Friday, March 30


Nothing much to report around here. The weather is lovely and unseasonably warm, our house hunt is in full swing and things at work are, you know, productive. :) The house hunting is taking up most of our spare time at the moment so I am content to be on the boring side right now :D

Don't I look just like Disco Stu in that last shot?

Have a most excellent weekend! :)

hat & flats: primark
denim jacket: eBay
owl brooch: decoy lab on etsy
sweater: topshop
dress: white stuff via charity shop
scout green tights: welovecolors

Wednesday, March 28

High Noon

I really, really must stop going for outfit shots at lunch. The key ingredient to decent shots is good lighting and the contrast is just too high at noon. In winter I can get away with it if I keep to the shade, but it's really giving it some wellie now and I am getting grumpy about all the lost detail. That's right, I am being a geek about it.

Don't get me wrong though: I am not complaining about the weather. Far from it - I am over the moon to be taking my clogs for their first outing this year, albeit I only dared brave the morning chill in my closed toe pair.

Nah, I am only grumbling because I forgot my tripod at work and couldn't reshoot these later in the day. Maybe it was for the best, I doubt I would have had the patience for another round of clones. ;D

As soon as a few of you are creating your very own clones now (Steffi of Naehfiddeley, Priya of Sunshine Over The Mountains and Franca of Oranges & Apples for instance) I thought I'd share some tips for taking clone shots. (You can find a tut on clone post production here):

First things first: To clone yourself you absolutely need a tripod. Unless you have a friendly assistant to operate the camera for you, you will also need a self-timer or remote.

Believable focus
One of the biggest giveaways that your twin(s) were born in photo editing software is focus. Generally photos look a lot more "real" if you're not all lined up in a row but are standing at different distances to the lens (a step forewards or back can make a world of difference).

Unless you're using a very large depth of field (everything in frame is in focus - you can achieve this by picking a small aperture such as f16 or higher) standing at different distances to the camera means some of you should be in soft focus.

So, if like me you prefer a small depth of field (everything but you is out of focus - you can achieve this by using a large aperture such as f3.2 or lower) the following will make post production a darn sight easier and quicker:

After you've taken a photo of your "lead clone" - the one you want in pin sharp focus - switch your focus to manual before you move around the frame cloning around.
Provided the light doesn't change on you mid shoot you should be able to just drop all of you into one image later without any fiddly blending.

Here's looking at me kid
In order to look like a happy group of  Selfs just hanging out, it helps to be either all looking at the same thing or at each other.

When I am stuck for time I take one shot looking to the left and one looking to the right middle distance in each position. That way I can decide on a direction later and we all end up finding something just out of shot real interesting :)

Given the memory card space and time, you can look yourself right in the eye. To do this you will need to take a number of shots moving your head up, down, left and right by very small increments in each position. Once you are back at your computer you can then identify two shots where you are staring yourself out. It gets easier with practise :)

Varying your stance
One thing that I keep messing up on is my stance. To make your clones look "really real" they need to be standing in a different way to each other. I often end up kicking myself because my best shots in each position are leaning on their left leg and bending their right. My go to move.

Your shots will be at their most convincing when you remember to stand at different angles to the camera and alter the way you hold your arms and legs for each clone.

Have fun and don't forget to share your cloning endeavours! :)

beret: eBay
brooch: etsy (altered)
blouse: all-mighty
cardi & tights: h&m
jacket: zara via time enough for drums
skirt: vamose threads on etsy
clogs: lotta from stockholm

Tuesday, March 27

What you doin' Dumbo?

I didn't expect a school group to be hunting for eggs in the woods when I went for a photo lunch last Friday. Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition.

The kids were baffled when they spied me. "Why you takin' photos of yourself?" was swiftly followed by "You're a weirdo" and eventually culminated in yells of "What you doin' Dumbo?"

"Watch out or I'll tell your teacher" was my answer to the latter. Woosh! And I was alone again.
That's the beauty of being an adult: Empty threats actually work ;)

Last week the husband and I started house hunting. Yep, we're actually making like adults and are planning to buy a house. The prospect of living somewhere we can paint the walls whatever colour we like and hang what we feel like too is intoxicating to say the least. Mind you, saving some of the money we now spend on rent for travel will clearly be the biggest change once we succeed. Exciting :)

Have a most excellent Tuesday :)

beret: eBay
brooch & skirt: etsy
cardi: asda
blouse: debenhams
bow ring: accessorize
silver ring: present
scout green tights: welovecolors
saddle shoes: bass

Monday, March 26

Take that, reality

You know how blogging sometimes changes your mind about what you fish out of your wardrobe in the morning? I was grabbing for orange, orange, and orange for the who knows how manieth* day in a row, but then I thought: "No, it'll look boring on the blog" and went for a pastel get up instead.

Now, on any other day I bet I would have loved it, but I was busy missing mega orange overload and kept feeling like a washed out, indistinct blob. Oh, first world blogger problems.

As a little pick me up I decided to stick it to reality and photoshopped the big chip in the nail polish on my middle finger into oblivion. Do you see now, reality? Do you see what happens when I feel sorry for my lack of citrus?!

*Forgive me grammar lovers, I am a word maker upper and gross grammar disregarder..

beret & denim jacket: eBay
blouse: tulle via modcloth
cardi: modcloth
brooch: vintage fair
coffee cup ring: DIY
silver ring: present
skirt: Vamos threads on etsy
bow earrings: freebee with skirt
tights: h&m
saddle shoes: bass

Saturday, March 24

Shut up winter!

Last autumn I went out for outfit shoots nearly every day to ensure I could keep posting regularly during the short, dark days of winter.

I did so well at this that I ended up with some left over outfits and since the clocks will be going forward in the small hours tonight, I thought I'd offer you my "leftovers" in one go - think of it as an "outfit winter stew"

coat & poof-ball hat: primark
gloves: boots
dress: tara starlet (altered)
brogues: office

The post title is inspired by Super, which I recently watched. Out around the same time as Kickass, it lost out at the box office. Personally I thought Kickass was good fun but.. vapid. Dark comedy Super on the other hand is what I'd call a proper super hero movie: Our masked avenger is a troubled man  and his choices are morally ambiguous at best.

The Crimson Bolt's catch phrase "Shut up crime!" really tickled me and I've been telling my workday to shut up all week and now that we are finally switching to British Summer Time  I can tell winter to shut up as well ;)
Here goes: Shut up winter!

hat: present (pass me down)
blouse & tights: h&m
brooch: decoylab (etsy)
bracelets: present and market stall
cardi: primark
skirt: anabellefuzz (etsy)
backpack: present
boots: eBay

earrings: present
dress & skirt: modcloth
denim jacket: h&m (2001)
necklaces: vintage fair & DIY
brooch: vintage fair
pale yellow tights
clogs: office

Have a brilliant second half to your weekend :)

Friday, March 23

Warning: Contains Mix

Not only is the wasabi mix at work a little bit dear, it also contains "mix". Cracks me up without fail.

This ladybug hitched a lift on my handlebar all the way to the country park at lunch so I figured he should at least be the star of a quick snap.

Now, I feel a tad meh about the colour combination but I am really pleased with this triangle-double dot look. I'll definitely give that a go in some different shades.

When, on a whim, I glued an old die to a ring base I wondered if I'd ever really wear it. After finally taking it for a spin I'll be watching out for different coloured & sized dice so I can wear a whole casino on my fingers :D Have you read The Dice Man? I don't believe in fate, but chance is a beauty.

Happy weekend!

beret: accessorize
dress: h&m
sweater: present
brogues: office
all been in my wardrobe for years

die ring: DIY
wolf ring & green bangle: etsy
wooden bracelet & square bracelet: market

Thursday, March 22

Oh Albin!

My dolls house was originally my Mom's and until recently I'd never seen another one like it. The other day I finally thought to switch my google search to German (doh!) and I found out that the little house in my blog header was made by the Albin Schönherr Holzspielwarenfabrik (Albin Schönherr wooden toy factory) in Niederlauterstein, East Germany.

The company was founded in 1886 and remained in private hands until the 1960s, when it was amongst the last East German companies to be nationalized.
After browsing the bilingual blog Die Puppenstubensammlerin/The Dolls House Collector I was finally certain of my little abode's origin, thanks to a few key features typical of Albin Schönherr:

As long as I can remember my Mom's dolls house was covered in carpets. I remember peeking under the edge of the grayish fibres, getting a glimpse of the pretty flooring underneath.

Before the house first featured on my blog my Dad took on the painstaking removal of the stuff and if you'd seen how generously the glue had been applied you'd know he is an incredibly patient miracle worker. I never thought the floor would be in such great condition when I first lifted up those edges. It's only a thin paper layer though, so I used some lacquer to make it a little harder wearing :)

I've always adored the panoramic window spanning two of the living room walls. One side is real glass and you can slide it open from either end.

It's the pattern of the little stone border on the outside edge of the house and the flowers lining the window that I am told are also typical of Schönherr houses.

These colourful little paper flowers are clearly the most brilliant feature of the house. Or at least they feel like thick paper to me. Whatever they are made from, they are surprisingly hard wearing and just so darn gorgeous :)

I was unable to remove the bathroom tiles I'd put up last year without taking the colourful wallpaper right with it. Underneath I found this stuff. A lot of collectors seem to go wild about original 50s dolls house wallpaper - personally I can't say I care that it's wrecked. Well, I had to at least show you :)

Here are the wallpapers the house has been covered in as long as I can remember. The living room paper is my favourite. The kitchen one is getting a bit tatty and the bathroom/bedroom one is now gone. It was pretty cool though, no? I definitely want to stick with bold & crazy when I pick a replacement.

Next time I'll show you how I am framing my miniature painting by numbers pretties and what passes for a roll up map around here :)
Nearly the weekend you all! :D

Wednesday, March 21


One reason I am always keen to take a couple of shots on my push bike is that there is no visual record what-so-ever of the two most a-mazing bikes I've ever owned. Not a single photo.

For three glorious days I was the proud owner of a 1930s Falcon ladies bike: An early 21st birthday treat from me to myself. I habitually name my bikes and this one was called Ickle. As in Bic-ickle.

Some mean bastard who I assume owned both a van and a set of bolt cutters thieved it. I was inconsolable and cried my head off while running up and down the street hoping to find the bike I'd locked to a wall not three minutes before. In Cambridge it really doesn’t matter how careful you are with your bike, sooner or later someone is going to have it. Mind you, that’s the extent of crime in this peaceful university town.

So on the final days of my twenty first year I was a grudging pedestrian.

At the time I lived in the front room of a shared house so the postman's knock often woke me. When, on the morning of my birthday, I opened the front door I found a group of friends the other side of the threshold instead. And they were wheeling along a bike. It had a full chain guard, patterned, white handle grips and the most ornate rear rack you ever saw. That was one amazing birthday. I rode that bike, named Ribbid for a squeaking noise it made, every day for years. Didn't take any photos of it though. And that when I was studying photography at the time!

This bike is a lot younger than Ickle and Ribbid were. It's a 1980s Raleigh Caprice.

Just before it broke down and was renegaded to the back garden last year I'd planned to fix up the nasty wire basket (not only is it ugly but also pretty useless: The wire grid is so large most things fall through). Now Dusty is back on the road I am once again making plans for a basket DIY. Right now I am favouring a generous helping of duct tape..

And on a different note: Isn't it freaky how mahusive I look on a bike? They always end up looking like toys. Just call me the friendly giant. :)

beret: eBay
earrings: etsy (altered - used to be hair pins)
dress & brooches: etsy
cardi: asda (years ago)
jacket: topshop (years ago)
belt: h&m (couple of years ago)
mint tights: welovecolors
saddle shoes: bass