Thursday, 18 April 2013

Friday, 27 May 2011

Birthday boy...

Twas the boyfriend's Birthday yesterday, excess time on my hands and no money at my disposal meant only one thing: handmade gifts. With him being a Doctor Who aficionado I thought it'd be nice, well, logical, to make him Who-based gifts.

I stumbled across a t-shirt on Etsy a few months back, a pastiche of the WWII "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters, but instead reading; "Keep Calm and Call The Doctor" and which he took a shine to. I went to look for it two weeks ago and found nothing, the shirt had been sold. It then occurred to me that this might be a good time to bring the screen printing kit I bought a year ago into action. First I knocked up the template on Illustrator:

I altered the position of the TARDIS; if I remember right, it was sat around the text as an outline, which didn't look right. I placed the entire TARDIS on top of the text, much like the crown in the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters, but it was too small, and would have been near impossible to transfer to the screen, so placing it on the side was both practical and looks rather effective. Printed, and traced onto the screen. Now for the screen block. I've never, ever, sat through anything quite as tedious as filling every unwanted hole on a screen...

And hurrah, after a day of solid work, it's done. Those O's are a sod. Wrapped it as is, we're going to print the t-shirt together this weekend. I've had a few other people asking me for prints of the design too, so If anyone's interested drop me an email:

The second part of this Who-themed craft extravaganza was a birthday cake. Now, I've never actually made a Birthday cake like this; I always used to make my own, a plain coconut cake with coconut icing, but this is something completely new. I set out with the intention of making a TARDIS, sat upright, much like:

But was informed that nine out of ten times, the entire thing flops under the weight of the sponge, so it was decided the cake would lay flat. My biggest problem would be the icing; I'd never used fondant icing before and had no clue how to go about it. His dear mum gave me his favourite chocolate cake recipe and suggested I don't use fondant icing, instead use marshmallow icing. It turned out that marshmallow icing was fun. Tremendous amounts of fun. Melt down marshmallows the same way you would chocolate, then add icing sugar; when the icing is in a ball at a thick enough consistency, take it from the bowl and knead it much like bread dough, using icing sugar as you would flour.

Anyway, I did a trial run on the icing a week before making the cake, using the pink marshmallows from the pack. I couldn't use them in the final piece because the pink colouring would affect whichever other colour I would have needed. So, this was the result:

Despite the extra three windows in each pane, it came out surprisingly well. It has a foamy texture and is really soft, so was easy to work with. It's also not as sickly as fondant icing and still tastes of marshmallow.

So, I knew I could pull the icing off. Got up yesterday at 6, prepped the kitchen, and started the cake at 6:45. I finished the cake at 4:45 that afternoon...

Ta-da! I'd added the white bits at the side because I really didn't want the candles sat in the cake. Quite pleased with it. Would rather the blue a bit darker, but it took an entire bottle to get it that dark. He was over the moon with it though, so 'twas a success.

I also set out with the intention of making him a TARDIS laptop sticker, like:

But the vinyl didn't arrive in time. :(
So, after a long week of slaving away, it kind of paid off...

It's a shame about what it's done to my sanity though...

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Better Photos!

FMP is in (woo hoo!) And here are the better photos of the dissertation book, as promised:


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Printed Dissertation

After three weeks of waiting, my dissertation arrived today, looking very book like! Take a look:

Will put some better pictures later - have a final major project to tie up and hand in!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Business cards

Ordered my business cards from two weeks ago, in hope they'd arrive in time for last Thursday's exhibition, but was then told they were delayed until this Wednesday. Absolute shame, as they've just arrived and they're utterly gorgeous! Take a look:

The lighting doesn't do the colour any favours. I'm very impressed with the result!

Nonagon Pre-View Exhibition

So, we held the private view of our class exhibition last Thursday, and everything seemed to go down splendidly. Just look!

Photos by Jan Surakiat.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The A4 Draw

While I'm here, I'd like to stick up a quick post about The A4 Draw I've organised to raise funds towards our final London show...

The A4 Draw
"The A4 Draw gives you the chance to win a limited edition A4 piece of artwork by established designers and illustrators, as well as work by up and coming graphic design students from South Essex College.
The aim of The A4 Draw is to aid in raising funds towards the final year graduate show at New Designers for the 3rd year BA (Hons) Graphic Design course at South Essex College.
A big thank you to all our contributors and to everyone who buys a ticket. Thanks for your support, and good luck!"