31 December 2011

BYE BYE 2011


What a year! This is a really photo-heavy post, so if you'd like to look at the rest please click on the 'read more' link below. 2011 has been crazy! I feel like I've changed my hair a million times, I've been lucky enough to go to Glastonbury, Mexico and a trip to London. I got a 1st for my second year at uni, started my blog, bought a house and so much more!

Every year has it's ups and downs though. I haven't really had any major 'downs' but I'm just grateful that I can rely on such great family and friends when I have needed a cuddle :)

Obviously, I upload a lot of photos onto here but I decided to pick out some of my favourites of me and my friends from this year, as everyone is probably sick of seeing pictures of food and random objects! They aren't in order because I just exported a selection from iPhoto and dumped them in (there was too many to make sure they went in order!). You'll also spot a couple from earlier in the year when my hair was long and black. I didn't start the blog until May and it had just been cut and turned blonde! I'm in the process of growing it back out now... so hopefully it'll be back long next year.

I'm not a fan of New Year's Eve. Never have been. We were going to go to a house party this year but we've now decided to have a quiet night in with a takeaway curry because Aled is working nights the next day anyway. However, I'm massively looking forward to 2012! It's hopefully going to be a great year. We'll be moving into the house, I'll finish my third and final year at uni (which means graduation too, eek!), going back to working full time, my lovely friends Nat and Phil are getting married and it'll be mine and Aled's 5 year anniversary <3

I hope you've all had a good year and all the best for 2012! xxx



27 December 2011

CHRISTMAS TIME


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone have had an amazing few days. I've had a lovely time at home with friends and family. I think I've eaten enough food to feed an army... and drank enough too! I won't lie, I was a bit hungover this morning but what's christmas without the odd glass (or bottle) of wine?!

I helped Mum to make the christmas dinner this year. She did the turkey, stuffing and gravy and I did the roasties, veg and yorkshire puddings :) and yes, we have yorkshire puddings with our christmas dinner! Haha. Oh and Dad made the sausages wrapped in bacon, his favourite! On boxing day we had a small group of friends and family round for a buffet and some drinks. We bought a couple f new board games for the night, His and Hers and a Great British Quiz type of one. They're both made by the people who made the logo board game and were really funny! I was in bed with a bin by my side by 10pm though (shameful!) but I had a good night nevertheless :)

A FEW WEEKS IN PHOTOS

001. Old pub in Beaumaris / 002. Me at the pub
003. POJ turned 30! / 004. Cheap 'Pantone' mug
005. Hand drawn christmas cards / 006. A rare treat of proper coffee
007. Real fire burning <3 / 008. Much needed glass of wine and B&J
 
I feel like I haven't blogged for ages! And to be fair. I haven't really. I've had so much to do over the last few weeks so blog posts have been at the bottom of the list. But anyway, it's been a hectic few weeks so lots to talk about. I went with Aled and his Mum to see his Nain in Beaumaris a couple of weeks ago. It's such a lovely little town and I haven't been for years. There's some lovely little craft shops which we're going to go back to so I can have a look around properly because we ran out of time. We had lunch in a cute, old little pub while we were there too.

We've been buying loads for the house this month, which is why no one have received christmas presents (we'll make up for it next year!). While I was in Dumelm Mill, I saw some knock-off Pantone mugs :') Don't worry, I didn't buy any, but i wish the proper ones were that price! Because we've been saving money, I decided to design my own christmas cards this year. I've been experimenting more with illustrating lately and came up with four different designs. They are quite simple but I'm pleased with them for my first try. I'd like to do a calendar in the same style for 2012 but I don't know if I'll get a chance to do it this week in time for printing before January.

009. Plenty of chocolates around in work / 010. Glade christmas candles
011.  Ikea in Warrington / 012. Shopping for more house goodies
013. Christmas tree in work / 014. Aled celebrating our exchange of contracts
015. Me with the champers / 016. Brew and a mince pie
 
I was in work for a few days before we closed on the 21st. It's really nice to be in work before christmas because everyone is in a really happy mood and ready to hibernate for our two week shut down. We actually had training on the new computer system on the 21st and it's going to be so much easier to use than what we've got now. Roll on February 27th when it gets installed! There was plenty of chocolates, biscuits and cakes around too, which prepared us for the food babies we'll be nursing over christmas! We had a lovely tree in work this year too :) Normally it's a real one with mis-match decorations but our boss went and bought a really good one from Homebase with a shed load of new decorations, all in blue, white and silver.

We had some great news on Thursday. I woke up to find I'd had a call from the solicitors to say that we'd exchanged contracts on the house! :D So we decided to celebrate and go to IKEA for some goodies for the house. When we got back we cracked open a bottle of champagne and had a steak dinner <3 Our estimated completion date is February 14th but hopefully it'll be before that. So excited now :)

017. Dad and Aled in matching jumpers :') / 018. Christmas fairy cakes
019. Aled at the Queens Head / 020. Me at the Queens Head
021. The Queens Head pub / 022. Christmas Eve Lunch with Aled
023. Fish and chips lunch / 024. Christmas Eve
I went to The Queens Head in Glanwydden on Christmas Eve with Aled. He was working nights later that day so it was nice to go out for a meal :) That night I just chilled out at home and watched a film in bed. It was really weird not putting any presents under the tree on christmas eve :( However I did have some presents under the tree :) On christmas day we went down to the local for a pint while the turkey was cooking and then I helped Mum to make the rest of the dinner. I can't wait to have everyone round at ours next year for christmas! Anyway, I've got a pretty big list to write for my uni work now...

16 December 2011

IDENTITY DESIGN EXHIBITION


For our identity design module this year, the brief has been to come up with a re-brand concept for the Arts & Media part of our university. That covers everything from graphic design and photography to music and drama. We've all been working on our ideas for the last couple of months and everyone has such different ideas. A couple of weeks ago, we were each given an individual space in the gallery to display our ideas and ask for feedback. This idea has worked really well as no one has been worried about putting down their thoughts because it's anonymous.

My idea is to make the site way-finding much easier and more interesting around the Kingsway buildings (where all of the Arts & Media courses are). The concept I came up with was to zone each departments area off with a different colour and to also have a character for each course. These elements would work along the walls of the buildings and then just as well onto print work and the website.

The feedback I've received has been mainly positive. I've had a couple of more negative comments however they have been constructive, which is great. The positives are that people like the colour and friendly style of the characters and type. The negatives are that the characters might be a bit too 'cute' for the university and that they don't relate to the courses. There was a reason for them not relating to the courses; I didn't want the characters to be completely stereotypical (i.e. the fine art one carrying a paint brush) so I thought that leaving them plain was more versatile and they had the zoned colours to back them up.

All in all, I'm really pleased with how the exhibition has gone and ready to progress with the idea now. This module finishes in February so we haven't got much longer to work on it. We'll be presenting it to the head of Art & Media when we get back in January though so I'll have more refined visuals to show by then.

15 December 2011

CHRISTMAS CARDS


Every year I buy lovely Christmas cards from Paperchase or a craft shop and just scribble my name into them. As much as I love giving cards out, hand made ones feel so much more special. This year I decided to make the time and come up with my own designs. I'm really pleased with them and hope the recipients like them too :)

I knew what kind of style I wanted to do (I really like plain black and white doodles and hand drawn type) so I started sketching some ideas together and came up with these four final designs. Christmas songs make me so happy and I'm always randomly singing them wherever I go! So I decided to use some lyrics for the cards.

I've really enjoyed drawing them, so much that I'm thinking of making a whole calendar in this style for 2012.... so I need to get drawing!

8 December 2011

MY WEEK IN PHOTOS 08/12/11


It's been a pretty fun week! I spent most of last weekend working, babysitting and re-writing my proposal for my uni dissertation (which I hope I never have to do again). It's been a bit more interesting in the week though. I've been shopping with Aled quite a lot recently, but not for new clothes and bags (which I'd love to!) but for more grown-up things like wallpaper and paint samples and hoovers :') Not your most glamorous shopping trips but they've been really exciting and we actually have nothing left to buy until our huge trip to IKEA now! We haven't been in the house for nearly a month so I haven't got a clue at what will have changed but we're going on Saturday afternoon so I can't wait :)

On Monday I had my Identity Design seminar in uni. We've been working on a re-brand for our Arts & Media part of the uni for that module. Last week everyone was given a dedicated space in the gallery to design a PDF of your ideas, along with space for feedback, to be printed and hung up. They were all up on Monday so we all went to have a look. There are so many clever ideas from everyone which left me feeling not so good about mine (which I think is pretty natural to be honest). I was pleasantly surprised when I went back in there before leaving uni at 5 though as there was a bunch of positive comments! One person had even said that it was their favourite! I'm pleased to carry on with that work now so I'll have to do a separate post about it all.

It's been a week of firsts this week. First mince pie of 2011, first time I've been able to light a lighter and my first tattoo.... sort of! Chris asked if he could draw on my knuckles on Monday in uni and I wasn't bothered so let him go ahead. He did some lovely type on my knuckles saying LOVE LIFE. I'd never actually have it done but I loved the style of type!

Yesterday was lovely. I went with Aled and his Mum to see his Nain in Beaumaris in the morning. I think I'd only been to Beaumaris once before and it was years ago so it was really nice to go. I would have taken some photos but it was freezing so there was no way I was taking my mittens off! We're hoping to go back in a few weeks though because there was a lovely kitchen shop in the town. After getting back, we went straight over to the house site to pick our kitchen. It was really surreal picking the cabinets and worktops but I loved it. Apparently a lot of couples and families argue about what colour kitchen to get but we both loved the same one :) And then I saw Leanne in the evening for a cup of tea and a natter.

I'm going to my friend Erika's for a cuppa tonight and then working tomorrow. But roll on the weekend for a lie in and a trip to the Holland Arms with Aled, Nat and Phil :)


5 December 2011

DEC THE HALLS


I'm a sucker for Christmas, as you've probably guessed by now! I love to have the tree up on December 1st because it's way too pretty to leave until a couple of weeks before!

Our tree is quite big for the space we have but it's lasted years and years. I love real trees because they look better and smell amazing but they're too expensive for the big ones. Our bauble collection is a bit mis-match, which I prefer really :) Each one is more or less unique and and a different colour. My favourites are the gingerbread style ones and the Disney ones. I collect the Disney traditions ornaments and I found out last year that they do Christmas tree decorations so I invested in a couple.

Loving seeing everyone else's tree pictures on facebook and twitter :) Even though we aren't doing presents this year, I'm feeling very christmassy <3