Friday, 29 June 2012

Friday on my mind

Let's be honest - when isn't Friday on our minds? (other than on Sartudays and Sundays I guess).   Some disjointed random Friday musings below, including a really fun video of me having a realy lot of fun.  (with an intro like that, how can you not read on?)

I’m getting my hair cut tonight.  It’s been a good long while since I had it cut (about 4 months) and even longer since I had it styled (probably about 2 years as the last few cuts as I grew it were cheapie trims at supercuts as I was growing it out from bob to longer).  The salon I use to go to sent me a 50% offer for a more convenient location though so I figure it’s about time.  Not sure what I want done to it, nothing too drastic but something a little different to the current all-one-length-2-inches-below-shoulder look I’ve been rocking for a while now.

Tomorrow I’m going to visit the Queen’s place, Buckingham Palace.  It’s one of the really obviously touristy things to do in London that I have never done before.  There is a special diamonds exhibition this year as well so I will get to see all the shiny things (including those which were missing from the Crown Jewels when I went to the Tower of London the other week).  If you know anything about me in museums, it's that I always want to see the shiny things.

I’ve got some really really exciting (for me) travel coming up but the majority of it requires visas.  As so much of my travel has been visa free (or if visas have been required, they’ve been attainable on arrival at the airport/ferry terminal etc), the cost and time involved with visas has come as a shock.  I have no doubt though that the trips booked will be amazing and well worth the effort.

Nail wraps.  Have you tried them?  I’ve had these twee floral ones I picked up in Poland on my nails all week.  After chipping on the first day, they’ve since held their ground pretty well (I did apply a topcoat in the end).  Not sure if maybe I applied them wrong (couldn’t read the instructions) but I don’t think I’d bother with them again.  Next week I will be trying a shellac mani so I will see if I like that any better (again, on offer for 60% off.  It seems I’m adverse to paying full price for girly beauty things).

The photos at the top of this post and the video at the bottom?  From Friday two weeks ago at the V&A museum here in London.  My housemate (Kate) and I had gone to see the ballgown exhibition they have on (very pretty, very good) but the highlight of the night for us was undoubtedly the outdoor spinning top style chairs they had in the courtyard.  I think we spent just as long out here chatting and laughing as we did inside ogling the ball gowns.  I so want one of these chairs.  So much fun.  This place remains my favourite museum in London.

If the video doesn't play, hop over to youtube to see it -I'm struggling with the switch from objects to iframe
(that is, if you want to us 30 years not acting our age!)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

London Detours–Streetart

Back in March I went on a street art walking tour with London Detours.  Led by (the amazingly entertaining) Joe, our allotted four hours zoomed past as we wondered the east end taking in just some of the street art around (and stopping for a much needed coffee).  High, low, huge, tiny, painted, stencilled, 3d, stamped, political, mispelled, sarcastic, pretty, ugly; it’s everywhere. 

Below are just some of the pieces we saw.  Some were commissioned, many weren’t. 
My favourites were the tiny people with shadows by mexican artist Pablo Delgado (as shown in the top row).  Other artists wh'o’s work we saw included , El Mac (the cowboy in the second row, another favourite), Banksy, Ben Irons, ROA, Malarky, Pez, Stick, Jimmy C and many many more. 


The nature of street art is that much of what’s pictured above is no longer there.  It’s been painted over or removed.  Even on the walk, Joe was seeing some things (hello Mickey Mouse on the cross) for the first time and as it turns out, the only time.

If you’re in London, visiting or living here, I’d recommend one of these walks.  If not street art, then maybe the east end or Westminster or one of his othering offerings?  I’ll happily come along with you.

Whislt technically a lot of the above is vandalism, I'm a real fan of it  when it's pretty, clever, funny or the like.  I do detest tagging though.  What are your thoughts?

(all the pics should be clickable links to their flickr location where you can view them larger and really see some of the detail)

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

App Review - Popsicolor

If you follow me on either twitter or Instagram you’ve probably already seen at least one of the pics in this post.  @Postagram tweeted about a new photo app last night that had some pretty instant appeal for me.

Popsicolor, by the makers of Percolator (you know the circle filled pics you see?) watercolour washes your photos.  I spent some time last night playing around with it and loving what I could do.  There are a choice of colours for both top and bottom of the pic with them blending in between.  I tended to stick to the Blue Agave (aqua) and the strangely named Cotton Candy (a royal blue) but did mix it up at times.  The wash/effect can then be focused in different strengths (minimal, natural, bold) all giving different outcomes.

I really like this app and for £0.69 (I think $0.99 in the US store) it's value given it's fun and different to those that I already have. I can see me using this to get the header I want for this blog at some point.

Here are some of the results (L-R; minimal, natural, bold) of last night’s playing, along with the original photos I was editing

For the most part, the minimal is my favourite effect although natural gives more context.  The bold doesn’t do much for me although it does seem to do better on the darker image (and avoids looking like a big white cloud)

Some screenshots just showing how easy it is to use. In addition to the colours you can see above, there is red, orange, a reddy-brown and a gray.

  • Photos can be taken in app or picked up from your camera roll
  • Size of image can be adjusted (1024px, 1536px, 2048px and source size, mine defaults to 2048)
  • Colours remixed (ie. randomised)
  • Picture saved to camera roll.
I should point out that this app is new and I whilst I like it, there is some really obvious room for improvement.  Namely:
  • Speed – it can take a while for colour changes etc to take affect.  Given it has a bit to do, this doesn't bother me that much.
  • Applying changes – it redraws/washes/paints the pic after every change (ie. top colour, bottom colour, focus changes).  Given the slow speed at which these occur, it would be great if you could select all the changes and then just have them applied at once (a go button almost).  It also resets the colour choices with each change in focus, adding processing time.
  • Background – this is super minor but it would be great if there were different backing options, especially black.  For the most part I like the white but choice can be a good thing.

So this app I recommend and think it can only get better.  Any photo app recommendations for me?  I’m currently loving this, Fuzel, easyTITLER, Snapseed and 360 and will occasionally use a few others with a review on 360 coming soon.  If you are using Popsicolor, share-share, I want to see!
My favourite @popsicolor pic of my favourite London icon #towerbridge #london #popsicolor
Leaving you with my favourite popsicolor’d pic so far