Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Artist's Feature: Kitty Phillips Photography

This month's artist is someone whose work I absolutely love. Kitty Phillips specialises in children's and wedding photography. You can see more of her work at www.kittyphillips.co.uk and she is also on twitter as @kitty_phillips.

Kitty has been taking photos since she was first handed a polaroid camera at the age of seven. She was fascinated by the idea of framing a shot, clicking a button and getting an image a few seconds later. She's been taking photos ever since. She assisted various photographers for a number of years before setting out independently four years ago.

What sort of things inspire you? 
It's the little things in life that inspire me; a sunny day, blossom on the trees, a friendly smile, people.
I also love to travel - seeing new things, experiencing different sights, sounds and cultures mean that my camera is rarely out of my hand.

How do you manage to get the 'perfect shot'?
The perfect shot? For me the perfect shot is one with emotion, one that captures a moment in time, a person's personality, a look, a smile, a memory. I try not to worry too much about the technical side of photography and focus on the emotion. I also prefer to use natural light as much as possible, as this allows me to be a lot more flexible - it helps to put my clients at ease and be more spontaneous.

How would you describe your style?
Natural, spontaneous and unobtrusive

What equipment do you use?
I use a canon 5d mark II, it's a fantastic camera and with a couple of great zoom lenses it covers almost everything including low light.

Are there any artists / photographers whose work you admire? 
Too many to mention! I love Steve McCurray's work, his iconic image of the the Afgan girl shot is just one of his amazing portraits. Sebastiao Salgado is a fantastic photojournalist whose work is always thought provoking, especially when you start to consider the circumstances under which they were taken. 

What tips would you give to other photographers wanting to break into the industry? 
Love what you do, it's not easy being freelance but if you love what you do it will be worthwhile. 
Networking is essential - keep a bunch of business cards on you as you never know who you'll meet or where the next job will come from.

What is your favourite photo and why have you chosen this?  
It's hard to have a favourite photo, I've been lucky enough to travel to some amazing places and met so many fabulous people along the way.

This photo was taken a few years ago whilst travelling, I spent a few days horse trekking in the Andes, whilst the rest of the group were having their afternoon siesta I took a wander with my camera. A few attempts at conversation in Spanish with the local cowboys resulted in the following photo. I love the natural feel of this image, his laugh was contagious. 

Go round to Kitty's website to see more of her work and to contact her: www.kittyphillips.co.uk

Saturday, 28 May 2011

How to....Make a POMPOM

This month's How To has had to be adapted slightly due to my arm injuries. It's a fairly simple one but what you can do with them are endless. Try making a pompom scarf or adding on to the top of a knitted hat. Why not add them to a pair of slippers, napkin rings or just use them as decorations. 

Step 1: Draw some circles onto stiff card and draw smaller circles inside. You will need two circles for each pompom. They can be re-used so how many you make is totally up to you. I made about 10 - it was enough to have 5 pompoms on the go at one time and, as I was doing it production-line style, it was useful to have more rather than less.

Step 2: Cut the circle out, including cutting out the circles in the middle so that you end up with a circular shape with a hole in the middle. 

 Step 3: Choose your yarn. I happen to have quite a lot of pinks and purples in my yarn box so I have chosen 5 colours that go with each other. 

Step 4: Wind small flat balls of yarn from your main yarn balls. These will need to fit through the inner circles of your card pieces so they should ideally be quite skinny. 

Step 5: Hold two card circles together and start winding the yarn around the circle. You need to make sure you go through the inner circle and round the outer edge. Wind all the way around the circle - if you haven't got enough yarn to go all the way around, make a new bundle and continue!

Step 6: Once you have wound all the way around your circle, get a pair of sharp scissors. Move some yarn slightly so that you can get your scissors between the two pieces of card. Carefully cut the yarn all around the outside edge of the circle between the two pieces of card. You will have to hold the inner circle to prevent the small yarn pieces from coming away.

Step 7: Cut a length of yarn (about 10 is more than enough) and slip it between the two pieces of card. Wrap it around the yarn threads, pull it together and make a tight double knot.

Step 8: Now gently pull the two pieces of card off the pompom, roll it around to make it spherical and cut the long ends of yarn off.

Voila you have made a pompom... Now what are you going to use it for? 

Friday, 27 May 2011

Not quite a 'Folksy' Friday

Well last week I did a small shout out of some Etsy artists whose work I like, and thought I would do the same this week. I need a name for this post - it'll hopefully become a bit of a regular feature so a catchy name would be good. If you have a good title for the new feature, please comment and let me know!

This week it's bags bags bags...


Love EvaBdesigns -have to stop myself!

FunkyDivaDesigns is a fabulous person who makes great items!
Love the polka dots from asoftblackstar

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Give a heart to...

It's a great feeling to wake up to an e-mail informing you that you made a sale overnight while you slept so today is a happy day! To be fair, I knew I had sold a second of these heart-felt cards before I actually sold it, but it still made my day. 

So because I am in such a good mood, I thought I would share a few other items I have seen recently in Etsy that I like and you might too. Today's pick are from some lovely bloggers / twitterers who have been friendly / supportive/ lovely to me and I think it's about time I return the favour! So thank you to Abbi of Knightstour, Debbie of Wugylees fame and Patty of DogBarks and CatCalling. You should all go and look in their shops as they have some great things...


I love Knightstour's work. Wish I could crochet rabbits...


Some crochet gems by Wugylees 

How sweet is this dog by DogBarks?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Some Kreativ Kids!

Back in December I posted about a quilt that the children in my year group had made as a leaving present for our head. It's posted here if you've forgotten it: http://www.creatingtrouble.co.uk/2010/12/sewing-with-children.html
Well in D&T last term our topic was SLIPPERS. Now I've never made a pair of slippers, but actually this was a really fun topic and my kids absolutely loved doing it. They all used the same basic template and materials but the rest of the design was totally up to them. I'm so proud of what they have achieved and thought I'd share some of them with you. How funky are these slippers? 

The first pair of slippers to be finished...

Little love hearts.

Meticulously sewn flowers with great attention to detail

Shame I didn't get a clear photo but pompoms on white flowers - FABULOUS!
CUTE little dog faces on these - with ears and sticking-out tongues!

Cute! Teddy bear faces...

I LOVE the monster feet!

So what do you think? I think I have some very talented children in my class. And I should point out that the first and last pairs are being modelled by the boys that made them. Who said that sewing is for girls? 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Making my day....

Woohoo! An Etsy sale - completely out of the blue and I didn't even realise for a number of hours. I'm actually very relieved that it is this blue bunny bag that I sold and not the pink bag - I don't have a pink bag made up properly at the moment and what with my lack of arm movements, I can't actually make one at present either...

So I am celebrating my first totally unsolicited Etsy sale. Woohoo!

I'm also celebrating my new facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/London-United-Kingdom/Creating-Trouble/160573697336887 I would be really appreciative if people 'LIKE' it - I'll be posting new things, artwork I find and crafts of interest on there.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Reading a little...May

Well since I fell off my bike and have incapacitated  my arm, I have obviously not been doing any crafts or mosaics at all in the past week. It's been quite annoying because finishing up some of the projects I was half-way through would have been an ideal way of stemming the boredom that comes with being sat around the house doing nothing. I'm not a very good patient and would much rather be doing something than sat here twiddling my thumbs.
However, one thing I have been eternally grateful for over the past two weeks has been my kindle. Without it, I really would have been bored stiff. Due to the way I have injured myself, I can't actually hold a book properly - and certainly can't turn a page, so the kindle has been a bit of a relief really.
Thought I'd share some thoughts about the books I've been reading instead of my usual ramblings...

I've just finished reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
It's the story of Edna Pontellier, a typical American lady of society during the late 19th century. Over the course of a summer, she suddenly begins to 'wake up' to her situation, the restrictions of society and her fate. And decides that enough is enough. She refuses to listen to her husband, starts arousing attention in society for associating with undesirable gentlemen, steps to the brink of an affair and ... well you should probably read it. It reminded me strongly of The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton that I read at school and as such I wasn't that excited by it. But it's a pleasant enough read - I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness did have my spellbound (pun intended) while I read it.
It centres on the main character Diana Bishop, a witch by birth but who prefers the scholarly life of a normal human - so much so that she denies her powers greatly. She meets a vampire, Matthew Clairmont, (of course) and inadvertantly falls in love with him. The plot centres around a manuscript that has been lost for a century that Diana accidentally finds, but lets go. And of course all the witches, vampires and daemons in the world are out to get it - or her. Quite fast-paced and entertaining, although the ending is fairly weak and I only discovered it's part of a series at the end - and the next one isn't out till 2012! I am intrigued enough to read the next one I think...

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro...where do you start on this one? Very disturbing but very well-written. I was pretty horrified, but also couldn't put it down once I had started. A terrifying look at what could happen in medical science if we don't think about ethics. The main characters are all 'donors' and the story is written from the viewpoint of Kathy H - still a carer but tidying things up before she becomes a donor herself. It is written as a selection of memories from childhood and her life - her relationships with Tommy and Ruth being predominant. The portrayal of character is excellent - you really sympathise with Tommy especially. I started this while in hospital and was listening to it as an audio book so I had Cecilia Fox's voice as my narrator throughout - which I found strangely fitting. I enjoyed this as a piece of writing, but as a story it has left a lot of questions!

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I'm actually still reading this, and as it's a DTB (dead tree book) I probably won't finish it for a while - which is a shame as I have only about a quarter left and was quite into the story. It tells the tales of Kafka, Nakata and Miss Saeki predominantly although a number of other characters also feature. It's magical, incomprehensible in places but brilliantly written and I am really enjoying it!


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