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Lifestyle – Home improvements

November 15, 2018
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In the last couple of months, I’ve been working on improving my surroundings. In this case, my bedroom! You may recall a post I did a while back where I showed you when I painted and added some much-needed shelving to the spare room.

This time the work was to get a new mattress in, deal with the black mould proliferation and increase the storage/display space for my collection of knickknacks.

The first job we did was to clear out the whole room – here’s a before photo of some of my art collection:

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These are mostly pieces that have been gifted or traded with other artists.

After clearing everything out, it was necessary to wash and repaint and get rid og that nasty black mould, which is not only ugly to look at but also extremely unhealthy. I chose a warm pink, that I think ties the whole room together by creating a focal point on two specific walls where the art will be hung.

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I did the painting mostly by myself, with some help from my boyfriend, who was a sweetie and also helped me with the heavy lifting.

With the help of my housemate, I picked up a wider wooden plank to use as a shelf – which meant that I was then able to unpack some stuff I had stored away. You see, I can’t be let loose in a charity shop or a car boot sale as I will immediately find cat and deer figurines that I must bring back home!

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I still have some back home in Portugal too, maybe one day they will all be reunited in some place!

Here are a few more images with the contents of my beloved junk collection, that I’ve been amassing in the last 8 years in the UK. They are a collection of memories, gifts and little things that inspire me an that I like to keep around.

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The spray can art is by Ruth Knapp and the kitty by the lovely Swenya, a yarn artist from Cologne.

I was also able to put back my nail polish collection on the wall already:

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My boyfriend continues to be the best and he gave me a new duvet cover – featuring art by Tom of Finland. I love it so much!

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The next steps will be to change the bed – I already have a new IKEA bed, which I think will look nice in my girly girl room, which will be complete with fairy lights and all. Hopefully will be able to do the switch to the new one in the next few days, as it will get me some super good extra storage space under the bed!

Then I will be able to continue adding back the art – with some changes, for sure:

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The painting in the gold frame is by my friend Keone and was a piece he created by a show I organised earlier in the year to celebrate (or not, depending on your opinion) the Royal Wedding. It was funny that I ended up in the German press over it.

Once the bed is its place, the rest will be dealt with and hung. Can’t wait to have all nice and organised! It’s a lot of work, but maintaining a house and keeping everything clean and organised is hard – kudos to those who manage to do it!

As this house that we are living in is fairly old (Victorian, actually) and London is a humid city, the whole house could do with a once over, actually. At this point, the area that needs more attention is the kitchen – the last time it was refurbished, they added a fake ceiling and the light spots are embedded in it. Now that it’s deteriorating and the connectors are not working properly, we are getting less and less light – and to fix it means the landlord probably rip everything out. I keep dreaming of having LED ceiling lights or something – that would be easy to maintain and make our kitchen nice and bright! If I had the funds, I would also replace the whole cabinet unit, make space for a larger fridge and freezer (there’s 6 of us in the house and only have the tiniest under counter units, how stupid is that?) and get some decent pullout kitchen faucets and better storage altogether.

As this is a rental, the amount of work and money we are willing to invest in making it better is also limited, so at this point I’m focusing more on my room, which is where I spend the most time in, especially that currently I work mostly from home. I’m happy that at least I can make my own living space nicer and that I can finally feel more at home in it.

What are your best bedroom decoration ideas?

Lifestyle

Guest post – How to choose the best hair clippers for home use

August 21, 2018
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We all understand the importance of keeping your hair tidy and well kept. It makes you look sharp and feel confident when you are in the crowd. When your hair is not in a good style or shape, people will notice in just seconds upon meeting you, and this can create a bad impression about you. Whether you are preparing for a job interview, a date, event or you just want to stand out, which applies to everyone, it is important to ensure your hair is well cut and styled. Hair grooming mistakes whether small or big can ruin your image. While hair grows back giving you the opportunity to undo the mess, you may never get another chance to change the first impression. Certainly, it is likely you will make such mistakes if you don’t have the right tools in your hands.

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art, Lifestyle

Guest Post: 5 Games That Could Inspire Street Art

August 17, 2018
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Video games are some of the most underrated examples on the planet of terrific art. Perhaps because art isn’t necessarily the primary focus, we tend to let it wash over us and instead focus solely on the process of a game, or its prevailing image or atmosphere. But in everything from individual scenes to cover art, video games can really display some stunning work. So in this post I’ll look at some great examples across various types of games – specifically with an eye toward street art inspiration.

1. Spider-Man

This game has been in the works for quite some time for PlayStation 4, and is now finally on the cusp of release. And the latest gameplay trailer shows that it’s still every bit as gorgeous as it looked when it was first teased. This game presents a realistic enough version of New York that it’s liable to have its own street art. But any creative artist could also use Spider-Man action shots to inspire awesome street murals. Nothing looks quite as cool in a city as a cleverly rendered painting of Spider-Man doing his thing.

2. BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite is old news at this point, but it’s still arguably the most visually inventive console game of the last decade. And its steampunk/sci-fi blend of intrigue could turn any average city wall into a wonderland. Frankly, cities would be a lot cooler if street artists were inspired by this game in particular.

3. Jekyll and Hyde Slot

Perhaps a little bit lesser-known, the Jekyll and Hyde slot game actually does an incredible job of portraying Victorian gothic visuals in an interesting and replicable way. Capturing something of mankind’s dark side, the game focuses on the wickedness of Mr. Hyde and adds an almost ghostly element. Tales and games like this call to mind criminals from bygone eras stalking city streets, and bringing them to life in a similar visual style via street art would be a nice project.

4. Limbo

If BioShock Infinite is the most visually significant console game of the decade, Limbo might have the honor in the mobile category. It’s a very dark game, but one that uses shadowy spaces to hint at monsters and danger without always making them explicitly visible – an interesting challenge for a street artist to take on, for sure.

5. Creatures Such As We

Appearing on a list of iOS mobile games that are like interactive art, Creatures Such As We is labeled “a philosophical interactive romance novel.” It’s more specifically a text-based adventure, but the art – concerning people on a moon tourism colony – is beautifully rendered. It’s simple enough that a skilled street artist could accomplish something similar in a matter of hours, yet almost inexplicably deep and moving.

Lifestyle

Life – Goodbye 2017, hello 2018

January 12, 2018
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It might be a bit of a cliche’, to write year overviews and all that but considering that I haven’t been looking after this corner here as well as I have in the past, I thought it would be worth doing it, even if only to remind myself of all the good things that happened in 2017. While a lot of people complain that it’s been a horrible year, I honestly think that I can’t complain too much – sure, there have been challenges but when isn’t life challenging?

This overview also comes a bit late (January is well underway) but I have been working without days off for a few weeks… after being ill. UGH! Better late than never, that’s what I would say.

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2017 has been a very eventful year… I managed to get a lot of things done and I’m happy with what I see when I look back. So, what have been these amazing things that I’ve accomplished last year? Here’s a list, that’s not exhaustive but comprises the main highlights.

  • left full-time employment – due to my health and after last year’s burnout, the thought of corporate life induces mild ptsd symptoms in me.
  • been the poorest as a result – but I’ve learned to live with less and spend my time and energy on more creative endeavours.
  • stopped taking anti-depressants – I’m poor but happier!
  • got into several group shows – been showing my work all over London and in New York.
  • got my first solo show – and it was fairly successful, as many friends came and it was a lot of fun
  • met amazing artists – that I can now consider friends.
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  • went streaking with a friend down Millenium Bridge on a warm Summer night – don’t ask, but it was a lot of fun
  • found love – after kissing a few frogs after my separation and divorce, I think I have finally found the most caring and supportive partner one can ever ask for
  • became a stepmum – said partner came with a readymade family and they’re super cool!
  • worked on very interesting projects – one of the good things about working as a freelancer is the opportunity to work on several different things, which has provided me with more knowledge and more skills
  • turned 40 – damn, I’m old
  • still cancer free – possibly the most important item on this list!

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(does my butt look big in this? Yes, yes it does.)

2018 promises to be an equally eventful year, and there are a few things that I’m looking forward to:

  • my solo show in Berlin – my efforts to go international are paying off and managed to organise a show that will happen next month
  • spending time with A – we have a lot of fun stuff planned for the coming year, including a holiday back home in Portugal with the children
  • blog some more – I miss blogging and I want to do at least one post per month, mostly to support my practice
  • spend less time on social media – it’s a great vehicle to connect with likeminded people and to promote my art but considering what has been happening in general plus the level of censorship artists face (I’ll have to write about the silly episode I was part of), going back to self publishing is the way to go
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  • no shopping – not having lots of money means less shopping and I’d like to do a year of no shopping, as I still have enough clothes and shoes that fit me to last me a few years
  • continue decluttering – I’ve posted about decluttering a lot in the past few years, I know. It seems that it just never ends but I’m seriously letting go of a lot of things, to make more space for art materials, etc.
  • continue creating and improving my art – an ongoing project for the rest of my life, I suppose!
  • continue cancer free – not a lot that I can do towards this goal except take my meds and keep an eye on how I feel but it’s nonetheless something to look forward to

I’m sure that a lot more could be said but I don’t want to bore my readers too much.

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Some of the clothes I’m wearing in this post have been courtesy of Simply Be – the jeans and the long black shirt. I’m actually loving my new jeans and I think they fit rather nicely on my butt – no one wants ill fitting jeans, right?

Many thanks to A for taking the outfit photos – in true blogger’s boyfriend fashion!