White, I know, the colour that all of us clumsy people out there try and avoid with the fear of spilling all manner of substances down the front. Bolognese, orange juice and pen ink have all been things which any of my other pieces of white clothing have been succumbed to in the past. However this summer I was extra brave and decided to risk it with an all white skirt.
With my what I am coining “granny chic” phase still in full swing, only increased by now seeming to be surrounded by vintage shops, anything that is button (or in this case popper) up the front and sits below the knee, my eyes will be draw to it. Paired with this simple black camisole top, a black western style belt and obviously my Doc Martens grunges up this pretty skirt and keeps it as the focus of the outfit.
As of writing this yet I have manage to keep the stains at bay, hopefully I haven’t just jinxed it!
Me and stripes have had a good old life long bond. Though thick and thin (literally), in the world of fashion i’ve found a decent striped print is something that can be very much be relied upon year on year. This statement skirt from Topshop, one which I spoke rather adoringly about here, is definitely one of my more bolder choices being a stripy double wammy in the vertical and horizontal verities (and it leaps out the the realms of just black, white and blue.) Now you may be thinking I would be mad to pair this with yet more stripes but that I did with but with this thinly striped blue and white Zara number.
On this lovely day back in April I seemed to cash in all my lucky stars in the bluebell variety with some of the most beautiful scenery I think Scotland has to offer. Just have to pretend that I totally planned to wear blue on this day to match this and totally wasn’t a fluke.
Obviously an outfit post nowadays could not be complete without the old leather jacket.
Welcome to probably the longest outfit of the day post I have ever done, with the blossoms looked so pretty under the gorgeous sunlight, I think we got a little bit carried away with the camera. And why not when it looks so blooming pretty! (pun alert)
Now with a title like flower power you may be thinking I was going to go all 60/70’s on you with bold floral prints, flared trousers and knee length pvc boots.
Despite a surprising amount of those things coming back into fashion over the past few seasons (can’t say I was the first to see the floral flare coming back) I haven’t had the craving to adorn my legs with PVC quite yet, god help me if I do, but I have come with smidge of a floral pattern and a little bit of colour with this lovely teal flowered tea dress from Urban Outfitters. With the pussy bow neck tie, vintage style floral fabric and fitted A line mini shape, there is a some what of a wiff of the 1960’s about it.
With the sun having finally broken through the clouds it was a gorgeous day to grab out this dress and even get the old pins out despite how white and pasty they looked.
Before you say anything, don’t worry, I’m acting, well, being in freezing cold water on a Scottish island in the middle of February in a thin floaty dress I suppose there wasn’t much acting needed really.
Continuing onto part 3 of my Isle of Arran blog series as you can tell this is a little bit of a different shoot from my usual with not graffitied walls or pretty doors in sight. The one of the main reasons for going to Arran, other than having a little explore, was to try and find the right sort of landscape to be able to do this type of dramatic photoshoot, beaches and bog lands don’t just appear next to the Hereford industrial estate unfortunately.
The whole sort of concept for the shoot was that I was a “victim” running away from an “attacker” with the whole True Detective season 1 vibes (unfortunately Matthew Mcconaughey couldn’t make it.)
From my acting background it was a nice little opportunity to flex that old muscle again, well thats what Tom said when trying to convince me to do it ;)
As you can imagine it was really rather cold and how I was convinced to do this again for another shoot recently I will never know.
So sit back and have look at me pulling some delightfully awful faces.
On my travels around the country over the christmas break Bristol ended up as one of my mooching places and I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a couple of cheeky outfit pics. I love Bristol as a whole with it being full of lovely independent boutiques and cute coffee shops with a great art and theatre scene and obviously dockland area. These docks have also been a feature within some of my textiles work in the past with the large cranes situated along the river side being inspiration within creating my final foundation collection (scroll down to see).
With December trying to impersonate September the weather was surprisingly warm for being supposedly the middle of winter, the coat and the scarf were flung aside in favour for this simple, preppy black and blue look. Yet again I cracked out the classic of shirt, cropped jumper and skirt look with a pair of nice thick tights because it may not have been cold, but it wasn’t exactly tropical.
So with it now being less than a month until jesus’s big old birthday celebrations roll around in an effort to try and get into the christmas spirit I have decided to 5 special christmas features for you all.
With task of finding the perfect gifts for those loved ones being on all our to do lists I thought I would try and make the task a little easier for you all recommending some products for you. Now I may be slightly using one of my christmas features to plug some of my own makeup bags would be some perfect little stocking fillers for female friends and family members out there.
I started making and selling these in the summer of this year after deciding to make something practical out of the some of my hand screen printing samples with thinking make up bags were a good place to start.
The first collection which I have avalible to buy consists of a beautiful collection of one off prints that are designed, hand screen printed and sewn together by myself. The second collection is created out of a selection of a lovely collection of fabrics I have collected and combined together in a range of sizes and designs. I wanted to celebrate some the beautiful fabrics which are available on the market already and which have given me inspiration for some of my designs so have created this collection to showcase these.
For the christmas period I have added a couple of new designs purchasable for you all. Don’t worry, their not christmas themed by being covered in christmas trees and ginger bread men so only suitable for one month a year, there just a couple of new lovely fabrics added to the range.
All of these bags are available to purchase on Etsy and are very reasonably priced between £8 and £14. For this weekend, in the spirt of black Friday I have 10% off all stock which ends at 12 GMT this evening. There all one off so when they are gone there gone! I would love it if you could take a look. Also take a look at our Facebook page for all the lasted updates and info.
Now with starting any new university college or even job you are bound to be given the obligatory starting off project just to dip your toes into the water. This was no different for me with starting at GSA with our first project Drawing Beginnings based no the practise of mark making and drawing from still life. In an effort not to make it as mundane as it appeared I decided to try and make the project very much my own by developing some pattern designs from the mark making and still life sketchbook work. So this week I am taking you down a small trip on memory lane back to starting off at university (those long 4 weeks ago).
After being told to go on somewhat of a scavenger hunt to find possible mark making materials (please say you hate that term mark making as much as I do), after slopping them in some ink and various paint materials as groups we created these large mural like images all out of our different marks. When creating these all ideas of being neat and precise went out the window in exchange for being expressive and abstract.
As you can probably see compared to the rest of my group I decided to work solely in black and white just using ink and ignoring the brightly coloured paint used by others. This decision was based on the fact that I knew from starting this that I wanted to take these drawings into photoshop to edit and manipulate into patterns so didn’t want to overcomplicate them with colours and with not yet deciding on a colour scheme (although the odds of it starting off as a variation of red and blue were pretty high) I didn’t want to tie myself down within any of the source drawings.
Taking this combination of lines as a whole this is the design I produced this with my usual style of mirroring and rotating. I’m very pleased with this design with it being possibly my favourite coming out of the whole process (I promise it doesn’t go too far down hill from here) with one of my favourite aspects being the fine detail within the thinly crossing lines contrasted the the larger black spogges. Although I thinks it works really well as a finished black and white illustrated design I think this one would look really cool if colour was added to it creating an almost paisley inspired design but obviously in a slightly different style however when it comes to adding colour I would have to deconstruct it and go back to the beginning to create a repeatable section of it instead of trying to colour in the whole thing which would be madness.
2 more created from mark making experiments
When it got down to creating some of our own smaller scale mark making experiments I did decide at this point to start adding colour and surprise surprise as I had preempted earlier on red and blue were the chosen suspects – with a smattering of orange and various shades of blue to not limit it too much. A while ago I had the idea within my pattern design to of using oil paint to blend together a background with the pattern arising with various marks over the top. This was a perfect opportunity to try this idea out. Using some of the earlier mark making techniques I layered these on top of an acrylic paint background starting to make a pattern with it. As well as adding on top with the black ink with using oil paints as a base I was able to mark into them dragging the paint around creating another element within the design. I really wanted to try and replicate some of the flowers I had found and used for mark making within the designs by using the colours of them within the choice of paint and using the flowers them selves to print with creating the black flower splodges.
As I did with my earlier back and white drawings I mirrored, repeated and layered these scanned in images to create the new designs. Im really pleased with how these and the previous black and white ones have come out however I can see how my work is all becoming very similar using the same ideas and techniques with a lot of my designs. This could be considered as my style of working however I think it is still quite simple and could be pushed further and maybe isn’t the style which I ideally want to be creating.
In order to do this I took the jump and decided to try to start using adobe illustrator as well as photoshop. After plenty of blood sweat and tears (maybe subtract the blood for watching countless youtube videos) I started pick up some of the effects which I wanted to try and create.
I found that the marks I created using the feathers when sectioned out and played around of By some sort of happy accident when using the pattern brush tool created a really cool butterfly image. This wasn’t really what i intended to create but I’m very pleased how I managed to create it. Unable to leave my beloved photoshop for too long, I took this motif I had created and used and manipulated it in there, adding colour from some of my previous designs and layering design behind it until I has created a design with them which I was really happy with.
This final butterfly design is a lot more muted than the work I usually do however I still really like and it and is a good start at varying my portfolio a bit. I also love it when I create a design which has a lot different designs and layers involved in it knowing that a lot of different work came before it and wasn’t just simply created in 5 minuets.
Drawing from still life of a dream catcher. The still life element of this project was an area which I definatly struggled having not gained much inspiration from the items we were drawing. The dream catch was the only item which caught my eye with the design made out of wood in the centre and the lovely feathers hanging off it. I did first draw it in its natural colours of brown and beige but changed it when paining it into red and blue to link in more with my collection of other designs.
Final design of dream catcher kaleidoscope
Thankyou for taking a look and reading, I will be doing regualr updates on my uni work so please make sure to come and check back in the future to see what I am up to.
Now you ay have seen that over the past few weeks I have taken a slight break from this blogging business, but with the stresses and strains of starting out at university, something had to give, however I am back with blogging avengeance and now and what better way to start back than a homeware haul!
Now with moving away to university, along with the moving away and obviously starting uni one of the things I was most looking forward to was styling my own interior even down to the designs on the plate and the mug. Sharing a small uni flat the space can become an issue and if i purchased every mug and plate that I liked then I definitely wouldn’t have been able to store the food to eat off them. One way that this turned out not to be a problem is that before I started shopping I had a clear Idea in my head of what I wanted to find.
As you may have gathered from me at this point from my design work red and blue are defiantly my preferred colours and after having years of staring at quite plain and dull kitchen items (no offence mum and dad and your interiors choices) I wanted to finally have some of my own which I can love and get excited to eat off (and yes I have just realised how sad that sounds, me being the most uncool fresher ever.)
I always liked the idea of having mismatched dinning wear but all working together on one main theme. Also I wanted to get something that wasn’t too garish and style specific, find something which will last me for years and still look as current and stylish.
When shopping around I saw many beautiful ready together sets which would be fine for me but with them wanting to last me as long as possible and not get bored of them, I didn’t want to rest until I found the ones right for me.
Also one hurdle which did slightly get in the way was that of being a student, budget was defiantly always on my mind. Looking in somewhere like Marks and Spencer’s seemed like high end luxury. But in the end after searching high and low (and inevitably coming back to buy from the first place that I started looking), I managed to find some lovely kitchen wear that I am really happy with.
Ive always loved this style of blue and white patterned plates and and with loving vintage fashion and interiors these defiantly fit well with my interior’s vision. I remember as a child always seeing them in my nan’s kitchen dresser all nicely laid out as displayed. Now back then I didn’t think much off them especially my confusion with them only being there for display and not to be eaten off, however, minds do change and I have grown to love them and its nice that they give a slight feel of nostalgia from my rural home town to the busy city I now live in. 3 out of the 4 of these were purchased from Dunelm, with one later addition being from T K Maxx after realising that washing up really isn’t my favorite hobby and I would like to leave as long a gap between washes as possible, so slipping in one more plate kind of helped the problem even if it does mean a bit more elbow grease. Despite loving these traditional patterns, Ive tried to mix in these more modern circular and floral patters to try and strike the balance between old and new. In the end I think this smaller spotted plate on top has ended up being my favourite design with it just being so simple yet classic (and is a perfect size for toast in the morning)
As someone who may have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with mugs I may have ended up with hoarding a grand total of 6 for one person, but its ok, 2 of them can be used as pen pots (see! totally saving money on pen pots) Sticking on the blue and white theme from various shops and various different shopping trips I managed to find these 6 which I really like. As someone who finds a small mug of hot chocolate a crime against drinks one of my struggles was finding mugs big enough to full fill my addiction. In the end TK Maxx yet again turned out to be a crakcer with these various different styles and shapes of mugs all found on their shelves. Also if you are a particular lover of Cath Kindston homeware and mugs in particular I would make sure you take a little peak into TK Maxx on your next visit with them having a wide range of their mugs all waiting to be snapped up (as I did with the red and white spotty one)
Now as you may be getting bored of me praising TK Maxx to the high heavens I have one last thing that I purchased from there. Since buying them I have actually realised that I rarely use bowls but it there was any reason to use one, what better than to want to eat of this lovely bowl. Obviously this is also blue and white and a pattern which ties in with the rest of the plates and bowls nicely and completes all of my uni crockery.
Being TK Maxx and many of the products they stock being one of a kind within there stores I unfortunately don’t have links for any of their products but all the products which I purchased from Dunelm are linked down below :)
Now if it is bright and colourful, like a magpie to a milk bottle top, I will be flocking towards it at high speed. Hence the reason that I have chosen Archie Mac London for my first Designer Focus post.
With bold, abstract and kaleidoscope effect designs the brand really is one that you won’t be able to walk past on a shelf in a hurry.
Archie Mac London (AML) was set up by self taught designer Robyn Parker. After going back to college to try and find her creative path and inspired by her granddads old drawings she’d found (those of Archie McMillan – where the brand name was also derived) , AML was born!
This was another designer that I found while surfing the realms of Instagram
All of her work is digitally created pattern designs starting out life as photographs and then repeated and rotated to create these beautiful designs.
”The way I design is largely a process of repetition and rotation. I think this comes from a real curiosity with seeing how patterns are formed within our universe. I’m fascinated by sacred geometry and fractals, and the patterns that appear in nature. The process of sort of kaleidoscoping an image leads to my designs all having something hidden in them.’’
The kaleidoscope effect is one of my favourite elements within her work, as she mentioned, almost emulating the patterns found within semi precious stone and fossils. With being a lover of semi precious jewllery it makes a lot of sense that this is a reason I love it. However I was most intrigued to find out that is wasn’t paintings or drawings or nature photographs she used to create these designs. With her current collection all based around children toys and childhood objects it is only when you look at the designs up close that you notice it is objects such as barbie dolls and toy robots that have been repeated and rotated to create these intricate kaleidoscopes.
I love her use of photography within her pattern designs being able to show so much more in print than you can achieve with traditional printing and dyeing methods.
Despite being rather partial to a kaleidoscope within my own work my favourite design of her’s must be the linear ones reminding me of aztec and bohemian designs with the bright linea zig zags layered onto of each other. Not going to lie, I’m rather jealous that these aren’t part of one of my own collections.
Archie Mac Ldn’s tag line pretty much sums up the brand in one fail swoop, ‘The Crusade agains beige!’ there is defiantly no beige insight with this line of work.
Now the bright garish colours, funky shape and pom pom trim may not be to everyones taste but, if this the crusade against beige you are fighting, then Archie Mac London’s bright and explosive patterns are on it’s way to winning the war.
This week, inspired by my little 3 day holiday to Norfolk, (yes 3 days to me does count as a holiday) I have done a specialised seaside edition of this weeks Wanting/Wearing/Working post.
Wanting – Interior designer and Illustrator Jessica Hogarth
Now instead of fabric print design, with surface pattern design stretching beyond the bounds of fabric, this week I have chosen to focus on the work of Illustrator Jessica Hogarth. As someone who has spent many a family holiday walking along windy beaches in the pouring rain her beautiful illustrative prints of seaside towns put a bright and colourful portrait of our beloved seaside towns and let you believe that sometimes the sun does come out.
I first discovered her work many months ago when scrawling through Instagram looking for inspiration for my own work and with the beautiful weather and the glorious scenery in Norfolk, it reminded instantly of her work. Now her style is rather different to mine with it being solely illustrative and using whole landscapes and scenes for her drawings but it being different to my work is a reason I think why I love is so much due to knowing I would be hopeless if I wanted to create something similar. One of the things I love about it the most is the simplicity of it, the simple squares and lines put together to create beautiful boats and houses and beach huts which seems so effortlessly drawn but knowing that a lot of time and effort has gone in to making each one perfect. The bright block primary colours which she has used to fill in the designs also add to the simplicity of it with no complicated shading or photographic images, just bold and exciting colours to draw your eyes in. But to contradict that, I it is the colour which adds a lot of the detail to the prints with the stripy beach huts and coloured house roof tops. Looking at it, it seems so simple and replicable, but I’m sure with all the time and effort put into each design, she makes it look easier than it is.
With the sea side known for being full of colourful houses and boats her style of working is perfectly portrays this. She has definitely honed and created her own individual style of working and made her stamp upon the interior design world with her stylish wall paper and cute tea towels and coasters.
Over the years I have seem many different seaside illustrations and paintings but I think her work is defiantly my favourite I have come across. Her work doesn’t just continue on a seaside theme but consists of many different prints and illustrations all as lovely as on another.
Weather you live by the sea or in inner city London, I think her work would defiantly help make your house into a home or her greetings cards I’m sure would cheer up a loved ones day.
Who knew a group of plain white houses could look so pretty
This week due to the beautiful scenery I was surrounded by in Norfolk,surprisingly with the rest of the country seeming to be getting a lashing from the rain, instead of the usual outfit post I’ve decided to do what all Grandad’s do best and that is show some of the old holiday snaps. (yes still persisting that it was a holiday)
Despite the weather being nearly 30 degrees, I lived up to true form and didn’t venture too far away from my black comfort zone but, somehow did manage to ditch the scarf! (desperate times call for desperate measures). Now as as beautiful as the sunset behind me was, in terms of seeing what I was wearing its rather impractical, but you can slightly see. After a long day roaming around Cromer and relaxing on the beach I decided to crack out the comfortable mom jeans (which you will know I love if you have read my last post all about them, hint hint ;) ) this time in black and paired them with a loose fitting cropped black blouse with floral pattern. Now its probably useless me talking about it due to the fact you can barely see it but I love the cute little red and yellow flower pattern with spots which is printed on this blouse. With it being quite small and discreet it makes it easy to wear along side any other items however adds a nice bit of interest to an otherwise plain black blouse.Pairing it with the mom jeans make this outfit fell nicely thrown on and vintage which is a style which I am currently loving. This was perfect in the evening with the weather cooling off and was very easy to layer with plain black jumper and brown scarf as the night drawed in.
In some the of the down time I had in the evenings in Norfolk, I couldn’t resist cracking out the laptop to continue with some of the work I started last week. Again taking inspiration from henna tattoo designs I started working solely with one motif I had created and started to add colour to it. With the print last week being mostly blue with areas of red, this one I wanted to make the opposite with red being the main colour with the blue accenting it. To create this I rotated the motif round in blocks of 4 to make one bigger motif and then closely repeated them together. I did two different versions of this pattern, one where the motifs are separated apart with a light coloured background and one where the motifs are layered closely onto of each other with no background separating them. Im not sure which one of these I particularly prefer, I think you can see the detail of the motif’s more in the one with the background however I like the compactness of the one without with the blue being the colour which pops out to you as if that is the motif and the red around it is just a detailed pattered background. These patterns particularly reminded me of middle eastern tile designs with the colours, the style of motif and how the motif is arranged and repeated.
Due to the fact I really love this motif on its own without lots of colour in it I decided to use it again to make a more simple, complementing design with the motif differently laid out and simply in white with a bright blue background. These two designs work really well together and are a good starting place along with the design from last week to start building a collection.
Both posts next week are going to be very London themed following on from my recent trip down to London ( I really am getting around!). In W/W/W you will be seeing some of my new purchases (of course including fabric) and some work inspired from all the lovely sights and smells (…well maybe not smells, but you get the idea). Come back on Wednesdays Spotlight On: for a designer focus all about Archie Mac London
Now this week it may look like I have skimmed on giving you some normal content and just resulted in doing some shameless self promotion. I can assure you in this case that the above is most defiantly not..not true.
As another mission to keep myself busy during long break off I thought I thought what better than as start a business (as you do). After putting together some hand drawn designs which I didn’t really have many intentions for, I got the chance to get back into the workshops and get some lovely screen prints done.
After creating a lot of samples at first which I didn’t really have any intention to do anything with, it crossed my mind that I could make something out of these. It was at this point that the makeup bag brain wave happened.
I thought makeup bags were a great place to start in that there quite simple and easy to make, cheap to create and with the right fabrics put together can look really beautiful and be really functional.
Now most of my work which you may know If you have had a look at my portfolio (link here https://www.flickr.com/photos/129012653@N05/albums) that I have a preference to work with blues and red however with this collection to mix it up a bit I wanted to introduce some other colours to my prints resulting in a collection with pink, orange and yellow in aswell.
The first collection which I have avalible to buy consists of a beautiful collection of one off prints that are designed, hand screen printed and sewn together by myself.
The second collection is created out of a selection of a lovely collection of fabrics I have collected and combined together in a range of sizes and designs. I wanted to celebrate some the beautiful fabrics which are available on the market already and which have given me inspiration for some of my designs so have created this collection to showcase these.
All of these bags are available to purchase on Etsy and are very reasonably priced between £8 and £14. There all one off so when they are gone there gone! would love it if you could take a look. Also take a look at our Facebook page for all the lasted updates and info.