Giveaway time

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Sunday, January 31, 2010 0 comments

Heads-up about the first of two giveaways I'm doing over the next couple of weeks. The first is kindly being hosted by the lovely Daisy Dayz and I'm offered this clutch as a giveaway, including free worldwide shipping so please do head over to Daisys to add your name into the hat!

Silk starburst bloom clutch

This giveaway runs until the 6th of February and you can multiple post if you follow the rules that Daisy Dayz sets out. Good luck with that one and never fear if you don't win as I'll be hosting my own giveaway here when this one expires to win one of my original printed clutches. Yay!

Junk yard blues

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Saturday, January 30, 2010 5 comments

I shot some slide film last week while I was testing out the lovely Nikon and cross-processed it today. I love the increased grain and contrast, the heavy shadowing and saturated colour, all achieved without a sniff of Photoshop. Joy! This camera is wooing me - I shot these pics on a cloudy day, handheld, indoors at the local reclamation yard. They came back looking like they'd been shot in a ramshackle Spanish Cantina.

Old Man's Beard

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Friday, January 29, 2010 0 comments

Earlier this week I posted some images that I'd created in the colour darkroom, using Clematis seedheads (colloquial name 'old man's beard'). Last night whilst trawling through Google and Flickr I discovered some amazing images that have been created using this ethereal hairy plant.

Bill Westheimer's work is breathtaking. These images have such movement and drama, and the Collodion Glass Plate technique adds an unusual inky depth.

Clematis 17, original photogram on collodion glass plate by Bill Westheimer

Clematis 11, original photogram on collodion glass plate by Bill Westheimer

I don't know much about S├ębastien Maloron but he publishes his work under the moniker Ventadour on Flickr and Deviantart. This image below has the distinctive finish of a Lith print - a technique that is created in the darkroom with specific Lith paper and developer, I love the grain and beautiful contrast.

lith print on Fomatone 132, Moersch Easylith 1+50, Homemade G253 1+100 by S├ębastien Maloron

Finally, here's a Clematis ziatype (of the flower before it seeds) by German photographer Wolfgang Moersch. I must admit I didn't know what a Ziatype was until I googled and I found out more about it here, it seems to be an offshoot of the palladium-platinum printing system.
Clematis Ziatype by Wolfgang Moersch


Posted by Red Ruby Rose Thursday, January 28, 2010 3 comments

A beautiful and haunting Etsy find: Lemmikkiapina. Paulina makes the most astounding sculptured animals that have an incredible emotional depth. There is a sense of stoical burden and quiet melancholy to these creatures, which are lovingly hand-stitched and assembled with collected materials, old lace and buttons. New additions to the shop sell very quickly but custom orders are accepted. Find out more about the artist in this interview on enhabiten blog.

Peacocks and plummage

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Wednesday, January 27, 2010 3 comments

I've added two new peacock clutches to the shop this week.... I'm still loving this fabric after nearly two years of working with it and these new additions broaden the range. Lovely peacocks.

This morning I booked a session in my local colour darkroom. I realised I hadn't been for over a year which I'm a little ashamed about as these facilities need to be used. Most colour darkrooms have been phased out so it's a little jewel. Note to self, use it or lose it! The session was an experiment as the chemistry is out of date there and I was testing to see if it was still useable. Unfortunately it wasn't so great but I still had fun. I couldn't contact-print the paper negatives so I inverted them in Photoshop (below), not ideal as I can't get the same depth and saturation of colour but I'll go and do some more shots next month when the chemistry has been replaced. My plan is to update my 'polaroidsandpinholes' Etsy shop over the next couple of months as it's a little unloved at the moment and to get inspired for new textile prints.

Hello chicken

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Tuesday, January 26, 2010 2 comments

'Barker', our ditzy chook - test shot on Nikon SLR

Being a fickle creature, I've been seduced by the lure of an SLR camera, which is a bit rich after my posting last week in which I pretty much dismissed the idea. I square the blame at my friendly local camera shop, who have kindly loaned me a Nikon T55 (a basic entry-level Nikon film camera) and a rather tasty Nikon micro lens to have a go with for a couple of days. Oooohhh, it's a bit lovely, especially shooting onto film as it adds a layer of trepidation to each frame. The shallow depth of field on this lens is striking too, something I could never capture with a point and shoot.

bamboo plant in the backyard - test shot on Nikon SLR

Seedhead in the garden - test shot on Nikon SLR

Fairy lights - test shot on Nikon SLR

So... the question is should I get the camera? Well, actually I can't afford it at the moment thanks to it being tax-bill time but it is very tempting for when I can. I've also had a lot of fun shooting pictures with my lovely little Diana mini camera. A completely different proposition this one... perfect for atmospheric and slightly wonky shots. Very charming and frustrating in equal measures (the second roll of film snapped in the camera - the winding mechanism is rubbish)

My favourite shot of this batch taken with a Diana mini, a clothes line and pegs

Diana mini - light leak from film snapping and me opening the back of camera - doh!

fir tree taken on Diana mini

Fig tree, taken with Diana mini


Posted by Red Ruby Rose Wednesday, January 20, 2010 1 comments


Sea holly 1

Sea holly 2

Having finally got the scanner out of the box yesterday I had a look through some of my old albums this afternoon to see if there was anything worth scanning. I'd forgotten how much I love film - there is still a quality that is hard to capture in digital without a lot of post-production work. I'd also forgotten how many reams of prints I'd taken for illustration jobs and how much easier it would have been if I'd had a digital camera at that time!

Of the images above I could see the roses and the sea holly translating onto leather prints for my clutches and I may well try them out in my next batch of designs.

Obsessed with abstracts and heart over head

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Tuesday, January 19, 2010 0 comments

Recently I've been mulling over cameras, and more specifically purchasing a high-end digital point & shoot or decent DSLR. I'd never really got to grips with SLRs, having more interest in low end point & shoots, toy cameras, polaroids and alternative photographic processes like photograms instead.

Taking the plunge into the world of SLRs isn't be a decision to be made lightly, not least because of the cost. The last few weeks I've been researching and pondering the merits and drawbacks and I finally made a fairly decisive decision after a lovely day out this Sunday at Avonmouth and Severn Beach taking photos and having a trial go on Chris's Nikon DSLR.

The camera was lovely, the weight of the shutter and solidity of the build. It had all the bells and whistles, but it didn't instantly grab me. I'd need to do an intensive course or lots of reading up to make the process quick and intuitive and I'm not sure that's a path I want to follow - at least not for the time being. After half an hour I switched back to my faithful compact and had lots of fun taking closeups and details from a fantastic mini-funfair that hadn't seen much fun for at least the last decade by the look of the decaying rides and weathered buildings. Amazing for photographs though.

Details of a weathered formica tabletop - nice contrast between the bright yellow and grey and the lichens growing in the gap

A detail of plastic sheeting leaning against a wall

Cherry motif on one of the fairground rides

Taking these pics made me realise that my little digital point and shoot is more than adequate for days out snapping and for taking my bag pictures between Toby photoshoots. Then Chris texted me to say our friend Sally had just bought a Diana mini. Curiosity piqued I checked out the camera and it was love at first sight.

Diana mini, 35mm film camera

Hello lover. An inexpensive little plastic camera that takes 35mm film, shoots square film and half frame and is basically cute as a button. I also adore the idea of going back to film, it feels wierdly subversive. So, I purchased one and it arrived today, yay! I dug out an old film in the back of a cupboard, loaded it up, snapped half the film before realising I hadn't taken the lens cap off, and managed to mess up the exposures on most of the rest. Still I rushed down to the nearest 30 minute photo lab and gleefully took my precious (and rather rubbish) paper beauties back to scan. The scanner was still in the box from last year but it didn't take long to get it up and running.

Metal table top photographed with Diana mini

And this is the reason I love film and crap cameras. Vignetting on the edge, abstract details, grain, wonky light leaks... it makes my heart skip a beat.

More snow

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Wednesday, January 13, 2010 0 comments

More snow in Bristol overnight - yippee! Went for a lovely snowy walk today before it all melts.

Let it snow

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Wednesday, January 6, 2010 2 comments

It doesn't snow much in Bristol so it was a treat to get a good snowfall overnight. On with the wellies and a good stomp around town. Quiet roads and lots of people having fun in the white stuff, lovely!

New Year's Day walk

Posted by Red Ruby Rose Saturday, January 2, 2010 2 comments

Happy New Year! We took advantage of the winter sunshine (and refreshing lack of hangover) on New Year's Day and took a walk by the coast.

Bright yellow lichen on the seawalls - an unexpected and startling carpet of sunshine.

Beautiful ice patterns in the puddles

Setting sun casts a warm glow on the trees