Monday, 31 December 2012

crafty photo scavenger hunt - december 12.

1 - Inspiration.

I've been really into metallics recently, due in part to this amazing bag from Gift Shop Brooklyn.  It's hand painted leather, graduating from copper with a purple undertone to a gorgeous gunmetal.  She's a real sweetheart too and is happy to work on commission pieces.  I really can't recommend her enough.  

2 - Something I Made.

I made two loaves to take to my parents' for Christmas.  The first was pistachio, the second was this chocolate and coffee loaf.  I had worried that it might look a bit brown and plain, but I found this amazing gold glitter spray for baking.  It definitely makes an otherwise boring looking loaf look really festive.

3 - Gifts.

As you may have already noticed, I'm a bit of a collectable junkie.  The boy bought me this fantastic Dunny by 64 Colors as part of my Christmas present.  

4 - Tradition.

As far as traditions go, this is still a fairly new one.  A group of us at work put away £10 a month from February to December and then go out for a fantastic dinner before Christmas.  It's great - we all get a top notch dinner and a brilliant night out, and it's effectively already been paid for.    

5 - Motifs:  Stars.

There is a shocking lack of star related patterns/prints in our flat, so I'm going to honour of my favourite novels instead.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

crafty photo scavenger hunt - october 12.

1 - Inspiration.

I sang at a friend's wedding on Friday and had to wear navy and gold.  These amazing Tatty Devine earrings were the inspiration for my look.

2 - Something I Made. 

I saw some sugar skull garlands on Etsy and decided to make my own.  The project has been sidelined as other, more pressing things have come up, but I'm hoping to have a string of these fellas by next Halloween.

3 - Supplies.

A small snippet of my makeup bag and a snapshot of my shameful Urban Decay addiction.  You can never have too many eyeliners.

4 - Cosy.

I bought this quilt in a cute little shop in Cambridge a number of years ago - I'm so happy it's got cold enough for us to bring it out of storage and snuggle under it.

5 - Motifs:  Halloween.

Nothing says Halloween like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

(As I forgot to take these over the weekend I had to take them in the dark last night - challenging doesn't cover it.)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

crafty photo scavenger hunt - september 12.

1 - Something I Made.

I made these autumnal leaf garlands after being inspired by a tutorial on A Beatiful Mess. Very easy to put together and they really add a warm splash of colour to the flat.

2 - Inspiration.

Inspired by a recent forum thread asking what you would chose if you could only ever read one book for the rest of your life.  Douglas Coupland is my hero.

3 - Drawings/Doodles.

A collection of Ghibli creatures that I doodled a while back.  My favourite has to be the mouse and fly from Spirited Away.

4 - Season's Change.

My favourite thing about autumn is cracking out my coats.  This embroidered one isn't quite thick enough to wear in the winter, so it's a definite seasonal favourite.

5 - Motifs:  Music.

Mementos of gigs I've been to since moving to London.  I pretty much worship Tori and believe Garbage is one of the best bands in the world.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

this week.

  1. Cowboy Bebop - the boy and I have been keeping our eyes peeled for this series on DVD for months now, but unfortunately they split it into multiple discs for the European market and each disc will set you back upwards of £20. Luckily our DVD player is multi-region, so I took to Amazon and bought the complete series for the boy's birthday. Completely in love. Can't wait to meet Radical Edward for the first time!
  2. Home cooked steak - I don't wish to blow my own trumpet, but I can cook a mean bit of steak. Apparently cooking slabs of meat is generally considered to fall into the remit of the man of the house, but in our flat the boy stays out of the kitchen and lets the magic happen.
  3. Coat weather - I had my first official coat wearing outing last week - exciting!
  4. Long weekends - I took a few days off work to recharge the batteries.  Feeling fresh as a daisy going into the new week!
  5. Our huge new Dunny collection - one of my favourite Flickr contacts offered me a deal on her Dunny collection that I couldn't refuse.  We used to have 15 - now we have 40!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

this week.

  1. The Paralympics - the Paralympics haven't just filled the void left by the Olympic Games, but they have been such a source of inspiration.  I think it's a fantastic opportunity for disabilities to be portrayed in such a positive way and I really hope that this gets people talking about it rather than avoiding the subject for fear of causing offence.
  2. Gift Shop Brooklyn on Etsy - I want to buy everything in Gift Shop Brooklyn's shop, it's all so beautiful.  I recently bought a grape metallic purse from her which now serves as my make up bag - it makes me smile whenever I see it in my handbag.
  3. The 'Zelda Busker' - I was so moved when I heard a busker on the Underground playing 'Zelda's Lullaby' on the harmonica that I had to go back up the escalator and give him a fiver.  He absolutely made my day.
  4. The first LIPS rehearsal of the autumn term - bring on the Christmas concert is all I can say!  Feel great to be singing with those lovely ladies again.
  5. Free food - they've just opened a new Wagamama in Fulham Broadway and my friend managed to get us two tickets for a free meal.  We each had a free side, main and two drinks, just for telling them how they were doing.  Score!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

dusting off vera.

I took Vera out for a little spin today.  

While setting up the 'hearts' photo for the CPSH I discovered that two blank canvases make a fantastic backdrop.  

So my Dunny collection got some camera time.  I love taking photos of these things, the colours and shapes are so fun to capture.

The rest of the photos are on my Flickr.

september goals.

  • Finish my gift for Baby G.  Goodness me I'm looking forward to having this finished!
  • Start eating more healthily in preparation for my ACL surgery - I think I'm going to have to start using the Wii board more regularly to track my weight.
  • Wear in my brown DMs.


Wiki tells me that aestivation, the practice of remaining dormant during the summer months, is only really observed in reptiles, amphibians and a host of creepy crawlies with shells.  I think that more mammals should get in one the action.  The Spanish have the right idea with the siesta - this should be rolled out across the rest of Europe when it gets hot.

I suppose that this serves as an excuse as to why I haven't posted anything in so long.  That and the never ending craft project that I'm working on for my friend's not-so-newborn daughter.  I tend to find the summer quite soporific and find my creativity wanes.  Now that the temperature has started to drop and is more suited to hot chocolate rather than iced coffee, I'm starting to feel more awake and 'with it'.

I managed to pull together my August contribution to the Crafty Photo Scavenger Hunt in just three evenings, so it looks like I'm definitely getting back to my old self again.  I also spent today taking photos of collectables, and I'm intend on getting back into my monthly goals and end of the week updates.  Long live autumn!

Friday, 31 August 2012

crafty photo scavenger hunt - august 12.

1 - Something I Made.

This is a sneak peek of the project I've been working on for my friend's wee girl.  I'm so excited about finally finishing it and being able to give it to her.

2 - Inspiration.

My parents bought me this pendant when they were in Vancouver earlier this year.  I'd previously been a firm believer that one shouldn't mix metals when it came to picking jewellery, but this beauty has me completely converted.  It's antique with turquoise, silver, copper and brass.

3 - Old.

We live in a 1920s mansion block in South London and it's full of period features.  My favourite would be the door fittings, especially this handle which has been painted many different shades over the decades.  The white top coat has been worn down so you can see the other colours underneath.  I like that it's a little glimpse of the flat's history.

4 - Surprise.

This category had me stumped, but tonight's dinner provided some much needed inspiration!

5 - Motifs:  Hearts.

I was lucky enough to nab one of these Skelanimal artist proofs from the amazing Lunabee - he's number 26 of 40.  I love his little red heart against the pink and white detailing.  

Monday, 16 July 2012

this week.

  1. My new haircut - what's the point of getting your ears pierced again if your hair constantly covers them up?  So the hair had to go.  Simple.
  2. My antique Mexican pendant - my parents picked this up in Vancouver when they were on their recent travels and I love it to bits.  It's turquoise mounted on silver with a silver, copper and bronze Aztec design.  I'm going to have to get some mixed metal earrings to go with it.
  3. Labradorite - as the boy doesn't wear jewellery (*snerk*) my parents brought back a piece of this from Canada.  It's gorgeous, a glossy black slab with flecks of peacock blue and gold.
  4. Uniqlo t-shirts - I think I may live in these in the autumn and winter, layered with jumpers.
  5. Haim - as I've mentioned before, I think Haim are going to feature heavily on my soundtrack for the summer, when the summer actually gets started that is.

  1. Neon Genesis Evangelion - I first heard of this series when Pullip released their Rei and Asuka dolls but hadn't ever checked it out.  Until I heard that it involved mechas.  We've been watching it online and I am in love.  I think it's my new anime addiction.
  2. Tourmaline - I love pink and green jewellery so I think I'm going to have to add some tourmaline to my collection.  I'm eyeing up this watermelon tourmaline piece on Etsy, I think it may be a post-birthday treat.
  3. figma Inori Yuzuriha - I know you shouldn't judge an anime by its action figure, but I think I may have to check out Guilty Crown!
  4. Gemagenta on Etsy - I've been eyeing up several pieces in this lovely shop, especially this lingerie inspired ring.  Her work is so detailed and delicate.
  5. This sweet online paper doll game - I can't get over how adorable this is, the textures are gorgeous.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

summer sounds.

I've created a spring/summer playlist this year.  I was hoping it would be the soundtrack to my summer, tunes to chill out to while enjoying a sunny bus journey into work, but I suppose that's wishful thinking at the moment!  Here are some artists I've only just discovered this year who have made the list.

Haim - I've downloaded Haim's EP, Forever, and it's such addicting listening.  It's this bizarre blend of pop, rock and R&B which, as mad as it sounds, really works.  

Kimbra - 'Settle Down' is a fab track with vocal percussion that builds and builds.  She's got a great bluesy voice which is very easy to listen to.

Icona Pop - not my usual thing, but 'Nights Like This' has the potential to be a great summer anthem.

The Jezabels - I downloaded Prisoner before going to see Garbage after learning that The Jezabels were their support act.  It's a fab alt rock album.  I especially like 'City Girl' and 'Long Highway'.

Oh Land - I remember reading that Oh Land, born Nanna ├śland Fabricius, is the daughter of an opera singer and an organist.  It sounds like she's broken free from these traditional bonds, creating amazing electronic sounds.

Jessie Ware - this is a really chilled track, very sophisto-pop.  She's got such a smooth voice, extremely easy to listen to.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

this week.

  1. Our new retro games consoles - we've had a Sega Master System II and a Famicom arrive this week.  Old skool!
  2. My skull shirt from Mango - I wore this shirt to work on Friday and was asked if it was from Alexander McQueen.  Definitely put a smile on my face.
  3. Going to see Garbage live (again) - I saw Garbage again at Brixton Academy last night and I'm still in awe.  I can't quite put into words how amazing they are.
  4. Edamame beans - Waitrose are selling these in small tubs now with a light soy dressing and they go perfectly with my leaves and roast chicken at lunch.  Yum!
  5. Aranzi Aronzo - I bought another craft book from Aranzi Aronzo from Japan Centre and I'm really looking forward to starting some new projects soon.  

Friday, 29 June 2012

childish delight.

Just excuse me while I hyperventilate a little...

Just... just look at it!  Is that not one of the most amazing things you have ever seen?  I mean, it comes with a Zombie Chef for goodness sake.  And a Monster Butler who mixes the Vampyres' drinks.

It's been released in September, and it will be ours.

Photo from

Saturday, 23 June 2012

this week.

  1. Meeting my friend's baby girl - newborn babies are just adorable with their big eyes and tiny fingers and toes.  My friend's newborn daughter, who I shall call Baby G, is as cute as a button.  
  2. Feminist Frequency - have you ever had one of those moments where you discover someone online who you wish lived across the hall from you so you could order chinese, watch Joss Whedon marathons and discuss feminism until the early hours of the morning, perhaps over a nice glass of red?  Well I wish Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency lived across the hall.  As a fan of pop geek culture and feminist theory I find her video blog very relevant to my interests.  Definitely worth a view!
  3. BeCharmedDesigns on Etsy - I recently bought an amethyst bracelet from this wonderful shop and it's quickly become one of my favourite pieces.  It's so dainty and delicate.
  4. Die Hard - not quite sure why they're showing this in June as it's basically a Christmas flick (oddly enough, Love Actually is on another channel), but I'm not going to complain.  I truly believe it's one of the best action films ever made.
  5. Dunny Series 2012 - squee!  I need that new Tara McPherson Dunny in my life. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

summer shadows.

I am notoriously bad at dressing myself in the summer.  I don't think I do too bad a job at looking presentable for the rest of the year, but as soon as it gets warm enough to qualify as 'hot', which doesn't take much in England, any fashion smarts I do have go out the window.  I have so many memories from last year which involve me sitting at my desk, torn between closing the window or continuing to let wasps into the office (a dilemma akin to Sophie's Choice), feeling hideously overheated and unattractive, only to remind myself that it's probably because I'm wearing thick black trousers and a knit top (three quarter sleeves do not make a garment summery).  I only had myself to blame.

And so, every year, usually around May when the sun makes a dazzling appearance before disappearing behind dull clouds for another few weeks, I made the same desperate plea to some nameless deity of summer wardrobes.  "Please!" I would beg, lying prostrate on the ground wearing a completely weather inappropriate outfit (jeans and a heavy cardigan are probably involved), "Show me the way!".  I longed to be a summer girl, as defined by Bernard Black, a bright and breezy lass who wears floral prints, pastels and chiffon, who never gets hot and bothered and who can wear flip flops for more than five minutes without nearly crippling herself.  Unfortunately my prayers went unanswered.

This year, however, while frantically trying to find a plain black dress for my recent choir concert (do you know how hard it is to find a plain black dress without lace and sparkles?) I stumbled across a real gem on the high street.  I'd heard of Mango before, but the fact that their poster current is currently Kate Moss made me think that their clothes would be too chic and trendy for me.  Turns out I was wrong to write them off.

Because the fantastic thing about Mango is that their summer collection includes a hell of a lot of black.  And, oh, how I love wearing black, so much so that some of my friends act like it's a major event when I wear something colourful.  It's just so easy - if you have a handful of really great black pieces in your wardrobe you can pretty much get dressed in the dark and look good.  Here are a few of my favourite pieces:

Now I can't quite put into words how unusual it is for me to dig dresses.  I'm not really a dress kind of girl.  Mango, however, has some great wardrobe staples - not too short, asymmetrical shapes and interesting mixes of fabrics.


I could've gone wild here and posted many more examples, but I restrained myself.  I think my favourite is the ethnic burnout t-shirt, the fabric falls really well (although modesty means I wear a camisole underneath!).

So, on the cusp of turning 26, I have finally discovered my perfect summer wardrobe.  Fine, I may look like a gloomy Gladys over the coming months when everyone else is looking floaty in pale maxi dresses, but I believe that you have to go with what works for you.

Photos from  

In the grand tradition of the British summer, over the two evenings that I've worked on this post it's gone from brilliant sunshine to torrential rain, so I'm not quite ready to break out the summer threads yet.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

#1 musical crush.

When I was around 17 I was very briefly in a band.  I was drafted in last minute after the previous singer walked out due to 'artistic differences'.  It was all a bit high pressured and frantic, but I managed to learn all the songs in time for the gig and had a half decent stab at fronting a rock band.  But the real legacy of the experience is that, after the band's founder likened me to a 'young Shirley Manson', I rushed home and did some research so I didn't appear hideously uncool.

And so began my love affair with Garbage.

One of my friends lent me her copy of Beautiful which I listened to on repeat, especially 'Cherry Lips' (much to my parents' delight), but it was when I bought Garbage and Version 2.0 that my mind was truly blown.  Growing up in the era of Avril and Britney, and being pretty straight-laced if I'm being honest with myself, finding a female vocalist with such a raw, powerful voice was something of an epiphany.  And she wasn't this tougher than tough punk chick with a lip ring and tattoos (don't get me wrong, I think Brody Dalle's stunning but it's not really my look), she was fun and colourful with hair reminiscent of Agent Scully.

It's nearly a decade later and I'm still a huge fan of their work.  In May I finally managed to fulfil a long standing dream by seeing them perform live, and the next day I bought myself a ticket to see them again  at the Brixton Academy in July.  Yes, I've grown and changed over the last ten years, and so have they, but this is one love affair that won't be ending soon.

Monday, 18 June 2012

i [heart] urban decay.

It's no secret that I am an Urban Decay addict through and through.  Since I bought my first UB eyeshadow when I was a student, no other make-up has cut it in (or on) my eyes.

They've recently redeveloped their eyeshadow formula and have brought out some killer new shades.  Here's the contents of my dream shadow palette:

Copper & Brown.

Smog   |   Cobra   |   Roach   |   Busted   |   Darkhorse

Purple & Fuchsia.
Rockstar   |   AC/DC   |   Psychedelic Sister   |   Last Call   |   Woodstock

Blue & Green.
Hijack   |   Evidence   |   Haight   |   Bender   |   Loaded

Colour swatches from Urban Decay