New Season Spring/Summer 2013 Liberty Tana Lawn Fabric

Liberty design the most beautiful collections of fabric, and their Spring/Summer 2013 collection is stunning. ‘The Flower Show’ is a combination of modern and traditional florals. I’ve been falling in love with their fresh-yet-retro look. Here are my favourites from the collection:

Amy Jane

Photos of four colour ways of Liberty fabric
Amy Jane in colour ways A, B, C & D

Colour way D is my favourite Amy Jane design: I love the way the blue background sings against the orange of the heart outlines.

Scilly

Photos of four colour ways of Scilly Tana Lawn fabric
Scilly in colour ways A, B, C & D

Each colour way Scilly comes in is perfect. I keep thinking of this fabric and what I could make with it: cushions in colour way C, a skirt in colour way A and a bag lining in D.

Castle

Photos of four colourways of Liberty Castle fabric
Castle in colour ways A, B, C & D

This design is markedly different from the others in the collection – it has a more masculine look and feel, and almost has a touch of the Hieronymus Bosch to it.

Hazel

Photos of four different colourways of Liberty Hazel Tana Lawn fabric
Hazel in colour ways A, B, C & D

Just look at the bright red of colour way A, and the vibrant pink of colour way C! How joyful are these fabrics?! I really want to make a skirt in the pink colour – it would be perfect for spring.

Hugo Grenville

Photos of four colour ways of Liberty Tana Lawn fabtic
Hugo Grenville in colour ways A, B, C & D

A and D are my favourites from this design – I love their surprising contrast colours in what is a more traditional floral pattern.

Irma

Photos of four colour ways of Liberty Tana Lawn fabric
Irma in colour ways A, B, C & D

Imagine floaty summer dresses made from Irma fabric? So light and sweet. Another lovely set of different colour options that are feminine, young and traditional all on one go.

You can read more about how Liberty designed their Flower Show collection on their blog: THE FLOWER SHOW: SPRING SUMMER 2013 TANA LAWN COLLECTION.

Coming in From The Cold

Photo of a garden covered in snow

It snowed today! I woke up to a blanket of snow covering the garden at my parent’s house. It’s snowed on and off all day, which has made me all wistful for cosy gloves, scarves and blankets. I love going for cold, bracing walks and then coming in and cuddling up under a duvet and watching a film while I thaw out. Heaven! (‘Fargo’ is my favourite film for this activity).

Getting into the spirit of warming up from the snow, here are six beautiful and cosy ideas for keeping warm on Etsy!:

Images of winter-themed hand-made items from Etsy

1. Arrow print jersey scarf, £20.60

Although I do love wool, it can be a bit itchy around the neck. This jersey scarf solves this problem! It wont be quite as warm, but it does look cool, no? You can buy this scarf here: Jersey Scarf with Graphic Arrows on Etsy.

2. Mittens with pearls, £37.34

These are such pretty and simple mittens. The little pearls are such a sweet touch! You can buy these mittens here: Mittens with pearls on Etsy.

3. Colourful crochet blanket, £51.51

I’ve fallen in love with this gorgeous crochet blanket. I love the colours and the shapes. The neon pink is just perfect. You can buy this blanket here: Colourful crochet blanket on Etsy.

4. Antique vintage quilt, £146.32

This is such a perfect quilt, just the right mix of clashing fabrics. I love how the bright yellow fabric sings with the red chevron print. I want to snuggle under this quilt right now with a cat and a big mug of tea. You can buy this quilt here: Spectacular double wedding ring antique quilt on Etsy.

5. Totoro hat, £19.32

Such a cute hat! What Totoro fan wouldn’t love to wear this beauty with pride?! The ear flaps are great for keeping out chilly winds… I think I need to make something like this for my upcoming Iceland adventure. You can buy this hat here: Totoro grey crochet hat on Etsy.

6. Scandinavian socks, £21.98

Handmade socks are one of life’s ultimate luxuries. These Scandinavian styled socks are simple but beautiful and because they are made of wool, will keep feet toasty warm. These are also in a sale at the moment, so they are a bargain. You can buy these socks here: Handmade knitted knee high socks on Etsy.

Have you found that the snowy weather has made you lust after cosy goodies too?

Indie Shop Love: Riky and Nina

Riky and Nina sell craft and lifestyle goodies from their website, eBay and Etsy shops. They have an AMAZING selection of kawaii and zakka stationary which is how I came across them on eBay.

Riky and Nina

Website: RikyandNina.com
Etsy: Riky and Nina
eBay: Riky and Nina on eBay
Twitter: @rikyandnina
Facebook: Riky and Nina

I picked up a modest selection of goodies from their eBay shop which were delivered really quickly:
Photos of stickers and stationary

Choo Choo Cat Pen:

Photo of a pen with a cat on it
How cute is this pen?! I love it: Its perfectly inappropriate for work meetings! I’m a big fan of Choo Choo Cat from Jetoy (a Korean stationary/design house) so much so I’m working on a post all about them 🙂

Super Cute Sticky Notes:

Photo of sticky notes
These adorable sticky notes have sweet little details on them that are charming.

Kitty Journal:

Photo of a diary with a cat on it
I love this little journal – it doesn’t have printed dates so it can be used whenever. The only downside is the strange ordering of the sheets in the diary, I have checked with Riky and Nina and all the diaries have this quirk.

Kitty Stickers:

Photo of cute kitty stickers
These stickers are cute and funny, I love the phrases Korean stationary designers put on their products, like cats saying ‘mind control’ or ‘happy mind’. They make me smile.

Have you got a passion for Korean stationary like me?

Schwarzkopf Color Mask: Light Golden Brown

Much to my immense irritation I’ve been going grey, or rather white, since I was about 18. As the white hair has multiplied over the years I have struggled to find hair dye that actually covers white hair. Most hair dyes promise to cover ‘grey’ hair and don’t mention white, so there must be something harder to dye when it comes to hair without any pigment.

About four months ago I had my hair dyed professionally, and I had two shades put in to blend through my natural hair colour and help cover and camoflage the white hair. I was really pleased with the results, but the highlights were growing out and had started to look a bit silly. I didn’t want to spend £110 to get my hair dyed again, so I decided to brave a home dye kit once again… I found Schwarzkopf’s new ‘Color Mask’ kit on offer for £4.99 and decided to try it as I liked the sound of a hair mask.

Here is how I found the process:

Before:

Photos of hair

The extent of the white hair:

Photo of white hair

Schwarzkopf Color Mask in ‘Light Golden Brown’

Photo of a box of hair dye

Photo of hair dye results chart

Application:

Photo of hair covered in hair dye

The application was easy, however I didn’t notice any difference between the texture and consistency of this ‘mask’ dye compared with any normal dye. It was better than the drippy wet ‘foam’ dyes though, and I managed to easily cover my whole head without it dripping everywhere which was great. It did smell pretty bad – but then most hair dye does.

Results:

Photo collage of hair following dye

These pictures don’t accurately show the colour my hair has come out as because I couldn’t take them in natural light. I’m not particularly pleased with the colour as it is darker than I had wanted, and has red/auburn undertones rather than ‘golden’ ones. It HAS covered the white hair though! They still stand out as being different to the other hair, but not in such a stark way. This has really impressed me as I have found it so tricky to find a dye that can do this.

The dye hasn’t left my hair feeling as glossy as dyes often do. It’s dryer and feels like it needs a lot of care to keep it looking shiny.

I would use this dye again, but in a lighter shade, and I think I would do an intensive conditioning treatment straight afterwards to help replenish it.

Have you had any luck with home hair dye kits? Can you recommend any brands that do a good job of covering white hair?!

Indie Shop Love: Flo Jo Boutique

Photos of Flo Jo Boutique

Flo Jo Boutique

Address: 36B Gloucester Road Road, Bristol, BS7 8AR
Website: Flo-Jo Boutique.co.uk
Twitter: @Flojoboutique
Facebook: Flo Jo Boutique

Flo Jo Boutique is a gorgeous haberdashery shop on Gloucester Road that also runs sewing workshops. Its packed with sewing and crafting goodies, think pom pom trim, printed bias binding, Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics and velvet ribbons. Half of the boutique is dedicated to lovely haberdashery, and the other half is filled with workshop space for the sewing classes they run (check out the sewing classes here).

Flo Jo also has some really cute knicker making kits – I really want to have a go doing this, as they look so pretty. They run knicker making parties which look like such a great idea for something a bit different to do with a bunch of friends.

I really love how the boutique carries sewing accessories that all co-ordinate: the fabric and trimmings all go together really easily.

Photos of ribbons and thread

Photos of fabric

Photo of fabric and cute gifts

Photo of a knicker making kit

Have you visited Flo Jo? Are you going to do any of their sewing classes?

Iceland Adventure!

Photo of the northern lights behind a church

I have news! I’m going to Iceland in March and I cant wait! This trip marks many changing things in my life: letting go of the past, and taking control of things. I’m no hippy-tree-hugger, but I do believe we are all in charge of our own happiness. Without goals and things to look forward to, I find it hard to make sense of time, and that makes me prone to feeling down. One of my 30 before 30 resolutions is to visit a country I’ve never been to before, and Iceland has been on my list of places I’ve wanted to go for years. So why not make it 2013, and do something really exciting, and memorable to change things up.

I’ve booked some amazing trips while I’m there: a northern lights tour, whale watching, a day at the Blue Lagoon, a trip to the Gullfoss waterfall, geysers and a snow mobiling safari on a glacier! I’m beyond excited.

Photo of a whale
Photo of ice in the sea
I found some amazing photos of Iceland on the Creative Overflow site. They are really inspiring me to get skilled up on my photography before I go.

Have you been to Iceland? Do you have any tips or recommendations for me?

January Nails

Photo of nails painted with polish and sparkly tips

It’s January. Arguably the most boring of all the months, no? I’ve been lusting after the simplicity of nude nails, just plain and simple and clean. But, in the same breath, I’m not ready for no glitter. These nails mourn the passing of the glitteriest festival of the year, Christmas, and welcome the remainder of winter.

This is Essie’s ‘Sugar Daddy’. Five coats of Sugar Daddy to be specific. The tips are painted with Models Own ‘Juicy Jules’ – just a light coat. Finished with a top coat of No7 clear polish.

All of the other Essie polishes I’ve tried have been fantastic, but this one is pants. Five coats. FIVE. And its still transparent. £7.99 is too much for a polish that takes five coats to achieve not very much.

Photo of nails painted in Essie Sugar Daddy and Models Own  Juicy Jules

Analogue Digital Experiments

Photo of blurry Christmas lights

Before Christmas I ordered a Holga lens for my Canon 400D DSLR, eager to reinvigorate my passion for taking photographs. I have tried taking pictures using the Lomography Diana+ camera in the past, but found its unpredictable results frustratingly expensive. The cost and hassle of getting medium format film processed stopped me wanting to do it anymore. I considered getting a Holga 35mm camera to play with, but realised it made more sense to just order a lens from China and try it on my existing camera.

Photos of a Holga lens for Canon cameras

The lens was really cheap (for a lens) at about £12 including postage. It took about ten days to arrive, which wasn’t bad either especially as I ordered it well into December and I still received it the day after Boxing day. The lens is very small, and only has four ‘settings’ based on distance from their focal point. These require a fair amount of guess-work as you can’t see the difference they make through the viewfinder very easily due to the lack of light the lens lets through.

The lens is completely manual – so there is no auto-focus. Be prepared to take a lot of fuzzy shots! Like with the real Lomo cameras, they need a lot of light to work well without a flash. As you’ll see in the photos below, the lens has a lot of vignetting, making daytime shots appear darker than they are. That is partly to blame for the grey winter weather at the moment too though.

I have a feeling that I will pack this lens away until summer when it will be more fun to use. It’s too dark and grey at the moment.

Photo of oranges in a box

Photo of a garden duck ornament

Photo of a Christmas tree

Photo of a lily

Photo of flowers

If you’ve tried a lomo lens on a DSLR I would LOVE to hear how you’ve found it, and if you have any tips for how to take better pictures with it – so please share any links in the comments below!

Black, White & Burgundy Ethical Outfit

Photos of clothing items in black white and burgundy colours
Monochrome shirt dress with obi belt, £124 (was £155), by Outsider

Burgundy leather bow handbag, £22 (was £30) From Rockit

Vintage ’70’s Genie Lamp necklace, £14, from ASOS Marketplace

Vintage ’90’s patent bow flats (size 7), £19.99, from ASOS Marketplace

I’m a big fan of raiding second hand shops and charity shops looking for interesting clothes and shoes. I love the thrill of finding something completely different and unexpected – you can’t go vintage shopping with a shopping list as such, you have to roll with what you find which is why its fun.

Although I’ve spent years rooting through charity shops and junk shops looking for goodies, I’ve not really shopped online for vintage before (minus a few eBay related disasters). I spotted a competition running on a new site called Style-Is, asking bloggers to post an ethical outfit, so I thought this was an opportunity to have a look!

Style-Is wants to encourage people to shop for clothes in ethical ways, and promotes brands who produce goods that are better for the environment and/or humanity. Its a really great idea for a fashion site and its pretty new so it has potential to become much bigger. They have some really neat clothes and accessories on the site you can buy (don’t be put off by the really expensive items it lists by default though like I initially was!). I found a super cute cat tea towel I may just have to buy…and these gold-tone mouse earrings!

I love the dress I found on the ethical clothes site Outsider – it reminds me of a grown up version of Wednesday’s dress from the Addams family, only its also work appropriate! The black patent flats look comfy and cute, and the necklace is really unusual, and adds a bit of charm and interest. I really like the burgundy bag from Rockit: it has a sweet bow detail on the top.

Where do you shop for ethical clothes? Have you visited Style-It? Are you taking part in the Style-Is ethical outfit competition?

Daxon’s Blogger Network

Daxon are giving bloggers the opportunity of receiving a £50 voucher for Amazon or Threadless for joining their new bloggers network. To take part, all you have to do is create a post about the opportunity and post their blogger network badge in your sidebar… hence why I am posting this now!

If you want to find out more about how to get your hands on the Amazon or Threadless vouchers take a look at Daxon’s page about their blogger network: Daxon’s VIP Fashion Bloggers.

Daxon VIP fashion blogger
I’m a Daxon VIP Fashion Blogger

Here are some of my favourite items from Daxon:

Photo of a black long sleeved dress
Expert design body-shaping dress, just £24.00 in the sale!

Photo of a tartan A-Line skirt
Checked pencil skirt, just £10.00 in the sale!

Photo of a red duffle coat
Cute red duffle coat, £55.00

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