Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Bright and floral wall art




Just yesterday I decided that it was about time that I opened a shop on Etsy. I have been wanting to do it for a long time now, as I am a lover of all things handmade and I enjoy spending my free time making things for the home, so I decided that it was time to make the most of this and open my own store!

I've decided to open the shop with some art prints that I did back in 2010, which are shown in the images within this post. I love painting, especially when using bright colours and large strokes of acrylic paint on canvas - I find it very relaxing. One of my favourite things to paint are flowers and butterflies, and I have quite a few of my own pieces around the home. I just find that floral prints can brighten up any room, adding a touch of colour and happiness to a room. 



 I have sold a few prints on Ebay in the past, but I just love the concept of Etsy, and I also enjoy wasting a lot of my time looking at other peoples stores, and seeing how talented some people really are. I am hoping to really expand my store, by also including handmade accessories, as well as a wide selection of more prints (if these are successful!). As you may of seen from my other post, I really enjoy crocheting and knitting, so I could even make some bits to sell on Etsy that have been crocheted - my mind is full of so many ideas!




You may view my Etsy store here:

While you are on there, take a look at some of the other shops and if you are feeling inspired, then why not create your own store? You may as well give it a go and see how you get on :)


Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Pop Art trend

One of my favourite trends at the moment is the pop art trend, as I love the bold prints. I have just bought this top from Topshop (at £13.99), which you can purchase by clicking here, and I'm planning on teaming it with a black fitted midi skirt for a bold look.


I have always loved Pop Art after studying it for A Level Art, with my favourite artist being Roy Lichtenstein. The bold colours and creative designs are some of the features that I love about Pop Art, and there is actually a Lichtenstein exhibition which is currently being held at the Tate-Modern in London, which I would go to if I lived a bit closer to London...If anyone is interested, this is being shown until May 27th and is called 'Lichtenstein: A Retrospective'. For those of you who don't know, Lichtenstein is known for his work that is based on comic strips and advertising imagery, and is coloured with his signature hand-painted Benday dots. Whilst studying for my A level in Art, one of my friends based her work around Pop Art, and did some great pieces of work based on myself and some of my friends - I wil have to get her to find these as I'd love to see them again!

Roy Lichtenstein
Oh, Jeff...I love you, too...But... 1964

Roy Lichtenstein
Whaam! 1963



The above image is just something that I created on Polyvore, with some other Pop Art bits that I like. To find out where these are from, you can view my set on Polyvore by clicking here.

Image credits:


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Home decor bargain buys

One thing that I love shopping for (apart from clothes) are things for the home. I love buying bits for all rooms, from the kitchen to the bedroom, but I have found whilst looking around for these bits, that there can be very different price ranges for similar items, depending on where you look.

The images below show some of the latest additions to my home, with some being received as gifts, and some being bought by myself. At the moment I'm really into the 'shabby chic' look, and I picked up the flower design photoframe from Home Sense in York, which has some great bargains, selling anything from cupcake stands, to quirky chairs and rugs. The prices are relatively cheap too. I often browse department stores like House of Fraser and Debenhams for inspiration, but often avoid buying things as you can often pick up similar items of the same quality for a lot cheaper from stores such as Bhs, Home Sense and The Range. The Range is great for kitchen items, such as the spice rack pictured below, and has some of the best prices!

I often buy the odd decorative piece from Wilkinsons, although the quality can be slightly lower here. I also love making things for the home, such as the cushion cover that I recently posted about. I am currently working on another cushion cover, and I also have the odd canvas painting on the wall that I have done. I love painting and making things for the home, it's just finding the time that's the hard bit! But if you have a passion to hand make bits, then it's a great way to not just save money, but to also make your home completely customised and individual. My next task is to do some more canvas paintings after finishing the cushion...it may be a while until they are started though!





Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My love for knitwear

I have always had a passion for knitwear, ever since I first started knitting at around the age of 8 years old - not that I was much good back then. I worked for a hosiery company whilst I was at university as a freelance designer, and designed for brands including topshop, miss selfridge and george. You can see a sample that I designed below for topshop, which was one of my favourites that went into retail.
I have also developed a passion for crochet...I love it! I made my first traditional granny square cushion (shown below) and I am currently making another which will be made of 16 small squares rather than 1 big square. Although it is very time consuming, it's such a great feeling once you have finally finished!
Having completed a degree in fashion design and now having a slightly different career, I enjoy doing the odd bit of sewing on the side - it's just a struggle to find the time to do it.





Lily and Laura Bracelets







Only recently have I discovered these handmade bracelets, and I am now in love with them...
One of the parts that I love about these bracelets is that by buying one, you are not only getting a completely individual design, but you are also supporting a great cause. Women artists in Nepal handcraft these bracelets, more specifically in the Kathmandu Valley. In particular, the business aims to pay more than fair trade wages to the artists in Nepal, therefore improving the quality of their lives. You wouldn't think this would be possible when a bracelet only costs you $12.50 on Ebay, but it's true! 
The fact that each bracelet is beautifully crafted, and is made from handcrafted, crocheted glass beads makes them even more special. I can't wait to buy a few of these (may have to wait until pay day!).





Image credit: 
1. http://myworld.ebay.com/pellmell?_trksid=p2047675.l2559
2. https://www.facebook.com/lilyandlaura

Recipe: Stuffed Mushrooms

One of my favourite things to eat are mushrooms, and this has to be one of my favourite recipes using them. I discovered this recipe a few months ago, and have now cooked it for quite a few different people, and everyone has loved it and asked for the recipe.

For that reason, I have decided to share it here. Enjoy!


This recipe for two, and is ideal as a starter or side dish.

Ingredients:

- 6 large mushrooms
- 1 large red onion
- mature cheddar cheese
- garlic (I use granules)
- mixed herbs
- parmesan cheese (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Finely chop onion and remove stalks from mushrooms, then finely chop.
3. Add some oil to a small frying pan, and add onions and chopped mushroom. Fry until softened.
4. Add mixture to a bowl, and grate cheese into mixture (amount depends on taste). Add garlic and mixed herbs. Mix well.
5. Spoon the mixture into each of the 6 mushrooms evenly, then sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top.
6. Cook for approximately 20-30 minutes.


Dreaming of Switzerland...

At the end of July, I have a holiday booked to Interlaken in Switzerland, and I am getting so ridiculously excited that I keep looking at pictures and excursions at every chance I get! I decided on Interlaken in the Bernese Oberland region after being recommended by a few friends, and I am definitely glad that I listened to them after looking at all of the amazing pictures and videos online. Having recently been on beach holidays, I thought it was time for a change.

Here are just a few reasons as to why I am so excited:






Some trips that I am planning on doing include going up to the 'top of Europe' (The Jungfrau), which has the highest railway station in the whole of Europe as well as an Ice Palace and restaurant; the waterfalls tour including some of the best in Europe; a trip to the Schilthorn "Piz Gloria", which is actually where a James Bond film was shot and has a revolving restaurant; the Harder Kulm (viewing platform of Interlaken); as well as some of the cute, little villages. I will definitely be buying some cheese and chocolate while I'm there too! I will also be in Switzerland for Swiss National Day, meaning that I will get to see all of the celebrations that go on, including a lot of fireworks displays that are meant to sound pretty amazing with the echoes of the mountains. I have been looking into paragliding too which looks incredible, but I may back at at the last minute for this one...

Image credits: http://www.interlaken.ch/de/erleben-sie-interlaken.html

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Latest additions to the jewellery collection

I seem to have developed an obssession with jewellery at the minute, and can't stop buying it! I love my latest additions to my collection, including some Chamila charms for my charm bracelet, as well as a chain ring bracelet from New Look. My new charms include two Swarovski locks, a rose and a frog doing yoga.
I love New Look at the minute for cheap and cheerful jewellery - great for a bargain or two! I love jewellery from Urban Outfitters too for some bargains. I am also in love with this Michael Kors watch (not so much of a bargain) which I spotted on their website recently. Hopefully some day I will be able to afford this!


A new blog for a new start

I have always been into blogging, but I have often started new blogs in the past that I kept going for a few months, but then just stopped due to being too busy or not having enough time. Only now have I decided that by making myself a brand new blog, I will make sure that I make time for it and I will ensure that it's updated at least once a week (I hope so anyway!). This is a brand new start. I don't want this one to be the same as the others; I want this one to be continued throughout my life.

My last blog that I did was about my work throughout my time at university, which lead me to write this blog about my life after university. Just to give you a little bit of background information, I am originally from a small town in Lincolnshire, and I studied for four year at the University of Leeds, completing my degree in Fashion Design. I now live in York and I work as a Digital Media Agent. Although this is very different to fashion design, I really enjoy it as I get to look at all of the wonderful blogs that are online, which actually inspired me to create my own brand new blog. After looking at other blogs, I started to get excited about what mine could be about - snaps of my life, including everything that I love - fashion, travel, food, crafts, films, along with everything else that makes up my life!

So here it is; my first post. I hope you all enjoy reading my blog.