First signs of summer

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Homeward bound

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So here it is finally, then end of my first year of university has finally come around with only 3 more days left to go. With most of the country having broken up already and having fled their dingy halls bedrooms and in the words of Michael Mcintyre got thoroughly “gabzeboded” on the final night of term, it been something that has felt like a long time coming for me. However its finally approaching and I can safely say there is nothing more I want at the moment that a good old rest back home. 

I’m not going to lie it was a strange experience starting over as a first year again, especially with the first time around not exactly going to plan. It definitely made it all the more nerve racking knowing that it so could easily not be all plain sailing and that this is my last chance at getting it right. 

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I can’t say that I have exactly fitted well into the model “student lifestyle” with going out to get drunk, a light workload and living around constant noise all being things rather low on my list of priorities. Their have been many moments when I have just wanted to run away and leave it all behind with only the fear of what the hell would I do instead keeping me going. 

However despite all with this, if there is one this that all of this has taught me it is that even if you feel like you are trapped in something that you don’t enjoy, it really doesn’t have to be like that forever and doesn’t have to be the rest of your life. 

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With uni not giving me the enjoyment that I needed I had to push myself to find things that I did enjoy and that made me happy knowing that they won’t necessarily find their ways to you on their own. At periods when you haven’t had a day of in 3 months and have been working all nighters to get shit done you wonder at times have I gone too far. However having experienced a couple of “pinch me” moments over the past few weeks, its nice to feel like all your hard work has been paying off and not just lead to nothing.  

Anyway, despite this all seeming a bit doom and gloom I am actually feeling rather positive about what is ahead. Uni does eventually seem to be looking up, i’ve found somewhere I’m looking forward to living in and some good things to focus on, hopefully the only way is up from here.

 For someone like me who likes to live life at 100 mph it can be scary to look at a 7 week gap in the diary and see very little to fill it. However I am going to make sure that I take this time to properly relax, recharge and fill up on some good old country air and be back ready and rearing to go for the year ahead.  

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3 months, 7 days and an hour or so

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So Chloe, remember that time that you said you were going to take a little bit of time off blogging however it definitely wouldn’t be more than a week or two and you would be back on it right as rain? No?? Well with it having been 3 months, 7 days and an hour or so since your last post went up I would say that something somewhere went a bit wrong! 

However lets stop dwelling on my apparent inability to do a million things at once and on the fact that Fabric Forward is finally back down to business! 

I evidently decided that while somewhat melting in the 30 something degree heat in London that it was the perfect time to lock myself indoors, start tapping away at the key board and get this blog back up and running. 

 

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As well as some snazzy new pictures (I can totally still pretend that there is blossom out on the trees right?) the eagle eyed amongst you may also be able to tell that the old blog has had a bit of a re-vamp. As ever with me getting bored really easily I couldn’t help myself buy have a little re-decoration around this joint. After the probably 4 or 5 different looks this blog has had since being birthed I must say this has to be my favourite (she says until she changes it again in a matter of months). 

Anyway with my skin feeling like it is going to melt away from me at any moment (fyi turns out human flesh can actually start melting at 40 degrees, true fact that! – don’t say you don’t learn anything here) I shall keep this brief and return to my wild evening of being sprawled on my bed with an overheating laptop all while wondering how many grapes one can fit into ones mouth.  

Choa for now! (and hopefully won’t be for a 1/4 of a year this time!)

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Photos | Tom Flathers 

Lacy days

Lacy days

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Hello! As you may have been able to tell from the large black whole where last weeks blog should have been this weekly posting thing is going extremely well!. Anyway, my punctuality aside I am back today and we are going all old skool in terms of me just wittering on about something that I have decided to wear on one fine day (and other wicked fans feel free to continue the song.)   

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If you have been over on my instagram recently you may have noticed that my all time love with all black outfits has been seeming to wain a little with items such as bright green jumpers and red trousers weaselling their way into my wardrobe (whatever next!) However there are always going to be days that old colour ignorant Chloe comes out and reverts back to a (nearly) all black look. With not being one of the girlies of girls, I don’t own a particularly large amount of lacy items. To be fair, this dress is probably as far as it goes. However the small amount on this lovely black Zara dress had my eyes pulling me towards it whilst my debit card was trying to pull me away.

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In the short amount of time I have had it I have already found it to be a very versatile piece with it being great to layer up, with a long sleeves underneath or a jumper over the top (or both if you end up working in a tent over christmas, long story). Also for anyone like me who doesn’t like showing oodles of flesh in the summer this piece will be great in terms of keeping you cool with the strappy top and thin floaty fabric but keeping that cellulite from christmas that you haven’t quite managed to shift yet out of sight! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

DRESS | TOP | BOOTS

5 for 2016

5 for 2016

So, what better way to start than with a Happy New Year you wonderful bunch! I hope you all celebrated in style by either partying the night away or with my chosen method this year, staying in with the bf, a box set of lost and some good old pork chops. What more could a girl want? Anyway, despite only being 2 days into the new year I know I am a tad late on the bandwagon of celebratory end of the year posts. 

I will be up with full year in review post very soon however today I have something to wet you appetite in a collection of my top 5 favourite posts of the year. With a whole years worth of content to go through, roughly getting up 1 post a week (I think 0 last week and 3 this week perfectly supports this point) it has been a rather tough decision with many I love unfortunately not making the cut. However I managed to narrow it down this final 5 either from either being some that I have enjoyed shooting the most or just love the results.

ISLE OF ARRAN

In an effort to explore more of my new surrounding, Tom and I decided to take a little trip away to the gorgeous Isle of Arran. Living in Glasgow you really didn’t have to go too far to find some amazing locations and this one definitely proved that. I mean its not many times that you get to stand on a beach with a snowy mountain in the background. We decided to both really test ourselves over these days with the range of shoots we did from me freezing my little toes off in the water for a dramatic True Detective style shoot (something I do not wish to do again too soon) to trying to become some what sexy in an editorial esk bathroom shoot. However I think my favourite of the trip has to be this collection of ‘simple’ fashion shots showing off the amazing scenery that we had to offer. 

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Take a look at the rest of the Arran series here..

PART 1 | PART 2 | DRAMATIC PORTRAIT | PART 4 | PART 5

BOWLING

Theres not many times in your life that on a day out you happen to stumble across somewhere which could have been plucked from an epic war film. Well on our trip to Loch Lomond while passing through the village to Bowling we did just that. My inner explorer, who of which rarely comes out to play, had a good old work out on this day climbing around abandoned boats and a rotting pier. With the sun setting around us and no lighting equipment Tom did a fantastic job of capturing this amazing location while I frankly stood in front of it looking grumpy. Well, some of the drama of the whole location would be lost if i was smiling, well thats what I tell myself anyway. 

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CONFETTI FIELDS

Ever since I started fashion blogging I think it has always been dream location for me to in the middle of summer go to a beautiful flower field. Now it may not have been the beautiful sunny day that we hoped for, with nearly having to give up due to a couple of April showers, in July, but the confetti flower fields in Pershore were a little Gem to find leading to some of my favourite photos of the year surprisingly containing a lot of pink, whatever next!. 

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NORFOLK

With this blog being very much in its infancy back in the summer of 2015, this year on the second annual trip to Norfolk we took full advantage of the seaside location to get another collection of lovely blog photos. I think it was always a little dream of mine as a kid to own a little beach hut on the sea, so if I can’t quite own then at least get some lovely pictures in front of them. Despite the sun not quite playing ball to get the sunrise we wanted, we still managed to, we still managed to get a lovely little set of photos despite me being some what blurry eyed due to the horrendous time in the morning. 

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MANCHESTER NO.1

With this post coming just at the point of the redesign of the blog I kinda felt like this was the premier post of the relaunching of it with its new beginnings as purely a fashion blog. Being the first shoot we did together in manchester it great to start exploring a new city and see what it has to offer. Also this definitely has to be one of my favourite looks of the year with this fab pair of jeans that I still cant get enough of! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS

Getting the best of Boxing Day

Getting the best of Boxing Day

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After usually giving it a few days to the crazed bargain hunters to retire and the shelves to have been tidied up a bit, for the first time this year I braved the boxing day sales on actual boxing day, I mean how could I resist when it was on my way home from work. 

For the first time of experiencing the January sales in London I definitely saw some of the true madness of it and I am not surprised why so many people have moved online. But if you are like me and prefer to go the the actual shops and pic things up in person its a good idea to go in with a  ready prepared game plan to tackle that madness head on! 

So I have come up with my top 5 items to splash the cash on and look out for this January. 

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COATS

It may be January but at least in the UK there is still plenty of winter left to get a great deal of wear out of a new winter coat. A good old winter coat is something that I definitely look forward to cracking out every winter when that cold weather comes back around (even if I do have to put the leathers away for a while). I definitely have a less is more approach with coats. Its always the way despite there being a lot of nice lower price ones available on the market, that the one you fall in love with that season has a slightly higher price point. If you are able to find that perfect one that will carry you through the whole season and years to come then in this event it is good to wait it out and catch a lovely little bargain in the sales! 

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SHOES 

As someone who will wear boots shoes all year round, winter is away the best time for me to buy shoes. Like coats, i’m not a big shoe shopper with being perfectly happy with a good pair of Dr Martens on a daily basis. However when this year I seem to have caught the shoe shopping bug and used the sales as the perfect opportunity to expand my shoe collection slightly. My fave bargain this year would have to be my pair of Adidas Gazelle trainers. I may be slightly cheating with this being a 40% off black Friday purchase but a winter bargain is a bargain right? 

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BOOKS 

Having always dreamt of having my own little library in my house consisting of floor to ceiling book shelves and a lovely collection of very instagramable coffee table books just casually laying around . Despite not owning a coffee table of my own, on many a day in Foyles I have spent stroking all the beautiful books they have on sale, most of that time spent wishing they weren’t so damn expensive with not even being able to justify them as being educational. But this year appear to be becoming more of an adult by the day choosing to spend my money on some good old reading material, potentially even throwing in a cook book or two. My favorite little find this year would have to be Bloom by the lovely Estee Lalonde. This is one I have been itching to read since it came out and I managed to pick this up half price at Olivier Bonas and have been flying though it not being able to put it down. 

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STATIONARY 

And with a new year ahead of us sometimes it is nice for us to literally turn over a clean page and start anew with some brand new stationary. With a small collection of un-used notebooks at the ready, I seriously don’t need anymore for myself however I thought I would let you in to the not very secret secret that the January sales is a great time to stock up for the year ahead. 

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THEATRE TICKETS 

This may be something that most people won’t think about during the January sales however there are some great deals out there at the beginning of the new year for various different offers on theatre tickets. If you are a theatre mad a I am then you will know that seeing some shows in  London can seriously eat up that weekly student budget. Their never going to be cheap but if you are able to find some money of any that you have been desperate to see then you would be stupid not to take advantage. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS | BRICK LANE LDN

The Real Flower Confetti Company

The Real Flower Confetti Company

You know when you are flicking through the pages of Vogue or Elle and for the featured fashion shoot they have a stunningly beautiful models just causally lounging around in an  field bursting with brightly coloured flowers as if out of some sort of fairytale. Rather than lusting over the designer goods, I am always the one wondering what tiny corner to the earth to they have to go to to find such a beautiful location. Well turns out little old Worcestershire seems to be the place.

This beautiful field of flowers belongs to the The Real Flower Petal Confetti Company based in Pershore, Worcestershire. Since 1997 they have been home growing natural, biodegradable real flower confetti supplying the general public, TV and films and even royalty.  For the past 2 years for 10 days only they have been opening their gates to one of their beautiful fields to the public. With a strike of luck of finding out about this place on day one out of 10 how could you not go and give it a little nosey (and what better location to try out the brand new camera!).

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The weather unfortunately wasn’t on its very best behaviour all day with some short sharp April showers deciding to rear their ugly head in July, but by middle afternoon the sun had come out and the sky had turned blue and made the whole place just look far too perfect.

But I know what your saying after wading through picture after picture of flowers at slightly different angles, ‘But Chloe, you went to such a beautiful location and decided not to take any outfit photos?’ don’t worry dear friends, all will come in due course ;)

The feilds are open until the 10th of July so get down there while they are still open

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To find out more check out their website http://www.confettidirect.co.uk/index.html

ALL LINKS

YOUTUBE – http://bit.ly/1OZ7v1c 

FACEBOOK –  http://bit.ly/1qtU1Ff 

TWITTER – http://bit.ly/206TW6B 

INSTAGRAM – http://bit.ly/1YeK3ST 

PINTREST – http://bit.ly/1SbgcG9 

BLOGLOVIN – http://bit.ly/1UI3N36 

My design portfolio: http://bit.ly/1MjTQGD 

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: http://bit.ly/1SjgRWc 

Etsy shop http://etsy.me/20dSJdF 

 

Chloe Cooks | Spaghetti Carbonara

Chloe Cooks | Spaghetti Carbonara

Yes today we are back with another cooking post and this being the first one which isnt muffin related, yay! So I thought I would start off with something easy being a spaghetti carbonara.

After going out for dinner in London last week at Vapiano’s  in oxford circus (check them out, they are soo good), after eating the best carbonara I think i’ve ever had I was inspired to try and cook my own. Now I can’t this quite holds up to theirs (what their chefs can do just makes my mind boggle) but if you are a lover of pasta and Italian food in general this is a great easy, cheap and tasty alternative.

Now I know with it creeping into the summer months many of us are ditching the hearty carb heavy dishes in favour of salads and lighter dishes however I think theirs room for a good pasta somewhere (how their isn’t a spec of Italian blood in my I don’t know.)

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Ingredients: (for 4 people)

  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g smoked Pancetta 
  •  cubes or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 eggs
  • 75ml double cream
  • 50g Grana padano or Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

 

Method 

  1. Cook the spaghetti. Bring a large, deep pan of salted water to the boil. Plunge spaghetti into the water, stir well and cook, following pack instructions.
  2. Fry the pancetta. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot, tip in the pancetta or streaky bacon. Fry over a medium heat until the fat in the meat has melted down into the pan and the meat has turned lightly golden. Be careful not to crisp the pancetta too much; it will be cooked a little bit more later on in the recipe. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Prepare the sauce. Crack 2 of the eggs into a mixing bowl. Separate the yolk from the third egg: gently crack the side of the shell and, using both hands, slowly open it into two halves over a separate bowl – you want to keep the yolk in one of the halves. Tip the yolk from one shell half to the other and repeat until all the egg white has fallen into the bowl below, taking care not to crack the yolk on any rough shell edges. Tip the yolk in with the other eggs and beat together, along with the cream, the cheese and some seasoning.
  4. Combine the dish. Add garlic to the pancetta and return frying pan to hob. Fry over high heat for 1 min or until garlic is cooked and pancetta warmed through. Meanwhile, drain spaghetti. Tip back into the hot saucepan off the heat. Pour egg mixture over pasta, followed by hot pancetta, garlic, any fat and oils. Toss quickly and thoroughly with spaghetti spoon or tongs. Mix until it has thickened to a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve with extra cheese and freshly ground pepper.

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LINKS

YOUTUBE – http://bit.ly/1OZ7v1c 

FACEBOOK –  http://bit.ly/1qtU1Ff 

TWITTER – http://bit.ly/206TW6B 

INSTAGRAM – http://bit.ly/1YeK3ST 

PINTREST – http://bit.ly/1SbgcG9 

BLOGLOVIN – http://bit.ly/1UI3N36 

My design portfolio: http://bit.ly/1MjTQGD 

Chloe Natalie Knott Textile Design facebook: http://bit.ly/1SjgRWc 

Etsy shop http://etsy.me/20dSJdF 

500 px http://bit.ly/1XldouE