Flying without wings (or ears)

There are many factors to travelling when deaf.  I love travelling alone (another post for another time!) but I always make sure I do a few things when flying. 

I let the airline know I am deaf when I check in or drop my case off, so if there is ever any issues or a case of emergency they would know to have an airline steward let me know directly. They often ask if I need assistance which I don’t, but I mainly do it to make them aware and they usually give me a filled in form to hand in at the boarding gate. 

It’s just communication, plain (plane?) and simple. 

Window seat? Yes, I love the view and let’s be morbid, if the plane fails and falls out of the sky at least I get a good view rather than surrounded by screaming people, with no idea what is happening, which would only heighten your own panic and confusion. Plus you can ignore the people sitting next to you, so no awkward small talk. 

Aisle seat? Let your fellow seatmate know you are deaf in case you are blocking their exit to the aisle and if you fall asleep, their first instinct is probably to talk to you to wake you up, so that’s no good. Yes, you may get a stranger nudging you but better than waking up, due to someone clambering over you. Awkward for all involved. 

I swear by these Mentos Big Gum pieces when flying. Not an ad, although if they’d send me a lifetimes supply for my travels, I wouldn’t say no 😉

The pieces are big enough to chew properly on your molars as close to the ears as possible,  opening and closing your estauchian tubes and the juiciness makes you swallow, also helping to equalise the pressure. None of these skinny wrigleys or puny extras or the non chewiness of wine gums, which I love but honestly, a few chews and you’re done and from personal experience, accidentally scoffing a whole pack of wine gums due to panic chewing as the airplane increasingly climbs makes you feel sick. 

You need something to last a bit longer and not so sickly. Due to the size of the Mentos, they do last the whole taxii-ng and taking off procedure. I usually pop two at a time on the runway and go for a third when climbing in the air. Make those Eustachian tubes work!

There’s 15 in a pack so there’s enough for your return flight home. 

Please note if you neck them all (why?), it does say on the package that there is a laxative effect, but any way to get you moving on the plane, hey?

The red fruit and lime taste is yum too, anything lime based is a winner in my eyes! 

 If you’re flying whilst deaf and wear BTE aids like I do, for goodness sake, take your hearing aids off so there’s no extra barrier for the air pressure to equalise against, otherwise you will get extremely painful ear pressure that won’t ‘pop’ and will block your ears.

Enjoy the peace and quiet if there is a crying baby on board or Business Bros intent on discussing their deals the whole flight. Ahhhh, bliss. 

I love the novelty of not wearing my hearing aids when awake and it may help me realise more about what I can and can’t hear.

 Can you hear that luggage bin closing above your head when the stewardesses slams it? 

Are you aware of the tannoy announcement even if you don’t know what they are saying? Different things to experience and make a note of.

I try to fly only with Virgin as I feel they are one of the best airlines in terms of customer service and they have always been really good for me (Virgin Flight Club represent!). Their online entertainment systems have changed throughout the years and thankfully always improving! 

The latest airplanes have the Vera online entertainment system with a fantastic clear quality screen and they have helpfully recently put captioned films in a category all of their own, under Genres. 

They have a fantastic selection of films 

(yes I am watching Zootropolis for the third time, don’t judge) and you can line them all up in a “saved movies” playlist  and hit play! 

I just wish they would add subtitled versions of the documentaries as well as some kids shows. Would love to watch the Nora Ephron documentary! 

Customs – As SOON as you approach the counter, let the border person know you are deaf, you lipread or communicate through writing or if you have any special communication needs. This is important as they are your gatekeeper to freedom from the airport and you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot! 

Enjoy the destination, safe travels and I’ll write more about travelling when deaf. See you on the flip side! 

10 favourite pieces of art for Scream’s 20th anniversary!

What’s your favourite scary movie? Mine is Scream and I am always excited each year to see what items come out from fans, artists or licensed labels alike. As it’s the 20th anniversary(!), I thought I would round up a few of my favourite tributes for a seminal horror classic that helped revitalise the genre.

I am a big fan of acrylic jewellery and love getting custom pieces made. I utterly loved this custom Ghostface necklace that a spooky Scream lover, Alice designed with the jewellery maker, Black Heart Creatives and they kindly let me order one as well.

It’s one of my favourite pieces ever and is so well made. I love the little puddle of glittery blood! Scream stars have always commented on it when they have seen it, Wes Craven faved it on Twitter and Rose McGowan owns one as well!

I love a film shirt and Shirtpunch make some of my all time favourites, as they have great quality designs and the shirts are amongst some of the best in my wardrobe to wear. 
They put out a fantastic range of Scream shirts for 24 hours and I haven’t seen anything as creative since, what with Truffle Shuffle, Areopostale bringing out shirts with the poster on and Wal-Mart,  Fright Rags bringing out licensed Ghostface shirts. Even Wes Craven retweeted the Shirt Punch designs and we know he loved a slogan shirt! 

 I am a member of several Scream groups online but so many people talk about masks, robes, knives, all things Ghostface related, that its nice to find artists concentrating on the characters or scenes from the movie.

Over the years, several pieces had caught my eye such as a few minimalist posters or fan made art posters that circulated the Internet or was published in magazines, but it wasn’t until this beautiful piece by Mute Art popped up at the Celluloid Screams horror festival and art exhibition in Sheffield a few years ago, that I bothered him into making it available as a print and I made my first art purchase. 
From the same exhibition, I also couldn’t resist this adorable little Ghostface by Mal Fisher, how cute is it?

Dale McCarthy is a friend of mine and does the most amazing art, I am honoured to finally add one of his works to my collection, although I was very torn between his Scream choices.  Here is a fantastic drawing of Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker from a Scream promotional photoshoot.

I love the way Dale really captures Rose McGowan and he has one of the finest depictions of Matthew Lillard I have seen. Matthew now has one of his original pieces too!

I finally met Jamie Kennedy at London Film and Comic Con this year and it was great to meet the actor behind Randy, our favourite horror film geek! He signed autographs, took many photos and enjoyed seeing what Scream fans wore to meet him. He was curious about my Shirtpunch shirt, loved my Black Heart Creatives necklace and took a liking to this Woodsboro pennant made by Rat Kings Co collaborating with Creepy Co.

Aaron McMillan does the most fantastic pop culture caricature art, bringing the essence of a film scene or character alive on paper. I got this fantastic motivational Tatum “Hang In There” print coming my way, can’t wait!

Emma Munger does amazing pin up illustrations of pop culture characters and she teased this amazing Sidney and Billy art on her tumblr, as a commission for someone with very good taste.

Emma promises that we will get a further look at the other characters before Halloween, so I am very excited for that and will definitely buy a print or two! 
My all time favourite art piece would be this stunning large Mondo print by Ghoulish Gary Pullin, showing Drew Barrymore’s iconic opening scene, in a Roy Lichtenstein inspired style. 

Gary told me how it was the fastest approval Drew had given to anything with her likeness, according to the studio, and it is such a beautiful piece, I can’t wait to get mine framed and have been appreciating all the framed photos other fans have shared on instagram. This limited edition of 225 prints was released at a Texas convention where Matthew and Skeet did a special Alamo Drafthouse Scream screening and it is now fetching triple digits on ebay. 
The Final Girls are an online collective that do great illustrations, art and enamel pins. They brought out this wonderful  Wes Craven print, along with a matching pin, I feel it is a fitting tribute to his legacy.

A final note, as Wes Craven sadly passed away last year, Funworld paid tribute by contributing a percentage of their 25th Anniversary Silver Chrome mask sales to a brain cancer charity in Wes’ honour. It’s a beautiful looking mask, I don’t even collect masks and I’m tempted to get one. You can get one in the UK, through Mad About Horror.

Do you have a favourite piece from the art I have listed above? What ways do you like to pay tribute to your favourite movies? I know others collect enamel pins, stickers, even tattoos!

Meeting Rose McGowan at Cyrcle’s first solo art exhibition in Shoreditch!

Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge fan of teen and horror movies and Scream is one of my all time favourites!

A few months ago, actress, singer and newly awarded director Rose McGowan tweeted that she was in town to attend her husband, Davey Detail’s art exhibition and I jumped at the chance to hopefully meet her and check out some new exciting art.

Shoreditch is not one of the easiest places to get to from work but I prevailed, encouraged by Riikka worrying that it would be a closed press night but as I walked up, the warm lights through the open doors beckoned everyone in!

I grabbed a flyer and some stickers and started to look at the art on the walls, as much as I could move around the very packed gallery. (Yes, I love my phone’s panoramic feature!)

There were cocktails handed out in gorgeous mason jars and photographers documenting CYRCLE’s Davey and Rabi as they mingled with the gallery crowd.

The CYRCLE art collective as a whole, consists of three artists, all from very different backgrounds (graffiti, fine art and design) and their work is really striking to look at as it moves from woodprints, stretched canvases and screenprints, to busts on pillars to shadow boxes.

The crowd dispersed a bit when the bar shut down, so thankfully we all had more breathing room to step back and look at the art as a whole rather than being so close your nose is almost touching the frame (a good perspective, but doesn’t work for all pieces!).
I really enjoyed several pieces you can see below, especially the NAKED one and the CYRCLE print is still a instant favourite. I am still tempted to buy a print from the gallery, fingers crossed they still have it! (These images are from a few days later on the weekend, I went back to get some proper photos!)

As I was checking out more of the artwork, I saw Rose talking with friends and fellow gallery goers. I didn’t want to interrupt so I waited until she was heading to a different part of the gallery before saying her name and as she turned to face me, she smiled as she got a glimpse of the Dawn flyers I had printed.

We talked about Dawn premiering at Sundance, she told me it was coming to London and fistpumped with joy and excitement!  Rose showed me some amazing stills from the movie. I cannot wait to see it, it just looks like a true slice of Americana, with gorgeous pastel colours and atmospheric locations.

For Christmas, I’d bought a Scream themed Ghostface necklace from the talented BlackHearts Creative, designed by the marvellously macabre Smokin Tofu    (favourited by Wes Craven!)

I’d brought a spare one along to show Rose in the hopes she may pose for a photo and model it as only she could.  She instantly mentioned how she loved working with Wes Craven and Matthew Lillard and gladly posed for a photo or two! Rose gladly kept the necklace too.

I also got the chance to congratulate Davey on his show and his brilliant artwork. They are a talented couple and just seem to bring out the best in each other.  I look forward to seeing what else they create!

I have my tickets ready for Dawn’s showing in Sundance London, Dawn will be in the Shorts Programme on Saturday and Sunday! Who else is going?

Statement Jewellery! Tatty Devine gets the 80’s treatment!

 Warning, this is a picture heavy post!

I have a lot of love for British independent jewellery brand, Tatty Devine, they create fantastic, unusual and creative pieces of jewellery ranging from perspex to fine silver and have had an amazing year, culminating in the designers, Rosie and Harriet being awarded MBEs! 
They have a legendary sample sale once a year, held over the first May bank holiday in their Brick Lane shop and prices start at a very reasonable £5. 

Being fortunate enough to have got some vouchers recently due to my birthday before the weekend, Saturday morning I trekked to Brick Lane and queued with many other Tatty Devine fans, most of us wearing pieces from their collections. I wore my black medium Pegasus wings necklace which I bought on a whim at the last sample sale and it has turned out to be one of my most favourite necklaces! 
Rummaging through the sale bins and boxes, you find old production items ranging from the inception of Tatty Devine ( a slice of tomato, Harriet? 😉 ) to recent items still for sale in store for full price.
Look at that amazing swans belt buckle? Swoon. Piece of art!

I wanted to show a selection of the items I bought but wondered how I could tie them in to the very loose theme of this blog? 
Matt Dillon’s face gave me the answer! I collect teen magazines from the ’80s and thought I would rope in the pin ups to help display Tatty Devine, perfect! So here goes! 

      Matt Dillon makes hearts flutter in a Silver Pegasus wings necklace

Rob Lowe turns the smoulder factor up to 11 with a Volume knob brooch 

Adam Ant is a sight for sore eyes with a pair of Cartoon Eyes rings 

Michelle is waiting for her Cool Rider wearing an Enamel Swallows necklace.

Tatty Devine are well known for large statement pieces, their necklaces are my favourite items so I was glad to pick up this large mirrored chain in the sale, although I narrowly missed out on their iconic parakeet necklace! 

Olivia and John : bit of thigh action in chains, kinky.

Brooke dons these Crazy 3D specs to distract from the knitwear! 
I was fortunate enough to get more Tatty Devine vouchers from my dear friend Sam on Saturday evening, I knew exactly what I wanted to get. A Comic Speech Bubble necklace! So I managed to hold off from heading out to the sale again, although it was tempting with so many goodies being shared on Instagram and twitter. 

I ventured into their Monmouth Street store at lunchtime today, filled out a form and they do it for you on the spot, it usually takes 20 minutes but due to lots of orders, the lovely sales lady asked me to come back in an hour. 
This was waiting for me when I got back! 
(The necklace normally comes on a gold chain, ironically I don’t wear gold so asked for silver!) 
This phrase is from the young adult ’60s classic novel and pre-Brat Pack ’80s movie The Outsiders as the characters are inspired by Robert Frost’s poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.
That’s not all, I asked for it to be double sided! Here are the two sides on display on two books from my collection. (Yes, I collect different editions of S E Hinton novels. Please don’t ask me how many I have!) 
French novel gifted to me by my fellow Outsiders fan, Vanina!
Italian edition with my favourite character Two-Bit and signed by Emilio Estevez himself <3
The two sides in one image with their respective speakers! Hi bb Tom Cruise!

Thank you Tatty Devine for being a joy to buy from and wear.  One day I will own your fine silver chip fork! 

Never judge a book by its cover!

Merry Christmas, Teen Dreamers! 
Hope you’ve enjoyed the festive season so far!
I made the above bunting to hang on my shelves when I’d done all my wrapping. 
Am rather tempted to leave it up all year. 
As the nights draw in and it’s cold, I always find seem to find myself outside a second hand bookshop.
Today I ventured into Any Amount Of Books, which is always fun to visit.
I’m trying to be better with book buying/spending so I reluctantly put down three Enid Blyton Circus books that would have been just perfect for a friend and started to rifle through their film shelves.
The fun about these places is that you never know what will be on the shelves.
oooh, what’s this?
Oooh, let’s have a look inside!
That’s….not what I was expecting.

In the back is a portfolio of the artworks with titles, dates and an essay from the artist, Dawn Mellor on Michael Jackson’s appeal to her as a black teen. She stopped when his songs were turning too ‘seductive’ and ‘predatory’.
I thought this was such an unusual book, I bet some Michael Jackson fan/collector would like to have it. 

 The rest of Any Amount has lots to discover in piled high shelves, boxes, tables and corners. I was tempted by this New Women In Rock book in the half price basement. You can’t go wrong with Grace Jones, Heart, Siouxsie and others! 

I ended up with this amazing new book on Bowie, published this year, Any Amount had it for half the retail price and it’s a gorgeous little book. Can’t wait to read more of it this weekend…

and I shall be bringing you new magazine treats in the new year! 
Ohhhh… Yesss indeed.
Oh, I noticed a few people have been leaving comments with requests, I shall have a few posts up soon!

Scott and Olly’s great Silhouettes Showdown!

Oh, I love the Internet, just the fact that you can find, follow, support and interact with talented, creative people who do something you like!

My last Twin Peaks entry left me wondering what Scott Campbell was doing now and was ecstatic to find out he was doing a signing of Great Showdowns at Forbidden Planet the next week!
He wouldn’t be alone either as Olly Moss would be signing his new book too, Silhouettes of Popular Culture.

Just look at that amazing cover on Olly’s book

 and can you name all the movies on Scott’s?

I followed Olly Moss’s work ever since he did that amazing minimalist black and red movie graphic set on Flickr (how much do you love the Indiana Jones one, sigh), that infamous Spoilt shirt and he started doing posters in Empire magazine too.

I couldn’t turn that opportunity down to see the two of them in one place and especially when Scott C emailed to say he was bringing Twin Peaks prints to sell alongside signing his books, I just had to go!
The signing was only for an hour from 6-7pm so I was anxious that I may not get there in time as I finish work at 6.

Luckily Forbidden Planet is just down the road from the office and the queue was starting to wrap around the horror and supernatural romance shelves by the time I stepped down into the basement. So many lurid covers to giggle at.
As I peered around the people nearing the front, I could see the artists themselves taking their time to talk to people, drawing portraits in books, doodling and signing away and how did I never know that Scott C looked like Jason Sudeikis?! Um, helloooo.

I saw a girl in a West Ham scarf manning Scott’s portfolio as people flipped through. Alas I had no cash on me(self, stop doing that) but I was able to reserve the last print of Concentrating on the Js that Scott had in his portfolio, hooray! She kindly took it out and put it in an envelope for me to pick up after the book signing then I carried on waiting in the queue and flicking through the books.

As an 80s pop culture fan, these two books are a total delight, both very striking in their artwork and a real joy for anyone who is a fan of films and artwork. Olly’s book of silhouettes riffs on the art of profile silhouettes by showing the profiles of famous characters from films, television and video games. They are strikingly beautiful and it’s amazing how well Olly is able to get characters down to the bare details.

Great Scott! 
Where’s your brain?

Scott’s Great Showdowns has a more whimsical watercolour take on the showdowns that happen in our favourite films, all with smiley faces painted on.

I feel funky

The cheque’s in the mail!

Lots of people were there for Scott and Olly, I was also hoping that Kate Beaton may make an appearance and had brought her brilliant books, Hark! A Vagrant and Never Learn Anything From History.

I later stood off to the side to purchase my Twin Peaks piece  and saw Kate Beaton talking to Olly!

 I waited to be sure it was her, she introduced herself to someone as Kate and then I managed to catch her eye and ask if she would sign my books? She walked over and said hi as I took my books out, I had one of the original books of History and she was excited to see it, noting that it was one of the original runs and thanking me for taking care of it. We talked a little about history, comics and being in London and she drew a pair of my favourite characters of hers, The Mystery Solvin’ Teens!

Needless to say the signing completely overran and there were lots of happy people clutching their signed books. Thanks to Forbidden Planet for running it all smoothly and to Olly, Scott and Kate for their time and signing so many books and prints! I cannot wait to frame my Twin Peaks art, it is even more beautiful close up.

I popped into Forbidden Planet at lunchtime on Friday to get some more copies of the books as Christmas presents for friends, and was delighted to see a stack of signed Kate Beaton books for sale.
Here are a few of the characters she drew! I really do recommend her Hark A Vagrant book for fans of history and literature, they’re such fun to read.

I love the 80s Power Dressing Woman!

Do you have any favourite webcomics that you recommend? 

Twin Peaks 20th Anniversary Art Exhibition

“Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

Twin Peaks is such a fantastic, off beat and creepy show. Who can forget David Lynch and Mark Frost’s show populated by a cast of delightful characters ranging from Agent Dale Cooper, to the Log Lady and the delicious Audrey Horne?

Too young to see it when it first aired (if it even had a proper showing here?), I’d always heard about this seminal influential show especially as I was an obsessed X-Files fan and got a chance to see it when it was one of the first programmes they ran on Channel 5 when it started here. I still find it so unsettling and funny at the same time. 

I found out about a 20th Anniversary exhibition happening at the Menier Gallery through Twitter and was eager to go, especially since it was on for such a short time. It closed today and the curator (Suet May Ling) herself was in attendance talking to the exhibition attendees about certain pieces on the walls and selling some great looking (but expensive) merchandise. I would have loved to have an RR mug or a Log Lady tee, all officially approved by David Lynch, but not to be. 

Jo came along and we met outside the Southwark Cathedral to make our way to the exhibition. Jo had ‘Poor Man’s Rum’ whilst I had a Chai Latte to fend off the freezing wind. 

 It’s a small exhibition space but the artworks were pleasingly spaced out and ranged from different mediums from printed scarves, oil canvas hangings, photographs, intricate fine paper cuts, framed postcards with inked drawings on the back and large woodcuts. 
At first I wasn’t sure if we could take pictures but we saw others do so with no rebuke, so I took a few snapshots of my favourites. There weren’t any labels with titles of artworks or author so no information unfortunately. 

The creators of Twin Peaks themselves: David Lynch and Mark Frost. (I thinking of him as Mark Snow, heh, that XFiles fangirl side coming through) 

  I remember this one was called ‘Black Lodge’. 

The exhibition was definitely worth seeing and made me remember why I liked the show so much, it really made me want to sit down and watch it all over again!  A few friends have been going through Twin Peaks phases too, check out Riikka’s Lynch themed housewarming

Talking of Twin Peaks and art homages, you can see others here, my personal favourite Twin Peaks artwork is by the brilliant Scott CampbellHe painted this watercolour “Concentrating On The J’s”, which has been my laptop wallpaper ever since I saw it on his blog.

Afterwards, Jo and I explored Borough Market and had lunch next to a ship!
Have you been to any exhibitions lately or have you given yourself a present today? 

A new year, a new start!

Apologies, life got in the way of updating this blog! But now I’m ready to show you all the wonders I can find!
Let’s start with the lovely Diane Lane, it was her birthday last week and I’d always wanted to show people the wonders of Diane Lane’s freaky eyes.

(the costume designer for Streets Of Fire, Marilyn Vance also did Pretty In Pink!)

Diane Lane looks stunning in so many of her films and this one is no exception- Streets Of Fire is a personal favourite, she plays rocker Ellen Aim, playing a benefit gig in her hometown, getting kidnapped by a motorcycle gang and rescued by the delicious Michael Pare! It’s worth a watch!
In 1980, she was hit in the eye with a tennis ball that caused one pupil to dilate forever.
Clueless to that fact, upon flicking through ’80s magazines and seeing a picture where it was really obvious, freaked me out!

My first thought was, “she’s on drugs! Really weird drugs that only dilate one eye!”

Well, Diane had everything, looks, money (she was a multi millionaire by the time she was 18), troubled childhood, flings with co-stars (and later on, Jon Bon Jovi!), I thought she’d just been partaking of a few special treats other than her beloved cigarettes but nope, tennis ball!
I wonder if she used eye drops or contact lenses as it doesn’t seem that obvious all the time?
Once you see it, you can never unsee it…. the same unfortunately goes for the unsightly concealer… and the teeth before they were capped.
The pictures are from Diane celebrating her birthday in Japan,
promoting The Cotton Club and her advertising for Max Factor’s ‘Fame’ range!

As a sidenote, Japanese ’80s magazines are famed for their elaborate photo shoots and determinedness to publish the most unflattering candids ever. This will become clear later on if it wasn’t already by the above!

Diane’s one of my favourites from the ’80s, so this won’t be the last time she features on this blog. I want to see Ladies & Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains sometime this year. I’m glad to see she’s made a return to acting after her 2008 retirement, her new project, Secretariat looks really interesting!