Friday, November 14, 2008

Ffresh, Nesta, Insight Out.... Oh my!

After ffresh, I was encouraged to apply to the NESTA Insight Out course. After a fairly scary board interview I was amazingly given a place on the course. It was really useful in developing my company ideas and format, and how/if the idea was even viable.

I managed to drum up a bit of media coverage too. Nothing major, the local paper and my university website but as they say, every little helps!

University news post:

Creative Business Wales supports Lampeter Media Production postgraduate’s modern day Skillbucket: where funky crafts meet the Internet

Everyone has heard of Facebook. Now Lampeter Media Production postgraduate student Nicola Light hopes that her Skillbucket business venture will be similarly successful. Having entered the idea into the Pitch to Win contest at Ffresh: the student moving image festival of Wales and won through to the final in February 2008, Nicola is now taking her vision forward with the guidance and support of Creative Business Wales, as she develops her innovation into a successful new creative business. During September and October Nicola will receive individual guidance, mentoring and support as well as help and advice on her business plan, having won a place on the on the Welsh Assembly Government’s Insight Out programme for new Creative Businesses in Wales.

The central theme of Skillbucket is that it connects the creative DIY and crafts movement and modern interactive media, using the Internet to create a community of users that will support and educate its users in the fun and exciting world of contemporary crafts.

Nicola describes her vision of Skillbucket as “a unique project that is dedicated to all things craft, providing information and resources primarily for users in the Wales and the UK that are itching to display their creative talents without breaking the bank.”

“The connection between ‘New Wave Craft’ and the Internet will allow the audience and the craft producers to interact in ways unimaginable 15 years ago”, explained Nicola.

So what were the results of the Insight Out programme?
Well I won a grant of £1000 to develop the business, made a dozen of useful contacts and was given a "Young Entrepreneur of the Year" certificate which fuzzled my ego nicely...


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Band of the Week #8

I've been sitting on this for months.... but I can't delay it any longer... The
band of the week are 1980's AWESOME...
They are Men Without Hats... They eschew headgear....

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance


Friday, October 10, 2008

Band of the Week # 7

Bit addicted to this artist atm... A Fine Frenzy, nothing specifically new in terms of genre but for some reason she's really sparked an interest in me...

Another fav of mine:

She's a redhead too! Woot Woot!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny things people say #6

A recent short phone conversation with a friend:

Friend: Didn't I know the girl who gave you a lift?

Me: I don't know, I think so... she was short with really long black hair... Damn I wish I could remember her name....

Friend: .... What was her name?

Me: ....*snigger*....

Short but sweet :D

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Band of the week #6

Phew I'm here! Honest!

New BAND OF THE WEEK... The Gaslight Anthem with their single The '59 Sound...

The Gaslight anthem are an American punk rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey.
While some of their other tracks are not totally to my tastes upon a few repeats they've started to grow on me...

Some of you might remember that they 'broke into the UK sphere" by making British music history for becoming the first band to ever grace the cover of Kerrang! magazine last month... It's been quoted that they will be "The best new band you'll hear in 2008", I'm not totally sure about that one, doesn't seem to have the punch required for that title but definitely worth popping a track on the favs list....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ok I admit I blog fail...

I know, I know, I promised pictures AGES ago....
After only nearly FOUR MONTHS I'm going to FINALLY post some London Marathon pics! (Shocking to believe but I really am going to post a 'proper' blog post!)

I look slightly odd in this picture... my mother wanted a picture of me at the starting point and I felt a bit uncomfortable as compared with some of the others I DID NOT look like a runner :P

The Big Queue to the start line (I am in that picture)...
About two minutes before this was taken I needed to use a toilet, portaloos are NOT you friends (anyone who knows my bathroom obsession knows I do like a clean nice toilet!). Given the time crisis, I've never spent a penny so fast in all my life... almost record worthy....

Then I was told that there was ONE truck left to put my kit bag onto, so with about 15 seconds to spare I managed to get my jacket, trackie bottoms(I ripped the bottom of one leg but time was limited to care!) and other miscellaneous bits off me into my bag which was unceremoniously thrown onto the truck and made it into the line with about 5 seconds to spare... Phew! Stressed before I even started! Typical! (Unfortunately, and rather idiotic of me I left ALL my plasters in my kit bag... I did tape up my feet but I did want to carry some back up supplies with me just in case... oops!)

Strangely, there was loads of people throwing clothes off and into the road just before and just after the start line, I presume they forgot to put them in their kit bag? I wonder if the organisers donated them to charity or if they ended up in the bin....

The last stretch... by this point I could no longer feel my knees let alone my feet!

I'm smiling because I saw my mum in the crowd... luckily she was wearing a bright yellow mac... thinking back on it I think she did that on purpose... :P

Three steps away from the finish!

The woman I crossed the line with really helped me...
I wouldn't have been able to do the last 6 miles without her, she helped me find the last bit of energy to go for it... and yet I can't even remember her name... but whoever you are thank you, you are a star.

Collecting my medal... by this point I was rather emotional... my eyes were definitely watering! I think I was in a bit of shock, not only that I had finished but that I didn't have to run anymore!

My shiny!

The back of my shiny! Funnily I didn't realise that 2008 was the centenary for the London Marathon (In its current form). Made it all the more special in a way...

A marathon isn't complete without injuries!
I really can't figure out how on earth this blood blister didn't burst during the race. I was also surprised that given how pathetic my feet usually are to all forms of shoes that I managed to get away with only a few blisters (Although I did lose a nail on one of my toes, a rather gross event that I'd rather not repeat).

My knee played up after about 18 miles into the marathon (If you look at my times I did a kick arse first quarter) so I spent quite a bit of my journey fiddling about with my knee support, although to give it credit I know I would have never managed it without the annoying thing!
St. Johns ambulance told me twice to stop running, once with my knee and the second time was due to both my knee and the fact that my hands swelled up to twice their size (I was told I had had too much water).

An amazing feeling of hunger overcame me once I received my finishing bag (Which contained fruit... within about 5 seconds I had demolished an apple, before I'd even met up with my mum I might add)
I've never experienced anything quite like it, it wasn't hunger in the general "I'm hungry" it was a genuine NEED. After consuming a granola bar (I don't like currents and raisins but I didn't care) we made it back to the car and headed back to Wales...
I had planned on going back to uni but I returned home for a day as the St. John people had advised that I be watched to make sure I was alright due to swollen hands...

Next morning checked my iPod (equipped with Nike+ naturally) and saw that I had burned 3897 calories during the race... oO
No wonder I was hungry...

I felt genuinely sorry for those that had to drop out. I saw a fair few during my travels around the course. One in particular will forever remain, a woman skidded on the wet road and unfortunately clipped her jaw against the tarmac, her mouth erupted in blood as she struggled to stand. A very nice LARGE Londoner man scooped her up and carried her into the pub that was a few feet away. A few paces later and St. Johns personnel was running past to her aid. A nasty way to end her race. Especially as we were only 15-16 miles in...

I have applied to the 2009 marathon, but if I do get a place from the ballot, its on the condition that I sort out whatever is wrong with my knee, I refuse to do it again in that pain again!!
Fingers crossed though, the pain is worth going across that finish line. The whole experience was breathtaking. An experience I recommend everyone to try at least once... trust me.

Phew... belated description but thats in typical me style! I get there eventually!...

Until next time


Band Of The Week #5

I've tried to resist....
but I can't help myself...
I've HAD to make The Verve's Love Is Noise a Band Of The Week entry...

Also I'm still here!! ! I've not abandoned this here blog...
What would my stalkers do with themselves?!
I'm not that cruel... ;)

Friday, June 27, 2008

No music festivals for me this year.... and a mini update

Yup... Not a single hint of festival music joy for me... unless you count tv coverage!

Nevermind, always next year!

I've become totally addicted to The Verve's new single Love Is Noise. At first I wasn't too keen but after a few replays I've completely fallen for it. It's available for FREE DOWNLOAD! on monday.

If you want to check out the song try their myspacemyspace

and then on monday visit The Verve website to download the track: The Verve

So... update...

Not much to report... end of term uni wise... didn't get the job I was aiming for to help fund next year (Not a problem but would have made a change from my current position)... have booked my driving test (FINALLY)

Have some more crafty bits to show off but I've left my camera somewhere daft so it'll have to wait until next time...

So until next time

Check out The Verve single or else!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Band Of The Week #4

This band of the week stuff kinda fell apart didn't it?... Lets try again shall we?

Here's a nice oldie:

Chicane - No Ordinary Morning

Until next time!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Doctor Who - David Tennant and Squee...

For those that know me... you already know my obsession with Doctor Who... and currently The Tenth Doctor Who.. Mr David Tennant himself...

What to do with unhealthy fangirl axis of Squee?? Why write into the object of obsession's official website of course!

And lo! Amazingly my artwork was featured in the fanzine!

Now what could top that? It's a tough one... but I do believe an AUTOGRAPHED DOCTOR WHO POSTCARD may just do it! After writing to Tennants agent (and expecting nothing) I was amazed to find a letter through my letterbox, within which contained this:

SQUEE!!! ^_^


Thursday, May 1, 2008


The London Marathon was ace!!
I was rubbish though... my dodgy knee failed me. Got to go for a scan in a couple of weeks.
Still I finished it!
I have some random photos to show so I'll upload them after work.

I've also bought a brand new car! Amazing museum exhibit, a 80's throwback! Haha! (It's a Peugeot 205) It's actually quite speedy but I keep stalling it cause I'm finding the clutch a bit of a pain to get used to, also no Power Steering! (Oh no!)

Thought I'd share my new fav music obsession Lykke Li:


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Photoshop editing test

I thought it was about time I learned how to use photoshop for photo editing....
After a quick read up I gave it a whirl.

Rather pleased at my first attempt :)

Until next time

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Quilting bug?....

I've been bitten by the quilting bug!
After the Japanese Quilting course I've been researching all I can about a variety of different quilting processes. So what has become of all this research?
Well I've decided to take the plunge and try my hand at quilting!

I had been playing with the idea of attempting quilting before, looking at Heather Bailey's Freshcut quilt sparked off the idea originally and I finally thought I'd give it a whirl....

I've officially made my first quilt patch!

Not sure how big I'm going to attempt, probably something fairly small to start with to get a feeling of it... but fun? Oh yes :D

So until next time

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Japanese Quilting

I signed up for a two day japanese quilting course at the uni. With very little knowledge of the subject I trundled along to the session....

The course cost £25 and that included all the materials and use of supplies. We were taught how to do Sashiko hand stitching, and Shibori indigo dyeing... After just two days I think I've found yet ANOTHER craft that I've fallen in love with!

At first I thought £25 was a bit expensive, however it was definitely worth the money! We were given a bound booklet, with all the details about Sashiko, it's history etc and then a step by step instruction section explaining the task set for the course, a bibliography and some patterns.

The task was to create a large Sashiko cushion (21"x21") from scratch, so not just the Sashiko needlework but the cushion itself as a whole...
All the fabric and other materials that were provided were of brilliant quality, and you also had the option to buy fancy threads and fabric as an extra if you wished. We were even able to keep the Sashiko sewing needle we used for the two days!!

The red fabric (was a fat quarter) was an extra (£2.50/$5USD) as the free fabric offered was an ugly white tartan (don't get me wrong I love tartan, but this particular pattern was rather ugly!). Unfortunately most of the best ones had already been 'reserved' when I arrived, it was a mad dash to the fabric box! :(
There were a few fab japanese fabrics too, shame...

There were three patterns to choose from, natrually I chose the most time consuming one with a detailed background pattern, doh! Didn't even think about how much work it would be compared to the others when I decided, kind of regretted it during the making process, but glad in the end as it looks effective and gave me more than enough practice of Sashiko!

Breaking from the planned cushion, I decided to do something extra to make my cushion a bit unique from the others... so I used my newly found Sashiko skills to sew two small koi fish on the back. Unfortunately there wasn't a pattern for them so I had to quickly do a rough sketch of a fish! I also made it a side opening instead of a top (so the opening was vertical instead of horizontal).

I made a few errors sewing the back too... the ties are not quite right (they're not all the same length..oops!) and I also made a measurement error for the smaller right section, not a big issue but I know its wrong so it's annoying!! Still, I suppose if I do it again I know where I went wrong!

The teacher gave me the other patterns too, I think I may give them a whirl too at some point as it was easy peasy to do and lots of fun!

Brilliant fun weekend!

Until next time

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A poem for all of us who were 'average' in school

The Average Child
by Mike Buscemi

I don’t cause teachers trouble;
My grades have been okay.
I listen in my classes.
I’m in school every day.

My teachers think I’m average;
My parents think so too.
I wish I didn’t know that, though;
There’s lots I’d like to do.

I’d like to build a rocket;
I read a book on how.
Or start a stamp collection…
But no use trying now.

’Cause, since I found I’m average,
I’m smart enough you see
To know there’s nothing special
I should expect of me.

I’m part of that majority,
That hump part of the bell,
Who spends his life unnoticed
In an average kind of hell.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fabric stash and sewing machine

I've been spending some time recently building up my fabric stash, particularly some funky patterned fabrics, some are 'proper' sized fabrics (FQs or half meter/yard) others have been pulled together from scrap packs... but I'm sure you'll agree they're all gorgeous!


Also, I've finally managed to get my very own sewing machine! No longer am I dependent on an HOUR drive to pinch my mothers for a few months!

So very very pleased!
So you maybe asking what I've been doing with my new sewing machine? How about some mini scotties? (Although admittedly some of these I did sew by hand)

I love em!

So until next time


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Funny things people say #5

This time a MSN conversation where I show a rather dim moment...
On talking about Newport Castle in Pembrokeshire:

Nic says: (22:51:43)
^ ariel photo, it's the top middle building

Nic says: (22:52:14)
Although I don't really need to say that... lol

Nic says: (22:52:33)
"It's the castle in this photo" works just as well :P

Bec says: (22:53:12)
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha that really did make me laugh out loud

Nic says: (22:53:31)

Bec says: (22:53:40)
"lol" is so lost these days, you have to type that you laughed out loud when you do cos lol means nothing anymore

Nic says: (22:54:16)
Well I realised that as soon as I typed the first sentence that it really wasn't needed unless you didn't have a clue what a castle was...

Bec says: (22:55:06)
ha ha ha ha ha ha

Nic says: (22:55:48)
'A dim moment - by Nicola'....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Scared? You will be!


At the time of this entry I have 1 month 9 days 9 hours and 34 minutes until the Flora London Marathon or rather just over 5 weeks.... ARGH!!

I now have my iPod marathon tracks all chosen and my Nike + sensor is ready to go!
I'm still struggling on what my "Power Track" should be (While in the Nike + workout session, by pressing a button on your iPod you stop the current playlist and play your motivation boosting song for when you are flagging).
I was originally thinking of Chariots of Fire, but not only is that a bit too cheesy, I think it may freak people out if I fall into pace of the beat and start some slow mo action.
Still a work in progress methinks.

As for training, I admit it's been a bit patchy, but I've stuck with it. I just hope what I've done is enough! I WILL get to the finish line, even if it takes me 9 years!

Still not worked out what would be best to wear, but thank god my running shoes are fully broken in now, knowing my pathetic skin, this marathon is gonna hurt....lots.
I also need to work out what hat I'm going to use. Since my skin has the ability to suffer from moon burn (A slight exaggeration but it is pathetic, once I managed to get sun stroke from a RAINY CLOUDY DAY and had to be sent home from school the next day). I WILL need a hat of some sort if I'm to prevent myself from turning pillar box red....

So lots to sort but I'm getting there.... just trying to keep the lid on the nerves!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today during my lovely billions of bubbles bubble bath, I shaved my legs and unfortunately my razor took half my leg with it.

I seem to have a vendetta against my legs and feet, its where most of my self inflicted injuries seem to occur...

Squashed broken toe? - My fault (Concrete paving slab falling onto my toe causing a "crushing injury" to my big toe.... nearly lost it had to have nearly 3 hours of surgery... thought I was creating more work for builders by knocking a pile of them over... *note to self: Make sure feet are out of the way first*)

Dodgy Knee? - My fault (Apparently my dodgy knee is caused by an old injury that I don't remember having)

Barbed wire scarring? - My fault (Albeit due to being slightly tipsy at the time and deciding clambering around in bushes in the dark was a Good Idea)

Broken little toe? - My fault (Kicking fish tanks is fun!)

Removing skin from my leg? - My fault... (Trying to rush while shaving? Doesn't save time in the long run....)

I'm sensing a theme.... :P

Guilty as charged... an update.... finally...

Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Happy Pancake Day! Happy Valentines Day!

Soooo I've not been guiltily avoiding this here blog due to distinct lack of blogging going on.... nope not me! :P

Major changes:(I'll post a pic and whatnot later)
Mum and dad moved house
My brother got his first job (and annoyingly gets paid more than I do...grrr)
I'm one of the organisers (well all I really do is put a film on on sunday) of Film Club

Well I am still alive!
Still training for the marathon
Still at university
Still working
Still with The Boyfriend
Still having driving lessons
Still crafting
Still trying to work out what I want to do with my life

So a lot still the same then!
One interesting thing recently was Ffresh. For those that don't know, Ffresh is the student moving image festival for Wales.
I was originally just going to visit the festival as I thought it would be a good experience for me (considering I'm doing media production MA and all), but on a whim I applied for the Pitch To Win competition and amazingly I was shortlisted!!

The first day of Ffresh was fine, some interesting presentations and I tried to swallow my semi-shy nature and get stuck in. There was, however, a slight issue with accommodation. The accommodation was a hostel 5 miles outside of Aber, ok fine, but apparently not so good when you're on your own.
I had decided to go back to the accommodation earlier than the others as they were not due back until past midnight and I wanted an early night to prepare myself (ie panic) for the Pitch to Win the next day. I managed to get a lift to the location and entered the hostel. Unfortunately the house (or rather manor house) was COMPLETELY EMPTY, all rooms devoid of life (and lights).

Added to that was the fact that the hostel itself WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and you start to get the picture of general creepyness. I needed to find the woman who ran the whole thing, which is easier said than done when there were no external lights. In the middle of the countryside there are no streetlights, due to its very nature there is no light pollution and so using the moon to guide you to the next cottage in a place you have no knowledge of proved to be quite an adventurous task in itself! The first cottage proved to be a red herring, but the bloke was kind enough to point me vaguely in the direction of my required destination.

Finally after shuffling carefully in the dark, skidding around in the mud, I managed to locate Mrs Twig (fantastic name, and to me provides a good general indicator to you readers that she was completely bonkers). She managed to show me to my room which was unlocked in the first place. She then bade me good night and left me to my own devices.

So I'm in a very old manor house which is used as a hostel. There are numerous bizarre floors to the house and upon investigation about 20 odd beds (bunkbeds and normal). I know there are others that are staying in the hostel because one of the rooms has things in it but every room is completely empty and all lights are off.
I pick a bunk, get ready for bed and try to sleep as quickly as possible (Which was actually surprisingly quick).

It's a good thing I'm not afraid of the dark....

The second day of Ffresh was rather nerve-wracking as the Pitch To Win events were spread throughout the day. Naturally I awoke at 5am in order to organise my panic into distinct levels of terror to pace myself for the day ahead.

The first session of the Pitch to Win wasn't really that bad, all the shortlisted students (there were 10 this year) were given the chance to talk to each of the judges individually about their idea. After talking to all three it became evident that one of the judges didn't really seem too keen about mine, he didn't really like the idea of crafts in the modern sphere.

The second session proved to be more intense. After waiting hours we were to go a theatre hall and sit with the audience (comprised of students and industry people), the judges were seated just off centre stage and a podium with a microphone was placed in the centre. The host declared that out of the ten shortlisted only three would be chosen to pitch their idea in ten minutes live on stage (Oh did I forget to mention that all this would be recorded?! Silly me...).

The first name was called.... I watched the pitch, it was ok, the idea was sound but he seemed to lose the thread of his debate half way through. He answered the questions and everyone politely clapped. Then the host came back on and said the dreaded phrase: "And the next student finalist is...." and then called out MY NAME

.... "Bugger".....

Managed to get onto the stage without making a spectacle of myself, and started my pitch. It went rather smoothly, I kept to the point, I stated my intentions, but then I hitched... I stumbled at my next point, I forgot my place, my palms immediately became sweaty as the stage light unforgivingly shone in my face. I knew I would be unable to pick up where I left off without stumbling around foolishly so I did the only thing I could and moved straight to the questions, I know I've always been strongest at that.

As luck would have it, they didn't ask me some of the harder questions I had constructed in my mind that they could have asked me, so that was a plus. However the judge who, earlier didn't seem to take to my idea, questioned whether crafts was an old past time, something that grandparents do and thus would not be of interest to the 16-24 demographic (I'm guessing he's never been on!) Initially my brain struggled to find an argument but then without permission my mouth took control:

"Actually You Are Wrong! And in fact I think it's those sort of ideas that is old fashioned!"

Now arguing your corner is all well and good but I think I need to point out two distinct facts. One: I'm a lowly student and Two: The judge happened to be a commissioner for the BBC.....
So you can imagine my brief horror when I realised that my mouth had seemingly betrayed the cause! I managed to finish the pitch and return to my seat, while the third and final student clamboured to the stage the days waves of fear and anxiety slowly ebbed away.

Luckily it worked in my favour in the end. Afterwards I received lots of business cards from some of the audience industry people, and many praised my defense of my idea. It was a real boost to have people come up to me and praise my idea, to actually specifically say I had done well. So maybe my mouth knew what it was doing afterall...

The final award ceremony a few hours later reminded me of the traditional award ceremonies you see on TV, the host reads out the category, the guest speaker reads out the names of the finalists and a short clip is shown of their work. Then the speaker makes some little quip about how exciting it all is and the name is called out, the winner flounces onto the stage and 'says a few words'... all in all a standard format.

Yet being an actual nominee, thinking that you might have a chance of winning one of those awards? Its a whole new world. Naturally the Pitch to Win results had to be the last to be announced, so naturally my mind twisted the event. What if I won? Would I have to give a speech? Were people expecting something witty and off the cuff clever? If I did win, what on earth was I expected to say? Do I even have enough wit to pull off a clever little acceptance speech?! This of course grew to also include:
Would I have to then make my idea a reality (even though it was an idea that just shot through my brain a day before the pitch submission deadline)?

"And the Winner is...." "NOT YOU."

It was a rather odd feeling... I had not won the grand prize. Yet I was not upset, slightly dissappointed in what could have been but definately not upset. Yet I was also relieved, relief that I didn't have to go on stage, relief that I didn't have to commit myself to my grand idea and then return to the next Ffresh and present how my business was doing since last year..... I was a finalist, not the overall winner and I was very proud and happy of that, but most of all....phew....

Although a trophy would have been nice....