The Ultimate Time Stealer

There are a million  websites online which have the magical ability to make time pass a little faster. Pintrest and Tumblr are notorious for it, especially due their highly addictive scrolling-technique to ensure the websites just never end.In a different way, BBC News is an easy way to spend 45 minutes, as they have a vast array of interesting articles relating to recent events as well as more poignant matters. I am also helplessly addicted to browsing on ebay (and Asos and Anthropologie and J.Crew), and then I haven’t even mentioned social media giants.

But, you will be glad to know,  I have found a new way to waste time that is entirely guilt free and utterly adorable.

A puppy webcam!



As I type this right now, they are having a feedtime with their mum. The puppies have been bred for Warrior Canine Collection, a charity the breeds, trains, and then donates dogs for soldiers returning from war. As they say on their facebook page, “Warrior Canine Connection is a therapeutic service dog training program that harnesses the healing power of the human-animal bond.” The soldiers are assigned their own dog who is trained to help them with invisible injuries by providing mobility and social support. As the dogs as their responsibility, they have to walk and feed them daily, giving the soldiers a new sense of purpose and structure in their lives.

So if you feel like you need a bit of cheering up in these dull grey months, I highly recommend a daily dose of puppy webcam.


A Garage Transformed into a Modern Home


Anyone living in an expensive city understands all too well how much it costs to have a home. As the properties are so in demand, buying is simply not an option. Instead, most people rent flats, and every month stands to lose at least half of their wage, simply to pay for a small area to call their own (for that specific contracted time). Normally on top the rent is the additional costs of various bills, council tax, and food.

So whenever somebody has the guts to break the mold and try something different, it is always refreshing to witness such a step away from the accepted norm.1294830111

This is how I felt when I saw the project featured. Not only is the transformation ingenious and thrifty, the level of quality it has been executed with is just exquisite. Let us jump in to the details behind that wooden door.

It all began when Jérémie Buchholtz wanted an affordable apartment in Bordeau. His career as a photographer means he splits a lot of his time between Paris and Bordeaux, so money was tight but he wasn’t having any luck finding a property.

Then he stumbled upon a listing that was 80,000 euros; less than half the price of a similarly-sized home. However it was no house, just an abandoned garage. Unmistakably a garage, with large metal doors blocking all sunlight, with the inside being used as a storage for junk.

Buchholtz called his friend and architect Matthieu de Marien who specializes in converting stores, offices and other spaces into homes. De Marien took one look at the historic street and instantly understood it to be something special.


Passage Buhan is a private passageway where the owners each own half of the road so life can legally extend right onto the street. The history here is also vivid and rich: a couple centuries ago, the lane-way housed horses and their riders while they were travelling to the then-city of Bordeaux, and the old stables are still lived in today.

Buchholtz bought the property and De Marien quickly cut into the old garage to create more light and ventilation. The roof is historic and couldn’t be touched so he carved a 12 square meter (129 square foot) patio out of the small space, leaving only 41 square meters of living space (441 square feet).

In order to make the space feel larger, De Marien created a “house within a house”: one large piece of furniture that includes the bathroom, bedroom, office, closet, a sofa bed and all of the home’s storage. With everything contained in this large furniture box, the rest of the home was given more breathing room.

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Click here to see some more photographs, and take a look at the video below for a more in-depth look at the location and finished product.

Happy 2013!

I have returned from my Christmas in Australia, and very happy to be back in my little flat in London. Today, it has been snowing! I have been running around taking lots of photos, so I still feel like a tourist.

I will upload lots of photographs from my travels soon, and also a few posts about my new year aims, expectations, and wishes.

I hope you all had a lovely festive season, and an even better new year.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Interview with Richard Hallman

Sometimes you see an image, and it resounds with you for a long time. Perhaps the style stands out as being unique, or the subject is beautiful, and shocking. Richard Hallman is a photographer who creates such images, especially when capturing extreme sports and extreme landscapes. We decided to get in touch with Richard, and ask him a few questions, hoping he would share some of his trade secrets….

How long have you been in the business of photography?

All my life. We had a darkroom in our house; my father’s intense love of photography was not lost on me and he taught me early on how to develop film and print black and white prints. I had free rein and a couple friends of mine and I would spend hours tinkering around in the darkroom in complete awe of our otherwise amateur creations…. I’ve done many different things in my life – most recently a Trauma Nurse working in the ER… The job gave me the financial means and flexibility to travel and pursue more of my passion – Photography…

How did you go about selling your first photograph?
My first true professional sale I can’t quite remember, but it was something related to my second gallery showing and after having my first show fail to sell anything I said to myself, If I don’t sell anything this time, I’m done with this. I sold 4 pieces of art work that night. 🙂

All images belong to Richard Hallman, and have been used with his kind permission.

What initially interested you into photography?
Everything, but primarily the ability to freeze a moment in time and capture the emotion of the moment – remember the feeling of the moment is the most amazing thing…

What would you say is more important; good knowledge or good equipment?
They are both important. If you want to be the best, you have to fully educate yourself and strive to do your best, use the best materials etc, and it shows. Those who take the care to do it right stand out from the rest.

Which photographer do you look up to and why?
There are many photographers I admire and look up to – too many to count.Immediately though a couple come to mind :

A. Galen Rowell (RIP) for his ability to bring the extreme remote outdoor realm into people lives who would never have a chance to experience that for themselves.

B. Erik Aeder for his unique perspectives on water – particularly how we as humans are attached to water. From extreme water sports to his underwater portraits. It’s not just about capturing the person doing something cool – He sees the complete picture of this crazy cool environment with the element of a human brush stroke. Brilliant.

All images belong to Richard Hallman, and have been used with his kind permission.

What are the biggest challenges in the type of photography you do?
There is a certain risk verses reward every time you go out to shoot Big Wave Surfing, Ski Mountaineering, Kiteboarding, or any other activity where you are potentially putting yourself in harms way. Weather can be a challenge and there is a constant love/hate relationship with Mother Nature.

Now that most people have a digital camera, do you notice less work coming your way as people now think they can do it themselves?
From a business standpoint it can be frustrating – here’s some statistical data from 2010 regarding images on the web.

  • 5 billion: Photos hosted by Flickr (September 2010).
  • 3000+: Photos uploaded per minute to Flickr.
  • 130 million: At the above rate, the number of photos uploaded per month to Flickr.
  • 3+ billion: Photos uploaded per month to Facebook.
  • 36 billion: At the current rate, the number of photos uploaded to Facebook per year.

I also have many friends who are photographers complaining about new “Pro” photographer being added daily to compete for our dollars… In the end though – all you can do is focus on yourself and what you are passionate about – once you focus on what someone else is doing – you have lost…

All images belong to Richard Hallman, and have been used with his kind permission

What goal are you working towards within your photography and when will you know you have reached it?
I would like to have photographed every big wave surf spot on the planet. That’s one goal. Broader goals include using my photography to help save the planet.

The first one is probably a more attainable goal, although both are very important to me.

Do you have a favourite image?
Oohhh, favorite Image? I have many, but the one that first pops into my head is the shot of Illumination Rock on the south side of Mt Hood that I captured while climbing alone on a late spring day… I felt like I was the only person on a crazy planet. The image won first place at the 2009 Banff Mountain Film Festival – Mountain Landscape.

Any advice for those aspiring to follow a similar path?
‘Do what you love and love what you do’; that should be your mantra. Here is a excerpt from an article I wrote about my passion for photography, which sums it up pretty well, I think.

“In the end, I know I have been shaped by the adventures I have had more than I have shaped them. Being caught in near death avalanches, battling big waves, and negotiating windsurf fins as they whiz by my head at 30 mph has given me the greatest gifts of experience and have humbled me in ways I can’t describe. Either way, as a photographer you can feel like a caged tiger constantly trying to control your camera settings, controlling the light, controlling composition, or controlling something. Our lives can not be controlled, stymied or caged, yet we allow life to limit our dreams. If only we had the courage to dream bigger – bigger than our selves. In the end, the one thing we can’t control is life, but find the courage in the light of an open heart and it will help guide you to creatively exercise your inner passion.” Richard Hallman /

Thank you so much Richard for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.

Contact Richard:,

All images contained within this blog post are copyright protected © 2001 Richard Hallman and The intellectual property may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, manipulated, published, stored, or altered in any way without the expressed written consent of Richard Hallman and

Autumnal Style

What I Wore
Hello all 🙂
I am trying especially hard to keep stylish as the days get darker and the chance of rain seems permanently imminent!
I looked so smart on Monday, people thought I had an interview somewhere else (shows how casual my office attire normally is).
I have been on a bit of a spending spree, so I shall have to cool it now, and only buy Christmas gifts for other people.
Recent outfit favourites of mine are
1. Collars.
2. Black and Navy.
3. Loafers with everything.
4. Statement necklaces (always).

Lizzy Stewart Interview: Part 1

If you are of the arty persuasion, you may have stumbled upon Lizzy Stewart’s delightful work before. If not, it gives me great pleasure to be the first to introduce you to her.

Lizzy is an illustrator, based in London, whose work is inspired, primarily, by a need to tell stories. But also by folk culture, music and the places in which she finds herself.

Her work can be found on two sites: 1. her main, professional website is called About Today and 2. Her daily sketches about here life are here.

For a long time, her work has been a part of my life, in a personal way that no other artist has. I decided to email her on my birthday (and on a whim) to ask if I could arrange a small interview. To my great surprise, she agreed! So off I went to her studio with my camera and notebook, and had a great chat over a cup of tea.

Here is the first half.

When did you first start drawing seriously and realise you could potentially make a career out of it?

Well, I’m not sure I have made a career out of it yet, definitely still aiming for that! It has been a continuous affliction my whole life. I first starting drawing from ages 10-11, but I always wanted to be a painter. I love the fine arts but it wasn’t until I tried illustration that I felt something had clicked. My dream was always to be a painter, so I am trying to bridge the two. Illustration is slightly less serious and more able to tell a story, which I enjoy.

What’s your favourite medium?

Undoubtedly pencil. There is something so naturally instinctive about the pencil; it’ the first instrument we use to draw and so will always have that comfort. I have a small obsession with the colour pencil grey also

(Lizzy was wearing a pencil grey cardigan, which is just perfect.)

All images are original and copyrighted by Miranda Day. Please ask for permission before you use.

Do you think there has become a stereotype with illustration? Namely the use of cats, stags and triangles?

There certainly was a craze for stag heads when I was university, bears are another one.  But once something has become popular and you see it everywhere, it becomes osmosis where it creeps into your work without even knowing.

All images are original and copyrighted by Miranda Day. Please ask for permission before you use.

There must be a connection between what’s popular and then what companies want work commissioned for them.

Yes exactly. Of course it is quite useful to know what is popular and keep an eye on the trends.

Any good exhibitions in London that you’ve seen recently?

Erm….erm… YES! The Tino Sehgal

All images are original and copyrighted by Miranda Day. Please ask for permission before you use.

Have you ever considered running a class?

I have guest lectured a few times and I am going to be doing so again at Goldmiths University which I’m very excited about.

I am also thinking about hiring an intern as I have so many plans running simultaneously, so I’m sure that will be a mutual learning experience!


How do you try and compete with so many other illustrators?

Luckily I got into illustrators before it became very popular, and so I have managed to stay ahead of the trend a bit.

All images are original and copyrighted by Miranda Day. Please ask for permission before you use.

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming later this week, where we’ll talk about her love of literature, and the beautiful book covers she has designed.

Four More Years

Congratulations Obama, Democrats and all of America!

A lot of my friends wonder why I cared so much about this election, as I’ve been following it for the last 6 months. My boyfriend is half American, and so a lot of his family are American, who have welcomed me into their homes and hearts. I was worried about the two views of America which were on offer, as the Republican one seemed like it would lead down a path which does not strive for equality.

But, thank goodness, the people voted. Barrack has another four years and gay marriage is now legal in more states. I am so happy.