For the love of tea

358th anniversary of tea

Cool design. What ho! This week Google celebrated the most loving, long-term relationship on earth, the one between Brits and their tea. “The first advert for tea in England appeared on this date [23 September] in a publication from 1658 describing it simply as a “China Drink.” A couple of years later, English Naval Administrator Samuel Pepys wrote about drinking tea in his diary entry from 1660.”

And on that note check out the Food Timeline, an incredible archive of food and their first recorded mentions in history. Endlessly fascinating – who knew pretzels first popped up in the 5th century?

Photoshop skills to pay the bills

Pitfield Cafe FlowersLike many people of a certain age, my experience with Photoshop began with a little experimentation here and there, correcting the blemishes of ones fifteen year old face, and cropping my parents out of pictures where I looked REALLY GOOD. Since then, I’ve never really bothered with any formal training, despite the fact I use the programme every day at work. This of course has pros, such as helping me develop a mindset of experimentation, and cons, like not knowing many time-saving hot keys.

Enter Adobe Knowhow. They have produced a 100% free Photoshop course designed for the total beginner. It promises that ‘you will learn Adobe Photoshop CC from the ground up, with no prior experience required’.

Over thirteen hours of bite-sized lessons, you’ll learn to create and manage colour in an image, use layers and work with filters. You’ll also get a resoundingly good overview of all the little tools and options available to you in the work space. I really recommend it for anyone who is starting from scratch, or has just been playing around by themselves for years… Within the first few lessons I learned how to make all my windows the same zoom % – which is a total game-changer!

Plus at the end you’ll get a little badge of achievement which you can use on your LinkedIn profile, or simply list the course on your resume. Sounds like an excellent deal to me.

Mini craft project: pinboard

This is the part where I get all Pinterest on you. I picked up this cork board for £1 in a Salvation Army jumble sale on Saturday morning. A little masking tape and some gold spray paint, and voila, a board worthy of pinning. I’m actively trying to train myself to see the possibility in old goods, rather than buying everything new. I think this fits the bill – and I’m pretty chuffed with the results



TIP: If you’re going to make one of these, rule a line down the centre of your board in pencil before starting. You can then use this line to align the apex of every chevron.

God’s Own Junkyard

God's Own JunkyardLast September, news got out the God’s Own Junkyard, artist Chris Bracey’s shrine to all things illuminated, was being closed after developers purchased the site. Cue hordes of people, including myself, high tailing it to Walthamstow to see the collection before it was dismantled. Thankfully, a new home has been found for God’s Own Junkyard – resurrection!

Here are some snaps of our visit to the original site (on its last weekend), a feast of glorious, blinding neon:

100yearsGod's Own Junkyard God's Own Junkyard God's Own JunkyardGod's Own JunkyardGod's Own Junkyard
God’s Own Junkyard

Unit 12, Ravenswood, Industrial Estate Shernhall Street
London, E17 9HQ, UK

Daily photo: small is beautiful

Jet lag still has me wandering around the neighbourhood at all hours, hello 5:30AM. One such walk took me down to the Viaduct and past this cute shipping container micro-library on Te Wero Island. It totally has the 1960’s bach vibe nailed. The perfect place to grab a seat and watch the ships go by.


J is for Jelly Tip

NZ stamps A-Z

A 2008 New Zealand 50 cent stamp set, featuring various kiwi icons (not so sure about Quake, however). In other news, I’ve just remembered about the existence of Jelly Tips*, Giant Jelly Tips and Jelly Tip Trumpets. Emotional.

*A Popsicle style ice-cream on a stick, featuring a wodge of frozen raspberry jelly on the tip, surrounded by a thin chocolate shell.