03 - Hibernation Time

Wednesday 29 November 2017

I don't even know where to begin. Time seems to come and go, faster than the blink of an eye. The last time I wrote I was staring down the barrel of summer. Now it is most definitely winter territory with frequent frosts and ice and the first snow of winter last weekend.

This week has seen us accidentally smash E's nightlight whilst DIY-ing (it was a beautiful bone china owl from whiterabbitengland.com and I sobbed a bit as we tried to mend him - we told her he tried to fly and didn't know that he couldn't because he isn't real just yet... more to soothe my soul than hers I think) and my iMac break. Mack. My friend who I spend most of my waking hours with these days (Christmas and lots of client projects on the go). I feel oddly bereft without his great big screen in front of me, definitely out of my comfort zone working on a laptop and oddly don't have as much focus. Almost like when I work on Mack it most definitely means business. Anyone else have any odd work rituals or partake in personification of their tools?

There was a real temptation when he went belly up on Friday to crawl under the duvet and blankets and stay there. And I did, for a bit anyway. It seemed almost serendipitous considering I've just joined up with Ali of incredibusy.com to do #SGIEW_hibernate - I'll be honest, I've never done sponsored posts before (I'm not the safest of bets really am I with a post every six months on average) and haven't done a lot of teaming up or the like. I'm a fairly solitary worker and ok with that mostly, but I wanted to try new ways of reaching out to people I know would be our shop people (the people I buy for when I get stock in - I never purchase with a profit in in mind, always a person) and fill the void in my personal connectivity that the dreaded algorithm has left. Ali mentioned doing SGIEW and I clearly said yes. A bit of fraught photographing and doing battle with the grey northern skies and a little bit of chocloate pinching during shooting later, there are already people joining in - and it is so lovely. I especially love it when previous shop customers give us a mention or reach out, with that familiarity it really does start to feel like a community again.

Anyway... Head over to Instagram or here to see how it works (T's and C's and all that) and join in. I'm looking forward to meeting some new people over the next fortnight, we (Alfie's Studio) are giving away a hunker-bundle (shown in images) to the best post too.

If you don't want to join in (because you aren't on social media - I know it isn't everyones thing) but very much like the look of the bundle you can buy it all here:
recycled wool blanket, Ocelot chocolate, botanical note card set, floral notepad, Earl of East London wildflower candle, Let the Adventures Begin card. There's even a cheeky 10% off your first online order if you sign up to the mailing list.

*shameless plug over*

02 - Fatherland at MIF

Monday 3 July 2017

I feel when I write that I should put in a back story and context to whatever I'm writing about only to invariably end up deviating wildly from the point of writing. Simplified, I love Karl Hyde and his work, when I heard about his latest project "Fatherland" last November - I knew I had to see it.

We took ourselves off to Manchester International Festival on Saturday night to see the first preview show at the Royal Exchange and it did not disappoint. Mr Hyde's unmistakable narrative style could be felt snaking through a performance that was momentarily funny, often captivating and voyeuristic and at times brutally heartfelt.

I hadn't been to the theatre in years before this weekend. Spare time goes to cinema or gigs/concerts if we are sans children. This has me wanting to throw a bit more theatre into the mix from now on...

I left feeling mixed emotions and pondering my feelings towards my own father. Wondering what our own children will make of theirs in years to come and wishing I could unhear the recounting of a tale from a fireman (those who have seen the performance will understand, those who have not and will not - I'll spare you...). Fatherland is as much about the perception of how our fathers mould us as how the geographical places we come from have a similar influence, shaping us and leaving an imprint on the people we become.

I'm quite certain that there are a couple of faces that we will undoubtedly be seeing more of in the future. Tachia Newall and David Judge in particular with Newall giving a perfectly haunting performance during "Perfect Moment".

Fatherland (Original Music From The Stage Show) is out now but I suggest getting yourself along to a performance in person if you can (on til the 22nd of this month). As wonderful as Karl Hyde's voice is, it somehow doesn't portray the urgency, emotion and soul that is so tangible throughout the Fatherland narrative. The songs aren't meagre background pieces, they are as much the thing as the play itself and deserve singular attention.

I'm eager to see more works in this vein with the emerging trend of theatrical music (in a non Les Mis style sense) as an attempt to combat the digital era and folks listening to tracks individually rather than as a body of work. I've long hated the segregation (for want of a better styling) that digital has brought to music and look forward to seeing and hearing unified works with a beginning, a middle and an end again. I could write at length about my love of narrative in music, let's save that for another time though eh?

01 - New Beginnings

Friday 12 May 2017

Pavement pounding to the woods. Grey skies cut short by green hills. Concrete pots filled with plants. Muted versus fresh. Architecture and parklands. Rocks covered in lichen. Stories formed from a British palette. Adventures in Grey and Green.

Welcome to my new space, if you've joined me from Alfie's Studio, then, hello again.

I wanted to write a little note to explain why I decided to separate my online presence. I wrote it already. It was a long and tedious thing that I deleted to bring you this short version. Simply to say, because it was time.

There were lots of reasons to keep business and personal blended as one and continue writing solely at Alfie's Studio, but too many not to for me to be able to ignore them. Time to grow and to create the space to do that. A whole blog post in itself I suspect about creating something innately personal versus creating on brand content, we'll save that one for a rainy day.

With that little bit of business taken care of, onwards...

Photo by Wild Gray Studio on their recent shoot for Alfie's Studio / Shop - see lots of their lovely photos mixed with a whole heap of ours at the shop site here.

Saturday 6 May 2017

A new blog from Nicole Clark coming soon! See alfies-studio.com for current content. Check back soon...

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