Thursday, 28 July 2011

Birthday Menu

This week has been fairly busy, in a good way! Work has picked up considerably and I have been super busy which is all very exciting!

In between, I have been making birthday plans, easier said than done. I shall have a nice meal with my family tomorrow evening, home-made burgers are on the menu, followed by some cocktails with friends. Then, off into the night to see an acoustic singer and maybe some more fun later on.

The celebrations will continue the next weekend with Second Hand Junkie, but more on that later..

For some celebratory foodie inspiration I head over to What Katie Ate.. possibly the most attractive foodie blog around, and flick through old copies of Sainsbury's magazines and paya lot of attention to what Jamie Oliver has to say...

(Pictures taken from a fairly recent Jamie Oliver supplement. Hmmm, I wonder if this post would have been better suited on Girls who like to Gorge...)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Muted Colours and Happy Faces..

- with a dash of cool kitsch at it's very best!

I love Matte Stephens work! It makes me think of stylish people, buzzing through cities, drinking cocktails and using type-writers instead of computers (here comes that nostalgia thing again...) I love the1950s influence..

I had to restrain myself from posting everything he's created, but I settled on these images, a few very nice city scenes and some characters waiting for a bus and partying at the end of a long day...

Greenwich Village

Meeting to feed the birds:
New Orleans,
Stopping for Directions in Paris:
Waiting Again:
Everything here is from Matte Stephens blog. It's all linked up!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Friday Favourite - Birthday Thoughts

My 22nd birthday is in exactly a weeks time.
I am quite looking forward to celebrating.

If I had a house to myself I would love to cook up some good food for everyone and have lots of fancy cocktails at home before playing some games and maybe heading into the night.
As it stands, the weather is not looking in my favour and so my garden party dreams will have to put on hold, (perhaps next year.)

I have a friend whose mother throws a fantastic barbecue in her garden every year, miraculously, the weather is always fine. The house fills up with people of different generations and the adults bustle around and chat over beer whilst the children run beneath feet and under tables. Three generation of women put on a delicious spread, we play games and everyone leaves extremely happy..and full!

Of course, my dream senario would be to cook up a medieval feast for my guests to gorge on, drink bottles of champagne and be debauched and merry - very Marie Antoinette.

(The photos are of the feast I have always dreamed of - taken from the July issue of House and Garden.)
I shall let you know how my celebrations end up going down...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The Illusionist (2010)

I watched 'The Illusionist' by Jerome Seydoux for the first time last Autumn. It struck a chord with me and I fell in love with it.. I got the DVD recently..

Each frame is perfect and it draws such an achingly nostalgic and heartbreakingly romantic film. The depiction of Edinburgh makes me yearn to go there, the landscapes remind of how beautiful Britain is and the images of London invite huge feelings of longing... Ah, yes. I could gush for hours...
But, one more thing, the way Jerome Seydoux depicts light is stunning. From the bright flickering of a neon sign, to street lights glowing through thrashing rain and the slow ebb of a candle..

Seriously, I could go on for hours and hours about the beauty of this film and the hows and whats of why I love it so much. I would post every frame if I could. This may even flow into a few more posts over time because these aren't even half of my favourite shots..

I think it just reveals my ever-present love of nostaglia and melancholy. AHHH.

(All images have been taken from Jerome Seydoux's The Illusionist, hit them to see them in more detail. So long as no one minds, I plan to post more screen grabs in time.. since this is so stunning.)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

English Summer-time

The dull weather in England today has made me feel all melancholic and uninspired.

The grey skies we have been experiencing for the past week are not what I want for during mid July. I want balmy evenings with glasses of rose in hand and lazy days full of picnics and nights filled with stars...

For now, I shall dream of the September break to Spain which I have booked with my parents and I'll seriously consider booking a holiday with some of my favourite girls...

On the positive side, I have been enjoying being busy at work, and the lack of sunshine means I can get on with it without worrying about missing out on sunshine!

How are spending these days of all too typical days of British summer-time?

(The first picture is a scan of an old music book cover I found in a charity shop. The second is of my very own garden, which is currently begging people to spend time and enjoy it, to no avail!)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sunday Evening As Usual

Rodger McGough is my new favourite. I heard him do an interview with Jarvis Cocker for the Sunday Service.

This weekend has been a funny one, after a heart stopping shock to the system on Friday I have recovered well, although am now equipped with a new outlook. I was in danger of slipping into unawareness before... but the joult has pulled me down to the ground. A new wave of determination and clarity. And happiness.

This little extract is pretty much perfect..

Extract from a Fine Romance by Rodger McGough

Excuse me darling, in advance
for the slow, macabre dance
I may one day lead you into.

Holding you too tight for comfort
and whispering endearments,
if I should call you by another's name,
a lover's perhaps, from years ago,
don't be startled. It's just a slip
of the moonlight.

(Pictures are from, you guessed it, Tumblr.)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

July Interview with SPRING GREENS

I first came across Catherine, aka Spring Greens a year or so back after one of her tweets was retweeted by 'RiverCottageHQ.' I immediately followed.

Ever since, her twitter feed and tumblr blog have become two of my favourite online reads and she has become my best online friend who I have never actually met. I knew an interview with her would be perfect for July, so here we go. You will find her inspiring, and very cool..(excuse the major gushing!)

1.) How do you start your day?
I would love to say I begin the day with a mug of hot water and lemon and gracefully get on with the day, but this would be a lie. If our Springer Spaniel's early morning vocal tuning hasn't already stirred me, it usually involves me hastily diminishing the sound of my alarm clock immediately and ensuring when exiting the house that I don't have jam splodged anywhere on me. When Autumn comes I tend to listen to Classical FM in the morning, but during the warmer months I just swing my bedroom window open and allow the early morning lawnmowing enthusiasts work their magic on waking me up. A strong cup of tea with a dash of milk also helps a great deal whilst I check any emails that may have come overnight.

2.) What/who inspires you?
I think a lot of people have an idol, someone whom they've always admired throughout their lives and who they continuously look up to which is fantastic. However, I can't seem to specifically pinpoint someone or something in particular. It's such a cliche to say so, but I try to take inspiration from anyone, anything and any experience I come across and try to learn and tease out positives from them. My closest family are undoubtedly the most inspirational and I'm very lucky to have close friends that are creatively very talented so to be advised and encouraged by them on a daily basis of course inspires me. The designer and ceramicist Lucie Rie is a pivotal figure of inspiration for me too.

I've recently started having singing lessons and my teacher has to be one of the most comical women I have come across so far and she has this kind of infectious positive way of looking at things, for someone who's quite naturally pessimistic like myself, it's wonderful because I'm left brimming with confidence after seeing her. To have that kind of positive lasting effect on someone is something I'm sure a lot of people aspire to have. Not to come across as a severe feminist, but a lot of the most inspirational figures that I have had the pleasure of meeting have all been women. From the eccentric school teachers and the fabuously chic French art college tutor I had, to one particular strong minded comical boss I have worked for and who is now a good friend of mine. I hope to meet more!

3.) Your guilty pleasure?
I probably have a great number of these and when I first read this question a snapshot from Amelie sprung in to my head of Audrey Tautou plunging her hand into a giant bag of grain. Unlike Amelie, my guilty pleasures are probably a lot like other peoples, one of which is people watching. I bask in this, if a particular character catches my eye I try to speedily write down what it was that stood out as I'm not very good at sketching people. I also like to conjure up a plot of their life, I've done it for as long as I can remember. Another guilty pleasure which I probably shouldn't own up to on the internet, is my giant crush on Alan Davies. I can't quite work out if it's the tight curls and floral shirts or the slight lisp. Either way, to a lot of people's dismay, I think he's lovely.

4.) How do you unwind?
I actually bake or cook to unwind, where as some people may take long hot baths or go for a jog to let off some steam, I get cookbooks out by Tessa Kiros and of course the indulgent Nigella Lawson. The Guillemots are usually playing in the background and a glass of wine is usually in hand too. Depending on how the day's been and what time of the week it is, I usually catch up with the weekend newspaper magazine that I've only just got hold of or the latest book by my bed. I'm currently flicking between Another View by Rosamunde Pitcher & Any Human Heart by William Boyd. My blog is a huge means of unwinding also, it tends to reflect my love for architecture and interior design (along with some handsome looking men!) which in turn provides enough fantasising and escapism for me.

5.) Plans for the summer?
Hopefully I'm going to make my way through the list of places I'd like to visit, one of them got ticked off the list a week or so ago when I visited Snowshill Lavender Farm with my mum. Plenty of trips to the North Devon and Dorset coasts will I'm sure occur amid working. My dad's also doing his best to teach me to sail, it sounds a lot more glamorous than it is! I'm yet to capsize and to learn how to 'right' which I'm sure will be a telling moment. I'm going to see James Rhodes perform soon which I'm really looking forward to & to a friend's wedding later this monthwhich will be much cause for celebration. Other than that, I'm just going to enjoy the summer months before the long nights draw in.

6.) Your best piece of advice?
Everyone says this, but you do have to do what makes you happy. People go through significant periods in their life that make this statement hold a lot more prominence. This statement gets dished out left right and centre a lot of the time and as my mum said to me once, 'it's not doing cart-wheels of happiness, it's contentment and fulfillment' and to me, that is happiness. Don't be afraid to make mistakes or not to get things right the first time round. I haven't read about or met anyone worth knowing that has got things right instantaneously. It's the mishaps and the hiccups along the way that make the final story of success worth hearing about.

(Most photos are from Spring Greens, a small few are linked otherwise.)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Lykke Li

'Youth knows No Pain...'

I love this girl - I saw her a couple of years ago at a festival and have continued to fall head over heels with her and her music. Her most recent album has a melancholy undercurrent which I also quite like.

She exudes that cool and aloof persona which I wholly admire. She dresses like a beautiful Scandinavian Bohemian - lots of (fake) fur, CND necklaces and dark eye-make up. Tres, tres cool.

I couldn't choose which video to post, because she looks so awesome-ly tribal and sexy in 'Get Some.' But the video for 'Sadness is a Blessing' is the one I've posted, because it matches the sorrow and melancholy of the song so very well, not to mention it's tinge of the irony, which is well placed.

(Photos from Lykke Li website.)

Monday, 11 July 2011

Clarins Skin Care

Upon Second Hand Junkie's best advice a month or two ago, I decided to invest in some decent beauty products, or more specifically Clarins beauty products. I sought advice from a number or beauty counters, and was met with the same scalding when I explained how my skincare routine usually involved soap and water followed by a good dousing of moisturiser.

I discovered that my skin wasn't actually dry, as I had come to suspect over the past few years, but that I had made it dry with the relentless soap cleaning!

I have been using Clarins cleanser and toner for about a month now and have noticed a vast difference. Their stuff is pricey, but I can now afford the luxury of not wearing foundation at all times. It's great.

I have learnt a few tips from my Clarins lady, here are some:

1. Use toner after cleansing, it shrinks pores and prepares your skin for your moisturiser so it actually sinks in. (After reading a magazine article when I was a teenager about the importance of toner being a beauty myth, I had always bypassed it.)

2. ALWAYS, ALWAYS cleanse your face properly before going to bed - no matter how late it is and how drunk you are. (You will be thankful come the morning!)

3. Use cool water to cleanse your face in the morning as it will wake you up, and warm water in the evening to relax your face.

Another victim of beauty industry marketing, perhaps. (Clarins really do have their marketing down; what with their free gifts, samples and friendly beauty counter gals.) - but I actually like the luxury of using nice products everyday and having a meditative skincare routine makes me feel more relaxed.

(Photos are my own!)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Another Musical Friday Favourite

Benjamin Francis Leftwich - 'Pictures.'

This song is beautiful. Perhaps a bit melancholic, but perfect for mild nights with summer flings ♥

Make sure you give it a listen, you will be captivated. I promise.
The video is also very cool - I love some of the bedraggled interiors, not all dissimilar from those featured in the 'Edge of Love.'

"If you are afraid don't be.. I have the whole thing planned. We'll start in the ocean, baby when we find the land we will be thankful to all friends - that they didn't leave us as we got to the end..."

(Photo taken from Benjamin Francis Leftwich's website.)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Elizabeth and James Autumn 11

I know it's not the time to be talking about winter clothes, but I absolutely adore this Elizabeth and James Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. I think it has a lot to do with the English weather - after a typical day of intermittent rain showers and mild temperatures I can't help but crave the cozy.

Every item looks incredibly well cut the colours are perfect for autumn and those fabrics look pretty darn special. Really though, I think it all speaks for itself.. it's all been styled very well too. And, I actually find this look a bit sexy (I'm not one for the overt.)

Probably perfect, perfect lounge wear - which also fits in very well with my freelancer look!

(News of this collection came to me via Olsens Anonymous. Hit the pictures to see them much bigger!)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Good Advice

Just a few words of advice which I thought were quite nice..

I have no idea who the author / artist / designer behind this is.. so if you have any clues, please do enlighten me as I would love to credit them and see more of their work.
Enjoy this glorious Tuesday!

(Found on Tumblr.)

Monday, 4 July 2011

Cath Kidston Stuff..

A few weeks ago I bought a rather pretty Cath Kidston case for my prized BlackBerry. When I realised that using my BlackBerry became infinitely more fun with its new case, I quickly sought out a similar one for my camera...

Having loved Cath Kidston for a very long time (my most favourite possession is my Cath Kidston DAB radio, an18th birthday present and possibly the best gift I shall ever receive,) there is already a fairly healthy selection of Cath Kidston wares in our home.
But, right now I am a little bit obsessed and I desperately desire a pair of Cath Kidston PJ bottoms, luckily for me, there is currently a sale on!

(First two photos are my own, last two are from Cath Kidston Catalogue, May 2011. See my other Cath Kidston posts here & here)

Friday, 1 July 2011

Lovely Friday Favourite

I have been listening to this song on repeat for the last few weeks - it's perfect for relaxed summers evenings.
The video is really cool too, very nice animation.

'Everybody knows your name, but I will sing it just the same..' mmm.