Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Little Owl

Everyone needs to keep wrapped up warm in this cold weather!

Monday, 3 December 2012

Movie Monday: Tiny Furniture

I recently watched 'Tiny Furniture' which I enjoyed so much I watched it twice in two days so thought it would be a good one to review! It is written by, directed and stars Lena Dunham - who was just 24 at the time.
I imagine that this film would not appeal to everyone - there is no definitive story line or plot outcome and there is no typical Hollywood happy ending. The film is a snapshot of  the life of 'Aura' - a recent University Graduate who has just moved home and is faced with what to do for the rest of her life. We see the mundane activity of her everyday life as she attempts to find work, a boyfriend and adjusts to living with her family again.

Aura's Mother and Sister are played by Lena's real life Mother and Sister as Lena had no money to hire actors or fund the film. Their relationship is portrayed so naturally on screen although the script and dialogue  were not ad libbed and were specifically written for amateur actors.

What is so refreshing about this film is how natural and unfinished it is. There is minimal music, blurred camera shots and almost  documentary style to the filming. Along with the simplicity of the storyline this really  makes you aware of how over produced most other films are in comparison. 

Lena Dunham also produces, writes and acts in the American Tv Series 'Girls' which I haven't seen but have heard lots of good things about so hopefully I will get round to watching it soon. 

Maybe it is because I am approaching a similar point in my life to the main character in 'Tiny Furniture' that I feel I can particularly to relate to a lot of the key themes in this film, but I do think that its authenticity and originality is a key part of what makes it a really interesting and enjoyable watch.

Creepy or cute?

As a cat lover I have had my eye on this book for a while, but I can't decide whether it's creepy or cute! It offers a solution to clothes and furniture covered with cat hair - collect it all up and use it for all sorts of crafts projects such as tote bags, finger puppets and mittens! Shall I put it on my Christmas list or is this just going to officially turn me into a 'crazy cat lady'?!  For anyone who is interested the book is available on Amazon here and I have also seen it in store in Waterstones bookshop.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Monday, 19 November 2012

The Good Deed Giraffe!

"Giraffes are like me - my head is in the clouds but my heart is in the right place!"

This was a popular story in the news last week that really warmed my heart - you may have also heard of it. 

A man in Scotland called Armstrong Baillie has been parading the streets in a giraffe costume handmade by his Mum, doing good deeds and carrying out random acts of kindness. He got the idea after noticing that everyone seemed a little downhearted and decided he wanted to make those around him smile. For his first good deed he returned to the hospital where he was born and handed out £10 Mothercare vouchers to new parents; he has also given away free bananas to marathon runners and provided cups of coffee to cold passers-by. 

Since his story has picked up and gained attention in the press, Armstrong has been flooded with offers to appear on the radio and television, as well as receiving invites to visit countries around the world to spread his good cheer. He has said that as long as what he is doing continues to make others smile then he will carry on. 

I love stories like this and I wish there were more of them in the news... Random acts of kindness no matter how small can make such a difference to someone's day - whether you are dressed as a giraffe or not!

Armstrong Baillie has his own blog where you can follow updates on his Giraffe antics:

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Wild Cockatoos - Leila Jeffreys

I stumbled across this project by photographer Leila Jeffreys today and fell in love with these cockatoos. They all have such character and personality! Their names are perfect too! Now I want a cockatoo for Christmas as well as a kitten and a whippet... Here are a few of my favourites:




Commander Skyring


For more cockatoo photos and other work visit

Monday, 29 October 2012

Trinkets and Treasures

I love this beautiful black lace collar I found via Susie Cowie's website. Perfect for a Gothic Halloween look!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Beasts Of The Southern Wild

Last night my friends and I went to see the film of the moment 'Beasts Of The Southern Wild'. I had been really excited to see this film as I had read so many good reviews about it and the advert looked so magical and imaginative. It really lived up to and exceeded my expectations and was just so moving and different from any other film I have seen. The acting of Quvenzhane Wallis who was only around 6 when the film was made was absolutely breathtaking... at points I was wondering if the film was acted at all or just an incredible documentary because the emotions portrayed by her and the rest of the cast were so raw and real - it seemed that it would be impossible to stage such a thing. 

The film made me laugh, smile and cry but mostly it just left me in a state of complete awe. There is so much to say about the love and devotion shown by the characters in the film to their homes and each other and the world around them. In other films their flaws would be really played upon to create stereotypical characters that we see time and time again, but here they are real humans whose strengths and flaws don't dominate the story or define them. They live as people do - with anger, pride, devotion and a deep love which aren't just cleverly crafted into a scene to create drama.

Below are some screen shots and a link to the official website where you can listen to the amazing soundtrack that accompanies the film.

If you feel disconnected to the world around you, this is the perfect example of how to truly embrace your environment and world with passion and defiance.

"I see that I am a little piece of a big, big universe, and that makes it right."

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Everything is okay..

Sometimes you just need someone else to remind you.

Photo taken on a stroll by the harbour side today. There is always so much to see and do around Bristol it is impossible to be bored here. If only I could be paid to people watch all day! (Actually isn't that what spies do? Maybe I am the next female James Bond?)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Busy Busy

I have been bad at updating my blog lately but have been kept busy moving house and making all sorts for my Sister's wedding. With Christmas coming up there is plenty for me to do at the moment as I love to hand make as many cards and presents as I can. 

Here is a picture of a card I made for Gilly - a great friend who I met in hospital over the summer. We both share a love of cats and I know she misses hers a lot. The quality of this photo isn't very good (as is the case with most of the photo's I upload on here because I am a bit rubbish with photography/editing) but oh well!

Hopefully I will be uploading pics of the 'Save The Date' cards I have made for my Sister soon but I want to wait until I have sent them all out first so as not to ruin the surprise for any guests who may also follow my blog!

Sunday, 26 August 2012


The past few days I feel I have hit a bit of a creative block and have really struggled to produce anything without tearing it up or throwing it away. Even writing letters to friends and family which I usually love doing has been difficult as I just found myself getting so frustrated and worked up about what to put. I even went back and edited a recent post, replacing the image I had drawn and uploading one by someone else because I felt mine just wasn't good enough. Anyway, this evening as I was talking to a friend online and looking through a blog, I accidentally leant on my keyboard and clicked on a random link which led me to this blog:

It has to be fate! 

Here are two thoughts that I should always keep in mind, they are perhaps more about motivation rather than creative inspiration but still relevant I feel!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


 Big congratulations to my Sister and her partner who got engaged over the weekend! I am so excited for the wedding and we have all been coming up with ideas already! Here is the engagement card I made for them, which hopefully they should receive today in the post.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Up, Up and Away

Every summer there is a hot air balloon fiesta in Bristol, where 150 of balloons of every imaginable shape and size take to the air - weather permitting! There is also an amazing night glow where the balloons glow in time to music as well as a fireworks display. The fiesta is held in Ashton Court Estate - a beautiful part of Bristol which is actually right next to my University campus. I went last year with friends but unfortunately the weather was so bad it wasn't safe for the balloons to ascend. This year it was a beautiful weekend for the fiesta and I have seen some great photos that friends from Uni have taken. I was hoping to see the balloons from the garden but apparently the wind was blowing in the opposite direction as I didn't see any!

So here is my own little balloon with the hope that next year I will get to see them all!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

A friend shared this link with me earlier and reminded me of how much I enjoyed Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom' . The story is melancholic, heart warming and unexpectedly funny with excellent performances from all the cast. I much preferred it to Anderson's other hit  film 'The Royal Tenenbaums', although there is a definite similarity in the tone and style in which the films are shot. 

The poster below is one I found on one of the tumblr blogs I follow daily:
The blog features contributions from lots of different artists and there are lots of awesome posters on there for a huge variety of films and tv series so its worth looking through the archive for your favourite. I'd love to get some of them printed out and they'd make a great present for film fans. Not sure what the deal is with copyrighting on some of them though, so if you re blog please make sure you credit the original artist! This one is by Sam Larson.

Friday, 10 August 2012


I was listening to my ipod today and realised that two of my favourite songs both mention a blackbird....

Two different songs, both beautiful and uplifting... Listen and enjoy!

"You were only waiting for this moment to be free..."

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Importance Of Home....

Never underestimate how wonderful it is to feel at home with someone or somewhere... 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Birthday cards, party ideas and creative frustration....

I think I mentioned in a previous post that my Grandma would soon be celebrating her 90th Birthday... Well time has passed very quickly and it is now less than a week before her birthday and I feel quite annoyed with myself for not having started making a card and present a bit earlier. Ideally I would love to visit her on Tuesday when she will be having an afternoon tea party to celebrate both her birthday and her 60th wedding anniversary; I have so many ideas of how I would decorate the room: diamond bunting, place cards, sweet pea garlands, party hats, helium balloons, ahh the list goes on. However time and distance means that all these big ideas will have to wait for another occasion - next time I vow to be more organised rather than wasting my time moping around the house and lazing in the sun!

This evening I did start work on the birthday card; I chose the theme of poppies as this is the birth flower of August. My mood this evening wasn't the greatest, and so the card I started got ripped up and thrown away as I wasn't happy with it. However the envelope escaped my anger outburst so here is a picture of that:


The card itself will be similar in design, I would like to find a short poem either about August or poppies but have had no luck so far (except from the famous Flander's Fields one which isn't exactly appropriate!) so if anyone knows of one please let me know! I will post a picture of the card when it is finished - that is if it doesn't get ripped up again!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Movie Monday: Where The Wild Things Are

For this weeks film I have chosen Spike Jonze's adaptation of the popular children's book 'Where The Wild Things Are' by Maurice Sendak.  In case you haven't read the book, the story is about a little boy Max who is unhappy with his life in the real world so runs away, creating a world of his own with beautiful scenery and strange creatures. Max makes himself King of this world and with the help of the creatures attempts to create a paradise where none of the problems of the real world exist. However through the dialogue and interactions with his new friends we see that this is not so easy.

The music makes the film for me - perhaps because some of it is by Arcade Fire (my favourite band). However the set, costumes and cinematography also perfectly capture the simplicity and freedom of childhood. I like that as an audience we remain unsure whether the whole of Max's experience is real or imagined - as this helps to give the story a magical touch.

A great film for both children and adults - it will make you long for an adventure!

"Inside all of us... is a wild thing!"

Friday, 27 July 2012

Note to self...

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for" - Epicurus

Illustration:  1990 Anais Nin - Ferenc Pinter

Monday, 23 July 2012

Movie Monday: An Education

I thought I would try to do a post each Monday featuring one of my favourite films, and to start with I chose 'An Education' starring Carey Mulligan, Alfred Molina and Peter Sarsgaard.  
The film is based on the real life account of author Lynn Barber, and tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl in the 1960's whose dull and predictable suburban life is transformed by the arrival of a playboy twice her age. It is a tale about the blindness of love, the bitterness of yours dreams not quite living up to your expectations and about the desperation for a different life that's a little bit different.

When I introduced this film to my friends, I was surprised that they were not able to enjoy it as they found Carey Mulligan's character Jenny to be arrogant and irritating. It is true that for a 16 year old she is confident, but I think Mulligan portrays perfectly how at that age self confidence is often just a front, and as the film develops we see that really she is vulnerable and afraid of what life holds for her.

I love the film, and think it truly deserved the Oscar nomination and BAFTAS that it won. As I mentioned, Carey Mulligan is excellent as Jenny and Alfred Molina is also hilarious as her Father. Watch and enjoy :) 

"Well I'm going to be French and I'm going to Paris and smoke and wear black!"

Morning Wisdom

Saturday, 21 July 2012

A Reflective Walk

Today I heard some sad news that the hospital where I received treatment as an inpatient for a year is shutting down due to a lack of funding. On an evening walk I reflected on my time there and thought in particular how the level of kindness and warmth shown to me by all the staff members were unlike anything I have ever encountered at other treatment centres since. Their friendly approach and dedication to the job was so admirable - I really felt throughout my time there that the staff were genuinely 100% interested and committed to helping me recover, and that they weren't just there because they were being paid to be - which sadly is the case with a lot of the staff at other hospitals. 

Although following my discharge from the hospital, I was re admitted to other hospitals on several occasions - I will never, ever consider my time there to be a waste. I learnt so much from the staff and other patients, and I know for certain that some of the progress I have made over the last few years is a result of the help and support given to me there. 

It is with a heavy heart that on Monday I will be facing my 5th admission. Right now it is difficult to feel positive as it is so hard to imagine or believe that I will ever be able to make a full recovery. However with the love and support of my family and friends (and their belief in me) I hope that I will continue to make progress to the point that this illness will have less of a hold over me and I will be able to manage it better.

This blog post is a little more melancholy and personal than usual and perhaps is not much of an interest to anyone else so sorry if that is the case! To finish with here are some photographs that I took on my walk which really helped to lift my spirits and appreciate the little things like a sunny evening, a cute cat and pretty flowers.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Latitude Fesitval

Sorry for the absence - just got back from spending an amazing weekend away at Latitude Festival in Suffolk. The festival setting (a farm with a lake and woodland) was absolutely beautiful and there was so much to see and do! The line up this year included the majority of my favourite bands and I can't even begin to describe how spectacular and moving some of the performances were. There are some seriously talented musicians out there and for me it really highlighted how completely unbeatable live performances are - especially when shared with good friends and other fans.

The weather wasn't the best (what else can you expect in this country?!) and inevitably things got very muddy!  However although there were showers on and off - for the most part it remained dry and it definitely could have been a lot worse!

Below are some photos of my favourite performers and features of the festival - some of these are taken from the official Latitude website and some of them are my own.

Bat for Lashes - Photo taken by Pooneh Ghana

Bon Iver - Photo taken by Andy Sheppard

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Photo taken by Andy Sheppard

Elbow - Photo taken by Andy Sheppard

The Lake - Photo taken by Marc Sethi

The Lake Stage - Photo taken by Marc Sethi

Rufus Wainwright - Photo taken by Marc Sethi

Pink and blue sheep!

'Film Postboxes' - These were amazing little post boxes that came in various forms and could be found attached to many trees in the Faraway Forest. Inside them tiny film shorts were projected - often out of the windows of miniature toy cars!

A beautiful acrobatic/ballet performance. The dancer was attached large tethered balloon that changed colours as it floated in the sky over the lake. Truly spellbinding.

The good deed tree. Festival goers wrote down good deeds that they or others had done throughout the festival and hung them in red berry/baubles in the tree!

Latitude was my first proper festival experience and it really was a positive one. Luckily I came pretty well prepared as some of my friends who I went with have been to many festivals! However here are my top tips!

1. Bring wellies! Seriously - at an English festival it is unlikely you will survive without them even if it is a summer festival. The mud was unbelievable - I witnessed several people lose shoes/boots in it and a very upset little boy who was submerged up to his knees! 

2. Expect to spend a fair bit of money on drink and food - bring with you what you can but be aware that you may not be allowed to take cans or bottles into the arenas that have not been purchased on the site. We all became pro's at smuggling drink in passed the attendants who would search bags etc at the arena gates.

3. At the beginning of each day note down the times and places of all the performances you want to see. You don't want to miss anything due to lack of organisation!

4. Prepare a fancy dress outfit! Some people go all out at festivals. There are some crazy outfits and hats you can buy but its good to have something that no one else is wearing. Face paint is easy to pack as well as lots of glitter! I would say though don't bring clothes that you would be really disappointed if they got ruined... 

5. Baby wipes and anti bacterial hand wash!! Lots of it! 

6. Arrange a good meeting place and time in case you get split up from friends. If you have a mobile phone great - but there is not always a signal and batteries will quickly run out. It's also pretty hard to hear your phone ringing at a music festival...

I will most likely do more posts featuring my favourite songs from the festival with some background information on the artists so watch this space. Including a weekly music feature is something I hope to get going regularly on this blog soon! :)