Snowed in and a good excuse to get up to date online.

3 Dec

Well after the drama and the crises of the last three months including one major house move, one major relationship ending, one death in the immediate family and currently getting snowed in I’ve decided that this bout of bad weather is the perfect opportunity to lay down some wintry supplies (toast and Nutella being the perfect combination) and finally get up to date with some of the interesting online stuff I’ve been meaning to catch up with and never actually finding the time to do.

Plans for this weekend include:

Starting to watch the Google Analytics Individual Qualification videos
Write out my plan for world domination for 2011 (I’ll be thirty next year, God help me)
Finish off my vision board (which I will be posting pics of here when complete)
Do some more of the exercises from caffeine for the creative brain.

I finally managed to get access to my Twitter account after about three months of trying to figure out email and password combinations, only to find many moons ago that I had been uber organised and set up directs for emails to be forwarded straight into sub-folders in my email account. Then forgot I had done this when I came to try and reset my password. Oh well, whoever wrote that particular time management and organisation blog-post has got a lot to answer for – sending karma and apologies to Twitter Support, who were, very helpful, even though they couldn’t actually work out why I couldn’t reset my details.

New Twitter

29 Nov

After having some rather embarrassing issues with being unable to login to my Twitter account (note to self, remember you’ve set up folder forwarding for emails) I’ve finally been able to get back in and start playing with the all new features of the Twitter upgrade, including the ability to add pictures and videos as well as much greater levels of functionality available on-page without needing to click through.

A rather nifty and cute video has bee created to demo some of the features which can be viewed here now as well. What do you think to the new functions?

Things I currently love – Cute Circuit

6 Sep

I have found the most amazing company, Cute Circuit based in London who define themselves as creating wearable technology. I’m sure you’ve heard about snow boarding jackets that plug into your ipod; well these guys take the idea to the next level and then some.

Their ‘m-dress‘ allows the wearer to insert their sim card into the sleeve hem and make phone calls using hand gestures to control the phone. Although in the early stages and quite limited (you can only call a small group of numbers) the dress certainly points to the future and just quite how digital and real life might be integrated.

Other stuff they produce is very conceptual, and integrate LED and circuitry, resulting in the most incredible pieces of wearable art. They produced a piece for the last Eurovision entry for Uzbekistan ‘Safura’s dress’ that was linked to a VJ who controlled the visual display as the live performance took place.

Mary Schneider – yodelling the William Tell Overture (has to be heard to be believed)

5 Aug

Through my YouTube wandering and after listening to the Chris Evans Radio 2 breakfast show I found this absolute gem. It’s a unique and breathe taking example of musical interpretation. Do you know of anything stranger?

Exercise 1: It looks like a scribble

4 Aug

Get a blank piece of paper and a pencil or a pen. Close your eyes and scribble as randomly as possible. Then turn that scribble into something recognisable. ( Summarised for copyright purposes).

The result: a bird on a nest with a rather gay looking husband in the background.

Caffeine for the Creative Mind

3 Aug

I recently dug a really great book out of my wobbly piles of volumes called ‘Caffeine for the Creative Mind’ which is a brilliant little journal containing 250 exercise for stretching creativity. I’m going to set myself the task of doing at least a couple of these a week and will post the results here as a record of my creative explorations. Check back regularly for what I’m sure will be potentially embarrassing posts.

Up there – a view from the roof-rops of NYC

3 Aug

The Ritual Project are documentarians who film a group of advertising painters as they try to pass on and protect their dying art. Beautifully shot and very emotive, this short piece gives a wonderful view on some of the current artisan crafts that we are in danger of losing through mechanisation at the beginning of the 21st Century.

UP THERE from The Ritual Project on Vimeo.

Skinny Water? Get the Skinny Wallet.

1 Aug

After slogging my way around a Tesco Extra yesterday (thank God for ipods and Marina and the Diamonds drowning out the screams and childish wailing, roll on an app that will let you clear the aisles of dithering trolley pushers) I happened upon a rather peculiar portion of the ‘soft drinks’ aisle, obviously intended to promote ‘exercise hydration fluids’ otherwise known as ‘water’ to the common man.

This centuries old substance, essential for the creation of life and evolution as we know it on our planet has been packaged up and promoted as a new wonder product – ‘Skinny Water’. Funny this, as I always thought that water had a calorific value of zero anyway, which rather counters the claims of the manufacturer of it’s product as ‘low calorie’.

Have ‘Bio-Synergy‘ scientists discovered a way of depleting the body of calories when it is drunk? Apparently not, rather it has “specially selected nutrients, which combine the benefits of hydration with minerals, and natural fruit extracts [combined with] a recent re-design and re-branding, it also looks fantastic at home, at work or at the gym”. (

Retailing at £1.79 for a half litre bottle, I think that a more suitable title would be ‘Skinny Wallet’. As the average adult needs to consume a minimum of two litres of water a day to remain at optimum levels of hydration, the cost of achieving this consuming the product is a princely sum of £7.16 per day! And I thought we were in a recession…

Whatever my personal feelings about the product itself, the concept and positioning are what really interest me. The idea of appealing to a niche, has in this case been stitched up as tight as a virgin’s nightie. The product, packaging, brand ideals and attributes and advertising have all been researched and conceived thoroughly – and despite only taking up a small section of shelf space it obviously has a powerful story being stocked in all the main UK super-markets.

The packaging is great and is what first attracted me to it amongst all the other dross on the top shelf. It has great ‘hanger appeal’, however I think that it is a sad sign of the times when a significant proportion of the population are so concerned about how their water bottle looks in the various placed they inhabit, to the point that it is a major brand selling point.

I few years ago back in the heady days of university I wrote about how spaces, places and pretty much anything we consume or associate ourselves with was becoming a defining part of our identity and personal brands. The appearance of products like this seem to be the logical evolution of this state of being, and I look forward to see where the madness will end up next.

If you are interested, another brand leading the charge are ‘Neuro-drinks’ whose various version include ‘Neuro-Gasm’, ‘Neuro-Bliss’ and ‘Neuro-Trim’. I will leave you to ponder at your leisure.

Pride of Northampton

30 Jul

Recently emptying my phone camera I came across these amazing lion sculptures that I had snapped around Northampton town centre a few weeks ago. The designs were concieved by local artists and designers. Apparently there is a trail to follow so I still have a few to find….

On my ipod…

29 Jul

Marina and the diamonds, fresh, original and a fab’ video for ‘I am not a robot’ directed by Rankin…

Robyn, ‘Dancing on my own’. Check out the new E.P. ‘Bodytalk’ part 1 for more musical Scandanavianess