Magda Archer- Modern Life’s Depressing Problems Meet Sickly Sweet Kitsch

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I was starting into the BBC documentary where Chris Packam talks about his Aspergers, but had to pause and hit Google when I spotted this glorious Wire Fox terrier print on his wall.

The artist is Magda Archer, and perusing their other prints at Jealous Gallery only confirmed that they are right up my street. 

Enjoy. 

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My Favourite Art Deco House in Bangor Northern Ireland- Plus Tonic Cinema Illustration From Hand Drawn Creative

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I shared with you my favourite house in Portstewart last week, so how about my favourite house in Bangor, where I actually live.

Its this pink beauty which resides in the wonderfully named 'Beverley Hills', in the Ballyholme area. Built in the 1930s it nestles amongst a neighbourhood of otherwise regular family homes, and backs onto a golf course.

I know what you're thinking- the cladding. I know. Cladding the exterior of a house in fancy stonework was a trend in the 1970s and you would wonder who in their right mind would have altered such an already high concept design building like this, let alone all over cladding, then painting it pink.

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The photo below showing the house in its original form is so much better, the corner windows to the left side are totally lost under the heavy brickwork. 

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The current owner was not responsible for the cladding, or the pink, and they also say the original interiors have been stripped and changed too. So no retro futuristic interiors to observe, sadly.

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David Wilson architects did some remodelling work recently extending the kitchen and living area on the ground floor. They appear to have done a good job, in keeping with the traditional design of the building.

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Bangor has some beautiful Art Deco public buildings, one of which Neal McCullough from Hand Drawn Creative has featured in a clean crisp illustration, which you can buy on his Etsy Store.

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The Bank of Ireland building is another example, right at the midpoint of Main Street. The building to the right which you can't see in the photograph has quite a few modernist qualities. I have an old Ulster Architrcture book somewhere that features it, I must dig it out to share with you on another blog post.

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There's another section of Bangor, what I call the new-build sprawl of the East which is like a maze to me, but which has a pocket of home designs I've always loved.

Along the ring road and into never ending suburbia there are a couple of streets of these happy little chalets. They look like designs of the 60s or 70s, family homes with asymmetrical rooves, cute archways and novelty balconies. 

There are several designs dotted along the Pinehill / Silverbirch area.

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Incidentally Neal has a print that looks a little bit like these homes- Hand Drawn Creative Hollywood Bungalow A3 for £20. Apart from his Fisher Price retro toy illustrations, I think this is my favourite of Neal's work.

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The last home of my favourites in Bangor list, is one I've been telling my parents I wanted to live in since I was a little girl, when we moved to the same road when I was aged two.

"The Sugar Cube", as its lovingly named by the family who live there, is a flat roofed design house on the same road as my parents' home. I always told my parents I would love there so I wasn't too far away from them when I moved out as an adult. Ironically I actually live almost this close now, although it's round the back of the Springhill Road, rather than down and opposite from my parents' house.

So have I got all th unusual homes in Bangor? Or do you know of any that I might like to nosy at too?  Hit me up on Twitter- @rudedoodle

I may feature Holywood next- it would require a lot of time on Google Streeview going up and down the split-level, modernist heaven that is Marino!

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One last bonus architectural oddity- the Ballyholme windmill, which peeks out from in between the streets of homes. 

I would LOVE to live somewhere like that. 

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Give Back Friday: A Wheely Good Idea From Victory Chimp

Victory Chimp is a Northern Irish art & apparel site with designed pedalled from the mind of Ryan O'Reilly. He loves cycling, apes and illustration, and this site is a culmination of all three.

He has come up with a really cool alternative to tomorrow's Black Friday, which I spotted on Facebook so had to share. I'll let him speak for himself- 

  "We want to do something positive this Black Friday, so here's the deal:

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This is our new print. It comes in three colours and 100% of the proceeds will go to three charities, Simon Community, Marie Curie and World Bicycle Relief.

This is a timed edition. It will be on sale until 11.59 GMT Monday 28 November only.

Our goals:
25 prints / £500 welcomes 20 homeless people with warm clothes and essential supplies
25 prints / £500 provides 25 hours of care for the terminally ill in the comfort of their home
25 prints / £500 sends 10 bikes to Africa, empowering people with access to education, health and economic opportunity"

Pretty good, huh? Even if you don't cycle it's a snazzy design to brighten up your hall or kitchen, and it fits the large IKEA box frames. 

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As you can see it's a limited print, so if you are reading this after Black Friday 2016, and you wish you had picked one up for the cycling addict in your family, don't despair. Check out these other art prints on sale all year round on  the Victory Chimp store. I want the travel poster inspired set, so simple & classic.

Good luck, Ryan & co! I hope you make your Give Back Friday target! 

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Come Say Hi To My Favourite NI Artist in Belfast This Friday & Take Advantage of the Under £25 Pop Up Shop To Take Home a Hand Drawn Creative Piece of Your Own

Neal McCullough is probably my favourite Northern Irish illustrator and artist. I'm terribly fond of Sara O'Neill and Stephen Maurice Graham, but Neal from Hand Drawn Creative pips them at the post for two reasons. Firstly he's also from Bangor, and I always bump into him in M&S, so you know he's good people, but secondly and most importantly he is responsible for the The World of Kitsch logo, with its bang on fonts and mid-century plant table splendidness.

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This Friday evening coming is Belfast Culture Night & Neal will be showcasing & selling his work in a pop up shop in Blick Studios on Hill Street- full details here. Neal is one of a collection of local artists who will be offering all work for under £25, so that's a great opportunity to buy some starter pieces if you wish you had a local artist collection but don't have an art lover's budget.

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Here are some of the works on  the Hand Drawn Creative web shop, but I'm not completely sure whether these will be there on Friday, and whether he will be selling brand new never seen before prints too. The online prices start from £20, so if you don't live in NI you can still own one of Neal's designs without busting the bank. The Beastie Boys ones would make brilliant Christmas presents if you have a fan of them in your life.

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Neal's wife Jules with a second Beastie Boys design

Neal's wife Jules with a second Beastie Boys design

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There is also an artists' panel before the pop up, also free & looks very interesting indeed.

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Are You Season 8 Ready, Hunty? RuPaul Artwork For The People.

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Sharon Needles

Sharon Needles

I've been rewatching Ru Paul's Drag Race on Netflix, with season 8 approaching next month. I've even delved into 'the lost season', series one, the one filmed with Vaseline smeared camera lenses & questionable wigs.

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Alaska 5000

Alaska 5000

I've watched mostly in reverse, so I'm on season 2 now. The episode I've reached is one where the mini-challenge is to makeover a RuPaul doll into a lady of the night. Which sent me immediately to eBay to see if I could afford a Ru Paul doll. Sadly they start at £55, but I found something Drag Race fans can have for their home without busting your budget. 

Bianca Del Rio- one of my favourites

Bianca Del Rio- one of my favourites

Phi Phi O'Hara

Phi Phi O'Hara

ebay seller 88to92 is who you need to search for. They make these cool, queen-quote artworks. I would love a whole set framed going up my stairs at home. They start at £5 so pick your favourite queen and have her home in time for series 8 beginning. 

I didn't like Dela, but she did look like Michelle Visage! 

I didn't like Dela, but she did look like Michelle Visage! 

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If anyone wants to chat Drag Race on Twitter I'm @rudedoodle. I posted some behind the scenes secrets and stills from 'the lost season' this morning.

I love you, Ru! 

I love you, Ru!