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Feathering my nest

11 Nov

I’m looking for some picture frames to put up the already awesome posters that I have, but in the process (and via the wonderful world of Pinterest) I’ve started to put together a wish list of other amazing wall candy.

I stumbled across this Etsy shop, The Entropy Trading Company, who have some amazing posters featuring quotes from books and films. My favourites so far are:


Dumb and Dumber poster from The Entropy Trading Company

clueless movie film poster wall art

And this, which is my favourite (despite the American spelling). I love the clean design and the typeface is awesome. The arrow also reminds me of the arrows you see at some old tube stations, like Whitechapel. I found this via Dismount Creative, but unfortunately, the poster is no longer available.

the hunger games poster may the odds be ever in your favor favour katniss art mockingjay poster

I really want some neon/fluoro lettering, although I haven’t come across one that I definitely want yet. I do have a Pinterest board for this wish that I’m collecting ideas on, so if you spot anything good, link me up.


Right, time to go get those picture frames!





This planet is awesome

16 Nov

If you needed visual proof of how wonderful the world is, take a look at these photos from the National Geographic Photography Contest 2011.

national geographic photography contest 2011 nature spiders trees pakistan floods

“An unexpected side-effect of the 2010 flooding in parts of Sindh, Pakistan, was that millions of spiders climbed up into the trees to escape the rising flood waters; because of the scale of the flooding and the fact that the water took so long to recede, many trees became cocooned in spiders webs. People in the area had never seen this phenomenon before, but they also reported that there were less mosquitos than they would have expected, given the amount of standing water that was left. Not being bitten by mosquitoes was one small blessing for people that had lost everything in the floods.”
(© Russell Watkins)


What’s your room number?

17 Oct

Today’s post is nothing more than an indulgent nod to one of my favourite films of recent years, The Darjeeling Limited by Wes Anderson. Or, more specifically Hotel Chevalier, the short film from the start of the aforementioned Darjeeling Limited.

I love this for so many reasons.

1. The song, ‘Where do you go to my lovely’ by Peter Sarstedt.

where do you go to my lovely record cover peter sarstedt 70s vinyl retro wes anderson the darjeeling limited

2. The line, “Whatever happens in the end, I don’t want to lose you as a friend” and the response: “I promise, I will never be your friend. No matter what. Never.”

the darjeeling limited I promise, I will never be your friend. No matter what. Never. quote jason schwartzman natalie portman hotel chevalier

3. The styling, not least for the awesome yellow robe from Hotel Chevalier or Natalie Portman’s beautiful grey coat. There’s also super-stylish moustachioed Jason Schwarztman and one of my ultimate wish-list items, the madly coveted Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton luggage set.

the darjeeling limited natalie portman jason schwartzman hotel chevalier wes anderson

I could go on and on, but I won’t. Any other Wes Anderson fans reading this post? Did you like The Darjeeling Limited? Which is your favourite Wes Anderson film?

Paper cranes

11 Oct

Tonight, I have tried (and failed) to create a passable paper crane.

I followed these instructions and yet still managed to get it quite wrong towards the end. I’m normally not too bad at craft stuff but this completely stumped me.

It was my first proper attempt at any kind of origami and the first time I had introduced the art of paper folding into Craft Night. This was my (really quite terrible) attempt:

paper crane swan origami paper folding japanese craft how to guide gemma critchley craft blog

I’m going to keep trying, get really good at it and get some proper craft paper to make loads of pretty ones to decorate the flat with at Christmas.

After that attempt though, I thought I’d better call it a night so instead had a disco half hour dancing around the living room with the lights off by myself.

Rock and/or roll.

The Creative Panic

10 Oct

I’ve shown love for my fellow bloggers before via my one a day blog, and I think it’s time you all witnessed the glory and wonder that is The Creative Panic.

Written (or should I say drawn) by Ben Hood, this is a collection of awesome drawings as part of the same project. He’s one of the most talented illustrators I’ve ever come across and this is my recent favourite:

get your geek the creative panic ben hood one a day project #oneaday gemma critchley illustration geek glasses nerd glasses drawing art

Dude also does commissions and prints if you so wish to adorn the walls of your office/abode.


High above the street – Leeds

24 Sep

A new fashion, art and exhibition space is opening in Leeds in October called High Above The Street. Featuring designers like A.P.C., Fred Perry, You Must Create and Dr. Denim. Looks like it’s going to be awesome…

high above the street leeds apc womens mens fashion leeds

Come along to the opening party, why don’t you?

David Shrigley duvet – neeeeeeeeeed!

9 Sep

This awesome duvet cover by one of my favourite artists, Scotland-based David Shrigley, is at the top of my lust charts of late:

david shrigley merchandise duvet cover art

Imagine how awesome it would be waking up and seeing that in the morning? Buy buy buy!

I’m a loner, Dottie, a rebel

18 Aug

I spend quite a bit of time rattling round this big old flat by myself in the week when el chappo is away with work and I’m not working/gymming/swanning around the town being fabulous.

I had quite a bit of practice at keeping myself occupied when I had my own flat and became a master of spending time wisely (although not always productively). I am a firm believer in the phrase ‘If you’re bored then you must be boring too’ (courtesy of the lovely Piebald) and I honestly think I’ve never got to a point where I’ve really been bored. There’s always something to do!

Anyway, I thought I’d compile my list of essentials for keeping oneself sane when living alone.

A good book or two (currently re-reading All my best friends are superheroes):

all my friends are superheroes andy kaufman a good book literary fiction

Awesome records (currently playing The Wedding Present):

the wedding present i'm from further north than you record cover art

Cups of tea (and sometimes, just sometimes, coffee. I’m not at work now):

helvetica coffee cup hipster designer mug tea

Something to write stories in (It’s coming along nicely):

moleskine notebook hipster write stories gemma critchley

Lots of internet (all the sixes, clickety click):

you have reached the end of the internet go back exploding dog web cartoon

A Labbit for company (rrrrrraow):

plush white stache labbit kozik kidrobot

Nice things to think about:

david shrigley photograph sunday adventure club lo fi indie photo

That’s about all you need.

A visual ode to the One a Day project

4 Aug

How I sometimes imagine my fellow one a day participants of the One a Day project may see the world, via the ever-awe-inspiring David Shrigley:


david shrigley guardian cartoon blank page art glasgow artist

Cathode Narcissus

19 Jun

I’ve just finished reading Dorian: an Imitation by Will Self.

As always, I was blown away by Self’s intricate and knowingly clever prose, and the fact that story was built on one of the best-loved books of my adolescence – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – just added to the mix to make it all the more enjoyable. Disturbing, heartfelt, evocative, provocative, saddening and terrifying in equal measures, the book serves to recreate Wilde’s dandies as a portrait of the Gay scene in London and New York in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s – the hedonism and cultural liberation of the fin-de-siecle art world swirling together in the grip of the emergence of AIDS. It’s a gripping read and splendidly told at the bedside of several of the characters, sucking you into a sordid underworld of drugs, sex and vanity; but at the same time having Self’s telltale wry sprinkling of humour. I absolutely loathed some of the characters but loved the book and on more than one occasion found myself stopping to re-read a particularly well-crafted sentence.

Will Self Dorian An Imitation post it notes wall ideas author cathode narcissus

Every book I read by Will Self inspires me to get my pen out, or put fingers to keyboard and create something. If you’ve read the book recently, or re-read it in the context of now and not of the ’80s/’90s, you might draw parallels with any of your own user-generated content and Baz Hallward’s Cathode Narcissus, which forms the centrepiece for the novel. The image below is as close as I could get, it’s Nam-june Paik’s video installation, ‘Moon is the Oldest TV’. No one seems to have made an actual Cathode Narcissus yet – I was sorely disappointed when I discovered that a) did not exist and b) did not even pretend to exist – maybe I should create it? Maybe I really shouldn’t – maybe that’s the point? I loved how one of my other favourite writers, Joe Stretch, intertwined both Friction and Wild Life with the real world and the virtual one, but then again I suppose Dorian was written in 2002, right before or even on the cusp of the explosion of mini-Cathode Narcissi sites like Facebook and Myspace, so it is perhaps to be expected.

Cathode Narcissus Dorian An imitation Will Self The picture of Dorian Gray Nam-june Paik’s video installation, “Moon is the Oldest TV

My interpretation of Dorian: an Imitation was made all the more resounding by an article I read in today’s Observer, by Aleks Krotoski, about the ever-blurring lines between online and offline identities. It talks about how online we have the power to create ourselves as we wish to be seen, rather than how we actually are; but due to the fact that technology and ‘real life’ are becoming more and more intertwined, that polished version of ourselves has inevitably become more real. Our Facebook pages, our Twitter feed and our blogs (yes, including this one) are increasingly brighter, shinier versions of our own lives. We can edit out the undesirable bits and amplify the good parts of ourselves. We can curate our interests, leaving out our guilty pleasures and instead tailoring our personalities to be the version of ourselves that we want the world to see. We are effectively leaving the digital world strewn with billions upon billions of our own versions of Baz Hallward’s Cathode Narcissi.

I’m not a morbid person – for the most part – but I do sometimes wonder what kind of eulogy I’m building for myself online.

Are these banks of links and pages of profiles really the only legacies that we want to leave in our wake?

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