Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Simplicity Blogger Challenge

Finally I am uploading my entry for the Simplicity Blogger Challenge! I finished my garment at least a month ago, but every time I've worn it out (in order to photograph it), it has rained non-stop so I was forced into taking the photos in my back garden. I chose to enter the 'best vintage make' category of their competition, as I already had similar patterns to the skirt and dress and wanted to try something new. The pattern was a 60s blouse number 1364, and is available here

(I know I need my fringe cutting, but I still can actually see)

I chose to make my top out of this pear print fabric from 1st For Fabric (of course!). I don't actually like pears, but I really liked this fabric and think it works well for this garment. I also really love the colours!

Front of blouse

Back of blouse
Zip down the centre back
At first, I was unsure about the finished top, but it's definitely growing on me. I think it was because it's quite boxy in shape, and I'm quite small, so I felt like it swamped me a bit. The pattern itself was very easy to follow and I finished the top quite quickly after cutting the pieces out. The only slightly tricky step was the very small hem, which took a while to press and measure correctly.

I only have one exam left for my AS levels, so will have much more time for blogging once the 4th June has been and gone. I've planned outfit posts, photography posts, a book review and I'll also be sharing the Audrey Hepburn 'Sabrina' I'm making, for the 40th birthday party my family have been invited too. 

Until next time, 

Holly Olivia x

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Art sketchbook

I was planning on finally putting up my post for the Simplicity blogger challenge I'm taking part in up today, however the weather was absolutely awful and I didn't have enough time to take photos so that'll be up next week instead. I really enjoy a nosy into people's sketchbooks, journals and scrapbooks so I thought I'd share the drawings and paintings I have done in the art sketchbook I do in my spare time. 

I ripped up vintage maps to make a sort-of title page for my book, which is from Wilkinson's and available here 

I made a collage out of film camera photos which went wrong, inspired by something I found on Pinterest and attempted to draw with my eyes closed.  (Shan't be trying that again)

Biro sketch of one of the angel statues from the graveyard near college. I drew it from one of the photos I took when we went there with AS photography. I know that my hand drawings desperately need work. Butterfly drawn on a vintage map. I focused on insects for part of my GCSE art coursework.

Ink sketches of shells I found on the beach. Pens are one of my preferred mediums to work with when drawing. Watercolour 'illusion' painting I got inspiration for from Pinterest.

I bought palette knives from the Works and trialed painting a portrait with them. I like the effect, even though it's slightly terrifying. And to the right is when the Egon Schiele obsession started....

More Schiele watercolours

When you can't draw faces well, cover the people's heads with a plant! I did 'plant head people' drawings for my GCSE art exam and they are still one of the best ideas I've ever had.(So no copying!)

Unfinished Schiele watercolour. I need to add more shading with paint and pencils.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I've been wanting to do something like this for ages but kept forgetting! Hopefully I'll do another post like this showing my scrapbook, once I figure out the best method for scanning the A4 book.
I often pin art ideas here.

Until next time, 

Holly Olivia x

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Self Love/'Me Time'

Giving yourself some 'me time' is very important, especially around this time of the year with exams and deadlines looming. Self love is also very important, and goes hand-in-hand with 'me time'. You need to try and find time to pamper/treat yourself, and below are some of the ways I like to do that.

1. Have a relaxing bath and pamper session

There is nothing like a hot bubble bath to help you unwind, and it's also a good time to apply face/hair masks. I use the Canaan face mask, which I originally bought at TK Maxx, but you can buy it here. It always leaves my skin feeling really soft and much healthier. I also love to look after my lips, I use the Lush lip scrub (Christmas edition!) to remove dead skin cells and just use Vaseline Lip Therapy to moisturize. 

2. Treat yourself to some snacks

I really love eating, and one of my favourite treats are macarons. They are pretty difficult to make yourself but they sell them at Marks and Spencer and various bakeries. I got mine from Tynemouth Food Festival at the weekend, from Le Mini Macaron. In terms of flavours, I went for salted caramel, lemon and thyme and rhubarb. If you're ever in France (or from France)Ladurée  sell amazing macarons and their shops are laid out beautifully. I've also been drinking a lot of 
smoothies recently and love this one from Suzie's blog Hello October, made with mint and chocolate. I never liked the idea of spinach in a drink, but that recipe has completely converted me- you can't even taste it! 

3. Get into some cosy pyjamas/clothes

If I could wear my pyjamas forever then I would. I buy most of mine from Primark, like the ones above. If you don't wear pyjamas then throw on whatever you feel comfortable in. 

4. Treat yourself to flowers (or pick some from your garden)

Flowers look beautiful, smell amazing and can really brighten up your room. I picked these from my garden today and put them in these really cute Laura Ashley milk bottle-style vases I got for Christmas the other year. Alternatively, you can buy bunches of flowers for a few pounds at supermarkets or florists. 

5. Read a good book or watch a film 

I've been trying to get into reading more but, by the time I settle into bed with a book, I'm usually too tired to read it. Some of my all-time favourite books are:
  • Paul Merton's autobiography- Only When I laugh. It's incredibly funny and interesting to read.
  • A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book- I've loved the ABM blog for years and this book is full of so many lovely photographic ideas and tips. I come back to it time and time again for inspiration.
  • Grayson Perry- Playing to the Gallery. I love Grayson Perry's artwork and bought this book when I visited the Baltic a couple of months ago. It is very funny and explains a lot about the history of art and how he became an artist. (Review coming soon!)
  • Bad Girls Don't Die by Katie Alender. A young adult ghost story, which I have read more times than I can remember and still adore. I haven't heard of many people who have read it but it is such a good book. 
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. A re-telling of the classic Austen novel which always makes me laugh and who doesn't love zombies?
  • #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. I have only just started reading this but have heard so many good things about it and love it so far. If you enjoy reading about independent, feminist business women then you'll love the story of how Amoruso started her own, highly successful company. 
  • How to be Parisian: Wherever You Are. This has had many mixed reviews online but I loved it! It has tips on love, style and some amazing French recipes in it. Not to mention, beautiful photographs and illustrations. 

I probably spend a bit too much time watching films. (We're all guilty of it) Here are some of my favourites:

  • Howl's Moving Castle- one of my favourite Ghibli films. The storyline and animation are brilliant, and Wizard Howl is a bit of an anime-babe. 
  • Monsters Inc- I grew up watching this movie and was so happy when they brought out Monsters University the other year. (Although this is much better)
  • Mulan- The best Disney movie of all time, hands down. I often listen to 'I'll make a man out of you' on Spotify. 
  • My Neighbour Totoro- probably one of the most famous Ghibli movies, it is so cute and I may have accidentally amounted a collection of Totoro plushes....
  • X-Men Days of Future Past- I got this for Christmas last year and it was SO good. I love Marvel movies in general, and love X-Men but this was one of my favourites in the X-Men series. 
  • The whole Iron Man trilogy- RDJ what more do I need to say?
  • The Wizard of Oz- a classic sing-along movie. I often wish I lived in the Emerald City. 
  • The Breakfast Club- When I was ill last year, I watched this nearly every week. It is one of my favourite 80s films and always makes me cry a bit. 
  • Some Like It Hot- One of the funniest films I have ever watched. Even thinking about it makes me chuckle. 
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's- Audrey Hepburn is a huge style and life icon for me. She was an amazing actress, mother and charity worker and I love this film, it is so uplifting. 
  • Star Wars Empire Strikes Back (not pictured)- I love Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back is my favourite. I love the battle on Hoth, the relationship between Han and Leia and, most of all, the sassiness of C3PO. I feel him and I were separated at birth. 
  • Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit (not pictured)- Both of these trilogies are stunningly made and, although they are very long films, they will always be some of my all time favourites.
  • Clueless (not pictured)- I'm not one for chick-flicks, I prefer 'nerdy' films, but I love the humour in Clueless, it is another one of the films I watched a lot when I was ill. 
This week is mental health awareness week, so if you suffer from any type of mental illness, take time out from your schedule to try one of these self love methods and to perk yourself up. 

Until next time, 

Holly Olivia x

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Minted.com Wishlist

Minted.com is a website which sells personalized gifts, fabrics and art prints by independent designers and artists. I've been browsing their site recently and have found loads of things which I would love to buy!

I really love this 'New Waves fabric' by designer Jennifer Morehead! I think it'd make a really nice A-line skirt to wear in Summer and the print reminds me of the beautiful floor tiles you get in places like Spain. I also like the colours in the pattern, which I think would go with a lot of clothing!

I really love this print entitled 'On Moth's Wings' by Lauren Blair. I find insects really interesting and beautiful, I even did focused part of my GCSE art coursework on them! I think this might be a screen print, which explains the quite simplistic design and blocks of colour, but it works for me. It would look lovely in a rough-cut wooden frame on my 'gallery wall'.

I also love this fabric by Kaydi Bishop called 'Mod Cubes fabric'. I think I would use it for the same thing as the previous fabric, and I love the watercolour affect to the pattern as well as how 'hand-drawn' it looks. I'm going on holiday to France in the Summer and can imagine myself wearing a skirt from this fabric with a plain top, sandals and a floppy hat! 

This notebook would be perfect for writing, and sticking, my gluten free recipes into. I don't have a book which is specifically for gluten free recipes I've cut out of magazines and newspapers and I love how it can be personalized with your name! I also really like the pear drawing on the front, as it matches the books purpose as well as looking cute. 

I love this art print entitled 'Down Under The Brooklyn Bridge' by artist JaxRobyn. I love the colours and minimalist feel it has. I also really like the idea of the almost 'bokeh' imagery, which reminds me of the photographs by Saul Leiter. 

You can check out the website here- I'm sure you will find something you love! Their new art collection features loads of beautiful pieces and can be viewed here. 

Until next time, 

Holly Olivia x