Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Father's Day

In preparation for the coming Sunday - I have made a card for my Daddio! Not great photo's at the moment but will try and get some better ones and update them. Also I now realise that I need to add some apostrophes here and there!

I could write many a blog post on stories about the man who is my Father but this weekend I'm going to show my appreciation for everything he does for me. My Dad is one of the most determined, ambitious and hard working people I know and he has always fought for me and been there to make me smile! Love you Dad xxx

Sunday, 2 June 2013

For the love of books... Part 1

I happened to go to a literature festival on Friday where one of the authors was discussing the merits of  a Kindle over a traditional paper back or hardback book. For me personally there is absolutely no contest. I hate the idea of Kindles. There is nothing more beautiful or precious than a book and I would hate to see them die out. I have many happy memories of reading in bed, on a beach, curled up in a chair. I love keeping copies of my favourite books that have been re read so many times they are dog eared and fat, to share a favourite novel with family and friends.

And what about all the wonderful art and design books that are still available in our book stores? Beautifully illustrated children's stories with colours so bright that they stick in your memory more than the words themselves. 

Photographic books showing nature and all the wonders of the world. I am no cook but even I linger over the huge section of cookery books which always look so appealing with hand drawn illustrations or tempting photographs. 

And don't even get me started on the smell of books! Not just old ones either... one of the best parts of re starting school in September was the anticipation of getting your brand new books with crisp white pages and that new book smell.

Books are for collecting, sharing, loving and passing on.

Some images and wise words of wisdom from other bibliophiles:

"Isn't it odd how much fatter a book gets when you've read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar." - Cornelia Funk, Inkspell

"Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." - Carl Sagan

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Pushkar Camel Fair

It seems inevitable that after just accepting my place on a new university course (which means making a committment to staying put for another two years), I seem to have gotten a seriously strong bout of wanderlust and itchy feet...

There are so many magical and exciting places I want to visit that I have no idea where I would even go first! However I was browsing through a Selvedge magazine when I saw an advert for art and textile retreats/tours in India and this alongside watching the brilliant film 'The Darjeeling Limited' has got me seriously wanting to explore India!

Pretty much all the trips offered through the company Tulsi Travel sound amazing (I have no idea of the prices mind you - they seem to have tactfully omitted those on the website) but the one that looks especially great is a craft tour of Rajasthan including the Pushkar Camel fair!

I did some research and this camel fair sounds pretty awesome! It takes place on the first full moon of November every year and is a time for all the tribal groups to gather and pay respects at the Brahma temple, to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar lake, to arrange marriages and of course to trade camels!

For five days over 25, 000 camels (!) converge at the festival and are decorated and dressed up, entered in beauty contests and races and then traded. There is a huge carnival with musicians, magicians, dancers and snake charmers. 

Here are some more images I have found from searching - clicking on them should take you to the original  websites/sources which also provide a lot more information on the festival.

The only downside that I can possibly think of is that 25,000 camels probably smells pretty bad?! But that doesn't put me off and it has definitely been added to my long list of places to visit and experience first hand.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Music I love...

Last Friday I was lucky enough to see Laura Mvula perform at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which was such a great gig. She sung all the tracks of her recently released album 'Green Garden', as well as doing a surprise duet with Jamie Cullum and as an encore a beautiful version of Michael Jackson's 'Human Nature'. Her band (who were equally brilliant) were made up of her brothers and sisters so I guess she comes from a pretty talented family!

To be honest I wouldn't class her music as Jazz - (it has such a unique sound that it's difficult to put it into any sort of genre) but I was very grateful that she was at the festival performing none the less. She seems to be getting lots of publicity so to have the chance to see her in such a small and intimate venue was really good. Thanks to my Mom for getting tickets!

Also on a separate note she looks so good with a shaved head! I wish I could get away with such a bold (no pun intended) hairstyle but I fear that I have a massive egg shaped head under my hair.

Another musician that I discovered this week is blues/soul artist Valerie June.
I saw her album recommended by a staff member in a record store and just by chance decided to give it a listen and I haven't stopped playing it since.

The song below (Workin' Woman's Blues) is probably my favourite but Somebody To Love is also a beautiful track. She is actually touring the UK at the moment and plays Birmingham on Monday... tempted to get a last minute ticket!

Listen and love :)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Illustration love...

Sunshine makes everyone happier! The bank holiday weekend was a lovely one and I felt lucky to be able to spend most of it outside with friends. Since I have nothing too creative of my own to show at the moment - here is an illustrator who I have followed and loved for a while. I first spotted Mandy Sutcliffe's work in Paperchase where they still sell Belle and Boo greetings cards, however there is also a great website which stocks a huge range of products - from stationery to clothing and homewares and wall decoration. Check it all out here: 

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Clifton Hill Antique Costume and Textiles launch show

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to help out at a fantastic event to celebrate the launch of an antique clothes shop close to where I live in Bristol.

The event was hosted at Clifton Hill House, a lovely big building with plenty of space to accommodate all the different stalls and entertainment for the evening. Guests were invited to explore seven different themed rooms - each styled in a different era. Models dressed in clothes from each decade posed in each room with various props which really helped re create a  great sense of nostalgia!

Downstairs was filled with lots of inspiring stalls, selling vintage jewellery, clothes, crafts and records. Throughout the evening guests were entertained by a dj who played some great retro music as well as the wonderful Marionettes - a 1940's harmony trio who performed live and were absolutely fantastic!

Then at 8 o'clock the crowds gathered for a fashion show! During the day it had been my job to decorate the catwalk so that it would serve as a perfect backdrop for the clothes and models. Sue Fyfe-Williams - owner of Auntie's Vintage China and Jezebel Events had come up with the idea of creating a spring themed catwalk, using some beautiful silk antique shoes to plant spring flowers in and covering the catwalk with fake grass. I spent a very happy day in the sunshine planting all the flowers into the shoes and ensuring that the grass was firmly stuck down so that there were no trips and falls during the fashion show!

When finished I think it did look great and created the perfect setting to compliment the beautiful models and the vintage clothes they modelled.

Music from each era accompanied the models as they strutted their stuff - cheered on by an enthusiastic audience.

The evening really was a great success with a great turnout, and I felt really priveleged to be a part of it. Hopefully it will bring many customers to Clifton Hill Costume and Textiles shops - as well as all the other exhibitors and entertainers who were there.

Be sure to check out the following links for more information and some photographs of the event! - events company ran by Ali Cook and Sue Fyfe-Williams who organised the evening - The Marionettes singing trio - photographs of the evening

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Things I want.....

Atrocious blogging by me lately - sorry about that folks, it has been a busy few weeks! I have lots of ideas for blog posts this week though so please keep reading!

With spring finally arriving I am lusting over lots of new clothes and really want to update my wardrobe. One thing I am desperately in need of is new shoes - I have been searching for a nice pair of  waterproof boots for about 2 years but have given up now for this year with summer approaching. I am quite picky when it comes to shoes, I don't like to invest unless I love them. So I finally found these shoes that I love but of course they are way out of my price range :( However I am not going to let that put me off and decided I will try and make exact replica's of them myself!

The shoes (shown below) are from the new summer collection by Penelope Chilvers and can be found via her website (for £109!) 

My plan is to buy some plain white plimsolls, get some multi coloured laces or alternatively some pretty ribbon and some fabric markers or paint. Stay tuned as I will definitely post some photos and a DIY when I am done!

Here are some other gorgeous clothes that I have my eye on at the moment:

Safari Print dungarees - Topshop

Floral shorts - Topshop

Black embroidered Kimono - Zara 
(I did give in and buy this today with birthday money!!)

Thursday, 4 April 2013

April Updates

It has been a bit too long since my last blog post, I have been busy celebrating Easter with my family and keeping busy with various bits and pieces.

As a little update here is another one of my Mom's latest felt creations she made for me - a little wild goose as featured in the name of my blog. The photo was taken among some crocus flowers in our garden which have just about survived this cold weather!

Friday, 22 March 2013

It's Spring!

Although it's hard to believe when there is snow and cold weather across the UK, but yesterday was actually the first day of Spring! My housemate planted some bulbs in the garden a long time ago but we had completely forgotten about them so it was lovely to see some Crocus flowers emerge and open up in spite of the cold. Fingers crossed the weather will improve soon so we can start enjoying some sunshine!

Here is a quick study I did of the flowers in our garden which I made into a card for my Grandparents.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Go dance

This blog has many great pictures and gifs and has sucked up a lot of my time today: 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Why I love Handmade

Found this quote today whilst looking for inspiration in the University Library which pretty much sums up how I feel about handmade art and craft!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Note to self...

Found another blog to add to the many I now follow: Positive Inking
Beautiful hand lettering and positive thoughts combined! I need to look at this particular one every day...

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mothering Sunday

"What is a Mother but the sunshine of our days and the north star of our nights?"

Robert Braun

To a special Mom  who keeps hope in her heart for me when I have none, gives the best advice and always knows how to make me smile.

I love you, Happy Mothering Sunday xx

Monday, 25 February 2013

Sea of Love

Happy Anniversary to my parents - this is the card I made them. Unfortunately they are going to get it a day late as I  missed the post on Saturday...

Saturday, 23 February 2013

If I was a rich girl...

I would do all of my shopping at Free People. They do the best boho/hippy chic clothes ever but unfortunately their prices are beyond ridiculous and don't quite match the whole ethic and lifestyle that they try to promote. Maybe one day when I have more money than sense I will shop there but until then I'll keep looking in the sale section of the website!

Here are some things I am currently lusting over:

Vintage Tribe Yoga Bag (£425!! - That would pay for yoga classes for the rest of my life!)

Free people also have a really good blog which is good for motivational quotes, outfit inspiration, creative DIY's and music. They also do a weekly horoscope which for me is always scarily accurate. You can follow their blog here.

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Life of a Bowerbird

A little while ago whilst having a browse in Waterstones, I stumbled across this book and have since dithered many times on Amazon nearly buying it. I've decided to ask for it for my birthday now so roll on April! 
A bower-bird may be a fairly ordinary looking bird but their mating rituals and behaviour are so interesting! The males  will build a nest or structure and then collect and decorate it with sticks and colourful objects to attract his mate.

Sibella Court's book encourages readers to take a similar approach when creating a home - collecting miscellaneous trinkets and treasures and organising so they become a precious and vital part of your home. 

Sibella Court is am interior stylist, creative director and author who has also worked for Anthropologie as a stylist. I actually visited an Anthropologie shop in Sloane Sq last week and had a hard job leaving without buying anything as all the products were so lovely!

Anyway I am looking forward to owning this book as I am a bit of a Bowerbird myself so I can pick up a few tips on how to arrange and transform my collections so they don't just end up stashed away in boxes and drawers of my bedroom.


Whilst looking for photographs of Court's book I also found a good review on it over at Decor8 blog so be sure to check that out for more photos and information about the author.

I also remember that David Attenborough did a feature on the Bower bird in one of his documentaries for anyone wanting a bit more information on the curious and unique creatures.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Package Of Love.... DIY

Many people seem to hate Valentines Day and find it depressing - but I reckon it's a good excuse to show all those you care about that you love them instead of just your partner. I put together a little package of love for my Grandparents to give them something to smile about on Thursday. 

The package included a card, lots of patterned paper hearts, some hand made heart hand warmers and instructions of how to use them.

Making the hand warmers is really easy:

1. Pick pretty fabric and cut out two heart shapes, pin right sides together and sew (leaving a small gap)

2. Turn inside out and fill the heart with rice. I also put some dried lavender in mine so they smelt nice too!

3. Sew up the small gap and voilà! All you need to do is pop them in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and then put them inside your gloves to warm up cold hands! 

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Mosaic Woodpecker

I am creative because I have an equally creative Mother. She made this in just one day! She has been going to mosaic courses for a while and has made some amazing creations. Anyone who assumes that mosaics are tacky should see some of the beautiful things that have been created by my Mom, her class mates and tutor - they are works of art.

Love Songs

My favourite love songs. I tried to narrow it down to 14 (for Valentine's day)  but there are so many that I wanted on the list that I could only get it to 15. There are lots more I could have chosen too.. And I couldn't possibly put these in order so they are random.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Movie Monday - Harold and Maude

I haven't done a Movie Monday in a long while, but last week I watched 'Harold and Maude' for the first time and absolutely loved it so thought it would be a good one to review and recommend for anyone who hasn't seen it. It is sort of an 'anti-romance' so what with Valentines day swiftly approaching, this is a good one to watch if you want to get away from the usual cheesy rom-coms. 

Harold (played by Bud Cort) is a bored, self destructive teenager who is obsessed with death and determined to sabotage his rich Mother's attempts at finding him a suitable girlfriend. He spends his time visiting graveyards, attending funerals and repeatedly staging his own suicide. He meets Maude, a wildly eccentric and optimistic pensioner at a funeral and they quickly forge a friendship as she introduces Harold to the beauty of music, art and doing whatever you want to! 

As the unlikely couple embark on various escapades and adventures together, their friendship grows into a romance and much to his Mother's horror and dismay - Harold announces that he intends to make Maude his wife!

I won't reveal the ending except to say that it is bitter sweet and completely suited to the overall quirkiness of the entire film. Both Harold and Maude are really quite bizarre characters and their whole relationship is definitely a little bit unusual given the 60 year age gap between them - and yet, they are a perfect partnership.

Ruth Cordon is hilarious and outrageous and is definitely the kind of little old lady I aspire to grow up to be! Harold is also acted brilliantly by Bud Cort and I can't imagine either characters being played better by anyone else.

My favourite part about the whole film is the soundtrack which accompanies it which is by the great Cat Stevens. 

The song below is the one that Maude teaches Harold during one of the more tender moments in the film.  I hadn't heard of it before but over the last week I have been playing it over and over again because it is just so sweet and uplifting! Anyway listen to the song, watch the film and enjoy :)