Monday, 25 May 2015

to tell you the truth...

an (almost) accurate portrayal of how i've spent most of my bank holiday weekend

over the last few months I've updated my blog, mostly infrequently, with the promise of more content and/or passion to follow, and as you've probably noticed, every time I've failed to deliver on said promises. 

since beginning my third year of university I've found myself with less time to blog, so blogging became less of a priority and thus became less important to me, and over the last few months I think any interest in or passion for blogging as i previously have done has slowly fizzled out, so I thought I'd pop by today to say that from here on my blog's probably going to change. 

2014 for me was a great year for blogging: I was into my beauty, outfits and ponderings and I updated at least three times a week, but since we ticked over into 2015 that passion and desire that I once had in regards to blogging has dried up. 

I'm thinking money may have played a part in my loss of desire, simply because I don't have as much money to spend on makeup or clothes, and in turn I've felt as though I've had less to share, so I feel like it's a natural progression. don't get me wrong, I still love reading other personal style blogs and a handful of cruelty free blogs, but I'm not so sure I'm all that bothered about throwing my two cents about the topics into the pot anymore, or at least not in ways that I have done in the past. 

I'm not all that sure of the future of my blog at the moment, simply because on occasion I do like to have the platform to speak about/show my work or the things that I'm interested in, but I don't want the pressure of having to stick to a rigid schedule. I think my blog needs to become more organic, more of a place for me to update as and when I see fit, rather than a place that satisfies the need for content (no matter how dull it may be) simply because I feel the need to please an audience. 

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what draws people to my blog or entices them to follow, but I assume for different people there are different reasons because my blog has previously covered beauty to fashion to illustration, and I get that not everyone will be here for all three of those things, and that's fine. for me personally however, I think the future of my blog probably lies within my illustration work because I feel like it's the only constant in my life right now, simply because I don't need to put money into creating – I just do it. I know beauty and fashion can be worked around a tight budget, but I honestly don't think I care all that much about those things anymore; there are so many fantastic beauty/style bloggers out there that I don't think my voice is very necessary or relevant, but I do think that I should be using my voice to speak out about my creative projects and direction in life, particularly at a time where I'll be graduating and hopefully settling into a new, creative, exciting job, but we'll see about that in the future. 

I think the bottom line here is to expect my blog to be much more quiet from now on. I'll no doubt update semi frequently about any creative projects, and on occasion I might even blog about any beauty/fashion that I felt I simply had to share, but I think I'm giving up on the blogging for an audience thing and now I'm just gonna play it cool and update because I want to, not because I feel that I need to, and hopefully from that my blog can become a more interesting and engaging place for not only me, but also for anyone else who may read it. 

and that's all, really. thanks to anyone who's enjoyed the ride this far, and thanks to anyone who sticks around and enjoys the changes. if not, that's okay, I don't think the loss of my ex content is going to upset anybody. for now, here's to getting on with things because I want to do so. 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

saturday scribbles

i've spent a lot of the last week in and out of uni prepping things ready for the exhibition so i've not had a lot of time to fill, but as well as prepping my hand out materials ready for new blood i've also fit in a couple of pet portraits. it was nice to get back into drawing/painting (even if briefly) and i figured there was no better way than to do it with dogs – if i'm stuck on what to draw, dogs are always the answer.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

lily flame | 'parma violets' scented candle

if you know me, you know parma violets are my thing. the taste, the smell, the colour – i love everything about parma violets and they definitely bring with them a sense of nostalgia for my childhood, so you can probably imagine the excitement the idea of a parma violets scented candle brought me.

the candle has a 35 hour approx. burn time and is recommended to be burnt for 3 hours at a time to avoid wasting any product, so with around 10 uses altogether i've been saving this for the days where i've had the time to just sit around and enjoy it, which over the last few weeks has happened to be my sundays.

i'm definitely a lover of sickly sweet, overpowering scents – if they don't hit you in the face when you enter a room what's the point?! – so this deviates from my typical tastes as it's quite a subtly sweet scent which to me smells almost powdery, but that's probably more to do with my association with the taste of the sweet than the actual smell of the candle. the candle has a definite powerful scent and the smell lingers around once the candle's been blown out, so for me it's definitely worth the £8 price tag and i'll no doubt be buying myself many more of these in the future.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

etsy shop sale: everything £5 and under

as i was wading through my possessions over the weekend, i stumbled upon a load of old stock that had expired on my etsy page. i'm hoping once uni's over and done with i'll land on my feet and end up moving out somewhere, so in preparation for such events i thought i'd try to shift some stock and free up some space by reducing it all and popping it back up for sale in my etsy shop. here's what i have to offer...

afternoon tea handmade clay charm necklaces

all three are hand sculpted and painted by me, with each charm measuring approx. 2cm on its longest side. adorning an 18" silver plated necklace, these look lovely underneath collars or worn layered up with other necklaces. uk p&p is £1.50, but i also ship worldwide – you can check prices for specific countries on each item's listing. 

handmade clay doggy magnets

 shih tzu - poodle - corgi - sharpei - boxer - pug - french bulldog

all magnets are hand sculpted and painted by me, each measuring approx. 4cm on its longest side. they can be used on most magnetic surfaces and are great for keeping notes and receipts in place, or just for adding a bit of doggy decoration to your surroundings – i have a black poodle (aka ziggy!) on my fridge at uni. uk p&p is £1.50, but i also ship worldwide – you can check prices for specific countries on each item's listing. 

floral sleeping fox cushion

handmade by me, this cushion measures approx. 10.5" x 10". perfect for adding a bit of decoration to any bed, chair or sofa. uk p&p is £3, but i also ship worldwide – you can check prices for specific countries on the item's listing. 

if you like what you see please do feel free to go and have a little nosey around my etsy, everything in my shop is £5 or less so you're sure to find a bargain! if you have any questions about any particular item feel free to drop me a message in the comments, or if you'd prefer you could always drop me an email to thank you for looking!

Monday, 18 May 2015

sunday synopsis

well my good intentions of not neglecting my sunday synopsis posts went well out of the window last night after i got caught up in packaging up an etsy order, and then decided to pull my paints and pencils out for the first time in a few weeks. there's always next week, eh?

as i mentioned in this week's saturday scribbles post, i've mostly spent the week celebratory eating and drinking as well as being in and out of uni for minor tasks to tie up loose ends. wednesday saw the last day of final presentations, so that evening a bunch of people from my course headed out for a meal before going out for the night which was fun. then on the friday me and my housemate, josh, headed out to newcastle for the day. we decided to have a nosey around the town centre (spending a considerable amount of time in waterstones) before heading to las iguanas for lunch, which was hands down the best £14 i've ever spent. as part of the lunch menu you can get a starter, main and glass of wine for under £10, and cocktails are on 2 for 1 before 7pm so i opted for a vegetable enchilada and a pina colada and my tastebuds could not have been happier – honestly, if you live near a las iguanas get yourself there for lunch one day, you won't be disappointed.

food talk aside, while we were in newcastle we also decided to have a walk to the biscuit factory to see what was available. i spotted a few of kate rowland's laser cut wooden accessories for sale amongst lots of other lovely prints, cushions, jewellery and mugs etc., however with it being close to the end of term and without a job or another student loan on the way i couldn't really afford to splash out £25 on a lovely illustrated dinosaur print i spied out... one day, eh? after we'd finished there we headed over the millennium bridge to the baltic gallery for a nosey around, and as ever we spent a lot of time in the gift shop at the end of our visit... gift shop fiends, i tell ya.

saturday and sunday were mainly empty days, with me and josh cooking ourselves our first proper sunday dinner of the year (which was delicious!), and me getting all my old etsy stock together to rephotograph and list at a discounted price in an attempt to downsize my possessions before i eventually move out. i'm thinking i'll pop a post up tomorrow with all the discounted items and any relevant links, so if you're into handmade items under £5 and are interested in a little look at what i have available, watch this space!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

saturday scribbles: mallory goes to new york

ok so if i'm being honest, since my final presentation on monday i've done very little that doesn't involve eating delicious food or drinking alcohol (a gal's allowed to indulge in a celebratory fashion, right?), so as you can imagine i've done very little creatively. i worked briefly on wednesday on some additional illustrations for my collaborative nhs project, but other than that i've done absolutely nada, and for that reason i thought i'd use today to share some extra spreads from my picture book, mallory goes to new york, and talk a little about the project. 

as you can probably guess, the idea for the story was born last march as i visited new york with my university course. prior to the visit i was filled with the usual feelings of overwhelming excitement, however while i was there i soon learnt that the grass definitely wasn't greener on the other side, and that's the overarching message of the picture book, to appreciate home a little more (even if it means travelling to the opposite end of the globe to be able to do so!)

of course with the story being a children's picture book it wouldn't bode well to focus too much on negative experiences and the doom and gloom of loneliness, so i tried to be as playful as possible to really bring the story and the protagonist, mallory, to life in a way that would be engaging, silly and hopefully humorous.

i wrapped the storyline around my own navigation and experience of new york city, featuring places that i visited and things that i felt, and in particular one of my favourite spreads and storylines is the inclusion of a doggy daycare that i stumbled upon. while new york was mostly an alienating experience for me, i found kindness in a couple of people i encountered (once in a barnes and noble coffee shop, once in a lush store) which really helped to lift my spirits and my overall opinion of the big apple. i replicated this kindness in my story in the form of a dog that mallory meets who directs her to the daycare for a last positive, inclusive experience within the city before heading off back home. 

when all is said and done, the final spread attempts to hammer home the fact that home really is where the heart is. as bleak as a place can often seem, the answer isn't always to take yourself off elsewhere to a place that others may regard as the answer to your troubles, because sometimes all you really need is the positive effect that friends, family and a new outlook on life can bring to your own life. 

i really hope you've enjoyed this brief look into my story, and don't forget that you can view more spreads on my online portfolio!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

brows | a change in routine

when i dyed my hair back brown i encountered an issue: i had no powder to hand that matched the colour of my brows. to compensate for this i used a brown from one of my eyeshadow palettes, but it was way too dark for my brows which meant i was rockin' some dodgy looking brows for quite a while. i took myself off to boots and after hearing (and seeing) good things about eyebrow pencils from various youtubers, i thought i'd give them another go a couple of years after last using them.

i picked up the collection eye definer in shade 2, brown, and at first i really didn't get on with it. the first few tries with the product left me with serious scouse brows, but i persevered, got used to the product, and before i knew it it was doing the job perfectly. the moral of the story here is that if you're giving eyebrow pencils a go, you need a lot of patience, practice and a light hand. below i've talked through how i use the above products to groom my brows on the daily.

1: brush through your brows

2: pencil in the shape of your brows with soft, light strokes

3: brush through your brows to soften the appearance of the pencil and set with brow gel

and you're done! if you'd have told me a year ago that i'd be using pencils to groom my brows with now i definitely wouldn't have believed you, but now i'm back brown again i'm definitely a pencil convert. i'm almost at the end of the eye definer after having used it for a couple of months, so i suppose i'd better get myself back to boots and stock up on a couple more!