Wednesday, 29 December 2010

deviantART: =armene

I'm getting much better at frequently doing my deviantART entries now and a few weeks ago, I came across armene. I usually blog about artists I have had saved for quite a while, but armene's photography really blew me away, and that rarely happens when it comes to photography!I think the first piece of my entry was what caught my attention, titled 'Sea Dreams'...I just thought it was such a beautiful, contemporary and clever idea...completed understated and something I would love to have blown up and put on a wall in my home. The next piece called 'Medusa' (I knew it was Medusa influenced before I read the title!) was again, such a clever idea...in fact, a lot of her pieces made me think, 'clever!'.The best and also majority of armene's work is when there is subtle nudity involved, which due to the fact of wanting to keep my blog open for all, I won't be placing here. However, I feel it is completely harmless and should be fine anyway, but I won't take the risk! These pieces are tasteful with plenty of humour, and if you like the pieces I have featured here, you will absolutely love the rest of her work, so be sure to check her gallery out!Armene has definitely helped open my eyes to the world of photography, which has never been something I have completely appreciated, but I definitely am keen on finding more now!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

ASOS Marketplace.

When I first heard about ASOS Marketplace a few months ago, I really felt that it would be one of the most exciting things to happen online this year and I could not wait for it to launch, which happened last month (beta mode). I have been shopping quite a lot on ASOS.COM as I just don't get time to look around in physical stores, so the opportunity to also be able to browse handmade, one-off vintage and independent designer pieces through an extension of the site would be brilliant!From a seller's point of view (I have been selling my own handmade things online for a few years now via Etsy), I saw this as an excellent (additional) platform as not only does the site look very sleek, but it is also very easy to navigate (as it is similar to the main ASOS.com layout ) and I am sure the amount of traffic the site receives will also be a huge bonus! I am also chuffed at it being based in the UK as I can't think of any other UK site that offers this. However, only people in the UK can currently sell (while it is in beta mode and any issues can be dealt with easier than if it was launched worldwide!) but I did read somewhere that it will expand next year.
There are two ways of selling on Marketplace, either as an Individual Seller or a Boutique. To have a Boutique, you need to submit an application and it will cost £50 a month plus commission fees - which is actually a great deal, especially if you do it full-time - just think of the traffic and think of what you would be paying if you had a physical boutique!! The Individual Seller option is for those who may just want to list every now and again (for free!!!) or don't really have a proper 'structure'...so you don't have to pay anything unless you sell something. I'll be opting for this as I'll be offering both my wardrobe clear outs and handmade things... but maybe in the future I will have a Boutique!
It seemed like the Jewellery category was most populated when I first entered the site so I went to have a proper look and was so impressed at the things listed so far! One of the things that ASOS Marketplace asks for (to sell on the site) is that photography is shot 'street style'. I love this idea as not only does it encourage the seller to think about styling (which at the same time helps the buyer!) but everything on the site then looks succinct and easy to browse. This small rule also ensures that things for sale are not shot 'eBay style' where garments are so hard to see or shot in an unappealing way. I love knowing that pretty much everything I browse on Marketplace will be 'on' someone (like the main site) which is also great for judging size. There is also a rating system where people can 'love' items, which also enables buyers to filter by 'most loved'...which again, should encourage great photography and styling! I think this also dictates what it is on the front page etc...
One of the first boutiques that caught my eye is by Susan Caplan who offers vintage jewellery. The photography looked fantastic and gave Marketplace a really great start in first impressions. My screenshot also shows how items are displayed on a page, and as you can see, it is so clean and easy to follow.
Marketplace only currently offers Clothing and Accessories but I do hope that in the future, it becomes more 'lifestyle' and I'll also be able to browse other things like Art, Furniture, Books and Beauty. This site could seriously become huge!
Once I am ready to start listing my own things (I have a lot of clothes I'd love to sell - so I can buy more!), I will type up another blog post to review the listing process!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Secret Santa.

As a Christmas treat from my place of work, my colleagues and I went ice skating at the Natural History Museum (really lovely!) and went for a nice meal. We also did 'Secret Santa' and I received this amazing Paul & Joe lipstick, where it is shaped as a cat's head! I will need to carefully use the back of its head as I wouldn't want to ruin it! The tube is also decorated in a beautiful print on paper. This makes a wonderful gift!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

New Shoes - ASOS TROUBLE.

Yesterday, I received an email from ASOS.COM notifying me of a 'flash sale' they were having between 12-2pm where selected footwear had a 50% discount. I thought I would check it out even though I assumed I wouldn't find anything I liked... until I came across 'TROUBLE' which really stood out amongst a ton of courts! It was originally £110/$174, and was down to £55/£87 which I thought was an absolute bargain!
I have ALWAYS wanted a pair of Vivienne Westwood-esque platforms and these were good enough for me! I literally got them delivered about 2 hours ago (don't you just love Next Day Delivery?) and absolutely love them! I would definitely only wear them with socks, in this case - fishnet. They're quite comfy but admittedly, I am weary about wearing them outside, but I think I just need a little practice! When I opened the box, I kept thinking of Naomi Campbell's iconic fall when she was modelling for Westwood!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory Hand Break.

If you have ever looked through my Hair & Beauty category on my blog, you will notice that I am a little obsessed with the Soap & Glory beauty brand! One of my most recent purchases is their hand care set which I originally bought as a gift...but, I decided to keep it for myself! I know I know, it's a terrible thing to do, but I really really wanted it! It features a classic metal rack which holds Hand Food™ Hydrating Hand Cream 250ml (which I had previously purchased in tube form a few months ago, but I prefer it so much more in a dispenser!) and Wash Your Hands of It™250ml Hand Wash.I already knew that the hand cream would be wonderful and had no doubt that the hand wash would be wonderful too. Like the rest of the Soap & Glory products, the scent was amazing and I'm sure I always end up lathering my hands with it longer than one needs to! Having both products side by side is also great as it encourages me to use the hand cream (which I really need to as I do a lot of hand-work in my full-time job and hobbies) which I can sometimes forget until my hands start to feel papery, which is horrible!
Like my original reason of buying the set, this makes a great gift (and it is only £8)...in fact, I have noticed that Soap & Glory offers many gift-like products (via ASOS.COM) which is so important for beauty brands and I often get frustrated at being unable to buy 'mini' products of brands I like as gifts or as a tester...and in the end, it is their benefit to offer this as it only takes a small amount of product to possibly gain a customer for life - like it did with me!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Shopping at London MCM Expo 2010.

If you've been following my blog, you will know that back in October, I attended the MCM Expo in London, which is a comic/gaming/Manga/Anime event. You can read about my visit here, which I enjoyed very much!
I didn't get round to mentioning the things I bought because the blog post was already getting ridiculously long! So here are some of my purchases!I have always been interested in Manga and Anime but often felt overwhelmed by it as there is just so much and I never knew where to start...so I usually only settled with watching mainstream Anime. My sister is completely obsessed with it and helped filter down the 'good' Manga for me to buy as there was so much of it at the event! I will be reviewing them at a later date.
We then came across an ArtBox stall, which I love but it is so out of the way for me to get to in London that I never really get to go. It has adorable stationery, gifts and clothing..I could easily spend a lot! I took the opportunity to buy the cutest notebooks as they were pretty inexpensive and my mother bought a few for herself too.
Overall, I thought the event was great for gift purchases and I'll definitely be spending more next time!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

MOO.

I hadn't placed a 'big' order from MOO.COM for a very long time, so I was very surprised when I received my order from a couple of weeks ago (there was a 30% discount promotion!) as I could really see how much they had grown! Below are my new 'minicards', which was actually one of the first products I ever got from MOO.COM about 2 years ago, and what first caught my attention. They originally presented minicards in an optic white, plastic box (which I still love and often utilised which you can see here) but this time, I received my minicards in their upgraded white card box with a flash of orange and MOO branding...it definitely looked a lot more professional! I had previously received newsletters from them explaining their new packaging but I never really paid much attention so I was thoroughly impressed! Also loved the 'mine', 'theirs' and 'favourites' dividers although I rarely ever get minicards from people I buy from...hopefully some time in the future they will become much more common!!
As you can see, I went for a very simple design on my minicards... my little illustration and website on the back - another thing I love about MOO.COM - you can print on the back with no additional (ridiculous) cost! You can also have all your minicards completely different, you don't just have to settle with the one design...a real rarity when it comes to commercially printed products.The next product I got were the standard business cards, I didn't really need these but I couldn't resist the 30% discount! Again, packaging was lovely and the dividers will surely come in use eventually. It was really late when I was designing my cards, and I had forgotten that I could have several different cards, which is incredibly useful for me as I sell such a variety of things in my shop...so I only have the one design, which I don't mind too much! Card quality is excellent and MOO.COM is always the first place I think of when people ask 'where to get nice business cards'! I will be keeping a look out for the next discount...