Hello!

In January we had our mock exams, except in art it was a real exam. So I decided to share with you my ‘final piece’ which is a series of three manipulated fabric pieces based on my own photographs and from what I had been developing in my coursework sketchbook. I layered  fabric to create different segments of the pieces, and machine stitched them to a foundation layer. They took about 4 hours each. I dyed them first with this magical stuff called Brusho, sprinkling salt over the top to create strange repellent textures. I then embroidered areas to create texture, as well as layering crinkled newspaper and tissue paper, although you probably can’t see these textures as I have taken the photos from far away. My favourite one is the middle one, its the first one I did and it was the one I had the most fun creating, so that’s probably a main reason why, I love the turquoise colours and textures, it is now up on the wall in the art department amongst the hilarious mugshot collage of the art students.

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Anyway, I hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday!!

Z x

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Pink Hair, Don’t Care

On Tuesday I went down to London to stay with my sister as I had my last ever hospital appointment at Great Ormond Street Hospital as i’m now being transferred to an adults clinic, a bit overdue I might add. I’m not complaining though, I’ve been going to that hospital for as long as i can remember and I’ve come to enjoy my visits. I am looking forward to not being surrounded by five year olds noIMG_20150205_145351w though. I had managed to squeeze in an appointment for myself at BLEACH London in Topshop, Oxford Street’s basement. I went in thinking I would be getting very light candy floss coloured, pink hair that I have wanted for a couple of years now. Because my hair was red-ish though, there was too much red pigment in it for my hair to go completely white when bleached, so the colourist said it would look better with “The Big Pink” which, as you can probably work out, is much more vibrant. I absolutely love it!!! It took five hours overall and during times waiting I lurked around Topshop in my Snape-like (Harry Potter) cloak and sporting IMG_20150204_092529a rather heavy amount of bleach on my head and a shower cap. Attractive. I felt guilty for confining my sister for so long in a basement but it was nice to spend time with her. I was absolutely petrified about bleaching my hair, a lot of people told me that it would fry, snap off, burn my scalp, turn to straw and fall out. All I noticed was that it was bit itchy when they put the cap on my head to stimulate the chemical reaction or whatever it is that it does, and my hair feels just as soft as it did before, no baldness and no frying… which is a relief!!

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Waiting in the freezing cold for a train. I really love my denim jacket. It took me forever to find one I liked, most of the ones in vintage shops were either too huge or a tad minging.
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I saw London briefly between hospital appointments, tubes and train rides.
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Near GOSH

Afterwards we went to a Mexican restaurant just off of Oxford street, called Wahaca which was delicious and i felt stuffed (pink) rabbit afterwards but ah well. We had this waiter called Miguel who was extremely helpful, when my sister told him I was deaf he found us a space upstairs in the bar area where there was barely a soul in sight where it was much quieter and served us personally. He even asked if I wanted the speakers to be switched off!  Its great when you find people who want to do anything they can to help you, especially as I often find restaurant situations difficult when its noisy. He has restored my faith in humanity!! Actually restored isn’t the word I mean as my faith in humanity was never exactly lost, but rather emphasised, but the saying fits so…

I am now back at college, which I actually don’t dread going to, which is a first for me. As much as I dislike, no hate, A Levels, I like college. That doesn’t mean I want to be staying there another year though.

I mentioned in my last post about challenging the government about Disabled Student’s Allowance, the law firm who are supporting me, Irwin Mitchell, have done a press release story, so I, along with Joseph who is in his first year of uni, have been in a few newspapers/websites/blogs, half of them I haven’t ever heard of though. Its actually quite terrifying. It’s all for a good cause though, we shouldn’t even really be having to fight to access what the majority of people can in education.

I love Manchester.

So yesterday I went to Manchester with a new-ish friend from college called Rachel. We decided that we both needed to get our Christmas shopping done as its only 26 days until Christmas..,.26! :O Rachel doesn’t know Manchester that well so once we had been to the main high street shops for presents, I showed Rachel the Northern Quarter which is the best part of Manchester (well in my biased opinion). It’s full of all the old industrial, victorian buildings that have been converted into flats, boutiques, cafes and vintage shops. If you ever stop by Manchester  you should go to Affleck’s Palace, it’s a really cool building cram packed with a lattice of tiny shops where you can get anything from vintage clothes, 10 inch spiky flatforms, olde worlde sweets, a bead emporium and tattoos.

The Outside
The Outside

It’s like a labyrinth with lots of winding corridors, stairs surrounded by newspapered or graffitied walls and you just never know where you’re going to end up. So if you’re looking to get lost for a bit then off you jog.

One of the stairwells
One of the stairwells

I just love the city as a whole and it makes me even more excited to think that I could be living there next year…a whole city of inspiration just waiting to be found! Travel agent wannabe alert…oo-er.

I bought myself some beads from The Bead Shop in Affleck’s, if you like making stuff you would be in heaven there! Do you like my new necklace then? I do. Obviously.

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I have noticed that I’ve started caring a lot less what people think of what I wear, how i do my hair etc, I just wear whatever I want because I want to, which is the way it should be. I think it’s college that made it change a bit for me, there’s so many different people there and everyone is just accepted and that makes me happy 🙂 Ooh a smiley face for emphasis there. I’m not completely there yet with the self-confidence business but I will be.

We witnessed some aggressive street drumming ( I can’t say I could work out any particular rhythm) and some Green Party fracking protests which is always interesting to see. There were some strange people wearing scary white masks shouting out nonsensical protests, sadly didn’t get a picture of them but I got that one over there… the one with the big red sign? I also got a photo of the photobox in Urban Outfitters which is just cool. Personally I would have wanted to keep my picture but plastering them all over the box looks good too.

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Urban Outfitters, Manchester Central
Urban Outfitters, Manchester Central

I thought I’d just show you a watercolour painting Rachel did of me in art on Friday, Glenn has done one too, I am apparently their muse! Haha, er, no, we just draw each other all the time. I don’t look like Beyonce as requested. I look a bit sad actually.

By Rachel.
By Rachel

Boots and Fairies.

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Found on elle.com

Shall we all just take a moment right now and appreciate these shoes? I say, yes let’s. I am so doing this to my doc martens in the summer. Which reminds me actually that I am planning my next volunteering project in…MEXICO. I know, hard to contain the excitement right?!

I have been doing my art coursework on ‘Urban Decay’ focusing on textures and textiles. I get to do all my favourite things in  it which is just a bonus, hunting for derelict buildings, taking hundreds of photos, drawing, sewing and good old fashioned “ripping stuff up”. Today I got some fabric and made my brother cycle over it about 50 times, aiming to create some destroyed effect. Turns out it didn’t do much. So next up I try soaking it in coffee for an hour and putting it in the oven. Actually now i think of it I don’t think I turned the oven off…one second before I cause some kind of smog in the kitchen.

All is well. No smog as I’m sure you’ll be glad to know.

I have been exploring Pinterest which is just oh so inspirational. I found this photo, not really sure how it inspires me actually. Its a nice picture though so lets just not stick a label on it. Actually I have considered scrap-booking so maybe it could come into that, but honestly when will I find the time to scrapbook? Maybe it should be my Breaking Bad substitute, probably be more productive at least.

I have been deprived of my Cochlear Implant for almost two weeks now, which is thoroughly depressing. It’s my main source of hearing, so for now, can you just bear with? Thanks. At least its preparation for when I run away to a remote village with no electricity where I wouldn’t be able to charge my hearing stuff. Ok, mum, if you’re reading this please take a breath, I’m not really running away. I’m continuing my A Levels because it truly enthrals me.Screen shot 2014-11-23 at 20.17.41

Went to a vintage fair today, it was like a really bad traffic jam on the M6 but with buggies and women in really puffy skirts. It was fun trying on vintage and not-so-vintage clothes and picking little decorative things up and saying ‘ooh thats nice, I won’t buy it though, I’ll just make it myself’. My Gran has given me some of her very own vintage headscarves and clutches so I am all set for vintage-ness for the time being. The M6 business reminds me actually that yesterday I drove on a big scary 70mph dual carriageway for the first time ever. I swear my hands were shaking like they were about the unscrew themselves and plop in my lap. Nice bit of graphic imagery for you there, I do apologise. But yes anyway, I feel that this was somewhat of an achievement as I didn’t crash or veer off into a field.

My sister got a birthday present for her and two friends to go to a restaurant in the shard in London which sounds pretty amazing. She deserves something special as she has been doing her first ever full-time job at Great Ormond Street Hospital! I shall have to go and visit soon, explore London, moan to each other and maybe get a bit of shopping in.

I kind of look forward to going back to college tomorrow, is it weird that I actually like Mondays? I guess I like the structure side of things, where I can get loads of work done and not have to worry about it (much) after college finishes. But then again I like Fridays better than Mondays. I have been editing and re-editing my personal statement for university and it scares me how fast the deadline is coming up, it’ll be posted by tomorrow though!

“I want to live in a lipstick jungle”

Hi!

It’s been a while, I know. I do apologise sincerely 😉

I have been back from Ecuador nearly four weeks now, I can’t believe it had gone so fast already! I have thoroughly enjoyed my trip it has honestly been the best so far. I think its been so good not only because it was a new place, a new culture,meeting lovely people, travelling and a great experience volunteering, I genuinly believe that I felt like I had achieved something, especially having gone by myslef without knwoing anybody before I actually went to the departure meeting

I definitely recommend the organisation that I found my project through, I fundraised the money, and with this money they organised transport around Quito, accommodation with a wonderful family, all meals, a one to one intensive Spanish course, two nights out, donations to the project and an experience to remember. They had a pre-departure briefing as well to tell s about the project and the city, talking about absolutely everything you could think of which was very reassuring and helpful.The most difficult part was the actual coming home, I wasn’t quite ready to leave and I was experiencing reverse culture shock and post travel blues, but I’m now looking ahead to my travels next year either to Ghana or India!

My deafness didn’t get in the way of my trip (excluding some meal times when there were 10 plus people talking), if anything I noticed it less than I do at home and especially less than at college. Its quite strange really because I didn’t even realise this until I came back home again.I really did feel happy there and I think a big part of it was because I wasn’t so ‘deaf’ all the time. Everybody spoke Spanish, which I only knew the basics of as did the other volunteers so we were all a little clueless and it didn’t matter that I couldn’t hear them because I couldn’t understand the language enough anyway. The project was working with 2-3 year olds which meant that the only things they ever said were ‘papas’ (potatoes),’no’ and ‘peepee’ (which is toilet if you can’t guess). I felt an sense of belonging in Quito, I even noticed that a lot of Ecuadorian people are quite small so I didn’t feel much different from anyone else, well aside from being white and ginger, but what are you gonna do?

The organisation I went with is Outreach International, this is their website http://www.outreachinternational.co.uk/ and my project code was E11, in case you’re interested in finding out more information or maybe sign up for a project yourself! If you want to ask me anything, I’m happy to help! I am already planning my next volunteering project for 2016, when I have finished a foundation course, it will be teaching disabled women in Cambodia different sewing skills (night-school will come in handy now!) so that they can keep earning money while keeping in touch with the changing trends. And then I’m going to be touring around south east asia! After the gap year I will then go to university to study fashion design…yes I have actually made my mind up for once…I feel so free haha!

Finally, I want to give a great big thanks everybody that has supported me and sponsored me, it was truly amazing!

 

 

(by the way the title is a song that has been constantly stuck in my head called ‘Lipstick Jungle’ by Newton Faulkner, it just sounds like fun to live in a  lipstick jungle.)

El Jardin de infantes

So I’ve been having an amazing time in Quito. I got very sunburnt after only 2 days at the beach (I did put loads of cream on I promise!). The beach wasn’t what I imagined, it was very long, grey almost black sand (I guess from all the volcanoes) with silvery green water and bright cloudy skies. The road next to the beach is full of nice bars and restaurants, but behind that road the Atacamas is a different story. We could see that it was a very run down area, with crumbling walls, some with no doors, very small cramped living spaces and green murky water in the river that splits the town, with at least one stray dog on each corner. It was nice to get to know the other volunteers better but I was glad to be back in Quito.

I started my project at the kindergarten yesterday, I’m already tired but loving it! I am in a classroom of toddlers about 2/3 helping out two staff. They are all adorable, although some are fascinated by my glasses and appear to find it hilarious when they hit me on the head with plastic toys. I mostly help get the children seated for breakfast, lunch and dinner, brush their teeth, get them changed for nap time and play with them. The only thing I’ve struggled with is meal times, the children are made to eat everything on their plates, which are quite large portions for 2 year olds. They do kick up a fuss and some cry when they’re full, but are still force fed even when they’re still chewing the previous mouthful. Today one of the girls in my class actually threw up over the table because she had eaten so much 😦 Its also a matter of speed, to keep things flowing they try to speed up meals which doesn’t really help. It does mean that the parents don’t have to feed them when they get home but I do find it difficult to watch.

On the way back to Monika’s house from the project today me and Emily got split up :/ It was a stressful experience! Basically while I was paying to get through the barriers at the stop, Emily had already managed to get on the bus, which I missed. It was scary because although I got on the right bus back I couldn’t be certain that Emily hadn’t gotten off the next stop and headed back for me as she can’t receive or send texts on her phone here. When I got off the bus I rang Monika on three different numbers she had given me, two were invalid and one did pick up but I couldn’t hear anyway. So I thought the best thing would be top walk back to Monika’s which was lucky as that was where Emily was! 🙂 I wasn’t worried about being on my own but more so that Emily may have been deserted if she had decided to head back with no way on contacting anyone.

One of the volunteers called Chloe went back to Boston last night, apart from Emily, she was the I felt most at ease with. To celebrate her last night Chloe and I went to plaza and then we watched bridesmaids with Emily. At dinner, Monika told us about a volunteer who died last year when she was climbing a mountain and its been said that people still see her in the spanish school at night, her classroom light being on. Guess who was here teacher? Mercedes! I’m glad that I’ve finished spanish now because although I don’t believe it, its still scary that its the same room where I was taught! No wonder Monika worries about us all, she has been through a lot. We were all very jumpy last night so Bridesmaids was a good distraction! 🙂

Quitooooooooo

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My first full day in Ecuador! We’ve already been to buy tropical fruit from the market (so cheap!) And to the bigger market that sells all these amazing things like alpaca blankets and jumper and bowls…I literally want to take all of it home. This afternoon Monika, my host, will be showing us how to get to our project and the Spanish school.