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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen was my favourite poet when I was little. Him, followed by Roger McGough. Here's some of his masterpieces.







Monday, 21 December 2009

Rudest dance craze ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lolaq7uQU1E

Apparently this video isn't just some porno dancing, it's actually a real dance craze in Dance halls (in the Caribbean or Jamaica I have been told). Love how people push boundaries with dance in every generation. Maybe this will be how everyone is dancing in a few years? Don't laugh! It could happen! Just think about the outrage caused by flappers, women smoking, mini-dresses, Rock and roll and it's not such a stretch of the imagination. The song sounds shit at first but the video actually makes it really memorable. Hey I'm up for some grinding!

I've attached the link to the original above but I've embedded only the remix as the original was "disabled by request".

Merry Snowing Christmas.

Merry Christmas readers. I am feeling particularly festive because there is a blanket of white outside the office window. Im not sure what the outlook is for Christmas day but this is close enough to count as a white Christmas in my book. It's funny isn't it that the British people spend the run up to Christmas singing about white Christmases and hoping that it will snow every time it's cold and there's a cloud. Yet when it actually does snow at Christmas we are not prepared for it. We moan about the chaos on the roads and the canceling of flights and trains. We like the thought but not the reality. It seems that the only day it is actually allowed to snow is Christmas day itself, or Christmas Eve after dark so that when we wake up on Christmas morning all is white. If the snow comes early or a little late and scuppers our modern world plans we are petulant children.

Tonight I was meant to go over to my Aunty's house for gifts and dinner and the snow has stopped play. But I really can't begrudge it. It's still magic to me.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Alice in Wonderland trailer!!!!!!!!!!!

Can't tell you how excited I am about this film. Especially after seeing the Tim Burton exhibition in New York.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMiCJefpn9Q

A very Gaga Christmas

Digital 2009

Ok so I had a comment by the mysterious "Anonymous" asking me to write more digital posts and directing me to look at Goviral's list of Game Changers 2000-2009. http://www.goviral.com/game_changers
There are some great entries - from a girly point of view Dove is the one that really made a cultural point. But let's look at this year's entries.

1st - Pringles.

http://awardshome.com/cannes2009/pringles/can-hands.html
This is a clever banner. Especially when you consider that it's only one image and text. But the idea that "the more you click the funnier it becomes" I have to disagree with. The more bored you get I'd say. It's "why are you still clicking?" message is a little smug, and reminds me of a bit of graffiti in my primary school playground which said "if you're reading this you are an idiot". But still, it's different and a good use of media.

District 9.

http://www.inskindemo.com/DEMO/sonyd9iroll.html
Maybe I missed what's so great about this. Because I started watching it and then was more interested in the Bruce Willis movie trailer afterwards. Nothing wrong with it though.

Nike.

http://www.nike.com/nikefootball/training/goelite?locale=en__EMEA
Yawn. Maybe it's a boy thing.

Fiat.

http://www.fiat.com/ecodrive/
Sorry couldn't be bothered to download it. But what I did see bored me. Plus I don't like the twee illustration style.

Tourism Queensland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI-rsong4xs
Ok I bow down to this. Probably received the most media coverage out of any ad this year and have also been copied - the highest form of flattery. Brilliant idea with a small budget. Gets my vote.

Drop the weapons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFVkzYDNJqo
Such a simple idea when you think about it. Love this use of Youtube. I'm not sure it will have an effect though. But it involves the user and is engaging. So engaging that people sent it around the office and I tried every eventuality to see what happened. Nice.

My favourite pieces of digital this year are not game changers. They don't break the mould but they are cute, engaging and had me playing on them for about half an hour or more. Maybe I'm just sad. They both use the same approach too - allowing people to personalize their own adverts and send them to their friends. Here they are:

Fox's Biscuits:

http://www.vinniesays.com/
This is so funny. Love the character, love the animation. Loved sending videos to my family. Especially my Fiancé who never makes me tea. And next time you say "biscuits" you'll think of Vinnie. Clever.

The Natural Confectionery Company

http://www.naturalconfectionery.co.uk/fun-stuff.aspx?app=mini-movie-maker
You can direct your own Movie here and make the characters talk about your friends. Cute and simple.

Ok so that was 2009. If you'd like to have your say about the best digital pieces of 2009 please write a comment below.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

What's hot 2010

Bored of 2009? Me too. It was crap. Here's looking forwards to what will be cool in 2010.
(Totally stolen from Adam and Dan's blog http://www.adamanddan.com )

Surrogates

This is an interesting view of the future. The film takes the online world to the conclusion that one day we will live our entire lives remotely, through surrogate humanoid bodies. These bodies would mean that we never had to actually walk the dangerous streets. Considering some people prefer to live their lives through Second Life already, the premise of the film is not as crazy as it sounds. Though surrogates fat cat-piss men could be buff rockstars, dumpy plain women could be sex sirens. Here's the trailer. Reminds me of the Matrix, only more believable and a little less hard to grasp.


Monday, 14 December 2009

Prohibition, Brooklyn and Dead animals

My last two days in NYC.
On the Friday I was so cold I chose to go to a museum. I chose the Natural History Museum. What a sack of old fashioned out dated shit. The museum is mostly full of dead stuffed animals. In the days when nature programs weren't available I can see the point of museums like this. How amazing it must have been 100 years ago to come face to face with a tiger, a bear or a squid. Now though? David Attenborough can teach you more and in a much more engaging way in half an hour. I paid extra to go to the planetarium. Admittedly I enjoyed that. Partly because it was pretty, partly because it was warm comfy and dark and I fell asleep. So about 3pm I made an early retreat and made my way back on the subway (every time I think I'm getting the hang of it it pulls another trick out of the bag, like missing out stops) to the flat.

Was feeling kinda reclusive (a week by yourself has that effect) so when Fiance called to tell me to meet up with him I refused unless he came to pick me up. He was out with the Finance boys in Stone street and when we got to the Stone Street Tavern I was faced by drunk city boys downing shots and talking about playboy. Great. In the end I managed to get us out of there and we went to a Mexican restaurant called Rosa Mexicana http://www.rosamexicano.com/ where they make the most amazing guacamole on the table in front of you. In the center was a wall with water flowing down it and lots of tiny toy figures in diving positions on.

Saturday. Was nice to have Fiance to explore with. We had a lazy start and then walked all the way to the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping for lunch in a Pier. The guide books were right. There is a great view from the bridge of both New York and Brooklyn. Once we found a nice area of Brooklyn filled with cute shops, and brownstone houses I started feeling more at home than I have at any other time in New York. A place I could live in.

In the evening we met up with NYC BF and her husband (Fiancé's boss) for a drink in the The Two Crowns. We quickly moved on to a little Japanese Restaurant where we tried soft shell crab (ok), tofu, Ox Tongue (I refused), saki, Katsu curry etc. Very nice. Afterwards we went to a bar down an alley and entered a fab decadent-decrepid bar called "The Backroom". We drank cocktails from teacups and pints from mugs prohibition stylee and sat on red velvet sofas by the fire while dimly lit naked women stared down at us from the walls. Loved it.

And then it was time to go home and pack and say goodbye to New York. For now.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Finding my heart (and Tim Burton's) at the MoMA

Thursday I'd lost that loving feeling for NYC. The wind was so cold it felt like it was driving icicles into my flesh. So I headed into town to the Museum of Modern Art where I knew I would be out of the cold. The special exhibition was Tim Burton. His sketches right back to when he was at school were on display. one looked amazingly like Helena Bonham Carter. I think he found a wife that looked like his drawings - all heart shaped faces and crazy hair. Tim Burton seems to have always been gothic in his imaginings. He imagines monsters and macarbre characters like blue babies with nails in their eyes, draculas and corpses and dragons and characatures of bankers with hugely swollen bellies and ridiculously skinny legs. His way of drawing is gorgeous characterful - always the long spindly bits and the shadows under eyes and plenty of mournful looking faces. In the exhibition you could also see models from films like the Corps Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas. There was the cloak of the headless horseman from Sleepy Hollow, Edward Sissorhand's outfit, Sweeney Todd's barber blades and more.Tim Burton says that he was lucky enough to have a teacher who didn't tell him how to draw but more let him explore his own style and his own strength. This certainly shows in his work which is highly original in style and subject. his is an imagination that has never been checked. I wish my teachers had been this visionary. When I was small I drew small, never taking up the whole page. That was drummed out of me. Should it have been?

Other parts of the MoMA were just as inspirational. Art as free, modern, experimental. I even saw collages like the one that I did when I was 15 and hung in the guest room until one day I decided it was probably rubbish and took it down. How lovely that the MoMa makes you feel like you could make art, that there is room for your imagination there too. Everyone's art is worth something. That's what I came out thinking. If you want to see some of Tim Burton's work follow the link below.

http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/timburton/

In the evening I met up with the Finance boys and my NY BF (who I have missed) and we went to a ridiculously expensive steak restaurant called Wolfgang's Steak Place http://wolfgangssteakhouse.com/ . When the Steak came it was as if they had put a whole cow on the table and it was beautifully cooked too. The evening was lovely apart from when Fiance's boss decided to call me a chav and said he could imagine me wearing a pink tracksuit with a sparkly thong. I decided to get my own back by telling his wife (NY BF) that her husband was imagining me in a thong. HA! Don't mess with me Boss boy or I'll mess with your marriage.

Afterwards we went to a bar in a garage called Smith and Mills. It really was! It was very cute and the toilet had a fold up sink! Never seen that before. In honour of a real NYC night I ordered a Manhattan. It was very strong.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Shopping fatigue in NYC

Wednesday. I hung around the financial district in the morning. US TV is amazing. So many films on. I caught most of 'Bright Young Things' based on the novel Scoop by Evelyn Waugh I think. Love that book. I love Evelyn Waugh. Anyway met Fiance in a bar for a burger then got the subway. It was my first attempt and I messed it up a little but in the end managed to get on the right train. Went to Victoria's Secret and to H&M and bought three jumpers. Then I went to Macys, the biggest department store in the world. It was frightening. So many designer handbags heaped up unceremoniously, people swarming, price tags sky high. I had a mini melt down and left.

Fed up of shopping and spending tonnes of money I decided that since I was so close I should go up the Empire States Building instead. I walked around in circles and finally found it where I had started. Inside it was as grand as outdside, clad in marble with shiny rainbow tiled floors that glistened. By now it was dark outside and, on the 86th floor, the city lay like a sparkling black and yellow map below. On one side of the building it was so windy that I was scared to stand there despite the protecting rails. My camera has no wrist cord so if I dropped it it would have been curtains.

I met Fiance at about 8 and we headed to Soho to the most famous pizza place in New York - Lombardi's. Apparently this was the first pizzaria in Manhattan. And it didn't disappoint. This place has no pretentions. The plates and glasses are plastic and the the table clothes shiny, and there's only one toilet. But the pizzas were huge, fresh tasting and yummy. Not a bad price for dinner either.

Oh and I didn't get my hair done. I'm meant to do it today but I just feel too guilty. I hate all this spending money. Maybe I'll wait until my roots are most of my hair. Should be a few weeks at least.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Lady Liberty and Carrie Bradshaw

My first two days on my own in New York City were quite a success. On Monday I headed down a block to get a ferry ticket to liberty Island where I met Lady Liberty herself. As I was on my own I rented the audio guide. I learnt she is made from Copper and is hollow. She had iron bars supporting her structure inside which due to corrosion had to be replaced by stainless steel. I also and more importantly leant that she was actually a gift from the French and was created by the man who designed the Eiffel Tower. Wow. What a guy. That's what I really call making your mark on the world. The Statue of Liberty faces away from New York, she is looking towards France. She was a representation of the freedom that France - with their failed revolution was missing out on. She was a political statement at the time and still is of course, although she is more a symbol of immigration and hope nowadays. And she is beautiful. Up close that's what struck me - her beauty and power.

The next stop was Ellis island where they used to process immigrants coming to the USA. The museum there is the building where people were registered, given medical examinations and sometimes mental examinations and often had to be detained for such purposes before, hopefully, enterring the USA. The building itself was fascinating and a little eerie. I was walking around by myself so I could really appreciate how frightening it must have been. There was a map where you could type in any nationality and it would show you how many people in every state in America were claiming that heritage. I put in 'Welsh' and found that most us Welshies are in California and in the North East.

In the evening Fiance arrived home and we went to Pastis in the Meatpacking district. I wanted to go because the characters in Sex and the City seem to love it there. The atmosphere was certainly very charming, but the food wasn't totally amazing.

The next day (Tuesday) I headed down the road to Century 21 - a discount designer department store. If you have lots of money to spend and an eye for picking out amazing pieces through the junk, this is your place. I don't really have either. I almost bought a fox fur pair of earmuffs but then I felt too guilty. I love fur but I don't want to be the reason little foxes die. One day they will invent a fake fur that is as good as real fur. And I will be first in line. One thing I have learnt about New York is that they are fur mad. I don't know why this surprises me really. Especially when you look at the history of colonialism. When people from Europe first settled in America they used furs as a kind of currency, trading them with the native Americans in exchange for things like metal pots and pans and jewellery. Plus it is so cold here in winter that the choice seems to be puffer jacket or fur (or puffer jacket with a fur hood which seems to be popular). Anyways I left century 21 with the opinion that not all that's designer is actually nice. In fact most was horrid.

In the afternoon I decided to walk in Carrie Bradshaw's shoes and visit her appartment in the West Village. At 62 Perry Street I found a sign which said 'No trespassing' and 'Taking a photo, now make a donation' (the people who actually live at carrie's address are grumpy). It was a lovely little street and right at the end is Marc Jacobs. Around the corner I found the Magnolia Bakery where Carrie and Samantha eat cupcakes. The area is a designer mecca and when I went into Coach the sales assistant told me that Sarah Jessica Parker had been in a few weeks previously and bought half the shop. I also stumbled upon Sushi Samba where Carrie has dinner so I booked a table.

Later, afetr un unfortunate incident with a bad manicure from a right bitch and sheltering in an Irish-looking pub because it looked comforting, Fiance joined me for dinner in Sushi Samba. We have a new cost saving policy of skipping starters and drinking only tap water which made the meal very reasonable. We had chicken teryaki with purple mash and two plates of sushi rolls - green Envy and Samba 7. Everything was delicious. I totally recommend it.

Today (Wed) Fiance is paying for me to get my hair done. Am starting to feel like a footballer's wife with no friends and no cash. Must remember I have a life. I am Adgirl, not Coleen wife of Wayne Rooney. Get a grip girl.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Greetings from NYC

Helllooooo! I'm sitting in my temporary New York appartment with a walk in wardrobe feeling a bit like Carrie Bradshaw. There are of course differences I admit. Carrie was in a cuter place in a cooler part of town. I am in the business district (Battery Place) and I am writing on a PC not a Apple. Carrie also had a lot more shoes and designer dresses and longer hair. But I am edging my way towards Carrie.

I arrived Friday night and on Saturday morning was up bright and early to go to a private fashion sale with my new NYC BF for employees and friends of GILT. Check it out it's an awesome fashion website. I spent $160 and for that I got a black velvet Alexander McQueen Evening dress, a light denim pair of 7 jeans, an Alexander McQueen butterfly printed top, a Zac Posen polo shirt, a leather bag by Bcbgmaxazria, a cashmere Alexander McQueen polo shirt, a Vivienne Tam top and a blouse by Plenty Tracy Reese. Not a bad haul. New BF got a pair of Acne jeans, a vera Wang floaty cardigan (even the girl on the till was jealous of that one) and a really cute orange cardie as well as a long white t-shirt.

Afterwards my new BF and I went and met the finance boys at a Mexican Restaurant in Brooklyn called "Lobo's". Then we went to a bar called "Floyds" http://floydny.com/ where they were playing lawn boules in doors. It's a french thing apparently. Later we headed into town and went to Macao http://www.macaonyc.com/ and ate tapas.

Sunday morning we met up with our NY BFs again this time to go to China town for Dim Sum. I never knew this before but apparently Dim Sum is a breakfast thing. We went to the Oriental Garden which (according to our locals) is the best place for Dim Sum in Chinatown. Then Fiance and I got a cab up to Times Square where we went in the disgustingly merchandised M&Ms store. Who buys this stuff? Seriously WHO? We then walked up 5th Avenue to Central Park. There was a woman walking her cat there who wanted money for pot. Love how open these people are. At that point I noticed an amazing store called Bergdorf Goodman and we had a moment pretending to be Michael Jackson (in this game he is alive and not bankrupt) pointing out all the ridiculously expensive things we would buy if we were that rich (most of the store). I then decided to try on engagement rings and unfortunately fell in love with an antique Cartier ring from the 50's and a antique ring from the 20's. Unfortunately the price tag was £22,000. A girl can dream.

We wandered around looking at the Christmas displays in Macys and Saks and kissed in Grand Central Station then got a cab to Lower East Side and went to a lovely restaurant called Pink Pony. I ate West African Spiced chicken and it was divine. It was also nice to get out of the cold. New York is freezing at this time of year. So much colder than I dreamt it would be. Everyone in New York seems to own a puffer jacket with a fur hood. From pouring my scorn on such attire I now look at these puffy figures with jealousy. They look warm.

Today I have to navigate the city by my self. I have no bloody idea what to do or where to go and I am even scared of hailing a cab by myself. That's why I am sitting here writing my blog instead of getting out there. Ok right I'm going. Think Carrie.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Bubblewrap man

Love popping Bubble-wrap? Yeh me too. Good times.

Anyway Giff Gaff have a new campaign (by Albion) where members of the public can hire out free "tools" in oder to receive a free sim card. These tool are weird - including Captain Stress Relief - a man encased in bubble wrap. Have a look at the things you can hire below.



And here is Captain Bubble Wrap in action.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Save a Turkey called Beyoncé's life!




The Christmas Farm can only save one turkey this Christmas. So I say please save Beyoncé. She has been picked on by other turkeys her whole life. She's only little and she's one hell of a mover. She can really shake her tail feathers. So please please join team Beyoncé and save her life. To make your vote count go to the website and follow her on twitter, become a friend on facebook and even add her on Linkedin. Every way that you connect with her helps to save her life.

Do it for a sweet little turkey that's getting bullied by nasty big Brad Turkey.

http://www.turkeyoff.com

Off to the Big Apple

Tomorrow I am getting on a jet plane and flying to JFK Airport. Because of the time difference I weirdly get there almost as soon as I get on the plane. I'm going to visit my Fiancé who is working out there for a month. It will be so great to see him and I'm really excited about finally going to New York. I've always wanted to go at Christmas time so it's perfect.

I am also going to an exclusive fashion sale with the wife of one of Fiancé's work colleague. It's very exciting but very scary too. She sent me an email with her battle plan for the event. Here it is.

"It’s crazy there and people are ruthless! People got heard…seriously! Game plan:

· Wear comfy shoes

· Wear something appropriate so you can try jeans on…lots of jeans Acne, Seven, Rock & Republic, Rich & Skinny, J Brand, etc… (no changing rooms so people just try things on right in front of you)…I’m thinking leggings and a long top?

· The door opens at 11am but I think we should get there at 10 – last time I got there at 10:30 the line was very long!!

· Bring water

· I’m bringing a shopping bag but I will bring an extra one to put the stuff in while we shop"


I'm imagining it will be like that episode of friends when they go to the sale and Monica gives everyone whistles!
Anyway I will have pretty much a whole week to amuse myself in NYC while Fiancé works. So any tips or places to go would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Beautiful new song



http://pitchfork.com/tv/#/musicvideo/3915-fever-ray-keep-the-streets-empty-mute

New song by Fever Ray: Keep the Streets Empty for Me.
A gentle, haunting soft sound. Loving this song sent to me by my friend Stephen Moynihan.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

What's the spirit this Christmas?

Happy 1st of December. How are you feeling? Are you filled with Christmas cheer? Are you suffering with pre-Christmas money woes? Are you getting all religious over there?

Well the clever people at Twenty Six have built a application that analyses tweets to find out what the meaning of Christmas 2009 is - Christmas Spirit, Commercialism, Credit Crunch or Religion.

Check out what the prevailing spirit is here: http://www.christmastweets.co.uk/

Friday, 27 November 2009

Antique jewellery Porn

I still have no engagement ring. Why? Because I am tempted not to get a diamond at all. Crazy mad I know. What girl would turn down a diamond? After all as Shirley says diamonds are forever, they won't leave in the night, have no fear that they might... No it's just that this is probably my only chance to get my hands on one of the gorgeous rings from the Tadema Gallery. This little shop in Camden has the most beautiful rings I have ever seen. Many of them featuring opals which seem so much more interesting than diamonds. Ok they don't wear well. They need nurturing and caring for - but isn't that a wonderful analogy for marriage. Care for your marriage as you care for your opal?

Here are some of the rings that make me go weak at the knees.





Wednesday, 25 November 2009

World Air Traffic over a 24 hour period



Isn't this cool? And at the same time, kinda worrying when you think about how much greenhouse gasses are being produced. I've just been all the way to the Maldives so despite the fact that I don't own a car, I often walk to work, I don't ever turn on the heating in my flat and I try to turn off lights if I go out of a room, my carbon footprint is probably still huge.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Golden Age of Video

Here's something non-soppy, non-love-life related for those who like brilliant video mash-ups. Very clever mixing. Love it.


I'm Engaged!

I haven't been blogging for a while because I was on holiday in the Maldives with my boyfriend. And while we were there, we got engaged! I am now a fiancé!

For all those who like a nice romantic story here's how it went.

A week before we went I was being a sneaky girlfriend and snooping at boyfriend's phone. Foolishly. I read one message and it said "I'm planning to propose to her on Wednesday in the Maldives. Of course, she doesn't suspect a thing". Ironic huh? I spent the next week trying in vain to forget what I had read, to try and fool my brain into thinking it was a dream. Needless to say, I failed. I woke up every morning thinking "I'm getting engaged. No I'm not. Shut up, you're ruining it!" (I talk to myself in my head like that).

Anyway we arrived in the Maldives and it was hurricane weather. Rainy, windy, cold. It was forecast for the rest of the week. I was in a foul mood. And as we sat in the shelter of a bar I told boyfriend that I knew. He went a bit mental poor thing. Anyway. I told him that if he thought it would be perfect despite the weather and the fact I knew, to go ahead.

It came to Wednesday, nothing happened. I got depressed. In the end I drank a few pints in the cheesy holiday club and danced to Billie jean until I cheered up. The end I thought.

On Saturday it was our 3 year anniversary. The weather was a little cloudy but warm and not windy. We had a spa treatment booked and before it boyfriend told me not to go in our room because he was making it look nice for me after the treatment. After a wonderful massage we walked out onto the pier where the posh water bungalow rooms are to see the sun setting. Then he got out a key! He had switched our rooms and we were staying in a luxury bungalow on the water!

Inside he had flowers and champagne and a gift. A watch. I was a little puzzled and thought it was just an anniversary gift. But he told me to look closer and there, engraved on the back was "Will you Marry Me?" and the date ( Wednesday's date which was why he was so gutted). I said yes and jumped around the room and called my Dad. He was was very happy and cracked open a bottle of red. Then we went for a meal on a private beach with lanterns and flowers and a private chef (oh and, at one point a cockroach but luckily we got rid of him quickly). It was gorgeous. And I feel very lucky.

Best wishes to you all.
xxxx

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

When Creativity goes too right

A friend of mine created an application. He did it while watching TV. It was funny. He made it available on the web. It went viral. His company tried to take credit. Look what our boy XXX has made. It succeeded. It reached 120,000 visits. Some people tried the application over 600 times in one visit. The company thought they were on to a good thing. Then there was a complaint. On a political website. They website told its readers my friend's name. But strangely they misread his name and thought he was a girl. They looked at the company's website and found one girl. It must be her. They posted up a picture of her. They told their violent readers where they could find her, they encouraged them to find her. Now she is shitting herself. So is my friend. The police called the company. I don't know what they said.

I was going to write a blog celebrating this viral. But now I can't even mention it. So I guess this is a lesson. Say what you want, push things creatively, stretch the boundaries, but always be aware of where it could take you and be ready for the consequences.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Happy Things

This week and the end of last week has been super stressful and lots of horrible things have happened. So I am gonna write about the things that have cheered me up.

1) UP - by Disney Pixar My favourite line of the film was the little dog "I was hiding under your porch because I love you". Brilliant. Although the first 15 mins had me sobbing so loud the whole row at the cinema could hear me. I'm not good with moments like that. I also think its nice to give old people a starring role in a film. I think it promotes respect. I give "Up" a 10 out of 10. I loved it. especially great in 3D at the Imax.

2) My wonderful Dad who is coming down to London to sort out my life and buy me Christmas Pressies from Spitalfields Market this weekend. Ohhhh could I be more excited?

3) I am going to the Maldives in November and even getting a sea plane! I would have been happy in the speed boat but boyfriend is paying.

4) X Factor. Could John and Edward have been funnier on Saturday night? No. They are TV Gold. Their take of Britney Spears's "Oops I did it again" was awful and wonderful in the same breath. Clad in red PVC suits they even did the camp exchange about the necklace in Titanic. Watching them is like watching the teachers in my school in Wales do the Christmas panto. As one of the X Factor judges said; "It's not right but it's ok". They can't sing, they can't dance. They look like they have forgotten the moves most of the time, either that or they just have no rhythm and timing issues. But boy were they the highlight of my Saturday. I enjoyed them even more than my Lamb Rogan Josh and Keema nan.

Unfortunately all the videos on youtube have embedding disabled (wonder why) but here's the link if you want to experience the terrible brilliance of these boys:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KERNNdgzRhQ

Monday, 19 October 2009

The Fun Theory

More from the people who brought you the piano staircase.
Here is the website http://thefuntheory.com/
And here is the arcade bottle bank:

Thursday, 15 October 2009

My Hero. Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland is quite simply a legend in Advertising. Here is his speech at TED on his favourite topic - creating additional worth through merely changing people's perceptions of things. I met him when I was a student and he gave a similar talk about advertising's ability to make people happier. Just use it to make people feel like they have got something good. One of his examples was the NHS. Rory pointed out that the NHS was a great institution, a great thing that suffered from a lack of positive branding and marketing. It is more a problem with perception than reality he said.

Now the British love moaning about the NHS. But as soon as America starts slagging it off then suddenly there are twitter groups and facebook groups springing up all over the place with "We love the NHS" on it. If this was a marking ploy it couldn't have been better. It compares quite well to Rory's example of the spread of the potato.

Even if you're not interested in advertising, Rory is a brilliant talker and thinker and funny to boot. Go on watch it.


Monday, 12 October 2009

A star is born (13 years ago)

3 big performances this weekend on Saturday night TV and, in the spirit of Strictly Come Dancing, I will score them out of 10:

On X Factor:
The return of Robbie Williams (dodgy vocals but entertaining as ever, nice suit too) "6"
Bad Boys by X Factor winner Alexandra Burke (brilliant stage show, great singing but use of backing track singing) "8"
On Strictly Come Dancing:
Little 13 year old Dionne Bromfield supported by a modest Amy Winehouse (effortless singing, cute song, no backing track, simple production) "10"

What a surprise is little Dionne. You go girl!


Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Get your popcorn out for The Battle of Milkquarious



The latest from the Got Milk team is an epic advert in the form of a Rock Opera. Inspired by the likes of The Rocky Horror Show and Tommy it follows White Gold the Rock God as he tries to beat an evil villain who has stolen the city's Milk supplies and his girlfriend Strawberry.
I bow down to the creatives at Goodby Silverstein & Partners who made this. Brilliant writing and direction. It is 20 minutes long and well worth it. It's zany, weird, funny and milkilicious.

Watch the film for yourself at http://milkquarious.com/#/home

Piano staircase

A totally lovely idea from Volkswagen. To encourage people to take the staircase instead of the escalator, Volkswagen converted a set of steps at the Odenplan subway station in Stockholm into working piano keys. It's part of their "Theory of Fun" campaign which showcases efforts to get people to change by simply making things more fun. What a clever, cheerful idea. More please. I want them everywhere!

Monday, 5 October 2009

Winter is here

Rubbish!
Dark evenings. Dark mornings. Lack of vitamin D. Shivering.

Well cheer up coz I have some great songs that I stumbled across on Spotify (and some classics) for you to enjoy. It's like me giving you a mix tape! Ahhh those were the days...

Special shout out to The Storys who hail from my home town and played in the little cafe down my road. Oh my god I fell totally in love with the lead singer. Sexy Welsh disheveled man.

winter songs: http://open.spotify.com/user/welshaims/playlist/3fPmYgf97XX81ZHBwJFrLt

If you want to share a track of your own add it to the winter playlist. Lets help cheer each other up! (Thanks To ejane of "Blogblog du jane jane" fame for adding one already.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Couldn't resist: The Apprentice

I know this is isn't remotely relevant to anything at the moment but its just SO FUNNY and it just popped into my head. Saw it last year when the Apprentice was on. I have never laughed so much at any YouTube video. So for anyone who's a fan, here is Cassetteboy vs The Bloody Apprentice.

It's a fool's game

This little video has done the rounds in my office. It brings to mind a particular client who used to ask her friends, family and dog what they thought of the designs for the packaging we created for her. Admittedly the dog may have had good taste because eventually the packaging won an award. But that is no excuse. Clients! Listen to the experts. Don't attempt to write your own copy, or do your own design. And don't let someone you know have a say just because they chose nice curtains for your living room. There's a reason you do your job, and there's a reason we do ours.



Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Sober? Then piss in a straight line!



Brilliant Romanian anti-drinking and driving advert by Mercury 360. These ads were placed in the busiest mens' rooms in Bucharest. My only comment is that surely men can never piss straight. Otherwise they must be peeing all over the seat and floor on purpose! Men! Is that true? Or are all the men I know pissed all the time? Well, in any case Romanian Police say that most of you are unfit to drive.

Big up to Copyranter for finding this ad.

Illustrator extraordinaire

Recently I have been referencing the work of Serge Seidlitz a hell of a lot. It's weird, funny and colourful and deserves a post on my blog. Wow. Bet that's the highest accolade he's ever got, he's gonna be doing little leaps of joy and thanking his mother! (not)
Anyway here is a video of his brilliantly strange bumpers for MTV.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Truly awful stuff from Microsoft

This week my office have been marveling at the truly awful attempts that Microsoft have made in the past to launch versions of windows. I actually wanted to throw up when I saw the first one. Preferably on all the actors pretending to be normal people holding a fun party. Actually, if I could find the client (I'm guessing that is where an idea like this would come from) who came up with this pile of shit, I would be better throwing up all over them instead. So where are ya? I'm ready. I've been feeling dizzy all week!

Here's the first. Don't cha wish you were having a Windows 7 Party?



Here's the second. This one's for Windows 386. Ok this one is even more mind baffling. Maybe it is such genius that I just am not getting it. Maybe it's a brilliant spoof. I want to believe this is true. Please, someone tell me it's true! Half way through it turns into a rap video. By the world's worst rapper.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Taking the rough with the rough.

Some times it feels like nothing is going right. Now is one of those times. My family are mental. Not in a good way. I try to sort them out and end up being the one everyone is having a go at. Work is stressful and busy and there's not enough resource for me to get involved in the really fun bits that make it all worth while. I've missed out on two shoots in a row. The clients keep coming back with never ending changes and, when I'm not looking, account management decide to write copy themselves. The opticians messed up my weekend appointment. My phone isn't working properly. I owe the bank £300. A test has come back from the doctors saying I have to go for a hospital examination. Today I cut my hand open with a bread knife. And to top it all off my favourite program, 'Strictly Come Dancing', have replaced judge Arlene Phillips with Alesha Dixon. Life is generally shit.

So now, in posts like this, I have to come up with a life lesson, a pithy maxim that makes sense of all this. Hmmmm. I'm totally lacking inspiration. If anyone can think of one please send me a message. It's nice to have some words of wisdom from kind strangers sometimes.

Well, until i can think of something better I am going to pick myself up and enjoy the small things. Left-over home cooked stew. A bath and a book. Maybe an episode of Eastenders (at least my life is better than theirs).

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Marmite, I love it!

Of all the ad campaigns out there I have two favourites. Honda's "hate something, change something" and Marmite's "You either love it or you hate it". I think both campaigns are brave, truthful and deeply creative. Honda's admit that they weren't happy with their engines, that there are still problems with cars to be solved. Marmite admits that they will always be hated by some people. But they embrace it. So brave. I am always trying to get brands to do a Marmite. Come on, admit your faults! It makes people trust you. It makes them admire your honesty and when you do tell them that something is great, people will actually believe you. I have enjoyed all the Marmite ads since the campaign started. But Paddington bear was my favourite:







Now the campaign has continued on to promoting marmite to mums and kids with children's story telling. Horrid Henry and Perfect Peter sabotage grown up adverts. The tag line is ‘The growing up spread you never grow out of’. Here is their website:
http://www.marmite.co.uk/

Monday, 14 September 2009

Taylor Swift v Kanye

I really shouldn't be blogging right now as I am so stacked at work but caught a look at a clip of the MTV music awards and say Kanye West ruining poor Taylor Swift's moment. How rude. How disrespectful. How childish. What a dick head. I think three things have come out of the incident:

1) People will realize Kanye West is a nob.
2) Beyonce is a truly lovely person for giving her spot in the limelight to Taylor.
3) It makes me like Taylor Swift even more for not retaliating. How sweet and sad did she look?

Here is a link to the video on the Guardian website:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/video/2009/sep/14/kanye-west-taylor-swift-mtv

And if you're feeling lazy here are the clip on youtube:



Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Blog ideas.

I have a number of ideas for my blog. I want it to become more organized with features like a magazine. Some of my ideas include:

1) Clever people I know - showcasing all the things that people I know have made or done. Illustrators, car designers, painters, photographers, journalists, home-builders, song writers, jewelry makers, blog writers, creatives. There's a lot of talent among my work, friendship and family groups.

2) Guest spot by Mental Aunty. I need to work on her this weekend. She's almost up for it.

3) Song of the week. Since discovering Spotify I have discovered a load of lovely songs and ones that make me smile too. They might be old hat to music junkies but you never know.

4) List of the week. My list of uncool went down very well and list writing is one of my secret uncool hobbies.

5) What I did next - I want to start drawing more. When I was little I drew for hours every day. In fact I thought watching TV was boring if I couldn't draw at the same time. I am very rusty now. Life is hectic! So every week if I know I have to post something I have drawn it will be an incentive. Please be kind. Don't slate my work too much!

I am not sure I will implement these plans and when there is a pitch on they will def fall by the wayside. But I'm a creative aren't I. Full of grand ideas, which generally don't go anywhere.

My friend Michael Harvey has won an award

Hooray! Isn't it totally lovely when lovely people win awards? I worked with Michael Harvey on a portrait project for an ad campaign way back last year. At the end of the shoot he was so enthused by the whole thing that he insisted on shooting my creative partner and I too. His wonderful assistant photographer Emma kindly retouched our faces, and now our portraits are in our office's glass cabinet, wowing everyone with our freakishly perfect mole-less complexions.

Last time I saw Emma she was trying to convince me to pose nude. I would have but I needed to go to the gym for a month first so in the end I declined.

Here is some of Michael's work. You can see more at www.michaelharveyphoto.com






And here are Michael and Emma in action on the AXA shoot:

Dorian Gray: the premiere

After blogging about my excitement about the release of the new adaptation of Dorian Gray for the cinema screens my friend Lisa invited me to go to the premiere with her! It was last Wednesday in Leicester Square's Odeon (think it was wednesday?). I got very excited thinking that I might be able to meet Colin Firth. Then he might fall in love with me. Of course I would have to turn him down because my heart belongs to another (my boyfriend reads this blog). Anyway no such luck. We did however get a special premiere ticket and a booklet of film information. The film wasn't introduced by the director but by a lady who warned us that cameras were watching us and if we tried any funny business then we would be shot in the eyeballs with a semi automatic shotgun. Well almost.

The film was more like a BBC production. I think it would have made a very good two part drama. As a film however I thought it was somewhat lacking. Dorian could have been far more shocking. Far more evil and his sexual perversions far more wicked. He just looked like a randy bugger most of the time. The unveiling of the portrait, the moment of horror, was also slightly disappointing for an audience hardened to Hollywood horror. Saying that both Lisa and I couldn't look at certain points and they did build up to a good finale. The acting was good. I particularly liked Colin Firth (surprise surprise) as Harry. Ben Barnes did a good job of Dorian and the supporting cast worked well. We did (being shallow girls) note that none of the women Dorian seduced were particularly pretty. You'd think he'd have pulled a real fitty at least once wouldn't you.

All in all I'd give it an 8 out of 10. An extra point for being a British film with home grown talent.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Poodles in disguise

Dun dun dun da dum
Dun dun dun da dum
Poodles in disguise
Dun dun dun da dum
Dun dun dun da dum
Poodles in disguise.

Animal photographer Ren Netherland, from Florida clips and colours poodles to look like other animals, and even people!
Enjoy. They made me giggle.








Friday, 21 August 2009

My augmented reality wish granted?

If you read my earlier post on Augmented reality you'd have seen that I wanted a augmented reality Top Shop. Here is an application that goes some way towards making it a reality.

Lewis Hamilton as a taxi driver

Dare and Ignite have created a clever campaign to promote Vodaphone's sponsorship of Formula One - a racing game featuring ten real-life cabbies competing in five UK cities that allows players to track their performance via real-time mapping and Twitter updates.
Online activity included a viral film featuring Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen with a cameo by actor Shaun Williamson (aka Barry from Eastenders). Here it is



I think the viral goes on a bit. But I suppose if you've paid for Lewis Hamilton then you're gonna drag it out. The idea of Lewis as a taxi driver is a good one and Barry from Eastenders obviously missed his vocation in life as a taxi operator. But I wonder if they could have made the race funnier? Laying traps for each other? tricking each other? I think there was more scope.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Chanel Haute Couture Porn

I can never hope to own any Haute Couture but it is so wonderful and gorgeous you can just look at it like a work of art in a gallery. So here is a selection of my favorite pictures from Karl Lagerfeld's Fall 2009/2010 show. The show was held at dusk in the Grand Palais. Chanel have done a series of amazing sets for their shows and this one does not disappoint with giant white Chanel No.5 bottles. The plain white was needed because the show is so colourful and detailed and there is so much to see that you'd probably get a headache if it was any other colour.



Key points of the collection were: lace (esp. lacy tights), sequins, embroidery, netted hats and strange gloves.

Half vail/ half flower pot hats.



Chanel wouldn't be Chanel if there wasn't some delicious suit action. This collection saw tails, cut away jackets and asymmetrical hems.



'What happened to half your glove?' Gloves.



Lovely details and lots of circular patterns.



Tanning is out people! (Amy Winehouse eyes - in!)



Rapunzel Ponytails and long earrings.



Here comes the wedding couple. Not sure why she's so pissed off (wrong man maybe - he does look like a tosser).



And here's some more highlights. I want all of them.







Thanks to "If it's Hip it's here" for the pictures. Visit the blog for more pictures and a more serious fashion view of the collection.
http://ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com/2009/08/chanel-fall-0910-haute-couture.html

So sweet it made me a bit teary

Guardian photographer Christian Sinibaldi spent time with the people who use Age Concern's Camden headquarters. Here are some pictures from his exhibition, "I can see into your eyes". You can catch it at the Guardian's Kings Cross offices until 4th Set. Follow the link to see a slide show of the pictures of the people he met and what their ideas of real glamour are. It's heart warming stuff. It makes me tear up. But I am a sap.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/audioslideshow/2009/aug/18/christian-sinibaldi-age-concern-exhibition


Friday, 14 August 2009

Hot guys take their shirts off

Hooked by the title? Well take a look at this new piece of advertising by Addidas.
You simply pick which men you want to strip for you and they do it. What's not to like? Well I suppose there's lots to not like if you're a bloke and get jealous easily. I always like to see advertising for sports brands aimed at women. And Gay men, lets not forget them too.



http://www.adidas.com/campaigns/campaigns_nz/content/index.asp

Oscar Wilde's Dorian Grey

Now here is a film I am very excited about. Not only does it look gorgeous and feature one of my favourite actors - the heart tremblingly sexy-cute Colin Firth (aka Mr Darcy), it is also, and more importantly, one of the brilliant works of Oscar Wilde. I adore Oscar Wilde and have done since our glorious reading week in the first year of my English course. The task was to read his entire works and I almost managed it. Granted I may have skimmed some of his verses but hey. A girl needs booze as well as literary delights. And just in case Colin Firth doesn't rock your world Ben Barnes is pretty cute as Dorian too.

Anyway here is the teaser trailer for you to enjoy. Like me.

Dorian Gray Official UK Trailer from Momentum Digital on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

New Moon

Ok I know there are a lot of Twilight fans out there. So here's the trailer for the new film. I have no idea what really happens in this film because I have not read the book. I have seen the film of Twilight and enjoyed it. My boyfriend groaned (not in a good way) all the way through, "Oh look there's another shot of Edward looking moody". "Oh yeh there he is looking pretty again". "Oh look there's Bella looking tortured". I, myself, was enjoying looking at Robert Pattinson doing his model contract acting so I took no notice. He's just so pretty, and there's something Mr Darcy-ish about the way he looks at Bella. I didn't give a hoot if the characterization is flawed.

When I read the book however there was no Robert Pattinson to look at and the flaws were more evident. The writer is not the most gifted at capturing characters movements. She uses the word "smirked" a lot to describe Edward which makes him a little irritating, something I don't know if she really intended. Bella tends to get unreasonably angry very quickly, like Edward which seems, again like poor characterization. But the love story is compelling enough to allow you to gloss over the imperfections and enjoy anyway. So, despite my reservations, I will be renting this film. I will wait until boyfriend is out and call up the girlies for a perving over Edward session.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Sleepless at Playground.

A really successful and cheap initiative to raise awareness and drive online sales for Playground, a hiking and camping equipment company.

Go Harriet

I thought I'd post a link to this little article in the guardian about Harriet Harmon's comment that men are to blame for the economic crisis. It makes me smile to see this woman standing up and slapping those men down. Ha! Well done girl. Long may she remain in government (or until Brown gets kicked out).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/aug/04/harriet-harman-women-power

Monday, 3 August 2009

Renault Rabbits



Publicis have created a really cute website for Renault where Rabbit scientists test the car and show off it's attributes.
I am a sucker for cute ads, especially ones involving animals (or cartoon renderings). It's in French but you still get the idea.

Check out the website here:
http://www.renault.fr/scenic-lapins-cretins/

Fantastic Mr Fox

One of my favourite Roald Dahl books is being brought to the big screen by Wes Andersen and Noah Baumbach.It will be hitting screens in London in October (the US in Nov). Have a look at the trailer and tell me what you think. Personally I am not as excited as I should be. It's been thoroughly Hollywood-ised. I couldn't pick out much of the original book from the trailer. It has an all star cast including Bill Murray and George Clooney. Who cares though? Surely in an animation it doesn't really matter. In the early Disney Movies no one gave a shit. I would have preferred someone like Nick Park, of Wallace and Gromit to give us an understated interpretation.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Apology to my naughty Little sister

I thought that my naughty little sister had taken my speakers (meaning when I go home I couldn't listen to Spotify - fate worse than death!) but i was wrong. It was our scatterbrained dad who packed them up with all my kitchen stuff. So I'm sorry. I have learnt, I hope, not to jump to conclusions and to remain calm. Sorry little sister. You were actually being a good little sister. I love you.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Simon's cat

I love these brilliantly observed cartoons. Here's a great one. Simon's cat is just like my cat.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Candy Floss Dreams

This is a magical beautiful and haunting music video for Lolly Jane Blue's track White Swan, directed by Sil van der Woerd.
The video was shot in a disused coal mine in Beringen, Belgium. Apparently all the candy floss was real. That's more candy floss than I've ever seen before. You can see that the film was shot backwards with the first shot being actually the last shot to be filmed, when the water has melted away the Candy Floss. How much do I love the Candy floss dress? Alot. I'd give the Candy floss hair a go too.


Architecture Projection

555 KUBIK | facade projection | from urbanscreen on Vimeo.



This is the most impressive building projection I have ever seen. I couldn't explain to you what it means so I have copied what 555Kubic has said on Vimeo. Art direction by Daniel Rossa:

The conception of this project consistently derives from its underlying architecture - the theoretic conception and visual pattern of the Hamburg Kunsthalle. The Basic idea of narration was to dissolve and break through the strict architecture of O. M. Ungers "Galerie der Gegenwart". Resultant permeabilty of the solid facade uncovers different interpretations of conception, geometry and aesthetics expressed through graphics and movement. A situation of reflexivity evolves - describing the constitution and spacious perception of this location by means of the building itself.

Scrabble - some lovely films

How gorgeous are these ads for Scrabble? (Totally great is the answer). They were animated by Wizz: http://www.wizz.fr/v2/index.php
The Ad agency was Ogilvy and Mather in Paris. I wish it had been my company in London.



Yoga from Scrabble on Vimeo.



Blog shout out

I thought it wold only be fair to give a little shout out to some of my favourite blogs at the moment:

http://adbroad.blogspot.com/
A woman who really knows advertising and writes insightfully about the business. She claims to be the oldest working writer in advertising, so I see her in a motherly light.

http://blogdujanejane.blogspot.com/
This blog is partly written by a friend of mine but it's still good, I promise. It's the random and funny finds and musings of a girl in London, and a girl in Canada - both called Jane. As far as I know they are looking for more Janes in other countries to join them.

http://dailyobsessional.blogspot.com/
I love this blog... the posts are short and snappy and there's lots of interesting art/advertising/funny content. All hail The Daily Obsessional.

http://mycatgoma.com/
This is an utterly silly blog about a girl's cat. He is very cute though and looks a bit like my cat. He also has a funny voice.

http://ifitshipitshere.blogspot.com/
Some days I think I don't like this blog. It's because I'm jealous. This blog is a great collection of artist's work, interesting ideas in design and advertising.

6) Will work for soup
http://willworkforsoup.wordpress.com/
Another advertising blog. This guy always has strong point of view about work. Plus he was inspired by my "It's not cool but..." entry into writing a list of true facts about himself. Check it here:
http://willworkforsoup.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/honest-list-of-me/

(6 is a rubbish number to end on but I really wanted to mention all these blogs - I'm greedy like that)

If you think your blog is better than these please send it to me so I can take a look. I love finding new blogs to read. Am currently trying to persuade Mental Aunty to start her own blog. What do you think?