. digital pitch & putt

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Ahem… so… eh… where were we?
Yes, it’s been a while since I blogged here, but what can I say? I couldn’t be bothered. That probably about covers it. Change is afoot, and in less than 8 weeks I will be leaving Berlin and moving back to England. And so I’m in the middle of all the things you need to do when you are getting ready to move house: clearing out all the stuff that we don’t need; catching up with all the people I will miss terribly; scrubbing all the dirty corners of the apartment; and now that we’ve discovered we may have to repaint the walls, I’m thinking I need to get my acrylics out and do a bit of colour-matching and paint over some of the chocolate marks that the kids have left in the most obvious places possible. A pain-staking job yes, but the alternative does not bear thinking about. To just repaint the whole place would a) be a nightmare, and b) cost a fortune. Not to mention the fact we don’t have a ladder. Our slightly murky walls you see are about 20 feet tall (approx. 6 metres for metric lovers). 

And thoughts of acrylics and losing our deposit combined to produce just enough stress to get me wanting to escape momentarily into something creative. Alas, not too creative. I just wanted to do something for a few hours that was enjoyable but where I could essentially switch off my brain and not have to think about what I was doing. So I re-worked a watercolour I did a while back. The pitch and putt one. I quite like it. I *think* it works. Maybe a bit twee, but hey-ho. And possibly a bit dark. But again, hey-ho. 

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. it’s no excuse

Palms. Do you like it? It’s another symmetrical photo. I had to book us into a second hotel for the last night of our holiday. It was expensive, but it was a dive. But I got this shot, so at least that’s something!

But you know, I’ve been away, and I’ve been busy, and well… um…. I’ve read a lot of books, and taken a lot of photographs. Normal service will be resumed. I’ve had some ideas that I want to work on.

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. Capital letters

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image copyright: Ralph Burkhardt & Daniel Hauke / Stuttgart

I found a website I love. It’s called ‘SHOW US YOUR TYPE‘ and is a project about type and cities. Now as it happens I am quite partial to fonts of all sorts, except Comic Sans which should be doused in petrol & sent to burn in the bad fire, and I also do love cities. As you are no doubt aware, Berlin holds a particularly special place in my heart. So when I saw this (above) on Pinterest this morning, and followed the link back, well, I was smittenimg

Image copyright: Amaya Oyon / Tudela

I don’t know very much about the site, but it seems to me that designers from all around the globe submit images for whichever city they want which is a combination of graphic image and typography. Berlin features along with Melbourne, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Kingston, New York, & Cairo and quite frankly the images are amazing. In fact, some of them are so good I might even bring myself to say *AMAZEBALLS!*… nah, still can’t do it without being a little bit sick in my mouth.

Images copyright (l-r): Jan Puck / Cologne; Fernando Cordeiro / Sao Paulo; Martina Donatova / Liberec

Anyway, I think you’ll like it.  Now go and have a look at www.showusyourtype.com

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. Nürnberger Strasse: the height of modernity

Nürnberger Strasse. I have a real fondness for this kind of post-war architecture. I’m not sure exactly why, as I find it brutal and usually ugly, but there’s something there. Sandwiched usually between beautifully crafted Altbau buildings, I can’t help but feel sorry for the generally shorter, uglier sister.

I’m getting carried away with symmetry and geometry at the moment. It started a couple of months ago and now I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to it. What started with the very obvious geometry of my Neue Kranzler Eck photo, is now grabbing me and making me want to go through all my other Berlin photos to see what might work.



I picked out this photo I took of Nürnberger Str on a cold wintery day. Look at those blues, can you believe I haven’t upped the saturation on that sky?  I know it’s a much colder winter here than in the UK, but I find it so much more manageable when there’s a blue sky accompanying it, rather than grey….having said that, I did go and desaturate it, didn’t I?

Anyway, when I was working on these in Photoshop at a much larger scale I couldn’t help but feel that there’s hope in this architecture. It’s all about the future isn’t it? Satellite dishes included, ha, ha!

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. blog neglect & the horrific red vomit

I’ve not been paying this blog very much attention of late. I must try harder. It’s easy to put it on the back burner when the Easter holidays are still on the go, there are birthdays galore, I have a new camera lens to play with, and a bug hits our apartment bringing a tidal wave of vomit. O said she felt better today at lunch time and wanted to eat a red pepper. 20 minutes later I raced into the bedroom to find my bed awash in bright red sick. Not a pretty sight. But here is a pretty sight:

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It’s a photo I took of Neue Kranzler Eck here in Berlin with my new lens. It features the new Waldorf Astoria which has not yet opened but I am expecting will no doubt have an amazing sky high bar somewhere. The pointy bits are part of the exotic bird cages in the courtyard area of Neue Kranzler Eck – a strange thing to find behind H&M on the Ku’damm I’ve always thought.

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. revitalised return to Pinterest!

I am so glad that Pinterest have changed their terms and conditions. We can all sleep a little easier now we’re not all going to get sued for creating inspiring online ‘mood boards’. Phew! I stopped using Pinterest, though I was reluctant to delete all my pins – so much ….. eh…… work!

Source: mommygaga.com via Fiona on Pinterest

I love the fact that you can keep images that you like online together & organised in one place. I’ve found it especially handy to create inspirational images for my work. At the moment I am working on some nautical illustrations for a project with a friend, and it’s been great for keeping all my source inspiration such as boat images, traditional nautical-style tattoos, anchors and the like together where I can bring up the board and view it while I draw.

We’ve had a very hectic month of late. We thought we might be moving back to the UK and with that in mind I have also been using Pinterest to pin images of inspiring interiors and colour combinations for the mammoth decorating task that awaits us when we do return to our English house.

AND today is my daughter’s 5th birthday! We’re holding a ‘pirates & princesses’ party this weekend in our apartment, and once again, Pinterest has come in really handy. And so you can see some of my favourite party ideas. Yay! for Pinterest!!

Source: cottage-industrialist.com via Fiona on Pinterest

 I am definitely less keen on how embedding Pinterest is totally messing with my formatting! Grr! Feel free to come follow my pins on Pinterest though!

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. eating & other things

My boyfriend came home from work the other night and told me about a girl from Italy he used to work with who moved to Washington with work recently. As with all expats, she had an expectation of what life in the States would be like, but even if you think you have a good idea of a place (from movies, books, the media in general), when you are actually living in a place you can be taken aback by how different it is to the perception you had of it.

What Ciara has been surprised by, is tv. Not so much the programs, but the advertising. She says the adverts swing from advertising loans to advertising ways out of debt, or advertising diets, then junk food. It’s been a real eye-opener for her.

This morning I read an article in ‘Apartment Therapy‘ about  Miho Aikawa, a photographer who has just undertaken a project exploring the topic ‘Dinner in NY‘.  Aikawa says “A study in Public Health Nutrition….reveals some interesting trends. Eating as a primary activity declined in the past 30 years. On the other hand, eating as a secondary activity rose dramatically in the past 30 years. [...] We now do almost 50% of our eating while concentrating on something else.”


These photos certainly give an interesting peek into modern life. Strangely, I was more surprised by the number of people sitting eating beside their laptops than anything else. Perhaps because watching tv while eating has become entrenched in society, perhaps because there is a solitary aspect to sitting eating at a computer whereas tv watching can still be a group activity. Nonetheless, the overall feeling I was left with was sadness. Isn’t it a shame that we don’t all just sit and talk more at mealtimes?

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