Sunday, 29 August 2010

Initial. Part II.

Back in June 2009, my blog entry 'Initial' introduced a batch of vintage heart and oval initial charms I found and turned into necklaces with matching pouches. However, it became a slight frustration to myself and potential buyers when I didn't have the initial they wanted - I probably only had about 10 letter choices out of 26! Now, over a year later, I decided it was time to expand and to sort out the problem with not having all the initials available! So, I recently sourced some tiny 925 sterling silver charms where I am able to produce all the letters of the alphabet and here they are!The original initial charm necklaces were presented in unbleached cotton pouches but to differentiate the two, I decided to present these silver ones in optic white cotton pouches which I made from complete scratch and with the initial printed on nice and bold! They're all currently available here.
I am still looking for other initials I can use and definitely keen on maybe getting wooden or acrylic ones made? The ideas are endless with this...look out for Part III!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Film Review: Thirst.

I had read about this film several months before it was due to be released in the UK and after learning that it was to be directed by Park Chan-Wook who also directed OldBoy (one of the best films ever), I knew this would be one amazing film! However, I missed it at the cinema as I literally found it impossible to find, or it was in for a very short time and I missed it - the very sad problem a lot of foreign films have in the UK - as I have noticed. (I ended up utilising LOVEFiLM's 4 hours of online viewing which is included in my package.)
Thirst is Korean-made and is possibly the most unique vampire film I have ever watched. A kind-hearted priest volunteers to participate in tests that will hopefully find a cure for a killer virus. However, he becomes infected... but survives when he receives a blood transfusion...which in turn is infected with something else and leads on to him becoming a vampire. Now, I realise I am making it sound ridiculously farfetched, but I promise it isn't!! Also, his 'transformation' isn't how you would imagine at all. It was incredibly subtle and really refreshing to not see the typical - nails growing, fangs appearing, eyes changing colour, blemishes disappearing etc ... it was just so real and wasn't instantaneous either.As he survived the virus, many people believed that he had a gift of healing and were keen to attend his church services. He meets his childhood friend who invites him to his home for game nights. He also finds himself becoming attracted to his friend's wife, who asks him for help in getting away from her husband and over-bearing mother-in-law. He is of course ashamed with his new desires - blood, sex etc ... but there is a scene where he drinks from a hospital patient through a tube (like a straw) and I just thought this was so endearing!! He does not want to kill so he steals blood packs from the hospital to keep him going. I loved how he was still the 'kind-hearted' character he was before becoming a vampire as it was just so much more interesting to watch him trying not to sin, instead of going on a rampage!
Anyway, I don't want to talk about the whole film as you just have to watch it...the acting was brilliant, especially the wife...she was super entertaining...especially as she goes through many personality was just so surreal to watch.
I was also very satisfied with the ending which is rare for me to say...a film could be 100% perfect all the way through until it is spoilt by the ending! This is an absolutely must-watch film.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

deviantART: *SteveArgyle

I haven't done a deviantART blog entry in a while now (aiming for at least 2 a month, there is so much talent on the site, it will take me decades to blog about all my favourites!) but here is one I have wanted to do for absolutely ages - *SteveArgyle. I wanted to take my time to look through all his work on his website (tons!) and to also of course, get permission to blog about it all (thank you)! This first one is titled 'Bloodthrone Vampire' and is just absolutely beautiful.While looking through his work, I quickly noticed how much I loved his interpretations of vampires...which was the same way I like to see them as! Female vampires are not overtly sexified, the idea of all vampires having some sort of skill (not just the skill of being able to rip a throat apart!) but like his piece above, I automatically saw her as being some sort of spider/vampire hybrid (love it!)...also, not having ridiculously long fangs (i.e. not too animalistic - although sometimes this is necessary in some characters!)...and I love how she looks like she may belong to a tribe etc etc...I just love seeing the personality of a vampire and not the general stereotype. I guess I see vampires as a type of 'superhero'....
This next piece is called 'Slave of Bolas' which was a possible Desktop wallpaper choice for me (I think that's how I first came across Steve Argyle's work). The colours are striking, I love the whole 'fallen-angel/soldier-being-possessed' notion of it...or maybe whatever is possessing her is leaving? Anyway, as I work in Fashion Design, I am always drawn to the costumes used in artworks and this costume was perfect. A lot of his works depict known characters - many I did not know of so my thoughts about each piece is probably completely different to what it is supposed to mean! I love this character and I would love to see her in more of his work, so it is like a little story! One of his YouTube videos shows the progress of this digital painting, it is amazing to watch: Steve Argyle's Slave of Bolas YouTube video.Next is 'Obsidian Champion' and I initially loved this for the most random reason! OK here goes...I loved how the strap over her left breast has completely distorted it! The reason why I love this is because you WILL NOT BELIEVE the amount of art I have seen where there is a strap used to cover a female characters nipples but the breast is shaped as if she is wearing the most perfect-fitting invisible bra! Male artists seem to love doing this - sometimes two straps are crossed over to cover both!! Is it just me who has noticed this?!! Anyway, I'm not turning my nose up at this at all, I love Fantasy art because anything-goes, but just with this particular piece, her distorted (but completely realistic) breast stood out! Besides that, there are of course several other things I loved about this piece. Her costume is just WOW, especially the headpiece...and like 'Slave of Bolas' (above), I would love to see this character more, particularly in battle! Also, one last thought I had of this piece, she would make a brilliant enemy in the Hellboy films!And lastly, one of my absolute favourites - 'Celestial Mantle'. It has been my Desktop wallpaper for years (that's what it feels like anyway!) and I never had the same wallpaper for more than 2 months until this one. I just never get bored of it. You MUST look at this as the wallpaper to really appreciate the detail. Steve Argyle mentions that he wanted the armour to look like shards of diamond which I would have instantly recognised without reading it anyway. I grew up quite closely with my older brother so I ended up doing a lot of things that he did (or maybe one would call it copying?) such as playing computer games.This armour would be THE ultimate armour to get in a game and how amazing would it look in motion - it could also have its own power, like shooting out shards of diamond, or something like blinding the enemy..OK getting a bit carried away! .... but I think this is the best armour I have ever seen. Although I know I am being biased because it is worn by a female, not sure if I would feel the same way if it was on a male character, although I'm curious how it would look! One last thought about this though, is I wonder how it would also look if she was dark haired? Would the armour look like black diamond because of the reflection?

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory Righteous Butter

To continue with my Soap & Glory beauty reviews, I am now on to the body butter! Firstly, the smell is divine and extremely recognisable (fruity!!)...I don't think I could ever forget the scent. If I didn't have any contact with Soap & Glory products for the next 10 years and I got a whiff of the scent, I would certainly remember it was Soap & Glory!!
I use Johnson's Baby Oil as a body moisturiser (after trying tons of creams and lotions, this oil is by far the best for my body) but I have still wanted to also have a good body butter to use. The Soap & Glory Righteous Butter is fantastic, and is at its best when I use Flake Away in the shower, and as soon as I'm out, to lather on the body butter.The mixture of both scents creates something even better as the body butter on its own (applied a few hours later) can sometimes be a bit sickly - only because it's the sweetest smelling thing I have ever used on my body. On a slightly negative point (but not enough to stop me from using it), the body butter sometimes feels sticky when I don't apply after a shower, I guess it is best when my pores are still 'open'. Nevertheless, it is suggested that the butter is applied on after a shower/bath anyway!!!
Overall, this is a great body butter but the scent may not be to everyone's liking - my mother hates it, but she loves scents like Rose, Lavender, Lemongrass...complete opposites!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Film Review: Star Trek (2009)

Firstly, I really really really wanted to review this film as soon as I had seen it, which was way back on the 8th of May 2009, and also the first UK release date! I went with my boyfriend as he had loved it since he was a child and had also got me interested in it. I was a bit concerned whether I would understand the film or be satisfied with what I could understand... I didn't want to watch it for the sake of watching a good science fiction film, I wanted to see it through the eyes of a Star Trek fan..
Anyway, that obviously wasn't going to happen but I was completely 'into' it and managed to sneak in some quick, whispered questions to my boyfriend whenever I was a bit confused with some of the terminology, and the film was just fantastic! I didn't feel like I was lost on anything that was happening, although I think there was the odd one-liner with reference to the original 1960's Star Trek series, because I occasionally heard laughter when I didn't particularly find anything funny!The opening sequence was stunning and instantly got my attention, it was fast paced and showed Captain Kirk's father risking his life to save hundreds of people on the ship... simultaneously as Captain Kirk was being born elsewhere. The pace never changed throughout the entire film and this kept me completed fixated to the screen.
Eric Bana plays Nero (a Romulan), and like all his films, he was brilliant! My boyfriend wasn't impressed that the 'Romulan' look had changed as they are supposed to look like Vulcans (Spock) i.e with hair! However, I quite liked that they looked different to Vulcans, and it would be easier to differentiate the two races from one another as a viewer.Spock, who is played by Zachary Quinto (Sylar from Heroes) was outstanding, but I never expected anything different. I'd watched the original Spock in one of the episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation (my boyfriend and I had watched the entire series which I need to blog about actually!) so I had a pretty good idea at what the character was like, and Zachary Quinto was just perfect...or dare I say, better.
Nevertheless, I greatly appreciated the appearance of the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy) as it instantly made the film so much more credible. Also, it was great that he wasn't playing Spock's father/grandfather - because that is always so cheesy!- but instead he played future-Spock. On the topic of oldies, I also greatly appreciate the NON-appearance of the original Captain Kirk (William Shatner) as he must be one of the most irritating actors in existence and he would have spoilt this film! Chris Pine did a much better job and his on-screen chemistry with Zachary Quinto was fantastic and very humorous.
I had previously read some negative reviews about the cast being too young in comparison to the original Star Trek... however, I felt that this was an intelligent route to take as it was introducing Star Trek to a new audience/ generation, like myself. I wouldn't change the cast at all.Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura was also great and to me, a very important character. When I watch action films, I feel that there should always be a strong female lead - and not a 'damsel in distress' character because it is so tedious and annoying to watch - almost as annoying as when in Horror films, the female (why is it ALWAYS the female!?!) runs up the stairs to get away from the 'killer' instead of using the front door.
Also, my boyfriend said that Uhura is supposed to kiss Captain Kirk (as it was the first inter-racial kiss on TV at the time), not Spock...I loved this change in the story, not only because it goes against the original, but I felt that they were much better suited and that there was more scope for their relationship to develop. Also, Captain Kirk is portrayed as a womaniser, and if he got together with Uhura it could only go two ways - it is a kiss and that is all or it is a kiss that leads onto a full-on relationship and Captain Kirk becomes committed to it.. both ways being incredibly boring! It is so much more interesting having Uhura in some sort of relationship with Spock who is half Human/Vulcan and Vulcans suppress their emotions (so this kiss is a huge stepping stone for the character)...I hope something exciting happens in the Star Trek sequel! Overall, this film was brilliant and I recommend it to everyone - I hope my review made sense, but I am still learning about all the different races, species etc... there is so much!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Scrub

Following on from my current obsession with the Soap & Glory beauty brand, is their Flake Away Body Scrub. This was one of the first Soap & Glory purchases I made and the photo below is actually of my second tub as the labels from my first are just hanging off (from very frequent use) and doesn't look great! If you haven't worked it out (from the fact I bought a second tub), this body scrub is amazing!I actually had never used a body scrub before...well, possibly some kind of body exfoliant, but nothing memorable as I always relied on my loofah to do the 'scrubbing' and thought that was good enough...until I used Flake Away! I could not believe the difference in my skin, it was baby soft! A little also goes a long way, so for £6.50 per tub this scrub is great! The smell is also lovely which I think is the 'peach seed powder' stated in the ingredients, and it really stays on your skin.
This will probably be the body scrub I use for life now, but because it is the first proper one I have used (and delighted with), I am still keen on trying out others too - will keep you updated!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Triple Book Review: Interview With A Vampire│The Vampire Lestat│Queen Of The Damned.

I mentioned my mass buy of Anne Rice novels 7 months ago and I've been making my way through them faster than I can review! So, I'm doing a triple review to do a bit of catching up starting with the first ever vampire novel she wrote, The Interview with the Vampire. It was better than what I could remember of the film, but then again this was because of the common reason of the book being much more detailed than the film.
As I read through, I couldn't help but put the faces of Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst and Tom Cruise to each of their characters, and was pleased at how wonderfully cast Brad Pitt as Louis and Kirsten Dunst as Claudia were for the was as if they had read the book over and over and over again. However, Tom Cruise as Lestat took a lot more convincing, which is odd as he is probably the one most likely to read the book over and over again...I think I just have to watch the film again, but then again it could just be the appearance, as Lestat is supposed to be in his 20s and 6 feet tall. Also, Antonio Banderas as Armand was completely weird as Armand is supposed to be a 17 year old boy. I really wish films could keep to such simple things when casting!!!! I also felt that the book was written in such a modern way even though (as I later found out) it was published in 1976!
I was bursting to read the next novel 'The Vampire Lestat' as it would be the first one that I know nothing about... so I think I may have read the last couple of chapters in 'Interview with the Vampire' too quickly and didn't digest it as I normally would. However, I am currently on the 7th book (as I write this blog entry) and have already decided to read all the books again once I have finished! - Yes, these books are the best vampire books I have read so far but if you know of any that could match them, please let me know!
After reading 'Interview with the Vampire', which is told from Louis de Pointe du Lac's point of view, you automatically empathize with him and see Lestat as the 'bad guy'. However, in 'The Vampire Lestat' (narrated by Lestat), everything in Louis' story is contradicted in the most humorous way! Lestat makes out as though he was the victim, the innocent one, and it truly is the funniest thing to read. This second novel is exactly what you expect from it and so much more. Lestat takes you through his pre-vampire days and most interestingly - how and who turned him into a vampire. One of the other exciting things to read about was the turning of his first 'fledgling', which was his mother! This was such a great storyline and Anne Rice must be the Queen of Detail because she didn't miss anything! As I recall, there was nothing that I read that made me think how-what-why-where, because Anne Rice answered everything...and if not at that specific time, then certainly at another relevant point in the story. I was always completely satisfied with each book which is such a rarity!
I really loved Lestat as the narrator, I found him hilarious and didn't feel he was the 'bad guy' at all even though he did the most despicable things!...I also thought his personality was like a labyrinth and utterly unpredictable! Anne Rice definitely chose the best character as the lead to her Vampire Chronicles.
There is so much more in this book than I am stating (otherwise this will be a never-ending blog entry!) but I can guarantee that you will not be let down at how rich the story becomes.'The Vampire Lestat' has an amazing cliffhanger and I was extremely relieved that I had the following book to hand 'Queen of the Damned'...otherwise I'm sure I would have gone a bit crazy trying to guess what would happen next!
Now, with 'Queen of the Damned' I knew a bit about the story as I had watched the film starring Aaliyah who plays Queen Akasha and Stuart Townsend plays Lestat, and as I remember, was a much better Lestat than Tom Cruise. In 'The Vampire Lestat', Lestat decided to become a rock star, his music awakens Queen Akasha who has been sat still in a chamber for centuries. You go on to learn that she was the first vampire to be created, and most excitingly, you learn HOW...which takes you back to Ancient Egypt. I got goosebumps reading about this as I don't think I have ever read any other explanation before, and this was just so clever and convincing.
Another aspect of the book that I found mesmerising was the story about the Red-haired Twins (who are powerful witches) which is a huge part of the book but I don't remember it being included in the film at all! Again, another frustration with book-to-film translation. I assume it was left out because it was too complex for the producers to fit into a film under 2 hours long. However the story surrounding the Red-haired Twins was so exciting to read, they could easily have their own film!
This is my favourite book so far as there is so much history to it, although 'The Vampire Lestat' comes a very close second especially as it ties in very closely with 'The Queen of the Damned'.I've tried to keep my reviews as short as possible and without spoiling them, but I hope it's enough to make you want to read the books!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Supper Club: Fernandez & Leluu.

I attended my friend's birthday dinner last month which was a 'Secret Supper Club' by Fernandez & Leluu and although I don't really blog much about food (love it, just not that passionate!), I really enjoyed the evening and wanted to share! The dinner was held at Fernandez & Leluu's home i.e. 'Secret Supper Club' and although I was initially weirded out (I had never heard of a 'supper club' before) with it being held at a stranger's house...then I thought about the hygiene...but then this quickly turned into the notion of it most probably being so much more hygienic then at a restaurant!... my weird feeling about it then swiftly turned into being intrigued by the idea and I was super excited to go!

I was quite keen on seeing the house (love interior design etc), and it was definitely to my taste! There was a strong vintage-cottage aesthetic which was so adorable and as there were about 30 of us, we were seated on separate tables. I thought this would be awkward at first, but then again if we were all seated on one big table, I still wouldn't be able to speak to people on the other end anyway, so it didn't really matter..and actually, it felt like we were in our own little private restaurant! Also, in true dining style, name cards were placed on all the tables...and yes, I do happen to coincidentally share the same name as my long-term muse!First up was Beetroot Dip with Bread. I've never liked beetroot (not sure if I'd ever even had it before??), but when I saw it in 'dip' form and the COLOUR it was, I just had to try it...and my-oh-my I was amazed at how good it tasted. This was so typical of me though, the way food looks would really determine whether I put it into my mouth or not, this has always been a nuisance for my parents since childhood. I despised mushrooms as a child, they just look so ugly but I ate one by accident a few years ago and I have been addicted to them ever since! I really need to stop judging food before taste!
Then there was Feta, Zucchini & Cucumber Salsa with Mint and Parsley which I forgot to take a photo of. It was OK but I'm not a fan of cold food unless it is cereal, dessert etc ... I don't like sandwiches, but I will certainly eat a Subway Meatball Marinara because it's piping hot!
Following on from that dish was Pea Soup with Parmesan & Ham...this looked and tasted YUMMY! (I have to admit that I had already consumed two spoonfuls by the time I took this photo - it looked even better when it was freshly put in front of me!).
After the soup, we were then served Bacon Swirl & Vegetable Terrine which was very nice and easy to eat (sorry no photo, too busy eating).
Below is the Cambodian Steak Salad with Sugar Snap Peas & Chips, this was divine and was consumed pretty quickly!Following the Steak Salad was the Rainbow Trout Soup with Glass Noodles, Pak Choi, Coriander & King Prawn. However, I was really starting to feel the effect of eating so much and I wanted to save the little space left in my stomach for, I had a few sips of the soup (very nice) and handed it over to the Birthday Girl to devour! (She made sure I was sat next to her as she wanted my leftovers!)And lastly, what I was looking forward to the most... dessert! We were served an Upside Down Apple Pie with Rose Cream and this was superb! I don't think it looks great in my photo, but it was truly delicious! I gobbled (classy!) as much as I could before I had to swiftly leave to catch my last train home!
I really enjoyed the evening and would definitely recommend it for people looking to experience a new style of dining. Also, while my friend was arranging the evening, she emailed all the guests asking if we had any allergies or dislikes, so I thought it was great that the menu would cater for us...and the price per head was also excellent for what you were getting.
I can see the whole 'Secret Supper Club' idea really kicking off (unless it already has and I just have no idea about it) as it's a wonderful concept!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory 'No Clogs Allowed' Self Heating Detox Mask.

Some of you may know that I am currently a bit obsessed with the Soap & Glory beauty brand and I am on a mission to try everything they offer!! So far, I have blogged about the Heel Genius Foot Cream and the The Fab Pore 15 minute Facial Peel... but I still have about 5 other products that I still need to review! Today will be about the 'No Clogs Allowed' Self Heating Detox Mask which I have been using for about a month now and I love it! It says it is ideal for greasy skin, but my skin is mainly dry and I find that it still does what I want it to do! I prefer using it in the shower as it can be quite messy (well, it's messy for me!) and all I have to do is apply a generous amount to my face and when I rub it in with wet hands, there is an amazing heating sensation! I love the feeling of it and it's always good when you can feel something working!Afterwards, I used the sponge that is included with the pack to remove the mask. You can use your hands but using the sponge makes it so much easier! My face did feel a bit tight after use (because it is naturally dry I guess?) but as soon as I put some moisturising cream on, my skin felt amazingly smooth. I could hardly see my pores and my skin felt super polished!
Although I thought The Fab Pore 15 minute Facial Peel was great, I don't think I need to have that as well as the Detox Mask, and I definitely prefer the latter... the self-heating has definitely won me over! I highly recommend it and again, the price is a bargain at £10 as you will only be using this about twice a week.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Vintage at Goodwood 2010.

I attended the Vintage at Goodwood Festival yesterday in Chichester with work colleagues and even though it rained, I had an amazing time! Vintage at Goodwood "is the first of what will be an annual music and fashion led celebration of creative British cool from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, featuring the leading DJs, bands, collectors, purveyors of vintage clothing and vintage vinyl from each decade, as well as contemporary bands and brands inspired by Britain's rich creative and cultural heritage."

I'd never been to a festival so I wasn't sure what to expect, and admittedly, I can be slightly high maintenance! However, I went with an open mind and this was definitely my kind of festival! As I entered the main part, there is a 'High Street' section where there are huge decorated boxes (OK they were 'shops' but they looked like boxes!) which housed the brands/labels and I felt like I was in some sort of toy town! The majority of people that attended had also dressed to suit a specific decade, the 50's and 60's seemed to stand out the most and there was so much effort put into it. The shop below is called 'Vintage Emporium' and had the most amazing shop front and contained the cutest items such as printed t-shirts, totes and notebooks.The Dr Martens Store also looked good and they were customising your boots, however I wasn't wearing mine but I'm not sure if I would've got them customised anyway!
There was also an array of vintage cars which I really loved looking at! I never really had much of an interest in cars until 8 years ago when I met my boyfriend and he adored cars. Then when he started working at BMW, it exposed me to a world of luxury cars (he would always have the newest model as his company car) and that really got me excited! At that time, I decided that when I finally got a car, I either wanted a slick BMW or to go the complete opposite (but sticking to the same manufacturer), a convertible Mini Cooper! I still don't have my own car yet (too expensive to have one in London and pointless when there is a huge train network) but to add on my mental list of 'cars I'd like to have', it would definitely be a quirky vintage one now!
The Fortnum & Mason box looked so striking especially with the seating area outside. I've never actually been to Fortnum & Mason in London or really paid attention to it, not sure I even knew what it was now that I think about it?! So after seeing them at Goodwood (I didn't go inside because it started raining and everyone started to seek shelter!) and checking their website out, I will definitely be visiting them soon for some tea and cake!What I loved about the Festival was that everywhere you looked there was always something going on! People playing instruments, people dancing by themselves, people getting their hair was surreal! I especially found the pin-up girls below truly delightful as they strutted in a line through the Festival without a care in the world! I also definitely love the look of a longer-line bathing suit.There was also a vintage-looking cinema that was playing retro films! I didn't have time to sit through one, but I thought it was such a brilliant idea. It also made me think how wonderful it would be if London had it's own, permanent version of the festival. Almost like a retro version of Carnaby Street...The Prince Charles Cinema would also fit perfectly into this street! I just can't believe a Vintage Festival hasn't been done before, it is such a good idea!Again, some more vintage cars! This pale chartreuse one was just beautiful in person, and so was the puce pink one next to it.When we entered the Soul Casino, we ended up going back to it 5 more times! There was a dance floor and the DJs were playing 60s/70s music, all I had never heard of but all sounding amazing! I had previously mentioned how I was currently in a 70s/80s music bubble in a previous blog entry and being in the Soul Casino has reinforced this even more and adding another decade of music to my bubble! It was also the first time I had heard it super loud and in such a genuine 60s/70s environment where everyone looked as though they just walked out of a time machine from the 60s! This room was definitely one of my highlights, I could have stayed for ages!After the 'High Street' part of the festival, there was a row of vintage stores which I loved! The only downside with this though was that the tents were super small therefore making it quite difficult to browse...however, browsing vintage is never easy anyway!Another favourite for me was the Fun Fair! We went on the Waltzers which was hilarious and a lot faster than how it looks! I also went to the Roller Disco (and realised I had forgotten how to skate!) where the Horse Meat Disco set was being played - I'd never heard of HMD but it was definitely my type of music!...and because of this, I must say that the festival was actually very educational!!
There is so much more I could say but it would take over my blog, so I think I will leave it at that for now and just highly recommend it for everyone! It will definitely be THE festival I attend each year now and I will certainly be making more effort with what I wear and will go on ALL the rides such as the Big Wheel and the Helter Skelter! My eyes have truly been opened to the world of retro and I love it. The organisers have done an excellent job for the first one, I was truly impressed and the toilets were much better than what I expected from a festival! The website is also great but needs a bit more work as it is quite difficult to navigate and took me forever to actually find the venue address! I can see next year being even more amazing and will probably triple in size...I'm sure many more companies will want to get involved so I hope that the festival will still stay true to vintage.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


I studied 'Art & Design' pretty much throughout all of my educational years, from Ceramics, Textiles, Painting, Sculpture, Metalwork, Woodwork... even Art History, I did it all! So I've always had a 'thing' about art supplies and equipment as we were constantly pushed to find new ways to create things with. Therefore, I thought I would share one of the best art supply shops in London - Atlantis.I learnt about this store while I was at University studying Fashion Design and some of my classmates were colouring in their fashion illustrations with pens that had a brush on the end...honestly, this was amazing as using watercolours or acrylics was always so messy! Of course, Atlantis was mentioned so I took myself there and was in complete awe of the place!
It had almost everything you would want as an artist and you could easily spend hours (and lots of money) there! Some of it is 'expensive' but as it's more like a warehouse than a retail shop, there are usually discounts with the more you buy - so having a few more extra pens or pencils shouldn't be a problem if you do Art full-time because you go through them so quickly, right?!
Atlantis relocated to a much larger space (Brick Lane) a few months ago and I recently went to check it out. There was certainly a lot more space and as always, I did a lot of shopping! I love the card they offer and the way it is presented makes it so easy to browse.
There was a ton of Fimo (polymer clay), something I want to have a go at in the future and in several different colours and finishes! Then there were pastels, chalks, pencils, and pens in all colours imaginable!I definitely recommend Atlantis for all artists across all possible fields, you will find something you will constantly go back for over and over again! Their website also states that there will be an online store which will be brilliant as going there can sometimes be inconvenient for me!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Restaurant Review: Masala Zone - Covent Garden.

A couple of weeks ago I took my best friend to watch Thriller Live (will blog about this soon) at the Lyric Theatre (for her birthday) in London and the day finished with some Indian food at Masala Zone which is located in Covent Garden - although they have many other branches scattered around London. The unique thing about Masala Zone is that all their restaurants are different! Each restaurant focuses on a certain part of India which is then reflected through the interior design and food.
The Covent Garden restaurant had a focus on Rajasthan where there were several puppets hanging from the ceiling which I thought looked delightful! It was very packed when we arrived, with about 10 people in front of us waiting to be seated. We decided to wait it out as we were already so intent on having Indian for dinner (we're usually very impatient and will leave if there is a hint of a queue!)...but we were then seated within 5 minutes! I later realised that the restaurant was much larger than I thought - and with a downstairs seating area.Apart from the hanging puppets, I really liked the puce pink painted walls and porthole mirrors. Seating was simple, comfortable, and the tables were a generous size (don't you hate when they're teeny tiny?).
In regards to the actual meal, my friend opted for 'thali' which I'd never heard of before but it is "...a large stainless steel platter with an array of small bowls with the focus on vegetables." It looked nice but I decided to go for what I always go for when having an Indian - chicken tikka masala... I know I know, it's so typical!! However, to my horror, they didn't have it?!?! I was shocked because I thought it was a typical Indian dish (or am I just being ignorant?) and also because they were of course called 'Masala Zone'! Anyway, I asked the waiter if they did it (in case I missed it on the menu) but they didn't because of the 'theme' of the restaurant, which was completely understandable! I then asked what the chicken tikka masala equivalent was, and he recommended the 'Butter Chicken', so I went for it!
Our dishes came within 10 minutes (not sure if that is a good or bad thing?!) and I tucked into my Butter Chicken...which looked but tasted nothing like chicken tikka masala - but this is completely my fault, I mean... it's not called chicken tikka masala so why would it be right?! It was nice but maybe too 'bland' for what I wanted from an Indian dish...I guess what I really want from Indian food is an explosion of taste!
I definitely would not get the Butter Chicken again, but highly recommend it for those who prefer milder Indian food. My best friend loved her thali, and I have to admit that it did look interesting, but most of it was cold which is a downside for me as I wouldn't feel satisfied with a meal unless it was piping hot!
Overall, I would definitely go back to Masala Zone, but possibly asking the waiter what the particular branch specialised in, rather than finding an equivalent of what I am used to eating! Pricing is very decent for what you get, I couldn't fault the service one bit, everyone seemed so happy and eager to please but without being over-bearing! We were probably only asked twice if our meals were OK, which was actually done at great timing as we used it as an opportunity to get more drinks (I had the Apple & Pear juice which is delicious!)...but then again they probably timed it for that exact same reason too!
I might take a photo of my future dish next time, but I always think food is so hard to photograph and never looks like how you want it to when you upload it!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Resort 2011. Part VI.

Wow I haven't gone this long without blogging in ages but it's actually because I took a week off work... my first 'holiday' in about two years! So now I'm back, refreshed, and wanted to show you the Christopher Kane Resort 2011 collection which I almost missed!This isn't the first time Christopher Kane has used cosmic digital prints in his collections, and when I saw it in the first couple of pieces, I wasn't sure if I would be as excited by this collection in comparison to all the other ones...but my mind quickly changed!
He was using recognisable prints (which looks to be turning into a signature print?) but he was using them on very exciting shapes! The zip-through-haltered-midi-length dress looked so striking in the red and yellow galaxy print while the babydoll silhouettes and simple waisted dresses with the delicate lace chiffon cape detail was adorable!
I loved how the prints were all quite varied as though I was in a spaceship, drifting through the galaxy and seeing it change all around me (OK, I have seriously been watching too much Star Trek!).
The use of leather was an excellent touch and gave it a bit of a tougher edge, although this was then contradicted by the most amazing shoes I have seen in Resort 2011 so far, those boudoir candyfloss platforms!!!