Monday, 30 March 2015

A little taste of what I get up to at pottery...

I thought I'd introduce you to something that's been part of my life for as long as I can remember: pottery. I used to go up to my mum's friend's studio when I was a baby, and since then our house has gradually become filled with ceramics. Last summer I properly started going again, and I thought I'd show you a step-by-step coil pot I made. 

When I first started making this, the other ladies (mainly middle aged) were asking what I was making and they all laughed at me when I said a pot for my hairbrushes. The main question being "how many do you have!?" As you can see from the final pictures: it's definitely needed!

Step-by-step Coil Pot

1. I started by preparing my coils. We have this awesome tool that's basically a huge garlic press. You put clay in, you push down the handle and coils come out. Simples. I call it the pushy thing or sausage maker but apparently it's technical term is an extruder.

2. I rolled out a flat bit of clay to make the bottom of the pot. You can do this by coiling your coils but I'm lazy.

3. Next I attached my coils. I had to scour the coils and the bottom of the pot so the slip (wet clay) can grip at attach them securely.

4. Once I'd built up the walls of my pot I smoothed the insdide with a wooden tool to make sure the coils are really stuck together and give a smooth finish. I left the outside because I like the texture of the coils.

5. Once the pot had dried a bit I smoothed off the edges and tidied it up. Then I let it dry a bit more so it could be fired in the kiln - in what's called a biscuit firing. (Sadly no biscuits are involved) This is what it's like after being fired: your classic terracotta pot:

6. But a plain pot is boring, right? I glazed the inside with a plain white glaze and the outside with Clover on the top and Green Reflections on the bottom.

7. Then that had to be fired again (at a higher temperature this time) to bring out the colour and shineyness of the glaze.

8. The finished product. As you can see there's a huge difference in colour once the glaze has been fired. The finish isn't as great as I'd have liked because it was so awkward to apply the glaze evenly between the coils!

Aaaand here's the pot fulfilling it's purpose. My hairbrushes really did need a home!


What do you think? Has anyone else tried pottery?
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Friday, 20 March 2015

The Body Shop haul & review

When I went to Bangor last week I couldn't resist going round the shops - sorry spending ban!

 I picked up a couple of skirts from H&M - my excuses for this are: one was in the sale and would be good for work/interviews/smart occasions and the other is a really versatile little number that can be dressed up or down and I needed (really, Hannah?) some skirts that weren't skater style.

I also picked up 3 statement necklaces because Helen's instagram feed made me do it (honest, guv'). I do love them! They're so sparkly! They're from H&M & New Look.

Anyways... you read Body Shop haul in the title and that is what you shall get. I say haul, its only 3 things because it was 3 for 2 and I don't have lots of money (unfortunately).

I got the Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in 01 Light, the Colour Crush Lipstick in 225 - Blushing Pink, and the Concealer in 03.

I'll start with the lipstick & concealer, mainly because I photographed them together. My first issue with these is the packaging. Oh my days. The picture below is them half open. That plastic stuff is impossible to get off. Don't let the perforations fool you, my nails were ruined!

You'll be pleased to hear I did eventually get in. They are worth the effort but I'm not gonna lie, Body Shop people, I don't want to wrestle with my cosmetics. Lose the plastic.

I really like the concealer because it is a giant pencil, I think thats influenced by my inner stationery lover. I also like the really shiny bit of the base of the lipstick. As  I mentioned earlier, I like sparkly things. Look at the gleam on it!

Firstly, then, the lipstick. I saw this colour in the shop and fell in love with  it immediately. Its such a good colour! Its just the right shade of pink.

What do you reckon? I can't get over how much I like this lipstick. The consistency is creamy and it lasts quite a while, too.

Now the concealer - I don't know how much there is to say about concealer, really. While swatching these in the shop I went for darker than normal because the lighter shades seemed more yellow toned, and this was more pinky? I don't know if that makes any sense but that's my reasons for buying it. It covers blemishes and blends well. The picture below is just straight on on the left, and blended on the right.

I've filmed a review of the BB cream, because I'm all fancy and that. It does say on the bottle "instantly spotless looking skin" so I filmed it on a day where my skin was definitely not spotless so I could see if it really worked. See the results here. I can't seem to get the video itself into this post, I've tried everything! So you'll just have to click that link.

What do you think of my haul? Have you tried any of the products I've bought? Any statement necklace fans out there?

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Spring Sunshine

Yesterday we had a very welcome warm, sunny day. The kind that reminds you that winter doesn't actually last forever! I still needed a coat, but it was lovely to be reunited with the sunshine! We went for a walk along the estruary and along the old Roman road (its not actually Roman) which goes along the water's edge - there's bits you can't access at high tide!

We're so incredibly lucky where we live to have views like this on our doorstep, I can't imagine living anywhere that isn't by the coast!

I hope you like these photos! Let me know how you've been making the most of the sunshine  in the comments. As I'm writing this the skies are all grey and there's rain lashing at the windows! Hopefully we'll have more warm weather soon.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

London & #BloggersLoveLFW

After seeing a lot of hype on twitter I managed to get an invite to Bloggers Love Hub's Bloggers Love LFW event in London. I mainly wanted to go so I could meet fellow bloggers that I've been talking to online for a while (namely Ffion from A South Wales Blog, Annie from The Tales of Annie Bean, Frankie from Crazy Blonde Gal and Anne-Sophie from City Cookie). I did manage to meet Ffion and Annie, but unfortunately Frankie couldn't make it and I didn't bump into Anne-Sophie. I always wanted to meet some good brands!!

I set off to London on the early train from home, getting there at around midday. The V&A was top of my to-visit list, and I was hoping to squeeze in a little trip to Somerset House afterwards.

The Entrance
 I'd been wanting to visit the V&A for a long time, and after seeing Rosie's post about the Wedding Dresses exhibiton last year, I wanted to go even more! Unfortunately you're not allowed to take photos in the Wedding Dress exhibition, so have a look at Rosie's post (she went to the press release) and the website for an idea of what it's like. I've just noticed on the website that the exhibtion ends on the 15th of March - you have 5 days, get your skates on!! I particularly loved Kate Moss's dress!

Ceramic inspiration
 I also wanted to go round the ceramics section, which was way up on the 6th floor and I had to ask for directions just to get to the lift! Because I do a bit of amateur pottery, I wanted to see a bit of history of ceramics and get some inspiration. It worked! Its a shame this amazing museum is SO far away, and I didn't have more time, there's tonnes more to see!

After leaving the V&A I wanted to walk to Somerset House, or at least find a tube station to get me there, but I walked past this small, insignificant little shop...

... and I couldn't not go in! Sorry Somerset House, maybe next Fashion Week? I spent a long time in Harrods. It was funny after walking round the history of fashion at the V&A and then seeing the very latest on display here. I was casually browsing the £2,000+ gowns! I bought some tea in a Harrods tin as a souvenir, and treated myself to a Cath Kidston cosmetics bag.

I got changed in Harrods toilets into my outfit for the Bloggers Love LFW event - it was supposedly Gossip Girl themed and I'd done loads of research into what to wear but when I got there I needn't have bothered. Firstly there was nowhere to put my coat and bag so no-one saw my outfit anyway, and everyone else was dressed in whatever they liked - there was no obvious theme!

It was so so so busy in there, as you might have already read. I met the lovely Sam in the queue and we bonded and we'd both come on our own. I bumped into Annie and Ffion pretty much as soon as I walked in but quickly lost them in the crowds.

Ffion, Me & Sam (photo courtesy of Ffion)

inside the Hoxton Arches
 The amount of people made it really difficult to get to the brands and speak to them which was a shame. It did seem quite poorly organised! One brand I did speak to were the lovely people from Sniffy Wiffy. They make absolutely gorgeous smelling hand cream and shower creams, and with the mission to raise awareness of breast and testicular cancers - they donate a portion from each product sold to CoppaFeel and Ball Boys charities. A truly lovely brand!! My favourite was the Hibiscus & Rhubarb hand cream, but they all smelled divine!

Sniffy Wiffy's lovely products - you can see their "check yourself" labels on the left.
I bumped into Rasida in the crowds and we got chatting, it turned out we were both going home in the same direction so we went to get the train together. This went well until we realised we were on the wrong train! And we'd told another lady it was the right train so we were all in the wrong place. Eventually we got the right train and I made it back to my friend Meg's flat.

Rasida and I mid-train-debacle

A long and tiring but enjoyable day in the big smoke, (and the first time there by myself!) I hope to go back soon!

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Saturday, 7 March 2015

Catch up!

Hi! Remember me?

February was a mad busy month, I travelled to Cardiff, Bristol, London and Bangor, my laptop was sent away for repairs and I joined a Youtube collaboration channel.. all in all, not leaving me a lot of time to write something on this little old blog!

So here I am, again, at last! This post is just to keep you updated... in the line up for the next week there'll be a post all about London and the Bloggers Love Hub event, a book review, and maybe even a haul post if you're lucky (can you guess I failed at the spending ban? :/)

For now here's some pictures from the last few weeks adventures!

I went to Plymouth at the end of January

Sunset in Aberystwyth, early Feb

The bar at my local cinema - its independant and it's awesome - more to come!

The Victorian and Albert Museum, London - a taster of my next post!

Thank you for patiently hanging around - I promise exciting content to come!

In the meantime have a look at the Elysian channel and follow @ElysianYT on twitter! Ffion, Ness and I have been busy!
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