photographs of stern and dignified families in sombreros, in the cati, desert and incredible mountain geography in the background, you really get a sense of the strength of the identity and culture and it made me sad to think that most people would just associate those things with fancy dress.

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For full reveal – I have myself worn a fake moustache of course. In Mexico, in fact on Mexican Independence Day. If it helps at all, we were the only people dressed in Mexican colours, so we looked very strange as two dressed up in red, green and white among crowds of Mexicans, in their jeans and t-shirts…!

Having left the Fashion and Textile Museum, I popped into a little vietnamese cafe to pick up some summer rolls (some of my absolute favourite things to eat), sat on a sunny bench to eat them, and popped into the White Cube for the current Gilbert and George exhibition.

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On the Sunday, we went back for brunch and a visit to the Design Museum. The Designs of 2014 exhibition was really interesting. I loved the conductive paper that allowed you to turn a light switch or initiate a sound by touching a bit of the paper, and planned some amazing wallpaper that could be touched to somehow begin the tea making process, whilst you’re lying in bed. I loved the phone made of easily identifiable block components, easily replaceable, the syringe that indicates when it’s sterile or not through a colour change, the Seaboard silicon piano, precise, pressure sensitive and responsive, among lots of other designs.

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We wandered back home, and came across Maltby Street. I rather regretted my brunch, because there was so much amazing food on display. I can’t wait to go back with a full appetite.

 

2. Making More Animation

This week was my final workshop date for my short Stop Motion Animation course. I loved it so much. I spent the morning capturing frames for my classmate Sam, as he attempted to make his puppet walk across a room, pick up a pen and write something – all extremely difficult things to achieve. I think the tutor had a bit of a difficult time, as a the room full of amateurs asked him about making a ball bounce, something spin in mid-air, water, rain, snow and all manner of things that are an impossibilty, or near enough, in Stop Motion Animation.

In the afternoon, we took my puppet, who I’ve named Patchy, and I animated him. Having learnt from the others and Kevin the tutor, I decided to not have any walking, or in fact, any full body movement and sat him mostly behind a ‘table’ fashioned from sponges and a ruler. I’m looking forward to showing you the final film – it is FULL of flaws I can’t help but see, but I’m pretty pleased with it, having only had an hour and a half to put something together. I’ve given it to Mr Story to put some sound over, to really finish it off.

Until then, I’ve used the #partyparty app and a full three minutes or so to put together this little animation so you can meet Patchy. Say hello! I had to prevent myself from spending a lot longer on that, but there’s only so much you can do at 9.30pm with a phone and a bit of washi tape to try and stop it moving!

 

 

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Clink Museum

4. Enjoying the sun

This morning Mr Story and I made our way to Brockwell Lido for a quick swim, before he left for work. I tried to go last Friday, but the queue was around the building.  I swam a good few lengths. It was lovely to stretch out in the cold water and especially nice to be in the lanes because the open part of the pool is currently full of very people very excited to have finished school. It’s become evident that being very nearly dive-bombed repeatedly is not my most favourite way to start a morning.

After that, I went to met Jen – in Bermondsey of course! – and we drank coffee and chatted while I ate, before going to the slightly bonkers Clink museum. If you’d like to know the various methods of torture used in Tudor prisons, then it’s the place for you! The most interesting bit for me was it’s discussion of the location and it reflected the time and culture of London, with it’s different political and religious inmates.

Having fully experienced that, prison-based photo booth and all, we went and sat next to the Golden Hinde, in the sun and drank a glass of wine, and fantasised about hiring the ship for a party – you can, by the way. You can even get married on it.

5. Getting tingly fingers

I’m doing quite well, considering the length of this blog post, but recently I’ve found using my laptop and even my phone has resulted in numb and tingly fingers, and painful muscles in my wrists and arms. I haven’t yet been diagnosed by a doctor, but I’m pretty sure I have RSI. Has anyone else experienced this? What did you find helped?

I’ve found doing stretches, using ice and swimming today has really helped me out. Mainly I need to change my workspace set up, and that’s hopefully on the cards if we can move in the next few months – cross your fingers for me!

With that in mind, I’m going to be trying to focus on getting out and drawing and developing my new prints and cards out of the house. Most of my wedding clients for this summer have already received their stationery, so I’m going to use this as a chance to give my muscles a break and draw away from the laptop. I’ll also be leaving my phone behind as much as possible – which will be difficult. I am used to using my phone ALL the time. I’m going to need to find an old ipod to listen to podcasts on. I should be less vocal on social media over the next week or two – but I will be checking emails regularly as always! If you see me on Twitter too much, tell me to put the phone down and pick up the pencil. Or tweet me with your RSI advice!

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