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Thursday 9 May 2013

Bangladeshi Film Posters

These posters appeared as part of the Oitij-jo Festival on the South Bank earlier this year, celebrating art, culture, craft and music from Bangladesh.
They were huge, billboard size hand painted replicas of film posters, created by Sitesh Kumar Sur.
The posters were commissioned by photographer Shahidul Alam for a project where he took portraits of ageing film stars using these as the backdrops;  they depicted movies they were once famous for starring in. It was his
response to the declining Bangladeshi film industry, Dhallywood (in reference to the capital city Dhaka). 
The artist Sitesh has been painting professionally since 1985 - it takes him and his team two days to complete a film poster and he paints them to commission.
I love them, though sadly the creation of posters in this way is a dying artform.
I just hope Sitesh is still going by the time I have saved up enough for him to paint one for me!

Thursday 2 May 2013

Cloth Magazine Sewing & Launch Party

Cloth Magazine recently celebrated their 4th birthday and new home at Immediate Media with a stitch-themed launch party.
Of course you can't have a crafty event without a 'practical touch' so I was invited along with some other sewing fans to give demos at their Live Sewing Station.
Hang on...was that a blue floral sewing machine I was sitting next to? Absolutely! The Cloth mag team customised six machines especially for the event. I opted for this gorgeous decoupage one, painted with a lick of acrylic paint.
The set included this beautiful bejewelled peacock number...
One that reminded me of London Underground moquette designs..
And this uber cool Ziggi Stardust sewing machine.
There was a stash of goodies for me and the other sewers to use. We had three hours to get creative.
One of my co-crafters found an over-sized dress in the fabric scrap basket...
and turned it into a skirt and matching fabric necklace.
While another fellow seamstress took a pattern from Cloth magazine...
And whipped up this fantastic clutch.
Sewing is tiring business and thankfully we had a spread of yummy afternoon tea style goodies to keep our energy levels up.
In fact, while on my way to get a slice of cake I bumped into Sarah Corbett aka the super woman behind the Craftivists.
And also Tilly from The Great British Sewing Bee - I even got to touch her Matilda blouse! It was just as stunning in real life as it looked on the show!
Elsewhere there an embroidery circle....and check out those daffodils! They were the biggest bunch I've ever seen.
There were so many left over that some came home with me, which I decided to keep next to my own sewing machine.
And here's what I accomplished during the event; a three- piece outfit customised with ruffled fabric and some maroon lace.
The highlight of the do was hearing editor Cathy McKinnon talk passionately about her journey so far with the magazine. She launched it four years ago as a quarterly indie publication that has now grown into an established monthly,  supported by a major publisher. 
As someone who has worked in the consumer craft magazine market and tried and failed to set up my own, I'm really impressed by her story and am so happy for her and the team.
And yes, I agree there are a lot of craft magazines in the UK  but Cloth is one of the good ones! 
It has a fresh, clean look with relevant content, a strong fashion element (not just using extracts from book, but shooting and styling their own photoshoots), comes with free patterns and has features to read. It retails for £4.99 and is well worth a peek through next time you want to make something.