Exeter College Oxford as seen in Marvel’s Dr Strange

Exeter College Oxford as seen in Marvel’s Dr Strange

When I was back in Oxford, around January time, there were rumours flying everywhere that the Benedict Cumberbatch was to grace his presence at Exeter College filming for a new movie. Whilst it turned out that the whispers of Cumberbatch’s appearance were false, Exeter College chapel did turn out to be a filming location for a movie that he was in: Marvel’s Dr Strange. I went to see the new Dr Strange movie last night, and it was so cool seeing Exeter College chapel in the middle of the film with Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. The movie reminds me a lot like Inception with its kaleidoscopic scenes and manipulated cityscapes, and the same happens to the interior of Exeter College chapel. Here are a few of my favourite photos that I’ve taken in the chapel, alongside with the screenshots from the Dr Strange film – I would definitely recommend seeing it. Yay for Oxford University being used in Hollywood blockbuster films!

Mads Mikkelsen in Dr Strange filmed in Exeter College Chapel University of Oxford, photo taken from Jay Maidment cdn.collider.com

Dr Strange Exeter College Chapel Oxford University_image from Comicbook.com

Exeter College Chapel University of Oxford Dr Strange Marvel Film

Exeter College Oxford University Dr Strange Film

Exeter College Oxford University Dr Strange Film

Exeter College Oxford University Dr Strange Film

Exeter College Chapel University of Oxford Dr Strange Marvel Film

Limited Bespoke hand-painted greeting cards now on my Etsy Shop

Limited Bespoke hand-painted greeting cards now on my Etsy Shop

For the last couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of painting, and I am pleased to announce that over on my Etsy shop you can now buy some one-off, unique, miniature works of art – my hand-painted greeting cards! I have made a dozen (and more) hand-made copies of the same design, and whilst I am in the process of reproducing them, I thought it would be a great idea to let you guys have the chance to buy your own and send them to your loved ones. I am an absolute stickler for handwritten letters and cards, and so I hope that people might enjoy sending and receiving my hand-painted greeting cards. Each card is individually hand-painted using watercolour and gouache paints, then hand mounted onto 5 x 7 ivory card.

Below is a selection of the ones now currently available online, with more to come soon!

Happy Birthday

Hand painted original happy birthday greeting cards

Hand painted happy birthday greeting card etsy

Hand painted original happy birthday greeting card

A selection of my Happy Birthday cards are available here on Etsy. You can choose from five cards, each differing in colour and illustration.

Thank you

Thank you hand painted greeting cards, Etsy

Hand painted thank you greeting cards, available on Etsy

 

Say ‘cheers’ with my hand painted Thank you cards available on Etsy.

Printed Bonjour card

Prints of my hand painted greeting cards Bonjour

I have also added printed Bonjour cards which available on Etsy. These are print copies of my hand-painted lettering, originally made using watercolour, gouache, and love. This card is a print copy made with a premium matte stock finish.

Have you got any sayings or greetings that you would like to see painted on a greeting card, leave a comment below – would love to read some of your ideas!

You can check out all my hand-painted and printed greeting cards over on my Etsy shop here.

 

5 things to see and do in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris

5 things to see and do in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris

Located along the western edge of the 16th arrondissement in Paris, the Bois de Boulogne is the second largest park in the city. For those wanting to escape the rush of the city, or enjoy a pleasant promenade, a visit to the Bois de Boulogne is a must. The Bois de Boulogne contains a variety of things to explore; including several lakes, the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, the Château de Bagatelle along with its magnificent gardens, a pleasant children’s amusement park in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, and with the most recent addition of the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

One could easily spend an entire day wandering the various sights and places within the park, or perhaps explore each of the different treasures within the park individually. Here are my top 5 things to see and do in the Bois de Boulogne!

Row across the Lac Inferieur

Situated southeast of the Bois de Boulogne, the Lac Inferieur is the largest lake within the park. It is a delightful scene, where two manmade islands are a joined by a bridge, but can only be accessed via boat. One day, a friend and I walked around the entire lake, intrigued with what we were seeing. Walking along the woody trails surrounding the lake, one is guaranteed to see a unique part of Paris.

Am absolute must when visiting either the Chalet des Îles and Lac Inferieur is to rent a rowing boat! Last weekend, I had the pleasure of doing just this with some of my best friends. Whilst under Napoleon III, rowing was reserved for the social elite; nowadays anyone can enjoy this leisurely activity. Renting a boat on Lac Inferieur was absolutely fantastic. Not only is it a really fun activity to take part in (despite myself being incredibly rubbish at rowing), but it’s a great way to see the Lake and explore the islands too.

Row across the Lac Inferieur, Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Wine and dine at Chalet des îles

It was by pure chance that I discovered this hidden gem in the Bois de Boulogne. What can I say, thank you Instagram! It was after some Instagram searching that I laid eyes on the enchanting Chalet des Îles in a photo and immediately knew that I had to visit it.

Located on one of the islands of Lac Inferieur is Chalet des Iles. As previously mentioned, this Chalet is truly enchanting. To access, visitors must take a boat across the lake, at the mere €1.50 for a round trip. Here at le Chalet des Îles, one can have a delicious meal in the restaurant, or relax by the lakeside at the bar. You don’t just have to go to the Chalet to eat, you can also explore the two islands, and perhaps enjoy a home-made picnic amongst the trees.

Chalet des îles, Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Fondation Louis Vuitton

As you walk around the Bois de Boulogne, from the corner of your eye you’ll probably notice an exquisite sculptural-like structure surfacing from the immense forest, as if overlooking the surrounding landscape. This unusual building so happens to be owned by the French luxury giant LVMH. It’s the Fondation Louis Vuitton.

Located within the Bois de Boulogne in the Jardin d’Acclimatation, just west to the very centre of Paris, the Fondation Louis Vuitton opened in October 2014. Designed by the Candian Architect, Frank Gehry, the Fondation Louis Vuitton has become a spectacular addition to Paris.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation is not only a unique piece of architecture. There are a variety of exhibitions that you can visit inside, including a permanent collection of both modern and contemporary art, temporary exhibits and lots of multidisciplinary events throughout the year.

Foundation Louis Vuitton, Bois de Boulogne, Paris, Frank Gehry Architecture

The Château where Marie-Antoinette lost her own bet – the Château de Bagatelle

Whilst in the Bois de Boulogne, the Parc de Bagatelle is home to a small neoclassical Château – the Château de Bagatelle. Constructed originally as a place to stay whilst hunting within the Bois de Boulogne, the Château has an interesting history.

In 1777 Marie-Antoinette wagered against the Count of Artois that it was impossible to build a palace with a park in less than three months. In an attempt to win the bet, the Count of Artois appointed architect François-Joseph Bélanger and Scottish landscape designer Thomas Blaikie to create the Château. And by Jove – they won! The Château and the surrounding park was built in just 64 days, making Marie-Antoinette loser of the bet. I have no idea what it meant to lose, so it would be interesting to see what the outcome was for Marie-Antoinette in this wager!

Château de Bagatelle, Parc de Bagatelle, Bois de Boulogne, Paris

The Rose Garden of Parc de Bagatelle

Located in the beautiful Parc de Bagatelle, is a magnificent Rose Garden, and must visit if you are in the Bois de Boulogne. The rose garden is filled with around 10,000 rose bushes of 1,200 different varieties, and every June there is an international competition for new roses, Concours international de roses nouvelles de Bagatelle. Walking around the garden, one cannot but be overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of all the flowers – and the smell! If you come at the right time during the summer when the roses are in full bloom, the smell of the different species is captivating.

Also in the Rose Garden is the Orangerie. Built in 1865, the Orangerie is a classical-style building where concerts are held throughout the year. Don’t forget to check out the delightfully quaint Victorian-style pavilion which overlooks the Rose Garden. Situated at the top of a small mound, the Kiosque is a great place to sit, relax and take in the beautiful surroundings.

So if you’re ever in Paris during the summer, or just fancy seeing a new part of the city, I without a doubt recommend heading over to experience the beauty of the Parc de Bagatelle Rose Garden yourself.

Château de Bagatelle, Bois de Boulogne, Paris

Have you been to the Boise de Boulogne? If so, what is your favourite thing to see and do there? Would love to know for my next visit!

Etsy Summer Sale – 10% everything!

Etsy Summer Sale – 10% everything!

I cannot believe that it is August already, where has the time flown? As I write this blog post, I look out from my desk onto my garden and it is raining. It hardly looks like summer here in England. Rain, rain, rain.

But do not fear if the weather is rubbish where you are – to celebrate Summer I am having a SALE off EVERYTHING in my Etsy shop. Yes, you read that right, everything. This includes greeting cards, photo prints, and custom orders. Never has there been a better time to bring some Parisian chic into your home or send a little card to loved ones.

For your chance to get 10% off all my photo prints and greeting cards, use the promo code SUMMERSALE16 – limited time only (till September). Spread the word!

Head over to my Etsy account here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RoisinGracePhotos

Etsy Summer Sale Photo Prints Paris, Set of Four Scenes of Paris Photo Postcards

Etsy Paris Photo Print Summer Sale

Etsy Photo Paris Prints Summer Sale Photography

Etsy Happy Mother's Day hand-painted greeting card - original watercolour illustrated card

Graduating with a Master’s from the University of Oxford

Graduating with a Master’s from the University of Oxford

Who would have thought it this time two years ago, after graduating from the University of York, I would be graduating with a Master’s degree from Oxford? I certainly didn’t. Oxford has always had this mysterious and enigmatic presence in my life. When I was smaller, I remember thinking how amazing it would be to attend and study here, but never in my wildest dreams did I actually think I would have gone there. And now I have finished!

This year has probably been one of the quickest in my life to date. My course was only 9 months long. The shortness of my degree meant that a lot was crammed into a little amount of time. This included the huge task of learning languages such as Latin and Medieval French at the same time. Whilst at times many lamented how hard, demanding, and tiring the course was – I found it incredibly interesting, and never once did I think that maybe I should have been doing something else. I loved it.

However, this year was particularly difficult for me towards the end. Less than a month before my dissertation was due, my Grandfather unexpectedly passed away. It was, and still is, one of the toughest things that I have had to experience. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think of my Grandpa, and I miss him dearly. I found it very difficult to continue on when he passed, and so, in theory, I should be exceptionally happy to have graduated under the circumstances. I hope that he was looking down on us last week, and shared in the precious occasion with all the family.

Now I am back at the family home, and eagerly applying for jobs left, right, and centre. Job-hunting is l-o-n-g, and I hadn’t realised how much time goes into each application. However, my perseverance will not be diminished!

I’m also feeling very creative at the moment. Whilst studying I didn’t have the to do as much painting or photography as I would normally like to. So, whilst there is a gap in my life, this is the perfect opportunity to get painting! Keep checking out on my instragram to see what I get up to.

Here are just a few of the photos taken on my graduation, enjoy.

28542666442_76ddf829ec_b

Throwing hat giff

Hat3

28032979063_437404431b_b

28649314245_cc436be866_b

28032990283_5c07ee278d_b

Research trip to Paris

Research trip to Paris

In January I was lucky to be given the funding from Jesus College to head over to Paris as part of my research for my dissertation. The main goal of this trip was to be able to see a manuscript that I am researching in person at the BNF (Bibliothèque Nationale de France). The actual process of getting in touch with the BNF and requesting access to the manuscript wasn’t that difficult (to my surprise!), and I was eventually granted permission to be able to see my manuscript. Despite it being only for half a day, due to the fragile nature of the manuscript and the fact that it is part of the BNF’s special collection, it was a great experience to be able to see and touch the pages that I had been long looking at only on screen.

I’m not gonna lie, and maybe only fellow medievalists will understand this, but oh my – what an amazing time I had! When my manuscript was finally brought out to me, I could feel my hands trembling. I was so excited! To be able to physically handle a manuscript from the 13th/14th century, how often do you get to do that!? (Well, actually, here at Oxford we get to do that quite a lot, but that’s beside the point…). I don’t know why, but I wasn’t expecting it to be the size it was, and I also wasn’t expecting the folios to be so fragile. I guess that’s what happens when you spend your time looking at objects such as these via computer screens and in books – you forget the actual materiality quality of the objects themselves. Whenever I handle manuscripts, I always try to remember the fact that these were made from living animals, the skin of cows etc. There’s something magical, albeit a little gross about this. It was also a wonderful experience just to be able to turn the pages over, mirroring the actual experience of those 13th century people looking at it. That’s another thing about studying manuscripts and other medieval objects via computers that can be unhelpful, the fact that you can also lose sight of how these objects were used, held, and experienced. I could ramble on for hours talking about how fun it was to be able to interact with an object I have grown to love and appreciate so much, but I will save you all from it.

Due to the fact that I only had access to the manuscript for half a day meant that I went a little obsessive with the amount of photos I took. But hey, I have no regrets! It was important to be able to survey each folio individually, making notes of any particular features that could not be seen on the photos that the BNF have released online.

After spending a mentally fatiguing and exciting day at the BNF, I spent the remaining days in Paris meeting up with friends and my former Au Pair family. I had such a wonderful time in Paris, not only being back in the city that I love so much, but to be able to advance in my research and be able to actually see the manuscript in person!

I have a lot of work now that I need to get on with, including some very difficult attempts at choiring my manuscript – but this is what I love, and cannot wait to get down to it.

Also, a big thank you to Jesus College for providing me with the funding to be able to make this special trip to the BNF.

Medieval Manuscript at the BnF, Paris

 

Medieval Manuscript at the BnF, Paris

 

Medieval Manuscript at the BnF, Paris

26112666522_9512981083_b