Wednesday, 27 November 2013

weekend away in winchester.

Last weekend I visited Winchester to see some family friends with my mum and dad. I went into town for a little shopping trip  on the Saturday with my dad and Bella and Rory (above), I used to live nearby when I was about 8 so I'm used to the area and already have some favourite spots.

Most importantly on our agenda in Winchester was book shopping! Firstly we visited my favourite Oxfam bookshop which was where I used to get all of my books and other when I was little. Rory got a copy of the Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchet which is one of my favourites... I wish I was allowed to just read children's fiction! Then we went to The Winchester Bookshop which has three floors full top to bottom with an assortment of books from second hand paperback to century old classics. Aaand as if that wasn't enough we visited Waterstones afterwards because evidently you can never look at quite enough books!


Monday, 25 November 2013

project: silver wrap-around dress d.i.y

When I realised I had nothing to wear for a night out a couple of weeks ago I remembered a project I had seen on my favourite D.I.Y website a pair & a spare. Geneva's version of this cut out dress is a lot more summery; she used a gorgeous bright printed fabric and raffia for the tie strings. I used a long silver skirt that I purchased from a vintage stall at a festival (you have already seen it here). I had already shortened it previously so all I had to do to was use the excess fabric for the wraparound top. I really love the metallic fabric, wish I had some more of it.
You can see above that I may have had a little bit of extra help from a few safety pins! What do you think of the dress? Have you customised any clothing recently?

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Sunday, 24 November 2013

westworld... my editorial debut!

I mentioned a little while ago that I had been given the amazing opportunity to be the arts and fashion editor of my university newspaper WesternEye... when I went to the first meeting and brought my ideas to the table this snowballed into the idea that for the November Issue they would bring back the 'culture' segment of the newspaper, Westworld, rather than just having the typical four page Arts and Fashion segment. It is out across UWE campuses but you can flick through an online version below!

I only co-edited this issue and it was due to the hard work & knowledge of Jill (last year's Art & Fashion editor) as well as some friends I drafted in last minute that the first issue of Westworld this year is out now across UWE campuses! Also, this issue would be nothing without its beautiful and quirky design which is all down to third year graphics student Matt D Woodman.

Please let me know what you all think! I would love any constructive feedback about what you liked or didn't like in this issue. 

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

event : House of Fraser Christmas Press Show

looking glass christmas

Last Thursday I went to a night of many mince pies and even more glasses of mulled wine at the House of Fraser Christmas Press Show in their store in Cabot Circus, Bristol.

We got to try out a few different things that House of Fraser had in store like some nail varnish courtesy of Nails inc (which I've already posted about), hand massages from Molten Brown and perfume from Yves Saint Laurent. We also had a guided tour of their beautiful spa facilities and a talk through the christmas decoration trends that House of Fraser have put together this year. 

I was a fan of the "natural materials and muted hues" of the cutesy 'Woodland Charm' theme but my favourite of these trends was the 'Looking Glass' theme that features a "palette of delicate and sparkling hues".  Above is my little wish list of gifts and decorations along these themes... Some of the tree decorations like the silver sequin butterfly and the feathered rose I think would actually make nice hair accessories!

I wore my new vintage playsuit from Loot and got to catch up with some other bloggers who I had previously met at the Harvey Nichols catwalk show in March. We finished up the night with a goody bag filled with samples, vouchers and a beautiful Christmas trend book packed in one of House of Fraser's signature pink bags.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Nails Inc - glittery ruby red

I've never been one for doing much with my nails, I'm a bit too scruffy for that and it always just ends up going everywhere or getting chipped immediately! I'm definitely a sucker for a bit of glitter though so I couldn't resist trying out nails inc's 'Bling it on' at the House of Fraser press day... which I'll talk more about in a later post!

A lovely nail technician called Gemma first painted my nail a very christmassy ruby colour and then dipped it all over in glitter for a festive bauble effect. I've tried the glitter technique myself... but it didn't work quite as well! When I got home I finished off the other nails with 'Hampstead Heath', another nails inc colour... what do you think? Try to ignore my terrible nail painting skills haha! 
nails inc, bling it on, ruby red
I really liked the effect of the glitter and I think its something that wouldn't be as easily noticed if smudged (which is definitely useful to me!). I do think however that a topcoat would be useful as otherwise the glitter comes off quite quickly. The colour they used here was Ruby which is really striking and definitely festive but you can get it in loads and loads of different colours on their website. 

I was also lucky enough to receive a little goody bag with a mini bottle of blue polish, a nail file and some vouchers... so I may be becoming a nail art convert after all!

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

festive feelings - The Bear and The Hare

I know there will still be many people who think that it is far too early for this but I definitely think it's got to that time of year: I've eaten several mince pies already, all the Christmas lights are turned on, it's bloooody freeeezing and the John Lewis ad is here.

The Christmas period has arrived.

Now I don't know about you but if there's one advert that has come to mean Christmas for me (because  obviously advertising and commercialism are what christmas is all about! ha!) it's got to be the John Lewis one and controversially not the classic Christmas Coca Cola truck 'Holidays are coming' thing.

I think I definitely preferred last year's ad 'The Journey' with Gabriele Aplin's beautiful cover of 'The Power of Love' and that beautiful brave snowman... weep. But 'The Bear and The Hare' definitely has its positive points.  Firstly the creative and technical process behind actually making it was astonishing and secondly Lily Allen is back! And covering Keane! And finally, you can actually follow The Bear and The Hare on twitter which is really cool. What do you think of it?

So basically this blog is going to be getting a lot more festive from here on! Am I going to be seeing any of you at the #BathXmasMeet?

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

instaupdate #6

Day of the Dead | Lucie Zara | Molly being scared of Sparklers
Hamlet | Midnight Snack | Donuts at Loot
Pop up Bakery | Cloakroom fun | Headdress 

The weekend before last I had some more halloween fun when I worked on the e-tickets at Boomtown Festival's day of the dead themed bonfire extravaganza. It was a perfect excuse to paint my face again!! The next night I went to see my incredibly talented friend Lucie who had come up to Bristol for the night to sing in the Arts House. It was wonderful, obviously, and she even covered one of my favourite ever Suzanne Vega songs. You should definitely check her out, her name is Lucie Zara and you can find her on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Last week was spent trying to understand Hamlet in order to write what turned out to be another terrible essay this week. But I also spent some time waving sparklers around, having midnight meals and going to vintage store openings. Last weekend I also went to the Trap/Idle Hands/Donuts night at Motion, my fave Bristol venue. This week I've been catching up on more uni work and headdress orders.

What have you all been up to? x

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

the creative initiative #1

When I saw Being Little's blog post last week about starting a kind of weekly creative club I was very keen to join in!

Though I was an art student once upon a time I never ever find time to draw anymore so i thought this challenge would be the perfect opportunity to dust off the pencils and get the creative juices flowing. The theme this week is 'free sketch' so here is a feather that I drew in about three minutes with a biro whilst poorly in my boyfriend's bed today... 
(when my flatmate (who is actually an illustrator) sees it she is going to have an actual heart attack.)

I now feel a little more prepared for next weeks prompt which is 'what did you do today?' Please head over to Being Little's blog and do get involved with the link up!!

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

opening: loot vintage bristol.

So firstly a little bit of news that I haven't shared with you... Last week I found out that my application was successful and I am now the Arts & Fashion editor of WesternEye, my university newspaper!!!  This is obviously super duper exciting and I'll be sure to show you my first issue when it comes out.

On Wednesday I was invited to the press preview of Loot, a new vintage shop that has just opened in Bristol. Me and my assistant editor Chaneen got to have a little snoop around as well as indulging ourselves with Krispy Cremes and ciders before it was opened to the general public on Thursday night.

vintage, retro, menswear, loot vintage, bristol, american
vintage, retro, womenswear, loot, bristol

Loot started as the project of Louise Dooley & Richard Emerson (Rocket) (above right) just two years ago with their first store in Leamington and this store, near the Bear Pit in Bristol, will be their second location. We were lucky enough to have a chat with Rocket who said that though they looked into many locations across England, Bristol kept being recommended as the perfect fit; "As a City I feel it has only progressed as the cultural pulse of the UK".

Rather than buying in bulk as many other vintage stores do the clothes are painstakingly hand picked from cities across America and Europe: New York, Texas, Miami, LA, Barcelona, Copenhagen & Berlin. Rocket himself also co-owns a boutique menswear shop and this is shown in the fact that Loot, refreshingly, actually caters more for the boys! Rocket was passionate about his anti-consumerist ethos and what that means for Loot for example unlike many other vintage and retro stores Loot is surprisingly affordable. As a prime example me and Chaneen were shocked to see a Ralph Lauren men's shirt for only £23! 

Another fantastic aspect of their make-do and mend attitude is that they 'rework' items to bring them up to date while still retaining their character (remember me saying how much I loved that in Cow Vintage's store?). For example they will shorten hems, bring in waistlines and add embellishments for you as well as adjusting sizes so your ideal individual piece will fit you. What really appeals to me is that they have a visible area with sewing machines so you actually see the seamstresses at work yourself!

Loot don't want to just stop at the clothes though, Rocket was telling me about many of the other plans in store. They are always keen to push the boundaries in order to integrate with the local community. First as a platform for local artists who will be able to display and sell their work within the store. There are also talks about having local musicians perform in store as 'loot live sessions'. As well as this there are ideas for the 2,500 square feet space to be turned into a yoga studio at night. 
"We believe we can generate a real community scene for people with an interest in fashion, art, music and health.”
Louise & Rocket do have plans to open more shops in different cities but not before 2016, until then they plan to spend their time on our Bristol store and the new website 'gimme the loot' where you can shop by decade and city!

LOOT Vintage Clothing Bristol can be found at 6-9 Haymarket Walk, BS1 3LN.

Monday, 4 November 2013

#freekieron - Urgent call to help free innocent journalist being detained in Russia

The Arctic Sunrise (source: greenpeace)

This is not my normal type of post but it is a really, really important cause so I hope you'll read it. You may have vaguely heard about the 'Artic 30' in the news... It was only when I saw my friends posting on Facebook about it I realised that I had a personal link. One of the detainees is Kieron Bryan who is the son of my English teacher and his wife (Andy and Ann Bryan) who both worked at my secondary school in Devon. 

Kieron is not even an activist. He is a freelance journalist videographer who was employed by Greenpeace to document a protest against an oil rig in the Arctic. On the 18th of September two of the activists were attempting to scale the Prirazlomnaya oil rig (in a protest similar to this). At some point after this Russian authorities boarded the ship and all 30 of the crew were towed to land and at taken to a detention facility. 

By the 29th all had been charged with piracy which carries a minimum ten year sentence in Russia. There was obvious outrage at this sentence: "Pirates do not carry banners and sail around with rainbows painted on their ships. They have guns and explosives."1 This charge has now been reduced to 'hooliganism'. This seems to be pretty unrelated to the previous charge and still carries a five year sentence. Kieron is currently residing in a freezing cold dark prison cell for 23 hours a day only having been able to exchange a few letters with his family and friends.

In one of these few letters home Kieron wrote; "In many ways I'm lucky I don't have children who depend on me, but the fear of losing years of my life and the opportunity to perhaps start a family is terrifying."
Protest (Source: Huffington Post)

A large protest was held outside the Russian embassy directly following the piracy charges which gathered support from celebrities like Dame Vivienne Westwood (above), Jude Law and Blur frontman Damon Albarn.

Following this The National Union of Journalists gathered a petition of journalist's signatures and organised a silent protest last Saturday with the tagline 'Free Kieron, Free Speech: Journalism is not a crime'. As someone working towards a journalism degree this has made me aware of the other issues that this case raises.

Regardless of your views on Greenpeace and their peaceful protests, Kieron was just a hired journalist and not a pirate or a hooligan. If you would like to get involved and spread the word about this injustice I've put links to the various campaign pages and the petition below. 

Please get liking, sharing, tweeting and signing. 

campaign links:
twitter • facebookwebsite • petition • donate
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