What is it about everyone loving all things flashy and plastic?! Well not all of us are obsessed with Madonna style festival glam (or maybe a bit) but I do think there is something refined about walking down your local high street wearing a piece that no one else has or can copy.

My obsession with vintage began a long while back. I have always had an obsession with the past. My favourite music is anything older than 20 years and my favourite films Grease and Dirty Dancing (the latter of which came out the year I was born!!!) so it stands to reason I would prefer the fashion or some of it maybe.

I can give you a million reasons for this, most of them no more than personal tastes, but the quality is something else. They don’t make them like they once did. I mean let’s be fair; they have lasted this long. They will last for decades more and I love them!

Here are some of my favourite vintage brooches picked up from the likes of Portobello Market and vintage fairs.

I like the fact that they don’t look inexpensive but they might have slight imperfections which not only makes them more unique but gives them a retro edge which I really like.

I prefer brooches and vintage items in general that evoke the late 1800s to the 1930’s which covers the Art Nouveau, Edwardian and Art Deco periods. This is because of the elaborate and stylised nature of these pieces.

The Edwardian style pieces that I have, as you can see, are the blue jewel bar style brooch and the gold bar with opaline. The symmetry of the blue gems opposite each other was however more typical of an Art Deco piece.

The free flowing aesthetic of the filigree and purple jewelled brooch makes it a beautiful and simple example of the style of an Art Nouveau piece. I look it would look fantastic as a smaller brooch in amongst a variety of brooches on black.

The more industrial edge that befell the Art Deco period is seen in the pretty silver dress clip with all over clear stones. This is true because of the sharp outer shape. It’s still luxurious but hints at a time which was much more concerned with austerity in post war Britain.

A few of my other brooches incorporate Celtic designs which is quite by accident. I like them because again I believe they are Art Nouveau-esque in style, much simpler than Edwardian styles and not as sharp as Art Deco. There is a harmony and ‘wholeness’ to these circular designs and these would work well on hats or tweed jackets.

Lastly I just wanted to point out the intertwined circle brooch which is reminiscent of the pieces designed by vintage jewellery designer ‘Monet’ who’s influencers included Chanel. This is very Chanel inspired and a perfect simple addition to any outfit.

Brooches can be worn in a variety of ways which I am currently experimenting with i.e. on a hat, pinned to long chains as a necklace, pinned to scarfs or bags, jacket lapels, over jeans pockets, at necklines or collars or even in your hair.

Obviously if they have certain colours its good to match at least one of the colours with another item you are wearing or wear neutral or dark colours and a statement brooch. This can then be the talking point of your ensemble.

What are your favourites?

 

 

In my constant fervent attempts at bettering myself and basically because I love to be busy I constantly throw myself in to new and hopefully exciting projects.

This is just a bit of a ramble on what I am getting up to and what I have been doing.

I recently became social media editor at a fantastic brand called Ann-Celeste London. I met the creative director Celeste at a networking event and it started a few weeks later. It has been really interesting to see what the brand is about and hope to do a good job here. The brand was recently featured in Vogue also which is a massive honour for Celeste so early on. I may harp on about it for a while so best take a look at the brand now to save your ears!

I have also started contributing regularly to two new digital platforms. Be Your Own is an online publishing platform which is designed to inspire and guide women. The new site launches really soon and i’m writing furiously as I type here! Last Weekend is an online magazine which has again recently launched and covers festival news. All of the above are ways in which I can build upon my writing skills whilst doing something I love.

I have also written some guest posts for other blogs and some review posts which will be coming soon. I have reviewed some great books kindly sent to me by Carlton Books which I feature shortly together with some reviews of my own books.

Last week saw me at London Book Fair which is an annual trade show. This was a new experience for me, having spent years in the legal world, and I loved it. I came away with so much – tips, experiences, books, advice, magazines…a photo of Ruby Wax. I will be writing about that shortly too. Check out my Instagram which has loads of photos from the three days I was there (@snappablemusings).

In respect of events and networking I am always on the look out and always hoping to attend or be lucky enough to be invited; and now hopefully get Ann-Celeste an invite! I will be attending the Fashion Show MK SS17 organised by GM events. This is an opportunity for independent fashion designers to showcase their work and I am really looking forward to the same.

Other events I will be heading to this year are the House of Garrard Diamonds event in May which is a bridal fashion event, Be Your Own Magazine’s launch party in December, The London Accessories Show in July, The Homebuilding and Renovating Show next week (as I love interior design and am hoping to redecorate soon!) and hopefully a few others in the pipeline.

I also went to some pop up style vintage events recently where you can grab as many vintage clothes and accessories as you like and pay £15.00 per kilo. Many a vintage item was picked out by me and again I will shortly be showcasing what I bought.

I’ll update you again soon!

 

As Mother’s Day is around the corner I have rounded up a selection of gift ideas which I think are fun and pretty for your mums on this celebratory day.

  1. The Smile Parcel

This one is a fun one as it’s a monthly subscription box which is perfect as it contains a variety of gifts to make you smile. It is close to my heart as the idea behind it is to make someone smile, especially if they have been feeling down or suffer from mental health issues (which I have struggled with).

The contents, where possible, will be from small independent businesses and craftspeople so you can be sure that you will receive some well thought out lovely gifts for mum! You will not know what is in the box until it is received which I think is also fun.

Check out the website www.thesmileparcel.co.uk for more information on these boxes and the different subscription offers. The parcels are £18.00 for a one off parcel.

2. Comtoise Wall Clock in Decorated Tinplate by Studio JOB for Alessi

Alessi is a company who sell beautiful italian designed gifts. They sell a range of kitchenware, homeware and jewellery. I picked out this beautiful clock which is described as being a mixture of industrial and applied arts. I like the colour and the design but it’s so different. It also reminds me of Beauty and the Beast somehow which is particularly relevant at the moment! Check out www.alessi.com for this amazing clock priced at £65.00.

3. Alessi Circus Collection Jars in Glass with Hermetic Lid in Tinplate by Marcel Wanders for Alessi

Again I chose these just because of the cute theme! There are four different sizes and have a look at the site for the different ones but the prices start from £25.00. They are made from silk-screen glass and tin and think they would add a really pretty vintage theme to any kitchen.

4. Cactus Photo Frame in 18/10 Stainless Steel Mirror polished by LPWK and Marta Sansoni for Alessi

This pretty frame is designed by two women who have aptitudes for design, one being an architect and the other being a former meta-designer. By their very careers they seek to form structure and aesthetic focused on redefining a system. I think this has been achieved here in the frame made with laser-cut steel. Check out the site for this one priced at £85.00.

5. Good Things Manuka Honey Radiance Face Mask, Super Facialist Prebiotic Micellar Cleansing Water and Opal London Eyezone Massager

There are lastly three little ones I wanted to throw in as everyone loves a beauty gift or three. I actually bought these from TKMaxx but Good Things and Una Brennan products can be purchased in Boots or Una Brennan products can also be purchased from http://superfacialist.co.uk/

The face mask has clay in which draws out impurities in the skin whilst the manuka honey provides the moisture. I liked the fact that these do not contain the nasties such as parabens, mineral oils or sodium laureth sulphate.

The micellar water is great as an all round gentle cleanser which can be used like my all time favourite Bioderma but slightly cheaper!

Finally, there is the eyezone massager which can be purchased from Amazon or www.findmeagift.co.uk although again I purchased this from TKMaxx. It is a battery operated eye massager which straps around the head like an eye mask and is flicked on by a switch at the bottom. The vibrations seek to massage and tone the delicate eye area. It was only £6.99 from TKMaxx.

Hope you like these!

Note – the photos of Alessi products and The Smile Box are copyrighted to the same and I have not been provided with these products or any payment for mentioning them. I have agreed to mention the same as I liked them.

Penguin at London Zoo

You will notice here that the penguin has a slight halo effect around his head. Most photographers may try to avoid this as it can essentially ruin a nice photograph like taking a photo with the sun directly overhead.

I like to simulate it as much as possible. Why? I guess I like to add an ethereal dreamy quality and I like focus on particular objects or sections.

So here we have a penguin I shot at London Zoo. Adding it is easy on the IPhone. I’d say it’s quite difficult to get it right on a mobile camera as it either looks too blurred or the image focuses and stablises. Use Photoshop or my personal favourite Snapseed for optimal effects.

So here the colours are quite dark but I wanted to add highlight to the stream of water behind for a dynamic feel. The photograph is split into two sections – the texture of the bottom of the ‘tank’ and the top section which is clear. I feel it may cause a harsh divide on inspection but let me know what you think. It’s about creating something different right!?

Finally you will note that there appears to be a halo around the had of the penguin. A lot of people don’t like it as it appears to highlight areas of poor exposure being compensated by an artificial highlight. I added it for contrast to draw attention to the double effect penguin.

My favourite part is the apparent ghost of the penguin which adds a dynamic quality. I also think the grain of the photo makes it look like a painting which again I do like to do.

What do you think?

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Blue Sky at Night?

OK so another critical analysis. This time I hope the photo does the talking. Apologies for the hiatus due to other commitments! Time to get back to what I know best.

This is a photograph I took on my iPhone.

1. The visual aesthetic is good with a clear focus on the sky and other aspects are also in the focus.

2. There is a highlighted section down the centre which immediately draws your attention.

3. There are a mixture of colours in the sky which makes it a lot more interesting to look at then just one key colour. Essentially there is ‘texture’.

4. The line of the sky appears to lead you to the corner where the house is so this means the focus is still on the sky but draws us to other aspects.

5. It brings me back to a time of peace. The photograph was taken in Scotland so it evokes memory and stirs an inner peace.

More to come soon!