Saturday, 24 November 2012


1 Thessalonians 5:18 - in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

On Thursday it was thanksgiving in the USA, and though I've never celebrated it before as I live in the UK, a group of friends and I from church got together and decided to celebrate it over here along with some of our American friends. It was a lovely night and great way to take some time and think over our blessings, no matter how 'big' or 'small'. What are you thankful for??

I'm thankful for...
2. My Family, friends & peers
3. The endurance and strength God has given me over the last year to overcome all the craziness and many obstacles I have had to face lately.
4. Creativity

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Red Velvet Cupcake Themed Gift

This is my running cupcake themed, birthday gift which you can easily re-create for the cupcake lovers in your life! As a birthday gift my friend Jen wanted me to bake her Red Velvet Cupcakes. Thing is, I knew what they were and had heard about all their glory, but we didn't know what they tasted of until the summer when we visited a small, pretty bakery shop down in Brighton by the seaside. Man were they good, we had been missing out; they tasted divine! Consequently they were Jen's choice of gift, you know, something more personal and not material.

Having no clue on how to make these, I hunted down a recipe and decided to go with the London famous HummingBird bakery's recipe. It makes 12 standard sized cupcakes.

I used a piping bag to make the frosting on top fancy, then decorated them with edible silver balls and crumbled extra red velvet on top for contrast. As this was a gift, I really wanted to present them nicely, so to finish it off, I placed them in a cupcake box which holds 4. I purchased the box from my local supermarket, Sainsbury's. Lastly to add that extra personal touch I created a mini note/card and placed it on top once the frosting had set. It kind of felt like I had my own mini bakery going on. My friend loved them; definitely making for a tasty personal gift.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Roast Garlic and Rosemary Marinated English Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce

The past weekend was pretty busy and filled with birthday celebrations. My friend Jennifer who makes the other half of Shannifer (our composite name), made a table reservation for herself and I to have dinner on the Thames at this restaurant, which is aboard a moored Yacht. We headed there straight after church. The view was nice as it looked out onto some of London's landmarks. The three course meal wasn't amazing but it was somewhat enjoyable; the starter was delicious and the main was a 6.7 out of 10, though dessert was disappointing. The overall dining experience would have been better if most of the yacht wasn't closed off, e.g the bar and the top deck, otherwise it was a great night with lovely company. As a birthday gift, Jennifer requested for me to bake her Red Velvet Cupcakes; detailed here. What are your plans for this weekend?

Thursday, 15 November 2012

London is ready for Christmas

Last Monday night, the famous Christmas lights on Oxford Street were switched on by Robbie Williams. I wasn't there on the actual night, but I was there on Thursday night and noticed that the brand Marmite (you know the product that you either love or hate) have become part of this years Christmas lights. As an interactive installation, shoppers can submit a photo of their 'love it or hate it' facial expressions, and their face will appear at a designated time on the high street. It's definitely a smart and fun campaign.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Oh Mr Lewis

Oooh Mr Lewis, or should I say the creative minds behind most John Lewis Adverts, sure do know how to tug at people's emotions. The ad below sets out to convey the message that although time may change and frivolous trends may change but the age old experience of love is a timeless and universal experience that every generation can relate to and its importance never changes. I posted previously about the creative use of split screen which is also used here; cleverly conveying three love stories and the brands message.

Christmas is quickly approaching so Mr Lewis just recently pumped out this new heartfelt Christmas ad (below). I was waiting and waiting, trying to figure out what the final reveal would be, and though only a small gesture, the small gesture speaks volumes, making the anticipation worth it. See for yourselves....I was all like 'n'awwwwww'...

...and I promise I'm not a romantic!

Technology & Fashion

With most things converging in our visual culture, digital and information age, it's interesting to see what type of developments arise as different fields combine together. Cultural Studies writer Pamela Church Gibson, finds that in order for us to gain a better understanding of our time, it is necessary for scholars and theorists alike to take on a ‘sideways’ view on cultural phenomena.

In this case pop star Nicole Scherzinger, was rocking this LED dress, aka 'twitter dress' last week, at EE's 4G mobile network launch in London; how relevant. I suspected that it may have been a new Hussein Chalayn piece, as he is renowned for incorporating technology in his designs (see this post), but the dress was actually made by fashion design company Cute Circuit. The dress is eight meters of French silk chiffon, infused with Swarovski crystals and over 2000 LED lights. When people tweet with the relevant hash tag, the LED lights on the dress display the tweeted message; pretty cool huh?

I doubt people are going to start walking around in LED dresses and suits (or will they? o_O ), but it does make me wonder how future developments and innovations like this could potentially change and open up more ways to communicate. I can definitely see something like this working in an advertising/PR campaign, well is this not one. What are your general thoughts?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Design Goodies Haul

Friday night I met up with a couple of mates at Zizzi; just because! To my surprise, Brenda (also a creative) presented me with goodies 1 & 2, which she said were (very) belated birthday gifts. It was a very nice gesture =) . They're on my design book list, so you can only guess how excited I was, and I can't wait to get into them. Goodie 3 was also a gift I received at the actual time of my birthday from another friend. Read on to know my initial thoughts and where to buy them.

1. Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces by Willen, B & Strals, N (2009)
How-to, meets visual typeface candy, with relevant design history, theory and short sporadic exercises.

2. Typography Sketchbooks by Heller, S & Talarico, L (2012)
This book is a visual feast of all types (pun not intended) of typography and a look into sketchbooks from a broad range of graphic designers and type artists. If you're looking for type-spiration, then this book ticks that box.

3. Fifty Dresses That Changed The World by Design Museum (2009)
Starting from the 1915 Delphos pleated dress, ending at Hussein Chalayan's 2007 LED Dress, this book looks back at design history's most signature dresses. It showcases each dress and gives us a short summary on what made them so iconic. It's almost an A to Z of well known dresses & styles.
Will hopefully do another one of these more often!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

American Pancakes Recipe

I love pancakes; especially American pancakes, and don't get to make them often enough. During the summer I came across this recipe, but tweaked it a little to my taste. Wondering how to make these bad boys? Well here are some of the items and ingredients you will need: