Sunday 27 February 2011

Copying & pasting: Dan Black style

Hi, hi, hi.

It's been an age since I posted anything musical here so I hope this tickles your nicely-done-pop-tune sensibilities as much as it does mine.

I first heard this in a lecture I was taking notes in [yes, I get paid to take notes and listen to lectures ... which is usually as good as it sounds!]. The topic of the lecture was 'mash-ups' - a totally perfect 'copy + paste' style philospphy if ever there was one.

A mash-up is where an artist [of any media] takes two or more things and throws them together to make a new one. [If you've ever seen Glee you'll have seen how they mix two songs together ... and that's a mash-up] ... anyway ...

In this particular lecture the following video, Dan Black's 'Symphonies' , was used as an example of mashing-up various films and genres into one video. See how many you can spot:

I'm tempted to offer a prize to the first person to leave a comment [after listening to the full thing] about why this particular song might have an additional resonance for this blog ...

You might as well leave a comment anyway ... and I'll have a think about what prize you might want to receive ...

Enjoy the tune and the video - it's one that's gone round and round in my head ever since I heard it. So much so that I even bought the CD ... which has so many songs that sound like other artists / tunes you get the feeling the whole album's one big mash-up.

Don't forget to keep an ear out for it's special affinity to us here ... !

Julie :-)

Friday 28 January 2011

I've Been Copying: Notes on Paper

Yep, that's 'Notes on Paper' as in C+P's very own Julie Kirk and her really rather splendid blog. Obviously, I keep up with it on a regular basis, and would highly recommend you check it out too, but there's a very particular reason for doing so at the moment. In case you haven't already spotted it, Julie's just launched her first free (and fabulous) solo class, Tips For The Twitter-Curious.

Whatever your feelings about Twitter or social networking in general, it's well worth reading through the first few lessons. I'm a pretty seasoned Tweeter and there have already been tips I've found useful, as well as plenty of points I hadn't considered before. Equally, if you're not interested or have decided Twitter isn't for you, there might just be something there to make you reconsider. Not in a mind-washing, Julie-will-make-you-love-Twitter-come-what-may kind of way (you know her better than that, right?). She just has a really interesting perspective on the world of Twitter and how you can tailor the site to make it work in a way that suits you.

The first three lessons are already available for you to read through on her blog, and despite being packed with information, they're hugely accessible and easy to read. You hopefully already know what an engaging writer Julie is, and I can promise you she's also a pretty corking teacher.
For my part - and because I did, after all, suggest I'd been copying Ms Kirk - I have a quick but pretty download for you. If you head over to the blog post I wrote yesterday, you'll find a couple of free patterns, ready to use as a background for your Twitter page. Whether it's for a brand spanking new, inspired-by-Julie account or an older one that could do with some added cheer on a chilly January afternoon, you're very welcome to help yourself.

We'll be back with more very soon, but in the spirit of Tips For The Twitter-Curious, you can generally find both of us - Julie and me - hanging out with the bird.


Friday 24 December 2010

Thank You!

Hi, hi, hi.

We haven't been around much lately. We know.

Between us here's been a whole host of things tugging at our sleeves and keeping us away from here.

But whether it's been the opening of etsy shops; the hosting of handmade-gift parties; the debuting at craft-fairs; the writing of magazine articles or the general distractions of the day job ... we've not forgotten our Copy+Paste plans.

In between all of this we've been squirrelling away ideas and notes for what we want to do together .. and with you all ... next year, including the spring class we're hugely excited about.

Until then we just wanted to thank you for your support this year.

Whether you:
  • read a blog post;
  • left a comment;
  • took our 12 Days workshops;
  • bought something from either of our shops;
  • contributed to our birthday party;
  • smiled at us on the bus;
  • or simply thought of us when you had to copy + paste something on your computer ....

.... thank you.

We are grateful for your time, loyalty, interest, friendship and inspiration.

We can't wait to see what 2011 will bring us all. See you there ...

Love from Julie + Kirsty xx

Tuesday 9 November 2010

I've been copying: Jack Wills, yet again!

Hi, hi, hi.

Earlier this week, I came home from work to find some good post waiting for me on the doormat: the latest Jack Wills handbook [which you can view online here].

So I settled down with a cup of tea and the catalogue and more than a drop of wishful thinking .... especially when I came to the page featuring the 'Swainby Dress':


One of my favourite dresses for my Barbie doll was red tartan and the combination of amazingly engineered Jack Wills dress and nostalgic flashbacks to dressing my dolls .... was quite a heady mix.

In fact, it led me to write the following somewhat drunk-with-dress-perfection tweet:

Have been admiring this @JackWills dress and wondering why I shouldn't have it and wear it all day everyday ...

However, once I'd come down from my fashion-high the reasons why I really wouldn't ever have it and wear it everyday began to come to me ... . And, while there were only 2 reasons .... they're biggies:

  1. the price;
  2. the fact I'm cold even when wearing 4 layers and a radiator.

But then, as if the fashion gods wanted to soften the blow for me ... while cutting through the shopping centre on my way to work, I spied this:

*Paste* A tartan shirt / light jacket which must have been made in response to my rational reasons above because ... Not only will its cosy double-layered brushed cotton serve to keep the hypothermia at bay ...... at £15:00 it was £434:00 less damaging to my bank balance. And the best thing about it is that, when I win the lottery and get to buy the dress anyway ... I can slip this over the top! Win win!

Julie ;-)

p.s We featured in our first newspaper article this week! It was on the very day I bought this jacket too, so it's been good times all round at Copy + Paste Towers this week!

If you haven't seen the article already, you can have a peek at it here.

Monday 11 October 2010

Mapping out the days. *12 days* in fact.

Hi, hi, hi.

Don't move. Don't go anywhere. Don't leave the house. OK?


The weather is getting colder [or at least here in the UK it is]; the nights are getting darker and pretty soon you'll have to begin constructing your suit of armour for when you go battling the baying late-night-shopping mob.

But, here at Copy + Paste we think you deserve to be treated better. We want to prevent you getting cold fingers, bruised ribs and aching arms and by taking the '12 Days' workshops you can avoid the mad rush for Christmas shopping in more ways than one ....

Not only will we show you 12 main handmade gift ideas [plus many additional extras - see Kirsty's post yesterday for the full breakdown] ... we've made sure that the majority of the supplies you'll need to do this can be found without ever having to leave the comfort of your home.

In fact, to complete your shopping list for '12 Days' supplies all you're going to need is this [the cosy drink and snowball are optional]:

The '12 Days' shopping map! [You can right click on the photo and open the link for a closer view]

We firmly believe that, during this class, you should be able to do your shopping in comfort.

And, if that means you're in your 'comfies'; your pyjamas; your dressing gown; your hoodie with the cuffs which are both hanging on by a thread [or is that just me?] or even .. in your Slanket ... then so be it!

Here's how ....

You Are Here:

... at your computer / laptop / fancy phone / internet configured thingimmy bob .. whatever it is, but that's where you are right now ... I'm pretty certain of that. And that's also where you'll be when Kirsty and I upload each of your 12 full-colour photo tutorial .pdf files to the secure blog.

Then, to start 'shopping' for the supplies you'll need you need go no further than the various rooms in your house as we've made sure to focus on everyday materials you can easily source from the home.

How about I give you a quick guided tour around the shops right now? Go grab your 'bag for life' then, and follow me ... being careful not to trip on your Slanket on the way:
[Right click on the image above to open in a new, larger, window]

For example, we could go up to your bedroom [no, I'm not making an indecent proposal]:
... and while we're there we can shop for items such as paper shopping bags from clothes shops, hang/price tags from new clothes, a few wooden coat-hangers and any old clothes or jewellery you'd like to recycle.

All of which could form the basis of the projects we have for you on days 2,4, 5, 9 and 11, to name but a few.

Similarly you could head into the loft for broken pieces of jewellery, old books and fabrics [for projects 2, 4 6, 7 and 8]:
Then dig out any fabric, yarn, wool, ribbon or string you have in your cupboards for projects including those on days 2, 3 and 9.

Move on now to your bookshelves and add to your basket some old books, old photo albums, empty notebooks [we know you have them!!] and any scraps of decorative papers you have for days 1, 2, 7, 8, 11 and 12:
And, finally, if you can manage one last trip, this time to the kitchen, you can stock up on old fridge magnets, wooden clothes pegs and pulses and grains ready for projects 1, 6 and 9!

So, there you have it ... a full set of supplies for 12 workshops without ever once having to cross your threshold, comb your hair, apply lip gloss and remember your purse!

If you've signed up already ... you can avoid the rush and start your shopping right now!

And if you haven't signed up yet ... I hope the lure of guilt-free shopping in your PJs has finally swayed you ....

Julie ;-)

Class values

You might remember, a little over a week ago, Julie and I posted details of our Christmas workshop, 12Days. Among the various comments we received, both here and on our own blogs, was this one:

I was initially planning to reply below the original post, but – in the interests of providing a little more information about the class – decided to address the question here instead. Please know my intention is neither to be defensive, nor to give you the hard-sell; both Julie and I appreciate that for many people, particularly in such testing economic times, money is tight, and rarely more so than in the run-up to Christmas. But that knowledge was, in part, what inspired us to put together this particular class. Our hope is that your £20 outlay will ultimately save you much more than that, as well as enabling you to enjoy the time spent creating and giving handmade gifts to your friends and family.

Each of the twelve main projects included in the class are built around a central philosophy of ‘use what you have’, and as well as encouraging students to do this, the two of us lived by the same ethos when creating the tutorials. We’ve also provided at least two alternative versions of each project, along with suggestions for how you can tailor them to fit the supplies you have available and the people on your gift list. Everything is adaptable and many of the projects are specifically designed to utilise household items or found objects, all of which makes for minimal (if any) additional spending. It’s also worth remembering that while a couple of the bonus projects are specifically festive, none of the main ones are, so you can carry on using the tutorials to make presents all year round.

In short, and to give you a better idea of the specifics, the class fee includes:

:: Twelve PDF tutorials, including step-by-step instructions, photographs and templates

:: More than 40 individual projects and a total of 169 pages covered by those tutorials

:: Over a dozen bonus downloads, printables and tutorials

:: Exclusive-to-class giveaways

:: Access to private blog resources

As far as the comment regarding cheaper classes goes, we obviously know they’re out there, but there are equally many classes which are considerably more expensive. Cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean better, just as more expensive doesn’t mean you aren’t getting great value for money. It’s something which is entirely subjective and can really only be judged on a case-by-case basis. I hope that by offering up a little more information on 12Days and the philosophy behind the class, you’ll feel better placed to make a judgment, or to ask more questions if you need.

We were lucky enough to receive some pretty stellar feedback from last year’s students and, being the tiny-but-mighty ideas factory that she is, Julie compiled some of it into a couple of Wordle images.

Thanks for reading. We'll be back a little later in the week (Julie's been working on something you can't fail to adore...).


Friday 1 October 2010

Glad Tidings Again

If you're joining us for the first time, on a visit from the Papercraft Inspirations Christmas Issue-celebrations and blog party, then a special 'hello new comer' to you too!

As our Christmas post earlier in the week contained a sneaky hint so now we’re back to spill the festive beans:We’re very happy to announce we're re-running our online workshop - 12 Days :: A Copy+Paste Christmas in a brand new blog for 2010.
If you took the class last time around, you're more than welcome to join in once again this year, we'll be sending out an email to you soon with the new log-in details. It'd be great to see you.

This year the class will run between 4th and 19th November and is packed with projects, downloads and tutorials designed to help you make the most of your creative supplies in the run up to Christmas.

What's even better is that we’ve designed each of the main projects, and many of the additional ones, to be adaptable, which means that, instead of turning into giant crafty pumpkins the minute Boxing Day arrives, they’re just as relevant at other times of year.


:: Twelve full projects, including step-by-step instructions, templates and photographs, plus alternative versions and suggestions for customising the project to suit your style and skills. The projects cover:

  • papercrafting;
  • gift-making;
  • lifestyle, and;
  • decorating.

Each one is available as a downloadable PDF, so you can print and refer to it whenever you want.

:: Four bonus days, packed with extra projects, downloads and giveaways.

:: Project options include gifts for men, women and children, as well as simplified, speedy and eco alternatives, where appropriate.

:: The workshop will be hosted on a password-protected blog, where you can view and download each of the projects as they’re posted, as well as asking us questions and interacting with other students.


:: You don’t need any particular skills or experience to join the class and start making projects. Our tutorials are detailed enough for beginners to follow, but also allow plenty of scope for more experienced crafters.

:: We’ve deliberately tried to create projects which utilise materials you’re already likely to have at home, so any additional outlay is minimal. Both of us are very keen on the theory of ‘use what you have’, and realise budgets can be particularly tight in the weeks before Christmas. Product and supplier links are included where relevant, but each of the projects also includes variations so if you don’t have something, you can work around it. Our hope is that by making more of your Christmas gifts, decorations and accessories, you’ll both save money and enjoy the season a little more!

:: There’s no need to worry about keeping up with projects, or completing things by a particular date. The downloads are available for you to use whenever you’re ready, and we’ll be keeping the blog open for students to log-in indefinitely. The only thing which will be time-sensitive are the giveaways and a few weekend activities we have planned, although you’ll still be able to go back and read those after the event. We’ll both be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the class term, and will aim to do so for a while afterwards, too.


:: The cost is £20 and payment is via the PayPal button at the top right of this blog.

:: You don’t need an account to pay this way – just a credit or debit card.

:: Or we can alternatively arrange to accept cheques. Please email for more details if you require this option.

:: Once you’ve purchased your class pass, we’ll send you an email with details of the private 12Days blog.

:: You’ll then be able to log in, have a look around, say hello to your fellow students and keep an eye out for a few pre-class surprises.


Once again, the content is the same as the class we ran last year but will be hosted on a brand new blog with live daily posts between the 4th and 19th November.

:: If you took the class last year, you can still access the 2009 blog, and we'll also be offering a brand new workshop in the new year!

If you’ve got any questions at all, please feel free to ask them in the comments below or send us an email ( We hope you’re as excited as we are, and look forward to seeing you in class!

Julie and Kirsty


PS. Want to find out a bit more about us to help you make up your mind? Check out Julie's personal blog here and Kirsty's here, or visit us on Flickr (Julie/nabview and Kirsty/planetcoco).

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