Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What I got for Christmas/ birthday 2014

As my birthday and Christmas are only four days apart, I decided to wait until later to write my 'what I got for Christmas' post. My main present this year was a laptop, so the rest of my presents were just littler things such as books, clothes and beauty products. I haven't featured any of the clothes I got on this post because they'll be featured on upcoming outfit posts.

For my birthday from my nan, I got this vintage suitcase, which is really lovely and I can't wait to use it when we go away to York this weekend! I also got quite a few books from various friends and family. From the top of the pile is a photography book which documents the 1940s, I haven't read this properly yet but it looks like it'll be an interesting read. I then received two art books from my parents, one on Klee and the other on Van Gogh. Both are very inspiring to look at. The one on Van Gogh features letters he wrote to friends and family, whilst he was travelling and explains the inspiration behind some of his paintings. As I saw some of his work whilst in Lille this summer, learning the story behind his paintings is fascinating for me. As an avid watcher of 'Have I Got News For You', I was really excited to hear that one of the panelists, Paul Merton, was bringing out an autobiography, I've already read it and would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants a good laugh.  The last two books are 'Love at First Stitch' by Tilly Walnes, which I'll be reviewing here soon, and a photography book explaining the history of cameras and featuring many photographers I've looked at on my A level course.

In terms of DVDs (I'm not fancy enough for Blu-ray), I got all the seasons of The Mighty Boosh, Princess Mononoke and two films I missed in the cinema when I was ill during exam season. I really love Studio Ghibli, so I'm excited to now have two DVDs that were missing from my collection! I am also a massive fan of superheroes so can't wait to finally watch 'Days of Future Past'. (Which is the new X-Men film, for those who didn't know)

I have a product review coming up, so depending how that goes, I may also do some reviews of a few of the beauty products I received for Christmas and my birthday. My friend Sophie got me some Ted Baker products for my birthday, which I love, Ted Baker products are always really nicely packaged and smell divine! Various people also gave me nail varnishes, and I especially like the colours of the Bourjois ones.

Lastly, is this notebook from Paperchase, which is right up my street with embroidered thread spools on it. I'm not sure what to use it for yet though. I'm thinking either a book filled with fabric swatches or a sort of craft journal, where I can stick in swatches and photos of things I have made.

Hope you all have a happy new year.

Until next time

Holly Olivia x

Monday, 29 December 2014

Dancing Queen- young and sweet, only 17...

Sorry that I haven't posted on here for a while, there has been a lot of work for college and numerous Christmas gifts which I had to make. However, I have a fair few posts planned for the coming weeks. Today is (was) my 17th birthday and I spent it with my family, my mum cooked a gluten free lasagne and Jasmine made a delicious cake. I seem to have a new tradition of watching the original Wizard of Oz, on my birthday, as last year I was bought a sing-along edition! I think tonight we're just going to watch films and cook pizza.

I wore my new shirt and skirt that I got in the sales from a lovely shop in Tynemouth called 'Ruby and Frank'. I love their sales and have a habit of buying sought after items cheaper because they are in the small sizes! I also wore a cardigan from New Look which was one of the presents from my parents, which I've loved it ever since I first saw it back in September/ October time. My watch was a Christmas present from my Grandparents and is by 'Olivia Burton', who do beautiful vintage inspired watches. I've also been trying out a newer make-up look, I got a Bourjois set from my parents at Christmas and I love how 60s inspired it is, so I may attempt a tutorial on that. (Although I'm definitely no beauty guru!)

Lighting the candles! 
I recently spent £44 of my Christmas money on fabric, so expect two new posts about that soon! I'm thinking about doing a 'What I got for Christmas and birthday' post, and I'm also going to York this weekend to celebrate my Grandparent's golden wedding anniversary. (We're getting a photoshoot done!)

Hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Until next time

Holly Olivia x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

NE bloggers movie night

I was invited to an event for North East bloggers last thursday to watch a Christmas film and eat food. The event was held at the Sky offices in Newcastle, so getting there involved rushing from sixth form to get changed and eat something, before hopping on the metro. It was organised by Suzanne from 'Sparkle Communications', who are a PR company based also based in the North East. Sadly, the turnout was poor for unknown reasons, but I still had a really good time!
We watched 'Elf', which I had never seen before, I tend to stick to Scrooge, Home Alone and Gremlins when watching Christmas films, but it was a really funny film and very uplifting. We were also given a goodie bag from Sky with pens, notebooks and other freebies in, and a bag of Topcorn popcorn, which was nice as college have booted up the price of it by 15p. (shocking) There was also a large buffet, which I didn't eat anything from as it all contained gluten and I wasn't very hungry.

Credit- Gavin Forster

Credit- Gavin Forster

In the rush of getting from sixth form to the event, I forgot my camera but luckily was allowed to use these ones taken by another blogger, Gavin. 
I wore a collared shirt from Primark, under my Christmas jumper with my denim Oasis skirt and boots. My hat is from Primark and was only £10, so a third of the price of Topshop hats, when I last looked. Hope you are all having a wonderful festive period!

Until next time,

Holly Olivia x

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Open studios at The Biscuit Factory

Last weekend was Open Studios at the Ouseburn, where a series of galleries and creative businesses in Newcastle opened their doors for Christmas shoppers and workshops. I only got photos from when I went to the Biscuit Factory, which is one of my favourite UK galleries, and also where I did work experience in year ten.
The gallery showcases a lot of local art and ceramics, and I was allowed to take photos to promote the event.

The above images are of some of mine and my mum's favourite work in the gallery. They are created by artist Dean Patman from found materials, so are all completely unique and also really, really cute. The anteater is one of my favourite pieces, mainly because I adore tamanduas, which are a tree climbing anteater, one once climbed my leg at London zoo and it was the happiest experience ever. However, I also love the recycled element of his work and if I had enough money, I'd buy all of it.

I love the layout of the gallery, the name comes from the fact that it used to be a biscuit factory, and I really like the exposed brickwork and busy walls full of framed work. 

The above photos are of the studios downstairs, which are only open to the public on event days. They were really nicely decorated for the festive period with baubles and tissue paper pompoms. (It made me want my own artist's studio!) After this we went on the free bus around a couple of other places, I even managed to get some Christmas presents bought and made! 

Until next time

Holly Olivia x
Monday, 1 December 2014

Festive portraits inspired by ABM

Warning: This post may sound like it's sponsored by the A Beautiful Mess blog.... (It's not)

Today I am sharing some photographs me and Jasmine took yesterday as we put the Christmas tree up. As today is a school/work day, we wanted to put the decorations up a day early- sorry.
These photographs were inspired by some of the photos featured in the A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book, that feature Elsie and Jeremy Larson.

Photo on left is from The ABM blog- here
The above photo is a comparison of Jeremy and Elsie's photograph and the one we did, I loved the idea of using tree lights as a light source, however ours weren't as bauble-like and were just average fairy lights. I used my Nikon D3200, with the flash, and a lamp in the background as a light source. The editorial process was easy, I changed the photos to black and white on Photoshop, changed the levels of black and white, and also changed the brightness and contrast of the image- wherever necessary to get a 'proper' black and white image. AKA- little grey colouring to image. 

The top set of photos out of these three, show how changing the brightness and contrast made the finished photograph more black and  white, as oppose to grey. However, this does make some of the images appear grainy- although I quite like this affect as it reminds me of film photographs. The last photos are of Jasmine, being her usual 'camera shy' self. If my memory serves correct, Jasmine was dancing to S Club 7 when I took her portraits, so that may explain somethings. One thing I really like about the Christmas period is how well me and her get along. (Not that we usually fight!) 

Until next time,

Holly Olivia x